The Teaching Summary, Contents: The Channel Introduction, Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Summary, Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Appendix, Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Conclusion
Personal Progress And Themes
Perhaps the purpose of a man's life on earth may be made clearer if, for the moment, we put aside the analogy of the Book with its Chapters of lives, and regard his many lives on earth as a day's long Journey which takes him through many and varied countries, towards a high Mountain on his horizon. This Mountain is the Light. Each individual makes his own way to this Mountain, although much of this way must lie on roads taken by others.
The moment when each man first became aware of this Mountain, was the moment of the awakening of his Conscious Mind and the beginning of his Journey. From this moment the satisfaction of his natural appetites no longer sufficed to content him. This point in time, the first glimpse of the Mountain, or the first attraction towards the Light, is known in the Thought World as:
The dawn of the first reflection.
A route is chosen for each individual by the Light. This is the best road for that person, suited to his personality, to his powers, and to his limitations. It is chosen, also, for the contribution his own Journey should make towards the Return Journey or History of Mankind.
To convey to you the great difference the use of free-will makes in the accomplishment of this Journey, it might be said that a man whose choice never differed from the given route, who followed the way set for him without deviation, could finish his Journey in seven weeks; whereas the average time actually taken is nearer seven years or more. If you bear in mind that earth was the dimension set aside for the working out of the original opposition, you may understand the cause of many of man's deviations. For the two fundamental objects of man's lives on earth are the growth of his own personality, and the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the two Ways other than his own, without which his own progress is retarded. Therefore man's difficulty in keeping to his given route is found, not so much in the weakness of his flesh, as in the strength of his selfwill. The first may cause him to stumble, but these stumblings have a humbling effect; they bring in their wake their own corrective consequences. His greater obstacle lies in his free-will; the power of choice given him, that he may make his Return Journey of his own wish, or, if he so wills it, turn away from the Light. The greatest danger of all is that he may become inert and lose his will. Herein lies a paradox, for inertia is his loss of that power of choice.
Picture it thus. A man whose natural Way, inherited from his Eternal Mind, is the Way of Truth, will, during his lives on earth incline towards the lonely ways, and those that lead him over high hills and mountains. But, since understanding of the Way of Beauty is necessary to him, his given route will often take him across seas, through woods, or by rivers, to learn of their Beauty, a Beauty quite different from that of his own Way. Moreover, since he must also learn to understand the Way of Service, his route will lead him to towns and cities, there to come into contact with his fellow men. On the other hand, the man whose natural Way is Beauty, finds his self-will urging him to linger in his own soft country. But his given route will take him into the desolate ways of the hills and deserts, for the understanding of Truth; into the towns and cities for the understanding of Service. But the man whose natural Way is Service, will be drawn to the habitations of men, and he will be satisfied with the Beauty of man's creations. But his route will require him to learn what the lonely Ways of Truth can teach him, and to seek Beauty at its source.
Thus, many of man's deviations are made through his desire to turn from his given route of the unfamiliar Ways, towards a path that leads to the familiar country of his own loved Way. Should he leave his given route, the consequences of the false trail or deviation will be pain, trouble and perhaps failure in that life; but mostly hard experience teaches him to overcome his selfish inclinations and to take the given route. For so long as his desire stays towards the Mountain, all deviations eventually trend back to this route, the true path to reach his goal.
This great Journey to the Light is divided into three stages, and each stage ends in one especially important life which is the climax of that stage. All is there, to the final view from the top of the Mountain. However each nearer view and wider horizon must be won personally. It cannot come down to man, but must be the reward of man's own personal effort.
The end of the first stage should bring the individual to the foot of the Mountain, with the climb before him. The climb from the foot to the summit should be made in the second and third stages. During this climb, each day's Journey, or life, should reach a new height, and each gain should lead to the prospect of a wider horizon, and each new vista give a greater appreciation of the purpose of the Light.
The first stage, in which the Mountain is reached, is the longest, and in this stage failure is possible. For during this stage the individual may decide that the Mountain is an illusion, and through inertia, give up his search. Or by constant intervention of his selfwill in favour of contrary objects, or directions, he may so weaken his desire towards the Mountain as to deflect him finally and irrevocably.
The twofold purpose, the growth of personal progress of the Conscious Mind, and the gain in understanding of the two Ways other than his own, dominate this first stage of the traveller's Journey: they should culminate in a life which at its completion, carries him to the foot of the Mountain. This is a momentous achievement for then, in the words of the church, he has "found salvation", for thereafter he will not abandon his Journey. It is still possible, nevertheless, for him to gain far less from it than his route had promised, but at least he has the certainty of finishing his Journey.
The Book analogy is more useful, however, as a general analogy so we will return to it.
The Book, complete with all its Chapters, is thus divided into three parts. Each of these parts ends with a special life or Chapter and these three special lives are called:
- The First Important Chapter
- The Second Important Chapter
- The Third Important Chapter
The completion of the First Important Chapter, the life which, in the analogy of the Journey, enabled man to reach the foot of the Mountain and thus gain the right to finish his Journey, in the analogy of the Book also assures the individual the power to complete his Book. As well as this great gain, however, there is yet another significant result from this achievement. The Supra-conscious Mind of a Conscious Mind that has successfully lived its First Important Chapter, is at the conclusion of that life freed from its existence in the School, and begins his or her adult existence in the Thought World.
This vital change is reflected in the succeeding lives of that Conscious Mind. During the first part of the Book, the personal progress of the Conscious Mind has to dominate the Pattern of all its lives, until the successful conclusion of the First Important Chapter assures the ultimate completion of its Book. Indeed this personal progress must always be the nucleus of every life or Chapter, right through to the end of the Book, and the need of that Conscious Mind to acquire some knowledge of the two Ways other than its own, is a part of that progress of course. But as soon as the First Important Chapter is over, the theme of the Book will begin to expand, and to emerge, whenever personal progress is sufficient to allow the theme's development. Thus the same twofold purpose shows in the lives of a single Conscious Mind, as is shown in a Group. In a Group the bond between Unity Eternal Minds leads to the perfected single personality of that one Way, whilst the bond between the Group and its Special Contacts leads to an understanding of the union of all three Ways, through service to each other. So the personal progress attained by each life of a Conscious Mind is stored in its Supra-conscious Mind, affecting the succeeding lives of that Conscious Mind but, by the development of the theme of its Book, this personal progress also gives assistance to others. For the theme of every individual's Book is received from the Light. It rests on the foundation of his own Way, whether that is Truth, Beauty or Service, because he can give more from his own Way than from one he is only learning to understand. It is that Conscious Mind's contribution toward the Return Journey, the part which that individual Conscious Mind plays in the History of Mankind.
The second part of the Book must continue with the individual's progress until it can culminate in the Second Important Chapter. The same applies to the third part of the Book; but neither the Second Important Chapter, nor the Third Important Chapter, can be undertaken until the personal progress of the Conscious Mind permits that particular life, the Important Chapter, to be a life in which the theme sets and dominates that Chapter. The Second Important Chapter is usually set in a period of a rise in the tide of whichever of the six Planes the theme is going to reflect and that life will usually be one of a group of Conscious Minds chosen for the making of that flood tide. But the Third Important Chapter will be set when that theme will give a reflection from one of the Planes, which only that Conscious Mind can give, unsupported by other lives doing the same thing. This Important Chapter will be the climax of its theme.
The following examples illustrate six themes forming the Books of the six Conscious Minds of a Group and will serve to show this intermingling of personal progress and of the theme of the Book. These six are chosen so that in each case a First, Second or Third Important Chapter takes place during the present age.
The Theme Of The Book Of A Feminine Conscious Mind, Or Woman, Belonging To The Way Of Truth
Whenever her personal progress permits, she is to be a link between the Thought World and the earth.
In the first part of her Book, the theme should emerge sufficiently for one life in that part to be lived as a seer. This will take place in Egypt, and will form her First Important Chapter.
In the second part of her Book, her personal progress should allow two or three lives involving psychic experiences, one of which should include the practice of meditation. These are to be lived in Asia, and are to lead up to her Second Important Chapter in Phoenicia, which will form part of a movement contesting the use of black magic.
The third part of her Book, when her personal progress permits, should culminate in her Third Important Chapter being lived in this present age. Her personal contribution should be a record linking earth and the Thought World, in words translated through the Art of Remembrance.
The Theme Of A Book Of Her Unity Conscious Mind, A Man, Belonging To The Way Of Truth
Whenever his personal progress permits, he should influence the thought of his time in the direction of Truth.
In the first part of his Book, his progress should permit him to live a life as the leader in a voyage of exploration, which has some scientific value, although not recognised as such at that time. For that life he will live on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
In the second part of his Book, when his personal progress permits, he will divert this physical urge towards exploration, into a mental desire to seek the Truth. It will culminate in his Second Important Chapter taking place at the same time, and with, his Unity Conscious Mind in Phoenicia. Their Second Important Chapter will coincide, his part being the active suppression of black magic practised by his tribe in the temple, of which he is priest, followed by a written record of rules and directions for his people. His name in this life is Sanchuniathon.
In the third part of his Book, his personal progress should allow him a life lived at the same time as the Third Important Chapter of his Unity Conscious Mind, although not in close contact, in order to assist her. His own Third Important Chapter comes after the decline of this present civilisation, when he will be given a reflection from the Plane of Evolution of Mind. His personal contribution should enable him to prepare, and to lead, a group of people towards a new revelation. For this life he will have the close contact of his Unity Conscious Mind whose gift of Remembrance will be necessary.
The Theme Of The Book Of A Feminine Conscious Mind, Or Woman, Belonging To The Way Of Beauty
(This theme of Beauty is taken from another Group.)
Whenever her personal progress permits, she should move others on earth to a perception of Beauty, in the first and second part of her Book to the beauty of colour and form and in the third part of her Book to the beauty of music.
In the first part of her Book her personal progress should permit a life in which, through the art of decoration, she raises the level of the surroundings in which she lives.
In the second part of her Book she should develop the art of dancing, to become in her Second Important Chapter a ritualistic dancer of merit, interpreting the mystic rites of her religion. For this she will live North of India.
In the third part of her Book, when her personal progress allows, she should develop a singing voice which, in her Third Important Chapter will bring her fame on earth. This should take place in this present civilisation, in its stage of materialism, and should turn the thoughts of people from materialism towards Beauty, but this can only be achieved if she attains fame without the loss of her simplicity.
The Theme Of The Book Of Her Unity Conscious Mind, A Man, Belonging To The Way Of Beauty
(This theme of Beauty is taken from another Group)
That he should receive two reflections to translate from the Plane of Music and when his personal progress permits, these will be his Second and Third Important Chapters.
In the first part of his Book his progress should allow one life lived in close contact with his Unity Conscious Mind, their First Important Chapter coinciding. In this life he would be a singer.
In the second part of his Book his personal progress should permit him a life lived in close contact with his Unity Conscious Mind during her Second Important Chapter, when she is a ritualistic dancer in the relationship of her father, that he may influence her life for that purpose.
His own Second Important Chapter should come in a period when music is carried to a flood tide. His own creative work should rise to the crest of that wave, but must form part of a domestic life in which he will marry twice, his first wife being his Unity Conscious Mind.
In the third part of his Book, when his personal progress permits, his Third Important Chapter should come after this present civilisation, and he should lift the music of that time out of its stage of distortion, the aftermath of a preceding stage. For this, his personal contribution, he will not have the support of a group of musicians, nor of his Unity Conscious Mind.
The Theme Of The Book Of A Feminine Conscious Mind, Or Woman, Belonging To The Way Of Service
When her personal progress allows to acquire a personality that will draw others to her, by her understanding of their troubles and difficulties.
In the first part of her Book this will not be able to extend beyond those on her own Way of Service. Her First Important Chapter should bring to her, her Special Experience with Azrael, which will enable her to overcome a serious illness.
In the second part of her Book she should have gained sufficient understanding of the Way of Beauty to attain sympathetic relationship with those on that Way and by using this understanding, will share the Second Important Chapter with her Unity Conscious Mind.
In the third part of her Book, when her personal progress permits, she should live a life devoted to the service of mankind; a religious life in which she should gain an understanding attitude to those on the Way of Truth. Her personal contribution in this life will be a denial of marriage and family and in it she will not have the support of her Unity Conscious Mind.
The Theme Of The Book Of Her Unity Conscious Mind, A Man, Belonging To The Way Of Service (12)
When his personal progress permits, he should act as a solvent between his own Way of Service, and the Ways of Beauty and Truth.
In the first part of his Book his personal progress should culminate in his First Important Chapter lived in close contact with his Unity Conscious Mind in this present civilisation.
The profession of medicine will be his chosen way of life, but in its execution he should acquire some understanding of Beauty, and accept a new aspect of Truth that will bear on his Third Important Chapter.
In the second part of his Book his Second Important Chapter again coincides with the Second Important Chapter of his Unity Conscious Mind, and in it they will be given a position of worldly importance in order that they may have power to give assistance and encouragement to both artists and musicians.
In the third part of his Book, when his personal progress permits, he should live his Third Important Chapter as a priest. This will occur during the decline of this civilisation, and his special contribution will be to help to bring the religion of that time into conformity with a new revelation, and for this he must live without the help of his Unity Conscious Mind.
Average Rules For The Arrangements Of The Three Important Chapters
It has been said already that Unity Conscious Minds meet seldom on earth, but, as will be seen in the six themes above, the three Important Chapters in each individual's Book of lives are exceptions to this rule. In these Important Chapters they usually have the support of each other, as their themes are complementary.
The normal arrangement is that of the examples given above to the themes of Beauty and Service; that is the Unity Conscious Minds are in close contact in their First and Second Important Chapters, but not in their Third. The themes given above to the Unity Conscious Minds of Truth illustrate a more exceptional arrangement, for they do not meet in either of their First Important Chapters, but coincide for their Second Important Chapters, in one of which they are in close contact. However there is a wide scope for variety as to how they meet in their Important Chapters, and only an average rule.
In studying these themes it is important to remember that, although the theme of the Book and the personal progress are interdependent and equally important, the span given to these three Important Chapters is infinitesimal, compared to the period required to prepare for them by personal progress. In this time of preparation the coexistence of Special Contacts is frequent and progressive. Again there are formidable intervals between Important Chapters, spent in the correction of deviations, and in making reparation to others who suffer from these deviations.
It will be seen by examining the themes of the Conscious Minds belonging to the Way of Service, that in their Books the theme is a part of personal progress. This is the result of their nonparticipation in the original opposition. This advantage was determined by the conditions of this creation, for it must not be forgotten that it was created so that the Way of Service might be shown to be as equal a Way to the Light as those of Truth and Beauty. Moreover it balances the handicap that those on the Way of Service suffer, in that they have to acquire understanding of the Way of Truth and the Way of Beauty, two Ways unrelated to their own, and equally difficult for them. Whereas there is a natural affinity between the Way of Truth and the Way of Beauty, born of the same method of approach, that of a single Mind. This enables their Conscious Minds on earth to learn of each other's Way with greater ease than either can learn of the Way of Service, and is demonstrated in the Thought World by their sharing the Second Progression, from which the evolution of earth is controlled through the six Planes. This affinity is lacking between these two Ways and the Way of Service, for no Mind can follow the Way of Service by itself.
When the relationship between the earth and the Thought World has been further explained, it will be seen, that although evolution on earth is controlled by the six Planes of Truth and Beauty, in the execution of this control, the Way of Service permeated all from the very beginning.
All the themes of every Book are, in effect, the threads that together form the Great Pattern of the Return Journey, or History of Mankind. So the themes of those belonging to the Ways of Truth and Beauty, just as much as those belonging to the Way of Service, being woven into this Great Pattern, are used in the service of humanity.
(9) Here Kath described her own three Important Chapters. Her autobiography is an example for the theme of a Third Important Chapter of a feminine Conscious Mind, or woman, on the Way of Truth Back to text.
(10) This is the description of the three Important Chapters of the Man that Sees. Back to text.
(11) This is the description of the three Important Chapters of the Mother. Back to text.
(12) This is the description of the Doctor's three Important Chapters. Back to text.