Light on the Path
by Mabel Collins
Occult tradition has it that where is the Atlantic Ocean today there once existed the great continent of Atlantis. Tales of the wisdom possessed by the Atlanteans and of their material grandeur came to the Greeks through the priests of Egypt, and Plato in his Timaeus and Critias makes mention of this lost land. Its last remnant sank under the waves in 9564 B.C. Creating a devastating tidal wave that left behind in men's memories the tale of a Flood that drowned every creature “that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of very creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man”.
Many thousands of years before this cataclysm, however, Atlantis was at the height of its civilization, and the capital city of the Atlantean empire was known far and wide as the City of the Golden Gate, from a gate of gold in it that was the emblem of the power of its emperors. In this city there ruled for ages a dynasty of Perfect Men known to tradition as the Divine Rulers of the Golden Gate.
These Divine Rulers of the Golden Gate were, in the key-dey of Atlantean culture, Adepts and Initiates of the Great Brotherhood; not only were they men with wisdom and power to direct the destinies of the mighty Atlantean empire, they were also sages versed in the Divine Mysteries. During the period of their rule in Atlantis, they formed a collection of mystical and occult treatises, some written by the Divine Rulers themselves, and others by the initiated Priest of Atlantis. These works, of profoundest philosophy and highest spirituality, were copied and translated into the languages of the various peoples that were governed by the Divine Rulers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. With the passing away of the dynasty of the Divine Rulers began the decadence of Atlantis, and the treatises slowly disappeared one by one. Yet not all the treatises. Fragments of some still remain in the ancient literature of China and India.
Among the texts of Taoism in China, there is to be found an exquisite fragment known as The Classic of Purity. It gives the essence of a philosophical system later known as Taoism, whose last historical exponent was Lao Tse in the fifth century B.C. The scribe Ko Hsuan says of this work: “ I got from the Divine Ruler of the eastern Hwa; he received it from the Divine Ruler of the Golden Gate; he received it from the Royal Mother of the West”. (Texts of Taoism, translated by James Legge, Vol. 40, Sacred Books of the East.)
The treatise expounds the mystery of the Tao, “the Way” the Heart of all Being, the Logos. From far off Atlantis thus we hear of the Tao: “The great Tao has no bodily form, but It produced and nourishes heaven and earth. The Great Tao has no passions, but It causes the sun and the moon to revolve as they do. The Great Tao has no name, but It affects the growth and maintenance of all things. I do not know Its name, but I make an effort, and call It the Tao”.
Fragments of other Atlantean treatises are to be found as the nucleus of some of the most ancient Upanishads of India. Wherever in them we hear of Tat, “That”, the Absolute Being, we find the teaching of Atlantis, which later the Aryan Hindus assimilated with their polydaemonism of Varuna, Mitra, Indra and the other gods, thus giving rise to the heno-theism so characteristic of India. Thus in the Katha Upanishad, we have Atlantean fragments: “One thing is the right, while the sweet is another; these two tie a man to objects apart. Of the twain, it is well for who taketh the right one; who chooseth the sweet, goes wide of the aim. The right and the sweet come unto a mortal; the wise sifts the two and sets them apart. For, right unto sweet the wise one preferreth; the fool taketh sweet to hold and retain”. “The singer is not born, nor dies He ever; He came not anywhence nor anything was He. Unborn, eternal, everlasting, this, ancient; unslain He remains though the body he slain. If slayer things he slays, if slain thinks he is slain, both these known naught; this slays not nor is slain”. (Mead and Chatterji's translation).
Another fragment of a treatise probably forms the first recension of the Bhagavat Gita, that part of the poem which speaks of the Absolute super-personally as “That”, “He”, “The Man”, in contradistinction to that other part that identifies the Absolute with Shri Krishna, an incarnated Divine Hero.
Yet another treatise of the Divine Rulers of the Golden Gate we have in the oldest and original nucleus of the present work, Light on the Path. This original nucleus consisted of thirty aphorisms or rules, each a text for philosophical expositions, containing in a condensed form many principles of life and conduct for the aspirant and the Initiate. Copies of this treatise, as too of all the other treatises of the Divine Rulers, have been preserved by the Adept Brotherhood in their museums for the use of themselves and their pupils.
Light on the Path as it now stands consists of three elements,distinguished in the present edition by three kinds of type.
1- The oldest part, the original thirty rules, is printed in large type. These thirty rules from far off Atlantis were later translated into archaic Sanskrit, and were then written down on ten palm leaves, having on each of the leaves three of the rules. Then one of the Masters of Wisdom, known among us as “The Venetian”, when He lived in Alexandria in the third century A.D., Transcribed them into Greek for the use of His pupils. Among these pupils was Iamblichus, known to us in His present incarnation as the Master Hilarion.
2- The Venetian Master of Alexandria, in transcribing from Sanskrit into Greek, added to the rules certain introductory remarks and explanations. These form the second element of the book and are printed in the smaller Roman type.
Early in the year 1885, the Master Hilarion caused to be written in English through “M.C.”, Then a leading member of the London Lodge of the young Theosophical Society, the original thirty rules and the explanations given Him by His teacher in far off days. M.C. (Mabel Collins), a lady of much literary ability,had from past lives earned the privilege, and it fell to her lot to be a channel for a work the Master Hilarion desired to do for the world through The Theosophical Society. Each rule with its explanations was presented, in the form of a many dimensional concept, before the mind of M.C., who, then, in full waking consciousness, but nevertheless under the Master's guidance, wrote down in English as we have them now. Light on the Path was then published, and bore on the title page the following words: “Light on the Path – A Treatise written for the personal use of those who are ignorant of the Eastern wisdom, and who desire to enter within its influence. Written down by M.C., a Fellow of The Theosophical Society”.
Immediately on its publication,the Theosophists hailed it as a masterpiece and a priceless contribution to Theosophical literature,and we find a prominent Theosophist,the late Judge P. Sreenavas Row of Madras, writing a series of annotations to the work in The Theosophist of June 1885, and in subsequent issues.
3- Almost immediately after the publication of Light on the Path, the Master Hilarion once more gave to the world through M.C. some additional teaching, explanatory of what He had already given. This is the third element in the book and is printed in italics. The Master Hilarion's additions are known as the “Notes”, and for the first edition they were printed separately; in the second edition the “Notes” were printed in their appropriate places in the body of the book.
The present reprint,except for difference of type to distinguish the three sources, follows the text of this second edition, which in America was the first edition of the work.
Later M.C. herself wrote a series of “Comments” to the book; they will be found in some editions of Light on the Path, but, valuable though they no doubt are to the student,they are not embodied in this edition, as in our judgment and that of older students they do not altogether reflect the spirit of the great Teachers to whom we owe the original thirty rules,the elucidations on them, and the “Notes”.
The composite character of Light on the Path will be clearly seen by each student. He will note that usually three brief rules come one after another, followed by a fourth long rule, which is a commentary on the three that precede it. Indeed it will be found that each of the three brief rules, it it is to be fully understood,must be taken with that part referring to it in the fourth longer rule,with the addition of some word that forms a connecting link, thus:
“1- Kill out ambition, (but) work as those work who are ambitious. 2- Kill out desire of life, (but) respect life as those do who desire it. 3- Kill out desire of comfort, (but) be happy as those who desire it. 13. Desire power ardently. And that power which the disciple shall covet is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men. 14. Desire peace fervently. The peace you shall desire is that sacred peace which nothing can disturb, and in which the soul grows as does the holy flower upon the still lagoons 15. Desire possessions above all. But those possessions must belong to the pure soul only, and be possessed therefore by all pure souls equally, and thus be the especial property of the whole only when united. Hunger for such possessions as can be held by the pure soul, that you may accumulate wealth for that united spirit of life which is your only true self”.
There exists another work by M.C. written under the direction of the Master Hilarion,and reference is made to it by Him at the end of Part I of Light on the Path in these words: “Regard the three truths. They are equal”. These three truths are in Chapter VIII of Book II of The Idyll of the White lotus.
In Light on the Path as we have it today there are forty-two rules, with explanations and notes. They are divided into two groups of twenty-one rules each. Part I, with the first twenty-one rules, deals with the life of the aspirant “in the Outer Court”. They are “the first of the rules which are written on the walls of the Hall of Learning”. The Hall of Learning is a symbolic phrase used in another mystic work, The Voice of the Silence, to describe the astral world and the states of consciousness appropriate to that realm of being.
Part II of the work will be understood in its fullest significance only by those who are the accepted disciples of a Master of the Wisdom, and have “entered upon the Path”. It contains instructions on the life of the Initiate on his upward way, till, become more than man and on the threshold of divinity, he passes to become himself a Master of the Wisdom.
The exquisite fragment on Karma, which follows Light on the Path, is from the Venetian Master, though also written down by M.C. It too has the indescribable spiritual quality of the larger manual and reveals to us some glimpses of the light of the “Grail”.
What Parsifal is to lovers of music, that Light on the Path is to aspiring souls: a never-ending source of inspiration and wonder. They both proclaim that gospel of gospels that teaches men to seek God, not for a life of blessedness in heaven , but for one of service on earth lifting a little of the heavy Karma of the world.
Past international president of The Theosophical Society
These rules are written for all disciples: Attend you to them.
Before the eyes can see, they must be incapable of tears. Before the ear can hear, it must have lost its sensitiveness. Before the voice can speak in the presence of the Masters it must have lost the power to wound. Before the soul can stand in the presence of the Masters its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart.
1. Kill out ambition. 1Ambition is the first curse: the great tempter of the man who is rising above his fellows. It is the simplest form of looking for reward. Men of intelligence and power are led away from their higher possibilities by it continually. Yet it is a necessary teacher. Its results turn to dust and ashes in the mouth; like death and estrangement it shows the man at last that to work for self is to work for disappointment. But though this first rule seems so simple and easy, do not quickly pass it by. For these vices of the ordinary man pass through a subtle transformation and reappear with changed aspect in the heart of the disciple. It is easy to say, I will not be ambitious: it is not so easy to say, when the Master reads my heart he will find it clean utterly. The pure artist who works for the love of his work is sometimes more firmly planted on the right road than the occultist, who fancies he has removed his interest from self, but who has in reality only enlarged the limits of experience and desire, and transferred his interest to the things which concern his larger span of life. The same principle applies to the other two seemingly simple rules. Linger over them and do not let yourself be easily deceived by your own heart. For now, at the threshold, a mistake can be corrected. But carry it on with you and it will grow and come to fruition, or else you must suffer bitterly in its destruction.
2. Kill out desire of life.
3. Kill out desire of comfort.
4. Work as those work who are ambitious.
Respect life as those do who desire it. Be happy as those are who live for happiness.
Seek in the heart the source of evil and expunge it. It lives fruitfully in the heart of the devoted disciple as well as in the heart of the man of desire. Only the strong can kill it out. The weak must wait for its growth, its fruition, its death. And it is a plant that lives and increases throughout the ages. It flowers when the man has accumulated unto himself innumerable existences. He who will enter upon the path of power must tear this thing out of his heart. And then the heart will bleed, and the whole life of the man seem to be utterly dissolved. This ordeal must be endured; it may come at the first step of the perilous ladder which leads to the path of life: it may not come until the last. But, O disciple, remember that it has to be endured: and fasten the energies of your soul upon the task. Live neither in the present nor the future, but in the eternal. This giant weed cannot flower there: this blot upon existence is wiped out by the very atmosphere of eternal thought.
5. Kill out all sense of separateness. 2Do not fancy you can stand aside from the bad man or the foolish man. They are yourself, though in a less degree than your friend or your master. But if you allow the idea of separateness from any evil thing or person to grow up within you, by so doing you create Karma, which will bind you to that thing or person till your soul recognizes that it cannot be isolated. Remember that the sin and shame of the world are your sin and shame; for you are a part of it; your Karma is inextricably interwoven with the great Karma. And before you can attain knowledge you must have passed through all places, foul and clean alike. Therefore, remember that the soiled garment you shrink from touching may have been yours yesterday, may be yours tomorrow. And if you turn with horror from it, when it is flung upon your shoulders, it will cling the more closely to you. The self-righteous man makes for himself a bed of mire. Abstain because it is right to abstain — not that yourself shall be kept clean.
6. Kill out desire for sensation.
7. Kill out the hunger for growth.
8. Yet stand alone and isolated, because nothing that is imbodied, nothing that is conscious of separation, nothing that is out of the eternal, can aid you. Learn from sensation and observe it, because only so can you commence the science of self-knowledge, and plant your foot on the first step of the ladder. Grow as the flower grows, unconsciously, but eagerly anxious to open its soul to the air. So must you press forward to open your soul to the eternal. But it must be the eternal that draws forth your strength and beauty, not desire of growth. For in the one case you develop in the luxuriance of purity, in the other you harden by the forcible passion for personal stature.
9. Desire only that which is within you.
10. Desire only that which is beyond you.
11. Desire only that which is unattainable.
12. For within you is the light of the world — the only light that can be shed upon the Path. If you are unable to perceive it within you, it is useless to look for it elsewhere. It is beyond you; because when you reach it you have lost yourself. It is unattainable, because it for ever recedes. You will enter the light, but you will never touch the flame.
13. Desire power ardently.
14. Desire peace fervently.
15. Desire possessions above all.
16. But those possessions must belong to the pure soul only, and be possessed therefore by all pure souls equally, and thus be the especial property of the whole only when united. Hunger for such possessions as can be held by the pure soul, that you may accumulate wealth for that united spirit of life which is your only true self. The peace you shall desire is that sacred peace which nothing can disturb, and in which the soul grows as does the holy flower upon the still lagoons. And that power which the disciple shall covet is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men.
17. Seek out the way. 3These
four words seem, perhaps, too slight to stand alone. The disciple may
say, Should I study these thoughts at all did I not seek out the way?
Yet do not pass on hastily. Pause and consider awhile. Is it the way
you desire, or is it that there is a dim perspective in your visions
of great heights to be scaled by yourself, of a great future for you
to compass? Be warned. The way is to be sought for its own sake, not
with regard to your feet that shall tread it.
There is a correspondence between this rule and the 17th of the 2nd series. When after ages of struggle and many victories the final battle is won, the final secret demanded, then you are prepared for a further path. When the final secret of this great lesson is told, in it is opened the mystery of the new way — a path which leads out of all human experience, and which is utterly beyond human perception or imagination. At each of these points it is needful to pause long and consider well. At each of these points it is necessary to be sure that the way is chosen for its own sake. The way and the truth come first, then follows the life.
18. Seek the way by retreating within.
19. Seek the way by advancing boldly without.
20. Seek it not by any one road. To each temperament there is one road which seems the most desirable. But the way is not found by devotion alone, by religious contemplation alone, by ardent progress, by self-sacrificing labor, by studious observation of life. None alone can take the disciple more than one step onward. All steps are necessary to make up the ladder. The vices of men become steps in the ladder, one by one, as they are surmounted. The virtues of man are steps indeed, necessary — not by any means to be dispensed with. Yet, though they create a fair atmosphere and a happy future, they are useless if they stand alone. The whole nature of man must be used wisely by the one who desires to enter the way. Each man is to himself absolutely the way, the truth, and the life. But he is only so when he grasps his whole individuality firmly, and, by the force of his awakened spiritual will, recognizes this individuality as not himself, but that thing which he has with pain created for his own use, and by means of which he purposes, as his growth slowly develops his intelligence, to reach to the life beyond individuality. When he knows that for this his wonderful complex separated life exists, then, indeed, and then only, he is upon the way. Seek it by plunging into the mysterious and glorious depths of your own inmost being. Seek it by testing all experience, by utilizing the senses in order to understand the growth and meaning of individuality, and the beauty and obscurity of those other divine fragments which are struggling side by side with you, and form the race to which you belong. Seek it by study of the laws of being, the laws of nature, the laws of the supernatural: and seek it by making the profound obeisance of the soul to the dim star that burns within. Steadily, as you watch and worship, its light will grow stronger. Then you may know you have found the beginning of the way. And when you have found the end its light will suddenly become the infinite light. 4Seek it by testing all experience, and remember that when I say this I do not say, Yield to the seductions of sense in order to know it. Before you have become an occultist you may do this; but not afterwards. When you have chosen and entered the path you cannot yield to these seductions without shame. Yet you can experience them without horror: can weigh, observe and test them, and wait with the patience of confidence for the hour when they shall affect you no longer. But do not condemn the man that yields; stretch out your hand to him as a brother pilgrim whose feet have become heavy with mire. Remember, O disciple, that great though the gulf may be between the good man and the sinner, it is greater between the good man and the man who has attained knowledge; it is immeasurable between the good man and the one on the threshold of divinity. Therefore be wary lest too soon you fancy yourself a thing apart from the mass. When you have found the beginning of the way the star of your soul will show its light; and by that light you will perceive how great is the darkness in which it burns. Mind, heart, brain, all are obscure and dark until the first great battle has been won. Be not appalled and terrified by this sight; keep your eyes fixed on the small light and it will grow. But let the darkness within help you to understand the helplessness of those who have seen no light, whose souls are in profound gloom. Blame them not, shrink not from them, but try to lift a little of the heavy Karma of the world; give your aid to the few strong hands that hold back the powers of darkness from obtaining complete victory. Then do you enter into a partnership of joy, which brings indeed terrible toil and profound sadness, but also a great and ever-increasing delight.
21. Look for the flower to bloom in the silence that follows the storm: not till then.
It shall grow, it will shoot up, it will make branches and leaves and form buds, while the storm continues, while the battle lasts. But not till the whole personality of the man is dissolved and melted — not until it is held by the divine fragment which has created it, as a mere subject for grave experiment and experience — not until the whole nature has yielded and become subject unto its higher self, can the bloom open. Then will come a calm such as comes in a tropical country after the heavy rain, when Nature works so swiftly that one may see her action. Such a calm will come to the harassed spirit. And in the deep silence the mysterious event will occur which will prove that the way has been found. Call it by what name you will, it is a voice that speaks where there is none to speak — it is a messenger that comes, a messenger without form or substance; or it is the flower of the soul that has opened. It cannot be described by any metaphor. But it can be felt after, looked for, and desired, even amid the raging of the storm. The silence may last a moment of time or it may last a thousand years. But it will end. Yet you will carry its strength with you. Again and again the battle must be fought and won. It is only for an interval that Nature can be still.
These written above are the first of the rules which are written
on the walls of the Hall of Learning. Those that ask shall have.
Those that desire to read shall read. Those who desire to learn shall
opening of the bloom is the glorious moment when perception awakes:
with it comes confidence, knowledge, certainty. The pause of the soul
is the moment of wonder, and the next moment of satisfaction, that is
Know, O disciple, that those who have passed through the silence, and felt its peace and retained its strength, they long that you shall pass through it also. Therefore, in the Hall of Learning, when he is capable of entering there, the disciple will always find his master.
Those that ask shall have. But though the ordinary man asks perpetually, his voice is not heard. For he asks with his mind only; and the voice of the mind is only heard on that plane on which the mind acts. Therefore, not until the first twenty-one rules are past do I say those that ask shall have.
To read, in the occult sense, is to read with the eyes of the spirit. To ask is to feel the hunger within — the yearning of spiritual aspiration. To be able to read means having obtained the power in a small degree of gratifying that hunger. When the disciple is ready to learn, then he is accepted, acknowledged, recognized. It must be so, for he has lit his lamp, and it cannot be hidden. But to learn is impossible until the first great battle has been won. The mind may recognize truth, but the spirit cannot receive it. Once having passed through the storm and attained the peace, it is then always possible to learn, even though the disciple waver, hesitate, and turn aside. The voice of the silence remains within him, and though he leave the path utterly, yet one day it will resound and rend him asunder and separate his passions from his divine possibilities. Then with pain and desperate cries from the deserted lower self he will return.
Therefore I say, Peace be with you. My peace I give unto you can only be said by the Master to the beloved disciples who are as himself. There are some even among those who are ignorant of the Eastern wisdom to whom this can be said, and to whom it can daily be said with more completeness.
Regard the three truths. They are equal.
Peace be with you.
Out of the silence that is peace a resonant voice shall arise. 6To be able to stand is to have confidence; to be able to hear is to have opened the doors of the soul; to be able to see is to have attained perception; to be able to speak is to have attained the power of helping others; to have conquered desire is to have learned how to use and control the self; to have attained to self-knowledge is to have retreated to the inner fortress from whence the personal man can be viewed with impartiality; to have seen thy soul in its bloom is to have obtained a momentary glimpse in thyself of the transfiguration which shall eventually make thee more than man; to recognize is to achieve the great task of gazing upon the blazing light without dropping the eyes and not falling back in terror, as though before some ghastly phantom. This happens to some, and so when the victory is all but won it is lost; to hear the voice of the silence is to understand that from within comes the only true guidance; to go to the Hall of Learning is to enter the state in which learning becomes possible. Then will many words be written there for thee, and written in fiery letters for thee easily to read. For when the disciple is ready the Master is ready also. And this voice will say, It is not well; thou hast reaped, now thou must sow. And knowing this voice to be the silence itself thou wilt obey.
Thou who art now a disciple, able to stand, able to hear, able to see, able to speak, who hast conquered desire and attained to self-knowledge, who hast seen thy soul in its bloom and recognized it, and heard the voice of the silence, go thou to the Hall of Learning and read what is written there for thee.
1. Stand aside in the coming battle, and though thou fightest be not thou the warrior.
2. Look for the warrior and let him fight in thee.
3. Take his orders for battle and obey them.
4. Obey him not as though he were a general, but as though he were thyself, and his spoken words were the utterance of thy secret desires; for he is thyself, yet infinitely wiser and stronger than thyself. Look for him, else in the fever and hurry of the fight thou mayest pass him; and he will not know thee unless thou knowest him. If thy cry meet his listening ear, then will he fight in thee and fill the dull void within. And if this is so, then canst thou go through the fight cool and unwearied, standing aside and letting him battle for thee. Then it will be impossible for thee to strike one blow amiss. But if thou look not for him, if thou pass him by, then there is no safeguard for thee. Thy brain will reel, thy heart grow uncertain, and in the dust of the battlefield thy sight and senses will fail, and thou wilt not know thy friends from thy enemies.
He is thyself, yet thou art but finite and liable to error. He is eternal and is sure. He is eternal truth. When once he has entered thee and become thy warrior, he will never utterly desert thee, and at the day of the great peace he will become one with thee.
5. Listen to the song of life. 7Look for it and listen to it first in your own heart. At first you may say it is not there; when I search I find only discord. Look deeper. If again you are disappointed, pause and look deeper again. There is a natural melody, an obscure fount in every human heart. It may be hidden over and utterly concealed and silenced — but it is there. At the very base of your nature you will find faith, hope, and love. He that chooses evil refuses to look within himself, shuts his ears to the melody of his heart, as he blinds his eyes to the light of his soul. He does this because he finds it easier to live in desires. But underneath all life is the strong current that cannot be checked; the great waters are there in reality. Find them, and you will perceive that none, not the most wretched of creatures, but is a part of it, however he blind himself to the fact and build up for himself a phantasmal outer form of horror. In that sense it is that I say to you — All those beings among whom you struggle on are fragments of the Divine. And so deceptive is the illusion in which you live, that it is hard to guess where you will first detect the sweet voice in the hearts of others. But know that it is certainly within yourself. Look for it there, and once having heard it, you will more readily recognize it around you.
6. Store in your memory the melody you hear.
7. Learn from it the lesson of harmony.
8. You can stand upright now, firm as a rock amid the turmoil, obeying the warrior who is thyself and thy king. Unconcerned in the battle save to do his bidding, having no longer any care as to the result of the battle, for one thing only is important, that the warrior shall win, and you know he is incapable of defeat — standing thus, cool and awakened, use the hearing you have acquired by pain and by the destruction of pain. Only fragments of the great song come to your ears while yet you are but man. But if you listen to it, remember it faithfully, so that none which has reached you is lost, and endeavor to learn from it the meaning of the mystery which surrounds you. In time you will need no teacher. For as the individual has voice, so has that in which the individual exists. Life itself has speech and is never silent. And its utterance is not, as you that are deaf may suppose, a cry: it is a song. Learn from it that you are part of the harmony; learn from it to obey the laws of the harmony.
9. Regard earnestly all the life that surrounds you.
10. Learn to look intelligently into the hearts of men. 8From an
absolutely impersonal point of view, otherwise your sight is colored.
Therefore impersonality must first be understood.
Intelligence is impartial: no man is your enemy: no man is your friend. All alike are your teachers. Your enemy becomes a mystery that must be solved, even though it take ages: for man must be understood. Your friend becomes a part of yourself, an extension of yourself, a riddle hard to read. Only one thing is more difficult to know — your own heart. Not until the bonds of personality are loosed, can that profound mystery of self begin to be seen. Not till you stand aside from it will it in any way reveal itself to your understanding. Then, and not till then, can you grasp and guide it. Then, and not till then, can you use all its powers, and devote them to a worthy service.
11. Regard most earnestly your own heart.
12. For through your own heart comes the one light which can illuminate life and make it clear to your eyes.
Study the hearts of men, that you may know what is that world in which you live and of which you will to be a part. Regard the constantly changing and moving life which surrounds you, for it is formed by the hearts of men; and as you learn to understand their constitution and meaning, you will by degrees be able to read the larger word of life.
13. Speech comes only with knowledge. Attain to knowledge and you
will attain to speech. 9It is
impossible to help others till you have obtained some certainty of
your own. When you have learned the first 21 rules and have entered
the Hall of Learning with your powers developed and sense unchained,
then you will find there is a fount within you from which speech will
After the 13th rule I can add no words to what is already written.
My peace I give unto you.
14. Having obtained the use of the inner senses, having conquered the desires of the outer senses, having conquered the desires of the individual soul, and having obtained knowledge, prepare now, O disciple, to enter upon the way in reality. The path is found: make yourself ready to tread it.
15. Inquire of the earth, the air, and the water, of the secrets they hold for you. The development of your inner senses will enable you to do this.
16. Inquire of the holy ones of the earth of the secrets they hold for you. The conquering of the desires of the outer senses will give you the right to do this.
17. Inquire of the inmost, the one, of its final secret which it holds for you through the ages.
The great and difficult victory, the conquering of the desires of the individual soul, is a work of ages; therefore expect not to obtain its reward until ages of experience have been accumulated. When the time of learning this seventeenth rule is reached, man is on the threshold of becoming more than man.
18. The knowledge which is now yours is only yours because your soul has become one with all pure souls and with the inmost. It is a trust vested in you by the Most High. Betray it, misuse your knowledge, or neglect it, and it is possible even now for you to fall from the high estate you have attained. Great ones fall back, even from the threshold, unable to sustain the weight of their responsibility, unable to pass on. Therefore look forward always with awe and trembling to this moment, and be prepared for the battle.
19. It is written that for him who is on the threshold of divinity no law can be framed, no guide can exist. Yet to enlighten the disciple, the final struggle may be thus expressed:
Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.
20. Listen only to the voice which is soundless.
21. Look only on that which is invisible alike to the inner and the outer sense.
Peace be with you.