T Y P E S O F P E O P L E
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, April 27, 2010 (First presented, December 11, 1975)
“Dear shopkeepers, …Poor rulers, …Cruel sages, … And you children of the crowd, …Whither are you going?”
The Call, 277
The broadest ever discrimination of human natures is available in Chapter XVI of the Bhagavad Gita, wherein the marks of him whose virtues are of a godlike character and of those who are born with demoniacal dispositions have been given. This, however, does not help us understand the wide variety of people we come across in life. The Agni Yoga Teaching goes into details and provides us with a beautiful panorama of various types of people, on the basis of their attitudes, their behavior, and, above all, their consciousnesses.
The broadest ever discrimination of human natures is available in Chapter XVI of the Bhagavad Gita, wherein the marks of Agni Yoga boldly declares, “The degrees of consciousnesses are without end, and we can still see not a few animal-like consciousnesses. … Be-ness itself is based on infinite differentiation. The whole of nature exists in multiformity and struggle—hence, its vitality and beauty. ...Indeed, nothing develops as slowly as consciousness.”
Letters of Helena Roerich II, pp. 525, 54-55, 76
Based on these postulates, Agni Yoga divides people as builders or destroyers, as seekers or deniers, and as servers of Light or darkness. Of course, there is a vast range in between, which Agni Yoga does not fail to point out, as may be seen from the following interesting fragments:
“Let us send seven servants to the market to bring some grapes. What do I see? The first has lost the money. The second has exchanged it for intoxicant wine. The third has hidden it. The fourth did not notice that the grapes were unripe. The fifth, testing their ripeness, crushed the entire cluster. The sixth chose wisely, but brushed them loose and scattered them through carelessness. The seventh brought a ripe branch and even found leaves to adorn it.” “Outside the window sounded a call. One worker ignored it with ‘Don't disturb me, I am busy!’ Another promised to come but forgot. A third came after his work was finished, but the place was already empty. A fourth was set atremble at the call, and, putting aside his tools, went forth at once with, ‘Here I am!’”
Illumination, pp. 165-166, 207
Or study these: “One desires the easiest way; another prefers the most difficult. One cannot speak but stands firmly on guard; another is eloquent and flies after his words. Some can sense the most important manifestations, but others will choose to dwell with failure.” “Some people must memorize useful counsels, whereas others know the fundamentals of Life in their hearts; ...Some understand the best means for human relations from their earliest years, whereas others must pass through a tiresome schooling in order to avoid destructive actions.”
Fiery World I, 347, 516
“At present you encounter four types of people: The first is fighting under Our Shield; the second fights without protection yet already is terminating the stream of karma; the third raves wildly, blinded by the dark veil of its fate; the fourth comprises the enemies of the Light. The first will understand your call. The second will quiver with expectancy. The third will stupidly turn the head away. And the fourth will answer you arrow for arrow.”
The Call, 424
In the above lines innumerable categories of people are mentioned and we find in other Agni Yoga books: “One person considers each hour as the last, but another is conscious of each hour as a new one and foremost.” (Fiery World II, 453)
“...the first prefer to exploit the labor of others, whereas the second like to attain by themselves.” (Aum, 587)
“...Some will create something great even out of a small suggestion, others will create a repulsive image even out of a beautiful vision.”
(Hierarchy, 403) And so on and on.
Now the important point is that it is accepted by Agni Yoga that “People live under the dominion of various potentials.” (Fiery World III, 28)
“Let us not wonder and condemn variety. We shall not find even two like grains of sand. On the contrary, let us rejoice at each unusual approach. The flowers choose for themselves a suitable soil.” (Agni Yoga, 612)
“Precisely this incalculable diversity helps the individual experiences of the spirit.”
Fiery World II, 452
Moreover, “Creation has its place even among the dark ones. ...Each one by himself, each in his own way. ...Each one fulfills a step of the ascension and bears what is assigned. ...The image of man is created by the energy of mankind ...By measuring the ways of men canst thou gain wisdom.” (The Call, 186, 404, 226, 16, 164)
But, though “every one is at liberty to determine his own destiny and even his final disintegration,” (Fiery World I, 185) yet “Man is responsible not only for himself but for the multitude of consciousnesses.”
Agni Yoga, 554
True, “Crowds have never created; their destiny has been to destroy.” (Letters of Helena Roerich I, p. 501) and yet, “The crowd must be taught to work in spirit.” (Illumination, p. 235)
True, “Human nature is a sealed book!” (Letters of Helena Roerich I, p. 486) and yet, “Let people acquire an understanding of man's nature. They will apprehend the nature of Service. They will grasp the joy of the Beautiful. They will acquire that simple truth which transforms life into a miracle.” (The Call, 356) True, “Each manifestation of life is filled with poison created by human society.” (Fiery World III, 339) and yet, “Ponder upon how to be more intelligible to humanity.” Illumination, p. 119
Very true, “There can be bipeds almost without consciousness.” (Agni Yoga, 615) “The crimes of people and their numbness of spirit have created such emanations around our planet that the salutary rays are unable to reach it. …People are blind and deaf!” “Lukewarm followers, like an amorphous mass, remain with nothing, and recalling to mind the apocalyptic statement, they are truly spewed out of the mouth of time.” (Letters of Helena Roerich II, pp. 40, 481) And yet, and yet, Agni Yoga teaches, “The soul of a people is an open book....Therefore, the study of a people is a science.” (Aum, 232) “Not on paper but in the heart is it necessary to know just what the people need.” (Brotherhood, 143) “What a vast quantity of wondrous fire is hidden in the contact with simple people.” Letters of Helena Roerich II, p. 464
Therefore, we are enjoined, “One should learn to penetrate into the consciousnesses, the hearts, and moods of all those who surround and come to us; it is necessary to feel the fundamental undertone upon which one can be united with them and unite them with others.” “One must learn to meet every person as the x in the problem, yet at the same time one must not admit an iniquitous contempt and indifference. ...Discrimination of people is one of the major qualities required on the path. It is very difficult and brings many bitter moments, but we must steel our courage and will and discipline our emotions.” “Our forces grow from our contact with people. Each exchange of thoughts, each collaboration enriches our consciousness, and confrontations and comparisons also teach us and at the same time strengthen our self-confidence.” Letters of Helena Roerich II, pp. 188, 346, 397
To be sure, “The human mechanism is complex—a special conscious evolution. From the moment of inception of consciousness there is no common evolution. All is constructed upon an infinite variety of species ...and only an especially enlightened mind can penetrate into the structure of the evolution of man.” “Hence, the path of the world evolution proceeding under your eyes requires different conditions, and the time is coming when psychic forces must be strongly restricted for the sake of the spirit. For the last decade the lower strata of nature have taken possession of the lower psychic manifestations to such an extent that a danger to evolution is arising.” (Illumination, pp. 149, 129) Consequently, we find, “Humanity comments in its own way on each ordained affirmation. It distorts in its own way each Covenant from Above. It applies each great principle to life in its own way. It asserts each manifested Will in its own way.” Hierarchy, 273
Agni Yoga, therefore, says, “Advancing the consciousness is as difficult as moving a mountain.” (Fiery World III, 370) “Men have sunk into lethargy but lightning will illumine their path; and thunder will arouse the slumberers.” (The Call, 29) This is an assurance.
Agni Yoga, therefore, tells the disciple that, “The knocking ones, the menacing and the oppressive ones, they must come; and he must meet them.” “Be not downcast but full of hope,” because “new, new, new ones, beautiful ones, sensitive ones, exalted ones, will be assembled.” (The Call, 345, 1, 207) This, again, is an assurance.