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THEOSOPHY WORLD --------------------------------- September, 1998

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

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(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.)


"Can Theosophy Become 'Old Fashioned?'" by Mark Jaqua
"Experience and the Inner Teacher" by Eldon Tucker
"Further Reflections on the Quest for Human Origins" 
    by Ina Belderis
"A Visit to the School of Natural Order" by Bee Brown
"When Our Memory Fails Us" by Eldon Tucker
"Art and Theosophy" by Doreen Domb
"Blavatsky Net Update" by Reed Carson
"On Holiness" by Eldon Tucker
"The Triple Chain" by Elipas Levi
"Psychism: Reality and Relativity" by Gerald Schueler
"The Race to the Top" by Eldon Tucker
"The Origin of Man" by Peter Stoddard
"Karma the Law of Causation, of Justice, and the Adjustment of
    Effects," by Annie Besant


> The whole essence of truth CANNOT BE TRANSMITTED FROM MOUTH TO 
> EAR. Nor can any pen describe it, not even that of the recording 
> Angel, unless man finds the answer in the sanctuary of his own 
> heart, in the innermost depths of his divine intuitions.

-- H. P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II, 516


by Mark Jaqua

According to Theosophical Doctrines, which of course one may
consider to be genuine or not, Theosophy in its entirety is not a
system of thought that was "cooked up" or formulated by merely
human minds. It was a gift or inheritance from those beings that
are superior to humans in evolutionary development -- the "gods"
or Dhyan-Chohans -- as we are superior to animals in evolutionary
development, and is learned and self-validated by each new
generation of Adepts, or those men and women self-evolved enough
to comprehend it and put its subtle or occult aspects to
practical demonstration, we are told in Original Theosophical

In its entirety Theosophy is a complete description of the
visible and invisible cosmos, only parts of which were given out
in Blavatsky's writings, and the rest of this knowledge being
preserved, as it always has been, by the Lodge of which Blvatsky
was a messenger. It is proably safe to say that no one adept has
in its completeness this knowledge. An analogy might be that of
a modern university in which no one contains all current human
knowledge, but all together approach this. Theosophy is not so
nearly specialized as modern science, however, as every area of
understanding is intimately connected with every other.

If ALL of knowledge possible to humanity (in terms of general
principles) is contained within the complete system of Theosophy,
how can such a system ever become old fashion? It is like saying
the Earth itself is old fashioned. The mundane human mind is
always looking for new sensation and is always looking for the
"fashionable." It is fickle in the extreme. If something is a
hundred plus years old, as is the current presentation of
Theosophy, the popular mind will discard it automatically, yet in
dealing with the occult laws of Nature, these laws are excactly
the same now as they were when the Vedas were written, perhaps
5000 years ago, or a hundred times that span. Language usage has
not even had time to be outmoded in a hundred years.

An analogy for the system of Theosophy might be that of a manual
describing how in every detail a particular automobile works. As
long as that automobile exists -- or the Universe exists in our
case -- that manual can not become impractical or anything other
than it originally was -- a complete description of how something
works. Cars get out of date, but the "car" we are riding in --
our whole inner and outer world, our kosmos -- never gets out of
date. It is the same now as a billion years ago, and a billion
years hence. The "manual" of Theosophy includes evolution and
change within its system. As long as there is existence, the
same rules apply, which is infinity.

There may be new translations of Theosophy, according to the
symbols and understandings of the times, but the Identical ideas
will only be placed in a new form. This is just like translating
the car manual into another language. Theosophy is of eternal
values and law and not in competition with the sensation of the
current hem-line or tail-fins. IF a student believes Theosophy
is what it says it is -- a description of the occult laws of
Nature -- then new schools of thought must be compatible with
original Theosophy in order to be equally considered valid. 
There are not Two sets of laws that operate in the Occult side of
Nature -- There can be only one set of "laws." If one updates a
car manual or translates it to another language, he cannot also
change the description of the workings of the car. It would make
the manual practically useless, although the backyard mechanic
would be deceived and only find out the hard way, as one
discovers mistakes in basic life philosophy -- the hard way, and
over lifetimes. 


by Eldon Tucker

[based upon a Janurary 27, 1995 posting to]

One area of discussion that appears in many recent postings
regards the nature of experience and how it relates to what is
truly real.

In recent discussions, one individual says that intellectual
theosophy is a mind game whereas experience is real. Another
says that individual experience is a form of authority. A third
says that personal experience is the only trustworthy guide. And
yet another says that only a woman knows what a woman
experiences. I'm including these comments as a starting point
for discussion.

Regarding these views, I'd say that I both agree and disagree. 
Consider first the comment regarding intellectual Theosophy being
a mind game, as contrasted with experience. We must ask: What is
experience? And what experience comes from the deep study of the

My experience of the Besant/Leadbeater writings was that they
lacked in depth, except for the more philosophical tone of the
books written on their behalf by Ernest Wood, CLW's personal
secretary, like TALKS ON THE PATH OF OCCULTISM, written from
various lecture notes and papers. I'd read books like INVISIBLE
HELPERS and come to think that acquiring psychical powers like
Leadbeater depicted was the way to go. I did not know that there
was another, deeper side to the philosophy, until years later.

Reading Purucker, and then returning to reread Blavatsky in a new
light, I've come to find new, previously unknown depths to the
Philosophy. I now see in both a different manner of
presentation, an approach that leads me to look upon them as
Teachers, something entirely different that I find in other
writers. Reading them, I'm lead to find in Theosophy a source of
Wisdom, a series of studies with unfatomable depths. If I had
not been introduced to Purucker, I can see how I would have
reached the point where I would have become tired of the books,
and been lead astray in a search for phenomena and wonders.

What is there to Theosophy, to certain of its writings, that
provide these depths? The answer ties in with a remark of
Keith's, saying that the Neo-Platonists realize the One during
this life. This is the closest to an open expression of the
Theosophical model of human evolution: the Human Lifewave is on
this earth, Globe D, and here is where we learn and grow. The
answer is that a study of the Teachings can awaken inner
faculties of consciousness, that enable us, while alive and
embodied on this earth, to partake of the Ageless Wisdom.

Coming back to the nature of experience, we can say that
experience is based upon what actually happens to us, and not
conferred as some right based upon our belonging to a class. We
cannot say that we have special knowledge or have suffered or
enjoyed certain experiences simply because of being a man or
woman, white or black, resident or immigrant, etc. A black
person cannot, for example, rightfully say that because he had a
slave for an ancestor, say five generations back, that he
therefore has a special understanding of slavery not had by a
white man.

We are, though, inseparably rooted in the Highest, and that
connection cannot help but qualify our experience of life. There
is much that happens *inside us*, that constitutes real
experiences, without unique outward events in life to distinguish
it. One such type of experience and growth comes from a deep
study of the Philosophy. We do have experiences, in a certain
sense, inwardly, in our studies. These experiences aren't "out
of the body experiences" or visits to other planes, but rather
the budding of new faculties of consciousness opening us up to a
wider appreciation of life on whatever plane we may be on.

The lack of apparent depth to theosophical books that some
students experience is not that there is nothing there. There
are real and quite deep experiences to be had by a study of the
Esoteric Philosophy. But with the "wrong" books or authors, the
depths won't be experienced, because those authors were lacking
in either their own wisdom or in ability to communicate the
deeper truths. The other reason for an apparent lack of depth to
the literature is that a student may not have established the
necessary conditions and inner readiness to engage the process.

What is this process? In a sense, it is opening the inner ability
to Know, to perceive things by a different kind of experience. 
We can know something by direct experience. When we know
something this way, we are using the mind in a type of knowing
that corresponds to the sense of touch. But there is also a
sense of knowing that corresponds to a sense of sight, where we
experience and know of something "from afar" or by direct
perception. A poetic way of describing this type of knowing,
this type of experience is to establish a relationship with one's
inner teacher.

The second type of knowing is useful for relating to things that
cannot be readily put into words, and for experience of life
events our world is not prepared to support in the Fourth Round. 
Consider the Masters. They are Fifth Rounders, but when embodied
here, on Globe D, they are externally subject to the same
environment, the same rules of existence that we are. How did
they get the way they are? By learning and experiences on other
planes, on the other Globes of our Planetary Chain, of course. 
But also by this second, this special kind of knowing, that
allows for experiences otherwise impossible in our rigid,
material world.

Is this second, higher activity of the mind something very rare,
very special? It is rare because it is not frequently engaged by
people, but it is not special, not reserved for the few, for the
elite of humanity. It is not a vastly superior thing for the
very few; we only need to ready ourselves, to ripen a bit
inwardly, and we can open up to it. We can find an inner fount
of knowing that goes beyond the books that we read. What we
learn remains consistent with the Teachings, but goes much
further than we see on the printed page. We do not become
omniscient, and infallible in what we know; any faculty of
consciousness is subject to error, to mistakes. We all have our
Inner Teachers, awaiting us. Such a Teacher is not really
someone else, but rather a new way of knowing and experience and
perception of life. Let us end our inactivity, and open up to a
new form of inner adventure that awaits us.


by Ina Belderis

[Printed with permission from the Summer 1998 issue of THE
THEOSOPHIC LINK, newsletter of The Theosophical Society,
Pasadena, American Section.]

The following article is an addendum to the presentation made by
the author at the THEOSOPHY AND MODERN SCIENCE Conference held
May 30 & 31.

We live at a time when so many spectacular new finds are being
reported in the field of paleoanthropology. Scientists do not
agree where these various finds fit in the ancestry of man, and
widely different theories are hotly debated. Why is human
lineage so problematic?

These mysteries surrounding the origins of man become all the
more fascinating when we explore how theosophy might throw some
light on them. Consider the traditional hypothesis of descent
which puts Australopithecines at the beginning of the
evolutionary line, Homo habilis and Homo erectus in the middle,
and Homo sapiens at the top. Australopithecus is exclusively
found in Africa and dates from approximately 4 million years ago
(in its most primitive forms) to about 1.4 million years ago (in
its latest forms). Scientists generally regard one of the
Australopithecines (Afarensis or Africanus) as a candidate for
ancestry of the genus Homo. They are, however, much less clear
in explaining how and why this took place. Lately one hypothesis
has gained popularity, suggesting that the environment --
especially changes in climate -- caused Australopithecus to
become smarter and develop a bigger brain. We must keep in mind
that the only reason Australopithecus is even considered a human
ancestor is that it happens to be there at the "right" place
(Africa) and the "right" time (some remains are dated older than
the remains of the genus Homo) -- but this is in itself no proof
that it actually belongs in this line.

Theosophical literature states that monkeys came into being after
unions between early mindless humans and primitive mammals, tens
of millions of years ago. This happened at a time when matter is
said to have been different from what it is now, more "plastic"
than its present state. Moreover, barriers between species were
presumably not as pronounced. Later there were similar unions
between degenerate, but no longer mindless, beings of the human
stock and the descendants of the earlier hybrids. This resulted
in a variety of half-human beings with more or less apelike
traits. These "apes" resembled humans much more than our present
anthropoid apes do. Humans exterminated most of these
half-humans and allowed only the most beast-like to survive. The
anthropoid apes are the descendants of these beast-like hybrids.

Comparing Blavatsky's dating with that of modern science is a
well-known problem (See: LINK Volume 8, No. 3). According to
the fossil record the first creature that even slightly resembles
a monkey appeared about 30 million years ago. It has become the
first candidate for inclusion in the line of Old World monkeys
(supposed by science to be relevant to the study of human
evolution). In theosophical literature the first hybridization
happened about 20-25 million years ago, so it would not be
strange to find monkey-like beings after that time period. Two
questions arise. How do we define a monkey, and what did the
mammals that mindless man united with look like?

The second hybridization took place about 5 to 6 million years
ago, and around 4 million years ago Australopithecines appeared
-- they had both apelike and humanlike traits, were bipedal, had
somewhat bigger brains than apes, and stood about 3 to 4 feet
tall. Australopithecines also retained characteristics (i.e. 
long arms) which indicate they were tree climbers as well. There
is no evidence that they systematically made tools, and they seem
excellent candidates for the miscegenations between man and
apelike hybrids mentioned in theosophical literature.

The next group of "ancestors" includes Homo habilis and Homo
erectus. Scientists are not certain whether Homo habilis is a
single species or consists of more than one type. Often Homo
habilis is divided into habilis and rudolfensis, one of which has
a larger brain than the other. Both have larger brains than
Australopithecus. Habilis or "handyman" is thought to have been
the maker of the oldest known tools (the Oldowan tool industry). 
It is difficult to say what habilis really was -- another more
humanlike miscegenation or perhaps a very primitive type of human
being. Homo erectus is also split into two groups: Homo ergaster
1.5 million years old, and Homo erectus approximately .5 million
years old. Homo ergaster is sometimes seen as the African
erectus because most other erectus fossils have been found in
Asia. The African type has a skeleton that looks much more
modern. It is remarkably tall, its brain is much bigger than
that of Australopithecus (about double the size), but it is
considerably smaller than that of modern man, and its face still
looks primitive. Is this an early type of man or another
miscegenation? It is difficult to say. An interesting point to
consider is that its tool industry (the so-called Acheulean
technique) did not change (continued on page 6) over the million
years or so that erectus seems to have existed.

Another group of prehistoric men is Archaic Homo sapiens, having
a mixture of archaic and modern traits. Recently scientists have
uncovered more remains of humanlike beings that are dated further
back than was thought possible for this "ancestor." All the known
Archaic Homo sapiens are between .5 and .25 million years old. 
Recent finds in Atapuerca, Spain, (Homo antecessor) appear to
have a mixture of archaic and modern traits and are dated between
.8 and 1 million years old. This year excavations in Ethiopia
uncovered a being with similar traits, dated between 1.4 and .6
million years ago. This find suggests to researchers that human
facial features began appearing 300,000 years earlier than
previously believed.

What are we to make of these finds? Theosophical texts mention
that the fifth root-race came into its own (became a root race
sui generis) about a million years ago, though it had its
beginnings much earlier. Perhaps Archaic Homo sapiens and Homo
antecessor are early specimens of this root-race which later
developed more modern traits -- finally becoming Homo sapiens or
anatomically modern man. Or do we have to look upon them as
miscegenations, mixtures of man and apelike beings, even though
they looked much more human than apelike? Of course, it is also
possible that these are the descendants of early sub-subraces of
the last subraces of the Atlantean root-race.

Blavatsky writes in THE SECRET DOCTRINE that Paleolithic men of
the European quaternary epoch are the outcome of immigration, and
that the earliest Paleolithic people in Europe were of pure
Atlantean and Africo-Atlantean stocks. At the time THE SECRET
DOCTRINE was written (1888), only two types of prehistoric men
were known: Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon. Cro-Magnon is considered
anatomically modern. Neanderthals look remarkably different, so
different that many scientists class them as a separate species. 
Other researchers believe that these differences are small, and
that Neanderthal could still have evolved into modern man. The
debate on this issue is still raging.

Though Cro-Magnon men are considered anatomically modern, they
are not the ancestors of modern Europeans. In THE SECRET
DOCTRINE Blavatsky remarks that the Atlantean connection was
evident by the discovery of fossil skulls in Europe that reverted
directly to the West Caribbean and the ancient Peruvian type of
skulls. The Cro-Magnon, the Guanches of the Canary Islands, and
the Basques are also of the same type. Milford Wolpoff,
developer of the Multi-regional model of human descent,
corroborates this by writing that these Neanderthal
contemporaries (i.e. Cro-Magnon) do not look European; they lack
diagnostic Caucasian features. When one compares their skulls
with those of existing races, they show a closer relationship to
the East Asian and Native American type. So where did they come
from? Probably not from the East, because fossils have not been
found that could produce a line of descent. Anatomically modern
men have been found predating Cro-Magnon, but they do not appear
to be of the same type. Finds from Africa (for instance, Klasies
River Mouth -- 100,000 years old) look more like those of present
day native Africans. Could they have come from the West? Could
they have escaped from the remnants of Atlantis? In Europe
Cro-Magnon dates back to about 40,000 years ago, long before the
last island of Atlantis (Poseidonis) allegedly sank (11,000 years
ago). Eventually Cro-Magnon men must have died out, left Europe,
or otherwise been assimilated, when people with more Caucasian
traits poured in, very likely from the East.

The great enigma in European prehistory is the Neanderthal, the
old prototype of the brutish cave man. Neanderthal is generally
not classified as anatomically modern, and moreover there are two
different types. In Western Europe the finds represent the
so-called classic Neanderthal -- extreme brow ridges, long round
head, large nasal cavity, pronounced occipital bun and heavy
robust frame. In Central Europe and in the Near East their form
is less extreme. In Europe, Neanderthals and modern man
coexisted for a relatively short time (10,000 years), between
40,000 and 30,000 years ago -- after which the Neanderthals died
out. In the Near East this period was much longer (approximately
50,000 years). Did the two types interbreed and was
interbreeding possible? Scientists do not agree on this point. 
Where did the Neanderthals (continued on page 7) come from? The
extreme type is thought to have developed in relative isolation
as an adaptation to extreme cold (the Ice Ages). It is
interesting that the finds in Atapuerca, Spain, reveal two types
of people from different periods of time. Finds from the Pit of
the Bones, dated 300,000 years ago, show some Neanderthal traits
but also other traits, and are obviously not as extremely
Neanderthal as later Western European discoveries. Some
scientists call these pre-Neanderthal. Another site in
Atapuerca, mentioned earlier, yielded remains that are at least
800,000 years old showing some Neanderthal traits, but also
looking surprisingly modern. These types have been given the
preliminary name Homo antecessor. How can we make sense of all

In THE SECRET DOCTRINE we read that the main continent of
Atlantis started disintegrating about 4 million years ago. The
large islands Ruta and Daitya sank 850,000 and 270,000 years ago
respectively. In light of these ideas, it would have been
possible that groups of people escaped to the emerging new lands
and reached Africa and Western Europe. It is very likely that
the Neanderthals belonged to one of these groups. Neanderthals
had an average brain capacity similar to or even larger than our
average today. The form of their brain, however, differs from
ours: flatter in front and longer in the back. Scientists do not
agree on whether Neanderthal thought the same way we do, or used
language. Nevertheless, many think there is no good reason to
believe they were inferior to anatomically modern man in this
respect. There is the further mystery of why their tool industry
(Mousterian) remained practically the same for their entire known
existence, only showing some transitional, more advanced forms at
the very end (ascribed to their imitation of Cro-Magnon tool
industries). After the arrival of Cro-Magnon there was a
dramatic development of Upper Paleolithic tool industries,
crafts, and art in Western Europe. Neanderthals did not leave
any known advanced tool making. But why? They had the same brain
capacity as modern man. Why did they die out after maintaining
themselves quite well for more than 150,000 years, often under
the most severe conditions?

Blavatsky mentions cycles within cycles, ascending arcs and
descending arcs. Neanderthal remains look more archaic than the
remains of their contemporaries and even their predecessors --
could they have descended from an Atlantean stock, a remainder of
a much older subrace on its descending arc? Perhaps it was simply
a matter of an old race losing its vitality. That would account
for the rather static tool industry. Could they have been
subject to the same phenomenon as the now extinct Tasmanians? THE
SECRET DOCTRINE states that a very primitive, "half human" group
of people in Tasmania was visited by modern Europeans, and when
some of these Europeans started taking these beings as wives, the
latter were struck with sterility en masse. Blavatsky explained
that this happened because unions between these archaic people
and modern man were inappropriate and thus effectively
anathematized by nature. Could something similar have happened
to the Neanderthals after they came into contact with
anatomically modern man? 


by Bee Brown

[based upon an July 1998 posting to theos-nz mailing list.]

I have developed quite an interest in General Semantics [GS] as
used by Vitvan to help avoid misunderstanding others.  I find
myself using self-reflection a lot and it stops me from coming to
inappropriate conclusions as I realise I do not have enough facts
about some things to form an opinion that could get dogmatic.  GS
teaches that nothing remains the same and we should take into
account when dealing with each other.  I have a chuckle sometimes
at the misunderstandings on the lists that could maybe have been
avoided if the main point was clarified before elaborating on it. 
This interest led me to take a recent visit to the School of
Natural Order [SNO].

Getting there -- Home Farm, Baker, Nevada -- from New Zealand,
was an experience in itself.  I arrived in Salt Lake City airport
ready for the next flight to Ely only to find that this time I
had to fly on a seven-seater plane that took an hour to arrive at
Ely.  I later learned that the locals call it the 'puddle
jumper'.  I weathered that flight which was quite good as the
weather was fairly quiet.  For an hour I watched a lot of nothing
go by below and realised that I really was going to the back and

Ely is 6000 feet above sea level and so was Home Farm.  I was met
by Val Taylor, the secretary at Home Farm and she was to drive us
a further 60 miles to Baker.  First we stopped at the only large
supermarket and I had a look at what Americans in that area eat. 
When we got to the checkout I suddenly saw a whole row of pokey
machines there in the supermarket and along on the right was a
bank, all inside the supermarket.  I expressed my astonishment
and took a couple of photos, much to the amusement to the
checkout girls.  Val explained that I was from New Zealand as if
that explained the strange actions of this person.  We then drove
to Baker along a highway of spectacular sights of mountains and
miles of flat land covered in little sage bushes.  There is a
very occasional house here and there.

Baker consists of two restaurant/bars, a couple of petrol pumps,
a gift shop and a post office.  That is it.  There are a number
of trailer homes that seem the popular way of housing in that
area, anyway.  Most of the people work on the local ranches or
for the National Park that manage the huge area of Mt Wheeler and
surrounding forests.  Trees seem to grow only above the 7000 ft
range and they are special to that height.

At SNO we looked out over Snake Valley desert which was 35 miles
across and goodness knows how wide.  Baker is about 10 miles from
the border with Utah so on the other highway there is the Border
Inn that has the motel and petrol pumps in Utah and the bar with
pokey machines in Nevada as gambling is not allowed in Utah. 
This Inn sits all by itself with miles of nothing either side.

Home Farm has 300 acres of not very good soil for growing things
so a garden has been worked up over the years.  Vitvan and his
people moved from California to Baker around 1957, I think. 
There is plenty of accommodation at the moment and there are 3-4
houses further along with families living there.  Val is the only
one living in the main buildings.  A little further along the
road to the Park, is another little settlement of houses among
the trees, where the rest of the SNO people live.

There were not a lot attending the Summer School this year but we
had an interesting time.  I learned a bit more about General
Semantics and its value to people for getting their facts in line
with what Count Korzibsky called the Natural Order.  He said that
there was a natural order in the universe and that humans were
the only ones who could pervert this by way of their speech and
thinking patterns.  He showed how our abstracting process could
easily go from fact to false and then the thinking process could
deteriorate to mental illness.  Vitvan used General Semantics and
the concept of an energy world as a framework for the Ancient

I had a good drool over his private library which is housed in
what was his quarters there.  He had the Secret Doctrine, the
Mahatma Letters and other Theosophical books along with many old
books that I have heard mentioned by HPB in her books.  There
were three books by Gerald Massey among many real old looking
books.  There is also a big library in the Centrum which is the
building where meetings etc are held.  There is also 4 bedrooms
etc in the upstairs part.  This library also has a Theosophical
section.  I was told that Vitvan who was then Ralph de Bit, was
called in many years ago, to help sort out a difference of
opinion in the San Francisco Lodge.  He also did some lecturing
around 1910.

At SNO they speak of the 'field' in which Home Farm sits and its
effect on people who come and stay there.  I enjoyed the 'field'
and the personal visit to there has allowed me to contact it in
meditation from over here.

They have audio tapes of most of his talks which he gave as
lessons over a period of time.  These have been turned into books
that they sell quite cheaply.  I have most of them on my computer
and some I have bought from them in book form.

It takes a couple of years of study to hook into the ideas he
expresses.  Their mantram is 'The I Am which is my True Self, is
the power with which I am conscious of my world'.

They are encouraged to think of the body as a configuration of
energy that our own senses cause to appear solid by the
abstracting process.  I have a handle on that concept now and
find the theosophical concept of Maya easier to understand.  His
lessons on personal development are sorely needed, in my opinion,
as there is a lack of literature in that area that are plainly
written or as plainly as it is possible to write about such
things.  He has a unique view of the psyche and that seems to
come from his personal experience in the energy world.  He
explains how it works and how easily we are influenced by
vibrations from others and the race psyche.

To come to grips with the abstracting process causes a change of
perception within which changes the without.  General Semantics
says that we cannot know everything about the thing we are
talking about and so we should leave our comments or opinions
open-ended which helps to avoid biases and prejudices to some

It was a flying visit but I am pleased to have established
personal contact with them.  They have a website at:

and also e-mail. 


by Eldon Tucker

[based upon a September 26, 1994 posting to]

There was an interesting article on memory in NEWSWEEK, Sept. 
26, 1994, entitled "You Must Remember This."

Memory is considered both fallible and malleable. Our memory can
fail us. And we can remember events that we've only heard about,
but never experienced.

A memory is stored in many pieces. The components, including
images, sounds, feelings, are all saved in association with
similar memory pieces. When we recall a memory, there is a
function of consciousness that draws the pieces of memory
together into a cohesive whole. When that function of
consciousness fails us, and pieces are assembled incorrectly, we
can remember things that never happened.

How do we tell when we've recalled a true memory? There is no
structural difference between the memory of an actual event and a
false memory. What we do is save the source of the memory. When
a memory is recalled, we also recall that it was from something
we read, from a dream, or from an actual event in our lives. 
This aspect of labeling memories enables us to discriminate
between physical-plane "reality" and so-called non-real events.

The problem is that the frst aspect of a memory to fail is its
origin. When we strongly imagine something enough, and then
forget where the memory came from, we may have made ourselves a
false memory. The term for this forgetting of the source of
memories, and the subsequent creation of false memories, is
"source amnesia."

Because of source amnesia, it is possible to create memories from
suggestions. A suggestion leaves a trace in our memories. The
memory is tagged as a suggestion and linked with others. Under
stress and over time the fact that it was only a suggestion
fades. We later recall it as a real memory, perhaps embellished
with other newly-associated contents of our memory.

The creation of false memories is hastened under severe emotional
stress, which overcomes internal checks on plausibility. We can
see this in our own experience, when we've had a rift with
someone we've known for years. The anger and feeling of betrayal
colors our perception of the person. If we're not careful, as we
think of that person our anger will bring us to "rewrite history"
and see previous experiences with him in a darker, less kindly

There are a number of implications to this process of memory in
regards to our theosophical studies, and to various topics we
consider. One relates to our memories of the materials we study
in the theosophical literature. When we forget the source of an
idea, if it is closely tied to our theosophical thinking, we may
create a false memory of having read it in a book by our favorite

This source amnesia for the ideas that we read help explains how
opinion is formed. Our opinion draws upon ideas we've
encountered from many sources. We forget the sources, embracing
selected ideas as our own, and formulate our own personal

We find with Theosophy, though, that there is much more to the
source of our ideas than some previous physical-plane event,
remembered or not. There are other planes of existence, and
other forms of interaction with people than the outer, physical
events of our lives. We can exchange thoughts directly, without
use of the spoken word. We can pick up thoughts and images from
the astral light, either as impressed on physical objects or
directly. (Like going to the scene of a crime and "picking up"
from the objects there a "memory" of what had happened.) And we
can get in touch with various thought-currents, which act as
non-physical channels of learning. 


by Doreen Domb

[based upon a January 27, 1995 posting to]

The arts seem to receive very little mention or consideration
when we read about, speak about, attend classes and conferences
dealing with Theosophy and the like. This has been changing
within the last few years, as evidenced, for example, with THE
SPIRIT IN ART exhibit that was featured in Los Angeles about two
or three years ago.

I'm pleased to report that some local Theosophists on this side
of the world are responsible for showing art the light (and vice
versa). I, myself, had become uneasy with a totally academic,
intellectual from-the-head approach to Theosophy. My
spiritual/creative side was truly shutting down, because I wasn't
utilizing it. It became so important to realize it was still
there -- but sleeping -- and to stroke it, wake it up and get it
moving. Guess what? It does save lives.

Over the first weekend in May 1991, a group of independent
theosophists (some affiliated and some not with one Theosophical
Society or another) came together to present an HPB CENTENARY
Conference at Pasadena City College, to commemorate the
one-hundredth-year anniversary of HPB's passing. This was not an
organizationally-sponsored event (interesting that most of my
favorite conferences are the ones with no sponsoring

I was one of the conference participants as well as an attendee. 
To my knowledge, this was the first or certainly one of very few
theosophical conferences to feature a segment on art. So along
with the usual programs flavored with intellectual, scholarly,
and historical approaches, the two-day conference also featured
an artist's panel and musical performance. There were ten of us
up on stage speaking about how our individual experiences with
theosophy have influenced our various artistic endeavors. We
then engaged the audience in a dialogue and it went over quite
well. This added a significantly more personal and intimate tone
to the entire event. Each individual talked about what inspired
and moved him/her to create a painting, a composition or a piece
of music. At the close of the panel, an original song about H.P. 
Blavatsky was sung and played on guitar by yours truly.

In my experience -- and other's -- of all the events that
transpired at this conference, the most memorable, lingering, and
perhaps even the most well-received seemed to be the artists
portion. If nothing else, certainly something fresh, unusual,
and rather stimulating was taking place within a theosophical

This set a precedent. Almost immediately after that weekend,
TACO (Theosophical Artists Co-Op) was born. Really the
brainchild of Roger Gemme and John Coker. So we (that is, an
invariable number of people, sometimes well over 20 -- squeezing
into a living room) meet once-a-month, beginning with an
hour-and-a-half reading from the book ART AND PHYSICS (don't know
the author; I usually show up after the reading).

After the reading, we feature show-and-tell (where individuals
talk about and display their works); sometimes we work on
something artsy together, local art events are relayed, poetry is
read, music played, a video is screened, discussion and feedback
ensue, etc.

The evening is not a heavily structured format. Oh, I forgot!
One of the most important things that happens is that we all
bring munchies and good eats and set aside a time during the
evening to feast.

Although the "T" in TACO stands for theosophical literally, it is
not closed to non-theosophical individuals (some of whom are
probably theosophists and don't necessarily "know" it -- but we
won't get into that right now), but probably better suited for
like-minded individuals. And it's not an excuse for socializing,
although this certainly is a pleasant by-product of the evening.

All TACO's are sincere and definitely into what they do. So, you
see, one can be an artist and a theosophist at the same time. 
And who knows? This might just qualify one for Dhyani Chohanic


by Reed Carson

1. The version of THE SECRET DOCTRINE placed on diskette by Vic
Hao-Chin of the Theosophical Society of the Phillippines is
finally available for immediate purchase. It contains a built-in
search engine for the text of the SD. We feel the availability
of this version is a significant event in the history of the
movement. Things can now be researched that could not previously
be studied.

The standard list price is $35.00 and Blavatsky Net, following
its policy of online discounts, is making it available for

2. Blavatsky Net Foundation will be holding its first event - an
open house - on September 26, Saturday 5-7 p.m. in White Plains,
NY. There will be sociability plus an hour or so of serious
Theosophically related discussion. If you would like to come
please call (914) 428-8588 to RSVP and get the location. Buffet

3. The full text of 37 articles by William Q. Judge has been
added to the Judge page.

4. Sakis Koukouvis has translated the TRANSACTIONS OF THE
BLAVATSKY LODGE into Greek. It can be found by clicking on
"Greek" on the homepage. It forms the beginning of a Greek
homepage at BN and can be found at: 
Sakis has suggested dividing it up into smaller pieces as the
current file is rather large.

5. Spanish: another article of HPB's has been translated into

In response to a desire for "dialogue" expressed in email, we
have decided to initiate a Theosophical discussion talk list in
Spanish. Our objective will be to create an environment where
those interested in this subject, with a respectful view of HPB
and Theosophy, will be able to communicate with others of like
mind. To this end, the list will only be open to members of BN
and it will be moderated. Estela Piscope in White Plains, New
York has agreed to be the moderator. We hope this will provide a
real service. We aim to announce on October 1 that it is in
place and functioning. If you would like to participate in it,
please send email to

Also I have asked Estela to take over responsibility for the
Spanish home page. As it stands, my desk has been too much of a
bottle neck and we hope this will allow the translation into
Spanish at the hands of volunteers to move more rapidly.

6. Russian: another article of HPB is now available in Russian.

7. A class in Florida is regularly studing the Secret Doctrine
and their meeting has been added to the "meetings" page. If you
know of any other study classes studying the Secret Doctrine or
that would be otherwise relevant to that page, please let us

8. Three new sites have been added to the roadmap page. One in
Russian has many articles of HPB in Russian plus Neoplatonic and
other material in Russian. The Temple of the People founded in
1898, is alive and has a web page. A Swedish ULT site is now
online. We are informed that there is much Theosophical material
already translated into Swedish that will come online on this new

9. Four more of the homestudy lessons were entered online.

10. At the bookstore, besides much behind the scenes work that
is not visible, we have added the new aisles: Physics, Cosmology,
Darwinism, and Prehistory. The inititial books they will contain
are listed. More info will be available as the books arrive in
inventory - likely during the first week of September. The books
include some staples well known in the Theosophical community
plus a few new "gems" that we will be delighted to see known more
broadlly. These books show that the facts demonstrating the
truth of this ancient wisdom continue to accumulate in our
exoteric modern world - and persuasively indeed.

11. Letters to the Editor. A distinctive letter has been added. 
We are working to get two more letters we have received online -
but permissions must be asked.

12. Pebbles. The issue of the origins of the people of the
Western Hemisphere is in the news again. We comment how the news
upsets yet again the orthodox view but is quite consistent with
the Theosophical view of history.


by Eldon Tucker

[based upon an October 18, 1994 posting to]

When we hear of "holiness," there are a number of negative
associations. These come from our media, and from a general
misunderstanding of what holiness is. Lacking an experience of
it, or failing to properly identify the holy experiences in our
lives, we may fall prey to the misinformation about what it is,
and react negatively to mention of it.

The holy does not happen merely on Sunday mornings when we visit
some grand church, and listen uncomfortably to someone preach at
us to be good according to the Bible, as we wait anxiously for
the closing hymn and stare at the stained glass windows. The
holy is not something that we experience by going on a pilgrimage
to Jerusalem or Tibet and visiting places where special things
are said to have happened. And the holy is not something that is
only seen upon visiting a guru, something reserved for special
people only, something that is to be observed but not

Spotless purity is not required. It is not necessary to rigidly
follow someone's arbitrary rules for goodness. Say that we want
to do something that is wrong, according to our beliefs. If we
are motivated to be good out of a sense of guilt, or a sense of
"carrot and stick," we may find ourselves blocking out what we
think is the good, to not think of it so that we can enjoy our
guilty pleasure. We might say "I'd don't want to think of that
good stuff right now, it'll spoil my fun."

The REAL spiritual, and the holy does not have to be blocked out,
even when we do things that may seem wrong at the time. When we
feel that we have to block out our sense of the good for a while,
in order to enjoy some activity, we're blocking out AN ARTIFICIAL
MENTAL CONSTRUCT. The genuine, holy spiritual does not "spoil"
anything that we do. It contains a sense of compassion,
patience, and understanding that accepts the good and the bad in

With holiness, we have a feeling of the sacred, a specialness, a
natural excitement regarding life that is alike that had by a
newborn babe. Again, picture the feeling of being in love: there
is a sense of anticipation regarding the next time that we meet
our beloved. We perceive the inner divinity as a tangible
presence, and not merely an intellectual abstraction.

The impurity, dross, imperfection, and mistake- making is all
part of the nature of life, and not a barrier to this presence. 
We have a sense of the wonder and magic of our teenage years, a
great time of exploration. This feeling is now from inner
exploration. We have an inner teacher to learn from, a living
presence that is experienced as part of our personal lives. This
teacher is a source of learning, and it has come from an
established INNER RELATIONSIHP -- not from having an external
membership in any particular church, lodge, or theosophical

The holy is a sense of the spiritual-divine within ourselves. It
is totally unrelated to astral projection, psychical powers, or
the occult. It represents the awakening of an inner faculty of
consciousness, and not extended powers of sensory perception nor
extended control over the forces of nature.

The divine represents our highest nature. We feel a sense of it
being missing from life. This leads to a desire to return to a
feeling of wholeness, of completion, which arises from a reunion
with that divine nature. The passionate feeling of needing this
quality back in our lives manifests itself as devotion, as Bakti,
as worship, as an intense feeling of longing for the return to
the pure, unconditioned perfection that we left behind ages ago.

We are not denied this perfection, though, even when alive and
manifest here on this sad, imperfect, physical world of
limitation and suffering. This perfection comes from adding the
divine to our lives. It is not necessary to subtract away the
entire manifest, imperfect, outer part of ourselves, the ray from
the Monad, in order to enjoy our essential nature, in order to
dwell again in the divine. We can achieve the same by ADDITION,
by allowing a clear sense of the quality and type of
consciousness that the Monad has, the divine or holy
consciousness, to participate as an integral part of life.

It is possible to achieve wholeness in life, as well as wholeness
in "absolute death" or nirvana. The periodic nature of
manifestation and withdrawal into the silence, of Manvantara and
Pralaya, of life and death, is ultimately illusory. There is an
ultimate sense of perfection that transcends both states, an
underlying sense of completeness that does not depend upon us
being out of life, upon us not-existing, in order to be
experienced. It is the truly divine, the naturally holy, and it
IS A PART OF LIFE. It is only our choice to exclude it by our
mental constructs, by false but sincere beliefs, that keeps us
from enjoying it. 


by Eliphas Levi

pages 260-64.]

The great work in practical magic, after the education of the
will and the personal creation of the magus, is the formation of
the magnetic chain, and this secret is truly that of priesthood
and of royalty. To form the magnetic chain is to originate a
current of ideas which produces faith and draws a large number of
wills in a given circle of active manifestation. A well-formed
chain is like a whirlpool which sucks down and absorbs all. The
chain may be established in three ways -- by signs, by speech,
and by contact. The first is by inducing opinion to adopt some
sign as the representation of a force. Thus, all Christians
communicate by the sign of the cross, masons by that of the
square beneath the sun, the magi by that of the microcosm, made
by extending the five fingers, etc. Once accepted and
propagated, signs acquire force of themselves. In the early
centuries of our era, the sight and imitation of the sign of the
cross was enough to make proselytes to Christianity. What is
called the miraculous medal continues in our own days to effect a
great number of conversions by the same magnetic law. The vision
and illumination of the young Israelite, Alphonse de Ratisbonne,
is the most remarkable fact of this kind. Imagination is
creative not only within us but without us by means of our
fluidic projections, and undoubtedly the phenomena of the labarum
of Constantine and the cross of Migne should be attributed to no
other cause.

The magic chain of speech was typified among the ancients by
chains of gold, which issued from the mouth of Hermes. Nothing
equals the electricity of eloquence. Speech creates the highest
intelligence in the most grossly constituted masses. Even those
who are too remote for actual hearing understand by excitement,
and are carried away with the crowd. Peter the Hermit convulsed
Europe by his cry of "God wills it!" A single word of the Emperor
electrified his army, and made France invincible. Proudhon
destroyed socialism by his celebrated paradox: "Property is
robbery." A current saying is frequently sufficient to overturn a
reigning power. Voltaire knew this well -- who shook the world
by sarcasms. So, also, he who feared neither pope nor king,
neither parliament nor Bastille, was afraid of a pun. We are on
the verge of accomplishing the intentions of that man whose
sayings we repeat.

The third method of establishing the magic chain is by contact. 
Between persons who meet frequently, the head of the current soon
manifests, and the strongest will is not slow to absorb the
others. The direct and positive grasp of hand by hand completes
the harmony of dispositions, and it is for this reason a mark of
sympathy and intimacy. Children, who are guided instinctively by
nature, form the magic chain by playing at bars or rounds; then
gaiety spreads, then laughter rings. Circular tables are more
favorable to convivial feasts than those of any other shape. The
great circular dance of the Sabbath, which concluded the
mysterious assemblies of adepts in the middle ages, was a magic
chain, which joined all in the same intentions and the same acts. 
It was formed by standing back to back and linking hands, the
face outside the circle, in imitation of those antique sacred
dances, representations of which are still found on the
sculptures of old temples. The electric furs of the lynx,
panther, and even domestic cat, were stitched to their garments,
in imitation of the ancient bacchanalia; hence comes the
tradition that the Sabbath miscreants each wore a cat hung from
the girdle, and that they danced in this guise.

The phenomena of tilting and talking tables has been a fortuitous
manifestation of fluidic communication by means of the circular
chain. Mystification combined with it afterwards, and even
educated and intelligent persons were so infatuated with the
novelty that they hoaxed themselves, and became the dupes of
their own absurdity. The oracles of the tables were answers more
or less voluntarily suggested or extracted by chance; they
resembled the conversations which we hold or hear in dreams. 
Other and stranger phenomena may have been the external
manifestations of imaginations operating in common. We, however,
by no means deny the possible intervention of elementary spirits
in these occurrences, as in those of divination by cards or by
dreams; but we do not believe that it has been in any sense
proven, and we are therefore in no way obliged to admit it.

One of the most extraordinary powers of human imagination is the
realization of the desires of the will, or even of its
apprehensions and fears. We believe easily anything that we fear
or desire, says a proverb; and it is true, because desire and
fear impart to imagination a realising power, the effects of
which are incalculable. How is one attacked, for example, by a
disease about which one feels nervous? We have already cited the
opinions of Paracelsus on this point, and have established in our
doctrinal part the occult laws confirmed by experience; but in
magnetic currents, and by mediation of the chain, the
realizations are all the more strange because almost invariably
unexpected, at least when the chain has not been formed by an
intelligent, sympathetic, and powerful leader. In fact, they are
the result of purely blind and fortuitous combinations. The
vulgar fear of superstitious feasters, when they find themselves
thirteen at table, and their conviction that some misfortune
threatens the youngest and weakest among them, is, like most
superstitions, a remnant of magical science. The duodenary being
a complete and cyclic number in the universal analogies of
nature, invariably attracts and absorbs the thirteenth, which is
regarded as a sinister and superfluous number. If the grindstone
of a mill be represented by the number twelve, then thirteen is
that of the grain which is to be ground. On kindred
considerations, the ancients established the distinctions between
lucky and unlucky numbers, whence came the observance of days of
good or evil augury. It is in such concerns, above all, that
imagination is creative, so that both days and numbers seldom
fail to be propitious or otherwise to those who believe in their
influence. Consequently, Christianity was right in proscribing
the divinatory sciences, for in thus diminishing the number of
blind chances, it gave further scope and empire to liberty.

Printing is an admirable instrument for the formation of the
magic chain by the extension of speech. No book is lost; as a
fact, writings go invariably precisely where they should go, and
the aspirations of thought attract speech. We have proved this a
hundred times in the course of our magical initiation; the rarest
books have offered themselves without seeking as soon as they
became indispensable. Thus have we recovered intact that
universal science which so many learned persons have regarded as
engulfed by a number of successive cataclysms; thus have we
entered the great magical chain which began with Hermes or Enoch,
and will only end with the world. Thus have we been able to
evoke, and come face to face with, the spirits of Apollonius,
Plotinus, Synesius, Paracelsus, Cardanus, Agrippa, and others
less or more known, but too religiously celebrated to make it
possible for them to be named lightly. We continue their great
work, which others will take up after us. But unto whom will it
be given to complete it? 


by Gerald Schueler

[based upon a January 2, 1995 posting to]
I am, I freely admit, an eclectic and I incorporate ideas into my
world view wherever I find them.  Except for THE MAHATMA LETTERS
and HPB, I don't believe there is a single theosophical author in
whom I can say that I accept EVERYTHING that they wrote or
taught, and this includes G de Purucker and W.Q.  Judge (And I
have only a very few disagreements with G de P and Judge, and
have great respect and admiration for both, but I cannot agree
with everything they wrote).

Psychism, it seems to me, probably represents the foremost
difference between Adyar and the other Theosophical Societies.  I
am in the uncomfortable position of seeing a lot of good in both
the Adyar viewpoint (i.e., I like the Besant-Leadbeater approach
to the Gupta-Vidya Model) and the Pasadena and Point Loma
viewpoints (I like the emphasis on spiritual development rather
than psychic development and I love Purucker's description of the
GV Model.  I do, however, disagree with G de P on how the model
should be used).

I am a member of both Adyar and Pasadena, and am fearful that if
a merger ever comes about, something that I now like in one of
the two groups will be lost.  As an eclectic, I can take G de P's
GV Model descriptions together with the B/CWL's descriptions of
the planes, and get a pretty wide view of things that fits in
very nicely with my own experiences.  What I am getting at here,
is that I do not represent any one theosophical point of view,
but am rather one single voice that speaks out now and then in
various directions.

As to the idea that psychic powers represent sensory extension, I
would like to offer another view.  I offer this view as my own; I
did not get it from HPB, C.W.  Leadbeater, or anyone else though
it can be found in veiled form in HPB and in some Buddhist works. 
Hopefully it will provide some food for thought.

When we consider the GV Model as given by HPB we note that the
divine cosmic plane lies at the upper end of the spectrum, while
the physical plane lies at the bottom, the lowest and grossest or
most dense.  This cosmic spectrum, or what I have called our
space-time-consciousness continuum, includes seven cosmic planes
and twelve Globes.

If we think of the divine plane as the most spiritual, then the
physical plane must be considered as the most material.  If we
think of the divine plane as the most true, then the physical
plane must be considered the most false.  By false I mean
illusory in the Buddhist sense of Maya.  In other words, the
model suggests that our physical plane is the farest of all
from divinity (lower planes do exist, but only in other
universes, not in ours).  This is because each plane is an
expression in space-time of the preceding planes.

Divinity is self-creative.  This self-creativity is itself
expressed downward into space-time with each plane.  Each plane is
thus another step away from its divine source, and another step
into Maya.  It we can accept the foregoing hypothesis, then we
must conclude that of all our senses, our five physical senses
are the most illusory of all.  Our physical world, which HPB
labeled Globe D, is six steps away from its divine source, and is
the most mayavic of all.
When we sleep at night, consciousness leaves the physical body
and enters a Body of Light, or aura, or whatever we want to call
our subtle body.  Our subtle body has subtle senses.  These are
not extensions of the physical senses, but separate senses that
are incorporated into each of the subtle vehicles in the higher

Like the cosmic planes, our bodies and sensory organs are each
expressions of their preceding counterparts.  On each plane, we
have a corresponding body and sensory equipment else we could not
have any consciousness on that plane (G de P points out that
consciousness cannot function on any plane without a suitable
vehicle, and I agree because subjectivity and objectivity are a
duality, and you can't have one pole of a duality without the
other).  For these reasons, I believe that our dreams are more
real than our waking experiences, not less.

I believe that our psychic experiences in the higher planes are
more real than our physical experiences on Earth.  Why? Because
they take place closer to divinity.  The closer we get to
divinity, the more real or true they are.  Of course, many of
our experiences in the higher planes seem very illusory when we
return.  Our dreams, for example, seldom seem to make sense to
us after we awake.  But this is only from the relative viewpoint
of our waking state consciousness or ego.  Our dreams, for
example, make perfect sense to us while we are dreaming them.

The psyche has its own meanings and viewpoints, which often seem
gibberish to the ego, but Carl Jung says that the psyche
preexists and transcends the ego, and I agree.  I believe that we
are more authentic in our dreams than we are in the waking state,
especially in our relationships to others.  Our dreams can act as
spiritual barometers, to show us how far we are really
progressing along the Path, rather than the egoic picture of
ourselves that we see during our waking hours.

For the reasons that I have given above, I have to disagree with
the idea that our psychic senses are so deceptive that we should
ignore them.  They only seem deceptive because our ego (by the
Jungian term ego I mean our waking self or what HPB calls the
personality as opposed to what Jung calls the psyche and what HPB
calls the individuality) is usually not able to translate them
into anything meaningful.

I believe that our psychic senses are actually more real than our
physical senses -- but I must couch this by saying that reality
is totally relative.  Let me conclude then, by saying that our
psychic experiences are more real than our physical experiences
relative to our individuality, and less real relative to our

Psychic experiences get us into trouble primarily when we take
them literally.  For example, the symbols that we see in a dream
will often have a meaning that is far different to the dreaming
psyche (to the individuality) than we think when we awake and
remember the dream (to the personality).  Symbols are the
language of the individuality, while the personality works only
in words, and it must translate the recalled symbols into
appropriate words, which is always tricky and sometimes
impossible to do.

Psychic experiences are real.  But they are very hard to
interpret properly into words so that they retain their meaning. 
Thus I would say that the deceptive nature of the astral and
mental planes lies not in our experiences there, but rather in
our interpretations of those experiences.  


by Eldon Tucker

[based upon a Januray 7, 1995 postng to]

It is true that each plane that we descend into, going lower and
lower into materiality, takes us one step further from our divine
source. There is something lost, something forgotten, something
sacrificed with each further descent. On any planet, like our
earth, we reach the lowest point on Globe D, beyond which we can
go no lower. This is were we are now: the earth we see about us
is Globe D, on the physical plane.

What we have in life is an outpost of consciousness. We are
pioneers in exploring new territory. Being able to exist on a
low plane is both a limitation and a special opportunity. We
have a special opportunity to "fetch water and chop firewood" or
to "clean our dishes after eating." Unlike in a dream where we
can wipe the slate clean and go from one situation to the next at
the blink of an eye, in physical life, we are both limited and
accountable for our actions. What we do is narrowly defined, and
the results that come from our actions are likewise enforced by
surrounding nature. We are "stuck" in situations and limited,
but at the same time we have an ideal situation for the
development of a clarity of consciousness.

In some approaches like Yoga, the approach seems to be union with
the divine along with a rapid escape from the physical world. 
The outer world is seen as evil, illusory, a place of sorrows
that should be exited as quickly as possible. The union with the
divine is seen as happening by the exiting of lower planes of

The Zen approach is closer to the theosophical scheme of
spiritual evolution. In Zen, we learn to stay firmly rooted in
the outer world, and achieve union with the divine HERE, rather
than leave the outer world to achieve union THERE. With Zen, we
have the higher conscious as an integral part of our outer lives;
the other approach gives us a vacation to other planes and a
visit to the higher consciousness, but upon our return to
physical life it is lost to us again.

What are we doing here on the physical plane? What is the purpose
of evolution on this plane of existence? It is the same as on any
plane, on any Globe of our planetary chain. We harvest the
precious crop of self-consciousness, something only possible
HERE. This opportunity is lost when the exit the physical world,
between lifetimes.

Is the physical plane the only one where we can achieve this
harvesting of self-consciousness? No. But the conditions for
learning and growing in the human kingdom are here. The Human
Lifewave is on Globe D, our world as we know it here on the
physical plane. This is where the circumstances and
superstructure for growth and learning and evolution is possible
for the vast majority of humanity.

Are we safe here, on the physical plane? Is it simply a matter of
leading good lives and fitting in with society? Not entirely. In
a sense, we are in "enemy territory," since our world borders on
yet lower planes. On the Descending Arc, as humanity moves from
Globes A, to B, C, then D, it reaches a turning point. It then
enters the Ascending Arc, and climbs the planes again along
Globes E, F, then G. At the lowest point, on Globe D, when then
Descend Arc is ending and the Ascending Arc is beginning to
start, there is a point of failure in the system, and some Monads
fail to make the Ascending Arc; they descend further to yet lower
planes. (See "Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy" by G. de
Purucker for more information on this.)

At the point of time, our evolution is on Globe D earth. Our
challenge is to give expression to the highest in our lives. 
Inwardly, we express it in an awareness in our minds and hearts. 
Outwardly, we express it in our actions, giving direct expression
to the brilliant, creative intelligence within ourselves. There
is a supreme gratification to giving outer, tangible expression
to the divine, for it is otherwise impotent and unrelated to our
lowly plane!

Living here on the lowest plane of our earth, don't we miss out
on anything? There's so much more going on elsewhere; the higher
planes await us with such wonders, that we certainly should
return to them as soon as reasonably possible? Not really. No
matter how high we go, there are yet higher planes. We never
reach a top. The experiences of the loftiest plane of which we
can conceive of pales by comparison to yet higher planes.

No matter how high we go, there are countless higher planes to
rise to; there is no top, nor a finite number of steps upwards
after which we directly reach the Unknowable. How do we ever
reach it, then, if it is not by going higher and higher? We reach
reach it by both a realization that it is as much an integral
part of our consciousness now as it ever will be. The
realization comes that the connection is never lost, never
missed, and not subject to approach over time. We become ROOTED
in the Unknowable, and then express the highest, with dignity, on
whatever plane that we reside. The urgent need to hurry off to
higher planes is replaced with a peaceful, holy, gentle
appreciation of life wherein the craving for union with the
divine is finally satisfied. We have reached the top, in a
special way, and now we are content to live it out. 


by Peter Stoddard

[from THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, June 1949, pages 361-367.]

The origin of Man is a subject which engages the earnest
attention of every intelligent person at some time of life. Who
has not heard the questions of children on this subject? Do not
our scientists constantly revert to it? And do we not all in our
more mature years ponder upon it?

What sources of information have we on this subject? Mainly two:
(a) Ancient documents, whether considered sacred or profane. (b)
Ancient remains such as skeletons, implements, etc.

At certain periods in European history free inquiry on this
subject has been impossible because of religious intolerance, but
at the present time that hindrance is largely inoperative, and
men are at liberty to explore the whole field as far as they can
discover it. How far have the pronouncements of European
Religion and Science taken us towards a solution of the problem
of the origin of Man? We have the biblical account of creation,
which, taken literally, is just impossible nonsense. We have the
groping of Science -- and what do they amount to? Let me quote
from a world authority on this subject, Professor Frederick Wood
Jones of Manchester University: "Thirty years ago Scientists
thought they had solved this problem, but today they are in a
state of complete uncertainty."

Now what does Theosophy say about it? Broadly, that in spite of
the unsatisfactoriness of both the religious and the scientific
teachings, they do, if properly understood and interpreted,
constitute a considerable approach towards a solution of the

The problem is: In what form, and where, and at what period, did
Man first appear? The questions are simple, but the answers are
complex. And where there is a complexity, it is desirable to try
to establish a General Principle.

There is an age-old Principle which supplies the need --
Evolution; not "Evolution" in the modernly accepted meaning of
the term, which should be rightly called "Transformism" -- this
Transformism teaching that one stock or phylum in Nature can
become another stock or phylum by physical transformation. Not
at all. But Evolution in its ancient etymological meaning in the
sense of unfolding what is within. Yet Evolution is only one
side of the problem. Do not picture Evolution as simply a
straight line of development from the lesser to the greater. 
There are no straight lines in Nature, and every curve upward is
followed by a curve downward. When the curve of Evolution has
proceeded far enough, its opposite curve, Involution, on the
other arc, sets in. In fact, as Theosophists see it, Evolution
is inevitably accompanied by Involution, and vice versa.

If Evolution is a bringing out of what is within, what is
Involution? Involution is a process of infolding, of what was
previously unfolded. Involution is the reverse process of
Evolution. As a simple illustration, take a wave or billow of
the sea. When it rises it is pushing back the air and the air is
receding; but when the wave falls the water is receding and the
air is taking its place. As one advances, the other recedes, and
as the one recedes the other advances. That is what we mean by
Evolution and Involution -- they are concurrent processes.

Now Theosophy teaches that these two processes are ever-present
in Nature, and that Man, being an inseparable part of Nature, is
subject to the same processes; and that the appearance of the
Human Stock, its development, its maturity, its future history
and its final destiny, are an illustration of this double process
of Evolution and Involution. Thus the Principle is theoretically
established. What are the details by which it can be practically
demonstrated? How can it be shown that the Human Race experiences
both an Evolution and an Involution?

First of all, What is Man? Let us look at ourselves. We have a
body; but we also have volitions, thoughts, desires, impulses,
feelings, ambitions, aspirations. Roughly, Man is Dual -- the
material and the immaterial, Matter and Force, Body and Soul,
Substance and Spirit. Can anyone point to any material action in
Man or in any other part of Nature, which is not preceded by an
invisible Force, or Desire or Will? The visible is always
animated by the invisible; and in the long processes of Man's
Origin and Development, the same observation holds good -- the
Material is preceded by, and caused by, and animated by the
Immaterial. This is a fundamental Theosophical concept, but I am
stating it very baldly, for simplicity.

Now a step further. Sir James Jeans' theory of "Singular Points"
postulates vortices in the starry depths of space, where matter
emerges from the invisible into the visible. In the process of
condensation invisible vapor becomes visible water or hoar frost. 
What me clouds but collected vapor or matter which was previously
present but invisible?

Theosophy says it is true that matter as we know it once existed
in refined forms on more ethereal places; and prior to that it
was in a spiritual condition; but that through a certain number
of Ages, and on various globes of life, it gradually condensed,
thickened, grossened, until it became material as we know it. 
That was the evolution of Matter and the involution of Spirit. 
Further, Matter, as we know it, will, in the far distant future,
become less gross, more ethereal, and will return to a
super-refined or spiritual condition -- gradually, and through
various globes of life appropriate for such processes. That will
be the involution of Matter and the evolution of Spirit. Thus,
the visible emerges from the invisible, and, after a full period
of expression, retires again into the invisible.

So with Man -- the Human Stock. Human flesh and bones, etc.,
have undergone a gradual solidification in the far past, and in
the far future the process will be reversed, and human bodies
will become more refined and less gross.

Man's association with this earth is comprised in Seven Great
Races, or "Root Races," of which we, at the present time, are in
the Fifth. The present Great Fifth Root Race had its beginnings
four or five million years ago, and it will persist for a similar
period in the future, after which it will be followed in due
course of time by the Sixth, and then later by the Seventh. This
Fifth Root Race grew out of the preceding Root Race, the Fourth,
and that grew out of the Third, and so on up to the First Root
Race. Prior to the First Root Race on this globe the Human
Life-Wave had a history on a previous globe -- but we shall not
speak of that for the present. The First Root Race on this Globe
(called Globe D in Theosophical parlance) possessed forms and
characteristics which are quite unfamiliar to present-day
conceptions. They were the original protoplasmic sketches of the
true Man or mankind that was to follow in far later Ages. Their
bodies were composed of "astral" matter, a kind of matter that
would be quite invisible to normal present-day sight. Their size
was gigantic, and their shape was ovoid. They were not truly
Human as we now understand the term -- for they were mindless,
instinctual. As the Ages passed, this First Root Race slowly
grew more material in structure, i.e., the Astral slowly
thickened or condensed, became more concreted.

The Second Root Race, which was the First Root Race merely become
more concrete and material, was likewise distinctly semi-astral,
was indeed a gelatinous, filamentoid race, physically speaking. 
Both the First Root Race, and the Second, had either bones, nor
organs, nor hair, nor a true skin. In the latter part of the
Second Root Race, the internal structure was distinguished by
nuclei, which were destined to become the organs as we know them,
and filaments which were destined to become muscles, nerves,
blood vessels, etc.

The First Root Race reproduced itself by fission, that is to say,
by a portion of the parent breaking off, such portion growing to
be like its parent, by division much after the fashion that
living cells today follow. They were sexless.

When the Second Root Race gradually appeared on the scene, though
still ovoid in general form, they began to show an imperfect
outline in form of what was in ages later to become bodies of
human shape. They were still mindless, and their method of
reproduction had changed to budding or gemmation, i.e., a small
part of the body, a bud, separated from the parent, dropped off
from the main trunk, and thereafter began to grow and to develop
into a being which was in all important respects like its parent. 
At about the middle period of the Second Root Race, these buds
grew more numerous and became what Zoologists would call human
spores or seeds, or what H.P. Blavatsky more accurately called
"Vital Sweat."

Neither the First nor the Second Root Races left any skeletal
remains. The latter part of the Second Root Race, and the early
Third, through the production of these vital cells, became the
progenitors of certain forms of life, which, ages later,
developed into the various Stocks of Mammals.

After several millions of years, the Third Root Race began,
perhaps 26 millions of years ago in Geologic conditions which are
recognized by Science today as the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and
Eocene. The continent they inhabited was the Lemurian, roughly
where now is the Pacific Ocean. It was during the Third Root
Race that skeletal human remains began to be deposited.

From the commencement of the Third Root Race, the bodily
condition showed a further gradual thickening or concretion into
flesh, the shape also gradually becoming more human, but still
gigantic in size. This was the era of the colossal Pre-Tertiary
Giants and Titans, in the Secondary period, recognized by Science
as the Age of the Gigantic Reptiles and Monsters of Air, Sea and

The psychological condition of the Third Root Race was, in the
early part, still mindless and instinctual. Man was indeed at
that time merely an animal, but a Human animal, derived from his
own stock, net from any animal stock. In general appearance
somewhat similar to man as we know him today, but still gigantic. 
It was while Man was in this dazed, unawakened, mindless
condition, after the separation of the sexes, that he allied
himself with certain mammals, and produced the simian monkeys,
but not the Anthropoids (they were much later). But let us not
go too fast. In the early Third Root Race, which was then
double-sexed or bisexual, androgynous or hermaphroditic, the
method of reproduction was by means of the exudation of vital
cells. They were called "The Sweat-Born." Later, they were
actually egg layers. Even today the human ovum is an egg.

Later, as said, before the awakening of the Human Mind, the
separation of the sexes occurred, and the method of reproduction
which is known today had its commencement. But sex, as we know
it, is only a "passing phase," affecting the latter part of the
Third Root Race, the Fourth and the Fifth. It will have
disappeared in the Sixth and Seventh Root Races of Mankind.

And now we approach that period in the biological history of Man
when be truly became Man in the fullest sense of the word as we
know him. It was about 18 million years ago, and something
happened which can truly be described as the most important, the
most marvelous and far-reaching event in the life of Man on this
Globe up to the present time. It was when his Mind awoke -- it
was when the powers of the Mind began to be used, the power of
independent judgment, discrimination, self-analysis, the power to
discern and control the emotions and impulses -- in a word,
self-consciousness. From that time human beings became Thinkers,
contrivers, planners, builders, artists, conscious learners. 
They acquired the knowledge of good and evil. They began to be
potential Gods. They entered upon a new phase, the most
important one of their existence, a phase which will not be
complete until they have become self-conscious Gods.

This new grade could not be, and was not, achieved without help. 
Higher Beings, from a previous period of evolution in prior
worlds, made it their sublime work to light up the mental powers
in Man by deliberate mental contact with them. These Higher
Beings we called the Manasaputras, or Sons of Mind. They were,
as said, highly-evolved Men of a previous period of evolution,
and by a species of perfectly natural White Magic they awakened
Man's sleeping quality of Mind.

No evolution of manifested life occurs without the cooperation or
the original intervention of more advanced beings -- as witness
the seed, which is born from the matured plant. And just as
Man's physical form and lower principles developed under the
guidance of the Lunar Pitris or Fathers, physical generation, as
it is well-known, being largely influenced by the Moon, so the
development of his Mind was achieved through the help of the
Manasaputras. Before that time, men were merely human animals,
that is to say, the only parts of their constitution which had
come into manifestation were those known as the Lower Quaternary. 
The Upper Triad of Man's Constitution was still in embryo or
dormancy, and it needed the intervention of beings who had
already developed this Principle of Mind in order to awaken it. 
These Beings, Manasaputras, belong to a superior Hierarchy of
Intelligences on the Light-side of Nature and are connected with
the Sun. They are the Men of a former period of manifestation,
who incarnated in the semi-conscious, quasi-senseless men
somewhat later than the middle period of the Third Root Race. It
was an act of sacrifice on their part, because they belong to one
of the Hierarchies of Compassion. They did it in order to give
us intellectual Light -- the Divine flame of self-consciousness,
relatively small though that may yet be. They set us on the path
of self-directed evolution. We became responsible.

As we all very well know, the Manasic Principle in Man is not yet
fully developed. In the masses of people the intellect is used
in very small degree compared with its possibilities. And even
intellect is only one of the lower powers of the Mind (or Manas). 
We must remember that Manas was only awakened in the Third Race,
although for immense periods its use and enjoyment were unsullied
by the lower passions and desires. But inevitably, the Third
Race being on the Descending Arc, a grossening and a coarsening
process was to occur, especially so when the Fourth Root Race
became dominant at the lowest point of the Descending Arc. In
those former innocent times, when the Gods walked with men and
conversed with them and guided them, mankind enjoyed the use of
the THIRD EYE. This was the organ of Spiritual Perception. But
as the fall of man became accelerated on the downward cycle, this
organ gradually receded from its functions and eventually became
atrophied. It is now laid aside for future use, and its
vestigial form is to be found as the Pineal Gland. Records of
those dying Lemurian Races are perpetuated in the legends of
wicked giants who had an eye in the forehead. The story of
Odysseus putting out the eye of Polyphemus, a Cyclopean giant,
with a red hot brand; and Finn in Ireland who is said to have
destroyed a wicked giant's eye with a heated iron spit (iron
being a symbol of passion and desire), epitomize the history of
Man's decline from purity to grosser materiality.

Thus was the birth of the Fourth Root Race commenced, it also
being destined throughout the millions of years of its seven
subraces, to experience periods of great material splendor and
those of grosser unhappiness. But the wonderful civilizations of
Atlantis have now all disappeared, and the Fifth Root Race is now
limned upon the screen of time. Mankind is once more slowly
climbing on the upward or Ascending Arc, gradually etherealizing
and spiritualizing his Fifth Principle (Manas) in this Fifth Root

And as he will eventually approach the beginnings of the Sixth
Root Race, the Manas Principle will expand with ever greater
power as it becomes illumined with the Sixth Principle, Buddhi. 


by Annie Besant

[Excerpts from a speech delivered at the Theosophical Congress
held by the Society at the Parliament of Religions, at Chicago
Illinois, September 15 -- 17 1893. Originally published in the
Report of Proceedings. Reprinted here from the December 1986

... Karma is simply a Sanskrit word meaning action, and is used
in our philosophy to cover all action of every description in the
Kosmos and in Man; action as cause, action as effect, so that it
becomes the general expression of a sequence in Nature. The word
is one which expresses continual inviolable sequence, the
unbroken chain of cause and effect, each cause giving rise to an
effect, which effect in turn becomes the cause of new effects, so
that all thought, of life, all action, depends on the link that
precedes it out of which no link can drop, for law is inviolable,
subject neither to breach nor change. And the reason why this is
so easy enough to grasp. What is the Universe in the widest
extent of the phrase? The universe is but the form in which the
divine thought expresses itself. It is but the manifested
thought of the divine, but the necessary outcome of the divine
nature; and inasmuch as the divine thought is primary and the
form in which it expresses itself is secondary, therefore form
must follow thought, and be the inevitable expression of the
creative thought that originates divine ideation, which is the
first manifestation of the deity. The universe and everything in
it is but the gradual expression in the form of ideation that has
preceded. Here is the sphere of causes. Here everything has its
root.Out of the divine thought grow all possibilities of action,
and so thought becomes the primary study, and Karma is but
thought worked out in a manifested universe ...

It is from the meditation of the divine that all form proceeds,
and so in its measure from human thought, from human meditation,
all action springs, and every manifest thought is precipitated as
action. It is the realm of thought that, as Dante phrased it, "
In that realm where power and will are one," it is there, whether
in the divine, in the Kosmos, or the divine in Man, that we must
look for the root of action and the cause of all effect. Where
the will has operated, the action is inevitable. That is Karma
in a phrase. The will is the energizing force, the action is the
mere crystallization of the will; and so, when this will has
operated, there come forth into the world of manifestation acts
which we perform, social systems amid which we life, physical
environment that limits our energy, the very mold in which our
life is cast ...

We have been making for ourselves by the creative force of our
will, certain causes sent out from the realm of mind into the
realm of matter; and it is in the realm of matter that are to be
found the acts which from day to day we commit. Thought has made
the action inevitable. The thought form must work out in the
material world, so that day by day we are living in the result
that we have created, and are surrounded from the cradle to the
grave by these forms that are the offspring of our own mind. 
Hence we are born into the world time after time with the general
mold, as it were, of our life cast in the preceding incarnations. 
We, and no one else, are responsible for the tendencies that we
bring in. We, and no one else, are responsible for the
environment which surrounds us, to work out year after year the
lessons of our previous thinking, fettered by the fetters that
our own hands have forged, hindered by the obstacles that our own
hands have piled. But then, it may be said, if that be so, are
you not teaching fatalism that will be destructive to human
effort? Are you not proclaiming a destiny that will make all
energy impossible, all spontaneous action removed from the
possibility of Man? No, for the will that created yesterday those
cause which to day are worked out in the very midst of the
environment it has created and must enter, is the same creative
potency making new causes for the morrow that shall work out in
changed environment, in altered conditions improving or
retrograding as life proceeds. It is true that wehave to live in
that which we have made for our dwelling but it is also true
that, working from within those limitation we have created, we
can break one by one the fetters we have forged, and step out
again free men into the world which we have made for ourselves

And so out of knowledge grows strength, so out of understanding
grows peace; for all the pain, the real pain of life, grows not
out of that which comes to us from without, but from the inner
rebellion that is not able to accept, to understand what Karma
means; to understand it as the expression of the divine nature,
to realize that all that is worthy in life is to become one with
the divine law, united with the divine will, and you will welcome
pain which offers the possibility of union, and you will rejoice
in the very fires of your agony, for they will purify you and
give you gold and melt away the dross.

Thus is Karma the law of readjustment. I have spoken of the law
of the Kosmos as the expression of the divine will. But we have
human wills differentiated from the divine. One with it in
essence, opposed to it for the while in practice. Why this
possibility of conflict in the universe of law? Why should it be
that in a Kosmos which is to be the expression of the divine
thought there should be the possibility of any will in conflict
with the one will, any volition of Man that can hold its own
against he Supreme volition? It is because in the evolution of
the soul there is something higher then mere automatic obedience
to the law compulsorily impressed upon matter; because, the
universe existing for the evolution of soul, that the soul is to
become in every truth divine, self-consciously at its beginning. 
But if there is to be human will at all, that must include the
possibility of rebellion. If the will can say, "I will obey," it
must be able to also say, "I will not obey, I will go my own way,
and carry out my own desire." And in order that the universe may
not sound a monotone but a harmonious chord, not the one note
ringing ever, but one key note with countless undertones giving
richness and melody and all possibility of infinite harmony and
beauty; so that while the key note is divine the harmonies of the
human wills which gradually are trained into unity, and the work
of the universe, are the evolution of the harmony, the conscious
and willing harmony with the supreme will.

Therefore, it is that as the great will sweeps on, the lesser
wills that set themselves against it cause friction. therefore
pain and misery. And therefore it is that Karma, the expression
of the law, works itself out so long as there is evil, by
suffering, for only as friction disappears does harmony become
possible, and it is the great law of readjustment that exhausts
the friction that the human will has made.

And the Karma lying behind us in our immemorial past cannot
express itself properly int he limits of one brief human life;
and so, going deeper into the subject you will find divisions and
sub divisions whereby we express the Karma that can be worked out
in the one life for which the apparatus, so to speak, is here
ready, while there is other Karma reserved, as it were, lying
behind us, which in due time will come to the ripening and work
itself out in the act. Not only is this complication one of the
difficulties of the understanding of the detailed working, but
also we have to recognize the working of Karma, but only
individual but also national, but also racial, but also human,
for all humanity is one. All these threads of Karma work in on
mighty strand, and those who would understand it in its detail,
those who would understand its full bearing on human life, must
take into consideration all these different states and the
fashion of their intertwining; and there comes in the
abstruseness that I spoke of, which seems to make the subject
lees intelligible as we thus study, that the Karma of one cannot
be separated from he Karma of others; that you and I, one nation
and another, one race and another, that we are all fundamentally
one and have a common Karma that must work itself out in our
common life; so that here, at the close of the evening as at the
beginning of the morning we come back to the fundamental unity
that makes all separation between us impossible, and then you
begin to understand what is mean when it is aid of the guardians
of our race, of those who have achieved, that it is their strong
hands that hold back the Karma of the world, as the Karma is one
and indivisible. Just in proportion as we destroy separateness,
do we begin to bear the one Karma and share that one Karma come
the common bearers of the race, not by vicarious offering but by
the unity of our life within, for there is no difference
recognized, no "mine" and "thine" to the expression. That has
passed away in the merging into the common life, and if you and
I, as we tread the path of life together, however obscure,
however trivial, however petty it may seem to be day by day, if
in the living of that life learn to trample on the lower self, if
in the living of that life we learn to think not of self but
first of others, and then as one with ourselves, if our daily
life is made a daily offering to mankind, if every opportunity be
seized upon, which may make us feel our union and makes us
unconscious of our separateness, then we have put our feet on the
path which makes us one with humanity and gives us the glory of
bearing the common burden and using our strength for the common
good of Man. Nothing can separate us from Man but our own will. 
Nothing can make us separate from out brethren save our own
desire, our own longing for the lesser self, and the final lesson
of Karma is, there is no such thing as separateness to the human
soul. There is no such thing as Thee and Me to those who are in
the supreme life; and the only reward that Theosophy offers to
its followers, the only prize that Theosophy holds out to those
who accept it, is that by struggle they shall become one with Man
by following self sacrifice, that perfect sacrifice at last shall
be their reward, that their fate shall be one with the fate of
the world, their future one with the future of humanity, none
outcast that is not one with them, none degraded that is not in
their heart, whose pain they do not answer to, whose agony they
cannot feel. the vilest and the lowest, the most degraded and
the foulest, they are ours by right of our common divinity, and
none shall come between us and them. That is the final triumph,
that is the extreme goal. As was said in ancient Chinese
scripture, we will open the door and go in together. For it is
not worthwhile to be saved unless everything that breathes is
saved along with us; and the one vow that is with the taking, the
one vow that every Savior of Man perfects, age after age, is the
vow which makes him the lowest in order that he may raise all,
and makes him willing to be as the very ground men walk on, in
order that, by the force of the spirit within him, he may raise
them to the highest and make them one with the divine. 

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