THE purpose of the science of union, or Yoga, as it is called in the East, is to acquaint man with his Innermost, and this work is but an introduction. The deeper knowledge is only given to the student when he is ready for it. They who teach Yoga to the unprepared suffer severe penalties.
The fragmentary teachings the Great Initiates have left us have frequently been appropriated and altered by certain religious bodies who were supposed to have kept them sacred from the time they were given forth. They changed them in order to strengthen their own personal beliefs, and these false transcriptions have plunged the world into darkness.
Occultism teaches us that the visible universe is but the lower counterpart of the higher one which, if perceived, would give us youth and happiness. All that we see about us is illusory and but a fragment of something greater; for our minds are imprisoned and held subject to our own illusion world. When we can pierce this we shall perceive in the depths of Nature a mind that directs and guides all things.
Many occult schools, especially American, teach us how to develop our inner powers by the improper use of what is known as conscious will power. These schools say that one's objective self can demand and receive things by impressing the subconscious self through will power. In the deeper states of Yoga the student directs things, but does not will them as this world understands the term, but uses the consciousness of the Reality within him. Thus in the higher schools the word "Will" is seldom used.
We do not wish to disturb anyone's faith; but we suggest that would man only learn to think inwardly and seek his own kingdom of Heaven, he would read therein the original books of the great world teachers that have not been altered; for our own books of wisdom are not distorted by the illusion world. As the prophet Mahomet has said: "To its own book shall every nation be summoned," meaning that in the future man will learn to distinguish the true from the false when he attains union with his Innermost.
This book also deals with the health of the body and self-analysis, and the student can begin these practices no matter how old he is.
The body is a composite form built up from many sources and periods of past and present experience. In our practices these are reviewed. The lower centres represent the lower periods and our animal nature, and are situated in the lower part of the spine. The centres above the navel represent the more developed states of evolution and consciousness. These lower centres must become our servants, not by conquest but by control. If we fail in this they will disturb and try to dominate us, thus making us not godlike men, but beasts.
Life will not be fully understood until we recognise the living forces within us and transplant atoms of a higher nature into the body. This will eventually help humanity to become the personification of justice.
Our atomic centres are similar to the starry clusters in the sky, and each atom is a minute intelligence revolving within its own atmosphere.
When we aspire we unite ourselves to atoms that have preceded us in evolution; for they evolve as we evolve: this body being their university, and they prepare the path for us to follow.
Different divisions of consciousness or beings intersect man's structure, and when the student enters his interior planes he will realise that this world is but an illusion, and that time and space are different when seen from these divisions. These planes will send their energy into his mind, and he will find himself part of a great universal scheme.
They who do not squander their time but work for the redemption of their lower natures will eventually enter their own domains and there find the peace of God "which passeth all understanding." They will be beyond affliction or pain and in complete harmony with their indwelling consciousness.
From these inner domains they will observe that Nature's atmosphere teems with intelligences, and they will be admitted into worlds of inspiring and radiant beauty. Creations that will ennoble them; for here the hidden glories of the planet are revealed. Here the elemental sovereigns await to admit them into their territories.
In this Yoga practice the increase of our wave-length responds to these elemental substances and helps us to develop, and there we receive the keynote of our characters. For these beings are nourished upon the finest forces and wisdom of their worlds, and they gladly serve and welcome those who enter their realms of understanding and excellence.
The problems that confuse us on earth become clear and simple when seen from the interior worlds; for there we become the very attributes of Truth, and from these planes any questions asked are instantly answered according to the experience we have gained in previous incarnations.
The atmosphere of the mental body is controlled by the atmosphere of this world, but by breathing in the energy manifesting in this new age through Yoga we can throw off this control. By aspiring when breathing we attract the atoms of this new energy into us and slowly conform to their wave-length. These atoms bring us a sensation of joy similar to a morning in Spring. The deeper the student goes the more does he assume an energy and directness unparalleled in his normal state. He will undergo a complete change and realise as never before the possibilities of his future welfare and how indolent he has hitherto been.
When we are correctly related to the atoms of the Universe we can command its powers. If the student has no love in his heart, however, he will be unable to attract those atoms that will help him to regain his lost inheritance. Mental effort alone will never unite him to his Central Universe.
Within us reside many atoms that impart their wisdom to our atmosphere in order to hasten their own development. Just as a chemist must know what he is placing in his medicines, so must the student acquire the power to analyse any atmosphere. This will teach him at what degree atoms respond, also their type of intelligence and outer appearance.
Every great master of this science has secretly taught his more advanced pupils how to converse with their own atomic intelligences that have evolved beyond them.
Man is the result of his own thoughts and thought environment. In the past he lived in periods of brightness and splendour and beyond illusion, and he can again contact atoms representing such periods. In this new age he may once more regain the properties of his lost inheritance: his divine birthright.
Once the student regains the power to review his past lives he can begin to remedy his faults and seek powers lost through selfishness and abuse. When these are regained he can then evoke in others a similar atomic attainment.
We often hear about the return of a World Saviour, yet are unaware that each man is potentially his own Saviour and possesses atoms that germinate in his mental atmosphere the qualities of supreme enlightenment. This Initiate atom dwells within every living thing as well as within man; but only appears when we have entered the deeper states of our inner worlds.
This intelligence is neither named Christ nor Buddha, but is called by a secret sound that possesses the principles of justice. Each centre in the body has its own note, and it responds when we sound it. He who sounds the proper vowels—the seven vowels of Nature—harmonises these centres to respond to a united vowel sound: the true name of his Innermost.
When the student meditates within his own university, vowels—that seemingly travel from a remote past—are taught him; for once he knew and understood the true names of things, and Nature, responding to his call, attuned him to her consciousness.
To-day we have lost our ancient inheritance, but within the living temple of the Innermost we can regain possession of this godlike science.
In the new age there will come a moment when the sincere student—who has attained his inner instruction—will accomplish all that has been written upon his illumined mind-body.
The Dayspring of Youth has touched the world in other periods. Where did Greece, whose splendour has never been eclipsed, derive her wonderful information? From whose school did her architects receive their wisdom-knowledge of architecture and the laws of balance, rhythm and proportion? Who taught Phidias, Praxiteles and Apelles their knowledge of form, colour and the spirit that permeated their work? Even to-day the illumined mind feels the vibration that the Praxiteles torso sends forth, and few living sculptors can impregnate marble with such pregnant vitality. Within such masterpieces were placed living atoms that still impress us with reverence and devotion. For they placed within their work their own atoms, and though centuries have passed the sensitive mind can still feel the artist's joy in his creation. Yet much of this rich and manifold creation of Greece arose within the range of two hundred and fifty years.
In the Atlantean Testament of Learning, a book preserved by the Brothers, we read the following concerning the origin of the Attic civilisation: "When the Great Initiate and his followers of the Sun came to the Mediterranean they halted for a time at the site upon which Athens was later built, and the Atlantean planted in the subsoil atoms that long afterwards stimulated the minds of those who came to dwell there. He then departed with his followers to the fertile valley of the Nile to build up the civilisation now called the Egyptian."
The developed student will find such records intensely interesting. In the Chapter House of the Brothers one can turn over the pages of the past written by the historians of the Order.
Few people analyse the atmosphere of this world, neither do they realise their place and part in its activity. They who do so are generally the prophets of a nation and draw upon and express its accumulated store of wisdom: it is this wisdom that unites a nation to its inheritance. Western Yoga will help us through many difficult processes and give us the wisdom that will enable us to fulfil our mission to this world, as well as attain to our individual and inner universe.
The secret of this form of Yoga lies in the breathing in of atoms of a developed nature; for their higher rate of vibration develops our atomic structures. This is done by inhaling into the nasal passages a certain type of atom called Aspiring atoms.
In certain past periods of this world we could unite ourselves to our inner centres, and to-day, through constant aspiration and purity of thought we hope to reach the summit of this attainment, and also gather the knowledge the developed atoms possess and bind ourselves to those who reflect our highest aspirations. Only by aspiring for purity can beauty be received; this will also bring us clarity of mind and an instant sense of rest, no matter how tired we may have been.
Through Yoga, the student will receive, besides enlightenment, growth to his spiritual nature and an interior understanding of the scientific world of today.
Though the Innermost may seldom interest Itself in outer things, we should always do so, and strive to conform to the laws of this world.
Old environments sap the atmospheres of young life. Such conditions are frequently found in old countries as well as in old cathedral and university towns, for we cannot awaken and train those who will not sever themselves from their old appetites and passions for the culture of a past age.
When the student begins to inhale this atomic energy of the new age it will give him some idea as to his future development; for the old atmosphere of this world has all the dust and filth of many ages, and therefore drags us back to the past. Thus a nation will decay if it fails to respond to its own manifestation of the Dayspring of Youth.
In the past we ascended the lower densities of matter into the higher, but as we did so we lost contact, being misled by our lower nature. Therefore we must not surrender to lower conditions; if we do so they will enslave us.
Men are different in their structures: some possess dense bodies as well as dense minds and do not respond to any inflow of energy, but drift along in a casual manner. These people are the slaves to other minds and impart such qualities to those below them.
In this practice of Yoga we no longer become the prey to other minds, nor revert to old standards of thinking when analysing the qualities of thought coming from the inner planes.
As energy can only be attracted by energy, think of the new energy in the atmosphere when aspiring; for these things can only be taken by force. When desirous for certain knowledge aspire and call upon the Innermost to connect you to that centre or division correspending to that source of information.
In the deeper states of this practice we seek the essence of our past experiences after reviewing our past incarnations: whether good or evil.
When we have made the sum total of our experience into a wisdom intelligence we will then feel—if we are observant when practising—the attributes of courage and stimulation. This means that through aspiration we have inhaled those atoms possessing the consciousness belonging to the world of the Innermost.
We only become aware of our own atomic workers—who labour unceasingly upon the growths of our nervous system—when entering our interior planes. When we realise this we should give them love and encouragement.
If we wish to govern ourselves and analyse our conditions we must pass the barriers separating us from our own sovereignty and this illusion world; for we cannot expect the Innermost to promote the growths of our minds until we seek unity with It.
Each section of the body belongs to its individual atomic vibration, and we must analyse them in our practice as they collect within the nasal passage. We then call upon those atoms that instruct us and they will assist us by giving us the quality of balance.
As we inhale, a door seems to slowly open within us and we feel drawn into another sphere. In time this breathing will be controlled by the Innermost. When this occurs we shall then know for the first time the meaning of rhythmic breathing, and sense that other Being within us who takes charge and who gives us an alertness and perception never felt before. This is the borderland of our individual universe.
Within our nervous system lies a second set of nerves that respond to a greater wave-length. When we aspire we pass from the first into the second, and there collect atoms of a different nature. We also awaken currents of dynamic power that open to the secluded centres and prepare us for admission into our real world of being where atomic substances give us energy and intelligence.
In this study we must take each step with a feeling of security and courage. The illumination that comes to us comes through observation and study of our inner possessions. We are not blind like the mystic who, though radiating great love, has little to demonstrate; for the mystic and Yogi of this science are far apart. The mystic with fasting and praying weakens his body, seeking to make it subservient to its Higher Self, of whom he is ignorant, and only Its fragrance and peace remains in his heart; but the Yogi will develop and learn from his atomic intelligence his own great truth.
In the science of this Western Yoga there are preparatory, silent, active and scholastic periods. These four teach us how our inner and outer bodies operate. The presence of our Innermost has to be brought into manifestation on our objective world. Here we will add an important note about our Innermost: elsewhere we say that It is held prisoner; but this does not mean that It has no freedom of movement—on the contrary, It manifests through our central system, our secondary system, and objective body; but It cannot manifest beyond these until It is ultimately released through Yoga practice.
We do not consciously respond to the impressions of our Innermost—though religious teachers say we are in constant union with the Reality or God—until the Innermost, the instrument of the Reality, unites us to It.
In our present condition and atmosphere direct communication with our Innermost does not operate until we build into our system Its divisions of atomic structures. Yoga teaches us that only through the construction of such vehicles can we receive a response. We do not realise that when we reject these Aspiring atoms we likewise reject our own strength and serenity, or that in our practice we begin to fertilise our bodies another type of atom that evokes our hidden forces. Just as the gardener uses richer soil to nourish his plants.
A devout person often thinks he receives answers to his prayers from his deeper consciousness; for his heart is suddenly aflame and this convinces him that he has found God. Yet this is but the response of the atomic centre within his heart that has registered his appeal and aspiration. He believes this to be an illumination of God; whereas it is but the opening of a centre that has attracted Aspiring atoms that pour into his system and illuminate his consciousness, and pronounce their blessings upon one who has sought their atmosphere. To many this is called Divine Revelation. When centres in our secondary system are opened they also give us similar illuminations and periods of serenity and peace: not the peace of mind as we think, but determined energy personified by our own individuality: that composite body that calls to its Innermost.
Though we are always observed by the Reality and Its instrument, the Innermost, we are cast out of our own real kingdom until through aspiration we bring into our physical envelope those atoms that respond to the Innermost and the Reality. How can we know and receive the vibrations of the higher planes without an instrument upon which their vibrations can play and enter its consciousness? Man fails to endow himself with his own higher intelligences and is unaware of their reverence for his Innermost.
Thus the reader can now realise that this system of Western Yoga is to harmonise us to our finer states of being wherein dwells the presence of the Innermost.