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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Two - The Hindrances to Occult Study
Our consideration of this rule will fall into two parts:

The relation between the soul and the personality. This will be handled particularly with reference to meditation in the daily life, more than from the theoretical and the academical.

The significance of the words, "the lower light is thrown upward." These deal with the centers and the Kundalini Fire.

I would like here to point out the advisability of each student arriving at an understanding of his etheric body, and this for certain reasons.

  • First, the etheric body is the next aspect of the world substance to be studied by scientists and investigators. This time will be hastened if thinking men and women [77] can formulate intelligent ideas anent this interesting subject. We can aid in the revelation of the truth by our clear thinking and from the standpoint of the present pronouncements about the ether, scientists will eventually arrive at an understanding of etheric forms or bodies.
  • Secondly, the etheric body is composed of force currents, and in it are vital centers linked by lines of force with each other and with the nervous system of the physical man. Through these lines of force, it is connected also with the etheric body of the environing system. Note that in this lies the basis for a belief in immortality, for the law of brotherhood or unity and for astrological truth.
  • Thirdly, the need of realizing that the etheric body is vitalized and controlled by thought and can (through thought) be brought into full functioning activity. This is done by right thinking and not by breathing exercises and holding the nose. When this is grasped, much dangerous practice will be avoided and people will come into a normal and safe control of that most potent instrument, the vital body. That this end may rapidly be consummated is my earnest wish.

Occult study is of profound importance, and students of these sciences must bring to bear upon them, all that they have of mental application and concentrated attention. It involves also the steady working out of the truths learnt.

Occult study, as understood in the Occident, is intellectually investigated but not practically followed. Theoretically some glimmering of light may be appreciated by the man who aspires to the occult path, but the systematic working out of the laws involved has made small progress as yet.

Wherein lies the hindrance? It may be of value if we study three things: [78]

  1. The Occidental hindrances to correct occult study.
  2. How these hindrances may be surmounted.
  3. Certain things the aspirant may safely undertake in the equipping of himself for treading the occult path, for that is the stage, and for the majority, the only stage at present possible.

One of the main hindrances to the correct apprehension of the laws of occultism and their practical application lies in the fact of the comparative newness of the occident, and the rapid changes which have been the outstanding feature of European and American civilization. The history of Europe dates back a bare three thousand years, and that of America, as we know, barely as many centuries. Occultism flourishes in a prepared atmosphere, in a highly magnetized environment, and in a settled condition which is the result of agelong work upon the mental plane.

This is one reason why India provides such an adequate school of endeavor. There knowledge of occultism dates back tens of thousands of years and time has set its mark even upon the physique of the people, providing them with bodies which offer not that resistance which occidental bodies so oft afford. The environment has been long permeated with the strong vibrations of the great Ones who reside within its borders and who, in Their passage to and fro, and through Their proximity, continuously magnetize the environing ether. This in itself affords another line of least resistance, for this etheric magnetization affects the etheric bodies of the contacted population. These two facts, of time and of high vibration, result in that stability of rhythm which facilitates occult work, and offer a quiet field for mantric and ceremonial enterprise.

These conditions are not to be found in the West, where constant change in every branch of life is found, where [79] frequent rapid shifting of the scene of action causes wide areas of disturbance which militate against any work of a magic nature. The amount of force required to effect certain results does not warrant their use, and time has been allowed to elapse in an effort to produce an equilibrizing effect.

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