THEOSOPHY, Vol. 82, No. 10, August, 1994
(Pages 304-308; Size: 11K)
(Number 3 of a 3-part series)
THE ANCIENT WISDOM IN AFRICA(1)
ON MAN and his destiny, Mandhlalanga discoursed thus:Man is an individual having in him, as has everything on the physical plane, all the attributes of the Cosmic Ocean of which he is an individualized portion. He has reached on his upward journey the stage of personal consciousness. I speak of Man in general. There are undeveloped men, whose personal consciousness is but rudimentary as there are others who have transcended personality and know their real Selves -- that immortal portion first individualised from the lofty planes of the Spiritual Mind.My Teacher gave the following account of the Brotherhood in which he holds the rank of Master:
Man is on a journey, the goal of which is union with the source of his being -- the Itongo. To reach that goal he must first pass through all experience the Cosmos affords, and must shake off all accretions accumulated on his descent from individualised Spiritual Mind into grossest Matter. To do this, he is born and born again, for his physical body dies, as do his lower mental principles; only his higher mental principles which are akin with the Itongo survive from age to age, retaining throughout the Cosmic Cycle the individuality bestowed upon them at its opening.
These are the Principles of Man:
1. The Physical Body (Umzimba).
2. The Etheric Body (Isitunzi).This is merely the etheric counterpart of the physical body and not really a separate principle, normally. But in certain abnormal states it is partially separable from the physical body. It is the medium through which the Lower Mind (or Force) functions.3. Lower Mind (Amandhla).That portion of the Mind which shows as Life-force and other forms of what we call Energy.4. The Animal Mind (Utiwesilo).The planes of Mind which manifest as passion, emotions and instincts.5. Human Mind (Utiwomuntu).The planes of Mind which manifest as human consciousness, intellect, higher emotions, etc.6. Spiritual Mind (Utiwetongo).The higher planes manifesting Spiritual consciousness.7. ITONGO.The Ray, or spark of Universal Spirit which informs all lower manifestations.We call our Brotherhood ... using the ancient Bantu speech which is the mother-tongue of the most wide spread group of languages in the Continent [of Africa]. It may be rendered in English as The Brotherhood of the Higher Ones of Egypt.Of the occult powers wielded by Mandhlalanga and his fellow Master, I saw several examples, but of these I do not feel at liberty to speak here. The reader has had, already, sufficient food for thought. I shall conclude with a rather cryptic quotation from Mandhlalanga on The Source of the Brothers' Power.
The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in the reign of the Pharaoh Cheops; its founder being a Priest of Isis. It has as its objects the spreading of the Wisdom which comes from of Old among all races and tribes in Africa, and the study and practice by its members of that Science which depends on the power of Thought. It is the only true Science there is.
These are the grades of the Brotherhood and some of the powers and functions they exercise.
1. The Pupil.The Pupil is one under probation which lasts from one to three hundred years. During this time he is under instruction by a Master and subjects himself to certain disciplines. If found worthy he enters the brotherhood as a Disciple, at the end of his period of probation. If unworthy he is dismissed back to the world.2. The Disciple.The Disciple is an avowed member of the Brotherhood and subject to its disciplines. Under instruction he develops certain powers ... "Mesmerism" is usually one of the earliest to develop.3. The Brother.A full member of the Order with many developed powers, of which I may mention, only, power of communication by Thought with those of equal or higher development, and what European Occultists term Astral Consciousness.4. The Elder.An advanced Brother.5. The Master.The Teacher of all lower grades. The Master has many developed powers (Clairvoyance and Clairaudience on the Etheric Planes ... among many others). Mastership can be attained only by one who in a past life has reached Elderbrotherhood.6. Those who Know (Isangoma).Of these it is not permitted to speak save to say that they have attained Consciousness on the plane of the Real Self. Only one who has reached Mastership in a previous life can gain Isangomanship.Besides the above, we have lay Disciples and lay Brothers. They are men who are prevented by circumstances from becoming vowed to the Brotherhood. They are subject only to self-imposed disciplines and receive but such teaching as can be given from afar. We have many lay Disciples, not merely in Africa but in Asia, Europe and America. Lay Brothers, however, are but few, for without direct instruction from a Master few can reach this grade without incurring grave dangers. We constantly warn all unavowed Disciples against the danger of attempting to attain a brother's powers, unaided by the direct instruction of a Master.
Let it not be thought that our Isangoma, elevated though they be, represent the supreme development possible to Man on the Physical Plane. It is not so. There are others, not of any Brotherhood, save the Brotherhood of All. We call them Abakulubantu (that is, Supreme Ones, or Perfect Men). These are men for whom the necessity for rebirth has ceased. They dwell on earth in physical form by their own will, and can retain or relinquish that form as they choose. I speak of them but to assure the Pupil of their existence. Few, below the grade of Master, have ever seen one in the flesh, though all, from Disciple upward may meet them in the Spirit.Of the source of power we wield, the Pupil can learn but little until he attains Discipleship. But let him ponder this much. I have likened Individuality to whirlpools in the Cosmic Ocean. But all that Ocean has not been cast into individuality. Between the "whirlpools," myriad though they be, stretch wide, smooth spaces, identical with them in composition. Now it can well be conceived that a "whirlpool" by setting up minor vibrations within itself may send out ripples through the smooth spaces which will strike upon and affect in some degree other "whirlpools." All the "whirlpools" are constantly doing this. Now suppose a "whirlpool" to have gained power to control its internal vibrations and to send them pulsating through the Ocean towards whatever objective it desires, can you not see that it may produce upon that objective whatever effect it desires? Now think of the "whirlpool" as being a Man. Is it not clear that by getting full control of the vibrations of his higher planes, he may dispatch through the Cosmic Ocean of which he is a part, ripples of various kinds and intensities, which, according to their nature and strength, will produce effects on all strata, from the highest, which is of course the most sensitive, even down to the "slime" and "mud" of the depths. I give you this as food for thought, and bid you digest it well.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
The Ancient Adepts have solved the great problems of Science, however unwilling modern Materialism may be to admit the fact. The mysteries of Life and Death were fathomed by the great master-minds of antiquity; and if they have preserved them in secrecy and silence it is because these problems formed part of the Sacred Mysteries, which must have remained incomprehensible to the vast majority of men then, as they do now.
All Esoteric truths were given out to the public by the Initiates of the temples under the guise of allegories. The whole essence of truth cannot be transmitted from mouth to ear. Nor can any pen describe it, not even that of the Recording Angel, unless man finds the answer in the sanctuary of his own heart, in the innermost depths of his divine intuition.
--The Secret Doctrine
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ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) NOTE--These are excerpts from Patrick Bowen's account of his experiences in Africa, published in The Theosophist, August, 1927.
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