B R O A D E N I N G O F C O N S C I O U S N E S S
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, October 12, 2010
1. Courageously to know the possibility of penetrating the full light, and consciously to conceal the usual manifestations, means to bring harmony nearer. Proceeding by way of the broadening of consciousness is the approach to true action.
The ray of understanding of the predestined immensity of the manifestations of power can unite ready souls, and without this readiness any miracle is turned into a curiosity.
One may have at one's disposal powers not for demonstration but for progressive actions. When the essence is invisible to the crowd and arouses no attention, being veiled by the result, such essence will penetrate into the consciousness of the people, accustoming them to the fact of achievement through human hands. Thus, actions will be achieved by human hands as a result of the highest spirit-creativeness. It behooves the spirit to dwell in spirit. Let the hand manifest the earthly direction; creation by human hands does not arouse hatred.
2. The broadening of consciousness is in the principle of the creative impulse. When Cosmos attracts the mind toward conscious cooperation, then a corresponding striving is affirmed. Therefore, the spirit that guards in its potentiality the creativeness which impels to conscious cooperation can intensify all fires. How important is the realization that each thought is applicable to life! Not by words but by thoughts is the world moved. Thus, each thought may help the cosmic energy.
Infinity II, 350.
3. The filling of the Chalice determines the quality of action. Each thought leading to the mighty understanding of Hierarchy uplifts the spirit. Therefore, as striving grows, the broadening of consciousness leads the spirit to the understanding of the Origins. Creativeness of the spirit can build a bridge to higher understanding only through the subtlest energies. Therefore, the accumulation in the Chalice gives the best possibilities and attainments. Man must strive to fill the Chalice and expand the consciousness. Thus, the subtlest energies are within reach of only the subtlest receptivity, and limitless striving opens the Gates to Beauty.
4. Life requires not temptations. Life can be transmuted under any and all conditions. Community of spirit is highest transmutation of life. Many of the ignorant do not wish to understand that community of spirit does not depend upon external form. It is created there where the concept of the broadening of consciousness is alive.
5. Soon the machine will enable people to be at leisure a considerable portion of the day. One must ask oneself upon what this free time will be expended.
It should be recognized that a combination of several occupations is inevitable, otherwise one may fall into a stupor. Only broadening of consciousness can help in a sensible apportionment of the day. But the manifestation of expansion of consciousness results from love of cognition and from striving for higher quality.
Synthesis will help us to learn to love the quality of all life.
6. The broadening of consciousness cannot be considered personal gain, for in every such purification is contained the General Good. The world welcomes each flash of the broadening of consciousness. It is a true festival.
In certain mysteries the broadening of consciousness was likened to the awakening of spring. No one can follow the entire process of the growth of grass, but every heart rejoices on seeing the first flowers of spring. It is likewise impossible to perceive the details of the broadening of consciousness, but a person's transformation is quite evident. He who has become transformed does not know when and how his renewal began, and cannot say how his consciousness was broadened. Frequently, he will cite insignificant events but omit the most important event that influenced him.
Not by chance have the periods of three or seven years been mentioned, for only over such periods can one notice changes in the consciousness. But We and Our near Ones, while carrying out Our missions, can notice shorter periods of growth of consciousness. The gardener knows his own flowers best. We, too, follow the growth of consciousness of those who are close to Us. There are many reasons for such observation.
We can affirm that each one's successful approaches to Us over the course of centuries bears results. We know how to be grateful; this quality of gratitude is indispensable in Our Abode. Each affirmation of Brotherhood brings its good harvest. All assistance to Our Work is appreciated, and each well-intentioned mention of the Brotherhood is remembered. In Our Ashrams records of such good deeds are kept. We like to record each kind smile, and Our disciples know how to rejoice at each kind word about the Brotherhood. No one can forcibly teach such radiant joy. No one can order gratitude. Only a broadened consciousness can indicate where more good can be done.
People generally do not like to speak about consciousness, for improvement is difficult for them, and there are not many who continue to gain knowledge after their school years. One's entire life should be transformed so that learning becomes a relentless necessity. We rejoice at each awakening of consciousness and We record as a sign of success each desire to think about the Brotherhood, even if it is only a thought about how to apply oneself or how to become united.
Supermundane I, 33.
7. Urusvati knows how often man's concept of the Subtle World changes. There were many periods when he was much closer to a correct understanding of the Subtle World. Entire eras saw an improvement of consciousness, but for no evident reason people would then fall into periods of ignorance.
An important book could be written about the fluctuations of human understanding. The psychic realm is not understood any more now than it was in antiquity, and this fact deserves special attention. It is logical to assume that man's evolution would result in a broadening of consciousness in all spheres; why then has such an important realm as the knowledge of the Subtle World remained so misunderstood? The reason is that man fears everything that lies beyond the boundaries of the material world. The consciousness strives to knowledge, but the earthbound mind will whisper that it is not necessary to know about the hereafter. Sometimes even well-informed people will begin to doubt, and thinking that the Subtle World does not exist, they undermine their previous accumulations.
When knowledge is for a time suppressed, mass disbelief will follow, but one should always remember that the consciousness will once again search for the Truth. One should not waste time in doubt, for the highest understanding was given and assimilated long ago. A courageous understanding of the future life is wise.
The Thinker used to say, “Courage is the ability to look ahead. The wise know that a cloud of dust is finite, and that nothing can obscure Infinity.”
Supermundane II, 314.
8. Thoughts sent by Us can easily be interrupted by human clamor. Sendings from afar are easily blocked by human obstructions. All this means that on Earth all interactions are subject to earthly law. It should be understood that for the acceptance of Our currents the organism must first of all be made more subtle by mental refinement. The broadening of consciousness was stressed long ago, but it is still misunderstood. People often believe that the broadening of consciousness is simply the acceptance of everything, but then the consciousness would be turned into a cheap roadside inn! A true broadening of consciousness must increase one’s receptivity and discrimination. Only deep thinking can assist in such purification. For communion with Us one must learn to think.
He who does not know how to think properly loses himself in a tangled thicket of contradictions, instead of discovering all-encompassing meanings. Only through untiring striving can one free oneself from the web of earthly ties. Without free will, one cannot move toward a broad understanding of the unique aspects of the Supermundane.
We have just spoken about the indivisibility of the Supermundane and the earthly. Will it not seem a contradiction that We speak now about supermundane uniqueness? But there is no contradiction in the fact that one breathes differently upon the summit of a mountain than at its foot. Some people are afraid of the air of the summits, and similarly some fear to think about the Supermundane. This fear may be so great that it can paralyze the mind.
Supermundane III, 521
9. “You must reach Us on Earth…” certainly means that actually in the earthly life, through broadening of consciousness and through earthly attainments, one may approach the Great Teachers.
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 17 May 1937.
10. The joy of the broadening of consciousness is one of the loftiest and purest joys. Indeed, only the broadened consciousness permits us, in spite of all the horrors that take place, in spite of the trampling of the most sacred concepts and foundations of human dignity, to preserve compassion and love for humanity in the heart. The heart is also nurtured by thinking.
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 15 March 1938.
11. In conclusion, one may add that all the descriptions of the attainment of higher abilities through the opening of the centers may appear easy on paper, but in reality there is nothing more difficult. Many lives may pass in a constant unbreakable striving for the broadening of consciousness and the refinement of receptivity prior, not to just the partial opening of this or that center, but to their work on all the seven circles and planes. No mechanical exercises will lead to anything high. For not the physical irritation, and not even the partial opening of one of the centers is needed, but the fiery transmutation of all centers, which can be achieved only through the complete purification of thinking and the kindling of the fires of the heart.
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 2 September 1937.