a road steep and thorny, beset with perils of every kind - but yet a
road; and it leads to the Heart of the Universe. I
can tell you how to find Those who will show you the secret gateway
that leads inward only, and which closes fast behind the neophyte
There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer.
There is no trial that spotless purity can not pass through.
There is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount.
For those who win onwards, there is reward past all telling: the power to bless and save Humanity.
For those who fail, there are other lives in which success may come.
"The highest benevolence is like water.
The benevolence of water is
to benefit all beings without strife.
It dwells in places which man despises.
Therefore it stands close to TAO.
Out of many worlds is patterned only one world. This is the dilemma which the Demiurge must overcome. The human being, too, must be ready to grasp the fundamental problem of choice facing him. On the one hand, there are certain thoughts which are of such quality - impersonal, universal, unifying, beneficent - that where they are self-consciously generated or drawn from the akasa, they do not need any form. They are like sparks or like shooting stars that descend with a speed much greater than that of light and they find an appropriate way of sparking off myriads of atoms. On the other hand, there are those thoughts which need to be encased in a purified, distilled essence, but fashioned out of a purified astral form, out of something more than differentiated matter but something less than the pure, undifferentiated, universal, homogeneous essence. Such thoughts, when they are given that kind of force, are deliberately chosen mental assets. They become available for all other human beings encountered in our lives and yet may also become embodied for a very long time to come so that others could draw upon them for almost an indefinite future.
How often we have heard the expression, "I wonder what that person is really like? It would seem at times as though we were all attending masked ball every day. Do we not find our selves sometimes presenting a different "face" to certain people or circumstances? As we often see other's masks before we recognize our own, let us look around and we will see them all in this sham parade. The charming business man is really wondering how much money you have. The sophisticated person using the "smart" mask to cover those feelings of inferiority. That solicitous neighbor trying to disguise an insatiable curiosity. The pose of the very, very intelligent person, so superior to us ignorant ones below his ivory tower. The false veil of humility, that smells of "I am only a worm," covers a desire for praise or appreciation. That "sweetness and light" cloak that hides contempt or hatred beneath its many folds. Or the corrupt using a screen of saintliness. This saintly mask is also used to conceal pride and ambition. And behind the "kindly adviser" facade we sometimes find the desire for power and influence. The list of major and minor masks could stretch on down to that of the perfect hostess who privately wishes you were home in bed.
But what is it in man's nature that feels this need to seek cover behind a "front." If it is because we feel ashamed of our inner self, because pride prompts us to wear a false face, then we need to examine our ideas of what we think we are in reality. Would there be any need for these masks if man had any realization that he is a soul and that actually, all souls are One in Essence? Are the ideas of karma and reincarnation just a nice logical explanation of life that we carry around on the surface, or do we try to understand why we contact the people we do, and how our actions will affect them? Perhaps we need to look within and find the real motive of our lives. There can be but two answers: either we are interested only in our own progress, or we are trying to live for humanity.
We all know the pleasure of meeting a truly genuine person. He does not pretend to be what he is not. We say he has an open-heart, and we feel the warmth of that heart quality. But we may not realize that we ourselves must have at least a spark of this quality to be able to recognize it in another. And we learn to see more if our interests were centered on something higher than the personality. As long as we think and act from a basis of separativeness, so long will we use these blinds - and be blinded.
[An anonymous contributor sent this to the editors of Lucifer7. Though not backed up by current scientific thought - this is still raises a valid question. Especially in relation to the debates raging over Intelligent Design. It also gives us the opportunity to present something a bit more controversial, something we've not quite succeeded at over the past months.]
According to HPB as we involute we pass through the semi-material or astral state and reach our densest form of matter here at about the middle of the 4th Round. We're presently on the upward arc of materiality again, and physical matter is very slowly etherealizing, or dematerializing - as could be backed up in the heaviest elements like Uranium being naturally radioactive and converting itself into less dense matter or lead. Most dinosaur fossils - huge monsters - were Third Round creatures, or actually astral, or semi-material in nature. As the earth became more material in the Fourth Round, the fossils of these animals also became more material. As Victor Endersby brings out below - It would be impossible for these Dinosaurs to exist in our present physical world - their weight and skeletal structure is impossible. Science has no means to measure and no philosophic room for "ethereality" - any change is impossible to measure as everything material would change at once - so only indirect inference can indicate the possibility of such. Endersby writes:
".... those big lizards, said by the S.D. to be from the Third Round of less dense matter. They are just not practical animals for our era. The locomotive abilities of animals of any time and place are conditioned by the cube-square ratio. That is to say, as height increases, weight increases as the cube of height and the ability to carry the increases as the square of the diameter of the ankle. We took a 50-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex, which was a ferocious, carnivorous and hence active biped, lending itself well to comparison with man: sliced, him up, and calculated him. He came out 90 tons, and in proportion to the writer, said writer would have to weigh about 1500 lbs or three quarters of a ton in order to have an equal problem getting around in swamps and latching on to live meat.
"It just won't work. Scientists are aware of this - rather uneasily - but they have not even tried to solve it. They can't find a handle to get hold of. Not only this, those animals ran to 70 feet; in which case the problem would increase by a factor of about 36 percent.
"This is the only sort of thing in sight at present which could indicate anything about these changes in matter; because it could change its density, etc., now, ten times in ten minutes and nobody could tell the difference, because everything would change alike. But these fossils are likely to turn out to be fossilized cosmic history in more senses than one. (This question of the previous existence of a proto-matter of the same general pattern as ours, but less condensed, as we said, is tied up with quantum physics.) ...." (Theosophical Notes, No. 1, 1964, pp 11-12)
Blavatsky writes on this in the Secret Doctrine:
See also: David Pratt on evolution
"... Occultism says: "The astral prototypes of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms up to man have taken that time (300 million years) to evolve, re-forming out of the cast-off materials of the preceding Round, which, though very dense and physical in their own cycle, are relatively ethereal as compared with the materiality of our present middle Round. At the expiration of these 300 million years, Nature, on the way to the physical and material, down the arc of descent, begins with mankind and works downwards, hardening or materialising forms as it proceeds. Thus the fossils found in strata, to which an antiquity, not of eighteen, but of many hundreds of millions of years, must be ascribed, belong in reality to forms of the preceding Round, which, while living, were far more ethereal than physical, as we know the physical. That we perceive and disinter them as tangible forms, is due to the process of materialization or crystallization referred to, which took place subsequently, at the beginning of the Fourth Round, and reached its maximum after the appearance of man, proceeding parallel with his physical evolution. This alone illustrates the fact that the degree of materiality of the Earth changes pari passu with that of its inhabitants. And thus man now finds, as tangible fossils, what were once the (to his present senses) ethereal forms of the lower kingdoms." (Secret Doctrine II, p. 68)
In response to the latest issue of Lucifer7, the article on The One is the Two by Cecil Williams, the following response came in:
I found your quote concerning the circle interesting; Draw a circle and the dot in the middle is not the center.
It represents the center, much like thought represents things. But the dot is extended (in space). The center is a point, which has no extension.
It is not extended in space. But that point is not a concept, it is a relation. It relates center and periphery (or IS the relationship of center and periphery).
Krishnamurti says the spokes are not the wheel. The wheel is how the spokes are arranged. So, this arrangement, this set of relationships of the
parts, also lacks extension. All things can be seen to be these patterns or arrangements or sets of relationships.
So, wouldn't you say that extension itself is ultimately illusory or at least that matter is?
"Consciousness is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere."
So, all is consciousness?
My conclusion would be that everything is consciousness, yes. Yet everything (the All) is unconsciousness as well. To be precise: the All needs to have both potentially, because everything, including consciousness and unconsciousness flows from It. While this unity is the basis of hermetic philosophy, it is also the basis of Blavatsky's teachings. See the proem of the Secret Doctrine for instance, where HPB says:
The radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in Nature - from star to mineral atom, from the highest Dhyan Chohan to the smallest infusorium, in the fullest acceptation of the term, and whether applied to the spiritual, intellectual or physical worlds - this unity is the one fundamental law in Occult Science.