FOREWORDby Archbishop James I. Wedgwood TWENTY years ago it would have been difficult to suppose that belief in the existence of angels and fairies would gain so wide an acceptance as it has gained nowadays. People's outlook on the world has undergone such modification that they are far less prone to dismiss unfamiliar ideas with ridicule. Only a few days ago I was reading of a machine, devised by a well-known firm of electricians, which opened doors, started an electric fan, operated an electric sweeper, polished boots or performed other actions in obedience to the command of the voice. The principle was simple enough-that of sympathetic vibration-and a number of tuning-forks served as sound selectors. Science has produced so many marvels, that its exponents may well be regarded as thaumaturgists; and in consequence people are far less prone than they were a few years back to deny the existence of that which is simply, as yet, unknown to them.
Some years ago a Dr. Evans Wentz, who had taken scientific and other degrees in American and European universities, went to Brittany and collected folk stories about fairies. The evidence that he accumulated was so striking that he became convinced of their existence, and he published his records in a book of exceptional interest entitled Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries. Somewhat later Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in The Coming of the Fairies, commented on the remarkable photographs of nature spirits, investigated by Mr. E. L. Gardner. No flaw has yet been detected in the conditions under which these pictures were obtained.
There is, in fact, a considerable body of evidence available, showing that there are those who see and can communicate with members of the angel kingdom. Looking back the other day over a magazine that I edited in 1911, I find a reference to the Bishop of London relating in St. Paul's, Harringay, how children in his congregations saw angels.
I have been following with much interest the recent writings of Mr. Geoffrey Hodson. Those who know Mr. Hodson, as I have had the honour to do over a period of many years, need no assurance as to his sincerity and complete integrity. His life is spent in the constant service of his fellows, and his great natural gifts as a psychic are laid unstintingly at the disposal of serious investigators on the one hand, and of the many who suffer on the other. Whilst I cannot lay claim to anything like the same wide experience of our angel friends and colleagues as can Mr. Hodson, I have still had some personal experience of this kind. Much of what Mr. Hodson says is quite beyond the range of my own knowledge, but there are certain marks in his writings which clearly indicate to one who has this personal touch with the other worlds and with the Deva evolution, that Mr. Hodson on these points, at any rate, sees unmistakably, and that he should be listened to with respect and with an open mind. There will be many who will find inspiration in the ethical teachings given in this book.
INTRODUCTIONTHE purpose of the angel in writing this third [The first and second books are: The Brotherhood of Angels and of Men and Be Ye Perfect. ] book, is to provide a basis from which a more detailed study of the angelic hierarchy may be made. His method of teaching is dual; he communicates the subject-matter directly into my consciousness and, in addition, enables me to see the facts for myself, so far as my limitations permit. He uses one or both of these means, according to the nature of the subject and my capacity to receive instruction. The teaching concerning fire, for example, was received with difficulty at first, because, as the absence of reference to the spirits of fire in both my books [ Fairies at Work and at Play. The Kingdom of Faerie ] on fairies suggests, I had not succeeded in gaining much contact with the spirits concerned and consequently I had little or no foundation on which to build.
Perceiving the difficulty, the angel combined the method of direct communication with that of raising my consciousness to a level at which the phenomena which he described [See Chapter IV.-" Fire." ] were visible to me; at the same time he unified my consciousness with his, so that a far wider range of vision was afforded me, and the transference of ideas became relatively easy. Attempted descriptions of such unforgettable experiences inevitably give the writer an acute sense of failure and produce a series of paradoxes and contradictions in his account of the vision.
I seemed to be standing with him submerged in a sea of fire, which was solid and all-pervasive, yet translucent and transparent. I seemed also to see the sun-flower formation of the fire-aspect of the Logos and His system as if the angel and I were standing on one of the petals. Though the distances and dimensions of this fire-world were so colossal as to be physically incomprehensible and immeasurable, yet at this level they were well within my grasp, and the fact that I was standing completely submerged in a veritable cataract of flame as it rushed and swirled about me did not prevent me from seeing the whole of it and its shape, as if I were looking down upon it from above. I could trace its source in the sun and see its limits where the tip of a petal touched the ring-pass-not of the system. I was not able to discover the relation of the physical sun to the fiery sun, but their relative size and luminosity were such that the physical sun would be completely lost in its fiery counterpart.
Under the angel's guidance I moved in this world of fire, but, however great the distance we covered, it always presented the same aspect. Whether we rose or fell in the sea of fire, or crossed a wide area of flame, the system continued to appear like a sun-flower which presented its full-face towards us. Contradictory though this may sound, it will be intelligible to those who are familiar with the idea of the fourth dimension: at the fire-level, however, the dimensions of space are more than four.
The appearance of the solar fire lords was glorious and awe-inspiring. Their stature must be gigantic. Though they did not approach the size of the main petals themselves, as they stood, like an inner ring of petals round the central fiery heart of the flower, they were large enough to be noticeable from points near the outer edge of the system. When we approached the heart, they were seen to be solar colossi, and at one of our resting places one of them completely filled the field of vision. Their forms were distinctly human, though every cell in their bodies resembled a roaring furnace, while flames leapt and played about them continuously. I was not able to see their faces with any distinctness, and their eyes were shaded from my view-perhaps by a merciful providence-but I received the impression of beauty quite as strongly as that of power. In fact, as I recall the experience, I find that their beauty has left a more lasting impression upon me than their power. I am drawn to them by a beauty so perfect as to compel my love and my adoration; they evoke all that is highest in my Nature and fill me with a thirst, rather for beauty in the abstract, than to see them again, or to be like them.
The sense of beauty which I receive from them, is not so much that of shape and form, though their bodies are inexpressibly beautiful-so beautiful, in fact, as to leave one spiritually breathless-but belongs to the abstract ideal of beauty which they embody. Perhaps there is a beauty which is so great that it must be veiled, just as there is a fire so powerful and so hot that we must be shielded from it. In the fire-world I perceived beauty in the abstract as a living power, equally as potent as fire, and realised that as there is a fire aspect of God, so is there a beauty aspect, equal to that of fire in its regenerating, transforming and destructive power; equally glorious, equally terrible, equally dangerous to him who gazes upon its naked potency. I begin to appreciate the truth of the saying that no man may see God and live; man may climb the heights of the spiritual mountain and the beauty of God may transfigure him, but unless he is prepared for its resistless power, he may be utterly destroyed.
In the world of fire there seems to be a highly organised system whereby such dangers are made as remote as possible. The illimitable power, glory and beauty of the Logos passes through the angel hierarchy, which serves as a transformer to reduce and temper it so that dwellers at lower levels be not blinded and destroyed by its awful might. Possibly the human evolution serves in a similar way; I cannot say, for I saw no distinction between angel and man in the fire-world; I was conscious only of the solar system and its inhabitants as a whole. Where I discerned a difference of outline or of form, either in the play of fire energies or in the fire lords, I was, at the same time, equally aware of their essential unity as a corporate whole.
I find that sub-consciously - if there is sub-consciousness at that level-I recorded many impressions during the short period of physical time, say one hour, which I seemed to spend in that region. I saw, for example, that the flames of which each petal consisted, gave the general appearance of homogeneity and solidarity, but close examination revealed that they were granular in substance and consisted of a continuous succession of minute particles rushing from the centre to the circumference of the system.
Variations in density were due to a closer packing of the particles and each particle resembled the ultimate physical atom [Vide Occult Chemistry, by A. Besant and C. W. Leadbeater] and was spinning as it travelled. These fire-atoms rushed past us at a speed which is incalculable, because distances in that realm are unknown; yet I seemed to possess the power of examining a single granule as if it were standing still, for its spinning and rapidity of motion were no barrier to my examination of it.
I have brought back a three-dimensional impression of the region of fire, although, in the account which I was dictating physically, with the angel's help, whilst my consciousness was still at that level, I recorded my perception that it apparently extended in an infinity of dimensions. None the less, as I write now, my memory is of standing on the petal of a sunflower composed of fire, looking towards the centre, of stooping down and taking a portion of the petal in my hand in order to examine its texture and to discover if energy of this type was discrete or continuous.
As the many defections and imperfections of this book testify, I am still far from perfect in the technique of this work, but believe I can develop it by practice. The reception of the angel's teaching always produces an illumination, an expansion of consciousness, a state. of happiness and harmony and a vivid feeling of "rightness " throughput all my vehicles. The privilege of serving in this way can hardly be overestimated, and I look forward to the time when many other students will take up the work and provide us with additional knowledge, more enlightened teachings and a more perfect expression of the indefinable quality of beauty and vitality which is such a prominent characteristic of the angel hierarchy.
THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE ANGELSTHE attitude of the angels towards God differs radically from that of man. They do not conceive the existence of a central personalised individual consciousness, but rather of a universally diffused life-force or energy, an intelligent power which pervades the whole system, forms and ensouls every atom, and fills all space between forms, whether of atom, planet, or of sun.
Though they recognise this power as an all-pervasive immanence, they also know themselves to be a part of it, to be its embodiment, and know no other will or intelligence than that by which its activities are guided. The predominating characteristic of their consciousness is a realisation of unity with each other and with that central source; selfishness, separateness, desire, sense of possession, anger, fear, rebellion or bitterness are impossible to them, because knowledge of the unity of all life forms the background of their existence. They are living embodiments of unity, and display to perfection, each at his level, all the qualities of character which naturally harmonise with and result from its realisation.
All angels are instinctively loving, though their love is far more impersonal than is human love; they see in the object of affection not a desirable form or an attractive personal character, but another embodiment of the same life-force which inspires them. Recognising a mutual source of life and a similarity of purpose, they pour forth towards the object of their affection an impersonal love combined with reverence and a certain spiritual recognition of identity of essence. In the life of the angels there is nothing which corresponds to the bodily affection which men display. They show their love for each other, for men and for Nature by vivid flashes of colour, by an extension and mingling of auras and by a close mental identification with all the hopes, dreams, capacities, qualities of character and fundamental purposes of the beloved.
In spite of their natural realisation of soul-identity, there are great divergences of character and capacity amongst the angels; these largely result from difference of evolutionary standing, of elemental associations and from difference of ray. The first two differences will be considered later; the third operates in a manner closely corresponding to that of the human line of development. Men and angels both come forth from the one parent source through one of the many streams of evolutionary life, of which there are at least seven.
The highest rank in the angel evolution is occupied by One Who may be regarded as the angel aspect of the Supreme, a Being of ineffable and inconceivable splendour and power. The references to Him which follow must be taken as symbolical rather than actual, though they closely approach the truth. The angel aspect of the Logos, like every other aspect, is triple, yet one; from the permutations of these three aspects seven primary characteristics arise, each represented by and expressed in an archangel. These great ones serve as the angelic heads of the seven rays; each is an external expression of a quality in the character of the Logos. The work of each is a perfect example of one of the methods by which He achieves the realisation of His dreams and the fulfilment of His plans. All manifestations of His life, whether angel or human, pass through these primary seven, who form an inner ring which encircles the divine Point.
Six of them, working in pairs, represent the three aspects of the Supreme; each pair constitutes a positive and a negative expression of one aspect. The seventh great spirit sums up within himself both the positive and negative qualities of all three aspects. He may be looked upon as their objective external synthesis, as a summation of all the divine attributes and as one in whom their positive and negative polarities are equally balanced and included.
This idea of a mighty synthesis of all the divine attributes is the nearest approach in angel cosmogony to the human conception of God; it differs from it, in that He is regarded only as the incarnation and summation of qualities and powers which have their source in a region beyond the conception of any embodied consciousness, however spiritual and tenuous that embodiment may be.
That source is formless, immanent in every form, ubiquitous throughout the solar system, beyond which it extends into a region or level of existence where it is united with a central universal source of power, life and consciousness. This is the central source from which all the solar systems in a universe arise, by which they are sustained and into which they all return. This conception of a series of sources, each more interior and remote than the other, reaching inwards towards an ultimate, absolute source and outwards to the production of an infinity of sub-sources, forms the background of all angel consciousness.
The various levels of density of matter are also conceived of in this way, one level being the source of life and power to the level below, until the point of greatest density in a given system is reached. Each system has an enclosing boundary beyond which its life-force cannot pass, through which it cannot escape and from which it rebounds to complete a circuit by its return to the central source. Systems, in their turn, differ according to the level at which this point of greatest density is fixed. This same conception is equally applicable in a cosmos to which universes bear the same relation as do solar systems to a universe.
The angel conceives of at least three major circuits through which and by means of which the power from the central source is conveyed and expressed throughout the system or universe. They are firstly, the matter of which the system is composed; secondly and thirdly, the angel and the human evolutions respectively. If others exist, as conceivably they may, we are not concerned with them at present. The angel evolution, in its capacity of conveyor of power, does not regard matter so much as substance, as a fixed mode or permanent condition, but rather as an illusory appearance produced by the rapid travel of energy. Man sees the illusory and ever-changing appearances caused by this continual flow, while the angel perceives the flowing force of which they are the result. To him, all form is spectral, unsubstantial and impermanent; he thus completely reverses the human attitude in which the life-force is spectral, unsubstantial and impermanent. To mankind, the soul of man, animal or vegetable is ghostly and unreal.
This difference results quite naturally from their divergent methods of evolutionary progress. Both angels and men, from their own point of view, are equally correct. The ideal attitude (to which it would appear more easily possible for man to attain) is one in which both points of view are united. Evolution is not limited, however, to the acquirement of a point of view, but aims also at the attainment by the evolving consciousness of mastery of the technique of the method by which he evolves; again, it would appear from this, that the human kingdom is more likely to attain mastery both of life and form than is the angel, for man is involved more deeply in the form. Though the penalties he pays are heavy indeed, his goal is glorious, for he develops the power of synthesising both angel and human faculties and methods, while from the separateness through which he makes his long pilgrimage, he achieves the highest realisation of a unity which includes both life and form.
Matter is an unconscious conveyor and manifestor of life, power and consciousness. The angels are conscious conveyors and manifestors of the same triplicity of ensouling attributes; their function is to increase and maintain by virtue of their intelligent co-operation the ensouling, vitalising and spiritualising action of that power; the whole of their activities are concentrated upon the life or spirit side of manifestation.
Man touches the extreme limits of the system. Man takes the power, of which he is an intelligent conveyor and manifestor, downward to the lowest depths and himself completes the circuit, bearing with him that power with which he was sent forth. He undertakes the task of intelligent conveyance and manifestation of the three aspects of the Supreme through out all the levels of Nature down to the densest physical. He deliberately identifies himself with matter, voluntarily submitting to the suffering and limitations which such a process inevitably involves in order that both the life and the matter of the system may fulfil their respective functions with increasing perfection.
Man has undertaken responsibility for the fulfilment of the divine will by uniting in himself the functions of both life and form. The angel, on the other hand, concentrates upon the life side and plays his part in the economy of the system, not by self-identification with matter or with form, but with the life behind them both.
Force radiates continually throughout the system from the central power station, to which it rebounds from the densest plane. As it strikes each level in turn in its out-going journey, atoms are formed; these atoms serve to convey the force from the plane above, through the plane on which it exists, into the plane below, where other atoms are formed, until the densest plane is reached. This process is repeated on the return journey, the polarity of the atom being reversed. Positive and negative atoms are continually being brought into existence and as continually ceasing to exist. The speed at which the power travels is so great, that an illusory appearance of permanence and solidity is produced.
The formation of the atom on a given plane makes possible the conveyance of the power and consciousness of the Logos through that plane and enables it to manifest thereon. The aggregation of atoms produces the chemical elements of that plane and the aggregation of the elements produces the forms; through atom, element and form, the divine power is continually passing, both on the outward and return journey, from and to the central power station. The divine immanence is made manifest throughout the whole system by this function of the atom; that manifestation is automatic and the forms which it produces possess but an instinctive consciousness.
The function of both angel and man is to quicken the evolution of life from instinctive to full self-consciousness manifestation. The angel hierarchy brings the power of its consciousness to bear upon the immanent divine life which is evolving through the matter of the plane upon which its members reside; they influence that matter indirectly through their work upon the life. The goal of their endeavours is to produce in the form an increasingly conscious expression of that life, by uniting with it their own more self-conscious life-force.
Each member of the angel kingdom and each atom serves the Logos as a conveyor of His life-force. The service of the angel, however, is intelligent; as the life-force plays through him he manipulates and adjusts the quantity and direction of its flow. If individualised, he does this self consciously, if not, instinctively, obeying the innate laws of his Nature. This union of the consciously directed angel life-force with the automatic and non-conscious flow through the atom, quickens the evolutionary progress of all matter and therefore of all form, whether mineral, vegetable, animal, angel or human.
As evolution proceeds, a greater measure of consciousness shows itself in all the forms of the system, in all the kingdoms of Nature, with the result that instinctive consciousness is gradually evolving towards self consciousness. The angels' dual function in Nature is that of quickening the evolution of form, by sharing their life-force with the life-force within it and stimulating the growth of consciousness into self-consciousness by uniting their own intelligently directed life-force and consciousness with that of the form on which they are working.
They serve the Logos in this way on all planes and in all the kingdoms of Nature, including the human, in which kingdom their dual function may easily be discerned. They select, specialise and build every atom of which all man's bodies are composed. They recognise the type of atom required, by its response to the vibration emitted from the central permanent atom around which all other atoms are built. Before it is placed, the angel or nature-spirit unifies his life-force and consciousness with it and thereby specialises and quickens it into a more responsive state; he then permits it to assume its natural position in the body, according to its type or vibratory rate and the particular line of force by which it is attracted into position. Similar processes are carried out in all the kingdoms of Nature, each by a nature-spirit or angel appropriate to the type of matter and the level of density in which the work is to be done.
In the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms the angels also labour continually to provide that temporary, conscious link between spirit and matter which, in man, is provided permanently by the ego. The association of an angel with a tree, for example, provides the tree with a self conscious focus or channel for the flow of the divine life, increases the extent of the self-conscious and individual existence of which the tree is normally capable and hastens the time when the evolving life within it will be self-consciously manifested.
From the angel point of view, the three great stages of evolution through which the life-force of the Logos-and therefore the forms through which it is manifested-passes are the sub-conscious, instinctive or blind manifestations of that force, the self-conscious and the super-conscious. In the first stage the divine law is obeyed instinctively and blindly, in the second in varying degrees of intelligence and in the third as perfectly as in the first, but consciously instead of instinctively. As the angel himself evolves through those successive stages, the field of his labours corresponds to the stage of his development; thus he passes from the infusoria, nature-spirit and angel stages, through the angelic solar lords, up to the angelic Logos.
Man, as conveyor and manifestos of the divine power and consciousness, identifies himself with form, in order that spirit and matter may be brought into the closest possible relationship. During his long series of lives, he labours, century after century, to free himself from the voluntary imprisonment which results from the method he has chosen. Gradually he attains mastery over the matter in which he is enclosed; slowly the dynamic power of his awakened will produces in inert substance a responsiveness by virtue of which it becomes obedient to his will. That which once imprisoned him, provides his means of freedom; he does not escape from the prison walls, rather does he change the matter of which they are composed and learns to build it into wings with which he flies. In man and through man, spirit and matter, power and inertia, life and form, are united ; he serves the Logos in the fulfilment of His plan by his synthesising power.
In the elements and in the atomic constitution of matter, we perceive the divine immanence; in the angel hierarchy the divine life finds a conscious expression; in the human hierarchy divine life and divine form are united. Through the angelic Logos or heavenly angel and His hierarchy, the divine life flows freely, unobstructed by material resistance, and the whole angel kingdom is but an embodiment or expression in terms of evolving consciousness of that life. Through the heavenly man, the divine life flows with difficulty, because his consciousness and that of all his kingdom is identified with matter.
As the sun of the logoic day climbs towards the mid-heavens, the resistance begins to be overcome and in the evening of His day, He will witness the free and unobstructed flow of His life throughout all form. The human kingdom will have mastered matter and will have moulded it into perfect vehicles and channels for His life. The heavenly man will take all matter in all the worlds in which he has been incarnate and, shaping it into a perfect chalice, hold it up to the Supreme, knowing that by his labours it may be filled with the wine of the divine life. The heavenly angel will pour out that wine and the members of his kingdom will serve as channels for its distribution throughout all worlds.
When that supreme eucharist has been celebrated, when every atom in the universe is filled with the wine of the one life, when every consciousness is perfectly attuned to the One Consciousness and all manifestation becomes a perfect expression of the divine Will, Wisdom and Intelligence, then the labours of angels and of men will cease and He will call His children home, back into His bosom whence they first came forth.
Then at last He, too, may rest; the curtain may be drawn upon the mighty drama which He has enacted; then at last the sun of His day shall set and He shall seek repose. His worlds will imprison Him no more, for He shall form them into wings which shall bear Him towards That from which He, in His turn, came forth. The fruits of all His labours shall be preserved throughout the long night of His repose, until another dawn, when once more He shall awaken and the sun of a new day shall rise.
Angels and men shall learn new ways of serving Him, shall perform each other's tasks, until at last, in all the long succession of solar systems in which they have laboured, every task and every mode of service shall have been performed; that which once was angel and was man, shall have become a God and be sent forth to be the Logos of a system of his own, the offspring of his heavenly Parent, Who, in His turn, shall have become the Ruler of a universe. His Logoi shall be those who served Him in His solar systems as angels and as men. They shall serve Him through an infinity of time in ever-widening fields of labour, bound to Him by links of love and service, which shall endure throughout eternity.
Who shall tell us when these bonds were formed? Were we all once the jewels in some solar system long ago dissolved and did He serve as nature-sprite to help in our unfolding? Or did we wave our emerald arms as plant, as flower, or tree and did He come as fairy or as angel to flood us with His higher life and wider powers of thought? Or were we just the atoms of a system in which He was a ruler of a world?
The links of love and service endure throughout all time. Though solar systems change from nebulas to suns and planets with their ordered orbits live their evolving lives and finally dissolve, the bonds of love remain unchanged and indissoluble. Those who once were atom and angel, precious stone and nature-sprite, flower and attendant fairy, landscape and angel, animal and man, pupil and Master, initiate and King, pass on, preserving their relationship, as Logoi and Solar Lords, as universal Logoi and Gods of wheeling solar systems, which circle still around their ancient Lord.
Love is the force which maintains the planets in their successive orbits, as they circle round the sun, their Lord of Love. Love binds into a whole the many systems of the universe. From the highest ruler of the rulers of universes, down to the lowest form of life on the densest plane in every system, there is a chain of love, unbroken and unbreakable. In the light of that supernal love, all differences and all diversities are seen but as the manifold expressions of that One infinite and eternal Power from Which all things sprang and to Which all things shall return.
THE CREED OF THE ANGELSThe belief of the angels is founded upon knowledge and consists of divine truth as discernible by them according to their different stages of development; it follows that there is an almost infinite gradation of belief, from the creed of the nature-spirit to that of the angelic solar lords. Below the level of the self-conscious and individualised sylph, [ see The Hidden Side of Things, by C. W. Leadbeater ] belief is instinctive and the behests of truth are obeyed without thought or question.
Every nature-spirit, according to his degree, is a perfect expression of the Will, Wisdom and Intelligence of the Supreme. They know no other Will than His; naught separates them from that Will; in it they live and move and have their being, of it their life consists. They are that Will, perfectly manifested at the evolutionary level at which they stand. Hence they evolve but slowly, knowing no resistance, meeting with no obstacles to the expression of that Will of which they are the embodiments. Sadness, sorrow and pain are unknown to them; their world is a fair garden, a paradise, an Eden before the fruit of the tree of knowledge has been plucked.
Their lives are guided by a perfect Wisdom, because, similarly, they are its perfect expression. Every action they perform is perfect in its wisdom; their rectitude of life is absolute, not because they choose the right, but because, being incarnations of divine Wisdom, they can do no wrong. As wisdom is synonymous with bliss, their lives are blissful in the extreme. They live in a state of ecstasy which is perpetual and varies only in degree. Their opportunity of growth lies in that variation, for, having touched a peak of ecstasy and then descended to the vale below-still blissful, but not ecstatic-there arises within them an instinctive desire to repeat the experience. In that fact lies the secret of the life and development of the nature-spirit: he works, because work brings an increase of bliss; work, therefore, is his creed. He does not choose this creed, not does he choose to work, but the Bliss aspect of the Supreme is pressing through him ceaselessly towards a fuller and deeper expression in material worlds; that pressure behind him gives rise to the instinct to strive continually for the highest bliss. The Bliss aspect, knowing that work provides expression, and expression produces joy, inspires its fairy children to work. That work consists of the three processes of absorption, assimilation and expression. In absorption, whether of vitality or of matter, they find happiness; in assimilation they find joy; in expression, bliss.
The method by which those three processes are carried out is ordered by the divine Intelligence, which also is perfectly expressed in them. As the divine Intelligence works within the womb of time and space, preparing for the production of form, so does its manifestation in the nature spirits lead them instinctively to absorb matter, to allow it to gestate within them and so become specialised and afterwards to build it into form. Under the influence of Intelligence they become the builders of the universe. Through them the one Will, the one Wisdom and the one Intelligence find ultimate expression on every plane.
Their creed, therefore, is the law of their existence. Absolute obedience, perfect co-operation, supreme accuracy, tireless activity in never-ceasing labour, immortality, an ever-growing and ever-deepening sense of happiness-these are the characteristics of the nature-spirits. Evolution for them consists of an increase in their powers of expressing the three divine attributes and in individualising [ For an explanation of the technical meaning of this term, see A Study in Consciousness, by A. Besant. ] from the sub-conscious and instinctive to the self-conscious and intelligent. Eons of time must pass before that change can occur; with it there comes a change of creed, for the newly individualised angel must adjust himself to the belief of his degree.
The nature-spirit is immortal; he suffers no loss of consciousness with a change of form. He ranges, at will, between the two worlds of which his universe is composed. His self-consciousness does not extend beyond the astral plane; above that he is merged into the stream of consciousness with and from which he has descended into the material worlds; as he evolves he passes through the seven levels of the astral world, enters the mental and passes through it, to gain his first realisation of true individual existence at the causal level. Similarly, before he reached the astral plane, he rose through the dense physical into the etheric, where he lived as a member of the many ultra-microscopic races, whose function material science has yet to discover. It may be that when that discovery is made, the true nature of disease will be revealed.
Since he reached his present state by progress through and relative mastery of the etheric world, the nature-spirit possesses the power of returning to that region, of clothing himself in etheric matter at will, and of appearing in one of the many familiar nature-spirit forms.
The Logos, in designing His universe, has willed that the typical form of the self-conscious entity should be that upon which the form of angel and of man is modelled; it follows, therefore, that when consciousness plunges deep into matter and thereby takes a form, there is a natural tendency to reproduce the archetype existing in the mind of God. The present form of nature-spirit, as of angel and of man, is not fixed; it is the product of millions of years of growth and their future forms will approach the archetype far more closely than is possible to-day. The operation of the creative Will, which is immanent on every plane of Nature, may be perceived in the forms in which the spirits of the elements appear.
The astral level has a relationship to the fairy similar to that which the causal level has to man. When man has mastered the three lower worlds, as the fairy has mastered the etheric, he will be able to assume and cast aside a form in any one of them with the same ease as does the nature spirit in the realm of which he is master. The body of the nature-spirit on the astral plane resembles, at its level, the causal body [See works on the subtler bodies of man by A. E. Powell and A Study in Consciousness, by A. Besant ] of the man in miniature ; the results of his life in the two worlds are stored within it, and it contains for him all that he knows of self-consciousness. Within that tiny " causal " body, the archetypal nature-spirit form is faintly to be seen; when he descends to the etheric level he assumes a modification of its shape and the globular astral body surrounds him as an aura. His life consists entirely of the expression of his creed, as previously described. His growth is slow, but it is regular and certain, for he is so completely pervaded by the divine life that error is impossible.
The nature-spirit differs from his brethren of the kingdom of Pan - the satyr and the faun-in that the divine life expressed in them has first been specialised by the Spirit of the Earth of whose consciousness they are the perfect expressions; but they are not direct expressions of the divine consciousness in the same degree as are the nature-spirits. The Spirit of the Earth is an evolving being, and inevitably affects the life of which it is an embodiment by the qualities which it has developed and the limitations due to its position in the evolutionary scale. Pan bears a relationship to the Spirit of the Earth similar to that which the nature spirit bears to the angelic-Logos.
The Spirit of the Earth is a member of the angelic hierarchy, and the little which may be said concerning it can best be grasped, perhaps, by a study of the methods of those angels who ensoul landscapes and mountains. The function which they perform for their districts bears a resemblance to that which the Spirit of the Earth performs for the whole planet; it is that of an ensouling consciousness, whose presence makes homogeneous the heterogeneity of the myriad forms of life of a district or a globe. The evolution of every cell and every atom within their sphere of influence is quickened by their ensouling presence. They also serve as additional and direct links between their angelic superiors and the dense physical matter of the area under their charge. Though their work may appear as an eternal imprisonment and does indubitably affect them in some measure as such, the higher levels of their consciousness are free, and at those levels they are in continuous communication with the angel or archangel next above them in the hierarchical order. That overlord, in his turn, is linked to his superior, the whole forming a hierarchy reaching up to the Logos Himself. Through this hierarchy He has a means of communication with, and control of, the whole of His system which is far more direct than that which He exercises by the projection of His Will and Consciousness through matter, plane by plane, down to the physical. .
As there is a spirit of each planet in a system, so is there a being who unites within his consciousness all the physical planets, another who similarly unites all the astral and others the mental and super-mental planets in the system. On every plane of Nature there is a being who holds all the planets of that plane within his consciousness; to him they serve as a body and appear, not as separated in space, but as one homogeneous whole. Thus there is a spirit of the physical planets of our system who holds within his consciousness all the physical globes and the spirits who inhabit them. His chief concern, like that of every individual spirit, is the evolution of the matter and the life of which the plane consists. The branch of the angelic hierarchy to which he belongs serves the Logos on every plane through representatives at every level by impressing His characteristics-as far as they are able to express them-upon the matter of their plane; by their function in Nature, the progress of the evolution of matter in our system keeps pace with the unfolding of consciousness; thus matter can be moulded into forms which fitly express the results of that unfolding.
The newly individualised angel must adjust himself to the change from the instinctive to the self-conscious in all his work, whilst at the same time his co-operation and obedience must be as perfect as before. Such training as he receives is directed chiefly towards that end. He knows himself to be an individual, possessed of definite and distinct powers and capable of individual activity; yet his powers must never be expressed in a direction contrary to that of the divine Will. He must preserve all that is most valuable in the full and complete co-operation which he unconsciously gave as a nature-spirit and add to it the powers of his own individuality. That is his task as he enters into his new life; as he grows in stature, in knowledge and in power, so must he grow in obedience to that rule.
To the human mind, this might seem a self-abasement and a self-effacement, so complete as to be unworthy of an evolving God; the fundamental difference between the outlook of angel and of man is expressed in such a view. The human method of growth, up to the point where the Path [See In the Outer Court, by A. Besant; and The Masters and the Path, by C. W. Leadbeater. ] is entered, aims at the development of full realisation of a separate individuality, capable of self-initiated action in any direction, and of resistance to all attempts at external domination. When the Path is entered, that lesson must be unlearned and the angel mode of progress must be followed, for the truly spiritual man must be as incapable of action outside the direct operation of the divine Will as are the angels. All that he has won by many lives of strenuous endeavour, in self-defence and self-support, must be surrendered at the entrance to the Path; that is one meaning of his becoming " as a little child"; from this point of view, each member of the angelic hierarchy, from nature-spirit to solar lord, is "as a little child."
With extremely rare exceptions, an angel is incapable of treading the left-hand path; his whole method of evolution is the direct antithesis of all for which the Brothers of the Shadow stand. There is, however, a branch of the angel hierarchy, under the archangel Michael, which chose a variation of the angel method of evolution. The story of the war in heaven is a symbolic reference to that choice. The truth is deeply veiled, for an actual war was not involved, but rather a difference of service. A path mid-way between that trodden by humanity and the angels was chosen, which resulted in the development of the power aspect of consciousness to an enormous degree.
All streams of angel evolution find their highest expression in the supreme heavenly angel, the one central angelic being, who corresponds in human development to the heavenly man-and angelic Logos, if you will, but not separate from the "One without a second." Of that Being who may write and what may even the most enlightened say, save that in Him the whole angel hierarchy has its being, and that of Him every member is a part? He is the angelic Whole. Every solar system has its angelic and its human hierarchies, and these mighty Ones, Who are the summation of all the consciousnesses evolving in Their care, are Themselves part of a universal existence, glorious beyond the conception of angel or man, whilst his imagination still remains imprisoned within the "ring-pass not" of his own solar system.
The angel gradually acquires a knowledge of these conceptions which may be said to form his creed. He meditates upon them, seeking to discover their significance, and to fit himself perfectly into the system to which they and he belong. No external teaching is needed, for the knowledge arises gradually within his consciousness, as does the knowledge of the rising of the sun and its upward climb towards the mid heaven in one who, watching from a mountain side, witnesses its glorious ascent. Development for the angel consists almost entirely of growth initiated from within; this shows itself as an increase in the size and luminosity of the aura and of the central form and in a widening and deepening grasp of the fundamental processes behind all manifested life.
Until a certain stage is reached, he rejoices in a life of entire freedom, an existence which, compared to the human lot, is one of continuous ecstasy. The aerial spaces are open to him, and he revels in his growing power, in the companionship of his fellows, and in the beauties of Nature, of sea, land, or sky, according to the line of his development. These are the angels who may be seen disporting themselves high up in the air, building the clouds into strange shapes, wing-like streamers and sylph-like forms, flashing down the long valleys of earth, crossing the wide expanse of the heavens and peopling, in their countless thousands, the vast realms of aerial space.
During this period which immediately follows individualisation, a change occurs within the soul of the angel; a sense of responsibility begins to make an insistent demand for expression in action. The angel hears the call to work. The days of his irresponsible freedom and superabundant joy are drawing to a close, for that which is growing within him will brook no denial; under its irresistible influence he is drawn closer to the higher ranks of his hierarchy and gradually he changes from an angel who plays to an angel who works. Even in his play he served, for that, too, was an expression of the divine play, a manifestation of the divine happiness, freedom and joy.
The creed of the angels may be regarded as a natural expression of the Third Aspect of the Logos, their play and blissful happiness of the Second Aspect and their work of the First Aspect.
EARTH AND THE SPIRITS OF EARTHWhen the time comes, the angel adds the service of work to the service of play. He is then employed as an agent of his hierarchy in one of the four elements of earth, air, fire or water.[These terms are used throughout in the Aristotelian sense, rather than in that of modern science ] His task is a double one; he works ceaselessly to increase his own powers of expressing the divine within himself and, at the same time, he labours to quicken the evolution of that aspect of the divine Life and Consciousness which is in incarnation within the element to which he is attached. As he grows in stature he offers a fuller and deeper expression of the divine within himself; by the impact of his self-conscious and increasingly vivid existence upon the dreaming consciousness of his element, he quickens its evolutionary progress. To do this, he identifies himself as closely as possible with the life and consciousness within the element in question, so that he may share his own more developed life-force with it. He works by merging himself with the object of his toil and by unifying himself with the stream of consciousness which he seeks to quicken.
Those angels who have risen from the races of nature-spirits of the earth tend, though not invariably, to choose that element as their field of service. They descend voluntarily below the surface of the ground and allow their specialised life-force to permeate a given area. By practice they learn to blend themselves with the evolving consciousness, in order to quicken its evolution. As they grow in stature and capacity, the area which they can thus ensoul increases until, gradually, a whole landscape or a mountain can be included within the play of their life force.
As previously explained, the spirit of a planet serves the whole globe, as an earth angel serves field, hill, valley, mountain and landscape. In addition to the quickening effect upon the element of earth and the life within it, all the elemental life within the area affected is also stimulated and assisted in its evolutionary progress. This, in its turn, affects both animal and plant life, for the nature-spirit builders of form work with greater capacity as a result of the angel's presence. An angel ensouling a district in which human beings live, or through which they frequently pass, may also produce a distinct effect upon those men who can respond to him; when he finds that a person or a group is specially responsive, he concentrates his powers upon them, and employs lesser angels and nature-spirits to improve the condition of their bodies and auras and, if possible, to illumine their consciousness. Most men have a natural affinity with the element of earth and the spirits of that element, so that it frequently follows that large numbers of people benefit considerably, though unconsciously, from the ministrations of the angels of earth.
The period of time for which an angel remains connected with a district depends upon his growth and the results at which he aims. The younger angels require longer than the more advanced to produce noticeable results. An angel will remain in contact with an area of ground for at least fifty to a hundred years, working almost continuously to quicken the evolution of every form of life within that area, to develop his own capacities and to increase the boundaries of his district. When his own development has reached a certain point, he is generally recalled by a superior and passed on to other work.
The order of the earth angels regard their element not as soil or dead matter or as uncleanness, but as part of one of the many robes of the Creator. To them all physical matter is sacred, for they perceive the presence of the divine Life within every atom of which it is composed. They recognise the work of the divine Will, Wisdom and Intelligence in the varying degrees of evolution, perfection of form and power of expressing consciousness of the different modes of earth life and form. The desert sand, the mountain rock, the fertile soil of the plain, the flint, the metals and the precious jewels, each has a message and a meaning entirely different from that which they convey to the mind of man.
The earth angels regard them as different portions of one of the garments of God, portions of His life at different stages of growth, aspects of His beauty differently portrayed; in their crystalline formation they see examples of the geometry by which His universe is planned. Behind them all they recognise an order and a design, a definite system of evolutionary progress, which it is their work to forward and to serve. The whole of the earth branch of the angels devotes itself to that work; within that branch there are many sub-divisions, each with its appropriate activities.
In addition to the earth angels whose general work has been briefly outlined, there is an order of nature-spirits which is concerned with the evolution of the crystal form upon the planet. All processes of crystallisation operate under its influence and direction; its members are the embodiments of the law which governs the formation of crystals in all the different types of matter, each with the appropriate geometrical form. Of the seven types of jewels, for example, each has its own nature spirits and angels, which work exclusively upon its development and perfection. They may be regarded as the jewellers of the Logos, the specialists in precious stones, which they strive to bring to their highest perfection, that the physical garment of God may be ever more worthily adorned. They experience the same joy in their labour as does an artist in the creation of a work of art.
Every precious stone has a heart which is composed of a central atom with a group of atoms gathered round it. Through that central atom the special life-force and influence of the first Logos reaches the stone, which is thus magnetised by its descending power. This descent of power causes the atoms to arrange themselves in a flower-like formation in the centre of the jewel, the growth of which takes place, under the guidance of the nature-spirits, along the geometrical lines of force thus produced. The whole stone is seen by the nature-spirit as a living, pulsing, flower like jewel, for he sees it from within; unlike man, he pays little regard to the surface of the stone, hence the unpolished and lustreless condition of most jewels in their natural state.
This difference of treatment and appreciation of the precious stone by nature-spirit and man is an excellent example of their divergent viewpoints concerning Nature. Man sees the outside of a jewel and bends all his efforts to perfect it so that it may reflect, with increasing brilliancy, external sources of light; the nature-spirit sees the inflowing and permeating divine Life within the stone and seeks to provide for it a means of fuller and more perfect expression.
The nature-spirit workers in metals also regard their minerals as part of the adornment of the Logos and see His life as their ensouling principle. They labour to quicken the mineral consciousness and to perfect the mineral form. In every mode of earth-life, the nature-spirits and the angels of appropriate type toil to produce on earth an ever more perfect expression of the archetypal ideas in the divine mind.
The divine models-all of which are modifications of the platonic solids-exist within the consciousness of the Logos and are impressed upon the Akasha of every plane; these exert a continuous influence upon all forms, so that they tend to grow into the likeness of their Archetype.
Nature-spirits and angels perceive these reflections from the divine mind, not as would a workman, as designs to copy, but rather as tendencies inherent within every atom of matter in which they work. In some cases the nature-spirit himself becomes impressed with the archetype and assumes its shape, as may be seen in the flower-building fairies who frequently appear in modified flower-shapes themselves.
In the nature-spirits this process is instinctive and is largely due to their close self-identification with the divine Mind from which the model is projected. This power of self-identification with the divine Life reaches such a high degree that it almost becomes absorption. It is a reflection of that expansion of consciousness and power of identification which is achieved by man at super-mental levels. The fairy identifies herself so completely with the life in the plant on which she is working, that her form temporarily disappears and her consciousness is extended through every cell and atom of the plant. In this condition she actually experiences a reflection of the bliss of Nirvāna; and although it is the result of an instinctive and sub-conscious attainment of unity, it nevertheless definitely releases a measure of nirvanic life and this release gives an evolutionary impulse to the plant and, incidentally, to the fairy as well.
The same process in varying degrees operates throughout all the work of the nature-spirits in every kingdom of Nature. It is a fundamental process, well worth serious study and meditation, for an understanding of it will provide the key to many problems. The creative urge expresses itself in the animal and human kingdoms as a conscious desire for self identification with the opposite polarity; a definite release of power occurs when the identification is achieved, its volume being proportionate to the level of consciousness at which the identification is attained.
In man, a conscious release of buddhic and nirvanic power should result from the achievement of perfect unity from the physical up to the egoic levels. Such a result is attainable by those who deliberately focus their consciousness away from the physical into the spiritual and engage in meditation during the procreative act. The ideal of human union is to repeat with the closest possible fidelity the process of creation as performed by the Logos. Man creates micro cosmically and in the process becomes a God. It will be apparent from this, into what ignominy and shame they fall, who misuse the creative power for the gratification of lust. Man, in choosing the human path of development by incarnation at the dense physical level, wins the power to create physically and is given freedom of choice in the use to which he will put that gift. The human path becomes a path of woe because, until a certain stage is passed, he inevitably misuses it. To the angels no such choice has been given, and though they possess powers and capacities which man develops only after many lives, they run no risk of misusing them because they never lose the knowledge of their identity with their source.
The angels practise union and self-identification, not for the reproduction of species but m order to share their life and consciousness with other forms of life; they attain such a large measure of self-identification with the life and consciousness of the object of their labours, that buddhic and nirvanic power is released into both the life and the form at the level at which they are working.
FIRE AND THE SPIRITS OF FIREFire, too, is one of the garments of God, Who, to the spirits of fire, appears clothed in flame. They regard Him as the central fiery heart of all manifested life and the solar system as an expression of Him as fire. In order to understand fire as an element, the mind must be dissociated from the idea of physical flame. As to man on earth the sun appears expressed throughout the whole system in terms of power, light, heat and vitality, so to the salamander the sun is manifested on all planes as fire. The fire angels see the universe as a vast roaring sea of flame-a furnace in which all things burn. Every object on every plane is seen in terms of fire, as if it were aflame. Men, angels, trees, landscapes and globes are all centres of fire, permeated and surrounded by fiery energy. Salamanders are the embodiments of that all-pervasive element; in it they live and work as the servants of the Logos, Who, to them, is the central flame.
The septenary division of the universe, as of the cosmos, finds a reflection in the realms of fire; fire exists in seven states and there are seven degrees of salamanders or fire angels, each more glorious and more fiery than his brother of lower degree. Earthly fire is of the lowest degree, as are the astral salamanders of whom it is an expression. All fire, on every plane, is summed up in one great archangel who is the God of fire in our solar system and under whom, in their graded orders, the salamanders work.
The purpose of the universal fire is to regenerate and to transform; to ensure continuity of growth by means of change, and to insure that no part or parts of the universe should become static, resistant and inert. The element of fire is an expression of the divine Will which exerts a ceaseless forward pressure upon all life and manifests in all form as an inward urge towards a more perfect expression of the ensouling life. Fire has the special function of maintaining universal movement and its denizens possess that fiery quality which transforms and regenerates and, when necessary, destroys. On earth the salamander and his element of fire are most familiar in their aspect as "destroyers"-yet you employ them not only to consume, but also as producers of light, heat and power.
Between the earthly fire and the heart of the Logos, which is eternally aflame, there is an unbroken chain of fire by means of which He manifests the fire aspect of His nature throughout His system; that manifestation produces a form which somewhat resembles the familiar single sunflower which blooms in earthly gardens. The heart of the blossom is the sun, and each petal is a mighty tongue of flame, playing from the sun out to the farthest confines of the system. From whatever direction this fire flower is seen, the same aspect of widely opened petals appears, for the solar sunflower extends into every dimension of the system and therefore presents a full-face from every point of view. Yet not the gentle beauty of an earthly flower, but a roaring sea of fire is presented to the gaze of him who is able to see the fire aspect of the Logos. Each petal of the fiery flower is a living tongue of flame through which with a mighty roar power is rushing in a steady and continuous stream.
Amidst this colossal display the fire angels dwell, wielding its resistless energy and directing the play of the fiery solar forces according to the will of that supreme Fire which is their source of life. They are the lords of fire, the archangels of flame, the spiritual regenerators of the system; living embodiments of fire-power, they are inspired by the fiery Will of the atmic Logos, Who is the one Supreme Ruler, of Whom this mighty solar fire-flower and the great lords of fire are a direct expression.
In colour golden-yellow and flame-like, they resemble gigantic men built of flame; in the hand of each a spear and on the head a golden crown of living fire. Flames shoot forth from them on every side; every change of consciousness sends forth a tongue of flame; every gesture flings a flood of fire. They form an august body of solar fire-angels who, each at his station where the petal-shaped tongues of flame rush forth, encircle the sun. Through them passes power, to be transformed in passing, lest its naked energy should destroy the system which, by their mediation, it regenerates and transforms. They shield the solar system lest the fiery power should blind the eyes of those to whom it is a source of light, burn those to whom it is a source of heat and shatter those to whom it is a source of power.
Such are the mighty Ones Who stand before the fiery throne of the fiery Father of angels and of men. Below them, rank on rank, grade on grade, is ranged the mighty order of the spirits of the fire. On every plane of Nature they serve their Fire-King and own allegiance to their fire-lords. Their fiery nature gives them an appearance of uncontrolled ferocity, of fiery and destructive power. In each of them, at every level, a measure of the fiery logoic power is stored. Their growth is marked by an increase in that power, an added stature and a more perfect expression of the fire of the logoic Will.
The greatest earthly fire is but a dim and faint reflection of the true fire of the sun; the brightest earthly blaze seems but a shadow beside its radiant light. The fire aspect of the system, as of the universe, resembles lightning formed into a sunflower, whose every petal is a permanent lightning flash and whose heart is the womb in which lightning is born. All manifested life, on every plane, is surrounded and permeated by fire; there is no inter-planetary space; the separation of the globes is but illusion; the sun is not the isolated centre of a ring of planets; there is but one homogeneous whole, fire-filled.
Every atom in the system and all the space between the atoms is filled with fire and all is aflame with fiery power. Centre and circumference are one. Though mighty solar flowers, whose petals touch the orbits of the furthest globes, present themselves full-faced from every point of view, there is but one flower and one fire, as there is but one solar Logos. The solar flower is His body, the planets are His organs, the sun His fiery heart. The solar fire-angels are His limbs and His mighty head and feet form the organs of One mightier than He, the universal Lord of universal Fire.
In olden days the solar Lords of fire sent a messenger to the earth to found the religion of fire and deliver the message of fire to men. His name was Zarathustra; he was one of the flowers of earth's humanity, one of its first-fruits, who, having won his way into the realm of fire and learnt to dwell therein, had gained the knowledge and the power to stand unharmed before the solar lords, to learn from them the message he should bring and to receive the gift of mastery of fire. He appeared amongst his people amid tongues of flame and surrounded by the spirits of fire. He told of fire the regenerator and transformer and taught his people to transform their lives by the fire of their own will united with the divine Will. He taught that every evil in their lives and in their land must be consumed by fire, that thus they might prepare a temple for the regenerating power of the spiritual sun. Knowing the word of power, he called down fire from on high; from that fire the temple lamps and fires on the hearth were lit throughout the land.
His mission marked an epoch in the evolutionary life of the planet, for he brought the element of fire into closer contact with the element of earth. Until your chemists have discovered the significance of fire as an element and have learnt to trace it in the atom and through all the kingdoms of Nature, the meaning of this statement cannot be fully grasped. After Zarathustra's time a change took place in all the earthly elements, for he brought an added measure of the solar fire into the heart of that physical atom from which all the chemical elements are formed. He established the kingdom of fire upon earth and since his day all matter has become more malleable and more responsive to thought and will.
Whenever fire burns upon your hearth, it forms a vehicle for the solar fire; therefore should fire be everywhere regarded as sacred. The lighting of a fire invokes a salamander; the fire of the hearth has its appropriate nature-spirit, the forest fires have theirs; a great conflagration attracts them in large numbers and they come to revel and rejoice in the manifestation of their element on earth. As they are but the embodiments of the solar fire, they may be regarded as ensouling physical fire, to which they bear a relation similar to that borne by the fire aspect of the solar Logos to themselves.
Volcanoes are centres in which the solar fire is concentrated and where salamanders gather in their various degrees; for wherever their element is active, there the fire-spirits are present. Far below the surface of the earth there burns an unquenchable fire, a veritable portion of the solar fire by which it is still fed, and with which it is in unbroken and direct connection. There dwell mighty members of the salamander's race; there labour many orders of nature-spirits and of angels, for the interior source of life and power to the planet exists at the centre of the earth. There its vital energies are renewed, jaded matter is re-charged and interstellar atoms are impressed with the special vibratory rate of the planet in order that they may pass into the circulating stream of the planet's atomic life. The fiery life-force of the Logos arises at the centre of the earth. No earthly channels are required for its passage; it arrives direct through the operation of the higher dimensional mechanism by which the system is ordered. Here are stored and renewed the magnetic energies of the planet, each under the charge of its appropriate nature-spirit and angel; each type of force is a physical reflection of an aspect of the central divine energy and is intimately associated with the region of solar fire.
The fiery sun-not its physical veil-is the power-house from which the life-giving energies of the Logos are projected throughout the system. The fire angels are the agents of that power, the engineers in charge of the mechanism by which it regenerates and transforms all life within its sphere of influence. The most prominent characteristic of the power of fire is change; thus, physical fire consumes by the law of its being, which is to produce a change of form, that new orders of power may be released.
This invisible element of fire is at work behind the whole system, as are its agents. In every rock, in every stone, jewel, plant, animal and man, it ceaselessly exerts an influence in the direction of change; because of its presence nothing in Nature can ever stand still; it ensures the growth of the system. Its power is wielded, not only by the nature-spirits who labour instinctively in the cause of change, but by the great fire angels who consciously produce all changes throughout the system, so that the new birth which results may grow ever nearer and nearer to the likeness of its archetype in the mind of God. Thus, fire is "the power that maketh all things new" and change the universal watchword, the fundamental law throughout the whole realm of fire, the word by which its energies are freed and its denizens evoked.
When the spark leaps from the flint, divinity is revealed; when the fire is lighted on the hearth, the sacred Presence is invoked; where that divinity is revealed and that Presence is invoked, man and angel should both pay homage to That to which they owe their life. The days of fire worship must return; within men's hearts and minds the sacred fire of the divine life must burn more brightly as each man knows himself to be the earthly counterpart of the central fiery Man who reigns omnipotent, whose throne is set both in his heart and in the fiery heart of the universe. Fire is the parent of Spring, the promise of renewal in all worlds; fire dwells in the heart of man, fire warms his blood; in his invisible self he is a man of fire.
HYMN TO FIRE
Hail fire ! Hail fiery Solar Lords!
Hail Spirits of the Fire!
In all your countless numbers,
In all your manifold degrees,
We greet you, Brethren of the Fire!
Oh holy Fire! Oh wondrous Flame!
Transformer of the universe, regenerator of all worlds,
Life-giver to all form.
The glory of Thy fiery power fills heaven and earth,
And all the wide dominions that lie between the stars.
Thou art the spark within the stone, the life within the tree,
Thou art the fire on the hearth, the splendour of the Sun.
Thine is the hand which paints the roseate morn,
Thine the fiery beauty of the sunset sky;
Thine the warm breath of flower-scented summer breeze,
Thine the power that maketh all things new.
Fire to Fire, we offer our souls to Thee,
Draw us closer to Thy fiery heart,
That we may lose ourselves in Thee.
Oh Fire Divine! Burn fiercely in our lives,
That darkness, lust and hate may be dispelled
And human souls shine forth in purity,
With all the dazzling glory of the Sun.
Cleanse us, oh lordly Fire; rejuvenate our hearts and minds;
Burn up the dross, recharge the will
And send us forth to labour in Thy name,
Thy chosen men of Fire.
WATER AND THE SPIRITS OF WATERThe principle of water exists on every plane of Nature as a universal solvent. It is the fluidic and receptive aspect of the divine life; it is the womb of Nature, the universal matrix from which all things are born; for this reason it has ever been referred to as the universal mother. Water, like fire, exists throughout the whole of manifestation, from the lowest physical, to the highest spiritual levels; the water of the earth is the densest expression of the universal fluid.
As the keynote of fire is change, so that of water is flow. As on earth all energy must complete a circuit before it can manifest itself as power, so all energy throughout the solar system must flow outwards from the source to the plane of manifestation and afterwards return. The existence of the element of water ensures freedom of movement for the power of the Logos throughout His worlds; it balances the power of fire, for without it the system would be consumed; it is the great lubricator of the mechanism of the system; without it that mechanism would be destroyed.
Water provides the nervous system of the universe; it is indeed the means whereby power is conveyed from the central power station and distributed throughout all the planes of Nature to the densest. It is the great conducting element on every plane, serving as receiver and conveyor, thus fulfilling the law of its nature, which is the law of flow.
As fire is all pervasive, so also is water; without its presence in the atom of every plane, matter could not exist; nor could the atom fulfil its function as receiver and conveyor of power. The atom is to the system what the river is to the earth; power is generated at the source, is received by the first atom on the first plane, it travels outwards, from one plane to the next, until it reaches the lowest plane. As rivers are streams of water power, obeying the law of flow, so are the chains of atoms, of which the system consists, streams of flowing energy.
Water is the universal mother which receives the universal power, stores, conveys and delivers it. As the process of creation is continuous, so is this mighty procreation continually occurring; the divine Mother is for ever giving birth and, through Her, the life of the system is eternally renewed. The element of water is the eternal mother, the heavenly woman, the Virgin Mary, ever producing, yet ever immaculate, the Universal Isis, the goddess queen of the solar system, the spouse of the solar deity. Her life is outpoured freely for the sustenance and nutrition of the system. She is the eternal and unsolvable mystery, for, remaining virginal and immaculate, yet is She ever pregnant and ever giving birth. The solar system is Her child which She nourishes upon Her bosom.
Men, throughout all the ages, have worshipped Her as the Mother of God. The whole race of water-spirits, from the undine to the mighty water queens which guard the reservoirs of the solar system, are Her representatives and the embodiments of Her life. She is represented on every plane by an advanced member of that race, who assumes the office of head of the water angels of that plane; each is a representative, at her level, of the Supreme Queen, the Eternal Mother, the Star of the Sea. They form a living chain of conscious life through which Her power and Her attributes may be made manifest throughout the system.
The office of the water angels and undines is to provide a means of communication from the heart to the boundaries of the system; their consciousness provides a more direct channel for the conveyance of power than is supplied by chains of atoms. Growth for them, as for all the races of angels, shows as an increase in stature and in power to express and fulfil the function of their element. As conscious denizens of the water aspect of the system, their presence provides a means for the intelligent application of its laws. They exercise a selective and directive influence within the world of water, applying a lubricating power where most needed and maintaining lines of communication which are frequently subjected to enormous strain. Their presence converts a blind force into an intelligent one. As they progress, they develop greater intelligence in such work, wider powers of comprehension and occupy more exalted offices in their hierarchical order.
Wherever water exists, either visibly or invisibly, they are present. The existence of separate bodies of water in rivers, lakes and seas and of the different states of water from the liquid to the gaseous, as ocean and cloud, produces the illusion that where no water is visible it does not exist; but as water forms one of the constituents of every atom it is all-pervasive and the spirits of water, therefore, are also everywhere present. On every plane and in every degree of density, water is an expression of the one all-pervasive element which is the vehicle of the feminine aspect of the Logos, the mother of all worlds, of all angels and of all men. Water, therefore, is sacred. When drinking it, Her life is received; when it irrigates the fields, it is a token of Her beneficence; when men bathe in water, it is She Who makes them clean; when they ride upon the ocean, it is She Who bears them on Her bosom. At sunrise the glory of the rosy clouds is Hers; the beauty of the sunset sky is a reflection of Her immortal loveliness. The blood within men's veins is Hers; the sap within the trees and plants, Her life; the dew which bejewels the meadow and the lawn, which cools and refreshes the parched soil, is an example of the boundless generosity and selfless sacrifice with which She supports and nourishes the world. The rainbow is Her message to angels and to men that their Mother broods over them with ever watchful and maternal care and reveals to them Her glorious sevenfold beauty which encircles all the world.
The heavenly mother presides at every human birth. She is the High Priestess in Whose service every human mother makes her sacrifice that She, the Mother of the world, may be revealed in all Her splendour, all Her beauty, at the sacrament of birth. She is the heavenly woman of whom every woman is a part. She, Whose throne is placed beside the altar of the Most High, is also throned in every woman's heart. At motherhood that sacred bond becomes a living line of light, as She descends from Her throne to stand beside the bed of birth. She knows the pain; she feels the agony; every cry pierces her heart and draws forth Her healing and protecting power upon the human mother in whom She sees Herself in miniature.
At Her commands the angels of birth guard mother and child, assisting at the building of the vehicles in which the descending soul shall be incarnate. Within Her heart She holds a replica of every woman linked to its earthly counterpart, that at all times She may guard and bless Her representatives in the world below. The charm of pure and perfect womanhood reflects the fragrance of Her presence; through their beauty Her splendour shines. The rising of the hidden springs of motherhood comes from the stirring of Her presence deep within the heart of woman and is the manifestation of the power and the yearning of the eternal Mother. The surge of the creative fire in man is the rising in him of the power of the eternal Father, urging him to create. Thus, in man and woman are revealed the fatherhood and motherhood of God. Divine in their origin, divine should they also be in their microcosmic enaction of the macrocosmic drama of creation. When that deeply sacred function is degraded, the highest and most sacred attributes of man and God are sullied and besmirched; from such unholy deeds the angels of the court of Isis shade their faces and turn away in shame, and even She, the Goddess Mother of the world, feels the shudder of shame which passes through Her kingdom and temporarily disturbs the perfect harmony which pervades the operation of Her laws.
When She reigned in ancient Egypt, men knew the sacred nature of parenthood and birth. Soon the time shall come when once again Her kingdom and Her rule shall be set up on earth, when marriage shall be a sacrament, a symbol of divine creation, and woman shall be reverenced for the sacrifice which she makes as a priestess in the temple of the Goddess Mother of the world. Then a fairer day shall dawn and a fairer race be born and Isis shall draw nearer yet to men, that their lives may be blessed and hallowed by Her sacred presence in their midst and the sanctity of womanhood shall be exalted on high.
Surrounded by angels shall She come. The hosts of water-spirits shall welcome Her, and the hierarchy of water-angels shall attend Her as their Queen. The whole earth shall become more fruitful and all things bring forth their kind with joy, as She comes to fruition in them. The power of God shall flow more freely through His system and men shall learn to see Him in every form of life-to see in earth the stability of the Supreme, in fire the mighty power of the Lord of Flame, and in water the presence of Isis, the eternal Mother.
AIR AND THE SPIRITS OF AIRThe function of the element of air in the economy of the system is twofold: it permits freedom of movement to more solid bodies this attribute of freedom being the predominating characteristic both of the element and of its angelic inhabitants-and it offers resistance to pressure. By its service in this dual capacity, the order, harmony and balance of the forces of the system are maintained. Air is the great adjustor and compensator which, yielding to the colossal pressures which occur in the solar system, permits the escape of the energy in other directions. The continual stresses which it undergoes charge it with enormous magnetic and electric forces; the whole element of air is continually subjected to compression, so that it is always highly charged with power.
A knowledge of aerial dynamics will enable the scientist of the future to tap the stored-up energies of the air and utilise them for the improvement of the conditions of human existence. The changes of climate of the globes of the system are partly produced by the alternate compression and release to which the air is subjected. Air provides the compensating mechanism of the universe; and the discovery of the laws by which the element performs its function will enable man to obtain a large measure of control over climate.
As do the other elements, air exists upon all planes, obeys similar laws, and fulfils similar functions on each plane. The aerial stresses of a given plane are the result of pressure from the plane above, so that the physical air is the ultimate recipient of, and cushion for, the energies released from the astral plane. This process may be traced inwards, plane by plane, until the central source of energy is reached. Air, on every plane, reduces the pressure from the plane above and the sevenfold density of the element provides seven mighty cushions, or sets of springs, which may be thought of as encircling, at different levels of density, the primary energy of the system. Yet air must not be conceived of as arranged in a series of concentric spheres surrounding the Logos. Though diagrammatically such a view might be permissible, it must be remembered that the element of air is universally present throughout the system. The air of each plane interpenetrates that of the one below, until the physical plane is reached. Physical air represents the ultimate cushion and, in one of its functions, resembles the buffers of a railway terminus, beyond which the dynamic energy of the Logos in its journey from the spiritual to the material cannot proceed, and from which-unlike the train-it rebounds.
As the ether of every plane is the vehicle on that plane for the vitality of the system, so the air of every plane is the vehicle of the dynamic energy of the system. As the physical body of man provides a fulcrum for the forces of the ego and an anchor by means of which he maintains his hold upon his lower vehicles while in incarnation, so the physical air serves as a fulcrum for the power of the system by means of which the Logos is enabled to maintain it at its full magnetic charge. This charge varies as evolution proceeds and the logoic day of manifestation advances, increasing age by age as the evolving system, becoming more attuned to the divine life and power, is able to receive and contain a greater measure of the divine energy. Similarly, as the evolution of man proceeds, his personality is able to receive and express a greater measure of egoic power, whilst the ego, in its turn, receives and expresses a greater measure of the monadic energy. At the end of the manvantaric period, which corresponds to adeptship in man, the whole system is completely saturated with the full measure of the logoic life and power.
As was found in the case of fire and of water, agents are required for the control and direction of the forces of the element of air. These agents form a branch of the angelic hierarchy, which contains members of all grades of evolution, from the fairies and non-individualised sylphs up to the mighty aerial lords who are the chief engineers of the system, and the rulers of the element of air. Their function on every plane and on every level, corresponds closely to that of their element; they are sub-conscious and self-conscious embodiments of the energy aspect of the Logos. This gives them their boundless vitality and fills them with the necessary power for the lightning-like swiftness of their travel through the air. It gives also the dynamic vividness which characterises them in all their activities, and the sense of highly compressed power which they convey to the observer. Their work is to hasten the coming of the time when the energy of the Logos may play more and more freely, to prepare the matter of the planes for the reception of that energy, to adjust the balance of the forces throughout the whole system and constantly to exert a pressure which shall raise the tone of all the matter of which it is composed. Development for all the members of their race consists in increase of stature, ability to receive and resist the further descent of power from the plane above, capacity to withstand higher and higher degrees of compression and in an increase of the measure of the divine life and power, which they are able to embody and express.
The sylphs are the agents of the dynamic energy aspect of the Logos expressed as the electrical and magnetic forces of the system, in contradistinction to His fiery, regenerating and transforming aspect. Those who have not yet individualised, express the freedom function of their element, more than the compression. Life, for them, consists of the continual reception and discharge of power at the astral and etheric levels respectively. Until they reach self-consciousness, they cannot support a high degree of compression, so that the power flows relatively freely through them and therefore is expressed almost as soon as it is received. As their evolution proceeds, a pause between reception and discharge occurs; during that pause the process of compression occurs; the duration of the pause increases with their growth, and when it has reached a certain length, as a result of centuries of sub-conscious and instinctive service to the power, individualisation is achieved. Their existence consists almost entirely of this triple process which has its counterpart in every form of life and in every kingdom of Nature.
Their consciousness is in a condition of unbroken happiness which rises to a peak of ecstasy at the moment of the discharge of the power; the height of the peak is proportionate to the quantity and degree of compression of the power released; this variation of happiness provides the evolutionary urge for them. Desiring to increase the measure and duration of the ecstasy, they strive continually to be more receptive to the power and to develop a greater capacity for resistance to its flow. in order that the increased measure of compression which results may produce a greater sense of bliss. As will be seen from this description of their work, they are continually impressing their element with powerful dynamic energies and imparting to it a gradually increasing charge of power. In this way, whether instinctively or consciously, they take their place and play their part in the economy of Nature.
The power of the mighty archangels of air is well-nigh resistless, for as they approach nearer and nearer to the central power-house of the system, they become the embodiments of greater dynamic energies. The passage of this power through them, in all their orders, produces sound, for it is the angels and archangels of air who are the most direct expressions of the power of the voice of God. In all their graded ranks they form a vast celestial choir, or a mighty organ with countless millions of pipes, each of a different size according to the degree of development of the angel who thus serves the divine Organist, Who plays continually upon the triple keyboard of His system. Throughout all His realms their voices may be heard, from the shrill treble of the younger sylphs, to the deep resounding bass of the mighty aerial power lords, whose voices cause the system to tremble as they sing. Such are the angels of sound, by whom the music of the divine Musician is made manifest through all His wide dominions, through whom His power plays and through whom He energises every atom of His system.
As air is the essential factor in the production and conveyance of physical sound, so the lords of the air and their over-lords are essential to the production and transmission of the harmonies of God. By their agency, every atom sings as it spins, every jewel has its song, every flower and tree breathes forth the sweet music of its kind; with them, man and angel swell the wondrous chorus of praise and joy which rises up continually from all things He has made.
His creative Word is the origin of all sound on every plane, the source of all music, of all harmony and of all discord. Nature's treble songs, the fluting pipes of whistling winds, the thunderous bass of ocean's reverberating roar, the rolling beat of thunder as She plays upon the clouds which are her aerial drums, all these produce one mighty song, one glorious symphony, which is the music of the planet as it revolves about its parent light.
The great Musician hears that music as the echo of His voice throughout His system; other voices, too, He hears, as other systems sing their songs, and other universes send forth their notes in the universal music which resounds along the vast infinitude of space. A wondrous world of sound and song is gradually revealed to him whose ears have been attuned. All manifested life is realised in terms of sound. Differences of form and diversities of species are but the varying notes which, octave upon octave, scale upon scale, make up the mighty chords which thunder round about Him as He sings His way through time and space. Celestial harmonies, heavenly symphonies, He, the divine Master-Musician, eternally composes. As He sings, the system is filled with the sound of His voice, is permeated and pervaded by His song. The solar system is revealed in terms of sound.
THE DIVINE MUSICIAN
His is the sighing of the trees, the roaring of the wind,
His the voice of every bird, the nightingale's sweet song,
His the bleating of the lamb, the lowing of the calf.
His the soft murmuring of every rippling stream,
His the mighty roaring of the cataract,
The awesome thunder of the earthquake,
The volcano's fearful sound.
His the songs of angels and of men,
The music of His planets as they spin.
His the many voices of His many worlds,
His the seeming discords which mark the stages of His system's growth
For in Him, harmony and discord melt away.
He knows them both as one.
THE ONE LIFEOne Life pervades the mighty fields of space and inspires the tillers of those fields. One Life alone brings forth the products of the tilling and is itself enriched by the harvesting of the seeds and fruits from the mighty furrows which are ploughed according to the rhythm of the Great Breath.
The seeds are sown deep into the fields of space. Every field is full and shall produce in fullest measure, for the One Life never fails. When cosmic seeds appear as plants within the outer fields of time and space, men call them suns, globes and moons, which have their lesser fields and seeds and plants of angel, jewel, tree, of animal and man. One Life is equally present in them all and none is either small or great in the measure of that Life. Every form is full to overflowing with Its richness and Its power.
The angels are the tillers of the fields of space. They plant the seeds therein, tend them and bring them to maturity; they also are the harvesters who gather in the fruit of all the labours of the One Life. Inspired by the One Will, they range through interstellar space, from solar heights to earthly depths, for the One Life, of which they are the embodiments, knows no barriers of time and space. Illumined by the vision of the One Life, they see as one the sun, his planets and his children who dwell thereon. They know that all are ensouled by the same essence and enfolded within the one embracing Love.
Will, Life, Love, these three are one, the triune expression in time and space of That which is eternal and dwells unchanged behind the veil of manifested life. The mystery behind that veil shall one day be revealed, when at last the One Life withdraws into Itself the products of Its labours in the fields of space. Angel and man shall then pass through that veil and see That which is behind it, face to face.
The purpose of the pilgrimage of angels and of men is so to win the will, unfold the love and merge into the life, that by them the curtain may be drawn aside. This is the object of the planting of the seeds. This the meaning of the sorrows and the woes, the loves and hates, the partings and reunions, the many births and deaths of earthly life and of the long meditations of the higher self upon the inscrutable mysteries of life.
The purpose of the everlasting radiation of will and love and life is that the homeward path be trod, the curtain drawn aside, the germ become the whole, the child return unto the Parent's arms and the spark be lost in the eternal Flame.
What then betides-who knows, save those who, having trod that path, have passed beyond the veil of time and space and entered into eternity?
Throughout the ages of his long pilgrimage the One Life whispers to the heart of man. In all his exaltations the One Life lifts him up and through his sorrows soothes his grief. Behind the seeming torture and the stress of earthly life, the peace and never-failing harmony of the One Life prevail. Ever listening, the One Life hears every cry of pain and joy. Eternally watching, the One Life sees every tear that falls from every eye, sees every smile of Nature, of all sentient life. The One Life knows all, feels all and sustains all.
None, however low, however high, is unsupported by eternal and unfailing love. No harm can overcome the worlds or dwellers in the worlds, for the One Life guards that which It inspires, those in whom It lives. Ever present, all powerful, all loving, for ever pouring forth, It is an eternal and unfailing refuge amidst the temporal, ephemeral shadows of the worlds of time and space.
Listen, therefore, to the voice which ever whispers. Look deep into the eyes which ever watch. Sink into the arms which eternally sustain. Surrender unto that love which never fails. Then, though the shadows disappear and the forms are broken, though tears and cries of agony arise on every side, in the One Life peace and eternal happiness shall ever prevail. However sorrowful the partings, however keen the sense of loss, the One Life is ever near.
The laws of the One Life are immutable and must be obeyed. Our Lord the Sun,[Acknowledgments for this splendid title must be made to G. S. Arundale, who uses it in his book Nirvana. ] Himself, obeys them. He sheds forth His inexhaustible beneficence upon His globes, upon His children who dwell thereon and upon the myriads of the angel hosts, which labour in the fields of space according to those laws. His effulgent beams of light, His outgoing and returning power and His boundless vitality flow forth throughout His wide dominions according to those laws.
The law of laws, the fundamental basic law behind all systems, behind all universes, behind the very cosmos, is the law of forthgoing and return. The One Life Itself obeys that law. From Its first outpouring into a newborn universe, down to Its manifestation in the tiniest infusoria on a single globe, It breathes forth and withdraws; It ebbs and flows and pulses through all manifested life.
All rhythms in all worlds spring from that primal rhythm. Universes, systems, planets, angels, men and all the kingdoms of the earth differ according to their modulations of the rhythm of that basic ebb and flow. Through all the modulations, through all the rhythms in the many forms of life, the one rhythm ever rules.
Behind all manifestation is the ordered movement of the One Life. The cosmic rhythm, the universal rhythm and the rhythm of a solar system, each constitutes a portion of the vast hierarchy of rhythm in which each ascending order is more perfectly attuned to the major heartbeat of the One Life.
Every solar system at its birth manifests a new modification of the basic rhythm. To its ruler is given the keynote to which His system must finally be attuned. At first it answers but feebly to that note. As He releases the mighty forces of His own being, His system gradually answers to His will. At first the new note is but faintly heard; as the morning of His system's becoming reaches the noonday, every atom of which His system is composed begins to sound it forth. Finally, at eventide when all His work is done, all life, from sun to furthest planet, from archangel to smallest creeping thing, has answered fully to His voice. His mighty body is in tune.
When at last the One Life flows freely through all the forms which He has made and finds full expression in all His wide domain, His work is done. The great breath which He breathed forth returns; as once more He breathes in, His system disappears. That great aeonian breath is governed by the rhythm of the greater breath which is behind.
The One Life holds together the systems of the universe, the universes of a cosmos. It is the link between all forms, the all-pervasive, all-embracing principle binding sun to sun, however far apart their radiant forms may be. It may at any time be known by all, its rhythm felt and heard, for it presses close about us, without and within.
Close your ears to the sound of the many and you will hear the voice of the One. Blind your eyes to all external lights and you will see the One Light. In the silence and the darkness into which you will then retire, that Voice and Light will be found. Sweet beyond all telling is the music of the One Life. Glorious beyond all expression is Its beauty. The Light is ever shining, the Voice sings from age to age. Unbroken gladness shall fill your heart, joy shall shine in your eyes when once you have seen the Light; nor shall the stress and turmoil of your daily life ever more have power to make you blind and deaf, for you shall have seen and heard. Beauty and harmony shall come to dwell within your soul and shall be yours for evermore.
Learn the art of silence and the mystery of sound shall be revealed to you. Close your eyes to all earthly light and the beauty of the Light eternal shall be yours. Faintly, as from afar, divine harmonies shall be heard. Distant strains of angel choirs singing in celestial realms shall then entrance your inner ear. Through the utter darkness into which your soul is plunged, a light shall shine and knowledge of the beauty of the One Life shall be yours.
When once you have seen and heard you must attune your life to the vision which is yours. Day by day and hour by hour, the One Life must rule your every thought and action. Beauty and harmony must be expressed in every action of your life, till your many rhythms disappear and the rhythm of the One Life alone remains.
Thus live the angels, always perfectly attuned, for they have never lost the vision of that beauty, nor ceased to hear and answer to that guiding Voice. Thus, too, shall all men live when they have learned to resolve into perfect harmony the discord of their earthly lives. War and hate spring from separateness, from blindness to the One Light, from deafness to the One Voice. All these proceed from ignorance of the One Life.
The healing of all human sorrow, the birth of happiness demand a recognition of the One Life. Those who answer to the Voice and shine with the Light shall enter into that happiness; they shall be at peace, though the nations may war and men may hate. There are no barriers in heaven or earth through which the One Life cannot pass, through which It cannot guide Its children home.
Come, then, into that kingdom. Leave behind you war and hate for ever. Enter, and for you, sorrow and parting shall be no more. The children of the One Life are never parted and Its all-embracing love enfolds them all.
THE SUNLIT PATH TO GODLet those who seek the happier way forsake the haunts of men. Amid the beauties of Nature let them make obeisance to the One Life, honouring and worshipping It in every form. In the Sun's bright rays let them recognise the boundless beneficence with which that Life is continually outpoured. In the Sun Himself they may see a symbol of that Life. As the living, radiant body of the Ruler of our system He may worthily be worshipped and reverently praised for the continual sacrifice which He makes that His system may live.
The One Life fills all space, all matter and all form, but so boundless is the love in which all beings are embraced that even this splendid prodigality does not content the Giver of that Life. Therefore, as our Lord the Sun, He assumes His station in the midst, and from the birth unto the death of all that He creates bestows the glorious gift of solar life. He relinquishes His hold upon the One Life manifest in Him, and freely pours it forth as His own life blood, that His system may be filled to overflowing. Thus it is that systems grow more swiftly and provide more perfect vessels for the wine of the One Life.
Suns of systems, of universes, and even cosmic suns, thus give forth their life that living things may know no lack. The helplessness of infancy is guarded and supported, whether it be of universe, system, planet, animal or man. Infancy, childhood, youth, these receive, in every kingdom of every world, their special measure of the One Life. In his youth man receives; in his maturity he must give. Each man must serve in his own world as does the Sun in His, for indeed he is a Sun in miniature. The Sun's life supported him even in his mother's womb. His childhood and his youth were spent beneath the Sun's bright rays.
Without and within he is pervaded by the life of the Sun. In gratitude for this beneficence let him, too, become a Sun. Let every man begin to shine with the brightness of noon-day. Let life and love shine forth from every heart in reverent thanksgiving, for the life which has been received.
As man thus gives, our Lord the Sun shall come to dwell in him. His body shall become the Sun's abode. Then shall he shine and then, indeed, his power and love shall flow forth illumined by our Lord the Sun.
Throw open to Him your lives, your bodies and your hearts. Offer Him your gifts of love and gratitude in answer to His great love and make your souls fit dwelling places for His radiant splendour, your bodies pure and holy temples in which He may abide.
Fear not that He will withhold His love and life; fear not that your prayers shall be unanswered. For countless millennia He has poured forth His life; since time was not, He has brooded with an all-embracing love upon His children in the worlds which He has made. From the beginning He has longed to draw them closer to His heart, to achieve a perfect union with them. Still He pours forth, still He waits for the offering of love, which shall open wide the door that He may enter in. Angels and men must count as nought their little lives ere His great life can shine through them. They must be free from all the fetters of the little self, if the great Self is to be known. Humbly, therefore, and with an open heart and mind let us invoke the presence of our Lord the Sun.
Great companies of angels gather on the mountains of the inner worlds and worship Him. Celestial choirs sing His praises from age to age. Every angel in every world knows Him as the source of every form of life, of every power and of a boundless love whose limits are unknown. Men, too, have worshipped Him in ancient days. Fair cities have been built and dedicated in His name. Races of godlike beauty have appeared in them and known themselves to be the children of our Lord the Sun. The mighty cosmic wheel of cyclic law eternally revolves. Its hub rests on the Absolute; its rim embraces all the universes that ever have been or ever will be made. Each spoke is a mighty funnel, down which the triune powers of the Absolute flow outwards into cosmos after cosmos, creating, sustaining and transforming all. Slowly that awful wheel revolves and the law of cyclic growth is impressed upon the unknown and unknowable totality of created forms. Cosmic cycles answer to its rule. Universes are modelled upon its law. Systems are governed by its aeonic revolutions. Planets appear and disappear according to the measure of its law. Races are born, come to maturity and pass away in accordance with the revolutions of the wheel. The birth and death of man, of animal, of plant and gem are governed by the operation of this cyclic law. They are the lesser rhythms in a great majestic rhythm, which rules all worlds; wavelets in the great wave which rolls eternally through all creation; notes in the chords of which cosmic harmonies are composed. All are the products of the music of the wheel.
That music forms the glorious background of all created life. Its tones are heard in every living thing, in every world. It is the fundamental unity behind diversity. The music of the wheel with its infinity of rhythms, all answering to the major rhythm, with its infinity of tones, portions of the major tone, holds all living things together and makes them one. It provides that ultimate stability by which the wheeling systems are secured. It is the one reality, the final certainty, and provides the only permanence amid all impermanent creations.
Free yourselves from thoughts of worlds, of suns and systems and universes and dare to make the flight out into the unknown. Through the utter silence of the unknown you shall hear the music of the wheel. Find it, and you have found all. Its hub is within you; its spokes pass through you; its rim includes you as it passes slowly through the cosmic fields of space. Infinitely large and infinitely small, it exists within the heart of every atom and causes it to spin. Full-formed and complete, it turns within the heart of man. Wherever there is life and motion, there is the wheel.
All forces flow according to its rule and all the forms to which all flowing force gives birth are modelled on the pattern of the wheel. It is the fundamental form upon which every lesser form is built. Meditate, therefore, on the wheel, discover it and you shall find the key which shall unlock the door of the treasure house of Nature's secret power. The flowing of the forces upon which all sciences and arts are based is ordered by the movements of the wheel.
In ancient days men turned to the worship of our Lord the Sun. The wheel revolved and mankind turned to other Gods; it still moves on eternally and once again decrees that these old truths shall be revealed. Once more mankind shall take the sunlit path to God. Once more the ancient road, golden and glowing, stretches before their feet up into the heart of the Sun. Angels have used and guarded that road since time was not; now once more they throw it open to the feet of man, offering to guide him through the sunshine to the central source of light.
Come then, children of men, take our outstretched hands, that we may lead you into the presence of our Lord the Sun. Three virtues are demanded of you by the angel of the gate. Purity, selflessness and joy, let these shine forth in every action of your life and quickly you shall pass along the sunlit road. Purify your lives, your body and your heart and mind. Radiate a selfless love upon the world and learn to fill the lives of others with love and joy. Make these three offerings on the altar of your lives; they are your gold and frankincense and myrrh. Place them at the feet of the new-born sun-babe, who comes to birth within your heart.
Then practise quietude. Learn the power of silence and the art of peace, so that the body, mind and feelings may be still. Develop the gift of spiritual listening, as for some far off voice, so faint you scarce can hear. Unfold your faculty of spiritual vision, that you may see the eternal light to which even the earthly splendour of the sun is but a shade. Thus may you prepare to take the road which one day all must tread, the path which leads man to his solar home, amid the mansions of our Lord the Sun.
SUN WORSHIPFor the worship of the Sun no other temples are needed than the free and open places of the world, the wind-swept, sunlit mountain sides and plains, the fair valleys and the open fields, the woods, the meadows and the hills. Withdraw yourselves from every artificial form and draw near to Nature's heart. Assemble, as the angels do, in companies inspired with but a single aim-the worship of the Sun. Form in processions, practise stately rituals, engage in joyful dances, chant splendid litanies expressive of the glories of our Lord the Sun. Then form yourselves into a circle in imitation of His glorious form and raise your open hands up to the sky. Pour forth your love, your worship and your praise and acknowledge Him as Lord of all your lives.
Invoke His presence, His power and His life into your midst. Form, by your united thought and aspiration, a chalice to receive the wine of His downpoured blessing and His life. That precious wine shall fill the cup, shall flow into your hearts and lives and fill you with the power and the splendour of the Sun. Your souls shall be irradiated by His light, your wills become resistless with His power and your hearts be filled to overflowing with His love.
Thus illumined and refreshed, turn your faces outwards, stretch forth your hands and, with concentrated will, pour out His power and His blessing on the world. The circle shall become a sun; glowing splendour shall descend among you and its effulgent beams shall shine through you to bless, to quicken and bring peace to all your world.
Thus remain, and with united wills and overflowing hearts flood all your world with the power of the Sun. Turn your thoughts upwards once more in gratitude and reverence and then walk with grace and dignity straight forwards, outwards from the symbol of the sun which you have formed. As each worshipper steps forward, he shall represent a beam, a shaft of sunlight, sun-power, sun-love. As all move together, the symbol of His outpoured life shall be produced.
Graceful flowing robes in the colours of His spectrum may be worn and the wearers so arranged that His glorious colours may be displayed. Many patterns may be formed with solid blocks of colour; long straight lances; interwoven and blended lines; circular ordering of the different shades in joyful imitation of His rays. Artists shall design your robes and rituals. Musicians shall compose the music for the chants, odes, hymns and litanies, which poets shall write. So may the worship of our Lord the Sun be once again established on your earth and His kingdom be made manifest among the nations of the world.
Solar fire may be symbolised in your worship by radiating tongues, or petals. All the worshippers may be clothed in robes of colour like the flame and gathered round the central ring. The robes should vary from the lightest to the darkest shades, the lightest being almost white, forming the inner ring and placed as outlines to each tongue of flame. These outlines may be curved or straight, or may be formed in waves to imitate the flickering of the flames. If desired, a flaming fire may be kindled in the midst. Invocations may be made to the great hierarchy of the spirits of fire, from the salamander up to solar fire lords. Then men and angels should combine in a mighty offering of love and adoration to the fire aspect of the Sun.
Call down His power and His purity to drive away disease, darkness, vice and shame from the surface of the earth. Visualise a fiery descent of power, flame-like, and of burning intensity, into your midst, then, turning outwards to the world, project that power through your outstretched arms, using the utmost intensity of will and invoking the fire-angels to your aid.
When the fiery power has thus been poured forth and has enveloped all the globe, all should walk outwards, keeping the petals with their flame like points intact. When a certain distance has been reached, those at the outer edges of the petals should form the whole into a single ring about the central fire. Then, turning inwards, all should make their last obeisance to the fire aspect of the Sun.
The Sun may also be approached as Lord of Light. His Light may be invoked in order to dispel the darkness from the lives of men and from the dark places of the world. The colours of the robes of the worshippers should be white, golden, and yellow. Seven should form the central circle, the size of which should be determined by the joining of their hands. From them, seven rays should radiate, making a seven-pointed star. The central seven should be in white. The core of each ray should be white from where it leaves the inner circle to the point itself. Each ray should then be formed of varying shades of yellow deepening to gold.
All those whom space permits should join their hands, making a series of circles within the star, and raise their hands, still joined, up to the sky. A mental star should rise with their aspirations and their adoration above their heads towards the sun. The outer edges of the star of thought should close and form a flower-shaped chalice into which the light of the Sun may descend.
The angels of light may be invoked. Fairy, sylph, angels of power, great Ghandarvas [The Indian name for the angels of music. ] and their heavenly hosts will combine with men in offering up their deepest adoration towards the Sun, praying that His light shall descend to earth, that darkness may be dispelled.
His power will descend and the chalice be filled. The petals will open out and all will lower their hands and turn outwards, that the light, in all its dazzling splendour, may shine forth over the whole world. All should then move slowly outwards, pouring forth the light, and form one great seven-pointed star. Then turn, make obeisance, and give thanks unto the Lord of Light.
The Sun as Lord of Love may be worshipped in robes of rose, of green, and golden yellow, with an inner ring of deepest amethyst. An eight pointed flower should form the symbol and be constructed like the star of light save that the points are rounded like the petals of a rose. A ring of eight brethren clothed in amethyst should form the heart of the blossom, around them ring upon ring should be formed passing from pale yellow to golden yellow, from golden yellow through pale, to deepest rose, and between each petal, points of softest green. A growing rose tree in full blossom would make a worthy offering in the centre of the group.
The members of the amethyst ring-each the centre of a petal-alone should raise their hands above their heads and gaze into the sky. All should look upwards and pour forth their love and adoration to the Sun as Lord of Love. Their prayers should be formed into a glorious rose, raised up on high, its petals partly closed to form a cup into which His love may descend.
As the glorious descent of perfect love, sympathy and compassion fills the rose of thought, all should turn outwards towards the world and, opening wide their arms and hearts, pour out His love over all the earth. Still facing outwards and keeping the flower shape, still pouring forth His love all should walk slowly forward, maintaining their equal distances and perfect flower form, until a large circle has been left in the middle of the symbol. All should turn and make obeisance and pour forth reverent gratitude and love for the blessing of the Lord of Love. Then all should consecrate their lives to the service of love and of that Mighty One who is His representative-the Lord of Love upon earth.
These examples will serve as models upon which other forms of worship may be based. Worshippers should gather in perfect silence and their hearts should be full of joy. The only sounds that should be heard are the singing of the hymns, the chants and litanies. All should depart in silence, speaking no word until the scene of their worship has been left behind. Even then all conversation should be reverent, restrained, yet full of joy.
Robes should be very loose and flowing, so that the effect of masses of colour may easily be produced. The limbs should be bare, sandals covering the feet. Head-dresses should be designed consisting chiefly of broad bands of colour encircling the head. Over the forehead the symbol to be employed should appear-the band widening for this purpose; it may be worked or painted to display with the utmost brilliance the colour and shape of the symbol of the worship for which it is worn. Appropriate jewels may be set in the band worn on the forehead and one placed in the heart of the symbol. Where the climate demands protection for the body, warm underclothing of the appropriate colours should be worn.
The idea of co-operation with the angels should be one of the fundamental principles underlying these various forms of the worship of the Sun. Every worshipper should invoke them to his aid, invite their companionship, and bid them be the messengers and distributors of the power which is to be radiated upon the world. Children should be taught to call the fairies and lesser nature-spirits into their midst, to perform the same offices. They should be guided by an elder, but should not share in the general worship until after the age of fifteen.
A large brazier of incense may be used as a centrepiece for all the ceremonies, except the one to fire.
Thus shall angels and men labour to establish the reign of joy, of purity, of love, and fire, and to re-establish the worship of our Lord the Sun.
Hail glorious Sun! Hail solar King! Father of all Thy people. Hail solar Queen! Mother of all Thy worlds, by Whose bounty Thy children are sustained. Thy light and life are everywhere. Thy power fills Thy universe. We, Thy children offer up our souls to Thee, praying that an added measure of Thy light may shine through us, a wider vision of Thy splendour may be gained, a fuller knowledge of Thy power may be revealed. In that light, that splendour and that power, we recognise the beauty of Thine eternal peace.
We long to shine like Thee; each to become a sun in his own universe, each to pour forth a measure of Thy light, Thy splendour and Thy power upon all the lives in which Thou art expressed in every world. Here on our earth we would establish Thy rule; here we would serve and worship Thee, revealed in every living thing.
Grant that, by Thy power in us, all darkness may be dispelled, all evil disappear, all ignorance be destroyed. Draw us nearer to Thy wondrous solar heart, that we may lose ourselves in Thee ; that, sun to sun, we may be unified with Thee and thus win freedom for all Thy children in the worlds below from the bondage of ignorance and sin.
Shine forth in all Thy splendour; radiate Thy resistless power ; reveal Thine immortal beauty through our lives that, transformed by Thee, we may lead our brethren to the path of Light.
O glorious Lord the Sun ! We greet Thee at Thy rising ; we salute Thee at mid-day; we reverence Thee in setting. We bow before Thy Majesty; we thank Thee for Thy splendour; we worship Thy beauty.
Light to light we offer up our souls to Thee, that, one with Thee, we may shine with all the glory of Thy noonday hour.
Pour down Thy strength ; fill us to overflowing with Thy wondrous power; illumine our souls with Thy glorious light.
We dedicate our bodies and our souls to Thee ; we crave the consecration of Thine inward fire that by its transforming energy we may heal the sufferings of the world.
Choirs of angels sing the glories of the Sun. Multitudes of Shining Ones chant of His splendour. Oceans, rivers, cataracts of sound pour forth from them in many coloured streams as splendour upon splendour is revealed.
Solar angels, dwelling near to the Heart of Being, stretch forth their wings before our Lord the Sun to shield our eyes, lest we be blinded by the unveiled splendour of His light.
The thunder of His voice is softened and attuned by them, lest our ears be deafened by its power.
We give thanks to the mighty Solar Lords that by their aid our eyes shall one day gaze unharmed upon the naked splendour of the Sun; our ears shall one day hear the full range of His wondrous voice.
We answer their compassion and their love by the tenderness with which we shelter and defend the many lives it is our duty and our joy to serve. May cruelty and ugliness be banished from our earth, may darkness melt away, as through our lives His love and beauty are revealed.
THE LOGOSWHO is He, Who, though invisible, can yet dimly be perceived as that First Cause from which creation sprang?
To what splendour shall these many hierarchies of angels and of men ultimately ascend? Upon what heights rest the many ladders which, extending from earth to heaven, reach onwards to the infinitude beyond? Shall we ask the solar Lords of Fire Who ring the central Fire what They have seen? Are Theirs the hands which hold the ladders' highest rungs, or do They, too, but climb to heights beyond? Whose is the hand which holds the ladders lest they fall? Is there one among their hosts who, having seen the naked glory of the Primal Cause, has yet remained unblinded by the sight?
Shall we kneel before the throne of Isis and beseech the heavenly Mother, surrounded by Her court of queens, whence was She born, has She Herself a mother, or is the mighty scale of motherhood complete in Her?
Shall we ask the Lords of Power, Who hold in check the boundless source of power by which the atoms and the globes are caused to spin, are sent out swinging on their orbits round the sun: have They beheld that Power face to face? Whose voice is it that sets them singing, like tuning-forks which answer to a master-sound, like vibrant strings swept by a master-hand?
Or shall we descend deep into the centre of the planet's life and ask the Spirit of the Earth if he knows whence he came and whither he is going? Who is the Master Spirit of all earths? Who is the central Spirit of planets and of sun?
Each will give answer according to his kind, saying there is but one regenerating and transforming power, one fertile source of every fruit, one primeval voice, one primordial fount of every energy, one coordinated spirit of all spirits of every globe on every plane, one central sun.
We learn from each according to his kind; by each we find a fragment of the truth revealed. If we would know the whole, we must climb to the summit of every ladder and stand upon the peak of every mount. We must become a solar Lord of Fire, a Goddess Mother of a system, a Lord of Power and Song, a Spirit of all globes. When we have trod the mighty round then shall we know the mighty whole; perceive the Synthesis which is at once the Father and the Mother, the fiery source of every power, the fruitful source of every fruit, the boundless source of every energy, the spirit of every planet, the Emperor of the Sun.
What we are now, He once has been; as He is now, so we shall be; for deep within our inmost being is a seed containing all that He has ever been, containing Him-a synthesis in miniature, an embryonic whole. The promise of His potency, His fertility, His music, His power and stability lies hid within that seed of His, which is our deepest self. Countless are the seeds which He has planted in His system; every seed contains the same promise, each consists of the same essence, all are seeds of the one Sower.
Sowing in unity, He will reap in diversity; all the peoples in all the worlds are the products of His sowing and His seed. As all the divers powers that He wields are locked up within each seed and one day shall develop into the synthesis of powers which He, is, so shall all the fruits of all the seeds one day be harvested into a mighty whole. That which was sown in unity and reaped in diversity shall be gathered back to unity and thus shall close that day in His life in which He laboured that we might be; sowed, that we might come forth; reaped and harvested, that He might gather in, not seeds but powers, not embryonic but perfect syntheses, full-grown and developed like Himself. These, in their turn, shall go forth to plough other fields, to sow their seeds and, in due time, to gather in their mighty harvesting, so that the granary of the Absolute may be filled with Gods.
THE LIGHT OF THE SPIRITUAL SUN
BEHIND all phenomenal existence within the system shines a light which is universally diffused; it resembles no earthly light, for that demands a source and a reflector before it may be seen. The spiritual light is equally the source and the reflector. It causes the whole manifested system to glow as though each particle were lighted from within, self-luminous, as indeed it truly is. The spiritual sun is everywhere present; all matter as well as all form is equally illumined by its light; it has no fixed place in the system, nor any concentrated point. The farthest planet and the central sun each glow with equal radiance, lit by the light of the spiritual sun.
Mysterious, devoid of heat, inscrutable, intangible, secret and remote, it exercises a continual influence upon the system and all contained within it. No veil can shade its light, for all matter is translucent to its rays; it cannot be directed, changed, limited or extinguished, nor in the world thus lighted by the spiritual sun can there be any darkness.
However high the greatest angels climb they see its light, however low they may descend all is illumined by its glow; profound silence reigns; utter stillness, perfect equipoise, immovable stability are found; motion ceases, form is not; only light remains.
The entrance to this world exists in every living thing; the gateway may be found in every kingdom, in every atom and in the consciousness of every man. When once the gateway has been found, the world of the spiritual light appears; it has no threshold, nor any centre, nor can its confines be discovered, nor does the thought of thresholds, centres and confines ever arise, or any other thought; existence falls away, self consciousness disappears, nought remains save light.
Formless, limitless, unchanging, equal, this light has but one attribute, IT IS; it is not negation. Whether it be the light of the unmanifested Logos, who can tell? It is manifest, yet no manifestation appears within it; whether it be a reflection of absolute light, who knows? It cannot be described, either by positive or negative declaration; it is not capable of division; is beyond all opposites, behind all diversities, governed by no principles, contains no ideations, save that of light.
When this world of light is entered, time vanishes, space ceases to exist, hierarchies, races, individuals, densities, levels of consciousness, methods of evolution disappear; light alone remains. Self-knowledge is lost; all consciousness fades, save that of light; pure, white and glowing with an intensity which on earth would be a blinding glare. That world gives neither pleasure nor pain, neither draws nor repels, stimulates nor depresses; yet knowledge of its existence produces equipoise, and when that knowledge is remembered, it gives an unshakeable serenity. Though devoid of every earthly attribute, though indescribable, yet, once that world is entered, it is for ever more a refuge which never fails, a harbour which knows no storm. The light of the spiritual sun pervades alike all form and all consciousness; therefore thought may be directed towards it; consciousness may enter it, though all power of awareness of aught save light is instantly destroyed. Yet, perchance, some part of consciousness dwells always in that world of light eternal. Perchance a part equal to that which dwells in manifested worlds, for it may be the root of all existence, a reflection from the causeless Cause, represented in every consciousness and in every form.
You to whom my teaching of the worlds of consciousness and form, of worlds of earth, of fire, of water and of air has been given, who have caught glimpses through my words of the Mighty Ones Who hold us in the hollow of Their hands, to Whom a planet, which looms so large in our imagination, is but an atom; you who have understood the hierarchical degrees upon which systems and universes are founded, l bid you take refuge in the knowledge of this world of ever-glowing spiritual light. There, neither hierarchies, systems, planets nor suns have any place there, motion ceases-there, only light remains. Strive to establish yourself therein; and clasping thus the left hand of being, find peace and equipoise unshakeable, perfect accuracy of vision, inclusive knowledge of affairs, so that amid the increasing complexity and activity with which your lives are filled, a reflection of that eternal light, that perfect equipoise, that all-pervading stillness may be discerned.
Seek for the entrance to that world within yourself and, having found it, learn to dwell therein, for there, and there alone, may the traveller through time and space catch glimpses of eternity.