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 Spiritual Disciplines

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The Mysteries:

 

HorusH_image.jpgThe Mysteries, from the Greek word muo meaning “the closed mouth”, comprise secret teachings, often at the heart of religion but sometimes separate from the outer form. In ancient times they were observances, generally kept secret from the profane and uninitiated, in which were taught by dramatic representation and other methods, the origin of things, the nature of the human spirit, its relation to the body, and the method of its purification and restoration to higher life.  

 

            Mr. Hodson’s investigations indicated to him that The Mysteries extended back into prehistory very much further than is generally understood (prior even to pre-dynastic Egypt, into Atlantean and Lemurian times). These systems were inherited and adapted by later civilizations that are well known to our historical record such as the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman. Aspects of the Mysteries were also picked up by various religions and secret rites. In the Western World the bulk of the Mystery inheritance was deposited within Freemasonry. 

            The Mysteries were divided into two main divisions – the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries. Variations of the Lesser Mysteries are all that are currently practiced on earth today, the Greater Mysteries are now only conferred on the higher planes of consciousness. In order not to encourage vanity and pride, emphasis in the Lesser Mystery teachings is on preparatory moral and ethical precepts and altruistic service. Although training in certain types of psychic sensitivity are freely available outside of  the Mysteries - and even marketed on the Internet!, the actual development of the god-like powers of the higher siddhis are definitely not accessible to people who are not graduates of the Lesser Mysteries and have progressed some way into the Greater Mysteries. This may sound strange to some and in every generation there are people who think they are perfectly ready for the higher training, unfortunately many have to eat the bitter pill and experience what can go wrong, before they find that they were in error. In the impatience of the times in which we are living, not everyone can understand that it is the person's spiritual Master who decides when the pupil is ready, and indeed the Master's help is needed to see that the awakening process occurs in a wholesome manner. Also, should problems arise He knows how they can be guarded against and overcome. If no such direction is forthcoming it means that the pupil is not yet ready and needs to concentrate on such fundamentals as the purification of his/her personality, character building and activities of service. Strangely enough all the essential instructions regarding preparation have long been before us, but we have not seen them clearly.  Often these teachings appear in symbol and allegory within religion and mystery rites such as Freemasonry. This is supplemented by sacramental assistance inherent in the validity of the mystery ceremonial which involves hidden Adeptic and Angelic co-operation. When sufficient mastery of character and personality has been gained and some adverse karma neutralized by impersonal service (the preparation may extend over several earth lifetimes), a fully qualified spiritual teacher mysteriously enters the life of the neophyte, either physically or more commonly these days superphysically. Such an Adept Teacher known as A Master of The Wisdom, supplies specialized forms of yoga and teaches all that is necessary about the awakening process and life planning that is needed for further progress. After this process has been underway for some time and good progress made, at this stage only, are instructions given on how to awaken the higher god-like faculties or siddhis. The desirable position being that first of all the person becomes self-realized or God-realized, by which is meant that they have realized in consciousness that there is no separate division between the divine spark in him/herself and the universal God from whence this spark comes. This is the greatest safeguard against misusing potent faculties for selfish gain, but unfortunately a risk is always there and occasionally people have fallen from great spiritual heights.

            The Theosophical Society, Freemasonry and World Religions are all part of the preparatory process and could be considered as part of The Lesser Mysteries of the present day although no form of altruistic activity could be said to be entirely unrelated to the spiritual journey.

            As mentioned, after one’s interior spiritual teacher is found, an intensive course of preparation for entry into The Greater Mysteries becomes possible. This will lead the initiate to paths of greater service and eventual liberation from the wheel of rebirth. Entry to this advanced training is marked by the process known as Discipleship – which in Mr. Hodson’s opinion was not confined to the followers of Jesus 2000 years ago - but was the most ancient of institutions which continues right down to the present day. Disciples are trained for initiation in The Greater Mysteries. When the 5th Initiation is eventually taken, the person is freed from all limitations of the human kingdom, after which, opportunities of post-human evolution open up.

 

  Retrospective examinations of lectures, writings and especially much of what became available after Mr. Hodson’s death in The Trilogy, leads us to believe that he, himself, had made considerable progress as an initiate in the Greater Mysteries, and was therefore speaking from direct insight and experience rather than tradition only. During his lifetime he never made any claims of his true status, which was really as a spokesman for the Adept Brotherhood. Instead he left it entirely to people’s intuition to activate their interest. In any case it would have been no good to tell people directly of his inner authority, in these areas one can only move forward from the highest principles from within oneself. Here, as elsewhere, the old saying holds true, “A word to the wise is sufficient”.

The Place of Ceremonies in the Spiritual Life:

          A word of clarification needs to be entered here in view of the fact that many people have managed to confuse themselves to the extent of thinking that ceremonies are unnecessary on the spiritual journey. If these ceremonies were empty and devoid of inner meaning, inspiration and benediction perhaps that may be true, but the sort of ceremonies that we are talking about were given to humanity from the very highest level. First of all they symbolize degrees of spiritual evolution and attainment that the conscious mind is not yet fully able to grasp; as it were coming events cast their shadow before them. Secondly, they are used as a mechanism of conferring blessings upon individuals and groups by one or other members of the Inner Government of the World who use devic or angelic assistance to achieve their results, and thirdly by participating fully in the ceremony the human being gains skills in action and gradually acquires abilities to control the physical, astral and mental components of their nature as a prelude to the spiritual-soul talking flight, which in the ancient world occurred in a transitory way during the ceremony of initiation. Mr. Hodson, in many of his writings, demystified the whole subject and educated us in the appropriate inner meaning of ceremonies from the extensive clairvoyant research he did into the subject ( e.g. the occult significance of Freemasonry and the inner side of church worship).

 

 Yoga:

Yoga means yoke or union. It is a science of self-culture and mental discipline that removes or transmutes the negative side of human nature and leaves behind the enhanced God-self able to function through transformed vehicles of consciousness and vivified brain cells. 

            Mr. Hodson verified from his own interior experience the effectiveness of the Science of Yoga in uplifting and expanding human consciousness. His mission in regard to aspiring people that he met in his travels around the world was to fan that interior interest, so that eventually they could qualify themselves to become disciples of a Master of the Wisdom. He knew that this is where the real training occurs and especially when the Greater Mysteries are entered, which alone permit the higher insights and god-like faculties to be brought forth. This process, which is called “The Path Ideal” or the “Path Life”, short-circuits and prevents so many problems that come from trying to go it alone. In fact, Mr. Hodson believed that it is impossible to go it alone beyond a certain level. He sometimes mentioned in his talks and writings the statement of the Lord Gautama Buddha, that at a certain stage in their development everyone needs a kalyanamitra - a Pali word which means "an elder in evolution that befriends one".

          

       To aspirants who chose to follow the line of development known as Yoga, especially in the Western World, where retreat to a yogic ashram is not always a viable or realistic option, as for example due to family responsibilities, Mr. Hodson suggested that they make their own homes into a yogic ashrams. Success in the spiritual life, whether it be through the Mysteries or by Yoga, has a great deal to do with maturity and application as well as individual temperament. Since aspirants tend to re-contact inner traditions from life to life on earth, no effort in a positive direction is ever really lost. Students may sometimes wander far searching in the ways of the world, but ultimately over time they come back to their spiritual home and at a certain stage a spiritual breakthrough occurs. If the aspirant has come to this fortunate breakthrough position, sometimes a relatively minor stimulus can produce illumination, at least to some extent. The practice of meditational yoga without a decent sort of moral and ethical base is a waste of time and may actually be harmful. In other words it is not possible to do hurtful things to others in one part of one’s life and expect the soul to be able to take flight, due allowance and exception for this being made in genuine wars of defence for protection of others and fair administration of the legal system, where sometimes force has to be used for the greater good (c.f. the dilemma of Arjuna at the battle of Kurukshetra in The Bhagavad Gita). 

 

Mr Hodson’s own recommended Yoga:      

            To be quite frank on the subject, Mr. Hodson had effectively mastered meditation himself and had actually outgrown the need for any set form. Sometimes he used a single intonation of the pranava or Om to transfer his consciousness to the inner planes, but he didn’t even need to do this. However, he highly recommended to others a form which he had used during his rise called A Yoga of Light, which had been gifted to him by the great Indian yogi, Sri Ramana Maharshi, as being especially suitable for Westerners.Ramana_image.jpg This yoga is available in booklet form with a helpful commentary. The form can also be found online at this theosophical site: 

http://www.tssydney.org.au/article5.html 

from whence it is recommended that you learn the actual words which are slightly different and fuller than the recorded version of Mr. Hodson leading the meditation below, although the audio gives a great deal of impact, being as it is in Mr. Hodson's own voice. Also, I  thought it was a good idea to precede it by another audio clip which has some very basic advice. More advice on meditation was given by Mr. Hodson in his many lectures, especially in a seven part course on meditation that he gave in various parts of the world. However, the instructions here should be sufficient to start a student on a very constructive path of development.

          As mentioned above the form of  A Yoga of Light has to be memorized before it can be used, but that is not very difficult to do. My own experience after using it for many years is that it does not necessarily have any immediately dramatic results, but if you keep on steadily - even 5 or 10 minutes a day - it will help to open pathways in your consciousness and then later on, presumably at the Master’s choosing, you will find that you have mysteriously developed some form of conscious communication with the inner worlds related to your own psyche. It is advisable not to be too precious or too purist about your expectations for yoga, of course to fully realize God or the God-Self within is the ultimate goal, but on the way to that goal, manifestation through your own particular keynote and genius occurs, and you are wise if you can build on that and not repudiate it as is the tendency in certain traditions. If you want to you could experiment with this yoga and expand parts of it, as I have myself, using the following additional information that Mr. Hodson supplied from his inner plane investigations: 

“To the permissible aspiration for psychic awareness and cell-enfiring yoga leave room for the yogic experience of One-ness, affirming “I am That One, That One am I”. As the yogi develops, he or she continuously gains wider and wider and so less and less personal ranges of experience, or deeper and deeper realisations of the fact that the idea of “others”, of oneself as a separate entity are erroneous. They have been necessary and what might be called imprisonment within them essential to successful passage through phases of human life and mental experience from personal to impersonal – ever more and more so. There is no such thing in the Universe as One Spiritual Being – miscalled Self – as separate from any other. No such Entity exists; for there is only a Vast Unitary Identity, a ONE, a UNIT, but not separate because there is nothing else in existence from which to be separated. Like all Sun-Rays and other radiances physical and superphysical emanating from the Sun, each human “Ray” (Monad-Ego as you will) is an indivisible part of the Sun or Source. 

In the quietude of your own mind as you meditate, dwell upon this extraordinary and wondrous Truth that ONLY ONE EXISTS and there are not any others anywhere. Then affirm in your meditative consciousness and seek ever to know “I am that all inclusive ONE, THAT am I.” 

Clarity, exactitude, energy, power are the important factors continually to be applied. 

Place your consciousness in the middle of your head. Try and hold it there and then whilst your consciousness is in or near that position, repeat contemplatively and yogically the aphorisms on ONENESS enclosed.3 Then experiment with periods, states of consciousness, of stillness, of quiet unrestrained receptiveness. Allow the intensive effort – aspect of your yoga to quieten down. Sink into mental silence in intuitive aspiration. Then contemplate the ONE ALONE in quietude. 

Don’t mind experimenting and don’t mind if no marked results follow immediately. Just continue quietly and without any sudden expectations, with this guidance and the great truth revealed, and (do not misunderstand) with a certain contentment, peace, like entering the front door of one’s home and chanting “peace, peace, peace.” 

 

3  1. There is only one Vast Unitary Identity, a ONE, A UNIT. 

   2. All are like SUN-RAYS and other radiances emanating from the SUN. 

   3. Each human “RAY” (Monad-Ego) is an indivisible part of the Sun or SOURCE. 

   4. The extraordinary and wondrous TRUTH that ONLY ONE EXISTS and there are not any others anywhere. Seek ever to know and affirm: “I AM THAT ALL INCLUSIVE ONE, THAT AM I.” 

ENTER INTO this knowledge of ONLY ONE-NESS:  I AM THAT ONE, THAT ONE AM I.” 

Experience this SUNRISE and NOON-DAY-SUN within mind, heart and brain. 

Practice the silence in a state of intuitive perceptiveness, know LIFE IS ONE. 

The Glory of Oneness 

Let exaltation fill your mind as you contemplate this splendour, glory, truth that Only One exists I am that One That am I.” 

 

            Although it may be hard to initially understand the magnitude of higher sense perceptions and  the level of attainment  which Mr. Hodson reached, it all had its origin in this yoga of One-ness. And if a person is truly on the yogic line of development there is no more direct form of guided meditation than  A Yoga of Light.                                                  

 

 

"Please turn on your speakers"

                                                                                                                        

(1) Simple Guidelines on Meditation:

                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                            

                                                                

(2) A Yoga of Light

                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                           

  Mr. Hodson knew and had access to some of the most accomplished yogis on the planet – of course it goes without saying that the greatest of the yogis were all fellow initiates connected with the Inner Government of the World. Just read this incredible out of the body experience that Mr. Hodson had into the famed, almost mythical yogis, of Mt. Kailasa in Tibet and you pretty well get the idea that anything that he needed to focus his consciousness on was very easily accessible to him:

 

 “14 January 1959                                                                                                                      

            I remember being amongst the snowy heights of the Himalayas last night. My friend and I visited, amongst other peaks, Mt. Kailasa, having floated very easily side by side in the mental body but retaining the vision of the physical planets. When thus travelling, we saw the edges of our auras kept contact, and through this we were able to keep perfect mental communication. The auric contact can be felt somewhat like holding hands physically. 

 Kailasha_image.jpg           We went up a long valley to the foot of Kailasa, which is shaped roughly like a great curve or half-circle with a peak at the summit when approached from that side. We saw certain caves in which hermits lived amidst the snow and ice, far above the world and all its affairs and cares. There was a group of such sages presided over by a Senior. Their bodies were mostly only just alive and very slightly conscious, although we realized they could and do become physically awake at will. There was one Who had long black hair, black eyebrows, beard and moustache. He was a Being of very great power, an Adept with an enormously vibrant, brilliant and far-reaching aura, virtually embracing the whole mountainside. They were not normally approachable, being withdrawn to an extraordinary degree from the rupa planes and apparently living out their lives in a kind of physical hibernation under this Great One, Who was much more physically awake and active than most of the others. Their bodies were warm in spite of the extremely low temperature and it seemed that they live perpetually amidst snow and ice. 

            I think that they were in grades because there was one who didn’t appear to be so evolved as some of the others, although sufficiently developed to keep his body warm and to sustain Samadhi. His hair was very matted and he looked dirty, but I realized these effects were due to prolonged Samadhi, during which the hair had grown and the body become coated with dried material exuded from the skin as waste toxins and perspiration. He was physically unconscious and insensible and sat facing the mouth of his cave some few yards back. The interior was rather dark and there was some jutting rock which gave the appearance of shelves or seats. There was a kind of terrace outside which really was part of the pathway of ascent. Physical people such as pilgrims may pass and see him quite immovable but alive. He was in one of the yoga postures – I think the lotus asana

            Higher up the mountain, where no one could physically reside, lived the more developed men, including the great Adept. He looked as if clothed in a freshly washed and ironed white linen garment, and His body shone physically with a white radiance extending some inches from the skin. He was able to be in Samadhi and physically alert and awake at the same time, and His eyes and consciousness seemed to be turned towards India as if He were responsible for it and ministering to it all the time. He was definitely one of the Adept Members of the Great White Brotherhood and of very high rank. His face was something like the mosaic pictures of Christ in Byzantine churches, powerful yet benign. We both noticed the strange fact of the perfect freshness and cleanliness of body and clothing and the fragrance which emanated from it. I think it was sandalwood, though sweeter, as if attar of roses had been added. He was on a raised platform or dais made of wood and about six inches high, being just large enough to hold His body, which remained motionless, though His eyes moved and were remarkably brilliant. One received an impression of timelessness and of being near to eternal truths in the presence of the sages of Mt. Kailasa. 

            I couldn’t tear myself away from this region and the Rishi of Kailasa for a long time. I could see his heart chakram and marvelled at it as well as the other force-centres of His body. But especially wonderful was the heart. Very privately, I incline to the view that this is the real ancient Rishi Agastya of the Hindu scriptures and that any other physical being living in India would be a representative official under Him. I think the body lives without food, or at any rate without eating. If food is taken, it would be made by Kriyashakti or transported from somewhere else occultly. I was impressed by the sense of complete liberation, not only of the Monad-Ego, but even of the body itself, from all necessities and restrictions of any kind, individual power being virtually absolute. 

            Finally, I withdraw down the valley again, floating lightly and easily and feeling awe-inspired by my experience. I followed the valley down to a river and to earth’s greenery again.  

            I am impressed by the perfect psychic purity of the regions visited at such high altitude. Though I was unconscious of it, I knew that the cold was intense and it seemed as if this very low temperature had an occult and psychic sterilizing effect. On Kailasa itself, the purity was absolutely apart from the powerful spiritualizing influence of the yogis and their great Senior. 

            I see that the truly spiritual life of India is, in reality, highly organized and, I think, under this Great One of Kailasa. The true gnanis, the high yogis, and the heads of mutts and similar organisations are all linked with the Regent of India, though some of them may not be aware of it. The Shankarachyra of Conjeeveram (Kanchi) knows about it, asSri Kanchhi_image.jpg do several others4. It is wise when travelling about India always to keep one’s eyes open for those who display true nobility of bearing and appearance and, if so moved, to approach them. 

            I remember that I was very solemn as I floated rather slowly down the valley from Kailasa, feeling that I had been richly blessed and the recipient of a great privilege. I paused on the way down, where the face of a glacier was melting, and watched the change of condition and density of the substances. I saw that the change from ice to water occurred in many steps from hard ice to soft ice and so on. 

            My own freedom of movement was fairly complete, and I was free also from the pressure of time, as if time in the superphysical bodies were extended and depended far more upon consciousness than physical time, which is so unalterably fixed. There was no sense of being limited because of the enforced return to the body‚Ķ.” 

             

Light of the Sanctuary – the Occult Diary of Geoffrey Hodson, pp185-187 

 

4Mr. Hodson had a privileged interview with this great yogic sage – the 68th Shankarachyra of Conjeeveram or Kanchi. Like Mr. Hodson, he also had the higher sense perceptions in excellent working order and was able to tell him when he asked, the location of the Rishi Agastya, which Mr. Hodson then verified in the out of the body experience quoted above.  

 Shiva_swami_image.jpg

            Another important yogi that Mr. Hodson met in South India was Shiva Swami, I have included images of the visit made to this holy man's ashram in the Gallery. There are implication in The Diary from one of the Masters of the Wisdom of the spiritual greatness of this yogi, who had similar abilities to Mr. Hodson himself, which is probably why they made an immediate bond as brothers in the spiritual life.

               

             As mentioned, Mr. Hodson had mastered the meditation process and on several occasions when I was having private discussions with him I saw him put himself into immediate yogic consciousness by merely intoning the pranava or Om. This put him in contact with the causal (higher mental) or buddhic (intuitional) levels and whilst there it was possible to ask him questions, and he sustained a sufficient link within his brain consciousness to be able to answer them, although you could tell from the unearthly nature of his voice that he was seeing and hearing things at a much more glorious and inspired level than you would be able to access on earth. He also had a remarkable ability to find out what the unique needs of a person were from a meditational point of view, partly by talking to their immortal spiritual soul or Ego and partly by looking at their past lives. He also believed in the efficacy of other forms of yoga and sometimes overviewed them in his talks and recommended them to individuals if he found a match with their needs. In my own case he explained that the Chinese system of yoga had made a big contribution to my growth in past lives and recommended it to me. Some years later when I took up Taoist Yoga and Zen studies I found that without very much effort,  I was able to experience aspects of a certain universal expansion of consciousness quite easily at that time, presumably due to past-life experience in Chinese yoga that Mr. Hodson had so accurately pinpointed for me. 

 

            Mr. Hodson also pointed out that even in something as spiritualizing as yoga there is still room for common sense and wisdom in application. One very aberrated young man once came to consult him and it transpired that he had been practicing all seven forms of yoga for seven hours a day, which had a very disorientating effect upon him. Mr. Hodson recommended that one finds the form of yoga suitable for oneself and steadily perseveres with it until progress is made. Of course the great advantage, if a person is able to comprehend the significance and follow the Path Ideal, is that eventually one of the Masters of the Wisdom will take you under his wing as it were, and individualize your yoga by giving specific recommendations which are uniquely suitable for you. Also, members of the angelic hosts (the devas) are involved in this process, especially those which reached adeptship in the human kingdom and then transferred over to the devic kingdom. Some of these great beings specialize in the area of spiritual awakening and work in conjunction with the Inner Government of the World. Thus, The Path, is very much connected with success in Yoga, and the aspirant would be well advised to note that fact and be discriminating in embracing advice from other teachers who suggest that it can be dispensed with. 

 

Whether one comes to the jumping off point of occult knowledge by any of the traditional disciplines (the main ones being The Mysteries and Yoga) or just by an evolutionary expansion of all those qualities in a human being that make for the good and the true, eventually the time comes to essay the awakening of the kundalini force, which is usually precipitated by instructions from your Master with the assistance of a specialized kundalini angel or deva. This is a most dangerous procedure and the reason it is applicable to so few of us at the present time is described in general terms by Mr. Hodson in the statement already quoted in Clairvoyant observations under Disease and Healing viz. most people are not ready to forego the pleasures of the world. 

 

There is no effective solution for lack of readiness other than to say that through a sort of spiritual evolution of consciousness our perspective eventually changes over time. In this respect one of the greatest statements ever written on the subject is found in another of Mr.Hodson’s books, the source being a dictation to him from The Master Kuthumi (who in a former life was the great mathematician and illumined spiritual teacher Pythagoras, an initiate of nine of the Mystery Schools of the Ancient World, and one of the greatest ever spiritual influences to the world): 

 

“Arise all you who would attain. Send up your cry for light and enter fearlessly upon the upward Way. It is for you. It calls you. It is your destiny to succeed. Aid awaits you. Your Teacher is near you, watching. Look not back but forward and you will see His face. Earth’s Supermen wait upon earth’s men, ready to assist each one who answers the call and with sincerity and whole-heartedness gives himself entirely to the Quest of light and power and truth, aspiring ardently to become a servant and a saviour of the world. 

“Is worldly life still so attractive that it binds you to the world? Is earthly light so beautiful that it blinds you to heavenly beauty? Are you so wedded to the world that severance therefrom is as yet impossible? If so, then your time has not yet come. But if all fails around you and life seems a hollow mockery, and worldly gain and power a sham, then your time has come. Arise and seek that which alone endures and is real – the spiritual life with its crown of spiritual power and a sense of serene bliss that nothing in existence can evermore disturb. 

“Not lightly, but with deep sincerity, let your resolve be made. Balance for yourself the two alternatives and make your choice between the worldly life, with its fleeting joys and temporary gains, and the spiritual life with its everlasting bliss and peace. That choice between impotence to meet your own and other’s need and omnipotence to conquer self and lead others to like victory should not be difficult. Make it and come to join the ranks of those whose choice long ago was made and who steadfastly persisted until the end in triumph over self and mergence with the One Self of All.” 

 The Pathway to Perfection, G.Hodson,TPH, Adyar, 1954. pp x-xi 

 

 

In his travels around the world Mr. Hodson had been privileged to observe occasional incidences of sudden awakenings and noticed that these usually tended to happen to more morally elevated people. But, since suddenly illumined people, let alone reincarnated yogis and Great Initiates are relatively rare, Mr. Hodson recommended the slow, systematic and steady application to the procedures of the spiritual life, with full confidence that when one’s Master sees it helpful to bring on the awakening process this will be done without delay.  

 

            Some of Mr Hodson’s books which may appeal to those interested in The Path Ideal of Yoga and The Mysteries are: A Yoga of Light (booklet) 1954, The Call to the Heights (guidance on the pathway to self illumination), 1976, Meditations on The Occult Life, 1968, The Pathway to Perfection, 1973, The Inner Side of Church Worship, 1930, At The Sign of the Square and Compasses 1976, The Occult Philosophy Concealed within Freemasonry, 1985. The mature essence of Mr. Hodson’s thought on Yoga and the Mysteries is found in his posthumous work The Yogic Ascent to Spiritual Heights, 1991 as well as the two other books of The Trilogy (see Booklist). 

 

Bill Keidan

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