Glossary entry for
Dweller on the Threshold

From the Collation Of Theosophical Glossaries:
A literary invention of the English mystic and novelist Sir Bulwer Lytton, found in his romance Zanoni. The term has obtained wide currency and usage in theosophical circles. In occultism the word "dweller," or some exactly equivalent phrase or expression, has been known and used during long ages past. It refers to several things, but more particularly has an application to what H. P. Blavatsky calls "certain maleficent astral Doubles of defunct persons." This is exact. But there is another meaning of this phrase still more mystical and still more difficult to explain which refers to the imbodied karmic consequences or results of the man's past, haunting the thresholds which the initiant or initiate must pass before he can advance or progress into a higher degree of initiation. These dwellers, in the significance of the word just last referred to are, as it were, the imbodied quasi-human astral haunting parts of the constitution thrown off in past incarnations by the man who now has to face them and overcome them -- very real and living beings, parts of the "new" man's haunting past. The initiant must face these old "selves" of himself and conquer or -- fail, which failure may mean either insanity or death. They are verily ghosts of the dead men that the present man formerly was, now arising to dog his footsteps, and hence are very truly called Dwellers on the Threshold. In a specific sense they may be truly called the kama-rupas of the man's past incarnations arising out of the records in the astral light left there by the "old" man of the "new" man who now is.


In Tarot tradition, the Moon represents unconscious desires and the fears that accompany the sense of losing control or falling into the unconscious realm of sleep and dreams. However, if one is afraid to enter one's own astral territory, one can never truly know oneself - and the mystery of initiation is about little more than this.

The real confrontation that the Moon represents is the meeting with the "Dweller on the Threshold" of which occult and esoteric teachers speak. This is the giant force of accumulated evil or wrongdoings, the hideous part of the self that a person would rather not look at and would like to pretend doesn't exist, and which rises up at the point of real psychic growth. This "demon" must not only be looked at, but integrated into the being, in order to establish wholeness.


So here we have the methodology for accomplishing the Black Stone that will vanquish and transmute our Dweller or Sin-Body: We must enlist our Martian energy or moving spirit--the "purified metallic Sulfur"--by separating it from any connection with the Personality or lower nature, so that our "unripe Mercury" becomes the voice of pure conscience, moderated by a loving spirit of gentleness and patience. Our Mars becomes the warrior of the Higher Ego, and as the Christ Spirit, speaking through the man Jesus, said: "I come not to bring peace, but a sword" and, "A man's foes will be those of his own household." This will be our St. George who will slay the dragon of our lower nature -- the Dweller on the Threshold.

From Treatise On Astral Projection

Many people have written to me describing their feelings of fear during projection. This is a kind of natural barrier to some people that must be overcome. Some call it "The Dweller on the Threshold". It is a manifestation of your own inner fears, very much like a child's unreasoned fear of the dark; a fear of the unknown.

Many people feel there is something evil waiting for them, or a nasty spirit trying to stop them projecting. This must be faced with courage! Look upon it as a test, an exam, that must be passed before you can project freely. Once you do project, and face it, you will find it is only a hollow threat that will crumple into nothing.

Contributed by David Chance

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