Alice Bailey - Letters on Occult Meditation

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Alice Bailey - Letters on Occult Meditation







Dedicated to The Tibetan Teacher


    wrote these letters


    authorised their publication



    The following letters were received during the period included within the dates, May 16th, 1920, and October 20th, 1920, with the exception of the two letters which were received in 1919. With the consent of their author they have been gathered together for publication.

    They are published in full as received, with the exception of certain parts which have a purely personal application, those having reference to a certain occult school, and those of a prophetic or esoteric nature, which may not now be communicated.

    It is hoped that those who read these letters will endeavour to do two things:

    1. Read always with an open mind, remembering that the truth is a many-sided diamond, and that its different aspects will appear at different times, as those who guide the race see a need which must be met. Many books on meditation have been written, some too abstruse and some too superficial to satisfy the average educated man. The writer of these letters has apparently attempted to supply the need of a brief yet scientific exposition of a rationale of meditation, emphasising the goal immediately ahead and the intermediate stages.

    2. Judge of the letters on their merits and not upon claims put forth on behalf of the writer. For this reason he has chosen to preserve his anonymity and has requested the recipient of the letters to publish them under his pseudonym.

    If the subject matter of the letters is of value it will call forth a response from the readers and serve to help some onward towards the goal, and prove to many the inspiration and aid it already has to a few.


New York, 1922.

    The constitution of man (See Figure), as considered in the following pages, is basically threefold, as follows

I. The Monad, or pure Spirit, the Father in Heaven.

This aspect reflects the three aspects of the Godhead:

     1. Will or Power The Father

     2. Love-Wisdom The Son

     3. Active Intelligence The Holy Spirit

    and is only contacted at the final initiations, when man is nearing the end of his journey and is perfected.

The Monad reflects itself again in

II. The Ego, Higher Self, or Individuality.

    This aspect is potentially :

     1. Spiritual Will Atma

     2. Intuition Buddic, Love-Wisdom, the Christ principle.

     3. Higher or abstract Mind Higher Manas.

    The Ego begins to make its power felt in advanced men, and increasingly on the Probationary Path until by the third initiation the control of the lower self by the higher is perfected, and the highest aspect begins to make its energy felt.

The Ego reflects itself in

III. The Personality, or lower self, physical plane man.

    This aspect is also threefold

     1. A mental body lower manas.

     2. An emotinal body astral body.

     3. A physical body the dense physical and the etheric body.

    The aim of meditation is therefore to bring man to the realisation of the Egoic aspect and to bring the lower nature under its control. This is the immediate goal for the average man.




1The Aligning of the three lower bodies.

    2Aligning with the Causal Body.

    3The Method of Alignment.

    4Macrocosmic and Microcosmic Alignment.

[Page 1]



Sunday, May 16, 1920.

    It is in the aligning of the three vehicles, the physical, the emotional, and the lower mind body, within the causal periphery, and their stabilising there by an effort of the will, that the real work of the Ego or Higher Self in any particular incarnation can be accomplished. The great thinkers of the race, the true exponents of lower mind, are fundamentally those whose three lower bodies are aligned; that is to say those whose mental body holds the other two in circumspect alignment. The mental body, then, is in direct communication, unobstructed and free from interference, straight through to the physical brain.

    When the alignment is fourfold and when the three above-mentioned bodies are aligned with the body of the Higher Self, the causal or egoic body, and held steady within its circumference, then the great leaders of the race,those who emotionally

    and intellectually sway mankind, can be seen working; then the inspirational writers and dreamers can bring down their inspirations and dreams; and then the synthetic and abstract thinkers [Page 2] can transfer their conceptions to the world of form. It is, right through, a question of an unimpeded channel. Study, therefore, in this connection and when time permits, physical co-ordination; then to physical co-ordination add emotional stability, and you have the two vehicles functioning as one. When the co-ordination extends to the mental body, the threefold lower man is reaching his apotheosis, and has rung most of the changes in the world of form.

    Later comes co-ordination perfected with the Higher Self, the channel of communication reaching in line direct,via an unimpeded funnel, if so I might

    express it,to the physical brain consciousness. Heretofore it has only been direct at rare intervals. The four lesser brain centres are functioning at high vibration in the man of a highly co-ordinated personality; when the Ego is nearing alignment with the lower bodies, the pineal gland and the pituitary body are in process of development; and when they are functioning with correlation (which eventuates by the time the third Initiation is taken), then the third, or alta major centre, intensifies its hitherto

    gentle vibration. When the fifth Initiation is taken, the interplay between the three centres is perfected, and the alignment of the bodies is geometrically rectified; you have then the perfected fivefold superman.

    For the average man, then, this alignment occurs only at intervals, in moments of stress, in hours of needed humanitarian effort and in times of intensest aspiration. Abstraction of a more or less degree has to enter in before the Ego takes continued notice of the personality or lower self. When that abstraction involves the emotions, is based in the mentality and contacts the physical brain, then alignment is commencing.

[Page 3]

    Hence the work of meditation, for it tends to abstraction and seeks to awaken to abstract consciousness both the emotions and the mentality.

Alignment and Vibration.

    Forget not either that it is largely a question of matter and vibration. The abstract levels of the mental plane consist of the three higher levels, the first being that termed the third subplane. As I have explained to you before, each subplane has its correlations on the major planes. When, therefore, you have built into your bodies,

    physical, emotional and mental,matter of the third subplane of each of those planes,

    then the Higher self commences consciously and ever more continuously to function through the aligning Personality. Perhaps we might reverse the idea and state that it is only when third subplane matter of a certain percentage (which percentage is one of the secrets of Initiation) is contained in the vehicles, that the Personality as a conscious whole recognises and obeys that Higher self. After such a percentage is attained, it is then necessary to build in matter of the two higher subplanes on the physical and emotional planes; hence the struggle for the aspirant to purify and discipline the physical body and to subdue the emotional. Purification and subjugation describe the work to be done on the two planes. This involves the use of lower mind, and the three lower vehicles thus become aligned.

    The vibrations of the abstract levels can then begin to be felt. You need to remember that they come via the causal body, the vehicle of the Higher Self, and the average causal body is on the third subplane of the mental plane. This is a point not sufficiently recognised. Ponder on it. Real abstract thought becomes possible only when the Personality has, by vibration reciprocal to that of the [Page 4] Ego, aligned itself sufficiently to form a fairly unimpeded channel. Then at intervals, rare at first but of increasing frequency, will abstract ideas begin to filter down, to be followed in due time by flashes of real illumination or intuition from the spiritual Triad or the true threefold Ego itself.

The Chord of the Ego.

    When I use the term "reciprocal vibration," what do I mean? I mean the adaptation of the Personality or Lower Self, to the Ego, or Higher Self, the dominating of the Personality ray by the ray of the Ego and the combining of their tones. I mean the blending of the primary colour of the Higher Self with the secondary hue of the Lower Self until beauty is achieved. At first, there is dissonance and discord, a

    clashing of the colours, and a fight between the Higher and the Lower. But as time progresses, and later with the aid of the Master, harmony of colour and tone is produced (a synonymous matter), until eventually you will have the basic note of matter, the major third of the aligned Personality, the dominant fifth of the Ego, followed by the full chord of the Monad or Spirit.

    It is the dominant we seek at adeptship, and earlier the perfected third of the Personality. During our various incarnations we strike and ring the changes on all the intervening notes, and sometimes our lives are major and sometimes minor, but always they tend to flexibility and greater beauty. In due time, each note fits into its chord, the chord of the Spirit; each chord forms part of a phrase, the phrase or group to which the chord belongs; and the phrase goes to the completion of one seventh of the whole. The entire seven sections, then, complete the sonata of this solar system,a part of the threefold masterpiece of the Logos or God, the Master-Musician.

[Page 5]

    June 2, 1920.

Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Alignment.

    This morning, I would touch on the matter of egoic alignment again, showing you, under the Law of Correspondences, the universal application. It lies based in geometry, or in figures and numbers.

The aim of the evolution of man in the three worldsthe physical, emotional and

    mental planesis the alignment of his threefold Personality with the body egoic, till the one straight line is achieved and the man becomes the One.

    Each life that the Personality leads is, at the close, represented by some geometrical figure, some utilisation of the lines of the cube, and their demonstration in a form of some kind. Intricate and uncertain in outline and crude in design are the forms of the earlier lives; definite and clear in outline are the forms built by the average advanced man of this generation. But when he steps upon the Path of Discipleship, the purpose consists in merging all these many lines into one line, and gradually this consummation is achieved. The Master is He Who has blended all the lines of fivefold development first into the three, and then into the one. The six-pointed star becomes the five-pointed star, the cube becomes the triangle, and the triangle becomes the one; whilst the one (at the end of the greater cycle) becomes the point in the circle of manifestation.

    Hence the effort made to teach all devotees simplicity, based on a trinity of foundation truths, and the inculcation of one-pointedness.

    Each life tends to greater stability but seldom is the three-fold Personality yet to be found lined up, if so I [Page 6] may put it, with the causal consciousness. Temporary moments occur when this is the case and when (in moments of highest aspiration and for purposes of unselfish endeavor) the higher and the lower form a line direct. Usually the emotional body, through violent emotion and vibration, or a fluctuating restlessness, is continuously out of alignment. Where the emotional body may be

    momentarily aligned, then the mental body acts as an obstruction, preventing the percolation down from the higher to the lower, and so to the physical brain. It takes many lives of strenuous endeavor before the emotional body can be stilled and a mental body built that will act as a filter and not as an impediment. Even when this has been somewhat accomplished and the emotional body is stabilised and a pure reflector, and the mental body serves the purpose of a sensitive plate and discriminator, and the intelligent explainer of the higher imparted truth,even then, I

    say, it takes much discipline and many lives of effort to align the two at the same time. When that is done, the control of the physical brain and its final alignment remain to be effected, so that it may act as a direct receiver and transmitter of the imparted teaching, and may reflect with accuracy the higher consciousness.

    Wherein, therefore, lies the macrocosmic correspondence? Where is the analogy in the Solar System? An indication I give here. In the direct alignment of certain planets in the process of systemic evolution, with each other and with the Sun comes Logoic or divine alignment. Think this out, but one word of warning I give. Seek not to work out hypotheses of alignment based on the physical planets. The truth lies not there. Only three of the physical planets (and those three in etheric matter) enter into the final alignment that marks the attainment [Page 7] by the Logos of the cosmic egoic consciousness, which is His goal of attainment. Of these three, the earth is not one, but Venus has her place corresponding to the emotional permanent atom.

Further still the alignment may be progressed:in the alignment of our entire solar

    system with the system of Sirius lies a still more remote goal. It is a point far ahead in time, but holds hid the secret of the greater cycle.

[Page 8]




lIt results in egoic contact and alignment.

    2It brings about a state of equilibrium.

    3It stabilises vibration.

    4It assists in a transference of polarisation.

[Page 9]



June 3, 1920.

    Let me this morning give you some more thoughts on the subject of meditation; they will bear somewhat on the matter given yesterday, and on the 16th ultimo.

    Fundamentally, meditation is to assist alignment and so permit of contact with the Higher Self; hence its institution. I would, in order duly to elucidate, take up the study of this topic under the following heads:

The Importance of Meditation.

    Points considered when assigning a Meditation.

    The use of the Sacred Word in Meditation.

    Dangers to be avoided in Meditation.

    The use of Form in Meditation.

    The use of Colour and Sound in Meditation.

    Access to the Masters through Meditation.

    Future Schools of Meditation.

    Purification of the Vehicles.

    The Exoteric Life of Service.

Let us today take up the consideration of the first point:What makes Meditation of


    The emphasis upon the importance of meditation follows naturally upon the realisation by the student of the absolute necessity for the domination of the Personality by the Ego.

    Man at this time is engaged in many pursuits and through the force of circumstances he is polarised entirely in the lower self, that polarisation being in either the emotional or mental body. One point of interest I would indicate:as long as the polarisation is

    purely [Page 10] physical or purely emotional, no need for meditation is ever felt. Even when the mental body is active, no urge arises until the man has run through many changes and many lives, has tasted the cup of pleasure and of pain through many incarnations, has sounded the depths of the life lived entirely for the lower self and found it unsatisfying. Then he begins to turn his thought to other things, to aspire to that which is unknown, to realize and sense within himself the pairs of opposites, and to contact within his consciousness possibilities and ideals undreamt of hitherto. He has come to a point where success, popularity and diverse gifts are his, and yet from their use he derives no content; always the urge within persists until the pain is so severe that the desire to reach out and up, to ascertain something and someone beyond, overcomes all obstacles. The man begins to turn within and to seek the source from whence he came. Then he begins to meditate, to ponder, to intensify vibration until in process of time he garners the fruits of meditation.

Four things meditation does:

    lIt enables a man to contact the Ego and to align the three lower bodies.

    2It puts a man into an attitude of equilibrium, neither utterly receptive and negative, nor utterly positive, but at the point of balance. Thus is afforded opportunity to the Ego, and later to the Master, to disturb that equilibrium and tune the quiescent


    His disciples, or in India, Tibet or China by the pupils of the Master M. or the Master K. H.

    Now comes to all of you the most important series of lives to which the previous points of culmination were but stepping stones. In the lives immediately ahead of those upon the Path will come final achievement through the instrumentality of the ordered occult meditation, based on law. For some few may come attainment in this life or the next; for others, shortly in other lives. For a few there lies ahead the attainment of the mystic method, to be the basis later on of the occult or mental method.

[Page 13]




lThe Ray of the Ego or Higher self.

    2The Ray of the Personality or Lower self.

    3Karmic condition of the threefold man.

    4The condition of the Causal Body.

    5The need of the period and the man's availability.

    6The groups, inner and outer, with which he is affiliated.

[Page 14]



June 4, 1920.

    We have dealt with the importance of meditation, and I have suggested for your consideration four reasons out of the many why the practice should he followed. At this period when meditation is followed by many of you without the guidance of a teacher who is personally acquainted with you on the physical plane, it has been impossible to do more than formulate a plan for practice that carries in it the elements of safety and of universality.

    When a teacher is on the spot, differentiated practice may be carried on suited to the temperament of the pupil, and having certain attributes that make that particular meditation the line of least resistance from the physical brain of the personality to the causal body.

    In formulating methods of meditation certain factors must be taken into consideration. These factors I will now enumerate. I seek not to give you outlines and methods to be followed. I but indicate the underlying principles that guide the teacher in the choice of method suitable for the pupil. Later, when the teacher comes and the scientific application of the method to the individual is being demonstrated, you can then see if the rules laid down here are fundamentals or not. These fundamentals and principles are all I seek to give. Method and detail must be worked out through the use of discrimination, experience, courage and perseverance.

    The factors that must be considered by a teacher when assigning a meditation are six in number, if we deal only with the principal ones. They are as follows:

[Page 15]

    lThe Ray of the pupil's Ego, or Higher Self.

    2The Ray of his Personality or Lower Self.

    3The Karmic condition of his threefold lower nature.

    4The condition of his Causal Body.

    5The immediate need of the period and his availability.

    6The groups, inner and outer, with which he may be affiliated.

We will now take them up and consider them one by one.

1The Ray of Higher Self.

    The ray on which a man's causal body is found, the egoic ray, should determine the type of meditation. Each ray necessitates a different method of approach, for the aim of all meditation is union with the divine. At this stage, it is union with the spiritual Triad, that has its lowest reflection on the mental plane. Let me illustrate briefly:

    When the egoic ray is what is termed the Power Ray, the method of approach has to be by the application of the will in a dynamic form to the lower vehicles; it is largely what we term achievement by an intense focusing, a terrific one-pointedness, that inhibits all hindrances and literally forces a channel, thus driving itself into the Triad.

    When the egoic ray is the second or the Love-Wisdom Ray, the path of least resistance lies along the line of expansion, of a gradual inclusion. It is not so much a driving forward as it is a gradual expanding from an inner centre to include the entourage, the environment, the allied souls, and the affiliated groups of pupils under [Page 16] some one Master, until all are included in the consciousness. Carried to the point of achievement, this expansion results in the final shattering of the causal body at the fourth Initiation. In the first instanceachievement via the Power Raythe

    driving forward and the forcing upward had a like result; the opened channel admitted the downflow of force or fire from the spirit and the causal body in time is equally destroyed.

    When the egoic ray is the third or Activity-adaptability Ray, the method is somewhat different. Not so much the driving forward, not so much the gradual expansion as the systematic adaptation of all knowledge and of all means to the end in view. It is in fact the process of the utilisation of the many for the use of the one; it is more the accumulation of needed material and quality for the helping of the world, and the

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