THEOSOPHY, Vol. 16, No. 7, May, 1928
(Pages 302-303; Size: 7K)

WESTERN OCCULTISM(1)

[Part 7 of a 12-part series]

"WE meet our Karma in our daily duties," is a good saying to bear in mind, and in the performance of those duties come our tests.

We should therefore do what we have to do, simply as duties, regardless whether that performance brings us praise or blame. All the energy, then, would be expended in the performance of duties, and there would be nothing left for the personal idea to subsist upon.

Have confidence in the powers you embody; only seek to do your duty; holding to that end, all necessary power will be available.

If aspiration is for all and not for self alone, it reaches up to the Universal finally; if for self, some degree of illumination results finally, but only in degree. The stream of effort cannot rise above its source.

The mind is both the "carrier" and "translator" of both lower and higher self. The attitude determines the quality and kind of action; for one will act according to the attitude of mind firmly held. The great and incalculable value of acting for and as the Supreme is that there is nothing higher in the way of attitude, and this endeavor must by its very nature bring about the best results.

Theosophists often speak of "getting rid of the personality," and so far as observed, do not appear to have any clear idea of what they mean. Without personalities there would be no field, no evolution. It is not the personality that is in the way, but the personal idea in regard to it. Instead of crushing out the animal nature, we must learn to fully understand the animal, and subordinate it to the spiritual. So long as we know the wiles and lures of the elementary nature we are not in danger of fooling ourselves, however much we may fall under their momentary sway.

To forego and forget personalities, means to regard truth only, by whomsoever presented. So it seems wise that we should not think ill of personalities, and this includes our own. If they are our weakness, by doing our duty, our weakness will finally become our strength. The Masters do not look at our defects but at our motives and efforts.

Sometimes one gets into the way of doing things perfunctorily; this has been found to result from the mind being on other things -- things other than the duty at hand. The remedy lies in the redirecting of the mind and concentration upon that which is done. Our daily lives give us the best opportunities for the practice of concentration.

Control is the power of direction. When exercised in one way, this leads to its exercise in other ways, until it covers the whole field of operation.

If in any one thing control is difficult, begin with the purpose of control in mind, and stop at the first indication that control is being lost. Everything should be made subservient to the idea of control -- if that is the purpose.

A way to control speech is to think of the probable effect of what one is about to say. This ensures deliberation, and the speech carries with it the force of the intention. This deliberation takes no appreciable time in practice -- a thought towards it, a glance at effects. It is really an attitude of purposive speech, wherein all the processes are practically simultaneous.


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:

FROM A STUDENT'S NOTEBOOK

Statements made by the Teachers are not true because They said so. They said so because they are true -- a vast difference. There is an abyss between loyalty to the exponent of an idea, and loyalty to the idea itself -- the abyss between personality and impersonality, the changing and the unchanging.

It is often the manner in which something is said, rather than the thing said, that makes it appear dogmatic. Disconnected bits from the text-books, triumphantly quoted to "prove" something -- prove nothing. Not one mind in a thousand can grasp an abstract statement; but concrete illustrations from everyday life are obvious to everybody. All Teachers have taught by parable and allegory.

Words and sentences memorized, and then repeated, have a "second-hand" sound. Nothing is new in the world of thought, but freshness of expression is always possible. The simplest way an idea can be put is usually the best way; and in trying to find it the student learns much.

Everybody has the Real in him. The words of one who speaks from It, and to It, are certain to reach It. It is never personal. The best speaker is he who sends his hearers away thinking about Theosophy, rather than about himself.


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WESTERN OCCULTISM
[Part 8 of a 12-part series]

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(1) From the sayings of Robert Crosbie.
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