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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Problems of Disciples and Mystics
b. Unfoldment of the Psychic Powers

The forces which are responsible for the awakening of the centers are many. The primary one is the force of evolution itself, plus the inherent or innate forward-pressing urge towards greater inclusiveness which is always found in every individual being. This secondary aspect of the evolutionary principle needs careful elaborating. We have for too long been occupied with the effort to develop the form side of nature so that it shall become increasingly sensitive to its environment and thus build an ever improving mechanism. But the twofold idea (should I say Fact, for such it is?) of the development of an increasing capacity to include and the fact of the existence of the one interior factor, the Self, which brings about this steady development, needs emphasizing. From the standpoint of the occult student, there are three ideas which lie behind this belief:

  1. The fact of the Indweller, the Entity within the form who looks on at life as it unfolds, who develops awareness of the environment and who becomes inclusive - eventually to the point of synthesis.
  2. The fact of the inherent ability (found in all forms of life [556] in all kingdoms) to progress towards this greater inclusiveness, passing from kingdom to kingdom in this unfolding process.
  3. The fact that humanity constitutes a central point from which this inclusiveness can be consciously developed. Hitherto, the development has been natural, normal and part of the evolutionary urge. This it still remains, but the process can be hastened (and frequently is) as man gains control of his mental processes and begins to work (as the conscious Indweller) towards appointed ends.

I wanted to make these points adequately clear because they have a definite bearing on our theme which concerns the psychic difficulties of modern man. These difficulties are rapidly growing and are causing much distress among those who believe that the development of the lower psychic powers is a hindrance to true spiritual development. Certain mystics regard these powers as indications of divine grace, however, and as guarantees of the reality of their endeavor. Others regard them as signifying a definite "fall from grace". It seems to me, therefore, that an analysis of these powers, their correct placing upon the path of development, and a comprehension of the distinction between the higher and the lower powers will be of real value and will enable students in the future to proceed with a greater surety and knowledge. They will thus be more accurately sure of the nature of the contacts of which they become aware and of the means whereby these contacts are approached and gained.

The major idea which I would have you bear in mind is the development of Inclusiveness. This inclusiveness is the outstanding characteristic of the soul, or self, whether it is the soul of man, the sensitive nature of the cosmic Christ, or the anima mundi, the soul of the world. This inclusiveness tends [557] to synthesis. It can already be seen functioning at a definite point of fulfilment in man, because man includes in his nature all the gains of past evolutionary cycles (in other kingdoms in nature and in previous human cycles), plus the potentiality of a greater future inclusiveness. Man is the macrocosm of the microcosm; the gains and peculiar properties of the other kingdoms in nature are his, having been resolved into capacities of consciousness. He is, however, enveloped in and part of a still greater macrocosm, and of this greater Whole he must become increasingly aware. Let this word, Inclusiveness, govern your thinking as you read this instruction which I am giving you upon the psychic powers and their effect.

The next idea to which I would call your attention is that the human being has the power to be inclusive in many directions, just as a line can be drawn from the point at the center of the circle to any point upon the periphery. You must remember that for a large part of his career and for the most important part of his human experience, he remains the dramatic actor, holding the center of the stage and in his own eyes playing the star part; he is always conscious of his acting and of the reactions to that acting. When man was little more than an animal, when he was in the state which we have earlier called the Lemurian consciousness and the early Atlantean consciousness, he lived unthinkingly; life unrolled like a panorama before his eyes; he identified himself with the episodes depicted and knew no difference between himself and that which he seemed to be in the unfolding picture. He simply looked on, played his little part, ate, reproduced, reacted to pleasure and to pain, and seldom, if ever, thought or reflected.

Then comes the period, familiar to all of us, wherein the man becomes the dramatic center of his universe - living, loving, planning, acting, conscious of his audience and his [558] surroundings, and demonstrating to his fullest capacity the later Atlantean and present Aryan characteristics. He is intelligently aware of his power and of a few of his powers; he is a functioning personality and (because the mind is controlling or beginning to control) the lower animal powers and the Atlantean psychism which have distinguished him begin to fade out. He loses these lower powers and has not yet developed the higher ones. Hence the reaction to be seen on every hand today to such powers as clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc.; hence their wholesale condemnation as fraudulent by the intelligentsia of the world.

Next comes the mystical stage wherein the advanced human being, the aspirant and the disciple becomes steadily aware of another realm of nature to conquer, the realm of the Kingdom of God, with its own life and phenomena; he registers the existence of other powers which he can develop and use if he so desires and is willing to pay the price; he recognizes another and wider sphere of being which he can include in his own consciousness if he permits himself to be conquered by it.

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