The Great I Am

"I AM" is the center of your being. In the chapter "Conclusions of the Journey" in the book, Religious Mysteries of the Orient, it was written, as spoken by the Sages, that in all the Universe there is but one of yourself. You are absolutely unique and individual. You are "I AM." As a living soul incarnate, you are in a state of constant evolution and will take part in many experiences in which are involved factors of being master, or mastered, or both. Influences are constantly seeking to affect one. When Sadhu Parimal Bandhu first spoke to me regarding acquiring the ability to nullify the influence of magic by others from outside sources, I was inclined to minimize it. He repeatedly assured me that such knowledge must be included in a text dealing with the real magic of India, as this aspect is very much practiced by the magicians.

I am certain that during this study, the thought must have occurred to you that unless there exists some means of self-protection from the various forms of psychic influence, every person is more or less subject to such magic. You must have asked the question, "If I can learn to exert such influence, what is there to protect me from such influence from others, should there be a need?"

The question is an important one, and the magicians have an answer to it, as I will explain in this concluding chapter of this book.

There is a fundamental law of nature which may be expressed as follows: for every bane, nature supplies an antidote. The Hindus express it in their aphorism, "Wherever there is a disease, there exists a cure for it." The truth is applicable not only to the physical world, but also to the mental—and to that phase of the mental which we call the psychical.

In the first place, on the psychic plane there exists a corresponding analogy to what on the physical plane is referred to as immunization. All people throughout the world have acquired various types of immunizations. Certain diseases once very destructive in their effects have now almost died out from people in certain countries. Yet, when the people from an immune country visit another, frequently the natives thereof will contract the diseases in question. In the same way, it is known that certain unsanitary conditions in a tropical area will produce sickness and often death to Europeans, whereas the natives of those regions are unaffected. Thus, you see, there are many illustrations of this universal law of immunization in Nature, which is exerted whenever there is need for it. As I have stated, we find this law manifest on the psychic plane as well.

Up to a certain point, most persons are immune to psychic influence of lower magnitude. Their subconscious mental forces erect a barrier against such influences of a low degree of intensity. As the greater part of psychic influence is below that degree, they are largely free from same. When the psychic influence rises above low intensity, then this immunity is overcome and the majority of persons are more or less subject to such influences, as for most people no immunity of high psychic influence has ever been developed.

The higher degree of psychic influence, as a general rule, is manifested only by those persons who have mastered the arts of magic. There are, however, certain exceptional individuals of the race who seem to have awakened a knowledge of the use of such powers almost instinctively. Inasmuch as the immunization to psychic influence is very low in Nature, it behoves the individual to learn how to master such mental-magic by magic of his own.

Sadhu Parimal Bandhu said on this point, "I would caution all persons to refrain from feeling akin to fear in relation to magical influence from outside sources. Fear, in itself, is one of the most negative and weakening mental states known to man. Fear renders negative the most positive individual, if freely indulged in. I ask you to remember that no matter how potent may be the mendacious currents, there are none that may not be rendered impotent and ineffectual by one's own mind and will. Each and every individual has within himself and under his control a force that will render him immune to all undesirable influence. Such is the law of Nature; it makes no bane without its antidote; it supplies the means of self-protection to everyone, and always furnishes a defensive weapon to match every offensive one."

The Yoga teaching is that the individual may render himself immune from all detrimental psychic influence (or influence that is not desired) by means of a cultivated mental attitude established as a subconscious habit for resisting and repelling these influence. The magician having established this "habit," need give little more attention to the matter.

Moreover, one may erect about himself "a protective aura," which will serve as a barrier to the entrance of thought currents of unwanted psychic influence. Again, one may create a state of Dynamic Egohood (I AM) of such psychic intensity that no undesirable thought-influence can prevail against its defensive power. Esoteric teaching contains many important items along this line which I shall call to your attention. Also the same principles which will be given you for the purpose of psychic self-protection, will also tend to create and develop in you a high degree of psychic positivity which will render far more powerful your own manifestations of psychic influence (magic).

All occultists are familiar with the oriental wisdom which asserts that in each individual is a center of psychic invulnerability known as "the I AM Consciousness," or as the Yogis call it "the Ahamkara Assertion." Oriental teachings are filled with reference to it, and with instructions concerning its development.

This high state of Ahamkara Consciousness may be described simply as the awareness that you, the individual, are a center of consciousness, being, and power in the Great Universal Consciousness, which has infinite power. In other words, you are a focalized center of universal creative energy (combined mind and prana) established by the cosmic laws in the universal substance of Akasha. The Yogis affirm that the mere knowing of this cosmic kinship brings a tremendous increase in power to the individual; while a still further unfoldment of that "knowing" makes of the man a superman.

Ego Consciousness is more than an awareness of the outside world, or of one's own body as distinct from the bodies of others. It is more than even the awareness of one's own mind as unique. It is difficult to describe this plane of consciousness to those who have not attained it, but it may be stated as an awareness of individuality, rather than an awareness of personality. Many persons never have more than a misty idea of such a mental attitude; they take themselves for granted, and never turn the gaze inward.

Sadhu Parimal Bandhu explains it well: "We are conscious of our own existence. We know, first of all, our physical bodies. Then, we know our sensations, our emotion, our desires, our ideas, our thoughts, and our acts. Lastly, each of us knows a certain 'Something Within' which is more fundamental than all these instruments and tools, physical and mental. This each of us calls 'I' and states its existence as 'I AM!' This 'I' is at the center of the normal consciousness of each individual. Yet it is not a part of his sensations or emotions, his feelings or thoughts. What is it? Ask your own consciousness, and it answers merely 'I AM I' the Self of Myself. We cannot describe it. We cannot classify it with anything else. We cannot separate ourselves from it. We cannot stand off and examine it. It underlies all else in our consciousness.

"Each of us bases his Selfhood on this inner consciousness. We say, 'I am conscious that I AM! Therefore, I know that I exist! The ego, or 'I,' will always be found at the center of consciousness; and it will always affirm positively and without reservation the positive truth and fact of its absolute existence, in the invariable and inevitable statement, 'I AM!' This 'I AM' is a center—a focalized, concentrated center—of the illumined spirit within the individual; when it probes the depths of its own being, and explores its own 'deep of deeps' it must ever report, in the words of the ancient Hindu Vedas, 'TAT TV AM ASI,' or 'That Art Thou!' or, in the words of age-old Oriental Scripture, 'I Am THAT I Am!'—all hold the same meaning."

This then, is the oriental wisdom concerning the "seat of p>ower in the individual"—the throne which he "the king of self," issues his commands and announces his will. The teaching is that "the seat of power," when consciously occupied and maintained, is impregnable to all outside assaults, no matter how powerful these may be. This is the seat of self-mastery—the Castle of self-protection!

Once recognized and established, this Ego-Consciousness never leaves one. The famous author Paul Brunton refers to it as "The Overself," in which one may take refuge, and from which tower of strength he may defy adversity. From it he may direct conditions, master circumstances, and dominate events. It is the center of his being; the "solid rock" from which the magician hurls his

Goodbyes to many Hindu friends who helped us learn of the mysticism and magic of India.

magic, and from which he cannot be dislodged. From it you can exercise freely and assert fearlessly your poise and power, your dominion and strength. It is of the utmost importance that you seek and find this great center of power within yourself.

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