R E F I N E M E N T
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, March 19, 2013
1. Urusvati knows that refinement is a quality that is gained through the experiences of many lives. Its components are a real understanding of cooperation, fieriness of thinking, loftiness of activity, a high degree of sensitivity, love for beauty. Each of these qualities can be developed only by persistent striving.
Supermundane III, 590.
2. We always underline the concept of refinement, for it is bound up with the growth of spirit. You saw the slowness of accumulations of the spirit; similarly, refinement cannot be developed at once. The process of improvement of any machine shows how slowly perfection is gained. But realizing refinement of thought, we all must command ourselves to move with evolution; then every day becomes a day of victory.
Agni Yoga, 580.
3. A tensed psychic thought, in conjunction with the subtle feelings, gives the highest creative power. The creativeness of refined feelings is impelled by subtle energies. Only when thought is lawfully propelled into higher spheres do these strivings produce creative tensions. Therefore, the refinement of feelings and sensations is kindred to the tensed seeker of Fire. Cosmic thought can penetrate into a psychically refined consciousness. The realization of both subtle and crude assimilations will mark the first step in the progress of humanity.
Infinity II, 359.
4. It is good to be able to pray. Prayer, or spiritual communion, is the highest manifestation; but for this, mental refinement and spiritual strength are indispensable.
5. Verily, only through the refinement of receptivity can one sense Our wishes. Only the Agni Yogi in his subtleness can know all ways of attainment. Verily, everything is accessible to the higher Agni Yogi.
Infinity II, 362.
6. The Spatial Fire is assimilated by the centers of an Agni Yogi. Great is the laboratory when the subtle currents are assimilated. Who can transmit to humanity the subtle currents? Only an Agni Yogi through his high thought. If during the process of evolution instinct has developed into feeling, then refinement will lead to straight-knowledge. Each refined sensation means contact with the Spatial Fire. Therefore, only the highest Agni Yogi transmits to humanity the subtlest receptivity. The entire evolution is based on refinement.
Infinity II, 374.
7. How shall we broaden our consciousness and uplift the spirit if we do not accept the Hand of a Hierarch? Conceit very harmfully retards progress! Hence it is urgent to point out to all those who speak against extreme devotion to the Teacher that only by the force of devotion can refinement of consciousness be achieved.
8. One cannot build up the brain without refinement of the heart.
9. Self-perfectment is the most difficult achievement…. Self-perfectment is possible only through refinement of consciousness by its seeking to surround itself with worthy manifestations. Thus can consciousness protect us from small and shameful thoughts.
Fiery World I, 652.
10. Brotherhood and cooperation should assist the refinement of thinking. Refinement of thought provides a passageway to refinement of life. Refinement is also upliftment and growth.
11. The consciousness directed to Us is continually being refined. The process of refinement becomes a code of every day. Could it be admissible that the subtlest energy be turned into chaos? Everywhere it has been said, “Whoever comes unto Me shall also abide in Me.” This must be understood literally. The subtlest energy cannot be turned into amorphousness; therefore I am so concerned about refinement of consciousness. Complication by grossness only demonstrates that the heart energy has not reached a level where it is no longer threatened with drowning in the waves of chaos. One must hasten with the refining process. Each ulcer begins with the smallest decomposition of tissue. A drop of resin can make healthy the ailing tissue, but for a neglected ulcer not even a pot of resin can be of help. Create a manifestation of refinement in the very midst of life. Why only in words, or in glances, when heart energy is multiplied precisely in thoughts? The collecting of the most precious is only for the purpose of returning it. Who, indeed, would not wish to give something of the best quality? Only a cheat will try to offer something unfit or useless. One must keep watch over one's thoughts, in order to send those of the best quality.
Fiery World II, 240.
12. Contact with more subtle energies will result in a refinement of the entire way of life.
Fiery World III, 265.
13. The joy of spirit is a pledge to the Teaching. Creative work is goal-fitting when the striving spirit, aspiring toward the manifestation of Beauty, realizes Infinity. I consider that the coiled spring of refined consciousness will be strengthened by the Teaching, when it is embraced.
Agni Yoga, 621.
14. One should gather the armor of the spirit when the earth is atremor. Can the mountains be in dread and trees be in terror? Certainly they can, if their spirit is in contact with the developed consciousness of man. But can the lake rejoice and the flowers be merry? Certainly they can, if flowers even wither under the glance of man. Such is the correlation between the lowest and highest links of Hierarchy. Only a very refined spirit will find within himself the courage to acknowledge a brother even in a rock.
15. And now, I shall answer your questions. The divine Monad is to be found in every mineral, every plant, in every manifestation, as without this fiery grain there is no life. And gradually, ascending from the simple to the more complex organisms, the monad, or seed of the spirit, remains unchanged in its primary wholeness. But the emanations from this seed change according to the growth of the consciousness of the organism which has been animated by the seed. Consequently, the more complicated and refined is the organism, the richer and more subtle are the emanations of the monad.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 18 June, 1935.
16. The connection between the life of each Servant of Light and the succeeding step reveals a saturated heart striving. Indeed, people debase the feeling of love and interpret vulgarly the great law. But one must harken subtly to the great law. Thus, verily, the Yoga of the Heart brings one to the mighty summits of consciousness far more strongly and speedily than does the Mind, however refined it may be. Therefore, the great Epoch of Woman will be distinguished by greater refinement of feelings and of consciousness.
Fiery World III, 116.
17. The feeling of hopelessness which man so sharply senses gives rise to many torturing experiences. Indeed, hopelessness becomes the lot of him who lacks refined aspirations.
Fiery World III, 307.
18. One should not consider the manifestations of the Subtle World to be extraordinary. Everyone possessing a refined receptivity can under proper conditions sense the presence of the dwellers of the Subtle World.
Supermundane I, 221.
19. Urusvati knows that, at times, people unexpectedly experience unusual psychic phenomena. They may receive radio transmissions, see through solid objects, or distinguish the presence of subterranean metals.
Let us elaborate upon this seeming suddenness of experience, for nothing occurs without a cause. Even when We speak about a “sudden illumination”, it should be understood from a relative, earthly viewpoint. Although the illumination is sensed suddenly, it is the result of a lengthy process of the refinement of consciousness. Such refinement usually begins at an early age, or rather, is brought by the soul from the Subtle World.
Supermundane II, 355.
20. Earthly life is difficult for people with refined feelings, but on the other hand they can attain flights and exaltations of spirit that are not even dreamt of by most Earth-dwellers. I love a comparison that is often quoted in Buddhist writings. “A fluff of wool settling on the hand is imperceptible, but entering the eye, it causes severe pain. The palm is like an ignorant man, the eye is like a sage.”
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 19 August, 1937.
21. The refinement of receptivity will give you the possibility of penetrating into the Sanctuaries of Space, and will open the joyous path of achievement and continuous, endless ascent.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 1929.
22. Likewise, the refinement of the heart is not characterized by a sweet sentimentality, but by valor and a sense of justice. Sentimentality and justice are two opposites.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 16 January, 1935.
23. Without the development and refinement of the heart there is no progress. Therefore, in the foundation of each construction there must be laid the great magnet of the heart. Hence, the representatives of the new race will be known by the refinement of the heart--this key to all achievements.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 10 October, 1934.