THE HEALING OF ELEMENTALS
Human beings commonly conceive of themselves as privileged subjects active in an outer world of objects, and acted upon by a host of forces and pressures. Though they assign a stable reality to themselves as subjects and to these objects, they are generally confused about the dynamic connection between the two. Typically, they picture objects as having a sort of mechanistic persistence and variability, markedly different from the kind of vital energy they ascribe to themselves. No such sharp distinction can succeed, however, in accounting for the essential facts of human life. Much that is deemed to be subjective displays the same inveterate and stark routinization held to characterize the so-called external world of mechanical objects. And supposedly inert objects often reveal dynamic qualities ranging from the perverse to the poetic. The nexus or network of this perplexing condition is centred in the human body itself, which is continually affected alike by seemingly subjective and objective forces.
The arcane mystery surrounding embodied consciousness has been the fertile source of much philosophical speculation, largely bound up with Cartesian dualism and the so-called "mind-body problem". Having severed form and consciousness from each other at a fundamental level, most thinkers, like "all the king's horses and all the king's men", have been unable to put them back together again. Nor does radical objective materialism or extreme subjective idealism yield a consistent resolution of the problem. This philosophical quandary reflects a broader malaise in human understanding and self-consciousness with vital implications in arenas such as medicine and health, education and therapy, and the crucial connection of individual moral choices with the collective social and political order. Notions like "psychosomatic illness", "ego-transference" and "political charisma" point to lacunae in our basic categories, and provide more heat than light, with few, if any, clues to responsible action. As a result, the well-intentioned find themselves unable to instantiate their ideals, and it is small compensation that the perverse and malicious are also rather impotent in imposing on the world their malign schemes for universal degradation.
From the standpoint of Gupta Vidya, this entire dualistic approach is rooted in a fundamental philosophical error. Instead of viewing differentiated form and consciousness as two radically separate modes of being, it sees them only as manifesting aspects of a single undifferentiated substance-principle. That rootless root is pre-cosmic ideation as well as pre-cosmic matter, both absolute consciousness and absolute unconsciousness, it being impossible to attribute any finite or formal character to this primordial, pre-genetic Ground. Thus the common-sense distinctions between mind and matter, between body and soul, are merely relative and conceptual, helpful in characterizing different functions and faculties within living beings, but systematically misleading if taken as suggesting any strict dichotomy in the ontological bases of these diverse powers and principles. Further, this singular and sole origin of all consciousness and form implies that there is no unbridgeable gap between modes of manifestation of form and consciousness in various kingdoms of Nature, ranging from the least and lowest to the most metaphysically exalted. All alike are ensouled by one universal and ramifying divine Intelligence, and all are equally embodiments of one supreme and homogeneous light-essence.
These two aspects mahat and daiviprakriti unfold and enfold all the possibilities of differentiated existence throughout the complex realms of visible and invisible Nature, from the highest radiations of Logoic or cosmic intelligence to the subphysical species of elementals the salamanders, sylphs, undines and gnomes of alchemical and popular folklore. At every successive level, grosser emanations mirror the specific modes of activity and intelligence of their more subtle "parents" but with diminishing ranges of action on every descending plane of existence, until finally the extreme limit of differentiation in a particular cycle of manifestation is reached. The entire web of Nature vibrates and resonates with the pulsations of the Logoic heart, expressing the One Life in myriad modes of manifest sensitivity and action. Throughout, the law of universal harmony reigns unbroken, continually adjusting the relations of all the parts within the impartite sovereign presence and provenance of the One. Its intelligence is behind their intelligence, and as they are drawn together or driven apart in successive communities and aggregations, as they suffer various transformations and transmutations of capability, all this is directly and immediately an expression of the infinite potential inherent in the Logoic root.
Seen in this light, embodied human existence is no different from any other mode of existence, subhuman or superhuman. Indeed, the worlds of devas, men and gods are alike guided by one identical Law. Yet each type in Nature carries the potency of its specific divine antetype, one of the seven primal Dhyan Chohanic radiations that make up the living body of the Logos. Each ray represents a fundamental note in the scale of specialized possibilities in Nature. From a certain perspective, it could be said that the human kingdom is specifically connected with the ray that expresses itself in man as the creative and synthesizing power of manas or self-consciousness. At the same time, all the seven rays have their scintillating expressions in all the kingdoms of Nature above, below and in man. Furthermore, within the human family there are complex cycles of evolutionary development wherein all the seven rays and their subdivisions predominate for periods of illusory "time" in the manvantaric pilgrimage. Consequently, human life is continually immersed in a vast ocean of life populated by hosts of greater and lesser beings, all of whom share the same archetypal set of potentialities, though clearly exhibiting very different actualized potencies.
Every human activity, each breath and thought, affects and is affected by this universal kinship. The energies of man qua man may be manasic in essence, but they are as subject to the laws of universal harmony as any other energies, both in origin and in their effect. Depending upon the quality of man's inspiration, motive and aspiration, his noetic and psychic activities draw to a greater or lesser degree upon the pure divine Intelligence of his Manasa ancestors. In the same proportion, all his conscious and semi-conscious activity exerts influence for good or ill on every aggregate of subhuman lives that comes within the scope and influence of human action, individual and collective.
The ceaseless interaction of man with subhuman Nature is ordinarily understood only at the level of gross interaction with animal and vegetable life, but even at this mundane level man clearly carries a sacred responsibility for the preservation and extinction of the hosts of species cohabiting the earth with him. Yet, partly because human beings fail to comprehend the nature of their own noetic individuality as manasic beings and thus tend to ascribe a spurious pseudo-individuality to animals and plants human beings are largely unaware of their far more intimate and decisive relationship to the hosts of the submineral elemental kingdoms. If lack of self-knowledge blinds human perception to the ubiquitous presence of these denizens of the fourfold elements, this itself is only a consequence of past misuse and abuse of human energies. Affecting the elemental make-up of the astral and physical body, this blindness and deafness to Nature's invisible sprites is the inevitable karmic compensation for past failures to treat these lesser modes of evolving life with the compassion and respect they deserve.
Whether man is aware of it or not, nonetheless every exertion of his psyche, every thought, feeling, word or breath, attracts and repels specific classes of elementals, charging and magnetizing them with an unerring exactitude on an incredible scale. One may compare this to the action of a magnet upon iron filings, though the number of elementals polarized and impressed by even seemingly trivial thoughts is surprisingly vast. Once these congeries of elementals have been impressed, they either lodge in one's vestures or move on. They themselves are really moving under certain infallible laws of attraction and repulsion. These laws are integral aspects of the universal forces of attraction and repulsion, ultimately the most fundamental laws of all evolution and existence.
"Attraction" and "repulsion" should not be thought of perfunctorily here, either in a narrow Newtonian sense or in an anthropomorphic and romantically indulgent manner. "Positive" and "negative" are meant in senses that far transcend the myriad examples one could freely take from the external world. These laws are so basic to the cosmic process that there is no way the Seven Sons of the Flame could, by a progressive descent through a second class of mind-born sons and a third class of Builders, give rise to the whole cosmos without becoming both agents as well as victims of the process of differentiation, which subsequently acquires an inexorable logic of its own. Through centripetal and centrifugal patterns and by polar movements, it breathes in and out, swelling from within without and from without within, back and forth ceaselessly forever, until the time comes for the great sleep of the whole cosmos the pralaya that succeeds each manvantara.
Until that awesome moment is reached, nothing can still or sway the process or prevent it from going on "without let or hindrance". This is the metaphysical sense in which karma is supreme as to cause but not as to effect. From this it follows that there can be no quick remedy or simple panacea to the long-standing problems of human life and spiritual evolution. Certainly, all pseudo-doctrines of vicarious atonement, instant satori or deathbed moksha deceiving the docile and fearful into thinking they could be saved by proxy or by doing nothing were costly death-traps for human beings over thousands of years. Equally, modern notions of self-reliance and the self-made man are disastrous evasions, deluding people into thinking that the entire globe is here merely to be exploited for private pleasure or personal profit. The hollow pretensions of the typical self-made man are all too evident to his spouse, children and parents, and the same could be said for the self-made woman. It is truly sad that so many are caught up to such an extent in clutching the costly illusion that one has "done it all myself". This standpoint simply will not wash, any more than a desperate immersion in the Ganges, and it is too late in human evolution for souls to be so apathetically forgetful of the time-honoured laws of continuity and transmission, much less the primordial facts of origin and cessation as taught by Buddha.
Anything which takes attention away from these primary facts and the primary obligations they entail is a disastrous mistake. No human being can incarnate on earth without complex, inexorable chains of causation requiring myriads of lives over millions of years to work out. To think that one can mix up fantasy with fact, day-dreaming with spiritual mountain climbing, just because one has received pristine Teachings from those at the summit of evolution, is fatal. That is why there will be recurring as well as instantaneous ethical examinations in the Aquarian Age into which all humanity is entering. No more fooling and kidding will be allowed. Even if one were to screen a collection of people, carefully selecting those who do not have these simian tendencies, chaos would result if one were to put them in a room.
This happens everywhere in contemporary society in all institutions, offices, committees and classrooms unless one can keep people quiet. The Quakers tried this in America, but they largely gave up about twenty-five years ago, not because they did not believe in their sovereign method of silence, but because they were not finding enough patient practitioners in America who were willing to come and sit quietly for three hours. What worked in England for the Quakers could not work in contemporary America, but this is only a minor incident in a global malaise caused by Dostoievskian hyper-consciousness which is going to take a radical Tolstoyan shift before it is resolved. That is why the Avatar is pioneering, among small groups of responsive and courageous souls, the creation of a new modulus of the ancient sanghas so that, within a hundred years, it will actually be safe for three human beings to be in the same room safe for them to sit quietly, be wide awake and say something meaningful. This is going to take some time, and long beforehand it will be necessary to handle a number of hard cases in the seats of pseudo-government and the dens of pseudo-revolution, severely traumatised by inane ideologies, ethnic terrorism, ersatz religion, pseudo-psychiatry and behaviouristic nonsense.
The immense difficulty of bringing about such seemingly simple reforms points to the enormity of the gap between disintegrating societies and the ageless Teachings of Divine Wisdom. Yet, if any Aquarian pioneer wishes to begin to learn how to exercise a calming, controlling influence over masses of disturbed elementals while eating, sleeping and going about the daily round the first thing to focus upon is silence. A simple rule would be to talk little, if at all, during meals. Whether or not one mutters words of grace, it is most important to eat food calmly and gratefully without words. That would be a definite step forward for most people. Indeed, most health problems arise not because of what people eat, but because of the way they eat it. Whether people pick trash from bins, like homeless tramps or pseudo-hippies, or are given the finest foods on outrageous expense accounts, they are often the worst enemies of their own health so long as they chatter and character-assassinate during meals. To recommend silence at meals may seem a hard measure, but without silence there will be no gratitude, no thinking of the forgotten persons who planted the seeds and took trouble to raise the food, much less any thought of sun and soil, winds or rain. Long before one can sanctify eating, there must be silence during meals.
Similarly, silence as preparation for sleep is important, and so too is silence upon awakening. This must be internal, not merely external, silence. Most people have great difficulty in winding down at the end of the day. They have got to find a way to stop it, whether by music, by yogurt, by telling a nursery tale, by humming or by listening to white noise. One has to find a way to calm down so that one can enter into sleep cheerfully and calmly. One must enter sleep as if one is ready to commune with the divine, to seek true refreshment and the richest spiritual privacy. One should go into sleep as if it were a very great privilege, and then come out of it with as much gratitude and quiet alertness as possible.
It is precisely such simple moves that will do the most good. Telling people to sanctify breathing and eating is too much too soon, especially in an age in which one grows up thoughtlessly, misuses every object, and is totally utilitarian, whilst fudging ethical and even economic accounting. This goes on everywhere all the time, and the massacre of elementals is horrendous, shaming even the Herods of our time. People use all sorts of aids and gadgets in their work and jobs, and when they are finished and do not need these tools any more, they discard them or leave them lying about. This is cruelty and carelessness to the elementals involved, and it negates whatever good intentions one might have had and whatever value and dignity there might have been in one's labours.
It is better to spend half an hour clearing up, and then three hours working, than to spend eight hours working and not one second clearing up. That way, one shows no gratitude to the elementals which have made it possible to accomplish anything. But most people leave messes after themselves and do not even thank those who come along and clean up later. Nobody ever taught them to be grateful, and now it is too late to learn because the habits are too entrenched. Thus, people constantly undo the good they do, since it never occurs to them that they themselves are largely collections of elementals, surrounded by oceans of elementals, for which they are trustees and which they must treat gently. To toss a simple paper clip aside is to incur the wrath of Nature. It is better to have human beings arrayed against one in a court of law than to confront the fury of a cast-off paper clip.
The wisest people in any community are often those who collect the garbage. They are the overlooked toilers who pick up the stuff contemptuously thrown away by others. Cheerful and wise, they help in Nature's work. Incredible though it may be from a middle-class perspective, high beings may well come into this society in the future by entering the families of these people and taking jobs gathering garbage. This is the best protection for high beings because it gives one quiet, privacy and the chance to assist Nature. But what of the people who thoughtlessly create the garbage? Their future is too awful to contemplate. Some are rebellious souls who have lived as the most inconsiderately uncouth beings in villages and towns all over the world for scores of lives, but that is no excuse for an incurably discontented life, coupled with an ingrained contempt for what they use.
Clearly, this Teaching is too difficult for such people, who have good reasons for believing in only one life (as the ads proclaim), and it is definitely not given for their own sake. True Spiritual Teachers do not make such mistakes. It is given for the sake of the millions of elementals which are constantly passing through such people. The more restless they are, the more elementals are affected. They come and go like grey storm clouds, symbolic of the breakdown in society, amidst the dark purple of the night and soft light of dawn. Once impressed, one can count on them to go on doing their irresistible magic, not just once, but again and again. Repetition is the law of life for all classes of elementals, ranging from nature spirits to the presiding constituents of the four elements, as well as the whole host of three hundred and thirty million devas and devatas, the "nerves of Nature", whose impresses are indelibly recorded upon "Nature's infinite negative". Once they are graciously given that which will benefit them, they will endlessly give it back, such is the richness and generosity of Nature. But once one violates the laws of gratitude and misuses elementals, no amount of hocus-pocus will prevent one from getting retributive karma life after life.
That is why Buddha came to teach the Law, which is meta-mathematical and inexorable. The greatest beings are those who work with and appreciate that Law. They are fearful of nothing, because they know that there is nothing stronger on earth than the power of concentrated benevolence. There is nothing more beautiful than a man who casts no shadow and leaves no footprints. Above all, they know the sacred mark of the twice-born, the truly initiated exemplars and helpers of all humanity. Therefore, they are constantly hoping that human beings will emerge out of the great mass who can procreate with great reverence, humility and gratitude using a sacred pair of temples and making them one even if for a few moments for the purpose of aiding these high beings to come into this world. Even if hiding as garbage collectors, they can start to take over the earth and spell out the ethics of the new Aquarian Age, which will be an age of sacred speech, quiet and honest work, effortless cooperation and spontaneous solidarity.
That will mark a tremendously different time from the present, and in this raucous transition one cannot expect one's home to become what it really should be a centre of light, warmth and love. In fact, one is more in danger at home than one will ever be in the outside world. One must rid oneself of the illusion that hiding behind a set of walls is the same as being alone. On the contrary, that is exactly when one is closest to all the invisible residents of the invisible world. When one is out at the office and working, by contrast, one has more protection, because one is among a lot of human beings who are keeping busy. The privacy of one's own home be it an apartment, condominium or family residence is an illusion.
It is perfectly true that the abode of the authentic homeless wanderer, the sannyasin, is the sphere of light around him. But one can emulate this only if one can find the true centre of one's consciousness in the divine ray that is prior to the prism. Within that sphere, one will have a home without walls and there will be no problem of separation. This home is open on every side to every entity and elemental. The moment anything comes closer to it, it behaves like the marvellous dogs found outside Tibetan monasteries which, even today after all the horrors of what has happened there, behave as calmly as monks, if not more so. Such animals most easily reflect and mirror what is real in the states of consciousness of cheerfully self-disciplined human beings around them. In the presence of the divine Teachings, even a cat may come forward to receive them, feeling he or she deserves them more than many of the human beings present. At that level, Nature never fails.
If individuals who are faced with numerous stresses and are affected by the surrounding atmosphere of breakdown, gloom and doom would begin to reflect deeply upon these Teachings, they would soon see that there is no trick they can use to avoid depression. No drug or pill, potion or panacea, will help. Instead, they must come to see the central meaning of the Zero Principle (Hermes, February 1986) for their lives; everything they need already exists in abundance within their own sphere of light, and no external aids are needed. There is nothing which one does not already have, if one can centre oneself. Thus the moment one grasps an adventitious aid, one is running away from the problem. External aids may work temporarily as a palliative, but they will not, as the best doctors and psychologists know, effect a cure. Instead, one must look calmly at what one is depressed about, and consider the plight of beings worse off than oneself. One should think through what one proposes to do about the problem and the less one passes it on to others, the better.
Depressed elementals that have come into one's vestures must be welcomed and treated with compassion. They must be told that they are taking themselves too seriously. They should not be ridiculed, but should be put in place and sent off, cleansed, out into the world. This can be done by sitting calmly in a chair and facing the problem honestly. Anything that prevents one from taking responsibility will never get one out of the woods, but will only plunge one much more deeply into difficulty after death. Anyone who sees this clearly will want to take responsibility promptly, without depending upon external aids. This is not to say that one cannot use common sense. If one has a lot of bad habits, one can improve them or replace them with better ones. If one has eaten a lot of junk, one can find an herb shop and get some good herbs. In the end, however, one must not depend upon what is outside. Even if one takes a healing herb, one's mental relation to it, one's faith in it and one's love and gratitude towards it make all the difference in the world. Unless one breathes these subjectively from within without into the herb, it will not release its healing essence.
Nothing, in fact, works automatically or mechanically in living Nature. At most, as in Christian Science, certain semi-occult techniques can work on the physical plane to push problems onto the astral plane, where they will get back at one much more viciously in the future. Rather than ensuring that one's problems bear such compound interest, it is much better to come to terms with them, catching them the moment they start. If one was kept quiet as a child and not encouraged to move one's hands around, and if one has been loved, not so much as a mutable object, but as an immortal soul, one will find it easier to quieten one's elementals. But even if one has become nervous and insecure, and is stuck with a persistent restlessness, one does not want to pass this along to one's elementals all the time. If one does, there will be no place to hide. As an adolescent, one may have gotten away from one's parents, but there is no way one will ever get away from one's elementals.
As the camel insinuated its nose under the edge of the Arab's tent before claiming sole ownership, one will discover, rather unexpectedly, that one's whole vesture is taken over. One will even, alas, become so soulless that no amount of make-up or posturing will hide the fact that the soul is gone. There will merely be one more mediumistic victim for the evil magicians of this earth, caught in the holocaust they instigate. Tragically, there has never been a better time for them to do this, because there are so many people compulsively repudiating the ABCs of living. Too few are willing, when they have enough to eat and enough to live on, to insert themselves into Nature and proceed quietly from middle age to death. In the name of pseudo-democracy, everyone has started using his tongue endlessly in the cause of ego aggrandizement.
The inevitable massacre of innocents has been horrendous. Universal unhappiness, ubiquitous rudeness and pervasive misanthropy, universal ill health, widespread pollution and collective depression have been engendered to a degree that passes beyond belief and all understanding. The elementals are having their riot of rapacious vengeance. They will continue to do so, and be welcome to do so, until the balance of Nature is restored. Indeed, like wise physicians who recognize that a disease must reach and pass through a crisis before there can be healing, those who truly care for the future of humanity look forward to the worsening symptoms with secretly cherished and consecrated hope. On the other hand, those courageous souls who are willing to forget themselves even a little bit, insert themselves into the whole a little bit, and begin to develop the powers of listening and silence will flourish.
There are many fine souls in our society and throughout the world who still know what it is to live quietly, humbly and responsibly. They may be unimportant, but they have learnt how to live in accordance with Nature. Nor are they purchasing the notion that they are useless because they did not go to college and did not study pseudo-psychology or an ethnically and sexually biased mixture of sociology and anthropology. Though many such people exist, others, despite their miseducation and their misanthropy, must go back to the basics (the eternal verities) and learn to speak the language of responsibility and practise the etiquette of silence and reverence. Ultimately, the soul must learn the sacred language of cosmic and theurgic sacrifice, which is the basis of all spiritual alchemy and noetic magic in Nature. In essence and at the root, nothing else exists but intelligent or involuntary participation in universal cosmic sacrifice. This is the Teaching of adhiyajna, the secret and sovereign remedy hidden, as if inside a series of Chinese boxes, within the words of the Bhagavad Gita. It is the noblest teaching, and the most difficult. There is no way to jump to it from the realm of moral and mental chaos, for there are many necessary steps in between.
That is why Light on the Path says that one must first learn to observe sensation, and learn from it the true laws of life. Then one can set one's foot on the first rung of the ladder. The moment a person goes back to the ABCs, to the fundamentals of the perennial philosophy of Gupta Vidya, and learns what it is to set one's foot on the first step of the ladder, one will attract cheerful, learning elementals. There are plenty of them, actually, millions more than the perverse and malicious elementals, but they will not be attracted unless one is childlike, grateful and wide-eyed. If one does not mean what one says, or does not do what one says one will do, they will be repelled. They are characterized by utter fidelity, and are so chaste, virginal and faithful that they can never be attracted to someone who is unfaithful, fickle or anxious. There is no getting away from the basics from fidelity, honesty with oneself, internal credibility, chastity of thought, chastity of feeling and conduct, boundless compassion, unconditional love, impeccable integrity and inextinguishable courage. So long as these are present, vast numbers of learning elementals will be attracted, especially during the still hours of the night and at sunrise and sunset.
Sadly, the very times which are most auspicious for the arrival and congregation of these elementals are also the times when people make the most raucous noise, pretending to go to work or come home. To reverse all this radically requires extraordinary patience and mountainous firmness, because one must invite and invoke enough elementals responsive to the basics of the divine art of being human to counter the perverse elementals. It is to be hoped, hoping against all hope, that they will come as a wondrous host, under the same laws of attraction and repulsion, when one is sufficiently armed with the good elementals to engage in the healing of all tortured elementals. Typically, the way people live, they become wide open to the raucous bad elementals, and they create mental walls and barriers before the good pixie-like elementals, either in the name of pseudo-sophistication or some other pretentious nonsense that is altogether against Nature and life. This actually creates walls between them and the Avataric light, between them and the Mahatmas, as well as between them and their companions. Self-immured, they finally become virtual zombies succumbing before the astral light and its noxious pollution.
If one is tough enough to attempt a decisive change in the tonality and tangible quality of one's way of living, one must appreciate the wisdom of considering the arcane and accredited Teachings about elementals. In them one will find the seeds needed for planting fresh resolves in clean soil. Fundamentally, one must learn to see the universal and undivided diffusion of life in all of cosmic Nature, invisible and visible. This means understanding that there is nothing more powerful on earth than the paramatman, the Highest Self, and its perpetual buddhic radiance, the Holy Ghost, the light of daiviprakriti, the voice of Brahma Vach. The Father-Atman, the Mother-Buddhi, and the Son- Manas in man, as in the cosmos, are omnipotent. No demon, no illness, no malicious entity, no paranoid ism or ideology, can touch the man or woman who truly lives in the atman. Many lazy, shallow and worldly neo-Vedantins thought that they could skip the ladder of growth by saying "I am brahman", but they were only fooling themselves so vainly that Gautama Buddha came and told them to be quiet, to become monks and to observe rules of gentleness and honesty. This is an old story, and it is happening all over again.
What needs to be done can be done, but it will only be done when one feels that it is the single most important thing in one's life. High seriousness immediately arouses and attracts the higher classes of elementals. When one is serious and concentrated what Emerson termed "man thinking" and in earnest, one attracts refined grades of elementals. When one is vacillating, loquacious, weak-willed or contradictory, the worst elementals are inexorably drawn to one. Put simply, one must clean out one's house and temple. Turn to the God within and lock the doors to the demons without. Open your eyes to the stars, your ears to the music of the divine spheres, and your heart to the pulse-beat of humanity. Then, very quietly, walk alone in a new direction.
Hermes, December 1987