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THEOSOPHY WORLD -------------------------------------- July, 2001
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And its Practical Application in the Modern World
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(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"Elements and Gods," by B.P. Wadia
"The Theosophy of Jesus," Part I, by John Gayner Banks
"Aryacharya's Return," by Victor Endersby
"Theosophy, The Orient, and Rudyard Kipling," by Madeline Savage
"Works and Days," by George William Russell
"2001 Open Letter," by the United Lodge of Theosophists
"Initiation," Part I, by Osvald Siren
"The Long Lost Science of True Magic," by Margherita Siren
"Is There a Spiritual Science," Part I, by Boris de Zirkoff
> We shall exist throughout the entire duration of the cosmic or
> solar Manvantara, as individuals constantly growing greater
> and vaster, ever more sublime, until finally we shall reach the
> grand CONSUMMATUM EST, the final consummation of all things at
> the end of the solar Manvantara, and blossom out as full-blown
> gods. And when the cosmic Pralaya sets in ... then even the
> divinity of our being will fade into the fulness, into the
> indescriptible, unspeakable, ineffable fulness of
> quasi-infinity. The dewdrop has returned into the shining sea.
> ... The many have rebecome the one.
> -- G. de Purucker, STUDIES IN OCCULT PHILOSOPHY, pgase 506-7.
ELEMENTS AND GODS
by B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 13-15.]
> Worship the Gods and the Gods will yield Thee grace.
Men of modern science know only a very little about what they
themselves have called the correlation of forces. The
imponderables of the invisible cosmos are substantial and produce
results. Some of these effects have come under the notice of the
great physicists, but even they do not suspect that these
correlations of forces are effects and occur according to a law
that the ancient Seers have called the Law of Transmutation among
The imponderables are the basis of the old Greek and the older
Aryan classification of the material elements into Earth, Water,
Fire, Air, and Ether. The visible counterparts of the invisible
great Elements are effects of the working of intelligent forces
called Elementals, which are described as the nerves of Nature.
The Hindu Puranas speak of Devatas and Devas: Godlings or
Elementals and the Devas or Gods presiding over them.
Still more obscure is the working of the imponderables in the
mental and moral spheres of our being. The Law of Transmutation
among Forces causes remarkable changes in a man's character and
circumstances, quite beyond us at present. These play a real
part in the precipitation of human destiny, of the individual or
Man lives not only on the surface of the Earth, nourished by
Water, but affects and is affected by the atmosphere and by heat.
Similarly, his emotions, his thoughts, and his volitions also
affect and are affected by the subtler aspects of the great
elements and the correlations of their forces. A man's thought,
colliding with another man's thought, may cause a gale, a zephyr,
or a tranquil light and a brightness of the air. A woman's anger
or jealousy produces detrimental emotional reactions in more than
one human being. A child's laughter may save an empire or avert
a world war. Its screams may draw forth howls of mobs. All
these instances may sound exaggerated as expressed, but a
thoughtful examination of them will reveal a profound, stupendous
Our personal make-up is intimately connected with the Elements of
the ancients: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. It is through
these that the embodied Spirit works, identifying itself with the
material aspect of Nature, which Krishna calls his lower nature,
apara-prakriti. (GITA, VII, 4) Dominated and guided by the
constituents of this lower nature, it becomes the lower man.
Krishna has a higher nature, para-prakriti. (VII, 5) It
constitutes in man the Thinker and the Knower. This higher man
is the controller of the lower wandering mind, the drifting,
prowling heart and the exploited will, swayed by the notion of
the false egotistic "I" and its lethal tendency to the dire
heresy of separateness.
This higher nature is the Light or the Wisdom of Krishna. While
the lower nature is enveloped by avidya (ignorance), creating
illusion that degenerates into delusion, the higher is energized
by vidya (knowledge), creating Wisdom and rising to Compassion.
Because of his attraction and response to the outer darkness of
the rigid material universe, man overlooks the Light side of the
higher nature of the universe. Therefore, he fails to benefit
from "the sweet smell in the earth," from the living "taste
(rasa) in water," from "the brilliance in the fire," from "the
sound in ether." The two Natures, Light and Darkness, conjointly
working according to Law, benefit each other and the Supreme
Spirit of which they are manifestations.
Man has been taught to live independently. In the struggle for
existence, he has competed against his fellows and become selfish
and violent. Has not the time come for man to learn that living
need not be a struggle? Only the man of Love can possess that
Liberty. Freedom and Hatred cannot live together.
Nature is the Great Totalitarian State, very unlike that which
Stalin is trying to create. Nature is the Mighty Commonwealth
whose riches are for the enjoyment of all. There are no foes to
fear. All are friends to be loved. In the True Welfare State,
all men, women, adolescents, and children flourish. The animals,
vegetation, coal, oil, and minerals also flourish in their own
Many are the bodies of Gods that nourish us. Nourishing each
other, all obtain the highest felicity. (III, 11) THE GITA
promises us the enjoyment of our wishes if we observe the Law of
Interdependence. (III, 12) He who practices the law of selfish
independence exploits Nature and earns for himself the epithet of
"thief." (III, 12) The World is One. The Universe is a Plenum.
The grains of dust are akin to the myriad stars of the firmament.
Man cannot live or evolve without either. How true it is that:
> Back of the Bread is the Flour
> And back of the Flour is the Mill,
> Back of the Mill is the Sun and the Shower
> And the Wind and the Father's Will.
THE THEOSOPHY OF JESUS, Part I
By John Gayner Banks, DST
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1939, pages 36-51. It
comes from a talk given at the Katherine Tingley Lodge of The
Theosophical Society, San Diego, California in April 1938.]
1. One may be a convinced Christian and a good Theosophist. One
may be an active member of the Christian Church without losing
that broad perspective given by Theosophy.
2. The Christian Church has a vital contribution to make to the
cumulative body of Truth commonly known as Theosophy.
The public has usually overlooked this contribution because it
identifies Theosophy with Indian and other eastern Religions.
The Theosophical Society has always affirmed that Theosophy is a
synthesis and distillation of the great world religions. The
religion of Jesus Christ would certainly not be excluded from
such a category. Even in its present somewhat emasculated form
(as exoterically taught in many Christian Churches), it forms a
mental, moral, and spiritual background for the majority of the
3. Widely distributed throughout the world -- but still within
the membership of the great Christian Churches -- will be found a
growing company of men and women who yearn for the deeper truths
taught, demonstrated, and inculcated by the Master Jesus. They
are convinced that these truths, when discovered and assimilated,
will not be found at variance with the deeper teachings of other
great Masters or as taught and practiced in other great world
4. The rank and file of sincere, thoughtful Christians will be
more disposed to study Theosophy and so avail themselves of the
rich treasures of its Esoteric Tradition if they can be assured
that in so doing they are not called upon to repudiate or
compromise their allegiance to the great Master of Nazareth. To
give such an assurance is the main purpose of the present
Theosophy is a term that needs to be more accurately defined. In
presenting any statement concerning the Theosophy of Jesus, one
wants to be sure that the term is used at least approximately in
the manner understood by the audience to which one speaks. If
this is not immediately obvious, just pause to consider how the
term is commonly employed. Jacob Boehme is spoken of as the
great German Theosophist -- yet we should hardly regard his
teaching as part of the system of Theosophy taught in the
Theosophical Society today. Consider the expatriated Russian
Nicholas Berdyaev, a contemporary thinker who is writing such
wonderful books today. He uses the word "Theosophy" many times
as a synonym for the accumulated treasures of Divine Wisdom. I
doubt whether he would be regarded as representing the position
of today's Theosophical Society. Let us therefore try to agree
upon a working definition that will satisfy all of us on this
THEOSOPHY AS DIVINE NATURE
Writing in THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, H.P. Blavatsky says:
> Theosophy is divine nature, visible and invisible, and its
> Society humanity trying to ascend to its divine parent.
> -- page 57
We who are Christians hold that in Jesus Christ that Divine
Nature became manifest, audible, intelligible, and even tangible
in some degree. Philip (disciple of Jesus) once said to his
Master, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us." Jesus
replied, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou
not known me, Philip?" "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father
So when HPB says not only that Theosophy is Divine Nature, but
that its Society represents human nature trying to ascend to its
Divine Parent, I claim that Jesus Christ made such an ascent
possible for his followers and that his full teaching should be
welcomed by all true Theosophists.
Again, HPB says:
> The main, fundamental object of the Society is to sow germs in
> the hearts of men, which may in time sprout, and under more
> propitious circumstances lead to a healthy reform, conducive of
> more happiness TO THE MASSES than they have hitherto enjoyed.
> -- page 257
Without apology, I would say that is precisely what Jesus Christ
came to do. His revelation of The Kingdom of God is in itself a
kind of "Seed" which when sown in hearts and minds that are
fertile and sensitive do actually "sprout" (HPB's word) and lead
to healthy reform and more happiness for the race.
In three or four of his parables, Jesus refers to this teaching
as "Seed." The parable of the Sower is a conspicuous example. He
says there "the Seed is the Word of God." Elsewhere he speaks of
the "Seed growing secretly" -- "so is the Kingdom of God as if a
man should cast seed into the ground." (Luke 8:11 and Mark 4:26)
Where the followers of the Christ have truly sown this Seed,
transmitting the Master's teaching in its integrity, the results
have always uplifted mankind and have brought happiness to the
masses not hitherto enjoyed.
Yet again, H.P. Blavatsky affirms:
> A true Theosophist must put in practice the loftiest moral ideal;
> must strive to realize his unity with the whole of humanity and
> work ceaselessly for others.
I do not know any great Master who exemplifies this truth better
than Jesus of Nazareth, in whom the Divine Christ was manifested.
St. Luke testifies that:
> God consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with
> power, and how he went about doing good and curing all who were
> harassed by the devil; for God was with him.
> -- Acts 10:38 (Moffatt)
Even men outside the circle of the Christian Faith gladly concede
that the moral teachings of Jesus (reaching a climax in the
Sermon on The Mount) are as high (or higher) than those of any
other world teacher.
THE QUALITY OF CHRIST'S ETHIC
It seems to me that the distinctive quality of Christ's ethic is
that he offered something to his disciples (and still offers it)
which makes it possible for them to achieve an ethical standard
otherwise almost unattainable. This is no mere platitude.
Think of the effect of his personality and teaching upon some
whom he contacted. Think of the effect upon Mary Magdalene, who
is picturesquely described as (formerly) possessed of seven
devils. Think of Zacchaeus, the tax gatherer (or Customs
officer) whose first reaction to Jesus is purely moral. He put
right what was wrong in his transactions with others and so
instantly began to change his karma. He promised to restore
fourfold, thereby making honorable amends for his previous
dishonesty. Think of the instability of Simon Peter and compare
his character when he first meets Jesus with that which he
achieves later (as told in the Acts of the Apostles) when he is
not afraid to face opposition and persecution for his new Master
and his new Faith.
Jesus also exemplifies that wonderful attitude also contained in
my last quotation from HPB. He made a "Way," a "Path," he
plotted out a regime by which his disciples (of every age) could
overcome barriers which separated them from each other and from
the Divine Source from which their true power emanated. He thus
realized that "unity with the whole of humanity" which HPB says
is one of the loftiest ideals of Theosophy. With that humanity,
he identifies himself irrevocably.
Few stop to realize that through incarnation in the Person of
Jesus, the Eternal Christ of God did actually identify Himself
utterly with our race, does continue to be so identified, and
will not relinquish His cosmic task until mankind has found its
way back to its Divine Origin. This is the very heart of the
Christian Message. This leads to the very heart and core of the
doctrine of Universal Brotherhood to which, as students of
Theosophy, we are irrevocably pledged. To believe this and to
become an integrated part of that cosmic process is to be a real
To achieve such a vocation requires true initiation, an
understanding of the Divine Wisdom, and some degree of fellowship
with all the Great Masters and Holy Ones of the Race. In the
light of this statement, may not some of us claim the title of
A Christian Theosophist is not just a nominal Christian who
happens to find himself interested in the study of Theosophy. A
Christian Theosophist is one who through the Mysteries unfolded
by Jesus the Christ has reached some degree of the Ancient Wisdom
that is the Ultimate Truth of God, or the Ultimate Truth of the
THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERIES
Now it is easy and pleasant to talk about the Mysteries. It
suggests that we are conversant with Esoteric Teaching of some
sort. Some evidence is needed to justify the use of that term.
In THE ESOTERIC TRADITION, page 38, Dr. de Purucker reminds us
> Every great Teacher or Seer who has publicly come into the outer
> world of men from the Brotherhood of the Sages has founded an
> inner circle, an inner school if you will: i.e., gathered
> together a select company of worthy disciples, and taught to
> these disciples of the inner school, in more open form than was
> given to the outer world, the solution of the riddles of the
> universe and of human life.
He then quotes that remarkable verse in Luke 8:10, "Unto you it
is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; but to
others in parables; that seeing they might not see and hearing
they might not understand." Continues Dr. de Purucker,
> Yet, if the meaning were understood, it is readily seen that
> there is nothing cruel or selfishly restrictive in these words.
> One understands clearly that the phrasing is merely veiled
> language expressing some recondite truth ... an unveiled
> exposition of the full meaning would have amounted to a betrayal
> of the Mystery-teaching to those who had not been educated to
> understand it ... To the disciples of Jesus, who had been
> secretly taught by him, were given the Mysteries "of the Kingdom
> of God," as Jesus is alleged to have expressed it, but the same
> truth was given to the others in parables and metaphors, because
> they had not been educated to understand; and it is thus that
> though they saw, they did not see with the inner vision and
> understand, and although they heard the words and obtained some
> help therefrom, their relative lack of training in the mystical
> language brought them no esoteric understanding of the Secret
> Doctrine behind the words.
By Victor Endersby
[CHRONICLES ON THE PATH, Part VIII. This 18-part series appeared
in THEOSOPHICAL NOTES from September 1951 through November 1954.]
Aryacharya, lying on the bench in the stone hut, heard on the
cobbles outside the familiar footsteps that he had dreaded for
some days. Overcoming the impulse to turn to the wall and
pretend sleep, he looked up. When he saw the Guru's face, it
came to him that terror was in neither face nor footsteps, but in
his own heart. Nevertheless, it remained.
The Guru said. "You sent for me."
"Yes, I ..." He choked into silence.
"How did it begin?"
"It was when Suryadeva -- that one new come from a village of mud
huts -- convicted me of error about the Sutra. They all laughed.
Even you, my Teacher, smiled."
"After that assembly, the visiting monk Chandramaya spoke to me
gently and respectfully, saying, 'A wise man need not heed the
laughter of fools. Let us walk in the hills and talk!' It was
like healing salve on a burning wound."
"Do you remember clearly all that followed?"
"Not in detail. It was pointed out that while I had been wrong
in the mere word meaning, the principle involved in my rendering
had been upheld by some of the great sages, and could be shown to
have a higher import than that which was taught in the Ashram.
Pondering this, it then appeared to me that I had been laughed at
for superior, not inferior knowledge. A great weight was lifted
from my aching heart. Then I wondered why you, my Teacher, had
not come to my aid. I asked Chandramaya about this. He gave me
an ancient book, wherein he said I might find food for thought,
and departed for some days."
"A marked passage wherein it was said that one who gave full
loyalty to an inferior teacher, in time would ..." his voice
faltered ashamedly, "would transcend that teacher. I -- I had
given you all the loyalty of my heart for full seven years."
"How did you feel about all this?"
"Strange. It was a great desolation that you were not all that I
had thought. I felt lost. At the same time, freed, and joyous
to know that, unrecognized even by myself, I had so progressed on
He smiled ruefully.
"This Chandramaya -- he came as by chance to the particular
Assembly of your mishap. He spoke to you. You went away
together. He had in his garment, all the while, that particular
book with the so-apt passage marked. Did this not impress you as
"Not then. After I went to Kalipur with him, I did ponder it.
It came to me that I had been befriended by a Being with
foreknowledge." He choked again. "I thought that at last I had
found my Guru -- my REAL one."
"How did you come to go to Kalipur?"
"When Chandramaya came back, I had had much time to think. It
seemed to me that if an inferior understanding of the Wisdom was
in the world, the superior must also exist somewhere. I had
resolved to ask Chandramaya about this. When I did, he suggested
that I look into matters at Kalipur Ashram. There I was received
in the most brotherly and respectful manner. Even the prior
listened to my views and deferred to them with respect. This I
felt to be that true humbleness of the great, who understand that
no man may grasp all of truth and are ever ready to receive more,
whatever the source."
A goodly portion of what blood he had left was not in his face.
"Then you pledged yourself as Chandramaya's chela and were sent
on a mission of preaching. During that mission, you were
everywhere acclaimed for your goodly presence, your quick wit,
and your ready command of the abstruse. This, I think did not
cause you pain. Is it not so?"
Aryacharya moaned and closed his eyes.
"Also," continued the Teacher, "in the course of your journey
through all the towns of the Kalighat, did you not use much of
this wit to pour contempt upon the dullness of your former
comrades and preceptors?"
"Even so," said Aryacharya faintly.
"Do you wish to speak of the raid on Bodhapur Temple?"
"I do not wish to, but I must. Chandramaya told us that those
priests were an evil lot. They engaged in foul practices in the
name of the Wisdom, and corrupted the villagers. He said that by
a show of force with the retainers of Kalipur, they would
speedily depart and leave all in peace. Even if some were slain,
it were better to lose the body than to continue on the road to
Avicha. I -- I had no idea that so many would perish, including
village women and children."
"What were you told of Bodhapur Temple? What did you find there?"
"We were told that within an inner and secret room we would find
the foul implements of their true ritual. By some chance, I
failed to find my appointed post during the raid, and came to the
Temple, as the doors were broken. I went in. The only inner
sanctuary I found was furnished even as our own."
"What did Chandramaya say of this?"
"When I told him, he looked strange and was silent for a moment.
He then said, 'One who fails in the right performance of duty
must expect to be misled by false appearances. Had you not gone
to the Temple at all you would have had no problem. Yet, because
you have come to me honestly I shall enlighten you as to the
nature of the dark seed that might ripen into the deadly weed of
suspicion. The truth of the matter is that you never reached the
real inner shrine. What you saw was the innocent secrets shown
to the uninitiated. The real one lay behind and was discovered
"Then I retreated in shamed confusion. For many hours, I fought
with my unworthy doubts. They bore upon me with irresistible
pressure. I HAD to know. At last, pretending to go into the
hills for solitary meditation, I went back to Bodhapur in
disguise and examined the burned ruins of the Temple. There had
been no other inner room. I had seen all. Chandramaya had
"Did you not know that lie told by one in Chandramaya's high
position was necessarily the act of a dugpa?"
"So our ancient books say. Do they not also say that there is
one knowledge for the lowly, another knowledge for the elect? Are
not also your own disciples sometimes deceived?"
"Yes, by themselves alone, and not without many prior warnings."
"Self-deceit. Yes. That still led me on. I had forsaken an
undertaking and pledged a new one. If this too were in error, I
had lost all and was soul-doomed. This I had not deserved after
such long faithful service, nor could I face it. I must go on in
the faith that all was well WHATEVER the seeming."
"Tell me of the end."
"In the temple yard I found a scrawl. Looking to find the owner
thereof, I saw my name thereon, and read. It was a note from one
of Chandramaya's chelas to another. It spoke of foul things and
seemed to indicate a sanction from Chandramaya himself. I could
not, in spite of all faith, accept this as innocent, something to
be forgotten. I went to Chandramaya therewith, who read it with
a face like stone. After a long time, he said, 'Son, strange and
terrible are the Mayas that test the fortitude and intuition of
those approaching the goal of initiation. Steadfastness under
doubt and temptation when the height is almost reached may mean
the difference between glory and eternal darkness. The choice
must be yours, but it is my duty to aid. See you not how
different may be the meanings of this matter? For instance, this
note does not necessarily convey the meaning that you see. It
may in reality be a way of saying thus and so. At worst, then we
must face the fact that two chelas are delinquent and seek to lay
a false teaching on the shoulders of their Guru. I shall keep
the note and ascertain the truth of the matter. Rest in peace,
my son, have faith, and all will be well!"
"I went forth comforted, feeling attainment nearer than ever.
Many days went by without further word from Chandramaya, while I
noted that chelas beheld me strangely. At last, I overheard a
"One said, 'Aryacharya found a note that told the story.'"
"'Not so did I hear it," said another. "The note meant nothing.
Aryacharya was jealous-minded and read this and that into it."
"I have the truth of it," said the third. "He had a fever and
gave the Teacher a paper, telling a wild story. On the paper was
"Whence, I wondered, came all this? Had the chelas in question
been taxed with the thing? Was this their defense? Chandramaya, I
thought, should know. When I told him of these tales, he gazed
upon me benevolently, placed the tips of his fingers together,
and said, 'My poor boy, I know that you THOUGHT you gave me such
a note. I was much concerned about you that day. You were
flushed and your manner strange. The chelas so-and-so tell me of
strange words that you uttered, and that you mistook the bald
head of a monk, shining in the dusk, for the fallen moon, and
cried out in alarm. The infection is passed and you feel better
now. It is in such moments of weakness that dugpas seize upon us
to implant dark seeds of meditation. For the sake of your soul,
put aside all such imaginings.'"
"Then I knew. There was somewhat to fear of testimony. I HAD
made a jest of the moonbeam glancing from that monk's glistening
pate. It was a foolish and unkind jest. When I sought to leave
the town, I was stopped with swords where no swords were before.
I am Kshatriya-born. I countered sword with stone, left the
guards stunned, and escaped over the ranges with these many
wounds that seem not to heal. I felt no hunger or thirst. I
hungered and thirsted only for that punishment that would cleanse
my soul. At last, I came here, where I found help, and sent for
you. I think I am dying."
The Guru gazed upon him long, with sorrow and compassion.
"In the speech of Raja Yoga," he said, "is no word for
"Agnivarsha, your pupil and my Companion, died in Bodhapur
Temple. I bore no arms, but am guilty in thought."
"Karma cannot be evaded by acceptance of the feeble punishments
"What may I do?"
The Teacher's voice was gentle.
"There is no further problem for the present. In future
incarnations you have a choice of roads. By the easier and
longer, you may abandon thought of the Wisdom and become as other
men, householders, tradesmen, and peasants. Thus in numerous
lives you may unknowingly absorb by degrees the results of your
transgression, through the common lot of struggle, effort,
disappointment, bereavement, disease, and death. You may again
take the Secret Path, or you may not."
"By the other?"
"There is a dark land in the West where in times to come the
Wisdom, a small but rugged growth among stones, shall battle for
its life against minds of a people ill-attuned. The Wisdom will
battle against folly and treason within and hate without."
"The Companions of that day, in serving, shall suffer. The Goal
to which you first pledged yourself was right to the highest
service. In earning suffering, you have earned the right to
serve, for only companions so qualified may serve well on that
battlefield. You have failed. You may now transform that
failure into success, in a few short lives at most."
"What is the cost?"
"To suffer all that others have suffered through you. You shall
relinquish your ascetic state to become householder, prey to
anxiety, care, and bereavement. You, innocent, shall be held
guilty of all that you in reality did in this life, and more.
Pride of intellect will be humbled into dust, repeatedly, until
the last bleeding fiber is crushed. When most faithful, you will
be held most faithless. When most abnegating self, you will be
seen as most selfish. Longing only for the sweet rest of quiet
wilds, you will be thought ruthlessly ambitious. Abnegating all,
you will be thought to be seeking to grasp all. When you are
most truthful, you will be held master of the lie. Desiring
love, you will inspire fear. Shrinking, you will seem arrogant.
Reluctant to break a twig from a tree, you will appear merciless.
Unknown hands will betray you. For, being deceived, you have
"How was I allowed to do this? Were we not told that three
warnings of error would be given?"
"You had them, from Chandramaya."
"Chandramaya? I do not understand."
"These paths, O Guru! Which holds the greater sum of suffering in
"That of the chela, which also holds the greatest risk. There
will be other faults, new trials. You might again fail, this
time forever. For mankind, the stake is great indeed."
"The choice is made."
The Guru stood. His piercing eyes were kind, and much of the
sadness was gone from his face, which Aryacharya now saw, was
that of a young man, beneath the bushy beard.
"Then," he said, "it may be that the final good will be greater
than if the error had not been made. Our love, hope, and trust
are with you. I must go. There is great need elsewhere."
He laid his hand on the chela's head, a touch to help through the
coming dark, and went away as the mountain woman outside the door
knelt on the stones. As the sound of his boots receded,
Aryacharya weakly turned his head and gazed at the evening star
over the mountains, star of hope and fulfillment. It shone small
and far away, but steadily.
THEOSOPHY, THE ORIENT, AND RUDYARD KIPLING
By Madeline Savage
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, June 1936, pages 444-47.]
In an Appendix to H.P. Blavatsky's THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, occurs
> The Theosophical Society was formed at New York, November 17,
> 1875. Its founders believed that the best interests of Religion
> and Science would be promoted by the revival of Sanskrit, Pali,
> Zend, and other ancient literature, in which the Sages and
> Initiates had preserved for the use of mankind truths of the
> highest value respecting man and nature. A Society of an
> absolutely non-sectarian character, whose work should be amicably
> prosecuted by the learned of all races, in a spirit of unselfish
> devotion to the research of truth, and with the purpose of
> disseminating it impartially, seemed likely to do much to check
> materialism, and strengthen the waning religious spirit. The
> simplest expression of the objects of the Society is the
> First: -- To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of
> Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or
> Second: -- To promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern
> literatures, religions, and sciences, etc.
In the judgment of the Foundress herself, a large part of the
success of the Theosophical Society was to depend upon newly
forged links of learning and culture between East and West. The
Society was to bring the Ancient Wisdom back to the Western
peoples. The success also depended upon a greater measure of
understanding by the West of the true nature of the Oriental
peoples and nations. Mme. Blavatsky chose India for the main
treasure house, as being the nation that had preserved the
ancient knowledge in the form most suitable to be given to the
West in this modern age.
Perhaps not least among the factors that have opened Western
minds to the influences of Eastern thought has been the work of
Rudyard Kipling. In the many obituary notices that have appeared
on his recent death, he had been awarded the laurels due a
literary genius, an architect of Empire, and a bold adventurer in
the field of thought. One phase of his achievement of peculiar
interest to Theosophists has not been greatly stressed. In
bringing to the consciousness of the West even a tithe of the
treasures of the mysterious East, Kipling indirectly and quite
unconsciously served the cause of Theosophy.
His life coincided with the inception of the modern Theosophical
Movement. The general trend of his work put him in touch with
the currents that were beginning to stir in the East and to find
their way westward. There was a cyclic timeliness in this
westward movement of Eastern influences. Many and various are
the agents that bring about such cyclic changes.
Kipling was born in 1865 in Bombay. He spent his early years in
Lahore, went to England for his education, and returned to India.
He traveled to and married in the States, and engaged in
journalistic work that carried him round the globe. Kipling had
many opportunities, if ever man had, to interpret the East to the
Unlike Lafcadio Hearn and the Fenellosas, Kipling can hardly be
said to have interpreted the Oriental life and mind to the
Western world. Perhaps revealed would be a better word, in a
limited sense. Kipling was to the last an Occidental of the
Occidentals. The predominant element in his work faithfully
reflected the stiff-necked pride of race of the English in India.
We say this with reservations, because there are other portions
of his work that give us scattered gleams from the Ancient
Whatever may have been his perceptions of the soul of the East,
there is not apparent in his writings more than a superficial
understanding of the Oriental genius. This is superficial from
the standpoint of Theosophy, which recognizes in the East the
still pervading atmosphere, or the outworn fabric of a culture
beside which the West seems puerile and inadequate.
We appreciate his genius that painted India with vivid life. As
children, we followed Mowgli through the enchanted world of the
JUNGLE BOOKS. The tales we read in mature years were written
chiefly from the standpoint of a proudly conquering race:
"Governors and Lieutenant-Governors, Commissioners and
Deputy-Commissioners, Colonels and Captains and the Subalterns."
The Indian natives were described as one would describe a quaint
race of indulgently regarded children. Enough of the charmed
atmosphere seeped through to keep alive our sympathies and our
imagination. When we came to read his LETTERS OF MARQUE and
other journalistic correspondence to the ALLAHABAD PIONEER and
the CIVIL AND MILITARY GAZETTE, we found revealed much more of
Kipling's real feeling for the true India. Samples from these
letters show this best.
Apropos of the transformation of Jeypore into a modern city with
all conveniences, he writes: "It is difficult to write of a
nickel-plated civilization set down under the immemorial Aravalis
[mountains] in the first State of Rajputana."
Elsewhere he says: "It was my destiny to avenge India upon
nothing less than three-quarters of the world."
His attitude is still more strongly attested in the later letters
from America, in which he describes the blatancy of Western
civilization, as experienced by him there, in contrast with the
life of even some of the simple natives of India, who he avers
knew far more about the real values of life than these frantic
Then there is KIM. It is the best and most beloved of all his
books. He portrays the old Lama with his serene philosophy of
the Wheel of Things and the boy Kim's chelaship and beautiful
relationship to the old man. Kipling shows us the inkling he had
of the spiritual side of the old and fragrant habitude of the
Orient, which surrounds like an untroubled sea the objective
activities of the invading and conquering West.
It is unfortunate that Kipling is chiefly known in the West
through what might be called the noisier of his works like the
BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS, with Mulvaney and his crew, and the ever
ubiquitous Subalterns. We must admit them to be products of
genius. More important are his tales of the supernatural,
including THE PHANTOM RICKSHAW and a score of others, which point
significantly to the existence of worlds beyond the visible,
worlds that can be perfectly well accounted for in the
Theosophical teachings, echoing the ancient Eastern wisdom. In
the delicate fancies of THE BRUSHWOOD BOY and in THEY, and in
PUCK OF POOK'S HILL and its sequel, these worlds are again
suggested with a touch of elfin magic as sure as Barrie's or
Walter de la Mare's.
Kipling was not without his intuitions. THE FINEST STORY IN THE
WORLD is the finest story in the world for overwhelming the
reader with a conviction of the truth of reincarnation. The
commonplace London clerk recaptured in snatches, in a sort of
waking dream, the unrecorded details of what could have been
nothing but his own former life as a galley-slave in the days of
old Greece. What but reincarnation could he have meant in that
L'ENVOI where we find the lines:
> We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it -- lie down for an
> eon or two, Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to
> work anew!
Whatever his crudities, by the fire and vividness of his every
written word, Kipling surely promoted that much-desired fellow
feeling between the two worlds of this planet. He turned
millions of Western minds eastward. Without doubt, he turned
many Oriental minds westward as well. His work -- and that of
others in the field -- had its fruition in greater understanding
between East and West. Witness the steady stream of Oriental
literature flowing into our libraries, through translation and
from original sources. Witness our increasing interest in the
study of Oriental languages, with most leading colleges in the
Western nations having established Chairs of Sanskrit. Witness
the ever-mounting number of Orientals gaining a hearing among
inquiring Western minds.
There never was a more misleading slogan than the famous line:
> Oh, East is East, and West is West,
> And never the twain shall meet.
It was the striking opening to the well-known BALLAD OF EAST AND
WEST. Without context, the words have been used as an epigram
wherever English is spoken, taken in their absolute meaning.
They are utterly true in one sense. Kipling expressed his
awareness of the gulf that separates East and West in quality of
consciousness and consequent adjustment to life.
The Ballad shows how the finest traits of East and West are the
same, and can blend the two into one. Both West and East have
found that they can meet on common ground when the higher planes
of thought, in science and philosophy, for example, are entered.
The West is discovering that it is receiving from the East
treasures not suspected before. It is simply the passing on to a
younger and less developed civilization of the finest essence and
fruitage of the old. That is ever the way of Nature.
WORKS AND DAYS
By George William Russell [1867-1935]
[From THE IRISH THEOSOPHIST, June 1896.]
When we were boys with what anxiety we watched for the rare smile
on the master's face, ere we preferred a request for some favor,
perhaps a holiday or early release There was wisdom in that.
As we grow up, we act more or less consciously upon intuitions as
to time and place.
My companion, I shall not invite you to merrymaking when a bitter
moment befalls you and the flame of life sinks into ashes in your
heart Nor yet, however true and trusted, will I confide to you
what inward revelations of the mysteries I may have, not while I
sense in you a momentary outwardness The gifts of the heart are
too sacred to be laid before a closed door Your mood, I know,
will pass, and tomorrow we shall have this bond between us I
wait, for it can be said but once I cannot commune magically
twice on the same theme with you.
I do not propose we should be opportunists, nor lay down a
formula To be skillful in action, we must comprehend and work
with the ebb and flow of power Mystery and gloom, dark blue and
starshine, doubt and feebleness alternate with the clear and
shining opal skies, sunglow, heroic ardor, and the exultation of
power Ever varying, prismatic, and fleeting, the days go by and
the secret of change eludes us here I bend the bow of thought
at a mark and it is already gone I lay the shaft aside and
while unprepared the quarry again fleets by We have to seek
elsewhere for the source of that power that momentarily overflows
into our world and transforms it with its enchantment.
We are told that all things here depend on the motions of an
inner sphere Things depend on spheres of the less evanescent,
which in their turn are enclosed in spheres of the real, whose
solemn chariot movements again are guided by the inflexible will
of Fire In all of these, we have part.
This dim consciousness which burns in my brain is not all of
myself Behind me, it widens out and upward into God I feel in
some other world it shines with purer light In some sphere more
divine than this, it has a larger day and a deeper rest That
day of the inner self illuminates many of our mortal days Its
night leaves many of them dark.
The expanding One Ray lives in many vestures It is last of all
the King-Self who wakes at the dawn of ages, whose day is the day
of Brahma, whose rest is his rest Here is the clue to cyclic
change, to the individual feebleness and power, the gloom of one
epoch and the glory of another The Bright Fortnight, the
Northern Sun, Light, and Flame name the days of other spheres.
Wandering on from day to day, man may at last reach the end of
his journey You would pass from rapidly revolving day and night
to where the mystical sunlight streams The way lies through
you The portals open as the inner day expands.
Who is there who has not felt the rhythmic recurrence of light
within? We were weary of life, baffled, ready to forswear
endeavor, when half insensibly a change comes over us We doubt
no more but do joyfully our work We renew the sweet magical
affinities with nature We think and act out of a heart more
laden with love Our meditations prolong themselves into the
shining wonderful life of soul We tremble on the verge of the
vast halls of the gods where their mighty speech may be heard.
Their message of radiant will be seen.
They speak a universal language not for themselves only but for
all What is poetry but a mingling of some tone of theirs with
the sounds that below we utter? What is love but a breath of
their very being? Their every mood has colors beyond the rainbow.
Every thought rings in far-heard melody The gods speak to each
other across the expanses of ethereal light, breaking the divine
silences with words that are deeds.
They speak to the soul too Mystics of all time have tried to
express it, likening it to peals of fairy bells, the singing of
enchanted birds, the clanging of silver cymbals, the organ voices
of wind and water blend together -- but in vain, in vain.
Perhaps there is a danger in this, for the true is realized in
being and not in perception.
The gods are ourselves beyond the changes of time, which harass
and vex us here They do not demand adoration but an equal will
to bind us consciously in unity with them The heresy of
separateness cuts us asunder in these enraptured moments When
thrilled by the deepest breath, when the silent, unseen,
uncomprehended takes possession of thee, think, "Thou art That,"
and something of thee will abide forever in It All thought not
based on this is a weaving of new bonds, of illusions more
difficult to break It begets only more passionate longing and
Still we must learn to know the hidden ways, to use the luminous
rivers for the commerce of thought Our Druid forefathers began
their magical operations on the sixth day of the new moon, taking
the Bright Fortnight at its flood-time In these hours of
expansion, what we think has more force, more freedom, and more
electric and penetrating power If we have coworkers, we find
that we draw from a common fountain The same impulse visits
them and us All become possessed of what one possesses The
same unity and harmony arises between us here as exists for all
time between us in the worlds above While the currents
circulate, we see that they part from us no less pure than they
To this dawn of an inner day may in some measure be traced the
sudden inspirations of movements, such as we lately feel It is
not all due to the abrupt descent into our midst of a new
messenger, for the Elder Brothers work with law and foresee when
nature, time, and the awakening souls of men will aid them Much
may now be done On whosoever accepts, acknowledges, and does
the will of the Light in these awakenings, the die and image of
divinity is more firmly set His thought grows more consciously
into the being of the presiding god.
Yet not while seeking for ourselves can we lay hold of final
truths, for then what we perceive we retain but in thought and
memory The Highest is a motion, a breath We become it only in
the imparting It is in all, for all, and goes out to all It
will not be restrained in a narrow basin, but through the
free-giver, it freely flows.
There are throngs innumerable who await this gift This most
ancient light returns to us Can we let it be felt by them only
as a vague emotion, a little peace of uncertain duration, or a
passing sweetness of the heart? Can we not do something to allay
the sorrow of the world? My brothers, the time of opportunity has
come One day in the long-marshaled line of endless days has
dawned for our race, and the buried treasure houses in the bosom
of the deep have been opened to endow it with more light, to fill
it with more power.
The divine ascetics stand with torches lit before the temple of
wisdom Those who are nigh them have caught the fire and offer
to us in turn to light the torch, the blazing torch of soul Let
us accept the gift and pass it on, pointing out the prime givers.
We shall see in time the eager races of men starting on their
pilgrimage of return and facing the light In the mystical past,
the call of light was seen on the sacred hills The rays were
spread and gathered Returning with them, the initiate children
were buried in Father Flame.
2001 OPEN LETTER
by United Lodge of Theosophists
[A letter dated June 21-25, 2001, sent out to friends and
associates of the ULT.]
Every year at this time, we pause to think about the work of the
universal Theosophical Movement, and to rededicate ourselves to
the task of promulgating the philosophy. This effort
traditionally includes a letter written by independent students
who feel the need to share an idea or two with others of like
mine. It tries to draw upon the experience of the past year for
encouragement and examples of how the work has spread. Upbeat
and positive, this letter always seeks to put our best foot
forward, modest as it might be.
Somewhere in the midst of every old cycle, a new one takes root
and begins to grow. Imperceptible at first, it is masked by the
activity of the previous cycle. Mistaken for part of the old
form, it is not yet strong enough to survive in the world alone,
so as it gradually gains strength, it waits for the opportunity
to become the future.
The United Lodge of Theosophists began as a radical idea. It
sought to provide a basis for students and inquirers to gather
together to study and promulgate Theosophy, without having to
worry about organization and structure, or elections and officers
-- the "personality" of the world. It was an idea both simple
and profound, as it left the initiative for work squarely in the
hands of the students themselves. The term "member" was dropped,
and "associate" substituted to indicate those who shared the
vision of what this kind of relationship could mean. The ULT
idea had merit, and the number of associates and Lodges gradually
grew, several magazines were started and the original
Theosophical literature brought back into print.
However, the natural growth of ULT slowed at about the mid-point
of the Twentieth Century, and while the work and magazines were
continued by capable and devoted people, fewer new associates
became involved. This pattern was not unique to ULT, and has
been reflected in the experience of other Theosophical groups;
recognition of it provides an opportunity to reexamine methods of
work useful at this time.
Evidence of new seeds of a new cycle for the Movement has begun
to sprout. Fairly early in the Twentieth Century, the idea of
urging students "back to Blavatsky" and toward "unification"
became popular among those seeking to bring members of different
Theosophical groups closer to their common purpose. Much later,
in the Eighties, "Networking Conferences" were held, where for
the first time students from different Theosophical "traditions"
found they shared essential ties and basic principles. Joint
conferences and workshops marked the centennial anniversaries of
the lives and works of H.P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and
the publication of Madame Blavatsky's THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
Today, one of the best signs of the health of the Movement is
that most Theosophical groups get along well with each other, and
respect their various roles in the work.
Promising and energetic work now often involves students of
different Theosophical backgrounds, sometimes including those
with no affiliation but who share an appreciation for the
teachings and a desire to share them with others. In cyberspace,
online discussion groups such as Blavatsky Net and Theosophy Talk
continue to grow steadily, well beyond organizational boundaries
and controls. A new monthly Internet magazine, THE AQUARIAN
THEOSOPHIST, has subscribers on all continents. Collaboration
between ULT associates and students of the Theosophical Society
has resulted in a strong Theosophy Center in Long Beach,
California. Continuing the energy that produced the annual
gatherings at Brookings, Oregon, a similar meeting this year on
August 11 and 12 in Cambria, California will consider "Theosophy
-- Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times." (Inquiries can be directed
to any of the Lodges on the West Coast for further information.)
ULT upholds a shared vision, composed of different perspectives,
rather than a single point of view, and it welcomes each and
every attempt to study the teachings. We are bound by a
SIMILARITY, not an IDENTITY of "aim, purpose and teaching." The
philosophy itself provides all that is necessary for a common
ground among students. ULT could be regarded as a general
outline for service to the Theosophical Movement, not a
one-size-fits-all form to be protected and maintained for its own
All true Theosophical work is based on the alchemy of the soul:
while central authority may be appropriate in some endeavors, the
work of studying and promulgating Theosophy is marked by the
necessity of freedom which is the hallmark of all spiritual
growth. Flexibility and the ability to adapt to change are
essential to the development of inner discrimination in
fulfilling the work of the Movement.
To mirror this, beginning next year, the "ULT Day Letter" will
try a new format. We invite all Lodges, associates, and study
groups to write to the Los Angeles Lodge about the work and the
challenges, the successes and failures they face in the study and
promulgation of Theosophy. These contributions will be shared at
this time next year as a "bulletin" about the work of all Lodges
and efforts. Submissions should reach Theosophy Hall in Los
Angeles by the first of April 2002, to allow time for collation
and distribution. A reminder notice will go out asking for
contributions to next year's circular.
INITIATION, Part I
By Osvald Siren
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1939, pages 14-21. This is
a condensed report of an address presented at the recent European
Convention. Dr. Siren opened by expressing his thanks to Mr.
Lindemans, who had preceded him, for his description of the Chela
Path. Dr. Siren pointed out that it had served as a fitting
introduction to his subject and that the former speaker had
covered ground that otherwise, Dr. Siren himself would have
touched on in order to make a complete picture.]
> Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
> Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
> Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
> Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: . . .
To this I would like to add the words of Chuang-tzu, the
expounder of Lao-tzu's philosophy, who said: "Those who speak do
not know, while those who know do not speak." Now, if I speak to
you about the subject allotted to me, Initiation, my attempts
will indeed make you realize that I do not know, nor do I think
that anybody could render justice to the subject in words.
We all know that the word "Initiation" can be used in various
senses. An initiate is, according to the most general use of the
term, a person who has attained a relative degree of perfection
along certain lines. He may have passed through certain tests,
and by this, he has entered into possession of a certain amount
of deeper knowledge. He has to some extent become what he has
tried to learn, and by becoming it, he has proved himself worthy
of progressing along a certain path.
Such a man has also realized that he must not divulge the
knowledge that he has acquired. Most of it may be beyond words
and of a kind that cannot be transmitted, like the real Tao,
which never can be expressed by words. Some of it has from time
to time been given out in veiled form by means of images and
myths. A myth, or mythos, is a term related to the root MU,
which is derived from the sound made by murmuring through closed
lips, and with which the words "mystery" and "mystical" are
From the little that we know about the myths and the mysteries,
it may be said that they revealed to men in a symbolic form the
inner aspects of things, their deeper significance which never
can be dissected by the brain-mind, or conveyed in terms of the
intellect. As soon as we attempt to do this, it evaporates and
leaves us wondering.
Buddhist writers and artists have illustrated this fact in their
descriptions of monkeys trying to grasp the reflection of the
moon in the quiet water. As they are stretching their long arms
into the water hoping to catch the glittering form of the moon,
they simply break the illusive reflection into pieces and stir up
the water. The same is true of so many endeavors to give formal
definitions of spiritual realities which are reflected on the
surface of sensuous life, though their essence and meaning belong
to a sphere to which the brain-mind can never reach.
One of the paths leading to the acquisition of these deeper
truths, or knowledge about the spiritual realities, was the one
opened in the Mysteries of Antiquity. The so-called Greater
Mysteries, which formed the fountainhead of the deepest current
of Greek philosophy, were institutions in which knowledge was
made accessible to those who had proved themselves fitted for
such knowledge by passing through certain tests. Those who were
admitted into the Mysteries were the initiates, and a few of them
have left records that reflect in a mythical form some of the
wisdom they had received through initiation.
One may thus speak about a tradition of wisdom transmitted
through the Mysteries of ancient Greece, but it must be
remembered that similar institutions existed in many countries,
both in the West as well as in the Far East, and they all
transmitted something of the same inner teaching. They all had
their ceremonies and degrees of initiation. It was a universal
mode of developing the inner nature of the aspirant, leading him
on towards reality, and towards a recollection of spiritual
conditions that human beings may experience when to some extent
freed from the limitations of their physical senses and
If we here are going to dwell largely on the Mystery traditions
of ancient Greece, it is simply because they are better known in
the West than those of other countries, and it is thus easier for
us to realize how closely they harmonize with the teachings given
out again through the Leaders of the present-day Theosophical
According to the Greek philosophers, the soul is enclosed in the
body like the oyster in its shell. Only by freeing itself from
this prison can it reach a wider vision and a deeper perception
of its own destiny. The purpose of their philosophy, as well as
that of the Mysteries, was to prepare the soul for this
liberation. It was to lead it to the gates of the Unknown.
According to Plato, real philosophy should be a preparation for
death, and least of all should the true philosopher have any fear
of death. Plato, as well as other Greek thinkers, insisted on
the fact that initiation into the Greater Mysteries was largely
concerned with the significance of death. The initiate was made
to pass through experiences corresponding to those that he was
supposed to encounter during the passage from this material
existence into a more spiritual form of life.
Proclus, the Neo-Platonic philosopher, says in his Commentary to
> Is there anybody who does not know that the real import of the
> Mysteries is to liberate the soul from material mortal life, and
> to unite it with the gods? To dispel the darkness of the soul and
> to fill it with the divine light of truth.
Sallust, the Roman philosopher, says:
> The purpose and meaning of all initiation is to awaken in man
> conscious knowledge of his essential unity with the universe and
> the gods.
A well-known Homeric hymn contains the following line:
> Blessed are the men who during their life on earth have witnessed
> these things.
Other writers asserted that those who were not initiated in the
Mysteries would never, even after death in the world of shadows,
meet the same experiences as those who were initiated. Sophocles
> Thrice blessed are those mortals who after they have taken part
> in the Mysteries descend into Hades. For them alone there is a
> possibility to continue their lives. For the others there is
Much more might indeed be quoted from Plato (PHAEDON) and the
Neo-Platonic writers, but I am obliged to limit myself. It may,
however, be worthwhile to remind you how Iamblichus, the great
Neo-Platonist, speaks about the successive vestures of the human
monad, the ethereal, celestial, and spiritual, in which it is
clothed, and which it uses as vehicles in various worlds or
states of existence.
Plutarch again points out the fundamental division of man into
three main parts: the NOUS (spirit), PSYCHE (soul), and SOMA
(body), which according to him, originate respectively in the
sun, in the moon, and in the earth. The spiritual monad, or
NOUS, illuminates PSYCHE, the soul, just as the sun gives light
to the moon.
Death, according to him, consists of successive stages, the first
being directed by Demeter who liberates PSYCHE from the body,
which is a painful parting.
The second stage, which is directed by Persephone, consists in a
gradual liberation of NOUS, the spirit, from PSYCHE, which is
less painful. The souls have to remain for a certain period in
Hades in order to be purified from the contaminations of the
Then they enter into a state of bliss and harmony, the same that
also may be obtained through initiation into the Mysteries. From
here, they proceed through the regions of the moon, where some of
them pass through serious trials, as in the dark caves of Hecate,
along different paths leading either upwards to the sun, or
downwards towards the earth. It is only NOUS, the spiritual
monad, which may proceed towards higher regions. Psyche remains
in the region of the moon. Plutarch says in resuming: "Birth is
a descent from, and death an ascent to, the spiritual home of
The vestures and conditions of the soul as it ascends and
descends are further described by some of these philosophers, but
we cannot dwell on these points today, as we are simply concerned
with their views regarding initiation. Olympiodorus in his
Commentaries on Plato's PHAEDON says:
> The purpose of the TELETE (illumination attained through
> initiation) is to bring the souls to ascend again to the region
> from which they have descended in the very beginning when
> Dionysus first placed them on the throne of his father Zeus: the
> ethereal condition. The initiated thus remains in the realms of
> the gods under the guidance of the god through whom he was
> initiated. The initiations are of two kinds. There are those
> which are performed here below and which are preparatory. There
> are those that take place beyond, which also are double,
> pertaining to the TUNICA PNEUMATICA (the ethereal vesture), the
> liberating of the oyster from its material shell, and pertaining
> to the TUNICA LUMINOSA (the spiritual vesture of NOUS).
He who is not initiated remains far from his final goal. He is
thrown into Borboros either in this life or after it, and he is
chained to a birth in Tartaros.
THE LONG LOST SCIENCE OF TRUE MAGIC
By Margherita Siren
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1938, pages 11-16.]
> The revived interest in HPB's ISIS UNVEILED, which has just been
> republished by Rider and Company in the series THE COMPLETE WORKS
> OF H.P. BLAVATSKY, makes of especial interest such articles as
> the following, the material for which was taken from its pages.
> -- Editors of THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM
Magic as one of the ancient sciences is scarcely known today, and
by this word "Magic" I do not imply what is generally meant in
using that word when referring to sorcery, witchcraft, etc., but
rather to that which was practiced by graduates and adepts
instructed in the mysterious sanctuaries of the ancient temples.
They could perform wonders that would appear supernatural to us.
Magic is as old as man. It is as impossible to say when the art
and science of magic began as to say on what day the first man
was born. Various writers have tried to connect its foundation
with some historical character, but research has proved their
Magic has come down to us from the Magians who were the most
wonderful inquirers into the hidden mysteries of Nature, who
understood the divine nature of the gods and spirits and who
initiated others into the same mysteries. It is based on the
existence of a mixed world placed WITHOUT, not WITHIN us, but
with which we can enter into communication by the use of certain
arts and practices.
In the oldest documents in our possession, the Vedas for
instance, we find many magical rites practiced and permitted by
the Brahmanas. Maimonides, the great Jewish theologian and
historian, has successfully demonstrated that Chaldaean Magic,
the science of Moses, etc., was based on an extensive knowledge
of the various and now forgotten branches of natural science. He
remarks that the more absurd and void of sense the TALMUD seems
to be, the more sublime is its secret meaning. The Jews placed
the basis of all magic in the inner powers of man's soul. To
them it was synonymous with religion and science. India, the
fountain of religion, has always kept this knowledge alive in its
heart. Greece in her turn, the later cradle of Arts and
Sciences, also understood and practiced this art. Tibet, China,
and Japan still teach in the present time, as they did of old, in
their secret sanctuaries, what was taught by the oldest
Chaldeans, and they endeavor to prove what they teach -- namely,
that the practice of moral and physical purity and of certain
austerities, develops the vital soul-power of self-illumination.
A man's gaining control over his own spirit gives him truly
magical powers over the elementary spirits inferior to himself.
The Druids of Great Britain practiced magic in the silent crypts
of their caves. The Druids of Gaul expounded the physical as
well as the spiritual sciences. They taught the secrets of the
Universe, the harmonious progress of the heavenly bodies, the
formation of the earth, and so on. Magic was as highly developed
with the Aztecs as with the Ancient Egyptians.
Nearly all the ancient books were written symbolically and in a
language intelligible only to the initiated. H.P. Blavatsky
gives the biographical sketch of Apollonius of Tyana as an
example. It embraces the entire Hermetic philosophy and yet
reads like a fairytale; but as so often happens, facts and
historical events are presented under the color of fiction. The
journey to India represents allegorically the trials of a
neophyte. His long discourses with the Brahmanas, their sage
advice, and the dialogs with the Corinthian Menippus would, if
interpreted rightly, give the esoteric catechism. His visit to
the empire of the wise men, and interview with their king
Iarchas, the oracle of Amphiaraus, explain symbolically many of
the secret dogmas of Hermes. In fact, it embraces the whole of
the Hermetic philosophy, and if understood, it would disclose
some of the most important secrets of Nature.
It is now admitted on all sides that the distant East was the
land of knowledge, but when discussing magic one does not so
readily connect India with this as Egypt and Greece and some
other countries. The reason is that with the Hindus it was and
still is more esoteric. In fact, it was considered so sacred
that it was only half admitted; it was more than a religious
matter to them; it was considered divine.
True magic has always been classed with the Mysteries, and as
being of a double nature: Divine Magic and evil magic or the
black art. In the former kind, man places himself EN RAPPORT
with the world, to learn hidden things and to perform good and
beneficial acts. In the latter, he endeavors to gain power over
spirits, and to do all kinds of diabolical and unnatural deeds.
Arcane knowledge misapplied is sorcery; beneficently used, it is
true magic or Wisdom. Mediumship is the opposite of adeptship.
A medium is one through whose astral spirit other spirits can
manifest, making their presence known by various kinds of
phenomena. Whatever these consist in, the medium is only a
passive agent in their hands. He can neither command their
presence nor will their absence. He can never compel the
performance of any special act, nor direct its nature. The
magician, or the adept, on the contrary, can summon and dismiss
spirits at will; he can perform many feats of occult power
through his own spirit; he can compel the presence and assistance
of spirits of lower grades of beings than himself, and effect
transformations in the realm of nature upon animate and inanimate
To acquire magical power two things are necessary: to disengage
the will from all servitude, and to exercise it in control.
Formerly, magic was a universal science, entirely in the hands of
the sacerdotal savant. Though the focus was guarded in the
sanctuaries, its rays illuminated the whole of mankind. This is
one way of accounting for the extraordinary identity in the
superstitions, customs, and traditions, and even sentences
repeated in popular and widely scattered proverbs of many nations
which have no connection with each other whatever -- be they
Tartars or Lapps, or Southern Europeans, inhabitants of the
steppes of Russia, or of North or South America. Let us take for
example the Pythagorean maxim, which H.P. Blavatsky mentions:
"Do not stir the fire with a sword." A Tartar will not consent
for any amount of money to stick a knife into the fire, or touch
it with any sharp or pointed instrument, for fear of cutting "the
head of the fire." The natives of Northeastern Asia consider it a
great sin to do so. The Sioux Indians of North America dare not
touch the fire with needle, knife, or any sharp instrument. The
Kalmucks have the same fear, and an Abyssinian, we are told,
would rather bury his bare arms to the elbows in blazing coals
than use a knife or an axe near them.
Like every sentence of Pythagoras, as well as other ancient
maxims, this has a dual meaning containing a moral precept. In
this case Pythagoras conveys the warning not to oppose sharp
words to a man full of fire and wrath -- in other words do not
contend with him. For frequently by words you will agitate and
disturb an ignorant man and you yourself will suffer.
Magic other than in its broad philosophy is nearly impracticable
in Europe and America, because its acquisition is practically
beyond the reach of the majority of white-skinned people.
Probably not more than one in a million is fitted physically,
morally, or psychologically to become a practical magician; and
hardly one in ten million would be found endowed with these three
qualifications required for the work. Civilized nations lack the
phenomenal powers of endurance, both mental and physical, of the
Easterners; the favoring temperamental idiosyncrasies of the
Orientals are utterly wanting in them. Besides a very great
difference in training, the Hindus, Arabians, and Tibetans have
by inheritance an intuitive perception of the possibilities of
occult natural forces in subjection to human will, and in them
the physical senses as well as the spiritual are far more finely
developed than in the Western races.
The theoretical study of magic is one thing, and the possibility
of practising it quite another. One can learn by heart every
line of the one hundred and eight volumes of the Buddhist great
canon and still make but a poor practical magician. Such powers
are not developed without cost. Magical practices in modern
times have become still more esoteric and arcane. The caution of
the adepts increases in proportion to the curiosity of travelers
who seek to make it a professional business.
This long lost science of true Magic will undoubtedly return to
our scientific world. Scientists will learn the real power of
the human will. This will be just as so many discoveries of the
last forty, fifty, seventy-five, and even one hundred years,
which are now taken for granted and as a matter of course, were
absolutely unheard of by the scientists of those days. Let us
take as a pertinent example the science of photography,
discovered by Louis Daguerre about a hundred years ago. His wife
went in tears to one of the foremost medical men of the time,
concerning her husband's mental condition, which she felt was
leading to insanity. The greatest proof of this was that he had
firmly declared he would succeed in nailing his own shadow to the
wall or fixing it on magical metallic plates. The doctor, after
quietly listening to her story, advised her to send her husband
to a well-known lunatic asylum. Two months later profound
interest was created in the world of Arts and Sciences by the
exhibition of a number of pictures taken by this new process.
The shadows were after all fixed upon metallic plates and the
"lunatic" was proclaimed the father of photography!
Now, if the sensitized plate can so accurately seize upon the
shadow of our faces, then this shadow or reflection, although we
are unable yet to perceive it, must be something substantial.
Science has also come to recognize that our thoughts are matter.
Every output of energy produces more or less of a disturbance in
the atmospheric waves.
The adepts and the savants of the secret art can to project their
astral bodies electrically in an instant through thousands of
miles of space. They leave their material shells with a certain
amount of animal vital principle to keep the physical life going,
and act within their spiritual ethereal bodies as safely and
intelligently as when clothed with the covering of flesh.
Every man, as well as other living things, has an aura of his own
emanations surrounding him. Why can it not appear to whom it
likes, a faithful double of the original? A man is enabled by a
trifling effort to transport himself in imagination wherever he
likes. Why is it scientifically impossible that his thought
regulated, intensified, and guided by that powerful magician, the
educated Will, may not become corporeal for the time being?
To sum it all up in a few words: Magic is Spiritual WISDOM.
Nature is the material ally, pupil, and servant of the magician.
One common vital principle pervades all things, and this is
controllable by the perfected human will.
> There never was nor can there ever be more than one universal
> religion, for there can be but one TRUTH.
> Man requires but one church -- the Temple of God within each of
> us, walled in by matter but penetrable by any one who can find
> the way.
> THE TRINITY OF NATURE IS THE LOCK OF MAGIC, THE TRINITY OF MAN
> THE KEY THAT FITS IT. Within the solemn precincts of the
> sanctuary, the SUPREME had and has no name. It is unthinkable
> and unpronounceable; and yet every man finds in himself his god.
> -- ISIS UNVEILED, II, page 63
> The Arabian alchemist Abipili, speaks thus: "I admonish thee,
> whosoever thou art that desirest to dive into the inmost parts of
> nature; if that thou seekest thou findest not WITHIN THEE, thou
> wilt NEVER FIND IT WITHOUT THEE. If thou knowest not the
> Excellency of thine own house, why dost thou seek after the
> Excellency of other things? ... O MAN, KNOW THYSELF, IN THEE IS
> HID THE TREASURE OF TREASURES."
> -- ISIS UNVEILED, II, pages 617-18
IS THERE A SPIRITUAL SCIENCE?, Part I
By Boris de Zirkoff
[From a tape recording entitled "Are the Teachings Scientific? Is
There A Spiritual Science?" made of a private class held on April
Friends, are the Teachings of the Ancient Wisdom scientific, or
are they only religious and philosophical? It may depend upon
what you mean by "science." As we discussed this subject in
length in San Diego a few days ago, I thought we might consider
If we understand by "science" facts of physical nature related to
subjects like chemistry, physics, astronomy, and genetics, we
limit it. We cover more when we expand it to mean a search for
knowledge or systematized knowledge.
After considering the physical sciences, ask if there is there is
a spiritual science. Is there a systematized knowledge of that
vast realm of human affairs dealing with the functioning of the
human mind, the vast realm with no tangible link to physical
science? Is there a scientific body of teachings on the
consciousness of man, on the workings of the human mind, soul,
The intricate correlations of chemistry are reducible to certain
fundamental laws. Are the manifestations of human nature
reducible to simple laws too, laws with intricate correlations,
but simple in essence? Chemistry is the same in Asia, Europe, or
America. Might the laws of spiritual science be the same
throughout the world, or do they differ according to the races?
The Esoteric Philosophy answers yes. There is a spiritual
science. It has many aspects, but does exist. It is not a
spiritualized or sublimated chemistry, physics, astronomy,
genetics, or psychology. Rather, it is a science in itself. It
concerns the greater part of nature, far greater in extension and
depth than any physical science.
There are questions to ask of intelligent people, those who have
given some thought to these subjects. Can one control the
energies of his nature? Can he control the interplay of emotion?
Can he establish patterns of thought? Can his thinking be done by
will, or is it independent of will? Are there methods to increase
one's patience, courage, fearlessness, kindness, and ethical
stability? Can one enlarge, deepen, and broaden his virtues?
Likewise, can one lessen and finally make away with the various
vices and vicious tendencies?
If the answers were yes, we could say there might be a scientific
approach to spiritual science. The answers are yes. There are
methods. They are little known in the Occidental. They pertain
The approach is not Hatha Yoga. The Occident practices that Yoga
on small scale. Swamis mostly brought it from India. Some
brought it from Persia. It teaches people ascetic practices,
yogic postures, and breathing exercises. That is not the
approach. Spiritual science is immeasurably higher than that.
Most of what the Occident has heard of Yoga pertains to the
physical body and astral structure. These go to pieces at death.
The net result of cultivating them is nil. The culture of the
soul, though, even in small degree, stays into the next life. It
adds to one. A higher degree is achieved. It accumulates.
"Yoga" sounds Oriental. In a way it is, simply because the
knowledge of these things has not been forgotten in the Orient,
like it has in the Occident. It is a universal word. In
English, "yoke" comes from "Yoga," meaning a piece of wood that
keeps horses or cows together in a harness. It just means to
unify something, to conjoin them so they stay together and
When applied to human nature, "Yoga" means the unification,
conjunction, or harmonizing of the various faculties in man.
Like all fundamental ideals, it is exceedingly simple. From
these simple ideas are derived the many complexities of thought.
A Yogi unifies the parts of his constitution into a single stream
of consciousness. He becomes proficient in certain mental,
spiritual, intellectual, and psycho-mental exercises. He
achieves this unity through genuine spiritual Yoga. The Yogi is
not a center of constantly rioting energies. His emotions,
moods, motives, thoughts, and sensations do not play havoc
In the average man, these energies crisscross each other, giving
rise to complex currents of mutually contradictory forces so that
the average man does not know his motives. He is at
cross-purpose with himself. His emotions contradict his
thinking. His beliefs contradict the little knowledge he may
have. His superstitions contradict his experience in life.
As for his dumb physical body, trying to follow these
contradictory currents, what can the poor thing do but manifest
disease? You know, "disease" means simply "dis" and "ease," the
natural ease of the situation being disturbed. It simply means
disharmony. The body cannot be harmonized. The organs cannot
work as a family because of conflicting inner currents of
different intensities that impinge upon them.
Can an adept be sick? No! Up to a certain point, perhaps an
initiate might become ill in clearing up some past-life karma.
Beyond that point, he cannot be sick, because no psycho-magnetic
pressure from within can produce a disharmony in his physical
body. His inner principles have been harmonized. A single line
of force operates from his spiritual self down through the
physical. He is unified. All his forces run in parallel toward
the same noble goals. He is high, noble, and spiritual. He is a
Yogi, a man who is yoked together, inwardly unified. That is the
result of many, many lives of work.
It may take many lives to achieve a great result. Ever so, we
can achieve a beginning by self-directed efforts at conscious
evolution, even in this life over the few years that we may have.
This is the opposite of floating, of drifting with the tides. We
begin to take ourselves in hand, making a self-directed effort at
evolution. It can be done in small things.
Before this beginning might be made, one needs a nobler
philosophy. An acquaintance with the fundamental teachings of
Theosophy gives us a philosophical background. Against this
background, we can project specific ethical, intellectual, and
spiritual methods of self-conscious growth.
There is a great difference between growth and SELF-CONSCIOUS
growth. A flower grows. The animal grows. Most people grow
slowly, imperceptibly, while they drift. They drift in the
general current of evolution, carrying them forward a little.
None of this is self-conscious growth.
A constant effort results in self-conscious growth. One may
relax the effort occasionally, but quickly resumes it. It has
nothing to do with intensity. It is not from being set on
anything. It is done with conviction and ease. None of us, for
instance, is a great exemplar of peace. We are all striving, but
we have not achieved much.
I can speak of a few things through personal experience, as an
exponent of things I have achieved. Of many others, I can only
speak philosophically, as a subject of useful discussion.
The experimental method of spiritual growth is a science. It is
non-physical. It might be psycho-mental, purely mental, highly
intellectual, or spiritual in various degrees, but it is
non-physical. It is not a science of chemistry, physics,
genetics, or even diets. The spiritual science does not come
from our world of atoms and molecules. It is an internal
science. It involves the unfolding of the qualities of
consciousness called virtues. Most call them by various names,
names vague and meaning little.
We should define terms, if interested in that science. I do not
intend to define some tonight. That is for you to do. One
approach is to put it in question form. Do we really know, for
example, what kindness is? Is it never severe and firm, or can it
sometimes be so? Do we know about love? What is it? I love a
steak. I love my children. The other fellow says he loves God.
It is the same word for three different things. Obviously, the
word means nothing because it means too many things. We cannot
love a steak, and God, and neighbor.
We should develop a terminology for the movements of our
consciousness. These movements are vastly different from each
other. They do not pertain to the same principles in the human
constitution. They have neither the same origin nor the same
result. In our example, we call all three movements "love," and
a million other things as well.
We do not know how to distinguish between love as a thing in
itself and the emotions of love. These two are completely
different. They are different as "illumination," which we see,
and "light," which produces illumination, but which we do not
see. Light is an invisible electromagnetic energy. We cannot
see light. It is a spiritual force. It results in illumination
under certain circumstances. Likewise, something we have no word
for, and call "love" at times, results in a batch of emotions
that we also call "love."
It is hopeless! We do not have the words. The spiritual science
has the words. Unquestionably, the terms exist, but they are not
in English. They are mostly in Sanskrit, some in Greek, and a
few in other languages. This is for the simple reason that the
knowledge has been lost in the West, and with the knowledge went
the terms. Our languages are poor. They cannot express the
subtle ideas of to the spiritual science.
There is so little of the spiritual science that is suspected to
exist! When you talk to people, they say, "Oh! Is that so? Well,
that is a nice theory." They say this, but they do not believe
you. They believe in atomic research, not because they have it,
but because they trust the people who tell them about the wonders
of the atom. It is tangible enough to their minds.
They disbelieve the spiritual science, although it pertains to
the closest thing that they have, their own inner selves. It is
not tangible. It is not spectacular. It takes an effort. You
cannot touch it. You cannot smell it. You cannot see it. You
have to do something about it before you get any results. There
is no glamor in it. Without finding excitement, they leave it
alone. The world could be revolutionized if we understood that
genuine spiritual Yoga, if we understood how to achieve the
qualities of consciousness we would like at play among the people
of the world.
These people are striving for peace. What do they know about it?
What do we know about it? Peace is not an idea. Peace is a
condition of human consciousness. Peace is not an armistice,
where weapons have been destroyed so there is nothing left to
fight with. Peace is a spiritual power. There can be no genuine
peace unless there is a changed condition of consciousness, where
it is geared to that vibratory rate. Many suppose peace to be
the absence of conflict or struggle, the absence of negative
things. They assume that when there is no war there is peace.
This is a negative idea. Tell them that peace is practically an
ideological offensive! Tell them that it is a dynamic power
coming from within a human heart that has been regenerated
through genuine love. Try it, and they will say, "What are you
talking about?" You cannot even convey the idea!
Just like with peace, the other virtues are positive qualities of
spiritual consciousness. You cannot be patient if you are TRYING
to be less impatient. That would be a negative approach. You
cannot love if you are trying to feel less dislike for people.
You cannot be courageous if you are telling yourself not to fear
nor to be discouraged. These are all negative qualities. You
build nothing at all. You are not getting any better. You are
You may have no fear. You may have no discouragement. You may
never feel despondent. You may never hate anybody. You may be
without dislike for anyone. You may never show any impatience.
You may refrain from unkindness. If you keep following that
approach, you will become increasingly colorless, increasingly
useless to yourselves and community until you finally stagnant.
The spiritual science, the genuine spiritual Yoga, has nothing to
do with the negative qualities that are supposed to be changed.
It has everything to do with the positive qualities that are to
be built up. You have to positively love, to take into your
heart that which you are trying to help. You have to be
positively patient and positively courageous. You must show
courage, fearlessness, and dynamic outgoing qualities. This
might be in some great cause, but it is also in your personal
life. Then you grow. The overcoming of so-called vices is not a
matter of checking them, but a matter of building up the virtues,
Some think that Yoga is for the few. I do not think so. We are
practicing Yoga every time we engage in positively building up a
virtue, giving it force and background, utilizing it, practicing
it. Yoga in its higher reaches may be for the few, but not the
elements of Yoga. With a dynamic will, we may follow exercises
to overcome the lesser part of our nature. We can build up a
strong fortress of spiritual strength within. The methods of
doing so vary with each of us. The spiritual science is a set of
positive, dynamic rules whereby our inner consciousness is
brought into play.
What do I mean by inner consciousness? I do not mean the mind.
You cannot become spiritual by exercising the mind. Since it is
possible to have a tremendous intellect with no spirituality and
no ethics, the inner consciousness is not the mind. The mind is
a wonderful tool. A person may be regenerated, having aroused
over many lives the sleeping energies of his spiritual self. He
has geared his mind to a higher vibratory rate. He has attuned
his psychological apparatus to that rate. This finally gave rise
to physical and astral structures in harmony with the higher
Might this be done in our busy outer world? Herein, we attend to
outside obligations, avocations, and duties. Yes, it can be
done. We are not asking for something easy. Self-conquest and
self-knowledge are hard. It is better we make the effort in the
outer world than alone in the middle of a forest. There are
enough obstacles in the world to test our earnestness. There are
enough opposing forces for us to sharpen our energies in battle,
to see if we will grow. A hermit in the forest does not have
Would an advanced ascetic, a hermit, succeed if placed here in
the outer world? He would eventually collapse. It is better that
we attempt a start in self-directed evolution while living in the
world. Those who try achieve results, causing them to pause and
ask, "If this can be done, perhaps something else can be done
too?" The results achieved are an incentive themselves.
There is nothing spectacular about it. Nobody can tell you
whether you grow or not. You are your only judge. Your inner
fortress is impregnable. There is no access from outside. That
applies to everyone. There is no access from outside to the
inner man. They can put you in prison, but they cannot have
access to your soul.
This has nothing to do with place, location, time, nation, or
political order. It is holy. It regards your own inner self and
its hidden life.
> Would you say there is a difference between trying to avoid being
> unkind and trying to be kind, that these are two different
Yes, there is a vast difference. You could insult someone that
has done wrong, or say something nice and undo the wrong. One
approach is negative. The other is positive. It takes
self-control if you tend to be unkind. It takes an outgoing,
positive, and dynamic energy to be kind towards unkindness.
Suppose somebody has hurt you. You may have not let yourself
feel the hurt. You may not have a thought of unkindness towards
them. You do not get disturbed. You easily forgive the
unkindness and forget it. This is fine, but it is nobler to help
one whom has hurt you. You would be surprised at the
extraordinary results that follow. There are scientific laws for
these results, but of a forgotten science.
We have few words to defining that science. It deals with which
emotions produce certain results. Few can say something about
it. I do not claim to know much. Specific emotions produce
specific results, and only those results. Another set of
emotions can counteract them, and only that set of emotions. It
is possible to utilize emotional energies in others and ourselves
for constructive purposes. We could utilize these forces just as
we use rakes, spades, hoes, and other machinery to produce
A housewife knows the laws of the stove. The results are
tangible. There is a well-cooked dinner. Without knowing about
cooking, one either does not cook or gets poisoned trying. We
realize that there are basic laws of food and stove. Likewise,
there are fundamental laws of the interchange of emotion.
Most expect impossible results. Perhaps they engaged in emotions
that cannot bring the desired results. Perhaps they expect the
opposite results. They may wonder why it does not happen. Well,
water is not going to boil on a piece of ice. We have been
ignorant of the laws of spiritual science. The results are
patent all over the world. There is ignorance of these laws.
What can we do? What can be undone or left undone? We find this
ignorance both in the East and in the West, in the Orient and the
Occident. While the yogic knowledge exists in the Orient, few
have practiced it.
> Does Yoga have to do with control? I think of control with it
> because some use it to control muscles.
That is Hatha Yoga. It is physical control. It is not control
of emotions. Hatha Yoga exercises deal with control of physical
organs, such as the heart, lungs, digestion, and sex functions.
It is a low type of Yoga. Its results do not go beyond this
life. You only deal with the body. You may achieve some
physical purification. That is all. You might run into trouble.
Genuine Yoga teaches control of the emotional and mental self.
> Yes, it is control. It is not trying to divert feelings from
> being unkind. It is from being kind. You must control your
> emotions when you want to blow your stack. You use control to
> use the other force. If you have to control yourself, you have
> already had the negative thought of being angry.
Yes, you control the negative side and build the positive
> If someone has been unkind to you, you want to defend yourself
> and say something unkind in return. That is the first thing that
> comes to mind. You think of the unkind thing that you want to
> say, or you think unkindly of them because they have hurt you.
> By controlling yourself, you do something kind in return,
> although you have had the thought.
Certainly, and you are going to have the thought and urge for a
long time. At first, you strive to not do something wrong. When
you control your action, you can gradually control the thought
back of it. The two things go together.
When faced with something bad, begin to think and feel in the
opposite direction. You may feel like defending yourself
automatically. You built up that reaction over many lives. You
can build up another automatism in its stead. Every time
something evokes self-protection, change it into outgoing
sympathy and compassion. It is reversing the automatism. This
is not difficult, and it is a more natural thing too.
> It is very difficult. I am kind. I expect too much of people.
> That is my problem. I expect them to do things, and I am
> disappointed when they will not. I do not expect them to do
> something that I cannot do myself. I put myself in their place
> and know I would not have done things the way they did.
> Is it better than the reverse, to avoid expecting anything? Force
> them to your level. Expect a great deal. Force them up a peg
> each time.
How can you force them?
> You cannot. You can be miserable trying to put them somewhere
> when they are not ready. Maybe they do not see it your way.
> They may not understand.
> Many are pessimistic, but there is an optimistic, rosy-colored
> view of things too. Some expect little of humanity, but if they
> demanded it, they would get more. This is not giving incentives.
> It is forcing others. It does not come from within them, but you
> have to have a starting point. This has to start with force, but
> not physical force. Perhaps it is the force of example. You
> would have to be unkind, but then you are being kind. That is
> your severity of kindness. Instead of saying something good, you
> would speak the truth.
> You could speak the truth, or you could tell them that this is
> not what you expected of them. You could turn around and be kind
> to them even though they have hurt you.
> Be severe. Then you are kinder and truer a friend than the other
> way, which seems pitiful. It is difficult to be kind when they
> have hurt you. I would rather ignore the whole thing and not
> lower myself to their level. I would rather let it take care of
> itself than bake a cake for a damned fool. In all sincerity, it
> would be better to drop the whole thing and let the other know
> you are above it. The heck with it! You may say this builds
> resentment, but they wonder why I do not lash back, since they
> did not get the response they expected.
> I have come across this approach before. They say, "You think
> you are better than I am!" That builds resentment. Is that the
> right approach?
> Well, let them think it. If you have a theosophical background,
> you probably are better. It is a hard problem. You say to turn
> around and do a generous thing. You can be hurt. You have to do
> something generous. Both of these show that you have had the
> negative thought. If you were a noble human being, you could not
> be hurt. How could lashing out in words or other nonsense hurt
> an Adept?
We are talking about people, not Adepts -- people like you, noble
> In many ways, I am ignoble.
You have warned me! No! Those sitting in this room are neither
ignoble nor Adepts. They are noble. I wonder if Leo has any
light to throw on this. You have experience. You cannot work
with bricks without having somebody throw one at you!
> I do not know why something bad happens, so I put it aside. I
> drop it gently. There is a difference if you do it that way.
Therefore, you just let it drop. It drops like a proverbial ton
We know this, but have difficulty finding the words. At times,
it may be right to disregard a hurt, to leave people whom hurt
you temporarily. It may be all you can do then. After a while,
do something nice to them. They do not expect it. They expect
your usual reaction. They do not understand. They wonder what
you are made of. Your reaction was different. It is good for
you. It is good for them. This does not have to be done right
away. It may be okay to leave them alone for a while, to let
them stew in their own juice a little bit, but not too much.
Come out of your shell and be nice in the direction from which
you have been hurt.
> We spoke of bettering oneself. You have also told us about
> people enjoying what they do and relishing themselves as they
> are. People may delight in their worries and complaints. We
> enjoy our weaknesses and do not intend to getting rid of them.
> We would be lost without selfishness, emotions, and desires at
> this stage of the game, until we can replace them with something
Yes, do not get rid of something until you can replace it with
something positive. You might be lost if you got out of a rut,
but there is no excuse to not seek the positive. We may not want
to grow, and are cozy with weaknesses. We made them. We enjoy
them. When the push from within grows strong, we get out of the
rut. What seem to be outer circumstances conspire so that we
cannot remain. That is when we hurt. What hurts in us? It is
the lower self, accustomed to a warm spot and not wanting to be
exposed to the wind of the spirit.
> That warm spot typifies what a person thinks of himself. It
> depends on his values. One that worries about what happens to
> himself feels insult more keenly than one that feels impersonal.
> Take things like water running off a duck's back or like a firmly
> rooted tree that takes sun, rain, hail, or storm as a matter of
> course. There is no protesting. It is just a natural course of
> events. These things strengthen the sapling, building up
> resistance. It is good. We feel slighted without reason
> sometimes. After patient observation, we find the slight due to
> another cause. I have been forced to observe that myself. Many
> think it weak to show kindness. Aware of what they feel, we can
> offset their attitude, but we allow our kindness to continue! We
> do the kind work in other ways, showing them that it is not a
> sign of weakness.
Yes, a different attitude towards those people is called for.
Circumstances differ, and you cannot apply the same rules to all.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application