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THEOSOPHY WORLD -------------------------------------- July, 1999

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

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to theos-world@theosophy.com.

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

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

"Theosophy and Belief," by Wesley Amerman
"A Review of THE ESOTERIC TRADITION," by Kenneth Morris
"Expanded and Updated 'Theosophical History' Website," by
    John Patrick Deveney
"1999 Open Letter," by the ULT
"Some Ideas on Practical and Basic Theosophy," by Dallas TenBroeck
"H.P. Blavatksy in 1938: The Ideative Plane," by W. Emmett Small
"The Blavatsky Archives Online," by Daniel Caldwell
"Mahatmas, Science, and Ways of Knowing Things," by Eldon Tucker
"Blavatsky Net Update," by Reed Carson
"The Myth of Man's Origin and Development," by Joy Mills

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

> The value of intellectual knowledge is that it is a springboard
> to deeper, more intuitive experience.
>
> -- Kalu Rinpocke, FOUNDATIONS OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM, 166.

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THEOSOPHY AND BELIEF

by Wesley Amerman

Many Theosophists consider themselves above the blind acceptance
of ideas, and think that while others may adhere to a belief
system, they themselves accept ideas solely on their intrinsic
merits. I used to think this about myself, and thought that I
was the most objective, open-minded and clear-thinking person I
knew. Most definitely I am none of these things -- sad experience
has taught me better. While I still see this arrogance implied
in the speech and writings of fellow Theosophists, I have come to
realize how much of my own world-view is part of an "inherited"
package of sorts -- those ideas and ideals that have come to me as
part of my theosophical upbringing and education. My conclusion
is that many Theosophists' beliefs are as dogmatic as those of
any religious fanatic.

Before anyone "gets their knickers in a knot," as a friend's
grandmother was once fond of saying, perhaps I had better explain
how I came to this somewhat "heretical" conclusion. A few who
read this may know that I have been an Associate of the United
Lodge of Theosophists for most of my adult life. Fewer may know
that for a while now, I have questioned the "ways and means" of
the work at the ULT, not because I pretend to know any better
myself, or because I suddenly became argumentative, but because I
saw an entrenched rigidity that had nothing to do with the
principles upon which the Lodge was founded. Because I question
authority, and ask that the system be opened up for wider
participation, some students there (but hopefully, not all) may
consider me a renegade of sorts, perhaps even a danger to the
ULT.

Recently, I have been reading about the revolutionary
transformation brought about by the publishing of Charles
Darwin's ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES in 1859, and the gradual
acceptance of the theory of evolution until it became virtually
an unquestioned dogma among the men and women of science. (The
details of that theory, its shortcomings and lack of empirical
evidence are unimportant here; anyone interested in the subject
might want to read Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael
Denton). It occurs to me that thinkers in two widely different
arenas have transformed preconceived ideas into facts, and
suggests that similar psychological and sociological "acceptance
mechanisms" of belief operate among scientists and in the
theosophical world!

How does this occur? Let us examine a typical if hypothetical
"organization," "movement" or set of ideas, as it becomes an
"institution." Most such groupings of individuals have to fight
to be born, require a great deal of creative energy and are
founded by visionary types who carve out a space for their cause.
When fully established, the once-radical group becomes by turns
more and more conservative, seeking to maintain its status and
stature against all sorts of internal and external forces. This
process may take place gradually or swiftly, but it invariably
occurs sooner or later. Eventually, it tends to attract those
people with the need and ability to fill the role of protector or
guardian, who gravitate toward politics, holding office, running
elections, etc.

This kind of institutionalization occurred with the acceptance of
the Darwinian version of evolution, an outcome never anticipated
nor wished for by Charles Darwin. He might have been appalled by
the hostile attitudes that have often been displayed toward
challengers and dissenters. The idealized free and open pursuit
of facts that should be the heart and soul of the scientific
community was gradually degraded into orthodoxy. Once certain
aspects of the special theory of evolution were shown to operate
within species, the general theory was widely applied to all
aspects of evolution and to the very origins of life. Despite
the lack of direct evidence for the theory, it began to be touted
as proven fact. Since truth was obviously at hand, It was an
easy step to regard dissent almost by definition as "irrational,"
since who in their right mind would dispute "truth?"

Why do theosophists think themselves immune from the psychology
of belief? Several reasons come to mind, and no doubt critics of
this piece will think of more and better ones than I can suggest:

1. We are human -- our minds operate pretty much the same way,
regardless of the belief system we advocate. If I may be allowed
one quotation from H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine that seems
remarkable appropriate here: " Whatever plane our consciousness
may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane
are, for the time being, our only realities." (I, 40) In effect,
we incarnate into ideas, our minds and our desires even more
completely than we incarnate into and identify with our physical
bodies. This is both the necessity and the opportunity for
evolution: as essentially spiritual beings, we incarnate into
limitations in order to learn. It is therefore natural that we
do this, but along the way, do we have to forget who and what we
truly are?

2. Ideas are important, but so are education, training and
culture. As spiritual beings, we incarnate into various
limitations and we are subject to countless external and internal
influences, all of which may be called "karmic," a word which
only partly explains and certainly does not justify our errors
and misconceptions. To say that our limitations are our "left
over karma" from past lives only serves to put at a distance our
responsibility and our ability to rise above and make
constructive use of them. Our backgrounds in this lifetime may
be beyond our control, having already worked their karmic
influence upon us, but part of our real growth may be an honest
recognition that we have earned these influences. Theosophists
of all people might set an example here, and admit that we have
biases and limitations that are not that much different from
those of others.

3. Human activity and belief are changed by group interaction.
Our world view depends more upon the social support it receives
than upon the empirical content or rational consistency.
Traditions -- "inherited" institutional patterns and habits of
thought -- play a far greater role in human affairs than we
realize, and are important elements of our "plane of
consciousness." Part of our personal human nature is to want to
belong to something. No one wants to appear "different" or be
the outcast from a group he or she values. Add professional
standing, social status or economic benefit to any of this and
our need to belong becomes nearly overwhelming. "Rational
thinking" can seldom prevent us from complete "group think" when
any of these are at stake. I have observed this in theosophical
groups, and it operates there just as certainly as it does in
economic (business), religious (church) and scientific
communities. Like the backgrounds we inherit as individuals, our
collective karmic backgrounds exert profound impacts upon
Theosophical groups. It would be a nice start for students at
ULT and elsewhere even to admit the possibility of a collective
myopia in their cherished institutions, and might mitigate some
of the criticism (often aptly hurled) in that direction.

4. Theosophists, like the scientists who profess "objectivity"
but hold many ingrained assumptions about the world, operate
under a double sort of ignorance: we recognize the problem in
others, but cannot see it in ourselves. We think we know better,
and therefore we think our group or institution is better,
because our ideas and principles are better than those we
criticize. Otherwise intelligent Theosophists have said as much
to me, as justification for not questioning the practical group
decisions that affect others! The weakness and folly of this sort
of specious logic should be apparent to all.

One solution perhaps is to examine our most cherished fundamental
assumptions about the world, and then be willing to make
application to our own situations, painful though that process
may be. Theosophical principles should be applicable to all
phases of our lives, if they are to have real meaning. One of
those areas certainly should include our theosophical
institutions. This would constitute real growth, not only for
individual students but also for the groups to which we belong.

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A REVIEW OF "THE ESOTERIC TRADITION" BY G. DE PURUCKER

by Kenneth Morris

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, September 1936, 196-202, where it
was reprinted from Y FFORWM THEOSOFFAIDD, Cardiff, Wales, May
1936.]

> It will inspire with high moral ideals . . . A superb work.
>
> -- Dr. H. N. Stokes in THE 0.E. LIBRARY Critic, February 1936
	
This, from the Jupiter Tonans of Theosophical Criticism, is far
from honestly quoted; but one incurs the karma of one's cheating
gladly for the sake of holding a mirror up to Nature. It is what
anyone can do with the writings of anyone; and what is very
commonly done with the writings of G. de Purucker; and in order
to belabor him, with the writings of H.P. Blavatsky. Only not
in the kindly spirit used here. You just choose what context to
leave out. The results are often amazing. Praise comes
gracefully only from a superior; and it is not Y Ff. Th's
business to praise THE ESOTERIC TRADITION or its author. Books
live by their merits; not by what is said about them. Indeed, it
is a good omen for a great book to be heralded with abuse; one
reads Dr. Stokes's review not without satisfaction. What Dr.
de Purucker hates is a glib "acceptance" of his teachings which
shows that his teachings have not done their work of stirring,
deepening, and illuminating minds. HPB also spent laborious days
trying to make her writings foolproof against the shallow
manufacturers of dogma. Quite early in the Path toward
Discipleship the feeling has taken possession of a man's soul --
"Perish my name, my reputation, me, but let Truth stand!" --
without having attained to that, none could give help to any man.
So, mud may be thrown at Dr. de Purucker, as it was at his
predecessors; bless you, he expects that, and has no time to
notice it anyway. But Y Ff. Th., spiritually speaking, hails
from the Great State of Missouri: a voice crying in the
wilderness, "You gotta show me!" Fain would it get between some
of that mud and its target; intercept it, secure it, and subject
it to chemical analysis! One has really to thank Dr. Stokes,
whose review is in a way impersonal and voices mainly what good
old "they" are supposed to say, for arranging the mud
conveniently for the analyst.

DID G. DE P. IMAGINE THE TEACHINGS?

There is not a scrap of evidence, we are told, that what is new
in THE ESOTERIC TRADITION was not made out of whole cloth by Dr.
de Purucker. The same charge was made against HPB in her time;
HER answer was, that to have imagined the teachings in THE SECRET
DOCTRINE she would have needed to be about ten Mahatmas rolled
into one; one really does not know that Dr. de Purucker could
think of a better one. But what is the meaning of this very
human cry for evidence of authority? Let us get to the root of
that . . . What we fear to be or to become is Men. There is a
thing called Manas, mind, supposed to exist in men but not in the
brutes. It is the faculty wherewith we ought to THINK. But do
we? Any old umbrella is good enough to put between our heads and
Manas, lest disturbing influences from it should descend and
drench us. But these jiggetty little personal brain-minds of
ours, children of the Manas, have in the course of their
evolution to become Manses themselves: able to think, reason,
grapple with the meanings of the universe and life. We have to
become Men, using mind grandly. All the churches, creeds, and
dogmas in the world are defenses raised against the onslaughts of
Manas. It doesn't matter whether the creeds are religious or
scientific. The lower reaches of science are just as dogmatic
and thought-stopping as the lower reaches of religion. The
higher reaches used to be. But Theosophy comes like the
Manasaputras of old to light the fires of mind in men. That was
why HPB, Judge, and Katherine Tingley wrote and taught. That is
why G. de P. writes and teaches.

MANAS -- OR AUTHORITY?

If the ideas and teachings called Theosophy are to have the
effect on men they were designed to have, it is clear that not an
item among them could be enforced by or gain weight from
authority. A man, to have his Manas awakened, must examine these
teachings and judge them on their own merits. What concerns him
is to ask, not "Who said so," but "Do they inspire me with high
moral ideals, perceived by me to be such? Do they answer the
demands of the highest reasoning I can exercise? Can I so exert
my thinking faculty that it will expand into the shape of these
teachings?" If the answer is yes, then they are doing their work
on him, awakening his Manas, aiding his evolution. The only
possible "evidence" for the authority of any teachings would be,
the teacher's say-so, which should carry no weight, or you would
be accepting the notions of a lot of people Dr. Stokes objects
to; and the nature of the teachings themselves.

It is complained that there is no clear statement as to the
source of the teachings in THE ESOTERIC TRADITION. Is it
expected that Dr. de Purucker will preface all his books with
the statement, "I am the Chela of such and such a Master, and
this is what I have been taught and am now commissioned to give
out to the world?" But what if his choice is between backing his
teachings with authority and having them do their work, thought
out and understood in themselves and for their own sake? The
introductory phrase he uses is, "The Esoteric Tradition is ..."
Look into that and you see that it means, "Thus was it handed on
to me," "Thus have I been taught," ITI MAYA SHRUTAM in the
Sanskrit,the phrase used in the Esoteric Schools of the East.
Dr. de Purucker's phrase introduces the teachings impersonally,
yet tells the whole tale to one who looks beneath the surface.
If there is a form that could serve his purpose better, one
cannot guess what it might be.

Then the sweet charge is made that Point Loma members "have to"
accept G. de P.'s teachings without thought or question -- bolt
the lot unmasticated. Marry come up! The teachings themselves
would show who a Theosophist's Teacher really and ultimately is:
his own Inner Self. You may hear or read the highest revelation
from highest heaven, but unless that one within you assents, you
don't believe. And this is true of every variety of teaching on
earth, from the ULT's to the Pentecostal League's: those who
believe do so because what they believe in answers the demands of
what they can get of the teacher within, what they have evolved
forth of that one.

No doubt Point Loma Theosophists have received THE ESOTERIC
TRADITION with enthusiasm; but why? You will answer according to
the principles of your own nature. If you are one that must have
his beliefs from a pope, or based on mere outside, material
evidence, you will talk about 'blind faith' and suchlike
tommyrot. But that is not the only possible answer; and it is
the least noble answer possible. Nobler, and actually the true
ones, would be such answers as, "Because it inspires with high
moral ideals, and Because those points of teaching which G. de
P. gives and which HPB did not are so highly reasonable in
themselves that we should find it extremely difficult not to
believe them true."

WHERE TO BEGIN

Why on earth should it be supposed that HPB gave out all she
knew? Time and again she contradicts the idea. Good lord, when
you are painting a picture, don't you begin by making sketches;
don't you rough in the outlines then, and gradually work on
towards the stage when you can paint the details? When you are
building a temple, don't you begin with the architects' plans and
drawings? Do you really place the weathercock and lay the
foundations all at once? Do you teach kindergarten children the
differential calculus? At least the Masters of Wisdom, in giving
out this Infinite Philosophy of Theirs, are guilty of no such
folly; but begin at the beginning, and the broad outlines and
rudiments; then giving time for these to be digested; and
enouncing more as the need and possibility arose. Does anyone
think the whole of Theosophy has been given out? Or that even the
highest of the Masters regards himself as other than a beginner
on the endless Road of Learning? Are WE not to grow?

THE TEACHINGS THEMSELVES

Our fool brain-minds are things that crave the comfort of a roof
over them, and walls as close around as may be. They are
ego-centric, nation-centric, creed- and sect-centric; and funk
the contemplation of boundless space and eternal duration. We
want things to have begun as recently as possible, and to have an
end of worries and responsibilities when we die. Personality
hugs itself and dreads the impersonal; a little limited thing, it
wants a universe that is little and limited. HPB, in view of
this general phobia, took things only as far as to the end of a
solar or a galactic manvantara and Nirvana gained by the now
human hosts of souls; and no further. It was something to set
mind and imagination working; vast compared with anything we had
thought of before; and it never is any use to try to waken people
with a blow that would stun them. Manvantara and pralaya, period
of universal activity and period of universal rest, were, she
intimated, of equal duration: as many billions of aeons to the
one, so many billions of aeons to the other. But now watch this:
in the pralaya "time was not." But how could a pralaya in which
time was not be equal in time of duration to the cosmic
life-cycle that preceded it, in which time was: nonexistence with
existence? Who, outside the Boundless, kept the clock wound up
and tore off the sheets of the calendar, that he might know when
to waken the Boundless at manvantaric dawn? In the Boundless time
was not; but in this fellow's office outside the Boundless the
clocks were kept going, believe me! -- Smart Alecks here and
there had excuse to rise and cry, Shows all that's the bunk!

The truth is we had not carried our thought to the horizon beyond
HPB's teachings; considering not only what she wrote, but what it
implied. Then came Dr. de Purucker and took us right up to what
was the horizon when HPB left us, and showed us a new horizon
beyond. Some of us accepted his teaching, as we had accepted
hers long since, because the moment it was enounced, its truth
seemed obvious; we asked ourselves, "Why haven't I thought of
that before?" That, then, was how it could be said that pralayas
lasted as long as the manvantaras they followed. Time was not
for the hosts of entities in Nirvana while their home universe
was in pralaya; but a couple of hundred lightyears or so away in
space was another universe in full swing of its manvantara, in
which there was plenty of time by which the pralaya of the other
might be measured. There is always somewhere the time we measure
with our clocks. So, HPB, your teachings did not after all lead
to a dead end and absurdity! But to think you did not know! . .
.

Contemplation of the Infinite has a depersonalizing effect on the
mind; so that G. de P.'s teachings, which are reasonable in
themselves and illumine HPB's, also aid a man's evolution towards
Impersonality. But bless your heart, you don't have to believe
in them if you don't want to! It's entirely up to you. If any
brother wishes to think that duration began one fine day in
March, B. C. 10,000, and will end on a wet October evening in
A. D. 10,000, he may; but he won't get much growth of faculty
out of it. So too, if anyone wants to, he may believe that at
the end of space there is a ten-foot wall topped with broken
bottles, and beyond that nothing at all - - not even more space.
There are things no one can imagine unless he has no imagination
at all; and these are among the number. Their opposites seem to
be things which should be obvious, but which no one did imagine
till Dr. de Purucker gave them out.

There has been a deal of loose thinking on this Infinity
business. Ten miles this side of the end of space is a point you
could never reach, because there is no end of space. "Infinite,"
"almost Infinite," "half a dozen less than Infinite," and "a
billion quintillions less than Infinite" are synonymous terms;
because the point of infinity you are measuring from, however
swiftly you may approach it, is always as far away as it was
before. When HPB says "an almost infinite number of monads," and
G. de P., "an infinite number of monads," they have said exactly
the same thing. Put "infinity" at a thousand miles away, and
"almost infinity" at 990; well, when you have traveled the
thousand, "infinity" is still a thousand miles ahead of you, and
"almost infinity" is still 990; and they will be forever and
ever. You could no more come up with the one than with the
other. How infinite space could be made up of less than an
infinite number of monads, Y Ff. Th. is to learn. But what a
fuss has been made, odd times, over G. de P.'s "infinite" and
its supposed contradiction of HPB's "almost infinite!" When all
HPB put in the "almost" for was to soften things for
phobia-ridden minds. It did not sound so appalling. . . .

THAT FINAL 'N'

What dovecotes Dr. de Purucker fluttered when he took to
spelling old familiar KARMA with a final 'n'! How many went to
work earnestly with the hope that they might "shatter him to bits
and then remold him nearer to their hearts' desire"! -- It would
appear to be a case of the rights of Sanskrit VERSUS the rights
of English. Y Ff. Th., being only concerned with the rights of
Welsh, sees the thing from a different angle altogether. Here is
a straw to show the wind's direction; a little "n" to test your
discrimination between essentials and non-essentials -- and how
far you have learnt toleration. What matters is not how it is
spelt, but that it should be a living fact to you, and not a dead
dogma: a source of love, hope, and courage, and not a phrase you
repeat and repeat and never think upon at all. Any harmless
thing that makes a rut less easy to get into and tends to keep
the molds of one's mind unfossilized is to the good. Oh, one
sees a value in that final "n," quite apart from the compliment
to Sanskrit!

UNMERITED SUFFERING

To jolt you into thinking, too, HPB, having spoken of Karma as an
"infallible Law" of "absolute justice" -- words which surely mean
something -- goes on to refer to "unmerited suffering." It sounds
like a contradiction, but IS a paradox; the explanation is simple
and easy, but you must think it out for yourself, and not fall
into creeds and parrot talk. G. de P., in saying that every
effect has its precedent cause, has NOT contradicted HPB with her
infallible law of absolute justice. Who will may see in Karma a
hit or miss affair, law and chance playing catch as catch can
through a bewildered universe; but HPB and G. de P. and common
sense are for a majestic order of things, justice absolute and
infallible; and so would we be if we would think. The other view
may be a stage on the road towards Thought, and is certainly
highly gymnastic, but manas had little part in the fathering of
it, it would seem.

THE STYLE IS THE MAN

A little word on Dr. de Purucker's literary style, which comes
in for much fustigation. Every sentence in the two big volumes,
every clause, is constructed with infinite care and patience to
make it foolproof against rendering false impressions. It is a
style suitable for a source book, a permanent record of important
ideas; and that, and not a detective yarn, Lamb's essay, or lyric
poem, is what the book is. Yes, the style is the man: infinite
care, infinite patience, in rendering the message exactly. A
HAWDD DDWEYD UN-AR-BYMTHEG to his critics!

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EXPANDED AND UPDATED 'THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY' WEBSITE

by John Patrick Deveney

The THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY website has been updated and expanded,
and can now be found at its own domain:

    http://www.theosophicalhistory.org

(1) The full text of the early numbers of the Journal are being
    uploaded, and some are now available online. More to follow.

(2) Original documents of THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY are being
    uploaded, including H.P. Blavatsky's naturalization papers.

(3) The table of contents of the next (July) issue of the
    Journal, with fascinating contributions by Joscelyn Godwin,
    Leslie Prise, Jean-Louis Siemons, and others.

(4) Notices of some of the vast full-text archives relating to
    Theosophical history that are now online, including ISIS
    UNVEILED, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, HPB's letters to Hiram Corson,
    and much more.

(5) Announcement of a book on the archives of Willhelm
    Abbe-Schleidenn (1846-1916).

(6) Notes & Queries has notes on: fascinating research projects
    and queries on the relationship of HPB and Rudolf Steiner to
    Ernest Haeckel and Rudolf Steiner; seeking information on the
    artist Hugo Hoeppner (1868-1948), known as FIDUS; announcing
    a book on Russia and the occult seeking information on the
    Eddy Brothers; and announcing the publication of a
    fascinating book on the Philadelphia inventor John Worrell
    Keely.

Leslie Price also announces the imminent beginnings of "The
Pioneer" -- an electronic journal devoted to the pioneers of the
psychic field in areas such as Modern Spiritualism, Mesmerism,
Theosophy and Psychical Research.

Early issues will deal primarily with Emma Hardinge Britten and
Andrew Jackson Davis.

Announcement is made that Architronic, The Electronic Journal Of
Architecture, has recently published a theme issue entitled
"Architecture and Theosophy."

And Professor Santucci has announced the program and tentative
date for the upcoming Consultation on Western Esotericism from
the Early Modern Period at the American Academy of Religion in
Boston from November 20 to November 23, 1999.

------------------------------------------------------------------
1999 OPEN LETTER

by United Lodge of Theosophists

[A letter dated June 21-25, 1999, sent out to members of the
ULT.]

At all times we stand on the razor's edge between the past that
has evolved and the future that is to come. We build and we
record. This Janus-faced vision may inspire but the position
also has danger. The eyes of even the most inattentive observers
are awakening to the keynote of this cycle -- change. Change
must be met and attended to. The philosophy, itself, provides
the basis for understanding the problems of change.

The modern Theosophical Movement was launched by less than two
handfuls of individuals in 1875. What was the nature of their
trust? It was to establish a foundation  a nucleus -- for that
Universal Brotherhood, supported by a science of ethics passed
down from the night of time to help return man from the FEAST OF
HUSKS UNTO TRUTH'S REPAST.

The United Lodge of Theosophist has a service to offer and a duty
to perform. Its specific duty is to keep available the "original
teachings of Theosophy" as recorded by HPB and her colleague Mr.
Judge. It also provides meeting places where these universal
ideas, viewed as both ideals and practical propositions, can be
studied and discussed. In this, it serves a dual aspect: as a
gateway to theosophical ideas and as a channel for work. Today's
students bear responsibility for the continuation of this program
in rapidly changing times. The "science of ethics" -- if
stabilized, sustained, and maintained -- will firmly root great
ideas.

The work continues. The message of Theosophy is ever more widely
diffused over the medium of the Public Broadcast stations in
various cities and communities and the response has been
encouraging. Translation of the original teachings proceeds in
many languages and areas as interest grows. In Los Angeles an
active group of Spanish-speaking students gathers several times a
week to discuss and learn from Theosophy. A combined meeting
with those who speak English is held every two months with a
moderator who translates back and forth in both languages.
Theosophy School also reflects this growing interest.

A series of discussions on theosophical subjects produced by New
York Associates for television, and preserved in video form, will
be made available on the ULT Web Site. In keeping with this,
interest on the "Internet" grows in ever-widening circles.
Centers of discussion on THE SECRET DOCTRINE, on the Fundamental
Propositions of Theosophy, on the law of Karma and its operation,
on Reincarnation, etc., etc. are in active operation.

The past year witnessed a change in the format of THEOSOPHY
MAGAZINE. More pages are now available to enable readers to draw
a broader purview from the materials presented. Each issue
endeavors to offer a study in depth of a specific theosophical
study subject. Of great help in this endeavor has been a renewed
collaboration with ULT Associates in New York.

Growth in attendance at public meetings has taken place in Kent,
Washington; Brookings, Oregon; and San Diego, California.
Brookings students will hold their annual 3-day meeting in
August, with students from various Lodges participating on a
panel and informal discussions. And then too, New York
Associates have also reached further out by inaugurating a study
class on Thursday evenings on the West Side of Manhattan. In San
Diego, Theosophy School for children moves forward, and is
regularly attended. In addition, a monthly newsletter on ULT
activities has recently been started. There are also plans
pending to begin a San Diego theosophical study class in Spanish.

As to new translations of the original writings during the past
year, it is of interest to note that the study group in Lisbon,
Portugal has published AN EPITOME OF THEOSOPHY in Portuguese. In
Spanish, translations of the following booklets of articles by
H.P. Blavatsky have been published in Los Angeles: THEOSOPHICAL
PSYCHOLOGY; MORAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES; BASIC QUESTIONS ABOUT
THEOSOPHY; THEOSOPHY AND "HPB"; and THE ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE
GOSPELS.

Looking to the future, we know that if we make of ourselves an
active center for the practice and spread of Theosophy, and keep
available the original writings, it is inevitable that powerful
forces, which are able to influence men and women for good, will
be generated. Such an inner attitude will reach many persons who
are thinking along these lines. Each can be a living center of
light and hope. That is our essential work.

------------------------------------------------------------------
SOME IDEAS ON PRACTICAL AND BASIC THEOSOPHY

by Dallas TenBroeck

In THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, as in THE SECRET DOCTRINE or ISIS
UNVEILED, HPB has left a legacy to us of certain KEY IDEAS and
BASIC STATEMENTS. If these can be culled and placed together as
we go along, we will frame for ourselves a picture of what
Theosophy deals with.

This need not be discursive, but can be briefed down to
essentials.

1. The three Fundamentals from THE SECRET DOCTRINE (SD I 14-19)
are the first BASE.

2. To "Spirit" is referable all aspects of Consciousness, [see
SD I 328 top ]. This includes semi-consciousness or even
"un-consciousness." Why does HPB say this?

3. To "Matter" is referable all forms and limitations -- it is
the arena where Consciousness operates. Why is this plane of
manifestation we live in and call our "matter" necessary? Why
does the eternal and imperishable Monad, which is the core of our
"being" have to pass through this as experience?

4. To "Force, Energy, Will -- or FOHAT" is referable the powers
of "spirit in action." What is that Force (as an example) which
starting with the Mind as "plan" and "choice," actuates the
physical muscles to specific acts? [ Fohat is called (SD I 16)
the mysterious link between Spirit and Matter. It is also called
Intelligent Electricity? (SD I 493) ]

5. In MANIFESTATION -- every conceivable "differentiation" is an
ETERNAL, and an IMMORTAL "Monad." (an infinitesimal point of
SPIRIT/MATTER) It is the "Center that is everywhere, and the
Circumference that is no-where." -- a mystery to the
materialistic mind, and an inspiration to the intuitive. The
Lower Mind cannot fully grasp the concept (yet); and the Higher
Mind delights in the relief of its universality being
recognizable.

6. To Evolution -- is the whole field of progress. It is "an
Equal-Opportunity" Universe. Every Monad has the "time" to grow
and develop. The concept of cooperation and brotherhood are
facts because there is no alternative. Actually evolution is not
only an expansion of individual Consciousness to the Universal,
it provides the field of work, as well as the meanings and causes
that have lead to this situation that involves all Beings. It
also explains the need for KARMA. And, the total and ultimate
sensitivity of "Nature" to all decisions of any kind. It
eliminates the (false) concept of "isolation." It shows the
necessity for being a "volunteer" and always "acting for and as
"the Self of all Creatures."

Adeptship and Initiation are not "elitism" (except to the envious
who would like to have the fruits without the growing) they are
the natural outcome of realizing one's "oneness" with everything
else. "The Universe grows I." And, I tolerate all things, while
strictly guiding my own work in terms of those duties that are
mine to perform as a benevolent and harmless (to others)
cooperator. To achieve this, the personal consciousness has to
be sharpened and attuned to the existence, reason and needs of
"All the rest."

As we get better at this work, our own field of work and
influence expands and abuts to those who are already cooperating
in assisting the progress of many others. This interior sense of
Companionship strengthens. We sense the Brotherhood of Adepts
and their companions always at work, benevolently in Nature and
our World. Thus there is individual as well as general advance
in spiritual learning and practice all the time. It is the
limited consciousness imposed by "form" which is being
transformed into the Unlimited consciousness of the ALL-FORM.
We, and every other being, have a well-defined part in this. We
are each a "part of the 'whole.' " And that is a "return" (so to
say, in terms of comprehension) to the Spiritual Condition for
the Monad.

The Spiritual Nature of each Monad is constant. The variations
are of the limitations that the "forms" imposes. As these
limitations are understood, the Consciousness, active within,
transforms those and clarifies them. The presently "hidden"
planes of consciousness and life become visible as the necessary
links between LIMITATION and the LIMITLESS. We are the living
thread of Consciousness that all the time serves to hold not only
ourselves, but many others together. Hence "Unity in diversity."

Monadic responsibility does not cease with focused and active
Spiritual Knowledge, but the wider and deeper aspects of duty
then prevail as "opportunity." Such an enlightenment of the
personal consciousness is encouraged by the resident Monad, which
can return to become an advisor, a "tutor" to other Monads who
reach the "Man-Mind" stage. What else is our HIGHER SELF ? It is
simultaneously "Us," and not-"us." It is the "Eternal Man" -- the
potential Buddha.

Hence, Theosophy in the world is both a Wisdom and a practice --
which by gradual comprehension changes from "theory" into a "way
of practical spiritualized life."

------------------------------------------------------------------
H.P. BLAVATSKY IN 1938: THE IDEATIVE PLANE

by W. Emmett Small

[from THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, May 1938, pages 293-96.]

> Occultism teaches us that ideas based upon fundamental truths
> move in the eternity in a circle, revolving around and filling
> the space within the circuit of the limits allotted to our globe
> and the planetary or solar system; that, not unlike Plato's
> eternal, immutable essences, they pervade the sensible world,
> permeating the world of thought; and, that contrary to chemical
> affinities, they are attracted to, and assimilated by,
> homogeneous universals in certain brains -- exclusively the
> product of human mind, its thoughts and intuition; that in their
> perpetual flow they have their periods of intensity and activity,
> as their durations of morbid inactivity. During the former, and
> whenever a strong impulse is imparted on some given point of the
> globe to one of such fundamental truths, and a communion between
> kindred eternal essences is strongly established between a
> philosopher's interior world of reflection and the exterior plane
> of ideas, then, cognate brains are affected on several other
> points, and identical ideas will be generated and expression
> given to them often in almost identical terms.
>
> -- HPB in "The Religion of the Future," THE COMPLETE WORKS OF
>    H.P. BLAVATSKY, IV, 249

Theosophy is not only a scientific formulation of little known
laws of Nature. It is a pathway of life. Not only is it a
PHILOSOPHY about "things as they are," but, if understood and
applied, it becomes for each student a religious necessity to
EXPERIENCE "things as they are." It is this practical
demonstration of the inseparable linking of thought with action
that is the great contribution of Theosophy to the present age,
for it is this subtle yet strong unity of invisible with visible
which not only creates ideas but carries those ideas into virile
action -- depending of course upon the will of the individual
actor.

In other words, Theosophy is a LIVING power in the world so long
as there are a few true Theosophists working along real
Theosophical lines. It is not quantity that creates, but
quality: one great man may be the spiritual proponent of a new
religion which will change millions of lives. The directing
fluid, intellectually and spiritually, lies in the ideative
plane, and it is on this plane, or from this plane that such
great souls work.

"H.P. Blavatsky in 1938" is but a way of stating that the
teachings of the first Theosophical Leader and Messenger still
inspire the hearts and minds of devoted followers. It is a way
of saying that the channel that she successfully kept open and
clear, indeed which she WAS, is still open and clear; a way of
declaring to the world that through the Theosophical Society or
Movement one can contact that ideative plane wherefrom as one of
the great Leaders and Changers of human thought H.P. Blavatsky
labored.

Our work as Theosophists lies in the inseparable twofold activity
of (a) studying the teachings of Blavatsky and Theosophy, and
passing them onto others as we have received them, and (b) living
the Theosophical teachings, practicing them in our lives,
exemplifying them in our conduct, in our aspiration, in our inner
and outer thought. In this way we link our spiritual forces with
the stream of the ideative or creative side of the Universe. We
become to a degree at least creators, architects, instead of
merely builders.

When one considers the tremendous change in the thought-life of
the world since HPB's days, there is no question but that
Theosophy has played a major and profound part in what even the
lay mind will admit is a general conversion from a materialistic
outlook on life to an intellectual attitude, in many quarters
even questioningly, gropingly spiritual. This is because HPB's
mission did not fail. She succeeded in planting the seeds of the
ancient Wisdom Religion into fertile minds. She succeeded in
stirring the embers of the heart-fires of men so that what she
taught was accepted by them.

Of her followers many remained faithful to her direct message,
faithful to the heart of the organization which she founded,
faithful to the Leaders who followed her in serial succession.

Others, starting groups of their own, yet had the germ of
Theosophy as their inspiration; and this seed, fecundating and
finally flowering as this band or society of sincere searchers of
truth, has in the last sixty years literally dotted the face of
the globe with offshoot groups; and these in turn have had
branches which in their own way have promulgated teachings which
have helped stir the world of thought and aided the general
retreat on materialism.

Still another class -- even in HPB's time, and in growing numbers
in the last decade -- individuals of intelligence and spiritual
aspiration, seemingly with no knowledge of Theosophy, have
plucked from the air, as it were, basic Theosophic ideas and
expressed them in their own language. This has been possible
because of certain karmic conditions that our present cycle has
brought, coupled undoubtedly with the concentrated work in the
world by students of the ancient Wisdom Religion in thinking
Theosophy, in speaking it, and in living it. It is a point to
remember in moments of discouragement that those silent workers
whose devotion may seem to go unrecognized, whose efforts even to
themselves may so often seem to be unavailing, have and wield a
power to affect "cognate brains," as HPB says, so that "identical
ideas will be generated and expression given them."

The degree of power to aid humanity obtained by all these various
searchers for truth, as individuals, or as societies, it is
obvious, lies in their ability to approach the "world of
thought," to tap the reservoirs of ideas within our planetary or
solar system, and to remain illumined in their intuitions from
such contact. This subtle, tenuous, but strong plane of thought
is the most powerful medium affecting the inhabitants of the
earth. To work on it is not reserved alone for the Messengers or
the Masters. It can be done by any of us with the requisite will
power and courageous effort; and the degree of success or failure
in achievement marks the difference between a negative
Theosophist and an active one.

It was on this higher plane that HPB worked; and because she came
at an important cyclical time, and because she was what she was
-- a Messenger from the Lodge of the Masters of Wisdom -- she was
able to and did let loose upon the earth, through herself as the
channel, this great stream of ideative power, these "ideas based
on fundamental truths," this "strong impulse" on a "given part of
the globe." And as a result countless lives have been affected,
the current of their thought radically changed -- directed, as
one reviewer wrote of her, to the sun. Therefore she lives today
in the success of a work that is growing like the famed rooting
and rerooting of the branches of the banyan tree.

HPB lives today in the T.S. -- yes, in all the different
Theosophical Societies, but in all of them IN DEGREE. In so far
as they represent Theosophy to the world today, it is evident
they represent her -- whether worthily or not is another
question. But in so far as they DO worthily, each one of them,
represent her, in so far does the real spirit of HPB still
inflame the world. Furthermore, there is a living stream of
inspiration from the Masters into this world. HPB was the
channel for this in the early days of the Society; but with her
death the outflowing energies from the Lodge did not cease.
Theosophists, at least those of the Point Loma Theosophical
Society, and doubtless many others not of this Society, hold and
declare that that same stream of spiritual force pours into the
world, and that the channel still is open wherever hearts and
minds remain faithful to truth and duty. The question leaps then
to life: Are you as a Theosophical Society a fit instrument for
the Masters to work through? Are you as a Society teaching,
studying, living the Theosophy of the Masters of Wisdom as
brought to the West by their Messenger? Are you as an individual
F. T. S. doing all in your power along the lines open to all
men to fan this flame into a steady fire?

SURSUM CORDA. Lift your hearts to that plane of ideative and
creative thought where you can contact the causal realm of this
universe; aspire to reach what HPB had reached, and to be a
channel as she was a channel; live nobly and impersonally -- and
you will be doing well your work in the world, for you will be
affecting for good the world's consciousness, determinedly
cooperating in the main work of the Theosophical Movement, which
in these perilous times exists for the purpose of changing men's
hearts and minds, instilling into them thoughts of the Ancient
Wisdom which little by little will soften the horrors around us,
alleviate distress, and help diminish the evil which is the heavy
karma of our present age.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE BLAVATSKY ARCHIVES ONLINE

by Daniel Caldwell

In the forthcoming edition of my book THE ESOTERIC WORLD OF
MADAME BLAVATSKY (Wheaton, Illinois, The Theosophical Publishing
House), I've compiled scores of primary source accounts on HPB's
life, occult phenomena, encounters with her Masters, etc.

My archives and files contain hundreds of OTHER accounts and
articles (positive and negative) on Madame Blavatsky. The
Blavatsky Archives Online plans to publish many of these
documents. The three items below are a mere sampling of what
will eventually be published on this web site.

Statement of Mr. Bhavani Shankar [on the Theosophical Mahatmas].

Theosophic Thaumaturgy -- A Startling Story [from The Bombay
Gazette]

Critical Historical Review of The Theosophical Society [An Expose
of Madame Blavatsky] by William Emmette Coleman

Visit the site at:

    http://www.azstarnet.com/~blafoun/index.htm

------------------------------------------------------------------
MAHATMAS, SCIENCE, AND WAYS OF KNOWING THINGS

by Eldon Tucker

[Original version on an article that first appeared in THE QUEST,
July 1997, pages 5-7.]

As we marvel at the advances made by modern science, the question
comes to mind: What do the Mahatmas know of this? What do they
actually know? How much, for instance, would a Master, sitting in
a cave in 107,234 BC, know of chaos, fractals, nonlinear dynamics
and interation, and how they provide new ways of viewing and
modeling the world?

The question is important, and becomes an even greater item of
concern as science continues its fantastic advances. Our concern
grows as various comments regarding science in our theosophical
literature come under scrutiny. When reviewed in the light of
present-day science, various statements may be shown to be wrong.

We may have to consider each statement, point by point. Some
references to science may be true, and modern science is simply
not yet correct in its understanding. Other references may
appear to be false, but are really veiled references, pointing to
true facts, when they are given a different interpretation,
having a metaphorical or symbolic meaning. Again, we'd have to
look at the particular passage to determine if this was the case.

For someone with an a priori belief that Theosophy is wrong, that
it is something that was made up by Blavatsky, finding some
scientific references that can be disproved would be sufficient
to write it off. But this just shows a tendency in human nature
to find evidence to support one's already formed beliefs.
There's much more to Theosophy, which in its heart is a living
link to the Wisdom Tradition, which could be called a
Mahatma-dharma, a lineage of knowledge and teaching that goes
back to humanity's infancy, and beyond that, originating in
divinity.

What, then, do the Masters know? Apart from walking up to one and
putting the question to him, we are left with taking what we know
of the philosophy, and making reasonable inferences. What does
Theosophy, as we understand it, and as far as we dare
extrapolate, suggest?

Let's start with what Blavatsky herself says about their
knowledge. Reading in The Inner Group Teachings of H. P.
Blavatsky, pages seven to eight, we find:

The white Adept is not always at first of powerful intellect. In
fact, H.P.B. has known Adepts whose intellectual powers were
originally below the average.

So having an advanced intellect is not a prerequisite for
adeptship. This is not to say, of course, that the intellect is
not important, and won't subsequently be developed by the
exceptional individual that becomes an Adept without first
developing it.

It is the Adept's purity, his equal love to all, his working with
Nature, with Karma, with his "Inner God," that give him his
power.

Here we have the paramount qualities: genuineness, compassion,
unselfishness, a willingness to work to better the world (e.g.,
the Bodhisattva Vow), and the making of one's inner spirituality
a living force in one's life.

Intellect by itself along will make the Black Magician. For
intellect alone is accompanied with pride and selfishness: it is
the intellectual plus the spiritual that raises man. For
spirituality prevents pride and vanity.

These noble qualities of the spirit are of primary importance.
If our intellectual development outstrips our inner work, we fall
prey to pride and vanity, which are signs of the dark shadow
created by the personal self.

The personality itself is not something bad, not something to get
rid of. It is like a work of art, something original, creative,
expressive of our uniqueness. What goes, with spiritual
practice, is the dark cloud produced in us by the sense of
personal self. The ugly bias of "what's in it for me" disappears
from our awareness and we start seeing life in universal terms.
The common good becomes best in our eyes, and we simply don't
think or feel in terms of ourselves as distinct and more valuable
than others.

Metaphysics are the domain of the Higher Manas; whereas physics
are that of Kama-Manas, which does the thinking in physical
science and on material things. . . .

In both physics and metaphysics, we have rules, formulas, general
principles that are applied to understand life. The difference
is that physics is always literal, whereas metaphysics deals with
a different faculty of thought.

With metaphysics, we're dealing with symbolic thought, thought
which is fluidic, rich with meaning, and which can be applied to
situations in the world with tremendous flexibility, creativity,
and richness. We have a different manner of thought, of
understanding life, of viewing things. With physics, the thought
is rational, crystallized, orderly, predictable, and closely tied
to things in the material world.

The mathematician without spirituality, however great he may be,
will not reach metaphysics; but the metaphysician will master the
highest conceptions of mathematics, and will apply them, without
learning the latter.

We now come to the key passage, the words that give us our clue
to the nature of what the Mahatmas know regarding science.

There is, though, more than one important idea found in this
passage.

First, the metaphysician (and Mahatma) will master the highest
conceptions of mathematics, or of a scientific discipline, and be
able to apply them, without learning the latter.

How can this be? Because the highest conceptions are the general
rules, the principles regarding how life works, the insights into
the workings of Nature that can be understood in general terms.
These insights can be arrived at by meditation, contemplation,
and training, independent of learning specific examples of the
insights as provided by different scientific disciplines, such as
chemistry, physics, mathematics, economics.

It is possible to know the highest conceptions and be able to
apply them, without having to study the sciences. But this does
not mean that the Mahatma has general knowledge in the various
scientific disciplines, which takes us to the second point.

The Masters have a generic ability to know things, which is
different than detailed knowledge in specialized subjects. Such
detailed knowledge requires a process of learning and study, and
takes time. There is simply not enough time in the world to
master all the areas of human knowledge. But with the
development of higher facilities of knowing, a generic knowledge
can be obtained.

What is this generic knowledge? It's not something that can
readily be discussed, or it would have been in the past. In
part, it is the ability to direct the mind at something, and by
that focusing of attention, to start to know things about that
subject.

There are rivers or currents of thought, reservoirs of knowledge
about us in the Universal Mind, Mahat, and it is possible to come
into touch with them, by the direction of one's attention.

(Such a stream of thought, for instance, is the theosophical
doctrines themselves, which a student can, through persistent
study and spiritual practice, make a living force in his life,
which can become akin to an inner teacher, a source of knowing
about Theosophy from within.)

The Mahatmas could be said to have a talent for whatever they
study. For detailed knowledge, they would have to undertake the
same process of learning as anyone else. We might find, though,
that they have a better recall, a better ability to understand,
and are not limited by the current state of knowledge. They can
learn all there is to offer, and keep learning more. If they
were to spend the time, they could advance the forefront of human
knowledge in whatever field they would undertake.

Someone might look on one of them and think, "there's an
individual with tremendous creativity, with outstanding insight,
with a talent for discovery." They might not know that the
Mahatma had an advantage at what he was doing, that the Mahatma
was applying faculties of knowing and understanding things that
transcend the orderly, one-two-three sequential nature of the
rational mind.

Now consider a Master that has not studied a field. Were the
Master to comment on that field of science, what would or could
he say?

He would be as ignorant, having not studied the field, as anyone
else. He might be intuitive, a good guesser, a person with a
talent for speculation. Were he to comment on the field, he
could pick out information from the general thought atmosphere.

The Master might pick out an idea that parrots popular thought,
that reflects the current scientific view on the subject. If he
did so, and the science of that day was later proven wrong, he
would be subsequently charged by unsympathetic critics of not
knowing what he was talking about.

The charge would be true, in a sense. He would have not known
what he had said from study, because he was merely referring to
what was popularly thought. The only fault we might find with
this would be the lack of citing his source, that is, that he did
not state that this was where the idea came from, giving us the
impression that it instead came from specific knowledge of his,
rather than coming from an unreliable source (popular scientific
thought).

With the progress of science, there is considerable new knowledge
being generated. Much of it is in disciplines that simply did
not previously exist, like nonlinear dynamics, and its relation
to turbulence. And various models like the "bifurcation curve"
provide us with descriptive tools, and with new symbols and
metaphors for understanding life.

It might have been possible to have an intuitive sense of
something like the "bifurcation curve" in the past, but computers
were necessary to first realize it. Without computers to perform
billions of calculations and generate graphical displays, there
are things that would simply remain unknown to this day. (The
field of "chaos" is rich with theosophical symbolism, and is
deserving of articles, if not books of commentary. It can only
be mentioned in passing in this article, due to a lack of time
and space.)

A Mahatma might have had a general understanding of life, but not
of the specific details and symbolism that can arise out of the
advances of science. How can this be? Because the Mahatma has
outstripped humanity in spiritual evolution, and may not be at
the forefront, yet, of intellectual advancement. And the Mahatma
also only has 24 hours to his day, and may devote a smaller
percentage of it to intellectual study than a typical man of
science.

When a Master would focus his mind on a subject, without having a
background of study in it, he'd get an overview, a layman's
summary, a cursory glimpse, but not the same rich understanding
that is had by a specialist in the field. But he would also get
a connectedness with the ideas, having the ability to know what
it means and how it relates to life. He'd see the symbolism, the
key to understanding other areas of life that it reveals, and his
study would broaden his mind in many directions at once.

A Mahatma would approach his study with a sense of wonder, as had
by a little boy in a giant library, a library having books on
everything in the world. His wonder is based upon the conviction
that he can know anything, if he chooses to, given the necessary
time.

We have, then, two kinds of knowledge, the specific and the
generic. In his development, the individual on the Path unfolds
the generic faculty of thought. Combined with specific
knowledge, the power of the lower mind, he could achieve mastery
over the world. But such mastery is secondary to mastery of the
self, and to the work to aid suffering humanity, which are the
primary goals of those on the Path, of those carrying forward the
work of the Hierarchy of Compassion.

It might be possible for a scientist to say "I know something you
don't know," and to be true when he says it. But he simply
wouldn't realize that his way of knowing things was incomplete in
itself, and that there are as yet, to him, untapped powers of
understanding. A Mahatma may not know the particular fact that
the scientist is thinking of, but could reply, if it were
appropriate to say such things, "yes, but I see things with a
depth and clarify that you have no idea of, and also know things
in different ways, in ways that cannot be explained, but only
experienced."

As theosophical students, what do we do with this? How do we
approach the different ways of knowing things?

First, we can keep abreast of the advances in science, from a
layman's point of view, with journals such as Discover Magazine.

Second, we can work on keeping our minds open, flexible, and not
crystallize in our thinking, always seeking to view things from
different perspectives.

Finally, we can study the theosophical literature, approaching it
with dedication, until we reach a point where we can go no
further, a point where we have to push through into an new way of
experiencing things.

We need to seek out our limits of knowledge and push on them
until they yield to us, and we find a wellspring of ideas flowing
into us. We take manas and push on it, arriving at what might be
called paramanas, manas pushed beyond its ordinary limits.

The ways we have of thinking about things and knowing of the
world are not limited to what we've been brought up with. There
are as yet many untapped powers of mind, awaking their chance to
awaken into life in us. Let's provide them with the necessary
sunlight and water within, so that they may germinate. Let us
work on opening up within, not just in terms of feelings, of
perceptions or clairvoyant images, or in terms of powers,
energies, or pranas, but rather in terms of ways of knowing
things.

------------------------------------------------------------------
BLAVATSKY NET UPDATE

by Reed Carson

1. With much positive portent, I would say, a group of students
have formed, and asked for the following announcement to be
included in this newsletter: Blavatsky Net will be spilling out
of cyberspace this fall!

This fall Blavatsky Net will be starting a live study group in
Manhattan New York that will meet twice a month to study the
original teachings of Theosophy. The group will probably meet on
alternate Sundays. Let us know if you are interested in
participating in such a group in New York City and any thoughts
you have about it. Please contact either David
(david@blavatsky.net) or Stella (stella@blavatsky.net). Look
forward to hearing from you.

2. Amedeo Nazzaro, a longtime student of Theosophy, has joined
the help desk. We expect he will be helping Blavatsky Net with
the above study class and in other yet to be determined ways. We
are, of course, very appreciative that he has offered his
services. He can be reached at amedeo@blavatsky.net.

3. We have decided to repeat the practice of last month and
speak on something outside this site.

Where did the early inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere come
from? The traditional theory, taught in many a school book, is
that they migrated from Asia across an area where is now the
Bering Strait and down into the American continents no earlier
than 12,000 years ago. This theory was called the Clovis-first
theory from archaeological finds in Clovis, New Mexico.

Unfortunately the Clovis-first view became so rigid that other
claims for an earlier and different origin for the older
inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere have been blocked. The
result has been the erection of what one scholar calls the
"Clovis curtain".

Theosophy holds to the existence of an inhabited "Atlantis" land
mass extending from the North Atlantic down to the South Atlantic
Ocean. Gradually that land mass sunk leaving a principal island
and finally that sunk as well. The Azores and Canary Islands are
other remnants of that continent. Modern plate tectonic theory
shows that continent to have as its backbone, the mid-atlantic
ridge -- so called by geologists today. Migration from that land
mass leaves an easy alternative explanation for the peopling of
the Western Hemisphere. Also Theosophy holds to a much greater
age for humanity in general. Therefore, Theosophy would expect
much earlier dates. And it does ascribe some contact between
Atlantis and the Americas, at least in the Yucatan Peninsula of
Mexico.

Now the Clovis curtain is showing rents. New archaeological
finds are producing hard-to-dispute evidence. Resistant views
are changing. Older dates are becoming accepted. DNA analysis
of American Indians shows similarities to some DNA in Europe
requiring a more open view that is also compatible with an
Atlantic land mass. Also Linguistic analysis requires a much
older date to account for the degree of difference in some
dialects of the Americas. One linguist says "Clovis-first is not
remotely possible".

I can recall talking with a longtime student of Theosophy years
ago, before so much evidence had come forward and these ideas had
made so much progress. Simply from a knowledge of the teachings
of Theosophy he ridiculed the Clovis-first theory and was
positive the Clovis curtain would be falling. And so it is.

Since this represents a change of a paradigm we included a very
informative article on this subject under "Weathervane" on the
home page.

4. Just to let you know -- for the remainder of the summer my
own personal activites may slow down work on this site and on
this newsletter, but I hope to emerge all the better for it when
all is settled. I will be attempting to build a new home that is
a geodesic dome up on a mountain side on the northern slopes of
the Catskill Mountains in New York State. The site is too far
from electricity so it will be "off-grid" and powered by solar
panels and wind turbine. I expect to be soon living in a one
room shack on the property and connected to civilization by the
thin tether of a solar powered portable computer and a cellular
phone. If nothing goes wrong it will be wonderful.

[For more information on Blavatsky Net, go to:]

    http://www.blavatsky.net

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THE MYTH OF MAN'S ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT

by Joy Mills

[Chapter Five in LIVING IN WISDOM: LECTURES ON "THE SECRET
DOCTRINE," copyright 1989, Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland /
Amsterdam. Reprinted with permission. The booklet was
transcribed from a class given at the August 1988 Summer School
of the Dutch Section of the Theosophical Society.]
	
We'll turn now more directly to the study of ourselves. We have
been looking at some of the great metaphysical concepts
concerning the origin and development of a universe, and remember
it is suggested at least that the intent of THE SECRET DOCTRINE
-- not only those volumes by H.P. Blavatsky but the esoteric
tradition itself -- is to awaken a new mode of consciousness.
When we turn then to the material in the second volume dealing
with "Anthropogenesis," we must keep very clearly in mind that
central purpose, otherwise we are likely to be lost in very
confusing details.

What I hope we can see is the central thread of our origins and
development. The occult story of our origins and development is
really a tremendous myth. It is the story that must always be
told therefore in terms that are metaphorical and poetic. At
times however, the story that is told in the 49 Slokas of volume
II would seem to stretch our credulity. The history that seems
to be referred to seems too fantastic and too removed from our
present condition to be either believable or even relevant. But
I would suggest that the importance of this part of the two
volumes, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, lies in their being a guide to our
true nature, not in their being a history of the evolution on the
surface of this planet. Because they show us our origins, they
also show us our way of return, not through the rejection of
life, but through the flowering of our still unrealized
potentials.

Our physical evolution must necessarily form part of the story,
but beyond or behind that particular story -- the physical
evolution -- we begin to see the patterns of events which come
from and are symbolic representations of the patterns in the
human soul. However you want to explain the matter, the men of
the past are present in us now. That is, their psychic patterns,
if you like, are ours. And in a similar manner, the men of the
future are also within us. So our studies are always studies of
us -- as we were, as we are, and as we will be. In the last
analysis, if I may put it this way, we must come to know that we
are gods. The gods exist within us -- and so do the devils --
but it takes a god to become a man. All the ancient myths and
legends refer to this fact and the occult tradition reminds us
that it takes a man to become a god again.

So one of the truly profound doctrines of the esoteric philosophy
is that we are the repository of and the elements comprising the
universe. This is certainly not fully recognized by contemporary
science but is coming to be recognized by contemporary
psychology, particularly that branch of psychology following the
work of Carl Jung. Everything resides in us; we are the epitome
of all that is -- the microcosm of the macrocosm. As the Greek
philosophers had it, we are "the measure of all things."

In addition, the esoteric philosophy teaches us that we also hold
within ourselves the history of all that has ever been, all of
what we may call the "inferior" stages of development through
which we have passed. So we are both the storehouse, the
repository of all past forms and of all future types. In this
sense we throw off the past forms as we evolve through the ages,
and each of those becomes in its turn what we may call a new
"stock." This concept or doctrine has been called the concept or
the doctrine of "vital off-throwings"; it is a very mysterious
one. HPB refers to it, not in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, but in
another place, as "the transmigration of life-atoms."

Now to understand all that is meant by what I have said so far,
we need to consider what is called "the man-pattern," that is,
the archetype of the manifested human being. Distinguish this
archetype from the human being in manifestation; the pattern is
called in THE SECRET DOCTRINE "the Heavenly Man." To use a term
that is very much in use today, it is "the divine Paradigm." HPB
tells us:

> The doctrine teaches that in order to become the fully divine
> god, even the highest spiritual primeval intelligences must pass
> through the human stage. And when we say "human" this does not
> apply merely to our terrestrial humanity, but to the mortals that
> inhabit any world, that is, to those intelligences that have
> reached the appropriate equilibrium between matter and spirit as
> we have now, since the middle of the fourth root-race of the
> fourth round has passed. Each entity must have won for itself
> the right of becoming divine through self-experience.

So all that I have said so far is beautifully summarized in that
one paragraph, but I have tried to put it first in a way that
could perhaps be more easily understood -- mainly because HPB
speaks of this subject as "so very mystical" and therefore the
most difficult to explain in all its details and bearings.

What we need to recognize is that man stands as the middle term
of the extent of being. There is a continuum of being, and the
middle term is the human condition. We can say that our
essential Self derives from the unmanifest and transcendental
Root of Self. And again, that our Self is the individualized
spark of incarnating mind. So on whatever level we speak of the
self, it is finally only in us that we find any experiential
point of reference. It is interesting that we use the same word
"self" for many aspects of the movement on this continuum of
being.

You may remember that when I spoke of the archetypal motifs of
creation, one of those motifs was one of a ritual murder, in
which the victim is the divine man. This in some cultures
remained as a ritual murder. And then there arose in some
cultures the substitution, so there arose the concept of the
scapegoat on whom all of the burden of the sacrifice was placed
instead of on man himself. It is interesting to trace how this
concept has continued through history, because in one sense we
still "murder" each other. We place on the other all the blame
of whatever is buried within ourselves. Do not think we can so
easily escape from the guilt of this ritual murder; it is a kind
of distorted reflection of this ritual murder. I do not want to
pursue this but I think you will begin to see some of its
implications.

In the archetypal pattern, the victim is the divine man. In
Hindu cosmogonies for example, it is PURUSA, the first man, the
original person, who is in the shape of the cosmos. He has a
thousand heads and a thousand feet. He extends beyond the world
and covers the whole universe; and out of his body, the world is
created. He is cut up, and each part of him becomes one aspect
of the universe. We have this even in the remembrances in the
Christian Eucharist. In all great traditions there is this
ritual murder of the original man, and it is reflected in us.
Our central task through all the aeons of development may be said
to be the reassembling of the original man, the archetypal
pattern. This is a reassembling which is done by making
conscious the entire universe.

Now if one studies the great myths dealing with the emergence of
the hero -- that is, the one who is now reassembling his own
nature -- there can be seen seven stages in his development. And
I propose that in some deeply mysterious way, these seven stages
correspond to what have been called in theosophical literature
the "root-races." This was a most unfortunate term that was
chosen. It was a term that was not pejorative in the last
century, it did not have bad connotations, but referred to a very
profound concept and certainly did not refer to ethnic groups,
although unfortunately it has been applied in this manner. I
would like to remove the term "root-race" from all of our
literature, because it has been so often misunderstood.

What is really referred to are the seven developmental stages
through which we progress on our cyclic journey. Now in terms of
the great hero-myth, these stages are given in this way. I just
thought you might like to know how they are generally defined and
we will look then at how they are defined in THE SECRET DOCTRINE
tradition. The first stage is known as the "fire-thief," the
thief who steals fire. Obviously this must refer to the coming
of the mind. The second stage is the "deluge-survivor." Of
course in this case it is the psychic nature which can flood
consciousness, and one has to learn to survive that. One can see
this today in those who are not surviving the "deluge" of the
psychic glamour, who become overwhelmed by the glamor of the
psychic realm, but the hero survives that stage. The third is
known as the "dragon-slayer." Having slain the dragons of, shall
we say, greed, jealousy -- all of the dragons that arise within
us -- the fourth stage is that of the "prophet" or "instructor."
The fifth is the stage of the "demigod," and the sixth the
"divine scapegoat." One sees this very clearly in the myth of the
Christos. The seventh then, which is well exemplified by the
stage of Buddhahood, is the "world redeemer."

So we have to keep in mind that we are dealing with a symbolic
account of psychic movements within us as living man.
Consequently all the stones and waters, fathers and mothers, and
so on of "Anthropogenesis," are glyphs -- symbols of the patterns
of our inner and outer beings. Therefore I look at this as the
tremendous myth which each one of us must live, and the pattern
is already present within us. In the translation of a Tibetan
text of Dr. Herbert Guenther -- one of the leading students of
Tibetan literature who has translated it in his work THE MATRIX
OF MYSTERY -- there is a very beautiful statement which points to
the presence of this archetypal pattern, all of these stages, in
all existent beings. This is going to be a little difficult, but
because it is so beautiful I will give it in full:

> In each body of every sentient being there resides pristine
> cognitiveness tending to coming into presence. It coils itself
> up in its own bed which is the continuum of being, the
> spontaneous "thereness" of being.

Not easy! But let us look at it, because it expresses a deep
truth. In each body of every sentient being there is the
original knowing -- here it is "pristine cognitiveness," but it
is original knowing, primordial universal Mind that is present
everywhere which is tending into, moving toward an expression.
In its original state it is as though coiled up in its own being
-- in its own bed, in its own nature -- which is the continuum of
being, we talked about it. Now what is also being pointed at is
that what we are engaged in is an uncoiling process which is
accomplished through seven stages, and marks the coming into
expression of the divine Paradigm.

Now we must note a very important aspect of the esoteric doctrine
here; HPB points out that there are three schemes of evolution
which she says in our system are inextricably interwoven and
interblended at every point. We cannot go into this in depth,
but it is there in THE SECRET DOCTRINE. The point that I wish to
make is that these three are named: the MONADIC, which is
concerned with the growth and development into still higher
phases of activity of the monads; in conjunction with the second
stream, which is the INTELLECTUAL -- or we can call it, if you
like, because it encompasses it, the "psychological," or if you
like another term: the "soul" -- and the third, which is the
PHYSICAL, around which, as HPB has said, nature has concreted the
physical body. And it is this body which serves as the vehicle
for all the transformations that take place in the other two.

So HPB says, "it is the union of these three streams in him which
makes man the complex being he now is." What I am pointing to is
that the "uncoiling" is a process of transformation and the
central area or focus of transformation is indeed, as HPB
indicates, the second stream, the "intellectual" -- or, as I
would like to call it, the "psychological" -- she says: "...
represented by the MANASA-DHYANI'S." It is the MANASIC realm
where our focus has to be. It is then always that in conjunction
with physical incarnation; that is why "in each body in every
sentient being there resides" this knowingness. And so the
teaching is that we realize all these stages here in physical
incarnation we win our immortality. What we are talking about,
in that sense, is the realization of these stages at the
psychological level, but frequently in the Slokas in
"Anthropogenesis" it appears that it is merely the change of
physical form, and indeed that form does have to follow the
interior transformation.

I would also give a word of caution here. We must not think of
the stages as just clearly marked; there is a great deal of
overlapping. There is a kind of what is called in biological
theory today a "punctuated equilibrium" which marks the process
of evolutionary development. This it is, some scientists are
proposing, that development is not just a smooth line but that
there is a movement, and then a sudden leap to a new level of
complexity. And this is called: the theory of punctuated
equilibrium. Now there is also at times a merging of one stage
into the next.

Having given you the stages in terms of the great myths, we will
examine the characteristics of each stage. The summary of the
stages is given in Sloka 39 of "Anthropogenesis." It is not an
easy one, but it gives the whole process:

> THE FIRST (Race) ON EVERY ZONE WAS MOON-COLORED (yellow-white);
> THE SECOND YELLOW LIKE GOLD, THE THIRD RED, THE FOURTH BROWN,
> WHICH BECAME BLACK WITH SIN. THE FIRST SEVEN ( ... ) SHOOTS
> WERE ALL OF ONE COMPLEXION IN THE BEGINNING. THE NEXT (seven ...
> ) BEGAN MIXING THE COLORS.

That gives us a very interesting summary, and of course it may
seem very puzzling at first. Now a word about the use of color.
The Sanskrit word VARNA, which is often translated as "color,"
also stands for "figure, shape, outward appearance." It also
means ""character, nature or quality," so there is a wide range
of meanings to the word HPB simply translates as "color." We must
never misinterpret these developmental stages as, or confuse
these stages with, skin pigmentation. The list of the "colored
races," so to speak, represents the objective expression, and
also the internal quality being expressed.

So we have to look very closely at what is signified in this, it
becomes very logical from this point of view to call the first
stage "moon-colored." Not only is there a reference immediately
to the origin of the physical form -- that is that the model-body
for our life-wave here, was a gift of the LUNAR-PITRIS or
moon-fathers -- but also that the beginning of human development
has a kind of shadowiness about it, a kind of glitter, and a
filminess. There is almost a transparency, and this indeed is
the first stage in our human development. It is interesting to
think in terms of our own first groping for meaning. There is a
kind of filminess about it; sometimes it is easier to see this
when we think about other people than about ourselves. You can
think of the embryo. The correspondence is there. The
correspondences incidentally are exact with the complete stages
of gestation and birth.

Now the interesting thing also to note is that with each of these
stages it is said that one of the senses developed and so it is
said that with this first stage of very filmy structure, the
sense was that of sound. You will remember what I said about the
web known as Akasha. Its chief characteristic is that of sound,
so there is a kind of "sounding," a kind of resonance with the
sound that is the universe. Incidentally, this is again repeated
in the growth of the embryo, this pulsating, this "sounding." It
is well known for example that in the embryo of a chicken, there
is a pulsation before there is the organ of the heart, and in
human beings also. The pulsation is there before the organ of
pulsation is formed. It is as though there is in us at this very
first stage a kind of dim awareness of the heartbeat of life
itself.

The second stage is said to be yellow as gold. This marks a more
developed stage, so to speak, a decline, if you like, in which
the pure brilliance, the glitter, is beginning to harden into
form, so there is now a shining outward. And the pure brilliance
is somehow becoming now more formed. We can look now again at
the sense that is added, for it is said that the second stage
awakens the sense of sound and TOUCH. Touch becomes possible
when there is a hardening of form.

Note that the third stage, the color assigned to it, is red. It
is a very interesting color or quality assigned. As touch
develops and attention is turned outwards, there is an awareness
of others, the arising of a sense of individuality -- not really
true individuality yet, but as touch moves outward, there is a
reaction that is an awareness, a reaction of desire or aversion.
So we may become red or excited with desire; that redness or
desire results in a tremendous motion further outwards. We want
now to possess or to hold, as it were, or to push aside. And now
the sense of COLOR is said to be added. It is interesting that
HPB does not say the sense of sight, but she says the senses of
sound, touch, and color -- because sight is veiled by color.
Only at the final stages is there real sight, in-sight -- the
stage of the enlightened one. Here it is color in which we see
the world. We see the other -- in color. And often we use even
in our language color to express our feelings. Sometimes we say
that a person is "black with depression." We use the expression
"I feel blue today." Or he is "red with anger." Our sight at this
third stage, which is an interesting stage -- and remember, in
the myths this was the stage of the "deluge-survivor" -- is the
emotional, psychic nature. And the individual who is carried
away says "I see colors everywhere . . . !" This is, if I may
say so, a kind of "primitive hangover" from an earlier stage of
development. What is so great about seeing colors? That is still
not "clear seeing"; it is merely a phenomenalistic event, and has
no relation to genuine, spiritual sight. How many get caught up
in this third stage! But one has to move further; one has to
plunge into the very depth of being. There is a final plunge
into what we may call full physical embodiment.

The next stage, the fourth, is said to be brown; in which, it is
said, it becomes black with sin. In the great gnostic myth, "The
Hymn of the Robe of Glory" -- sometimes it is called "The Hymn of
the Pearl," one finds this in one of the gnostic texts -- this
whole process of the hero is the moving out of the divine
kingdom, into the land of Egypt. Egypt of course symbolizes the
fun physical embodiment, the land of Al-Khem, where the
transformation now must begin to take place. And we must not
give the word "sin" a moral connotation, but recognize that with
the third stage, the sense of color, there is inevitably a sense
of choice. The tradition tells us that therefore in the middle
of the third stage there was the awakening of MANAS, the entry
into the nascent form of the MANASAPUTRAS, that great creative
hierarchy that now could take hold of the form that had
developed. Those familiar with THE SECRET DOCTRINE will know
some of the details connected with this. And those not familiar,
will just have to become familiar! With this awakening of MANAS,
there is now choice and when there is choice, there are
consequences to be faced. You see, in the gnostic "Hymn of the
Robe of Glory," the son who left his fathers home, who was sent
to Egypt to recover the pearl of wisdom, succumbed to the
condition in which many of us find us -- he went to sleep. And
of course there are many sleepwalkers among us. Or, as in the
wonderful hero-myth, the myth of Parcival, we have Lancelot who
frequently wanders from the right path, and always had to be
reminded that it was possible to get back on the right path
again. And so, the reference "black with sin" refers to a
certain loss of sight. It is a certain wandering from the path.
You remember I spoke of the archetypal motif of failure. But
failure, as I tried to suggest, is an absolute necessity for the
human condition. It is necessary if true consciousness is to be
awakened or developed. Now it is interesting therefore that the
sense which is to be awakened at this stage is the sense of
TASTE. And here it is that we eat the apples from the trees that
grow in the garden . . .

Now it is interesting that the fifth stage is noted for being a
mixture of colors; that is of course the stage where humanity
today lives. This is the point of interaction between the
physical and the entire range of subtler realms. Truly we are
today in a condition of a mixture of color. All of these past
qualities, colors, are still present and they are in quite a
mixture. We are faced with a tremendous task at the fifth stage
of trying to clear up ourselves, so to speak. We have to, as it
were, "unmix the colors." This is a state where it is very
uncomfortable, a level where there is an interaction between all
that is present and all that is still to come, as well as with
the past. It is the stage at which the mind, the MANASIC
principle, is really focusing, and becomes the link between the
most dense exteriorization of energy and the spiritual or MONADIC
actuality of our essential being. Indeed, we do find ourselves
hung on the cross and we are torn in two directions. Here is the
genuine sacrifice to be made. True, it is not a very comfortable
situation in which we find ourselves, but it is a necessary
stage.

I have always been interested in the undeniable fact that the
significant growth of understanding today appears to be in the
realm that we could call "psychological." The charter of the
UNESCO begins with those amazing words: "Since wars begin in the
minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of
peace must be built." This is where we are, and it is not
comfortable, is it? It is not comfortable to be torn between all
these divisions. Here we are!

And yet we know that there are further stages. Very
interestingly, very little is given about the sixth and seventh
stage. No colors are assigned, so we can only postulate that a
new direction must be taken. We have to recognize that the
colors are present in us, psychologically speaking. And the work
to be undertaken is a kind of clearing of the coloration. It is
not then that adjustments have to be made in the outer
circumstances of the world in which we live; the outer
circumstances are not the problem. The problem is within us. It
is what we will do to clear the coloration of MANAS. The outer
circumstances are a clear reflection of the interior state of
humanity's consciousness.

Hence, the tremendous work that was given by HPB to her students.
In fact, this year is not only the centenary of the publication
of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, it is the centenary of the establishment
of her inner school, the Esoteric School. Now why did she
establish such a school? Because, she said, there were two
principal reasons. The Theosophical Society as a body was
failing to exemplify the brotherhood for which it had been
established. Have we done very much better? Secondly, because of
the failure to understand the doctrine. And let me be blunt, we
haven't done much better a hundred years later, when our branches
and groups still fail to study the teachings.

Here is our central task: to transform the mind of man, to
transform, or to redeem the world-mind. And we can do this only
if we have transformed our own consciousness. So we can spend
all our time rearranging the furniture of the world, in the hope
that by such rearrangement we can bring about a new world-order,
or we can undertake the more difficult but truly worthwhile task
of awakening a new kind of consciousness.

Now let us come back then to the senses, because this is very
interesting. I have commented on the senses that are said to
mark, and they do mark, the development of these earlier stages.
The sense of sound, touch, and color for the first three, the
sense of taste for the fourth -- and we are tasting all of the
fruits, good and evil, the knowledge of the opposites. The sense
that is said to be awakened at the fifth stage is the sense of
SMELL. Now why smell for the fifth stage? It has been said that
in the language of symbol, the nose and the nostrils for
breathing are representative for volition and free will. The
control of breathing indicates both restraint and a discipline of
the physical nature. The use of the nostrils for smelling is
symbolic for the function of the lower aspect of the mind, to
discriminate those aspects or qualities of the soul which are to
be transmuted into nobler or higher qualities. Hence the
teaching for our time is indeed that the first requirement is
discrimination. One may also recall a statement made by one of
the Masters in writing to Mr. Sinnett: "There is a moral smell
as well as a physical one." So smell has always been defined as a
symbol for discrimination of what is beneath in order to move to
that which is symbolically above.

The sixth and the seventh, it is said, will deal more with
psychological than physical laws -- that the sixth sense, which
has often simply been called "intuition," has to do more properly
with the perception of inwardness. The seventh sense is the
sense which is the full awareness of our unity with all life. In
one way it recapitulates on a higher level the first sense. One
now hears "the voice of the silence." And so, the cycle of our
growth will one day have been completed.

We have then a magnificent panorama presented to us of the
totality of our development which is possible. The divine
Paradigm reflects itself in forms which become vehicles of that
inner soul process, by which that indwelling awareness can come
to know and understand the meaning of existence. So the
developments are seen as outer manifestations of an inner
pattern. And ultimately, those outer manifestations must be
assimilated within us. This is our task, and not an easy one,
but a very wonderful one. A really glorious future opens up
before us, if we take up the challenge and the responsibility.

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application