Chapter 16 — The Path

Thus have I heard:

THE Quest for the Master being over, the Quest for Truth commenced. It is truly said that when the Disciple is ready the Master appears; but who understands the real meaning of this phrase, and how many can be said to be truly ready for the Master? Is it not a well known fact that most seekers prefer to live in a dream within the dream of Illusion? Is it not true also that most of those who profess to have a longing for probing into and learning the divine secrets prefer to solve them in their own ignorant and fantastic manner, rather than having them explained by the chosen Adept—appointed to this task by the Gods themselves? And how difficult it is to find such an Adept, and know him! How small, how very small is the mind of Man! Born in Illusion, he piles his own vain imaginings in a heap and gazes with adoring eyes at the vanity of his own dreams, which only add to the Illusions which blind him to TRUE Reality. And not only does he do so while still in the world of earthly Man. Nay! When he crosses the Border—called Death by the other dreamers—he immediately commences with the construction of yet another cycle of phantom devices, invented and framed in the nescience of his wandering mind, which now believes to have mastered the ultimate secret at last, until once more he is swept away and out of his new and useless Empire of uninstructed, fanciful, chimerical musings, like a blade of grass: of no value whatever in that or any other realm, and commences anew his bemused meditations on the earthly Plane.

And again he raves and shouts about the "new" truths he receives from the "beyond!" Not knowing that if he receives any message at all it is sent to him by those confused dwellers of the so-called "astral" worlds who always search for easily influenced and gullible fools in order to unload within their untutored minds the dross they can no longer hold themselves. Such foolish men may even pride themselves on their "intelligence," not realising that "intellect" is nothing more than a natural development of their animal instincts and animal cunning, such as that displayed by the apes, for instance, and only slightly more mature and therefore more dangerous and misleading. Such men sneer at what they call "enthusiasm," which should always be distrusted . . . so they say. They do not realise that the enlightened enthusiast has more chance to tune in—on account of his accelerated state of inner vibration—with the higher vibrations of the superior worlds, than the "intellectual" who is no more than a more or less educated animal, only a few degrees above those whom we all admired in a circus when we were still very young. Similar "intellectuals" fill all the lower astral worlds to overflowing, and the only way out for them is to return to earth, to add to the confusion there amongst the vapid dreamers, not so intellectual.

Both intellectuals and dreamers have a long way to go, and they should be classified as belonging to the same category of ignorant men; no matter how much the intellectuals will dislike this unpalatable truth. For both live in the same darkness of non-perception. . . which is the most hideous SIN.

Having been offered the true Light—perhaps—they turn away and mope and grope in material obscurity . . . taking that for the Light. Poor souls, or rather wandering minds, for of the Soul itself they know naught.

By reason of Ruru's divine descent, the purity of his mind (when not assailed by the black dwarf who had so often sought to bewilder him), the deep study he had made of the holy books and the brilliant flights of his own imagination, made possible by his constant striving for attunement with all that is good and elevated, he was not one of those idle speculators who only operate their vacuumous minds for the purpose of presenting to the rest of the inane, wavering, and hesitating mortals the arrogant and ostentatious conclusions they have arrived at by themselves, and thus become the self-admiring 'teachers' of their dupes. Under the guidance of his Master, Ruru now commenced a new cycle of Life in Light. All the dark corners of his mind were gradually swept clear of the cobwebs of wrong teachings and misinterpretations of the Holy Laws.

Narāda told him that those who realise the illusion of the material worlds and know the glories of the spiritual, have found true Reality already. It is a reality which nothing can dissolve; it is a dream which cannot be destroyed: for such a dream lives on for ever. He said that the highest form of Religion is Devotion, no matter what the object—provided it is pure and has no selfish bias. Man has lost the recollection of his former divine state through the effects of the Mirror of Illusion.

Ruru clung to his Master as the candle-flame clings to the wick, and he bowed before his mystic powers; but on one occasion he was told that the disciple should never come too near his master. When Ruru asked why, the reply was: "Thou art but the shadow of a substance and a reflection from the Sun, and so am I. When two shadows mix the darkness increases!"

"To me," cried Ruru, "Thou art the very Sun Himself! And I want but to warm myself in the Rays of thy Wisdom."

"Thou hast a wrong conception of the verities of Being, my son," replied the holy Sage. "When the Gods created Man he was like a mirror in which all the beauties of creation were reflected, though these beauties themselves are only reflections from the Minds of the Gods. But Man has cast away his divine inheritance by covering that shining mirror with the mists of the dim reflections of his own hazy imaginings. Thus he can no longer clearly see what is shown in that magic speculum, and the only images he beholds are his own deliberations, thrown back within himself and obscuring the clearness of his real inner vision. Thus he beholds his own ruminations, mistaking them for messages from the heavenly regions and the Minds of the Gods.

"Man is a God in the making; and the Symbol of God is the Sun, which again scintillates and glitters when its light falls upon the earthly diamond. Therefore: no matter how highly evolved a man may be, he can never be compared with that golden Emblem in the sky, which floods the worlds around it with Light and Life . . . although even the Sun itself is but a feeble reflection of the Hidden Sun; which is the true and highest Deity of all the Cosmic worlds within the Universe."

And as Narāda spoke, his aura glowed like an amber mist around his head, now flashing, then fading out again, anon leaping up with renewed splendour in response to the magic of his divine thoughts; and his wise sayings bedewed the flower of Truth.

The Master continued: "The Spirit which has begun its journey on the Sun-Path rises from Sphere to Sphere in ever growing magnificence. In each succeeding Sphere he assumes a more brilliant shape amongst the scintillating dwellers there; until at last he reaches the Gate of the Unknown—which is even beyond the knowledge of the Hidden Logos Himself and transcending Him in Sacred Glory! But this can only come to pass after unimaginably immense periods of time.

"Before it happens he has to reach true Devahood; so far removed from human frailty and helplessness that the mind of man cannot measure the distance and the exceeding greatness . . . and LIVE! Then he has to evolve from that sacred state of being to the next, and become one of the holy Sons of Light, a Creator, which is as far beyond the imagination or perception of the Devas or Angels as that of man is from the latter. Then, after untold eons of millions of years in Time as man knows it, time-cycles so colossal that they are absolutely unthinkable, he may become the equal of a Higher Logos, the Hidden One, and act in the same manner as He for still greater successive periods in that capacity. And then? Then he may evolve from the concealed God-Head to the Unknown Supreme Deity of another Universe, far beyond our Cosmic and our Universal Realm, and thus become its Lord, ruling utterly unknown and inconceivable over its numerous Cosmic States. To its many Logoi He is then the Formless One, One with the Source and the Hidden Source of that Universe itself; for even until the final Stage, as a Hidden Logos, the Master of all the Creators of a Cosmos, He still has Form, be that Form pure Holy Flame, or be it manifested in any other way—yet unmanifest as well. But Form of some sort He, or It, has, and He—the Hidden Logos—cannot even begin to imagine the next Stage, although His Wisdom and secret Power are so great that all that is below Him in Evolution cannot have any conception of IT. But as all things in the Universe are subject to the same unalterable Laws, we may assume that even the Supreme Deity and Ruler of a Universe has Form of some kind, although none can possibly have any idea of what it may be. It is a well known axiom that Spirit cannot act without Matter to act upon, and this must hold good for every State—no matter how Holy and elevated—in which there is any Action, for without Action there would, or could be, no Manifested Universe in any Sphere, Plane, or State of Being. Such, then, is a rough sketch of the Pilgrimage on the Path to the Sun . . . and Beyond."

Thus, from time to time, he lifted the Golden Veil of Wisdom for an occasional short moment and Ruru had some glimpses of his divine Heritance; never to be forgotten in this life on earth or in any other existence elsewhere.

"When did the Hidden Logos—the Lord of a Cosmos—come into being, dear Master?" asked Ruru.

Narāda replied: "The only God who was the FIRST and will be the LAST in each Cosmic System, or Solar System, is the Supreme Hidden Logos; and He is an Essence of the Supreme Deity of a Universe; two-fold is the Logos, and yet One in the combined consciousness of His Male and Female Principles; therefore: the Father-Mother God. This Law applies to all conscious living Entities; from the Supreme Deity right down to the lowest insect. But though all things and beings are subject to change in shorter or longer cycles of existence, from the grain of sand to the Hidden Logos, the Deity of the Universe, that great assemblage of Solar Systems, each a Cosmos in and by itself, always is; past, present and future, if I may use these terms in order that you shall understand what I mean. For past, present and future do not apply to the Supreme Deity to all intents and purposes; His Time Cycle, Duration or Existence or whatever term one might use, being so prodigious that it becomes Timeless and may be called Eternity. But the same Law of Duality applies to Him, too, for the sacred Laws always work out in an identical manner, or else they would not be divine and infallible, and they would cease to be Laws, and there never can be any difference."

"Then it is true that each man and each woman is but half complete when they have not found their true other half," observed Ruru.

"That is correct," replied Narāda. "When true lovers meet (sometimes they are called 'affinities'—but one should beware of this word, which has been abused too often in the past) it is as if two atoms rush together that once were separated by the Lords of Destiny. When that re-union takes place there can be no further parting; and even the Gods stand helpless and hang their heads in the abashment of their impotence. The power of real love is so great that it snaps like a feeble thread the coils which had hitherto ensnared a being to his familiar place on earth. Pure love is like a mountain which cannot be shaken by the winds of calamity, death, suspicion and distrust. But remember, my son, that only once may the heart of love submit to Destiny—no more!"

"And what if one should fail to find his true love?" asked Ruru.

"Then," replied the Master, "such a one has failed to reap the fruit of his birth . . . for a reason; and he must wait until in some other incarnation the Gods have mercy and bestow on him the Bliss of that sublime Blending which no one who has not experienced it can possibly understand."

"Can that union, or blending, take place in one incarnation only?" asked Ruru again.

Narāda answered: "It can take place once in each of many incarnations, my son. But not until both the lovers have learnt to sacrifice ALL—even their love—if necessary (although when once they are united again there is no real further separation possible), and both have reached that sublime state of attunement with the High Region where dwells their Augoeides, the Luminous Soul and Logos of their common Ray, with whom all true Love and Friendship can exist in utter purity and selflessness: only then can they become free of the great Wheels and Cycles of rebirth on earth. As long as they are a prey to jealousy, greed, selfishness, attachment to worthless worldly goods and slaves to the senses, they must return to Earth with which they then are still attuned; until the final lesson has been mastered."

One day his Master gave Ruru a great Test, and, placing in his hands a cup filled to the brim with water, he ordered him to go to the lotus pool, walk ten times round it without spilling a single drop, and return to the hermitage. He also told Ruru that if he failed: then his stay with Narāda would end, for the failure would prove that Ruru lacked the necessary concentration for the higher Occult Studies and Initiations. Aghast at the difficulty of the task, and terrified lest he should fail, Ruru commenced the Test, and, focusing all his will-power on the trial, compelling his hands and feet to obey him to the end, he completed the circuit successfully. When he returned to his Master after a long time, without a single drop being spilt, Narāda asked him: "Did you notice how lovely the lotuses looked in the pool today as you walked around it?"

"Nay, Master, indeed I did not, for I was too intent on avoiding the spilling of a drop of water, lest you should dismiss me."

Narāda replied: "Because your whole attention was fixed upon your task, it was impossible for you to notice aught else. In the same manner you must in future practice the concentration and other exercises I will give you; for unless you turn your mind away from all outward contemplation you cannot have any intuition of Truth. Once you have learnt to do this, your intuition can never again be entangled in the web of illusion; and the worlds of Actuality will be open to you for ever. This is my first lesson for leading you to the Path of Salvation. And now I will give you another lesson by means of which you may learn to unveil the secrets of your past incarnations."

And he led Ruru into a small room in the hermitage, in which there were only two things, namely: a chair to sit upon and a black mirror into which to gaze. After giving his disciple certain definite instructions he left him alone, and Ruru prepared himself for his first real experiment, which is the secret of those who have sought and found, and after half-an-hour he saw his inner self within that ebon polished mirror, and with a start of terror he beheld the demon-face that dwells in every man, until he overcomes the being it represents with ten thousand acts of love and charity. And the reflected image bore the features of the hideous black dwarf!! With a cry of rage Ruru jumped up and rushed outside, where Narāda was standing amidst the flowers that graced the garden.

"Oh, Master," Ruru gasped, "that foul black dwarf is here; I saw him in the mirror!!"

"Nay, my son," replied the Muni, "that was but your own lower nature which your higher mind saw in the glass."

"But I thought that I was going to see myself in my past incarnations," cried Ruru disappointedly.

"You will in time, if you persist with your experiments," said the Hermit. "You should realise that, in a way, you did see something of your past incarnations in the mirror, for a lower mind (though not the same; for it is dissolved after each incarnation) goes hand in hand with the higher during every incarnation, and its features do not vary very much with most humans. When you are able to see it as it is, you will always see something unpleasant; especially when the higher mind has not yet learnt to control it. But even when it has been kept under by the higher mind it is always ready and eager to spring up at the slightest opportunity—except in the case of one who is absolutely purified, for then its evil power flees far away; I hope that you will see this phenomenon later on. Do not be discouraged, but carry on, and in a few weeks or months you will succeed."

And every day at morn, noon and night, Ruru practised before the mirror, and each time there were added new things to the visions he beheld. When he saw the black dwarf again at further trials he gazed steadfastly at him until a dim grey mist rose up before the glass, blotting out the squalid visage. And when he persisted looking at that mist he saw at first only swift flashes of faces, scenery, buildings and other things; but they passed so rapidly that he could not fix them in his mind. But by constant practise, scenes and incidents took shape at last, and, combined with his other exercises and studies, he began to evolve a technique all his own, as it should be, and he profited by the advice his Master gave him, and Narāda explained the meaning of certain of his own visions and symbols in the mirror when he himself was a disciple, thus supplying hints to Ruru how to interpret his in future; for no one can elucidate, decipher or make clear the visions of another—not even the greatest Teacher—and should a person pretend to do so he is a conscious or unconscious impostor . . . each soul having its own secret life, which only its own Lord of the Ray can know.

And Ruru learnt the inner secrets of the various sounds in nature, and the hidden mysteries of the plants and minerals, and he learnt how to adapt and use them in his studies. He learnt the true values of the vowel-sounds in certain words, and the real meaning of the holy mantras, and how to apply them for his inner development and for the control of the different forces which surround us all, though few are aware of them. And as Ruru intoned his Mantras in the correct manner and on their right pitch or notes, the Sarungi added its soft sweet sounds to the voice of the cantor.

He recited the syllables A-um as they should be declaimed, whereupon the knowledge of all Wisdom grew gradually in his mind, until it became like an avalanche of learning.

By meditating on the Fire of Kundalini under the guidance of his Master, and after all the other sacred centres had been brought to life, he succeeded in consuming gradually the powers of the lower self, so that he was released and could enter at will the various Planes of Being, the same as Narāda. He scaled the mystic mountain step by step, and the grey dawn of knowledge gave way to the rosy noon-day glory of Sun-like enlightenment and sagacity as he listened to the Holy Hermit's words. The clouds of non-comprehension were parted and the Ethereal Light shone through.

And gradually he became aware of his past incarnations, like unto some old remembered songs, and the mingled woven threads of his spiritual memories were slowly untangled and reformed into a great and wonderful tapestry of life. At first he doubted, and he thought: "Is this a very Truth, or is it but a dream of the erring senses?"

But the twilight of doubt was lit up at last by the pearly dawn of belief, preceding the glowing daylight of certainty; so that in the end he could doubt no longer when proof was piled on proof, and he discovered that he who knows his former births is perfectly acquainted with the highest Wisdom.

And by the power of his divine Science he ascended the magic chariot of Projection and roamed the skies and climes at will by day or night.

One day he asked: "Where do the dead dwell, dear Master?"

Narāda replied: "A dead person is in his deeds."

"How can that be?" asked Ruru.

"Whatsoever a man attunes with," replied the Master, "that he becomes. The cruel person will depart, or sink down, to the regions where dwell the tormentors of the lower worlds. The indifferent or the lazy one will be blotted out, or sleep for an eternity. The inspired Dreamer of Beatitudes and the master of poesy, both under the afflatus of supernatural exaltation, endowed with superhuman insight, will rise to the worlds of their vision. The lover will meet the beloved again in golden regions beneath rose and amethystine clouds in azure skies, the landscape full of silver streams delectable, with everlasting flowers in every hue imaginable, and perfumed trees with luscious fruits, with verdant hills and crystal waterfalls and glittering meres and pools in realms of reverie and happiness such as this earth can never know, away from spying eyes, the two alone in utter ecstasy of perfect union. The Sage will soar to kingdoms far beyond the ken of lower men, to meet his peers and dwell in wisdom, expanding in ever-widening circles of sublimity—One with the Gods for ever.

"Thus all will live, or be, within their deeds . . . or in their dreams . . . or cease to BE if it is so decided by the Lords. But to some these deeds or dreams will be an actual AWAKENING to a higher awareness, which can no more return to sleep. This is true of those whose Path leads to the golden region of the Sun. They need never return to earth, unless by willing acts of sacrifice. The rest go to the region of the Moon. The indifferent, the lazy, the blasphemous will pass behind it, never to return as human beings perhaps; the rest will dwell in lovely shires, awaiting fresh re-birth."

One day Ruru showed Narāda his magic girdle and asked him if there was any evil attached to it. The Sage took it in his hands and murmured a few words, breathing in a strange manner. Then he handed it back to Ruru and said: "The evil spirit that was imprisoned in this girdle is now released for ever."

"And is it still a magic girdle that can now be used for good?" asked Ruru.

"Not until a benevolent Spirit is enchained within it," replied the Muni. "Do you wish me to enslave such a good being with this girdle for you?" he asked in turn.

"No, indeed I do not!" cried Ruru. "I would not rob of freedom any animal, man or spirit in the Three Worlds!"

"That is very good indeed," said Narāda; "but whoever made this girdle, or had it made, knew many things. Its gold is beset with seven times seven different gems in powerful symbolical combinations. It could be used for the conjuration of both good and evil spirits—for such truly exist, although the ignorant doubt or disbelieve it—and I know that it has been used many times for evil purposes. But it is harmless now. You should keep it always as a souvenir, and also meditate on its symbols, which I shall explain to you in their manifold aspects and combinations. When you are ready for your real Initiation I shall give you something that is much more powerful than this belt, and I shall instruct you how to make the other necessary instruments.

Not far from the Hermit's dwelling place there was an olive grove, and one evening Ruru happened to wander towards it by chance. And with surprise he saw his Master there, seated before a holy Shekinah upon which was placed a crystal bowl filled with pure water. Narāda was in deep meditation, and a fire of sweet-smelling herbs and woods, in which crackled and smoked some mystic, sacred incense, burnt joyfully by his side. The scent of that perfume was pleasant to Ruru's nostrils as he watched his Master in respectful silence.

The garland of Peace crowned the holy Hermit's brow, and a purple aureole did wave and weave around his head, and from the right side of it there issued violet streams of brilliant light. His gaze was fixed upon the velvet deep blue sky in which the uncountable stars glittered with silvery intensity. Thus, in his utter Wisdom was he reading the scroll of heaven, where the planets and the stars write in occult runes the destinies of Earth and Man.

And as Ruru watched breathlessly, lo! the Gates of Spirit opened wide, tense with the tread of Angels, and before the might of Narāda's Beatitudes the demon hosts of night trembled, faltered and fled. And then there stood before the Master a radiant Form, emitting Light in sparkling gleams, and that holy Spirit wore a shimmering crown, and her scarlet vestment, which reached down to the ground, was bedight with a golden cincture.

And then Narāda began to speak; addressing the Angel with words of highest poesy and deepest reverent Love. And as Ruru listened, spellbound with amazement, he thought: "Compared with that great Master's words, all other speech or writings are like crawling maggots; all orators but squawking crows and thieving magpies, living on the crumbs of eloquence discarded by his Genius; and they are but dim reflections of his blazing Rays. Oh, that I should ever have dared to think that there was any merit in my poor efforts. Compared with his divine inspiration they are like ashes against his Heavenly Fire."

And as the glorious music of that exalted voice wove fancies of angelic delights in Ruru's inner ear, he said to himself: "So wave the fulgent feathers of Illumination and of Truth, to cleanse the Mind of final doubt and fear."

And softly he turned away from that celestial oration and blessèd spectacle, not waiting till the Angel should reply; and when he did retrace his steps he reached once more the place where stood the holy habitation in which the Muni dwelt, a solitary, mystic shrine in the light of the Moon; but it seemed now as if a greater Light shone within those walls and oozed through them with such magnificent splendour that Ruru did not dare to enter.

Thus he waited outside its portals until his Master appeared in the distance, walking very slowly and seemingly still in deep meditation.

At last he arrived and, halting before Ruru, upon whom he fixed his sagacious eyes which shone with hidden tears, he said: "Bless you, my son, for turning away; and Bless you for your thoughts about my simple words. You have no reason to be despondent about your Great Poem, which I heard in the sighs of the winds that wafted it across to me. Such inspirations are very rare, and yours is all the more wonderful in that it sprang out of your attunement with Her whom one day you will find; and it is remarkable that you composed it ere the heavy hand of grief and loss had touched your brow. Bless you, my son; I can say no more tonight."

And he went within with dragging steps, as if the years of life pressed down upon his worn-out body like the weight of a mountain.

For a long time Ruru stood there, thinking about the Master's words, and he was as motionless as a person in a painting within its golden frame; oppressed by a sense of sorrow, indescribable, and an intensity of longing such as he could but faintly apprehend, but which was very real, nevertheless.

And when he went to rest at last he lay thinking in the dark, and meditated deeply upon that which Narāda had said. And, when he was gradually taken upwards by his concentration, he beheld a purple throne with rich regalia bestrewed, but passed it by; and walking onwards in the body of his spirit he saw a throne of purest white, on which a snowy mantle and a golden crown were placed. He stood before it and raised up his eyes to a crimson blaze which glowed above the throne; and from it a white dove flew down, which, standing at his feet, expanded into dewy lily, which blossomed out in form of hallowed Spirit, shining white, who took him by the hand and placed him on that throne, wrapped gleaming snow-pure robe around his form, and placed upon his head the golden crown and in his hand a lotus-sceptre, set with jewels, and on his breast a rose of white. There was a great surging within his ears, and it seemed as if he were wafted to enormous heights in the arms of that Spirit, whose lovely blue eyes gazed into his own—closer, ever closer—until he lost all sense of being and was dissolved in a cool lazulite flame of supreme delight.

Next: Chapter 17 — The First Test

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