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.
Kill out ambition.
Kill out desire of life.
Kill out desire of comfort.
Work as those work who are ambitious.
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
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.
Kill out all sense of separateness.
Kill out desire for sensation.
Kill out the hunger for growth.
Yet stand alone and isolated, because nothing
that is embodied, 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
Desire only that which is within you.
Desire only that which is beyond you.
Desire only that which is unattainable.
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.
Desire power ardently.
Desire peace fervently.
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
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.
Seek out the way.
Seek the way by retreating within.
Seek the way by advancing boldly without.
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.
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
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.
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
PEACE BE WITH
OUT of the silence that is peace a resonant
voice shall arise. 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.
Stand aside in the coming battle, and though
thou fightest be not thou the warrior.
Look for the warrior and let him fight in
Take his orders for battle and obey them.
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
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.
Listen to the song of life.
Store in your memory the melody you hear.
Learn from it the lesson of harmony.
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.
Regard earnestly all the life that surrounds
Learn to look intelligently into the hearts
Regard most earnestly your own heart.
For through your own heart comes the one light
which can illuminate life and make it clear
to your eyes.
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.
Speech comes only with knowledge. Attain to
knowledge and you will attain to speech.
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.
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
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.
Inquire of the inmost, the one, of its final
secret which it holds for you through the
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.
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.
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:
to that which has neither substance nor existence.
Listen only to the voice which is soundless.
Look only on that which is invisible alike
to the inner and the outer sense.
PEACE BE WITH
CONSIDER with me that the individual existence
is a rope which stretches from the infinite
to the infinite and has no end and no commencement,
neither is it capable of being broken. This
rope is formed of innumerable fine threads,
which, lying closely together, form its thickness.
These threads are colorless, are perfect in
their qualities of straightness, strength,
and levelness. This rope, passing as it does
through all places, suffers strange accidents.
Very often a thread is caught and becomes
attached, or perhaps is only violently pulled
away from its even way. Then for a great time
it is disordered, and it disorders the whole.
Sometimes one is stained with dirt or with
color, and not only does the stain run on
further than the spot of contact, but it discolors
other of the threads. And remember that the
threads are living -- are like electric wires,
more, are like quivering nerves. How far,
then, must the stain, the drag awry, be communicated!
But eventually the long strands, the living
threads which in their unbroken continuity
form the individual, pass out of the shadow
into the shine. Then the threads are no longer
colorless, but golden; once more they lie
together, level. Once more harmony is established
between them; and from that harmony within
the greater harmony is perceived.
presents but a small portion -- a single side
of the truth: it is less than a fragment.
Yet, dwell on it; by its aid you may be led
to perceive more. What it is necessary first
to understand is, not that the future is arbitrarily
formed by any separate acts of the present,
but that the whole of the future is in unbroken
continuity with the present as the present
is with the past. On one plane, from one point
of view, the illustration of the rope is correct.
It is said
that a little attention to occultism produces
great Karmic results. That is because it is
impossible to give any attention to occultism
without making a definite choice between what
are familiarly called good and evil. The first
step in occultism brings the student to the
tree of knowledge. He must pluck and eat;
he must choose. No longer is he capable of
the indecision of ignorance. He goes on, either
on the good or on the evil path. And to step
definitely and knowingly even but one step
on either path produces great Karmic results.
The mass of men walk waveringly, uncertain
as to the goal they aim at; their standard
of life is indefinite; consequently their
Karma operates in a confused manner. But when
once the threshold of knowledge is reached,
the confusion begins to lessen, and consequently
the Karmic results increase enormously, because
all are acting in the same direction on all
the different planes: for the occultist cannot
be half-hearted, nor can he return when he
has passed the threshold. These things are
as impossible as that the man should become
the child again. The individuality has approached
the state of responsibility by reason of growth;
it cannot recede from it.
He who would
escape from the bondage of Karma must raise
his individuality out of the shadow into the
shine; must so elevate his existence that
these threads do not come in contact with
soiling substances, do not become so attached
as to be pulled awry. He simply lifts himself
out of the region in which Karma operates.
He does not leave the existence which he is
experiencing because of that. The ground may
be rough and dirty, or full of rich flowers
whose pollen stains, and of sweet substances
that cling and become attachments -- but overhead
there is always the free sky. He who desires
to be Karmaless must look to the air for a
home; and after that to the ether. He who
desires to form good Karma will meet with
many confusions, and in the effort to sow
rich seed for his own harvesting may plant
a thousand weeds, and among them the giant.
Desire to sow no seed for your own harvesting;
desire only to sow that seed the fruit of
which shall feed the world. You are a part
of the world; in giving it food you feed yourself.
Yet in even this thought there lurks a great
danger which starts forward and faces the
disciple, who has for long thought himself
working for good, while in his inmost soul
he has perceived only evil; that is, he has
thought himself to be intending great benefit
to the world while all the time he has unconsciously
embraced the thought of Karma, and the great
benefit he works for is for himself. A man
may refuse to allow himself to think of reward.
But in that very refusal is seen the fact
that reward is desired. And it is useless
for the disciple to strive to learn by means
of checking himself. The soul must be unfettered,
the desires free. But until they are fixed
only on that state wherein there is neither
reward nor punishment, good nor evil, it is
in vain that he endeavors. He may seem to
make great progress, but some day he will
come face to face with his own soul, and will
recognize that when he came to the tree of
knowledge he chose the bitter fruit and not
the sweet; and then the veil will fall utterly,
and he will give up his freedom and become
a slave of desire. Therefore be warned, you
who are but turning toward the life of occultism.
Learn now that there is no cure for desire,
no cure for the love of reward, no cure for
the misery of longing, save in the fixing
of the sight and hearing upon that which is
invisible and soundless. Begin even now to
practice it, and so a thousand serpents will
be kept from your path. Live in the eternal.
of the actual laws of Karma are not to be
studied until the disciple has reached the
point at which they no longer affect himself.
The initiate has a right to demand the secrets
of nature and to know the rules which govern
human life. He obtains this right by having
escaped from the limits of nature and by having
freed himself from the rules which govern
human life. He has become a recognized portion
of the divine element, and is no longer affected
by that which is temporary. He then obtains
a knowledge of the laws which govern temporary
conditions. Therefore you who desire to understand
the laws of Karma, attempt first to free yourself
from these laws; and this can only be done
by fixing your attention on that which is
unaffected by those laws.
Note on Rule 1. -- Ambition 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.
Note on Rule
5. -- Do 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.
Note on Rule
17. -- These 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.
Note on Rule
20. -- Seek 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.
Note on Rule
21. -- The 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 the silence.
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.
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
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
three truths. They are equal.
Note on Sect.
II -- To 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.
Note on Rule
5. -- Look 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
Note on Rule
10. -- From an absolutely impersonal point
of view, otherwise your sight is colored.
Therefore impersonality must first be understood.
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
Note on Rule
13. -- It 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 arise.
13th rule I can add no words to what is already
My peace I
give unto you.
notes are written only for those to whom I
give my peace;
those who can read what I have written with
the inner as well as the outer sense.