THE CELESTIAL HIERARCHY
I am about to say something which may
shock certain persons; but those who are too fond of their own ideas, without
being willing to grant others their ideas in turn, should not seek to open the
jealously guarded doors which separate the land of the so-called living from the
land of the certainly not dead.
This is the statement which I have to make: that there are
many gods, and that the One God is the sum-total of all of them. All gods exist
in God. Do what you like with that statement, dear world, for truth is more
vital than anybody’s dream, even yours or mine.
Have I seen God? I have seen Him who has been called the Son
of God, and you may remember that He said that whoever had seen the Son had seen
But what of the other gods? you ask; for there are many in
the world’s pantheons. Well, the realities exist out here.
What! you say again, can man create the gods of his
imagination and give them a place in the invisible? No. They existed here first,
and man became aware of them long ago through his own psychic and spiritual
perception of them. Man did not create them, and the materialists who say that
he did know little of the laws of being. Man, primitive man, perceived them
through his own spiritual affinities with and nearness to them.
When you have read folk-tales of this god and that, you have
perhaps spoken patronisingly of the old myth-makers and thanked your lucky stars
that you lived in a more enlightened age. But those old story-tellers were the
really enlightened ones, for they saw into the other world and recorded what
Many of the world’s favourite gods are said to have lived on
the earth as men. They have so lived. Does that idea startle you?
How does a man become a god, and how does a god become a man?
Have you ever wondered? A man becomes a god by developing god-consciousness,
which is not the same as developing his own thought about God. During
recent years you have heard and read much of so-called Masters, men of
superhuman attainments, who have foregone the small pleasures and recognitions
of the world in order to achieve something greater.
Man’s ideas of the gods change as the gods themselves
change, for "everything is becoming," as Heraclitus said about twenty-four
centuries ago. Did you fancy that the gods stood still, and that only you
progressed? In that case you might someday outstrip your god, and fall to
worshipping yourself, having nothing to look up to as a superior.
Accompanied by the Teacher, I have stood face to face with
some of the older gods. Had I come out here with a superior contempt for all
gods save my own, I should hardly have been granted that privilege; for the gods
are as exclusive as they are inclusive, and they only reveal themselves to those
who can see them as they are.
Does this open the door to polytheism, or other dreaded
isms? An ism is only a word. Facts are. The day is past when men were
burned at the stake for having had a vision of the wrong god. But even now I
would hesitate to tell all that I have learned about the gods, though I can tell
Take, for instance, the god whom the Romans called
Neptune. Did you fancy that he was only a poetic creation of the old
myth-makers? He was something more than that. He was supposed to rule the ocean.
Now, what could be more orderly or inevitable than that the work of controlling
the elements and the floods should be assumed by, and the work parcelled out
among, those able to perform it? We hear much of the laws of Nature. Who
enforces them? The term "natural law" is in every man’s mouth, but the Law has
executors in heaven as on earth.
I have been told that there are also planetary beings,
planetary gods, though I have never had the honour of conscious communion with
one of them. If a planetary being is so far beyond the daring of my approach,
how should I comport myself in approaching the God of gods?
O paradoxical mind of man, which stands in awe and trembling
before the servant, yet approaches the master without fear!
I have been told that the guardian spirit of this planet
Earth evolved himself into a god of tremendous power and responsibility in
bygone cycles of existence. To him who has ever used a microscope the idea need
not be appalling. The infinitely small and the infinitely great are the tail and
head of the Eternal Serpent.
Who do you fancy will be the gods of the future cycles of
existence? Will they not be those who in this cycle of planetary life have
raised themselves above the mortal? Will they not be the strongest and most
sublime among the present spirits of men? Even the gods must have their resting
period, and those in office now would doubtless wish to be supplanted.
To those men who are ambitious for growth, the doors of
development are always open.