PSYCHOLOGY is the science of mind; and the word esoteric signifies inner. Esoteric Psychology, therefore, embraces the inner workings of the mind; not being confined in its researches to the physical, or three-dimensional plane, but including every plane and every type of life-form through which mind, or soul, expresses.
This does not exclude the findings of exoteric
psychology, which confines its attention to the physical world. Inner processes
are largely recognized by their external effects. Thus the better to understand
the relationship of inner mental factors, we can afford to ignore no demonstrated
finding of laboratory psychology. In fact, the experiments of the Behaviorist
school of psychology, and those of the psychoanalysts, afford us a vast
fund of carefully checked evidence. Thousands of such experiments conducted
by specially trained men enable us to cite facts which give us understanding
of the processes of the unconscious mind.
Some fifty years ago Thomas J. Hudson, after observing various types of psychic phenomena, came to the conclusion that man possesses, in addition to his ordinary everyday consciousness, mental abilities and mental processes of which he is unaware. In his Law of Psychic Phenomena he set forth the theory and apparently demonstrated it by many examples of their workings, that each human being has two minds. The common everyday one, of which we ordinarily are conscious, he called the Objective Mind. The other, about the operations of which we usually have no knowledge, he termed the Subjective Mind.
Then, after Hudson, there arose the school of experimental research, which exerted a vast ingenuity and dogged perseverance in devising and applying tests by which they hoped to determine, not merely if spiritistic phenomena took place as claimed by its advocates, but if it all could be accounted for through the subjective mind, or as they chose to term it, the Subconscious Mind.
These found that there is a section of the human mind which functions while still attached to a physical body much as Hudson said. Some of the greatest of these scientific Psychical researchers, such as Sir Oliver Lodge and Sir William Crookes, became convinced they had received evidence of the survival of the personality in an unseen world. And about that time it was decided that another name was more suitable for that which they had been calling the Subconscious Mind. They therefore joined the Latin limen, meaning threshold, to sub, meaning under, to form the word signifying those states of mind which are below the threshold of everyday consciousness.
Up to the time of Freud, the Subliminal Mind was the current terminology for that which Hudson had christened the Subjective Mind. It was coined as a strictly descriptive term. But certain popular metaphysical writers jumped to the unwarranted conclusion that it was used to denote sublime, in the sense of lofty, and was therefore a very superior thing to the Subconscious Mind.
To their imaginations, but not to scientific men, nor to genuine occult students, there existed three minds: the ordinary Objective Mind, the rather despised Subconscious Mind, and the god-like Subliminal Mind to which they looked in demonstrating whatever they desired; even to demonstrating into their own pockets, without giving value received, money which other people had worked hard to acquire.
Not that they wished to be dishonest. They merely lost sight of the fact that wealth is the product of labor applied to material, or its equivalent, and that even when wealth is demonstrated by the power of the Subliminal Mind, someone works to produce it. Money is not materialized out of thin air, but when one person acquires it, another person is deprived of it. Which is just enough, if he is given its equivalent value in return.
With the coming of Freud and the vast literature on psychoanalysis which followed him, a new fashion in terminology developed, and what had once been called the Subconscious Mind came to be recognized by psychologists as the Unconscious Mind. Therefore, to keep step with the approved terminology as it exists at the present moment, in these lessons that which once was called Subjective Mind, Subconscious Mind, and Subliminal Mind--all meaning the same thing--will be referred to as the Unconscious Mind.
Furthermore, because in it resides the sum total of consciousness including that which connects up with the physical brain to express as Objective Consciousness, it should be understood that the Mind, the Soul, the Character and the Unconscious Mind of an individual are one and the same thing. There are not two minds. What is called Objective Consciousness, or Objective Mind, and about which there is a growing tendency upon the part of some psychologists to call Clear Consciousness, is merely a portion of the Mind, Soul, or Unconscious Mind--as you choose to term it--manifesting through the physical brain. To do this it utilizes electric energies to impart vibratory rates to the brain cells.
How the astral substance of the four-dimensional realm in which most of the energies of the Soul, or Unconscious Mind reside, exchanges energy with physical substance through their mutual contact with the ether is explained in detail in Laws of Occultism (Course 1). That mind, in some degree is an associate of substance wherever found is set forth at considerable length in Spiritual Alchemy (Course 3). And the steps and processes of the Involution and Evolution of the soul are given detailed attention in Astrological Signatures (Course 2). Therefore, it must be assumed that the reader is somewhat familiar with these subjects, which afford the necessary background for the comprehension of Esoteric Psychology.
The practice of psychoanalysis, for instance, has revealed to psychiatrists that within man's Unconscious there lurks every tendency, impulse and desire characteristic of lower forms of life on earth. Many of these traits have been amalgamated to express man's higher tendencies, and in the normal human life find little opportunity for their old expression. Nevertheless they are there, and under certain pathological conditions they separate from the higher tendencies of which they form a part and become dominant as bestial desires expressing in anti-social forms of behavior. And even in the lives of normal men the presence of these lower-than-human tendencies are revealed to the alert observer in the many little unconscious actions of everyday life, and particularly in dreams, while the vigilance of the higher mentality is dormant.
That such should be the case is to be expected when it is recognized that all the traits and characteristics of the Unconscious Mind are derived from its previous experiences, as conditioned, stored and fused into more complex organizations within the four-dimensional astral form.
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.
Needs and trends of the mental and physical worlds are mirrored by the positions of the planets and zodiacal signs. These create tensions and set up pressures in astral substance which have an influence upon life. Life-forms find it easy to move in the direction of the prevailing four-dimensional currents; but difficult to face the astral headwinds, or even to go cross-stream. Thus can activities on earth be foretold by charting the heavens.
This Law of Correspondences, as the relation between entities or movements and stellar positions is called, is universal in its application. And while the stresses in the Cosmic Mind belong to a plane of dimensions far above that which can be charted, we can assume that something similar obtains even in the most interior realm, and that, were we on the six-dimensional plane, the so-called Celestial Realm, where the ego receives its differentiation, that it would be quite possible to chart the stellar influences there which resulted in any particular ego's differentiation.
Observation, if extended sufficiently far, convinces that the universe is not fortuitous but exhibits the characteristics of intelligent design. And we must conclude, not merely from the Law of Correspondences, but from witnessing the processes of evolution, that the intelligent entities of which the universe consists, and which perform its work, are not brought into existence unintelligently, but because the completion of the universal design calls for the performance of the function for which each is being educated.
Each ego is called from the realm of potential unspecialized spirit by the developing need for a workman of a particular kind. And could we possess the stellar chart of the moment when it is born of angelic parents--that is, differentiated--this celestial birth-chart would furnish us with the design of the function the ego is called into existence to fulfill. Such would be the ego's birth-chart.
This celestial birth-chart mirrors one portion of the Whole Cosmic Plan. It is that section of the progressive Infinite Design which is the ego's special work and which it can do better than any other; because it is called into existence under those conditions which give its potentiality those special trends, which when developed through education, fit it particularly for that work.
As the Cosmic Temple is a very complex edifice there must be workers, so to speak, in iron and workers in brass, workers in wood and workers in glass-- painters, masons, decorators, lighters, heaters and a myriad others--on the faithfulness and efficiency of all, each in his own line of endeavor, depending the perfection, utility and beauty of the Temple. Yet the edifice never will be completed; for it is laid out as a progressive plan, such that when one set of specifications is completely filled another is imposed, outlining a finer, more exquisite, effect.
Such increasing perfection, and such expanding proportions, not only require a continual addition of new workmen--egos with their attendant souls--but require in those already at work, increasingly higher skill of execution. Thus must they perpetually progress in the perfection of their abilities that they may handle the work which it is their special mission to perform, and which assures them of immortal life.
Each ego, therefore, at the moment of its differentiation, under the influence of the stresses that then mirror Cosmic Needs, is given a polarity--that is, attractive and repulsive qualities--that determines broadly the trend of its future development. This original polarity, could it be mapped, would constitute the ego's chart of birth, affording a blue-print of its future work, and indicating the type of experiences necessary to develop such abilities as are required in its performance.
The ego, when differentiated, however, cannot be said to have possessed either feeling or knowledge-- Love or Wisdom--because, as set forth in full detail in The Mission of the Soul (Lesson No. 4), all knowledge and feeling are derived from experience with environment. They are based upon perceptions of relations; and the ego as yet had experienced no relations, awareness can be developed only through repeated contacts with changing environment.
All intelligence and all feeling are developed through the recognition of the differences that exist between things contacted. And the ego, due to its Original polarity--attractive and repellent quality--at once started attracting experiences. That is, it started having those experiences which are the basis of feeling and intelligence--Love and Wisdom. And thus it gradually built around itself, of the substance of the plane it occupied, a form which was sensitive to such contacts, registering and reacting to them.
How the ego, that it might have wider contrast and variety of experiences, extended the sphere of its influence to the fifth dimensional spiritual realm; and there, to still further widen the scope of its training and ultimate usefulness divided the soul-sphere which it had developed into two-monads, is explained more fully in Astrological Signatures (Course 2). Each of these twin souls however, expresses the birth-chart of the ego according to its masculine or feminine polarity.
These two souls are impelled in their forward evolutionary movement by the same spirit ego. There is the same potentiality, or driving power, behind each. These souls, or minds thus developed by the ego, are organizations in substance which register experiences derived from contacts with the environment. The kind of environment attracted is determined by the polarity of the ego; that is, by its celestial birth-chart; just as the experiences attracted by a man are determined by his physical birth-chart. The ego at all times furnishes the divine driving power that urges the development of both souls and gives to them that ineradicable longing for significance that becomes the will to live and struggle. Nor can the soul lose its immortality so long as there persists the connecting line between itself and its ego.
The ego furnishes the eternal divine energy. This energy acts upon the substance of some plane of existence, and a form is gradually built. The form whether spiritual, astral or physical, becomes organized in a particular way through its contacts with environment. Its experiences are registered as feeling and intelligence. Feeling and intelligence, however, are not registered by physical substance. Three dimensional existence affords a means of contacting experiences of great contrast and wide diversity, but in itself is too coarse to retain such impressions. But associated with all physical substance (see Course 1) is both the ether--a transition substance--and the four-dimensional astral, or stellar, substance. This four-dimensional substance is frictionless, and retains indefinitely the motions imparted to it. And it is in this fourth-dimensional substance that all physical and astral experiences are recorded.
The recording of an experience, whether directly derived from the external environment or from a mental process, causes a change to take place in the substance where the recording is made. That is, the sum total of the organization in the finer forms, all derived from experiences, constitutes the soul, the mind, the character, or the unconscious mind, these four terms signifying identically the same thing.
What these experiences have been was determined by the birth-chart of the ego. Each of its two souls or thought-organization, is moving forward under the impetus given it by the ego, gathering those experiences, in association with various forms, which it requires to develop the abilities indicated by the ego's birth-chart to be necessary to perform the required function in realizing the Cosmic Plan. It is busy acquiring both the experience and the power to be able to handle that section of Cosmic Work for which the ego provided the blue-print.
The ego's chart is the blue-print to which both the female soul and the male soul work. That is, in the division of the soul sphere in the higher state of the spiritual realm, as a physical cell so often divides to form two, the original polarity of the ego impressed itself equally upon each. But this quality of attracting certain events and repelling others, because exerted in the one case from feminine relations and in the other from those masculine, does not result in identical experiences for twin souls. As the essential polarity of each is the same, in their broader outline the trains of experience parallel each other. But in particulars there is wide variation. Yet both the parallels and the variations in training tend to educate them so that they both desire, and are fitted for, a given work, in which their abilities complement each other.
Because through the long stretch of time since
its formation a soul continues to manifest attractive and repellent qualities
similar to those of its ego's birth-chart, even though these qualities
have been given special twists and trends through contact with environment,
the birth-chart of an individual when he appears on earth in human form
bears, in a broad and general way the impress which indicates his Cosmic
Work. But from this we must not conclude that the birth-charts of twin
souls must be almost identical. In their broader aspect they show similarity;
otherwise they would not be fitted to work together in the performance
of a common Cosmic Function. But that their abilities should complement
each other, each has had a variety of experiences not undergone by the
other; and a birth-chart is a map of all the experiences a soul has had
up to the time of human birth.