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Eastern School of Theosophy (06)

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(Echoes of the Orient p. 323-332)

Eastern School of Theosophy

Suggestions and Aids


Suggestions and Aids 323

Ans. — Instructions III [616] say that piṅgalā is on the right side of suṣumṇā.

From M.K.S. — Why is the fact that the Tāntrika locates the three nāḍīs in the medulla oblongata a proof that the haṭha yogi develops his powers only on the material plane? (vide Instructions No. III, [616] ).

Ans. — Because the medulla oblongata is the part of the brain that has to do with the material, sensory plane. The front brain is used for reasoning and the like.

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Series A 7

Jan. 31, 1891


W.Q.J. — Some events which have occurred demand that members be again requested to study the Rules.

First — Divulging to outsiders. This is of course a distinct violation of the spirit and letter of the Rules. H.P.B. has ordered that no one shall talk to another about the Instructions or private matters of the E.S. until signs and passwords have been exchanged or papers of admittance mutually inspected.

I have a case before me: A member, A, was talking with B, a visitor from the West. A said to B: “I am in the E.S.,” and B replied, “So am I.” Then without any passwords or inspection of papers, A began to tell B some facts about the meetings and personnel of a Group, which facts I had given A in confidence. The mere statement of B to A that he was in the E.S. was no proof of membership. Further, the divulging what I had need tell A about the Group was directly against Rules and propriety, as B was not in nor to be in that Group. As this case is typical of some others, I have selected it, and by it, to impress members that the E.S. is not a joke, and all its rules — made with care — are to be observed by all its members.

Second — Gossip about fellow members. This is all too prevalent. In the town of X are several members. One “A” is more studious than others. The others indulged in speculations such as these. “A is in the Inner Section.” This was repeated. Then one of the others writes me as a fact that “A said she was in the Inner Section.” A denies it, and then the other says, “Well I supposed so from the way she acted,” or to that effect. This is all wrong, against rules, against propriety, and prejudicial to everyone’s progress. This is another typical case selected as representing a moral disease in the E.S., perhaps natural to us but nevertheless detrimental, obstructive and full of power to create discord. Not so are those disciples who are under the eye of a Master or a high disciple.

With them there is no such talk, gossip, or carelessness. They attend to their own duties and are too anxious to fulfill them to have time for jealousy of the progress of any of their fellows.

Third — Not divulging time and place of meeting. This rule is kept Suggestions and Aids 325 if members do not themselves give out the fact. It often happens that we feel morally certain that others, not members, think that the Group meets at such a place and time, but that is no reason why we should turn their thoughts into certainty. Some members have thought that the rule is ridiculous. It is meant to be kept as said above; for the mere inference by others is not knowledge; and the currents of help will more easily flow to Groups if the rules are followed as far as possible.

Fourth — Care about E.S. papers in keeping or returning them. In —— one B was loaned the papers by A, and used them for awhile. They were then returned to A, but — loosely wrapped, subject to inspection, not by mail but by the hand of one not an E.S. The Secretary has also received papers covered in similar careless fashion. Where members feel their responsibility and wish to lend to other members it is better to offer the use of the papers in the owner’s house.


G. R. S. Mead — Some students of the E.S. after reading in the Secret Doctrine and the Key that there are three Basic Principles and four Aspects, are apparently puzzled at this classification [607]. This only proves that they fail to understand two things: (1) that books given to the public are not esoteric teaching, and (2) the ordinary so-called scientific method, if too rigidly adhered to, is absolutely destructive of all progress in Occultism. The Instructions are to develop the intuition of the student and not to give him so many scientific categories and classifications to learn off by heart, and so become wise in the “Doctrine of the Eye” alone. And yet on the other hand it should not be supposed that there is any “contradiction” or “confusion of thought” in this; it is simply owing to the very fact that if you look at the front of a horse you do not see the back and vice versa. If you had your sixth sense awake, you could not only see back and front, but also the two sides and the top and bottom, nay even within and without. Therefore, such statement should not surprise earnest students of Occultism, for it can never be sufficiently repeated that all classifications, figures, diagrams, categories, etc., are but changing aspects of some one fundamental truth, which all the apparently abstruse and elaborate teachings of others and of Gupta-Vidyā, which we have in our hands, are endeavoring to force home upon us. For instance, what use is it to crystallize down to a certain fixed place in a category such divine and universal ideas as Buddhi and Ālaya,

326 Echoes of the Orient

realities, or rather that one reality which vehicles Absoluteness alone; and which is, so to speak, incapable of even the very imagination of limit, even though it be an Individuality so godlike as the Higher Ego of each one of us. Buddhi is a spiritual feeling; an intuition; an inspiration of the Oneness of all things. It is by this alone that we shall ever make the spirit of Brotherhood a “living power in our lives” and those of others. To love other men as brethren is a step in the ladder indeed, and one that can in no wise be omitted, but to love all beings as self is the more complete commandment of Divine Occult Wisdom, whose keynote is Compassion Absolute. Even this, however, is but the shadow of the shadow of the Truth. For once that we have attained to some dim conception of this eternal idea, we should not be content, but rather consider that we are so far below the reality, that we have at best but realized an attribute of the Higher Ego and so afterwards by still more strenuous effort endeavor to transcend our former conceptions and thus gradually mount step by step up the ladder that scales the Ākāśic Heights from which we shall obtain a sight of the true Sun, the God within.

In this way we shall realize that the four Basic Principles are the “Three in One and One in Three,” the Divine Tetractys. But this is only so when it is entirely separated from the lower Quaternary. Perhaps some may here say, “That makes eight principles.” By no means: for a man cannot be consciously conscious in the higher and lower Quaternary at one and the same time. This does not mean to say that he cannot be conscious on a higher plane and at the same time perceive what takes place on the physical plane, but that he cannot be pure and impure in mind at one and the same time.

In the right-hand corner of the table in Instructions No. III, [607] kāma-rūpa is not omitted, as some may suppose. This may be seen from the last paragraph. For in a certain sense the principles may be said to overlap one another and just as there was no particular moment when the Lemurian Root Race became the Atlantean, but the one passed gradually into the other; just also as there must be the Dawn between the Night and Day, and the Twilight between the Day and Night, to complete the four Bodies of Brahmā, so the lower manas overlaps kāma, kāma overlaps prāṇa, and prāṇa, liṅga-śarīra. Again from another aspect, just as each Monad reflects every other Monad, so does each principle reflect every other; so that in all there are 49 Aspects of 7 Basic Principles. Thus no confusion need arise when regarding the same septenary both as 4 Basic Principles and 3 Aspects, and also as 3 Basic Principles and 4 Aspects. “As above, so below,” is the teaching of ancient Hermetic Wisdom, “As within, so without,”

Suggestions and Aids 327

of the sage Vedāntins of India, who thus more clearly echo the Gupta Vidyā of imperishable Occult Schools of the Masters. N.B. — Exoterically every system has a different classification of principles. It is the task of the Esotericist to reconcile them. W.Q.J. — Members are referred to Aids, pp. 319-20, for a fuller reply to the above question.


A Reason for the Danger

W.Q.J. — As a great deal has been said about the danger of practicing haṭha yoga without a guide, I have had an experiment made on January 20, 1891, which is important as showing how such practices lower the pulse and tone of the system. Three persons were present: myself, a competent physician, and the subject. The doctor first got the person’s pulse, which was at 96 that day. Three minutes were then devoted to the sort of breathing followed by yoga practitioners, with this result:

1st minute, pulse fell to 91 beats,

2nd minute, pulse fell to 81 beats,

3rd minute, pulse remained 81 beats.

Intermission of five minutes, and then six minutes given to practice;


1st minute, pulse at 91 beats,

2nd minute, pulse fell to 86 beats,

3rd minute, pulse remained at 86 beats,

4th minute, pulse fell to 76 beats,

5th minute, remained 76 beats,

6th minute, remained 76 beats.

This shows a reduction of pulse by 20 beats in 14 minutes, an enormous alteration which might if persisted in be very injurious. It is well known that when the general tone is low the mind correspondingly suffers. Now as the real yoga practice demands, 1st, a guide, and 2d, other regulations for counteracting bad physical effects, and as in America there are no guides, and the books do not give the corrective regulations, there is great danger and no benefit in pursuing haṭha yoga without a guide. The above record justifies the cautions so often given. But if I had the subjects I could demonstrate still greater dangers.

328 Echoes of the Orient


W.Q.J. — This question is asked: “How can one be spiritual for evil?” [see BCW XII:638]. On the page cited three classes of useless beings are named. First, those who perish during the great cycle, because they refuse to be co-workers with Nature for good. Second, those who prefer to be suffering in the lowest plane of Avīchi, and who also refuse to work with nature. Third, those who actively work against all good and all unity and become very powerful in evil, using their great knowledge of Nature’s laws for selfish purposes only. These last are identically those referred to by St. Paul when he speaks of “spiritual wickedness in high places” [Eph. 6:12]. They are those human beings, who, having succeeded in acquiring a knowledge of Nature’s laws and forces, use them only in the destructive work of Nature. This destructive work we see always going on, as in the pulverizing of rock which has been at one time carefully constructed under other natural laws, and so on in other cases. These intentionally evil-workers are those to whom H.P.B. refers in saying there are thoroughly wicked and depraved men who are yet at the same time as actively spiritual for evil as those who are active for good.

Now the term “spiritually evil” is not new. We find it in St. Paul. But there is in America a prevalent misuse of some terms among our members.

“Spirit” and “spirituality” are two. These are usually adopted as words that can mean only that which is good, and “matter” and “materiality” are understood to be evil. Yet again some, educated under what are self-styled “mental cure” and “mind cure” and “metaphysics,” have been asserting that there is no evil, but only good. Now, all these good friends should revise vague or well-settled conclusions such as these and use their terms in the proper manner. Good and evil are wholly relative terms; and if we admit there is good we must also admit there is evil, for both are on the same level and simply denote two opposites. If one is excluded, then the other must be also. Similarly as to matter. Spirit and matter are coequal and coexistent and coeternal. They are only two opposite poles of the one substance.

Hence, spirit represents and is that which, working in objective matter, exhibits to us phenomena which we call life and activity. It is the source of life, the support of all activity. It must therefore in its highest acceptation be without any color; using the word unmixed, I would more clearly understand it. It is like what we call will, a power which may be used by those who know or who have the instrument in

Suggestions and Aids 329

either a good or evil way. We know that the wicked man uses his will, and so does the saint. Here are, then, two uses of a single power, and each of them diametrically opposite to the other.

Speaking, then, from the most comprehensive attitude — as that taken by H.P.B. — we see that the human being who on an unseen plane lives, thinks, and acts only for what is called an evil end, must be either materially evil or spiritually evil. The word materiality will not express the idea nor the action, for it relates to the passive, receptive condition or base which never acts but is acted upon. So we are forced into using the word spirituality as opposed to materiality, and at once find the idea and action fully expressed. As the term spiritual here means the active or living as distinguished from the dead, we see that those who may be called spiritually evil are such as consciously commit their acts upon a plane which is subtle, unseen, unperceived by us. No other word will even shadow this forth. Such words as very or awfully or the like are weak and useless, expressing nothing but mere commonplaces.

It is quite true at the same time that material is a term very justly used to indicate any act or thing that has a tendency downward or which is upon a lower plane. And its use should be continued. But it is easy to remember — for the cases are rarely referred to — that there is such a possibility as “spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Another part of the paragraph on the page mentioned refers to great intellectuality of these wicked men. It is universally admitted that intellectuality without love is of a downward or wicked tendency. It is not wicked per se, but has a tendency to go downward or drag downward.

Many of the most consummate villains in history had the brightest intellects, and very many of the very best and kindest people in the world are deficient in this department. The Strange Story by Bulwer Lytton very clearly illustrates this, and shows us Margrave, the type of a black magician in full possession of his intellect, able to use it as a gymnast does his muscles, and yet wholly devoid of all love or pity. In his case — and it will illustrate all — spirit was still the support for his activity, but working in the basis of his intellect or body entirely unconnected with any soul, as that was absent, and hence unguided by a conscience.

In fine, this inquiry once more points to and enforces the prime object of the Theosophical Society and wholly that of its Esoteric Section, that is — Universal Brotherhood. For Universal Brotherhood is impossible without love and charity. And these must be universal, not merely particular or special. It is the fulfilling of the law. It is solely this universal love that moves the Masters of Light to give the world

330 Echoes of the Orient

any aid in high ethics and philosophy; for surely these great Beings have no use for us in our miserable condition, and They have quite enough power and glory to be satisfied with them if such were their desire; but being full of love for the poor orphan Humanity, they desire us to grow to where They are. Should we not, in our humble way, and especially as members of a Section pledged to that very end, imitate the noble example to the limit of our ability and opportunity? If we do not, our pledges are false and our Section a byword.


R.C. — Kāma-rūpa becomes a form, as such, and distinct from the body, only after death of the physical. If a human being lives and dies without a thought higher than an animal one, or is essentially depraved and evil, his kāma-rūpa becomes a Dweller on the Threshold and I would say becomes the evil genius of the man. The Divine Ego would reincarnate again with a new personality. But at this point I am not clear. It seems difficult, well nigh impossible, to escape from the kāma principle. To me it is marvelous that H.P.B. has such a vast amount of knowledge. It is not possible for me to grasp it except a little now and then. But such is karma and it is just.

W.Q.J. — “R.C.” is partially right. We find that kāma-rūpa — formed after death — may become so dense and compact as to last in the astral light for many years if the late departed was a very gross person, full of earthly desires unsatisfied. Hence there is quite a possibility that this persistent kāma-rūpa may become an “evil genius” for the next personality assumed by the Ego. The reason is that the particles of which it is composed have an affinity (growing out of impressions made in the last life, and all of the magnetic attractions established), for the Ego who cast them off at the time of death. The only appropriate channel for exhausting the energies centered in kāma-rūpa is through the Ego who brought them into existence.

There is also another way in which these degraded kāma-rūpas may be attracted to a person. It is done by those who attend spiritualistic séances or who engage in “ghost hunting” in any way. If they persistently indulge in this — as many do — they set up similar magnetic currents to those above mentioned. These currents are attached to some dead man’s kāma-rūpa and if the latter be a long lived one then on the next rebirth of the “ghost hunter” the kāma-rūpa — still floating in the astral

Suggestions and Aids 331

light — is irresistibly attracted to the one who thus sets up the magnetic attraction, and invades his waking as well as sleeping hours. This is especially so in cases where the so-called spirit husbands and wives are obtained through mediums. There the attraction set up is of the strongest possible character. If it grows out of the strongest element in our character and feeds upon the most powerful ones in the “spook,” on the next rebirth of these dabblers in such moral pitch, the kāma-rūpa bride or groom, outlasting the other’s Devachan, flies to its natural friend and becomes in effect a demon. Not the theological devil, but an automatic thing with no conscience, but firmly attached to the person through natural affinities and liable to drag down the unfortunate sinner who thus deliberately incurred such results. This is one reason why in the E.S. the attending of séances or “sitting for mediumship” is prohibited. There are also many other reasons.

New Series No. 1

March 1, 1891


The proper method of study of the Instructions for E.S. Groups and those not in Groups has been the subject of much discussion. A lately-issued pamphlet shows the order of business in Groups, and the best system of study is that inaugurated by a certain Group, as follows. The Secretary (or other deputy) shall read the Instructions aloud, slowly, beginning with No. I. The members shall be free to interrupt for the purposes of asking questions, of discussion, and so forth. The President shall see that this exercise is not unduly prolonged. When, in the course of the Instructions, some special topic arises, the President shall make a note thereof upon a slip of paper. At the close of the meeting, the members draw for these slips of paper, the President taking the one that is left. If there are more members than topics, those members who have had topics assigned to them at one time, do not draw the next time. If topics are in excess of members, they can remain over until next meeting and then be drawn for; or at any subsequent meeting of the Group.

The member having a topic assigned to his or her care, shall look it up in The Secret Doctrine, Isis, Bhagavad-Gītā, Key to Theosophy, Voice of

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the Silence, and in any works of weight and fair authority, and set down in writing all that is to be found upon the subject. The object is not to produce a fine literary article, but to give a condensed summary, for the benefit of all the Group, of all that can be found upon each topic from sources valid as teaching. All quotations should give chapter or volume and page (or verse) of the work quoted, to save trouble to other members who may wish to look the matter up for themselves. In this way, a great deal of information bearing upon the Instructions will be developed. Where the works quoted differ from the Instructions, the latter are to be followed, for they give the esoteric facts. As an example of this method, we find that the first topic mentioned is on p. [516], Instructions No. I, paragraph 2: “the worlds: absolute, archetypal, spiritual, psychic, sidereal, astral, and elemental.” Non-attached members should pursue this method except as to drawing slips. In the Group where this plan was voted and is followed by the members, the following paper upon the subject of these seven worlds was handed in. It was marked “MS. 1, Instructions I, p. [516]; on ‘The Seven Worlds.’” The papers thus marked are kept by the Secretary, or other custodian, for the benefit of future students joining the Group. Instructions I, p. [516], is similarly marked on the margin, “See MS. 1,” and so forth.


“A world, when called a ‘higher world,’ is not higher by reason of its location, but because it is superior in quality or essence.” (Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 221, footnote.)

World i, the Absolute — Of this we can predicate nothing.


Nirvāṇa Mūlaprakiti

Space Laya center

ParabrahmanUnmanifested logos

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