C. W. Leadbeater at St. Michael’s
30th 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.
Angels who accompany the Consecrated Host – Vitalising properties of the wafer – Look at an unconsecrated wafer – Astral, Mental and Buddhic counterparts form a line – The Angel of the Presence – Special use of having the candles on the Altar.
Q. Will you tell us a little about the Angels who always accompany the Consecrated Host, and what they do?
The Angel of the Presence comes at the consecration and shifts this bundle of wires. Do you all understand what takes place at the Consecration? You tell them C ……
As I understand it, every physical element in the universe and therefore the chemical elements which go to make up the wafer are linked up with the higher planes; just what those lines are I do not understand. Each physical element having its link with the counterparts of it in the astral, mental and higher worlds, and at the time of consecration, these lines are shut to one side, and another set of lines takes their place, so that one changes the inner nature of the physical elements themselves.
Yes, you may take it that that line is turned aside and instead there comes that line of fire, a line of lightning standing still.
Q. Is it possible that the vitalising properties as food of the wafer have been affected by that tremendous change?
No, those principles depend upon the physical constituents – the carbon and nitrogen – they are still there, but they have no longer astral, mental, buddhic and nirvanic counterparts of carbon and nitrogen. All that is turned aside, and instead of that the life of the Logos in a special fiery form takes the place of those counterparts. The physical nutrition would come from the physical elements and the physical elements are still there.
Q. When you look at an unconsecrated wafer, how do these counterparts appear?
The physical wafer is a piece of bread, differing from other bread in certain ways. I do not know how it differs from the technical point of view, but I know there is a difference in the appearance of it. I should say that particular care is taken to see that the constituents are pure. For one thing it is a less complicated thing than ordinary bread. There is also the presence of bone dust and yeast and a minute fungoid growth which appears in ordinary bread. I am talking now about the clairvoyant appearance of the thing, and often there are a great many things in ordinary bread such as minute fungoid growths, and other chemicals which are not in the Host. So far as I have seen, I should think that the wafer was very much drier. Now every physical thing has astral, mental and buddhic counterparts all the way up, and taking these counterparts together, they are, as it were, lines, and they are connected with elements. They look like any other elements.
Q. How do they form a line?
The line is best thought of as being a chain of beads – a counterpart in each plane. They are one within the other, but yet if you look at that not from your physical point of view but from other dimensions you would see that these things lie beside one another as well as within one another, and you get the effect certainly of a line. It is enough of a line for the Logos to pour His force out through it and it is continuous, because the lowest of one plane touches the highest in the plane below it. So they are not really beads unless you take them separately. If you were to make the Logos separate in space and higher than all these things through which He manifests you have to manage some such arrangement as that. In reality He interpenetrates everything and everything is in Him, but it is not thinkable in that way. You do not get so clearly this image of what is brushed aside by the Angel of the Presence as if you think of the thing as a bundle of lines or wires running up from the wafer to the Logos; there would be one of them to each. If you want to analyse the thing, it is complicated because every atom has its connection with the Logos. These are not brushed aside because they exist equally in the fire. It is down those that the fire flows. It comes down from within each atom; the life of the Logos always comes from within. It boils up from the middle. You do not see how it gets there, but that is because it comes in from another dimension. It is along that line that this particular fire comes. This is the purely mechanical side of it. But the lines that represent carbon, nitrogen and oxygen appear to belong to both sets. I take it that perhaps oxygen is more closely associated with Him.
You know perhaps that hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, are different in shape from all the other elements. They are different in constitution and appearance and we have been told that they really belong to another set. At any rate a different set from these others in some way. I mean apparently, or perhaps I had better say probably they may have some other connection with Him. That is a matter of Occult Chemistry which we have not looked up. I think it will be very interesting to look it up because that other line may be rather the first outpouring. I don’t know.
Q. Are the wafer and wine chosen because of their chemical constituents?
Whatever that choice is, it is not special to Christianity. We know so little about Occult Chemistry, and there are so many pitfalls and mysteries on every side.
Q. You started to tell us about the Angel of the Presence?
Yes, the fire of the divine life comes more directly into it. The divine life is in everything, but this is a very special development of it brought down from higher levels. That which belongs to higher levels is made available through the physical instrument. As soon as that fire flashes out it makes a tremendous radiation, like the appearance of a star, like a flash of lightning, if the flash of lightning persisted. From any known physical point of view it is as much brighter than the conditions previously existing as that would be. That instantly attracts certain beings of all sorts. Before then you have called special kinds of Angels which you have charged to do certain things with this force when it comes. You do not retain the Angel of the Presence while you charge them. You get them there and load them up with information as to what they are to do. You call together your bands of angels by that invocation in preparation for this which is going to come, and give them the ideas as to what they are to do with it when they get it. Each will draw his own part from that force; each will take what he can use, but you tell him what you want done with it. You say ‘Especially for George our King; James our Bishop” and we mention the men at the front. Angels of the different orders come, and then the proper one undertakes his part of the work. They know among themselves what they can do best, what is easiest for them to do, so you have called those that may be called the apostolic angels. You know I suppose that there are many types of angels in each order; that some work, some guard, some meditate, some are still at a stage where they are mainly concerned with development, others mainly carry on work and so on. All that is generally understood. You draw the working angels, the apostolic angels that can be sent to do the work – you draw those angels round you when you send out the call. They have been taught to know and to respond to it; they come and are waiting ready and watchful each having in his mind the charge which you have mentioned to him in that part of the Mass. They are ready to be filled with the force, and then to go and empty themselves along the line which has been indicated. But when the Angel of the Presence flashes out, he attracts large hosts who are not the working angels, but the contemplative angels and the guardian angels, who come hovering round to bathe in that light-being among angels, at the same level as those human beings who would come purely for the purpose of adoring devotion without any particular idea of doing anything with it, or even understand that there was a force with which they could do anything. There are hundreds or perhaps thousands of monks and nuns whose idea before the Blessed Sacrament is to be in an attitude of adoring devotion to the Christ. In India the followers of Krishna did that. I don’t think A………. had any particular idea that he was going to do anything but simply adore Krishna in the form of Shri Krishna, and of trying to draw himself upwards into that light until it permeated him and he was one with it. So there are angels of that sort who by their adoration draw down and generate a great deal of spiritual force. That is their line; they are attracted when the light springs up. They don’t come to the call; it is the workers who come to the call, but these others come and join in the “Holy, Holy, Holy, ” which is a very beautiful thing. There you ring the bell, and there there ought to be much incense going up, because they send up their thoughts in and with the incense. It is for them as well as for the people. They remain bathing in that in this adoring condition while the Host is there.
In the Anglican Church that ends at a certain period of the service, and they do not reserve the Host, but where we keep it reserved, there are always Angels hovering round it, not only because they enjoy it, but because they regard it as a great privilege to guard it, and to be there in attendance. In the same way they hover round those who have partaken of the communion for some time, perhaps an hour or so afterwards, because there is such a tremendous manifestation of a higher power on the lower plane that they do not willingly relinquish bathing in its influence while there is anything of it left. The reason is that those who bathe in it could not well rise to that level at that degree of intensity under normal conditions, so it is to them an intense delight and a great opportunity whenever this comes down to the physical pane. The Roman Church has arrived at enough knowledge of that to keep the Host always there. The English Church has not except in a few cases, so wherever the Host is there is always the presence of Angels. Those Angels who are always in attendance will, if it is properly put to them, do quite a good deal in the way of helping and strengthening people, giving them comfort and so on. And so people who kneel in a church where the Sacrament is reserved will get the benefit of the tremendous devotion which exists in a Church, the walls and hangings being permeated with it, but they do not get this particular development which comes from a reserved Sacrament.
Q. What is the special use of having the candles on the Altar? Is it from the point of beauty?
It helps in that way and in other ways too. Your questions are good ones, because you are gradually, if I may put it so, raking to the foundations. All these things are a matter of internal knowledge and sight to people who see, and perhaps one does not realise how very much is missed by people who are not yet seeing. I do not know whether I can make it plain to you. Do you know what we mean by fire as a substance apart from combustion? Light down here on this plane is a certain rate of vibration, but you realise that that is only for you. I mean that a certain set of vibrations appeal to the retina of your eyes, but the vibrations above might act as light for other creatures. Well, of course they do, you know that to some extent. This cat has a different spectrum to ours; much more violet. So he can see in what to us is darkness just as a photographic camera can respond in what is darkness to us. But you realise this particular set of vibrations, call it an octave if you like, which means light to us, has its overtones. When you set up a physical light you are also producing effects in the astral, mental and other higher planes. You are inducing there a set of vibrations which were not prominent before. All specially consecrated objects are channels for higher force. Here is my cross which is very specially magnetised and consecrated and linked. Now that, if you thought of it only on the physical plane would be a talisman, but just as association has been set up with the physical particles, and we have loaded them, especially the etheric part with certain influences so we have affected the astral, the mental, and all the counterparts all the way up, so that we have by this action of consecrating or magnetising made a line of force reaching up. Now certain forces can flow far more easily where such a line of consecration has been made. There are certain ways in which you make easy channels for force, and that makes all the difference between your getting and not getting it, because the Great Ones who pour it forth are economical of their energy. It is their duty to be so. They want to make it go as far as possible, therefore if there are two directions in one of which They are going to pour out force, They will assuredly send it down that one where it will do most good. The fact of its being easier for it to go that way is one important factor in its being sent that way, because in that way it can do most good, otherwise it would have to burn its way down. When the way is open it has not to do that, therefore all lines of force prepared are channels which are more likely to be used than not. There are also physical objects which apart from consecration have a clearer line for force to flow through than others. The highest objects of each kingdom make an easier channel than lower objects. The highest things in the mineral kingdom are the precious stones. These precious stones of the various Rays are the highest things of their kind, therefore they are the best things to magnetise, not only because they hold magnetism better than wood or sand or any of these substances, but they already have a more definite line running through upwards from them. So you take that and utilise it and in your magnetisation you affect the whole of that line. Now another way in which communication between the higher and the lower is readily established is by means of light or fire. When you put anything into a condition of combustion or make it glow, you at once stir up all the counterparts on different levels and make it for time being a better line of communication, than it would have been otherwise. Of course that does not apply in every case. You cannot burn a precious stone and produce your result, but you could light a fire of wood, which merely regarded as so many logs, would not have been anything more than a channel of communication, but so soon as it is fire, you call together the elements of fire at all the different levels, and you make a line along which you can send up your conjuration, your wishes, your demands. That is why they use fire in all conjuration, sacrifices, exorcisms, because all that sort of adjuration of spirits is always accompanied by fire in some form. Fire and light are valuable, because although fire spirits may not be the highest of all, yet they are higher than many other kinds. So fire and light are always a protection against some of the lower and more loathsome influences. If you have read of mediaeval conjurations, you will find they light many lamps and as long as the conjurer is standing in the middle of his line of lights, he is protected.
Altar Candles are consecrated. They should be specially consecrated by the priest; at any rate whether that is done or not, the placing of them on the Altar and in relation with that does produce the effect of consecration and immediately each of those becomes a channel for its own especial line. Now there are various schemes of such lights and several of them have their influence in the character scheme. The Church of England has two lights only, and when those two lights alone exist they are intended to deal with the same influence as the two points of the Bishop’s mitre, they are reminders of the two natures of the Christ, and the idea is to bring down these two sides of the force – the masculine and the feminine, if you like to put it in that way. The system of four lights which exists in certain cases, which you will find associated especially with the celebration of the bishop, because a bishop succeeds the High Priest in the Jewish scheme, which is connected with the tetragrammaton, the four letters of the Sacred Name which each represented four forces. The system which are using of the six office lights is connected with the idea of the seven Rays, because the Host itself represents the seventh. The plan we are following for the moment is that of the Roman Church, but the plan of the Church of England is in addition to those six office lights to have also two big Mass lights, and they light six for the office, and the two additional for the Sacrament, the two natures of Christ coming in then as well as the Rays. That is what it really means. The same idea comes in with the Seven Sanctuary lamps. Instead of one we had seven. All these are establishments of lines of force, and during the forty days we establish a special line of force by setting up a special Pascal candle in a certain place. All these things are meant to be channels of force on the one side and reminders to the people on the other. There was a time when the different candles were differently consecrated and presented to the Church by different sets of people. The same thing holds true in Freemasonry. There you have three and one, and I suppose it is indirectly a system of representing the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, and the other which is supposed to be a reflection of the blazing star, the more direct light of the Deity. And so you get wisdom, strength, beauty and love, which is the centre of all, and floods all with which the rest are lighted. That is another set of symbols. That is the symbol of the light, and then on great festivals you add to your light first for the general effect produced upon the people, and then to give a generally increased effect. Remember the candles which we always have are the ritual candles which help in the actual calling down and distribution, so to speak. These make an additional blaze of glory to affect something more of a channel for the extra forces which on these special Festivals are outpoured. To be strictly accurate you ought to have a different set of candles according to what that force is, but we have not done that for many centuries, but they used to have their specially magnetised candles, because the force outpoured at Easter or Whitsuntide or at Trinity are different.
I want you to try to realise that we are moving in the midst of a vast living world – a world of living creatures of all sorts and kinds, and the whole art of magic consists in adapting yourself to that world and using it. You could not do anything in electricity until you knew a good deal about it and discovered which substances were good conductors and so on. In just the same way you cannot do much on the higher planes until you know what things are good conductors, what things can be invoked to help, and what things could be used awkwardly and with difficulty. The whole thing is a science. The Christ when explaining the details of this science gave to his people certain indications as to the way in which the things were to be done. These instructions are being carried out in the arrangement of the ritual, in the vestments and so on. He did not start to teach them the whole system, because life is not long enough and they would have to get up to the level of the Christ before they could understand it or wield those forces. But just as an electrician gives instructions to those who work under him, without trying to tell them all he himself knows, still if they carry out his instructions, they get their results. It is as well for them to keep to the instructions if they want to come safely through, otherwise if they go trying experiments they will get some unexpected results.