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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Seven - The two Paths
By the exercise of the two main weapons of the aspirant, discrimination and dispassion, he gains that quality which is called in this rule "the vital power". Just as the eye is the instrument of choice in choosing the way of travel on the physical plane and has besides a potency all its own whereby it attracts and develops its [230] own sign language, so a vital power is felt in the aspirant. This eventually brings the third eye into activity, and so there is gained a potency and a clear vision which make right choice and quick progress upon the way a steady progression. We are told that power is grown or developed in silence, and only he who can find a center of peace within his head, where the paths of the bodily forces and the spiritual inflowing tides meet, can rightly practice true discrimination and that dispassion which bring the controlled astral and mental bodies under the guidance of the soul.

Then he can understand the significance of "the vibrating poles", and achieve that point of equilibrium which is the result of their interaction and vibration.

The sensing of the dual forces and the clear discrimination of the two paths leads to the development of the vital power. This vital power demonstrates its first activity in enabling the aspirant to achieve a point of balance and so stand on that pinnacle of achievement whereon "a choice is made".

What is that choice? For the aspirant, it is that between rapid and slow progress. For the disciple, accepted and loyal, it is the choice between methods of service. For the initiate it oft lies betwixt spiritual advancement and the arduous work of staying with the group and working out the plan. For the Master it is the choice between the seven Paths, and it will therefore be apparent how much more strenuous and difficult is his problem.

All however prepares the aspirant for right choice through right discrimination leading to right action, and made possible through practiced dispassion. In this sentence is summed up the technique of the warrior upon the battlefield of the desire plane.

It should here be noted that in the steadily developing power of choice, and the loyally fought battle of the astral [231] plane, the consciousness in the man shifts stage by stage. First, it is the battered earth-weary aspirant who has to struggle with desire, with glamor, with ambition and with his sensitive emotional body. He thinks the battle is stupendous but from the wider angle it is relatively small - yet all that he can stand.

Later, it is the experienced probationary disciple who wrestles in the vale of illusion, and deals not alone with his own nature but with the forces of that vale also, recognizing its dual nature. Then, the disciple comes forth to battle and faces with courage (and often with clear vision) the forces arrayed against him. They involve not only those in his own nature and in those aspects of the astral plane to which he naturally reacts, but also involve the forces of illusion arrayed against the group of disciples to which he belongs. Let all disciples take note of this and have it in mind in these difficult and strenuous days. Such disciples are in conscious contact at times with their soul forces and for them there is no defeat nor turning back. They are the tried warriors, scarred and tired, yet knowing that triumphant victory lies ahead, for the soul is omnipotent. Accepted disciples, who battle all the above enumerated factors, plus the black forces arrayed against the Elder Brothers, can call upon the spiritual energies of their group and at rare and indicated moments upon the Master under whom they work. Thus the work and labor expands; thus the responsibility and struggle steadily increases; yet at the same time there is also a steadily growing recognition of potencies which can be contacted and utilized and which when correctly contacted insure victory at the end.

The phrase "the one who meditates" relates to the soul. Arjuna, the aspiring disciple, resigns the struggle and hands the weapons and the reins of government to Krishna, the soul, and is rewarded at last by understanding [232] and by a vision of the divine form which veils the Son of God Who is Himself.

When this battle has been fought and won the disciple steps into the ranks of the white magicians of our planet and can wield forces, cooperate with the plan, command the elementals, and bring order out of chaos. He is no longer immersed in the world illusion but has risen above it. He can no longer be held down by the chains of his own past habits and his karma. He has gained the vital power and stands forth an Elder Brother.

Such is the path ahead of each and all who dare to tread it. Such is the opportunity offered to all students who have made their choice with dispassion and are prompted by love and the desire to serve. [235]

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