Nirvana in the Blue Books

15. Non-attachment is freedom from longing for all objects of desire, either earthly or traditional, either here or hereafter.

Non-attachment can also be described as thirstlessness. This is the most correct occult term to use as it involves the dual idea of water, the symbol of material existence, and desire, the quality of the astral plane, whose symbol is also water. The idea of man being the “fish” is curiously complete here. This symbol (as is the case with all symbols) has seven meanings; two are of use in this place:

  1. The fish is the symbol of the Vishnu aspect, the Christ principle, the second aspect of divinity, the Christ in incarnation, whether it is the cosmic Christ (expressing Himself through a solar system) or the individual Christ the potential savior within each human being. This is the “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” If the student will also study the fish Avatar of Vishnu he will learn still more.
  2. The fish swimming in the waters of matter, an extension of the same idea only carried down to its more obvious present expression, man as the personality.

Where there is no longing for any object whatsoever, and where there is no desire for rebirth (ever the outcome of longing for “form-expression” or material manifestation) then the true thirstlessness is attained, and the liberated man turns his back upon all the forms in the lower three worlds and becomes a true savior.

In the Bhagavad Gita the following illuminating words are found:

“For the possessors of wisdom, united in soul-vision, giving up the fruit of works, freed from the bondage of rebirth, reach the home where no sorrow dwells.

“When thy soul shall pass beyond the forest of delusion, thou shalt no more regard what shall be taught or what has been taught.

“When withdrawn from traditional teaching, thy soul shall stand steadfast, firm in soul-vision, then shalt thou gain union with the Soul.” (Gita II, 51, 52 and 53.)

J. H. Woods makes this clear in his translation of the comment by Veda Vyasa which is here appended:

Passionless is the consciousness of being Master on the part of one who has rid himself of thirst for either seen or revealed objects.”

“The mind stuff (chitta) – if it be rid of thirst for objects that are seen, such as women, or food or drink or power, if it be rid of thirst for the object revealed (in the Vedas) such as the attainment of Heaven or of the discarnate state or of resolution into primary matter – if even when in contact with objects either supernormal or not, it be, by virtue of elevation, aware of the inadequateness of objects – will have a consciousness of being Master…”

The word “traditional” carries the student’s thought away from that which is usually regarded as the object of sensuous perception into the world of thought forms, into that “forest of delusion” which is constructed of men’s ideas about God, heaven or hell. The sublimation of all this and its highest expression in the three worlds is that “devachan” which is the goal of the majority of the sons of men. Devachanic experience must, however, be transformed eventually into nirvanic realization. It may be of value to the student to remember that heaven, the object of aspirational desire, which is the outcome of traditional teaching, and of all formulations of doctrinal faiths has several meanings to the occultist. For the purpose of a clearer understanding the following may be found to be of use:

  1. Heaven, that state of consciousness upon the astral plane which is the concretion of the longing and desire of the aspirant for rest, peace and happiness. It is based upon the “forms of joy.” It is a condition of sensuous enjoyment, and being constructed for himself by each individual is as varied as there are people participating in it. Non-attachment has to be achieved with respect to heaven. It is realized as enjoyed by the lower self, and by the man when bereft only of his physical body, prior to passing out of the astral body on to the mental plane.
  2. Devachan, that state of consciousness upon the mental plane into which the soul passes when deprived of its astral body and functioning in, or limited by, its mental body. It is of a higher order than the ordinary heaven and the bliss enjoyed is more mental than we ordinarily understand by the word, yet nevertheless it is still within the lower world of form and will be transcended when non-attachment is known.
  3. Nirvana, that condition into which the adept passes when the three lower worlds are no longer “attached” to him through his inclinations or karma, and which he experiences after he has:

a. Taken certain initiations,
b. Freed himself from the three worlds,
c. Organized his Christ body.

Strictly speaking those adepts who have achieved non-attachment but who have chosen to sacrifice themselves and abide with the sons of men in order to serve and help them are not technically Nirvanis. They are Lords of Compassion pledged to “suffer” with, and to be governed by, certain conditions analogous to (though not identical with) the conditions governing men who are still attached to the world of form.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 1 – The Problem of Union

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Stage VI – The Chela within the Master’s Heart

We arrive now at a consideration of the last of the six stages of discipleship. This was described by me in the following terms:

“The stage where the disciple is in close touch always; he is being definitely prepared for immediate initiation or having taken initiation – is given specialized work. At this stage he is described as a Chela within his Master’s Heart.”

One thing I would here emphasize as I seek to give some light upon this subject. Being within the Master’s Heart in no way indicates a love-relationship between Master and disciple. The normal reaction is that at last the disciple has merited the right to be truly loved and, therefore, to be truly close to the Master. His life or lives of service have brought him at last the reward; he has now free access to the Master in the closest possible and mutual relationship of loving understanding. This stage of discipleship has absolutely no reference to this at all.

For another thing, brother of mine, when the disciple reaches this stage he is no longer what you understand by an accepted disciple. He is an initiate of high standing and of elevated degree and has passed out of the supervision and the safeguarding of a Master into a direct relation with the Master of all the Masters, the Christ, who is the central point in the Hierarchy, just as the Master is the central point in an ashram. The Master is the heart of his group and the Christ is the heart of the Hierarchy. The closer one gets to realization, the clearer becomes the concept that the point at the center and the periphery are one.

The significance of the word “heart” is the significance of life itself, as it beats eternally at the very heart of the universe. Within that life, the initiate now consciously stands, realizing himself not so much as being a recipient of life, but as a distributor of life. This is a very different thing and holds the key to this stage of discipleship.

The “Master’s Heart” is a technical term, indicating the sources of life and many analogous interpretations. There is at this stage and after a certain major initiation, a direct line of energy or of life – sensed, recognized, active and utilized – between the conscious disciple and

  1. The disciple’s heart center.
  2. The heart center in the head.
  3. The egoic lotus, which (until the fourth initiation) is the heart center of the monadic life.
  4. The Master at the center of his group.
  5. The Christ, the heart center of the Hierarchy.
  6. The life of the Monad which begins to make itself felt at the third initiation.
  7. The Lord of Life himself, the heart center of Shamballa.

The line of relationship then extends from these onward and outward, and upward (spherically considered) to the Life at the very center of our Earth’s “alter ego,” the planet Venus, to Jupiter and thence to the solar Lord himself and on to a point in the Sun, Sirius. You can see, therefore, how different this stage is from what might be imagined. It is one which marks a new departure or beginning and a great transition. It is a stage which one enters through the open door of Nirvana, the beginning of the Path of the Higher Evolution. It is a stage which marks a specific location (if such an inappropriate word can be used) of the disciple upon that upward Way which is revealed by the lighted Way; it is the attainment of the innermost point of realization, called esoterically “within the heart.”

Discipleship in the New Age I – The Six Stages of Discipleship – Part IX

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We are on that path of transition (can we call it the Path of Discipleship?) which will lead us into a new dimension, into the interior world of true fact and right energy. It is a world in which only the spiritual body can function and only the eye of spirit can see. It cannot be perceived by those whose inner perception is unawakened and whose intuition sleeps. When the spiritual body begins to be organized and to grow, and when the eye of wisdom slowly opens and trains itself to see truly, then there will come the indications that the Christ, latent in each son of God, is beginning to control and to lead man into the world of spiritual being, true meaning and essential values. This world is the kingdom of God, the world of souls, and – when manifested – is that expression of divine life which we can call the fifth kingdom in nature. But it cannot yet be generally perceived. It is through the process of initiation that this world stands revealed.

Before initiation can be given, the significance of the above ideas must be grasped, and certain great developments are necessarily presupposed. These requirements can be seen working out in the life of every disciple at this time, and, for those who have eyes to see, they can be seen actively bringing changes in the race.

Aspiration is a basic requirement, both in the individual and in the race. Today humanity aspires to great heights, and this aspiration is responsible for the great national movements seen in so many countries. At the same time, individual disciples are striving anew towards illumination, incited thereto by their longing to meet world need. Spiritual selfishness, which has been such a characteristic of aspirants in the past, has to be transcended and transmuted into love of man and a sharing in the “fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.” (Phil., III, 10.) Self must be lost to sight in service. Service is rapidly becoming the keynote of the time, and one of the incentives in racial endeavor. The meeting of disaster and the undergoing of painful experiences is ever the lot of the individual disciple. It is becoming obvious that the world disciple, humanity itself, is now deemed worthy of such a testing. This universality of difficulty, in every department of human life and excluding no group, indicates that mankind as a whole is being prepared for initiation. There is purpose underlying what is happening today. The birth pangs of the Christ within the race have begun, and the Christ will be born in the “House of Bread” (which is the meaning of the word “Bethlehem”). The implications of our present world pain and suffering are too obvious to need further explanation. There is purpose underlying all world affairs at this time, and there is reward at the end of the way. Some day, sooner perhaps than many may think, the portals of initiation will open wide to the suffering world disciple (as they have ever opened in the past to individuals), and humanity will enter into a new Kingdom and stand before that mysterious Presence Whose light and wisdom shone forth before the world through the Person of Christ, and Whose voice was heard at each of the five crises through which Christ passed. Then will mankind enter into the world of causes and of knowing. We shall dwell in the inner world of reality, and the outer appearance of physical living will be known to be only symbolic of inner conditions and happenings. Then we shall begin to work and live as those who are initiate in the mysteries, and our lives will be regulated from the realm of reality where Christ and His Disciples of all time (the Church invisible) guide and control human affairs.

The goal which They have in view and the end towards which They are working has been summed up for us in a commentary upon an ancient Tibetan scripture. The words are as follows:

“All beauty, all goodness, all that makes for the eradication of sorrow and ignorance upon earth must be devoted to the one Great Consummation. Then when the Lords of Compassion shall have spiritually civilized the Earth and made of it a Heaven, there will be revealed to the Pilgrims the Endless Path, which reaches to the heart of the universe. Man, then no longer man, will transcend Nature, and impersonally, yet consciously, in at-one-ment with all the Enlightened Ones, help to fulfil the Law of the Higher Evolution, of which Nirvana is but the beginning.”


Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, p. 12.

Such is our goal. Such our glorious objective. How can we progress towards this consummation? What is the first step that we must take? In the words of an unknown poet:

“When thou canst see
Beneath the outer seeming
The causes which to all effects give birth,
When thou canst feel, in warmth of sunlight streaming
The Love of God, encircling all the earth,
Then know thyself initiate in the Mysteries
The wise men ever deemed of greatest worth.”

From Bethlehem to Calvary – Chapter One – Introductory Remarks on Initiation

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This rather unexpected responsive activity has necessitated much increased activity on the part of the Hierarchy, in order to offset the consequences of any premature inflow of the will force. After the third initiation, when the soul body, the causal body, starts to dissipate, the line of relation or of connection can be and is direct. The initiate then “stands in the ocean of love, and through him pours that love; his will is love and he can safely work, for love divine will color all his will, and he can wisely serve.” Love and intelligence then become the servants of the will. Soul energy and personality force contribute to the experience of the Monad in the three worlds of life service, and then the agelong task of the incarnating spiritual man is finally accomplished. He is ready for Nirvana, which is but the Way into new fields of spiritual experience and of divine development – incomprehensible as yet, even to the initiate of the third degree. This Way is revealed only when the antahkarana is built and completed and the man becomes focused in the Triad as consciously as he is now focused in the threefold lower nature.

Then, and then only, is the true dualism of the divine nature apparent and the illusory duality disappears. Then you have Spirit-matter, Life-form. For this the triple experience of the unfolding consciousness is only preparatory. Through the unfolding consciousness, the initiate knows the significance of life and the uses of form, but stands completely unidentified with either, though blending these dualities in himself into a conscious synthesis. The attempt to convey his state of mind, in words that but limit and confuse, leads to apparent contradictions, and this is one of the peculiar paradoxes of the occult science. Do the above imparted facts make sense to you? Have they meaning for your mind? I think not. You have not yet the needed equipment through which the type of implied awareness can work, or the realization of that true Self-consciousness which would produce in you an understanding reaction. I simply, make the esoteric assertion; later will come apprehension of the truth and that consequent energizing which always comes when any abstract truth is truly appreciated and assimilated. But the time has not yet come for the comprehension of the above information. Disciples and aspirants grow through the means of a presented vision – unattainable as yet but definitely an extension of the known and previously grasped. Such is the mode of evolution, for it is ever a pressing forward towards the sensed.

The Rays and the Initiations – Part Two – Section One – The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation

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After the major initiations are undergone, the state of consciousness of the illumined and liberated adept is such that language serves only to blind and to hinder true understanding. The consciousness of the initiate is of so lofty a nature that it can only be described in terms of release, of negation, and through the emphasis of that which it is not. It is a state of No-thing and Non-ego, for all egoic awareness is superseded by a state of Being and of consciousness which is only capable of comprehension and expression when form life is of no further use to the perfected spiritual life. It is a state of non-individuality, yet with the subconscious knowledge and gains of the individual experience. The center of consciousness is so far removed from any individual separate identity that that particular factor has faded entirely out, and only the macrocosmic life is sentiently realized. It is a state of non-activity from our present angle of vision, because all individual reactions to the activity of matter or to that state of being which we call egoic, have dropped away, and Life and Mind can no longer be swept into motion by any of the factors which have hitherto produced what we have called soul activity and form existence.

Nevertheless, though the consciousness is other than all that has been hitherto known, and though it can only be expressed in terms of negation, the truth must be borne constantly in mind that the greater awareness must always include the lesser awareness. Consequently all possible actions and reactions, identifications and focusings, awarenesses and contacts, ray impulses, approaches and withdrawals, and all possible expressions of the divine activity and qualities, phenomenal and non-phenomenal, are included in the state of Being which is now the natural state of the liberated and enlightened spiritual Existence. All are possible of recovery through the will or in response to a need, but the spiritual Being is no longer held by them or identified with them. Each of the stages on the great Path of Liberation or Enlightenment with which we have been concerned – Individualization, Initiation and Identification – have led the Life or the spiritual, interior man, from point to point, from quality to quality, from realization to realization, from phenomenal appearance to spiritual living, from physical awareness to sentient, emotional awareness, and from that to mental differentiation and separateness. He has been carried from hell to heaven, from heaven to Nirvana, from the life-conditioning of the personal Ego to that of the group soul, and thence to that of the liberated state of pure intuitional life. He has passed from form experience as a whole to that complete freedom from all vibratory impressions which it is the nature of pure Being (divorced from phenomenal existence) to demonstrate. But at the same time, nothing is lost of capacity, or quality or of sentient awareness. This is beautifully expressed for us in the words of the Old Commentary, found in the archives of the Masters.

“The quality of life fades out.
It flickers and is gone.
Yet the Blessed Ones reveal at will that quality.
The color pure remains.

The nature of life in form fails to appear.
It flashes forth a little while, then disappears.
The Blessed Ones, at will, can take a form,
yet are not then the form.

The seven great rays sweep into manifested life.
They are, and then are not. All is and all is not.
But the Blessed Ones at any time can sweep forth into manifested light.
They carry then the potencies of spirit to meet the need expressed.
Light holds Them not; Their purpose is not imprisoned; Their will is not subdued.
They appear and disappear at will.”

(An expression of the truth of this can be seen demonstrating in the world each full moon of May, when the Buddha flashes forth into manifestation, for the fulfilment of the Plan and at the urgent behest of His own spiritual will.)

“Naught holds the Blessed Ones.
Neither the deities nor form; neither desire nor mind;
nor any quality of life.
Pure life they are; pure being and pure will;
pure love and pure intent;
this is all that unenlightened man can grasp, and only that in part.

  • The Blessed Ones are not, and yet They are.
  • The Blessed Ones know naught, and yet know all.
  • The Blessed Ones love not, yet offer love divine.
  • The Blessed Ones remember not, yet all is recollection.
  • The Blessed Ones remain in isolation pure; and yet at will can take a form.
  • The Blessed Ones dwell ever in the high and lofty place, yet oft can walk on earth in light phenomenal.
  • The Blessed Ones manifest not through form; yet are all forms and all intents.”

Esoteric Psychology II – Chapter I – The Egoic Ray – The Growth of Soul Influence

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(1) The Period of Pralaya between two Incarnations

This is of a triple nature and affects the substance of the three vehicles, physical, astral and mental, reducing the form to its primitive substance, and dissipating its atomic structure. The energy of the second aspect (that of the form-builder) is withdrawn by the will of the Ego, and the atoms composing the form become dissociated from each other, and are resolved into the reservoir of essence to be recollected again when the hour strikes. This condition is brought about gradually by stages of which we are aware.

The first stage is the withdrawal of the life force in the etheric vehicle from the threefold (dense, liquid and gaseous) dense physical body and the consequent “falling into corruption,” and becoming “scattered to the elements.” Objective man fades out, and is no more seen by the physical eye, though still in his etheric body. When etheric vision is developed, the thought of death will assume very different proportions. When a man can be seen functioning in his etheric physical body by the majority of the race, the dropping of the dense body will be considered just a “release.”

The next stage is the withdrawal of the life force from the etheric body or coil, and its devitalization. The etheric coil is but an extension of one aspect of the sutratma or thread, and this thread is spun by the Ego from within the causal body much as a spider spins a thread. It can be shortened or extended at will, and when the period of pralaya has been decided upon, this thread of light, or of solar fire (note the word “solar”) is withdrawn, and gathered back to the atomic subplane where it will still vitalize the permanent atom and hold it connected within the causal body. The life impulses are then – as far as the physical plane is concerned – centralized within the atomic sphere.

The third stage is the withdrawal of the life force from so that it disintegrates in a similar manner and the life is centralized within the astral permanent atom. It has gained an increase of vitality through physical plane existence, and added color through astral experience.

The final stage for the human atom is its withdrawal from the mental vehicle. The life forces after this fourfold abstraction are centralized entirely within the egoic sphere; contact with the three lower planes is still inherently possible by means of the permanent atoms, the force centers of the three personality aspects.

In each incarnation the life forces have gained through the utilization of the vehicles,

  1. An increased activity, which is stored in the physical permanent atom.
  2. An added coloring, which is stored in the astral permanent atom.
  3. A developed quality of strength, or purpose in action, which is stored in the mental unit.

These are wrought into faculty in devachan.

Devachan is a state of consciousness, reflecting, in the life of the Personality, that higher state which we call nirvanic consciousness, and which is brought about by egoic action. It is but a dim reflection in the separated units (and therefore tinged with selfishness and separative pleasure) of the group condition called nirvanic. In this high state of consciousness each separate identity, though self-realizing, shares in the group realization, and therein lies bliss for the unit. Separation is no longer felt, only unity and essential oneness is known. Therefore, as might be naturally deduced, there is no devachan for the savage or little evolved man, as they merit it not, and have not the mentality to realize it; hence, therefore, the rapidity of their incarnations, and the brevity of the pralayic period. There is little in their case for the Ego, on its own plane, to assimilate in the residue of incarnations, and hence the life principle withdraws rapidly from out of the mental form, with the resulting impulse of the Ego to reincarnate almost immediately.

When the life of the personality has been full and rich, yet has not reached the stage wherein the personal self can consciously cooperate with the ego, periods of personality nirvana are undergone, their length depending upon the interest of the life, and the ability of the man to meditate upon experience. Later, when the Ego dominates the personality life, the interest of the man is raised to higher levels, and the nirvana of the soul becomes his goal. He has no interest in devachan. Therefore, those upon the Path (either the probationary Path, or the Path of Initiation) do not, as a rule, go to devachan, but immediate incarnation becomes the rule in the turning of the wheel of life; this time it is brought about by the conscious cooperation of the personal Self with the divine Self or Ego.

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Two – Division D – Thought Elementals and Fire Elementals

Towards Freedom – Power

It may seem a little out of place to start discussing power in the context of freedom and equanimity, but it is necessary. Until you have more than a notion of your relationship to power and with power, it is difficult to have balance. Power of course has many meanings, there are many types of power and it comes in all shades. There is power in the sense of dominance, power in the sense of ability, power in knowledge and power as in material plane enforcement. Power is a vast topic itself. Some people have power, that can be positional or organisational power, it can be personal power, it can be muscular power or sexual power. There is the saying that power corrupts, though it need not, it often does. Humanity has a bit of a thing for and about societal power; it has a status hang up.

If you wield power in the sense of political or corporate power, it is unlikely that you will have equanimity and peace. This is because people are so often fighting for power. Even if your powerful position is secure, by the very nature of that position you will be required to make decisions. Those decisions are a responsibility of positional power and rarely do they come with serenity and peace. It is not the fate of most people to learn what high positional power means and those so called are in for a bit of a tough time. All societies have leaders, and these are of varying ability and quality. Some seek power with a thirst. And it is many that are so drawn who end up abusing power. Power has many traps associated for those drawn to it.

In the context of freedom, it is useful to figure out what has power over you and then adjust that situation. Things that have power over you can be as simple as arachnophobia. If a simple spider makes you come out in a sweat, then you are not free of spiders. A tiny creature can evoke a massive drama. It is not the spider’s fault, it is your reaction. For whatever reason you have a fear and a drama associated in your mind with spiders. Chances are this is disproportionate. Few spiders attack humans just because there is nothing better on the TV to watch. People have hang ups about a host of things and this restricts their liberty. Anything which can evoke drama upsets balance.  If small creatures have power over you, then what does that say about your level of mental control and balance?

Similarly, because of co-dependency, there are many people who have power over you. Some will go out of their way to manipulate you into a dependency and if you are so oriented you might even seek such people out, whether consciously or not. There are a multitude of buttons available to others for the pressing of. If at the pressing of a button off you trot into drama, then that button and the finger thereupon, have power over you. It can evoke drama and lack of control, you are off balance and flailing around. It is in this dependency and co-dependency that people give their power away to others. If you want to be free, then you do not need other beings having emotional power over you.

Many of the things that have power over you are to be found in the truck load of baggage which most adults carry with them. There may be shame, wounds, ambitions, unresolved conflict, grudges, guilt, vengeance, fear, unrequited love etc… The list is often long and until you have clarity on where the button comes from, it will stand proud and beckoning. It is in unpacking the baggage and by examination that one can begin to understand and slowly loosen the power over which is held. To be relatively free of buttons is to have more freedom generally. One is not beholden to the past and the narratives of it, which if we bear in mind the likelihood of selective perception are in any case often inaccurate. Memories and history are prevalent members of the set of buttons which are the indicators of something that has power over.  A skilled manipulator can spot these a mile off and press them at will.

If you seek freedom, then you must defend it. This may sound ever so slightly bellicose, but one has to fight to extract oneself from situations in which things, people and ideas have power over you. The past has power over most and reorienting the past in such a manner as to be free of it, is no easy task. The common dream advertises that building memories for your dotage is a good thing, but who can really live in a sepia or rose-tinted world? It is not real. It is imagined and unreliable of recall. To build “memories” is to never be free of them. This is perhaps slightly radical but do consider this. If you live in a mish mash recollection of the past, what do you make of the present, if you even notice it all? To be bound thus, is to not experience the now.

I have used bound, shackles and manacles already in this text, emotive words of slavery and imprisonment. It is up to you to figure out if I am by metaphor over egging the pudding. Until the duvet of illusion is pulled off, there is a cosy familiarity which can seemingly be justified.

Of course, in any material society there will be people and organisations that have temporal power over the circumstances of your life. Short of going off into the wild, this will always be the case. The freedom of complete anarchy is not currently possible in large society, this need not impinge overly on your state of mind, your mental freedom. One can see it for what it is, do the minimum necessary to be a “good” citizen and not feel overly oppressed by the apparatus of state. Within this framework it is possible not to succumb to ideological power over. People will do whatever they do, they will think whatever and opine ad infinitum. None of this need impact on your own equanimity. One does not have to agree, or argue or succumb. If your own mind is clear it is not overly perturbed by the folly and behaviours of others. Unless they are directly intent on harming or manipulating you, they are not direct threats. In keeping your centre, you can rise above it. If you cannot resist the pull of hive or herd mind, then it has power over you, which means you are not yet free of it.

As you begin to see though your own façade, understand your self and get close to your true nature, you will be acquiring power in the sense of knowledge. That knowledge pertains not only to you as a being but to other beings. This knowledge then opens up choices, possibilities for you which were hitherto not available, you have more personal power and more freedom. Freedom is in your choice as to how you respond to whatever life throws at you. There will be a reduced rigidity and an enhanced flexibility of living. With more personal power comes the temptation to exploit that power and perhaps use situations and others to your “advantage”. With all growth in personal power comes temptation. In the absence there are few choices. When there is a plethora of choices available some will not be life enhancing. If you are so inclined, you may use your personal power to exert power over others. As alluded to above that way is not freedom. How can one be free if one enslaves? It is not possible.

I have briefly touched on power here. Learning to handle new found personal power is a part of the walk to freedom. Keeping oneself grounded and developing humility offsets the temptation of power, which can enslave. In this sense knowledge is power which without wisdom and discernment can be a dangerous thing.

It Takes Power to Talk About Power

This is the aphorism I mentioned paraphrased. I could have written it; it requires some knowledge to speak about knowledge in a meaningful way. Or even; one has to have at least a modicum of wisdom to speak wisely about wisdom, its acquisition and application.

For me personally these Toltec aphorisms are by nature profound and succinct. It would be relatively easy to expand each one of them up into thousands of words.

Take the alternative meaning of power, the one of positional or political power. Until one has had a modicum of this one does not know what it feels like to wield power. One is also unaware of the temptations posed by such power. One might even get caught snogging an aide in front of a security camera.

Power of this nature cannot really be speculated upon; it has to be experienced. There are many people who might seek power but then when they have it be unable to use it or wield it. They may not like the flip side of “responsibility” which comes with great power as Spiderman alleges. The notion of power is one thing, its yoke quite another. There is another aphorism of my own writing.

“Power can do weird shit to people, man.”

When I started teaching it was before the days of PowerPoint. One used an overhead projector or old-fashioned chalk. I thought I was a smart young gun. That was until I tried to do a live chalk-based derivation of some rate laws in front of a hundred ultra-smart undergraduates. I nearly shit my pants when I had brain freeze and white out in front of the blackboard. Boy did I prepare well after that!!

Yellow chalk and black Levi’s are an interesting combination, be careful where you put your hands…

There is a strange quirk to my character that makes it difficult for me to teach other people. I genuinely have to understand it before I am comfortable teaching it. And for an INFJ that means understanding it on many levels and comprehensively. Others are able to confidently teach material without having to probe it, so far. Those that learn by rote to pass exams can teach by rote too. Because I don’t have a binary right / wrong orientation sometimes those brought up in a “I must pass exams” education system have initially found my methods lacking in confidence of delivery. They want to “know” the answer and I want to know even more questions. I want to fathom.

I had a break from undergraduate teaching for a long while. Then when I came to teach some of the material that I had done previously I started to find holes in the textbook derivations, too many shortcuts, wide generalisations. I found myself going back to square one and checking a whole bunch of stuff that I would have previously taken for granted.

There were some mistakes!!

I have had minor exposure to power back in the days of the start-up. Strange how I was more attractive to the ladies when I had board meetings and shares. At the moment in terms of material or temporal power I am powerless.

I can however say that powerlessness has its own special kind of power under certain circumstances. It takes powerlessness to speak on the power of powerlessness.

Having taught some material over a number of years, one can say that one’s understanding of that material changes with time. It is funny how a new facet and new insight can be had from the very same words. Even when we think we know, there is nearly always another level, should we be open enough to inquire.

One’s knowledge at any given time is just a snapshot of knowledge at that point in time, it is wise to acknowledge that this is all that it is, a fleeting understanding in our journey of evolution upon which there is no destination only travel.

If you think anything is absolute you are wrong.

Even the gospel of science evolves in time. There are many examples of scientists being adamant and later being proven inaccurate by the evolution of the knowledge base.

I am comfortable talking about knowledge, wisdom and power, because I have a modicum of experience of these things.

It is up to you to assess if I am bullshitting or not…

Do We Re-invent The Wheel?

This is prompted in part by my look into some Stoicism quotations yesterday.

If for example you were educated in the British public, or in other words private and fee paying, school system it is likely that you will have had considerable exposure to the classics, Latin, and Greek. As such because of this kind of programming you would be more open to the words of the Greek and Roman philosophers than say those originating in the Indian subcontinent or the far East.  You may even imagine that the Roman and Greek philosophers were presenting original ideas. It would not occur to you that they might, if stoic, be plagiarising Vedic or Buddhist thought. It would not occur to you that there has been a rebranding of someone else’s ideas so as to gain kudos and fame.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that those in Greece had exposure to the above ideas and Zoroastrianism as well. Yet there is a tendency to laud those who have geographic origin closer to home. The Greek philosophers were great!! What about the Persians, and dare I say it, Iranians?

I’ll posit that the basic philosophises of not being greedy, not getting angry, trying to understand that opinion is just that and that perception is that and not ultimate reality have run through history and are simply being recycled and rephrased time and again. Those unaware of their historical origins think these ideas are new, but they have been resident thought forms for millennia. It they are written down in Swedish or German or French they sound different, but the essence does not differ.

A wheel remains a wheel whatever the name.

It does not take a brilliant logician to state that greed causes unhappiness and suffering and cannot ever be truly stated. Logically greed is not a good thing, yet the planet is positively swarming with greedy and avaricious people, who therefore by definition are also illogical.

The basic wisdom even at the level of common sense is ageless, it is just recycled and repackaged down the ages. This wisdom pertains to the human condition with all its peccadilloes. The knowledge of science and engineering grows, the wisdom pertaining to the quirks of humanity does not. This is because although our knowledge and intellect are on the move our behaviour as {anti} social beings is not evolving as fast and by a long shot.

So, when someone says something along the lines of,” the best kind of revenge is not being so petty as to seek revenge” it is not radical nor modern it is just recycled and rephrased.

Wisdom is wisdom even if it is over 2000 years old!

Yes, humanity does reinvent the wheel and by this I also mean the wheel of rebirth. In not learning the lessons one remains tied to the wheel of rebirth…. a wheel is wheel whatever the language.

The Phenomenon of Instant Experts

I’ll kick this off with a hypothesis.

Many people imagine that their depth of knowledge is more profound than it is.

What do think? Is this a sound hypothesis?

It seems to me that the phenomenon of instant experts is becoming ever more prevalent and this medium, the internet, has facilitated the pandemic of assumed expertise. Moreover, few check the provenance of their so-called knowledge. If THEY say it then it must be true. However, THEY say a whole bunch of things. We have a global game of Chinese whispers, which gives rise to some strange ideas.

I have been very fortunate in that many people over the years have felt that I needed the benefit of their wisdom. They never checked what I might know, being eager perhaps to soapbox or evangelise. By and large I have not argued the toss nor made an attempt to make them look foolish. I can usually tell if people are disinterested in listening quite quickly and because I am introverted, keeping quiet comes naturally.

Maybe the above hypothesis fits me?

Perhaps I am an arrogant being?

Having been a science academic it is easy to spot those who relied on rote learning or parrot wisdom, when they first tip up. Many want to know the answers and are not at all interested in understanding, they simply want a good degree. They want to know how to pass exams. So, there is a bit of a challenge, how to sneak some learning in under the exam orientation and grade fascination.

When I asked someone who new me in my previous metaphorical incarnation how good his Maths was, he was hesitant to respond because he knew the types of minds I was accustomed to working with. Other people may not suspect what I might have under the hood so to speak.

People place a lot of stock in being clever, brainy and top of the class. Parrot wisdom, “general knowledge” is not very deep.  THEY are not the font of all knowledge. Wanting to be seen as clever is a strange thing.

Is clever the same as wise?

Are “facts” the same as knowledge?

What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?

Do you agree that we have a pandemic of assumed expertise?

INITIATION DEFINED

The question anent initiation is one that is coming more and more before the public. Before many centuries pass the old mysteries will be restored, and an inner body will exist in the Church – the Church of the period, of which the nucleus is already forming – wherein the first initiation will become esoteric, in this sense only, that the taking of the first initiation will, before so very long, be the most sacred ceremony of the Church, performed esoterically as one of the mysteries given at stated periods, attended by those concerned. It will also hold a similar place in the ritual of the Masons. At this ceremony those ready for the first initiation will be publicly admitted to the Lodge by one of its members, authorized to do so by the great Hierophant Himself.

Four Words Defined

When we speak of Initiation, of wisdom, of knowledge, or of the probationary Path, what do we mean? We use the words so glibly, without due consideration of the meaning involved. Take, for instance, the word first mentioned. Many are the definitions, and many are the explanations to be found as to its scope, the preparatory steps, the work to be done between initiations, and its result and effects. One thing before all else is apparent to the most superficial student, and that is, that the magnitude of the subject is such that in order to deal with it adequately one should be able to write from the viewpoint of an initiate; when this is not the case, anything that is said may be reasonable, logical, interesting, or suggestive, but not conclusive.

The word Initiation comes from two Latin words, in, into; and ire, to go; therefore, the making of a beginning, or the entrance into something. It posits, in its widest sense, in the case we are studying, an entrance into the spiritual life, or into a fresh stage in that life. It is the first step, and the succeeding steps, upon the Path of Holiness. Literally, therefore, a man who has taken the first initiation is one who has taken the first step into the spiritual kingdom, having passed out of the definitely human kingdom into the superhuman. Just as he passed out of the animal kingdom into the human at individualization, so he has entered upon the life of the spirit, and for the first time has the right to be called a “spiritual man” in the technical significance of the word. He is entering upon the fifth or final stage in our present fivefold evolution. Having groped his way through the Hall of Ignorance during many ages, and having gone to school in the Hall of Learning, he is now entering into the university, or the Hall of Wisdom. When he has passed through that school he will graduate with his degree as a Master of Compassion.

It might be of benefit to us also if we studied first the difference or the connection between Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom. Though in ordinary parlance they are frequently interchanged, as used technically they are dissimilar.

Knowledge is the product of the Hall of Learning. It might be termed the sumtotal of human discovery and experience, that which can be recognized by the five senses, and be correlated, diagnosed, and defined by the use of the human intellect. It is that about which we feel mental certitude, or that which we can ascertain by the use of experiment. It is the compendium of the arts and sciences. It concerns all that deals with the building and developing of the form side of things. Therefore it concerns the material side of evolution, matter in the solar systems, in the planet, in the three worlds of human evolution, and in the bodies of men.

Wisdom is the product of the Hall of Wisdom. It has to do with the development of the life within the form, with the progress of the spirit through those ever-changing vehicles, and with the expansions of consciousness that succeed each other from life to life. It deals with the life side of evolution. Since it deals with the essence of things and not with the things themselves, it is the intuitive apprehension of truth apart from the reasoning faculty, and the innate perception that can distinguish between the false and the true, between the real and the unreal. It is more than that, for it is also the growing capacity of the Thinker to enter increasingly into the mind of the Logos, to realize the true inwardness of the great pageant of the universe, to vision the objective, and to harmonize more and more with the higher measure. For our present purpose (which is to study somewhat the Path of Holiness and its various stages) it may be described as the realization of the “Kingdom of God within,” and the apprehension of the “Kingdom of God without” in the solar system. Perhaps it might be expressed as the gradual blending of the paths of the mystic and the occultist, – the rearing of the temple of wisdom upon the foundation of knowledge.

Wisdom is the science of the spirit, just as knowledge is the science of matter. Knowledge is separate and objective, whilst wisdom is synthetic and subjective. Knowledge divides; wisdom unites. Knowledge differentiates whilst wisdom blends. What, then, is meant by the understanding?

The understanding may be defined as the faculty of the Thinker in Time to appropriate knowledge as the foundation for wisdom, that which enables him to adapt the things of form to the life of the spirit, and to take the flashes of inspiration that come to him from the Hall of Wisdom and link them to the facts of the Hall of Learning. Perhaps the whole idea might be expressed in this way:
Wisdom concerns the one Self, knowledge deals with the not-self, whilst the understanding is the point of view of the Ego, or Thinker, or his relation between them.

In the Hall of Ignorance the form controls, and the material side of things has the predominance. Man is there polarized in the personality or lower self. In the Hall of Learning the higher self, or Ego, strives to dominate that form until gradually a point of equilibrium is reached where the man is controlled entirely by neither. Later the Ego controls more and more, until in the Hall of Wisdom it dominates in the three lower worlds, and in increasing degree the inherent divinity assumes the mastery.

———————–

Excerpted from:

Initiation, Human and Solar – Chapter II – Initiation Defined

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

Types of Karma

We might here enumerate the different types of KARMA, even though we have not the time to enlarge upon the subject. A book by itself of vast proportions could not contain all that might be said. We should bear in mind that Karma is imposed upon the ensouling entity through the medium of matter or of substance itself (which is colored by it) and that this matter or substance is intelligent material composed of deva essence.

  1. Cosmic Karma – Imposed upon the solar Logos from outside of the system.
  2. Systemic Karma – The working out by the Logos of effects set in motion in previous Kalpas, and which influence His present type of Body.
  3. Planetary Karma – The individual karma of a Heavenly Man, which is just as different from that of another Heavenly Man, as is the karma of the different members of the human family.
  4. The Karma of a chain, which is bound up in the life experience of that entity who ensouls a chain, and is a center in the body of a Heavenly Man, in the same sense as a Heavenly Man within His scheme is a center in the body of the solar Logos.
  5. Globe Karma – The individual destiny of the entity who is a center in the body of the ensouling Life of a chain.

These five existences above enumerated, who are worked upon by karma, are all cosmic and solar Lords of Light, Who achieved intelligence, and passed through the human kingdom many kalpas ago.

  • Plane Karma – This is inextricably mixed up with the karma of the planetary Logos and of the Raja-Lord, and is dependent upon the interplay between these two opposite poles, – the masculine and feminine aspect of the Divine Hermaphrodite.
  • The Karma of a subplane, or the destiny of certain lesser entities who manifest through these planes.

In these two types of karma, we have what one might term the “Karma of the Hierarchies” as it has been brought about since the manifesting of the solar system. It is the result of the past of this system, and not so much the working out of effects originating in previous solar systems.

The Karma of the kingdoms of nature as we know them on our planet:

  • The mineral kingdom.
  • The vegetable kingdom.
  • The animal kingdom.

This is necessarily the karma of the different lunar Lords who ensoul these kingdoms, and who are working out their purposes through them. We must note that we have touched therefore upon cosmic, solar, and lunar karma. In the latter is hid the great mystery of the Moon, and her place in the planetary scheme.

The Karma of the Human Hierarchy 54, 55, 56 in its seven groups, and of the individual Monads. This in itself is a vast and intricate subject and – during the particular cycle of the Earth globe – can be divided into:

  1. World karma. (The seven root-races.)
  2. Racial karma, or the destiny and purpose of each root-race.
  3. Subrace karma, for each subrace has its own destiny to work out.
  4. National karma.
  5. Family karma.
  6. Individual karma.

All these different types of karma are intermingled and bound up in a manner inconceivable and inextricable  to man; even the adepts cannot untangle the mystery beyond that of the groups affiliated with them, while the Chohans of the higher degrees work with the karma of the larger groups (which are the aggregates of the lesser groups).

———————————

54 Karma and Reincarnation, the fourth and fifth doctrines of the Wisdom-religion. These two are, in reality, the A, B, C, of the Wisdom-religion. Karma is the sum total of our acts, both in the present life and in the preceding births. It is of three kinds:

    Sanchita karma,

    Prarabdha karma,

    Agami karma.

Sanchita karma includes human merits and demerits accumulated in the preceding and in all other previous births. That portion of the Sanchita karma destined to influence human life in one or the present incarnation is called Prarabdha. The third kind of karma is the result of the merits and demerits of the present acts. Agami extends over all your words, thoughts, and acts. What you think, what you speak, what you do, as well as whatever results your thoughts, words, and acts produce on yourself, and on those affected by them, fall under the category of the present karma, which will be sure to sway the balance of your life for good or for evil in your future development.”

– The Theosophist, Vol. X, p. 235.

55 Karma (action) is of three kinds:

    Agami: – The bodily actions good and bad – done after the acquisition of the discriminative knowledge. (Vide Shri Sankaracharya’s Tatwa Bodh, question 34).

    Sanchita: – The actions formerly done, serving as seeds to grow the countless births; the store of former actions preserved. Ibid., question 35).

    Prarabdha: – The actions of this body (i.e. birth) which give pleasure or pain in this life alone. (Ibid., question 36.)”

– The Theosophist, Vol. VIII, p. 170.

56 Karma. “It must be remembered that in every action of man the influence of his prior karma constitutes an important element. For the accomplishment of every action, says, Shri Krishna, we need five essentials:

  1. The actor.
  2. The determined will.
  3. Implements for committing the act, such as hands, tongue, etc.
  4. The exercise of these implements.
  5. The influence of antecedent conduct.

The work which a man does with his body, speech or mind, whether it be just or unjust, has these five essentials or factors engaged in the performance. (Gita, XVIII, 13, 14, 15.)

These five essentials of karma are divided into 2 groups in the Mahabharata:

  • man’s present action (including the first four essentials) and,
  • the result of his past action (which forms the fifth essential).

“At the same time it must be remarked that the result of human existence is not the work of a day or even a cycle. It is the aggregate sum of actions committed during innumerable previous existences. Each action may in itself be as slight as can be conceived, like the minutest filaments of cotton, – such that hundreds of them may be blown away by a single breath; and yet, as similar filaments when closely packed and twisted together form a rope, so heavy and strong that it can be used to pull elephants and even huge ships with, so the articles of man’s karma, however trivial each of them may be in itself, would yet by the natural process of accretion, combine themselves closely and form a formidable Pasa (rope) to pull the man with, i.e. to influence his conduct for good or evil.”

– The Theosophist, Vol. VII, p. 60.

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Excerpted from

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Two – Div. B – Manas as a Cosmic, Systemic and Human Factor

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

Water Quotes

Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.

Muhammad Ali

 

For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.

Lao Tzu

 

If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water’s edge.

Napoleon Hill

 

The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.

Rabindranath Tagore

 

You must be a lotus, unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!

Sai Baba

 

Water is the driving force of all nature.

Leonardo da Vinci

 

The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.

William Blake

 

One can not reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.

Lao Tzu

 

I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

Emily Bronte

 

I feel most at home in the water. I disappear. That’s where I belong.

Michael Phelps

 

Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants and trees – should be your teacher.

Morihei Ueshiba

 

Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.

B.R. Ambedkar

 

Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not.

James Taylor

 

The heart of a human being is no different from the soul of heaven and earth. In your practice always keep in your thoughts the interaction of heaven and earth, water and fire, yin and yang.

Morihei Ueshiba

 

This land, this water, this air, this planet – this is our legacy to our young.

Paul Tsongas

 

The fall of dropping water wears away the Stone.

Lucretius

 

The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.

Daniel D. Palmer

 

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.

Loren Eiseley

 

No water, no life. No blue, no green.

Sylvia Earle

The Dweller on the Threshold

In the deadly nightshade of digitalis dreams

the pupils closed so atom tight

n’er to let a single photon pass

to live a life in camera obscura

 

Where nefarious necrophiliacs line all the tombs

to languish lurid in gloom and shadow

each sepulchre tainted by the ochre fading sheath

which sheds the mamba skin scales

both as autumn leaf and lost leper’s fingers

 

Blessed with those primordial cataracts

in the labyrinth subterranean tunnels

ever to walk the fateful string in the penumbra

lest the retinas are scarred by even faintest light

 

By chance the weary Dweller stumbles on

tripping toe-wise onto some carved out stairs

harsh cut deep and in the cavernous wall

a sense of archway, doorway, door

how did he sense the Angel’s spoor?

 

The umbilicus of the vampire darkness

sucks the belly blood fast from him

the succubus’ pull of the old familiar

whispers warnings close his ear

“Step not beyond your cloying fear!!”

 

Sweet honey wafts winsome in the wind

borne hummingbird happy on busy wings

where golden dapples the translucent,

faint feathers of a mountain stream trickle

far from the land of morbid doom and her sickle

 

One more step through that golden gate

and the snap of tripwire seals his fate

a trumpet calls the amphorae of the Gods,

the pilgrim takes a diamond dusting shower

he washes wet in radiance of an infinite hour

 

Far beyond the spectrum of man’s open eyes

he feels that subtle shine of wisdom wise

soothed and healed and now soothed again

he hangs for aeons in the gap between

for dark he knows and light is as yet, unseen

 

The Dweller takes yet more a single pace

to earn the crown of olives, for his race

his heart now facets rainbow light delight

and into the utter radiance quiet easy strolls

the magma of white magnificence does him, now enfold

 

The mellifluous melody of ecstatic shining white

washes the cobwebs and decay of the Lord of night.

He the Dweller is yet a boatman too

he has been both vessel and its crew

between the clashing rocks, the portal

has squeezed him self, a simple mortal

 

Yet further the now enlivened Soul

he marches onwards to his goal

in the pure and white, white radiant stream

at last he has fulfilled his dreams.

The clear-spring clarity now does him fill

he has gained this by both his act and his will

 

Bows before the triumphant triangle, golden ore

he waits as the rod strikes a new lightning sight

it sears his being deep into his very abstract core.

He has earned this most rare and Holy rite

the Rod of Power him has total changed

and all his atoms are most re-arranged.

 

There is The sacred emanation font

where source of stream it can be found

There is not much that needs or wants

for he has sought the simple and the sound

his heart hears what others fail to see

the only block knows he now to ever be

 

The Dweller was always him

and he had sat on the Threshold for,

 … … an endless

endless

… … …eternity.