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THEOSOPHY WORLD ----------------------------------- January, 1998

An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World

To submit papers or news items, subscribe, or unsubscribe, write
to theos-world@theosophy.com.

(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are 
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not 
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)

==================================================================
CONTENTS

"Theosophical Resources Directory" by Wes Amerman
"To Gaze on the Truly Grand" by Eldon Tucker
"One From the Sacred Science" by Jerome Wheeler
"The Authoritarian Idea of the Masters" by Don DeGracia
"Computerized 'Secret Doctrine' Nearly Ready"
"Seeing Differently" by Pam Giese
"Recovery From an Accident" by Keith Price
"Free Energy Pouring" by John R Crocker
"High Country Theosophist Now Online"
"Mindsets," Part I, by Liesel F. Deutsch
"A Collection of Images" by Mark Kusek
"The New Adepts" by Bart Lidofsky
"The Adepts and the Original Teachings" by Eldon Tucker
"Practical Theosophy" by Boris de Zirkoff
"Third Secret Doctrine Symposium"

==================================================================

To improve the golden moment of opportunity and catch the good 
that is within our reach, is the great art of life.

-- Samuel Johnson

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THEOSOPHICAL RESOURCES DIRECTORY

by Wes Amerman

[The following Letter and Information Request were recently
mailed to students who might be interested in Theosophical
Resources. This same invitation is extended to all readers of
Theosophy World, and to all theosophists, wherever and however
situated.]
 
Dear Friend,

The purpose of this letter is to acquaint you with Theosophical
Resources, a practical new service to expand opportunities for
creative work for theosophy by making contacts within the
theosophical arena easier and potentially more productive. By
reaching out, individuals can assist one another and discover
within themselves and others the hidden human resources needed
for the future of the theosophical movement.

The goals of Theosophical Resources are:

* To create a network to gather and share resources

* To provide study, research, promulgation, teaching and learning
  resources

* To serve as a clearing house of ideas, information and
  practical experience

The first project is to develop a Theosophical Resource Directory.

Other suggestions include:

* Develop a list of additional projects

* Create practical tools to promote theosophical endeavors

* Develop and hold training, teaching and education courses,
  conferences and workshops for theosophists and for the public

* Promote communication within and between existing groups and
  organizations

* Suggest resources to help groups with projects

* Help to coordinate "service learning" opportunities

* Develop an Internet web-site

* New teaching methods for reaching the public

* Spontaneous self-initiated teams

We hope that Theosophical Resources will enhance the efforts of
all existing theosophical organizations and groups. Its success
will depend solely upon individual effort and cooperation. Our
main purpose is to promote the common goal of Universal
Brotherhood.

If you would like to be part of the first project, the
Theosophical Resource Directory, please take a few minutes to
fill out the enclosed Information Request. The sooner you return
it, the sooner we can complete and distribute the initial
version, which will be updated periodically. When you receive
your copy, please verify that your Name, Address, Phone, E-mail,
and other data are correct. Promptly submitted corrections or
changes will be included in the next update.

Your ideas, suggestions and comments at any time are welcome and
essential. Please contact us by mail, E-mail, or telephone.

Sincerely,

Wesley Amerman, Gabriel Blechman, April Hejka-Ekins, Jerry
Hejka-Ekins, Brett Forray, Lee Renner, Richard Taylor, Eldon
Tucker, for Theosophical Resources

 
THEOSOPHICAL RESOURCE DIRECTORY INFORMATION REQUEST
 
PURPOSE: 

The Theosophical Resource Directory is a project of Theosophical
Resources, a network of people who agree to share ideas,
information, experience, training methods and learning resources
in theosophic service. Participation in the Directory is free,
open to all and entirely voluntary. Theosophical Resources is
dedicated to the exchange of practical ideas, not doctrines or
history, and will help anyone to contact others with similar
interests. One is not asked about individual affiliations. You
need not be a member of any theosophical group to utilize the
activities or services.

OBJECTIVES: 

The first objective is to develop a Resource Directory of those
interested in theosophy. You may be part of this directory by
completing the information below, which will be made available
only to those who respond. Or, you may elect just to be on the
mailing list, but with your permission, fellow students who have
the directory will be able to contact you directly. It is hoped
that self-initiated and self-directed efforts will emerge from
the use of this Directory.
 
--------------------------- cut here ----------------------------

Name:

Daytime Phone:

Evening Phone:

Address:

Email (optional):

Interests:

-

-

Abilities/Skills:

-

-

Other/Comments:

-

-

May the above information be used in the Directory? (Y/N):

---------------------------- cut here ----------------------------

Thank you for your interest in Theosophical Resources. Your
input and response at this early stage are important. Please
direct your response to Theosophical Resources, P.O. Box 4252, 
Chatsworth CA 91313-4252. (818-998-3223, editor@theosophy.net)

------------------------------------------------------------------
TO GAZE ON THE TRULY GRAND

by Eldon Tucker

[based upon an August 21, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

When we discuss Theosophy, we should look at the content of our
discussions.  Consider what we talk about.  It shows both our
personal interests and our relationship to the Philosophy.  Do we
keep Theosophy at a distance, and poke holes in it from some
particular point of view, or do we embrace, practice, and
experience it?

Consider someone who starts with the assumption that Theosophy is
not true, or may contain serious flaws, inter-blended with
occasional gems of truth.  That person will not talk about
Theosophy and the world in terms of the Teachings.  He will use
another system of thought, suitable to his personal temperament,
and analyze Theosophy from that foreign perspective.

One such approach has to do with history, and I will talk about
it this time.  In a later message I'll write about another
external approaches to look upon Theosophy.

If you have a strong interest in history, you may treat Theosophy
as a subject for historical analysis.  You would use the
particular rules from that scholastic pursuit.  You would seek to
uncover the actual personalities and circumstances in the lives
of key theosophical personages.

This approach has its limits.  Not everything that happens leaves
behind a trail of historic documents.  You are like a police
detective, trying to reconstruct the event of a crime from clues
left behind at the crime scene.  The more that the subject matter
has to do with the Mysteries, the more likely there will be no
traces to uncover.

Theosophy deals with a side to life that goes far beyond things
that leave a trace on the physical plane.  Take a photograph of a
man sitting at his desk, reading a book.  That event of reading
the book is a historic fact, and is now documented.  Not
documented, though, is his state of consciousness.  He could be
idly daydreaming, in a lowly kamalokic state of awareness, or
deep in lofty though that is almost nirvanic in scope.  You might
later find a record of a conversation where that man says that he
was only thinking about his mortgage.  But was he? The event
itself was one of consciousness.  Even his statement about it is
secondhand evidence.  By knowing about his life, you might arrive
at a conclusion based upon all the evidence brought together. 
But that conclusion is probabilistic, and not conclusive.

It is materialism, in the guise of an academic pursuit of truth,
which says that nothing is real, and nothing happens, unless is
subject to historical documentation.

There is a value to history, and we can make assumptions and
generalizations about historic personages.  But when we make
those assumptions, we believe those people to be like us, and
that the generalizations can be applied to them.  We are saying
that a typical person, under these circumstances, must have
thought, felt, and intended such-and-such.

We can use our knowledge of psychology and human nature to infer
what is going on inside a person.  But what if that person is
insane? The connection is broken between external actions and
what is going on inside the person.  On the other end of the
spectrum, the truly great geniuses have often been mistaken for
being insane, or loony, because we do not have the education or
intelligence to follow them.  We cannot make sense of their
reasoning and vision of life, and blame them rather than
ourselves.  We say that they are confused, deluded, impractical,
stupid, when it is truly the reverse.

In "The Mahatma Letters," it is said that we can come to the
Masters or settle for crumbs.  And that their secrets, is told to
us in plain language, would be perceived as insane gibberish! We
cannot follow it because we are not ready for learning much of
what the Masters know.

Consider reincarnation and karma, and look at the fact that over
many lifetimes we learn and grow wiser, more intelligent, more
compassionate to others.  It is reasonable to assume that there
are some people very far ahead of us.

The Masters have stated that special circumstances are necessary
to convey what they know.  They have said that they simply cannot
write things down.  And we are told that an appropriate degree of
readiness is needed in the pupil before some of their knowledge
can be imparted.

I do not think that if we heard some of their ideas that we'd
find them sounding like gibberish.  I think that we'd have many
huh's, where we hear something but do not get the point. 
Something would be said and we just would not get the meaning of
it.  We'd be thinking: "So what? What is the point in that
statement?"

Now what if you do not believe in reincarnation and karma? What
if you do not believe that there are Mahatmas, individuals very
far ahead of us in their spiritual and intellectual development?
Then you would reject all this and instead look for where
Blavatsky had deluded herself into thinking there were such
people.  The philosophy, as a consistent whole, would start to
unravel in your mind and you'd find yourself numbered among the
"non-believers."

If you believe in Theosophy, you use it as a tool to analyze and
interpret things in the world.  You treat it both as a spiritual
path, a practice of Jnana Yoga, and as preparatory studies to
admission, when the time was right, into the Lessor Mysteries.

Taking Theosophy as true, you'd say things like "In terms of
Theosophy this thing is seen as ..." The other approach is to
treat Theosophy as a subject for critical scrutiny.  From another
system of though, you might say: "Theosophy is an example of a
myth arising out of the collective unconscious." Or you might
say: "Theosophy is a primitive first attempt to bring Buddhism
into western society, superseded by direct translations of
Tibetan Works." Many other examples could be given.

Take a third-party system of thought, some religion, philosophy,
or western academic discipline, and apply it to analyze Theosophy
in the terms of that discipline.  What do you have? You end with
a caricature of the Grand Teachings seen through the eyes of
people outside the Stream.

But is not modern science so wonderful? It gives us computers,
space shuttles, penicillin, eyeglasses, printed books--countless
things that enrich our material existence.  But what is missing
from our lives? And what more is there that it has not yet
provided? There is a lot more in store in our future than the
pittance that has appeared in the last few thousand years in the
west.

We hear repeatedly in our literature that we must live the life
to know the Truth.  And that living of the life is not merely a
pious observation of some arbitrary rules of behavior in our
external personal lives.  We need a sense of Belief to pervade
our lives, a Belief that colors our consciousness, that flavors
our experience of the events of life.

It is not possible to get far in Theosophy as a practice, as a
discipline, as an approach to the Mysteries, unless we dive in. 
We need to give it our unqualified dedication.  Treat it as a Zen
Koan of unimaginable proportion.  It has answers and there are
processes in our inner nature that can be engaged.  (See the
first two of Purucker's 12 E.S.  books, published by PLP.)

When learning to type, you first have to learn the position of
each individual letter on the keyboard.  You think of each finger
as you type a certain letter, and go through various drills to
become proficient.  This is alike to the early study of
theosophical literature that we undertake.

There is a time, though, when we stop thinking about individual
letters, and just about the words and sentences that we are
typing.  We have gone to a new level of experience.  We are doing
something different now.  We have reached a higher level of
experience.

The same is possible in the study of Theosophy.  There is a point
where it is possible to get a feeling of the thought-current of
the Teachings.  And more, it becomes possible to come in touch
with the ideas directly.  It is possible to have original ideas
about the Teachings that are not just logical conclusions working
out from things that we've read, but are new, original, fresh.

There is a source of knowledge and wisdom that is behind the
printed page.  It is real, tangible, and approachable.  It is a
non-physical thing, and just as real as any part of Theosophy.

How is Theosophy to be proven? To someone outside, it may remain
unprovable, because the proof is in personal experience, and that
experience requires real changes in the life of the student.  To
someone who lives the life, that proof is unnecessary.  The
reality of the experiences in his life is understood.

Is it necessary for people truly into Theosophy to engage the
critics in verbal battle, to tear down their false gods and
expose errors in their logic? No.  What is necessary is to show
the appropriate love, honor, and respect for the grand spiritual
treasures that we are blessed with.  The proper attitude toward
the critics is not in shouting back at them.  The proper attitude
is admitting into our lives things of the Spirit.  These things
are so incredibly beautiful and profound, that we simply have no
choice but to do something, be it ever so humble, to give
expression to them in the outer world.  To not try, to gaze on
the Truly Grand and do nothing, is the greatest shame imaginable. 

------------------------------------------------------------------
ONE FROM THE SACRED SCIENCE

by Jerome Wheeler

Here is an experience of General Yermalov that demonstrates the
reality of our HIGHER EGO, taken from "An Astral Prophet" by H.P. 
Blavatsky:

> The friend is told by General Yermalov that while writing LATE
> IN THE NIGHT he had suddenly fallen into a REVERIE, when he
> suddenly perceived upon lifting the eyes a stranger standing
> before him. Now that reverie was most likely a sudden doze,
> brought on by fatigue and overwork, during which a mechanical
> action of purely somnambulist character took place.
>
> The PERSONALITY becoming suddenly alive to the Presence of its
> Higher Self, the human sleeping automaton fell under the sway of
> the Individuality, and forthwith the hand that had been occupied
> with writing for several hours before resumed mechanically its
> task. Upon awakening the PERSONALITY thought that the document
> before him had been written at the dictation of a visitor whose
> voice he had heard, whereas, in truth, he had been simply
> recording the innermost thoughts--or shall we say knowledge--of
> his own divine "Ego," a prophetic because all-knowing Spirit.
> The "voice" of the latter was simply the translation by the
> physical memory, at the instant of awakening, of the mental
> knowledge concerning the life of the mortal man reflected on the
> lower by the HIGHER consciousness.
>
> Thus, the stranger ... belongs to that class of well-known
> phenomena familiar to us as the ASSOCIATION OF IDEAS AND
> REMINISCENCES in our dreams. The pictures and scenes we see in
> sleep, the events we live through for hours, days, sometimes for
> years in our dreams, all this takes less time, in reality, than
> is occupied by a flash of lightning during the instant of
> awakening and the return to full consciousness ... It is one of
> the fundamental teachings of Occultism that besides the attribute
> of divine omniscience in its own nature and sphere of action,
> there exists in Eternity for the INDIVIDUAL immortal EGO neither
> PAST nor FUTURE, but only one everlasting PRESENT. Now, once
> this doctrine is admitted, or simply postulated, it becomes only
> natural that the whole life from birth to death, of the
> Personality which the Ego informs, should be as plainly visible
> to the Higher Ego as it is invisible to, and concealed from, the
> limited vision of its temporary and mortal Form.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE AUTHORITARIAN IDEA OF THE MASTERS

by Donald DeGracia, Ph.D.

[based upon an August 8, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

In a culture such as ours that stresses values of individualism,
the idea of "superior" humans, no matter how benevolent, just
seems to cut across the grain of Western values. Such a belief
in Masters is predominately an Eastern invention, not a Western
one. Here in the West we tend to think of those in power as
inherently corrupt, and the political experience of our nation
gives much credence to this attitude.

I start with this point in the context of "planning for the 21st
century", for it seems kind of nerve to ignore our common
societal values when formulating "official" theosophical
positions. This is ironic in light of John Algeo's statement
that "it is not enough to study in isolation or communicate with
an elite coterie. We should be pragmatic and popular". Are we
relly being "pragmatic and popular" when we ignore the common
values of our times?

Basically the choice is: do we keep the authoritarian idea of the
Masters alive in the mythos and teachings of theosophy at an
official level, or do we, as a Society, acknowledge the social
fact of our Western culture with its ever growing emphasis on
decentralization of authority and reliance on internal authority
(as opposed to externally opposed authority)? For the image of
the Masters as currently formulated and promulgated in Theosophy
is one of external authority.

These are people, again, in spite of the claim of their
superiority, that are external to us as individuals. If, instead,
we think of the Master as our own inner conscience and higher
potential, we are discussing a different matter altogether. 
However, the present view is one of the Masters as being external
to us, as superior beings whom we should simply obey. Like it or
not, those that don't mindlessly accept the idea of the Masters
will inevitably see a hint of fascism in such a conception
(especially when the Masters are construed as running things "for
their own purposes.").

Now, this is only one angle, and by no means the deepest or most
significant. Another level this issue can be validly looked at
on is the following: one must ask: just what is the psychology of
a person that needs to believe in Masters? For, again, as
currently formulated, the idea of the Masters can be construed,
in somewhat Jungian terms, as basic "father figures". They are a
patriarchal guiding force and we are the children whom shall
learn their wisdom.

However, in the actual pattern of life, do not our physical
parent one day die, and we are left alone to face the world,
supposedly as fully formed, mature and responsible adults? In
other words, our physical parents do not guide us for our whole
life - this is simply impossible - so why do we need to project
this type of guidance on a cosmic level and posit a hidden and
mysterious "parent force" of Masters, whom will guide us on
spiritual levels?

In actual fact, the human psyche progresses through a well
defined series of growth. As children, the guidance of our
elders is essential as we learn about the world and learn to give
meaning and values to our experience. However, as we grow
psychologically, we eventually outgrow the need to be told what
to do, and who to be, and how to live by our elders.

We make the transition from a learner to a teacher as we come on
our own as individuals. At this stage of psychological maturity,
the idea is not to follow the rules of elders, but to have the
wisdom to cooperate with other mature individuals. And even this
stage is transcended as we grow in wisdom and spirituality and
learn to see God in all things. Such a progression of
psychological growth is fully described in the Hindu conception
of the four stages of life, and is restated in more modern terms
by Jung himself.

So, looking at the issue of the Masters within the context of
this progression of human psychological growth, one can come to
the following conclusion. The Masters, if formulated as some
external, superior "father figure" will appeal to a mentality at
a stage of psychological growth that requires such images to
maintain itself. And thus, if this is the official platform of
the TS, then such a platform will *select* for a certain type of
person at a very specific stage of growth i.e. those who still
need father images and images of guidance by their superiors for
psychological security. In other words, such individuals will be
the future members of the TS (again, in the context of planning
for the 21st century).

So, from the perspective stated above, the question boils down
to: what kind of people do we want the TS to appeal to in the
21st century? For we can formulate the TS ideas to appeal to
people at any stage in the progression of psychological growth and
maturity.

And there is another angle to this in that we must ask ourselves:
where is our society as a whole at in this progression of
psychological growth and maturity? Where is the average individual
today in this progression?

I would suggest that the average mentality of the people in our
culture as a whole is considerably beyond the stage of needing
father figures as an essential component of their world-view. 
People of today are at the level of needing to define and explore
who they are *on the inside*. This is not a new trend, it has
been happening through the entire 20th century.

Thus, I would suggest that, in sticking to the idea of the
Masters as some mysterious hidden group of so-called superior
individuals who are outside of us, whom we cannot identify with
personally other than as objects to be worshiped, that we will be
ignoring the needs of society as a whole and instead be appealing
to a mentality that is below the average in terms of their place
in the progression of psychological growth and maturity. 

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COMPUTERIZED "SECRET DOCTRINE" NEARLY READY

After half-a-decade of effort, an computerized version of THE
SECRET DOCTRINE is in its final stages of preparation.  The
original edition is being used by the Theosophical Publishing
House in The Phillippines.  Many thanks are due Vic Hao Chin for
his perseverance in this monumental effort.

The ebook will be available at a nominal charge to handle 
preparation and distribution costs. It will likely be placed on 
the Internet for immediate download. When it becomes available, 
there will be an announcement in THEOSOPHY WORLD and the various 
theosophical mailing lists.

The current beta version requires either Microsoft Windows 3.1 or 
Windows 95 to run, comes on five floppies, and takes up about 7.5 
MB of disk space. Background music may be available in the final 
version; it is currently disabled because of poor performance on 
slower computers. A small number of students are currently 
evaluating the ebook to help in its final preparation.

------------------------------------------------------------------
SEEING DIFFERENTLY

Pam Giese

[based upon an October 23, 1997 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

I feel it's important to allow ourselves to "play" with
perception -- to let ourselves view things with other eyes. I
think it was Aldous Huxley who used the turn doors of perception. 

I've always like that term -- applying it both to the expansion
of personal and group consciousness, as well as universal
brotherhood -- to let go of our prejudices and cultural
conditioning and try to experience a world free of these coats. 

As a systems designer, I constantly have to imagine myself in the
role of a first-time user who'd be using my programs. It's one
of those areas where my metaphysical studies and professional
life amplify each others.
 
For years, I've often thought that UFOs may be some astral or
other dimensional plane that interfaces with our own, or that
they are member of a dimension beyond our normal perception. 
Last summer I actually had the experience of this.

I had recently purchased a new house in the country which had
large 10 foot windows facing east. One morning last June, I got
my customary cup of coffee and sat down to look at the sunrise. 
It was an unusually clouded day and the clouds allowed only a
glimpse of the sun behind.

As I watched, I thought "If I didn't know that the clouds were
only masking the sun and I were a primitive tribesman viewing
this sunrise, I might think the sun was doing battle with the
clouds". So, in the mode of perceptual experimentation, I
"disengaged" the 20th century gears in my mind and tried to view
this cloud-laden sunrise divorced from my usual paradigms. As my
mind was trying to "free-wheel" and just see, I saw some clouds
coming together in ways different than the neighboring clouds.

The memory of my sister's description of a UFO as a "jellyfish in
the air that only hinted at substance" came to mind and the
clouds began to take the more coherent form of jellyfish then of
UFOs in the usual sense.

I continued to watch them for several minutes. Eventually I was
seeing a mothership with a fleet of five supporting ships.

Since that time, I've tried to reproduce the attitude that led to
the perception without real success. I think that my current
expectation gets in the way.

I don't think its possible to cross dimensional barriers
directly, you need to have intend and focus directed along one
line and then "slip to the side". One might be able to represent
this mathematically; I'll have to think more on this ...

I hope the readers will see that there's a light heartedness in
my UFO story. A good sense of humor about one's self goes a long
way. 

------------------------------------------------------------------
RECOVERY FROM AN ACCIDENT

by Keith Price

[based upon an October, 29, 1995 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

I have just had a bad accident and trying to get back into
things. I wonder, are there any real "accidents"? I think this
has been much discussed in relation to Karma and Dharma and chaos
and entropy and all the other "gods" of occultism and science,
but when you have a bad accident, I don't analyze, but I try to
utilize. That is, I try to do everything to improve my health
and situation without sorting out immediately my karmic guilt or
my victimhood or the "just" wheels of the universe. In short, I
hurt and want to stop the pain at all costs.

During my recovery from the car accident, I had a strong Lucid
Dream that was like a delirium.  I was sleeping and dreaming.  I
could see things as in a dream, but I was quite aware of being in
a bed in pain.  I would drift in and out of the dream state very
quickly, but what was really weird was not only was I conscious of
dreaming while I was dreaming (a lucid dream) I was aware that I
was in two worlds or shifting between the dream world and real
world very quickly.

People who have been sick will know what delirium means although
it is not widely approved as a tool on the spiritual path for
obvious reasons. Who wants to be sick and near death.

In fact all these terms, astral travel, dream, hallucination, out
of by experience, near death experience seem to be very nearly
the same thing or paths to the same thing of a UNITIVE
CONSCIOUSNESS.

This unitive consciousness seems to be the 7th level, 7th chakra,
enlightenment, satori so often talked about in theosophy, zen etc
where one realized that one needs a definite vehicle of
consciousness for each of the 7 levels, planes, globes, parallel
universes an all that, but that consciousness can be tuned as a
radio (an idea form Ken Wilber) but the spectrum of consciousness
is always there and we have an ability to be conscious ... my
thoughts are incomplete ... I am not sure if our consciousness,
my consciousness is eternal or just consciousness as the complete
spectrum?

The insight I gained was that I was supposed to examine all this
very closely. I hope to catch up on all the many things that
seem to be going on in this area and though not always related to
theosophy, I think they should be.

------------------------------------------------------------------
FREE ENERGY POURING

John R Crocker

[based upon an October 11, 1995 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

A couple of weeks ago I heard, in a couple of different places,
about a unique artistic exhibit at a New York gallery, and it is
beautiful and strangely moving enough that I thought a few people
on the list might enjoy it as well.

There is an old Jewish folk tale that has a Biblical scholar
coming across a simple, uneducated man whose prayers seem
remarkably successful. Upon being questioned, the man told the
scholar that he could not read or write -- causing the surprised
scholar then to ask the man how he could pray

... and the man replied that all he knew was the alphabet, so he
just asked God to accept his letters and make them into prayers.

Diane Samuels, a Pittsburgh sculptor, had apparently for years
been keeping a sketchbook of different but recurring shapes that
she drew on over and over again in her sculpting, and when she
heard that folk tale, it moved her, and starting her thinking
that in those shapes was her own personal "alphabet" -- and the
art that grew out of it (called "the Alphabet Project" I believe)
came about as she started "offering her letters to God".

She chose 30 (or so) of the shapes (each one corresponding to a
letter in the Roman or Hebrew alphabets), and began translating
them into three dimensional sculptures all over the world.

In Poland she scratched her letters into a frozen lake; in France
she did them in the sand on a beach; she even talked a
multilingual class of schoolchildren in Ohio into forming their
bodies into the shapes of her letters.

Photographs were then taken of all of these different forms, and
the current exhibit has both three dimensional sculptures as well
as sets of these photographs -- arranged to spell out, in
numerous different ways, the "simple man's prayer".

While the sheer creativity and aesthetic beauty of such an
artistic endeavor certainly moved me, it also caused deeper sort
of reflection about what it is we do when we speak words aloud. 
While my particular orientation doesn't quite resonate with the
simple man's belief in such a personal God -- the concept
embedded in both the story and the art does.

I began thinking about all the free energy poured daily into the
planetary biosphere, at both the inner and outer layers (from
cosmic spiritual energy to purely physical solar energy) --
energy that then moves through all the different layers of
individual life forms -- and is again re-radiated as action,
movement, and in perhaps one of its most refined forms -- words.

I wonder what it might be like to be able to sit on the moon with
enhanced hearing, and to listen to what the totality of all the
human voices speaking at once, in thousands of different
dialects, would sound like -- and then adding to that the voices
of the other kingdoms -- birdsong and cats' meows and chirping
crickets and roaring streams -- I wonder whether Earth is
speaking a *word* -- and what that word sounds like.

And even (pushing this even further), wonder whether perhaps the
Biblical phase "In the beginning was the Word" might be
understood as a single supreme foundational vibration that was
the original source of all that energy that now flows into our
little planet from so many apparently different directions

... and whether the spiritual "evolution" so many esoteric
traditions speak of could be conceived as the struggle of our
planet to hear that "word" completely, and to *speak it back to
its source* - that perhaps that fellow with the good hearing
sitting on the moon, were he to sit there for all these millions
of years listening to Earth's Voice

... would first hear a low murmuring as life began, gradually
building to crescendos followed by quit periods as the various
waves of periodic evolution and extinction cycle through the
kingdoms

... taking on crisper and clearer forms as life individuates and
the "word" acquires more precision, but also becoming more
cacophonous and often disharmonious as the awareness of
differences (a natural and necessary phase of evolution) come
into focus

... and perhaps leading, sometime in the distant future, to a
planet where individuality has been harmonized with awareness of
the whole, and every "instrument" plays its own tone perfectly,
but also with full awareness of the rest of the orchestra -- I
wonder if to that fellow on the moon, the whole planet might seem
to be struggling, over a scale of several billions of years, to
sound a single clear word

... that will resonate outward in all directions

... that will be the "answer" to that original "Word" that was
in the beginning -- and whether the moment that word is spoken
all the kingdoms participating in its speaking might just
dissolve back into the One

... liberated instantaneously by the sheer and unbearable beauty
of such a sound.

Oops, got a bit carried away (comes from spending the day in the
mountains!

... but still, maybe I'll at least take the tiles from my
Scrabble game and leave them out on the table in my yard tonight. 

------------------------------------------------------------------
HIGH COUNTRY THEOSOPHIST NOW ONLINE

The HIGH COUNTRY THEOSOPHIST is now available on the Internet. 
Information on it's online version and how to subscribe is in the 
new-subscribers message, which follows.

----

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    ftp://ftp.theosophy.com/pub/theosophy/hct/hct9801.pdf
------------------------------------------------------------------
MINDSETS, PART I

by Liesel F. Deutsch

This is an essay about how people's thinking affects their
actions, and their physical being; and how the atmosphere which
is thus engendered can spread out until it pervades entire
communities; it's about how 

    thinking 
    leads   to action 
    leading to karma 
    leading to thinking
    leading to action
    leading to karma
    ... etc.

The essay is also about how most of the events which happen to us
-- and around us -- are the solidification of our own thoughts
and beliefs . . . of our own Mindsets.

Acting from this base, people, from time immemorial, have managed
to severely mistreat each other . . . have often even gone so
far as to kill.

At first, while God Himself was busy experimenting with different
life forms, we were trying to find out, from the human side, what
made us tick and why this cockeyed planet of ours functions as it
does. We were also trying to build a better roof top. Our first
attempts were mostly hit or miss. The karma we created was more
often unfavorable than pleasant for us.

I imagine that, at the beginning of the human race . . . even
before we were visible, while we were still nothing more but
wispy amorphous spirits . . . we had already begun to fiddle
around to find out what works. With our human curiosity, we
tinkered with our surroundings . . . also tinkered with each
other. At first, it must have been interactions among gases. 
Eons later, we went to play with such creations as bacteria,
crystals, chlorophyll, and proteins. Maybe the next step was
something like investigating the great granddaddy of the juices
in a tree trunk, which was probably a precursor to animal and
human blood, fashioned by mixing water, minerals, plasma and etc. 
Just as an aside, our physical connectedness to the universe must
have come from these antediluvian roots which we share with other
life forms, and which must also be a part of our Karma. If we
didn't have minerals in our blood and bones, our eating habits
would be much different, and our ways of providing our food. 
From that, our Karma would be different too. But that's for
another day.

Having finally acquired more solid forms, one day, one of us said
"let's see what my friend will do if I poke into him with my
stick." Well, my friend poked back with his own stick "Ouch!"
Maybe another day one of us decided to give a neighbor a hug, and
the neighbor hugged back. That was a very pleasant surprise! In
some such fashion we learned about pleasure and pain. We got the
idea that it felt nicer to create more pleasure and less pain. 
We're still rather on a hit or miss basis, because maybe the next
time we decided to hug our neighbor, the neighbor poked at us
with his stick, or we threatened with our stick and received a
hug in exchange, and how do you account for that? But we stored
all these experiences away . . . as ideas with which to govern
future acts . . . again creating some Karma. For a long time,
the instances of making unfavorable Karma must have been
enormous. But as we kept on maneuvering among all the
interplays, we learned more, our knowhow became more
sophisticated, and our karma had a tendency to improve for us. 
For instance, early on, we found out that caves provided shelter
from inclement weather. Later on, we dreamed up ways to build
primitive houses and so on, right up to skyscrapers.

As time went by, civilizations rose and fell. Each civilization
made a contribution to human betterment before it petered out. 
Karma, slowly, became more favorable, even though the
improvements came 'round in an ascending spiral, rather than in a
straight line. Some of the Karma of our earlier mistakes still
hung on, waiting to be recognized and dealt with. Surely, we're
on the path to Nirvana, but we're not there yet by a long shot. 
We need to explore some more, learn some more, dispel any Karma
hindrances, and learn to apply it all much better.

People say that a valid measure of the stage at which a society
functions, is how the women are being treated. Skipping over the
ups and downs of millennia we reach our more recent Western
civilization . . . we'd now garnered more sophisticated
knowledge, but in medieval Europe, crippling and killing was
again the order of the day. We often acted out of what seems
like the most altruistic of cockeyed intentions . . . trying
to save souls from eternal damnation by torturing the "sinful"
body into "confessing." Perhaps some of the Inquisition's
torturers really thought they were being kind, or at least
righteous. If you read the stories and plays written about
Jeanne d'arc -- that is the impression you get of both the church
and the lay people. Some of these men were, no doubt, the
medieval link on a long chain of human beings whose minds had
been warped by physical maltreatment, and by being fed horribly
twisted thoughts. Even I can remember today the German
children's books I grew up with, classics which had been passed
down from medieval times to and told to generation after
generation of little kids. Some of the characters did and said
scary and outlandish things. Think no further than Christmas
with the witch in "Hansel and Gretel," and with the parents who
tried to abandon their kids. Thank goodness, the story also
tells about an angel descending to protect the children as they
wander lost in the forest, where even the pine trees seemed to be
forbidding. ( A fact which I don't remember as having
transferred to our happily decorated Christmas tree, but who
knows!) Now that there's been Jung, we can say that, for one
thing, the Inquisition's men were denying their anima. They
projected their suppressed character traits and feelings onto
their women, a mindset which put the fear of the devil, of
witches and of hell, of broomsticks and of goats, of women
healers, of evil ghosts all over Europe for three centuries,
causing much maiming and killing. Clearly, they wrought their
own karma.

My own Jewish ancestors, (the inquisition of Jews was only a drop
in the bucket as compared to the inquisition of the much more
numerous women) decided to forsake the collective Karma of Spain
during those times, with its mindset to save souls via torture
and stake burning, and to rather take their chances with the
collective Karma of Germany. This proved to be salubrious for
several centuries. My folks settled and prospered in the ghetto
of Frankfurt, which also housed the bankers Rothschild. Back in
Spain, other Jews saved their hides by becoming Christian. 
Others just rather killed off their entire family, and then
themselves. The family of the Jewish sage and physician, Moses
ben Maimonides, roamed around North Africa for a while, and
finally settled in Egypt, where they too prospered. Maimonides
wrote beautiful commentaries and healed kings. Beliefs, Mindsets
were worth living, dying and moving around the world for.

Why did these things happen? Especially since, if our
theosophical teachings are right, the inquisitors suffered as
much as the heretics. At the time, no one had the wherewithal to
really understand why. For the inquisitors, there wasn't even a
reason to try to understand "why." They knew that they were
right. Their churchly beliefs said so. Their mindset. As for
the victims, they didn't know how to cope with it any better that
to just endure the suffering, unless they could somehow get out
of the way. That, until Freud, and psychiatrists,
anthropologists, social workers, a host of modern social
scientists, who came after him, began to explore the mysterious
human mind, the mysterious ways of human societies, the cause of
much of this karma.

Viewing these events from some distance in time, one is led to
wonder about the sagacity of the Masters' saying "with us, motive
is everything." It's a mindset which provides redemption for the
torturer, but what is a person to say to the dying heretics?
"Sorry if it hurts a lot . . . their motives are pure."? What
do you say to the kids who had to just passively stand by while
their mothers were being burned at the stake? "They mean well!"?
As a saving grace, there's also the human tendency to soon forget
the painful, but long remember the good. Also, the unforgiving
churchmen taught their parishioners to forgive. "Hate the deed,
and love the doer." (In our time, King was forgiving.)

These events are only a brief 300 odd years into the past. 
Compared to how things are going in our present century, one can
say that it looks like we've made some progress. Against an
Inquisition holocaust lasting 300 years, and taking into account
that advanced technology speeded up the rate of murders, we've
had Communist Gulags for about 70 years, Chinese terror and
genocide for about 50 years, Nazi concentration camps for about
10 years, and the Yugoslav debacle for about four years. 
Furthermore, I've not read of any person or group protesting
against the Inquisition. Lately, lots of people and groups have
been raising voices in protest, and sometimes even the UN tries
to be a force working to alleviate these horrible Mindsets.

I like to believe, with the Buddhists, that much of the mayhem
happened because people just didn't know any better . . . and
that by trial and error, by slowly coming to an understanding of
what makes us and the planet tick (and how to build a better roof
top), we're working our way out of this karmic morass. When one
compares the misdeeds of this century with those of centuries
past, one can hope that this might actually be happening. After
all, we say that the roots of the lotus are in the mud . . . 
lots of mud. Our urge is to come to understand our muddy
Mindsets by 'n by, with minds and hearts. As we learn, we'll,
hopefully be able to rectify more and more, while the spiral
winds slowly upwards. Whatever one of us finds out, can be
taught more easily to the others. Maybe the process is working. 
Maybe over the eons we're leisurely wending our way to becoming a
race of budding Bodhisattvas.

[To be concluded.]

------------------------------------------------------------------
A COLLECTION OF IMAGES

by Mark Kusek

In light of some of the recent art related threads, I've
uploading some images that may be of interest to people on the
list. They represent just a small fraction of a collection I've
built up over the years.

I've organized them into categories, as described below. Check
them out if you like, at:

    http://www.withoutwalls.com/artwork/

1) Charts:

These are images that relate to the teachings on the occult
anatomy of Man, from a few theosophically related traditions. (I
have lots more of these.)

2) I AM:

Here you'll find a funky little group of pictures from the 1930's
that were sold through the I AM Movement. Masters, Angels,
Meditation and Decree Foci, etc.

3) Masters:

An assortment of images of a few of the Adepts, Cosmic Beings,
etc. from the Esoteric Pantheon. (I have lots more of these,
too.)

4) Visualizations:

Miscellaneous theosophically related images for creating and
working with thought forms.

5) Depth Psychology:

Imagery for individuation process.

6) Inspirations:

Art of the wondrous Nicholas Roerich.

7) Sacred Architecture:

Mandala in three dimensions and the idea of building as manifest
sacred geometry.

8) Mystic Pedagogy:

Diagrams of teachings and schematics from diverse traditions that
point to similar referents.

9) Traditions:

Small cross-cultural survey of sacred and ritual art traditions. 

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE NEW ADEPTS

by Bart Lidofsky

[based upon an October 11, 1997 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

It is my opinion that the reason the TS was formed was to speed
the evolution of humanity as a whole, and to create an atmosphere
where seed groups could be created that might become Adepts in
the next millennium or two. I'd like to make this statement
clearer.

First of all, some terminology: I am not using the term "Master,"
as the level of reverence in many TS groups has altered the
meaning from master of an area of knowledge/skill to one who must
be obeyed. Also, I use the term "Mahatma(s)" to refer to the
specific group of Adepts with whom Blavatsky et al communicated. 
But they themselves said that they were not the only group of
Adepts around (this is often forgotten; I think one of the
problems with the St. Germaine controversy is that, if St. 
Germaine was an Adept, he was probably a member of a different
group than the Mahatmas. Therefore, the pro and anti's may BOTH
be right). Finally, I'm going to be a little simplistic on my
definition of "monad"; for the purpose of this, it will be
defined as a consciousness that is self-aware, which is why you
can have monads within monads, and, of course, the one Monad
(which will be distinguished by the capitalization of the "M").

Now, how does one become an Adept? The TS concentrates on the
concept of "Chelas"; if the Adepts think you have the right
potential, they will take you in as a student, and, if you can
reach the right level of whatever is necessary, you can join
them. That leaves an interesting question. How did the groups
start in the first place? And what makes them Adepts? Here are my
theories; please don't send the men in white coats and butterfly
nets.

First of all, the process of evolution is slow and painstaking. 
Every time you're born in a new body, you have to relearn a large
amount of knowledge over again. But if you don't die, there are
some things you may never learn. One way around this is if a
group could form a group monad. Members can enter or leave the
group, but the group monad lives on, and can continue to evolve,
provided that the individual members allow it to do so. The
members are still individuals, however. They are not always
attached to the group monad; if they were, then the evolution of
the group monad would be blocked.

There are, demonstrably, groups with at least the beginnings of
such a group monad around today. A well-known example would be
encounter groups, formed for the psychological health of the
members. While the individuals have problems, the idea is that,
by shedding their mental shields with each other, they can
combine their strengths to help each other out.

Now, to digress, for a moment, let's take a look at one of the
major problems of our current time: super-bacteria. Before the
discovery of antibiotics, bacterial infection was a serious
matter. People could and often did catch gangrene and/or die of
what would be considered today to be simple infections. 
Eventually, three classes of antibiotics were discovered, and it
was figured that it would be decades before bacteria could
develop a resistance to one class, and centuries before they
could develop a resistance to two or more types. But this
assumed that bacteria followed basic laws of genetics.

Unfortunately, they do not. Bacteria have the ability to
exchange genes with each other. Therefore, their physical
evolution proceeds at a much more rapid pace than it would
otherwise. If a bacterium is resistant to an antibiotic, then
not only it and its descendants are resistant, but many of the
other bacteria that it comes in contact also gain that
resistance. If a single bacterium picks up resistance to all
three kinds of antibiotics, then it becomes just as dangerous as
bacteria were in the 19th century and earlier.

Going back to the subject at hand, if you consider the bacteria
to be groups formed for spiritual advancement, if you have fixed
groups, with little or no exchange of knowledge, then their
ability to generate an Adept group is like the original estimates
on how long it would take to develop a species of super bacteria. 
What is needed to allow Adepts to form more rapidly is for
something akin to the bacteria where we have groups forming,
failing, members going out, forming and reforming groups, until
something clicks. Then you have a group whose members can drop
their defenses with each other completely, and form a group
monad. If the group is sufficiently careful in letting new
members in, this monad can evolve, and, given enough time,
eventually become Adepts.

At the time of the formation of the Theosophical Society, this
kind of free-association was not possible. Religions were highly
structured and stifling; scientific mechanistic atheism led
nowhere, and Spiritualism, while it attracted the right kind of
person, also attracted enough of the wrong kind of people to turn
it into a dead end. Here comes Blavatsky and the Theosophical
Society, which encouraged people to go out and find their own
spiritual way, and gave a few hints here and there as to how to
go about it. Theosophists encouraged others to break the
strictures of their religions, and to seek the truth for
themselves, whether or not they were members of the Society. 
Other groups came about, inspired by the TS. People started
looking at their own religions differently. And new religions
were formed.

One example is the so-called neo-pagan movement in the United
States and England. Originating from Gerald Gardner, who
borrowed heavily from Theosophy, Co-Masonry and Thelema (the
latter two being strongly influenced by Theosophy) with his
Wiccan religion, people became encouraged to form their own
religions. While Wicca settled into a traditional religious
form, the other groups were much more volatile. Someone would
start a group. Others would join. They would send their members
out to gain occult knowledge, and the members would share it with
the group. Eventually, there would be strife within the group,
and it would break up, but the individual members would go out to
new groups, not unlike the genetic material in bacteria.

And, rarely, a group clicked. They work together, forming a
natural hierarchy based on competency; by dropping their mutual
shields, there is no quarrel about who is in charge, because they
KNOW who does what the best. New members are very carefully
brought in, as it is very easy to disturb the delicate balance
that exists. Old members seldom leave, so the size of the group
remains stable (the group dies out more often than becoming
oversized; when it becomes oversized, you end up with a mystery
religion, which no longer evolves). And the monad of the group
can evolve. It enables the members of the group to be able to,
when connected to the group monad, reach that level of evolution,
as well. As the group monad evolves, the members of the group
have more and more difficulty in dealing with people outside the
group, as they have to put up the shields which they can so
comfortably lose when within the group. Members therefore don't
like to talk about their group much, as attention to their group
from the outside interferes with their ability to remain
coherent.

You don't hear a lot from these groups, as a result, except
hearing from members who had to leave, or recruits who didn't
make it. They may be entirely rumor, but there is enough
information from independent sources to make that possibility
unlikely. And these are the groups I am talking about when I
mention groups that might become Adepts in the next millennium or
two (the time frame is very shaky; it might be as little as a few
decades, and might be as much as 10 millennia).

So, in my opinion, the TS members are not the next Adepts; they
are holding the door open so that the new Adepts can get through. 
But, in doing so, they increase the speed of the evolution of
humanity as a whole, and, therefore, their own evolution as well. 

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE ADEPTS AND THE ORIGINAL TEACHINGS

by Eldon Tucker

[based upon an August 9, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

Theosophy is a religious philosophy. It consists of a well-
defined body of Teachings. There are the core concepts of
Theosophy that new students are taught. More advanced topics,
though, are difficult to approach in a study class.

There are many reasons why Theosophy seems confusing to new
students. The terminology is different; a new vocabulary needs to
be learned. There is a difference in the use of some terms and a
difference in ideas between the writings of Blavatsky and Judge,
and the writings of Besant, Leadbeater, and Bailey. And there is
the nature of the subject matter itself, dealing with ideas that
cannot be expressed by simply telling them, ideas that have to be
evoked from within.

No external measure exists to show, to the satisfaction of
all, the extent of someone's theosophical insight. One saying
goes: "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with
bullshit." I'm sure it happens. But also consider: "Where there's
smoke, there's fire." And I'm convinced that there is definite
knowledge to be had, that we have a real Wisdom Tradition which
goes beyond the latest fad in thinking in any particular country.

Politics enters our discussion, because we are surrounded
with political thought, and can be affected. We need to be aware
of the influences that would manipulate us, to account for their
effects on us. Some may be well intentioned, "for our own good,"
but we should maintain our objectivity. A good example of this is
the "politically correct" movement in the US, which would change
every aspect of our lives, from employment, living conditions,
dress, lifestyle activities, speech, and even thought. There are
a growing number of taboos placed on our lives to externally
change us into other peoples' ideas of a better way to live.

Theosophy is a timeless philosophy; it is something
derived from the work of countless generations of Adepts. It does
not change as various ideas and approaches fall into disfavor, or
come into style, in any particular country. What changes is its
expression. What aspects of Theosophy that would be helpful or
useful to the people of a country facing famine and death, for
instance, would be different from those aspects helpful to a
country that is wealthy, bored, and spiritually lifeless.

There are two aspects to Theosophy as we find it in the
Theosophical Movement. One is the special, esoteric, hidden side.
This part deals with a spiritual practice that involves
philosophical thought, leading to one of the Lesser Mysteries.
The other is in public work, in adjusting whatever society we
find ourselves in, changes to make things a bit better for all.
This second aspect is like adding salt to a soup that is a bit
too bland, an entirely different activity than studying the cook-
books.

One effort of the politically correct movement is to do away
with any sense of individual differences, to consider any thought
of being better than others as wrong, because it might adversely
affect the self-esteem of those who are less intelligent, less
successful, less able to learn. Applied to Theosophy, it leads to
such questions as: How can you say that this person is more
evolved than the other? Are not both people? Do not both have an
equal right to live? Cannot both exist in the world?

The problem with this comes with the assumption that to
recognize individual differences is to devalue or to fail to
appreciate those who are not the best, the winners, the leaders
in intelligence and accomplishment. This is not true. A society
recognizes and rewards those traits that it considers to be
valuable. I hope that in the US we still recognize, appreciate,
and reward individual achievement!

A gifted child should be given training appropriate to the
child's capacity to learn. We would not say that the child is
smug, and disdains other children of lessor intelligence, unless
the child happened to be socially maladjusted. And being socially
maladjusted is a problem that any child may have, and not a
unique problem directly resulting from being more intelligent
than other children, nor from studying more advanced materials
than other children.

The same is true with a study of the theosophical Teachings.
It is possible to be in a program for "spiritual gifted children"
without feeling aloof, isolated, better than others. That feeling
comes from a lack of spiritual rootedness in life. If Theosophy
is approached as an intellectual game, apart from being a
religious philosophy deeply rooted in life, then that feeling
could arise and one may have to back off from Theosophy until his
spiritual life is in order. Joseph Campbell has a well-known
saying: "Follow your bliss," which means to undertake those
activities that really stimulate and bring life to your inner
nature. The study of Theosophy, as a particular practice, is not
meant for everyone, and the 20 percent annual turnover we see in
the T.S. in America illustrates this.

Regarding the Masters, the original theosophical idea of
them was that they were not directing things in the world. The
idea of them as a "World Government" came in the Alice Bailey
variant, and perhaps a bit in Leadbeater's writings, but was not
part of the original presentation.

They are not authority figures, no more than a university
professor at Oxford would be an authority figure to someone
living in another country and not going to school. There is no
interaction, and even if you met one personally, what would you
say? And what would it matter what the reply was? They are
involved with activities appropriate to their station in life,
including things that we could not follow, because of our lack of
the appropriate training and background.

In "The Mahatma Letters," it is said that up to the last and
supreme initiation the Chela is left to his own device and
counsel. And it could not be otherwise. We cannot learn to do
things on our own initiative, and become  spiritual forces for
good in the world, if there is someone else giving us orders,
someone telling us what to do at every step of the way.

Some people may have an abnormal need for an authority
figure. If it cannot be God or Christ telling them what to do in
response to their prayers, it could be applied to Masters. But
that is an abuse of the grand idea of what a Master is, and takes
the idea out of the context of the theosophical Teachings.

Someone with a lack of faith in our judicial system, seeing
injustice in the world, may also need to believe in a higher form
of justice. The doctrine of  karma, as another grand idea of our
philosophy, does not, though, arise from a compulsive need to
believe in something better than what we find about us in the
external world.

Similarly, the idea of the astral light does not merely
come from a need to believe in a higher form of reporting than we
find in the news media, and the idea of an astral plane is not
merely an escapist desire for a world where we can get away from
the unpleasant, perhaps unchangeable, circumstances that we find
ourselves caught in externally.

Theosophy, as presented to us in the literature, is a body
of doctrines of high philosophy. The core concepts make a useful
cornerstone to any edifice of thought we may build for ourselves.
The deeper Teachings could fuel our contemplation for many
lifetimes to come!

------------------------------------------------------------------
Practical Theosophy
by Boris de Zirkoff

[This article is based upon a tape recording of a private talk
given by Boris de Zirkoff. It was initially transcribed June 30,
1973, by Eldon Tucker, then later edited for publication.]

I was thinking the other day, friends, about the practical value
of the Ancient Wisdom, the practical application of its
Teachings. I think we're all prone, only too often, to indulge
in a great deal of intellectual thought, which is good in its
place, no doubt, and to forget or disregard or perhaps minimize
the fact -- the important fact -- that the power of the Teachings
consists in their practical application. By practical
application I mean the utilizing of the philosophy of the Ancient
Wisdom in the event that's before us in life. It is similar to
the ability to use tools to produce mechanical work or results.

Whether you use tools of the psychological, the intellectual, or
the spiritual part of our constitution -- regarding which we do
not know very much -- regarding which, of course, we are far
behind as compared with the considerable success we have reached
on purely mechanical and material lines in the utilization of
material tools. Essentially the idea is the same.

When a problem arises in mechanical lines, it cannot be solved
unless you know what the problem is all about, and unless you
have the tools with which to solve it. Suppose it was a question
of building something, or of repairing something, or of starting
something new. It is also impossible to solve a psychological,
an intellectual, or a spiritual problem unless you can define it
first, unless you can see it at a distance, unless you can be
detached enough from it and look upon it impartially enough to
see it in all its various facets, even though imperfectly. Then,
it cannot be solved without finding the necessary tools with
which to work at it.

Now there are certain things in the human character which very
few people would consider -- unless they are students -- to be
definite tools to work with; nevertheless, they are. One of them
is a calm attitude toward the problem. Some people would
interpret to be almost a negative attitude: instead of going and
doing something we are told to become calm about it. That is a
very important tool of operation: an attitude of serene and calm
observation, the attitude of a spectator who doesn't get enmeshed
in the problem, but looks upon it from the high vantage point of
the real individuality within himself. The problem is something
that may involve other people, or it may involve no one but you. 
It usually does involve other people, and therefore of course you
cannot become completely detached, but you can be detached at
least to some extent.

Now just think. If you are so completely attached to and
involved in the problem, or in the thing that happens to you, you
cannot have a perspective of it; you are too close. It is the
case of a man coming up to look at a picture that hangs on the
wall, and he is two inches away from it. He doesn't see the
picture. But if he goes at a certain distance, he has a
perspective of that picture. Therefore if we can disentangle our
emotions from the problem that is facing us, we begin to see it
in perspective. And then we see aspects of it which we didn't
see otherwise when there was no perspective.

There are paintings that are painted with no perspective; they
make no sense. There are others which are marvels of perspective
in which everything stands out in its right proportion. As soon
as we are able to see our problem in perspective by having
detached ourselves from it -- relatively speaking, not wholly --
it has assumed a different proportion. That's one point.

The other point is that we have seen in it, we're beginning to
see in it, aspects and factors which we didn't see before. We
also see that problem in its relation to other things in life. 
That is very important because everything is related with
everything else. If we can see the relation of that problem to
other facets or events in our own life and in the life of others,
we have acquired already a certain mastery over the problem. We
have gathered aid; we have understood, or are about to understand
a deeper meaning attached to it.

Now the other thing about this subject is that whatever takes
place in our lives is called forth into manifestation by
ourselves and by no one else. We may be experiencing the seeming
onslaught of inimical forces; that's an illusion. That is an
absurd philosophy which is no philosophy at all, suitable to
thoughtless people. Thoughtless people are also weak people. 
They have discovered no cause or causes for things and therefore
no causes for their lives. They do not think. They emote.

So you are faced with an onslaught of inimical forces. Why
should we make the capital philosophical mistake of imagining
that such a thing exists? It is a pure delusion. There isn't a
thing that can come our way that isn't our own. The very natural
and automatic reaction of the imperfect personality through which
we all function is to put up an opposition, an instinctive
psychological opposition to something unpleasant that is taking
place around it and that is directed toward it, an automatic
erecting of a battlement, of an embankment, of a fortification to
protect oneself against the seeming onslaught.

But suppose we were to practice the very subtle, spiritual
psychology of nonresistance, so that at least intellectually we
would welcome the unpleasant event, forces, circumstances, or
people as merely an extension of ourselves, as merely something
that we have set into operation at one time or another, and which
at this particular point is coming into fruition, but is our own.

What would be the result of that attitude? First of all, our
emotions would become quiet. We would resign ourselves or accept
a fact of nature. Second, we would be able to generate, within
ourselves, the quality of forgiveness of wrong, which is one of
the basic powers of the spiritual Self.

It is difficult for me to find the words to express this subtle
idea unfamiliar to the Western mind. When I chafe against
something, when I fret against something, when I am deeply hurt
and resent it, I build a barrier between it and myself. When I
refuse to feel resentment, and build deliberately an attitude of
mind which is characterized by understanding of the weaknesses of
others, pity for their ignorance, regret for their selfishness,
and determine that I will deliberately practice nonresistance,
I'm generating within myself a center of spiritual force which
through the subtle alchemy of nature has a tremendous effect upon
the so-called, the seeming forces and people who are leading an
onslaught against me.

Remember than there is no separateness in nature, there is
absolutely no separateness anywhere. You can't say if you are a
philosopher: "This is I, and that is he, or she, or other." There
is no such separateness. They are the extension of myself and I
am an extension of them. They may be perfect brutes, or they may
be silly asses, or they may be more intelligent and wiser than I
-- either way -- or we may be fairly equal with each other, and
similar, but the point is that there is no separation between us,
there are only degrees of knowledge, which means also degrees of
ignorance.

There is a very profound Buddhist Esoteric Doctrine regarding the
great emptiness. They call it in Sanskrit sunyata, emptiness or
vacuity. It has many aspects. That Teaching has some aspects of
the cosmic kind, pertaining to the nature and structure of
worlds.

But another aspect refers to you and me, our consciousness. If
we can transcend, or try to transcend, the conception of the
personal "I," to transcend our limitations and strongly imagine
ourselves to be completely empty, empty of all personal
limitations and infinite in consciousness, we can take the mental
attitude something like this: that nothing seemingly coming to me
from the outside can hurt me, because I'm so immense in
consciousness that I can absorb it and a thousand times more than
it into the infinite depth of my being, swallow it up because it
is my own anyway, and move on.

It undermines the Western view of the necessity of a struggle,
that life is a struggle. Life is not a struggle; the reaction of
us, our reaction to many things that take place in Nature is such
that it eventuates in a struggle, but life, cosmic life, is not a
struggle. There is nothing in cosmic life than fights something
else. On a small, little human scale we have erected barriers of
ignorance and selfishness which Nature in its wisdom is trying to
level down, and the process is so unpleasant to our personalities
that we experience suffering and pain when Nature in its totality
is trying to level down our self-erected barriers, which are only
barriers of an illusory nature.

Now does that mean that an out-and-out student of Theosophy who
is trying to live the Teachings to the best of his ability is
absolutely, irretrievably, and forever opposed to fighting
anything, or fighting for anything? No. Is he supposed to be
constantly dedicated and devoted to peace? Yes. The point is
that the word "fight" has to be defined. The word "peace" has to
be defined.

It is obvious of course than we as students of Theosophy are not
going to use violent means of struggle, violent means. Peace and
goodwill are not achieved by doing nothing. Therefore, there is
nothing negative in the concept of peace: peace is a positive
spiritual force. You cannot achieve peace by not fighting. If
you do not fight all that can be said of you is that you are
holding to a condition of armed waiting. That is not peace. 
Peace is not the opposite of "fight." Peace is a spiritual force
which is outgoing, dynamic, harmonious, and can outdo, outwit,
and counteract anything that is disharmonious, an evil, without
the slightest struggle, because it is a powerful spiritual force.

Now the idea of fighting simply has to be reconsidered in the
case of us students of the Ancient Wisdom. We should never allow
ourselves to be walked over. That is not peace. The point is
that if we can arouse within ourselves an attitude detached
enough, impersonal enough, strong enough in spiritual conviction
in what is true, we are saturating the actual aura, the actual
auric atmosphere surrounding us with a positive spiritual force
which on its outer peripheries repels any inimical energy
directed toward it without doing the slightest thing in the
nature of a struggle.

These are all -- I grant you -- a number of paradoxes, but they
are well worth thinking over and meditating about. They are
paradoxical. They are subtle. Truth is paradoxical and very
subtle. Only the brain-mind conceptions of the Western type are
fairly clear-cut. Because they are clear-out and definite, they
are limited. Because they are clear-out and limited, they are
insufficient. They are too clear. They are too simple. 
Anything that is paradoxical simply shows that there are many
aspects to a truth. And everything that is subtle simply shows
that there are many levels to its understanding. I personally
would be very chary about anything that is too clear, too
definite, too well outlined, because I would know that it would
be unsatisfactory and would fail me sooner or later because it is
incomplete.

Now the other point is that we as students should never lose
sight of the fact that our difficulties are originated by us, and
it would be the greatest injustice for some third party to blame
us for originating our own difficulties. That is not a matter of
blaming. It is rather a subject for higher esteem and
consideration.

I'll put it now somewhat differently. If you find a student
whose life is harmonious and nothing particularly startling
happens in it, there are no great problems and nothing occurs
over a period of time, you can be dead sure that individual is
passing through a period of relative stagnation. If you look a
little closer into his life, why, he has moss growing all over
him. The student whose life exhibits from time to time
periodically cycles of struggle, sudden or progressively rising
and falling and rising again, you can be sure that the student is
growing, because every struggle is self-brought about, every
struggle is the result of a challenge he has pronounced or stated
or made within himself, a challenge of the higher toward the
lower within himself. That kind of a challenge is not a matter
of words. It is an inner attitude. A challenge is an inner
spiritual, intellectual, and also psycho-magnetic attitude, an
attitude which brings to the fore, brings forward and
exteriorizes elements of unspent, delayed karma.

The individual who has the power to make the challenge, or a
number of successive challenges which will result in periodic
cycles of struggle, is an individual who is a strong character,
or he is about to gain now strength. Therefore, as a deduction,
no troubles, no struggles and no great problems ever arise in the
lives of weaklings. It would be utterly illogical and utterly
impossible in the very workings of universal laws to find any
problem in the lives of weaklings because they wouldn't have the
strength to meet them. There is nothing in our lives that ever
comes into fruition except parallel and simultaneous with the
appearance of a greater strength within us with which to meet the
problem that has just been exteriorized. Do I make myself clear
on that?

Now when a problem or event or struggle is exteriorized from
within our inner consciousness as a part of our own
consciousness, it's got to come through somebody else. It's got
to appear in the illusory form of other people. Illusory, I
said, because other people are an extension of ourselves, and
there is no separateness between them and me. None. The
illusory impression is an onslaught from without: loss of
fortune, loss of work, death of loved ones, impossible
psychological tangles, physical disease, terrible accidents, a
combination of them, or perhaps an inner struggle to the death
that others do not know anything about and do not even notice. 
An inner struggle; no outside complications, but nevertheless
brought about by something seemingly from outside of us which
people may not know a thing by looking at you.

Whatever the problem may be, I see a shortcut to its solution. I
think that the shortcut to its solution lies in the recognition
that within the rough and barbed-wire appearance there is hiding
itself a friend, a friendly force testing our weaknesses, trying
to balance our disharmonies, testing the validity of our
convictions, balancing the opposites. That friendly force is
invariably a spiritual influx from your own inner Self, because
there is nothing from outside, that could possibly reach you,
that isn't your own. Therefore the only logical attitude in
these conditions is to act with as much calm and quiet and
composure and serenity as your spiritual will can command. The
moment that an individual goes down to the level of emotion, he
is as good if not worse -- as bad I should say if not worse --
than his seeming opponent.

If we can combine an attitude of inner serenity, great interest
in what is going on, an attitude of welcoming the circumstance
because it is one more link in the karmic chain to be harmonized,
disentangled, made into a harmonious result and passed over and
forgotten eventually. If we can welcome this thing as a means of
growth, if we can add to this a certain degree of indifference --
you see the paradox, I said to be very interested in it, now I
say to be indifferent to it. Now you'll have to figure that out
for yourself. You can be interested in something -- very much --
but quite indifferent as to what might be the result of it. It's
paradoxical, but if you'll think this out very carefully you'll
find that there is something in it. Be interested in what goes
on but be indifferent to the result.

We can add to this an attitude of resignation, an attitude which
has nothing that is negative to it. It is simply the acceptance
of the working out of the pattern of your own life. You cannot
change that pattern to the extent to which you have already built
it, but you can constantly build a new one. But the pattern, as
far as it concerns past events, is unalterable. But your
attitude to the event is in your hands, you can do anything with
it, the attitude to the event.

Now there is something else, and that is the final thought on
that. That is that, given any kind of a struggle or problem in
your life, there is some principle involved which you have to
defend. Don't forget that by defending an impersonal principle
of justice or truth you have on your side the totality of
universal forces which are working in that direction. No matter
what might be the seeming-and-temporary, illusory outcome, you
cannot lose. It has got to be a principle of universal justice
or of truth, not a point of personal gain -- that's not the idea.

But if a principle of universal justice or truth is involved, you
are bound to win. When? Tomorrow; next week; next year? Don't
think in these terms. That's completely and utterly immaterial. 
You can win the thing in one minute, or you may not win it at all
-- seemingly so -- only to find that your defeat became a victory
and the seeming triumphant victory of the others has resulted in
perfect and irremediable defeat, another paradox.

I love to see people triumphant, carrying banners of great glory,
having defeated their enemy. I like to see it because I know
that their hour has come. They are the losers. The individual
who can say: "Well, that was a hard struggle, and I don't exactly
know how I came out of this, but it was a valiant one. It looks
as if -- well I wasn't very much of a success, yes I did win a
few points but on the whole I was defeated." That man is the
winner. Another paradox. Think it over. It works. It works
particularly with students of the Ancient Wisdom.

And perhaps a final thought in that in every struggle that we as
students have -- whether known to others or known only to
ourselves, and especially in the case of those who are in dead
earnest to become nobler, better, to become building bricks of a
new age, particularly in the case of those, and through the
various struggles that they go through, as though there's someone
watching, invariably, invariably the student is under
observation.

How is he going to act? Is he going to act according to the great
principles that he professes or is he going to run under cover
until the storm is over? What does the man on the ship do when
the storm is on? He'll protect himself, yes, and if necessary he
might even go down and close the hatch. He is not letting the
ship run wild in the storm. He nevertheless continues to port if
possible at all. To protect himself to some extent, yes, but he
continues to port.

And what about us? Invariably we are under observation at those
critical times, and that observation is always the kindliness,
the most felicitous. If we allow, if we permit it, if we leave
the channel open, an unexpected help comes just where it was the
least expected. An unexpected help comes when it was the least
expected showing that somebody else cares almost more than we do,
almost more than we do, cares about the right outcome of a
struggle wherein a principle is involved.

Don't confuse this now with any kind of a struggle that we may
have because we have brought upon ourselves sickness, disease,
and troubles by doing wrong. No. Nobody's watching to help us
then, because we're just meeting the results of our own
foolishness. I'm speaking now of nobler, higher things,
contentions and struggles in our lives where principles are
involved and where seemingly inimical circumstances -- seemingly
-- exteriorize outwardly a climacteric point in our own personal
karma, which point when passed over becomes a stepping stone to
us and to some other people maybe so that we can look back and
see and say: "Oh, yes, here instead of tripping on this thing, I
stepped on it. I see my own skin that I threw off like a snake. 
My own leopard-skin; I am now in a fresher skin, a greater,
better man. I stepped right through that struggle, and the road
is clearer ahead." I hope I'm making myself understood, though I
spoke on many points somewhat cryptically; yet I hope that it was
clear enough to give you at least some food for thought.

What we have touched upon today at the beginning of the meeting
of course, friends, is applicable on a very large scale as well. 
The struggles that we have in our own lives are exemplified on a
larger scale as the struggle between groups of mankind, fragments
of the same humanity. Brothers fighting brothers, extensions of
each other, unable to realize through the illusions of
selfishness that they are practically identical with each other,
that there is less difference among all of us the world over than
there are between two species of a dog, much less. Yet, immersed
in the ignorance, in the illusion of separateness, striving for
practically the same ends, very similar ends, and not seeing it,
we lambaste each other because we're not doing it exactly in the
same way.

I really think that if there is such a thing as a man coming out
of a flying saucer, and if he has the power to look upon our
various motives and plans and objectives, he'll probably realize
with a detached viewpoint, he'll see that we are all striving to
achieve the same thing, the same sort of life: a life of
abundance and peace and good will and integration and build
something new and better. That we are doing it or trying to do
so in various ways which are disliked by the respective people,
and they are hurt by the way it's being done. It is the same
thing that they are all trying to do.

There isn't a nation in the world that is trying to move
backwards. There isn't a group of humanity anywhere that is
trying to destroy everybody else, or that is trying to build up a
civilization that would be the representative of the embodiment
of every evil conceivable. They are all trying to better
themselves. They do this mostly on the material plane, but not
exclusively. Some do it more on the intellectual, some more on
the artistic, some more on the social, and of course a great deal
on the physical.

But they are caught, have been caught for a long time in the
mistaken idea that each one, each one of the major ones has some
kind of a holy mission to perform, and is the savior of mankind. 
The English have felt that way; the Germans have felt that way;
the Russians have had that thing for more than 200 years in their
reign; the Americans are feeling that way from another angle; the
Hindus. How many more are there fired by some illusory idea that
they have a special mission, a mission that cannot be duplicated
by anybody, convinced that they are the builders of the one and
only great civilization that is to be forced upon everybody else?

As a matter of fact, this thing can be traced over thousands of
years as a national and universal delusion. If we could only
find the means to make the great masses of people realize that
they are all striving for exactly the same thing, barring minor
differences, so that we can hold hands together and march
together toward that great objective. It's bound to come. It's
got to come.

How much easier it would be to do this peacefully than to do it
eventually with bloody noses, flattened heads and worse. The
struggles that we have in our own lives, they have an analogy in
the lives of nations, they too are tested. They too bring out
from within their national karma, these exteriorizations of
delayed karmic action, which they have to meet. Nations are
entities; they are entities; they build molds and these molds
work certain forces.

Anyway, it's a big subject. I think that we would do very well
if we took more seriously in our daily meditations the paramount
thought that we all are but rays from the same Sun. That we are
all not only brothers but actually manifestations of the same
underlying spiritual reality. That the things that make us
dislike each other at times are the limitations of our
personalities and not the all-embracing oneness of our spiritual
selfhood.

From one angle it's high metaphysics, from another angle it's
applicable in the daily affairs of our lives. Some people might
say: "Oh, what a strange idea that is." So what! All the great
ideas have appeared strange at one time or another when they were
unfamiliar to people. People have familiarized themselves with
them, and the ideas have become -- certain ideas have become -- a
household word.

And also never to lose sight of the thought, of the realization
that in everything we are struggling for that involves a high and
noble motive we are never alone, never at any time. The laws of
the universe would be a sad, sad failure if we could disregard
our struggle for principles and truth. As the world is based
upon these laws, such a thing is impossible. Every time we reach
out toward truth through a struggle, trying to obtain a stronger
hold upon truth, every time we assert, quietly but firmly --
quietly but firmly -- conviction in a spiritual principle of
action, you have in league with us the totality of the universal
evolutionary stream that runs in that direction. What other
allies can we wish for in addition to the totality of the
universal forces that are working for the good of all that lives
and for the embodiment of light and truth in that evolutionary
journey?

------------------------------------------------------------------
THIRD SECRET DOCTRINE SYMPOSIUM

The third SECRET DOCTRINE SYMPOSIUM will be held at Saint Francis
Pastoral Center, Oklahoma City, U.S.A., May 21 to 24, 1998.

The year of 1998 is the 110th anniversary of the publication of
H.P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, which was published in
1888. We will honor the occasion with the third symposium in the
United States on the Secret Doctrine in recent years. H.P.B.'s
intention in her source book of esoteric philosophy was to bring
to the highest minds a far-reaching vision and cutting-edge
understanding of our universe and our own humanity. This, along
with widening our own education, is the aim of this symposium.

CALL FOR PAPERS

We invite participation by all serious students of the Secret
Doctrine who are interested in or involved in theosophic work
federation wide, nationwide, or worldwide. For those interested
in submitting one or more papers, please:

i. Submit a proposal by mentioning a title, a brief synopsis,
   and a draft outline (January 31, 1997);

ii. Submit the final paper for publication (May 1, 1998). The
   document may be submitted in hard copy or electronically
   (astrycker@compuserve.com). Mailing address is: Arden
   Strycker, Midwest Federation, P.O. Box 251, Bartlesville, OK,
   74005.

A committee will review those titles submitted by January 31 and
make a selection for those to be presented at the conference. It
is expected that there will be more papers than time to deliver
all of them orally. In choosing those to be read, we will try to
keep an overall balance to represent the scope of the Secret
Doctrine and H.P.B.'s vision of service to humanity.

However, all papers submitted that are considered relevant to the
conference will be included in the proceedings. The papers in
the proceedings will not be limited to those presented at the
conference. A copy of the proceedings will be available at the
conference (cost will be extra).

Ceremonial addresses will be reduced to a minimum to accommodate
as many oral deliveries as possible. Only brief comments will be
permitted for each presentation. Subgroups might be arranged,
depending on the number of participants interested in a
particular subject. For example, one group might consider
Cosmogenesis, another Anthropogenesis, or other divisions of
topics might be devised. Plenary sessions would bring all the
groups together.

VENUE AND ACCOMMODATIONS

The symposium will be held at the beautiful Saint Francis
Pastoral Center, 7501 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City (between
Rockwell and Council). An announcement of meeting details will
be released in early 1998 and will include a preliminary program
and a call for registration. Those registering early can take
advantage of a discount on the preregistration fee. As details
are available, they will be posted at this web site.

Lodging:

* Guest Rooms, double occupancy ($17.50/person per night), single
  occupancy ($25.00/person per night)

* Suites, double occupancy ($25.00/person per night), single
  occupancy ($30.00/person per night)

Meals:

* Breakfast ($3.00)
* Lunch ($4.50)
* Dinner ($6.00)

A kitchenette with small stove, microwave, and refrigerator is
available. However, these are not intended for replacement of
full meals. Snacks can be brought in.

It is still too early to make reservations. However, if you want
more details concerning food and lodging, you may contact:
Jeanine McFall at (405) 721-5651.

VOLUNTEERS

In addition to authors and conference attendees, we also need
volunteers and sponsors (contact us if you are interested in more
information). Registration costs will be kept low to encourage
participation (ca. $35), and therefore, financial support from
sponsors to defray mailing costs, etc., will be gratefully
accepted. Those unable to help financially, may be able to
assist in other ways. It is anticipated that a newsletter will
be distributed periodically to those actively supporting the
conference. You will need to let us know if you are interested
in receiving the newsletter and in what ways you may be able to
help us organize and conduct the conference.

TELL US HOW YOU CAN HELP!

Tell us if (email to: Arden Strycker, astrycker@compuserve.com)

+ You would like to submit a paper (submit title and summary). 
  Submit by no later than January 31, 1997.

+ You would like to attend the symposium.

+ You would like to help with the symposium (indicate areas of
  specific interest).

+ You would like to become a sponsor.

+ You cannot participate, but you will provide good thoughts.

+ What suggestions you might have that would improve this web
  site for you.

LATEST INFORMATION

For the most up-to-date information, see the web page:

    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/astrycker/

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