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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 Greater Faith - 2

But why the word, law? Why take this word from a certain field of human experience where it applies — the king or the legislature making "systems of rules and regulations" — to a field where we have no reason to believe it makes sense in the same manner?

Of course the theologian says it makes sense, for God is the King of the world and He establishes the laws of the universe. Does He? Does the architect establish laws as he draws the blueprints of the temple he has visualized in imagination? He does not! He projects a form, a system of relationships between the many component parts of a whole which will gradually unfold and actualize the original vision of the architect; but relationship does not mean laws. To establish a form is not to set down a "system of rules and regulations"; such a system becomes necessary only when the form is no longer perceived by the builders — when spiritually blind, "stiff-necked and proud" egos (cf. Jehovah's estimation of His people in the Bible) are the only type of workers available. Let every worker be a true builder able to see or feel as an immanent compulsion the whole image of the building and particularly his place and his job in the building process — and there would be no need of rules and regulations by a managing boss. Each worker would identify himself with his work of destiny, whatever it be, and perform it to the best of his ability. He would fulfill his dharma — but not obey a law imposed upon him by a thundering Boss, such as we see pictured as Yahweh in much of the Bible.

Some of the students will exclaim that dharma means law in Sanskrit. Yes, it does for the modern mind (whether of 100 B.C. in India or of our day); but it also means "truth" and its primary, essential meaning was and remains the fundamental nature of anything. When the Hindu says that it is the dharma of the fire to burn, he certainly does not imply that some personal God has decreed that Mr. Fire will have to burn whether he likes it or not! It is the fundamental nature of fire to burn, and (in the Bhagavad Gita) that of Arjuna, a member of the Warrior Caste, to fight and kill enemies. These are their respective functions or places in the World-Process. The fire cannot help burning; but on the eve of the battle, Arjuna, as an ego, can feel dejected and ready to give up his natural function — thus to betray his fundamental nature, the very quality and form of his being in that particular incarnation.

It is Arjuna's congenital temperament to fight; he is made for that. He does not obey anything when he does fight; but he betrays his fundamental nature (thus, his destiny and his individuality) when, as an ego, he is overcome by weakness, confusion, and doubt. Krishna (the incarnate God) does not actually command him to fight, as a policeman would order someone to move on, or a fiscal agent demand income tax. He simply reawakens in him the realization of his dharma and presents to him a picture of the universal Whole. The gods who command or dictate messages are not the higher gods.

Modern science is actually coming at times very close to such an attitude toward the concept of law. Some years ago it was written in an article that Einstein, in his effort to formulate mathematically a single law that would unify all laws of nature, had come to realize that it might be most simply expressed by stating that everything tends to follow the path of least effort. But, such a law is no "law" at all, any more than the all-inclusive precept which Jesus gave to his disciples: "Love ye one another as I have loved you" can be called a law. In the small book, The Voice of the Silence, which H.P. Blavatsky transcribed from old Buddhist texts, is written: "Compassion, the LAW of Laws." But this "LAW" (the capitals are H.P.B.'s) is not a law either!

All such statements present a concept of universal order which utterly transcends all normal meanings to be given to the term law. They simply show that as the statements are made to human beings who are predominantly egos, jealous of their prerogatives and of their peculiar ability to do the wrong thing (our so-called precious freedom!), these egos have to be led out of the level of existence at which the idea of law operates and to a sense of reality and truth where systems of rules and regulations are no longer necessary, because the consciousness is irrevocably attuned to and one with the essential Quality of its being — its dharma, its fundamental nature.

Nevertheless, this identification of the ego with the dharma and essential truth-of-self cannot be accomplished by evading or escaping from laws. Gautama the Buddha sought perhaps more than anything else to free man's consciousness from the sense of obedience to the rules and regulations (castes, rituals, etc.) supposed to have been given by Manu, the Law Giver, who received them from this God. Yet Gautama did insist on a strict observance of his "dharma"; he made of this dharma a kind of substitute for the personal God idea, in much the same sense in which Thomas Paine, the "Father of Democracy," said: "In America the Law is king."

Men must be led on step by step; and for this reason the discipline in Buddhist monasteries, including Zen monasteries, is most rigid. But it is rigid discipline aimed at "compelling" the monks to overcome in group unison all sense of external laws, as well as eradicate the urges and appetites that feed the ego. One overcomes the need for obedience only through implicit readiness to obey. Then, when there is no longer any ego-block against utter obedience — and against humility or even humiliation — what was ego within the mind becomes a clear lens focusing the quality of the Soul into acts of destiny in which the dharma-individuality radiates as a transforming and illumining power.

Then the state of illusory freedom of the ego is superseded by a state in which right action becomes inevitable right because exteriorizing the adequate solution to the need of every conceivable situation. This state of being is one of absolute wakefulness and lucidity; the necessary act is done consciously. In this respect it is the polar opposite of the typical instinctual act of the "natural" creature who also does the right thing in any of the emergencies belonging to a particular epoch and locality, but does it unconsciously. The animal is inwardly compelled to act rightfully, but does not know why; the Sage is also inwardly compelled to exteriorize in acts the spiritual quality he focuses into earthly existence, but he knows why he does so — and up to a certain stage of unfoldment, until all traces of ego-desire have vanished, there is still a possibility he may fail and fall.

At the tribal state of society in its original purity (the Edenic state), man, as a passive reflection of the inherent harmony of a divinely emanated nature, is compelled to act righteously, but he cannot help doing so. Even in later-day tribal societies the tribesman cannot break the taboos; they are inherent structures within his generic Unconscious, his utterly unfree psychic depths. Taboos are not laws any more than the stomach, liver, and intestines can be said to obey laws of metabolism! It is the nature of the tribesman to act in a traditional way because he is psychically structured so to act. Only when the ego gains power and can challenge the root-tradition of his tribal nature is man free — free to act regardless of what his fundamental nature is.

From the tribal point of view such an ego is a cancerlike cell in the body of the tribe; and it has to be ruthlessly cast away or destroyed. Yet with this act of independence a new stage of human evolution begins. The "gods" are confronted by the great "rebels." Zeus faces Prometheus who steals the divine fire to ensoul men with the god-seed of freedom and will; and the god's reaction is terrible.

Zeus-Jupiter "rules" the liver, the alchemical crucible in the human body; thus the Karma of Prometheus is to have his liver periodically devoured by a vulture. What he stole, he must surrender in sacrifice; but his gift gave to men the potential of self-consciousness, and self-consciousness requires for its growth the state of freedom to will and act as an independent self — spiritually blind, yes, but independent! Eventually the spiritual blindness which the Buddha called Ignorance or Maya, will be healed by the compassion of those who, in another way, sacrifice their peace so that men may consciously see and, seeing, realize their dharma and become identified with it in essence and in act.

Until this occurs, it is evident that society cannot endure without laws; and men's minds, hypnotized by their own need for laws, project that need upon the universe. They picture a universe of material atoms which look as solid and rigid as egos feel. These atoms therefore also require laws to keep them in order. This concept of rigid laws and determinism is now breaking down. Atoms are neither irreducible bits of solid stuff nor do they act individually in absolutely predictable ways. The rigid causal laws of nineteenth century science have become this century's statistical averages. No God or cosmic Law is there to force the atoms to obey their dictates; yet in some as yet unclear way, things even themselves up. The average results are dependable and predictable, at least within the limits of human sense-perception. What makes them predictable, however, should no longer be called a law.

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

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