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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Ten - Astral Energy and Fear
6. The astral life, or sensitive emanations of a man's surrounding family or friends. They affect him far more than he may credit, or he may affect them, according to which side is positive and which is negative. Everyone we meet, or contact, every person with whom we live or daily consort has an effect upon us, either for good or evil. They either stir up our emotional nature in a good and high sense, and so aid its work of reorientation, or they lower its standard so that progress is hindered and [316] the work of drawing downwards towards materiality is carried forward. This we know well, and it is unnecessary for me to enlarge upon it here.

7. The emotional (astral sentient) equipment with which a man enters into life, which he utilizes, and which he builds as life progresses. Many a man is the victim of an emotional body which he has himself constructed as he responded to the energies of the groups enumerated above. The astral body reacts to all emanations of a sensitive character in three ways:

  1. Emotional. The astral body is swept into response of some kind to the emanations of the astral bodies - group bodies or individual - of those surrounding him. This phrase warrants careful study.
  2. Sensitive. There is always a registering of all impressions by the sensitive astral body, even if emotional response lacks, and disciples have to learn to distinguish carefully between the two. Sometimes when emotional reaction lacks, as generally understood, there is nevertheless a registering of the originating cause which sought to bring about an effect on the emotional body.
  3. Simple reaction. The registering or the refusal to register or respond to an impact, to an emotional impression. This can be either good or bad.

In all three cases, one or other of the pairs of opposites is chosen and the choice depends upon the quality of the astral mechanism of the man concerned. A fourth method involves complete detachment from the emotional body altogether, and a complete capacity to isolate oneself from any sensory impression at will - in order to serve with greater efficiency and to love with greater intelligence. Forget not that in the last analysis, love and emotion are not the same. [317]

The practical question now arises: How is one to overcome the wrong vibration?

First: - It is necessary that one recognizes what wrong vibration is, and that one is able to register reaction. A vibration, an impulse, an emotion, a desire originate in a lower aspect of the form side. They differ from an emanation coming from the soul. The two impacts upon the sentient body must be recognized as different. The question has to be asked: Is this reaction a response to personality life or is it a response to the soul consciousness? Does this impulse which seeks to sweep my sentient body into activity come from the divine Life within me or is it coming from the form aspect in any of its manifestations? Does it cause my astral body to become active in such a way that those who are en rapport with me are hurt thereby or helped? Are they hindered or aided?

A close study of one's emotional reactions brings one to the consideration of that basic characteristic which cannot be over-emphasized in view of the world's present condition. Harmlessness. I tell you that the achieving of harmlessness in the positive sense (not in the negative) means the attainment of that step which leads definitely to the Portal of Initiation. When first mentioned, it sounds of small moment, and to bring the whole subject of initiation into such small account that it becomes unimportant. But let him who so thinks practice that positive harmlessness which works out in right thought (because based on intelligent love), right speech (because governed by self-control), and right action (because founded on an understanding of the Law), and he will find that the attempt will call forth all the resources of his being and take much time to achieve. It is not the harmlessness that comes from weakness and sentimental loving disposition, which dislikes trouble because it upsets the settled harmony of life and leads to [318] consequent discomfort. It is not the harmlessness of the little evolved negative impotent man or woman, who has not the power to hurt because possessing so little equipment wherewith damage can be done.

It is the harmlessness that springs from true understanding and control of the personality by the soul, that leads inevitably to spiritual expression in everyday life. It emanates from a capacity to enter into the consciousness and to penetrate into the realization of one's brother, and when this has been accomplished - all is forgiven and all is lost sight of in the desire to aid and to help.

Response to wrong vibration will not be basically prevented by the methods of either "building a shell", or by "insulation" through the power of mantrams and visualization. These two methods are temporary expedients by which those who as yet have somewhat to learn seek to protect themselves. The building of a shell leads to separateness, as you well know, and necessitates the eventual overcoming of the habit of shell-building, and a shattering and consuming of the shells already built. This latter can be more easily done than the overcoming of the habit. Automatically the building process goes on until finally the aspirant has built so many ramparts around himself that he can neither get out nor can any contacts be made with him. The process of insulation, which is a more advanced practice and calls for more magical knowledge, consists of the emanating of certain energies of the vital body in a particular direction, which serve to keep other energies at a distance through what is called impact. Through this impact upon approaching energies, they are reversed and sent in another direction. But those energies must go somewhere, and should they damage another person, is not the one who reversed their direction through a desire to protect himself responsible?

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