The Sixth Principle, Spiritual Mind, has been styled by some writers “The Superconscious Mind,” which term is a fairly good one, as it distinguishes between the lower Subconscious Mind or Instinctive Mind, the Conscious Mind or Intellect, and itself, which latter, while outside of the realm of ordinary human consciousness, is still a very different thing from the lower or Instinctive Mind.
While the actual existence of the Spiritual Mind has been made manifest to but a limited number of the human race, there are many who are becoming conscious of a higher “Something Within,” which leads them up to higher and nobler thoughts, desires, aspirations, and deeds. And there is a still greater number who receive a faint glimmering of the light of the Spirit, and, though they know it not, are more or less influenced by it. In fact, the entire race receives some of its beneficent rays, although in some cases the light is so bedimmed by the dense material obstacles surrounding the man that his spiritual twilight is almost akin to the blackness of night. But man is ever unfolding, discarding sheath after sheath, and is slowly coming home. The light will eventually shine full upon all.
All that we consider good, noble, and great in the human mind emanates from the Spiritual Mind and is gradually unfolded into the ordinary consciousness. Some Eastern writers prefer the term “projected” as more correctly indicating the process whereby the ray of light is sent into the consciousness of the man who has not yet reached the superhuman stage of full Spiritual Consciousness.
All that has come to man, in his evolution, which tends toward nobility, true religious feeling, kindness, humanity, justice, unselfish love, mercy, sympathy, etc., has come to him through his slowly unfolding Spiritual Mind. His love of God and his love of Man has come to him in this way. As the unfoldment goes on, his idea of justice enlarges; he has more Compassion; his feeling of Human Brotherhood increases; his idea of Love grows; and he increases in all the qualities which men of all creeds pronounce “good,” and which may all be summed up as the practical attempt to live out the teachings of that great spiritual Master, when He enunciated that great truth (well understood by the occultists of all creeds, but so little understood by many who claim to be followers of Him), saying:
And thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength,” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
As man’s Spiritual Consciousness begins to unfold, he begins to have an abiding sense of the reality of the existence of the Supreme Power, and, growing along with it, he finds the sense of Human Brotherhood – of human relationship – gradually coming into consciousness. He does not get these things from his Instinctive Mind, nor does his Intellect make him feel them. Spiritual Mind does not run contrary to Intellect – it simply goes beyond Intellect. It passes down to the Intellect certain truths which it finds in its own regions of the mind, and Intellect reasons about them. But they do not originate with Intellect. Intellect is cold – Spiritual Consciousness is warm and alive with high feeling.
Man’s growth toward a better and fuller idea of the Divine Power does not come from Intellect, although the latter reasons upon the impressions received and tries to form them into systems, creeds, cults, etc. Nor does the Intellect give us our growing sense of the relationship between man and man – the Brotherhood of Man. Let us tell you why man is kinder to his kind and to forms of life below him than ever before. It is not alone because the Intellect teaches him the value of kindness and love, for man does not become kind or loving by cold reasoning.
On the contrary, he becomes kind and loving because there arise within him certain impulses and desires coming from some unknown place, which render it impossible for him to be otherwise without suffering discomfort and pain. These impulses are as real as other desires and impulses, and as man develops these impulses become more numerous and much stronger. Look at the world of a few hundred years ago, and look at it today, and see how much kinder and more loving we are than in those days. But do not boast of it, for we will seem as mere savages to those who follow us and who will wonder at our inhumanity to our brother-man from their point of view.
As man unfolds spiritually he feels his relationship to all mankind, and he begins to love his fellowman more and more. It hurts him to see others suffering, and when it hurts him enough he tries to do something to remedy it. As time goes on and man develops, the terrible suffering which many human beings undergo today will be impossible, for the reason that the unfolding Spiritual Consciousness of the race will make the pain felt so severely by all that the race will not be able to stand it, and they will insist upon matters being remedied. From the inner recesses of the soul comes a protest against the following of the lower animal nature, and, although we may put it aside for a time, it will become more and more persistent, until we are forced to heed it.
The old story of each person having two advisors, one at each ear, one whispering to him to follow the higher teachings and the other tempting him to pursue the lower path, is shown to be practically true by the occult teaching regarding the three mental principles. The Intellect represents the “I” consciousness of the average person. This “I” has on one side the Instinctive Mind sending him to the old desires of the former self – the impulses of the less developed life of the animal or lower man, which desires were all very well in lower stages of development, but which are unworthy of the growing man. On the other side is the Spiritual Mind, sending its unfolding impulses into the Intellect, and endeavoring to draw the consciousness up to itself – to aid in the man’s unfoldment and development, and to cause him to master and control his lower nature.
The struggle between the higher and lower natures has been noticed by all careful observers of the human mind and character, and many have been the theories advanced to account for it. In former times it was taught that man was being tempted by the devil on the one hand, and helped by a guardian angel on the other. But the truth is known to all occultists that the struggle is between the two elements of man’s nature, not exactly warring, but each following its own line of effort, and the “I” being torn and bruised in its efforts to adjust itself.
The Ego is in a transition stage of consciousness, and the struggle is quite painful at times, but the growing man in time rises above the attraction of the lower nature, and dawning Spiritual Consciousness enables him to understand the true state of affairs, and aids him in asserting his mastery over the lower self and in assuming a positive attitude toward it, while at the same time he opens himself up to the light from the Spiritual Mind and holds himself in a negative attitude toward it, resisting not its power.
The Spiritual Mind is also the source of the “inspiration” which certain poets, painters, sculptors, writers, preachers, orators, and others have received in all times and which they receive today. This is the source from which the seer obtains his vision, the prophet his foresight. Many have concentrated themselves upon high ideals in their work, and have received rare knowledge from this source, and have attributed it to beings of another world – from angels, spirits, from God Himself; but all came from within – it was the voice of their Higher Self speaking to them.
We do not mean to say that no communications come to man from other intelligences – far from this, we know that higher intelligences do often communicate with man through the channel of his Spiritual Mind – but much that man has attributed to outside intelligences has really come from himself. And man, by the development of his Spiritual Consciousness, may bring himself into a high relationship and contact with this higher part of his nature, and may thus become possessed of a knowledge of which the Intellect has not dared dream. Certain high psychic powers are also open to man in this way, but such powers are rarely obtained by one until he has risen above the attractions of the lower part of his nature, for unless this were so man might use these high gifts for base purposes. It is only when man ceases to care for power for his personal use that power comes. Such is the Law.
When man learns of the existence of his Spiritual mind and begins to recognize its promptings and leadings, he strengthens his bond of communication with it, and consequently receives light of a greater brilliancy. When we learn to trust the Spirit, it responds by sending us more frequent flashes of illumination and enlightenment. As one unfolds in Spiritual Consciousness he relies more upon this Inner Voice, and is able more readily to distinguish it from impulses from the lower planes of the mind. He learns to follow Spirit’s leadings and to allow it to lend him a guiding hand. Many of us have learned to know the reality of being “led by the Spirit.” To those who have experienced this leading we need not say more, for they will recognize just what we mean. Those who have not as yet experienced it must wait until the time comes for them, for we cannot describe it, as there are no words to speak of these things which are beyond words.
Toward the close of this lesson we will give a brief outline of some of the phases of “Illumination” or awakening of Spiritual Consciousness, which has come to some of us and will come to all in this or future phases of their unfoldment. We must hasten on to a brief consideration of that which can only be faintly understood by any of us the Seventh Principle – Spirit.