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THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON
THE KING

IV.

THE AGNOSTIC POSITION

DIRECT experience is the key to Yoga; direct experience of that Soul (Âtman) or Essence (Purusha) which acting upon Energy (Prâna), and Substance (Âkâsa) differentiates a plant from a stone, an animal from a plant, a man from an animal, a man from a man, and man from God, yet which ultimately is the underlying Equilibrium of all things; for as the Bhaga-vad-Gâta says: "Equilibrium is called Yoga."

Chemically the various groups in the organic and inorganic worlds are similar in structure and composition. One piece of limestone is very much like another, and so also are the actual bodies of any two man, but not so their minds. There-fore, should we wish to discover and understand that Power which differentiates, and yet ultimately balances all appearances, which are derived by the apparently unconscious object and received by the apparently conscious subject, we must look for it in the workings of man’s brain.5 {48}

This is but a theory, but a theory worth working upon until a better be derived from truer facts. Adopting it, the transfigured-realist gazes at it with wonder and then casts Theory overboard, and loads his ship with Law; postulates that every cause has its effect; and,. when his ship begins to sink, refuses to jettison his wretched cargo, or even to man the pumps of Doubt, because the final result is declared by his philosophy to be unknowable.

If any one cause be unknowable, be it first or last, then all causes are unknowable. The will to create is denied, the will to annihilate is denied, and finally the will to act is denied. Propositions perhaps true to the Master, but certainly not so to the disciple. Because Titian was a great artist and Rodin is a great sculptor, that is no reason why we should abolish art schools and set an embargo on clay.

If the will to act is but a mirage of the mind, then equally so is the will to differentiate or select. If this be true, and the chain of Cause and Effect is eternal, how is it then that Cause A produces effect B, and Cause B effect C, and Cause A + B + C effect X. Where originates this power of production? It is said there is no change, the medium remaining alike throughout. Burt we say there is a change—a change of form,6 and not only a change, but a distinct birth and a distinct death of form. What creates this form? Sense perception. what will destroy this form, and reveal to us that which lies behind it? {49} Presumably cessation of sense perception. How can we prove our theory? By cutting away every perception, every thought- form as it is born, until nothing thinkable is left, not even the thought of the unknowable.

The man of science will often say "I do not know, I really do not know where these bricks came form, or how they were made, or who made them; but here they are; let us build a house and live in it." Now this indeed is a very sensible view to take, and the result is we have some very fine houses built by these excellent bricklayers; but strange to say, this is the fatalist’s point of view, and a fatalistic science is indeed a cruel kind of oxymoron. As a matter of fact he is nothing of the kind; for, when he has exhausted his supply of bricks, he starts to look about for others, and when others cannot be found, he takes one of the old ones and picking it to pieces tries to discover of what it is made so that he may make more.

What is small-pox? Really, my friend, I do not know where it came from, or what it is, or how it originated; when a man catches it he either dies or recovers, please go away and don’t ask me ridiculous questions! Now this indeed would not be considered a very sensible view to adopt. And why? Simply because small-pox no longer happens to be believed in as a malignant devil, but is, at least partially, known an understood. Similarly, when we have gained as much knowledge of the First Cause as we have of small-pox, we shall no longer believe in a Benevolent God or otherwise, but shall, at least partially, know and understand Him as He is or is-not. "I can’t learn this!" is the groan of a schoolboy and not the exclamation of a sage. No doctor who is worth his salt will say: "I can’t tackle this disease"; he says: "I will tackle {50} this disease." So also with the Unknowable, God, à priori, First Cause, etc., etc., this metaphysical sickness can be cured. Not certainly in the same manner as small-pox can be; for physicians have a scientific language wherein to express their ideas and thoughts, whilst a mystic too often has not; but by a series of exercises, or a system of symbolic teaching, which will gradually lead the sufferer from the material to the spiritual, and not leave him gazing and wondering at it, as he would at a star in the night.

A fourth dimensional being, outside a few mathematical symbols, would be unable to explain to a third dimensional being a fourth dimensional world, simply because he would be addressing him in a fourth dimensional language. Likewise, in a less degree, would a doctor be unable to explain the theory of inoculation to a savage, but it is quite conceivable that he might be able to teach him how to vaccinate himself or another; which would be after all the chief point gained.

Similarly the Yogi says: I have arrived at a state of Superconsciousness (Samâdhi) and you, my friend, are not only blind, deaf and dumb, and a savage, but the son of a pig into the bargain. You are totally immersed in Darkness (Tamas); a child of ignorance (Avidyâ), and the offspring of illusion (Mâyâ); as mad, insane and idiotic as those unfortunates you lock up in your asylums to convince you, as one of you yourselves has very justly remarked, that you are not all raving mad. For you consider not only one thing, which you insult by calling God, but all things, to be real; and anything which has the slightest odour of reality about it you pronounce an illusion. But, as my brother the Magician has told you, "he {51} who denies anything asserts something," now let me disclose to you this "Something," so hat you may find behind the pairs of opposites what this something is in itself and not in its appearance.

It has been pointed out in a past chapter how that in the West symbol has been added to symbol, and how that in the East symbol has been subtracted from symbol. How in the West the Magician has said: "As all came from God so must all proceed to God," the motion being a forward one, and acceleration of the one already existing. Now let us analyze what is meant by the worlds of the yogi when he says: "As all came from god so must all return to God," the motion being, as it will be at once seen, a backward one, a slowing down of the one which already exists, until finally is reached that goal from which we originally set out by a cessation of thinking, a weakening of the vibrations of illusion until they cease to exist in Equilibrium.7 {52}

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Index | The Hermit | The Agnostic Position | The Vedanta | Attainment By Yoga | The Yogas | The Constitution of the Human Organism | The Chakkras | The Doctrines of Buddhism | The Noble Eightfold Path | The Writings of Truth

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX

6 Form here is synonymous with the Hindu Mâyâ, it is also the chief power of the Buddhist devil, Mara, and even of that mighty devil, Choronzon.

7 "The forces of the universe are only known to us, in reality, but disturbances of equilibrium. The state of equilibrium constitutes the limit beyond which we can no longer follow them" (Gustave le Bon, "The Evolution of Matter," p. 94).