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. 11 APRIL, 1910. No. 1

Copyright, 1910, by H. W. PERCIVAL.


(Continued from Vol. X.)

WHAT the disciple had before learned while in contact with the men of the world he now verifies to be true or false by bringing the faculties of his mind to bear on whatever subject is considered. The disciple finds that that thought into which all other thoughts had blended and by which he had found himself as disciple, and had known himself to be an accepted disciple in the school of the masters, was in fact the opening up of and ability to use his focus faculty consciously; that he had, after his long and continued efforts, been able to bring together his wandering thoughts which had been attracted by and were operating through his senses, was due to the use of his focus faculty; that by the focus faculty he had collected and centered those thoughts and so quieted the activities of the mind as to allow the light faculty to inform him where he was and of his entrance into the mental world. He sees that he could not then use his focus faculty and light faculty continuously, and that to be a master he must be able to use the five lower faculties, the time, image, focus, dark and motive faculties consciously, intelligently and at will as continuously as he may decide.

When the disciple begins to use his focus faculty intelligently it seems to him as though he is coming into great knowledge and that he will enter all realms in the different worlds by the use of his focus faculty. It seems to him that he is able to know everything and answer any question by using his focus faculty, and all the faculties seem to be at his disposal and ready for his use, when operated from his focus faculty, so that when he would know by any subject the meaning or nature of any object or thing, he centralizes the aforenamed faculties on that subject, which he holds steadily in mind by his focus faculty. As by the focus faculty he holds the subject and draws the other faculties to bear on it, the I-am faculty brings the light, the motive faculty directs matter by the time faculty into the image faculty, and all these together overcome the dark faculty, and out of the darkness which had obscured the mind the object or thing appears and is known in its subjective state, in all that it is or may be. This is done by the disciple at any time and anywhere while in his physical body.

The disciple is able to go through this process in the course of one inhalation and exhalation of his natural breathing without stoppage. As he gazes at any thing or hears any sound or tastes of any food or senses any odor or contacts any thing or thinks of any thought, he is able to find out the meaning and nature of that which has been suggested to him through his senses or by the faculties of the mind, according to the nature and kind of motive which directs the inquiry. The focus faculty acts in the physical body from the region of sex, libra (♎︎). Its corresponding sense is the sense of smell. The body and all the elements of the body are changed during one inbreathing and outbreathing. One inbreathing and outbreathing are only half of one complete round of the circle of breath. This half of the circle of breath is taken in through the nose and lungs and heart and goes in the blood to the organs of sex. This is the physical half of the breath. The other half of the breath enters the blood through the organ of sex and returns by the blood to the heart through the lungs and is exhaled through the tongue or the nose. Between these swings of the physical and magnetic breath there is a moment of balance; at this moment of balance all objects or things become known to the disciple by the use of his focus faculty.

The experience which made of the disciple a disciple put him in possession and gave him the use of the focus faculty, and with that first use of this faculty the disciple began its conscious and intelligent use. Before its first use the disciple was like an infant which, though having the organs of sense, is not yet possessed of its senses. When an infant is born, and for some time after its birth, it cannot see objects though its eyes are open. It senses a buzzing sound though it knows not whence comes the sound. It takes its mother’s milk, but has no sense of taste. Odors enter through the nose, but it cannot smell. It touches and feels, but cannot localize the feeling; and altogether the infant is an uncertain and unhappy waif of the senses. Objects are held before it to attract its notice, and at some time the little thing is able to bring its eyes to a focus on some object. There is a moment of joy when the object is seen. The little thing sees into the world of its birth. It is no longer a waif in the world, but a citizen of it. It becomes a member of society when it knows its mother and is able to relate its organs to the objects of sense. That by which it was able to bring the organs of sight, hearing and of the other senses in line with the object seen, heard or otherwise sensed, was the power of focus. Every human who comes into the physical world must go through the processes of relating his organs of sense and his senses to the things of sense. Nearly all men forget the first object seen, forget the first sound heard, do not remember the things first tasted, what odor it was that was first smelled, how they got into touch with the world; and most men have forgotten how the focus faculty was used and how they still use the focus faculty by which they sense the world and the things of the world. But the disciple does not forget the one thought into which all his thoughts had been centered and by which he seemed to know all things and by which he knew himself as an accepted disciple.

He knows that it was by the focus faculty that he knew himself to be in another world than the world of the senses, though he was in the senses, even as the infant discovered itself in the physical world when it was able to focus its organs of sense in the world of the senses. And so having intelligent use of this faculty the disciple is as a child in relation to the mental world, which he is learning to enter through his faculties, by means of his focus faculty. All his faculties are adjusted to each other by means of his focus faculty. This focus faculty is the power of the mind to bring in line and relate any thing to its origin and source. By holding a thing in the mind and by use of the focus faculty, on and in that thing, it is made known as it is, and the process through which it became as it is, and also what it may become. When a thing is directly in line with its origin and source it is known as it is. By the focus faculty he can trace the path and events by which a thing has become as it is through the past, and by that faculty he can also trace the path of that thing to the time when it will have to decide for itself what it chooses to be. The focus faculty is the range finder between objects and subjects and between subjects and ideas; that is to say, the focus faculty brings into line any object of the senses in the physical world with its subject in the mental world and brings into line through the subject in the mental world the idea in the spiritual world, which is the origin and source of the object or thing and of all its kind. The focus faculty is like a sun-glass which gathers rays of light and centers them at a point, or like a searchlight which shows the way through the surrounding fog or darkness. The focus faculty is of a vortex-like power which centers movements into sound, or causes sound to be known by shapes or figures. The focus faculty is like an electric spark which centers two elements into water or by which water is changed into gases. The focus faculty is like an invisible magnet which attracts and draws in and holds in itself to itself fine particles which it shows in a body or form.

The disciple uses the focus faculty as one would use a field glass to bring objects into view. When one places a field glass to his eyes, nothing is at first seen, but as he regulates the lenses between the objects and his eyes the field of vision becomes less foggy. Gradually the objects take on outline and when they are focussed they are plainly seen. In like manner, the disciple turns his focus faculty on the thing which he would know and that thing becomes more and more clear until the moment of focus, when the thing is adjusted to its subject and is made plain and clear to and is understood by the mind. The balance wheel by which an object is made known to the mind by means of the focus faculty is the wheel or circle of the breath. The focus faculty is in focus at the moment of balance between the normal inbreath and outbreath.

The disciple is happy in this period of his life. He is asking and knows of objects and things in the physical world and their causes in the mental world; this affords happiness. He is in the childhood of his discipleship and enjoys all experiences in his retirement from the world, as a child enjoys itself in the life of the world and before the hardships of life have begun. The sky shows him the plan of creation. The wind sings to him its history the song of life in the constantly flowing time. The rains and the waters open to him and inform him how the formless seeds of life are carried into form, how all things are replenished and nourished by water and now by the taste which water gives, all plants select their food and grow. By her perfumes and odors, earth discloses to the disciple how she attracts and repels, how one and one become blended into one, how and by what means and for what purpose all things come or pass through the body of man and how heaven and earth unite to temper and test and balance the mind of man. And so in the childhood of his discipleship the disciple sees the colors of nature in their true light, hears the music of her voice, drinks in the beauty of her forms and finds himself encircled by her fragrance.

The childhood of discipleship ends. Through his senses he has read the book of nature in the terms of the mind. He has been mentally happy in his companionship with nature. He tries to use his faculties without using his senses, and he tries to know himself as distinct from all his senses. From his body of sex, he trains the range of his focus faculty to find the mental world. This puts him out of range of the senses in the physical body, though he is still possessed of his senses. As he continues to so use his focus faculty, one after another the senses are stilled. The disciple cannot touch or feel, he cannot smell, he has no sense of taste, all sounds have ceased, vision is gone, he cannot see and darkness surrounds him; yet he is conscious. This moment, when the disciple is conscious without seeing or hearing or tasting or smelling and without touching or feeling anything, is of vital importance. What will follow this moment of being conscious without the senses? Some keen minds in the world have tried to find this state of being conscious without the senses. Some have shrunk back with horror when they had almost found it. Others have gone mad. Only one who has been long trained in and who has been tempered by the senses can remain steadily conscious during that crucial moment.

What follows the experience of the disciple has already been decided by his motives in attempting it. The disciple comes out of the experience a changed man. The experience may only have been for a second by the time of his senses, but it may have seemed an eternity to that which was conscious in the experience. During that moment the disciple has learned the secret of death, but he has not mastered death. That which was steadily conscious for a moment independently of the senses is to the disciple like coming to life in the mental world. The disciple has stood in the entrance to the heaven world, but he has not entered it. The heaven world of the mind cannot be joined to or made one with the world of the senses, though they are related to each other as opposites. The world of the mind is dreadful to a thing of the senses. The world of the senses is as hell to the purified mind.

When the disciple is able he will again repeat the experiment which he has learned. Whether the experiment is dreaded or is eagerly sought by him, it will lead the disciple into a period of negation and darkness. The physical body of the disciple has become a thing distinct from himself though he is still in it. By the use of his focus faculty in attempting to enter the mental or heaven world he called into action the dark faculty of the mind.

The experience of being conscious without seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching and feeling is a mental demonstration to the disciple of all he has previously thought and heard concerning the reality of the mental world and of its being different and distinct from the physical and astral worlds. This experience is thus far the reality of his life, and is unlike any previous experience. It has shown him how little and transitory is his physical body and it has given him a taste or prescience of immortality. It has given him distinctness of being from his physical body and from sensuous perceptions, and yet he does not really know who or what he is, though he knows he is not the physical or astral form. The disciple realizes that he cannot die, though his physical body is to him a thing of change. The experience of being conscious without the senses gives the disciple great strength and power, but it also ushers him into a period of unutterable gloom. This gloom is caused by the awakening into action of the dark faculty as it had never before acted.

Through all periods and existences of the mind the dark faculty of the mind had been sluggish and slow, like a gorged boa or a serpent in the cold. The dark faculty, blind itself, had caused blindness to the mind; itself deaf, it had caused a confusion of sounds to the senses and dulled the understanding; without form and color, it had prevented or interfered with the mind and senses from perceiving beauty and from giving shape to unformed matter; without balance and having no judgment it has dulled the instincts of the senses and prevented the mind from being one-pointed. It had been unable to touch or feel anything, and had bewildered the mind and produced doubt and uncertainty in the sense. Having neither thought nor judgment it prevented reflection, blunted the mind and obscured the causes of action. Unreasoning and without identity it opposed reason, was an obstacle to knowledge and prevented the mind from knowing its identity.

Although having no senses and opposed to the other faculties of the mind, the presence of the dark faculty had kept the senses in activity, and allowed them or aided them to cloud or obscure the faculties of the mind. It had fed in the senses the activities which have paid it constant tribute, and that tribute had kept it in a torpid state. But the disciple trying to overcome the senses and to enter the mental world has in great degree withheld tribute from this thing of ignorance, the dark faculty of the mind. By his many efforts toward overcoming and control of his desires, the disciple had seemingly stilled the dark faculty and had seemingly enjoyed the use of his other faculties in interpreting his senses. But he finds that his desires were not really conquered and the dark faculty of the mind was not really overcome. When the disciple was able to be conscious without the use and independently of his senses, he called at that time and by that experience the dark faculty of his mind into activity as never before.

This, the dark faculty of his mind, is the adversary of the disciple. The dark faculty has now the strength of the world serpent. It has in it the ignorance of the ages, but also the cunning and wiles and glamour and deception of all bygone times. Before this awakening, the dark faculty was senseless, sluggish and without reason, and it still is. It sees without eyes, hears without ears, and is possessed of senses keener than any known to physical man, and it makes use of all the wiles of thought without thinking. It acts directly and in a way most likely to overcome and prevent the disciple from crossing through its realm of death into the mental world of immortal life.

The disciple has known of the dark faculty and been informed of its wiles and of having to meet and overcome them. But that old evil, the dark faculty, seldom attacks the disciple in the way he expects to be met, if he does expect. It has innumerable wiles and subtle ways of attacking and opposing the disciple. There are only two means which it can employ, and it invariably uses the second only if the first has failed.

After being conscious without the senses, the disciple is more sensitive to the world than ever before. But he is so in a different manner than before. He is aware of the inside of things. Rocks and trees are so many living things not seen, but apprehended as such. All the elements speak to him, and it seems to him that he may command them. The world seems a living, throbbing, being. The earth seems to move with the movement of his body. The trees seem to bend to his nod. The seas seem to moan and the tides to rise and fall with the beating of his heart and the waters to circulate with the circulation of his blood. The winds seem to come and go in rhythmic movement with his breath and all seems to be kept in movement by his energy.

This the disciple experiences by being aware of it rather than sensing it. But at some time while he is aware of all this, his inner senses spring into life and he sees and senses the inner world of which he had been aware mentally. This world seems to open out to him or to grow out of and include and beautify and enliven the old physical world. Colors and tones and figures and forms are more harmoniously beautiful and exquisite and immeasurably more delightful than any the physical world did offer. All this is his and all things seem to be for him alone to direct and use. He seems the king and ruler of nature which had been waiting for him through the ages until he should, as now, at last have come to rule in her kingdoms. All the senses of the disciple in the school of the masters are now keyed to their highest pitch. In the midst of the delights of sense, there comes to the disciple one thought. It is the thought by which he sees through things and knows them as they are. By it, the disciple in the school of the masters knows that the new world in which he stands is not the world of the masters, the mental world, beautiful though it is. As he is about to pass judgment on this glorified world, the world of the inner senses, figures and forms and all elements cry out to him. First to enjoy with them and, as he refuses, then to remain with them and be their ruler, their savior, and lead them onward to a higher world. They plead; they tell him they have waited long for him; that he should not leave them; that he alone can save them. They cry out and appeal to him not to forsake them. This is the strongest appeal they can make. The disciple in the school of the masters holds the thought of his discipleship. By this thought he makes his decision. He knows that this world is not his world; that the forms which he sees are impermanent and decay; that the tones and voices which appeal to him are the crystallized echoes of the world’s desires, which can never be satisfied. The disciple pronounces his thought to the world which has claimed him. He shows it that he knows it and will not give his word to the inner world of the senses. Immediately there is within him a sense of power with the knowledge that he has wisely judged of the sense world and refused its allurements.

His thoughts now seem to penetrate all things and to be able to change the forms of things by the very power of his thought. Matter is easily moulded by his thought. Forms give way and change into other forms by his thought. His thought enters the world of men. He sees their weaknesses and their ideals, their follies and ambitions. He sees that he can wield the minds of men by his thought; that he may stop bickerings, quarrels, contentions and strife, by his thought. He sees that he might compel warring factions to enjoy peace. He sees that he can stimulate the minds of men and open them to keener vision and to ideals higher than any they have. He sees that he may suppress or remove disease by speaking the word of health. He sees that he may take away sorrows and assume burdens of men. He sees that with his knowledge he may be a god-man among men. He sees that he may be as great or as lowly among men as he wills. The mental world seems to open and disclose its powers to him. The world of men calls him but he gives no response. Then the men struggling call in mute appeal to him. He refuses to be the ruler of men, and they ask him to be their savior. He may comfort the sorrowing, raise the lowly, enrich the poor in spirit, quiet the troubled, strengthen the weary, remove despair and enlighten the minds of men. Mankind needs him. The voices of men tell him they cannot do without him. He is necessary to their progress. He can give them the spiritual vigor which they lack and may begin a new reign of spiritual law if he will go out to men and help them. The disciple in the school of the masters dismisses the call of ambition and position. He dismisses the call to be a great teacher or a saint, though he listens well to the cry for help. The thought of his discipleship is again with him. He focusses on the calls and judges them by his one thought. Almost had he gone out to the world to help.

To be continued.