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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Some Problems of Psychology
Mental problems

It is with this theme that we shall now deal primarily. Mental stimulation is comparatively rare, if the total population of the planet is considered; nevertheless among the peoples of our Western civilization and among the cream of the [454] Eastern civilization it is frequently to be found. These particular problems can, for the sake of clarity, be divided into three groups or categories:

  1. Those problems which arise out of intense mental activity, which produce undue mental focus and emphasis, one-pointed intellectual approach and crystallization.
  2. Those problems which arise out of meditation processes, which have successfully brought about illumination. This, in its due turn, produces certain difficulties, such as
    1. Over activity o the mind, which grasps and sees too much.
    2. The revelation of glamor and illusion. This leads to bewilderment and the unfoldment of the lower psychism.
    3. Over sensitivity to the phenomena of the inner light, registered in the etheric body.
  3. Those arising out of the higher psychic unfoldment, with consequent sensitivity to
    1. Guidance
    2. Cooperation with the Plan.
    3. Soul contact.

The last three groups of problems under sensitivity are most definite and real in the experience of disciples.

The first group of problems (those arising out of intense mental activity) are those of the pronounced intellectual and they range all the way from a narrow crystallized sectarianism to that psychological phenomenon called idée fixe. They are largely the problems of thought-form making, and by their means the man becomes the victim of that which he has himself constructed; he is the creature of a Frankenstein of [455] his own creation. This tendency can be seen working out in all schools of thought and of cultures and is primarily applicable to the leader type of man and to the man who is independent in his thought life and, therefore, capable of clear thinking and the free movement of the chitta or mind stuff. It is necessary, therefore, in the coming days to deal with this particular problem, for minds will be met with increasing frequency. As the race proceeds towards a mental polarization which will be as powerful as the present astral polarization from which it is emerging, it will be found increasingly necessary to educate the race in

  1. The nature of mental substance.
  2. The triple purpose of the mind:
    1. As a medium for expressing ideas, through the construction of the needed embodying thought forms.
    2. As a controlling factor in the life of the personality through the right use of the creative power of thought.
    3. As a reflector of the higher worlds of perceptive and intuitive awareness.

Creative thought is not the same as creative feeling and this distinction is often not grasped. All that can be created in the future will be based upon the expression of ideas. This will be brought about, first of all, through thought perception, then through thought concretion and finally through thought vitalization. It is only later that the created thought form will descend into the world of feeling and there assume the needed sensuous quality which will add color and beauty to the already constructed thought form.

It is at this point that danger eventuates for the student. The thought form of an idea has been potently constructed. It has taken to itself also color and beauty. It is, therefore, capable of holding a man both mentally and emotionally. If [456] he has no sense of balance, no sense of proportion and no sense of humor, the thought form can become so potent that he finds he is an avowed devotee, unable to retreat from his position. He can see nothing and believe nothing and work for nothing except that embodied idea which is so powerfully holding him a captive. Such people are the violent partisans in any group, in any church, order or government. They are frequently sadistic in temperament and are the adherents of cults and sciences; they are willing to sacrifice or to damage anyone who seems to them inimical to their fixed idea of what is right and true. The men who engineered the Spanish Inquisition and those who were responsible for the outrages in the times of the Covenanters are samples of the worst forms of this line of thought and development.

People tainted with this psychological trouble of blind adherence to ideas and of personality devotions are found in every organization, every church, religion, in political and scientific bodies and also in every esoteric and occult organization. They are psychologically unsound and the trouble from which they suffer is practically contagious. They are a menace, just as smallpox is a menace. This type of difficulty is not often regarded as constituting a psychological problem until the time comes when the man is so far afflicted that he becomes a group problem, or is regarded as peculiar or unbalanced. It is, nevertheless, definitely a psychological disorder of a most definite kind, requiring careful handling. It is also peculiarly difficult to handle, as the early stages are apparently wholesome and sound. To work with some group or with some teacher is often regarded as a definite means of psychological salvation, for it tends to extrovert the mystic and thus give proper release for the recognized inflowing energy. As long as it does this and nothing else, there is no [457] real danger, but the moment a man's vision of other and greater possibilities becomes dim or begins to fade out, the moment a body of doctrines or a school of thought or an exponent of any theory engrosses his complete attention to the exclusion of all other points of view or possibilities, that moment the seeds of psychological trouble can be duly noted and the man is in danger.

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