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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Problems of Disciples and Mystics
I have dealt with this in detail as the practice of breathing exercises definitely moves the forces flowing through the "nadis" and reorganizes them - usually prematurely. It hastens the process of breaking down the walls separating four forces from the fifth energy, and hastens the burning of the protecting etheric webs up the spinal column. If this is done whilst the emphasis of the life is below the diaphragm and the man is not even an aspirant or intelligent, then it will cause the over-stimulation of the sex life, and also the opening up of the astral plane and hence much physical difficulty and disease. It occultly "releases the lower fires and the man will be destroyed by fire"; he will not be then (as is intended) the "burning bush which burns forever and cannot be destroyed". If this burning takes place by a forced process and is not under right direction, there must inevitably be difficulty. When the man is on the Path of Purification or Probation or is in the early stages of discipleship, with the emphasis of his intention above the diaphragm, then there is much danger of over-development of the sense of egotism, over-stimulation of the heart center (with the consequent appearance of various forms of heart disease and of emotionalism, evoked over group conditions) and of troubles related to the thyroid gland and the brain, as well as difficulties connected principally with the pituitary body.

I could give you here certain forms of breathing exercises which might prove helpful to some people in the work of reorganizing the vital body and consequently the etheric body, but the dangers involved in the case of the majority of [596] my readers negate any such action. The old rule that aspirants must find their way into an esoteric or mystery school still holds good. All I can do - as I have done - is to give certain directions and teach certain safe and generally well-known rules which will lay the foundation for the more advanced work which must be carried forward under careful personal supervision. For this reason, once this present world crisis is duly ended, there must be laid a foundation of true esoteric schools. Such do Not as yet exist. Today, aspirants and disciples are working in the modern esoteric schools (such as the Arcane School and the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society - to mention two of the most important) and there they learn some of the foundational truths of esotericism; they begin to gain control of the emotional nature and the mind; they learn to purify the body and to apprehend the basic postulates of the Ageless Wisdom. They are then under the direction subjectively of some senior disciple who knows the needed next truth and has unfolded in himself the "sense of contact" and the power of intuitive perception. A few persons, here and there, are definitely working under the direction of one of the Masters. Only where there is direction, a knowledge of a man's governing rays and a grasp of the astrological indications as to a man's "path of life" can the true, but dangerous, rules be given, which will lead to:

  1. A right distribution of energy.
  2. The focusing of the forces in the centers.
  3. The burning of the separating walls and of the dividing etheric webs.
  4. The lifting of the energies ever higher in the body by the power of the directed will.

Many of the difficulties of mystics and occultists today are due to the fact that they are literally "playing with fire" and are [597] not aware of it; that they are not preserving the right or ordered sequence of development, as outlined above; that they are following practices for which they are not ready, which have not been modified to suit the occidental type of body, and which they blindly follow without any understanding of the process or results. Unless the basic rule is grasped that "energy follows thought", it is inevitable that dire results must eventuate. The mystic, for instance whose thought is focused on the Christ, regarding Him as somewhere in Heaven, but as outside himself, and whose aspiration makes Him the objective of all his desire, is frequently debilitated and physically ill. Why is this the case? Because the energy which is seeking to enter him and permeate his whole organism only reaches as far as the heart center and is from there constantly turned back and driven out of the physical body by the directing power of the mystic's thought. Christ, for him, is elsewhere. Outside himself lies his thought and the energy consequently streams out of his body. It is a much discussed problem among initiates today as to whether the generally debilitated condition of the human race is not due in part to the fact that the aspiration and thought of mankind, having been constantly directed to some outside goal and not (as should have been the case) to the center of life and love within each human being, has drained man of much needed energy. In spite of the fact that he has been taught for centuries that the kingdom of God is within, the peoples in the occident have not accepted the statement or worked on the premise presented, but have sought for reality without and have turned their attention to the Personality of the One who taught them a major truth. At no time did He desire or seek their devotion. The price of this distortion of the truth has been paid again and again by a devitalized body and by the [598] inability of the average mystic to live a concrete, and yet divine, life upon earth.

There is little more that I can say here in connection with the problems and the difficulties of the psychic powers as they unfold in humanity and on a higher turn of the spiral than in the past. As evolution proceeds, the human and animal psychic faculties become available to the disciple. Humanity has chosen to proceed by means of the "trial and error" method and it is in many ways a sound choice, but it is slow and leads to points of crisis and moments of almost intolerable difficulty in the history of the race. In the case of the mystic and the disciple who is endeavoring to gain control of these inherent instincts, the problem is today enhanced by the fact that the physical vitality of the race is so lowered and also so little understood and the proper care of the body is consequently so poorly rendered that the unhealthy condition of that body releases the lower powers more easily than would otherwise be the case. They therefore unfold prematurely and before their nature and function is understood or the laws of their control grasped. The acceptance of this statement would be found enlightening and much progress would be made if the various premises I have made were accepted as valid hypotheses and acted upon. The result would open the door to a new understanding of the psychic faculties. Psychology and medicine would be thereby enriched.

We come now to two more problems which are related to the higher psychic powers but are of a more advanced kind and dependent upon the development of the mind nature more than upon the solar plexus consciousness.

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