The Teaching Summary, Contents: The Channel Introduction, Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Summary, Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Appendix, Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Conclusion
What has been the effect of the Teaching? Has it convinced me of its reality? Remember that I did not acquire it in the form in which you have just read it. The Summary is the bare bones, the essential skeleton on which all else hangs. I absorbed the Teaching gradually over a period of more than twenty years, through a succession of questions asked and remembered by my Conscious Mind. The account of this period makes another story which I have been asked to write, but in this conclusion I am concerned with the result as it affected me. This, therefore, is just a personal conclusion, and without authority.
There are two ways in which one reacts to fresh knowledge, first the impact on feelings or emotions, then the reactions of one's reason to it. As far as the first is concerned, inevitably for me, because of the method of communication, I knew it to be so. This brought about a curious condition during the early stages, a very strong feeling of the unreality of human personality, which became tenuous and shadowy, compared with the reality of the remembered Thought World. This feeling created a tremendous impatience with this life, and a longing for it to hurry to its end. This was wrong and had to be conquered. It is easy in theory to appreciate the importance of the earth life, that it forms an inescapable part of the whole, and is capable of impairing the whole. But if one has remembrance, it is very difficult to put this theory into practice.
The appeal of the Teaching to my reason was much more helpful. I think that in my youth I was unlucky in my church contacts, as a result of which I became an agnostic. The principles and the practices of Christianity seemed so far apart, as to make the religion of Christianity, as practised, unacceptable to me. But when remembrance began, and the answers of the Teaching came to the questions of my Conscious Mind, they satisfied my reason. Following the theories of my day, it had seemed to me that either earth and the life on it was part of a controlled plan, or else a thing of chance. I felt that, although what is called chance exists in life and nature, the balance still falls in favour of some kind of order, but it was questionable whether this order was controlled and just. If we assume a disconnected single human life on earth for each one of us, we may believe the order to be controlled, but it is difficult to find it is just, and the problem seems to me to be still without solution.
But directly you assume continuity of Mind, a storehouse where the wisdom acquired from experience, sometimes very bitter experience, is stored, where the affection created by two living beings on earth has grown to some measure of understanding, and become a link between them, when that too does not die, then such an arrangement can be reconciled with justice. The jarring inequalities of health, wealth, and power become acceptable if they are seen to be experiences that every individual undergoes in some life or other in order to enlarge his understanding.
The difficulties connected with hereditary traits over which the unborn Conscious Mind has no control, vanish once you recognise that they are chosen by a part of your own personality, for your own benefit, given at birth, and taken away at death. Nevertheless one must bear in mind that when this removal takes place, it may leave little behind. It may be a relief to discard the difficult characteristics of one's hereditary traits at death, but it is an error made by all Conscious Minds in early lives, to rely too much on these acquired characteristics. Later it is learnt that unless the virtues so acquired have been strengthened, and the weaknesses fought against, by the power of free-choice, these hereditary traits will leave no mark on the continuous personality. For example, intellectual or artistic ability in some direction may be a hereditary gift to be lost at death; but the acquired wisdom, and understanding, that is the result of the good use of that gift, becomes a part of your Supra-conscious Mind.
You do of course, inherit personality from your own Eternal Mind, the ego that is the foundation of all your Conscious Minds, and which gives to each of you an inherited love of your own Way, whether that Way is Truth, Beauty or Service. To me, broadly speaking, it seems that:
- personal integrity is the gift of the Way of Truth
- personal charm and integrity towards their own work, the gift of the Way of Beauty
- a natural tendency towards good fellowship, that of the Way of Service
These can be spoilt, or put aside by selfwill, and may be said to be the general, not the personal characteristics that form a part of the ego of a Conscious Mind, creating a natural facility or ease of mind for it, in following its own Way.
This question of the ego also seems to be satisfactorily answered by the Teaching, for it seems unacceptable, at least to me, to think of the individual as I am, continuing to exist eternally. I am conscious as I grow older of some central cohesion around the values that have been accepted and acquired. Still, the human personality is too disintegrated, unstable and mutable to suggest continuance as a whole. But that the wisdom gained from the experience of this human life should continue, makes the purpose of life reasonable. One has only to consider the highest types of human achievement, regardless of race and colour, to understand some of the wonder of Creative Personality.
One trend I have noticed to be recurrent in all these remembrances, is a tendency never to contradict or refute existing theories or religions, however far apart they seem to be, but rather to take a middle course and link them together. Take for example the idea of freewill and of predestination. The Teaching includes both. Freedom of choice prevails everywhere, and to some extent in all things, but the creation of earth and the Thought World was predetermined. Each part of the Split Personality has freedom to follow, or not to follow a purpose. For although our Eternal Minds have already passed that stage of decision with the acceptance of the Will, every Conscious Mind is still free to follow, or to deviate from the theme of its Book; yet the theme of that Book was predetermined with the consent of its Eternal Mind. A Conscious Mind, being only a part of a whole, is not entirely a free agent, but lives on earth through the will of its Eternal Mind, which bears the responsibility for success or failure. Yet this lack of entire individual freedom seems richly compensated for, by the variety of experience and continuity of Mind offered each Conscious Mind. A much wider freedom is given in following a set theme through all the Chapters of the Book, than there would be in a single Chapter on earth, even if man were allowed to choose his own hereditary traits, environment, and Pattern for that one life.
There are some who deny the existence of evil, and others who cannot reconcile the existence of evil with the idea of a beneficent Creator. But the division of evil into a condition and a Force, simplifies the problem. A condition, carrying with it free-choice, and this condition varying with the growth of man's understanding and his individual use of that understanding, can be attributed to the Light. The Force of Evil, which is Mind that has voluntarily turned from the Light, (having no part in the Intention, but merging into a Darkness contrary to the purpose of the Light, and ready to absorb more Minds of a like kind) must exist as long as free-choice remains.
Then there is the Will and the Intention. I think they represent the same problem which St. Paul grapples with in his explanation of the Law of Moses, and the Grace of Christ.
The Will was the name given by our Eternal Minds to all the conditions, limitations and qualifications which control the earth and the Thought World. These are very numerous, and many of them are undiscovered and unrecognised by man.
The Intention is the purpose of the Light towards individual Creative Personality.
When our Eternal Minds accepted the Will and the equality of the three Ways, evolution was freed to follow the Intention, and the third part of the Split Personality, our Conscious Minds, began the Return Journey, or their share of this change of mind. During our lives on earth, which are still governed by the Will, we are drawn into this conflict through our inherited instincts and hereditary traits.
It seems to me that we should follow the example of our Eternal Minds, now freed from this conflict, and accept our Past Aspect, which is our nature, the inheritance of our physical bodies, for it is the vehicle given us to accept all experience. But our Present Aspect, which allows us communication with the Thought World through our Supra-conscious Minds, should enable us, towards the end of each life, by observation of our past experiences, to discover their purpose and our own deviations from this purpose. Then our Future Aspect, which is also a part of our Conscious Mind, can gain its own contact with the Thought World, when we are sufficiently adult to use it.
Therefore it seems folly to me for a Conscious Mind to denounce, or to despise, the senses he has been given, and the pleasures they afford. Surely our first lesson should be one of appreciation, in the same way as our Supra-conscious Minds enter all six Planes to learn an appreciation of all. Renunciation is worth nothing if the thing that is renounced is not valued. I think renunciation is the wrong word. Having learnt to enjoy, without allowing any one desire to dominate our personality, could not an adult Mind pass to a stage when love (desire) of possession and power ceases, when it could remain appreciative, but not desirous.
Again this Teaching links the principles held by the three most important existing religions Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. When mankind is given concepts such as those on which these three religions are based, their truth, spiritual beauty and goodness compels them to be recognised and venerated. But such truths cannot be handed down through the ages without being spoiled. Errors and absurdities creep in to mar the original conception. It is easy to pick these flaws in all three religions, but not very profitable; yet it is of value to recognise and retain the good. I know very little, except what I have gained in general reading of either Buddhism or Islam. I am not a religious person, and I think my contacts and environment have, perhaps deliberately, kept me from becoming one. I should think that a somewhat open mind was needed to receive this Teaching, not one already addicted strongly to any one faith which might have made it more difficult to get the Teaching through.
But in a broad way it seems to me that each of these three religions was a necessary stage in the evolution of Mind. Buddhism, with the most far reaching vision of unity, is the highest expression reached on earth of the First Reflection, and teaches the abolition of self in its search for unity or the Light. Christianity expounds the Second Reflection, with Azrael and Arrantees providing the necessary link of personality as we understand it, between the Conscious Mind and the Light, and teaching the need of Service, and the consequent suppression of selfdesire; thus human life is established as the beginning in this search of the Conscious Mind for the Light. Islam with its stress on the need for prayer, is an expression of the Third Reflection, the need of communication between the Conscious Mind and the life of the Spirit in the Thought World.
The Teaching includes, and indeed shows, the necessity for all three of these concepts. The Seventh Plane and the Third Progression are only terms to convey the idea of continuance towards a unity, that is at present beyond the power of a Conscious Mind to understand, although it is the recognised goal. Nevertheless the Conscious Mind lives in an animal body, and in a very wonderful world. It is absurd to disdain or set aside this physical plane until full variety of experience has been undergone. It is better to recognise the body as the vehicle given for the purpose of earth life, and each life as a part of a whole, and a stage towards the ultimate perfection.
The need for prayer, using the word in its widest sense as the means of communication, seems to me to be the truth most in need of recognition, not merely to be accepted theoretically, but to be put into practice. The average individual of our Western civilisation comes to consider prayer, if he thinks of it at all, as the repetition of formulae which, however meritorious, are still the product of another's thought. I know that the contemplative use of prayer, such as is followed in religious orders, can be a direct approach in itself, but much exercise in the use of contemplative thought would be necessary to maintain this communication. I would not seem to disparage the use of prayer in services of any faith whatever; but if prayer is to represent the means of communication, it must be extended far beyond its present compass, and must include a considerable part of the ordinary individual's thought. Any personal thought which passes through the Conscious Mind to its Supra-conscious Mind, and evokes response, is prayer in the sense that such thought is a very real communication between earth and the Thought World.
The general recognition of this truth will develop when the Third Reflection comes. Then communication, although intermittent, and occasioned more easily in creative or contemplative thought, can yet become a part of every individual's daily life, unless that individual is turning from his Pattern or theme by deliberately using his selfwill in a contrary direction.
Recent history has made most dreadfully apparent the immense power of ideas over the masses or nations, and the only prophylactic is to wake up the individual to the enormous importance of his own thoughts. Theoretically it may be admitted that we become what we think, but how many realise that it is quite literally true, and know that thought can just as easily form one into something resembling an idiot, as into a sane, tolerant, and responsible being? Far too much emphasis has been placed on what we do, and far too little on what we think, which is deliberately putting the cart before the horse. The Teaching stresses, most emphatically, the importance of thought.
The Teaching also seems to include the views of many philosophies such as, for example, the Chinese writer Lin Yutan, who maintains that "A sense of humour is essential to the well-being of the conduct of affairs." The Teaching introduced this idea in the form of a legend, a suitable form for translation, which portrayed two gifts, one from Azrael and one from Arrantees, for the wellbeing of earth.
Azrael's gift was the gift of sleep and all that sleep brings. The gift of Arrantees was:
"I too, like Azrael feel the need to bring
Some comfort to this world that has been made,
To give our mirth and laughter; thus to ease
The breaking moment of its load; and so
The saving grace of humour is my gift."
Finally the solid foundation which the Teaching has given to me, lies in the fact that it makes simple and straightforward that difficult doctrine, the Holy Trinity of Christianity. Azrael as the Ruler, and Arrantees as the Director of the vast projects and creations of the Thought World, with its Planes and its existences for our Eternal Minds and our Supra-conscious Minds, yet who Themselves know human life, having partaken of its difficulties and limitations. Azrael, who waits for a personal relationship with each Conscious Mind, which must occur sometime in the course of each Book; Arrantees who guides the sources of inspiration, of whom so much more needs to be learnt, in order that the ways of communication may be more fully developed, and the Light, which is called Mind and Purpose in the universe, but which I know in my mind and feel in my heart to be beyond the full comprehension of any Conscious Mind. Indeed how can the part understand the whole? Not until complete union has been attained can full understanding be reached. So in that sense, mankind must remain as children, who live in a world of their own, which touches and mingles with the adult world and who hold the right to the pleasures of childhood and to have protection. But, in the same way as children are preparing themselves for an adult life in an adult world, so must mankind prepare on earth for life in the Thought World; and because the search for the Light is our purpose, each must strive for such understanding as can be attained.
There are many ways of reaching this understanding, and there are degrees of perception, and each individual in each life must reach as far as he may. In this way it seems natural to me that Sir James Jeans considers that if there is a God, He might be the Master Mathematician; so would a great musician feel that He was the Master of Sound. Such feelings would be the result of true knowledge, which has been received from one of the six Planes, which after all are ways of perceiving the Light. But only the Seventh Plane, beyond these, is the Plane of individual communication with the Light. There this understanding begins, the understanding of direct, individual, intercourse with the Light.
Is this Teaching final? Certainly not. I think it has been made to suit our present needs, but like all inspiration or remembrance it can only be another signpost on the way. Nevertheless, the acceptance of these ideas cannot be attributed to wishful thinking. They offer no peaceful haven as the reward of life's vicissitudes, but a tremendous continuing responsibility, not only for one's own creative personality, but towards life as a whole.
Yet he that has learnt to love life, or is drawn into the search for knowledge, or finds peace and content in the beauty he discovers on earth, will find the continued experience of these three Ways will make each life worth living, and their fulfilment will keep him on the search for the Light, which is the purpose of his being.