DIALOGUE BETWEEN ADEPT AND PUPIL
PUPIL: I was writing an article about events in my life and I remember two occasions in particular when I clairvoyantly saw an accident. In one instance, I did not warn the victim, and the accident took place, in the other instance I did warn the victim, she was impressed by my warning and she promised to be careful, but the accident still happened.
MASTER: To change the course of events, which included the accident you had foreseen, you would have had to change thousands of events before that, and such action cannot be justified. You must always justify what you do, not to anyone else but to yourself and the overall balance of things.
PUPIL: So a clairvoyant does not have a duty to warn people?
MASTER: No. You should not frighten people unnecessarily. As I told you, I have to guard against receiving clairvoyant information, but occasionally my guard slips and, some time ago, I inadvertently realised that one of my employees would die within an unnaturally short space of time. Naturally I said nothing, but, as she was a useful member of staff, I hired an assistant for her. This pleased her, as it increased her status within the company, and the assistant was able to take over her job when the woman died. Generally you should never tell anyone of your insights unless they have asked you to use your clairvoyant abilities on their behalf, and, even then, be careful what you say. People ask advice and then blame the advisor for their failure. You do not have a duty to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and remember that a clairvoyant’s warning has never enabled anyone to avoid disaster.
In olden times, when, on the eve of a battle, the king asked his magician who is going to win, the sensible magician would reply ‘that is up to you’. If he said ‘you will win’, his side would probably lose though overconfidence, if he said ‘the enemy will win’, the battle would be lost before it started.
For a clairvoyant to tell people anything serves absolutely no useful purpose.
PUPIL: Another question about this matter of responsibility. When I moved house recently. I remarked to you that I hoped I wasn’t leaving an atmosphere to trouble the next owners. Because I went through hell in that house: I took my first steps on the Path, I experienced the Dark Night of the Soul. I didn’t want any spooks of my creation bothering the couple who bought the house. But you said it didn’t matter. Why?
MASTER: It is not your problem. Why burden yourself with other people? A house gains experience as it gets older, like people. That house had a task to perform and you had outgrown it.
PUPIL: I didn’t know those people, so why should I wish them any harm?
MASTER: They are not your responsibility.
PUPIL: I know that they are not, but surely any disturbance – for want of a better word – that I may have caused to be in that house is my responsibility.
MASTER: It should not concern you. You cannot, at your present stage, elect to care for others, any more than you can try to change the policies of the world. Mankind’s present actions, such as its kindergarten reasons for going to war, tell you much about its potential or lack of it for the future. I am not saying that war should never take place, sometimes it is necessary. But men invented machine guns and bombs so they didn’t have to think any harder about it. By those inventions they chose crudity and everyone has got to pay for that and will go on paying, far into the future.
PUPIL: Do you mean that some weapons of war are crude and some are not? Is this because they kill indiscriminately? But that is the way that the science of war would inevitably go. Larger and more powerful weapons. The crudity is killing at all, for the sort of reasons wars are about. The people on the battlefield are not concerned about ideologies or territories, they are only there because they are too stupid to do otherwise. And, when there has been sufficient bloodletting, one side wins and the other side loses.
The crudity is war, not the weapons that are used in it. A wasteful and impractical means of settling a dispute. They should have chosen more intelligent means of settling their differences.
MASTER: You are looking at the specifics, at the machine-guns and bombs. The science of war is going to invent machine guns, but who is going to use them? People went to war before such weapons existed. The decision to use them reflects only on man, not on any of his sciences.
At the turn of the century, a Japanese asked an American why, if they were a peaceful nation, were their warship bigger than their fishing vessels. Crudity is choosing to use machine guns, assuming that war is inevitable, and the inevitability of war comes down to the inadequacies of the leaders of the warring factions. The important thing is not the fact that they used machine guns, it is that they chose crudity.
Nowadays, for the first time, there is the possibility of our getting involved in war because of electronic failure, but, by and large, it is the people who bring out the machine guns and choose crudity. It does not say a lot for that war, but it says a lot for mankind. Mankind is still thinking crude but effective. He find himself in the position of using weapons which he has already invented because weapons are still invented in times of peace. Ideally, when people were at a stage when they invented weapons, someone must have thought why should I invent this, I can’t see us needing it, so he went on to invent something else. It was possible, at one stage, to have nuclear energy without bombs, but they couldn’t leave it alone. A right-thinking mankind would have realised that nuclear energy was very useful, but bombs would not have come into their heads. Now warheads outnumber power stations by thousands to one. Most of the world is preoccupied with the business of living, but they spend a lot of time devising methods of shortening someone else’s life, partly because they are taught that this is the only life they have, but in reality life is very cheap. How can it be other when people invent machine guns, weapons that will kill more than one at a time. Previously skill was needed; the victorious army had more skilled men in it. Now, more people than necessary get killed.
We are talking about warfare and weapons. We are talking about the psychological and emotional development or lack of it that still pushes man towards the crude. Guns are just a manifestation of the personality and psychological failings.
If two leaders decide that war is inevitable, they should fight each other, but they will not do that, as long as they can kill others. That is asking people to be more responsible than they are capable of. A few hundred years ago, champions were used, and that also is passing the buck, but better than using armies and getting thousands killed. As time goes on, whenever there is a conflict, more and more non-combatants get killed. Centuries ago, when two armies met on the battlefield, only soldiers were killed. There might have been a spin-off if one of the armies had to winter nearby, but that cannot be compared with an air-raid on a civilian population. Now we talk of acceptable and unacceptable numbers of civilian casualties, we expect civilians to die in warfare.
PUPIL: You mentioned earlier that asking questions reduces the risk of taking a stance. Can you explain further why is it so important to avoid taking a stance on anything?
MASTER: To an Adept, all is one. Adopting any stance means that you are entering into a war that you do not need. Let other people expend their energy in taking stances, that is how you can manipulate them if, for some reason, it is necessary to do so.
You cannot alter your feelings; they are a part of your personality. You must not suppress them, because without feelings, you cannot experience. You must recognise your feelings, evaluate them, and ensure that they have no effect on you. The feelings still exist, but they must not compel you to behave in a certain way.
One stance is enough, but, in a court of law, there are two. There are enough rules built into the system to protect them. They need this protection; both sides are vulnerable because of their stance.
PUPIL: I can see how taking a stance affects the reasoning. As you pointed out, in an article which I was writing for another mag, I was writing about something that is important to me and on that basis I had assumed that it was important to everyone else. I didn’t realise until you pointed it out, that I had taken a stance. I thought I was aware of stances and why one should avoid them, but I had done it in this case without realising.
MASTER: Why do you write? You write so that someone reads it. In our sphere, the mind of the person who reads your article must go into the same gear as yours when you wrote it. You are writing to show people that there is another way of looking at things. Failure is guaranteed if you write from a stance. Make people question their values, their judgements, their stances, their reasons for their stance. When you pick up a pen or switch on a word-processor, you are taking on a responsibility. People will read what you write; you are showing them a bit of your mind.
And you, with your talent for iconoclasm, the exposing of Occult myths: why do you enjoy that type of writing?
PUPIL: To show people how silly they are in accepting the old legends at face value; to show how clever I am in discovering the falsity. I used to get very disappointed when no-one disagreed with me. But I haven’t done much of that kind of writing recently. It was amusing at the time, but I seem to have gone beyond that now. You talk of isolation from the world – I never thought I would feel isolated from other Occultists, but I see everything so differently now. So many of the standard Occult beliefs are incorrect, but I can’t tell them that. Even if they believed me – which they probably wouldn’t – they would need some other belief to put in its place. They wouldn’t be able to accept that it’s all within themselves, they couldn’t comprehend such vast potential, they would see it as a kind of nothingness because they need the crutch of externalised gods and goddesses, the thought that something is organising the world in its neat little rotations of reincarnation and karma and spiritual progress.
I can usually put things coherently; people may disagree with me, but at least they understand what I’m saying. But if I try to discuss reality with anyone, there is a cut-off point – it varies with the individual, but it comes within the first few minutes – and beyond that point I might as well say nothing. I’m talking in a language they don’t understand. So I say nothing. If a friend tells me about her previous incarnations or her spell-casting, I’ll listen politely, maybe make suggestions, but I feel completely detached from it. This has only happened recently. It doesn’t worry me – and maybe this is another symptom - because it wouldn’t matter if I never saw or heard from those people again. I like them, I certainly don’t wish them any harm, but they are not of any importance to me.
Because you have taught me things which are far beyond ordinary Occultism, that knowledge has isolated me. I don’t feel any regrets about this, I certainly don’t feel lonely. I accept that I’m different.
MASTER: It sounds as thought you have reached the point of no return.
At this the Pupil said “good!”, then burst into tears, proving that she has a long way to go yet.
From the Dark Lily Journal No 5, Society of Dark Lily (London 1988).