By Paul Twitchell

The very reason why most occult, metaphysical and spiri- tual writings, including the sacred works of religions in this world fail, is that too many who write them never realize that knowledge alone is not wisdom. A catalogue of facts and opinions does not by itself constitute either literature or perfected works of any nature.

Most Oriental religious literature and most Western sacred works lie mainly in the field of knowledge and historical facts. Some parts, of course, contain wisdom, but generally they are only legends and myths expressed in poetic form. In all ways they are merely stating what the writer wants the orthodox followers and readers to believe.

The sacred mystery of the ECK lies in the Initiation of the Ninth Circle, for when one comes to this level of spiritual growth he does not wish to live in this life anymore. He becomes dead, only to awaken when the body dies. He sees nothing in the sacred writings of orthodox religions, and does not wish to read them or refer to them again. He seeks no glory, no titles in this life, and will reject all those given him. He becomes honest to a point of pain for himself and cannot find happiness in anything in this world. He has no interest in social reform nor the wish to bring about ad- justment in this life for the masses, only to see that each Soul has the opportunity to gain salvation through ECK. ECK does not pose as a remedy for the illnesses of this world, but as a path to spiritual freedom only.

The Mahanta can change the world and its history but there is little likelihood that he would ever do this. Every living ECK Master has come to this world to impart spiritu- ality to a materialistic age. He gives an extra spiritual push to every era of mankind. But there is always a fixed time

for such divine workings, and when the ripe time arrives, each living ECK Master who has made his appearance in this world during the respective ages of mankind, reveals his true nature to the world. Not one has differed in his essential doctrines.

The chief commandments running through the teachings of every living ECK Master have all been based upon the teachings of the SUGMAD, like a golden thread. Those divine ones came out into the public when their help was most needed, when spirituality was at its lowest ebb in some country of the world or planet, and materialism was ap- parently victorious.

Each living ECK Master in his respective time laid down the spiritual law over and over again to help those who followed the path of ECK. These laws, which are Truth, have always existed to lead man to God. But the priestcraft has taken the laws of ECK and made them into tenets of organ- ized religions. Therefore the idealistic spirit and the motive force that prevailed during each period of the living ECK

Masters, has all but disappeared under the weight of orthodox dogma.

Therefore, the living ECK Masters always have the res- ponsibility to not establish new religions, cults or mystery schools. Instead they rejuvenate the religious thoughts of all people, instill a higher understanding of life into them. Those who have been founders of dogmatic religions have passed away, leaving little.

Then later somebody invents dogma from the words the founder preached and a religion is established. All religions, regardless of what they are and who founded them, are from the same source, the ECK. ECK is life itself, the audible life stream. The time is coming that will bring ECK to the world as a universal spiritual belief. Mankind will accept IT. ECK will serve all races of people and all countries. The way is being prepared to enable the Mahanta, to deliver the world-wide message.

This will come when there is total chaos and confusion everywhere, for then is he needed most by all mankind; when the world is rocking in upheavals, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions; when both East and West are aflame

with war. The world must suffer, for the whole world must be redeemed.

When such conditions are at their worst the living ECK Master will make himself publicly known and declare his mission to the entire world. He shall, by his spiritual powers, speedily bring all conflicts to an abrupt end, bringing peace once more to all nations. Then mankind will rest from all conflicts, on all planets within the world system.

No person should require the living ECK Master to fit his image of what a spiritual giant might be. Few ECK Masters will ever fit the popular image of what the masses think is a Godman. They act too independently of the gener- al concept and do as they wish, usually living a life of their own and never bothering anyone.

That problem existing among the orthodox religions is a lack of understanding on their part that destroys communi- cations. It is not that disciples of any orthodox religion lack an opportunity to communicate, but most are intolerant of ECK. Most orthodox followers believe in their traditional faith. This gives each, they think, all the answers to life and its problems. Therefore they refuse to accept any ECK chela's point of view. This is dangerous in the lower worlds, and it is, of course, a trap of the Kal force.

Thus the ECK chela must proceed with caution when he wishes to pass out the message of ECK to others. Few want to listen because they have been steeped in their religious traditions and believe that everything else is wrong. Their founder's name has become a part of the woof and warp of their lives, and if anyone speaks of anything being greater than him, there is danger. This is why it is courageous to be an ECKist. But the ECKist must sacrifice and go forth to spread the message of ECKANKAR.

He knows there are dangers because the Kal force will use any of those who are wrapped in orthodox religions to get rid of him. They will do it in some manner or other, if at all possible. But the ECKist must know that life cannot bring about all that he wants to do about ECK. He knows though, that if the ECK uses him as a channel all will be well. Consequently he cares little for what happens to his human body, for nothing can stop him. He cares little if

all things in his material world are taken away. If he loses everything but himself, nothing matters but spreading the message of ECK.

The strange influence of the Mahanta on all who see him in person, or as a spiritual being when they can open their spiritual eye and see him in the Atma-body, is indeed fascina- ting. Those who can feel reverence for the spiritual quality in him without belief in ECK are indeed rare. But ignorance of his spiritual greatness does not bar materialistic persons from tasting the radiant influence of spirituality emanating from him.

Those who come to the living ECK Master and say that they are inclined to follow his teachings are told to associate with the ones whom he believes have had spiritual experien- ces. Contact with such will assist in bringing out latent spirituality in anyone. Those who have had such experiences are usually Mahdis, the Initiates of the Fifth plane. There- fore, the society of such people is very important as the first step, and often it is the last, as the Mahanta often will say to seekers of the SUGMAD.

The Mahdis are above the mental plane, therefore they are not to practice magic. This includes both black and white magic, for the practitioner will come to regret it if he does. He will learn that the use of magic for anything regardless of what it might be will bring effects that are not good. If he uses it to heal others or to injure anyone, then it is wrong. In healing anyone with a bodily affliction it is the ECK that does so, not the magic which is part of the universal mind power, or that known as the Kal force.

When the Mahdis reaches this level of spiritual unfold- ment he must then begin to let the ECK use him completely as a channel. Then he starts to become all things to all people. To those under the law he becomes as one under the law, though not being himself under the law. To those outside the law he becomes as one outside the law. To the weak he becomes weak, and to the strong he becomes strong. Thereby he becomes all things to all men in order to help and possibly lead some to the Mahanta, the living ECK Master.

Life for the Mahdis becomes a cinema play unrolling its episodes from the cradle to the grave. Instead of seeking

Truth through any of the psychic means, he looks for the real, the enduring, the eternal principles of ECK. Do not look for ECK in the illusionary for ITis never there.

The power of ECK can conquer any aberration of life. Millions labor under the illusion that their emptiness, their guilt, their lack of purpose, is due to their material and en- vironmental associations. If any lack purpose in the ECK then life will become dull for them. It is contemplation and belief in the Mahanta that can bring about a new life.

It is only the Mahanta who can cleanse Soul and forgive all that has been created in this world of materialistic values. He gives each Soul a new challenge and purpose. He brings about the imperishable things which man has created for himself. When the chela has taken away all his false con- cepts of life and sees only the divine sense then he no longer runs after another man's opinion. He understands and knows truth.

Whosoever looks deeply into himself and perceives only discontent, frailty, darkness and fear, need not be afraid nor curl his lips in scorn. But let him seek the Mahanta, who can be found within his heart. It is then that he will become aware of the ECK and ITS purposes with him. He will learn that his own divine nature will reveal itself in him, and that he will no longer walk indifferently. He will learn that no one is excluded from the divine nature of the ECK conscious- ness, that it is only man that excludes himself from IT.

It is the man who thinks he may live as freely as his un- considered desires prompt him who does not see the reckoning of such an attitude. He is binding his life to a hollow dream if he persists in this thought. If he has had the experience of knowing his true-self there will never be any hatred for another.

Anyone with ego-consciousness often confuses this with self-knowledge or self-realization. He takes it for granted that if he has ego-consciousness then he knows himself. But the ego knows only its own contents, not the true self and its contents. It knows only human and psychic knowledge, and only too often those in this state measure their know- ledge by what the average person in their social environment knows of them. Psychic and social facts are for the most

part what goes in the human psyche. One is always coming up against prejudice that such a thing does not happen with him or in his environment, and on the other hand, he meets with equally illusory assumptions about the presence of quali- ties which merely serve to cover up the true facts of such cases.

Therefore, the concept of unity which is supposedly to em- brace the universe and all its action, is titanic in scope and potential. He who dares to examine this concept soon dis- covers that it leads into something too great for understand- ing, for it leads to the ECK. An alternative becomes im- perative for if he is an extremist he abandons normal life to become a hermit. If he finds this too impossible, he re- jects his ideal completely and lives the unexamined life with all its unhappy consequences. The only good solution both personally and socially, then, is compromise. Man must parti- cularize and reduce his god to a form that he can handle, thereby distorting and sometimes obliterating the original image.

When man is allowed to proceed naturally with the re- duction of his god's image it is always with the social and political attainments of the civilization of his times. Every religion in the world has evolved a hundred species to fit man's image of the various types of gods that he seeks. All this attests to the needs of man for what is known as the examined life. These compromises are vitiated by the pana- ceas that lead to dogma. But if anyone should recognize the fallacies in the dogma of the orthodox religions, he usually comes into an understanding of the ECK.

Man insists upon talk and exposition but the ECK cannot be put into words. Sometimes, however, a profusion of images and metaphors are used by the ECK Masters. The problem here, however, is that a spoken language is the expression of the Kal, and it presents a hardship of how to get a positive image in the demonstration of ECK to this world.

Philosophy and religion describe the SUGMAD in negative language. Neither deny IT but both are emphatic too often that the existence of Reality is not true. Actually, there is no vocabulary that gives any truth to the existence of Reality. Reality being truth, though the ECK chela finds so many

interpretations of Truth that he cannot help from being con- fused. He tries to get into the heart of Truth, but it is always avoiding him in some manner because he cannot get any mental grasp on it. This is the problem of language for it exists only on the mental realm to express itself vocally to the external world. Since Truth is beyond the mental realm it cannot be grasped except through the internal vision.

This is why ECKANKAR can be described as the "Ever- lasting Gospel." IT is not available to the senses of the Buddhi, the function of the mind that discriminates and decides. Chitta, the function which takes note of form and beauty sees these things in truth but is unable to pass it along to the Buddhi. Manas, the other function of the mind called the mind stuff, (universal mind power), has the power to receive feeling and taste. Buddhi is thought. It must discriminate and decide which is best to give to the outer world as a good representation of itself. But the same problem arises for the mind does not allow for anything but itself if left alone. It causes man in the masses to find dynamic living too difficult and fatiguing. He requests codification and legalism and for somebody to provide them. To reach out for anything beyond this is too much for his senses and his understanding. This is what makes the ECKist a special person, for he is in the ECK, and living in dynamic dimensions. He knows that peace does not come when an oligarchy, a government, or some ruler decrees peace and order through ossified rituals of legislation.

Every ECKist knows that this sort of external peace and order will sooner or later flounder, creating difficulties and eventual destruction for itself. It has nothing to do with the SUGMAD and ITS works. It is something which exploits the masses for its own interest for behind all this is the Kal, trying to trap the mind and Soul of every individual possible.

To be an adherent of a creed is not always a religious matter, but more often a social one. As such, it does nothing to give the individual values. For support he must depend exclusively on his relation with the ECK, an authority which is not of this world. No lofty principles, nor creeds of ortho- dox religions lay the spiritual foundation of the ECK chela. It is simply empirical awareness, the incontrovertible experi-

ence of an intensely personal, reciprocal relationship between the chela and the Mahanta. This has nothing to do with either the physical world, reason, or logic, as human consciousness knows. But it does have everything to do with the ECK con- sciousness.

A clear distinction must be made between what is essential in BCKANKAR and what is haphazard. The ECK doctrine has naturally been preserved in a form suited to those Souls IT could reach since the beginning of the universes. This is es- pecially true in the lower worlds.

Many have been called but few are able to comprehend and understand the ECK. These Souls are then consciousnesses that are open to the ECK for gaining awareness. They serve the lower worlds, or wherever Soul is needed.

Every ECK chela must grasp the tools of the spiritual works of ECKANKAR in the field of mystical experiences. He must know there are two types of spiritual experience, both of which are found in the works of ECK. First is the extrovertive spiritual experience, and second is the intro- vertive type. Both are apprehensions of the full experience of the divine Reality. But they are reached in different ways. The extrovertive way is how it is described in name, for it is looking outward and through the physical senses into the external world, finding there the greater experience of the divine Reality.

The introvertive way turns inward, with an introspective manner of seeing through the inner senses and eyes to find the greater experience of the divine Reality at the top of and beyond human consciousness. Naturally, this type of experience should outweigh the extrovertive way in impor- tance. In the course of human history it becomes a major source of dependency for decisions and changes of events and nations.

The extroverted seeker with his physical manner, includ- ing the five external senses, will perceive the same world of trees, hills, concrete roads and household furniture, as most people generally do. But he sees something which the average person does not see. He observes that these objects are trans- formed into something through which the ECK shines to illuminate his senses. So many of those who have been called

mystics and seekers of God have found this experience in blades of grass, wood and stone. These types of extrovertive mystics have always pointed out that God is everything.

The extrovertive seeker has the ability to know and sepa- rate the ECK from the material things of life, yet he can see that the ECK is the very substance of all life in such things. This puts him above the average man who has mere under- standing, which alone does not qualify him to see the ECK as the whole or the divine Reality.

This understanding of the extrovertive mystic passes be- yond the sensory-intellectual consciousness into the con- ceptual intellect. However, the distinction between the ECK and these things has not wholly disappeared. The extrovertive mystic is generally one who finds all things identical - such as grass being the same as stone - although each is different. Mostly these are the poets, metaphysicians and religious writers. What they are saying is a complete paradox. It is in fact contradictory. But paradoxism is one of the common characteristics of all mysticism. It is because the chela is dealing with the elements of psychic power, better known as the Kal force. The Kal always deals in mystery and para- dox, for everything in its universe consists of dichotomy. The Kal is always presenting the two sides of the coin in order to bring about confusion and complexity. This is what causes any mystic to question the affairs of the SUGMAD. The dichotomy always brings about questions because few within the human consciousness understand the two sided views of life.

The mystic is not an ECKist, for neither is an ECKist ever a mystic. The mystic is one who has never gone beyond the mental worlds. He deals in the mystification of the spirito- psychic worlds. The true worlds of the SUGMAD, which lie above the Atma Lok, have no complication nor mystery. They are what they are; the whole element of these worlds is simply truth. When one has moved into these worlds and placed himself upon one of these planes he is therefore part of them, and never questions. All things are as they are because it is proper and fitting for them to be this way.

He never questions, never indulges in the mystification of life, but leaves all things as they are. He knows that the

extrovertive mystic is simply a psychic who has gained a little more insight than most seekers, and that he is halfway on the path to reaching the Fifth plane. This is the experience of the sensory-intellectual. It sees only what has been granted it: a perception of the world as being transfigured and unified in a single reality. Some identify this single reality as God and others do not, but it all ties in with the same thing, the ECK. In most societies, however, this type of experience tends toward pantheism. Nevertheless, the experience of the extrovert is important in making headway on the path of ECK. Yet it is not the end of the means, as so many believe.

The success of the introvertive experience depends on shut- ting out all physical sensations from one's consciousness. Average men believe this to be easy. One can shut one's eyes, stop up one's ears, and hold the nose. He can avoid taste sensations by keeping the mouth closed and empty. But no one can shut off tactile sensations in any simple way for it is difficult to be rid of organic sensations. But this is what the chela must learn to do to enjoy the subjective, that is, the introvertive experience. He must learn to thrust tactile and organic sensations out of his conscious awareness, into the unconscious. Neither does he go to the trouble of holding his nose, stopping his eyes and emptying the mouth. The only thing he does is to close his eyes and close out all organic sensations.

After this is done the chela then drops all sensuous images from his mind. This is the most difficult part of the contem- plative exercises, but it is possible. After this one stops the thinking and reasoning processes within himself. Having gotten rid of the whole empirical content of sensations, imag- es, thoughts, and presumably all emotions, desires and voli- tions will disappear, since they normally exist only as attach- ments to cognitive awareness.

All the consciousness of human awareness will then have disappeared. Often the chela will go to sleep when this hap- pens, or become unconscious. The total suppression of the whole content of human consciousness is what the introver- tive mystic makes claim to achieve. He claims that the sensory-intellectual consciousness disappears and is replaced by an entirely new kind of consciousness which he calls the

mystical consciousness. Although the yogis and many of the eastern mystics use this modus operandi, it turns to be the wrong way to reach the spiritual consciousness. There is a difference between spiritual consciousness and mystic consciousness; the former is the highest, when one reaches and enters into the state above the Atma Lok, the Fifth plane, the latter only reaches and enters into the mental realm.

Samadhi, a mystical state of consciousness, belongs in this area of the psychic worlds. But Nirvikalpa, a spiritual state of consciousness, belongs in the area of the true ECK worlds. This leads to detachment, which eventually takes the chela through the varied initiations into the Ninth, when he becomes a member of the Order of Vairagi, the ECK Masters.

When one reaches the Samadhi state of consciousness he becomes one with the Kal, but it appears that he is at one with the Divine Source of Life, the SUGMAD. This is why many have said that the Godhead is pure Nothingness, a desert, and a wilderness. Here again the mystic is explain- ing in metaphors that are useless to the chela. He needs no explanation of the SUGMAD and the ECK, for within the worlds of the true spiritual universe, IT is Light and Sound. This is all there is. One does not need to find explanations for Light and Sound, for there are none. Soul knows and understands instantly what goes on in the world of the SUGMAD, and never questions. He just knows and cannot call it either religion or philosophy.

Also in the study of inner world experiences most men believe that the mystical experience and the religious ex- perience are the same; and actually neither of these are the same as the ECK experience. There is an important connec- tion between mysticism and religion, but not nearly so direct and immediate as most have seemed to think.

The mystical experience has been described here but the experience of the religionist is of some undifferentiated unity which is interpreted as union with God. But this is only the interpretation and is not the experience itself. The great problem here is that most Souls do not have a sufficiently analytical faculty to distinguish between the experience and the interpretation. The ECKist usually has this training so that when he comes into an experience of this nature he is

able to distinguish between the real, the pseudo-real, and the non-real.

The introvertive experience often gives the experiencer the feeling of melting away into Infinity. The religionist will experience a blazing light which seems to be the center of all things. But each is reaching the same point in the high mental plane, and is being deceived by the Kal Niranjan. The ECKist enters into the Atma Lok (the Fifth plane) with the assistance of the living ECK Master. He is not at all mis- led by the Kal into believing that the Brahm world (mental plane) is the ultimate of all planes. Neither does he believe that the Saguna Brahm plane, which is the unconscious world, is the last of the path. He knows that the path of ECK ends in the SUGMAD. He will strive onward until reaching this world, this Ocean of Love and Mercy. Nothing will or can hold him back for it is the guidance of the living ECK Master which takes him into the highest worlds of all, where he receives his spiritual mission and becomes a co-worker with the SUGMAD.

Whether the seeker determines it or not it is true that the mystical experience will bring him into intimate association with the religion, culture and the civilization of his times. It does not have any tendency to make him a member of any particular creed or sect, but it will not basically change his traits. If he is a Hindu, he will remain a Hindu. If Chinese, he will remain Chinese.

He will believe in whatever is the scripture of his parti- cular society and civilization. His background and religious tendencies will be part of the culture to which he belongs, and his faith in the religious scriptures of his country will be the guidepost and the strength for his spiritual drive. The framework of which creed he will fit his experience into will depend mostly on the culture in which he lives.

However, it will be found on close scrutiny that most seekers are using mysticism merely as an escape from life and from its duties and responsibilities. The mystic retreats into a private ecstacy of bliss, turns his back on the world and forgets not only his sorrow, but the needs and sorrows of his fellowmen. His life becomes narrow and selfish.

The preoccupation of man in his waking state is for com- forts and for survival as long as possible in any state that gives him joy, regardless of whether it is a mystical state or a materialistic comfort state. He lives through periods of scepticism and drops it when he feels that the comfort states are leaving him.

When such states of comfort are regained he once more establishes himself in the persistent ideal of ease and hap- piness with his materiality. He knows, lives, and is aware of life as the part of his physical and human senses. Other than this there is little else in life for him. He gains material possessions and gives life the least he can, but always in hopes that it will return him greater rewards.

The evolution of his consciousness is always slow. It takes many lives to reach anyone of this nature. He goes through the evolution of life in matter, and the evolution of life in mind power. But to him the ECK is only a word which merely states the spiritual phenomena of life without explaining it. Neither is it any good for him because he has to extend himself and gain little, according to the material world. Life then becomes a form of veiled consciousness. He ob- jects to stepping any further into an evoluted state.

Thus, the ECK is not a doctrine, IT is a perspective. IT is not a philosophy, but a mood. It is not the ECKist who makes ECK, but the ECK which makes the ECKist and this ECK is all of life.

The materialist is one who always sees the variety and not the reality of life, who wanders on from death to death trying to find what might be the answers to his permanent desire for creature comforts. Therefore, the ECKist finds that whosoever wants life shall live and whosoever wants love shall have love. But whosoever wants hatred shall suffer through the hardships and pangs of discomfort from death to death, through life after life.

The ECKist need not ask what to do with his life and his efforts in life, for the ECK engulfs him constantly and gives him task after task. He becomes a conduit through which flows an electric current of power. This current becomes him- self until he can no longer feel the difference between IT and

himself. He cannot recognize where IT begins in him and leaves off in him, thus IT compels him to accept IT for what- ever IT might be. IT is the ECK power, using him as a channel.

After he has accepted IT as part of himself, and allows ITto use him, his life cannot be otherwise. He wants all life to continue to use him as a channel, and keeps himself open to the ECK at all times.

The lower self must learn that it cannot exist, as it belongs to Kal Niranjan. Since Soul does not belong in the lower worlds except to live in them temporarily, then all Its com- munication is with the ECK. No problem is given man which is greater than himself. Each being is tested according to his capacity, none tested beyond it. Each problem which man encounters has a spiritual solution, and each has its troubles at the point where he is most negative and vulnerable.

Whosoever knows one thing therefore knows fully all things, for Truth in one spiritual thing is inseparable from the Truth of all things. If one knows himself then he has self-realization, but if he knows a single factor about Truth he certainly knows all Truth. The mind of man and the mind in man are One. This is the law of the lower worlds, and that which so often betrays the seeker of the divine.

Man should never seek to become One with God, for he is then falling victim to Kal Niranjan. He is catering to the impermanent and not to that which is eternal. Only the SUGMAD is eternal, and can give life in the eternity. What men call "God" is impermanent and cannot give life to any except in the psychic worlds.

By trying to bring together the lower self and the higher self to make them one, in order to enter into the worlds of ECK, is to bring about defeat. They do not mix, for none are as far apart in poles as these two qualities. The lower repre- sents the Kal which is the negative power, and Soul repre- sents the ECK which is the higher power. The twain shall never meet, for the lower, the universal mind power, must step aside and be left behind so that Soul can enter into the heavenly worlds.

Spirituality and the sciences of man are also separated by the same factor. Spirituality represents the highest in man

and the universe while science is only representative of the negative or materialistic. Mind does not seek truth but only the material and what is needed to survive in the world of Kal Niranjan.

All that is life is the ECK. Thus the eternal paradox and eternal truth of ECK is within all. It is only the chela who has the insight to look into life and find the ECK behind all things, working slowly and quietly to bring about the spiri- tual change which is the true purpose of the SUGMAD.