Causes initiated by the Individual
If you have studied all the above [found at this link here] with the needed care, it will be apparent to you that the individual man enters upon incarnation already handicapped by existent glamor of a very ancient origin and utterly beyond his power to control at this stage. It is of great potency. I use the word “handicapped” advisedly for lack of a better term. I would like, however, to point out that the true significance of the situation exists in the fact that these conditions offer the opportunity to the man of evoking the understanding and point of view of the soul, for they provide the means whereby experience is gained. This experience will lead eventually to the soul assuming control of the mechanism, the personality, and thus giving to that soul a definite field of service. The vehicles through which the soul is seeking experience and expression are normally and naturally subject to world glamors, and to the glamors of humanity as well as illusion. When the soul, in the early stages of experience, falls into the snare of maya, of glamor and eventually of illusion, the reason is that the soul is identifying itself with those forms and therefore with the surrounding glamor, and thus failing to achieve identification with itself. As evolution proceeds, the nature of the problem becomes apparent to the soul in incarnation and a process is then instituted whereby the soul frees itself from the results of wrong identification. Every soul in incarnation which succeeds in releasing its consciousness from the world of illusion and of glamor is definitely serving the race, and helping to free humanity from this ancient and potent thralldom.
But it must be borne in mind that when a man is nearing the stage of consciousness when both the astral body and the mental body are active and functioning, he himself becomes a manufacturer of glamor. He struggles with forces within himself and within the world in which he lives, and the increasing potency of the inflowing soul energy (which comes in conflict with personality forces) gradually produces around him a field of glamor and an environment of illusion that brings this third category of glamor into full play.
These glamors are dependent upon the expression of the different forces which constitute a man’s lower nature, of which he is becoming increasingly aware, and which pass through the stages of emergence into recognition, potency in expression, and violence in conflict until the struggling soul sits down – as did Arjuna – in the midst between the two opposing forces (personality force and soul energy) and asks himself:
- Which is right, this or that?
- How can I distinguish where my duty or my responsibility lies?
- How can I find my way out of this bewildering situation?
- How can I bring in the control of the Warrior so that the two groups of forces which I love may be resolved into a unity?
- How can I find my way out of this impasse?
- Why must I hurt that which I love and through which I have expressed myself for ages?
- How can I become aware of that mental illumination which will reveal the “middle way” between the pairs of opposites?
- How can I see God? or else the Form of God?
Many such questions arise in the mind of the aspirant. They indicate dilemma, bewilderment, a realization of surrounding glamor, a stage of illusion and a condition of impotency. Against the disciple are fighting all the forces of his own nature, and also those of humanity as a whole and of the planetary state. He feels helpless, inert, feeble and hopeless. He cannot even see the way out. Only one clear fact remains and that is the fact of the Soul, of the immortal Identity, the Warrior behind the scenes, the Charioteer, Krishna, the Christ within.
The Bhagavad Gita can be read entirely from the standpoint of the disciple’s combat with glamor and students would be well-advised so to study it.
The individual glamors of which the disciple becomes aware are consequently of five types of force. These, when brought into activity simultaneously, produce those glamors which are strictly initiated and produced by the man himself. They are:
- The forces of his dense physical nature and of the vital body which latter, functioning through the dense physical nature, produce a condition of maya or of uncontrolled energy.
- The forces of the astral nature, based upon desire and upon sentiency. These, at this stage, fall into two groups which we call the pairs of opposites. Their potency is accentuating at this period of individual history, for the disciple is polarized in the majority of cases in his astral body and is, therefore, subject to the glamors produced by the interplay of the opposites, plus the condition of maya, referred to above.
- The forces of the lower mental nature, of the chitta or mind-stuff of which the mental body is composed. This is colored by past activity, as is the substance composing all the vehicles. This adds to maya and glamor, the state of illusion.
- The personality ray then emerges and intensifies all these three aspects of force expression, producing eventually their synthetic work. Then we have the emerging of what has been called “the threefold glamorous condition,” into one major glamor.
- The soul ray or energy is all this time steadily increasing its rhythmic potency, and seeking to impose its purpose and will upon the personality. It is the united relation and the interplay between these two which – when a point of balance has been achieved – sweeps the man on to the Probationary Path, on to the Path of Discipleship, and right up to the gate of initiation. There, standing before the Gate, he recognizes the final duality which awaits resolution. The Dweller on the Threshold and the Angel of the PRESENCE.
The nature of these glamors differs with different people, for the ray quality determines the type of glamor or illusion to which a man will easily succumb, and that kind of glamor which he will the most easily create. Disciples have to learn to differentiate between:
- The glamors or glamor already existent in his environment, to which he will easily be attracted, or which he will easily attract, for they constitute the line of least resistance.
- The glamor that he creates as he tackles life through the medium of a particular equipment, which is colored by the experiences of past incarnations, and by the ray quality under which he has come into being.
This subject is so intricate that it will serve no useful purpose for me to go into detailed particulars. I can indicate the major glamors (and under this term I include the various maya and illusions) to which the ray types predispose the man. If you then apply these to the three vehicles of manifestation as well as to the personality and the soul, you will note how complicated is the problem. Yet remember this, my brother:
The issue is certain and determined for, in this solar system, the triumph of the soul and its final dominance and control is a foregone conclusion, no matter how great the glamor or how fierce the strife. Thus, the ascertaining (by the aspirant) of his ray influence is one of the first steps towards understanding the nature of his problem and the method of release. The psychology of the future will direct attention to the discovery of the two rays which govern the soul and personality. Having done this through a study of the physical type, emotional reactions and mental tendencies, attention will then be directed to the discovery of the rays governing the specialized vehicles. When these five rays (egoic, personality, physical, astral and mental) have been approximately ascertained, then the following factors will need consideration:
- The nature, quality and stability of the glandular system.
- The point attained in evolution. This will be done by a careful consideration of the centers and the glands and their relation to each other.
- The recognition of the points of cleavage or the splits in the personality which exist. These can be:
- Between the etheric and the physical bodies, leading to a lack of vitality, physical weakness, obsession and many forms of difficulty.
- In the sentient astral body, leading to a vast number of problems and psychological difficulties based upon undue sensitivity, reaction to glamor in the environment, innate tendencies to glamor in the equipment or resulting from sensitivity to the glamors of other people.
- In the mental body, imposing mental illusions of many kinds, such as control by self-created thought-forms, sensitivity to existing world, national, or environing thought-forms of any school of thought, ide fixe, the sense of the dramatic or of importance, or a fanatical adherence to groups of ideas, inherited from the past, or mental reactions of a purely personal nature.
- Between any of these groups of forces which we call bodies:
– Between the etheric and astral bodies.
– Between the astral and the mental bodies.
There is, for instance, a definite correspondence between the condition of negativity to physical plane living which is the result of a lack of integration between the physical and the etheric bodies, and that lack of interest and that failure to handle physical plane living which the thinker on abstract and scientific levels so frequently evidences. Both groups fail to make a definite and decisive manifestation upon the physical plane, both groups fail to deal with the problems of physical plane living in a clear and satisfactory manner, both are non-positive physically, but the causes producing these relatively similar conditions are totally different – though alike in their effects.
- The comprehension of the Path of Life for an individual, through a study of his astrological indications. It is necessary in this connection to regard the sun sign into which a man is born, as indicative of his personality trends, and as embodying the characteristics which he has inherited from the past, but to regard the rising sign as holding within it the indications of the way that a man’s soul would have him go.
Part 2 of 2 here.