Disillusionment is an experience that is known to all. The experience involves a massive breakdown of perceived truths, leading to a sense of aimlessness, futility and disorientation. Our daily encounters in life inevitably force us at one time or another to face disillusionment. While being stripped of illusion is initially devastating, can it also be transforming? Can painful realizations lead you to truth and freedom?
Disillusionment is very common on the spiritual path. John of the Cross, who was a Spanish mystic talks about periods of inertia in his spiritual life, and called them “dark nights of the soul.” During those moments he pondered the validity of the path and felt worthless and filled with doubt. He stumbled in his commitment to what he believed and why he believed it.
Every student is forewarned about the possible encounters with bewildering situations when on a quest for truth. It is fair to say that many aspirants seeking enlightenment have usually suffered through many such periods. These tests are a way a person’s dedication and moral commitment are proved unshakable.
While none of us like to be uncomfortable, it is perhaps through disillusionment that we can embrace our humanity and create new truths and paradigms. We learn ultimately to enter the process willingly, knowing that the final result will be worth it.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
Fully conscious creativity in line with the Divine Plan plays an important role in the work of the aspiring student of the wisdom teaching. In order to create something, the student first needs to visualize or build a thoughtform in his mind. Thus, it is necessary to learn how to visualize skillfully. Visualization is the initial way to embody the occult law that “energy follows thought.”
It is important to realize that visualization, like any technique, is developed through practice. By simply doing it over and over, progress can be observed over time, even if subtle. The reality is that we all know how to visualize expertly. In the ordinary way, it means actually seeing what something will look like. We do it all the time when we plan activities or organize things that we need in our daily lives. However, often it is but more of an automatic response, not conscious creativity. Often it is for ourselves and not to further the Divine Plan.
To work as a conscious creator with the Plan is to work with energy, force and substance by aligning with the higher purpose for humanity A good beginning practice is to begin with a service related idea that we want to manifest at some point. It can be a simple one, like helping with a humanitarian cause in the community. Bring to the mind as much detail related to the idea. This adds strength to a mental focus being created as a truly intelligent activity. It creates a power potential behind the idea; behind that which is to be done. A one-pointed focus is essential. During the process, endeavor to remain positive and aware that we are the controlling and directing agents. If the technique is mastered, the idea takes shape in ways unimaginable.
In Discipleship in the New Age we read:
This visualising process, and this use of the imagination, form the first two steps in the activity of thought-form building. It is with these self-created forms — embodying spiritual ideas and divine purpose — that the Masters work and hierarchical purpose takes shape.
Blavatsky writes that “everyone of us possesses the faculty, the interior sense, known as intuition, but how rare are those who know how to develop it! It is, however, the only faculty by means of which men and things are seen in their true colors.
It is an instinct of the soul, which grows in us in proportion to the use we make of it, and which helps us to perceive and understand real and absolute facts with far more certainty than can the simple use of our senses and the exercise of our reason. What are called good sense and logic enable us to see the appearance of things, that which is evident to everyone.
The instinct is a projection of our perceptive consciousness, a projection which acts from the subjective to the objective, and not vice versa, awakens the spiritual senses in us and the power to act; these senses assimilate to themselves the essence of the object or of the action under examination, and represent them to us as they really are, not as they appear to our physical senses and to our cold reason.”
In the words of Professor A. Wilder:
We begin with instinct, we end with omniscience
(Theosophy Vol 8)
“The most wondrous fire is the flame of the heart saturated with love for Hierarchy” says the teachings of Agni Yoga. The Fire of Space is creative and transforming. It’s hard to explain what it actually means when we say we have been transformed. What is it that changes us? The answer, of course, is not a simple one. The fiery path of initiation is slightly different for everyone. But it is available to all seekers of the light.
As one enters the path, the individual initiate will face difficulties and confront the age-old questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing? As time progresses, the fire of the heart becomes stronger. A tremendous love for every living thing expands. Eventually this love becomes a continuous expression of our essential nature. It is the flame in the heart that connects us with the fiery worlds that stretch all the way to the heart of the universe.
A great transformation of the earth is fast approaching, one that will usher in new concepts and spiritual principles. One in which all humanity will face initiation. This will constitute a “fiery purification,” which will be difficult due to humanity’s resistance against it.
There is a wise Sufi saying that goes like this:
“If you don’t have a temple in your heart, you will never have your heart in a temple.”
The sacred fire, the path of initiation is about having a temple in your heart.
What is inspiration? It is an innovative idea, a new technology, a stroke of insight, a work of art or a problem solved. All ideas, visions, and imaginations come first by being inspired! It brings magic and meaning. What is it about inspiration that so fascinates us? Is it that it reminds us, echoes in us, something of our own spiritual nature? In those magical “in spirit” moments, there a sense of the presence of higher being.
It’s easy to see why so many artists have described the experience as ecstasy. Inspiration sometimes comes on as a brilliant flash, lighting up the atmosphere for a minute or two, and then is gone. Inspiration is an echo of Divinity. It reminds us of the loveliness of the rainbow, here, and gone.
Where does inspiration come from? Often a piece of art is said to be inspired. What does that really mean beneath the popular cliché? Is the word “inspiration” both overused and insufficiently understood?
Looking at the dictionary definitions provide some insight:
- a breathing in, as of air into the lungs; inhaling
- an inspiring or being inspired mentally or emotionally
- an inspiring influence; any stimulus to creative thought or action an inspired idea, action, etc.
- a divine influence upon human beings.
Inspiration is the breath that sustains us, that inspires us, and leaves us. We have to slow down, breathe in, sit with our emotions, our thoughts, absorb the ideas, invoke the divine. Slowly, truly, deeply. We cannot have “inspiration” without the breath/spirit. Inspiration is a mystery in front of us.
Join Pamela McDown for a book discussion and introduction to the Ageless Wisdom via virtual classroom, beginning in 2018. Online discussions will be held for 9 sessions for 1 hour. There is no cost to participate. To register or more information send an e-mail through our contact page: Wisdom Teaching School.
The books published by Wisdom Impressions on the Nature of the Soul have been given during the second half of the twentieth century by the disciple Mrs. Lucille Cedercrans – Schaible and are called “The Wisdom – a New Thought-form Presentation.”
“You are seekers, all of you, seeking Truth as man has sought Truth throughout all of his many experiences.”
Everywhere are to be found the Wisdom Teachers, those dedicated souls who disperse themselves to the far reaches of the planet, to take their place in esoteric circles and the mundane world alike. For thousands of years, they have guarded the Sacred Treasures of Wisdom with their very lives, even in the gravest of moments when the world has been cast to the ground by the ignorant. The glory, magnificence and brilliance of their vision is often darkened, but they never give up. The Light of Wisdom is to be guarded as the noblest treasure of all, standing like mountain-tops above the deluge; high above the dark wintry ocean of the past.
The Ageless Wisdom is a lineage, a “golden thread,” like a spiritual family tree. It represents the process by which a certain kind of Wisdom is passed along from teacher to student, from generation to generation. Encoded in this spiritual DNA is a body of books, disciplines, principles and methods for living a more awakened life. Students that receive the Wisdom have profound insights about the inner Self and the true nature of the universe. They learn that everything is energy. A world of meaning unfolds before their eyes. That which has been hidden is no longer hidden and the inner life and soul within all things stands revealed. In the words of Lucille Cedercrans:
“And what is the Truth that man seeks? His own Identity. The realization that he is a Son of God, a Conscious Soul Incarnate.”
What gives rise to the motivational urge within us? The Ageless Wisdom teaches us that the spiritual will is the motive power as it governs the purpose of our life expression. It is like the engine that gives power to a car. The will energy propels all things into existence and is the driving force behind creation. When we initiate an activity, we are wielding the will aspect. Every one of us weaves will and purpose in the daily decisions of our lives whether we realize it or not.
It is this dynamic energy of the will that motivates us to go on a spiritual search. We don’t know why, but we begin to ponder questions we never even bothered with before. Our desires begin to change and we spend more time unlocking the secrets of the soul. These promptings in the emotional nature are an aspect of the will. Will and desire are considered two polarities of this same basic energy, the highest and lowest expression of the motive power.
The astral body of desire is a powerful factor of manifestation. Whatever we give strength of desire to, will we embody in the outer life and affairs. At one extreme, selfishness characterizes the persona focused on his own pleasure and satisfaction, no matter what the cost to others. At the other extreme the soul integrated personality is oriented toward manifesting the spiritual plan of the Divine whole.
Many aspirants upon the Path are to be found in varying stages of this transmutation process, being neither purely one nor the other. Even when desires are no longer purely exoteric, the spiritual will remain somewhat weak and not yet the ruling, governing force. Because of this, even when we think we are engaged in an activity of service, there are most likely hidden motivations somewhere on a personal emotional level. Examining our own glamours is therefore a valuable exercise in observation.
Until all these factors are transmuted, we cannot be too hard on our shortcomings. Selfish desires will eventually melt away over time. Let go and let God.
Image: Nicholas Roerich, Song of Shambhala
Eventually in some incarnation, the personality life surrenders to the soul’s authority and we truly come to understand who we are and all that we are – from the darkness of our struggles to the fullness of our gifts. Every single moment in life, indeed every experience is about finding our way, what holds meaning for us and what does not. We are, by nature, “seeking” creatures and are looking to discover our own mysteries. Part of the mystery is solving the struggle for control between the higher and lower division of one’s consciousness, called in the Wisdom teachings soul and personality awareness. The soul illumines the path with its love, wisdom and creative intention. Once an individual is committed to soul service, then he or she has reached the “point of no return.”
How do we know we are there? Perhaps we come to realize that we have more inner resources than we ever realized. The old ways do not work anymore and life seems new and different. We may find the beginning threads to a new service field, a spiritual exploration that often results in redirecting how we understand the journey of our life. In truth, enlightenment is nothing more than becoming the divine light that we are, and always have been.
The soul sounds forth in time and space a harmonic chord, often called in esoteric teaching “the word.” It is the most basic creative activity of the soul as the vibration moves outward to form it’s light body, as beautiful as a rainbow of light moving through a prism. Most of us in our evolutionary development work with seven notes, the most important being: the basic note (or physical), the major third (or emotional), the fifth (causal levels, including mind) and the ultimate seventh. This chord has far greater implications than we can imagine. What would our chord even sound like? Is it harmonious or dissonant? This would all depend on how the vibratory frequencies blend and merge together to set the sympathetic portion of our substance into motion. Each unique chord of the soul shares the magnetic qualities of the Soul. We are taught that sound or the “word” is the initiating force behind all things. It follows that humanity’s use of it must be examined in this light. It may well be said that the knowledge of sound is perhaps the most carefully guarded occult secrets of all the Mysteries.