Along the Way of Esoteric Psychology

Leoni Mckinnon Hodgson, 2014
PMAFA, MSE Esoteric Psychology, PhD Philosophy in Esotericism

Autism is on the increase, and the world’s medical experts are unable to conclusively point to any particular factor as being the cause. They are baffled. For a period, vaccination was regarded as the villain, then environmental factors; now genetics is under suspicion. It is the author’s contention that the latter – “genetics”, will prove more fruitful.
An area that will probably not be seriously investigated as a contributing cause for ages, if ever, is the spiritual aspect of man as it interacts with its outer nature on the physical plane. This topic moves us into the realm of Eastern Spirituality or esotericism which deals with those hidden energies and causes that are behind the appearance of a human being on the physical plane. Author Hodgson, who has studied Eastern Spirituality, Esoteric Psychology and Esoteric Astrology, looks at the problem of autism from this angle.

1. Overview of Autism

Autism is a serious developmental problem with classic dissociative symptoms. It affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize. Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication; and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behaviour.
The signs usually develop gradually, but some autistic children first develop more normally and then regress. Early signs are: the child does not make eye contact, smile when smiled at, respond to the sound of a familiar voice, follow objects visually, use gestures to communicate, make noises to get attention, initiate or respond to cuddling, imitate movements and facial expressions, reach out to be picked up, play with other people, ask for help or make other basic requests.
Early behavioural, cognitive, or speech interventions can help autistic children gain self-care, social, and communication skills. Although there is no known cure, there have been reported cases of children who recovered. But in many cases, the withdrawal seems irreversible, and the mind and its intelligent interaction with and through the brain is severely affected.

2. The Incarnating Soul

The spiritual background to this topic is that – man is a spiritual being, a soul, having a physical body experience as he journeys from ignorance to enlightenment. This is achieved across many lives. The soul incarnates through a physical body, grows in wisdom through earthly experience, then the body dies and there is an ingathering of experience before the soul’s next incarnation.
But in the case of autism, something is going wrong as the soul enters a new incarnation. It takes from four to seven years for the soul to fully lock into the new incarnation and take full possession of the physical body. Prior to this, from years 0 to 4, the soul overshadows the physical body, gradually pervading it. In this fluid period for one reason or another, the integration of soul and body slows or reverses.

“Appropriation of the physical sheath. This takes place between the fourth and seventh year, when the soul, hitherto overshadowing, takes possession of the physical vehicle.”.[1]Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 2, p52
This is the critical period then – these four short years. As we know, this is the period when autism appears and why early intervention is vital. This is not to say that after age 4 the situation is hopeless. But it is easier to effect an improvement in these early “fluid” years, and therapists have found this to be so.

3. The Primary Cause of Autism? A Soul’s Aversion to Physical Life

Some incoming souls simply have an aversion to physical plane life and this has an historical basis. The Ageless Wisdom Teachings tell us that in the dawn of human life, a group of souls refused to take possession of their waiting physical vessels:

“[Responding to the divine plan, emanating from the Mind of God] angels… descended from their sinless and free state of existence in order to develop full divine awareness upon earth, through the medium of material incarnation… [However, there was a group who refused and] chose to stay in their original and high state of being. To this truth, Christ Himself bore witness in the story of the Prodigal Son and his relationship to his elder brother, who had not left the Father’s home.”[2]Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Spiritual Hierarchy, p118-119
There is a history of aversion, of souls rejecting their physical bodies and refusing to incarnate, dating from that ancient period. On a returning cycle, many of the souls from that period are coming into incarnation now. Is it possible that the problem relates to this group of souls? This would account for the large number of infants (relatively speaking) that are affected. Souls who walked out before and who are doing it again. Bailey said it happens:
“The withdrawal of the self-conscious aspect of the dweller in the body .. due to that dweller’s great dislike for physical incarnation.”[3]Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 2, p419-420
The actual author of these quotes is the Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul. He tells us that some soul’s have a “great dislike for physical incarnation”. How many readers of this article identify with this statement? It is not easy here on Earth and some say this is actually “hell”. How many of us wish that we too could avoid the difficulties of physical incarnation? Some kill themselves, but most stay in obedience to that Divine Commandment. Besides, enlightenment – release from the yolk of rebirth, can only occur while we are in incarnation.
Toxic Family Atmosphere.
Hypothetically then, is it possible that a greater number of souls withdraw if born into a household where there is conflict? This does not have to be overt or verbal. Souls are hypersensitive and feel the air and energy currents. Unexpressed unhappiness or criticisms, babies that are not wanted – all these generate toxins that poison the atmosphere and must be very repellent to sensitive incoming souls.
Whether all this is an actual contributing cause to autism or not, providing a loving environment for an incoming soul is an obvious “must”. Therapists dealing with autistic children tell us that greater success seems to come with programs using love, play and encouragement. Children respond to such interaction and take steps to engage.
If a soul withdraws from its body, what happens on the inner side?
The soul may wander around on the astral plane – not a pleasant place to be, or find a doorway into another world or realm. The physical body remains healthy and strong, but the soul has gone. This leaves the body open for possession by a discarnate entity or multiple entities. This happened with Chris Costner Sizemore of “Three Faced of Eve” fame. However, the “law” has been violated and eventually the Inner Guides will force the soul to incarnate again.

4. Other Contributing Factors – Humanity’s Growing Sensitivity and Introversion

It is a simple fact, that as the race as a whole moves ever closer to enlightenment, it becomes more sensitive to soul impression, rendering individuals more sensitive generally in everyday life. This spiritual sensitising of the race picked up a pace when we entered the new millennium with has a base number “2” – the number of sensitivity. “God geometrises”, said Pythagoras. Numbers are a symbol of living energies, the outer forms of creative inner forces that mould and shape all that is found within the universe. For the last thousand years, the number “1” has been the base note, instilling in man its qualities of self-will, independence and individuality. Now man is being instructed to be more sensitive.
As a consequence, babies born from 2000 onwards, are highly sensitive little souls, and none more so than those born in this first decade. Their problem is made more acute because of the presence of two zeroes in their birth-year number, indicating even greater sensitivity than normal for their group.[4]The circle is a well known symbol of infinitude and of the Divine which once again draws consciousness in and up, rendering this group of souls super-sensitive. LH They are being born into a world which has been marching to the warlike drumbeat of the Will and Power Ray for a thousand years. They find themselves surrounded by tough “1’s”. Being super-sensitive and with an innate urge to go within, the slightest shock or upset in their environment, may cause them to flee in the only way they can in the first years of life – away from physical incarnation and into a private world where they feel safe.
In her book Esoteric Psychology, Alice Bailey gave a mystical rendering of psychological problems associated with each number. Below is the quote for the 2nd Ray. The similarity with the experience of the autistic sufferer is astounding.

“Surrounded.. and sheltered in the world of thought, he burrows like a mole, and finds his way into the darkness.. He dwells within his world in deep content..”[5]Alice Bailey, Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 1, p167
Since Carl Jung first popularized the terms introversion and extraversion, the world has accepted and recognised these two personality types. Extroverts are outgoing, while introverts are always looking within, and each group produces it own set of diseases through either over-expression or inhibition. Autism is a disease whose root cause is found in this tendency towards introversion.
Introversion as a pathology increased markedly in the early part of the 20th century, because of the violence of the world wars, causing some to try to escape from the horror of war. This phenomenon is described by esoteric writer Alice Bailey in 1942.
“The present world problem, the fear and deep anxiety, and the suffering and pain which are so widespread, are producing a dual result.. the extraversion of the mass consciousness; and a pronounced introversion of the individual.. The effect of this “pull” in two directions is having a serious effect upon sensitive individuals. They are pulled.. outward by the pull of the mass consciousness, and the force of the political, economic and social life of the race; and inwards by the pull of the world of higher values.”[6]Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 2, p516-517
The momentum of this dual action – one force pushing people outwards and the other drawing them inwards, can cause a psychological problem recognised by esotericists as a “cleavage”. Two parts of the nature are at war with each other. Most of us suffer from a cleavage-type condition at some stage of our life, usually between the mind which wants to go in one direction and the emotional nature that yearns for something else. Psychological disorders can appear if this tendency becomes extreme, such as: schizophrenia (“split mind”) aka bi-polar, or autism. Devotional and sensitive types are those who are particularly susceptible to diseases arising from introversion. Bailey said:
“What is the real nature of a true mystic or introvert? He is one whose soul force.. is too strong for the personality to handle. The man then finds that the path to the inner worlds of desire-emotion, of mind and of spiritual vision are, for him, the line of least resistance, and the physical plane integration and expression suffer as a consequence.”[7]Alice Bailey, Esoterische Psychologie 2, blz.160
Mystics of the middle-ages were particularly susceptible, and many died because their yearning for spiritual ascension was stronger than their desire to live in the physical world. Their bodies – deprived of energy nourishment, just wasted away. For spiritual seekers, it is important to maintain balance.
In conclusion, the marked tendency of humanity towards greater sensitivity and introversion, is an important factor when considering autism from an esoteric angle, and the soul’s desire to avoid reincarnation.

5. Damage to Nerve Activity – the “Vrittis”

The following text comes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a great Hindu sage who gave us the wonderful spiritual mind-training techniques of Raja Yoga, the kingly science of mind. Patanjali was warning yoga students about an incorrect meditation technique called “passivity”, which is really a form of psychological dissociation. It is included here, because it describes what happens in the nervous system when it is not being actively used by the owner of the body. He said this tendency was dangerous because it impaired activities of the mind that relate it to the outer life via the senses. In Sanskrit, these activities are called “vrittis”. Here are some quotes:

Book 1-10: Passivity (sleep) is based upon the quiescent state of the vrittis (or upon the non-perception of the senses).
The vrittis are those activities of the mind which eventuate in the conscious relation between the sense employed and that which is sensed[8]Sutras of Patanjali, Alice Bailey interpretation, Light of the Soul p21; those mental perceptions which have relation to the five senses[9]Sutras of Patanjali, Alice Bailey interpretation, Light of the Soul p22, they correlate man with his environment, through the medium of the senses and the mind”.[10]Sutras of Patanjali, Alice Bailey interpretation, Light of the Soul p22
“Some people, by their sheer strength of will.. directly inhibit the processes of the lower mind… (they try) to quiet the mental body by inhibiting or suppressing all movement.. stopping circulation.. This inhibition has a direct effect upon the physical brain.”[11]Alice Bailey, Letters on Occult Meditation p95
“When the mind is stunned into inaction by inhibition or persistent repetitions, [it] is dangerous”.[12]Alice Bailey, From Intellect to Intuition p109
“This self-imposed quieting (can be) excessively dangerous.. with the sense relations cut off or atrophied.. a man is open to hallucination, to delusion, to wrong impressions and to obsessions”.[13]Sutras of Patanjali, Alice Bailey interpretation, Light of the Soul p21-2
From the Oriental perspective, if these vrittis or neural activities are not used they begin to “die off, cutting off its owner from the outside world. If we replace the word vrittis with “electrical impulses”, the definition could come straight from a modern textbook on mind activity, such as below:
“Our senses depend on the nervous system’s use of electrical signalling to convey to the brain what we are seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, and tasting”.[14]
In short, deliberately inhibiting the processes of the mind mutes the electrical nerve impulses which relay information from the senses to the brain and mind, effectively cutting off its owner from any meaningful interaction with the outer world. The latter part of the previous sentence could be a description for autism, excepting from the esoteric perspective, the cause is the unwillingness of the incarnating soul to engage fully with the brain and nervous system. We can understand now, why early diagnosis of autism and intervention – within the first four years, is crucial. Untreated, mind and brain activity will atrophy to the point that they are rendered useless.

6. A few suggestions for parents


  • Endeavour as far as is possible to provide your child with a stress free birth, and provide a loving and nurturing environment. Try to ensure family routines are ordered and well organised, and the atmosphere is calm. Fill the child’s space with beautiful music and constantly reinforce the positive. Children thrive in such an atmosphere. Remember also that babies and toddlers are more “right-brain” and can read the family atmosphere like a book.
  • Educate yourself in the symptoms of autism. If you have doubts, see a professional who has skill in the area. Early diagnosis and treatment is vital. The opinion coming from experts is that autism is treatable if diagnosed and treated early enough.
  • Contact a good astrologer, and ask if there are indications of severe communication difficulties, in the periods in the first three years in which trauma might be experienced. Then surround the child with love and protection during those periods. If your child is at risk, remove television from the house. Small children cannot differentiate between reality and what they see on screen. Seek out videos which are filled with funny, happy and beautiful images and scenes.
  • Watch your child from an early stage to see if he or she has a tendency to hold in the breath. Introverts do this when they are anxious, and it slows down energy flow and activity in the mind. Regularly take the child outside into the sun and do fun play, breathing strongly in and out, mirroring this for the child to see and copy. Endeavour to generally evoke the imagination and fun play. Try to interest the child in hide and seek games – searching and delving stimulates the brain cells. Evoke interest if you can in a variety of (pleasant) smells because this sense is related to mental discrimination.

If autism is diagnosed

  • Join a support group, and find out where resources and information can be found. Put your child into the care of the best trained professionals you can find. Select only those people you like, to work with your precious child – trust your intuition. Contact all surrounding schools, and find out which is best equipped and has the resources to help your child, then do all you can to get your child into that school or centre.
  • Join a credible group or organization that deals with the condition.
  • o If the child permits it, give regular very gentle massages, on the top, back and sides of the skull, paying attention to the base of the skull. Align with Soul/ God and send love through the fingertips.
  • Dress the child in beautiful shades of yellow which is Mercury’s colour. Colour therapists may try playing yellow light upon a child for a few minutes each day.
  • Meditate regularly and send love to your child. Imagine love is restoring healthy mind and brain function, is stimulating the electrical impulses, visualise thoughtforms moving healthily in the mental ovoid. If you can organise a spiritual or esoteric healing group, to do this so much the better. See your child as a child of God, a vital and healthy Soul – for this is true in fact, even if the condition exists. Continually send God’s/ Christ’s/ Jesus’/ Allah’s/ Buddha’s (whoever is spiritually inspiring) – blessings to your child. Imagine the child sitting in this sacred person’s lap, being gently held. Be creative.
  • Sit quietly, and talk to your child non-verbally, by visualising and sending to him or her, beautiful but simple images such as mother kissing the child. Hold the image for a period. Be creative. When your child is asleep, sit quietly beside him / her and non-verbally tell the little one how much he/ she is loved.
  • Search the web for a list of vitamins which will build up the immune system.
  • If in spite of your best efforts, the condition does not reverse itself, console yourself with the fact that you tried. Try to accept that the experience is part of the life-plan of your Soul, the life-plan of your child’s Soul, and a learning experience for all affected – perhaps to demonstrate care and compassion. We are told than often in cases where consciousness is severely impaired, the situation is related far more to the karma of the parents or of carers, than to the patient.[15]Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 2, p459. In your child’s next life, another opportunity will be offered for a healthy life. In the life of the Soul, no time is wasted, and everything unfolds as it should.

This includes this brief paper on autism. See also a second paper on the Astrology of Autism. The author has a special interest in the subject because her grand-daughter has been diagnosed with the condition. This has enabled the condition – as it affects this child and has unfolded, to be closely observed.


1 Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 2, p52
2 Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Spiritual Hierarchy, p118-119
3 Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 2, p419-420
4 The circle is a well known symbol of infinitude and of the Divine which once again draws consciousness in and up, rendering this group of souls super-sensitive. LH
5 Alice Bailey, Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 1, p167
6 Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 2, p516-517
7 Alice Bailey, Esoterische Psychologie 2, blz.160
8 Sutras of Patanjali, Alice Bailey interpretation, Light of the Soul p21
9, 10 Sutras of Patanjali, Alice Bailey interpretation, Light of the Soul p22
11 Alice Bailey, Letters on Occult Meditation p95
12 Alice Bailey, From Intellect to Intuition p109
13 Sutras of Patanjali, Alice Bailey interpretation, Light of the Soul p21-2
15 Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, vol 2, p459