Fellowship of Cosmic Fire
Commentary Semester VIII Section V, Part II.1
TCF 977-985 : S8S5
13 – 28 December 2008
2. The Nature of Magic. 92
Footnote 92: Magic.—S. D., I, 284.
1. Magic is a divine
science which leads to a participation in the attributes of divinity itself.—
1. We can assume that HBP is not really differentiating between “attributes” and “aspects”.
2. To participate in the “attributes of divinity” is both to contact them and wield them.
2. All magical operations
consist in freeing oneself from the coils of the Ancient Serpent.—
3. There are many possible meanings of “the Ancient Serpent”. We can think that the true magician is freed from the coils of lunar life, the “Serpent of Matter”. We can think that he is freed of lunar compulsion, helplessness before lunar forces and unconsciousness.
3. The object of the art
of magic is the perfection of man.—
4. This is a magnificent thought. If, by magical means, the entire lower nature can be transmuted, transformed and transfigured.
5. The purpose of magic is certainly not the manipulation of subtle matter for selfish ends.
6. Magic is the means of bringing the higher nature of man into redemptive contact with the lower.
4. Magic explores the essence and power of everything.—Isis Unveiled, I, 282; S. D., II, 538.
7. We can see that magic is related to the first ray of will and power, and also to the seventh which is a more concrete reflection of the first ray. The true occultist is a magician and operates along the 1—3—5—7 ray line.
8. If magic explores the “essence” as well as the “power” of everything, it must have some power to touch the Spirit aspect. Of course, HPB may have in mind a more relative definition of the word “essence”.
5. Magic and magnetism
are synonymous terms.—
9. This is a fascinating thought. It is as if magical arrangements are not so much compelled but magnetically drawn into the necessary pattern.
10. Magic has so much to do with the activation of certain devic forces. This is done through the power of the “word”. When the “word” sounds, certain devas are magnetically drawn and patterned into a relationship contained within the word.
6. Magic is the sum-total
of natural knowledge.—
11. Magic is particularly related to the third aspect of divinity. Knowledge is subsumed by the third aspect of divinity whereas wisdom pertains more to the second. Really, wisdom is the bridge between the third and second aspects of divinity.
12. What is “natural knowledge”? May we say that it is knowledge which pertains, particularly, to the lower three worlds?
13. In a sense, however, the natural world is the entire cosmic physical plane. There are, no doubt, magical processes which pertain to the cosmic ethers.
7. Magic does not imply a
transgression of the laws of nature.—
14. In fact, the true magic implies deep cooperation with the laws of nature. It is only those who are addicted to black magic, selfish magic, who transgress the laws of nature.
15. We can see that the book Isis Unveiled was a pioneering book for its time.
The Basis of Magic.
1. Magic is based on the
inner powers in man's soul.—
16. DK has often told us that only the soul-infused disciple can be a white magician.
17. The true white magician is the soul in expression in the three lower worlds.
2. The trinity of nature is the lock of magic,
the trinity of man the key that fits it.—
18. This is a profound analogy. The “trinity of nature” can be considered the three lower kingdoms. The trinity of man may be considered the three aspects of his soul, or, ultimately, the power of atma-buddhi-manas.
19. Man must know himself to body evolution a true magician.
3. Magic is occult
20. This is another way of saying that the performance of magic is based upon a knowledge of the qualities of all things.
21. Further, there is psyche or soul in all things—even the tiniest atom or particle. Magic calls from soul to soul and bring the true qualities of all things into expression.
4. The astral light is the
chief agent of magic.—
22. Certainly this is the case with the lower magic. The astral light is essentially the power of formation behind and within concretion. When we speak of the astral light we will not be speaking of the astral plane at all but of the dynamic formative power of the ethers. The term “astral” means “starry” and describes the appearance of the ethers.
23. After this series of definitions, we return to text.
We have considered somewhat at length the building of thought forms, and have seen that the process pursued by man is analogous to that pursued by the threefold Logos in the creation of the solar system.
24. DK offers us a brief summary. Whether the thoughtform built is a human thought or a solar system, the process is essentially the same though the C/creators are vastly different in power and consciousness.
We are to deal now with that great department in occultism which is usually termed magic.
25. There is a huge interest in this subject because man innately realizes that in the mastery of magic lie his freedom and also his ability to co-create with the Deity.
26. We realize from this statement that there are other departments in occultism to be considered.
The man who masters the esoteric significance of what is here said will take his place in the ranks of those entitled to call themselves the "Brothers of White Magic."
27. In this title we have described those who are members of the Great White Lodge.
28. It is clear that to use the name, “Brother of White Magic” one must earn the right.
29. Obviously, a student of white magic, such as we are, cannot yet call himself a “Brother of White Magic”.
The subject is too immense to be more than briefly touched upon, for it covers [Page 983] the entire range of endeavour in the field of material construction.
30. We have been told that A Treatise on Cosmic Fire is written upon the first ray and the third ray. The “field of material construction” is, broadly considered, the province of the third ray under Saturn and ‘Greater Saturn’.
31. The seventh ray is also involved through Uranus and the first ray through Vulcan.
We must deal first with the mental attitude of man as he faces the work of creation, and his ability to bring through, via the mental body, the purpose of the Ego,
32. We remember that not only has the Ego to impress the mind but the brain as well.
33. A Treatise on Cosmic Fire is also a book on creativity and thus the abundant information on the deva kingdom.
34. How many of us, when we think, can be sure that our thoughts reflect the purposes of the Ego?
thereby impressing the building agents on the mental plane with a certain rate of rhythm, and a certain vibratory activity. This is the prime factor which results (on the physical plane) in direct egoic activity.
35. We are interested in direct egoic activity on the physical plane. Such activity begins on the mental plane.
36. From the Ego emanates that certain rate of rhythm and a certain vibratory activity which evokes correct response from the building agents of the mental plane.
37. There are “building agents” on the mental plane. This does not mean only mental elemental essence, but actual devic builders on the evolutionary arc who assist man in the carrying forward of his creative objectives (objectives, however, often unconsciously approached).
We must also bear in mind, that in the consideration of this matter we are not dealing with the every day work of average man,
38. Average man is also a creator but largely an unconscious creator.
but are speaking of the organised creative work, under law and rule, of the advanced man.
39. Advanced man is the human being whose Ego has refocused itself on he second subplane of the higher mental plane.
40. The creative work of which we are speaking is
b. Under law
c. Under rule
41. Remember that laws cannot be evaded. Rules can be disobeyed but they represent the very best ways of working in response to laws.
We thereby set a standard and emphasise the ideal towards which occult students should strive.
42. And we who read these pages are exactly those who should be striving in this manner, for we are far from mastery.
43. We are far from being white magicians. This portion of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire and the entire book, A Treatise on White Magic, are intended to produce in one suspects the aspiration to become white magicians.
We must also consider the work of the wise magical student upon the astral plane, whereon, through purified desire and sanctified emotion, he provides those equilibrised conditions and those stable vibrations, which will permit of the transmission without hindrance to the physical plane via the physical brain of the man, of the vibratory activity emanating from the Ego, and of the circulatory action of the higher force.
44. Here we have a very powerful sentence.
45. The “wise” magical student is to have “purified desire” and “sanctified emotion”—emotions which are expressive of spiritual states of consciousness or, at least, build no barrier against their transmission through the astral body.
46. One of the most important requirements for the transmission of thought to the physical brain is a condition of peace in the astral body. Thus, the indispensable role of the energy of Libra, a sign which eventually brings peace, balance and tranquility to any vibratory field which it touches.
47. For most people it is precisely turbulent, unbalanced conditions within the astral body which hinder egoic transmission through to the physical brain.
Hence (if a remark of a practical nature may be interpolated for the average student) the cultivation of emotional tranquility is one of the first steps towards the achievement of the needed equipment of the white magician.
48. This seems a simple statement but it obviously points to an indispensable requirement. We can understand that no matter how well conceived may be a thoughtform, it could be drowned upon the astral plane by roiling ‘waters’.
49. One who has emotional tranquility has cultivated emotional equanimity—i.e., the ability to remain in balanced emotional condition even when faced with potentially disturbing circumstances.
This tranquillity is not to be achieved by an effort of the will which succeeds in strangling all astral vibratory activity,
50. What an interesting use of words—“strangling”! One thinks of a kind of grip or clamp which the will can exert. Through assertion of the will vibratory activity can be made to cease, but this does not eradicate that condition within the astral body which lies as the root of such activity.
but by the cultivation of response to the Ego, and a negation of all response to the inherent vibration of the astral sheath itself.
51. The Ego, itself, possesses those energies which can tranquilize aggravated activity within the astral body. The end result is that the inherent activity of the astral sheath is entirely neutralized. In creating this negation, the strength of the personal will (with its potent sense of “this controls that”) is not present.
52. As the dense physical body provides an avenue of expression for the personality; and as the mind, eventually, provides an avenue of expression for the Monad; so the astral body is naturally attuned to the Ego/soul and provides an avenue of expression for that central (second) periodical vehicle.
We will take up the work of force transmission on the physical plane via the etheric centres and the physical brain, studying somewhat the effect of sound as it is emitted unconsciously in everyday speech, and consciously [Page 984] in the ordered regulated words of the true worker in magic.93
53. Force transmission on the physical plane occurs via or through the etheric centers. Sound accompanies this transmission, especially through the throat center. This sound is either unconsciously emitted or consciously emitted in an ordered and regulated manner.
Magic.—The very word Magic bears within itself proof of its high origin. The Latin Magus, the Greek Magos, a magician, gives us all those other words that are so indicative of authority, wisdom, superiority.
54. HBP touches upon the high origin of the word “magic”. Essentially it indicates that which is rooted in greatness.
55. She seeks to restore the proper dignity to the subject which has been so basely defiled through misuse.
Then we have magnitude, magnificent, magniloquent, to express greatness in position, in action and in speech.
56. And all of these are certainly required:
a. The perspective of the soul is greatness in position
b. The action of the soul in the three worlds is greatness in action
c. The magician must utter great words and hence be magniloquent
With the termination slightly changed the same words become majesty, implying dominion,
57. In this word there is always the suggestion of authority and control. The word implies the hierarchical arrangement of nature.
58. No one can be a true magician without the ability to achieve dominion over the lesser lives.
and again, we have magistrate, anything that is magisterial which again has been simplified into Master, and finally by the process of word evolution has become plain Mister.
59. Is this not fascinating? The use of the word “Mister” suggests the recognition of greatness inherent in every human being. When using this word one is, in essence, addressing the ‘Master’ within, though the word has become
But the Latin is only a transmitter of words. We can equally follow up the historical development of this root until we reach the Zend where we find it doing duty as the name for the whole priestly caste.
60. The priestly caste is the caste having divine authority. The magical abilities of this class serve to meditate between the inherent divinity and the lesser lives within each human being.
The magi were renowned all over the world for their wisdom and skill in occultism and no doubt our word magic is mostly indebted to that source for its present existence and meaning.
61. The magic were also great astrologers. They knew the times and seasons and the method of invoking specific energies.
62. The correct use of magical process is very dependent upon “times and seasons”.
That we need not pause even here for back of the Zend "mag," "looms up the Sanskrit, maha, signifying great."
63. The word “magic”, then, is being traced to the Sanskrit. Probably behind the Sanskrit root is a still older Atlantean root.
It is thought by good scholars that maha was originally spelled magha. To be sure, there is in the Sanskrit the word Maga meaning a priest of the Sun, but this was evidently a later borrowing from the Zend which had originally derived its root from its neighbor the Sanskrit.—Lucifer, Vol. X, p. 157.
64. This exercise in etymology informs us of the potent essential meaning of the word “magic”.
In this connection, therefore, owing to the vital practical value of this section, and to the dangers attendant upon a comprehension of these matters by those who are as yet unready for the work of conscious manipulation of force,
65. This is yet another definition of the term “magic”—the “conscious manipulation of force”, presumably for worthy (or, better, “great”) purposes and ends.
it is proposed to impart the necessary teaching under the formula of "Rules of Magic,"
66. The method of impartation is a safeguard. Apparently, the Rules conceal as much as they reveal.
with certain elucidating comments. In this way, the magical work is fully safeguarded, and at the same time sufficient is imparted to those who have the inner ear attentive, and the eye of wisdom in process of opening.
67. The Masters are experts in simultaneously revealing and concealing. The “inner ear” is to be attentive to the magical words. The “eye of wisdom” is the third eye which sees into the world of the soul.
68. It may be that the visualized disk of indigo is, if cultivated, the “Eye of Shiva”—the eye of synthesis.
69. The “inner ear” suggests buddhic sensitivity. On the seventh subplane of the buddhic plane we find the siddhi “comprehension of four sounds”. The buddhic plane is subjective when compared to the higher mental plane. This type of hearing/comprehension is most definitely “inner hearing”.
70. The attentive “inner ear” can hear the inner sound of other beings.