By Peter Peuler
I think it’s safe to say that we are constantly bombarded by speech of all kinds, some positively constructive, some negatively destructive, some positively destructive, and some we could classify as simply chit-chat, superficial, and mundane small talk. What complicates this phenomenon is that this same array of speech comes from inside our own heads as well as from what we call “outside of ourselves”. Anyone who has sat down and tried to be still and silent knows how much commotion goes on in our heads. Thoughts and words abundant, people talking, a cacophony of jumbled bits of seemingly random nonsense. Our whole work in meditation is to get a handle on this situation so that we can develop some control over our minds and own speech and interpret correctly the different kinds of speech to which we are subjected. A common phenomenon is the realization that the more one meditates the more noise is developed. With time and patience this lessens but many give up because the cause seems hopeless. Those who stick it out come to realize that the inner noise never really goes away, yet that one can go to a place where it has no influence and doesn’t really distract him from doing the work he plans to do. Initiation is a system and process of protection so that we cannot hurt ourselves and others by the misuse of the power of speech caused by our own ignorance. Certain inner gates are closed until we are capable of correctly using powerful new instruments. Luckily we cannot see the effects caused by our wrong speech and emotions since we would be overwhelmed by the destruction we cause. Luckily again we are in a system based on patience, love, and compassion.
The common adage, “think before you speak”, has deep esoteric significance. This, coupled with “energy follows thought”, gives us that line of descent from the plane of ideas down through thought forms, and out into the world of outer appearance as words and phrases which are symbols of the original idea. This is where silence enters into our training. Silence allows us to create a gap, a momentary space in awareness to match the correct response to any given outer event. It is this gap which lets us judge whether it is better to say something or just remain silent. It is this space which allows discrimination to play its part, either by giving a gentle nudge through the use of words, or simply letting the situation develop further by it self. This is the basis of true service; knowing when to intervene and knowing when not to. Premature closure of a crisis, for example, is just as bad as letting the crisis go too far. Giving too much is just as bad as not giving enough. The would-be server knows that love and wisdom must be balanced, the heart and head forming one balanced unit.
The occult power of speech is directly related to where in consciousness and from what plane, the speech is generated. The same words spoken when the consciousness is polarized in the solar plexus center creates a different effect than when it is placed in the heart center. We can see this for ourselves by pronouncing the words, “I love you” from the solar plexus center and then from the heart center. It’s just not the same and the outer and inner effects are also different. The creation of the antahkarana, that bridge in consciousness which helps us to consciously pass from one plane to another, is vital for the development of increased power when using speech. The bridge created on the mental plane, linking the mind and brain, the mind and the soul, and later the soul-infused mind with the Spiritual Triad increases the ability of the disciple to infuse words with power and will. This focused intention becomes like a laser beam, concentrated and specific. His words then become agents for change on deeper and deeper levels. For the disciple-in-training, power and responsibility are linked by the Law of Cause and Effect. We realize that speech, both inner and outer, puts things into motion by affecting the tiny lives which make up the body of our Planetary Logos. The deva kingdom responds to will energy, to focused attention and intention. Armies of electromagnetic entities respond to our words and do our bidding. Their work establishes the results of the Law of Karma, end old cycles and create new ones. Here again “think before you speak” takes on vital importance when we realize that we have the power to create and cause change on levels of which we are not totally conscious.
Disciples are urged to experiment, to experience, and to express. This is also related to sound and speech. We can experiment with speech by noting their effects on ourselves and others. We can note what thought generated that speech and where our consciousness was placed during the creation of those words and phrases expressed. What effect did our speech have on our emotional body and the emotions of those contacted? What physical effect was produced? Did the speech cause us to cringe a bit, to tense up, or did we feel more relaxed and open. By noting these effects we experience the power of speech not just intellectually but also in a real sense. Our personalities are our instruments to experiment, to experience, and to express. We can then note the effects that soul energy has on how our speech creates results in matter. By going deeply within our selves and opening up that inner space which is linked to the inner space within others, the energies of light and love and power are permitted to condition our thinking and feeling, thus conditioning the resulting speech expression. Self-centered speech, generated from the lower mind and given force by the emotions is then transmuted into wise and compassionate speech, capable of healing and lifting. We are told that the reason the soul incarnates is to redeem matter, and that spiritual progress is a natural outcome, not a primary goal. Speech, emanating from deep spiritual sources within our selves, creates seismic changes both within and without. We can imagine the power of occult speech coming from a unified and dedicated group, a group such as the New Group of World Servers or the Spiritual Hierarchy itself. Our long range goal is for the group, Humanity, to sound those words of power which will raise the lower kingdoms to their full potential, and link those kingdoms with the higher spiritual realms. Yet it begins with us, as individuals, as conscious units of the group.
We have many examples of the value of simplicity when using words and written speech to convey ideas. It is frequently brought up that the United States Constitution is a short and concise document, whereas all the laws and amendments to those laws which derive from it take volumes and volumes to express themselves. The same is true of the Ten Commandments and Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. The phrase, “God is Love”, is just three words yet sums up the entire basis of our existence. We have very concrete examples of the power of just a few words when we remember, those of you who are married or divorced, the famous two words, “I do”, and all the joy and sorrow which followed. Or the statement, “You’re fired”, and the crisis and opportunity which followed to permit a new cycle to begin. The importance of right speech was highlighted by the Tibetan
and Alice Bailey, when the Mantram of the New Group of World Servers was given to link up and strengthen that subjective group. “Self-forgetfulness, harmless, and right speech” were the three qualities chosen to be developed by the disciple seeking to play his part in the One Work. We are also reminded that criticism is one of the most destructive expressions of speech because it strengthens separateness and works against the incoming energies which seek to bring about human unity and synthesis. I’ve been living in France for the last 20 years so I am familiar with some national traits. The French are a brilliant people but the downside is the tendency to criticize. They realize this and a famous saying is to “turn your tongue around 7 times in your mouth before you speak”. Sounds like some pretty sound advice.
While we have been considering the occult power of speech from the inner to the outer, and how to be aware before we speak, it is important to remember that the outer also affects the inner. Our outer speech reflexively reverberates inwards and causes our cells to respond. We can see this in incidences of mass hysteria where crowds do horrible things when incited by those skilled in the occult power of speech, things which as individuals they would not have done. Certainly the Second World War, and its use of negative propaganda, was a major example of the negative application of occult law. Some modern advertising, while less blatant, still uses the power of speech to incite people to misuse their time and energy in selfish activities. On the other side of the coin, we can see the increasing use of positive speech to bridge gaps between people and to further the Plan of Love and Light. The work of Triangles and the use of the Great Invocation are good examples of how simplicity and concise wording become powerful tools in the creation of positive results. We are reminded that the use of the Great Invocation creates deep changes within ourselves and hence those with whom we have contact. This simple yet so very powerful formulation very clearly voices the intention of relating Humanity to the very essential energies of Light, Love, and Power, and to the areas in consciousness where they are held in solution. These energies seek to “penetrate to the point of precipitation”. The use of the word “Let” in the Great Invocation and the Mantram of Unification is worth noting because it implies the attitude of permitting these energies to enter ourselves without undue hindrances. Phrases such as “Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth” and “Let Love prevail, let all men love” seek to penetrate to the point of precipitation to be expressed by right speech leading to right action. These are great words of power and the more we use them consciously and with selfless spiritual intention the more we can fuse our consciousnesses with the greater group.
An important technique of the Arcane School is that of acting “as if”. Far from those techniques which seek to mask reality and kind of paste something positive on non integrated qualities, the “as if” technique begins with a clear-eyed view of where we are and then affirms with confidence our deepest reality. It requires that fearlessness to formulate and to voice to ourselves our intention to go beyond our current limitations no matter what the obstacles. We invoke the aid of all those tiny lives of which we are made and pledge ourselves to work for the greater good. We have faith in the forces of creation and in our role as co-creators.
We are told that “in the beginning was the Word”. Our efforts together can give living expression to this Word.
* * * * *