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THEOSOPHY WORLD ----------------------------------- January, 2003
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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.)
"Death of the Body," by B.P. Wadia
"Theosophy in Light of Dzogchen Buddhism," by Gerald Schueler
"Christmas in Art and Symbol," Part II, by Hazel Boyer Braun
"The Comte de Saint-Germain," by Geoffrey West
"In Search of Zen," Part I, by Christmas Humphreys
"The Mingling of Natures," by George William Russell
"Apollonius of Tyanna, Part V, by Phillip A Malpas
"A Much Bigger Show," by Walter Eugene Kent
"A Study in Fundamentals," Part III, by Boris de Zirkoff
> The pure artist who works for the love of his work is sometimes
> more firmly planted on the right road than the occultist, who
> fancies he has removed his interest from self, but who has in
> reality only enlarged the limits of experience and desire, and
> transferred his interest to the things which concern his larger
> span of life.
> LIGHT ON THE PATH, Chapter One, First Footnote.
DEATH OF THE BODY
By B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 277-279.]
> Wakefulness is the path of immortality, heedlessness the path of
> death. Those who are awake do not die. Those who are heedless
> are dead already.
Such are the words uttered by the Enlightened One. They are
recorded in the Second Chapter of THE DHAMMAPADA.
It is one of the striking phenomena of the age that modern man,
steeped in the ocean of worldly existence, fears the death of the
body. Certain that death will come eventually, instead of
inquiring about it, trying to understand it and prepare for it,
the modern man only fears it. His education and civilization
have so glamored him that he takes it for granted that no
reliable instruction is available.
While he fears the death of his body and wipes it out of his
reflections by a mental gesture of bravado, or runs
superstitiously to priest, ritual, and propitiation, he has not
asked if HE is dead already. Emphasis on the body and sense-life
is so powerful, the Soul has been looked upon as a myth or a
vague unintelligible something for such a long time now, that the
state of his Soul is not at all a matter of concern to the
ordinary man. He looks upon those who are so concerned as a bit
cranky and somewhat peculiar persons.
Man's pain and suffering, including the ill health of the body,
should awaken any intelligent man to seek for explanations.
Diseases of body or mind are taken as unrelated to Soul, to
consciousness, the causal aspect of all human phenomena. Pains
and suffering, aches and anguish, are treated only on the plane
of effects. Superficially, and in truth unscientifically, the
modern man accepts the diagnosis of his doctor, who, if he is
really a great doctor, knows within his own conscience that his
ignorance overpowers his knowledge. His theories and his
treatments, his present-day knowledge and the advances that it
has made, certainly deserve respect. It is not wholly his fault
that the patient has blind belief in the miraculous power of the
Modern civilization is so founded upon soullessness that neither
the patient nor the doctor bothers about the most vital factor
whose functions or the lack of them cause health and disease,
knowledge and ignorance, contentment and faultfinding, and the
varied factors which are named advantages and disadvantages of
Death of the body, the mind, and even the Soul contain not only
clues but also infallible keys to the problem of human happiness.
Who is there who does not wish for happiness? Often the means are
mistaken for the end. Money is supposed to confer happiness. At
another period of human evolution knowledge is supposed to
contain its own reward of happiness. Still at other times,
character, with courage and kindliness and contentment, is
supposed to ensure happiness, in spite of poverty and ignorance.
Our possessions and the power to secure and retain them are
themselves only means to happiness and they change, be they in
the form of money or in the shape of knowledge.
That which endures as a means to the real end of unchanging and
unchangeable happiness is the Power of the Soul; both the Soul
and its power are immortal. The Soul possesses the power to
create and, when left to its own devices, strategy, and tactics,
it sweetly and wisely ordered all things. It is attentiveness,
heedfulness, wakefulness, which guards us from unconscious errors
and mistakes as from conscious crimes and sins. Rightly,
therefore, Gautama and His Illustrious Predecessors emphasized
this faculty of CHITTA-mind consciousness as all-important.
Sanat Kumar imparts the same teaching to Dhritarashtra. In
Chapter Two of SANATSUJATIYA, we find the great Sage answering
the King's inquiry -- "Which is correct -- that death exists not
or that freedom from death can be obtained by Brahmacharya?"
Here is the reply:
> Some say, that freedom from death results from action; and others
> that death exists not. Hear me explain this, O King! Have no
> misgiving about it. Both truths, O Kshatriya, have been current
> from the beginning. The wise maintain that what is called
> delusion is death. I verily call heedlessness death, and
> likewise I call freedom from heedlessness immortality. Through
> heedlessness, verily, were the demons vanquished. Through
> freedom from heedlessness, the gods attained to the Brahman.
> Death, verily, does not devour living creatures like a tiger;
> for, indeed, his form is not to be perceived.
THEOSOPHY IN LIGHT OF DZOGCHEN BUDDHISM
By Gerald Schueler
As presented by H.P. Blavatsky, Theosophy offers a vast
worldview of our universe with an evolutionary model of how
living beings therein undergo manvantaric manifestation. THE
SECRET DOCTRINE describes this model in some detail.
As with any model, the theosophical begins with initial
unprovable assumptions. There are three. Blavatsky calls them
the three fundamental propositions in her proem to THE SECRET
DOCTRINE. We will look at them and compare with Dzogchen
Buddhism. We quote Blavatsky from her Proem to THE SECRET
DOCTRINE. The Dzogchen quotes are from the great Dzogchen
Master, Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363).
> An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on
> which all speculation is impossible ... It is beyond the range
> and reach of thought. . [Then she says that this Principle] is
> one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned,
> being ... It is "Be-ness" rather than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat),
> and is beyond all thought or speculation.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, page 14
> Great Perfection, naturally occurring timeless awareness, has
> never existed as anything, but abides as supreme spontaneous
> presence, empty yet lucid. Since it abides as supreme original
> purity, primordial basic space, it is called "the enlightened
> intent that is Dharmakaya in its own natural place of rest."
> The ineffable nature of things is that they are empty by virtue
> of their very essence. In the vast expanse of awakened mind,
> equal to space, however, things appear, they are at the same time
> ineffable by nature.
> -- Rabjam, THE WAY OF ABIDING
Blavatsky's be-ness is equivalent to Rabjam's primordial basic
space (Dharmadhatu). Rabjam also calls it Dzogchen, Tibetan for
Great Perfection. Both are non-dual and ineffable. He says this
non-dual state is the "universal ground, the foundation of all
karmas and traces of Samsara and Nirvana." (Tib. Kun-gZhi)
Be-ness, Dharmadhatu, or Universal Ground is outside of our
Manvantara, which manifests on seven cosmic planes in a universe
of duality. While remaining one with our dualistic universe, it
somehow causes it.
I have called this proposition the Law of Duality and said,
> This law states that an omnipresent, eternal, boundless, and
> immutable Principle splits into two aspects of itself as an act
> of creation in order to form the manifested worlds. This First
> Principle or Infinite and Eternal Cause is called be-ness and it
> splits into space and motion. All manifestation is therefore
> dualistic ... A connecting force exists between the polarities
> of manifested existence. This force is called Fohat and it is
> defined as "the dynamic energy of Cosmic Ideation."
> -- Schueler, ENOCHIAN PHYSICS
One of the chief dualities of our universe is that of matter and
spirit. It tends to separate the seven cosmic planes into two
parts. One part includes the lower four cosmic planes and is
equivalent to Samsara. The higher part includes the upper three
planes and is equivalent to Nirvana.
> Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be
> regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two facets or
> aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis
> of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, page 15
HPB does not say Parabrahm is God or some entity, which would be
converting an abstraction into a thing. She tells us that
"Parabrahm is, in short, the collective aggregate of Kosmos in
its infinity and eternity."
This essential oneness of things, this oneness of matter, spirit,
and be-ness, we also find in Dzogchen:
> Although sensory appearances do not exist, they manifest in all
> their variety. Although emptiness does not exist, it extends
> infinitely, reaching everywhere. Although dualistic perception
> does not exist, there is still fixation on things having
> individual identity. Although they have no basis, a continual
> succession of lifetimes manifests. Although nothing exists that
> can be refuted or proved, pleasure is accepted and pain is
> -- Rabjam, A TREASURE TROVE OF SCRIPTURAL TRANSMISSION
> The Eternity of the Universe IN TOTO as a boundless plane;
> periodically "the playground of numberless Universes incessantly
> manifesting and disappearing" ... "The Eternity of the Pilgrim"
> is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence ... This second
> assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of
> that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, pages 16-17
> How confused are those who experience phenomena in an ordinary
> way, as sensory appearances perceived in confusion. They are
> like children who fight and make a lot of effort -- building
> playhouses, imitating people explaining or listening to spiritual
> teachings, and so forth -- taking it all to be self-evidently
> true. Though confusion does not exist, these people invest
> things with identity and so exhaust themselves in their
> individual states of confusion, playing out the farce of reifying
> their sense of "I." This comes down to investing ultimately
> meaningless sensory appearances with identity.
> -- Rabjam, A TREASURE TROVE OF SCRIPTURAL TRANSMISSION
Notice Blavatsky's use of playground and Rabjam's building
playhouses. Manifestation is circular, with inner spirals and
wheels within wheels, but as Shakespeare once said, it signifies
nothing. All manifest life is game-like. It has busy periods of
confusing, mayavic self-manifestation with joyous creativity
followed by periods of rest.
I have called this proposition the Law of Periodicity and said:
> This law states that the universe is a boundless plane of
> periodic manifestation. Everything in the universe is subject to
> periodic flux and reflux, ebb and flow, day and night, life and
> death and so on. This continuous oscillation is an expression of
> the Great Breath.
> -- Schueler, ENOCHIAN PHYSICS
Elsewhere Blavatsky identifies the mayavic nature of periodic
manifestation, as does Rabjam who writes,
> All phenomenon of the world of appearances and possibilities,
> whether of Samsara or Nirvana, are none other than natural
> manifestations as the display, dynamic energy, and adornment of
> naturally occurring timeless awareness.
> -- Rabjam, THE WAY OF ABIDING
> The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal
> Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root;
> and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul -- a spark of the
> former -- through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity") in
> accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky
> The Buddha-essence pervades all living beings.
> -- Rabjam, THE PRACTICE OF DZOGCHEN
Blavatsky equates Soul with Buddhi, Sanskrit for intelligence but
used in Theosophy differently and with multiple meanings. Here
it implies an individual spiritual being or entity. Blavatsky
often emphasizes this meaning by uniting Buddhi with Atma to form
the Atma-Buddhi Monad, the Higher Self.
In our everyday material world, we are fundamentally different
and unique beings. Even so, our inner spiritual Self, although
relatively monadic or indivisible, is identical with every other
Self. This is not evident on the material plane of living beings
where we humans are inherently different. This difference is
substantially less on spiritual planes and in Nirvana. There is
no difference at all in be-ness, which has a fundamental
I have called this proposition the Law of Identity and said:
> This law states that there is a fundamental identity between all
> manifested things. The differences we observe in the universe
> are due to time and space: the geometry of the
> space-time-consciousness continuum. Although this law may be
> difficult to comprehend, it means that if we choose any two
> objects and negate those differences due to time and space, the
> two objects will be observed as one single object. The primary
> fallout of this law is that man is inherently a star; that the
> only difference between any two objects is their evolutionary
> development in time and space. An important corollary of this
> law is the Law of Karma -- the Cycle of Necessity -- that defines
> the specific nature of each object's evolutionary progress.
> According to H.P. Blavatsky, "The Secret Doctrine teaches the
> progressive development of everything, of worlds as well as
> atoms; and this stupendous development has neither conceivable
> beginning nor imaginable end." This "progressive development" is
> through the continuum of space, time and consciousness, or more
> properly, through the duality of space, time, and consciousness.
> Outside of this continuum, no differences can be measured between
> any two things whatsoever."
> -- Schueler, ENOCHIAN PHYSICS
This proposition implies the existence of the law of karma. It
also implies liberation or freedom from the bonds of karma. As
> Karmas are produced by the unenlightened mind-consciousness.
> -- Rabjam, THE PRACTICE OF DZOGCHEN
He also says,
> Since there is no karma in the essence of awareness, the
> limitation of positive and negative action are transcended. If
> there were karma, this would entail the flaw of there being no
> naturally occurring timeless awareness. The All-Creating Monarch
> states: "The label 'karma' is applied to any specific pattern of
> correspondence. What does this imply? If karma held mastery,
> there would be no naturally occurring timeless awareness."
> You might object, "We know that there is karma because it
> manifests as suffering," but although this manifestation occurs
> because of the way in which the display of awakened mind arises
> yet is unborn, it does not exist in naturally occurring timeless
> awareness. Similarly, although gathering clouds appear, they are
> merely the display or dynamic energy of space; in the essence of
> space, they do not exist.
> -- Rabjam, THE WAY OF ABIDING
Rabjam's timeless awareness is Blavatsky's be-ness as experienced
by the non-dual Monad.
Karma, which means "action," applies throughout our manifested
Manvantara, which is Maya, but not to be-ness or to the non-dual
Monad. Karma applies only to individuals moving through time and
space. Blavatsky suggests,
> Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest
> as individual consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle
> of matter that consciousness wells up as "I am I," a physical
> basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a
> certain stage of complexity.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, page 15
Here she is at one with Buddhism, saying that matter and
therefore Maya are required for a sense of self or of "I."
Outside of matter-spirit, no individual or perception of self can
exist. This allows the law of identity to hold throughout any
In conclusion, the three propositions of Blavatsky's THE SECRET
DOCTRINE are that (1) our entire manifested universe of duality
has a non-dualistic background or Source, (2) this Source
periodically self-expresses, and (3) all living beings are
fundamentally identical. The teachings of Dzogchen agree. All
of the teachings of Theosophy can be concluded by logical
deduction from these three propositions.
CHRISTMAS IN ART AND SYMBOL, Part II
By Hazel Boyer Braun
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, December 1947, pages 727-36.]
Most of us began questioning when we were children about the
people who lived before the time of Christ. We felt sure they
must have had a Savior, but we could not find a word about it.
We were told in those days that those people did not count, but
we knew better. Finally we noted the effect of perspective --
that the figure in the foreground always looms the largest; but
as we proceed along a road each one is seen in its true stature.
This is the way it is in finding the Great Ones who came to bring
the teachings to humanity through the ages.
The Madonna and child is one of the most universal themes in the
world of art, as it is in the world of tradition and legend. In
some fourteen different lands the same tale has been found; often
attached to the life of great initiates and sun deities. About
these type figures are woven with few variations the theme of the
virgin-birth, the stable or cave, the wise men, and always coming
on the birthday of the sun; while the art records of many ages
reveal a wealth of information concerning them.
For instance we know that the story about Krishna of India, 3102
B.C., strongly resembles that of the coming of Jesus; even in his
Mother's name, the Annunciation by the angel, the birth in a
stable, and the three wise men. The Persians called their Savior
Mithras, the "Unconquered," just as the Romans made festivals at
the solstice time to the Sol Invictus or Unconquered Sun.
Mithras was mystically said to have been born in a cave or
grotto. Apollonius of Tyana said that he was born in a meadow
where the animals were at home among the flowers. Sochiquetzal
of old Mexico, called the "Flower of Heaven" was the mother of
the Savior, Quetzalcoatl, and she was informed of her destiny by
an angel carrying a lily.
There is definite reason why the mythos concerning any of the
four seasons tells of an event that really happened and yet at
the same time suggests so much that refers to cosmic events. The
Madonnas served as a beautiful blind for teachings of the Mystery
Schools, teachings which today are just beginning to be touched
upon in our scientific and philosophical research.
Isis of Egypt is a particularly remarkable example of this veiled
knowledge; for we learn from Plutarch and from Proclus that there
was written over the portal of a temple dedicated to her in the
city of Sais in Egypt these lines:
> Isis am I: All that ever was, is, or will be; and no human has
> ever lifted my veil. The fruit which I brought forth became the
In the Louvre in France there is a bronze figure of Isis holding
her child Horus, who typifies the Morning Sun. In low relief she
is thus shown on many temple walls in Egypt. There are in fact a
number of Madonna figures in Egyptian lore. Such a legend is
woven around Mut-em-ua, the so called virgin-mother of Amenhotep
III, and there are fascinating drawings of this queen mother
receiving the divine message of her motherhood, and of the child
in the arms of the midwife.
If we follow the symbolism here we find as always that the inner
meaning may refer to the Madonna as the manifested universe, the
plane of individualized consciousness -- or we could say the
brooding spiritual guardian, Mother Nature. Dr. de Purucker
clarifies the cosmic significance when he writes:
> The immaculate Virgin-Mother of Space, the Soul-Spirit of Space,
> brought forth the Logos or "Word," the Interpreter of the Light,
> the intermediary between the Unspeakable, and conscious beings
> and all things; and this Logos or Intermediary is the Divine Sun.
> Here then is the germ of the Christian idea -- indeed, more than
> the mere germ, almost the identical thoughts: the Cosmic
> Virgin-Mother and the God-child.
> -- G. de Purucker, THE ESOTERIC TRADITION, II, 1104
The mother, cosmically speaking, as an old Celtic Rune has it, is
the spiritual mother love on all planes: the very womb of being
from which worlds are born, to the mother love that we all know
> Time was, ere came the Son of God,
> The world was a black morass
> Void of star, of sun, of moon,
> Void of body, heart or form.
> 'Twas Mary Mother lowly kneeled.
> The Inmost Being brought to birth;
> Darkness and the dule were driven afar,
> The guiding star rose over the earth.
> Illumined the land, illumined the deep
> From the sullen gloom to streaming sea;
> Grief was laid and joy was raised
> With praise and hail and harping free.
> Illumined hills, illumined plains,
> Illumined the ocean, sea and firth;
> Illumined the whole wide world as one,
> The hour God's Son came down to Earth.
> -- Carmina Gadelica, translated after Alexander Carmichael, ORTHA
> NAN GAEDHEAD
Always the type figures of the ancient Mystery Schools had a
cosmic significance as well as a human one. We find the Trinity
in every land. It represents the divine life at the root of each
hierarchy whether it is a planet, a solar system, a galaxy, or a
universe, each having its cyclic periods of life and rest. The
mother quality was always space out of whose womb the worlds were
born, and the fruit that she brought forth was the morning sun.
Humanly speaking she is the spiritual nature which steps down to
us the divine love and brings forth her son -- the Savior born.
Herodotus tells us that Egypt gave the mysteries to Greece, and
when we look there we find these beautiful thoughts woven into
song and legend. There is no doubt that the Greeks built much of
their symbolism and poetry upon this theme. The mother goddess,
representing the spiritual principle in nature, the sky, the
spaces of space, might be Demeter, and the solar deity in the
heavens was known by many names: sometimes as Apollo or Dionysus.
Even Hercules suggested many solar qualities. The Praxiteles
Hermes is seen holding a babe, the newly born Dionysus, on his
In Egypt the trinity is very clearly defined in Osiris, Isis, and
Horus; as it is in northern Europe where we find Odin, Frega, and
Balder. In ancient Peru at Cuzco there prevailed the tale of the
Sun God (who as in many extremely archaic legends remains the
Unnameable), Mama Ocollo Huaco, and the son Manco Capac; while in
Central America we find the trinity was Sun God, Sochiquetzal or
"Flower of Heaven," and Quetzacoatl. In each case we may focus
our thought on the cosmic processes or on the spiritual
revelation which occurs in the human sphere.
In Chapter XXV of Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching we read:
> There was something formless yet complete that existed before
> heaven and earth, without sound, without substance, dependent on
> nothing, unchanging, all-pervading, unfailing. One may think of
> it as the mother of all things under heaven. Its true name we do
> not know. Tao is the by-name that we give it.
With becoming simplicity and utmost reverence the Sage of ancient
China leaves no doubt in our minds of his complete understanding
of this universally acclaimed Mother of All. We do find in
archaic Chinese legend the name of a Mother deity: Shin Mu, just
as the Tibetan mother is Lha-Mo. Buddhism brought to China a
trinity of which it was the Mother figure who became one of the
most dearly beloved of China's many beneficial spirits. The
trinity was the Sun God (if ever mentioned at all), Kuan Yin, and
the son Kuan Sha Yin.
Kuan Yin appears with many variations. Sometimes she suggests
the unmanifest realms of divinity when she appears as neither
female nor male but both. Then she can be the very feminine
Goddess ad Mercy and only very occasionally is she found with the
infant child in her arms. Often she is associated more with the
Third Logos than with her own realm, but there is no doubt that
hers is the higher plane of spiritual understanding, the
semi-divine Hierarchy from which the Great Ones come to teach in
this world below: Great Ones born of the virgin mother, and
twice-born at Christmas time.
All these stories serve to convince us that love is the keynote
of Christmas. We are all children of the Great Mother, striving,
loving, and gaining through suffering, sympathy, and
understanding. At the Christmas time we forget ourselves a bit
and know what it is to get a glimpse of real happiness. Just to
think away from ourselves out to the grandeur of the real meaning
of the Sacred Season lifts us and prepares us to be instruments
of this love divine which shines through so many beings into our
THE COMTE DE SAINT-GERMAIN
By Geoffrey West
[From THE ARYAN PATH, April 1934, pages 214-18.]
In the sixteenth century, there was Paracelsus, the Seed! Two
hundred years later, we had the Flowering!
In the eighteenth century, Europe was the credulous playground of
wonder-workers. Skepticism breeds credulity. He who begins by
believing nothing may well end by believing everything. There
were many charlatans, now mostly forgotten. A few records such
as the cynical confessions of Casanova survive to show how men
and women might become the dupes of their religious hunger -- and
how there were always men and women waiting to take advantage of
them. Certain other names remain, of individuals who CLAIMED no
more than the charlatans did, yet perhaps DID more. What more
easy for a West which since then has rather systematized and
deepened its skepticism than reduced it, to set the
Saint-Germains, the Cagliostros, and their like beside the
Casanovas and THEIR like? WHAT MORE EASY, AND YET …
The Comte de Saint-Germain is, it must be confessed, less than
any of his contemporaries a subject for the "sober" historian.
He conforms to none of the rules. He is neither here nor there.
Not only does mystery hide his beginning and his end, but also
there are stories relating to both, seemingly all of equal
authenticity, which are definitely contradictory.
There can be no doubt of his existence, or of his movements about
Europe over a period of approximately forty years, of his
friendships in high places, and of the general high regard in
which he was held in many lands. The fact remains that we
possess scarcely any statement regarding him, whatever its degree
of authority, that does not very quickly pass over into what most
readers today will deem the realm of the fantastic.
His actual appearance and personality are in no dispute. Every
account of him proclaims a single identity. He is a man of
middle age, well preserved, of medium height and built, simply
and tastefully dressed, his only jewelry magnificent diamond
buckles. His complexion is dark. He has black hair, wide-set
fine eyes, and white teeth. His chin is rounded, almost
feminine, but saved from weakness by the intellectual cast of the
regular features, the intelligent expression of the mobile
penetrating glance. His manners are of the most admirable. All
accorded him charm, grace, courtliness, a true refinement.
Though he has his enemies, all men respect him. He is received
everywhere as a welcome guest. In the palaces of kings -- at
Versailles, at the court of Frederick the Great -- he appears as
no humble sycophant but as a man to whom all ranks are one. With
Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, he is on terms of intimacy,
spending hours at Versailles with the Royal Family. Among his
friends are Prince Ferdinand Lobkowit (first minister of the
Austrian Emperor), the Comte de Belle-Isle (French Minister of
War), the Orlov brothers (officers and favorites of Catherine the
Great), Prince Kaunitz, and Prince Charles of Hesse. For a
while, he and the great Duc de Choiseul are on visiting terms,
though later political exigencies force the Duc to denounce him
in Louis's name!
Adventurer he has been called, but history gives no substance to
the term, for it has to tell of gifts given by Saint-Germain,
but of none received in return. It was a peculiarity of the
Comte, often remarked that he neither ate nor drank in public.
He was said not to eat meat or drink wine. When he attended his
friends's dinner-parties, it was not to eat but to talk, as he
did brilliantly, with an effortless infinite variety.
This was a man of gifts! He was reputed to speak not only German,
French, Italian, English, Portuguese, and Spanish "perfectly"
(but some said his French betrayed a Piedmontese accent), but
Greek and Latin in a manner to astound scholars. His facility in
Sanskrit, Chinese, and Arabic gave weight to reports of his
Eastern travels. He played many musical instruments. As a
violinist, he was compared to Paganini -- or rather, Paganini to
him! He painted "beautifully."
These were his more ordinary accomplishments, for he was also
credited with the ability to charm snakes and bees and with a
knowledge of physics and chemistry that extended beyond such
primary experiments as the production of imitation silk from flax
to the perfecting of flawed gems and the transmutation of
inferior metals into a substance indistinguishable from gold.
Many testified to his powers of prophecy, of passing into trances
wherein he saw distant places and events and held converse with
spiritual beings. It was said that he held the secret of an
elixir of perpetual youth, of which he himself had drunk.
Here we approach the most startling of all the allegations
concerning him. We need not take too seriously the popular
rumors of his personal acquaintance with Jesus and the Apostles,
and of his servant who had been with him "only" a few hundred
years. He was certainly commonly regarded by those who knew him
well as of more than ordinary age.
Both the Baron de Gleichen and Madame d'Adhemar (intimate of
Marie Antoinette) testified to hearing others declare in their --
and his -- hearing that they had known him in Venice fifty years
before, about 1710, and that he had seemed even then of the same
apparent age. In 1760, an acquaintance wrote of him that he was
said to be over a hundred and ten years of age though he looked
no more than forty-five. The accounts however are bafflingly
contradictory. Twenty years later he told Prince Charles of
Hesse that he was eighty-eight, while an eyewitness a little
earlier judged him as between sixty and seventy.
Must we despair then of assigning him either a birth date or
parentage? It seems so. Some writers have sought to prove the
truth of his statement to Prince Charles that he was the third
son of a Prince Ragoczy of Transylvania whose estates were
confiscated about the beginning of the eighteenth century for his
anti-Austrian conspiracies. He was married in 1694 and died in
1736, leaving legacies in the hands of the French Crown for his
youngest son. Certainly, this might help to account for Louis's
friendliness towards Saint-Germain, as well as for the statement
that in France the King alone knew his identity. We do know that
he frequently used the titles of Prince Ragoczy and Prince
Tzarogy (the latter an anagram of the former). Yet if this were
the truth, clearly we must discount many not only of his
friends's but his own recorded statements!
We have no certain knowledge of him until nearly the mid-century,
when in 1745 he was arrested in London as a Jacobite spy, then
instantly released. Evidently, he had already a European
reputation, but it is only possible to record without comment the
reports of his five years at the Court of the Shah of Persia
(1737-42) and of his presentation at Versailles almost
immediately upon his return.
In 1746, he is living in Vienna "as a prince," and here he seems
to have met Belle-Isle. Ten years later, he is with Clive in
India. This was his second visit, it is said, and an occasion of
initiation into yet deeper "secrets of nature" than his earlier
Eastern pilgrimages had afforded him. In 1748, and more
certainly in 1757, we find him in high favor at Versailles.
In 1758, he was taking up residence in a suite of rooms at the
royal Chateau de Chambord assigned to him by the King himself,
who, to those inquiring how he should be received, replied that
he must have "all the consideration due to a man of his
position," and be permitted to live in his own fashion. At
Chambord, he drew together a group of students in his laboratory,
among them the Baron de Gleichen, the Marquise d'Urfe (Casanova's
unhappy dupe), and the Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, mother of
Catherine the Great.
Followed the episode of the Hague, Louis XV, it is said, had used
the Comte before as a diplomatic agent. Early in 1760, he sent
him to Holland. The Seven Years War was at its height. France
was in peril, all Europe distressed, longing for peace. The
ghost of an empty treasury haunted Versailles. The Comte's
mission was twofold: to approach the Dutch bankers, and to learn
the English peace-terms.
Louis, always fearful, had not informed his Foreign Minister, the
Duc de Choiseul, for the latter upheld the Austrian Treaty that
England and Prussia strongly opposed. When the news of
Saint-Germain's negotiations came to the Duc, he forced the
King, in a dramatic scene, to denounce his agent as an impostor
and adventurer. The move deceived none. Its why and wherefore
were plain to all. Saint-Germain's passport, signed by Louis
himself, made mention of his mission, but he was forced to fly to
England to evade arrest. More, the name stuck. The terms
"adventurer" and "spy" were applied to him repeatedly for no
better reason than the false charges of 1745 and 1760, and want
of a better label!
His later career was not that of the exposed impostor. From
London, he traveled to St. Petersburg, where he was concerned in
the conspiracy to set Catherine on the Russian throne. We hear
of him in Berlin, Holland again, Italy, always honorably
received. It may have been at this period that he visited the
young Mesmer in Vienna and had at least one long talk with him.
As early as 1768, he was again at Versailles and on friendly
terms with the King. He was much in Paris between 1770 and 1774,
the dates respectively of the fall from power of the Duc de
Choiseul and the King's death. In the next few years, he was at
many German cities and courts, until towards 1780 he settled with
Prince Charles of Hesse in Schleswig-Holstein. There, at
Eckernforde, on February 27, 1784, the church register records
Again, we are plunged into contradiction. For a year later, he
is invited to a conference of Freemasons at Wilhelmsbad, and is
said to have attended it! Madame d'Adhemar not only records his
visit to her in 1788 or so, to warn the King (Louis XVI) of the
coming Revolution, but also mentions his being seen in Venice
about the same time. A Rosicrucian student dates their
"never-to-be-forgotten" meeting in the years 1788-90.
The record of his subsequent tragic appearances to Madame
d'Adhemar (up to 1822) in any case enters the realm of the
supernormal, but even lacking that we have, at the end as at the
beginning, a story that must transcend, or at least evade, the
orthodox student's judgment. He is left simply with the
spectacle of a mysterious, not unattractive figure, credited with
the most remarkable gifts, haunting the Europe of the eighteenth
To what end? Again, the historian must confess defeat. Simply,
there are no documents. Saint-Germain left no writings, save
one "sonnet philosophique" only "attributed" to him. It is
interesting if only as showing the sort of thing he might have
been expected to write -- a profoundly mystical declaration to be
understood exactly in the degree of the reader's own
All indications point to the mystical cast of Saint-Germain's
mind and thought. His travels were not the mere wanderings of a
man of leisure. Wherever he journeyed, he was associated with
Masonic bodies and students of occult knowledge. He is said to
have been a Rosicrucian of high rank, though his interests took a
wider sweep than that of any single organization. The foundation
of Freemasonry in Germany is set to his credit, and Cagliostro is
named as one of his most eminent initiates, though this may be
rather an addition to the Cagliostro LEGEND than the
Mesmer he seemingly did know, and Lavater sent him promising
pupils, while his mission at least would appear to have been
identical with Cagliostro's -- the illumination of Western
darkness with the knowledge of the Eastern seers. He was, some
would say, supervisor of the Theosophical attempt to enlighten
the Western world in the eighteenth century, and Madame Blavatsky
declared him "certainly the greatest Oriental Adept Europe has
seen during the last centuries. But Europe knew him not." There
are many things, the Theosophist would say, that Europe does not
Certainly, regarding the extraordinary career of the Comte de
Saint-Germain, the good European, bound within the narrow circle
of his assured knowledge, cannot evade the impression that here
indeed IS something that he does NOT know.
IN SEARCH OF ZEN, Part I
By Christmas Humphreys
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, March 1949, pages 166-77.]
Asked, "What is Zen," there is only one truthful answer. "That
is it!" Zen is beyond description. It is the life within form
and only a form can be described. It refuses to commit itself to
any specified pattern of thinking, to conform to the rules of
man's imagining, to fill any mold. "It is a world-power, for in
so far as men live at all, they live by Zen." (Blyth, ZEN IN
ENGLISH LITERATURE, page vii)
If this were vague, it is not the fault of Zen, but the fault of
the mind's persistent refusal to focus on truth, preferring the
forms of truth. Yet Zen, "though far from indefinite, is by
itself indefinable because it is the active principle of life
itself." (Blyth, page 2) Nor is its teaching vague. Coal is
black, says Zen. Coal is not black, says Zen. This is clear
enough, and both are equally true -- or untrue.
Zen slips from the grasp out of affirmation or denial. Either of
these traps limits the boundless and cages the illimitable.
Below sense is nonsense, where understanding has not reached the
plane of formulated truth. Beyond sense lies non-sense, when the
limits of all formulation have been transcended, and only a smile
or the lifting of a flower can reveal a shared experience.
Zen is a way of looking at life, a rather unusual way. For it is
the direct way, whereby all things are seen just as themselves,
and not otherwise, and yet at the same time seen as the
interfused aspects of a whole. In Zen, all things are ends in
themselves, while having no end. To the pure, all things are
pure. To the Essence of Mind, all things just are. The nearer
we are to the Essence of Mind the nearer we are to the things
about us that are and yet are not the Essence of Mind.
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow," said Jesus.
"Consider the flower in the crannied wall," said Tennyson.
Consider anything you please, but just consider it, not as a
symbol of eternity, as God in miniature, as a moral lesson or a
Great White Hope, but just consider it.
"Mysticism uses the object, the finite, as a telescope to look
into the infinite. Zen looks at the telescope." (Blyth, page
As the Master Jimyo said, "As soon as one particle of dust is
raised, the great earth manifests itself there in its entirety."
It is there, all of it, not symbolically, but actually.
There is no need to do more than just to consider it, whatever it
may be. The flower is enjoyed for what it is, not otherwise, and
he who can rightly look at a flower, without a shadow of aught
else intervening, is looking at Zen.
Thereafter he is in direct communion with all living things, and
who shall hate these toes and fingers of his larger self that lie
on the mind's periphery? They are God, if you care to call them
so, or Reality. They therefore deserve the gesture that a lover
of Zen may pay with the raised hands of respect to a landscape, a
noble picture, or even his bowl of tea. They are brothers, born
of the same father, life, out of the same mother, illusion; or
they just are.
For those who prefer the language of modern psychology, he who
has achieved this power of direct and therefore:
> [Illumined vision] is no longer preoccupied with the images of
> things but merely contains them. The fullness of the world,
> which heretofore pressed upon it [his consciousness], loses none
> of its richness and beauty, no longer ruling consciousness. The
> magical claim of things has ceased because the primordial
> interweaving of consciousness with the world has finally been
> disentangled. The unconscious is not projected any more, and so
> the primal PARTICIPATION MYSTIQUE with things is abolished.
> Therefore, consciousness is no longer preoccupied with compulsive
> motives, but becomes vision.
> -- C.G. Jung, SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, pages 121-2
Zen is therefore a matter of experience, and if this has been
said many times before, there is little else to be said. It has
a subject but no object. It is impersonal, undirected, and
purposeless. There is no reference in the vast literature of
recorded satori to union with the Beloved, or of union at all.
Zen is a zip-fastener between the opposites. It passes, and they
are no more. Yet they are, as none shall deny that once more
opens the fastener. Zen is dynamic; it moves and will not wait
to be expressed or fastened by the ankle with a phrase. Like
> When one looks at it, one cannot see it;
> When one listens to it, one cannot hear it;
> But when one uses it, it is inexhaustible.
> -- TAO TE CHING, Chapter 35
Still less can it be the subject of chatter, still less
Speaking to a pupil who talked about Zen, a Master said, "You
have one trivial fault. You have too much Zen."
"But is it not natural for a student of Zen to talk about Zen,"
asked the puzzled student.
"Why do you hate talking about Zen," intervened a fellow student.
"Because it turns my stomach," said the Master.
Zen has no form, and therefore it has no religion or philosophy
of its own. It flowers on a hundred stems, and may use any
man-made system to climb to its own integrity. Yet whatever it
uses is a substitute for Zen, a mere finger pointing to the moon.
No thing, no compound of matter or thought or feeling, must be
thought to be the moon when it is but the finger. Or is it the
Zen is a state of consciousness beyond the opposites. It is also
the way to such a condition. It has no form and destroys the
forms that are made for it. "Coal is black" may be true. So,
says Zen, is the opposite, that coal is not black. Both
statements limit the truth by an intellectual equation between
two things of relative existence. Do we KNOW the coal any more
by sticking upon it the label "black?"
Yet the mind is partial to clothing for truth, being
prudish-minded about her essential nakedness. Even Bodhidharma
is said to have laid down the four fundamental principles already
set out. Let us consider them.
A SPECIAL TRANSMISSION OUTSIDE THE SCRIPTURES
Is Zen, then, esoteric? Some say yes, that in fact it never had
an exoteric form. The Robe was handed down from Patriarch to
Patriarch and for a long time nothing of this "transmission" was
In the Samyutta Nijaya of the Pali Canon is the famous story of
the simsapa leaves. Taking up a handful of leaves, the Buddha
asked his disciples, "What think ye, Brethren, which are the
more, these leaves that I hold in my hand or those in the grove
The inevitable answer being given, he made his point. "Just so,
those things that I know but have not revealed are greater by far
than those that I have revealed ... And why have I not revealed
them? … Because they do not conduce to profit, are not concerned
with the holy life."
To those who have need of words to communicate experience, there
is a limit to what may be taught with profit. Yet those who have
opened the "third eye" of the intuition may speak with the Master
on his own exalted plane.
A Confucian came to a Master to be initiated into Zen. The
Master quoted Confucius, "Do you think I am holding something
back from you? Indeed, I have held nothing back!"
The Confucian was about to answer, when the Master thundered,
The enquirer was troubled in his mind, but later, when walking in
the mountains with the Master, they passed the wild laurel in
bloom, and the air was redolent.
"Do you smell it," asked the Master.
"There," he said, when the Confucian agreed, "I have kept back
nothing from you!"
There is, therefore, a transmission outside the Scriptures, yet
these Scriptures form a remarkable body of literature. All alike
must be read with the intuition.
> They are direct expressions of spiritual experience, they contain
> intuitions gained by digging down deeply into the abyss of the
> Unconscious, and they make no pretension of presenting them
> through the medium of the intellect.
> -- Suzuki, ESSAYS IN ZEN BUDDHISM, III, page 7
None is canonical in the sense that it is authoritative, for
Buddhism knows no authority. The most used Scriptures are the
Lankavatara Sutra, bequeathed to the fold of Zen by Bodhidharma;
the Diamond Sutra, the hearing of which converted the Sixth
Patriarch, Hui-neng; the Sutra of Hui-neng (Wei-lang) himself,
and perhaps the Huang-Po Doctrine of Universal Mind. All these
are available in English.
Portions of the Avatamsaka Sutra, described by Dr. Suzuki as the
consummation of Buddhist thought and Buddhist experience, appear
in Mrs. Suzuki's MAHAYANA BUDDHISM. In Zen monasteries in
Japan, the Prajnaparamita-hridaya Sutra (the Shingyo), being
short, is recited on all occasions, and the Kwannon Sutra, the
Japanese name for the Samantamukha-parivarta, appears very
All these are, as Kaiten Nukariya calls them, "religious currency
representing spiritual wealth." They are substitutes, at the
best, for actual experience. Indeed, the scorn of the Zen
practitioner for the printed word has at times been carried too
far. Even the ability to read and write has been frowned upon,
and the utmost ignorance of normal affairs been praised as a
This is the folly of extremes, like the burning of books. Though
the finger points to the moon and is not the moon, it is foolish
to cut off the finger until the way to the moon is clear. Even
if as Mr. Nukariya insists, "the Universe is the Scripture of
Zen," there are volumes in which its learning is made more
immediately available. Yet "the man who talks much of the
Teaching but does not practice it, is like a cowman counting
another's cattle; he is no disciple of the Blessed One"
(DHAMMAPADA, verse 19); or, in the later words of Hui-neng,
> Whether Sutra-reciting will enlighten you or not depends on
> yourself. He who recites the Sutra with the tongue and puts its
> teaching into actual practice with the mind "turns round" the
> Sutra. He who recites it without putting it into practice is
> "turned round" by the Sutra.
> -- SUTRA OF WEI LANG, pages 70-1
NO RELIANCE UPON WORDS OR LETTERS
This seems but an extension of the first, almost the antiphonal
principle of the Psalms. Yet it rubs the lesson in. Words are
but marks on paper or noises in the air. At the best, they are
symbols for the truth, substitutes, and poor ones, for another's
> "Those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know," says
> the TAO TE CHING, yet words are needed to transcend words, and
> intellection is needed to rise above the intellect, except that
> this rising must not be made in a dualistic or "escapist" sense,
> for no such escape is here possible.
> -- Suzuki, THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM, page 26
Words are the pins on which the butterflies of life are stuck to
a board. They may look pretty, but their raison d'etre has gone.
Words exist for their meaning, of which they are but the shadow,
and if they enshrine some part of the meaning, they probably
obscure still more. Hence, in Zen, one searches for other and
better ways to convey experience. These methods might include a
shout, blow, joke, paradox, or gesture. Even silence itself is
more direct as a medium.
> This medium functions "directly" and "at once" as if it were the
> experience itself -- as when deep calls to deep. This direct
> functioning is compared to one brightly burnished mirror
> reflecting another which stands facing the first with nothing in
> -- Suzuki, PHILOSOPHY, EAST AND WEST, page 113
Zen frowns upon some "devices." Images have their value as a
focus point for concentration and for the paying of respect to
the memory of the Teacher whose Enlightenment is Zen, but not
When the Master Tanka was bitterly cold, he took a wooden image
from the shrine of the temple where he was staying and put it in
the fire. The keeper of the shrine was naturally horrified.
Tanka was poking about in the ashes with his stick.
"What are you looking for," asked the keeper.
"The holy Shariras," said the Master, referring to the relics
said to be found in the ashes of a saint.
"But there aren't any in a wooden Buddha," said the keeper.
"Then give me the other two images," said Tanka.
Zen is indeed iconoclastic.
"Do not linger where the Buddha is, and where he is not, pass
When Joshu found a monk in the temple worshiping the image of the
Buddha, he struck him with his staff.
"Is there not anything good in the worship of the Buddha," asked
"Nothing is better than anything good," was the famous reply.
DIRECT POINTING TO THE SOUL OF MAN
Zen points, and is that at which we point. This "soul" or HSIN,
the Chinese word that covers inmost heart or mind, is the Tao of
the Taoist. To the Buddhist, it is the Buddha within. All that
points to it points truly, and according to Zen, all things are
fingers pointing to the same experience. The way is clear
enough. We drop the veils that we hold in front of us. We drop
all of them and not a carefully selected few.
"Straightforwardness is the holy place, the Pure Land," said
Hui-neng, quoting the Vimalakirti Nirdesha Sutra. Between the
two ends of straightforwardness, nothing at all must intervene.
Speaking of the folly of definition, a monk asked a Master, "Am I
right when I have no idea?"
The Master, answered, "Throw away that idea of yours."
"What can I throw away," asked the monk.
"You are free, of course, to carry about that useless idea of no
The monk, it is said, was enlightened. Then why, if this be
true, do we need a library of books wherewith to find ourselves?
For fifteen hundred years, Zen Masters have "pointed" without
them. As Suzuki asks:
> When a syllable or a wink is enough, why spend one's life in
> writing huge books, or building a grandiose cathedral?
> -- THE EASTERN BUDDHIST, VI, page 121
(All right, I know! This is my way of LEARNING Zen.)
THE MINGLING OF NATURES
By George William Russell
[From THE CANDLE OF VISION, Chapter VII, pages 48-55.]
To move a single step, we must have power. To see, we must be
exalted. Not to be lost in vision, we must learn the geography
of the spirit and the many mansions in the being of the Father.
If we concentrate, we shall have power. If we meditate, we shall
lift ourselves above the dark environment of the brain. The
inner shall become richer and more magical to us than the outer
that has held us so long.
How may I allure to this meditation those whom see only by the
light of day? How might I attract those whom are as cave dwellers
living in blackness beneath the hills when they shut their eyes?
The cave of the body can be lit up. If we explore it, we shall
there find light by which the light of day is made dim.
Perhaps I brought with me into the world a little gift of
imagination that I build upon. I know others who had no natural
vision but acquired this. By sustained meditation and by
focusing the will to a burning-point, they raised themselves
above the narrow life of the body.
Being an artist and a lover of visible beauty, I was often
tempted from the highest meditation. I would contemplate the
mirage of forms instead of the divine being. Yet because I was
so bewitched and was curious about all I saw, I became certain
that the images that populate the brain have not always been
there. They do not come from things seen that have been
The pictures that come to us mingle with the pictures of memory.
They are sometimes from the minds of others, sometimes glimpses
of distant countries, and sometimes reflections of happenings in
regions invisible to the outer eyes. As meditation grows more
exalted, the forms traceable to memory tend to disappear. We
have access to a memory greater than our own then. We access the
treasure house of august memories in the innumerable being of
In beginning this quest, we make a minute analysis of images in
the brain. Those foolish fables about memory and imagination no
longer affect us. We see how many streams are tributary to our
Anyone who is as curious about things of the mind as I was may
prove all I have said. They may do so if they but light the
candle on their forehead and examine the denizens in the brain.
They will find that their sphere is populous with the innermost
thoughts of others. Led by wonder and awe, they will
increasingly believe that all swims in an ether of deity. The
least motion of our minds is incomprehensible except remembering,
"In Him we live and move and have our being." Analysis of the
simplest mental apparition will lead us to stay on that thought
Once in an idle interval in my work, I sat with my face pressed
in my hands. In that dimness, pictures began flickering in my
brain. I saw a little dark shop. The counter was before me.
Behind it was an old man fumbling with some papers. He was a man
so old that his motions had lost swiftness and precision. Deeper
in the store was a girl, red-haired, with grey watchful eyes
fixed on the old man. I saw that to enter the shop one must take
two steps downwards from the cobbled pavement.
My office companion was writing a letter then. I questioned the
young man and found that what I had seen was his father's shop.
I had imagined the old man with his yellow-white beard and his
fumbling movements, the watchful girl with her color, and the
steps from the cobbled pavement. None of this was my imagination
in a true sense. While I was in a vacant mood, my companion had
been thinking of his home. His brain was populous with quickened
memories. They invaded my mind. When I made question, I found
How many thousand times do such images invade us and there is no
speculation over them? Possibly, I might have made use of such
things in my art. I might have made a tale about the old man and
girl. I had done so and other characters had appeared in my tale
that seemed just as living, where would they have come from?
Would I have again been drawing upon the reservoir of my
In reality, the vision of the girl and old man may have been but
part of the images with which my brain was flooded. Did I then
see all? Perhaps other images in the same series may emerge
Say that I had written a tale and had imagined an inner room, an
old mother, an absent son, and family trouble. All the while,
might I not be still adventuring in another's life? So marvelous
are the hidden ways that while we think we imagine a character we
may really be interpreting a being that actually exists. Some
affinity of sentiment or soul might have brought that being into
psychic contact with us.
Not knowing where he was then, I brooded once upon a friend.
Soon I seemed to myself to be walking in the night. Near me was
the Sphinx. More remotely was a dim pyramid.
Months later, my friend came to Ireland. I found that he had
been in Egypt at the time I had thought of him. He could not
recollect the precise day. While there, he spent a night beside
the great monuments. I did not see him in vision, but I seemed
to be walking there in the night. Why did the angle of vision
change as with one moving about? Did I see through his eyes or
did I see images reflected from his sphere to my own as in the
Where does this vision end? What are its limitations? Fully come
to ourselves, would we be full of eyes within and without like
those beings in the Apocalypse? In the fullness of power, would
we act through many men and speak through many voices? Were the
great masters like Shakespeare unconscious magi or blind
visionaries? Did they feel and comprehend a life that they could
not see? If they saw it, did they think it was their own
We must ask ourselves these questions. With lit lamp, we find
the house of our being has many chambers. There are creatures
living there that come and go. We must ask whether they have the
right to be in our house. There are corridors there leading into
the hearts of others, and windows that open into eternity. We
hardly can tell where our own being ends and another begins or
tell if there is any end to our being.
Follow the meditation ordained by Buddha for the brothers of his
order. Let our minds pervade the entire world with a heart of
love. Upon this myriad unity, brood lovingly. We come
increasingly to permeate the lives of others as they increasingly
pervaded our lives.
Unknown comrades haunt us in many moods. Their naked souls pass
through ours, revealing themselves to us in an unforgettable
instant. We know them as we hardly know those who are the daily
comrades of our heart. However intimate those comrades may be,
the husks of their bodies hide them from us.
As the inner life grows richer, we beget more of these
affinities. We wonder what relation to them is ours. Do they
move us by a revelation more intimate than could be uttered by
word? Do we affect them by sympathy unknown to them?
We discover a new sense in ourselves. By touch with the soul, we
understand. We realize how profound that ancient wisdom was. It
told us that when we perfected our concentration we could gain
full comprehension of anything we wished by intent brooding.
I never attained that perfection of concentration, but I saw the
possibilities in moments of electric intensity of will when I
summoned out of the past a knowledge I desired.
How is this knowledge possible? Is there a center within us
through which all the threads of the universe are drawn, a
spiritual atom that mirrors the spiritual infinitudes even as the
eye is a mirror of the external heavens?
Every pinpoint in visible space contains a microcosm of heaven
and earth. We know that. Everywhere we might move the eyes
receive their vision of infinity.
Does the infinite only condense in the visible world? Might it
also be in the soul and again in the spirit? What would the soul
in its perfection mirror? Would it reflect within itself the
myriad life of humanity?
Would the spirit mirror the heaven? Would mystic and
transcendental ideations well up within the imaginations of the
Divine Mind? Is all knowledge already within us? In our need for
wisdom, do we create links between portions of a single being,
dramatically sundered by illusion as the soul is in dream?
Is not the gathering of the will and the fiery brooding to this
end? Are the glimpses we get of supernature caused but by the
momentary uplifting of an eye? When it fully awakens, shall it
raise we dead?
APOLLONIUS OF TYANNA, Part V
By Phillip A Malpas
[The following comes from a series that appeared in THE
THEOSOPHICAL PATH, under Katherine Tingley as Editor and
published at the Point Loma Theosophical Community. It later
appeared in book form under the title TRUE MESSIAH: THE STORY AND
WISDOM OF APOLLONIUS OF TYANA 3 B.C. -- 96 A.D., published by
Point Loma Publications.]
WITH THE MAGI
The King was offering sacrifice in the presence of the Magi when
the news of Apollonius's arrival was brought to him. He
immediately recalled a dream he had dreamed the day before, that
he was Artaxerxes the son of Xerxes, and that his face became
like that of the latter. The interpretation was plain. For
Themistocles had come from Greece to Artaxerxes and by his
conversation had made him estimable, as his father had been; also
he had justified his own reputation as a Greek philosopher.
Obviously, Apollonius would benefit him as Themistocles had
benefited Artaxerxes, and would prove to be as great a
philosopher as his reputation declared.
Apollonius passed throughout the gorgeous palace in amiable
discussion with Damis as to various questions of Greek mystic,
without paying the slightest attention to the sumptuous splendor
of the building. The palace court was large, and the King called
aloud to him from a distance and bade him join in the sacrifice
to the sun of a white horse from the Nisean plains.
"Do you, O King, sacrifice after your manner," said Apollonius,
"but allow me to sacrifice after my own fashion." So saying, he
took the incense in his hand and said, "O Sun, conduct me to
whatever part of the world may seem good to you and me; and grant
me to know only the virtuous; as to the wicked, I wish neither to
know them nor be known by them." Then he cast the incense on the
fire, observing the smoke, how it rose and curled and shot into
spiral forms. Afterwards he touched the fire as though the omens
were favorable and said, "O King, do you continue to sacrifice
after the ceremonies of your own country; for my part, I have
observed what belongs to mine."
He then withdrew from the sacrifice lest he should be made an
accomplice in the shedding of blood.
Apollonius was glad to find the king spoke Greek as though it
were his mother tongue, so that they could converse the more
freely. The faculty that Apollonius possessed of speaking all
languages was not always drawn upon. He told the king of his
intended visit to the Indians and that he was anxious to know the
wisdom of the Magi at the court, whether they were really wise in
religious matters or not. He declared his own system of
philosophy to be that of Pythagoras the Samian, who taught him to
worship the gods in the way he had demonstrated, "to discern
their several natures, and respect them accordingly, to converse
with them and dress myself in garments made from the genuine
fleece of the earth, not torn from the sheep, but from what grows
pure from the pure, from linen, the simple produce of earth and
water. I let my hair grow, and abstain from all animal food, in
obedience to the doctrine of Pythagoras. With you or any other
man, I can never indulge in the gratifications of the table. I
promise to free you from perplexing and vexatious cares, for I
not only know, but foreknow what is to be."
Realizing the absolute sincerity of Apollonius, the king declared
that he was more pleased at his arrival than if he had the wealth
of India and Persia added to his own. The Greek should be the
royal guest and have apartments in the royal palace.
"If you should visit Tyana, my birthplace," asked Apollonius,
"and if I should offer you lodging in my house, would you
"Hardly that," said the king, "unless your house were large
enough to receive me and my attendants and in a way becoming my
rank and consequence."
"Then," said Apollonius, "I would be no more comfortable than you
are should I live in a house above my condition of life. All
excess is troublesome to the wise, as the want of it is to the
great ones of the earth, such as you. Therefore I would prefer
to lodge with some private individual, of like fortune with
myself. But as for conversation, I will converse with you as
much as you please."
The king respected his feelings and assented. Apollonius lodged
with a Babylonian who was a man of good family and character.
While they were at supper, a eunuch arrived from the king with a
message. "The king gives you the choice of ten boons, and
permission to choose them yourself. He insists that you should
ask nothing of mean value or little worth, but he is anxious to
impress you and ourselves with a sense of his great bounty."
"When is the choice to be made," asked Apollonius.
"Tomorrow," replied the messenger, as he went off to summon the
king's relatives and friends to witness the respect paid to so
honor a supplicant.
Apollonius appeared to be considering the things he might ask,
which was somewhat puzzling to Damis, who, knowing his friend and
teacher, almost expected him to ask for nothing. A man whose
prayers to the gods were usually after the formula, "YE GODS, I
ASK THAT YOU GRANT ME FEW POSSESSIONS AND NO WANTS!" would surely
ask little of the king.
While in this state of curiosity, Apollonius took the opportunity
of pointing out that before a day was past they would have an
example of the fact that the forcible destruction of the means of
sinning physically had no effect on the mind, and that such
practices were worse than useless. He was thinking of the king's
messenger. As a master-philosopher often does, he pretended to
be a little ignorant of life as it is in reality, and let Damis
pulverize his theories with blunt statements of 'fact,' such as
that when deprived of the means of sinning by physical means a
man could not sin. By so doing, Damis only succeeded in being
caught by the admission that he needed the lesson when it came.
His hasty remark that a child would know what he said to be true,
as though he wondered at his master's ignorance of practical
life, recoiled on his own head next day. The conversation led to
a consideration of the banishment of desire from the mind, which
is just what Apollonius was quietly leading up to.
"The virtue of temperance," declared Apollonius "consists in not
yielding to passion though you feel all the incentives to it, but
in abstaining from it and showing yourself superior to all its
Damis missed the point altogether, not realizing that the desire
of the body and the desire of money are really only different
facets of the same quality of desire.
"Let us talk about that later on," he said. "Meanwhile you have
to think of the royal message so nobly given. I think personally
you will ask for nothing, but the question is how to do so
without seeming to slight the king's offer. Remember where we
are in the king's power, and how we must avoid even the
appearance of treating the king with disrespect. Besides, we
have enough money to get to India, but not enough to return, so
it is necessary to consider carefully what to do."
The tone of the disciple who 'knows better' is plainly
discernible. Was it ever otherwise? Apollonius was enjoying the
joke, which was serious enough, for he had to teach Damis without
appearing to do more than "draw him out." This is precisely the
meaning of the word "education."
With the serious face of an unpractical theorist, he did just the
last thing Damis expected him to do. He almost pleaded for the
right to take money from anyone in his character of a
philosopher. Why, the very test of a true teacher is that he
will accept never a penny for his teachings and despises money
that comes in a personal guise. He quoted philosopher after
philosopher who had sought money, until Damis began to wonder
what had happened to him. Then to drive the lesson home by
sudden contrast, Apollonius told him that nothing was as
unpardonable to a wise man as the love of money. All other
things may be forgiven him of men, but not this, since the
display of a love of money will naturally cause it to be supposed
that he is already overcome by the love of good living, fine
clothes, wine, etc.
"If you think that committing a fault at Babylon is not the same
as committing one at Athens, Damis, remember that EVERY PLACE IS
GREECE TO A WISE MAN. He esteems no place desert or barbarous
whilst he lives under the eyes of virtue, whose regards are
extended to very few men, and looks on such with a hundred eyes.
Surely an athlete who has to contend at Olynthos, or in
Macedonia, or in Egypt, will train himself just as much as he
would when contending among the Greeks, and in their most
celebrated places of exercise?"
Damis was ashamed of his hasty arguments and asked pardon for
having presumed to give such advice.
"Be not troubled, Damis," said his teacher. "I have not spoken
for the sake of rebuke, but for the purpose of illustration."
The eunuch came to summon Apollonius to the king for the ceremony
of the granting of the boons. The latter stayed to perform his
accustomed religious duties and then went to the king. All the
court was amazed at his singular and venerable appearance. The
king promptly offered him ten great boons to be chosen by
"I will not refuse," said Apollonius, "but there is one above all
that I value more than many tens." He then told the unhappy
history of the exiled Eretrians, and pleaded that they might
remain in possession of the hill granted them by Darius.
The king declared that they had been enemies. They had taken up
arms against their rulers and had been almost exterminated. But
now they should be considered friends and given a just governor
over them. "But why not accept the remaining nine boons," asked
the king in some little surprise that this was all Apollonius
required of him.
"Because I have not had time to make more friends," said the
philosopher, ever thinking of the welfare of the others and
indifferent to his own.
"But surely you have needs of your own," asked the king. "Is
there nothing you require for yourself?"
"Nothing but a little fruit and bread," replied Apollonius.
"They make an excellent meal!"
During this extraordinary scene, very conclusive evidence indeed
arrived that a man physically deprived of the power of sinning
could and did retain the same power mentally with undiminished
force. One of the eunuchs was discovered in the king's chamber
where he had been expressly forbidden to go, as he had been
forbidden to join the others of his class when they were dressing
the king's wives.
So great was the offense that the king appealed to Apollonius to
declare a fitting sentence for the wretch. Death many times over
was a mild punishment according to the notions of the time.
"Let him go free," said Apollonius. "That is my sentence."
The king and court were overwhelmed with amazement at this
"It is not a pardon, but a punishment," said Apollonius. "Let
him live, and he will suffer from his diseased mind, gaining no
pleasure from eating, or drinking, or amusements, or sleeping;
spending his life in imagining impossibilities; he will be so
miserable that he will wish you had put him to death now. He
will plead for death, and if you do not give it he will put an
end to his own existence."
In this manner Apollonius demonstrated the power of the law which
is more just than all the laws of men, and unerring in its power
to balance cause and effect. At the same time, the king, by
remitting the death penalty, himself escaped the operation of the
same law which would have held him accountable for taking the
life of another. This is the philosophical law known as Karma,
the law of action and reaction, which are equal and inevitable.
Invited to go hunting, Apollonius declined, since it was no more
pleasing to give pain and suffering to animals and confine them
in captivity than it was to sacrifice them.
Asked the best way of reigning in security, he replied, "By
honoring many and trusting few."
He pointed out the folly of engaging in wars of small matters
which, if evil or unjust, were infinitely less so than the evils
and injustices of war against so great a power as that of the
The king, being sick to death, was visited by Apollonius, who
discoursed on the nature of the soul so eloquently that the king
"Apollonius not only made me despise my kingdom, but death
itself," he declared.
The king one day boasted of having spent two whole days in
hearing one cause in his administration of justice, so great was
his desire to do right.
"I am sorry you took so long to find out what is just," was all
the satisfaction he received from the philosopher.
Displaying his enormous wealth, the king was told by Apollonius,
"You look upon it as so much wealth, but I regard it as so much
"How then am I to deal with it," asked the King.
"By making a proper use of it, for you are a king," said
Apollonius. In this he declared his doctrine of wealth being but
a trust held for the account of all.
Privately to Damis, Apollonius remarked one day that the king was
a courteous prince, too good to reign over barbarians. Evidently
the little surprising replies he sometimes made to the king were
not regarded nor meant as rebukes but, as Damis himself had been
told, as "illustrations." The time for departure arrived
according to the omen which had declared they should be twenty
months at Babylon. Apollonius prepared to leave his willing
host. He recalled the nine boons that had not been granted, and
asked the king if he might not now claim one more.
"Thou best of princes, I have shown no mark whatever of favor to
my host with whom I have been living, and I am also under many
obligations to the Magi. I beg of you to respect them for my
sake, for they are wise men, greatly devoted to your service."
The king was delighted with this unselfish request.
"Tomorrow," he said, "you shall see these men made objects of
emulation, and highly rewarded. And more than that, though you
yourself will take nothing, at least let some of those men with
Damis accept some part of my wealth, as much as ever they wish."
As soon as they heard this, they all turned away, and Apollonius
said to the king as he pointed to them, "You see my hands.
Although many, they are all alike!" This is the true
philosophical symbol of the teacher and his disciples, and shows
a quiet way Apollonius had of inculcating his philosophy.
But the way to India over the Caucasus is through a three days'
desert, and the king provided camels and water and provisions.
The inhabitants of the Caucasus-country, he declared, were
hospitable and would receive him well.
"But what present will you bring me when you return," asked the
"A most acceptable gift," said Apollonius. "If I become wiser by
the conversation of the men of that country, I shall return to
you better than I leave you."
The king embraced him. "Go thy way," he said, "for the gift will
A MUCH BIGGER SHOW
By Walter Eugene Kent
The lights dim. The curtain rises. And before the hushed crowd
the dance begins.
Running out onto the stage, the dancers begin, giving life to the
So much energy has been put into creating and learning this
It simply has to be done with excellence. The whole world
depends on it.
Losing herself in the dance, the lovely young woman forgets the
They are no longer the tired mass of people awaiting their
Rather are they seen as the eyes of the universe studying her
She is standing before the judgement of life itself and is truly
Doing a fine show is simply not enough, for far higher standards
are in force.
Worship is being done to the very nature of beauty, of Venus
No sacrifice is too great as she pours out her heart before the
This poor sad lump of clay, the body, must move faster, cleaner,
Yet behind all this frenzied intensity is a quieter sort of
In a calm place in the center of her heart is a gentle sweet
And this love is the true power behind the swirl of motion and
It is for this inner love that the body is put through such
There are people that are good with words and can touch powerful
They can point out the majesty and wonder of life in a lasting
Still others work directly with the minds and hearts of people.
They help put others in touch with their true selves and put them
For a dancer, though, life is more concentrated, more intense.
These next ten minutes on the stage represent the whole universe.
She must move still faster, still smoother, still more genuinely.
This is her chance at making a gift to the world; it cannot be
Now the curtain draws for intermission and her pounding heart
begins to slow.
Why did she almost trip? How could she have forgotten that one
But there is no time for regret and reflection; time is too
There's just enough time now to put on costume and rush to place
on the stage.
Before she knows it, the dance concert is over and the audience
She is too tired to regret the fact that there was only two
Then her two-year-old boy runs up, hugs her leg, and says "I love
And she realizes that she is dancing in a much bigger show than
she had thought.
A STUDY IN FUNDAMENTALS, Part III
By Boris de Zirkoff
[This talk comes from the first part of a tape recording on
"Chapter XII of FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, Part
I," made of a private class held on May 19, 1954.]
Chapter 12 of FUNDAMENTALS OF ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY opens
discussing passages from THE SECRET DOCTRINE. As a work,
FUNDAMENTALS is more than a commentary since it both elucidates
and offers further installments of the Teachings.
In this chapter, we deal with three or four propositions from one
of the most important chapters of the first volume of THE SECRET
DOCTRINE. Among other things, HPB says that the Secret Doctrine
is the accumulated wisdom of the ages.
There is a fundamental law in our system. It is the central
point from which all emerges and towards which all gravitates.
Upon it hangs the rest of the philosophy. What is it? There is
the one, homogeneous, divine substance-principle, the one radical
cause. From this, the theosophical student realizes the
impersonal conception of the divine. It involves none of the
limitations of the lower mind. It involves none of the emotional
attitude found in many schools regarding deity.
To Theosophist, divinity is the central abstract point from which
everything has emerged. All gravitates around this homogeneous
center, ultimately returning to it only to reissue forth again.
It involves substance and principle, matter and consciousness, or
substance and energy.
HPB says the universe is the periodic manifestation of this
unknown, absolute essence. She does not use "universe" to mean
the totality of all that is. That totality is incomprehensible
and not subject to periodic manifestation. She means a
particular hierarchy, one universe out of millions. That could
be the solar system. If that is not vast enough to satisfy, let
it be a million solar systems, perhaps a galaxy. It can refer to
any aggregate of evolving systems.
Such an aggregate has its beginning, evolutionary unfoldment, and
relative ending. It has its periodical manifestation. Just like
a man, it has manifested before. Just as we will have another
embodiment on earth, it will manifest again as well. However
grand a universe may be as a particular system, it is the
periodical manifestation of this unknown, absolute essence.
HPB says that the field of consciousness, the field of the All,
has a constant succession of manifesting universes like sparks of
eternity. At a particular time, there are always some universes
arising, others in full bloom, and others going out. In the
endless field of infinity and eternity, there is the appearance
and disappearance of individual universes. It is like the ebb
and flow of the tides of the sea. Not only can we see this on
inner planes of consciousness, but also on the physical.
The universe with everything in it we call "Maya." All is
temporary therein, from the ephemeral life of a firefly to that
of the sun. What difference is there between the lifespan of a
firefly and that of a sun? From our small, human standpoint, the
firefly is puny and insignificant and the sun is tremendous,
majestic, and almost endures forever.
The life of the sun is as ephemeral as the life of a firefly,
when compared with something vastly greater. There are things so
far beyond our conception that they dwarf all we know into a mere
atom by comparison. At the same time, the lifespan of a firefly
is long when compared to the cycles of an atom or of an electron.
How relative are these conceptions!
In THE SECRET DOCTRINE is a passage with a wealth of basic
propositions of the Esoteric Philosophy, packed with Teachings
and meaning. HPB says:
> The Universe is worked and GUIDED from WITHIN OUTWARDS. As above
> so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man -- the
> microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm -- is the living
> witness to this Universal Law and to the mode of its action. We
> see that every EXTERNAL motion, act, gesture, whether voluntary
> or mechanical, organic or mental, is produced and preceded by
> INTERNAL feeling or emotion, will or volition, and thought or
> mind. As no outward motion or change, when normal, in man's
> external body can take place unless provoked by an inward
> impulse, given through one of the three functions named, so with
> the external or manifested Universe. The whole Kosmos is guided,
> controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies
> of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who --
> whether we give to them one name or another, and call them
> Dhyani-Chohans or Angels -- are "messengers" in the sense only
> that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, page 274.
Everything in the universe works and guides itself from within
outwards through evolutional unfoldment. Everything has its
roots or impelling urges within its constitution. Everything
organizes from within, being a manifestation or embodiment of an
All that we know ourselves to be and all that we see outside
ourselves are but partial expression of something higher, symbol
of something greater. This is true whether we consider our
lives, the lives of atoms, or the life stories of universes. As
HPB says, an almost endless series of hierarchies of sentient
beings guides, controls, and animates the Kosmos. On whatever
level, plane, or scale, they carry a force, power, pattern, or
blueprint. They are messengers of a higher force, transmitters
of a higher power, or distributors of a certain message.
Eventually when embodied in the lower worlds, they manifest
powers from within.
The old Greeks and early Christians called the spiritual
motivating powers of the hidden universe "angeloi." In a mystical
sense, they meant messengers, not what the word "angel" has come
to mean in later theology. They were messengers in the sense of
being agents of cosmic and karmic law.
HPB continues by saying:
> They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness
> and intelligence; and to call them all pure Spirits without any
> of the earthly alloy "which time is wont to prey upon" is only to
> indulge in poetical fancy. For each of these Beings either WAS,
> or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a
> past or a coming cycle (Manvantara). They are PERFECTED, when
> not INCIPIENT, men; and differ morally from the terrestrial human
> beings, on their higher (less material) spheres, only in that
> they are devoid of the feeling of personality and of the HUMAN
> emotional nature -- two purely earthly characteristics.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, pages 274-75.
Carefully consider and remember this exceedingly important
Teaching. Students have taken it out of context, twisting and
misunderstanding it. This is not out of ill will, but due to
ignorance. From this unfortunately, false Teachings now exist in
part of the Theosophical Movement. Remember what the Esoteric
Philosophy teaches. From where we are as human beings, we look
upon other hierarchies. There are grades of evolving beings low
and high, below us and above us.
Below are myriads of entities that will become men in due course
of time. These incipient or potential men will evolve into human
beings in the future. The myriad above us have graduated from
human life. They were men, perfected themselves, and finally
entered higher schools of learning far above our condition. They
are spiritual beings now. Looking higher, we see those that are
past men, perfected men, and beyond. Looking in the other
direction, there are those that are incipient, potential men.
Rising from the depths of the lower degrees, this stream of
evolutionary growth passes through the stage of manhood sometime
and forges ahead into greater realms of spirit.
Remember this. It is important. In part of the Theosophical
Movement and in certain books that pass for theosophical, there
is the idea that there are kingdoms parallel with the human race.
They are composed of Devas (Sanskrit for angels). The claim is
that certain Monads evolve through them without ever meeting our
This wishful idea is unfortunate. It is a crossbreed of partial
truth, exoteric legends, and religious folklore, mostly Hindu.
It is not the Teaching of the Esoteric Philosophy. Nothing in
THE SECRET DOCTRINE supports it. Other installments of the
Esoteric Philosophy from high sources offer no support. We
cannot show it to hang together with the other Teachings.
The beauty of the Esoteric Philosophy is that every Teaching
hangs together with the rest harmoniously, blending perfectly.
We may find one that does not blend, clashing and producing
impossible gaps. It can be shown to be an alteration based on
ignorance, wishful thought, or misunderstanding. We blame no
one, for there is no evil motive behind the changes. We simply
point out that some Teachings are genuine and others perverted.
The kingdoms of life are great schools of evolutionary
unfoldment. They blend with each other and pass one into the
next. Without ultimate beginning or end, there is an endless
line, a pilgrimage of evolutionary unfoldment through them. It
is a golden thread upon which all the myriad forms of life hang.
Along it, each kingdom helps the one below it. In a certain
peculiar, mystical way, each kingdom pushes forward the one after
it. The help goes both ways.
The Esoteric Philosophy teaches that there is an endless
progression with the kingdoms of life interrelated and hanging
together. At every stage of life, one always has hope of
becoming greater. If the evolutionary pathways divided into
parallel lines never meeting nor crossing, the entire beautiful
symmetry would fall apart.
> ... the differentiation of the "Germ" of the Universe into the
> septenary hierarchy of conscious Divine Powers, who are the
> active manifestations of the One Supreme Energy. They are the
> framers, shapers and ultimately the creators of all the
> manifested Universe, in the only sense in which the name
> "Creator" is intelligible; they inform and guide it; they are the
> intelligent Beings who adjust and control evolution, embodying in
> themselves those manifestations of the ONE LAW, which we know as
> the "Laws of Nature."
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, pages 21-22.
Here again, the thought is clearly brought out. Throughout the
structure of the universe, there runs a uniform pattern or
overall blueprint that the hierarchies of beings follow. Some
cosmic, personal divinity did not draw this outline. The law
upon which it operates is a fact of being. It is impossible to
define its essential nature. We can only observe its workings.
The pattern transcends the limits of our finite minds now and
Medieval theologies misunderstood the word "creator" awfully. To
the Theosophist, it means the power within man or universal to
manifest an already-existing spiritual reality. It is not the
bringing of something out of nothing. Creation does not happen
by one making or fashioning something out of nothing.
In the theosophical sense, every human being is a creator. He
cannot do otherwise. A man cannot even write a letter without
creating as he manifests a sequence of thoughts upon a piece of
paper. He creates. He did not bring something out of nothing
upon the paper.
Consider again the claim that the angels have a different
evolution, parallel and apart from our humanity. Why call that
wishful thought? Some people love to worship and adore something
outside of them. The exoteric religions of the world encourage
that. Unfortunately, some theosophical students have not
understood the Teachings and do the same.
In the hearts and minds of some is a desire to imagine entities
they might worship, leaning upon them and invoking them for help
without having an actual relation to them. That is wishful
thought. We realize that these entities were like us once. In
some time in the future, we men of today will be as they are now
and ever greater. This realization cuts at the root of personal
worship. We certainly revere these higher ones without
We feel justice running through the entire cosmic structure as a
thread. There are no gaps between the kingdoms of life. Life
weighs all of us in the same cosmic scale.
We should try to bring out in ourselves that which these higher
ones have. We do so without using them as a crutch. All of us
has within ourselves in potential those centers of power that
have made those higher beings what they are today.
Outside our kingdom, some beings have been men. Others will wait
for later Manvantaras to become men. These latter ones comprise
the kingdoms below us. They form the elementals, minerals,
vegetables, and most of the animals. In due course, these monads
will evolve out of the lower kingdoms and become human, having
reached the stage of human self-consciousness. It will not be in
this Manvantara. We call them incipient or potential men. They
form the humanity of future cycles.
Those above us have gone far beyond being perfected men. They
were human beings in the distant past. We should not lean upon
them. Our attitude toward these greater beings should be
reverence. In revering them, we but revere our spiritual part.
Inwardly, we have the nucleus of a Mahatma. We have the nucleus
of a demigod. We have a center of consciousness that will
blossom forth into full-fledged godhood eventually. We have
those centers. If not, we would never evolve to those higher
stages. The seeds of those future attainments are within us
By analogy, the seeds of humanity are in the animal, vegetable,
mineral, and elemental. The seeds of the type of consciousness
of the higher kingdoms are in them. If not, they would never
become anything higher.
Reverence consists of recognition of greatness and the desire to
emulate. We desire to grow and become like someone greater.
There is a great difference between reverence and a worshipful
attitude. We do not adopt an adoring attitude, praying for
unearned favors and advantages.
Most religions teach worship. That is why the dear, lovely
people in them live in a fool's paradise. They live in a
delusion, a world of unreality. We cannot blame them. In spite
of their religion, many live beautiful lives and are constructive
elements in the community. Why live decently, grow, and better
yourself? Why try if you could put your sins on the shoulders of
Jesus or the Virgin Mary, or put them on the corresponding
Mohammedan or Hindu gods? Why be better?
Millions try to better themselves in spite of the pernicious,
dangerous, and delusive doctrines that their religions have
taught them from childhood. That proves the existence of the
inner man in every human being. Even though brought up on wrong
teachings, they yearn to better their lives.
Do we call the human kingdom the midway point of evolution
because at that stage an entity becomes self-conscious? No. We
call it a midpoint simply because we are human and we have human
teachers. In whatever kingdom we may be in, we are in the middle
of infinity. In both directions, there is infinity. Infinity is
indefinable. We are in its paradoxical middle. There are
stretches into illimitable distances of time and consciousness in
A god already knows the Teachings. Imagine one reviewing what we
now study. He considers his relative place in the path of
evolution. From the standpoint of his particular state of
consciousness, he would see himself in the middle of a procession
with infinity in both directions. The same would seem true if
observed from the standpoint of any kingdom. Our vantage point
is no more special than that of other kingdoms. The human state
of self-consciousness is by no means the most important state of
consciousness in a hierarchy.
Below the human, one is conscious but not self-conscious. One's
conditions of consciousness do not reflect on themselves. One
does not mirror nor recognize oneself consciously. One has not
yet unfolded the power to choose. In a sense, the human
consciousness is the middle point. It is the bridge between
non-self-consciousness and a condition of consciousness above the
human. It embodies the beginning of freedom of choice. This
develops through the various stages of humanity into full-fledged
freedom of choice among perfected men, the Teachers, the Masters,
or the Adepts.
When you jump into the hierarchy next above ours, your
self-consciousness would not be human. It would be that of
demigods. You enter kingdoms devoid of human personality and
emotion. We cannot define these things. They are beyond us.
There is an analogy between the principles and the kingdoms. It
exists and is perfect, whether you talk of seven, ten, or twelve
of each. I will try to make this clear. It gets confusing when
you make inappropriate comparisons. You might introduce the
problem when dealing with different systems of numeration. This
is something that you should not do. Do not mix seven principles
with ten classes of monads or kingdoms, twelve signs of the
zodiac, and maybe some other sevenfold division.
We may speak of the manifested universe, that portion of a
universal hierarchy that fully manifests. Doing so, we should
confine ourselves to a sevenfold division. Of an entire
hierarchy, some is unmanifest, some forms the link between the
unmanifest and manifest, and the rest fully manifests. Speaking
of the entire hierarchy, we bring in all twelve
element-principles. There are twelve classes of monads (or ten
classes with two links that bind them to other hierarchies).
There are twelve signs of the zodiac. Keeping to this
twelve-fold division, it all hangs together. Then we talk about
the chain having twelve rather than seven globes.
Why did HPB outline her Teachings in THE SECRET DOCTRINE using a
sevenfold division? It was in latter part of the nineteenth
century. She and probably her teachers felt that a sevenfold
scheme was as much as a student could possibly understand at that
time. She hinted that when it comes to the unmanifested part of
a hierarchy, the Teachings are too abstruse upon which to touch.
She did not elucidate anything about the higher
element-principles, those above the seven. She did not speak of
the higher globes above the seven and only inferred things like
the twelve gods of the ancients at places. Only by hints and
allusion did she show that there is a twelve-fold division.
Since HPB's day, we find many Teachings not only explained but
also elaborated further. The writings and work of Dr. de
Purucker have given further installments from the same source.
Some brother students of Theosophy will not agree. They will
question it, showing considerable suspicion that anyone since
HPB's day could bring a further installment from the same source
of occult information. As good students, they have crystallized
their minds in a mold that says that HPB is the last word. They
think that until another Messenger turns up in the latter part of
the twentieth century, nobody can show us anything more than HPB
left in THE SECRET DOCTRINE. That is a lot of nonsense!
We have great reverence for HPB as a Teacher. THE SECRET
DOCTRINE will stand as a profound source of occult information
for centuries to come. Even so, HPB says there that in the
twentieth century we may see another who will give irrefutable
proofs. Here a wide difference of views is possible. As far as
I am concerned, that individual has already turned up. It was
Dr. de Purucker. His work was the next installment of the
Do not mix up numerations. It would take time, a blackboard, and
perhaps a booklet of material to make this plain, if even
possible. How are the twelve element-principles, the twelve
globes of the chain, and the ten classes of monads with their two
links on each side related? We do not fully know, although we
know many individual points.
There is perfect concordance between the Rounds, Races, Globes,
monadic classes, principles, and elements. In coordination, they
compose all, including us. Cosmic spiritual engineers fashioned
the blueprint of our planetary chain or even of the solar system
beautifully. The general pattern reflects itself on all scales
throughout the system. It is remarkable. Consider an
illustration of this vast subject. The pattern goes so far that
the numerals of various cosmic cycles are present in the beating
of a human heart.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application