On BLACK MAGIC and KARMIC CYCLES
Mar 19, 2006 05:59 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
On BLACK MAGIC
Q.: How can a "Black Magician" be known? How should he be treated,-as
a part of the Universal Brotherhood?
W.Q.J.-This question comes from America. It is premature, and
very much in the nature of "crossing a bridge before you reach it." It also
seems to indicate either a loose use of the term "black magician" or a total
ignorance of what such a being is, as well as forgetfulness of what has
often been stated,-that a black magician is the efflorescence of an age.
Such a being as this is one who has acquired knowledge of recondite laws of
nature such as those known to the White Adepts, and who uses that knowledge
for purely selfish purposes.
He is [ p. 4 ] the triumph of selfishness, not in that degree which we so
easily recognize about us every day in the lives of men of strong will used
for selfish ends, but in a degree and to an extent that raise the black
adept to a pinnacle of knowledge and power far above the pigmies of this
century. He can perform marvels, read thoughts, and do all the wonderful
feats usually attributed alone to White Magicians.
How many of such, then, are there to be found now, either among those who
study occultism, or in the ranks of the money-loving or fame-pursuing
multitude? I have never heard of one. Why, then, need to enquire how one
should treat a black magician? If the questioner shall ever be so
unfortunate as to meet one of those as yet fabled monsters, he will quite
likely have opportunity to reflect that the magician knew more than he did.
It is wiser to turn aside from the aspect of the matter brought up by the
question, to the reflection that we all have within us potential black
magicians lying in the lower and stronger part of our nature, and that it is
important to see that we shall not furnish the opportunity for that
potentiality to manifest itself in future lives through the giving way now
to selfishness in any of its forms.
The black magician, therefore, we are really concerned with is in our
This talk of meeting or dealing with black magicians in the flesh, with
powers developed, is purest nonsense.
But it will probably be said, "If there are White Adepts now working in the
world, why are there not black ones as well?" The answer is easy. It is
Although the full-fledged White and Black Adepts are both the efflorescence
of an age, there is a great difference between them. There is as great
disparity between them as between day and night, for
those who follow the White Law represent spirit, unity, love,
while the others represent nothing but self and disruption.
Hence, although the Black Magician-in those days when they shall be abroad
on the earth-may prolong his life for an enormous period, he is surely
silently attacked by nature herself, and at last, when the great day of
dissolution, the end of a period of manifestation, arrives, all those black
ones left will be swallowed up and annihilated.
But at that day all the White Adepts, those called by the Hindus
"Jivanmukhta," although absorbed into Brahma are still in possession of
consciousness, and will come out at the new day just as powerful as when the
night came on.
Hence, as the day of Brahma is divided into the four ages-of which Kali [ p.
5 ] Yuga is the last, the White Adepts alone are known or in existence in
the ages preceding Kali Yuga, and in that age the Karma fitted to bring
forth Black Adepts begins to act, and the seeds sown long ago sprout up more
and more as the years of Kali Yuga roll on.
Now as that dark age has 432,000 years, and only 5,000 of those have passed
by, there has not yet been time to evolve the real black magician.
But this civilization pre-eminently shows the seeds as sprouting, and
nowhere with greater power than in America. Here the national characteristic
is individualism, and that existing as a tendency of the nature will
differentiate some day into individual ism concentrated into some few men.
Imagine this concentration as occurring in a future century when wonderful
advances will have been made in knowledge of great forces of nature, and you
can easily see without any need of prescience the future of the black
FA pp. 3-4, WQJ
SPIRIT & MATTER
Q.: If every one starts from and returns into "that" (spirit) what is
the object of existence in matter? Is this the only way to fulfill the
W.Q.J.-The questioner should enquire a little further as to the meaning of
"matter," for if thereby mere mortal material life is meant, the truth about
matter has not been grasped.
The worlds of heaven, of the "devas" or "angels," are worlds of matter, and
yet such worlds are sought after by those who ask the question under
Furthermore the occultists hold that spirit has not as yet incarnated fully
in the existing race, but will do so in future ages; then men can say that
they have a spirit.
At present the men who are incarnated spirits are Adepts or Mahatmas.
Toward the moment of this grand incarnation we are hastening, and the
experience now being undergone is to settle the question whether we will
become fit for such a tremendous event or whether we will fail. Assuredly
all are called to this grand work, but just as certainly some will not be
chosen." FA., p. 2 WQJ
CYCLES OF KARMA IN TIME
Q.: Does the cyclic law bring about its intended result without the
conscious intervention of races and individuals? Or is it part of the
working of that law that races and individuals shall consciously interfere
in behalf of their own progress or retrogression? If either or both, will
not things be what they will be and should be in spite of any or all of our
W.Q.J.-The cyclic law has no "intended result," since it is
The cyclic law ruled in the days of the early races just as it now does, and
before there were any races at all who could act consciously or
The power of choice for the human race as a whole does not come until the
turning point in evolution is reached-when four is turned into five-and, of
course, until that time comes, "conscious intervention" by a race is
Individuals-meaning individual monads-may and do help on the progress of a
race or a nation or oppose a contrary effect, but even that is under the
cyclic law. In The OCCULT WORLD by Mr. Sinnett, we have the words of a
Master on this point, as follows, speaking of the Adepts:
"There never was a time within or before the so-called
historical period when our predecessors were not moulding events and 'making
history,' the facts of which were subsequently and in variably distorted by
historians to suit contemporary prejudices.
"We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to
this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world's cosmic
relations. The cycles must run their rounds. . . . The major and minor yugas
must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we,
borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor
"Sometimes it has happened that no human power, not even the
fury and force of the loftiest patriotism, has been able to bend an iron
destiny aside from its fixed course, and nations have gone out like torches
dropped into the water, in the engulfing blackness of ruin."
But this does not lead to negation or apathy. "Things will not be what they
will be or should be, in spite of our efforts," but rather-
"things will be as they should be, in spite of the apathy of those who see
no use in action that is for the good of Humanity." Those who believe that
the final good will in any case be accomplished [ p. 7 ] are those who, sunk
in the dark pit of SELFISH INDIFFERENCE, are forever an obstruction in the
road of the aspiring souls who work for man's welfare.
In considering the subject we should not lose sight of the fact that other
souls are reincarnating every day, bringing back with them the experience
and Karma of distant past ages.
That must show itself in them as they mature in this life, and they will
furnish new impulses, new ideas, new inventions, new pieces of knowledge to
the general sum, thus affecting the progress of the races, but all under
WHAT CAN WE DO ?
And if we, by supinely sitting down, do not create for them, as they may
have in the other days done for us, the right material, the right vehicle of
civilization, the end of the cycle may be reached with their task
unfinished-through our fault.
The Karma of that will then be ours, and inexorable justice will bring us
upon the scene in other cycles which eternally proceed out of the womb of
time, to finish with heavy hearts the task we shirked.
No theosophist, therefore, should ever begin to think that he need not offer
any help because all will come right anyhow.
CAN WE HELP MASTERS HELP HUMANITY
In our small way we should imitate the Great Brotherhood in its constant
efforts to help Humanity.
They know the cycles, and, using that knowledge, can see when the impulse of
a new cycle is beginning.
WHY IS THEOSOPHY NOW PROMULGATED
Taking advantage of this prescience, new ideas are projected among men and
all good reforms are fostered. Why should we, merely because we are ignorant
of the cycles, do nothing to help these great benefactors of the races?
They offer to all men the truths of the Wisdom-Religion, making no
selections but leaving results to the law.
Is it for us to assume in our theosophical work that we, poor, weak,
ignorant tyros, are able to select from the mass of our fellows the one or
the many who may be fit to receive theosophy? Such a position of judge is
vain, ridiculous, and untheosophical.
Our plain duty is to present the truths of theosophy to all men, leaving it
to them to accept or reject.
WHAT IS THE "HIGHER SELF"
Q.: Is it possible by a strong desire before sleep to receive from the
Higher Self in dream an answer to questions respecting right thought and
W.Q.J.-This question is one of deep importance to those who are
in earnest. My answer to it would be "yes." Bulwer Lytton says, in the
STRANGE STORY, that man's first initiation comes in dreams.
In THE BOOK OF JOB it is written (c. iv, 12.13); "Now a [ p. 8 ] thing was
secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thought
from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men." And (c.
xxxiii, 14): "For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in
slumberings upon the bed."
The state spoken of in Job is the same as that called Sushupti [deep sleep]
by the Hindus.
Man has three principal states or conditions-waking, dreaming, and dreamless
or deep slumber.
In the last it is held that communion is enjoyed with the Spirit, and that
the inner man, returning or changing from that condition, goes into a dream,
short or long, from which he changes into the waking state. The influences
of Sushupti are highly spiritual. They are common to all men. [ see
TRANSACTIONS OF THE BLAVATSKY LODGE, pp. 64-69 ]
The greatest villain on the earth, as well as the most virtuous man, goes
into Sushupti and receives benefit from it. If it were not so, wickedness
would triumph in the earth through the overpowering influence of the body
and its constant downward tendency.
Now, if this is believed and the reality of the Higher Self admitted, it
follows from what is called the mysterious power of meditation that a
sincerely devoted man who earnestly calls upon the Higher Self for aid in
right conduct will receive in the dream state that succeeds the condition of
Sushupti the aid asked for, in other words, one can make the dream
impressions received out of the highest-or Sushupti-state more clear and
valuable than is usual with those who think nothing about it.
But the questions asked and impressions desired must be high and altruistic,
because the Higher Self has no concern with material things nor with any
temporal affairs. This power will of course vary with each man according to
his nature and the various combinations between his physical, astral, and
Q.: Do the Masters know one's earnest desires and thoughts? I desire
to become a chela in my next incarnation. What effect will it have upon my
condition and environment in that life? is my desire forgotten or lost, or
is there record made of it?
W.Q.J.-The effect of a desire to become a chela in the next incarnation will
be to place one where the desire may be probably realized.
Its effect on the next condition and environment depends on so many things
that no definite reply could be given.
If the desire be held determinedly and unceasingly, the goal is brought
nearer, but that also brings up all the karma of the past, thus
precipitating an immense conflict on the individual: a conflict [ p. 9 ]
which when once begun has only two ways of ending, one, total defeat, the
other, success; there is no half-way.
As Dante wrote, "Who enters here leaves hope behind." Therefore, in general,
the next life, or rather the life of a chela, while full of noble
possibilities, is a constant battle from beginning to end. As to times and
periods, it is said in the East that when the probationary chela steps on
the path he will reach a goal in seven births thereafter . [see The VOICE
OF THE SILENCE p. 40 footnote. ]
Q.: How is the Johnstown [ FLOOD] disaster to be interpreted from the
point of view of Karma?
W.Q.J.-An imperfect view of Karma is held by many Theosophists. Karma is
thought to relate only to human beings, and when it is spoken of as
"the law of ethical causation,"
application of it is made solely to man. This not only leaves us without any
law to account for the numerous operations and effects in the natural world,
but raises grave difficulties in the presence of such a calamity as the
Another wrong view frequently taken is the looking upon Karma as punishment
Karma works alike in reward and punishment.
A pleasant life is due to Karma as much as one that is full of woe.
The word "Karma" means "action," and, in its larger sense, the action of the
great unmanifested, whether that be called God or the Absolute. The moment
the unmanifested begins to make itself manifest in creation or evolution,
then its action and Karma begin.
Hence, every circumstance great or small, every manifestation of life, every
created thing and all of the facts and circumstances of man's life are under
the law of Karma.
The three sorts of Karma are: - [ p. 3 ]
That which we are experiencing;
that which we are making for the next life; and
that which we have made, but which is held over unfelt until some other life
This division applies throughout nature.
By what means does Karma have its operation? By means of the apparatus fit
to carry it out into view and exhaust it; when this is furnished, the
appropriate Karma is felt or seen.
Having all this in view we see that the Karma of the material world (so
called), as it now exists, is its Karma left over from a previous manvantara
or period of manifestation, working out in the fit apparatus which we call
the world. And it may be that there is some "World-Karma" left over to be
felt or seen in the next cycle or manvantara.
Under these laws it is possible that many individuals may congregate at just
such a place as Johnstown, who possess such physical, mental, and psychical
apparatus as tends to bring out at some one period many accumulated weights
of Karma; and in such a case they will feel the effects as seen in the flood
sweeping them away.
But to say that such a catastrophe is to be called evil Karma in every case
cannot be right. Some were killed, and for them we may not say it was not a
benefit; others doubtless will suffer through their lives; and still more
may be benefited through the circumstances which brought about a complete
change in life.
We must also remember that during any one hour of the day as many as 10,000
people die in various spots of the earth. Hence we have accumulated and felt
at any hour the Karma which brings death about for that number of people."
FORUM ANSWERS, pp. 2-3, WQJ
I hope these explanations may prove useful in the present.
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