A World of Causes: Part 2: Human Dimensions

– Andrew Rooke


The Brotherhood of the Shadow: Just as there is a Hierarchy of Light trying to help humanity in their spiritual growth, there is also a Hierarchy of those beings who have deliberately chosen the Dark Side where Evil seems a flowery path and the fruits of selfish victory are considered as of larger worth than to walk with the Gods.Such is the Left-Hand Path of the Brothers of the Shadow.

This hierarchy is dedicated to directing Humanity into materialistic life – because that is what it knows and from whence it derives its tremendous power. During the present Kali Yuga period where materialism holds an enormous attraction for everyday people, they have great power.Their activities involve seeding the ‘thought-atmosphere’ with thoughts and aspirations related to the material and sensuous life. They can only work by tempting people and leading them to fulfil their inner urgings toward evil. We can see the effects of their thought-forms in every field from popular entertainment through to our education system, recreational and prescribed drug addiction, even the ‘dumbing-down’ effects of popular technologies such as smart phones.

The Negative Effects of Modern Technology: Russian mystic Helena Roerich’s , Agni Yoga teachings, which she claimed were inspired by one of the same Masters of Wisdom (the Mahatma ‘M’) who inspired the founding of the Theosophical Society, warn of the downside to our current fascination with technology and artificial intelligence and how this approach, blindly taken before by earlier civilizations (especially Atlantis), actually contributed to their demise:

“Technocracy should be regarded as a device of the Dark Ones. The Dark Ones have often led people on to mechanical solutions, thereby hoping to occupy the attention of humanity, only to divert it from spiritual growth. Yet the problems of life can only be solved by the expansion of consciousness. It can be seen how mechanical hypotheses can easily ensnare the hopes of humanity. Such also was the Maya (illusion) of the ancients.” – Agni Yoga, The Fiery World 1, 349.

Psychic Epidemics: Teachers of the Brotherhood of Compassion of all traditions have warned us of the dangers of ‘Psychic Epidemics’ when the barriers between the physical and astral world have thinned and negative thought-forms from the lower astral have access to vulnerable individuals in the physical world. Now is such a time at the conjunction of several cycles, principally the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and the sunset of the Piscean Age.

These energies can affect the physical, emotional, mental or spiritual states of people by breaking through their protective auric nets. At the very least, this can cause distress for the affected person, perhaps physically in the form of headache, nausea, or tiredness, or emotionally, as in feeling temporarily depressed or anxious. At worst, such thought forms can propel a person into harbouring thoughts, speaking words, or committing actions – sometimes quite alarming ones – that they might not even have considered normally.

Theosophical teachers have warned us of these epidemics, eg: HP Blavatsky:

"Psychism, with all its allurements and all its dangers, is necessarily developing among you, and you must beware lest the Psychic outruns the [mental] and spiritual development.

Psychic capacities held perfectly under control, checked and directed by the [mind] principle, are valuable aids in development. But these capacities running riot, controlling instead of being controlled, using instead of being used, lead the student into the most dangerous delusions and the certainty of moral destruction." - HPB to the American Conventions 1888-1891, p34.

Agni Yoga similarly says: “…the danger of psychic epidemics is increasing. In the Puranas it was predicted that toward the end of the Kali Yuga, humanity would be driven to acts of madness.” Perhaps the description of ‘Mad World’ is not so far from the mark if these teachings have any credence!

Theosophist, Grace Knoche advises:

“…The present thinning of the demarcation between the astral and physical worlds is proving of mixed value, and much depends on what we choose to identify with. At present, the astral light seems to be disgorging more than usual of its basest content; on the other hand, a greater number of persons are becoming responsive to energies from higher levels and, at times, receiving ideas and inspirations of sufficient worth to change many lives for the better.

All the more reason to maintain a balanced outlook and not give way to feelings of hopelessness – either about ourselves or about the future of humanity. The debilitating influences such moods have on us infects the vital circulations of thought energies through our planet. Too much is at stake for any of us to wantonly add negative thinking to the world karma…” – Grace Knoche from her book, To Light a Thousand Lamps.

Affects of Ancient Karma: Why me? It’s the natural question when we feel the impact of this ‘Mad World’ in our lives. What have I ever done to suffer the way I do when so many people doing the wrong thing seemingly get away with it scot-free?

This is where we must consider questions related to karma and its dual doctrine reincarnation. We have a vast history behind us as reincarnating beings. As we are in the process of learning to be better human beings, then we most likely were much worse at some times in the past than what we are now. Thus, we must set the karmic balance right, here in this world where we created karmic imbalances in the past. We all contributed with our thoughts and actions in making the world as it is, and it is up to us to put it right and feel the effects of our past actions.

In this regard we might consider what we know of the Atlantean phase of human development where excessive evil prevailed in the general community as the norm. The Ancient Wisdom tells us that we carry an enormous burden of karma from this time even now thousands of years later.

Other mass behaviours of our culture such as the mistreatment and exploitation of animals must surely have their general karmic effect on humanity.

Positives: What Can This Mad World be Teaching Us? No energy is wasted in Nature, so, there must be a reason, and there must be positives to be derived from the state of the world as it is.

We know that the world is a classroom for spiritual development so difficult conditions must be there for us to learn and overcome.

As the old saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the Tough get going’ and ‘We don’t build our spiritual muscles from pushing against the air’. These conditions of the Kali Yuga present us with numerous opportunities to learn, grow, and prove our sincerity in the spiritual search and helping others along the Path.

In India there is the saying: ‘The Chela’s (ie spiritual student’s) heart longs for the Kali Yuga’ (ie the Dark Age that we live in). Meaning when the opposition is greatest you can learn the most and proceed faster in spiritual evolution if that choice is made.

The world will never be at peace until we are at peace with ourselves. The challenge then is not to stamp out personality but to refine and elevate it – to make it a fit vehicle for the Inner God.

What practical measures can we take here and now to achieve this and help transform a ‘Mad World’ of the Present into the ‘Compassionate World’ of the Future?

Practical Ways to a Better World: The Paramitas (Perfections): Spiritual growth is essentially converting our life experience into opportunities for letting the Inner God at the core of us shine in this world. All systems of spiritual initiation to attain this goal are basically putting what the Buddhist’s call ‘The Paramitas’ or ‘Perfections’ into action in the reality of daily life.

These spiritual qualities are the enumerated and called by different names in the world’s mystery traditions but they can be boiled down to six qualities:

Generosity; Ethical Discipline; Patience; Joyous Perseverance; Meditative Stabilization; Wisdom.

Why should we develop these particular qualities along the Path of spiritual learning?

“To achieve the aims of others for spiritual understanding you must first help them with material goods as they won’t appreciate spirituality if they have an empty stomach! Since no benefit will come from Generosity accompanied by harmfulness towards living beings, you need Ethical Discipline, which has great purpose for others; this is the state of desisting from harm to others and the causes of harm. To bring this to its full development, you need Patience that disregards the harm done to you. You need to develop the ability to fix your mind on your ideals so you need to develop Meditative Stabilization. Calmness and single-mindedness in the service of others lead to Wisdom. None of this is attainable by laziness, so you need Joyous Perseverance in pursuit of wisdom through service to others and so this quality is the basis of the other Perfections.”

[These comments are based on Tibetan spiritual teacher Tsong-Kha-Pa, from his Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment]

Positives: Learning to Be More Compassionate: Other positives to be taken from the state of the world:

  • Suffering is a necessary background to the development of empathy and compassion. When there are dramatic conditions in the world by so much greater are our opportunities to show compassion and develop understanding.
  • Don’t think that we have ever been abandoned by the spiritual hierarchy of light. They are constantly at work guiding and assisting our efforts to make a better world – but it is up to us to reach up to them as they reach down to us to help.
  • We all have the opportunity to be better people no matter how outwardly humble may be our status in this world. We can add to the ‘reservoir of good karma’ which is all that the Masters of Wisdom can use to help us. What we are from day to day is therefore terrifically important.
  • This doesn’t have to be an intellectual exercise – attending lectures, seminars, Zoom meetings, etc. but living a sincere and good life is equally if not much more important. It is as though we are living in a fog of negative thought with the Sun of spiritual reality shining above the fog. Intellectual effort and living a good life can equally poke holes in this fog. As Plato said: ‘Living the Good Life is a work of art’.

A Glorious Future, A More Peaceful World: Bear in mind the glorious future of the world when it emerges from Kali Yuga (The Dark Age) into the next phase of the Earth’s life called by the Hindus the Satya Yuga (The Age of Truth).

The Earth will not always remain in its present state. But as embryo-gods, we have the ability to see through the illusion of separateness and to come to understand that we are all children of the cosmic spirit, offspring of the one life, and that it is our duty to assist the upwards course of nature by helping one another along the spiritual path.

But in order to realize our spiritual potential, an enormous number of lives are usually necessary.

The ‘Boddhisattva’ Ideal. What We Can Do Right Here and Now: Most of us have a very long way to go before we can become a Boddhisattva.

A Boddhisattva is one who has achieved spiritual liberation and earned the right to a long period of rest and bliss in Nirvana, but hears the voice of compassion within her or him asking:

‘Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?’

But we can all make a real contribution to changing the world for the better by making every effort to correct our own faults, and by helping those around us with encouraging words, kind deeds, and uplifting thoughts. Every step along this path is a step towards a more peaceful and caring world for all.