Three worlds surround, penetrate and bear up this physical world, which is the lowest, and the sediment of the three.
|Vol. 7||MAY, 1908.||No. 2|
|Copyright, 1908, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
CONSCIOUSNESS THROUGH KNOWLEDGE.
MAN, the mind, is the same in nature and essence as God, the Universal Mind, or Intelligence. He is this consciously or unconsciously, either in part or in perfection. Man is God in the proportion or degree to which he is able to know and act according to the plan in the Universal Mind. He is at one with the Universal Mind or God so far as he is able to consciously create, preserve and re-create. Without knowledge, he thinks and acts in darkness or uncertainty; as he nears perfection, he thinks and acts with the light of knowledge.
The process of passing from darkness into light, from ignorant desire (♏︎), into knowledge (♑︎) is through thought (♐︎). The mind begins to think through the primitive races. As it continues to think, it changes or improves the type of the race or its capacity to think until it creates a perfect instrument through which it thinks justly and wisely.
The crystal sphere of the mind (♋︎) begins its work in this world by trying to breathe itself into rhythmic movement through the animal human form. Each crystal sphere acts according to its development. The animal human form resists the motion of the crystal sphere of the mind. From this resistance is born a flash of thought. This flash of thought is not a well-formed thought. A well-formed thought is the product of the response of the animal human to the crystal sphere of mind. This response is made when the animal human is either compelled by, or answers readily, the motion of the crystal sphere of mind. Through many lives, through many races, the human animal forms compel by desire the incarnating mind breathed into them from the crystal sphere of the mind; by the continued breathing and incarnating, the mind gradually overcomes the resistance of desire; then the desire is, through thought, first compelled and later trained and educated to act with, not against, the mind.
The mind, incarnated from its crystal sphere, is ignorant of its bodies and the worlds to which it is related. To the mind, ignorance is darkness, but when it discerns itself, the mind knows; it is knowledge, the light of knowledge; it is a column or sphere of conscious light which knows. This light, this knowledge, may be striven for and either grown into by a persistent process of reasoning, or it may shine through and illuminate space when it comes like an infinite flash of brilliance, or it may dawn and grow into the unfailing lightness as of myriad suns, while in deep meditation. But however it comes, the mind knows itself by its own conscious light.
After it has discovered itself by its own conscious light and become aware of the world of knowledge, darkness will again come to the mind, though the knowledge remains and cannot be lost. The darkness comes when the mind leaves the world of knowledge and becomes again conscious of the bodies to which it is related, and from which it is not yet freed.
While in ignorance and darkness, the mind is on its cross of flesh and is kept in the lower worlds of matter. With knowledge, the mind loosens the bonds of flesh and is freed from the lower worlds, even though it remains in them. After the mind is freed from the bonds of the flesh it may act from the world of knowledge and still remain in its body of flesh.
All this is done through thought. Thought is the medium of communication between the spiritual world of knowledge and the lower worlds. Thought is the result of the action and reaction of mind and desire, and thought is also the cause of all phenomena appearing in all the worlds below the world of knowledge. Through thought the universe is created; through thought the universe is preserved; through thought the universe is destroyed or re-created. Thought (♐︎) is the beginning and the end of the path which leads to the world of knowledge. Entering the unformed world of life (♌︎), thought (♐︎) gives direction to life and causes it to precipitate and crystallize into the form (♍︎) appropriate to the character of the thought. In the least developed races the thought of the individual is for the preservation and perpetuation of its body. Not knowing itself and deluded by the senses into the belief that its existence depends on the body, the personality uses every means to protect and preserve the body, even at the expense of others, and, like a frightened shipwrecked man clinging to a sinking spar, it disappears; it is overcome by the ignorance of death. So the mind, in its passage through the lower to the more developed races, continues to think and act until an intense feeling of separateness and selfishness for its personality is developed and it continues to alternately live and die through civilizations and races. In this way the mind builds up and destroys civilizations in the course of its incarnations.
But there comes a time when the mind reaches its maturity; then if it is to progress instead of traveling continually around the same beaten track, it must think outside of and away from the senses. It does not know how it shall think of that which is not associated with one or more of the senses. Like a young bird which prefers to remain in its familiar nest, fears to test its wings, so the mind prefers to think of sensuous things.
Like the bird, it may flutter and fall, not having the confidence which comes with experience, but with repeated trials it finds its wings and, with experience, confidence comes. Then it may soar and take long flights into the hitherto unknown. The first efforts of the mind to think apart from the senses are attended by many fears, pains and uncertainties, but after the first problem has been solved there comes a satisfaction which repays all efforts. The ability to enter an unknown sphere, to take part in hitherto unknown processes, brings a joy and mental exhilaration which is followed by mental strength rather than exhaustion. So with each problem solved, the confidence which comes with successful mental voyages is assured; the mind has then no fears as to its strength and ability to travel, search and discover. The mind then begins a course of reasoning as to the causes of phenomena; it discovers that it must proceed from universals to particulars, from cause to effect, instead of from effect to cause; that it must have an idea of the plan of a thing if it is to know where any particular part of that thing belongs. All difficulties are overcome by continued effort.
How then is the mind to begin a course of reasoning which is not based on sensuous perceptions and which proceeds from causes to effects rather than the reverse? One way is open to us which, though well known, is seldom used to this purpose. It is that of the study of pure mathematics, especially of pure geometry. Mathematics is the only exact science, the only one of the so-called sciences which is not based on sensuous perceptions. None of the problems in plane geometry can be proven to the senses; the proofs exist in the mind. Inasmuch as the efforts of the mind have been to experience through the senses, it has applied mathematics to the senses also. Nevertheless, mathematics is the science of the mind. All mathematical theories and problems are seen, worked out and proven to the mind, then only are they applied to the senses.
Pure mathematical processes deal with and describe the grade and development of the mind during its involution and evolution throughout the series of its reincarnations. This explains why mathematics is applied by materialistic thinkers to physical science rather than to spiritual knowledge. Geometry may properly be used to plan and construct matter in the physical world, but it should first be known that that great branch of mathematics is primarily to test and develop area and form from the mind, then to apply it to physics and relate it to the mind. Geometry, from a point to a cube, describes how the mind develops and comes into a physical body, and also indicates that the line of its evolution will be equal to the line of its involution. This is shown in the zodiac thus: the line of involution is from cancer (♋︎) to libra (♎︎), therefore the line of evolution must be from libra (♎︎) to capricorn (♑︎).
When the mind during a life first begins to think in its own world, the mental world, after having accustomed itself to the physical world of the senses, it is in a condition similar to that of the time when it acted as a child and was learning to understand and become accustomed to the physical world of the senses. As it went out into the world through the senses to gather information and experience of the world, so now, when it would enter its own world, the mental world, it has to struggle to become acquainted with the ideas of that world.
Heretofore the mind had depended on the senses to prove the information gathered in the physical world, but those senses are no longer used when it enters its own world. It must leave the senses behind. This it finds difficult to do. Like the young bird which leaves its nest, it must depend upon its wings for flight. When a bird is old enough, an inherent inborn instinct it impels it to leave its nest and fly. This instinct causes it to inflate its lungs, whereupon a magnetic current is generated which decreases its weight. It spreads its wings, then launches itself into the air, its element. It flutters, steadies itself and flies to its objective point. When the mind is ready for flight in its own world, the mental world, it is prompted by a yearning inward and upward. It closes its senses temporarily by mental abstraction, aspires, and then, like a flame, it leaps upward. But it does not as readily become acquainted with its world as does the bird. The mental world at first appears to the mind to be dark, without color and without anything to guide it in its flight. It has, therefore, to find its poise and make its own paths through the to it pathless spaces of the mental world. This it does gradually and as it learns to think clearly. As it learns to think clearly, the mental world, which had appeared to be a chaos of darkness, becomes a cosmos of light.
By its own light the mind perceives the light of the mental world and the currents of the thoughts of other minds are seen as the roads which have been made by the world’s great thinkers. These currents of thoughts are the beaten roads of the mental world along which the minds of the men in the world have moved. The mind must turn aside from the beaten tracks in the mental world. It must soar upward and upward still, and by its own light it must open the path and create a higher current of thought in order that those minds who now follow on the beaten track in the mental world may see their way to pass into higher altitudes of life and thought.
To the mind who is so able to rise in aspiration and clear sight there comes an inflow of strength and power and a feeling of ecstatic content and confidence that justice is the order of the universe. Then it is seen that as the arterial and venous blood flows through the body of man, so there are streams of life and thought which circulate through the physical world from the mental and the surrounding worlds; that the economy of nature and the health and disease of humanity is carried on by this circulation. As the venous blood returns to the heart and lungs and is purified, so what are called evil thoughts pass into the mind of man, where they should be cleansed of their impurities and sent forth as purified thoughts—a power for good.
The mental world, like the incarnated mind, reflects from below and from above. The world and all which it stands for reflects itself up to the mental world and on the mind of man. As the mind is prepared it may have reflected into it the light from the spiritual world of knowledge.
Before it was capable of receiving the light of the spiritual world of knowledge, the mind had to free itself from such impediments as laziness, hatred, anger, envy, restlessness, fancy, hypocrisy, doubt, suspicion, sleep and fear. These and other impediments are the colors and lights of the life of the mind. They are like turbulent clouds which enclose and surround the mind and shut out the light from the spiritual world of knowledge. As the impediments of the mind were suppressed, the clouds vanished and the mind became more quiet and restful, and it was then possible for it to gain entrance into the world of knowledge.
The mind gained entrance and found its way into the mental world by thought (♐︎)); but thought could take the mind to the entrance only of the world of knowledge. The mind could not enter the world of knowledge by thought, for thought is the boundary and limit of the mental world, whereas the world of knowledge passes boundless through all the lower worlds.
The world of knowledge is entered by the knowledge of self. When one knows who and what he is he discovers the world of knowledge. It is not known before. This world of knowledge reaches into and includes all the lower worlds. The light of the spiritual world of knowledge is constantly present through all our worlds, but we have no eyes to perceive it, just as animals have no eyes to perceive the light of the mental world which thinkers enjoy. The light of knowledge is to men as darkness, even as the light of the ordinary mind is known to be the darkness of confusion and ignorance when seen by the light of knowledge.
When man as a self-conscious light first discovered himself to be such he got the first glimmer of real light. When he saw himself as a conscious light there began to dawn for him the light from the spiritual world of knowledge. As he continued to see his light, he as a conscious light became stronger and more luminous, and as the conscious light of Self continued, the impediments of the mind were burned up as dross. As the impediments were burned out, he as a conscious light became stronger, more radiant and effulgent. Then the light of the spiritual world of knowledge was perceived clearly and steadily.
Sensation ruled in the physical world, desire in the psychic or astral world, thought in the mental world, but reason only persists in the world of knowledge. Passion was the light of the physical world, desire lighted the psychic world, thought was the light of the mental world, but the light of the world of knowledge is reason. The things of the physical world are opaque and dark and dense; the things of the psychic world are dark, but not opaque; the things of the mental world are light and dark; the things of all these worlds reflect and throw shadows, but there are no shadows in the world of knowledge. Each thing is there as it really is; each thing is a light in itself and there is no thing to throw a shadow.
The manner by which the mind gained entrance into the world of knowledge was through itself, by its own light as a self-conscious light. There is a thrill and joy of strength and power when this is known. Then even as man found his place in this physical world, so the mind as a self-conscious light knows itself to be such; it becomes a law-abiding resident in the spiritual abstract world of knowledge and takes its place and order in that world. There is a place and a work for it in the world of knowledge even as there is a place and a purpose for everything in this physical world. As its place is known and its work done, it gains in strength and power as exercise causes an organ to increase in strength and efficiency in the physical world. The work of the mind who has found its place in the world of knowledge is with the worlds of phenomena. Its work is to transform darkness into light, to bring order out of seeming confusion, to prepare the worlds of darkness that they may be illuminated by the light of reason.
The conscious resident of the spiritual world of knowledge perceives each of the worlds as it is, and works with them for what they are. He knows the ideal plan existing in the world of knowledge and works with the worlds according to the plan. He is aware of the ideal forms of knowledge, which ideal forms are the ideas of form rather than forms. These ideal forms or ideas of form are perceived to be persistent and indestructible; the world of knowledge is perceived by the mind as permanent, perfect.
In the spiritual world of knowledge the identity of self is seen and the identity of ideas and ideal forms is known. Omnipotence is felt; all things are possible. The mind is immortal, a God among Gods. Now, surely man as a self-conscious light has reached the fullness of his strength and power and has attained the fullness of perfection; further progress seems impossible.
But even the high state attained in the spiritual world of knowledge is not the greatest wisdom. As the mind had experienced, matured and grown out of the physical world of the senses, passed through the psychic and mental worlds into the spiritual world of knowledge, so there is a period in the maturity of the immortal corresponding to the periods when it decided to grow upward out of the lower worlds. When this period is reached the mind decides whether it shall maintain its identity apart from those who have not attained its high estate, or else return to the worlds where other minds have not discovered themselves nor grown out of the sphere of sensuous dogmas. At this period a choice is made. It is the most important moment experienced by the immortal. Worlds may depend on the decision made, for the one who decides is an immortal. No power can destroy him. He possesses knowledge and power. He can create and destroy. He is an immortal. But even as an immortal he is not yet free from all delusion, else there would be no hesitation in choice; his decision would be spontaneous. The longer decision is deferred the less the choice is liable to be right when made. The doubt which prevents immediate choice is this: Throughout the ages required to evolve forms and build bodies, it was necessary for the mind to think of form; in thinking of form it had connected Self with form. The connecting of self with form had continued even after the mind had discovered itself as a self-conscious light, though it continued in a less degree than when man conceived himself to be his physical body. To the self-conscious light who is immortal, the idea of separateness of self remained. Knowing, therefore, the long ages which had been taken to attain to immortality, the mind may conceive that if it again mingled with poor humanity—who will not seem to profit by experience—there will be a waste of all its past effort and a loss to it of its high position. At this time, it may even seem to the immortal that if it again became intimate with human beings it would lose its immortality. So it continues until the choice is made.
If it chooses to remain immortal in the spiritual world of knowledge it remains there. Looking down from the light of the spiritual world of knowledge, it sees the conflicting thoughts of the world of men, the cauldron of desires of the psychic astral world and the fierce turmoil of passion in the physical world. The world with its mankind appears like so many worms or wolves who crawl and growl over each other; the littleness and futility of human effort is seen and despised and the immortal is satisfied in having chosen to remain apart from exaggerated littleness and pernicious indulgences, fierce greed and struggling ambitions and uncertain sentiments of the sensations with their attendant ever-changing ideals, which all go to make up the petty delusions of the world. The little physical world loses interest for the immortal and it disappears. He is concerned with larger affairs. Knowing his power, he deals with forces and other powers; so he continues controlling and drawing to himself more and greater power. He may wrap himself around with power and live in the world of his own creation to such a degree that all other things may become entirely absent. To such an extent may this be carried that he may remain conscious only of his being in his world throughout the eternities.
It is different with the immortal who makes the other choice. Having reached the fullness of Self as a self-conscious light and attained his immortality, knowing himself among other immortals, he still perceives and knows the kinship between himself and all that lives; knowing that he knows, and that humanity knows not, he decides to continue with humanity that it might share his knowledge; and, though humanity should frown upon, deny or try to scourge him, he will still remain, as will a natural mother who soothes her child while it ignorantly and blindly pushes her away.
When this choice is made and the immortal wills to remain as a worker with mankind, there comes an accession of glory and a fullness of love and power that includes every existing thing. Knowledge becomes the great wisdom, the wisdom which knows the littleness of knowledge. The ideas and the ideal forms and all things in the world of knowledge are in their turn known to be as impermanent shadows wafted into infinite space. The gods and the highest gods, as forms or bodies of light and power, are seen to have the impermanence of a lightning flash. All things great or small are known to have a beginning and end, and time is but a mote or fleecy cloud that appears and disappears in boundless light. The cause of the understanding of this is due to the choice made by the immortal. The impermanence of that which had appeared permanent and indestructible is due to a greater wisdom, in having chosen wisely.
The cause of knowledge and wisdom and power is now discovered. The cause of these is Consciousness. Consciousness is that in all things from which they are enabled to act according to the capacity to comprehend and perform their functions. Now is seen that that by which one knows what is known is Consciousness. The immortal is now conscious that the cause of the light in all things is the presence in them of Consciousness.
The mind was able to conceive itself as a self-conscious light. The mind must be able to picture the details of an atom; to grasp and comprehend the fullness of a universe. Due to the presence of Consciousness the immortal was enabled to see the ideas and ideal forms which persist from age to age, and by which and according to which are reproduced universes and worlds. The fully illuminated now perceives that the immortal is only such by virtue of the sublimation of matter so that it might reflect the light which comes as the result of the presence of Consciousness, and which light appears as matter is refined and sublimated.
Matter is of seven grades. Each grade has a particular function and duty to perform in the economy of nature. All bodies are conscious, but not all bodies are conscious that they are conscious. Each body is conscious of its particular function. Each body progresses from grade to grade. The body of one grade becomes conscious of the grade above it only when it is about to enter that grade. The seven grades of matter are: breath-matter (♋︎), life-matter (♌︎), form-matter (♍︎), sex-matter (♎︎), desire-matter (♏︎), thought-matter (♐︎), and mind-matter (♑︎). Breath-matter (♋︎) is common to all grades. Its function is to be the field of the operation of all grades and its duty is to impel all bodies to act according to their grade. Life-matter (♌︎) is the material used in the building of bodies. Its function is to expand and grow and its duty is to build up form. Form-matter (♍︎) is that grade of matter which gives figure and outline to bodies. Its function is to hold life-matter in place and its duty is to preserve its form.
Sex-matter (♎︎) is that grade which adjusts and balances matter. Its function is to give gender to form, to relate bodies to each other and to specialize or equalize matter in its downward or upward path. Its duty is to provide the bodily conditions in which beings can experience the appetites of nature.
Desire-matter (♏︎) is the sleeping energy in Universal Mind, and the ignorant, blind force in man. The function of desire-matter is to oppose any change from its grade and to resist the motion of mind. The duty of desire-matter is to impel bodies to reproduce.
Thought-matter (♐︎) is the grade or state in which mind acts with desire. Its function is to give character to life, direct it into form and to perform the circulation of life through all lower kingdoms. The duty of thought is to bring the spiritual world into the physical and raise the physical into the spiritual, to transform animal bodies into human beings and to transmute the human into an immortal.
Mind-matter (♑︎) is that state or grade of matter in which matter first feels, thinks, knows and speaks of itself as I-am-I; it is matter carried to its highest development as matter. The function of mind is to reflect Consciousness. The duty of mind is to become immortal individuality, and to raise to its grade or plane the world below it. It judges the sum total of a lifetime’s thoughts and causes them to condense into one composite form, including psychic tendencies and characteristics, which is projected into life and becomes the form of the next life, which form contains in germ all the thoughts of its past life.
All worlds and planes and states and conditions, all gods and men and creatures, to the very tiniest germs, are seen linked together in a grand procession so that the most primitive element or the smallest grain of sand by an infinite series of transformations and progressions may wind its way and travel from the lowliest stages along the links in the great chain until it reaches the height where it becomes conscious of Consciousness and of the possibility of becoming at one with Consciousness. To the degree that one is conscious of Consciousness does he understand the changelessness and absoluteness of Consciousness and the impermanence and unreality of all else.
But the great wisdom of being conscious of Consciousness does not remove the immortal from the world of man. By being conscious of Consciousness man feels the universe is kin. By the presence in him of Consciousness, and by being conscious of the presence of Consciousness, the immortal sees into the heart of each thing, and is that thing more completely as he is conscious of the presence of Consciousness. Each thing is seen in its own state as it actually is, but in all things is seen the possibility of their constant progression from ignorance through thought to knowledge, from knowledge through choice to wisdom, from wisdom through love to power, from power to Consciousness. As the manifested worlds of phenomena must be passed through to attain to knowledge, so must the analogous noumenal spheres of being be entered to attain to Consciousness. Man the mortal must first get and be knowledge, for only through knowledge will it be possible for him to attain to Consciousness.
Love Consciousness above forms, possessions and ideals, above all powers, religions and gods! As you worship Consciousness intelligently, confidently and with reverent love, the mind reflects Consciousness and opens fearlessly to the deathless presence of Consciousness. Invulnerable love and power is born within one who knows. Formation and dissolution may continue through the infinitude of world systems, but, knowing illusion, you will take your place in the stream of time and aid all matter in its evolutionary course until it is able to make its own conscious choice and travel the path to Consciousness.
He who is conscious of Consciousness is not intoxicated while borne aloft on the wave of life, nor does he sink into oblivion when submerged by the returning wave called death, he passes through all conditions and remains conscious in them of the ever presence of Consciousness.