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THEOSOPHY WORLD ------------------------------------- April, 2003
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
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(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
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be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New," by B.P. Wadia
"Portraits of Theosophists," Part II, by John M. Prentice
"Dreams," by George William Russell
"Apollonius of Tyanna, Part VIII, by Phillip A Malpas
"Further Discussion on Terrorism," by Steven Levey
"The Eternal Pilgrim and the Voice Divine," Part I, by W.Q. Judge
"Invisible Helpers," by Hazel Boyer Braun
"Edgar Allen Poe As Seer," Part II, by Henry T. Edge
"To Those Initiated," by James Sterling
"A Study in Fundamentals," Part VI, by Boris de Zirkoff
> They who maintain that no atheist, as such, can be a true friend,
> an affectionate relative, or a loyal subject, utter -- whether
> consciously or unconsciously -- the greatest calumny and lie. To
> say that a materialist grows hard-hearted as he grows older, that
> he cannot love as a believer does, is simply the greatest fallacy.
> There may be such exceptional cases, it is true, but these are
> found only occasionally in men who are even more selfish than they
> are skeptical, or vulgarly worldly. But when a man who is kindly
> disposed in his nature, for no selfish motives but because of
> reason and love of truth, becomes what is called atheistical, he
> is only strengthened in his family affections, and in his
> sympathies with his fellow men. All his emotions, all the ardent
> aspirations towards the unseen and unreachable, all the love which
> he would otherwise have uselessly bestowed on a supposititional
> heaven and its God, become now centered with tenfold force upon
> his loved ones and mankind.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, "A Bewitched Life," in OCCULT TALES, page 34.
RING OUT THE OLD, RING IN THE NEW
By B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 286-88.]
> Janus am I; oldest of potentates
> Forward I look, and backward and below.
> I count as god of avenues and gates,
> The years that through my portals come and go.
We begin a new year; this magazine begins a new volume.
January naturally brings to mind Janus who was reverenced by the
Romans as the God of Beginnings. He was the God of Gates and was
worshipped even before Rome was built. Janus watched "the gate
that openeth the year." So he is the presiding deity over the
month of January.
He had two faces -- old and young, the former representing the
past, the latter the future. He held a key in one hand, a staff
in the other. With the key of garnered knowledge, he opens the
New Year. With the aid of the staff, he moves forward to higher
"Janus-faced" is a term of opprobrium, but is not each human
being a striving and progressing Janus-like being? Punya-Purusha,
the man of merit, and Papa-Purusha, the man of sin, are in each
being, wrestling for victory. Man IS two faced. The two faces
representing our two natures. They look in opposite directions.
They tell us that life and death are still necessary, that the
fight between the lower and the higher natures is still going on,
and that the future and the past are separated in the present
yet. They tell us that the old and the new continue to cast a
glamour, one from the region of memory, the other from that of
At every dawn, man begins his life anew -- and hopefully he looks
forward to the pleasures of the day; how often does he come to
the night with hopes frustrated, feeling old; and how dark things
look on a sleepless bed! Hopes and fears, memories and
anticipations keep human consciousness in a non-integrated state.
Time produces birth, growth, decay, death -- the old face of
Janus has become older. Time also produces the delights of
Sukhavati, the land of happiness, of Swarga, Paradise, which
exhaust themselves and bring to birth the new young face -- for a
day, for a month, for a year, for a cycle, with the weight of old
age still there. The spirit of youth and the spirit of age
coalesce in the man who has made his personal nature but a
channel of the Impersonal Self. Then he is no more two-faced.
Some of us are young and others of us are old; some look to the
past, others dream of the future. Hope in affliction, fear in
elation keep us votaries of the two-faced Janus whose Temple we
visit expectant at dawn, repentant at night; so it has to remain
He who has resolved to live by the Voice of his Inner God will
repeat his resolve as the New Year opens. He who has not is
likely to come to such a resolution at this cycle when the
psychic life of the earth is young. The making of such a resolve
transforms the ordinary man into the warrior soul; he begins to
feel within himself the power of the Rex Lucis, the Lord of
Splendor and of Light. For such an one some words of Henry David
Thoreau will bring inspiration and suggest a line of thought to
be practiced. Let him do so when Janus of 1952 is young and
vigorous. Says Thoreau:
> Be a Columbus to completely new continents and worlds within you,
> opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is
> the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar
> is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice. Yet some can be
> patriotic who have no self-respect, and sacrifice the greater to
> the less. They love the soil that makes their graves, but have
> no sympathy, with the spirit that may still animate their clay.
> Patriotism is a maggot in their heads … There are continents and
> seas in the moral world, to which every man is an isthmus or an
> inlet, yet unexplored by him.
PORTRAITS OF THEOSOPHISTS, Part II
By John M. Prentice
[This is a true sketch of a Theosophist written by the President
of the Australian Section of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena),
from THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, February 1945, pages 71-72.]
He was a paradox in every way. Coming from a Prussian military
family, he was a complete pacifist, renouncing his country and
patrimony rather than bearing arms. Having appealed for an
exemption to the highest authority in Germany and been refused,
he spent the evening listening to a Wagnerian music-drama,
crossed into Holland the next day, and made his way to the new
land that was to be his home from that time on. The only sign of
nostalgia he ever displayed was when he named his eldest
daughter, years later, after the Wagnerian heroine.
Splendidly educated and born to a life of ease, it was
paradoxical that he had to toil at hard manual labor ceaselessly
during adult life. He never expressed the slightest resentment
at any time, although he recognized the heavy toll taken of his
physical resources. His life was one of Spartan simplicity yet
his family was never in need.
Paradoxically, having left Germany nearly thirty years before for
pacifism, he was the target of attack by rancorous forces during
the First World War, and suffered heavily thereby. Even so, he
showed no resentment, casting no blame.
In 1894, he joined the Theosophical Society. This followed a
protracted study of ISIS UNVEILED and THE SECRET DOCTRINE, in
both of which he became deeply versed.
His English was picturesque rather than pedantic. Yet he was
able to carry on a worldwide correspondence, profitable to
himself and to those to whom he expressed his thoughts, in that
language, his small, spidery writing freely embellished by
capital letters of un-English origin. He assisted in translating
a considerable portion of our literature into his mother tongue.
His wrathfully humorous exposition of inaccuracies in a German
translation of the Bhagavad-Gita was long remembered by those who
He married a woman born of Continental parents in the new land.
She was a splendidly sympathetic student, almost as brilliant as
he was, but possessed of intuition whereas he was coldly logical
and analytic. Their marriage was a romance. He saw her in the
street of the port where he had that day disembarked and was
wedded to her within the year. A foreigner who was traveling
incognito, who later turned out to be a Russian nobleman of the
highest rank, had already sought her in marriage. Like her
husband, she never showed by word or action the slightest regret
for her hard life, although her presence in later critical years
in Petrograd might have changed history.
He was a natural-born Esotericist. Without any suggestion of
psychism, he knew the truth of the Teachings, having lived the
life. With uncanny accuracy, he evaluated the writings of
others. He was one of the first to see divergences of teaching
that brought tragic consequences to the Society later on.
Unswervingly loyal to HPB and the original, basic teachings, he
dismissed with a few humorous words anything that was not on the
true line. He debunked people and their writings thoroughly,
leaving them completely deflated of authority and devoid of
His natural sense of humor was never vindictive or hurtful.
Regarding the Universe as the Lila of Ishvara, he joined in life
as in a game, playing it to the full. Frequently, he said that
humor was the saving grace of every Theosophist and that the
criterion of that humor was the ability to laugh WITH others and
AT oneself. His slow smile started in his eyes and lost itself
in his red whiskers. In certain lights and angles, he was
startlingly like William Q. Judge, although with different
He died in poverty, yet lacking no adequate comfort, laughing to
the end. Heard by his daughter of the Wagnerian name, his last
words were a quotation from an ancient Mystery Drama. "God
laughed seven times. At the fourth laugh, because of the
bitterness, Mind was born." It is easy to believe that for him in
whom there was no trace of bitterness but only a deep rooted
scorn for all that was not best, devachan is one long, delighted
chuckle of laughter, like the ripple of Eternity on the reefs and
cliffs of Time.
By George William Russell
[From THE CANDLE OF VISION, pages 77-88]
I had discovered through such dreams as that of the satirical ape
that there is One who is vigilant through the sleep of the body.
I was led by other dreams to assume that in the heart of sleep
there is an intellectual being moving in a world of its own and
using transcendental energies.
Most of the dreams we remember are chaotic. These seem often to
be determined in character by the accident which brings about our
waking. Chaotic as these are, they are full of wonder and
miracle. In the space of a second, almost before a voice has
reached the ear of the sleeper or a hand has touched him, some
magical engineer has flung a bridge of wild incident over which
the spirit races from deep own-being unto outward being.
Never when awake could we pack into a second of vivid imagination
the myriad incidents that the artificer of dream can create to
bring us from the being we remember not back to the dream of
life. This magical swiftness of creation in dream has been noted
by many. Those who have had experience of even the most
nightmare happenings before waking must be led to surmise that
within that blankness we call sleep there is a consciousness in
unsleeping vigilance. This being, unsleeping while the body
sleeps, excites us to a curiosity as wild as ever led adventurer
across uncharted seas.
The ancient seers made earth-world, mid-world, and heaven-world
synonyms for three states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, and
deep sleep. But the dream state of the soul moving in the
mid-world of which they spoke is an intellectual state. Its
character is not easily to be guessed from that chaos of fancies
we ordinarily remember and call our dreams. These I think are
not true dreams at all but rather a transitional state on the
borderland, like to the froth on the ocean fringes, where there
are buffetings of air, churnings of sand, water, and weed, while
beyond is the pure deep.
I had but slight experience of that loftier life in dream which
to others I know was truer life than waking. But none can speak
truly of the dreams or imaginations of others, but only of what
they have known. In most intense meditation, I think we encroach
on that state which to the waking brain is veiled by sleep and is
normally a blank.
In the highest dreams of which I retained memory, I was on a
plane of being identical with that reached in the apex of
meditation and had perceptions of a similar order of things. The
black curtain of unconsciousness which drapes the chambers of the
brain in sleep was magically lifted for me for one instant.
I had a glimpse of the high adventures of the unsleeping soul. I
found myself floating on the luminous night in a body lighter
than air and charged with power, buoyed up above a mountainous
region. Beneath me was a wrinkled dusk like the crater of some
huge volcano. There were others with me, people with airy
glittering bodies. Like me, all were intent on a being mightier
than our own.
A breath of power poured upward from below as from a fountain, or
as if from here some sidereal river flowed out to the country of
the stars. We hovered over the fountain from which came that
invisible breath filling us with delight and power.
While we hung intent, there came the apparition of a vast and
glowing orb of light like the radiance about a god. Of those
glittering ones, some flung themselves into that sphere of light
and were absorbed in it. It faded away, ebbing from us as if it
had been a living galleon come to the hither side of being but
for a moment, to carry with it those who might go to the heaven
world to be partakers of the divine nature and live in their
I could not cross with that Charon. I remembered no more, for
the curtain of darkness that was magically lifted was again
dropped over the chambers of the brain. But when I woke, I was
murmuring to myself as if in interpretation the words of the
Apostle. "We all with open face beholding as in a glass the
glory of the Lord are changed unto the same image from glory to
glory." I knew there were many at that mystery that would wake up
again outcasts of Heaven, and the God of this world would
obliterate memory so that they would never know they had kept
tryst with the Kabiri.
Once before, not in dream but in meditation, there had broken in
upon me such a light from the secret places. I saw through earth
as through a transparency to one of those centers of power,
"fountains out of Hecate" as they are called in the Chaldaic
oracles. They are in the being of earth, even as in ourselves
there are fiery centers undiscovered by the anatomist where
thought is born or the will leaps up in flame.
Then, and in the dream I have just told, and in that other vision
of the heavenly city where I found myself among the shining ones,
there seemed to be little of personal fantasy as there was in the
dream of the ape. I seemed to myself to be moving in a real
nature which others also have moved in. It was perhaps the
sphere known also to that spiritual geographer who assured
Socrates of a many-colored earth above this with temples wherein
the gods do truly dwell.
I do not wish now to urge this but only to draw the deductions
any psychologist analyzing dream might draw from dreams not
mystical in character. I may liken myself in my perception of
that dream to a man in a dark hall so utterly lightless, so
soundless, that nothing reaches him. Then the door is suddenly
flung open. He sees a crowd hurrying by. Then the door is
closed and he is again in darkness.
Such a man seeing through the door a procession of people in the
streets knows they had a life before they came near the door and
after they passed the door. He is not foolish if he speculates
on this and how they gathered and for what purpose. So I am
justified, I think, in assuming that there was some psychic
action in priority to my moment of consciousness.
I must seek intellectual causes for events that have logical
structure and coherency. I cannot assume that that sudden
consciousness of being in the air was absolutely the beginning of
that episode any more than I can imagine a flower suddenly
appearing without plant, root, or prior growth.
Nor can I think that blind motions of the brain, in blank
unconsciousness of what they tend to, suddenly flame into a
consciousness instinct with wild beauty. To assume that would be
a freak in reasoning. I might with as much wisdom assume that if
in the darkness I took my little son's box of alphabetical
bricks, and scattered them about blindly, when the light was
turned on I might find that the letters composed a noble
I can reasonably take either of two possibilities, one being that
the dream was self-created fantasy only, and the other that it
was the mirroring in the brain of an experience of soul in a real
sphere of being. But whether we assume one or other we postulate
an unsleeping consciousness within ourselves while the brain is
asleep. That unsleeping creature was either the creator of the
dream or the actor in a real event.
Who is that unsleeping creature? Is it the same being that daily
inhabits the brain? Does it rise up when the body sinks on the
couch? Has it a dual life as we have when waking, when half our
consciousness is of an external nature and half of subjective
emotions and thoughts? Are part of our dreams internal fantasy
and part perceptions of an external sphere of being?
If I assume that the soul was an actor in a real event that was
mirrored in the brain, why did I remember only one moment of the
adventure? To see any being means that we are on the same plane.
I see you who are physical because I also have bodily life. If I
see an elemental being or a heavenly being it means that some
part of me is on the same plane of being or substance.
Had I by meditation and concentration evolved in myself some
element akin to that breathed upward from the mystic fountain,
and when the soul inhaled this fiery essence a rapport began
between free soul and slumbering body, the circuit was complete,
and sleeping and unsleeping being became one? On that hypothesis
there were journeys of the soul before and after the moment
remembered, but the action in priority and in succession I could
not remember because there was as yet no kinship in the brain to
the mood of the unsleeping soul or to the deed it did.
If the soul is an actor in deep sleep, seeing, hearing, and
moving in a world of real energies, then we are justified in
assuming a psychic body within the physical. To see, hear, and
to move are functions of an organism however ethereal.
Is it the shining of the Psyche we perceive within ourselves when
through aspiration the body becomes filled with interior light
and consciousness is steeped in a brilliance of many colors while
the eyes are closed? Are we then like the half-evolved dragonfly
that catches with the first cracking of its sheath a glimpse of
its own gorgeous plumage? Was it this body the prophet spoke of
when he said thus?
> Thou hast been in Eden the Garden of God.
> Every precious stone was thy covering . . .
> Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God.
> Thou hast walked up and down amid the stones of fire.
Was this spiritual life lost to man because his heart was lifted
up because of his beauty? Was wisdom corrupted by reason of its
If we brood over the alternative that the dream was self-begotten
fantasy, no less must we make obeisance to the dreamer of dreams.
Who is this who flashes on the inner eye landscapes as living as
those we see in nature? The winds blow cool upon the body in
dream. The dew is on the grass. The clouds fleet over the sky.
We float in air and see all things from an angle of vision of
which on waking we have no experience. We move in unknown cities
and hurry on secret missions.
It matters not whether our dream is grotesque. The same
marvelous faculty of swift creation is in it. We are astonished
at nightmare happenings no less than at the lordliest vision. We
divine in the creation of both the same magical power. I cannot
but think the gnat to be as marvelous as the Bird of Paradise,
and this twain no less marvelous than the seraphim.
The Master of Life is in all. I am as excited with wonder at the
creative genius shown in the wildest dream as in the most exalted
vision. Not by any power I understand are these images created.
The power which creates them is, I surmise, a mightier self of
ours, and yet our slave for purposes of its own. I feel its
presence in all I do, think, or imagine. It waits on my will.
It is in the instant and marvelous marshalling of memories when I
speak or write. Out of the myriad chambers of the soul where
they lie in latency, an hundred or a thousand memories rise up.
Words, deeds, happenings, trivial or mighty, the material for
thought or speech is waiting in due order for use. They sink
back silently and are again ready. At the least desire of the
will, they fly up to consciousness more swiftly than iron filings
to the magnet.
If I am wakened suddenly, I surmise again that it is that
enchanter who builds miraculously a bridge of incident to carry
me from deep being to outward being. When thought or imagination
is present in me, ideas or images appear on the surface of
consciousness. Though I call them my thoughts, my imaginations,
they are already formed when I become aware of them.
The Indian sage Sankara says by reason of the presence of the
highest Self in us, the mind in us is moved as if moved by
another than ourselves. Upon its presence all motions of body
and soul depend. Could I embrace even the outer infinitude with
the eye of the body, if it did not preside over the sense of
sight, infinitude interpreting infinitude?
It seems to wait on us as indifferently and as swiftly when the
will in us is evil as when it is good. It will conjure up for us
images of animalism and lust at the call of desire. It might
speak of itself as the Lord spoke of Himself to the prophet:
"From me spring forth good and evil."
If we evoke it for evil, it answers with fading power, and we
soon are unable to evoke it for good. The evil we have called
forth works for our feebleness and extinction. Or is there
another and evil genie, a dark effigy of the higher also waiting
on us as slave of our desires? I do not know.
Was it of the higher it was said, "Ask and ye shall receive.
Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you?" By
searching, can we find out its ways? Can we come to an identity
of ourselves with it? Again I do not know, but the more I ponder
over this unsleeping being, the more do I feel astonished as
Aladdin with lamp or ring, who had but to touch the talisman and
a legion of genii were ready to work his will, to build up for
him marvelous palaces in the twinkling of an eye, and to ransack
for him the treasure-houses of eternity.
APOLLONIUS OF TYANNA, Part VIII
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.]
THE RAJA VISITS IARCHAS
Conversation was interrupted by a noise from the village, caused
by the arrival of the king, who came with more than Median pomp
and parade. Iarchas declared that had it been Phraotes,
everything would have been as still as in the mysteries. Seeing
no preparations, Apollonius asked where he was to be received.
"Here in this very place," said Iarchas. "We live frugally, for
we are content with little, though we have much. But the King
will have a separate table richly supplied with all we have,
except meat, which is not lawful, since it has life. His table
will therefore be supplied with such things as are used in second
courses, various vegetables and fruits and the like."
The Raja arrived accompanied by his brother and son, blazing with
gold and gems. Apollonius was not allowed to rise to receive
him, but the newcomer approached the philosophers like a
suppliant approaching an oracle. The Raja's brother and son were
treated as though they were mere domestics. The son was a very
After the reception of the Raja, he was bidden to take some
refreshment. At which, exactly in the manner described by Homer,
four tripods approached, as if they were alive, and offered wine,
hot water, and cold.
Bread and fruits and vegetables came apparently of themselves in
the order and prepared as though by the best cooks, and even
better. Cupbearers of black bronze advanced, mixed wine and
water for the company in goblets made of the richest gems, and
acted as though they were living servants. The guests sat down
wherever convenient. No special respect was shown to the Raja.
This Raja was somewhat of a pompous boor, acting without any sign
of good manners. He treated Apollonius rudely, sneering at
Phraotes and his friend in such a way that Iarchas was obliged to
rebuke him, telling him that when he was a youth they made
allowances for his extravagant manner, but now he should speak
more modestly of philosophy and Phraotes.
Apollonius by the interpreter asked him what advantage he derived
from not studying philosophy.
"Only that of possessing every virtue and being one and the same
with the sun," was the conceited reply. Apollonius gently
rebuked this vanity.
"Well, what to you think of yourself, you who are so good a
philosopher," asked the Raja.
"I think that I am only good whilst I apply myself to
philosophy," said Apollonius.
"You are full of Phraotes," exclaimed the Raja, sneeringly.
"Then I have not traveled in vain," said Apollonius, as if he
could not have received a greater compliment. "And if you ever
meet him, you will say he is full of me. He said he would give
me a letter of introduction to you; but when he told me you are a
good man, I declined to trouble him, when I recollected that no
one had written to him in my favor."
The effect of this little trap crowned all the philosophers'
studied courtesy and mildness of temper. The Raja unexpectedly
pleased, remarked in a low and quiet tone. "Welcome, excellent
"Welcome to you also, O King," said Apollonius. "Now only can we
say you have arrived!"
"Who brought you here," asked the Raja?
"These Gods, or these sages," answered Apollonius.
"Do the Greeks say much of me," asked the Raja again.
"As much as you say of them," replied Apollonius.
"I don't think there is any action of theirs worth speaking of,"
said the Indian, loftily.
"I will tell them so, and then they can honor you with a crown at
the next Olympic Games," said Apollonius.
Apollonius turned to Iarchas and said, "Let us leave this unwise
man to his folly." They spoke of various things. Iarchas told
Apollonius that the King's brother and son were treated so
entirely without respect that they might learn not to neglect
others, if they came to the throne. The number of sages had no
particular significance, as preference among them rested upon
wisdom and virtue. The grandfather of Iarchas was elected a
member of the college of the sages when they were 87 in number,
and he was the youngest of them. He outlived them all, being 130
years old. Speaking of the election of the ten who preside at
the Olympic Games, Iarchas declared that the principle was not
sound. First they were chosen by chance, and then, even if that
chance should fall on suitable men, they were limited to ten, no
more and no less -- thereby either including some unsuitable men
or omitting some who ought to be chosen. For this reason it
would be better to consider virtue rather than number.
Meanwhile the Raja kept on trying to interrupt and asking what
they were talking about. Apollonius declared that they were
talking of matters very important to the Greeks, but not to him,
since he despised the Greeks so much.
"That is true," said the Raja. "But I wish to learn, because I
think you are talking of those Greeks who were formerly the
slaves of Xerxes."
Apollonius gained an admission from him that slaves and only the
lowest of them are runaways, not masters. Then he told how
Xerxes had run away from the Greeks in a small boat. If he had
fought and fallen, he would have been highly honored by the
Greeks, but as it was, his memory was despised. Apollonius gave
a splendid account of the Greeks.
The King burst into tears on hearing of this wonderful nobility
of character of the Greeks. He had met only the Egyptians who
had come to India from time to time; and they never lost an
opportunity of describing the Greeks as a low mean race, saying
that all that was good among them came from the Egyptians.
Henceforth he would be careful of the Egyptians, and would favor
the Greeks and help them whenever opportunity offered.
The sages lay down on the couches the earth afforded, of grass
and soft herbs. At midnight they rose and celebrated the solar
ray with hymns, in the same position as they assumed at noon.
Then they attended to the King's business, probably some affairs
of state at which Damis was not present.
After the morning sacrifices, the King gave way to a last
indiscretion through going to the opposite extreme of the
previous day's rudeness. He pressed Apollonius to visit his
court that he might extend his hospitality to him, and send away
an object of envy to the other Greeks. Apollonius declined
politely, saying he was pleased with his courtesy and thanked him
for his kindness, but they were so different one from the other
that he hesitated to form any kind of bond with the King; and
besides his friends in Greece would be expecting his return. The
King was so persistent in his invitation that Iarchas intervened,
saying that he treated their holy asylum with disrespect in
seeking to withdraw a person from it in spite of himself.
"As he is conversant with the secrets of futurity, he knows any
further intercourse with you will not benefit him and perhaps not
you," declared Iarchas. When the King heard this, he returned to
his village, as the rules of the sages did not permit him to
remain more than one day with them.
DAMIS IS INITIATED
"Then Iarchas desired a messenger to go and invite Damis to
attend, a man esteemed every way fit to be initiated into the
arcana of our mysteries; and let the messenger see that proper
attention be paid to his friends who remain at the village."
This is about all that Damis says of his own initiation; thereby
showing that he had at least learned to maintain silence on
private matters. But he tells some of the points of the Indian
philosophy, brought out, as is their fashion, by question and
answer. As soon as Damis had arrived and the sages had taken
their seats as usual, they gave Apollonius permission to ask any
question he pleased.
"Of what is the world made," he asked.
"It is made of elements."
"What," said Apollonius, "of four elements?"
"Not four but five," said Iarchas.
"What then is the fifth after earth, air, fire, and water?"
"Ether," said the Indian, "from which the Gods are said to have
their origin. For whatever things breathe air are mortal, but
whatever breathe ether are immortal and divine."
"What element first existed?"
"They all existed together and were coeval; for an animal is not
produced by parts," replied Iarchas.
"What," said Apollonius "am I to consider the world as an
"Yes, if you consider it rightly, for it produces all living
"Shall we then say it is of the female sex, or of both, female
and male together?"
"Both," said Iarchas, "for by an act of self-coalescence it
performs the functions of both father and mother in the
generation of animals, and is more ardently fond of it than other
animals are of each other, inasmuch as it unites to and coalesces
with itself, which coalescing self-union implies no absurdity.
And as it is the part of the animal to move itself by hands and
feet, and as it possesses a mind capable of exciting it to
action, in the same manner we are to suppose the parts of the
world, with the assistance of the mind, capable of accommodating
themselves to all its different productions. Even the calamities
which arise from the sun's excessive heat are all under the
influence of the directing soul of the world and never take place
except when justice is banished from among men. But this animal
is directed not by one hand, but many, which are not to be
expressed; and though from its magnitude it cannot be managed by
means of a bridle, yet it is easily ruled and made obedient."
To illustrate the system, Iarchas takes the figure of a ship,
such as the one merchant-ship allowed to the Egyptians in the
Indian Sea by King Erythras when he had command of these waters,
a law still extant in the time of Iarchas.
"To make the best of the prohibition, the Egyptians built a large
ship equal to many ordinary ships, divided into many
compartments. Several pilots were on board, all being under the
control of a senior navigator of much experience. There were
many subordinate officers and hands to work the sails. Part of
the crew was armed against pirates."
"Now such is the world under the figure of a ship," said Iarchas.
"The chief, and most conspicuous place, is to be assigned to God,
the creator of the animal, and the next under him to the Deities
who govern in its several parts. And herein we give full assent
to what the poets say, when they tell us that there are many gods
in heaven, and in the sea, and in the springs, and rivers, and
likewise in the earth and under the earth. But that place under
the earth, if such a place exists, described as dreary and
gloomy, let us separate from our idea of the world."
Damis was delighted beyond measure as he listened, and could
hardly keep silent. He could not understand how an Indian, even
if he had learned it, could speak Greek so fluently and
correctly. He remarks upon the cheerful dignified air with which
Iarchas uttered doctrines as though under a divine influence, and
adds that Apollonius, who spoke with such mildness and modesty,
acquired so much the manner of Iarchas, that whenever he spoke
sitting (as was his usual custom), he greatly resembled that
master of philosophy.
Damis notes that all the sages spoke in Greek, and not only
Iarchas, while he was present.
The sages by no means confined themselves to religious ceremonies
and philosophical discussions. As we have seen, they assisted
the King in the affairs of his kingdom when he sought their
advice, and now Damis was witness of another of their activities
on humanitarian lines. For, one after another, people in
distress came to the philosophers and were helped by their
superior knowledge of nature, men, and things, as they performed
many actions which the most ignorant of nations are accustomed to
call miracles. Preeminently, it seems, their help was sought in
nervous and psychic troubles, which the ordinary physicians were
unable to deal with satisfactorily, exactly as is the case in the
But physical injuries were also healed, as that case of a valiant
lion-hunter with a dislocated hipbone. A touch from the hand of
the sage healed him and he walked upright. A blind man was given
his sight. A man with a withered hand was healed. Advice was
given in many cases, including the curious suggestion, probably
in great part symbolical, that to cure a hereditary desire for
wine, in a family where all the children had died from tasting
it, the father should search for the eggs of the owl and give
them to his next child soft boiled; as a consequence of which he
would loathe the fatal liquor which was so disastrous in its
consequences to a family thus nervously constituted.
Damis was permitted to be present only at dialectical
conferences. The more practical religious sciences and mysteries
were reserved for Apollonius alone. These included astrology and
divination, futurity and sacrifices, evocations, and such things
as please the gods. From this course of study, Apollonius
afterwards wrote four books on astrology, quoted by Meragenes.
He also wrote a treatise on the proper conduct of the sacrifices
in regard to the rites of each god.
The wise Damis is writing the life of Apollonius and not his own
attainments. Therefore we may appreciate his remarks on
astrology and divination, remembering that he had passed through
some degree of initiation.
"For my part I think the science of astrology and the art of
divination are above human capacity, and I am doubtful whether
they are possessed by anyone," says the Assyrian disciple. "His
treatise on sacrifices I have met with in many temples, cities,
and houses of the learned. But who can explain with becoming
eloquence and truth a work composed by such a man."
According to Damis, Iarchas gave Apollonius seven rings, each
bearing the name of one of the seven stars, which he wore
alternately according to the particular name of the day. To this
time the Arabians continue to call Apollonius "Thelesmatiki," on
account of his knowledge of the talismanic art.
FURTHER DISCUSSION ON TERRORISM
By Steven Levey
In a previous paper we drew connections between an article of
William Quan Judge called "The Dweller on the Threshold" and
terrorism as we know it in the world today. "The Dweller" is
also a very important concept in a novel from the mid-eighteenth
century by Sir Bulwar Lyntton called ZANONI. This is a most
provocative historical novel, which takes place during the French
Revolution. Aspects of the story seem to be intended to be
metaphorical for what it means to attempt to deal with the
"lower," although very powerful and greatly underestimated forces
of the personal nature. Glyndon, a would be student to the
powerful alchemist and philosopher Zanoni, suffers from an
inability to control his curiosity, even after having been
numerously warned, to leave mysterious things untouched around
him until he has been trained to feel and understand. In a dark
and foreboding room, he opens one particular container and is
overwhelmed by the presence released. This presence is the
"Dweller on the Threshold" or the pent up and unreleased energies
connected to unresolved issues within ourselves. Mr. Judge’s
article goes on to say this "Dweller" is also latent within
mankind in general and it will be encountered by anyone who has
become determined to face that which needs to be worked out and
transmuted into usefulness.
In the philosophy of Theosophy, this transmutation is called the
awakening of the "The Higher Self." This Higher nature is
naturally en rapport with the spiritual nature of all other
beings and therefore incapable of the separateness and egotism,
which marks the character of the personal man. The "Higher Self"
is the source of the virtue the personal man may express and is
concerned with universal welfare for all beings, human and
otherwise. This has been called the Soul in other philosophical
works as well as important religious testaments around the world.
It has been called the "I" that witnesses each life and that is
known to be immortal in nature. Conversely, what is called the
"lower man" or personality is a "reflection" of the "Higher" in
material nature. And because it is so natural for us to look
with the eyes of a separate personality at the world, we are left
with the task of learning about the differences of our bilateral
nature, even though we intuit it at times.
H.P. Blavatsky’s THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE alludes to this at the
beginning of that text of Tibetan aphorisms when saying, "These
instructions are for those ignorant of the dangers of the lower
Iddhi." In a footnote at the bottom of the page she says that
"Iddhi" refers to "the lower, course, psychic and mental
energies". This is in contradistinction to the concept of
"Siddhis" which are described as the beneficial powers latent in
man, which can only be drawn out through the practice of a
spiritual training or "Raja Yoga." This "Yoga" is essentially the
training of the personality to look inwards and pay a greater
attention to our intuitions while cultivating ethical behavior.
Further in the same Tibetan text, we are told, "self knowledge is
of loving deeds the child."
In a very real sense, this separateness, which determined
individuals need to overcome within themselves, can be seen as a
major problem within mankind at large. In the previous paper, we
drew attention to the missing policy of inclusion on the part of
the so-called civilized cultures of those who suffer from extreme
cases of separatism. In other words, we tend to isolate further
the already isolated. This policy of exclusion is a powerful
deterrent against the obvious needs of all individuals to feel a
part of the family of man. The result of this, even in the life
of a child, can be seen as a passivity in which dullness towards
the need of others can begin to occur. It is in the extreme when
these children become adults and the often dangerous concepts
such as religious fundamentalism and extreme forms of anarchy,
which are at the basis for terrorism, can take root and then be
acted out in the world.
Having said all of the above, we wanted to focus attention on the
possible historical rather than internal causes of the DIS-ease
called terrorism. This last century, the twentieth, was marked
with a regular nearly metronome participation in war. Some
authors have thought that each war has laid the basis of further
wars rather than any kind of resolution. So that the encounters
on the battlefield can be seen as the merely rehashing of what
was never resolved previously. If this is seen as true, at least
in theory, then the wars of the last century were merely
outgrowths of the previous century and on and on. But why? From
one point of view it seems obvious that the causal problems were
only partially resolved, such that underlying tensions still
being present to some degree ultimately surface. This is very
much like seeing a disease as only congeries of symptoms and
insisting on only curing the symptoms. This method would be
based in the insistence that a whole is not greater than its
parts. This is symptomatic of how science views many systems.
So one need not be surprised if it applies to how we have treated
our deadly differences. Therefore, what has not been included in
discussions of the causes of war are overlooked for similar
reasons with which we overlook the causes of internal strife
within the individual. Even if we were to isolate that in us
that, writ large, is the cause of the world’s difficulties, we
would still be facing the uphill climb of correcting our greatest
difficulty towards accomplishing the instantiation of an abiding
peace. But should what seems insurmountable at the outset remain
I, for one, am convinced that any appearance, within any forum,
of the true reasons, which lie at the basis for our difficulties,
have been shied away from. Why? Well, it is clear that if a
group of activists with the capacity to make a difference, upon
choosing to keep there eyes open, would surly have done so. The
eyes close because once any perceiver of the way to resolution,
the only way, knows that the death of something essential to the
present accepted state of affairs must occur if the truth
perceived is acted upon. Therefore, one looks the world’s
situation in the eye, as it were, and sees the "Dweller on the
Threshold" looking back. In this context, the "Dweller" is all
of the knowing and the turning away of the past coupled to fear
that roots one to the floor. It is inaction in the face of our
duty, the highest and most sacred duty, which does us in. What
will ever turn that around? How will we be motivated to take the
first step in the direction of our own freedom from deadly
I think, initially, one and all shall have to begin to take the
fact of sharing the space on this globe as not fortuitous but an
abiding proof in itself of the need to share it. We should then
seek to understand the best ways to assist the "have-nots" in all
cultures. Of course, that flies in the face of today’s thinking.
The city governments of all cultures have waited to long to
conjure up ways of feeding and clothing the poor or housing the
homeless while using only half-baked, "cost effective" measures.
The proofs of this are the heavily debilitating psychological
tendencies so endemic to the run down areas such as gang
mentality, paranoia, and insecurity, leaving people with little
or no ability to look for a way out of their dilemma. Not to
mention the very concept of terrorism, or gang mentality in the
larger world community, which many feel to be the way to strike
back at their oppressors.
Had Prime Ministers or Presidents, and City Fathers everywhere
treated other human beings well in the past, there would never
have been ghettos. Further, the Twin Towers would still be
there. Instead, "This is not a welfare state, all must be made
to carry their own weight," they have said while agreeing with
others that the incurably homeless are so because they are
mentally ill and who shall decide who goes to a shelter or a
Psych Unit? Sure, not all will respond favorably but where there
is the moral character to help, the funds, which may have
otherwise gone to "Line Item" projects, will be put to
humanitarian use. But how could our fellow elected human beings
ignore this had they not elevated themselves in their own eyes,
above, those who elected them and the lesser fortunate people of
the world? And could they do THAT had they known that the
fortunes they have were only theirs in this life to assist
others, and not only for themselves? Would they behave like the
monarchs of old had they known that their abuse of others is the
same as the abuse of themselves in the eyes of The Great Natural
Law of Reciprocity through which all shall be set right?
The "first step" may have to be the realization that much cannot
possibly be corrected in a lifetime. And simply building housing
and supplying food and clothing where it is necessary will only
be a "Band-Aid" approach. Or will it? How does a humanitarian
society work? Does it just give to the needy without concern for
outcomes or appreciation? Shall we continue to justify spending
$100 billion on war and not use a fraction of that to treat
people as we would wish to be treated? How do you build trust
where it isn’t, and hasn’t been for generations? Who needs to
trust first, the haves or the have-nots?
This is seen on occasion by those who look sternly at themselves
and others around a table. They have decided to get at the root
of the cities’ or the countries’ difficulties, and upon looking,
they, momentarily see that which they cannot fathom, but intuit
the cause, the meaning, and the appropriate remedy. But will
they do it?
Whatever the future brings regarding the treatment of the
"unfortunate" by the "fortunate," individuals need to keep alive
the myths of old. In these myths great fighters for freedom
chose to free the oppressed through sacrifice. Something has
always moved children to a natural sense of hero worship for
those who save the kingdom and restore the rightful king to the
throne. And as these stories go, this king was always a great
benefactor whom all loved accept one who lacked or misunderstood
love. Even that one, the cause of all of the trouble, comes to
see his error through the self-sacrificial stance of the hero and
finds himself accepted back into the family.
We can choose to be heroic and refuse to act on behalf of the old
fears. We can take the required action towards that which looks
back at us if we can admit to ourselves that we are "only
outwardly creatures of a day" but that inwardly we are not bound
except through egocentric ideology. Beyond that, we are not
bound at all. In other words that in us, which seems temporary
and in which the fear of death or natural entropy resides, is
fearsome only so long as we think that that it is our only life.
Some of this fear is based in our knowing that, when we look at
ourselves clearly, we sense that we cannot "outrun" a reckoning.
If we decide to turn and "fight" we should not be in an emotional
sense of defiance, rather, perhaps we might adopt that awareness,
which comes from acceptance and the power of resignation in the
face of a reality, which is our "Higher Self." For this is what
will "look" back, rather than the "Dweller" if we so change.
Doing this will mark the end of the Buddhist "Great Dire Heresy
of Separateness" for such individuals, first within and then we
shall be motivated to act on behalf of others. We can look
around us with new eyes and ears, doing our duty and making the
world into that which it needs to be.
THE ETERNAL PILGRIM AND THE VOICE DIVINE, Part I
By William Q. Judge
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, April 1947, pages 248-56.]
> Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden
And I will give you rest.
Blistered are thy feet, oh pilgrim! Parched are thy lips with
thirst! From what far-off climes hailest thou? Who put this heavy
burden on thy stooping back? Across what trackless deserts hast
THE ETERNAL PILGRIM
Whosoever the Voice is, be thou my guide and light. So tired am
I of my long journeying that I have well-nigh forgotten whence I
set out. I have roamed over regions of whose features I have now
no more recollection than the cuckoo has of its eggs. Times many
and unnumbered have I passed with such heavy burdens, but none
relieved me of my load. There is darkness behind. There is
darkness before and darkness all around. Wherever I turn Despair
stares me in the face.
When I think that help is at hand, and when I eagerly ply my
steps forward, I find that my path though a little changed is
always one of thorns, woes and fatigue. Oh Voice! Know that I am
the twin brother of sorrow; but there is something within my
innermost WITHIN that oft-times tells me that I am the heir of
Eternal Bliss. Oh! For one to lead me to my HOME!
Fear not, pain-wedded wanderer, thou art not the only one who is
in search of rest. Millions upon millions like thee are panting
to reach their goal, now driven here, now whirled away there,
lost and bewildered, not knowing where to go, upon what road to
walk. Heir to the Kingdom of Heaven, rightfully and in the long
run thine own, thy purity of mind and thy strong will shall carry
thee safely on. There was a time when thou livedst with, nay
thou wast the NITYA VASTU, that Thing-in-itself, unclogged with
the many garments of flesh which thou hast now and again worn.
Thy separation has cost thee dear, and thy habits, the
consequence of thy past deeds, which have made of thee an exotic
in strange lands, stand an insuperable barrier in thy upward
Teach me then, Oh Voice, My WHAT, My WHENCE, and My WHITHER.
Just say what is there before thine eyes?
I see nothing but bare Space.
Ah! That is thy illusion; it is not bare; it is the ever-living
source from which flow forth the fleeting forms which times out
of mind thou hast borne with thee. A time there was when thou
wast one with it. So long wast thou safe. This is the soil
divine from which spring forth trees big with sweet and bitter
fruits. When the trees wither and are no more, new ones from the
seeds let fall on the eager soil are but a question of time.
Turn thine eyes from north to south, from east to west, from the
zenith to the nadir, from the sun to the stars, thou shalt see
nothing but forms, name-bearing forms dotting what thou callest
empty space all over. It is the body of the unknown X which
human mind can never discern. Above Time, its greatest attribute
is that IT is without Attribute.
I cannot name it otherwise than as expressing what each one has
to realize within himself in his moments of deepest calm, in his
self-oblivious SWANUBHAVA when the outward world sleeping gives
full play to the Divinity within. It is the nirvanic sleep when
the Limited merges into the Unlimited. In those moments, Oh
Pilgrim, when thou enterest within thyself, then hast thou a
chance of knowing who thou art.
Cease thy wanderings after the unreal, free thy mind from those
baits which fetter thy Divine Self to finite things, shut thine
ears to those siren voices which drag thy mind in a thousand and
one directions, and thou shalt be one with HIM who fills all
space. Thou halt a body, so weak and so easily preyed upon by
what mortals call PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE, a body which varies
with Time, ever subject to appearance and disappearance, to Birth
and Death, whilst this Space is the ever-living robe of the
Eternal Self. This boundless, seeming Void is saturated with
thought, invisible, ineffable wingless phoenixes, ever dying,
ever living, of waves upon waves of Humanity that have come and
gone from the Mayavic theater of Life.
Not a man came to sentient life, but asked himself for what
purpose did he exist. From the beginning of Kosmos -- if ever it
had a beginning -- man has been attempting to solve this knotty,
all-absorbing, many-sided question. Its solutions seem as many
and as numerous as there are human heads. The riddle is betwixt
Man and his God, the Fathomable and the Unfathomable, the former
with intellect beyond arithmetic unable to grasp the One mighty
INTELLECT, which thrills through the stone, the tree, the insect,
the animal, the man, the whole solar system, nay, through each
and every atom so minute as the billionth part of an inch.
Like the lotus which opens its great rose-colored petals on the
tank to the golden sun at dawn, the minutest fraction of the
Divine unbosoms itself to the First Integer. The Hidden and the
Manifest, the Noumenon and the Phenomenon are but the two aspects
of THE ONE. During the long process of purification which each
undergoes in cyclic eons of TIME, the Divine AIM is unbroken
So long as the Phoenix Thought is used for noble super-sensuous
purposes, the spark of the Undying Flame wafteth thee through the
mazes of Life, subtle or gross. Every Progress has a beginning,
its uninterrupted march upwards and onwards, the spiritual
Himavats towering upon Himavats of still higher, purer altitudes,
till Thought itself at such grand heights is dazed, and poor man
holds his temples in his hands, shuts his eyes and banishes
speech from his mouth, to reach the Final Goal. To scale such
heights is then thy mission.
How can the Boundless be made to rest in the Confined? As the
whole Universe has evolved from a single Parabrahmic Point into
its present vastness, even so its present vastness will, after
its period of activity, be involved to the same mysterious Point.
Man, the phenomenal phase of the Universal Mind, has within him
the essence of the same Point which is able to expand likewise to
systems as many as the grains of sand on the seashore.
To man, to Humanity in the aggregate, is given the all-reaching
privilege by retreating within his inmost INMOST to offer his
homage to the steady Light, and by his most transcendental
soaring and constant meditation, to become that Light. To know
the Truth is to become Truth. Oh man, divine man, lord of the
great and small, the real and unreal, the eternal and the
fleeting, thou temple of Jerusalem, thou hast depths of
consciousness within thee.
Here I do not mean the man of flesh who carries like a snail his
house of clay upon him, but the Real Man, a Power, a Glory, a
Divinity, aye, the truest Truth, the Supreme Self, itself. It
only needs that the blind of Ignorance should be removed to be
one with Nature and Nature's laws. A hooded hawk is powerless to
seize its prey.
The human mind ever longs to know its origin and its destiny. In
this arduous struggle man sometimes launches into the Sea of
Despair, and for this very reason, Oh Wanderer of Worlds,
benevolent hearts throbbing in sympathy with human miseries, once
their own, are ever ready to extend fellowship to those who are
anxious to advance. They are MERCY itself on earth. What shall
I say of these MAN-GODS who, filled with universal love, are ever
on the lookout to help weary pilgrims like thee, who, tired of
the trials of life, the heritage of the Body, are ready to take a
leap into the abysmal pit of Darkness and Death?
That there is the perishable man and that therefore there must be
his counterpart, the imperishable ATMAN, can never be doubted,
inasmuch as Nature, the most faithful and unswerving observer of
Harmony in her Laws, has evolved all beings in pairs. Look,
there are the dualities of light and darkness, happiness and woe,
good and evil. In this two-fold rule of Nature, that which is
good, that which is light, everything in short that has not the
taint of the transitory upon it, will guide your barque of life
safe into the haven of Nirvana.
MOKSHA is cessation from Birth and Death. It is the ladder which
leads man heavenwards. Hence thy efforts should be devoted
rather towards shaking off the trammels of the Flesh with a view
to idealize the Real, realize the Ideal, than towards any motive
which is founded in selfishness.
Do not question the existence of Life until thou art in the folds
of thy Spirit. For regaining Self-consciousness, as the part and
parcel of the Great Perfection; for the grander appreciation of
the THAT; for thy higher advancement -- perfection wanting to be
perfected --; for the realization of SAT -- CHIT -- ANANDA in the
envelope of matter, as a demonstrable proof that Spirit has the
power of endowing the former with its divinities; but above all
for the Bliss of that Eternal Knowledge which no words and no
thoughts can fitly describe, hast thou chosen this self-imposed
task of Life. This MYSTERY is a "Beyond all Beyonds."
Each one's mission is best known to himself. He is the be-all
and end-all of his own experiences, and is guided by his own
Karmic foretastes. The one drawback to the regeneration of the
world is that each man, having his own Eternal God within
himself, goes to another to ask where his God is. How can the
mirror reflect itself? He whose God is not within him cannot find
Him WITHOUT him.
In the Karmic picture gallery there are philosophers and fools,
the godly and the godless, a very medley of contraries, but, with
self-reawakening, a diapason of the most seraphic music fills the
vaults of heaven. The eternal SAT is ever the same in all phases
of manifestation; good and bad alike to it are the same; each is
so to his own weal or woe. Said the great Vaivasvata to Sri
> The sun withholds not his rays from the Holy Ganga, nor from the
> foul cesspool. Bear in mind suffering purifies, as gold is
> refined by fire.
"Know, will, dare, and keep silence," for Silence is Heaven's own
By Hazel Boyer Braun
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, October 1945, pages 433-38, coming
from a talk given at the Theosophical Headquarters, Point Loma,
California, July 13, 1941.]
Perhaps every person here this afternoon has some conception of
the beauty and profound spirituality of the Theosophical
teachings. Intelligent, thinking men and women everywhere are
beginning to recognize that the serenity and inner joyousness of
students of Theosophy is based on that fundamental teaching that
we are all Divine Beings. It says that all that lives is rooted
in Godhood, forming a vast universal unity that makes Brotherhood
a logical fact beyond question.
Our subject this afternoon takes us into some of the deeper
reaches of this teaching. If you can take it into your hearts
and truly consider it, you will soon realize the reverence and
the sense of sacredness with which Theosophists view Life. The
perspective it unfolds reveals the necessity of concentrated
direction of one's faculties through countless lives toward an
ever-wider expansion of consciousness, of understanding, as we
grow into at-one-ment with the great souls who have gone before
us in their own self-directed evolution.
These teachings have been formulated by Master Minds, by the Gods
who descended at the opening of humanity's self-conscious drama.
They taught the more advanced of humanity the Arts and Sciences
and having laid the foundation for the grand ancient
civilizations, they placed these teachings in the hands of the
Flowers of humanity, the Masters who guard and watch over this
heritage of all beings.
We are taught that we are linked through our own Divine,
Spiritual nature with the chain of Great Teachers, and with the
Planetary, Solar, and Galactic Beings which make up Manifested
Universes. They are all titanic Spiritual Beings who have
advanced from being men to become Gods with vastly enlarged
responsibilities and, even then, a growing realization of Divine
Man, himself, is a Universe in Miniature. In order to live and
learn on this planet, he uses countless lesser evolving beings in
the makeup of his various sheaths of consciousness. His body is
fabricated of life atoms for which he is responsible; the vital
life of the Universe that flows through him enlarges his strict
accounting for the influences he emanates. The thoughts that he
contributes to the World Thought are a sacred charge, and beyond,
guarding and guiding his human self, is the much more advanced
Being, his Spiritual, Divine, Monadic Self –- which we cannot see
with our eyes, but can sense with our intuition.
Love is the keynote of the whole hierarchical scheme -- Love,
compassion, sympathy, and complete understanding, extended always
to the lesser beings by those who have been through the tests and
trials of lower spheres, and stand waiting on the threshold of a
higher plane to help all below it move upward.
That is why Theosophy is a doctrine of such immense Hope and
Beauty. We are growing toward ensoulment in our Greater Self,
toward spiritual recognition of the marvelous manner in which we
are rooted in the heart life of the successively grander beings.
The Buddhas, who are a line of the Hierarchy of Compassion, serve
higher Teachers as they take their duties on the millions of
planets -- in grades of responsibility. They inspire and urge
forward the spiritual evolution of great cycles or rounds, of
whole root races of advancement. They appear and teach this
doctrine, then continue to live after their visible cycle in a
body appropriate to Man's higher faculties. They direct the
Masters and their Messengers in a continuous silent protection of
our chance to grow into true humanhood. They form a Guardian
Wall about us, keeping back cosmic forces that would annihilate
us. They help us continuously and we never know it.
If we cherish every urge to unselfish living, to impersonal
effort, we are recognizing our kinship and our loving Help from
this background of Love and Compassion that makes life so
Each planet that appears visibly has more-ethereal globes on
inner planes where beings dwell in progressively more-material
vestures until, in Nature's grand scheme, men are ready for the
tests of the kind of gross planet we walk on now. Each globe is
a living being, moving in obedience to Nature's Laws. Each has
its invisible, spiritual, Divine Self. Each is the channel for
Divine Life currents that sustain the beings that make up its
All sense of superficial thought about knowing what the Divine
Reality is back of Universal Manifestation falls away when we try
to imagine something of the Grandeur of the Wondrous Being that
is the Higher Self of the entire constitution of even this Earth.
Reading from FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, by G. de
> As the Summit of our Hierarchy is One, the Root of our ENS, in
> which we "move and live and have our being," as the Christian
> Apostle Paul puts it; SO SIMILARLY IN THE SPIRITUAL-PSYCHOLOGICAL
> HIERARCHY THERE IS A ONE IN WHOM WE ARE ALL ROOTED, in whom
> PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND MYSTICALLY AND RELIGIOUSLY, YEA AND
> INSPIRATIONALLY, WE LIVE. This One is the Great Initiator, the
> Great Sacrifice, the Wondrous Being referred to by H.P.
> Blavatsky; the Supreme Head of the Hierarchy of the Teachers.
> From it originally come our noblest impulses through our Higher
> Selves; from it come the life and aspiration we feel, stirring
> oft in our minds and hearts; from it, through our higher natures,
> come the urge to betterment, the sense of loyalty and troth, all
> the things which make life holy and bright and high and well
> worth living.
> -- page 182
Just stop and imagine yourself looking up at the evening sky --
seeing the flowing river of Suns that we call the Milky Way. We
cannot look up at the Radiant Beings that be-gem the sky without
marveling, if we know they are all gods in some stage of
What is the Sun? We see its radiant body. Do we stop to think
that it is our giver of Life, our channel of the Divine Life of
the Universe? It is the Heart and Brain of the whole Solar
System. We could not live a moment without it. We are rooted in
its soul life, from it we learn the spirit of giving, of serving
in a grand scheme; for it is but a ray -- a child of that Raja
Sun that is the heart of the Galaxy -- that Milky Way, made up of
millions of such sun-children -- each the channel for its solar
As far as we wish to extend this analogy, we can envision still
grander millions of galaxies, making up the constitution of
grander beings until we stop before the immensity of such Truth.
Our faculties reach their limit, yet we are taught that the
grandest entity we can conceive of is but a speck in the
Boundless Life. The analogy is correct also in this respect,
turning again to Dr. de Purucker's FUNDAMENTALS:
> That if we made it universal, kosmic, we would say that that
> Inexpressible ONE, which is the Utmost of the Utmost, and the
> Inmost of the Inmost, OF OUR KOSMICAL UNIVERSE, comprising the
> greatest boundaries of the Milky Way: corresponds to all within
> the Milky Way as our human ego corresponds to the infinitesimal
> atomic universes which compose its own physical body. The
> symbology is there: the correspondence is there; and it is by the
> correspondence that we are striving to explain somewhat of the
> Mystery, how the One becomes the Many; not because the One
> "descends into Matter" or becomes "many" materially and
> literally. Not at all. In the same way that the sun is an
> immense and exhaustless reservoir of vital, psychic, and
> spiritual rays, sending them out through billions of years,
> exhaustlessly; in the same way the Hierarchical Wondrous Being of
> Kosmic Magnitude, THROUGH ITS INFERIOR BUT HIGH WONDROUS BEINGS
> OF VARIOUS DEGREES, enlightens us and uplifts us and inspires us,
> and leads us onward and upward towards immortality, for aye doing
> its best, through Its own spiritual Ray within us, to illumine
> and lighten our material corruptibility, in order to make it
> incorruptible; that from Personality we may enter Individuality;
> "that from darkness, we may go forth in Light!" The time will
> come when we shall do this Work and become incorruptible
> CONSCIOUSLY, working with Nature and becoming one with her; for,
> just as this Wondrous Being is the foundation force back of and
> behind all that we call Nature, so that same Wondrous Being in
> far-gone former Manvantaras was then a Man, even as you and I now
> are. SUCH WE SHALL BECOME, IF WE RUN THE KOSMIC RACE
> SUCCESSFULLY! Wonderful, inspiring thought!
> -- page 201
These ideas form the esoteric background of all great
civilizations, of all great Literature and Art. They are the
heart Teachings of every Messenger that ever came from the
Hierarchy of Compassion.
> The great and peaceful ones live regenerating the world like the
> coming of spring and after having themselves crossed the ocean of
> embodied existence, help those who try to do the same thing,
> without personal motives.
> -- Shankaracharya
This is the theme of all Oriental Art -- of the Serene Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas, and Kwan-Yins. At the Fine Arts Gallery, pause
before that great old Kwan-Shai-Yin that was carved a thousand
years ago from a great tree by some Chinese Initiate artist.
Look at it. It is the Higher Self -- seen and realized! It is
the Self of the Earth -- the Wondrous Being of the Cosmos.
This glorious truth is the reason Hymns to the Sun were the
invocations of all Ancient peoples. Thus, in the Mahabharata,
the great epic of old India, Yudhishthira said, "Thou art, Oh
Sun, the eye of the Universe! Thou art the soul of all corporeal
existence! Thou art the origin of all things! Thou art the
embodiment of the acts of all religious men!"
This, dear friends, is the pathway of Initiation, the way for the
strong of heart to become channels for the Inner Splendor --
going step by step into self-conscious at-one-ment with the Great
Beings. From heart to heart may we go in the Sublime realization
of True Compassion and Love.
EDGAR ALLEN POE AS SEER, Part II
By Henry T. Edge
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, October 1937, pages 246-55.]
In THE POWER OF WORDS, our poet illustrates views familiar to
Theosophists as to the power of vibration, especially of the
spoken word. It is a colloquy between two beings liberated from
> Agathos. "While I thus spoke, did there not cross your mind some
> thought of the PHYSICAL POWER OF WORDS? Is not every word an
> impulse on the air?"
> Oinos. "Why, Agathos, do you weep -- and why, oh why do your
> wings droop as we hover above this fair star -- which is the
> greenest and yet most terrible of all we have encountered in our
> flight? Its brilliant flowers look like a fairy dream -- but its
> fierce volcanoes like the passions of a turbulent heart."
> Agathos. "They are! They are! This wild star, it is now three
> centuries since, with clasped hands and with streaming eyes, at
> the feet of my beloved -- I spoke it -- with a few passionate
> sentences -- into birth. Its brilliant flowers ARE the dearest
> of all unfulfilled dreams, and its raging volcanoes ARE the
> passions of the most turbulent and unhallowed of hearts."
The universal sentience of Nature is expressed in "The Island of
the Fay," from which we quote.
> I love to regard the dark valleys, the gray rocks, the waters
> that silently smile, the forests that sigh in uneasy slumbers,
> and the proud watchful mountains that look down upon all. I love
> to regard these as themselves but the colossal members of one
> vast animate and sentient whole, a whole whose form (that of the
> sphere) is perfect and inclusive of all. Its path is among
> associate planets. Its meek handmaiden is the moon. Its mediate
> sovereign is the sun, whose life is eternity. Its thought is
> that of a God. Its enjoyment is knowledge. Its destinies are
> lost in immensity. Its cognizance of ourselves is akin with our
> own cognizance of the animalcula that infest the brain, a being
> that we in consequence regard as purely inanimate and material,
> much in the same manner as these animalcula must regard us.
As to the plurality of universes, we find in "Eureka:"
> Have we any right to infer, let us rather say to imagine -- an
> interminable succession of the "clusters of clusters," or of
> "Universes" more or less similar? ... I myself feel impelled to
> FANCY -- without daring to call it more -- that there DOES exist
> a limitless succession of Universes, more or less similar to that
> of which we have cognizance -- to that of which ALONE we shall
> ever have cognizance -- at the very least until the return of our
> own particular Universe into Unity. IF such clusters of clusters
> exist, however -- AND THEY DO -- it is abundantly clear that,
> having had no part in our origin, they have no portion in our
> laws. They neither attract us nor we them. Their material,
> their spirit, is not ours -- is not that which obtains in any
> part of our Universe. They could not impress our senses or our
> souls. Among them and among us -- considering all, for the
> moment, collectively -- there are no influences in common. Each
> exists, apart and independently, IN THE BOSOM OF ITS PROPER AND
> PARTICULAR GOD.
A few miscellaneous quotations:
> Each law of Nature is dependent at all points upon all other
> laws, and all are but consequences of one primary exercise of the
> Divine Volition.
> -- EUREKA
> The development of Repulsion (Electricity) must have commenced,
> of course, with the very earliest particular efforts at Unity,
> and must have proceeded constantly in the ratio of Coalescence --
> that is to say, IN THAT OF CONDENSATION, or, again, of
> Heterogeneity. Thus, the two Principles Proper, ATTRACTION, and
> REPULSION -- the Material and the Spiritual -- accompany each
> other, in the strictest fellowship, forever. Thus, THE BODY AND
> THE SOUL WALK HAND IN HAND.
> -- EUREKA
> Space and Duration are one.
> -- EUREKA
> [There is an] incomprehensible connection between each particular
> individual in the moon with some particular individual on the
> earth. It is analogous with and depending upon that of the orbs
> of the planet and the satellite, and by means of which the lives
> and destinies of the inhabitants of the one are interwoven with
> the lives and destinies of the inhabitants of the other.
> -- ADVENTURE OF HANS PFAAL
> Discarding now the two equivalent terms, "gravitation" and
> "electricity," let us adopt the more definite expressions:
> "attraction" and "repulsion." The former is the body; the latter
> the soul: the one is the material, the other the spiritual,
> principle of the Universe. NO OTHER PRINCIPLES EXIST. ALL
> phenomena are referable to one, or to the other, or to both
> combined. Rigorously is this the case -- so thoroughly
> demonstrable is it that attraction and repulsion are the SOLE
> properties through which we perceive the Universe -- in other
> words, by which Matter is manifested to Mind -- that, for all
> merely argumentative purposes, we are fully justified in assuming
> that matter EXISTS only as attraction and repulsion -- that
> attraction and repulsion ARE matter.
> -- Eureka
Poe defines his theory of aesthetics -- if this is the right word
to use -- in the following passage:
> Dividing the world of mind into its three most immediately
> obvious distinctions, we have the Pure Intellect, Taste, and the
> Moral Sense. I place Taste in the middle because it is just this
> position that in the mind it occupies. It holds intimate
> relations with either extreme; but from the Moral Sense is
> separated by so faint a difference that Aristotle has not
> hesitated to place some of its operations among the virtues
> themselves. Nevertheless, we find the OFFICES of the trio marked
> with a sufficient distinction. Just as the Intellect concerns
> itself with Truth, so Taste informs us of the Beautiful, while
> the Moral Sense is regardful of Duty. Of this latter, while
> Conscience teaches the obligation, and Reason the expediency,
> Taste contents herself with displaying the charms, waging war
> upon Vice solely because of her deformity, her disproportion, her
> animosity to the fitting, to the appropriate, to the harmonious,
> in a word, to Beauty.
> -- THE POETIC PRINCIPLE
In the "Philosophy of Composition," he designates Beauty as the
province of the poem, excluding didacticism of every sort. He
sees Wordsworth's defects through a lens, ignoring the merits; he
waxes enthusiastic over Coleridge; he would have had no use for
Ruskin's doctrine. He is however here merely explaining his
theory of art and composition, not laying down a rigid and
exclusive dogma; and elsewhere, as we have seen, he gives
abundant proof of his sense of the universal unity. The nameless
goal presents itself under various forms to various minds --
Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Harmony, Love; but "by whatever name
they worship Me, it is I alone who inspire them with constancy in
On the subject of death, so interesting to Theosophists, we find
various places where he enunciates views on which Theosophists
would look with approval. "The Colloquy of Monos and Una" is a
dialog between two souls in the after-life, in which one of them
describes his experiences of death.
Though his consciousness and power of thought gradually die down,
there is never a time when he is not sufficiently aware of
existence to be able to remember it afterwards. He is dimly
aware of the laying-out, the weeping, even the lowering into the
tomb, nay even the tomb itself.
What is remarkable here is the fact that, when all else of
sensory or conscious experience has faded out, there remains the
sense of Time. Time, he says, is not a mental abstraction. It
is a self-existent reality. It consists in a ceaseless rhythmic
pulsation, so exact and inerrant that, as he lies on the bed of
death, he is enabled by its means to detect the errors in the
ticking of a watch. Time, then, is the ultimate essence of
consciousness, the irreducible substratum. This is surely an
idea that we might find in THE SECRET DOCTRINE. From this
condition, the consciousness slowly rebuilds itself by gradations
similar to those whereby it had dwindled down. The same idea is
in "The Pit and the Pendulum."
> I had swooned; but still will not say that all of consciousness
> was lost. What of it there remained, I will not attempt to
> define, or even to describe; yet not all was lost. In the
> deepest slumber -- no! In delirium -- no! In a swoon -- no! In
> death -- no! Even in the grave, not all IS lost, else there is no
> immortality for man.
Poe's ideas of Cosmogenesis will bear comparison with any system
short of that of the Esoteric Philosophy. He of course finds it
necessary, as is inevitable, to ASSUME something as a starting
point; and he uses the terms God and Godhead without necessarily
implying thereby the dogmatic errors that cause Theosophists to
fight shy of them. His starting point is one of which nothing
can be predicated except in negative terms; and he quotes a
French writer to the effect that, to understand God, one must
himself BE God. Assuming that this Being created out of nothing
the universe that was to be his own self-expression -- what did
he first create? Assuming the creator as Spirit, what he first
created was, "Matter in its utmost conceivable state of -- what?
-- of Simplicity."
> ONENESS, then, is all that I predicate of the originally created
> Matter; but I propose to show that this ONENESS IS A PRINCIPLE
> ABUNDANTLY SUFFICIENT TO ACCOUNT FOR THE CONSTITUTION, THE
> EXISTING PHENOMENA AND THE PLAINLY INEVITABLE ANNIHILATION OF
> THAT LEAST THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE.
This last remark is summed up elsewhere in the words: "In the
Original Unity of the First Thing lies the Secondary Cause of All
Things, with the Germ of their Inevitable Annihilation."
The proving of this proposition occupies much space. We can
hardly summarize it here. Unity is a condition that implies
multiplicity in its very nature. It is a profound thought worth
As to preexistence, we find the following:
> Herein was I born. It is mere idleness to say that I had not
> lived before -- that the soul has no previous existence. You
> deny it? -- Let us not argue the matter. Convinced myself, I
> seek not to convince. There is, however, a remembrance of aerial
> forms -- of spiritual and meaning eyes -- of sounds musical yet
> sad; a remembrance which will not be excluded; a memory like a
> shadow -- vague, variable, indefinite, unsteady; and like a
> shadow, too, in the impossibility of my getting rid of it while
> the sunlight of my reason shall exist. In that chamber was I
> born. Thus awaking from the long night of what seemed, but was
> not, nonentity ...
> -- BERENICE
Here for the present we conclude a somewhat diffuse and sketchy
survey, and one that might easily have been carried to greater
length. The writer has found it a congenial task to do his
little towards rehabilitating a slandered reputation. He hopes
that his Theosophical readers will find themselves able to share
his satisfaction. Poe, in his Preface to "Eureka," has the
> What I here propound is true: -- therefore, it cannot die: -- or
> if by any means it was now trodden down so that it dies, it will
> "rise again to the Life Everlasting."
TO THOSE INITIATED
By James Sterling
Throughout eons of darkness,
Throughout silent years,
You stood as a pillar of stone,
Solid and ready to defend this frozen world,
In selfless devotion to mankind.
For those on the path, narrow and true,
The path virtually empty and quiet
Except for a few solitary footsteps
Tiptoeing toward harmony.
If ignorance is the recipe for evil,
Then ignorance must be served no more.
For only in light shining on a black sea
Can those sail in righteousness.
This black age will feel a strengthening force,
The force of those turning inward,
Traveling on a path to discover
Their true nature -- themselves.
Seek within yourself,
Toward the inner Self,
And take steps toward altruism and purification.
The rest with each step of spiritual development.
Go and return no more.
For as we travel onward, we won't be turning back.
Trust your inner Self and let intuition be your guide.
A STUDY IN FUNDAMENTALS, Part VI
By Boris de Zirkoff
[This talk comes from the second part of the tape recording on
"Chapter XII of FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, Part
II," made of a private class held on June 2, 1954.]
How does cyclic evolution relate to Swabhava? Swabhava appears to
be against evolution, saying that something cannot become what it
is not. An acorn can only become an oak tree. That lack of
change appears to be against evolution. How do we reconcile the
two? With another cycle, should not a seed take an impulse
favored by the new cycle?
Essentially, there is no such thing as a cycle apart from the
entities forming it. We might generalize, saying that an oak is
always an oak and the seed of an oak is always the seed of an
oak. If we watch the direct line of descent of oaks and their
seeds, we would find that they gradually improve, unfold, become
more complex, better, greater, and nobler. In time, something
greater yet will come from its seed.
To become greater, a being has to transcend a condition of
consciousness. The Monad that is working through a seed of oak
will become a man at some future time. Going from stage to stage
during successive Manvantaric cycles, the Monad will break
through Ring-Pass-Not after Ring-Pass-Not. Eventually, it will
have unfolded so completely that it reaches the stage of another
kingdom of life.
These ideas are exceedingly difficult to put into words. One
might think there is a contradiction. If a cat cannot become
anything but a cat, how does one start evolution and work oneself
up the ladder of life? The key is in the distinction between the
evolving entity and the house that it builds for itself through
Upon incarnation, we attract to this house or body the material
that formed it before. In any particular incarnation, though, we
use only a portion of the material that belongs to us. We have
used a great deal of material in various lives. At any moment,
we have only a small portion of it.
From childhood to advanced old age, we use a considerable amount
of life atoms. There is enough to build more than one body.
Even if we brought together all the material of the whole
incarnation, there is more upon which we could call. We do not
use it in this life because it does not gear to that aspect of
karma upon which we are currently working.
Our cells are evolving entities. How do they ever become human
beings? If we keep gathering them as we evolve and never discard
or throw them off, how do they get free and go their own way?
Think for a moment. There is a long time in which they are free.
Look at it this way. You live 90 years and then stay in
subjective spheres for centuries.
Not spiritually awakened, one may have had beautiful ideas,
feelings, and aspirations during life. With that consciousness,
he may be away for a couple thousand years. Having an entirely
different type of consciousness, another may be gone for five
hundred years. While some spiritually minded people may come
back sooner, most pass a long time in the subjective spheres.
During that time, the billions of lower entities of our bodies
journey through other kingdoms of life. Undergoing their
evolution, these life atoms are almost completely free from
active ties with us until we come back.
This happens even while we live. Say that I had certain
thousands of life atoms in me a week ago. They were my own.
They passed through me. I have placed a further impress on them.
Now they leave. Some emanate on this or other planes. Some rub
off physically. Many I breathe out or expel by other
physiological action. They do not come back for years or perhaps
a future lifetime.
Where have the life atoms gone? They have gone into minerals,
vegetables, animals, and other humans. This happens during your
incarnate life. What is our own does not necessarily stay with
us the entire 90 years. We may use it at but one time of life.
The life atoms that we use in early childhood are not the same as
those we use when 40 or 50 years old. They are another set.
They constantly come in from our reservoir. When we die, there
is a final and complete disintegration of the lower principles.
All the life atoms in our lower quaternary start their
peregrinations through the other kingdoms of nature, perhaps for
hundreds or even thousands of years. That is their period of
evolution free of us.
When we return, the life atoms are a bit higher on the ladder of
being. The exceptions are those we had impressed with such
criminal thought or low impulse that they sunk into the lowest
forms of nature while we were away. The next time we meet them,
they are anything but higher. With each reincarnation, we
attract a portion of the same atoms back. Throughout our
evolution, our life atoms are always with us.
We read in the current chapter:
> The habit, or, if you like the word, the "law" … of Swabhava can
> work only in that which is itself, because only its own vehicle,
> its own self, is appropriate for the manifestation of itself!
> -- FUNDAMENTALS, page 122
We constantly evolve within our creation or world. The cells or
life atoms are always with us. Might they branch off in another
Round or Planetary Chain, evolving onwards and becoming
independent of us eventually? No, they do not leave us. We
evolve and expand. They do too, but do so within us. As we
evolve, we eventually become Planetary Chains and they the
creatures existing within us.
The topic is difficult. I would not assume everybody
understands. All of us have our uncertainties.
A life atom branches off, evolving on its own while still part of
us. One, a cell, might go into the mineral kingdom and became
mineral. When we call it back, it gathers its experience. The
next time we are here, we attract it again. Say we draw it back
from some mineral, plant, or animal this time. Regardless of
from where we drew it, it is nothing more than the same life
atom. It is the same entity, possibly a little higher than
before, taking its rightful place in us as a building brick for a
Do not confuse a life atom with a human being. A life atom that
is in us is not human. It has come from one of the lower
kingdoms of life. It simply evolves within our constitution for
a time because it belongs to us. It is of our own family.
From where did that life atom originally come? It came as an
emanation of the Monad that is the heart of us. That life atom
has its own Monad. This is high metaphysics. The Monad emanates
from itself rays that are Monads themselves. The one becomes the
many. All words become useless when dealing with the mystery of
the one becoming the many. Even now, the Monad in you and me
emanates other rays of itself. Where do they come from? They
arise out of the inner recesses of the Monad. How does this
happen? We do not know. It is like the sun, constantly
radiating. The Monad is our inner sun.
When a man becomes higher than human, the life atoms of his lower
principles become something more. Each of us is a human soul or
human Ego now. When you or I become the Hierarch of a Planetary
Chain and therefore a god, the life atoms within our constitution
will have become higher entities as well.
In due course, when today's human has become the Logos of a
system, some life atoms of his principles will have become the
human kingdoms of its various spheres. It works the other way.
Long ago, the human being of today was a life atom in some entity
that today is immensely higher. I cannot be too specific about
what the stage of our development is in which the cells and life
atoms within us will come to the human stage. It will happen as
we enter one of the higher kingdoms, certainly one beyond the
Dhyani-Chohans, the planetary spirits of this Earth. It is
Curiously, there was a time in the Second, Third, and beginning
of the Fourth Rounds of this Chain when the human entity had not
yet impressed its psycho-magnetic force upon its huge family of
life atoms. It did not have as strong a control over its little
world as it does now.
At that time, a great percentage of the life atoms leaving the
human constitution were not impressed strongly enough to come
back. In those days, they branched out on their own, developing
various forms from their individual Swabhava. What are those
forms? They are the lower kingdoms of life: the animals,
vegetables, and even minerals. They are offshoots of the main
human trunk at a stage when we could not recall them by the
stronger psycho-magnetic impress that we have established since
then. Today if you peel off and throw away part of you, it dies.
At that time, it was vital enough to start an evolutionary line.
It was not much under the stamp of the human consciousness. This
is a tremendous subject.
On a continuous basis, we throw off cells and receive anew ones
that were ours once before. They bear the same relationship to
us as we do to the Earth. Coming back to the Earth, we are born.
Eventually we die, leaving it. We are just cells in the Earth.
The same is true with the cells in our bodies. What type of
cells might we be? We human beings are mental entities. We have
reached a certain type of mental self-consciousness. We are part
of the Manas of the Earth on which we live.
As self-conscious human beings, we move from place to place of
our own free will, having no fixed abode. Our evolution is
self-dependent. Before we might exist in it, the high entity to
which we belong would have to gather us.
As we go through life, is the higher entity to which we belong in
a state of quietude? No, this would only be true if we "human
cells" were not within the structure of that entity today. If it
had gone onto higher spheres then we could say that we were not
in it. Then we would be peregrinating. Are we? No, we are life
atoms in an organized constitution within the structure of a
fully embodied superior entity. During incarnation, our journeys
throughout the Earth are within the structure of that greater
entity. It has not gone on anywhere, being fully alive and
Everything ceases at the end of the Manvantara. Then we wander
as our cells do between our physical incarnations. That analogy
is correct. As THE SECRET DOCTRINE says, the scroll rolls up.
We have reached the end of the Planetary Chain. We have gone
through seven Rounds. All the kingdoms have. The billions and
billions of Monads in various stages of evolution have reached
their final stage. They divide into the ten classes. Some have
gone further ahead than have others.
The planetary spirit, Hierarch of the entire Planetary Chain, has
disembodied now. Too advanced for the devachan that a
disembodying human might enter, it enters nirvana. Just like the
life atoms of a human being, the myriads of Monads of the Chain
will peregrinate through all sorts of spheres for eons. This
continues until that planetary spirit embodies into a new
planetary universe again. In larger scale, the same applies to
the Solar Logos.
When we go into our devachanic condition between lives, the life
atoms of our lower quaternaries, including the physical and
astral bodies, scatter all over creation in different kingdoms
for their own evolutionary purposes. Our higher portions,
including the higher Ego, peregrinate through other Planetary
Chains of the solar system. We are not static in our devachanic
sleep. We are not in any one location during that period. While
in that sleep-like condition, we peregrinate through other
spheres. This has many complications that I do not want to go
There are analogies throughout that differ but in degree. The
more you dwell on these things, the more analogies you discover.
It is good to dwell on them. You will discover that analogy, as
HPB puts it in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, is the fundamental key to
understanding the entire system of thought. From the highest to
the lowest of things, all build on the same pattern. There is
only one pattern with modification, only one pattern. The
blueprint is the same. The differences are of scale or degree.
The hierarchy that we are in will depart at the end of the
Manvantara. It shall reimbody eventually a little higher than
before. When it returns, we will be with it. Another hierarchy
will not head us. We stay with it. It is like a family moving
together. We carry our own with us. The planetary spirit
carries its own. We are his family.
While there are bridges between the hierarchies of the universe,
each is self-contained. Each evolves its own auric envelope or
auric egg from within. Even so, it is not so watertight that
there are no interconnections between the hierarchies.
Obviously, the connections exist because everything is
interrelated, although these hierarchies are self-contained
enough to evolve and unfold as a unified family.
A Monad issues rays from within. It emanates. Like the sun, it
radiates. Those rays remain its own, part of its world forever.
The Monad secretes or oozes out its world. It is present in
every one of its life atoms forever, no matter what their state
of evolution. Consider the supreme Logos and ruler of the solar
system. This Logos of the Sun has an efflux or influence present
in even the last little life atom of its system.
Most of these subjects open up tremendous vistas. They offer
enormous possibilities of study. The more we consider them, the
more we realize the infinite complexity that arises out of a few
simple principles of thought. The laws of the universe are
exceedingly simple. Even so, in the descending scale of planes,
the complexity to which they give rise is completely beyond the
comprehension of any mind. This is true of not only human but
also super-human thought. The exception is that in due course of
time, each can understand the complexities of his own sphere of
life, when standing on the threshold of graduation into something
higher still. Even the highest gods cannot understand the
infinite whole, of which a god is but a cell.
One wonderful thought arises from our studies. We repeat it to
our individual and collective benefit. By placing our minds on
Teachings almost completely unrelated to daily life, our everyday
routines come to make sense. They acquire meaning. As we dwell
on abstract thought, we arouse a spiritual strength with which we
meet the harassing problems of life understandingly and
patiently. Harassments become less. Fears peter out.
Unpleasantness fades. Doing the routine things of life under the
guiding light of great thought, the personality becomes
increasingly patient. Strength comes as the individual mind --
not the personal, the individual mind – dwells deep within.
During these discussions and later thinking about them, we obtain
power of a higher plane. With it, we illumine the darkness of
our less attractive routines, personal entanglements, and
problems facing us. The shallow and blind man says students of
the Esoteric Philosophy dwell on things behind the clouds. He
just loves to identify himself with the small things of life
completely. He has forgotten to look up and see that in spite of
anything there are stars in heaven. He is self-blind. His
Ring-Pass-Not has so crystallized that he does not know how to
break through it.
Take a man or woman in whose background of though there are ideas
about Inner Rounds, Outer Rounds, and Planetary Chains. Perhaps
one dwells on ordinary astronomy or reflects on ideas out of
theosophical books about long periods of evolution and the
magnificent possibilities of man. Invariably, that one has more
adequately fitted himself to attack the daily problems of life.
He is not as this silly man imagines, an abstract fellow with his
head behind the clouds. Yes, there are such, but they are the
exceptions. He has established a contact between the great inner
things and an outer that he is making to reflect the inner.
We become greater by dwelling upon greatness. By dwelling upon
cosmic themes, we become less personal. By looking at the stars,
physically and metaphorically speaking, we see less of the mud.
That mud has its place in life as well. We cannot transcend
We look up instead of down. We train ourselves to think in
abstract thought, in ideas rather than forms. We train ourselves
to think. We exercise our truly human faculties. Doing all
this, we can face almost anything that may come to us in our
individual lives, rising above it triumphant.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application