A Treatise on the Seven Rays - Volume 4 - Esoteric Healing
Division B

B.i. The Basic Requirements for Healing

We are now entering upon a new section of our discussion on the Rays and Disease. It is essentially far more practical in scope than the highly speculative section (speculative to all of you) which we have just concluded. Much that I have there told you is, for you, in the nature of questionable truth (using this word "questionable" in its real sense; i.e., as promoting questions). For the most intuitive of you, it was at its best a "possibly accurate" hypothesis. I would here ask you to note this phrasing, paradoxical as it may appear. You have no direct means of knowing how true it may be. A great deal of the mystery of life and of living will clarify as more and more aspirants in the world begin to function consciously in the realm of causes. There is no questioning in the Hierarchy, except upon those matters which touch upon the unpredictable nature of human reactions. Even in connection with the uncertain activities of mankind, the Masters can usually gauge what will occur, but esoterically They refuse "to ponder on the energies released upon the plane of earthly living, for fear that counter-energies, issuing from the Center where They dwell may negate the truth of man's free will." I am here quoting one of the Masters, speaking at a conference held in 1725. [381]

What I have told you in the previous section is to me unquestionable truth and factually proven; to you it may be an adequate hypothesis or a questionable and non-acceptable interpretation of the underlying causes of disease.

Behind humanity lies a very ancient past, wherein so-called sins and errors, wrongdoing and wrong attitudes have piled up a very heavy karma which (fortunately for the race of men!) is being rapidly worked off at this time. The immense interest in disease which is displayed today, the focusing of all the resources of medical and surgical science on behalf of the fighting forces - (resources later to be mobilized in aid of the civilian populations of the devastated countries in both hemispheres) - the widespread research being carried on in our hospitals and centers of learning, and the rapid discoveries of science, plus a steady trend towards a much needed simplification, will before long bring about major changes in the approach to disease.. These will lead to the eradication of many of the dreaded inherited diseases.

The inspiration and inflow of occult knowledge, via the disciples and initiates of the world, will bring about many alterations in technique; the coming revelation of new, yet most simple, laws of health, and the blending which will inevitably come of orthodox medicine, psychology and spiritual methods of healing, will produce an entirely new approach to the entire subject; the increasing use of fire as a means of purification (both in relation to the soil of the planet and to the human frame) will do much. Of this, the technique of inducing fever as a means of curing certain forms of disease, and the method (frequently employed by nature) of subjecting large areas of the soil to the impact of fire, will be developed into a new and most helpful science. This, however, will come later. I indicate simply faint trends in that direction. Man stands - in all fields of [382] knowledge - at a climaxing point; this has been induced by the rapid unfoldment of the human consciousness, and it prefaces a great expansion of the understanding and a new insight into the conditioning causes which are responsible for much that today distresses man's physical body.

The new learning and the coming knowledge will arise as a result of an awakening intuition, of the presence upon earth of a very great number of advanced and developed souls, and the coming of the Hierarchy and Humanity into a closer relationship. The blending (slowly going forward) of the energies of those two planetary centers will bring about major changes and unfoldments, and this not only in the perceptive faculties of man but in the physical mechanism also. There will be a much greater resistance to the indigenous and inherited diseases and a real ability to resist infections; this will eliminate much pain and suffering. The reduction of the sum of human karma through the experience of this planetary war (1914-1945) will enable the souls seeking incarnation to create bodies free from tendencies to morbid developments. The Masters are entirely free from disease because they have entirely overcome the karma of the three worlds and are liberated.

The ability - developed during the past fifty years - to cope with the planetary disease of tuberculosis will, when extended into the densely populated areas of the Orient and to districts suffering hitherto from inadequate medical attention, stamp it out altogether. The syphilitic diseases are already being brought under rapid control through the use of the newly discovered drugs, though these are regarded as amelioratives only by the Masters, and as superficial in time and space. Such diseases will be slowly and correctly stamped out in toto as humanity shifts its consciousness on to the mental plane and away from the field of astral and sexual desire with their reflex action upon [383] the automatic and responsive physical body. The third great planetary disease, cancer, is as yet basically uncontrollable, and the relative simplicity of surgery seems at present the only mode of possible cure. The mode of preventing the occurrence of cancer and the nature of its cause are still unknown, and the entire field is largely speculative and still subject to infinite research and investigation. Many minor ailments, infections and a wide range of allied physical ills will eventually be found traceable to one or other of these three basic diseases; they, in their turn, are related to a definite misuse of the energy of the three major rays. It might be stated that:

  1. The syphilitic diseases are due to the misuse of third ray energy, that of the creative, intelligent energy of substance itself.
  2. Tuberculosis is the result of the misuse of the energy of the second ray.
  3. Cancer is a mysterious and subtle reaction to the energy of the first ray, the will-to-live, which is one of the aspects of this ray. It works out, therefore, in an over-activity and growth of the body cells whose will-to-live becomes destructive to the organism in which they are to be found.

I have here only given you a hint, and one that is not of wide usefulness at this time. A great deal of occult research remains to be done by the medical profession along these lines, but this will only be possible when the Science of the Rays is better understood and when the evidence substantiating the presence of five basic energies in every human being (the energies of his five conditioning rays) can be ascertained; men will learn some day to determine with ease their ray type, and the rays which govern their threefold personality. [384]

Along every line of man's expanding understanding, the opportunity for that which is new to make entrance and control is becoming increasingly evident. The door of adventure (in its highest sense) stands wide open, and nothing yet has ever succeeded in stopping humanity from passing through that door; down the ages man has passed through its portals and has entered into new and richer realms of investigation, of discovery and of subsequent practical application.

Today, the door which is opening will admit man into a world of meaning - a world which is the antechamber to the world of causes. Effect; Meaning; Cause. In these three words you have the key to the growth of man's consciousness. Most men live today in the world of effects, and have no idea that they are effects. Some few are now beginning to live in the world of meaning, whilst disciples and those functioning in the world of the Hierarchy are aware, or are steadily becoming aware, of the causes which produce the effects which meaning reveals. It is for this reason that we can now start considering the basic requirements which man must meet before he can move forward along the path of future enlightenment. This enlightenment will most necessarily remove all fear of death and deal with that subject which has for so long a time driven humanity into the depths of despair and of fear. I refer also to the required attitudes which those seeking healing, the surmounting of disease and the cure of bodily ills, must realize, and with which they must cope, principally along mental lines. These requirements will evoke the mental attention of both the healing agency and the patient. They have reference also to man as a whole.

It has generally been surmised that the main prerequisite to the art of healing is faith. But this is not so. Faith has little to do with it. Healing is dependent upon [385] certain vital and basic factors into which faith enters not at all. The effort of the patient to achieve faith is frequently a great detriment to his freedom from the difficulties which lie between him and complete healing. When Christ so frequently emphasized faith (or rather that quality which is translated as faith in our Western Scriptures) He referred in reality to acceptance of law, to a recognition above all of karma, and to a knowledge of divine destiny. This, if grasped, will bring about a new attitude both to God and to circumstance. The prerequisites which I would like to emphasize might be enumerated as follows:

  1. A recognition of the great Law of Cause and Effect, if possible. This is not always possible when dealing with the totally unenlightened.
  2. Correct diagnosis of the disease by a competent physician, and later by a spiritual clairvoyant, when that capacity is developed by the initiate healer.
  3. A belief in the law of immediate Karma. By that I mean an ability on the part of the patient or of the healer to know whether it is the destiny of the patient to be healed or else be helped to make the great transition.
  4. A willingness to recognize that healing might be detrimental and basically undesirable from the standpoint of the soul. People are sometimes healed by the potency of the healer when it is not their destiny to resume active physical plane living.
  5. The active cooperation of healer and patient - a cooperation based upon mutual understanding.
  6. A determined acquiescence on the part of the patient to accept whatever may be the demonstrated will of the soul. It might be called an expression of divine indifference. [386]
  7. An effort upon the part of both healer and patient to express complete harmlessness. The value of this will repay careful thought. This has basically a reference to the relation of both parties to their associates.
  8. An effort on the part of the patient (unless too ill) to adjust and put right those aspects of the nature and those characteristics which might militate against the right spiritual perception. This is one of the meanings hidden in the phrase, the "work of restitution," though not the most important meaning.
  9. The deliberate eliminating of qualities, lines of thought and of desires which could hinder the inflow of spiritual force - a force which might integrate the soul more closely with the body in the three worlds and inaugurate a renewed life-expression, or which might integrate the soul with its emanating source and initiate renewed life on soul levels. This, therefore, affects the relation of the patient to his soul.
  10. The capacity of both healer and patient to integrate into the soul group with which they are subjectively affiliated, to integrate in other cases both personality and soul, and, if they are at a needed point of development, both to integrate more closely into the Master's ashramic group.

These ten requirements may appear simple but are not so by any means. Superficially, they may appear to deal with character and quality and capacity; fundamentally, they concern the relation of soul and body, and deal with integration or abstraction. The objective underlying them in any case is to set up an unbroken rapport between the healer [387] or the healing group and the patient who is receiving the scientific attention of the healing agent - group or individual.

One of the first things that any healing agent will have to do will be the drawing up of a simple outline of instruction which should govern the attitude of the one to be healed. These instructions must be simple, because where real illness is present it is not possible for the patient to make the simplest physical effort in order to institute any changed attitude. This is oft forgotten.

There are one or two things which I would like to make clear and which you must, in your turn, make clear to the patient.

  1. Cure is not guaranteed. Patients must realize that continuance of life in the physical body is not the highest possible goal. It may be so if the service to be rendered is of real import, if obligations remain still to be carried out, and if other lessons must still be learned. Bodily existence is not, however, the summum bonum of existence. Freedom from the limitations of the physical body is of real beneficence. Patients must learn to recognize and accept the Law of Karma.
  2. Fear is needless. One of the first objectives of the healing agent should be to aid the patient to achieve a happy, sane, expectant outlook upon his future - no matter what that future may bring.

It will be obvious too that there lies before you the opportunity to bring a new attitude to the whole problem of disease and healing and to train humanity in a better and happier sense of proportion where disease and health are concerned.[388]

It will also be obvious to you that the word "restitution" concerns the high art of restoring to the patient that which he needs in order correctly to face life - life in a physical body and on the physical plane or the continuity of life on the other levels, unseen by the average man and regarded as problematical and intangible. Restitution may also involve the righting of wrongs by the patient, prior to receiving what he will regard as successful treatment, but it primarily concerns the effect of the healing group when it first establishes contact with the one to be healed. This must not be forgotten. Sometimes, when the patient's karma indicates it, the will-to-live must be restored to him; in other cases, the rejection of fear (fear of life or fear of death) must be induced, bringing with it the restoration of courage; the restoration of an affirmative attitude in all circumstances may be the quality needed, bringing with it the restitution of the willingness to take, with understanding and with joy, whatever the future may bring; it may also involve the restitution of harmonious relations with the patient's surroundings, with family and friends, and the consequent result of renewed correct adjustments, an uprising of a spirit of love and the negation of what may have been deep seated wrong thinking.

It will be apparent to you, therefore, that the process of following a healing ritual is only one phase of the work to be done, and that the relation of healer and patient is basically an educational one; it must be an education tempered by the physical condition of the sick person. You will find, as you work along these lines, that it will be necessary to have short expositions of the work to be done, of the restitutions which the patient must be prepared to make in order to facilitate the inflow of the healing force. He must be induced to "clean the slate" (if I may use such a symbolic [389] phrase) if the work of healing is to be successful under the Law of Karma.

This phase of the preparatory work is not easy. With patients who may be grievously ill, it may not be possible. It will be found by all healing agencies that when working with those who are spiritually-minded and those whose lives have for a long time been based upon right effort and a correct "rendering unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's," that the work of healing will be greatly accelerated or, on the other hand, that the task of smoothing the way through the gates of death will be greatly simplified. After all, death is in itself a work of restitution. It involves the work of rendering back of substance to the three worlds of substance, and doing it willingly and gladly; it involves also the restoration of the human soul to the soul from whence it emanated, and doing this in the joy of reabsorption. You must all learn to look upon death as an act of restitution; when you can do this it will take on new light and true meaning and become an integral part - recognized and desired - of a constant living process.

If I were asked to say what is the major task of all healing groups, such as the Hierarchy seeks to see functioning in the future, I would say it is to prepare human beings for what we should regard as the restorative aspect of death, and thus give to that hitherto dreaded enemy of mankind a new and happier significance. You will find that if you work along these indicated lines of thought, the entire theme of death will constantly recur, and that the result of this will be new attitudes to dying and the inculcation of a happy expectancy where that inevitable and most familiar event occurs. Healing groups must prepare to deal with this basic condition of all living, and a major part of their work will be the elucidating of the principle of death. The [390] soul, we are told, must return to the one who gave it. To date that has been an enforced and dreaded restitution, one which engenders fear and which leads men and women everywhere to clamor for the healing of the physical body, over-emphasizing its importance and making them regard the prolongation of earthly existence as the most important factor in their lives. During the next cycle, these wrong attitudes must come to an end; death will become a normal and understood process - as normal as the process of birth, though evoking less pain and fear. This comment of mine is in the nature of a prophecy and should be noted as such.

I would, therefore, enjoin upon you the elementary fact that any healing group seeking to work along the new lines must (as a preliminary effort) seek to understand something about the factor of death to which is given the appellation of "the great restorative process" or "the great restitution." It concerns the art of wisely, correctly and with due timing, giving back the body to the source of its constituent elements and of restoring the soul to the source of its essential being. I am wording this with care because I seek to have you ponder most carefully and sanely upon the so-called enigma of death. It is an enigma to man, but not an enigma to disciples and knowers of the wisdom.

Healing groups and individual healers will find it necessary at times to confront their patients with the fact of death; one of the undertakings of disciples in my Ashram and in the Ashram of the Master K.H. is to interject the theme of death into their conversation with other seekers for truth, into their thinking and into their discussions with each other, and particularly with those they seek to heal. It will not be easy and it must not be done in a precipitate manner, but it is a subject which cannot and must not be avoided or evaded. Healing groups working out from an Ashram lay not the emphasis upon bodily healing, but upon [391] timing and upon the cycles of work or of physical plane living, and the cycles of restitution or physical plane death.

This entire section with which we are now engaged, called The Basic Requirements, has reference in reality to the processes of dying, to the conditions of the material world or the three worlds of incarnated service. The restitution of the body to the general reservoir of substance, or to service in the outer world of daily physical living, the restoration of the soul to its source, the soul upon its own plane or - in reverse - to full responsibility within the body, are dealt with in this first point. The elimination of the life principle and the consciousness aspect is dealt with in the second point, and the theme is not that of character building, as some might surmise. I touched upon character and personal qualities in my opening remarks in this section because all true understanding of the basic principles of death and life is facilitated by right action, based on right thinking, which eventuates in right character building. I seek not, however, to enlarge upon these elementary prerequisites. The processes of integration as I seek to consider them here concern the integration of the soul into the threefold body, if karma so decides, or into the kingdom of souls, if karma decrees that what we call death lies ahead of the man.

We are therefore considering, in this second section, the problem of death or the art of dying. This is something which all seriously ill people must inevitably face, and for which those in good health should prepare themselves through correct thinking and sane anticipation. The morbid attitude of the majority of men to the subject of death, and their refusal to consider it when in good health, is something which must be altered and deliberately changed. Christ demonstrated to His disciples the correct attitude when referring to His coming and immediate decease at the hand [392] of His enemies; He chided them when they evidenced sorrow, reminding them that He was going to His Father. Being an initiate of high degree, He meant that He was, occultly speaking, "making restitution to the Monad"; ordinary people and those below the grade of an initiate of the third degree make "restitution to the soul." The fear and the morbidness which the subject of death usually evokes, and the unwillingness to face it with understanding are due to the emphasis which people lay upon the fact of the physical body and the facility with which they identify themselves with it; it is based also upon an innate fear of loneliness and the loss of the familiar. Yet the loneliness which eventuates after death, when the man finds himself without a physical vehicle, is as nothing compared to the loneliness of birth. At birth, the soul finds itself in new surroundings and immersed in a body which is at first totally incompetent to take care of itself or to establish intelligent contact with surrounding conditions for a long period of time. The man comes into incarnation with no recollection as to the identity or the significance to him of the group of souls in bodies with which he finds himself in relationship; this loneliness only disappears gradually as he makes his own personality contacts, discovers those who are congenial to him and eventually gathers around him those whom he calls his friends. After death this is not so, for the man finds on the other side of the veil those whom he knows and who have been connected with him in physical plane life, and he is never alone as human beings understand loneliness; he is also conscious of those still in physical bodies; he can see them, he can tune in on their emotions, and also upon their thinking, for the physical brain, being non-existent, no longer acts as a deterrent. If people but knew more, birth would be the experience which they would dread, and not [393] death, for birth establishes the soul in the true prison, and physical death is only the first step towards liberation.

Another fear which induces mankind to regard death as a calamity is one which theological religion has inculcated, particularly the Protestant fundamentalists and the Roman Catholic Church - the fear of hell, the imposition of penalties, usually out of all proportion to the errors of a lifetime, and the terrors imposed by an angry God. To these man is told he will have to submit, and from them there is no escape, except through the vicarious at-one-ment. There is, as you well know, no angry God, no hell, and no vicarious at-one-ment. There is only a great principle of love animating the entire universe; there is the Presence of the Christ, indicating to humanity the fact of the soul and that we are saved by the livingness of that soul, and the only hell is the earth itself, where we learn to work out our own salvation, actuated by the principle of love and light, and incited thereto by the example of the Christ and the inner urge of our own souls. This teaching anent hell is a remainder of the sadistic turn which was given to the thinking of the Christian Church in the Middle Ages and to the erroneous teaching to be found in the Old Testament anent Jehovah, the tribal God of the Jews. Jehovah is not God, the planetary Logos, the Eternal Heart of Love Whom Christ revealed. As these erroneous ideas die out, the concept of hell will fade from man's recollection and its place will be taken by an understanding of the law which makes each man work out his own salvation upon the physical plane, which leads him to right the wrongs which he may have perpetrated in his lives on Earth, and which enables him eventually to "clean his own slate."

I seek not here to impose upon you a theological discussion. I seek only to point out that the present fear of death must give place to an intelligent comprehension of the reality [394] and to the substitution of a concept of continuity which will negate disturbance, and emphasize the idea of one life and one conscious Entity in many experiencing bodies.

It might be stated, in order to sum up my general proposition, that the fear and horror of death is founded upon the love of form - our own form, the forms of those we love and the form of our familiar surroundings and environment. Yet this type of love runs counter to all our teaching anent the spiritual realities. The hope of the future, and the hope of our release from this ill-founded fear, lie in the shifting of our emphasis to the fact of the eternal soul and to the necessity for that soul to live spiritually, constructively and divinely within the material vehicles. Into this concept again enters the thought of restitution. Wrong concepts are therefore forgotten; the idea of elimination also enters in so that right focus is attained. Integration demands consideration, so that absorption in the life of the soul will take the place of absorption in the life of the body. Sorrow, loneliness, unhappiness, decay, loss - all these are ideas which must disappear as the common reaction to the fact of death also vanishes. As men learn to live consciously as souls, as they also learn to focus themselves on soul levels and begin to regard the form or forms as simply modes of expression, all the old sorrowful ideas anent death will gradually disappear, and a new and more joyful approach to that great experience will take their place.

You will note that the various words I have chosen in considering the basic requirements have been so chosen for their specific meanings:

  1. The Work of Restitution signifies the returning of the form to the basic reservoir of substance; or of the soul, the divine spiritual energy, returning to its source - either on soul or monadic levels, according to the point [395] in evolution. This restitution is predominantly the work of the human soul within the physical body and involves both the heart and the head centers.
  2. The Art of Elimination. This refers to two activities of the inner spiritual man; i.e., the elimination of all control by the threefold lower man, and the process of refocusing itself upon the concrete levels of the mental plane as a point of radiant light. This concerns primarily the human soul.
  3. The Processes of Integration. These deal with the work of the liberated spiritual man as he blends with the soul (the oversoul) upon the higher levels of the mental plane. The part returns to the whole, and the man comprehends the true meaning of the words of Krishna, "Having pervaded this whole universe with a fragment of myself, I remain." He, too, the conscious experiencing fragment which has pervaded the little universe of the form in the three worlds, still remains. He knows himself to be a part of the whole.

These three processes are Death.

It will be obvious to you that when humanity attains this outlook upon the fact of death or the art of dying, the entire attitude of the race of men will undergo beneficent change. This will be paralleled, as time elapses, by a rapport between men upon telepathic levels; men will be steadily growing in intelligence, and humanity will be increasingly focused upon mental levels. This telepathic rapport will be a common and ordinary phenomenon of which modern spiritualism is the guarantee, though the distortion (and a very serious distortion) is largely based on humanity's wishful thinking, with very little true telepathy to be found in it. The telepathy which is present today between the [396] medium (in or out of trance) and the bereaved relative or friend is not between the one who has experienced the release of death and the one who is still in form. This should be remembered. In the interim where mind is not normally telepathic, there may be (though there very seldom is) the interposition of a mediumship based upon clairvoyance and clairaudience, but not upon trance. This will still necessitate a contact via a third party, and will be entirely astral; it will therefore be full of glamor and error. It will, however, be a step forward from the present mediumistic performances which simply ignore the man who is dead and give to the enquirer only what the medium reads in his aura - his recollection of the personal appearance, significant remembrances stored in the enquirer's consciousness, and wishful thinking anent advice demanded because the enquirer believes that because a man is dead he must be more wise than heretofore. When the medium at times succeeds in establishing true communication, it is because the enquirer and the dead person are mental types, and there is therefore a true telepathic rapport between them which the medium intercepts.

The race is progressing, developing and becoming increasingly mental. The relation between the dead and the living must and will be upon mental levels, prior to the processes of integration; the true severance of communication will come when the human soul is reabsorbed into the oversoul, prior to again reincarnating. The fact of communication up to that time will, however, completely destroy the fear of death. In the case of disciples working in a Master's Ashram, even this process of integration will constitute no barrier. In the next few pages I will give some teaching on what might be called the art of dying and so expand what I said in A Treatise on White Magic. [397]

B.ii. Present Attitudes to Death

I undertook to take up with you the processes of dying and to consider a little more fully the factor of death - the most familiar experience (could the physical brain but recall it and realize it) in the life of the reincarnating entity or soul. Let me make some comments as to the attitude of man to the experience of "restitution." This is a peculiarly occult word, largely used by the initiate when speaking of death. The outstanding attitude associated with death is one of fear. This fear is based upon the - at present - mental uncertainty as to the fact of immortality. Beyond the proven fact of some form of survival, established by the psychical research groups, immortality or the permanent existence of what we usually mean when we speak of the "I" remains as yet in the realm of wishful thinking or of belief. This belief can be founded on Christian premises, upon religious affirmation based on rationalizing the matter, and on the more scientific approach which argues that economic necessity requires that that which has been so long in evolving and which is the culminating result of the evolutionary process cannot be lost. It is interesting to note that there is no evidence upon our planet of any higher evolutionary product than that of the human kingdom; even for the materialistic thinker, the uniqueness of man is to be found in his various stages of consciousness and in his capacity to present for investigation all stages of consciousness, from that of the illiterate savage, through all the intermediate stages of mental effectiveness up to the most advanced thinkers and geniuses, capable of creative art, scientific discovery and spiritual perception.

Putting it very simply, the question which the theme of death arouses is: Where is the "I," the occupying tenant of the body, when that body is relinquished and disintegrates? Is there, in the last analysis, an occupying tenant? [398]

Human history records the endless search for assurance upon this subject; this search culminates today in the numerous societies which are occupying themselves with the attempt to prove immortality and to penetrate into those fastnesses of the spirit which apparently give sanctuary to that "I" which has been the actor on the physical plane and which has hitherto baffled the most earnest seeker. The incentive of fear lies behind this frantic search; it is an unfortunate fact that the majority of the people (apart from a few enlightened scientists and similar intelligent seekers) who engage in the usually questionable techniques of the seance room, are emotional types, easily convinced and only too ready to accept as evidence that which the more intelligent seeker would immediately repudiate.

Let me here make my position clear as regards the great spiritualistic movement which has done so much in the past to prove the fact of survival, and which has also, in certain of its phases, done so much to mislead and deceive mankind. Under this general term, I class also the various psychical research groups and exempt all sincere scientific work. None of these groups has as yet proven their case. The mystery and the foolishness of the average seance room, and the work of the mediums, have nevertheless demonstrated the presence of an inexplicable factor; the laboratories of the scientific research worker have scarcely proved even that. For every case of the definitely acceptable appearance of a discarnate person there are thousands of cases which can be explained upon the grounds of gullibility, telepathic rapport (with the bereaved person, but not with anyone who has passed over), the seeing of thought-forms by the clairvoyant and the hearing of voices by the clairaudient, and also by trickery. Note that I refer to "acceptable appearances" of a returning spirit. There is enough evidence to warrant belief in survival and to prove its factual nature. Upon the grounds of the inexplicable phenomena [399] of contact with the supposedly dead which have been noted, investigated and proven, and upon the character of the men who testify to the fact of these phenomena, we can affirm that something, survives the "restitution" of the material body to the eternal reservoir of substance. It is on this premise that we proceed.

Today the phenomenon of death is becoming increasingly familiar. The world war has launched millions of men and women - civilians and those in the various branches of the armed forces of all the nations - into that unknown world which receives all those who discard the physical form. Conditions are at this time such that in spite of the ancient and deep seated fear of death, there is emerging in the consciousness of mankind the realization that there are many worse things than death; men have come to know that starvation, mutilation, permanent physical incapacity, mental disability as the result of war and the strain of war, the observation of pain and agony which cannot be relieved, are indeed worse than death; also, many know and believe (for such is the glory of the human spirit) that the relinquishing of the values for which men have fought and died down the ages and which are deemed essential to the life of the free human spirit is of greater significance than the process of death. This attitude, characteristic of the sensitive and the right thinking people at this time, is now emerging upon a large scale. This means the recognition, alongside of the ancient fear, of an unconquerable hope of better conditions to be found elsewhere, and this need not necessarily be wishful thinking but an indication of a latent subjective knowledge, slowly coming to the surface. Something is on its way as a result of human distress and human thinking; this is today sensed; this fact will be later demonstrated. Opposing this inner confidence and subjective realization are old habits of thought, the developed materialistic attitude [400] of the present, the fear of deception, and the antagonism of both the scientist and the religious man or churchman. The former rightly refuses to believe that which remains still unproven and seems also not to be susceptible of proof, whilst religious groups and organizations have no confidence in any presentation of truth which they have not formulated in their own terms. This lays an undue emphasis upon belief and thus stultifies all enthusiastic investigation. The discovery of the fact of immortality will come from the people; it will eventually then be accepted by the churches and proven by science, but this not until the aftermath of the war is over and this planetary disturbance has subsided.

The problem of death, needless to say, is founded upon the love of life which is the deepest instinct in human nature. The determination that nothing is lost under divine law is a recognition of science; eternal persistence in some form or another is universally held to be a truth. Out of the welter of theories, three major solutions have been proposed; these are well known to all thinking people. They are:

  1. The strictly materialistic solution, which posits the experience and expression of conscious life as long as the physical, tangible form exists and persists, but also teaches that after death and the subsequent disintegration of the body there is no longer any conscious, functioning, self-identified person. The sense of the "I," the awareness of a personality in contradistinction to all other personalities, vanishes with the disappearance of the form; personality is believed to be only the sumtotal of the consciousness of the cells in the body. This theory relegates man to the same state as any of the other forms in the three other kingdoms in nature; [401] it is based on the non-sensitivity of the average human being to life, withdrawn from a tangible vehicle; it ignores all evidence to the contrary and says that because we cannot see (visually) and prove (tangibly) the persistence of the "I" or the immortal entity after death, it is non-existent. This theory is not held by so many as it was in earlier years, particularly during the materialistic Victorian age.
  2. The theory of conditional immortality. This theory is still held by certain fundamentalist and theologically narrow schools of thought and also by a few of the intelligentsia, primarily those of egoistic tendency. It posits that only those who reach a particular stage of spiritual awareness, or who accept a peculiar set of theological pronouncements, can receive the gift of personal immortality. The highly intellectual also argue at times that the crowning gift to humanity is a developed and cultured mind, and that those who possess this gift are likewise endowed with eternal persistence. One school dismisses those who are what they regard as spiritually recalcitrant or negative to the imposition of their particular theological certainties, either to complete annihilation as in the materialistic solution, or to a process of eternal punishment, thus at the same time arguing for a form of immortality. Owing to the innate kindness of the human heart, very few are vindictive or unthinking enough to regard this presentation as acceptable, and of course among those we must class the unthinking people who escape from mental responsibility into a blind belief in theological pronouncements. The Christian interpretation as given by the orthodox and the fundamentalist schools proves untenable when submitted to clear reasoning; among the arguments which negate its accuracy lies the fact that [402] Christianity posits a long future but no past; it is likewise a future entirely dependent upon the activities of this present life episode and accounts in no way for the distinctions and differences which distinguish humanity. It is only tenable upon the theory of an anthropomorphic Deity Whose will - as it works out in practice - gives a present that has no past but only a future; the injustice of this is widely recognized, but the inscrutable will of God must not be questioned. Millions still hold this belief, but it is not so strongly held as it was one hundred years ago.
  3. The theory of reincarnation, so familiar to all my readers, is becoming increasingly popular in the Occident; it has always been accepted (though with many foolish additions and interpretations) in the Orient. This teaching has been as much distorted as have the teachings of the Christ or the Buddha or Shri Krishna by their narrow-minded and mentally limited theologians. The basic facts of a spiritual origin, of a descent into matter, of an ascent through the medium of constant incarnations in form until those forms are perfect expressions of the indwelling spiritual consciousness, and of a series of initiations at the close of the cycle of incarnation, are being more readily accepted and acknowledged than ever before.

Such are the major solutions of the problems of immortality and of the persistence of the human soul; they aim to answer the eternal questioning of the human heart as to Whence, Why, Whither and Where? Only the last of these proposed solutions offers a truly rational reply to all of them. Its acceptance has been delayed because, ever since the time of H. P. Blavatsky, who formulated this ancient truth for the modern world in the last quarter [403] of the nineteenth century, it has been so unintelligently presented; it has been handicapped owing to the fact that the Eastern races have always held it, and - from the Western angle - they are heathen and the heathen "in their blindness bow down to wood and stone," to quote one of your fundamentalist hymns. How curious it is to realize that, to the man from Eastern countries, the religious people in the West do likewise, and can be seen on their knees before the Christian altars bearing statues of the Christ, of the Virgin Mary and of the Apostles.

The occultists of the world, through the theosophical societies and other occult bodies, so-called, have greatly damaged the presentation of the truth anent reincarnation through the unnecessary, unimportant, inaccurate and purely speculative details which they give out as truths anent the processes of death and the circumstances of man after death. These details are largely dependent upon the clairvoyant vision of astral psychics of prominence in the Theosophical Society. Yet in the Scriptures of the world these details are not given, and H.P.B. in The Secret Doctrine gave none. An instance of this inaccurate and foolish attempt to throw light upon the theory of rebirth can be seen in the time limits imposed upon departed human souls between incarnations on the physical plane and the return to physical rebirth - so many years of absence are proclaimed, dependent upon the age of the departed soul and its place upon the ladder of evolution. If, we are told, the soul is very advanced, absence from the physical plane is prolonged, whereas the reverse is the case. Advanced souls and those whose intellectual capacity is rapidly developing come back with great rapidity, owing to their sensitive response to the pull of obligations, interests and responsibilities already established, upon the physical plane. People are apt to forget that time is the sequence of events and of states of [404] consciousness as registered by the physical brain. Where no physical brain exists, what humanity understands by time is non-existent. The removal of the barriers of the form, stage by stage, brings an increasing realization of the Eternal Now. In the case of those who have passed through the door of death and who still continue to think in terms of time, it is due to glamor and to the persistence of a powerful thought-form. It indicates polarization upon the astral plane; this is the plane upon which leading Theosophical writers and psychics have worked, and upon which they have based their writings. They are quite sincere in what they say, but omit to recognize the illusory nature of all findings based on astral clairvoyance. The recognition of a pronounced time factor, and the constant emphasis laid upon timing, are characteristic of all highly developed people in incarnation and of those whose lower, concrete minds are powerful in caliber. Children and child-races on the one hand, and those highly advanced people whose abstract minds are functioning (through the medium of the interpretive lower mind), usually have no sense of time. The initiate uses the time factor in his relations and his dealings with those living upon the physical plane, but is detached within himself from all recognition of it elsewhere in the universe.

Therefore the use of the term "immortality" infers timelessness and teaches that this timelessness exists for that which is not perishable or conditioned by time. This is a statement requiring careful consideration. Man reincarnates under no time urge. He incarnates under the demands of karmic liability, under the pull of that which he, as a soul, has initiated, and because of a sensed need to fulfil instituted obligations; he incarnates also from a sense of responsibility and to meet requirements which an earlier breaking of the laws governing right human relations have [405] imposed upon him. When these requirements, soul necessities, experiences and responsibilities have all been met, he enters permanently "into the clear cold light of love and life" and no longer needs (as far as he himself is concerned) the nursery stage of soul experience on earth. He is free from karmic impositions in the three worlds, but is still under the impulse of karmic necessity which exacts from him the last possible ounce of service that he is in a position to render to those still under the Law of Karmic Liability. You have, therefore, three aspects of the Law of Karma, as it affects the principle of rebirth:

  1. The Law of Karmic Liability, governing life in the three worlds of human evolution, and which is ended altogether at the fourth initiation.
  2. The Law of Karmic Necessity. This governs the life of the advanced disciple and the initiate from the time of the second initiation until a certain initiation higher than the fourth; these initiations enable him to pass on to the Way of the Higher Evolution.
  3. The Law of Karmic Transformation, a mysterious phrase governing the processes undergone upon the Higher Way. These fit the initiate to pass off the cosmic physical plane altogether, and to function upon the cosmic mental plane. It is concerned with the release of those like Sanat Kumara, and His Associates in the Council Chamber at Shamballa, from the imposition of cosmic desire which demonstrates upon our cosmic physical plane as spiritual will. This should be to you an arresting thought. It will be obvious, however, that there is little that I can say upon this subject. The knowledge involved is not yet mine. [406]

To turn now to another aspect of our theme. There are, speaking in the larger sense, three major death episodes.

There is, first of all, the constant recurrence of the fact of physical death. This is familiar to all of us through its extreme frequency, could we but realize it. This recognition would rapidly eliminate the present fear of death. There is then the "second death" spoken of in the Bible, which is in this present planetary cycle associated with the death of all astral control over the human being. In the larger sense, this second death is consummated at the fourth initiation, when even spiritual aspiration dies, being no more needed; the Will of the initiate is now fixed and immovable, and astral sensitivity is no longer required.

There is a curious counterpart to this experience upon a much lower level in the death of all astral emotion which takes place for the individual aspirant at the time of the second initiation. It is then a complete episode and is consciously registered. Between the second and the third initiations, the disciple has to demonstrate a continuity of non-response to astralism and emotionalism. The second death, to which I am here referring, has to do with the death or the disappearance of the causal body at the time of the fourth initiation; this marks the completion of the building of the antahkarana and the institution of direct, unimpeded continuity of relationship between the Monad and the personality.

The third death takes place when the initiate leaves behind him, finally and with no prospect of return, all relation with the cosmic physical plane. This death, necessarily, lies far ahead for all in the Hierarchy and is at present only possible and permissible for a few in the Council Chamber at Shamballa. It is not, however, a process through which Sanat Kumara will pass. He underwent this "transformation" many aeons ago, during the great cataclysm [407] which inaugurated the Lemurian Age, and which was induced by His cosmic experience and the need for an inflow of energy from extra-planetary Beings.

I have given these brief summations so as to enlarge your general understanding of what the Masters call "the extension of death in space." Nevertheless, in the following pages we shall confine ourselves to the theme of the death of the physical body and of the subtler bodies in the three worlds; we shall deal also with the processes which bring about the reabsorption of the human soul into the spiritual soul upon its own plane, the higher mental plane; we shall consider the reassimilation of substance and the appropriation of matter in order again to reincarnate.

We shall therefore consider the three major processes to which I earlier referred; these cover three periods and lead, eventually, to other processes under the Law of Rebirth. They are:

  1. The Process of Restitution, governing the period of withdrawal of the soul from the physical plane and from its two phenomenal aspects, the dense physical body and the etheric body. This concerns the Art of Dying.
  2. The Process of Elimination. This governs that period of the life of the human soul after death and in the two other worlds of human evolution. It concerns the elimination of the astral-mental body by the soul, so that it is "ready to stand free in its own place."
  3. The Process of Integration, dealing with the period wherein the liberated soul again becomes conscious of itself as the Angel of the Presence and is reabsorbed into the world of souls, thus entering into a state of reflection. Later, under the impact of [408] the Law of Karmic Liability or Necessity, the soul again prepares itself for another descent into form.

The field of experience (in which is death, as the average person knows it) is the three worlds of human evolution - the physical world, the world of emotion and desire, and the mental plane. This world is, in the last analysis twofold, from the angle of death, and hence the phrase "the second death." This I have earlier applied to the death or destruction of the causal body, in which the spiritual soul has hitherto functioned. It can be applied, however, in a more literal sense, and may be referred to the second phase of the death process in the three worlds. It then concerns form only, and is related to those vehicles of expression which are found below the formless levels of the cosmic physical plane. These form levels are (as you know well, for the knowledge constitutes the a.b.c. of the occult theory) the levels on which the concrete, lower mind functions, the emotional nature reacts to the so-called astral plane, and the dual physical plane. The physical body consists of the dense physical body and the etheric vehicle. We have consequently, when considering the death of a human being, to employ the word death in relation to two phases in which it functions:

  • Phase One: The death of the physical-etheric body. This phase falls into two stages:
  1. That in which the atoms which constitute the physical body are restored to the source from whence they came. This source is the sumtotal of the matter of the planet, constituting the dense physical body of the planetary Life.
  2. That in which the etheric vehicle, composed of an aggregation of forces, returns these forces to the [409] general reservoir of energy. This dual phase covers the Process of Restitution.
  • Phase Two: The "rejection" (as it is sometimes called) of the mental-emotional vehicles. These form, in reality only one body; to it the early theosophists (correctly; gave the name of the "kama-manasic body" or the vehicle of desire-mind. I have said elsewhere that there is no such thing as the astral plane or the astral body. Just as the physical body is made up of matter which is not regarded as a principle, so the astral body - as far as the mind nature is concerned - is in the same category. This is a difficult matter for you to grasp, because desire and emotion are so real and so devastatingly important. But - speaking literally - from the angle of the mental plane, the astral body is "a figment of the imagination"; it is not a principle. The massed use of the imagination in the service of desire has nevertheless constructed an illusory glamorous world, the world of the astral plane. During physical incarnation, and when a man is not upon the Path of Discipleship, the astral plane is very real, with a vitality and a life all its own. After the first death (the death of the physical body) it still remains equally real. But its potency slowly dies out; the mental man comes to realize his own true state of consciousness (whether developed or undeveloped), and the second death becomes possible and takes place. This phase covers the Process of Elimination.

When these two phases of the Art of Dying are over, the discarnate soul stands free from the control of matter; it is purified (temporarily by the phases of Restitution and Elimination) from all contamination by substance. This is achieved, not through any activity of the soul in form, [410] the human soul, but as a result of the activity of the soul on its own plane abstracting the fraction of itself which we call the human soul. It is primarily the work of the over-shadowing soul which effects this; it is not carried forward by the soul in the personality. The human soul, during this stage, is only responsive to the pull or the attractive force of the spiritual soul as it - with deliberate intent - extracts the human soul from its imprisoning sheaths. Later on, as the evolutionary processes proceed and the soul increasingly controls the personality, it will be the soul within the imprisoning sheaths which will bring about - consciously and with intention - the phases of dying. In the earlier stages, this release will be brought about with the aid of the over-shadowing spiritual soul. Later on, when the man is living upon the physical plane as the soul, he will himself - with full continuity of consciousness - carry out the processes of abstraction, and will then (with directed purpose) "ascend to the place from whence he came." This is the reflection in the three worlds of the divine ascension of the perfected Son of God.

Some of the information I have already given anent the subject of Death in my other writings might well be appended here. I have a definite purpose in suggesting this. Death is all around you at this time; the demand of the human spirit for light upon this matter has reached a crisis of potency; it is evoking the inevitable response from the Hierarchy. It is also my hope that students will do something of major importance to aid in bringing forth the light upon the processes of death which humanity is today demanding.

B.iii. On Death

Excerpts from other Writings

A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Vol. I:

"Why this blind power? Why Death? Why this decay [411] of forms? Why the negation of the power to hold? Why death, 0 Mighty Son of God?"
Faintly the answer comes: "I hold the keys of life and death. I bind and loose again. I the Destroyer am."
- Page 63.

The intent of the Lord of the first Ray is to stand behind the other divine Aspects, and when They have achieved Their purpose, to shatter the forms They have built.
He is the controller of the death drama in all kingdoms - a destruction of forms which brings about release of power and permits "entrance into light through the gateway of death."
- Page 64.

a. "Withhold thy hand until the time has come. Then give the gift of death, 0 Opener of the Door."
- Page 65.

b. "Separate the robe from That which hides behind its many folds. Take off the veiling sheaths. Let God be seen. Take Christ from off the Cross."
- Page 69.

The first step towards substantiating the fact of the soul is to establish the fact of survival, though this may not necessarily prove the fact of immortality...That something survives the process of death, and that something persists after the disintegration of the physical body is steadily being proved. If that is not so, then we are the victims of a collective hallucination, and the brains and minds of thousands of people are untrue and deceiving, are diseased and distorted. Such a gigantic collective insanity is more difficult to credit than the alternative of an expanded consciousness.
- Page 98-99. [412]

a. The growth of etheric vision and the largely increased numbers of clairaudient and clairvoyant people is steadily revealing the existence of the astral plane and the etheric counterpart of the physical world. More and more people are becoming aware of this subjective realm: they see people walking around who are either the so-called "dead" or who, in sleep, have dropped the physical sheath.
- Page 98.

b. The next two hundred years will see the abolition of death, as we now understand that great transition, and the establishing of the soul's existence. The soul will be known as an entity, as the motivating impulse and the spiritual center back of all manifested forms...Our essential immortality will be demonstrated and realized to be a fact in nature.
- Page 96.

Within the next few years the fact of persistence and of the eternity of existence will have advanced out of the realm of questioning into the realm of certainty...There will be no question in anyone's mind that the discarding of the physical body will leave a man still a conscious living entity. He will be known to be perpetuating his existence in a realm lying behind the physical. He will be known to be still alive, awake and aware. This will be brought about by:

a. The development of a power within the physical eye of a human being...will reveal the etheric body...men will be seen occupying that body.

b. The growth of the number of people who have the power to use the "reawakened third eye" will demonstrate immortality, for they will with facility see the [413] man who has discarded his etheric body as well as his physical body.

c. A discovery in the field of photography will prove survival.

d. Through the use of the radio by those who have passed over will communication eventually be set up and reduced to a true science.

e. Man will eventually be keyed up to a perception and to a contact which will enable him to see through, which will reveal the nature of the fourth dimension, and will blend the subjective and objective worlds together into a new world. Death will lose its terrors and that particular fear will come to an end.
- Page 183-184.

Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I:

You must always bear in mind that the consciousness remains the same whether in physical incarnation or out of incarnation, and that development can be carried on with even greater ease than when limited and conditioned by the brain consciousness.
- Page 81.

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire:

The Law of Sacrifice and Death is the controlling factor on the physical plane. The destruction of the form, in order that the evolving life may progress, is one of the fundamental methods in evolution.
- Page 569

a. The Law of Disintegration is an aspect of the Law of Death. This is the law that governs the destruction of the form in order that the indwelling life may shine forth in fullness...This law breaks up the forms and the Law of Attraction draws back to primal sources the material of those forms.
- Page 580. [414]

b. The Law of Death controls in the three worlds.
- Page 596.

c. The Law of Sacrifice is the Law of Death in the subtle bodies, whilst what we call death is the analogous thing in the physical body.
- Page 595.

d. The Law of Death and Sacrifice governs the gradual disintegration of concrete forms and their sacrifice to the evolving life...
- Page 596.

e. When all the units or cells in the body of the planetary Logos have achieved, He too is set free from dense manifestation and physically dies.
- Page 509.

The process of Death is occultly as follows:

a. The first stage is the withdrawal of the life force in the etheric vehicle from the dense physical body and the consequent "falling into corruption" and becoming "scattered to the elements." Objective man fades out and is no more seen by the physical eye, though still in his etheric body. When etheric vision is developed, the thought of death will assume very different proportions. When a man can be seen functioning in his etheric physical body by a majority of the race, the dropping of the dense body will be considered just as a release.
- Page 735.

b. The second stage is the withdrawal of the life force from the etheric body, and its devitalization...
- Page 735.

c. The third stage is the withdrawal of the life force from the astral or emotional form so that it disintegrates in a similar manner and the life is centralized elsewhere. It has gained an increase of vitality [415] through physical plane existence and added color through emotional experience.
- Page 735-736.

d. The final stage for the human being is its withdrawal from the mental vehicle. The life forces after this fourfold abstraction are centralized entirely in the soul...
- Pages 735-736.

The Law of Attraction breaks up the forms and draws back to primal sources the material of those forms, prior to rebuilding them anew. On the path of evolution the effects of this law are well-known, not only in the destruction of discarded vehicles, but in the breaking up of the forms in which great ideals are embodied...All eventually break under the working of this law.
- Page 581.

Its workings are more apparent to the average human mind in its manifestations at this time on the physical plane. We can trace the connection between the atmic (spiritual) and the physical plane - demonstrating on the lower plane as the Law of Sacrifice and Death - but its effect can be seen on all five planes as well. It is the law which destroys the final sheath that separates the perfected soul.
- Page 581.

When the "will to live" vanishes, then the "Sons of Necessity" cease from objective manifestation...When the Thinker on his own plane withdraws his attention from his little system within the three worlds and gathers within himself all his forces, then physical plane existence comes to an end and all returns within the causal consciousness...This demonstrates on the physical plane in the withdrawing from out of the top of the head of the radiant etheric body and the consequent disintegration of the [416] physical. The framework goes and the dense physical form falls apart.
- Page 85.

a. The etheric body is in reality a network of fine channels which are the component parts of one interlacing fine cord - one portion of this cord being the magnetic link which unites the physical and the astral bodies and which is snapped or broken after the withdrawal of the etheric body from the dense physical body at the time of death. (See Ecc: XII.6.)
- Page 98.

b. Later "definite methods of demonstrating the fact that life persists after the death of the physical body will be followed and the etheric web will be recognized as a factor in the case."
- Page 429.

A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Vol. I:

Death is "initiation, or the entering into a state of liberation."
- Page 197.

B.iv. Death and the Etheric Body

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire:

It is not our purpose to give facts for verification by science, or even to point the way to the next step onward for scientific investigators; that we may do so is but incidental and purely secondary. What we seek mainly is to give indications of the development and correspondence of the threefold whole that makes the solar system what it is - the vehicle through which a great cosmic Entity, the solar Logos, manifests active intelligence with the purpose in view of demonstrating perfectly the love side of His nature. Back of this design lies a yet more esoteric and ulterior purpose, hid in the Will Consciousness of the [417] Supreme Being, which perforce will be later demonstrated when the present objective is attained. The dual alternation of objective manifestation and of subjective obscuration, the periodic outbreathing, followed by the inbreathing of all that has been carried forward through evolution, embodies in the system one of the basic cosmic vibrations, and the keynote of that Cosmic Entity whose body we are. The heart beats of the Logos (if it might be so inadequately expressed) are the source of all cyclic evolution, and hence the importance attached to that aspect of development called the "heart" or "love aspect," and the interest that is awakened by the study of rhythm. This is true, not only cosmically and macrocosmically, but likewise in the study of the human unit. Underlying all the physical sense attached to rhythm, vibration, cycles and heartbeat, lie their subjective analogies - love, feeling, emotion, desire, harmony, synthesis and ordered sequence - and back of these analogies lies the source of all, the identity of that Supreme Being Who thus expresses Himself.

Therefore the study of pralaya, or the withdrawal of the life from out of the etheric vehicle, will be the same whether one studies the withdrawal of the human etheric double, the withdrawal of the planetary etheric double, or the withdrawal of the etheric double of the solar system. The effect is the same and the consequences similar.

What is the result of this withdrawal, or rather, what causes that something which we call death or pralaya? As we are strictly pursuing the text book style in this treatise, we will continue our method of tabulation. The withdrawal of the etheric double of a man, a planet, and a system is brought about by the following causes:

a. The cessation of desire. This should be the result of all evolutionary process. True death, under the law, is [418] brought about by the attainment of the objective, and hence by the cessation of aspiration. This, as the perfected cycle draws to its close, will be true of the individual human being, of the Heavenly Man, and of the Logos Himself.
b. By the slowing down and gradual cessation of the cyclic rhythm, the adequate vibration is achieved and the work accomplished. When the vibration or note is perfectly felt or sounded, it causes (at the point of synthesis with other vibrations) the utter shattering of the forms.

Motion is characterized, as we know, by three qualities:

1. Inertia
2. Mobility
3. Rhythm

These three are experienced in just the above sequence and presuppose a period of slow activity, succeeded by one of extreme movement. This middle period produces incidentally (as the true note and rate are sought) cycles of chaos, of experiment, of experience and of comprehension. Following on these two degrees of motion (which are characteristic of the atom, Man, of the Heavenly Man or group, and of the Logos or the Totality) comes a period of rhythm and stabilization wherein the point of balance is achieved. By the force of balancing the pairs of opposites, and thus producing equilibrium, pralaya is the inevitable sequence.

c. By the severing of the physical from the subtler body on the inner planes, through the shattering of the web. This has a threefold effect:

First. The life that had animated the physical form (both dense and etheric) and which had its starting point in the permanent atom, and from thence "pervaded the moving and the unmoving" (in God, the Heavenly Man, and the human being, as well as in the atom of matter), is [419] withdrawn entirely within the atom upon the plane of abstraction. This "plane of abstraction" is a different one for the entities involved:

a. For the physical permanent atom, it is the atomic level.
b. For man, it is the causal vehicle.
c. For the Heavenly Man, it is the second plane of monadic life, His habitat.
d. For the Logos, it is the plane of Adi.

All these mark the points for the disappearance of the unit into pralaya. We need here to remember that it is always pralaya when viewed from below. From the higher vision, that sees the subtler continuously over-shadowing the dense when not in objective manifestation, pralaya is simply subjectivity, and is not that "which is not," but simply that which is esoteric.

Second. The etheric double of a man, a planetary Logos, and a solar Logos, being shattered, becomes non-polarized as regards its indweller, and permits therefore of escape. It is (to word it otherwise) no longer a source of attraction, nor a factual magnetic point. It becomes non-magnetic, and the great Law of Attraction ceases to control it; hence disintegration is the ensuing condition of the form. The Ego ceases to be attracted by its form on the physical plane, and proceeding to inbreathe, withdraws its life from out of the sheath. The cycle draws to a close, the experiment has been made, the objective (a relative one from life to life and from incarnation to incarnation) has been achieved, and there remains nothing more to desire; the Ego, or the thinking entity, loses interest, therefore, in form, and turns his attention inward. His polarization changes, and the physical is eventually dropped. [420]

The planetary Logos likewise in His greater cycle (the synthesis or the aggregate of the tiny cycles of the cells of His body) pursues the same course; He ceases to be attracted downward or outward, and turns His gaze within; He gathers inward the aggregate of the smaller lives within His body, the planet, and severs connection. Outer attraction ceases, and all gravitates towards the center instead of scattering to the periphery of His body.

In the system the same process is followed by the solar Logos; from His high place of abstraction, He ceases to be attracted by His body of manifestation. He withdraws His interest and the pairs of opposites, the spirit and the matter of the vehicle, dissociate. With this dissociation the solar system, that "Son of Necessity," or of desire, ceases to be, and passes out of objective existence.

Third. This leads finally, to the scattering of the atoms of the etheric body into their primordial condition. The subjective life, the synthesis of will and love taking active form, is withdrawn. The partnership is dissolved. The form then breaks up; the magnetism that has held it in coherent shape is no longer present, and dissipation is complete. Matter persists, but the form no longer persists.

The work of the second Logos ends, and the divine incarnation of the Son is concluded. But the faculty or inherent quality of matter also persists, and at the end of each period of manifestation, matter (though distributed again into its primal form) is active intelligent matter plus the gain of objectivity, and the increased radiatory and latent activity which it has gained through experience. Let us illustrate: The matter of the solar system, when undifferentiated, was active intelligent matter, and that is all that can be predicated of it. This active intelligent matter was matter qualified by an earlier experience, and colored by an earlier [421] incarnation. Now this matter is in form, the solar system is not in pralaya but in objectivity - this objectivity having in view the addition of another quality to the logic content, that of love and wisdom. Therefore, at the next solar pralaya, at the close of the one hundred years of Brahma, the matter of the solar system will be colored by active intelligence and by active love. This means literally that the aggregate of solar atomic matter will eventually vibrate to another key than it did at the first dawn of manifestation.

We can work this out in connection with the planetary Logos and the human unit, for the analogy holds good. We have a correspondence on a tiny scale in the fact that each human life period sees a man taking a more evolved physical body of a greater responsiveness, tuned to a higher key, of more adequate refinement, and vibrating to a different measure. In these three thoughts lies much information, if they are carefully studied and logically extended.

d. By the transmutation of the violet into the blue. This we cannot enlarge on. We simply make the statement, and leave its working out to those students whose karma permits and whose intuition suffices.

e. By the withdrawal of the life, the form should gradually dissipate. The reflex action here is interesting to note, for the greater Builders and Devas who are the active agents during manifestation, and who hold the form in coherent shape, transmuting, applying and circulating the pranic emanations, likewise lose their attraction to the matter of the form, and turn their attention elsewhere. On the path of outbreathing (whether human, planetary or logic) these building devas (on the same Ray as the unit desiring manifestation, or on a complementary Ray) are attracted by his will and desire, and perform their office of construction. On the path of inbreathing (whether human, planetary [422] or logoic) they are no longer attracted, and the form begins to dissipate. They withdraw their interest, and the forces (likewise entities) who are the agents of destruction, carry on their necessary work of breaking up the form; they scatter it - as it is occultly expressed - to "the four winds of Heaven," or to the regions of the four breaths - a fourfold separation and distribution. A hint is here given for careful consideration.

Though no pictures have been drawn of death bed scenes nor of the dramatic escape of the palpitating etheric body from the center in the head, as might have been anticipated, yet some of the rules and purposes governing this withdrawal have been mentioned. We have seen how the aim of each life (whether human, planetary or logoic) should be the effecting and the carrying out of a definite purpose. This purpose is the development of a more adequate form for the use of spirit; and when this purpose is achieved, then the indweller turns his attention away, and the form disintegrates, having served his need. This is not always the case in every human life, nor even in each planetary cycle. The mystery of the moon is the mystery of failure. This leads, when comprehended, to a life of dignity and offers an aim worthy of our best endeavor. When this angle of truth is universally recognized, as it will be when the intelligence of the race suffices, then evolution will proceed with certainty, and the failures be less numerous.
- Pages 128-133.

Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I:

All severing of links produces severe reactions. Yet if you could but realize it, the severing of the outer physical plane links is the least severe and the most impermanent of all such events. Death itself is a part of the great illusion and only exists because of the veils which we have gathered around ourselves. All of us, as workers in the field of [423] glamor (the new field in which humanity must learn consciously to work), have been honored and trusted. Death comes to all, but for disciples there should be none of the usual glamor and distress. I would say to you, look not back at the past. In that direction lie glamor and distress. It is the usual direction and the line of least resistance for the majority. But such is not the way for you. Look not either to revelation or to the imparted illusory comfort of those who hover on the dividing line between the seen and the unseen. Again, that is not the way for you. You are not a distressed and bereaved disciple looking anxiously at the separating veil and hoping for some sign to come through which will convince you that all is well...

Reach up to the heights of the soul, and having sought and found that pinnacle of peace and that altitude of joy whereon your soul immovably stands, then look into the world of living men - a threefold world in which all men - incarnate and discarnate - are to be found. Find there that which your soul can and will recognize. The glamors of one's own distress, the maya of the past, distort ever one's point of view. Only the soul stands clear from illusion, and only the soul sees things as they are. Mount, therefore, to the soul.
- Page 463. [424]

B.V. The Process of Restitution

The theme of death, which we are now considering, must be approached by us with as much of the spirit of normalcy and of scientific investigation as we can manage. The fear complex of humanity finds its point of entrance into man's consciousness through the act of dying; failure to survive is the basic fear; and yet it is the commonest phenomenon upon the planet. Bear that in mind. The act of dying is the great universal ritual which governs our entire planetary life, but only in the human family and faintly, very faintly, in the animal kingdom is the reaction to fear found. Could you but see the etheric world as Those on the inner side of life experience and see it, you would see (going on ceaselessly and without any pause) the great planetary act of restitution. You would see a great activity proceeding within the etheric world in which the anima mundi, the animal soul and the human soul are constantly restoring the substance of all physical forms to the great reservoir of essential substance. This essential substance is as much a vital, directed unity as the world soul of which one hears so much. This interplay of the principle of death with the principle of life produces the basic activity of creation. The impulsive, directive force is the mind of God, of the planetary Logos, as He pursues His divine purposes, carrying [425] with Him in this process all the media through which He manifests.

The human fear of death is primarily caused because the orientation of the kingdom of souls, the fifth kingdom in nature, has been (until relatively late in the world's cycle) towards form expression and towards the necessity of seeking experience through matter, in order eventually freely to control it. The percentage of the souls of those who are oriented away from expression in the three worlds is relatively so small, in proportion to the total number of souls demanding experience in the three worlds, that, until the cycle or era which we call the Christian, it might be stated that death reigned triumphant. Today, however, we are on the eve of seeing a complete change in this condition, owing to the fact that humanity - on a much larger scale than ever known before - is achieving a needed reorientation; the higher values and the life of the soul, as entered upon through the insistence of the mind in its higher and lower aspects, is beginning to control. This will perforce bring in a new attitude towards death; it will be regarded as a natural and desirable process, cyclically undergone. Men will eventually understand the significance of Christ's words when He said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's." In the incident where those words occur He was referring to the great act of restitution which we call death. Ponder that story and see the symbolism of the soul, contained within the universal soul, as the fish within the water, and holding a coin of metal, the symbol of matter.

In one of the ancient writings the following symbolic words occur:

Said the Father to the son: Go forth and take unto thyself that which is not thyself, and that which [426] is not thine own, but which is Mine. Regard it as thine own and seek the cause of its appearance. Let it appear to be thyself. Discover thus the world of glamor, the world of deep illusion, the world of falsity. Then learn that thou hast taken that which is not the goal of soul endeavor.

And when that moment comes in each cycle and appearance of deception and of theft, a voice will then be heard. Obey that voice. It is the voice of that within thyself which hears My voice, a voice unheard by those who love to thieve. The order will go forth again and yet again: "Make restitution of the stolen goods. Learn they are not for thee." At greater intervals will come that voice again: "Make restitution of the borrowed goods; pay back thy debt."

And then, when all the lessons have been learnt, the voice once more will speak: "Restore with joy that which was Mine, was thine and now again is ours. Thou hast no longer need of form. Stand free."

The implication of the above words is clear.

Two major thoughts will serve to clarify the issue of death with which we are now concerned:

First: the great dualism ever present in manifestation. Each of the dualities has its own expression, is governed by its own laws, and seeks its own objectives. But - in time and space - they merge their interests for the benefit of both, and together produce the appearance of a unity. Spirit-matter, life-appearance, energy-force - each have their own emanating aspect; they each have a relation to each other; each have a mutual temporary objective, and thus in unison produce the eternal flux, the cyclic ebb and flow of life in manifestation. [427]

In this process of relationship between Father-Spirit and Mother-Matter the son comes into being, and during the child stage carries on his life processes within the aura of the mother, identified with her yet forever seeking to escape from her domination. As maturity is reached, the problem intensifies, and the "pull" of the Father begins slowly to offset the possessive attitude of the mother, until finally the hold of matter, or of the mother, over her son (the soul) is finally broken. The son, the Christ-child, released from the guardianship and clinging hands of the mother, comes to know the Father. I am talking to you in symbols.

Second: All the processes of incarnation, of life in form and of restitution (by the activity of the principle of death), of matter to matter, and soul to soul, are carried forward under the great universal Law of Attraction. Can you picture the time when the process of death, clearly recognized and welcomed by the man, could be described by him in the simple phrase, "The time has come when my soul's attractive force requires that I relinquish and restore my body to the place from whence it came"? Imagine the change in the human consciousness when death comes to be regarded as an act of simple and conscious relinquishing of form, temporarily taken for two specific objectives:

  1. To gain control in the three worlds.
  2. To give opportunity to the substance of the forms thus "stolen or borrowed or rightly appropriated," according to the stage of evolution, to reach a higher point of perfection through the impact upon it of life, via the soul.

These are significant thoughts. They have been expressed before, but have been discarded as symbolic, as comforting or as wishful thinking. I present them to you as factual in nature, as unavoidable in practice, and as familiar a [428] technique and process as those activities, (rhythmic and cyclic in nature) which govern the average man's life - rising and retiring, eating and drinking, and all the periodic affairs which he is accustomed to pursue.

I dealt with the subject of death in A Treatise on White Magic, focusing therein primarily upon the physical processes of dying and doing so from the point of view of the onlooker or observer. I sought there to indicate what the attitude of the onlooker should be. Here I would like to present a somewhat different picture, indicating what is known by the departing soul. If this involves repetition of what you already know, there are however certain basic repetitions and statements I wish to make. Let me tabulate them with brevity. Will you regard them as foundational and factual.

  1. The time for the departure of an incarnating soul has come. The soul has in the past:
    1. Appropriated a physical body of a certain caliber, adequate to the requirements and age of that soul.
    2. Energized that physical body through the medium of the etheric body, thus galvanizing it into life activity for the duration of the soul's set term of physical enterprise.
  2. Two major streams of energy enter the physical body and produce its activity, its quality and type of expression, plus the impression it makes upon its environment.
    1. The stream of dynamic life. This is anchored in the heart. This stream of dynamic energy enters the body, via the head, and passes down to the heart, where it is focused during the life cycle. A smaller stream of the universal energy or prana, distinctive from the individualized life force, enters the physical body, via the spleen. It then rises to the heart to [429] join the larger and more important life stream. The life stream energizes and holds in coherency the integrated physical body. The stream of pranic energy vitalizes the individual atoms and cells of which that body is composed.
    2. The stream of individual consciousness. This is anchored in the head, is an aspect of the soul, reveals the type of consciousness which is, in its turn, indicative of the point attained in evolution. This stream of energy likewise functions in connection with a stream of personality force; and this force is characterized by desire (emotional or astral sentiency) and enters into the physical body, via the solar plexus center. This relates the man to the entire astral plane, and therefore to the world of glamor. With undeveloped people and with the average type of man, the solar plexus is the focus of consciousness and the energy is registered by the focal point of consciousness in the head without any recognition whatsoever. It is for this reason that (at the time of death) the soul leaves the body, via the solar plexus and not via the head. In the case of the developed man, the mental type of individual, the aspirant, disciple or initiate, the thread of consciousness will withdraw from the body via the head.
  3. The group soul of all forms in the animal kingdom - under the Law of Attraction - withdraws the life principle from any specific physical form via the solar plexus, which is the brain of the average animal. Highly developed and domesticated animals are beginning to utilize the brain to a greater or to a less degree, but the life principle and the sentient aspect, or animal consciousness, is still withdrawn via the solar plexus. You have, [430] therefore, in all stages of the evolutionary process, certain interesting triangles of energy.
    1. In the case of the animals and of those human beings who are little more than animals, of imbeciles and certain men who appear to be born with no centralized point of individual consciousness, the following triplicity is of importance:
      The group soul
      The solar plexus
      The spleen or pranic center.
    2. In low grade, but nevertheless individualized human beings and with the average emotional type of person, the following triplicity must be noted:
      The soul
      The head center
      The solar plexus.
    3. For highly developed people and for those upon the Path of Discipleship you have the following triangle active at the time of death:
      The soul
      The head center
      The ajna center.

In connection with all these triplicities there exists a dual relationship to the life principle:

  1. The heart, in which is focused the life of the soul in form.
  2. The spleen through which passes constantly and rhythmically the universal life essence or prana.

The whole subject is of course most obscure, and for those on strictly human levels, as yet unverifiable. However, an acceptance of the above three points, hypothetical today, [431] will help to clarify your minds concerning this entire theme of restitution with which we are occupied.

  1. The next point needs no proving, for it is generally accepted. It is that desire governs the process of death, as it also governs the processes of life experience. We say constantly that when the will-to-live is lacking, death is the inevitable result. This will-to-live, whether it is the tenacity of the physical body, functioning as an elemental being or as the directed intention of the soul, is an aspect of desire, or rather, it is a reaction of the spiritual will upon the physical plane. There is therefore an interlocking relation between:
    1. The soul on its own plane.
    2. The astral body.
    3. The solar plexus center.

This relationship has hitherto received little attention in connection with the Art of Dying. Nevertheless it warrants careful thought.

You will note that I am here dealing with the theme of death as it makes its presence felt through disease or through old age. I am not referring to death as it comes through war or accident, through murder or through suicide. These causes of death, and other causes, come under a totally different directive process; they may not even involve the karma of a man or his individual destiny, as in the case of war. Then vast numbers of people are killed. This has nothing to do with the Law of Cause and Effect as a factor in the soul career of any individual. It is not an act of restitution, planned by a particular soul as it works out its individual destiny. Death, through the destructive processes of war, is under the directive and cyclic intention of the planetary Logos, working through the Council Chamber at Shamballa. The Beings Who there direct world processes [432] know that a time has come when the relation between planetary evil and the Forces of Light or of Good have reached a point of "explosive antagonism" (as it is called). This must be given free rein if the divine purpose is to work out unarrested. The explosion is therefore permitted; nevertheless, all the time a controlling factor is present, even though unrealized by man. Because these Beings (Who work out the will of God) are in no way identified with form life, they have consequently a just appreciation of the relative importance of life in form; the destruction of forms is, to Them, not death in the sense that we understand it, but simply and solely a process of liberation. It is the limited vision of those identified with form which has so consistently nurtured the fear of death. The cycle in which we now live has seen the greatest destruction of human forms in the entire history of our planet. There has been no destruction of human beings. I would have you note this statement. Because of this wholesale destruction, humanity has made a very rapid advance towards a more serene attitude in connection with death. This is not yet apparent but - in a few years' time - the new attitude will begin to be marked and the fear of death will begin to die out in the world. This will also be largely due to the increased sensitivity of the human response apparatus, leading to a turning inward or to a new orientation of the human mind, with unpredictable results.

The basis of all wars is fundamentally the sense of separateness. This fundamental individualism or pleased recognition of isolationism leads to all the secondary causes of war: greed, producing economic disaster; hatred, producing national and international friction; cruelty, producing pain and death. The roots of death are therefore deep seated; it is the destruction of the cycle of separateness as an individual upon the physical plane which we call death [433] in the usual sense; consequently death is a process of at-one-ment. Could you but see a little further into the matter, you would learn that death releases the individualized life into a less cramped and confined existence, and eventually - when the death process has been applied to all the three vehicles in the three worlds - into the life of universality. This is a point of inexpressible bliss.

The Law of Attraction governs the process of dying, as it governs all else in manifestation. It is the principle of coherency which, under the balanced integration of the whole body, preserves it intact, stabilizes its rhythm and cyclic life processes and relates its varied parts to each other. It is the major coordinating principle within all forms, for it is the primary expression (within the soul) of the first aspect of divinity, the will aspect. This statement may surprise you, accustomed as you are to regard the Law of Attraction as an expression of the second aspect, love-wisdom. This attractive principle is found in all forms, from the tiny form of the atom to that form, the planet Earth, through which our planetary Logos expresses Himself. But if it is the principle of coherency and the cause of integration, it is also the medium through which "restitution" is brought about and by which the human soul is periodically reabsorbed into the over-shadowing soul. This aspect of the Law of Attraction has, as yet, received little attention. The reason is that it concerns the highest expression of that Law, and is therefore related to the will aspect of Deity, as also the will aspect of the Monad. Only as the Shamballic force proceeds with its more direct work in the coming cycle, and men begin to discriminate (as they must and will) between self-will and the spiritual will, between determination, intention, plan, purpose, and fixed polarization, will clarification come. The Law of Attraction has (as all else in [434] manifestation) three phases or aspects, each related to the three divine aspects:

  1. It relates life and form, spirit and matter - the third aspect.
  2. It governs the coherent integrative process which produces forms - the second aspect.
  3. It brings about the imbalance which results in the act of disintegration, thus overcoming form - as far as the human being is concerned - and brings this about in three phases to which we have given the names:
    1. Restitution, resulting in the dissolution of the body and the return of its elements, atoms and cells, to their originating source.
    2. Elimination, involving the same basic process in relation to the forces which have constituted the astral body and the mental vehicle.
    3. Absorption, the mode whereby the human soul is integrated into its originating source, the over-shadowing, universal soul. This is an expression of the first aspect.

All these phases, rightly understood, illustrate or demonstrate the unique potency of the Law of Attraction and its relation to the Law of Synthesis, which governs the first divine aspect. Integration eventually produces synthesis. The many cyclic integrations which are carried forward in the great life cycle of an incarnating soul lead to the final synthesis of spirit and soul, which is the goal of the evolutionary process where humanity is concerned. After the third initiation, this results in the complete liberation of the man from the "pull" of substance in the three worlds and in his consequent ability to wield, with full understanding, the Law of Attraction in its various phases, as far as [435] the creative process is involved. Other phases will then be later mastered.

One point must be borne in mind. The words "earth to earth and dust to dust," so familiar in the burial rituals of the Occident, refer to this act of restitution and connote the return of the physical body elements to the original reservoir of matter, and of the substance of the vital form to the general etheric reservoir; the words "the spirit shall return unto God who gave it" are a distorted reference to the absorption of the soul by the universal soul. The ordinary rituals, however, fail to emphasize that it is that individualized soul, in process of reabsorption, which institutes and orders, by an act of the spiritual will, that restitution. It is forgotten in the West that this "order to restore" has been given with great frequency down the ages by every soul within a physical form; in so doing, steadily and inevitably, the first divine aspect - the Monad on its own plane - is tightening its hold upon its body of manifestation, via its reflection, the soul. Thus the will aspect comes increasingly into play until, upon the Path of Discipleship, spiritual determination is brought to its highest point of development and, upon the Path of Initiation, the will begins to function consciously. It is worth remembering, is it not, that it is in the deliberate issuing of the command by the soul upon its own plane to its shadow in the three worlds that the soul learns to express the first and highest aspect of divinity, and this at first, and for a very long time, solely through the process of death. The difficulty at present is that relatively few people are soul-conscious, and consequently most men remain unaware of the "occult commands" of their own souls. As humanity becomes soul-conscious (and this will be one of the results of the agony of the present war), death will be seen as an "ordered" process, carried out in full consciousness and with understanding of [436] cyclic purpose. This will naturally end the fear at present rampant, and will also arrest the tendency to suicide, evidenced increasingly in these difficult times. The sin of murder is in reality based upon the fact that it interferes with soul purpose, and not really upon the killing of a particular human physical body. That is also why war is not murder, as many well-meaning fanatics consider it; it is the destruction of forms with the beneficent intent (if one could scrutinize divine purpose) of the planetary Logos. However, it is the motives of the originators of war on the physical plane which make them evil. If war did not take place, the planetary life would, through what we call "acts of God," call back the souls of men on a large scale in line with His loving intention. When evil men precipitate a war, He brings good out of evil.

You can see, therefore, why the occult sciences lay the emphasis upon cyclic law, and why there is a growing interest in the Science of Cyclic Manifestation. Death appears frequently to be so purposeless; that is because the intention of the soul is not known; past development, through the process of incarnation, remains a hidden matter; ancient heredities and environments are ignored, and recognition of the voice of the soul is not yet generally developed. These are matters, however, which are on the very verge of recognition; revelation is on its way, and for that I am laying the foundation.

I am anxious for you to grasp the teaching I have already given before we proceed to that which is explanatory or new. Study it with care so that the theme of death can more surely and more sanely take shape in your mind. Seek to arrive at a new slant upon the subject and see law and purpose and the beauty of intention in what has hitherto been a terror and a major fear. [437]

Later I shall endeavor to give you some glimpse of the death process as the soul registers it, when undertaking the act of restitution. To you, what I say may appear as speculative or hypothetical; in any case it will be a statement of which few of you will be in a position to prove the accuracy. But surely, brother of mine, it may be more sane and wholesome, more sound and beautiful, than the present darkness and sick hope, and the unhappy speculation and oft despair which over-shadows every death bed at this time.

B.V.1. The Nature of Death

Excerptsfrom other Writings

A Treatise on the Seven Rays:

The whole must be seen as of more vital importance than the part, and this not as a dream, a vision, a theory, a process of wishful thinking, a hypothesis or an urge. It is realized as an innate necessity and as inevitable. It connotes death, but death as beauty, as joy, as spirit in action, as the consummation of all good.
- Vol. V.

A Treatise on White Magic:

Death, if we could but realize it, is one of our most practiced activities. We have died many times and shall die again and again. Death is essentially a matter of consciousness. We are conscious one moment on the physical plane, and a moment later we have withdrawn onto another plane and are actively conscious there. Just as long as our consciousness is identified with the form aspect, death will hold for us its ancient terror. Just as soon as we know ourselves to be souls, and find that we are capable of focusing our consciousness or sense of awareness in any form or on any plane at will, or in any direction within the form of God, we shall no longer know death.
- Page 494. [438]

A Treatise on the Seven Rays:

Ponder, therefore, upon this doctrine of abstraction. It covers all life processes and will convey to you the eternally lovely secret of Death which is entrance into life.
- Vol. V.

In this Rule, two main ideas are to be found, both of them connected with the first divine aspect: the thought of Death and the nature of the Will. In the coming century, death and the will most inevitably will be seen to have new meanings to humanity and many of the old ideas will vanish. Death to the average thinking man is a point of catastrophic crisis. It is the cessation and the ending of all that has been loved, all that is familiar and to be desired; it is a crashing entrance into the unknown, into uncertainty, and the abrupt conclusion of all plans and projects. No matter how much true faith in the spiritual values may be present, no matter how clear the rationalizing of the mind may be anent immortality, no matter how conclusive the evidence of persistence and eternity, there still remains a questioning, a recognition of the possibility of complete finality and negation, and an end of all activity, of all heart reaction, of all thought, emotion, desire, aspiration and the intentions which focus around the central core of man's being. The longing and the determination to persist and the sense of continuity still rest, even to the most determined believer, upon probability, upon an unstable foundation and upon the testimony of others - who have never in reality returned to tell the truth. The emphasis of all thought on this subject concerns the central "I" or the integrity of Deity.
You will note that in this Rule, the emphasis shifts from the "I" to the constituent parts which form the garment of the Self, and this is a point worth noting. The information given to the disciple is to work for the dissipation of this garment and for the return of the lesser lives to the general [439] reservoir of living substance. The ocean of Being is nowhere referred to. Careful thought will here show that this ordered process of detachment, which the group life makes effective in the case of the individual, is one of the strongest arguments for the fact of continuity and for individual, identifiable persistence. Note these words. The focus of activity shifts from the active body to the active entity within that body, the master of his surroundings, the director of his possessions and the one who is the breath itself, dispatching the lives to the reservoir of substance or recalling them at will to resume their relation to him.
- Vol. V.

First of all that the Eternal Pilgrim, of his own free will and accord, chose "occultly" to die and took a body or series of bodies in order to raise or elevate the lives of the form nature which he embodied; in the process of so doing, he himself "died" in the sense that, for a free soul, death and the taking of a form and the consequent immersion of the life in the form, are synonymous terms.
Secondly, that in so doing, the soul is recapitulating on a small scale what the solar Logos and the planetary Logos have likewise done, and are doing. The great Lives come under the rule of these laws of the soul during the period of manifestation, even though They are not governed or controlled by the laws of the natural world, as we call it. Their consciousness remains unidentified with the world of phenomena, though ours is identified with it until such time that we come under the rule of the higher laws. By the occult "death" of these great Lives, all lesser lives can live and are proffered opportunity.
- Vol. V.

June Message, 1940:

The forces of death are abroad today, but it is the death of liberty, the death of free speech, the death of [440] freedom in human action, the death of truth and of the higher spiritual values. These are the vital factors in the life of humanity. The death of the physical form is a negligible factor in relation to these and is easily righted again through the processes of rebirth and of fresh opportunity...The destruction of the form in battle is of small importance to those who know that reincarnation is a basic law of nature and that there is no death.

A Treatise on White Magic:

You say there are as yet only beliefs as to immortality, and no sure evidences. In the accumulation of testimony, in the inner assurances of the human heart, in the fact of belief in eternal persistence as an idea in the minds of men, lie sure indication. But indication will give place to conviction and knowledge before another hundred years has elapsed, for an event will take place and a revelation be given the race which will turn hope into certainty and belief into knowledge. In the meantime, let a new attitude to death be cultivated and a new science of death be inaugurated. Let it cease to be the one thing we cannot control and which inevitably defeats us, and let us begin to control our passing over to the other side, and to understand somewhat the technique of transition.
- Page 500.

All I plead for is a sane approach to death; all I seek to make is a suggestion that when pain has worn itself out and weakness has supervened, the dying person be permitted to prepare himself, even if apparently unconscious, for the great transition. Forget not that it takes strength and a strong hold on the nervous apparatus to produce pain. Is it impossible to conceive of a time when the act of dying will be a triumphant finale to life? Is it impossible [441] to vision the time when the hours spent on the death bed may be but a glorious prelude to a conscious exit? When the fact that the man is to discard the handicap of the physical sheath may be for him and those around him the long-waited-for and joyous consummation? Can you not visualize the time when, instead of tears and fears and the refusal to recognize the inevitable, the dying person and his friends would mutually agree on the hour, and that nothing but happiness would characterize the passing? That in the minds of those left behind the thought of sorrow will not enter and death beds shall be regarded as happier occasions than births and marriages? I tell you that, before so very long, this will be deeply so for the intelligent of the race, and little by little for all.
- Page 499.

It is interesting here to note that death is governed by the Principle of Liberation and not by that of Limitation. Death is only recognized as a factor to be dealt with by self-conscious lives and is only misunderstood by human beings, who are the most glimmered and deluded of all incarnated lives.
- Page 534.

When the nature of true Service is comprehended, it will be found that it is an aspect of that divine energy which works always under the destroyer aspect, for it destroys the forms in order to release. Service is a manifestation of the Principle of Liberation, and of this principle, death and service constitute two aspects. Service saves, liberates and releases, on various levels, the imprisoned consciousness. The same statements can be made of death. But unless service can be rendered from an intuitive understanding of all the facts in the case, interpreted intelligently, and applied [442] in a spirit of love upon the physical plane, it fails to fulfil its mission adequately.
- Page 537.

B.V.1.a. Fear of Death

A Treatise on White Magic:

The fear of death is based upon:

  1. A terror of the final rending processes in the act of death itself.
  2. Horror of the unknown and the indefinable.
  3. Doubt as to final immortality.
  4. Unhappiness at leaving loved ones behind or of being left behind.
  5. Ancient reactions to past violent deaths, lying deep in the consciousness.
  6. Clinging to form life, because primarily identified with it in consciousness.
  7. Old erroneous teaching as to Heaven and Hell, both equally unpleasant in prospect to certain types.
    - Page 300.

    As time progresses and before the close of the next century, death will be finally seen to be non-existent in the sense in which it is now understood. Continuity of consciousness will be so widely developed, and so many of the highest types of men will function simultaneously in the two worlds, that the old fear will go and the intercourse between the astral plane and the physical plane will be so firmly established and so scientifically controlled that the work of the trance mediums will rightly and mercifully come to an end. The ordinary common trance mediumship and materializations under controls and Indian guides are just as much perversions of the intercourse between the two planes as are sex perversions and the distortions of the [443] true relationship and intercourse between the sexes. I refer not here to the work of clairvoyants, no matter how poor, nor to the taking possession of the body by entities of high caliber, but of the unpleasant phenomena of the materialization seance, of ectoplasm and the blind unintelligent work done by the old Atlantean degenerates and earth bound souls, the average Indian chief and guide. There is nothing to be learned from them, and much to be avoided.
    The reign of the fear of death is well-nigh ended and we shall soon enter upon a period of knowledge and of certainty which will cut the ground from under all our fears. In dealing with the fear of death, there is little to be done except to raise the whole subject onto a more scientific level, and - in this scientific sense - teach people to die. There is a technique of dying just as there is of living, but this technique has been lost very largely in the West, and is almost lost except in a few centers of Knowers in the East. More of this can perhaps be dealt with later, but the thought of the needed approach to this subject can rest in the minds of students who read this, and perhaps as they study and read and think, material of interest will come their way which could be gradually assembled and published.
    - Pages 301-302.

    Fear of death and depression constitute for man the Dweller on the Threshold in this age and cycle. Both of them indicate sentient reaction to psychological factors and cannot be dealt with by the use of another factor such as courage. They must be met by the omniscience of the soul, working through the mind - not by its omnipotence. In this is to be found an occult hint.
    - Page 309.

    The instinct of self-preservation has its roots in an innate fear of death; through the presence of this fear, the [444] race has fought its way to its present point of longevity and endurance.
    - Page 626.

B.V.1.b. Definition of Death

A Treatise on the Seven Rays:

Death itself is a part of the Great Illusion, and only exists because of the veils we have gathered around ourselves.
- Vol. V.

A Treatise on White Magic:

But people are apt to forget that every night in the hours of sleep we die to the physical plane and are alive and functioning elsewhere. They forget that they have already achieved facility in leaving the physical body; because they cannot as yet bring back into the physical brain consciousness the recollection of that passing out, and of the subsequent interval of active living, they fail to relate death and sleep. Death is, after all, only a longer interval in the life of physical plane functioning; one has only "gone abroad" for a longer period. But the process of daily sleep and the process of occasional dying are identical, with the one difference that in sleep the magnetic thread or current of energy along which the life force streams is preserved intact, and constitutes the path of return to the body. In death, this life thread is broken or snapped. When this has happened, the conscious entity cannot return to the dense physical body, and that body, lacking the principle of coherence, then disintegrates.
- Page 494.

A Treatise on the Seven Rays:

The processes of abstraction are (as you may thus see) connected with the life aspect, are set in motion by an act of the spiritual will, and constitute the "resurrection principle which lies hidden in the work of the Destroyer," as an old esoteric saying expresses it. The lowest manifestation [445] of this principle is to be seen in the process of what we call death - which is in reality a means of abstracting the life principle, informed by consciousness, from the form of the bodies in the three worlds.
Thus, the great synthesis emerges and destruction, death, and dissolution are, in reality, naught but life processes. Abstraction is indicative of process, progress and development. It is this aspect of the Law of Life (or the Law of Synthesis as it is called in certain larger connotations) with which the initiate specifically deals.
- Vol. V.

Life is approached from the angle of the Observer, and not from that of a participator in actual experiment and experience in the three worlds (physical - emotional - mental)...if they are initiated disciples they are increasingly unaware of the activities and reactions of their personalities, because certain aspects of the lower nature are now so controlled and purified that they have dropped below the threshold of consciousness and have entered the world of instinct; therefore, there is no more awareness of them than a man asleep is conscious of the rhythmic functioning of his sleeping physical vehicle. This is a deep and largely unrealized truth. It is related to the entire process of death, and might be regarded as one of the definitions of death; it holds the clue to the mysterious words "the reservoir of life." Death is in reality unconsciousness of that which may be functioning in some form or another, but in a form of which the spiritual entity is totally unaware. The reservoir of life is the place of death, and this is the first lesson the disciple learns...
- Vol. V.

B.V.1.c. Purposes of Death

A Treatise on the Seven Rays:

Through death, a great at-one-ing process is carried [446] forward; in the "fall of a leaf" and its consequent identification with the soil on which it falls, we have a tiny illustration of this great and eternal process of at-one-ing, through becoming and dying as a result of becoming.
- Vol. II, page 173.

A Treatise on White Magic:

I speak about Death as one who knows the matter from the outer world experience and the inner life expression: There is no death. There is, as you know, entrance into fuller life. There is freedom from the handicaps of the fleshly vehicle. The rending process so much dreaded does not exist, except in the cases of violent and sudden death, and then the only true disagreeables are an instant and overwhelming sense of imminent peril and destruction and something closely approaching an electric shock. No more. For the unevolved, death is literally a sleep and a forgetting, for the mind is not sufficiently awakened to react, and the storehouse of memory is as yet practically empty. For the average good citizen, death is a continuance of the living process in his consciousness and a carrying forward of the interests and tendencies of the life. His consciousness and his sense of awareness are the same and unaltered. He does not sense much difference, is well taken care of, and oft is unaware that he has passed through the episode of death. For the wicked and cruelly selfish, for the criminal and for those few who live for the material side only, there eventuates that condition which we call "earth-bound." The links they have forged with earth and the earthward bias of all their desires, force them to remain close to the earth and their last setting in the earth environment. They seek desperately and by every possible means to recontact it and to re-enter. In a few cases, great personal love for those left behind, or the non-fulfilment of a recognized and urgent duty, holds the good and beautiful in a somewhat similar [447] condition. For the aspirant, death is an immediate entrance into a sphere of service and of expression to which he is well accustomed and which he at once recognizes as not new. In his sleeping hours he has developed a field of active service and of learning. He now simply functions in it for the entire twenty-four hours (talking in terms of physical plane time) instead of for his usual few hours of earthly sleep.
- Pages 300-301.

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire:

True death, under the Law, is brought about by the attainment of the objective, and hence by the cessation of aspiration. The etheric double of a man, a planetary Logos, and a solar Logos, being shattered, becomes non-polarized as regards its indweller, and permits therefore of escape. It is (to word it otherwise) no longer a source of attraction, nor a focal magnetic point. It becomes non-magnetic, and the great Law of Attraction ceases to control it; hence disintegration is the ensuing condition of the form.
- Pages 129-130.

A Treatise on the Seven Rays:

"The Law demands the entrance of that which can effect a change."

Bearing in mind what I have elsewhere given, it is obvious that that which must find entrance is that vital concentrated will which, when set in motion in an individual, in a group, in a nation, in a kingdom of nature (a planetary center), and in the planet as a whole, i.e., in all the planetary centers simultaneously, will cause a stirring, a changed measure, a new movement and momentum, an uprising and a consequent abstraction. The changes wrought in the centers when the death of the physical body is taking place have never yet been observed or recorded; they are, however, definitely present to the eye of the initiate and prove most interesting and informative. It is the recognition of the condition of the centers which enables the [448] initiate to know - when in process of bestowing healing - whether the physical healing of the body is permissible or not. He can see, by looking, whether the will principle of abstraction, to which I have been referring, is actively present or not. The same process can be seen taking place in organizations and in civilizations in which the form aspect is being destroyed in order that the life may be abstracted and later again rebuild for itself a more adequate form. It is the same under the great processes of initiation, which are not only processes of expanding the consciousness but are rooted in the death or the abstraction process, leading to resurrection and ascension.

That which effects a change is a discharge (to use a totally inadequate phrase) of directed and focused will-energy. This is so magnetic in quality that it draws to itself the life of the centers, bringing about the dissolution of the form but the release of the life. Death comes to the individual man in the ordinary sense of the term when the will-to-live in a physical body goes and the will-to-abstract takes its place. This we call death. In cases of death in war, for instance, it is not then a case of the individual will-to-withdraw, but an enforced participation in a great group abstraction. From its own place, the soul of the individual man recognizes the end of a cycle of incarnation, and recalls its life. This it does through a discharge of the will-energy that is strong enough to bring about the change...Christ referred to this work of abstraction as regards the third great planetary center, Humanity, when He said (and He was speaking as the Representative of the Hierarchy, the second planetary center, into which all human beings achieving initiation are "withdrawn" esoterically), "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me." A different word to this word of His will be spoken at the end of the age when the Lord of the World will speak from Shamballa [449] (the first planetary center), will abstract the life principle from the Hierarchy, and all life and consciousness will then be focused in the planetary head center - the Great Council Chamber at Shamballa.

"The Law demands that the changes thus effected remove the form, bring quality to light, and lay the emphasis upon life."

Here the three great aspects - form, quality, and life - are brought into relation, and the point of the evolutionary objective is seen in its true light - Life. Note this phrasing. Form or appearance, having served its purpose, disappears. Death of the form takes place. Quality, the major divine attribute being developed in this planet, becomes dominant, is "conscious of itself" - as the ancient writings put it. It is identified and individual, but has no implementing form, except that of the greater whole in which it finds its place. Neither form nor quality (body nor consciousness) are paramount in the new state of being, only the life aspect, the spirit on its own plane becomes the dominating factor. Some faint dim light on the significance of this may come if you bear in mind that our seven planes are only the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical plane. The process of developing sensitivity in this sevenfold evolution has been undergone in order to enable the initiate to function upon the cosmic astral plane, when withdrawn or abstracted after the higher initiations. He is abstracted from our planetary life altogether. Only one factor could prevent this, and that might be his pledge to serve temporarily within the planetary ring-pass-not. Such members of the Hierarchy Who pledge Themselves to this work are stated to have Buddhic consciousness, and the line of Their descent (occultly understood) is from the Eternal Pilgrim, the Lord of the World, then the Buddha, and then the Christ. They remain identified through free choice with the "quality seen [450] within the light" and, for the term of Their freely rendered service, work with the consciousness aspect in order to lay the emphasis later upon the life aspect...
- Vol. V.

A Treatise on the Seven Rays:

The eighteen fires must die down; the lesser lives (embodying the principle of form, of desire and of thought, the sumtotal of creativity, based upon magnetic love) must return to the reservoir of life and naught be left but that which caused them to be, the central will which is known by the effects of its radiation or breath.
This dispersal, death or dissolution, is in reality a great effect produced by the central Cause, and the injunction is consequently: "This they must bring about by the evocation of the Will"... The disciple finds his group in the Master's Ashram and consciously and with full understanding masters death - the long-feared enemy of existence. He discovers that death is simply an effect produced by life and by his conscious will, and is a mode whereby he directs substance and controls matter. This becomes consciously possible because, having developed awareness of two divine aspects - creative activity and love - he is now focused in the highest aspect and knows himself to be the Will, the Life, the Father, the Monad, the One.
- Vol. V.

A great upheaval in all the kingdoms in nature has characterized this day and generation; a stupendous destruction of all forms of divine life and in every kingdom has been the outstanding note of this upheaval. Our modern civilization has received a death blow from which it will never recover, but which will be recognized some day as the "blow of release" and as the signal for that which is better, new and more suitable for the evolving spirit, to make its appearance. Great and penetrating energies and their [451] evoked forces have met in conflict which has, figuratively speaking, elevated the mineral kingdom into the skies and which has brought down fire from heaven. I am talking to you factually and not just symbolically. The bodies of men, women and children, as well as animals, have been destroyed; the forms of the vegetable kingdom and the potencies of the mineral kingdom have been disintegrated, distributed and devastated. The coherent life of all the planetary forms has been temporarily rendered incoherent. As an ancient prophecy has put it: "No true united Sound goes out from form to form, from life to life. Only a cry of pain, a demand for restitution and an invocation for relief from agony, despair and fruitless effort goes out from here to There."
All this upheaval of the "soil" of the world - spiritual, psychological and physical - all this disruption of the forms and of the familiar contours of our planetary life, had to take place before there could come the emergence of the Hierarchy into the public consciousness; all this had to do its work upon the souls of men before the New Age could come in, bringing with it the Restoration of the Mysteries and the rehabilitation of the peoples of the Earth. The two go together. This is one of the major points which I am seeking to make. The disruption, disintegration and the completely chaotic conditions existing for the past five hundred years within all the kingdoms of nature have at last worked their way out into paralleling physical conditions. This is good and desirable; it marks the prelude to a better building of a better world, and the construction of more adequate forms of life and of more correct human attitudes, plus a sounder orientation to reality. The best is yet to be.
Everything is being rapidly brought to the surface - the good and the bad, the desirable and the undesirable, the [452] past and the future (for the two are one); the plow of God has nearly accomplished its work; the sword of the spirit has severed an evil past from the radiant future, and both are seen as contributory in the Eye of God; our material civilization will be seen as giving place rapidly to a more spiritual culture; our church organizations, with their limiting and confusing theologies, will soon give place to the Hierarchy with its emerging teaching - clear, factual, intuitive and non-dogmatic.
- Vol. V.

The Light of the Soul:

Intense desire for sentient existence or attachment. This is inherent in every form, is self-perpetuating and known even to the very wise.
When the life or Spirit withdraws itself, the form dies, occultly. When the thought of the ego or higher self is occupied with its own plane, there is no energy outgoing towards the matter of the three worlds, and so no form-building and form-attachment is there possible. This is in line with the occult truism that "energy follows thought," and is in line, too, with the teaching that the body of the Christ principle (the Buddhic vehicle) only begins to coordinate as the lower impulses fade out...Attachment to form or the attraction of form for Spirit is the great involutionary impulse. Repulsion of form and consequent form disintegration is the great evolutionary urge.
- Pages 137-138.

When the cause, desire, has produced its effect, the personality or form aspect of man, then as long as the will to live exists, so long will the form persist. It is kept in manifestation through mental vitality. This has been demonstrated time and again in the annals of medicine, for it has been proven that as long as the determination to live persists, so will be the probable duration of the physical plane [453] life; but that the moment that will is withdrawn, or the interest of the dweller in the body is no longer centered upon personality manifestation, death ensues and the disintegration of that mind-image, the body, takes place.
- Page 397.

There are two main lines of evolution, that which concerns matter and form, and that which concerns the soul, the consciousness aspect, the thinker in manifestation. For each of these the path of progress differs, and each pursues its course. As has been noted, for a long period of time the soul identifies itself with the form aspect and endeavors to follow the "Path of Death," for that is what the dark path is in fact to the thinker. Later, through strenuous effort, this identification ceases; the soul becomes aware of itself, and of its own path, or dharma, and follows then the way of light and of life. It should ever be borne in mind, however, that for the two aspects their own path is the right path, and that the impulses which lie hidden in the physical vehicle or in the astral body are not in themselves wrong. They become wrong from certain angles when twisted from their right use, and it was this realization that led the disciple in the Book of Job to cry out and say, "I have perverted that which was right." The two lines of development are separate and distinct, and this every aspirant has to learn.
- Pages 402-403

B.V.1.d. The Art of Dying

A Treatise on White Magic:

The soul, seated in the heart, is the life principle, the principle of self-determination, the central nucleus of positive energy by means of which all the atoms of the body are held in their right place and subordinated to the "will-to-be" of the soul. This principle of life utilizes the blood stream [454] as its mode of expression and as its controlling agency, and through the close relation of the endocrine system to the blood stream, we have the two aspects of soul activity brought together in order to make man a living, conscious, functioning entity, governed by the soul, and expressing the purpose of the soul in all the activities of daily living.
Death, therefore, is literally the withdrawal from the heart and from the head of these two streams of energy, producing consequently complete loss of consciousness and disintegration of the body. Death differs from sleep in that both streams of energy are withdrawn. In sleep, only the thread of energy which is anchored in the brain is withdrawn, and when this happens the man becomes unconscious. By this we mean that his consciousness or sense of awareness is focused elsewhere. His attention is no longer directed towards things tangible and physical, but is turned upon another world of being and becomes centered in another apparatus or mechanism. In death, both the threads are withdrawn or unified in the life thread. Vitality ceases to penetrate through the medium of the blood stream and the heart fails to function, just as the brain fails to record, and thus silence settles down. The house is empty. Activity ceases, except that amazing and immediate activity which is the prerogative of matter itself and which expresses itself in the process of decomposition. From certain aspects, therefore, that process indicates man's unity with everything that is material; it demonstrates that he is a part of nature itself, and by nature we mean the body of the one Life in Whom "we live and move and have our being." In those three words - living, moving and being - we have the entire story. Being is awareness, self-consciousness and self-expression, and of this man's head and brain are the exoteric symbols. Living is energy, desire in form, coherence and adhesion to an idea, and of this the heart and the blood are the exoteric [455] symbols. Moving indicates the integration and response of the existing, aware, living entity into the universal activity, and of this the stomach, pancreas and liver are the symbols.
It must be noted also that death is, therefore, undertaken at the direction of the Ego, no matter how unaware a human being may be of that direction. The process works automatically with the majority, for (when the soul withdraws its attention) the inevitable reaction on the physical plane is either death, by the abstraction of the dual threads of life and reason energy, or by the abstraction of the thread of energy which is qualified by mentality, leaving the life stream still functioning through the heart, but no intelligent awareness. The soul is engaged elsewhere and occupied on its own plane with its own affairs.
- Pages 496-497.

Before I take up this subject in greater detail I would like to make some reference to the "web in the brain," which is intact for the majority but is non-existent for the illumined seer.
In the human body, as you know, we have an underlying, extensive vital body which is the counterpart of the physical, which is larger than the physical and which we call the etheric body or double. It is an energy body and is composed of force centers and nadis or force threads. These underlie or are the counterparts of the nervous apparatus - the nerves and the nerve ganglia. In two places in the human body there are orifices of exit, if I may use so cumbersome a phrase. One opening is in the solar plexus and the other is in the brain at the top of the head. Protecting both is a closely woven web of etheric matter, composed of interlacing strands of life energy.
During the process of death the pressure of the life energy beating against the web produces eventually a [456] puncturing or opening. Out of this the life force pours as the potency of the abstracting influence of the soul increases. In the case of animals, of infants and of men and women who are polarized entirely in the physical and astral bodies, the door of exit is the solar plexus, and it is that web which is punctured, thus permitting the passing out. In the case of mental types, of the more highly evolved human units, it is the web at the top of the head in the region of the fontanel which is ruptured, thus again permitting the exit of the thinking rational being.
In the process of death these are, therefore, the two main exits: the solar plexus for the astrally polarized, physically biased human being, and therefore of the vast majority, and the head center for the mentally polarized and spiritually oriented human being. This is the first and most important factor to remember, and it will easily be seen how the trend of a life tendency and the focus of the life attention determine the mode of exit at death. It can be seen also that an effort to control the astral life and the emotional nature, and to orient one's self to the mental world and to spiritual things, has a momentous effect upon the phenomenal aspects of the death process.
If the student is thinking clearly, it will be apparent to him that one exit concerns the spiritual and highly evolved man, whilst the other concerns the low grade human being who has scarcely advanced beyond the animal stage. What then of the average man? A third exit is now in temporary use; just below the apex of the heart another etheric web is found covering an orifice of exit. We have, therefore, the following situation:

  1. The exit in the head, used by the intellectual type, by the disciples and initiates of the world. [457]
  2. The exit in the heart, used by the kindly, well-meaning man or woman who is a good citizen, an intelligent friend and a philanthropic worker.
  3. The exit in the region of the solar plexus, used by those whose animal nature is strong.

This is the first point in the new information which will slowly become common knowledge in the West during the next century. Much of it is already known by thinkers in the East and is in the nature of a first step towards a rational understanding of the death process.
- Page 500.

A Treatise on White Magic:

In relation to the technique of dying, it is only possible for me at this time to make one or two suggestions. I deal not here with the attitude of the attendant watchers, I deal only with those points which will make for an easier passing over of the transient soul.
First, let there be silence in the chamber. This is, of course, frequently the case. It must be remembered that the dying person may usually be unconscious. This unconsciousness is apparent but not real. In nine hundred cases out of a thousand the brain awareness is there, with a full consciousness of happenings, but there is a complete paralysis of the will to express and complete inability to generate the energy which will indicate aliveness. When silence and understanding rule the sick room, the departing soul can hold possession of its instrument with clarity until the last minute, and can make due preparation.
Later, when more anent color is known, only orange lights will be permitted in the sick room of a dying person, and these will only be installed with due ceremony when there is assuredly no possibility of recovery. Orange aids the focusing in the head, just as red stimulates the solar [458] plexus and green has a definite effect upon the heart and life streams.
Certain types of music will be used when more in connection with sound is understood, but there is no music as yet which will facilitate the work of the soul in abstracting itself from the body, though certain notes on the organ will be found effective. At the exact moment of death, if a person's own note is sounded, it will coordinate the two streams of energy and eventually rupture the life thread, but the knowledge of this is too dangerous to transmit as yet and can only later be given. I would indicate the future and the lines along which future occult study will run.
It will be found also that pressure on certain nerve centers and on certain arteries will facilitate the work, and this science of dying is held in custody, as many students know, in Tibet. Pressure on the jugular vein and on certain big nerves in the region of the head and on a particular spot in the medulla oblongata will be found helpful and effective. A definite science of death will inevitably later be elaborated, but only when the fact of the soul is recognized and its relation to the body has been scientifically demonstrated.
Mantric phrases will also be employed and definitely built into the consciousness of the dying person by those around him, or employed deliberately and mentally by himself. The Christ demonstrated their use when He cried aloud, "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." And we have another instance in the words, "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace." The steady use of the Sacred Word, chanted in an undertone or on a particular key (to which the dying man will be found to respond), may later constitute also a part of the ritual of transition, accompanied by the anointing with oil, as preserved in the Catholic Church. Extreme Unction has an occult, scientific basis. The top of the head of the dying [459] man should also symbolically point towards the East, and the feet and hands should be crossed. Sandalwood only should be burned in the room, and no incense of any other kind permitted, for sandalwood is the incense of the First or Destroyer Ray, and the soul is in process of destroying its habitation.
- Page 505.

If there is one factor aspirants recognize, it is the need of freeing themselves from the Great Illusion. Arjuna knew this, yet succumbed to despair. Yet in his hour of need, Krishna failed him not, but laid down in the Gita the simple rules whereby depression and doubt can be overcome. They may be briefly summarized as follows:

  1. Know thyself to be the undying One.
  2. Control thy mind, for through that mind the undying One can be known.
  3. Learn that the form is but the veil which hides the splendor of Divinity.
  4. Realize that the One Life pervades all forms, so that there is no death, no distress, no separation.
  5. Detach thyself therefore from the form side and come to Me, so dwelling in the place where Light and Life are found. Thus illusion ends.
    - Page 308.

Letters on Occult Meditation:

A Master learns the meaning of each confining form; then He assumes control and wields the law upon the plane consistent with the form. He has then outgrown the form and discards it for other and higher forms. Thus, He has progressed always by means of the sacrifice and death of the form. Always, it is recognized as imprisoning, always it must be sacrificed and die so that the life within may speed ever on and up. The path of resurrection presupposes [460] crucifixion and death, and then leads to the mount whence Ascension may be made.
- Page 261.

B.V.2. The Act of Restitution

In considering the consciousness of the departing soul (note that phrase) as it undertakes the act of restitution, I would again point out that I am dealing with a subject of which there is no tangible physical proof. Occasionally men are brought back again into physical plane existence when at the exact point of complete physical restitution. This can only be done as long as the conscious entity is still occupying the etheric vehicle, though the discarding of the dense physical body has to all intents and purposes been completed. Though the etheric body interpenetrates the entire physical body, it is much larger than that body, and the astral body and the mental nature can still remain etherically polarized even if the death of the physical body - the cessation of all heart activity and the concentration of the basic etheric focus in the region of the head, or the heart, or the solar plexus - has been effective and the withdrawal is already well under way.

The etheric forces are first of all withdrawn into the surrounding extension of the etheric ring-pass-not, prior to that final dissipation which leaves the man free to stand as a human soul within the ring-pass-not of his astral vehicle. You have here a somewhat new aspect of the death process. The withdrawal of the etheric body from occupation of the dense physical body has oft been posited and presented. But even when that has been accomplished, death is not yet complete; it still awaits a secondary activity of the will of the soul. This secondary activity will result in all the etheric forces dissolving into an emanating source which is the [461] general reservoir of forces. Forget not that the etheric body has no distinctive life of its own. It is only an amalgamation of all the forces and energies which animated the physical body and which galvanized it into activity during the outer life cycle. Remember also that the five centers up the spine are not within the physical body, but are found at certain distinctive points in the paralleling etheric substance; they are (even in the case of the undeveloped man, and still more in the case of the average man) at least two inches away from the physical spine. The three head centers are also outside the dense physical body. The recollection of this will facilitate your understanding of the statement that the physical body is, per se, vacated when death is assumed by the watching authorities, but that, nevertheless, the man may not be truly dead. I would remind you also that this is equally true of the many minor centers as well as of the major centers, with which we are so familiar.

The last of the minor centers to "fade out into nothingness," in order to be resolved into the totality of etheric substance, are two which are closely related to and in the region of the lungs. It is on these two centers that the soul works if recalled into the dense physical body for some reason. It is when they swing into a returning or a fresh ingoing activity that the breath of life returns to the vacated physical form. It is an unconscious realization of this which constitutes the prompting cause of the process which is normally carried out in all cases of drowning or of asphyxiation. When a man has succumbed to disease and the physical body is consequently weakened, such restorative exercises are not possible and should not be employed. In cases of sudden death through accident, suicide, murder, unexpected heart attacks or through the processes of war, the shock is such that the somewhat leisurely process of soul withdrawal is entirely offset, and the vacating of the physical [462] body and the complete dissolution of the etheric body are practically simultaneous. In normal cases of death from disease, the withdrawal is slow, and (where the malignancy of the disease has not caused too great deterioration of the physical organism involved) there is the possibility of a return for a shorter or a longer period of time. This frequently happens, especially when the will to live is strong or the life task remains as yet unaccomplished and is not correctly concluded.

There is another point upon which I wish to touch and which has relation to the eternal conflict being waged between the dualities of the dense physical body and the etheric vehicle. The physical elemental (which is the name given to the integrated life of the physical body) and the soul, as it seeks to withdraw and dissolve the sumtotal of the combined energies of the etheric body, are in violent conflict and the process is often fierce and long; it is this battle which is being waged during the long or short period of coma which characterizes so many death beds. Coma, esoterically speaking, is of two kinds: there is the "coma of battle" which precedes true death; there is also the "coma of restoration" which takes place when the soul has withdrawn the consciousness thread or aspect, but not the life thread, in an effort to give the physical elemental time to regain its grip upon the organism and thus to restore health. As yet, modern science does not recognize the distinction between these two aspects of coma. Later, when etheric or clairvoyant vision is more common, the quality of the coma prevailing will be known, and the elements of hope or of despair will no longer control. The friends and relations of the unconscious person will know exactly whether they are watching a great and final withdrawal from present incarnation or simply looking on at a restorative process. In the latter case, the soul is still retaining its hold upon [463] the physical body, via the centers, but is withstraining temporarily all energizing processes. The exceptions to this withstraint are the heart center, the spleen, and two minor centers connected with the breathing apparatus. These will remain normally energized, even if somewhat weakened in their activity; and through them control is retained. When true death is the soul's intention, then control over the spleen first of all takes place; then control over the two minor centers follows, and finally control over the heart center supervenes and the man dies.

The above will give you some idea of the many points connected with dying that still remain to be discovered by orthodox medicine, and which will be revealed as the race of men reaches an increasing sensitivity.

I would ask you to remember that in all our present considerations we are dealing with the reactions and activities of the soul which is deliberately recalling its incarnated aspect because a life cycle has been concluded. The term of that life cycle may be long or short, according to the purposes involved; it may cover only a very few short years, or a century. Prior to the seventh year, the vitality of the physical elemental is largely the determining factor. The soul is then focused in the etheric body, but is not fully utilizing all the centers; it has simply a gently pulsating control and a gentle impulsive activity - sufficient to preserve consciousness, to vitalize the various physical processes, and to initiate the demonstration of character and of disposition. These become increasingly marked until the twenty-first year, when they stabilize into what we call the personality. In the case of disciples, the grip of the soul upon the etheric centers will be more powerful from the very start of the physical existence. By the time the fourteenth year is reached, the quality and the nature of the incarnated soul and its approximate age or experience are determined, the [464] physical, astral and mental elemental are under control, and the soul, the indwelling spiritual man, already determines the life tendencies and choices.

In the case of the ordinary man, where death is intended, the battle between the physical elemental and the soul is a distinctive factor; it is occultly called a "Lemurian departure"; in the case of the average citizen, where the focus of the life is in the desire nature, the conflict is between the astral elemental and the soul, and this is given the name "the death of an Atlantean"; where disciples are concerned, the conflict will be more purely mental and is oft focused around the will-to-serve and the determination to fulfil a particular aspect of the Plan and the will-to-return in full force to the ashramic center. Where initiates are concerned, there is no conflict, but simply a conscious and deliberate withdrawal. Curiously enough, if there appears to be a conflict, it will be between the two elemental forces then remaining in the personality: the physical elemental and the mental life. There is no astral elemental to be found in the equipment of an initiate of high standing. Desire has been completely transcended as far as the individual's own nature is involved.

B.V.2.a. Factors Confronting the Withdrawing Soul

In physical death, therefore, and in the act of restitution, the withdrawing soul has to deal with the following factors:

  1. The physical elemental, the integrated and coordinated life of the physical body, which is forever seeking to hold together under the attractive forces of all its component parts and their mutual interaction. This force works through a number of minor centers.
  2. The etheric vehicle, which has a powerful coordinated life of its own, expressed through the seven [465] major centers which react under astral, mental and soul impulsive energy. It works also through certain of the minor centers which are not dedicated to a response to that aspect of the man's equipment which H.P.B. states is not a principle - the dense physical mechanism.

The minor centers are therefore to be found existing in two groups: Those responsive to the life of dense matter, to the mother aspect, and which are definitely upon the involutionary arc; these are an inheritance from the previous solar system wherein the entire man was controlled via these minor centers, with only a very few of the major centers dimly indicated in the case of initiates and advanced disciples of that time; secondly, those centers which are responsive to energies reaching them via the major centers; these then come under the control of the astral body and the mental apparatus. You will see consequently why, earlier in this treatise, I made the following reference to the minor centers. It might be of interest to you, nevertheless, to be told where the twenty-one minor centers are to be found. They can be located at the following points:

  1. There are two in front of the ears, close to where the jaw bones are connected.
  2. There are two just above the two breasts.
  3. There is one where the breast bone connects, close to the thyroid gland. This, with the two breast centers, makes a triangle of force.
  4. There are two, one each in the palms of the hands.
  5. There are two, one each in the soles of the feet.
  6. There are two, just behind the eyes.
  7. There are two, also, connected with the gonads.
  8. There is one close to the liver. [466]
  9. There is one connected with the stomach; it is related, therefore, to the solar plexus, but is not identical with it.
  10. There are two connected with the spleen. These form one center in reality, but such a center is formed by the two being superimposed one on the other.
  11. There are two - one at the back of each knee.
  12. There is one powerful center which is closely connected with the vagus nerve. This is most potent and is regarded by some schools of occultism as a major center; it is not in the spine, but is no great distance from the thymus gland.
  13. There is one which is close to the solar plexus, and relates it to the center at the base of the spine, thus making a triangle of the sacral center, the solar plexus, and the center at the base of the spine.

The two triangles referred to in this tabulation are of real importance. One is above and the other below the diaphragm.

Again, the death process can be seen as a dual activity and one which primarily concerns the etheric body. There is first of all the collecting and the withdrawing of the etheric substance, so that it no longer interpenetrates the dense physical organism, and its subsequent densification (a word I deliberately choose) in that area of the etheric body which has always surrounded, but not penetrated, the dense vehicle. This has been sometimes erroneously called the health aura, and it can be photographed more easily and successfully during the process of dying than at any other time, owing to the accumulation of the withdrawn forces for several inches external to the tangible body. It is at this point in the experience of the withdrawing soul that the "word of death" is spoken, and it is prior to this [467] enunciation of this word that a return to physical living can be possible and the withdrawn etheric forces can again interpenetrate the body. Relationship with all the withdrawn forces is, up to this point, retained via the head or the heart or the solar plexus, as well as via the two minor chest centers.

All this time the consciousness of the dying man is focused in either the emotional (or astral) body or the mental vehicle, according to the point in evolution. He is not unconscious as the onlooker might infer, but is fully aware within himself of what is occurring. If he is strongly focused on physical plane life, and if that is the dominating desire of which he is the most aware, he may then intensify the conflict; you will then have the physical elemental battling furiously for existence, the desire nature fighting to retard the processes of death, and the soul, intent upon the work of abstraction and of restitution. This can and frequently does occasion a struggle which is quite apparent to the onlookers. As the race of men progresses and develops, this triple struggle will become much rarer; desire for physical plane existence will not appear so attractive, and the activity of the astral body will die out.

I wish you could get a picture (symbolically considered) of a man who is in full incarnation and rooted in his phase of experience, and of a man who is withdrawing from that experience. It connotes a repetition on a tiny scale of the great planetary processes of involution and evolution; it concerns those activities which produce a focusing or a polarization in one of two directions; it resembles what might be regarded as a process of pouring in life and light into a vessel upon the physical plane, or an intensification of the radiation of that life and light of so potent a nature that under the evocative power of the soul they are both withdrawn and gathered up into the center of life and light from whence they originally came. I have here given you [468] (could you but recognize it) a definition of initiation, but one of a somewhat unusual phrasing. Perhaps some lines from the Manual of Death which is to be found in the hierarchical archives would prove explanatory to you, and might aid you in gaining a new perspective upon death. This manual has in it what are called the "Formulas preceding Pralaya." These deal with all the death or abstraction processes, covering the death of all forms, whether it be the death of an ant, a man or a planet. The formulas concern only the two aspects of life and light - the first conditioned by Sound and the second by the Word. The writing which I have in mind concerns the light, and the Word which abstracts it from the form or focuses it within the form.

"Bear in mind, O Chela, that within the known spheres naught is but light responsive to the Word. Know that that light descends and concentrates itself; know that from its point of chosen focus, it lightens its own sphere; know too that light ascends and leaves in darkness that which it - in time and space - illumined. This descending and ascension men call life, existence and decease; this We Who tread the Lighted Way call death, experience and life.

Light which descends anchors itself upon the plane of temporary appearance. Seven threads it outward puts, and seven rays of light pulsate along these threads. Twenty-one lesser threads are radiated thence, causing the forty-nine fires to glow and burn. Upon the plane of manifested life, the word goes forth: Behold! A man is born.

As life proceeds, the quality of light appears; dim and murky it may be, or radiant, bright and shining. Thus do the points of light within the [469] Flame pass and repass; they come and go. This men call life; they call it true existence. They thus delude themselves yet serve the purpose of their souls and fit into the greater Plan.

And then a Word sounds forth. The descended, radiating point of light ascends, responsive to the dimly heard recalling note, attracted to its emanating source. This man calls death and this the soul calls life.

The Word retains the light in life; the Word abstracts the light, and only That is left which is the Word Itself. That Word is Light. That Light is Life, and Life is God."

The manifestation of the etheric body in time and space has in it what has been esoterically called "two moments of brilliance." These are, first, the moment prior to physical incarnation, when the descending light (carrying life) is focused in all its intensity around the physical body and sets up a rapport with the innate light of matter itself, to be found in every atom of substance. This focusing light will be found to concentrate itself in seven areas of its ring-pass-not, thus creating seven major centers which will control its expression and its existence upon the outer plane, esoterically speaking. This is a moment of great radiance; it is almost as if a point of pulsating light burst into flame, and as if within that flame seven points of intensified light took shape. This is a high point in the experience of taking incarnation, and precedes physical birth by a very short period of time. It is that which brings on the birth hour. The next phase of the process, as seen by the clairvoyant, is the stage of interpenetration, during which "the seven become the twenty-one and then the many"; the light substance, the energy aspect of the soul, begins to permeate [470] the physical body, and the creative work of the etheric or vital body is completed. The first recognition of this upon the physical plane is the "sound" uttered by the newborn infant. It climaxes the process. The act of creation by the soul is now complete; a new light shines forth in a dark place.

The second moment of brilliance comes in reverse of this process and heralds the period of restitution and the final abstraction of its own intrinsic energy by the soul. The prison house of the flesh is dissolved by the withdrawing of the light and life. The forty-nine fires within the physical organism die down; their heat and light are absorbed into the twenty-one minor points of light; these, in their turn, are absorbed by the major seven centers of energy. Then the "Word of Return" is uttered, and the consciousness aspect, the quality nature, the light and energy of the incarnating man, are withdrawn into the etheric body. The life principle withdraws, likewise, from the heart. There follows a brilliant flaring-up of pure electric light, and the "body of light" finally breaks all contact with the dense physical vehicle, focuses for a short period in the vital body, and then disappears. The act of restitution is accomplished. This entire process of the focusing of the spiritual elements in the etheric body, with the subsequent abstraction and consequent dissipation of the etheric body, would be greatly hastened by the substitution of cremation for burial.

B.V.2.b. Two Main Reasons for Cremation

Occultly speaking, cremation is needed for two main reasons. It hastens the release of the subtle vehicles (still enshrouding the soul) from the etheric body, thus bringing about the release in a few hours instead of a few days; it also is a much needed means for bringing about the [471] purification of the astral plane and for arresting the "downward moving" tendency of desire which so greatly handicaps the incarnating soul. It can find no point of focus, because essentially fire repels the form-making aspect of desire and is a major expression of divinity with which the astral plane has no true relation, being created entirely by the human soul and not the divine soul. "Our God is a consuming fire" is the statement in the Bible which refers to the first divine aspect, the aspect of the destroyer, releasing the life. "God is love" connotes the second aspect and portrays God as incarnated existence. "God is a jealous God" is an expression indicating God as form, circumscribed and limited, self-centered and not outgoing. The destroying Sound; the attracting Word; the individualized Speech!

At the time of death, speech fades out as the Word sounds forth and restitution is enforced; later, the Word is no longer heard as the Sound obliterates or absorbs it, and there is then complete elimination of all that interferes with Sound. Silence then supervenes and the Sound itself is no longer heard; complete peace follows the act of final integration. Here, in esoteric phraseology, the entire process of death is described.

It is important to note that it is under the basic and fundamental Law of Attraction that the Art of Dying is carried forward, and that it is the love aspect, the second aspect of divinity, which does the attracting. I exclude cases of sudden death. There the activity is the result of the destroyer, or the first divine aspect. There the condition is different; individual karmic necessity may not be involved at all, and reasons of group conditioning and of great obscurity may lie behind such a happening. So obscure is the subject at this time that I shall not attempt to elucidate. You do not know enough about the Law of [472] Karma, about karmic group involvement, or about relationships and obligations established in past lives. When I say, for instance, that on occasion the "soul may leave the door of protection open so that the forces of death itself may enter anew, having no focal point behind the door" in order "more rapidly to obliterate past penalties due," you can see how obscure this whole matter can be.

In all that I am here writing, I am dealing simply with normal death processes - death which comes as the result of disease, old age, or the imposed will of the soul which has completed a designed cycle of experience and is using normal channels to attain projected ends. Death in these cases is normal, and this humanity needs to grasp with greater patience, understanding and hope.

Under the Law of Attraction, the soul, at the close of a life cycle, and with full intention, exerts its attractive power in such a manner that it offsets the attractive power inherent in matter itself. This is a clear definition of the basic cause of death. Where no soul contact has been consciously established, as in the case of the majority of people at this time, death comes as an unexpected or sadly anticipated event. Yet - it is a true soul activity. This is the first great spiritual concept to be proclaimed as the fear of death is combated. Death is carried forward under this Law of Attraction, and consists in the steady and scientific abstraction of the vital body out of the dense physical body, leading eventually to an elimination of all soul contact in the three worlds.

B.V.2.c. Sequence of Events at Death

I feel that the best that I can do, in order to clarify this subject more completely, is to describe the sequence of events which happens at a death bed, reminding you that the points of final abstraction are three in number: [473]

  • the head for disciples and initiates and also for advanced mental types;
  • the heart for aspirants, for men of goodwill, and for all those who have achieved a measure of personality integrity and are attempting to fulfil, as far as in them lies, the law of love;
  • and the solar plexus for the undeveloped and emotionally polarized persons.

All I can do is to tabulate the stages of the process, leaving you to accept them as an interesting and possible hypothesis awaiting verification; to believe them unquestioningly because you have confidence in my knowledge, or to reject them as fantastic, unverifiable and of no moment anyway. I recommend the first of the three, for it will enable you to preserve your mental integrity, it will indicate an open mind, and at the same time it will protect you from gullibility and from narrow-mindedness. These stages, therefore, are:

1. The soul sounds forth a "word of withdrawal" from its own plane, and immediately an interior processing and reaction is evoked within the man upon the physical plane.

  1. Certain physiological events take place at the seat of the disease, in connection with the heart, and affecting also the three great systems which so potently condition the physical man: the blood stream, the nervous system in its various expressions, and the endocrine system. With these effects I shall not deal. The pathology of death is well known and has received much study exoterically; much still remains to be discovered and will later be discovered. I am concerned, first of all, with the subjective reactions which (in the last analysis) bring about the pathological predisposition to death.
  2. A vibration runs along the nadis. The nadis are, as you well know, the etheric counterpart of the [474] entire nervous system, and they underlie every single nerve in the entire physical body. They are the agents par excellence of the directing impulses of the soul, reacting to the vibratory activity which emanates from the etheric counterpart of the brain. They respond to the directing Word, react to the "pull" of the soul, and then organize themselves for abstraction.
  3. The blood stream becomes affected in a peculiarly occult manner. The "blood is the life," we are told; it is interiorly changed as a result of the two previous stages, but primarily as the result of an activity hitherto undiscovered by modern science, for which the glandular system is responsible. The glands, in response to the call of death, inject into the blood stream a substance which in turn affects the heart. There the life thread is anchored, and this substance in the blood is regarded as "death-dealing" and is one of the basic causes of coma and of loss of consciousness. It evokes a reflex action in the brain. This substance and its effect will be questioned as yet by orthodox medicine, but its presence will later be recognized.
  4. A psychic tremor is established which has the effect of loosening or breaking the connection between the nadis and the nervous system; the etheric body is thereby detached from its dense sheath, though still interpenetrating every part of it.

2. There is frequently a pause at this point of a shorter or longer period of time. This is allowed in order to carry forward the loosening process as smoothly and as painlessly as possible. This loosening of the nadis starts in the eyes. This process of detachment often shows itself in the relaxation and lack of fear which [475] dying persons so often show; they evidence a condition of peace, and a willingness to go, plus an inability to make a mental effort. It is as if the dying person, still preserving his consciousness, gathers his resources together for the final abstraction. This is the stage in which - the fear of death once and for all removed from the racial mind - the friends and relatives of the departing person will "make a festival" for him and will rejoice with him because he is relinquishing the body. At present this is not possible. Distress rules, and the stage passes unrecognized and is not utilized, as it will some day be.

3. Next, the organized etheric body, loosened from all nervous relationship through the action of the nadis, begins to gather itself together for the final departure. It withdraws from the extremities towards the required "door of exit" and focuses itself in the area around that door for the final "pull" of the directing soul. All has been proceeding under the Law of Attraction up to this point - the magnetic, attractive will of the soul. Now another "pull" or attractive impulse makes itself felt. The dense physical body, the sumtotal of organs, cells and atoms, is steadily being released from the integrating potency of the vital body by the action of the nadis; it begins to respond to the attractive pull of matter itself. This has been called the "earth" pull and is exerted by that mysterious entity whom we call the "spirit of the earth"; this entity is on the involutionary arc, and is to our planet what the physical elemental is to the physical body of man. This physical plane life force is essentially the life and light of atomic substance - the matter of which all forms are made. It is to this reservoir of involutionary and material life that the substance of all forms is restored. Restitution of [476] the commandeered matter of the form occupied by the soul during a life cycle consists in returning to this "Caesar" of the involutionary world what is his, whilst the soul returns to the God Who sent it forth.

It will therefore be apparent that a dual attractive process is at this stage going on:

  1. The vital body is being prepared for exit.
  2. The physical body is responding to dissolution.

It might be added that a third activity is also present. It is that of the conscious man, withdrawing his consciousness, steadily and gradually, into the astral and mental vehicles, preparatory to the complete abstraction of the etheric body when the right time comes. The man is becoming less and less attached to the physical plane and more withdrawn within himself. In the case of an advanced person, this process is consciously undertaken, and the man retains his vital interests and his awareness of relationship to others even whilst losing his grip on physical existence. In old age this detachment can be more easily noted than in death through disease, and frequently the soul or the living, interested, inner man can be seen losing his grip on physical and, therefore, illusory reality.

4. Again a pause ensues. This is the point where the physical elemental can at times regain its hold upon the etheric body, if that is deemed desirable by the soul, if death is not part of the inner plan, or if the physical elemental is so powerful that it can prolong the process of dying. This elemental life will sometimes fight a battle lasting for days and weeks. When, however, death is inevitable, the pause at this point will be exceedingly brief, sometimes only for a matter of seconds. The physical elemental has lost its hold, and the etheric [477] body awaits the final "tug" from the soul, acting under the Law of Attraction.

5. The etheric body emerges from the dense physical body in gradual stages and at the chosen point of exit. When this emergence is complete, the vital body then assumes the vague outline of the form that it energized, and this under the influence of the thought-form of himself which the man has built up over the years. This thought-form exists in the case of every human being, and must be destroyed before the second stage of elimination is finally complete. We will touch upon this later. Though freed from the prison of the physical body, the etheric body is not yet freed from its influence. There is still a slight rapport between the two, and this keeps the spiritual man still close to the body just vacated. That is why clairvoyants often claim to see the etheric body hovering around the death bed or the coffin. Still interpenetrating the etheric body are the integrated energies which we call the astral body and the mental vehicle, and at the center there is a point of light which indicates the presence of the soul.

6. The etheric body is gradually dispersed as the energies of which it is composed are reorganized and withdrawn, leaving only the pranic substance which is identified with the etheric vehicle of the planet itself. This process of dispersal is, as I have earlier said, greatly aided by cremation. In the case of the undeveloped person, the etheric body can linger for a long time in the neighborhood of its outer disintegrating shell because the pull of the soul is not potent and the material aspect is. Where the person is advanced, and therefore detached in his thinking from the physical plane, the dissolution of the vital body can be exceedingly rapid. Once it is accomplished, the process of restitution is over; the man [478] is freed, temporarily at least, from all reaction to the attractive pull of physical matter; he stands in his subtle bodies, ready for the great act to which I have given the name "The Art of Elimination."

One thought emerges as we conclude this inadequate consideration of the death of the physical body in its two aspects: that thought is the integrity of the inner man. He remains himself. He is untouched and untrammelled; he is a free agent as far as the physical plane is concerned, and is responsive now to only three predisposing factors:

  1. The quality of his astral-emotional equipment.
  2. The mental condition in which he habitually lives.
  3. The voice of the soul, often unfamiliar but sometimes well known and loved.

Individuality is not lost; the same person is still present upon the planet. Only that has disappeared which was an integral part of the tangible appearance of our planet. That which has been loved or hated, which has been useful to humanity or a liability, which has served the race or been an ineffectual member of it, still persists, is still in touch with the qualitative and mental processes of existence, and will forever remain - individual, qualified by ray type, part of the kingdom of souls, and a high initiate in his own right.

B.V.3. Two Questions of Importance

I have sought, in the preceding pages, to give an insight into the true nature of that which we call death. Death is the withdrawal, consciously or unconsciously, of the inner living entity from its outer shell, its inner vital correspondence, and finally it is the relinquishing of the subtle body or bodies, according to the point in evolution of the person. I have also sought to show the normality of this familiar [479] process. The horror which attends death upon the battlefield or by accident consists in the shock which it precipitates within the area of the etheric body, necessitating a rapid rearrangement of its constituent forces and a sudden and unexpected reintegration of its component parts in response to definite action which has perforce to be taken by the man in his kama-manasic body. This action does not involve the replacing of the inner man again within the etheric vehicle, but requires a coming together of the dissipated aspects of that body under the Law of Attraction, in order that its final and complete dissolution can take place.

Before taking up our theme (which is the Art of Elimination), I want to answer two questions which seem to me of importance; they are frequently asked by earnest and intelligent students.

The first question is, in reality, the expression of disappointment in this series of instructions. It can be framed as follows: Why does not the Tibetan Teacher take up definite or basic diseases, and deal with their pathology, give their cures or suggested treatment, indicate their direct causes and give, in detail, the processes of recovery? Because, my brothers, there is little that I can add technically to what has already been ascertained by medical science anent the symptoms, the localities and the general trends in which diseased conditions are found. Observation, experimentation, trial and error, success and failure have given to modern man a wide and definitely accurate knowledge of the outer aspects and effects of disease. Time, and constant trained observation, have equally definitely indicated cures or ameliorative processes or preventive measures (such as vaccination for smallpox), and these have proved after many years to be helpful. Investigation and experiment and the steadily growing facilities which science provides are adding to man's capacity to help, to cure at times, to ameliorate [480] frequently, and to lessen the reactions of pain. Medical science and surgical skill have advance by leaps and bounds - so much so that what is today known and somewhat grasped is of so vast a nature and so intricate in its scientific and therapeutic aspects that they have given rise to specialists - to those who concentrate upon a particular field, and who therefore deal only with certain conditions of ill health and disease, thereby attaining much skill, knowledge and frequent success. All this is good, in spite of what cranks and people with a pet method of cure may say, or even those who have no use for the medical profession and prefer some cult or some of the newer approaches to the problem of health.

The reason that these newer approaches exist is that medical science has made such progress that it has now reached the limits of its purely physical area or field and is now on the verge of advancing into the realm of the intangible and is thus drawing nearer to the world of causes. It is for this reason that I have wasted no time with the details of disease, with enumerating or considering specific diseases, their symptoms or their treatment because that is fully covered in the textbooks available; they can likewise be seen in their many and various stages in our great hospitals.

I have, however, dealt with the latent causes of disease - such as tuberculosis, syphilis and cancer - inherent in the individual man, in humanity as a whole, and also in our planet. I have traced the psychological basis of disease and have indicated a practically new field wherein disease - particularly in its earlier stages - can be studied.

When the psychological basis of disease can be realized and its factual nature is admitted by the orthodox physician, the surgeon, the psychologist and the priest, then all will work together in this developing area of understanding, and what is today vaguely called "preventive medicine" will come into its own. I prefer to define this phase of medical [481] application as the organization of those methods whereby disease will be avoided, and the development of those techniques whereby correct psychological training will be given - from youth up - and by right emphasis upon the inner spiritual man, those conditions will be negated and those habits avoided which today lead inevitably to ill health, definitely symptomatic disease and eventual death.

In the above statement, I refer to no affirmative or speculative science such as Christian Science or those schools of thought which trace all disease to the power of thought. I am concerned with the immediate necessity of right psychological training, based upon a knowledge of the constitution of man, upon the science of the seven rays (the forces which condition man and make him what he is), and upon esoteric astrology; I am concerned with the application of the knowledges, hitherto regarded as peculiar and esoteric, which are slowly coming under general consideration, and , which have made great progress during the past twenty-five years. I am not concerned with the abolition of medical treatment, nor am I concerned with endorsing the newer modes of treatment - all of which are still in the experimental stage and all of which have somewhat to contribute to medical science as a whole; out of the united contribution should come a richer and more fluid medical approach to the patient.

The picture I have outlined of the psychological background of all diseases will be long in painting; in the meantime, the contribution of medicine is indispensable. In spite of mistakes, faulty diagnosis and much error, humanity cannot do without its doctors, its surgeons and its hospitals. They are urgently needed, and will be for centuries to come. In this statement is no cause for discouragement. Humanity cannot be brought into a condition of perfect physical health immediately, though correct psychological training from infancy will do much in the course of a few decades. Wrong [482] conditions have been long developing. Modern medicine must become far more open-minded, more ready to endorse (after due professional proof) that which is new, which is in the nature of innovation and which is unusual. The barriers erected by specialized medicine must come down, and the new schools must be sought, instructed and investigated, and finally be included in the orthodox ranks. The new schools, such as those concerned with electro-therapy, the chiropractic schools, the dieticians who claim to cure all diseases through right foods, and the rather eccentric naturopaths, plus many other cults and schools, must not be so arrogantly sure that they have the whole story, that their approach is the only one or that they have a universal cure - all which is unique and definitely sure. These groups, particularly the chiropractors, have definitely damaged their cause and crippled their effort by their loudly shouted surety (in a field which is yet experimental), and by their constant attack upon orthodox medicine. The latter, in its turn, has limited itself by its failure to recognize what is good and right in the newer schools; it has been antagonized by their clamor for recognition, and by their lack of scientific methods. The desire of orthodox medicine is to protect the general public. This they needs must do in order to avoid the disasters which fanatics and untried methods would bring about, but they have gone too far in this respect. The school of thought which I have sponsored in these instructions will also be challenged, and this for a long time. However, the mental and psychological effects of the world war will greatly hasten the recognition of the psychological basis for disease and other troubles; modern medicine, therefore, faces its major opportunity.

A combination of true medical science (as produced by man down the ages under the inspiration of his divine nature), of the newer aspects of treatment as formulated by [483] the many emerging schools of thought, of practice and experiment, the recognition of the energies which condition man, working through the seven centers in his vital body, and of the astrological influences which equally condition him, via the inner man, will eventually produce the new medical approach which will keep man in good health, which will arrest disease in its earliest stages, and which will finally inaugurate that cycle in human affairs wherein disease and ill health will be exceptions and not the rule, as is the case today, and wherein death will be regarded as a happy and destined release and not, as is the case today, a dreaded enemy.

The second question is definitely concerned with the processes of death. It has been asked: What is the Tibetan's attitude towards cremation, and under what conditions should cremation be followed? It is a fortunate and happy thing that cremation is becoming increasingly the rule. Before so very long, burial in the ground will be against the law and cremation will be enforced, and this as a health and sanitation measure. Those unhealthy, psychic spots, called cemeteries, will eventually disappear, just as ancestor worship is passing out, both in the Orient - with its ancestor cults - and in the Occident - with its equally foolish cult of hereditary position.

By the use of fire, all forms are dissolved; the quicker the human physical vehicle is destroyed, the quicker is its hold upon the withdrawing soul broken. A great deal of nonsense has been told in current theosophical literature about the time equation in relation to the sequential destruction of the subtle bodies. It should be stated, however, that the moment that true death is scientifically established (by the orthodox doctor in charge of the case), and it has been ascertained that no spark of life remains in the physical body, cremation is then possible. This complete or true [484] death eventuates when the thread of consciousness and the thread of life are completely withdrawn from the head and the heart. At the same time, reverence and an unhurried attitude have their rightful place in the process. The family of the dead person need a few hours in which to adjust themselves to the fact of the imminent disappearance of the outer and usually loved form; due care must also be given to the formalities required by the state or the municipality. This time element has reference mainly to those who are left behind, to the living and not to the dead. The claim that the etheric body must not be rushed into the cremating flames, and the belief that it must be left to drift around for a stated period of several days, have also no true basis at all. There is no etheric need for delay. When the inner man withdraws from his physical vehicle he withdraws simultaneously from the etheric body. It is true that the etheric body is apt to linger for a long time on the "field of emanation" when the physical body is interred, and it will frequently persist until complete disintegration of the dense body has taken place. The process of mummifying, as practised in Egypt, and of embalming, as practised in the West, have been responsible for the perpetuation of the etheric body, sometimes for centuries. This is particularly the case when the mummy or embalmed person was of an evil character during life; the hovering etheric body is then often "possessed" by an evil entity or evil force. This is the cause of the attacks and the disasters which often dog the steps of those who discover ancient tombs and their inhabitants, ancient mummies, and bring them and their possessions to light. Where cremation is the rule, there is not only the immediate destruction of the physical body and its restitution to the fount of substance, but the vital body is also promptly dissolved and its forces swept away by the current of flame into the reservoir of vital energies. Of that [485] reservoir it has ever been an inherent part, either in form or in a formless condition. After death and cremation these forces still exist but are absorbed into the analogous whole. Ponder on this statement, for it will give you the clue to the creative work of the human spirit. If delay is necessary from family feeling or municipal requirements, cremation should follow death within thirty-six hours; where no reason for delay exists, cremation can be rightly permitted in twelve hours. It is wise, however, to wait twelve hours in order to ensure true death. [486]

B.VI. The Art of Elimination

To take up again the thread of our instruction, we will now consider the activity of the inner spiritual man who has discarded his physical and etheric bodies and now stands within the shell of the subtle body - a body composed of astral or sentient substance and of mental substance. Owing to the strongly emotional and sentient polarization of the average man, the idea has taken hold that man withdraws, after true death, first of all into his astral body, and then, later, into his mental vehicle. But this is not actually the case. A body constructed predominantly of astral matter is the basis of this idea. Few people are as yet so developed that the vehicle in which they find themselves after death is largely composed of mental substance. Only disciples and initiates who live mostly in their minds find themselves, after death, immediately upon the mental plane. Most people discover themselves upon the astral plane, clothed in a shell of astral matter and committed to a period of elimination within the illusory area of the astral plane.

As I have earlier told you, the astral plane has no factual existence, but is an illusory creation of the human family. From now on, however (through the defeat of the forces of evil and the disastrous setback suffered by the Black Lodge), the astral plane will slowly become a dying creation, [487] and in the final period of human history (in the seventh root-race), it will become non-existent. Today this is not the case. The sentient substance which constitutes the astral plane is still being gathered into forms of illusion and still forms a barrier in the path of the soul seeking liberation. It still "holds prisoner" the many people who die whilst their major reaction to life is that of desire, of wishful thinking and of emotional sentiency. These are still the vast majority. In Atlantean days the astral plane came into being; the mental state of consciousness was then practically non existent, though the "sons of mind" had their place on what is today the higher levels of that plane. The mental permanent atom was also practically quiescent within each human form, and there was consequently no attractive "pull" from the mental plane, as is the case today. Many people are still Atlantean in consciousness, and when they pass out of the physical state of consciousness and discard their dual physical body, they are faced with the problem of elimination of the astral body, but they have little to do to release themselves from any mental prison of the soul. These are the undeveloped and average persons who, after the elimination of the kamic or desire body, have little else to do; there is no mental vehicle to draw them into a mental integration because there is no mentally focused potency; the soul on the higher mental levels is as yet "in deep meditation" and quite unaware of its shadow in the three worlds.

The art of elimination falls, therefore, into three categories:

  1. As practiced by those people who are purely astral in quality and constitution. These we call "kamic" people.
  2. As practiced by those balanced people who are integrated personalities and who are called [488] "kama-manasic" individuals.
  3. As practiced by advanced people and disciples of all grades who are mainly mental in their "living focus." These are called "manasic" subjects.

The same basic rules control them all, but the emphasis differs in each case. I would have you bear in mind that where there is no physical brain and where the mind is undeveloped, the inner man finds himself practically smothered in an envelope of astral matter and is for a long time immersed in what we call the astral plane. The kama-manasic person has what is called the "freedom of the dual life," and finds himself possessed of a dual form which enables him to contact at will the higher levels of the astral plane and the lower levels of the mental plane. I would again remind you that there is no physical brain to register these contacts. Awareness of contact is dependent upon the innate activity of the inner man and his peculiar state of apprehension and of appreciation. The manasic person is possessed of a translucent mental vehicle with a light density which is in proportion to his freedom from desire and emotion.

These three types of people all use an eliminative process of a similar nature, but employ a different technique within the process. For the sake of clarity, it might be stated that:

  1. The kamic person eliminates his astral body by means of attrition, and vacates it via the astral correspondence to the solar plexus center. This attrition is brought about because all the innate desire and inherent emotion are, at this stage, related to the animal nature and the physical body - both of which are now non-existent.
  2. The kama-manasic individual uses two techniques. This would naturally be so because he eliminates, first of all, his astral body, and then his mental vehicle. [489]
    1. He eliminates the astral body by means of his growing desire for mental life. He withdraws gradually and steadily into the mind body, and the astral body esoterically "drops away" and finally disappears. This takes place usually unconsciously and may require quite a long time. Where, however, the man is above the average, and on the verge of becoming a manasic person, the disappearance is brought about suddenly and dynamically, and the man stands free in his mental body. This takes place consciously and rapidly.
    2. He shatters the mental body by an act of the human will, and also because the soul is beginning to be slowly aware of its shadow. The inner man is therefore attracted towards the soul, though still only in a somewhat feeble manner. This process is relatively quick and is dependent upon the extent of the manasic influence.
  3. The manasic man, focused now in his mental body, has also two things to accomplish:
    1. To dissolve and rid himself of any astral sediment which may be discoloring his translucent mental body. The so-called astral body is now practically non-existent as a factor of expression. This he does by calling in increased light from the soul. It is soul light which, at this stage, dissolves the astral substance, just as it will be the combined light of the soul of humanity (as a whole) which will dissolve finally the astral plane - again so-called.
    2. To destroy the mental body through the use of certain Words of Power. These Words are communicated to the disciple via the Ashram of his Master. They bring in soul power to a greatly enhanced extent, and produce consequently such an [490] expansion of consciousness within the mental body that it is broken up and no longer constitutes a barrier to the inner man. He can now stand, a free son of mind, within the Ashram of his Master and "shall no more go out".

B.VI.1. Activities Immediately After Death

Immediately after death, and particularly if cremation has taken place, the man, in his kama-manasic body, is as much aware and alert to his environment as he was upon the physical plane when alive. This phrasing permits latitude as to the extent of the awareness and of observation, for a similar latitude must be allowed for those on the physical plane. People are not all equally awake or equally conscious of circumstances or immediate experience. However, as most people are more conscious emotionally than they are physically, and live to a great extent focused in their astral vehicles, the man is quite familiar with the state of consciousness in which he finds himself. Forget not that a plane is essentially a state of consciousness and not a locality, as so many esotericism seem to think. It is recognized by the focused reaction of the self-conscious person who - constantly and distinctly aware of himself - is sentient to the theme of his environment and of his outgoing desires, or (where advanced people are concerned, functioning upon the more advanced levels of the astral plane) sentient of outgoing love and aspiration; the man is engrossed with what engrossed his attention and involved the kamic principle during his incarnated experience. May I again remind you that there is now no physical brain to respond to impacts generated by the inner man, and also that sex, as it is physically understood, is non-existent. Spiritualists would do well to remember this and so grasp the foolishness as well as the impossibility of those spiritual [491] marriages which certain schools of thought in the movement teach and practice. The man, in his astral body, is now free from the strictly animal impulses which, upon the physical plane, are both normal and right, but which now have no meaning to him in his kamic body.

Therefore, taking the average man, what are his first reactions and activities after the restitution of the physical body to the universal reservoir of substance? Let me enumerate some of these reactions:

  1. He becomes consciously aware of himself. This involves a clarity of perception unknown to the average man whilst in physical incarnation.
  2. Time (being the succession of events as registered by the physical brain) is now non-existent as we understand the term, and - as the man turns his attention to his more clearly defined emotional self - there ensues invariably a moment of direct soul contact. This is due to the fact that even in the case of the most ignorant and undeveloped man, the moment of complete restitution does not pass unnoticed by the soul. It has a definite soul effect, something like a long and strong pull at a bell rope, if I might use so simple a simile. For a brief second the soul responds, and the nature of the response is such that the man, standing in his astral body, or rather in his kama-manasic vehicle, sees the experience of the past incarnation spread before him like a map. He records a sense of timelessness.
  3. As a result of the recognition of these experiences, the man isolates those three which were the three major conditioning factors in the life which has gone and which also hold the keys to his future incarnation which he will next initiate. All else is forgotten, and all the lesser experiences fade out of his memory, leaving nothing in [492] his consciousness but what are esoterically called "the three seeds or germs of the future". These three seeds are in a peculiar manner related to the permanent physical and astral atoms, and thus produce the fivefold force which will create the forms later to appear. It might be said that:
    1. Seed One determines later the nature of the physical environment in which the returning man will find his place. It is related to the quality of that future environment and thus conditions the needed field or area of contact.
    2. Seed Two determines the quality of the etheric body as a vehicle through which the ray forces can make contact with the dense physical body. It delimits the etheric structure or vital web along which the incoming energies will circulate and is related in particular to the special one of the seven centers which will be the most active and alive during the coming incarnation.
    3. Seed Three gives the key to the astral vehicle in which the man will be polarized in the next incarnation. Forget not, I am dealing here with the average man and not with the advanced human being, disciple or initiate. It is this seed which - through the forces it attracts - brings the man again into relation with those he previously loved or with whom he had close contact. It can be accepted as a fact that the group idea governs subjectively all incarnations, and that reincarnated man is brought into incarnation not only through his own desire for physical plane experience, but also under group impulse and in line with the group karma as well as with his own. This is a point which should receive more emphasis. Once this is truly grasped and understood, a great deal of the [493] fear engendered by the thought of death would disappear. The familiar and the loved will still remain the familiar and the loved, because the relation has been closely established over many incarnations and - as the Old Commentary expresses it:
  4. "These seeds of determining recognition are not unique to me and you, but also for the group; within the group they relate one to the other in time and space. Only in the lower three shall those related find their true existence. When soul knows soul and in the meeting-place within the Master's call, these seeds shall disappear."

    It will be apparent, therefore, how necessary it is to train children to recognize and profit by experience, for this, once learnt, will greatly facilitate this third activity upon the astral plane after death.

  1. Having completed this "isolating of experience," the man will then seek and automatically find those whom the third seed influence indicates as possessing a constant part in the group experience of which he is an element, consciously or unconsciously. The relation once again established (if those sought have not yet eliminated the physical body), the man acts as he would on earth in the company of his intimates and according to his temperament and point in evolution. If those who are closest to him and whom he deeply loves or hates are still in physical incarnation, he will also seek them out and - just again as he did on earth - he will remain in their neighborhood, aware of their activities, though (unless highly evolved) they will not be aware of his. I can give no detail as to reciprocal give and take or to the modes and methods of contact. Each person differs; each temperament is largely unique. I only seek to make [494] clear certain basic lines of behavior pursued by man prior to the act or acts of elimination.

These four activities cover varying periods of time - from the angle of "those who live below," though there is no time recognized on the part of the man on the astral plane. Gradually the lure and glamor (of a low or high order) wears off, and the man enters into the stage where he knows - because the mind is now more incisive and dominating - that he is ready for the second death and for the entire elimination of the kamic body or of the kama-manasic vehicle.

One of the things to remember here is that once restitution of the physical in its two aspects has taken place, the inner man is, as I have earlier said, fully conscious. The physical brain and the swirl of etheric forces (mostly somewhat disorganized in the case of the majority of men) are no longer present. These are the two factors which have led students to believe that the experiences of the man on the inner planes of the three worlds are those of a vague drifting, of a semi-conscious experience, or indicate a repetitive life, except in the case of very advanced people or disciples and initiates. But this is not the case. A man on the inner planes is not only as conscious of himself as an individual - with his own plans, life and affairs - as he was on the physical plane, but he is also conscious in the same manner of the surrounding states of consciousness. He may be glamored by astral existence or subject to the telepathic impression of the varying thought currents emanating from the mental plane, but he is also conscious of himself and of his mind (or of the measure of manasic life developed) in a far more potent manner than when he had to work through the medium of the physical brain, when the focus of his consciousness was that of the aspirant, but anchored in the [495] brain. His experience is far richer and fuller than he ever knew when in incarnation. If you will think this out for a little, you will realize that this necessarily would be so.

It may therefore be assumed that the Art of Elimination is practiced more definitely and more effectively than was the restitution of the physical vehicle. Another point must also be considered. On the inner side, men know that the Law of Rebirth governs the experience-process of physical plane living, and they realize then that, prior to the elimination of the kamic, kama-manasic or manasic bodies, they are only passing through an interlude between incarnations and that they consequently face two great experiences:

  1. A moment (long or short, according to the attained point in evolution) wherein contact will be made with the soul or with the solar angel.
  2. After that contact, a relatively violent reorientation to earth life takes place, leading to what is called "the process of descent and calling," wherein the man:
    1. Prepares for physical incarnation again.
    2. Sounds his own true note into the substance of the three worlds.
    3. Revitalizes the permanent atoms, which form a triangle of force within the causal body.
    4. Gathers together the needed substance to form his future bodies of manifestation.
    5. Colors them with the qualities and characteristics he has already achieved through life-experience.
    6. On the etheric plane arranges the substance of his vital body so that the seven centers take shape and can become the recipients of the inner forces.
    7. Makes a deliberate choice of those who will provide him with the needed dense physical covering, and then awaits the moment of incarnation. Esoteric [496] students would do well to remember that parents only donate the dense physical body. They contribute naught else save a body of a particular quality and nature which will provide the needed vehicle of contact with the environment demanded by the incarnating soul. They may also provide a measure of group relationship, where the soul experience is long and a true group relation has been established.

These two critical moments are consciously faced by the discarnate man and he knows what he is doing within the limits set by his point in evolution.

B.VI.2. The Devachan Experience

I would also point out that this conscious undertaking of the art of elimination, and this awareness of process and purpose, in reality constitute the state of consciousness which has been called devachan by the orthodox theosophist. There has been a great deal of misunderstanding of this experience. The general idea has been that, after the process of ridding himself of the astral and mental bodies, the man enters into a sort of dream state wherein he reexperiences and reconsiders past events in the light of the future and undergoes a sort of rest period, a kind of digestive process, in preparation for the undertaking of renewed birth. This somewhat erroneous idea has arisen because the concept of time still governs theosophical presentations of truth. If, however, it is realized that time is not known apart from physical plane experience, the entire concept of devachan clarifies. From the moment of complete separation from the dense physical and etheric bodies, and as the eliminative process is undertaken, the man is aware of past and present; when elimination is complete and the hour of [497] soul contact eventuates and the manasic vehicle is in process of destruction, he becomes immediately aware of the future, for prediction is an asset of the soul consciousness and in this the man temporarily shares. Therefore, past, present and future are seen as one; the recognition of the Eternal Now is gradually developed from incarnation to incarnation and during the continuous process of rebirth. This constitutes a state of consciousness (characteristic of the normal state of the advanced man) which can be called devachanic.

It is not my intention to elaborate the technique of the eliminative process. Humanity is at so many different stages - intermediate between the three already outlined - that it would be impossible to be definite or concise. Attrition is relatively easy to understand; the kamic body dies out because, there being no call from physical substance, evoking desire, there is nothing with which to feed this vehicle. The astral body comes into being through the reciprocal interplay between the physical plane, which is not a principle, and the principle of desire; in the process of taking rebirth, this principle is utilized with dynamic intent by the soul in the mental vehicle to reverse the call, and matter then responds to the call of the reincarnating man. Kamic man, after a long process of attrition, is left standing free within an embryonic mental vehicle, and this period of semi-mental life is exceedingly brief and is brought to an end by the soul who suddenly "directs his eye to the waiting one," and by the power of that directed potency instantaneously reorients the individual kamic man to the downward path of rebirth. The kama-manasic man practices a process of withdrawal and responds to the "pull" of a rapidly developing mental body. This withdrawal becomes increasingly rapid and dynamic until it reaches the state where the probationary disciple - under steadily growing soul contact - shatters the kama-manasic body, as a unit, by an act of the mental will, [498] implemented by the soul. You will note that the "devachanic" experience will necessarily be briefer in connection with this majority than with the kamic minority, because the devachanic technique of review and recognition of the implications of experience is slowly controlling the man on the physical plane so that he brings the significance of meaning and learns constantly through experience whilst incarnating. Thus you will realize also that continuity of consciousness is also being slowly developed, and the awareness of the inner man begin to demonstrate on the physical plane, through the medium of the physical brain at first, and then independently of that material structure. I have here conveyed a definite hint on a subject which will receive wide attention during the next two hundred years.

The manasic person, the integrated personality, works, as we have seen, in two ways which are necessarily dependent upon the integration achieved. This integration will be of two kinds:

  1. That of the integrated personality focused in the mind and achieving a constantly growing rapport with the soul.
  2. The disciple, whose integrated personality is now being rapidly integrated into and absorbed by the soul.

In this stage of mind development and of constant mental control (based on the fact that the man's consciousness is now definitely focused and permanently centered in the mental vehicle), the earlier processes of the destruction of the astral body through attrition and by "dynamic negation" are carried on whilst in physical incarnation. The incarnated man refuses to be ruled by desire; what is left of the illusory astral body is dominated now by the mind, and the urges towards the satisfaction of desire are refused with full and [499] conscious deliberation, either because of the selfish ambitions and mental intentions of the integrated personality, or under the inspiration of soul intention which subordinates the mind to its purposes. When this point in evolution is attained, the man can then dissolve the last remaining vestiges of all desire by means of illumination. In the early stages of purely manasic or mental life, this is done through the illumination which knowledge brings and involves mainly the innate light of mental substance. Later, when soul and mind are establishing a close rapport, the light of the soul hastens and supplements the process. The disciple now uses more occult methods, but upon these I may not here enlarge. The destruction of the mental body is no longer brought about by the destructive power of light itself, but is hastened by means of certain sounds, emanating from the plane of the spiritual will; these are recognized by the disciple, and permission to use them in their proper word-forms is given to him by some senior initiate within the Ashram or by the Master Himself, towards the close of the cycle of incarnation.

B.VI.3. Tenth Law of Healing

I would like now to lay down certain postulates which we shall need to consider in our study of Part Three where we take up the Fundamental Laws of Healing. These Laws and Rules, I have already given you, but I seek now to elaborate.

We have studied at some length the immediate processes which take place when the principle of life withdraws or is withdrawn from the body. There is a distinction, based on evolutionary development, in these two processes. We have traced the withdrawal of the life principle, plus the consciousness, from the subtle bodies in the three worlds, and have now reached the point where we are no longer dealing [500] with average man or with undeveloped man. We shall be concerned with the conscious activity of the soul in relation to its form aspect.

With the undeveloped or the average man, the soul plays a very small part in the death process, beyond the contribution of a simple soul determination to end the cycle of incarnated life, prior to another return to the physical plane. The "seeds of death" are inherent in the form nature and demonstrate as disease or as senility (using that word in its technical and not in its colloquial sense), and the soul pursues its own interests on its own plane until such time as the evolutionary process has brought about a situation wherein the integration or close relation between soul and form is so real that the soul is deeply and profoundly identified with its manifesting expression. It might be said that when this stage is reached, the soul is, for the first time, truly incarnated; it is truly "descending into manifestation" and the entire soul nature is thereby involved. This is a point little emphasized or realized.

In the earlier lives of the incarnating soul and for the majority of the cycles of life experience, the soul is very slightly concerned in what is going on. The redemption of the substance of which all forms are made goes forward under natural process and the "karma of matter" is the initial governing force; this is succeeded in time by the karma generated by the fusion of soul and form, though (in the earlier stages) very little responsibility is engendered by the soul. That which occurs within the threefold soul-sheath is necessarily the result of the innate tendencies of substance itself. However, as time goes on and incarnation follows upon incarnation, the effect of the indwelling soul quality gradually evokes conscience, and - through the medium of conscience, which is the exercise of the discriminative sense, developed as the mind assumes increasing control - an [501] awakening and finally an awakened consciousness is evoked. This demonstrates in the first instance as the sense of responsibility; it is this which gradually establishes a growing identification of the soul with its vehicle, the lower triple man. The bodies become then steadily more refined; the seeds of death and of disease are not so potent; sensitivity to inner soul realization grows until the time is reached when the initiate-disciple dies by an act of his spiritual will or in response to group karma or to national or planetary karma.

Disease and death are essentially conditions inherent in substance; just as long as a man identifies himself with the form aspect, so will he be conditioned by the Law of Dissolution. This law is a fundamental and natural law governing the life of the form in all the kingdoms of nature. When the disciple or the initiate is identifying himself with the soul, and when the antahkarana is built by means of the life principle, then the disciple passes out of the control of this universal, natural law and uses or discards the body at will - at the demand of the spiritual will or through recognition of the necessities of the Hierarchy or the purposes of Shamballa.

We come now to the enunciation of a new law which is substituted for the Law of Death and which has reference only to those upon the later stages of the Path of Discipleship and the stages upon the Path of Initiation.

Law X
Hearken, O Chela, to the call which comes from the Son to the Mother, and then obey. The Word goes forth that form has served its purpose. The principle of mind (the fifth principle. A.A.B.) then organizes itself, and then repeats the Word. The waiting form responds and drops away. The soul stands free. [502]
Respond, O Rising One, to the call which comes within the sphere of obligation; recognize the call emerging from the Ashram or from the Council Chamber where waits the Lord of Life Himself. The Sound goes forth. Both soul and form together must renounce the principle of life and thus permit the Monad to stand free. The soul responds. The form then shatters the connection. Life is now liberated, owning the quality of conscious knowledge and the fruit of all experience. These are the gifts of soul and form combined.

I have wished to make clear in your minds the distinction between disease and death as experienced by the average man, and certain corresponding processes of conscious dissolution as practiced by the advanced disciple or initiate. These later processes involve a slowly developing technique in which (in the earlier stages) the disciple is still the victim of disease-producing tendencies of the form, as of all forms in nature. This tendency produces subsequent death, through the stages of modified disease and peaceful, consequent death, on to the other stages where death is brought about by an act of the will - the time and the mode being determined by the soul and consciously recorded and registered in the brain. Pain is demonstrated in both cases, but upon the Path of Initiation pain is largely negated, not because the initiate endeavors to avoid pain, but because the sensitivity of the form to undesirable contacts disappears, and with it pain also disappears; pain is the guardian of the form and the protector of substance; it warns of danger; it indicates certain definite stages in the evolutionary process; it is related to the principle whereby the soul identifies itself with substance. When the identification ceases, pain and disease and also death lose their hold upon the disciple; the soul is no longer subject to their requirements, and the man is free because disease and death are qualities inherent in form, and subject to the vicissitudes of form life. [503]

Death is to man exactly what the release of the atom appears to be; this the great scientific discovery of the release of atomic energy has demonstrated. The nucleus of the atom is split in two. (This wording is scientifically incorrect.) This event in the life experience of the atom releases a great light and a great potency; upon the astral plane, the phenomenon of death has a somewhat similar effect and has a close parallel in the phenomena brought about by the release of atomic energy. Every death, in all the kingdoms of nature, has to some extent this effect; it shatters and destroys substantial form and thus serves a constructive purpose; this result is largely astral or psychic and serves to dissipate some of the enveloping glamor. The wholesale destruction of forms which has been going on during the past few years of war has produced phenomenal changes upon the astral plane and has shattered an immense amount of the existing world glamor, and this is very, very good. These happenings should result in less opposition to the inflow of the new type of energy; it should facilitate the appearance of the ideas embodying the needed recognitions; the new concepts will now be seen, and their emergence into the realm of human thinking will be dependent upon the formulation of the new "lanes or channels of impression" whereby the minds of men can become sensitive to hierarchical plans and to the purposes of Shamballa.

This, however, is by the way. My proposition will serve to show you some of the relationships between death and constructive activity, and the wide usefulness of death as a process in reconstruction. It will convey to you the idea that this great Law of Death - as it governs substance in the three worlds - is a beneficent and corrective event. Without enlarging upon it, I would remind you that this Law of Death, which governs in such potency in the three worlds of human evolution, is a reflection of a cosmic purpose which [504] governs the cosmic etheric planes of our solar system, the cosmic astral plane and the cosmic mental plane. The death-dealing energy emanates as an expression of the life principle of that greater Life which enfolds all the seven planetary systems which in Themselves express the Life of our solar system. When, in our thinking and in our effort to understand, we enter this realm of pure abstraction, it is time to call a halt and draw our minds back to the more practical ways of planetary living and to the laws governing the fourth kingdom in nature, the human.

We are now in a position (after this attempt to argue from the universal to the particular, which is ever the occult way), to take up, in Part Three, the last point which deals with the Basic Requirements, and must now consider the use of the death principle by the disciple or the initiate. I would have you note my way of expressing this concept. This is dealt with under the title of The Processes of Integration. [505]

B.VII. The Processes of Integration

In considering this intelligently utilized event as it is employed by the soul, functioning consciously in the three worlds, we shall find it helpful to consider it under two main headings:

  • First: The processes whereby the cycle of incarnation is brought to an end through the complete integration of soul and personality. This we will approach from three points of view:

The significance of integration.
The state of mind of the soul.
The elimination of the thought-form of the personality.

  • Second: The results of this:
    Within the Ashram of the Master, as far as the disciple is concerned.
    In the mode whereby the liberated disciple can now create a body for physical plane contact and for service in the three worlds - this time not under the Law of Necessity but under the Law of Service, as understood by the initiate.

You will by now have realized that we have discussed the fact of death as it has affected the physical body (a most [506] familiar happening) and also the astral or mental sheaths - those aggregations of conditioned energy with which we are not so objectively familiar but which even psychology admits exist and which we believe must disintegrate or disappear with the death of the physical body. Has it, however, occurred to you that the major aspect of death with which a human being is ultimately concerned is the death of the personality? I am not here speaking in abstract terms, as do all esotericists when they work at the negation of quality or of the qualities which characterize the personal self. They speak of "killing out" this or that quality, of completely suppressing the "lower self," and similar phrases. Here I am speaking of the literal destruction, dissolution, dissipation or final dispersal of that beloved and well-known personal self.

It must be borne in mind that the life of a personality falls into the following stages:

  1. Its slow and gradual construction over a long period of time. For many cycles of incarnations, a man is not a personality. He is just a member of the mass.
  2. The conscious identification of the soul with the personality during this stage is practically non-existent. The aspect of the soul which is concealed within the sheaths is for a long, long period dominated by the life of those sheaths, only making its presence felt through what is called "the voice of conscience." However, as time goes on, the active intelligent life of the person is gradually enhanced and coordinated by the energy which streams from the knowledge petals of the egoic lotus, or from the intelligent perceptive nature of the soul on its own plane. This produces eventually the integration of the three lower sheaths into one functioning whole. The man is then a personality. [507]
  3. The personality life of the now coordinated individual persists for a large number of lives, and also falls into three phases:
    1. The phase of a dominant aggressive personality life, basically conditioned by its ray type, selfish in nature and very individualistic.
    2. A transitional phase wherein a conflict rages between personality and soul. The soul begins to seek liberation from form life and yet - in the last analysis - the personality is dependent upon the life principle, conferred by the soul. Wording it otherwise, the conflict between the soul ray and the personality ray starts and the war is on between two focused aspects of energy. This conflict terminates at the third initiation.
    3. The control by the soul is the final phase, leading to the death and destruction of the personality. This death begins when the personality, the Dweller on the Threshold, stands before the Angel of the Presence. The light of the solar Angel then obliterates the light of matter.

The "control" phase is conditioned by the complete identification of the personality with the soul; this is a reversal of the previous identification of the soul with the personality. This also is what we mean when speaking of the integration of these two; the two are now one. It was of this phase that St. Paul was speaking when he referred (in the Epistle to the Ephesians) to Christ making "out of two, one new man." It is primarily the phase of the final stages of the Probationary Path (where the work consciously begins) and its carrying forward to completion upon the Path of Discipleship. It is the stage of the practical and successful server; it is that wherein the entire focus [508] and output of the life of the man is dedicated to the fulfilment of hierarchical intent. The man begins to work on and from levels not included in the three worlds of ordinary evolution, but which nevertheless have their effects and their planned objectives within those three worlds.

B.VII.1. The Significance of Integration

The emphasis laid by most teachers and aspirants is upon the integration of the personality and its correct orientation towards the world of spiritual values. It should be remembered that this is an earlier stage and rightly so. The integration of the mind, the emotional nature and the brain is the major characteristic of all advanced human beings - the bad, the very bad, the good and the very good. It is, however, no sign of spiritual life, and is frequently quite the reverse. A "Hitler" or an ambitious person with a deeply selfish or cruelly directed life is a personality, with all the powers of his mind dedicated to evil purposes, with the emotional nature so constituted that it presents no obstacle to the furthering of these selfish intentions, and with a high-powered brain receptive to the plans and methods of the two vehicles, carrying out the behests of the personality.

I would point out that the majority of people are not personalities, no matter how glibly they may talk about their personalities. For example, the initial objective before the mass of aspirants and students is, first of all, to integrate the lower threefold man, so that they may become functioning personalities, prior to becoming functioning souls; the work is dedicated to the purpose of producing a conscious personality focus, whilst avoiding that cycle of incarnations wherein the personality is dedicated to lower and selfish ends. Students who are more advanced are dedicated to the purpose of producing a still higher integration of soul and [509] personality, leading to that final integration which brings in the highest aspect of all, that of monadic life.

There are in the world today many truly integrated personalities. These, because soul and personality are integrated, can tread the Path of Accepted Discipleship. This is a most hopeful development, if you could but realize its implications and significance, and the question arises as to how the others who are as yet only in the process of reorientation can develop an adequate personality integration. This they will never do if they over-estimate themselves or depreciate themselves. Many are apt to regard themselves as personalities because of their natural self-will, or because they are occult students. They forget that an occult student is one who is in search of that which is hidden - in their case of that hidden, integrating thread which will enable them to blend the three bodies and thus truly merit the name of personality. Some of them cannot become personalities during this life, but they can develop the mental concept of its possibility and its nature; they need to remember that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." It is not waste of time, but a very necessary process and one through which every Member of the Hierarchy has passed.

Study and meditation combined are the factors which all aspirants should employ if they seek to produce this needed integration and a consequent life of service. Thus the aspirant can test out both his point of integration and the extent of the serving quality produced by this integration. If aspirants would study their physical plane life with care, they would discover that they are either working automatically in response to physical plane conventional ideas of goodwill or of being kind, or they are working emotionally because they like to help, they like to be liked, they like to relieve suffering (owing to their hatred of the discomfort which suffering brings to them), they believe in following [510] the steps of the Christ Who went about doing good, or because of a natural, deep seated life tendency. This is a hopeful and finalizing unfoldment.

Aspirants will eventually find out (when the physical and emotional phases of the integration are over) that there follows a phase of intelligent service, motivated in the first instance by mercy, then by conviction of its essentiality, then by a stage of definitely spiritual ambition, then by a submissive following of the example of the Hierarchy, and finally by the activity of the quality of pure love; this pure love increasingly expresses itself as the higher integration of soul and personality proceeds. All these phases of intention and of techniques are right in their own place, just as long as they have teaching value, and whilst the higher next phases remain vague and nebulous. They become wrong when they are perpetuated and carried on when the next stage is clearly seen but not followed. Ponder on this. It is of value to you to realize the true significance of these varying phases of integration, carried forward - as they are - under evolutionary law.

All these steps upon the way of integration lead to that culminating stage wherein the personality - rich in experience, powerful in expression, reoriented and dedicated - becomes simply the mediator of soul life between the Hierarchy and Humanity. Again - ponder on this.

B.VII.2. The State of Mind of the Soul

And whilst all these phases, stages and realizations are taking place in the life of the personality, what is the attitude of the soul upon its own plane? A consideration of this involves, first of all, a recognition of the three aspects of mind which are to be found upon what we call the mental plane: [511]

  1. The lower concrete mind, which is the attitude of thought held by the tiny aspect of the soul which was initially "put down" into manifestation at the time of individualization. This - during the long cycle of incarnations - has become increasingly sensitive to its over-shadowing Self. This over-shadowing Self says to its incarnated aspect: "Having pervaded this entire universe with a fragment of myself, I remain." The pull of that over-shadowing "remaining Self" is what draws the little fragment back to its originating source.
  2. The Son of Mind, the soul, the product of the thought of the Universal Mind, the thinking, perceiving, discriminating, analyzing Identity or spiritual Entity. This aspect of the One Life is characterized by pure mind, pure reason, pure love and pure will. A "Lord of Sacrifice" Who, through incarnating experience, integration and expression, has undertaken the task of redeeming matter, and of raising substance into Heaven! These are familiar truths and ancient platitudes, but they still remain largely theory to you. You can test their theoretical nature by asking yourself: What am I doing, as a soul (if I function as a soul at all), to raise my matter aspect, my three vehicles and the substance out of which they are made, on to higher planes of expression?
  3. The higher abstract mind which is to the soul what the lowest aspect of the soul, embodied in the knowledge petals, is to the concrete mind. This abstract mind is the lowest aspect of the Spiritual Triad.

Once integration has taken place between the personality and the soul, then the soul - in its own body and nature and on its own plane - can begin to attend to a higher integration or linking relation which it must eventually bring about between itself and the Spiritual Triad. Accomplishment [512] upon a lower level ever makes possible accomplishment upon a higher. There is no true higher accomplishment until, step by step, the lower reflected aspect is mastered, used and recognized as an instrument for bringing about still higher activities.

The state of mind of the soul during the processes of lower integration can be briefly summarized as follows:

  1. That of a complete disinterest during the earlier stages of the cycle of incarnation. Its "embedded aspect" (as it has been called) is quite adequate to the slow and tedious task of evolving the bodies, developing their characteristics and buying the bitter experience of blindness and ignorance. This period is by far the longest, and whilst it is proceeding the soul goes forward with its own life interest upon its own level of experience, upon its own ray and under the influence of the Master Who will eventually guide the thinking (through gladly accepted impression) of the developing personality. Forget not that this kingdom or this aggregate of souls is what the Christian calls the Kingdom of God and the occultist calls the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet. Remember also that the purpose of its aggregated life is to induce realization in consciousness of the spiritual polarization of the planetary Life.
  2. As evolution proceeds, the three vehicles - now created and developed - become potent, and their vibration becomes strong enough to attract a measure of attention from the preoccupied soul. The first reaction is irritation. Occult irritation is not crossness, as human beings express it, but response to contact - a response which does not please. In other words, it is friction. You will, therefore, better understand the meaning of the statement that the last fetter which the Master casts off is [513] irritation. The personality no longer attracts attention; friction therefore ceases, and there is nothing left but a pure channel through which spiritual energy can pour. Irritation, as you understand it, takes place when your personal, self-will, self-esteem, ideas and plans are infringed upon by those of another person. It is not this form of irritation which the Master casts off.
    The second reaction is that of a meditation process or the generation of power, later to be used in the three worlds to enhance soul energy within the form and to create the field of knowledge, peopled by the thought-forms into which the personality will later venture. The soul is therefore preparing for its own reorientation towards Life and its expression in the three worlds, and not to the gaining of life experience.
  3. When the personality becomes dominant, the soul introduces a new factor into the life of its reflection, the incarnating soul. It mobilizes and focuses the energy of the soul ray, and by an act of the will brings it into direct contact with the ray of the personality. This has a reflex action on the rays of the threefold lower man, stimulating them, awakening them, and conditioning the etheric body so that the centers, through which the personality rays are pouring, and the head center which is responsive to the soul ray, can become more active. The ajna center, through which the personality works, intensifies its activity, and two things occur:
    1. The personality life becomes increasingly potent and the man develops into an intense individual.
    2. The head center begins to exert an influence upon the ajna center, and slowly and gradually upon the center at the base of the spine. Self-will grows as do all the qualities. [514]
  4. The soul is now in what esotericists call "a process of reversal." This produces a great interest in its reflection in the three worlds, and three things then happen:
    1. The lower concrete mind becomes subject to illumination from the soul.
    2. The energy of the soul ray increasingly pours into the personality, intensifying its conflict.
    3. The path of the man around the zodiac from Aries via Pisces to Taurus is reversed and he then proceeds anti-clockwise.

All these factors produce violent conflict upon the Probationary Path, which increases as the man steps upon the Path of Discipleship. The potency of the personality, dominant and being dominated, is that which induces an intense karmic activity. Events and circumstances pile fast and furiously into the experience of the disciple. His environment is of the highest quality available in the three worlds; his experience fluctuates between the extremes; he works off his karmic obligations and pays the penalty of past mistakes with great rapidity.

All this time, incarnation succeeds incarnation and the familiar process of death, intervening between cycles of experience, goes on. However, all the three deaths - physical, astral and mental - are carried out with a steadily awakening state of awareness, as the lower mind develops; the man no longer drifts - asleep and unknowing - out of the etheric, astral and mental vehicles, but each of them becomes as much an event as is physical death.

Finally the time comes when the disciple dies with deliberation and in full consciousness, and with real knowledge relinquishes his various vehicles. Steadily the soul takes control, and then the disciple brings about death through an act of the soul-will and knows exactly what he is doing. [515]

B.VII.3. The Elimination of the Personality Thought-form

In dealing with this subject (and it can only be done very briefly) two things must be borne in mind:

  1. That we are considering solely an idea in the mind of the soul and dealing with the basic fact of the illusion which has controlled the entire cycle of incarnation and so held the soul a prisoner to form. To the soul, the personality connotes two things:
    1. The soul's capacity for identification with form; this is first of all realized by the soul when the personality is beginning to react to a measure of real integration.
    2. An opportunity for initiation.
  2. That the elimination of the thought-form of the personality, which is consummated at the third initiation, is a great initiation for the soul on its own plane. For this reason, the third initiation is regarded as the first major initiation, since the two previous initiations have very little effect upon the soul and only affect the incarnated soul, the "fragment" of the whole.

These are facts which are little realized and seldom emphasized in any of the literature hitherto published. The emphasis up till now has been upon the initiations as they affect the disciple in the three worlds. But I am specifically dealing with the initiations as they affect or do not affect the soul, over-shadowing its reflection, the personality, in the three worlds. What I have said, therefore, will have little meaning for the average reader.

From the angle of the personal self, regarding itself as the Dweller on the Threshold, the attitude or state of mind has been inadequately portrayed as one of complete obliteration in the light of the soul; the glory of the Presence, [516] transmuted by the Angel, is such that the personality completely disappears, with its demands and its aspirations. Naught is left but the shell, the sheath, and the instrument through which the solar light can pour for the helping of humanity. This is true to a certain degree, but is only - in the last analysis - man's attempt to put into words the transmuting and the transfiguring effect of the third initiation, which cannot be done.

Infinitely more difficult is the attempt I am here making to depict the attitude and the reactions of the soul, the one self, the Master in the heart, as it recognizes the stupendous fact of its own essential liberation and realizes, once and for all, that it is now incapable of responding in any way to the lower vibrations of the three worlds, as transmitted to the soul by its instrument of contact, the personality form. That form is now incapable of such transmission.

The second reaction of the soul, once this realization has been focused and admitted, is that - having achieved freedom - that freedom now conveys its own demands:

  1. For a life of service in the three worlds, so familiar and now so completely transcended.
  2. An over-shadowing sense of outgoing love towards those who are, as yet, seeking liberation.
  3. A recognition of the essential triangle which has now become the center of the conceptual life of the soul [517]

Hierarchy / Soul / Humanity

The soul now vibrates between the two points or pairs of opposites and acts as an invocative and evocative center.

None of the above realizations may be registered in the brain consciousness or in the mind of the illumined personality. Theoretically, some dim vision of the inherent possibilities may be sensed, but the consciousness is no longer that of the serving disciple in the three worlds, using mind, emotions and physical body to carry out behest and hierarchical intent, as far as may be. That has disappeared with the death of the personality consciousness. The consciousness is now that of the soul itself, aware of no separation, instinctively active, spiritually obsessed by the plans of the Kingdom of God, and completely free from the lure or the faintest control of matter-form; the soul is, however, still responsive to and immersed in substance-energy, and its higher correspondence is still functioning on the levels of the cosmic physical plane - the buddhic, atmic, monadic and logoic planes.

What then must take place if the life of the soul is to be full and complete and so thoroughly inclusive that the three worlds form part of its area of awareness and its field of service? The only way in which I can make clear to you what the soul must do after the third initiation is to sum it up in two ways:

  • First: The soul now becomes a conscious creator because the third aspect - developed and mastered through experience in the three worlds during the long cycle of incarnations - has reached a point of perfected activity. Putting it technically: the energy of the knowledge petals and the energy of the love petals are now so actively fused and blended that two of the inner petals, surrounding the jewel in the lotus, are no longer acting [518] as veils to that jewel. I am here speaking symbolically. Because of this happening, the death or the elimination of the personality is the first activity in the drama of conscious creation, and the first form created by the soul is a substitute for the personality. Thus an instrument for service in the three worlds is created. This time, however, it is an instrument with no life, no desire, no ambition and no power of thought of its own. It is only a sheath of substance, animated by soul life but - at the same time - responsive to and suited to the period, race and the environing conditions wherein the creating soul chooses to work. Think this statement out and emphasize the words "suited to."
  • Second: The soul then prepares itself for the coming fourth initiation. This is basically a monadic experience and results - as you know - in the disappearance or destruction of the soul vehicle or causal body, and the establishment, therefore, of a direct relation between the monad on its own plane and the newly created personality, via the antahkarana.

These two points are given to you for the first time in the sequential giving out of the occult teaching; hints have, however, prepared the way for these two facts. Information has also been given anent the mayavirupa through which the Master works and contacts the three worlds and which He deliberately creates in order to serve His purposes and plans. It is a definite substitute for the personality and can only be created when the old personality (built and developed during the cycle of incarnation) has been eliminated. I prefer the word "eliminated" to the word "destroyed." The structure - at the time of elimination - persists, but its separate life has gone. [519]

If you will think clearly about this statement, you will see that a very complete integration is now possible. The personality life has been absorbed; the personality form is still left, but it persists without any real life of its own; this means that it can now be the recipient of energies and forces, needed by the working initiate or Master in order to carry on the work of salvaging humanity. Students would find it of value to study the three "appearances of the Christ" as recorded in the Gospel story:

  1. His transfigured appearance upon the Mount of Transfiguration. That episode depicts symbolically the radiant soul, and also the three vacated bodies of the personality, and hints also at a future building of a vehicle of manifestation. St. Peter says, "Lord, let us here build three huts" or tabernacles.
  2. His appearance as truth itself (silent yet present) before the bar or judgment seat of Pilate - repudiated by the world of men but recognized by the Hierarchy.
  3. His radiant appearances after the resurrection initiation:
    1. To the woman at the sepulchre - symbolizing His contact with Humanity.
    2. To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus - symbolizing His contact with the Hierarchy.
    3. To the twelve disciples in the upper chamber - symbolizing His contact with the Council Chamber of the Lord of the World at Shamballa.

You can thus see the factual nature of the results to which I earlier referred in this instruction. The disciple who has eliminated (in the technical sense as well as in the mystical sense) the hold of the personality has now the "freedom of the Ashram," as it is called; he can move at will among his fellow disciples and initiates. There will be nothing in his [520] vibratory life or his quality which can disturb the rhythm of the Ashram; there will be nothing to call forth the "calming intervention" of the Master, as is frequently the case during the earlier stages of discipleship; nothing can now interfere with those higher contacts and spheres of influence which have hitherto been sealed to the disciple because of the intrusion of his own personality. [521]