Answers To Questioners
The Path, November, 1887
The notice published last month, that questions might be asked, addressed to”Zadok,” has elicited several queries, from which we select the following. Hereafter “Zadok” will continue his answers, but they will be given through the Path’s columns, except where their private nature may call for personal correspondence.
From C.—(1) Is celibacy necessary to the highest spiritual life and attainment? Is this your idea of true occultism?
Answer– By no single way is the highest spiritual life attained. The highest Adept and the true occult student, have at some time been wedded to woman. The highest attainment is never reached until a man has passed through this experience. Under certain conditions and at a certain time celibacy is a great aid, but if the student is wedded then it is his duty to continue in that condition, and instead of proving a barrier it will be an assistance to his progress if he rightly comprehends its significance. All the lessons which are taught the true occult student are given in daily life and through nature’s laws. The celibate loses some of these lessons—lessons which he must inevitably learn—because he violates a great law of nature.
The result of celibacy is that the student works by intellect alone. It is necessary for true occult work that the heart be used also. One of the greater of the “mysteries” can never be learned by the celibate, for he never stands as hand in hand with God a controller of a creative force.
(2) Is a purely vegetable diet indispensable to a high and serene spiritual life?
Answer—One might eat grass, grain and turnips, a million years, but that of itself would not produce a high or serene spiritual life. All these things are aids, not necessities.
If the physical condition is such that animal food can be dispensed with, or without disturbing other people or neglecting the labor given, then it is wise to do away with it. The physical is thereby purified, making it less gross, material and animal like. But “one man’s meat is another’s poison.” Use that which seems the wisest to you. “It is not that which goeth into the mouth but that which cometh out that defileth a man.” The right thought, the proper motive, the true Will have more to do with true Occultism than any exterior acts or practices.
From T.—(1) Am I the result of a series of existences or a series of co-existences?
Answer—That which is known as you is the result of continuous existence of an entity. Your present body and your soul (or the personality) are the results of a series of existences. Your Karma is a result of co-existence. The individuality, or spirit, is the cause of the soul and personality, or what is called “you.” You are the manifestation of an entity and are the result of many appearences of that entity upon this stage of action in various personalities.
(2) May one walk for any distance along the Path without being able to see into the Astral Light, or without recognizing anything extraordinary?
Answer—One may journey an entire life time on “The Path” and not see into the Astral Light consciously. All men see into it, for all who dream are looking there, the body being asleep and not receptive.
One may journey a long distance and not see, for all do not work in the same manner. Some may hear “ages before they see,” or may feel a long time before either seeing or hearing. The tool most efficient at a certain period is the one used.
We may journey the entire way without recognizing anything extraordinary or encountering phenomena. The most extraordinary things are found in the most ordinary, and are overlooked because of their seeming familiarity. When the understanding is directed to the natural, one finds the supra-natural or supra-human things.
All questions are vital so long as they remain unsolved but all will be answered. It requires patience in ourselves, for many times the answers do not come until years after the question has been propounded. If I can be of further use to you please consider me at your service.
From J.V.—”There are two ways to ascend and descend, the direct and indirect.” Tea Table, Oct. Path. (1) What are these ways?
Answer—The thistle down is blown hither and thither with every breath of wind: The arrow speeds straight to the mark from the powerful bow.
The indirect way is that of the thistle down; the Astral going out when the body is asleep, does so in a diffused condition—a passive state—with no adequate force to control it or master unseen forces. It floats at the mercy of every current in the Astral, gleaning here and there as a butterfly but taking the good and bad indiscriminately. It may reach high spheres, but is more likely to remain in those nearest to the physical. This way is travelled by all when asleep, and there dreams are made. It is the passive state where desire is the ruler, and sometimes travelled in the waking conscious state, but is uncontrollable and unreliable.
The direct way is that of the arrow from the bow. The Astral speeds directly to the sphere which holds the knowledge it is to receive. It does so in obedience to an irresistible force—the Will: Will in accordance with divine law. It is concrete going and returning in obedience to this force, bringing little with it from intermediate spheres other than that for which it is seeking. This occurs in dreamless slumber and the knowledge acquired is not communicated in a dream. This way is travelled in the conscious state for it is the way of the student of the Occult. Unless the man’s thought and motive are pure, he is incapable of using the true will, and his Astral goes where other wills or forces drive it. It pauses when other forces interfere—learns from the place it happens to be in, and brings back a horrible jumble sometimes.
(2) Where do these ways lead?
One way leads to Theosophia—Illumination—when traveled awake or asleep.
The other to consideration of self—ordinary living with its erroneous conceptions—as an Occult way, to love of phenomena and spiritism.
They lead to spheres within the astral, for the astral body passes not beyond astral limits. Only when the soul is freed from the astral and material bodies does it pass to higher spheres. These ways also lead to planets, stars, and other worlds, for all these may be within the astral of this globe.