Fellowship of Cosmic Fire
Commentary Semester VIII Section V
TCF 994 - 996: S8S5
Part III. 2
(Most of the Tibetan’s text is put in font 16, to provide better legibility when projected during classes. Footnotes and references from other AAB Books and from other pages of TCF are put in font 14. Commentary appears in font 12. Underlining, Bolding and Highlighting by MDR)
It is suggested that this Commentary be read with the TCF book handy, for the sake of continuity. As analysis of the text is pursued, many paragraphs are divided, and the compact presentation in the book, itself, will convey the overall meaning of the paragraph. So please read an entire paragraph and then study the Commentary
        c. Conditions for White Magic.  In considering the factors requiring adjustment prior to undertaking the work of magic, we are dealing with that which is of eminently practical value.
1.            Perhaps we have noticed that we have entered a very practical section of the Treatise. What is more ‘practical’ than the magical art, the very purpose of which is correct manifestation?

 Unless students of magic enter upon this pursuit fortified by pure motive, clean bodies, and high aspiration, they are foredoomed to disappointment and even to disaster.

2.            Let us tabulate for emphasis the requirements placed upon those who would enter seriously upon the pursuit of magic:

a.            Pure motive
b.            Clean bodies (all of the personality vehicles, presumably)
High aspiration
3.            DK promises no real achievement unless these requirements are completely fulfilled. The use of the word “foredoomed” is certainly serious.

All those who seek to work consciously with the forces of manifestation, and who endeavour to control the Energies of all that is seen, need the strong protection of purity.

4.            If they do not have this purity, they may be tempted towards misuse of the energies they seek to control. Impurity induces various types of magnetism which run counter to the magician’s higher purposes and motives.
5.            We know that physical impurity may lead to infection and death. The same is true on the subtler levels. There must be nothing within the magician which can respond to lower, disintegrative tendencies.
 This is a point which cannot be too strongly emphasised and urged, and hence the constant injunctions to self control, comprehension of the nature of man, and devotion to the cause of humanity.
6.            The following three factors will insure purity:
a.            “Self-control”. This will prevent the magician from being swept from his presumably high purpose by lower currents.
b.            “Comprehension of the nature of man”. This will prevent the magician from being blinded by the lure of the lower powers. He will acknowledge the existence of the higher aspects of his nature and will understand the desirability of developing the higher powers associated with these higher aspects.
c.            “Devotion to the cause of humanity”. This will promote in the magician a willingness to commit all his powers to humanity’s greatest good.
7.            DK enters into greater detail concerning the dangers which await those who pursue magical investigation.
The pursuit of magical investigation is dangerous in three ways.

If a man's bodies are not sufficiently purified and their atomic vibration is not sufficiently high, he is in danger of over-stimulation when brought in contact with the forces of nature, and this inevitably entails the destruction and disintegration of one or other of his bodies.
8.            The relatively high energy of the forces contacted proves too much for the atoms of lower vibration contained within his vehicles. Atoms of high vibration can receive these forces and still maintain their integrity. The integrity of atoms of relatively lower vibration is threatened by the application of forces more potent than those to which they have become habituated.
9.            The principle is simple: ensure purification before invoking and receiving potencies higher than the potencies to which one is normally exposed.
10.         In the section above, DK speaks of the possible destruction of one or other of the magician’s bodies.


At times it may entail the destruction of two or more, and when this is the case,

11.         Even two of the magician’s bodies may be disintegrated and destroyed. Is it possible that he may suffer the same fate in all three of the personality’s vehicles?
it involves a definite setback to egoic unfoldment, for it requires, in such cases, a much longer interval between incarnations, owing to the difficulty of assembling the needed materials in the sheaths.
12.         We have here a very interesting occult hint. The effect of the disintegration and destruction of the magician’s vehicles through overstimulation shows itself in relation to the building processes between incarnations. During this interval, materials for the future sheaths must be assembled and built into form, and if there has been disintegration and destruction of the vehicles during the previous incarnation, the period of time necessary to assemble and build-in the material necessary for the sheaths of the forthcoming incarnation is much longer. This stands to reason.

13.         Apparently, while delay may be expected if but one of the personality vehicles has been compromised, it is a delay of much shorter duration than if two vehicles have been compromised through unwise exposure to energies too potent to be rightly assimilated.


[Danger 2]

Further, unless a man is strengthened in his endeavour by right motive, he is liable to be led astray by the acquisition of power.

14.         This, we can understand, happens quite frequently. There is a certain “glamor of magical powers” which can be most intoxicating and which leads many astray.


 Knowledge of the laws of magic puts into the hands of the student powers which enable him to create, to acquire, and to control.

15.         Creation, acquisition and control—the student/practitioner of magic can fulfill his desires with far greater ease than can the normal person. If his desires are not pure, his creations and acquisitions and, additionally, his ability to control the forces and the lives of others will only lead to his further imprisonment.
Such powers [Page 994] are fraught with menace to the unprepared and unready, for the student can, in this case, turn them to selfish ends, use them for his own temporal material advancement, and acquire in this way that which will feed the desires of the lower nature.
16.         If the desire nature grows in potency without being transmuted into aspiration, then the tendency to bondage is only increased.
17.         The liberated man is free from such desires and, thus, can safely use the magical powers. These powers, especially the ones operative within the three lower worlds, only strengthen the relationship to those lower worlds and hold back the misguided and selfish magician from liberation.

He takes, therefore, the first step towards the left hand path,
18.         He does this by strengthening within his energy system the power of lower desire and augmenting the strength of energy patterns which encumber his soul.

and each life may see him progressing towards it with greater readiness,
19.         A habitual pattern of action has been established. Progressively he will find within himself less and less resistance to its fulfillment.
until (almost unconsciously) he will find himself in the ranks of the black masters.
20.         We notice the term “masters” It would appear that it is possible for a black magician to achieve a condition of power and status equivalent in its own way to the rank of Master of the Great White Lodge

 Such a state of affairs can only be offset through the cultivation of altruism, sincere love of man, and a steady negation of all lower desire.
21.         Love and desire are not equivalent.
22.         For the sake of emphasis, let us tabulate those practices and attitude which can offset any tendency to tread the left hand path.
a.            The cultivation of altruism.
b.            The sincere love of man
c.            A steady negation of all lower desire
23.         It becomes apparent that the development of real love negates the appeal of lower desire. Love must replace low desire. The power of the heart center must replace the power of the solar plexus center.

[Danger 3]

The third danger which menaces the unwary student of magic lies in the fact that when he tampers with these forces and energies he is dealing with that which is akin to his own lower nature.  He, therefore, follows the line of least resistance; he augments these energies, thereby increasing their response to the lower and to the material aspects of his nature.  This he does at the expense of his higher nature, retarding its unfoldment and delaying his progress.

24.         The essence of this danger is the tendency of man to strengthen his lower nature. Rather than participate in the salutary struggle between the higher and lower natures, he reinforces the strength of that which is of the personality and akin to the forces of the personality. Personality gratification becomes ever earlier of accomplishment.
25.         If he follows the line of least resistance, he is strengthening within himself the third aspect of divinity instead of transferring his polarization into the second aspect.
26.         It becomes apparent that if the lower nature is strengthened without the cultivation of its response to the higher nature, the grip of the higher nature upon the lower will be weakened and the man’s spiritual process retarded.
Incidentally also, he attracts the attention of those masters of the left hand path
27.         Again, the term “masters” is used.
28.         This is a type of “attention” which wise aspirants and disciples would be only too glad to relinquish if they but knew its nature.
 who are ever on the lookout for those who can be bent to their purposes, and he becomes (unwittingly at first), an agent on the side of evil.
29.         Probably there are few who would wittingly serve the black masters. Their methods, however, are subtle and deceptive and, once an aspiring magician has practiced magic in such a manner as to put him in resonance with such masters, it becomes much easier for these masters to influence his consciousness and actions.
30.         We notice that, however subtly, the force of compulsion is used. This is the connotation of the word “bent”.
31.         We notice that there is type of vigilance to be found in the adepts of both lodges. Naturally, we do not wish to fall under the eye of the black masters unless because they consider our work inhibitory of their purposes. While we would not be wise to deliberately cultivate such attention, it will inevitably come if we are successful in serving the Great White Brotherhood.
It will be apparent, therefore, that the student has need of the following qualities before he undertakes the arduous task of becoming a conscious Master of Magic:
32.         Now Master DK tabulates in a most specific manner summarizing the cautions He has been sharing in the preceding pages.
        Physical Purity.  This is a thing not easily to be acquired, but entailing many lives of strenuous effort.
33.         We cannot think that the Tibetan is exaggerating. Anyone who has really tried to conquer his physical nature knows the difficulty of the enterprise.
34.         Perhaps there are a number of learned aspirants who think of this type of work as accomplished long ago and requiring of them no further attention. In this they are often mistaken.
  Through abstinence, right continence, clean living, vegetarian diet, and rigid self-control, the man gradually raises the vibration of his physical atoms, builds a body of ever greater resistance and strength, and succeeds in "manifesting" forth in a sheath of greater refinement.
35.         The requirements here presented are very strict.
36.         From what must a man abstain? From all excess, especially in the use of he creative energies of the body.
37.         What is “right continence”? Is it not a conservation of the powers of the body so that they may be used rightly and not inappropriately or prodigally?
38.         We note the call to “clean living” and vegetarianism. So much depends upon what the man seeks to accomplish. These requirements do not apply to those who do not seek consciously to tread the Path of Initiation. The true applicant cannot tolerate within his nature that which attracts energies and forces inimical to his spiritual goals.
39.         We note also the use of the word “rigid”—a word used not infrequently by the Tibetan. Here it applies to “self-control”. The aspirant to white magic must never allow any of his vehicles to ‘carry him away’. If he does so, he will become guilty of unprincipled behavior!
        Etheric Freedom.
40.         Each of these terms must be studied closely—purity, freedom, stability and poise.
 This term does not convey all that [Page 995] I seek to impart, but it suffices for need of a better.  The student of magic who can safely undertake the enterprise, will have constructed an etheric body of such a nature that vitality, or pranic force and energy, can circulate unimpeded;
41.         DK is speaking of the requirement for unimpeded circulation of prana within the etheric body. Obviously, etheric blockages are responsibility for many diseases in the physical body and a general weakening or overstimulation in that outermost vehicle. Poor circulation of prana creates imbalance and malfunction within the dense physical form.
he will have formed an etheric web of such tenuosity that it forms no barrier to consciousness.
42.         The implication here is that a thickened etheric web will, indeed, form a barrier to consciousness. The states of consciousness possible on the astral and mental planes (and on planes above) must eventually be accessible within the physical brain. This will not be possible unless a sufficiently tenuous etheric web permits of the transmission of these higher states to the physical brain.

 This is all that can be said on this subject, owing to the danger involved, but it suffices for the conveyance of information to those who are beginning to know.

43.         We see that while the physical body must be strong, it must also be pure: that while the etheric body must protect, it must also be sufficiently tenuous to allow the transmission of that which must reach the physical brain.

        Astral Stability.  The student of magic aims, above all,

44.         This, it seems, is the most important requirement.
 to purify his desires, and so to transmute his emotions that the lower physical purity and the higher mental responsiveness and transmutative power may equally be available.
45.         The implication here is that if the desires are impure, that there will be no “lower physical purity” and that the higher mind will not be accessible. Without the energy of the higher mind, the energy of the spiritual triad will not be made available within the personality and its power of transmutation (eventually etheric substitution) will not work within the personality.

Every magician has to learn the fact that, in this solar system, during the cycle of humanity, the astral body is the pivotal point of endeavour,

46.         So strong is the astral body of our emotionally polarized Solar Logos…
47.         Notice that the existence of humanity has a certain time period or cycle. We may judge that humanity has not always existed in the solar system nor will it.

 having a reflex effect on both the other sheaths, the physical and the mental.

48.         What is suggested is that no true use of the etheric-physical body and of the mind (both lower and higher) will be possible unless the astral body is in a correct condition.

He, therefore, aims at transmuting (as has often been said) lower desire into aspiration;

49.         Transmutation can be applied to all the vehicles of the personality.
50.         Transmutation always represents an elevation of vibration and quality.
 at changing the lower cruder colors which distinguish the astral body of average man, for the clearer, purer tones of the spiritual man,
51.         This process entails a refinement of color. Since color is, essentially, a veil, such refinement allows a more thorough transmission of the higher to the lower, and an easier access to the higher by the lower.
52.         There is also a process of growing translucency leading to transparency.
and of transforming its normal chaotic vibration, and the "stormy sea of life,"
53.         DK has spoken of the engulfing effect of the “waves which rise upon the stormy sea of life” in His injunction (in A Treatise on White Magic ) to “control the body of emotion”.
 for the steady rhythmic response to that which is highest and the centre of peace.
54.         Peacefulness in the astral body is achieved when there is established within the meditating consciousness a steady rhythmic response to the soul and especially to its buddhic quality.
55.         While chaos often reigns within the lunar vehicles, the soul expresses the principle of “cosmos”— i.e., of order and beauty.
 These things he effects by constant watchfulness, unremitting control, and steady meditation.
56.         The requirements are uncompromising.
57.         How must a man approach the transmutation of the astral body?
a.            Through constant watchfulness. This suggests an ability to focus as the observer within the mind.
b.            Through unremitting control. One does not allow the astral body to react.
c.            Through steady meditation. The influence of the soul and its rhythm steadies the astral body and produces within it a new rhythm conducive to loving response.
        Mental Poise.  These words are used in the occult sense, wherein the mind (as it is commonly understood) becomes the keen steady instrument of the indwelling thinker, and the point from which he can travel onwards to higher realms of comprehension.
58.         First there must be mental control. Then the use of the mind to enter wider and higher realms of comprehension and understanding.
59.         The mind becomes sharp. The mind becomes steady. The mind becomes progressive, leading into areas greater mental perception.


   It is the foundation stone whence the higher expansion can be initiated.

60.         Initiation is an achieved and sustained expansion of consciousness.
61.         A poised mind is required of one who seeks those higher expansions of consciousness we call “initiations”. We see that without proper training there is no real treading of the Path of Initiation.


Let not the would-be student of magic proceed in his investigations and his experiments until he has attended to these injunctions, and until the whole bent of his thought is towards their manifestation and their demonstration [Page 996] in his every day life.

62.         Probably it will be many decades and even centuries before the requisite magical words and formulas are placed in his hands. Nevertheless, there are still many ancient formulas extant which can be used ignorantly, improperly and with wrong motive. Until the true magical formulas are revealed, DK’s warnings may safeguard many.

 When he has so worked, ceaselessly and untiringly, and his physical plane life and service bear witness to the inner transmutation, then he can proceed to parallel this life with magical studies and work.

63.         It is clear that the inner transmutation upon which the true student has labored long must be visible and in serviceable expression before it is wise for him to apply himself to magical studies of the practical kind.
Only the solar Angel can do the work of the white magician, and he effects it through the control of the lunar angels and their complete subjugation.
64.         This is a potent statement giving pause for reflection. One implication is that, well before the taking of the fourth initiation, the human being can become a white magician.
65.         The Solar Angel is not the white magician and yet it is. When the energy system and consciousness of the magician are a pure and clear conduit for the energies of the Solar Angel (energies which are normally suffused throughout the causal body), then the magician can act as a white magician and not before. Then and only then can the Solar Angel work through the magician—now a white magician.
66.         The Solar Angel knows the Divine Plan. The true white magician seeks ever to cooperate with this Plan.
67.         We note that the Solar Angel working through the white magician does not share authority with the lunar angels but seeks to control them completely. The greater Angel (working through the white magician—i.e., through the purified soul-in-incarnation) subjugates the lesser ‘angels’ entirely. When such subjugation is firmly established, white magic can be performed.
 They are arrayed against him, until, through meditation, aspiration, and control, he bends them to his will and they become his servants.
68.         The magician who can identify with the Solar Angel and transmit its potency becomes (in a sense and for purposes of white magic) the Solar Angel.
69.         We are to make no mistake. The lunar angels are the opponents of the Solar Angel. To be “arrayed against him” is to act as an opposing army.
70.         The white magician does not lose his own identity but identifies so closely with the Solar Angel that it is as if, for purposes of magical work, they are one.
71.         The three methods of bending the lunar angels to the united will of the Solar Angel and white magician are meditation, aspiration and control. Unless these three means constitute the approach of the magician to the lunar lords, they will not become his servants and the white magical process cannot proceed.
This thought brings us to the vital and real distinction between the white brother and the brother of darkness, and in this summation we will conclude the present discussion and proceed with the rules.
72.         It seems that to draw the basic distinctions between the white and dark brother has been DK’s intention throughout these pages.
The worker in white magic utilises ever the energy of the Solar Angel to effect his endsThe dark brother works through the inherent force of the lunar lords, which are allied in nature to all that is objective.
73.         The dark brother has no use for the energies of the Solar Angel. He rejects such energies because attunement to such energies and their subsequent expression leads to the victory of the second aspect of divinity and not the third.
74.         The final purposes of the dark brother concern objectivity—i.e., all that is within the dense physical body of the Solar Logos and, especially, within the dense physical body of the Planetary Logos.
75.         The lunar lords, we remember, are elemental lives and are inherently involutionary. The dark brother works against the etherealization of cosmic dense physical matter. He seeks to remove the dense physical matter of the lower three systemic planes from the possibility of redemption by the higher, principled energies.
In an old book of magic, hidden in the caves of learning
76.         Are these “caves” the Master’s inner libraries?
 guarded by the Masters,
77.         This knowledge clearly is not available on demand.
 are the following conclusive words, which find their place in this Treatise on Fire through their very appropriateness:
78.         Here we have in the words of the Old Commentary a definitive distinction between the Brothers of the Sun and of the Moon.
"The Brothers of the Sun, through the force of solar fire, fanned to a flame in the blazing vault of the second Heaven, put out the lower lunar fires, and render naught that lower 'fire by friction.'
79.         How may we interpret the idea of the “second Heaven”? The term “heaven” is used to describe a number of locales upon the subtler planes.
80.         It is reasonable to conclude that each of the subplanes of the higher mental plane is as a “heaven” and that the “second Heaven” represents the second subplane on which the Ego of the advanced individual is polarized.
81.         From another perspective, each of the systemic planes above the systemic physical plane can be considered a kind of “heaven”. From this perspective, the logoic plane is the “seventh Heaven”.
"The Brother of the Moon ignores the sun and solar heat;
82.         “Heat” in this case represents spiritual energy.
That light is clear and cold, but produces the needed "heat," which is a symbolic word used in many of the world Scriptures to express living, spiritual energy.  I said "spiritual energy" and not soul force, and herein lies a distinction which you will some day have to grasp. (R&I 32)
borrows his fire from all that triply is,
83.         He borrows his fire from the three lunar lords, working through their inherent force.
and pursues his cycle.
84.         It becomes apparent that there is a limited cycle during which a brother of darkness can pursue his low objectives. There will come a time in the development of our solar system when the dense physical body of the Solar Logos will disappear entirely. This would not augur well for such misguided brothers who have confined their objectives to that unprincipled cosmic vehicle.
  The fires of hell await, and lunar fire dies out.
85.         Hell has been called the seventh subplane of the astral plane. Is this subplane to be considered the Avitchi?
4. Certain devas who—being of the third order—form the Heaven of the average orthodox Christian or believer of any faith.  Another group—being the seventh order—form the Hell for the same class of thinker. (TCF 677)
86.          Below it seems that Avitchi must have still broader connotations.
35: Avitchi.  A state of consciousness, not necessarily after death or between births for it can take place on earth as well.  Literally it means "uninterrupted hell."  The last of the eight hells we are told where "the culprits die and are reborn without interruption—yet not without hope of final redemption."  See S. D., I

87.         In the following writings by H.P.B., we are presented with a still fuller description of the “hell” to which the unrepentant dark brother will be confined.

HPB: COLLECTED WRITINGS: The "furnace of Nature" is the eighth sphere. When man fails to mould his soul "in the image and likeness of the great Adam"—we say of—Buddha, Krishna, or Christ (according to our respective creeds)—he is "a failure of nature" and nature has to remould the cast before it can launch it again on the shoreless

Ocean of Immortality


This gehenna, termed by the occultists the eighth sphere is merely a planet like our own, attached to the latter and following it in its penumbra; a kind of dust-hole, a "place where all its garbage and filth is consumed," to borrow an expression of the above-mentioned authors, and on which all the dross and scorification of the cosmic matter pertaining to our planet is in a continual state of remodelling.

When, through vice, fearful crimes and animal passions, a disembodied spirit has fallen to the eighth sphere — the allegorical Hades, and the gehenna of the Bible — the nearest to our earth — he can, with the help of that glimpse of reason and consciousness left to him, repent; that is to say, he can, by exercising the remnants of his will-power, strive upward, and like a drowning man, struggle once more to the surface. A strong aspiration to retrieve his calamities, a pronounced desire, will draw him once more into the earth’s atmosphere. Here he will wander and suffer more or less in dreary solitude. His instincts will make him seek with avidity contact with living persons. . . . These spirits are the invisible but too tangible magnetic vampires; the subjective dæmons so well known to mediæval ecstatics, nuns, and monks, to the "witches" made so famous in the Witch-Hammer; and to certain sensitive clairvoyants, according to their own confessions. They are the blood-dæmons of Porphyry, the larvæ and lemures of the ancients; the fiendish instruments which sent so many unfortunate and weak victims to the rack and stake. Origen held all the dæmons which possessed the demoniacs mentioned in the New Testament to be human "spirits." It is because Moses knew so well what they were, and how terrible were the consequences to weak persons who yielded to their influence, that he enacted the cruel, murderous law against such would-be "witches"; but Jesus, full of justice and divine love to humanity, healed instead of killing them. Subsequently our clergy, the pretended exemplars of Christian principles, followed the law of Moses, and quietly ignored the law of Him whom they call their "one living God," by burning dozens of thousands of such pretended "witches."
 Then neither sun nor moon avails him,
88.         At the point when the dark brother enters Avitchi, he can expect no hope (DK says, for the duration of the solar system) from either the Solar Lords or the lunar lords. Both will fail him. He will be, eventually, bereft of both the lunar personality and the solar “soul”.
 only the highest heaven awaits the spark electric,
89.         The “highest heaven” is either the monadic plane or the logoic plane (into which the essential Monad—the “spark electric”—will one day be released).
90.         It is as if the Monad awaits the return of the “Prodigal Son”, but the Prodigal Son, completely captured in Avitchi, does not return.
 seeking vibration synchronous from that which lies beneath.
91.         The Monad seeks to reproduce on ‘earth’ that which is in ‘heaven’—i.e., through its long pilgrimage, to “bring heaven to earth”.
92.         The Monad Whose venturing Jiva has come to express itself as a brother of darkness has failed in its pilgrimage. No heavenly vibration arises “from that which lies beneath”.
 And yet it cometh not."
93.         From that area of experience called Avitchi no such synchronous vibration can arise. The Monad’s pilgrimage will have to be undertaken anew in a succeeding solar system.
94.         H.P.B. hints at the possibility of redemption following Avitchi, but she does not offer details concerning this redemption as does the Tibetan. According to the Tibetan, redemption comes only in a future solar system.
95.         The selected writings of H.P.B. offered above seem to offer redemption from Avitchi within the aura of the planetary scheme. Perhaps this redemption (occurring still within the solar system in which the great misdeeds were enacted) is available only for those who have somehow managed to free themselves from Avitchi. Obviously, there are some members of the Black Lodge who never succeed in freeing themselves and perhaps do not wish to do so.