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Dane Rudhyar's Occult Preparations for a New Age. Image Copyright 2004 by Michael R. Meyer.

by Dane Rudhyar, 1975

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A Planetary Approach to Occultism amd Its Source

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To Michael R. Meyer
and Nancy Kleban
In warm appreciation
and friendship.

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This title was first published by Quest Books, 1975.

Cover for the online edition copyright © 2004
by Michael R. Meyer.

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The One Planetary Tradition
and the Many Operative Traditions - 2

The divine Fire gives man the possibility of choosing between "good and evil," of making at least relatively free decisions, of learning wisdom through sorrow, deprivation, and repeated crises of growth brought about by the use of these new powers of self-consciousness and self-will. The truly human way is, perhaps inevitably, the via negativa spoken of by many mystics the way that brings a person to the knowledge of what he is as a result of revulsion from the experience of what his is-not. This is the tragic way, and the Promethean way, for in ancient times, the liver was considered the seat of biological urges (of the "living soul") and the vulture is the devourer of all that has died of frustration and despair. Yet it need not always be a tragic way, because the ever-repeated sacrificial incarnations of the Kumaraic beings keep open "the Path" that may lead the pure-in-heart (in whom the "higher mind" also operates) to the fabled Shamballah. This is the "place" where the "pattern of Man", at whose center the inextinguishable Flame of the divine creative Mind burns, is to be found. This pattern of Man is the one Tradition. And because Man is the microcosmic image of his universe, this Tradition implies also a cosmology such as The Secret Doctrine attempted to outline.

But what really is Shamballah? If we can speak of it as a "place," it is in the same sense in which Hindu scriptures state that Atman is in the cave of the Heart. If Central Asia is the Heartland of our present human world as the English and German geopoliticians of the period between the two World Wars claimed then Shamballah may well be located in the Gobi Desert. But if so, it almost certainly does not have what we call a "physical" existence unless we extend the term "physical" to include what is usually called "etheric." We have also to consider the possibility of fourth of fifth dimensional space and of interpenetrating universes of "globes."(3)

We may wish to think of Sanat Kumara as a divine Person; but the term "person," even if capitalized, is likely to produce confusion. "He" is a person to the extent that we, human personalities, think or imagine "Him" as a Person. Is wheathood a person? Wheathood "is" as the condition of existence of every stalk of wheat, and it specifically manifests at the core of every seed of wheat, because the vegetable species has its "esoteric" being in the long sequence of generations of seeds, while "exoterically" it takes the form of germinating, growing, maturing, and decaying plants. The Kumara essence is the seedhood of Man as a planetary being, producer of a long series of cultures, each of which focuses on a particular aspect of life in the Earth's biosphere an aspect which it is the culture's task to incorporate in energy-releasing symbols and meaningful generalizations at the level of the "higher" mind.

These symbols are the basic attitudes of mind which, at the end of the cultural cycle, can be transferred as a seed-harvest, or grafted upon new wild growths, embody archetypal principles of form, functional interrelationship, structural development, and personal behavior. These are variegated manifestations of the one Tradition, for they result from different ways of throwing light upon the various aspects of the planetary "pattern of Man." Each aspect responds to the light in its own characteristic manner, hence the various colorings characterizing the many human cultures.

Let me repeat that this pattern of Man represents all that is potential in humanity since the coming of the Kumaras. Each culture has actualized, today actualizes, and in the future will actualize an aspect of this human potential. Each culture had its exoteric traditions, and behind at least the most significant and basic cultural-religious traditions an occult Tradition stands a particular aspect of the one planetary Tradition. Each cultural tradition develops as a specific answer to the particular need of a collectively of people living in a particular locality of the earth's surface, small or extensive as this locality may be. Every culture has a local biospheric character, conditioned by geography, climate, telluric magnetism, flora and fauna, as these exist at the time of its formation. Every human being born within that culture has his or her psychic, biological, and mental capacities deeply conditioned and, most of the time at least at the collective-unconscious level actually determined by the great images, symbols and ideas of the culture, and first of all by a particular language or mode of social communications.

When a modern individual, deeply disappointed by the fading values of his culture and the empty verbiage used by the men charged at all costs to preserve its old institutions, starts on a search for an occult Tradition which, he may have heard, still exists in purity "somewhere," he may be led to its living Custodians, or to men who claim to be their representatives. The meeting can be a radically transforming experience; it may also be an answer to the emotional immaturity and intellectual naivete or confusion of the seeker an answer therefore wrapped in multicolored glamor and imaginary claims. At best the would-be disciple may come in touch with men who truly live and think in terms of a Tradition, occult as it may appear to be. But is it the one Tradition, even though it may accurately incorporate an aspect of, or mental refection from, the latter.

This is certainly NOT to say that this particular occult Tradition is not valuable. It may be precisely what the seeker needs, at least at the time of his search. But it should also be clear that the moment the words, symbols, and the divine Names of a certain language, and the mantrams, types of meditation, and techniques of a specific "School," are imposed upon the seeker as conditions of his acceptance, he is dealing only with an occult Tradition. He is dealing with a root-knowledge based upon something that has occurred in the past an old seed-revelation that has long ago germinated into a plant whose vitality may have been exhausted or nearly so, and whose outer forms have perhaps become degenerated or empty of vital energy after having been used by many generations of human beings depending on them for spiritual food perhaps now fermented food that excites rather than satisfies and energies.

One of the problems that meets the knowledgeable seeker, once the first phase of enthrallment is past, is that a claim is nearly always made that this Tradition is the original one, more real and effectual than any other. Such a claim may be inevitable because, by temperament as well as because of the character of their work, the Custodians of the pure ancient Tradition must be conservative and to some extent dogmatic. They embody a form of spiritual inertia, because they have to resist all attempts at introducing changes in the past "Revelation." H.P. Blavatsky spoke of the "inertia of the spirit." This means that the original impulse at the beginning of a large cycle of existence has to be maintained during the progress of outer growth in which an immense variety of relationships are bound to induce centrifugal types of thinking, feeling, and behavior. The divine alpha state has to be reproduced in the spiritual harvest of the omega state. The seedhood has to remain invariant during growth. If there is to be a mutation it can only be during the winter period of the seed its pralaya. But this applies only to what, strictly speaking, one may call the "spiritual" scheme of existence; and, as The Secret Doctrine powerfully states, there are three basic evolutionary schemes or levels.(4)

The spiritual or "monadic" scheme is really not an evolution because the essential part of what is called a monad does not change and there is really but one Monad. What occurs at that level can be symbolized by the circle. This circle becomes a spiral, thanks to the operation of mind wedded to compassion. This is because the Promethean beings constantly challenges the inertial circularity of "pure spirit" by exerting a centrifugal pressure that the ever-repetitive circle becomes a spiral. This pressure should include both love and knowledge, since these are expressions of significant and harmonious relationship real knowledge being based on a holistic realization of the relation of everything with everything else, and true love being in its universal sense the encompassing of all beings in an act of total inclusion. If the love aspect does not prevail, the knowledge element becomes "satanic."

This satanic element has been particularly strong in our Western civilization because since the late Greek period an unparalleled emphasis has been placed upon that aspect of the mind that deals with material values and the concrete embodiment of form into material organisms. As matter represents the pole of multiplicity while spirit stands for the principle of unity any mind fascinated by matter, or even intent upon the transformation of matter, must tend to become analytical and separative and, in most cases, the servant and justifer of materialistic values and desires. The coming of Christ was evidently meant to release the power of a universalistic and unifying divine Love that could offset the intellectualistic search for mere knowledge which had become emphasized by Greek culture, and as well the intellectual egocentricity and hard-headedness of the Hebraic tradition. But Christianity lost its collective Soul during the first centuries A.D., and soon after the Papacy succumbed to the lure of political power. Christianity lost its collective Soul because it repudiated all that had been the spiritual tradition of Asia and Egypt in an attempt to focus man's attention exclusively upon the new Christ Revelation. But this meant a total dependence upon the Hebraic past, emphasized by Paul, and the Greek intellectuality of the Alexandrian Fathers of the Church. On the one hand the emotion-rousing dogma of salvation by divine atonement for an original Sin perverted the entire pattern of cosmic evolution and induced a wholesale neurotic sense of guilt, and on the other hand an Aristotelian formalism and empiricism led to the one-pointed development of a science and technology almost exclusively concerned with materialist concepts and material well-being.

The proud exclusiveness and ruthless expansionism of our Western civilization required a still more rigid state of secrecy. The old Traditions were forced in most places to go underground and to hide what remained of the spiritual harvest of the past cultures of mankind. In the "Introductory" of The Secret Doctrine (p. xxviii and following) we find most intriguing statements as to the preservation of such a harvest in the form of hidden libraries. Other assertions which undoubtedly appear to have a strong dogmatic character have produced diverse reactions among readers, discouraging all but a few who tend to become rather fanatic devotees. Theosophy was brought to the West a century ago, and now another hundred year period is beginning.

According to H. P. Blavatsky, the new century is to be marked by a new endeavor by the Kumaric beings to once more "fecundate" the collective mind of mankind, and it may be possible to reinterpret these seemingly dogmatic assertions in the light of what has been said in the preceding pages. This, however, can be done only if we try to ascertain as objectively as possible the nature of the source of the messages and the writings which seem to flow through HPB, as she came to be called, far more than from her unusual person, as well as the character of her mission at the particular historical time and in the particular places witnessing her activities. It will be especially important to discuss the nature of the collective human need which called for the release of the far-reaching and inclusive type of "information" that she gave, especially to the Western world, for the very first thing to be understood and clearly realized is that any new outpouring of knowledge from spiritual-occult sources always come in answer to a definite need, related to a particular phase in the process of development of a culture, and seemingly now of the whole of mankind.

3. The "globes" mentioned in The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett are not separated in a three-dimensional space, as many illustrations erroneously suggest. They are said to be "in co-adunation but not consubstantiality" (cf. The Secret Doctrine; I:157), whatever this exactly means.  Return

4. The Secret Doctrine; I:181 for a clear statement concerning "three separate schemes of evolution which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point . . . the Monadic (or spiritual), the Intellectual (represented by the . . . givers of intelligence and consciousness to man), and the Physical represented by the chhayas [or astral shadows or webs of energy] round which Nature has concreted the present physical body . . . Each of these three systems has its own laws, and is ruled and guided by different sets of the highest Dhyanis or 'Logoi.' Each is represented in the constitution of man, the Microcosm of the great Macrocosm, and "it is the union of these three streams in him which makes him the complete being he now is" to this I would add in potentiality.  Return

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1975 by Dane Rudhyar
All Rights Reserved.

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