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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Some Problems of Psychology
The guidance to which the adherents of many esoteric schools so often respond is not that of the Hierarchy but that of the astral reflection of the Hierarchy; they respond therefore to an illusory, distorted, man-made presentation of a great spiritual fact. They could, if they so chose, respond to the reality. [486]

Apart from the ordinary occult and esoteric schools found in the world today, there are groups of people as well as solitary individuals who are practicing various forms of meditation and of yoga. This is true both of Eastern and Western aspirants. Some of these people are working with real knowledge, and, therefore, quite safely; others are profoundly ignorant not only of techniques and methods but also as to the results to be expected from their efforts. Results there must inevitably be, and the major result is to turn the consciousness inward, to develop the spirit of introspection, and to orient the man or woman to the inner subjective worlds and to the subtler planes of being - usually to the astral realm and seldom to the truly spiritual world of souls. The mind nature is seldom invoked and the processes pursued usually render the brain cells negative and quiescent whilst the mind remains inactive and often unawakened. The only area of consciousness which remains therefore visible is that of the astral. The world of physical and tangible values is shut out; the mental world is equally shut out. I would ask you to ponder on this statement.

The Oxford Group Movement has also laid much stress on the need for guidance, yet seems to have developed no real understanding of the subject or to have given any real attention to the inclusive investigation of the alternative possibilities to the voice of God. Mystics of all kinds, with a natural predisposition to the introspective, negative life are today hearing voices, receiving guidance and obeying impulses which they claim come from God. Groups everywhere are occupied with the task of orienting people to the spiritual life or with the task of ascertaining the Plan of God or of cooperating with it in some way or another. Some of these groups are working intelligently and are sometimes correct [487] in their surmises and endeavors, but the bulk of them are incorrect as they are largely astral in nature.

The result of all this is twofold. One is the development of a spirit of great hopefulness among the spiritual workers of the world as they note how rapidly humanity is turning towards the world of right meaning, of true spiritual values and of esoteric phenomena. They realize that in spite of errors and mistakes, the whole trend of the racial consciousness today is "inwards towards the Center of spiritual life and peace." The other result or recognition is that during this process of readjustment to the finer values, periods of real danger transpire and that unless there is some immediate understanding of the psychological conditions and possibilities and that unless the mentality of the race is evoked on the side of understanding and common sense, we shall have to pass through a cycle of profound, psychological, and racial disturbance before the end of this century. Two factors today are, for instance, having a deep psychological effect upon humanity:

  1. The suspense, fear and apprehension in every country are most adversely affecting the mass of the people, stimulating them astrally and - at the same time - lowering their physical vitality.
  2. The impact of the higher spiritual forces upon the more intelligently inclined and mystically motivated people is producing serious and widespread trouble, breaking down protective etheric barriers, and throwing the doors wide open on to the astral plane. Such are some of the dangers of spiritual stimulation.

Therefore, it is of real value to us to study the sources from which much of this so-called "guidance" can come. For the sake of clarity and impressiveness, I propose to list these sources very briefly and without any prolonged comment. [488] This will give the earnest and intelligent investigator the opportunity to realize that the whole theme is vaster and far more important than has been surmised and may lead to a more careful analysis of the "types of guidance" and an understanding of the possible directing agencies to which the poor and ignorant neophyte may fall a victim.

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