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A Treatise on White Magic - Rule Fourteen - The Awakening of the Centers
Each center in the spine is separated from the one above it and the one below it by an interlaced protective [592] web which is composed of a curious blend of etheric and gaseous substance. This has to be burnt away and dissipated before there can be the free play of the fires of the body. A complete network of nadis and centers underlies and is the subtle counterpart of the nervous and endocrine systems. A little clear thinking therefore will demonstrate the need for excessive care, for there will obviously be a direct effect upon the external apparatus and this in its turn will definitely affect what the psychologists call "behavior". There are four of these interlaced circular "webs", lying between the five centers found on the rod of the spinal column, such as follows: 0/0/0/0/0, and three are to be found in the head. These three bisect the head, and form a series of crosses, as follows:


This is much like the cross upon the Union Jack, which has always had an esoteric significance for the student, and indicates a point in racial evolution. This cross in the head separates the ajna center (the center between the eyebrows) from the head center, for it lies behind that center in the forehead, and at the same time forms a protective shield between the ajna and throat centers.

These etheric webs are in reality disks, rotating or revolving at specific rates, which differ for the different centers, and according to the point in evolution of the system of centers concerned. Only when these webs are burnt away by the ascending and descending fires can the true centers really be seen. Many clairvoyants confuse the centers and their protective counterparts, for the latter have a radiance and light of their own.

As the life achieves an increasingly high vibration through purification and discipline, the fire of the soul, which is literally the fire of mind, causes the centers also to increase their vibration, and this increased activity sets up a contact with the protective "webs", or disks of pranic energy found on either side of them. Thus, [593] through the interplay, they are gradually worn away, so that in the course of time they become perforated, if I might use such an inadequate term. Many aspirants feel convinced that they have raised the kundalini fire at the base of the spine and are consequently making rapid progress, whereas all that they have accomplished is to burn or "rub through" the web at some point or other up the spine. A sensation of burning or of pain in any part of the spine, when not due to physiological causes, is, in the majority of cases, due to the piercing of one or other of the webs, through the activity of the centers allied to them. This happens very frequently in the case of women in connection with the solar plexus center, and with men in connection with the sacral center. Both these centers - as a result of evolutionary development - are exceedingly active and highly organized, for they are the expression of the physical creative nature and of the emotional body. A sense therefore of burning and of pain in the back indicates usually undue activity in a center, which produces destructive results upon the protective apparatus, and is no true indication of spiritual unfoldment and superiority. It may indicate the latter, but it should be remembered that, where there is true spiritual growth, pain and danger are in this connection practically eliminated.

There has been much loose talk about the raising of the kundalini fire and much misapprehension in the matter. Let me assure you that it is most difficult to raise, and can only be done by a definite act of the will and through the intense mental focusing and concentrated attention of the man, seated on the throne of consciousness in the head. The Masonic tradition has the teaching clearly held in its beautiful ritual of the raising of the great Master-Mason. Only when there is united effort of a fivefold kind, and only after repeated failure, does the [594] vivifying life course through the entire body and bring to life the true man.

The second point I would touch upon is that all this deeply esoteric work must only proceed under the direction of the skilled teacher. Platitudinously, the aspirant is told that "when the pupil is ready, the Master will appear". He then settles comfortably back and waits, or focuses his attention upon an attempt to attract the attention of some Master, having apparently settled in his mind that he is ready, or good enough. He naturally gives himself a spiritual prod at intervals, and attends spasmodically to the work of discipline and of purification. But steady and prolonged undeviating effort on the part of aspirants is rare indeed.

It is indeed true that at the right moment the Master will appear, but the right moment is contingent upon certain self-induced conditions. When the process of purification has become a lifelong habit, when the aspirant can at will concentrate his consciousness in the head, when the light in the head shines forth and the centers are active, then the Master will take the man in hand. In the meantime he may have a vision of the Master, or he may see a thought-form of the Master, and may get much real good and inspiration from contact with the reflected reality, but it is not the Master and does not indicate the stage of accepted discipleship. Through the medium of the light of the soul, the soul can be known. Therefore seek the light of your own soul, and know that soul as your director. When soul contact is established, your own soul will, if I may so express it, introduce you to your Master. With all due reverence again may I add, that the Master waits not with eagerness to make your acquaintance. In the world of souls, your soul and His soul are allied, and know essential unity. But in the world of human affairs and in the process of the great work it should be remembered that when a Master [595] takes an aspirant into His group of disciples, that aspirant is, for a long time, a liability and oft a hindrance. Students over-estimate themselves quite often, even when repudiating such an idea; subjectively they have a real liking for themselves and are frequently puzzled as to why the Great Ones give them no sign, nor indicate Their watching care. They will not and They need not until such time as the aspirant has used to the full the knowledge which he has gained from lesser teachers, and from books and printed scriptures of the world. Students must attend to the immediate duty and prepare their mechanisms for service in the world, and should desist from wasting time and looking for a Master; they should achieve mastery where now they are defeated and in the life of service and of struggle they may then reach the point of such complete self-forgetfulness that the Master may find no hindrance in His approach to them.

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