BLTC Press Titles

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The Characters of Theophrastus


Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Higher psychical development (Yoga philosophy) an outline of the secret Hindu teachings

by Hereward Carrington


Bear in mind very clearly that this whole conception of the Hindus is that our individual consciousness, the ego, the self, is not an isolated "thing," which is tied up in our own brain, as we think in the West, but is a fragmentary part of the Universal Consciousness. It is all part of one Being,—in the same way that a drop of water is a portion of the bucket of water; you can lift it out and pour it back again. It is separate and it is universal. That is one of the great points; while we appear separate, here in this life, we are all part of the Great Scheme, and we desire to get in touch with that Universal Consciousness. The Hindus think they can draw upon it. Just as there has been an extraordinary power,—electricity,—all through this world, in the atmosphere, for hundreds and hundreds of years,—but humanity had not reached the point where it could employ it,—so the Hindus say, "We have this extraordinary amount of energy which is going to waste; let us harness it and utilize it!" And in addition to this, there is a certain metaphysical or religious training which accompanies it. It has been written: us to inquire whether the histories of the men were not very much the same."

"Existence is full of sorrow. ... No religion has failed hitherto by not promising enough. Let us begin by doubting every statement. Let us find a way of subjecting every statement to the test of experiment''— (which Yoga does). "Is there any truth in all the claims of the various religions? There is, . . . one form of miracle which certainly happens,—the influence of the genius. There is no known analogy in nature. There are supermen of different kinds, but they are none of them of the same character as the great spiritual teachers of the world. What is there in common between Christ and Buddha and Mahomet? Buddha was born a prince and died a beggar. Mahomet was born a beggar and died a prince. Christ remained obscure until a good many years after his death. Elaborate lives of each one of these have been written by devotees. There is one thing common in all three,—an omission in their life histories. We hear nothing of Christ between the ages of twelve and thirty. Mahomet disappeared into a cave. Buddha left his parents and went for a long while into the desert. Each of them was perfectly silent up to the time of his reappearance, but came back and immediately began to preach some new law. This is so curious that it leads

The point is this: what happened to them during their absence? They all three went away, disappeared for a certain length of time, a number of years, and alone, and came back with an extraordinary, new conviction. What did they do? We think that they went through certain initiations.

There is in Thibet a stone tablet bearing an inscription which records the presence there of some one who corresponded very remarkably with our conception of Christ; so that, apparently, he went to this monastery in Thibet and studied there.1 And Buddha and Mohammed did much the same thing; they apparently went through certain practices and experiences,—not only talking and reading about religion, but they experimented with it themselves, and this gave them their belief.

Now, the Hindus have a perfectly definite scheme of the world,—a philosophy; and it is not Dualism,—or the belief in two ultimate things,—but Monism, or the belief in one. It is that all ultimately leads to one thing, —which is Spiritual Consciousness, and they strive to attain that.

In the last chapter, I outlined the eight stages of development,—the Eightfold Path,—beginning with Yama and Niyama, which are various methods of renunciation, practices in daily life, during spiritual training.

Annie Besant, in her little book, An Introduction to Yoga, gives a useful summary of some of the '' Obstacles

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