"The point on which to seek illumination is whether the path for some is not to serve because they know rather than love God, Who, after all, is but their innermost selves. Is this not the path of the occultist and of the sage rather than of the mystic and the saint? When all is said and done, is it not a question, primarily, of the ray one is on and the Master under whom one serves one's apprenticeship? Is not true knowledge a species of intellectual love? If a poet can pen an ode to intellectual beauty why may not we express appreciation of a unity that is conceived of the head rather than of the heart? Hearts are well enough in their way but they are not suited to the world's rough usage.
"Can one do aught but accept his present limitation while seeking such transcendence as is his by the Divine Law of evolution? Is there not such a thing (by comparison) as a spiritual inferiority complex on the part of such as are sensible (and perhaps over-sensitive) of the fact that while their lives intellectually are replete with interest, the desert of their hearts has not yet been made to blossom like the rose?
"In other words, provided one repairs to his appointed station and there serves in his acceptance of Brotherhood in the Presence of Fatherhood, what difference does it make that the fundamental postulate is with him a thing of the head rather than of the heart?"
I would answer such a questioning as follows:
It is not a question of ray or even of the basic distinction between the occultist and the mystic. In the rounded-out individual both head and heart must function with equal power. In time and space, however, and during the process of evolution, individuals are distinguished by a predominating tendency in any one life; it is only because we do not see all the picture that we draw these temporary distinctions. In one life a man may be predominantly mental and for him the path of the Love of God would be unsuited. The Love of God is shed abroad in his heart and to a considerable degree his occult approach is based on the mystic perception of past lives. For him the problem is to know God, with the view of interpreting that knowledge in love to all. Responsible love, demonstrated in duty to group and family, is therefore for him the line of least resistance. Universal love, raying out to all nature and all forms of life, will follow on a more developed knowledge of God, but this will be part of his development in another life.
Students of human nature (and this all aspirants should be) would do well to bear in mind that there are temporary differences. People differ in:
a. Ray (which affects predominantly the magnetism of the life).
b. Approach to truth, either the occult or the mystic path having the stronger drawing power.
c. Polarisation, deciding the emotional, mental or physical intent of a life.
d. Status in evolution, leading to the diversities seen among men.
e. Astrological sign, determining the trend of any particular life.
f. Race, bringing the personality under the peculiar racial thought form.
The sub-ray on which a man is found, that minor ray which varies from incarnation to incarnation, largely gives him his coloring for this life. It is his secondary hue. Forget not, the primary ray of the Monad continues through the aeon. It changes not. It is one of the three primary rays that eventually synthesise the sons of men. The ray of the ego varies from round to round, and, in more evolved souls, from race to race, and comprises one of the five rays of our present evolution. It is the predominating ray to which a man's causal body vibrates. It may correspond to the ray of the monad, or it may be one of the complementary colours to the primary. The ray of the personality varies from life to life, till the gamut of the seven sub-rays of the Monadic ray has been passed through.
Therefore, in dealing with people whose monads are on a similar or complementary ray it will be found that they approach each other sympathetically. We must remember however that evolution must be far advanced for the ray of the monad to influence extensively. So the majority of cases come not under this category.
With average advanced men, who are struggling to approximate themselves to the ideal, similarity of the egoic ray will produce mutual comprehension, and friendship follows. It is easy for two people on the same egoic ray to comprehend each other's point of view, and they become great friends, with unshaken faith in each other, for each recognizes the other acting as he himself would act.
But when (added to the egoic similarity of ray) you have the same ray of personality, then you have one of those rare things a perfect friendship, a successful marriage, an unbreakable link between two. This is rare indeed.
When you have two people on the same personality ray but with the egoic ray dissimilar, you may have those brief and sudden friendships and affinities, that are as ephemeral as a butterfly. These things need bearing in mind and with their recognition comes the ability to be adaptable. Clarity of vision results in a circumspect attitude.
Another cause of difference can be due to the polarization of the bodies. Unless this too meets with recognition in dealing with people lack of comprehension ensues. When you use the term: "a man polarized in his astral body"—you really mean a man whose ego works principally through that vehicle. Polarity indicates the clarity of the channel. Let me illustrate. The ego of the average man has its home on the third sub-plane of the mental plane. If a man has an astral vehicle largely composed of third sub-plane astral matter, and a mental vehicle mostly on the fifth sub-plane, the ego will centre his endeavour on the astral body. If he has a mental body of fourth sub-plane matter and an astral body of fifth sub-plane, the polarization will be mental.
When you speak of the ego taking more or less control of a man you really mean that he has built into his bodies matter of the higher sub-planes.
The ego takes control with interest only when the man has almost entirely eliminated matter of the seventh, sixth, and fifth sub-planes from his vehicles. When he has built in a certain proportion of matter of the fourth sub-plane the ego extends his control; when there is a certain proportion of the third sub-plane, then the man is on the Path; when second sub-plane matter predominates then he takes initiation, and when he has matter only of atomic substance, he becomes a Master. Therefore, the sub-plane a man is on is of importance, and the recognition of his polarization elucidates life.
The third thing you need to remember is that even when these two points are admitted, the age of the soul's experience frequently causes lack of comprehension. The above two points do not carry us very far, for the capacity to sense a man's ray is not for this race as yet. Approximate supposition and the use of the intuition is all that is now possible. The little evolved cannot comprehend completely the much evolved, and in a lesser degree, the advanced ego comprehends not an initiate. The greater can apprehend the lesser but the reverse is not the case.
As regards the action of those whose point of attainment greatly transcends your own, I can only ask you to do three things:
a. Reserve judgment. Their vision is greater. Forget not that one of the greatest qualities members of the Lodge have achieved is their ability to view the destruction of form as unimportant. Their concern is with the evolving life.
b. Realize that all events are brought around by the Brothers with a wise purpose in view. Lesser grade initiates, though utterly free agents, fit into the plans of their superiors just as do you in your lesser way. They have their lessons to learn, and the rule of learning is that all experience has to be bought. Apprehension comes by the punishment that follows an ill-judged act. Their superiors stand by to turn to good account situations brought about by the errors of those inferior in point of development.
c. Remember also that the Law of Rebirth holds hidden the secret of the present crisis. Groups of egos come together to work out certain karma involved in past days. Men have erred grievously in the past. Punishment and transmutation are the natural working out. Violence and cruelty in the past will reap its heavy karma, but it lies in the hands of you all now to transmute the old mistakes.
Also bear in mind that principles are eternal, personalities temporal. Principles are to be viewed in the light of eternity; personalities from the standpoint of time. The trouble is that, in many situations, two principles are involved, one of which is secondary. The difficulty lies in the fact that (both being principles) both are right. It is a rule for safe guidance always to remember that usually basic principles (for their wise comprehension and fruitful working out) call for the play of the intuition whilst secondary principles are more purely mental. The methods hence necessarily differ. When holding to the basic principles, the wisest methods are silence and a joyful confidence that the Law works, an avoidance of all personality innuendo except wise and loving comment, and a determination to see all in the light of eternity and not of time, coupled with a constant endeavour to follow the law of love and see only the divine in your brothers, e'en if on an opposing side.
In secondary principles, which all opposing forces are at present emphasizing, the use of the lower mind involves the danger of criticism, the employment of methods sanctioned by time in the three worlds—methods involving personal attack, invective and the expenditure of force along destructive lines, and a spirit contrary to the law of the plane of unity. The term "opposing forces" is used rightly if you employ it only in a scientific sense and mean the contrasting pole that leads to equilibrium. Remember therefore, that opposing groups may be quite sincere, but the concrete mind acts in them as a barrier to the free play of the higher vision. Their sincerity is great but their point of attainment along some lines less than that of those who adhere to basic principles, seen in the light of the intuition.
A principle is that which embodies some aspect of the truth on which this system of ours is based; it is the seeping through to the consciousness of the man of a little of the idea on which our Logos bases all He does. The basis of all Logoic action is love in activity, and the fundamental idea on which He bases action connected with the human Hierarchy is the power of love to drive onward,—call it evolution, if you like, call it inherent urge, should you so prefer, but it is love causing motion and urging onward to completion. It is the driving of one and all to further expression. Hence, this principle should underlie all activity, and the government of the lesser organizations, if founded on love leading to activity, would lead to a divine urge in all its members, driving them likewise on to fullest expression, and thus tend to more adequate completeness and more satisfactory endeavour.
A principle, when really fundamental, appeals at once to the intuition and calls out an immediate re-action of assent from the man's higher Self. It makes little or no appeal to the personality. It embodies a conception of the ego in his relationship to others. A principle is that which governs always the action of the ego on his own plane, and it is only as we come more and more under the guidance of that ego that our personality conceives of, and responds to these ideas. This is a point to be borne in mind in all dealings with others and should modify judgments. To apprehend a principle justly marks a point in evolution.
A principle is that which ensouls a statement dealing with the highest good of the greatest number. That a man should love his wife is a statement of a principle governing the personality but it must later be transmuted into the greater principle that a man must love his fellow men. Principles are of three kinds and the higher must be reached via the lower:
(a) Principles governing the lower personal self, dealing with the actions or active life of that lower self. They embody the third aspect or the activity aspect of logoic manifestation and form the basis of later progress. They control the man during his little evolved state, and during his period of thoughtlessness and might be comprehended more easily if I were to say that they are embodied in the commonly accepted rules of decent living. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, have to do with a man's active life, with the building up of character.
(b) Principles governing the higher self and dealing with the love or wisdom aspect. It is with these that we are now concerned and half the troubles in the world at present arise from the fact that these higher principles, having to do with love or wisdom in all their fullness, are only now beginning to be apprehended by the rank and file of mankind. In the quick recognition of their truthfulness and the attempt to make them facts, without previously adjusting the environment to those ideals, comes the frequent clashing and warfare between those actuated by the principles governing the personality and those governing the higher Self. Until more of the race are governed by the soul consciousness this warfare is inevitable and cannot be avoided. When the emotional plane is dominated by the intuitional, then will come universal comprehension.
The first set of principles is learnt by the man through grasping, and the subsequent disaster that results from that seizure. He stole, he suffered the penalty and he stole no more. The principle was wrought into him by pain and he learnt that only that which was his by right and not by seizure could be enjoyed. The world is learning this lesson in groups now, for, as its revolutionaries seize and unlawfully hold, they find the stolen property suffices not but brings sorrow. Thus in time they learn the principles.
The second set of principles is learnt through renunciation and service. A man looks away (having learnt first principles) from the things of the personality and in service learns the power of love in its occult significance. He spends and consequently receives; he lives the life of renunciation and the wealth of the heavens pours in on him; he gives all and is full to completeness; he asks nothing for himself and is the richest man on earth.
First principles deal with the differentiated unit and with evolution through heterogeneity. Principles such as the race is learning now have to do with groups; the question is not—"What will be best for the man?" but "What will be best for the many?" and only those who can think with vision of the many as one, can state these principles satisfactorily. They are the most important, for they are the basic principles of this love system. The trouble today is that men are confused. Certain first principles, the lower activity fundamentals are ingrained and inherent now, and a few of the higher egoic or love principles are seeping through into their bewildered brains causing an apparent momentary clashing of ideas. Therefore like Pilate they say: "What is truth?" If they will but remember that the higher principles deal with the good of the group and the lower with the good of the individual, mayhap clarity, will ensue. The lower activity of personal life, no matter how good or how worthy, must eventually be transcended by the higher love life that seeks the good of the group and not of the unit.
All that tends to synthesis and divine expression in collections of units is approaching closer to the ideal and approximating the higher principles. In thinking out these ideas may come some helpfulness. You have an illustration of what I say in the fact that many of the struggles that arise in organizations are based on the fact that some worthy people follow personalities, sacrificing themselves for a principle, yes, but a principle governing the personality life. Others, dimly glimpsing something higher and seeking the good of the groups and not of a person, stumble onto a higher principle, and in so doing bring in the force of the ego. They are working for others and aiming at the helping of their group. When egos and personalities clash, the victory of the higher is sure; the lower principle must give way to the higher. One is concentrated on what seems to him to be of paramount value, the fulfilling of the wish of the personal life, and (at this period) is only secondarily interested in the good of the many though he may have moments when he thinks that is his primary intent. The other cares naught for what becomes of the personal self and is only interested in the helping of the many. It boils down, to use an apt expression, to the question of selfish or unselfish motive, and, as you know, motives vary as time speeds by and the man nears the goal of the probationary path.
(c) Still higher principles are those comprehended by the Spirit and are only readily comprehended by the monadic consciousness. Only as the man transcends his active personal life and substitutes the life of love or wisdom as led by the ego can he begin to understand the scope of that life of love and know it as demonstrated power. Just as the personality deals with the principles governing the life of activity of the lower self, and the ego works with the law of love as demonstrated in group work, or love showing itself in the synthesis of the many into the few, so the Monad deals with the active life of love shown in power through the synthesis of the few into the one.
One deals with the life of the man on the physical plane, or in the three worlds, the second with his life on causal levels, and the last with his life after the attainment of the goal of present human endeavour. One deals with units, another with groups and the last with unity. One deals with differentiation at its most diverse point, the second with the many resolved into the egoic groups, whilst the third sees the differentiation resolved back into the seven, which marks unity for the human hierarchy.
All these factors and many others produce differences among human beings, and in sizing himself up a man must needs bring them into his consideration.
It should therefore be borne in mind that a disciple of any of the Masters will have his peculiar equipment, and his individual assets and deficiencies. He can nevertheless rest assured that, until the path of Knowledge has been added to the path of Love, he can never take the major initiations, for these are undergone on the higher levels of the mental plane. Until the path of light is united to the path of life the great transition from the fourth into the fifth kingdom cannot be taken. Certain expansions of consciousness are possible; initiations on the astral and lower mental planes can be taken; some of the vision can be seen, the sense of the Presence can be felt; the Beloved can be reached by love, and the bliss and the joy of this contact can carry with it its abiding joy, but that clear perception which comes from the experience undergone on the Mount of Illumination is a different thing to the joy experienced on the Mount of Blessing. The Heart leads in the one, the Head leads in the other.
To answer categorically: The path of knowledge is that of the occultist and the sage; that of love is that of the mystic and the saint. The head or the heart approach is not dependent upon the ray, for both ways must be known; the mystic must become the occultist; the white occultist has been the saintly mystic. True knowledge is intelligent love, for it is the blending of the intellect and the devotion. Unity is sensed in the heart; its intelligent application to life has to be worked out through knowledge.
It is of prime value to recognize the tendency of the life purpose, and to know whether the head or the heart method is the objective of any specific life. A fine spiritual discrimination is needed here however, lest the glamour of illusion tempt to the path of inertia. Ponder these words with care, and see that the question is based on a true foundation and does not grow out of an inferiority complex, the consideration of a brother's enterprise and a consequent jealous tendency, or upon a placid complacency which negates activity.
As a general rule for the average aspirant to discipleship, it may be safely assumed that the past has seen much application of the heart way, and that in this incarnation the mental unfoldment is of prime importance.
An ancient Scripture says:
"Seek not, Oh twice-blessed One, to attain the spiritual essence before the mind absorbs. Not thus is wisdom sought. Only he who hath the mind in leash, and seeth the world as in a mirror can be safely trusted with the inner senses. Only he who knoweth the five senses to be illusion, and that naught remaineth save the two ahead, can be admitted into the secret of the Cruciform transposed.
"The path that is trodden by the Server is the path of fire that passeth through his heart and leadeth to the head. It is not on the path of pleasure, nor on the path of pain that liberation may be taken nor that wisdom cometh. It is by the transcendence of the two, by the blending of pain with pleasure, that the goal is reached, that goal that lieth ahead, like a point of light seen in the darkness of a winter's night. That point of light may call to mind the tiny candle in some attic drear, but—as the path that leadeth to that light is trodden through the blending of the pairs of opposites—that pin-point, cold and flickering, groweth with steady radiance till the warm light of some blazing lamp cometh to the mind of the wanderer by the way.
"Pass on, O Pilgrim, with steady perseverance. No candle is there nor earth lamp fed with oil. Ever the radiance groweth till the path ends within a blaze of glory, and the wanderer through the night becometh the child of the sun, and entereth within the portals of that radiant orb."
[A TREATISE ON WHITE MAGIC, pp109/21]