All World Faiths teach that God is served by hosts of Angelic Ministers, Beings normally invisible but potentially very helpful to man. Does Theosophy support this teaching? Yes, definitely it does. Theosophy, tells of the existence of great Orders of Intelligences, quite distinct from man.
I am well aware that the idea of normally invisible Intelligences may not be very acceptable to many of us in this modern and very practical age. We are accustomed, aren't we, to the demonstration, the proof, and the practical application to human welfare, of all knowledge and all human discoveries. And so ideas concerning angels are, in consequence, inclined to be thought of as somewhat fanciful and, at best, as rather unprofitable, of little practical value to the busy man and woman of the world. I recognize this; but, if I may, I would advise against too sudden and too decisive a dismissal of the concept of the existence of such invisible Beings.
Science itself assures us that behind our visible universe, as the very source of its existence, there is invisible electrical energy, positive, negative, and neutral in polarity and normally unseen. Furthermore, parapsychology now is also proclaiming, after years of severe tests, the existence in man of supersensory powers of seeing and knowing, and it calls them "Extra-Sensory Perception", or as you doubtless know, ESP for short.
It is not, therefore, a very great step forward to admit the existence both of intelligent Beings working as engineers amidst the great powerhouse of Nature, and of the faculty of trained seership, trained ESP, which could enable its possessors to discern such Beings and to explore the normally in<>visible universe. Furthermore, the weight of evidence for the existence of both angels and human psychic faculties is overwhelming for those who impartially and with an open mind will study these two subjects. Let us look at them together.
Throughout all time of which records exist, men have borne testimony to their perception of forces, phenomena and beings not normally visible. Despite wide separation both in time and in space all over the globe there is a remarkable resemblance between the myths, the legends, the descriptive folklore and scriptural accounts belonging to the various peoples of the Earth. This universality, similarity and persistence of belief in the Kingdom of the Angels is, in itself, strong evidence for the existence of at least a kernel of reality within that belief. It indicates a basis of fact upon which belief in the angelic hosts is founded.
Added to this general wide-spread belief is the testimony of those who have made both a science and an art of the process of self-illumination, which, as you doubtless know, is called in the East Yoga. The followers of this, the oldest and greatest of the sciences, the science of the Soul of Nature and of man, aver that the extension of visual and hearing power and mastery of the forces of man's own nature and of Nature herself can definitely and deliberately and consciously be achieved. Anyone, the great seers tell us, who will fulfil the necessary conditions, who will obey laws as certain in their operation as those to which the chemist subscribes in his laboratory, can pierce the veil of matter which normally hides from view the eternal, spiritual realities, the inner worlds and their inhabitants such as the angelic hosts.
Before I present some of the findings of such trained seers concerning the invisible aspects of Nature, let us first note what science has to say upon the subject of the existence of an Intelligent Power as the driving and directing force behind all Nature. Science nowadays says a very great deal on this subject. Listen, for instance, to Sir James Jeans, the great British astronomer. In his book, The Mysterious Universe, he writes: "We discover that the universe shows evidence of a designing or controlling power that has something in common with our own individual minds ... The universe can be best pictured as consisting of pure thought, a thought of what, for want of a wider word, we must describe as a mathematical thinker."
Einstein has stated: "I believe in God - who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of the universe. I believe that Intelligence is manifested throughout all Nature. The basis of scientific work is the conviction that the world is an ordered and comprehensible entity and not a thing of Chance.
A great Harvard geologist has also said"The nearest approach we have thus far made to the Ultimate, in our analysis of Matter and of Energy, indicates that the Universal Reality is mind." If the concept - the theosophical concept - be added of individual Intelligences, Archangelic and Angelic embodiments of the "pure thought" of the universe, then this might well have been written by an exponent of Theosophy.
For Theosophy, in its turn, remember, is founded upon scientific exploration and upon investigation by means of trained ESP, supersensory powers, and it has much to tell of both the invisible worlds and the invisible beings who are their denizens. Let me briefly put before you some theosophical teachings concerning the Angelic Hosts. Would it be too much to suggest to you that you listen to what I am now going to say as you would to the words of an explorer who is describing the results of his experiences, researches, and explorations in some new and strange land?
Eastern people, as well as numerous members with the Celtic and other naturally psychic races, are familiar with the idea of the existence of the Archangels, the angels, and even their younger brethren as they are called, the nature spirits, fairies and the like. In the East, these beings have a Sanskrit name which is devas, meaning "shining ones" and referring to their self-luminous appearance. And the devas, or angelic hosts, are regarded as everywhere present as the super physical agents of the Deity, of the one Creative Will, serving also as directors of all natural forces, laws and processes everywhere throughout the whole of creation.
Furthermore, it is taught that certain of these Angelic Beings are associated more closely with man than with the forces of Nature, and these are the ones more generally referred to by us as the angels. Are they then higher in evolution than we are?
There are said to be three main stages of angelic development, each having its own name. First, it is taught, there are the little nature spirits. Please don't dismiss the idea. It is not altogether fanciful as I have tried to point out. And there is a real basis of fact for belief in such little beings as the gnomes, the fairies, the sylph and the like.
They are about at the level of intelligence of animals and birds and they are actuated by group consciousness, shared with others of the same tribe. And then, more developed than they, are the angels or the devas who have already evolved out of group consciousness into separate individuality, as man has done.
And third, there are the Archangels, who have transcended the limitations of individuality and have entered into universal or cosmic consciousness.
Now, these Beings can be very helpful to man. They can serve as guardians. They can help in healing the sick. And if you care to read our theosophical books on the subject, you could gain a great deal of information about these Beings and the way they can be serviceable to man.