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Glamor - A World Problem - The Causes of Glamor
3. The Contrasts between the Higher and the Lower Glamors

In the preceding part of this section we considered (briefly and all too cursorily) some of the causes of the dense glamor which surrounds humanity. That this glamor is very ancient, powerfully organized, and is the dominant characteristic of the astral plane emerged clearly, as did the fact of the three major predisposing subsidiary causes:

  1. The glamors induced by the planetary life and inherent in substance itself.
  2. Those glamors which are initiated by humanity, as a whole, and intensified throughout an aeonial past.
  3. Glamor engendered by the individual himself, either in the past, through participation in world glamor, or started this life.

To all of these, every human being is prone and for many lives proves himself the helpless victim of that which he later discovers to be erroneous, false and deceiving. He learns then that he need not fall supinely under the domination of the past - astral, emotional and glamorous - but that he is adequately equipped to handle it, did he but know it, and that there are methods and techniques whereby he can emerge the conqueror of illusion, the dissipater of glamor and the master of maya. This is the initial revelation, and it is when he has realized the implication of this and has [126] set out to dominate the undesirable condition that he arrives later at a recognition of an essential duality. This is, for the time being, in no case an illusion. He discovers the relationship between himself as a personality, the true Dweller on the Threshold, and the Angel of the PRESENCE - guarding the door of initiation. This marks a critical moment in the life of the disciple for it indicates the moment wherein he can begin to tread the Path of Initiation, if he so desires and possesses the required fortitude.

In the last analysis, the partial subjugation of glamor and escape from the complete thralldom of illusion are indications to the watching Hierarchy that a man is ready for the processes of initiation. Until he is no longer completely deceived and until he is somewhat free mentally, it is not possible for him to face the waiting Angel and pass through the door. One thing I would here point out to you: after passing through the door of initiation, the disciple returns each time again to take up anew his tasks in the three worlds of activity; he there re-enacts the former processes - briefly and with understanding - after which he proceeds to master the essentials of the next initiatory lesson. I am here putting a great deal of information in a very condensed form, but that is all that is possible at this time.

For a long time, the sense of dualism pervades the disciple's being and makes his life appear to be a ceaseless conflict between the pairs of opposites. The battle of the contraries is taking place consciously in the disciple's life. He alternates between the experiences of the past and a recollection of the experience of initiation through which he has passed, with the emphasis, first of all, in the earlier experiences; later, in the final great experience which is so deeply coloring his inner life. He has prolonged moments wherein he is the baffled disciple, struggling with glamor, and brief moments wherein he is the triumphant initiate. He [127] discovers in himself the sources of glamor and illusion and the lure of maya until the moment arrives when again he stands before the portal and faces the major dualities in his own particular little cosmos - the Dweller and the Angel. At first he fears the Angel and dreads the light which streams from that Angel's countenance, because it throws into vivid reality the nature of the Dweller who is himself. He senses, as never before, the formidable task ahead of him and the true significance of the undertaking to which he has pledged himself. Little by little, two things emerge with startling clarity in his mind:

  1. The significance of his own nature, with its essential dualism.
  2. The recognition of the relationship between the pairs of opposites with which he, as a disciple, has to work.

Once he grasps the relation of the lower major duality (that of the personality and the soul) he is then prepared to pass on to the higher reality, that of the integrated Self (personality and soul) and its relation to the PRESENCE. In this statement, you have expressed in a few concise words the result of the first three initiations and the two final. Ponder on this.

It will be of real value, I believe, if I relate for your benefit the various contrasting characteristics of the intelligent man and the disciple, using the word "disciple" to cover all stages of development from that of accepted disciple to that of the Master. There is naught but the Hierarchy, which is a term denoting a steady progress from a lower state of being and of consciousness to a higher. This is in every case the state of consciousness of some Being, limited and confined and controlled by substance. You will note that [128] I say "substance" and not "form" for it is in reality substance which controls spirit for a long, a very long, cycle of expression; it is not matter that controls, for the reason that gross matter is always controlled by the forces which are esoterically regarded as etheric in nature and, therefore, as substance, not form. Remember this at all times for it holds the clue to the true understanding of the lower nature.

We will study, therefore, the basic essential contrasts which the disciple must intuitively grasp and with which he must familiarize himself. We will divide what we have to say into four parts, dealing briefly, but I trust helpfully, with each:

  1. The contrast between Illusion and its opposite - Intuition.
  2. The contrast between Glamor and its opposite - Illumination.
  3. The contrast between Maya and its opposite - Inspiration.
  4. The contrast between the Dweller on the Threshold and its opposite - The Angel of the PRESENCE.

This, you will realize, is a large subject and deals with the major problem of the disciple. I would refer you at this point to what I have already said anent these four aspects of glamor, and would ask you to refer with care to the various charts and tabulations which have been given to you from time to time.

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