Theosophy World Home Page
THEOSOPHY WORLD ------------------------------------ August, 2000
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
To submit papers or news items, subscribe, or unsubscribe, write
(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.)
"Pilgrimage," by B.P. Wadia
"Computers and Theosophy," from the Australasian T.S.
"2000 Open Letter," by the ULT
"Spiritual Life and Action," by Katinka Hesselink
"Annual Brookings Conference"
"The Northwest Branch," by Adam Grey
"Blavatsky Net Update," by Reed Carson
"Tribute to Anita Atkins -- Sylvia Cranston," by Caren M. Elin
"Finding the Self: A Study from THE SECRET DOCTRINE," Part III,
by Herbert Coryn
"The Dual Aspect of Wisdom," by A. Trevor Barker
"Cycles, Neutralizing Negative Habits," Part II,
by Boris de Zirkoff
> The whole essence of truth CANNOT BE TRANSMITTED FROM MOUTH TO
> EAR. Nor can any pen describe it, not even that of the recording
> Angel, unless man finds the answer in the sancturary of his own
> heart, in the innermost depths of his divine intuitions.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, 516
by B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, 228-30.]
Financiers and politicians guide our civilization. Our citizens
accept them as their natural leaders. As a result, a social
order has arisen different from those known to history. Ancient
ideals have become unsuitable in modern life. Thus the
institution of the Pilgrimage, which had great educative value,
which inspired minds and hearts to rise to nobler heights, is
lost to us. Even where it exists and is observed, for example
among the orthodox Hindu Tirthakas or the Muslim Hajis, it is a
creedal rite which may bring respect to the "pilgrims," but does
not possess the power of mind transmutation.
Leaving aside the minority even of such pilgrims as visit Kashi
and Rameshwaram, or Mecca and Medina, or Lourdes and Canterbury,
etc., what about the others? Today .the secular form of
pilgrimage is holidays. Vast populations take advantage of
vacations and leaves of different types (casual leave, sick
leave, annual leave, etc., which are customary, and now in many
cases legally enforced on the employer) to entertain themselves,
each according to his tastes and desires. The true Pilgrim is
rare; he has given place for the most part to the secular
traveler. "Change of air for the body," "freedom from work," the
"putting aside of business worries and family concerns,"
"sight-seeing," and the like allure the tired earner of daily
bread and his family. They all use time, money and energy
differently from when he and they are in harness at office, home
or school. Decent folk -- and most are that -- desire to forget
the routine of life by breathing a cleaner air, drinking
different and health giving waters, consuming "richer and better"
foods, seeing different sights and scenes. The glamour exercised
by all these strengthens their illusion. It is the bodily and
sense life, the mundane mind and morals, which are titillated
during holidays. True soul refreshment and mental re-creation
are not so gained. That is why so many return home from their
vacation a little refreshed in body but with a sense of
disappointment. Holidays and travels do, however, have their
uses and are in some ways beneficial -- we are not overlooking
But the traveler is not the pilgrim. The pilgrim does travel,
does glimpse sights and scenes his eye had never beheld, but his
vision is fixed upon the Place of Pilgrimage, where his Soul is
going, The moral and spiritual purpose of the Pilgrim enables him
to gain from new sights and scenes, from new foods and herbs,
from new human contacts, moral and intellectual values and an
uplift which the traveler misses out. The object of the traveler
is his own entertainment; that of the Pilgrim is mental
enlightenment, moral uplift and above all some spiritual
realization of the Divine.
In these days when life presses hard on millions of men and women
and sheer existence demands laborious efforts, it is rarely
possible to go on a real pilgrimage. But this Kali-Yuga, our
dark cycle, affords us the opportunity to turn ordinary acts and
events into sacraments. So we must learn to utilize our short
vacations and well-earned office leave to the very best
advantage. Freemasons go from labor to refreshment; philosophers
value re-creation; poets themselves need the repose from work to
listen to the Silence singing to them. And did not Jesus himself
tell his disciples returning from their holy labor to come apart
into a desert place and rest awhile?
But what are true rest and repose? How can we refresh ourselves
in real re-creation? Are holidays and vacations to be merely
Pilgrims go to holy places because these are hallowed by the
ideas and images of holy men -- saints, seers, and sages. Such
centers have been called "spiritual seminaries." They recall to
the mind the penances and prayers performed, the praises sung,
the sermons preached; and the pilgrims try to gain their
inspiration and energy for self-purification and
The ordinary holiday-maker is centered in his sensorium; the
serious traveler is bent upon educating his brain; the earnest
and sincere pilgrim returns home a better-hearted and a nobler
man, if he has been able to osmose the merit which is enshrined
in the place of pilgrimage, the light which radiates therefrom
and the peace which surrounds it.
Thus have I heard:
> Man is an Eternal Pilgrim. His responsible purpose in life is to
> visit Holy Places. Thereby he learns to erect within himself the
> Temple of Seven Shrines.
COMPUTERS AND THEOSOPHY
[from the AUSTRALASIAN T.S. NEWSLETTER, June 2000, pages 1-2.]
Love them or loath them, computers are having a dramatic impact
on all our lives. From commercial deals to spiritual life,
computers figure somewhere along the line for most of us. So how
will the rapid growth in easily available computer technology,
and particularly the Internet, affect theosophy and the work of
our Australasian Section of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena)
in the future?
Computers have an unprecedented capacity to reach out and touch
people wherever they are in the world. The Internet, with all
its faults, is an expression of the new Aquarian Age
consciousness, with its hallmarks of communication and
brotherhood. Our Australasian Section has made extensive use of
the Internet since the mid-1990s with our homepage of Section
information available since 1997 and the Internet version of this
newsletter available every three months since 1998.
We have also taken part in Internet discussion groups and chat
lines to swap ideas and views with theosophists worldwide, such
as the new "FTS Forum" initiated by the South African Section
At the suggestion of one of their members, the South African
Section has organized a members' electronic meeting of Sections
around the world, using the email facility of the Internet.
About 20 members around the world participate in discussions on
subjects ranging far and wide from philosophy to practical ideas
for building Section work.
In the future, these activities will increase and diversify with
the technology to help us remain in touch with a scattered
membership around our huge continent and in communication
internationally. How will the Internet affect world theosophy in
the next few years?
Already most of the theosophical classics by H.P. Blavatsky,
William Q. Judge and other major theosophical writers, are
available free of charge on the Internet at such sites as our own
Theosophical University Press Online.
New and exciting projects that seek the direct collaboration of
readers, such as Dr. G. de Purucker's ENCYCLOPEDIC GLOSSARY OF
THEOSOPHY, and the Internet magazine THEOSOPHY WORLD, are now
available to everyone who has a computer with a modem.
Computers will allow people to directly access information
without the intermediary of a formal theosophical organization
such as our Australasian Section. People will probably therefore
become less aware or concerned about the differences between
theosophical organizations and affiliations and more concerned
with the quality of the ideas they read on the Internet which are
applicable to their lives.
This will create many difficulties for the established
Theosophical Societies in maintaining control over a particular
point of view about what theosophy is and how to approach the
This is especially a problem for our Society as the multitude of
ideas and choices on the Internet going under the banner of
"Theosophy" becomes confusing for enquirers and leads people into
the many "byways of occultism" that theosophical founder H.P.
Blavatsky warned us about.
On the positive side, consider the Internet's emphasis on the
individual approaching the teachings rather than organizations.
This is the logical conclusion of our former Leader James A.
Long's work in the 1950s with our Society to encourage less
emphasis on structure and more on living theosophy, or as he
would often say: "the esoteric has become the exoteric and the
These technological developments relate to the "physical body" of
theosophical work in Australia. What about the soul?
The ancient challenge of disharmonies in human thought, producing
the worldly problems with which we are all so painfully familiar,
will no doubt continue into the 21st century. So will the
challenge to "Live the Life" and put our theosophical philosophy
into action every day no matter what is our situation. The core
message of Brotherhood, "to Love thy neighbor as Thyself" will
forever be relevant, even as the means at hand to promote it
changes with computers etc. I can do no better than quote a
recent message from our leader, Grace Knoche, about our
continuing mission in the 21st century:
> "The more it changes, the more it is the same" -- this is the
> promise and strength of our endeavor. For our theosophic purpose
> to remain a vivid and exciting challenge, its form and outer
> expression must change with the changing need.
> Otherwise, we run the risk of negating the power of our wondrous
> philosophy to inspire and quicken the soul to grandeur ... What
> is our work but to support with our finest efforts the ageless
> and sublime task of transmuting the base metal of human nature
> into the gold of conscious awareness of its divine origin and
2000 OPEN LETTER
by United Lodge of Theosophists
[A letter dated June 21-25, 2000, sent out to members of the
In the early years of this century, ULT focused on the revival of
the "original writings" of Theosophy. The founders of ULT were
concerned that without an emphasis on the diffusion and study of
this treasure, there was a danger of the original writings going
out of print. Today, Theosophy is very much alive, and it is
safe to say that maintaining, promulgating, and pointing to the
living words of the Masters as presented by HPB will prove one of
the most important chapters in modern history. (Currently,
printings of the original editions of The Secret Doctrine, Isis
Unveiled, The Key to Theosophy and The Ocean of Theosophy are
readily available from any number of sources.)
The work continues and remains a primary responsibility of
current students. We are participating in a crucial cycle, one
designated by HPB, Mr. Judge, and the Masters as a "Transition
Age." Never before in recorded history has the public found
itself able to consider the life giving waters of Soul Wisdom set
forth in HPB's writings. Theosophy offers a view of the
Universe, its Laws, its Purposes, and man's relationship to all
Promulgation of the fundamental principles and objects of
Theosophy is the essential work. In this we may emulate the
great Manasa Dhyanis, who self-consciously assumed the
responsibility of remaining in the "field of battle" to offer
true service for humanity. It is no easy task to know how to
offer "true service." Mr. Judge's articles contain many good
suggestions that promote Brotherhood.
Mr. Judge says that it is not high intellectual study that is
needed, but intelligent promulgation of the great truths of
karma, reincarnation, and the perfectibility of human nature. No
proposal for theosophical work should be rejected outright,
provided the proposer has the clear motive of doing good for his
fellow men. Each man is potency in himself. Our duty is to
discover what we can do and to encourage others. In doing this
we draw strength from one another.
A review of the Annual Reports submitted by the "General
Secretary of the American Section" between 1886 and 1896 reveals
how the work progressed as well as how effectively Mr. Judge
inspired others. During that period, the membership in America
grew from 350 to over 3,000, and from 12 Lodges to over 160. In
the light of Brotherhood the first object-energy such as this put
into the early work may be seen bearing fruit in the
liberalization of attitudes, and of the many protections now
extended towards the poor, the sick, the weak, to women and
children. Our collective duty is "nonsectarian" promulgation.
This past year has witnessed increased activity in the
establishment of area discussion groups, making Theosophy more
available to those who have difficulty attending central ULT
Lodges. Sarasota, FL, Big Rapids, NC, and Seoul, South Korea are
three groups that recently have ordered Theosophy Co.
publications. More than in years past, ULT students are making
themselves available to speak on theosophical subjects to
informal gatherings at libraries and in homes. Also, once a
month on Saturdays a group of students assemble in L.A. to tape
an ad hoc discussion of basic theosophic texts. The videos
produced will be suitable for either the Internet or TV.
Publishing efforts in a variety of languages continue. One
notable example that somehow has not been mentioned here before
is that in Sweden. A monthly magazine is published in Sweden by
ULT students along with a steady and continuing flow of
theosophical articles. This work has been in process for a
number of years. Special editions of important theosophical
works are published in France and India virtually every year.
Additional ULT pamphlets in Portuguese and Spanish went to press
this past year. A newly revised, attractive soft cover edition
of HPB's Biography is also now available.
New ULT Web pages are in place in Washington, DC, London,
England, and London, Ontario, Canada, while Bangalore, India,
Bombay, India, and San Diego, CA have Web sites under
development. Cooperation between the various "streams" in
theosophy has continued to grow. Gatherings such as that known
as the Brookings, OR "get together," though sponsored by ULT'ers,
draw from theosophical students at large. Last year
representatives from four countries attended.
SPIRITUAL LIFE AND ACTION
by Katinka Hesselink
So well has the lesson that good thought is important, taken root
in our spiritual culture, that sometimes it seems people forget
about the more difficult: good action. Prayer-groups,
meditation-groups and healing-groups all make use of the fact
that thought works actively in the world. There is nothing wrong
with that. But I think we tend to forget that action is
important too. Right action is a terribly difficult thing. It
is easy to rely on hard and set rules in this department, because
knowing what to do in specific situations is very difficult.
This is probably the reason that so many members of theosophical
societies emphasize being a vegetarian and not drinking alcohol
as important for their spiritual life. These things make them
feel they are at least doing their best. But right action does
not always include being a vegetarian. In practicing theosophy,
it is not easy to realize the truth of what Buddha says in THE
DAMMAPADA, verse 252:
> The fault of others is easily perceived, but that of oneself is
> difficult to perceive; the faults of others one lays open as much
> as possible, but one's own fault one hides, as a cheat hides the
> bad die from the gambler.
There are very concrete things all of us can do, if we only
stopped complaining of other people's wrongs and started looking
to see what we can do ourselves. Pestering a coworker, for
instance, is a widely known phenomenon. This practice, often by
the whole office, makes a good working relationship impossible.
The effect is to isolate the worker that is teased and it works
to boost up the ego of the leader of the pestering. If no such
pestering-leader is among the readers, still the other co-workers
also play a part. They either do not protest to the pestering or
they protect their own status in the group by not reaching out to
the victim of the abuse. Thereby they do nothing to change the
status quo and keep the isolation of the victim in place. Both
protesting and reaching out to the victim, are a risky business.
The pestering may turn on me, I may also be isolated, are logical
and realistic fears that stop people from acting in cases like
this. Still, if we want to consider spiritual practice, this is
probably one of the places to start.
On the upside: good example is usually followed. Once the
dictatorship (which emotionally it is) of the pestering leader is
broken, others usually follow in discontinuing the abuse. Also,
if defending the people and learning to reach out to those who
are not popular, becomes habit, we become more watchful of
peoples needs, and less focused on our own happiness. Again,
this is risky business, because it means we have to learn to rely
on our own judgment and not on the group. With all our modern
talk of independence, usually we still conform in seemingly
unimportant issues to what the group thinks is logical. The
problems come when the acceptance by the group is paid for by the
betrayal of our own consciousness. This is very common, but if
we truly want to live a spiritual life, it has to stop. Only
when we learn to stand apart in this way, can the voice of the
group be replaced by the voice of our best selves. And only when
that voice can count on a hearing in our consciousness, can it
start acting outwardly, without us seeming to do a thing about
In her Esoteric Instructions, Part I, (BCW, XII, pages 533-34),
H.P. Blavatsky writes the following on this subject of the
importance of action, as opposed to prayer:
> Our prayers and supplications are vain, unless to potential words
> we add potent acts, and make the aura which surrounds each one of
> us so pure and divine that the God within us may act outwardly,
> or in other words, become as it were an extraneous Potency. Thus
> we have Initiates, Saints and very holy and pure men been enabled
> to help others as well as themselves in the hour of need, and
> produce what are foolishly called 'miracles,' each by the help
> and with the aid of the God within himself, which he alone has
> enabled to act on the outward plane.
It is said somewhere: the Mahatma can act without seeming to lift
a finger. But what we forget when reading that is: we have first
to learn how to act, before we can expect nature to help a hand.
In the Theosophical Society [Adyar], often people talk about
motives as being a prime factor in spirituality. I think this is
true. When the motive for good action becomes reincarnation in
better circumstances, for instance, then we are not being very
spiritual. On the other hand, motive just is not enough. As
said in THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT, letter four, page
> Motives are vapors, as attenuated as the atmospheric moisture;
> and, as the latter develops its dynamic energy for man's use only
> when concentrated and applied as steam or hydraulic power, so the
> practical value of good motives is best seen when they take the
> form of deeds.
Again, we are reminded of the importance of deeds. Motive is
important, but action is more important. Without right motive,
nothing good would happen. But without action, good motive means
nothing. It reminds me of the way in which the whole world
becomes full of goodwill, around Christmas. But since this good
will is hardly translated into action, the good will ends the day
after. Many people pray for peace, but unable to see the
relation between the small wars in the working place and the
large wars on the television screen, they keep acting the same.
The spirit of strife remains, competition is paramount, and
guerrilla-wars keep our news reporters busy.
ANNUAL BROOKINGS CONFERENCE
You are invited to attend our sixth annual gathering of students
of Theosophy on August 11, 12, and 13 in Brookings, Oregon and
Smith River, California, USA (side-by-side coastal communities).
It would be our pleasure to have you present with us,
participating in the informal discussions concerning the
promulgation of Theosophy and the furthering of the Cause of the
On Friday evening, August 11, 7:30 to 9:30 PM, a Public Meeting
will be held in the Recreation Room of the Ship Ashore Resort,
Smith River. The topic of the meeting is: HUMAN SOLIDARITY IN
THE NEW MILLENNIUM -- AN UNDERSTANDING OF KARMA AND
REINCARNATION. There will be a panel discussion and we
anticipate a lively exchange of ideas with the audience.
Before the Friday evening meeting, there will be a potluck buffet
at 4:00 PM at 14390 Ocean View Drive, Smith River, California.
Also, Brunch will be served Saturday morning at the same address;
followed by a further discussion of HUMAN SOLIDARITY, the keynote
of all our endeavors. We expect many helpful ideas and
suggestions will be shared.
There are numerous inns, bed and breakfasts, and motels in the
area, as well as camping and RV accommodations at Harris Beach
State Park. It is wise to make reservations early. The State
Park reservation number is (800) 452-5687.
All students, friends, and inquirers are welcome. For further
information, please call (707) 487-3063. Please leave a message
and we will return your call. If you wish to E-mail us, our
THE NORTHWEST BRANCH
by Adam Grey
[Reprinted with permission from THE THEOSOPHIC LINK (Newsletter
of the American Section of The Theosophical Society [Pasadena]),
Winter 2000, pages 3, 6.]
Three and a half years ago, the Northwest Branch of The
Theosophical Society was formed by six theosophists in King
County, Washington (near Seattle). Their main areas of interest,
as a Branch, are putting theosophy on the Internet and producing
introductory literature. In the past, Branches have, over time,
formed a library as part of their theosophic service to the
community. The Northwest Branch has formed an electronic
library, available literally to anyone in the world. As they
describe it, "We believe the web sites we have constructed
provide a refuge where people may find for themselves plausible
answers to the human condition and to the dilemmas affecting all
Their web site contains over 650 theosophical articles and
chapters from books arranged by topic, pamphlets, booklets, as
well as several complete books, an expanded CHILDREN'S BOOKLIST,
introductory manuals from Katherine Tingley's era, their
newsletter (THEOSOPHY NORTHWEST VIEW [TNV]), links to
theosophical books and related sites, and more. A valuable
resource on the web site/library is the COLLATION OF THEOSOPHICAL
GLOSSARIES compiled by Branch members, that combine, term by
term, several glossaries in a single alphabetical listing.
Included are glossary entries by Blavatsky, Judge, Purucker,
Barborka, and Tyberg, among others. Log on at
The Branch also volunteered to design the International
Headquarters web site,
and the Theosophical University Press Online web site at
This provides a rich theosophic resource on the Internet
utilizing SUNRISE magazine, the writings of 29 authors, and over
80 full-text titles, many with search engines. Some of the
titles with search capability are: THE SECRET DOCTRINE, ISIS
UNVEILED, THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A. P. SINNETT, THE OCEAN OF
THEOSOPHY, LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME, FOUNTAIN-SOURCE OF
OCCULTISM, THE DIALOGUES OF G. DE PURUCKER, and THEOSOPHY: THE
PATH OF THE MYSTIC. Notable are out-of-print books now available
only online, and the draft for the ENCYCLOPEDIC THEOSOPHICAL
GLOSSARY, a work in progress begun under G. de Purucker.
Scholars and researchers are invited by TUP editors to make note
of any errors of fact or typography that they find in this online
edition as part of the preparation for its eventual publication
in book form.
The Branch holds one public meeting each month at a regional
library for interested people. Having tried several formats,
they presently hold roundtable discussions on announced topics or
questions such as "What Can the Ancient Wisdom Teach Us?" and
"Astrology: Do the 'Stars' Affect Us?" For each public
discussion, a handout is prepared related to the meeting's topic
that inquirers can take with them. A members' meeting is held
about once a month to discuss Branch business, coordinate
projects, and visit.
The Northwest Branch also has produced brochures, pamphlets, and
fliers describing Branch activities, theosophical books in the
local library system, and books in their lending library.
Introductory pamphlets are also made available: "What Is
Theosophy," "Reincarnation," "Karma," and "The Six Fundamental
Propositions of THE SECRET DOCTRINE," a reprint of an article by
John P. Van Mater. They plan to expand the subjects of the
The newsletter contains information on the monthly meetings,
other news, and short articles on the first page, while the
second has a longer article written by a local member or taken
from a theosophical publication. Anyone wishing to receive it
may send a request to the Branch with his/her address. Current
and back issues are also published on their Internet site.
A special project of the Branch has been encouraging the King
County Library System to buy more theosophical books. Although
their collection contained some books by H.P. Blavatsky and W.Q.
Judge, there were none by G. de Purucker, Katherine Tingley, or
James Long. The library system bought several titles over a
two-year period. This is a real aid to the person looking for
theosophy. The King County Library is online. From library or
home computers, patrons can order any book in the system to be
available at their local branch library for borrowing. In
combination with the pamphlet on theosophical books available
through the local library, this makes theosophy available over a
wide area and books available to the inquirer at no cost.
The work the Northwest Branch has accomplished online is helpful
to individuals, study groups, and other Branches, which may
expand their own work. For further information on obtaining
pamphlets, you may contact the Northwest Branch or the American
BLAVATSKY NET UPDATE
by Reed Carson
With July we are beginning a major effort with a new
study/discussion list to study in-depth THE SECRET DOCTRINE of
Madame Blavatsky. I have asked Jerome Wheeler to lead this
effort and in turn he has gathered together a total of ten people
from around the world who will act together to moderate and
otherwise work together to make this the best possible study list
on THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
The group is calling itself a "circle". The members of the
circle come from six different countries. Truely this is a
world-wide effort. In the total amount of committment of this
group to the subject and their knowledge of the material, this is
an amazing collective effort.
The list is called BN-SD and the mailing address for it is
email@example.com. It will be studying the SD sequentially over a
period of years with some initial review of topics for six weeks.
If you would like to study the magnum opus of Blavatsky, whether
contributing or lurking, you will be most welcome. The list is
now started. You can sign up for it on the Blavatsky Net
membership page by clicking on "members" on the homepage.
I hope this effort has much consequence in the world for the
study of Theosophy.
Here is the first version of the welcome message for the list:
> Dear Friends:
> Welcome to the BN-SD study/discussion circle covering THE SECRET
> DOCTRINE, the magnum opus of Madame Helena Blavatsky. This
> information, plus more, is available at
> The email for sending messages to this list is:
> We will be studying THE SECRET DOCTRINE from cover-to-cover.
> However, as a matter of actual choice your contribution may refer
> to any location in the book at any time. If you choose a topic
> inside the current material that's great, but as all students of
> the S.D. know, references in one place lead to a whole clan of
> relatives scattered throughout the book.
> Before the long trek begins we will study an article given by HPB
> to Capt. Bowen. In that article there are several items HPB
> suggests we cover first in order to acquire an "overview" and get
> a "feel" for the citadel of thought being approached. During the
> initial six weeks we will consider the article and suggested
> A critical document to point to at the very beginning is the
> article "Authorship of the Secret Doctrine." The best version of
> the article can be found in William Q. Judge's collected
> writings, ECHOES OF THE ORIENT, Volume I, pp. 321-29, published
> by Point Loma Publications, Inc.; P.O. Box 9966; San Diego, CA
> 92109. It is also available at
> The average student does not realize the rather elaborate
> precautions the Masters took in accepting responsibility for the
> contents of The Secret Doctrine, saying that it was "dictated to
> HPB" by Them.
> When you and I study the S.D. we are being exposed to a stream
> of thought given us by the Masters and made available through
> HPB's sacrifice. Whenever mental life goes from a higher plane
> to a lower a scapegoat, or conduit is required -- HPB was the
> voluntary Promethean victim for the project. This material,
> seriously considered, is potent karma, and like all purifying
> agents has to destroy as well as build. What the Master's
> viewpoint does indirectly is, in this student's opinion, more
> important than what it does directly though there is an ample
> harvest on both fronts.
> This list is moderated. We require only that the tone be kept
> courteous to others and relevant to the Blavatsky-centered
> orientation of this list. The results will be archived and will
> be searchable by key words, by writer, by date, or by discussion
> There are four levels of participation available: Mail -- you
> receive all email as it occurs on the list; Digest -- in one
> email per day, you receive all discussion that occurred the
> previous day; Index -- in one email per day, you recieve the
> subject headings of all discussion that occurred the previous day
> with a convenient way to retrieve any single message; Nomail --
> you receive nothing in the mail, but like the other participants,
> you can visit the archives and search over past discussions.
> We expect the archives will create a valuable study tool for
> those following in the footsteps of the progress of this list.
> But don't let that intimidate you. If anything, please be
> encouraged to ask questions and make comments so that the
> discussion may help everyone.
> 1. For the overall quality of the list, the software imposes the
> following limits (and sends a message if you exceed them):
> a) No more than 3 messages per day per person.
> b) Messages must not exceed 50K bytes.
> 2. Please do not send attachments for technical reasons and
> because we don't all have the same word processors.
> 3. Please choose good subject headers -- to help make the
> archive files more useful.
> Thanks for your cooperation.
> TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE LIST: Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
> TO SUBSCRIBE: Become a member of Blavatsky Net by clicking on
> "signup" at
> and be sure to place a check for participation in the BN-SD
> discussion list.
> TO CHANGE YOUR PARTICIPATION: Go "members" at
> http://www.blavatsky.net and use the "change" option.
> TO VISIT THE ARCHIVES:
> Enter your email and the password you use for your membership
> record at Blavatsky Net and click on "enter bn-sd". Then click
> on "Read Messages". TO UNSUBSCRIBE: Easy way: each message has
> information at the bottom for unsubscribing. Just send a message
> to that address and you are off the list.
> TO CONTACT LIST MANAGER:
> If you have any questions or problems with your subscription
> please contact the list owner at: email@example.com Thanks for
Just to explain how we are attempting to orient the now three
lists at Blavatsky Net, BN-basic continues its effort aimed at
the beginner (though with some heavy discussion along the way),
BN-SD aims at the challenging magnum opus of HPB, while bn-study
will aim even more clearly at "second object" material after its
summer rest. (The "second object" of the Theosophical movement
was declared a century ago to be the study of ancient and modern
religions, philosophies, and sciences and the demonstration of
the importance thereof.)
Nine more articles by William Q Judge went online this month
bringing the total to 206 with 72 more articles awaiting their
By accident some past issues of "In the Light of Theosophy" from
the magazine "The Theosophical Movement" had not been "showing"
as available. So now you can see the February to May material.
Two months of back "Quote of the Day", from this past January
through February, are now online available by clicking on "back
quotes" right under the day's quote.
As mentioned last month, The Manhattan Theosophy Study Group will
be holding its first workshop this Sunday July 16, 2000. Topic
is "The Journey Of The Soul". There will be a keynote talk
followed by small group explorations, then reconvening for a
panel discussion. Admission is free. For more details see
events page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope you can make it
to this special event of a dynamic, nearly year-old, group.
Continuing in August
Early in this past month the new BN-SD discussion list was
launched. Even though summer talk can be slow, this list is
certainly now in full swing. For a while the format has been to
study individual quotes from the Secret Doctrine sequentially
through the book. However, much of the discussion has been
concerning very serious issues relating Buddhism to Theosophy.
For the depth of discussion that has ensued, I am amazed.
I had predicted in advance that this list would surpass 200
members by the end of the year. Now there are 152 members. So
it is well on its way.
The BN-basic list has been quite active in its discussions and
its membership has broken a new record for itself. The
membership is 435 which is approximately double the number of
participants that it started with at the beginning of this year.
Rather startlingly, BN-study, the site's oldest list at one and a
half years, now has 624 participants. My hope remains that we
may later convert the topic of that list to study "second object"
type of material later in the year. However, now it is
considering the material from "In the Light of Theosophy" that
covers current developments as presented in "Theosophy Magazine"
published in Bombay. It includes scientific material and is
Thanks to all the moderators and especially to everyone listening
and talking on each of these lists. It is the total contribution
of everyone that makes them what they are.
Five new Judge articles have been placed online. Some technical
snafus were found in the old ones and are mostly fixed now.
TRIBUTE TO ANITA ATKINS -- SYLVIA CRANSTON
By Caren M. Elin
In Honor of the Life and Work of Anita Atkins:
A Selfless Servant of The Theosophical Movement
December 12, 1915 -- June 20, 2000
To the world, she was known as Sylvia Cranston and to her
theosophical friends and community worldwide she was our most
humble Anita Atkins. Born on December 12, 1915, Anita spent her
early years living off the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, New
York. Her parents both attended meetings at The United Lodge of
Theosophists in New York City, ever since Anita was a young
teenager. Anita's introduction into the philosophy of Theosophy
came from her father's reports of the meetings he attended.
Anita always stated that her "soul soared" each and every time
her father returned home from a theosophical meeting. Anita
would ask her father to tell her of every idea that had been
presented during the lectures. Due to Anita's extreme shyness,
it took her many months before she could bring herself to attend
her first public theosophical meeting, in which she was
accompanied by her parents. Once this first meeting was
accomplished, there was no way to turn Anita away. From that day
on as a young teenager still in high school, Anita attended every
During Anita Atkins' lifetime, she wrote and published five
wonderful books, introducing hundreds of thousands of individuals
worldwide to the ideas of Theosophy through reincarnation. These
works are: REINCARNATION AN EAST -- WEST ANTHOLOGY, REINCARNATION
IN WORLD THOUGHT, REINCARNATION: THE PHOENIX FIRE MYSTERY...
REINCARNATION A NEW HORIZON IN SCIENCE, RELIGION & SOCIETY, AND
H.P.B., THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE & INFLUENCE OF HELENA BLAVATSKY,
FOUNDER OF THE MODERN THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT. The first three
volumes have become known as the Head & Cranston Anthologies,
while the last two were with the efforts of Carey Williams. It
has been an established policy that all the royalties earned by
these volumes shall only be used to purchase the books back and
donate them to libraries worldwide. The policy still being
honored is: not one penny shall ever be used for personal use,
but can only be used to promote the ideas of Theosophy through
these volumes in order to aid suffering humanity. Anita's
brother "Bob" (A. Edgar) Atkins has always been Anita's
financial and moral support and a steadfast researcher throughout
the HPB biography.
Anita Atkins spent her whole working life at The United Lodge of
Theosophists -- New York City, the 5cents and 10cents Store, and
Eastern News Distributors. Never married she chose to direct her
efforts towards humanity through her lectures for various
theosophical groups and organizations, teaching Theosophy School
at ULT, as well as participating in innumerable radio interviews,
and some major Television interviews. To many researchers and
academics in the world, Sylvia Cranston has become a respected
authority in the field of Reincarnation. Today her books are
still in print and are available in multiple languages throughout
the world, remaining ever steadfast as a beckon light for
individuals searching for soul-knowledge on their chosen path of
Throughout Anita's lifetime she read every word ever written by
HPB multiple times. One keynote struck out as a call for Anita
to serve Theosophy. This was HPB's address to the fourth
American Convention in 1890. HPB stated:
> What I said last year remains true today, that is, that the
> Ethics of Theosophy are more important than any divulgement of
> psychic laws and facts. The latter relate wholly to the material
> and evanescent part of the septenary man, but the Ethics sink
> into and take hold of the real man -- the reincarnating Ego. We
> are outwardly creatures of but a day; within we are eternal.
> Learn, then, well the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation, and
> teach, practice, promulgate that system of life and thought,
> which alone can save the coming races. Do not work merely for
> the Theosophical Society [or ULT], but THROUGH it for Humanity.
Anita's heart was pierced by this proclamation, so at the age of
16, she began compiling what great thinkers, writers, artists,
and composers had to say on the subject of death and
reincarnation throughout history. This idea came to Anita to
compile an appendix to a friend's book she volunteered to type on
the subject of reincarnation to be published by the Theosophy
Company. This appendix grew into a volume of its own and Mrs.
Grace Clough of the ULT -- Los Angeles advised Anita upon her
visit there to select a pen name and have her appendix published
as a separate book by a major New York publishing house. Grace
Clough then selected Sylvia Cranston as the nom de plume of Anita
Atkins. All these events did occur, the first four Cranston
anthologies on reincarnation, were published by Crown Publishers,
and the fifth volume, the HBP biography, was originally published
by G.P. Putnam's Sons, both of New York. Today these books are
still available and in print within various theosophical and
non-theosophical publishing houses. "Bob" (A. Edgar) Atkins has
been an invaluable asset in helping in this effort through both
his moral and financial support.
Anita Atkins is survived by her faithful brother, friend, and
companion "Bob" Atkins. He has stood by Anita's life and work
for his entire lifetime, and at the age of 79 formed Path
Publishing House along with Caren M. Elin to keep the HPB
biography alive and in print. In the future, this biography
shall appear online.
The lifetime work of Anita Atkins shall continue to be carried on
through the efforts of her faithful friend, companion, and
co-author Carey Williams. The new and uncompleted sixth volume
started by Cranston and Williams shall be completed in the
Anita Atkins selected to depart this lifetime on the Summer
Solstice, June 20, 2000, while residing in Santa Barbara,
California. The last 6+ years of her life were spent advising
Carey Williams of her desires for publishing and the contents of
her lectures and articles while enjoying the magnificent
coastline and panoramic views of the Santa Barbara area. It was
Anita's undying wish that the ideas of Theosophy be used to
benefit Humanity through gentle acts of service, beginning with
those who cross our path daily -- family, friends, and coworkers.
An additional wish was for all of the Theosophical groups and
independent individuals to work symbiotically for the
Theosophical Movement and through it to benefit Humanity.
Anita Atkins never wished any acknowledgements for her lifetime
of selfless work, and now that she has departed the scene, I
believe many join me in saying thank you Anita for a lifetime of
selfless devotion to the Theosophical Movement and to Humanity.
A Celebration of Anita Atkins' (Sylvia Cranston's) Life and Work
will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2000 at 8:00 P.M. in
Crosbie Hall of The United Lodge of Theosophists, 326 West Sola
St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101. All are welcome. For additional
information, please call Caren M. Elin 805-344-1414.
FINDING THE SELF: A STUDY FROM "THE SECRET DOCTRINE," Part III
by Herbert Coryn
[From THE THEOSOPHIC ISIS, September 15, 1896, pages 264-68. ]
There is no act, no thought that does not make a force in
consciousness. No power can finally stay that force from its
entire manifestation. That sounds like fatalism, but it is not
so. Fatalists neglect a factor to which we will at once make
reference. It is the WILL of each of us.
The will is a generator of force, a liberator and a destroyer of
forces that already exist. The will of man is a spark from the
great flame of will that brought this entire universe into
manifestation. Its energies are for each man not limited. It is
the very center of being, and we so study it.
This central will in nature, from which we derive our own, is
shown in SCOPE OF ACTION. Actions of little scope have this will
but little, resting rather on impulse, or on the smaller motives
of personal humanity. The wider the scope the more of the
central will. So, carrying it further, we say that a Master is
he who acts with the full and unlimited scope of THE central
will. THE central will in its full scope brings forth life. He
imitates that whose actions bring forth scope of life in him and
He who seeks matter seeks death, and annihilates in himself the
central will. He who seeks spirit obtains life, and gives of it
to others. Between these are all grades. Seeking matter is
seeking gratification in the sensations of matter, the aim of the
From the man wholly given to lusts, bringing about disease and
death to himself and others, arise in long gradation, those who
seek the higher and higher activities, and the higher the
activity they seek, the more they are leaders among men. They
take power from the one life they seek, and help others to that.
That, in perfection, is the ideal of the Theosophical Society,
whose members aim nearer and nearer to that central life whose
ministers are the Masters.
We saw that a man is tied by his past acts, since they become in
his consciousness pendulums tied back, silent, but full of
potential energy, awaiting the time when they shall be slipped
loose from their catches, to clang upon the bells of manifested
That is true, that we are so tied, but it is also true that the
pendulum once loosed can be made to break its force upon an
opposing force. For he who meditates to good, day by day, upon
his life, ties back into the position of power some pendulums
charged with the force of good, and these, slipping when the evil
slip, neutralize them and destroy their force. And this is
because a critical review of daily life, and all meditation in
aspiration, is a generation by the will of force to good.
In the past we meditate on evil - and may do so yet -- drawing
the forces of the will, thus aroused, to the reinforcement of
evil, and that evil is the silent, dark set of PRESENCES in
consciousness, waiting the hour of their emergence. Now, we can
consciously undo that and reverse the currents. So it is alike
true and not true that a man is bound by his past, though he and
he alone in absolute verity can unbind himself.
That is our answer to the doctrine of fatalism. It is always
well to distrust those answers to the problems of life that are
easy to get at. The "will of God," and the "will of fate," or
the "determination of necessity," are suspiciously lazy and easy
ways of explaining why things happen. It is difficult to delve
back into the recesses of consciousness, and there find and
estimate the forces. And it is easy for those who have not done
it, and cannot do it, to deny the experimentally reached results
of those who HAVE done it.
Three principles well kept in mind make the problem a little
easier. The FIRST principle is that the outer Universe is a
manifestation of an intense inner activity. NOTHING is at any
moment as it was the moment before. SECONDLY, as you look at the
various kingdoms of nature you find that upon SOME activities, as
the mechanical in the stone, OTHERS are added; just as the freer
life of the plant has all the mechanical activities of the stone
PLUS ANOTHER, what we call life proper.
The animal has these and another yet, namely, special
consciousness. Man has these all and another, namely,
intellectual consciousness. And there is yet another, namely,
spiritual consciousness, in higher men. So we arrange the scale
of being and put highest that which has the MOST activity.
We see that the central life in nature keeps urging outwards its
creatures to new activities. Each of us feels in himself that
central life urging him to activities of act and consciousness.
In the end he gets the most satisfaction with himself, the fire
in him is most satisfied with him, the wider his activities.
When to the ordinary activities of life he adds those of thought,
he is pleased, and nothing hinders. When to thought he adds
spiritual meditation and feels the great life around him and sees
clearly that it is also HIS life, that pleases him more, for he
begins to make his activities of the same range as the universe.
As the life in the universe acts in all creatures to expand them,
so he begins with those who know less than he, and takes pleasure
in teaching and expanding them; for at first unconsciously, then
consciously, he feels himself to be in them, and expands there.
That is altruism, and it is not compatible with hurting them.
Even giving food to a beggar, expands that beggar's mere physical
life, and is prompted by sympathy, which IS the desire to expand
Neither is it compatible with crimes and lusts, for crimes
diminish life, and lusts are but the animal life again and
diminish the greater life. The THIRD principle is that all which
happens to us is due to its having been brought upon us by
elements in our consciousness that crave for activity, and the
order of the events is the order of the cravings, the two fitting
each other. The difficulty in accepting this seems to arise from
confusion between the DEEP cravings and the SUPERFICIAL whims.
Say a man wishes to be celebrated. He thinks he may become so by
taking up music, and says he wishes to be a musician, which is
not so. Music is only a path he has selected which he hopes may
lead him to his real goal. He commits himself to a career of
music, fails to succeed in becoming celebrated, and thinks he
might become so in the law. Fate denies him that, because it is
a passing whim or idea, not the real thing.
If his internal wish to be much talked of is real, that will some
day come about. If with that, there is also an internal leaning,
a delayed pendulum, for crime, the two may combine, and he will
become what he wanted, celebrated, but for a great crime. If to
those two he adds a third wish, for unlimited debauchery, it may
come about and be gratified by his execution at the rope, and so
he is freed in the astral world to gratify himself through all
the mediums and villains on earth with whom he can ally himself.
Or, and at the risk of making the illustration absurd, suppose
that his third eternal wish, coexisting with the others, is for
rest, or for some monotonous occupation that is equal to doing
nothing -- and many crave that -- he may be imprisoned for years
and so THAT is satisfied.
This is all, of course, a very rough example, but it will show
what I mean. It will show that the conditions of life are NOT
the will of God or of fate, but our OWN will, and that our own
will, or the unexpected cravings WITHIN us, are rarely the same
as the passing SURFACE whim.
We long for rest or loneliness, only occasionally on the surface
knowing that we do so. We so long for it that it comes to be
WILL. That is a stored up force. But we longed for a lot of
other things as well, and this last longing must either MIX UP
with them, or take its place at the end.
If it mixes up, we may not like loneliness AS COMBINED WITH THE
OTHER CONDITIONS ALSO WILLED FOR. If it comes at the end, we may
by that time have ceased to want it. We spend life after life in
a wretched and contemptible series of longings. Then we grumble,
when they are gratified, AS THEY MUST BE, and the longings are SO
numerous and so incompatible that the mixture produces all the
strange happenings of life.
Let us long but for the WHITE LIGHT OF THE UNIVERSAL LIFE in its
fullness and wisdom, and that will eternally satisfy. But it is
a good plan to examine all the happenings of life, and see how
they resulted from past blended-but-incompatible longings,
producing nasty mixtures.
Those who have begun to do this, will see how true is that which
we have been taught in Theosophy, that we alone make each our own
aimless and endless stream of longings. But those who would
shirk the problem by that easy phrase "Fate" must do so. They
MUST indeed do so till they can accept reincarnation, and the
lesson of life after life with all their pains, till we have
learned to yearn only to know that one Great Light which is all
men and worlds. This is that FINDING OF THY SELF which we have
resolved to undertake.
THE DUAL ASPECT OF WISDOM
by A. Trevor Barker
[From THE HILL OF DISCERNMENT, Theosophical University Press,
1941, pages 255-68.]
Friends, HPB quoted in THE SECRET DOCTRINE those familiar words,
"Knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own."
An early Christian writer remarked that the business of Wisdom is
to discern first that which is true, and then to be able to
discern that which is false. Now Theosophy -- the Wisdom of the
Ages -- points out the fundamental duality, as it were, that runs
throughout the manifested Universe. The whole of manifested
nature is rooted in an indissoluble unity. It is the business of
Wisdom to discover that unity, to realize it in our own
consciousness. We pass in thought from that boundless, infinite
unity which in this philosophy we call Parabrahman, the Absolute.
Then we come down in thought necessarily to the contrast in
nature between Spirit and Matter, subject and object, and so
This, applied to man, immediately shows us that we have a
spiritual pole to our being, as well as a material one. In ISIS
UNVEILED, the first book of Mme. Blavatsky, she pointed out that
there is indwelling within the external form of man and of the
Universe a connecting link between Spirit and Matter, which in
the human entity she calls "the Real Man."
This inner Real Entity in man is the thinking, human, striving
soul, the Personal Ego, the Astral Monad, the Manas. It is this
Entity, as it were, that is fixed, crucified in Space between
heaven above and the earth beneath. Now it is the whole purpose
of Wisdom, I venture to suggest, to show how it has to tread the
Golgotha of life. It is a pilgrim marching literally through
eternity, from age to age, but which is not unconditionally
Wherever there is a spark of the Boundless All, there you have
all the sevenfold principles of life in embryo. It is purely a
question of degree of unfoldment. The consciousness is latent in
the life of an atom as it is in the highest God that your mind
can rise to. Therefore it will not come as a shock, the idea
that this intermediate principle in man, striving towards Wisdom
on the one hand, and pulled down towards matter on the other, is
a being that has to win immortality.
The process by which he mounts the ladder of life, the stairway
of evolution, is by ascending the seven rungs of his own being.
As T. Subba Row said in the early days of this Movement:
"[Occultism] is the process by which man learns to transfer his
individual consciousness from his mortal, material body up the
stairway of his being to the incorruptible world of non-being
represented by his seventh principle."
Wisdom is that state of consciousness that is achieved when the
human entity has learned how to merge itself into an indissoluble
unity with its own Divine part, with its Higher Self, the Higher
Ego. This is what in Theosophical terminology is called Manas
indissolubly united to Buddhi.
All men have this higher nature. It is, if we did but know it, a
god not in embryo but in actuality, dwelling in full power,
omniscient almost. It is one with the Universal World-Soul. And
it is because this Higher Nature of ours is part of that
indissoluble unity of the Supreme Soul itself that we have an
aspect of our being, which is of the nature of Truth. Half our
task is but to open ourselves, open a certain door of our being,
that we may enter into the inspiration, the light, the knowledge,
which is actually inherent in that part of our being.
I dared to call this lecture "The Dual Aspect of Wisdom." I do
not want to concentrate attention too much upon the lower side,
the lower aspect of wisdom. It must nevertheless be evident to
all of us, as was shown so perfectly by St. James in the New
Testament, that there is a terrestrial, psychic, and devilish
Wisdom, if it may be so called, as well as the Divine nature.
I think that if you will permit me I will just read you the
passage, because it shows the Wisdom that is to be found
scattered throughout the New Testament. In the third chapter
(11-17), you find these words, and here are shown very
beautifully the contrast between these two poles of man's being:
> Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and
You will remember that HPB in the early days of the Movement in a
mood of protest at the lives of certain Theosophists, pointed out
that pure water could not be given to the world out of a foul
bucket, and that the lower nature of men must be cleansed.
> Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries, either a vine,
> figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
> Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him
> show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of
> But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory
> not, and lie not against the truth.
> This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual,
> and devilish.
I ask you to note that phrase:
> This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual,
> and devilish.
> For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every
> evil work.
> But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable,
> gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits,
> without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
There you get in the New Testament the statement -- one of the
statements -- of the dual aspect of Wisdom. HPB has a remarkable
article dealing with the subject in one of the early volumes of
her magazine LUCIFER. She pointed out how often Theosophists are
taken to task because they believe in the Wisdom of the Ancients.
They uphold it. They stand for it. They believe in it.
Disciples of modern knowledge, so to speak, think and believe
that modern scientists, modern inventions and thought and
psychology and so-called philosophy, are in every way equal, if
not superior, to the Wisdom of old. The question is, "Is that
HPB challenges the whole position very, very strongly. Her words
are so suggestive, so pregnant with illuminating ideas, as well
as rather amusing, that I should like to read you some of the
passages that she has in this article. She is replying to
somebody who has put the point of view that modern wisdom is
superior to the Ancient. She says:
> Our correspondent is welcome to his own views, but so are we to
> ours. Let him imagine, if he likes, that the Eiffel Tower dwarfs
> the Pyramid of Giza into a molehill, and the Crystal Palace
> grounds transform the hanging gardens of Semiramis into a kitchen
> garden. But if we are seriously "challenged" by him to show "in
> what respect our age of hourly progress and gigantic thought" --
> a progress a trifle marred, however, by our Huxleys being
> denounced by our Spurgeons, and the University ladies, senior
> classics and wranglers, by the "hallelujah lasses" -- is inferior
> to the ages of, say, a henpecked "Socrates and a cross-legged
> Buddha," then we will answer him, giving him, of course, our own
> personal opinion.
> Our age, we say, is inferior in wisdom to any other, because it
> professes, more visibly every day, CONTEMPT FOR TRUTH AND
> JUSTICE, WITHOUT WHICH THERE CAN BE NO WISDOM. Because our
> civilization, built up of shams and appearances, is at best like
> a beautiful green morass, a bog, spread over a deadly quagmire.
> Because this century of culture and worship of matter, while
> offering prizes and premiums for every "BEST thing" under the
> sun, from the biggest baby and the largest orchid down to the
> strongest in fist fighting and the fattest pig, has no
> encouragement to offer to morality, no prize to give for any
> moral virtue.
> -- "The Dual Aspect of Wisdom," LUCIFER, VII, Sept. 15, 1890
She is wonderful in the language she chooses, that HPB!
I think that none of us can question the truth of this challenge
that she throws down. Some of you who have read that book called
THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT will remember that one of
the Masters there states that Wisdom will ever be denied but to
those who seek it for its own sake without any secondary motive
of turning it to personal profit and gain. The whole of the
Theosophical Movement rests upon that high endeavor.
You will find the lower side of the dual aspect of Wisdom rampant
in the world today. Go out and look, for example, at the
advertisements in some present-day magazines. There you will
find every kind of psychism and claptrap and exploitation of
human beings. You will find money is asked for initiation into
so-called Rosicrucian rites, where the "secrets," so-called, of
the Ancient Wisdom are offered to be sold for money in the
marketplaces of commerce. You will find every kind of medium,
spiritualistic performance, and goodness knows what.
Now all these things are expressions of this lower, psychic,
terrestrial aspect of wisdom. It is not that the psychic and the
so-called clairvoyant who take your money and offer to tell you
something about yourself do not tell you a good deal that you may
find very interesting and true, and that may give you all sorts
of pleasant dreams about the future, which often also are true.
The main point is that true Wisdom cannot be obtained where there
are any motives of self-seeking of whatever kind. Anything in
the nature of personal gain or taking of money in the realm of
the occult is fatal to Wisdom. Yet it is everywhere rampant at
the present time, in this crisis in the world's history, when the
earth is passing through one of the critical points of her great
cycle. Men and women are looking at each other, examining
themselves, not knowing quite what is going to happen. It is at
such times as these that the soothsayers and the clairvoyants and
the like burst forth in a great crescendo of psychic activity,
the terrestrial lower wisdom, if you like to call it so.
There is another aspect that we have to deal with. It is,
briefly, that if there is a true Wisdom in the world, there is
also a spurious wisdom, shown forth by this manifestation that I
have been speaking about. I must not fail to mention that it is
preeminently shown forth in that flood of literature that may be
termed pseudo-occult, pseudo-theosophic, which again diverts
men's minds from the true Wisdom, fills them up with a lot of
psychic junk. The seeds of thought that are in these books sink
deep into the psychic nature of the individual, and bring forth
but evil fruit. That is another manifestation.
Furthermore, one should mention here the fact that there is such
a thing as wisdom in evil, where there are self-conscious human
beings who have made evil their God, and who have a knowledge of
all the laws of the universe, and can turn them to their own evil
ends -- in one word, sorcery.
These are some illustrations of the lower aspect of Wisdom. You
can work them out in a thousand different ways. But I should
like to dwell upon the higher aspect by referring to what are
called in certain parts of Theosophical literature, and the
literature of the Ancients, the seven Jewels of Wisdom. They
have relation exclusively to True Wisdom or Magic, those seven
Golden Keys or key doctrines around which THE SECRET DOCTRINE of
Blavatsky was actually written. Test this statement for
Those seven doctrines I have no doubt you are absolutely familiar
with, but may I just enumerate them for you? The first is the
doctrine of Reincarnation. The second is Karma, the law of cause
and effect. The third is the doctrine of Hierarchies, which
means that everything in the universe is interlinked and
interblended with everything else, which it really
interpenetrates in its essential nature. You will see how
everything in THE SECRET DOCTRINE can be related to one of these
seven Jewels, and therefore they are worth remembering.
The fourth is the doctrine of what in Sanskrit is called
Swabhava, which is the essential characteristic of a thing, of a
being, of a Monad. Interpreted, this means that a man is in his
outward nature but a reflection of what he is in his inward
nature. It means that everything in the universe is different,
although rooted in unity. It means that there are not two beings
in the universe alike, any more than there are any two atoms, or
two grains of sand, or two flowers, or two trees, or two beasts,
alike. Every single thing in the universe has its essential
characteristic, its Swabhava, its keynote. You and I, we all,
have our characteristic spiritual tone, our note that we try to
show forth. In the great drama of life we learn to bring forth
from within ourselves, that is from within that seed-root of
Divinity, that Monad, the germ from which all our lower being
springs, which is its Father in Heaven. It is this that provides
our characteristic, essential, true Self. It is the eternal "I"
which never perishes.
The fifth key is the doctrine of Evolution. The sixth is related
to something that I was saying just now. It is the doctrine of
what in Sanskrit -- if you will forgive me for quoting a Sanskrit
term again -- is called the Amrita-Yana and the Pratyeka-Yana,
which means the right-hand Path and the left-hand Path. They are
the Path that leads to Wisdom, and the path that leads downwards,
the Path of Wisdom and the path of self. There again you see the
contrast of the two aspects of Wisdom, the sixth of the keys
around which THE SECRET DOCTRINE is written. And last is
Atma-Vidya, which is the knowledge of the Self and of the
marvelous teachings concerning how the One becomes the Many.
I asked you to allow me to mention those seven keys to you for a
particular purpose. There are certain formulae in the
Theosophical system of thought that as a student I have found
immensely helpful. They are things that one can make a part of
one's being, and apply to any problem of life in meditation.
Whenever one has a quiet moment one can revert to the statement
of fundamental principles that is given in the twelfth chapter of
Volume II of ISIS UNVEILED. There are ten of them. You can turn
to that formula and to the three Fundamental Propositions in the
Proem to THE SECRET DOCTRINE, and find the basis on which the
whole philosophy is said to rest. It rests on these seven jewels
that I have just referred to, and the seven or ten Paramitas that
are given in THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE.
The last thought that I want to leave with you is the
correspondence between the order of the seven Paramitas, the
Buddha's virtues, which the disciple makes his code of ethical
conduct, and the order of the seven jewels. The Paramitas are so
beautiful that I will read them to you, and I want to try to show
that this correspondence is most suggestive.
The first of these keys is Dana, "the key of charity and love
immortal." At first sight does this connect with the first jewel,
the doctrine of Reincarnation? I believe you will find that it
does if you think deeply enough about it, for reincarnation means
regeneration. Reincarnation or reembodiment takes place in a
human being when the indwelling consciousness has grown to that
point where the existing form no longer serves it. Then there is
a death of a certain part of the being. There is regeneration
and a rebirth into a higher state, into the higher part of the
nature. It is here and by this process that all love comes into
a man's life. He cannot live or express Wisdom or Charity
immortal unless this regenerative process is going on.
The second Paramita is Shila, "the key of harmony in word and
act, the key that counterbalances the cause and the effect and
leaves no further room for Karmic action." I think that it is
sufficiently obvious that the second jewel, the doctrine of
Karma, exactly corresponds to the second Paramita.
The third is not so obvious but contains an inspiring thought.
It is Kshanti, "patience sweet, that naught can ruffle." How does
this relate to the third of the jewels, the doctrine of
Hierarchies? I suggest that there is no more perfect example of
that patience sweet that the disciple is called upon to show
forth in his life than the Silent Watcher. In THE SECRET
DOCTRINE, you remember, he is shown as sitting at the threshold
of darkness which he will not quit until the weary, sore-footed
pilgrims of humanity have each passed into the great Nirvana
before him. That is the picture of the great summit, the Heaven
of the spiritual, psychological Hierarchy of Adepts, the Silent
Watcher of our world or Universe.
The fourth Paramita is Viraga, "indifference to pleasure and to
pain, illusion conquered, truth alone perceived." I suggest that
there is a very direct correspondence between that and the
doctrine of Swabhava, the essential characteristic of a nature,
for which you will have to go to the very root and core of a
man's being. When consciousness is rooted in the higher part of
the man's being, is it only then possible for it to show forth
his perfect spiritual keynote or tone, and that balanced
indifference to pleasure and pain.
Then comes Virya, "the dauntless energy that fights its way to
the supernal TRUTH, out of the mire of lies terrestrial." What
better illustration can you have of evolution than that Paramita?
It depicts the whole struggle out of the corruption of matter to
the incorruptible world of the Spirit. That is Virya, the
dauntless energy and courage that we are called upon to develop.
The sixth Paramita, Dhyana, "whose gate once opened leads the
Naljor towards the realm of Sat eternal and its ceaseless
contemplation." This, being interpreted, means meditation.
Meditation, as you will agree, I believe and hope, is intimately
related to the sixth of the seven Jewels, that which is concerned
with the Amrita-Yana, the Immortal vehicle, the right-hand Path.
But there is no treading of this Path except by the practice of
the Paramita called Dhyana or Meditation.
And last is Prajna, "the key to which makes of a man a god,
creating him a Bodhisattva, son of the Dhyanis." That relates to
the last and final jewel, Atma-Vidya, knowledge of the Self, the
means by which the One, the Supreme, the Infinite, became the
many in this entire marvelous manifested Universe.
QUESTION: To which, if any, of the different keys would you
relate the law of cycles?
ANSWER: I should relate it to the law of Reincarnation or
Reembodiment, which is a manifestation of the law of Cycles. But
you must remember that all these Jewels in the Doctrines of
Theosophy are interblended with each other. You cannot
understand one without the other.
You cannot understand the law of Karma, the law of the rhythmic
flow of cause and effect, which is also intimately related with
the doctrine of Cycles, unless you understand the doctrine of ebb
and flow as it expresses itself in the law of Reincarnation and
This is the rhythmic pulse of Nature that goes through the
life-cycle of the tiniest infusoria. Even a mosquito, a
butterfly, any of these creatures, exhibits the law of cycles.
It reembodies itself. Then, too, it is shown forth in the
attraction of the tides, in the phases of the moon, in the
pilgrimage of the planets in their orbit around the sun, in the
birth and death of worlds, of solar systems -- for worlds are
born and die just as man, only in infinitely longer cycles of
I think you can relate it to the first, and if you wish, to the
second of the Jewels. I hope that this is responsive to the
QUESTION: Is it correct to say that the left-hand Path is
incomplete wisdom because mastery of the lower self has not been
obtained? In other words, it is incomplete because inhibited by
ANSWER: In a certain sense that is perfectly true, for we all of
us fail to tread the highest Path in any moment that we act from
a consciousness centered in our personality. It is the
personality that enshrouds our spiritual vision and prevents our
seeing the Light, and therefore prevents our seeing the
Do you remember the definition of these two Paths given by Master
Koot Hoomi in THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT, where (on
page 114) he gave a definition of the Amrita-Yana and the
Pratyeka-Yana? He shows that these are simply another way of
stating the doctrines relating to the individuality and the
personality, and the Personal Ego and its identity with the
Astral Monad. Now the Personal Ego is that, you remember, which
goes to Devachan. What is the Personal Ego? The Personal Ego, he
says, is a combination of the five lower principles. The
Immortal vehicle, Amrita-Yana, the Higher Ego, is, of course, the
combination of Higher Manas united to Buddhi.
QUESTION: My question is regarding the lower and distorted
aspects of wisdom such as one finds in modern science and even
psychism. Do not they conform to the unity of Evolution, since
in the Cosmic economy there can be no such thing as waste? There
may conceivably be people who need the left-hand Path to find the
ANSWER: I would interpret this in a slightly different sense.
There is what is called the descending arc and the ascending arc.
They are the Path of going forth, as it is called, and the Path
of ascent, or return. They are the Path of Involution into
matter, and Evolution out of it.
I personally am a little in doubt about this idea that men need
an evil path. I do not think that this is what is meant. But
they do have to descend into matter, and they do have to evolve
out of it.
There is another interesting point from a student's point of view
here. You know the doctrine of a Planetary Chain, and you know
that this Planetary Chain is represented symbolically as a ring
of circles. It goes down on the left side and goes up on the
right side. The side on the left is the descending, and on the
right the ascending arc.
Has it ever occurred to you what is the correspondence in our
lives of that idea? It is this. When we live in the higher part
of our being we express the spiritual qualities. We are
identifying ourselves in consciousness with the superior
qualities of the Planetary Chain, in what in Buddhist -- or
rather Brahmanistic -- terminology is called the Lokas. But when
we live in the lower part of our being we are concerning
ourselves with the descending arc and with the Talas. This is a
stimulating thought. It says that we can live in the Lokas, or
in the Talas, in the higher spiritual part of the being, or be
buried in the personal.
QUESTION: Does not a study of technical Theosophy tempt one
towards becoming merely an armchair philosopher? In other words,
do you not think that the appeal of THE SECRET DOCTRINE is more
to the intellect than to the heart?
ANSWER: Those who have studied HPB's teachings realize that there
is some truth in what the questioner has suggested. It is
possible to study these teachings and become a mere armchair
philosopher. In other words, they can be studied from a purely
intellectual point of view. You may become acquainted with a
great deal of her teachings, and do nothing whatever about it,
merely remain sitting on the fence or in your armchair. You may
entirely fail to lead the life, as she stressed in THE SECRET
DOCTRINE, which is the necessary prerequisite to an obtaining of
any measure of Wisdom at all.
The Theosophist has a perfectly complete answer to the charge of
the complexity of the doctrines hiding the essential life of the
spirit, which is another way -- I take it -- of saying what the
questioner meant. All I can say is that if any individual finds
there to be such a doctrine, all he has to do is to concentrate
upon the ethical aspects of the teaching, as found, for example,
in THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, in the seven Paramitas I read to
I venture to think if he sets to work to practice the seven
Paramitas of perfection, he will have his hands full. If our
brother will give himself that exercise I think he won't have
much to complain about, because he will understand a very great
deal by the time he has finished that exercise.
I imagine the Masters of Wisdom had a very good reason for
casting their philosophy and message to the Western world in the
way they did. One must come to the conclusion that since the
characteristic of our present age is an endeavor to develop the
thinking principle -- a characteristic of our Western people is
that they want reasons for everything -- in the Theosophical
philosophy they get a closely reasoned explanation for almost
everything in the Universe.
I think that is sufficient. If you want an explanation of the
Universe there is the philosophy to satisfy you. If you want to
live the life, you have the Sermon on the Mount. You have the
teachings of Buddha. You have the ethical principles of all the
great religions, as well as the precepts to be found in THE VOICE
OF THE SILENCE. It is only that the Theosophical system is
infinitely rich not only in ethical ideas but in philosophy as
well. There is food for the spirit. There is food for the
heart, and satisfaction for the intellectual part of the man, in
the whole system. At least that is how I understand it.
CYCLES, NEUTRALIZING NEGATIVE HABITS, Part II
by Boris de Zirkoff
[From a tape recording of a private class held on March 30,
You say you have somebody who likes to drink a little. Do not
tell him not to. Do not do it unless he begins a conversation
with you on that subject. As long as you never touch the stuff
in front of him -- and of course you are not going to do it
behind his back -- he will always remember what he might consider
a curious fact. "That chap never touches alcohol. Why?" As long
as he has a "why" in his mind, there is a possibility for him to
change. It is a good thing for a human being to have a few
"why's sticking out in their mind as question marks. He is
wondering. As long as he is wondering, there is a possibility of
While on that subject, going back for a moment to the question of
drink, there is still another thing involved in that strange
habit. Drink is not altogether the same as some other vice.
There are similarities of course between all vices, but alcohol
just happens to be a substance that has peculiar magnetic
affinities to the lower emotions and thoughts of the people.
This does not apply to water. It does not apply to fruit juice.
It does not apply to many other things. It does not apply to
certain so-called alcohols, speaking in the language of
chemistry, such things as wood alcohol. It applies to this type
of fermented juices. They imbibe the lower psychic elements or
magnetisms of the people who were instrumental in producing them.
You absorb there the concentrated essence of a great many psychic
sediments that came from the people through whose hands this
thing came. Do you see what an evil thing that is? This is not
unique. I do not mean to point this out as something unique.
Because it is perfectly true that if you happen to be in a rage
inside or in a very big emotional turmoil and you go and cook a
meal for somebody, part of your emotional turmoil is going to be
in that soup and in those beans and in that dessert. The other
people are going to eat it and may be poisoned. Yes, I have seen
something happen like that, more than once. You can transmit a
portion of your psychic emotions into the food you have cooked,
and you can poison others. The other thing is not unique, but
being enormously more intense. It stands out.
For years in Point Loma, there was a very careful supervision
exercised over those who worked in the kitchen and cooked the
meals for nearly 200 people. They were supposed to be in a very
placid, quiet, and peaceful frame of mind. They were selected
among those who had tendencies to be peaceful and
self-controlled. They were not people with fits of temper or any
other thing that many of us did have.
Katherine Tingley was exceedingly careful about it for years and
years, long before I came there, so that the food would be
saturated with the atmosphere of impersonal service. It was
going to be sent up from the kitchen to the dining room. It was
going to be an up-building set of elements which would bring not
only what they have in themselves, but the loving thought of
impersonal service by the people who were instrumental in cooking
it. This was so that the others, including themselves, would be
able to build up their bodies that day with clean food. The food
was not just physically clean but psychically clean, because of
being prepared in an atmosphere of devotion and service. The
human body was supposed to be a temple to be built up as a fit
vehicle to work through.
Today there is extensive research that is being done in different
parts of the world about healthy growth or blighted growth of
crops under the influence of negative or positive human thinking.
They have photographs to show, on a small scale, photographs to
show that trays of plants that have been deliberately magnetized
in a certain way are blighted, and the others luxuriantly grow.
This is with everything else being the same, you see. The soil,
light, chemicals, everything was exactly the same. The seeds
were taken out of exactly the same bag of seeds, but influenced
by different type of thoughts, directly channeled onto this or
another tray of plants. Some universities have taken this up.
They are rediscovering a little bit of the old yoga. Where is
this going to end? Some are bound to misuse it. Somebody will
come up and use the same knowledge to destroy some part of an
army, or make the stocks move down instead of up, or something.
Question: I was thinking of people who go to church regularly
every Sunday. They are establishing a pattern. I was wondering
if it is good for them. Well, it has bound to help some, no
matter what it is.
Yes, I am glad you brought that up. I think we are very prone to
jump to the conclusion that most of their churchgoing is just an
old habit, just a pattern and that the less we have of it, the
better. Well of course, in many ways it is perfectly true. It
is something. The spirit has fled out of a pattern. The
majority of people probably go to church to just to show to their
neighbors how they are dressed, or to meet friends, or perhaps as
a matter of duty.
There is something more behind it. It can hardly be the case in
America because America is too young. I suppose that it might be
the case in some places, but I do not know the country well
enough for that. In Europe, it is obvious to anyone who is
You enter some of the old Gothic cathedrals. Some of those are
Roman Catholic and some of them are Protestant, but they have
been Roman Catholic some centuries ago, so either way. You are
uplifted. You are lifted right out of the workaday world.
Whether anything goes on there or not is of no importance
whatsoever. It makes no difference whether anybody is reciting
something or the priest is anywhere around or some service goes
on or whether it is deserted.
The point is that for centuries and generation after generation
there have been individuals who have gone there with just one set
of thoughts. They wanted to commune with something that they
called God. It does not matter how you call it. Their brains
are occupied with Roman Catholic theology. That is not my point.
They went there with a motive that was high, however deluded were
their ideas. Their motive was high. They went there to get away
from everything else in their daily life. In reverence they did
something that they have called "praying." Each one has a
different idea about it. What idea he had about it is not
The atmosphere of that place -- the stones, the bricks, the
walls, the ceiling, and the pews -- is saturated with that force.
It is unquestionably a spiritual force because that is what they
went there for. For centuries, it has been there. It is in
here. It is in every atom of that place.
More than that, whole communities of people built the old
cathedrals and they spent years and years, sometimes more than an
hundred years building a cathedral. They contributed not only
money, but they contributed their labor and time by the thousands
of people, skilled and unskilled, to build that one great thing
in their own particular town or county.
It is all there. No wonder a sensitive person comes in and the
spiritual atmosphere of that seat of reverence will uplift him.
It does not matter whether it is Catholic, Protestant,
Mohammedan, Brahmanistic, or Buddhist, because there are
equivalents of these temples all over the world. What counts is
the combined effect of a direction of thought. Do you see what I
mean? That is what counts. The church going, of course, can be
an empty show. This is not true everywhere, not everywhere.
Lauren: Could we establish a pattern? At the first thing in the
morning on waking up, we can think of a certain thing, and repeat
it everyday. That establishes a pattern?
Yes, certainly. Not only can we, but we ought to. That pattern
will become easier and easier as time goes on. It will become
habitual. We will not have a happy day, after awhile, unless we
have done it first thing in the morning. We will miss it if we
do not do it, you see, after a while.
It is not a matter of anything like repeating mantras, but
involves some quiet time away from any thought pertaining to the
duties of the day, away from any thoughts connected with worldly
life at all. This is just as if you were to have a visit with a
higher entity within yourself, a heart-to-heart talk with
whatever you consider to be the highest in you. It is an entity,
much higher than we humans, a part of our inner consciousness,
not an outside thing.
If we can commune with it for a while, it is not a matter of
saying anything. It is not even a matter of thinking anything.
It is rather an attitude of quiet, silence, serenity, expectancy,
and reverence. It is like listening in. You will know what you
are listening to. You are expecting. You may hear something,
but not a human voice, no.
Lend your ear, metaphorically speaking, to whatever is the
highest in you and occasionally you will have an inspiring
thought or realization. Or if no inspiring thought, then perhaps
just a feeling of quiet and peace and warmth that will suffuse
you, as if coming from nowhere. That too is a voice, if you like
to call it that way. It is an influence. Call it influence.
Shut out the world. Shut out all other disturbing thoughts,
emotions, and ideas. If that is too difficult to begin with,
just take something from an ancient scripture, just a few words,
anything. You can invent it yourself. "I and the Universe are
One." Try to meditate over that. Each of us has to devise our
own way. Establish a pattern.
The chances are overwhelming that during the day, sometime, even
in the thick of battle, in the office or anywhere else, that
impression is going to come back. Your mind will revert to it.
It may come back once, maybe twice. It becomes habitual.
Strange things will happen when it becomes habitual. You will
find yourself meditating all day long. This may be after some
months or even years. This happens without the slightest
interference with the carrying out of your duties, because two
entirely different levels of your mind do it.
You are actively engaged on the outward plane. Your inner
thought meditates upon a set of ideas completely unrelated to any
of it. You derive strength in the outer world from that inner
Q. How might a mutation occur in an archetypal structure of a
living form? Is it established through this habit pattern in
nature? Suddenly there is a mutation. The archetype has changed
slightly. The pattern that is forming is a little different.
Q. Why does mutation occur?
Essentially, mutation happens through the power of human thought.
A full answer to that cannot be given. For that answer, we would
have to see the workings of the inner principles of man or of the
world in which we live.
The scientist speaks of mutations in the sense of genetics. Very
suddenly, a great change occurs in a species. It is sudden for
the scientist. It is sudden in its physical manifestation.
Actually it is not sudden, because the cumulative changes have
been taking place right along in successive stages in the inner
principles of that entity.
This is similar to the fact that when a certain temperature has
been arrived at, the water boils. The water seems to boil
suddenly to the one who knows nothing about temperature, to the
one who does not know anything about chemistry. The water
appears to boil suddenly. We know that a good deal of time has
elapsed. The water had to be brought up to that temperature
before it could start boiling. The outward expression is sudden,
just like water being congealed into ice. In actuality, it is
There are sudden changes that occasionally occur in human
consciousness. A man or a woman suddenly goes through a great
change of consciousness, practically overnight. They appear in
all these reactions a completely different person. This is
simply a sudden, outward manifestation of a long, cumulative
process. It only appears sudden, but in reality, it is not.
Therefore, what we call "mutations," for lack of a better term,
are periodic, radical changes of the pattern. They are an effect
that was produced by a long series of inner transformations,
which the outer eye or senses would not know.
I am reminded of one of HPB's passages where she was fighting
against some materialist who was trying to argue his point. It
appeared that the definition of that particular man of a living
thing was that it could reproduce itself. He argued that because
anything that could not reproduce itself was not living. So she
said at that rate, the mule is not a living thing. It cannot
reproduce itself, so it is not alive.
We were talking about mutations in the sense of sudden changes.
We see sudden changes every day, but we do not give enough
thought to them. They are not mutations in the scientific
language, but they could be called mutations by extension of
meaning, sudden changes, which the word "mutation" means.
I mean in this case any ordinary tree that sheds its leaves in
the fall. It falls into a condition of latency. You look at it.
It is as good as dead. Not only does it appear gray and
lifeless, has lost all its leaves, the branches have changed
their color somewhat, but more than that, the sap inside does not
flow. For practical purposes, it is dead. The only difference
is that the consistency of the wood is such that you cannot break
it as a dead thing will break.
The question could be asked, "Where is the dynamic life of that
tree during the winter sleep? Where is it?" It is not in the
roots. You cannot take it out with the roots. The roots are
asleep too. There is no function. Where is the life gone, that
animated that tree in the summer? Do not think that this is an
easy question to answer! Where is it?
Yet a day finally comes. It is connected with weather, connected
with warmth, connected with the position of the sun, and probably
the position of some other planets as well. Suddenly there are
buds, a sudden "mutation." Suddenly, something begins to flow,
called sap. The sap is flowing. There are definite dates for
that in different climates of the earth. In a few days, the tree
is full of leaves. After that come flowers. The tree is
dynamically alive. Sometimes we do not ask ourselves questions
that we should ask ourselves. "Where is the life of the tree
gone to?" I do not intend to give a full answer.
Q. Is this the same thing as "hibernation?"
Yes. In hibernation, where is the individual? Where is the
hibernating bear, everything that made a bear a bear, and act
like one? Where is it? The general answer is this. The life of
that tree, that is, the entity that manifests itself as a tree,
the monadic life, is in the inner principles of that tree. The
life is functional in the inner, invisible principles of that
tree, in the astral structure of that tree, or even higher.
The hibernating animal is functional, to some extent, in his
internal principles. The human being can do that, too. It is
one of the stages of yoga to learn how to be functionally
independent of the body while the body hibernates. We see it
every day in vegetation, and we take it for granted.
If we did not take it for granted, we would realize that there is
an important occult law operative there. It is a stage of
disembodiment. It is not reincarnation, because the vehicle is
not going to be a different one. Therefore, it is a stage of
disembodiment, a functioning on the inner planes, and then an
inflow again into the same vehicle for a new day. I am speaking
of deciduous trees, things like that.
Imagine recording all of this. I wonder how it sounds. I think
that we can do something more than we have done so far with these
recordings. I am going to try to do so. Some people in two,
three parts of the country would like to hear them. The trouble
is, there are more people than just two, or three who would like
to hear them.
Not many people have machines available, unless they rent them,
and it costs money. A few have machines. The idea would be for
them just to invite a few people to their house and hear this.
Maybe they can ask some questions of each other, or send their
questions to us. We could try to answer them and have them
record it also.
Let us go back for a moment to where we started. I think we can
never realize too strongly, too definitely, nor can we ever
repeat to ourselves too often, the fact that we are creative
beings. We can create things by the power of thought. We can
recreate our own character by working upon it. Nobody else will.
We have built in ourselves what we have today. The things that
we indulge in are the habits that we have established, which mean
the rhythms that we have established.
The rhythm of your habit is not in the least different from the
rhythm of the motion of a planet around the sun. It is
established. It has not always been so. It is interplay of
forces. The planetary body has gravitated around another body in
magnetic relation, because of a magnetic relation that exists
between living entities on the planet and on the body around
which it gravitates.
There are spiritual, magnetic relations between the inner
principles and the divinities that embody them. Our habits are
also gravitating around certain centers of attraction. We have
started this gravitation by indulging in certain impressions. By
choosing nobler centers of gravitation for our thoughts, we will
establish the rhythms that will be powerful tools for inner as
well as outer growth.
A vast difference exists between an individual who can be called
integrated and another that for the lack of a better term we will
One individual is integral. That is, he is unified. The other
is disintegral, which means disunified. That is all there is to
it. It is funny, when you say the man is disintegrated, but that
is precisely what the majority of people are. They are
disunified. Instead of having a harmonious correlation of all
their principles, elements, and energies, they have them all
warring with each other. It takes ages to produce the change.
Fundamentally, that is the only difference between Adepts, the
Masters of Life and Wisdom, and us. It is just that we are
relatively disintegrated and they are fully integrated. Our
energies are flowing in various crisscross directions. They are
warring with each other on the physical, pranic, intellectual,
and spiritual levels. Yet, in those higher beings, all these
energies from bottom to the top run parallel with each other in
integrated, mutually related channels. These beings are men, but
they are the finest flower of mankind.
Consider a carriage that is being drawn in the same direction by
eight or ten horses. Now consider a carriage that is being
pulled apart by a number of horses in different directions.
There is a vast difference between the two! It is going no place.
In fact, it is astonishing how much some people do achieve
considering the strange quirks they have in their character
pulling them apart.
What enormous things can an individual achieve when he becomes
integrated! I would say that the definition of a Master of Life
is simply an individual who has become fully, harmoniously
integrated or unified throughout his entire constitution. It
does not mean he is perfect, not at all. Compared with our state
of disequilibrium, he is a Master of Life, because he has
mastered the technique of integration, of spiritual integration.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application