When our Soul (mind) evokes a thought, the representative sign of that thought is self-engraved upon the astral fluid, which is the receptacle and, so to say, the mirror of all the manifestations of being.
The sign expresses the thing: the thing is the (hidden or occult) virtue of the sign.
To pronounce a word is to evoke a thought, and make it present: the magnetic potency of the human speech is the commencement of every manifestation in the Occult World. To utter a Name is not only to define a Being (an Entity), but to place it under and condemn it through the emission of the Word (Verbum), to the influence of one or more Occult potencies. Things are, for every one of us, that which it (the Word) makes them while naming them. The Word (Verbum) or the speech of every man is, quite unconsciously to himself, a BLESSING or a CURSE; this is why our present ignorance about the properties or attributes of the IDEA as well as about the attributes and properties of MATTER, is often fatal to us.
Yes, names (and words) are either BENEFICENT or MALEFICENT; they are, in a certain sense, either venomous or health-giving, according to the hidden influences attached by Supreme Wisdom to their elements, that is to say, to the LETTERS which compose them, and the NUMBERS correlative to these letters.
The Secret Doctrine, i 93-94
Those who have had the resplendent karma of receiving this sacred teaching should move rapidly from the state of irresponsibility into the realm of responsibility in the gestation of sound associated with thought. This is a practical teaching that can be used even if one has yet to acquire a detailed knowledge of the hidden properties of matter on subtle planes of existence. Anyone may make a true beginning by trying to conserve speech-energy, by becoming more deliberate and careful in the choice of thoughts and words. Calmly sitting down in the privacy of one’s own solitude to read aloud The Voice of the Silence, or excerpts from The Secret Doctrine, one can make a radical change in one’s magnetic field. Infusing this endeavour with a profound sense of the sacred, a vital depth is touched in one’s daily awareness of the invisible centres of consciousness and in one’s capacity to direct benevolently different groupings of life-atoms, to purify and render them worthy of the divine temple of the human form in which there burns the flame of self-consciousness kindled by the Sons of Fire. The priceless gift of noetic self-awareness can be brought to bear upon each of the different centres of consciousness. Even though in its spiritual essence Manas is entirely disconnected from the discordant sensorium, it effectively can, through the pristine radiation of its own potent light, magnetize, consecrate and intensify as well as make precise and benevolent the organs of perception. Those who value this immense privilege seriously enough to carry out a series of initial experiments with truth within themselves will gain a greater awareness through deliberation of the dignity and the divinity of being human. They will discover what it means to reverse the current of negative thought, centered upon the sense of futility of the personal self, and they will lighten the load of dead-weight elementals impressed with past pretences, desperation and despair.
The orbit of the sacred is revolutionary; it is subversive to the status quo of one’s previous somnambulic existence. Lest one cultivate the fatal craft of becoming schizoid, one must assiduously practise the arcane teaching of the Verbum by consciously choosing and assuming full responsibility for one’s thought-currents. Instead of excusing one’s passive tendencies, one must learn to direct one’s attention to what one deliberately intends, to sublime themes that elevate the mind, to daily exercises in spiritual alchemy. Individuals must think to the core the quintessential prerogative of being human. Rather than irresponsibly pretending that the whole of life is episodic, they must acknowledge that days make up weeks, weeks make up months, months make up years, years make up decades in a lifetime, and each incarnation is an integral part of a long series of lives. In a universe where sowing and reaping are inextricably interwoven, human beings have to do what agriculturists know and gardeners practise: preparing the soil, pulling out weeds, planting at the right time and patiently cooperating with the seasons and cycles of nature. If some are afraid to do this, it is because they mistakenly believe that they are infallible experts on the subject of themselves. This is a fundamental error. When a person gains glimpses of self-knowledge, a sure sign of growth is the increased willingness to breathe the refreshing air of agnosticism. One is ready to recognize that there is a profound mystery to every human being, that the last person one knows is oneself. Not until the bonds of personality are loosened can that self be truly known. The soul abides in the Silence, and when the restless mind ceases from thoughts and words, it may be merged into the inmost shrine of the heart, so that when one opens the eyes and utters a sound, one feels it is a sacred privilege to breathe as the votary of the Logos, of Brahma Vach.
If a person ventured to make daily experiments with truth, it would be helpful to formulate some working rules which make due allowance for the plastic potency of one’s own vestures. After all, different people have different propensities. Some are very vocal on worldly matters but they are utterly unable to speak about the spiritual. Others speak endlessly about the spiritual until words lose all meaning. Still others speak as if they already know what they have only remotely glimpsed. Others mix vibrations, speaking of the sacred and then lapsing into the profane. Sacred language cannot be properly enunciated if one inserts into it a sense of the separative ‘I’ because the kamamanasic ‘I’ has to vacate its false authority within the human being so that the immortal individuality may affirm spiritual truths through an invulnerable personality. The metaphysical basis of this process lies in the fact that the more indivisible the mental energy involved in universal, abstract, impersonal ideas, the more rarefied and homogeneous is the matter within which these ideas clothe themselves. As divine ideation draws the mind to a still centre, through deep meditation upon boundless duration, abstract space and pure being, one approaches a plane of consciousness where matter is radically different from what is normally understood. Matter becomes light-energy. It is cool Akashic fire which has a distinctive texture, a peculiar tensility and volatility, ethereal properties for which there are no adequate analogues on the physical plane.
A person sitting for long hours by a log fire may start to see behind and around the flames a noumenal light and may begin to have an inkling of the invisible fire behind the veil of the visible. It is possible for any person to arouse the subtler senses by reaching towards universal ideas, and through intense ideation one may become conscious of noumenal matter. This arcane teaching rests upon the presupposition that what is called knowing or interacting is an imperfect experience of consubstantiality. One only knows what is on the grosser planes through the grossness in oneself. Any suggestion that it is outside is misleading, for if it were not in oneself it could not be seen. A highly evolved being may be able to take the most mundane of subjects and see it from the standpoint of the subtlest abstraction, thus elevating the entire field. On the other hand, most human beings only too often do the opposite. They may even take a sublime conception and drag it down to the densest plane of sensory awareness.
Control of thought and speech is an essential ingredient of soul etiquette and spiritual discrimination. It represents good taste at the highest level, where one may enrich a spontaneous longing for Brahma Vach, the Agathon, the Ineffable Good. Out of repeated meditation one must gain such a strong, lively and self-perpetuating sense of the Ineffable Good at the core of the Divine Darkness behind the shimmering veils of the universe, that one is securely anchored in that state of spiritual awareness. And therefore, as Plato suggested in the Allegory of the Cave, when seemingly descending into the world of heterogeneity, one is able to use wisely one’s eyes and ears and above all, one’s tongue, so that one is acutely conscious of every available opportunity to give a forward impulse to human evolution. Where one encounters anything meretricious on the lower planes, it will roll off like water off a duck’s back. It simply will not inhere because of the intense activation and vigilant preservation of one’s noetic awareness. The importance of this mental discipline will soon become evident to those who are courageous enough to become steadfast in its practice, not for their protection, but for the sake of universal enlightenment. Not only can they begin to discharge their debt to the sacred Teaching by converting it into what they could use, but they could actively contribute to the generation of the magnetic field in which spiritual instruction could be integrated into new modes of secular monasticism.
Hermes, June 1980