Warrior of the Soul

Book 2

the final choice


David Pratt

© July 2002

Part 2   The world within

~ 1 ~

The huge, red central sun hung ever-present in the sky, poised at the centre of the earth, some three thousand miles above the inner surface. It was the outer vehicle of the earth’s Silent Watcher – the highest spiritual energies guiding our globe throughout its life-cycle, from birth to death.
    The inner circle was bathed in a permanent, mellow light. Even in places where the rays of the central sun did not reach, there was ceaseless luminosity, for every particle of matter in the inner world existed in a higher evolutionary state than in the upper world and generated its own soft, ethereal light. Although the inner circle lacked the alternation of day and night and the seasonal changes of the outer world, its rhythms were still largely determined by the radiant energy reaching the earth from the outer sun.
    The surface of the inner world curved upwards in every direction before disappearing in the distance in an atmospheric haze. With its exotic animal, aquatic and bird life, its lush, tropical vegetation and exquisite scents and fragrances, the inner circle was truly an enchanted land, with a constant, equable climate. Torrential downpours occurred at regular intervals, sometimes accompanied by dazzling electric storms and followed by multiple rainbows composed of fourteen glorious colours.
    The human population in the inner circle was tiny. As in the outer circle, life mainly followed a twenty-four-hour rhythm, with the passage of time being marked in the settlements by the ringing of a bell every six hours. The people led simple, communal, disciplined and happy lives, performing their duties as children or parents, working as teachers, farmers, artisans, masons, etc., and attending school, public gatherings and religious ceremonies. Games and other leisure pursuits received due attention, including art, music and drama, and special attention was paid to the holy rituals surrounding births, marriages and deaths, and the various stages of initiation in the mystery schools. The people followed the religion of nature, recognizing an infinite divine Essence infilling and inspiriting everything without exception, containing everything, contained in all – a unity manifesting in endless diversity.
    Education in the inner circle was designed to draw out children’s inborn faculties and talents rather than cram their heads with facts. They were encouraged to cultivate a critical spirit of enquiry and to devote their full attention to whatever the task at hand. Images of the outer circle or of other planetary and stellar worlds were sometimes conjured up by occult means for educational purposes. There was no money and no commerce in the inner circle. It was a world of abundance in which all natural needs could be met. Diseases were very rare and violence was essentially unknown.
    Sahula noticed that the stonework of homes, temples and other buildings was of outstanding quality. It was reminiscent of the finest standards of craftsmanship displayed by several surviving monuments built by ancient civilizations in the outer circle. Much of the work involved the highly skilled use of advanced machine tools, but levitation devices and other semi-occult techniques were sometimes used as well. Sahula was told that many of the master-masons involved in building the Great Pyramid, for example, had been trained in the inner circle.
    The land and water vehicles and other pieces of machinery and equipment used in the inner world were powered by etheric energy. The titanic fohatic power locked up in every particle of matter was tapped by subtle means in small, simple devices. Environmental pollution did not exist, and waste disposal was no problem, for the guardians of the inner land possessed the ultimate recycling device, known as an etherealizer, which vaporized physical matter into its etheric constituents, leaving no physical remains.
    The inner world was governed by members of the Great White Lodge and their appointed representatives. Most of the mahatmas, who were of many different grades, lived in secluded places scattered across the land, but they were in constant communication with one another. Several of them moved around from settlement to settlement, while others were rarely or never seen in public. Only a minority of the inhabitants were accepted disciples or chelas of the mahatmas, but everyone spent at least a few years in one of the mystery schools.
    The chief of the adept Brotherhood was a mysterious figure known as the Ruler of Shambhala. He was the highest human representative of the earth’s Silent Watcher, the link between the people of earth and even higher powers in the Hierarchy of Compassion. Many were the legends about him. One tradition said he lived in a magnificent crystal palace on the Island of the Immortals in the Sea of Wisdom somewhere in the Imperishable Sacred Land. According to another tradition, he moved constantly amongst the people, disguised in any animal or human form he chose. And yet another legend said that he dwelt in the central sun itself. Those who knew more said nothing.

It was at the end of the seventh week after entering the Imperishable Sacred Land that Sahula met his new master face to face. He was sitting one evening in a jungle clearing with Dazak and Jintar.
    Suddenly Dazak stood up and said:
    ‘The master wishes to see “the warrior from the outer circle”. Follow me, Sahula. Jintar . . .’
    ‘I know, I know. I’ve got to stay here as always. My chance to meet the High Master will come when I’m ready – in six hundred million years. Step by step we climb.’
    Dazak finished his sentence: ‘Jintar, you are to come with us – and keep quiet.’
    Jintar’s face lit up and he jumped to attention. His most fervent wish was to one day be accepted as a chela by Dazak’s master so that he could play a fuller part in the Brotherhood’s altruistic labours.
    They walked swiftly along a track through the undergrowth and after an hour came to a fast-flowing river. The river originated in a tremendous waterfall just visible in the distance, its torrents cascading down over a sheer lofty wall of granite and crashing into the pool below, sending vast sprays of water droplets flying into the air, sparkling with opalescence in the ethereal light.
    As they approached, the noise steadily increased until it became a thunderous roar. On the far side of the waterfall they could see a brown-skinned old man, naked to the waist, holding a tall stick. He waved to them and beckoned them to follow.
    They carefully picked their way over some stepping stones and then descended into the cool water and waded against the increasingly powerful current towards the far side of the waterfall. Dazak motioned to his two companions to link hands and prepare to duck under water to pass beneath the descending torrent.
    Once safely on the other side, they entered a tunnel leading down into the depths of the mountain. The three of them followed their guide, their clothes drying quickly in the warm air. As they walked through the winding tunnel the din of the waterfall quickly dwindled and they entered a zone of silence.
    Finally they reached a rock chamber, from which three tunnels branched off. The master was nowhere to be seen. Dazak pointed to one of the tunnels.
    ‘That way, Sahula. Jintar and I will wait here.’
    Jintar’s heart sank. He sat down glumly on a rock while Sahula disappeared into the tunnel. After a few minutes, Jintar looked up and said:
    ‘I was foolish to get my hopes up. I’m not yet worthy to meet the High Master. He’s sixty billion years ahead of me in evolution.’
    ‘Well he must be very advanced indeed if that’s the case,’ said Dazak with a smile.
    Over an hour later Sahula reemerged from the tunnel alone. He wore an inscrutable expression and said nothing. Jintar, though still somewhat downcast, felt in awe of Sahula for having been granted such a privilege, and decided not to bother him with any questions. So, as Dazak was not one for small talk, they retraced their steps to their camp in total silence. Sahula seemed totally absorbed in his thoughts. Not since his very first meeting with his first master had any conversation made such an overwhelming impression on his mind. His new guru had spoken of Sahula’s past, present and future. And his words would provide a beacon of light and inspiration to guide him through the next phase of his life.
    The next morning Jintar finally plucked up courage to ask Sahula a question:
    ‘I know this is a stupid question, but did the High Master maybe say anything about me – even if it was only to point out my many faults and failings?’
    ‘Yes, come to think of it, he did say something. He had a message for you.’
    ‘A message?!’ exclaimed Jintar excitedly. ‘What was it? What did he say?’
    ‘His exact words were: “Tell Jintar that the talisman in his right hand should be a constant reminder to steadfastly pursue the path of self-purification, self-mastery and service”.’
    Jintar opened his right hand. ‘I don’t have a talisman in my right hand.’
    ‘Well that’s what he . . .’
    All at once a small sphere of light appeared above Jintar’s upturned palm. Jintar gasped in amazement as the light turned blue, then red and finally exploded with a blinding yellow flash and disappeared. And there on his palm lay a sparking turquoise stone.
    Jintar held it up between his finger and thumb. Suddenly a small spot of brilliant white light appeared out of nowhere, shot through the stone and looped back on itself with lightning speed. The light faded. And in Jintar’s hand lay the talisman – on a piece of unbreakable thread.
    Jintar was almost reduced to tears by this dazzling and totally unexpected display of occult power. Such a favour was more than he could have dreamed of. Sahula and Dazak were also rather taken aback. Jintar put the talisman round his neck and kissed it. Then he rushed off into the undergrowth, to be alone with his precious gift and his innermost thoughts and aspirations.

~ 2 ~

Twenty children, aged between eight and fourteen, had assembled beneath a canopy of luxuriant foliage to meet the guest from the outer circle. Sahula stepped to the front of the gathering and started to tell the children about where he came from and life in the outer circle. He addressed them in Senzar, a language which – much to his surprise – he had quickly learned to speak fluently.
    He began with the less enticing features of the upper world. He mentioned the long series of wars and conflicts – often stemming from economic greed or feelings of religious, racial or national supremacy – which had caused untold misery and bloodshed. Even today, he said, world peace still seemed as elusive as ever, and an outer-circler was killed every twenty seconds. And although the upper world had sufficient resources to feed and care for all of its inhabitants, hundreds of millions of people were starving and a child died of hunger every two seconds.
    There were many competing views on the social and economic reforms needed to change the world for the better, he said. But change from above – even if it was of the right sort – was not enough; there also needed to be a lasting change in human nature. For the conflicts taking place between nations and between social or racial groups reflected the conflicts taking place on a smaller scale between individuals, and these in turn reflected the conflicts taking place within each individual.
    ‘At this stage of their evolution,’ he went on, ‘outer-circlers are largely out of tune with their true selves. The higher, spiritual self can barely make its voice heard above the clamour of the unruly lower self. But the world will never be at peace until we are at peace with ourselves, and have elevated our lower nature so that it beats in unison with the higher. Fortunately a variety of groups and organizations are working to promote a healthier and more spiritual outlook on life. And let’s not forget that – although selfishness, prejudice and ignorance are still rampant – every day, in countless ways, millions upon millions of people are trying to help one another and care for one another.
    ‘But before I tell you more, I’d like to know something about you inner-circlers. Just as most outer-circlers are not complete devils, I assume that most inner-circlers are not complete angels.’
    ‘Oh but we are,’ a young girl insisted. ‘We’re never ever naughty.’
    ‘Whereas outer-circlers are really horrible. I’ve even heard that some have horns growing out of their heads,’ said a boy.
    ‘Well I don’t know about that,’ said Sahula.
    ‘Oh but it’s true,’ another child chimed in. ‘And they’re never happier than when they’re hitting one another and pulling one another’s hair.’
    ‘But they’re not always like that,’ Sahula protested.
    ‘Oh but they are,’ said another child, ‘they fight all the time.’
    ‘You said so yourself,’ said an older boy.
    ‘Not all the time,’ protested Sahula. He was surprised to find such ignorance here.
    ‘But we’re not ignorant at all, Sahula,’ said a girl with piercing deep-black eyes. ‘In fact we’re really really clever and know all about the outer folks. They’re a nasty bunch.’
    ‘And their bodies are covered with scabs and sores due to their lascivious lifestyle and skin-tight clothes,’ said another child.
    ‘Children, I don’t know where you’ve learnt all this nonsense, but you’re saying things that just aren’t true about things you’ve never seen for yourselves.’
    ‘But we have seen it for ourselves – in our magic mirrors.’
    ‘Yes, and our magic mirrors never lie.’
    ‘Well show me one of these “magic mirrors”.’
    The girl with deep-black eyes handed him a small mirror and Sahula looked at it.
    ‘All I can see is myself.’
    ‘That’s because you don’t have the magic eye,’ said the girl.
    ‘Yes, we all have the magic eye,’ said another child. ‘We can look into the infinite past and the infinite future, and we can see the outer-circlers brutalizing and butchering one another all the time.’
    ‘Not all the time,’ Sahula protested. ‘If this is paradise, may the gods help us!’ he thought to himself.
    ‘But it is paradise,’ said the girl with deep-black eyes. ‘And where you come from is hell, where people have ashen faces, and horns, and fangs and claws, and lusty, evil eyes, and roving hands.’
    ‘Children, this is getting ridiculous. Listen to me and I’ll tell you the truth.’
    ‘But we already know the truth – all of it,’ a child called out.
    ‘Show us your fangs, Sahula!’ shouted a boy.
    ‘That’s enough, you rude silly boy!’ snapped Sahula, his voice rising.
    The girl with deep-black eyes put her hand in the air, and the children suddenly grew hushed.
    ‘Yes?’ said Sahula wearily.
    ‘You see that cord hanging from the branch behind you?’
    ‘Pull it.’
    Sahula did so, and to his surprise a huge banner unfurled. It bore a message in large colourful letters, which read: ‘ONLY JOKING SAHULA! WE LOVE ALL YOU OUTER-CIRCLERS!’
    The entire class burst into laughter and Sahula followed suit. He had fallen headlong into the trap and hadn’t suspected a thing. Their acting had been impeccable. He breathed a sigh of relief.
    The discussion about human nature then proceeded on a more serious note. The children understood that the potential conflict between the higher self and the lower self, the spiritual mind and the animal mind, was a characteristic of all human beings, whether in the outer or inner circle. One of the two selves must eventually prevail, and one or the other was strengthened by every act and thought in our lives.
    They discussed some of the characteristics of the lower self. Its main concern is with itself and with satisfying its own perceived needs and interests. It loves and seeks praise and applause, but is super-sensitive to criticism and very easily offended. Harbouring grudges and ill-will comes naturally to it. It has tremendous difficulty seeing its own faults, but seems to acquire penetrating insight when it comes to identifying the faults of others. It loves to complain, and if one source of annoyance or irritation is removed, it immediately finds something else to moan about. It likes to conjure up imaginary fears, worries, quarrels and conflicts in which it is always the wronged party. It loves to indulge in frivolous gossip and idle chit-chat, especially at the expense of others. It tends to desire most of all what it can’t have, especially what other people have, and if it does get what it wants, it often loses interest and longs for something else instead. It constantly chases after lower pleasures and sensations, but lasting satisfaction eludes it and it repeatedly suffers disappointment and disenchantment.
    The higher self, on the other hand, is the source of our conscience and intuition, the source of our nobler qualities – generosity, forgiveness, patience, equanimity, altruism and unconditional love – and a treasure-trove of creative talents and abilities still to be unfolded. The children understood the importance of learning to control the restless, boisterous brain-mind, with its wandering thoughts and fitful desires, for the calmer and more placid the mind, the better able it is to receive and mirror the illumination of our higher self, just as an unruffled surface of water reflects the rays of the sun far more clearly than one in turbulent motion.
    Sahula asked if anyone would like to sum up the difference between the lower and higher nature, and one young girl remarked: ‘The lower self prefers to receive, whereas the higher self prefers to give.’ The other children nodded their agreement.
    Sahula was then questioned about his own childhood and family background. He was asked whether he had any brothers and sisters. He told them he had a fourteen-year-old sister called Sushila and a younger brother called Ranjit, who had been killed about a year ago. Under further questioning, Sahula told them that Ranjit had been murdered. The children expressed their sympathy, and could not understand that anyone would want to murder a child, or anyone else for that matter. They realized how fortunate they were to live in the inner world, but many expressed the hope that they would one day have an opportunity to do useful work in the upper world.
    They told Sahula that there were no murders in the inner circle and that, apart from an extremely occasional fatal ‘accident’ or illness, everyone died a natural death, though the average lifespan was far longer than that of outer-circlers. And when someone died, although there might be sadness, there was no mourning; instead, everyone tried to make it a time of thanksgiving, by remembering and celebrating the dead person’s achievements. For death is a phase of life and life is eternal. All who have once lived will live again, and goodbyes are only temporary, for the bonds of true love are unbreakable.

~ 3 ~

Sahula was bathing in a deep pool of bubbling hot water in a subterranean chamber. It was now six months since he had arrived in the inner circle. In a few minutes he would gaze into the crystal of truth – and see himself as he really was.
    He stepped out of the pool and wrapped a fresh white robe around his naked body. Outwardly he was pure, strong and healthy, and he had certainly made great progress in controlling his mind. But he would now see to what extent he had merely repressed his lower, baser thoughts and feelings and forced them into the swamp of the subconscious, and to what extent he had transmuted them into something higher. The crystal of truth would strip away all disguises and self-deception, exposing the stark reality. He was told that if an average outer-circler were to look into the crystal, what they saw might easily drive them insane. But since Sahula had successfully passed his first initiation, he should find it a salutary experience.
    He walked slowly along a corridor, down some steps and entered the inner sanctuary. In the centre was a circular platform surrounded by steps. In the middle of the platform stood a short stone pillar, on top of which lay a large crystal, throwing out multicoloured rays of light in all directions.
    Sahula mounted the steps, walked right up to the pillar, and moved his head above the crystal. Then he brought his eyes to a focus and gazed deep into the crystal, deep into himself . . .

After entering monastic life at the age of eleven, Sahula had been plagued by recurring nightmares in which he was attacked by ferocious beasts. Petrified, he would try to flee them and usually awoke with a start, bathed in sweat.
    ‘They appear in your dreams and are your own creations,’ his master had said, ‘and you can’t run away from yourself for ever. You’re unlikely to come to any harm in a dream, so why not make friends with them?’
    A few nights later Sahula was confronted with a terrifying, salivating dog. He immediately realized he was dreaming and as the dog leaped at him, its jaws agape, he opened his arms to embrace it. It then seemed to smile at him and began to lick his face, whereupon he woke up.
    A few days later he was attacked in his dream by a sinister, apelike creature. As it scurried towards him, Sahula started running to meet it, knowing that this was a dream. As he took it in his arms its form changed and for a moment he looked into its eyes – his own eyes – before awakening. That was the last time he had ever been attacked by wild beasts in his dreams.
    ‘But how can I find out what the animals represent if they keep disappearing?’ he asked his master.
    ‘The beasts are fragments of yourself, so why not ask yourself? All it requires is total honesty, for you know perfectly well – deep inside you – what your strengths and weaknesses are. Study your deeds and the motives behind them, examine carefully your thoughts, feelings and desires, and decide with absolute honesty to what extent they are selfish or unselfish, pure or impure, noble or ignoble. This will be a clarifying and chastening process in which your conscience is at work. It is a confession really to the higher self, the divinity within you. Once you’ve identified your faults, don’t stop to mourn over them; resolve to correct them and move on. And each time you fail, pick yourself up and try again, and again – until you finally succeed. In this way you will gradually attain self-knowledge and self-mastery.’
    Sahula had taken the advice to heart. He recognized that he needed to be devoted and disciplined without being fanatical; cheerful and good-humoured without being frivolous and silly; helpful and encouraging without being an interfering zealot. He needed to be firm but not overbearing, gentle but not weak. He needed to root out every trace of irritability, intolerance and impatience, and every slightest hint of envy or jealousy. And he must learn to recognize the limitations of physical love and affection, while strengthening and increasing his appreciation of the invisible bonds of sympathy between himself and others.
    He was well aware that most people took great pains to project a certain image of themselves and to hide any facts about themselves that might undermine it. But he knew he could conceal nothing from the clairvoyant vision of his master.

Sahula emerged from the inner sanctuary. He had clearly seen why he was still ranked only as a novice and why it would take him many many lives to attain the status of Dazak, let alone that of his master. But he had also seen how far he had already come. He would continue each day to try and identify and correct his errors without becoming disillusioned, and to build on his achievements without becoming proud and complacent.
    A few hours later the first phase of Sahula’s occult training began in earnest. His master and Dazak started to teach him the secrets of awakening and controlling his psychic powers: how to communicate telepathically, how to control the elemental nature-forces, how to materialize and dematerialize objects, how to access the akashic records of past events, how to see clairvoyantly anything happening on earth, and how to free himself from his physical body and travel in his subtle body. The main requirements were highly refined powers of concentration and visualization and an unwavering will.
    For six intense months the training continued. The speed at which Sahula’s powers developed astonished him, and he was told that his training had really begun several lives ago. He was advised to use his occult powers sparingly. And if he ever used them for selfish, evil or immoral ends he would face immediate expulsion from the Brotherhood.

~ 4 ~

Sahula was then given three months to perform other duties before the second phase of his occult training began. During that time he gave private instruction to Jintar and a small group of other young people on various esoteric teachings, and on several occasions he visited schools to meet the pupils.
    The children who had played the prank on him invited him to return so that they could continue their discussions on the outer circle and character improvement, and Sahula was happy to accept the invitation.
    He told them that the problems that afflicted human society in the outer circle were symptoms of more deeply rooted causes. ‘The way we act reflects the way we think,’ he said. ‘It’s therefore essential to tackle not only material poverty but also spiritual poverty – the negative and narrow outlook on life that many outer-circlers have. The materialistic worldview – that we are nothing but complex, genetically-programmed machines, who appear from nowhere, for no reason and to no end – is not a healthy philosophy to live by. The belief that no part of us survives death, that we will not be held accountable for our deeds, and that the only things worth pursuing in life are wealth, power and pleasure, is likely to result in people searching for happiness and meaning in misguided ways.
    ‘But it’s not just the materialistic worldview that is to blame for the lack of vision that many outer-circlers have. Religion, too, has often played a very divisive and bloody role in human history, and some religious and theological doctrines are just as narrow and negative in their effects as materialistic ones. For example, it’s hard to conceive of anything more illogical and unjust than the Christian doctrine that when we die, regardless of how we’ve lived our lives, those who believe in Jesus will be forgiven their sins and enjoy an eternity of heavenly bliss, whereas all unbelievers will be consigned to an eternal hell of fire where they will “weep and gnash their teeth”.
    ‘A being capable of devising such a scheme would surely be a monstrous fiend rather than a “god”, for how can anything done in a single lifetime justify an eternity of reward or punishment? Nowadays, some theologians say that unbelievers will not suffer eternal torment, only eternal annihilation – but this hardly makes the doctrine any more logical! After death, all the lower elements of our nature have to be worked off in the lower astral realms, while all that is good enjoys its full realization in the higher, “heavenly” realms. The duration of these two states varies widely from one person to another, but neither of them can last for ever. Clearly, in one short life we can only develop a tiny fraction of the capacities locked up in our higher nature, and it’s precisely by meeting the consequences of all our actions, life after life, that we can correct our weaknesses and unfold our higher potential. It’s not the historical Christ who can redeem us, but the christ-spirit within ourselves.’
    Sahula stressed that genuine moral and spiritual progress was something that had to be achieved through self-effort and self-discipline. ‘We need to keep a constant watch on what is going on in our minds and how we act and react in our daily lives, and to check ourselves whenever we find ourselves indulging in selfish or unworthy thoughts or deeds. But to truly dissolve negative thoughts and feelings we have to change any beliefs and attitudes that help to sustain them. And this is where studying the ageless wisdom is of tremendous practical importance. Because teachings such as reincarnation and karma, and our divine parentage and potential help us to make sense of our lives, to see things in perspective and encourage us to live ethically.
    ‘Contrary to what many outer-circlers believe, we are never the innocent victims of accidents, crimes, natural disasters, or whatever. The circumstances of our birth, our basic character traits and the experiences we undergo in the course of our lives are the results of how we have lived in past lives, for we reap what we sow – not only as individuals but also as families, countries, races and ultimately humanity as a whole. Each time we incarnate we are drawn to the parents who can provide us with the body and family environment best geared to our karmic needs. All the ordeals we go through in our lives are opportunities to strengthen and improve our characters. And all the beautiful things we experience are called forth by what we have done well. For we weave our own destiny life after life; we are our own saviours and our own destroyers, our own devils and our own gods.’
    After they had discussed these ideas, the meeting was rounded off by an older child who read a short passage from one of their books on the mystic path:
    ‘At night it is helpful to go over the day’s events in thought, noting lapses and omissions, and learning from them. We cannot reap the real benefit of sleep if we carry to bed with us our petty worries, likes and dislikes. Therefore let them go. Let us end the day with more power of thought for self-conquest than we had at the beginning of the day. Let us close our eyes tonight with a clean conscience and a feeling of generous love for all that breathes.’

The second intensive phase of Sahula’s occult training began with three weeks of solitude, purification and contemplation. And then he was allowed to witness at first hand how the remarkable occult powers acquired through individual effort and self-sacrifice were used by members of the Great White Lodge to advance the evolution of the human race.
    With his master’s help, he was able to observe how a person’s every thought, feeling or desire creates vibrations in the subtle grades of matter composing the astral world. The vibrations radiated outwards for a certain distance and set up similar vibrations in any receptive astral and mental bodies they impinged upon. Every thought or emotion also became a living elemental entity, which clothed itself in astral matter and assumed a particular colour and shape according to its nature and quality. These thought-forms cohered for a length of time proportional to the intensity of the originating thought.
    Sahula saw how everyone was constantly surrounded by clouds of habitual thought-forms, waiting to react upon them when they were in a receptive state. If a person’s thought or feeling was directly connected with someone else, the thought-form moved towards that person and was absorbed by their astral and mental bodies. A strong thought of love and protection, for example, created a form which went to the person thought of and remained in their aura as a shielding and protecting agent. A pure heart and mind were the best protectors against harmful and evil thoughts as they constructed an astral and mental body of finer and subtler materials which could not respond to coarse vibrations.
    It was now clear why the mahatmas’ work was conducted largely on the inner planes. Here, they could see people’s inner nature and needs clearly, and lend direct assistance by suggesting or strengthening noble and uplifting thoughts and ideas. There was no point planting positive thoughts and ideas in minds not truly receptive to them; the mahatmas sought to give an extra ‘nudge’, sometimes in dreams, to those already thinking along positive and progressive lines.
    Sahula was enabled to accompany Dazak and Zoro in his subtle body as they moved at will through the astral world, seeking out any glimmer of the inner buddhic splendour. Sometimes people would catch their attention and receive help only once, but many individuals, groups and organizations were the focus of regular attention.
    He also observed that not all humans who had learned to operate to some degree on some level of the astral plane were motivated by the same selfless ideals as the mahatmas; the motives of those active on the inner planes ranged all the way from wholly altruistic to wholly selfish and evil.
    He learned that the mahatmas were active in every worthy field of human endeavour, each having his own specific tasks. The main focus was on spreading and strengthening the ethics of universal brotherhood and key teachings on death and rebirth, and self-responsibility. But they also gave unseen help to certain scientists striving to advance humanity’s understanding of the workings of nature, including those battling against dominant but false theories. Physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, cosmology, geology, archaeology – in these and other fields important discoveries and breakthroughs were often partly inspired by the mahatmas.
    The members of the adept Brotherhood acted as a guardian wall around mankind, shielding it against outside powers and influences that would cause havoc if they were to enter the human sphere. Other activities included helping souls that had attained a certain level of advancement to return to incarnation on earth sooner than they would otherwise have done.
    The adepts saw it as their highest privilege and joy to carry out this unseen work. Unrecognized and unthanked, they would continue to provide guidance and assistance until the last member of struggling humanity had safely reached ‘the other shore’.

~ 5 ~

At the end of the second six-month period of his occult training, Sahula was due to take up his teaching duties again. But before he could begin, there was a sudden change of plan. A dangerous political and military crisis was brewing in the Middle East, with the possibility of all-out war, and the Brotherhood wanted more of its members to be physically on hand to exercise their hidden influences if need be. Dazak and Sahula were therefore to return to the upper surface.
    ‘But surely it will take us several months to get there,’ said Sahula.
    ‘No, just two hours,’ Dazak replied.
    ‘Two hours to travel over eight hundred miles through the cavern world?! I thought you said we were going in our physical bodies.’
    ‘We are.’
    ‘But that means travelling at four hundred miles an hour.’
    ‘Yes, on average. Which is a snail’s pace. I can assure you that if it were really necessary, we could travel at ten times the speed of light. It would then take us just four ten-thousandths of a second! Admittedly, though, this figure takes no account of acceleration and deceleration time, which could add as much as two seconds to the trip.’
    As Sahula stood beside Dazak, Dazak’s mind seemed to open up before his inner sight, revealing vast vistas of knowledge. This was an increasingly common occurrence and he assumed it must have something to do with the ages-old link between them that Dazak had once mentioned.
    ‘I see we’re going to take a flight on some sort of transportation platform that manipulates the earth’s gravity field,’ said Sahula.
    ‘That’s right.’
    Jintar had been listening to this conversation very attentively and now said excitedly:
    ‘I’ve never been to the outer circle before. It’ll be very good for my education and strengthen my ability to serve my fellow human beings. Please may I go with you Dazak.’
    Rather than argue, Jintar retreated quietly to a corner of the room and sat down, holding his talisman against his forehead.
    Dazak began to explain further details of their travel schedule to Sahula. Suddenly they heard a cry of glee from the corner of the room.
    ‘Yes! The High Master says I can go!’
    ‘Don’t be ridiculous, Jintar. You’re staying here. Anyway its time we were . . .’
    Dazak fell silent and seemed to be listening to something. He frowned and looked at Jintar.
    ‘It appears that you are to come with us after all. Though I can’t think why. What else can you do with that thing,’ he asked, pointing to the talisman.
    ‘Things beyond your wildest dreams, Dazak.’
    ‘Such as?’
    ‘I’m not telling you. You don’t tell me your secrets and I’m certainly not telling you mine.’
    ‘Spoken like a true initiate,’ said Sahula.
    It took them three quarters of an hour to descend into the tunnel system and reach their departure point. They were walking towards the middle of a vast cavern. In the centre of the rock floor was a circular opening about twenty feet in diameter. Poised in the opening, at about ground level, was a circular platform, seven feet in diameter and one foot thick. It appeared to be hovering in midair.
    ‘Right, step onto the disc just here where it’s close to the rim. And don’t fall down the gap round the outside, Jintar, otherwise you’ll have a long fall.’
    ‘Not very far really. Just one hundred miles, as far as the sphere of rest, the circle of weightlessness, where gravity becomes zero. But if you fell into this hole from the earth’s upper surface you’d fall seven hundred miles to the sphere of rest. It’s really very simple.’
    ‘Thank you Jintar. For once your figures are accurate. In the centre of the disc is a black box with a couple of levers. These will allow me to modify the gravity field around the disc. Basically we’re going to create an etheric gravity wave and surf it – at a fairly gentle pace.’
    Dazak pressed a button. ‘This creates a force-field around us, a sort of artificial gravity field. It will protect us against violent accelerations that would otherwise rip us apart. As you’ve noticed, you can now no longer see further than a short distance beyond the platform.’
    Sahula and Ranjit sat down on the bare, metallic surface of the platform while Dazak proceeded to move several levers to and fro. After about ten seconds, he said: ‘Right, everybody can get off.’
    ‘What’s wrong? Have you forgotten how to start it?’ asked Jintar.
    ‘Start it? I’ve just stopped it. We have reached our destination and are now about seven hundred and ninety miles from our departure point.’
    Jintar burst out laughing.
    ‘But we haven’t even moved!’
    ‘How do you know?’
    ‘Because I didn’t feel anything.’
    ‘I see. You are currently spinning round at a quarter of a mile per second as the earth rotates on its axis. Can you feel that motion?’
    ‘And you and the rest of the earth are orbiting the sun at eighteen and a half miles per second. Can you feel . . . ?’
    ‘At the same time, you and the entire solar system are moving through space at one hundred and fifty miles per second in the direction of the constellation Cygnus. Can you . . . ?’
    ‘No, I’m not normally aware of any of these motions.’
    ‘Why not?’
    ‘Due to the earth’s electrogravity field and the fact that all the matter forming and surrounding me and composing the earth is essentially moving together as a unit.’
    ‘So what’s your conclusion?’
    ‘That my reaction was overhasty and illogical. But that’s because I’m six hundred million years . . .’
    ‘Yes, ok, we already know that.’
    ‘Well, if . . . ,’ Jintar paused for a moment. ‘If the etheric energy-field you mentioned enabled all the physical atoms and molecules in our bodies and immediate surroundings to start moving absolutely simultaneously when the platform suddenly accelerated, and to retain their relative distances when we were cruising and decelerating, then we could indeed have travelled as fast and as far as you allege without feeling anything.’
    ‘If what I say is true, what will happen when I switch off the gravity shield?’ asked Dazak.
    ‘I suppose the luminous air surrounding us will quickly dissipate and we’ll be plunged into darkness or near darkness, depending on how close we are to the upper surface.’
    Dazak pressed a button and within seconds they were indeed plunged into almost total darkness – the first real darkness Jintar had ever ‘seen’. However the platform, their bodies and clothes, and Jintar’s talisman still radiated a faint light.
    Jintar stood up and walked a few paces. ‘My weight has definitely increased,’ he said.
    Dazak had left the platform and returned carrying a flaming torch, which he handed to Jintar.
    ‘When we set off,’ said Jintar, ‘our feet were pointing in the direction of the earth’s upper surface. Since we’re not now upside down I presume you flipped the platform over at some point during our brief voyage.’
    ‘That’s right,’ said Dazak. ‘We actually travelled most of the way edge-on.’
    ‘But how did you know how far we’d come and when to stop?’
    ‘Due to my third eye and some very cooperative elementals. Even so, since we were travelling at about eighty miles a second we could all have been smashed to smithereens! But I took special care, knowing that the “high master’s” prize pupil was on board.’
    ‘I think I’d have been alright,’ said Jintar, ‘because I’m wearing my magic talisman. Anyway, I’m not the High Master’s pupil yet, but perhaps I will be in another six hundred million years, if I make the grade. In the meantime, I feel incredibly privileged to be allowed to spend so much of my time with you two wonderful bodhisattvas.’
    There was no trace of irony in Jintar’s voice; he was quite serious.
    ‘I gather that we’re about ten miles beneath the outer surface,’ said Sahula. ‘But what country are we under?’
    ‘We’re beneath the Sahara Desert, at about the latitude of the Great Pyramid. We shall only go to the surface if really necessary. So you may not get to see the outer world on this visit, Jintar.’
    ‘It doesn’t matter. It was worth it just for the ride on the magic elevator!’
    ‘We now have about an hour’s walk ahead of us to reach one of the Brotherhood’s subterranean residences, where we’ll meet some of our colleagues. We could complete the journey in a couple of minutes by materializing a certain means of transportation, but I think we should use some muscle power instead.’

~ 6 ~

Two weeks later, Dazak and Sahula were sitting in a rock chamber about a hundred feet beneath the subterranean chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza. The room was brightly lit by a single crystal positioned in the middle of the floor. The room formed part of an immense complex of chambers and corridors, which was connected by tunnels to similar complexes hundreds of miles to the south.
    Earlier in the day Jintar had been given permission to go up to the surface and spend a day visiting the pyramids, while Dazak, Sahula and two adepts were busy with their occult duties. Dazak and Sahula were now taking a moment to rest.
    Sahula was wondering how Jintar was getting on when suddenly he had a very powerful feeling that Jintar was in very grave danger. He shortened his gaze and stared into space.
    ‘Dazak, look what’s happening to Jintar! The man’s going to beat him to death! Stop him quick! Or shall I go?’ he asked, jumping to his feet.
    Dazak looked concerned but said calmly: ‘Stay where you are.’
    ‘We’ve got to act fast. The man could kill him!’
    Dazak said nothing.
    ‘Well you can sit here and spectate if you want to, but I’m going to put an end to the violence.’
    ‘Sahula, you must not use any occult power to intervene. That’s an order!’
    ‘I’m not interested in your orders!’ said Sahula exasperatedly. ‘I’m interested in saving his life!’ He strode off towards another chamber where he intended to leave his body.
    But it was already too late to do anything because the man had finished his work and Jintar was lying on the ground unconscious, bleeding to death.
    Perspiration trickled down Sahula’s face. Not since the episode with Fujal had he felt so uncertain of himself. Was he being unreasonable and shortsighted? Or was Dazak? Usually he had unshakable confidence in Dazak’s judgement. He would at any rate abide by his ‘order’. But someone would at least have to go and retrieve Jintar’s body. So first he’d better apologize to Dazak for his outburst.
    ‘No need for that, Sahula.’ Dazak was standing in the doorway. ‘The consequences of my decision are my responsibility. But go and get him. And take this with you . . .’
    He threw something through the air and Sahula caught it. It was Jintar’s talisman.
    ‘Where did you find this?’
    ‘It seems he took it off earlier when he was meditating and forgot to take it with him. Not a good omen. But use it to find him. And make sure you don’t attract any attention. I’ll give you whatever assistance I can from here.’
    Ten minutes later Sahula emerged from a tunnel into the hot humid air of Lower Egypt. The entrance to the tunnel was so securely concealed and protected that no one would ever stumble upon it by chance.
    It was nearly two years since Sahula had last stood on the earth’s outer surface. He tried to concentrate his mind on Jintar and to sense which way to go. He wove his way past crowds of tourists and people selling their wares. How on earth had Jintar got himself into this mess? And would he still be alive if and when he found him?

Jintar had spent the morning visiting the three great pyramids and the Sphinx. He had been given some money to buy tickets and drinks with. It had been very interesting and entertaining, and he had enjoyed observing the tourists and how they interacted with the ‘natives’. What a strange world this was! So hectic, and so overcrowded! He had seen more people within a radius of a couple of miles than inhabited the entire inner world – as far as he knew.
    Now he was wandering through the streets of the local village looking at the stalls. He hadn’t said much to anybody as Sahula had only taught him a little English and a few words of Arabic. He had been told not to attract undue attention and he felt that he blended in quite well.
    At that moment a young man approached.
    ‘Welcome to Egypt! What country are you from? Do you want a pretty young woman? I can get you one for a good price.’
    ‘No thank you,’ said Jintar in his best Arabic.
    ‘Well do you want a nice boy instead? Whatever you want I can get it for you – very good price.’
    ‘Piss off, please,’ said Jintar politely in English. He had picked up several new expressions by listening to other tourists, but was not yet entirely familiar with their usage.
    At the first opportunity he turned off the main road and headed into a run-down housing estate. The poverty and squalor appalled him. Soon he found himself walking down a deserted alleyway. Suddenly he heard a woman screaming. The sound was coming from an outhouse by an empty building. He ran to it and pushed open the wooden door. A shocking sight met his eyes. A furious well-dressed man was savagely beating a young woman with his fists.
    Jintar dived onto the man, while the woman pulled herself free and ran off down the alley shrieking hysterically.
    The man cursed Jintar in an unknown tongue and lunged at him. Jintar made a dash for the door, but the man tripped him up and he fell headlong. As he was clambering to his feet, the man stomped his head to the ground with his foot and ripped the thin garment from Jintar’s back. The man seized the first thing that came to hand – a length of barbed wire. Before Jintar could get up, the man cracked the wire down across Jintar’s back with all his might and jerked it up again. Jintar let out a ghastly scream as he felt the flesh being torn from his back. Again he tried desperately to climb to his feet, but again the man brought the wire down viciously across his back. Again and again the wire was whipped down, ripping into the flesh. The pain was so excruciating that Jintar could scream no more. Finally the man ran out of strength and stumbled off, leaving Jintar to die.
    Jintar could feel the blood running freely from his gaping wounds onto the ground. If only he hadn’t forgotten his talisman! He thought of his parents and hoped they wouldn’t be too sad. Then he thought of Dazak and Sahula and wished he could have been of more use to them and their master. Then he lost consciousness.

Sahula marched through the streets. He felt he was getting very close but Jintar’s body could be hidden anywhere.
    At that moment a young man approached.
    ‘Welcome to Egypt! What country are you from? Do you want a pretty young woman? I can get you one for a good price. Or would you prefer a . . . ?’
    Sahula fixed him with a withering look. The man fell silent, stopped following and slunk off.
    A few minutes later Sahula found himself walking down an alleyway. He tried to focus his mind.
    ‘Mister, come quickly, my friend needs help!’
    Sahula looked up. A scruffy, fourteen-year-old boy, stripped to the waist, was standing in front of him. The boy’s hands were covered with blood.
    The boy led Sahula to Jintar. He had used his dirty, ragged T-shirt – which appeared to have the face of an alien with big, black eyes printed on it – to try and stop the bleeding. Sahula peeled it from Jintar’s back and looked with dismay at the ugly sight that met his eyes. Jintar had lost a large amount of blood but was still breathing. Sahula quickly put the talisman back around Jintar’s neck.
    He needed to communicate with the boy but didn’t speak much Arabic and assumed the boy didn’t speak much English. Dazak didn’t know much Arabic either but Sahula had watched him communicate in Arabic with an Egyptian adept called Atrya by tuning in to the latter’s mind. Sahula now tried to emulate the trick. The result was not very successful, so the boy, whose name was Khanat, told him to speak in English, a language he knew quite well.
   Khanat said he had heard Jintar screaming and as he approached the outbuilding he had seen a man leaving. Sahula explained that Jintar was his friend, that they were in the country illegally and it was very important that the authorities did not get involved. They needed to get Jintar to the Giza plateau without being seen as this was the only way to save his life. The boy offered to help.
    Ten minutes later they were on their way. Khanat had ‘borrowed’ a donkey and cart and they had put Jintar on it and covered his body with sacks. The donkey’s pace was painfully slow, but on the way they stopped at a roadside stall and Sahula gave Khanat some money so that he could buy a new alien T-shirt to protect himself from the blistering sun. Eventually they reached the junction where they had to turn off to the plateau. At that moment a tourist policeman ordered them to halt and marched over to them.
    ‘What are you carrying on your cart?’ he demanded.
    ‘Potatoes,’ said Sahula, closing his eyes.
    The policeman pulled back the sacks. Khanat gasped in astonishment. For there on the cart he saw a pile of potatoes.
    ‘Ok, you can continue,’ said the policeman.
    ‘Holy shit!’ exclaimed the boy as the cart trundled on its way. ‘What have you done with Jintak?’
    Sahula told him to look again.
    ‘Holy shit!’ he cried when he saw Jintar lying there. ‘Who are you mister? Where do you come from? Are you an alien? You certainly don’t look like a Gray. Are you a Nordic?’
    ‘I’m actually more or less human.’
    ‘You’re a hybrid, aren’t you? Part human and part alien. I knew there was something different about you. Do you live in outer space?’
    ‘No, inner space.’
    ‘Ah, I understand,’ said Khanat knowingly. ‘You’re from another dimension.’
    Suddenly a concerned look descended upon his face.
    ‘Well please don’t abduct me,’ he pleaded, ‘because I have to stay on earth and look after my mama and little sister. And I also have to go to school tomorrow.’
    ‘You needn’t be afraid of me. I belong to a Brotherhood that believes we should all help one another and never harm one another.’
    ‘I wish you could have told my papa that.’
    ‘Why, what’s happened to him?’
    ‘He’s in prison.’
    ‘Because he was caught planting a bomb to blow up some tourists.’
    ‘Oh dear.’
    ‘I tried to stop him, honest I did,’ said Khanat, looking distressed. ‘But he wouldn’t listen.’
    Khanat stared at the ground in silence as they strode along. After a few minutes he asked:
    ‘Please can I join your Brotherhood?’
    ‘You already have. Anyone who does good deeds automatically becomes part of our worldwide network. One day everyone will join and then there’ll be no more fighting and killing and we’ll all live in peace.’
    Khanat again fell silent and tried to puzzle it all out. The aliens were clearly more active on earth than he’d suspected, but some of them were obviously very friendly towards humans. It was all very complicated.
    ‘Manifestations of “aliens” and “UFOs” are largely the work of the normally invisible elemental energies associated with the earth,’ said Sahula. ‘They tend to copy the forms they find in the thought-world and are sometimes controlled by other intelligences, both good and evil.’
    ‘I think I understand,’ said the boy, looking perplexed.
    After a few minutes he asked:
    ‘Did the alien Brotherhood build the Great Pyramid?’
    ‘Your own ancestors built it,’ said Sahula, ‘but they were assisted and supervised by members of my own Brotherhood.’
    ‘I knew it, I knew it,’ said Khanat excitedly. ‘And when was it built?’
    ‘About eighty thousand years ago.’
    ‘I knew it was really really old,’ Khanat exclaimed, ‘but no one would believe me!’
    Ten minutes later Sahula stopped the donkey on the edge of a deep hollow in the terrain, at a deserted spot about half a mile from the Great Pyramid. He lifted Jintar’s unconscious body from the cart and laid it gently on the ground. He told Khanat that he could leave them there as they would be rescued shortly. He thanked him for his help and handed him all the money he and Jintar had been carrying.
    ‘Thank you!’ exclaimed Khanat with delight. ‘And you don’t need to make me forget everything, because I promise never to say anything to anybody.’
    Suddenly a look of astonishment and awe spread over the boy’s face.
    ‘Holy shit!’ he cried.
    Dazak, dressed in white, had just appeared at the top of the hollow as if out of nowhere.
    ‘You must be a guardian angel!’ said the boy, dropping to his knees and putting his hands together. ‘Am I allowed to make a wish?’
    ‘Go ahead,’ said Dazak with a faint smile.
    ‘I wish that Jintak would make a full recovery.’
    Dazak knelt down and, closing his eyes, placed his hand on Jintar’s heart.
    ‘He’s not dead is he?’ asked Khanat worriedly.
    ‘No, he’s going to be fine.’
    ‘Does that mean I can have another wish?’
    ‘Let’s hear it first.’
    The boy thought for a moment.
    ‘I wish . . . I wish that my mama could see properly again.’
    Dazak stared silently in the direction of Khanat, but seemed to be looking straight through him. The boy gazed back with a desperate, beseeching look on his face, his hands pressed together in fervent prayer.
    ‘Your wish will be granted,’ said Dazak finally. ‘When your mother wakes up tomorrow morning she will have regained her sight. Farewell and thank you.’
    And with those words Dazak picked up Jintar from the ground, took two steps backwards and disappeared from sight.
    Hybrids, angels, miracles . . . It was all too much for Khanat and he burst into tears.

A day had passed. Jintar was holding forth in the presence of Sahula, Dazak and Atrya:
    ‘This whole episode raises very intriguing and perhaps unanswerable questions. We all agree that everything that happens is by definition karma. If we help someone it’s their karma to be helped. If we don’t help someone it’s their karma not to be helped. As a rule, it’s right to help and wrong not to help; the first brings us “good” karma and the second “bad” karma – though obviously a lot depends on our motives.
    ‘But when is it permissible to use occult power and when not? Presumably if you’d been present when the man attacked me you’d have tried to stop him. But would it really have been wrong if Sahula had used occult power to do so? Would all adepts have made the same decision as Dazak? If Sahula had intervened, would he have been displaying unjustified favouritism? Yet wouldn’t we be neglecting our real duties if we only helped strangers but not our friends? Is it right that you are now using occult power to heal my back? Wouldn’t it have taken less power to stop the man in the first place? Was it right for Dazak to cure the eyesight of the boy’s mother and not that of the millions of other blind people in the world? Now, which one of . . . Ouch! Be careful, Atrya! . . . Which one of you has all the answers?’
    Jintar was sitting on a seat in an underground chamber while Atrya made magnetic passes with his hands just above the lacerated flesh of his back.
    ‘Well as far as your back’s concerned,’ said Atrya, ‘I’m only accelerating the natural healing process. If you’d been taken to hospital, the end result would have been the same, but it would have taken far longer, and you might never have seen your home world again. You will of course be left with some scarring.’
    ‘Yes, but how much? I assume you can determine that yourself. No doubt you could even prevent any scarring at all if you used enough power. Not that I want you to. In fact, as far as I’m concerned you could have left me to die. I’m sure I deserved it. I’m not exactly an angel, you know, even though I’m being allowed – for mysterious reasons – to associate with some of the finest specimens of humanity. And I would have been working off bad karma. On the other hand, I don’t want to be ungrateful, because that would bring bad karma. Not that I’m pretending to be grateful just to avoid bad karma, because that would also bring bad karma. And if I’d been rescued before the attack began, the boy’s mother would not have had her eyesight restored. But I wonder what my relationship with Khanat and his mother was in a past life. Was the mother my daughter and Khanat my wife?’
    Jintar was feeling a little light-headed. He didn’t know why as he’d not been given any painkillers or anaesthetic, though the previous day he had wished otherwise.
    ‘Of course there’s no question of “forgiving” the man who did this to me as there’s nothing to forgive him for,’ he went on. ‘In fact I’m deeply grateful to him – a bit of pain never hurt anybody. And he was undoubtedly repaying me for something horrible I’d done to him, long long ago. On the other hand, his act of revenge has merely set back his own evolution. So it’s a tragedy for him.’
    Jintar shook his head sadly. ‘It’s time people abandoned their fixation with “settling scores”. There’s nothing wrong with self-defence or with protecting society against wrongdoers, but using undue force to take revenge instead of letting natural justice take its course merely leads to a vicious circle in which individuals or religious, racial or social groups take it in turns to brutalize one another, life after life after life – until one side finally has the sense to forgive. The Middle East seems to be a prime example of such madness.
    ‘But let’s hear from Dazak and Sahula. Sahula, do you think Dazak was wrong not to let you intervene before the man started to assault me?’
    ‘Well, crimes are being committed all the time, and the adepts could certainly intervene and put a stop to some of them if they wanted. But as a rule they don’t. People have to learn the hard way, by facing the consequences of their actions, and the members of our Brotherhood use their powers to tackle the root-causes of crime and human suffering – by encouraging and strengthening selfless and compassionate thoughts and ideas, and by helping to spread the uplifting, soul-strengthening teachings of the ageless wisdom.’
    ‘That’s very interesting,’ said Jintar, ‘but you forgot to answer the question. Was Dazak right or wrong?’
    After a brief hesitation Sahula said:
    ‘There’s no absolute right or absolute wrong. My gut reaction was to intervene, whereas Dazak read the situation differently. As things turned out, I think he was right. But there are no absolute rules for situations like this.’
    ‘I’m not asking for absolute rules, just useful guidelines. Dazak, what do you think?’
    ‘The rule is: follow your intuition. And the more in touch we are with our higher self the more unerring our intuition will be. But no one is absolutely infallible.’
    ‘Ah, now we’re getting to the crux of the matter,’ said Jintar. ‘You’re saying that if we rely solely on brain-mind reasoning we’ll end up tying ourselves in karmic knots. But would you have intervened if you’d known that otherwise I would have been killed?’
    ‘I don’t act on the basis of knowledge of the future, only of what I feel at the time.’
    ‘But couldn’t you have foreseen the outcome if you’d wanted to?’
    ‘It’s impossible to foresee the actual future, only the most probable future at any given moment. And I certainly could never have seen all the infinite ramifications of intervening or not intervening. Our Brotherhood has very strict rules about trying to look into the future or looking into past lives. We concentrate on acting in the present, according to our best judgement and our best motives.’
    ‘And “karma” will take care of the rest,’ added Atrya. ‘But let’s not forget that karma is not some mysterious, alien power. It’s just another way of saying that we act and nature reacts accordingly. It’s as simple – and as unfathomable – as that!’

Jintar woke up in the middle of the night, his body racked with pain. Atrya was working wonders repairing his back, but the pain was being allowed to take its course and returned from time to time. But it had never been as intense and unbearable as this before. Nothing he had experienced in the inner circle had prepared him for anything like this. He was lying on his stomach, and tears were rolling down his face and soaking into the cushions beneath his head. But he wasn’t going to complain out loud. As his body shook with emotion, he vowed that he would never inflict pain and suffering on any living being for as long as he lived.
    He thought back to the earlier conversation with Dazak, Sahula and Atrya. He had no doubt that Dazak had instinctively made the right decision in not stopping the attack, but he was sure that he himself would have taken the same attitude as Sahula if he had been in his place. He was deeply grateful that Dazak had allowed him to undergo this experience, and had compensated for his inaction by curing the boy’s mother of her blindness. And even though he was now quietly sobbing and convulsing in pain, Jintar would not have wanted it any other way.
    At that moment he felt a strange pressure inside his head and sank into a deep deep sleep.

Two weeks later, Dazak, Sahula and Jintar returned to the inner circle, as the situation in the Middle East had changed for the better. Since there was no need to rush home, they rode the ‘elevator’ at a much more leisurely pace, taking a whole week to make the descent. On the way they stopped at several different depths so that Jintar could see more of the fascinating cavern world in the earth’s outer shell.

~ 7 ~

Jintar was in a rowing boat with his mischievous and sometimes rather rowdy friend Gayan. They were on a lake having some fun after classes. A short distance away was another rowing boat containing four giggling teenage girls. All were in a boisterous mood and the hormones were flowing. The scene was set for a minor incident.
    ‘Jintar, my friend Sookya here thinks you’re adorable. She wants to come into your boat to give you a kiss.’
    Jintar laughed and starting rowing in the opposite direction.
    ‘Come on girls, come and get us,’ Gayan called out. ‘Here’s something to encourage you.’ And Gayan stood up in the boat and started to remove his robes.
    There were squeals of delight from the girls and they started to row faster. Jintar, however, was outpacing them, and when they were a ‘suitable’ distance away, Gayan removed the rest of his garments and pranced up and down stark naked. Then he put his clothes back on, turned to Jintar and said:
    ‘Now it’s your turn.’
    ‘No, I don’t want to.’
    ‘Come on, don’t be such a spoilsport. Nobody else is watching.’
    ‘Observe Jintar’s thoughts carefully now, Sahula,’ said Zoro. The two of them were present on the astral plane as the events unfolded. ‘Look at the two conflicting thought-streams. One saying: “This is exciting, even arousing, maybe I can get away with it.” And the other saying: “This is undignified, especially for an aspirant chela. What if the ‘high master’ gets to see this?” And now he’s even questioning his aspiration to be a chela and wondering whether an ordinary married life wouldn’t in fact be more suitable. He’s even wondering how Sookya would react to seeing his scars. But look at that! Look at the explosion of colours – deep yellow, rose, crimson and blue. You can see just how deep-rooted and sincere his aspirations really are. And that’s why I dare to predict that, even if he occasionally oversteps the mark, he has a very good chance of becoming a successful chela.’
    Gayan had pulled Jintar to his feet and was trying to forcibly remove his robes, but without success. The girls’ boat was drawing nearer. As the two youths grappled, the talisman hanging round Jintar’s neck, which he normally kept hidden, became exposed to view.
    One of the girls shouted out: ‘Jintar, Sookya is dying to play with your lovely dongle!’
    ‘Look at the burst of resistance now in Jintar’s mind,’ said Zoro. ‘His precious, sacred talisman has just been desecrated and defiled by that tasteless, adolescent remark. Look at the flashes of scarlet. He’s furious, mortified, almost in tears.’
    ‘Oops!’ said Sahula.
    Jintar had just thrown Gayan overboard, and was now rowing as fast as he could towards the shore.
    ‘On the one hand,’ said Zoro, ‘Jintar wants to join in and have a good time, and yet something deep inside him knows that these frivolous and really rather worthless pursuits will eventually have to be “sacrificed” completely if he is to fully realize his aspirations. Of course all chelas have to fight the same battle, as you know well yourself. As for Gayan, he will need to take care that his tender feelings are channelled upwards through the heart, rather than downwards to a point six inches below his navel.
    ‘Look at the thought-forms scattered around. Since thoughts often assume the shape of the object being thought of, some of the forms don’t leave much room for the imagination, do they?! However, the colours we can see are nothing like as murky as they would be in the outer circle in such a situation. Anyway I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that our inner land is not populated solely by paragons of virtue!’
    The time had not yet come to tell Sahula about other settlements in the inner circle, populated by humans belonging to a different order of evolution to those he had so far met.
    ‘As far as the “sex problem” is concerned,’ Zoro went on, ‘most people here are remarkably moderate and self-restrained compared to outer-circlers.’
    ‘But how would they fare if subjected to the same sex-saturated environment as exists in the outer circle?’ Sahula asked.
    ‘Well we don’t just tell people they should moderate their behaviour, we educate them to understand why, and explain the negative impact of immoderation and excess on mind and body. And we know for a fact that the training people receive here is effective, because when it’s time for the souls concerned to incarnate in the outer circle to do specific work there they generally prove immune to the worst temptations and delusions.
    ‘There are strict rules about what I’m allowed to do for my chelas. But when you arrive in the outer circle with Jintar in three and a half years, I want you to get him out of his body and take him on a tour of your cities. I shall have to ask Dazak to lend you a hand, as it’s very difficult to enter the fetid, miasmic vapours enveloping them. But let Jintar see the foul and wretched astral corpses that attach themselves to people indulging in base, bestial behaviour. With a bit of luck it will turn his stomach! Though I admit that, as often as not, it’s feelings of pride and superiority, and sometimes envy, that lead to a chela’s downfall rather than sexual transgressions.’
    ‘Or both in Fujal’s case,’ said Sahula.
    ‘But he could so easily have succeeded. Next time he’ll do better; his “fall” will have knocked some more sense into him. Maybe in a couple of hundred years we’ll fetch him back and give him another chance. He has great potential.’
    Sahula and Zoro were now hovering in their astral bodies beside Jintar, who had retreated to a secluded glade and was sitting quietly, holding his talisman to his forehead.
    ‘You see how he’s trying to communicate with me again. Just look at those deep, brilliant blues and violets! Such heartfelt devotion! Well I can’t respond every time he tries, otherwise I’d have no time for anything else. Nor do I intend to materialize and pat him on the back. Our chelas must learn to be self-reliant. But give him a word of warning – and encouragement – next time you talk to him. Let him know that I do watch him.’
    ‘He seems to be making a confession,’ said Sahula.
    They listened telepathically to his inner voice.
    ‘And, High Master, even though I commit six million sins a day I will never ever give up. I promise to retreble my efforts to shake off sordid and squalid thoughts and desires and to live up to the highest ideals of altruism and compassion – even if it takes me until the end of the seventh ring of the seventh cycle, in six hundred trillion years.’
    ‘Yes, that sounds like Jintar,’ said Zoro with a laugh. ‘You’re going to have to do something about his numbers, Sahula. They seem to have gone completely haywire! But at least he’s not impatient.’
    Sahula asked whether any inner-circlers ever had to be punished or imprisoned. Zoro explained that youthful exuberance was generally tolerated and that, in the event of unacceptable behaviour, an interview with a kindly and understanding village elder was usually sufficient to persuade people to mend their ways.
    ‘The elders don’t lecture people or talk down to them,’ said Zoro, ‘but appeal to their inner sense of responsibility – towards themselves and towards the community. It’s very helpful of course that everyone knows it’s pointless trying to lie about anything they’ve done, as the village elder can always arrange for a mahatma to project the events in question, or even the person’s thoughts, out of the astral light onto a screen. The events or thoughts can even be shown in public if need be. But it hardly ever comes to that, and I can’t remember the last time anybody had to be physically restrained – which would have to be done by occult means as there are no prisons in our sacred land.
    ‘Desires are insatiable,’ the master continued. ‘At best their fulfilment brings temporary satisfaction, and then the craving for sensation resurfaces with renewed vigour. In fact all the objects people pine for, the world over, could no more satisfy their lust than all the sea water could quench their thirst.
    ‘What’s more, any intense passions and emotions, such as anger, hatred, fear and jealously, coarsen the astral and mental bodies, throw them into agitation, and render the mind more impervious to the inner divine light. Inharmonious thoughts and intense emotions or passions also degrade or destroy the cells of the physical body, lower its resistance and make it more vulnerable to disease. Genuine happiness, power and wisdom can only be won by purifying the body, cleansing and calming the mind, and living for the good of others. The message to aspirants is clear: stop clinging to worldly delusions, throw off the shackles of the senses, and step into the larger life!’

~ 8 ~

Jintar was now nineteen years old. He had received a great deal of instruction from Dazak and Sahula on esoteric and scientific subjects. Today he was to deliver a talk on several major scientific theories in the outer circle, and had chosen the intriguing title: ‘Outer science and mental aberrations’.
    A great many people had gathered – young, old and very old. Sahula’s occult training was still in progress so he and Dazak were not present. Jintar was looking forward to the occasion – and a very memorable occasion it would prove to be.
    ‘Scientists in the outer circle have gathered reams upon reams of facts,’ he began. ‘They love classifying and categorizing things, and dissecting them down to the smallest details. But when it comes to making sense of these facts, they often display such a lack of common sense, such a poor grasp of logic, that you may well conclude from what you are about to hear that some of them have taken leave of their senses.’
    Jintar launched into his first topic:
    ‘How big is the universe? How far does space extend? Are there boundaries anywhere? If so, where are they and what lies beyond them? Common sense tells us that the universe must be infinite – without limits and without end. And since nothing can come from nothing, boundless space – which means infinite consciousness-life-substance – must always have existed.
    ‘Many outer-circlers, however, take a very different view. Their most popular theory of the origin of the universe is known as the big bang theory. It claims that in the beginning – supposedly a mere fifteen billion years ago – there was nothing, absolutely nothing, no matter, no energy, no spirit, no consciousness, not even any space. And out of this nothingness, this spacelessness, the universe of space and matter suddenly popped into being as a result of a “random fluctuation”. After originating as an infinitesimal point, space has supposedly been expanding like elastic ever since . . .’
    As Jintar spoke, the sound of laughter had started coming from the back of the crowd, quiet at first but increasingly louder, until the man in question exploded into guffaws of laughter. The rest of the audience, recognizing the silliness of what they had just heard, joined in, as did Jintar himself.
    After the laughter had died down, Jintar addressed the man at the back:
    ‘I like your sense of humour. What is your name?’
    The man stood up and declared: ‘I am the Master of Vibrations.’ Then he sat down again.
    Jintar and many people in the audience gasped. The ‘Master of Vibrations’ was a familiar name in the inner circle, and the man was already known to several people, as he occasionally visited the settlements.
    Jintar bowed to the master and said: ‘We are deeply honoured by your sublime presence.’
    Then he continued:
    ‘If there was no space and no matter and no energy before the hypothetical big bang, there was obviously nothing to undergo a “fluctuation” and nowhere for it to occur! However, big bangers have long since abandoned ordinary rules of logic and have created a fantasy world of their own. One version of the big bang claims that although space popped into existence a finite period ago and expands at a finite pace, it somehow, and probably instantly, became infinite – and yet even though it is infinite it still manages to keep on expanding! Other big bangers, with the help of a bit of advanced mathematical acrobatics, claim that space curves round upon itself so that it is finite and yet has no boundaries!’
    At this, there was further laugher.
    ‘Some big bangers,’ Jintar went on, ‘believe that the universe may at some point in the future start to contract, and end its life in a “big crunch” in which it annihilates itself, leaving nothing – no space, no matter, no energy and no spirit. In centuries to come it may be difficult to understand how such half-baked ideas could ever have been passed off as “science”.’
    A young girl in the front row put her hand up.
    ‘Yes, Aurora, what would you like to say?’
    ‘Why don’t you invite the big bangers to the inner circle so that we can nurse them back to health?’
    After the laughter had died down, Jintar explained that the main reason for the belief in an expanding universe was the redshift. ‘If light from distant galaxies is passed through a spectrometer,’ he said, ‘the spacing of the lines in the resulting spectrum can be used to identify the elements they contain. However, these spectral lines are nearly always displaced towards the red end of the spectrum as compared with those produced by elements on earth. This suggests that light from distant galaxies is losing energy for some reason. Big bangers attribute the redshift to the expansion of space, but the main cause is really that light loses energy as it travels through the ether of space. A galaxy’s redshift also partly depends on its stage of evolution, for there are low-redshift galaxies surrounded by high-redshift galaxies that have apparently been ejected from them as embryo-galaxies. But big bangers are highly skilled at dismissing or suppressing evidence that contradicts their pet theory.’
    Jintar then spoke of the growing opposition to the big bang model and ended by saying:
    ‘Although scientists who oppose the big bang and other patently absurd theories are frequently subjected to fierce hostility from the scientific priesthood, rest assured that they often receive unseen help and encouragement from members of the Shambhala Brotherhood.’
    The crowd clapped its support and the Master of Vibrations winked at Jintar, for Jintar had been told something of the work he did.
    ‘As you know,’ Jintar continued, ‘some of our sacred texts speak of the “outbreathing” and “inbreathing” of the cosmic divinity, and some mystically-minded outer-circlers have claimed that this is “supported” by the big bang theory. This is of course total nonsense, for how can truth be supported by a mental aberration? Outbreathing and inbreathing do not refer to an increase or decrease in physical size but to the unfoldment of the One (the spiritual summit of a world-system) into the many (the lower, material realms), and the subsequent reabsorption of the many into the One, in a never-ending cycle, or cosmic heartbeat, of evolution and involution.
    ‘It’s rare, however, to find any cosmologists, whether for or against the big bang, who recognize the existence of inner realms and their guiding influence on the evolution of the physical world. But fashions can change very quickly, and I’m confident that with the help of the Shambhala Brotherhood, reason will prevail in the very near future – and certainly within the next few billion years.’
    Jintar then turned his attention to relativity theory.
    ‘In our infinite universe, everything is relative. “Big” and “small”, “long” and “short”, “fast” and “slow” are relative terms. For instance, if we reason by analogy – as above, so below – we can think of an atom as a miniature solar system, reembodying perhaps millions of times in what for us is one second, and our whole galaxy can be seen as a molecule in some supercosmic entity for which a million of our years are just a second. This is all perfectly reasonable. So is the fact that when objects move through space they undergo changes: their size and shape and the surrounding force-field may alter, and the processes taking place within them may speed up or slow down.
    ‘The standard theory of relativity in the outer circle, on the other hand, claims that when an object moves through space, “space itself” – relative to that object – can expand or contract, and “time itself” can speed up or slow down. Now, common sense tells us that abstract, boundless space cannot change in size. Nor can time speed up or slow down, as it’s not a concrete “thing” existing independently of events. Our sense of passing time is created by the unbroken succession of events, of cause and effect. And the fact that a particular sequence of events may speed up or slow down certainly doesn’t mean that “time itself” is flowing faster or slower!
    ‘Another false claim is that the speed of light is an absolute speed limit: nothing anywhere in the entire infinite universe can supposedly travel faster than the speed of light on our own plane. What’s more, if anything were to travel faster than light, it would supposedly travel backwards in time and arrive at its destination before it had even set off!’
    Once again the audience started laughing, led by the Master of Vibrations.
    ‘Well our thoughts can travel much faster than light,’ said Aurora, ‘but they obviously don’t travel backwards in time. I think the outer sun must be affecting the minds of some of the scientists. Or could it be something they’re eating? I think I’ll send them a basket of our lovely fruit and vegetables to help them through their convalescence.’
    When the audience had settled down again, Jintar continued:
    ‘General relativity theory claims that gravity results from curved spacetime. You see, even “time itself” can supposedly undergo contortions!’
    Again the Master of Vibrations burst into his infectious laughter.
    ‘In other words,’ said Jintar when he could again make himself heard, ‘gravity is not seen as a force that travels from one place to another but is supposedly the result of objects distorting the “fabric of spacetime” in their vicinity in some miraculous way. Needless to say, “warped spacetime” is just a warped mathematical monstrosity and tells us nothing at all about the real, ethereal causes of gravity.’
    Jintar then turned to his final topic: quantum physics, the theory of the subatomic world.
    ‘If scientists want to know where a subatomic particle is,’ he said, ‘they make a measurement, and they obviously find the particle in only one place. In between measurements they don’t know exactly where the particle is, but they use an equation to calculate the probability of finding it in any particular place. In theory, the particle could be almost anywhere, though some locations are far more probable than others. Some physicists “deduce” from this that in between measurements particles actually are in all these different places simultaneously – they supposedly turn into “superposed probability waves”, which somehow “collapse” into localized particles again when the next measurement is made. A few physicists go even further and say that this “collapse” takes place only when we humans become aware of the result of the measurement, and that it is therefore our conscious minds that give reality to the material world.’
    Jintar then wrote out the quantum wave equation on a board and added:
    ‘These mathematical squiggles supposedly prove that physical objects do not exist in any concrete sense unless we humans are observing them!’
    The Master of Vibrations again erupted into laughter and the rest of the audience followed suit.
    ‘It’s too ridiculous for words!’ declared Aurora. ‘I wish I could go to the outer circle and talk some sense into these silly, flapdoodling scientists.’
    Jintar continued:
    ‘To show you just how grotesque pure mathematical speculation can become, let me briefly mention string theory. This theory – for which there isn’t a shred of evidence – claims that all matter and force particles, and even space and time as well, arise from vibrating one-dimensional “strings”, about a billion-trillion-trillionth of an inch long (which is supposedly the smallest size possible in nature) but with zero thickness. And they are said to inhabit a ten-dimensional universe in which the six extra spatial dimensions are curled up so small that they’re undetectable! And for good measure, the latest fad – M-theory – postulates a universe of eleven dimensions, inhabited by objects with up to nine dimensions.’
    ‘Get real!’ exclaimed Aurora. ‘What incredible flapdoodle! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.’
    The laughter coming from the back of the gathering indicated that the Master of Vibrations was in no such doubt.
    ‘Surely it’s obvious,’ said Aurora, ‘that any object on any plane can have no more than three dimensions of size – namely length, breadth and height. And how can there be a smallest size or a largest size? Common sense tells us that matter can be divided ad infinitum and combined ad infinitum. It sounds as if some outer-circlers are afraid of boundless eternity and are desperate to impose artificial limits on it so that it fits into their narrow little minds.’
    Jintar expressed his agreement and then drew his talk to a close:
    ‘Intellect alone cannot lead to truth; it has to be accompanied by logic, common sense and intuition. And clearly many scientists in the outer circle show an astounding lack of common sense. Rather than concluding that there might be something wrong with their theories, they prefer to conclude that reality itself is weird and unintelligible!
    ‘The regularities, ingenuity and wonder of the physical world and its endless diversity of lifeforms, the existence of mind and consciousness, the existence of paranormal phenomena, even the very existence of physical matter and force, require the existence of inner, unseen worlds – etheric, astral, mental, spiritual and divine. And these are not abstract, intangible realms hidden away in inaccessible, mathematical “dimensions”, “beyond space and time”, but real, inhabited realms, made of different grades of consciousness-substance, which interpenetrate our own world but are imperceptible to our physical senses. The lowest of these worlds can be glimpsed by ordinary clairvoyants, and the inner realms are known to perfection by the highest initiates. This picture of worlds within worlds, vibrant with life and consciousness, is surely infinitely superior to a motley collection of sterile mathematical abstractions!’
    The audience voiced their agreement.
    After a lively discussion the meeting was called to a close. As the gathering dispersed, Jintar talked to several members of the crowd, and soon the Master of Vibrations came up to speak to him.
    ‘A most edifying and entertaining talk! I apologize for my constant interruptions.’
    ‘That’s alright, Eminent Master. Thank you for making the meeting so enjoyable.’
    Jintar silently wished that Sahula and Dazak could have been there.
    ‘Oh but they are here,’ said the Master of Vibrations. ‘They’re over there.’
    Jintar looked but could not see them.
    ‘Are they in their magic bodies?’
    ‘Yes, don’t you see them?’
    ‘No, I don’t possess the magic eye yet.’
    ‘Well we all possess it, it’s just a question of waking it up. Look again,’ he said as he placed his hand on Jintar’s head.
    Jintar smiled and waved towards the back of the gathering.
    ‘My magic eye will wake up one day,’ said Jintar, ‘even if it takes another six hundred million years. Step by step we climb.’
    At that point Aurora came running up.
    ‘Master of Vibrations, is it true that you’re six hundred thousand years old?’
    ‘No it’s not. Who told you that?’
    ‘I overheard Jintar talking to someone.’
    ‘Ah, well Jintar’s figures are notoriously inflated, you know. At heart I’m actually just as young as you are!’

~ 9 ~

Dazak handed Jintar a pile of huge ancient manuscripts, two feet long, one and a half feet wide, and two inches thick, covered with large writing.
    ‘This famous parchment was written by an Atlantean astronomer about three and a half million years ago as Atlantean civilization was rushing towards its doom in an orgy of selfishness and black magic. Many later texts have been based on it. I want you to take it to Sahula on Tree Island. You and a few others will then be allowed to study it with him. I’m going to fold it and put it in this special indestructible container so that nothing can happen to it. And please don’t lose it.’
    ‘Don’t worry, it’s safe in my hands,’ said Jintar, and he set off through the wood in the direction of the jetty on the lake shore, with the heavy container under his arm.
    As he walked through the wood he began to sing one of his songs:

    ‘Son of Aether, Son of Earth,
    Son of the Solitude that gave you birth,
    Let your mind soar to wisdom’s lofty peak
    That mighty words of power you shall ever speak.’

    He could hear the sound of children’s voices nearby and altered his course as he continued his song:

    ‘Warrior of the soul that travels from afar,
    Warrior of the spirit of your parent star,
    The dragon of passion is the enemy you must slay
    That on compassion’s harp sweet harmonies you may play.’

    The sound of the voices was getting nearer as he sang the final verse:

    ‘Radiate love on friend and foe,
    Reap joy and growth from suffering and woe,
    Let the vibrant symphony of kinship’s song
    Merge all selves into All-Self and the many into One.’

    ‘Look, it’s Jintar singing to himself,’ cried Aurora. ‘Maybe he wants to join in our game.’
    Jintar greeted them all and said to Aurora:
    ‘You seem to have grown several inches every time I see you.’
    ‘No, no, I haven’t got bigger at all. The space enclosing me has expanded!’
    The other children giggled.
    ‘I see!’ said Jintar. ‘And what game are you playing?’
    ‘Masters and chelas,’ Aurora replied. ‘It’s very simple. I’m the master and the other girls and boys are my chelas, and I send them out into the world to do good for all living beings. And then they’re attacked by fierce animals who try to eat them but they make friends with them and play together.’
    ‘And what is your role exactly?’
    ‘I watch over my chelas and warn them if the dugpa sorcerers are planning to harm them. Would you like to play? You could be the King of Shambhala.’
    ‘No I don’t think that would be proper. I’m too lowly even to contemplate his feet – if he has any. I think I’ll sit here and watch for a while if you don’t mind.’
    ‘Alright then. And what’s that under your arm?’
    ‘Oh just an old book.’
    The girl ran off to organize her friends.
    Jintar decided that while he was sitting there, it could do no harm if he had a look at the parchment, so he took it out of the container. The main text was written in Senzar, but the commentary appeared to be written in one of the Atlantean languages.
    Suddenly Jintar heard a scream and looked up, just in time to see a boy of ten, who was balancing on a very high branch pretending to be a snake, lose his footing and come falling to the ground. As he fell his head struck a branch. He hit the ground, rolled over and lay there motionless. Jintar ran over to him, as the other children gathered round looking worried. The boy had knocked himself unconscious and blood was trickling down his face from a wound on his forehead. Thanks to the weaker pull of gravity in the inner circle, however, no bones seemed to be broken.
    ‘We need to get him back to the settlement as quickly as possible,’ said Jintar. He picked the boy up and hurried off towards the village, followed by the rest of the children. It was only as they neared the settlement that Jintar remembered the parchment.
    ‘It’ll be alright,’ he assured himself. ‘No one is going to steal it.’
    Three quarters of an hour later, panting heavily, he arrived back at the clearing in the wood. A tame four-legged animal called a zebro was standing there munching the grass. Jintar walked towards it and then uttered a cry of horror as he realized that it wasn’t eating grass – but the parchment!
    The parchment was utterly ruined. The animal had pounded it to pieces with its hoof and eaten huge chunks of it.
    ‘You naughty zebro! You’ve just destroyed an invaluable, irreplaceable, sixty-million-year-old sacred manuscript, the only one of its kind in the whole universe!’
    Jintar was in despair. ‘It’s all my fault,’ he lamented. ‘If I’d gone straight to Sahula and hadn’t taken it out of its magic container, everything would have been fine. That’s the last time they’ll ever ask me to do anything for them. I’m finished!’
    Jintar decided to go and break the bad news to Sahula as he’d undoubtedly be more sympathetic than Dazak. This would also allow him to visit the sacred tree again. The leaves and bark of this famous tree were covered with Senzar symbols, which appeared naturally as it grew, and the tree as a whole was said to tell the entire story of evolution.
    Jintar was rowed over to the island by one of the guardians. He found Sahula in the cave library, sorting through some manuscripts.
    ‘Ah Jintar, what brings you here?’
    ‘Dazak sent me with a parchment written by an Atlantean astronomer.’
    ‘Oh great, let me see it! It’s one of our most priceless manuscripts.’
    Jintar glumly handed him the container.
    Sahula peered inside, frowned, and shook out what remained of the manuscript.
    ‘Ok Jintar, let’s hear it.’
    ‘A zebro tried to eat it!’ He related the whole story and Sahula tried not to laugh.
    ‘You’d best go and tell Dazak right away,’ he said.
    ‘But he’ll kill me.’
    ‘I don’t think so. He may be a bit stern at times but I don’t think he’s a murderer.’
    ‘You know what I mean. This is the end. Unless . . .’
    ‘Unless what?’
    ‘Please rematerialize it for me. Please. You’ve had many years of occult training now so I know you can do it. I’ll never ever ask for another favour again.’
    ‘I don’t have the ability to rematerialize it; my powers are still very limited. And anyway, I don’t have permission to use lots of power to grant favours.’
    ‘But Dazak cured the eyesight of the Egyptian boy’s mother.’
    ‘Dazak has more freedom and more power than I do. He’s nearly a master himself. So I’m very sorry but I can’t help you.’
    Jintar was thoroughly disconsolate. He sat down and put his head in his hands. After a few minutes, he got to his feet, picked up a pen, helped himself to a sheet of paper and began to write. Finally, he said to Sahula:
    ‘I’ve written a letter of apology to Dazak. He’ll be even more heartbroken than I am, so will you give it to him so that he’ll have time to try and come to terms with this terrible loss before I see him again face to face? If I ever do.’
    ‘Certainly. Come with me.’
    They went outside into a courtyard. Sahula took the letter, folded it twice into a triangular shape, wrote some symbols on it, then held it in the air at arm’s length and let go. It floated upwards, hovered momentarily, then burst into brilliant flames. Jintar watched in rapt astonishment as the letter was completely consumed.
    ‘Your powers seem pretty spectacular to me!’ he exclaimed.
    ‘That was relatively easy thanks to the private elementals assigned to help me. And now come with me!’
    Jintar followed Sahula up and down several staircases until they reached the central courtyard where the sacred tree towered up into the cloudless, deep-blue sky. Jintar examined the leaves and bark. The symbols were clearly embedded in them and it was an amazing spectacle.
    They sat down on a bench.
    ‘The whole history of human evolution, past, present and future, is written on this tree,’ said Sahula. ‘In fact, it’s written in each one of us, if only we knew how to decipher it.’
    Jintar looked at him admiringly.
    ‘Sahula, what’s it like to be a bodhisattva magician?’
    ‘Stop exaggerating Jintar. You’re always doing it. I’m just a humble novice.’
    ‘That’s the key, isn’t it? To remain humble even when we start to gain knowledge and powers that most other people don’t have. Never to feel superior or self-important. And never to misuse powers for selfish ends, or look down on anybody for their ignorance or weaknesses, or treat them with contempt. Because we’ve all been there ourselves. And who can really say what stage of development everybody is really at? We can’t judge from externals. We might think we’re really advanced in this life, but perhaps this life is just an exception in which lots of good karmic factors have come together, whereas we still have mountains and mountains of bad karma to work off in future lives. And for other people the opposite may be true. So unless we’re mahatmas who can see into people’s inner life and past lives, it’s best to assume nothing.’
    ‘Wise words, Jintar. If we are a step higher on the evolutionary ladder than others, that merely places an extra responsibility on our shoulders. Although humans all have the same spiritual potential, we did not all start the present planetary cycle at the same level of development. And that was because we didn’t finish the previous cycle at the same level of development. And so on into the eternal past. There was never an absolute beginning in which everyone was created absolutely equal and started evolving at exactly the same rate.
    ‘There have always been different kingdoms of nature, and every kingdom has always had its forerunners and its stragglers. And since the stragglers are not advanced enough to enter the next kingdom in the following cycle, they remain in the same kingdom as “failures”. But since they have a big head-start, they become its leaders and pioneers. And so everything balances out, and in the course of our infinite existence we will find ourselves in every conceivable evolutionary position, from highest to lowest, again and again. But whatever our status, there’ll always be plenty of challenges and adventures, and plenty of opportunities to help others.’
    The conversation then turned to the extent of the Great White Lodge’s network in the outer world. Sahula said he had been informed that it had mystery centres on every continent and representatives in most countries. Their work was coordinated from the outer Shambhala in the Gobi desert and the inner Shambhala in the Imperishable Sacred Land. Representatives of the Brotherhood held leading positions in a few esoteric organizations and occult lodges around the world, but hardly any were allowed to announce themselves as such, and those that did were frequently dismissed as impostors by members of the public who heard of their claims. The mahatmas had chelas in many nations, but mostly in eastern countries, belonging nominally to various religious traditions. However, an increasing number of more advanced souls were beginning to incarnate in the West, as early forerunners of the sixth great root-race of humanity, which would not flourish for several million years, and a few of them were chelas of the masters.
    ‘And I will tell you something else,’ Sahula said to Jintar, who was listening intently. ‘The mahatmas have access to the lost treasures of the immemorial ages of the past. They are the guardians of vast underground libraries and depositories, in both the inner and outer worlds, containing valuable historical records and literary works dating back to the beginning of the fourth root-race, along with the inventions and handiwork of past humanities, and the skeletons of Atlantean giants. These records will gradually be brought to public knowledge when the time is right, and the scientists of the future, if they’re as dogmatic as some of today’s scientists, will receive some very unpleasant surprises.’
    Jintar then asked Sahula if he missed his mother and sister.
    ‘Yes, in a sense, but I can be with them in thought whenever I want. I know they understand the choice I made; and if they didn’t I wouldn’t be here because if we want to serve humanity, deserting our families is hardly a good way to start! I try to see the big picture: thanks to my training here I can do far more good and benefit far more people than if I had remained there.’
    Jintar then said that his own parents had told him that if he was ever given the opportunity to go to the outer circle to work, he should seize it, even if it meant never seeing them again.
    ‘That’s good to know because in a year’s time we’ll be going to the outer circle together.’
    ‘Haven’t you been told yet?’
    ‘No. Not a thing.’
    ‘Mind you, that was before you lost the most priceless manuscript on earth, a manuscript that is totally unique and totally irrepla– . . .’
    At that moment a hefty manuscript fell out of the air and crashed onto the ground a few feet in front of them throwing up a cloud of dust. Jintar uttered a cry of astonishment. His letter to Dazak was attached to the bundle, and on the back of it was a note from Dazak. Jintar read it out loud:
    ‘ “To Jintar, Take better care next time! Love Dazak.” You see!’ he exclaimed. ‘I always said he was the most wonderful and most forgiving bodhisattva in all existence!’

A few hours later Jintar was heading back through the wood to report to Dazak. He could hear children’s voices and altered his course. Before long he entered a clearing and saw Aurora and her friends gathered in front of a huge rock, the lower part being covered with a large piece of cloth.
    ‘Look, it’s the King of Shambhala,’ cried Aurora. ‘He’s just in time to hear me reveal the answer to life, the universe and everything. Please take a seat.’
    ‘What game are you playing?’ whispered Jintar as he sat down on the grass beside the children.
    ‘It’s a new game called “silly scientists”.’
    ‘Who’s playing the part of the silly scientist?’
    ‘No talking please and pay careful attention,’ declared Aurora. ‘I have devoted my entire life to solving the mystery of existence, and now I have finally found the answer.’
    ‘That’s amazing!’ one of the children called out.
    ‘It is indeed. I am now going to reveal to you the Ultimate Equation, the equation that provides the final answer to every question and the final solution to every mystery. Here it is . . .’
    Aurora tugged the piece of cloth and it fell to the ground to reveal an unintelligible jumble of weird mathematical symbols that she had written on the rock in chalk.
    The children gasped in mock astonishment.
    ‘What an incredible achievement!’ cried a boy.
    ‘You must be totally brilliant!’ said Jintar.
    ‘I am indeed!’ said Aurora.
    ‘But what does it all mean?’ asked Jintar.
    ‘Well now, let me explain. The equation proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the universe is finite, but that space is infinite yet keeps getting bigger and bigger, that the universe erupted into existence out of absolute nothingness by total chance, that there are twenty-eight and a half dimensions of space and three of time, but that most of them have spontaneously shrunk and are therefore undetectable. It also proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the ultimate constituents of matter, force, space and time are zero-dimensional “wiglets”, that life evolved from dead matter by random chance, that consciousness is a byproduct of molecular motion in our brains, that all paranormal phenomena are bogus, that there are no subtler, nonphysical substances, forces or entities and no inner realms, that there is no Great White Lodge, no Inner Circle, no children of Shambhala, no reincarnation, no karma, just one crazy life and then utter oblivion.’
    ‘Wow! It certainly sounds very profound and incredibly inspiring,’ said a young boy. ‘But wait! I think I’ve spotted an error.’
    ‘What?!’ cried Aurora. ‘I don’t believe it. Show me.’
    The boy walked up to the rock, took a piece of chalk and altered one of the symbols.
    ‘And what does the equation mean now?’ asked Aurora.
    ‘It proves beyond a shadow of doubt that you’re a self-deluded flapdoodle!’

~ 10 ~

In a few months Sahula would be returning to the outer circle and he had been asked to give a final public address on the subject of ‘Oneness and the bodhisattva path’.
    ‘One of the great themes of the world’s sacred traditions is the common spiritual origin of all that exists,’ he began. ‘Many creation myths tell of how at the dawn of a new cycle of evolutionary activity, the universal Spirit reawakens from its long sleep, and emits multitudes of god-sparks, seeds of divinity, which are destined to pass through all the kingdoms of nature in search of knowledge and experience.
    ‘We begin our journey through the human kingdom as nonselfconscious, nonthinking beings in a state of innocence – symbolized in Christian mythology by the garden of Eden. The eating of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil represents the emergence of selfconsciousness. This gives us the power of thought and choice and free will, and we become morally responsible. And then the fun really begins. Our original state of innocence is lost; we are expelled from Eden.
    ‘This is the Fall – a fall into independent, selfconscious personalities. It’s also a fall into matter; we take on “coats of skin”, meaning that our original, ethereal bodies were at that time becoming increasingly physical, resulting in increasing obscuration of the inner light. And finally, it’s a fall into sexual reproduction, for it was at the same period of our evolution – around the middle of the third, Lemurian root-race, some eighteen million years ago – that humans ceased to be hermaphrodites and separated into distinct males and females.
    ‘With the emergence of our selfconscious minds and our continuing descent into matter, we begin to see others as totally separate and distinct from ourselves, and are tempted to misuse our free will for selfish ends, to further our own supposed interests at the expense of others. And some people even lose their way to such an extent that they deliberately perpetrate wholesale cruelty and destruction unknown in the mainly instinctual animal world. But we also have the ability to realize that separateness is an illusion, that selfishness is self-defeating and that, as members of one human family and offspring of the One Life, it is our duty to assist the upwards, evolutionary course of nature by helping one another along the path. But in order to realize our full spiritual potential, an enormous number of lives are necessary.
    ‘Some people in the outer circle seem to regard reincarnation as an evil and long to be released from the wheel of rebirth so that they can escape from the scene of so much suffering and misery. That may be understandable but it is hardly a commendable motive. Those rare individuals who attain the pinnacle of human evolution and have learned all that the earth can teach are presented with a choice: either to leave the earth behind and enter nirvana, or to become bodhisattvas of compassion and remain voluntarily on earth so that they can do whatever is karmically possible to help lead others to enlightenment.
    ‘Gautama the Buddha – the latest in a long line of buddhas – was an example of one who made this great sacrifice, and even to this day his work continues as a nirmanakaya in the spiritual atmosphere surrounding and within our earth. He is in fact the chief of the Great White Lodge and is in constant communication with our highest adepts. The noble sentiments that lead to this act of self-renunciation and self-sacrifice are beautifully expressed in The Book of the Golden Precepts. A bodhisattva who has achieved spiritual liberation and earned the right to a long period of nirvanic rest and bliss, hears the voice of compassion within him asking: “Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shall you be saved and hear the whole world cry?”
    ‘Most of us have a very long way to go before we become bodhisattvas or buddhas, but all of us can make a real contribution to changing the world for the better by making every effort to correct our own faults, and by helping those around us with encouraging words, kind deeds and uplifting thoughts. Every step along this path is a step towards a more peaceful and caring world for all.’
    One of the issues raised during the discussion that followed was whether those treading the spiritual path should seek to develop psychic powers. Both adults and children in the inner circle were well aware that the glamour surrounding the paranormal entailed many dangers and pitfalls. Quite a few children were born with some degree of psychic ability, as was increasingly the case in the outer circle as well. But the general feeling was that people should not go out of their way to cultivate such powers. Spiritual development was not about seeking astral wonders but about right thought and right action, and above all, living for the good of others.
    Sahula mentioned the potential dangers to physical and mental health of trying to force the development of psychic powers without the guidance of a proper teacher, and said that in the further course of human evolution higher mental and spiritual powers would develop in a natural manner. One of these was buddhi – the faculty of inner understanding and intuitive wisdom, the source of our instinctive feelings of right and wrong, and of the fitting response to any situation. Those who succeeded in fully awakening buddhi became buddhas, meaning ‘enlightened ones’ or ‘awakened ones’.
    ‘One psychic power that we should however seek to cultivate,’ he continued, ‘is our spiritual willpower. Every time we give in to a selfish or unworthy impulse we weaken our will and our moral sense and make it a little easier to yield to that impulse again; while every time we resist a selfish or unworthy impulse we strengthen our will and our moral sense and make the next victory a little easier. If we indulge every impulse or desire that flits through our minds – no matter how base – we are not demonstrating freedom but slavery.
    ‘We therefore need to watch our minds vigilantly and try to keep our attention focused on wholesome things. And if we find ourselves indulging in unkind thoughts, we should counter them by visualizing ourselves doing beautiful and magnanimous deeds. The grooves of our old habits run deep, and modifying our thoughts and behaviour is therefore a gradual process. But there are no shortcuts or quick fixes; self-transformation and spiritual enlightenment are the fruit of many lives of self-purification and altruism.’
    Sahula was asked what scientists in the outer circle thought about psychic powers. He answered that although an increasing amount of research was being conducted into such matters, most scientists still subscribed to narrow materialism, which allowed no room for the paranormal.
    ‘But what about thought-power and willpower?’ asked a young man. ‘Aren’t they recognized as psychic powers?’
    ‘Well, a great many scientists believe that, rather than being an instrument of the mind, the brain is the mind. And they regard consciousness as just a byproduct of electrical and chemical activity in the brain, rather than as the fundamental substance of all existence.’
    ‘Extraordinary!’ said the young man.
    Sahula was also asked how scientists who did believe in paranormal phenomena tried to explain them. He replied that most of them favoured superficial explanations in terms of quantum physics rather than occult explanations.
    ‘To explain telepathy and clairvoyance, some researchers invoke “quantum nonlocality”,’ he said. ‘This grand-sounding phrase basically means that information can be accessed from elsewhere or exchanged between minds absolutely instantaneously without any transfer of any energy of any kind. This is of course utterly illogical; such phenomena must involve an exchange of energy-substance – but of a nonphysical kind and perhaps faster than light. Some scientists even claim that information can be obtained “nonlocally” from the actual past or the actual future, whereas the truth is that it is possible to see clairvoyantly the records of the past imprinted on the astral light, and the shadows of the future that are already being cast in the present.
    ‘To explain the ability of the mind to affect matter at the atomic level, some researchers invoke the theory that subatomic particles turn into nebulous “probability waves” when they’re not being observed, and then “collapse” into real particles again only when we try to measure them, and they add that in some cases our conscious minds can influence the outcome of this mysterious “collapse”. This theory, too, is illogical and absurd, and the idea that subatomic particles don’t exist unless we humans try to measure them must surely rank as one of the greatest conceits of the age. But most researchers into the paranormal still prefer to believe in these mathematical fantasies than to recognize the existence of occult, supraphysical forces, substances and entities.’
    ‘I do feel sorry for such people,’ said a seven-year-old girl. ‘It’s hard to believe that we were once so ignorant and naive. Let’s do all we can to help them.’
    The air was filled with murmurs of agreement.
    Sahula then drew the meeting to a close with the following words:
    ‘We are children of the cosmos, microcosms of the macrocosm, and therefore all the powers and faculties, all the secrets and mysteries, of the universe are contained within each one of us, waiting to be discovered. Mystics throughout the ages have therefore taught that the path of spiritual evolution is the path inwards, deeper and deeper into the core of our being, into vast inner realms of wisdom and knowledge. We reach the heart of the universe by losing our personal self in order to gain the cosmic Self dwelling in the inmost essence of every one of us. The pathway that we travel is long and may at times be arduous, but it is also bright with joy and lighted with the fires of the spirit.’

The time for the Annual Festival was here again. The inhabitants of Shambhala were gathering in the Sacred Grove to celebrate the wonder of life, their oneness with mother earth, and the interconnectedness of all that exists. Several hours earlier there had been a prolonged downpour. Nature had been refreshed, the scents and fragrances of the earth, flowers and trees had been accentuated many-fold, and magnificent rainbows now adorned the crystal-clear sky.
    The children performed a mystery play about the soul’s pilgrimage through the spheres of the cosmos and the stations of consciousness, depicting its trials and temptations and ultimate triumph, when finally it recognized other souls as its brethren, and all were reabsorbed into the Divine Source, the Parent Self, bearing with them the fruits of their adventures through the worlds of matter.
    Then came singing and music and dancing. Melodies of breathtaking beauty radiated enchantment and wonder, drums beat out the rhythms of life, and voices chanted to the gods. For all was as it should be and all was one. The wisdom of the ancient ones was in the air, the call of the sacred touched the depth of every heart, and the breath of nature thrilled through all. Haunting voices sang in ripples of harmony, and resounding chords rose and fell, ebbed and flowed, over and over. The atmosphere was vibrant with spiritual power and all nature resonated to the symphony of joy, as the central sun poured forth its vitality in one unceasing cascade of love, while rivers danced, trees bowed, and a gentle breeze caressed and blessed all it touched.
    Everyone was on their feet, swaying gently to the music. Jintar, clutching his magic talisman, wandered slowly amongst the crowd, his eyes half closed. He felt that somewhere amidst the throng was the Ruler of Shambhala. He would find him and pay him reverence. On the edges of the crowd he stopped and found himself kneeling to the ground. Peering up he met the benign gaze of a tall, exalted figure dressed in gleaming white. The figure put his finger to his lips in a gesture of silence while Jintar’s heart poured out his love and devotion. Flames of radiant splendour enveloped the figure, and Jintar closed his eyes. When he opened them again the figure was gone, but Sahula was kneeling beside him. They looked at each other, and both heard the following unspoken words: ‘Dare to try, dare to win!’
    The stirring music and singing continued, weaving a magnetic web from heart to heart and mind to mind, till the chorus reached a crescendo, sending a message to the farthest reaches of the globe:

People of the earth, come up higher.
People of the earth, come to Shambhala, sacred Shambhala.

And then all at once the sound fell away, and there was silence, reverence, stillness . . .

Warrior of the Soul - 2: Part 3

Warrior of the Soul: Contents