T R A N S F I G U R A T I O N
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, March 2, 2010
1. Urusvati knows that four things must be experienced for the transformation of earthly life: the perception of the past, the perception of the far-off worlds, the perception of the Subtle World, and the perception of Hierarchy. But can man grasp these four foundations? Every thinking person will agree that these fundamentals are not difficult to understand. They are inherent in the foundation of one's concept of life, and as soon as they are absorbed, the most ordinary life will be transformed into a beautiful reality. But in order to acquire these realizations one must cultivate one's will, for only a free will can make real those concepts that are dead for many.
The ordinary man will say, “What have I to do with a hierarchy that I do not see? Why do I need a subtle world that cannot be applied to my own life? Of what profit or use to me are far-off worlds? Let the past die with all its coffins and bones.” He does not understand that the past does not lie only in its bones. He does not understand that the far-off worlds are the equilibrium of Cosmos. He cannot recognize the Subtle World because he does not hear the Voice of Silence. What is Hierarchy to him who imagines himself the King of the Universe?
Do not think that I speak unjustly. Unfortunately, such dull consciousnesses are in the majority. They seek nothing and do not admit to the existence of anything beyond the confines of their home. Their consciousness is inactive and seems dead, but without the effervescence of consciousness the will cannot be aflame. Consciousness does not whisper to them that the transfiguration of life is within their grasp. We feel the burden of this dead weight on the planet.
The Thinker said, “He who rejects thought need not go on living.”
Supermundane II, 401
2. As I understand you, you wish to be accepted in the group of real disciples and, as you say, your sole desire is to meet the Teacher and to work under his Guidance. I certainly have not yet met anybody who, after becoming acquainted even if only superficially with the Teaching, would not like to give up the earthly burdens and join the Teacher in his Community. It is mostly those who have only superficially learned something of the Teaching who are the ones to demand entry into the Community of the Great Brotherhood! But they have not the slightest idea whether their physical bodies could stand the extremely tense atmosphere which surrounds this Stronghold. One must remember that the transmutation of the organism and the nerve centers must take place here, on Earth, amidst the spiritual struggles, amidst all the burdens and difficulties of life, amidst all the testing trifles of every day. Only this struggle evokes the necessary energies for the transfiguration and the outliving of all the gross habits and attachments. The earthly life is indeed a purgatory, and without going through it, it is impossible to enter Paradise, or to come to the Brotherhood. The fires of the higher energies would burn the overloaded aura. The Community of the Brotherhood is too far removed from the ordinary earthly environment, and therefore it could not provide the necessary test conditions.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 6 May, 1934
3. You noticed that some of the members are tired because most of them are working people. I think the main reason is that most of them have already been through the first steps of enthusiastic approach to the Teaching and, according to the occult law, they now begin to show their real nature. Always remember that on the first steps and in the first months of approaching the Teaching, each one burns with eagerness and hopes for the immediate development of his dormant spiritual powers. Many do not realize, or forget, that only in extreme tension of all forces does the awakening of the inner man, and the further degrees of transfiguration, take place. Such people, in most cases, do not find in themselves enough spiritual strength to resist the plungings of the spirit, which inevitably follow every transport of enthusiasm. The law of alternation of rhythm is everywhere the same.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 28 February, 1935
4. Everywhere it is indicated that suffering is the best purifier and means of shortening the Path. This is undoubtedly true under the existing conditions on Earth. But could there have been Creation with an unalterable condition of suffering? No. Indeed, the Great Creativeness does not foresee a need for suffering. With terrific zeal people drive themselves into the circle of suffering. For millenniums people have tried to become mere bipeds. They try to weigh down the atmosphere of Earth with malice. Verily, every physician will bear witness that without evil there would be no suffering. Let us designate the ability to avoid suffering as a step toward Good. Truly, the passage of the Good through the furnace of Fire eliminates the sense of suffering. Thus, fiery transfiguration even on Earth lifts one beyond suffering. One should not evade suffering, for without suffering earthly achievement does not exist. But let each one ready for achievement kindle the fires of his heart. They will be the indicators of the Path, and a shield not fashioned by human hands.
Fiery World I, 618
5. Only the mainspring of transmutation of darkness into light can strengthen the spirit. The transfiguration of the spirit is called the cosmic transfiguration. Cosmos, in its eternal activity of the Fire of Space, transforms the elements into corresponding forms. The spirit transforms the consciousness into a manifestation of all-containment.
It is true that the world of creation is inexhaustible, and there is no hiding place for the engenderments of the human spirit. The issue projected into the wheel of life brings its consequences. He is narrow-minded who thinks that man expiates his deeds by imagining their dissolution in space. As the properties of nature indicate an unending process, so does the spirit of man, who is following an identical path. It is difficult not to acknowledge the limitlessness of transformed energies!
Since the centers of man can be transformed into the most subtle energies of life-imparting fires, one may through each deed of life either attain the highest tensions or be cast into the lowest sphere. Like a whirlwind, transfiguration carries on toward Infinity.
Infinity I, 108
6. Transfiguration is Our most wondrous foundation of cosmic fusion. That step of cosmic transfiguration, at which man consummates his earthly path, We call cosmic joy. The manifestation of consummation is the most difficult attainment. The transmutation on higher spheres is far easier. The most difficult severance is from Earth, since Earth is the highest chain of lower worlds. The very ascent to higher spheres is difficult. Hence slowly does the spirit attain consummation and rare are such attainments.
The higher planets do not exert such gravitational pull. The spirit's striving is a moving force, and a vital and flaming fusion carries one into higher spheres. Onerous is the earthly path for the spirit nearing consummation.
Infinity I, 109
7. Humanity at various stages of its development has known of the power of the Cosmic Magnet. The interrelation between all cosmic forces and man has been attested by most ancient revelations. Man is part of the cosmic energy, part of the elements, part of Cosmic Reason, part of the consciousness of the higher matter. Therefore, when the power is given to an image which acts and emerges from the cosmic seed, Cosmos awaits the transmutation which must lead the spirit toward transfiguration. Of course, I regard the Spatial Fire as the highest transfiguring element.
Humanity must understand that the changes of existences are not only changes of envelopes. Transfiguration does not mean in itself a completed image. And when the Cosmic Magnet summons to a change, it means that the transfiguration brings a new step. When will humanity begin to understand that Truth attracts toward the Magnet, which leads to affirmation of the principle of Beauty? The law of the earthly existence of the Origins holds true.
After the kernel of affirmation and spiral transfiguration has been manifested, the culminating path becomes the affirmation of the creativity of psycho-life. In infinite striving seek that point!
Infinity I, 155
8. A higher tension creates a new step of cosmic creativeness. The lives which the spirit passes in low tension shed but meager light upon the earthly path. We have seen whirlwinds of will. We value the tension of will. We shall accept the affirmation of the true principle of life as the offering of the “chalice of fires.”
Each center absorbs its own fire, and these fires can act at a distance. The functions of the centers are psycho-creative, and each center can dissolve and integrate as a creator. We have actual records left by Agni Yogis. And it can be asserted that the White Tara has created much. There are numerous records of transfiguration. We shall so name the transmuting power of Agni Yoga. Thus is the Tara manifested amidst life. The step of crossing into the higher sphere is radiant!
Infinity I, 174
9. Who, then, in his heart cannot understand the beauty of ascension? Who will not sense at heart the burden of return into a temporary house—a doomed house—a confining house? Thus, one should cognize the Higher World in order to become transported and ascend with one's entire being. Is it possible to peer from the window of the narrow home without thinking about the higher worlds? And the heart will lead one by the path of Christ to the step of Transfiguration. Thus we shall open the doors of the narrow house. Each fusion of consciousness already means open doors.
10. And now you may ask, “How can man speed up his karma?” I will answer, “By improving his thoughts and motives.” It has been mentioned many times in the Teaching that precisely our motives and thoughts create our karma; deeds are secondary factors. Indeed, thoughts create our inner substance. Thoughts are accumulated as energies in our Chalice and aura, and if these energies are purified and refined, it is clear that they can harmonize with and attract only that which is equally pure; therefore, all that is wicked and base cannot affect us with its full force. Thus, if you meet a man to whom you did some harm in a past life, if your aura is sufficiently purified the actions of his evil energy will be unable to hurt you in full measure, even though he feels animosity toward you. And this malicious energy will then turn like a boomerang against himself. Therefore, the advice to purify, improve, and refine one's thoughts and motives is so practical. The spirit carries within itself its own achievement and armor. The purification and fiery transfiguration of our inner being make us the lords of karma. Indeed, the consummation of karma on one planet comes when all the elements, or energies, that enter our essence are harmoniously unified in one striving and have reached the perfection preordained for that particular planet.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 21 January, 1936