E M P T I N E S S A N D I N F I N I T E L I F E
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, December 20, 2011
1. When you observe nagging thoughts, you may notice that usually they are of the most everyday nature. They may be called a product of the Earth, but in spite of their small significance, they attempt to contend with the greatest ideas. One should carefully cleanse the brain of these unbidden guests. Indeed, there is a time for everything. One may be making all progress, but it should be remembered that small worms may succeed in boring through a very strong tree. Particularly do they love to undermine the anchor of confidence. Beside mistrust, one may also admit obscuring thoughts. It is terrible to lose confidence--it is almost like the loss of communion. When suddenly, instead of communion, a mute emptiness breaks in, this is surely an abyss!
Fiery World II, 100
2. There is no such thing as emptiness; yet often people sense, as it were, a semblance of emptiness. What can such an anxious sensation mean? Of course, it is not without foundation. With their thinking people poison their surroundings and transform them into chaos. The so-called feeling of emptiness is really a sensing of chaos. In itself chaos is not emptiness at all, but it is so far removed from the human consciousness that its approach already constitutes a loss of the guiding principle. Such a deadly principle is sensed as emptiness, and in it is contained no small danger; equilibrium is disturbed, and suicides and various kinds of insanity occur. Not emptiness nor chaos, but mean thinking causes the stupid poisoning of the atmosphere. Besides, such thinkers infect their surroundings and thus strike at their neighbors.
Fiery World II, 266
3. Who, then, will presume to say that emptiness does exist? Yet so often is this word repeated in ignorance that people become accustomed to it from childhood. It is difficult to extricate meaningless words from the language, yet such a cleansing is imperative; otherwise consciousness will become obstructed with rubbish.
Fiery World III, 583
4. It is necessary to overcome the feeling of the void. Behind this illusion crawls much that is harmful; irresponsibility appears, and the maya of plunging into emptiness results, followed by dissolution in it. But then, what about the seeds that are indissoluble? From the realization of them will be built up an understanding of the space being completely filled. Such a condition will be the basis of responsibility. Thus, let us begin with the seed of spirit and then broaden the thought to include all space.
5. One can actually accustom oneself to the realization of the saturation of space. A poor consciousness is reconciled to an illusory emptiness, but from such emptiness is born emptiness of consciousness. Living in emptiness, people become irresponsible, yet any irresponsibility is falsehood. Life in falsehood is a cringing before darkness. Let the most primitive microscope assist us in realizing that space is filled. It is amply full. It is instructive to observe how the tiniest micro-organisms are in contact with the Subtle World. The most intense conflict is taking place for the purification of space. These almost undetectable impacts lead to grave commotions. The microcosm contends with the Macrocosm. Such a confrontation sounds improbable, yet equally mysterious is the borderline between the manifested and chaos.
6. Beyond all demarcations, we inevitably reach the synthesis of the heart. We need not recall that silence issues from the intermingling of all sounds. Hence, let us learn to coordinate the heart with silence. But this silence will not be emptiness; it will suffuse space with the synthesis of thought. Just as the prayer of the heart has no need of words, so the silence that is pregnant needs no formulas. Intense silence demands many cumulations of thought and benign desires. Thus, the heart, intensified by silence, replete as a dynamo, beats out the rhythm of the Universe, and personal desires are transmuted into the guiding Universal Will. Thus is cooperation with the distant worlds evolved.
7. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (St. Matthew 7:22, 23) Thus can one hope for happiness and for justification when saying, “the General Good is just empty words”? Such a man will be left empty, for, verily, emptiness is in his heart and head. Christ and the General Good are synonymous.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 17 January, 1936
8. Those uninformed in Great Service may even complain of the difficulty of such an achievement. But those in contact with it already cannot conceive of existence without it. A frightful emptiness appears, it seems, when there is no application of one's forces for Common Good. Without communion with Hierarchy a terrible darkness closes in from all sides. Without Great Service, life itself, like a wilting blossom, loses its meaning. The Fiery World is intangible, and the very concept of it, instead of being attractive, appears menacing. Equilibrium is established by great measures, but affirmation of the Shield of Hierarchy comes after the dedication of oneself to Great Service. The spirit decides its own fate. Without any stipulations the spirit itself determines its sacrifice. The dimension of the sacrifice is decided in the heart. No one can force an enlargement of the offering, but much joy is felt from a sacrifice which is not diminished. The Teacher advises to recognize one's potentialities according to the sacrifice voluntarily accepted by the heart. How great is the law of such good-will! It determines the future, from small to big, and up to great events!
Fiery World II, 247
9. Broad is the domain of humanity; at its summit it touches the Higher World in the person of heroes, of great Spiritual Toilers; at its base it produces a cosmic dust which forms the stones of the neighboring planets. Enormous is the distance between a great Spiritual Toiler already illumined by the Light of the Higher World, and the dusty dregs. In view of the fact that a potential of basic energy has been given to each man, it is difficult to conceive how contrarily people have dealt with his great gift. The very imagination can hardly encompass such a chasm. People regard that which is unpleasant to them as difficult and that which causes them no trouble as easy; out of such conventionality open up yawning abysses. People are not accustomed to keeping the Higher World in their consciousness, yet it is not difficult to replace the feeling of emptiness with infinite life. How much more beautiful is realization of the Higher World than the casting of oneself into stony fetters! Why begin all over again when it is possible to ascend infinitely?
10. Urusvati can attest to how empty life is without communion with Us, if one has been previously connected with the Brotherhood. It is often necessary to feel support and to compare one's decisions with Principles already verified by long experience. The Teaching itself comes to life when it is linked with its Source. It is cold and gloomy to walk alone between hostile camps. Of course, the Subtle World dispels loneliness, but it is immeasurably more encouraging and helpful when one is aware of Our Abode. Not in Infinity is the Stronghold revealed, but here. Even those who do not know the exact location of the Abode can turn in its direction, and this direction is given by the striving thought…. A powerful magnet is developed from heart to heart, and such an attraction can be strong, even physically. The attraction to Our Heart can increase so greatly that it would be impossible to restrain it. This is called “the Fiery Chariot.” Such fiery sensations require great harmony, otherwise they can turn into a chaotic whirlwind. He who knows about Us will not be rejected. His thoughts are known to Us, and great is his relief when he realizes that there is no reason to hide them. He knows that each kind thought strengthens the link with Us; without words, simply by a deep tremor of the heart, every kind sending reaches Us. There can be unnecessary appeals because of inexperience, but harmony and devotion establish true cooperation. We rejoice when the step of true cooperation is reached; then the smallest sign is understood. Wise brevity is appreciated and one might say, “Our joy is your joy.”
Supermundane I, 60
11. The despair of spiritual emptiness before the anointing was well known to the initiates into the mysteries of Isis. On the night of the anointment the neophyte was locked in a special chamber where he emptied the full chalice of despair and rent his garments, enduring a mortal anguish in spirit. Before dawn he sank into a stupor, and at daybreak, when the sun illumined the pylons of the temple and the priests intoned the morning prayer, the High Priest unlocked the door, awakened the neophyte, and led him into a dazzling hall, where he received his new name and was reborn in exaltation of the spirit.
Illumination, II: IX: 13
12. Verily one should accept the symbol of the Summit as the goal in the ascent of the spirit. Each disciple should remember that avoiding of the Summit leads the traveller away from the path. Each excessive burden will hinder the traveller. The Summit is sharp-pointed, and each needless attachment to the earthly world brings the traveler to a halt. It is difficult to halt on the slope, so let us remember about the Summit when beginning the ascent. It is difficult to reach the Summit if the spirit does not grasp the fundamentals of Hierarchy. Thus, on the Fiery Path there is no loneliness nor emptiness; only a breaking away from the earthly world and an irresistible attraction toward the Fiery World.
Fiery World III, 22