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THEOSOPHY WORLD --------------------------------- September, 2001
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
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.)
"Buddha and Shankara," by B.P. Wadia
"Cambria 2001: Some Thoughts and Reflections on a
Theosophical Gathering," by Wes Amerman
"Aham Asmi Parabrahma," by G. de Purucker
"Is Theosophy an Art or a Science," by Greg A. Westlake
"Blavatsky Net Update," by Reed Carson
"Is Theosophy a Received Truth," by Dr. Gregory Tillett
"The Theosophy of Jesus," Part III, by John Gayner Banks
"Neighbors," by Victor Endersby
"The Origin of Fiction," Part II, by Kenneth Morris
"Transformations," by George William Russell
"Theosophy Library Online Update"
"Fraternization and Networking: Yesterday and Today," Part II,
by W. Emmett Small
"What is Theosophy," Part I, by Boris de Zirkoff
> Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.
> -- Maria Montessori
BUDDHA AND SHANKARA
by B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 21-23.]
> Thou halt to live and breathe in all, as all that thou perceivest
> breathes in thee, to feel thyself abiding in all things, all
> things in SELF.
> Be in full accord with all that lives; bear love to men as though
> they were thy brother-pupils, disciples of one Teacher, the sons
> of one sweet mother.
> Of teachers, there are many; the MASTER-SOUL is one, Alaya, the
> Universal Soul. Live in that MASTER as ITS ray in thee. Live in
> thy fellows as they live in IT.
> -- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE
During this month, all who honor Gautama Buddha will celebrate
the Triple Festival of Buddhism. It represents the birth date of
the body of Prince Siddhartha, who renounced his crown for the
begging-bowl and his Kingdom for the Sangha of monks and nuns.
It also represents the day of his attainment to supreme Wisdom at
Gaya under the Bodhi Tree. On that day, after forty-five years
of magnificent service, he cast away the body through which he
had labored. Tradition has it that He, the Compassionate One,
remains to bless Humanity through his ideation in the sphere of
In later times, orthodox Brahmanas included him in the pantheon
of Avataras of Vishnu. His many reforms did not fully succeed in
purifying Hinduism. Like him, the illustrious Adi Shankara,
whose anniversary also falls in this month of May, did not fully
succeed in his mission of religious reformation. He was called
by the orthodox a "Buddha in disguise" and in his teachings,
metaphysical and ethical, Shankara was that!
What did these two mighty Adepts plan to do for humanity by
incarnating in Hindu bodies some 2,500 years after the starting
of the Kali Yuga at the death of Krishna? Both Buddha and
Shankara were metaphysicians and grand philosophers, but both
emphasized the life of purity and piety and of service to
humanity. While Buddha, speaking the language of the people,
preached to very large masses, Shankara used Sanskrit, the tongue
of the learned leaders of the people.
The aim of both was the purgation from Hinduism of the corruption
of priestcraft and the emphasizing of individual effort in the
war against the evils rooted in human nature. Both offered a
philosophical basis for high ethics. They pointed to the truth
that noble morality was the real enlightener of human minds. In
more than one way, both Buddha and Shankara pointed out that by
intuition alone came understanding of universal ultimates and
came the solution to the final problems of matter, mind, and
spirit. Each was a logician who reasoned superbly, confuting
Even today, materialistic reasoners are unable to comprehend the
profound doctrines of both these Teachers because the
philosophical logicians are not capable of using their own Divine
Intuition. Without that Soul faculty, the truths of life cannot
be lived. The development of Intuition demands the purification
and elevation of man's moral nature. A character clogged with
egotism and vanity beclouds the thinking mind and disables it
from catching the truths of Living Ideas.
Both Buddha and Shankara, going straight to the Heart of
Religion, proclaimed anew the teachings of Sanatana Dharma,
Eternal Religion, the Perennial Philosophy, Theosophy. Buddha
cut across Sruti and Smriti -- Revelation and Tradition -- and
proclaimed the age-old moral and metaphysical truths in as simple
and straightforward a language as was possible for the race mind
to appreciate. Shankara who followed used the old texts but by
writing commentaries on them. He gave a fresh reinterpretation
to the texts. He called the attention of the learned to the
importance of living the life, building not temples however
beautiful, of stone and rock, but erecting the Living Temple of
the Living God.
Great sages have uniformly called attention to the Bodhi Dharma,
the Wisdom Religion, which antedates the Vedas. Its central and
most fundamental doctrine is Universal Unity rooted in the One
Spirit, which manifests as the Law of Brotherhood in the human
kingdom. The truth of Advaita taught by Shankara demands that
each man recognize the Divine Presence in every human heart,
which in turn requires us to practice the great truth of the
> Never in this world does Hatred cease by Hatred. Hatred ceases
> by Love. This is the Law Eternal.
Commenting on THE GITA, VI, 32, Shankara remarks:
> Seeing that that which is pleasure and pain to himself is
> likewise pleasure and pain to all beings, he causes pain to no
> being; he is harmless. Doing no harm and devoted to right
> knowledge, he is regarded as the highest among Yogins.
CAMBRIA 2001: SOME THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS ON A THEOSOPHICAL
By Wes Amerman
Cambria was a continuation of events held in and around
Brookings, Oregon, where a handful of theosophists hosted a
delightful series of annual meetings that we came to call
"gatherings." Wylda and Bill Dade, long associated with the
United Lodge of Theosophists, had started inviting their friends
to their home for a little more socializing than the modest
weekly study group they held there. Before they knew it, people
were arriving from literally all over the world, coming from as
far away as England, Belgium, and Sweden, and they had to rent
space in hotel conference rooms to handle the crowds that showed
up for the public meetings. Then, after six years of opening
their home to all who came, "Willie" became ill and died less
than two weeks after last year's event.
Saddened but inspired and undaunted, her friends pitched in and
sought to try to continue to meet. Carin Elin collected email
addresses. Phyllis Ryan and LaVera Samuels found and rented a
house and a meeting room ten months in advance in Cambria,
California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This
served as a crucial gathering point, allowing people to come and
go when they liked. Diane Kaylor built a web page for the event,
and Linda Smith mailed paper flyers and arranged a notice in the
local newspaper. A theme, "Theosophy -- Ancient Wisdom for
Modern Times" was chosen. The panelists corresponded by email
with Gail Stevenson from Seattle who introduced the speakers and
acted as the Moderator at the public meeting scheduled for
Saturday. With limited time available at the meeting room in the
Community Center, they chose to limit presentations to ten
minutes each, allowing more opportunity for discussion and
The meeting on Saturday went off pretty much as planned. Myrra
Lee from San Diego gave a brief historical overview of the
Theosophical Movement, and took notes on a flipchart of some of
the possible current fields for application of theosophical
principles. Alan Donant of the Theosophical Society, Pasadena,
discussed brotherhood, human solidarity, the unity of life,
karma, and reincarnation as essential parts of the theosophical
world-view. Wes Amerman from Los Angeles compared what H.P.
Blavatsky termed the "astral" or "akasha" with what some
biologists now call "morphic fields." He described the latest
research into the effects of meditation on the chemistry and
structure of the human brain. After a brief intermission, things
got going again with a "mystics viewpoint" provided by Odin
Townley of New York, who talked about why the study of nature is
essential to both theosophists and everyone else, as it helps us
to connect ourselves with the greater web of life. Garrett
Riegg, of San Francisco, provided a fascinating account of
"super-string theory," by which modern science seeks to explain
the incredibly tiny universe of subatomic particles, and gave
some hints as to how Theosophy provides much-needed clues into
the paradoxes of matter and consciousness.
Everyone I talked with greatly enjoyed the presentations and
discussions. The best thing about the weekend may have been the
opportunity people had to interact in unplanned and unscheduled
ways. As at the Brookings gatherings, this weekend focused
around meeting old friends and finding new ones. At least a few
attended from every theosophical organization, not just from ULT,
as well as from all over the country (with a couple from Europe
as well). This provided a rich diversity of thought and
Some events plan this sort of exchange into a workshop format,
but in Cambria, spontaneity was the order of the day. Unplanned
discussions on Friday and Saturday evenings and midday Sunday
focused on philosophical and practical aspects of theosophical
work. For example, people occupied a good part of an evening
discussing how to use mythology to interest young people and
newcomers and how to distinguish between the content of a meeting
and the learning processes involved. Theosophists tend to
emphasize the content of their meetings and forget how to include
everyone and to find out exactly which message is getting across.
One example of the value and strength of group efforts was the
almost magical way in which the program for the Saturday meeting
came together. The panelists had arranged to meet Friday
afternoon, to compare notes and coordinate the details for the
next day. After some delays and a visit to the Recreation
Center, they managed to get things organized, and someone
remarked that it would be nice to have a program to hand out.
One thing led to another and in half an hour, they had a rough
outline that they turned over to Diane Kaylor. Diane formatted
the layout on a laptop computer, found some appropriate "clip
art" and presented it to the group. A quick trip to the local
print shop, barely ahead of closing time, and they had done the
job! It came out amazingly well, considering the short time and
limited resources available to us. The word "synergy," sometimes
abused and misused, is the best term I can think of to describe
how a well-focused collective effort can produce so much of
value. To many of us, this little story symbolized both the
charm and the power of the Gathering at Cambria.
AHAM ASMI PARABRAHMA
By G. de Purucker
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, November 1942, pages 481-84.]
> Dr. de Purucker's last public address given in the Temple at the
> International Theosophical Headquarters, Covina, California, on
> September 20, 1942, at the time of the Autumnal Equinox, known to
> Theosophists as the sacred season of the Great Passing.
Brilliance like the almighty wings of love knows no barriers, and
can and does penetrate everywhere. This thought was born in my
mind this afternoon as I hearkened to our speaker giving us
excerpts of great beauty, of great depth, from the archaic
Wisdom-teachings of mankind. These teachings belong to no race,
to no age. Since they are essential truth, they must also be
taught in spheres not earthly, but divine, as they are taught
here on earth to us men.
It struck me that the burthen of his brilliant address was this:
that we men, we human beings, as indeed all other things and
entities everywhere, are but parts of one vast cosmic whole,
intimately united together, despite our failings and our
stumbling, in the working out of our common destiny. And
therefore in proportion to our own individual understandings, we
respond to that cosmic source which the Christian calls God, and
which I prefer to call the Divine, from which we came,
inseparable from which we are and always shall be, and into which
again we are now returning on our ages' long pilgrimage.
Oh, just that one thought, if we men could keep it alive in our
hearts and allow it to stimulate our minds from day to day, how
would it not soften the asperities of human life, how would it
not teach us men to treat our brothers like brothers instead of
Don't you see, Brothers and Friends, that this teaching is
brilliant because it is a teaching of a genius? It contains
everything within it, all the Law and all the Prophets. What is
this teaching? Succinctly phrased it is simply this: that the
cosmic life is a cosmic drama in which each entity, be it
super-god, god, demigod, man, beast, monad, or atom, plays his or
its proportionate part; and that all these dramatic presentations
are welded together, leading up to one vast cosmic climax -- to
which, by the way, there is no anticlimax. So that with every
even human day we are coming closer to that time in the immensely
distant future when we all shall, once more reunited, enter into
the deep womb of utter cosmic being -- call it God, call it
Divinity, call it Spirit, call it what you wish.
The drama then will have ended. The curtain will fall, and what
we Theosophists call Pralaya will begin, the rest-period. Just
as in human affairs, when night is over there comes the day, so
when the night of Pralaya ends, the Manvantara, the cosmic day,
dawns again. The curtain on the cosmic stage once more rises.
Each entity, each being, then begins its cosmic play, its role,
exactly at the metaphysical and mathematical point where it
stopped when the bells of Pralaya rang down that cosmic curtain
on the Manvantara or world-period just ended. Everything begins
anew precisely like a clock or watch, which, when it has stopped
and is rewound, begins to run again at the exact point at which
the fingers themselves stopped.
Why, this single conception of human identity with the cosmos,
together with all the religious, philosophical, scientific, and
moral implications that it embodies, is older than thinking man.
We are one and yet we know it not, we recognize it not, so that
in the drama of life, we commit all the follies on the stage, and
tragedy becomes comedy and comedy, alas, through our own fault
I want to quote to you something that I love and have loved from
boyhood. I learned it when I was a child and found it again once
more in THE SECRET DOCTRINE of HPB, when in after life as a young
man I joined the Theosophical Society. It is this: the picture
is that of the Hindu guru or teacher. A pupil stands or sits
He is testing the knowledge of this pupil regarding the teaching
that this pupil has received, and he says, "Chela, Child, dost
thou discern in the lives of those around thee anything different
from the life that runs in thy veins?"
"There is no difference, Oh Gurudeva. Their life is the same as
"Oh Child, raise thy head and look at the violet dome of night.
Consider those wonderful stars, those beings radiating,
irradiating, from the cosmic splendor above our heads. Seest
thou that cosmic fire that burns in all things and shines
supremely bright in this and that and that and that yonder
brilliant orb? Child, dost thou discern any difference in that
cosmic light, in that cosmic life, from that which shines forth
from our own day-star, or from that which burns in thine own
heart both day and night?"
The child says, "Oh Gurudeva, I see no difference between life
and life, and light and light, and power and power, and mind and
mind, except in degrees. The light that burns in my heart is the
same as the light that burns in the hearts of all others."
"Thou seest well, Child. Now listen to the heart of all this
teaching: AHAM ASMI PARABRAHMA.
Having been taught Sanskrit, the Vedic Sanskrit, the child
understands and bows his head, "Pranjali." The meaning is, "I am
the Boundless; I myself am Parabrahma, for the life that pulses
in me and gives me existence is the life of the most divine of
No wonder the child has understood. Am I a child of God?
Essentially, it is the only thing I am, and if I fail to realize
it, it is not the Divine's fault but mine.
I believe, Friends and Brothers, that you will find this sublime
teaching with its innumerable deductions -- and you will feel
bound logically to make deductions for yourselves as you
understand it -- I believe that you will find this teaching of
Divinity in every one of the great systems to which the genius of
mankind has given birth. Religion IS it. Philosophy was born
from it. Science is now aspiring towards it, and is beginning to
get feeble adumbrations of what it means.
Think even in our own small human affairs -- small when compared
with the vast cosmic majesty that holds us around in its
sheltering care -- think, if every man and woman on earth were
thoroughly convinced of the utter reality of this cosmic truth!
Never again would the hand of man be raised against man. Always
it would be the extended hands of succor and brotherhood. For I
am my brother -- in our inmost we are one.
If we are separate, it is because of the smallness that makes us
each one an atom as it were, instead of the spiritual monad which
for each one of us is our source. That monad is of the very
stuff of divinity. As Jesus the Avatara phrased it in his
wonderful saying, "I and my Father are one" -- the Father and the
divine spark, the spark of divinity which is identical with the
cosmic life, with the universal ocean of life, to use another
This idea of the cosmic ocean of life, of which we are all
droplets in our inmost and in our highest, was in the mind of
Gautama the Lord Buddha when he spoke of that ultimate end of all
beings and things. As he said, all beings and things are in
their essence Buddha, and some day shall become Buddha
themselves, when, as phrased so beautifully by Edwin Arnold, the
dewdrop slips into the Shining Sea.
IS THEOSOPHY AN ART OR A SCIENCE?
By Greg A. Westlake (email@example.com)
After reading Boris de Zirkoff's lecture in the July 2001
THEOSOPHY WORLD, I was surprised to learn his lecture occurred in
1955, a year after I was born. This illustrates how slowly we
are progressing towards Boris's vision of a Science of Theosophy.
There are two reasons that make a Science of Theosophy unlikely.
First, Theosophists are unlikely to prove any spiritual truth to
a 21st century scientist's satisfaction. Second, the
Theosophical Society is not actively seeking a synthesis of
Theosophical material, working to define the meaning of terms and
People have argued over the true meaning of Theosophy for
decades, because we each take away something different from the
literature. However, most agree it has to do with personal
discovery of the fundamental truths of human nature.
Unfortunately, most disagree on which truths are the key to
Theosophy, and which are merely distractions along the Path.
The evaluation of truth is subjective. We appreciate truth like
a work of art or music. The Theosophical Society is deeply
rooted in its old masters. Its leaders dare not journey beyond
the beaten path, lest they lose sight of the truth. We are
better off calling the personal search for truth the Art of
Theosophy. The Art of Theosophy would allow for a more personal
interpretation and thus allow others to hold their beliefs
without fear of criticism.
In the rich myth, culture, and folklore of ancient Theosophies,
we find many numerical patterns and meanings. Theosophists hope
to uncover the true meaning of these myths, allowing the truth to
steep into their psyche and enrich their spiritual nature.
Again, we deal with the Art of Theosophy, because there are no
generally accepted models of reality with which we can validate
these insightful stories.
Science often requires numerical evidence or formulas that it can
test. Science expects two or more people conducting the same
experiment under the same conditions to come to the same results.
However, Science has not proven some areas, which fall into a
gray zone called Theory. Theories thrive on the fringe of
Science. Scientists give them some leeway concerning burden of
After reading THE SEVEN RAYS, by Ernest Wood in 1973, I made it
my life's work to reveal the theory behind it. Over the past few
years, I have tried in vain to interest members of the
Theosophical Society in a broader understanding of the Seven
As an abstract Mathematician, I have pondered the possibility
that an ancient interpretation of the Seven Rays, which I call
the Seven Seals, lays at the origin of many numerically based
myths. I believe that it is the Theosophist's job to extract and
synthesize the mystical basis used by our ancient ancestors to
create myths. I believe that a myth is an ancient work of art.
These images and characters are similar to archetypes that define
the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual nature of their
The Theory of the Seven Seals is incomplete without the meaning
derived from several other occult systems of knowledge: the I
Ching, Astrology, Tarot, and the Seven Chakras. The successful
integration of these occult systems with the Seven Rays suggests
that the patterns previously existed as a whole science or else
lay within our subconscious. Both possibilities allow us to
entertain the idea that there may be some verifiable model of
In the January 2001 THEOSOPHY WORLD, there is an excellent
example of an ancient myth that illustrates the integration of
symbols, meaning, and theory. THE DRAGON by Allen Stover quotes
THE SECRET DOCTRINE (I, 408). "The Black Warrior, White Tiger,
Vermilion Bird, and Azure Dragon" were called the Four Hidden
Dragons of Wisdom. "The seven headed or septenary Dragon Logos
had been in the course of time split up into FOUR heptanomic
parts or 28 portions." According to the Seven Seals theory, the
physical vehicle of man's spirit is divided into 28 portions.
The Seven Chakras of the body are home to the most explicit and
then the Seven Chakras of the astral body. These Chakras keep
the body intact and functioning. The other 14 portions are lower
forms of consciousness, which the senses and our force of will
produce. Each of these four Chinese figures then represents a
physical archetype as opposed to a mental, emotional or spiritual
Because I have a workable theory or model, I am able to predict
the existence of these various states of consciousness and
universal principles. Alas, it is a tough claim to make that you
have discovered a logical pattern in a philosophy that is so rich
with imagination. It should not come as any big surprise to
anyone that the essence of our spiritual consciousness has so
much numbered orderliness to it. The natural world is one big
chaotic place. The spiritual force of plants and animals gives
it orderly form. To illustrate my notions into a palatable form,
I created the Westlake Tarot deck (not yet published). I am
currently writing the meanings of a completely new group of
archetypical characters (cards) from four ancient cultures.
To summarize, the Art of Theosophy is a practical necessity due
to the subjective nature of Truth. It is through Myth that we
define the subconscious essence of our reality. While we
understand that Myth is not Truth, we seek it out to grasp an
understanding of our archetypical points of consciousness and
universal principles. Think of the theory of the Seven Seals
(Seven Rays) as a great big coat hanger upon which we can sew the
cloak of our Personal Theosophy. To begin sewing a cloak, you
should begin with a pattern lest you put the collar where the
sleeve belongs. Let us make progress towards Boris's vision of a
BLAVATSKY NET UPDATE
By Reed Carson
[Written August 19, 2001, site http://www.blavatsky.net]
There is some very exciting news to report. Now at the top of
the homepage is a new click that says, "Free book offer: best
biography of Blavatsky." If you click on that, it says:
> A philanthropist has donated a FREE book, the paperback version
> of THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE AND INFLUENCE OF HELENA BLAVATSKY --
> FOUNDER OF THE MODERN THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, by Sylvia Cranston.
> This is the definitive biography of H.P. Blavatsky. Over ten
> years of specific research and many more years of writing and
> study went into its preparation. The book is available free to
> all members of Blavatsky Net. (You pay the standard shipping and
> handling cost as with all other books.) To get your copy simply
> visit the Blavatsky Net Bookstore and place an order as normal
> for any other book. Then choose your method of shipment. The
> philanthropist has donated 500 copies of this paperback edition
> of the book, hoping to find good homes for it. If you already
> have a copy, get your free copy anyway and give it to a deserving
> person. This offer is good while the supply lasts.
We are really looking forward to the helpful effect for the
movement that this offer provides. Hope you get your copy.
I am delighted to announce that Larry Kolts has agreed to be the
moderator in charge of the bn-study mailing list. This is
day-in, day-out work in helping the conversation move timely. He
deserves our special thanks. I am particularly appreciative of
the knowledge and experience he brings to bear. As we move
along, I expect he will contribute more to the development of
particular content for this list.
Blavatsky Net has received another gift that I think will help
the movement. From Mumbai India, formerly called Bombay, the ULT
lodge has donated tape copies of two years worth of its Sunday
night talks. These are high quality talks. They are focused,
organized, and pure Theosophy. We will be putting them online.
The variety of their titles is fascinating. We now have the list
of titles online. You can see it by going to "audio online" on
the menu panel on the left of the homepage. We think this will
be a real contribution in promulgating this teaching.
As a part of a discussion occurring on bn-study, Peter Bernin has
placed on his Swedish site some wonderful material on the Bamian
statues. It includes pictures he took himself while on a
personal expedition along with his commentary on that adventure.
It also includes the considerable amount of words of HPB that
inspired the trip. His page, part of his larger Swedish site,
deserves a special visit. You can find it by clicking to
"weathervane" on the homepage.
The home page of Blavatsky Net has undergone substantial
overhaul. It is now more dynamic. It features material changing
daily and weekly. One new feature is a section sampling the
actual material occurring on the mailing lists at Blavatsky Net.
Each talk list gets a week on the homepage. It is a rotating
section. We know this will make the homepage more interesting
and we hope it will attract others to join a list.
We now have a new section on the homepage linking to various
ezines. (The mailing lists and ezines are part of the dynamic
life-blood of this new medium, the Internet.) We feature a
different ezine weekly!
Please bear with us though, it will take time for the page and
other improvements we have in mind to be completed.
There are a few milestones worth mentioning. Just recently, the
homepage visitor count passed the 200,000 mark. We started the
hit count on August 25, 1996, almost five years ago. We expect
to continue increasing at a faster rate and hit the one million
mark in not too many years. For now, we are aiming next for the
quarter million mark.
The bn-study discussion list, our oldest list, has hit a new
record by passing 1000 registered participants after two and a
half years of steady growth. While we cannot say exactly what
that means, we know it represents continued growth that is now
fast and impressive.
There are now 2779 members to the Blavatsky Net site. Of all
those, 1569 are visible in the profile report.
IS THEOSOPHY A RECEIVED TRUTH?
By Dr Gregory Tillett
Religious scholars call a system of belief that a teacher has
given to disciples to accept without question Received Truth.
Often, the teacher gives the system with a claim of Divine
We find many examples in Christian history. Within the Roman
Catholic Church's theological system, Papal Infallibility is a
Received Truth that is not open for discussion or scholarly
criticism. The church penalizes or excludes those like Hans Kung
whom probe this dogma. Wishing to remain as such, Jehovah's
Witnesses cannot discuss the prohibition on blood transfusions.
A teacher or organization gives Received Truth for acceptance.
The group does not intend there to be any honest discussion.
True Believers can argue for the beliefs, but they will not
intellectually consider the ideas with open and critical minds.
This excludes scholars, whom are supposed to question beliefs
We find Received Truth outside traditional religion. The true
Marxist or true Freudian cannot take his or her theories as
claims that someone might openly question. To them, their
beliefs are statements of unchangeable fact that the True
Believer recognizes. They see any questioning of the Received
Truth as an attack by unbelievers or heretics.
Essentially, heresy is a challenge to the Received Truth from
within. Such a challenge inevitably leads to the True Believers
forcing out the heretics. Often the heretics then establish a
new Received Truth position.
The Adyar position is that Leadbeater's claims are true. They
are Received Truth. The ULT approaches Robert Crosbie's version
of history in the same way. Tingley cannot have expelled him
from Point Loma. Therefore, ULT True Believers view see
themselves defending against an attack by unbelievers or
heretics. Point Loma True Believers, I assume, take the reverse
Over time, competing rivalries arise regarding Received Truth.
Each tradition has its own interpretations of the true. Thus, we
have Adyar, Point Loma, the ULT, and many other groups, each
claiming to be the only true successors to the HPB tradition.
Assume there is a single, monolithic version of Theosophy.
Assume that it is a description of the facts in nature. This
requires a Received Truth position. We could also accept that
Roman Catholicism, Marxism, Freudianism, Buddhism, or Islam is
likewise a description of the facts of nature.
Even the acceptance of HPB's teachings is a Received Truth
position. To do so, we must assume that we could reach a
consensus as to what those teachings were. How can we test it?
Why do we assume it more accurate a description than the
teachings of Swedenborg or Steiner? Disciples of Received Truth
can provide arguments and evidence to support their claims, but
all ultimately begin with a Faith Position.
I am not arguing with the value of holding to a Received Truth
position. Such makes life simpler and more understandable. We
should, though, recognized it for what it is.
THE THEOSOPHY OF JESUS, Part III
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.]
SACRAMENTS AND "MYSTERIES"
Jesus did not bequeath to His followers a lot of complicated and
stereotyped practices by which his teaching was to be
perpetuated. He did something much more masterful. He
inculcated principles. Then he took the small Inner Circle of
his followers and breathed into them His own Spirit. With those
principles to guide and with that Spirit to serve as enablement
(theologically "grace"), His followers worked out His wishes and
fulfilled them to the best of their ability. Thus, despite
materialism in the Church and obscurantism among professing
Christian believers, we find that a considerable number all down
through the ages (with no serious hiatus) observed, enjoyed and
transmitted certain Rites and Practices by which Christian
initiates could share the Mysteries which had been esoterically
imparted to them.
When I claim that the Christian sacraments today convey and even
represent some of these Mysteries, I shall doubtless encounter
disagreement and opposition from some. I sympathize with the
bitterest critics in repudiating the values of mere formalism and
priestcraft that misrepresent the essential Mysteries that Jesus
expounded to His followers. I still believe that beneath the
externals are precious relics of the ancient teaching and that in
such Rites and sacraments as Christian Baptism, the Holy
Communion (Eucharist) and other Christian sacraments are
available means of spiritual knowledge, Wisdom, and profound
spiritual Fellowship for those who know how to use them.
In her severe exposure of empty rites and forms and superstitious
practices of professing Christians, Madame Blavatsky nevertheless
affirms, "the fault is not in the practice, but in the attempt to
use such things without appreciating their true occult value." In
some papers published in LUCIFER in November and December 1887
and in February 1888, HPB says:
> The mystic meaning of the injunction, "Verily, I say unto you,
> except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye
> have not life in yourselves," can never be understood or
> appreciated at its true occult value, except by those who hold
> some of the seven keys ... These words ... are the words of an
> INITIATE. They have to be interpreted with the help of three
> keys --one opening the psychic door, the second that of
> physiology, and the third that which unlocks the mystery of
> terrestrial being, by unveiling the inseparable blending of
> theogony with anthropology. It is for revealing a few of these
> truths, with the sole view of saving intellectual mankind from
> the insanities of materialism and pessimism, that mystics have
> often been denounced as the servants of Antichrist, even by those
> Christians who are most worthy, sincerely pious, and respectable
> -- The Esoteric Character of the Gospels
Again, she says:
> The Gnosis supplanted by the Christian scheme was universal. It
> was the echo of the primordial wisdom-religion that had once been
> the heirloom of the whole of mankind; and therefore, one may
> truly say that, in its purely metaphysical aspect, the Spirit of
> Christ (the divine logos) was present in humanity from the
> beginning of it.
Though Madame Blavatsky does not quote from St. John in this
passage (just quoted), she is stating almost word for word the
Truth about the Christos as declared in St. John's Gospel:
> The Logos existed in the very beginning,
> The Logos was with God, the Logos was Divine.
> He was with God in the very beginning:
> Through Him all existence came into being,
> No existence came into being apart from Him.
> In Him, life lay, and this Life was the Light for men.
> -- John 1:1-4 (Moffatt)
In the same article, HPB says:
> The author of the Clementine Homilies is right; the mystery of
> Christos ... "was identical" with that which from the first had
> been communicated "to those who were worthy" ... We may learn
> from the Gospel according to St. Luke, that the "worthy" were
> those who had been initiated into the mysteries of the Gnosis,
> and who were "accounted worthy" to attain that "resurrection from
> the dead" in this life ... "those who knew that they could die
> no more, being equal to the angels as sons of God and sons of the
THEOSOPHY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
There is quite an accumulation of "Divine Wisdom" (Theosophia) in
the New Testament outside of the Gospels. As this is connected
with the Person and work of Jesus, I refer you to the Sacred
Writings, as you will discover among the Epistles of St. Paul,
the Epistle to The Hebrews, and the three Epistles of St. John.
If someone asked me to state categorically the grounds on which
Jesus may be claimed as a Theosophist, I would include:
1. His simple, transparent claim to know God, to come from God,
speak the words of God, and His ability to make good on these
2. His supernormal experiences (not "supernatural" in the true
* His rapture recorded at His Baptism and the "Voice from
* His Transfiguration on the Mount.
* His Resurrection and Ascension.
* His mastery over the elements.
* His mastery over the physical body, especially in healing.
* His mastery over adverse psychic forces that opposed him
(usually recorded as "casting out devils").
3. The Evidences of Illumination, even in the fragmentary
records preserved in the Christian Scriptures.
4. The Universal Welcome He still receives, when his message is
not distorted or obscured by his professing followers.
5. The substantial agreement existing between the recorded great
sayings of Jesus with the recorded sayings of other great World
6. His Teaching of Universal Brotherhood. This comes out not
only in his own utterances, but is seen as a fruit of his
teaching appearing in the words of his followers -- conspicuously
in the writings of St. Paul and St. John.
> Behold I give you a new commandment, that ye love one another.
> As I have loved you, ye are to love one another.
> By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have
> love one to another.
> -- John 13:34-35
> If ye love not your brother whom ye have seen, how can ye love
> God whom ye have not seen?
> He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is
> none occasion of stumbling in him.
> -- 1 John 2:10
> Whosoever doeth the will of my Father in heaven, the same is my
> brother and sister and mother.
> -- Mark 3:35
> Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren,
> ye have done it unto me.
> -- Matt. 25:40
7. The Ability of Jesus to lead men to the attainment of:
> "Light for the Mind, Love for the Heart, and Understanding for
> the Intellect."
PRESENT-DAY OBJECTIVES OF THEOSOPHY
1. Light For The Mind
> He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have
> the light of Life.
> -- John 8:12
Wherever Jesus went it seemed as if auric splendor began to
circulate around Him and about Him, which enlightened the minds
of His associates. His recorded utterances, fragmentary though
they be, afford corroboration of this claim.
2. Love For The Heart
The secret of the success of Jesus was that He loved men.
In a subtle way, He identified Himself with them.
In Him, the Love of God (so often rhapsodized) became available,
articulate. Even His so-called miracles of Healing and
restoration were never accomplished from any motive of
self-exaltation. They were always works of compassion -- and
compassion is Love in action.
3. Understanding For The Intellect
Jesus came not so much to answer an unlimited number of questions
on a host of different subjects, as to regenerate men's minds.
He did not come to express great ideas. He came to give to His
brethren of the race a new quality of thinking, which would bring
in its train understanding and a capacity for the higher
Knowledge or Wisdom.
> The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are
> -- John 6:63
And St. Paul sums up this same idea in his first Letter to the
> The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God;
> for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them,
> because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual
> judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
> For who hath known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?
> But we have the mind of Christ.
> -- 1 Cor. 2:16
(Moffat translates this last sentence: "Well, our thoughts are
THE CHRIST SELF TRANSCENDS THE LIMITS OF SPACE AND TIME
> All power is given unto Me ...
> Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end ...
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Jesus' conception of The Kingdom of God as something dwelling in
the deepest depths of man's consciousness strikes another note of
identity between His teaching and that of the ancient Wisdom
coming through many channels. It is well expressed in the
familiar stanza of Browning's where he makes the illuminated
> Truth is within ourselves, it takes no rise
> From outward things, whatever you may believe.
> There is an inmost center in us all,
> Where Truth abides in fullness; and around
> Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
> This perfect, clear perception -- which is Truth.
> A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
> Binds it, and makes all error; and, to know
> Rather consists in opening out a way
> Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape,
> Than in effecting entry for a light
> Supposed to be without.
Much of that imprisoned splendor escaped through the Avatara
Jesus of Nazareth, and it is this Divine Splendor, this effulgent
Wisdom, which compels our homage today.
By Victor Endersby
[CHRONICLES ON THE PATH, Part X. This 18-part series appeared
in THEOSOPHICAL NOTES from September 1951 through November 1954.]
The man from the city, restless with the unease of those without
roots in the soil, bought land in a secluded valley, pondering
the terms of the purchase with reflection.
Harold thought of his fortunate acquisition. "The man there,
Julian, unlettered and old, was burdened with the heritage of
soil impoverished by ancestral ignorance and greed. Julian had
let a life dark, poor, imprisoned, and hopeless. I have paid him
well, so that he may now end his days in comfort. Not depending
wholly for livelihood on this soil, I have no need of driving it
as it has been done hitherto. With modern knowledge, it shall
soon become enriched as in the days before our marauding
ancestors. It will be for me a place of healthful toil in the
long evenings and on days of no commerce. It will be a refuge in
my old age from the pall of the city, and for future generations
will produce the fit food so long absent from the nutrition of
men in the Kali Yuga."
One day there drifted from the glen above, the grizzled and
whiskered elder whom dwelt therein. This one sat upon a stump,
and drew upon a pipe that made itself known everywhere. At last,
Ken said, "You have a strong hand on that shovel. Moreover, you
seem to be a fine man. There is a thing, though, for which I do
not like you."
Harold, the city man looked up, troubled. It was far from his
mind to be a bad neighbor. "What is that thing?"
"That you have displaced my neighbor who dwelt here."
Harold's shovel clattered on the ground. "But ... But!"
"Yes, I know that we did not get along," said the aged one.
"Still I miss him and am unhappy."
The newcomer pondered this. When he had come there to buy the
land, Julian had told him that Ken was an uncivil neighbor, surly
in the lending and borrowing of tools, a man whose cattle made
inroads on the land of others, someone who lagged in the mending
of roads and fences held in common. Ken now described Julian
using the same words.
Harold had thought that perhaps both were right. Perhaps, he
further thought, both Julian and Ken were warped by the
narrowness and poverty of their lives. Now there came to him a
"Since he had a like opinion of you," Harold said, "It is
possible that there was a misunderstanding and mutual
aggravation, making both appear that which neither was in truth.
It is possible that in the nature of things, you were put
together here from old times in order to set the matter right."
"That thought," said the old man, "has also occurred to me. Had
it occurred sooner, I would have done differently. It is now too
late, for Julian is far gone, carrying his ill-will."
So saying, Ken wiped his eyes with his sleeve, knocked the ashes
from his pipe, and wound his way sadly up the hill. Harold
watched his slow gait and bowed shoulders.
"This thing," he reflected, "is perhaps the reason why these
oldsters spend their lives in the mountain. They are like two
stubborn children kept after school for the reconciliation of a
foolish quarrel. It must have been important to involve the
karma of two lives for so many years. Now my intervention has
ended this opportunity, albeit unwittingly. Who knows in what
age it may return?"
He put on his coat and hastened toward the city. It had occurred
to him that there was a matter in his own life that would bear
looking into, lest there be another belated awakening.
For this marks the man who has truly entered the Path, by however
short a distance. All men are his teachers without regard to
condition. All places are schools, wherever they may be located.
THE ORIGIN OF FICTION, Part II
By Kenneth Morris
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, February 1951, pages 92-103.]
Now we come to stories known since childhood: Cinderella, Beauty
and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty. No one knows where such
stories originated. Parents have told them for scores and
hundreds of generations, not guessing the meaning behind them.
Heaven knows to what extent they may not have sown seeds of the
Great Knowledge in the minds, or rather behind the minds, of the
children who heard them!
The Fairy Godmother or the Secret Wisdom transforms wretched
little Cinderella, our workaday human selves, into the Prince's
Bride, which means it unites her to the God Within. Beauty
sacrifices herself to the terrible Beast. She gives up her human
self. The terrible Beast transforms himself into and turns out
to be Prince Charming, her God-Self. Enchantments have hidden
the Sleeping Beauty, that same God-self, in the castle grown
round by impenetrable thorny thickets. The Prince wins his way
through the thickets, then awakens and marries her.
This shows that we have to win our way through the thickets of
our lower nature to get to the God-self within us and unite
ourselves with it. That tells us the origin of love-stories.
Then the centuries welled on and the great Druids and Bards died.
People forgot their theosophy. A new creed came in, which knew
nothing about theosophy. The light of the Inner Wisdom died away
from the Western world. Only the stories remained. Then in
course of time, in Western Europe generally, men's minds began to
awake from their long obscuration and to become active again.
Presently, there were men with the impulse to tell and write
stories once more.
They said, "In ancient times, people wrote stories. Shouldn't
we? They wrote love stories. Shouldn't we?"
Preeminent among these new storytellers in England was Geoffrey
Chaucer, typical of many then and since. Think of him as saying
to himself, "Yes, but these ancient story-makers never made
stories about real people. Wouldn't it be a good thing to write
stories about real human beings?" Rather than telling the great
central facts about human life, he made stories describe
graphically the tricks, traits, and characteristics of human
beings. His heroes were no longer the human soul setting out to
become the God-self. They were Tommy Smith and Jack Jenkins.
Three hundred years later, Shakespeare came. This great man
wrote dramas, but for our purposes, we can consider it the same
thing. He too had to do what Chaucer had done, and draw
characters, draw human beings as we see them in the world about
us. He made an interesting play out of the interplay of common
human characteristics. Instead of the old style of Little
Gwions, Taliesins, Cinderellas, and Sleeping Beauties and Prince
Charmings, we get his Rosalinds, Falstaffs, and Portias. Of
course, he wrote infinitely greater creations of genius in a way,
but also with infinitely less important tales to tell. So even
now, it is safe to say that thousands know of the colorless
Cinderella for every one that knows of the extremely colorful
Rosalind. People will remember Cinderella ages after they forget
Rosalind. Why is this? Because Rosalind, with all her charm, is
only a human being like you and me, whereas Cinderella is a
principle that is a part of everyone.
This is not all we might say about Shakespeare. He was great.
He had made a success of his plays. People loved to see his
characters on the stage, and to recognize in them human folk, as
they knew them. Shakespeare was doing well from a worldly point
of view. Then sorrow came into his life. The brightest and the
gayest of mortals, the grief had bowed him down. A struggle
began within him. We do not know of what nature, though we may
surmise. Out of that struggle and the bitter anguish that arose
within him, he then wrote HAMLET.
He wrote it -- the brain-mind Shakespeare wrote it -- once more
to describe human character. The brain-mind Shakespeare did not
know why the God-self Shakespeare was writing it.
"I will write of the fate of a shill-shallying prince that never
could make up his mind to strong action," said the brain-mind
"I will copy his doubts and difficulties from my own. I will
write it to show myself the doom that is coming to me because I
am weak, because I cannot take my lower nature in hand, conquer,
and have done with it." The God-self Shakespeare smiled and
quietly wrote HIS story into it.
The result is curious and wonderful. We find in Prince Hamlet
the character drawing that belongs to the new method of fiction,
the method that came in when people had forgotten the Secret
Wisdom. This was the finest that Shakespeare ever did. It was
finer than Rosalind and Falstaff. Hamlet is also more than a
common man. He is Little Gwion, Cinderella, Beauty who married
the Beast, and the Prince who awakened the Sleeping Beauty.
Shakespeare tells the whole story of Initiation in HAMLET just as
surely as it is told in the History of Taliesin.
Aeschylus the Greek, two thousand years before Shakespeare, being
an Initiate, had written the story according to the old method.
He called his story the Orestean Trilogy. In it, Queen
Clytaemnestra and her lover Aegisthos murder the King, Agamemnon.
To avenge him, his son Orestes kills Clytaemnestra. For the
crime of matricide, the Furies haunt Orestes. They are dreadful
Goddesses that pursue him over the earth. At last, he comes to
the shrine of Athena, Goddess of the Secret Wisdom. Athena
transforms the horrible Furies into Eumenides, beneficent
Deities. This saves Orestes.
Just as Jesus did, we may speak of the God-self as our "Father."
We may speak of our human nature as our "Mother." When we read
that Orestes' mother, Clytaemnestra, has murdered his father
Agamemnon, we see what it means. Our human nature, the world in
which we live, the bodies we live in, and the passions which
inhere in those bodies as part of the general framework of
Nature, have driven from the world, have obscured and hidden
away, our God-selves. It remains for us, the son of the
God-self, to avenge our father.
That is the theme of the Orestean Trilogy. It is also the theme
of HAMLET. Claudius has murdered his brother, Hamlet, King of
Denmark. Claudius then married King Hamlet's widow, Gertrude,
and then takes the throne. Prince Hamlet, son of Hamlet and
Gertrude, meets the ghost of his father, who tells him about the
murder and calls on his son to avenge him. King Hamlet is the
dethroned God-self. Prince Hamlet, his son, is the human self.
His business is to kill the usurping King Claudius, in whom we
may see the principle of evil. Claudius has married the queen.
That is, the principle of evil has taken possession of the lower
nature of man. If you like, you may call Queen Gertrude the
body, which is not naturally an evil thing.
There is the old prime minister, Polonius, whom was
conventionality personified. He was the principle of keeping up
appearances before the world, of someone striving, at all costs,
to have others consider him respectable.
This is the state of affairs when the play opens. The setting is
Denmark, which stands for a person. It could be any one of us.
Evil has driven the God-self out of control. Evil reigns in our
nature, united to our body. Even so, it all looks well to the
world, because the Prime Minister in charge of the government is
Mr. Polonius, the principle of respectability. There is also
Prince Hamlet, the mind, the son of the murdered father. He
speculates, inquires, and is not satisfied. Then the ghost of
his murdered father appears to him. He catches a glimpse of the
majesty of his dethroned God-self. The fat is in the fire.
The son Hamlet tries in vain to win his mother from vice, which
is her husband, the usurper Claudius. Then Hamlet accidentally
kills old Polonius, throwing conventionality to the winds and
baring to the world the something that is rotten in the state of
Denmark. By so doing, he rouses the wicked King to the point
where it is war to the knife between them. One or the other must
go. All he cannot and do is killing King Claudius. Why is this?
The brain-mind, the personal self, cannot do it by itself. Only
the Higher Self, brought into action, can do that and finish the
For the purposes of the play, and according to the limitations
the dramatic form imposes, Shakespeare cannot make the ghost of
King Hamlet come in, take the matter into its hands, and itself
kill Claudius. How does he manage it? Himself dying, Hamlet
kills Claudius at last, and dying takes the throne. When he is
dead, the Hero-King of Norway enters, to whom Hamlet has left the
kingship. The evil principle is wiped out. The personal self,
Hamlet, is dead. The Hero-self becomes the ruler of Denmark, of
our life. The Hero-self is the same as the God-self. The
characters of the murdered King Hamlet and the Hero-king
Fortinbras of Norway are the same.
We have shown that Hamlet's passing on the crown of Denmark to
Fortinbras has the same meaning as Gwion Bach's becoming
Taliesin. It means the same as Cinderella becoming the Prince's
bride, Prince Charming awaking the Sleeping Beauty, or Orestes
liberated from the Furies. All of these tell one thing. They
tell that there is a way by which man may become a God.
In Shakespeare's time, all the chief writers wrote plays. The
drama was the characteristic literary form of the age. This was
because the principal amusement of the people, especially in
London, was going to the theater. Presently, the theater fell on
evil days. Puritanism came in, and people shut down all the
playhouses. Though they reopened when the Stuart dynasty was
restored in 1660, it was with an inferior type of drama. The
impulse to write great things in play-form was exhausted.
English genius, except in the cases of Goldsmith and Sheridan,
has hardly used that form since.
In the eighteenth century, a new literary form came into vogue,
the novel. It came with Fielding, Smollett, Sterne, Richardson,
and others. It has held the field until our own times. Nothing
could be much further from the ancient method of story writing
than this new form -- if form it could be called, though it took
one leaf from the ancient method, as we shall see. The custom
was to invent a name for your hero, such as Tom Jones, Humphrey
Clinker, or Roderick Random, and weave adventures around the
name. The author attempted to write ordinary life in an
interesting manner. The aim was realism. The most important of
those eighteenth century novels, Tom Jones set the fashion for
all English novels since. Roughly speaking, they are all built
on the Tom Jones model, though one might easily spend a whole
evening qualifying the statement.
The goal aimed at, the end of the book, is generally the marriage
of the hero, as in Tom Jones. Here you have the leaf taken from
the ancient method. It is an interesting point to consider. It
is true that young unmarried people do often consider marriage as
the goal of life, but that feeling only lasts a few years until
they discover that it is but a starting place. Considered as a
goal, it is rather apt to be disappointing.
Why do most books of fiction, most novels, persist in regarding
it as a goal, and the appropriate place to end things? The answer
is that the new method, which aims at depicting the actual life
of actual human beings, inherited this way of doing things from
the ancient method, which aimed at foreshadowing the life of the
In that ancient method, the marriage, the union of the lover or
personal self with the beloved, the God-self, was the natural
goal of the story. In the ancient method, there is no reference
at all to sex. It can never fall into grossness. How could it,
when its one aim is to tell, in terms of life, the things that
belong to the regions beyond outer life? They are the real
things. What we call realism is not rightly named. It should be
known as actualism, which deals with the actualities of common
life, not realities, which are of the Soul.
The English novelist Charles Dickens stands out above all others,
as Shakespeare stands out above all the dramatists of his day.
Dickens began life in a hard school of actualism. You can read
about it in DAVID COPPERFIELD. He was made to know well his grim
and actual London, the dark side of its life. He haunted police
courts. He knew the ugliness of the slums. He knew his Tom
Jones, his eighteenth century novelists. They were his models.
To write a novel, for young Dickens, meant to write a book like
TOM JONES. I should like to know what happened to Dickens before
he was born. Was he sent as a kind of Knight-errant into the
"See here! England and London happen to be the most important
country and city for the time being, but they are cold-hearted
places. Humanity is suffering fearful ills in them, just because
of man's cruel callous inhumanity to man. Who will go into them,
be born into the suffering and cruelty characteristic of them,
and strike the grand note of compassion?"
Dickens went. His wanderings as a youth made him write so that
men's hearts would hear the plea. Weighted down with actualism,
Dickens could not escape from rising into the ancient method at
times. He would rise into the ancient method, which was gone and
lost from the world. No one had consciously used it in English
literature. No one had understood or used it for two thousand
years, since the disappearance of Druidic theosophy from England.
Perhaps Shakespeare had risen into these methods unconsciously.
It is a strange thing, and proves that there is a divinity
shaping our ends.
One of these times when Dickens used the ancient method was in
OUR MUTUAL FRIEND. Herein, Dickens shows how the heroine, Bella
Wilfer, grew from selfishness to truth, loyalty, and service. In
other words, he took on himself the work of the old Bards. He
has intuitively perceived that this growth from the small self of
selfishness to the great one, the God-self, is the supreme
business in life. He has taken on himself once more to show how
Gwion Bach became Taliesin, Cinderella the Princess, and Hamlet
Fortinbras. A disciple learns this truth. It is not a thing
known to everybody, but Bard after Bard perpetuates it in the old
stories, in whatever age or clime.
By George William Russell [1867-1935]
[From THE INTERNATIONALIST, February 1889.]
It was said by one who is accounted a spiritual king among men
that the shining world was only for those who could return to
youth. What miracle could give to age and weariness the fairy
heart of childhood? What miracle, indeed, if youth be not an
eternal thing? For youth is a spirit that flashes with lightness
and laughter through lips that are young. It is nonetheless
present under the disguise of age. Therein, I think, it is
loved. It is more evidently to be known as an immortal when it
laughs behind wisdom and a mortality whose transience is clear.
It was not childhood the king meant, but that which we feel to be
forever young within us. Childhood is no nearer than age to
We know what it means when the world, which had been still for a
while, suddenly some morning trembles and flings aside its mask
of chill indifference. The winds flow on us with ethereal
tenderness. The mountains make nothing of their size, but nod
and call to us beyond the city's roofs and spires. We cannot
pluck a flower. It is all too living. Its life is too much a
part of our joy. All life appears but a game of hide and seek
that we play with ourselves. We concealed ourselves of old in
the great as well as the little things. We smile up at the blue
sky and the suddenly softening majesty of eternal things shows
that we have pierced another disguise.
I have always loved those stories where children move without
fear, familiarly, in enchanted castles amid dread beings,
wizards, and dragons who seem somehow forced to companionship
with them by the spell of youth. It is one of the three master
spells in life. The names of the others are beauty and love.
If I phrase lightly or fancifully the terms of this new intimacy,
it is because I cannot find words endearing enough in academic
philosophy. I cannot speak in scientific language. Who would
describe the descent of a god as a psychical researcher the
apparition of an ordinary respectable citizen, or say when
thrilled by most-intense compassion, "My consciousness is on
such-and-such a plane of being?" What meets us in these flashes
is the Spirit looking out of its universal home.
I believe the poet to be nearer the truth than the scientist.
His observation is subjective. In a living universe, everything
said of nature is false which does not convey its opulent
vitality even in barren wilds and the seeming vacuity of space.
This gay spirit of youth in man makes him a poet, for its vision
is of the life behind the veil. It sees the hills as stars and
sees truly, and infinite elfin forms in the woodland, and every
sorrow throbs with a hidden heart of joy. Ah! What tender
revelations about men and women! They must needs be pathetic, but
they are inspired with such hope:
> This mood hath known all beauty, for it sees
> O'erwhemed majesties
> In these pale forms, and kingly crowns of gold
> On brows no longer bold,
> And through the shadowy terrors of their hell
> The love for which they fell,
> And how desire which cast them in the deep
> Called God too from his sleep.
> O pity, only seer, who looking through
> A heart melted like dew,
> Sees the long perished in the present thus
> All-seeing eye in us,
> Whatever time thy golden eyelids open
> They travel to a hope,
> Not only backward from these low degrees
> To starry dynasties,
> But looking far where now the silence owns
> And rules from empty thrones,
> Thou seest the enchanted halls of heaven burn
> When we in might return.
> Thy tender kiss hath memory, we are kings
> For all our wanderings:
> Thy shining eyes already see the after
> In hidden light and laughter.
It is years ago since I first heard of the Divine Eye. I
marveled what the fire-gaze might hold within it -- suns, stars,
and all the fiery populace of space in one manifold vision
flashing suddenly upon the spirit. I think now we might look
with the Divine Eye in every hour. Is not love another name for
the spirit, and whoever with pure love beholds anything sees in
that glance as the spirit sees. There are, I know, other mighty
things which the first morning glances of love cannot perceive,
but it is none the less the Eye of the Lord which looks through
That soul travels most swiftly to infinite vision that is most
readily compassionate. With it, these transformations happen
daily, placing crowns upon uncrowned brows, and in hitherto
ignored beings it beholds the kingly spirit molding with infinite
patience and tenderness the heavy unwilling clay. It knows
lastly, then, that nothing exists without the support of the
It cannot choose but be at league with its fellows. To have this
knowledge in the heart, however simply it phrases its wisdom to
itself, is better than to have all the story of human thought and
its philosophies in the brain. The mind overweighed with a
cumbrous metaphysic grows cold, chill, and gray. Listening to
the voice in the heart, we feel lifted on light wings. 0h Golden
Bird, I am only thy shadow and dwell in a shadowy world. Give me
thy star-touching pinions. Give me thy wider vision,
> That I may see beneath the common things of day
> Eternal Beauty wandering on her way.
THEOSOPHY LIBRARY ONLINE UPDATE
Theosophy Library Online (http://www.theosophy.org) has been
putting Theosophy online since 1994. We have recently crossed
the 1000 mark for subscriptions to our twin set of daily
devotional emails from THE JEWEL IN THE LOTUS, one of the largest
Theosophical compendiums of devotional readings.
Edited by Raghavan N. Iyer and first published in 1988 by the
Concord Grove Press in Santa Barbara, THE JEWEL IN THE LOTUS
consists of four devotional readings for every day of the year.
For several years, Theosophy Library Online has offered these
daily readings via two mailing lists. The first consists of the
entire text of all four readings. The second consists of a short
quote extracted from the four main readings. The two lists
combined represent over 1600 subscriptions for more than 1000
individual subscribers. The entire electronic text and
subscriptions are available on our site.
We have added several large-scale content projects to our online
offerings. New electronic renditions of seminal Theosophical
texts are now online. We have the complete THE VOICE OF THE
SILENCE and THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY by H.P. Blavatsky. These two
texts appear for the first time as faithful renditions consistent
with the photographic reprints of the original editions.
We also have the complete work THEOSOPHICAL TENETS, an
outstanding collection of articles. Designed for Study Groups,
it lays out basic lines of Theosophic thought consistent with the
Great Theosophical Teachers.
There is a new compendium of articles. We designed the
compendium especially for the online enquirer whom is new to
Theosophy and looking for a signpost to deeper study.
Another significant content is over 220 articles by H.P.
Blavatsky available in a new electronic edition that we rendered
to be consistent with the verbatim extracts published in the
authoritative two-volume set from The Theosophy Company. This
represents several articles never available online before. We
gratefully acknowledge the Students of the Theosophical Society
in the Philippines for the enormous work of the original
electronic editions from which we derived our new edition.
Finally, we have a new search facility, handled by a third party
with the horsepower to index all 2400 pages of our online
Theosophical text. When an enquirer does a search, his query
simultaneous searches THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, THE VOICE OF THE
SILENCE, all 220 HPB articles, over 150 Great Teacher
Biographies, the complete Lead Article series from HERMES
MAGAZINE, plus scores of other Theosophical articles by others.
We welcome questions or comments (firstname.lastname@example.org).
FRATERNIZATION AND NETWORKING: YESTERDAY AND TODAY, Part II
By W. Emmett Small
[From THE ECLECTIC THEOSOPHIST, January 1985, pages 1-5.]
In THE THEOSOPHIST (October 1930), official international
magazine of the Theosophical Society Adyar, of which Annie
Besant, President of the Theosophical Society, was then Editor,
and Marie R. Hotchener, Coeditor, is a revealing article by Mrs.
Hotchener titled "Theosophical Cooperation," reflective of the
wave of real understanding sweeping the theosophical world then.
A few quotes:
> Questions as to the present situation of the cooperation of all
> Theosophical Societies are coming to us from all directions, so I
> think it would be well to state something here in answer to them.
> So far as our Leaders are concerned, we have not heard anything
> from them in addition to what took place at the Geneva Congress,
> fully reported in the August and September numbers of this
> The Hon. Peter Freeman, who was Chairman of the committee which
> reported to Dr. Besant and the Geneva Council, after preparing
> with Prof. Eek (a Point Loma member sent to the Congress to
> represent that Society) a 'Memorandum' on the situation involved,
> says that he has already found that there are twenty-two
> independent Theosophical Societies in the world.
> This was a great surprise to us, and caused feelings of shame and
> regret that the followers of the Inner Founders and their great
> Messenger, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, are so widely separated and
> at odds on some of the interpretations and the methods of
> dissemination of the previous and inspiring truths of the Ancient
> Wisdom which she brought to us in Their name. No wonder
> Theosophy has suffered so many hindrances, especially from the
> world's point of view, with 22 Societies divided against
> themselves! One knows the great good that Theosophy has done, in
> spite of these internal dissensions and periodical crises; but
> how much greater good could have been done if there had been
> peace and unity of endeavor instead of dissensions to divert so
> much of its power! ...
> As I look back over twenty-three years of service to the Adyar
> Society, and keeping in mental touch with several other
> independent Theosophical Societies, I can see clearly, as I
> synthesize the causes of our difficulties, that the majority of
> Theosophists in all the Societies have failed to heed the
> warning, so clearly, so fully, so emphatically stated by the
> Messenger of the White Lodge, that we should make the future of
> Theosophy safe by being so well grounded in its fundamentals of
> truth, its principles of brotherhood, and its spirit of divinity,
> that the inevitable vagaries and imperfections of personalities
> should not be allowed to react as obstacles to its future welfare
> The situation causing the present petty differences and
> difficulties amongst us was recently emphasized by Dr. de
> Purucker, Head of the Point Loma Society, in a letter to his
> members dated February 17, 1930. He made a strong appeal to all
> Theosophists to cooperate with that Society in an effort to bring
> peace and unity, to eliminate the unessential differences, and
> get together on the original principles of Theosophy, and thus
> form, at no distant future, one great Theosophical Society of the
> I sincerely believe that there was a Plan within his plan, even
> beyond and greater than any of those which he, perhaps,
> recognized as essential to the moment (though he may have done
> so) ... It is my personal opinion, for what it may be worth,
> that Dr. de Purucker (in spite of some of his sincere individual
> opinions, personal to his own Society) is now being used as an
> instrument for broadcasting that Plan to awaken Theosophists to
> the necessity for self-analysis and heart-searching in their
> relation to the ideals of Theosophy, and their part in the
> present unrest, doubt, criticisms, and disputes existing in all
> our Theosophical Societies, his not excepted. Hence his appeal
> to his members and to Theosophists everywhere to cease furthering
> the causes of separation and unrest. I quote from his appeal,
> which was sent to me last February and which determined me to
> help him in every way practical and possible:
> > Comradeship, brotherhood, unity, union, combined efforts, and the
> > sense of Theosophical solidarity, belong to the distinctive
> > spirit of the new Theosophical Era into which we of the
> > Theosophical Society are now entering. It is my earnest prayer
> > that my beloved Comrades on the Path will understand, and in
> > understanding will seize, the spirit and meaning of my words,
> > rather than allow themselves to puzzle over the mere phrases in
> > which this my message is conveyed to them. Never before in the
> > history of the Theosophical Movement has the world needed so
> > greatly as it does today the work and combined efforts of the
> > members of a genuine Theosophical brotherhood, without
> > distinction of race, of caste, of creed, or of color; and last
> > but not least, we should feel that no matter to what Theosophical
> > Society we belong, if we the Theosophical Movement as such, and
> > as contrasted with the various Theosophical Societies, is to
> > succeed and do its best work, we must come together and work
> > shoulder to shoulder.
> > I tell you in all seriousness and with all the solemnity that I
> > can bring to bear, that personal opinions, personal differences,
> > society-opinions, and society-differences, should not merely be
> > laid aside, but should be dropped and forgotten, and that we
> > should all work together for a common end. The Masters of Wisdom
> > and Compassion are with us -- with you, my beloved Comrades on
> > the Path; and I address these words to you also, our
> > brother-Theosophists belonging to other societies. I call upon
> > you all to realize the imperative need of union as contrasted
> > with disunion, of Theosophical good-fellowship and good feeling
> > as contrasted with differing and, alas, sometimes antagonistic,
> > personal views and opinions.
> It is this statement of Dr. de Purucker's that overshadows all
> other statements in the appeal mentioned; everything else seems
> secondary... It does not take a seer to see that the call is
> from the Great Ones -- not from Dr. de Purucker himself, alone.
At this time, words of careful warning from an impartial writer,
Dr. H.N. Stokes, editor of THE O.E. LIBRARY CRITIC,
Washington, D.C., are of note. In the issue of his little
magazine for October 1930, he wrote:
> I most heartily concur in Dr. de Purucker's attitude. For
> months past, there has been growing, almost spontaneously, a
> feeling of friendship, and a desire to cooperate between local
> bodies of the Adyar Theosophical Society and the Point Loma
> Theosophical Society in both America and Europe. The sleeping
> desire was there, else Dr. de Purucker's appeals could not have
> awakened it. Joint meetings have been held and arrangements for
> others made, members of one society have freely visited the
> meetings of the other, and the accumulated ice of years was
> beginning to thaw under the growing recognition of the fact that
> all theosophists, no matter what their affiliation, are thereby
> brothers. Each local group has acted as seemed to it best.
> Now there comes a plan, sponsored by and apparently originated by
> Mrs. Besant, for getting together committees and a congress to
> discuss, decide and vote upon and dictate terms, ways and means
> of effecting brotherhood. As Dr. de Purucker implies, this is
> impossibe. The moment you begin with committees and votes, you
> introduce dictation, you introduce politics and log-rolling, and
> that which should have been spontaneous, an expression of
> brotherhood coming from the depths of the soul, becomes part of a
> parliamentary machine. It will not work; you cannot dictate
> brotherhood, or hand it down from some superior authority. It
> must grow as the flower grows, and the attempt to start a
> brotherhood machine will but kill the spirit of it. I am glad
> indeed that Dr. de Purucker has plainly put his foot on the
> plan, and one may see in his words the indication that, anxious
> as he is for brotherhood, it is not his intention to use means
> that in the end would be fatal...
A General Letter, issued from Point Loma in February 1930, made
the official proclamation of Fraternization. Later that year at
a public meeting in the Temple at Point Loma on December 21,
1930, someone asked Dr. de Purucker:
> Does the Theosophical Society with international Headquarters at
> Point Loma really claim to be the ONLY GENUINE Theosophical
> Society founded by H.P. Blavatsky as the Messenger of the Great
> White Lodge?
To this, G. de P. answered:
> No such preposterous claim has ever been made. We claim to be
> ONE of the important Theosophical life-streams, albeit a chief
> one, descending from the Envoy of the Masters of Wisdom and
> Compassion and Peace. Any other Theosophical Society whatsoever
> that teaches the original Theosophical doctrines and can claim
> its founding as an offshoot from the Society founded in 1875 by
> H.P. Blavatsky, we recognize as a genuine Theosophical Society.
> The degree of genuineness, my Brothers, we recognize to depend
> upon the greater or less fidelity to the original teachings of
> the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion and Peace as set forth by
> H.P. Blavatsky, their envoy in our age.
> ... I have offered my hand in brotherly sincerity, and I say to
> all others: Come, let us be brothers; here is my hand; let us
> work together; let us knit up again the torn fabric of the
> Theosophical Movement, and become at one and at peace ...
G. de P.'s regime was a brief thirteen years. Before its end,
he evidently had come to realize that such a daring concept as
unification of all Theosophical Societies was not something to
accomplish over night, or in a few years, though he contended it
would assuredly come about some day. He seemed to accept the
fact that, as Dr. Stokes expressed it, the idea to take
practical form "must grow as the flower grows." As said, the seed
was sown. Careful counsel was also given. In a letter dated
August 19, 1941, he wrote privately to officials of his own
Society that should any distant reunion of all Theosophical
Societies come about, it would have to come
> Strictly in accordance with the policies and teachings of HPB and
> the Masters, as first proclaimed by her... We in our
> Theosophical Society feel that the reasons for this are obvious,
> and we do not elaborate them for fear of hurting other
> Theosophists. The common Theosophical work in the world will be
> just as well served by the different Theosophical Societies
> following each its own path, but with cordial and fraternal
> relations amongst themselves, and especially SYMPATHY by us
> towards others of other societies of Theosophic bent or
> Theosophical Societies which are following or which return to the
> original policies, teachings, and procedures of the Masters and
> HPB. Nevertheless, our attitude towards all Theosophists of
> whatever Society is cordial, genial, and with a sincere desire to
> be fraternal within the limits of the principles above stated.
Dr. de Purucker very evidently had two clear and distinct duties
to perform: to teach, and to work for unity among all the
dismembered Theosophical Societies. He did both, and the record
is there for all to see. To teach: to give added strong impulse
to that ORIGINAL Theosophy from the Masters of Wisdom as brought
by HPB, then fading or in some theosophical ranks almost unknown.
To network or to fraternize -- this is a concept almost shocking
to Theosophists of that era of half a century ago.
We close this incomplete review with a thought that carries its
own appropriate wisdom. About six months before the Point Loma
Headquarters moved to Covina, at one of the last meetings of the
year 1941, a question was asked of G. de P. whether the time
was now right (as had been promised some years earlier) to devote
an evening to questions about his predecessor Katherine Tingley.
> Well, I understand the devotion in the heart of this querent ...
> But I have come to the conclusion that no useful end or objective
> could be served, and furthermore it would concentrate the
> attention of our students too much on one single teacher; or to
> put it otherwise, too much on a person as contrasted with the
> Work itself.
Youth says, "Forget the past. We live in the today. Let us
concentrate on what is right here." That has obvious merit, but
it is incomplete. Is there nothing to learn from history? Need
past mistakes inevitably be repeated? Knowledge of history CAN be
helpful. Knowledge of men's hearts and minds in their experience
of problems of their day CAN be instructive. These words are
directed especially to those among our readers not yet old in
years though eager to work for Theosophy and its realization in a
practical brotherhood. We wish them well. Let us keep in mind,
however, that in all theosophical work balance is needed as well
as strength. Let theirs be a wise balance guiding and directing
their efforts. They face -- we all face -- an upward cycle of
opportunity in this last quarter of a century when humanity
receives added inflow of spiritual vitality despite the powerful
activity of opposing forces. Each year, too, starts with the
smaller cycle between Christmas and Easter when, HPB reminds us,
"the astral life of the earth is young and strong ... Those who
form their wishes now will have added strength to fulfill them
consistently." She adds, "In a garden of sunflowers every flower
turns towards the light. Why not so with us?"
The theosophical tide is rising. The current is strong. As 1985
is born, may we turn toward the light in the great garden of
Theosophy with increasing vision!
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY?, Part I
By Boris de Zirkoff
[From a tape recording entitled "What is Theosophy?" made of a
private class held on April 27, 1955.]
In studying the Ancient Wisdom, recall their scope, worldwide
distribution, and nature. Study them and ask if you understand
where they come from. It pays to ask these questions and
consider them carefully. Many think the teachings of Theosophy
are just another "ism." They think it is just another school of
thought put together from various sources and presented in
palatable form. We know it is much more, but sometimes we forget
The theosophical philosophy is ancient. It comes from immemorial
antiquity. It is a universal tradition to all. Today we study
it in a systematical form. We might call it a whole body of
teachings. We trace it piecemeal throughout history. People
knew the philosophy under various names. The nations of great
antiquity knew it, as well as the nations of lesser antiquity.
People knew it in the Christian era in various places.
Theosophy is not man-made. As far back as you go, you find
traces of it. It is like a golden thread. It weaves in and out
of the various schools of thought of the past. There has always
been a basic, fundamental doctrine. It was spiritual,
intellectual, psychological, and ethical. The body of teachings
was universal in nature.
Theosophy has never been in the possession of the majority. Its
doctrines have existed in the background. Some have known part
of it. Others have known more. A few of high evolutionary
status have become expert it. From time immemorial, the elect of
humanity derive the great religions and philosophical schools
from that fundamental system.
It is the mother fount. On occasion, in some part of the world,
it sends forth a ray. Certain portions emerge. It emanates a
certain force. An installment of the ancient wisdom comes out to
form a great religious or philosophical school.
Today we study THE SECRET DOCTRINE of H.P. Blavatsky. She was
the chief founder of the modern Theosophical Movement. Enormous
a study as it is, nevertheless it is but a small part of a
treasury of knowledge. She pointed to the existence of the
tremendous treasure house from which she drew the teachings.
Since those days of the late 1800's, students have continued to
present these teachings, and have enlarged upon them.
The appearance of the teachings is cyclic. At times, they are
better known. Occasionally, they disappear. They may underlie
the thought of the day, but not be definitely known.
There are cycles where the public persecuted, drove out, denied,
ignored, and blasphemed the teachings. In times of great
materialism, spirituality has fled. At other times, these
teachings existed in out-of-the-way places. People propounded
them cautiously against considerable persecution. In our cycle,
much ancient knowledge is public, openly proclaimed, contained in
hundreds of books, and studied openly in civilized countries.
I exaggerate how widely the teachings are openly proclaimed.
Some countries forbid them. That is a curious reflection upon
our age. This is a world of science. In a world where
knowledge, search, and research are more prominent than in
thousands of years, there should not be countries inhabited by
hundreds of millions of people that forbid the open study of
Hundreds of millions live in other lands where the teachings are
openly available. Even so, few are inclined to study them. It
requires an effort of thought and will. It requires changes in
relation to people and life in general. This has never been
popular. It will not be popular until ages in the future when
mankind will be highly spiritual. Even today, the teachings have
immense influence when compared to dark periods. The teachings
did not influence people much in the Middle Ages in Europe or
during the downfall of the Roman Empire. The people have become
superstitious in modern India, where for thousands of years they
have little known the true doctrine. The inner teachings of true
spirituality were contained in their own scriptures!
The universal system of thought, doctrine, teaching, or wisdom is
an organic whole. Theosophy is a spiritual science with its own
laws, just as chemistry, engineering, physics, and astronomy are
sciences. Most may not know it, in its various departments, with
its various lines of research. It may seem new to the West. In
the East, it in not new, but is mostly forgotten.
That is the main difference between the West and the East. In
Europe and America, these teachings appear to be new. You cannot
point to a century in Europe where they were well known. It has
been a cycle of oblivion for spiritual fact. In the past, the
East had ages where the best people knew the Ancient Wisdom.
Then it went down. Today, the East is gradually reawakening to
their magnificent scriptures, starting to see that these
scriptures have contained these truths from time immemorial. The
West has helped them uncover these treasures in their spiritual
Where do these teachings come from? Did men invent them? No.
There are people who are seeking. They have heard about these
things but do not know much about them. They ask us such
questions. We definitely say these teachings are a system of
religion, science, and philosophy. The teachings are three in
There are Teachers whom are super-human entities. They are far
ahead of us in spiritual evolution. These Teachers have brought
the teachings from higher worlds. The teachings are as pillars
of truth or facts of nature. The most advanced humans ingrained
the teachings in their minds millions of years ago.
These teachings are our heritage from super-human beings. They
serve as a foundation stone in early human evolution, coming when
few could understand them. They serve as a treasure house for
our future evolution. The teachings are universal. The Great
Ones brought them down from higher spheres.
The teachings are applicable everywhere, not just on our earth.
They strike the fundamental keynote of nature's structure. This
is far wider in scope than a planet. We can only speculate on
its wider application, since we are not at the stage where we can
understand more than our evolution on earth. We study the
universal truths of the Esoteric Philosophy. These pertain to
nature as a whole, not to any corner of it, not to this globe or
that solar system. These truths are applicable everywhere, but
not identically so. They are applicable with modifications.
Evolution is a cosmic process. It has a general pattern, but
also modifies itself as it applies to a particular sphere of
being. Consider the study of reincarnation, our successive lives
in various bodies. Just as we change our clothing at times, so
we build ourselves new outward vehicles. As long as we study
reincarnation as applied to man, we limit our idea. It is a
universal law. It is a universal pattern, the way nature works.
There is reembodiment for everything, not just men. It applies
to the spiritual center that manifests as an animal, plant, or
even atom. It applies to the planet, the sun, and the solar
Go in either direction as far as you can. Go infinitesimally
small or super galactic. Great or small are relative terms. A
galaxy may be but a molecule in a greater entity. An atom might
be a whole universe to entities that live in it. Whatever scale
you choose, it is subject to universal law. It reembodies itself
periodically, manifesting in a new form. It is the same
spiritual center, vibrating between two states. There is
embodiment, followed by rest in inner worlds. Another descent
into the material world follows this rest. It embodies to
continue learning. It gathers experience on its atomic, mineral,
vegetable, animal, human, or super-human plane, and then
disembodies itself again. Do not limit the idea of reembodiment
to human reincarnation. We are part of a general picture.
The same is true of karma, the law of cause and effect. It is
not limited to things that happen to us, to things that bring
suffering or joy to us. The doctrine embraces more than the
causes we engender and the effects that follow. It is incorrect
to limit karma to human affairs and to higher animals where we
see causation at work.
This is a fundamental, universal law. It is a pattern of
evolution. Every effect follows its cause. There is no cause
without a corresponding effect. There is no visible effect but
has a cause, even if we cannot see it. Even if we cannot find
it, it has a cause. Between every cause and its corresponding
effect, there is a relation. Everything definitely relates to
something else. In turn, every effect becomes the cause of
future effects, like links in a chain. If we could not recognize
cause and effect as a fact in nature, there would be no science.
Causation is the foundation upon which we build modern science.
Everything that happens is reducible to law. Certain causes
operate behind effects. Thereby, you build a science that can be
trusted. Consider the atom bomb. There was a long chain of
causation, from laboratory research to the blowing up of the
bomb. We go from one cause to the next effect, eventuating in
good or evil results. This law is universal. It applies on all
planes, in worlds visible and invisible. It applies in the
material, substantial nature of science and in the psychological,
intellectual, and spiritual domains of ethics, philosophy, and
Another basic law is periodicity. Consider the tides in the sea,
the alternation of day and night, the seasons of the year, the
cycles of human habits, the periodic cycles in history, and the
cyclic appearance of disease. There are many cycles established
by science, but there is much more to cycles. We see the
manifestation of psychic law in the part of nature closest to us.
Periodicity is constant motion between opposites, as a pendulum.
This is a universal manifestation of life. Everything works that
No energy always works in the same speed and direction. Energy
has an impulse followed by a slowing down, or even recoil,
followed by another impetus forward. We can see this in the
growth of trees, the division of cells, and the destinies of
various movements among men. Things start, have a period of
latency, have a new start and achieve more, and then have another
period of latency.
Cycles involve action and reaction, with an ultimately sustained
movement ahead. They are not continuous. They have rebounds,
recoils, or periods of latency. The Greatest Teachers say the
law of periodicity is universal. Astronomy knows it. Psychology
knows it. Physics, chemistry, and genetics know it. Great
Spiritual Teachers trace the same law working along ethical,
intellectual, psychic, spiritual, and divine lines throughout the
DIVINE SPARK EVERYWHERE
We talk about the innate, divine nature of man. It is the inner
self or the god within. The mystical Christian would call it the
Christos. Other nations have their own respective names for it.
Through the years, we discuss that nature in our groups. The
teaching is that there is a fundamental, spiritual nucleus, a
spiritual flame, at the heart of human consciousness. This is a
partial statement of a universal truth. That basic spark of
universal, divine life is not just ours. It is in the animal,
the plant, the mineral, the elemental, the atom, and the
electron. In the other direction, it is in the heart of a globe,
the heart of a sun, the heart of a whole solar system, and
This truth is another fundamental proposition. We find the
divine spark in all things. Everything is but an outward form, a
temporary manifestation of an indwelling center of spiritual
On this plane, a spiritual center may be an atom. That is as far
as it has unfolded itself. It has reached the stage of atomic
life, nothing more. On the next plane, it might be a rose. The
center has unfolded to a more advanced stage, that of a plant.
It manifests its life that way. Skipping the animal, higher
would be man. Again, there is the same center of consciousness.
It has unfolded from within something richer, greater, more
complex, and more powerful than before. It is a man, a
self-conscious being. It has manifested self-consciousness,
something the lower kingdoms did not have.
That is relatively advanced. Look to entities that are as far
ahead of us in achievement as we are ahead of the atom. We see
our stage insignificant compared to what our spiritual
consciousness will manifest in the future. Evolution is
universal. It has no beginning and no end. The possibilities of
unfolding life are infinite. Life is infinite. I have mentioned
four teachings. Not any of the teachings applies to but one
kingdom. No teaching is limited to us. There is not solely a
human prerogative in them.
We are one leaf out of an endless book of life. Reading that
book, think in terms of universal truths. Do not to limit
thought to one locality or kingdom. Do not imagine there is
favoritism in nature, that one type of life has more
opportunities than another has. That is not the case. We create
our own opportunities. In return, we receive what is due to us
for our effort. This applies on all levels, planes, scales, and
spheres of life.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application