This website is dedicated to the works of Manly P. Hall, a great occult scholar, philosopher and sage,

as a sign of deep respect and gratitude.

23 грудня 2012 р.

Quest for Spiritual Teachers

      We have an interesting subject this morning that comes to our attention frequently. Nearly every male brings a request for an introduction to a reputable religious teacher. People want to know where to go, who to find, what to join and what not to join - these letters come in constantly and also for messages and personal requests. As you probably realize, our organization [Philosophical Research Society] does not carry on that aspect of the situation: we do not endorse and we do not support any particular individuals or groups, and the support for this point - I think we all need to understand rather carefully - in our search for realities we have to depend upon some rules, some patterns of plans, purposes, requirements - and fortunately there are such rules and they are the same in all parts of the world: the teachings of [...], the adepts of Europe - the alchemists, the gnostics - all of these different groups. The esoteric sections in all the cases are the same in principle, and very largely the same in practices, for the simple reason of [...] the sense in medicine: wherever you are, if you have a certain ailment, you have to take the remedy that is indicated. And anyone seeking truth must follow the Path, must follow the ancient, eternal, unchangeable way, because it has to do largely and in fact completely with the individual himself.

    In the adept tradition in Europe we have the alchemystical disciplines - the series of processes which lead to the transmutations of base metals, these metals being represented by the planets and by the chemical formulas that are found in the ancient alchemical manuscripts.

    In the Asiatic side - in Buddhism or Daoism, Confucianism, Hinduism - we find also that arhatship, or adeptship, is the result of a specialized discipline. It is a process dependent for its success upon the individual himself.

      In the Eastern and Western systems we have the human personality divided into four distinct levels. These levels manifest in our physical life as faculties, powers, functions. The lowest of the levels is the physical [one]; above that is the energy field; above that is the emotional sphere; and beyond that, in turn, is the mental. These constitute a gladder of four runs, up which the deified must climb in order to reach the higher atmosphere which is the Quintessence of the alchemists, the pure Buddhi of Buddhist philosophy - the symbol of perfect enlightenment.

      Now, in order to understand this, we must also realize that no-one can grow for anyone else. There is no possibility of shifting the responsibility of growth upon a teacher, upon a formula in an ordinary sense or upon any group of factors. Growth is simply a process of growing.

      Now, we are all as none-initiated souls like children passing gradually from adolescence to maturity. The great teachers of the past instructed us, they were our ancestral guides. Now we must start out on our own, and one of the problems that we face in the present generation is this matter of trying to help young people to go out on their own. First of all, they are going to anyway, because parental influence is no longer strong enough to hold them. You can teach them whatever you want to, but in the long run most of them will do what they intend to do. Maybe some of them will have difficult experiences and have to grow through suffering. Others find themselves more independently and become highly desirable citizens. But each has to find its own way by means of the characteristics, the basic integrities with which he is endowed.

      So when we start to work with the problem of teaching - to try to find a teacher - we know that all a teacher can do is to tell the individual to do certain things. He cannot make anyone DO these things, and he can only say: if you wish a certain result, you must be setting in motion the causes to result in that effect. If you are not willing to cause it, you cannot have it. No-one else can have it for you. The gods will not bestow it. Each individual must earn his own destiny, must fulfill a plan for which he was intended as part of a system that has as its objective the enlightenment of everything that lives. This enlightenment, however, is a completely individual responsibility. Now it is possible for a person to become inspired by association with desirable types of thinkers and believers, the meeting of the individual with other persons of high resolve, high intention, noble experience and life - all these things are objective helps, but they do not contribute the actual substance. All they can possibly do is inspire. This is all any teacher can do: it's to inspire an individual to do his own job. And anyone promising other than that should be approached with due caution because of the fact that most people are looking for someone to give them a painless solution for the mysteries and miseries of existence. We want to do mostly what we please, but we want to find a way of doing it and escape the consequences of our mistakes. This is just not possible. And no matter how much is claimed, the fact remains that each individual must live[leave?] out his own terrain of purposes. There are rough instructions, however - and some of them are pretty rough - to how this is done.

The Physical Plane

      One of the prize[?] is to realize this set of four steps, and to realize that the life of sanctity begins at the bottom of these steps and ascends gradually. And in the Eastern system and the system of the Yoga and the Yahuds and the Lohans of China, the Daoist system and also the Muzma[?] mysticism the simple, simple fact is that all growth begins with the proper development and integrity of the physical body. The physical body must become the pedestal, or base, upon which the project is situated or fixed. So the aspirant begins by considering the means, by means of which the physical body can be brought into the closest possible relationship with normalcy and harmony. This means that any destructive habit which endangers the body blocks the entire procedure. The individual cannot go long and have a little marijuana now and then - and accomplish the things he wants to accomplish. It's not possible. The physical body must come first.

      Now, your ascetics, and even in the Old Testament and in most of religions, went out into the wilderness and there meditated and prayed in solitude. We have a wilderness also, but it's called "chaos"; it's where we live now, and if anything could be more a wilderness, we don't know. This is what the Muzlem[?] calls "the desert of waiting", the place where everything now likes the quietude that we associate with the deserts, the mountains and the valleys. Therefore, we cannot really go away and simply devote our lives to that kind of physical therapy. Naturally, we could get out of the city, get away from the smog, get rid of our debtors - in all these things it would help. But most persons are not willing to make such sacrifices.

      So the physical problem has to be solved as it is in Mahayana Buddhism: not by going into the desert and meditating and praying, but facing each day with an increasing degree of internal enlightenment. In other words, the physical world must be conquered in the person. He must find ways of living in this material existence without being damaged by it. Now, this is hard to think about because almost anything we do will damage this. But the thing that damages us most is when we have to do what we do not want to do. Therefore, the beginning of the correction is to start not wanting to do that which is [not] necessary. We can avoid certain pitfalls by not setting the causes in motion. We can keep the body in the best condition as long as we can by moderate living. We can also make sure that it has proper ventilation, proper nutrition and has opportunities for peace, quietude and sleep.

      One of the things that the old systems always point out is the importance of keeping away from artificial drugs to produce the effects that are desired. It cannot be entirely followed but we should not attempt to bring the body under control by doping it. It has to be done by the intelligence of the individual who is the caretaker of that body and is therefore responsible for its functions.

      It must be said that the body is the younger brother to the mind, and that it is the duty of the elder brother to guard and protect the younger brother. It is the duty of the individual never to neglect the physical requirements of living, but never to accept the extravagances which come from lack of insight. The great life, the enlightened life, must be normal but it must also be simple - a simple and direct life. Extravagancy has the tendency to damage the body as well as the rest of the organism. The process of living in this body only to use it for the fulfillment of self-centered ambitions and purposes is wrong. The body is the servant of an individual who presumably knows what he's doing. And if the person doesn't know, the body cannot follow the leadership. And without leadership the body falls apart.

    So the beginning of the road that leads to enlightenment is to settle down quietly and take whatever time is necessary to make a friend of the body, for the first time perhaps in our lives; make the body a valuable and important member of our personal collectives; give the body its rights and [...]. Do not dissipate it, do not damage it, do not exhaust it on useless enterprises.

    The body is willing to be molded to a great purpose, but never to a small one. Therefore the body must be considered first. This means a gradual modification of many attitudes that we have. Luxuries may be more damaging to the body than they are of use. But the body endures them because the mind (or the emotions) wants them. And wherever the mind and the emotions lead the body to excess, there is damage. This must be carefully watched and regulated - or we will get into trouble.

The Plane of Vitality

      Now, beyond the body comes the second area, which only is workable, usable and possible if the body has already been brought into order. We must ascend always building upon a solid foundation; until we are solid below we cannot pass to something higher. Assuming we have regulated the body, we have given it all that it needs, but never for a moment sacrifice its well-being for some other purpose of our own, unless that sacrifice is justified by moral expediency, by the need to give something beyond our normal. The individual who gives the life to save another life has not disfigured the body, they are giving it to the purpose of this higher. That which is higher is always the basis of the realities and the right values of things.

    But assuming that we now live simply, that we are not subjects to extravagances, that we are not dissipated and that the body is not disturbed by any external situation; that the body is not working for something that is worthwhile, that it is supporting an extravagance of the mind and not the need of its own integrities; so the body being settled re-passes to the second level, assuming that the body has now been disciplined, as the first step of discipleship.

    The energy fields of vital body are the double of the physical. It's the source of our supply of life force. It is that which animates all things and makes them alive. This aliveness is primarily turned downward; it is the aliveness, the vitality which protects the body and makes it capable of receiving into itself stress and strain from higher causes within its own structure.

      Now, the vital body being the energy field; the individual who wishes to advance in spiritual matters must reduce energy pressures. They must not waste energy because energy is life, and life is a power of God in us. Therefore energy must be conserved, energy must be distributed properly. We come almost under a heading of physical culture here. We have to see that the energy field is giving ample opportunity to express itself constructively; but that any intemperance which wastes energy becomes a leakage in the energy field, and through this leakage it escapes and is not available for use in reasonable purposes.

    Energy to be maintained must have proper nutrition, it must have proper rest and relaxation, it must be energized by a physical body that is temperate and therefore does not waste or destroy energy. Energy cannot live unless the physical body is reasonably ordered. If it is reasonably ordered, then it can provide a proper footing for energy growth. But if the individual someway gets into a temper fit, the waste of energy damages both the vital body and the physical. [It's] the individual in hysteria, the person who is constantly a neurotic, the individual who starts worshiping energy waste, doing things that are not significant and not important. All energy is to be used for constructive purposes, in order that energy, which IS life - a part which has been given to us, will be used as it was intended to be used - for the greater good of all that lives. All energy which has not some justification in value becomes a dangerous factor in our composition.

      So energy enables us to do all kinds of useful things. It also will support us in extreme hardships on many cases; but it cannot stand, or survive, misdirection from below or wrong attention from above. It must be given the care and discipline necessary.

      Energy discipline involves one important factor - quietude. Quietude means that the human body must at certain times rest. If the energy does not remove its pressures from the body, then the body cannot rest and the least we can expect is fidgets, and they are no good either. The individual can't sit still or can't keep quiet, he finds it impossible to do simple things in a simple and efficient manner. The individual has to exaggerate all actions. All finding themselves highly nervous must take a sedation. This type of thing is deadly to the development of any higher faculties.

      If the individual wishes to remain on the level in which these things are done, he has the right, and no-one can take it from him. But if he wants to be better than he is now, he must correct the mistakes that burden him now; he must have motives, purposes and ideals stronger and better than those which he has been nursing in the past. So he does everything possible to use energy wisely. He may feel that it is an eternal factor, that he'll always have it. But he will find that this is a mistake. If he wastes it, he will not always have it. The body is itself a fallible thing, and to make it useful, helpful and constructive as long as possible, its essential resources must be conserved.

      One of the physical forces and sources of energy is nutrition, so this comes into this pattern - proper nutrition, nutrition that is not fatty, nutrition that is based upon, as far as possible, a full understanding of the requirements of the body and its nervous structure. Nutrition is very important because without it the individual has no foundation upon which to build.

      Therefore, the first problem is to get the body into physical condition that is suitable to become a living temple. And the second step of the problem is to create within this living temple an atmosphere of Divine Presence - the energy being the presence of the infinites within the structure of the finatic[?]. This [...] if it is accomplished, if the individual finds that he is able to make these corrections and never waste energy. This wasting energy can be simply the support of a poor cause; it can be talking too much when there's nothing to say, it can be almost anything.

      On the other hand, the loss of these wasteful factors should never result in a doubtful personality. The energy factors that are constructive are pleasant, more pleasant in the long run than those which cause trouble.

The Plane of Emotions

    But then we rise to the third level, and this is a rough one, one of the most difficult to face - and not to be faced at all unless the lower two have already been conquered. You cannot advance unless you are the solid foundation of what goes before; otherwise you're in trouble. The energy factor we have to have, and one of the great uses of energy, of course, is emotion. Now, the emotional factor is where in most cases the human being is oriented. He lives in a combination of vital, emotional and physical factors, and as long as this continues he is basically a biped, but still not raised a human estate. The energy fields involve emotion that must be cleansed and purified. Emotions must be free of all negative, toxic attitudes.

      This is where most people fall down. I know we have cases - constantly - of people who are trying to develop spiritual overtones of life, who spend their lives seeking for truth and hating each other. This won't work. Any individual who expects to get anywhere in religion has got to give up hating anything or anyone. He may not want to cultivate that person, he may not feel that that person is right, but the moment he uses emotional energy negatively he is destroying himself, and not the other person. Any destructive attitude of the emotions must be corrected. Emotions must be open, constructive, idealistic and be no more, no less than that which is recommended in the "Sermon on the Mount".

    The very point of this is clearly revealed in Christian doctrine, but there are very few Christians that manage to make it, because there are very few people in this world, including Christian sects, that like each other.

    This problem of constant competition of feelings, the tremendous aggressiveness of ambitions, the determination to get back at someone or to go on mourning through life because of a tragedy, misery, misfortune that has occurred. The person who is emotionally disturbed a large part of the time will not get any further; in fact, he won't even reach this level successfully. He won't reach it because the entire magnetic field, the various chakra centers and so forth involved in development cannot react constructively to negative human attitudes. The individual can assume that he is going to make it anyway, and he is going to try perhaps and find a teacher who will help him to be enlightened without correcting these faults. But he will find in the long run that he simply deceived himself. There is no answer to improvement except to improve. There is no way of being better than we are now except by becoming better than we are now. And if we want to be more than we are now, we must build upon a foundation of solid achievement; otherwise the entire problem becomes a travesty.

    Now, in religious organizations we find a tendency, especially in modern times, to overlook or glance over lightly these problems of conduct and relationship to spiritual growth. We are more or less invited to believe that if the person joins the religious organization, this does it; that if the individual gets up and claims that he is going to be a good Christian or a good Buddhist, or a good Brahman, or a good Jew - the affirmation does it. This is not true. The individual is never any better than his own conduct. He is never more advanced or more spiritual than the dignity of his attitudes toward life.

    Therefore, in the problem of searching for a teacher we have to realize that our ulterior motives must be very clearly and carefully found out and corrected. Why are we looking for the teacher? Most people have very simple answers: "[...], and I'm so sick and neurotic - and I want a way out to something better". You know, that's a common kind of appeal, and you respect it. It is something to respect, but the only way these individuals can get what they want is TO CHANGE THEMSELVES. And anyone who promises to give them enlightenment without correcting their faults is themselves deceived or unaware of the facts. How can we change a person who is resolutely determined to stay as he is? How are we going to correct the condition or the faults of a person who is perfectly willing to correct his virtues a little more - but will not for one moment change his faults?!

    Now, faults are funny things. On personal level a growth is [...] rather than any other factor in history. Second place, probably, is religious conflict. Then comes political conflict, then racial strike, then national misfortunes - everywhere in the world man looks for peace, but he expects to achieve it by overcoming his enemy. We have right now a heavy political situation all over the world. We have space to the danger of a great war to create peace. And this is what happens in nations and it happens in the individual: we cannot be happier than we are - unless we earn a happiness greater than that which we have now. We cannot get over our troubles unless we correct the causes of them. [...]

    We come to the final conclusion that you have to be right - or you will continue to suffer. Now, rightness in the case of emotions is, as you've realized, the Bodhisattva doctrine of Northern Asia, is the doctrine of the Love Principle. Christ says to love our enemies, and now it is mostly impossible to get along with our friends without [...] enemies (laugh). We are expected to DO these things, not read about them. We are expected to look around through our own lives and say, "This is a messy spot and I've got to clean it up". Or - "I haven't spoken to my brother in 20 years, it's my now-time to get around to it!" Well, he writes his brother; his brother doesn't answer (laugh). Oh, that's too bad, but he has done what he could. He tried, he has made the first step; if the other person doesn't accept that first step, then he can't help. I made that suggestion to a man not long ago who had a cousin who he had not spoken to for years, and I suggested to write the cousin and find out. So he wrote a card (I think he wrote a birthday card - he remembered the birthday of the cousin). He got a 15-page letter back!!! (laugh) The cousin had been waiting for years to try to make it up and didn't know how!

    These are the things that happened. We cannot do anything unless we try. And in the emotional level we have to try to get away from hurting anyone, because if we go on hurting others, we hurt ourselves the most.

    Now, this is where many, many people get into trouble. They cannot get away from a certain negative reaction to society around them. This is lively do, of course, to the condition of society - no-one questions that. But this condition of society is the consequence of the individuals all feeling this way. Somewhere we have to break the impasse, and the only place any individual can break it is in himself.

    So we have to study to use the emotions constructively. Emotions are to be beautified and nobled. They are to become more pure, more understanding, more generous, more forgiving. In every case all emotional attitude should be dominated by integrities, dedications and devotions. They should be nothing than the emotional life of the person, that is, achieve compromise with principles. If he is compromising, then the problem won't get any better and illumination remains far, far away. So if the persons instead of taking lessons or trying to meditate their way out of their problems should sit down and say to themselves, "I meditate every day. Can I say honestly that every day that I meditate I live better? Am I depending upon set-pending a time in affirmation or positive thinking - and then going out and doing exactly what I did before?" There must be no indibol[?] - this one I point out definitely - that there should never be the slightest inconsistency between meditation and its attitudes - and the conduct when not in meditation. Meditation is a way of life, and any proper life is in meditation through all waking hours. Not in that, you know, sacramental way, but a simply, a kindly, a gentle well-wishing for all that lives.

    Emotion also has to be [...] out on the plane of selfishness. And these days selfishness has become so important that we permit it to inspru[?] us and undermine our integrities. The individual's feeling that he wants to do something, feeling that he wants freedom, [...] home, the individual's feeling that won't have greater estate work out of their family also. Everywhere the individual is thinking of himself only: what he wants to do, what he wants to be and the magnificence of the career of his own choosing. If we watch the papers and watch the records carefully, we will see that Nature itself is already stepping in to prove that this attitude is wrong. We have used it for years - and the world is in the worst condition that has been in recorded history. The great freedoms we talk about have made us slaves to freedom. The great dominations of each other that we have talked about have produced a world of slaves. And most of all, we are the slaves of our own attitudes.

    So on the emotional level it is necessary for the individual to control his own life in a friendly, loving manner, to try to do the best job he can under the circumstances; never to get the most he can by doing the least he can. The moment this happens a strange spiritual barrier is raised which we don't recognize, we don't know about it - but it does put a block on our thinking and our understanding. And while it's there we can't go any further.

    It is for this reason that in the ancient wisdom teachings the [...] doesn't find ways of the Underworld where we are all struggling. We are also beset with evil spirits and monsters, and dragons, and all kinds of horrible and frightful things. And these frightful things are wars and testolences[?], and disasters, and pledges - all these things are these little private antagonisms of people; they go from one generation to another, passing on the hatred, the case of which is forgotten.

    All these types of things are part of the emotional life, and the emotional life should be simplified into kindness. And the Buddhist philosophy, the Law of Maytreya, is the next world teacher. The word "Maytreya" means when translated - "kindness". Therefore, kindness is the next great avatar that must come to redeem the world. And wherever kindness ends, it must begin with us. Kindness is something that must so dominate that all negative attitudes and negative feelings are simply given up as useless. And the person finds that in kindness and forgiveness he will have a great sense of warmth, of integrities, of kindness, of fineness within his own nature. Otherwise he will continue to live under the shadow of old memories, old bitterness of this and that.

    Also in the emotional realm is the problem of emotionalization of our own conduct. We look back upon the life that we have lived for many years. We realize that in that life we have caused trouble and we have been troubled. We have had a difficult problem of raising a family, we've had divorce or damage to our home and domestic relationships. [...] All these things happened, all perhaps we were spoilt given everything we wanted and brought up to believe that we've lived for the principle of fulfilling any appetite that we feel. This again is a great detriment.

    But in all problems we have to look back upon the emotional background of ourselves and remember how we felt [...] and say to ourselves very simply, "Are all these emotions still hurting us?"

    That is really one of the bases of the psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Most people were neurotic or frustrated, others - in trouble largely because of their own memories - memories that hurt, memories that seemed unfair, memories that made them hate their parents or their grandparents, or their own children, memories that separate people because of dismal notions and reverberations out of the past.

    This type of memory problem is very difficult to work with, but it HAS TO BE worked with. The only way you can get over a bad memory is to find out why it was necessary. If the individual could take the memories that he has and transmute them in terms of experience, he would find that everything that happened to him was tremendously important, and he might be grateful indeed for circumstances that he now regards as terrifying or terrible. Each thing that happens to him is an opportunity to grow. Each misfortune is an opportunity to rise to a higher level of personal integrity. Each heartache is a possibility of transforming this attitude or this emotion into a great and deep recognition of universal unity of life.

    Each person can take his own memories and by understanding them correctly he can use them to grow with - rather than to have allowed to hurt him. Merely always a memory that hurts is a memory of an action that we have never learnt to understand, never learnt to affect and never learnt to get along with.

    So we have these problems on the emotional plane of life. And we must come out of it with a kindly, hearted attitude and willingness to bless regardless, and the perfect willingness to see others succeed more than we do, advanced better than we are and take life as a series of disciplines in which integrities do work out. We find, time after time, that the individual, who has had bad times and has lived through them successfully, has become fortunate in all respects. It is a case of living through it and growing with it, and not allowing oneself to turn into a dope addict or an alcoholic because of a miserable childhood. All of these [...] emotional frustration. It's there, and maybe the individual in any certain case may not be able to handle it with disembodiment. But if he CAN handle it and doesn't do anything about it, he has no right to say that he is searching for a higher level of understanding and insight. Or if he says he is trying to, we should take into consideration that he will never make it until he changes himself.

The Plane of Mind

    Now, beyond and above this we have the next level which in Jnana Yoga represents, in a sense, wisdom - the mind. Now, the mind is probably the most important weapon and instrument that we have. But it has much the quality of an atomic bomb, by which it was brought into existence. The mind is an attitude of individuality. The mind separates the individual from all other individuals. At the same time that it bestows upon him the ability to recognize a possible kinship with others, the mind itself is a separating force working mostly downward into the material life. It is the reason why some people are paid ten times what they are worth, simply because the mind has caused them to become indifferent to integrities. The mind can cheat and justify it if ambition is strong enough. Therefore, the mind is the power of the individual to compete successfully with other individuals. It is the power of a nation to compete with other nations and the instinct to do so.

    The mind is forever seeking and conspiring to advance the estate of the person - not the estate in terms of divine insights, but the estate in terms of physical success. And yet the mind is not that negative an instrument, it is not intended to be so used. The mind is the basis of a contemplative justification of life. The mind is the thing that will enable us to sit down quietly, see why we are wrong, how we are wrong and what happened to people who made the same mistake from the beginning of history.

    The mind is a philosophical instrument; it might remind us of the fact that we can't lie today any more successfully than they lied in Egypt 3,000 years ago. And we cannot have a selfish way of life now any more than we could when the Roman Empire fell apart. The mind gives us the realization with a strong proof factor that integrities are indispensable to security. The individual who endangers the security of others is endangering his own. And the individual who assists in the development of others is contributing to his own development, because he must, in order to develop, have an environment to develop in; he must have others around him to develop with; he must have opportunities to learn, to grow and to understand. And if he becomes isolated by his own selfishness, intolerance, aggressiveness - all these factors are left naked to his enemies.

    So the mind is something that, someone may say, would be a good basis upon which to discuss the problem of a teacher - what we need in the form of a proper instructor. A teacher in this case must be as at school. A teacher teaches arithmetic, he teaches geography, he teaches history and a little grammar - a little weak on the grammar at the moment (laugh) - but the fact remains that the teacher passes along the instruction that has been accumulated out of the past. Now, this instruction is useless and worthless unless its morality is recognized, unless instruction shows why people got into trouble and shows how they got out of it if they did. If instruction doesn't teach us to correct our own faults, develop our own virtues and establish an integrity in life - then this instruction is worthless. And, more or less, this is what is happening. The instruction teaches us now how to buy himself stock, it teaches us how to hit more money by the hour for working (if we work and when we work). It gives us the opportunity to build a great career to live by having a yacht somewhere in the Bahamas. It does all these things that consequently come to be regarded as the perfect evidence of the power of mind over matter. It is the perfect proof that constructive thought can make us rich. But are we going to be constructive-rich? Or are we gaining this wealth by the compromise of constructiveness? The moral value of the mind is of the greatest importance. What is it doing? Is it a relentless power instrument? Is it just a vast technical computer? Is it something that is soulless and purposeless, and only gives us the facts to do things as we please? Or does the mind explain a little to us why things happen and why we can make different things happen in our own lives if we really want to? Is the mind serving us? Is the mind helping us to grow or is it simply helping us to be lazy? Does the mind mean that we are making better use of our talents or simply getting more for them and making no good use at all? Is the mind giving us success in the terms of real estate and stocks, and bonds which incidentally can be wiped out very quickly in spite of mental ingenuity? Or, more usually, because someone else's mind is smarter than ours (laugh)?

    This is all part of a great delusion. And yet with this delusion we try to live! So with the mind that won't tell us the truth that we don't expect it to, we won't let it tell us the truth. A set of emotional factors that will not permit us to be happy, cheerful, pleasant people; a vital system that is so debluted[?] and degenerated by our upper conduct that we are tired all a time; and finally, a body that might be well-expected to hold on for quite a while, then becomes a wreck in 50 or 60 years.

   Now, this is the pattern against which the ages put up the pattern of human growth. Everywhere we look, we see that nature is insisting upon improvement. Nature will not sustain that which is not growing. Nature will not tolerate forever that which is contrary to the Common Good.

    If we want to be successful people, we'd better get started copying the way nature does it and not expect to have some strange abnormality make us satisfied and happy.

The Plane of Buddhi

    Now, we come to another factor then, that is, the fifth factor. We may call it what we want to, the Buddhists call it Buddhi, or the body of upper intelligence. It has sometimes been called a Divine Mind. It has been called the Upper Mind, the Psychic Mind, the Soul Mind - and perhaps "the Soul Mind" is about as good as anything we can find to call it. This is the sensor, this is the power of the soul which can never rest while the organisms are corrupt; the soul is that which is a small, silent voice - but it's there forever. It is something that finally forces us to recognize that we are not doing what we ourselves really want to do, that we are buried in the confusion of our own ambitions, so the problem of the soul becomes something that is higher than mind. The soul deals in formalities, the soul can ask the individual the simple question, "What is all adding up to, all the things we do - are they all ending in the graveyard? Is materiality an acceptable attitude?"

  The mind under certain conditions, particularly if it moves in a sophisticated set, will say, "Yes! I can be an atheist, I don't necessarily believe in anything, because if I believe in something, I'll have to have some of my ambitions curtailed! If I believe in God, I cannot do these things which are disobedient to every record we have of divinity, therefore let's eliminate divinity".

  They believe this; they say that the Universe is what we make it every day - nothing more, nothing less. It's a machine, and it's a kind of a computer which experantly[?] makes as many mistakes as our new computers make (laugh); and that's numerous.

  But the Universe is not a computer; the Universe is a mass of obvious intelligence. It is the most supreme example of a wisdom beyond comprehension by man. The Universe is a tremendous living organism which, in spite of anything we believe or do not believe, is always right. We cannot break its rules; they are bigger than we will ever be. We have to live within it; therefore, the psychic part of man, the soul, says very simply: what is a man worth when he has lost all his worldly goods? Answer: he is worth exactly what he was before. The entire problem of success, as we know it, within very moderate and normal conscientious details, may be necessary to our survival here. A reasonable amount of endeavor, a useful and fulfilling career if possible, an honest day's work honestly done - no-one doubts these questions.

    The question is: to what degree are we using these instruments that have been given to us simply to add to something that adds to nothing? What are we going to do about the yacht on the Bahamas when we aren't here any more? And how long will it be? [...] many individuals seem to act as though they are going to live forever and then mistakes cut them down, mistakes that they are making.

  So why should we destroy our integrity, corrupt our families, destroy our civilizations and punish humanity, leave half the Earth starving to death in order that a few, or even more than a few, can do something very important now, like a mass in [?] a great fortune? What is it all about? Before the individual can hope to go on to the esoteric worlds of thought, he's got to think these things through. He's got to come to the final conclusion that he must clean the inside of his own cup. He must see that his own life is as far as a humanly possible brought under moderation under a conscientious use of what he has and a continuous dedication to the service of his fellow men.

    These are the things which to the gurus of world [?] were indispensable values. Now, the Indian gurus who had their disciples have become a legendary kind of group. They were persons who became the spiritual parents of young people to give them a training or an insight, or an understanding. Very often the young people went and lived in the ashram or in some hermitage where the guru lived. They lived a very simple life, they lived a very quiet life, and they lived constantly in the presence of a person who was beyond all the temptations of mortal life. The guru was a living embodiment of the teachings that they hoped to come to. The guru had no material possessions, the whole of his worldly goods was a lota - a bowl which was to be a begging bowl. [...] These were all material possessions he had. He lived only to help and then educate and enlighten his disciples. Therefore, for these young people who lived with him for five or ten years, day and night, he became a living example of being exactly what he taught. Now, this is very important. He gave the example of no-exploitation. He offered nothing to the disciple, except the right to grow. He offered no satisfaction, no end to personal problems, but only a quietude which would cause these problems to solve themselves. The guru was a living example of what is accomplished by simply being in the world - but not of it. And the disciples who came to him became teachers in their turn. They were there in order to learn to become servants of human need. There was never any discussion of great establishments. The Great Work was the simple work of living [...] and bestowing this vital experience to others who came after.

    Well, it's hard to do this in our modern civilization - we know that, because the old days are not with us very much any more, and young people gathering for various religious purposes are not the background. The students who came to the gurus came from families that had religious domination in thought and philosophy for maybe fifty generations.  We have nothing like that today. We have no way of classifying or finding out just how to judge the validity of various paths that seem to open.

Possible Solution

    But we can do something. We are not powerless to make certain decisions that are really useful to us. One of these decisions is that we can be slow to become involved in an organization or in a teaching which we know nothing about. We have the right to observe. And those who desire to join an organization must not and should not be overinfluenced by promotional material of [...] nature. The individual who is wise in these matters will do well to observe this group of people very carefully and probably hold the decision for at least one year. If during that year they have evidence of the integrity of those people, the dedications that they have to the higher principles of life, that they are free from ulterior motives and they are free from emotional combativeness; they are neither warriors nor fearers nor hopers  - but they are workers. If in the end of a year it proves conclusively that this group is getting along well together, that kindness has been born among them, that friendship is their common turb[?] and that they are dedicated to a purpose that is commendable - at the end of a year of observation the individual may feel that he can decide wisely whether or not this particular group is for him.

    The same type of thing occurs in connection with individual teachers. They should be observed, their motives should be analyzed, the individual should try to get over his terrific pressure to get spiritual [...] and find out if there was any substance in the matter on the consideration. He must try to gradually get away from all inducements, that are offered to him, that are not part of the integrities of Universal Truth; that he is being involved, maybe, too strangeously; that he is not ready for what is being offered to him; or that those who are offering it do not have a proper dedication on their own parts; that there is not a true recognition of the fact that the entire course of spiritual growth is "a long, quiet journey home", as Plotinus called it. It is the trip back to the source of ourselves, to the great foundations and integrities that were made flesh and dwelt in us.

A Burning Question

    Therefore, our entire purpose is to grow and by growth to serve. And this gives us one more of a final attitude about the matter. And that is: what do we expect to be if we grow, if we achieve the enlightenment that is promised, if we attain to the tremendous internal vision that we would like to have? What are we going to do? What is our use going to be? Are we going to use wisdom largely to keep our own contentments? Are we going to use this wisdom to get away from all troubles difficulties, labors and worries? Are we going to use this to become superior to other people? Is it going to glorify us and gratify us to know what we have achieved?

    All these attitudes are, for the most part, wrong. The answer lies again that the only reason that we can really want to grow rightly is that we may become instruments of the attainment of universal growth for all that lives. In other words, we become servants of something higher, no matter how high we go. And so, finally, we are the servants of Truth itself. And until then the journey isn't over. And when we are servants of Truth, we are in slavery to reality. There is nothing beyond that that we can go. And yet that slavery is a strange kind of complete freedom, because with it is a recognition of the integrities we seek and the perfect acceptance of a divine state for which we were originally intended.

    But egoism must go, all of the ulterior motives - the individual must not follow these lines in order to be prosperous or in order to reconcile some inconsistency with his own mind. He cannot possibly have any other motive except a sincere, 100%-dedication to the achievements of union with the reality of which he is an inevitable part. Until he does this and takes this attitude, he is not safe in his search for spiritual values.

    Now, we have troubles also in the world religions today. What we cannot realize really and most fully is that there is one God, although it has 72 names. The names have become important. Today we have a great rise of terrorism in the name of the "true God". The God of love, the God of peace suddenly becomes a justification for hatred and for everything of this nature. Now, we have to be extremely careful in our own lives when we come to recognize our own religious allegiances. If we are in an allegiance to a competitive organization, one that is out to dominate and discredit others, then we either have to join that movement of aggressiveness or else we have to resign our membership. We must, therefore, try desperately and definitely not to be taken into various creedal and denominational factors. All denominations and all creeds have their place, their right, they are on one of the wrong place on the ladder. But not one of these creeds can prevent us from gradually coming into the realization that truth is one, that unity is the absolute and actual reality, and that all denominations are merely facets of one trueific[?] spiritual reality.

    Therefore, in serving God we love all. And serving ourselves, we sacrifice others to our own ambitions, our own purposes and our own prejudices. On the level of prejudices which become, in a sense, mental blocks, we find it very easy to have prejudices against various beliefs, where we go back to the Inquisition, we go back to all of the great tyrannies of the past to find out what prejudice does. A prejudice of any kind does nothing but hurt. And instead of that each person must strive definitely, in every way that he can, to overcome all prejudice on levels of religional philosophy. He may choose his own path, but he should not discredit the path of anyone else. It is their right to do as they please, but not necessary that he can form[?] with it.

    So each person gradually becomes, in a sense, alone. But the Chinese have a very interesting point of view on this particular point - they have "a Sacred Land" which is not our Eden, or our heaven, or paradise. But, strangely enough, they have a word for it that we have used for many years for something else - the heaven of the Daoist sages of China is called "Horee-Zon"[?], from which our word "horizon" comes. And this is the land in which all the wise and the loving get together. And they go in little ships - their own souls - to this great and beautiful garden world. In this garden world there is no punishment, no evil, no purgatories - only the poets and the scholars, and the friends, and the mothers, and the children, and the fathers sit under the trees and enjoy life. And, strangely enough, it is probably one of the few post-mortal states in which everyone is still studying. [...] they are also learning a little something new every day.

    Life is not static; it's not assumed that the average person can fly a hop successfully (laugh); therefore, it's not suggested. Life becomes an adventuring knowledge and an adventuring friendship in art, music and kindness. And here come the tired and the weary who have done it as best [as] they could, and they've really tried hard, and they are welcomed into the assembly of the ones who have gone there and have done the thing right. All those in that world there have fulfilled the requirements. They've lost all sense of personal ambition. They are not even ambitious to be there! This is another point; but they ARE there, because when they woke up after death - there they were. But there they were because of the way they had lived before death. They just couldn't help when they woke up in a pleasant place, because they had devoted their lives to service of others' love and kindness.

    There was no problem of sectarianism there. Anyone could believe anything he wanted to, because if he wasn't right, he couldn't get there in the first place! But being right did not mean a necessarily agreed with everyone completely. He had his own values, his own interpretations. Therefore, there could be some wonderful discussions and conversations, and there various members could get together in little groups and discuss the eternal values of things. It is said that Lao-Tzu went there on the back of his water [...], when the mortal world of China no longer would accept him.

      So everywhere in this philosophy of ideas there is a reward, and whether it is Horee-Zon, "the Land Beyond", or simply that which is beyond our horizon at the moment - we are all working towards one thing. We are working towards happiness, friendship, kindness and love. We are working for a better place for our children and their children. We want to have happiness for them, because only in the happiness of others can our own happiness be established. We want to live straight and square, and fair. And we would rather live very humbly than compromise the principles which are the basis of life.

      So under those conditions the person can attempt to enter the path of wisdom. He can find the way of teachers, the way of knowing what to do, but in each case the teacher comes only when the individual, or the disciple, attains a certain level. If the person completely controls the physical body and its various functions, there will in due time appear the teacher to tell him what to do next. As the Hermetic axiom of Egypt was, "When the disciple is ready, the teacher is there".

  But the teacher - you can't go out and find him before you're ready, and there's no use trying. And when you are ready, there's nothing you can do because you will find that which is next comes to you; only, however, if you have kept the rules, kept the life, kept the values and kept the integrities. So there is no need to worry about rewards or anything of that kind; the reward of growth is growth. The reward of individual integrity is to build a better world for everyone else and a happier life for yourself. There are integrities in life and way back in the period of the god Nabo[?], in the ancient Babylonian and Chaldean tablets. There is a very simple type of instruction for man which he has never outgrown. One says: when a man builds a house, he shall use good materials and shall cheat in nothing. And if he does cheat, he shall be penalized. An individual who sells something will be punished by gods if what he sells is not of the quality represented.

      And this was three or four thousand years ago. But no matter what we do or how hard we try, we will never make those thoughts untrue. They cannot be changed. And if you don't believe that, watch what's happening today and see how everything is being [...] even if nobody is happy about anything.

      Integrities are the basis of spiritual growth and the life of the race of the people who have achieved integrity, who have no problems to worry about here or at times to come.

      So don't worry too much. If you are interested in finding out a little bit about the integrities of life, history is a good start. It's very impersonal and it's well-written; it tells you what happened to other people when they did the things we are doing. There we will learn: when they did it right, what happened that was good; and when they did it wrong, how punishment was inevitable.

      From these things and from the study of comparative religion, you will come to understand the principles of integrities. You will come to understand the importance of the realization of Universal Brotherhood. You will come to the realization of the importance of accepting the normal responsibilities of life - not only with resolutions, but with joy; that everything that is necessary is right, and that is our privilege and opportunity to understand these right things and rejoice in them. We should not feel that a virtue is something we must sacrifice much for. A virtue is something that will help us not to sacrifice our entire life for nothing.

      So all these points and principles are part of the problem of teaching. Now, what shall we say about how you're gonna recommend this to somebody? I think the only way to do it is to realize that in the world today there is [...] literature by various religions of all times, by means of which the individual can get a brief summary or an elaborate discussion of the great integrities of life and the moral values which mankind has experienced through thousands of years in life. These barriers and instructions will tell the person what good people have thought, what ways people have tried to live, and it will also help us to realize why today we honor and practically deify a handful of great, dedicated spiritual persons who have become the foundations of civilization and of everything we hope for, everything we believe. We remember Jesus, who had no place to lay his head, but today is probably the most universally honored of human beings.

      We believe and recognize the great values that have come from dedication to principles. And we realize that these dedications are not dead, that we will never be so wise in scientific that we get along without honesty. But all REAL science will lead us back to honesty. We must gradually recognize the use of knowledge. Knowledge is to prove to us the things we need to know, not that we hope - but that which we know.

    Therefore, science is to give us a new skill to understand the Universe, so that we may all obey it and venerate it.

    Art gives us a new instrument by means of which we can picture forth[?] our own inner interpretations of Universal Beauty.

    Music is indeed that music of the spheres that Pythagoras heard. It is the power to put all arts into a harmonic relationship; music is the symbolism of Universal Harmony, and when it is variously distorted, it destroys its own consequences.

    Healing is the art of helping to restore the balance of the body, but is not possible to be completed without the unfoldment of the internal resources of the soul.

    Law is an order to keep us in a reasonable relationship with each other. Laws, the most of them, devised from ancient sources, and while these laws are naturally and properly kept, they are useful and significant. But when they are carefully intellectualized and integrity is taken out of them, they become a danger to our lives.

    All forms of knowledge are, in themselves, good. But the perversions of knowledge are now being necessary to success. And while we consider to do it this way and keep on making these perversions, we shall continue to fail, because the success is in the integrities and is not in the breaches of integrity.

    So all [...] forms of knowledge that we know can help us to become aware of the one knowledge that is necessary: that we are creatures on a long journey, [...]; that we are wanderers in the strange desert of waiting; but that we are, in a way, wonderfully guided by the wisdom that has been given to us. We are in this world, but we are not predestined to stay here. We are not here to may become the source of great monuments on the physical plane of life. We are here in a great system of instruction, divinely inspired and divinely maintained. We are all at school together. Now we are in the kindergarten, on one of the lower grades, and we're having a little trouble. But some day we will become grade school teachers. Then we will become instructors in high schools. Then maybe we will be professors in colleges or universities.

   Those are the degrees of our headship, that is, the degree[s] of the esoteric order of things: that we shall rise to higher levels - but always to serve and to teach. But in all this teaching everything depends upon one point: that all we can actually teach is to inspire the person to grow by virtue of his own integrities and his own potentials. The person can grow because the potential for growth is there - the inside is divine and it's going to come out. But in the meantime these professors and so-called the Great World Teachers and all the others can only remind us that if we live the Life, we shall know the Doctrine. It will give us the courage to go and work on ourselves and, using their example as an inspiration, attempt to do that which they have done so faithfully.

    All of this is part of how to grow, and I think if we just become a little more discriminating and not too enthusiastic, we can observe for ourselves those types of instruction which are useful, normal and proper, and at the same time can avoid involvement in something that we do not regard as proper. We are all searching, and we haven't the discretion to know always what is best. But if we always say to ourselves: what is kind? what is good? and what is inspired by the love of God and our fellow men, and is without exploitation and without ostentation - we won't be very far from the facts.

   So we hope, each one of you, under this type of thinking, will be able to solve some of these problems for yourself. Thank you very much.

Немає коментарів:

Дописати коментар