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THEOSOPHY WORLD ------------------------------------- April, 2001
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(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
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be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"A Cock to Aesculapius," by B.P. Wadia
"Something About Katherine Tingley and Point Loma," Part II, by
Iverson L. Harris
"The Difficulties of Dromo," by Victor Endersby
"Light and Color," by G. de Purucker
"Autumn," by Kenneth Morris
"The Two Paths," by Helen Savage
"Theosophical Philosophy and Mythology," Part I, by John Rau
"The Fountains of Youth," by George William Russell
"The Dissemination of Esoteric Knowledge," by Boris de Zirkoff
> The Chela is not only called to face all the latent evil
> propensities of his nature, but, in addition, the whole
> volume of maleficient power accumulated by the community and
> nation to which he belongs. For he is an integral part of those
> aggregates, and what affects either the individual man, or the
> group (town or nation) reacts upon the other.
> -- G. de Purucker, THE ESOTERIC PATH: ITS NATURE AND ITS TESTS,
> page 65.
A COCK TO AESCULAPIUS
By B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 116-20.]
> The Cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
> Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
> Awake the God of day; and at his warning
> Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
> The extravagant and erring spirit hies
> To his confine.
> -- SHAKESPEARE
> He [Socrates] was beginning to grow cold about the groin, when he
> uncovered his face, for he had covered himself up, and said (they
> were his last words) -- he said: Crito, I owe a cock to
> Aesculapius; will you remember to pay the debt?
> -- Phaedo
The ancient Sages were highly scientific in creating their
symbols and emblems, their tales and talismans. The Hierophants
were not only mystics who felt the unity and moral power behind
the manifested universe, relying on intimations, which however
intuitive were vague all the same. The experiences of most
mystics consisted in lofty and stirring feelings. They touched
heights of the heart and in themselves were content in the hope
that others in due course would have similar experiences. Not
so, the Sages who also felt but who sought knowledge to
understand what they felt and, not content with the experience of
bliss, secured full mastery over the Powers of Nature as of Self.
The Sages saw and understood the mighty magic of Prakriti, and
controlled it through the power of Purusha, the Spirit.
Such a Sage is able to rise to the Highest Place; controlling
both Spirit and Matter he becomes Uttam Purusha, the Superior
Man, the Mahatma very difficult to find. The Sage not only feels
the Presence of the Macrocosm, within and beyond himself, as the
mystic does. He knows the Great Universe, how it comes into
being, what laws govern it, how evolution spirals onward. He
gains the victory over death and so becomes Master of Life,
surviving every change, every transmutation, every destruction.
He is the Regenerated, Puissant One in whom Compassion Absolute
throbs, keeping time and rhythm with the heartbeats of Wisdom.
Therefore, Sages who see the sorrowful plight of humankind try to
save man from the death of the Soul, which follows mental
blindness and moral decay. The Sage-Seer helps human souls
drowning in the ocean of Samsara, constantly as well as
cyclically using the Light of Wisdom-Compassion that he embodies.
One way in which such helpful knowledge is imparted is through
symbols, allegories that can awaken the human mind.
Ancient Symbols are profound. Such true symbols are not
arbitrarily created. They are true, living messengers in the
manifested universe. The Sage has deciphered and points to them
as visible signs of hidden eternal verities. The Powers of
Krishna, enumerated by himself in THE GITA are an example. In
Iranian Mythology as in those of Greece and Scandinavia and in
others, many striking symbols are to be found. Thus, the Egg is
a symbol; the Tree is another. There are flowers, birds, beasts,
and reptiles, which are concrete messengers of grand truths.
Sages did not invent symbols and allegories; they were natural
concrete objects that carried hidden truths, through the verities
they represented. Between the Seer's penetrating gaze and the
poet's or the philosopher's flights of fancy there is a
difference. A distinction must be made between true symbols,
emblems, and allegories, which form part of living Nature or
Pan-Sophia and man-made images, similes, and comparisons. The
former prove the Law of Correspondence and Analogy actually at
work in living Nature. Man-made images often distort the
operation of that Law, confusing human perception.
Today we are pointing to one such true symbol from the
Zoroastrian VENDIDAD, which mentions the Holy Cock PARO-DARSH.
-- "He who fore-shows the coming dawn."
The cock is known for his eerie crowing and poets and dramatists
have sensed its weird significance. Not all have evaluated truly
the nature and character of the bird, which the Greeks named
Alectroun, because it is the most magnetic and sensitive of the
feathered tribe. The cock was sacred to Aesculapius, the SOTER,
the Savior, who had the power to raise the dead to life. The
cock was always connected in symbology with the Sun, Death, and
Resurrection. The cock crows in time producing .one rhythm; out
of time and then it is out of tune. Its crowing is held to be a
sign of death unless the bird crows in the small hours of the
morning -- herald of the dawn, the resurrection of night into a
In this sense some verses in the VENDIDAD, are worth reflecting
upon. In the 18th chapter, Ahura Mazda declares that the cock
Paro-darsh is the vehicle of the shining Sarosh who embodies the
Holy Word. In the small hours of the morning that cock absorbs
the peculiar dauntless energy of the Ushah period and gives out
his cry. This period is also that of Usha, the Maiden who is at
work preparing to welcome the Sun. What does the cock cry? -- "O
men, awake, praise the Purity of the True and thus destroy the
powers of darkness! If you do not, the demon of idleness and
inertia, Bushyasta of the very long arms, will crush you." This
demon tries to throw over the waking men his darkening net of
lazy lolling, whispering "Sleep, O poor man; this is no time to
do work." The cock crows again: "O men, overlong sleep is not
suitable for you!"
This, which is written in reference to the body, is an allegory
of the Soul. The mind waking to the pearly light of a New Day,
while catching a glimpse of the Rosy Dawn, is tempted to
procrastinate, and too often returns to his material, sensuous
environment wherein the Demon of real idleness rules. The devil
of the sensuous social order is busy; keeping men and women tied
to their sense-life he is the destroyer and harasser of Soul
Life. Verily that demon has long, long arms and they catch to
his embrace thousands of men, many of whom have glimpsed the
Light of the True, and who, therefore, should be beyond his
There is the Christian Gospel story of Peter and the cock crowing
thrice. Is not this its message? -- That the Master gave the
opportunity to Peter to resurrect himself -- to die so that he
might live -- an opportunity which Peter failed to use? Who can
say that the failure of the Roman Church to be true to the pure
teachings of the Master was not due to this failure of Peter, who
denied his Lord to save his own skin?
We may well take these lines in HAMLET about the Birth of the
Christ-Spirit as an intuition that the great dramatist expressed:
> Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
> Wherein our Savior's birth is celebrated,
> The bird of dawning singeth all night long.
The cock has the power to resurrect. His cry is the symbol of
the resurrecting power of the benign Spirit, which lights the
mind and works for the series of progressive awakenings. Those
who refuse to receive its benign influence go from death to
death. Those who bow to its influence pass from life to life.
Does not everyone aspiring to resurrection owe, like Socrates, a
cock to Aesculapius?
SOMETHING ABOUT KATHERINE TINGLEY AND POINT LOMA, Part II
By Iverson L. Harris
[The following is based upon an article in THE ECLECTIC
THEOSOPHIST, September 15 and November 15, 1974. It was
excerpted from the Summer 1974 JOURNAL OF SAN DIEGO HISTORY.
In it, Robert Wright interviews Harris.]
> That brings up another question I am going to ask about. San
> Diego at that time was not large and it grew from 1900 on. How
> did the citizens of San Diego feel about the Institute out there
> on Point Loma?
When I came to San Diego in 1899, the city had a population of
17,000. It was a little jumping-off place then, and the
clergymen more or less banded together to repudiate and to
slander Theosophy and Point Loma and the whole Institution. They
wielded a great deal of influence at that time.
Katherine Tingley got possession of the old Isis Theater, which
was previously the Fisher Opera House, the most beautiful theater
in San Diego, and one of the finest on the Pacific Coast at that
There was a debate between Theosophy and Christianity carried on
for a number of weeks. I have a full report of it. It was Point
Loma's answer to charges made by the San Diego clergy at that
time. That prejudice lasted quite a while.
The educational, cultural, and high-minded public meetings that
we conducted in San Diego every Sunday changed a large number of
people's attitudes. Many of the highest officials of San Diego
like Mr. Hugh Baldwin, who was the head of the Board of
Education, and different mayors and judges and others were
open-minded, and to a degree, sympathetic. We had quite a large
local lodge in San Diego.
Madame Tingley had enemies. There is no doubt about that. A
person of strong intellect and powerful organizing power or
ability inevitably steps on people's toes at times and some of
them resented it very much. Some of the Students at Point Loma
resented the rather severe discipline.
Say what you will, she was a Puritan. Her standards as regards
promiscuity and any association between the sexes would be
considered very square today. She was going to keep Point Loma
above reproach in that regard and she did. I mean to say in our
teens, we boys perhaps could meet the girls at a supervised
social once a month, something of that kind. Otherwise, we had
to admire them at a distance.
> Were the classes segregated, then?
Most of them were. Not the little ones. The young children were
not segregated. The older boys were separated from the older
girls in our classes, but not in our musical work. We all joined
the same orchestra and chorus. The little children in their
classes were all together. When we got up to the dangerous
teenage years, we were kept apart.
> Since you have answered all my questions to the fullest and
> beyond, can you think of anything that I have not asked or
> anything that you want to add about the Institute? I was
> interested in what it was like there. Was it always a happy
Overall, it was a remarkably contented and happy group. It was
made up of idealistic human beings, but human beings can never
always live up to their ideals. We had difficulties and personal
disappointments. Human weaknesses came up at times, but I do not
know of any place in this whole world where there were so many
people thoroughly at peace with themselves and with their fellow
I must show you one thing. Did you ever know "Yorick," the chief
editorial writer for THE SAN DIEGO UNION?
> No, sir.
He was Edwin H. Clough. Being a highly educated man, he quoted
from world literature. He was most enthusiastic and appreciative
of what he found at Point Loma. When he passed on in 1923, I
compiled A NOSEGAY OF YORICK'S EDITORIALS, mostly those that he
had written about Point Loma and our public presentations ...
There was one of the outstanding minds in San Diego, highly
educated, keenly observant, and most penetrating, who really
appreciated Katherine Tingley and the work she was doing at Point
> Could you give me an example of what it was like for a week at
> the Institute at its height? For instance, starting on Monday
> morning and going through Sunday evening, how was the time spent
> that you had? Did you eat in the cafeteria, breakfast on Monday
> morning, and then class? Did you march there? What was it like?
Of course, it changed somewhat during the years. I mean it
matured, as everything grows. It did not stay static all the
I will start as children then. We would get up in the morning
about 5:30 and we would go out and have calisthenics, physical
drill ... Then at about seven o'clock, we would all march to
breakfast in the community dining room where we all ate together.
The parents, in those early days, at any rate, put their children
in the Raja Yoga School at a very early age, because they felt
the school could do better for them than they could do
themselves, and it freed them to do the necessary work in the
different departments. They did not have to do their own
cooking. That lasted for a number of years. It did not always
work out to the best, because sometimes the parents were not
satisfied with being separated from their children and they
thought they could do better. At any rate, that was the basic
attitude for many years.
Then all the children would clean their houses. We had no hired
servants. The children would make their own beds and clean their
houses. Then they would go to school from about nine to twelve,
then have lunch together. Then in the afternoon, they would have
their music practice. We all learned to play some instrument.
They would have their art classes. They would go out to the
athletic field and play tennis or baseball or exercise on the
rings and swings. We would have an early supper at about
half-past five o'clock, and then in the evening, we would all do
our homework. We had supervised homework, and we had to prepare
our lessons well too. We had a thorough scholastic training; and
then we would have our orchestra and choral rehearsals. There
would be individual music practices in the afternoon.
In the evening besides our orchestra and choral rehearsals, we
sometimes had meetings in the Temple where we would listen to
some fine cultural talks and on anniversary occasions, some of
the old-timers would give stirring talks about the early days of
I must say that until Dr. de Purucker took over we had no
technical training in Theosophy at all. Madame Tingley said that
people must not send their children here and feel that they were
going to be indoctrinated in a way that the parents might not
approve. We were given a thorough cultural education, but only
those who, when they reached an age when they wanted to, would
have teaching in technical Theosophical doctrine.
> Did you have Saturday and Sunday off?
We had Sunday off. Generally in the morning we would have our
Lotus Circle [for young people] ... Sunday was the day we
visited our parents. On Sunday evening, there would generally be
a meeting in the Temple or in the Rotunda of the Academy, where
we listened to talks by the older people or we had our club
I forgot to say the older people, after breakfast, would all go
to work in the different departments. We had the tailoring
department, carpentry department, the painting department, and
many of them worked in our splendid press.
We had a wonderful press. Instead of the dirty, dingy rooms that
most pressmen have to work in, we had wonderful windows looking
over the broad Pacific. That is where we had our linotype, and
our monotype and our press machines. Our presswork was very
highly commended and praised by the Printers' Association of
California. At the International Exhibition of Graphic Arts in
Leipzig, our publications won one of the first prizes. We had a
wonderful German Bookbinder, Mr. John Koppitz. He taught a
number of our people how to bind books as only a German craftsman
could do it. Beautiful bookbinding, he did. First, Mr. Sam
Bonn managed our press. After he left, Mr. William E. Gates
managed it. Gates later became a very well known authority on
the Mayan hieroglyphics and Mayan civilization and president of
the Mayan Society.
All of our uniforms and clothing were made at the tailoring shop
for the men and at the Woman's Exchange and Mart for the women.
The children in the school all dressed in uniforms. They had
their blue serge uniforms for everyday schooling and the boys had
theirs. The men had olive-green uniforms. Then for our public
concerts, we had white uniforms with RYS or RYC written on them.
Then, of course, there were all the meals to be prepared. It was
no small undertaking to prepare meals and serve 400 or 500 people
three times a day.
> Was there anything special about the meals? Perhaps they were
People had their choice. They could either have vegetarian if
they wanted it or eat meat if they wanted to. There was no
particular rule about it.
> There must have been enormous costs out there, but since nobody
> received any pay ...
Of course, that eliminated enormous costs.
> Was the cost met for clothing and food and physical things by a
> tithing by the members or how?
We had people of means who lived at Point Loma. They not only
helped with the work, but they paid their own expenses too, rent
and board. That was only a handful of people. A few well-to-do
people contributed generously. Then we made good money from the
sale of our books. Our printing press was very well managed.
The parents, both those living at Point Loma and those living
abroad paid, if they could afford it, a rather generous yearly
tuition for their children. (We had pupils from Sweden, and
Holland and England and different parts of this country who were
sent there to be educated.) In later years when we had more
paying pupils and there were not so many Cuban and other orphans
there, the school was quite successful in meeting our expenses.
It was all on a voluntary basis. The Institution itself was
wonderfully situated. It was one of the most beautiful
situations in this whole world.
We went financially on the rocks after the Depression in 1929.
Just to illustrate, when Madame Tingley died, her personal estate
was appraised, as I recall, at some $378,000. Before it was
settled during the Depression, it had shrunk to $65,000 and that
was not nearly enough to pay off all her creditors. At the end,
I was the administrator de bonis non. An older gentleman had
been administrator until he died.
Those figures show what we ran up against during the Depression.
We were in terrible straits. We were land poor. We had this
enormous estate and the taxes had gone up enormously. Just the
year before the Depression, the County had appraisers come down
from Los Angeles and appraise the property. They had the
property appraised at something like five times what it had been
before and the taxes increased accordingly.
> I thought a recognized religious group or a church or something
> like this was tax-free.
Only the Theosophical University proper at that time was
tax-free. The University was not established until 1919. The
University occupied only a part of the property. It was tax
exempt. The rest of the property was not exempt because it was
not used exclusively for religious purposes. We had a private
school there, and people lived there. We never had exemption for
the bulk of the property. The taxes were enormous. That got us
into a very serious financial difficulty. Finally, we had to
dispose of all except the main buildings. We had to move some of
the living quarters and the press and the shops down from South
Ranch. We had to dispose of that property.
Then the coup de grace came in 1941 after Pearl Harbor. The
military people came over and put gun emplacements on our Western
slope. We were in a most vulnerable position. If the Japanese
had known how unprepared the country was at that time, they could
easily have attacked the entire military establishment of San
Diego. It was a big one too. There was Fort Rosecrans. There
was the Naval Training Station, and the Naval Air Station and all
the rest of the military establishment.
Point Loma was right in line of gunfire, so Dr. de Purucker
said, "There is a wonderful tradition back of Point Loma, but I
can't risk all our people being bombarded in this war." That was
what finally determined us to move up to Covina. By that time,
we had sold off enough of our estate, so that we could at least
subsist and meet the taxes.
Before you go, let me add that you have been asking about a
unique Institution in this whole world. There are institutions
that parallel it and are like it in some respects, but there has
only been one Point Loma Institution in this world and that was
situated in San Diego.
> I know that there were a number of depressions in San Diego at
> different times. Oh, another small question, the means of
> transportation out there, did you use boats from the main town
> from down in San Diego, or --?
We used to cross over on the old launch, Fortuna, owned by
Captain Oakley J. Hall. He used to run the launch across the
bay. We would walk down to the landing place at La Playa or
Roseville. We had a horse and carriage for those who did not
feel equal to the walk.
When we used to go to San Diego on Sunday nights, as members of
our orchestra, we would walk down to the launch and then go to
San Diego by launch, then take the streetcar up to Fourth Street
to the Isis Theater.
In the very early days before there was even the launch service,
we used to have Kelley's Livery Stable drive the tallyho out to
Point Loma and we would all drive in the tallyho down to San
Diego. For individuals going down, we had a horse and buggy to
drive across to town. Do you know where the Naval Training
Station is now? That was just mudflats in those days, and at high
tide sometimes we just could not get across. It was flooded.
Then, as I say, we crossed over the bay. Later on, they ran a
streetcar out as far as Chatsworth. We would go in on the
streetcar. Then the automobiles came in and the buses. I have
gone all the way through from the one-horse shay up to the
> In looking through your scrapbooks, I saw many pictures called
> "Lomaland." What is Lomaland?
Lomaland was the name that we early adopted as our name for the
Theosophical Headquarters estate. Point Loma, of course, was its
geographical name, but our whole estate came to be known as
Lomaland ... I believe in time even the County Recorder's Office
recorded our estate under the name of Lomaland. It was the
official name of the estate. Point Loma was the place. Lomaland
was confined to the Theosophical Headquarters grounds.
THE DIFFICULTIES OF DROMO
By Victor Endersby
[CHRONICLES ON THE PATH, Part VI. This 18-part series appeared
in THEOSOPHICAL NOTES from September 1951 through November 1954.]
Dromo, having accumulated enough years for the due testing of
life in the Kali Yuga, went to Perspax with questions. This
Perspax was his preceptor whenever Dromo could spare time to
listen to him. Perspax had no house; his cave was warm and dry,
needed never any repairs; he paid no tax to the King and no
monthly toll to a builder. Because of using this cave, Perspax
was deemed a fool by men of substance. Likewise, Perspax, having
learned to feed on the grain of the field and the fruits of the
forests tended by himself, knew naught of the rises and falls of
the trading centers, nor of standing in line for food, with
swollen feet. For this he was esteemed thrice a fool by those of
the city, who by toiling assiduously when work was to be had,
could guzzle tavern wine in favorable seasons.
Perspax, ever happy, pointed to the Wisdom. Seeing him happy,
many came to hear, departing to remark that Perspax had a nice
theory, but for practical men! However, Dromo followed on the
Path of the Wisdom -- at some distance.
Said he to Perspax: "Am I not a just man?"
"As men understand justice."
"Then why does not this Karma work with me?"
"Wherein does it fail you?"
"Of all things attempted, none are gained wholly; of those
gained, none are found to be what I had thought."
"It is not a new complaint; but for example?"
"When my fields are full, the price of the crop is low; when rain
falls but little, the price is high, the crop small. Neither way
do I gain beyond subsistence."
"Such is the lot of those who till the soil. One may always
apply to the King for equalization."
"Then one must do the bidding of the King in the planting and
selling. I wish to be a free man."
"Such is Karma, which decrees merely that the price be just,
whether of freedom or of crops."
"My desire in marriage was harmonious passion enduring forever."
"My wife's tongue is sharp, and when I desire to arrange my
thoughts, her words clatter as the beating of flails in the
"Words sharp and over many are not new, nor confined to women.
Ofttimes they mask the emptiness of a neglected heart."
"My children also. They are an endless care and noisy burden in
their smallness. When their minds are sprouted, there is time
for a few words -- then they are no longer mine. They belong to
the world and to their friends."
"Take thought of your cattle, whose offspring belong only to the
herd -- and to the butcher -- once the last milk is drawn."
"My son goes to his tasks unwillingly, even though necessary for
his own subsistence; often he neglects them to visit the fields
of a neighbor, where he works mightily, not as he does for me."
"No doubt you often remind him that with you he labors for
himself, therefore deserves no thanks?"
"Yes. Still he does not see."
"And by example of duty, you, having undertaken the study of the
Wisdom, allow neither snow nor rain nor hail nor the lure of game
or playhouse to keep you from the Assembly?"
"And your other troubles?"
"These will do. All are of a piece. Is there no fulfillment in
"Imagine any one of these desires fulfilled to perfection. What
Dromo thought long; then said, sighting: "Alas! Beyond any
perfection is only emptiness -- or a new task."
"Well that it is so. With full triumph of the flesh, the Soul
would be bound therein until the day of dissolution -- and would
vanish therewith. This ever-falling short is the Soul's
rejection of what men call 'life' in their delusions. Especially
in this, the Kali Yuga."
"But I could not yet endure the Great Void -- even to be free."
("The Great Void," thought Perspax "which some know as 'The
Fullness of Life.'") "No, for Karma is not yet fulfilled.
Observe the word upon which all your complaints were strung, as
red beads upon a black string. That word was 'mine.' See this
oak. How many acorns lie under it?"
"How many have sprouted through the years?"
"I see only one sickly seedling."
"Does the oak care?"
"The oak does not know."
"The oak does not desire. It knows 'I am oaken.' It does not
say: 'I am this oak, of excellent growth and possessing a special
place on the hillside." Its life is the life of all oaks, the
failures or successes of its particular acorns of no moment in
the forest of oaks. When you learn to say: 'I am a man,' you
will understand the joyous, indifferent freedom of this being.
First comes Dharma. Find you duty. When planting your crops, is
your thought of the hungry mouths of the world, or of the gold to
be laid to your account at harvest? Before seeking the Great
Void, find the nature of the emptiness of heart in which your
wife's too many words are wont to echo. Ask yourself: in raising
children, are you raising superior livestock for your own profit,
or noble citizens for the world? Of what neglected Dharma of the
spirit is your son's mundane indifference the echo? Man is bound
by desire to triumphs ever partial, frustrations ever present.
The frustrations march with the desires and must end therewith;
the balance must be adjusted by fulfillment, and fulfillment
comes by the dharma of perfect understanding."
Dromo, having of himself come to ask questions, went back down
the hill, lightened by a new understanding, but weighted by new
LIGHT AND COLOR
By G. de Purucker
[Based on the March 10 and April 14, 1935 meetings of the Point
Loma Lodge of The Theosophical Society, chaired by E.D. Wilcox,
taken from THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1936, pages 31-36.]
Brother Clark I believe spoke of light and color. There is the
sevenfold solar beam we perceive as white light. Pass this ray
through a prism and you have a beautiful series of colors. Each
color is individual. Nature produces it every time under the
right circumstances. We have an example of seven different
forces of Father-Sun occupying space.
When joined, these seven forces of the solar beam form white
light. It needs all to form common or ordinary light. Is white
light then the most spiritual or the most material? To form the
complete man we need all his seven principles.
> It is neither the most spiritual nor is it the most material. It
> combines all in one unity. I think the white light can be by
> analogy, spoken of as Space. White light has within it the
> polarity of the most spiritual, the most material, and all the
> rays in between. In space, that polarity manifests as
> consciousness and substance. It manifests as the consciousness
> side and the substance side of the universe. If neither is
> unitary throughout in its methods of manifestation, there is a
> perfect analogy from one realm to the other. We can see in white
> light the sum-total of colors, as the sun is the sum-total of the
> energies of its universe. So is space that which does not merely
> contain all there is but is also all that can have existence.
> -- Boris de Zirkoff
> I agree with Mr. de Zirkoff. If you regard the physical body as
> a representation of the spiritual as well as the material cause,
> white light stands in relation to all the colors as does the
> physical body to the organic body that manifests itself by six
> distinct forces, or as we say in Theosophy, by six principles.
> Those came out of the one, but that one we do not see. That one
> is Darkness. It seems to me that the most divine is darkness and
> the least divine (the most material) is the white light, that
> which we see in space.
> -- O. Tyberg
> A reflection has been going through my mind in this way: that as
> you may pass a beam of white light through a prism, causing it to
> split up into the seven prismatic colors, so this spectrum may be
> passed through a second prism, thus bringing the colors together,
> and making white light once more.
> Symbolically the prisms are like laya-centers. The light, which
> in itself is invisible until it strikes the eye, represents
> consciousness on its way to manifestation as a seven-principled
> entity, which latter is represented by the multicolored spectrum.
> The return of the consciousness-center into unmanifested life is
> symbolized by the passing of the seven colors through the second
> prism. It does not seem that white light is more spiritual than
> colored light. The law of correspondences determines which
> colors are more spiritual and which are more material. Therein
> it is found that each color is directly associated with one of
> the human principles. White light is the sum-total of all the
> colors. This shows that it contains within itself, though
> undifferentiated, the spiritual as well as the material.
> -- L. Plummer
The answers have been splendid. These thoughts are suggestive if
we do not wander off into distant spaces of abstraction. For
instance, this thought occurred to me, Mme. Chairman. The
colors of the solar spectrum originate in the sun. The colors
are represented on earth as light. Every color is the outflow or
efflux of a distinct force or principle from the sun.
These forces and substances are in essence divine to us human
beings with our scale of relativities. Which of the seven colors
is more spiritual than the others? That is an interesting thought
to me. It is suggestive.
Do not think of color as a pigment, as one speaker pointed out.
Recollect that the Sun is the vehicle of a Divinity. Whatever
flows forth from it is rooted in the Divine. There are seven --
or ten -- solar forces or elements. From these seven solar
individualities, powers, or forces flow streams of substance or
force. These streams combined in the light that we receive and
recognize by our eyes as daylight, white light. Pass this solar
beam through a prism, and you have it broken up into its
component parts, which we call colors.
Which one of these colors, forces, energies, or rivers of life is
the most or the least spiritual?
I am anxious to clear our thoughts with regard to the meaning of
this question. The matter of color as a pigment or a light can
be found in science books. We do not need to bother about that.
The seven colored rays of the solar spectrum are seven effluvia.
They are seven auric flows of vitality, from the solar heart.
That is what I am after -- not so much the difference of the
colors, and which one is to be preferred. That thought may be
valuable to us as a side-thought.
The heart of my question is: which one of these effluvia,
combining to make light, as we understand it, is the most
spiritual? Which of these effluvia, flowing forth from the Sun's
aura, the seven effluvia of its vital aura, of its life -- which
one comes from the Sun's highest part? Is the question plainer
Just like Brother Tyberg, I feel that all has been beautifully
said. It has been informative and instructive. Putting myself
in the mind of each speaker, I think I can truthfully state that
I agree with everyone, which means, however, coming to the answer
that I was hunting for, I agree with none! A strange paradox!
Everything that has been said has been true. Yet, it was not the
answer for which I sought. Not one of the colors in essence is
superior to any of the others. I say this in all humbleness of
spirit. I say it with all the reserve that I feel that I should
make, subject to correction by a greater mind than anyone here,
than my own certainly.
The colors are all divine in origin. That statement was made.
By comparison on the plane of material existence, and having in
view the work which each of the effluvia from the Sun does on
this scale of differentiated life, we are bound to make
distinctions. We might say that Atman is colorless, Buddhi is
yellow, Kama is red, and so on. This is not what I had in mind.
Listen carefully. As Brother Fussell pointed out -- and I speak
of it in especial because the same thought was running in my mind
-- do not get it in your heads that red is an evil color. It is
no more evil than gold, green, yellow, or any other color. It is
misuse of force that is evil, not the force itself.
"Desire first arose in the bosom of It." The spiritual yearning,
the desire to manifest its transcendent glory, arose in It, the
Boundless. Kama is the Sanskrit term for this Desire. Every
time you aspire in your heart for greater things, every time you
yearn to become at one with the Spirit within you, you are in the
Kama principle. Every time when in this beautiful aspiration you
guide your steps with wisdom, then you are likewise in the color
of the indigo, Buddhi-Manas, both working together.
Here is the answer that I was aiming for. Any of the seven
colors of the Solar spectrum is itself septenary -- or denary, as
you will. You can divide it into seven or ten. These
subdivisions merely repeated in the small what the great
originates. It is obvious! You cannot cut a slice out of an
apple and get something different from the apple. Consequently,
every minutest portion of infinity contains every essential
element and force that infinity contains. Every subdivision or
sub-plane contains its own repetitive septenary that it derives
from the surrounding universe. The microcosm simply repeats the
Take a man whose Swabhava or swabhavic character is red or Kama.
If he lives in the Atman part of it, he is living on a far higher
plane than one with an essential Swabhava is golden yellow, and
yet who lives in the lower. Do you get my thought? It is the
principle that you live in that places you on the Ladder of Life.
Live in the Atman, the highest part, the spirit, the essential
Self, and the divine part of any color, of any force, of any
element. Then you are matched only by your own feelings. You
are in the higher state of consciousness, and living far more
nobly than a man who may be dwelling let us say in the indigo,
but on a low plane of it.
A man may be born in a humble station of life. He may be without
education, crippled in body, with everything against him. In
this illustration, say he has the mind of a Seer and the heart of
a god. If so, he is planes above a man who is born with a golden
spoon in his mouth, with all the education that the world can
give to him, and yet who lives with a heart filled with vipers
This is not politics. I plead with you. This is Theosophy. I
am not referring to politics at all. Consider an artist. You
know what irregular and foolish lives artists often live. HPB
once compared an artist to a priest in a church. She told her
students the artist in his heart sincerely yearned to live a
better life, even though he failed constantly. The priest was
wearing the skin over his knees hard by kneeling and praying to
"Almighty God" every day, though he inwardly had a heart that was
a den of vipers. The artist had a greater chance of chelaship
than the priest. That was the idea.
The plane on which you live places you where you belong. The
thing is to strive to live in the highest plane where there is no
color, where all is colorless glory. As soon as you descend into
color, you descend into manifestation and differentiation
producing a corresponding amount of Maya and consequent
ignorance. Color shows manifestation, differentiation, the world
around us, matter, in their densest and most condensed form.
Take the spectrum: Red, orange, yellow, run through the scale to
the ultra-violet. A new red begins, and if you follow it into
invisible light, you will be passing upwards, until you reach a
still higher red, after passing through the intermediate stages.
Deduction: There is a divine Kama. There is a debased Kama.
There is a divine Buddhi. There is a human Buddhi, which is the
reflection of the other. Every plane is subdivided and patterned
after its grand plane.
No matter in what station of life a man may be born, no matter to
what "Ray" he may belong, this does not place a man. What places
him is where his consciousness is focused. If it is focused
upwards, rising into the colorless sphere of Atman, then he
contains divinity. In the Absolute, no color is more spiritual
than another, because all are born from the heart of Divinity.
When we come down into the worlds of differentiation, then we are
obliged to make divisions. In the abstract -- and this is not
contradictory of what has been said -- it is perfectly true that
the more rapid the vibration, the greater the frequency of
vibration a color has, the closer to matter it is. What we call
physical matter is intensity of vibration or force. That is what
produces the atom, the electrons, and all the rest of it. Modern
science now says that they are all composed of energy-points,
points of electricity, intense vibration. The greater the
frequency of vibration, the more condensed the substance is.
Follow out the thought, but do not jump to the conclusion that
because violet is an intense vibration, therefore it is the least
spiritual of the colors. There is an Atman to the violet, a
Buddhi in the violet, and so on down the scale. It is a tangled
theme of thought. I asked the question to try to clarify our
ideas. I think we have succeeded!
by Kenneth Morris
[An translation of Ou-Yang Hsiu of Lu-Ling (AD 1007-1072) which
appeared in THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, November 1946, pages 556-57.]
One night, when dreaming over ancient books,
There came to me a sudden far-off sound
From the south-west. I listened, wondering,
As on it crept: at first a gentle sigh,
Like to a spirit passing; then it swelled
Into the roaring of great waves that smite
The broken vanguard of the cliff: -- the rage
Of storm-black tigers in the startled night
Among the jackals of the wind and rain.
It burst upon the hanging bell, and set
The silver pendants chattering. It seemed
A muffled march of soldiers hurriedly
Sped to the night attack with muffled mouths
When no command is heard, only the tramp
Of men and horses onward. "Boy," said I,
"What sound is that? go forth and see." My boy,
Returning, answered, "Lord! the moon and all
Her stars shine fair; the silver river spans
The sky. No sound of man is heard without;
'Tis but a whisper of the trees." "Alas!"
I cried, "then Autumn is upon us now."
'Tis thus, O boy, that Autumn comes, the cold
Pitiless autumn of the wrack and mist,
Autumn, the season of the cloudless sky,
Autumn, of biting blasts, the time of blight
And desolation; following the chill
Stir of disaster, with a shout it leaps
Upon us. All the gorgeous pageantry
Of green is changed. All the proud foliage
Of the crested forests is shorn, and shrivels dawn
Beneath the blade of ice. For this is Autumn,
Nature's chief executioner. It takes
The darkness for a symbol. It assumes
The temper of proven steel. Its symbol is
A sharpened sword. The avenging fiend, it rides
Upon an atmosphere of death. As Spring,
Mother of many-colored birth, doth rear
The young light-hearted world, so Autumn drains
The nectar of the world's maturity.
And sad the hour when all ripe things must pass,
For sweetness and decay are of one stem,
And sweetness ever riots to decay.
Still, what availeth it? The trees will fall
In their due season. Sorrow cannot keep
The plants from fading. Stay! there yet is man --
Man, the divinest of all things, whose heart
Hath known the shipwreck of a thousand hopes,
Who bears a hundred wrinkled tragedies
Upon the parchment of his brow, whose soul
Strange cares have lined and interlined, until
Beneath the burden of life, his inmost self
Bows down. And swifter still he seeks decay
When groping for the unattainable,
Or grieving over continents unknown.
Then come the snows of time. Are they not due?
Is man of adamant he should outlast
The giants of the grove? Yet, after all,
Who is it saps his strength save man alone?
"Tell me, O boy, by what imagined right
Doth man accuse his autumn blast?" My boy
Slumbered and answered not. The cricket gave
The only answer to my song of death.
THE TWO PATHS
By Helen Savage
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, May 1936, pages 323-27.]
The Two Paths are described in the teaching of the sixth Jewel of
Wisdom. There is a Right-hand Path and a Left-hand Path. There
is a path upward and a path downward, a path of unselfishness and
a path of selfishness, a path of ultimate joy and a path of
ultimate sorrow, and a path of immortality and a path of
We see these two paths everywhere. Many think it is a matter of
chance. Spiritual teachers say this is not a matter of chance,
but is based on the structure of the universe. People think that
there is a spiritual side of the universe and a material side,
with the spiritual and the material being divorced. There is no
more a dividing line between the spiritual and the material than
between the colors in a rainbow. Take red and orange, for
instance. They are two distinct colors. When you see them in
the rainbow, it is impossible to tell where one begins and the
It is so with the spiritual and material sides of the universe.
There is a gradation of beings from the unevolved to the evolved,
in increasing degrees of perfection, from the unconscious to the
fully conscious. Therefore, in a general way, we speak of the
matter-side and the spirit-side of the universe. The beings that
compose the material side of the universe are not evil if that is
where they belong. They are simply unevolved. If a higher being
identifies himself with this matter-side, with something less
than himself, then he is relatively evil.
Man stands between the spiritual and the material. If he turns
his eyes to the material, stops his climb upward, and retraces
his steps, he is going on the downward path. If he turns toward
spirit, he is going on the path of light. This latter is the
natural path for the human race to follow now. It is according
to nature. We have passed as centers of consciousness through
the matter-side of being. As higher beings, we find it useful to
express ourselves through it. We are not the material. It is
only through ignorance that we imagine we are, and act
This Sixth Jewel of Wisdom is difficult to understand in all its
reaches, from its loftiest heights to its vastest depths. This
is true of all the Jewels of Wisdom. Reembodiment, for instance,
means not only coming back into earth-life, but it includes all
the grand experiences that the spiritual part of us passes
through after death, taking up body after body, reembodying
itself, each body fit for the sphere in which it expresses
itself. Can any but the Seer penetrate into the mysteries of
these lofty peregrinations? Again, thinking now of the Second
Jewel of Wisdom, who has the eye of the Seer that can envisage
the more intricate weavings of the Web of Destiny?
The Sixth Jewel cannot be understood in all its vast reaches. We
would have to be Masters of Life. Only such can know fully what
it means to travel the Path of Light. Suppose a solar being, a
solar god, should come to earth to try to explain even what the
interior of the physical sun was like! He would have to speak in
terms understandable to us. All he could say would be that the
sun is a tremendous vortex of life, pouring forth floods of
energy. We could not understand much more. If we had the solar
consciousness, we could.
In times to come, we shall have a consciousness that will
understand the great heights the human race will attain to on
this Path of Light. Nevertheless, because the small mirrors the
great, because every experience in life touches upon the greatest
mysteries of being, we can know something of this Sixth Jewel of
Wisdom. The upward path is not a path to be trod only when we
become Adepts. We can begin right here and now.
What are the qualities that help us along the way? They are the
qualities that every man admires. Ask one hundred men what
qualities they consider an ideal human being should have. He
would have courage and self-reliance. He would realize that he
is fundamentally interwoven with all other beings. He would have
sympathy for all that lives, spiritual wisdom, and vision. We
have within us these qualities. It is for us to bring them out.
Thereby we may consciously and intelligently follow the path
toward the light.
To speak of it as the path UPWARD is to discourage many. The
word "upward" suggests the idea of a constant struggle. We can
think of it in other ways. Consider it a path we follow by
working WITH the forces of the universe. By turning our backs
upon it, we are working against the forces of the universe.
Convinced of this, we forget it is difficult. We would say: "The
forces of the universe are with me. I will go forward!"
Ordinary people find it difficult to travel upwards. Perhaps we
can understand better if we know the meaning of the technical
terms used in Theosophy for the Right-hand Path and the Left-hand
Path. We use Sanskrit words to not confuse the student or impose
difficulties upon him. This makes the teaching simpler. In each
line of work, terms are adopted for the key thought of an idea.
For the two paths, we use the Sanskrit terms Amrita Yana and
Pratyeka Yana. Yana means "path," and Amrita and Pratyeka
describe these paths. Amrita is the path of Individuality, and
Pratyeka is the path of Personality.
Man has both an individuality and a personality. The former is
his real Self. The latter is the undeveloped part of him, which
like small things imagines itself to be the whole show. The
personality has its place. Nobody would want to get rid of it.
It should be the servant and recognize its superior in the
We can use this personality without identifying with it. One can
think of a man going out to the hills for a walk with his dog. A
dog may see a rabbit and dash after it. That does not mean that
the master must also dash after it. No, he pursues his ramble,
and if the dog becomes too obstreperous, he whistles for him to
follow at his heels.
It is the same with us. We are the individuality. We are the
Amrita Yana. We are not the personality, however much we may
think that we are. We can make the personality serve and follow
us. This is what mankind has forgotten. Supposing man to be
less than he is, he finds the upward path of Nature difficult to
Sometimes the meaning of the word Pratyeka is given as "each one
for himself." He who follows the Pratyeka path, the path of each
one for himself, divorces himself from the rest of the universe.
He deprives himself of the strength that the spiritual forces of
the universe can give him.
The Ancient Wisdom teaches that if he follows this downward path
consistently through many lives he finally meets annihilation.
This is not strange. It is but another truth of Nature. What
being can set his strength against the mighty universe and
I am reminded of a tale from Danish folklore of a spider that
tried to build his web without the thread from above. He built
it, indeed, but since a strand of the great Web of Being did not
hold it, it was destroyed in the first storm. The thread from
above is the individuality. As long as there remains one most
slender strand of it stretching down to support the feeble web of
the personality, there is hope for that personality.
Fortunately, we are told, few allow this thread to snap entirely.
Few break away from the universe.
We search for this thread of individuality in the hearts of our
fellows. He who searches and finds is the true humanitarian.
Dickens was one. He loved his fellow beings and could see
beneath the often-ugly exterior. When he wrote OLIVER TWIST,
many friends criticized his portrayal of Nancy. They said she
was a contradiction. No depraved creature would have shown the
selfless and devoted love that she did. The object of her love
The story first appeared in a magazine. When the story appeared
in book form, Dickens mentions this criticism in the preface:
> It is useless to discuss whether the conduct and character of the
> girl seems natural or unnatural, probable or improbable, right or
> wrong. It is TRUE.
He goes on to say how many of such objects of our pity he came
across in his first-hand studies of human nature.
> [They manifest still] the hope yet lingering behind; the last
> fair drop of water at the bottom of the dried-up weed-choked
> well. It involves the best and worst shades of our common
> nature; much of its most ugly hew, and something of its most
> beautiful; it is a contradiction, an anomaly, an apparent
> impossibility, but it is a truth.
In Bill Sikes, the object of Nancy's love, Dickens pictures a
creature that showed no spark of divinity. Bill was one who
"would not give, by one look or action of a moment, the faintest
indication of a better nature." In these two characters, he
touched two great truths. First, there is hope of salvation for
the personality by the individuality. The exception holds the
second truth. There is no salvation for those few whose lower
nature have severed all contact with the higher, through a course
of evil-doing persistently followed.
In discussing this Sixth Jewel of Wisdom, dwell not on the dark
side. All of us love the sunlight. We love to turn to the sun.
We do not care to turn our backs upon it and follow our shadows.
For further encouragement, we can remember that on this path to
the light we are not alone.
For every step we take backwards, we pull back weak and
vacillating souls. For every step we take upwards, we raise
others with us. We help those behind us who are less strong.
There are those ahead of us, the Masters of Wisdom, who have
blazed the trail for us. They lead and light the way, although
they cannot tread the path for us. When we consciously and
intelligently travel towards the Light, they extend a helping
hand and bid us ever "Come up higher!"
THEOSOPHICAL PHILOSOPHY AND MYTHOLOGY, Part I
By John Rau
[In February 2000, John Rau was invited by the Humanities
Department of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan to
outline theosophical philosophy and tie it in with world
mythology. John was speaking on behalf of the Great Lakes Branch
of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena). See
for more information on their lodge.]
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY?
We should first concern ourselves with the definition of the word
"Theosophy" and then quickly move into how this philosophy
relates to your mythology studies. Theosophy is a Greek compound
word: "Theos" and "Sophia," divine and wisdom, thus "divine
wisdom." Some dictionaries will translate Theosophy as "God
wisdom." "Divine wisdom," I think, is best. Another extended
definition has been handed down as "the philosophy the gods
EXOTERIC AND ESOTERIC
How does this relate to mythology? Two words that you may be
familiar with are "esoteric" and "exoteric." They are in any good
English language dictionary. "Esoteric" is that which is
sometimes said to be hidden. "Exoteric" is what is on the
surface. Quite often, you will find in various teachings of a
religious and philosophical nature a common knowledge that many
have heard of. It is these common teachings that we can call
"exoteric." "Esoteric," on the other hand, is what is within the
teachings, behind the scene. It is a teaching sometimes harder
In mythology, you read stories. Sometimes it is hard to figure
out what it is that these stories mean. By analyzing these
mythological stories, you can bring meaning and understanding up
to the surface. Sometimes the meaning is simple while other
stories may be more complex. Are there similarities within
various myths and religions across time and cultures worldwide?
Take the time to study world mythology, world religion, history,
and science. Compare the results. Remove what are seemingly
man-made unimportant dogma from religions, and the unnecessary
added filler from myths. The similarities, Theosophy claims,
should become apparent. Myth can take a holy teaching, devised
by the ancients, and carry it through time.
One of my favorite examples of this process is the expression
"Holy Moly." Aside from its use as an exclamation of surprise,
few know what the Holy Moly is or how old it is. It is a myth
out of Homer's Odyssey. We find the warrior Ulysses on an island
being given drug-laced wine by a temptress who desires to gain
control over him. Drug-laced wine from my point of view would be
dogma. Dogma is a firm teaching that people want you to believe
because they think it is the only right way to think.
The god Hermes brings Ulysses the herb "Moly" as an antidote to
the drugged wine. Moly in the story is a mythical herb that is
hard to pull out of the ground. Esoteric thought is hard to
understand. The root of the Moly is black. Black (the darkness)
is often thought of as a point of wisdom. This is where the
Mysteries are: in the darkness, esoteric, hard to understand.
The flower of the Moly is white. It is in the sunshine, easy to
understand, exoteric. Holy Moly was given to Ulysses by Hermes,
which is one of several names for the god Mercury, the planet
In India, they call this god/planet Budha, with one 'd' instead
of two. A "Buddha" with two d's is what you've all heard of, the
Buddha, an enlightened person. Budha with one 'd' is the planet
Mercury (or Hermes). It simply translates to our English word
"wisdom." Flower deliveries are often sent to those in need of
healing. This Hermes is the same fellow that you see with the
winged feet who delivers flowers here in Big Rapids and
elsewhere. What is the name of the company? Is it FTD? They
deliver flowers and Hermes is their symbol. We have Hermes
delivering flowers in our time and Holy Moly is a flower
delivered to Homer's ancient character Ulysses, by the same god
30 centuries ago.
Myths travel through time and they can conceal truths.
Storytellers need not understand the esoteric nature (the
embedded truth) of a myth when they sing their song, share their
story. That makes myths a fit vehicle for preservation of
One can view these knowledgeable adept "ancients," the makers of
the myths, as being a few thousand years old, or, as some
theosophists believe, as being millions of years old. It matters
not which view we take. Their selfless efforts through time have
-- by this way of thinking -- been successful. The truths are
not lost, even in translation from other languages, if we keep an
esoteric eye open. As generations change, the truths continue
through myth and are maintained generation after generation by
Another example is found in symbol. You all know this one. In
the Moly, we had a black root and white flower. In the Yin-Yang
symbol from the East, one side is black, the other white, or
darkness and light, positive and negative, male and female. It
is dual. We have an outside (exoteric), and an inside
(esoteric). You have seen this symbol on people's tattoos here
in West Michigan. You have seen this symbol in books, movies,
and on television. This too is an ancient symbol or myth
traveling through generations and carrying with it more than
picture art. These symbol-myths are thought provoking, which was
the intent of the ancient artists (whoever they were).
We mentioned studying ancient and modern science. Science, too,
can be seen as myth and religion alongside fact. You already
know that science changes through time. Everything changes.
When I was in school, science taught me, or rather lead me to
believe the exoteric teaching that outer space was an empty
vacuum. I now know that there were scientists who thought
differently. Today science teaches that space is not an empty
vacuum, rather it is full of what we can call "plasma." Space is
full, not empty. Ancient teachings have also said that space was
full. There is no emptiness. Today classroom science and
ancient wisdom agree on this issue. Both viewpoints are correct.
One point of view is exoteric, a popular on the surface opinion.
The other point of view is esoteric, an inner scientific and
Science is important. We should never ignore it. Science is a
gathering of assembled facts. It is also philosophy. It is also
religion. Science is not the type of religion where you go
forth, worship, and pray. It is a religion as in "binding
together" certain dogmas, opinions, and facts. This binding
together of philosophical opinion and fact, always prepared for
change in truth and thought, is a scientific method. In my
opinion, it is a fine way to go through life. Many theosophists
view the path to truth in just such a fashion. We understand
truth one way today. Tomorrow or next year, we alter our
perceptions. Growth, change, this way of life in the East is
referred to as Jnana-Yoga. The words religion and yoga, by the
way, both seem to come from roots that mean to "bind together" or
From all continents, these world myths oftentimes carry embedded
Mystery Teachings. Theosophists hold an opinion that these
Mystery Teachings originated in Mystery Schools. If you read
some of the extant writings from philosophers of the historical
past, occasionally you will find references to "The Mysteries."
There were exoteric displays for the public, which often
incorporated pageants, parades, plays, and celebrations. We
still have them today. Note that Easter, Christmas, and other
holy days all spring from astrological calculations. There were
also esoteric Mysteries for the few, of which little is recorded.
Even in our western translation of the Christian New Testament,
we find Jesus speaking in parables (myths) to the crowd, but to
his close disciples it is said in the same testament that he
teaches differently. We have Mystery Teachings.
In the mail recently, I received a book from which I would now
like to give a few short excerpts from the foreword.
> That which can be discovered by the sincere student may be
> likened to our knowledge of the atom. Who, for example, has ever
> seen the real atom? What microscope has penetrated the secret of
> its existence? Yet, today we know more about the atom with its
> electrons than has been revealed for centuries. Although
> invisible to both eye and lens, scientists have detected the
> flash of its track, its "way of light"; through diligent and
> painstaking labor they have studied this way of light until,
> through inference and evidence, the structure of the atom and its
> components, its almost spiritual origin, has been revealed.
> Thus with the Mysteries: as we look at the pages of history, and
> further into the mists of unrecorded time, we do not see the
> schools themselves, but through study and devotion we may glimpse
> the flash of their track, their way of light. From inference and
> spiritual testimony, we can trace the pageantry of the
> light-bearers as they have passed from age to age, inaugurating
> the grand religions and philosophies of the human race. Some of
> these lights shine with immense glory, others with less strength,
> while still others are but fitful gleams of half-understood
> The physicist cannot point to the physical atom, yet he knows it
> exists as the basis, the foundation, of all matter; the student
> of Theosophy cannot show you a Mystery school, yet he knows it
> exists as the heart or atomic center of the spiritual and
> intellectual life of the planet. Who then would dare assert the
> non-existence of the Mysteries, of this potent atom of
> esotericism, when luminous traces of spiritual power are seen
> scattered all over the world?"
> -- Grace F. Knoche, THE MYSTERY SCHOOLS
Atoms were also considered and spoken of by ancient thinkers and
writers. I have a translation of a work on science and
mythology. It is SURYA SIDDHANTA: A TEXTBOOK OF INDIAN ASTRONOMY
(reprinted by Wizards Bookshelf). It comes from India. It is
old. A fellow in the 1800's, who was interested in astronomy,
translated this book into English. The title can be rendered
"The Sun's Astronomy Book." The myth, the teaching behind the
formation of the book is that the Sun, as a being, sent a portion
of itself to Earth, and delivered this text through a great man.
Such a man the Eastern Philosophy might call an Avatara,
something like a Jesus, a son of the sun, a Son of God. In this
book, atoms are mentioned as building blocks of the world, of
matter. Here we read that atoms are the small from which is
built up a series of divisions that gain in size, larger, larger,
and larger and then eventually we arrive at something the size of
a hangnail. Mystery, myth, science, and truth are here blended
in old words.
Another story loaded with esoteric truth is THE BHAGAVAD GITA.
The GITA is a section out of an even-longer epic. It is also
from India. Some devout Hindus sing, read, or chant the verses
daily. The two central characters in the story are Krishna, a
god or a god-man, and Arjuna, a man, a great warrior. The
setting is a battlefield. Krishna comes to Arjuna (as Hermes
came to Ulysses with the Moly) to be his helpmate. He teaches
Arjuna of duty in life and in the battle in which he is about to
engage himself. Here, again is duality. We have a god from
above or within (darkness, wisdom), and a human from below or
outside (in earth, in the light, action). The Yin and Yang.
Myths often deal with pain and suffering because it is easy for
people to understand. You could create a story about getting up
and going to work or school in the morning, which I will admit is
also sometimes pain and suffering, but most listeners would not
take the time required to relate to the story. A dull story does
not travel easily through time.
There was for a short time in the fourth century an Emperor of
the Roman Empire by the name of Julian. He was a Neo-Platonist
("New" Platonist) and a great battlefield General. He was also a
follower of the Mithraic Mystery School. In the Loeb Editions of
Julian's writings (THE WORKS OF THE EMPEROR JULIAN, reprinted by
Harvard University Press, Cambridge), the translator, C.W.
Wright, says that:
> [This Emperor] regarded the myths as allegories to be interpreted
> by the philosopher and theosophist. They are riddles to be
> solved and the paradoxical element in them is designed to turn
> our minds to the hidden truth.
Julian himself says, when addressing Cynic Philosophers, that
"myths are like toys which help children through teething."
Scholars who have studied his life and career find that he, like
others who also were involved in Mystery Schools, left in his
writings little concerning what was taught in secret.
Care and protection was always of prime importance in the
protocol of those involved in esoteric teachings. Just as only a
few centuries ago, here in America and Europe, the people of
Julian's time had to take care to avoid for themselves and their
associates persecution, or even execution for heresy. A lack of
tolerance for serious truth seekers has indeed been a problem
proven by history. An example of this persecution found in
Christian history is the burning at the stake of the English
translators of our Judeo-Christian Bible by those in the Church
who felt that the common people should not read the words for
Theosophy is an old way of thinking. There are, however, modern
theosophists. The modern movement was jump-started again in the
mid-to-late nineteenth century by Madame H.P. Blavatsky, a
Russian, and one of the founders of the Society of which I am a
member. The theosophical movement does not really stop and
start, but unfolds from the past into the future as truth in
The modern movement claims to be reviving the work of Ammonius
Saccas, a Platonist philosopher of the third century. He
apparently did not write books, but you can find his influence in
the work of his student Plotinus. Ammonius Saccas and others of
his time used the term "Theosophy," meaning divine wisdom. It is
said that Ammonius Saccas desired to gather together teachings
and people from the various world religions and philosophies into
Alexandria (a port city in northern Africa through which people
of different cultures traveled via Eastern and Western trade
routes). It is also said that the aim was to organize and
prepare a philosophical harvest from these gathered beliefs and
ideas, and thus unfold a truth that we are all indeed brothers
under our various cloaks of dogma, faith, and culture, and thus
unfold a Universal Brotherhood.
The work was then (and still is now) an effort not only to seek
out the so-called "truth" of our being by analyzing our different
"bindings and yokes" of beliefs, but also to ease the conflicts
we humans impose on each other regularly in the form of war. It
was an anti-war movement from the inside out. Like all action,
war is born first in our thoughts, and then applied in our world.
The core of all theosophical thought and effort is indeed the
truth of Universal Brotherhood, of Peace.
Theosophically, the concept of "Universal Brotherhood" is not
just about us human beings. A theosophist is not exclusive of
other Kingdoms of life as part of his definition. We are
brothers not only with our other human selves, but also with
solar systems, divinities, suns, planets, animals, plants, and
the elemental Kingdoms in invisible, atomic, and sub-atomic
worlds. We are brothers with every living "thing." Every "thing"
that we can conceive of has the breath of life. Everything is
alive and evolving.
THE FOUNTAINS OF YOUTH
By George William Russell [1867-1935]
[From THE IRISH THEOSOPHIST, September 1897.]
I heard that a strange woman, dwelling on the western coast, who
had the repute of healing by fairy power, said a little before
she died, "There's a cure for all things in the well at
Ballykeele." I know not why at first, but her words lingered with
me and repeated themselves again and again, and by degrees to
keep fellowship with the thought they enshrined came more antique
memories, all I had heard or dreamed of the Fountains of Youth.
I could not doubt, having heard these fountains spoken of by
people like herself, that her idea had a druid ancestry. Perhaps
she had bent over the pool until its darkness grew wan, bright,
and troubled with the movements of a world within and the
agitations of a tempestuous joy. Perhaps she had heard, as many
still hear, the wild call to "Come away" from entreating lips and
flame-encircled faces, or was touched by the star-tipped fingers,
and her heart from the fairy world came never back again to dwell
as before at ease in this isle of gray mists and misty sunlight.
These things are not fable only, for Ireland is still a land of
the gods, and in out of the way places, we often happen on
wonderlands of romance and mystic beauty. I have spoken to
people who have half parted from their love for the world in a
longing for the pagan paradise of Tir-na-nog, and many who are
outwardly obeisant to another religion are altogether pagan in
their hearts, and Meave the Queen of the Western Host is more to
them than Mary Queen of Heaven. I was told of this Meave that
lately a peasant, who made a poem on her, calling her "The Beauty
of all Beauty," saw her in a vision. The man who told me this of
his friend had himself seen the jetted fountains of fire-mist
winding up in spiral whirls to the sky, and he too had heard of
the Fountains of Youth.
The natural longing in every heart that its youth shall not
perish makes one ponder and sigh over this magical past when
youth, ecstasy, and beauty welled from a bountiful nature at the
sung appeal of her druid children holding hand in hand around the
sacred cairn. Our hearts remember:
> A wind blows by us fleeting
> Along the reedy strand:
> And sudden our hearts are beating
> Again in the druid-land.
> All silver-pale, enchanted,
> The air-world lies on the hills,
> And the fields of light are planted
> With the dawn frail daffodils.
> The yellow leaves are blowing
> The hour when the wind-god weaves,
> And hides the stars and their glowing
> In a mist of daffodil leaves.
> We stand in glimmering whiteness,
> Each face like the daystar fair,
> And rayed about in its brightness
> With a dawn of daffodil air.
> And through each white robe gleaming,
> And under each snow-white breast,
> Is a golden dream-light streaming
> Like eve through an opal west.
> One hand to the heart, another
> We raise to the dawn on high;
> For the sun in the heart is brother
> To the sun-heart of the sky.
> A light comes rising and falling,
> As ringed in the druid choir
> We sing to the sun-god, calling
> By his name of yellow fire.
> The touch of the dew-wet grasses,
> The breath of the dawn-cool wind,
> With the dawn of the god-light passes
> And the world is left behind.
> We drink of a fountain giving
> The joy of the gods, and then --
> The Land of the Ever-living
> Has passed from us again.
> Passed far beyond all saying,
> For memory only weaves
> On a silver dawn outraying
> A cloud of daffodil leaves.
Not indirectly through remembrance only, but when touched from
within by the living beauty, the soul, the ancient druid in man,
renews its league with the elements. Sometimes as the twilight
vanishes and night lays on the earth her tender brow, the woods,
the mountains, the clouds that tinted like seraphim float in the
vast. The murmur of water, wind, and trees melt from the gaze
and depart from the outward ear and become internal reveries and
contemplations of the spirit, and are no more separate but are
part of us.
Yet, these vanishings from us, and movements in worlds not
realized, leave us only thirstier to drink of a deeper nature
where all things are dissolved in ecstasy, and heaven and earth
are lost in God. So we turn seeking for the traces of that
earlier wisdom which guided man into the Land of Immortal Youth,
and assuaged his thirst at a more brimming flood at the Feast of
Age, the banquet which Manannan the Danann king instituted in the
haunt of the Fire-god, and whoever partook knew thereafter
neither weariness, decay, nor death.
These mysteries, all that they led to, all that they promised for
the spirit of man, are opening today for us in clear light.
Their fabulous distance lessens. We hail these kingly ideals
with as intense a trust and with more joy, perhaps, than they did
who were born in those purple hours, because we are emerging from
centuries indescribably meager and squalid in their thought.
Every new revelation has for us the sweetness of sunlight to one
after the tears and sorrow of a prison-house. The well at
Ballykeele is, perhaps, a humble starting-point for the
contemplation of such mighty mysteries; but here where the
enchanted world lies so close, it is never safe to say what
narrow path may not lead through a visionary door into Moy
Argatnel, the Silver Cloudland of Manannan, where,
> Feet of white bronze
> Glitter through beautiful ages.
The Danann king with a quaint particularity tells Bran in the
poem from which these lines are quoted, that
> There is a wood of beautiful fruit
> Under the prow of thy little skiff.
What to Bran was a space of pale light was to the eye of the god
a land of pure glory, Ildathach the Many-colored Land, rolling
with rivers of golden light and dropping with dews of silver
flame. In another poem, the Brugh by the Boyne, outwardly a
little hillock, is thus described:
> Look, and you will see it is the palace of a god.
Perhaps the mystic warriors of the Red Branch saw supernatural
pillars blazoned like the sunset, and entered through great doors
and walked in lofty halls with sunset-tinted beings speaking a
more beautiful wisdom than earth's. They there may have seen
those famous gods who had withdrawn generations before from
visible Eire: Manannan the dark blue king, Lu Lamfada with the
sunrise on his brow and his sling, a wreath of rainbow flame,
coiled around him, the Goddess Dana in ruby brilliance, Nuada
silver-handed, the Dagda with floating locks of light shaking
from him radiance and song, Angus Oge, around whose head the
ever-winging birds made music, and others in whose company these
antique heroes must have felt the deep joy of old companionship
renewed, for were not the Danann hosts men of more primeval
cycles become divine and movers in a divine world. In the Brugh
too was a fountain. To what uses it was applied to, the mystical
imagination working on other legends may make clearer.
The Well of Conula, the parent fountain of many streams visible
and invisible, was the most sacred well to be known in ancient
Ireland. It laid itself below deep waters at the source of the
Shannon, and the waters that hid it were mystical, for they lay
between earth and the Land of the Gods. Here, when stricken
suddenly by an internal fire, the sacred hazels of wisdom and
inspiration unfolded at once their leaves and blossoms and their
scarlet fruit, which falling upon the waters dyed them of a royal
purple. Fintann the Salmon of Knowledge then devoured the nuts,
and the wisest of the druids partook.
This was perhaps the greatest of the mysteries known to the
ancient Gael, and in the bright phantasmagoria conjured up there
is a wild beauty which belongs to all their tales. The suddenly
arising forests of golden fire, trees whose roots drew honey
sweetness from the dreams of a remote divinity, the scarlet nuts
tossing on the purple flood, the bright immortals glancing hither
and thither, are pictures left of some mystery we may not now
uncover, though tomorrow may reveal it, for the dawn-lights are
glittering everywhere in Ireland.
Perhaps the strange woman, who spoke of the well at Ballykeele,
and others like her, may know more about these fountains than the
legend-seekers who so learnedly annotate their tales. They may
have drunken in dreams of the waters at Connla's well, for many
go to the Tir-na-nog in sleep, and some are said to have remained
there, and only a vacant form is left behind without the light in
the eyes which marks the presence of a soul. I make no pretence
of knowledge concerning the things which underlie their simple
speech, but to me there seems to be forever escaping from legend
and folktale, from word and custom, some breath of a world of
beauty I sigh for but am not nigh to as these are. I think if
that strange woman could have found a voice for what was in her
heart she would have completed her vague oracle somewhat as I
> There's a cure for all things in the well at Ballykeele,
> Where the scarlet cressets o'erhang from the rowan trees;
> There's a joy-breath blowing from the Land of Youth I feel,
> And earth with its heart at ease.
> Many and many a sun-bright maiden saw the enchanted land
> With star-faces glimmer up from the druid wave:
> Many and many a pain of love was soothed by a fairy hand
> Or lost in the love it gave.
> When the quiet with a ring of pearl shall wed the earth
> And the scarlet berries burn dark by the stars in the pool
> Oh, it's lost and deep I'll be in the joy-breath and the mirth,
> My heart in the star-heart cool.
THE DISSEMINATION OF ESOTERIC KNOWLEDGE
By Boris de Zirkoff
[From a tape recording entitled "The Dissemination of Esoteric
Knowledge" made of a private class held on March 2, 1955.]
Friends, I want to compare current thought with ideas prevalent
when the Theosophical Movement was started. We hear much about
the negative phases of life. It is true. There are wars and
rumors of wars. We hear of inhumanity of man to man. People
have unpleasant, negative, violent, and pessimistic views about
Newspapers and magazines do not play up the brighter side. They
would not know how. They do not play up achievements of human
thought, changes of human minds, changes in the view of nature
and things. These changes have taken place in the last 50 years.
To some people, the changes are completely unnoticed because they
are not interested in them, because there is nothing spectacular
about these changes.
To the students of the Ancient Wisdom, particularly those earnest
in their study, interested in the psychological condition of the
human mind, these positive changes are important, universal, and
greater in scope than appears on the surface.
Let us mention a few of these positive changes. In 1875, the
Theosophical Movement was restarted. What chance would there
been then to talk about One World? You might have talked about
the unity of the human race. You could have talked about the
interrelation of cultures, races, and ethnic groups. You could
also have told people about the need of an integrated from of
civilization, a family of nations united on cultural rather than
political grounds. How popular would your talks, books, or
articles have been with intelligent people?
People talk about these ideas daily. I do not mean the
illiterate people, but the intelligent and semi-intelligent
people. They talk about these things and read material about it,
even if they also read nationalistic propaganda.
Some years ago, when the Theosophical Movement was starting to
hew through the jungle of materialism, these ideas were limited
to just a few outstanding thinkers, both past and present then,
and to a few books, which few people read. Perhaps the most
outstanding book of the day was Bellamy's LOOKING BACKWARD.
A great many ideas were unknown. One is that a universal culture
is coming from the interrelation of the Orient and the Occident.
There is the spiritual richness of the Orient and the Occidental
mastery over material nature, mechanically and otherwise. The
two provide a spiritual and material background to a universal
type of civilization to be. Today the ideas are of everyday
concern. Even people who do not believe in them talk about them.
Even people who oppose them talk about them. It is not important
if there are people who oppose an idea, just as long as they are
talking about that idea.
Today, the materialism of the science of 50 years ago is
shattered. Nothing is left of it. Go to a library and pick up a
fifty-year-old textbook on any aspect of science, say on physics,
chemistry, astronomy, or genetics. The approach used is
non-existent today. The foundations on which science stood have
Simultaneously with the crumbling, new foundations grew. The
outstanding men of science recognize these foundations, but not
necessarily the small fry. Not necessarily the schoolteachers,
but the men and women of science who write the books, head the
institutions, and engage in the research. They are practically
unanimous on certain principles, and these principles are
out-and-out theosophical. These things are in THE SECRET
DOCTRINE or ISIS UNVEILED, books of H.P. Blavatsky. They may be
phrased differently in another language, in occult works of other
Today there are no conceptual barriers between matter and energy.
They are seen as two modifications of the same something. That
is one of the foundation points of THE SECRET DOCTRINE. Today
most outstanding scientists speak of the material universe as an
illusory appearance, a world of energies and fields of forces
that cannot be sensed by physical organs or even perceived at
times by instruments. That is a fundamental point of the
Esoteric Philosophy. There are inner worlds expressing
themselves temporarily in physical form, which is only an
illusion of our senses. The causal factors are all within.
Today we have an entire scientific department dealing with the
latent and little-known powers of man. Professor Ryan of Duke
University and a score of others have established scientific
foundations to study these powers. They study telepathy,
clairvoyance, clairaudience, and telekinesis (moving objects
without visible means or tools or obvious physical forces).
Their research is into the psychic world rather than the
physical, although the two are correlated and interpenetrate each
Science now recognizes that there are other worlds beside the
physical. One idea says that there could be more than one world
present at the same time and place. These worlds would not be
perceivable to each other unless certain mathematical
correlations were to be established between them. Then one could
pass from one into the other. Dr. Benjamin Swan, the great
British physicist, said there is no scientific basis against this
possibility. He even said the atom unquestionably has a degree
of free will. Other scientists have expressed the same idea.
In the world of astronomy, we have some foundation principles of
the Esoteric Philosophy. Astronomy has fundamentally changed
ideas about the formation of worlds out of the original nebulae,
ideas that now are practically identical with what THE SECRET
More recently, the ideas of living beings on other worlds and of
interplanetary communication are becoming firmly rooted in the
human consciousness. Suppose it were possible -- which is not
the case -- to finally and completely disprove every sighting of
so-called flying saucers. Millions now think of other worlds as
possibly inhabited, and of possible communication between worlds,
or at least within our solar system. Could anyone stop the
growing idea that we are not the only human beings? Certainly
not! These ideas have come to stay. They have taken hold of the
human imagination within the last few years. They are basic
ideas of the Esoteric Philosophy.
As students of Theosophy, we could not have brought people to
think along these lines, even if we had lectured every day and in
every hall throughout the world. More powerful currents of
thought have gotten hold of human minds, much stronger than
anything we as could have done, even collectively.
As a small band of workers, we have promoted these ideas. Never
numerous since 1875, we have tried to push and push and push
them, sometimes gently, sometimes a little more forcefully. We
have talked about and written about them. Somehow, they have
become implanted in human minds. Scientific evidence has been
found. Stronger evidence is being found daily in support of
Neither the works of H.P. Blavatsky nor the toils and labor of
other students will be given recognition by the world. We are
not trying to be recognized. We are not looking for credit. The
main thing is the ideas have spread. They have simultaneously
arisen in minds throughout the world. With a birds-eye view of
the last 75 years, we see in every department of thought there
are views growing that are part of the Esoteric Philosophy, of
The perilous side of things, the impending wars and disasters,
and the dangers existing in the thought atmosphere are also
obvious. They are less important, though, than the currents that
have brought about the great revolution of thought.
Consider the few thousand years that our historical records
cover. Even with but a small schoolbook, you see there were just
local civilizations. Some were great like in Egypt, India,
China, Chaldea, Babylon, Greece, Rome, and Carthage. We know
little about the Mayan civilization and the Incas and the others,
but they were too were great in their own right. They were all
local. They did not contact each other to any particular extent,
barring a few exceptions.
In the last 75 years, there has grown the backdrop of a future
civilization that will not be local. It is not international or
global just because science has invented the airplane and
television so that we can see and talk to each other. It is not
just because of that. It is become global because the human race
is beginning to think in global terms. It is increasingly
difficult to think in local terms. Nowadays, everything that
happens involves everybody else. Everything that happens
militates against local thinking, against parochialism, against
the sectarian and small view, of which we have plenty as yet,
against the die-hards.
The opposition will continue, but opposition is good. It makes
other ideas grow, just because the better ideas in battling the
opposition grow in strength. Never be afraid of opposition. It
is unpleasant but salutary. It is good in the end. It makes
people think. It makes them appraise their own resources.
Students of Theosophy in the last 75 years have struggled against
many odds. Consider how few we are. Consider how little the
world talks about Theosophy, how few people read technical
theosophical works. Consider how little direct influence we have
upon prominent people in the world. Understandably, things may
Never forget that thinking and meditation, the internal effort of
the students of spiritual truths, is a tremendously potent force.
It is constantly at work, day and night. Do not forget that
there are greater thinkers than we, behind the scenes, unbeknown
to the masses, and often unbeknown to us. They are our own
superiors in knowledge, superior knowledge.
Spiritual effort is not gauged by material standards. An effort
along spiritual lines may be small outwardly, but immensely
potent inwardly. The spiritual regeneration of one man may be
strong enough to act upon thousands, unbeknown to them. Material
effects gauge material effort. Spiritual and highly intellectual
effort, which also implies great ethical effort, has effects that
are like overtones. They cannot be readily described,
prophesied, fully foreseen. They are a leaven of far greater
intensity. They produce far-reaching results that are difficult
to appraise, but which can be seen after awhile.
Think of the power of thought. A few people start the great
movements. Their great efforts may have been exceedingly good or
bad, or in both directions. If powerful enough, their effect was
produced in due course of time.
Today the world we work in is greatly changed. Picture H.P.
Blavatsky working now. How many obstacles of her day would be
gone from her path? How many of the things that she struggled
against could she ignore, because they are no longer of moment?
I have not said anything about churches or religions. They have
not widened, progressed, nor grown as fast as science has.
Nevertheless, they have become honeycombed with progressive
ideas. They are entirely different than they used to be, with
some unfortunately exceptions.
The greatest thing about the Occidental churches is that they
have stopped talking about medieval theology. The churches have
not become great seats of spirituality, nor have they adopted
principles of the Ancient Wisdom, as science has. They have not,
barring a few exceptions. There is, though, a broadening view.
The leadership of progressive churches has improved along lines
of interracial understanding, peace, and goodwill. Things are
outstanding in many ways unheard of 70 years ago. At that time,
no minister would have kept his job if he had expressed some of
the ideas today spoken from almost any Christian pulpit.
Overall, there is hope. We students have many new allies. We
have allies in science. We have allies in progressive churches.
We have allies in modern psychology. We have excellent allies
among leaders of men whom think in terms of global civilization.
Perhaps we will never have any relations with these people. They
may know nothing of Theosophy as such. Nevertheless, they are
doing the work that we hoped years ago might be done by somebody
in the twentieth century, and it has come about.
What a tremendous shift in human consciousness might happen
between now and the end of the century! There could be
regeneration along ethical lines, where we still lag behind. We
have little ethical discrimination compared to our intellectual
understanding of Nature. Without a change of minds and hearts
along ethical lines, our intellectual achievement is in jeopardy.
This regeneration will happen if we do not give way to the worst
and begin another world war. I do not think we will!
Consider the extraordinary situation in the world. There are
scientific institutions, the pride of not only a nation but of a
continent. They are seats of learning, of research, of
libraries. They have given us a scientific understanding of
nature. Such institutions might be reduced to ashes by ordinary
bombing, as in Germany, Holland, and Belgium.
We have achieved a great deal. We have not yet, though,
succeeded in controlling for good the unethical, the selfish, the
ambitious, the stupid, and the foolish tendencies of the lower
human nature, the human emotionalism. Our ethical understanding
has not kept pace with our intellectual achievements. Therefore,
the latter are in jeopardy. These two things have to be
balanced. How are they going to be balanced? I do not know. It
is for us to do it. Nobody else is going to do it for the human
race. The leaders of men have to do it. Those who are not
leaders yet, but sincere followers, where they see the light,
have to help them.
Outstanding about our era, unquestionably to be recorded by
future historians, is the precarious balance between our growing
achievements and their possible destruction. It is almost an
unbalance. The moment it becomes unbalanced, there is a war.
There is a precarious balance of the scales. We can never be
sure our achievements will be safeguarded. They might be
Picture an ordinary family. What if everything was in constant
jeopardy? This includes the safety of a family, the life of the
family, the education of its children, and the business of its
father. A family member might take out the kitchen knives and
start a murder spree in the house. Another might get matches and
begin to put the furniture on fire. There would be constant
jeopardy, because we could not know when someone would go wild.
Perhaps one fellow said a nasty word to the other, one fellow
called the other names, or there was a little hurt personal
pride. Why is it that this does not happen?
There is a strange teaching in the Esoteric Philosophy that an
individual is more progressed than the collectivity of the human
race. It is possible to do better things in individual families
down Main Street or Broadway than can be done on the scale of
nations. Individuals, or small groups of individuals, seem to
have a higher moral standard -- however relatively low it yet is.
It is relatively higher than the moral relations of one nation to
another. At the drop of a hat, a nation can take actions against
another that no city allows of its citizens. They call out the
police and put an end to it.
Unfortunately, we do not have an international police to put a
stop to the incipient problem. We need a police that is
motivated by noble, spiritual ideals, and not by politics. We
are going to have it. That is going to be another thing that
Theosophists say will evolve, in due course of time: a body of
men and women to police the world. Perhaps they will have some
weapons to begin with, and later just work with ideas. Some say
impossible. You cannot have a policeman without a gun. This may
be so, here in America, but you never heard of police in London
carrying any weapons in centuries. It can be done. If it can be
done on a small scale, it can be done on a greater scale.
Let us give rise to a body of men and women that brings about
reverence for law and love for peace. Do it without threats.
Use those intangibles that make a man respect law -- even
man-made law. War will end and our achievements will no longer
be in jeopardy. If it can be done in the small, it can be done
in the great.
Some of us have devoted our lives to the fostering of these
ideas. In the end, it will come about. Time - that is nothing.
Time is only an illusion. When you work with ideas instead of
working to acquire material possessions, time means nothing. If
you have to wait for the accomplishment of something, you wait.
You wait with the complete and firm realization that in the end,
time is invariably your friend. It brings things about.
Only the man with evil and selfish ideas is in a hurry, because
he will lose eventually. The man with great ideas is never in a
hurry, because these ideas are bound to win in the end.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application