HOWEVER far the "solidification" of
the sensible world may have gone, it can never be carried so far
as to turn the world into a "closed system" such as is imagined
by the materialists.
The very nature of things sets limits to "solidification" and
the more nearly those limits are approached the more unstable is
the corresponding state of affairs; in actual fact... the point
corresponding to a maximum of "solidification" has already been
passed, and the impression that the world is a "closed system"
can only from now onwards become more and more illusory and
inadequate to the reality.
"Fissures" (are) the paths whereby
certain destructive forces are already entering, and must
continue to enter ever more freely; according to traditional
symbolism these "fissures" occur in the "Great Wall" which
surrounds the world and protects it from the intrusion of
maleficent influences coming from the inferior subtle domain.[fn3]
In order that this symbolism may be fully understood in all its
aspects, it is important to note that a wall acts both as a
protection and as a limitation: in a sense therefore it can be
said to have both advantages and inconveniences; but in so far
as its principal purpose is to ensure an adequate defence
against attacks coming from below, the advantages are
incomparably the more important, for it is on the whole more
useful to anyone who happens to be enclosed within its perimeter
to be kept out of reach of what is below, than it is to be
continuously exposed to the ravages of the enemy, or worse still
to a more or less complete destruction.
In any case, a walled space as such is not closed in at the top,
so that communication with superior domains is not prevented,
and this state of affairs is the normal one; but in the modern
period the "shell" with no outlet built by materialism has cut
off that communication.
Moreover... since the "descent" [toward greater materialism] has
not yet come to an end, the "shell" must necessarily remain
intact overhead, that is, in the direction of that from which
humanity need not be protected, on the contrary, only
beneficient influences can come that way [i.e. from heavenly
The "fissures" occur only at the
base, and therefore in the actual protective wall itself, and
the inferior forces which make their way in through them meet
with a much reduced resistance because under such conditions no
power of a superior order can intervene in order to oppose them
Thus the world is exposed defenceless to all the attacks of its
enemies, the more so because, the present-day mentality being
what it is, the dangers which threaten it are wholly
In the Islamic tradition these "fissures" are those by which, at
the end of the cycle, the devastating hordes of Gog and Magog
will force their way in, [fn3] for they are
unremitting in their efforts to invade this world; these
"entities" represent the inferior influences in question.
They are considered as maintaining
an underground existence, and are described both as giants and
as dwarfs; they may thus be identified, in accordance with what
was said earlier on the subject, and at least in certain
connections, which the "guardians of the hidden treasure" and
with the smiths of the "subterranean fire", who have, it may be
recalled, an exceedingly maleficent aspect; in all such
symbolisms the same kind of "infra-corporeal" subtle influences
are really always involved. fn2
If the truth be told, the attempts of these "entities" to
insinuate themselves into the corporeal and human world are no
new thing, for they go back at least to somewhere near the
beginning of the Kali-Yuga, a period far more remote than that
of "classical" antiquity, by which the horizon of profane
historians is bounded. [fn1]
Nevertheless, although the Kali-Yuga as a whole is intrinsically
a period of obscuration, so that "fissures" have been possible
ever since it began, the degree of obscuration pervading its
later phases is far from having been attained at once, and that
is why "fissures" could be repaired relatively easily in earlier
times; it was none the less necessary to maintain a constant
vigilance against them, and this task was naturally among those
assigned to the spiritual centers of the various traditions.
Later on there came a period when, as a consequence of the
extreme "solidification" of the world, these same "fissures"
were much less to be feared, at least temporarily; this period
corresponds to the first part of modern times, the part that can
be defined as being characteristically mechanistic and
materialistic, in which the "closed system" alluded to was most
nearly realized, at least to the extent that any such thing is
Nowadays, that is to say, in the period which can be called the
second part of modern times and which has already begun [fn2],
conditions are certainly very different from the conditions
obtaining in all earlier periods: not only can "fissures" occur
more and more extensively, and be much more serious in
character, because a greater proportion of the descending course
of manifestation has been accomplished, but also the
possibilities of repairing them are not the same as they used to
[As it is] the action of the spiritual centers has indeed become
ever more enclosed, because the superior influences which they
normally transmit to our world can no longer be manifested
externally, since they are held back by the "shell" alluded to
above; and when the whole of the human and cosmic order is in
such a condition, where could a means of defence possibly be
found such as might be effective in any way against the "hordes
of Gog and Magog"?
But that is not all: what has been said so far covers so to
speak only the negative side of the growing difficulties
encountered by all attempts to oppose the intrusion of
maleficent influences, among these difficulties is a sort of
inertia resulting from the general ignorance of such matters,
and from "survivals" of the materialistic mentality and of the
outlook it engenders; this inertia may endure longer than it
otherwise would because the outlook in question has become more
or less instinctive in the moderns and is now incorporated in
their very nature.
Of course a majority of "spiritualists" and even of
"traditionalists", or of people who call themselves such, are in
fact quite as materialistic as other people when matters of this
kind are in question, so that the situation is made even more
irremediable by the fact that those who.
Most sincerely want to combat the
modern spirit are almost all unwittingly affected by it, and all
their efforts are therefore condemned to remain without any
appreciable result; for these are matters in which good-will is
far from being sufficient; effective knowledge is needed as
well, indeed it is more needed than anything else.
But effective knowledge is the very thing that is made
impossible by the influence of the modern spirit with all its
limitations, even in the case of those who might have some
intellectual capabilities of the required kind if conditions
were less abnormal.
But apart from all these negative
elements, the difficulties now under review have an aspect which
can be called positive, and it may be taken to include
everything in our world as we know it actively favorable to the
intervention of subtle influences of an inferior kind, whether
its work be done consciously or unconsciously.
The logical sequence here would be to consider in the first
place the more or less "determining" part played by the actual
agents of the whole modern deviation, since the intervention of
inferior influences really represents a new phase in the said
deviation, and fits in exactly with the sequence of the "plan"
by which it is brought about; it would clearly be necessary to
seek in some such direction for the conscious auxiliaries of the
maleficent forces; nevertheless the extent to which they are
individually conscious of what they are doing may actually
differ greatly in particular cases.
As for the other auxiliaries, those who act in good faith and,
because they know nothing of the true nature of the forces
involved (thanks to the recently mentioned influence of the
modern spirit) they are never anything but mere dupes, though
this does not prevent their activity from being proportional to
their sincerity and to their blindness; these auxiliaries are
already virtually numberless, and they can be placed in many
categories, ranging from the ingenuous adherents of all sorts of
"neo-spiritualist" organizations to the "intuitionist"
philosophers, by way of the "metapsychic" scientists and the
psychologists of the more recent schools. ...
[Later] some examples must be given of some of the ways in which
"fissures" can actually be brought about, also of the "supports"
which the inferior order of subtle or psychic influences... are
able to find in the cosmic environment itself, to assist them in
bringing their action to bear on the human world and to enable
them to propagate themselves therein.