THE PLANETARY SPIRIT
It is one of the unfortunate necessities of life that imperial needs do sometimes force one apparently to ignore the claims of friendship, not to violate one's word, but to put off and lay aside for a while the too impatient expectations of neophytes as of inferior importance. . . . Yes; the time must come, and it is not far - when all of you will comprehend aright the apparently contradictory phases of such manifestations; forced by the evidence to reconcile them. The case not being so at present, meanwhile - remember: it is because we are playing a risky game and the stakes are human souls that I ask you to possess yours in patience. . . .
Alone the Adepts, i.e., the embodied spirits - are forbidden by our wise and intransgressible faws to completely subject to themselves another and a weaker will - that of free-born man. The latter mode of proceeding is the favourite one resorted to by the 'Brothers of the Shadow', the Sorcerers, the Elementary Spooks, and, as an isolated exception - by the highest Planetary Spirits, those who can no longer err. But these appear on Earth but at the origin of every new human kind; at the junction of, and close of the two ends of the great cycle. And, they remain with man no longer than the time required for the eternal truths they teach to impress themselves so forcibly upon the plastic minds of the new races as to warrant them from being lost or entirely forgotten in ages hereafter, by the forthcoming generations. The mission of the Planetary Spirit is but to strike the KEY NOTE OF TRUTH. Once he has directed the vibration of the latter to run its course uninterruptedly along the catenation of that race and to the end of the cycle - the denizen of the highest inhabited sphere disappears from the surface of our planet - till the following 'resurrection of flesh'. The vibrations of the Primitive Truth are what your philosophers name "innate ideas". . . .
Mediumship is abnormal. When in further development the abnormal has given way to the natural, the controls are shaken off, and passive obedience is no longer required, then the medium learns to use his will, to exercise his own power, and becomes an adept. The process is one of development and the neophyte has to go to the end. As long as he is subject to occasional trance - he cannot be an adept. . . .
When our great Buddha - the patron of all the adepts, the reformer and the codifier of the occult system, reached first Nirvana on earth, he became a Planetary Spirit; i.e. - his spirit could at one and the same time rove the interstellar spaces in full consciousness, and continue at will on Earth in his original and individual body. For the divine Self had so completely disfranchised itself from matter that it could create at will an inner substitute for itself, and leaving it in the human form for days, weeks, sometimes years, affect in no wise by the change either the vita! principle or the physical mind of its body. By the way, that is the highest form of adeptship man can hope for on our planet. But it is as rare as the Buddhas themselves, the last Khobilgan who reached it being Tsong-Kha-Pa of Kokonor (XIV Century), the reformer of esoteric as well as of vulgar Lamaism.
Many are those who "break through the eggshell", few who, once out, are able to exercise their Nirira namastaka fully, when completely out of the body. Conscious life in Spirit is as difficult for some natures as swimming is for some bodies. Though the human frame is lighter in its bulk than water, and though every person is born with the faculty, so few develop in themselves the art of treading water that death by drowning is the most frequent of accidents. The Planetary Spirit of that kind (the Buddha-like) can pass at will into other bodies - of more or less etherealised matter, inhabiting other regions of the Universe. There are many other grades and orders, but there is no separate and eternally constituted order of Planetary Spirits. . . .
The cycle of intelligent existences commences at the highest worlds or planets - the term 'highest' meaning here the most spiritually perfect. Evolving from cosmic matter - which is akasha, the primeval not the secondary plastic medium, or Ether of Science instinctively suspected, unproven as the rest - man first evolutes from this matter in its most sublimated state, appearing at the threshold of Eternity as a perfectly Ethereal - not Spiritual Entity, say - a Planetary Spirit. He is but one remove from the universal and Spiritual World Essence - the anima mundi of the Greeks, or that which humanity in its spiritual decadence has degraded into a mythical personal God. Hence, at that stage, the Spirit-man is at best an active Power, an immutable, therefore an unthinking Principle (the term 'immutable' being again used here but to denote that state for the time being, the immutability applying here but to the inner principle which will vanish and disappear as soon as the spark of the material in him will start on its cyclic work of Evolution and transformation). In his subsequent descent, and in proportion to the increase of matter he will assert more and more his activity. Now, the congeries of the star-worlds (including our own planet) inhabited by intelligent beings may be likened to an orb or rather an epicycloid formed of rings like a chain - worlds inter-linked together, the totality representing an imaginary endless ring or circle.
The progress of man throughout the whole - from its starting to its closing points meeting on the highest point of its circumference - is what we call the mahayuga or Great Cycle, the Kuklos, whose head is lost in a crown of absolute Spirit, and its lowest point of circumference in absolute matter - to viz., the point of cessation of action of the active principle. If using a more familiar term we call the Great Cycle the Macrocosm and its component parts or the interlinked star worlds Microcosms, the occultists' meaning in representing each of the latter as perfect copies of the former will become evident.
The Great is the Prototype of the smaller cycles: and as such, each star-world has in its turn its own cycle of Evolution, which starts with a purer and ends with a grosser or more material nature. As they descend, each world presents itself naturally more and more shadowy, becoming at the 'antipodes' absolute matter. Propelled by the irresistible cyclic impulse, the Planetary Spirit has to descend before he can reascend. On his way he has to pass through the whole ladder of evolution, missing no rung, to halt at every star-world as he would at a station; and, besides the unavoidable cycle of that particular and every respective star-world, to perform in it his own 'life-cycle' too, viz., returning and reincarnating as many times as he fails to complete his round of life in it, as he dies on it before reaching the age of reason, as correctly stated in Isis. . . .
After circling, so to say, along the arc of the cycle, circling along and within it (the daily and yearly rotation of the Earth is as good an illustration as any) when the Spirit-man reaches our planet, which is one of the lowest, having lost at every station some of the ethereal and acquired an increase of material nature, both spirit and matter have become pretty much equilibrized in him. But then, he has the Earth's cycle to perform; and, as in the process of involution and evolution downward, matter is ever striving to stifle spirit, when arrived at the lowest point of his pilgrimage, the once pure Planetary Spirit will be found dwindled to what Science agrees to call a primitive or Primordial man - amidst a nature as primordial, speaking geologically, for physical nature keeps pace with the physiological as well as the spiritual man, in her cyclic career. At that point the great Law begins its work of selection. Matter found entirely divorced from spirit is thrown over into the still lower worlds - into the sixth 'GATI' or 'way of rebirth' of the vegetable and mineral worlds, and of the primitive animal forms. From thence, matter ground over in the workshop of nature proceeds soulless back to its Mother Fount; while the Egos purified of their dross are enabled to resume their progress once more onward. It is here, then, that the laggard Egos perish by the millions. It is the solemn moment of the 'survival of the fittest', the annihilation of those unfit.
It is but matter (or material man) which is compelled by its own weight to descend to the very bottom of the 'circle of necessity', to there assume animal form; as to the winner of that race throughout the worlds - the Spiritual Ego, he will ascend from star to star, from one world to another, circling onward to rebecome the once pure Planetary Spirit, then higher still, to finally reach its first starting-point, and from thence - to merge into MYSTERY. No adept has ever penetrated beyond the veil of primitive kosmic matter. The highest, the most perfect vision is limited to the universe of Form and Matter. . . .
You want to know why it is deemed supremely difficult if not utterly impossible for pure disembodied Spirits to communicate with men through mediums or Phantomosophy. I say, because:
(a) On account of the antagonistic atmospheres respectively surrounding these worlds;
(b) Of the entire dissimilarity of physiological and spiritual conditions; and -
(c) Because that chain of worlds I have just been telling you about is not only an epicycloid but an elliptical orbit of existences, having, as every ellipse, not one but two points - two foci, which can never approach each other; Man being at one focus of it and pure Spirit at the other. . . .
Like a rosary composed of white and black beads alternating with each other, so that concatenation of worlds is made up of worlds of CAUSES and worlds of EFFECTS, the latter - the direct result produced by the former. Thus it becomes evident that every sphere of Causes - and our Earth is one - is not only interlinked with, and surrounded by, but actually separated from its nearest neighbour - the higher sphere of Causality - by an impenetrable atmosphere (in its spiritual sense) of effects bordering on, and even interlinking, never mixing with - the next sphere: for one is active, the other - passive, the world of causes positive, that of effects - negative. . . . All movement is, so to say, polar. It is very difficult to convey my meaning to you at this point; but I will go to the end. I am aware of my failure to bring before you these - to us - axiomatical truths in any other form but that of a simple logical postulate - if so much - they being capable of absolute and unequivocal demonstration but to the highest Seers. But, I'll give you food for thinking if nothing else.
The intermediary spheres, being but the projected shadows of the Worlds of Causes - are negatived by the last. They are the great halting places, the stations in which the new Self-Conscious Egos to be - the self-begotten progeny of the old and disembodied Egos of our planet - are gestated. Before the new phoenix, reborn of the ashes of its parents, can soar higher to a better, more spiritual, and perfect world - still a world of matter - it has to pass through the process of a new birth, so to say; and, as on our earth, where the two-thirds of infants are either still-born or die in infancy, so in our 'world of effects'. On earth it is the physiological and mental defects, the sins of the progenitors which are visited upon the issue: in that land of shadows, the new and yet unconscious Ego-foetus becomes the just victim of the transgressions of its old Self, whose karma - merit and demerit - will alone weave out its future destiny. In that world, my good friend, we find but unconscious, self-acting, ex-human machines, souls in their transition state, whose dormant faculties and individuality lie as a butterfly in its chrysalis; and Spiritualists would yet have them talk sense! Caught at times into the vortex of the abnormal 'mediumistic' current, they become the unconscious echoes of thoughts and ideas crystallized around those present. . . .
The world below ours is worse yet. The former is harmless at least; it is more sinned against by being disturbed, than sinning; the latter allowing the retention of full consciousness as being a hundredfold more material, is positively dangerous. The notions of hells and purgatory, of paradises and resurrections, are all caricatured, distorted echoes of the primeval one Truth, taught humanity in the infancy of its races by every First Messenger - the Planetary Spirit mentioned on the reverse of page the third - and whose remembrance lingered in the memory of man as Elu of the Chaldees, Osiris the Egyptian, Vishnu, the first Buddhas and so on.
The lower world of effects is the sphere of such distorted Thoughts; of the most sensual conceptions, and pictures; of anthropomorphic deities, the out-creations of their creators, the sensual human minds of people who have never outgrown their brutehood on earth. Remembering thoughts are things - have tenacity, coherence, and life - that they are real entities - the rest will become plain. Disembodied - the creator is attracted naturally to its creation and creatures; sucked in - by the Maelstrom dug out by his own hands. . . .
In reference to your wonder that the views of the three mystics "are far from being identical", what does the fact prove? Were they instructed by disembodied, pure, and wise Spirits - even by those of one remove from our earth on the higher plane - would not the teachings be identical?. . . Well; if in the different spheres contradictory doctrines are propounded, these doctrines cannot contain the Truth, for Truth is One, and cannot admit of diametrically opposite views; and pure Spirits who see it as it is, with the veil of matter entirely withdrawn from it - cannot err.
Now, if we allow of different aspects or portions of the Whole Truth being visible to different agencies or intelligences, each under various conditions, as, for example, various portions of the one landscape develop themselves to various persons, at various distances and from various standpoints - if we admit the fact of various or different agencies (individual Brothers, for instance) endeavouring to develop the Egos of different individuals, without subjecting entirely their wills to their own (as it is forbidden) but by availing themselves of their physical, moral, and intellectual idiosyncracies; if we add to this the countless cosmical influences which distort and deflect all efforts to achieve definite purposes: if we remember, moreover, the direct hostility of the Brethren of the Shadow always on the watch to perplex and haze the neophyte's brain, I think we shall have no difficulty in understanding how even a definite spiritual advance may to a certain extent lead different individuals to apparently different conclusions and theories. . . .
If, for generations we have "shut out the world from the Knowledge of our Knowledge", it is on account of its absolute unfitness; and if, notwithstanding proofs given, it still refuses yielding to evidence, then will we at the End of this cycle retire into solitude and our kingdom of silence once more. . . . We have offered to exhume the primeval strata of man's being, his basic nature, and lay bare the wonderful complications of his inner Self - something never to be achieved by physiology or even psychology in its ultimate expression - and demonstrate it scientifically. It matters not to them, if the excavations be so deep, the rocks so rough and sharp, that in diving into that, to them, fathomless ocean, most of us perish in the dangerous exploration; for it is we who were the divers and the pioneers, and the men of science have but to reap where we have sown.
It is our mission to plunge and bring the pearls of Truth to the surface; theirs - to clean and set them into scientific jewels. And, if they refuse to touch the ill-shapen oyster-shell, insisting that there is [not], nor cannot be any precious pearl inside it, then shall we once more wash our hands of any responsibility before humankind. For countless generations hath the adept builded a fane of imperishable rocks, a giant's Tower of INFINITE THOUGHT, wherein the Titan dwelt, and will yet, if need be, dwell alone, emerging from it but at the end of every cycle, to invite the elect of mankind to cooperate with him and help in his turn enlighten superstitious man. And we will go on in that periodical work of ours; we will not allow ourselves to be baffled in our philanthropic attempts until that day when the foundations of a new continent of thought are so firmly built that no amount of opposition and ignorant malice guided by the Brethren of the Shadow will be found to prevail.
But until that day of final triumph someone has to be sacrificed - though we accept but voluntary victims. The ungrateful task did lay her low and desolate in the ruins of misery, misapprehension, and isolation: but she will have her reward in the hereafter for we never were ungrateful. As regards the Adept - not one of my kind, good friend, but far higher - you might have closed your book with those lines of Tennyson's "Wakeful Dreamer" - you knew him not -
How could ye know him? Ye were yet within