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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Problems of Disciples and Mystics
A close study of the above will bring to the open-minded student two major points which he would do well to consider:
  1. That the instinctual nature, as it develops in the three kingdoms (animal, human and divine) is, in fact, that which develops stage by stage into what we call consciousness; it is in reality, the development of a gradual expansion of capacity to be aware of the environment, whatever that environment may be. The herd instinct of the animal is, for instance, the embryonic unfoldment of what is later recognized by the intellect as group consciousness. These higher developments are brought about by the application of the intellect and a change in the motivating power. The same idea can be traced in connection with all the instincts.
  2. That the lower psychic powers, inherent in the animal nature, are in every case embryonic indications of soul capacities. [564]

Once this idea is grasped, the attitude of the skeptic and unbeliever will change and he will see (as he studies these lower powers) that, rightly understood and utilized, they can be direct avenues of approach to certain states of existence, but are incidental to and not substitutes for the higher powers.

I would like to offer two other points to your consideration:

First, that the man or woman who is expressing and interested in these lower powers (which are called the lower siddhis by the oriental philosophy) is demonstrating true powers. They are not however the highest possible powers nor are they the powers which humanity is intended to express unless at the lowest point in evolution and, therefore, allied closely to the animal kingdom; or at the highest point, in which case the greater powers automatically include the lesser. The lower psychic powers are shared with the animal kingdom and with all those human races which are low down in the scale of the human evolution.

This is a fact and a statement which arouses much antagonism among the present day exponents of these powers, both in and out of the spiritualistic and occult movements. Such people are apt to consider these powers as indicative either of an advanced spiritual condition or as a rare and unique possession, setting their owner apart as more gifted, more wise and more able to advise and direct other human beings than is the ordinary man. This attitude is demonstrated by the immense audiences such people can address and gather around themselves, and the willingness of the public to listen to them and to pay money for the privilege and the benefit of the demonstration and the advice.

Secondly, the difficulty of this situation is increased because, as evolution proceeds, certain more or less advanced [565] people recover these ancient animal propensities and capacities as their power to become inclusive goes forward; they begin to expand their consciousness so that the past as well as the future is brought within their range of awareness. Knowing that they are aspiring to the higher things and towards the world of mystical realization (in contradistinction to that of psychical realization), they interpret some episode, which they may have clairvoyantly apprehended, as appertaining to them as individuals; they regard some clairaudient injunction or happening as appropriately theirs, and some vision of a thought form of the Christ or of one of the Masters as indicative of a direct and personal interview with these advanced leaders. They thus enter into the world of glamor and of delusion from which they must, finally with great difficulty, extricate themselves.

May I also call your attention to the fact that the lines of demarcation between these animal, human and divine states of consciousness are not clear cut as in our tabulation? A recognition of this will call attention to the complexity of the subject and the difficulty of our theme. This complexity can, I think, be well illustrated by a study of the uses of the word telepathy. As generally used today it indicates two powers:

  1. An instinctual registering of some situation, some call and some impression which impinges upon the solar plexus center. This power of impression is Not controlled; there is no supervised intentional mental perception of a directed message; there is only a tuning in on a state of mind or on a condition and situation connected with the one who is regarded as sending the message. In nine cases out of ten, this message is one of distress and goes forward and produces its effect without any capacity on the part of the recipient to induce the reception of the [566] message. An illustration of this would be the recognition by a mother that a loved child is in danger.
  2. A form of clairvoyance which enables the man to see that which is hidden, such as the number of symbols on a playing card which is laying face downwards upon the table.
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