C.W.L. Q And A, Talks At St Michael’s, No. 12


C. W. Leadbeater at St. Michael’s

27th April 1918
These articles are typed copies of C.W.L. talks delivered at St. Michael’s in Sydney during 1918.
Each copy is stamped “Dr. Mary Rocke, 4 Raymond Rd. Neutral Bay” and carries a form of personalised cataloguing marks at the bottom of the page, such as “C.W.L.  M-1″ in handwriting. The collection does not appear to be complete.
Difference between Low Mass and High Mass – Are all  Angels good? – Influence sent out from the Sacrament – The Lord is working over all  – Does the LORD MAITREYA pay attention to individuals? – The Christ is both a Master and a member of the Hierarchy, and yet again He is the Second Person of the Trinity – Does the KING represent one of the Rays? – Are there other ways of evolution? – Can we escape our karma? – Effect of censing on the Angel Hosts – Censing similar to the Invocation, similar in Masonry.

Q. The Preface calls up the Angel Host; in Low Mass we do not sing it; what is the difference between Low Mass and High Mass?


What is the difference between a little Oratory and a Cathedral? The thought-form built is the same in shape, but not all the same in size and in richness. The Low Mass is so to speak the minimum; you build the accurate thought-form and you draw upon the reservoir, and if the Priest’s personal relation with the Christ is strong he vivifies that and draws through it. Of course you radiate an influence upon the household and generally all round you, but naturally a High Mass is a thing on a very much grander scale. You will draw the necessary representative angels because you use the words and you think the thought, only you do not sing, but you send out the thought and that will surely draw them. After all Angels are very much like human beings. There are some very high and very much developed; there are others who though splendid and beautiful and beyond what we call evil, are not yet so highly developed. You get a bigger crowd with a High Mass than with a Low Mass and so you would on the astral plane or the mental plane.

Q. Are all those Angels good?


All Angels are good by the hypothesis, otherwise you would have a different name for them. Some may be more developed and more intelligent than others. You call together a vast crowd and they carry your force in all directions. Your Low Mass draws a few and they do their work nobly and beautifully, but your edifice is merely as it were, a plain form in with glorious decoration and with all kinds of enlargements and beautification of all different sorts by adding to it the effect of music. Also undoubtedly the devotion of a very large number of people added to that of the Priest calls down a larger response than one spear of devotion would call, so that there is a great difference in that way too.

Q. Is the influence sent out from the Sacrament the same in Low Mass as in High Mass?


The nature and quality of the influence is always the same, but the quantity may be greater when the devotion is greater. You remember the spire of devotion in “Man, Visible and Invisible”, that blue spire that shoots up – the height and the brilliancy of it  would mark the intensity of devotion. So you might easily have a big fat spire of devotion which was nevertheless rather short and barrel-like and not very brilliant in colour. That would mean a great mass of rather ignorant devotion, or accustomed matter-of-fact devotion; devotion not very keenly felt, but because it was the custom, because it was the thing to feel devotion at that time, whereas if you have really keen strong feeling you shoot up a great spear of light, and if you have a number of people who will join you in that then you have something which is also large as well as keen and bright. Then the down-pouring is greater because it is in proportion to the upward rush.

Q. I have noticed curious differences at Low Mass. Sometimes everything is velvety and peaceful and at other times it seems to work mechanically. Is that due to the people present or to the priest?


All those factors would come in but also it depends very largely on the need. Don’t you remember an example or rather an analogy that I suggested some days ago. The sunlight is pouring out everywhere all round force – it becomes light and heat only where it is needed. In the same way the amount of force drawn through you would depend upon your own devotion, upon the number of people you had with you, but also there might be great need somewhere in the neighbourhood for which help could be drawn through your Mass. If there were some great need close by you, advantage would be taken of your Mass to supply the force and help.

Q. Would that be the Master’s work?


Not exactly the Master’s work, but the Lord’s work. The Masters have Their special departments apportioned to Them. The Lord is working over all, overseeing it all, and putting in a hand now and then when He sees something which He thinks is not sufficiently or satisfactorily dealt with by the ordinary channels. And so you see always the factor of the need must be taken into account. I mean you will find that a Mass in some of the very poor parts of a town is a very great drain upon you. I think that is simply because opportunity is taken and used. It ought not, strictly speaking, to be a drain on you, but it is hardly human not to avoid giving a little of yourself along with what passes through you. You can hardly help it; though it may be very little, in the aggregate it is quite enough to make you feel tired.

Q. Does the LORD MAITREYA pay attention to individuals, so as to help them in that way?


A great many things which you would estimate individual needs would not be so considered from His point of view. You must not quite get the idea of the Protestant theory of Providence – of God always wanting to interfere. He has set great laws in motion, and broadly speaking He leaves evolution to the working of those laws, but the Entities charged with the administration of the laws are not only intelligent entities, but within their own little purview, almost omniscient and they do wield these forces, They do watch their application, not in the least from our point of view, but from the point of view of evolution as a whole, doing that which in Their judgment is best for the evolution of the people concerned. But, you see, we have to eliminate from our minds the idea that the thing is being arranged as we should like it, because quite frankly it is not in the least. That is not taken into account. What is best for each person, taking into account the possibilities, is done. Mind, no man liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. We are not each living alone in a jungle, but we are all living together, and therefore often what would be absolutely the best for one person cannot be fully carried out, because of the way in which he would influence a number of other people. Therefore a certain amount of balancing has to be done. A man may have the opportunity of working out a certain amount of karma by a single action, but it might be that if that thing happened to him it might involve his wife and family – a number of people who did not deserve that karma. So he may be allowed to pay off only a certain amount to avoid involving them, and the rest of it he may pay off in other ways. The Lords of Karma can always get at you, you cannot possibly elude Them. If They don’t get you in one way They get you in another – They are very resourceful, quite painfully resourceful. So what you call being helped may not always be what you think you need.

I am afraid a great many of our people are very hazy in all their thoughts about such things. They are all full of beautiful sentiment and affection and so on, and they say: “O, poor fellow, why should he have a bad time?” But the bad time belongs to something he did long ago, and if it did not come in this form, it might come later on in a form which would not be so much  to his advantage. Truly our business is to try to help and to minimise all the evils we see around us. We must try to do that; the effort is good for us and for the person whom we try to help, but if your efforts are made and you cannot help, then you know you have come up against a piece of karma which is in some way best for the person. But that is not your business; that is the business of the Lords of Karma. Your business is to help, and you must go ahead and do what you can. If you cannot help in that particular case, well, the Lords of Karma have been too many for you that time, but go ahead and do something else. They know the karma of the people and we do not, so when you talk about people being helped you must not quite understand it in our sense of the word.

We know so little that the only thing which is safe for us to do is to go ahead and try to help in every way we possibly can; in every direction we can, the outcome does not matter. What matters is that we should have the kindly wish to help and that we should do our best. So when you talk about the need of help, it is not always greatest where we think it is greatest. We shall save ourselves time and trouble if we find ourselves able to accept that as a fact in nature. Before you can do so, you will probably need to see two or three instances of such work, but meantime those who have studied the thing will, I think, agree in telling you that the evidence is overwhelming “that He who doeth all things doeth all things well.” And that the best that is possible is being done in all cases even though the results seem to us so dreadful very often. They may be, and yet any other arrangement would be worse. Each unit gets entire justice in time. He does not always receive the full meed of his evil deeds at once, because it might involve his wife and children. They may not have deserved all this, and so things are arranged with exceeding skill, and the more you know about it the more you will feel that you can trust the arrangements. In the meantime it often looks on the surface as though the wicked flourished like the green bay tree, but in the long run he doesn’t.

Q. The Christ is spoken of as a Master and as member of the Hierarchy, and yet again He is referred to as practically the Second Person of the Trinity. Can you trace for us that mystical connection so that we can explain to others the relationship?


I don’t think that is a thing which I can start out to explain. The thing is on too high a level for us to understand it. Certain things about it we can see, but I think that only He Himself can thoroughly understand. At least there are certain things that are clear. Perhaps, though we cannot understand we might yet come a little nearer towards understanding the line along which the explanation lies. I suppose you have all read the story of the Three Outpourings. You all know how that is managed. It is said that in the beginning there was Brahman, the Absolute, alone. We don’t know anything about it. That is rather assumed in Indian Philosophy than known. You cannot know, but so far as it is possible to image the thing in words – which are all wrong – to lower planes, we can only say that somehow into that infinity the Logos unfolded Himself, somehow within that He came to be. Somehow that One divided, as it were, into two, the Active and the Passive. “Father Mother spin a web” – force and matter, if you like, spirit and matter. It doesn’t matter what you call it. It conveys nothing anyhow. But Subba Rao once put it with all cautions to us, that when the First Logos thus arose, wakened Himself and drew Himself together as it were, then when He looked back upon Parabrahman, from which He came, He saw cast over it a sort of diaphanous veil, a kind of garment and that was Mulaprakriti, the First Root of Matter. Then the interaction between that spirit and matter makes all the rest. Whatever may be the ultimate source we certainly finde these two things existing – spirit and matter, if you like that word better. The whole business is further complicated by the fact that what we call matter is the absence of the only reality; for all that we think of as matter, all these things are built out of bubbles in the koilon in the original ether of space, and so all our matter is like the (?) which is made up of waves. These bubbles are blown by the breath of God. Of course that breath is within them, so that matter also is divine, but so far as any sense we can bring to bear upon them goes, those bubbles appear empty. Nevertheless they are held apart by some divine force. They have not been made by one manifestation of divine force. They are immediately welded and acted upon as bubbles by another kind of divine force. That is the first case in which the Holy Ghost moved upon the waters of space, and the divine breath was sent forth. That is His out-breathing which causes all this to come into existence. When He in-breathes matter ceases to exist. But this is before any outpouring – this is some primitive stage of which we know nothing. Certainly the Three Outpourings are going on still only at a much lower level than what I am speaking of at the moment. Now it is probable that those bubbles are the breath of some very high Logos – some very high Holy Ghost, because you have to realise that all these influences are true at different levels, and when we are dealing with all that surrounds us we are dealing with outpourings from the Logos of our own Solar System, whereas the bubbles are probably blown by some far higher Logos. There are many stages higher than the Logos of our solar system. He is a sun of the fourth order. Higher than He is the Logos of the third, then of the second and of the first. That is only of this universe and there may be an infinity of universes. Coming down to the Logos of our own system, of Him it is true all that you ever heard of God that is good. Not the blasphemous things they teach about Him – that he is jealous and cruel – none of that is true, but all that is good, His omniscience, His omnipresence, His eternal love and power and wisdom. All these things are true of the Logos of the solar system. His Third Aspect is to us the Holy Ghost, the Third Aspect of the Blessed Trinity. He pours down into space which already contains these bubbles and blows them into atoms. He only makes the chemical elements; He does not combine them. I do not know why He does not, but that is His will. He is still making them. He is making new elements now in the interior of the earth, or perhaps it is more correct to say that His representative is making them, but it is being done by His force. Meantime the Second Aspect of the Logos pours Himself down; pours His life down, not merely to operate upon these things but definitely to ensoul them — to make for Himself forms out of these elements which have been called into existence. You know how that outpouring comes in great sweeps from plane to plane, from kingdom to kingdom. All this is given in our books, but it is intensely interesting. You know how the animal and the human are joined by the Third Outpouring. Then the Holy Grail is filled with the blood of God, with the Divine wine which symbolises that perfect life. And so the soul of man comes into existence, he being an off-shoot of a Monad. There are your Three Outpourings. Now the title of Christ has been given to the Second Person of the Logos. He has sacrificed Himself for us by His descent into matter; He has laid aside His robe and His kingly crown and He has descended into earth here and put on the robe of flesh, the veil of matter. He has descended as the Creed puts it into the dense sea of matter — what the Creed calls Pontius Pilate. From Pontius the sea, and pilates heaped together, dense. He suffered within that dense sea, is buried within it, even now, this Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Only “having made this universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain”.Therefore, God is immanent and also transcendent.

Therefore you can see that it is true of that Second Person of the Trinity that He is both God and man. (If we say that part of Him we give you a wrong impression; the Indians get out of it by talking about His being reflected in matter. That is also wrong, because it is much more than reflected, it is an actual presence. He is therefore both God outside of matter and man within matter, and yet just as much divine in the matter though not showing the whole of His divinity. That is the first idea of God and man; this divine essence of Himself which has brought us into being is through us rising back again into Himself. Now the culmination, the highest point of that is the Bodhisattva. Our Lord Gautama Buddha was the first human being of our humanity to reach the level of Buddhahood. The twenty-four previous Buddhas were all Adepts from Venus. Perhaps not all from Venus, but all from outside the earth. The Lord Gautama was the first of our humanity to take that  position. The Lord Maitreya worked with Him side by side, and stood aside only to allow the Lord Gautama to go on and perfect His work and become a Buddha in so doing. He has passed His examination and ceased to belong to the College. He is no longer technically human at all. He has passed beyond; He is now at that very much higher stage. The Lord Maitreya is the head and front of humanity now, the highest living man, so that He represents the highest point of this outpouring back to God. He is the spear point of humanity rising back again. He represents the very highest point going back. Now the going back (going back is really an illusion because we have never gone away) – the divine in us here and now is just as much God as it was before all the worlds began, as it will be when all the worlds have ended; its latent possibilities are only in process of being unfolded. Through us He is unfolding; it is very difficult to put into words. If I say a little more I am misleading you; if I say an additional aspect of Himself I am giving an idea which is not justified, and yet if I said He is reflected in us I would be misleading you worse still on the other side, because there is no part and no division, and it is all one all the time) but quite frankly I do think that that aspect is beyond any clear and practical grasp of our minds. We sense on the higher level, buddhically perhaps, that there is this utter unity and that we all are God now as much as ever we could be, but yet not fully unfolded, all there but not yet unfolded. As I told you that is where the misunderstanding lies. That is metaphysics, superphilosophy, and it is not my line in the very least. Besides I cling strongly to the Buddhist teaching that where we cannot understand, though it is good for us to try to understand because by doing so we are developing the causal body, yet we must not be in the least worried if we do not succeed in a task which is beyond our level. There will come a time when we shall know even as now we are known, as it is said in the Scriptures, but that time is not yet. The higher one reaches up the more thoroughly one realises that one has never come down. I know it is unintelligible; I have had some of these experiences, but words fail – I cannot describe them to you. I can only tell you this, and you have to take it as a statement and weigh it along with other statements, that I have been able to attain conditions of consciousness in which I have seen what seems to be to be that unity. I know perfectly well, not by my feeling but by my other intellectual knowledge that what seemed to me to be that was only the outermost fringe of that unity, and I know that from that when I can attain it permanently I shall pass on to far greater realisations, because there is no end to the expansion of consciousness that we know of. You pass on from glory to glory, rising ever higher and higher, and at each point there seems that there could be nothing higher and yet there is. I do not see any end to that vista of ever increasing power and wisdom and beatitude and knowledge. There may be an end — I don’t know. A great philosopher once said that neither were thinkable — that there should be an end, or that there should not. I cannot guarantee you eternity but I can guarantee you many millions of years of steady progress, carrying you beyond anything you have ever thought of as God. That can be guaranteed, but whether finally there is an end I do not know, and frankly I don’t care. The millions of years which lie ahead of me are all that I am interested in.

I have been able to reach such heights of unity as I have told you. I have been able and I know one other here among us who has been able once at any rate, to rise high enough to see the Logos as Himself; so that that much at least we know. We know this thing to be so, but if we have done that how much more has the Lord Maitreya done, Who is the very forefront of all humanity. How infinitely closer must be His union with the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity because He is on that Ray which goes back to the Second Person of the Logos, therefore is He one with that; one with that altogether beyond our power to grasp any difference.  There is, of course, this humanity drawn up to the deity, and if you realise that you will see that there is another sense in which it may be said of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity that He is God and Man, not only man but God because He has put Himself down into humanity, but man because that forefront of humanity is drawing back again into the Godhead. And that is the meaning of the words in the Athanasian Creed, that He is One, not by the bringing down of the Godhead into man, but by the taking of the manhood into God. He only of humanity has taken back His humanity to that stage of approach to the Godhead, therefore He is an expression of that Second Person of the Blessed Trinity to a degree and in a way that is quite beyond our grasp — that is altogether out of touch with anything we can think. But you can see that must be if you realise how near He is drawn on His way back, and so in that sense also Christ is God and man, and He is the Christ, the chosen, the anointed. But there have been many Christs. He is holding that office of Christ now and is for us that Representative, and there is the reason though not an excuse for the theory of Christ and a Mediator. Christ is a link between God and Man, not a Mediator in the sense of begging the Deity to behave like a gentleman for once.

Through Him we can draw nearer to the divine than we can in any other way, only through Him not as the Head of the Christian religion alone but through Him as the Head of any other religion. He is the head of all religions and not of one. We have not a monopoly, but as He said “By whatever paths men come to Me on those paths do I meet them”. But there is this method appointed for us; this method we have received from Him, and it is well that we should avail ourselves of this scheme which He has appointed. He has invented this particular scheme of the sacraments, of the Priesthood and Bishoprics and so on. That is His latest scheme; He may add to it in some way when He comes to the world again. He may modify it in some way, or he may give some entirely new scheme. Even if He does there will be plenty of room through His other religions, Buddhism, Hinduism. So will He continue pouring I am sure, through His scheme of the Christian Church.

Q. Does the KING represent one of the Rays?


The KING is the manifestation of the First Ray. He is the governing power, but you do not go back through the governing power in your link through the appointed way — through the middle way of the Second Person. The KING is not of our humanity; the KING is an Adept from Venus. This is the way appointed for us, but we shall join together at the end as a Heavenly Man, and that Heavenly Man will someday become a Planetary Spirit, and that Planetary Spirit will become a Logos; and the Heavenly Man and the Planetary Spirit and the Logos will each of them have a three-fold aspect, Three Persons which must never be confounded, and there is also one substance which must never be divided. But no one can ever understand that. That is the doctrine of the Trinity. That is as near as we can get towards any understanding.

Therefore you see besides thinking of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity as descending and becoming human for us, we can also think of humanity reaching up into the Second Person in the Person of the Christ, and so that word Christ, the Chosen or the Anointed, has also been applied to the Second Person of the Trinity, because They become indistinguishable from below. He knows the differences, but the forces flow to us through Him, and so you would be quite in order if you regarded the Second Person as God along with the other Aspects, but also as man in the person of the Bodhisattva. So that your God and man might be the Second Person undescended and the Bodhisattva. You can take it from that point of view, or you can take the descended part as the man, but in any case they are not two but one Christ, and as it says in the Creed not by the bringing down of the Godhead into man, but by taking of the manhood into God. I do not mean to say that it is clear or that it can ever be made clear, but you yourselves are witnesses to the fact every time you draw down that power into you. That power is divine power and it comes into you through the Christ. So there is the evidence of the thing, though we cannot perhaps explain its working up there. Down here we can, but up there we cannot. Mystery surrounds us everywhere when we try to push beyond these things which are definitely beyond such powers as we have now — our physical senses, our astral and mental grasp. We can sense some things vaguely in the buddhic body, but we soon come to the limit of what we can really understand. There is a great deal which one feels with certain intuition to be quite true, but one cannot prove it. Only that does not matter. We can see and can prove to ourselves quite enough to show that the line along which we are moving is a right line — not for a moment the only right line, but a right line, and so long as we can see that clearly and be sure of the next step we know by past experience that the steps ahead of us will be made clear. Fifty years ago I knew nothing whatever of all the things that during that half century I have been learning along these lines. That is, certainly not in my physical brain, but bit by bit, step by step, they have come to me. I have followed them, and reasoning from that analogy and seeing people standing on higher rungs of the ladder all the way up, I hold that the same thing will happen to me in the future as in the past. That as I am able to advance the future steps will become clear; just as these first steps have become clear which were at first wrapped in mystery. One imagines, and surely one is right in imagining, that the way will continue to clear. Those who have ad the experience tell us that that is so.

Q. Are there other ways of evolution?


You can break away from the Logos altogether. In the Chaldean people did that and went to Sirius. For myself I do not think I am built on those lines. I should be very curious to know what I could about the Sirius civilization, but I do not want to transfer myself there. This solar system is our mother-land; we came forth from this Logos; I think I should feel that I was deserting the family if I tried to leave them, and then, secondly, there is a reason for all these things and if we are born in this solar system it would almost seem that that was the place which would be best for us.

Q. Would we escape our karma?


No, karma is the law of all systems. It might take you longer perhaps, but the experience you would get in overcoming that difficulty would be so much added power. We talk about putting ourselves back; perhaps it would hardly do that; it would give us an additional, perhaps a superfluous kind of power; a kind not necessary for us yet. But I don’t know anything about it, and it is not one of my ambitions. I am quite convinced myself that those who are running the universe know more than we do, and if they have put me into this solar system They probably mean me to get all the advantage out of it that I can. But then I am conservative by nature.

Q. In that portion of the incensing where we say “May Thy Holy Angels encompass Thy people” there are two things I should like to know. First of all should that be said while the censing is going on or should we finish the censing and then say it, and what is the effect upon the Angel Hosts.


I would myself hold the censer and say it afterwards. I do not think that is a matter of any importance. I always fix my attention very strongly while I am censing. I would rather stand and hold the censer and say the words afterwards. I keep a definite thought in my mind while I am censing, and if I were also saying those words I should feel that I was saying them with my lips and meaning something else all the time.

Q. Are they supposed to have an effect similar to the Invocation?


Yes you ask them to encompass your people. There are always angels in attendance on the Host — so special Presence as that would never go anywhere unattended. All through the Mass you are building a form and drawing force into it and radiating out that force. That is just the same in Masonry and you can be useful in each if you remember that it is not for yourself but for others that you are joining an organisation which exists to do good. You must join it to do good to others and not to receive a benefit for yourself. You will receive the benefit, but the less you think about the benefit you are receiving, and the more you think about the help you are able to give the better for yourself and for the organisation which you wish to help.  It is truly more blessed to give than to receive. I think we know that among ourselves here; I do not know whether we can get our congregation to realise it.

Can we set on foot any kind of propaganda, something by which we could get more and more of our people really to understand and to feel and consequently to do what is necessary in spreading the force.