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18

 

and other knick-knacks in the subtle form. They can and do utilize the power coming down to them from the Mental Sphere for the good and bad of others, as well as for their own, according to the individual nature and tendencies of each. Like the Saints (Valis or Sants) of the Mental Sphere possessing vast powers, those in the Subtle Sphere are also possessed of great powers, most particularly those on the Fourth Plane of spiritual splendour, who are among other things capable of raising the dead. Hence arises the risk the Fourth Planers run of making grave misuse of these powers reflected to them through the Mental Sphere.

 

For example, if an ordinary man looks down from the heights of the Empire State Building in New York on to the streets below, he sees crowds of human beings looking as insignificant as a multitude of ants, mechanically moving hither and thither. In order to be able to attach due value to the ant-like masses of his fellow-beings, as they appear from these heights, he must necessarily come down amongst them. Similarly, those on the higher planes of the Subtle Sphere are apt to consider the Gross Sphere and all its activities as equally insignificant as that of the ants. Now, when a man happens to see a swarm of ants as feverishly busy as crowd of human beings in a city Stock Exchange, he is not as a rule inclined to give them any serious consideration. But if by chance any of the its happen to bite him, his reaction may take the turn of either forbearance or revenge. It might even tempt him to crush most of the ants if not all.

 

This illustration is only one aspect of the misuses of power. The Fourth Plane is the greatest hurdle of the spiritual Path, the crucial stage of the pilgrim's journey, where all is gained or lost. Great as are the powers at his command, greater are the temptations to use them fur his own gratification, to exhibit these powers for the sake of display, for name, power, fame. For the ego, fearing complete defeat, rises to its highest, prodding and luring the pilgrim on to make selfish use of the powers lent to him. This lone fight with the hydra-braided ego is depicted in the paintings of the life of Buddha, and is known as the "dark night of the soul."

 

The pilgrim on the Fourth Plane is permitted, however, to nuke use of his powers for purely unselfish motives, with no thought whatever of self and only for the sake of others.

 

Although those in the Subtle Sphere derive their powers from the Mental Sphere, the misuse of these powers cannot be stopped by those in the Mental

 

 

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