glamours which hold humanity in thrall


1.      The glamour of materiality

2.      The glamour of sentiment

3.      The glamour of devotion

4.      The glamour of the pairs of opposites

5.      The glamours of the Path


The glamour of materiality

The glamour of materiality is the cause of all present world distress, for what we call the economic problem is simply the result of this particular glamour

That which meets a vital and real need ever exists within the divine plan

That which is unnecessary to the right expression of divinity, and to a full and rich life, can be gained and possessed, but only through loss of the more real and negation of the essential



Students, however, need to remember that that which is ‘necessary’ varies according to the stage of evolution that has been reached by the individual

For some people, for instance, the possession of that which is material may be as great a spiritual experience and as potent a teacher in life expression as the more elevated and less material requirements of the mystic or hermit.

We are rated as regards action and point of view by our place upon the ladder of evolution.

We are rated really by our ‘point of view’ and not by our demand upon life.

The spiritually minded man and the man who has set his feet upon the Path of Probation and who fails to attempt the expression of that which he believes, will be judged as caustically and pay as high a price as does the pure materialist — the man whose desires centre around substantial effects.

Bear this in mind and sit not in ‘the seat of the judge or the scornful’


It is the first destined to disappear.

Students would do well to remember that all forms of possessions and all material objects, whether it is money, or a house, a picture or an automobile, have an intrinsic life of their own, an emanation of their own, and an activity which is essentially that of their own inherent atomic structures (for an atom is a unit of active energy).

This produces counterparts in the world of etheric and astral life, though not in the mental world.

These subtler forms and distinctive emanations swell the potency of the world desire

They contribute to world glamour and form part of a great and powerful miasmic world, which is on the involutionary arc but in which humanity, upon the upward arc, is nevertheless immersed.

Therefore the Guides of the Race have felt the necessity of standing by whilst the forces set up by man himself proceed to strip him and thus release him to walk in the wilderness.

There, in what is called ‘straightened circumstances,’ he can readjust his life and change his way of living, thus discovering that: -

Freedom from material things carries with it its own beauty and reward, its own joy and glory

Thus he is liberated to live the life of the mind.


The glamour of sentiment

The glamour of sentiment holds the good people of the world in thrall, and in a dense fog of emotional reactions.

Love, for many people, for the majority indeed, is not really love but a mixture of: -

The desire to love and the desire to be loved, plus

A willingness to do anything to show and evoke this sentiment, and consequently to be more comfortable in one's own interior life

The selfishness of the people who are desirous of being unselfish is great

It is pseudo-love, based primarily on a theory of love and service, and characterises many human relationships such as those existing between husband and wife, parents and their children

Glamoured by their sentiment for them and knowing little of the love of the soul which is free itself and leaves others free also, they wander in a dense fog, often dragging with them the ones they desire to serve in order to draw forth a responsive affection.

Affection is not love

Affection is that desire which we express through an exertion of the astral body and this activity affects our contacts

Affection is not the spontaneous desirelessness of the soul asking nothing for the separated self

This glamour of sentiment imprisons and bewilders all the ‘nice’ people in the world, imposing upon them obligations which do not exist, and producing a glamour which must eventually be dissipated by the pouring in of true and selfless love




The glamour of devotion

The glamour of devotion causes many probationary disciples to wander circuitously around in the world of desire 

It is today one of the potent glamours of the really devoted aspirant

They are devoted to a cause, a teacher, a creed, a person, a duty, or to a responsibility

Ponder on this

This harmless desire along some line of idealism can become harmful both to themselves and others, because through this glamour of devotion they swing into the rhythm of the world glamour that is essentially the fog of desire

Potent desire along any line, when it obliterates the wider vision and when it shuts a man within a tiny circle of his own desire to satisfy his sentiment of devotion, this is as hampering as any of the other glamours

It is even more dangerous because of the beautiful colouring which the resultant fog takes on

One illustration of this is the sentiment of devotion poured out by probationary disciples upon the Masters of the Wisdom.

Around the names of the Members of the Hierarchy and around Their work, and the work of the initiates and the disciplined disciples (mark that phrase) a rich glamour is created which actually prevents Them ever reaching the disciple or his reaching Them.

It is not possible to penetrate the dense glamour of devotion, vibrating with dynamic ecstatic life, which emanates from the concentrated energy of the disciple, working still through the solar plexus centre

For the glamour of devotion, there are some age-old rules:

Contact the greater Self through the medium of the higher Self and thus lose sight of the little self, its reactions, its desires, and intentions 

Then: -

The pure love of the soul (which is not personalised in any way and which seeks no recognition) can then pour into the world of glamour that surrounds the devotee, and the mists of his devotion (upon which he prides himself) will melt away 


The glamour of the pairs of opposites

Upon the Probationary Path there comes the swing, consciously registered, between the pairs of opposites until the middle way is sighted and emerges

This activity produces the glamour of the pairs of opposites, which is of a dense and foggy nature, sometimes coloured with joy and bliss and sometimes coloured with gloom and depression as the disciple swings back and forth between the dualities.

This condition persists just as long as the emphasis is laid upon feeling

Feelings will run the gamut between a potent joyfulness as the man seeks to identify himself with the object of his devotion or aspiration, or fails to do so and therefore succumbs to the blackest despair and sense of failure.

All this is, however, astral in nature and sensuous in quality and is not of the soul at all.

Aspirants remain for many years and sometimes for many lives imprisoned by this glamour.

This glamour is part of the great heresy of separateness

Release from the world of feeling and the polarising of the disciple in the world of the illumined mind will dissipate this glamour

The moment a man differentiates his life into triplicities (as he inevitably must as he deals with the pairs of opposites and identifies himself with one of them) he succumbs to the glamour of separation

Identifying with only one of any pair of opposites can lead to this glamour

The secret of world glamour lies hid in the thought that this triple differentiation ‘veils the secret of creation’ 

God Himself produced the pairs of opposites — spirit and matter — and also produced the middle way that is that of the consciousness or soul aspect

Ponder deeply on this thought

The triplicity (of the pairs of opposites and of the narrow way of balance between them, the noble middle path), is the reflection on the astral plane of the activity of spirit, soul and body; of life, consciousness and form, the three aspects of divinity—all of them equally divine


More glamours still to come:-

As the aspirant learns to free himself from the glamours upon which we have touched, he discovers another world of fog and mist through which the Path seems to run and through which he must penetrate and thus free himself from the glamours of the Path.

What are these glamours, my brothers?

Study the three temptations of Jesus, if you would know clearly what these other glamours are 

Ø      Study the effect the affirmation schools, which emphasise divinity (materially employed), have had upon the thought of the world

Ø      Study the failures of disciples through pride

Ø      Study the ‘world saviour complex’

Ø      Study the ‘service complex,’ and

Ø      Study all distortion of reality that a man encounters on the Path, which hinder his progress and spoil the service to others he should be rendering

Ø      Emphasise in your own minds the spontaneity of the life of the soul and

Ø      Spoil it not with the glamours of: -

o       High aspiration selfishly interpreted

o       Self-centredness

o       Self-immolation

o       Self-aggressiveness

o       Self-assertiveness in spiritual work—

For such are some of the glamours of the Path


Soon we will consider glamour on the etheric plane and the theme of the Dweller upon the Threshold, thus completing the outline of our problem the first part of this teaching was intended to convey.

Before doing that, I would like to add something to our previous consideration of the problem of glamour.

In your last instruction, I elaborated on various types of glamour and their great importance in your individual lives.

The ‘battlefield’ (for the man nearing accepted discipleship or on the path of discipleship, in the academic sense) is primarily that of glamour. [Page 81]

That is the major problem; its solution is urgent for all disciples and senior aspirants.

It will be apparent to you why emphasis has been put, during the Aryan age, on the need to study Raja Yoga, and submit to its discipline.

Only through Raja Yoga can a man stand steady in the light, and only through illumination and the achievement of clear vision can the fogs and miasmas of glamour be finally dissipated.

Only as the disciple learns to hold his mind "steady in the light," and as the rays of pure light stream forth from the soul, can glamour be discovered, discerned, recognised for what it essentially is - and thus be made to disappear, as the mists of earth dissolve in the rays of the rising sun.

Therefore I counsel you to pay more attention to your meditation, cultivating ever the ability to reflect and to assume the attitude of reflection—held steady throughout the day.


You would find it of real value to ponder deeply upon the purposes for which the intuition must be cultivated and the illumined mind developed, asking yourselves if those purposes are identical in objective and synchronous in time.

You would then discover that their objectives differ, and the effects of their pronounced unfoldment upon the personality life are likewise different.

Ø      Glamour is not dispelled through the means of the intuition

Ø      Illusion is not overcome by the use of the illumined mind