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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Twelve - Interludes and Cycles
What does concern the student of these Instructions however is how he can himself attain a definite constructive activity in his interludes. These interludes, for the purpose of our discussion, fall into three categories:

1. Life interludes, or those periods wherein the spiritual man is out of incarnation and has withdrawn into the egoic consciousness. These, for the little evolved, are practically non-existent; they cycle in and out of incarnation with amazing rapidity. The physical plane analogy of this rapidity of activity is to be found in the intense rushing to and fro of the ordinary man as he meets the exigencies of existence and also in the difficulty he evidences in patience and in waiting and in achieving the meditative poise. As growth takes place, the periods of withdrawal from incarnation steadily lengthen, until the point is reached when the periods out of physical manifestation greatly exceed those spent in outer expression. Then the interlude dominates. The periods of outgoing (exhalation) and of inbreathing (inhalation) are relatively brief and - the point to be emphasized - these two periods are colored and controlled by the purposes of the soul, formulated and recorded on the mind during the interlude between the two more active stages of [514] experience. The inner life, slowly developed during the cyclic interludes, becomes the dominating factor. The man gradually becomes subjective in his attitude and the physical plane expression is primarily then the result of the inner thought life and not so much the result of reaction to physical plane occurrences and the restlessness of the desire nature.

2. The ebb and flow of daily life during a particular incarnation will also demonstrate its interludes, and these the aspirant has to learn to recognize and to utilize. He has to register the distinction between intense outgoing activity, periods of withdrawal, and interludes wherein the outer life seems static and free from active interest. This he must do if he is to avail himself fully of the opportunity which life experience is intended to furnish. The whole of life is not concentrated in one furious continuous stretch of rushing forth to work, nor is it comprehended in one eternal siesta. It has normally its own rhythmic beat and vibration and its own peculiar pulsation. Some lives change their rhythm and mode of activity every seven years; others alter every nine or eleven years. Still others work under shorter cycles and have months of strenuous endeavor followed by months of apparent non-effort. Some people again are so sensitively organized that, in the midst of work, events and circumstances are so staged that they are forced into a temporary retirement wherein they assimilate the lessons learnt during the preceding period of work.

Two groups of human beings work with apparently no physical plane ebb and flow, but manifest steadily an urge to work. These are people who are so little evolved and so low down (if one might thus express it) on the ladder of evolution and so predominantly animal that there is no mental reaction to circumstances but simply a response to the call of physical needs, and the use of time for the satisfaction of desire. This never lets up [515] and therefore there is little that can be called cyclic in their expression. They include the unthinking toiler and the uncivilized man. Then there are those men and women who are on the opposite scale, and have climbed relatively high on the ladder of progress. These are so emancipated from the purely physical and are so aware of the nature of desire that they have learnt to preserve a continuous activity - based on discipline and service. They work consciously with cycles and understand somewhat their nature. They know the divine art of abstracting their consciousness into that of the soul in contemplation and can control and wisely guide their work in the world of men. This is the lesson which all disciples are learning and this is the high achievement of the initiates and trained workers of the race.

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