Letters That Have Helped Me
Say, Brother Jasper, are you tired? I am. Not tired of fate or of the great “Leaders of the World,” but with all these people who gape and gape and are (excuse me) so Americanly “independent,” as if men were ever independent of each other.
You ask about the “moment of choice.” It is made up of all moments. It is not in space or time, but is the aggregation of those moments flying by us each instant. It is referred to in Esoteric Buddhism as a period not yet arrived for the race, when it will as a whole be compelled to make choice for good or evil. But any single individual can bring on the period for himself. When it will or has come, the uninstructed cannot tell. For the student of occultism it may come in the next instant, or it may come one hundred lives after. But it cannot come this instant unless all the previous lives have led up to it. Yet as regards the student, even if it be presented to him and he refuse, he will be brought to the choice in future existences, with the whole body of his race. Race influences are insidious and powerful. For instance, my race has its peculiarities deeply seated and inherited from an extraordinary past. I must be under their influence in this body as a necessary part of my experience. In another life I might have been a prosaic Hottentot, or an Englishman, and in a succeeding one I might be under the influence of other race peculiarities. Those influences are, then, guiding me every moment, and each thought I have adds to them now, for either my own future use or for some other person who will come under the power of part of the force generated now by me.
As to the sub-conscious mind. It is difficult to explain. I find constantly that I have ideas that internally I thoroughly understand, and yet can find no language for them. Call it sub-conscious if you like. It is there and can be affected; indeed, it is affected every moment. It is a nearness to the universal mind. So if I desire to influence—say your mind—I do not formulate your sub-conscious plane, but firmly and kindly think of you and think of the subject I wish you to think of. This must reach you. If I am selfish, then it has more difficulty to get there; but if it be brotherly, then it gets there more easily, being in harmony with the universal mind and the Law. The Psychical Society speaks of it, and says that the influence “emerges into the lower mind” by one or more of the channels. But they do not know what those “channels” are, or even if they do exist. In fact, the whole subject of mind is only faintly understood in the West. They say “mind,” meaning the vast range and departments of that which they call mind, whereas there must be a need for the names of those departments. When the true ideas are grasped, the names will follow. Meanwhile we must be satisfied with “mind” as including the whole thing. But it does not. Certainly it is not ordinary mental motion—ratiocination—to grasp in an instant a whole subject, premises and conclusions, without stopping to reason. It cannot be called a picture, for with some it comes as an idea, and not as a picture. Memory. What is that? Is it brain-impression; or similarity of vibration, recognized upon being repeated and then producing a picture? If so, then the power to recognize the vibration as the same as before is separate from the matter which vibrates. And if the power inhere in the brain cells, how is it possible, when we know they are constantly being changed? Yet memory is perfect, no matter what happens. That it is above brain is clear, because a man may be killed by having his brain blown to atoms, and yet his “shell” can give all the incidents of his life, and they are not taken from the brain, for that is dead. Where, then, is the sub-conscious mind? And where are the channels, and how are they connected? I think through the heart, and that the heart is the key to it all, and that the brain is only the servant of the heart,1 for remember that there is in it the “small dwarf who sits at the centre.” Think it out on that line now for yourself—or any other line that you may choose, but think. As ever, Z.
1. Not the physical heart, but the real centre of life in man.—J. N.