AS we have said in the previous chapter there are two forces within man: good and evil. The Nous atom is sometimes called by the occultist the white or good principle of the heart. We will now speak of its opposite: the dark atom or Secret Enemy. In many ways its activities are similar to the Nous atom; for it has legions of atomic entities under its command; but they are destructive and not constructive. This Secret Enemy resides in the lower section of the spine, and its atoms oppose the student's attempts to unite himself to his Innermost. The Secret Enemy has so much power in the atmosphere of this world that they can limit our thoughts and imprison our minds. When we strive to hold the mind to one thing it will immediately attempt to disintegrate it. As a teacher once told me: "If you could hold a pristine thought for but three seconds you could become a master of the world."
These atoms evoke all that is evil within us, and in the history of the world it has its periods of power when it becomes greatly destructive. The last war was such a period.
As its powers predominate in this world it is easier for us to contact its schools in our Yoga practice; for from childhood we have been taught to think outwardly and not inwardly, and it is in the outer bodies that these atoms manifest more easily. Thus the kingdoms of Hell are easily entered, but the kingdoms of Heaven can only be entered by force.
Here we think a note upon faith should be of interest. Initiates say that its meaning has been misunderstood. Faith, as the world uses it, possesses no spiritual nature; though in the secondary system it means power and energy applied to action. All success in Yoga comes from this application; for the true quality of faith is a Solar force that illumines the mind and attracts to it atoms of power and energy.
More human wrecks have resulted from the misconception of this quality than man realises.
When Jesus used this word in the sentence "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed," He meant that one could work miracles if one possessed the atomic energy contained within a mustard seed. But in this world of illusion this is reversed, and the weak man sits still and believes that all will come to him if he has faith. It is not a force that should only be applied to religious belief. It is the power of the Innermost working through the densities of our bodies, and the more we respond to it the greater will be our powers.
Incidentally the student should know that when he enters his secondary system there is a reversal of things. For instance, here we say "The man runs," but in this inner division the sentence would read "Runs the man."
The Secret Enemy has never been allowed to enter the higher spheres of our being. In the beginning when the world was in a fiery state they refused the call of the Absolute, and "Rebelled against their Lord." Afterwards they followed the streams of the white atoms and incarnated. Their next opportunity of responding to the call will come at the creation of a new universe.
When the student re-experiences those past lives when he was dominated by evil, he also re-experiences the following lives when he repays such evil through much sufferings. And it may help those who suffer much poverty and pain to-day to know that they are paying the penalty of previous actions; for the Innermost within them is their judge.
When the student can balance his two types of atoms, the white and the black, their powers come under his control, and he can then enter his higher schools. In Eastern terminology this means, "He who has attained the middle of his Path." He is now under the jurisdiction of neither good nor evil.
As we enter the darker spheres of our nature we meet earthbound intelligences who would attach themselves to us were we to permit them. Later we have to face the composite body of our past evil—a thought-form of our own creation—and to whom we have given elements of a soul nature; for unknowingly we are all creators. This, called "The Dweller of the Threshold," will confront us, and is a living, dynamic force. Being elemental it can assume any shape of horror with which it wishes to impress us, and usually takes a feminine form. If we permit this evil to gain control over us for but a moment—for it is hypnotic—it will give the nervous system, especially to those uninitiated as to its true nature, a dangerous shock. But if at such a moment we aspire to the Reality for protection and understand, it will disintegrate like the ash of a cigarette. When this is destroyed it will remove the subconscious impressions of fear that children as well as men suffer from in their dreams.
In some Greek mysteries this "Dweller" is evoked and the neophyte is freed from it. There is also its opposite that we meet on the higher planes: the composite body of our past good and ideals. This is a godlike intelligence, terrible in its appearance of brightness and splendour. It is called the Advocate. We will speak about this in later chapters.
We also re-experience in our lower schools our evolution through the animal states, and we discover how they still strongly influence and control man.
As this world is closely related to the Secret Enemy it is far easier for the student to gain a knowledge of the evil side of Nature instead of the good; for operative magic deals more easily with the density of matter than with the finer forces of Nature.
The wisdom of the Secret Enemy is seemingly far greater than the wisdom of the Nous atom. As a great prophet once said, "The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."
Our atmosphere is moist, and when we attract an evil thought to it, this evil thought will surround us with atoms of a similar nature that will rotate about us like a swarm of bees. On the outer lining of the mental body are nodes of Consciousness that attract certain types of good and evil thoughts. Such atoms differ in degrees of intelligence, and some can give us false conceptions of things as well as of people.
Students must adapt themselves to their environments and learn to govern their thoughts. By so doing they can increase their energy and feel a greater security and power from the atmosphere of the Nous atom. Remember that environments differ and evil places teem with destructive atoms.
The Innermost judges us by the atmosphere we attract. The Sun sends a great cleansing power into the atmosphere. You will notice this in Spring when new life and vitality is sensed everywhere; for the atoms of the Sun stimulate the central nervous system.
It is interesting to note that people infiltrated by atoms of the Secret Enemy cannot bear sunlight in the morning when the Sun is most vital. Those people who are dominated by their ancestors and live in rooms magnetised by their thoughts also generally prefer seclusion. But in the future people will no longer live in the begrimed and congested areas of cities where ancestral atoms of a decayed nature float; for the vibrations of the Dayspring of Youth will separate youth from such hereditary conditions.
People who build with old materials should remember that new wine should not be poured into old bottles. Our bodies must build with the new energy and be made healthy and conditions clarified.
Each person has an individual atmosphere and an individual intelligence. When we respond to the new energy and clothe ourselves with our own individuality we will have no affinity to other mental atmospheres. This separation will cause students difficulty at first in understanding people, for once on the Path we become different in thought as well as in ideas. We are again like little children entering another world surrounded by those pure atoms that came and remained with us in the first years of our birth, and, like children, we neither resist nor attract atoms of the Secret Enemy. In this way we are protected from evil. Incidentally it should be known that the opposition to good is the real cause of unhappiness.
The worst type of atom that confronts us to-day comes over from the remote Lemurian period. In this long past age, before this planet had reached a higher level of evolution, our bodies were of an animal nature divorced from its godlike mind and immersed in an atmosphere not unlike the atmosphere of to-day. We were constantly engaged in war, sacrificed our victims to our gods of destruction, and ate their flesh.
Our recreations consisted of opposing animals against one another and eating them afterwards. As blood is instantly transformed, in the heat of battle, into the evil qualities of the combatants, this helped the Secret Enemy to populate thickly the bodies with its destructive atoms and thus gain greater power over the physical bodies.
It was in this Lemurian period that we first broke bread. The more highly developed creatures harvested a grain similar to millet, and this disturbed the animal atoms within them, and created a desire to oppose those who followed war and ate the remains, and also to unite into a colony and brotherhood for the purpose of self-protection. Those who escaped from torture and death also joined them.
We were higher than the animals; for we could remember and repeat what we had heard from the elders of this colony—who could easily leave their bodies and had discovered how to receive instruction from another sphere—an overseer globe. At times there also came beings of a semidivine nature whose vibrations interpenetrated and stimulated our bodies.
These solar beings taught them an alphabet similar to that of the early Chinese. Also a lost art known only to Initiates that dealt with the vowel sounds of Nature. When these were sounded correctly they would evoke an audible response, and by the sound the true name of a thing would be known.
Our old Lemurian atoms are our most destructive enemies, as they still possess the inheritance of their ancient wisdom and the black magicians receive instruction from them. In the ritual of the Brothers we read: "Be masters of the black magicians by mastery over their masters of magic."1
Artists often succumb to the Secret Enemy and saturate their work with an evil beauty that contacts the beholder with a destructive atmosphere. What thought creates is penetrated by an atomic atmosphere, and beauty is often defiled by the thoughts cast upon it. In the lower spheres objects of great beauty can be seen; so lovely that we become almost entranced. Yet they would evoke all our evil natures if we permitted them to imprison our minds.
In this world the Secret Enemy transforms what has been created through great purity of mind into the opposite by the criticism of those darker minds controlled by the Secret Enemy. The criticism of Keats's poems is such an example; youthful genius is easily hurt, and sometimes destroyed, when the dark powers write through the pen of a critic.
Every man's past sleeps in the atmosphere of his constructive and destructive atoms, and according to his thoughts he awakens them and can inflict them upon others. He does not realise he can destroy the healthy radiations of others by the influence of his diseased atoms; for he is not always happy or normal when he evokes his past conditions. Sometimes healthy and positive bodies attract protective types of atoms in order to shield them when in the presence of unhealthy forces.
People controlled by the powers of the Secret Enemy discharge these foul qualities into the atmosphere, and sensitive people are not immune from this if they have not positive minds and the gift of sound bodies.
Depression and anger are the two doors through which the influences of the Secret Enemy enter, and when this occurs diseased germs invade the body. Anxiety and poor food will also destroy our Aspiring atoms. Our salvation therefore rests upon the possession of a happy and mentally balanced atmosphere; for our happiness is their happiness, and our miseries theirs also.
Instinct, that power we once possessed when evolving through the protean and animal elements, and which the animal calls upon for direction in moments of danger, still lies within us, and this will awaken again in the middle period of the new age. This power protects and warns us of evil minds, and they who use it will have nothing to fear from the Secret Enemy; since instinct comes from the Innermost and the opposition cannot work against it.
If we concentrate intensely upon the Secret Enemy we aid it and develop its powers within our atmosphere.
Within the lower spheres of our nature the Secret Enemy has its schools, and in our practices we are often confronted by one of its servants who promises to grant us any material wish if we be willing to associate with the powers and principalities of its master: though should we do so we must be prepared to give our souls into its possession. This is the student's great trial, for the white atoms do not promise us anything of an earthly nature save a wealth of wisdom and a sense of inner security.
Before the great war those minds responsive to its evil influences shadowed forth its ideal that "Might is Right," and sowed those seeds of destruction that unlocked the Secret Enemy within man. The workers of the Nous atom rebel at any prospect of war or destruction, physically or mentally, and will protect those who surrender themselves to their atmosphere.
Atoms of a demoniacal nature are appearing in the upper levels of Society, and no nation can secure peace and comfort when their leaders are under such domination.
Everyone has a caste mark written upon the forehead, and the initiated can distinguish the character of each man in this manner.
Man has several observation posts in his body, and he can see from them into the areas of the world wherein the darker forces are at work.
The lordship of a nation passes away when in the fields the scythes are made to serve the purposes of the few, and the harvest is distributed to profit but a small section of people. The harvest is abundant and can feed all the world, but the atoms of destruction corner the markets and many starve.
Humanity is like a feather on a stream—drifting without any real purpose in life beyond that of effacing those disagreeable things that would disturb its pleasure. When, in his practice, the student enters and peers into the present from a future time, he will see how much agony man could have prevented, and the unfertilised fields of the world.
To-day man must learn to think and become his own saviour, and not be led by a few minds selected by the Secret Enemy, whom we elect to offices of state in the hope that they will gratify our pleasures without any thought of future consequences.
The Secret Enemy works in every way to deny us any intelligence that would illuminate our minds, and would seek to stamp man into a machine cursed with similarity and a mind lacking all creative power. The machine-made man's mentality is only moulded to serve the machine, and the future progress of a race is restricted; for that which is not impregnated with the activity of thought belongs to a world of dead atoms. The machine may make a man useful to others and give him a clean method of living, but it impoverishes him in regard to his own importance as a unit of the great Reality.
A great dictator has said, "There is an empty throne in nearly every country in Europe." This is true if people will not think but be led by other minds who assume the powers of dictatorship.
The student should know that in the astral sheath surrounding the physical body—this is the coarser envelope of passion and desire—his lower thoughts attract intelligences of an evil nature to its fluidic and translucent substance, and there derange the mental body by impressing their thoughts into it, so weaken the character thus assailed. These spirits can foretell many interesting things and give us secret information in order to bind us to them; though there is little of real worth in such. Their astral fluids emit a very disagreeable odour; for they secrete and are nourished upon diseased forms of matter that we throw off.
In still lower regions we find forms similar to the lower astral forms but without their intelligence. These hover over the death-beds of people and exist upon decaying matter. They are of the vampire species, and the black magicians use this effete substance to direct into the atmosphere of their enemies.
When we discuss elemental nature we will speak of how its lower counterpart is permeated with these atoms of destruction; atoms that stimulate ferocity and hatred in animals.
In the future the energy of this new age will inflict upon us a series of mental disorders; for those minds that will not respond to its wisdom and power will recoil from it. The Secret Enemy will have no method of diverting its force, and those who have attracted this new energy will suffer from periods of illusion and depression. But the aspiring student will not be affected; he will be in tune with its vibration, and will render it homage and respect.
We are still under the spells the magicians of the past have cast over us.
The children of the Secret Enemy speak of their evil works as though they were great virtues.
Man easily degenerates when in the power of the Secret Enemy; it preys upon the burning furnace of his desires, and when he weakens he is lost and sometimes cannot regain contact with his Innermost for two or three lives wherein he works out the karma of his evil desires.
Our creative forces are made to be preserved and not dissipated; for stored energy is a wealth that can ennoble our characters. Beware the person who fouls his appetite with unhealthy passions and desires; he endangers his own health besides the health of those about him.
The Secret Enemy often gives those who indulge in dissipation greater opportunities to spread their foulness, they then being more easily directed to perform deeds of evil to which the normal and balanced mind would never succumb.
This dark power will, when possible, consume its victims by disease. If it cannot control you when you are poor, but recognises that you possess qualities that would respond to its direction, it will make you rich; for then you can scatter greater seeds of destruction and such evil will live generations after. Many who have attained to great power, fame and reputation have often been stimulated and work under its authority.
In order to collect their instruments the schools of the black magicians make sex worship one of their principal teachings.
The Advocate, previously mentioned, is an atom of great intelligence that always stands in the presence of the Reality, and if we are serious and faithful in our aspirations for union with our Innermost after we have entered our secondary system and re-experienced our past, it pleads that we should be forgiven our past misdeeds. When this happens a man is reborn.
This Advocate is a great shield of protection for the sincere student, but, if we desire, it will permit us to work for the Secret Enemy. If we do so we cannot come under its protection in this life. We alone must choose our Paths: the right or the left, the good or the evil.
This chapter is from The Dayspring of Youth (1931) by M. Benefit yourself and others: buy the book, and you help raise awareness of Gnosis.