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Letters on Occult Meditation - Letter V - Dangers to be avoided in Meditation
Causes of Obsession

October 9, 1919

One of the activities ahead of the occult student is the study and the scientific observation of this matter. We have been told in various occult books that obsession and insanity are very closely allied. Insanity may exist in all three bodies, the least harmful being that of the physical body, whilst the most enduring and the hardest to cure is that of the mental body. Insanity in the mental body is the heavy fate that descends upon those who for many incarnations have followed the path of selfish cruelty, using the intelligence as a means to serve selfish ends and using it wilfuly, knowing it to be wrong. But insanity of this type is a means whereby the Ego sometimes arrests the progress of a man towards the left-hand path. In this sense it is a disguised blessing. Let us deal first with the causes of obsession, leaving the subject of [124] insanity for another day. These causes are four in number and each responds to a different treatment:

  • One cause is a definite weakness of the etheric double, in the separating web, which like a piece of relaxed elastic permits entry of an extraneous entity from the emotional plane. The door of entrance which is formed by this web is not closed tight, and entrance can be effected from without. This is a physical plane cause, and is the result of the maladjustment of physical plane matter. It is the result of karma, and is prenatal, existing from the earliest moment. Usually the sufferer is physically weak, intellectually feeble, but possessed of a powerful emotional body which suffers and fights and struggles to prevent entrance. The attacks are intermittent, and more frequently attack women than men.
  • Another cause is due to emotional reasons. A lack of coordination exists between the emotional and the physical and when the man functions in the emotional body (as at night) the moment of re-entry is attended with difficulty, and opportunity exists for other beings to enter the physical vehicle, and prevent its occupation by the real Ego. This is the most common form of obsession, and affects those with powerful physical bodies and strong astral vibrations, but with weak mental bodies. It leads, in the ensuing struggle, to the violent scenes of screaming lunatics and to the paroxysms of the epileptic. Men are more subject to this than women, as women are usually more definitely polarized in the emotional body.
  • A rarer kind of obsession is the mental. In coming days as the mental body develops, one may expect perhaps to see more of it. Mental obsession involves the displacement taking place on the mental levels - hence its rarity. The physical body and the emotional body remain as a unit, but the Thinker is left in his mental body, [125] whilst the obsessing entity (clothed in mental matter) enters the two lower vehicles. In the case of emotional obsession the Thinker is left with his emotional body and his mental body but with no physical. In this latter case he is left with neither emotional nor physical. The cause lies in the fact of the over-development of the mental, and of the relative weakness of the emotional and physical bodies. The Thinker is too powerful for his other bodies and disdains their use; he is too interested in work on mental levels, and thus gives opportunity to obsessing entities to assume control. This, as I said before, is rare and is the result of lop-sided development. It attacks women and men equally; it principally shows itself in childhood and is difficult to cure.
  • A still rarer cause of obsession is definitely the work of the dark Brothers. It takes the form of snapping the magnetic link that attaches the Ego to the lower physical body, leaving him in his emotional and mental bodies. This would normally result in the death of the physical body, but in cases such as these the dark Brother, who is to use the physical body, enters it and makes connection with his own cord. These cases are not common. They involve only two classes of people:
    • Those who are highly evolved and on the Path, but who through some wilful shortcoming fail for some one incarnation and so lay themselves open to the evil force. Sin (as you call it) in the Personality of a disciple leads to a weakness in some one spot, and this is taken advantage of. This type of obsession shows itself in the transformation that is sometimes seen when a great soul suddenly plunges on an apparent downward path, when he changes the whole trend of his existence and besmirches a fair character with mud. It carries with it its own punishment, for on the inner planes the disciple looks [126] on, and in agony of mind sees his lower vehicle dishonoring the fair name of its real owner and causing evil to be said of a loved cause.
    • The little evolved, weakly organized, and so unable to resist.
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