THE EYE OF SHIVA
The priceless gift of spiritual vision veiled in the arcane symbolism of the Eye of Shiva is the sacred heritage of future humanity, but it will remain hidden, like the Biblical treasure in the field, until all lesser lights are renounced. From the time of the sacrificial descent of the Agnishwatha Pitris into the Monadic Host of incipient humanity over eighteen million years ago, the fiery spark of noetic insight has been enshrined in the inmost heart of each and every immortal soul. In the earliest epochs of evolving humanity, the light of soul-vision irradiated and suffused the mortal vestures, giving meaning and direction to daily conduct, a fullness of fellow-feeling in society, and grateful reverence to the lustrous presence of spiritual elders and teachers. The spontaneous devotion of the Third Root Race sprang from its lucid awareness of the supernal light within the human breast, and its natural intention to cherish and consecrate that living trust. Effortless purity and exquisite delicacy of soul-etiquette, qualities so scarce in the present age, were the widely prevalent marks of undefiled self-consciousness in the earliest races. The light has not wholly dimmed nor has the vision vanished beyond recall.
The indestructible Light of the Logos antedates all worlds and endures as the permanent possibility of vision. The sacred organ of spiritual perception in man has become obscured and even atrophied through misuse of its potency. By misappropriating the universal energies of the Higher Triad for the sake of the separative concerns of the mortal self, the vital connection between the permanent and impermanent vestures was damaged, dulling the psycho-physical senses, rendering them fickle and deceptive at best. As the final consequence of follies and misdeeds, the crucial brain-centres associated with the channels of spiritual awareness were petrified.
The diminished estate of contemporary humanity is the direct and inevitable consequence of its individual and collective immorality in the past. Most of the world's present ills and sufferings, along with its apparent indifference to its future welfare, can be traced to deliberate if forgotten choices in distant eras. Like Milton's Samson, shorn of power and blinded through folly, mankind is helplessly chained to the cyclic round through no fault but its own. Similarly, if it is to recover the lost light of its spiritual immortality, this can only come about through sacrificial deeds of self-regeneration and self-correction, thus emulating the mighty Yogin, Shiva. Gupta Vidya teaches the mysterious tenet that the Third Eye is indissolubly connected with Karma, a teaching which is as telling in relation to the future as it is pertinent to the past. Both past and future are merely facets of the eternal present viewed from the standpoint of differentiated consciousness. So too, cause and effect in discontinuous action are but aspects of universal harmony in manifestation through centrifugal and centripetal modes of motion. In the Bhagavad Gita neither the Divine Eye of Krishna nor the Cosmic Vision that it confers is fanciful or fortuitous. The Avataric descent of the Logos and the lending of the Divine Eye to Arjuna are objective representations in the temporal realm of archetypal realities in the timeless realm of spirit. It was Arjuna who, through self-righteous identification with his own mask, placed limits upon Lord Krishna and thereby felt himself cut off from immortality. Having truncated the sense of self, he alienated himself from the Logos, and fell into dark despair when faced with his self-chosen dharma.
If ignorant identification with the mask is the primary cause of human bondage, it is inseparable from a correlative caricature of Deity and Law. There is an intimate connection between anthropomorphic religion and the exteriorized personification of universal law as a cruel and avenging power. In regard to the Greek conception of Nemesis, H.P. Blavatsky pointed out that originally Nemesis was not a goddess, but rather a moral feeling which stood as the barrier to evil and immorality. Through anthropomorphizing fancy, this feeling was progressively externalized and personified into an ever-fatal and punitive goddess. Such an unphilosophical conception, itself a symptom and result of the corruption of consciousness, must be rejected in order to restore a sterling sense of responsibility under Natural Law.
Philosophically, the impersonality of the unknown and unknowable divine Principle is inseparable from the impartiality of universal and immutable justice. To be confused about the former is to be confounded by the latter. It is a curious, though undeniable, fact that just two hundred years ago the founders of the American Republic saw fit to place a graphic representation of the Divine Eye of Wisdom on the Great Seal. And, though that eye has been prodigally printed on every dollar bill for nearly fifty years, hardly one out of a hundred Americans has really noticed it, and scarcely one out of a hundred thousand has seriously thought about it. Perhaps one in a million has sought to put it to use, and one in ten million might have been able to sustain true meditation upon the Eye for a period of months or years. Virtually all have gone on spending the dollar without any reverence for the Third Eye, a prolific waste of the world's resources for which Karma is now exacting its toll. Such is the karma of a nation condemned by its founders to an acceptance of the logic of universal brotherhood. There is nothing more threatening to the shadowy persona than universal brotherhood. As human beings walk away from the sun, the shadow lengthens. As they walk towards the sun, the shadow declines. It is significant, from the standpoint of karma, that the Founding Fathers identified the radiant eye over the pyramid as the eye of providence, and not the Eye of Wisdom. This confusion, though well-intentioned, degrades the divine Principle by making it the whimsical despot invoked as providence. If this suggests that Americans, like all peoples, have still much to learn, the Founding Fathers were ready to recognize this and were well aware that the republic they established would need a continuous process of ethical education aimed at a time centuries hence when men and women everywhere could grasp the true meaning of universal brotherhood and its ontological foundations.
Moral learning and the recovery of metaphysical insight are not the result of formal education or the exclusive privilege of any social class. In fact, many ordinary people of the world, unburdened by the dichotomies of modern thought, the tedium of high school and the conformist sophistry of college, are more likely to appreciate the real nature of learning. Travelling many paths and byways to and from their daily labours, they often enjoy the privilege of looking at the stars. Though they may not comprehend the configurations of the planets or the constellations of the zodiac, at least they are humbly aware that there is a vast sky above their heads. They may be unfamiliar with arcane knowledge about the hierarchies of Dhyanis, Rishis and devas associated with the heavenly hosts, but as they journey into the dawn, gazing upward and greeting the stars, they travel a sure, if slow and painful, path to self-enlightenment. None but the wise can surmise what thoughts men and women hold in their minds at death. Even in life neither parents nor children, neither relatives nor friends, really know anything about the deepest thoughts and feelings that move other human beings as they travel up and down the roads of the ancient lands of the earth.
There are many mysteries surrounding human beings, above all the mystery of the Ego, and the more deeply this is felt, the more silent one is about them. Amongst those who most keenly sense the mystery of the soul, one will not find facile references to the Third Eye. Such persons will not be tempted to speak out of turn about sacred matters because they will be too busy learning the proper use of their two eyes, and gaining self-respect through the cultivation of skill in action. Every traveller knows that it is necessary to keep both eyes on the road and to remain flexible. One must learn to discern when it is appropriate to go faster and when it is apposite to go slower. There is an essential discipline in coordinating the right and left eyes which must be mastered at some preliminary level before one can travel safely upon the roads of life. If watchful and vigilant travellers should grow weary along the way and pause to rest for a few moments under the empyrean – where there are no boundaries – they can collect themselves and draw within, experiencing an exhilarating sense of release from the clamour and cacophony of the age. When they are withdrawn from the noises of the world and repose in inward silence, they may experience moments of serene self-forgetfulness and even communion with the daimon. Through the immense strength of vision of the immortal soul, every human being receives some benediction during deep, dreamless sleep, what Shakespeare called "the balm of hurt minds".
If this is the common source of impersonal inspiration in every human being, one might ask why it seemingly avails so many so little. If all share in a universal opportunity for self-education and spiritual growth, yet societies and nations find themselves mired in self-perpetuating ignorance and delusion, one could ask what went wrong with the human species in general. If men and women of the earliest civilizations of the earth enjoyed the illumination of the inner eye in waking life, one must seek for the causes of the loss of vision in actions carried out despite its guidance. As H.P. Blavatsky explains:
The duration and extent of this appalling abuse and tragic inversion of the gift of self-consciousness were neither brief nor trivial, but rather involved vast numbers of human beings over millions of years. Whilst the last remnants of the Atlantean continent subsided some twelve thousand years ago, and the Fifth Root Race began a million years before that, one must take into account the preceding four million years of the Fourth Root Race to understand the scale of the period of decline. One must also take into account the millions of years between the emergence of the godlike beings of the Third Race, over eighteen million years ago, and the commencement of the Atlantean Fourth Race about five million years ago. It should be evident that the magnitude and sway of the karmic forces set in motion by the earlier races of humanity are too enormous to be encompassed within the stunted theories of modern social scientists. Indeed, virtually all the presuppositions and working assumptions of modern writers are the pathetic consequences of that ancient blindness. As such, they can scarcely offer contemporary humanity a reasonable explanation or solution for its current predicament. If the narrow and reductionist theories of secular history are useless in this regard, the anthropomorphic religions of the past few millennia are even worse.
The fateful events depicted in the Stanzas of Dzyan are not to be understood as a mere chronology of past evolution. These far-reaching events are sadly re-enacted in the life of every human being, as may be seen by considering what happens to a newborn child. Until approximately the age of three, every infant possesses an active spiritual awareness, but then, unfortunately, it is given a shadowy sense of "I" bound up with wants and deficiencies. Too many foolish mothers are continually asking "Does Baby want this? Does Baby want that?" whereas, of course, the baby wants nothing. Although its physical organism may be either too warm or too cold, too dry or too wet, or may need feeding or washing, as a conscious being it is complete and lacks nothing. Yet, through misplaced solicitude the infant is psychically crippled, giving it a shadowy and deprivatory sense of self. Thus, the child grows up with a strong sense of self-deficiency. But this is at least partly corrected at around the age of seven under the compassion of the cosmic Law, when there is a descent of the ray of higher Manas.
There is no human being who is without help because, on the average, there is always present some sense of being a thinking individual, capable of choice and self-determination. Whatever one's fate or future, and whatever one's range of alternatives, it is always possible to become more responsible, having lit up the spark of innate responsibility after the age of seven. If this is securely done before the age of fourteen, then a child is fortunate because he or she is able to pass through the tumultuous, stormy and exaggerated time of puberty with a sense of proportion and balance. If there is proper preparation by those whom the child trusts, there is a distinct beauty to that period because the creative imagination is ready for great mythic inspiration. If a child is given myths, images, pictures, stories and symbols of all that is noble and elevating, then these become living presences to the child, who is thus able to emancipate the psyche from the clutches of adolescence. Whilst performing its duties at school, learning myriad lessons, respecting its diverse teachers and keeping aloof from delinquent children who are either misled or perversely ignorant, the sensible child can enjoy a healthy growth in the freely chosen company of those who do the difficult things in life, like doing physical exercise, venturing to play a musical instrument, mastering arithmetic and learning to read and write with enjoyment. By befriending those who enjoy learning, it is feasible to fuse work and play. Then, at the stage where a child naturally looks for ideals and longs to see them mirrored in others, it is possible to develop true respect and affection, and indeed there could be a burgeoning of immortal longings behind the mortal masquerade of emotions.
Whilst the period of maturation can be beautiful if it is well handled, typically and unfortunately, owing to the collective karma of society and of ancestors, instead of being helped, the child is overwhelmed by the newly awakened physiological powers and psychic passions. If, as Plato hinted, the Third Eye may ideally begin to function around the age of thirty-five, this cannot happen unless the process was initiated at the age of seven. If, under Karma, this was not possible, then one should at least begin around the age of twenty-one or even twenty-eight. Yet, if none of these things can be done, then one may still hope that after thirty-five one will be able to recapitulate some of the lost opportunities of the first thirty-five years by truly loving and admiring children, and being on the side of other people who are younger than oneself. Though this may be against the grain of a parasitic culture, which seeks to devour each succeeding generation through the delusions of its predecessor, it is nonetheless an essential requirement of the New Cycle.
It is possible to find joy in the growth of other people, and those who truly have their minds open to the future will be on the side of children and their grandchildren, the unknown and unborn generations that will come after. In order to be on the side of people who are not before one's eyes, one must actively exercise one's imagination, not fabricating any false roles for oneself, nor assuming false burdens. The children of future generations cannot be saved by indoctrination. They do not need to be saved, because they are immortal souls. They need no vicarious atonement, but they may be aided under Karma. One can prevent them from being self-destroyed, but that can only be done by the magic of eloquent example. If, despite mistakes, one could show that it is possible to breathe benevolence and incarnate the spirit of universal brotherhood, then children, who are observant by nature, will quietly notice the effortless example set by elders. Children are quick to discern one's willingness to learn from them and from others, and through this they will also recognize that despite the hollow pretensions of contemporary culture, true learning is an integral part of the constitutional birthright of Americans and of every contributor to the City of Man.
Through an enlarged conception of the spiritual birthright of reincarnating egos, it can be shown that the plentiful exercise of the sovereign powers of thought, learning and meditation are secured for every human being by the moral order of the cosmos. Whilst they may be ignorantly denied or discouraged in corrupt societies, they are fully encouraged and actively fostered by the Brotherhood of Bodhisattvas. There is nothing in the constitution of human nature to prevent a person from meditating at any time, nor need one travel to or live in any cloistered shelter to exercise freely these prerogatives. Whether one's journey through life carries one over crowded city streets or quiet forest paths, there is no external circumstance of life which negates the possibility of meditation. Neither does the mere passage of years set aside or subvert one's capacity and need to think and learn. There are many old people who, despite advanced age and the force of habit, set an example to the young by calmly demonstrating that they are still willing to learn and still willing to look to the promise of the future. If courageous individuals are willing to learn at the age of seventy, then why cannot younger people learn at the age of forty or thirty or twenty? If old people can begin to learn what it means to get their mental luggage ready for the next incarnation, then it is certainly possible for others to do so at the age of forty. At a time when social pioneers and spiritual pathfinders show a spontaneous readiness to greet each other as citizens of the world, beholden to no party or partial electorate but rather to the whole of humanity, can any individual consider himself or herself as anything less than a denizen of the cosmopolis, the City of Man?
In the infancy of humanity, when all alike were secure in their joyous awareness of immortality, birth and death were viewed as no more strange than the putting on or taking off of a garment. In general, the human race has passed on from childlike wonder to adolescent bewilderment and into the self-questioning of youth amidst a burgeoning of the fires of creativity around the time of its puberty. Now, despite half-hidden and half-denied memories of old errors, it is possible for humanity to get ready for the next stage, which is the maturation of adulthood. Humanity is coming of age, becoming adult. More precisely, in terms of the total scheme of human evolution and the complex cosmogonic tables of Gupta Vidya, humanity is somewhere around the age of thirty-five, even a bit past it. Humanity is at that critical point when it must experience a radical metamorphosis. A significant and pioneering portion of humanity is ready to graduate to full maturity. They have used their two eyes carefully and learnt something about spiritual responsibility, meditating upon collective Karma and the vital connections between moral causes and social consequences. They have become more mindful and therefore more patient, more deliberate and therefore more discriminating. Through detachment from personal existence they have gained greater continuity of consciousness and a more profound compassion for their fellow beings. Other human beings, however, who are as yet unable to do this will have to try harder. They will have to exert themselves more intensively so that they can atone for lost time and make amends for past misdeeds.
It is for this reason that H.P. Blavatsky took such pains to explain the distinction between the natural psycho-physical changes affecting the relationship of the early races to the Third Eye and the unnatural degradation of the spiritual principles in man in the later portions of the Fourth Race. The former is a natural and inevitable part of the process of evolution, but the latter was not. Not every human being has committed every spiritual iniquity, of course. Most human beings are extremely weak-willed, and it is highly unlikely that they actively launched on a career represented by Sodom and Gomorrah. It is much more likely that their selfishness was nothing more than banal. Abnormal selfishness involves bringing a high degree of concentration to one's selfishness, such as is required to become a ruthless captain of industry or a crafty manipulator of the media. Most human beings do not have sufficiently intense experience in grey or black magic to achieve such ends. To understand the heavy Karma of the latter portion of the Fourth Root Race, one must set aside the spell of fascination with the venal forms of iniquity and seek a philosophic understanding of the sprouting of spiritual evil. Suppose that one has received potent spiritual Teachings, and that one uses them to show off to one's neighbour. This is a dangerous step even if it seems innocuous; it can rapidly lead to using the Teachings on behalf of one's separative self, when in fact one received the Teachings only for the sake of service to others.
Although one may not self-consciously intend to show off to others, nevertheless, in a society pervaded by bottomless insecurity and lack of spiritual decorum, it is quite plausible that many will turn to the Teachings chiefly in order to gain personal confidence. This, however, is a serious error and will inevitably result, at the moment of death, in all one's intellectual learning being stripped away. In order to avoid this pathos at death, one should long before that time master the personality, which is merely a tool or instrument and in itself of no consequence other than as a transient vesture of the Immortal Soul. Once the root idea of the Immortal Soul as the Being-in-charge pervades one's consciousness, kama manas must wholly relinquish its false posture of dominance. The Immortal Soul cannot take possession of its temple until the ratiocinative mind has abdicated from its ascendancy, and the heart has been cleansed. The spiritual path leading to the awakening of the Third Eye begins with an assured recognition of the Divine Light within, and is consummated in the fullness and purity of that Light. Hence it is said that the path begins and ends outside the lower self.
Since the true danger is that the Spiritual Light will be deflected and dragged down into the realm of the psychic and the personal, the practical issue is how the lunar mind can be pacified during the period of its attenuation. Whether it be through music, gardening, swimming or walking, there is a wide variety of ways in which one can pacify and silence the lunar mind, stilling its thoughts and preventing them from polluting one's intuitions. In doing this, it is foolish and even absurd to declaim against the body, the irresponsible organ and tool of the psychic nature, called "brother ass" by Francis of Assisi. If the body is restless, this puts a strain upon the astral because it is engaged in involuntary movement. Therefore, one needs to replace involuntary movements by deliberate movements without becoming inflexible. This points to the art of deep relaxation, the yoga of mental resilience. It is possible to learn to move at will the different limbs of the body while at the same time not being rigid, remaining calm, natural and relaxed. Physically, this will relieve heat and pressure in the blood, and give a cool rhythm to the rate and beat of the heart. Psychologically, one can learn to let go in the mind the false burdens and images, which only serve to obscure the path of duty through a delusive sense of personal melodrama. It is much easier to let go when one has given up the intoxicating notion of personal progress and its attendant fantasies about the paramount priority of one's own odyssey. The world depends upon the entirety of humanity, and as one of billions of Monads engaged in spiritual evolution on this globe, one can make a modest yet effective contribution to the future of humanity. The critical question is whether one is making any contribution at all or going in the opposite direction – behaving irresponsibly as if one had more real knowledge than one does.
The fundamental problem with the Atlanteans was that they pretended to know when they did not. They mistook the nascent vision within themselves for the fullness of enlightenment, and disowning with base ingratitude their spiritual benefactors, they employed their powers for self-aggrandizement and self-righteously rationalized the consequences. When under Karma their presumption failed, they lapsed into the impotence and blindness brought upon themselves by their own misuse of opportunities. The karma of this misuse takes the form of a serious damage to the astral spine and to the flow of the magical elixir from the top of the head down to what is below the solar plexus. This organic and astral damage cannot be blamed upon parents, grandparents or ancestors, who were merely the karmic instruments for bringing into the present that which each human soul has earned for itself in another life. This can be tested by examining one's own motivation and conduct over the past seven, fourteen or twenty-one years, and discerning therein the seeds of ingratitude, selfishness, pride, presumption, misuse and abuse of opportunities. Yet, lest one become caught in self-pity, one must not be afraid to look at oneself both as a baby and as an aged person approaching the moment of death. One should break down the identification with the body-image and see oneself in relation to many and diverse human beings. Whenever one encounters another, one should think "There I am", without enhancing the sense of "I". By strengthening empathy for others, one will find that the sense of self is attenuated until it becomes a potent instrument for the purpose of using effectively the Teaching, a cipher in myriad cosmogonic equations.
What looks impossibly difficult is actually not so arduous if one begins correctly with a few small and simple examples. Many people have lost opportunities because of pseudo-dramatics which never helped anyone. Growing up means doing that which would help others. It is like trying to fix an old toy for the sake of a child. To do this, one must improvise and be constructive. No one would think very much of an appliance repairman who came and spent a week at their expense mourning the fact that the machine had broken down. Rather, one is grateful to the repairman who fixes it and moves on. This means not that one should be functional and utilitarian, but rather that one must seek to be constructive in facing difficulties. The point has now been reached when humanity is sufficiently grown-up not to be impressed by Atlantean gestures and well-worn excuses. A vanguard of human beings is fast emerging who are able to shoulder responsibility naturally and with ease. They find self-forgetfulness enjoyable and self-actualization as natural as breathing. At such a time, a great deal that is tortuous and redundant begins to fade away. Meanwhile, however, everything pathological concentrates in all the life-atoms that have been tortured by what is unnatural and ravenously seize the opportunity to manifest wherever possible. Those who are passive and irresponsible day-dreamers tend to become saturated with such lunar life-atoms, and as they walk in and out of the corridors of this world, they falter and fall prey to dark moods and despair.
The present time of metamorphosis offers a propitious opportunity for deep meditation upon the boundless ocean of space and upon Karma as a compassionate law that applies to all of Nature and humanity. When one has truly begun to gain an inkling of the law of Karma as the law of one's own being, inseparably binding each to all for the sake of the common good, then one can begin to meditate upon the Third Eye of the highest beings and see the Eye of Shiva over the Pyramid of Initiation which protects the whole of humanity. Feeling a thrill even to be a part of the human race under that omnipotent protection, one will renounce all personal fantasies regarding the Third Eye and begin to invoke its beneficence for all souls. The right use of the two eyes is the vital starting-point upon the path which leads through meditation and withdrawal from the sense organs to the point between the eyes, of which Krishna speaks. It is easier now to comprehend the compassion of the strong, the wisdom of stillness and the effortless celibacy of the twice-born.
One could say that the entire Teaching of Gupta Vidya is a metaphysical prelude to profound meditation, but this is to say a great deal. Sanatana Dharma provides conceptual maps and gives a firm basis for the cleansing and purifying of the emotional nature and the lunar mind. It aids human beings in disabusing themselves of the false burdens and feeble memories of the lunar form. It prepares individuals to enter the sacred orbit of the Mahatmas and thereby, especially in a strong cycle, into the aura of the Avatar. It is possible to do much in a short time if one can stay simple and honest, be regular and not neglect the small things of life, the daily obligations of pilgrim-souls. One must honour the small and renounce grandiose ideas about oneself. When one does this cheerfully, there will be a legitimate soul-satisfaction that one can carry a sublime thought through the day, into sleep, and further into the next day, with a singleness of purpose, of heart, mind and will.
Through continuity of consciousness there is a radical healing that takes place within one's whole nature, and an authentic gain in self-respect. Like a person who late in life learns a new language and is thrilled that he can learn the alphabet and write his first sentence, so too any human being at any age can so strengthen the antaskaranic connection with the Higher Self that life takes on a new depth of meaning and expression. It is a difficult discipline initially, but if one faithfully keeps at it in a non-strenuous way, doing it only out of love for one's fellow men and out of gratitude to one's Teachers, there will be infallible help from the Eye of Shiva and the Flute of Krishna. If the motive is to make a potent contribution to the grandchildren of one's grandchildren, and if one lets go of the mayavic tension of the personal self, then the sense of the sacred deepens until one is able to make holy resolves and charge them with a silent power for good. That power is the light in the Divine Eye of the Logos in the Cosmos and the god in man, and it is eternally available to every humble but mature pilgrim-soul seeking the privilege of entry into the emerging family of mankind.
Hermes, July 1982