C O N S E Q U E N C E S O F B E T R A Y A L
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, February 17, 2009
1. Observe how people read the Teaching. Observe which passages they avoid and try not to notice. People especially often close their eyes to everything referring to betrayal and psychic murder. They do not even wish to consider that they can harm at a distance by their thoughts. Thus people avoid that in which they are most often guilty. One does not have to be a giant of thought in order to harm. Even a mediocre thought poisoned by the crystal of imperil will be very effective.
2. The pledge shall become a shield, but let us distinguish between falling away and treason. Falling away may be due to some karmic cause or to physical peculiarities. But for treason there are no vindicating circumstances. I assert that the consequences of treason are the most inevitable ones. Nothing can free the traitor from being himself betrayed. The betrayal of the Teaching is regarded as the most heinous. Man cannot blaspheme the Highest Spirit. Studying the actions of the heart one can see what physical shocks are evoked by betrayal of the Highest. Disintegration because of treason acts not only within the boundaries of the personality but also incessantly over vast expanses. As the highest spheres sense each benevolent ascent, so does each treason thunder like a crumbling tower.
3. Betrayal is first of all a violation of Hierarchy. It is inadmissible, as it means opening the gates to darkness. When betrayal is mentioned in each book, it means that this monstrous thing must be apprehended from all sides. It can reveal itself during the Call and Illumination, and on the New Path, and amid Fire and Infinity; it can strike at Hierarchy, and injure the Heart, and even contend with the Fiery World. The viper of betrayal can creep into all paths, and everywhere can be put to rout.
Fiery World III, 457
4. Betrayal presupposes trust on the opposite side. And the greater the betrayal the stronger was the trust. As hammer and anvil produce a strong spark, so does creative trust obtain from betrayal a fiery force. Very ancient is the history of the reciprocity of opposite principles. Along with events of beneficent significance there are also taking place monstrous betrayals.
Fiery World III, 540
5. Mutual understanding is not born in an instant—a certain period is required to harmonize the centers. Therefore, in antiquity a certain time was set as a testing for newcomers. In the course of this period they could quit the Brotherhood without grave consequences. This period could be from three to seven years, but after that a betrayal would entail the most serious consequences. One must not look at this as cruelty, for he who runs away during a thunderstorm may be struck by lightning. The very speed of his flight only increases the danger.
6. It is said that betrayal is like the shadow of a building that indicates the height of a structure. We have been tested by all kinds of betrayals, and have been tempted by all kinds of cunning. It is also said that in order to heighten one's love for humanity one must know all its depths. But who will find the patience within himself to look into all the abysses without losing faith in humanity? Our Abode is the bulwark of such patience, and it is those who have been with Us, and those who have heard about Us, who carry the contact with Us in their hearts, and wear this armor of patience. We value this quality, for it belongs to Infinity....
We shall strengthen their confidence, and, provided that they have driven out their snakes and scorpions, We shall find a loving heart for them. Thus, you are becoming acquainted with a very important part of Our Life.
Supermundane I, 27
7. The Teacher searchingly evaluates His persecutors. They sometimes have tremendous power, and just one spark is sufficient to kindle the flame of goodness within them....
The Teacher pointed out many times that the conversion of adversaries can be beneficial. However, His attitude toward betrayers was different. He said, "If a man has been entrusted with guarding a treasure, and instead of guarding, steals it, he certainly cannot be trusted, and has prepared a hard destiny for himself. Sometimes it overtakes him quickly, but at other times the predestined is delayed, causing an especially difficult karma."
Thus the Teacher weighed the degree of betrayal. He knew when betrayal was about to happen and consoled those disciples who already suspected the traitor.
Ferocity cannot be arrested, and the current must take its course. But hard, indeed, is the karma of the betrayer, for betrayal is the most terrible of all earthly crimes.
Supermundane I, 178
8. The Thinker also said to His disciples, "Betrayal is born in the house of hypocrisy, and history records betrayal as the basest crime....
Criminality must be understood as the most terrible infection. People speak about the suffering caused by illnesses, but they do not want to admit that criminality ruins not only the body, but also the soul. Do not lose time. Warn friends about the danger of betrayal."
Supermundane I, 189
9. One must remember the acts of betrayal in history when the traitors displayed an extraordinary ability to disappear. Traitors can always be found among the most learned followers, but this is not surprising, since without knowledge they would have nothing to betray. It is instructive to study the fate of these traitors. Sometimes they ended in dark despair, but more often their lives deteriorated into dreary stagnation....
Certain dates are given to humanity as a reminder of those betrayals that affected the karma of entire nations, but even such striking examples hardly touch man's consciousness. Just as a small stone produces a small splash, an unfeeling heart cannot be effective against darkness....
The Thinker pointed out that the Gods do not forgive betrayal.
Supermundane II, 403
10. People customarily judge lightmindedly, for they believe that it will never be too late to revise their opinions. But lightminded changeability is close to betrayal, which is a quality particularly abhorrent to Us. There can be no lightmindedness where the psychology of an entire nation or the significance of an entire era is under consideration.
Supermundane III, 468
11. Every teaching has its apostates. It is amazing to see what base motives prompt their betrayals, demeaning for mankind.... They actually act as a kind of resonator, and with their energy add a special tension to the life of the Teaching....The fate of an apostate is not to be envied. History demonstrates this. But others should not waste their time in trying to dissuade the apostate. His action is an abscess that must come to a head without interference. Therefore, let us respond calmly to this dreadful act of betrayal.
The Thinker knew the apostates among His disciples. He advised them to depart quickly.
Supermundane III, 599
12. ...Personal experience and black betrayal gradually teaches us to be more cautious. Yet even now, at times (though only partially), I disregard the wise warning "Know how to safeguard that which is entrusted," a warning that is given to everyone who enters the path of the Teaching of Light. The most difficult trial for me is to live among people and not to trust them! But we must go through this as well. One should learn not to overburden others with excessive confidence and, at the same time, to be free of dreadful suspiciousness.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 18 June, 1935
13. I wish you most sincerely to become a real warrior, and to temper your spirit under the rain of the hostile arrows. There is a peculiar joy in receiving these hostile arrows. Thus, at this moment a betrayal has been discovered where I least of all expected it. My heart was wounded, but somewhere in the depth of it joy is already rising. It is the joy of a warrior, the joy of a possibility of fighting for Truth, and above all the joy of one more liberation!
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 6 July, 1935
14. Intrigues are not far from betrayal, therefore let us practice caution. Discrimination is the first quality on the path of discipleship, and it does not come easily....
I welcome your firmness. Do not be distressed by the uncovering of the true faces of people and by the unavoidable loneliness. This disclosure of the true faces of people is inseparable from the great school of life, and on the last step you encounter betrayals. In all the Teachings is engraved the symbol of the drinking of the chalice of poison by all Carriers of Light. The beauty of achievement is truly emphasized by these manifestations of darkness. The most significant events are followed by monstrous betrayals. And so you should be courageous and firm, and should not be perturbed by any monsters. As it is said - one should learn from the examples of aggression.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 7 December, 1935
15. We know that "the betrayal deteriorates slowly." ...But the consciousness of the Great Teachers, which operates on three planes or worlds, knows the origin of causes as well as their effects. Therefore, with complete confidence in the higher wisdom, we should calmly watch the various phases of all events.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 17 March 1936
16. Verily, the dark ones assist the manifestation of each work of Light; hence, we know the value of all obstacles and even of slander. Long ago, N. K. wrote an article, "Praise to the Enemies." Each betrayal gives an opportunity to all faithful co-workers and friends to be united even more closely. There will be all sorts of actions, even up to and including betrayal, but on the earthly plane such manifestations are necessary. The victory of Light over darkness must be revealed.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 17 April, 1936