D O G M A
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
(All selections copyright Agni Yoga Society)
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, December 7, 2010
1. It would seem, then, that a true striving toward realization of supreme possibilities should fill the greater part of human life as a most essential and engrossing occupation. But in reality the light of knowledge has been replaced by the conventional dogma of religion; and man, meant to be a thinker, worships his dark corner of idols, hanging amulets upon himself without even un-derstanding the meaning of their symbols. Repeat this to all those who sleep in the darkness of the ordinary.
Agni Yoga, 158
2. The enforced dogmas, human laws, and the standard of life have caused humanity to ne-glect the process of thinking; and the human mind, with rare exceptions, has become an automa-ton. Everybody is preaching various freedoms, but the most opposite schools of thought agree in one thing--they all are afraid of freedom of thought!
Letters of Helena Roerich I , March 1, 1929
3. The main thing is for people to acknowledge Our existence, and not to argue about forms. It is wrong to insist on a particular form, because co-workers from the Subtle World, in many forms, are also close to Us. Thus, people who can admit at least a part of the whole are already recognizing truth. If one accepts just a part of the truth, the rest will eventually follow. Worst of all are the dogmatic ones who demand that everything be according to their own beliefs and reject everything else. Especially in the sphere of subtle energies, all ideas must be accepted as possible. We often sorrow over those preachers who repel more people than they at-tract. One should observe carefully, in order to determine the degree of receptivity of the listener. Even the avid denier can quickly turn into a supporter. Furious denial is sometimes like an ab-scess prior to opening; but if you should meet someone who denies Our existence, I advise you not to argue. Each vegetable ripens in its own time. The Thinker said, “It is impermissible to coerce the human consciousness. Those who are not ready must first mature.”
Supermundane III, 580
4. Our era has completely forgotten and rejected the Teaching of the Heart. The heart de-mands new understanding. One must be prepared to find that purely scientific facts about the heart will arouse a special accusation of superstition. The dogmatic professional people will try with special effort to defend their mediocre existence. Thus, one must realize that the battle for understanding the heart will be especially severe. Thus will the dark forces defend the brain, set-ting it counter to the heart.
5. A fanatic deprives himself of flexibility. He cannot perfect himself or succeed. A fanatic is as if dead. Fanaticism can be contagious, for weak people fear any kind of advancement; their dark existence rests upon a foundation of dogma…. But how does one battle fanaticism? It should be understood that any dispute with fanatics will only increase their stubbornness, be-cause they believe that it is precisely they who are the true guardians of the pure teaching. A fa-natic responds angrily to any challenging question. A fanatic can only grow more stubborn, and insists that the teaching that he adheres to cannot change. He does not acknowledge that learning is a living process. There can be no stagnation in Eternity; all is in motion, in the striving toward perfection…. do not dispute with fanatics,… hasten toward victorious knowledge. The increase in the number of fanatics can be stopped by a manifestation on a cosmic scale. Whether such a shock would occur in the earthly or Supermundane World is of no importance, but in any case, fanaticism is unfit for the Supermundane World.
Supermundane IV, 791
6. Urusvati knows that the darkest superstition in earthly life is the superstition of negators. They reject learning. They impose their will on science, and thus limit it. They act without rea-son, and the justifications for their actions are unfounded. They call themselves scientists, forget-ting the true meaning of science. They call others fanatics, but they themselves stagnate in their own dogmatism. They insist that other worlds are not populated, but cannot prove it by their de-ductions. Science, when under the influence of dogma, enters upon a false way.
Such people refuse to acknowledge that true scientists contribute to the development of human consciousness…. The only thing for which we can thank those superstitious dogmatists is that they act as an anvil, on which the fiery hammer of free thought forges the blade of Truth. The superstitious ones will be insulted by this comparison to an anvil. They would much prefer to be the hammer--but this hammer forges evolution, which is based upon the free pursuit of knowl-edge. Superstition is the great shame of humanity. Even worse, the superstitious negators con-sider themselves to be superior; this is an attitude characteristic of ignorance….
The Thinker used to say, “Who can limit thinking? The one who attempts it is not just ignorant, he is insane!”
Supermundane III, 592
7. Religions have frightened humanity with their dogma of final judgment, and have thereby deprived it of daring. Whoever submits blindly to a state religion is like a donkey staggering un-der a burden imposed upon it. Can one accept a religion enforced by police order? Can one ac-cept on faith the decisions of strangers who take fees for communing with heaven? Therefore, in the presence of a state religion, the responsibility of the yogi is great. Fearless, test-ing, indefatigable, the yogi must help humanity to remember the Law of Unity…. Does not the victor's crown belong to the one who teaches courage to humanity?
Agni Yoga, 245
8. He who dreads dogma can strengthen himself in the Teaching as in flight to the far-off worlds. He who dreads such communion can remain at the threshold. Incessancy of striving af-fords affirmation of Our Teaching…. Not abstraction, but fiery striving endures. Those who know the attainment of cosmic strivings may verily say, “We create with fire“. We strive with fire. We live in fire.
9. Assist all who strive for perfectionment. Discern where there is striving and where possi-bility of defection. Discern where there is love for ascent and where the restlessness of doubt. He is a false teacher who elevates doubt into dogma; distrust is not the aim of the discipline of the spirit kindled by Truth.
Fiery World II, 448
10. When I speak about relations with the Subtle World, I do not advise artificial measures for such relations. These relations exist naturally throughout life. One should merely learn to ob-serve them soberly; without any narcotics it is possible to observe around oneself many signs that clearly come from beyond the limits of narrow earthly existence. It is necessary to understand to what an extent such natural observations can broaden the human concept of life. Prayer is transformed into spiritual communion, and reverence will not be dog-matic but vital and filled with love. Without love there is no creation.
11. It is appropriate to think of the words of the Apostle Paul in his Second Epistle to the Co-rinthians (3:6): “The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” Therefore, let us reject the dead let-ter and mediaeval dogma, and let us kindle in ourselves the fire of spirit whenever we commune with this most Sacred Concept. Let us say to ourselves: “God is limitless, boundless and intangi-ble, otherwise He would not be God.”
Letters of Helena Roerich I, September 12, 1934
12. From among their number [of the Bodhisattvas] came the Founders of great kingdoms, great religions and philosophies, many alchemists and several saints. But do not look for Them among the narrow dogmatists! They are Founders of the living religion of the Heart, but not of enslaving dogma. They are the Founders and the Fiery Purifiers of religions.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, December 20, 1934
13. If a song is needed it is the song of the heart, and in this song all creation will resound. Every object will join in lauding the Most High. He who helps his neighbor to create a still more attractive praise will be a creator of good. No dogma can forbid conversing with the Highest. The more beautifully it is done, the nearer will be the approach. But if help is needed, it suffices to express oneself with, “Help.” But even for such a simple word attractiveness is needed. The bigots, of whom you have heard so much, precisely are devoid of such attractiveness. How much darkness and repulsion they have sown! Can there be a language in which one cannot pray? The prayer of spirit is expressed in all languages, likewise can the heart sing in its own language, only if there is resounding of attractiveness.
Fiery World II, 38