THE YOGA OF THE WEST
1. Very few students of occultism know anything at all about the fountain-head whence their
tradition springs. Many of them do not even know there is a Western Tradition. Scholarship is
baffled by the intentional blinds and defences with which initiates both ancient and modern have
wrapped themselves about, and concludes that the few fragments of a literature which have come
down to us are medieval forgeries. They would be greatly surprised if they knew that these
fragments, supplemented by manuscripts that have never been allowed to pass out of the hands of
initiates, and completed by an oral tradition, are handed down in schools of initiation to this day,
and are used as the bases of the practical work of the Yoga of the West.
2. The adepts of those races whose evolutionary destiny is to conquer the physical plane have
evolved a Yoga technique of their own which is adapted to their special problems and peculiar
needs. This technique is based upon the well-known but little understood Qabalah, the Wisdom
3. It may be asked why it is that the Western nations should go to the Hebrew culture for their
mystical tradition? The answer to this question will be readily understood by those who are
acquainted with the esoteric theory concerning races and sub-races. Everything must have a source.
Cultures do not spring out of nothing. The seed-bearers of each new phase of culture must of
necessity arise within the preceding culture. No one can deny that Judaism was the matrix of the
European spiritual culture when they recall the fact that Jesus and Paul were both Jews. No race
except the Jewish race could possibly have served as the stock upon which the new dispensation
was to be grafted because no other race was monotheistic. Pantheism and polytheism had had their
day and a new and more spiritual culture was due. The Christian races owe their religion to the
Jewish culture as surely as the Buddhist races of the East owe theirs to the Hindu culture.
4. The mysticism of Israel supplies the foundation of modern Western occultism. It forms the
theoretical basis upon which all ceremonial is developed. Its famous glyph, the Tree of Life, is the
best meditation symbol we possess because it is the most comprehensive.
5. It is not my intention to write a historical study of the sources of the Qabalah, but rather to
show the uses that are made of it by modern students of the Mysteries. For although the roots of
our system are in tradition, there is no reason why we should be hidebound by tradition. A
technique that is being actually practised is a growing thing, for the experience of each worker
enriches it and becomes part of the common heritage.
6. It is not necessarily incumbent upon us to do certain things or hold certain ideas because the
Rabbis who lived before Christ had certain views. The world has moved on since those days and
we are under a new dispensation but what was true in principle then will be true in principle now,
and of value to us. The modern Qabalist is the heir of the ancient Qabalist, but he must reinterpret
doctrine and reformulate method in the light of the present dispensation if the heritage he has
received is to be of any practical value to him.