See what I said in the opening vol. of The Path: that the study of what is now called "practical occultism" was not the object of that journal. "We regard it as incidental to the journey along the path. The traveller, in going from one city to another, has perhaps to cross several rivers; maybe his conveyance fails him and he is obliged to swim, or he must, in order to pass a great mountain, know engineering in order to tunnel through it, or is compelled to exercise the art of locating his exact position by observation of the sun: but all that is only incidental to his main object of reaching his destination. We admit the existence of hidden, powerful forces in nature, and believe that every day greater progress is made towards an understanding of them. Astral body formation, clairvoyance, looking into the astral light, and controlling elementals is all possible, but not all profitable. The electrical current, which when resisted in the carbon produces intense light, may be brought into existence by any ignoramus who has the key to the engine-room and can turn the crank that starts the dynamo, but is unable to prevent his fellow man or himself from being instantly killed, should that current accidentally be diverted through his body. The control of these hidden forces is not easily obtained, nor can phenomena be produced without danger, and in our view the attainment of true wisdom is not by means of phenomena, but through the development which begins within. True occultism is clearly set forth in the Bhagavat Gita and Light on the Path, where sufficient stress is laid upon practical occultism, but after all, Krishna says, the kingly science and the kingly mystery is devotion to and study of the light which comes from within. The very first step in true mysticism and true occultism is to try and apprehend the meaning of Universal Brotherhood, without which58 the very highest progress in the practise of magic turns to ashes in the mouth.
(This letter is marked in red pencil, by the hand of Mr. Judge, "unfinished." In fact, it ends with the word "will," as above, but in publishing earlier some extracts from this letter, the owner had the permission of the writer to supply the last three words, which he had intended to place there when called away, and in his haste for the post, in returning, had omitted to add.)
The Leaders of the world are always trying to aid us. May we pass the clouds and see them ever. All our obstructions are of our own making. All our power is the storage of the past. That store we all must have; who in this life feels it near is he who has in this life directed his thoughts to the proper channel. That others do not feel it is because they have lived but blindly. That you do not feel it and see it more is because you have not yet directed all your mental energies to it. This great root of Karmic energy can be drawn upon by directing the fire of our minds in that direction. Towards Love of course is the right way; the Love of the Divine and of all beings. If we feel that after all we are not yet "Great Souls" who participate in the totality of those "Souls who wait upon the gods," it need not cast us down: we are waiting our hour in hope. Let us wait patiently, in33 the silence which follows all effort, knowing that thus Nature works, for in her periods of obscuration she does naught where that obscuration lies, while doubtless she and we too are then at work on other spheres.
Do you not see, Jasper, that your place in the ranks is well known? You need no assurances because they are within you. Now what a dreadful letter; but it is all true.
"This is the child," he said, "and here must you101 fulfil a part of your vows. Quick now! There is no time to lose, the child is almost dead. These people think him already a corpse. You see the doctor has told them the fatal words, 'he is dead!'"
A Couple of Incidents for The Book.
If one is sure of motive, and that is pure, then going out of the body is not detrimental.
As for myself. Well. What? Nothing. I know not and care not. I am joyful and glorious that the work thus goes. My desires are not here, and all the racket sounds to me far off, as if miles from my ear. I am acting as a pump-engine, and trying to force a lot on. This is not for myself. I must find myself alone, as we all are, and then the Law will say: "Next!" But what next I do not care and don't want to know, for when "Next" is said I will see what it is to do. Just now the best and biggest work by us poor children is on this plane with the great aid of Master, Whose simple single will keeps the whole organisation, and acts as its support and shield. We are not big enough yet to handle the Akasa, but we may help Them to, and that is all I want to do. I have used the present affairs to be as a lesson to me, for it may be used as a test to me as to pride and ambition; and I find that, no matter how I turn it, the same result comes. I am35 seeking other things while working in this. Try as I may to raise an ambition for power, and to raise a desire to change a supposed case (non-existent in fact), I can't do it. So you see, my dear Comrade, I am all right.
As regards the practices of concentration suggested in this letter, they are only stages in a life-long contemplation; they are means to an end, means of a certain order among means of other orders, all necessary, the highest path being that of constant devotion and entire resignation to the Law. The above means have a physiological value because the spots suggested for contemplation are, like others, vital centers. Excitation of these centers, and of the magnetic49 residue of breath always found in them, strengthens and arouses the faculties of the inner man, the magnetic vehicle of the soul and the link between matter and spirit. This is a form of words necessary for clearness, because in reality matter and spirit are one. We may better imagine an infinite series of force correlations which extend from pure Spirit to its grossest vehicle, and we may say that the magnetic inner vehicle, or astral man, stands at the halfway point of the scale. The secret of the circulation of the nervous fluid is hidden in these vital centers, and he who discovers it can use the body at will. Moreover, this practice trains the mind to remain in its own principle, without energizing, and without exercising its tangential force, which is so hard to overcome. Thought has a self-reproductive power, and when the mind is held steadily to one idea it becomes colored by it, and, as we may say, all the correlates of that thought arise within the mind. Hence the mystic obtains knowledge about any object of which he thinks constantly in fixed contemplation. Here is the rationale of Krishna's words: "Think constantly of me; depend on me alone; and thou shalt surely come unto me."
Up to this point we shall not travel in the ensuing pages. Yet having realized the real issue so forcibly that his whole strength was at the start directed towards self-knowledge and the right use of Thought, the writer offers a part of his first instructions to those of his comrades who, single-hearted and of royal Faith, hold Truth to be dearer than all material life and seek it on the hidden way. There is no tie in the universe equal to that which binds such comrades together. It has been forged in the fires of unspeakable anguish; it has been rivetted by a dauntless purpose and a unique, because Divine, Love. The fierce hatred of seen and unseen worlds cannot tamper with it so long as a man remains true to himself, for this larger life is himself, and as he grows towards it his self-imposed fetters fall away and he stands, at last, a free soul, in the celestial Light which is Freedom itself, obedient only to thex Law of its own divine Being. To reach it, let us obey the law of our own Being, for, truly, Being is One.