by Renée Hall, Compass, Autumn 2001

The purity of Ancient and Divine Wisdom reintroduced to modern times in 1875 via H.P. Blavatsky, has in many instances been watered down, plagiarised and distorted with emphasis on personal advantage rather than the altruism implied in Universal Brotherhood. Moreover, in our modern world we have become accustomed to instant results without undue effort so on both counts earnest seekers of truth need to be armed with extra caution and discrimination when searching and choosing amongst the plethora of alluring “Body, Mind and Soul” literature, so called spiritual centres and guides. One example seems to be the modern phenomenon of the “channeller.” The latter is regarded by adherents as someone with spiritual gifts and therefore special powers who often in a trance acts as a medium and receives messages on behalf of the applicant froma supposed spirit guide or higher being allegedly even a Master. These messages may echo aspects of Ancient Wisdom thus appearing authentic.

This is why intuitive discernment is so necessary. Students who read TUP theosophical books and articles will know that the perspectives faithfully adhere to the ancient wisdom of the ages offering advice which echoes the golden mean taught by all great sages: “Live the life and you will know the truth.” These Theosophical texts abound with explanations of how our own individual higher consciousness is illuminated by spiritual divinity. We have access then to the very purest truth which garnered slowly and even painfully becomes an integral part of ourselves; wisdom thus acquired is immensely precious.

Far from reaching spiritual planes, the channeller will most likely have opened a gateway to the astral, and the lower astral at that. Expeditions of discovery whether geographical, oceanic or outer space, take huge amounts of preparation, research and resources as well as individual of exceptionally strong character and fitness. These ventures are dangerous and often fail. Those intent on penetrating the dimension of that Theosophy calls the Lower Astral Light should be doubly aware of much greater hazards; “…the physical sphere is a highly safe and sane place, when compared with the lower regions of the Astral Light, and it is just these lower regions of the astral world with which intercourse from the physical plane is most easily established.” – G de Purucker, The Esoteric Tradition, vol.2 pp.779-80.

At our present level of development very few individuals will have attained the strength or superior spiritual, intellectual and psychic powers let alone the wisdom that provides protection against the perils of astral experimentation whether the gateway be via mediums, trance drugs, or even meditation. Explorers of the physical world can choose what artefacts they bring back from foreign lands but those probing the lower astral realms can unknowingly attract undesirable and malignant forces which will cling on like a pernicious virus. Sometimes the attachment seems special making the personal feel favoured.

But beware: as Banquo reflects on the witches prophecy in Shakespeare’s Macbeth:

“…oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
the instruments of darkness tell us truths,
win us with honest trifles,
to betray’s in deepest consequence.”

– (Act 1, Scene 1)

Paradoxically we are in fact immersed in the astral; our thoughts and emotions flow to and from the astral plane like the air we inhale and exhale. As G de Purucker points out, again in The Esoteric Tradition (ibid), “There is no partition…between the physical and the astral, …they melt into or blend with each other by indistinguishable gradations of matter verging from the most ethereal-physical into the most astral-material. There is constant uninterrupted, and incessant interchange between the physical and the astral world; and the only partition or barrier that actually exists is those few grades of blending substances, which far from being obstacles or obstructions to intercourse, actually are the means of communication – somewhat as the electric wire is the medium for communicating the electric current from point to point…” This occurs naturally for most of us and there is really no need at our present level of everyday consciousness to forcibly enter deeper into the astral.

So why not put our focus and energy into the sunlit, divine side of ourselves and trust our own inner judgement. Recognising the genuine authority of our higher Self, we can gradually refine and ennoble our whole way of thinking and living beyond our personal selves; but there’s no shortcut and no-one else can do it for us.

“Everything in this world has its time, and truth, however based upon unimpeachable evidence, will not root or grow, unless, like a plant, it is thrown into the soil in its proper season”

H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled 1:219