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Readers will better understand certain aspects of the lectures published if they bear in mind that the Master Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov's Teaching was exclusively oral and that the editors have made every effort to respect the flavor and style of each lecture.

The Master's Teaching is more than a body of doctrines: it is an organic whole, and his way of presenting it was to approach it from countless different points of view. By repeating certain aspects in a wide variety of contexts he constantly reveals a new dimension of the Whole and, at the same time, throws new light on the individual aspects and on their vital links with each other.
TO TAKE AND TO GIVE
Sun, Moon, and Earth

(Improvised)

Today, I am going to give you a few illustrations to show you that the subject of personality and individuality is a whole world in itself. The best image has to do with the etymology of the word personality: 'Persona'. Persona is Latin for the mast worn by actors during the play. A change of mask denoted a change of personality: the same actor changed his face and costume, his appearance, for each different role.

The theatre shows us that personality is the role man must play during his existence. His role will change with each life, but he himself remains the same. When he is about to be incarnated, he puts on a costume, dons a mask, assumes a personality, he is man or woman, he has certain qualities and certain faults, a certain appearance. With each incarnation he returns with a different personality, but he himself remains the same. His personality is temporary and changes with each life. What remains is an inheritance, the accumulated fortune of his learning and training, his apprenticeship, all that he has gathered in each life. That is what is called individuality. Man's personality changes but all the good qualities and wisdom he has acquired are handed down throughout his incarnations, forming his individuality.

Individuality can be compared to the sun and personality to the moon. The moon goes through different phases, it varies constantly, it has no light of its own, it is not the centre of a planetary system like the sun. Personality is as unstable as the moon, whereas individuality, like the sun, remains steadfastly radiant, forever luminous and powerful.

Yesterday I told you that the essential thing for you to know is how to work. If you work for your personality only, you will be working for the things that change, leaving no trace; you are working in the void, for the wind. We must know when we are working for the personality and when for individuality.

We can recognize personality by its characteristic of always seeking to gain for itself, to take, to possess, to hold on to people and things. As I have explained, the personality is an inverted trinity. It corresponds on a lower level to the trinity of man's intellect, heart and Will. Where personality is opposed by forces that prevent it from gratifying its desires which are always egoistic, it becomes irritated, mean and vindictive. When it is threatened with the loss of what it has grabbed and wants to hold on to, personality reacts viciously, it refuses to think of anything but gratifying itself.

Whereas individuality wants nothing but to give, to radiate, and to spout forth the truth... it seeks to enlighten, to help, to sustain. Individuality emanates something of itself, something impersonal. No effort, no sacrifice is too great, it asks only to demonstrate generosity, detachment, abnegation, renunciation. It never tries to hold on to possessions and doesn't mind being deprived of everything it owns. On the contrary, it rejoices in knowing that what is has been instrumental in nourishing others, in enlightening them. Individuality is also a trinity formed by man's intellect, heart and Will, but it uses the intellect to illuminate others, the heart to warm others, the Will to vivify and liberate all human beings.

As these two completely different natures live together in the same body, man is constantly solicited by two forces, one egocentric, one heliocentric, or if you prefer... one centripetal force and one centrifugal. Man himself is between the two and if he tends towards ordinary concepts, human or animal, he is seized by the claws of his personality and swept away on the egocentric current. That is unfortunately what happens to most humans, they have neither the discernment nor the enlightenment with which to avoid the current of personality, nor do they see that this current comes from the infernal regions.

People think it normal to live and work for themselves only, never considering anyone else, attempting to dominate, even to persecute and eliminate others so that personality will be triumphant. This attitude is so prevalent that if anyone suggests another form of behavior, they are considered utterly mad. It is quite natural for everybody to cheat and rob and take advantage of everybody else, what could be better?

The consequences of this attitude are not great because when he is serving the personality that thinks only of itself, man is breaking certain laws and becomes, as a result, arrogant and disagreeable and cruel. Everything he does is contrary to divine moral laws. And, of course, if he exaggerates and goes too far, there are retorts and repercussions, he is attacked and annihilated. Then he will have to be taught a lesson, he will have to be beaten, until he finally realizes that he must not serve personality exclusively. Yes, the consequences are not very happy. Sooner or later, a man with this attitude will be hated and persecuted even by his own wife and children.

Whereas those who know about superior nature, sublime nature, try to enter the other current and develop other qualities. The fundamental quality of superior nature is to give, to radiate. Actually all virtue is simply a radiation, a projection from the centre toward the periphery, a need to wrench something out of oneself and give it in sacrifice. When he feels this way, man has overcome all the fears of personality, the fear of dying of hunger, of being poverty-stricken. Fear and timidity and cowardice, all the fears are overcome by superior nature's need to give, to be a well-spring, to radiate. All the virtues of religion, abnegation, renunciation, sacrifice, are the manifestations of our individuality trying to unite with God.

To understand personality, take the earth and the moon as examples. The earth takes, absorbs, it gives nothing to the cosmos, contrary to the sun. Perhaps the earth can be seen by other planets shining in space, perhaps the inhabitants of Jupiter and Saturn looking at us through their telescopes can see our poor little earth glimmering faintly like the moon or the other planets, but this is not earth's own light. Earth is not able to produce its own light because it is still too self-centered. Nobody who is selfish and personal can project light because light comes from within man; he must himself extract it out of the depths of his interior and protect it. Then it is a manifestation of his love and goodness and generosity, and there is no more fear because there can be no fear where there is light.

When this side is allowed to manifest itself, it makes man radiant and luminous, his heart is gladdened, and he is enraptured. When the other side takes over he is pushed into greed, grabbing for himself at any cost, at the expense of anyone and everyone. He will crush the world and tread on the dead if necessary, in order to get what he wants. All our faults are nothing but the manifestation of this need to grab and absorb everything.

From another point of view we could say that personality is the abyss that swallows everything and that individuality is the river that flows from the highest source. These are only images of course, and when I say that the personality is an abyss, you must understand that I am not underrating the importance of what can be done in the depths.

All that I wish to show you is that the sun is the illustration of the spirit of giving, and the earth is the illustrating of the spirit of taking. This does not mean that the earth never gives anything at all, with what it receives it produces flowers; it produces fruit, but only for itself. Do you think that other stars get the benefit of the earth's fruit and flowers? No, they are intended for the earth and maybe for the earth's children, which amounts to the same thing. Earths acts with what it receives but keeps the results for itself. Personality also acts with what it receives and keeps it all for itself. Whereas the sun takes what it produces and projects it far out into infinite space for the benefit of all creatures. There are two laws: the law of absorption and the law of transmission (or emission). The sun is the perfect example of radiating, of transmitting.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, we all need to change our natures, our tendency to take and absorb and ingest everything into ourselves. We must accept the new divine decree in all its splendor and glory. When the sun rises before us, radiating, giving itself, streaming forth so generously, it is the sublime manifestation of individuality, of spirit, of God himself. You stare and stare, but if no one has ever explained to you what is happening and how to interpret it, you can watch all your life and you will still take all you can take, you will continue to obey the law of the land, the law of personality. If there is someone to tell you what is a sunrise, what it means, then you will be able to understand the power and grandeur and tremendousness of this act of giving. You will work on changing your inner self, and you will rejoice in the progress you make each day, little by little, until finally you resemble the sun yourself.

You must decide to change, to make a sacrifice of everything without waiting for a reward, because that is how the sun gives. The sun gives and waits for nothing in return. Lots of us make little sacrifices and then wait for something: a thank you, a compliment, praise. That is the way of the earth but not the way of the sun.

Of course what I am saying is not for everyone. It is only for the disciples, the children of God who wish to resemble their Heavenly Father. I am speaking to them. If they wish to be like the Lord, there is no other way than to make the effort to deprive themselves, to give out something from within, to give and give and give until the time comes when they are capable of giving their lives. That is the greatest gift of all. Of course a lot of people give.... They give a few pennies here and there, a crust of bread, some old clothes, a pair of shoes full of holes and they think this charity will take them to Paradise. If it was that easy! Until we learn to give up our weaknesses, our cupidity, we will not know what sacrifice is.

This is a vast subject, but to sum up, I will say that we must learn from each sunrise how to give; otherwise we will always be in the dark. Egoism in man brings pernicious results. By keeping everything for ourselves, never thinking about giving, certain of our inner canals are blocked, and you know what happens when a canal is blocked! It becomes infested with mold and mildew that attract parasites and vermin and finally.... The rats come and eat what is left. Take a source for instance. When it runs dry, everything around it turns to mold and the smell of putrefaction attracts bugs and microbes and filth of all kinds. Because the source stopped flowing. Personality is like stagnant water, and the same thing happens to man. On the other hand, there is nothing more resourceful than personality which has learned to be clever in order to acquire what it wants. Individuality is not so clever, so dynamic, nor so violent, but what is remarkable about individuality is that it is always flowing, always watering and fertilizing everything it goes, enlightening, vivifying. Individuality is like a source and when it manifests itself with this abundance of love and kindness, purity and light, it permeates man's whole being and he feels washed and refreshed, radiant with light.

Dear brothers and sisters, do you begin to understand? It is not hard to evolve. "What," you say, "easy to evolve? I have been trying for years without success!" That is because you are not working on the essential, you aren't obeying the law of giving, of sacrifice. You are always thinking of yourself, how to get something for yourself. Even when we read or study we are taking. It is only when we begin to give what we have learned, wherever we have learned it, that we begin to change. People may work hard, there are many hard workers, but they work in order to get something, to take, to acquire importance or power, to spread out their tentacles further and further. They don't work in order to give.

Jesus touched on this subject. Of course he didn't explain in detail the way I do, but if you know how to interpret the Gospels you can see that he knew how important it was to divest oneself of everything, to give. When the rich young man asked him: "What should I do to inherit eternal life?" "Keep the commandments," Jesus said. "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" said the young man. Jesus said: "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. And come and follow me." When he heard these words, the young man went away sorrowful for he had great possessions and was not yet ready to give them up. He did not follow Jesus. If Jesus asked such a thing it was because he knew the importance of the two laws: to give and to take. And why give? To be free to follow him and become like the sun. You see, it's always the same idea but in a different form.

From now on if you have understood what I have been saying your will climb to the Rocher and look at the sun with new eyes. There will be wonderful results because everything is in the way we look at things. If you don't understand the importance of what the sunrise represents, you will never be able to benefit from it, even by looking at it every day year after year, because you won't be releasing the magic forces within you. It is only by a deep and penetrating understanding of these things that man can release the heavenly currents within, transforming himself, growing like the sun, giving and giving, and discovering that he has never felt so rich, so lucid, and so powerful. Whereas before he was tormented, he suffered under the influence of earth, his personality pushed him around, knocking him against everything, against the world. He had spent his life in fighting, in war.

Look at the advice Jesus gives: "If any man... take away they coat let him have thy cloak also." Why? To be like the sun. Jesus didn't talk about resembling the sun but it was the same idea: to become inwardly so powerful that we are above fear and dread. Fear and dread have to be overcome. That is what is meant by saying: "The Kingdom of God belongs to the bold." Personality is afraid, never individuality. Personality is frightened because it feels isolated, it feels poor and insecure, which is why it is always taking. To be afraid means that love is lacking. Love is incompatible with fear, where there is love – fear will disappear.

Those are the wiles and intrigues of personality, dear brothers and sisters. That is how it proceeds, that is the reason for its fear. Man, in between personality and individuality, must edge further and further away from the personality that tries to trap him with drag-nets and lassos. Personality has a vital interest in monopolizing the whole man so that he will do the providing: personality needs to eat and drink and be amused, and holds on to man for fear he will escape its clutches. There are animals that project a liquid to hide them when they are in danger, and this is what personality does with man, binding him so that he won't see what is happening, and man runs to do its bidding.

He should do the opposite and go far away from personality; it is as simple as that. Not killing it be starvation, but allowing it very little, and withdrawing from it, in order to come nearer and nearer to the other side, the other nature, individuality, the sun, where he will know warmth and light and beauty and goodness and life. Since sun and light can be transformed into gold he will have gold inside. That is the only way man can escape from personality, by going away from it and drawing near to individuality, the spirit, which endows him with a different way of thinking, another philosophy, with wisdom and intelligence. If he does that he is free of the schemes and tricks of personality. He is protected by the individuality which fills him with good qualities, assurance, and absolute conviction. Those are the qualities of an Initiate: he is convinced, he is sure, he is clear. He is not interested in what personality has to offer, he is detached from all that and he seeks freedom above all. That is the true meaning of freedom. Man can never be free of cosmic forces, he belongs to the cosmos, but he can be free himself from the grip of personality, from lust and greed and scheming, and not allow them anymore in his mind or in his heart and that, dear brothers and sisters, is liberation.

Like all men, the Initiate bears his personality around with him. He feeds it just enough to keep it alive, never allowing it all it wishes. He supports and controls it; he is Master, not as in the signs you see in people's houses that say: "I am master here, buy my wife gives the orders." In the Initiate's house it says: "Here personality is the servant, I am the master." That's what an Initiate will say, but unlike all those poor hermits and ascetics who didn't understand, he will not attempt to annihilate personality. They were told to scourge themselves, to wear hair shirts, and after that the personality was good for nothing. That is not the way to treat personality, it must be washed and fed and seen to, but it must not allowed to indulge its capriciousness, nor should it be allowed to give orders. Do you leave a servant without food or lodging? No, you take care of him, but you do not allow him to dominate you or run your affairs. Of course there have been cases where the servant became indispensable and ended up by ordering about the master of the house.... For instance, the cook who made such good fritters for her master who was a glutton.... He had to marry her because he couldn't give up the fritters!

You mustn't destroy your servant, you must train it and not give it too much liberty, otherwise you'll come back one day and find nothing but empty cupboards and broken bottles: the servant gave a party for the neighbors in your absence; they ate and drank everything in the house. This is what personality does when intelligence is missing; it goes on a binge with all of its companions – inferior thoughts and feelings – and from the astral world.

To sum up we might say there are two laws: to take and to give. To take is part of the teaching of the past; to give is the new teaching. And what is the greatest gift we can offer? Not that we should always be giving to everybody regardless, no, but we should give to the shining spirits around us, angels and archangels, saints, the prophets, the Lord, we should give them our strength, our thoughts, our lives. When we can give our lives to God we have come a long way, we have followed the law of the sun. Man cannot give his life to God when he is too close to personality, because personality will persuade him not to, telling him its nonsense, and he will give in; he will give up being a divinity. It is not by obeying the laws of the world that one becomes a divinity, for that one must obey the law of the sun.

This is how to interpret Newton's law on the spiritual level. Newton discovered the law of universal gravitation: the planets move as if attracted to the sun in direct ratio to their mass and in inverse ration to the square of their distance from the sun. Therefore the attraction is directly proportionate to the mass of the bodies and inversely proportionate to their distance. Scientists later experimented with weighing an identical object both at the pole and at the equator, and discovered that it weighed less at the equator. Why? Because the earth is flatter at the poles, the distance to the center of the earth is less than at the equator, and therefore the attraction is greater at the pole and the object is heavier there. The farther the object goes from the earth the less it is attracted by earth, and the less it weighs. If it wanders into the field of solar attraction, by the same law, it will be attracted by the sun. The same object that was drawn towards the earth is now drawn towards the sun, attracted and absorbed by it.

It is the same with man, somewhere in space between the earth and the sun, that is, between personality and individuality: if you stay too close to the earth, personality holds on to you, you are weighed down, but if you manage to go further away, personality loses its power over you, you are lighter. And if you manage to detach yourself completely from earth, there comes a time when personality has no influence on you at all. It is the divine world that attracts you and you are on the path that leads directly to the sun. It is the same law, but astronomers, always busy with the physical plane, have never thought that the same law might exist for man.

By remaining close to his personality man is not free to explore, to voyage in space, he has first to break with the attachments, certain threads that hold him. To cut them, he must learn to give. That is what is meant by detachment. Renouncement, sacrifice, generosity, kindness are all efforts to five, and by giving you are moving away from earth, you are being pulled towards the sun. This is so clear and simple to me! The difficult thing is to find the right words to describe these things to you. I would even prefer not to speak at all about such things because I can never do it as I would like, as I see things myself, in the way I sense them. For me the subject is very clear, but when it comes to presenting it to people, for their understanding, all kinds of difficulties arise, and when I have to look so hard for the right words to express what is so true and simple to me, I can't see clearly anymore. To see clearly is a way of speaking, I still see clearly, but not as clearly as if I kept quiet.

So, dear brothers and sisters, you should realize that it is to your advantage to accept the laws of individuality. Those who hold on to the old way of thinking have not yet the light. If they had, if they understood, nothing could hold them. And now, if after these explanations, you have no desire to follow a new way of thinking, a new philosophy, it proves that personality has a hold on you and it holds you firmly. Of course I realize that personality has had thousands of years in which to become strongly ensconced within man, it has been handed down from one generation to another in families and philosophies to such an extent that man will not listen no matter what you tell him, he insists on following the advice of personality. Very few want to escape, very few realize they have been wasting their lives floundering about in the swamps because of personality. Others say: "We're all right just as we are, what if we have troubles and tribulations, that's life." They accept their anguish, their rage, their slavery, and look for neither liberation, nor happiness, nor plenitude. How many people have I not seen who were pleased with their mediocre lives? If you try to tell them about something better, they answer that they are content as they are.

Therefore, I know very well that this philosophy will never be accepted by those who are in the grip of personality, who are so blinded by personality that they have no longing for a better, superior way of life, more beautiful and more poetic. You ask: "If you know ahead of time that people won't follow you, why do you go on speaking to them?" Because I also know that some people exist who are no longer completely prisoners of their personality, and it is for them that I speak. There is hope that these people will be able one day to get out of the circle of personality and approach the divine world where the material has no power over them. I speak for disciples, the brothers and sisters, who are not entirely bound and gagged by their personality, but for the others I hold no illusions. Maybe later on, after they've had a few good lessons and suffered misfortune and catastrophes, after a few more incarnations, maybe the others will also be able to get out of the grip of their personality.

Personality appears among creatures starting on the animal level, it is their lower nature. A higher nature also exists among animals but it is dormant. Among humans it is beginning to appear, among supermen it is more prevalent, while among the great Masters it is free reign, it is tremendous, it dominates, it is magnificent. That is what we should have for an ideal. How much time will it take? We shouldn't think about time. We have taken the sun as a model because it is the symbol of perfection, of this ideal. You say, "But the sun is not a human being." Yes, but it does much more than humans and it is better to look up to something that may not be human but that far surpasses humans, than it is to stay behind with the weaklings, the obscure and mean, the egoists and the criminals.

Even if the sun were nothing but rock, or metal in fusion, it would be the same to me. Whatever it is, as long as it manifests qualities superior to man's qualities, I will take it as an example to follow, without wondering whether it is human, or stone, or metal. All I see is that the sun is better than man, so I want to go towards it, near it I feel uplifted and exalted, near it I become more intelligent, I grow and I am healed. Whereas among men, one is apt to be ill and unhappy, in a state of nerves. People will say: "My God, how warped he is! He thinks the sun is intelligent, he endows it with human qualities." Why not? And I'm not the only one. I have followed the example of my predecessors, I allowed myself to abandon a philosophy that didn't satisfy me. If others are satisfied, let them stay with it, never would I try to tear them away.

But I am not through yet with personality and individuality. For today, just retain this: you should make an attempt not to work so hard for personality, and to diminish the rations you give it. Like the parable of the unjust steward. The disciple who serves his master, the personality, is the unjust steward, and the day comes when he realizes that there exists a superior being, above the one he has been working for, and he wants to seek the friendship of that superior being, individuality. The story is told differently but it comes to the same thing. The steward was the servant of his personality, he had to serve it and work for it until the day he started to think, "If I don't make friends on the other side, who will befriend me when I get there? Now I understand! The hundred percent I have been in the habit of giving to my master, I am going to cut down to half, or maybe a quarter." Then he called in the rest of the debtors and questioned them. "How much owest thou unto my lord?" "A hundred measures of oil." "Write fifty." "And how much owest thou?" "A hundred measures of wheat." "Write fourscore." This is how he made friends and Jesus approved. It means that the disciple, instead of allowing his physical body hundreds of chickens and lambs and cows and turkeys, should diminish the rations. The energy he is in the habit of spending on his personality, all his time, his strength, his activity, should be spent elsewhere, on Heaven, on his individuality.

We are servants of the personality and we must learn to be unjust, unfaithful, that is, instead of giving it one hundred percent, we must decrease the amount to half or a quarter as much, and take all that personality consumes in the way of time and energy and thoughts and emotions and dissipation and activity and give it to Heaven, to our noble an sublime nature. As a result, when we leave this earth, there will be something waiting for us in Heaven. I have invented nothing; I have only deciphered, interpreted, and understood in my way the words of Jesus. I pass them on to you and no one can say I have invented anything. Go and ask Jesus, he will answer: "It's absolutely true, he is free to translate my words as he sees fit. Since he doesn't distort the truth he has this right and I approve of him. I approve of him because this is the way he has always worked."

        Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
        Le Bonfin, July 28, 1968

TO TAKE AND TO GIVE
Sun, Moon and Earth
II

So my dear brothers and sisters, did you digest yesterday's lecture on the personality? This is another subject that should be gone into very deeply. It must become clearer and clearer, so that man will realize that he carries within himself two natures. As a matter of fact, there are more but we can reduce them to two: the divine nature which is above, high above us, and the inferior nature which is below us. We can influence the two natures just as we are influenced by them; we can improve the inferior nature. We are not able to act on superior nature because it comes directly from God Himself, but we can merge with it and identify with it. We can also sink so low that we identify with the principle of evil, we become diabolical, demons. Yes, there are people who have become demons because they stayed too long in the school of the personality. Personality is a link, an open door between us and Hell, and it is therefore through the personality that Hell gets through to us. The lower world finds its way though the personality. Personality is very close to the world of instincts, passions and lusts, and the man that is guided by it ends up becoming one with it and with Hell.

I have told you about the two currents, one leading towards the center of the earth and one towards the center of the sun. There are many souls caught in the current going to the earth's center which draws them like a magnet. Call it the force of attraction, the power of seduction, as you like, but the fact remains that all those who let themselves be carried away by this current are carried to the centre of the earth and they finish by turning into demons.* (*The description of the two currents should be taken symbolically. Hell is not at the center of the earth. The Maitre Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov has often spoken of the subterranean kingdom of Agartha, a civilization far more advanced spiritually and technically than ours.) Whereas those who go with the current leading to the sun are carried towards the center of the sun. it is a question of choice. There are all kinds of currents, millions of them circulating around in nature, but to make it easier to understand, we take two: the current of light and the current of darkness.

Initiates, philosophers, poets, mystics and visionaries have given the world, in their various ways, the idea that the world is divided by two forces. The Persians through Zoroaster, presented the idea of the opposition of light and darkness, the God of light being Ormuzd and the God of darkness, Ahriman. The difference between the two was not always clear and led over the years to a good deal of distortion. Zoroaster did not mean to show that the principle of evil existed in opposition to the principle of good without the eventual triumph of good. No, it was polarity that he was insistent on: God Himself is one, in his manifestation he becomes two, masculine and feminine, positive and negative, light and darkness.

Nature proves that darkness is not evil, it is a force working constructively for development and formation and growth. It's only in the head of humans that darkness is synonymous with evil. Night, for instance.... Is night evil? And is the darkness of the womb where the child begins his life....is that evil? And yet he is in the dark for nine months. If darkness is evil, how is it that Saints, Prophets, and Martyrs were all formed in obscurity and then speak of nothing but light? Where did they learn about light since they were in the shadows? So, you see, we have to understand, it is symbolic. Let's take the words left and right. We say: "Ah, you have gone to the left" meaning you are on the wrong road, you have become the servant of evil. Actually, the left is not evil; it is only a manner of speaking. Man is made up of two sides, left and right. He is divided in two to make things easier, but he is really a unit, how could we divide him? Look, if you hit your left hand with your right hand, the blow is not felt by two separate and opposite beings, but by one and the same person. If you understand this law of polarity, it will help you to understand a lot of other things.

In nature everything is good. This does not imply that devils are also good. No, one day they will all be cooked, flavored and served to us as a feast. Why not? It says in the Kabbalah that at the end of the world the Leviathan will be cut up, salted and prepared as a feast for the Just. What a privilege, if we are invited, to dine on this monster along with the Just! So if the Leviathan, which is no better than demons, is served as a feast, why not also the other devils? Maybe we will be eating them one day, but in the meanwhile, of course, it is they who are feasting on us !

In the same way that man is linked to Hell through his personality, he is linked to God Himself through his individuality, which is divine nature and when he allows himself to be carried on the current of light, when he accepts to be harmonious himself, and identify with individuality, then he becomes a divinity. What I have just told you is in accord with all esoteric and religious tradition which has always said that man must return to being exactly what he was originally. At the moment he is somewhere between Heaven and Hell because he has wandered too far a field, he has changed his position and dwelling place too many times. He has been in so many places he doesn't know where he belongs anymore; he has forgotten all the ancient knowledge, he needs a guide. Long ago man had no need for guidance, he was guided by his own light, but now that he has lost that light, he cannot find his way. Today, nearly all of humanity is in that situation. Sometimes one runs across an enlightened being who remembers what men once were, who knows where they came from and where they are headed, and those are the ones that need no guide other than their inner light. Each passing day proves the truth of what they know, which is why their conviction and certitude grow deeper and deeper, and they themselves are amazed at this guiding light that never fails.

Most humans remain in doubt, uncertainty, and anguish, they wonder what will happen to them after death, whether they go on living or whether they disappear completely, what will be left of them and why they have worked so hard.... This is the reason for today's books and plays and films, all the product of this uncertainty. If there remain a few to show the way, there are many more to encourage the doubt that is ruining everything magnificent in man. All those writers bent on destroying what little faith and love are left! What a shame that the young generation prefers books full of doubt and disharmony and desolation, chaos, annihilation, to those other books into which luminous beings have poured the richness of all their experiences and discoveries. Writers, philosophers and scientists have done everything to extinguish the few glimmers of light left in man, and now humanity is groping in the dark, not knowing which way to turn, and that is serious. He must be shown once again what direction he should take. Those who understand will make a decision, and as for the others, let them learn by experience and they will see, one day, whether what they were taught was true or not.

When I spoke to you yesterday about the personality, I didn't tell you everything. There are many more aspects, one of which I will go into now. I said yesterday that the foremost tendency of personality was to take, even to the detriment of others. Personality is absolutely amoral and has no pity, nothing. It wants everything and even then it is ungrateful, resentful. Personality is made up of everything that is negative, because in order to satisfy all its desires it has to develop all kinds of tendencies towards discontent and rebelliousness, dissatisfaction, jealousy and cruelty. I have explained that personality which knows only how to take can be compared to the earth, while individuality which only gives, can be compared to the sun, and the human being who is between the two is constantly solicited by one or the other. I added that if man sought to content his personality only, his destiny was already set, because he would disturb others with his violence and coldness; he would make enemies, while if man followed his divine nature which always urges him to give and give, he would develop other qualities that would make people love him and want to be near him, because he had become, himself, a sun. And then, by using Newton's law, I showed how man could draw away from earth in order to come under the laws of the sun. Thus, withdrawing from earth and approaching the sun, this summarizes the two best methods of extracting ourselves from the claws of personality.

I told you about the sun and the earth, and I mentioned the moon, but briefly, and I would like now to tell you more about it. What is the moon? It is an earth like our earth. From the point of view of astronomy and science it is not exactly like earth, but symbolically it is an earth like our earth; it is not a sun because it takes. Thus earth and moon are feminine, they take, but there is a difference in their way of taking and you will see how different from the Initiatic point of view. The sun gives and the earth and the moon take. Today we will not study all the planets, but only these three symbols: the sun, the moon (considered in the Mysteries to be the two principles, masculine and feminine), and the earth. Earth represents the physical body, the moon represents the astral body (the inferior soul) and the sun represents Spirit. Intelligence is represented by Mercury, but we will not go into that today.

Let us then, take the sun, the moon and the earth. The sun (or Spirit) gives and never takes; the soul and body take. But in which way do the soul and body take? That is interesting. You mustn't think it is always bad to take; there are ways of taking. It can be brutal, selfish, greedy, but it can also be quiet, like still water, like a mirror, like a soul at peace reflecting Heaven.

So here is how humans can be classified: those who are under the influence of the earth and who take selfishly, with no love and without pity, and those who are under the moon's influence: mediums, visionaries, poets and mystics who take, or rather capture, something from the other regions or from the sun in order to reflect it, and reflecting is giving. They are thus giving something, they aren't keeping everything for themselves, they are not absorbing everything. The soul of a medium becomes so receptive that it can receive revelations from above, and then transmit them and make predictions. Someone who is receptive and sensitive, who captures waves and messages, is totally different from someone who swallows everything like a yawning abyss. A mirror gives a reflection, not itself of course, but at least it gives something, it reflects, and that is the function of the moon, to reflect. Because it is situated between the sun and the earth, the side turned towards earth reflects what is inferior and the side turned to the sun reflects what is superior. The moon waxes and wanes as if to prove that for a little while it must reflect everything evil and infernal, and for another little while it must reflect nothing but what is good and celestial.

The human soul is linked to the moon, the physical body to the earth, and the spirit to the sun. Like the sun, the spirit never takes, it gives and gives, it spouts forth, and it is inexhaustible. The sun cannot receive, precisely because it is so active, always dynamic, always giving. While earth cannot give, it takes, it receives, and with what it receives it brings out some fruit, a few flowers. But the moon is sometimes under the influence of the sun, and sometimes under the influence of earth. That is why the lunar temperaments are so unstable, they can be full of inspiration and poetry and all of a sudden they will fall into a deep depression. A short time later, again they are singing for joy. One never knows what is going on inside them, especially where their predictions are concerned, which are sometimes true and sometimes false. The moon is the realm of all falsehood: it is also the realm of purity and clarity. Why?

Looking at the sephirotic tree of life, we see that after Malkout (which is the earth's realm), if you go on upwards in a straight line, you come to Iesod, which is the moon's realm, and then Tipheret, the realm of the sun. Moon, being between the other two, is influenced by the sun in its higher regions and by earth in its lower regions. Everything coming from earth is reflected in the shape of lies and delusion, heavy clouds and terrifying images. Once beyond this, you come to the bright region which is under the sun's influence. This is where you find all true clairvoyants, in the superior region of the moon where neither illusion nor obscurity can exist. This is the reason for finding two types of people in the region influenced by the moon: some who are unstable, emotional, bizarre, a little mad and there are others who are clairvoyant, lucid and pure. The moon gives purity, absolute purity. If you wish to be pure, pure as clear water, you should become attached to the moon, but only to the higher regions. Water comes under the moon's influence, whether it is crystal clear or polluted. Hecate personifies the inferior aspect of the moon and Diana, chaste Diana, the superior aspect. But there is also Isis.

To come back to the meaning of emissive and receptive : take for example.... People who are only receptive, absorbing without discernment both good and evil, receiving other people's illnesses and impurities without realizing it. Receptive people are very vulnerable because they don't know how to defend themselves, which is why mediums are at the mercy of every influence, of all the entities. Whereas among emissive people, the solar people, are the magi, the seers. With them the masculine aspect predominates, that is, Will Power, the need to give, to be constructive, to influence, the need for action in all its forms: that is the masculine temperament. The feminine temperament is to receive, to form things, to submit. Both poles are necessary, masculine and feminine, emissive and receptive, for without one or the other, life cannot exist.

It is the same with man. He should also have within him the two poles, masculine and feminine, emissive and receptive. If he is receptive only, great misfortunes await him. He is unable to improve things because he has no Will. He has developed his sensitivity only, which is not enough, because in life there is a constant battle against hostile forces. And if he is only emissive and positive, he ejects everything, and then he can no longer be clairvoyant, he will not penetrate the mysteries, he will not be intuitive, and he will have no reminiscence of the past, no revelations. He will have strength and power, but he will use those for fighting, because the Will only knows how to fight, provoking others, shoving them around, making enemies. By being receptive he won't offend people, he will say "Amen" to anything, but then he will be trampled on and crushed and that is not good either. If he has the two natures, solar and lunar (along with the nature the earth gave him so as to be able to act on the physical plane), he will then be perfect, he will be in plenitude. In esoteric science such a man is called androgynous; he is a complete being. In India, the state of perfection and plenitude is symbolically represented by the lingam.

So you see, it is not bad to take, to receive, providing you receive as the moon does on the side facing the sun. In knowing how to receive and how to five, you still acquire health also. If you receive only and never give, all the putrefaction accumulated inside will make you ill. If you give without ever taking, you will exhaust yourself and there will be nothing left. Wisdom is in knowing how to receive and how to give, to whom and how much, in exactly the right proportions. Yesterday I told you about giving, but you don't yet know how, or when, or to whom you should give. There are still many things to tell you on this subject.

Before ending, I will add the following: When you are confronting someone, how can you know what he is thinking and planning? If his face is somber, sinister, menacing, you can be sure he is thinking of stealing, destroying, doing harm. This is the way nature arranges things. When man has criminal intentions, his fact darkens, he stops radiating, and if he is thinking about helping someone, his face clears, lightens up, radiates. You may not know what is going on inside him, but nature does.

And now, couldn't we draw a marvelous conclusion from this observation? Why does the sun's fact shine so brightly? Why is it so radiant? Because the sun is always meditating on the best things and his light is proportionate to the grandeur and nobility of his thoughts, his good feelings, his love, his knowledge. There! Had you thought of that? The sun shows us the way: we should be giving, enlightening, vivifying; but people are too far from this way of thinking to accept it. They will say: "It's poetic, it's beautiful," but they won't believe it is the truth. Yes, that is all they will say: "How poetic, how pretty."

So many more things to reveal! At the moment it is not very clear to you because you don't know enough about symbols. But it will all be clear in time, dear brothers and sisters, patience!

May light and peace be with you.

        Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
        Le Bonfin, July 29, 1967

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