P A S S I V I T Y A N D E V O L U T I O N
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, December 3, 2013
1.We speak but once.
Do not repeat your questions.
What is not understood or is unheard is lost to Earth.
You may find new ways of understanding and ascent, but by new steps.
Therefore be alert.
Tiredness is not dangerous.
But levity and callousness are banes to mankind.
Like a householder in constant action, be not afraid of a few drops of labor’s perspiration.
Even a misguided action is better than passivity.
Attain the port. For each one is a ship provided.
The Call, 292
2. It is said that a yogi has no desires; actually, he is filled with striving. A desire is not active, because it creates expectation, and expectation is the mother of passivity. Striving, on the other hand, is a generator of motion, leading to ascent of the spirit. It is said that the yogi knows no love; but in truth, he is full of compassion. People think of love only as constricting bonds. But compassion is boundless, a co-worker of Truth. It is said that a yogi is endowed with inexhaustible powers; however, like a diligent gardener, he must tend his own plants in the garden of opportunities.
Agni Yoga, 210
3. It is not the manifestations of insensibility that can sustain the Cosmos! It is not measures of passivity that can create! It is not encasement in a single shell that can build! Therefore, I say that only the key of the heart and the achievement of self-sacrifice make life out of a vibration. Only the striving to independent action can develop the sensitiveness of receptivity. Therefore, the spirit imbued with quest can ascend. Only the vibration of the heart creates. One can create only through the vibration of the heart. The greatest power lies in the magnet of the heart. Through it we seek, through it we create, through it we find, through it we attract. Thus let us remember; thus I affirm. The magnetic vibration has molded all creative manifestations. Thus, Our close co-workers, having accepted the beauty of the Teaching, will be strengthened by the magnetic vibration.
Infinity II, 158
4. Since the so-called state of Nirvana is not rest but the highest tension of energy, one may ask whether rest exists altogether. Indeed, how is it possible to imagine rest if everything is in motion and exists by reason of motion? The very concept of rest was invented by those who desired to hide from existence. They preferred passivity, forgetting that there can be no moment without motion. Balance is the concept needed. One should think not of rest but how to preserve the balance amidst the whirlwinds. The silver thread is tautened by the power of striving, hence one must know the meaning of balance, lest one burden the thread of Hierarchy through faltering. The thread will not break when tautened. For even a straw resists as long as it is not bent. The silver thread is founded upon the law of concatenation, but if someone does not refrain from hasty fluctuations, he usually cannot hold the link. Thus, let us not bemoan the lack of rest, because it does not exist at all.
5. There is a Buddhist saying, "If spirituality could be achieved just by eating vegetable matter, the elephant and the cow would have attained it long ago.! And it is also said, "Ascetism is worthless for liberation. It is much more difficult to find a patient person than one who lives upon air and roots and dresses in bark and leaves. If a person is weakened by hunger or thirst, if he is too tired to control his emotions and thoughts, how can he possibly reach the goal which can be reached only by means of a clear mind and broadened consciousness?" And again, "In order that the strings of the vina may sound harmoniously, they should be neither too taut nor too slack. Verily, every effort that is too strenuous fails, and if not sufficiently strong it results in passivity and inertness.”
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 14 June 1934
6. What then do we see in this age, so proud of its discoveries? People reject completely all that is beyond the earthly realm and become victims of destructive imbalance. They forget their immediate responsibility toward Earth and begin to wander in a fog of abstraction, and if they meet those who have attained harmony, they despise them!...
Many highly regarded citizens are the very ones who hate all that is harmonious, because they detest the idea of the unification of the mundane with the supermundane… If you see attacks upon useful undertakings, look attentively and you will see that the persecutors have not even the slightest degree of harmony within themselves. Study them and you will observe the inadequacies of their reasoning faculties and learn how to resist their trickery. You will learn when it is possible to remonstrate with them and when, because nothing can be accomplished in this life, a change of sheaths will be necessary. Yes, yes, yes, harmony itself is often understood as an abstraction!
Similarly misunderstood is Nirvana, in which the greatest intensification of one's faculties is sometimes interpreted as passive, unfeeling inaction. Equilibrium requires mutual tension, for both cups of the scale must bear equal loads. Therefore, both cups, the mundane and the supermundane, never stand empty. In his ignorance, man prefers to limit himself to one side or the other. That is why humanity is lame; but can one hop for long on one foot? Can one drag one's crutch into the Subtle World? I speak in jest, for sometimes a jest is better remembered!
The Thinker asked some narrow-minded intellectuals, “Why do you cripple yourselves by cutting off one of your legs? Verily, you will have great difficulty returning home.”
Supermundane II, 345
7. Defense and Nirvana are two mercilessly distorted concepts. People try to make them into something amorphous, vague, and passive, but such distortions are harmful for evolution.
People must consciously prepare themselves for a state such as Nirvana, and this takes a long time. They must learn to love the state of mind that can be called all-containment. In the same way, people must learn to love the concept of defense, and think of it as the most intensified and vigilant condition. They must perfect themselves consciously, otherwise participation in the Cosmic Battle will become unbearable….
One should develop clarity of consciousness. One should understand that in the protection of harmony lies Beauty. One must not allow doubts that will violate the order of harmony. Beautiful is the vigilance that knows and loves the treasures that it protects.
Supermundane II, 356
8. The intensity of the centers of an Agni Yogi is strained by the affirmation of the Cosmic Magnet. The centers of an Adept are subject to the same law. The Brothers of Humanity sense this intensity through a strained magnet. In Our Work for humanity's progress, We are constantly under an intense current, and all harmonious and inharmonious currents are refracted in Us.
Our work for humanity consists in ceaseless activity of interweaving and correlating the currents. Therefore, We regard as most low the manifestation of passivity. In passivity may be discovered an antagonistic seed. Everything out of step with evolution is opposed to Our tensions. In the cooperation of an Agni Yogi We have the highest intensity. In the fiery centers We have flaming co-workers.
A new step approaches for humanity--communion with the far-off worlds.
Infinity I, 351
9. I rejoice when you realize the harm of false spirituality. Often a sickly distortion of psychic energy becomes a substitute for a properly expanded consciousness. Where there is fear, where there is self-pity, where there is conceit, where there is passivity, where there is avoidance of self-sacrifice, where there is lack of co-measurement, where there is irresponsibility, can there be service to evolution?
Those who avoid the labor of the harvest should be made to understand that their groans are less than the rustling of one blade of grass. Also, those who venture into the astral world without an understanding of ascent must know how responsible they are for the polluting of space. Only the consciousness can lead, and permit the discerning of the right direction. Also, those who consider service to evolution as an effort deserving reward may be repaid in coin, but not by expansion of consciousness.
Affirm that the refining of consciousness is the magnet that attracts all beneficial energies. The consciousness, an inexhaustible treasure, will lead to the summits, where victory is found. Is it worthy of man to let his consciousness be overgrown with weeds? It is essential to consider whither one wishes to propel oneself. The fire of consciousness will illumine the way.
Agni Yoga, 591
10. Urusvati knows that the majority of people, instead of choosing responsible cooperation, prefer to remain in a state of passive learning. They prefer to be listeners and readers, and when the hour comes for them to demonstrate the power of Spirit they disperse.
Supermundane II, 403
11. With the beginning of the Epoch of the Mother of the World woman should realize that she herself contains all forces, and the moment she shakes off the age-old hypnosis of her seemingly lawful subjugation and mental inferiority and occupies herself with a manifold education, she will create in collaboration with man a new and better world. Indeed, it is essential that woman herself refute the unworthy and profoundly ignorant assertion about her passive receptivity and therefore her inability to create independently. But in the entire Cosmos there is no passive element. In the chain of creation each manifestation in its turn becomes relatively passive or active, giving or receiving.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 9 August 1937
12. He who follows the Teaching loses the passivity so cherished by people. But he who does not follow receives the full downpour of karma. Judge for yourselves who has chosen the right path. When you follow the Teaching, can there be failure? The Teaching brings refinement of consciousness as a great happiness. Where, then, to find a power equal to that which results from the Teaching? Thus, follow Our Teaching with great care.
Agni Yoga, 374