When ma has passed through mahat, ma will still be ma; but ma will be united with mahat, and be a mahat-ma.
|Vol. 10||FEBRUARY, 1910.||No. 5|
|Copyright, 1910, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
ADEPTS, MASTERS AND MAHATMAS.
IN turning the mind from the senses to the subjects which the senses represent, one may clearly distinguish the difference between the school of the adepts, and the school of the masters. The school of the adepts controls or attempts to control the mind and senses by means of the senses. The school of the masters controls the mind and the senses by faculties of the mind. To attempt to control the mind by means of the senses is like harnessing and attempting to drive a horse with its head to the wagon. If the driver makes the horse go forward, then he goes backward; if he drives the horse backward then he will go forward but will never reach his journey’s end. If, after thus teaching his horse and learning to drive it, he should reverse the process, his progress will be slow, because he must not only learn himself and teach the horse the proper way, but both must unlearn what had been learned. The time spent in becoming an adept is the time used in learning to drive the horse backward. After a disciple has become an adept and learned to drive the mind by means of the senses, it is almost impossible for him to take the better way of directing the senses by means of the mind.
The disciple self appointed to the school of the masters turns his study from the senses and the objects of the senses to the subjects of which these objects are the reflections. The subjects of what is received through the senses as objects, are perceived as subjects by turning the thought from the senses to that which they reflect. In doing this the aspirant is selecting for his discipleship the school of the mind; yet he does not forsake the senses. He must learn in them and through them. When he experiences through the senses, then his thought, instead of dwelling on the experience, reverts to what the experience teaches. As he learns what the experience teaches he turns his thought to the necessity of the senses for the experience of the mind. Then he may think concerning the causes of existence. Thinking of the causes of existence makes the disciple, who is self appointed to the school of the masters, adjust and relate the senses to the mind, lets him distinguish the differences between the mind and the senses and lets him see the modes of action of each. The aspirant to discipleship in the school of the masters will have experiences similar to those of the disciple self appointed to the school of the senses. But instead of attempting to draw the mind into and unite the mind with the senses, as by dwelling on a dream, looking at an astral figure or landscape and trying to continue to see and experience them, he asks and finds out what the dream means and what caused it and to what subjects the figure or landscape refer and what they are. By so doing he sharpens his thinking faculty, checks the opening of psychic faculties, lessens the power of the senses in their influence on the mind, separates in thought the mind from the senses, and learns that if the mind will not work for the senses the senses must work for the mind. In this way he becomes more confident and his thought acts more freely and more independently of the senses. He may continue to dream, but the subjects of which he dreams are considered instead of the dream; he may cease to dream, but the subjects of dreams will then take the place of the dreams and be present in his thought as dreams were to his astral vision. His thought is referred to the subjects of his senses instead of to the objects which the senses seek. Should the psychic senses manifest themselves, then that which they produce is treated similarly to what is observed through the physical senses. The aspirant learns to regard his senses as imperfect mirrors; that which they make manifest, as reflections. As when seeing a reflection in a mirror he would turn to the thing which it reflects, so in looking at an object his thought turns to the subject of which it is the reflection. Through sight he sees the object, but his thought rests not on the object except as on a reflection. He seeks the meaning of the object and its cause; and these may be found in the mental world, as thoughts; and beyond the thoughts, as ideas.
If the aspirant finds the meaning and cause of any object of the senses, he will instead of valuing the object for what it appears to be and the sense which tells him what it is, consider his sense as a mirror only whether it be an imperfect or a true mirror, and the object as an imperfect or true reflection only. Therefore he will not place the same value on objects or the senses as he had theretofore. He may in some respects value the sense and object more than before, but the highest value will be given to the subjects and things which he will perceive by his thought.
He hears music or noises or words and tries to appreciate them for their meaning rather than for the manner in which they affect his hearing. If he understands what the meaning and cause of these are, he will value his hearing as an imperfect or true interpreter or sounding board or mirror, and the music or noises or words as the imperfect or true interpretation or echo or reflection. He will value the things or persons from whom these issue none the less because of his understanding the relationships between them. If he can perceive truly in the mental world what a word is and means, he will no longer cling to words and names as he had, though he will now value them more.
His taste is keen for foods, the savor, the bitterness, sweetness, saltness, sourness, the combination of these in foods, but by his taste he tries to perceive to what these reflections refer in the world of thought. If he apprehends what any or all these are in their origin, he will perceive how they, any or all, enter into and give quality to the body of the senses, the linga sharira. He will value his taste the more, the more it is a true recorder of what it reflects.
In smelling he tries to be not affected by the object which he smells, but to perceive in thought, the meaning and character of its odor and its origin. If he can perceive in the world of thought the subject of what he smells, he will apprehend the meaning of the attraction of opposites and their relation in physical forms. Then the objective odors will have less power over him, though his sense of smell may be keener.
The sense of feeling records and senses objects by temperature and by touch. As the aspirant thinks on the subjects of temperature and touch, on pain and pleasure and the causes of these, then instead of trying to be hot or cold or trying to avoid pain or seek pleasure, he learns in the mental world what these subjects mean in themselves and understands the objects of these in the world of the senses to be reflections only. Feeling is then more sensitive, but the objects of feeling have less power over him as he comprehends what they are in the world of thought.
The true aspirant does not try to deny or run away from or suppress the senses; he endeavors to make them true interpreters and reflectors of thoughts. By so doing he learns to separate his thoughts from the senses. Thereby his thoughts gain more freedom of action in the mental world and act independently of the senses. His meditations do not then begin with nor center upon the senses nor the objects of sense for themselves. He tries to begin his meditation with thoughts in themselves (abstract thoughts), not with the senses. As his thoughts become clearer in his own mind he is better able to follow the processes of thought in other minds.
There may be a tendency to argue but should he feel pleasure in getting the best of an argument or in considering another with whom he argues as an opponent, he will make no progress toward discipleship. In speech or argument the self-appointed disciple to the school of the masters must endeavor to speak clearly and truly and to get at and understand the true object of the argument. His object must not be to overcome the other side. He must be as willing to admit his own mistakes and the correctness of another’s statements as to stand his own ground when right. By so doing he becomes strong and fearless. If one tries to hold his own in argument he loses sight of or does not see the true and the right, for his purpose in argument is not to uphold the true and right. As he argues to win, he blinds himself to what is true. As he becomes in argument blind to the right, he is more desirous of winning than of seeing the right and he becomes fearful of losing. He who seeks only that which is true and right has no fear, because he cannot lose. He seeks the right and loses nothing if he finds another right.
As the aspirant is able to direct his thoughts forcefully, the power of thought becomes apparent to him. This is a dangerous stage on the road to discipleship. As he thinks clearly he sees that people, circumstances, conditions and environments, may be changed by the nature of his thought. According to the nature of others, he sees that his thought alone, without words, will cause them to respond to or antagonize him. His thought may affect them harmfully. By thought he may affect their bodily ills, by directing them to think about or away from these ills. He finds that he may have added power over the minds of others, by using hypnotism or without its practice. He finds that by his thought he can change his circumstances, that he may increase his income and provide necessaries or luxuries. Change of place and environment will also come in unexpected ways and by unlooked for means. The aspirant who by his thought causes others to act according to his thought, who cures bodily ills, causes bodily harm, or by his thought directs the thought and actions of others, thereby ends his progress on the road to discipleship, and by continuing his endeavor to cure, to heal, to direct and control the thoughts of others, he may attach himself to one of the many sets of beings inimical to humanity—not treated of in this article on adepts, masters and mahatmas.
The aspirant who obtains money by thought, and otherwise than by the means recognized as legitimate business methods, will not become a disciple. He who longs for a change of circumstances and thinks of it only, without doing his best in work to obtain desired circumstances, he who attempts to change his conditions and environments by wishing for and desiring these changes, is made aware that he cannot bring these changes about naturally and that if they are made they will interfere with his progress. He will have experiences to show him that when he fixedly longs and wishes for a change of circumstances or place, the change will come, but with it he will have other and unlooked for things to contend against, which will be as undesirable as those he sought to avoid before. If he does not stop longing for such changes in his circumstances and does not discontinue setting his thought to obtain them, he will never become a disciple. He may appear to obtain what he seeks; his condition and circumstances may be apparently greatly improved, but he will inevitably meet with failure, and that usually in his present life. His thoughts will become confused; his desires turbulent and uncontrolled; he may become a nervous wreck or end in infamy or insanity.
When the self appointed disciple finds that there is an increase in his power of thought and that he may do things by thought, that is a sign that he should not do them. The use of his thought to obtain physical or psychic advantages, debars him from entrance to the school of the masters. He must overcome his thoughts before he can use them. He who thinks he has overcome his thoughts and may use them without harm, is self-deceived and is not fit to enter the mysteries of the world of thought. When the self-appointed disciple finds that he may command others and control conditions by means of thought and does not, then he is on the true path to discipleship. The power of his thought increases.
Endurance, courage, perseverance, determination, perception and enthusiasm are necessary to the aspirant if he wants to become a disciple, but more important than these is the will to be right. Rather had he be right, than in haste. There should be no hurry to be a master; though one should let pass no opportunity for advancement, he should try to live in eternity rather than in the time world. He should search out his motives in thought. He should have his motives right at any cost. It is better to be right at the beginning than wrong at the end of the journey. With an earnest desire for progress, with a constant endeavor to control his thoughts, with a vigilant scrutiny of his motives, and by an impartial judgment and correction of his thoughts and motives when wrong, the aspirant nears discipleship.
At some unexpected moment during his meditations there is a quickening of his thoughts; the circulations of his body cease; his senses are stilled; they offer no resistance or attraction to the mind which acts through them. There is a quickening and gathering of all his thoughts; all thoughts blend into one thought. Thought ceases, but he is conscious. A moment seems to expand to an eternity. He stands within. He has entered consciously into the school of the masters, the mind, and is a truly accepted disciple. He is conscious of one thought and in that all thoughts seem to end. From this one thought he looks through all other thoughts. A flood of light streams through all things and shows them as they are. This may last for hours or days or it may pass within the minute, but during the period the new disciple has found his place of discipleship in the school of the masters.
The circulations of the body start again, the faculties and senses are alive, but there is no disagreement between them. Light streams through them as through all other things. Radiance prevails. Hatred and disagreement have no place, all is a symphony. His experiences in the world continue, but he begins a new life. This life he lives inside his outer life.
His next life is his discipleship. Whatever he was to himself before, he now knows himself to be as a child; but he has no fear. He lives with the confidence of a child in its readiness to learn. He does not use psychic faculties. He has his own life to live. There are many duties for him to perform. No master appears to guide his steps. By his own light he must see his way. He must use his faculties to solve the duties of life as do other men. Though he may not be led into entanglements, he is not free from them. He has no powers or cannot use them otherwise than as an ordinary man to avoid obstacles or adverse conditions of physical life. He does not meet at once other disciples of the school of the masters; nor does he receive instruction as to what he shall do. He is alone in the world. No friends or relations will understand him; the world cannot understand him. He may be considered as wise or simple, as rich or poor, as natural or strange, by those he meets. Each one sees him to be what that one himself seeks to be, or as the opposite.
The disciple in the school of the masters is given no rules to live by. He has but one rule, one set of instructions; this is that by which he found entrance to discipleship. This rule is the one thought into which all other thoughts entered; it is that thought through which his other thoughts are clearly seen. This one thought is that by which he learns the way. He may not at all times act from this thought. It may be seldom that he can act from this thought; but he cannot forget it. When he can see it, no difficulty is too great to overcome, no trouble is too hard to bear, no misery can cause despair, no sorrow is too heavy to carry, no joy will overwhelm, no position too high or low to fill, no responsibility too onerous to assume. He knows the way. By this thought he stills all other thoughts. By this thought the light comes, the light which floods the world and shows all things as they are.
Although the new disciple knows of no other disciples, although no masters come to him, and although he seems to be alone in the world, he is not really alone. He may be unnoticed by men, but he is not unnoticed by the masters.
The disciple should not expect direct instruction from a master within a given time; it will not come until he is ready to receive it. He knows that he does not know when that time shall be, but he knows that it will be. The disciple may continue to the end of the life in which he becomes disciple without consciously meeting with other disciples; but before he passes from the present life he will know his master.
During his life as disciple he can expect no such early experiences as those of the disciple in the school of the adepts. When he is fitted he enters into personal relationship with others in his set of disciples and meets his master, whom he knows. There is no strangeness in the meeting of his master. It is as natural as the knowing of mother and of father. The disciple feels an intimate reverence for his teacher, but does not stand in worshipful awe of him.
The disciple learns that through all grades, the school of the masters is in the school of the world. He sees that the masters and disciples watch over mankind, though, like a child, mankind is not aware of this. The new disciple sees that masters do not attempt to curb mankind, nor to change the conditions of men.
The disciple is given as his work to live unknown in the lives of men. He may be sent into the world again to live with men, to aid them in the enactment of just laws whenever the desires of men will permit of it. In doing this he is shown by his teacher the karma of his land or the land to which he goes, and is a conscious assistant in the adjustment of the karma of a nation. He sees that a nation is a larger individual, that as the nation rules its subjects, so it will be ruled itself by its subjects, that if it lives by war it will also die by war, that as it treats those whom it conquers, so will it be treated when it is conquered, that its period of existence as a nation will be in proportion to its industry and care of its subjects, especially its weak, its poor, its helpless, and that its life will be prolonged if it has ruled in peace and justice.
As to his family and friends, the disciple sees the relationship which he bore towards them in former lives; he sees his duties, the result of these. All this he sees, but not with psychic eyes. Thought is the means he works with and thoughts he sees as things. As the disciple progresses, he may by thinking on any object trace it back to its source.
By meditation on his body and its different parts, he learns the different uses to which each organ may be put. By dwelling on each organ he sees in them the action of other worlds. By dwelling on the fluids of the body he learns of the circulation and distribution of the waters of the earth. By brooding on the airs of the body he perceives the currents in the ether of space. By meditating on the breath he may perceive the forces, or principles, their origin, and their action. By meditating on the body as a whole he may observe time, in its arrangements, grouping, relations, changes and transformations, in three of the manifested worlds. By meditating on the physical body as a whole he may observe the arrangement of the physical universe. By meditating on the psychic form body he will perceive the dream world, with its reflections and desires. By meditating on his thought body, he apprehends the heaven world and the ideals of the world of men. By meditation on and understanding of his bodies, the disciple learns how he should treat each of these bodies. What he had before heard concerning the chastity of the physical body—in order that he may come to self knowledge,—that he now clearly perceives. Having comprehended by observation and meditation the changes which go on in the physical body by the processes of digestion and assimilation of foods and having observed the relationship between the physical, psychic and mental and the alchemization of foods into essences, and having seen the plan of the work with its processes, he begins his work.
While strictly observing the laws of his land, fulfilling the duties of position to family and friends, he begins intelligently to work with and in his body, though he may have tried before. In his meditations and observations, thought and the faculties of his mind have been used, not faculties of the psychic senses. The disciple attempts no control of elemental fires, directs no currents of the winds, attempts no searches of the waters, makes no excursions into the earth, for all these he sees in his bodies. He watches their courses and nature by his thought. He attempts no interference with these powers outside himself, but directs and controls their action in his bodies according to the universal plan. As he controls their action in his body he knows that he may control those forces in themselves, but he makes no such attempt. No rules are given him, for the rules are seen in the actions of the forces. The races preceding his physical race are seen and their history is known, as he becomes acquainted with his physical body, his psychic form body, his life body and his breath body. The physical, the form and life bodies he may know. The breath body he cannot yet know. It is beyond him. Minerals, plants and animals are found within his form. The essences which are compounded from these may be observed in the secretions of his body.
One thing he has within him which it is his work to control. This is the unformed elemental desire, which is a cosmic principle and which it is his duty to overcome. He sees that it is as unconquerable to the one who tries to starve and kill it, as it is to him who feeds and satiates it. The lower must be overcome by the higher; the disciple subdues his desire as he controls his thoughts. He sees that desire can have no thing without the thought to procure it. If the thought is of the desire, the desire will guide the thought; but if the thought is of thought or of the real, the desire must reflect it. Desire is seen to be fashioned by thought when thought dwells calmly in itself. Restless and turbulent at first, the desires are quelled and subdued as the disciple continues to exercise his thought and to bring the faculties of his mind to their fruition. He continues to think of himself in the mental world; thus he controls desire by his thoughts.
If he remains in the world fulfilling his duties to and among men, he may fill a prominent or obscure position, but he allows no wastes in his life. He does not indulge in oratory nor long dissertations, unless advised to do so. Speech is controlled, as are other habits of life and thought, but in controlling habits he must be as inconspicuous as his position will allow. When he is able to live without longing for and without regrets at leaving the world, when he appreciates that time is in eternity, and that eternity is through time, and that he may live in eternity while in time, and if his turn of life has not been passed, he is aware that the period of outer action is ended and the period of inner action begins.
His work is finished. The scene shifts. His part in that act of the drama of life is over. He retires behind the scenes. He passes into retirement and goes through a process analogous to that through which the disciple for adeptship passed in becoming an adept. The bodies or races which in ordinary men are blended with the physical have during his preparation in the world become distinct. The physical counterparts are strong and healthy. His nervous organization has been well strung on the sounding board of his body and responds to the lightest and most vigorous play of the thoughts which sweep over it. Harmonies of thought play over the nerves of his body and stimulate and direct the essences of the body through channels which until now had not been opened. The circulations of the seminal principle are turned into these channels; new life is given to the body. A body which seemed aged, may be restored to the freshness and vigor of manhood. The vital essences are no longer drawn by desire to act in the outer physical world, they are led by thought in preparation for entrance into the higher world of thought.
To be continued.