A.K. Mozumdar had come to the United States at the mandate of his own teacher, the Master Arumda. He had been told that his excessive emotional tie to Mother India had drawn him to incarnation there, but that his real dharma was to serve the 'Great Plan' in America.
"The light of the ancient Vedas," Arumda told Mozumdar, "the teachings of the Egyptians and the Gnostic Wisdom of the Greeks will blend there in America, even as men of all nationalities will weld together in a great commonwealth. Old principles, as they will be revealed, will be given new names. A reformation of the Ancient Teachings will issue forth and the true destiny of America will emerge to illumine the universal fraternity of man (1). Go to that blessed land and serve the work. Even now, one awaits you whom you must take through to the greater vision."
When Mozumdar arrived in the United States he immediately set about finding the 'waiting one' described by Arumda. He located and identified deBit long before they met in physical presence. He told deBit, "I found you very soon. But it was two years before I could bring you out of your forests."
Vitvan fully elaborates on this ability to function on inner levels in his essay on The Seven Initiations. He begins his introduction to the subject, writing:
"It is next to impossible to convince anyone in total identification with the objectified world (the physical body, the configuration, the 'this is me' consciousness), that the psychic level exists. Attempting to describe the psychic level to someone who is without the understanding of the Triune Man (the autonomous field, the psychic nature and the configurated form) and who has not developed the faculties to transfer identity to the various levels is like trying to describe color to a man born blind.
"But the psychic world (sometimes called the astral plane) does exist. Along the way in the individualizing process a developing one will learn transference of identity from the configurational world to the psychic level at his own determination. In time he can function in that dimension with complete ease--moving where and when he will, unobstructed by the barricades and restrictions indigenous to the physical plane. Those who have developed that ability are called 'walkers of the sky.'"
Mozumdar and deBit remained together as teacher and student for nearly seven years. It was an extraordinary
relationship by any standards, but in the era in which it happened it was unprecedented.
In the year 1910 India and the United States were little more than enigmatic names to one another. Cultural exchange was unheard of. What knowledge existed of one country to the other, existed in the special studies of the academician.
Perhaps a handful of scholars on either continent were familiar with the philosophical traditions of their counterparts. And these two men were almost stereotypes of their native origins.
Mozumdar was born in India's highest caste. He was educated to that position. When he was eight years old he became the disciple of a renowned Guru and remained a devotee for 25 years. Ralph deBit was a product of middle America and the frontier West. He had a high school education. His religious training was the King James Testament and Sunday School classes at the Methodist Church.
The overwhelming contrasts between the two would seem to be irresolvable. But they held no such significance to the eager disciple.
"I taught Mozumdar to speak and write a more intelligible English and he taught me to cook with curry. We resolved our differences and got down to the business at hand," he said.
It was an intense and difficult apprenticeship for the young American. The Western Mind is acquisitive. It must reason on facts. Its intellectual bias demands why's and wherefore's before it can get seriously concerned. It cannot conceptualize except in clearly defined terms. It insists that learning material presented to it be carefully described and sharply delineated.
This was not Mozumdar's method. He followed the traditional Oriental approach. Such teachers believe that truth learned from another is of no value. The only truth worthy of having is that which one discovers for himself. The student is more or less thrown on his own resources. He is put face to face with certain facts that have always appeared to him as most obvious--so obvious, in fact, that he has never given them any serious consideration. Now he is asked to examine whether these facts which he has previously accepted as representing reality are, indeed, truly real. He is directed to empty his mind of all prior opinions, judgments, values, etc., which have been mechanically accepted up to this point without question, and to re-examine the source from whence all of our information is obtained: the senses.
The Master is rarely generous in offering any detailed explanation for the directives he imposes. He suggests to the enquirer various subjects for reflection, but it is for the seeker to make what he can of them.
"One day," Vitvan wrote in his instructions on The First Crossing, "Mozumdar said to me, 'Put your hand on the wall.'
"I did so and he said, 'What are you touching?'
"I replied, 'The wall.'
"He said, 'No, you are touching the state of your own consciousness.'
"When I said that I did not understand, he answered, 'Meditate until you know it is so.'
"I did as I was bid. I pondered and meditated on it. But it was many years before I could put my hand on what is called a wall and stand in the conscious perception and realization that I was touching my own state of consciousness."
He continues, "And so it was with many points that I questioned. Mozumdar refused direct answers. Sometimes in desperation I wanted to choke an explanation out of him. But he was not to be moved. His response was always the same.
"'Meditate--direct your forces--learn to know without thinking.'
"I made up my mind at the time that if I ever got it I would describe the process in detail--explain it in every possible way. No one would ever have to beg me for answers. I would leave nothing unsaid."
Vitvan would fulfill that promise throughout a lifetime of teaching and writing.
The incident of the wall is touched on again in Vitvan's book Studies in Psycho-Therapy. Here he is commenting on the difference between Oriental and Occidental teaching:
"It is not a simple thing to reorient one's thinking, to risk the challenge of uprooting the known and comfortable facts of one's existence and begin to see in all things commonplace and familiar great mysteries that are the birth of wonder. But such is the nature of emerging and expanding consciousness that when this juncture is reached in the 'ongoing process' the developing one has little choice or consideration as to proceeding.
"It has been said that the Limitless Light can be defined in a single word, 'pressure.' The Absolute--or God, if you wish--is pressure. Its out-flowing extends through every channel of existence. Its force is irresistible. Nothing can stay its hand or stem its course. When awareness begins to awaken in man it is the advent of that pressure within his individualized consciousness. It would seem reasonable, then, that at this point in his self-development every aid and convenience should be offered him to prepare and facilitate the journey ahead.
"I am well aware that the Oriental teacher has good and profound reasons for distrusting the mentalizations that may result from a purely intellectual understanding of the Cosmic Process, but I am of the opinion that a balance can be effected between presentation and participation. It seems to me mandatory to have right guidelines and accurate directions. To become so wary in the knowledge that 'the road map is not the journey' as to withhold the road map altogether is at once inconsistent and capricious.
"In telling me that by touching the wall I was in reality experiencing nothing more nor less than my own state of consciousness, Mozumdar was attempting to direct my awareness to the phenomenon by which we externalize sensation into concepts of things and objects 'out there' as substantial reality. But my, oh, my, what a meager directive that was. I was left completely baffled and perplexed. He had given me only the vaguest clue to unravel the mystery he had proposed. It was to take several years before I was able to extend my awareness to the point that I could consciously experience the phenomenon he had spoken about.
"I believe in telling just where the bear sat in the buckwheat. And I strongly contend that manufactured mystery and a reluctance to explanation are handicaps to understanding. I feel certain that had I been presented with a careful description of the mechanism by which consciousness operates, my meditations would have been more fruitful and my own certification of the process not so long delayed.
"After all, these ideas are fundamental to the Wisdom Teachings and totally accepted by the modern scientific community. Granted that an intellectual explanation of the hypothesis will not on its own trigger the awareness that transfers mental concept to full realization, nor can it flush out the vast implications therein; but that is not sufficient reason to withhold its presentation. Thoughts and ideas must be taken to the vantage ground of contemplation. It is there that they may eventuate in perceptive awareness.
"I have dealt with this subject extensively in The Christos, Fundamentals of the School of the Natural Order, and other works. And I can also recommend two outstanding publications, The Hidden Teachings Beyond Yoga by Dr. Paul Brunton and The Conquest of Illusion by Van de Leeuw. Both books contain a full and definitive account of the instrumentality by which consciousness creates and projects objective reality. For the conscientious student who wishes to fortify his inquiry with all the ramifications of this phenomenon and the scientific verifications that substantiate it, these publications are well worth pursuing. But for our purposes here I will abbreviate my description by restricting scientific reference and avoiding all metaphysical flapdoodle so often connected with the subject.
"This is a light-wave-frequency universe. Light and light alone is the essence of all that is. The nature of light enables it to infold into energy and that energy to infold into structural patterns, or configurational forms, which we label 'matter' and 'living organisms.' Actually, both are 'Living Matter.' The difference between the two designations is only relative to the degree of consciousness functioning therein. But no matter, the configurated structures, whether appearing as mineral, plant, animal or man, cannot be described as phenomenal. Which is to say, they cannot be considered as static 'things,' 'objects,' etc. They are dynamic energy systems in process. Modern physicists have demonstrated that even the atom, once considered the cornerstone of material substance, is itself composed of submicroscopic vortices of energy--a tiny contained universe of light-wave frequencies. And so ad infinitum.
"Our only knowledge of the light-energy universe in which we participate is through the medium of our senses. But the senses, and indeed the whole structure of the neural system in which they inhere, are not sufficiently flexible to register the actions and reactions in continuum of the separate stimuli of wave frequencies that impinge upon them. It is analogous to the firing of a machine pistol. The projectiles follow each other at spaced intervals. But the rapidity of their course would make it appear that they reach the target at the same moment. Thus it is that the multitudinous impulses transmitted to the sense receptors from the energy universe around us are not received separately. The limited functioning of the reflex arcs in sense registration bunches the stimuli together and delivers them as integrated impulses to the brain.
"It is at this point that the Power-to-be-Conscious, acting upon the gestalted impulses received by the brain, conceptualizes them into pictures, images, etc. That is, into mental experience. Out of percept and recept, concept is born. In this instant we become sentient. Singularly or in combination, we see, hear, smell, touch or taste that which seems and appears to be outside ourselves.
"But here is the crux of the matter. The pictures, images, etc., only 'seem and appear' to be outside. They have been received as light-wave frequencies and conceptualized from sensations within the body instrument. But sensations do not extrude beyond the periphery of the body!
"This is what Mozumdar was trying to get over to me. My hand touching the wall gave rise to a sense of resistance from the wall's surface. But I was not feeling the wall. I was only feeling that part of my skin which was in contact with the wall. That sensation, relayed up the spinal cord to the brain, constituted the only notion the brain could have of the 'object' wall. In other words, what seemed to be an encounter with an exterior reality began as sense impressions within the body and was concluded as a mental experience within my own consciousness.
"Such experience is the only tangible knowledge we ever have of the panoramic external world. What we are aware of as picture, image, etc., are only representations of 'things and objects' out there. We can never come into direct contact with these so-called 'things and objects' themselves. We can only be aware of our awareness of them. Hence the 'outside' objective world is evoked by sensation and the activity of consciousness, and has no existence otherwise! Mozumdar was right--touching the wall, I touched nothing other than the state of my own consciousness.
"'Well and good,' the reader may say, but the question that must immediately follow is, 'By what extraordinary agency do we project an internal experience of sensation and consciousness outside the body as objective reality?' The answer is a complicated one. And although I do not wish to hedge the question, I have answered it in detail in other works.(2)
"Let is suffice here to say that a clue to this enigma may be found in the common psychological disturbances of hypnotic suggestion, hallucination and dream pictures. Under these conditions a mental experience can appear as an objective reality, the key to the phenomenon being that whatever dominates the mind dictates what it perceives. And depending upon the intensity of the dictate, it is perceived either inwardly as thought and idea or outwardly as pictures and images appearing substantive.
"But do not conclude that the phenomenal world is an individual delusion. On the contrary, the world experience is common to all of us and perceived by all in roughly an identical manner. It is a shared experience because the Idea of the world is determined for us by the archetypal patterns within the light-wave frequencies of the Universal Consciousness. Universal Consciousness is the root of the material universe, and in fact calls the material universe into being that it may function in the vital act of participation through the multiplicity of its individualized states. We are integrated into the divine assembly of the Universal One. 'In Him we live and move and have our being.'"
next Chapter 6
(1) Many fine works have been written describing the intended destiny of the Western Hemisphere. There are some who maintain that plans for the colonization of the Americas were formulated in Mecca, Delhi, Alexandria and Lhasa, long before most European statesmen were aware of the great utopian undertaking. Vitvan's highly inspirational work, Our Government, is a strong statement for the existence of the "colonization scheme" and the premise that, "In 1776 there was born a new culture--a new form of government based on the dignity and inviolable integrity of the individual. The very Constitution of that government was derived from the Gnosis, directed by the hierarchy and instrumented by high degree Initiates within the secret societies of the Rosecrucian and Masonic orders of colonial America. It is not difficult to verify the fact that the inspiration for this 'Brave New World' predates its 'discovery' by several centuries.
For further reference, see Manly Palmer Hall's America's Assignment with Destiny and his Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic, Rosicrucian Symbolic Philosophy; Jennings C. Wise's The Mystery of Columbus; Grace A. Fendler's New Truths about Columbus.
(2) Vitvan's Cosmology, and The Christos.