Wood's Book (V) 2 of 2
Feb 04, 1997 03:22 PM
by M K Ramadoss
============begin 2 of 2 ================
Impersonalization, he held, would naturally lead to occult progress, that
is, to growth on other planes, to discipleship to the Masters (who were
working always at the distribution of forces for the uplift of mankind), and
to Initiations, of which there were five, of which the last was the gateway
to adeptship or masterhood. He agreed that in this there was a subtle
danger-one must take care that one's impersonality be not tainted by
personal desire for these achievemeets or rewards, for such self-induction
would certainly counteract the purpose of the effort.
I wanted to know why those who believed in the efficacy of the forces
released by the ceremonies did not practice them more. If I felt that I had
such great powers to help I would want to do the ceremonies a hundred times
a day, not once or twice. There was no satisfactory answer to this question.
It could only be said that one must not give too much force. Well, then, the
force was only medicine or a tonic, not a gift of life itself, and I would
on the contrary prefer to devote myself to promoting the direct means by
which life sustained and evolved itself. Bishop Leadbeater sighed at my
obstinacy. He would say: "I find it much easier to develop the people with
the aid of the ceremonies than without them, and as long as I find that to
be so I shall go on using them."
I think he was suffering under an illusion in the matter. He thought that
the smoothing and refining of the auras indicated progress. He was running
an occult beauty parlour. The auras may have come to look prettier to the
clairvoyant eye, but it appeared to me that the people specially cultivated
by him lacked in essential qualities of character as compared with others
whom I knew, and that the atmosphere of his community encouraged the lack.
He was painting dolls.
I have alluded already to the analogy which he used of the cultivation of
flowers and animals by man. It was really useless as an argument, for that
cultivation is generally of one quality at the expense of another, and
besides it is done by selective breeding of the plants or animals, not by
pumping anything into their veins. I saw little use in making black
salamanders turn yellow by keeping them in yellow boxes.
On arrival at "The Manor" I did not at first find myself in the midst of
the ceremonial activities, though the new dispensation was evident in the
conversation and occupations of the community. I heard the church music
frequently, both in the regular services and the practices, as the Manor
Chapel was next to my room.
I liked the music, which was well played and nicely softened by having to
come through the wall. But I found that it had some hypnotic effect.
Sometimes, when the mind was faced with a special difficulty requiring clear
thought, it would jump the rails and one would find oneself humming a church
tune instead of thinking. This hypnotic effect is one of the defects of all
ceremonies, and of meditation involving repetition of formulas. I remember
one young man at "The Manor" who was very devout, and used always to speak
with bated breath. On one occasion he made a small faux pas in conversation,
and immediately crossed himself, involving himself in still greater confusion.
I found Bishop Leadbeater in bed. He had been suffering for a long time
from rheumatic fever, and his hands, which lay outside the bed-cover were
terribly twisted. My sympathy flamed up. I did not know how to express
myself. After a little time our conversation turned to the subject of his
books. He told me that he did not know whether he had much longer to live.
He would like to have all his latest discoveries and thoughts put into
books, that they might be correctly stated and recorded before he passed
away. He had given many talks, and there were reports of these which would
serve as a basis for books. During the eleven years he had written only
three books-only one of real importance, The Science of the Sacraments, a
study of the church rituals, describing what was clairvoyantly seen in
connection with them.
I remarked that there were some twenty or thirty fine looking people in
the community, and no doubt as soon as he was a little better they would
rally round and help him to bring his literary works up to date.
"No," he sadly replied. " If you do not stay they will never be done.
Several people have tried, without success." So I stayed, for over four
years-with some small interludes of travel.
The first book we selected was intended to publish all he knew about the
Masters and discipleship to them. It was called The Masters and the Path.
Some material had already been gathered together. I collected all the
reports of Bishop Leadbeater's talks touching on these subjects, and then
every day sat at his bedside and read what I had written up from these and
from notes of our conversations. One of my little accomplishments acquired
at Adyar was the ability to write in the style of either Mr. Leadbeater or
Mrs. Besant, and neither of them could tell that paragraphs written by me
had not been written by themselves Then there would be questions,
discussions, and alterations and additions where necessary.
In all my work with Mr. Leadbeater at Adyar there had seldom been any
actual dictation, except in The Lives of Alcyone and in the last rescension
of The Beginnings of the Sixth Root Race. Now there was no dictation at
all. I must have written about half of The Masters and the Path, some parts
of it containing my own ideas, as well as language, submitted to him for
incorporation. A new thing was his statement that, surprising at it might
seem, he had seen God (the Solar Logos) in personal form; I wrote it up
suitably and put it in the book.
A curious thing happened a few days after we had started work. I was
sitting near his bed one afternoon when I suddenly felt something break open
(like the bursting of a seed pod) in my head, and from it a cold current
flooded my whole body, passing down the spine in waves and radiating from
every part of the body. It seemed to me that this was not my own force, but
was coming into me through my head, and that it was going out from me direct
to Bishop Leadbeater. I was also aware that it was a healing current of some
kind. After several minutes it died away, and I never mentioned it to Bishop
Leadbeater, nor to others, except in a letter to Mrs. Besant. I do not know
anything more about this phenomenon, which occurred quite outside my will.
But it did coincide with an abrupt change in Bishop Leadbeater's condition.
In a few days he was able to move about, and then it was only a matter of
weeks until he had straightened himself up, and even his hands assumed their
When we were about half-way through the preparation of The Masters and the
Path Bishop Leadbeater one day showed me a document which he said had been
given to him by a Master at Adyar many years before. It was simply a table
of the rays or types of humanity. He thought it might be incorporated into
the book, but there were some points he could not understand-he indicated
three items in particular. I looked at the diagram, and at once exclaimed: "
But I can explain these items."
I gave him my explanations of the points in question. He was much
astonished and asked me where I got this knowledge of a rather obscure
subject. I told him that before leaving India I had been now and then
receiving what seemed to me like internal communications on this subject of
the rays or types of men. Sometimes there had been a voice, but generally
ideas had been, as it were, insinuated into my mind, quite distinctly with
the feeling of the presence of an intelligence other than my own. In this
way I had accumulated a quantity of notes on the subject.
I had been speaking on it occasionally at theosophical gatherings in
America, without saying anything about occult experiences in connection with
it, if such they could be called. It happened in Chicago that some of the
members, particularly one, Dr. Beckwith, a leader there, had taken my
information very seriously, and I was consequently much troubled, as I had
no wish to lead others where I was myself somewhat blind. Late one night, as
I was travelling along in an otherwise empty carriage on the elevated
railway in Chicago, and I was brooding in a troubled way over this point,
something electrical in my immediate atmosphere caused me to look up and I
saw, or thought I saw, the Master standing there; and he said: " Do not be
troubled about that information about the rays. It is quite correct. I gave
it to you."
When I had recounted this to Bishop Leadbeater, he said: "Well, we will
not do any more of my work until you have written a book of your own on the
seven rays." He put his work aside. I set to work on my own book. Early
every morning I made notes for the day's dictation. During the day I
dictated. In eight days my book was ready for the press. I gave the
manuscript to Bishop Leadbeater with the request to point out any errors or
defects, but after a few days he returned it to me saying: "I should not
like to interfere with anything coming from that source."
The book was duly published, and created quite a sensation among the
Theosophists, who translated it into several languages, but no mention was
made of the history I have recounted above. Afterwards, whenever I raised my
voice against "authority" in the theosophical movement, Bishop Leadbeater
would say to me: "But we regard you as our authority on the rays! " I could
not, however, agree with him. Such experiences as I had had might very well
be the work of the subconscious mind.
My abnormal experiences in Sydney were not all connected with psychism.
One morning I opened the newspaper, and this is what confronted me in
massive type on the front page:
BELOVED UNIVERSITY MAN FOUND HANGED
My photograph appeared under this, and then two columns of letterpress:
"Professor Wood was found hanged in his room.... "
There was a Professor Wood in the Sydney University and he had hanged
himself-the result of a distressing illness. Only the photograph was wrong,
but letters of condolence poured into the office of the Broadcasting Station
for which I was then speaking every week. Some of the writers must
afterwards have been surprised on hearing my voice from the tomb-or rather
the morgue-as it were, if they had not heard the explanation of the mistake.
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