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Mature Answers

GHreading_image.jpgBy now it will be clear that Geoffrey Hodson made a lifetime commitment to the teaching and practice of Theosophy. But, given the vast freedom of thought permitted within the Theosophical Society many members have interpreted Theosophy in the widest possible ways, and possibly also in some incorrect ways. Without impinging on their perfect right to do so, I think it is interesting to point out that Mr. Hodson was able to achieve what many other Theosophists were not able to do and that was to research in consciousness what others only talked or speculated about. To my mind this warrants him being put into a special category of theosophical teachers – those who could identify items from their own research and correlate them with accrued Theosophical tradition. He was in fact one of those people referred to by Mdme. Blavatsky herself when she described Theosophy as "the retried examinations of generation after generation of trained seers". The care and dedication in which he did his investigations, both modelled and showed the way for those who would likewise achieve in the future. Moreover, he did it in an entirely wholesome way without any eccentricities of behaviour and without misleading people along unproven lines. This made him a safe guide – a person who could be trusted not to run others into trouble. This is not to say that he did not make some mistakes along the way and I have included some of those in my assessment of his life’s work. But, in my opinion, those mistakes were relatively minor and were caused by the fact that he was gradually maturing in his specialized line of work. No-one who is embodied can be totally free of error, the greatest scientists have often made many mistakes before they came upon their mature theories which stood up to repeated trial and investigation; and in religion the same is true - the great religious thinker St. Thomas Aquinas declared to Brother Reginald before his death, that after what he had seen all his works “seemed as worthless as straw”. Therefore, how much more difficult it must be for the practical mystic and occult scientist of the invisible, who is often doing path-finding spiritual research work? But, insofar as this could be done, then Geoffrey Hodson achieved it splendidly.   

  Another feature of Mr. Hodson’s teachings was that it was not unknown on occasion for him to speak in an “oracular” mode, by which is meant he said statements that could be interpreted according to the consciousness or lack of consciousness of the person receiving them. This is a mechanism which has long been employed by spiritual teachers and which The Lord Jesus Christ referred to when addressing the Disciples, “Unto you it is given to know the Mystery of the Kingdom of God; but those that are without, all these things are done in parables.” (Mark 4:11). With the passage of time, along with the increased education and receptivity of humanity, Mr. Hodson in fact revealed in direct language many more of the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but there were yet other things that he had to hide from view for safety reasons (e.g. how to awaken faculties) as well as other delicate matters which were wiser to leave as "sleepers" for posterity in his posthumous publications. Either way, certain of his statements during his life either had this oracular or parable like nature to them, and need to be understood as such.

In order to help spiritual aspirants to the maximum degree, I have incorporated some of Mr. Hodson’s words and opinions on a variety of subjects, taken from intimate personal discussions, inspired utterances, correspondence as well as talks (including question time), books and journal articles and put them within an imagined composite dialogue. Some of these ideas do not appear in the public domain at all and were very privately communicated. Others were previously unsuitable to discuss in detail within a public forum, but now as part of the digestion of the life’s work of this important Western sage, I feel they should be put on record:  

Q. There is a school of psychological of thought which says that it doesn’t matter how you got the problem, but you have it now, let us deal with what you have.

A. Yes, but it doesn’t work! It doesn’t take into account the causes of either illness or restriction. To the person who does not have access to first causes the link between  present restrictions and the inner causes of these things is not immediately obvious and in fact quite mysterious inducing the common refrain “why is this suffering happening to me?” Well, strange to say that is the start of wisdom, and is a question if asked with sincerity and for long enough will eventually be replied to. It is happening because such illness or restriction teaches the soul lessons that it may not have been able to learn in any other way. Many people go through life in a state of denial. Suffering, illness and restriction brings us to the stage where we stop denying and become open to truly learning and acknowledging responsibility for our own plight. You will see from this why you cannot solve a deep psychological problem in isolation, you have to first be rendered receptive, then it is possible for a solution to be presented. Nature's way is for the Spiritual Soul - the Immortal Ego - to learn its mistakes through suffering and limitation of its personality and physical body. It is wise to work with nature, if we get too far away from that approach, unexpected problems can arise which may even be worse than the problem being dealt with.

Q. So, you do see most of life’s restrictions, illness etc. as lessons to be learned? 

A. Very much so, allowing for occasional exceptions which sometimes happen for other reasons, that has been the result of my superphysical investigations into the vast majority of cases that I have looked at, they are actually caused by mistaken and erroneous behaviours, especially hurtful behaviour to others. Since, however the causes of many of these lie not in this life but in past lives,  the problem is not generally understood.

Q. Cannot these problems be rectified though forms of therapy such as hypnosis or past life regression?

A. There are really two components to your question: the first is one of education – once the Ego (the spiritual soul) has understood that its personality has caused disharmony by hurting others and is remorseful then the illness or limitation that its physical body or psyche has been experiencing, may be mitigated at least to some extent. But, the second one involves recompense to the person that was harmed and quite often that has to be discharged personally, which would be difficult if that person was out of incarnation or living on another continent. Sometimes the person who was harmed was not totally innocent and their being hurt was part of their own karmic pattern which introduces the idea of an “agent of karma” in which case full reparation may not need to be paid personally. Karmic debts can be modified and hang around for a long time, but adjustment always occurs in the end as our Lord Jesus Christ said in regard to the exactitude of the law, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than one jot or one tittle of the Law to fail.” Luke16:17. In the meantime, by performing acts of kindness and helpfulness, one gives oneself the best chance of loosening certain types of influences called skandas in Buddhism, which bind us to the reincarnational cycle. But, in answer to your question: hypnosis or past lives regression, especially at the right time may certainly help, but don’t expect them to solve the whole problem and don't always expect them to be totally accurate. In fact, it has been my experience that people's past lives are one of the most difficult things to research accurately.

Q. What if past lives are supplied by a Master of the Wisdom or a Guide?

A. If a Master of the Wisdom supplied the information, then of course that would be different, he can see much further into these things. Also, if the therapist was consistently able to get such help and direction it would imply that he or she was a pupil, disciple or initiate - something which is quite possible, but relatively rare in my opinion. When you mention a guide this implies a spiritualistic approach, the Masters have told us that they never use spiritualistic mediumship as a vehicle for their information - it is too unreliable and is also potentially harmful for the health of the medium. They do however, sometimes overshadow individuals especially if there is a special work to be done and externally this sometimes looks like mediumship. One thing that I would advise against is to not to automatically take the word of a disembodied person that they are a Master. You see the big problem is that the ordinary person cannot see and examine who they are communicating with, sometimes it is just an ordinary dead person on the astral plane who wants to develop a following without really knowing what they are talking about, it may even be an elemental who gets fun out of playing tricks on humans, or worse it could also be a dugpa or black magician who is trying to mislead the person concerned and trip them up causing them and others connected with them to fall off the Path. Only rarely is it an Adept Master or an angelic being (a deva), and then as I have said they do not communicate by mediumship.

Q. How would you sort out the genuine from the charlatans?

A. I am rather reluctant to stand in judgment on others. In any case I would have to examine each particular case on its merits, but in general terms you would be looking for individuals who are seeking to help in an altruistic sort of way, preferably without charging any money at all or if they must make a living out of this work, then they do it by a donation system. Someone who charges a large amount of money, may be either consciously or subconsciously misled by entities in the astral world - if you have a personal motive you cannot access the highest truth about anything. I would however say that if a therapist has a history of enabling people to get well, then this is quite a good indicator - one should always take seriously someone who has a proven history of helping others. You know sometimes when people are looking for an analysis of the why and the how, something quite as simple as word of mouth recommendation cuts through a lot of complications. Word gets around and people tend to go where something remarkable seems to be happening, such as for example the psychic surgeons in The Philippines.

Q. Were these Psychic Surgeons not shown to be using slight of hand and pig's blood?

A. When something remarkable like that is happening there is always the possibility that charlatans may jump on the bandwagon, but there is no doubt in my mind that some of those healers were absolutely genuine, if for no other reason than I experienced their ministrations myself .

Q. What happened to you?

A. I had an irregular heart beat and some friends in The Philippines took me to visit one of the more famous psychic surgeons who had many healings attested to him. Holding my own right hand he made two incisions on my chest with my own fingers, the cells just seemed to part without being damaged and he then plunged his hand into my chest and brought out the heart with the arteries attached. Whilst I was looking he split open the arteries and removed the blockage. Don't ask me why there was very little blood - the process seems to inhibit the flow of blood. He then sealed the incisions in the arteries and replaced my heart in my chest cavity, after which he just smoothed over the area where the two incisions in the chest had been and as I watched they faded and just disappeared without leaving any scars.

Q. Did the operation help you?

A. Yes, my heart-beat was regulated and I believe it probably gave me another 10 years on my life.

Q. How does modern medical science explain this?

A. Well, I am afraid it doesn't. It mostly seems inconceivable to a cardiac surgeon who may have spent 10 years of study that he cannot emulate such treatments as performed by a medically untrained person, and of course it generally results in denial or accusations of deception as you suggested. But the fact remains that it does happen and in The Philippines it is not unknown even for medical doctors to sometimes go and receive effective treatment from these self-same psychic surgeons.

Q. Is it a form of faith healing?

A. Well, you might think so but, in actual fact whether a person has faith in the efficacy of the psychic surgeon or not actually has very little to do with it. The more important issue is whether the karma that has caused the illness has been exhausted or almost so. This can happen in one of two ways - either the person has suffered enough for the Immortal Ego (the spiritual soul) to learn and atone for its mistakes, or else the person by corresponding good actions may in fact have repaid the karmic debt. Either way it is a universal law that if the karmic cause of the problem has been rectified, then the disease or illness must of necessity vanish and health be restored. Conversely, some people visit the psychic surgeons who can tell by observing their auras that they are not going to be helped, in fact in some cases are going to die. If the latter is their assessment they make no attempt to treat them rather suggesting a polite invitation to come back at a later date. That way, they stay out of trouble with the authorities especially the medical profession, because they cannot then be accused of being instrumental in the patient's death. But, if they get the green light to go ahead they will certainly operate and help the patient as much as they possibly can, as indeed they did with myself.

Q. Well, there are certainly not enough of these psychic surgeons around and they probably would not be allowed to practice in many Western countries anyhow. But, even lesser forms of efficient therapists seem to be in short supply. Should a person try and use what is available?

A. You are undoubtedly correct in that there are not enough of the right type of therapists -  I would call them spiritual healers - at any one time. But, I have explained my perspective - many things are blocked from view until the person has the inner strength to deal with them, this is the main reason that most people cannot remember their past lives. Sometimes it is that restriction or limitation which the person has to bear which is part of the healing process. When the time is right the means of resolution of the problem will occur spontaneously and the right healer will be met.  Errors can be made in interpreting information that comes through, and sometimes psychological symbolism may be misinterpreted as past life memories. The acid test is whether the person gets well or if their illness is ameliorated. I would say this: that a genuine therapist or healer can sometimes be remarkably useful, because they  get used by angelic beings, disembodied doctors, healers and on occasion, adepts working from the other side.

Q. I suppose most people do not remember their past lives because they have enough to deal with in this life without complicating it with what they did in the past.

A. Exactly, for example do you think many people would be helped by the knowledge that they may have been a murderer or a torturer in a past life? Do you think they would be able to bear that knowledge with equanimity? In some cases this would make the situation worse instead of better. Nature blissfully gives us forgetfulness so that we can work our way through the present life without being burdened by guilt or shame. You have to understand that we are all as old as the hills, and especially in the more primitive stages of our development, we have often done very many harmful things to others. Regrettably, some people have very recently done harmful things and you just have to look at the news to see how this is continuing day by day.

Q. I see what you mean, but in regression would the more traumatic sort of information come through? Wouldn’t only what the person was able to bear come through?

A. Not necessarily, sometimes the therapist can force the pace. A wise therapist would appreciate the dangers of premature revelation, others, I am afraid to say, rush in where angels fear to tread. When you start delving into these subconscious areas it is like opening a Pandora’s box, you have no way of knowing beforehand what is going to come out. A common problem that Sandra and I have seen is the aftermath of what occurs in the drug-culture where many, especially young people, have been experimenting with so-called mind expanding drugs and have got fixated in some nightmare scene from the sub-conscious which may be from the astral plane or a remembrance of some terrible experience in the present or a past life. This has led me to believe that the precipitation of such experiences before the time is ready, is not always a good thing. Even in conventional psychology, experts like Dr. Jung always warned about premature release of psychological trauma, even more so then where occult and more deeply buried problems are concerned.  During consultations I attempt to speak to the immortal Spiritual Ego and ask it for its advice, but quite often it does not feel the personality is ready to bear the full impact of the cause of its problem. That is why I suggest leaving it to time and nature to take care of and working on the things that are more easily available, like meditation, good works, service and theosophical study – they may be slower and require more work, but they are often far safer. The human psyche is rather like a delicate piece of fine bone china – if it is dropped it is easily broken and can never be satisfactorily repaired - at least for the balance of this lifetime. 

Q. You mentioned the problem with mind expanding drugs. Were you able to help people with drug problems? 

A. It just depends on how much damage they had done to themselves. You know that nature has provided us with a form of protection which is sometimes called the astral shield or astral web. This is a very highly compressed layer of atoms between the physical/etheric and the astral, which keeps negative influences out of the aura. When illicit drugs are ingested there is a tendency to break down this shield enabling negative influences from the astral world to enter the aura, especially through the chakras which are the psychic sense organs. These problems can range from hallucinations and delusions to a full-scale obsession by a human or sub-human entity. If the process of abuse has occurred to an advanced degree – no amount of repair that I am able to do will help. Even if you do not have clairvoyance you can tell whether the brain has been affected because as you are talking to these people they will suddenly go off on some tangent - when that happens it usually means that damage has been done. It is a great sadness of mine and Sandra’s life, that these young people come to us and sometimes pathetically ask “If I stop now, will I be all right?" Sometimes, in minor cases, by pouring in very powerful healing energies it is possible to revitalize some of the injured brain cells, but I will only do that if the person promises to stop the abuse and refuses to take up the drug abuse again. Unfortunately, the answer often is that too much damage has already been done, and although I would not necessarily tell the person and destroy all hope, I can see that they are going to be in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the rest of their life. They will never be able to hold down a job, or bring up a family in anything like a normal way – in other words they have effectively ruined their life beyond repair and have created the additional adverse karma of being a financial drain upon society. Instead of being a potential contributor they have become the opposite. It is so sad - do warn people how dangerous this experimentation with drugs actually is.

Q. Will this also affect their future lives?

A. Yes, well said! I have found cases where people drifted into this drug sub-culture because of a weakness caused by the same abuse in former lives, so certainly that possibility cannot be ruled out either. 

Q. Why do people experiment with drugs?

A. Oh, there are so many reasons! These would include poor and irresponsible parenting, peer-group pressure, boredom with life, as well as a misdirected search for spiritual experience and expanded consciousness, as well as that point you made - a weakness from past lives. 

Q. Can you, in fact, get expanded consciousness through drugs? Aren’t there some suggestions that the brain produces similar substances to certain drugs?

A. I should rather reply to that question in the negative, such is the great and devastating harm being done to individuals and nations by illicit drug use, that absolutely nothing should be said to encourage people to experiment with them. However, ironically under certain circumstances it is possible to expand or should I say “shift” consciousness, and even the causal plane (higher mental) can sometimes be accessed in this way. But, generally the information that comes through with the average person is quite wild and unstructured and therefore not of much use for a genuine spiritual aspirant. This is because there is no prepared structure within the brain through which higher experience can manifest. Bad enough as this surely is as a reflection on spiritual growth, that people should be so  na├»ve as to think they can get it out of a bottle or a pipe, it is in the side effects that the major problems lie. Continued use, in fact sometimes even a single dose of a drug like LSD can permanently damage the delicate mechanism of consciousness in the brain, especially relating to the brain’s switchboard of the thalamus and hypothalamus along with the pineal and pituitary glands, and by so doing prevent any real spiritual progress from proceeding in that lifetime. Also, sometimes in a very bad case, the person has flashbacks of a very unfortunate nature for the rest of their life. In addition, I have already mentioned the problem of the destruction of the astral shield or web. This has led Sandra and I to severely warn people: if you want spiritual experience get it by the safe means of meditation. Unfortunately, for many young people they want instantaneous results and therefore continue to experiment with drugs – a very serious mistake! 

Q. They are talking about Marijuana not being so harmful and in some countries are making it legal.

A. From my clairvoyant researches Marijuana is also implicated in the problems mentioned, it is not just a gateway drug leading on to something worse and more harmful, but it is in and of itself destructive to the mechanism of consciousness, especially if used extensively. In my opinion it would be a great pity if any encouragement was given by legalizing it. 

Q. Haven’t drugs sometimes been used in older cultures by shamans and others? Wasn’t some sort of potion related to Ergot given in the Eleusinian Mysteries to promote out of the body experience and wasn’t the soma juice of the Vedas as well as the Psyclocybin of Meso-American Indians like Carlos Castenada’s Don Juan, and the fly agaric toadstool of the Siberian Shamans all part of a form of mystical experience?

A. I don’t deny that in certain circumstances such experiences have occurred, but I would suggest to you that in the case of the really gifted and spiritually advanced shamanic leaders, drugs were not used in any continuous way. They were used as an occasional sacrament superimposed upon an elaborate system of highly disciplined training, and their administration to others was closely supervised as to dosage and the results monitored by clairvoyance. In the present times in which we are living, mind-expanding drugs cannot be monitored under such supervision and this brings with it serious risk. In some of the less evolved shamans drug abuse was rife and a price had certainly to be paid for that. 

Q. I have even heard that there is some modern medical suggestion that continued ingestion of fungi which contain psycho-active substances like the fly agaric, may cause premature onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

A. It wouldn't surprise me, you see when you start poisoning the delicate brain cells with these psycho-active substances you never know what the outcome will be. These can include the destruction of normal consciousness, psychotic illness, and with the breakdown of the astral web, obsession from entities from the astral world.  I cannot stress enough that all the benefits and none of the risks can be achieved through the process of wise meditation and in some cases sacred ceremonial (The Mysteries) which lead to discipleship of a teacher of the race (an Adept Master of the Wisdom). For such a Master will show you how to develop your siddhis (psychic and spiritual powers) in a safe and wholesome way at a time which is deemed to be both helpful to you and to humanity. The idea is to become supra-conscious which means bringing the physical body, emotions and the mind, under control of the spiritual will, to the extent that they can be transcended and thus provide fully conscious access to the intuitive worlds which lie beyond. All this can be achieved without drugs, and what’s more the gains remain permanent and without any side effects, but of course for any of this to happen the brain cells must remain in good working order, otherwise they cannot receive the super-physical impressions.  

Q. Some people may think your methods are too slow or unnecessary?

A. That is because we live in an age where people expect instant gratification of their desires or in some cases they are just experimenting. In my opinion such experiments should not be taken by a rational person - the risk is just far too high. In the Ancient World, it was accepted that before genuine wisdom could be conferred, many long years of preparation and dedicated discipline were needed and the trials for readiness and suitability were very severe. These days people seem to think they should have the same results after attending a weekend course or by taking a drug.  

Q. Does study help?

A. Certain types of study such as mathematics, especially geometry, are very helpful to the spiritual life and some people have developed a very pure kind of clairvoyance or other type of inner mystical vision quite spontaneously along those lines. You have probably read my article about Lewis Carroll who was a mathematician and Oxford don under his proper name of Charles Ludwidge Dodgson, and I believe his Alice books were very much inspired by perennial wisdom due to the mathematical way his mind had been trained. And of course there was the greatest of them all, the mathematician Pythagoras, who was also a very great seer and philosopher of the ancient world, and has now become a Master of the Wisdom. Some other forms of study don’t really help at all. Of course the type of study that I really recommend is that of Theosophy. In Theosophy you have both explanation, intellectual discipline and wisdom compacted into the one subject. I have often advised people to study Theosophy as if they were studying for a university degree. Believe me, if people put the same amount of effort into studying Theosophical matters as they do for studying conventional academic subjects, a lot more would see remarkable spiritual results in their lives, especially in the expansion of their consciousness. 

Q. What about alternative forms of self–knowledge such as suggested in New Age Teachings?

A. You know that it was Theosophy that gave to the modern world the concept of the New Age - the entry of planet Earth into the Age of Aquarius caused by the precession of the equinoxes - which opens us to new energies and influences from outside our Solar System. So, the modern presentation of Theosophy itself is part of this process. It is also true, as Madame Blavatsky herself has said, that “Nobody has ever said the last word on Theosophy”. Nevertheless, Sandra and I have noted as we have travelled round the world that amidst changes of outlook, especially amongst younger people, there are some ideas which are frequently interpreted as new approaches to self-discovery. Actually, we suggest, no really “new” ways exist; for the laws of the spiritual life are time-free and unchanging. 

The age-old rules remain and obedience to them is the only sure and safe way to spiritual enlightenment, however unready a great many of both younger and older seekers are to obey them. This unreadiness is chiefly because the results of their application are not usually immediate except in the cases of reincarnated successful yogis, Disciples and Initiates. These are the rules as far as we have been able to understand them: 

1.    Progress in the Occult Life is wholly dependent upon becoming absorbed in, and unwaveringly pursuing, a spiritual purpose for living; for without this, only failure will follow embarkation upon that life. Each aspirant is therefore advised, in the quietude of their own minds and hearts, to clarify their concept of the goal they are seeking. 

2.    Progress towards, and realization of, the fulfilment of the purpose must become the supreme objective. It should be carefully and with dedication thought out, written down in the best attainable form and thereafter mentally repeated until the aspirant becomes its incarnation. Incidentally, a solution of mental and psychological problems can consist of turning one’s thoughts completely away from them and powerfully reaffirming with full intent the single-minded objective. 

3.    Karma’s decrees, favourable and unfavourable externally, must be very intelligently understood and accepted. If helpful to the fulfilment of the ideal, then full advantage should be taken of existing opportunities. If unfavourable, meaning limiting, then the resultant limitations should be overridden as far as is reasonable, and intelligently accepted as part of the self-created pattern of one’s life. Both situations should, in addition, be accepted with calmness as far as may be. 

4.    From one point of view – the spiritual – the people in the lives of aspirants are their most informative teachers. From them a great wisdom can be attained. Happiness may be enjoyed with gratitude and intelligence, whilst unhappiness may be made the subject of direct and detached study, especially for the purpose of character building. It is helpful to formulate the probable errors from which adversities have resulted, particularly if one resolves that those errors shall not be repeated. Be it remembered that included within the causative actions must have been the infliction of pain in one form or another, unhappiness providing clues to the nature of those causes. A lesson from adversity, therefore, is that one should seek ever to be completely harmless, utterly merciful. In the extreme degrees which circumstances permit, the true Occultist practices Ahimsa (not-hurting) eventually becoming an incarnation thereof. 

5.    However outwardly active, the aspirant needs to plan and practice as far as possible for periods of contemplative quietude leading towards mental stillness as if listening for a far off voice or approaching footstep and watching for an increasing light. In the practice of contemplation the mind may be directed not only to the Divine and to union therewith, but also to certain fundamental ideas and truths, with the object of probing them to the very depths and so gaining fuller understanding of them. The ideal is to develop a condition of balanced equipoise within the intellect, into which one may retire at will and become perfectly still. This is the “place” wherein man-Spirit and God-Spirit are as One. 

6.    Motive: above all, this must be single. It must also be quite natural, born of a consuming determination to attain to the clearly conceived goal. It must also be unassailable, especially to any onslaught from without, whilst from within it grows stronger, deeper, increasingly becoming the over-riding purpose for everything which is done at all levels from the spiritual to the physical. The aspirant becomes the living incarnation and manifestation of this highest motive which is less formulated by the mind than born and growing from within. 


            Serious though this may seem and undoubtedly is, a certain lightness of touch towards the more immediate and perhaps transient affairs and associations in daily life, is also advisable as a means of self-expression. The spiritual life is not a deadly dull affair, but one which is characterized by experiences of great happiness, deepening to bliss and an underlying serenity. The attainment of this balance of apparent opposites – inward seriousness and outward happiness – is both useful in the occult life and a valuable means of self-training based on watchfulness which is free from self-centredness. 


Q. Do you then think that the Discipleship of a Master of the Wisdom is within range of many Theosophists?


A. I believe so, and not just Theosophists, but many people who make great sacrifices for humanity and even assist in other areas such as helping the animal kingdom. The reason I think few people who know about these things actually succeed is to be found in two main areas: 1) The motive must be very pure and selfless and 2) It requires one's whole application. If these two factors are in place and karmic debts are not too heavy then the gateway is open in this very life to this greatest of all priviledges. Moreover, we are told that the Masters are actively seeking pupils to train in these challenging times in order to help relieve the burden from themselves, since they have so many other important issues to deal with. One Master has actually said in The Mahatma Letters, "If you take one step towards us, we will take two steps towards you."


Q. Are there detailed lists of the qualifications necessary?


A. These have been described in many books and are at the heart of the great religions of the world. In Buddhism we find them in the Noble Eightfold Path, in Christianity it is believed that Our Lord Christ was specifically addressing those aspirants to Discipleship in The Sermon on the Mount in what are called The Beatitudes and of course in Hinduism we find the advice in numerous scriptures and yogic texts. In Theosophy we have many books dealing with the subject, chief of which are The Voice of the Silence, Light on the Path, At the Feet of the Master and The Masters and the Path. I myself have contributed Meditations on the Occult Life and The Pathway to Perfection as well as an introductory book on the subject entitled The Call to the Heights. Theosophy is of particular interest because it has updated the language of the sacred Texts and explains the accrued wisdom of the human race in simpler, up to date and more comprehensible terms. 


Q. Would the study of these books speed the process of qualifying for Discipleship?


A. Yes, especially if they were studied in regard to sincerely putting the principles into practice. Let me expand in more detail: First of all I would say it is necessary to understand that the whole purpose for living, and the underlying effects of one’s presence, should be to help onwards those who are near to one. Of course, this applies to all people, but those who come near are naturally more susceptible, and the nearer they come, the more important it is unobtrusively and without any assumption of superiority to direct their thinking towards the inner, deeper truths of life. This becomes quite natural later on and is then a continuing procedure, whether wholly deliberate or not. 


The aspirants to the privilege of Discipleship, more especially, should keep this “Path attitude” always fairly near to the surface of their thinking and so – always reasonably and sensibly – their manner, posture, glances, speech and personal approaches should reflect them. Whilst all of these will continue to be as “unstilted” as possible, nevertheless, the aspirant should be more and more on guard and inwardly self-directed in all human relationships, whether general or intimate. This is one of the important changes which occur in the very character of those who, having learnt of the purpose of life in general and the inner life in particular, which is to evolve through Discipleship and Initiation to Adeptship, and aspire ardently to do so. Having understood the details and having made them part of one’s life and character the ideal should never be far from one’s mind and should thus underlie whatever one does, especially in human relationships. In orthodox Religion this is named “Self-recollection” or in Buddhism “Mindfulness”. 


Q. How can one progress as quickly as possible in this inner “Path” life towards Adeptship?


A. The determination to ascend the evolutionary mount as quickly as possible is based solely upon the knowledge that each forward step increases the effectiveness of one’s service to the world. 


Throughout the whole procedure, the Aspirant must be guided by discriminative wisdom, particularly in the application of the Rules to one’s physical motives, thoughts, feelings and daily physical life. 


The grave importance needs to be stressed of REALISM concerning the occult life. Although other avenues to knowledge remain open, a strictly realistic attitude of mind is essential wherever Occultism and the occult life are concerned. In these, there is absolutely no room for either imagination or confirmation of desired ideas and situations. One must at all times be factual, dedicated to REALITY


Since the word Occultism means the study and application of that which is “hidden”, a tendency to error is therefore potentially present and must be guarded against, skill is needed in order that the activity of the mind does not prevent the receipt of illumination by intuition. An “intuition-receiving station” needs to be set up and made to function within the mind. The appointed call-sign would be “STILLNESS”. 


Whilst the carrying out of the responsibilities, duties and disciplines of Discipleship chiefly concerns the occultist in his or her physical life, the actual experience which is of very great import, chiefly concerns the immortal Ego of the Disciple. The Master, on such an important occasion, communicates directly with the Ego and explains the meaning – spiritual, occult and physical – of the preferred relationship. The Adepts as a whole and therefore each Master who takes Disciples are naturally far more concerned with the continuing, immortal spiritual Selves of humanity and bestow their most direct aid upon the consciousness of the Ego within the Causal Body. This communication is less verbal than a transference of empowering spiritual Will, Wisdom, Intelligence and inspiration. The procedure primarily occurs between human beings and Adepts. 


True, personal guidance is generally offered to the personality in the mental body at which level the visit and Acceptance primarily occurs. Since through Madame Blavatsky and others, the Masters have ensured that the requisite counsel concerning thought, emotion and physical conduct is fully available at the physical level, personal instruction concerning physical life is reduced to a minimum except for very important corrections to be made, developments to be sought and work to be done. 


Knowledge of this experience in waking consciousness is largely but not entirely dependent upon the physical karma of the Disciple, their general outlook on life, their effective practice or otherwise of yoga and the sheer demands of physical existence. Unless karma decisively rules against it, either an appointed agent of the Master or the Master Himself ensures that whether immediately or gradually the knowledge of the “Step” taken, definitely reaches brain consciousness of the accepted one. All important in these considerations is the degree of utterly selfless dedication to the welfare of one's fellow men and to the advance of humanitarian work in hand at the time. 


The elimination of Ahankara (Egotism) is of first importance and the total absence of any idea of personal gain or even reward for services rendered, comes next in significance, is in fact completely decisive. The Master sees infallibly into the Aspirant’s “heart” and knows to what grade these two essentials are met and justify the very responsible action on His part of Acceptance of a Disciple. 


Bill Keidan