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
The Third Reflection
In the First Reflection we find a mental stimulus that was the beginning of the search that leads ultimately to knowledge of the Light, the goal of Truth. Then the Second Reflection expounded the Way of Service, without which that understanding cannot be won. Surely, then, the Third Reflection will be connected with the Way of Beauty.
We have said that there is a line of communication open to the artist, other than that of reason or faith, from which he draws inspiration. Further and progressive knowledge will reveal the more advanced methods of communication that are possible between earth and the Thought World, and will prove that these are not confined to the artist. Even now they are open to all those sufficiently advanced to use them. This knowledge, although resting on the foundation firmly laid down on earth by the Second Reflection, will reveal the importance of the double line of communication that exists between earth and the Thought World, that of reasoned thought built up by Conscious Minds on earth, and intuitive thought received by the Conscious Mind from the Thought World. It is through these lines of communication that the source of the Way of Beauty will be found.
By this means that conception of the Light, which had its first impulse in the Conscious Mind during the period of the First Reflection, will be immensely widened and clarified in comparison with the understanding that is held today. Thus the Third Reflection will be a link that joins the First and Second Reflections, from the foundation given by the Life of the Conscious Mind of Azrael, to the ultimate understanding of the Light conceived by Conscious Minds during the First Reflection.
In the Thought World, under the Sphere of the Mind, reasoned thought reaches a masterly use of knowledge that is attained by Inspirational Eternal Minds who have this ability. Under the Sphere of the Heart, intuitive thought also attains this mastery, and Guardian Eternal Minds possess that special aptitude. Both are equal as methods of creation, and of thought communication, and both are used by Inspirational and by Guardian Eternal Minds, and by their Supra-conscious Minds. Nevertheless in the Thought World they represent a division of thought which is connected with the Masculine and Feminine Principles and which will not be eliminated until union is attained in the Third Progression.
On earth there is the same division of thought, and at present a lot of misconception concerning the two methods, which are not yet recognised as equal and separate methods. Intuitive thought is not based upon reason, nor is it a kind of inferior brand of reasoned thought, but an entirely different mode. Both, besides being processes of expression, are lines of communication with the Thought World. Reasoned thought is based on the Conscious Mind, and intuitive thought is based on the Supra-conscious Mind. Both can be used by both men and women, and after the first initial conception, are interchangeable. On earth, however, men being under the Sphere of the Mind, find reasoned thought their natural mode of expression; women being under the Sphere of the Heart, find intuitive thought more natural to them. Because of this, it is most necessary that both men and women should practise, rather than criticise the method which is not their own. Men should exercise intuition, and women reason, and thus both may gain adult and balanced minds. At present women are inclined to be impatient of the slowness and detail that reasoned thought requires. Similarly the average man is apt to consider intuitive thought, at least as far as the initial stage natural to women is concerned, a hasty, careless and lazy form of reasoned thought.
The following example may help to explain the usage of both in this initial stage. When a man describes some incident to a woman, she does not follow his argument as a man would, by listening to the orderly, logical sequence of his reason expressed in words. Her intuition is racing ahead, anticipating his climax often before he is more than half way through. There are three possible results from this difference of method of thought. If she is a wise woman she will not foretell his conclusion before it has been told, but will let her interpretation be checked by his reason. If she is impulsive, not having yet acquired balance, she may interrupt with her conclusion before it has been told, which will be no less annoying because it is correct. If she is foolish she will almost certainly interrupt and often with the wrong conclusion, because intuitive thought can as easily lead to wrong conclusions as can reasoned thought. Both are often incorrect, the former through wrong interpretation, and the latter through wrong deduction; and both are equally often led astray by the inclination of the Conscious Mind to rationalise, that is to adjust its conclusion in favour of its own judgement or desire.
A man acquainted with the original writings, and whose criticisms have proved useful whilst I have been writing this Summary, when first confronted with the idea of intuition as a manner of thought, asked: "Is intuition a manner of thought? I'm not sure. I feel rather that intuition is a manner of evading thought; but perhaps that is because I am a man." I think that would be the normal masculine reaction to the idea. Yet that man considers this Summary to be a reasonable exposition of a Teaching which he has found both interesting and satisfactory. When the sixth chapter was concluded, I was explaining to him that I thought two more chapters, whose subject matter I foresaw, might conclude the Summary and wrote: "I feel this to be so, although it is possible that when they are written I shall find further matter producing itself, and I cannot consult my reason in this case because, poor fool, it does not know." As it turned out I found much of what was next written to be entirely out of place. A small part of it is contained in this chapter, although at that time the eighth chapter had not been written. Later still I discovered the necessity of fitting in a seventh chapter to carry most of what had been written then.
So far, apart from the foregoing reference to the Summary, we have been dealing only with intuitive thought in its initial stage. But this same intuitive thought, issuing from the Sphere of the Mind in the Thought World, can become a very highly developed faculty, quite apart from its initial stage natural to women. Although never continuous, but always intermittent, it is a vital line of communication from the Thought World to the Conscious Mind. It is an immediate apprehension of the Mind, without reasoning which, although it uses the same line of communication as initial thought, natural to women, can become a much more highly developed power. The difference between them is comparable with the difference between elementary mathematics and higher mathematics, and this advanced faculty can be developed by both men and women. If the verb to imagine is freed from its modern derogatory sense as something inferior to reason, and confined to its dictionary definition of the creative faculty of the mind, a better label could not be found for this higher faculty of intuitive thought. So in this work at least, let that definition stand.
The most distinctive attribute of all intuitive thought is its speed, which appears to escape the control of time. This lack of control results in loss of place or proper sequence. It comes in a series of flashes, which can be rearranged in logical order, but are not received in such sequence. This higher faculty of the imagination is rarely developed beyond the first stage, until the Conscious Mind has passed its First Important Chapter. Thus a lack of the use of this power in its advanced stage does not point to an inferior personality, but probably to the late setting of his three Important Chapters. The first stage of this advanced intuitive thought is available to all Conscious Minds from the start of their Books, and is the Voice of Conscience already referred to, and is connected with the daily record by the Conscious Mind given in sleep. It is of course subject to rationalisation, but nevertheless it is the Conscious Mind's first use of this power to imagine, and of that Mind's contact with the Thought World.
Reasoned thought and intuitive thought, like everything connected with the Sphere of the Mind and the Sphere of the Heart, should work in unison. However carefully a scientist bases his calculations on what he believes to be proven facts, he cannot arrive at any fresh theory or discovery without the use of this faculty. Although the bulk of his work will be accomplished by painstaking reason, and the method of trial and error, he cannot advance without that intuitive sight of his goal. This may be followed by a search backwards along the path of reason which will confirm or deny this intuitive thought. Nevertheless it is that use of his imagination which inspires the next step. When such a step is a complete break away from previously held theory, such as the scientist Rutherford's disruption of the atom, the intuitive method is recognisable. It is true that creative work can be accomplished by the faculty of reason alone, but such creations must rest on knowledge already held. To obtain a deeper insight into truth, the mind of the scientist must leap forward into the unknown, and although he may reasonably hope that his new conclusion will prove to be supported by fact, to formulate it he must use his imagination, that is to say he comes into contact with inspiration.
But the progress of mankind does not rest only on these Reflections from the three Planes of Truth. The Ways of Beauty and of Service have their share in humanity's forward movement, and when the tide is due to rise from their Ways, this same use of the faculty of imagination must come into play. A musician, or any other artist, must know the rules of harmony or perspective to create, and in order to remain proficient he must continually practise the technique of his art. But he is aware, when he creates, of drawing on a perception beyond his Conscious Mind; then he too, makes contact with inspiration. Again those who belong to the Way of Service and know that hard work and concentration are needed for the achievement of their aims, are also aware, sometimes, in moments of importance or crisis, of a decision reached by swift intuition, and not by the process of reasoning. Then they too, have made contact with inspiration.
We are not now speaking of the initial manner of thought which differs between men and women, but of the higher faculties of intuitive thought, available to both men and women. It is necessary to stress the fact that this creative faculty of the imagination is rarely drawn upon, in comparison with the general use of reasoned thought. Nevertheless it is equally true that without intuitive thought, reasoned thought would remain static.
The purity of this contact (possible to the Conscious Mind, through its Supra-conscious Mind), with the Sphere of the Mind in the Thought World, will influence the quality of the creative work of that Conscious Mind. In a work of real genius, that Conscious Mind will contact some Inspirational Eternal Mind in the Plane from which his work will be reflected. But the use of this higher faculty is not confined to works of genius; it can be touched in any work that the Conscious Mind is engaged upon, and which is in accord with his Pattern, even in such simple things as the arrangement of flowers, or in the cooking of a meal. It is the perfect harmony of the Conscious Mind with its Supra-conscious Mind that makes such contact possible.
Besides this particular and most important use of intuitive thought, by which a Conscious Mind can draw inspiration from its source, there is another less recognised power, also belonging to intuitive thought, which is capable of great development. This is the use of intuitive thought for the Art of Remembrance, so called because this Art is the result of experiences in the Thought World, met and remembered by a Conscious Mind during its earth life. Although that Conscious Mind spends much of its existence in the Thought World during its life on earth, there is normally little or no conscious memory of this, despite its effect on action and thought during that life on earth. A degree of remembrance is, nevertheless, possible and should be cultivated.
These experiences can be concerned with the things of the Thought World, knowledge of its Planes, and of its modes of existence. A less serious use of it can be connected with earth happenings, as observed from the Thought World. Seen thus they can be events taking place in the past, present or future, although to connect these events correctly in time, always presents difficulties in translation. This particular form of the Art of Remembrance is used by true prophets and soothsayers.
It is important to remember that the Art of Remembrance is open to abuse. If used for material gain of any kind, or sought for the personal advantage of the possessor, it becomes subject to the Force of Evil. The intrusion of selfdesire opens the door, for that is one of the conditions attached to its use. This interference can be evaded or overcome, but the only use in which remembrance is free from this interference, is its use as its own approach to knowledge of the Thought World in search of truth. At one stage of my training, the remembrance of being with Sanchuniathon, my Guardian Unity Eternal Mind, became a tremendous incentive, overshadowing the purpose. This, being personal brought about interference, and remembrance of Sanchuniathon had to be consciously renounced before freedom from interference was achieved.
When the use of this Art of Remembrance forms the theme of the Book of a Conscious Mind, in the life or Chapter in which it is going to be used, this use will be preceded by an Initiation. All Initiations are different, each being suited to the particular remembrance or knowledge which that Conscious Mind is to attain in that life. There is, however, one feature common to all; that the Conscious Mind has to go to a predetermined depth of the Outside or Darkness, and must there meet and combat the Force of Evil, if he has attained that understanding of it, or combat it in the form of some personality if he conceives it as such. An Initiation of this sort will set the bounds of his experience or remembrance in the Thought World. The following analogy will explain the reason for this precaution.
Up to and until after the First Important Chapter, a Conscious Mind is protected from any Force of Evil beyond its strength. You can say it is given an octave on which to play, and nothing below that octave can assail it. As the Book continues, and when the First Important Chapter is passed, it is given opportunities to learn of notes above that octave. Immediately temptation can attack to a corresponding depth below that octave. So no individual is allowed to use this Art of Remembrance as part of his theme without the preparation of an Initiation, which is an experience in the Thought World. This, if successfully concluded, ensures the use of this faculty to be within the compass of that Conscious Mind.
If the Initiation fails, remembrance will not be given in that life. If it is half successful, the partial failure will curtail the knowledge obtainable. If for instance in my own Initiation (see chapter ten), I had returned from the end of the Nearly Darkness, no knowledge beyond that contained in the first six chapters of this Summary could have been obtained, and not all of that. In this way an Initiation sets the bounds of the knowledge that the Conscious Mind is able to reach in the Thought World.
There are three means by which this knowledge can be carried back by the Conscious Mind, from the Thought World. Knowledge can be recalled at the moment of awakening, traced through a dream. It is not the dream itself that gives the remembrance; dreams are caused by the transition of the Present Aspect back to its Past Aspect as the Conscious Mind awakens. But sometimes something in a dream, often a trivial point, is connected with the preceding communication in the Thought World. If the Conscious Mind can catch this particular point, it can find its way back to the preceding thought.
Remembrance can also be reached by trance when that is induced by detachment from the Past Aspect. Meditation or music both make a good background for this deliberate effort of the will towards detachment. Remembrance can come too in ordinary life if the individual has learnt the art of detachment from his Past Aspect. In such a case it may come through at any time when conditions are suitable, (I do not know why, but for me, contact with water seems to induce remembrance). Then the Conscious Mind subdues the Past Aspect to a state of quiescence, so that the Present Aspect carrying remembrance can momentarily dominate.
I have used all three means:
- the first from dreams, chiefly in the early stages of my work
- the second, trance, for the sake of a few friends who were interested in this Teaching
- the third is now the normal method, and much to be preferred
The following illustration of the use of this Art of Remembrance is also an explanation of the method by which these writings have been accomplished, for the original writings, from which this Summary is drawn, were all written by remembrance. There was no prearranged plan. In the case of this Summary, after the first flow of ideas, a good deal of reasoned thought was expended on it, and for it a great deal of the material had already been remembered. For most of this chapter however, and in many of the connecting links, there has been new remembrance. The original writings extended over a period of more than nineteen years, and each writing was complete in itself. They came amid my own personal training and development. Each writing contains some piece of knowledge that was of interest. It was soon obvious that some of these pieces fitted together and in time it became apparent, that, like the bits of a jig-saw puzzle, they were forming what might become a complete picture. Even after this was apparent, the writings were not in better sequence. They were given in precisely the same manner, woven into my daily life and not consecutive, always intermittent.
This Summary is an attempt to assemble these pieces into the whole picture. Directly it was begun I found that the manner of writing was to be the same. It was not, as I had thought, to be written by my first studying the original writings, and then using reasoned thought to reach a Summary, but has been written by intuitive thought. There has been a need to get down the flow of ideas as they came, as quickly as it is possible to write, in fact in an almost illegible scrawl. It has been rare for this to continue for more than a couple of paragraphs. At the break it is rewritten, to make sure that it is at least legible, and an effort to find more suitable words may follow, for in the original flash any word or repetition of words, is better than interrupting the flow of ideas. Then, usually, there is some readjustment. This continues until a much corrected page or two has resulted, and then peters out. Next day this rough draft is reread, and some fresh work is done on it. Occasionally there is some slight addition or subtraction, but this revision practically never results in a change of ideas, only in the manner of expressing them, and ends in a clear copy. After this some new work is done, and this again is left for the next day. Before a chapter is completed, there is always a great deal of shifting and rearranging of paragraphs. Sometimes a later paragraph obviously makes a better beginning; again some idea is interrupted by another, which is necessary but out of place, intruding before the first idea was concluded. Time, as represented by consecutive thought, is very nearly absent. But I am very certain on one thing: the original setting down of that first flush of ideas is the hard labour, the difficult part. It is a strain, an effort one shirks if not fit, because it requires severe concentration. The aftermath of this preliminary work, the choice of words to carry the nearest shade of meaning; the alteration of the style to make it as simple as possible, the sorting out of sentences and paragraphs into better order, and the choice of divisions into chapters, all these are, by contrast to the effort of that original concentration, a placid pleasant task and all, of course, a process of reasoned thought. The strain lies in the process of intuitive thought by which the original ideas come through.
To insist on the equal importance of intuitive thought is not to decry reasoned thought. There is, indeed, no possibility of doing that, for on earth its use and importance is evident. Based on the Conscious Mind it is, and is meant to be, the solid foundation of man's thought on earth. It is the Conscious Mind's contribution to that search. But it is not fully recognised, that without the higher faculty of intuitive thought from the Thought World, this same search for knowledge would not be a forward movement.
It is urgent that these two separate channels of communication with the Thought World should be recognised and their individuality appreciated:
- Reasoned Thought from the Conscious Mind, which reaches the Thought World through the day's record of every Conscious Mind given during sleep
- Intuitive Thought with its source in the Sphere of the Mind in the Thought World, received on earth by the Conscious Mind through its Supra-conscious Mind
Such recognition must increase the power and use of intuitive thought. Even now, during that record given in sleep, (the junction of reasoned thought with intuitive thought), if two Conscious Minds with adult Supra-conscious Minds are tuned to the same key, thought can be exchanged between them, and the recipient, although unconscious of the source, will remember the idea after awakening, although the two personalities may never meet in the body.
It may be that it is not yet time for a wide and scientific recognition of the enormous possibilities of intuitive thought, as the second channel and independent of reasoned thought. Perhaps this extensive field of knowledge is to await the future of an Eastern civilisation. For in the East thought that has its source outside the bounds of reason, is accepted without derision or doubt. If this is to be, it is understandable that it will be ignored at present.
I know little about the investigations of science into mediumship as it is usually understood. I have a personal aversion to that form, but recognise that it can be a genuine approach. The translation must of necessity be coloured by the understanding of the medium, but that is a limitation common to all who use the Art of Remembrance. If this approach has sometimes been clouded by fraud, it proves only the humanity of its origin; but surely the difficulty of finding the use of any power free from personal influence, and used for the sake of its own approach to knowledge, should gain the sympathy of men of science.
In any case the findings of science alone are not enough for man's whole progress, because they do not bridge the gap between knowledge and life. There has been such a surge of scientific discoveries through this century that other aspects of truth have been held in check. Yet, before this tide from the Way of Truth recedes to give place to either Beauty or Service, surely there is urgent need for a reflection from the Plane of Evolution of Mind! A philosophy that, in its search for the ultimate values in relation to the principles of human thought, might combine our present knowledge of the universe and gain a recognition of the Thought World. Such recognition is essential if a system of conduct acceptable to the present age is to be found. The question is; must our present civilisation go down in chaos before it is made?