CAUSAL BODY : For those who love big words this is the Anandamaya-kosha, or, if you prefer it under yet a different language instead of in simple, plain language, you could term it the Karana Sharira.
The causal body is the first of the various bodies with which we are encumbered. Think of us as being a nest of boxes, one inside the other ; or think of us as anything which fits one inside the other ; it could be a collection of those small coffee tables, or boxes, or a nest of drawers, anything which has a small subject, then a larger outside and a larger outside that, and so on. This is how our different bodies are arranged.
The causal body is the innermost one, and it is that which commences the processes whereby we gain experiences in the flesh. This, the causal body, is the body of incarnation, and it is the one which causes all those familiar troubles associated with the flesh — lusts of various kinds, numerous exciting desires, horrible greed, and, the most common of all, selfishness.
We have to live so that there is no need for us to have a causal body, because when we can manage without a causal body we do not have to come back to this Earth nor go to other material and unpleasant worlds.
CHAITANYA : A state when the spiritual consciousness has just been awakened, and one is alert and ready to progress upwards, taking the first steps to leave the causal body behind one.
To attain to Chaitanya means hard work, hard study, constant meditation and contemplation. When the conditions are right, the six Chakras are stimulated and come into consciousness, giving one awareness of one's destiny, giving an understanding of what must be before one can progress speedily.
CHAKRAS : We should concentrate upon the six Chakras. Along our spine, like wheels threaded along our spinal column, are the six main Chakras or centres of psychic consciousness. There are various centres which keep our causal body in touch with our higher bodies, in touch with our higher centres.
Some people prefer to call these Chakras, Lotuses. Others call them Wheels. Some religions make a stylised symbol which one can recognise as a Wheel or as a Lotus, depending upon one's poetic imagination.
There are six Chakras along the spine, and a seventh in the centre of the cerebrum. There are two others making nine in all, but most people have not attained to the state yet where they can assimilate knowledge of nine, so let us deal only with the orthodox and commonly accepted seven.
When one can see the aura, one can see all the colours swirling out from these different Chakras, and, of course, the colours and the auric emanations of all types are different between man and woman.
The first Chakra is at the base of the spine near the excretory organ. The second is at the genitalia level, the third is at the umbilicus, the fourth approximates to the level of the heart, the fifth comes at the level of the throat, and the sixth is at the eyebrow level.
Mythology states that the lower man dwells in the lowest part of the spine, and not until Man is able to raise the Kundalini powers into the heart Chakra is he able to be aware of progress. Man has to send his spiritual forces into the sixth Chakra before being able to make any really satisfactory progress, and when one can get above the seventh then one knows quite surely that one is living on Earth for the last time.
CHAN : This now means meditation. It is a word used by the Japanese Zen Buddhists.
Originally the word was Channa, and it then signified that the person concerned had experienced instantaneous perception of Truth. You might say that the person who had Channa had experienced a revelation.
CHANG :The opposite of artificial, the opposite of abnormal. That which is completely normal, completely standard. It is a word from the Chinese Taoist belief.
CHANISM : A theory whereby one can attain to the state of Buddhahood through sudden enlightenment, through a sudden lightning flash of revelation.
Devotees of Chanism engage in constant meditation upon the principles and precepts of the Eternal Truths in the hope of receiving this sudden revelation.
CHARMS : Many people look upon charms as idle superstitions, they look upon charms as little ornaments which the gullible buy in the hope of changing their luck. Well, if you go to some souvenir shop and buy a charm it is just the same as throwing your money away. But if you have a specially prepared charm, prepared, that is, by a person who knows how to do it, the charm is effective.
It means that one has to build a thought form and locate it in the charm in much the same way as the Egyptians of old safeguarded their embalmed Pharaohs.
We shall deal with this more under Talismans.
CHENG : The honesty and sincerity inherent in one's true self. One has to allow Cheng to grow and to reveal itself before one can make any substantial progress.
If we cut away greed, lust, and selfishness like taking away the hard shell from a nut, we can get to the kernel inside. Humans are encased in a hard shell, and they have to shed that shell before they can progress.
CHI : This is vital force. Anything which comes within the sphere of matter. So we have Chi, the breath force which corresponds on the lowest plane with the etheric force, and then, higher, with the auric force.
CHIT : Consciousness, a rather empty sort of consciousness. It is a lack of any specific awareness. One might say that it is being conscious without having any specific purpose to that consciousness, without learning anything through that consciousness.
CHITTA : This is the lower mind. There are three parts of the mind, or it might be better to say mind-stuff. The first is Manas ; the second is Buddhi ; and the third is Ahamkara. The first, of course, is the lowest.
Everything which comes into the lower mind passes into the sub-conscious for storage and sorting, and possibly for later use. It should be remembered that within our sub-conscious we have the knowledge of all humanity, but through imperfections we have very imperfect memories, that is, we cannot get down to all the knowledge we have.
CHOICE : It is unfortunate that in this world people try to influence others. Christians, for example, try to influence non-Christians to change religions or change beliefs. It seems that a person of a certain belief is not at all sure of his beliefs, and so he must try to persuade others to the same belief in the hope that it will mean that in numbers there is safety.
It is wrong to influence one's free choice of the Path of life and spirituality. If a person is always wanting proof, then that person should be let be. It means that the person is not ready to take a particular Path.
To compel a person to take a certain Path against his or her will is useless, it merely adds to the Karma of the person compelling and does no good to anyone. So, all you who are do-gooders, remember that in trying to influence the Path of another, or in trying to compel conversion, you are harming yourself.
CITY OF NINE GATES : Many occult or metaphysical books refer to the City of Nine Gates. It is a device to thwart those who try to scan through occult literature without having a genuine interest, without having a genuine knowledge of the subject. It is a device to blind the superficial, the unevolved, and the merely curious.
The City of Nine Gates, of course, is the physical body which has nine main openings, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, etc. The other openings need not be detailed, as you should know them.
Through each of the nine gates can come enemies which will stultify one's progress. For example, a very good man can be tempted by ‘the enemy’ entering through his eyes ; he may see some sight which stimulates his wrong desires, desires which he thought he had overcome. He might find ‘the enemy’ entering through his nostrils, so that there would be scents which would unduly disturb his greed senses. It must be stated, however, that it is also possible to progress very satisfactorily through the use instead of the misuse of the nine gates.
CLAIRVOYANCE : True clairvoyance means that one's astral body can get out of the physical body, and can then 'see' in dimensions which cannot be contacted while in the physical body.
The average person can see physically only those things which are within the range of his eyesight ; he may look about a room and see a chair, a table, and a wall, but that which is in the room beyond is also beyond his sight. In clairvoyance one can see through the wall as if there were no wall, or as if, in those of lesser ability, a vague grey mist was there instead.
When one gets into the astral stage one can consult the Akashic Record and see any incident which has happened, or any incident which is happening. One can also see the probabilities for the future, that is, one can see that a person is going to have good fortune or bad fortune.
Clairvoyance can be developed, it is the right of men and women, and before men and women became so selfish and used powers for their own gain everyone was clairvoyant.
CONCENTRATION : This is the art of devoting one's full attention to one thing, it may be a physical thing or an intangible thing, such as an idea.
One should concentrate along certain fixed rules, which means that one's attention should be focused strongly upon the object on which one desires to concentrate.
As an illustration, consider a candle. Have a lighted candle before you, sit in any position which is comfortable, and think about that candle, think about it as you gaze vaguely in its direction but without actually seeing the candle.
What does the candle look like ? Is there any smell to it ? How was it made ? What is the nature of the flame ? How is the flame sustained ? And if the candle is burning, and matter is stated to be indestructible, what happens to the candle when it is going up in flames ? If you think upon these lines you can greatly develop your powers of concentration.
In Tibet a monk will concentrate with a burning stick of incense upon his head, he has to maintain his concentration even when the burning incense starts to scorch the skin of his shaven skull. A monk in attendance will, of course, remove the incense before any harm is done, but the student monk must not remove it ; if he does it shows that his concentration is not sufficient.
CONTEMPLATION : Contemplation often takes over when meditation ends. One may be meditating upon a certain subject and then one may find that one has come to the end of the information concerning the matter upon which one was meditating. Then contemplation takes over.
One can contemplate upon the beauty of the setting sun, or one can contemplate upon the reason for the particular or peculiar action of a person.
Contemplation is basically of two types :
1. Cognitive, in which a material object or matter is thought about. Or,
2. Non-cognitive, in which one dwells upon things of the spirit, things beyond Man's material perception, but one has to be particularly evolved, particularly spiritually mature, before one can engage in non-cognitive contemplation.
CULT : Often a person of little knowledge, or of poor spiritual perception will imagine that he or she is a Great Teacher, and will then by propaganda get a small group of people to whom he or she will expound the great truth which has been received by this method or that method, or direct voice, or automatic writing, or something else.
It is tragic that often these groups distort the Great Truths. They merely exist to pander to the exalted ideas of some person who has barely started on The Path. One should only enter a group or cult when one is quite sure that one is doing right. There are enough orthodox religions — Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or whatever you like — without all these subsidiary cults springing up.
All too often a cult is started as a money-making device preying upon the gullible. While one must agree that a Teacher needs to have money that food and clothing may be bought, yet when the ‘Teacher’ uses his or her name as a basis for getting members, or when he or she stresses that the Teacher is the important thing, you may be sure that there is something wrong ; the name of a Teacher does not matter, all that matters is what the Teacher teaches. Is it good ? Does it satisfy your needs ? Does it require that you pay large sums of money before you go on to the next meeting or the next lesson ? If so, be careful, it may be a money-making racket.
If you are in doubt why not see a priest of the religion to which you were born ? If you are sufficiently determined you can see a higher priest of the religion to which you were born. But it is desired here to issue a solemn warning against cults which purport to teach all sorts of magic ; purport to give all sorts of demonstrations, but only if you pay enough. Remember, it may be your mental health which suffers.