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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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A Planetary Frame of Reference - 2

The recently developed scientific attitude deals holistically with processes more than atomistically with isolated and unrelated entities. In its own hesitant and empirical way it is reaching intangible and nonmaterial bodies or objects. Science even at times abandons the very idea of "substance" as a concrete factor, and interprets existence in terms of "pure forms," which are closely related to the archetypes of occult philosophy.

Late in life, HPB told her disciples that the task of Theosophy was to "change the mind of the twentieth century." It is no doubt difficult to establish a causal connection between what she taught and the progress of electronics and atomic physics and chemistry; but who can tell how mind currents operate and which seeds hidden invisibly in the damp autumnal soil and covered by the winter's snow become, in springtime, the causes of the emergence of new plants?

Unfortunately the Western mind has an avid curiosity for new phenomena and for events extending the scope of its perception or stimulating its remarkable ability to correlate, rationally classify, and describe what the senses experience. HPB's followers were greedy for new information and overeager to claim the capacities required to become disciples of those whose consciousness and behavior are ineradicably rooted in the patterns of the occult Tradition, the original answer to the need of Man and the Earth. Very few among these would-be disciples had developed anything like a planetary consciousness. They wanted, usually on their own terms, direct contacts with the Masters; and we can read in The Mahatma Letters what were the results of such an attitude, particularly in the case of Mr. A.0. Hume.(1) They wanted the kind of knowledge which the European mind has been brilliantly able for better or for worse to put to use, but knowledge without spiritual-moral responsibility, knowledge unintegrated with universal Love.

During the countless millennia of the prehistoric as well as historical past of mankind, knowledge had always been understood as being hierarchical. It flowed from beings of a higher type to the most devoted, intrepid, and willful members of a culture. It had a hierarchical, secret character. It flowed through what might be called a vertical line of transmission. The religious person of our society speaks of the "Fatherhood of God"; but the occultist of the past received his knowledge from a quasi-divine personage who, in turn, had received it from his guru the long chain of transmission (guruampara) extending, at least ideally, to Man's divine Instructors. He received more than knowledge, for its very possession necessitates that the "divine spark" of Kumara Fire should be made to flame forth and the oxygen needed for this flaming forth, if the source of the transmission was pure, was divine Love and infinite compassion for Man the essence of what I have called planetary consciousness.

Such a hierarchical and "vertical" kind of transmission has almost inevitably a restricted field of application. Whoever was actually ready to receive the knowledge became drawn to the particular aspect of the Tradition which, because of his cultural upbringing and condition of birth, constituted an answer to his personal need and, at least to some extent, to the needs of his society. His actual readiness was tested in all sorts of ways to safeguard so far as possible both the knowledge and the line of transmission.

What today we call empirical and scientific knowledge has a totally different character. It develops "horizontally" through the free sharing of information between minds able to extract from a multiplicity of classified data and from shared new discoveries what they need for their effective operation. These minds, even though they evidently differ in quality and ability to organize and apply information, are nevertheless theoretically on the same level of consciousness. The process of transmission has no longer an essentially hierarchical character; it is "democratic" even though the vanguard of active searchers and discoverers constitute an "elite" which tends to perpetuate itself in relative isolation from the mass of people whom, deliberately or not, they at least indirectly control. When such a control becomes rigid and truly aristocratic in the traditional European sense of the term we see the rise of a technocracy. The typical technocrat is a man able to use a definite amount of knowledge and technological skill with little or no consideration for the actual welfare and even less for the spiritual-individual development of the persons who will be affected by this use. It is knowledge without love for humanity even if the knower is able to display personal affection for one or a few intimates.

Because the Theosophical Movement of the Nineteenth century had to some extent to deal with persons who held that type of love-deprived knowledge and merely were eager to obtain more of the same kind, provided it was new, spectacular, and fascinating, the trans-Himalayan adepts, working through HPB, placed the formation of a Universal Brotherhood founded on the love of humanity as the first and most basic of their aims. At the "horizontal" level brotherhood was to be the keynote or, one might say, the common ground. Without such a "ground" ready to receive seeds of the higher occult knowledge, the sowing of such seeds was neither safe nor even possible except in a very general manner.

Yet the trans-Himalayan Brothers had to formulate the concepts which they transmitted in writing in terms of the essentially atomistic and individualistic taken for granted beliefs held by the collective Western mentality. They had to use intellectual, analytical means to bring credence to the vast cyclic realizations of true Occultism, which deals essentially with forces and processes, and only secondarily with the myriad of entities of the mythological world, whose "names" symbolize the many phases of the world-process. What HPB's The Secret Doctrine intended to do was to show that all these mythological names and stories (for instance, the creation myth of various cultures and the many confused references to "Fallen Angels" and human Progenitors of various types) were derived from a common Source of occult Knowledge; and that only that Source and those whose consciousness was identified with it could provide modern individuals with the structural sequence of the phases of "cyclocosmic" processes and the true character, meaning, and purposes of each phase with reference to the whole.

While occult knowledge is fundamentally holistic, it assuredly does not play down the role and significance of individual entities. Yet, the concept of "monads," which presumably originated in the mind of the German philosopher, Leibnitz, in the seventeenth century, has, I believe, been greatly misunderstood. References can be found in The Mahatma Letters and elsewhere to the effect that actually there is only one Monad, or that the term applies as well to an atom as to a human individual, a solar system, or a whole universe. The term, atma, has also been used in a confusing manner, without regard to HPB's or K.H.'s repeated statement that atma can "exist" only in relation to buddhi. The concepts of "monadic place" and "monadic evolution" are indeed ambiguous, as we read that the monad itself cannot be said to "evolve."

Likewise the sketch repeated in many books purporting to show how the "life-wave" passes from Globe to Globe in a planetary Scheme is also sure to create confusion, for the Globes have a common center, and may even be said to exist in different "dimensions," whatever this exactly means! All such concepts were presented in a manner which seemed the most acceptable to the culturally set minds of men like Sinnett and Hume; they were conditioned by the "Euro-mind" of the time and the very words were, as K.H. once wrote, picked out of Sinnett's mind. This is inevitable. I repeat that The Secret Doctrine as a book is a compromise with the nineteenth century mentality. Even some of its claims, which have offended people who have not understood the psychological reason for them, were meant to convey the necessity of a certain approach to the study of the book, and of Occult knowledge in general an approach wholeheartedly accepting the inevitable character of the vertical transmission of knowledge from the keepers of the Tradition to those who seek to be initiated into its secrets.

For these reasons, and considering the fact that the Source of the knowledge presented by HPB was one of the several Occult Brotherhoods operating in the nineteenth century, and whose collective dharma it presumably was to try to establish a connection with the Western society and in the English language, it should be clear that what HPB wrote under direction, yet through the cerebral processes of her body, is not a manifestation of the wholeness of knowledge within the one planetary Tradition, but only of the aspect of It formulated in terms of a karmic relationship between a certain group of Adept-Brothers and the need of humanity particularly Western humanity in the nineteenth century. This does not make the work of HPB less important, but it may enable one to see the whole issue of the value and character of The Secret Doctrine in a broader perspective. This, however, is not said to justify many of the claims made since HPB's death claims of direct and literal transmission by the Adepts who sent her into the world.

Everything dealing with Occultism white or black is ambiguous and paradoxical. HPB repeatedly stated that she was not allowed to give out the whole truth and that "blinds" had to be used so long as Universal Brotherhood was not a realized fact. As I see it, what really matters are not fascinating details to be memorized by the curious mind, but the gaining of a whole view of cosmic, planetary, and human evolution. It is to be able to "see" or even feel this evolution, with its interconnecting cycles and subcycles, microcosmic as well as macrocosmic. As long as the mind thinks atomistically and tries to classify entities and their many names in computerized brains, and as long as it is not able to have clear and sequential experiences of supermental "seeing," it can only stand, confused and befuddled, at the threshold of a "door of perception" whose transparency is impaired by fog and dirt. Above all, what the would-be Occultist needs is the ability adequately to formulate his superintellectual experiences or intuitions in concepts and words which at least approximate what he has "seen" or "felt."

The formulating process is the key to whether or not what is imparted to others is valid. For such a process to be not merely intellectual information and fascinating stories, but an inspiration for a transformation of consciousness and greater living, it is essential that the mind of the formulator should be able to deal directly with "whole ideas" founded upon metaphysical and cyclocosmic principles, and thus to develop what I have called "clairthinking." Any other process will lead to episodic formulations.

A really holistic approach must be able not only to produce concepts that embrace a totality of data or experiences and reveal their internal "form," but it must release vibrant and potentially transforming ideas infused with the love of Man. One can never repeat enough that there can be no true Occultism without a "heart" filled with transpersonal and sacrificial Love. Without this Love, woe to him who seeks to tread the path of Occultism and to break through the threshold!

1. The contact with the Masters was broken by this remarkably proud Englishman; yet his real abilities found their use in the more mundane political field and he became the prime mover of the Indian Congress which played a historical role in freeing India from British rule.  Return

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

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