Excerpts from the Courses

From the archives…
A short excerpt from each course is given below to provide the student with a taste of the material therein.

Course 1 : The Laws of Occultism

We Make No Claim to Infallibility…
Every science and every religion of the past which has claimed infallibility has lived to see such claim disproved. In the very nature of things, as I trust I have clearly shown, any claim to infallibility is absurd; because knowledge of the universe is endless and the evolution of intelligence is toward the acquisition of more and more knowledge. Nor are we attempting to get our ideas accepted on faith. On the contrary, we indicate to the student just how to go about it to develop his own intelligence and his own psychic faculties, and earnestly advise him to disprove or verify every statement we make by experiments of his own.
…But we must also, if we are to have a basis for success in our life in its vaster scope, acquire a knowledge of the laws governing other planes. The more comprehensive our knowledge, the better we are fitted to adjust ourselves to the demands of this wider life. It is this knowledge that THE RELIGION OF THE STARS attempts to furnish.
These lessons make no claim to infallibility. They do, however, present the present views of those on various planes, including the physical, who anciently or in modern times, have been specially qualified for, and have carried out, research on every available plane. They are offered to students, therefore, not as the final word after which nothing more can be said; but drawing from high intelligences on various planes, as the best information available at the present moment of evolution.

Course 2: Astrological Signatures

The Two Keys…

In all ages and in every land and clime there are progressive souls whose spiritual vision pierces the murky clouds of dogmatic illusion with which priestcraft and statecraft have ever sought to obscure the sun of divine truth. These bold aspirants to esoteric wisdom have the courage to burst the fetters that chain them to the lifeless creeds which are forced upon a benighted world. They free themselves from the thralldom of prejudice, and from that of servility to popular opinion. They intrepidly turn their faces from the blackness of the dead ages to knock resolutely at the door of the Temple of Knowledge. They realize that only within the sacred precincts of nature’s sanctuary burn the altar fires whose light produces the shadowy illusions which are believed by the multitudes who worship them to be the only reality. And they learn that this sanctuary may be unlocked only by the use of two keys.

Mathematics alone enables one to avoid mental pitfalls, and it is due to this fact that the Golden and Silver keys are the most valuable possessions that the occultist can obtain in the world of mental research; for they are each grounded in, and strictly built upon numerical proportions. To comprehend their function we must have recourse to the Written and Oral Laws.

Astronomy is the Written Law, and the Golden Key to its interpretation is Astrology. The Oral Law is the Secret Doctrine, and having been formulated by the Magi, it is constructed in such a manner as to be incomprehensible to the vulgar, yet not difficult of interpretation to one possessing its key. This Silver Key to the Oral Law is none other than the Sacred Tarot, or Book of Thoth.

Mission of the Soul…

The purpose of this chapter is to give information about the human soul such as will serve as a working basis for those who are struggling to attain Self-Conscious Immortality. To begin with we must know just what the soul is, and what it is not. Then it will be advantageous to know just how it was formed, and how it continues to grow. And finally, as the end which is of paramount value to each individual, the method will be outlined by which Self-Conscious Immortality can be won.

Course 3: Spiritual Alchemy

The material alchemist works with the common minerals, such as copper, lead, tin, and iron, in the endeavor to change them into a metal more valuable. The mental alchemist follows similar principles; but the elements with which he works are his thoughts. He seeks to flux them one against the other, reduce them in the astral light, and recombine them in a mental gold that will attract to him ability, wealth, power and success. The spiritual alchemist goes a step still further. In fact, he takes the highest step possible to embodied man. He uses as his metals the various experiences of life. If some are not at hand that are necessary for this transmutation he seeks them out. He purifies them, fluxes them in proper proportion, dissolves them in the spiritual light by the aid of a reverberatory furnace, and if the resultant transmutation is successful he comes into possession of a golden chariot in which his soul may wing its heavenly flight through boundless time and eternity.

Course 4: Ancient Masonry

The Ancient Secret Doctrine…

The Ancient Secret Doctrine, now preserved in the symbolic forms of Masonry, gave to the old pagodas of China their peculiar shape. It commanded the erection of the eight-volved tower of Babel on Shinar’s plain, prompted the laborious building of the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, constituted the motive force that scattered huge lithic monuments over the fair face of Europe, and bade the construction of elaborate temples that yet remain but partly discovered amid the tangled vegetation of the American tropics. Consequently, whatever our opinion of the truth or falsity of its tenets, we cannot doubt that it conveyed ideas of moment to the minds of our remote forefathers.

Through the varied web of human history, woven from the odds and ends of half-forgotten traditions, runs an unbroken strand of gold. Nations have risen and fallen, empires have been welded and severed again, continents have been lifted and then submerged; yet through all time since man has made his home upon this mundane sphere, the golden thread of Masonic Symbolism has stretched unsevered through the warp and woof of racial destiny. There have been periods when the glittering strand has almost been lost to view amid the coarser fabric woven by statecraft and priestcraft; but ever it reappeared, scintillating in the foreground of evolutionary progress. Again and again has it strengthened the tone of human moral fiber in times of national decadence, again and again has it constituted the power behind the throne, a lifeline at critical periods to which a superior few could cling and struggle for racial advancement; working silently, secretly, yet effectively.

Course 5: Esoteric Psychology

Every Soul is Called into Existence to Fill a Definite Cosmic Need…
Observing the operation of God’s Great Plan, and how life-forms fit into it, each in its proper niche, all marching forward under cyclic law to perform a higher destiny, moving from the simple toward the more complex, brings conviction that souls are not brought into existence—differentiated, as the occultist would say—willy, nilly; but according to developing Cosmic Need. The ego, or potentiality which furnishes the energy to cause the soul, or mind, ceaselessly to struggle forward to the accomplishment of its destiny, is a spark of the divine fire, that is, pure spirit; an eternal atom of Deity. But until the moment of differentiation, it has no special individuality. It has potentiality, but that potentiality has not been released in the performance of any given activity. Under the stress of the Cosmic Need for a special type of soul to perform a given function developing in the future, the spirit atom is drawn into the creative vortex of angelic parents and given that definite trend which becomes its individuality.

Course 6:  The Sacred Tarot

Doctrine of Kabalism…

The word Kabala signifies traditional knowledge. It thus refers to the Oral Law, as handed down from antiquity; and embraces the occult traditions of all lands and all peoples. Often it is used merely as referring to the esoteric doctrines of the Jews; but in its broader sense it includes also the secret doctrine of other races. This secret doctrine, common to many lands, was jealously guarded from the profane, and was never permitted to pass into writing except in such ambiguous terms as to baffle the uninitiated as to its true purport.In this sense the sacred books of the world, including the Avesta, the Vedas and the Bible are largely kabalistical; for they set forth traditions that are capable of an inner, or esoteric, interpretation. In fact, there are usually several interpretations possible, each more inner version revealing a deeper truth to those who have advanced along the path far enough to comprehend it.

The Kabala has two divisions; the Written Kabala and the Unwritten Kabala. Of the unwritten Kabala, S. L. MacGregor Mathers, in his Kabbala Unveiled says: “The term ‘Unwritten Qbalah’ is applied to certain knowledge which is never entrusted to writing, but communicated orally. I may say no more on this point, not even whether I myself have or have not received it.”

The author of these lessons is not so modest about his acquaintance with the unwritten kabala. He has received it fully, and has also investigated the written traditions of the Jews and of all other peoples having had much influence in shaping the world’s thought. And this seems the proper place to point out that the unwritten kabala, like the written kabala, is set forth in symbolical language, with purposeful blinds and subterfuges to confuse the uninitiated; so that of the few who undoubtedly exist at the present day who have received it, most remain in as much ignorance of its true interpretation as the majority of students do after studying the more accessible written kabala. This unwritten kabala has been transmitted only through certain secret schools. Those receiving it well merit what is given to them. They are left to their own devices in the matter of interpretation. And because the real keys to its interpretation—astrology and the tarot—have been largely ignored, or distorted, they have floundered sadly in arriving at its meaning. Whether written or unwritten, the kabala is a philosophy correlated to esoteric astrology as exemplified by the tarot; and it can only be comprehended fully by those who perceive the true relation between astrological energies and their pictured tarot exemplification.

Course 7: Spiritual Astrology

The Method Used to Convey Spiritual Teachings…
In each of the twelve chapters to follow, using the same universal symbolism in reference to the zodiac that was employed by those who first traced the constellated pictures, and using the stories about the characters thus pictured that are still retained in myth, legend and sacred custom, I shall indicate the spiritual teachings which originally were attached to one of the zodiacal constellations and the three constellations picturing its decanates. In each instance I trust to be able not merely to indicate the spiritual doctrine taught by a constellation, but to point out the obvious implications of the universal symbolism employed by those who drew the picture in the sky and told a story to still further explain its purport. And I hope to do this in so clear a manner that the reader can easily discern the process followed by the ancients in thus perpetuating their findings, and that he will be able to recognize in each instance just why they adopted the picture and story employed, and thus to discern how wisely they selected each as best fitted to transmit the idea they wished to convey.

Course 8: Horary Astrology

The Doctrine of Horary Astrology…

And this brings us to the first factor of basic importance in horary astrology. For if the proposition or question has arisen seriously in the unconscious mind, this has already, before the matter has reached the objective consciousness, directed the unconscious mind to all the factors and conditions related to it. And the unconscious mind, because it occupies the inner plane and uses the senses and superior conditions of that plane to apprehend the various conditions, mirrors these various factors in detail in their correct relations. The desire of the unconscious mind to know about the matter has focused its attention on all the factors as they exist in the astral world, and they are present in the soul much as the image of a future picture is reflected in the “finder” of a camera. They have been brought to a focus all in their proper relation, but they only foreshadowed the future picture; for the picture may never be taken, the exposure never made, and the film never developed.

Thus when we earnestly ask a question, we may know that already the unconscious mind has imaged the picture in its “finder.” Unless there are compelling circumstances, if our inspection shows the light to be bad, the background poor, too much movement, or for any cause the composition to be unpleasing, we may decide not to make the exposure; for we know the picture would be a poor one. If, however, the exposure is to be made in spite of conditions, the “finder” of the unconscious mind shows just what the developed picture will look like.

Course 9: Mental Alchemy

Just How to Find the Thought Cause of Any Activity…

WHATEVER conditions, fortunate or unfortunate, are in the life have been attracted through three-dimensional activities prompted by, or the four-dimensional work of thought cells of definite compounds within the astral body. If we are ever to have a different type of fortune in any department of life—health, finances, affection, honor, etc.—the compound of thought elements within the stellar cells affecting that department of life must be changed. And if we are to proceed intelligently toward making such changes in the psychoplasm and stellar structures of our astral bodies as will restore health or attain some particular type of fortune, we must first have detailed knowledge of the thought cause of the condition to be remedied or augmented. We now possess, as the result of a vast amount of work accomplished by the Brotherhood of Light Research Department, quite specific knowledge as to the thought cause of most diseases of the physical body, and a wide variety of other conditions to be observed in human lives.

The planets by their house positions in a birth chart map the family of thought elements that have been built into the astral body in association with each of the twelve distinct departments of life. They thus show what thought elements up to the moment of birth have been built into the stellar cells of the astral body in such a manner as to determine the kind of events and conditions that will be attracted into the life in each domain of its activities.

Course 10: Natal Astrology (2 parts)

Part 1, Delineating the Horoscope & Part 2, Progressing the Horoscope

Follow Some Definite System…
In Chapter 3 (Serial Lesson 88), Course VIII, Horary Astrology, I have indicated the system, as seven steps which should be taken in the same order of sequence in judging any horoscope, which we have found most advantageous not merely in natal astrology, but also in other branches. Some such definite system should be adopted and followed by every astrologer.
First General Consideration…
The first step, as there given, consists in gauging the Power of the chart by the distribution of the planets among the houses. In natal astrology, planets in an angle indicate thought cells in the astral body with sufficient vigor to accomplish something. Unless there is energy present in volume nothing of importance, either good or bad, is attracted. Planets in an angle, or at least prominent, indicate thought-cell activity.

Course 11:  Divination & Character Reading

The Function of Divinatory Instruments…

Whether the less desirable Feeling ESP or the more desirable Intellectual ESP be employed, if information not available through ordinary physical channels is to be acquired the soul must exercise its senses or functions on the inner plane to apprehend the wanted information. After the soul has acquired the information about past, present or future, this information then resides in the unconscious mind, or soul, as a memory. Soul senses are incapable of contacting physical conditions directly. But they can contact the astral counterparts of those conditions and sense their world lines. Yet to be made available for physical use this information which has become a memory of an inner-plane experience must be brought up into objective consciousness. The interval between the astral experience and its objective recognition may be imperceptible, but thus to gain for it objective recognition it must be able to communicate its motions to electrical energies generated by the nervous system in such a manner that these vibrate the physical brain cells. All people have soul senses and soul faculties, and most have some ability to direct these senses and faculties into inner-plane activities by which considerable information is apprehended by the unconscious mind. Occasional strong inner-plane stimuli are sufficiently recognized by objective consciousness to be considered intuitions, hunches, or even undefined premonitions. And nearly everyone, even without the more exacting training by which ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception) and EPP (Extra-Physical Power) can be exercised independently of any external crutch, can, through the use of some divinatory instrument learn to get considerable information otherwise unobtainable, including some precognition.

Divinatory instruments vary, and are handled in different ways, but their function always is twofold: to direct the Attention and activities of the inner-plane senses and faculties toward obtaining specific information, and to aid in bringing that information, when the soul has acquired it, through from the inner-plane region to objective consciousness.

Course 12: Natural Alchemy (2 parts)

Part 1, Evolution of Life & Part 2, Evolution of Religion

Living in Two Worlds…

All should be made to recognize that neither science nor religion should remain static. Each should continue to develop and progress indefinitely. The aim of religion, whether so recognized by those who embrace it or not, is to afford optimum living for those who adhere to it. And to attain optimum living, effort must be made energetically and persistently to acquire as many new and significant facts as possible about the physical world and about the inner-plane world. As fast as such new and significant facts are discovered they should be included in religion in their proper relation to all facts about both planes already known. It is not because it possesses all knowledge now, but because it strives energetically thus to gain new and important facts relative to both planes, and to incorporate them properly into its teachings as soon as they are adequately verified, and thus moves progressively ever in the direction of more perfectly teaching mankind optimum living, that The Religion of the Stars is the world religion of the future.

Course 13: Mundane Astrology

The Doctrine of Mundane Astrology…

MUNDANE ASTROLOGY is the science of the influence of the heavenly bodies as they affect the world, nations, cities, communities and other groups of people. Any organization of individuals functioning under a common governing authority constitutes an entity. As such it attracts to itself fortunate and unfortunate events in a manner quite similar to that in which like events are attracted into the life of man. Both have birth charts which if known correctly map their characters; and both are influenced by picking up, radio fashion, four-dimensional vibrations through changes in their finer structures which are mapped by progressed aspects. Progressed aspects indicate the release of energies within the astral body of man that build across his four-dimensional form temporary stellar aerials. These temporary stellar aerials, so long as they function, pick up planetary energies of definite type, endow them with discordant static or pleasing harmony, and transmit them to the thought cells within the astral body at their terminals.

The astral body of man is composed of thought cells, or stellar cells, as they also commonly are called. These thought cells, receiving a new supply of energy from the temporary stellar aerials, acquire unusual activity. They thus work from their four-dimensional plane to attract events into the life.

According to their original composition, and the discord or harmony of the energy added to them as mapped by the progressed aspect, do they feel beneficent or malignant. To the extent they feel beneficent they work to attract fortunate events. But to the extent they feel malignant do they work to attract misfortune. The importance of the event attracted depends upon the amount of energy they acquire.

These stellar cells, of which the astral body of man is composed, occupy definite compartments within his finer form, as mapped by the houses of the birth chart. The department of life to which an event attracted by a progressed aspect relates is determined by the compartment in the astral body the thought cells of which receive the additional energy. This is revealed by the house occupied by each planet involved in the progressed aspect.

Course 14:  Occultism Applied to Daily Life

The Universe Is an Organic Whole Depending for Its Progress Upon the Cooperation of Its Intelligent Parts…

When consciousness in some degree frees itself from the physical world, it is able to use the soul senses and gain information through what science now calls extrasensory perception. And, at least in rare flashes, a person who has, or develops, his extrasensory perception can extend his consciousness on the inner plane to acquire a convincing realization that the universe is not a machine, but a living organic whole guided by a Supreme Intelligence. When he has thus had even one convincing experience with Cosmic Consciousness he no longer considers entities as existing independent of other entities; for he senses that all in some manner are interdependent. The universe then presents the aspect of a single organism moving persistently toward the development of a structure of greater complexity and perfection. All entities enter into this structure, and play a part in its welfare, even as each cell and organ of the human body contribute to or detract from, the health and ability of man.

Course 15: Weather Predicting

Weather Predicting…
To determine the influence of the inner-plane weather on the outer-plane weather there is no birth chart of weather as a whole that can be ascertained, for the weather has been in existence as long as there has been a planet earth. However, there are definite periods during which the weather normally functions. The three significant factors of the weather are the temperature, the air movement, and the precipitation of moisture. Therefore, what we need is the birth chart of each period affecting the temperature, the birth chart of each period affecting the movement of the air, and the birth chart of each period affecting the precipitation of moisture. And as in natal astrology, horary astrology, mundane astrology and stellar diagnosis, we also need to know the method of progressions which indicate when the weather changes indicated by each of these weather charts will take place, and the nature of the indicated change at that particular time.

Course 16: Stellar Healing

The Principles of Stellar Healing…

The general principle involved in the mentioned methods of soul healing is to bring about thought-cell and thought structure changes by prayer, affirmation, suggestion, or other means of directing thoughts to the accomplishment of the healing process. In stellar healing also, thoughts are directed to the healing of the soul. But it embraces three valuable factors not employed in other methods of healing by nonphysical means.

1. Before healing is attempted, stellar diagnosis is employed to determine exactly which thought cells and thought-cell structures are chiefly responsible for the physical disease. While a general health treatment commonly also is employed, in addition thoughts and other energies selected are then directed to the specific groups of thought cells needing to be altered to bring about the healing.

2. The thoughts and other energies thus utilized are not general in nature, but are carefully selected to provide antidotes or a type of energy specifically adapted best to change the discord of the inharmonious thought cells and thought structures needing treatment into the harmonious state which will bring health.

3. As planetary energies of specific progressed aspects always contribute discord or intensity, or both, to the thought-cell activity before these have the power and discord necessary to attract disease, other planetary energies selected specifically to give these same thought cells harmonious activity—even as a harmonious progressed aspect would do—are employed by the stellar healer to reinforce the thoughts he uses in the soul healing process.

Course 17: Cosmic Alchemy

Spiritual Values…

Knowledge when used for selfish ends, to enslave others, and to find means to enable the individual to be more brutal, detracts from spirituality. The lowest astral levels are inhabited by those who while on earth had keen intellects and had acquired much knowledge, but who so decreased their dominant vibratory rate by using that knowledge to cause others misery that they have gravitated to the very slums of the inner world. Either length of life or breadth of life is valuable in that it affords opportunity to increase the spirituality, but unless thus utilized it has no power to add to the life in this direction.

In general, because commonly they are accompanied by emotions that possess a very high vibration and constructive potency on the inner plane, we may broadly classify all those thoughts, feelings and actions that spring from a desire to help others, rather than to gain some profit for themselves, as spiritual. Such constructive efforts and the emotional states accompanying them generate some of the highest vibratory rates known to human life, and consequently are very potent sources of true spirituality.

People add most to their spirituality who live by the universal moral code—which is explained in detail in Chapter 6 (Serial Lesson 214), Course XIX, Organic Alchemy—stated thus: A SOUL IS COMPLETELY MORAL WHEN IT IS CONTRIBUTING ITS UTMOST TO COSMIC WELFARE. This implies that all, instead of just a few, of the thoughts, feelings and actions are motivated by the desire to benefit others, and that to be able to render greater service the individual, among other things, strives to gain more knowledge and to advance spiritually. In thus seeking to become a more valuable workman in the universal scheme, when he develops far enough he will become a spiritual alchemist. He will then seek out such experiences as he needs, and taking the proper attitude towards each and every event of his life, as explained in Course III, Spiritual Alchemy, he will insure its final spiritual transmutation.

But in addition to these two methods: (1) viewing events from the standpoint of spiritual alchemy, and (2) cultivating thoughts, feelings and actions that arise from the desire to benefit others, there is a third effective way to raise the dominant vibratory rate and thus to increase the spirituality. (3) As distinct from grosser experiences, a heightened intellectual and emotional appreciation may be cultivated that raises the vibratory rates and adds to the height of human experience.

Course 18: Imponderable Forces

Relative Importance of Imponderable Forces…

This means, in its practical application, that the person with a limited amount of energy to devote to such things should use about one-half of it learning intelligently to direct his own thoughts. If he neglects this, the aid he gets from other imponderable forces will be correspondingly small; but if he gives time in full measure to cultivating proper mental attitudes, the aid he gets from other imponderable forces will be very great.

Of the energy at his command to devote to occult pursuits, he will do well to devote about one-fourth of the total to learning about himself astrologically. One-eighth of the total can advantageously be devoted to a consideration of other people’s thoughts as influencing agents. Ordinarily he is warranted in devoting perhaps but one-sixteenth of the energy set aside for occult pursuits in reference to selecting suitable objects, or situations, for his environment. And there is then left to him, of the total devoted to occult pursuits, another one-sixteenth which he can use in the study of, and adjustments to, all other imponderable forces, including the spirits of the dead, and various denizens of the astral world.

Now I am well aware that this ratio of one-half, one-fourth, one-eighth, one-sixteenth, one-sixteenth is quite arbitrary, and certainly would not be applicable in all instances. But it seems to me better to have even such an arbitrary scale, open as it is to controversy, than to have no gauge at all. New thought enthusiasts and metaphysicians will deem that one-half is far too small a portion to allow for the development of proper thinking. The astrological fan will be sure that astrology should receive even more attention than thought. And the spiritualist will feel slighted to note that the influences from the next life are allocated an importance in our everyday affairs that warrants only one-sixteenth of our energy spent in occult pursuits being devoted to understanding and using them.

I shall find no fault with anyone who thinks I have underrated or overrated the importance of some particular type of imponderable force. But human time and energy are limited, and there is great need of some standard of values, so that they will not, in ignorance, be frittered away. As a practical occultist, interested in all imponderable forces, and somewhat familiar with the various types, I have attempted to give a ratio based upon my experience of the relative importance of each in the average run of people’s lives.

Course 19:  Organic Alchemy

The Higher Code…

But when he perceives the general outline of God’s Great Plan, that each soul is being educated to perform a necessary work in the future, and that the progress of the whole depends upon such specialization and proper division of labor, this knowledge also should indicate to him that his own further advancement depends upon the redirection of his energies with the purpose of assisting as much as possible in the progress of the world.

If the world is to make proper progress, not just a few of its people must have opportunity to gain knowledge and develop abilities, but all must have such opportunities. The development of a few souls only is a sad waste of material. Instead, all the people of the earth should be given the opportunity to learn as much about Nature’s laws as they can assimilate, all should be given the opportunity to develop whatever natural aptitudes are shown in their charts of birth, and all should be encouraged to develop as much spirituality as possible. These opportunities require that all people should have Freedom From Want, Freedom From Fear, Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Worship.

Relative to developing spirituality, THE LAW OF COMPENSATION demands that effort must be made in the proper direction if it is to be acquired. And for acquiring spirituality the most effective effort is that directed toward living the completely moral life, toward, that is, CONTRIBUTING THE UTMOST TO UNIVERSAL WELFARE.

Course 20:  The Next Life

Through Astral and Spiritual to Celestial…

Let us suppose, therefore, that you are an ordinary citizen of the physical world, that you have not lived a life devoid of unselfish acts, but at the same time have made no very great effort to build up your spirituality, and that you have made enough study of occultism that you can readily adapt yourself to the conditions on the astral plane. Perhaps as a result of extrasensory perception you have had at least flashes of Cosmic Consciousness. And it is to be assumed that at least in rare intervals, you have had extrasensory experiences that have brought to you convincing proof of inner-plane forces, that conscious life persists beyond the tomb, that the universe is an organic whole dependent upon the cooperation of its parts for progress, and that in other rare instances you have made convincing personal contacts with the all-pervading intelligence of Deity. In other words, suppose you are in enlightenment and spirituality about the average of the present twenty thousand students who read The Brotherhood of Light courses. What can you expect when you pass to the next life?

Due to the fact that you have a fairly clear conception of what the next life is like, the sleep transition between the physical plane and the astral world will probably be of very short duration. You will awaken after possibly only a few moments loss of consciousness. You will find yourself amid very pleasant surroundings and will be greeted by welcoming friends. Not unlikely someone you have loved on earth who has passed before will be apprised of your coming and condition himself temporarily to the region close to earth where you have your astral birth so that he can explain to you your new surroundings and help you to become thoroughly adjusted.

This period of adjustment for you, because you already know about what to expect, will not take long. Very shortly, feeling vigorous and fully recovered from the strain of transition, you will go, probably guided by a companion, to an astral level above the one into which you were born. Because your own dominant vibratory frequencies are the same as those of this level, you will feel quite comfortable in its atmosphere. Should you later descend toward earth, the atmosphere there will feel thick and foggy and the light dim. But should you attempt to move into a higher level, the light appears dazzling and the atmosphere too rarefied to sustain your existence.

Course 21: Personal Alchemy

The Universal Moral Code…

If an individual is capable of living a perfectly spiritual life, such as an adept lives, he can live it in any environment where he finds himself. If he can only live the perfect spiritual life when apart from his family and friends and business associates, it is not a perfect spiritual life he is living, but merely an artificial life which, like a hothouse plant, seems beautiful only while under special care and protection. Do not think the real adept lives apart in the mountain fastness. The real spiritual giants live and work among men, contributing their energies and powers to alleviate human ignorance and suffering, and in all ways possible aiding in the realization of God’s Great Plan.

To become such a spiritual giant the neophyte must make a small beginning and gradually, one step at a time, change his habit systems until, as a matter of steady growth he has those habits of life which distinguish the adept. The adept, or perfect man, must, of course, master all the 21 branches of occult science. He must be an individual marked for his wisdom. And in the course of his development he must attain to certain occult powers. Furthermore, his efforts lead him to a refinement of thoughts, emotions and actions, so that he is a being of superior appreciations and perceptions. But above all, and at all times, the mark of the adept is his strong adherence to the perfect moral code: A SOUL IS COMPLETELY MORAL WHEN IT IS CONTRIBUTING ITS UTMOST TO UNIVERSAL WELFARE.

The real adept has arrived at the state of adeptship, not through any selfish desire to be superior to other men, and not through a desire to exercise uncommon powers. Instead, he has arrived at this exalted goal because, as a neophyte, he has realized that in the attainment of a higher type of spirituality, by the attainment of unusual powers and abilities, and through the use of more comprehensive knowledge, he could do more to assist in the furtherance of God’s Great Plan. He has arrived at adeptship not through any “holier than thou” motive, but through his earnest desire and endeavor to contribute the most possible to cosmic welfare, and perceiving that ability, wisdom and increasing power would lead him to this objective.