by Robert Wilkinson
Many years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the venerable Dane Rudhyar on several occasions. A European born in the 19th century, (bio here,) besides being a classical pianist of some note and a philosopher of the first degree, he was one of the most prolific astrological writers in history between 1935-1980. He was the first astrologer to formulate what is now known as "humanistic astrology," or "person-centered astrology," when he joined astrology, humanistic psychology, and holistic philosophy in his masterwork "The Astrology of Personality." His books are not standard astrology, where one can find the answer to the meaning of a Venus in Libra or Mars in the 10th house and other questions of chart interpretation, though occasionally his work addresses those questions. Instead, he was a true astrological philosopher with a vast scope of vision and interest.
One of his most remarkable works is not astrological, per se, but a work outlining how esoteric philosophy and history, aka "occultism," are crucial to our understanding of how we as 20th and 21st century beings fit in with human evolution as a whole. This work, titled "Occult Preparations for A New Age," takes us through such subjects as "Counterculture - Past and Present," "The One Planetary Tradition," "Time and the Cyclic Structure," "Planetary and Social Cycles," "The Greater Faith," and "Avatars and Seed Men," to name a few of the chapter titles. In one chapter of particular interest, he ties together the mysterious and remarkable woman Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the "Masters of the Wisdom," and the true nature of occultism and occultists.
These are not the idle rants of a deluded charlatan or superficial thinker, nor someone who had anything to do with witchcraft, blood sacrifices, or paganism, these usually (and incorrectly) identified with the term "occult." True occultism has nothing to do with any of these things, nor with any practices associated with worshipping Gaia, Nature, Goddess energy or other worthy ritual forms. Rudhyar's take on occultism is vaster and more noble than anything usually associated with the term, so for an interesting glimpse into the mind of one of the greatest philosophers our world has ever produced, I'll give you a fragment of the chapter on "Blavatsky and the Occult Brotherhood."
The true Occultist lives, thinks, and essentially acts in a planetary (and at times superplanetary and "heliocosmic") world of forces, which constitute the true "astral" realm - a world of energies guided by the archetypal patterns of the so-called "causal" aspect of the cosmic and planetary Mind. He works for humanity rather than for individuals, save in exceptional cases and for more-than-personal purposes. His work is moved by a deep unfaltering love for mankind. Throughout The Mahatma Letters, and in countless statements made by H.P.B. and William Q. Judge... the basic keynote for entrance upon the path that leads to the true Occultism of the Elder Brothers is sounded forth: consecrated service for humanity in a total surrender of the ego and its lesser goals and narrow possessive loves. In The Mahatma Letters, in a letter from Morya, one reads: "It is he alone who has the love of humanity at heart, who is capable of grasping thoroughly the idea of a regenerated practical Brotherhood who is entitled to the possession of our secrets. He alone, such a man, will never misuse his powers and there will be no fear that he should turn them to selfish ends. A man who places not the good of mankind above his own good is not worthy of becoming even our chela - he is not worthy of becoming brighter in knowledge than his neighbor." This is the acid test of the kind of Occultism of which H.P.B. became the emissary. Any other kind will sooner or later lead to the dark path of the "Brothers of the Shadow."
Let me repeat here what has already been said concerning the Kumaras or Promethean Spirits. In their nature, Love and Knowledge are two poles from whose interaction power is released. If they are eager to break through the inertial Ring of Saturn and the all-too-spiritual glory of King Jupiter so that evolution can forever go along its essential spiral path, and if they are ready to suffer the nearly inevitable consequences of their compassionate involvement in the development of self-consciousness and responsibility in Man, it is because of their boundless compassion; this compassion encompasses all who are able to resonate to their everlasting Call. This ability to resonate and respond is inherent, though so often undeveloped, in all human beings since the most ancient coming of these exalted beings and the sacrificial grafting of their power of universal Love and occult Knowledge onto the wild animal-like nature of earthbound mankind.
This power is for us all consciously to use at this crucial period of human evolution. It is a time which, at the level of the strictly human consciousness, repeats the great transformation that was induced at an unconscious level in the Earth's biosphere millions of years ago under the impact of the Venusian Host. It is for Man now consciously to choose between the way of spiritual integration through Love and that of slow gradual decay through selfishness, fears, greed, and lust.
We are coming to the turning point. Everything depends on the clarity of our knowing and the purity and compassion of our loving. Knowledge and Love are both essential. Knowledge alone is dark; Love alone is possessively blind. All deep and radical spiritual transformations able to alter the total reality of Man require an illumined mind and an all-encompassing heart.
To which I'll add only that not all who claim to speak for the Masters of the Wisdom do so, and many of their more evolved disciples go about the business of helping humanity without notice or publicity, so please take all claims of those who "channel" a Master or Archangel with a grain of salt. The point is not to know glamorous things about the Masters, or even to pretend to speak to or for them. The point of the whole thing, if we are to accept the source material, is that we are all here to become enlightened in our own way so that we may serve the evolutionary need of our times, freed from the traps of glamor, illusion, maya, and fear. Selfless service is ever the mark of the true disciple of Truth. And to quote the founders of this noble endeavor, "There Is No Religion Higher Than Truth." Namaste.