Diamond Light
Newsletter of the Aquarian Age Community
2009 No. 2
Back Issues
Merging the Way of the Heart and the Way of the Mind—The Path of the Mystic and the Path of the Occultist
The mystic is too apt to feel that the occultist over-estimates the way of knowledge and repeats glibly that the mind is the slayer of the real and that the intellect can give him nothing. The occultist is equally apt to despise the mystical way and to regard the mystical method as "lying far behind him." But both must learn to tread the way of wisdom. The mystic must and will inevitably become the occultist and this whether he likes the process or not. He cannot escape it in the long run, but the occultist is not a true one until he recovers the mystical experience and translates it into terms of synthesis.1


Each human being is a cell within the divine consciousness that ensouls, not only planet Earth, but also the vaster bodies of the solar system and the universe. The evolving human consciousness ever seeks a deeper understanding of the relationship that binds it to this greater cosmic whole of which Helena Blavatsky wrote extensively within the Secret Doctrine and which Einstein defined for the scientific community as the relationship between energy and matter.

The Ageless Wisdom brought forth by the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, and presented within the books authored by Alice Bailey, explains even more specifically that in this second solar system, form or matter is used expressly for purposes of manifestation, as a medium of expression and as a vehicle whereby the indwelling life may grow, expand, experience and realize itself.

This same Wisdom specifies that those who strive to understand this relationship between spirit and matter follow one of two paths: the path of the heart or the path of the intellect; also known as the path of the mystic or the path of the occultist. While the mystic works along the line of love, the occultist works along the line of will.

Further elaborating on the distinction between these two paths, the Tibetan Master provides the following information in Letters on Occult Meditation: "the mystic—if left to himself—eliminates the form altogether. He concentrates upon the God within, brooding on that inner centre of consciousness; he seeks to link that centre with other centres—such as his Master, or some saint, or even with the supreme Logos Himself—and to mount by the line of life, paying no attention whatsoever to the environing sheaths. ...He concentrates on abstractions, on attributes more than on aspects and on the life side more than the concrete.2

Attempting to leap from the emotional plane to that of the intuition, the mystic is characterized by a nature that is devotional, dreamy, visionary, impractical, emotional, lacking in the ability to discriminate and tending towards martyrdom and self-sacrifice.

The occultist, by contrast, works from the physical to the mental. Through an intelligent interest in the forms which veil the Self and by the employment of the principle of mind, s/he concentrates on the sheaths that veil to such an extent that—in the early stages—the value of the subjective life may be fully overlooked. The dangers threatening the occultist include pride, selfishness, and a wielding of the law from curiosity or desire for power.

In meditation, the mystic builds an outline that is nebulous, inchoate, and cloudy, pulsating with floods of color reflecting aspiration, love and ardent longing. The outline of the occultist is of a geometrical nature—clear and tending towards rigidity. The form is more painstakingly built and the individual, during meditation, proceeds with greater care and accuracy. Matter of the mental plane predominates.

The goal of both paths is the same: a synthesis or at-one-ment between the higher and the lower that is the aim of all evolution. However, both are limited by their unique perspectives and worldview. One is too visionary, mystical and emotional; the other too academic, intellectual and form-building. Whereas the mystic fails to demonstrate love in activity unless s/he learns to use the intelligent will, the occultist also fails and becomes only a selfish exponent of power working through intelligence, unless that purpose and will are motivated and animated by love. Eventually, both approaches must be known, understood and merged.

The importance of considering and delineating these two diverse paths is to firstly, help us identify, understand and appreciate the designated differences; secondly, to help us recognize the scientific nature of treading the Path as we attempt a fuller understanding of the innate and inherent relationship between energy/spirit and form/matter; and finally, so that we can more mindfully, concertedly and cooperatively fulfill the promise of the Age of Aquarius: the manifestation of the Good, the Beautiful and the True.


1 Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, Alice A. Bailey, Lucis Trust, © Renewed, 1970, p. 544.
2 Letters on Occult Meditation, Alice A. Bailey, Lucis Trust, © Renewed, 1978, pp. 149-151.