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A Treatise on Cosmic Fire - Section Two - Division D - Thought Elementals and Fire Elementals
c. Conditions for White Magic

In considering the factors requiring adjustment prior to undertaking the work of magic, we are dealing with that which is of eminently practical value. Unless students of magic enter upon this pursuit fortified by pure motive, clean bodies, and high aspiration, they are foredoomed to disappointment and even to disaster. All those who seek to work consciously with the forces of manifestation, and who endeavor to control the Energies of all that is seen, need the strong protection of purity. This is a point which cannot be too strongly emphasized and urged, and hence the constant injunctions to self control, comprehension of the nature of man, and devotion to the cause of humanity. The pursuit of magical investigation is dangerous in three ways.

If a man's bodies are not sufficiently purified and their atomic vibration is not sufficiently high, he is in danger of over-stimulation when brought in contact with the forces of nature, and this inevitably entails the destruction and disintegration of one or other of his bodies. At times it may entail the destruction of two or more, and when this is the case, it involves a definite setback to egoic unfoldment, for it requires, in such cases, a much longer interval between incarnations, owing to the difficulty of assembling the needed materials in the sheaths.

Further, unless a man is strengthened in his endeavor by right motive, he is liable to be led astray by the acquisition of power. Knowledge of the laws of magic puts into the hands of the student powers which enable him to create, to acquire, and to control. Such powers [994] are fraught with menace to the unprepared and unready, for the student can, in this case, turn them to selfish ends, use them for his own temporal material advancement, and acquire in this way that which will feed the desires of the lower nature. He takes, therefore, the first step towards the left hand path, and each life may see him progressing towards it with greater readiness, until (almost unconsciously) he will find himself in the ranks of the black masters. Such a state of affairs can only be offset through the cultivation of altruism, sincere love of man, and a steady negation of all lower desire.

The third danger which menaces the unwary student of magic lies in the fact that when he tampers with these forces and energies he is dealing with that which is akin to his own lower nature. He, therefore, follows the line of least resistance; he augments these energies, thereby increasing their response to the lower and to the material aspects of his nature. This he does at the expense of his higher nature, retarding its unfoldment and delaying his progress. Incidentally also, he attracts the attention of those masters of the left hand path who are ever on the lookout for those who can be bent to their purposes, and he becomes (unwittingly at first), an agent on the side of evil.

It will be apparent, therefore, that the student has need of the following qualities before he undertakes the arduous task of becoming a conscious Master of Magic:

  • Physical Purity. This is a thing not easily to be acquired, but entailing many lives of strenuous effort. Through abstinence, right continence, clean living, vegetarian diet, and rigid self-control, the man gradually raises the vibration of his physical atoms, builds a body of ever greater resistance and strength, and succeeds in "manifesting" forth in a sheath of greater refinement.
  • Etheric Freedom. This term does not convey all that [995] I seek to impart, but it suffices for need of a better. The student of magic who can safely undertake the enterprise, will have constructed an etheric body of such a nature that vitality, or pranic force and energy, can circulate unimpeded; he will have formed an etheric web of such tenuosity that it forms no barrier to consciousness. This is all that can be said on this subject, owing to the danger involved, but it suffices for the conveyance of information to those who are beginning to know.
  • Astral Stability. The student of magic aims, above all, to purify his desires, and so to transmute his emotions that the lower physical purity and the higher mental responsiveness and transmutative power may equally be available. Every magician has to learn the fact that, in this solar system, during the cycle of humanity, the astral body is the pivotal point of endeavor, having a reflex effect on both the other sheaths, the physical and the mental. He, therefore, aims at transmuting (as has often been said) lower desire into aspiration; at changing the lower cruder colors which distinguish the astral body of average man, for the clearer, purer tones of the spiritual man, and of transforming its normal chaotic vibration, and the "stormy sea of life," for the steady rhythmic response to that which is highest and the center of peace. These things he effects by constant watchfulness, unremitting control, and steady meditation.
  • Mental Poise. These words are used in the occult sense, wherein the mind (as it is commonly understood) becomes the keen steady instrument of the indwelling thinker, and the point from which he can travel onwards to higher realms of comprehension. It is the foundation stone whence the higher expansion can be initiated.

Let not the would-be student of magic proceed in his investigations and his experiments until he has attended to these injunctions, and until the whole bent of his thought is towards their manifestation and their demonstration [996] in his every day life. When he has so worked, ceaselessly and untiringly, and his physical plane life and service bear witness to the inner transmutation, then he can proceed to parallel this life with magical studies and work. Only the solar Angel can do the work of the white magician, and he effects it through the control of the lunar angels and their complete subjugation. They are arrayed against him, until, through meditation, aspiration, and control, he bends them to his will and they become his servants.

This thought brings us to the vital and real distinction between the white brother and the brother of darkness, and in this summation we will conclude the present discussion and proceed with the rules.

The worker in white magic utilizes ever the energy of the Solar Angel to effect his ends. The dark brother works through the inherent force of the lunar lords, which are allied in nature to all that is objective. In an old book of magic, hidden in the caves of learning, guarded by the Masters, are the following conclusive words, which find their place in this Treatise on Fire through their very appropriateness:

"The Brothers of the Sun, through the force of solar fire, fanned to a flame in the blazing vault of the second Heaven, put out the lower lunar fires, and render naught that lower 'fire by friction.'

The Brother of the Moon ignores the sun and solar heat; borrows his fire from all that triply is, and pursues his cycle. The fires of hell await, and lunar fire dies out. Then neither sun nor moon avails him, only the highest heaven awaits the spark electric, seeking vibration synchronous from that which lies beneath. And yet it cometh not."

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