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Eastern School of Theosophy (04)

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(Echoes of the Orient p. 303-312)

Eastern School of Theosophy

Suggestions and Aids

 

Suggestions and Aids 303

Jacob’s Ladder more properly is a figure for the cycles as they move through the eternity and form a ladder up which all men are made to pass as well as the angels. A ladder is in no sense a bridge and cannot be made to fit that idea, but a ladder composed of rings or steps is a very proper symbol for the greater and the lesser cycles. They, if imagined and looked at from one side only, will form a ladder exactly, since the line of vision cutting the ascending or descending circles on one line at one side will make of them a series of steps.

THE BRAIN AND ITS VENTRICLES

From I.B.M. — Is there a passage in the brain connecting the pituitary body with the pineal gland? There does not seem to be any in the illustration sent with No. A 3.

Ans. by Dr. X. — Look in the dictionary for ventricle, and you will find that it is an open space or cavity. Any such open space may become “a passage” for conveying sound or other impulses in the air or ether. The passage is through the third ventricle. This ventricle is an open cavity or room, with the infundibulum — which is the speaking-trumpet of the pineal gland — opening into the lower and first parts of this room or cavity. This speaking-trumpet, or infundibulum, points toward the pineal gland and the quadrigemini. The peduncles of the pineal gland arise from the root of the gland, and bend forward, passing over the upper surface of the optic thalami, and join the fornix, and with the fornix curve downward and forward, and enter the inside surface of the optic thalami. The optic thalami lie in the lateral walls of the third ventricle, extending through into the lateral ventricles, and through these lateral ventricles the influence is communicated to the corpora striata.

The pituitary body, with its infundibulum, the pineal gland, quadrigemini, the optic thalami, and the corpora striata, make up the sympathetic, or soul ganglia, that communicate downwards with the sympathetic nervous system which supplies all the organs that run the body as well when we are asleep as when we are awake. The ganglia on the inside of the brain, that lie in and adjacent to the ventricles — inside, soul-world of man — are the physical organs through which psychic work is done.

In a plate like that in A 3 it is not possible to give perspective views. The peduncles of the pineal gland must be looked at from above and will then be seen as two prongs, or long fingers extending forward in

304 Echoes of the Orient

a curve. In the plate only one could be shown. The fine vibrations spoken of by the Head of the Section pass through the cavities, but also impinge upon the other parts of the brain, and thus affect the entire collection of ganglia. And in making the sound Aum, there must also be a vibration of a physical sort communicated directly to the brain through the plate above the nasal passage, as well as also in other ways. These inner centers are isolated by a coating of fatty matter, and thus comprise an interior world of its own, wholly secluded from gross outward influences.

THE LOWER SELF

From A.W.G. — In No. III of Instructions, [p. 603], is the term “lower self “ correct in that concentration thereupon is to be pursued? Does it mean that we are to concentrate upon and understand the physical body? Ans. — “Lower self” is correct. But, as elsewhere in the Instructions it is declared, in more than one place, that the physical body is not counted, it follows that the body is not included in the lower self. Body is only the field in which the lower self works: it is the battleground where the lower self fights with passion and ignorance. Hence the concentration is not to be exercised upon the physical body but upon that which constitutes the lower self, that is to say, all of it but physical body. The Higher Self needs no concentration because it is always pure, free, unconditioned. It is for this reason that physical practices are not encouraged, for the body dies at the period set, and all the perfections of body and mere brain are then lost. The reincarnating Ego will have in the next incarnation only the concentrated results felt by the inner nature during the practices of mere bodily yoga.

This is a highly important point for all students to clear up, and many are now wrong upon it. For so long as anyone holds the false mental position — the philosophical formula — just so long will all his efforts and thoughts be diverted to ends which are not desired. This will occur in a subtle manner, hiding itself from perception, but surely producing false conclusions and adding darkness to the original obscurity.

But, on the other hand, it is not meant that we are not to pay any attention to the body and brain. “A sound mind in a sound body” is a maxim used in Occultism as much as in the world, but the rules for governing the body and lower mind are exoteric and all are supposed to know them.

Suggestions and Aids 305

THE PĀRAMITĀS

From A.W.G. — What are the “Pāramitās” spoken of in Preliminary to No. III?

Ans. — In the Glossary for Theosophical Students the definition is “The Buddhistic six and ten perfections belonging to a Bodhisattva: literally transcendent![1] These 16 virtues include all those which anyone can aspire to practice.

PRACTICING MAGIC

From P. — An E.S. member I know is very desirous of forming a blue current running from the pineal gland or somewhere to the left eye, and a yellow one to the other, so as to cure overworked eyes. And also looks eagerly forward to the time when complete instructions in regard to operating the chakras and clairvoyant powers will make it easier to effect such cures. Is this the right stand to take?

Ans. — This is the worst motive and desire that any member could have, and is directly opposite to the cautions in the rules and Instructions. In those it was said as plainly as could be that the Section was not for practical magic, and that such rules would not be given until we are ready for them. That we are not ready is abundantly clear, as the answers to the examination paper have shown that the members as a whole do not understand enough philosophy to be taught practically. And at the same time the friend of the querist seems to forget that such practical powers are not the object in life nor the objects of the sages who know the truth, but that powers are mere accompaniments of purity and knowledge. The desire to get these powers into operation is not a good one, and the person that has the desire and at the same time deludes himself or herself with the idea that they wish them for the good of the race is ignorant of the great strength of selfishness in the human subject and how quickly the powers would be used for bad ends

306 Echoes of the Orient

even by a very good member of the E.S. If one had these gifts now, when we are all so imperfect, the consequences would be that at the first rising of anger the powers would work of themselves to the injury, perhaps the death, of the person who was the object of our indignation, even if that were what is sometimes called “righteous indignation.” Members who thus wish for powers evidently do not know what they really are, nor how rapid and uncontrollable are their effects. If we are sure that no selfishness, nor anger, nor any other evil thing is within us, then we can take and use these forces — otherwise death and ruin will be in our path if we attempt to use them.

THE MYSTERY OF THE MOON

From M.Q. — I would like to know what we can find on this subject and if there be anything in any of the works of H.P.B. which bear on it. Ans. — You will find in the first volume of The Secret Doctrine, p. 172, some reference to this where there is a diagram of the moon chain of globes as well as of the earth. About the same place also there are some references to the lunar monads and lunar pitṛis. Any one who had read the book with care would see that there is as much about the pitṛis as anything else. In the references given above will be found statements about the time when the highest of the lunar globes of the lunar chain is to die, and the same pages also give hints about the analogy between the moon and the earth and man and his seven principles. These will be of use if studied, as the author has intentionally put them in such a way that some independent thought is called for on the part of the student; and if that sort of thought is given to the matter there will be many points cleared up which otherwise will remain obscure.

Suggestions and Aids 307

Series A 5.

Dec. 16, 1890.

NOTICE

These papers now go to all E.S. members, whether in or out of Groups. Back numbers cannot be supplied. Questions and suggestions should be sent to the undersigned. Long communications upon exoteric subjects and not directly on the E.S. Instructions and objects will not be noticed herein.

WILLIAM Q. JUDGE

Secretary to H.P.B.

CHANGE OF RULE

Members will please take notice that the Head of the Section has extended the preliminary period of probation to six months in place of three, and all members will please alter Rule I accordingly by striking out the word “three” and inserting “six” in place thereof before the word “months.”

AS TO GROUP PRESIDENT

Should the president be an officer elected at a stated period or how?

Ans. — A Group should always be carried on upon the principle of brotherly love, and if an officer is considered incompetent he should resign the office. But to obviate any difficulty the rule to follow is this: Every President is considered as elected for one year, and at the end of that time the Group is to cast a ballot stating a desire for a new President, with the name, or renaming the old one. No canvassing or electioneering is to be indulged in.

308 Echoes of the Orient

HAṬHA YOGA PRACTICES

W.T. asks whether it may not be wise to pursue the Haţha yoga rules for breathing to the end that a good physical body and clear mind may be obtained.

The practices referred to are first, postures of the body such as sitting squatted, or with one heel underneath, the other heel being placed on the thigh of the opposite leg, or by sitting on the heel, etc., and second, a certain prescribed method of breathing while in such postures. Haṭha-yoga is known as physical practice for psychical results, as distinguished from Rāja-yoga, the higher, which aims at changes of the Inner Nature. All such haṭha-yoga practices are dangerous, because they lead to psychical results. The postures are prescribed from an accurate knowledge of certain physiological changes which they bring about, followed by psychological alterations. The framers of these systems always say that a guide must be had. Who will guide us? No one. Ordinary rules for breathing are unproductive of psychic changes and results. Hence there is no sequence of argument from the benefits known to be derived from such good physical rules. For these nineteenth century rules merely state, “breathe deeply and through the nose.”

From long experience gone through by many persons the Head of the E.S. discourages haṭha yoga while not making a positive rule against it, for the above reasons, and for another, which is that much time is wasted in such practices, inasmuch as all results flowing from them perish at death, leaving only a tendency to take up the practice upon the next rebirth.

Lastly, the haṭha yoga system must be followed in entirety if at all. That means complete renouncing of possessions and complete retirement from the world. Those who go in for it halfway will surely be damaged.

Suggestions and Aids 309

TABLE OF VIBRATIONS [Reproduced below from BCW XII:566n] wave-lengths number of vibracolors in microns ( μ) tions in trillions

 Violet extreme  400  759
 Violet  423  709
 Violet-Indigo  439  683
 Indigo  449  668
 Indigo-Blue  459  654
 Blue  479  631
 Blue-Green  492  610
 Green  512  586
 Green-Yellow  532  564
 Yellow  551  544
 Yellow-Orange  571  525
 Orange  583  514
 Orange-Red  596  503
 Red  620  484
Red extreme  645  465

From G.A.M. — The note on this page does not agree with the text as it says the difference between extreme red and violet is seven times, whereas the footnote gives only 759 to 465.

Ans. — The footnote gives the vibrations as given by science. The text states the real differences as noted by occultists. One of the members in London has worked this matter out, and it will soon be sent out to the members. It is understood that the real rapidity and wave-length are different in many ways from the rates and ratios given by science. However, even when the real rate is given in detail, if so given, it must remain unverifiable by us, as we have no instruments better than science, and in order to determine these matters for ourselves we must have certain special senses developed. From a Student — Here is a study in vibrations and wave-lengths of color and sound which will throw considerable light on the matter. The last word, however, is not for the outer Section, as the knowledge of vibrations is at the bottom of all phenomena. Color Vibrations Commencing at green in the first octave: they rise by additions of 42 (6 times 7) and become perceptible only in the third.

310 Echoes of the Orient

FIRST SEMI-OCTAVE

SECOND OCTAVE

THIRD OCTAVE OF SCIENCE & SENSUOUS PERCEPTIONS

 

168

Red

462

Red

210

Orange

504

Orange

252

Yellow

546

Yellow

1

Green

294

Green

588

Green

42

Blue

336

Blue

630

Blue

84

Indigo

378

Indigo

672

Indigo

126

Violet

420

Violet

714

Violet

756

Red

 

 

Sound Vibrations – Commencing at Fa, and rising at moments of 49 (7 times 7)just as colors rise by 42 (6 times 7)

 

FIRST SEMI-OCTAVE

SECOND OCTAVE

THIRD OCTAVE OF SCIENCE & SENSUOUS PERCEPTIONS

196

Do

Red

539

Do

Red

245

Re

Orange

588

Re

Orange

294

Mi

Yellow

637

Mi

Yellow

1

Fa

Green

343

Fa

Green

686

Fa

Green

49

So

Blue

392

So

Blue

735

So

Blue

84

La

Indigo

441

La

Indigo

784

La

Indigo

126

Si

Violet

490

Si

Violet

833

Si

Violet

 

The relations of the vibrations of the colors to each other was obtained from a study of the table in the Instructions, and being found to rise by moments of 42, it seemed likely that the vibrations of fine sound ascended by 49, in both cases starting from Fa or green as a tonic.

THE USE OF THE WORD

From O.B. — May it be used for any material end or object?

Ans. — No. Its use in that way is clearly Black Magic. H.P.B. distinctly shows its use and abuse. It is dangerous to use if angry, petulant,

Suggestions and Aids 311

or revengeful; or to bring about a material, temporal, or business gain. In view of the object and genius of the E.S. it seems strange that this question should have arisen at all.

CONDUCT OF GROUP MEETINGS

Since No. 4 was sent out the following from an active Group has been submitted:

P.F. — The few hours spent at group meetings ought to be by far the most important in the life of a Theosophist. It is therefore wise for economy of time and effectiveness of work to adhere to a carefully devised order of exercise, method of procedure, and allotment of duties. The following may serve as a model: ORDER OF EXERCISE — (1) Reading of the pledge. (2) Miscellaneous business. (3) Reading from The Voice of the Silence and discussion. (4) Questions and answers. (5) Reading from the Instructions and discussion. (6) Adjournment.

OFFICERS — (1) President, (2) Secretary, (3) Reader, (4) Quiz, (5) Advisory Committee.

The meeting should begin precisely at the appointed time, if only one member is present.

All should stand when the pledge is read; and the members should take turns in reading it.

Under the head of miscellaneous business, whatever important discoveries have been made by individual members since the preceding meeting should be reported for the benefit of all, and as each Group should form a kind of little family in itself, even more freedom may be indulged in, in imparting information one to another, than between those not thus united. Queries should at the time be brought forward by those who are baffled in their investigations. Also everything of a business nature should come in here; but business matters should be so far as possible referred to the Advisory Committee, to be by them debated upon outside of the meeting, and subsequently, if desirable, referred back for action.

The reading from The Voice of the Silence is by the Reader, and covers but a few stanzas. These ought to be discussed as they are read, perfect freedom of interruption being permissible. A set of questions should be carefully prepared for each meeting by the Advisory Committee, consisting of three or four if they are general ones, but the number being considerably increased when they are

312 Echoes of the Orient

specific. These questions should be put by the Quiz. Each general one should be answered by all the members in succession. But when specific ones are put, so soon as each is answered correctly it should be dropped and another taken up. By general questions we mean such, for example, as “What are the four basic principles and their three aspects?” “What are the Tattvas and their correspondences?” “What is Ākāśa?” “What is Hiraṇyagarbha?” By specific questions is meant such, for example, as “What color corresponds with Vāyu-tattva?” “What note corresponds with Mars?” “What metal corresponds with the left ear?” etc.

The reading from the Instructions should be by the Reader and occupy a fair amount of time, every point being discussed as it comes up. It is also well that some outside study should be done in common. This can be accomplished by using The Secret Doctrine as a textbook. One admirable method is to select a broad topic, then divide the book into sections, allotting a section to each member with a view of his making a minute of all pages on which reference is made to the topic, as well as a very brief note giving the gist of what is found. These references and notes should then be collated, and every member have a copy. The result will be good study and a useful index.

Meetings should be adjourned with the same exactitude as to time as observed in opening them. For different sizes of Groups and other varying conditions the above should be modified.

LAW OF CORRESPONDENCES

From M.K.S. — Is the Swedenborgian definition of the verb “correspond” that of the Head of the Section?

Ans. — H.P.B. may not agree in all things with Swedenborg, but the definition of correspondence adopted by her is that used by the generality of people and to a great extent by Swedenborg. Correspondence is similar to analogy and symbology. The triangle considered as a mere figure on paper corresponds to the trinity of say, body, soul and spirit; the death of a human being corresponds to a pralaya or death of a world, and so on ad inf.nitum.

The importance of understanding the theory of correspondences cannot be overestimated. Students of the Instructions ought to endeavor to get light upon this subject, for the whole theosophical and occult systems are built upon the law of correspondences, which is that of analogy, and is the logical sequence of the doctrine of unity of nature.

  1. [Northern Buddhism usually lists six or ten pāramitās (perfections). The six are generosity, morality, patience, vigor, meditation and wisdom. The ten are simply these six, plus skillful means, vows, power and knowledge. Southern Buddhism has a similar list of 10 perfections. They are generosity, morality, renunciation, wisdom, vigor, patience, truthfulness, determination, love and equanimity. See the Flower Ornament Scripture, Chapters 21 and 26; and the Buddhavaṃsa or Cariyāpiţaka. — Compiler] [<<]
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