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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Some Problems of Psychology
Problems of Guidance, Dreams, and Depression

I am dealing with these problems because of their exceeding prevalence at this time, due to the activities of various religiously or psychologically motivated groups, to the trend of certain schools, dedicated to the spread of religion or of psychology, and to the present world situation which has plunged so many sensitive people into a state of lowered spiritual vitality, accompanied usually by lowered physical vitality. This condition is widespread and based on wrong economic conditions. I am dealing with these before we take up our fourth point, 'The Diseases and Problems of Mystics', as they form an intermediate group, including many intelligent and well-intentioned citizens.

The Problem of Guidance is a peculiarly difficult one to handle, for it is based on an innate instinctive recognition of the fact of God and of God's Plan. This inherent, instinctual, spiritual reaction is being exploited today by many well meaning reformers, who have, however, given no real attention to the subject, or to the phenomena of the outer response to a subjective urge. They are, in the majority of cases, blind leaders of the blind. We might define the problem of guidance as the problem of the method whereby a man, through processes of autosuggestion, throws himself into a state of negativity and (whilst in that state) becomes aware of inclinations, urges, voices, clearly impressed commands, revelations of courses of conduct which should be pursued or of careers which should be followed, plus a general indication [481] of lines of activity which "God" is proposing to the attentive, negative, receptive subject. In this state of almost sublimated awareness to the insistent demands of the subjective realms of being or of thought, the man is swept into a current of activity which may succeed in permanently orienting his life (often quite harmlessly and sometimes most desirably) or which may have only a temporary effect, once the urge of response has exhausted itself. But in any case, the source of the direction and the origin of the guidance is vaguely called "God", is regarded as divine, is spoken of as the voice of the "Christ within", or as spiritual direction. Many analogous terms are used, according to the school of thought to which the man may belong, or which has succeeded in attracting his attention.

We shall see this tendency towards subjective guidance of some kind or another developing increasingly as humanity becomes more subjectively oriented, more definitely aware of the realms of inner being, and more inclined towards the world of meaning. It is for this reason that I desire to make a relatively careful analysis of the possible sources of guidance so that at least men may know that the whole subject is vaster and more complicated than they had thought, and that it would be the part of wisdom to ascertain the origin of the guidance vouchsafed, and so know, with greater definiteness, the direction in which they were headed. Forget not that the blind, unreasoning subjecting of oneself to guidance (as at present practiced) renders a man eventually a negative impressionable automaton. Should this become universally prevalent and the present methods become established habits, the race would forfeit its most divine possession, i. e., free will. There is no immediate fear of this, however, if the intelligent men and women of the world think this problem out. Also there are too many egos of advanced nature coming into [482] incarnation at this time to permit the danger to grow out of all bounds, and there are too many disciples in the world today whose voices are ringing loudly and clearly along the lines of free choice, and the intelligent comprehension of God's plan.

it might be of profit if I indicated anew the various schools of thought who feature "guidance" or whose methods and doctrines tend to the development of an inner attentive ear, and yet who fail to teach the distinctiveness of the sources of guidance, or to differentiate between the various sounds, voices and so-called inspired indications which that attentive ear may be trained to register.

The emotionally inclined people in the Churches of all denominations and persuasions are ever prone to find a way of escape from the troubles and difficulties of life by living always with a sense of the guiding Presence of God, coupled to a blind acquiescence in what is generalized as the "will of God". The practice of the Presence of God is most definitely a desirable and needed step but people should understand what it means and steadily change the sense of duality into the sense of identification. The will of God can take the form of the imposition of life circumstance and conditions from which there is no possible escape; the subject of this imposition accepts it and does literally nothing to improve or truly better (and perhaps avoid) the circumstances. Their destiny and situation is interpreted by them as such that within the imposed ring-pass-not and lines of limitation they determine placidly, submissively to live. A spirit of submission and acquiescence is inevitably developed, and by calling the situation in which they find themselves an expression of God's will they are enabled to bear it all. In some of the more sublimated states of this acquiescence, the sensitively inclined person voices his submission, but fails to recognize that the voice is his own. He regards it as God's voice. For them, the way of [483] understanding, the recognition of the great Law of Cause and Effect (working out from life to life) and the interpretation of the problem in terms or a lesson to be mastered would spell release from negativity and blind, unintelligent acceptance. Life does not demand acquiescence and acceptance. It demands activity, the separation of the good and high values from the undesirable, the cultivation of that spirit of fight which will produce organization, understanding, and eventual emergence into a realm of useful spiritual activity.

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