Dialogue Between Adept and Novice
(Continued from Issue 1)
Can you give an example where Occult intervention would be necessary?
MASTER: You experienced the
situation last year, when a man falsely claiming to be an Adept was made unable
to continue with his pretensions.
But there are many people who make such claims and nothing ever happens to
them. Why was this one different?
MASTER: Most of the self-styled
Adepts get the followers they deserve. They and their followers manage very
happily because they do not have the potential at that time to advance further.
Some of them are aware of this and they are wise enough to accept it. A teacher
will say to his or her pupil: ‘I have taught you all I can; now you must find a
higher teacher.’ Some Occultists would rather be burned at the stake than admit
that, it usually happens that their followers are not capable of progressing
further. As I have said before, it is important to try every method, adapt the
parts that appeal to you, discard the parts that do not. And then move on. That
is useful experience, not wasted time, even if nothing about that particular
aspect holds any meaning for you. A teacher, even if not very advanced, helps
his pupils if he assists them to make progress in his methods but does not
delude them into believing that this is the only way. In the incident last
year, the phoney Adept who called himself Raoul Belphlegor was preventing
people from reaching their true potential.
But wouldn’t it have been simpler to let him die? A few weeks after you
realised that something had to be done, he was taken seriously ill – a
condition which he had been ignoring for some time suddenly flared up. He was
in Intensive Care, and you worked a healing for him. Why?
MASTER: He had to live with what
he had done. If there was any chance of his deriving benefit from the lesson,
he had to be given that chance.
You must have known that he could never benefit from such a lesson.
MASTER: Perhaps I knew it, but I
am not concerned with judging him. All that was necessary was that he should be
prevented from doing further harm. As a result of removing his followers, his
sources of income were removed, but that was a consequence of his own actions.
You said earlier that there are some Occult teachers who are quite genuine,
within their limitations, but they know that they have reached a certain level
and cannot progress any higher. Did they choose to stop or why were they unable
to go on?
MASTER: Nothing is for nothing.
That applies equally to an intangible. Maybe they were unwilling to pay the
price, or they did not have enough to pay the price.
Is an over-emphasis on ritual indicative of the teacher who has nothing valid
MASTER: No. It is not as simple
as that. Ritual is valid as long as it has a meaning for the practitioner. You
have participated in rituals where you felt that their purpose had been
achieved, and others that were merely playacting. Ritual is more personal than
your name. Whoever composed a ritual which meant something to you, that person
– even if unknown to you – achieved a rapport with you in the same way that an
artists who paints a picture effects a form of communication with the person
who likes that picture so much that he buys it. But why waste time on the
chance that someone else’s ritual will appeal to you? It is much more effective
to put a ritual together yourself. However, the longer you go on, the less you
will need ritual. When it ceases to have a point, abandon it.
accept that ritual means nothing to you. Most of the time, I find it pointless,
but I am not yet ready to abandon it altogether. Would you ever stage a ritual
simply to impress someone?
MASTER: That would be most
unlikely, but I will not answer unequivocally ‘no’ because it is possible that
a circumstance may arise when that would be useful.
But you never seem to care about impressing anyone.
MASTER: ‘Never’ is too emphatic a
term. There might be an occasion when I needed to convince someone of something,
and ritual was the easiest way to do it. It is a very unlikely scenario – but
nothing is impossible.
PUPIL: I have
only known you stage a ritual on one occasion. There were three people present,
you, me and Anne. Both Anne and I were new recruits. The purpose of the ritual
was to aid Anne against someone she considered her enemy. You didn’t do that
ritual to impress us, because it didn’t achieve its object.
MASTER: It didn’t do any harm to
Anne’s enemy because it was not necessary that it should. The real purpose of
the ritual was to examine another aspect of your abilities.
So you fooled us?
MASTER: Do you expect that, on
every occasion, I shall tell you my real intentions?
No. This is part of the isolation which you mentioned earlier.
MASTER: Yes. An Adept has
thousands of acquaintances but very few friends.
You have the power to make anyone do what you want. So why do you leave some of
us free to make the choice, why do you take the chance that we might someday
let you down or act against you?
MASTER: One cannot form a
meaningful relationship, friendship or anything else, with someone who is not
worthy, but if they are worthy, how could you justify taking away from them the
thing that makes them special? There is no shortage of peasants to do my
bidding when needed and, when they have served their purpose, they are returned
to their blissful ignorance. They do not know or want to know anything about
the Occult, they will never know that they have been used. A pupil must be free
to make his or her own choice, otherwise they will sink to the level of those
who are merely used.
How can you tell when someone is worthy, or simply usable?
MASTER: In the same way that I
can tell everything else. Unless I guard against it, I have only to shake hands
with someone and I know the day he will die and how. It is vital to shield
oneself constantly against these impressions, but the shield is harder to put
up if I am tired or ill or angry or upset.
But you never get angry or upset.
MASTER: Now you are beginning to
When you were talking of time-travel, you said that the past exists only in our
comprehension of it. Can you explain that?
MASTER: If humanity destroyed
itself, if human beings had ceased to exist on Earth, would ancient Egypt have
You said the past cannot be changed.
MASTER: If there is no-one to
observe it, no knowledge of the past, did it exist at all?
But the artefacts of an ancient civilisation would still be there, even if
no-one was here now.
How can you be sure of that?
Are you saying that things exist only in the mind, to the extent that they
depend on a reaction from the human mind to bring them into being?
MASTER: This is a very important
question. The sound of one hand clapping. You understand how a tree can fall
without making a noise?
Yes. If there is no-one within hearing distance. Sound is waves, it only
becomes noise when it makes contact with someone’s ear. Sound exists only
because of the human – or animal – reaction. But that’s an intangible thing –
like light. No, that’s an invalid comparison because light is the only way we
can know that the stars exist or used to exist.
MASTER: It is a valid comparison
but you are too preoccupied with the physical. Although you cannot see light,
you need light to see, therefore it exists. You have seen the statues and
mummies in the Cairo Museum, therefore you believe that they exist. You cannot
see sound, but my voice is real, though transitory. If you had never been to
Egypt, there are other ways of establishing that the ancient civilisation
existed, but all those ways depend upon your becoming aware of them. Take, for
example, a hermit living in a cave in Tibet. If you described to him a computer,
he would say no, such a thing does not exist. He would be just as certain that
there are no such things as computers as you are certain that there are no such
things as space-ships which can travel to other galaxies. I am not talking of
admitting the possibility of such things existing in the future. Here and now,
they do not exist because your mind has not comprehended them.
But here you are saying that things exist even if we are not aware of them. How
does this relate to the question of whether ancient Egypt would have existed if
we were not, here and now, aware of the artefacts, the book, the research?
MASTER: If I told you that,
thirty million years ago, there lived in Antarctica a race of little green men
with antennae, would you believe me?
wouldn’t automatically disbelieve you, however incredible it sounded – at least
I’ve learned that much! But if anyone, else whatever his scientific
qualifications, made such a statement, yes, I would disbelieve.
MASTER: Leaving aside your personal
attitude to me, you would feel that such a statement was not credible?
Yes. I don’t believe in them, therefore they did not exist.
MASTER: So the existence of an
ancient civilisation depends on your belief in it? On a larger scale, the
existence of ancient Egypt depends on the belief in it of the historians,
archaeologists, scientists. Without their bringing it to you, you would not
know of it, therefore you would not believe in it.
And if we didn’t believe in it, we would believe that it didn’t exist. This
sounds like Alice in Wonderland saying to her attackers “you’re nothing but a
pack of cards” and, as soon as she ceased to believe in their ability to harm
her, they became just pieces of cardboard.
MASTER: So you can accept that it
all depends on the state of your belief. And if there was no-one to believe or
disbelieve, there would be no knowledge of this reality or myth that was
If no knowledge of it existed now, it could not be known whether Egypt had
existed or not. If there was no knowledge of it, the question of its existence
would not be asked.
MASTER: We return to the original
question. If there was no sentient mind to be aware of it, it would not exist
now, but, in such a case, did it ever exist? If you subscribe to this
philosophy, and I am not saying that I do, your mind is the only reality and,
without that mind, nothing exists. This idea puts man back at the centre of the
universe. All things depend on his existence to observe them.
Yes. I was just beginning to understand it and think I could accept it – then
you slip in that bit about you’re not saying that you subscribe to this
MASTER: One thing you should have
learned by now is that I do not expect or want you to accept everything I say.
But I like that theory!
MASTER: Then hold to that theory,
unless and until a better one comes to you. I will show you a lot of things to
think about, but I will not tell you what to think. You must realise that, when
a person subscribes or does not subscribe to a particular theory, his decision
is based on everything that he already knows or believes or thinks. You cannot take it out of context. It is a
bigger version of an individual asking how the hell do I know that I exist.
And how would the people going
about their everyday business in ancient Egypt have felt if it became know to
them that, in a thousand years’ time, Earth would not exist? How would they
feel about their own existence, knowing that, no matter what they left behind,
there would be no-one to see it? Then, instead of saying would ancient Egypt
have existed if we were not here to see the remains, they could be saying do we
really exist because there is no-one to come after us, is what we are doing
People involved in their everyday
affairs in ancient Egypt would be faced with the same kind of decisions as
someone trying to accept or reject this philosophy. Try to comprehend how they
would have felt. The ancient Egyptians were dedicated to their belief in a life
after death, they had a psychotic fascination with preserving the human form
after death. Many people believe now that Earth is unlikely to survive for
another thousand years or even another fifty years, not necessarily because of
man’s inborn self-destructive urge but because a microchip controls the power
If we knew without doubt that Earth was going to be destroyed, I think people
would still go on acting in the same way they have always done. An individual
would feel that nothing he could do would alter the course of events.
MASTER: That implies that, in his
own mind, he is less important. The most important person is always “I”.
PUPIL: Yes, I agree with that. And yet, in a
disaster, for instance, there are people who risk or even lose their lives to
Why do you think they do that?
think they are carried away by the emotion of the moment. I can understand
trying to save someone you love, but not a total stranger.
MASTER: Rescue is rescue and they
are all motivated in the same way. Such Establishment words as “cowards” and
“selfish” would be applied to one who concentrated solely on saving himself.
These words were invented to make people believe that one form of behaviour is
more acceptable than another.
But, when the ship’s going down, the sea is pouring in, there isn’t time to
think about acceptable behaviour. Instinct must take over in such desperate
circumstances. One person’s instinct impels him to jump into the lifeboat;
another person’s instinct impels him to grab others and throw them into the
lifeboat. What makes the difference?
MASTER: The difference is in each
person’s attitude to life. The man who is a loser or who settles for breaking
even, jumps for the lifeboat himself. The man who is a natural winner in life
is the one who will save others. He is accustomed to winning, he believes in
his own abilities. Because of the attitude he takes, he is used to getting
double doses of trouble, and he believes that, even carrying someone else, he
can make it.
So you are saying that the Establishment is right, even though for the wrong
reason, in saying that the man who saves others is better than the man who
saves only himself.
MASTER: The Establishment cannot
be always wrong, just as the anti-Establishment cannot be always right. Every
system of belief or ethics contains something that is wrong and also something
that is right, even if its practitioners do not know the real reason why it is
From the Dark Lily Journal No 2, Society of Dark Lily