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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Eleven - Salvation from Death
Salvation from Death

We come now to the second phase of our study of the final words of Rule XI. We have dealt with salvation from the dangers incident to the creation of thought-forms by a human being who has learnt, or is learning, to create on the mental plane. Much could have been said from the standpoint of the inability of the majority of students to think with clarity. Clear thinking involves capacity to dissociate oneself, temporarily at least, from all reactions and activities of an emotional nature. As long as the astral body is in a state of restless movement, and its moods and feelings, its desires and emotions are powerful enough to attract attention, positive pure thought processes are not possible. Until the time comes when there is a more general appreciation of the value of concentration and of meditation, and until the nature of the mind and its modifications are more universally understood, any further teaching on the subject would be futile.

In these Instructions I have sought to give an indication [493] of the first steps in esoteric psychology, and have dealt primarily with the nature and mode of training of the astral body. Later on in this century, the psychology of the mind, its nature and modifications may be handled in more detail. But the time is not yet.

Our subject now is salvation from the body nature through the process of death.

Two things must be borne in mind as we seek to study the means of this salvation:

  • First, by the body nature I mean the integrated personality, or the human equipment of physical body, vital or etheric vehicle, the matter (or mode of being) of the desire nature, and the mind stuff. These constitute the sheaths or outer forms of the incarnated soul. The consciousness aspect is sometimes focused in one and sometimes in another, or is identified with the form or with the soul. The average man works with facility and self-consciousness in the physical and astral bodies. The intelligent and highly evolved man has added to these two the conscious control of his mental apparatus, though only in certain of its aspects, such as the memorizing or analyzing faculties. He has also, in some cases, succeeded in unifying these three into a consciously functioning personality. The aspirant is beginning to understand something of the principle of life which is animating the personality, whilst the disciple is utilizing all three, because he has coordinated or aligned the soul, the mind, and the brain and is therefore beginning to work with his subjective apparatus or energy aspects.
  • Secondly, this salvation is brought about through a right understanding of the mystical experience we call death. This is to be our theme, and the subject is so immense that I can only indicate certain lines along which the aspirant may think, and posit certain premises which he can later elaborate. We shall confine ourselves also primarily to the death of the physical body. [494]

Let us first of all define this mysterious process to which all forms are subject and which is frequently only the dreaded end - dreaded because it is not understood. The mind of man is so little developed that fear of the unknown, terror of the unfamiliar, and attachment to form have brought about a situation where one of the most beneficent occurrences in the life cycle of an incarnating Son of God is looked upon as something to be avoided and postponed for as long a time as possible.

Death, if we could but realize it, is one of our most practiced activities. We have died many times and shall die again and again. Death is essentially a matter of consciousness. We are conscious one moment on the physical plane, and a moment later we have withdrawn onto another plane and are actively conscious there. Just as long as our consciousness is identified with the form aspect, death will hold for us its ancient terror. Just as soon as we know ourselves to be souls, and find that we are capable of focusing our consciousness or sense of awareness in any form or on any plane at will, or in any direction within the form of God, we shall no longer know death.

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