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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Ten - The Present Age and the Future
When however we look at humanity as a whole and cast our eyes back over the past racial development, we can see how mental energy has had a most definite effect and has produced outstanding results. The use of two factors differentiates man from the animal, whether he uses them consciously or unconsciously. Both are latent in the animal but man is the only entity in the three worlds who can consciously reap benefit from them. One of these factors is pain, and the other is the faculty of discrimination. Through the means of pain and a subsequent process of analysis, of relation plus memory and visualization, man has learnt what to avoid and what to cultivate. This works in the realm of physical plane happenings and of sensory experience. Through discrimination as to ideas and as to thought currents, man has learnt to decide upon what to base his activities in all departments [358] of human affairs, even though he has but an imperfect grasp as to the true nature of ideas and his application of the truths sensed is quite imperfect. That he often chooses unwisely, that the ideas governing group conduct are not of the highest, that public opinion is proverbially molded by personal and selfish interests may be only too sadly true. Nevertheless - through pain and learning to utilize the power of choice in the realm of ideas - man is steadily forging ahead towards full liberty and full control of the earth, which it is his right to inherit. The Old Commentary says in relation to these two characteristics of man something that conveys much of beauty, couched in symbolic language. The phrases run as follows and it must be borne in mind whilst pondering upon them that water symbolizes sentiency or astral reaction, and fire is the symbol of the mentality.

"The assuaging waters cool. They slowly bring relief, abstracting form from all that can be touched. The quivering fever heat of long repressed desire yields to the cooling draught. Water and pain negate each other. Long is the process of the cooling draught.

"The burning fire releases all that blocks the way of life. Bliss comes and follows after fire, as fire upon the waters. Water and fire together blend and cause the great Illusion. Fog they produce and mist and steam and noise, veiling the Light, hiding the Truth and shutting out the Sun.

"The fire burns fiercely. Pain and the waters disappear. Cold, heat, the light of day, the radiance of the rising sun and perfect knowledge of the Truth appear.

"This is the path for all who seek the light. First form, and all its longing. Then pain. Then the assuaging waters and the appearance of a little fire. The fire grows, and heat is then active within the tiny sphere and does its fiery work. Moisture likewise is seen; dense fog, and to the pain is added sad bewilderment, for they who use the fire of mind during the early stage are lost within a light illusory.

"Fierce grows the heat; next comes the loss of power to suffer. When this stage has been outgrown, there comes [359] the shining of the unobstructed sun and the clear bright light of truth. This is the path back to the hidden center.

"Use pain. Call for the fire, oh, Pilgrim in a strange and foreign land. The waters wash away the mud and slime of nature's growth. The fires burn the hindering forms which seek to hold the pilgrim back and so they bring release. The living waters, as a river, sweep the pilgrim to the Father's Heart. The fires destroy the veil hiding the Father's Face."

Perhaps one of the first things that every student has to learn, as he seeks to grasp the nature and use of mind, is that public opinion has to give place to individual consciousness of right, and that then that individual consciousness has to be so employed and concentrated that it is seen in its right proportion as that living germ which can expand into the divine flower of the Son of Mind, the Manasaputra, and as the thread which leads back into the realm of the Universal Mind. This thread and this consciousness, when followed, will lead the individual into the Council Chamber wherein the plan and the purpose of the great Life will stand revealed, and wherein all human selfishness and self-seeking fade out in the clear light of the Will of God. Through right understanding and right use and control of the astral nature and a comprehension of the nature of the sentient consciousness, man can penetrate into the very heart of God Himself and know past all controversy that all is well, for all is Love. Through right use of the mind, and through correct understanding of the nature of the intellect, man can enter into the mind of God and know that all is well, for all is planned, and divine purpose is steadily working out its objectives.

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