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THEOSOPHY WORLD ------------------------------------- April, 2000
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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.)
"Gleanings From YOGA VASISTHA," by Dara Eklund
"Of Truth and the Theosophical Movement," by W. Emmett Small
"The Evolution of the Soul," by A. Trevor Barker
"Blavatsky Net Update," by Reed Carson
"Cultural Units," by B.P. Wadia
"Why I Became a Theosophist," by Philip A. Malpas
"Just Imagine," by Annette Rivington
"The Seven Jewels of Wisdom: Key Theosophical Ideas"
"Questions on Evolution," Part II, by Henry T. Edge
"On the Study of THE SECRET DOCTRINE," Part II, by Herbert Coryn
> The first lesson taught in esoteric philosophy is, that the
> incognizable Cause does not put forth evolution, whether
> consciously or unconsciously, but only exhibits periodically
> DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF ITSELF to the perception of FINITE Minds.
> THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II, 487
GLEANINGS FROM "YOGA VASISTHA"
by Dara Eklund
These notes are from a pre-Spring weekend seminar on YOGA
VASISTHA, provided by Joy Mills at the Krotona School of
Theosophy. The YOGA VASISTHA is a little-known text of Indian
Philosophy, although a few prominent scholars such as Bhagavan
Das (MYSTIC EXPERIENCES, 1927) have commentaries upon it. A
translation by K. Narayanaswami Aiyar was published by the T.S.
Adyar in 1914, and Dr. B.L. Atreyas' YOGAVASISTHA AND ITS
PHILOSOPHY was published in THE INDIAN THEOSOPHIST in 1988; based
on earlier lectures at the T.S. Benares (1932).
Very little is known about the sage Vasistha (pronounced
VASHISTHA). After the seminar we located a few references to the
sage. Blavatsky's THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY has a brief line: "One
of the primitive seven great Rishis, and a most celebrated Vedic
sage." On an internet site, N. Ranganatha Sharma describes him
as a great Hindu ascetic, born of the God Brahma himself.
> He was a preceptor to great kings like Raja Harischandra and Lord
> Rama. He had conquered all his passions and was a Jitendriya.
> He was married to Arundhati who was a great devoted wife and
> learned lady. Both these names occur in our scripture a number
> of times and are considered so great that in the Great Bear there
> is a star that is named after Vasistha and a small one close to
> him named Arundhati. In Sanskrit the great bear is known as
> Saptarshi (seven ascetics) . . .
[The name Vasistha is sometimes spelled Vasishta; for consistency
we have kept it to the text's spelling, in the first paragraph
above and made minor English corrections.] On the internet site:
one may find fascinating legends about the great sage.
Joy began our Friday evening session with a brief explanation of
the text which is known as the "Greater Ramayana" -- since it
deals with the Inner life and training of Rama when he was only
16, and before the epic [termed the "Lesser Ramayana"] which
deals with his outer life and trials. Rama is troubled by
questions which afflict all of us:
* "Why do we suffer?"
* "How do we life in this world of sorrow" and
* "How can we relieve human suffering?"
Valmiki, the sage who wrote down the world-famous RAMAYANA sends
Vasistha to answer these questions and instruct him.
As only the awakened are capable of becoming enlightened by the
Truth, Rama must first wake up before he can be instructed.
Therefore, the YOGA VASISTHA has been called a text upon
Self-knowledge. For whom is this dialogue narrated? It is for
those who seek liberation from ignorance and illusion, and those
who have a concern for human sorrow. The root of the problem is
to control the wavering mind and through self-effort gain the
illumination to overcome ignorance.
There are four "Gatekeepers" or qualifications to gain this
illumination, "Four Warders" as termed by Bhagavan Das. They are
according to the CONCISE YOGA VASISTHA
1. Self-control -- Dispassionate Calm of Mind
2. Spirit of inquiry -- Invincible untiring Reflection
3. Contentment -- Greedless, non-acquisitive serenity
4. Good company -- i.e. of the wise or holy ones
These qualifications are provided in various orders by
interpreters, but all agree that if you achieve one, you might
achieve the others.
We were provided with a number of stories, in which various
demons such as Sambara and Karkati (the giant demoness of
unsatiable appetite) represent the mind. These are
transformative allegories which present the journey of the Monad
through Samsara to Nirvana, invariably connected with the above
four requirements for illumination.
The story of Karkati is about a Giant demoness who devours men
for their life-energy by becoming the size of a needle. But via
penance she is allowed to gain the boon of regaining her huge
form, where she might still consume unworthy mortals and even
sages. But now she tests their wisdom first. Her taste has
become discriminative. So she tests the wisdom of the King and
his minister with probing questions. Joy handed us a list of
these questions to discuss, of which a few are:
* What is that atom which is the cause of the origin,
preservation and destruction of the myriads of heterogeneous
universes springing up, like so many bubbles on the surface of
* What is that which is Akasa (Space) and yet is not?
* What is that which, moving, yet moves not?
* What is that which is of the nature of consciousness and yet is
* Of what are the seer, the sight, and the seen made?
* What is it that veils and reveals manifestation?
* In what is the apparent threefold division of time established?
* What is it that comes into manifestation and vanishes
Who but a very intelligent demon could ask such questions? Then
Joy asked us to explain the conclusion of the story when Karkati
spares the King and becomes a charming young woman by day, but at
night resumes her demoniacal form, consuming criminals and
sinners? And of course, a number of students felt Maya and the
Dual aspect of Mind were the answers. Joy related another story
of Gadhi, an allegory of the Mind's illusion.
Vasistha reveals to Rama, the importance of direct experience,
admonishing "Your knowledge needs confirmation." He emphasizes
SELF-EFFORT at the close of each chapter, for example
"Rama, you are already liberated. Just live like it."
In the fifth chapter Vasistha urges Rama to engage in spontaneous
and appropriate action. That is, live in the moment and face
what needs doing!
The sixth chapter (and longest portion of the text) is epitomized
as "I have given you a net woven with words, with which you must
down the bird of your mind and let your mind rest in the heart."
The Life of the Liberated One is revealed in this section as That
knowledge which is not mere belief, but one gained by realizing
that the "Experience and the Experiencer are One!" Further it
delineates Seven States of Wisdom or YOGA
1. Constant inquiry
2. Direct observation (as to what to do, or not to do)
3. Non-attachment or freedom
4. Mind becomes free of division
5. Only undivided Reality remains (Yet the yogi still labors)
6. The yogi reaches the Turiya stage where he transcends
duality, the real or the Unreal; and becomes like a full vessel
immersed in the Sea.
7. Enters as the disembodied Liberated ones into the Supreme
Brahman, or Supreme Bliss.
Forming small groups for discussion's sake, we were asked to
ponder how one might live knowing that one is already liberated.
How would he respond to pleasure or pain? Here of course many
correspondences to THE BHAGAVAD GITA arose. What would be the
mental state in times of calamity, disaster or sorrow? To what
extent would there be a different state of mind when all is going
well, when someone else receives praise, or when we are praised?
How would such a liberated one engage in worldly activities, how
would we treat Friends? Enemies? Strangers? What might be the
emotional nature of such a person, his outer appearance? All
these questions drew worthy commentary, but I especially like the
YOGA VASISTHA's description as his outer appearance being with
the "Luster of cheerfulness," one whose conduct annoys no one.
After Rama enters Supreme Bliss, Valmiki urges Vasistha to bring
Rama back to a bodily form. The text closes with a revelation of
whom Rama is "The Supreme Purusha of everyone -- the Godhead,
protector and redeemer of all." ...Therefore "Rama, Get up and
bring joy to all."
I should like to also enclose some key ideas on Truth as
expressed in Chapter IV of the YOGA VASISTHA. In the archives of
Theosophy World, some passages selected by Nicholas Weeks on "The
Path of Self-Reliance" are available. These were shared by Joy
Mills during our beginning sessions, and provided as printouts
> O Rama, he sees the truth who sees the body as a product of
> deluded understanding and as the fountain source of misfortune,
> and who knows that the body is not the self.
> He sees the truth who sees that in this body pleasure and pain
> are experiences on account of the passage of time and the
> circumstances in which one is placed, and that they do not
> pertain to him.
> He sees the truth who sees that he is the omnipresent infinite
> consciousness which encompasses within itself all that takes
> place everywhere at all times.
> He sees the truth who knows that the self, which is as subtle as
> the millionth part of the tip of a hair divided a million times,
> pervades everything.
> He sees the truth who sees that there is no division at all
> between the self and the other, and that the one infinite light
> of consciousness exists as the sole reality.
> He sees the truth who sees that the non-dual consciousness which
> indwells in all beings is omnipotent and omnipresent.
> He sees the truth who is not deluded into thinking that he is the
> body which is subject to illness, fear, agitation, old age and
> He sees the truth who sees all things are strung in the self as
> beads are strung on a thread, and who knows "I am not the mind."
> He sees the truth who sees all this is Brahman, neither 'I' nor
> 'the other.'
> He sees the truth who sees all beings in the three worlds as his
> own family, deserving his sympathy and protection.
> He sees the truth who knows that the self alone exists and there
> is no substance in objectivity.
> He is firmly established in the truth who feels"What should I
> acquire, what should I renounce, when all this is the one self?"
> Salutations to the abode of auspiciousness who is filled with the
> supreme realization that the entire universe is truly Brahman
> alone, which remains unchanged during all the apparent creation,
> existence and dissolution of the universe.
> -- THE CONCISE YOGA VASISTHA, Chapter IV
OF TRUTH AND THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
by W. Emmett Small
[This was the last editorial in THE ECLECTIC THEOSOPHIST by W.
Emmett Small, while he was Editor of the journal. It appeared in
the Winter 1992 issue, pages 2-3.]
> Although Theosophical ideas have entered into every development
> or form which awakening spirituality has assumed, yet Theosophy
> pure and simple has still severe battles to fight for
Those are words of H.P. Blavatsky given over a hundred years ago
to the American Convention in Chicago of April 22-23, 1888.
Direct and clear they tell the story still for today. So we ask,
What of the Theosophical Movement as we approach the last years
of this century? Let us be honest. Let us face facts.
There are a growing number of theosophical groups or Societies in
different parts of the world seriously studying the writings of
HPB and THE MAHATMA LETTERS and trying to put these Teachings
into practice. There are an increasing number of scattered
theosophical students, no longer subserving an administrative
body, also studying conscientiously and searching for truth.
On the other hand, in larger T.S. groups or Societies there
still is an acceptance of what is known as the Liberal Catholic
Church, based on the distorted ideas of C.W. Leadbeater, opposed
to true Theosophy, as well as other later self-styled gurus and
their followers pandering to what an ignorant public cries for.
There also is an increasing number, even among them, beginning
perhaps a hesitant appraisal of what they've been taught,
awakening to the dangers facing the future.
Foreseeing dangers that the Movement would face, HPB stressed
(again writing to the same American Convention) what we might
call the great necessity:
> HOLD FAST EVER TO TRUTH, to "Theosophy pure and simple."
But she also warned that in doing so there should be no
"orthodoxy." It calls for careful thought.
Diversity is a universal fact of life. It does not mean discord
among Theosophists -- IF there is belief in basic Truth itself.
That great underlying trust and belief should ever be the core of
Unity despite individual variety in understanding or approaching
it. HPB writes clearly on this:
> Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable.
> It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the
> Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body...
And, completing the thought, she warns of that necessary
Diversity having "other ugly features." So what are they? And we
quote here from our editorial in THE ECLECTIC THEOSOPHIST, No.
45, March 1978:
> Does that diversity open doors to acceptance of actual distortion
> of teaching, pawned off on an inquiring public as the Theosophy
> of the Masters? We are in a cycle similar to the dawning years of
> the Christian era, the Fish Age. Now in the Aquarian beginnings,
> tumultuous in opportunity, shall the Movement go the same way,
> with emphasis on psychic vagaries, in vestures and outer
> trappings and the shell, while the reality, "the living and
> breathing spirit of Truth," fades away sought by the relative
> few? And when it comes to theosophical principles, is it an
> agreeable complacency that is preferred tolerant of the pull and
> trend of the times and hesitant of determined stand?
Today, as interest grows in the transcendental and occult, and
the wildest ideas are seized upon as genuine occult revelation,
is there not urgency for Theosophists to make clear what
Theosophy is ... to NOT state what it is not? If, as HPB
declares, Theosophy is the source from which the religions of the
future will be born, if "it alone can furnish the beacon light
needed to guide humanity on its true path," what then is our
duty? So we see that in guidance of the Theosophical Society,
method or form of work can change dependent on outer conditions
and circumstances, but the driving inner force remains one with
Truth. "I work for TRUTH and in accordance with my sacred pledge
and vow, which I, at least will never break" -- again HPB writing
to Fellows of the American Section in the last years of her life.
So we must not confuse the diversity of outer change with inner
It was the same with W.Q. Judge who worked so closely and
loyally with HPB all his life. Dangerous conditions in the
Movement demanded of him necessary action to preserve the true
teaching. History knows of the break of the T.S. then into two
main parts, called "the Split."
In the next century Katherine Tingley was ever loyal, too, to the
original Teaching and Program, her method emphasizing a practical
demonstration of Universal Brotherhood, at least its possibility,
in her School on Point Loma.
And after her was G. de Purucker. His method again in working
for the great Cause and devoting his full energies to spreading
Theosophy was shown when he started some sixty years ago what was
called the Fraternization Movement: Break down the barriers
between the various Theosophical Societies, not then even on
speaking terms. Get down to real study of Theosophy. Treat
other T.S. workers with decency and respect even in
disagreement. In a dozen years it succeeded in degree, and
Theosophical world conditions will never be the same.
But let us take note of G. de P.'s last thoughts on this
subject, written in 1941 during World War II. We quote a few
> So far as the Point Loma Society is concerned, it has absolutely
> no intention of trying to reunite with other societies -- The
> common work in the world will be just as well served by the
> different Theosophical Societies -- [Diversity!] -- following
> each its own path, but with cordial and fraternal relations
> amongst themselves, and especially SYMPATHY by us toward others
> of other societies of theosophical bent, or Theosophical
> Societies which return to the original policies, teachings and
> procedures of the Masters and HPB ...
This seems to hint that for some years to come, and especially
now for us in these closing years of this century, the method
will be one of many theosophical groups, lodges, or individuals
free from administrative control working along theosophical lines
they find helpful under their own conditions and circumstances.
And that then as the years advance and Theosophy "pure and
simple" becomes more widely recognized that in itself will
generate a Call, and a wider, more universal unity and union will
Our own work of Point Loma Publications, its growing number of
published volumes since its founding in 1971, as well as the
pages of our ECLECTIC THEOSOPHIST, attest to what we have striven
for: holding firmly to the basic principles and Teachings brought
by HPB and her Teachers, and sharing these with our growing
number of readers around the world.
HOLD FAST TO TRUTH. This should be the undying motto of the
Theosophical Movement, its Societies, Lodges, individual members.
In those four words we find both daring challenge and daily
I now step down from the editorial office of our quarterly
ECLECTIC, and our son Kenneth will become Editor. He has been
Associate Editor this last year, and has also been a member of
Point Loma Publications since its founding and is its present
Secretary. We trust he too will have the steady friendly support
we ourselves have enjoyed these many decades for which we are
THE EVOLUTION OF THE SOUL
by A. Trevor Barker
[From THE HILL OF DISCERNMENT, Theosophical University Press,
1941, pages 269-75]
The result of Theosophical study should be that the inner
something which HPB called the Real Man should come to
predominate over the exterior form and take possession of it, and
thereby become, in a real sense of the word, the Captain of the
ship. It is something which those who have taken the pursuit of
spiritual things seriously must have glimpsed to a larger or
smaller extent: a realization that comes, after a certain period
of study and effort along the lines of the spiritual life, as a
result of inward and upward striving. It is an inflow of energy
and inspiration from the higher part of their being, which
enables them to steer the ship of their own life with a sense of
conscious direction, which they never had up to that moment.
I wonder what this title, "The Evolution of the Soul," signifies
to you. Probably if you have not had the inestimable privilege,
as we believe it to be, of studying the Theosophical philosophy,
you will be saying to yourselves that the evolution of the soul
has reference to the development and growth of something within a
man, and you will probably leave it at that. But to the
Theosophist, immediately you talk of the evolution of the soul a
vast picture presents itself -- not of man alone, but of the
whole universe. One of the fundamental statements of the
Theosophical philosophy is that the whole universe exists for but
one purpose, and that is the evolution of the soul.
What is meant by that statement? For there is another one that
goes side by side with it: that every entity in the universe
either was a man, or is a man at the present time, or will be in
the future. This idea of the whole universe existing for the
evolution of the soul immediately suggests that Soul is
everywhere present: that life and spirituality and consciousness
are present at every point in space; that there is no such thing
at all as dead matter anywhere. Therefore to the Theosophist,
when he thinks of this problem of the growth of the soul, it
signifies the unfolding of Divine powers and capacities in the
life which is everywhere present, even in that which scientists
call inorganic matter. That means that we are not merely
concerned in our thought with the problems of man and his growth
and development, but we realize that the whole of the Universe of
which we are a part, is a living entity, bound together in one
indissoluble unity in all its parts, in all its kingdoms, and
united by the unfolding intelligence which is indwelling in every
atom of which it is composed.
Think of the vast ocean of space in which this Universe "lives
and moves and has its being." Everything proceeds forth from it,
and one day will return into it again. But immediately you think
of evolution and growth, and you wonder: Where did it all begin?
Actually what is the origin of a solar system? Well, if you look
at the Universe IN TOTO as a vast plane which is periodically the
playground of numberless Universes which come and go incessantly,
then you realize that the birth and death of a man, the birth and
death of a planet, is a process not different from that of the
birth and ultimate dissolution of a solar system. Therefore,
when we study man himself, we realize that there is something
within man which is eternal, which is undying, and which is, as
it were, a seed of life into which everything returns at the end
of any one of his excursions into manifested existence, such as a
single human incarnation. There is that into which all this
outward manifestation that we call a man is indrawn. Then at a
single moment in time, under cyclic law, that seed -- that divine
spark, if you will -- fructifies. It puts forth its energy, and
once again, evolving and growing from within without, a little
child is born, and the entity that we call a man emerges once
again on the stage of human life. I would like to suggest to you
the thought that exactly the same process takes place in the
evolution of a universe or a solar system. There is a germ
within the root of a solar system which periodically fructifies
in exactly the same way.
Evolution, according to Theosophy, proceeds in three streams. We
must not merely regard it as an evolution of form. If we do
regard it thus, we should be materialists. That is why the
scientists' search to answer the riddle of evolution fails,
because they do not realize that it is not a problem of the
unfolding, development and differentiation of species of physical
forms at all. It is essentially a problem of the evolution of
the soul: the indwelling life within the form. Yet they came
very close to the true solution of the problem of evolution when
they discovered that the embryonic stages of the evolution of the
foetus recapitulate all the kingdoms of nature. From that they
deduced from that this human form of ours has actually descended
from animal ancestors. Yet there is no greater illusion in the
world than that; and it is absolutely necessary when attempting
to speak upon Theosophical doctrines concerning evolution, to
draw a sharp line of distinction between the philosophical and
religious conception of the evolution of the soul on the one
hand, and the scientific ideas of Darwin, and the evolution of
human forms from animal ancestors, on the other hand.
I said a moment ago that evolution proceeds in three streams.
These are, the spiritual, the intellectual, and the physical. In
man, these three streams become evident and provable to us. We
can observe these three streams if we observe ourselves. We know
that we have an external form; and if we delve deep into
ourselves we realize the existence of the intellectual and
thinking part of us that. HPB called the Real Man; and then, if
we delve still deeper, we realize that there is a sovereign
immortal spiritual principle, brooding over and illuminating the
two lower principles; and it is that which is the fountain and
origin of all the inspiration which any man at any time ever
became the recipient of.
The beginnings of life in any solar system, and the origin of any
individual man, must be a subject of the profoundest interest to
any thinking person. You remember the words of Edwin Arnold in
THE SONG CELESTIAL:
> Nor I, nor thou, nor any one of these,
> Ever was not, nor ever will not be,
> For ever and for ever afterwards.
And probably there is no one, whoever began the study of
Theosophical teachings, who was not profoundly perplexed about
this riddle of the eternity of life, of this beginningless and
endless existence which we are attempting to show forth the
I would like to try to elucidate a little. What does it mean
when we say to ourselves that we as spiritual beings never have a
beginning and we can never have an end? Does it convey anything
to you or not? Here is the answer that Theosophy gives. You
cannot separate yourself in thought from all the other beings of
the universe, and especially you cannot separate yourselves from
that to which you owe your origin. What is the origin of an
individual man? It is what the New Testament called his Father in
Heaven -- not in the sense of any personal God according to the
teachings of the churches; but there was that spiritual principle
which the Avatara of the New Testament declared himself to be at
one with; and it is exactly the same for any one of us. There
comes a time when we realize that we ourselves owe our origin to
-- we are indeed the children of -- that divine part of us. See
how this links onto the question of "Never was I not, and never
shall I hereafter cease to be."
There are three streams of evolution: spiritual, intellectual,
and physical, and the physical and objective part of us is but
the child or manifestation of the Inner Man, and that Inner Man
is in turn the child of the spiritual part of us; so that you can
say that an outer form of a universe, of a planet or a man,
signifies an indwelling entity, eternally linked to and the
expression of a spiritual being behind it. The divine entity,
which is the parent of a man, for example, is in every case a God
-- "so many men on earth, so many Gods in heaven." The men that
we are today -- fallible, erring, but striving upwards to union
with those deities -- what were we yesterday? Obviously if
evolution is a truth, then there was a time aeons ago, when we
were actually passing through and struggling out of the beast
kingdom, as today we are passing through and struggling to emerge
from the human kingdom into something higher. Do you see the
point? That entity, which at one time was embodied in the kingdom
of the animals, is today, as a result of its inward growth and
development, embodied as a human being.
And the divine being, that immortal entity which is the
inspiriting force behind the evolution of any being or world or
system: what about it? There was a time when it was a thinking
man, when it too looked to its divine parent. So you see that
life and consciousness is a hierarchy of being and existence.
There are many entities within man. Man is not just a simple
being: he is a very complex entity; and those beings, if we look
within ourselves, exist on a hierarchical principle; and that
Golden Chain, that Sutratman, that thread of eternal
consciousness on which our whole being is strung, has no possible
beginning and no possible ending, for it is rooted in the very
fabric and structure of the Universe itself.
Just think to yourself of this chain of life: eternal because
ever being, that is strung upon that thread and is progressing to
higher and higher states of being. The man that we are today,
tomorrow will have won his way, if he runs the cosmic race
successfully, up to that higher stage of being where he in his
turn will have become the inspiriting force behind the men of
tomorrow. So the men of today emerge at the end of a great world
period of evolution as perfected God-men, fully self-conscious,
fully developed; and when the time comes for the manifestation of
life in a new period -- a new world period -- then the humanity
of the last period become the leaders, spiritually speaking, of
those who will emerge on the stage of human life in that period,
who were ensouling the world of the animals during the preceding
world period. So the evolution of the soul presents a rather
complex picture, if I may so express it.
Lastly, I would like to leave this thought with you and invite
you to raise questions on all those many aspects of the doctrines
of evolution that I have left unsaid, and that last thought is
this: if, in the unfolding of the powers within man it is
possible for us to unfold spiritual and intellectual and
psychical powers equal to those of the highest entity that the
mind of man can conceive of, think of the noble and grand picture
of the great Teachers of the human race, as they are recorded in
religious history, for example, those who are virtually God-men.
If those beings have truly trodden the ways of men, they show
forth an ideal, they hold up a lamp, which shows us that what
they have done we must necessarily be able to do and to achieve
one of these days. Why? Because it is a fundamental of this
philosophy that there are no special privileges in nature for any
being in the Universe, except those that the individual has won
by his own efforts and striving. Therefore the Mahatma and all
great souls possess the powers that they do over space and matter
simply because they have found the way as a result of a long
series of lives of bringing forth the virtually omniscient powers
of their own spirits, and have acquired full control of their own
mechanism of consciousness. It is actually that goal that
humanity is set in its evolutionary progress to unfold from
within itself: that spiritual power by which the human, thinking
entity within us is raised into indissoluble one-ness with the
divine principle of his being. That is the goal of all
Theosophical and spiritual endeavor. Those Teachers of the human
race who now hold the lamp of spiritual truth for us, at one time
stood exactly where we stand today. They are men like us: but
spiritual men, who know because they have realized the power of
the Divinity that lies at the root of their being.
BLAVATSKY NET UPDATE
by Reed Carson
Theosophy keeps moving on. This month sixteen articles by
William Q. Judge have been added online to this site. On the
"roadmap" page we have added links to a new site in Tanzania and
to another that has been up for a little while in London.
Students of ULT have placed online 6 more videos since last
mention, bringing the total to 21 free half-hour long
Theosophical videos available online.
On this site this month we have worked at enriching the
bookstore, adding 8 new aisles and numerous books. Some are
worth particular mention here.
One new aisle is called "For Beginners". A constant dilemma is
what to offer to the newcommer to read. Now this new aisle does
what is a little unorthodox in some circles. Before listing
Judge's Ocean it suggests 2 books by Geoffrey Farthing. Farthing
was president of the Blavatsky Trust and fills both books with
quotes from HPB. I think his writing style and emphasis on HPB
fill a real need. (If you read them and disagree, please write
me.) That aisle also offers abridged versions of the Secret
Doctrine and Isis Unveiled in paperback for starters. We hope
people will move up to the full hardbound versions later, but
people need a way to start.
Another important new aisle is for the Mahatma Letters, the
important Theosophical classic book first published in 1923 that
contains the actual letters they wrote last century. That aisle
currently features the 1998 version of the Mahatma Letters to
A.P. Sinnett that has been arranged and edited by Vicente Hao
Chin Jr. (Chin donated the articles by HPB in text form to this
site helping to give it a start in cyber-life in 1996. He also
first placed the SD into the computer, a significant event, I
think, in Theosophical history.) An important change is that the
letters are in chronological order. This change is helpful and
useful other material is in the annotations giving when and where
etc. Yes there is a note suggesting that material offically
meant to be published should be read first. To contribute some
Theosophical meat to this newsletter I am quoting one of the
letters form the Masters, appearing on the back cover of Chin's
version, that ought to have significance for all of us.
> Nature has linked all parts of her Empire together by subtle
> threads of magnetic sympathy, and there, there is a mutual
> correlation even between a star and a man; thought runs swifter
> than the electric fluid, and your thought will find me if
> projected by a pure impulse, as mine will find, has found, and
> often impressed upon your mind. We may move in cycles
> divided-not entirely separated from each other: Like the light in
> the sombre valley seen by the mountaineer from his peaks, every
> bright thought in your mind, my Brother, will sparkle and attract
> the attention of your distant friend, and correspondent. If thus
> we discover our natural Allies in the Shadow-world -- your world
> and ours outside the precincts -- and it is our law to approach
> every such an one if even there be but the feeblest glimmer of
> the true "Tathagata" light within him -- then how far easier for
> you to attract us.
> -- THE MAHATMA LETTERS, Letter XLV
The work of the scholar Henk Spierenburg has been recommended
more than once. Now his works have been added to the store and
form the initial basis of the new aisles that take a serious
approach to studying religions. He collates HPB's statements and
adds his own scholarship. His books are very much centered on
And an inspiration aisle has been added for at least a little
balance to all the heavy material in the store.
Of course the store is not yet done. But it has been deepened in
depth, scope, and number of authors represented. Hope you like
The total membership on the two Blavatsky Net talk lists,
BN-study and BN-basic, with some overlap, is now over 750. There
has been much active exchange of thought and, I think, much
growth. We will want to know your view! See us at:
by B.P. Wadia
[The last part of a paper -- "Will the Soul of Europe Return?" --
offered to the first World Congress of the Theosophical Society
in 1921. This is from a reprint in a private pamphlet by
Himalaya Prakashan, Bangalore, August 20, 1979. ]
In this Aryan Race, mind development in seven stages is taking
place. The principles of human constitution relate themselves to
races and sub-races of the human kingdom. In the new
international state, a sublayer of the mind principle of the race
will operate. We are not here concerned with the beginnings of
the next sub-race. I refer to the Aryan European family race
growth in terms of mind. The advance sixth sub-race is related
to and to a certain extent dependent on the mind unfoldment of
our fifth sub-race in all its ramifications of family-races. The
advance guard of that family is passing out of the stage in which
the use of the scientific mind is made, to that in which the
philosophic mind operates. The front-rank pioneers of that
advance guard are getting even beyond that -- passing out of the
philosophic to the use of the archetypal mind. The bulk of the
European race is still in the two lower stages of Kama-Manas. We
of the Theosophical Society have to help the manifestation of the
philosophic mind and aid the early expression of the archetypal.
At the beginning of a race, a certain seclusion takes place by
the advance-guard of the race for the proper introduction of the
activities of the new principle which is to operate in that race;
in other words, the fixing of the type of the race takes place.
What is true of a race is also true of its subdivisions. The
early work of the unfoldment of the principle, which will operate
in the new world now coming into being, will take place in
seclusion. But seclusion, not as it is ordinarily understood by
the world or even by the generality of our members in the T. S.
To enable the new world to proceed on the right roads of its
many-sided evolution, it has to be convinced of certain
fundamentals. We cannot convince people save by imparting the
right knowledge about those fundamentals. A new culture must
mold and shape the new civilization. Who is to bring forth into
being this new culture? It will not drop from heavenly regions;
it has to be imbibed and assimilated by higher mind-processes,
and gradually and steadily and healthily it has to be brought
down from the sphere of mind to that of action. Our politicians
will have to possess the faculty of looking heavenward to do the
work referred to by Plato.
Plato speaks of the artists in his Republic who imitate the
> Herein will lie the difference between them and every other
> legislator -- they will have nothing to do either with individual
> or state, and will inscribe no laws, until they have either found
> or themselves made, a clean surface.
The making of the "clean surface" is the immediate task in hand,
and then must be taken up the "filling in" work.
> And when they are filling in the work, as I conceive, they will
> often turn their eyes upwards and downwards: I mean that they
> will first 1ook at absolute justice and beauty and temperance,
> and again at the human copy; and will mingle and temper the
> various elements of life into the image of a man; and this they
> will conceive according to that other image, which when existing
> among men, Homer calls the form and likeness of God.
The new Nobility of Culture cannot come to birth in the slums of
space, of struggling, cursing, unhappy Europe. The new society,
with varied capacities to supply the common needs in the spirit
of sacrifice and true altruism, cannot arise unless a few begin
to live that life. To sacrifice for the benefit of others we
must possess something worthy of sacrifice; to be capable means
to possess some faculty. I have referred to a new Revolution, in
terms of law, order, harmony; a new crusade for a spiritual
kingdom; a new message from the Ancient Seat to guide the band of
European humanity, not by the way of war but by that of wisdom,
to a realization of a new commonwealth affording opportunity to
all to be kings unto themselves. But the Eternal Hermitage must
yield new sages for the spiritual crusade to precipitate the new
kingdom. Therefore the Eternal Hermitage must be reproduced in
the world-copy. When of men.
What are required now, immediately, are a few Cultural units or
centers where men and women, of the international world, may
strive with all the powers of their souls to create and work out,
as fully as may be possible, with the help of their philosophic
and archetypal minds, the many phases which will enable the
international state to come to fruition in the course of time.
The cultural centers must be focal points at which the
international state in miniature may exist. A new type of
politics must replace the struggles of politics -- "where all are
for the State and none for the party"; where representative
government ceases, for all govern and take part in government;
where capacity is taxed in terms of the common need, and the
currency of culture and not of coin obtains; where worship is
offered not in dimly lighted churches and with gorgeously-clad
priests by lip-mummery to man-created half-gods, but in the open
expanse of Nature to the God within us, who keeps company with
the true Theosophical Societys in heaven, as we mortals of this
world keep company with mortals; where the creator using the
language of art does not suffer from the fret and fever of
material life, but undergoing an inner conversion, impelled by a
divine discontent followed by a spiritual realization, works with
a deeper motive and a profounder suggestion, "seeking to wean
humanity" from the obvious and the external reality of the senses
"to a higher view of life, work and world," by holding forth to
its vision "significative forms to suggest the formless infinity
which is hidden behind the physical world of forms. " Where, in
short, may be gestated a race of humans who could not conquer
others because they have conquered themselves, who do not hate
others because they have cast out fear from themselves, who teach
by life and not by words, who create by life and not by brains,
who work with life and not with hands, who perceive by life and
not by senses. These are not symbolical, allegorical or
paradoxical phrases; they must be taken as simple truths of a
higher world. To an animal our language of mind culture might
appear so, for it works with instinct-culture. To it a new sun
rises every morning, which is rank ignorance to us; but for us a
new spring rises every March -- which may be, nay, is rank
ignorance to creatures of a higher realm.
Therefore, a new and finer asceticism must be practiced, which
will awaken that aspect of the spirit in us which is also to
manifest, in the course of decades, in the new civilization now
coming to birth.
(Incidentally it may be mentioned that the archetypal mind
unfoldment ultimately brings about the illumination of the mind;
in other words, Buddhi-Manas begin to blossom, the mind which has
to operate in the sixth sub-race. Thus will the fifth sub-race
begin to merge into the sixth sub-race and become one with it.
Just as the first became the second, so will the fifth become the
sixth, as HPB has clearly shown in her "Secret Doctrine. ")
That is why we must start the work of building spiritual centers,
cultural units. The Pythagorean unit made Greek culture; the
monks retired to their monasteries when the "barbarians" began
the invasion of the Roman Empire and later gave to Europe their
Christian culture. Who is to give to the young world, which is
now being born, the necessary culture it will require in
economic, political, artistic, religious and philosophic spheres?
The world has to be educated -- the international world. This is
not a narrow world of a few thousands, but a wide world of
millions upon millions. "What is the use of a few cultural
units?" people might exclaim.
It is the little leaven which leaveneth the whole lump. From
five loaves and two fishes the Christ fed a whole multitude. A
few Theosophists may function as the leaven. But we must possess
that which we desire to give. Let us acquire that which we want
EVER THE DAWN BREAKS IN THE EAST
The "circling path of time" has brought us to a new dawn. "The
clock of Karma" indicates the beginnings of a new day.
The modern tendency in commerce, art, philosophy or religion is
toward the East. Soul-forces sometimes utilize the material
instincts and the psychic urge to achieve their own purpose. The
collapse of the West is like unto a night; the gloom of its
darkness surrounds us and penetrates into our very being; but it
inspires hope, for the morn is coming and our gaze stretches far
on the Eastern horizon.
Those who are sustained by that hope are active supporters of the
idea that adequate use should be made of the night, its darkness
and its gloom.
A careful study of the great message of HPB points to the
necessity of a labor of love on the part of a few who should
endeavor to gain an inner conversion in personal consciousness
and then be possessors of the culture which will enable them to
precipitate in the physical world of action the new international
state. To attain this, what I have called cultural units are
necessary. Small community life-centers where people will learn
the art of a spiritual self-expression, in an atmosphere of
freedom of thought, discriminative study, profound contemplation
on the society-to-be; where the knower of the field will till the
field, till the latter are full of green and gold crops
sufficient to feed the hungry world; where soul will contact
THE SOUL AND THE SOIL
In a new manner, at a different time, the old teaching of the
thirteenth discourse of THE BHAGAVAD GITA has to be applied. In
the midst of carnage was the message delivered then; in the midst
of desolation and suffering its wisdom holds the inspiration for
a few now. Not for all, but for a few so that they can serve
> The wise, who soar, but never roam,
> True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home.
But those who soar to heaven will descend to homes to sing the
Song of the Life of the Real.
Let us as souls contact our soil -- our real SWADESH, our true
PATRIA. Let us weed out the elements of discord, the selfishness
of patriotism, the strength of egotism, the glamor of the psyche
within the body, the blinding power of the senses, the automatic
rule of the sense-organs, the brainpower which enchains the
mind-faculty, instincts which interfere with aspirations,
impulses which mar the expression of intuitions, binding
activities, many and varied, which stifle the manifestation of
the one spirit.
The higher asceticism will purify and transform our modern
goodness into strength, our modern charity into brotherliness,
our modern virtues into their heavenly prototypes. It is not the
wickedness of men that is so dangerous to civilization as what
Passes off for virtue. The fire of meditation will burn to ashes
the selfhood of personality made respectable by adornments of
knowledge from the books and brains of others, and bring into
being the soul individuality which lives by the sacrifice of
wisdom, by the joy of service dependent on its own inherent
divinity and on its own spiritual vision.
A few such soul-individualities will produce a new religion of
life in the place of creeds, a new art on which a new morality
will be modeled, a new politics to legislate for an international
state with politicians of the type Plato referred to as quoted
above. They will make the philosophic mind operate; a few among
them will begin to use the archetypal mind and work toward the
illumination of Buddhi and the realization of Atma.
We are at the parting of the ways. With a false turn we may
enter the dreary long lightless road of a dark age; with a right
turn, and we may march into the avenue of beauty and harmony of a
new day. The former, by a circuitous, exhausting and weary
travel may bring us after a time to the latter, but we can avoid
much suffering and gloom by a right understanding of the
situation, a right interpretation of the signs and tokens nature
and her laws give, and a right application of knowledge to the
conditions of today.
The message, which the Great Eastern Masters gave through HPB in
the last century, contains wisdom which will enable us to help
the advance of human progress, if we make that wisdom our own.
We of the Theosophical Society must not offer something which
satisfies our competitive civilization, and our greedy and
grabbing humanity. Let us not, like clever tradesmen, produce
goods for sale, and pamper to our customer's idiosyncracies and
try to make them buy by making them happy. Let us give humanity
a chance by speaking and living the truth and wisdom those
Eastern Masters gave. Thus, perhaps, we will succeed in leading
our fellow men onto that peak of spirituality from which they can
perceive for themselves the grandeur and beauty of divine will
working out in evolution, and where clarity of atmosphere will
give them the power of right valuation.
If the Theosophical Society, true to its original impulses, does
this work, it will be instrumental in saving the European
humanity of today. If it does not achieve that, it will be
because it has proven false to those impulses. We, the present
day members, are some of the trustees in this world of the wisdom
which HPB brought. Shall we be found worthy of the trust when
the recorders of destiny's page write their judgement? Time alone
will tell. May their blessings help us to earn the privilege of
rendering unto God the things that are God's, and thus be chosen
again as such trustees in a future day and generation. Let us
courageously, with an honesty of purpose, a purity of motive, and
a single eye to truth as we perceive it, live striving for the
precipitation of the kingdom to which HPB belonged, and from
which she came to help this race to realize it for itself.
WHY I BECAME A THEOSOPHIST
by Philip A. Malpas
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, December 1946, pages 588-94.]
It is difficult today to go back to the mental conditions of
England in HPB's day. For religious people the keynote was fear,
and I mean fear. The strange effort to make children believe
that the fear of God and the love of God were the same thing
merely created confusion.
At baptism my dear old godmother, an Aunt, gave me a huge
PILGRIM'S PROGRESS, with several illustrations. One was of a
soul in hell floating on the flames seen through a trap door
opened by an angel looking rather like a police inspector. The
look on the poor soul's face is stamped on my mind in indelible
ink, and the fact that his hands and feet were bound did not
detract from the grimness of the artist's purpose.
When it thundered, someone told me it was because I had stolen a
piece of sugar from the table and God was angry -- he fiercely
growled like some enormous dog.
Everybody seemed to be "lost" except those who belonged to a
particular church. "Dissenters" seemed to be rather more lost
than anyone else. When I came to read later that there were only
to be 144,000 "saved" in heaven, or 12,000 from each tribe of
Israel (didn't the Bible say so?) I began to wonder why people
thought it worth living at all, and even a child could see that
there was something unfair in causing children to be born of whom
only a minute percentage were to be saved. And the prospect of
being saved was a little bleak, because I was distinctly
unmusical, and the understanding was that only the musical would
be in their element in heaven.
The situation was a good deal relieved when I discovered the
claims of the British Israelites who "proved" that they were the
lost ten tribes of Israel, so that at least 120,000 Britishers
had a sporting chance of attaining heaven. It was some years
later that I heard the convincing proof of this proposition in
the assertion that the Saxons, that is the British, were
certainly the Israelites, because Israel was the son of Isaac and
Isaacson was obviously the uncontracted form of the word "Saxon."
Maybe I was seven or eight years old when my father took me to
one of the great London exhibitions. It was full of interesting
things, but one thing puzzled me, a large mass of white
"What is that?"
"Asbestos!" said my father. "You cannot burn it and anything you
wrap in it cannot be burnt."
"Why do they not make suits of it?"
"They do. For firemen."
I was silent. My active brain saw the danger of disclosing the
wonderful idea that had come to me. If everybody bought it,
there might not be enough for me, and my father had said it was
expensive. More than ten shillings, and nobody knows how old I
might be before I might have accumulated such riches.
But I made up my mind I would save my money and buy a suit of
asbestos FOR USE ON THE LAST DAY!
I regret to say that being a normally untidy and careless boy I
felt a chill of repulsion at the fearfully clean and neat streets
of New Jerusalem paved with gold and jewels. I would have
preferred bird-nesting in the woods.
At the age of ten or twelve, perhaps, we used to sit over the
midnight embers discussing the strange wonders of the Apocalypse,
full of thrills and terrors, especially the last tribulation.
The world was created out of exactly nothing. Had not an
Archbishop said so? He gave the date, too, 4004 BC. The odd "4"
was intriguing, like the odd two extra feet in the height of
Mount Everest, 30,002 feet in those days, if I remember rightly.
At school, a very religious school, we went to chapel twice a day
and three times on Sundays. In spite of this, the period of
religious sentimental fervor lasted several years, but there were
certain shocks which required mental adjustment.
For instance there was an ex-sixthformer who left school and
became a parson. He returned to the school as one of the
masters. When the Headmaster, also a clergyman, was not there,
he developed a system of turning the litany into a race. I think
the record time he made was a little less than six minutes for
the whole service. Later when he joined the armed forces he
became a chaplain and apparently thought it his duty to make
himself popular by indulging much too freely in strong drink.
The problem of practical religion was not eased by these
It was a terrible day when, being allowed into the school
library, I read in the papers that there was an attempt being
made to import Buddhism into Britain. It was an unspeakable
horror that such heathenism (I didn't quite know what heathenism
was) should actually find a footing in our beloved Britain,
which, for me, consisted in "home" and our magnificent playing
fields at school. About the same time Sir Edwin Arnold's story
of reincarnation, ARMOREL OF LYONESSE, was running in one of the
weekly magazines. We heard much of a lady who was doing
astonishing things in London, Madame Blavatsky, but we saw no
point or purpose in what we read. Still, things were changing,
and we with them.
Into this careless schoolboy world came an incident like a stone
thrown into a pond. A favorite master, whom we all admired
immensely in spite of his quick temper, one day talked seriously
with me, and my whole emotional nature was upset. The school in
the six years when I knew it, was passing through a phase of
being "good," and I believe this was the work of one of the
senior boys. It seemed that many schools have alternating
periods of viciousness and decency, and I had coincided with the
Exactly what this talk of the master was about I do not remember,
but it did result in the quickening of all sorts of feelings and
ideas, and especially religious enthusiasm -- that was the phase
It was many years afterwards that I learned that a journalist had
intended calling on Madame Blavatsky for an interview and had
invited this master as a friend to accompany him. He went, and I
suppose that was the time he so powerfully affected me for the
future. He had not noted anything special about HPB, but she had
asked him about his schoolmastering and had instantly put her
finger on the deepest problem any master ever has, probably
giving him a hint or two that might have been useful later. Soon
he went East and had much to do with the education of many Rajahs
and other highly-placed folk. Whether he was unconscious or not
of any influence from HPB I do not know, but the fact is that he
exercised an enormous influence for good over those Orientals,
and they used to say that he might be English but he had a
Chinese heart, or perhaps a Malay heart. He insisted on morality
in the schools.
I left school, soaked in years of intensive religious training.
In the Royal Navy there were chaplains enough, but there was a
great deal of unreality about the compulsory services. As a
young man I began to write a diary of ideas and for about three
years in Newfoundland, and Labrador, and the West Indies these
thoughts took slow shape on paper. In a small ship there is
plenty of time for thinking.
Small incidents began to loosen my respect for official
churchism. Just as at school there was one hymn absolutely
barred before the holidays, there were hymns which were taboo at
sea. When all the boys were counting the days and hours to the
holidays and marking them off on calendars, dreaming of the
popular home-train to Waterloo station in London at 7:53 on the
final day, it was tactless to announce a hymn in chapel which
fitted in with the words:
> Oh, what the joy and the glory must be,
> Sailing along by the seven fifty-three!
The only thing to do in such a case was to turn a blind eye or a
deaf ear to the rolling chorus of the parody as it echoed round
the "house of God."
So in the same way it was fatal in a Plymouth ship to sing a hymn
by a similar parody referred in feeling terms to the hateful
halfpenny tollgate still existing in the neighborhood of that
West country seaport. The tolls were owned by Lord Mount
Edgecumbe, the local magnate.
This is the way the hymn would run, sung by a hundred voices of
> Lord DEE Edgecumbe, Lord divine,
> All the hakey fish are thine,
> All the fishes in the sea,
> Lord DEE Edgecumbe belong to thee!
> Lord DEE Edgecumbe good and great,
> Take away the hap'ny gate,
> For thy credit and renown,
> Lord DEE Edgecumbe, PULL IT DOWN!
All trivial incidents, but they had their effect in cumulative
thought as to whether it was religion or not.
In one lonely North American village, I was consulted by the
local parson as to what hymns the sailors liked. I had to say
something, so I recommended one which I omitted to remember had
two equally popular tunes. We had no harmonium on board our
On Sunday the parson came off to the ship and gave out the number
of the hymn. Half the crew lustily sang one tune and half the
other. They stopped in surprise at the end of the first line and
each, to oblige the other, changed over to the other tune, with
the same result as before. Then they stopped again and the first
Lieutenant started with a lead of a bar or so and they all
followed him with complete harmony.
Except for me. When it was found out that I was the cause of the
trouble, life became pretty sour for quite a while. The vinegar
of it had its share in cooling off my enthusiasm for formal
One's dignity suffered on occasion. At St. John's, the capital
of Newfoundland, the local officials and others duly came to call
on the ship on arrival. The calls had to be formally returned.
Our numbers were very few and it devolved on me to return the
call of the masters of a local college. I was very young, but
the dignity was flattering.
Knocking at the door, I waited. No one came for a few minutes.
Meanwhile a dear old bishop came to the door and, seeing me
waiting, did not knock or ring. He waited, too. He was really
very genial and talked to me quite nicely. I was getting on
famously. Then the door was opened. I presented my card.
The Bishop looked at me in surprise.
"I thought you were the new boy," he said.
My wounded dignity reduced my respect for the church more than
So passed three years and my thoughts were taking shape, on
paper. I had written a little book of them. They were simple,
but mine own.
We returned to our home port in England, to Portsmouth, the great
naval base. We boys had not much money. I had a shilling for
the theater. On the way I was tempted to have a shot at a rifle
range. I missed, but the shilling had become eleven pence. Not
enough for the theater. It began to rain. Where to go?
I remembered an advertisement of some meeting at one of the local
lecture halls and went there.
There was a gentleman there talking about what he called
Theosophy. Suddenly I realized that he was talking about what I
had been writing in my diary for the past three years, and I grew
very interested. My secrets were no my own property any more.
I went further into the business. I was enormously attracted by
the phenomenal side of things, as many people were in those days.
So many imagined that phenomena and psychism were Theosophy. It
was years before I realized that it was precisely this that
Theosophy warned people against, and supported its warning by
explanations of what it all really was. It was a long time
before I realized that all this psychic stuff was about as
important as a dream, and not always a pleasant dream either. I
met the word 'materialism' many times in HPB's books but I did
not know what it meant. It was years before I learned that the
material, including the psychic, and the spiritual are two very
different and opposite things.
The next thing was my meeting with Katherine Tingley, at Brighton
in 1899. There were many speeches made at the Congress held at
the dome, but in a debate on Theosophy and Christianity there
came the question from a Christian: You have taken away our
Christ from us, what do you propose to give us instead?
And the answer, given positively, strongly, triumphantly, came
ringing down through the great hall, "A WORLD FULL OF CHRISTS!"
It was like the tearing away of a veil, of nine veils. I never
forgot it and never shall, though it may take many lifetimes to
realize the idea in practice. All the littleness of formal
churchism fell into the background against this one big idea.
Phenomena? There was a lot of talk about phenomena in those old
days, and some wrecked their spiritual progress in the whirl of
desire to see such phenomena. But it was psychical phenomena
they craved for. Looking back over the years I can see that the
phenomena have been amazing, but they were spiritual phenomena,
not psychic. The latter, as HPB said, are "only psychic tricks."
But if there is any phenomenon greater than that quiet,
determined, persistent, divine sacrifice of the leaders' lives
for the sake of helping humanity on its thorny path, I do not
know what it is. Only one phenomenon remains to be realized, the
dawning in human hearts of the idea that universal brotherhood is
the key to humanity's future, and nothing else. It was the first
stone in the Theosophical structure and it is the cornerstone
which must and shall be raised to the head of the corner; or
better translated, it is the keystone of the arch.
It is the gradual growth of these ideas as practical everyday
truths which explains why I became a Theosophist.
by Annette Rivington
A lot of us who were dreamers or imaginative as children were
punished or ridiculed for our time-wasting behavior. We were
taught that life was for learning to concentrate here and now,
learning communication and work skills. Others enjoyed filling
our minds with useful facts and trying to remember them until the
time some circumstance or person demanded the use of them. We
were supposedly developing concepts that were not in existence at
our birth. We were with other people constantly, except when we
slept or escaped, seeking to be alone. We soon realized that we
were experiencing needs that were not there until we were taught
It's now time to unlearn. The following exercise is a meditation
in freedom of thought and experience. It was not taken from any
book. Consider it and enjoy! Remember that life's great!
Imagine standing on the planet looking toward the horizon,
recognizing all the forms in view between yourself and the
horizon, mentally saying for each form, I know that one, and that
one, and continue, until you reach the horizon, then recognize
that beyond the horizon you do not know what is there.
Instantly break the bounds of being fixed on the planet and
imagine yourself as a giant in space beyond the planet holding a
collapsible telescope up to one eye watching the tiny speck of
yourself on the small planet looking toward the horizon and
slowly bring that self close in view then back far away in view,
then ask yourself, "Where is the horizon?" Come back to the
Imagine laying on the planet looking up at the clouds moving
across the sky, recognize yourself watching the view now.
Instantly break the bounds of time and recognize yourself as a
child laying and watching clouds moving across the sky, then ask
yourself in either point in time as yourself, "Which is now?"
Come back to the here-and-now.
Stand or lay and close your eyes recognizing the absence of
things in view including the edges of your body and any feelings
of body. Know that your energy is indestructible and let it
float out from where and when you remember you are.
Instantly bring your energy back by creating white smoke out
there so you can see your energy stream and attract or will it
back into your body. Before you open your eyes, imagine your
body as any shape you choose and recognize its form. Come back
to your 3-dimensional being.
Know that the bounds of your dimensions are not fixed because you
have just experienced it, assume a comfortable position and hold
your arms over your eyes until you see a black and blue swirling
pattern. In that pattern instantly break the bounds of space,
time and form and be in the pattern.
Recognize that you are all alone, restricted, aware of something
like a vague idea that is untested. Imagine a clock showing a
year and instantly look at the clock again and see it showing a
million years later. Recognize that you have not changed.
Instantly cry out, just an expression in sound. Imagine hearing
the sound echo back at you, and recognize your voice. Play with
your sound for what seems like ages. Glance at the clock again
and see that it has only moved forward a tiny amount of time.
Recognize an idea of repeating the sound experiment with
something new. Choose your form. Play. Take a rest from
playing with anything and return to the black swirling point of
When rested, wake up and experiment with space. Create another
place to visit. Go back and forth. Gradually get an idea of
leaving yourself in both places, one of you playing/experimenting
and the other of you resting. Imagine your waking up from a
resting period, moving to where your other self is, and
immediately upon seeing that self coming into view, you recognize
that you feel something, emotion.
Keep the discovery of emotion to yourself but switch places with
your other self so that you can play for a period and other can
rest. Create another universe to visit, another time period to
play in, and other forms to emote about. Recognize an idea that
all these created forms in places and times emote like you.
Instantly communicate with your resting self and the created
forms in the universes.
Play and rest, play and rest and play . . .
Come back to the here-and-now, to yourself.
What you know from this experience is your knowing. Here's mine:
I do now and will recognize then what I already know. I know far
beyond the horizon of what I emotionally recognize now. My view
is in space, time and form, but not bounded by these, because
beyond the horizon of the here-and-now, there are unknown
recognitions in play not yet created.
THE SEVEN JEWELS OF WISDOM: KEY THEOSOPHICAL IDEAS
[Taken from a leaflet produced by the Northwest Branch of The
Theosophical Society (Pasadena).]
The universal law of cause and effect, acting to restore harmony
and allowing us to learn from always meeting the results of our
choices. Unpleasant or desirable, these circumstances provide us
with the opportunities we most need to learn and grow. Each of
us is responsible for our fate and character, the sole creators
of our present and future.
As spiritual beings, we live many times, growing and learning
from our experience. Our personality in each earth-life is like
one of many pearls strung on the thread of our imperishable
individuality. Because we return to earth to meet the events and
people we knew before, there is always another chance to improve
and to make amends to others.
As it is above, so it is below, among the many interblending
states and beings which form our living universe. Everything
from the subatomic to the super-galactic is at its heart an
evolving center of consciousness.
Each being is the expression of its unique selfhood. Its present
status results from eons of self-development. All evolution
comes forth from WITHIN the individual, from the innate urge of
its inner divinity.
Nature expresses itself through duality and rhythmic pulsation,
so that every entity evolves forth its inner potentials through
endless cycles of activity and rest. In infinite space,
universes and their inhabitants cycle from spirit into matter and
back into spirit again. They then circle through inner worlds
before beginning physical evolution anew.
THE TWO PATHS
The age-old struggle is between selfishness and altruism, the
constant choices we each must make in our daily life and our
aspirations between caring most about ourselves or centering our
attention on others' welfare. Even those pursuing spiritual
growth must choose between being self-absorbed or focused on the
good of all.
Man, know thyself! We can attain all knowledge through
self-knowledge since at the core of our being is the one
transcendent Cause, the root of all. Every part mirrors the
whole, containing all its capacities in potential, so that
looking without and within both eventually achieve the same goal.
QUESTIONS ON EVOLUTION, PART II
by Henry T. Edge, MA
[From pages 7 to 15 of a booklet published by Theosophical
University Press in 1943, with materials based upon MAN IN
EVOLUTION by G. de Purucker.]
Question: What is the distinction between body, soul, and spirit?
These words, though loosely and variously used, can be
conveniently employed in the present connection, as follows. We
may say that soul is the vehicle of spirit, and matter is the
vehicle of soul. Hence soul is both spirit and matter, at
different times, or as viewed under different aspects; for it may
function as matter on one plane and as spirit on the next lower
Question: How does this point bear upon the question of the
These may be regarded as compact of spirit, soul, and body: a
spark of the universal life; the first embodiment of this,
forming the monad; and the next embodiment, forming the atom.
See H. P. Blavatsky's chapter on "Gods, Monads, Atoms," in THE
Question: And how does the same principle apply to the other
kingdoms of nature?
Each animal, plant, mineral, etc., may be regarded as compact of
spirit, soul, and body, in the same way; provided always we
remember the temporary nature of this distinction, and its
consequent liability to modification in the light of other
considerations. This particular view is of the utmost importance
in clearing up the difficulties in understanding evolution.
Question: How does this threefold analysis of a living being
agree with what was said a while back about a fivefold division
as shown in man?
The fivefold division is merely an amplification of the
threefold. In the fivefold scheme we have three triads: 1, 2, 3;
2, 3, 4; 3, 4, 5; and in each of these triads the members bear to
each other the relation of spirit, soul, body. But this does not
exhaust the possible number of such groupings.
Question: What is the bearing of this upon evolution?
It enables us to explain evolution as an intelligent process. In
evolution we must consider agent, cause, purpose, process,
result, and perhaps other factors; and these can be neither
properly distinguished from each other, nor severally accounted
for, by the very scanty apparatus of the conventional
Question: What is the purpose of evolution?
The attainment of self-conscious godhead. In conformity with
what has already been said, we must regard any great cycle of
evolutionary activity, such as the present Globe-Round, as
consisting of an outbreathing followed by an inbreathing; a
double process which has its analogies throughout nature, as in
the systole and diastole of the heart, the rising and falling of
seasons and tides, the growth and decay of organisms. We can
regard the Universal Spirit as a tree scattering countless seeds,
which then proceed to grow, passing through innumerable stages,
until each and all eventually evolve into full expressions of
their divine parent.
Question: What has science told us about the purpose of
To speak generally, the question has been shelved, as lying
without the sphere of science. Some have even impatiently ousted
it, as tending to obscure the light of cold reason. But is it
ever possible to interpret a process correctly without reference
to its purpose? And, even if so, can the human mind rest
satisfied with such an interpretation? The result is that we find
in our minds a hideous picture of a mindless universe, without
starting point or goal, experimenting blindly -- a real nightmare
that weighs alike upon intellect and heart.
Question: What is the usual idea as to the active cause in
Agreeable to the atomo-mechanical philosophy, the theorists have
had to rely on what they regard as the inherent properties of
matter. To these are given such names as affinity, chemical
action, heat, energy, inertia, and the like; which, as has so
often been pointed out, denote effects rather than causes. But
with every day science is coming nearer to the conclusion that no
force or property found in matter is anything in itself, but that
all are manifestations of will and intelligence. And will and
intelligence are themselves the attributes of a conscious being.
Question: What are the active agents in evolution, according to
They are the functions of the consciousness of the monad -- that
is, of the animal or plant itself. These functions are desires
such as we find operative in ourselves. They operate on the
environment of the organism, that is, on its body and on whatever
it comes in contact with outside its body. This continual
interaction causes growth by calling into play the natural
agencies which build up. The whole process may be summed up as a
desire on the part of the consciousness within the monad to
express itself and to build up vehicles for its self-expression.
Question: And what about the plan of evolution?
Here again we find theorists of the materialistic school falling
back on vague notions about inherent properties, or speaking as
though they thought a being could grow and evolve without any
preexisting plan, the plan being formed during the process, so to
say. Here Theosophy comes down flat-footed on the proposition
that plan must always precede process; or, using other terms,
function precedes organ.
Question: And as to the method of evolution?
There is but one fundamental operation of nature, and this
operation is the same in every part of nature, in each of the
innumerable beings which constitute nature; so that, while each
atom, plant, or animal, follows its own path, it at the same time
necessarily accomplishes the general plan. Each evolving monad
is seeking to express the seed of individuality latent within it;
and, by doing so, inevitably follows the general law.
Question: Give a brief sketch of what is generally known as the
It declares that the various types in the animal kingdom form
successive links in a continuous line of evolution, a universal,
end-on line. The obvious gaps which we find between the links of
this chain are supposed to have been filled by forms now extinct.
The lower forms are supposed to have changed into the higher
through ordinary processes of physical procreation, these changes
being accomplished by the accumulation of many smaller changes.
The small changes are produced by the effect of environment upon
Question: What is the doctrine of the survival of the fittest?
It was designed to account for the said accumulating of small
variations. It was supposed that, among a multitude of
variations induced by environment, the majority would not be
perpetuated; and that only such variations as were favorable --
or, to use the technical term, 'fittest' -- would survive; thus,
by a process of accumulation, producing a new species.
Question: What are objections to this view?
The facts, when candidly examined, do not furnish evidence for
it. It has been shown that a particular type of animal, which
has been modified by special influences, such as domestication,
reverts to its original standard type when these special
influences are removed. In other words, the variations produced
show no tendency to persist and thus to give rise to an entirely
new form, but they tend to disappear, thus leaving the gap as
wide as ever.
Question: Have any attempts been made to overcome this difficulty
by means of an alternative theory?
Yes, the plan of evolution, instead of being one continuous line,
has been represented as a tree. The different forms, instead of
proceeding continuously the one from the other, are supposed to
have diverged from a common point of union, as do the branches
and twigs of a tree. For instance, while some have supposed that
man is a direct lineal descendant of the anthropoid apes, others
have sought to show that both man and ape have descended from one
common ancestor situated lower down in the scale. But the
various theories as to where this point of divergence should be
placed are numerous and conflicting.
Question: What is the bearing of this on the Theosophical view?
The analogy of the tree and its branches comes much nearer to the
Theosophical teaching, but does not go far enough; as Theosophy
says there is not one tree but many. To explain the
discontinuity of the alleged chain of evolution is the most
Question: How does Theosophy explain this discontinuity?
By stating that each form has followed its own particular line of
evolution for long ages; so that, the longer that evolution has
proceeded, the more divergent do the forms become from one
another. This also explains why we find among the animals such
extremely specialized organs and functions, which are entirely
absent in the higher types, and cannot be regarded as links in a
Question: Then what was the single original stock, if any, from
which all the different forms have thus diverged?
It was (so far as the present Globe-Round is concerned) the human
stem, which Theosophy regards as the most ancient and primitive
of all the mammalian stocks at present on the earth.
Question: Then did the animals descend from man?
Yes and No. There never was a descent in the Darwinian sense;
animals are not degenerated men; they did not come from men by
procreation. What we state is that the human stem of evolution
threw off seeds which subsequently developed into the various
mammalian types lower than man. But this occurred very long ago,
when man, though human, was in many respects unlike the man of
Question: What is the origin of man?
He came into existence on the spiritual plane as an
unselfconscious spark of divinity, and ends his career (for one
period of evolution) as a conscious god. He is a monad, more or
less awakened; awakened by comparison with the beings below him,
sleeping by comparison with those above him. He is a child of
the gods -- that is, of fully self-conscious and progressed
beings. The ancestors of man were man himself, prehuman perhaps,
but still man. The strain from which humans come was human as to
its source on this earth; and its origin was in godlike creatures
who came to our earth in the earliest days of the planet's life.
Question: What can you say about the earlier races of mankind?
The first physical men existed on this earth 18,000,000 years
ago; but before that, man existed on earth in astral or ethereal
form. There are seven great Races of the human line, of which we
are now in the Fifth. The First Race was in Paleozoic times.
Each of these great Races had its peculiar form and its peculiar
method of reproduction, but these details are omitted for the
Question: When did the mammals issue from the human stem?
The first physical men and the astral-ethereal men who preceded
them were the progenitors of the mammalian stocks. At this time
man was 'mindless' -- that is, he was instinctual, for the light
of human self-consciousness had not yet been kindled in him. He
was able at that time to start the evolution of the various
mammalian types by the cells or seeds cast off from his own body.
These seeds then pursued each its own special line of evolution,
thus during ages producing those widely divergent types which we
Question: What of the stocks below the Mammalia, as the reptiles,
birds, fishes, and so forth?
These issued from the human stem in a preceding Globe-Round or
great evolutionary cycle.
Question: What special case is there with regard to the monkeys
and the anthropoids?
As surmised by many men of science, these are FROM man and not
toward him. But they differ from the other mammals in the
particular ways in which they were derived from the human stem.
The monkeys were born from the "mindless" human race, which,
being only instinctual, allied themselves with animal beings.
This took place in the Mesozoic age. At a later date, during the
Miocene period, when the Fourth great Race of mankind had passed
its climax, certain degenerate remnants thereof repeated the "sin
of the mindless," with the then existing simian stock, and thus
gave rise to the anthropoid apes. This explains the resemblance
of these animals, especially the pithecoids, to man.
Question: What confirmation does science afford of the fact that
the numerous types have all diverged from a common stem which has
Weismann's theory of the germ-plasm. Weismann found that, of the
elements transmitted by procreation, some are passed on from
parent to offspring unchanged throughout the generations; while
other elements contribute to the building up of the body of the
offspring. In other words, he found that there are two kinds of
cells transmitted. One kind, which he called somatic cells,
multiplies by fission and thus creates the body of the offspring;
the other kind, which he called germ-cells, are transmitted
unchanged through the generations. This is the outline of his
theory; there are many details, but they are even more
confirmatory of the truth as stated by Theosophy. Here, then, we
have direct biological confirmation of the fact that there is a
main trunk of evolution going back to the remotest antiquity; and
not an end-on evolution, as supposed by the transformists.
Question: It was stated just now that the early human races were
"mindless." Can this be elucidated further?
The word MIND here means the human self-consciousness, with its
powers of self-examination and intelligent choice. This is
absent from all animals, and the distinction marks off mankind as
a separate kingdom. Mankind acquired this faculty at a certain
stage in human evolution; the present animals will not acquire it
until a following Manvantara (with a possible exception in favor
of anthropoid apes).
Question: How and when was this power acquired by man?
Toward the end of the Third great Race, when man possessed a kind
of consciousness which may be compared to that of a daze or
daydream. It was accomplished by the partial incarnation, in
these waiting human individuals, of godlike beings perfected in a
preceding Manvantara. They projected sparks of their own
self-consciousness into the childlike humanity, thus awakening in
those childlike men the dormant seeds of mental powers already
latent in the latter. These beings may be called gods, for they
are superior to man as we know him. In the Scriptural account
they are so spoken of, but the word GODS or DIVINE BEINGS has
been confused with the word GOD. In the Hebrew the word is
plural, as is also shown by the plural pronouns used. We call
these beings the Manasaputras or Sons of Mind.
Question: Then you do not believe that the human mind has
developed out of the animal mind?
Here again we must answer Yes and No. Such a development could
not take place by gradual transformation. Self-consciousness is
either present or absent; the degrees are discrete, not
continuous. Self-consciousness is latent in the animal, but
cannot awake until kindled into activity by a being already
possessing it. Such beings were, as already stated, the
progressed humanity of a previous Manvantara; it was their duty,
as it will one day be ours, to pass on the light to beings below
Question: How does Theosophy explain the obvious existence of
design in the universe?
By declaring that it is the work of designers -- surely a natural
inference! Scientific theory on the atomo-mechanical lines has
failed utterly to account for the marvelous, infinitely various,
infinitely resourceful bounty of nature; for to represent all
this as the unplanned result of a few blind forces makes too
heavy demands on the average powers of gullibility. It is
evident that, behind every crystalline form, every leaf and
petal, every beautiful animal organ and function, lies mind,
plan, purpose. Since these words denote mere abstractions unless
regarded as the attributes of intelligent beings, we must infer
the existence of designers.
Question: Who or what are these designers?
Certain orders or hierarchies of intelligent beings whose
function is thus to act. The universe comprises many more kinds
of beings than such as are apparent to our physical senses. But
the need for restricting our present scope precludes us from
following up this line of study here. In our human nature, which
is a copy of the universe, we see the forming and executing of
ON THE STUDY OF "THE SECRET DOCTRINE," PART II
by Herbert Coryn
[THE THEOSOPHIC ISIS, April 15, 1896, pages 104-09.]
All the foregoing can, of course, be said with far greater
emphasis of the real illumination of the mind by some spiritual
truth. For in philosophy, occupying itself with the higher
problems of life and the world, the same thing occurs. There is
a philosophizing with the brain, and a deeper knowledge beyond
the brain in its origin, and which in flashes visits the brain
after that is quieted, when effort is done.
The philosophy of Jacob Boehme, THE PERFECT WAY of Anna
Kingsford, both came from regions of consciousness beyond the
brain, and in the former case when the brain was still occupied
with other matter.
The purely intellectual philosophical systems of today are
limited, tied, tell us nothing great or final, deal not all with
the "gods," the greater powers that stand behind the man in the
brain. The brain searches, balances this and that, is hot,
confused, tells us only of the outer worlds in nature and
ourselves, and if the thinker believes that the outer world is
all there is, that to him will BE all. The brain knows of one
fact, and that leads to another, and that to another, but all are
on the same plane and so nothing worth in the great quest.
Whether on the purely mechanical, intellectual, or philosophical
planes, we are seeking that force of the center which can group
facts and set them on fire. Behind the thinker in his chair and
beyond his brain, is his spiritual antetype, his other self, or
himself as other, a true and eternal light. In all study,
throughout life, if we think much of that, if we hold that our
brain-self is not the thinker in or for itself, if we make of it
a mirror to the man who stands behind in light, than when brain
has done its best of its kind, it will catch something from above
and learn effortlessly. The learning is effortless, but follows
effort; it does not make tense the brain.
Feeling about in consciousness for the place that is then the
center of activity, we feel that that center is not in the
ordinary brain, but above, and from that we act downwards upon
the brain, effortlessly except with the effort to keep the
brain-mind from starting off upon its own account and from
raising a thousand confused issues.
Reasoning comes after; THIS is the direct, if for the moment dim
and uncertain, vision of truth. Reason first; read, think; then
banish concrete thoughts, hold the mind still on its point, above
the brain, almost motionlessly brooding, in the state of thought
without thoughts. We feel that we are in the temple, in the
place of knowledge though at first no knowledge comes. Let us be
peaceful, unanxious, repeating the attempt day after day and
always. That nothing comes except a sense of elevation means
only that the brain is not yet fine enough to catch the silver
reflex. Time will prevail, though it may take many years. We
are training a new faculty and sense. We have beckoned to
Mercury to be the go-between from the Sun to ourselves.
And as it is effortless so it is emotionless. Emotions may
follow, like reasoning; THIS is the cold white light of truth,
only blurred by joys or tears or anything we call emotion. It is
too steady a stream of consciousness to tolerate emotion. If you
feel that there are great things in consciousness and life, great
mysteries in nature, do not stand afar off, emotionally
worshiping; come in close and grasp them on their own plane; look
straight forward with calm eyes, taking what you can. If you
take nothing, try always again, flinging your whole self beyond
brain-thought, after that poor instrument has done what it can.
All the gods of mythology, all the planets, all the stars, are
modes, forces, and embodiments of consciousness. And they exist,
all of them, in ourselves as well as in nature. All the symbols,
the circle, the square and what not, all the colors, all the
musical tones, all the numbers, are ways of indicating
consciousness in its activities. And all the modes of
consciousness through which we pass from hour to hour, raised to
their utmost power, are the forces of nature and the worlds.
There are no other forces. We have always to try and think of
them in the terms of their consciousness rather than snore
remotely or objectively.
We could take an infinity of examples. Let us try one, the
primal trinity of all nations, and attempt to put its members
into terms of our consciousness. The earliest Vedic Trinity, I
suppose the earliest of any mythology is Agni, Vayu, and Surya;
Fire, the Air, the Sun. Who is Fire, Agni, in consciousness?
Under other of its names it is Kama, Desire.
When we speak of the Fire of Desire, we are not using a metaphor.
For on the one hand desire is subjectively that which, when
objective, is the visible flame, and on the other hand the
visible flame in outer nature is desire on the conscious side of
nature. We must extend the word Fire so that it will include
also the parts of it that are not visible.
We can see the heated metal become red, orange, yellow and then
as a glowing liquid vaporize, probably passing through the
remaining colors to invisibility. We cannot see the same colors
as ice passes to steam through water, but the process is the
same. We can see the fire by which the wax of our candle passes
through its path to its elements. We too can see the flash with
which some of those elements under proper conditions reunite to
form water. So Fire is the force of transition; visible or
invisible, it is the force that takes matter from state to state,
destroying one and creating the next.
All in the universe is consciousness, and that of man can be
modified into the form of Fire from within or without. He who
looks at Fire takes feebly into his consciousness, some of the
very transforming energy of the outer Fire. Consciousness does
not SEE itself as Fire, but it knows directly. Fire is the force
of transition, destroying in its activity the form upon which it
plays; when its activity ceases, a new form condenses. And as
forms flow everlastingly, as there is ceaseless transition from
dawn to night of the Manvantara, so Fire runs from end to end of
the universe, and, as the deity of movement, is the universe. A
form only IS during an absolutely brief moment of time, and if we
assign to that moment ANY duration by reason of human weakness of
thought, throughout that duration the form is changing. "Maya"
is only the concept of fixity.
In the body, changes of form are operated by desire, in and not
in consciousness. THE desire of animal life is a creative
expansion and warmth, and then is born a new organism with the
power from that Fire to complete all its parts, an all-potent
The mystery of generation is, to physics and physiology,
insoluble forever, for they deal only with visible and objective
body. In the consciousness of the physical are the specters of
what will be, unembodied, unlit fuel, antetypal forms. And they
absorb the Fire, Kama, Agni, expand, whilst in their condensation
they annex about them, raising it to their own terms, matter
needed for their clothing. Thus, arises the cell. The current
of psychic matter is a solution of all forms. Among these some
are selected from time to time. It is IMAGINATION (in which
nature shares) actuated by Fire, on the physiological plane.
On the plane of the mind there exist the archetypal forms of all
inventions; these, struck by Fire, become suns about which group
themselves the necessary planets, subordinate forms of fact in
consciousness. So the invention passes into the concrete.
Beyond which are spiritual archetypal forms to be fructified by
Fire. Thus man fashions and fructifies himself, being the new
and the old Sun. Above the physical are desires in the mind to
KNOW; above these, others in the soul, to BE; these fires also,
dissolving for new precipitation the tissues of mind and soul,
fashion for us new forms that can hold the knowledge, new forms
with new capacities of being.
And as physical friction, which is motion, the Deity, causes it
to shine manifestly as heat across the diameter to the quiescence
of the new form on the opposite side of the circumference (the
crossing Fire being the upright diameter and the crossed
substance the transverse), so the Kundalini -- the mystical,
regenerative Fire -- is born from "friction" among the finer
elements that surround the self.
In dwelling upon these and all such, as they stand put together
for us in the pages of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, consciousness takes a
new life; it sees the ways of its own activity, learns its own
powers, and acts from knowledge instead of blindly. By will we
arrange the order and working of our consciousness, and energize
it voluntarily along its proper and self-appointed paths, and we
too follow the order and scheme of the Universe.
There is everywhere the same trinity in many forms and on many
planes. As we saw, in studying them or any others, the ray of
comprehension seems to come with a sense of effortless and
freedom from emotion. For it comes from the Sun, the Self, the
inner eye. Light emerges quietly and the flame is only where it
To put it in terms of the principles, the Sun is the Manas; Vayu,
the Lower Manas; Kama or Agni, the Fire. Physically the Vayu is
the Astral; Prana, the Sun ray. Spiritually the Sun is the
Atma-Manas, the ray is Buddhi, Vayu is the highest garb of the
soul, Agni is Kundalini.
Vayu, air, space, is the field of cosmic consciousness, filled
with ideation, with all the pictures of what has been and what
will be. And upon these, through the spaces, shines the light
from the Sun, the self-knowing Logos, striking the pictures into
fire, so that they expand and then condense into the worlds and
all thereon. In man Vayu has correspondence with the lower mind,
the field of all memories and pictures, and as the Light of the
thinker, the Sun, passes amongst them, wanders among them, they
flame up in desire and lead to action, expansion, condensation.
IDEATION or imagination, energized by WILL of an EGO, are the
three factors of magic, and the threefold ray falls formatively
into matter for an objective result. That is the process from
top to bottom of the scale, the three falling into the four.
Surya is the Sun, the center, the I, the Manas, who does what he
likes, directs his light upon this or that of his pictures, of
his brain cells, the Logos of any group. From it, whether in or
out of the body, the light passes cyclically through the fields
of the lower consciousness, bringing all seeds into fruit for
This must be our work at THE SECRET DOCTRINE fruitless all of it
unless we can relate its facts to some function, or power, or
state of consciousness. It is a book of practical occultism, so
written that he who runs may read, and get nothing. Many tables
of correspondences may be constructed, many abstracts made, still
to no purpose, if reference home is not constant.
But it is nevertheless well to make for meditation these groups
of correspondence. We have to look within, passing by nothing
until it is related to consciousness. Then we see that the
process indicated must be so; we are described, reflected, in the
Our home is all this universe; we have lived on every plane, in
every portion of space; WE BROUGHT IT FORTH, we, the total
brotherhood of life; we are but rays of the One Light in the
illusion of manyhood. That is the keynote of this book.
Through the thought-aura of its pages we sense the Teachers who
wrote, and their teaching, for us, is less and less veiled.
Mentally we touch them as we read. We are striving to attain the
plane of their ideation, and he who would fain reach some level
of consciousness, however high, is, in, degree, already there.
So, feeling out for them, along some plane of mind, we touch
those writers; it is not otherwise here.
If this book feels unhuman, lifeless, that is but a sign that
more effort is required; putting forth that needed increase, we
will find that it has an intense life of its own, coming from its
own, from nature, and from our inmost selves.
By strong effort we must tear down the veil, and by that same
effort we get sight of ourselves, finding that the Gods, the
stars, the winds, and storms and elements of mythology are the
points and powers and the blowing here and there of the mind of
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application