AGNI YOGA WEB TV
„ASPECTS OF THE PRACTICE OF AGNI YOGA“
Participation in the Life of the Higher World
Dear Agni Yogis,
today we shall be looking into one of the most beautiful, important and profound teachings of the Mahatmas:
You understand that without the broadening of the heavenly ways the existence becomes nil. (Community 29)
Ponder this wisdom in your heart!
Your earthly existence is meaningless if you do not also live your Heavenly life.
The disciple remarks: "That sounds mystical and difficult to understand."
Well, in this Broadcasting we want to show that Agni Yoga recommends a very simple, practicable concept to better manage our everyday earthly life.
True Existence in the Higher World
If the eternal part of your being, your soul, is your true self, it follows necessarily:
The life of your Eternal Individuality in the world of the soul is your true existence!
Your Higher Self, as an invisible, non-material, spiritual being, exists not on the physical plane, the earth, but in the Invisible, the Higher, the Spiritual World. And this not only after death, but already now, during the earthly incarnation of your body! This is a fact, which is true independently of whether you believe it or not.
We care not only about the earthly life, but even more about the supermundane existence. (Supermundane 795)
Crucial for the quality of your life is not the material, but the spiritual world in which you are living!
Often people complain about the monotony of their external life. But any external life whatever depends upon the riches of the inner life. The external life is but a hundredth part of the inner. Therefore the inner life is the true one. (Fiery World III, 520)
Agni Yoga shows and this Broadcasting will explain how you can become aware of your soul's participation in the life of the Higher World and how you can be living and working there already during the earthly incarnation.
Learn to live simultaneously in both the earthly and Supermundane Worlds. (Supermundane 900)
If you are unable to do this, you miss your true existence!
You are called upon to live in the most beautiful world you can possibly imagine, in a paradise: For example, as a king of the spirit in a castle or as a spiritual disciple in the ashram of your teacher. But you reject these possibilities and prefer to remain in the gloomy lowlands of a hell.
"Why is life in the Higher World so important even now? Isn't it enough to take care of it after death?"
If you do not learn to live in the Spiritual World, you allow already now the far greater part of your potential to lie fallow.
You do not use the more important part of your being at all! Your Eternal Individuality remains asleep and unemployed. That is just as sad and nonsensical as if someone would use only one hand, although he has got two of them!
Man has two arms, one serves his labour, the other serves his heart. If one hand is shorter than the other, people call it ugliness; so is it also in heavenly and earthly affairs. (Supermundane 738)
You will not limp far on one leg. The Thinker asked some one-sided interlocutors, “Why do you deprive yourselves of one of your legs? Verily, you will have great difficulty returning home.” (Supermundane 345)
The point is not to withdraw to a meditative life, but to bring Heaven and earth, vita activa and vita contemplativa, into balance.
Equilibrium requires mutual tension, for both cups of the scale must bear equal loads. Therefore, both cups, the mundane and the supermundane, never stand empty. In his ignorance, man prefers to limit himself to one side or the other. That is why humanity is limping. (Supermundane 345)
We are called upon to work hard on earth and at the same time to participate in the life of the Higher World.
Truly, one can attain fiery equilibrium by living consciously in the earthly and supermundane life. But one should not think that one need only immerse oneself in the Supermundane World to achieve equilibrium. On the contrary, one should actively apply all one’s forces to the earthly existence, but with the understanding that this effort is needed for supermundane achievement. It would seem that this is not difficult to realize, but it is rarely achieved. Too often one tends to live in abstraction or becomes lost in the daily routine. (Supermundane 806)
A beautiful, happy, satisfying, meaningful, fulfilled, successful and worthy life requires:
Already during the incarnation on earth you must allow not only your body, but also your soul to lead its life!
In this case, "living" means more than merely "existing": Your soul should not be vegetating more or less unconsciously like the animals! The synthesis of the practice of Agni Yoga is, and the man of the future knows:
I am a soul.
If you want to be a soul, you must also learn to consciously live and work in the world of the soul!
Section I: Basics
Nicholas Roerich "Glory of the Himalayas"
Let us first repeat the necessary basics:
1. Hybrid Man
Similar to a centaur, man is a hybrid being: The physical body is low vibrating, of gross matter and visible. The soul, the Fiery Body is high vibrating, of subtle matter and invisible.
The three bodies of man (physical, subtle and Fiery) form an inseparable unity.
You are a composite being: Body below, soul above, as if a rider and a donkey at the same time.
So Spirit and Matter meet and unite in man, both separate and distinct, yet one entity. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. I, Lesson 56 “Creation in Unity and Trinity”)
Man as a whole, consisting of visible physical and invisible spiritual aspects, is a giant: He reaches from the material plane to the Heavens.
Man’s feet are upon Earth and the head is in the Fiery World. (Fiery World II, 12)
Man as a whole is complete only when he lives a conscious life not only with the body on earth, but also with the soul in Heaven.
2. Hybrid World
The world does not consist of matter and spirit, but of spirit-matter (see the Broadcasting "The Supermundane World"): Spirit-matter of low vibration is dense and visible like the earth. Spirit-matter of high vibration is subtle and invisible like Heaven.
The pyramid of the worlds is visible below, invisible above. You know that there is the subtle superstructure above you. You just don't see it.
The three worlds (physical, subtle and Fiery) form an inseparable unity.
Your body lives on the lowest, the material plane. Your soul, a subtle being made of waves and vibrations, lives on the upper subtle level of this overall world, which also consists of waves and vibrations.
The world as a whole is only complete when also its peak, Heaven, has become real and accessible to you.
Section II: New World View: Four-Dimensional World
If you want to learn to participate in the life of the Higher World, you must first understand what kind of a world this is.
1. Scenery, Superstructure, Attachment
In previous Broadcastings, we had chosen various images to illustrate your participation in the life of the Higher World (see the Broadcastings "The Path of the Inner Temple" and "Living in the continuous Presence of the Teacher"):
You may imagine the highest-vibrating, spiritual, Fiery Sphere of the worlds like a scenery against which your life on the stage of the material plane takes place.
Or as a superstructure, a spiritual order, which arches like a rainbow over your earthly abode.
People do not wish to see those manifestations which, like a rainbow, radiate above the abyss of the everyday. (Supermundane 646)
Or you may picture your place of residence on earth as being attached to the place of the Subtle World, which is your Eternal Home.
We now propose to refine and deepen these ideas by also using scientific language and introducing two new concepts: Participation in the life of the Higher World means living in a new, fourth dimension, in a subtle environment which you may envision like a hologram.
2. The Higher World as the fourth Dimension of Existence
"Living simultaneously on earth and in Heaven, in the material and in the spiritual world, doesn't that mean a splitting of consciousness?"
No, on the contrary, we are talking about an expansion, refinement and spiritualization not only of your consciousness, but also of your whole world view, and above all of your possibilities: Only now you grasp the whole reality: in scientific language we may say:
A new dimension opens up before you!
You can picture the Higher World, Heaven, the spiritual realm, arching over the material plane, as a new, fourth dimension which is added to the familiar, old three-dimensional sphere to which you have so far confined your existence.
"I don't understand. What else is there in addition to the world I am living in?"
Well, then let us look one by one at the various dimensions that make up our existence:
First dimension: A woodlouse, locked in a narrow tube, lives in a one-dimensional world:
It can only move along a line, lengthwise, back and forth, nothing more.
Second dimension: A woodlouse dwelling in a cellar, lives in a two-dimensional world:
It can move not only back and forth, but also to the right and to the left, in length and width. As soon as it hits the wall, however, its world comes to an end.
Third dimension: Man lives on earth and in space in a three-dimensional world:
He can move forward and backward, to the right and to the left, up and down, in length, width and height, namely in space.
Nevertheless, he continues to be locked in without being aware of it.
"By what? What limit does he reach?"
The world in which today's man lives is confined by the visible, the material.
The three dimensions are demon’s chains—as someone has said. Truly, he who chained the human consciousness with three dimensions was a veritable jailer. How could it have been possible to conceal that other beautiful, higher dimension! (Fiery World I, 109)
Our narrow imagination, developed and oriented to the material, bumps against this wall and simply cannot get beyond it. There is an invisible, non-material sphere of reality; but we are as yet unable to recognize it and thus can neither appear nor act in it.
Man lives only a small part of his life. (Infinity I, 110)
Fourth dimension: For a hybrid spiritual being consisting of a material and a non-material part, of body and soul, another level of reality opens up: a new, fourth dimension.
Your soul as a spiritual being cannot exist in a material, but only in a spiritual world. (Nicholas Roerich "Higher than Mountains")
The fourth dimension of our existence is the subtle, the spiritual world that begins behind the veil that separates the visible from the invisible sphere of reality. (Bernhard Weger "Tuscany in Fog")
If your whole being is to begin to live, you must learn to appear in this new, four-dimensional world as well.
We now understand better why Agni Yoga teaches that you are living in two worlds (see the Broadcasting "Living in Two Worlds"). We even take this concept one step further and state quite clearly:
In fact, there is not two separate worlds at all, but only one uniform world!
We do not separate life in the third dimension from life on the plane. Rather, the world of the height always existed and is just not recognized, not entered and not used by the woodlouse.
Nobody would get the idea to say that man lives in three worlds because he exists in a three-dimensional universe. Rather, his life in space naturally includes that on the line and on the plane: there is only one uniform three-dimensional world.
The old man as a material being lives in a uniform three-dimensional world.
Accordingly, life in the new, four-dimensional world as well is just an expansion of the consciousness, of the understanding of the world, a more complete realization of reality as a whole; the penetration into a new sphere of reality, which always existed and surrounds us constantly, but was unknown up to now and therefore remained inaccessible.
Just as life in space is not separated from that on the plane, neither is the spiritual separated from the material world.
We note and thus revolutionize the old world view:
The New Man as a hybrid spiritual being lives in one uniform four-dimensional world.
This one overall world is partly dense, partly subtle and partly ethereal. Every single place, every room, every single living being and every particle of matter, even every atom is a unity, composed of this partly visible, partly invisible spirit-matter.
We are living in a matter-spirit-continuum!
There is no division of the worlds! Just as there is no separation of the third dimension from the others, there is no separation of the fourth from the other dimensions either!
Upwards towards the Higher Worlds (more precisely: on the higher levels of the one uniform overall world), the spirit-matter becomes finer and finer. Just as the air on earth becomes thinner and thinner at higher altitudes.
The transitions between the worlds, between Heaven and earth are fluid.
There is only one overall world with dense spirit-matter below and fine spirit-matter above. Just as there is only one earth atmosphere with dense air below and thin air above.
You should realize that earthly matter is very dense. On planets at a lower level than the Earth the matter is very coarse, while on those higher than the Earth the matter harmonizes with spirit. In that sense the Earth is a turning point. There are imperfections on the higher planets, but the matter there does not have the same refractory nature. There matter becomes inseparable from spirit, free of opposition. (Leaves of Morya's Garden II, 161)
Just as you need an oxygen device to ascend to high altitudes with thin air, you need the Fiery Body to live in the fourth dimension, in the Fiery World, in Heaven, which is nevertheless still part of the one uniform overall world.
The fourth dimension exists, even if you are unable as yet to perceive it. It is the world of thoughts, ideas, conceptions, ideals and dreams; of the images you form of yourself, of others and of the circumstances; the realm of thought-creation where your thoughts and feelings are realities. It is the plane of existence on which you reside in sleep and after death.
The realization that we are living on the physical plane in two worlds does not at all impede any of our mental work, notwithstanding the fact that the process of thinking is already at work on the subtle plane, because the mind belongs to the fourth dimension, or the realm of metaphysics. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol II, letter of 23.04.1938)
"I don't quite understand this yet. Is there a very simple example of a thing belonging to the fourth dimension?"
Well, we had already talked many times about the most obvious example: Every human being, every animal, every object, for example an antique, every place has its spiritual subtle aspect, which is called the “aura”. You can't see it, but it exists. Some feel it, some do not.
In scientific language, the aura is a reality of the fourth dimension, and you perceive it when you open your inner senses.
The aura is the extension of a material thing into the fourth dimension, into the spiritual world.
It is inseparable from the objects of the material world and surrounds them on a level of reality that is invisible to us.
As your Fiery Body is an extension of your physical body into the fourth dimension, so the Spiritual, the Fiery World, Heaven is the extension of the physical world into the fourth dimension.
The fourth dimension is the inner plane. When we say: The temple is in the heart, the Kingdom of God is within you, that means in scientific language: Your soul lives on the inner plane, in the spiritual world, in the fourth dimension, in a sanctuary.
Psychic energy is called the organ of the fourth dimension. Indeed, this dimension itself is relative, it only expresses the refined state of all feelings. Great refinement bestows the possibility of understanding supermundane conditions. But if the fourth dimension has been established in the nomenclature, let it be thus—so long as we do not revert to two dimensions. (Brotherhood 36)
3. The Higher World as a Hologram
"What stuff is the world of the soul actually made of?"
The Spiritual World, in which your Eternal Individuality lives, is a sphere of highly subtle, ethereal matter.
Like sounds, light, scents or music, it consists of rays, vibrations or waves.
You are a being of light, consisting of waves or vibrations, as we had discussed in the Broadcasting "Exercise The Fiery State". Such a creature naturally lives in a world made of waves or vibrations.
You can imagine the Subtle World, which exists around you and saturates you, like the mysterious element ether, for which scientists and occultists have been searching for centuries: A very, very fine substance in which the objects of gross matter so to speak float.
Or think of a glass filled with sand. That is the material world. Now you pour water into the glass: that is the Subtle World, which surrounds and permeates everything.
Let us take this idea further:
The ethereal matter of the Subtle World takes on concrete forms.
Picture the Subtle World around you similar to a hologram.
That is, like a structure made of matter, but of such a subtle matter that it is intangible. The only difference to a "normal" hologram is: The latter is at least visible, while the Subtle World consists of even finer matter and is therefore invisible like vibrations or waves.
The Greek word "hologram" means translated "image of the whole reality". Therefore, it is perfectly correct to use this word with regard to reality as a whole, which consists of matter and spirit alike.
Thus, when we speak of a hologram in the following, we mean a subtle entity, a body made of light, waves or vibrations, which floats in space, penetrates you and exists around you, which is not visible, but can be felt.
Your being of light is a hologram, as we had already discussed in the Broadcasting "Bring your Soul to Life."
Your subtle environment is also a hologram.
This hologram, the spiritual world in which you are living, is created by you yourself, as we shall now discuss.
Section III: Creating the Higher World Yourself
We had already discussed in the Broadcasting "The Supermundane World": Everything that exists in the Higher World is created by our own thoughts and feelings.
1. Thought Creation
Your Eternal Individuality is created by your own thoughts and feelings. You are what you think (see the Broadcastings "Exercise The Fiery Condition" and "Bring your Soul to Life").
Likewise, the world of the soul is created by your own thoughts and feelings. This applies to your existence in the Higher World after death as well as to the plane of being on which your soul lives in its world already now during the earthly incarnation.
The fourth dimension, the spiritual world, the Heaven around you is built by you yourself!
This is the scientific background of the key message of Schopenhauer, about which we had already spoken so often:
In the same environment everyone lives in a different world.
Like in a computer game, you create your own virtual world with your thoughts.
The world which is in contact with each spirit is an expression of his own striving. (Infinity II, 329 )
If you want to participate in the life of the Higher World, you have to consciously shape the fourth dimension. Some soul world is always existing around you. Mostly, however, it is a disordered, chaotic, senseless world, as in your dreams. Your task is: Make a beautiful hologram, a paradise out of your subtle environment!
"That sounds fantastic! How can I shape the non-material world around me and make it a radiantly beautiful place?"
You create this hologram not by technical means such as a projector, but by your spiritual power.
"How should I fancy that?"
You project your psychic energy into space and thus build a hologram, a form of light or vibration.
This structure of subtle matter is a spiritual reality and comes into being already through your imagination.
2. Subtle Matter subject to the Influence of Thought
Alexander Calder "Mobile“
We are dealing with a seemingly fantastic phenomenon! In scientific language we say:
Material things made of dense matter you form with the hand, with apparatuses and other physical devices. Subtle things you form with the power of your spirit. Here is a point of immense importance:
The matter of the spiritual world around you is so subtle that it is subject to the influence of your thoughts!
It is so ethereal, tender and fine that it is worked on, formed and shaped not with gross, mechanical, technical means, but with thoughts and feelings.
"Hard to believe. How can I conceive this in practical application?"
Let look for an example: The Teaching speaks of an experiment with a kind of mobile, a so-called thought harp: Threads hanging from the ceiling are being moved by the power of thought.
Thought can move bodies and solid objects. Likewise must spatial thought operate. For example one may point to experiments already performed many centuries ago. To the ceiling of a dwelling were attached many threads of different thicknesses and colours, and then, bringing the dwelling into a state of tranquillity, thoughts were sent out. The so-called harp of the spirit began to vibrate, and it could then be noted how certain thoughts affected threads of a definite colour; then it was possible to observe the impact of thoughts sent from afar. (AUM 16)
People do not believe that strings can resound in response to currents of thought. (Supermundane 53)
If such material objects as threads and strings are subject to the impact of your thoughts, you certainly can conceive that the subtle spirit-matter around you can all the more be influenced by your thoughts.
Another example: We had already discussed (Broadcasting "Psychic Energy"): The aura and the protective net, which surround you, are created by your thoughts and feelings and fed by your psychic energy.
Why then should you not be able to create and keep alive around you other larger ethereal entities like a hologram? You project your psychic energy into space and thereby erect a subtle construction, which you may regard as an extension of your aura.
Saturating space with intensified thought, we clothe aspects of our striving with a particular form. Thus, out of elemental matter we create the desired form. This structure remains near the place where it was created and is fortified by our thoughts. The eye of a child or a refined consciousness can perceive this formation. (Agni Yoga 633)
We also remember the impact of the glance (Broadcasting "Expansion of Consciousness"). The science of quantum physics confirms that we influence the smallest particles of matter just by our gaze: It was proven that electrons are affected by the mere act of observation.
The gaze of a developed man acts on living beings; even under the lens of a microscope small creatures begin to feel uneasy and to sense the currents of the eyes. (FW II, 365
Accordingly, much finer particles, the subtle atmosphere around us, are just as naturally subject to the influence of our thoughts and feelings.
We had also talked about the experiment of densifying the astral body (Broadcasting "Bring your Soul to Life"). Likewise, you can picture the hologram as a consolidation, a densification of your thought world.
Each thought which saturates space produces a form. (Infinity II, 320 )
"Can you give a practical example from daily life?“
In the exercise "Living in the continuous presence of the teacher" you visualize yourself as a disciple at the feet of your teacher. Thereby you project such an image into space and thus shape your subtle environment.
3. Build your own World
Your Eternal Individuality does not live in the earthly, but in its own world, which looks quite different from the material plane, on which your transient personality dwells.
"I don't understand. Where does it live? Can you explain this more vividly?"
Think of the image of the rider and the donkey. The donkey lives in a very limited sphere: He has his head down to the ground and can look maybe as far as 5 or 10 meters ahead. The rider, on the other hand, lives in a much more extended world: He looks into the distance, to the heights, and sees far into Cosmos, into eternity. Above all, he perceives much more clearly than the donkey the spiritual world around him and what is going on there.
The first step to participate practically in the life of the Higher World is to first of all create this sphere. Shape consciously this subtle matter, the ether around you!
Build in thoughts the highest world you can imagine, your personal paradise. Thereby you create a hologram, an atmosphere, a spiritual world of high vibration around you, and then you will really live like in Heaven in any physical place.
Thus, man alone prepares his place in the Supermundane World. (Supermundane 860)
Learn to live constantly in your paradise, even in the midst of everyday labours and worries.
There are very few who can picture their existence in the Supermundane World. And those who read about the Supermundane World rarely apply to themselves what they have read. They cannot envision a future life, or imagine wanting a worthy life beyond the limits of Earth. But such dreams, intensely perceived, can be transformed into reality in the Supermundane World. There, thought creates, and in the earthly life thought should build the castle of future heroic deeds. (Supermundane 882)
As a spiritual disciple, you will build in thought a sanctuary around yourself, as we had already discussed in the Broadcasting "The Path of the Inner Temple."
You can arch over the material place where you are living and working a hologram with the pure, holy and solemn vibration of a church. (Messina "St. Jerome")
The Ideal hangs over our heads, like the weaver's pattern above his loom. (Teachings of the Temple Vol I, Lesson 62 “The Murder of Ideals”)
The result of this exercise is: You are living in the spiritual world of a sanctuary, in a vibration of holiness, tranquillity, peace, joy and solemnity, no matter how your place of residence is materially constituted. In such an atmosphere you move calmly, with dignity and without haste, dejection or irritation.
The projection of a hologram around you is no luxury, no glass bead game and no meditative navel-gazing, on the contrary: The world of waves and vibrations exists around you anyway. You have to arrange it to a certain order, otherwise chaos will reign in your environment.
Therefore it is beneficial for a Yogi to have a well attuned circle around him in order to give a certain form to the approaching cosmic waves. (Hierarchy 397)
Only think of the infinite number of waves, vibrations and radiations that surround and even penetrate you: Radio-, television-, telephone-, and Internet waves, in addition the emanations of the thoughts, feelings and instincts of other people.
Just bear in mind: 90% of these rays are negative!
Bad news, doomsday stories, porn movies, westerns, detective stories, ugly thoughts, bad feelings and so on.
An evil man is defenceless against this pernicious influence. It is not the light of the Supermundane World that surrounds him, but darkness. (Supermundane 866)
By projecting a beautiful hologram, you harmonize the vibrations of any room you are in.
An expanded consciousness brings into harmony all surrounding consciousnesses, and even has its influence upon the atmosphere. Thus a kind of magnet is formed that attracts and transforms the surroundings. (Supermundane 796)
This organizing of the space around you is the precursor to the even greater capability of a High Teacher to raise the vibration of his surroundings over great distances.
The emanations of a pure earthly teacher raise the vibrations all around him, sometimes over a tremendous area. Thus, not only is space purified, but sometimes even the fires of the individuals who surround him are kindled. That is why, in ancient times, it was considered a great privilege to live near a teacher and serve him, as this provided the possibility of contact with his aura. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol I, letter of 09.07.1935)
The hologram is the portable paradise that (according to the words of Yogananda) always exists around you and that you take with you wherever you go. It is not an illusion, but a subtle reality and thus as perceptible as your aura. You wrap the people you meet in your sanctuary. They will then certainly feel the beauty, greatness and loftiness of the spiritual world in which you enclose them.
The aura of a sanctuary surrounds you!
"Can you give an example?"
Once at a business meeting, I sat next to the famous boxer Max Schmeling. Even though he said almost nothing and behaved very modestly: I was dwelling in his world, in the aura of a world champion and international star, and felt honoured and elevated thereby.
Likewise, you too can create the virtual world, the pure atmosphere of a temple around you, and thus uplift everyone who approaches you and enters your circle of light.
4. Defend your own World
It is relatively easy to create a subtle sanctuary around you in which to live. The difficulty is to defend this higher reality during everyday earthly life.
Whether the hologram persists or not depends on its being fed by your psychic energy. That is why Agni Yoga so often speaks of “saturation of space”.
Maintaining the hologram in the midst of normal everyday life is a tough fight! First, you have to use all your mental strength to keep your own vibration high, otherwise you cannot raise that of your surroundings either. In addition, you have to cope with the low vibrations of other people who threaten to destroy your world of light, whether they intend to or not.
Nicholas Roerich "Warrior of Light"
An Agni Yogi is every moment vigilant, concentrated and focused on one goal: To maintain in his sphere the spiritual world of a sanctuary.
This is the subtle, the inner work of your soul in your true existence, which you must carry out continuously parallel to the physical work of your body on the material plane.
With your thoughts and feelings, you not only build up the Higher World, but you also destroy it again.
The hologram around you is extremely sensitive. The slightest blow can annihilate it, as it consists of vibrations only! You have to treat it very carefully. You must behave, move, speak and act with the utmost caution, as if you were carrying a highly fragile vessel, or an explosive, which can blow up at the slightest carelessness!
In the world of light, the materially incarnated man is like the proverbial bull in a china shop: The slightest careless movement, the smallest unrestrained roar immediately smashes the arduously created ethereal glory to pieces!
As in church or in a concert hall even the slightest coughing already disturbs the solemnity of the atmosphere.
"What is it that threatens my personal Higher World?"
Above all you yourself!
Poisons to the soul like alcohol, smoking, eating too much or too heavy; negative moods such as dejection, irritation, hectic etc. as well as other thoughts, feelings, words and deeds, which do not correspond to the ideal, lower your vibration.
As a result, your Fiery Body collapses and ceases to exist. Then you can no longer participate in the life of the Fiery World either. It continues to be present around you, but you are cut off from it because you lack the vehicle to live in it.
Likewise, the high vibrating spiritual reality of the temple collapses, this hologram disintegrates as well. Instead, another subtle environment of lower vibration forms around you.
You expel yourself from your Heaven.
Each day and hour man draws nearer to or recedes from the Higher World. (AUM 119)
Consider also: When you listen to the radio, watch television, go to the cinema or read a book, you visit a foreign world!
These are not your dreams! You are consuming the prefabricated dreams of other people.
So pay close attention to whether it is a beautiful and worthy mental world that you enter and in the life of which you participate. As the saying goes:
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. (Alexander Pope)
Where angels refuse to dwell, a man of spirit should not linger either.
Practical Tip: Switch off Radio and TV
Nicholas Roerich "Brahmaputra"
From a spiritual perspective, it is an extremely harmful bad habit to immediately turn on radio or TV in every moment of leisure (or even to keep them on all day!): By doing so, you switch off your imagination and thus make creative work on the artwork of your world impossible.
Exercise: Inner Work comes first
When an obstacle or a difficulty, hardship or suffering, self-doubt, dejection or cravings pile up in front of you, you have two tasks, one earthly and one supermundane: First you must keep calm, restore your paradise and not allow your vibration or that of your surroundings to sink.
Only after that being accomplished, your second task is: From the higher point of view of your Higher World bring your superiority to bear, and with the help of your connection to the Hierarchy (which exists only if you are attached to Heaven!) find the best solution that is possible in the given situation.
Lord, give me the strength to change what I can change; the serenity to endure what I cannot change; and the wisdom to make the right distinction between the two. (St. Francis of Assisi) (Nicholas Roerich "Francis of Assisi")
Section IV: Bringing the Imagination to Life
"I have difficulties with the concept of building my own world with thoughts and feelings, entering it and then living in it. Can you help me to make this a little easier? "
You should proceed like this: First form an idea of the subtle world, the Heaven, in which you wish to live.
Then you can densify the image into a hologram and finally bring it to life.
How this seemingly fantastic exercise is carried out in practice, we will now discuss. First, we must briefly explain the nature, meaning and power of imagination.
1. Importance and Power of Imagination
Fantasy is of immeasurable importance for life in the Higher World: The whole reality there is created by your imagination!
That what you imagine becomes a reality in the Subtle World around you!
Remember about the rajah who wished to receive a beautiful palace, and did receive it, but who, on entering it, thought about an attacking tiger, which then appeared and tore him to pieces. (Community 168)
On earth as well, the construction of a material building begins with an imagination, an idea, a plan. It is the same in the Higher World, with the only difference that there the thought-creation is sufficient and the physical execution superfluous, because no material level is extant there.
Thus, you build your Heaven, the hologram of a temple of subtle matter, only with the help of your imagination.
When you play, when you dream, when you fantasize that you live in a temple, then there is actually a temple in the Subtle World around you!
In the world of the spirit, everything is possible!
"What do you mean? I can create everything I wish?"
Yes! There, no limits are set to your creative power!
Seekers should not fear that something is impossible. Everything is imaginable because everything exists. (Heart 417)
A widely educated person should possess a rich imagination. For such an individual the realm of the impossible is diminished, and possibilities multiply. (Supermundane 568)
The only limit is your imagination: Only that what you cannot imagine, you cannot realize either!
How can man create mentally when he is even unable to imagine a desirable environment for himself? How can he think of the refinement of forms when he never pictures them in thought, thus trying to make his surroundings worthy of Higher Beings? (Fiery World I, 645)
Extension of the imagination means extension of the consciousness, means extension of the reality, means extension of the possibilities.
We had already said in the Broadcasting on "Sexuality": The man of the future creates his progeny not by physical procreation, but by imagination, will and yoga. Likewise, he builds the world of the future by his spiritual power.
The more beautiful your imagination, the more magnificent will be the work of art you create.
Each spirit creates his own world, and the beauty or ugliness of the created world depends upon the quality of the consciousness. (Infinity II, 719 )
A limited imagination will only erect a poor building.
Each day it is possible to meditate beautifully about a better life beyond the limits of Earth. The more beautiful the imagination, the better are the possibilities engendered there where thought rules. (Fiery World III, 567)
Without imagination there is no progress. First comes the dream, the vision, then the realization.
No labour can be uplifted without imagination. Pay attention to that good word—imagination. It is not fantasy, or cunning invention, but the discovery of higher images and the realization of lofty concepts. Imagination is always real and truthful. We cannot always know where this truth is, but it does exist. (Supermundane 491)
He who harbours no dreams any more will not be able to shape a better future.
How is it possible to move forward if the power of imagination is missing? (Heart 8)
Only an undeveloped imagination can limit the Universe to such a degree. Therefore I so greatly emphasize the development of imagination as the basis of striving toward the higher worlds. (Fiery World I, 644)
Imagination of the future is a preview of that what can and will come.
Those who are endowed with imagination are not dreamers. The dream of the enlightened mind is true foresight. (Supermundane 568)
Think about this wisdom:
Our wishes are the harbingers of the abilities that lie within us. (Goethe)
"Is not my imagination completely arbitrary and without any basis?"
No. It is shaped to a large extent by that what you have actually experienced already in previous existences on earth or in the Higher World. Your fantasy consists predominantly of memories of former experiences.
The imagination is nourished not only by the remembrances of past lives, but also by the action of the present. When the spirit participates in the life of the far-off Worlds, or in the Subtle World, or in the Astral World, then frequently the memories of these experiences are reflected as imagination. (Fiery World III, 62)
Thus, if someone dreams of the teacher's ashram as his Heaven, he probably really was a disciple in such a sanctuary in a previous life in this or in the Other World.
2. Imagination as a preliminary Stage of Perception
Expansion of the imagination is the first step towards higher cognition, because what you cannot imagine, you will not perceive or consider to be true either. By expanding the realm of the conceivable and the possible, you expand the reality in which you live! We discover a practically most important principle:
You would like to perceive the Higher World, the subtle reality around you? Then imagine it first!
Let everyone tell us how he imagines the far-off worlds. Each one will be right, no matter how vivid his imagination, for, in truth, there is nothing that does not exist, and our imagination can invent only a small part of the reality. (Supermundane 201)
There is nothing mystical about entering the Other World and beginning to orientate yourself there. This is accomplished best by letting your imagination run wild. Thus, your Eternal Individuality passes – as in sleep, but this time consciously – into the realm of dreams, which is just another name for the world of the soul.
Once you are there and staying for a while, you also make yourself receptive to what else is going on there besides your own imagination.
Without your imagining it, the Higher World does not even exist!
In your dreams you put yourself into a certain world and thereby attract the subtle beings which belong to this sphere (a tiger if you think of a tiger, and your teacher if you think of his ashram).
"Just because I think of Napoleon or my teacher, surely they will not appear!"?
No, but as we had discussed already many times (Broadcastings "The Path of the Inner Temple" and "Living in the continuous Presence of the Teacher"), you can attach yourself in your imagination to the world of spirit in which they live.
This is not theory. Children do it the same way and live in a wonderful way in their imaginary world, which means: in the Subtle World. Imitate them, and you will see: You can live there too!
The exercise "Living in the continuous presence of the teacher" also works in such a way that you keep the image of your teacher before your eyes. And the exercise "Transferring the Consciousness into the Higher Self" so that you visualize the ideal of your Eternal Individuality.
3. Dangers of Dreaming
Often a dreamer is someone who withdraws from normal everyday life and neglects his earthly duties.
Or a Hans peek in the air who runs into danger because he only looks at the sky and loses sight of the reality on earth.
But you do not dream in order to flee from reality. On the contrary, you are striving to transfigure the earthly plane by making your dream come true in everyday life. You have to endure and overcome the constant conflict between the beloved ideal and the cold material reality.
"How can I do that? A truly existential question!"
By working on adapting the earthly circumstances to your dream.
Practical Tip: Do not exalt yourself
On the other hand, you must not exalt yourself, not fancy anything that does not exist, and not pretend that you or your world are greater or nobler than they actually are. A disciple must not make himself a teacher. We do not want to belong to the numerous crackpots who think they are reincarnations of Nefertiti or a great saint.
One should not fall into self-deception and imagine what does not exist. (Supermundane 552)
You can avoid such widespread self-deception by basing your dreams on reality. Observe yourself and your surroundings carefully. Assess realistically what is possible and what is not. On this basis, give yourself only to such phantasies on the realization of which you are actually able to work practically in everyday life.
People think that the imagination tends to lead them away from what is real, but it is the developed imagination that permits a broader perception of reality. Let us not forget that the imagination derives mainly from the accumulation of experiences from one’s past lives. Examination based on experience cannot produce a mirage. (Supermundane 568)
4. Form a Picture of yourself
Let us now return to the practice of participating in the life of the Higher World.
First of all, it is absolutely necessary that you form a picture of yourself, otherwise the transfer of consciousness into the Eternal Individuality remains abstract: You transfer your consciousness into the ideal, into the subtle model of the being that you want to be.
Imagine not so much a person but an office: The physical appearance of your transient personality changes from incarnation to incarnation, but your Cosmic Office, your position on the ladder of Hierarchy, remains the same at all times in all worlds.
Therefore, put before your eyes the picture of a spiritual disciple, a teacher, a king of the spirit, a healer or a spiritual warrior. (Nicholas Roerich "Beda the Preacher" and "St. Panteleimon the Healer", Dürer "Charlemagne", Raphael "Archangel Michael")
Visualize yourself as a king! Then you will feel like a king. Then you will appear on the stage of the material world as a king. Then you are a king, at least in your true existence, in the Spiritual World.
Project the desired image of yourself into space.
"Isn't this utterly unrealistic?"
No! You are, your Eternal Individuality is a being of the Spiritual World, a light body of subtle matter, of waves and vibrations, which is built up and formed by your own thoughts, as we had already discussed in the Broadcastings "Bring your Soul to Life" and "Exercise The Fiery Condition".
Practical Tip: Imagine a big being
Imagine a big being, a cosmic giant whose head reaches into Heaven while his feet rest on earth.
It is indeed true:
The finer, the bigger!
We repeat from the Broadcasting "The Law of Evolution": At the beginning of the cycle the ethereal bodies of the monad were huge. They became smaller and smaller during the descent into matter. On the ascending arc of the cycle, the subtle aspect of our being must become bigger again.
Thus, the hologram, the highest aspect of your sevenfold nature, your Fiery Body, is actually much bigger than your physical body.
Only with this non-material creature, this thought-construction, can you appear in the Higher World and participate in life there.
5. Form a Picture of the Higher World
Breughel "The Tower of Babel"
Next, form an exact picture of your Heaven. How do you conceive it?
As an ashram, a cave, a beach under palm trees, or a mountain top? (Nicholas Roerich, "Treasure of the Mountains" and "Mountain Peaks")
In order to create your own little paradise, you must first imagine it and shape it in detail mentally. Thereby it becomes a reality in the Subtle World. You can then visit it there and never have to leave it again.
Build a cell in your heart and never leave it! (St. Catherine of Siena)
The Heaven of a spiritual disciple is the sanctuary, the majesty of the mountain world, the purity, joy and solemnity of the Shambhala vibration.
Visualize yourself in a sacred place! Then you will feel like in a sanctuary. Then you live in a sanctuary, at least in your true existence, in the Spiritual World.
Now you "only" have to preserve, in the middle of life on the material plane, this high vibration around you, which you have created in the morning meditation.
Practical Tip: Imagine a big World
As you picture yourself as a being touching Heaven, so you fancy your surroundings as a hologram that connects the worlds like Shambhala, that rests on the earth but reaches up to Heaven. (Breughel "The Tower of Babel")
Be great enough to commence the preparation of the groundwork upon which you hope to build the edifice, the upper story of which will reach the heavens. (Teachings of the Temple Vol I, Lesson 57 “Initiation”)
However, these images are only relative. Everyone has his own paradise and imagines something else. Only very few know what their home, the Heaven really looks like, in which they will be dwelling after death.
It is also not important at all that you picture the details of the place or building exactly as they actually exist in the Hereafter.
Crucial is that you grasp the spirit, the atmosphere of your Eternal Home and reflect it on earth!
6. Densifying the Imagination to a Hologram
The next step is:
Put this image before your mind's eye and densify it to the point that it becomes a hologram.
Thought creates forms in the Subtle World. One can call forth from the depths of centuries any forms and densify them, if the imagination is developed enough. (Supermundane 31)
That relates both to the hologram of your Eternal Individuality and to the hologram of your Heaven. In this way you actually create thought buildings in the Subtle World.
To imagine an object or an attribute is to create the form of that object on an inner plane, and that object or attribute must as surely become objectified to the human senses in due time as day will follow night. Imagination is the substance of things hoped for. (Teachings of the Temple Vol I, Lesson 178 “Imagination versus fancy”)
The dream-image, the thought-construction is densified first to a spiritual reality and finally more and more to a material form on earth.
Among those labours to which one can turn, let us not forget the mental work that develops the imagination. We continually perform mental exercises. A superficial observer at times may think that We are asleep, when in the midst of Our work We close Our eyes and send out thoughts to wander in the kingdom of imagination. These moments have great significance, for such imagined forms become real. We cannot judge when this realization occurs, but it does take place and is of help to mankind. (Supermundane 602)
We repeat an instruction because it is so exceedingly important:
Saturating space with intensified thought, we clothe aspects of our striving with a particular form. Thus, out of elemental matter we create the desired form. This structure remains near the place where it was created and is fortified by our thoughts. The eye of a child or a refined consciousness can perceive this formation. (Agni Yoga 633)
"What exactly does "densifying" the image mean?
To densify means to steady.
Keep the same image constantly before your eyes. Do not switch back and forth. Stay with one ideal. Elaborate it in detail. Thereby it becomes a living reality, at least in the fourth dimension. You can then materialize this subtle form step by step.
May man perform heroic actions in thought, from such heroic deeds a radiant aura is built. And when this light becomes strong enough, the dreams can be turned into action. Not without reason it is said that each dream will at some time be turned into reality. (Supermundane 607)
"What does materialize mean?"
Well, making the subtle matter of the hologram denser and denser so that it eventually becomes a physical form.
"And how do I do that?"
By animating the ideal, as we shall now discuss.
7. Bringing the Ideal to Life
Queen Elizabeth II of England
"And how do I bring the ideal to life?"
By letting it appear on the material plane.
You really make the disciple, the teacher or the king of spirit think, feel, speak and act. Thus you, your Higher Self, your Eternal Individuality comes into the sublime state of a disciple, a teacher or a king of spirit. The result of this exercise is: According to your vibration – and that means: in your true existence – you are a disciple, a teacher or a king of the spirit.
Man is to become the living image of the great Ideal set up in his mind. (Teachings of the Temple Vol I, Lesson 51 “The Suicide of the Soul”)
You move into the hologram of your Heaven. You put yourself in thought into this virtual world. You visit the sanctuary regularly in spirit, in your imagination. You behave as if you were living in a temple. Thereby you create around you a sublime, solemn atmosphere of high vibration. The result of this exercise is: The space around you is a temple, at least in your true existence, in the fourth dimension, in the spiritual world.
By these practices, the person and the sanctuary become perceptible to other people and grow into a living earthly reality.
"Isn't that completely unrealistic? I am supposed to bring a thought construction, a hologram to life?"
Well, let us think this over together. Take the example of a king: In actual fact, in the material world, there is no such thing as a king at all!
Why, there is a queen here! (Queen Elizabeth II of England)
No! What do you perceive here physically? Nothing but a human being who fills a certain role! As opposed to that, a "king" is an office, an abstract idea, an organ of the state, whose rights and duties are fixed in the constitution and exercised or fulfilled by a human being. We see:
A "king" is not a material, but a subtle reality!
And now for the animation of such a thought construction: We know that the present queen of England fulfills her duties conscientiously. The king of Thailand, on the other hand, does not even live in his country, but in Bavaria. So we can say:
The idea of the King of England is alive because the present holder of this office embodies this ideal. As opposed to that, the idea of the king of Thailand is dead because the incumbent does not fulfill this role, does not fill it with life. The ideal remains abstractly in the minds of the subjects as a hope, but it is not currently realized on earth.
Do you now understand how one can bring to life an ideal?! In exactly the same sense you can realize your dream and embody a king of the spirit, a disciple of the Brotherhood, a spiritual teacher, a spiritual healer or a spiritual warrior in the middle of everyday life.
The same is true for animating the idea of your Heaven, your Eternal Home, your teacher's ashram: In actual fact, in the material world, there is no such thing as an ashram at all!
Why, there is an ashram here! (Nicholas Roerich "Star of the Morning ")
No! What do you perceive here physically? Nothing but a house. As opposed to that, an "ashram" is a thought construction, an abstract idea of a sanctuary where people are living who are on the path to sanctification and practising a holy way of life.
This is possible in any house, even in an apartment on the 15th floor of a multi-storey building.
An "ashram" is not a material, but a subtle reality!
The ideal "ashram" is alive if people live together in a certain place like in a sanctuary. It is dead, even if outwardly there is a temple of stone with marble columns, but the people dwelling there behave unworthily.
In this sense, you too can realize your dream and bring your ideal to life by building the hologram of your Heaven in any place and living there as if you were in the ashram of your teacher.
What trouble have people taken: They built monumental cathedrals or, like St. King Louis IX of France, the Sainte-Chapelle as his own magnificent, almost heavenly meditation room. (Cathedrals of Reims and Laon, Sainte-Chapelle, Paris)
Today this is no longer necessary: The subtle building which you erect in your imagination is perfectly sufficient and leads to the same result: elevation to a Higher World!
I know, this sounds fantastic. But I can assure you from my own experience: Practise this, and you will see: It works! The more often you visit your dream world and the longer you stay there, the more real it will become.
Section V: Participation in the Life of the Higher World
As a baby just coming from the spiritual world must learn again to live on the material plane, so your soul incarnating physically must learn again to live in the Invisible world; in a sphere where there is no matter, no time and no space in the earthly sense.
You have to get used again to orientate yourself there with the help of your inner senses, with the consciousness, to get in touch with the inhabitants there in a mental way and to form this world with your thoughts.
You can do that! Before birth this was your daily practice!
As centuries ago Columbus, who discovered America, so today the man of spirit must enter the new four-dimensional world, conquer it and actually live and work in it.
In prayer we transport ourselves to the distant worlds, into the repositories of possibilities and knowledge. We sense that they are meant for us, and we approach them with daring. (Leaves of Morya's Garden II, 303 )
1. Transferring the Consciousness to a Higher Level
We had often talked about the exercise of transferring your consciousness into your Eternal Individuality (see the Broadcastings "The Secret of Immortality" and "Bring your Soul to Life"). We now extend this practice and find:
Transferring the consciousness into the soul means living in the world of the soul!
"Why? I don't understand."
Well, when your consciousness rests in your Higher Self, you no longer look at the world with the five gross material senses, but with much higher and finer ones, namely with the spiritual ears and the spiritual eyes of your soul.
With your inner senses you perceive, you experience, you participate in a completely different world than the material one.
Thus, a new World is created in your consciousness. The world, which you see, is the world, in which you live!
A new conception of the actuality of Invisible Space is already a step toward reality. We cannot pride ourselves on our cognition so long as the Invisible World does not grow in our consciousness. (Fiery World II, 434)
The life of the Eternal Individuality in the Higher World is a state of the consciousness.
You transfer your consciousness to a higher plane of existence.
You are now existing, as in sleep or after death, on the highest level at the top of the pyramid of the worlds.
Sleep is a sojourn in the Supermundane World. It is a transference of consciousness into the Higher Worlds. (Supermundane 193, 24)
Namely, into your Heaven, into a sphere where tranquillity, peace and solemnity reign.
When our consciousness is completely transported into the domain where there is no fear and depression, then we are invulnerable to any filth. (Fiery World II, 72)
You maintain your consciousness in your true existence.
In the fourth dimension, above the clouds, so to speak, in the invisible part of the overall world.
As a disciple in the ashram of your teacher or as a king of the spirit in a castle. (Nicholas Roerich " Star of the Morning ")
Your body lives on earth.
Your soul lives in its own world high above the earthly trouble. (Nicholas Roerich "Tsong kha-pa")
"How can I combine these two concepts? Is that possible at all? How can I dwell on earth and in Heaven at the same time?"
In order to realize the whole reality, your true existence, we have to lay, as it were, one picture over the other: While your body sits at the table and works at the typewriter, at the same time your soul lives in its higher, subtle world.
Exercise: Change the Perspective
To understand this even better, let us change the perspective: We no longer look from the material life to the soul, no longer from below up to the monk Tsong kha-pa on his mountain peak, but the other way round: When you have transferred your consciousness into the soul, you look from above down, from Heaven to life here on earth.
As if from above, down from the ceiling, like in case of a near-death experience.
This is what the earthly world looks like when you open the eyes of your Eternal Individuality:
Material life on the lowest plane of the pyramid takes place under the eyes of the soul, which rests on the highest level.
That means concretely: You are staying in your paradisiacal home and observe from there the situation on earth as well as yourself. From above you also notice, for example, what a sad impression your transient personality makes when it reacts irritably, aggressively or dejectedly.
The soul sees its own body like a shadow below itself, like the rider sees the donkey under him. Until now you have looked at the world with the physical eyes of your body, in our picture with the eyes of the donkey. Now you learn to see with the spiritual senses of your Eternal Individuality, that is, of the rider.
From this higher point of view, like a puppeteer, you direct the thoughts, feelings, words and deeds of your transient personality. The body steps before the soul, before the throne of the king. As opposed to that, the king takes this perspective:
I watch my tool moving, eating, conversing and working etc. I guide and direct it in this process.
Man heroically uplifts his consciousness and then observes manifestations from above. Thus, the most complex manifestation will appear to be below his consciousness and will be easily apprehended. By austere and inspired measures he awakens the consciousness and leads it upward, in order the more easily to perceive the most complex manifestations. (Brotherhood 595)
A person who has transferred his consciousness into the spiritual world is always half-absent: He lives and feels with the body on earth, but at the same time with the soul on the inner, the subtle plane of reality. He leads a double life, both on earth and in Heaven.
2. Closeness of the Higher World
In the Broadcasting "Communion with the Higher World (Meditation)" we had presented the contact with Higher Worlds and Higher Beings as a flight to the abode of the teacher. We are now expanding and refining this concept: In fact, Heaven, the Fiery World, is very close, so you do not have to fly far away at all to visit it.
Only he who has not closed for himself the path to beauty may understand how near to him is the manifestation of the far-off worlds. (Community 30)
Let us consider the Fiery World as the most proximate, the most guiding, the most flaming. (Fiery World II,467)
The Higher World is the inner plane, the fourth dimension or the hologram that permeates you and always exists around you, whether you believe and notice it or not.
The Fiery World is primarily within us, if only we discern its abode! (Fiery World I, 354)
The physical and the non-material world are not separated, the merge imperceptibly into one another.
Without reason do people consider the boundary lines of the supermundane spheres to be far distant. No one is aware of the exact boundary with the Subtle World; the consciousness cannot grasp it, and neither that between the Subtle and the Fiery World. But these boundaries are immeasurably close! (Fiery World III, 469)
Thus, your home, the Other World, Heaven, the Fiery World, is not somewhere above the clouds.
The Higher World exists next to, behind and above, yes even within you!
The very summits of the Subtle World are almost touching the Fiery World. Similarly, under certain circumstances the dense World is close to the Subtle. Thus, let us once and for all apprehend the bond of the Worlds as steps of Infinity. (Fiery World III, 551)
Practical Tip: The World behind the Veil
So that the proximity of the Higher World does not remain an abstraction, but becomes your personal experience, picture it like this: The invisible is separated from the visible world as if by a veil.
Like a cloud that hides the upper part of a mountain from your view. The physical eye sees only up to the veil that separates the worlds.
The inner senses, however, look through the cloud to that part of reality which is above it. (Nicholas Roerich "Kanchenjunga")
Or imagine that the teacher is in the next room.
Then go as far as possible towards the Spiritual World, up to the outermost frontier of the mate-rial sphere. So far that you listen, as it were, at the door and peer through the keyhole, or climb through the cloud. When the non-incarnated teacher moves towards you from his side, you can meet at the border.
Of course, an exchange between the different layers and worlds that merge into one another is possible; a contact, a communication as between Helena Roerich as well as many saints and the Mahatmas.
If you seek him, the spirit of the teacher will find you everywhere, even if you are physically incarnated.
You may keep the idea of the flight in order to connect in the morning. You have to detach yourself from earthly everyday life for a moment and go to meet your teacher. Then the worlds are united, and you can participate in the life up there at every moment during the day.
3. Sense the non-material Reality
It is of no use just listening to what I tell you. You must feel the existence of the higher, non-material plane of existence! You must learn to sense what is going on in the invisible, spiritual dimension of reality, in the world where your soul lives.
You could have sensed an existence beyond the visible, and this sensation could have directed you beyond the limits of Earth. (Community 43)
"How can I have such an experience?"
By sharpening your inner senses, with the help of which you can grasp the spiritual reality around you.
"What is it that the eyes of the soul perceive?"
The subtle phenomena of the non-material world: For example, the aura of people or of objects such as antiques. How completely different than your body will your soul perceive a place where murder was once committed!
Recognize the presence of subtle beings! Sense joy and enthusiasm, but also irritation, dejection or hostility in your environment. Feel the effects of thoughts, feelings and looks, or of colours and music. Experience subtle touches.
One should strengthen the striving toward observation of the surrounding subtle phenomena. The eye and the ear must be made more acute so that the link with the Subtle World can be recognized in everyday life. It must be made clear that the Subtle World is close to every being. Manifestations of the Subtle World are like the finest cobweb; it can be torn, but the presence of something, very subtle, will be felt for a long time. Remember that the Subtle World is revealed in very subtle touches. (Supermundane 757)
Recognize the intervention of Higher Powers in your life.
By gentle touches We draw the attention of seekers, whom We forewarn about harmful decisions. We help to create and assist the Good. (Supermundane 18)
The Subtle World around you looks very different from the gross material one in which your body lives. Develop a feeling for this very special reality!
There will remain an impression of having visited someone, or even of having heard two or three words; at times there will be sensed the characteristic odour of a definite locality known to us, or a glimmer of people or a place will pass by. These manifestations occur daily, but for this some solitude is needed. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol II, letter of 23.04.1938)
4. Participation in the Life of the Higher World
When you have developed your Fiery Body, you can really participate in the life of the Higher World. You can advance up to heights beyond the earthly sphere, into realms which are accessible to the soul only. First of all, be aware of this participation!
Let us gaze into the far-off worlds. Let us feel ourselves as participants with them. (Agni Yoga 112)
It is one thing to discuss abstractly distant worlds; it is another to realize oneself a participant there. (Community 30)
As a spiritual being, your Eternal Individuality really lives nowhere else than in this world. This is a fact that exists regardless of whether you believe and perceive it or not. Active participation there requires an expansion of your consciousness.
The essence of striving to the far-off worlds is contained in the assimilation of a consciousness of our life in them. (Community 44)
You must really feel and experience your existence there. And this not only on Sunday during church service or in meditation, but in the midst of your normal everyday earthly work.
Man should develop such a consciousness that he feels like a participant in the life of Supermundane World at every hour. At the same time he must treasure his earthly life, must learn to rejoice at high quality in his labour, and must continue with the earthly life, as he finds new ways of perfectment in it. One might ask how it is possible to reconcile these seemingly contradictory ways. Truly, it can be done, for man can perfect his consciousness. (Supermundane 738)
"How do I put this participation into practice?"
You just walk through the door over to the next room, or climb through the clouds to the top of the mountain – in spirit, of course.
Just as Harry Potter breaks through the physical wall at platform 9 3/4 of King's Cross station and crosses over into the Other World to board the express to Hogwarts.
A yogi knows that the duration of earthly life is but a small part of supermundane existence. A yogi has learned how close and simple is the transition into the Supermundane World; it is performed for the sake of the future and teaches man to comprehend Infinity. (Supermundane 910)
However, your soul should not wander about in the World Beyond aimlessly and half-consciously like the animals on earth or the Subtle Body during sleep.
Man actually lives in all the worlds. Each day he visits the worlds, but he cannot be conscious of these momentary absences. (AUM 334)
Thus, you must begin to work consciously in the Higher World!
Living in Heaven means working in Heaven!
"What does this look like in concrete terms?"
Let us consider an example. The Middle Ages were closer to the spiritual reality than we are.
Look at the wonderful painting "The Battle of Lepanto" by Paolo Veronese. It is about a decisive naval battle in 1571, when an occidental coalition prevented the Turks from advancing further west. The Heavenly Powers are seen intervening in the struggle in favour of the Christian forces at the request of the saints.
One can find ancient images that depict heavenly participants in earthly battles. (Supermundane 136)
In this way you may imagine the Subtle World in which your soul is living, that is the whole reality: Heaven and earth form one inseparable overall world. The Heavenly Powers are watching very closely what is happening on earth and come to the aid of the forces of good.
Agni Yoga conveys an important extension of this idea: The earthly man who has developed his Fiery Body is a giant: While he stands with his feet on earth, he reaches into Heaven with his spiritual being. He is so great that he can participate up there in the life of the inhabitants of these spheres!
Heaven is open to us! Heaven is accessible to us!
You can recognize that the chosen ones are on the path if the Invisible World has become real and accessible to them. (Heart 3)
The New Man of Spirit does not have to rely on the saints to intercede for him up there. He himself can turn directly to his protectors, friends, helpers and co-workers in the Subtle World, consult and co-operate with them – and that not with regard to any abstract Heavenly matters, but very concretely for the concerns of the earth!
Your soul takes part in the conversations in Heaven and at the same time lets your body fight down on Earth with the support of the Heavenly Powers.
Let us summarize: When your soul participates in the life of the Higher World, it lives in Paradise, in communion with the Heaven Dwellers; and it works together with them to improve conditions on earth. We will now look at these three aspects in detail.
Section VI. Life in Paradise
Your fundamental happiness is: You are the most beautiful, greatest and strongest creature you can think of, and you are living in the most magnificent world you can possibly imagine.
You are already now living in that Heaven from which you came at birth and to which you wish to return after death.
In the invisible Supermundane World, beyond the veil, above the clouds is paradise: Rest, peace, joy and solemnity.
Above the clouds
freedom must probably be boundless.
All fears, all worries, they say,
will be hidden underneath, and then
what seems great and important down here
will suddenly become trivial and small. (Reinhard Mey)
No, listen to what the Mahatmas tell you:
Therefore the Brotherhood is called threefold. It extends between the three worlds as a firm bridge. It is almost impossible to imagine the contact of the earthly with the Fiery World, but in the armour of the Brotherhood such a fusion is made possible. (Brotherhood 8)
"Is this like in sleep, when I am also participating in the life of the Higher World?"
No, not quite. In sleep you are conscious only in the Spiritual World, but not in the material sphere, whereas now you are conscious on both planes. In sleep, the soul separates from the body and visits other realms. In the waking state it remains bound to the body.
Living at the foot of the Holy Mountain
"This is still highly abstract for me. I am not quite sure what you mean by living in paradise."
Then let me describe how I imagine my participation in the life of the Higher World:
The Heaven of a spiritual disciple, of the high-minded ones, of the man of the future is: Shambhala!
He dreams of coming as close as possible to this highest earthly place and of being admitted there one day: To an ashram or at least to a village at the foot of the abode of the Great Teachers.
You can think of Shambhala as a Holy Mountain that unites all three worlds. (Nicholas Roerich "Shambhala" and "Kanchenjunga")
The Holy Mountain starts on earth, there it is firmly grounded. It has a material base. Towards the top it becomes more and more subtle and finally invisible.
On the lowest level of the pyramid of worlds, on earth, there are physical branches of Shambhala. Above that, in the invisible realm of reality, in the Subtle World, there are subtle ashrams of various teachers all the way up to the highest bulwark on the mountain peak: Shambhala, where the Mahatmas themselves reside.
You and I, who consider ourselves disciples of the Brotherhood, must naturally seek our place at the very bottom.
We are living at the foot of the Holy Mountain.
We attach our physical homes and workplaces to Mount Shambhala. They are outposts of the Brotherhood on earth. We had already talked about their construction in the Broadcasting "We are building the World of the Future."
And now comes the crucial point: Behind, above the place where you are living and working, as a scenery for your life on the stage of the material world, there rises on the Subtle Plane the Holy Mountain with its ashrams, sanctuaries and temples. It is invisible to the physical eye, but its presence, its closeness is perceptible to you.
What a magnificent sight is a peacock displaying its train!
Likewise, in the morning, in meditation, you unfold the world of the Sacred Mountain behind you. Like the peacock its wheel, you can take it with you everywhere you want. Like with the peacock, people perceive the greatness and beauty of the sphere that surrounds you. (Nicholas Roerich "Mount of five Treasures")
"What a wonderful idea! How do I now participate in the life of the Sacred Mountain?"
By living and working together with your eternal friends there, as we shall now discuss in detail.
Of course, you can think of any other Heaven that you like better. You may use the practical hints that follow for living in any paradise.
Section VII: Living together with Inhabitants of the Subtle World
Participation in the life of the Higher World means, of course, above all participation in the life of the beings dwelling there.
1. Living in the Presence of Beings from the Subtle World
When we say: Around you there is a world of subtle matter, you should imagine not so much a certain place. Much more important is:
The Subtle World that surrounds you is not empty but inhabited!
You are constantly surrounded by subtle beings, independent of whether you notice them or not.
No one should think that the space around us is empty. On the contrary, we can feel with our hearts the presence of invisible beings. (Supermundane 197)
Every world, the earthly no different than the Supermundane, is moulded of course above all by the inhabitants dwelling there. Sense their closeness, do not put aside as an illusion the clear feeling of the presence of subtle entities, recognize their activity!
Who calls us? Who embraces us with a slight breath? Who fills us with joy or sadness? Who whispers advice to us? A fool will say: I alone do all these things. Ignorance fills man with self-importance. It would be wiser to say: I myself will use all my strength, yet I will accept gratefully every invisible help. (Supermundane 197)
Attendances of an invisible witness in the midst of earthly gatherings are frequent. People can sense the invisible presence. Often they feel that someone questions or answers them. At times this is felt so intensely that they assume to have heard something physically audible and are prompted to ask the neighbour whether he has spoken. One can recall episodes in history when statesmen clearly heard voices and warnings. Unfortunately, most of them paid no attention to this help. (Supermundane 133)
"What kind of beings are they? Good or evil, friendly or hostile?"
Both: your friends, but also your enemies. How do you want to cope with life if you do not feel what kind of Subtle World exists around you, a Heaven or a hell?
Truly, Guides exist as well as tempters. Every incarnate man is surrounded by both friends and enemies. Without fail, the many cares and hatreds of former lives gather around one. When a man asks for help, he feels that there must be something real near him, and truly he is not mistaken. (Supermundane 84)
At each gathering of people one may notice a special concentration of helpers from the Subtle World. Let us hope that the thoughts of people will attract good helpers. (Brotherhood 521)
According to the law of correspondence, you find, you attract those subtle beings who correspond to your own nature, and you repel those who are alien to you.
Firstly, this is true after death in the Higher World: We repeat (Broadcasting "The Supermundane World"): You come into that sphere where your equals, people of the same spiritual level reside: Lower consciousnesses go to lower levels, also called hell, high consciousnesses to higher ones, called Heaven.
Exactly the same applies, however, already now during your incarnation on earth: You are living among those subtle beings that correspond to your level of spiritual development. The Supermundane Guests who show up near you are those of the same vibration.
A gloriously luminating aura radiates far and wide and naturally attracts bright beings from everywhere. (Grünewald "Resurrection of Christ")
A small, weak or even evil aura attracts corresponding lower guests. (Hieronymus Bosch, detail from "The Temptation of St. Anthony")
If you create a beautiful hologram, a high vibrating sphere around you,
if you are living in spirit at the foot of the Holy Mountain, (Nicholas Roerich "Schambhala")
then – as in Heaven and in Shambhala – lower beings have no access to your world.
One can attract the loftiest spirits and keep them near. Likewise, one may end up with the lowest spirits attached. What one wishes, one receives. (Leaves of Morya's Garden II, 100)
You may wonder if subtle entities are able to approach Our Abode [Shambhala]. Of course, they can approach but they have no influence. Every place on Earth is filled with subtle entities, and one must discern the extent to which they infringe upon earthly life. (Supermundane 52)
"Could you please be more specific: Who is around me when I live on the Holy Mountain? Do I know them?"
Well, above all, of course, your spiritual family, your soul mates.
"Who are they?"
Look around you! Who do you see? Below you your smaller brothers and sisters, your disciples. Next to you, your classmates. Above you, your teacher. Next to him other teachers with their disciples, some of whom are your friends. Still higher, your teacher's teacher. And finally, on the top, the Mahatmas.
Belonging together inwardly, millennia of cooperation, and the love that binds you all together create a permanent unity that transcends the boundaries of matter, time and space and persists in all worlds and at all times.
Nothing can separate souls bound by love. (From the Mountain Top Vol I, Lesson "Love is God")
Practical Tip: Picture of your Family
Let us listen to Sartre, who in the screenplay "The Chips are down" so vividly describes how the souls of the deceased seek the proximity of the incarnate living:
They continue on their way, but are soon stopped by a group coming towards them. At the head walks a little man who looks stupid and degenerate. He is followed by his whole distinguished male ancestry from the 19th century to the Middle Ages, all handsome and beautiful people of high stature. An ancient family of high nobility. They are running after their last offspring. They only wait until he is dead, in order to be able to scold him then.
Just as this image aptly depicts, you should imagine your participation in the life of the Higher World:
Your family surrounds you.
The only difference is that, unlike with Sartre, not so much your blood relatives but your soul mates are near you. Moreover, when your Fiery Body is sufficiently developed, you can meet not only with the deceased, but also with souls of the living.
The Teacher perceives not only his own earthly life, but also the existence of those who are close to Him. Such near and dear ones can be either in their physical or in their subtle bodies. They may be close physically, or physically separated, yet close in spirit. Do not imagine that the Teacher remains isolated. (Supermundane 268)
"Did we not say that after death the soul must move away from the earth as soon and as far away as possible, and strive to the highest possible spheres, and that in the lower strata only lower guests are dwelling?"
Yes, well observed! Thus, Sartre describes not Heaven, but the lower, near-earth layers of the Subtle World, where the deceased are desperately yearning to continue to participate in earthly life. Therefore, you will come close to your soul relatives only if you are attached to higher spheres!
When your vibration drops, in case of depression, screaming or irritation, when you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, then sensitive, high subtle beings, the good spirits run away, flee from the scene and escape to safety.
As a child hides under the table or runs out of the house into nature when the parents are quarrelling.
Instead, you attract lower beings who feast on the emanations of the lower energies.
“Isn’t the presence of such spirits sheer illusion?”
No. It is a fact that any therapist will confirm who does not willingly close his eyes to the Higher Reality: Dying people actually see subtle beings in the weeks and months before their death, and even talk to them! On the one hand, because they become more receptive for realities of the Spiritual World, on the other hand, because they have finished more and more with the earth, the worldly worries and their blood relatives, eat less, become more sensitive and spiritual and have time for aimless contemplation.
Dying people already have contact with the realm of the dead.
One should heed the visions experienced by seriously ill people, who often see images of individuals, unknown to them, who try to ease their sufferings. Sometimes these images remind them of dear ones who have passed away. (Supermundane 248)
At séances, mediums, too, are connected with the Subtle World, but with lower beings from lower strata. Your Eternal Individuality, on the other hand, can connect in the Fiery State with higher spheres of the World Beyond and the great spirits there.
However, it is of no use if you only listen to my words and either shake your head or nod in agreement.
You really need to experience that Subtle Entities are present near you.
"How can I have such an experience?"
You must imperatively become more sensitive, develop your inner senses and open your centres (chakras) so that you can perceive the invisible Subtle Reality!
Our gross body and the insufficient refinement of our senses are the only obstacles that prevent us from realizing the presence of the teacher. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 08.11.1931)
You know that he exists. You know he is near. You just do not see him. But you can sense him!
2. Living in the World of the Teacher
Svetoslav Roerich "Sacred Words"
Near you is, of course, above all your Spiritual Father, your teacher.
"I am sorry, but here again my understanding fails me. That a temple, which I imagine, becomes a subtle reality around me, I can only just concede. But that a great teacher such as St. Francis of Assisi, for example, shows up in reality merely because I imagine it, seems impossible to me!"
Yes, you are right. Of course, you cannot force a teacher to appear. In spiritualistic séances, it is at best possible to draw near lower subtle beings to reveal themselves. The right way is:
You have to approach your teacher!
You can attach the material place where you are living to the spiritual world of your teacher by putting yourself in a higher state of vibration, which comes at least close to his vibration.
If you live in your spiritual world at the foot of the Holy Mountain, the teacher who lives there is also near you. (Nicholas Roerich "Pearl of Searching")
We extend the fruitful exercise of "Living in the continuous Presence of the Teacher" and say now:
Live continuously in the world of your teacher!
In communion not only with your father, but also with your disciples, your classmates and with the higher levels of the Hierarchy.
"Isn't this, once again, rather high-flying and far away from everyday reality?"
Not at all. Think of Helena Roerich, who occasionally invited close collaborators to spend some time with her in the Kulu Valley. We had already said (Broadcasting "Become a Disciple!"): You too can arrange your everyday life "as if" you were staying with Helena Roerich. Living together with your teacher in spirit – this will be a real participation in the life of the Higher World!
3. Observation by Inhabitants of the Subtle World
Living on the Holy Mountain not only means that you see your soul mates, but also: They see you!
According to the Rule of St. Benedict, one of the instruments of good works is to know for certain that God is looking at us everywhere. (4, 49).
Let us listen to Sartre again:
The living offspring of this distinguished family stops and lights a cigarette; the ancestral line behind him also stops and watches his every move with amazed attention. In the meantime, the scion has lit his cigarette and continues his march with a pompous and silly face, followed by all his ancestors who observe him with attentive and deeply saddened looks.
"I am under constant observation? That's a little creepy, isn't it, like Big Brother is watching you?"
No, you should not understand the observation as a threat. Rather, it is the natural consequence of your being in the midst of your soul mates. Your family, with whom you live, naturally hears what you say and sees what you do.
Think of Us—Those Who watch you. (Leaves of Morya's Garden II, 156)
The daring ones should not give way to despair. We note each of their steps. (Supermundane 508)
Even more: On the inner level of reality, in the Subtle World your "ghostly" housemates in addition also sense what you think and what you feel!
"Am I now supposed to assume responsibility also for my thinking and feeling?"
Indeed, this is exactly how it is. When you take part in the life of the Higher World, you enter a level where thoughts and feelings are visible! You cannot hide them there! You are now moving in a completely different world, in the fourth dimension, where conditions and possibilities prevail, which do not exist in "normal" earthly life. And, as always, the rule applies:
If possibilities increase, responsibility grows as well!
"This is terrible! My whole being is exposed to everyone like an open book!?"
Yes, if you still must be afraid of that what really is within you coming to the surface, you are not yet ready for Heaven! There you must set an example for your smaller brothers and sisters and give pleasure to your teacher by proving yourself worthy of him.
However, do not regard this as a threat, but as an opportunity, as an advantage: Not only you are recognized, but also you recognize the true essence of the people around you. You perceive their aura and can sense who is great and who is small, who is good and who is bad, who really loves you and who wants to harm you, who can help you and who only hinders or exploits you, and so on.
Most of the misery in your life comes from deceiving yourself about your fellow men.
You can avoid these fatal errors if you learn to participate in the life of the Higher World.
You see again: We are not talking about anything mystical, remote, esoteric, occult or unrealistic, but on the contrary about an expansion of your possibilities, about an improvement of your normal everyday life!
4. Living together with Inhabitants of the Subtle World
Nicholas Roerich "Zwenigorod”
Beings of the same vibration naturally attract each other and form a supratemporal community beyond the limits of matter, time and space: the so-called community of saints. You now fill this ideal with life.
Religion says: He who goes to the fathers will dwell with them; he who goes to the angels will dwell with them; and he who goes to God will dwell with Him. It means that a person who sets himself the maximum degree of progress will arrive at the best attainment. (Leaves of Morya's Garden II, 225)
When your consciousness has expanded, you perceive the whole, not only the physical but also the subtle reality, and gain a realization of marvellous beauty that completely transfigures your entire earthly life:
Your soul is actually living already now, during your earthly incarnation, together with your true, spiritual brothers and sisters! (Nicholas Roerich "Zwenigorod")
Living together means, of course, much more than just feeling the presence of your soulmates.
"How can I use this wonderful possibility practically in my everyday life?"
Play, dream, imagine very concretely: You get up in the morning together with your (spiritual) brothers and sisters, practise the same physical exercises together with them, step together with them before the teacher (really, in an Agni Yoga meditation you do not sit alone in front of your teacher, but together with your friends, the 5 or 6 other disciples your teacher has). You discuss the matters of the coming day, you receive tasks for your personal perfection and assignments for service in the world, which you will execute in the course of the day.
You study the Holy Scriptures together with your friends, take the meals with them, serve the common good and go through the same training together with them. You regularly consult with them and take advantage of their help. In the evening, the community meets again to render an account of the successes and failures of the day.
Your entire earthly daily routine takes place against the scenery of the Higher World, at the foot of the Sacred Mountain. (Nicholas Roerich "Kanchenjunga")
You know: your relatives are there. They practise the same exercises and serve the same work – you just do not see them.
Your existence in the Higher World becomes concrete and everyday by the fact that you actually live already on earth in exactly the same way as you wish to live after your death in your Eternal home in an ashram of the Brotherhood.
This is a most helpful concept to shape your daily life worthily: If you are a disciple, you live with your teacher; if you are already a teacher, you live with your disciples – namely in a sanctuary, and that at every moment. (Raphael "The School of Athens")
Your true relatives are always with you! You are never alone! Wherever you stand, whatever you do, a friend and co-worker is at your side, and the teacher is in sight.
In the community of your soulmates you are safe.
What a bliss! You are living together in a family with the greatest souls of all times, with your idols!
At the Holy Mountain you have access to Pythagoras, Plato, St. Francis of Assisi, Gandhi and many other great souls. Even if you might not be ready yet to be received into their ashram, you can visit them, have a look at their world and talk to one or the other of their disciples. Thereby, a desire will arise within you, a burning longing to be allowed to live in such a wonderful sphere one day!
In Our Abode people come together who are separated by many centuries. (Supermundane 22)
What a relief for those of you who are disappointed in your fellow men because you cannot find any soul mates among them.
However, this salutary practice is possible only if you abide by the rules, laws, customs and traditions that apply in your Supermundane Community and do not disturb the cohabitation by rude habits. In a Heaven there is no unworthy behaviour!
If you want to live with Helena Roerich in the Kulu Valley or with Gandhi in his ashram, you must comply with the customs that apply there.
Or, to put it differently, so that you do not take it as a threat: These rules make a stay in spheres of such a high vibration possible in the first place. For example, if you have eaten too much or too heavy, you will not be able to participate in the life of a Higher World, as you yourself have experienced often enough.
Exercise: Take Refuge in the Teaching, in the Teacher and in the Community
The wonderful Buddhist mantram
I take refuge in the Teaching, in the Teacher, and in the Community
takes on a completely new practical dimension: If you are ever overcome by disgust, distress, unhappiness, or dejection, you can actually run away! Seek refuge in your community on the Holy Mountain!
Knowledge of transitoriness results in a feeling of breaking away from the Earth and impels the spirit to those planes where man verily dwells in his fiery essence. (Fiery World III, 368)
"What is happening there? How does that help me?"
Your friends and classmates pat you on the back encouragingly and assure you: You can bear that! This too shall pass! There are only a few hours left until you can return to Heaven in the evening! What you are experiencing right now is completely insignificant. All of us and also you yourself have already survived much worse in the millions of years of our earthly and supermundane existences! Your teacher smiles mysteriously, and a light dawns on you:
What on earth looks like a misfortune, is revealed in your true existence as a test imposed on you; as an opportunity given to you, so that you may grow greater.
This refuge, however, is open to you only if you practise life in the Higher World on a regular basis. If you suddenly and unprepared try to gain access to these Holy Halls only at a moment of need, you will hardly succeed.
Gambarelli, Basilica di S. Domenico, Siena
"St. Catherine prays the Liturgy of the Hours with Jesus".
Participation in the life of the Higher World means, of course, communicating with the inhabitants of this sphere. It would not be life if you would not be able to get in contact with all these beings that surround you!
Of course, a natural, living exchange between the different levels of the one overall world is possible. One of the characteristics by which you recognize a New Man is: He makes this possibility become a reality, which is already everyday practice of the Mahatmas.
We have entire Strongholds in the Subtle World. You already know their names; you have heard about the structures created by thought. The Abode of the Hierarchy in the Himalayas is in constant communication with the Abodes in the Subtle World. (Supermundane 41)
We have often referred to the example of Jesus, who was able to talk to Moses and Elias in the state of transfiguration. (Raphael "Transfiguration of Christ")
There is nothing miraculous about that. All we see here is a human being who has climbed a higher stage of evolution and acquired the corresponding higher skills. You can do the same if you refine your inner spiritual senses or, in other words, open your centres.
There are people even in our time, and you too have met them or reliably heard of them, who are closer to the Higher World and begin to use its immeasurable possibilities.
A hermit was once asked how he could dwell in continuous silence. He was much surprised and said, “On the contrary, I am never silent, but converse constantly—so many companions visit me.” The hermit had drawn so near to the invisible world that it had become entirely perceptible to him. Prayer became communion, and the World Beyond revealed itself in all its magnitude. To such a spirit his own transition into the Subtle World is altogether imperceptible. (AUM 41)
Visit the world of the soul again and again like a child in your imagination. If only you linger there long enough, in time you will also be able to get in contact with its inhabitants.
"This possibility, even if I take it for existent, is in any case far removed from my today's level of development. How can I learn such a communication?"
We will talk about the refinement of your spiritual senses in more detail in the Broadcasting "Education of the Eternal Individuality". Today we can already say:
Meditate regularly! As we had discussed in detail in the Broadcasting "Communion with the Higher World - Meditation", Agni Yoga meditation is above all a conversation with your Spiritual Father, your teacher. Practise this, and you will make progress with time. Then you may extend this exercise to communication with your non-incarnated soulmates, your friends, disciples and classmates.
In this way, step by step, you will learn quite naturally to talk to inhabitants of the Subtle World.
Once you are experienced in the practice of morning meditation, you may also in the course of the day, in the middle of earthly life, stop once in a while and ask for advice. (Gambarelli, Basilica di S. Domenico, Siena "St. Catherine prays the Liturgy of the Hours with Jesus.")
The Supermundane World sends its communications by day and by night. They contain not only general advice, but instructions for everyday events. Thus one can see how close the Supermundane World is to the earthly one. (Supermundane 950)
Such a communication with other souls takes place more often than you think, and many times even without your being aware of it. Let us listen to the famous notes of a doctor from the time immediately after World War II:
The inner ear also sharpens and makes us ready to follow spontaneous inspirations. It has never been so easy for me to make resolutions as in this time. Suddenly I have the feeling that I have to go to Schwalgendorf quickly. And when I arrive there a few hours later, I can be sure that I will be greeted with the words: "Oh, there you are! We were just thinking about how we could get you here." (Hans Graf von Lehndorff, "East Prussian Diary," entry Christmas 1946)
We can take the term "communication" a bit further and speak more generally of "interaction":
Souls meet on the Subtle Plane and interact there before they come together in the material world.
There are many examples of this. Here are some I have experienced myself:
Many years ago, I was in love with a woman, let us call her Aimée. Apparent coincidences brought us together again and again against all odds. Here are the most astonishing incidents, all of which took place within a few weeks:
One Sunday I go to church, which I don't do often. The church is packed. I squeeze into a pew somewhere. I feel someone fixing me – and who is sitting behind me: Aimée!
One afternoon, a kind of inspiration reaches me and I decide to go to the opera that very evening; alone, although I don't even know what is being played. I have never done anything like that before or since in my entire life. And who do I meet there: Aimée!
One day I go to a hairdresser I have never been to before or later. Who is sitting there? Aimée. Back home, I imagine that when she drives back, she should actually pass by my house. I resist the temptation to stand at the window waiting for hours. But then I go to the window one time only (!), and at exactly this very moment she is driving by down below in her fancy sports car.
I go to the concert. Aimée is singing in the choir. We don't have a date. After the performance, I walk out by any one of the numerous exits, thinking to myself that she will probably take the artist's exit. And who do I discover among the thousands of visitors streaming out when I look back just once, a few meters behind me: Aimée!
"Why is it that you tell us all these nice little stories?"
In order to open your eyes to occurrences that can be found in large numbers in your life too! Incidents, whose essential aspect does not take place on the material level, but invisibly in the Subtle World: Quite obviously the love of our souls did draw our bodies together.
If only you open your consciousness, your Eternal Individuality will begin to participate in its true existence in the Higher World. Then you will also be able to perceive and consciously use the possibilities of the fourth dimension.
Section VIII: Cooperation with Inhabitants of the Subtle World
Life on earth consists primarily of work. As below, so above. It is no different in the Subtle World.
People will ask, “What is your heaven like?” Answer, “It is a heaven of labour and battle.” (Leaves of Morya's Garden II, 269 )
1. Participation in Subtle Work
Henry Moore "Oval with Points”
If you want to participate in the life of the Higher World, you must participate in the work that is being carried out there.
Also, capacity for work in the Subtle World must be developed. As in all existence, natural realization of cooperation is needed. It may be fully realized or less realized, but straight-knowledge should be infused with it. Man should continually feel himself to be in the two worlds. I am not speaking about the expectancy of death, for death does not exist; I am speaking about labour, both earthly and subtle. Such assiduousness in subtle work should not tear one away from earthly labour, on the contrary, it will but improve its quality. (Brotherhood 318)
If the life of your soul in the Higher World is your true existence, it follows that your work there is much more important than your work on earth!
We have spoken here about capacity for labour in the earthly world as well as in the Subtle. But capacity for labour alone is only a possibility for improvement. It is also required that one grow to love with one’s whole heart the striving for subtle labour. It can be manifested each instant, and for it all other intentions should be set aside. (Brotherhood 329)
"What kind of work is there to be done in the Subtle World?"
Subtle work has two aspects:
First: In the Higher World, ideals, that is, thought buildings are created and ever more embellished, expanded and refined. You can participate in this labour already during your earthly incarnation.
If its desires are lofty ones, the spirit can discover lofty forms and, by creating them, contribute to the process of perfection. (Leaves of Morya's Garden II, 100)
He who writes a novel like Tolstoy, creates a world of thoughts of its own, in which the reader is immersed. Plato, in his opus "The Republic" has erected a gigantic edifice of thought. We are called upon to constantly work on the improvement and refinement of this concept of the ideal living together of a community.
Indeed, in the Subtle World it is easy for a conscious spirit to create. It can create without effort by transferring earthly images to a superior form. But this creative work is not limited to one domain; this process also implants better images on Earth. (Heart 517)
Also he who creates a sculpture, paints a picture or composes a piece of music, does Subtle work. Even if you "only" dream, this is already creative activity.
People will say, “It is not bestowed upon us to become creators.” Yet, at the same time, they themselves, not noticing it, create beautifully, psychically. Such creativeness is necessary for their progress in the Supermundane World. Therefore, We affirm the art of dreaming, which facilitates progress in the highest realms.
Let one’s dreams be beautiful. Let them create a better future for humanity. Let them create heroic images. Let them penetrate into higher, Supermundane Realms. Let them lead one to know the Higher Beings. Only through these qualities will the dream bear fruit. It will realise the consciousness of the creator and will produce precious vibrations for the Common Good. (Supermundane 827)
This thought work in the Spiritual World is by no means just fruitless playfulness: For one thing, it is of the utmost importance, especially for life on earth, to constantly develop and refine ideals that give us orientation.
On the other hand, the sphere of thoughts and dreams is your true, Eternal home, to which you will return after this short earthly stay. Therefore, if you improve the conditions there now by your thought creation, you make sure that you will come to a better world after death.
Is it possible for one incarnated on Earth to create mentally in the Subtle World? One can participate in a great number of improvements. So we prepare during earthly existence the future beautiful gardens. Thought in all its constructiveness also creates our own future happiness. (Fiery World I, 241)
Being filled with lofty tasks, man prepares himself for corresponding domains. By degrees he so accustoms himself to this way of thinking that he begins to belong entirely to an equally beautiful life in the Subtle World. Earthly life is an instant which cannot be compared with the Higher World, therefore it is prudent even in this brief moment to derive advantage for a more prolonged one. (Brotherhood 319)
Second aspect of the Subtle work: These thought constructions, dreams or ideals must be densified more and more and finally moulded into a material reality.
Thought does create form, which form is at some period of a Manvantara externalized on the physical plane, encased in matter. (Teachings of the Temple Vol II, Lesson “The manasic Plane or Sphere of Thought”)
Thus, you are doing Subtle work as well when you make your contribution to the realization on earth of the images, the ideas that have been developed on the spiritual plane.
People are not able to realise a conception of the Subtle World in their lives, and thus they obstruct evolution. (Supermundane 703)
Thereby you unite the worlds, bring the earth closer to Heaven and make sure that more and more paradisiacal conditions prevail down here as well. This is typical Subtle work.
You may love such work!
The reluctance with which most people nowadays pursue their daily labour is terrible, makes ill and yields bad results.
For the facilitation and greater fruitfulness of such mental work in the Subtle World it is essential to love it. Where there is love there is a better performance, and, consequently, a mutually better result. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol II, letter of 23.04.1938)
Practical Tip: 2 Examples
"What does this mean for my day-to-day work? I am not an artist!"
Let us look at two examples:
First example: I am a lawyer by profession. This work left me unsatisfied for many years because I earned money but found no deeper meaning in it. I was a work slave: My clients paid me to enforce their personal, egotistic interests.
"I feel the same way! How does professional work acquire a meaning that is worth toiling for?"
Our labours are meaningful only if they serve the realization of a principle of the Higher World such as truth, justice, beauty or love.
For a lawyer this means: His Higher, Subtle work consists in creating justice. Concretely, that works like this: He looks at the immeasurable multitude of material facts of a case, selects those that are legally relevant, and then forms a picture of where justice lies, what a just solution to the case might look like. The lawyer for the opponent and the court may form a very different opinion. Ideally, they come to a joint judgment that establishes justice between the disputing parties.
Thereby the ideal of justice becomes an earthly reality.
This is Subtle work! This is how the principles of the Higher World are realized on earth. This is how the worlds are united.
Second example: The Subtle work of an artist or even an apprentice painter is to create beauty.
The apprentice painter imagines how he could decorate a room beautifully. This, too, is thought creation! And he materializes this ideal by painting the room accordingly.
If because of greed for profit his boss puts him under such a time pressure that it is impossible to deliver quality painting work, his labour has no higher meaning and no value.
You see: A spiritual toiler who does Subtle work is not only a writer or a philosopher, but also a craftsman.
2. Cooperation with Inhabitants of the Subtle World
Botticini "The Three Archangels and Tobias"
Participation in the life of the Higher World finally means to cooperate consciously with the inhabitants of these spheres! What a bliss: You may work together with the greatest souls of all times, with your heroes, on their Great Work!
Could there be a greater joy than that during the fulfillment of a Mission of the Brotherhood? (Fiery World II, 393)
Can I be so fortunate as to have the privilege of helping my Teachers? (Supermundane 257)
Teacher, let me become Thy helper. (Supermundane 717)
You help them, but even more they help you.
Search for Invisible Friends. The appearance of Friends from the Higher World, from the Supermundane, will be a strong support. Sometimes you know Them, but generally Their name is unknown to you. Only the joy felt in your consciousness indicates Their presence. Do not attempt to learn Their names, for They discarded earthly names long ago.
May the number of these Protectors be great. They value all luminous striving, and nothing will divert Their benevolent help when they recognize a developing achievement. They help where trust is strong. May the benevolence of the Invisible Friends abide with you! It is not only the visible friends who help, but even more, the Invisible ones. (Supermundane 588)
The Invisible Helpers protect you from danger.
People are reluctant to imagine how many dangers are taking place around them. How many times have the Higher Forces and participants in the Subtle World saved them! (Heart 524)
Beautiful is the tension of the Great Service when invisible co-workers gather around it. They strengthen the armour, protect from arrows, and illumine the path. Man can advance as if winged; he has gained numberless co-workers, and they are obedient to Hierarchy. (Fiery World I, 560)
For this protection you should be grateful!
How do we know whether, at this very moment, we might need to be saved from something? Do we really know what threatens us? We are content to think that our day has been a peaceful one, but fail to see that the poisonous viper, lurking behind us, has been driven away by an invisible saviour! Let us express our gratitude to invisible saviours. (Supermundane 197)
The Brotherhood is always on the lookout for suitable co-workers and a future-oriented construction.
Each wholesome transformation of life will be noted and supported by Us. (Agni Yoga 175)
Any work welcome to the Hierarchy, even the smallest, is encouraged.
Every worker receives help from the Subtle World. People would be much more successful if they realized that this invisible cooperation exists. Scoffers will say, “Can it be that even carpenters, farmers, and masons receive help from the Subtle World?” This mockery is out of place, for each appreciated labour receives help. (Supermundane 214)
Help from Above will mostly be not of a material, but of a spiritual nature.
The help of the Higher Beings is usually accomplished by spiritual means, but the help can also be material. Tradition often relates the appearance of dear ones who came to give useful advice, but stated that they were allowed to help only once. Similar indications can be found among different peoples throughout the ages, and such testimony is quite true. (Supermundane 432)
You must firmly trust in this support, go to meet it and accept it.
Help can be immeasurably increased where there is no discontent, complaints, depression, and mistrust. People, give your Invisible Helpers the opportunity to stretch out their hands! So many luminous wings have withered away because of human distrust! (Supermundane 136)
It is difficult to effect cooperation with the Subtle World. Many dwellers in the Subtle World would like to offer their knowledge, but they are denied the opportunity because of various prejudices and fear. (Fiery World I, 555)
What a wonderful idea:
There are indeed this-worldly physical and other-worldly subtle beings working together on a common project.
In each work there is acting a collective of both earthly and supermundane co-workers. (Supermundane 831)
One can see how corresponding vibrations create cooperation. You know how certain individuals from the Subtle World who are close to us act to assist a common task. Even not so long ago they were unable to serve the common purpose because of difference of vibrations, but now your vibrations and their endeavours for communion make them useful co-workers. Thus is created useful labour in common. It is the more useful because the adversaries have similar co-workers. (Fiery World II, 203)
As we have already shown earlier with the beautiful painting of the battle of Lepanto, subtle beings even take part in earthly wars, for example Helena Roerich (called Urusvati by the Mahatmas) in the Subtle Body.
Urusvati knows what it means to be amidst earthly battles while in the subtle body. Urusvati can testify how swiftly and safely she was able to fly amongst the combatants. You can imagine how often We participate in such earthly battles. We are invulnerable to human weapons, yet can suffer injuries from the hierophants of the dark forces, whose ruinous attacks fill space. Such invisible battles are not fairy tales. It is one thing to send a Ray from the Tower, but it is an entirely different thing to fly to participate in the righteous battle in space. (Supermundane 136)
Thus, beyond the limits of the material plane, there takes place a real cooperation between Heaven and earth!
People do not realise that Supermundane Friends are trying to save them from misfortune. They will not admit that someone is trying to help them solve difficult problems in their lives. The earthly mind cannot imagine the cooperation that exists beyond the boundaries of Earth. (Supermundane 617)
In the Broadcasting "The Brotherhood of Shambhala", we had cited many examples of the intervention of the Mahatmas in world affairs. Likewise, they or their agents will also help you with your small personal matters – provided, of course, that you promote the aims of the Hierarchy and carry out their orders.
Since each man carries his own mission, no one can be left without help. (Brotherhood 569)
Cooperation with Us brings all that is needed. (Hierarchy 434)
Through such a cooperation, a true non-material, supermundane and supratemporal community is formed.
People may ask whether it is confusing to work with non-incarnated entities and densified astral beings—not in the least. Such collaboration takes place on the plane of unified consciousness, and because such co-workers are of similar mentality, the unification forms a true community. (Supermundane 131)
The ideal of uninterrupted work in all worlds becomes reality!
Before birth in the Higher World, during all your incarnations on earth, and after death again in the World Beyond you are working together uninterruptedly with always the same beings on always the same Great Work: On the New Construction, on the building of a new stage of evolution.
"Can you give a practical example of such a work over centuries?"
On vacation in Greece, we were sitting one evening in a large square at the foot of an ancient fortress of the Knights of St. John. Locals and tourists were enjoying themselves, having dinner and drinking wine, and children were frolicking late into the night. Suddenly I had a tiny vision, just a very brief flash of thought: I saw myself many centuries ago with other Knights of St. John in our armour on duty up at the castle, making our tour and standing on guard. A picture of grandeur and seriousness: The fortress and the knights were protecting the feasting crowds from the threat of the Turks.
In the same way you may regard yourself and your task: You do not live down in, but above the village, up there on the Holy Mountain. You are a member of the Hierarchy, one of the rulers. You share their responsibility for the welfare of humanity, whether you are already a knight or just a page. In this position, you can take part in the usual pleasures to a very limited extent only.
This is true not only in this life, but has been true for thousands of years, through many incarnations, on all material and non-material planes of existence.
You are working together with the Brotherhood in eternity!
Exercise: Summoning Supermundane Helpers
You can consciously and purposefully summon your Supermundane Friends and co-workers.
When man takes upon himself communion with the Higher World, he is truly daring, but this daring is sacred. The Subtle World listens to these calls and understands their significance. Such communion attracts a multitude of listeners—co-workers, as it were. (AUM 105)
There is a panacea available to everyone. He can disperse any influence by reaching out in thought to friends. Man has friends not only on Earth, he can summon many faithful co-workers from the Subtle World as well. (Supermundane 493)
Through selfless service you attract High Helpers. With bad thoughts, feelings, words or deeds, however, you draw towards you malevolent beings from the lower layers of the Subtle World.
Radiant striving can certainly attract help. This is not a moral admonition, but a scientific fact. (Supermundane 136)
Not a single earthly action remains unanswered on the part of the Subtle World. Each earthly thought arouses either joy and assistance, or malevolence and destructive sendings from the Subtle World. (AUM 105)
Section IX: Participation as Exercise, Service and Bliss
Participation in the life of the Higher World is at the same time a spiritual exercise, service to the common good and your highest bliss.
1. Continuous spiritual Exercise
Participation in the life of the Higher World is a continuous spiritual exercise! You have yet to learn to live in Heaven and on earth at the same time.
"What does this exercise consist of?"
You see the whole picture of the reality with the Holy Mountain behind you. You keep your consciousness constantly, even during your daily work, in the Higher World, at the foot of the Holy Mountain! (Nicholas Roerich "Schambhala")
In the course of the earthly day, you always carry with you the temple hologram which you built in the morning meditation.
Every single moment of the day offers you the opportunity to defend, affirm and deepen the subtle reality of your existence on a higher plane.
On earth it is necessary to keep your head above water. In the spiritual sphere it is crucial to keep your head above the clouds, in your homeland, in Heaven!
It requires deep concentration to keep your vibration and that of the hologram around you high every moment and to defend the chosen ideal! This inner work parallel to the most strained labour in the material sphere must become a firm and dear habit! Not brooding helps, only practising! Try it out! Heal yourself! Raise yourself!
2. Necessary Supplementation to the Exercise "Fiery Condition"
"I am practicing the exercise “The Fiery condition”. However, I have not yet found the right approach, for example, to raise my vibration again in a moment of dejection. In the meditation in the morning and in the evening I succeed quite well. But during the day, when I don't have time to meditate, I don't know how to rise again when I've crashed."
Yes, I felt the same way for a long time.
It is not easy to muster from within oneself the strength of soul to pull oneself out of the mire by one's own hair, like Baron Munchausen.
Experience teaches: The Fiery State of your being alone is not enough. Life in a Supermundane Sphere, in Heaven, must be added to make your true existence and thus your happiness perfect.
A spiritual being cannot exist in a place with low vibrations, but only in its own high vibrating world.
The hologram of a Higher World that you wrap yourself in is like a diving suit that enables your soul to survive on the material plane.
In a desperate, ugly, ridiculous or humiliating situation, only one thing helps: Close your eyes for a second. Withdraw to the Spiritual World!
Detach yourself from earthly everyday life and move into your Eternal Home.
Enjoy the purity, majesty, peace and tranquillity of the Holy Mountain. Feel the closeness of your true relatives, especially your teacher. Experience the happiness of the communion of souls with them. In this way you will immediately and unfailingly raise your vibration!
You go to the forest or listen to the music of the great masters in order to heal yourself or to get rid of your moods. In fact, thereby you go to a Higher World! You can achieve the same elevation by visiting your sanctuary in spirit.
We remember: With your high vibration you raise the vibration of the space around you. But this also works the other way round:
By entering a room with a high vibration, for example a sanctuary, you also raise your personal vibration.
When you are dwelling in a world of purity, power, joy and beauty, you feel pure, powerful, joyful and beautiful, and then you are pure, powerful, joyful and beautiful.
Living on the Holy Mountain brings your being into a holy vibration. (Nicholas Roerich "Kanchenjunga")
We repeat (Broadcastings "Exercise Elevation" and "Exercise The Fiery Condition"): Your soul is not affected by the distress, suffering and coarseness of the material world. This is easy to say, but difficult realise when you feel attacked. Inviolability through transfer of the consciousness into the Eternal Individuality is indeed still a bit abstract.
But high up on the Holy Mountain, in the sublime world of your teacher's ashram, you can really feel invulnerable.
When your soul takes its ancestral place in its Invisible Home far above the material sphere, the concerns about the hopeless conditions down in the valley cease as well. There you can flee at any time if the disgust of the stupidity, the impudence or the egotism of your fellow men seizes you.
When our consciousness is completely transported into the domain where there is no fear and depression, then we are invulnerable to any filth. (Fiery World II, 72)
3. Participation as Service
Mont Saint Michel, Normandy, France
When you create a world of your own, your personal paradise, and really live in it, this is not just a private pleasure. You are giving humanity an example of a higher, better world. You show everyone:
Here is the New World!
Your New Construction is visible from afar like a beacon, at any rate in the Subtle World, but more and more also on the material plane. This flame, which gives hope to your fellow men, must never go out. (Nicholas Roerich "Flowers of Timur - Fires of Victory")
The joy of ascent must transcend any earthly joy. It must shine, and by its Light be a beacon to many. (Fiery World I, 638)
The synthesis of the practice of Agni Yoga, the life formula of the New Man is:
I am a celestial being, a spirit man. I live in a Higher World, descend into matter and bring this Heaven to earth. (Nicholas Roerich "From Beyond")
That means practically: You establish in every room you enter the hologram of your temple and thereby create a pure and holy atmosphere there. This must not remain theory: Ask yourself at the end of each day:
Did I really create a Heaven on earth today for my partner, my children, my relatives, my colleagues at work, my acquaintances and my friends?
4. True Happiness through Participation in the true Existence
I have been a philosopher and a seeker of happiness from my youth. At first it seemed simple: to learn many useful and interesting things at school and university; to marry, to have children, to practise a profession, to provide a living for the family: All this carried its meaning quite obviously in itself.
But at 40, when the children needed me less, I asked myself, and many of you are also asking themselves: Can that be all? Begetting and raising children, who then in turn also only beget and raise children? What did I get out of all that effort?
It was only when I was over 60 that I found true happiness:
My real existence, the life of my soul at the foot of the Holy Mountain!
It is said that the only bliss of a spiritual person is meditation. This sounds a bit poor and like withdrawal from life. We say: The true happiness of a spiritual man consists in participating in the life of the Higher World in the midst of earthly troubles and turmoil.
A time of happiness—thus We call that step in the development of consciousness when, without turning away from life, Our co-workers are given the opportunity to join Us in Our Abode. (Agni Yoga 338)
Up there, there is only purity, beauty and joy. Up there, there is no disgust, dejection, irritation, desires or cravings. Up there, the repulsing things that take place down in the valley cannot affect you. The key to a better, more beautiful and more worthy life is the realization:
True joy of being you find only in your true existence!
Where does this cheerful feeling, called joy of being, arise? It does not come from wealth or self-satisfaction, but is often experienced amidst the most grievous difficulties and persecutions. In times of tensions, such a joy is especially valuable and healing. We call it joy of being, for it does not depend on personal circumstances, success, or profit.
Can there be feelings of joy when one is afflicted with disease, injustice and insult? Indeed, for even in such circumstances the eyes may sometimes fill with fire, the bowed head may rise, and new strength may be experienced. (Supermundane 281)
And now follows the key sentence of this wonderful paragraph:
Then man begins to rejoice at life, perhaps not at his earthly life, but at his real existence. (Supermundane 281)
"How can I, too, find this joy of being?"
Overcome the transient earthly existence! Live your true, higher life!
Wherever you stand and go, whatever you do: Keep the image of your real existence, your Eternal Home, your Heaven in your heart: The village and the ashram at the foot of the Holy Mountain; and there your disciples, classmates and teachers up to the Mahatmas. (Nicholas Roerich "Mount of five Treasures" and "Tibet Himalayas")
Transfer the life of your Eternal Individuality to this Higher Level! Breathe the spirit of Shambhala already down here on earth! Join this Supratemporal Community! Become a member of this Holy Order!
There you are a cogwheel, which is small and seemingly insignificant, but nevertheless has its very own function, which cannot be replaced by anyone else.
How to explain that without the unity of the worlds life on the earthly crust is an absurdity! (Community 135)
Anchor yourself firmly in this Heavenly Kingdom! So firmly that the heaviest earthly turbulences, the most dangerous attacks, the hardest labours, the most trying temptations and the most depressing moods will not succeed to drive your soul out of its natural homeland.
From my own experience I implore you: You will not find happiness if you make it dependent upon being successful, healthy, loved, etc. – these are only relative earthly standards which do not apply to your Eternal Individuality.
You can always preserve the radiant resplendence of your real existence, even if everything goes wrong in your life; even if you are being crucified. (Tintoretto "Crucifixion")
We shall continue to talk about participating in the life at the foot of the Holy Mountain in the Broadcasting "Living in the Ashram of the Teacher".
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