Found first in the Vedic scriptures of Hinduism, Aum has been seen as the first manifestation of the unmanifest Brahman (the single Divine Ground of Hinduism) that resulted in the phenomenal universe. Essentially, all the cosmos stems from the vibration of the sound 'Aum' in Hindu cosmology. Indeed, so sacred is it that it is prefixed and suffixed to all Hindu mantras and incantations. It is undoubtedly the most representative symbol of Hinduism.
Use of this sound in rituals, may have originally started by imitating a similar territorial call of the male tiger.
The OM symbol's left part, which is like a figure 3, is also a component of some Devanagari letters, where it means "this syllable has no initial consonant".
The basis of all manifested phenomena is the enunciated sound, or the Word spoken with power, that is, with the full purpose of the will behind it. Herein, as is known, lies the value of meditation, for meditation produces eventually that inner dynamic purpose and recollection, or that internal ideation which must invariably precede the uttering of any creative sound. When it is said that the Logos produced the worlds through meditation it means that within His own centre of consciousness there was a period wherein He brooded over and meditated upon the purposes and plans He had in view; wherein He visualised to Himself the entire world process as a perfected whole, seeing the end from the beginning and being aware of the detail of the consummated sphere. Then, when His meditation was concluded, and the whole completed as a picture before His inner vision, He brought into use a certain Word of Power which had been committed to Him by the One about Whom naught may be said, the Logos of the cosmic scheme of which our system is but a part. With cosmic and Logoic initiations we are not concerned, except in so far as the human initiations reflect their stupendous prototypes, but it is of interest to the student to realise that just as at each initiation some Word of Power is committed to the initiate, so similarly to the Logos was committed the great Word of Power which produced our solar system, that Word which is called the [Page 151] "Sacred Word," or AUM. It must be here remembered that this sound AUM is man's endeavour to reproduce on an infinitesimally small scale the cosmic triple sound whereby creation was made possible. The Words of Power of all degrees have a triple sequence.
First. They are sounded by some fully self-conscious entity, and this invariably takes place after a period of deliberation or meditation wherein the purpose in total is visualised.
Second. They affect the deva kingdom and produce the creation of forms. This effect is dual in character—
a) The devas on the evolutionary path, the great builders of the solar system, and those under them who have passed the human stage respond to the sound of the Word, and with conscious realisation collaborate with the one who has breathed it forth, and thus the work is carried out.
b) The devas on the involutionary arc, the lesser builders, who have not passed through the human stage, also respond to the sound, but unconsciously, or perforce, and through the power of the initiated vibrations build the required forms out of their own substance.
Third. They act as a stabilising factor, and as long as the force of the sound persists, the forms cohere. When the Logos, for instance, finishes the sounding of the sacred AUM, and the vibration ceases, then disintegration of the forms will ensue. So with the Planetary Logos, and thus on down the scale.
The Words of Power, or the permutations of the AUM, exist in every possible tone, sub-tone, and quarter-tone, and upon these shades of sound the work of creation and its sustentation is built up. A multiplicity of sounds exists within each greater sound and affects different groups. It [Page 152] must be remembered also that, generally and broadly speaking, the sounds within the solar system fall into two groups:—
1. The initiatory sounds, or those which produce manifestation or phenomena of any kind on all planes.
2. Eventuating sounds, or those which are produced from within the forms themselves during the evolutionary process, and which are the aggregate of the tones of every form in any particular kingdom of nature. Every form likewise has a tone which is produced by the minute sounds produced by the atoms composing that form. These sounds grow out of the other group and affect inferior groups or kingdoms, if the word "inferior" may be used in connection with any department of divine manifestation. For instance, the human kingdom (the fourth creative Hierarchy) was produced by a triple AUM sounded in a particular key by the three persons of the Trinity in unison,—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, or Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. This sound is still going forth; the interplay and interblending of the many tiny notes of each human being produces a great united sound which can be heard in the high places and which, in its turn, is having a definite effect upon the animal kingdom. It is one of the factors which produces animal forms, both for human and animal occupation, for it must ever be remembered that man links the animal and the divine.
It is neither possible nor desirable to enumerate the Words of Power, but certain general indications may be given which will help the student to realise somewhat the magnitude of the subject and its intricacy.
1. The Great Word, as sounded by the Logos of the solar system, and communicated to Him by His superior.
2. Three Words committed by the Solar Logos to each of the three Logoi as follows:—
a) The sacred sound A to Shiva, He Who embodies the spirit or will aspect. It is the Word through which God the Father works.
b) The sound U to Vishnu, God the Son. He is the form-builder and provides the body which the spirit must occupy, thereby making divine incarnation possible. A is the life sound, U is the form sound. [HU]
c) c. The sound M to Brahma, Who, in His work of Energy-provider, links in active intelligence, spirit and form, or the self and not-self.
It might here be pointed out that much information anent the three departments of the Hierarchy of our planet will come to the student who wisely ponders these functions.
3. Seven Great Words, again based on the sacred three sounds A U M. These produced creation, or the manifestation of the seven planes of our solar system. They are committed not to human entities, but to the seven great Devas or Raja-Lords who are the ensouling lives of a plane; hence in the various initiations their collaboration is necessary, before these key words can be committed to the initiate.
4. Forty-nine Words related to the forty-nine subplanes or Fires. These again are committed to the forty-nine Builders of the Sacred Fires.
The above two groups of words are in the jurisdiction of the third aspect, and are given out by Brahma.
5. There are again five Great Words with signs which come under the department of Vishnu, or God the Son, [Page 154] and are breathed out by Him. By their means the five kingdoms of nature on the evolutionary arc came into being:—
a) The mineral kingdom.
b) The vegetable kingdom.
c) The animal kingdom.
d) The human kingdom.
e) The spiritual kingdom.
These five are permutations of, or are built up upon the sound U, as the ones earlier enumerated are built up upon the sound M.
In connection with the first three kingdoms it may be of interest to note that they are based upon two sounds, the U sounded on the basic key tone of the M. In the fourth kingdom the M tone is dying down and the two notes sounded forth are the U and the A. In the fifth kingdom the M has subsided into a distant undertone, the U is blended with it so as to be indistinguishable, and the A, or Shiva note, is pealing forth in power, and is practically the only note heard. By the sounding of this note,—that of Shiva the Destroyer,—the not-self is negated, and all that is not of spirit passes into dissolution. It is the coming in of the A sound which affects the severance or liberation of the initiate from the three worlds.
6. There are certain Words also committed to each of the Planetary Logoi, and they are the basis of planetary manifestation. As is well known, the sound of the Brahma aspect, or the third aspect of our particular Planetary Logos, is FA, and herein lies much of illumination as to His point in evolution, for it is immediately apparent that the A sound is reaching even the dense physical.
7. Within our own Hierarchy there are numbers of Words built up upon the Great Word of our Planetary Logos, and these are committed to the Departmental Heads, [Page 155] who in turn pass them on in permutated order to the graded initiates. It will be wise here for the student to differentiate carefully in his mind between words and sounds, for the word veils the thought or intended idea or purpose, and the sound makes it possible to manifest in matter of some kind, on one or other of the seven planes.
We cannot here trace the expansion of the basic words, from their enunciation by cosmic entities down to the infinitesimal differentiations produced in the speech of man, the vocal expression of the animals, and the song of birds. Each is a manifestation of consciousness in some degree, and each produces an effect. What the initiate is learning to do is to make sounds consciously, and thus produce a studied and desired result; to utter words; and be fully aware of the consequence on all planes; and to create forms and direct energy through sacred sounds, and thus further the ends of evolution.
It has been necessary to digress thus before taking up the committal of words to the initiate, in order to emphasise the radical importance of the matter, and thus account for the carefully guarding of this aspect of divine work.
We have already dealt with the significance of the Words of Power in a brief manner. We might now sum up certain of the inferred postulates, and then touch somewhat upon the initiation ceremony, and the Words as committed to the initiate. The postulates here made are nine in number, and if duly pondered upon by the aspirant, will reveal to him much anent the creative process and the power of speech.
1. All the Words of Power are rooted in the Great Word committed to the Solar Logos at the dawn of manifestation.
2. All the Words of Power are permutations or expansions of the three basic sounds, and increase in length as the planes are involved, until the sentences and speech of the finite unit, man, in their myriad differentiations are arrived at.
3. Therefore, on the path of return, speech becomes ever more brief, words are more sparingly used, and the time eventually comes when the adept employs formulas of words only as required to carry out specific purposes along two lines:—
a) Definite creative processes.
b) Specific direction of energy.
This, of course, on the planes in the three worlds.
4. The aspirant, therefore, has mainly three things to do when preparing for initiation:—
a. To control every activity of his threefold lower nature. This involves the application of intelligent energy to every atom of his three sheaths—physical, astral, and mental. It is literally the shining forth of the Brahma, or third aspect, of the inner God.
b. To control his speech every minute of every day. This is a statement easily made, but most difficult to make practical. He who achieves it is rapidly nearing emancipation. This applies not to the reticence, the moroseness, the silence, and the voicelessness which often distinguishes natures but little evolved, and which are in reality an inarticulate condition. It refers to the controlled use of words to effect certain ends, and the retention of speech energy when not needed—a very different matter. It involves a realisation of cycles; of times and of seasons; it supposes a knowledge of the power of sound, and of the effects produced [Page 157] through the spoken word; it involves an apprehension of the building forces of nature and their due manipulation, and is based on an ability to wield mental matter, and to set it in motion, in order to produce results in physical matter, consonant with the clearly defined purpose of the inner God. It is the shining forth of the second aspect of the Self, the Vishnu, or form-building aspect, which is the prime characteristic of the Ego on its own plane. It would be well to ponder on this.
c. To meditate, and thus arrive at the purpose of the Ego. By thus meditating the first aspect comes steadily into greater prominence, and the conscious will of the inner God can make itself felt on the physical plane.
The three activities of the aspirant must parallel each other, and it will be noted that the second is the outcome of the first and will manifest as energy on the physical plane. Only when the aspirant has made real progress in these three lines of endeavour will the first of the Great Words be committed to him.
5. Every Great Word includes within itself its differentiations, its expansions and permutations, and by its utterance the initiate sets in motion the lesser, through the vibration of the greater. Hence the terrific responsibility and the magnitude of the results achieved. Each Word is committed to the initiate orally and visually. It is spoken to him first in the form of seven syllables, each of which he has to memorise as a separate Word. Then he is shown how to blend these seven so as to make a threefold sound and thus produce more united and far reaching results. Finally the three are blended into one Word which is committed to him. The seven words which form the Great Word at any initiation are communicated to the initiate by the initiates of equal rank with his own. This group divides itself into [Page 158] seven groups, according to subray or ray formation, and each group then chants one word in rapid rotation. Simultaneously, the colours and symbols of the various sounds pass in front of him, so that he hears and sees that which is committed to him. The more advanced group around the throne of office (the three Departmental Heads at the first two initiations, and the Pratyeka Buddhas at the final ones) chant then for him the triple Word which blends the seven, and again he sees it before his inner eye. Finally the Initiator sounds it forth, and the initiate becomes aware within himself, in practical experience, of the one great sound, and knows in one particular centre what its vibration is. As is well known, every centre is connected with some plane, scheme, ray, and other septenary divisions, and thus the significance of its inner reaction will be apparent.
6. The Masters and initiates, in Their work of aiding the evolution of the three worlds, concern Themselves principally with the seven syllables of the Word of Their degree or initiated grade. The three Words which blend the seven are seldom used except under the direct sanction of one of the departmental heads (according to the syllable involved each Word is directly connected with the triple AUM, and therefore with the Brahma, Vishnu, or Siva aspect, of which the three Heads are the planetary representatives).
When any initiate desires to use, for evolutionary purposes, the entire Word as a unit, the sanction of the assembled Lodge has to be gained, for such a Word affects the matter of an entire plane within a planetary scheme, and consequently the matter of those planes which are subsidiary to the one involved. For instance, an initiate of the third degree, in sounding the Word of his degree, affects the matter of the lower mental subplanes, and subsequently the matter of the astral and physical planes. An initiate of the second degree similarly affects the astral plane, and subsequently [Page 159] the physical. Far reaching results are thus achieved, and the work of many is thus affected.
7. Every Word, differentiated or synthesised, affects the deva kingdoms, and hence the form-building aspects of manifestation. No sound is ever made without producing a corresponding response in deva substance, and driving multitudes of tiny lives to take specific forms. These forms persist and carry out their functions just as long as the sound which caused them is prolonged, and the specific will-energy of the one Who initiated the sound is directed towards the living form. This is equally true of a Solar Logos enunciating the AUM, and thus producing the solar system; of a Planetary Logos sounding his planetary Word, and producing a planetary scheme; of an adept producing results for the helping of humanity on the physical plane; and of an ordinary human being, who—in much differentiated diversified speech—expresses an inner purpose or state of mind, and thus builds a form or vehicle in deva substance. The majority of human beings as yet build unconsciously, and the form constructed is either of a beneficent or maleficent agency, according to the underlying motive or purpose of the man, and will carry out his will as long as its term of being persists.
8. Every Word sounded is distinguished by:
a. A specific colour.
b. A particular tone.
c. A special form.
d. A degree of energy or activity.
e. The nature of the ensouling life, self-conscious, conscious, or unconscious, God, man, or deva.
The student, again, will find this equally true of a solar system, of a planetary scheme, of a human being, of a thought form ensouled by an elemental life, and of the atom of the physicist or chemist. In the knowledge of these facts, [Page 160] and in their conscious realisation, may be known the true occultist. The Solar Logos sounded forth a Word, the form of our solar system came into being, its color being blue and its note a particular cosmic musical tone. Its degree of activity is of a specific mathematical notation beyond the grasp of the human mind at this stage of development; and the nature of its great ensouling Life, that of the triple Logos, is active, intelligent Love.
9. The Great Word of our solar system keys in, if it might be so expressed, with other Words, and is but one Word of the sevenfold Word, known to that great Existence Who stands in the same relation to the Solar Logos as the latter does to the Planetary Logos. The sacred Words of seven solar systems (of which ours is but one) make up this septenary sound, which vibrates at this time in the cosmic spheres.
In these nine statements are very cursorily summed up the major truths anent the creative processes in the solar system. In them lies hidden the secret of the true magic, and in their comprehension will come to the man who has spiritual intuition, purity of life and motive, altruistic intention, and a stern self-control and courage, the power to further the purposes of the Ego, who is a conscious collaborator in the work of evolution, and a sharer in part of the plans of the Planetary Logos of our scheme. They are given in this brief form both to protect the concealed truths and yet to reveal them to those who are ready.
These seven Words of the solar system, which form the logoic Word which we only know in its triple form as AUM, are revealed at the seven initiations.
At the first initiation is given the Word for the physical plane.
At the second initiation is given the Word for the astral plane.
At the third initiation is given the Word for the lower mental plane.
At this initiation, in which, as earlier said, the Hierophant is the Lord of the World, not only is the Word given for the lower mental plane, but a word which synthesises the three Words for the three worlds is also committed. It is given to the initiate as a topic for meditation, until he takes the fourth initiation, but he is forbidden to use it until the final liberation, as it gives entire control on the three lower planes.
At the fourth initiation the Word for the higher mental plane is imparted.
At the fifth initiation the Word for the buddhic plane is given.
At the sixth initiation the Word for the atmic plane.
At the seventh initiation the Word for the monadic plane is given.
At the sixth initiation the Word which synthesises the fourth, fifth and sixth Words is given by the Hierophant, and thus the initiate wields complete control, through the power of sound, over the substance of the five planes of human evolution. At the seventh initiation the triple AUM, in its true character, is revealed to the illuminated Buddha, and he can then manipulate energy in the six worlds or planes.
Two more initiations can be taken, but little is ever said about them on our earth scheme, for the reason that our scheme is not a "sacred" scheme, and few, if any, of our humanity achieve the eighth and ninth initiations. To do so, they must first pass to another scheme for a lengthy period of service and instruction. All that can be hinted at is [Page 162] that at the eighth initiation the duality of the triple AUM is brought out, and at the ninth the one sound of the Absolute stands revealed, and its significance is heard and seen. This brings into the consciousness of the initiate somewhat of the energy and power of the "One about Whom Naught may be Said" or the Logos of our Solar Logos. The unit of consciousness is then perfect, as the Logos is perfect, and passes on to work paralleling that of the Solar Logos. Such is the great program and the opportunity reaching out before the sons of man, aye, and before every atom everywhere. [INITIATION HUMAN AND SOLAR, pp150-162]
The Word of Ishvara is AUM (or OM). This is the Pranava.
Students should remember that there are three basic Words or sounds in manifestation. This is the case as far as the human kingdom is concerned. They are:
I. The Word, or note of Nature. This is the Word or the sound of all forms existing in physical plane substance, and as is usually known, it is sounded on the fundamental note "FA." It is a note with which the white occultist has nothing to do, for his work is concerned not with the increase of tangibility but with the demonstration of the subjective or the intangible. This is the Word of the third aspect, the Brahma or Holy Ghost aspect.
II. The Sacred Word. This is the Word of Glory, the AUM. This is the Pranava, the sound of conscious Life itself as It is breathed forth into all forms. It is the Word of the second aspect, and just as the Word of Nature when rightly [Page 55] emanated provides the forms which are intended to reveal the soul or second aspect, so the Pranava, when rightly expressed, demonstrates the Father or Spirit through the medium of the soul. It is the Word of the incarnated sons of God. In such a short commentary as this, it is not possible to write a treatise on this secret of secrets, and this great mystery of the ages. All that can be done is to collate certain facts about the AUM, and leave the student to extend the concept and grasp the significance of the brief statements made according to the state of his intuition.
III. The Lost Word. The idea of this Lost Word has been preserved for us in Masonry. It is the Word of the first aspect, the spirit aspect, and only the initiate of the third degree can truly begin the search for this word for only the freed soul can find it. This word concerns the highest initiations and it is profitless for us further to consider it.
The following statements about the Sacred Word can therefore be made and should be studied with care:
1. The AUM is the Word of glory, and is the Christ in us, the hope of glory.
2. The Word when rightly apprehended causes the second, or Christ aspect of divinity to shine forth resplendently.
3. It is the sound which brings into manifestation the incarnated soul (macrocosmic or microcosmic), the ego, the Christ, and causes the "radiant Augoeides" to be seen on earth.
4. It is the Word which is the releaser of consciousness and when correctly understood and used, releases the soul from the limitations of form in the three worlds.
5. The AUM is the synthesiser of the three aspects and therefore is primarily the Word of the human kingdom in which the three lines of divine life meet—spirit, soul and body.
6. It is also the Word of the fifth, the Aryan race, in a special sense. The work of that race is to reveal in a newer and fuller way the nature of the inner Identity, of the soul within the form, the son of mind, the solar angel, the fifth principle.
7. The significance of the Word only becomes apparent after the "light within" is realised. By its use the "spark" becomes a radiant light, the light becomes a flame, and the flame eventually becomes a sun. By its use the "sun of righteousness arises" in the life of every man.
8. Each of the three letters has relation to the three aspects, and each can be applied to any of the known triplicities.
9. The Master, the God within, is indeed the Word, the AUM, and of this Master (found at the heart of all beings) it is true that "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (thus duality) and the Word was God." Through its use man arrives at a realisation of:
His own essential divinity,
a) The purpose of the form-taking process,
b) The constitution and nature of those forms,
c) The reality of consciousness, or the relation of the divine self or spirit to the form, its polar opposite.
This relation, in its evolutionary working out, we call consciousness and the essential characteristic of this consciousness is love.
10. Theu or Master who leads a pupil up to the door of initiation and who watches over him in all the initial and subsequent tests and processes likewise represents the Word, and through the scientific use of this great sound He produces a certain stimulation and vitalisation in the centres of the disciple, thus rendering certain developments possible.
More about the Sacred Word is not advisable to add here. Enough has been given to indicate to the aspirant its purpose and potency. There will have to be communicated in other ways and at other times further information as the student—through study and self-initiated effort—arrives at just conclusions. It might be added, that this great Word, when meditated upon, gives the clue to the true esoteric meaning of the words in the Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky:
"Life we look upon as the One Form of Existence, manifesting in what we call Matter; or what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter in man. Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of Soul on this plane of existence, and Soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of Spirit, and these three are a Trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all."
28. Through the sounding of the Word and through reflection upon its meaning, the Way is found.
This is a very general paraphrase but conveys nevertheless the correct significance of the terms used in the Sanskrit. Only Vivekananda, among the many translators, gives this interpretation, putting it as follows:
"The repetition of the OM and meditating upon its meaning (is the Way)."
The other translators omit the final three words, though the inference is clear.
The expression "the sounding of the Word" must not be too literally interpreted; the esoteric "sounding forth" is based upon a study of the Law of Vibration, and the gradual tuning of the lower vibrations of the sheaths or vestures of consciousness so that they synchronise with the note or sound of the conscious indweller. Speaking correctly, the Word is to be sounded by the soul or the ego on its own plane, and the vibration will subsequently affect the various bodies or vehicles which house that soul. The process is therefore a mental one and can only really be done by those who—through meditation and discipline, coupled with service—have made a conscious at-one-ment with the soul. Aspirants to this condition have to [Page 59] utilise the potent factors of the imagination, visualisation and perseverance in meditation to reach this initial stage. It should be noted that this stage has to be reached, even if only in a relatively small degree, before the aspirant can become an accepted disciple.
The process of sounding the Word is dual, as is emphasized here.
There is, first of all, the act of the ego, solar angel, higher self or soul, as he sounds out the Word from his own place, on the abstract levels of the mental plane. He directs that sound, via the sutratma and the vestures of consciousness to the physical brain of the man in incarnation, the shadow or reflection. This "sounding forth" has to be constantly repeated. The Sutratma is that magnetic link, spoken of in the Christian Bible as the "silver cord," that thread of living light which connects the Monad, the Spirit in man, with the physical brain.
Secondly, there is the earnest reflection of the man in his physical brain upon that sound as he recognizes it. The two poles of being are hinted at here: the soul and the man in incarnation, and between these two is found the thread, along which the Pranava (or word) vibrates. Students of the esoteric science have to recognize the technique of the processes outlined. In the case of the sounding forth of the Word we have the following factors:
1. The soul who sends, or breathes it forth,
2. The sutratma or thread along which the sound vibrates, is carried or transmitted,
3. The vestures of consciousness, mental, emotional and etheric which vibrate in response to the vibration or breath and are stimulated thereby,
4. The brain which can be trained to recognize that sound and vibrate in unison with the breath,
5. The subsequent act of the man in meditation. He hears the sound (called sometimes the "still small Voice," or the "Voice of the Silence"), he recognizes it for what it is and in deep reflection he assimilates the results of his soul's activity.
Later when the aspirant has passed on into the mysteries and has learnt how to unify the soul and the lower man so that they function as a coordinated unit on earth, the man learns to sound the Word on the physical plane with the object of awakening the forces which are latent within him and thereby arouse the centres. Thus he participates increasingly in the creative, magical and psychical work of manifestation, with the object ever in view of benefiting his fellow men and thus furthering the plans of the planetary hierarchy. [THE LIGHT OF THE SOUL, pp. 54-59]
Four words stand forth as one considers Rule IV. First, sound, the formula, or word of power which the soul communicates and so starts the work. This word is dual. It is sounded forth on the note to which the soul responds, his own peculiar note, blended with that of his personality. This chord of two notes is the producer of the resulting effects, and is more important than the set phrase composing the word of power.
Herein lies the problem—to sound these two notes synchronously and with the mind focussed. Herein lies a clue to the significance of the AUM or OM. In the early stages of meditation work, the word is sounded audibly, whilst later it is sounded inaudibly. This training in the sound of the AUM is an unconscious preparation for the dual work of spiritual creation; and facility comes as the attentive aspirant accustoms himself to hear within his brain the soundless sound of OM.
I would suggest here, that students accustom themselves to work in this manner, sounding the word audibly and with much frequency at the close of the morning meditation, but emphasizing in the early part that close attention to the inaudible hearing which will develop the sensitivity of the inner ear, the etheric ear. Later, when the personal note or sound is established and the inner sound is sensed, there can be definite practise in blending the two. This entails the closest attention and the power to perform two activities simultaneously, with the mental attitude of attention to both.
Students whose aspiration is keen and clear would do well to face the issue where the magical work is concerned, and study their aptitude in meditation and their willingness to proceed with stability and caution with the needed discipline. To facilitate this I would suggest [Page 128] that any who are deeply concerned in the work should study and answer the following questions in the light of their souls, and to their higher selves make reply.
1. Do you feel you have reached the stage wherein you can:
a. Eliminate the meditation form as you now have it.
b. Enter with relative facility into the state of contemplation.
c. Recognize the vibration of your own soul.
2. Does the Sacred Word mean anything to you, and could you formulate clearly the reason you sound it?
3. Are you anxious to proceed in this work because your personality aspires, or because your soul is beginning consciously to utilize its mechanism?
In connection with this last question, a close analysis is called for, and I conjure you to speak truth to yourself and thus clearly ascertain the true position. This question lies between a man's soul and himself. [A TRETISE ON WHITE MAGIC, pp. 127-128]
c. The problems connected with the respiratory or breathing system are all related to the heart, and therefore concerned with the establishing of right rhythm and right contact with the environment. The drawing in of the life breath, the sharing of the air with all other human beings, denotes both an individual centre of life and participation also in the general life of all. To these problems of individual or separative existence and of its opposite, the Sacred Word, the OM, is intimately related. It might be said [Page 131] in the words of an occult manual on healing, given to advanced disciples, that
"He who lives under the sound of the AUM knows himself. He who lives sounding the OM knows his brother. He who knows the SOUND knows all."
Then, in the cryptic and symbolic language of the initiate, the manual goes on:
"The breath of life becomes the cause of death to the one who lives within a shell. He exists but he is not; the breath then leaves and spirals to the whole.
"He who breathes forth the OM knows not himself alone. He knows the breath is prana, life, the fluid of connection. The ills of life are his because they are the lot of man—not generated in a shell, because the shell is not.
"He who is the SOUND and sounding forth knows not disease, knows not the hand of death."
In these few words the whole problem of the third group of problems and diseases is summed up. They are concerned with the circulation of soul energy, which is the energy of love, and they are not concerned with the circulation of the life essence. These two basic energies, as they play upon the forces of the personality, bring about the bulk of the problems to which humanity falls heir. These are lack of love, lack of life, failure to sound forth correctly the note of the soul and of the ray, and failure to transmit. The secret of constituting a pure channel (to use mystic but not occult phraseology), is considered in the first group of problems; and the establishing of right relation by right sounding forth of the attractive note of the soul, is considered in the last two groups.
This third group of difficulties, problems and diseases are of course those of people upon all the rays, but first ray people have a definite predisposition to these specific troubles. At the same time, when they rightly utilise their latent powers, they can overcome by the right use of the OM, and finally of the SOUND, the incidental problems and difficulties far more easily than those on other rays. You have here a reference to the Lost Word of Masonry and to the SOUND of the Ineffable Name.
The sound of the AUM, the sound of the OM, and the SOUND itself, are all related to vibration and its differing and varied effects. The secret of the Law of Vibration is progressively revealed as people learn to sound forth the WORD in its three aspects. Students would do well to ponder on the distinction between the breath and the sound, between the process of breathing and the process of creating vibratory activity. They are related but distinct from each other. One is related to Time and the other to Space and (as the Old Commentary puts it) "the sound, the final and yet initiating sound, concerns that which is neither Time nor Space; it lies outside the manifested All, the Source of all that is and yet is naught" (or no-thing. A.A.B.).
For this reason, disciples on the fourth ray usually can develop by the power of the intuition an understanding of the OM. This ray of harmony through conflict (the conflict of the pairs of opposites) is necessarily concerned with the bringing in of that vibratory activity which will lead to unity, to harmony and to right relations, and to the release of the intuition. [ESOTERIC HEALING pp. 131-132]
This might also be grasped mystically by the aspirant when he realizes that when the voices of desire (astral voices or vibratory response to the second aspect of the reflection, the three lower planes) are superseded by the Voice of the Silence or of the Christ within, then the word or sound is known and the second aspect of divinity is contacted.
1. The Akasha....The word....The sound....The second aspect in manifestation.
2. The Astral Light..The voices of desire..The reflection of the second aspect.
There are many sounds to be heard on all the planes but on the physical is the greatest diversity. The aspirant has to develop the power to distinguish between:
1. The voices of earth....................................physical,
2. The voices of desire........................................................................astral,
3. The speech or formulated thoughts of the………mind .........................mental,
4. The still small voice of the Christ within.............................................buddhic,
5. The sounds of the Gods......The creative ………………………… words ........atmic,
6. The word or sound....................................................The AUM.........monadic,
7. The breath .....................................................................................logoic,
and in these distinctions are symbolically conveyed the problem of correct hearing on the various planes and in the various states of consciousness. Only the true mystic and aspirant will comprehend the nature of these distinctions.
Just as all the substances of our manifested solar system are differentiations of the akasha, the first differentiation of the primordial stuff, so all these distinctions of sound are differentiations of the one sound; all are divine in time and space. But all have to be heard correctly and all lead eventually to and form in their totality the AUM, the Word of Glory, the Macrocosmic Word.
With the student of Raja Yoga, however, there are three main voices or sounds with which he is temporarily concerned:
1. The speech of the Earth, so as to rightly use it,
2. The Voice of the Silence, so as to hear it. This is the voice of his own inner God, the Christ,
3. The AUM, the Word of the Father, expressed through the Son, which will, when heard, put him in touch with the Word of God, incarnate in all nature.
When speech is rightly used and the sounds of earth can likewise be stilled, then the Voice of the Silence can be heard. It might be noted here that clairaudience is awareness of the voice of the great illusion and gives a man power to hear on the astral plane. This in its right place and when controlled from above through knowledge, opens the ear to certain aspects of divine expression in the three worlds. It is not the divine hearing referred to in the sutra. In Charles Johnston's comments on this sutra, he covers the ground beautifully as follows: "The transfer of a word by telepathy is the simplest and earliest form of the 'divine hearing' of the spiritual man, as that power grows, and as, through perfectly concentrated meditation, the spiritual man comes into more complete mastery of it, he grows able to hear and clearly distinguish the speech of the great Companions, who counsel and comfort him on his way. They may speak to him either in wordless thoughts, or in perfectly definite words and sentences." [THE LIGHT OF THE SOUL pp. 336-338]
To resume our consideration of the AUM. The Sound or the Sacred Word when correctly used has various effects which might be touched upon here.
OM sounded forth, with intent thought behind it, acts as a disturber, a loosener of the coarse matter of the body of thought, of emotion, and of the physical body. When sounded forth with intense spiritual aspiration behind it, it acts as an attractive medium, and gathers in particles of pure matter to fill the places of those earlier thrown out. Students should strive to have these two activities in their minds as they use the Word in their meditation. This utilization of the Word is of practical value, and results in the building of good bodies for the use of the soul.
The use of the OM serves also to indicate to the workers on the universal planes, and to those in the outer world who are gifted with spiritual perception that a disciple is available for work and can be utilized actively in the needed places of the earth. This should be borne in mind by all aspirants and should serve as an [Page 141] incentive in making the outer phenomenal life coincide with the spiritual impulse.
The use of the Sacred Word has its place also in the magical work of the Hierarchy. Thought forms are created for the embodiment of ideas and these embodied forms are sent forth to contact the minds of the disciples who are responsible in the group of a Master for the carrying forward of the plan.
Through the cultivated receptivity of the developed and controlled mental body, aspirants become aware of the ideas which the Masters bring through from the plane of the Universal Mind, and hence are in a position to co-operate intelligently. They, in their turn, as this Rule seeks to indicate, create thought forms of those received ideas, and utilize them in their groups for the helping of the world. The main work of a disciple on the mental plane is to train himself to do four things:
1. To be receptive to the mind of the Master.
2. To cultivate a right intuitive understanding of the thoughts sent him by the Master.
3. To embody the ideas received in such form as will be suitable for those he is engaged in helping.
4. Through sound, light and vibration to make his thought form active (embodying as much of the universal thought as is desirable) so that other minds may contact it.
Thus are groups gathered, organized, taught and lifted, and thus the Hierarchy of Adepts can reach the world.
There are many other uses, of course, but if the students will ponder on these three they will make it possible for further uses to be imparted later.
May I add, that the sound is only truly potent when the disciple has learnt to subordinate the lesser sounds. Only as the sounds he sends forth normally into the [Page 142] three worlds are reduced in volume and in activity, as well as in quantity will it be possible for the Sound to be heard, and so to accomplish its purpose. Only as the multitude of spoken words is reduced, and silence in speech is cultivated, will it be possible for the Word to make its power felt on the physical plane. Only when the many voices of the lower nature and of our environment are silenced, will the "Voice that speaketh in the stillness" make its presence felt. Only when the sound of many waters dies away in the adjustment of the emotions will the clear note of the God of the waters be heard.
People seldom realize the potency of a word, yet it is stated, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. Without Him was not anything made that was made." When therefore we read those words our minds go back to the dawn of the creative process when, through the medium of sound, God spoke and the worlds were made.
It has been said that, "the chief agency by which Nature's wheel is moved in a phenomenal direction is sound," for the original sound or word sets in vibration the matter of which all forms are made and initiates that activity which characterizes even the atom of substance.
The literature and the scriptures of all the ancient nations and great religions bear testimony to the efficacy of sound in producing all that is tangible and visible. The Hindus say very beautifully that "the Great Singer built the worlds, and the Universe is His Song." This is another way of expressing the same idea. If this is realized and the science of this concept somewhat understood, the significance of our own words and the utterance of sound in speech, becomes almost a momentous happening.
Sound or speech and the use of words have been regarded [Page 143] by the ancient philosophers (and are increasingly so regarded by modern thinkers) as the highest agent used by man in moulding himself and his surroundings. Thought, speech and the resultant activity on the physical plane complete the triplicity which make a man what he is, and place him where he is.
The purpose of all speech is to clothe thought and thus make our thoughts available for others. When we speak we evoke a thought and make it present, and we bring that which is concealed within us into audible expression. Speech reveals, and right speech can create a form of beneficent purpose, just as wrong speech can produce a form which has a malignant objective. Without realizing this, however, ceaselessly and irresponsibly, day after day, we speak; we use words; we multiply sounds; and surround ourselves with form worlds of our own creation. Is it not essential, therefore, that before we speak we should think, thus remembering the injunction, "You must attain to knowledge, ere you can attain to speech"? Having thought, let us then choose the right words to express the right thought, attempting to give correct pronunciation, proper values, and true tonal quality to every word we utter.
Then will our spoken word create a thought form which will embody the idea we have in our minds. Then too will our words carry no discord, but will add their quota to that great harmonizing chord or unifying word which it is the function of mankind ultimately to utter. Wrong speech separates, and it is interesting to bear in mind that the word, the symbol of unity, is divine, whereas speech in its many diversifications is human.
As evolution proceeds, and the human family rises into its true position in the great plan of the universe, right and correct speech will be increasingly cultivated, because we shall think more before we utter words, or, as a great teacher has said, "through meditation we shall [Page 144] rectify the mistakes of wrong speech;" and the significance of word forms, true and correct sounds, and vocal quality will become ever more apparent. [A TREATISE ON WHITE MAGIC, pp. 140-144]
Carrying the same concepts into the field of real esoteric work we have the worker in thought-matter building his thought-form and "confining the lives" which express and respond to his idea within a "ring-pass-not". This latter persists for as long as his mind attention and hence his ensouling energy is directed upon it. We have him pronouncing the words which will enable his thought-form to do its work, fulfill the mission for which it has been constructed, and carry out the purpose for which it was created. All that has been given out hitherto in connection with the words used in the creative work is the sevenfold sacred Word, AUM. This, when rightly used by the soul on the mental plane vitalises and expedites all thought-forms, and so produces successful enterprise. It is interesting to note that in Atlantean days, the word used was TAU, enunciated explosively and so forcefully, that the thought-forms thus energised and expedited acted inevitably like a boomerang, and returned to the one who sent them forth. This word TAU is likewise, in its symbolic form, the [Page 479] symbol of reincarnation. It is desire for form which produces the use of form and causes cyclic and constant rebirth in form. It was the constant use of the TAU likewise, which brought about the final overwhelming with water, which swept away the ancient Atlantean civilisation; the few who used the AUM in those days were not potent enough to offset the force of desire. The mind bodies of the race could not respond to that newer creative sound. Humanity was still swept entirely by longing and desire to such an extent that the united desire for possessions and for the enjoyment of form drove men esoterically "into the waters". Desire for form still forces upon humanity the constant process of rebirth until such time as the TAU influence is exhausted and the AUM sound can dominate. The former influence is however weakening, and the AUM is increasing in potency until it will be the dominating factor. To this latter sound, the word of the soul must eventually succeed, until AUM in its turn is entirely superseded.
The sound of many waters (which is the symbolic way of expressing the TAU influence) will cease, and the time will come, as we are assured in the Christian Bible, when there "will be no more sea". Then the sound of the AUM which is symbolically spoken of as the "roaring" of a blazing fire", and which is the sound of the mental plane will take its place. The word of the soul cannot be given except in the secret place of initiation. It has its own peculiar vibration and note, but this cannot be conveyed until such time as the AUM is used with correctness. Just as the TAU, carrying the note of desire and of the urge to have and to be, was misused and carried its civilisations to disaster, so AUM can also be misused and can carry its civilisations into the fire. This is the truth which really underlies the misunderstood Christian teaching anent hell-fire and the lake of fire. They portray symbolically the end of the age [Page 480] when the mental plane civilisations will come to a cataclysmic end, as far as the form aspect is concerned just as the earlier civilisations came to a watery consummation.
One hint here I will give, and one that is oft overlooked. On the mental plane, time is not; therefore the time equation enters not into the idea of a final ending by fire. There is no setting of a time for a disaster or a catastrophe. The full effect will take place in the realm of the mind, and may it not be said that even now the fire of anxiety, of foreboding, of worry, and of fear is burning up our thoughts and engrossing our mental attention? Its work is to purify and cleanse, so, let the AUM do its work and let all of you who can, employ it with frequency and with right thought so that the world purification may proceed apace. Much must be burned and consumed which bars the way for the emergence of the new ideas, the new archetypal forms. These will eventually dominate the new age and make it possible for the word of the soul to sound forth and be heard exoterically.
I realize that that which I have imparted here is difficult of comprehension, but the paragraphs above dictated hold warning for the careless and much instruction for the earnest seeker after light. [A TREATISE ON WHITE MAGIC, pp. 478-480]
STANZA II OF THE STANZAS OF DZYAN
"AUM," said the Mighty One, and sounded forth the Word. The sevenfold waves of matter resolved themselves, and varied forms appeared. Each took its place, each in the sphere ordained. They waited for the sacred flood to enter and to fill.
The Builders responded to the sacred sound. In musical collaboration they attended to the work. They built in many spheres, beginning with the third. Upon this plane their work commenced. They built the sheath of atma and strung it to its Primary.
"AUM," said the Mighty One. "Let now the work proceed. Let the Builders of the air continue with the plan."
The Deva-Lord and Builders upon the plane of air worked with the forms within that sphere which is reckoned mainly theirs. They wrought for union, each in his group assigned. The moulds grew fast beneath their hands.
The sacred plane of juncture, the fourth great plane, became the sphere within the greater circle which marked the goal for man.
"AUM," said the Mighty One, He breathed forth to the fifth, the plane which is the burning-ground, the meeting place for fire. This time a cosmic note is heard beneath the sound systemic. The fire within, the fire without, meet with the fire ascending. The guardians of the cosmic fire, the devas of fohatic heat, watched o'er the forms that formless stood, waiting a point in time.
The builders of a lesser grade, devas who work with matter, wrought at the forms. They stood in fourfold order. Upon the threefold levels in empty silence stood the forms. They vibrated, they responded to the key, yet useless stood and uninhabited.
"AUM," said the Mighty One, "let the waters too bring forth." The builders of the watery sphere, the denizens of moisture, produced the forms that move within the kingdom of Varuna. They grew and multiplied. In constant flux they swayed. Each ebb of cosmic motion increased the endless flow. The ripple of the forms was seen.
"AUM," said the Mighty One, "let the Builders deal with matter." The molten solidified. The solid forms were built. The crust cooled. The rocks congealed. The builders wrought in tumult to produce the forms of maya. When the rocky strata were completed the work stood in completion. The builders of the lowest grade announced the work was finished.
Forth from the rocky strata emerged the covering next. The builders of the second agreed the work was done. The first and second on the upward way stood forth in fourfold form. The inner five was somewhat seen by those whose sight was keen.
"AUM," said the Mighty One, and gathered in His Breath. The spark within the peopling third impelled to further growth. The builders of the lowest forms, manipulating densest maya, merged their production with the forms built by the watery ones. Matter and water merged produced the third in time. Ascension thus progressed. The builders worked in union. They called the guardians of the fiery zone. [Page 14] Matter and water mixed with fire, the inner spark within the form were blended all together.
The Mighty One looked down. The forms met His approval. Forth came the cry for further light. Again He gathered in the sound. He drew to higher levels the feeble spark of light. Another tone was heard, the sound of cosmic fire, hid in the Sons of Manas. They called to their Primaries. The lower four, the higher three, and the cosmic fifth met at the great inbreathing. Another sheath was formed. [A TREATISE OF COSMIC FIRE, pp. 12-14]
We come now to the consideration of a subject which always proves exceedingly difficult to students: The nature of the WORD, the A.U.M., and its later developments, the O.M. and the Sound. Much confusion exists as to its significance or the necessity for its use. The phase of its recognition through which we are now passing is a purely exoteric one of accustoming the general public to the fact of its existence. This has been brought about in three ways:
1. Through the constant use in all the Christian Churches of the word "Amen," which is a western corruption of the A.U.M. The A.U.M. is here the lowest aspect of the originating Sound.
2. Through the emphasis laid in Masonry upon the Lost Word, thus subtly drawing the attention of humanity to the O.M., the Sound of the second aspect, the Soul.
3. Through the growing emphasis laid by the many occult groups throughout the world upon the use of the O.M., its frequent use by these groups in public, and by those intent upon meditation.
The soundest approach is that of the Masonic tradition, because it deals primarily with the world of meaning and [Page 52] with a phase of the esoteric teaching. The use of the Amen in the ritual of the Christian Church will eventually be discouraged, because it is basically a materialistic affirmation, being usually regarded by the average churchgoer as setting the seal of divine approval upon his demand to the Almighty for protection, or for the supply of his physical necessities; all this is, therefore, related to the life of desire, of aspiration, of dualism and of request. It involves the attitude of giver and recipient.
The A.U.M. and the Amen are both of them an expression in sound of the principle of active intelligent substance in the divine manifestation, the third aspect, and have served human need in that phase of material and form development. I refer here also to the development of mind or of the mental form. The personality as a whole, when perfected and brought under control of the soul, is the "Word made flesh."
The mass of aspirants and of disciples are today learning the meaning of the O.M., which is not the Word made flesh, but the Word released from form, and expressing itself as soul-spirit and not as body-soul-spirit. It might, therefore, be said that:
1. The A.U.M. (note that I separate each aspect of this triple sound) brings the soul-spirit aspect down on to the physical plane and anchors it there by the force of its outgoing vibration. Using a symbol to make my meaning clear, it is like "a strong wind that pins a man against a wall and makes free effort difficult." It vivifies form; it intensifies the hold of matter upon the soul; it builds around the soul a confining prison—a prison of the senses. It is the "sound of enchantment," the sound that is the source of glamour and of maya; it is the great beguiling and deceptive energy, the note of the involutionary arc. In it are hid the secret of evil or matter, the uses of form, first as a prison, then as a training ground and as a field of experience, and finally as the expression for the manifestation of a Son of God.
2. The O.M. rightly sounded, releases the soul from the realm of glamour and of enchantment. It is the sound of [Page 53] liberation, the great note of resurrection and of the raising of humanity to the Secret Place of the Most High when all other Words and sounds have failed. It is not a triple sound as is the A.U.M., but a dual sound, significant of the relation of spirit and soul, and of life and consciousness. This lost Word, symbolic of the loss in the three worlds (typified by the degrees of the Blue Lodges in Masonry) must be recovered and is in process of discovery today. The mystics have sought after it; the Masons have preserved the tradition of its existence; the disciples and initiates of the world must demonstrate its possession.
3. The SOUND is the sole expression of the Ineffable Name, the secret appellation of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being, and Who is known to the Great White Lodge through this name. Remember always that name and form are synonymous terms in the occult teaching, and these two words hold the secret of manifestation. The goal of the initiate is identification with all forms of the divine life, so that he can know himself to be an integral part of that Whole and can tune in on all states of divine awareness, knowing for himself (and not just theoretically) that they are also his own states of awareness. He can then penetrate into the divine arcana of knowledge, share in the divine omnipresence and—at will—express the divine omniscience and prepare himself to manifest in full consciousness the divine omnipotence.
I am using words which are futile to convey the underlying meaning of the Word. Understanding can only be arrived at when a man lives the Word, hearing its soundless Sound and breathing it forth in a vital life-giving breath to others.
The masses are hearing the sound of the A.U.M. and, in their higher brackets, are finding that A.U.M. the expression of something from which they seek release. The aspirants and disciples of the World are hearing the O.M. and in their personal lives the A.U.M. and the O.M. are in conflict. This may represent a new idea to you, but it conveys an idea of an eternal fact. It may help you to gain an understanding [Page 54] of this phase if I point out for you that for this first group the O.M. can be portrayed in the following symbol as expressing the material M nature whereas the second group can be portrayed by the symbol m expressive of the soul enveloped in matter. You will see, therefore, how the teaching leads man progressively onward and how the occult science brings man in touch with great mental reversals and divine paradoxes. For aeons the Word of the soul and the Sound of spiritual reality are lost. Today, the Word of the soul is being found again, and with that finding the little self is lost in the glory and the radiance of the divine Self.
This discovery is consummated at the time of the third initiation. The initiate and the Master, along with those of higher rank who are approaching identification with Shamballa, are steadily and ever more clearly hearing the Sound emanating from the Central Spiritual Sun and penetrating all forms of divine life upon our planet—via our Planetary Logos Who hears it with clarity and with understanding—the Sound of the lowest syllable of the Ineffable Name of the One in Whom all the Planetary Logoi live and move and have Their Being, for They are centres in the LIFE which is expressing itself through the medium of a solar system.
You can see how little use there is in my enlarging further upon this. Its sole usefulness is to give an expanding impulse to the consciousness of the disciple and to stir his imagination (the seed of the intuition), so that even whilst occupied in expressing the M and then the m, he will be reaching out after the Sound.
Earlier I pointed out that the sound of the A.U.M., the sound of the O.M. and the SOUND itself are all related to vibration and to its differing and varied effects. The secret of the Law of Vibration is progressively revealed as people learn to sound forth the Word in its three aspects. Students would also do well to ponder on the distinction between the breath and the Sound, between the process of breathing and of creating directed vibratory activity. The one is related to Time and the other to Space and they are distinct from each other; and (as the Old Commentary puts it) "the Sound, the [Page 55] final and yet initiating Sound, concerns that which is neither Time nor Space; it lies outside the manifested ALL, the Source of all that is and yet is naught." (No thing. A.A.B.)
There are, therefore, great points of tension from which the Sacred Word, in its major aspects, goes forth. Let me list them for you:
1. The creative point of tension—a tension achieved by a planetary Logos when He responds to the Sound of the Ineffable Name and breathes it forth in His turn in three great Sounds which made one Sound on His Own plane of expression, thus creating the manifested world, the impulse towards the unfoldment of consciousness, and the influence of life itself. This is the Sound.
2. Seven points of tension on the downward or involutionary arc; these produce the seven planets, the seven states of consciousness, and the expression of the seven ray impulses. This constitutes the sevenfold A.U.M. of which the Ageless Wisdom takes note. It is related to the effect of spirit or life upon substance, thus originating form and creating the prison of the divine life.
3. The A.U.M. itself or the Word made flesh; this creates finally a point of tension in the fourth kingdom in nature, at which point the evolutionary cycle becomes possible and the first dim note of the O.M. can be faintly heard. In the individual man this point is reached when the personality is an integrated and functioning whole and the soul is beginning to control it. It is an accumulative tension arrived at through many lives. This process is expressed in the Masters' Archives as follows:
You must remember that these symbols are an attempt on my part to translate ancient signatures in modern occidental type. The only one which is the same in all languages is, esoterically, the A.U.M.
4. Then comes a point of tension from which the man eventually achieves liberation from the three worlds and stands as a free soul; he is then a point within the circle—the point indicating the point of tension from which he now works, and the circle the sphere of his self-initiated activity.
I need not carry the story further; from tension to tension the initiate passes just as do all human beings, aspirants, disciples and the lower grades of initiates; from one expansion of consciousness to another they go until the third initiation is undergone and points of tension (qualified by intension and purpose) supersede all previous efforts and the will aspect begins to control.
Here, briefly, is a fresh slant upon the familiar theme of the Word—a theme preserved in some form by all the world religions but a theme which, like all else, has been so materialised that it is the task of the Hierarchy to restore the knowledge of its meaning, of its threefold application and its involutionary and evolutionary significances. Students would do well to remember that its sounding forth vocally upon the physical plane means little. The important factors are to sound it silently, inaudibly and within the head; then, having done so, to hear it reverberate there and to recognise that this self-initiated Sound—breathed forth from a point of tension—is a part of the original SOUND as it takes form as a Word. When a man perfectly expresses the A.U.M., he can then sound the O.M. with effectiveness from progressive points of tension, until the third initiation. Then the effect of the O.M. is such that the personality as a separate identity disappears, the soul emerges in all its glory, and the first faint sound of the originating SOUND breaks upon the ear of the transfigured initiate. This is the Voice referred to in the Biblical account of the Transfiguration. This Voice says, "This is my beloved Son." The initiate registers the fact that he has been accepted by Shamballa and has made his first contact with the Planetary Logos, the Hierophant, the Initiator at the third initiation, just as the Christ, the Master of all the Masters, is the Initiator and the Hierophant at the first two initiations. [THE RAYS AND THE INITIATIONS, pp. 52-56]
“Let the Army of the Voice be no more heard, and let the brothers onward move within the Sound.”
Putting the idea into esoteric terms, the above sentence could be paraphrased as follows: The voices and the Voice fade out. The A.U.M. is replaced by the O.M. and at the centre of that O.M. the brother stands.
The many voices of the world, the flesh and the devil are no longer distinguished; there is nothing within the consciousness of the initiate which can respond to them. The Voice of the Silence dies out also and the Word itself [Page 201] cannot be heard. Only the SOUND remains. This is the Sound which reverberates in the formless worlds; it is the Sound to which the Spiritual Triad responds and of which the initiate is a part, because the Sound which he makes as he proceeds upon his creative way is a part of the universal Sound. It should be pointed out that He Who stands at the very centre of the Council Chamber of Shamballa sounds forth all words, the Word, and He also utters the SOUND. This is apt to be forgotten. He it is Who intones the A.U.M. and all things come to be; He it is Who voices the Word, the O.M., and God incarnate in humanity appears on earth: He it is Who utters the SOUND, and upon that outgoing Breath holds all things in life; and—in the rise and fall of its cadences—there is found the cyclic rhythm of the creative process. He it will be Who will withdraw the Sound and centering the vibration within Himself, will some day bring to a close this periodic manifestation and carry the Sound to other localities in space, holding it in quiescence on the withdrawn breath until a later cycle of expression dawns. Then it will again be exhaled and sent forth to provide a new field of experience for the Lives which, in cyclic rhythm, again seek to manifest. The entire story of incarnation is hidden in the understanding of the SOUND and its differentiation into the O.M. and the A.U.M.
When we can identify the Sound and are no longer "moved" by the O.M., then the initiate becomes a Christ in expression and makes His appearance, either in physical form or upon the planes of what to us might be called the "areas of non-appearance." He can then contain and utilise the energies of which the Spiritual Triad is the custodian and which are the expression of the will and purpose of God. Though the initiate may not be a part of the planetary government, and though he may not be a member of the Council at Shamballa (for only a limited number of initiates are so placed), he nevertheless has the right to move on identical levels and to prepare himself for those higher evolutionary processes which will give him entrance to the cosmic astral plane. This will enable him to "see through" [Page 202] and to recognise "cosmic glamour," and will give him the hidden key to the world of feeling and of sentiency of which our feeling-response and our emotional and intuitional sensitivity are but the dim and distorted reflections. This is a factor of some importance to have in mind if a right sense of proportion is to be developed. The initiate has learnt on earth that the astral plane is in fact non-existent—at least for those of the higher degrees of initiation. This knowledge constitutes the first step towards the comprehension of the secret of negation, towards a true understanding of the basis of the ever-existent pairs of opposites, and towards the knowledge which lies behind the significance of negation. The above sentence is in all probability of little meaning to you, but it nevertheless contains a truth for which the trials, experiences and initiations of planetary existence prepare the initiate. They endow him with those qualities which will enable him to contact cosmic evil and yet remain untouched, eventually to play his part in bringing the Black Lodge and its Brotherhood to an unholy finish. The roots of the Black Lodge are on the cosmic astral plane, as the roots of the White Lodge and its Brotherhood are on the cosmic mental plane; this is, in reality, only for the time being and in order to see certain organised activities upon the star Sirius perfected and carried to a consummation. This has oft been hinted in my writings.[THE RAYS AND THE INITIATIONS, pp. 200-202]lick to add text, images, and other content
Through the sounding of the word and through reflection upon its meaning, the Way is found. This is one of the Yoga sutras of Patanjali and such a beautiful and insightful injection. It is one of several sutras related to Ishvara, a term in Hindu philosophy for the Vishnu aspect, “the son of God, the cosmic Christ, resplendent in the heart of each of us”. The sutra instructs us to sound the Sacred Word of Ishvara, the OM, but at the same time not to interpret this too literally. The sounding of the Word is more concerned with developing sensitivity to the Law of Vibration. It involves heeding the Call of Ishvara. In other words, “the gradual tuning of the lower vibrations of the sheaths or vestures of consciousness so that they synchronise with the note or sound of the conscious indweller.”
The Soul is constantly transmitting the Word, the Call of Ishvara, from the abstract levels of the mental plane down the Sutratma to the disciple on the physical plane. [He can actually hear this Sound. - E] The disciple’s task is to develop the capacity of inner listening in order to emulate this sound and transmit it back up to the soul. When this occurs, harmony follows and the Word runs up and down the Sutratma between soul and personality causing it to vibrate with spiritual power. It becomes a living bridge from which the means to serve in the outer world can be drawn. At this stage, the disciple discovers his spiritual keynote and finds his place as a conscious part of the bridge of “souls and servers”. The Call of Ishvara has been heard and responded to, in turn, it can be sung out into the world to serve humanity.
The subjective ‘note’ of a person, a group, and even humanity itself, is constantly changing in response to the unfoldment of consciousness, an as it does, it affects the substance in which it resides, and the forms with which it shares the planet. This brings the importance of working ‘consciously in consciousness’ to mind, of discovering our individual “keynote” and how to work with it. We also have to discover the keynote of the group to which we belong – the group Ishvara and to use what Dane Rudhyar calls the “tonic power” of its sound. The word “tonic” is apt here for service is both an invigorating tonic in the medicinal sense – something that invigorates and restores spiritual health, and also tonic in the musical sense of tonal quality; for ultimately, service is the transmission of part of the orchestral sound of the Logos and the Symphony He is in process of composing.
As the Tibetan so inspiring puts it: “…sound permeates all forms; the planet itself has its own note or sound; each minute atom also has its sound; each form can be evoked into music and each human being has his peculiar chord and all chords contribute to the group symphony which the Hierarchy and Humanity are playing, and playing now. Every spiritual group has its own tune… and the groups which are in process of collaborating with the Hierarchy makes music ceaselessly.” This rhythm of sound and this myriad and notes blend with the music of the Hierarchy itself and this is a steadily enriching symphony… “the results of right breathing, of controlled and organised rhythm, of true pure thought and of the correct relation between all parts of the chorus.”
Coming right down to the dense physical plane, in the past there was a greater understanding of the purpose of the sound made by instruments, coupled with the infusing quality of the simple spiritual devotion of their creators. The church bell which called the faithful were therefore reflections of the artisans who made them and they were created with knowledge of the exact proportion of metals to be melted and shaped it would take for perfect resonance. Likewise, the gongs of Hindus for example would strive to harmonise with the archetypal form of the life of the deva who was to incarnate into the tones. It was a work of magnetisation of the metals with love and will, melded together with an understanding of the meaning of the messages which the bell or gong would bring to the devotees.
This is a point to bear in mind with our own use of sound through right speech. The tonal quality that we emit through speech objectifies our thoughts and feelings and directly transmits our state of consciousness into the world with corresponding effects. If we manage to build a sufficiently powerful thoughtform on the mental plane, a deva will incarnate into it and live there like a sea creature inside a shell, boosting its radiator power with its life. If we can imagine all of our thoughts being alive, for alive they are, then we will realise how important it is to allow their livingness to be translated into the right tonal quality when we use the vocal chords to transmit their energy onto the physical plane. The responsibility for the right use of the spoken word is an important aspect of the Arcane School training. The morning meditation is a means of tuning ourselves up to the call of Ishvara and then the challenge is to stay connected and in harmony with its sound throughout the day, letting it ring out through all of our thoughts and words to lift and serve others as opportunity comes our way.
By understanding our life and the service we give in terms of sound, we will find the key to bringing harmony out of conflict and building right relationships in the world. this is particularly so because “the fourth ray [of harmony through conflict] is the ray par excellence which governs humanity,” and this great Ray Lord holds the key to building bridges between spirit and matter, through the tonic power of sound. In Esoteric Psychology we read that the immediate task ahead for this fourth Ray Lord is a further “lowering of the thread” in the human kingdom—a symbolic phrase for the great path of return. The fourth ray-Lord is instrumental in lowering and revealing the path of return just as He was with the path of outgoing late in the period of planetary creation. At that time six divine instructions were given to Him by the Solar Logos, one of which is imaginatively captured in the musical injunction: Speak Low the Word. Speak low.
This lucidly describes the gathering momentum of sound penetrating the depths of matter and rolling out the path of involution for the descent of the sons of God into physical manifestation. Now, on the path of return, His keynote must be evoked and utilised by disciples and discipleship groups that they may each find their respective place of service on the planetary bridge and from that point, broadcast the Call of Ishvara deep into humanity’s subconscious. This is assisted by drawing upon the Fourth Ray Lord’s capacity to reveal the path through a quality summarised in another injunction given to him by the Solar Logos: Lower the thread. Unfold the way. Link man with God. Arise.
We should bear in mind that the call of Ishvara, transmitted through the tonal power of the fourth ray, doesn’t necessarily result in immediate peace and tranquillity to those who hear it and respond. [Some of us can actually hear this ringing sound in the head in the form of, humming, bells or flutes. - E] The Sacred Word can precipitate acute points of crisis and conflict in others, as they struggle to adjust to its vibration. The fourth Ray Lord is called among other things, The Trumpet of the Lord, and as serving groups proliferate around the world, the powerful sound that this Ray Lord emits through them is generating tremendous points of crisis and conflict in the collective consciousness of humanity, and pulling down old patterns of thought in order to establish a new polarisation towards the divine. As this alignment is taking place, confusion and even panic are widespread, prior to the settling of the esoteric dust and a new clarity of vision.
We are told that new vision comes through Mercury, a fourth ray planet that has the ability to draw harmony out of conflict through new vision. Mercury’s qualities are buddhic, intuitional and expressive of the Christ. “Mercury, the Messenger of the Gods [that is, of the Hierarchy of Souls], carries always the message of love and sets up an unbreakable inter-relation between the two great planetary centres, that of the Hierarchy and that of Humanity.” And this capacity is expressed in the final instruction given to the Fourth Ray Lord by the Solar Logos which runs: Sound forth the colour. Produce the notes and see them pass into the shades, which in their turn produce the sounds. Thus all are seen as one. the quality of this command is described as “the synthesis of true beauty.”
This is a truly glorious injunction and an esoteric group can augment this work of the Fourth Ray Lord simply by sounding forth the deep blue note of love that that transmits the Christ consciousness into the darkest pockets of human consciousness to evoke the goodness that is Ishvara, sitting in the cave of the heart of every man, woman and child. There he sits upon the twelve-petalled lotus of the heart, holding in his hand the “jewel in the lotus.” We are told that when the devotee becomes the raja yogin then Ishvara will reveal to him the secret of the jewel. When Christ is known as King upon the throne of the heart, then He will reveal the Father to his devotee. But the devotee has to tread the Path of Raja Yoga, and combine intellectual knowledge, mental control and discipline before the revelation can be truly made. The mystic must eventually become the occultist: the head qualities and the heart qualities must be equally developed, for both are equally divine.
When the disciple has blended the way of the mystic with the way of the occultist and found his keynote, the consequent purity of his nature enables him to use Words of Power with skill and understanding; and the disciple of the future will work in this way and build the new world with its culture and civilisation. Perhaps we will begin to understand from this, the beauty and power of the science of invocation and evocation and what it means to become a living instrument and sound forth into the world the Call of the Reappearing Christ. Sound therefore, is the key to evolution and the tone of our life clearly sounds throughout our aura and has its effect on others in either a constructive or destructive way.
In times to come humanity will work much more creatively with sound as a force of invocation and when the new energies of the fourth ray pour into humanity in 2025 we can start to look for healing tonic power of sound and a more constructive type of music that brings spiritual warmth and upliftment—that lifts the forces of the body upwards towards spirit. Sound will then become a creative tool for humanity to accelerate its spiritual evolution. As Dane Rudhyar wrote, “We recall the words of the Bhagavad-Gita, ‘Ishvara, the Master, whose magic power causeth all things and creatures to revolve, mounted upon the universal wheel of time’….. His magic power is what we called ‘tonic power’ in all things and in all types of music which are real. As we understand the revolutions of the ‘universal wheel of time,’ that is of the cycles of Life and lives…we shall know how to call down Ishvara into our songs…and how to kindle in others the flame of spiritual regeneration.”
One of the Christ’s new tasks as God the Preserver is to keep the “wheels in motion”, to act as the Word of God and enable the process of incarnation and opportunity to evolve to continue. For us today, our greatest service is to sound the Great Invocation and let the meaning behind its words ring throughout the entire world. The Great Invocation is the greatest sound we can participate in collectively at this time. as the Christ’s Own Mantram its “sound has gone forth” to the entire world through His enunciation of it and through its use by the Hierarchy. The Tibetan tells us that not only must its words go out throughout the entire world by means of its enunciation by men everywhere, but that its meaning must be expressed by the masses in due time. Then Christ can again “return to Earth” and “see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.” Surely then, it is clear that purposeful use of the GI as an esoteric group is the best way to play our part in the bridge of souls and servers linking the subjective and objective worlds as one and aiding the Christ in His work. Let the group sound forth the Call of Ishvara.
“AUM” said the Lord And stroke his cord Without this sound Nothing was bound The sweet sound of creation Is just one mighty vibration And everything that exist Vibrate and confess to this The Voice of Silence, AUM And the Lost Word, OM Together they build and create All things that eventually brake The Holy Ghost works with matter through involution While the Son salvages the soul, through evolution One leads to the bosom of the mother The other leads to the house, of the father AUM, is matter, soul and spirit, the Consensus To build around the soul, a prison of the senses The secret of evil, in this round To use matter, as training ground Om, is soul and spirit, the note of resurrection To release soul from glamor is His specialization For eons the mystics, have sought for It The disciple and initiates, must demonstrate It They are Brahma, the Holy Ghost, or the third aspect And Vishnu, the Christ Force, or the second aspect Of the Holy Trinity For all eternity The masses, on hearing AUM Seek release and long for home In the life of him, who is reaching the goal AUM and OM, is in conflict over soul After being lost, ages ago, in pain The Word of Soul is being found again The magnet and the attraction That will pull everything, to perfection EDGEBA The antahkarana is the true science of the mind Where you leaf all your previous achievements behind And utilise mental substance for the bridging between the personality triad And soul, and then between soul-infused personality, and the spiritual triad First, the life thread comes directly from the Monad or the One To be anchored in the heart, during incarnation, for everyone It is the seat of life During the time you are alive Then, directly from the soul, comes the consciousness thread Which, during incarnation, is anchored in the head It is the seat of consciousness That brings about your responsiveness Thirdly, and initiated and constructed by the personality And anchored in the throat, is the thread of creative activity It is the seat of creativity, created through our conceptions That now gives life and expression to our creations The antahkarana [OM] is a fusion and combination to perfection Of these three threads [the sutratma - AUM ] and their projection Into the higher mental plane, until the abstract mind Is related by a triple cable to the concrete mind On the first great union on the path to reality A rhythm [OM] is set up between Soul and Personality This first step to liberation Is completed at the third initiation Thus the energies that animate the soul and the personality Are blended and fused into one, soul-infused personality The three aspects of the soul in the spiritual world And the three worlds of the personality become one world After the bridging of the personality and the soul Comes the bridging of the spiritual triad and the soul This personality, soul and spirit combination Is completed at the fourth initiation Before a man can tread the path himself He has to become that path itself By using these forces for self-unfoldment and unity And in the service of the Plan for humanity By acting as if this stages have already been achieved A shortcut to creating the antahkarana can be perceived EDGEBA
AUM and OM
THE ANTAHKARANA [The Lost Word - OM, or The Rainbow Bridge]
“AUM” said the Lord
And stroke his cord
Without this sound
Nothing was bound
The sweet sound of creation
Is just one mighty vibration
And everything that exist
Vibrate and confess to this
The Voice of Silence, AUM
And the Lost Word, OM
Together they build and create
All things that eventually brake
The Holy Ghost works with matter through involution
While the Son salvages the soul, through evolution
One leads to the bosom of the mother
The other leads to the house, of the father
AUM, is matter, soul and spirit, the Consensus
To build around the soul, a prison of the senses
The secret of evil, in this round
To use matter, as training ground
Om, is soul and spirit, the note of resurrection
To release soul from glamor is His specialization
For eons the mystics, have sought for It
The disciple and initiates, must demonstrate It
They are Brahma, the Holy Ghost, or the third aspect
And Vishnu, the Christ Force, or the second aspect
Of the Holy Trinity
For all eternity
The masses, on hearing AUM
Seek release and long for home
In the life of him, who is reaching the goal
AUM and OM, is in conflict over soul
After being lost, ages ago, in pain
The Word of Soul is being found again
The magnet and the attraction
That will pull everything, to perfection
The antahkarana is the true science of the mind
Where you leaf all your previous achievements behind
And utilise mental substance for the bridging between the personality triad
And soul, and then between soul-infused personality, and the spiritual triad
First, the life thread comes directly from the Monad or the One
To be anchored in the heart, during incarnation, for everyone
It is the seat of life
During the time you are alive
Then, directly from the soul, comes the consciousness thread
Which, during incarnation, is anchored in the head
It is the seat of consciousness
That brings about your responsiveness
Thirdly, and initiated and constructed by the personality
And anchored in the throat, is the thread of creative activity
It is the seat of creativity, created through our conceptions
That now gives life and expression to our creations
The antahkarana [OM] is a fusion and combination to perfection
Of these three threads [the sutratma - AUM ] and their projection
Into the higher mental plane, until the abstract mind
Is related by a triple cable to the concrete mind
On the first great union on the path to reality
A rhythm [OM] is set up between Soul and Personality
This first step to liberation
Is completed at the third initiation
Thus the energies that animate the soul and the personality
Are blended and fused into one, soul-infused personality
The three aspects of the soul in the spiritual world
And the three worlds of the personality become one world
After the bridging of the personality and the soul
Comes the bridging of the spiritual triad and the soul
This personality, soul and spirit combination
Is completed at the fourth initiation
Before a man can tread the path himself
He has to become that path itself
By using these forces for self-unfoldment and unity
And in the service of the Plan for humanity
By acting as if this stages have already been achieved
A shortcut to creating the antahkarana can be perceived