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Eastern School of Theosophy (11)

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(Echoes of the Orient p. 373-382)

Eastern School of Theosophy

Suggestions and Aids


Suggestions and Aids 373

Rule 12 runs:

“Each member is expected to set apart a certain part of the day or night, of no less than half an hour’s duration, for meditation upon the Instruction received, for self-examination and self-study. If possible the place selected,” etc. [cf. Rule 16, BCW XII:496].

It will be noticed that the advice as to the place selected is preceded by “if possible” but the direction to meditate is peremptory. Now there are some students in the Section whose health does not permit them to meditate, and in such cases H.P.B. was wont to suspend the Rule. All such are justified in suspending their observance of it, but indifference, carelessness, neglect, disagreement, are no excuse for disobedience. Obedience to the Rules laid down for our guidance is a sine qua non of progress in Esotericism; this is distinctly one of the “orders that concern esoteric work,” and disobedience, in the absence of a valid excuse, is a breach of the Pledge. It is noteworthy that some who answered the other questions worst were those who said “No” to Question 8 [regarding doing daily meditation]. For let us consider this matter apart from the duty of obedience. Many of the members are busy people, yet if they took a statement in the Instructions such as that the Auric Egg “is the direct emanation from the Ātmic Ray in its triple aspect of Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer (Regenerator) and from Buddhi Manas” [526], and kept their thought fixed on this as a subject for meditation even once, they would be surprised at the knowledge gained, and understand the nature of the Auric Egg much better than they do at present. The patient dwelling of the mind upon a single thought results in the gaining of wisdom, and it is thus that the true Occultist is developed. The Occultist is not manufactured by the Guru; he makes himself, the Guru only adjusting; and he who will not give half an hour a day to quiet thought, cannot expect to progress Again, we cannot advance unless we learn to know ourselves. “If you do not know yourselves,” wrote a Master lately, “how can you know us?” “Self-examination and self-study” are to form part of the half-hour’s occupation. If this were faithfully carried out, we should have less jealousy, less bitterness, less harsh judgment, less disharmony, in the School. For self-criticism prevents unkind criticism of others, and those who know their own weaknesses, and are striving to mend them, are always the most compassionate towards the weaknesses of others. Nor can we hope to conquer the subtle forces against which we fight, if we do not clearly know what ingress is given to them by the weaknesses of our own nature; the traitor within opens the door to the foe without, but the faithful guardian of the fortress, who has discovered his traitors, keeps them fettered and well nigh harmless.

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Let us look at the matter seriously. Either we are playing at Occultism, or we are trying to prepare to become Occultists in this, or some future incarnation. If the former be a statement of the case, it would be wise to remember that such play is dangerous, as well as waste of time. If the latter be our position, then we should follow the path shown by the Teacher. “By the performance of duty wisdom is acquired,” and one of the duties of a disciple is obedience to the rules laid down by the Teacher. They are rules sanctioned by ages of experience, and binding on us as pledged disciples. So let each member take refuge from worldly things for at least one brief half hour daily, and so give his inner force the chance of becoming active. Aspiration towards the Higher Self should form part of the daily meditation, the rising towards those higher planes of our being which cannot be found by us unless they are sought. Earnest and reverent desire for Master’s guidance and enlightenment will begin the attunement of the nature to the harmony to which it must one day respond. Concentration on a single point in the teaching is a road to the philosophy: self-examination a road to knowledge of oneself. These are only suggestions as to the lines of meditation that may profitably be pursued by those who are beginners; each student will soon find out his best road for himself.


Examination II [Question 4; see pp. 365-6] showed that considerable confusion and doubt exist as to the nature of Antaḥkaraṇa. As H.P.B. said Antaḥkaraṇa is a bridge or path by means of which the ascent into Higher Manas and descent from it is effected by us while incarnated, and is necessary in making the ascent and descent; we need to grasp the idea more fully.

Antaḥkaraṇa must not be viewed as being merely an offshoot of Manas in its lower aspect. Antaḥkaraṇa is a higher aspect of lower Manas; a projection of the lower Manas towards the Higher. Viewed as “a mode of consciousness” (H.P.B.) it consists of the aspirations of lower Manas towards the spiritual state. Call it a feeler thrown out by lower Manas and indrawn at death, when Antaḥkaraṇa per se is “utterly destroyed as a vehicle” (H.P.B.’s words). The personal consciousness pervading it is that of lower Manas, and as such its “remains survive as Kāma-Rūpa” (No. III, [BCW XII:633]); the word “its” here refers to lower Manas. When the Instructions say “the consciousness of Antaḥkaraṇa. is transformed into Kāma-Rūpa”, the personal consciousness of lower Manas (at times thrown upward, and then only becoming Antaḥkaraṇa) is meant and not Antaḥkaraṇa per se, which “is

Suggestions and Aids 375

destroyed at death”, i.e. that specific mode or action of consciousness is then blotted out, by being again merged into that lower mode, which now becomes fixed in the Kāma-Rūpa.

Antaḥkaraṇa, when in active existence, is not evolved from lower Manas alone. H.P.B. told her pupils it is also, in part, an effect of Higher Manas. It can be illustrated thus: Lower Manas emits an efflux towards Higher Manas; this stimulates an influx of spiritual energy from Higher Manas; action and reaction as between higher and lower are thus set up. This interaction is the path of communication between the two and is called Antaḥkaraṇa. From one point of view Antaḥkaraṇa is a function of dual Manas. At death “the bridge,” so to say, parts in the middle and is reabsorbed; the influx withdraws into its source — Higher Manas; the efflux retreats into the personal basis of lower Manas; Manas rebecomes one, its dregs sloughing off as the Kāma- Rūpa. The interaction is extinguished — and that was Antaḥkaraṇa. Its personal basis in lower Manas — the fuel from which sprang the flame — is what becomes the Kāma-Rūpa so far as Antaḥkaraṇa is concerned. Both influx and efflux are governed by Karma; we cannot say which is prior to the other.

We find ample illustrations of the above in Voice of the Silence. Light on the Path, a collection of ethical injunctions and teachings, was so named because such aspirations, if continuous, themselves form Antaḥkaraṇa, the Path.


Although documents as sent to each member give every particular, a few words as to how the School in general is conducted will not be out of place, as one or two letters from Asia show that some are capable of imagining the School to be divided into two parts, one here and one in England.

There is no such division. The heads of the School necessarily live, one in London and one in America. This only means, that for purposes of regularity and saving of time and expense the correspondence of all U.S. members is with William Q. Judge, and those of Europe and Asia with Annie Besant. So also each of those persons represents the other in all letters and Papers issued, even though in general correspondence they use a single name. The records are kept in London by agreement between these two, and because it is more convenient. It also permits both to know of applicants, before the final issue of certificate of membership. Neither takes any important step without previously consulting with the other.

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Members must carefully remember that the School has no official connection with the Society (T.S.), although none are admitted who are not F.T.S. Hence the T.S. must not be compromised by members of the School. We must all recollect that the T.S. is a free open body. So if one of the Heads is also an official in the T.S., his or her words or requests as such T.S. official must not under any circumstances be colored or construed on the basis of the work of this School. This caution is necessary because some members have said to the General Secretary of the U.S. Section, T.S., that they regarded his words, as such official, to be an order. This is improper and may lead to trouble if members cannot see their plain ethical duty under the pledge. They are, surely, to work for the T.S., but must also use their common-sense and never let the T.S. become dogmatic.


A class of earnest students is in process of formation. All those whose efforts warrant the promotion will be permitted to correspond with more advanced “members of the Inner Circle” (see last paragraph Book of Rules), through this office. Group Secretaries will also be allowed to send six questions monthly, as selected by their Group, for the same purpose.

Answers to Correspondence 377

[Starting with the series below the heading became:]



Correspondence No. 1

June 8, 1892


This matter consists of replies to questions from the School on Instructions Nos. I, II, and III and also of other matters relating to the School, and it goes to all members irrespective of degree. Each group is entitled to receive through its President or Secretary three copies for the use of its members, the latter having privilege to copy for themselves. No group member will be supplied direct, as we have not enough money for such expense. No duplicates can be furnished from the office. Members not attached to any group receive one copy direct. Groups can send three questions at a time, not oftener than once a month for the present, through their President or Secretary only. No questions will be received from members of a group as Individuals, but only through the medium of the group as a whole. The questions from groups must be well considered and debated at the meetings before being referred to the office. Members not in a group are each entitled to send three questions also, but likewise must well consider and digest them first. (See Book of Rules, No. 12 [BCW XII:495].)

All questions on hand at date of any issue will be included if space permits, the benefit of all the answers being extended thus to the whole School.

Use ink and write plainly. Use concise language without circumlocution or profuse explanations. In referring to any book, or other matter, make distinct reference by page, line, number, title, date, etc. The “Suggestions and Aids” are therefore merged in this.

378 Echoes of the Orient


Several members are evidently mixed about these. They say the correspondences do not agree. This appears so because members have settled on one fixed correspondence. A correspondence is a likeness, not an identity. Thus one color corresponds to one eye, but that may all change when we shift the stand-point, and the color may from the new point of view correspond also to something else. Left corresponds to negative, but also to many other things not directly related to one another. Red corresponds to Kāma and Mars, but may also, when the plane of thought is shifted, correspond to something else. The arms and hands correspond to Mind, Memory, and Understanding, and yet arms and hands do not correspond to Buddhi, which is the true correspondence for Understanding. The true position is to settle what sort of correspondence one is engaged on and base the argument on that, always remembering that each correspondence and set of them have their own place and relation and must not be mixed up. E.g., when we are considering correspondence of weekdays with planets, that has nothing to do with the correspondence of planets among themselves. Attention must be paid to the particular class of correspondences that is being investigated, and not to confuse the mind by thinking of those that are of a different class and which include some of the other ones.

Ques. 1 Suffering, and responsibility for each other.

One asks if we shall suffer in the sense of not progressing, for the vindictiveness or want of harmony evident in a fellow-member of this School; for it has been said by the Heads of the School that each one would attain for himself, notwithstanding laggards or backsliders. This is important since it bears on the very reason for establishing the School. It was founded for the first object of making inside the formal ranks of the Theosophical Society an actual brotherhood if possible, for only by such a real union is the strength to be found that is needed for progress. At the outset, the questioner — and all in the same case — should make self-inquiry to see if his own defects in other directions may not be quite as important to be got rid of as those in his brother. It may be that we easily see the faults of others but forget our own; and in such instances as this, it is well known that the querent has defects in other directions which are as much of a hindrance to third persons as those he criticizes or observes in his fellow.

We do suffer for each other. We are retarded by their shortcomings

Answers to Correspondence 379

and they are kept back by ours. They and we are units of one family, members of this race, and in this fraternity there is a subtle tie which binds all its members together; it is a current through which everyone is affected from all directions in our band. This is our Karma; it is the working out of the old affinities and antipathies, or otherwise we would not be here. Repining at it will do no good whatever. We must admit it and do the best we can to rectify it on our part. But at the same time, every member has the chance to forge ahead of all the rest — using his added ability and power for their benefit. If this were not so, evolution and adeptship were but lies. For an Adept is one ahead of the rest. If he tries to benefit them he is of the White Path, if he works for his own advancement he is of the Black. And it is the same for disciples each in their several degrees of progress. Again it is asked — and this prevails throughout the whole fraternity — is there no other way of obtaining Theosophical understanding and true spirituality than by study and strong effort? And a reference is made to what the questioner thinks is “needless study of colors and sounds.”

While the question is natural, it is in reality put from the laziness of our nature. A royal, easy road is desired. There is none such however. “The road winds uphill all the way,” brightened by the consciousness of doing right. We can go by two methods: — one that of study and devotion combined; the other that of devotion. But the latter is no easier than the former. It is vastly longer, and extends over many more lives than the other. Absolute, deep, unremitting devotion is required for it, which gives way never for a moment. Have you it? No. But you would lazily slip the first which combines both. Very well; then the weakness, the folly, the indulgence, of the nature of the race to which you belong will pull you down over and over again, while those who combine study with devotion are not dragged down so often, because they have at least some good understanding and philosophy to guide their steps. It may be quite hard for some to study color, sound, and number in their relations to each other and the various principles and planes, but as there are planes from which we cannot gain knowledge save in that way, it is necessary to so study. Indeed the very thoughts we do get, and grieve they are not more complete, come to us at their source in the mind as colors and sounds, but we only half translate them because of our ignorance.

Virtue is needed, but so also is good sound philosophy and wisdom.

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There are indeed high chelas who have gained much through devotion without study, but they are not as high as those who added study to virtue. We may all be very virtuous and yet quite unwise. The Society needs wisdom as well as virtue in its members. Our purely sentimental moral acquirements will not save the Society, unless to them we add all that we can possibly obtain of knowledge and wisdom. Those who most advert to this subject and who most complain thereon are such, too often, who lack discernment, who suffer from want of early mental discipline, and who now do not like to go to school again. But there are those who, being full of devotion and altruistic motive, cannot gain much by study because of inherent difficulties, yet who, because they do all they know how and are able to do, do all that they can possibly be required. But they, being of a more humble spirit, seldom make this question now discussed.

Ques. 2 (J.G.B.) I am unable to see clearly what the diagrams in Ins. No. 2 are intended to amplify or illustrate at the close of that chapter?

Ans. — This is a printer’s error of arrangement, etc., of plates. The figures refer to the closing lines of the paragraph in which they occur and should be placed in this order: (a) The six-pointed star before the words “the Macrocosm.” (b) The pentagon before “the Microcosm.” (c) The combination-figure before “the geometrical equivalent, etc.”

The sentence will then read thus:

“The combination of these powers and the attuning of the Macrocosm, and the Microcosm, will when combined give the geometrical equivalent of the invocation of Oṃ Maṇi Padme Hūṃ.” [BCW XII:567]

Ques. 3 (J.G.B.) In regard to the locality occupied by the “third eye,” is it between the eyes, in the forehead, or in the back of the skull?

Ans. — The third eye is the Pineal Gland, and cannot therefore be at present said to be in any of the three positions referred to in the question, but is situated in the middle of the cerebral hemispheres. But at one time it was a more or less external organ, before the “Fall into Generation” at the close of the third race, and then its place was at the back of the head (S.D. II:294). In the fourth race it was “drawn deep into the head and is now buried beneath the hair,” and (save in the abnormal cases of natural seers) its activity is now entirely latent and can only be stimulated by artificial processes. Esotericists must not be misled as to the position of the “Eye of Śiva” by reference to ancient mystical works of art, where it is represented in the middle of

Answers to Correspondence 381

the forehead, which is merely an exoteric license, the eye being placed there symbolical of the interior vision. Originally all were objectively one-eyed, the two physical eyes which developed later replacing the one “Cyclopean” eye after the separation into sexes. Its resurrection will only be on the day when Humanity is purified and again spiritually awakened, when, as the result of his “fall into matter,” he will be in possession of three eyes, two capable of functioning on the physical plane, one on the spiritual — the one thus becoming three, in the cycle of differentiation. Read The Secret Doctrine. Ques. 4 (S.A.H.) When H.P.B. says, “We elbow soulless men and women at every turn,”[637] what does she mean?

Ans. — She meant what she said, but of course the term “at every turn” is a colloquialism and means “very often.” There are such. They are those bodies of men and women who have pursued in former lives bad courses, so that now there is no soul. In their case in place of the Auric envelope there appears — to the Seer — a shadow of such envelope, as if the real envelope had burned out leaving only a film of ashes. Take a piece of paper thoroughly soaked in salt or alum and burn it. It will burn out leaving a thin shell; or burn a sheet of paper carefully until only the burnt brittle shell is left. Such is the appearance of a soulless being. The case of the one whose soul is nearly lost is better figured by a spark — representing such disappearing soul — enclosed in a metal ball. It is very weak but the spark left indicates the possibility of rising again — or coming back — through strong effort. Ques. 5 (S.A.H.) As to the intellectuality of such beings, their incarnation if any, etc.?

Ans. — The difficulties surrounding the subject may be cleared off by understanding the root of the matter and remembering that we use terms in English upside down. The fact is that the soul disappears from the particular trinity in question and not that a soul becomes bad, is lost, and wanders about unattached or attached to some body — that is, becomes a Dweller. It is not so. The person in question leads life after life of evil; the soul is gradually starved; this goes from bad to worse; and at last soul disappears utterly, leaving only the evil effects, and these proceed under natural laws with incarnation until all is ended. “The mysteries of Lower Manas are almost infinite.” When the evil courses have proceeded far enough, Lower Manas is able to cause incarnations until the power is exhausted. And soulless beings are the Lower Manas, divorced from the upper principles, thus incarnating.

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When the power to incarnate in a human form is exhausted it proceeds in lower kingdoms, for nature cannot leap, she must proceed step by step either up or down. Some of these incarnations will be of a highly intellectual character, others, those that have gone far down, being merely as vile beings of the lowest sort. The Dweller is a different matter. It is not a lost soul. It might be said to be a human elemental. It is also the sum total of general wickedness as related to the individual who sees it. Hence, the first sort is a particularization of elemental forces, and the second or real “Dweller” is the sum total of general wickedness. So, then, it follows that every student will, some day in some life, arouse this latter Dweller when the point is reached where the real struggle begins, for we cannot pass on to higher planes without arousing the general evil in our race; and when aroused each one focalizes it in a way peculiar to himself. Therefore the term “Dweller” has been loosely used whenever used in any way other than as described.

Ques. 6 (Lucifer) What becomes of the Higher Ego of a Black Magician?

Ans. — It is divorced from him and makes new incarnations. Ques. 7 (Lucifer) If an Adept makes use of an already grown body to incarnate in, does he use his own Liṅga-Śarīra? If he does, what becomes of the Liṅga-Śarīra naturally belonging to the said body? Ans. — He does or he does not as the case may be. The Liṅga- Śarīra of the body has gone and the Adept has entered before vitality has passed the line of revival. Ques. 8 (Lucifer) If he does not use his own Liṅga-Śarīra, what becomes of it?

Ans. — He never gives up his own Liṅga-Śarīra at all. Ques. 9 (Lucifer) Can the Higher Ego enjoy or suffer or even be conscious as an “I am I” center of consciousness on a higher plane while the lower Ego also is awake and also a conscious, willing, suffering, enjoying “I am I” on a lower plane simultaneously?

Ans. — Yes! the Higher Ego suffers for the sins of the lower, and this is the origin of the Savior who suffers and is crucified. Ques. 10 (Atlantis) Concerning the astral body, is it the seat of the

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