E F F E C T I N G C H A N G E
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, November 8, 2011
1. A concept of the world which embraces the Invisible World will change the psychology of the people. But this is as yet remote! Even in the circles devoted to psychic research the results of the experiments are not carried into life. After their experiments the people remain as before. However, nothing should deter one from sharing his knowledge and encouraging the growth of consciousness. Therein lies love for one's fellow men.
Fiery World I, 617.
2. Many times have we conversed about the broadening of consciousness and about the acquirement of many useful qualities. How then does this growth take place? If it is difficult to perceive the growth of one hair, it is much more difficult to detect the growth of consciousness. It is a mistake to think it possible to keep track of the growth of consciousness. As it happens the observing apparatus undergoes the same tension. Certainly, its antennae always search ahead. It is impossible to lose one's attainment if the dynamical factors have not been paralyzed. Thus, it is possible only on rare crossroads to inspect one's fundamental changes—this is a gift of evolution.
3. Let us see what one brings from the Subtle World. One brings a triple inheritance - first the karmic, which is one’s individual inheritance; then the influence of one’s ancestors; and finally, what one acquired while in the Subtle World. These inheritances may be good or evil, and determine how one’s existence is shaped. Those who strive to Good are troubled and concerned as to how to help those who have turned from Good, yet, if all three aspects are unfavorable, change for the better will be difficult. We must also examine the causes, and will see that the defectors from Good are in danger of becoming cosmic debris!
Supermundane III, 465.
4. It is essential that a real teacher should encourage the free will, and a prudent pupil, while exercising his free will, will learn to value the importance of the teacher. You may note how often We return to discussing the seeming opposition of guidance and the free will. People must learn to reconcile these inseparable concepts. A better future depends upon the harmony of opposites. Those who do not want to understand this salutary doctrine expose themselves to much suffering. The teacher cannot change the stubbornness of the pupil if there is no room for the exercise of good will. Good will is free will.
The Thinker pointed out that goodness, freedom, and beauty live under one roof.
Supermundane III, 485.
5. One can see how even the criminal can be changed by suddenly perceiving the essence of good. Such a transformation may be seen as a miracle, but it is no miracle when one can touch the string of a vina and become enchanted by its sound. Everyone can be affected by different influences, some of which may stupefy, while others enlighten. Thus it is wrong to assert that something is beyond one’s reach. It is more correct to say that at a particular moment one was unable to grasp a certain kind of knowledge; but the very next moment could provide that understanding.
Supermundane III, 488.
6. Earth still harbors the good robber and the cruel devotee. One would suppose that people, as the highest elements of Earth, would evolve far more rapidly than other elements of the planet. But a strange phenomenon is taking place—rejecting the ethics of spirit, people have encased themselves in a spiritual inertia. It seems that even the climate changes more rapidly than the human consciousness.
Fiery World I, 541.
7. Only by individual effort can one continuously ascend. People fear the word “ethics,” yet too easily talk about morality, as if these concepts did not have some foundation. But human moral character will not change except through the influence of the inner life.
The Thinker taught, “The character of the people will shape human history. Let these fires be resplendently aflame.”
Supermundane III, 548.
8. Urusvati knows that some individuals, when in the Subtle World, consciously choose difficult incarnations. I speak of those whose karma permits them to have an easier existence, but whose refined consciousness tells them that one difficult earthly life is of more value than many easy ones. These selfless pilgrims will readily accept missions that the fainthearted would be eager to avoid.
You have mentioned Narada, called the Contentious One. His difficult task was to provoke arguments that would awaken dormant consciousnesses and prompt them to judge more intelligently. In the same way, many who are strong in spirit accept tasks to liberate people from their worn-out prejudices. One can imagine how difficult is the life of such purifiers! They withstand furious attacks, and only in the remote future will they receive their just recognition. Many of them remain unknown, and the results of their efforts are recorded in history as progressive changes that led to a renewal of thinking.
It must not be thought that there were only a few of these fighters. During various times there appeared many, strong in spirit, who confirmed by their lives the right path of progress. Let Our friends think about these toilers, who deserve to be valued, because they could have chosen an almost carefree existence, but instead decided to labor. Let these labors be the steps of luminous ascent.
The Thinker exhorted His disciples to choose difficult lives, saying, “Only by labor will you achieve.”
Supermundane III, 621.
9. Let us take as an example the way in which people are influenced. A speech is made and the crowd is quickly convinced, but the later effects are much less evident. Nevertheless, one cannot affirm that the first effect was the strongest. It is quite possible that the people's consciousness was changed and thunder was replaced by silence. And the power of silence has already been spoken of. Thus new, quite understandable circumstances are invisibly formed. Ordinary people notice them only in their finality, but a yogi can perceive the entire process of formation in all its subtlety. For a yogi, the saying “nothing is accidental” means that a rainbow of influences exists. The formations are stratified in many colors, and it is valuable to remember this. As in chemical, so also in psychic achievements do we take care to avoid unchanging methods. Monotonous uniformity cuts off a multitude of possibilities. Each seeming unexpectedness produces a new pattern in reaction to the subtlest energies. What benefit can we bring to evolution if we do not understand the multiformity of influences?
Agni Yoga, 218.
10. It is precisely the inert, stillborn desires that become the chains of bondage for humanity. It is people who chain themselves with such bonds. Either incaution or the karma of others brings on the infection of desire, and a person, instead of progressing, loses all ability to change.
Pay attention to those who stand and wail. What arrested their way? What forces diverted them from the contemplation and understanding of the world? The most minute, almost indistinguishable, desire burdened them and obscured their vision. How monotonous has their world become! Their desires, like parasites, depleted their energy. Desire can be worms and chains, or sparks and wings. The liberated one soars in realization. The one enslaved wails in despair.
Agni Yoga, 259.
11. It is not right to think that if today has passed unchanged, then tomorrow will also pass in the same way. Each hour can bring transformation for the advent of the New World.
Agni Yoga, 357.
12. The bond with the Higher World enriches the consciousness bountifully. In manifold ways do the lofty sendings reach their mark—they may be apprehended in sleep, they may be received in wakefulness as a lightning flash of thought. One should not grieve if such thoughts sometimes seem to be immediately forgotten, rather, they have sunk into the consciousness. It may be that the thought was destined for the innermost consciousness. Only in due time will it be manifested; meanwhile it must live on and enrich the consciousness.
It is said that growth of the consciousness is similar to the growth of a blade of grass. Man cannot notice the growth of grass by the hour, and just as imperceptibly appears a budding blossom. Only by periods is it possible to observe changes of consciousness; such a change will be indescribable. Consciousness grows by synthesis, it cannot move forward in a narrow manner. Advancement of the consciousness will proceed from the center encompassing successive circles of new understanding.
13. Therefore, practice patience and tolerance. With tolerance, with kindness and patience, it is possible to change the most stubborn opponents.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 24 November 1932.
14. Therefore, the main test for all spiritual Teachers is the magnet of their own hearts, their occult ability to change spiritually the surroundings and to transform the consciousness and the very nature of their disciples. It is by no means their ability in so-called miracles. This requires the fiery ray of synthesis, which is inherent in the opened centers but not in the lower siddhis.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 6 May 1934.
15. Regarding forgiveness and redemption of sins I write more than once, therefore I may as well quote to you this extract: “Just as one chemical ingredient is able to change the whole character of a substance composed of several others, so is the action of a high impulse or quality able to neutralize and overcome the results of the action arising from the base qualities of human nature, and thus to change the entire character of the man, transforming his nature.” And, as you know, the transmutation of an inner substance lies in the change of emanations, which, when purified, will react differently upon the effects of the formerly created causes. Only man himself is the creator and also the living record of each motive, each thought, and each deed; therefore, who can change anything in his nature without his personal and direct participation?
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 28 May 1937.