A Treatise on White Magic
A Treatise on White Magic is a book by Alice Bailey considered to be among the most important by students of her writings, as it is less abstract than most, and deals with many important subjects of her works in an introductory, even programmatic fashion. It was first published in 1934 with the subtitle 'The Way of the Disciple'. She promulgated White Magic as a discipline to serve humanity.
- In the study of the ideas outlined in this book and their careful consideration certain basic concepts are borne in mind: First, that the matter of prime importance to each student is not the fact of a particular teacher's personality but the measure of truth for which he stands, and the student's power to discriminate between truth, partial truth, and falsity. Second, that with increased esoteric teaching comes increased exoteric responsibility. Let each student with clarity therefore take stock of himself, remembering that understanding comes through application of the measure of truth grasped to the immediate problem and environment, and that the consciousness expands through use of the truth imparted. Third, that a dynamic adherence to the chosen path and a steady perseverance that overcomes and remains unmoved by aught that may eventuate, is a prime requisite and leads to the portal admitting to a kingdom, a dimension and a state of being which is inwardly or subjectively known. It is this state of realisation which produces changes in form and environment commensurate with its power. These three suggestions will merit a close consideration by all, and their significance must be somewhat grasped before further real progress is possible. Introductory Remarks
- The statistical and the academic is a necessary basis and a preliminary step for most scientific study, but in this book we will centre our attention on the life aspect, and the practical application of truth to the daily life of the aspirant. Let us study how we can become practical magicians, and in what way we can best live the life of a spiritual man, and of an aspirant to accepted discipleship in our own peculiar times, state and environment. Introductory Remarks p. 6
- The life at the heart of the solar system is producing an evolutionary unfoldment of the energies of that universe which it is not possible for finite man as yet to vision. Similarly the centre of energy which we call the spiritual aspect in man is (through the utilisation of matter or substance) producing an evolutionary development of that which we call the soul, and which is the highest of the form manifestations—the human kingdom. Man is the highest product of existence in the three worlds. By man, I mean the spiritual man, a son of God in incarnation. The forms of all the kingdoms of nature—human, animal, vegetable and mineral—contribute to that manifestation. The energy of the third aspect of divinity tends to the revelation of the soul or the second aspect which in turn reveals the highest aspect. It must ever be remembered that The Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky expresses this with accuracy in the words "Life we look upon as the one form of existence, manifesting in what is called Matter; or what, incorrectly separating them, we name spirit, soul and matter in man. Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesized by life, which pervades them all." (The Secret Doctrine. Vol: I. p. 79. 80.) p. 14
- Knowledge might be divided into three categories: First, there is theoretical knowledge. This includes all knowledge of which man is aware but which is accepted by him on the statements of other people, and by the specialists in the various branches of knowledge. It is founded on authoritative statements and has in it the element of trust in the writers and speakers, and in the trained intelligences of the workers in any of the many and varied fields of thought. The truths accepted as such have not been formulated or verified by the one who accepts them, lacking as he does the necessary training and equipment. The dicta of science, the theologies of religion, and the findings of the philosophers and thinkers everywhere colour the point of view and meet with a ready acquiescence from the untrained mind, and that is the average mind. p.15
- Then, secondly, we have discriminative knowledge, which has in it a selective quality and which posits the intelligent appreciation and practical application of the more specifically scientific method, and the utilisation of test, the elimination of that which cannot be proved, and the isolation of those factors which will bear investigation and are in conformity with what is understood as law. The rational, argumentative, scholastic, and concretising mind is brought into play with the result that much that is childish, impossible and unverifiable is rejected and a consequent clarifying of the fields of thought results. This discriminating and scientific process has enabled man to arrive at much truth in relation to the three worlds. The scientific method is, in relation to the mind of humanity, playing the same function as the occult method of meditation (in its first two stages of concentration and prolonged concentration or meditation) plays in relation to the individual. Through it right processes of thought are engendered, non-essentials and incorrect formulations of truth are ultimately eliminated or corrected, and the steady focussing of the attention either upon a seed thought, a scientific problem, a philosophy or a world situation results in an ultimate clarifying and the steady seeping in of right ideas and sound conclusions. The foremost thinkers in any of the great schools of thought are simply exponents of occult meditation... p. 16-17
- This leads inevitably to the emergence of the third branch of knowledge, the intuitive. The intuition is in reality only the appreciation by the mind of some factor in creation, some law of manifestation and some aspect of truth, known by the soul, emanating from the world of ideas, and being of the nature of those energies which produce all that is known and seen. These truths are always present, and these laws are ever active, but only as the mind is trained and developed, focussed, and open-minded can they be recognized, later understood, and finally adjusted to the needs and demands of the cycle and time. Those who have thus trained the mind in the art of clear thinking, the focussing of the attention, and consequent receptivity to truth have always been with us, but hitherto have been few and far between. p. 16
- Those who see a vision that is withheld from those lacking the necessary equipment for its apprehension are regarded as fanciful, and unreliable. When many see the vision, its possibility is admitted, but when humanity itself has the awakened and open eye, the vision is no longer emphasised but a fact is stated and a law enunciated. Such has been the history of the past and such will be the process in the future. p. 17
- The past is purely speculative from the standpoint of the average man and the future is equally so, but he himself is the result of that past and the future will work out of the sum total of his present characteristics and qualities. If this is true of the individual it is then also equally true of mankind as a whole. That unit in nature, which we call the fourth or human kingdom, represents that which is the product of its physical heritage; its characteristics are the sum of its emotional and mental unfoldments and its assets are those which it has succeeded in accumulating during the cycles wherein it has been wrestling with its environment—the sum total of the other kingdoms in nature. Within the human kingdom lie potentialities and latencies, characteristics and assets which the future will reveal and which in their turn determine that future. p. 17
- We are entering upon a course of study wherein the entire tendency will be to throw the student back upon himself, and thus upon that larger self which has only, in most cases, made its presence felt at rare and highly emotional intervals. When the self is known and not simply felt and, when the realisation is mental as well as sensory, then truly can the aspirant be prepared for initiation. Some Basic Assumptions
- I would like to point out that I am basing my words upon certain basic assumptions, which for the sake of clarity, I want briefly to state.
Firstly, that the student is sincere in his aspiration, and is determined to go forward no matter what may be the reaction of and upon the lower self. Some Basic Assumptions
- Only those who can clearly differentiate between the two aspects of their nature, the real self and the illusory self, can work intelligently. This has been well expressed in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. "Experience (of the pairs of opposites) comes from the inability of the soul to distinguish between the personal self, and the purusa (or spirit). The objective forms exist for the use and experience of the spiritual man. By meditation upon this arises the intuitive perception of the spiritual man." Book III.35. The forty-eighth Sutra in the same book gives a statement covering a later stage of this discriminative realisation. This discerning quality is fostered by a re-collected attitude of mind, and by careful attention to the method of a constant review of the life. Some Basic Assumptions p. 54
- Secondly, I am acting upon the assumption that all have lived long enough and battled sufficiently with deterrent forces of life to have enabled them to develop a fairly true sense of values. I assume they are endeavouring to live as those who know something of the true eternal values of the soul. They are not to be kept back by any happenings to the personality or by the pressure of time and circumstance, by age or physical disability. They have wisely learnt that enthusiastic rushing forward and a violent energetic progress has its drawbacks, and that a steady, regular, persistent endeavour will carry them further in the long run. Spasmodic spurts of effort and temporary pressure peter out into disappointment and a weighty sense of failure. It is the tortoise and not the hare that arrives first at the goal, though both achieve eventually.
- Thirdly, I assume that those who set themselves seriously to benefit by the instructions in this book are prepared to carry out the simple requirements, to read what is written thoughtfully, to attempt to organise their minds and adhere to their meditation work. The organising of the mind is an all-day affair, and the application of the mind to the thing in hand throughout the daily avocations, is the best way to make study and meditation periods fruitful and bring about fitness for the vocation of disciple.
- With these assumptions clearly understood, my words are for those who are seeking to measure up to the need for trained servers. I say not, you note, those who measure up. Intention and effort are considered by us of prime importance, and are the two main requisites for all disciples, initiates and masters, plus the power of persistence. p. 55
- Students of these matters are therefore begged to extend their concept of that hierarchy of souls so that they include all the exoteric fields of human life (political, social, economic, and religious). They are begged not to narrow down the concept as so many do, to only those who have brought their own little particular organisation into being, or to those who are working purely on the subjective side of life, and along what are recognised by the conservative as the so-called religious or spiritual lines. All that tends to lift the status of humanity on any plane of manifestation is religious work and has a spiritual goal, for matter is but spirit on the lowest plane, and spirit, we are told, is but matter on the highest. All is spirit and these differentiations are but the products of the finite mind. Therefore, all workers and knowers of God in or out of fleshly bodies, and working in any field of divine manifestation form part of the planetary hierarchy and are integral units in that great cloud of witnesses who are the "onlookers and observers". They possess the power of spiritual insight or perception as well as objective or physical vision.
- It should always be borne in mind that, when dealing with individuals, the work required is twofold: 1. To teach them how to link up the personal lower self with the overshadowing soul so that in the physical brain there is an assured consciousness as to the reality of that divine fact. This knowledge renders the hitherto assumed reality of the three worlds futile to attract and hold, and is the first step, out of the fourth, into the fifth kingdom. 2. To give such practical instruction as will enable the aspirant to— a. Understand his own nature. This involves some knowledge of the teaching of the past as to the constitution of man and an appreciation of the interpretations of modern Eastern and Western investigators. b. Control the forces of his own nature and learn something of the forces with which he is surrounded. c. Enable him so to unfold his latent powers that he can deal with his own specific problems, stand on his own feet, handle his own life, solve his own difficulties and become so strong and poised in spirit that he forces recognition of his fitness to be recognized as a worker in the plan of evolution, as a white magician, and as one of that band of consecrated disciples whom we call the "hierarchy of our planet". p. 57
- As the knowledge of the self and as the consciousness of that which the self sees, hears, knows and contacts is stabilized, the Master is found; his group of disciples is contacted; the plan for the immediate share of work he must assume is realized and gradually worked out on the physical plane. Thus the activity of the lower nature decreases, and the man little by little enters into conscious contact with his Master and his group. But this follows upon the "lighting of the lamp"—the aligning of the lower and higher and the downflow of illumination to the brain.
- It is essential that these points should be grasped and studied by all aspirants so that they may take the needed steps and develop the desired awareness. Until this is done, the Master, no matter how willing He may be, is powerless, and can take no steps to admit a man to His group and thus take him into His auric influence, making him an outpost of His consciousness. Every step of the way has to be carried out by a man himself, and there is no short or easy road out of darkness into light.
- If he looks backward he can see only the fogs and miasmas of the planes of illusion, and fails to be interested. If he looks forward he sees a distant light which attracts him, but he cannot as yet see that which the light reveals. If he looks around, he sees but shifting forms and the cinematograph of the form side of life. If he looks within, he sees the shadows cast by the light, and becomes aware of much impedimenta which must be discarded before the light he sees in the distance can be approached, and then enter within him. Then he can know himself as light itself, and walk in that light and transmit it likewise to others.
- It is perhaps well to remember that the stage of discipleship is in many ways the most difficult part of the entire ladder of evolution. The solar angel is unceasingly in deep meditation. The impulses of energy, emanating from him are increasing in vibratory rate and are becoming more and more powerful. The energy is affecting more and more the forms through which the soul is seeking expression, and endeavouring to control.
- There is no question but that a man is faced, in his progress, with increasingly subtle distinctions. The crude discrimination between right and wrong which occupies the child soul is succeeded by the finer distinctions of right, or of more right, of high, or higher, and the moral or spiritual values have to be faced with the most meticulous spiritual perception.
- It is essential that there should be an endeavor to arrive at absolute purity of motive.
- The ability to enter the silence of the high places will follow next. The stilling of the mind depends upon the law of rhythm. If you are vibrating in many directions and registering thoughts from all sides, this law will be unable to touch you.
- Remember always that lack of calm in the daily life prevents the teachers on egoic levels from reaching you. Endeavor therefore to remain quiescent as life unrolls, work, toil, strive, aspire, and hold the inner calm. Withdraw steadily into interior work and so cultivate a responsiveness with the higher planes. A perfect steadiness of inner poise is what the Masters need in those whom They seek to use.
- Learn to control thought. It is necessary to guard what you think. These are days when the race as a whole is becoming sensitive and telepathic and responsive to thought interplay. The time is approaching when thought will become public property, and others will sense what you think. Thought has, therefore, to be carefully guarded. Those who are contacting the higher truths and becoming sensitive to the Universal Mind must protect some of their knowledge from the intrusion of other minds. Aspirants must learn to inhibit certain thoughts, and prevent certain knowledge from leaking out into the public consciousness when in contact with their fellow men.