DWELLER OF THE THRESHOLD Occult esotericism
Apr 04, 2006 04:53 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
RE: DWELLER OF THE THRESHOLD
In brief we may say that under the universal and indestructible laws of
reincarnation and karma it we who have been perhaps unconsciously been
constructing our own "Dweller." It is a reflection of the appearance our
moral self would project, if and when we finally approach its territory --
which surrounds the "spiritual Man." For us, our present attempt to learn
from THEOSOPHY, evokes some or several aspects of our own "Dweller" to act
against our free will -- to attain the GOAL and win PERFECTION -- to free
the "MAHATMA" that ever resides in each of us in the 6th and 7th Principles
of our own nature. The mystery of the 7 Principles (of Nature and of Man)
and, of the 7 Planes of Consciousness and of Evolution, have to be grasped,
analyzed, compared and understood.
As this dire and dreadful subject arises again, ['fear' is an emotion that
only the 'ignorant' ever feel. The WISE (who are immortals) KNOW, and fear
Here are some ideas for consideration written at the beginning of the
present beginning of the THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT -- so that the moral and
ethical aspect of our present evolutionary period of cyclical testing could
be better understood. It has been held from the beginning that this, and
this alone marks the entrance to the "PATH." If one consults The VOICE OF
THE SILENCE one eventually discovers that mystical language used there is
actually a treatise on the disciple's PATH. Of its progress -- in th area of
control of the personal selfish-Self [Kama-Manas) we read: "Violent control
is not so good as gentle control, continuous and firmly unrelaxed."
[Letters, WQJ p. 39]
The entire interlaced Universe is based on practical virtue, KARMA, and each
Monad being indestructible, influences and shares it independent free
expressions of emotion and thought with all the rest.
HPB wrote in her article TRANSMIGRATION OF THE LIFE ATOMS, HPB Art II p.
249 : "But it is not the soul, [MANAS] the 5th, least of all the 6th,
[BUDDHI] principle, but the LIFE ATOMS of the JIVA the 2nd principle [PRANA
/ JIVA - later, the 3rd principle].
At the end of the 3,000 years, sometimes more, and sometimes less, after
endless transmigrations all these atoms are once more drawn together, and
are made to form the new outer clothing or the body of the same monad (the
real soul) which had already been clothed with two or three thousands of
Even in the worst case that of the annihilation of the conscious personal
principle, the monad or individual soul is ever the same as are also the
atoms of the lower principles which regenerated and renewed in this ever
flowing river of being are magnetically drawn together owing to their
affinity, and are once more re-incarnated together..As shown correctly by
Sir Gardner Wilkinson, the initiated priests taught that--"dissolution is
only the cause of reproduction . . . nothing perishes which has once
existed, but things which appear to be destroyed only change their natures
and pass into another form." In the present case, however, the Egyptian
doctrine of atoms coincides with our own occult teachings.
"Without any doubt Jiva or Prana is quite distinct from the atoms it
animates. The latter [atoms] belong to the lowest or grossest state of
matter -- the objectively conditioned; the former--to its highest state:
that state which the uninitiated, ignorant of its nature, would call the
"objectively finite," but which, to avoid any future misunderstanding, we
may, perhaps, be permitted to call the Subjectively Eternal, though at the
same time, and in one sense the subsistent existence -- however paradoxical
and unscientific the term may appear. 1
LIFE, the occultist says, is the eternal uncreated energy,
and it alone represents in the infinite universe, that which the physicists
have agreed to name the principle? or the law of continuity, though they
apply it only to the endless development of the conditioned.
But since modern science admits through her most learned professors that
"energy has as much claim to be regarded as an objective reality as matter
itself," 2 and that life, according to the occult doctrine, -- is the one
energy acting Proteus-like under the most varied forms, the occultists have
a certain right to use such a phraseology.
Life is ever present in the atom or matter, whether organic or inorganic,
conditioned or unconditioned--a difference that the occultists do not
accept. Their doctrine is that life is as much present in the inorganic as
in the organic matter: when life-energy is active in the atom, that atom is
organic; when dormant or latent, then the atom is inorganic.
Therefore, the expression "life-atom" though apt in one sense to mislead the
reader, is not incorrect after all, since occultists do not recognise that
anything in nature can be inorganic and know of no "dead atoms," whatever
meaning science may give to the adjective.
The alleged law of Biogenesis is the result of the ignorance of the man of
science of occult physics. It is accepted because the man of science was
hitherto unable to find the necessary means to awaken into activity dormant
life in what he terms an inorganic atom: hence the fallacy that a living
thing can only be produced from a living thing, as though there ever was
such a thing as dead matter in Nature! At this rate, and to be consistent, a
mule ought to be also classed with inorganic matter, since it is unable to
reproduce itself, and generate life.
We lay so much stress upon the above to answer at once any future objection
to the idea that a mummy several thousand years old, can be throwing off
atoms. Nevertheless the sentence may perhaps have been more clearly
expressed by saying instead of the "life-atoms of Jiva," the atoms "animated
by dormant Jiva or life energy."
Again, the sentence quoted by our correspondent from Fragment No. 1 though
quite correct on the whole, might be more fully, if not more clearly,
The "Jiva," or life principle which animates man, beast, plant or even a
mineral, certainly is "a form of force, indestructible," since this force is
the one life, or anima mundi, the universal living soul, and that the
various modes in which the various objective things appear to us in nature
in their atomic aggregations, such as minerals, plants, animals, etc., are
all the different forms or states in which this force manifests itself.
Were it to become, we will not say absent, for this is impossible, since it
is omnipresent, but for one single instant inactive, say in a stone, the
particles of the latter would lose instantly their cohesive property and
disintegrate as suddenly--though the force would still remain in each of its
particles, but in a dormant state.
Thus the continuation of the sentence which states that, when this
indestructible force is "DISCONNECTED WITH ONE SET OF ATOMS, IT BECOMES
ATTRACTED IMMEDIATELY BY OTHERS" does not imply that it abandons entirely
the first set, but only that IT TRANSFERS ITS VIS VIVA OR LIVING POWER, THE
ENERGY OF MOTION, TO ANOTHER SET.
But because it manifests itself in the next set as what is called Kinetic
energy, it does not follow that the first set is deprived of it altogether;
for it is still in it, as potential energy, or life latent.
This is a cardinal and basic truth of occultism, on the perfect knowledge of
which depends the production of every phenomenon. Unless we admit this
point, we should have to give up all the other truths of occultism.
Thus what is "meant by the life-atom going through endless transmigration"
is simply this: we regard and call in our occult phraseology those atoms
that are moved by Kinetic energy as "life-atoms," while those that are for
the time being passive, containing but invisible potential energy, we call
"sleeping atoms," regarding at the same time those two forms of energy as
produced by the one and same force, or life.
We have to beg our readers' indulgence: we are neither a man of science, nor
an English scholar. Forced by circumstances to give out the little we know,
we do the best we can and explain matters to the best of our ability.
Ignorant of Newton's laws, we claim to know something only of the Occult
Laws of motion. .
Is or is not that which is called magnetic effluvia a something, a stuff, or
substance, invisible, and imponderable though it be? If the learned authors
of "The Unseen Universe" object to light, heat and electricity being
regarded merely as imponderables, and show that each of these phenomena has
as much claim to be recognized as an objective reality as matter itself--our
right to regard the mesmeric or magnetic fluid which emanates from man to
man or even from man to what is termed an inanimate object, is far greater.
It is not enough to say that this fluid is a species of molecular energy
like heat, for instance, for it is vastly more.
Heat is produced whenever visible energy is transformed into molecular
energy, we are told, and it may be thrown out by any material composed of
sleeping atoms or inorganic matter as it is called: whereas the magnetic
fluid projected by a living human body is life itself. "Indeed it is
life-atoms" that a man in a blind passion throws off, unconsciously, and
though he does it quite as effectively as a mesmeriser who transfers them
from himself to any object consciously and under the guidance of his will.
Let any man give way to any intense feeling, such as anger, grief, etc.,
under or near a tree, or in direct contact with a stone; and many thousands
of years after that any tolerable Psychometer will see the man and sense his
feelings, from one single fragment of that tree or stone that he had
touched. Hold any object in your hand, and it will become impregnated with
your life atoms, indrawn and outdrawn, changed and transferred in us at
every instant of our lives.
Animal heat is but so many life atoms in molecular motion. It requires no
adept knowledge, but simply the natural gift of a good clairvoyant subject
to see them passing to and fro, from man to objects and vice versa like a
bluish lambent flame.
Why then should not a broom, made of a shrub, which grew most likely in the
vicinity of the building where the lazy novice lived, a shrub, perhaps,
repeatedly touched by him while in a state of anger, provoked by his
laziness and distaste to his duty,--why should not a quantity of his life
atoms have passed into the materials of the future besom and therein have
been recognised by Buddha, owing to his superhuman (not supernatural)
THE PROCESSES OF NATURE ARE ACTS OF INCESSANT BORROWING AND GIVING BACK. The
materialistic sceptic, however, will not take anything in any, save in a
literal, dead-letter sense. ....
To conclude our too long answer, the "lower principles" mentioned in the
foot-note are--the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. [Physical & Astral Bodies, Prana]
They cannot include the Kamarupa, for this "rupa" belongs to the middle,
[4th] not the lower principles.
And, to our correspondent's further query, "do the atoms of these (the 4th
and the 5th) [Kama & Manas] also re-form after going through various
transmigrations to constitute over again the 4th and the lower 5th of the
next incarnation"--we answer--"they do."
TRANSMIGRATION OF THE LIFE ATOMS, HPB Art II p. 249....
This is valuable information for those who desire to really study
"occultism" and "esotericism."
HPB's articles are to be found inclusive of many similar hints -- of value
to serious students -- I mean not those who are intent on arguing, but
rather, those who desire to discover what THEOSOPHY (as "occultism")
If an assiduous student would peruse HPB's articles and books, and record in
his note-books the many instances when she gives accurate "occult" and
"esoteric" information, it would be found that in a relative short time much
progress would be made. I also say that a similar study of what Mr. Judge
writes, when compared with HPB's definitions will be found to agree and be
congruent with hers.
But, let us turn to the article Mr. Judge wrote:
THE DWELLER OF THE THRESHOLD
HAS such a being any existence? Has any one ever seen it? Are there many or
several, and has it any sex? Such are the questions asked by nearly all
students who read theosophical books. Some of those who all their life
believed in fairies in secret and in the old tales of giants, have proceeded
to test the question by calling upon the horrid shade to appear and freeze
their blood with the awful eyes that Bulwer Lytton has made so famous in his
"Zanoni." But the Dweller is not to be wooed in such a way, and has not
appeared at all, but by absolute silence leads the invoker to at last scout
the idea altogether.
But this same inquirer then studies theosophical books with diligence, and
enters after a time on the attempt to find out his own inner nature. All
this while the Dweller has waited, and, indeed, we may say, in complete
ignorance as yet of the neophyte's existence.
When the study has proceeded far enough to wake up long dormant senses and
tendencies, the Dweller begins to feel that such a person as this student is
at work. Certain influences are then felt, but not always with clearness,
and at first never ascribed to the agency of what had long ago been
relegated to the lumber-room of exploded superstitions. The study goes still
farther and yet farther, until the awful Thing has revealed itself; and when
that happens, it is not a superstition nor is it disbelieved. It can then
never be gotten rid of, but will stay as a constant menace until it is
triumphed over and left behind.
When Glyndon was left by Mejnour in the old castle in Italy, he found two
vases which he had received direction not to open. But disobeying these he
took out the stoppers, and at once the room was filled with intoxication,
and soon the awful, loathsome creature appeared whose blazing eyes shone
with malignant glare and penetrated to Glyndon's soul with a rush of horror
such as he had never known.
In this story Lytton desired to show that the opening of the vases is like
the approach of an enquirer to the secret recesses of his own nature. He
opens the receptacles, and at first is full of joy and a sort of
intoxication due to the new solutions offered for every problem in life and
to the dimly seen vistas of power and advancement that open before him. If
the vases are kept open long enough, the Dweller of the Threshold surely
appears, and no man is exempt from the sight. Goodness is not sufficient to
prevent its appearance, because even the good man who finds a muddy place in
the way to his destination must of necessity pass through it to reach the
We must ask next, WHAT is the Dweller? It is the combined evil influence
that is the result of the wicked thoughts and acts of the age in which any
one may live, and it assumes to each student a definite shape at each
appearance, being always either of one sort or changing each time. So that
with one it may be as Bulwer Lytton pictured it, or with another only a
dread horror, or even of any other sort of shape. It is specialized for each
student and given its form by the tendencies and natural physical and
psychical combinations that belong to his family and nation.
Where, then, does it dwell? is the very natural inquiry which will follow.
It dwells in its own plane, and that may be understood in this manner.
Around each person are planes or zones, beginning with spirit and running
down to gross matter. These zones extend, within their lateral boundaries,
all around the being. That is to say, if we figure ourselves as being in the
center of a sphere, we will find that there is no way of escaping or
skipping any one zone, because it extends in every direction until we pass
its lateral boundary.
When the student has at last gotten hold of a real aspiration and some
glimmer of the blazing goal of truth where Masters stand, and has also
aroused the determination to know and to be, the whole bent of his nature,
day and night, is to reach out beyond the limitations that hitherto had
fettered his soul. No sooner does he begin thus to step a little forward,
than he reaches the zone just beyond mere bodily and mental sensations.
At first the minor dwellers of the threshold are aroused, and they in
temptation, in bewilderment, in doubt or confusion, assail him. He only
feels the effect, for they do not reveal themselves as shapes. But
persistence in the work takes the inner man farther along, and with that
progress comes a realization to the outer mind of the experiences met, until
at last he has waked up the whole force of the evil power that naturally is
arrayed against the good end he has set before him.
Then the Dweller takes what form it may. That it does take some definite
shape or impress itself with palpable horror is a fact testified to by many
One of those related to me that he saw it as an enormous slug with evil eyes
whose malignancy could not be described. As he retreated - that is, grew
fearful -, it seemed joyful and portentous, and when retreat was complete it
was not. Then he fell further back in thought and action, having
occasionally moments of determination to retrieve his lost ground.
Whenever these came to him, the dreadful slug again appeared, only to leave
him when he had given up again his aspirations. And he knew that he was only
making the fight, if ever he should take it up again, all the harder.
Another says that he has seen the Dweller concentrated in the apparent form
of a dark and sinister-looking man, whose slightest motions, whose merest
glance, expressed the intention and ability to destroy the student's reason,
and only the strongest effort of will and faith could dispel the evil
influence. And the same student at other times has felt it as a vague, yet
terrible, horror that seemed to enwrap him in its folds. Before this he has
retreated for the time to prepare himself by strong self-study to be pure
and brave for the next attack.
These things are not the same as the temptations of Saint Anthony. In his
case he seems to have induced an hysterical erotic condition, in which the
unvanquished secret thoughts of his own heart found visible appearance.
The Dweller of the Threshold is not the product of the brain, but is an
influence found in a plane that is extraneous to the student, but in which
his success or failure will be due to his own purity. It is not a thing to
be dreaded by mere dilettanti theosophists; and no earnest one who feels
himself absolutely called to work persistently to the highest planes of
development for the good of humanity, and not for his own, need fear aught
that heaven or hell holds.
PATH, December, 1888
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