THEOSOPHY, Vol. 50, No. 1, November, 1961
(Pages 33-38; Size: 17K)
FRAGMENTS OF OCCULT DEFINITION(1)
[Part 2 of 2]
MAY I now ask, to what point backwards in time do the occult records claim origins? It is said that Eastern initiates maintain that they have preserved records of the racial development and of events of universal import ever since the beginning of the Fourth Race; that which preceded being traditional. Are we, then, to assume that Schools of Occultism date at least from Atlantean times?
Yes; or as occultists themselves would ask: In what age were there no Occultists and no Adepts?
Well, then, what about the present time? Are there any Adepts in America or Europe?
Yes. There are and always have been Adepts. But they have for the present kept themselves hidden from the public gaze, though their influence is wide they are not suspected -- and that is the way they want to work for the present. The real ones have a wide work to do in many departments of life and in preparing certain persons who have a future work to do.
But from what is said, is it not to be inferred that they work exclusively with members of the "dominant" white race?
Scarcely. There are also some who are at work with certain individuals in some of the aboriginal tribes of America, as among those are Egos who are to do still more work in another incarnation, and they must be prepared for it now. Nothing is omitted by these Adepts. In Europe it is the same way, each sphere of work being governed by the time and the place.
You say nothing is omitted by them. But isn't this tantamount to claiming omniscience on this plane?
It might be illustrated in this way. Suppose that a number of trained Occultists are set apart to watch the various sections of the world where the mental energies are in fervid operation. It is quite easy for them to see in a moment any mind that is about to reach a clue -- say, into the elemental world. Besides this, imagine that trained elementals themselves constantly carry information of such events. The Adept, standing on the immeasurable height where centuries lie under his glance, sees the great cycles and the lesser ones rolling onward, influenced by man, and working out their changes for his punishment, reward, experience, and development.
What about the many branches of scientific investigation today by non-members of occult fraternities? Where do they stand?
Well, they are in the forefront of the mental, but not of the spiritual, progress of the time, and are driven forward by forces they know nothing of. Help is very often given them by the Masters of Wisdom, who, neglecting nothing, constantly see to it that these men make progress upon the fittest lines for them, just as theosophical students and workers are assisted, not only in their spiritual life, but in the mental also.
Suppose that an enquiring scientific or other mind is about to hit upon some hidden secret of Nature, as you intimate might happen -- in such instance what does the "watching" Occultist do?
You must not think the issue a difficult one for the Adept. For instance, it is easy to throw a cloud over the investigator's mind and lead him off to other results of often material advantage to himself and men, while at the same time acting as a complete preventive or switch which turns his energies and application into different departments. By superior knowledge and command over the peculiar elemental world, influences presenting various pictures are sent out to that enquiring mind. In one case it may be a new moral reform, in another a great invention is revealed, and such is the effect that the man's whole time and mind are taken up by this new thing which he fondly imagines is his own. Or, again, it would be easy to turn his thought into a certain rut leading far from the dangerous clue. In fact, the methods are endless.
If, as we read, the Adepts are present at the birth or "cradle" of new nations, may it be assumed that influences were at work during the American Revolution?
The great Theosophical Adepts, in looking around the world for a mind through which they could produce in America the reaction which was then needed, found in England Thomas Paine, who furnishes precisely the corroboration. In his Age of Reason Paine writes: "There are two distinct classes of thoughts: those produced by reflection, and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord. I have always made it a rule to treat these voluntary visitors with civility, and it is from them I have acquired all the knowledge that I have."
These "voluntary visitors" were injected into his brain by the Adepts, Theosophists. Seeing that a new order of ages was about to commence and that there was a new chance for freedom and the brotherhood of man, they laid before the eye of Thomas Paine -- who they knew could be trusted to stand almost alone with the lamp of truth in his hand amidst others who in "times that tried men's souls" quaked with fear -- a "vast scene opening itself to Mankind in the affairs of America."
What is the future of the physical sciences? Can a forecast be made?
Modern science is drawn more every day into the maelstrom of Occultism; unconsciously, no doubt, still very sensibly.
And now, though it may sound foolish, what is the status of the Occultist's science?
The development, conditions, powers, and function of these beings carry with them the whole scheme of evolution.
Was all this implied when Apollonius of Tyana spoke of Them as "good men"?
It does not mean a noble-hearted man merely, but a perfected being. One who has attained to the state often described by mystics and held by scientific men to be an impossibility, when time and space are no obstacles to sight, to action, to knowledge, or to consciousness.
Within what practical area could formal science meet occult science?
The Occultists possess information of a decidedly practical character concerning the laws of nature, including that mystery of science, the meaning, operation, and constitution of life itself.
But why does not the Occultist come forward with the indisputable proofs?
To compel recognition of true doctrine is not the way of these sages; for compulsion is hypnotism. One law governing them is easy to state and ought not to be difficult for the understanding: They do not, will not, and must not interfere with Karma. That is, however apparently deserving of help an individual may be, they will not extend it in a manner desired if his Karma does not permit it. By using their natural powers they every day influence the world, not only among the rich and poor of Europe and America, but in every other land, so that what does come about in our lives is better than it would have been had they not had a part therein.
May we return to a former point? Where, in brief, lies the link or the dividing-off of the physical sciences and the metaphysical? Can some highlights be thrown upon the differences?
The chemist goes to the laya or zero-point of the plane of matter with which he deals, and then stops short. The physicist or the astronomer counts by billions of miles beyond the nebulae, and then he also stops short. The semi-initiated Occultist will represent this laya-point to himself as existing on some plane which, if not physical, is still conceivable to the human intellect. But the full Initiate knows that the ring "Pass-Not" is neither a locality nor can it be measured by distance, but that it exists in the absoluteness of infinity.
You speak of the ultima thule of discovery, which I understand pertains alone to "initiations." I but referred to something of immediate need, constituting, so to say, a first step. Can you say something of this?
Of course, and this should be considered. In Esoteric Philosophy, every particle corresponds to and depends on its higher noumenon -- the Being to whose essence it belongs.
I think I understand the relevance of your statement. Tell me now, what exactly is meant by the "particle"?
Occultism, which discerns a life in every atom and molecule, whether in a mineral or human body, in air, fire, or water -- affirms that our whole body is built of such lives, the smallest bacteria under the microscope being to them, in comparative size, like the elephant to the tiniest infusoria.
Do not ancient mythologists refer to such "lives" as gods and goddesses? In Occultism are these considered romantic fictions?
The Occultist sees in the manifestation of every force in Nature the action of the quality, or the special characteristic of its noumenon. This noumenon is a distinct and intelligent Individuality on the other side of the manifested mechanical Universe. To put it more clearly: matter is the condition, the necessary basis or vehicle, the sine qua non for the manifestation of these forces or agents on this plane. For Pythagoras, the Forces were Spiritual Entities, Gods independent of Planets and Matter as we see and know them on Earth, who are the rulers of the Sidereal Heaven. These, the ancient (and modern) philosophers and Occultists call "Gods," or the creative fashioning Powers.
Bringing the subject "down to earth," what does occult philosophy teach of the genesis and development of material forms?
Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything, either by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not already exist on the subjective plane. More than this, that no form or shape can possibly enter man's consciousness, or evolve in his imagination, that does not exist in prototype, at least as an approximation.
The human body or form is then built up of ultramicroscopic "lives" upon a pre-existing prototype. Are we in this premise getting closer to the mystery of the human embryo?
The two chief difficulties of the science of embryology, namely, the nature of the forces at work in the formation of the foetus, and the cause of "hereditary transmission" of likeness, physical, moral and mental -- have never been properly answered. Nor will they ever be solved till the day when scientists condescend to accept the occult theories.
Embryology traces all stages of foetal development from germ cell, through plant and quadrupedal shapes, to that of human form. What is lacking?
As indicated above, the cause is "lacking." The soul is lacking. Complete the physical plasm, the "Germinal Cell" of man with all its material potentialities, with the "spiritual plasm," so to say, or the fluid that contains the five lower principles of the six-principled Dhyan, and you have the secret -- if you are spiritual enough to understand it. This is the occult theory, elaborated in The Secret Doctrine. To that source must the Embryologist repair for instruction.
But I have heard of the great obstacles in the way of acceptance of the occult doctrine. May not evolution of form itself have some bearing on present incapacities?
The human "tabernacles," in the course of evolution, have improved in texture and symmetry of form, growing and developing with the globe that bore them; but the physical improvement took place at the expense of the spiritual inner man and nature. The three middle principles in earth and man became with every race more material, the Soul stepping back to make room for the physical intellect; the essence of elements becoming the material and composite elements now known. Perhaps this broadly answers your question.
Occultism, or adeptship, may then be thought of as synonymous with that event in a man's life when the Soul again "steps forward" -- when the inner-man reigns supreme once more over matter and material nature?
It may well be so. However, the Occultists regard physical nature herself, as a bundle of the most varied illusions on the plane of deceptive perceptions. They recognize in every pain and suffering but the necessary pangs of procreation: a series of stages toward an ever-growing perfectibility which is visible in the silent influence of never-erring Karma, as abstract nature.
We may presume, then, to think that the Occultist regards Karma somewhat less rigidly than the average mortal?
Karma-Nemesis is the synonym of Providence, minus design, goodness, and every other finite attribute and qualification, so unphilosophically attributed to the latter. An Occultist or a philosopher will not speak of the goodness or cruelty of Providence, but, identifying it with Karma-Nemesis, he will teach that nevertheless it guards the "good" and watches over them in this, as in future lives, and that it punishes the evil-doer -- aye, even to his seventh rebirth!
One more thought, by your kind permission. What would the Occultist say with respect to a certain current obsession that a man, a human being from this planet, must be placed upon the moon?
This question falls within a category of certain "topics on which, indeed, the adepts are very reserved in their communications to uninitiated pupils...." It is taught that the moon is a dead, yet a living body. That the particles of her decaying corpse are full of active and destructive life, although the body which they had formed is soulless and lifeless. Pregnant with warning, is the further statement that "like all ghouls or vampires, the moon is the friend of the sorcerers and the foe of the unwary."
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
The first quality we know in matter is centrality -- we call it gravity -- which holds the universe together, which remains pure and indestructible in each mote as in masses and planets, and from each atom rays out illimitable influence. To this material essence answers Truth, in the intellectual world -- Truth, whose centre is everywhere and its circumference nowhere, whose existence we cannot disimagine; the soundness and health of things, against which no blow can be struck but it recoils on the striker; Truth, on whose side we always heartily are. And the first measure of a mind is its centrality, its capacity of truth, and its adhesion to it.
--RALPH WALDO EMERSON
THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER
[Part 1 of a 12-part series]
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