Commentary on Rule II for Disciples and Initiates


Rule II: Third Sentence

“Let there be no recollection and yet let memory rule.” (R&I 66)

The Sentence

A.                 Let there be no recollection and yet let memory rule.

1.                  In this simple sentence a vital distinction is expressed. This distinction contains the key to evolutionary ascent.

2.                  Recollection (as used in the this Rule) is the ‘imagistic’ re-gathering of specific external or internal experiences in which a learning has occurred. Recollection is, thus, the sensory ‘image’ of the experience. The ‘image’ can relate to any of the five usual senses or, as well as to ‘inner’ senses.

3.                  Whether internal or external, the experience which is being recollected has already occurred; it lies in the past.

4.                  The learning within the recollection is like the kernel of wheat; the recollection is the husk or chaff. When recollection occurs, both are often present.

5.                  At times there may be certain types of recollections which are meaningless and devoid of learning, but if the mind were to be applied, the learning within them could be extracted.

6.                  Memory (as expressed in this Rule) is not the ‘re-presentation’ of the ‘image’ of former images associated with a particular learning, but represents the harvest of experience. The learning (once associated with a particular set of internal or external circumstances) has become automatic and detached from those particular circumstances. A remembered response or skill now inheres within the consciousness. 

7.                  The evolutionary process  moves ever towards greater economy and efficiency. There is a movement towards a kind of ‘miniaturization’, just as in the pyramid there is a movement from the ample base towards the one and only topmost point.

8.                  Recollection (when compared with memory) is cumbersome, crowded, slow. There may be many recollections all containing the same learning; the learning, itself, is the essence within such recollections.

9.                  There is an evolutionary principle which might be called ‘the release of the past for the sake of encountering and assimilating the future’. The Rule-sentence under consideration speaks to this principle.

10.              To assemble through recollection the specific ‘images’ (inclusive of all the internal and external senses, feelings and thoughts) of past experiences requires time; it also requires time to pour over that which has been assembled and to extract value. A constant reliance upon recollection rather than upon memory is ultimately preoccupying and inefficient.

11.              Memory (according to the meaning here given) is an extraction of essence, of value. The form or forms associated with the memory is/are relegated as secondary; the memory itself (an abstraction, in a way) is primary.

12.              To the disciple the use of memory (in the way here suggested) means “learning by heart”—recalling without labor what is useful or necessary.

13.              The evolving human being is not yet omniscient. Normal human consciousness has certain limitations in scope. It is not possible to hold within the range of consciousness the reflection of all former experiences. If some former experiences do not drop below the threshold, the consciousness is not free to encounter and assimilate new experiences.

14.              The sentence under consideration describes the unencumbered consciousness—one in which “recollection” has ceased and “memory” rules.

15.              Persistent recollection of the detail of the past can be a great encumbrance. Such recollection engages and preoccupies the limited consciousness, preventing its engagement with the new. Thus, for the persistently recollecting consciousness, progress stops.

16.              I was once struck by an explanation of the psychological dynamics of the majority of patients in ‘mental’ institutions. “Why are they there?”; “because they do not know how to forget!” In other words, they are the prisoners of compulsive recollection.

17.              As students of occultism we are familiar with stories of possession by thoughtforms or (at a lesser degree of severity) with stories of a kind of “haunting by the past”. We know that the recurrent and uninvited ‘images’ (in all sensory and psychological modalities) of the past, can produce a prison in consciousness.

18.              If consciousness is healthy, there is a natural flow from the anticipated future, to the encountered and appreciated present, to the recollected past, and finally to the established learning which memory represents—a memory which operates automatically and habitually.

19.              Who can recollect every thought and move made in learning to drive a car, yet the result or harvest of all these activities is the learning—one simply knows (i.e., remembers) how to drive.

20.              Evolution builds upon memory. The Third Ray Lord (the “Lord of Memory”) is involved in this process.

21.              The platform upon which evolution is based might be called ‘goal-fitting habit’. We might also call this platform ‘correct, internalized adaptivity’.

22.              Maladaptivity can also be internally patterned leading inevitably to the decline and disintegration of the entity concerned.

23.              From the perspective of the advancing, growing disciple, spiritual ascent is built upon a foundation of correct spiritual habits. Such habits liberate the advancing consciousness into engagement with the new.

24.              The edifice of human living requires the internalization of good spiritual habits. A foundation of bad habits will bring much trouble, delay and the need for readjustment; perhaps the entire structure will come crashing to earth, and the process of ascent will have to be begun anew.

25.              If we examine ourselves closely, we will discover that not all our memories are spiritually adaptive and that not all our habits are ‘good’—from the spiritual perspective.

26.              Sometimes, in order to correct maladaptive memory patterns, the context in which they were generated needs to be recollected. This is the work of the depth psychologist and hypnotist. Such recollection is for the purpose of healing memories and habits, and can only be considered therapeutic rather than efficient and progressive, per se.

27.              We might say that the causal body (the “chalice”) is the repository of all good habits and essentialized memories. The particulars are not contained within the substance of the petals of the egoic lotus.

28.              The permanent atoms contain the particulars, and are the source of recollection. Theoretically, an endless stream of recollections can be tapped, relating not only to experiences of the present incarnation, but to a great number of preceding incarnations.

29.              Those who venture into an examination of the reincarnational past should not do so for the joy of recollection, but to understand the memory patterns which have been generated in such previous circumstances and which are now habitual.

30.              Thus, memories can be healed by carefully examining recollections. Of course, it is most often a slow process.

31.              The evolutionary relationship between the permanent atoms and the egoic lotus (chalice) per se, is as follows: through a subtle alchemy transpiring within the permanent atoms, recollections yield their fruit to the chalice.

32.              This happens, probably, all during the course of any particular life, but especially at its conclusion—recollections yield their quality; the husk yields its kernel of wheat.

33.              The content of the causal body (egoic lotus) is greatly refined and essentialized. Causal qualities are an alchemical distillation of many incarnational circumstances.

34.              The sentence in Rule II under consideration is asking us to detach ourselves from the form aspect—the many possible types of recollections—and to live inspired by the refined and essentialized content of the causal body.

35.              Each of us possesses a treasury of good spiritual habits, of refined and essentialized qualities and memory patterns harvested from thousand of incarnations.

36.              The sentence we are studying asks us to have confidence in this treasury by letting memory rule.

37.              We take our stand upon accumulated quality and realize that this quality (rightly accessed and expressed) will render us equal to many circumstances in relation to which we apparently have no training.

38.              Because of causal memory, “we ‘know’ more than we know”, and can trust ourselves to respond correctly. We have confidence in an accumulated wisdom and we learn to draw upon it.

39.              There is a peculiar ‘meditative stance’ characteristic of the one who seeks to access the essentialized memories stored within his causal body. It is a kind of intuitive searching of the ‘heart’ (the chalice) rather than a frantic and cumbersome attempt at recollection.

40.              What good to have a richly endowed treasury if no use is made of it?

41.              So many today are beset by a “spiritual inferiority complex” which would be instantly dissipated could they but access and express the content of their “treasury”.

42.              I am advocating a deep sense of ‘Self-trust’—no inflation or false pride, no exaggeration or lack of co-measurement, but a realization that very much has already been experienced, accomplished and stored as memory, and can be relied upon.

43.              This memory is invoked when the individual is encouraged to access his own wisdom. “What does your deepest wisdom tell you?”  “There is a part of you that already knows the answer; what does it say?”

44.              No single personality (until a very high stage of development is reached) can express the entire treasury. Normally, much must remain latent. But if the presence of this source of guidance and strength is realized, then life can be greatly enriched without the necessity of always turning to others.

45.              Groups, like individuals, have a causal treasury—that which is “within the content of the group’s united life”. A group carries the collective, accumulated wisdom of its membership.

46.              In general, groups are much ‘newer’ than the individuals which compose them; in many cases, they have yet to develop a past, a tradition.

47.              Once they do however, they can begin to work without cumbersome recourse to recollection. Their learnings together can become deeply ingrained. They can function on the basis of ‘group spiritual habit’, working smoothly, intuitively, efficiently and effectively.

48.              Those who are well-versed in teamwork  know that it does not function (in the moment) on the basis of recollection; recollection would be far too slow and uncertain. Memory rules in the form of good team habits. Action, feeling and thought all flow together and the team excels.

49.              The question arises: “What can I (or we) do to cease recollecting and begin remembering?”

50.              Firstly, we must trust our treasury. Regardless of appearances to the contrary, we must find ourselves adequate to the demands of the moment.

51.              With true Self-confidence established, and released from preoccupation with the past and questions of self-adequacy, we then address that which must be accomplished (by the individual or the group) knowing that the resources for reasonable accomplishment do, indeed, exist.

52.              We affirm an inner knowing which already exists. While not refusing to carefully study the configuration of any specific situation, we realize that we can adopt an intuitive approach to the solution of many problems. A necessary answer will be forthcoming.

53.              Our attitude becomes increasingly positive as we realize the deep-seated adequacy which indwells our energy system.

54.              We free ourselves from worry as we face the new, relying upon our unsuspected powers of understanding and assimilation.

55.              In short, we do not act like spiritual paupers when possessed of an adequate treasury garnered over many lifetimes.

56.              When memory (as here understood) rules, we inevitably evolve—individually and as a group.

57.              We appreciate the content of the group’s united life. We affirm the collection of memory patterns and essentialized qualities upon which we can draw.

58.              We spend and express what we inherently are.

59.              How different this would be from the sense of inadequacy which haunts so many students of spirituality.

60.              Those who can make the “three great demands” have learned something of their spiritual rights, and upon those rights they stand.

61.              Hierarchy seeks to see us (individually and as groups) powerful. Self-deprecation is no sign of spiritual merit.

62.              While the therapeutic work and necessary readjustments (involving recollection as necessary) must continue, our collective memory is sufficient to the task.

63.              Upon the platform of right memory we take our stand, appreciating and affirming that which has long been accomplished in ages past.

64.              “Let there be no recollection and yet, let memory rule”!

The Themes Included Under the Sentence 3

B.                 The initiate wastes no time in looking backward towards the lessons learned. (cf. RI, p. 66)

This is not a contradictory statement.  Perhaps I can convey to you the right idea as follows:  The initiate wastes no time in looking backward towards the lessons learned; he works from the angle of developed habit, instinctively doing the right and needed thing.  Instinctual response to environing forms builds, as we well know, patterns of behaviour, of conduct and of reaction.  This establishes what might be called unconscious memory, and this memory rules without any effort at recollection.

1.                  One of the essential points here made is that the initiate does not waste time. Though less and less bound by time, the initiate realizes its value and treats it as a medium of accomplishment.

2.                  If the initiate can accomplish far more than the average individual, he can do so because he has somewhat mastered time.

3.                  Part of the mastery of time is the transition from recollection to memory.

4.                  Perhaps a number of us have stored items in an attic. Returning years later, we discover that life has “moved on” and that the stored items (like recollections) no longer ‘contain’ (for us) the purpose which they once served. Their usefulness, their instrumentality, has been extracted long ago. They are as husks. Their value is past—however interesting they may be to the historian.

5.                  Yet, many are attached to these “relics of the past”.

6.                  If we wish to apply the sentence under consideration, we will have to understand the meaning of detachment.

7.                  It is often difficult to detach from recollections, even when their value is clearly past. One remains sentimentally attached to them. However understandable, this is a waste of time—from the evolutionary perspective.

8.                  This is not to say that one may not revisit ‘old things’ (whether subtle or external) and be reanimated by the purpose which actuated them. The relics of the past can serve the future. But, in general, progress is made as we realize the importance of the new. If the old is to be revisited, it should be with the new in mind.

9.                  Many are our unconscious memories. Some can be left just as they are because they are good and sound. Some may have to be brought to the surface, rendered conscious, re-examined and corrected, and in this process, recollection may temporarily come into play.

10.              It is good to discriminate between what is progressive and what is therapeutic. Therapy often involves of the dynamic of going back in order to go forward.

11.              One vital quality of character for the advancing disciple is to trust the future more than the past. It is sometimes said that the future does not exist, whereas the past does. But this is short-sighted. The future (as archetype and Divine Plan) does, indeed, exist, and calls for our intuitive recognition, trust and affirmation.

C.                 The habit of goodness, or right reaction and of instinctual understanding is distinctive of the trained initiate. (cf. RI, p. 66)

The initiate has no need to remember rules, theories, planes or activities. (cf. RI, p. 66)

The Master wastes no time on soul or personal plans. He has the habit – based on divine instinctual memory – of right activity, right understanding and right purpose. (cf. RI, p. 66)

The habit of goodness, or right reaction and of instinctual understanding is distinctive of the trained initiate.  He has no need to remember rules, theories, planes or activities.  These are as much an established part of his nature as the instinct of self-preservation is an instinctive part of the equipment of a normal human being.  Think this out and endeavour to build up the right spiritual habits.  In this way the Master wastes no time on soul or personal plans.  He has the habit—based on divine instinctual memory—of right activity, right understanding and right purpose.  He needs not to recollect.

1.                  We can see how practical are the points the Tibetan is making. He is pointing the way to our future, indicating a greater freedom which shall be ours when we can rely upon the platform of “right spiritual habits”.

2.                  Maybe we need to assess our habitual responses—re-patterning where necessary. The initiate does naturally what so many of us are still striving and struggling to do.

3.                  For the initiate, buddhi (as a superior faculty) has quite absorbed manas; thus the initiate is swift in his response.

4.                  The entire purpose of this section is to encourage us to build correctly. According to the effectiveness of “memory” in our spiritual lives, so will be the stability of our building.

5.                  Right memory is the platform; intuitive imagination (accessing the Plan and Purpose) the means of right progress.

6.                  The Tibetan seeks to see for us an ever-increasing freedom. He is teaching us to build our way into freedom, so that we can, as it were, ‘stand upon our own shoulders’—stand upon that which we, ourselves, have well-established and, thus, envision and approach that which was previously hidden from our view.

7.                  We all know well the instinct to self-preservation and how imbedded it is in our response mechanism. The Tibetan is alerting us to the spiritual status of the real-initiate, for whom our highest anticipated states are already habitual. Imagine a time when the laws, rules and correct attitudes we are studying have become as habitual for us as self-preservation is now. This puts things in proportion, does it not?

8.                  The Master wastes no time on “soul or personal plans”. As used here, the soul is still ‘personal’—i.e., the sublimation of personal objectives. Soul objectives, though elevated, are not quite “divine” objectives—i.e., they are not fully expressive of the spiritual triad and monad.

9.                  The Master lives ‘above’ the soul (as the term “soul” is usually considered) and, of course, above the personality. His focus and state of identification are altogether higher. He is unencumbered by such ‘shrouded’ states.

10.              Of the Master, DK says:

He has the habit—based on divine instinctual memory—of right activity, right understanding and right purpose.  He needs not to recollect.”

Note the phrase “divine instinctual memory”; DK is speaking of causal memory as it has been sublimated and translated into the spiritual triad—the source of “right activity” (manas), “right understanding” (buddhi) and “right purpose” (atma).

11.              Recollection is surely gone once the causal body has been destroyed. The essences of all incarnational experience are  transferred or translated into a still more elevated state.

12.              Of course, recollection is still possible when there is a need. For our benefit, Master DK has recollected and recounted certain illustrative experiences from his earlier lives, but it was clearly a deliberate effort to do so and far from a tendency.

13.              If triadal living has been established, the orientation is ever towards the new. The causal platform has been elevated into the spiritual triad, and, there, serves the Divine Plan and Purpose without danger of descent into personalism or even the supra-personalism of the egoic lotus.

14.              If we build wisely, we will enter a very great freedom.

15.              One day, the sublimated “Temple of Solomon” will be transferred or translated into the spiritual triad. Then, indeed, memory will rule, guided infallibly by Divine Purpose.