The quotations below explain in general terms how the divine laws work and how they differ from rules and principles. To a certain extent, this information allows us to look over the creator’s shoulder, and we get an impression of how creation comes about.
Laws are a basic theme throughout the Ageless Wisdom literature. God expresses Himself through laws – God is the law – and if we as human beings wish to develop, we must learn to work according to the laws in order to avoid flouting them.
The divine laws are not to be equated with human or national laws, which are rules and orders on how to act in certain situations, and the punishment we incur if we do not. The divine laws are imperative regularities similar to the laws of nature. If we defy them, it has consequences, and it is almost only by violating them – or through experience – that we get to know them. If, for instance, we “violate” the law of gravity, we harm our things, or ourselves, but if we learn the dynamics of the law, we can make a huge, many-ton machine fly in the air.
It is my impression that students of Ageless Wisdom base their study on the works of Alice A. Bailey, and I therefore base my work mainly on her books. It is also in her books that the most detailed descriptions of the various laws are found – except perhaps for the Law of Economy, which is particularly in focus in the works of Cedercrans. I have reviewed all Bailey’s and Cedercrans’ works and checked all references to laws in the glossary of each book. As for the theosophical literature, I have not had access to glossaries. Instead, I have checked all references to “law” in digital versions of their works.
The quotations are listed by author with quotes from Alice A. Bailey’s works first, then from Lucille Cedercrans’ works, and finally from theosophists’ works.
ALICE A. BAILEY
Rays and Initiations, Page 25:
“There is much difference between a Law, an Order or Command, and a Rule, and these distinctions should be pondered with care. The Laws of the universe are simply the modes of expression, the life impulses and the way of existence or activity of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being. There is no avoiding these laws in the last analysis, and there is no denying them, for we are eternally swept into activity by them and they govern and control (from the angle of the Eternal Now) all that happens in time and space. Orders and commands are the feeble interpretations which men give to what they understand by law. In time and space, and at any given moment and in any given location, these commands are issued by those who are in a position of authority or who seem to dominate or are in a position to enforce their wishes. Laws are occult and basic. Orders are indicative of human frailty and limitation.
Rules are, however, different. They are the result of tried experience and of age-long undertakings and—assuming neither the form of laws nor the limitations of a command—they are recognised by those for whom they exist and hence evoke from them a prompt intuitive response. They need no enforcement but are voluntarily accepted, and are put to trial in the belief that the witness of the past and the testimony of the ages warrant the effort required for the expressed requirements.”
Letters on Occult Meditation, Page 204 – 05, Letter VII:
“There is no question that those who break the law perish by the law, whilst those who keep it live by it. The true study of occultism is the study of the why and how of phenomena. It is the finding out of the method whereby results are achieved, and it involves close analysis of events and circumstances in order to discover their governing laws. I have been led to make these preliminary remarks today because I saw with clarity the questions that are controlling your mind. These questions are of great value, if you continue to apply yourself to the search for the right answer. Certain definite laws govern the life of the disciple. They are the same laws that control all life. The difference consists in the partial realisation—on the part of the disciple—of the purpose of those laws, their raison d’etre, and their conscious judicious application to the circumstances met in daily living. By conformance to the law is the personal life transmuted.”
White Magic, Page 10 – 12:
“Before we take up our subject it might be of value if we defined certain words which will be in constant use, so that we will know what we are talking about, and the significance of the terms we use. …
- Laws. A law presupposes a superior being who, gifted with purpose, and aided by intelligence, is so coordinating his forces that a plan is being sequentially and steadily matured. Through a clear knowledge of the goal, that entity sets in activity those steps and stages which when carried forward in order will bring the plan to perfection. The word “law”, as usually understood, conveys the idea of subjection to an activity which is recognised as inexorable and undeviating, but which is not understood by the one who is subjected to it; it involves, from one standpoint, the attitude of the submersed unit in the group impulse and the inability of that unit to change the impulse or evade the issue; it inevitably brings about in the consciousness of the man who is considering these laws, a feeling of being a victim—of being driven forward like a leaf before the breeze towards an end about which speculation only is possible, and of being governed by a force which acts apparently with an unavoidable pressure and thus produces group results, at the expense of the unit. This attitude of mind is inevitable until the consciousness of man can be so expanded that he becomes aware of the greater issues. When, through contact with his own higher self, he participates in the knowledge of the objective, and when through climbing the mountain of vision his perspective changes and his horizon enlarges, he comes to the realisation that a law is but the spiritual impulse, incentive and life manifestation of that Being in which he lives and moves. He learns that that impulse demonstrates an intelligent purpose, wisely directed, and based on love. He then himself begins to wield the law or to pass wisely, lovingly and intelligently through himself as much of that spiritual life impulse which his particular organism can respond to, transmit and utilise. He ceases to obstruct and begins to transfer. He brings to an end the cycle of the closed self-centered life, and opens the doors wide to spiritual energy. In so doing he finds that the law which he has hated and mistrusted is the vitalising, purifying agency which is sweeping him and all God’s creatures on to a glorious consummation.”
“The intuition which guides all advanced thinkers into the newer fields of learning is but the forerunner of that omniscience which characterises the soul. The truth about all things exists, and we call it omniscience, infallibility, the “correct knowledge” of the Hindu philosophy. When man grasps a fragment of it and absorbs it into the racial consciousness we call it the formulation of a law, a discovery of one or other of nature’s processes.”
“All have to work out the true significance of the Rule, for God works under the law of His Being, and this Law demonstrates to us as the laws of nature.”
“Into the prison house of form enter all that live; some enter consciously and some unconsciously, and this we call birth, appearance, incarnation, manifestation. Immediately there sweeps into activity another law or the working out of an active principle which we call the Law of Cycles. This is the principle of periodic appearance—a beneficent operation of the lower wisdom of innate divinity, for it produces that sequence of the states of consciousness which we term Time.”
Esoteric Astrologi , Page 443:
“The Law of the Universe (and what is law but the working out of the purposes of these all-embracing Lives, of Their impulses and Their plans?) is to all eternity the good of the whole and naught can arrest this happening; for who can arrest the impact of these energies which play upon and through our planet.”
Esoteric Healing, Page 30:
“What is a law, my brother? It is the imposition (upon both the lesser and the more important) of the will and purpose of that which is superlatively great. Therefore, it lies beyond man’s ken. Man has some day to learn that all the laws of nature have their higher, spiritual counterparts, and of these we shall shortly be in search. Our laws today are but secondary laws. They are the laws of group life and they govern the kingdoms of nature and find their expression (for the human kingdom) through the medium of the mind, of the emotional nature, and through a physical plane agent.”
“I would here remind you that a law is in reality the effect of the life of a greater entity as it encloses a lesser within its living processes. It embodies that formulated purpose or organised will of an enfolding life, against which the expressed purpose or determined will of that which is enfolded is entirely helpless.”
Discipleship in the New Age II, Page 62 – 63:
“Any moment or climax of decision on the part of the Lord of the World institutes new law and brings into play new energies. Laws are only the unalterable conditions brought about by the activity, the orientation and the emanated decisive thoughts of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being, just as the activities, the orientation and the thinking of a human being carry the cells and the atoms of his body along the line of his wishes. Energies are but the rhythm of His breathing and the results of the systolic and the diastolic action of His heart. From these energies we cannot escape, but—in a mysterious and peculiar manner—the planetary Logos directs them or withholds them to suit the recognised planetary needs of the period.”
“Hint Seven. “One of the marks of readiness for initiation is the ability to see the expanding and inclusive Whole, and to note the law which is transcended when the part becomes the Whole.”
This sentence … is capable of indicating to the initiate—no matter what initiation he may be taking (from the lowest to the highest)—his readiness to undergo the expansion of consciousness which each initiation involves, the nature of the expanding vision with which he will then be confronted, and the higher reflection of the Law or Laws which initiation enables the initiate to grasp and thereby relinquish the laws which have hitherto governed his conduct and which have conditioned his realised life experience. Those laws he perforce continues to obey, as a member of the human kingdom, but his consciousness is not conditioned by them but is rapidly becoming subservient to a higher and a much more deeply spiritual law.”
Esoteric Psychology I, Page 62:
“Each of the seven kingdoms in nature reacts to the energy of some particular ray Life. Each of the seven planes similarly reacts; each septenate in nature vibrates to one or another of the initial septenates, for the seven rays establish that process which assigns the limits of influence of all forms. They are that which determines all things, and when I use these words I indicate the necessity of Law. Law is the will of the seven Deities, making its impression upon substance in order to produce a specific intent through the method of the evolutionary process.”
Ten Basic Propositions: “Eight: The Laws which govern the emergence of the quality or soul, through the medium of forms, are simply the mental purpose and life direction of the ray Lords, Whose purpose is immutable, Whose vision is perfect, and Whose justice is supreme.”
“It should be remembered that a law is but the effect of the continued intelligent activity of the Life aspect as it works in conjunction with matter.”
Esoteric Psychology II, Page 226 – 27:
“One of the points which I have sought to bring out in all the previous writings already published, is that the Laws of the Universe, the Laws of Nature and those basic controlling factors which determine all life and circumstance, remaining for us fixed and unalterable, are the expression—as far as man can understand them—of the Will of God. The rules or living factors which we are now considering and which (when understood and obeyed) will induce soul control in the individual and in the universe, are the expression of the Quality or Nature of God. They will ultimately lead to the full expression of the divine Psyche. They will bring into evidence the instinctual, emotional nature of Deity, if such human words can in any way express the divine qualitative potencies.
The Laws of the Universe express the divine Will, and lead to the manifestation of divine Purpose. This is wisdom. They ordain and nurture the Plan.
The Rules for Inducing Soul Control express the divine quality and lead to the revelation of God’s Nature, which is love.
The Laws of Nature, or the so-called physical laws, express the stage of manifestation or the point reached in the divine expression. They concern multiplicity, or the quality aspect. They govern or express that which the divine Spirit (which is will, functioning in love) has been able to effect in conjunction with matter for the production of form. This emerging revelation will produce the recognition of beauty.”
Go to Alice A. Bailey
Go to Theosophists
The Disciple and Economy, Chapter 1, Pages 28 – 32:
”… The disciple is functioning under a different law than does the average man who sets out to accomplish any mental picture or plan.
As an example, the business man in the world today operates under known laws of the business world. Knowledge of these laws, understanding of them are available to him through study, observation and very little experience. It is then only necessary for him to cooperate with those known laws in order to make of his business, barring karmic interference, a successful undertaking.
With the disciple, however, we find a much more subtle and therefore difficult situation manifesting. The disciple has no books to which he can refer which will equip him with knowledge of laws governing his actions in time and space. Because in the past there have been so few disciples, these laws are as yet unwritten. I am not referring entirely to the written word, but to the fact in manifestation. The disciple has, in one sense, passed over from one world in which certain coordinates provide his limitation, his boundaries, his laws; making possible certain expressions in a world in which the new law is not yet clearly formulated.
He is in that intermediary plane in which the old law fails to operate and the new law is not of sufficient strength to operate automatically without his manipulation. The disciple then must first detach from the old set of rules and regulations. They no longer operate for him. His attempt to apply them results in heart breaking failure, for he does not know why things seem to go so wrong for him. It is then necessary that he detach so completely from the old set of rules and regulations that he can dismiss them from his mind as coordinates, and free his attention to seek out the new law; to set up the new coordinates and thereby function successfully in the world, though not of it.
In order to do this, to seek the new law, he must accept first the fact that the law which he is seeking is not yet clearly formulated; that its vibratory frequency is not yet of sufficient strength to have built a concrete form on the concrete plane of mind. One of the service activities of the disciple is that of formulating the new law. He does not look then on the concrete plane of mind for he will not find it there. He goes above and beyond the vibratory frequency of race mind consciousness even in its highest concept to the abstract plane of ideas where he will sense at first the feeble impulse of the new law as it emanates from the Soul on its own plane of existence. He will feel out that impulse, sense its vibration, tune in his own mental vibration to that of the sensed one, and through the Law of Attraction bring it into his magnetic field of mind.
Upon entry into his magnetic field of mind, the new law, the new impulse, beats with a steadier, stronger rhythm, and what he has only vaguely sensed in the beginning as an abstract idea begins to take shape in his awareness as an abstraction in concrete form. He is enabled to relate the idea to the world of appearance and to gradually, through meditation and reflection, set it up within his own consciousness as a new coordinate relating the Soul to form. He sees it as a spiritual law governing matter. He separates himself from both the law and matter and sees himself as a mediator. He begins to understand how he can bring that spiritual law, that impulse, that vibration, to bear upon matter in such a way as to produce a desired result in the world of appearances. In this stage of development, the disciple is no longer just a channel, he has become a conscious creator, bringing two forces together to produce a desired result in time and space.
As the disciple seeks out the new law he becomes first aware of the Law of Love. He senses its vibration, which is at first very feeble. Before he can grasp the idea in idea form he feels its influence and through the feeling aspect tunes in his mind to its meaning.
Gradually through the combination of the feeling aspect and the mind he intuits the meaning of this new impact, this new law which is the law governing the 5th kingdom in nature. When he has successfully, via the means of becoming the observer, detached himself from manifesting conditions, he is enabled to see this new Law of Love in relation to the world of appearances. It begins to take on form. He puts it into words, into picture form, and finally into action. His first application, then, will be in relation to his relationships with people as he applies the newly formulated Law of Love to every relationship of which he is aware in the world of the personality. This provides the new disciple with experience, unconscious experience at first, in seeking out a law, formulating it, relating it and applying it until finally he is told by his Master. “Go forth and serve. Follow your intuitional guidance, my brother, and initiate your service activity.”
He finally arrives at that place in the light where he understands those words to mean seek out the new law, give it form, relate it to the daily life and affairs, and apply it for the betterment of the human family. You may wonder what all of this has to do with timing, but you see, the disciple can no longer function alone in siderial time, for a part of his consciousness has risen out of and beyond siderial time, and it is therefore no longer subject to the same laws of time and space as he was when he was just a human. There is a new law, a new set of laws which he must seek out, formulate, relate and apply. This he will do as he directs his intuition out of time and space into the world of the Soul and then brings it to bear upon time and space, functioning free of the limitation of race mind concepts.”
Chapter 20, Pages 189 – 193:
“In order to manifest any outer appearance, regardless of what it is, there must be formulated laws which govern the activity of the devas in relationship to that manifestation. This is a part of ceremonial magic and it is why the 7th Ray is defined as ceremonial magic or Divine Law and Order.
Any organization proceeds under law.
I have described the mechanics involved in the devic response, the devic activity, the intelligent activity which manifests an outer picture of a focused intent.
Now what command does the deva understand? Laws, formulated laws are the framework given to the deva which makes it possible for him, on his own, with his own intelligence, to proceed with the building process.
For instance, you understand the mechanics in relationship to the devic activity, and I am going to repeat the mechanics so that you will be clear as to what I am referring.
The Master Deva of Economy is a deva who is, in a sense, the overlord or the deva in command of all of the lesser devas of economy, which are specifically related to the group life. Also, the Master deva is overlord of all those lesser devas which can be specifically related to the group life, and this is an important point. There are many devas of economy within the environment, many devas of economy within the world of affairs, which have not yet been attracted into a relationship with the group life through lack of intelligent activity, through lack of that devic action which would have attracted them.
The Master Deva of Economy, then, the Commander-in-Chief, so to speak, of the economic forces of the group life, those presently within the group life and those who are potentially related to the group life, receives the focused intent of the group. Now that focused intent is formulated into specific stated laws.
The Master Deva receives that intent, organizes those forces under Him, gives them their direction – and so long as the intent is maintained, so long as that focused intent of the group is maintained, so long as it does not receive an attack, so to speak, from any part of the group consciousness, (and this may come as a surprise to you, devic forces being as recipient of attack as is the consciousness) so long as the focused intent is not counteracted, or is not detracted from by any part of the group consciousness – then the Master Deva, using this focused intent as His blueprint, sets into motion, organizes His lower forces, sets into motion that which will out-picture the focused intent.
It is the passage of the intent, the impression of the intent upon the Master Deva, the communication between consciousness and Master Deva which is of importance. And this proceeds under law. The devic forces understand; it is their nature to understand law. If the group formulates a principle, if the group grasps, for instance, a principle of economy, and formulates that principle into a law, a law which will govern the economic life and affairs of the group, or will govern one phase of it, then that law is communicated to the Master Deva.
There are three basic laws of economy, if you will remember, which have been refined and clarified in the Disciple and Economy Introductory lesson.
Now let us take for instance, just one of these basic laws which is right use of that which you have. The first job, if I may use this term, for any group of this kind, as it visualizes these plans it would materialize, is to transmit to the Master Deva of Economy, its Master Deva of Economy, the first basic Law of Economy: “Right use of all of the energy, force, and substance – right use of all of the energy, force, and substance which is subjective and of the energy, force, and substance which is objective.” This takes in economic forces of the group.
So the first law to transmit then to the Master Deva is that all use of these economic forces will proceed under Divine Guidance, will proceed in Divine Law and Order so that such use will be right use.
Now any principle can be formulated into a law. That law is then transmitted to the Master Deva of Economy so that every time an impression is given to the Master Deva of Economy and is qualified in Divine Law and Order; the Master Deva knows the framework of law within which He can work. He knows it because you have transmitted that law to Him.
Every organization must formulate – whether it is a subjective organization, an esoteric one, or an outer objective one – it must formulate its laws. Because any organized activity proceeds under law; the law is the dynamic. For instance, you have formulated a law which will govern this group in an economic sense, which states that every individual member of the group shall have at all times whatever economy is necessary to fulfill his needs. Then the Master Deva of Economy works in His manifestation under that law. And this is how change takes place. This is how the disciple, particularly the disciple working in a group, this is how the group imposes a new rhythm; this is how the group imposes change; this is how the group alters the present set of conditions and circumstances which are the outworking, which are the manifestation of karmic factors in the past. This is how the conscious group, the selfconscious group, alters those conditions, changes them, and comes into control of his devic life and affairs.
For instance, if you at this point, can agree upon one basic Law of Economy, which will govern the economic forces of the group life, can formulate that law, concisely, clearly and then communicate the law to the Master Deva – you will have taken a major step in the solution of that problem of economy which has been with you, actually, from the time you moved onto the path of discipleship. …
This technique, this methodology, applies to any cooperative relationship between consciousness and devic life. The first step is the formulation of the law. The second step is the transmission of that law, via communication to the deva involved.”
Creative Thinking, Lesson 24, Page 98:
“If human beings should choose to oppose the manifestation of the Divine Plan, or of law and order, their form and the form of their activities will still serve the Divine Purpose, if only through example. They may suffer and appear to cause others to suffer untold agonies as a result of their action, yet some consciousness somewhere in their sphere of influence will be directly aided in its growth. Humanity has been given the freedom of choice to build whatsoever forms it can and wishes to build, but that is the extent of their so-called free will. The Will of God always supersedes the little wills of humanity to turn its works into some good effect. Thus, there is good in all things, even so great a misadventure as a world war.”
The Secret Doctrine I, Page 22:
“Stanza IV shows the differentiation of the “Germ” of the Universe into the septenary hierarchy of conscious Divine Powers, who are the active manifestations of the One Supreme Energy. They are the framers, shapers, and ultimately the creators of all the manifested Universe, in the only sense in which the name “Creator” is intelligible; they inform and guide it; they are the intelligent Beings who adjust and control evolution, embodying in themselves those manifestations of the ONE LAW, which we know as “The Laws of Nature”.”
“The AH-HI (Dhyan-Chohans) are the collective hosts of spiritual beings – the Angelic Hosts of Christianity, the Elohim and “Messengers” of the Jews – who are the vehicle for the manifestation of the divine or universal thought and will. They are the Intelligent Forces that give to and enact in Nature her “laws,” while themselves acting according to laws imposed upon them in a similar manner by still higher Powers; but they are not “the personifications” of the powers of Nature, as erroneously thought. This hierarchy of spiritual Beings, through which the Universal Mind comes into action, is like an army – a “Host,” truly – by means of which the fighting power of a nation manifests itself, and which is composed of army corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, and so forth, each with its separate individuality or life, and its limited freedom of action and limited responsibilities; each contained in a larger individuality, to which its own interests are subservient, and each containing lesser individualities in itself.”
Elementary Lessons on Karma, Page 3 – 4:
“A general law of nature cannot be said to have either a beginning, or an ending; wherever there is any manifestation, any universe, any world, there, general laws are also present, inherent in the very nature of things. … Hence karma, being, a general Law, is said to be eternal; it is a condition of manifested existence, and wherever existence is manifested, there is karma.”
Esoteric Christianity, Page 131 – 132:
“There are certain great principles according to which our system is built; there are certain laws by which these principles are worked out in detail; there are certain Beings who embody the principles and whose activities are the laws; there are hosts of inferior beings who act as vehicles for these activities, as agents, as instruments; there are the Egos of men intermingled with all these, performing their share of the great kosmic drama. These multifarious workers in the invisible worlds cast their shadows on physical matter, and these shadows are “things” — the bodies, the objects, that make up the physical universe. These shadows give but a poor idea of the objects that cast them, just as what we call shadows down here give but a poor idea of the objects that cast them; they are mere outlines, with blank darkness in lieu of details, and have only length and breadth, no depth.”
Laws of the Higher Life
“The subject of my discourses I have called “The Laws of the Higher Life”, because so many people in dealing with religion, that has to do with the Higher Life, seem inclined to remove it from the realm of law, and to bring it into some strange region of arbitrary whim, into some strange region of results without endeavour, of failure without weakness. This idea that spirituality is not subject to Law is an idea that is natural at the first sight; for we find a corresponding analogy in the way in which the laws of the physical plane have been overlooked, just in proportion as they have been unstudied and unknown.”
The Hidden Side of Things
“To gain peace we must first gain knowledge– knowledge of the laws under which evolution is working. When we are ignorant of these laws, we are constantly breaking them, constantly pushing aside from the path of the progress of the race in pursuit of some fancied private and personal advantage or pleasure. The steady pressure of the law of evolution forces us back, for our own good, into the path which we have left, we are restless; we struggle against it; we complain of the pain and the trouble as though they had come upon us by mere chance, when all the time it is our own resistance to the guidance of the law that causes us to feel its constraining power.”