by Felix Fojas

Like child who must learn the alphabet before he can ever graduate into higher learning, a beginner in Occultism or Spiritualism must learn his ABCs. Moreover, he must take pains in applying whatever rudimentary knowledge he has learned. Apply it not once or twice, but on a regular basis. It is the only means by which he can achieve greater heights

 in this endeavor. For in Spiritualism, mere theory without practice is equivalent to zero. A good introduction to spiritual practice is contained in that small, inexpensive book At the Feet of the Master.

The above mentioned spiritual masterpiece was dictated to J. Krishnamurti, a highly evolved soul, by his personal Master when this Indian occultist was a mere boy in order to serve as a guidebook for all those who are on the path of spiritual discovery. Bear in mind that the pearls of wisdom contained in this book are easier read than done.

For the benefit of the reader who does not have a copy of this book, permit me to give a summary of its contents. According to Krishnamurti’s Master, there are four qualifications for those who wish to tread the path of Spiritualism, namely: discrimination, desirelessness, good conduct, and love. 

To quote the words of the Master:

The first of these qualifications is Discrimination and this is usually taken as the discrimination between the real and the unreal, which leads men to enter the Path. You enter the path because you have learned that on it alone can be found those things that are worth gaining. Men who do not know, work to gain wealth and power, but these are most for one life only, and therefore unreal. There are greater things than these—things that are real and lasting; when you have seen these, you desire those others no more.

In all the world there are only two kinds of people—those who know, and those who do not know; and this knowledge is the thing which matters. What religion a man holds, to what race he belongs – these things are not important; the really important thing is this knowledge – the knowledge of God’s plan for man. For God has a plan and this plan is evolution, When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because he knows, he is on God’s side standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.

If he is on God’s side, he is one of us, and it does not matter in the least whether he calls himself a Hindu, or a Buddhist, or a Christian or a Mohammedan; whether he is an Indian or an Englishman, a Chinaman or a Russian. Those who are on His side know why they are here and what they should do. They are following the unreal instead of the real. Until they learn to distinguish between these two, they have not ranged themselves on God’s side, and so this discrimination is the first step.

But even when the choice is made, you must still remember that of the real and the unreal, there are many varieties; and discrimination must still be made between the right and the wrong, the important, the useful and the useless, the true and the false, the unselfish and the selfish.

Between the right and wrong Occultism knows no compromise. At whatever cost, that which is right you must do, that which is wrong you must not do, no matter what the ignorant may think or say. You must study deeply the hidden laws of Nature, and when you know them, arrange your life according to them, using always reason and common-sense.

However wise you maybe already, on this Path you have much to learn; so much that here also there must be discrimination, and you must think carefully what is worth learning. All knowledge is useful, and one day you will have all knowledge; but while you have only part, take care that it is the most useful part. God is wisdom as well as Love; and the more wisdom you have, the more you can manifest of Him. Study then, but study first that which shall most help you to help others. Work patiently at your studies not that men may think you wise, not even that you have the happiness of being wise, but because only the wise men can be wisely helpful. However much you wish to help, if you are ignorant you may do more harm than good.

You must yet discriminate in another way. Learn to distinguish the God in everyone and everything no matter how evil he or it may appear on the surface. You can help your brother through that which you have in common with him, learn how to appeal to that in him; so shall you save your brother from wrong.

The second qualification for an occultist is to cultivate the virtue of desirelessness. The aspirant must try to limit all worldly desires as possible, for all selfish desires blind and the occultist cannot possibly devote himself to the work of his Master if his heart is 

cluttered with desires, no matter how high their objects might be. Also, the occultist must have no desire for psychic powers; they will naturally come when the time is ripe. 
To force the development of psychic powers is extremely dangerous. It can even lead to possession by negative spirits or to the destructive practice of black magic.

Another type of desire that the aspiring occultist must obliterate is the desire to meddle in the affairs of other people that leads to nothing good. As to the third qualification which is Good Conduct, the Master of Wisdom made specific mention of the six points of conduct which are as follows: 1) Self-control of the mind; 2) Self-control in action; 3) Tolerance; 4) Cheerfulness; 5) One-pointedness; and 6) Confidence.

The fourth and the most important qualification on the path of occultism is Love. For love is the greatest power in the universe and also the greatest manifestation of God’s divine nature. The budding occultist must learn to love his neighbor as himself. On the cultivation of love, the Master has this to say:

In daily life Love means two things: first, that you shall be careful to do no hurt to any living thing; second, that you shall always be watching for an opportunity to help.

First, to do no hurt. Three sins there are which work more harm than all else in the world — gossip, cruelty and superstition — because they are sins against love. Against these three the man who would fill his heart with the love of God must watch ceaselessly. See what gossip does. It begins with an evil thought and that in itself is a crime. For in everyone and in everything there is good; in everyone and in everything there is evil. Either of these we can strengthen by thinking of it, and in this way we can help or hinder evolution.

Then as to cruelty this is of two kinds, intentional or unintentional. Intentional cruelty is purposely to give pain to another living being; and that is the greatest of all sins – the work of a devil rather than man.

There is cruelty in speech as well as in act; and a man who says a word with the intention to wound another is guilty of this crime. Superstition is another mighty evil and has caused much terrible cruelty. The man who is a slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them as he does. These three great crimes you must avoid, for they are fatal to all progress, because they are sins against love.

In effect a person who strictly follows the advice Krishnamurti give in his book will truly find himself kneeling at the lotus feet of his Spiritual Master. The rest is eternity.