The spiritual life is full of its own dangers due to these forces of darkness and falsehood that chase and cling to an aspirant’s feet. A great persistence, vigilance and sincerity are needed to pass through the devious traps laid down by the forces of Evil on the way.
A conquered captive
Often the pilgrim on the Eternal’s road
Ill-lit from clouds by the pale moon of Mind,
Or in devious byways wandering alone,
Or lost in deserts where no path is seen,
Falls overpowered by her lion leap,
A conquered captive under her dreadful paws.
The aspirant for a higher life easily comes under attack from these ‘adverse and hostile forces’ as they are often called when he tries to walk the path by the strength of his mind alone. Not leaning upon the Grace, he runs the risk of being overpowered by surprise as he wanders alone losing track of the Path. He becomes thus a captive of the nether sphinx who holds him under her dreadful paws.
A hostile Nature
Intoxicated by a burning breath
And amorous grown of a destroying mouth,
Once a companion of the sacred Fire,
The mortal perishes to God and Light,
An Adversary governs heart and brain,
A Nature hostile to the Mother-Force.
These Adverse and Hostile forces that attack and assail the aspirant are real and full of deception and cunning. One of their favourite method is to draw the aspirant downwards through the force of lust and a strong attraction towards sex. The aspirant thereby suffers a fall and is lost to the Light that he was glimpsing in his upwards advance. His heart and brain become controlled and governed by the Adverse and Hostile forces that are opposed to the Divine Mother’s workings.
Slaying of faith
The self of life yields up its instruments
To Titan and demoniac agencies
That aggrandise earth-nature and disframe:
A cowled fifth-columnist is now thought’s guide;
His subtle defeatist murmur slays the faith
And, lodged in the breast or whispering from outside,
A lying inspiration fell and dark
A new order substitutes for the divine.
The action of these hostile forces is to aggrandise the ego-self and make the person an instrument of their dark and devious designs. Thus is born the earthly Titan and the demon who are instruments of this great Adversary and who live only for the sake of aggrandising their ego. These forces do not allow any hope or faith to grow in the being. Pessimism is their potent tool and a false and darkened inspiration begins to replace and distort the divine Will.
Hushed the secret voice
A silence falls upon the spirit’s heights,
From the veiled sanctuary the God retires,
Empty and cold is the chamber of the Bride;
The golden Nimbus now is seen no more,
No longer burns the white spiritual ray
And hushed for ever is the secret Voice.
The voices that bid the soul to climb fall silent and the psychic being withdraws behind the veil of a dark and fallen nature. The chamber of the inmost heart where one feels the warmth and sweetness of the soul becomes cold and the golden aura that was growing around it is seen no more. The fire and light of aspiration dies down and the guiding voice within is hushed as the human nature is overpowered more and more by the hostile energies.
A name is struck
Then by the Angel of the Vigil Tower
A name is struck from the recording book;
A flame that sang in Heaven sinks quenched and mute;
In ruin ends the epic of a soul.
The gods who kept a watch over the soul’s destiny then strike off the name. The flame that was rising upwards to heaven ends in fall and ruin.
Tragedy of inner death
This is the tragedy of the inner death
When forfeited is the divine element
And only a mind and body live to die.
It may even happen that the soul leaves the body while the mind and life force continues to move it driven by the hostile forces. This is the real tragedy of an inner death, of living even though the soul has abandoned its effort in this life and withdraws into the psychic world.
This is the worst possible fate that can afflict the seeker of the upward way. But there is a Grace and the Divine Love that even watch over destiny and can in a moment annihilate this dark illusion if there is a call and a consent from the aspirant.