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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Problems of Disciples and Mystics
The question is often asked: Why is there frequently so [545] much illness, nervous trouble and various pathological conditions found among the saints of the earth, and among those who are clearly oriented towards the light? The answer is that the strain put upon the physical vehicle by the shift of the forces is usually unduly great and so produces these undesirable conditions. These again are often augmented by the foolish things done by the aspirant as he seeks to bring his physical body under control. It is, however, far better for the undesirable results to work themselves out in the physical vehicle than in the astral or mental bodies. This point is seldom realized and hence the emphasis laid upon the idea that sickness, ill-health, and disease are indicative of individual error, of failure and of so-called sin. They can of course be all of these things, but, in the case of the true aspirant who is endeavoring to discipline and control his life, they are often not due to these causes at all. They are the inevitable result of the clash of forces - those of the awakened energies which are in process of elevation and those of the center into which the energies are being raised. This clash produces strain, physical discomfort and (as we have seen) many distressing kinds of disorders.

The widespread disease and ill-health found everywhere at this time is caused by a mass transference which is steadily going forward in the race. Through this transference, the solar plexus center is thrown into an abnormal activity, thereby releasing all kinds of astral forces into the consciousness of man - fear, desire of a wrong kind and many of the emotional characteristics which are causing people so much distress. The process is as follows: the consciousness first of all registers these astral impressions, then formulates them into thought forms and - as energy follows thought - a vicious circle is thus set up, involving the physical body. In the turmoil consequently evoked by these clashing forces which are [546]

  1. Mounting from below into the solar plexus
  2. Pouring into the solar plexus from the astral plane
  3. Reacting to the magnetic attractive power of the higher centers,

the interior life of the man becomes a whirlpool of conflicting energies with disastrous effects upon the intestinal tract, upon the liver and upon the other organs found below the diaphragm. The mystic, as is well known, is often dyspeptic and this is not always caused by wrong eating and wrong physical habits. It is brought about in many cases by the processes of transference which are going on.

One of the difficulties which tend also to increase the strain is the inability of the average mystic to divorce his mind from his physical condition. Energy inevitably follows thought and where a distressed area is found, there the mind seems to throw all its attention, with the result that the situation is not bettered but surely and steadily made worse. The best mental rule of all mystics should be to keep the mind definitely above and away from the region where the transference is going on, except in those cases where esoteric methods are being employed to force the process, to hasten and facilitate the processes of elevation. Then (under right direction and guidance plus a knowledge of the rules) the mystic can work with the center in the spine which is concerned. This academic technique, I will endeavor to indicate in a later Instruction, but I want first of all to deal with the psychic difficulties of the mystic, for both the psychic and physical difficulties arise from the same basic cause and can be offset and controlled by the same correct occult and psychological knowledge.

The ills with which we are dealing are, therefore, the result of a large number of causes and it might be of service if I [547] listed them here, reminding you that the centers up the spinal column and in the head govern definite areas in the body. These are affected and controlled by the centers and it is in these regions that one must look for indications of trouble.

Speaking generally, diseases fall into five major categories and it is only with the last of them that we are here occupied. These five groupings of disease are:

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