Secret Instructions - A Word Concerning The Earlier Instructions
As many have written and almost complained to me that they could find, no
practical clear application of certain diagram appended to the first two papers,
and others have spoken of their abstrussness, a short explaination is necessary.
The reason of this difficulty in most cases has been that the point of view
taken was erroneous; the purely abstract and metaphysical was mistaken for and
confused with the concrete and the physical. Let us take for example the diagrams
(Instruction II) and say that these are entirely macrocosmic and ideal. It must
be remembered that the study of Occultism proceeds from the Universals to Particulars
and not the reverse as accepted by Science. As Plato was an Initiate he very
naturally used the former method, while Aristotle, never having been initiated,
scoffed at his master, and elaborated a system of his own, left it as an heirloom
to be adopted and improved by Bacon. Of a turth the aphorism of Hermetic Wisdom,
"As above so below", applied to all Esoteric Instruction: but we must
begin with the above; we must learn the formula before we can sum the series.
The two figures, therefore, are not meant to represent any two particular planes,
but are the abstraction of a pair of planes, explanatory of the law of reflection
just as the lower manas is a reflection of the Higher. They must therefore be
taken in the highest metaphysical sense. The diagrams are only intended to familiarize
students with the leading ideas of Occult correspondences, the very genius of
metaphysical or macrocosmic and Spiritual Occultism forbidding the use of figures
or even symbols further than as temporary aids. Once define an idea in words
and it loses its reality; once figure a metaphysical idea and you materialize
is spirit. Figures must be used only as ladders to scale the battlements, ladders
to be disregarded when once the foot is set upon the rampart.
Let students therefore be very careful to spiritualize, the Instructions and
avoid materializing them, let them always try to find the highest meaning possible,
confident that in proportion as they approach the material and visible in their
speculations on the Papers, so far are they from the right understanding of
them. This is especially the case with these first Papers and Diagrams, for
as in all true arts, so in Occultism we must first learn the theory before we
are taught the practice.
Students ask: Why such secrecy about the details of a doctrine the body of
which has been publicly revealed, as in Esoteric Buddhism and the Secret Doctrine?
To this Occultism would reply: for two reasons:
(a) The whole, truth is too sacred to be given out promiscuously.
(b) The knowledge of all the details and missing links in the exoteric teachings
is too dangerous in profane hands.
The truths revealed to ran by the "Planetary Spirits" - the highest
Kumaras, those who incarnate no longer in the Universe during this Maha manvantara
- who will appear on earth as Avataras only at the beginning of every new human
race, and at the junctions or close of the two ends of the small and great cycles
- in time, as man became more animalized, were made to fade away from his memory.
Yet, though these Teachers remain with man no longer than the time required
to impress upon the plastic minds of child-humanity the eternal verities they
teach, the spirit of, the teachings remains vivid though latent in mankind.
The full knowledge of the primitive revelation having however, remained always,
with a few Elect, has been transmitted from that time up to now, from one generation
of Adepts to another.
As the Teachers say in the Occult Primer: "This is done so as to insure
them (the eternal truths) from being utterly lost or forgotten in ages here-after
by the forthcoming generations." - The mission of the Planetary Spirit
is but to strike the key-note of Truth. Once he has directed the vibrations
of the. latter to run its course uninterruptedly along the concatenation of
the race to the end of the cycle - he disappears from our earth until the follow¬ing
The mission of any teacher of esoteric truths, whether. he stands at the top
or at the foot of the ladder of knowledge, is precisely the same - as above
so below. I have only orders to strike the keynote of the. various esoteric
truths among. the learners as a body. Those units among you who will have raised
themselves on the "Path" over their fellow students in their esoteric
sphere, will, as the "Elect" spoken of did and do in the PARENT BROTHERHOODS,
receive the last explanatory details and the ultimate key to what they learn.
No one, however, can hope to gain this privilege before the MASTERS (not my
humble self) find him or her worthy.
If you wish to know the real reason d'etre for this policy, I now give it to
you. No use showing and explaining that which all of you know as well as I do;
at the beginning, events have shown that no caution can be dispensed with. Of
our body of several hundred man and women, many did not seem to realize either
the awful sacredness of the pledge taken (which some took at the end of their
pen) or the fact that their personality had to be entirely disregarded, when
brought face to face with their HIGHER SELF; or that all their words and professions
went for naught unless corroborated by actions. This was human nature and no
more; therefore it was passed leniently by and a new lease accorded by the MASTER.
But apart from this there is a danger lurk¬ing in the nature of the present
Civilized humanity however carefully guarded by its invisible watchers, the
Nirmanakayas - who watch over our respective races and nations - owing to its
collective Karma, is terrible under the sway of the traditional opposers of
the Nirmanakayas, the "Brothers of the Shadow," embodied and disembodied;
and this, as already told you, will last to the end of the first Kali Yoga Cycle
(1897) and a few years beyond, as the smaller dark cycle happens to over-lay
the great one.
Thus, all efforts notwithstanding, terrible secrets are often revealed to entirely
unworthy persons, by the efforts of the "Dark Brotherhood" and their
working on human brians, owing to the simple fact that in certain privileged
organisms what Western philosophy would term innate ideas, and Occultism "flashes
of Genius" (See "Genius," Lucifer, Nov. 1689, p. 227) are the
vibrations of the primitive truths set in motion by the Planetary Beings.
Some such idea based on eternal truth is awareness, and all that the watchful
powers can do is to prevent its entire revelation. You see such an instance
in America in the person of John W. Keely of Philadelphia; of Dr. Babbitt, and
the worthy associate of Hiram Butler who went under the alias of Vidya Myalaka.
All three tend in various degrees toward Black Magic, with unconsciously and
with good intentions, or deliberately and with the most abominable objects in
Everything in this Universe of differentiated matter has its two aspects -
the light and the dark side - which two attributes applied practically, lead,
the one to use, the other to abuse. Every man may become a botanist who has
mastered the science of essences knows that each can both heal and kill. Not
an ingredient, not a poison but can be used to do both, aye, from harmless wax
to deadly prussic acid, from the saliva of the infant to that of the cobra de
Capella. This, every tyro in medicine knows – theoretically - at any rate.
But where is that learned chemist in our day who has been permitted to discover
the "night side" of an attribute of any substance that enters into
the three kingdoms of science, let alone the seven of the Occultists, i.e Who
of them has penetrated into its Arcana, into the innermost essence of things
and its primary correlations? Yet it is this knowledge alone which makes of
an Occultist a genuine practical Initiate whether he turns out a Brother of
Light or a Brother of Darkness. The essence of that subtle, traceless poison,
the most potent in nature, which enters into the composition of the so called
Medici and Borgia poisons, if used with discrimination by one well versed in
the septenary degrees of its potentiality on each of the planes accessible to
man on earth, could heal or kill every man in the world; the result depending,
of course, on whether the operator was a Brother of the Light, or a Brother
of the Shadow. The former, is prevented from doing the good he might, by racial,
national, and individual Karma; the second is impeded in his. fiendish work
by the joint efforts of the human "Stones of the Guardian Wall," (See
Voice of the Silence, pp. 68 6 94, art. 28, Glossary).
It is incorrect to think - that there exists any special "power of projection"
or "philosophers' stone" or "Elixir of Life." The latter
lurks in every flower, in every stone, and mineral throughout the globe. It
is the ultimate essence of everything on its way to higher and higher evolution.
As there is no good or evil per se, so there is neither 'Elixir of Life' or
"Elixir of Death" - nor poison per se but all this is contained in
one and the same Uni¬versal Essence, this or the other effect, or result,
depending upon the degree of its differentiations and various correlations.
The light side of it pro¬duces life, health, bliss, Divine Peace, etc.,
the dark side brings death, sorrow, and strife.
This is proven by the knowledge of the nature of the most violent poisons;
of some of them even in large quantity will produce no evil effect on the organism,
whereas a grain of the same poison kills with the rapidity of lightning; while
the same grain again, altered by a certain combination, though its quantity
remains almost identical -.will heal. The number of the 'degrees' of' its differentiations
is septenary, as are the planes of its action, each degree being either beneficent
or malevolent in its effects, according to the system in which it is introduced.
He who is skilled in these degrees is on the high road to Adeptship; he who
acts: at hap-hazard - as the enormous majority of the “Mind-Curers"
whether "Mental" or "Christian Scientists" - is likely to
rue the effects on himself as well as on others. Put on the track by the example
of the Indian Yogis, and of their broadly but incorrectly outlined practices,
which they have only read about, but have had no opportunity to study - these
new sects have rushed guideless and headlong into the practice of denying and
affirming. Thus they have done more harm than good. Those who are successful
owe it to their innate magnetic and healing powers, which very often counteract
that which would otherwise be-conducive to much evil. Beware, I say; Satan and
the Archangels are more than twins; they are one body and one mind – Deus
est demon inversus.
H. P. B.