Theosophy | INDIVIDUATION AND INITIATION – I

  The Daimones are . . . the guardian spirits of the human race; ‘those who dwell in the neighbourhood of the immortals, and thence watch over human affairs,’ as Hermes has it. In Esoteric parlance, they are called Chitkala, some of which are those who have furnished man with his fourth and fifth Principles from their own essence; and others the Pitris so-called. . . .The root of the name is Chiti, ‘that by which the effects and consequences of actions and kinds of knowledge are selected for the use of the soul,’ or conscience, the inner Voice in man. With the Yogis, the Chiti is a synonym of Mahat, the first and divine intellect; but in Esoteric philosophy Mahat is the root of Chiti, its germ; and Chiti is a quality of Manas in conjunction with Buddhi, a quality that attracts to itself by spiritual affinity a Chitkala when it develops sufficiently in man. This is why it is said that Chiti is a voice acquiring mystic life and becoming Kwan-Yin.

The Secret Doctrine, i 288

 The integral relationship between initiation and individuation can be grasped through the essential logic of the entire process of evolution. From the standpoint of matter, the logic of transformation involves increasing heterogeneity, differentiation and complexity. At the same time, there is a commensurate withdrawal of subjective and spiritual faculties which cannot function freely through limited projections or distorted reflections. The degree of spiritual volition depends upon the texture of the reflecting medium. In the collective thrust of evolution every single life-atom in all the seven kingdoms of Nature is touched by the same primal universal impulse towards self-consciousness. Within the broad perspective and purpose of evolution as a whole, the possibilities of initiation are enriched by individuation at a high level of self-consciousness. Initiation, in its most hallowed meaning, must always involve the merging of minds of Guru and chela into a state of oneness with the ineffable Source of Divine Wisdom. This mystical and magical relation of Manas and Mahat was comprehended and transmitted in secret sanctuaries. It was intimated in the enigmatic etymology of the word Upanishad, ‘to come and sit close’, so that there could be direct communion of minds and hearts. Sacred teachings are conveyed and communicated through the eyes and not merely through words, although mantramic sounds have a sacred and vital function. In the Bhagavad Gita Arjuna’s earnest enquiries and Krishna’s cosmic affirmations and psychological adjustments bring to birth within the mind of the chela the seed of chit, a level of consciousness which negates, transcends, and also heightens individuality. Initiation is the highest mode of individual communication, and it necessarily involves a mystic rapport between one who has gone before and one who is to come after, rather like the magnetic transference between mother and child. Such a relation is inherent in the logic of evolution because, as a result of an extremely long period of evolution, it is impossible to find any mechanical sameness between all human beings. They are identical in their inmost essence but so markedly different in the internal relations of their vestures that there cannot be complete equivalence between any two persons. Hence experience and reflection reveal both the mystery of each individual human being and the commonality of what it is to be human.

 At one level of communication The Secret Doctrine is a metaphysical treatise on cosmic and human evolution. But at another level, for those who are Buddhic, it is not merely a book, but the initiatory presence of the compelling voice of the Verbum or Brahma Vach, reverberating in the society of sages, the Rishis who are of one mind and one lip. For the ardent seeker of Divine Wisdom, The Secret Doctrine is a series of stepping-stones, as the Upanishads and the great scriptures of all times have been, towards initiations into the mysteries of Selfhood. Through ever-renewed contact with the teaching, the chela begins to enact self-consciously and by degrees the realities which ordinary individuals sporadically experience at some level through deep sleep. This process comes alive through prolonged meditation for the sake of universal compassion, making one’s breathing more benevolent for the purpose of elevating all beings in all the kingdoms of Nature. When a person begins to do this, it is the awakening of Bodhichitta, the seed of enlightenment. It is the first step in translating knowledge into wisdom, words into realities, and resolves into actions. Having turned the key of compassion in the lock of the heart, the disciple will come to realize, through inward communication with the Teacher, the fuller meaning of the Upanishads:

Upa-ni-shad being a compound word meaning ‘the conquest of ignorance by the revelation of secret, spiritual knowledge’. . . They speak of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as also of the metaphysical connection of mind and matter. In a few words: They CONTAIN the beginning and the end of all human knowledge. .

The Secret Doctrine, i 269-270

 The practical import of the metaphysical teaching of The Secret Doctrine lies in the fact that the highest spiritual powers are partly used by each human being every day but without fully knowing it. Light is universal, but it makes all the difference whether one has a blurred sense of perception and merely consumes light, or whether one can take a magnifying glass and concentrate light. There are also those who are like the laser beam which can direct a concentrated shaft of light to destroy cancerous cells and produce a range of extraordinary effects upon the physical plane. There is something of kundalini at work in every human being. Electricity and magnetism are sevenfold and work at the highest cosmic level of Akasha, but they also work at the most heterogeneous and diffusive level because everything is electrical and magnetic, from the occult standpoint. The aspirant must grasp, even at a preliminary level, the moral and psychological implications of this metaphysical “power or Force which moves in a curved path” in man and Nature.

 It is the Universal life-Principle manifesting everywhere in nature. This force includes the two great forces of attraction and repulsion. Electricity and magnetism are but manifestations of it. This is the power which brings about that ‘continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations which is the essence of life according to Herbert Spencer, and that ‘continuous adjustment of external relations to internal relations’ which is the basis of transmigration of souls . . .

Ibid., i 293

The two aspects of this omnipresent power mentioned here have to be totally mastered by the initiated yogi in all their possible manifestations. Long before this stage is reached, the disciple must begin to learn to govern these internal and external relations through Buddhi Yoga in order to fulfil the prerequisite conditions of magnetic rapport with a true Teacher of Wisdom.

 The universal process of adjustment of the external to the internal, which leads to involuntary reincarnation for human beings, must be understood in terms of karma. At the most primary level, whenever human beings entertain and succumb to emotional reactions, they establish mental deposits and astral grooves which require many lives for proper adjustment. That is why over eighteen million years so many people approach the Path again and again but stumble and lose their track just as often. They cannot make a fundamental breakthrough even when in the presence of great teaching. For those who have made the teaching an internal living power in their consciousness, this is comprehensible as essential, just as the world seems clear to a child when its eyes are directed to the light of the sun. Whilst this is true for all human souls, the philosophical recognition of how this works is important. Every emotion registers an appropriate record in the astral vesture. It is wear and tear on the linga sharira and is at the expense of something or someone else. Thus selfishness is increased. This is true even if the emotion is benevolent for emotion itself is a form of passivity. Emotion is quite different from deep feeling which is unmodified by cyclic change or external event and is totally independent of outward demonstration. Emotion is like cashing a check: whilst it makes money available, it depletes the account. It is a way of demanding proof. As a form of external indulgence it is a passive fantasy which weighs heavily upon the astral vesture. To that extent it obscures one’s inmost feelings which are detached and compassionate. All the higher feelings are ontologically powerful and at the same time they constitute a pure negation psychologically. Though only an initial understanding of the problem, this is sufficient to explain why merely sitting down to postures and trying to control the external breath by hatha yoga exercises cannot make a significant difference to the inevitable adjustment of internal and external relations inherent in life itself. There is no substitute for facing oneself, asking what one is truly living for, how one is affected by likes and dislikes, and how one’s temper — or sophrosyne — is unbalanced through various irritations.

Raghavan Iyer
The Gupta Vidya II

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