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Chapter 1
Three Things Every Neophyte
Should Know
PERSONAL alchemy embraces the various changes which the devotee of The
Religion of the Stars must make in his manner of living as he ascends the spiral ladder
in his effort to become that crowning glory of earth, the perfect man, or adept.
The most important function of a religion is to instruct people how best to live. Such
instruction as is given must necessarily be based upon the kind and amount of
information possessed by the religion. And its ability actually to help those who
embrace it depends even to a greater extent upon the reliability of the information
upon which its doctrines are founded. If the information it possesses is largely false,
to that extent, instead of being helpful to its devotees, it is a hindrance to their true
adjustment to life and its problems.
A vast amount of research has indicated that inner-plane energies have as much
influence over human life as do outer-plane energies. Thus in The Religion of the
Stars in addition to facts relating to the material plane, and teaching each individual
and each group how to live to the maximum of cooperative helpfulness, to the most
certain happiness, and to the utmost spirituality, important facts are taught about the
inner-plane and its energies. The history, nature and future possibilities of the human
soul are explained. The power of thought as a factor in human and other types of life
is emphasized over and over again. The vibratory emanations of objects are
classified. And the effect, use and cultivation of the emotions are given detailed
consideration.
Yet not one of these things, nor any other factor of human life, can be completely
understood in all its significance unless it is linked, either by correspondence or by its
relation to a given birth-chart, with astrological energies. Therefore, even though we
avail ourselves of every important finding of material science, go far deeper into
psychology than the most erudite materialists, and leave no stone unturned to gather
information in this world and from the realms of the after life; because the adequate
interpretation of any of it, in so far as the human soul is concerned, is impossible
without the aid of astrology, and because astrology affords the best possible
road-map for guidance to the most effective and highest type of life, we call our
religion The Religion of the Stars.
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It is a popular conception, and one still held by backward astrologers, that astrology
is mere fortune-telling.
According to this popular conception of fortune telling by means of astrology, by the
psychic faculties, or by some method of divination, a properly qualified individual is
able to discern what will take place in the future. This future he reveals to his client,
who then knows what is going to happen, but is powerless to do anything about it.
This conception is both erroneous and inadequate. It fails to take into consideration
either the nature of astrological energies or the power of the individual. In Course XII-2,
Chapter 8 it is explained in detail that astrology only maps inner-plane weather conditions,
that with our present knowledge we are powerless to change either the outer-plane
weather or this inner-plane weather, but that with equal facility we can take
precautionary actions, when the impending weather is foreknown, that usually will
enable us to escape disaster from bad weather and which will enable us to take greater
advantage of favorable weather.
Once at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and once in San Francisquito Canyon near Los
Angeles, due to unusually heavy rains the dam of a huge reservoir broke and brought
loss of life and huge property damage. In either case it was quite impossible for those
living in the path of the surging flood to prevent its approach, or to cause the rain
which was responsible to cease before the dam broke, or even to prevent their homes
being washed away. Yet those who received warning in time were able to make their
way to safety before the water reached them, and were able to induce their friends
also to seek proper refuge. Those not so warned met an ugly death.
It is unlikely that those in authority would have paid any heed to an astrologer, or to a
seer, who had told them the dam would break. In fact, it would have been unusually
difficult to have brought sufficient pressure upon those in authority to have caused
them to take the steps necessary to prevent either disaster. Neither the astrologer nor
the individual living below the dam could have altered the situation that the dam
would break, even though they foresaw that it would do so, and had ascertained about
the date when the flood would occur. But those living below the dam who were
convinced that the astrologer, or the seer, had accurate information about it, could
have moved their personal belongings and themselves from the path of the water to
come, and could have warned their acquaintances to do likewise.
In regard to the San Francisquito disaster I do not need merely to suppose such a case,
because there were families who believed in such warnings, and who as a result of
them moved out a few days before the dam broke.
But I am not relating this to cite an instance in which astrology, through its warning,
saved the lives of those who believed in it. I use this actual instance to illustrate
something that every Stellarian should make a part of his religion. It is that, so far as
the individual is concerned, his reaction to a condition is never irrevocably
predetermined. Perceiving a condition approaching, no matter whether it is
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presignified by astrology, by extrasensory perception, or by some method of
divination, he always retains the power, up to the moment he acts, of acting
differently. Even though clairvoyantly he is seen acting in a certain way in the future,
up to the time he acts he has the power within himself to act differently than was
perceived in the clairvoyant vision.
There are both outer-plane and inner-plane weather conditions that are so drastic that
in spite of forewarning the individual cannot escape disaster. In early 1949 there
were blizzards with cold and such snow over the Great Plains area of the United
States that even though they had known how severe the weather would be, many
people would have perished and thousands of their cattle would have starved and
frozen. Other people so warned could have found refuge, could have driven their
cattle to more sheltered areas adjacent to food, and thus been spared disaster. And in
like manner, under most conditions, if the individual is aware in advance what the
astrological weather will be during a certain period he can take steps which will
enable him to escape what otherwise would be disaster, and to take greater advantage
of favorable conditions when they arrive.
The First Thing a Neophyte Should Know is that He Has the Power to Direct His Own
Destiny
--The neophyte striving for adeptship can never hope to attain that exalted state, or
even to make much progress toward it, so long as he supinely waits for the
misfortunes shown by the stars to overtake him, or languorously looks forward to
such benefits as are shown to be showered into his lap. There is not one misfortune
that comes into his life that, foreseen, cannot be made less severe in its effect upon
him, and not one blessing that cannot in some measure be made more bounteous by
the proper use of intelligence and initiative. Chief among the objectives of The
Religion of the Stars is to enable the individual to attain optimum living. And to
attain optimum living, to the greatest extent possible he must enfranchise his soul.
Astrology and the various other arts and sciences explained in Brotherhood of Light
lessons are not to be studied merely to learn what is going to happen to the individual,
but chiefly to give him information as to what he can and should do about every
condition that arises or is foreshown. His interest in what is going to happen should
be, to the extent of his power, to make it happen in the way he desires, or at least so to
adjust his life that it will not affect him adversely.
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Every one of the 210 lessons in the 21 courses contains information which can be
used in some manner to give the individual a surer mastery of his own destiny. The
soul, hampered with a physical body here on earth, must function in an environment
which constantly influences its physical form and its astral form. It cannot be free
from the actions of people, it cannot be free from the impacts of physical objects, nor
the influence of the foods it eats, and it cannot be free from the influence of heat, cold,
wind and moisture. Nor can it be free from the equally powerful influence of people's
thoughts, the character vibrations of objects, and the inner-plane weather which
crowds against its finer form.
Nevertheless, with an understanding of both the outer-plane and the inner-plane
environmental forces and how they work, it can bring its own energies to bear in a
manner which will enable it to expand its own possibilities and move persistently in
the direction of spiritual unfoldment.
What is seen in the future, whether by astrology, or by some psychic means, is the
relation of the physical environment or the inner-plane environment, or both, to the
individual. It cannot be foreseen what the individual will do when so environed or
influenced. From a knowledge of the individual's character, and a knowledge of the
type and power of the energies influencing him, it can be foretold with reasonable
accuracy what he is likely to do. But the final decision is up to him. If, foreseeing the
condition before it arrives he decides to act differently, he has the power to do so.
Initiative and intelligence form the lever and the fulcrum by which the soul can lift
itself from its slavery to any force or condition.
The birthchart, mapping as it does the organization of the individual's experiences up
to the moment of birth in human form, does indicate both the natural aptitudes and the
predispositions. But it does not irrevocably determine an individual's thoughts,
emotions, or his reactions to environment. The predispositions, if he uses initiative
guided by intelligence, may never develop into the events or conditions indicated.
You may be sure that person with Mars conjunction the Asc. has a predisposition to
be fiery, combative, and easily aroused to antagonism. Yet I know people with this
position who are calm, mild spoken, and almost never show anger.
They invariably admit that in early life they had a violent temper. This temper and
undue aggressiveness may have brought them serious trouble. Then they may have
taken up occult studies which revealed how unwise permitting outbreaks of temper
is, or the change may have been merely because they realized how disagreeable they
were in the sight of others. But for some reason these individuals had determined to
overcome a tendency with which they were born, and which an astrologer would
immediately recognize in their birth-charts. They had resolved not to pass through
life with the character with which they were born. And by dint of persistently
cultivating other habits they had actually, and beneficially, changed the personality
shown by their birth-chart.
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I could tell of other acquaintances I have made during the almost fifty years of
looking at birthcharts who were born with Saturn so prominent and afflicted that they
were personifications of grasping selfishness. And I could speak of their coming into
a higher conception of life, perhaps embracing The Religion of the Stars, and from
thence on gradually changing the personality so that they came to be recognized far
and wide for their charitable impulses and generosity in helping philanthropic
enterprises.
But I do not need to draw my personal acquaintances into this discussion to illustrate
the truth that the individual has it within his power to change the character with which
he was born, and which the birth-chart indicates. For history is replete with the lives
of great men who, in spite of early character defects and blemishes, changed their
lives gradually until they were more noble, more powerful, and more useful to
mankind than this early character and birthchart might commonly indicate.
Therefore, the neophyte endeavoring to realize the power of his soul to direct its own
destiny should recognize that character and ability undergo a process of continuous
change. They are not static, not something poured into an unchanging mold; but
moving forward or retrogressing from day to day, from week to week, and from year
to year. You do not possess the same character, the same abilities, the same power to
attract opportunities, that you had a year ago, or that you will have a year hence. You
do not possess the same character with which you were born, or which you had in
astral life a few years before you were ushered into human form.
The birth-chart does very accurately map your character, opportunities, harmonies
and discords as they existed at birth. You may have lived up to the expectations there
shown, or have fallen far behind what ordinarily should be expected. But that is not
too significant for the future. What you want to do now is to start at your present stage
of development and move forward in the development of knowledge, ability,
inner-plane organization and spirituality as fast as possible.
To do this you must really know yourself. You should become thoroughly familiar
with your own birth-chart and what it indicates. From it you should find out what
particular aptitudes you possess, and then decide how these best can be developed
into abilities which will benefit society. You should ascertain within what kind of an
environment such abilities as you expect to develop can be used with most good
fortune, as indicated by your chart. And then you should develop these abilities, and
use them to the advantage of universal welfare.
From your chart you should find out toward what diseases and unfortunate events
you are predisposed, and then take the necessary precautionary actions to prevent
them developing or coming to pass.
You should get a good perspective of the fortune or misfortune your chart indicates
for each of the twelve departments of life, and should take advantage of those which
tend toward good fortune, and take precautionary actions relative to those that
indicate misfortune.
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And you should cultivate the type of thinking which is the natural antidote of the
planetary energies in your chart which are discordant and thus tend to attract
misfortune. One of the biggest jobs you have, and one which you should work at
daily, is to reorganize more harmoniously the thought-cell organization of your finer
form. Not only the events you attract in this life, but those you will attract in the next
life, are due to the psychokinetic activity of these thought-cells so they will desire,
and work for, more harmonious events.
But such a knowledge of your inner-plane organization, or character, as mapped by
the chart of birth is not enough. You must also be aware in advance of the inner-plane
weather conditions which will influence you and tend to attract into your life events
of a certain type at indicated periods. Unless you know when a certain type of
inner-plane weather is going to arrive, and what kind of events it commonly brings
with it, you are almost sure to experience these events. But if you know what the
inner-plane weather will be before it arrives, and take the proper precautionary
actions, the events will be more favorable, and often you will be able entirely to avoid
those which are unfortunate.
In order thus to take advantage of foreknowledge of inner-plane weather conditions
you must know in advance the progressed aspects which map the inner-plane
weather. And you should learn, from a study of Course 9, Course 10 and Course 16,
just what precautionary actions to take to handle any given set of inner-plane weather
conditions to best advantage.
The neophyte should calculate and set down in chronological order all his major
progressed aspects for several years ahead. He should at all times have them thus
calculated several years ahead and set down where he can conveniently consult them,
and he should thus keep aware of the kind of inner-plane weather and what it is likely
to bring several years in advance. He should know just when each such major
progressed aspect gets within the one degree of effective orb. And he should keep
aware several months in advance when each sub-major progressed aspect gets within
its one degree of effective orb, and when it moves beyond the one-degree of effective
orb. Thus will he know when a certain kind of inner-plane weather will start and
when it will cease.
To keep thus informed by being able to see all of the major progressed aspects at a
glance, and to discern the period during which each is within the effective one degree
of perfect, there is nothing better than to have a Church of Light Aspectograph
hanging on a wall, with the lines drawn showing all the major progressed aspects
covering 12 years.
During the period when each important major progressed aspect is within the one
degree of effective orb--which can be ascertained by a glance at the
Aspectograph--the neophyte should also keep informed a month or two ahead of
just when minor progressed aspects forming to one of the four terminals of the major
progressed aspect will reinforce its power and make it more likely at that time to
attract an event of the character of the major progressed aspect.
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To keep thus informed by being able to see both the major progressed aspects and the
minor progressed aspects reinforcing them, nothing is better than to have a Church of
Light Aspectograph hanging on a wall, with the lines drawn on it showing all the
major progressed aspects and the minor progressed aspects for 12 months in
advance.
The Aspectograph not only shows when each aspect is perfect, but shows at a glance
when each minor progressed aspect, which may have reinforcing power, is within the
effective one degree of orb to any birth-chart or major progressed position.
However, it is not important whether the neophyte draws his progressed aspects on
an Aspectograph, or whether he merely tabulates them in a note book which he keeps
handy and consults at frequent intervals. The important thing is that at all times he
should keep aware of major progressed aspects and when they will be reinforced by
minor progressed aspects before they are actually present, and that he take the proper
precautionary actions relative to each. If he does this, he will have much better
fortune in all departments of his life, and will be able to make progress twice as fast as
if he had ignored them. And if he ignores them he may meet obstacles that are too
difficult for him to overcome.
The Second Thing Every Neophyte Should Know is that He Should Be Cosmic Minded
--I do not mean that every person who believes in The Religion of the Stars, and
who, perhaps, becomes somewhat proficient in some branch of occult science, will
become cosmic minded. I refer here to the earnest neophyte who has determined to
live The Religion of the Stars, as well as believe in it, and who is determined to
approach as closely as possible the state of actual adeptship. Such a determination
implies great devotion.
Real devotion to The Religion of the Stars, such as the neophyte will find absolutely
essential before he reaches adeptship, requires a complete readjustment of the mind,
and consequently of the life, from the conceptions and actions which are common to
non-religious men. It requires an absolute and unconditional surrender of the life to a
religious principle. But this surrender, and the actions which spring from it, are far
different than those of any orthodox faith. The only resemblance to orthodox
devotion is the completeness with which the devotee delivers his life into the keeping
of the Divine Mind.
He is led to this surrender of his personal ambitions, not through blind faith, but
because, in some manner he has become conscious that the cosmos is an organization
of minor intelligences of various degrees, presided over, and permeated by, an
Infinite Intelligence. Just how this conviction first will be borne home to him
depends upon a variety of circumstances. He may at first become convinced merely
by observing what goes on in nature, and thinking about it. Or he may become
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convinced through observing how accurately the Hermetic Axiom, `As it is below,
so it is above; as on the earth, so in the sky,,, works. Or he may gain this vision
through a flash of illumination. Or, again, it may seep into his consciousness as
gently as the frozen clods of earth are warmed and caressed by the northing sun at the
first advance of spring.
The easiest way for the neophyte to gain cosmic mindedness is through using The
Church of Light Mantram. It should be repeated every night at least once after getting
into bed and before going to sleep, and every morning after waking and before
arising.
It should be made as much a habit as undressing at night and dressing in the morning.
Such an ideal as this, based upon Truth, held in the mind and vivified by The Church
of Light Mantram given below, will produce a mental and spiritual state in which the
individual will tune in on the all-pervading Super-Intelligence of the universe at a
high vibratory level. And, in the course of time, it will be spiritually assimilated and
then will evolve outward and become the dominant idea of Truth, which will result in
Spiritual Power.
"1. My Soul is One with the Universe, and my Spirit is an emanation from Deity.
"2. I am commissioned by the Infinite One to assist in the scheme of His Creation.
"3. I am assisting in the progressive evolution of creation, and in so doing my soul
and its infinite possibilities are progressing in proportion to my desire to use all my
powers and possibilities in Spirit and in Truth.
"4. My physical organism is my natural universe, over which I alone will rule. It is
my material cloak, or garment, through which I will manifest the powers of my
Divine Nature.
"5. I am progressing rapidly toward the subjugation of matter and the complete
lordship over all sub-mundane atoms of life, which exist only by my permission, as
peaceful and obedient servants within the lower animal realms of my dominion.
"6. They exist by virtue of their functions in the work of creation, which I am now
assisting; but they are, and ever must be, subservient to the higher realms of Spirit to
which I by right belong.
"7. I am eternal Spirit. My Soul is Immortal. No power in this infinite universe can
alter my immortal nature, nor control my Soul's glorious destiny of eternal
progression; because My Soul is One with the Universe and My Spirit is an
emanation from Deity."
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Whether it comes from the use of this mantram, or through some other channel, you
may be sure that long before any individual reaches real adeptship he will have
adopted the cosmic method of life set forth in this Church of Light Mantram.
This method of life, at all times, and in all ways, subjugates the desires of the devotee,
and the actions resulting therefrom, to the principle of cosmic welfare.
Every day problems arise. Sometimes these problems are not important, and at other
times their proper solution may mean the difference between success and failure, or
even between life and death. That is one of the chief functions of all life-forms, to try
to handle the situations with which the life-form is confronted in the best possible
manner. Only those life-forms which have successfully solved the problems with
which they have been confronted have survived. The others became extinct. All
progress depends upon learning how to handle conditions to better advantage, how to
overcome difficulties.
The neophyte, therefore, should develop the habit of thinking carefully about his
daily life, as well as about more important problems, to discern if he is handling all
his affairs in the best possible manner. He should at all times be on the alert to try to
handle every situation with which he is confronted or to which he has already become
accustomed, in the best possible manner.
And in thinking each problem through, little or large, he should base his decision as
to the best manner of handling it on the premise that each should be handled in the
manner that will contribute most to universal welfare.
Thus to the true devotee of The Religion of the Stars there is but one type of
counterweight to be used in the scales when weighing any decision. That
counterweight is the extent to which the thought, feeling or action being weighed will
contribute something beneficial to universal society.
Some of us are fairly familiar with the idea of The Surrendered Life through the
attitudes of devotees of other religions. Such devotees seek to submerge their
individualities, to become automatons directed by the guiding force of some
religious conception. Some, for instance, renounce material possessions, take no
thought of their physical well being, and spend their time in prayer. Others,
especially in the Orient, make a pronounced effort to suppress every desire and to
destroy the individuality, or to bring about a blend of the individual with the
principles of nature in such a way that physical effort and physical life hold no
attraction. There is a subjugation of Self which leads to passive acceptance of things
as they are, and spurs the devotee on to no greater effort to change conditions about
him.
But the surrender of his life to the Divine Will, as made by the devotee of The
Religion of the Stars, both in conception and in result, is almost the direct opposite of
this.
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The devotee of The Religion of the Stars--and every neophyte who seeks true
adeptship must ultimately become such a devotee--recognizes, through his
countless contacts with other life-forms, and through even more direct contact with
the Super-Intelligence, that there is a Supreme Mind Whom most call God, Who
permeates and actively directs the whole universal manifestations on all its planes.
And because, through his observations and studies he has become convinced that this
Supreme Mind is amply fit and capable of managing the cosmos, he accepts God as
his highest superior in this universal organization of which he forms a minute, though
essential part.
Having faith that God knows how to run the universe far better than does man, he
looks to God for instructions regarding what he can do to benefit the universal
organization. And his studies give him a good general idea of what God is trying to
accomplish and how He is trying to accomplish it. Perceiving this, instead of doing
the things his unenlightened desires would lead him to do, or doing things according
to the narrow viewpoint of materialism or orthodoxy, he undertakes to do the things
God would have him do. God is the General Manager of the cosmos, and he is a
workman taking orders from the General Manager, or from those appointed over him
by the General Manager.
Even in the industrial plants of earth, the workmen do not run about and do just as the
impulse moves them. If they did, the organization would fail, and they would
themselves shortly experience hardship. Instead, each individual finds something to
do, or is directed to it, and works, not just as his inclinations move him, but with the
single aim in view of furthering the chief objectives of the whole organization.
And the devotee of The Religion of the Stars, in a like manner, strives continuously,
not to satisfy his own passing whims, but to do those things which he is convinced
will aid the purposes of the whole cosmic organization. His study of the 21 courses of
Brotherhood of Light lessons is for the purpose of finding out what the General
Manager of the cosmos is trying to do, and how he, a workman in the cosmic plant,
can do that which will help most toward the realization of the Divine Plan.
He completely surrenders his own whims and passing desires to the furtherance of
the Divine Plan. He realizes that the good of society as a whole is far more important
than the good of any single individual, like himself. Consequently, in every action,
every day of his life, he considers the effect upon cosmic society, and upon this
Progressive Universal Plan which the Divine Mind has so competently formulated,
and which he has somewhat discerned in his study of The Religion of the Stars.
But this surrender of his life to the fulfillment of the Divine Will is just the opposite of
the negative attitude of those of certain orthodox faiths who surrender their lives to
religion. These individuals, for the most part, strive to withdraw from the world and
its affairs. They seek a holy life in which the active work of the world, and the active
work of the after-life, are performed by less holy individuals. They fail to realize that
if the universe is to advance to a better condition, intelligence and initiative must
actively be used in making it better.
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They are like a certain class of potential voters in our national life. These, because
they do not like the way political conditions and economic affairs are handled, refuse
to meddle in politics, and do not even take the trouble to cast a vote. They seem to
believe that somehow things will get better due to the efforts of others. They might
just as well think when their auto breaks down on the road all they need to do is to sit
in the car until someone comes along and repairs it. It may be that, with no initiative
or activity on their own part, no telephoning some repair garage, some kind-hearted
person will come along, stop, and repair their car or call a repair garage. But they thus
merely shift to others the work they should do.
Yet when a car stalls, instead of hoping someone will come along who will stop and
fix it, the intelligent man does whatever he can to remedy the trouble. And if he
cannot fix it himself he calls a repair man to come and do the work. And when those
who do not like the way our government is run, who feel our economic system is
unjust, exercise as much intelligence and initiative in remedying conditions as those
do who now determine how these affairs are handled, we shall have a new and better
political and economic era.
Likewise, when holy men, instead of merely dreaming of a more perfect type of life,
either here or hereafter, in which everything will be provided for them without effort
on their part, and in which they will escape distasteful contact with worldly turmoil;
when these men realize that the condition of the world and the condition of the
after-life depend upon the intelligent effort men make to change conditions for the
better, then progress will become more swift, both below and above.
But the devotee of The Religion of the Stars recognizes that things are not just going
to be done for him, and are not just going to be done for the universe. The progress of
the cosmic organization depends upon the intelligence and initiative thrown into it by
the various individuals who compose it. Do not think that God, the General Manager
of the concern, is going to do all the work of the whole organization. The work to be
done has been efficiently planned by Him, and the end to be accomplished through
that work made apparent. He gives instructions as to the methods to be employed.
But the actual work to be accomplished, the actual progress of the cosmos, is in the
hands of subordinate intelligences.
Some of these subordinate intelligences have vast powers, enabling them to direct
the construction and development of a universe. But they, in turn, are dependent for
what is accomplished upon lesser intelligences working under them. And so on down
the scale of organization, man on earth being a type of workman who has it within his
power to grasp the overall scheme of things in a general way, to discern what he can
do as a workman, and also possessing considerable power to direct the energies of
intelligences less advanced than himself into proper channels.
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The devotee of The Religion of the Stars thus arrives at a state where he perceives his
responsibility to universal society. He realizes he is a factor in the scheme of things,
and that he can at all times do something to help realize the Divine Plan. He does not
expect the universe to run itself, any more than he expects an automobile to run itself.
He is not afflicted with the idea that the whole organization would collapse if he
should shirk on the job; but he does know that what he can do really helps things
along. And because he recognizes these things he exerts his energies and his
intelligence and his initiative to the utmost in furthering the realization of the Divine
Plan.
And to do this with the utmost efficiency of which he is capable, he forgets himself
except as this self is a factor in the furtherance of realizing the cosmic scheme. Yet
this is not in the direction of destroying his individuality, his initiative, or his
ingenuity. Instead of discouraging individual initiative and ingenuity, the good
manager of any concern does all he can to encourage his employees to do
independent thinking, to devise better ways of performing work, to suggest superior
ways of handling departments, and to think of any and everything that will make for a
more successful organization. To surrender the life to the Divine Mind as taught by
The Religion of the Stars, requires that the individuality should be built and
strengthened, that the intelligence should constantly be used, that abilities should be
increased, and that knowledge should be accumulated, instead of any or all of these
being subdued.
In reference to the way to handle things in the manner best for universal welfare, the
constructive attitude should be cultivated. This attitude is given detailed discussion
in Course XIV, Chapter 2. It means, among other things, that the character must be so
changed that whatever situation arises, pleasure is felt in the attempt to meet it in the
best possible way. Not that this attitude will always result in overcoming the
difficulty. But viewing whatever transpires as a new problem which gives
opportunity to devise the best way to meet it, and taking pleasure in meeting it in the
manner devised, not only increases efficiency, but it permits no inharmonious
vibrations to be built by the thoughts into the finer body. This completely
constructive life, based upon the problem attitude toward events, is one of the marks
of adeptship; and any neophyte who succeeds in building it into his character as a
permanent habit-system may be assured he is well along the path toward becoming
an adept.
As to what will best assist in the furtherance of the realization of the Divine Plan,
almost every thought and action can, through adopting the constructive attitude, be
made, at least in some small degree, to operate in this direction. But for a general
overall picture of those things which assist such progress, and which we should at all
times work to see realized, this will become clear when we recognize from our
observation of nature that all life-forms are striving to realize in greater degree the
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drive for significance, the drive for nutrition and the drive for reproduction. Nutrition
in its expanded form embraces all those things which give the life-form health and
continued existence. And reproduction in its expanded form embraces not merely
physical progeny, but also mental progeny. New and original ideas are offspring
resulting from the reproductive desire.
If people are to have food, clothing, shelter and the comforts of life with which to
satisfy the nutritive drive, they must have adequate information, and they must not be
curtailed by the greed for power or material things by those of special privilege.
Activities which assist people to have freedom from want further the realization of
the Divine Plan. And as fear arises from anticipation of want or of injury, anticipation
that the nutritive drive or the reproductive drive will not be realized, activities which
assist people to be free from fear also further the realization of the Divine Plan. And
freedom from fear can only be had when there is adequate information.
Religion merely strives to employ nonphysical means to continue to realize the drive
for significance, the drive for nutrition and the drive for reproduction after the death
of the physical body. And if it is to perform a sound service, people must have as
much information as possible about both planes. Thus is it also dependent upon
freedom of information.
Any activity, therefore, which will assist people to have freedom from want, freedom
from fear, freedom of religion, and particularly that freedom of expression which
constantly seeks and disseminates as widely as possible new information, is in the
direction of assisting in the realization of the Divine Plan.
The Third Thing Every Neophyte Should Know is that to Use Occult Knowledge or Psychic
Power to Take Advantage of Another is Disastrous
--Merely from the moral point of view, it is no greater wrong to enslave another, to
take money away from him unjustly, or to influence him to conduct detrimental to
himself, through the use of occult powers and knowledge than it is to use a gun or a
club to gain the same ends. The individual doing any of these things has not grounded
his personality in The Religion of the Stars. He still belongs to the stratum of
humanity which has evolved in intelligence above the brutes, but which as yet is
moved and activated by the motives and impulses of the brute world.
Of course, whatever method is employed to gain an unjust advantage over another,
reacts unfavorably upon the character. One builds into his character the mental states
which correspond to his thoughts, feelings and actions; and when these are selfish
and antisocial they lower the dominant vibratory rate of the individual. He sinks to a
lower spiritual level.
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But in the practice of the occult sciences and the application of occult knowledge, an
additional factor is always present. This additional, and very important factor, which
can be avoided by no one who makes extensive use of occult knowledge or occult
powers, is that by the very nature of occultism its study and practice tunes the
individual in on entities of a similar vibratory rate and similar desires in the unseen
world.
Such tuning in may be, and often is unconscious. But the intelligences thus
contacted, nevertheless, assist him in his investigations and in his endeavors. They
are attracted by his desires, which are of similar quality and basic vibratory level as
their own.
Thus the moment he begins to use his occult knowledge to take advantage of his
fellow man, and the moment he begins to use occult powers to the detriment of others
and the benefit of himself, this mental attitude tunes him in on and attracts to him a
swarm of invisible life of the lower astral levels. Unknown to himself, perhaps, he
has tuned in on a realm of iniquity; and the entities of these realms, some of which are
of the racketeer and gangster type, and some of which are elementals, strive by every
cunning means to get him under their power. And you may be sure, if he continues to
use occultism as an unfair means to gain advantages, or to injure others, that every
such operation on his part places him more and more in the power of invisible forces
which delight in the slavery they force upon him.
That this is the case need deter no well-intentioned person from occult pursuits.
Occultism is no more dangerous than other scientific knowledge. Hardly a discovery
of material science--the latest important one at this writing being atomic energy--is
made that does not open the way for the foolish to destroy themselves through it.
Every step in human enlightenment opens up new fields for foolishness, new fields
by which the greedy may exploit the unwary, and new hazards commensurate with
its advantages.
To the individual who remains not on the plane of real humanity, but sinks back to the
brute level in his morals, occultism offers tremendous dangers, both to himself and to
his victims. It is not something for one less than human to meddle with. And if he
does tamper with it, from the plane of brute life, he will come upon an awful
reckoning. The life and suicide of Adolf Hitler is but one of numerous examples that
might be cited.
Yet to such persons as have attained the normal vibratory level of humanity, the
occult sciences, which merely explain inner-plane facts, offer no such dangers. Such
individuals will not shoot a man in the back to rob him, and they will not use occult
powers to rob him. Such individuals will not embezzle the money of widows and
orphans behind the cloak of the law; neither will they use astrology to find the
weaknesses of victims whom they can traduce. To the man of average morals,
occultism offers no more perils than does material science.
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But this the neophyte, seeking adeptship, should realize at start; that with every gain
of knowledge and power comes the opportunity to use them either for selfish and
unworthy advantage or for the benefit of cosmic welfare. And his own soul's weal
depends upon his using such powers as he comes into possession of for the good of
all. Yet, because his ability to help others in large measure depends upon his own
welfare, in pursuing the practice of The Religion of the Stars, in which every
decision, every thought, every action and every emotion is determined upon the basis
of HOW MUCH IT CONTRIBUTES TO UNIVERSAL WELFARE, he will usually
find that his own affairs prosper amazingly.