The Word Foundation

When ma has passed through mahat, ma will still be ma; but ma will be united with mahat, and be a mahat-ma.

—The Zodiac.



Vol. 10 OCTOBER, 1909. No. 1

Copyright, 1909, by H. W. PERCIVAL.


(Continued from Vol. 9.)

DUTY means more to adepts, masters and mahatmas than to ordinary mortals. Man’s duty is important to him in proportion as he is sensible of his responsibilities to himself, to his family, his country, his humanity, to nature and to the divine principle in nature. These duties he performs or fails to perform in the short span of one life. The duties of adepts, masters and mahatmas lie in similar fields, but they see more than the mortal sees. Instead of being limited to mortal vision theirs is extended, according to their degree and attainment, up to an age of the world. The circle of duties of an adept includes the earth, and the elements and forces which surround and move through it, and which are the immediate causes of all physical changes and phenomena. The adept knows and deals with and wields forces and elements invisible to man. Like as the potter moulds his clay, so the adept shapes his material according to the purpose in view. His duties lie in producing phenomena, often strange to the senses of man, and in relating the material of the invisible world in which he lives and acts consciously, to the visible physical world of men. He needs and uses his physical body for his further development and in order to relate the invisible to the visible world.

The duties of adepts have caused some to be known to the world as magicians, though not all known as magicians are adepts. An adept renders service to the world at certain periods. Then he produces certain phenomena which are considered to be miracles by the ignorant and which the learned with limited vision declare impossible or impostures. An adept magician is one who produces phenomena according to natural laws unknown to the learned of the period. He may summon into visibility the presence of beings ordinarily invisible; he may command these presences to perform strange feats; he may cause storms to appear or disappear; he may bring about or quell conflagrations and floods, or bring about any natural phenomenon; he may levitate physical objects, produce music in the air without instruments, cause physical objects of little or great value to be precipitated from the air; he may cause the lame to walk; he may heal the sick or make the blind see, by speaking a few words or by the touch of his hand.

The adept magician renders service to the world when he does any of these phenomena, for the purpose of helping humanity and according to the law as directed by orders of intelligences higher than himself. But if he should produce phenomena from the sense of glorying in his power, from self-admiration and pride, or from any selfish motive, he will inevitably be punished by losing the power he has, incurring the censure of the higher orders of intelligence who act with the law, and a continuance of his actions will end in his ruin. Legend and ancient history give numerous examples of adept magicians.

What in one age seems improbable or impossible, becomes in a succeeding age natural and commonplace. To talk with a friend one mile or one thousand miles distant, would have been considered impossible one hundred years ago. The person claiming that such a thing was possible would have been considered a charlatan. It is now done daily. To illuminate a house by touching an electric button would then have been considered a magical performance. It excites little wonder to-day. If any one, twenty years ago, had said that it was possible to send wireless messages round the world he would have been considered as self-deceived or as a deliberate trickster who desired to attract attention. Since the telephone, electricity, and the Hertzian waves have been brought into common use, people to whom they were once wonders now regard them in a matter of fact way, and young people brought up to their use regard them with as little wonder as they do the growing of plants, the running of motor cars, the phenomena of sound or the mystery of light.

The adept magician works according to laws of the invisible world and produces results as certainly and definitely as the modern scientist who works according to known laws governing the physical world. It is no more difficult for an adept magician to precipitate a precious stone or other objects from the air, or to raise his body and be suspended in mid air, than it is for a chemist to precipitate oxygen and hydrogen as water by an electric spark, or to raise weights from the ground by the use of the magnet. The chemist precipitates the water by his knowledge of the elements, the electric spark unites them in certain proportions. The adept magician precipitates any object by knowledge of the constituents of the object in certain proportions, and by his ability to direct these constituents into the form held in his mind. The elements or constituents of all things which appear physically are held suspended in the atmosphere of the earth. The chemist or physicist may precipitate some of these into form by the means at hand and according to physical laws and by physical means. The adept magician is able to produce similar results without the limited physical means at the service of the physicist. The physicist uses a magnet to lift an iron bar. The adept magician uses a magnet which is not physical to lift his physical body, but his magnet is none the less a magnet. His magnet is his own invisible form body, which is the center of gravity for his physical body, and as his invisible body rises it acts as a magnet for his physical body which follows it. When the laws of the invisible world are understood they are no more and no less wonderful than the laws which govern the physical world and its phenomena.

Adepts may also take part in wars and in deciding the balance of power between nations, or they may appear as poets to appeal to the sentiments of mankind and to show through poetry the way nature works in her kingdoms and with the children of men. An adept may appear as a statesman endeavoring to shape the policy of a nation according to just laws in so far as the desires of the people will respond to such advices. In such duties as the adept assumes and whereby he takes part immediately in the affairs of mankind, he is working under the direction of masters who are wiser than he; he is the link between mankind and them; of course he is not known to be an adept, nor of any other order of men than those among whom he moves.

One who claims adeptship, whether by this or any like term, is either self-deceived or an impostor; or else, if he be an adept and makes the claim, he is either at once taken from his post or loses his caste and power and is no longer under the guidance of those masters who act according to just laws and for the good of the people. Initiation into any order higher than that of ordinary mankind prohibits such announcement by the one initiated. His claims become louder as his powers become weaker.

Masters do not come among men in their physical bodies as frequently as do adepts. Whereas the adept reaches and deals with men through his desires—his desires being of the physical world, it is necessary to contact men through the physical,—a master deals with men through his thoughts and according to his mental capacity and power, and it is therefore seldom necessary for a master to be among men in his physical body. The duties of a master as related to mankind are with the active mind of man. The mind of man acts on the plane of leo-sagittary (♌︎—♐︎), which is his mental world, and between virgo-scorpio (♍︎—♏︎) and libra (♎︎), which are the form-desire and the physical worlds below, and cancer-capricorn (♋︎—♑︎), which is the spiritual world above. The mind of man is attracted by the psychic and the physical worlds below and the spiritual world above or around. When an individual or a race is ready to receive instruction from a master or masters, the thoughts of the individual or race appear in the mental world, and according to the nature of the thoughts of such minds they receive instruction from a master. The minds receiving such instruction are at first not aware of the existence of masters, nor are they aware of receiving any instruction from any other order of beings or from any world except the world of the senses to which they are accustomed. A master holds out an ideal or ideals to an individual or a race and assists them in their mental operations in approaching or attaining their ideals, much the same as a teacher in a school sets examples and gives lessons to the scholars. and then aids the scholars in learning their lessons and in proving their examples. Masters encourage the efforts of an individual or the race in approaching their ideals, as good teachers encourage their scholars with the lessons. Masters do not force or carry the mind through the mental world, they show the way according to the capacity of the mind and its ability to travel. No master or set of masters would compel an individual or a race to continue his or its mental efforts if the individual or race did not choose to and would not go on with his or its efforts. When men choose to think and improve their minds, then they are assisted in their endeavors by masters according to the nature of their desires and aspirations.

The mind works its way through the mental world by its power to think. All minds capable of thinking enter the mental world and there learn as naturally and as orderly as the children of men enter and learn in the schools of men. As children are graded in their schools according to their mental fitness, so the minds of men are graded in the schools of the mental world according to their fitness. The schools of the mental world are conducted according to a just system of learning which is older than the world. The instruction in the schools of men will become similar to that of the schools of the mental world in proportion as the minds of men choose and act according to the just laws which prevail in the mental world.

Masters teach individuals and mankind as a whole through their thoughts and ideals in the particular grades of the mental world. Mankind is always being thus taught. The masters encourage and lead the races of mankind on and on, from one moral attainment to another through all stages and degrees of human progression, even though mankind be unconscious of the source from which it gets its inspiration to rise to higher levels. By one not limited, cramped and shut in by his range of vision in the span of one sensuous mortal life, it need not be considered strange that there should be schools in the mental world, nor that there should be masters, teachers, in the mental world, as there are human teachers in the schools of men. The mind is the teacher in the schools of men as it is in the schools of the mental world. Neither in the schools of men nor in the schools of the mental world can the teacher, the mind, be seen. Men learn and are educated concerning the things of the world of men in so far as the minds of men are capable of imparting information. No teacher in the schools of men can teach men the abstract problems of the mental world. These problems have to be battled with and mastered by the efforts of the individual minds. The problems of right and wrong, of human weal and woe, of misery and happiness, are worked out by the individual through his experience and efforts to understand and deal with these problems. A master is always ready to teach whenever men are ready to learn. In this way, in the mental world, mankind receives indirect teaching from the masters. Direct teaching from a master, as between teacher and pupil, is given when man has proven himself worthy to receive direct instruction.

A mahatma’s duty to man is to bring him to an actual knowledge of what he, man, is as a spiritual being. Man represents an idea, a mahatma brings man to knowledge of the idea. Ideals are shown to men by masters who point the way to the ultimate idea from which ideals come. Mahatmas live in the spiritual world (♋︎—♑︎) and give the laws by which masters act. They are present at all times in the world but not in their physical bodies, therefore the world cannot know them.

Adepts, like men, have their likes and dislikes, because they work with desires and forms. An adept likes those who are of his kind and may dislike those who are opposed to him. His kind are those with whom he works. Those who are opposed to him are those of aims and desires other than his own, and who attempt to thwart him in his work. All adepts have their likes, but not all have dislikes. Those who have dislikes are adepts who seek power for themselves and who endeavor to subject others to their will. Adepts with good intent toward humanity have no dislikes for men. Masters are above dislikes, though they have their preferences. Their preferences are, like those of the adept, for those of their kind and for that for which they are working. A mahatma has no likes or dislikes.

The question of food, eating and drinking, has greatly troubled the minds of those who are striving for psychic faculties and alleged spiritual attainments. Food is a subject which should and does concern humanity. Food is of many kinds. Food is the material used in the building up and continuance of every kind of body. Food is a most important and difficult matter for humanity to agree upon, but there is no difficulty for the adept, master or mahatma in selecting and taking their nourishment.

Each kingdom of nature uses as food the one or more below it, and is itself as food to the kingdom above it. The elements are the food or material of which the earth is composed. The earth is the gross food from which plants are formed and grow. Plants are the material used as food for the building of an animal body. Animals, plants, earth and elements are all used as foods in the structure of the human body. The human body is that on which desire feeds and fattens. Desire is the material which is transformed into thought. Thought is food for the mind. Mind is the matter which makes the immortal individuality or perfect mind.

The adepts selects the food which will give him a strong and healthy physical body. The kind of food which he selects for his physical body is largely determined by the conditions in which, or the people among whom, he is to work. He may eat meats and fruits, and vegetables and nuts and eggs and drink milk or water or the beverages of the time. He may eat or drink of each exclusively or partake of them all; but whatever foods he selects for his physical body will not be selected because of some fad but because he finds such food necessary for his physical body, through which he is to work. His physical body itself is really the food or material which he as an adept uses for the strengthening of himself as a desire form body. As his physical body is built from the essence of the foods which are taken into it, so he uses as food for his desire body the essences of his physical body. The food of an adept, as such, is not taken by eating and drinking, as the physical body takes its food. Instead of eating and drinking the adept renews, strengthens or continues himself as an adept by extracting or transforming the essences of his physical body into a magnetic body for himself as an adept.

The food of a master is not the food on which the physical body of a master subsists. The food of the physical body of a master is less earthy than the food of the physical body of an adept. A master sees that his physical body partakes of such food as is necessary for the maintenance of its health and soundness, though under certain conditions a master may sustain his physical body by the drinking of water and the breathing of pure air. A master uses his physical body for a higher purpose than does an adept. The body of the adept is his desire form, which is a magnetic body. The body of a master is his thought form, which is composed of pure life. A master does not transform or transfer the essences of the physical into the astral or desire body; a master transmutes desire into thought. A master raises the lower into higher desires and transmutes the desires, which are as food for thought. These thoughts are in turn the food or material of which the master or mental body is fashioned. A master, as such, does not eat and drink in order to persist, though he grows in power from or by thought.

The physical body of a mahatma requires less gross or earthy food than that of a master or an adept. The physical body of a mahatma does not depend for its continuance on solid foods. The food most necessary is the breathing of pure air. That is not the air breathed in by the physical man; it is the breath of life, which is the life of all bodies and which the physical body of the mahatma learns to breathe in and assimilate. The physical body of an adept is not able to make use of this breath of life which, even if breathed in, could not be held by the physical body. The physical body of a mahatma is of a higher order. Its nervous organization is magnetically balanced and capable of responding to and holding the electric current of life as it is breathed into the physical body of a mahatma. But the food for the mahatma, as such, is knowledge, which is spiritual.

Adepts, masters or mahatmas, as such, do not need physical clothes. Each body is the garment worn by the inner body, as clothes are garments for the physical body. The physical garments worn by their physical bodies are selected and used with respect to time, place and temperature and prevailing customs of the people among whom adepts, masters or mahatmas may move. Garments made of linen or wool or silk or fibres are worn according to the climate in which they are; skins of animals are also worn. In preparing the garment, a material is used which will afford protection for the body against the cold or heat or magnetic influence, or which will attract these influences. So the skin of an animal may protect the physical body from injurious magnetic influences from the earth. Silk will protect the body from electrical disturbances. Wool will attract some of the sun’s rays in cold climates and conserve the heat of the body. Linen will reflect the heat of the sun and keep the body cool. Adepts, masters and mahatmas do not concern themselves about the clothing of their physical bodies as do the people of polite society and of refined tastes. Fashions in dress do not fill the minds of adepts, masters and mahatmas as they fill the minds of society people. The greater the intelligence, the more simple and plain his dress, if he selects it with respect to himself, though he will choose a costume suited to the people among whom he moves. A covering for the head, a garment for the body and protection for the feet, are all that he needs.

Amusements are arranged to attract and please the minds of children or give relaxation to those who have mental worry or overwork. Adepts, masters and mahatmas have no amusements though they have their recreation and pleasure. Recreation is given to their physical bodies, such as walking, climbing, or such gentle exercise as will keep the limbs and muscles of the physical body in condition. Their pleasure is in their work. The pleasure of an adept lies in seeing success attend his efforts to wield and mould the elements and the results attending what he does. A master’s pleasure is found in seeing the improvement in the minds of men, in assisting them and in showing them how to control and direct their thoughts. The pleasure—if it can be called pleasure—of a mahatma is in his knowledge and power and seeing that law prevails.

All physical bodies, even those of adepts, masters and mahatmas, require sleep. No physical body of whatever kind or grade can exist without sleep. The time selected for sleep depends on the prevalence of the electric and magnetic currents of day and night, and of the breathing of the earth. The earth breathes in when the positive influence of the sun prevails; it breathes out when the positive influence from the moon prevails. The body is awake at the time when the positive electric influences of the sun are strongest. Sleep gives the best results to the body when the positive magnetic influence of the moon prevails. The positive electric influence of the sun is strongest when it crosses the meridian and at sunrise. The positive magnetic influence of the moon increases in strength from dark until after midnight. Sleep gives the time needed to remove the waste of the body and to repair the damage done by the work of the day. The sun sends currents of the electric force of life into the body. The moon sends streams of the magnetic force into the body. The electric influence from the sun is the life of the body. The magnetic influence from the moon forms the vehicle which holds and stores up the life from the sun. The invisible form body of man corresponds to and is of the nature of the magnetism from the moon. The influence from the sun is that which pulses through and keeps the body alive. As the life from the sun pours into the body it beats up against the invisible magnetic form body of the physical, and if this life current is kept up continuously it will break down and destroy the magnetic form body. While the mind is connected with and acts consciously through the physical body it attracts the solar life current to the body and prevents the lunar magnetic influence from acting naturally. Sleep is the withdrawal of the mind from the body and the turning on of the magnetic influence.

Adepts, masters and mahatmas know at what times of day or night it is best for their physical bodies to work and at what times to have rest. They can withdraw from the physical body at will, can prevent injurious influences from affecting it, and allow the magnetic influence to remove all wastes and repair all damages. Their physical bodies can have greater benefits in less time from sleep than those of ordinary men, because of their knowledge of the prevailing influences and of bodily needs.

The adept as such, apart from his physical body, does not require sleep in the sense in which the physical body does; nor is he unconscious during sleep, though there are periods when he rests and renews himself, which are analogous to sleep. Aside from his physical body, a master does not sleep in the sense of becoming unconscious. A master is conscious throughout an incarnation. But there is a period at the commencement of his incarnation when he passes into a state similar to that of dream, until he awakes as the master in his physical body. A mahatma is immortally conscious; that is to say, he maintains a continuous conscious existence through all changes and conditions throughout the entire period of evolution in which he acts, until he should some time decide to pass, or should at the end of the evolution pass, into that state known as nirvana.

To be continued.