GENERAL NOTES ON THE PRACTICES
Marcelo Ramos MottaThe results obtained in A.·.A.·. practices fall into three general classes; these correspond to three main types of practitioners. We shall concentrate here on the case of Probationers, who are the outpost, so to say, of the Order.
1. The practices, although they are not abandoned throughout the Probation Year, do notyield any remarkable success; some days are better than others, and the Probationer mayeven deceive himself or herself that Samadhi has been attained in one of those "better" or" more inspired" days. (It is very easy to mistake good digestion, sexual stimulation, oreven drug effects for Samadhi--if you have never attained Samadhi.)The type of Probationer who corresponds to this class of "result" is automatically passedon to Neophyte, since they are deemed to have fulfilled the Task. This, of course,provided they have learned their prescribed Chapter of the Holy Books, etc. etc.However, the Knowledge and Conversation to which they are admitted is usually merelya franker and more direct contact with the Instructor. The Instructor may remain thesame, but he or she speaks to the Aspirant on a higher level--that of a Zelator talking to aNeophyte.These people, who form the great majority of members, are likely to continue obtainingthe same formal results throughout their contact with the Order, within reasonablevariables. It cannot be denied that their character is strengthened by the Ordeals. It is noteasy to persist in the same kind of actions throughout a year, especially if these actionsare not the type of actions we would be usually inclined to perform. You might say theseare men and women of Earth--karma yogis, or bhakta yogis (depending on theirtemperament), or combinations of both.2. The practices, although ardently and skillfully performed, yield no result whatsoever.There is a factor infinite and unknown. Many Aspirants whom the Instructor considersremarkably talented and apt fall into this case. There is no explanation of this failure on arational level. They simply are not "chosen ones". We incline to say that, although thelower vehicles may be intensely geared to Aspiration, there is no "sincerity", that is tosay, spiritual harmony with the purposes of the A.·.A.·. in the higher vehicles--Neschamah, or the Higher Ruach (called Buddhi Manas by the Hindus). Such studentsmay fall into the previous class in appearance, but they are "traitors", and will, sooner orlater, go against the Regulations or disobey orders and directives from their Superiors. Itmust be understood that they often are very assiduous in their practices, and may reach allkinds of technical results. Indeed, they may often seem totally superior to the previouslydescribed class. But the truth is that they are spiritually much lower than those others--atleast, from the Order's point of view. In old mystic parlance, they are those who aresplendid keepers of the letter--but betrayers of the spirit. The Roman Catholic Church, forinstance, was founded by such people, and was kept in existence by such people.