The activities of the liberated soul are free from the pairs of opposites.

Excerpted from “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 4 – Illumination”

This sutra expresses the teaching in connection with the law of karma in such a strictly oriental manner as to confuse the western student considerably. An analysis of the significance of these words and a study of the commentary of the great teacher Vyasa may serve to elucidate the meaning. It should also be borne in mind that in the fourth book we are dealing with the exalted stages of consciousness reached by those who have followed the eight means of yoga and have experienced the effects of meditation, detailed in Book III. The yogi is now a liberated man, freed from form conditions and focused in his consciousness outside the bounds of the three worlds of human endeavor. He has reached the realm of pure thought and can hold his consciousness untrammelled and free from desire. Therefore, though he formulates ideas and though he can carry on powerful meditations and though he can direct and control the “modifications of the thinking principle,” he creates no conditions which can serve to draw him back into the vortex of lower plane existence. He is freed from karma and originates nothing and no effects can serve to attach him to the wheel of rebirth.

Vyasa in his commentary points out that karma (or action) is of four kinds which are expressed for us as follows:

  1. That type of activity which is evil, wicked and depraved. This is called black. This class of action is the product of the deepest ignorance, of the densest materiality, or of deliberate choice. Where it is the result of ignorance, the development of knowledge will gradually bring about a state of consciousness where this type of karma is no longer known. Where dense materiality produces what we call wrong action, the gradual development of the spiritual consciousness will change darkness to light and karma again is obviated. Where, however, it is the result of deliberate choice, or of preference for wrong action, in spite of knowledge and in defiance of the voice of the spiritual nature, then this type of karma leads to what the oriental occultist called “avitchi” or the eighth sphere, – a term synonymous with the Christian idea of the condition of being a lost soul. These cases are, however, exceedingly rare, and have relation to the left hand path, and the practice of black magic. Though this condition involves the severing of the highest principle (that of pure spirit from its two expressions, the soul and the body, or from the six lower principles), yet the life itself remains, and after the destruction of the soul in avitchi, a fresh cycle of becoming will again be offered.
  2. That type of activity which is neither all good nor all bad, which is spoken of as the black-white. It concerns the karmic activity of the average man, who is governed by the pairs of opposites, and whose life experience is characterized by a swinging back and forth between that which is kindly, harmless, and the result of love, and that which is harsh, harmful, and the result of hate. Vyasa says:

“The black-white is brought about by external means, as in this, the vehicle of actions grows by means of causing pain to, or acting kindly towards others.”

It becomes apparent therefore that the growth of the human unit and his record are dependent upon his attitude towards others and the effect he has upon them. Thus is the return to group consciousness brought about and thus is karma generated or offset. Thus, also, is the swing of the pendulum between these pairs of opposites gradually adjusted until the point of equilibrium is reached, and man acts rightly because the law of love or of the soul, directs from above, and not because either good or bad desire attract him on either hand.

  1. That type of activity which is called white. This is the type of living thought, and work, practised by the aspirant and the disciple. It characterizes the stage of the Path prior to liberation. Vyasa explains it thus:

“The white is of those who resort to the means of improvement, of study and meditation. This is dependent upon the mind alone. It does not depend upon external means, it is not, therefore, brought about by injuring others.”

It will be apparent now that these three types of karma have direct reference to:

  • The plane of materiality – the physical plane.
  • The plane of the pairs of opposites – the astral plane.
  • The plane of one-pointed thought – the mental plane.

Those whose karma is white are those who, having made progress in balancing the pairs of opposites, are now engaged in the process of conscious intelligent emancipation of themselves from the three worlds. This they do through:

  1. Study, or mental development, through an appreciation of the law of evolution and an understanding of the nature of consciousness and its relation to matter on the one hand and to spirit on the other.
  2. Meditation, or mind control and thus the creation of that mechanism which renders to the soul the control of the lower vehicles, and makes possible the revelation of the soul realm.
  3. Non-injury. No word, thought or deed brings harm to any form through which the life of God is expressing itself.
  4. The final type of karma is described as neither black nor white. No karma of any kind is engendered; no effects are set up through causes initiated by the yogi that can serve to hold him to the form side of manifestation. Acting as he does from the standpoint of non-attachment, desiring nothing for himself, his karma is nil, and his acts produce no effects upon himself

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 4 – Illumination

23. Then the mind stuff, reflecting both the knower and the knowable, becomes omniscient.

This sutra is in the nature of a summation and emphasizes the fact that the mind, being stilled and quiescent through the practise of concentration and meditation, becomes the reflector of “that which is above and of that which lies below.” It is the transmitter of the knowledge of the self to the physical brain of the man in incarnation, and the transmitter also of all that which the self knows and perceives. The field of knowledge is seen and known. The knower is also perceived, and the “perception of all objects” becomes possible. It becomes literally true, therefore, that for the yogin nothing remains hidden or unknown. Information on all subjects becomes possible to him, for he has an instrument which he can use to ascertain that which the soul knows concerning the Kingdom of God, the realm of spiritual truth. He can also enter into communication and convey to the soul that which is known to the man in physical incarnation. Thus the knower, the field of knowledge and knowledge itself are brought into conjunction and the medium of this union is the mind.

This is one great stage upon the path of return, and though in due time the intuition will supersede the mind, and direct spiritual perception take the place of mental perception, yet this stage is an advanced and important one, and opens the door to direct illumination. Nothing need now hinder the downflow of spiritual force and wisdom into the brain, for the entire lower threefold man has been purified and dominated, and the physical, emotional and mental bodies form simply a channel for the divine light, and constitute the vehicle through which the life and love of God may manifest.

24. The mind stuff also, reflecting as it does an infinity of mind impressions, becomes the instrument of the Self and acts as a unifying agent.

Nothing remains for the spiritual man to do in connection with this purified lower self but to learn to use his instrument, the mind, and through it the other two bodies are directed, controlled and utilized. Through the eight means of yoga his instrument has been discovered, developed and mastered and must now be brought into active use, and employed in three ways.

  • As a vehicle for the life of the soul.
  • In the service of the Hierarchy.
  • In cooperation with the plan of evolution.

In Book I. Sutra 41, we find these words: “To him whose Vrittis (modifications of the substance of the mind) are entirely controlled there eventuates a state of identity with, and similarity to, that which is realized. The knower, knowledge and the field of knowledge become one, just as the crystal takes to itself the colors of that which is reflected in it.” This gives us a picture of what happens to the man who has mastered his instrument. He registers in his brain, via the mind, that which is true and real; he becomes aware of the nature of the ideal and bends every power which he possesses to the work of bringing that ideal into objective manifestation; he sees the vision of the kingdom of God as it will be in the latter days, and all that he has and is he renders up in order that the vision may be seen by all; he knows the plan, for it is revealed to him in the “secret place upon the Mount of God,” and he cooperates with it intelligently upon the physical plane; he hears the Voice of the Silence and obeys its injunction, working steadily at the task of spiritual living in a world consecrated to things material.

All this is possible to the man who has stilled the versatile psychic nature and has mastered the kingly science of Raja Yoga.

In the hidden literature of the adepts the following stanzas sum up the state of the man who has achieved, who is master and not servant, conqueror and not slave:

    “The fivefold one hath entered into peace, yet walks our sphere. That which is dense and dark now shineth with a clear pure light, and radiance poureth from the seven sacred lotuses. He lighteneth the world, and irradiateth the nethermost place with fire divine.

    That which hath hitherto been restless, wild as the ocean, turgid as the stormy sea, lies quiet and still. Limpid the waters of the lower life and fit to offer to the thirsty ones who, groping, cry of thirst.

    That which hath slain and veiled the Real for many lengthy aeons is itself slain, and with its death the separated life is ended. The One is seen. The Voice is heard. The Real is known, the Vision glimpsed. The fire of God leaps upward into a flame.

    The darkest place receives the light. The dawn appears on earth. The dayspring from on high, sheds its bright beams in hell itself, and all is light and life.”

Then before the liberated yogi a choice is placed. He faces a spiritual problem and its nature has been conveyed to us in the following fragment of an old esoteric catechism:

  “What dost thou see, 0h! liberated one? Many who suffer, Master, who weep and cry for help.

    What will thou do, Oh! man of peace? Return from whence I came.

    Whence comest thou, Pilgrim divine? From the lowest depths of darkness, thence upwards into light.

   Where goest thou, 0h! Traveller upon the upward way? Back to the depths of darkness, away from the light of day.

    Wherefore this step, 0h! Son of God? To gather those who stumble in the darkness and light their steps upon the path.

    When is the term of service, 0h! Savior of men? I know not, save that whilst one suffers I stay behind and serve.”

25. The state of isolated unity (withdrawn into the true nature of the Self) is the reward of the man who can discriminate between the mind stuff and the Self, or spiritual man.

This state of isolated unity must be regarded as the result of the attainment of a particular state of mind, rather than as a separative reaction. All meditation work, all moments of reflection, all affirmative exercises, all hours of recollection of one’s true nature are means employed to detach the mind from the lower reactions and tendencies, and build in the habit of a constant realization of one’s true divine nature. When this realization is achieved, the need for such exercises ceases and one enters into one’s heritage. The isolation referred to is the detachment of the self from the field of knowledge, the involving of the refusal of the self to seek outward-going sensuous experience and its standing firm in the state of spiritual being.

The man becomes conscious of himself as the knower and is no longer primarily concerned with the field of knowledge, as in the early stages of his unfoldment; neither is he engaged with knowledge itself, as during the stage of mental development either as an advanced man or as a disciple. He can discriminate between all three, and identifies himself henceforth neither with the field of knowledge, life in the three worlds through the medium of his three vehicles, and the five senses plus the mind, nor with the knowledge gained nor the experience undergone. He knows the self; he identifies himself with the true knower, and thus sees things as they are, dissociating himself entirely from the world of sensuous perception.

He does this, however, whilst functioning as a human being on earth. He participates in earth experience; he involves himself in human activities; he walks among men, eating and sleeping, working and living. Yet all the time he “is in the world, yet not of the world,” and of him it can be said as it was said of the Christ,

    “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil., II, 6, 7, 8.)

He is at-one with the soul of all, but isolated off, separated from all that concerns the form or material nature. The next three sutras should be read as one, giving as they do a picture of the gradual growth of the spiritual nature in the man who has arrived at the state of discriminating detachment, and through utter dispassion, knows the meaning of isolated unity.

26, 27, 28. The mind then tends towards discrimination and increasing illumination as to the true nature of the one Self. Through force of habit, however, the mind will reflect other mental impressions and perceive objects of sensuous perception. These reflections are of the nature of hindrances and the method of their overcoming is the same.

The right tendencies and rhythm having been set up, it becomes simply a question of steady perseverance, common sense and endurance. Unless the utmost vigilance is exerted, the old habits of mind will very easily reassert themselves, and even until the final initiation the aspirant must “watch and pray.”

The rules which govern victory, the practices which bring success are the same for the advanced expert warrior and initiate as they are for the humblest neophyte. In Book II the methods whereby the hindrances and obstacles could be overcome and negated are most carefully given and from the moment of stepping upon the probationary path until that high moment when the last great initiation has been experienced, and the liberated man stands forth in the full light of day, these methods and modes of disciplined living must be adhered to unswervingly. This involves patience, the capacity to go on after failure, to persevere when success seems far away. This was well known to the great initiate, Paul, and was the cause of his injunction to the disciples he sought to help. “Stand therefore… and having done all, stand.” James gives us the same thought where he says “Behold we count them happy that endure.”

It is the going on when the point of exhaustion has been reached, the taking of another step when the strength to do so seems gone, the holding steady when there seems nothing but defeat ahead, and the determination to endure whatever may be coming, when endurance has been taxed to the limit, which is the hallmark of disciples of every degree. To them goes out the clarion call of Paul:

    “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

    Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the word of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph., VI, 14, 15, 16, 17.)

The equally clear command of Krishna to Arjuna sounds out also:

    “Having regard to thy duty, deign not to shrink back. For nothing is better for a warrior than a righteous battle. And such a battle has come to thee of its own accord, a very door of heaven will be opened; happy the warriors… who find such a fight as this… Therefore, arise, determined to do battle. Making equal good and ill fortune, gain and loss, victory and defeat, gird thyself for the fight.” (Gita II, 31, 32, 37, 38.)

The Sound and the Akashic Records – Patanjali

17. The Sound (or word), that which it denotes (the object) and the embodied spiritual essence (or idea) are usually confused in the mind of the perceiver. By concentrated meditation on these three aspects comes an (intuitive) comprehension of the sound uttered by all forms of life.

This is one of the most important sutras in the book, and holds the key to the object of the entire meditation process. This is to reveal or to unveil to the perceiver or spiritual man, the true nature of the self, the second aspect, and the correspondence to the second aspect in all forms of subhuman life, as well as to put him en rapport with the second aspect in all superhuman forms. Thus it concerns the subjective side of all manifestation and deals with those forces which in every form constitute the consciousness aspect, which concern the Christ or buddhic principle and which are the direct cause of objective manifestation and the revelation of spirit through the medium of form.

This is the AUM. First the breath, then the word and all that is, appeared.

Just as long as the great Existence who is the sum total of all forms and of all states of consciousness continues to sound the cosmic AUM, just so long will the objective tangible solar system persist.

The following synonyms in connection with this sutra must be borne in mind if clarity of thought is to be achieved:

I. Spiritual Essence                           II. The Sound or Word                    III. The Object

1. Spirit                                                 1. The Soul.                                         1. Body

2. Pneuma                                          2. The Psyche.                                   2. Form.

3. The Father. Shiva                         3. The Son. Vishnu.                          3. The Holy Spirit. Brahma.

4. The Monad. The One.                4. The cosmic Christ.                       4. The vehicle of life and of                                                                                                                                          incarnation.

5. The eternal Will or Purpose.   5. Eternal Love-Wisdom.               5. Eternal activity and intelligence.

6. The great Breath.                        6. The AUM.                                       6. The Worlds.

7. Life.                                                  7. Consciousness Aspect.              7. Activity Aspect.

8. Synthesizing Energy.                 8. Attractive Force.                          8. Matter.

9. First Aspect.                                 9. Second Aspect.                            9. Third Aspect.

In the mind of man these three aspects are confused and that which is outward and objective is usually recognized as reality. This is the great maya or illusion and can only be dissipated when the perceiver can distinguish the three great aspects in every form, his own included. When the second aspect, the soul, the middle or mediating principle is known, the nature of the form is also known, and the essential nature of spirit can be inferred. The immediate field of knowledge, however, which the yogi has to master is that of the second aspect. He must arrive at the Sound or Word which brought every form into manifestation, and which is the result of the breath, the essence or spirit.

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made by Him…” (John I, 1, 2.)

Here, in the Christian Bible, is the substance of the entire teaching, and in the significance of the three letters of the Sacred Word, AUM, lies the clue to the entire cosmic process. The meditation process when duly and correctly carried out reveals therefore the second or soul aspect, and the Sound, or Word (the Voice of the Silence) can then be heard.

Once heard and the work carried steadily forward, the realm of consciousness is revealed and the yogi is en rapport with the second aspect of his own nature and with the second aspect in every form. This is the basis of the whole science of the soul and leads a man to know his own soul or psyche and the psyche in every form of divine life. It is the foundation for the entire science of psychism, both in its higher and lower aspects.

When a man is a lower psychic he is aware of, and responds to the soul aspect of the material forms and the third or Brahma aspect (the body), dominates, for every atom of matter has a soul. This concerns all that is subhuman.

When he responds to the higher correspondence of this, to the reality of which the lower is but the shadow, he is in touch with the Christ consciousness, with the soul of his being which is one with the soul in all the superhuman kingdoms.

In connection with this, two things must be remembered. If he is a lower psychic he is in touch with the second aspect of the lower man, the astral body, the middle principle in the lower man, linking the mental body and the etheric. He is, therefore, en rapport with all that can be contacted on that plane.

If, however, he is a higher psychic he is en rapport with the second aspect of divine manifestation, the ego or soul on its own plane, mediating between and linking the monad with the personality, spirit with the body.

It is interesting here to note that a clue to the truth of this can be found in the manifestations of lower psychism such as are seen in the average mediumistic seance and the ordinary type of spiritualism. Contact with the astral plane is made through that great center, the solar plexus which links the higher three centers and the lower. It accounts also for the fact that flowers are such a feature in materializations at seances, for the vegetable kingdom is the middle kingdom of the three subhuman kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, and animal. The explanation as to the prevalence of Indian guides is also found here, for they are the shells and powerful thought-forms left by the second of the three strictly human races, Lemurian, Atlantean and Aryan. No Lemurian shells or thought-forms are left now, but many Atlantean shells are still to be found preserved through the use of certain forms of Atlantean magic.

By concentrated meditation upon the distinction between these aspects there will eventually come a hearing of the Voice of the Silence and contact with a man’s own second aspect. He will know himself as the “Word made flesh” and will recognize himself as the AUM.

When this is the case he will then hear the word in other units of the human family, and will awaken to a recognition of the sound, as it is emanated by all forms in all the kingdoms of nature. The realm of the soul will stand open to him and this, when it includes recognition of the sound in all the four kingdoms, will lead him to know himself as Master. Soul knowledge and the power to work with the soul of all things in the three worlds is the distinctive mark of the Adept.

18. Knowledge of previous incarnations becomes available when the power to see thought-images is acquired.

The significance of this sutra is very great, for it gives the basis for the regaining of a knowledge of past experience. This basis is strictly mental, and only those mentally polarized and with the mind under control can regain this knowledge if they so wish. The power to see thought-images only comes through mind control, and the mind can only be controlled by the real or spiritual man. Therefore only egoically centered people can truly acquire this knowledge. It might be asked here what therefore do those people see who are emotional and not mental, when they claim to know who they are, and to relate the past lives of their friends? They are reading the akashic records and because their mental control and equipment are not adequate, they cannot discriminate nor ascertain accurately what they see.

The akashic record is like an immense photographic film, registering all the desires and earth experiences of our planet. Those who perceive it will see pictured thereon:

  1. The life experiences of every human being since time began,
  2. The reactions to experience of the entire animal kingdom,
  3. The aggregation of the thought-forms of a kamic nature (based on desire) of every human unit throughout time. Herein lies the great deception of the records. Only a trained occultist can distinguish between actual experience and those astral pictures created by imagination and keen desire.
  4. The planetary “Dweller on the Threshold” with all that appertains to that term and all the aggregations of forms which are to be found in its environment.

The trained seer has learnt to dissociate that which pertains to his own aura and the aura of the planet (which is in actuality the akashic record). He can distinguish between those records which are:

  • Planetary,
  • Hierarchical or pertaining to the work of the twelve Creative Hierarchies as they bring to concretion the plan of the Logos.
  • Imaginative forms, the result of the desire-thought activity of the myriads of men, animated by desire for some form of experience or other.
  • The historical record pertaining to races, nations, groups and families in their two great divisions on the physical plane and on the astral.

It should be borne in mind that every human being belongs to a physical family which constitutes his link with the animal kingdom, and also belongs to an astral family. Through that affiliation on the upward arc he is linked with his egoic group and on the downward arc with the vegetable kingdom.

  • The astrological record, or the forms taken on the astral plane under the influence of the planetary forces. These are in two great groups.
  • Those forms or pictures in the akasha produced by the inflow of solar force via the planets.
  • Those forms or pictures which are produced by the inflow of cosmic force from one or other of the signs of the zodiac, that is, from their corresponding constellations.

These points are enumerated to show how impossible it is that the majority of the claims regarding past incarnations can be true. They are the result of a vivid imagination and the assumption that the flashes of astral sight which reveal glimpses of the akashic film give that which pertains to the one who sees. This is not the case any more than the people and activities seen out of any window in a big city reveal to the onlooker his own relatives, friends and pursuits.

The knowledge referred to in the sutra comes in three ways:

  1. Direct ability to see the records if so desired. This form of acquiring knowledge is seldom employed except by initiates and adepts in connection with their pledged disciples.
  2. Through direct knowledge of the group activities and relations of a man’s own ego. This, however, only covers that cycle of time which began when a man stepped upon the probationary path. Experiences prior to that are relatively of no more vital importance than is a second in the life of an old man as he passes in retrospect his long life. All that stands out are events and happenings and not the individual hours and seconds.
  3. Through the instinctual life. This is based on memory, on acquired faculty and capacity and on the possession of those qualities which go to the equipment of the ego. The ego knows that the possession of the power to do thus and so in the three worlds, is the direct result of past experience, and knows too that certain effects are only to be achieved through certain causes. These he arrives at through concentrated meditation.

The thought images he becomes aware of are:

  1. Those in his aura at the time of his meditation,
  2. Those in his immediate environment,
  3. Those of his present family, group and race,
  4. Those of his present life cycle,
  5. These of his egoic group.

Thus through the process of elimination he gradually works his way through grade after grade of thought images until he arrives at the particular layer of thought impression which deals with the cycle about which he is concerning himself. This is not therefore simply a perception of certain aspects of the records, but a definitely scientific process, known only to the trained occultist.

19: Through concentrated meditation, the thought images in the minds of other people become apparent.

It should be remembered that the result of the eight means of yoga is to produce a yogi or trained knower. He is, therefore, one who concerns himself with causes and not with effects. He perceives that which causes the tangible to appear, that is the thoughts which start into motion the forces of substance and eventually produce the concretion of that substance.

The use of this power to read the minds of others is only permitted to the yogi in those cases where it is necessary for him to understand the causes, lying back of certain events, and this only in order to work out intelligently the plans of the Hierarchy and of evolution. The power here is analogous to that of telepathy but it is not identical. Telepathy entails the tuning in of one mind with another, and necessitates their being en rapport. This faculty of the trained seer is more in the nature of an act of the will and the manipulation of certain forces whereby he can instantly see what he wants in any aura at any time.

The subject of his investigation may be attuned to him or not; through intense meditation and the use of the will faculty thought images stand revealed. This power is a dangerous one to use and is only permitted to trained disciples.

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Excerpted from “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 3 – Union achieved and its Results”

By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl

The Sacred Word – AUM – This is the Pranava.

From Yogapedia:

Pranava means “cosmic sound” in Sanskrit. It is the name for the mantra, Om (or Aum). It is an important symbol in yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Meditating on pranava leads to liberation because it brings about unity with Brahman, the Absolute Truth.

Pranava yoga is a technique for meditation which is considered by many to be one of the classical forms of meditation. It is described in the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. To perform Pranava yoga is to focus the mind on the mantra, Om, and to contemplate its sacred nature, repeating the mantra with each breath. It is also sometimes called Om meditation.

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

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

27. The Word of Ishvara is AUM (or OM). This is the Pranava.
(See Book I Sutra 1.)

Students should remember that there are three basic Words or sounds in manifestation. This is the case as far as the human kingdom is concerned. They are:

  • The Word, or note of Nature. This is the Word or the sound of all forms existing in physical plane substance, and as is usually known, it is sounded on the fundamental note “FA.” It is a note with which the white occultist has nothing to do, for his work is concerned not with the increase of tangibility but with the demonstration of the subjective or the intangible. This is the Word of the third aspect, the Brahma or Holy Ghost aspect.
  • The Sacred Word. This is the Word of Glory, the AUM. This is the Pranava, the sound of conscious Life itself as It is breathed forth into all forms. It is the Word of the second aspect, and just as the Word of Nature when rightly emanated provides the forms which are intended to reveal the soul or second aspect, so the Pranava, when rightly expressed, demonstrates the Father or Spirit through the medium of the soul. It is the Word of the incarnated sons of God. In such a short commentary as this, it is not possible to write a treatise on this secret of secrets, and this great mystery of the ages. All that can be done is to collate certain facts about the AUM, and leave the student to extend the concept and grasp the significance of the brief statements made according to the state of his intuition.
  • The Lost Word. The idea of this Lost Word has been preserved for us in Masonry. It is the Word of the first aspect, the spirit aspect, and only the initiate of the third degree can truly begin the search for this word for only the freed soul can find it. This word concerns the highest initiations and it is profitless for us further to consider it.

The following statements about the Sacred Word can therefore be made and should be studied with care:

  1. The AUM is the Word of glory, and is the Christ in us, the hope of glory.
  2. The Word when rightly apprehended causes the second, or Christ aspect of divinity to shine forth resplendently.
  3. It is the sound which brings into manifestation the incarnated soul (macrocosmic or microcosmic), the ego, the Christ, and causes the “radiant Augoeides” to be seen on earth.
  4. It is the Word which is the releaser of consciousness and when correctly understood and used, releases the soul from the limitations of form in the three worlds.
  5. The AUM is the synthesizer of the three aspects and therefore is primarily the Word of the human kingdom in which the three lines of divine life meet – spirit, soul and body.
  6. It is also the Word of the fifth, the Aryan race, in a special sense. The work of that race is to reveal in a newer and fuller way the nature of the inner Identity, of the soul within the form, the son of mind, the solar angel, the fifth principle.
  7. The significance of the Word only becomes apparent after the “light within” is realized. By its use the “spark” becomes a radiant light, the light becomes a flame, and the flame eventually becomes a sun. By its use the “sun of righteousness arises” in the life of every man.
  8. Each of the three letters has relation to the three aspects, and each can be applied to any of the known triplicities.
  9. The Master, the God within, is indeed the Word, the AUM, and of this Master (found at the heart of all beings) it is true that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (thus duality) and the Word was God.” Through its use man arrives at a realization of:
    • His own essential divinity,
    • The purpose of the form-taking process,
    • The constitution and nature of those forms,
    • The reality of consciousness, or the relation of the divine self or spirit to the form, its polar opposite.

This relation, in its evolutionary working out, we call consciousness and the essential characteristic of this consciousness is love.

  1. The Guru or Master who leads a pupil up to the door of initiation and who watches over him in all the initial and subsequent tests and processes likewise represents the Word, and through the scientific use of this great sound He produces a certain stimulation and vitalization in the centers of the disciple, thus rendering certain developments possible.

More about the Sacred Word is not advisable to add here. Enough has been given to indicate to the aspirant its purpose and potency. There will have to be communicated in other ways and at other times further information as the student – through study and self initiated effort – arrives at just conclusions. It might be added, that this great Word, when meditated upon, gives the clue to the true esoteric meaning of the words in the Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky:

“Life we look upon as the One Form of Existence, manifesting in what we call Matter; or what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter in man. Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of Soul on this plane of existence, and Soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of Spirit, and these three are a Trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all.”

28. Through the sounding of the Word and through reflection upon its meaning, the Way is found.

This is a very general paraphrase but conveys nevertheless the correct significance of the terms used in the Sanskrit. Only Vivekananda, among the many translators, gives this interpretation, putting it as follows:

“The repetition of the OM and meditating upon its meaning (is the Way).”

The other translators omit the final three words, though the inference is clear.

The expression “the sounding of the Word” must not be too literally interpreted; the esoteric “sounding forth” is based upon a study of the Law of Vibration, and the gradual tuning of the lower vibrations of the sheaths or vestures of consciousness so that they synchronize with the note or sound of the conscious indweller. Speaking correctly, the Word is to be sounded by the soul or the ego on its own plane, and the vibration will subsequently affect the various bodies or vehicles which house that soul. The process is therefore a mental one and can only really be done by those who – through meditation and discipline, coupled with service – have made a conscious at-one-ment with the soul. Aspirants to this condition have to utilize the potent factors of the imagination, visualization and perseverance in meditation to reach this initial stage. It should be noted that this stage has to be reached, even if only in a relatively small degree, before the aspirant can become an accepted disciple.

The process of sounding the Word is dual, as is emphasized here.

There is, first of all, the act of the ego, solar angel, higher self or soul, as he sounds out the Word from his own place, on the abstract levels of the mental plane. He directs that sound, via the sutratma and the vestures of consciousness to the physical brain of the man in incarnation, the shadow or reflection. This “sounding forth” has to be constantly repeated. The Sutratma is that magnetic link, spoken of in the Christian Bible as the “silver cord,” that thread of living light which connects the Monad, the Spirit in man, with the physical brain.

Secondly, there is the earnest reflection of the man in his physical brain upon that sound as he recognizes it. The two poles of being are hinted at here: the soul and the man in incarnation, and between these two is found the thread, along which the Pranava (or word) vibrates. Students of the esoteric science have to recognize the technique of the processes outlined. In the case of the sounding forth of the Word we have the following factors:

  1. The soul who sends, or breathes it forth,
  2. The sutratma or thread along which the sound vibrates, is carried or transmitted,
  3. The vestures of consciousness, mental, emotional and etheric which vibrate in response to the vibration or breath and are stimulated thereby,
  4. The brain which can be trained to recognize that sound and vibrate in unison with the breath,
  5. The subsequent act of the man in meditation. He hears the sound (called sometimes the “still small Voice,” or the “Voice of the Silence”), he recognizes it for what it is and in deep reflection he assimilates the results of his soul’s activity.

Later when the aspirant has passed on into the mysteries and has learnt how to unify the soul and the lower man so that they function as a coordinated unit on earth, the man learns to sound the Word on the physical plane with the object of awakening the forces which are latent within him and thereby arouse the centers. Thus he participates increasingly in the creative, magical and psychical work of manifestation, with the object ever in view of benefiting his fellow men and thus furthering the plans of the planetary hierarchy.