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- AE in the Irish Theosophist - 5/53 -

we had generally so many things to speak of; for he told me all his dreams, such vague titanic impulses as the soul has in the fresh first years of its awakening, when no experience hinders with memory its flights of aspiration, and no anguish has made it wise. But that evening there was, I thought, something missing; a curious feverishness seemed to have replaced the cool and hardy purity of manner which was natural to him; his eyes had a strange glow, fitful and eager; I saw by the starlight how restless his fingers were, they intertwined, twisted, and writhed in and out.

We sat long in the rich night together; then he drew nearer to me and leaned his head near my shoulder; he began to whisper incoherently a wild and passionate tale; the man's soul was being tempted.

"Brother" he said, "I am haunted by a vision, by a child of the stars as lovely as Isthar's self; she visits my dreaming hours, she dazzles me with strange graces, she bewilders with unspeakable longing. Sometime, I know, I must go to her, though I perish. When I see her I forget all else and I have will to resist no longer. The vast and lonely inspiration of the desert departs from my thought, she and the jewel-light she lives in blot it out. The thought of her thrills me like fire. Brother give me help, ere I go mad or die; she draws me away from earth and I shall end my days amid strange things, a starry destiny amid starry races."

I was not then wise in these things, I did not know the terrible dangers that lurk in the hidden ways in which the soul travels. "This" I said " is some delusion. You have brooded over a fancy until it has become living; you have filled your creation with your own passion and it lingers and tempts you; even if it were real, it is folly to think of it, we must close our hearts to passion if we would attain the power and wisdom of Gods."

He shook his head, I could not realize or understand him. Perhaps if I had known all and could have warned him, it would have been in vain; perhaps the soul must work out its own purification in experience and learn truth and wisdom through being. Once more he became silent and restless. I had to bid him farewell as I was to depart on the morrow, but he was present in my thoughts and I could not sleep because of him; I felt oppressed with the weight of some doom about to fall. To escape from this feeling I rose in adoration to Hea; I tried to enter into the light of that Wisdom; a sudden heart-throb of warning drew me back; I thought of Asur instinctively, and thinking of him his image flashed on me. He moved as if in trance through the glassy waves of those cosmic waters which everywhere lave and permeate the worlds, and in which our earth is but a subaqueous mound. His head was bowed, his form dilated to heroic stature, as if he conceived of himself as some great thing or as moving to some high destiny; and this shadow which was the house of his dreaming soul grew brilliant with the passionate hues of his thought; some power beyond him drew him forth. I felt the fever and heat of this inner sphere like a delirious breath blow fiercely about me; there was a phosphorescence of hot and lurid colours. The form of Asur moved towards a light streaming from a grotto, I could see within it burning gigantic flowers. On one, as on a throne, a figure of weird and wonderful beauty was seated. I was thrilled with a dreadful horror, I thought of the race of Liliths, and some long forgotten and tragic legends rose up in my memory of these beings whose soul is but a single and terrible passion; whose love too fierce for feebler lives to endure, brings death or madness to men. I tried to warn, to awaken him from the spell; my will-call aroused him; he turned, recognized me and hesitated; then this figure that lured him rose to her full height; I saw her in all her plume of a peacock, it was spotted with gold and green and citron dyes, she raised her arms upwards, her robe, semi-transparent, purple and starred over with a jewel lustre, fell in vaporous folds to her feet like the drift over a waterfall. She turned her head with a sudden bird-like movement, her strange eyes looked into mine with a prolonged and snaky glance; I saw her move her arms hither and thither, and the waves of this inner ocean began to darken and gather about me, to ripple through me with feverish motion. I fell into a swoon and remembered nothing more.

I was awakened before dawn, those with whom I was to cross the desert were about to start and I could remain no longer. I wrote hurriedly to Asur a message full of warning and entreaty and set out on my return journey full of evil forebodings. Some months after I had again to visit the temple; it was evening when I arrived; after I had delivered the message with which I was charged, I asked for Asur. The priest to whom I spoke did not answer me. He led me in silence up to the terrace that overlooked the desolate eastern desert. The moon was looming white upon the verge, the world was trembling with heat, the winged bulls along the walls shone with a dull glow through the sultry air. The priest pointed to the far end of the terrace. A figure was seated looking out over the desert, his robes were motionless as if their wrinkles were carved of stone, his hands lay on his knees, I walked up to him; I called his name; he did not stir. I came nearer and put my face close to his, it was as white as the moon, his eyes only reflected the light. I turned away from him sick to the very heart.

--September 15, 1893

Jagrata, Svapna and Sushupti

While the philosophical concepts of ancient India, concerning religion and cosmogony, are to some extent familiar and appreciated in these countries, its psychology, intimately related with its religion and metaphysics, is comparatively unknown. In Europe the greatest intellects have been occupied by speculations upon the laws and aspects of physical nature, while the more spiritual Hindus were absorbed in investigations as to the nature of life itself; by continual aspiration, devotion, introspection and self-analysis, they had acquired vast knowledge of the states of consciousness possible for man to enter upon; they had laid bare the anatomy of the mind, and described the many states that lay between the normal waking condition of man, and the final state of spiritual freedom and unity with BRAHMA, which it was the aim alike of religion and science to bring about. Most interesting among their ideas, was their analysis of the states of consciousness upon which we enter during sleep. Roughly speaking, they may be divided into two, which together with the waking state, make a trinity of states through which every person passes, whether he be aware of it or not. These states are known as:---Jagrata, waking; Svapna, dreaming; and Sushupti, deep sleep. The English equivalents of these words give no idea of the states. Passing our of Jagrata, the Indians held that, beyond the chaotic borderland, we entered, in Svapna and Sushupti, upon real states of being. Sushupti, the highest, was accounted a spiritual state; here the soul touches vaster centres in the great life and has communion with celestial intelligences. The unification of these states into one is one of the results of Raj-Yoga; in this state the chela keeps memory of what occurred while his consciousness was in the planes of Svapna and Sushupti. Entrance upon these states should not I think be understood as meaning that the mind has deserted its fleshly tabernacle in search of such experience. Departure from the physical form is no more necessary for this than for clairvoyence, but a transfer of the consciousness in us from one plane to another is necessary.

Now as we generate Karma in the dreaming and deep sleep states which may either help or hinder the soul in its evolution, it is a matter of importance that we should take steps to promote the unification of these states, so that the knowledge and wisdom of any one state may be used to perfect the others. Our thoughts and actions in the waking state react upon the dreaming and deep sleep, and our experiences in the latter influence us in the waking state by suggestion and other means. The reason we do not remember what occurs in Svapna and Sushupti is because the astral matter which normally surrounds the thinking principle is not subtle enough to register in its fullness the experience of any one upon the more spiritual planes of consciousness. To increase the responsiveness upon the more spiritual planes of consciousness. To increase the responsiveness of this subtle matter we have to practise concentration, and so heighten the vibrations, or in other words to evolve or perfect the astral principle. Modern science is rapidly coming to the conclusion that the differences perceived in objects around us, are not differences in substance, but differences of vibration in one substance. Take a copper wire; pass electrical currents through it, gradually increasing their intensity, and phenomena of sound, heat and light will be manifest, the prismatic colours appearing one after the other. Similarly by an increased intensity in the performance of every action, the consciousness is gradually transferred from the lower to the higher planes. In order to give a point, or to direct the evolving faculties into their proper channel, continual aspiration is necessary. Take some idea--the spiritual unity of all things, for example--something which can only be realized by our complete absorption in spiritual nature; let every action be performed in the light of this idea, let it be the subject of reverent thought. If this is persisted in, we will gradually begin to become conscious upon the higher planes, the force of concentration carrying the mind beyond the waking into Svapna and Sushupti. The period between retiring to rest and awakening, formerly a blank, will begin to be spotted with bright lights of consciousness, or, as we walk about during the day such knowledge will visit us. "He who is perfected in devotion findeth spiritual knowledge springing up spontaneously in himself" say Krishna. Patanjali recommends dwelling on the knowledge that presents itself in dreams; if we think over any such experience, many things connected with it will be revealed, and so gradually the whole shadowy region will become familiar and attractive, and we will gain a knowledge of our own nature which will be invaluable and which cannot otherwise be acquired.

--January 15, 1893


Beyond waking, dreaming and deep sleep is Turya. Here there is a complete change of condition; the knowledge formerly sought in the external world is now present within the consciousness; the ideations of universal mind are manifest in spiritual intuitions. The entrance to this state is through Jagrata, Svapna, and Sushupti, and here that spiritual unity is realized, the longing for which draws the soul upwards through the shadowy worlds of dreaming and

AE in the Irish Theosophist - 5/53

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