AGNI YOGA WEB TV
„THE 10 PILLARS OF THE PRACTICE OF AGNI YOGA“
5th Pillar: Living in two Worlds
Ladies and Gentlemen,
it is a pleasure for me to welcome you to a new Broadcast.
One of the key quotations of Agni Yoga is:
The Agni Yogi verily lives in two worlds. (Infinity I, 238)
Today we want to talk about this life in two worlds. The subject has three aspects:
The first aspect is: Agni Yoga teaches that we should not withdraw from the earthly life.
The second aspect: We should not stick to the earthly matters, to the perishable things.
And the third aspect: Agni Yoga shows us how we can already now, during our material existence on earth, really participate in the life of the spiritual world, our true homeland.
1. Do not Withdraw from Life
Painting: Carl Spitzweg „The Hermit as Friend of Flowers“
Let us start with the first aspect: Not withdraw from life. The world is beautiful and full of wonderful possibilities. Look around: Is the planet on which we may live, not a paradise?
Our Teaching represents the world as rich, joyous and attractive. (Community 263)
The immortal sees the earthly and the supermundane, the visible and the invisible world as one inseparable reality. Therefore, we must not diminish the earthly matters in order to glorify the heavenly ones.
Indeed, not breaking away from the Earth, but the capacity for unifying the worlds is what makes man a creator. (Community 215)
Therefore, the Brotherhood imperatively demands that we do not withdraw from the earthly life, but face its challenges.
Flee not from life, but walk the higher path. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 1)
The beauty of the Teaching of Agni Yoga is due precisely to the fact that it contains nothing abstract, but has one goal only: To ameliorate your ordinary daily life!
Everything is of worth only in life and for life. (Letters of Helena Roerich, Vol. 1, letter of 03.12.1930)
Escapism is the wrong way. It is no coincidence that our souls are incarnated just on this particular planet. For the time being, we are not yet ripe for other, higher worlds.
The path of the hermit is not Our path. One must offer to life the flowers of experience. (Agni Yoga 165)
The mission that you have accepted at your incarnation must be fulfilled. It does not allow you to leave the world. If you want to transform yourself and the circumstances, you have to submit to the conditions prevailing on earth.
Those who fulfill an earthly mission do so under earthly conditions. (Supermundane 37)
You may from time to time temporarily withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the world - but only in order to return with new strength and to fight even more powerfully for the rule of the spirit on earth.
True, a Master must go apart for a time, but only to gain strength to endure the stress and strain of the physical environment. Enlightenment – assimilation of spiritual food – comes in loneliness and quietude, because it pertains to the spiritual life; but upon its attainment follows a period when that enlightenment – that force which has been generated in the silence - must be put to the service of the rest of the world. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. 1, Lesson 17 “The Meeting of Extremes”)
The struggle between light and darkness, good and evil must be fought nowhere else than down here on earth. Or do you want to give up to chaos the basis of the world-pyramid, the material level?
It is impossible to leave the world to decompose! (Heart 42)
2. Learning in Life
You cannot run away from the trials of earthly life. You will continue to be placed into a difficult situation, until you have mastered, that is, until you have spiritually overcome it. Only in this way can you perfect yourself and continue to rise. Only in the midst of life you can learn what is to be learned on this planet.
Not in remote laboratories, not in monastic cells, but in life shall you gather the truthful records. Indeed, through life one must attain. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 130 [Part Two IV 3])
Pseudo-teachers who tempt you to go the easy way, hide the fact that your rising to a higher level is blocked as long as you do not master the requirements of the lower level.
Agni Yoga must be introduced into life, but its bearers must not differ externally from others in life. The Agni Yogi lives unnoticed. There should not be even the slightest alienation from life. (Agni Yoga 187)
Life on earth is the only place where you can really make progress in your development. You must not let pass unused the opportunities for growth that it offers.
The entire transmutation, which is the threshold of the higher, boundless creativeness, is attained in life on Earth. (Infinity I, 100)
In the other world, you assimilate ideas and ideals and learn what is essential. Crucial, however, is to actually transform into material reality all what you have learned and dreamed of - and that is possible down here on earth only.
Man must treasure his earthly life, as he finds new ways of perfectment in it. (Supermundane 738)
Of course, the material level is the most difficult one to cope with for the spirit. For the overall construction of the worlds, however, this basis of the pyramid is the most important sphere. Only down here man appears complete, in all bodies. Only here, therefore, can he shape his entire being.
Three planes are manifested to humanity for the realization of all principles. Indeed, it is easy for the spirit to strive upon the higher planes, but the earthly, the lowest pole, is established as the place of decision. Only there where Light and darkness battle can the spirit manifest a free choice. Imbued by the emanations of the energies, the spirit can establish itself through the expression of its striving. Only when immersed in the earthly sphere can one manifest the subtlety of striving into higher spheres. Verily, man must pass through purgatory; otherwise, the spirit cannot attain the predestined world, which comprises all spheres. (Infinity II, 538 )
It is the very essence of the spiritual path to develop higher striving in the middle of adverse material conditions.
The achievement of the spirit consists in that amidst earthly difficulties and struggles the spirit develops higher striving. How could one attain the highest state, attain refinement of consciousness, without spiritual labor? So many blessed cares are on the path of the purification of consciousness! (Fiery World III, 37)
It really is true: The more difficult the conditions, the more valuable are the experiences you can gather.
The Teacher [Plato] allowed Himself to be sold into slavery so that His earthly path might be fulfilled as quickly as possible. He knew and profoundly felt all earthly hardships in full measure, and succeeded in gathering vast experience during His last life on Earth. (Supermundane 179)
3. Take up the Cross of earthly Existence
Painting: Tintoretto „The Wedding at Cana“
The Great Teachers have taken upon themselves the full chalice of earthly suffering, even though they had long since earned the right to live in higher spheres. Their heroism lies in the fact that these high spirits have exposed themselves to the terrible worldly radiations in order to accomplish their task down here. If the Mahatmas had not themselves lived through and suffered the earthly conditions, they would not be able to help us.
Can you imagine how a great master, a highly refined creature such as Jesus Christ must have suffered from the coarse worldly atmosphere? For example, when he attended the wedding at Cana (John 2, 1-12), where certainly the amusement with wine, women, dancing and singing was in the foreground - and where he even had to procure the wine!
The Great Pilgrim [Jesus] did not avoid mingling with people. He visited their festivals and discussed their daily needs, but few noticed the many wise warnings that were given with a beautiful smile and words of encouragement. If He had not come into contact with life and had not suffered, His deeds would not have been as great. No one realized how tormented He was by the many disturbed auras He came into contact with in this way. (Supermundane 152)
Let us hear the famous words of the initiate Paul about the sufferings of the apostles of the early church:
I have had more experience of hard work, of prisons, of blows more than measure, of death. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one; thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the water. (2 Corinthians 11, 23-25)
No member of the Brotherhood without exception has fared differently. If we want to become co-workers to their Great Work, we have to be prepared for similar tests and attacks.
Can you name even one Sister or Brother of the Brotherhood who was not subjected to tortures and persecutions in earthly life? Truly, none can be named. Each heroic act invites persecution. Combat with darkness is unavoidable, and the waves of chaos will engulf bold fighters. Yet such touchstones only testify to the invincibility of the spirit.
There were Those who were burned at the stake, crucified, beheaded, strangled, killed by beasts, sold into slavery, poisoned, or cast into prison; in short, They endured all tortures so that Their strength could be tested.
Each one who wishes to serve with Us knows that he will have to endure the assaults of darkness. (Supermundane 14)
4. Fulfill the Earthly Obligations
Under no circumstances must the spiritual disciple try to evade his earthly responsibilities under the pretext of so-called "higher tasks". His normal everyday obligations to the human beings or to the general good, which were entrusted to him, take precedence over all other affairs.
The Higher Self of no man ever was responsible for the shirking of a duty to humanity. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol.2, Lesson “The World's Struggle”)
First comes the mastering of everyday life, then the realization of your dreams.
A groom expressed to his master a desire to breed a particular strain of horses. The master replied, "Your plan is excellent, but first put the stable in order." (Brotherhood 101)
The challenge is exactly to do justice to both: To the ideals on the one hand and to the normal material everyday requirements on the other hand.
To do justice both to the essential and to the dust of the threshold is that test which each one must have clearly before him. (Fiery World I, 147)
The Mahatmas are no elves who transform, in flying by, with a delicate touch everything ugly into a perfect state. They are - as we are - every day under the yoke of hard work in order to fulfill their obligations towards our Earth.
Not by the way of miracle but by that of daily routine do We work. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 101 [Part Two II 5])
Exactly the everyday responsibilities, which fate has allocated - not by chance! - to you, point the way to the higher spheres. Never will someone ascend who neglects his earthly duties. They are the means of the higher powers to guide us into a certain direction - if we do not comply with them, we miss our higher mission.
We certainly do not approve of those fanatics who abandon their earthly obligations and bring nothing but confusion to all around them. They talk about higher harmonies, but at the same time forget that there must be harmony between the earthly world and the Supermundane. (Supermundane 641)
This means for the individual: Fulfill your obligations at the place on which you were put, as small as it may seem, work for the Common Good and rise from this place. If you prove worthy, then, according to the law of correspondence (see Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga", Broadcast 9, "The law of correspondence"), higher tasks will be assigned to you in due time.
Chiefly, all efforts should be applied for the best execution of that work which is given to us, and in those conditions in which we are placed by Karma. A conscientious attitude toward everything will push apart the boundaries and bring better possibilities. (Letters of Helena Roerich, Vol. II, letter of 23.04.1938)
5. Work for Livelihood
For money we should work only in order to earn a modest living for ourselves and the fellow men for whom we are responsible. To that extent, however, professional work is necessary. It happens to be our destiny that, in a material world, we have to earn our right to live through hard work.
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread. (1. Moses 3, 19)
No one is allowed to live at the expense of others. No one shall let others work for him. Nobody may refuse to assume his share of the work that is inevitable every day in the community.
If any would not work, neither should he eat. (2. Thessalonians 3, 10)
This is especially true for a disciple of the Mahatmas.
Eventually each disciple must manifest himself in daily labor and undergo the attack of chaos. (Brotherhood 303)
In fact, work is the only value that justifies compensation.
Earning money is not greediness. To receive wages for work is not a crime. One can see that labor is the one just value. (Community 271)
Even Jesus and the apostles worked hard to earn their livelihood.
All Great Teachers labored much, and physical labor was not alien to them. Remember St. Sergius. Christ also labored much; He earned his living by carpentry and pottery. This side of the life of the Great Teacher is practically unnoted in the authorized Scriptures. (Letters of Helena Roerich, Vol. II, letter of 11.02.1938)
This has already in those days frightened away many pseudo-disciples.
His disciples were surprised when He [Jesus] wanted to labor with them in order to earn their daily bread. This principle was used by Our other Brothers, too. One of them, when He was an emperor, loved to say at the beginning of meals, “It seems that I have earned my bread.” Several of the most zealous disciples have fallen away because of the demands of continuous labor. (Supermundane 155 [No. 156 in the printed version])
Jesus' follower Paul boasts to have followed this example, never having been a load to anyone, and to have earned his daily bread through earthly work.
Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you. (2. Thessalonians 3, 8)
I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto my necessities. (Acts 20, 33, 34)
We cannot imagine the daily work of these high initiates as carpenter or tentmaker accurately enough: They participated in the daily struggle for survival. They were exposed to exactly the same humiliation, injustice and rudeness by superiors or customers as we professionals today - without losing their dignity, which lies in their higher nature. So we, too, can and have to go the same way.
Do not complain about dull professional work. Higher tasks will be entrusted to you, once you are ripe for them.
Do not be unhappy because of the necessity for spending so much time earning your living. We must all earn our bread. Indeed, all should be accomplished without retiring from life and by earthly hands and feet. Therein lies great beauty. All the giants of thought created amidst most trying circumstances. All earthly burdens are necessary for the growth of the spirit.
Verily, material prosperity and ease are our most dangerous enemies. Nothing extinguishes the inner fire so quickly as security for the morrow. In time, new conditions will come into existence and the tasks will become broader. Possibly there will no longer be worries about earning a living, but there will be new problems, far more complicated and difficult. (Letters of Helena Roerich, Vol. II, letter of 24.09.1935)
We must not try to evade the demands which the present time places before us. We have to educate the inner man - for him, just the difficult circumstances of professional work offer the best opportunities to rise.
Some of the members are tired because most of them are working people. I think the main reason is that most of them have already been through the first steps of enthusiastic approach to the Teaching and, according to the occult law, they now begin to show their real nature.
Many do not realize, or forget, that only in extreme tension of all forces does the awakening of the inner man, and the further degrees of transfiguration, take place. Such people, in most cases, do not find in themselves enough spiritual strength to resist the plungings of the spirit, which inevitably follow every transport of enthusiasm.
If we have realized that broadening of the consciousness is most essential, we will conquer fatigue; we will not miss a single moment for the filling of our treasury of the spirit with the jewels of knowledge and experience. (Letters of Helena Roerich, Vol. I, letter of 28.02.1935)
6. Transfiguration of Life
Let us finish the first of the three aspects of our subject by concluding: We are called upon not to depart from life, but to transform ourselves and the world.
Not hiding from life, but transforming it is required. (Supermundane 812)
When We summon to the far-off worlds, it is not for a detachment from life but for a discovery of new ways. (Infinity I, 44)
The mission of man to participate consciously in the evolution, means specifically to raise life on earth to a higher level. Each of you knows very well where in his surroundings truth, justice, beauty or love are being trampled upon. There we have to intervene and help to carry the principle of the rule of the spirit to victory. This can only be done in the middle of earthly life.
Self-sacrifice corresponds to the readiness to attain victory for the cause of the Higher World. (Heart 536)
7. Do not Cling to the Earthly
The second aspect of the subject "Living in Two Worlds" is: Do not adhere to the earthly. We should not bind ourselves to a world that is not our home and that we will shall have to leave very soon. Each attachment to material things or pleasures puts a burden on our spiritual being and obstructs our ascent.
8. The Illusion of the World
The eastern wisdom refers to the entire material world as Maja - an illusion. This is for the Westerner at first sight difficult to understand: Why should something solid, material that I can touch, be an illusion?
The answer is: Matter is subject to constant change and, above all, transient. What you can see and touch today will no longer exist tomorrow. It is, therefore, for an eternal pilgrim not a factor to be seriously taken into account.
One can write a significant book on the relativity of physical reactions. One can gather facts from various fields to prove that among the decisive factors the physical are the least important. (Fiery World I, 297)
Plato's Allegory of the Cave (The Republic, 7th Book, I) teaches: Everyone enters the path as a prisoner of his own illusory ego and of the illusion of the world. He must free himself step by step from this prison and advance to the essential, to the eternal, spiritual reality.
A contemporary version of this knowledge provides the brilliant movie "Matrix", which depicts the lives of human beings in an illusory world, from which they have to free themselves.
Whoever strives for earthly matters, turns his energy on things that are not worth the effort.
9. Do not Cling to Everyday Life
Painting: Duccio di Buoninsegna: „The Devil shows Jesus the World“
Do not allow the petty everyday matters to dominate your life. They must not divert you from the Great Work of advancing the evolution and of creating the New Man and the New World.
The ascending spirit must constantly bear in mind the necessity to break away from the attachments to everyday life. (Fiery World III, 19)
He who is dealing too much with the "odds and ends", is limiting and belittling himself.
The details of daily routine reduce weak minds to ordinariness. (Community 137)
The perishable things are but a hindrance to him who strives upwards to the eternal, spiritual world.
Small actions and small things obstruct life. (Heart 37)
There are far too many great things to do, as to allow us to waste time and energy on insignificant matters.
The battle is so great that it is impossible to allot time to ordinary occupations. (AUM 459)
People constantly run the risk of forgetting the essential in the exciting worldly turmoil.
Humanity has been so imbued with respect for the transitory that it has forgotten about the Eternal. (Fiery World III, 363)
Jesus said: No man can serve two masters. (Matthew 6, 24). That means: We need to decide between matter and spirit, between the worldly ways and the spiritual path.
Man cannot serve the beast within himself, and serve his Higher Self, his God, at the same time. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. 1, Lesson 185 “Whom will ye serve?”)
We have to give up the striving for earthly wealth and pleasures if we want to gain the eternal treasures in Heaven.
Whatever of lasting good comes we pay the price for it in some way. If we gain spiritual wisdom we have paid the price in material sacrifices of some kind. If we gain the inner life, we have paid in some degree in terms of the outer life. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. 2, Lesson “The Foundation Stones of the Spiritual Temple”)
He who dedicates himself to material matters, will remain spiritually poor. Our present time provides the best proof: Materially in abundance and spiritually in poverty.
Whoever looks for value in the material world is a pauper in the Higher World. (AUM 190)
10. Withdraw from Business
The immortal withdraws from the profiteering of the world. He needs little. He cannot take part in the lunatic chase for perishable goods. He will not sell his soul for such trinkets.
Life has been turned into a business, but who of the Teachers of Life has ever been a businessman? (Fiery World I, 83)
He cannot work for institutions which pursue objectives hostile to the spirit, or which are operating in a way incompatible with spiritual principles. He must not become a cog in a system that is based upon the destruction of the earth, the exploitation of people and the mistreatment of animals and plants.
I shall designate the path for the battle against the businessmen of this world. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 28 )
The spiritual fighter must beware that he does not lend his hand, in the ongoing battle, to the wrong side, to the camp of materialism, to the enemies of the spirit!
11. Withdraw from Distractions and Amusements
Painting: Roberto Bompiani “A Roman Feast”
The poison of today’s time is sweet. This makes it so dangerous: We no longer recognize that it is harmful!
Distraction is an awful poison to the spirit. It moves us away from our higher self, which we can approach only by concentration.
People substitute distractions for concentration. But was dissipation ordained? Everywhere action was ordered, but not the chaos of scattering. (Heart 439)
Material pleasures do not quench the thirst of the soul.
What he, the real man, the real woman desires above all else is God, and nothing less will satisfy. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. 1, Lesson 138 “The Eternal Tragedy”)
In view of the immense tasks, light-mindedness and wasting of energy are inappropriate.
You are quite right in your feelings. There can be no merriment while Earth cries out from the burden of calamities. While hunger exists there can be no gluttony. And what kind of dances can be performed against a background of violence? Truly, I say that merriment is indecent in these days of calamity. (Supermundane, 362)
12. Withdraw from the Old Man
Painting: Andrea Mantegna „The Holy Family“
Secular forces which are directed to distraction instead of concentration, to pleasure instead of service, to greed instead of frugality, to looseness instead of obedience, to arbitrariness instead of compulsoriness or to selfishness instead of selflessness, are actually enemies, from whom you should stay away and against whom you need to protect yourself. None of these influences must ever gain power over you.
A disciple will never gain the necessary command over his own tendency toward instability until he recognizes the truth that the one who would swerve him from the path of duty he has undertaken is his worst enemy. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. 2, Lesson “Winning of Mastery”)
You need to separate yourself - at least in your heart - from all those fellow men who do not walk the spiritual path: They disturb your work, lead you into temptation, infect you with their wrong habits and divert you from your path. If you get too much involved with the aspirations and pleasures of their earthbound, selfish life, you will inevitably get caught in these entanglements.
Countless are those who want to impose upon people their most degraded thoughts. (Agni Yoga 227)
To that what you need to leave behind on the path belong the bonds of family, relatives and friends. You will have no choice but to let go in spirit of all humans who walk the other, the worldly way. Them, too, you can bring help only from the new, higher standpoint.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14, 26)
That is not heartless as it may appear: Exactly the closest circle of friends and family may represent the greatest threat to the spiritual disciple: It tends by its very nature to approach you every day with a great variety of temporal, selfish concerns and thereby divert you from your trail.
Ah! that whirling, showy, glittering world, full of insatiable ambition, where family and the State parcel out between them a man's nobler nature, as two tigers a carcase, and leave him without hope or light! (Mahatma Letters No. 8 of 20.02.1881)
We had already said: A real "holy" family can be formed only with your soulmates. Among your blood relatives may even be enemies (Series "Experiment Immortality", Broadcasting 5 "The new Identity").
I agree that the words of Christ, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children," etc. sound cruel (should we not ascribe this phraseology to those who write it down, or perhaps translated it), but nevertheless the inner sense is clear. If man serves his family more than he serves the spirit of the Teaching of Good, what good will come of it? (Helena Roerich Letters Volume II, letter of 28.05.1937)
Painting: G. Dou „Hermit in Prayer“
The spiritual path is a way one must first travel alone.
The pilgrim remains alone on the cliffs of ascent. (Supermundane 232)
You must be under no illusions: You cannot expect from the old man, not even from family, relatives and friends, any support, but only rejection and resistance. You must be prepared to be in your surroundings the only, the last - or better: the first - warrior of light.
The significance of the present-day hero is based on the realization that from no earthly quarter can he expect cooperation. (Agni Yoga 290)
Jesus’ unwavering striving was supported by noone around Him except His Mother. (Supermundane 149)
As you progress, you will find new companions over time. A true community you can form only with those who, like you, are walking on the spiritual path and striving for the same goal.
A wayfarer should not be distressed if by and by he may be left in solitude. There are paths difficult to traverse in company. Sustained attention to the goal leads to new traveling companions. (Brotherhood 181)
Loneliness is helpful to overcome physical and mental illness.
It would be good to remember the remedy of ancient times when sick people would go into seclusion and remain close to nature. This was done not only in cases of contagious diseases, but when the organism was in need of renewal. The fact that people dream of and look for seclusion reveals a healthy instinct for the preservation and restoration of health. (Supermundane 340)
It is creative: Only in silence reach us the best and highest thoughts.
Solitude transmits a better message than the gossip of the crowd. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 29 [Part One VII 5])
Itsr destruction through today's mass society is the devil's work.
The Spirit of Darkness, pondering how to still more firmly lash humanity to Earth, thought: "Let them keep their old customs and habits. Nothing binds humanity so much as habitual forms. But this is fit only for the multitudes. Far more dangerous to us is solitude, in which the consciousness is illumined and new forms are created. Therefore, time in solitude must be severely limited. People must not be allowed to remain alone. I shall provide them with a mirror image so that they may become accustomed to being with their own image." Thus did the servants of Darkness bring a mirror to the people! (Agni Yoga 266)
In truth, there is no loneliness: The Temple student is in spiritual contact with his teacher, his classmates and his spiritual brothers and sisters. He is incorporated in the hierarchy of souls. In the spiritual community of those who walk the path together today and at all times, the pilgrim is safe. As long as you remain on the path and act, down here on earth, on behalf of the Hierarchy, all the masters, saints, heroes of faith and martyrs will stand by you.
The daring one is not afraid of solitude, for in spirit he feels the bond with the Hierarchy of Light. (Fiery World III, 55)
In the Broadcasting on meditation we shall see how you can turn to your soulmates in the spiritual world at any time.
There is a universal remedy against loneliness available to everyone. Such feelings can be dispersed by turning in thought to friends. One has friends not only on Earth, but can also appeal to many faithful co-workers from the Subtle World. Furthermore, one can know about Us, and appeals directed to Us will not go unanswered. (Supermundane 493)
If you open your heart, you can feel already in the physical state the presence and care of your spiritual friends from the other world.
It seems to me that it is truly joyous to realize that solitude does not exist, and that each one of us is surrounded by loving souls on this or another plane. With such transmissions these loving souls endeavor to create around us a benevolent atmosphere, but it is necessary to realize this, to open our heart to their calls and transmissions, and not to obstruct them by dark emanations issuing from oppressive thoughts colored by doubt and often by an absolutely unsubstantiated offense. Dark emanations are impenetrable for subtle energies. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol II., letter of 23.04.1938)
14. Participation in the Life of the Upper World
Finally, we come to the third aspect of the "Life in two worlds": If you want to be an immortal, a non-material spiritual being, a soul, you have to learn to live the life of your soul. Your soul lives and acts entirely naturally in both the terrestrial world (by the physical body) as well as in the spiritual world (by the subtle body).
Learn to live simultaneously in both the earthly and the Supermundane World. (Supermundane 900)
So you can - with the help of the soul - even during the incarnation on earth take part in the life of your homeland, the world beyond.
It is one thing to discuss abstractly distant worlds; it is another to realize oneself a participant there. (Community 30)
How can you achieve this practically? First, you must realize:
Your true home is not down here, but up in the world beyond: There, you spend much more time than on earth. There, you live together with your soulmates, your spiritual family in a world that truly corresponds to the height of your consciousness, undisturbed by lower creatures (see Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga", Broadcasting 10 "The Supermundane World").
It would be correct to think of such co-workers of Ours not as dwellers of Earth, but rather as guests, filled with memories of better worlds. (Supermundane, 369)
Your true eternal individuality - the soul - is, as a spiritual being, a stranger on the material level. Exiled down here, it feels like an alien from a higher planet.
16. Envoy from Beyond
Painting: Nicholas K. Roerich „From Beyond“
Furthermore, become aware: You are being expelled from time to time from the paradise of your home and are being sent - like Adam and Eve - to the inhospitable material level: In order to enable your soul to continue to grow and to perfect itself further, and in order to learn to master the earthly conditions.
Above all, each of us has received from Above a personal mission which he has to fulfill down here. Therefore, we all are ambassadors of the higher spheres in a strange, barbaric world, to the improvement of which we have to contribute according to our faculties.
This is a high dignity! This you should never forget! Manifest yourself in your environment always as the envoy of a higher power on a primitive planet!
17. Living according to the Customs of the Homeland
Living in Two Worlds further means: You have to follow, even in the material world, the higher customs and laws that are compulsory for you in your home, in the Ashram in the other world. As a creature that belongs to both worlds, you must meet the conditions of both levels.
The envoy must not jeopardize his dignity. You must not submit to the primitive conditions, to the uncivilized customs of the inhabitants of your host country whom you are sent to uplift. You should not make common cause with those whom you are to lead to a higher level.
A yogi is able to do everything, but not all is permitted to him. (Agni Yoga 223)
A good example of the life in a foreign environment according to the customs of the homeland is the service of a German soldier in Afghanistan: He is called to temporarily carry out a mission in a foreign country. He lives there, but in accordance with German customs. He watches German television, eats German food and is subject to German law. He as often as possible by letter, telephone or Skype, cultivates the connection to his home, his family and his girlfriend. He remains a German, even if he has been exiled among Afghans.
Specifically, this means: If you want to be a spiritual disciple, you need to live even among strangers, even on the material plane, according to the laws of the Ashram of the spiritual world to which you belong, according to the instructions of your teacher, according to the rule of the disciple, according to the 10 Pillars of the Practice of Agni Yoga which we are about to discuss.
The lowest level, the earthly world is the ultimate test of whether you really, in your essence, are already a disciple and a co-worker of the Mahatmas - which is only possible if you manifest yourself not only above but also down here as such a person. If you do not manage to appear as a disciple on the material level, your existence as a disciple in the Higher World ends as well.
18. Daily Visit Home
Painting: Nicholas K. Roerich „Star of the Morning“
While away from home on an assignment in a foreign country, you crave of course - as the soldier in Afghanistan - to maintain the connection with the homeland and - whenever possible - to return there on visits or on holidays.
The old man expects to return to his spiritual home not earlier than at his death.
The new attitude of the Agni Yogi is: You start every day in your home. For those of you who have chosen the eternal identity of a spiritual disciple, that means: In the ashram, in the timeless community with your teacher and your classmates. You can, in the morning meditation, really move your spiritual being, your eternal individuality, to that place. From this Higher World, from this higher position, you descend down to earth in order to work down here during the day. In the evening, you - your spiritual being - climb back again to the mountain top, to your home, to the spiritual world.
In this way, the life in two worlds becomes real, concrete and practical.
You can recognize that the chosen ones are on the path if the Invisible World has become real and accessible to them. (Heart 3)
This is not as fantastic as it may seem: Imagine that there actually lives a Great Teacher physically incarnated in your neighbourhood. How would this change your everyday life? Hardly at all. You would have to continue to spend most of the day in fulfilling your obligations in your profession and your family. You will be glad if you can spare a few minutes of time in the morning before the day and in the evening after work to visit the teacher and receive comfort, strength and instructions.
No different is our approach - only that you visit the teacher in his Ashram not physically but in spirit. The effect in both cases is the same.
Do not live in the present, do not allow the transient matters to affect you. Live in eternity, beyond time and space, beyond the perishable things. (Elisabeth Haich, Initiation)
The old man thinks: I live my earthly life and visit now and then the church to be edified. The New Man looks at the same material life situation from exactly the opposite point of view: He lives in the Upper World. He visits the material level only temporarily. He returns back home as soon as possible. For him, the supermundane existence is the real, the true life.
This new perspective allows you a real transfiguration of your everyday life: You can live in the highest conceivable world, in your personal paradise, how ever the outer, material living conditions may look like.
19. Actual Participation in the Life of the Upper World
Painting: C. H. Bloch „The Transfiguration of Christ“
When you have mastered the life in two worlds, your soul, your spiritual self, during meditation, is actually living in its home, for example, in the Ashram, where it really meets its family - the classmates and the teacher - and in full reality converses with them. The perfect reality of this process is demonstrated by the fact that you hardly ever rise from meditation without having received instructions, strength and comfort.
The participation of your soul in the life of the Higher World is a spiritual reality. To this reality you must penetrate, otherwise the life of your spiritual being will remain abstract and unreal.
Man should develop a conscious awareness that he participates every hour in the Supermundane World. (Supermundane 738)
An enlarged consciousness takes part already in the incarnated state in a very natural and self-evident way in the life of the other world. Your soul can, during sleep, in meditation or in moments of trance contact other - not incarnated - souls, in the higher world, just as the physical body meets with other bodies on earth.
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 a conversation, and that world was affirmed in all its magnitude. To such a spirit his own transition into the Subtle World is altogether imperceptible. (AUM 41)
Now we can understand the biblical story of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Luke 9, 28-36; Matthew 17, 1-9; Mark 9, 2-9): In a state of the spirit of higher vibration, which is materially visible as radiant aura, Jesus could have a conversation with non-incarnated beings like Moses and Elijah.
We shall discuss the details in the Broadcasting on "Meditation".
20. An Exercise
Here is an example of how you can start practicing the participation in the life of the spiritual world:
Before falling asleep, undertake to carry out during the night - while you are acting with your subtle body in the Upper World (See Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga", Broadcasting 10 "The Supermundane World") - useful work for the Hierarchy. When you wake up, try to remember as clearly as possible your activities during sleep. And try to develop a perception that you have contact with higher beings and visit higher places even during the day.
How to develop the ability to work in the Subtle world? First of all, one should start by continually feeling himself to be living in two worlds. This is not difficult at all because we cross each night into the Subtle World, where, if our subtle body has been sufficiently developed, we can apply our subtle energies with good benefit.
When we go to sleep not thinking of rest, but striving to the Hierarchy of Light with a thought of useful labor, we thus direct our energies to active help where it is most needed.
Consciously sending oneself into the Subtle World can be increased to such an extent that we begin to remember clearly our many-sided work at night and our visits for the purpose of rendering help to people often quite unknown to us.
The next stage will be to cognize such a sending in the waking state and even during one's usual occupation. At first, such a sending will flash out in the consciousness through a sensation of a sort of momentary absence, and later 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 smell of a definite locality known to us, or a glimmer of people or a place will pass by - then we shall know that our detached energy is working in that direction.
These manifestations occur daily, but for this some solitude is needed. They are more vivid and frequent in the evening, and before going to sleep, and are especially intensified at dawn. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. II, letter of 23.04.1938)
21. Work in the Spiritual World: Perfecting the Thought-Forms
The work of the soul in the spiritual world consists mainly of ever perfecting the thought-forms there.
Is it possible for one incarnated on Earth to create mentally in the Subtle World? It is possible, especially if Agni [psychic energy] is acting. It is possible to create constructive forms; one can participate in a great number of improvements. Thus it is possible to create from weak fragile forms something strong and lasting. So we prepare during earthly existence the future beautiful gardens. (Fiery World I, 241)
In the Supermundane World you are at work, even during the earthly incarnation, if you improve the ideas, ideals and concepts, the thought patterns of humanity that exist there and await their embodiment on earth.
A thinker like Plato, who conveyed with his opus "The Republic" advanced ideas about the organization of human society, is a great creator in the Higher World. Regardless of the extent to which his suggestions are being considered and implemented in the material world, the world of ideas is enriched by a mighty thought-building. This picture is hanging in space for thousands of years and influences the thinking and the actions of many generations.
The perfection of the thought-forms of the other world reflects upon the earth: Ever higher and ever more beautiful ideals are being created up there, which will become a material reality one day down here.
22. Work in the Material World: Implementation of Ideals
The thoughts and ideas of the spiritual world strive to incarnate on earth, to become a material reality here.
The spirit is the creator of each form. (Fiery World III, 363).
Thought creates thought-buildings in the Upper World. These are the predecessors, the prototypes of the material forms of the earthly world.
Thought does create form, which form is at some period externalized on the physical plane, incased in matter. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. 2, Lesson “The Manasic Plane or Sphere of Thought”)
Thought drives progress forward: All material things that are newly created on earth, were first erected as thought-buildings in the other world.
Each thought directed to the construction of the New Epoch will produce its own forms. Thought-forms manifest the trend of the future. (Fiery World III, 169)
Nothing substantial is done, that has not been thought of before. Any development takes place first mentally in the spiritual world, before it is realized materially on earth.
Thought is the mover of evolution. (Infinity II, 795 )
Thus your work on the earthly plane will have to be: To implement the ideas of the Higher World - which you yourself or others have developed -, and thereby to advance the material conditions, to improve and to refine the coarse earthly forms according to the plan of evolution. A powerful earthly creator draws down to the earth the subtle forms, existing in the higher spheres ready for materialisation - first in the spirit, and then by carrying out the idea materially.
Space contains subtle forms ready for materialization. (Fiery World III, 146)
Your spiritual battle is to bring down the stars from heaven, that is, to enforce the high ideas on earth, to bring them to material life, to enable them to manifest themselves, to embody, to materialize down here.
Let us take the forms of the Subtle World and apply them to the earthly plane. (Fiery World III, 128)
While mental forms strive to materialize and to incarnate, material forms want to be refined, spiritualized.
Just as the spirit can refine a condensed thought-form, so can it condense subtle forms. (Fiery World III, 248)
Working in both worlds therefore means: On the one hand perfecting the thought-forms of the world beyond and on the other hand to materialize them and thus to spiritualize the gross material earthly conditions.
This requires that, throughout your earthly work, you are continuously connected with the Higher World and that you act down here exclusively in the name and on behalf of the Hierarchy.