It is with no ordinary feelings that we address ourselves to our students of the Yogi class. We see, as they perhaps do not, that to many of them this series of lessons will be as seed planted in fertile soil, which will in due time put forth sprouts which will force their way gradually into the sunlight of consciousness, where they will put forth leaves, blossom, and fruit. Many of the fragments of truth which will be presented to you will not be recognized by you at this time, but in years to come you will recognize the verity of the impressions which will be conveyed to you in these lessons, and then, and then only, will you make these truths your own.
We intend to speak to you just as if you were gathered before us in person, and as if we were standing before you in the flesh. We feel sure that the bond of sympathy between us will soon grow so strong and real that as you read our words you will feel our presence almost as strongly as if we were with you in person. We will be with you in spirit, and, according to our philosophy, the student who is in harmonious sympathy with his teachers really establishes a psychic connection with them, and is in consequence enabled to grasp the “spirit” of the teaching and to receive the benefit of the teacher’s thought in a degree impossible to one who merely reads the words in cold print.
We are sure that the members of the class will get into harmony with each other, and with us, from the very start, and that we will obtain results that will surprise even ourselves, and that the term of the class will mark a wonderful spiritual growth and unfoldment for many of the class. This result would be impossible were the class composed of the general public, in which the adverse thought vibrations of many would counteract, or at least retard, the impelling force generated in the minds of those who are in sympathy with the work.
But we will not have this obstacle to overcome, as the class has been recruited only from that class of students who are interested in the occult. The announcements sent out by us have been worded in such a way as to attract the attention only of those for whom they were intended. The mere sensation hunters and the “faddists” have not been attracted by our call, while those for whom the call was intended have heard and have hastened to communicate with us. As the poet has sung: “Where I pass, all my children know me.” The members of the class having been attracted to us, and we to them, will form a harmonious body working with us to the common end of self-improvement, growth, development, and unfoldment. The spirit of harmony and unity of purpose will do much for us, and the united thought of the class, coupled with our own, will be a tower of strength, and each student will receive the benefit of it, and will be strengthened and sustained thereby.
We will follow the system of instruction of the East, rather than that of the Western world. In the East, the teacher does not stop to “prove” each statement or theory as he makes or advances it; nor does he make a blackboard demonstration of spiritual truths; nor does he argue with his class or invite discussion. On the contrary, his teaching is authoritative, and he proceeds to deliver his message to his students as it was delivered to him, without stopping to see whether they all agree with him. He does not care whether his statements are accepted as truth by all, for he feels sure that those who are ready for the truth which he teaches will intuitively recognize it, and as for the others, if they are not prepared to receive the truth, no amount of argument will help matters. When a soul is ready for a spiritual truth, and that truth, or a part of it, is uttered in its presence or presented to its attention by means of writings, it will intuitively recognize and appropriate it. The Eastern teacher knows that much of his teaching is but the planting of seed, and that for every idea which the student grasps at first there will be a hundred which will come into the field of conscious recognition only after the lapse of time.
We do not mean that the Eastern teachers insist upon the student blindly accepting every truth that is presented to him. On the contrary, they instruct the pupil to accept as truth only that which he can prove for himself, as no truth is truth to one until he can prove it by his own experiments. But the student is taught that before many truths may be so proven he must develop and unfold. The teacher asks only that the student have confidence in him as a pointer-out of the way, and he says, in effect, to the student: “This is the way; enter upon it, and on the path you will find the things of which I have taught you; handle them, weigh them, measure them, taste them, and know for yourself. When you reach any point of the path you will know as much of it as did I or any other soul at that particular stage of the journey; but until you reach a particular point, you must either accept the statements of those who have gone before or reject the whole subject of that particular point.
Accept nothing as final until you have proven it; but, if you are wise, you will profit by the advice and experience of those who have gone before. Every man must learn by experience, but men may serve others as pointers of the way. At each stage of the journey it will be found that those who have progressed a little further on the way have left signs and marks and guideposts for those who follow. The wise man will take advantage of these signs. I do not ask for blind faith, but only for confidence until you are able to demonstrate for yourselves the truths I am passing on to you, as they were passed on to me, by those who went before. We ask the student to have patience. Many things which will appear dark to him at first will be made clear as we progress.