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THEOSOPHY WORLD ---------------------------------- November, 2004

An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World

To submit papers or news items, subscribe, or unsubscribe, write
to theos-world@theosophy.com.

(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)

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CONTENTS

"The Vow of Silence," by B.P. Wadia
"The Dissemination of Ideas," by Anonymous
"Mistaken Notions on the 'Secret Doctrine,'" by H.P. Blavatsky
"Then -- And Now," by Sri J.M. Ganguli
"Musings," by Violet Chambers
"An Essay on Karma," by Jay
"A Word to Parents," by Anonymous
"The Spirit of Aromatherapy," by Sagescrown
"Strength and Balance in Occultism," by G. de Purucker
"The Study of Inner Worlds," Part II, by Boris de Zirkoff
"A Special Issue," Part II, by Eldon B Tucker
"Theosophy: What it Means to Me, Where We're Going,"
    by Christine M. Hanson
"Theoretical Knowledge and Individual Transformation,"
    by James Santucci
"Theosophy Now," by Linda Rollison
"What Theosophy Is and Where It is Going," by James Colbert

==================================================================

> Your experience, your training, your intellect, your knowledge
> of the exterior world, in short, all combine to aid you in the
> accomplishment of the task you have undertaken. For, they place
> you on an infinitely higher level than myself as regards the
> consideration of writing a book, after your Society's "own
> heart."
>
> -- Mahatma KH, THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT, Letter 8

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE VOW OF SILENCE

By B.P. Wadia

[From LIVING THE LIFE, pages 13-16]

One, if not the greatest, of evils by which modern society is
corrupted, is that of gossip. Injurious speech, or small talk
ensouled by the spirit of competition, not only ruins other
people's character, but also corrupts our own. This is not
recognized. Small talk has become and is studied as an art, and
the infamy of gossip has emerged as an institution of social
amusement. Its infamous nature is forgotten, its dire effects
fail to impart their lesson, and it has assumed for modern men
and women the place of a necessity of life. Social avocations in
cultured drawing rooms as also in abusive slums pursue the path
of small talk and mean gossip.

The first requirement of the spiritual life is to learn the value
of silence. The conservation of spiritual energy demands that
the frittering away of soul-forces be stopped. There are few
avenues through which man's divinity goes to waste as through
sound and speech. The dirt and dregs of our kamic nature often
find their outlet in useless or injurious speech.

There is a close connection and more than mere metaphorical
analogy in the statement that refers to what is put in the mouth
as food and what comes out of it as words. Through the process
of eating, the assimilation of food and elimination of waste
product take place. The health of the body improves or suffers
with every morsel we take in. One of the main ways of
determining the condition of the body is to examine the
disposition of the process and product of elimination. Our
psychic nature has its own ways of assimilation and elimination,
of sustaining itself in good or ill health. One of the modes of
elimination relates to the power of speech.

In spiritual growth, learning and listening go together. They
precede teaching and speaking. In ancient India, the moment the
seeker of the peace of wisdom resolved to follow in the footsteps
of the guru, the pupil gained the name of Shravaka, a listener.
The ancient Greeks named him Akoustikos. He was not even
permitted to ask questions; bija-sutras, seed-thoughts, were
given him to ponder over and understand to the best of his
ability. These thoughts were intended as purificatory food that,
if adequately assimilated, would cleanse his kamic nature; not
only remove the accumulated poisons of the past but reveal to the
pupil the correct alchemical process of transforming within his
own constitution passion into compassion, lust into love, and
antipathy into sympathy. Once started on this highway, he was
ready to become an exerciser, a positive doer, Shramana, the
Asketos of the Greeks.

Our modern Theosophical student has not fully recognized the
occult significance of silence. A vow of silence does not mean
to become mute and not to speak at all. It consists in: (1)
self-imposition of periodic silence; (2) not indulging at any
time in injurious and untruthful speech; (3) not giving way to
useless speech; (4) not asking questions on philosophy or
practice till what has already been taught or is before us is
fully scanned and thoroughly looked into from the point of view
of our particular questions; (5) not indulging in ahankaric
speech, i.e., not making statements about the Divine Self or Ego
in terms of our kamic or lower nature; (6) not indulging in
injurious speech regarding our lower nature, our own faults and
weaknesses, lest by speaking of them we lend them the strength
that ensues from the power of speech; (7) not to speak even that
that is true unless at proper times, to proper people, and under
proper circumstances.

While this sevenfold exercise is practiced, secrecy has to he
observed about it. To refer to or speak about the exercise we
have undertaken and are practicing is to vitiate it altogether
and make it worse than useless. Such an indulgence gives birth
to conceit and enhances it where it already exists. We need
secrecy and silence. Contemplation on their kinship should
precede the sevenfold exercise.

There is a general desire "to sit for meditation and to practice
yoga," but this first rule, this primary regulation, is found
irksome and its desirability questioned. No doubt, it is
difficult, well nigh impossible, for the moderns to attain this
control over speech; but if not fully and wholly at least partly
and partially it can be and should be practiced.

Deliberate speech will be the first result. It will not be
rooted in Kama-passion, but in Buddhi-compassion. There are two
types of criticism: one is faultfinding; the other is perception
of virtue in meritorious expressions as also the perception of
virtue behind vice, demerit, and weakness. The deceit of the
dice is Sri Krishna, and the power to perceive that comes from
the second type of criticism. The first is criticism by words of
Kama; the second is by words of understanding. The first is on
the plane of words; the second on the plane of ideas. The first
is of head learning; the second of soul-wisdom. The first
praises or condemns the lower nature; the second imports into it
the strength of the higher, causing readjustment. The first has
behind it the superior spirit of teaching; the second the sublime
spirit of learning and propagating that which is learnt.

How different would be the world if even in some measure the
power of this practice went into the doings of our civilization!
Reviewers and critics would then not look for points to condemn,
but for beauty, goodness, and worth in the books they review. In
all affairs of thought, feeling, and action our tendency is to
look for OUR thoughts repeated, OUR feelings reproduced, and OUR
actions imitated. We regard ourselves as the model for all
examination. We are the pattern whereby right and wrong is to be
determined. Such an attitude is not blatantly expressed, but
veils itself in a subtle form of humility, which is mock modesty.

There are a hundred who plunge into the waters of the ocean for
pleasure or profit to only one who dives for the pearl of great
price. The latter does his work in the secrecy of silence. His
art in the ocean is of a different kind from that of the ordinary
swimmer. Those who are in search of the pearl of wisdom must
acquire the strength of muscle, the control of breath, and the
finesse of stroke necessary against the stormy billows of this
ocean of Samsara. These lie securely hidden in the Power of
Silence. They must invoke that power, not by a pledge to some
other being, but by a vow silently sung and silently registered
in the sanctuary of the Heart. Thus, the path begins in silence
and secrecy and ends in the hearing and the chanting of the
Soundless Sound.

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THE DISSEMINATION OF IDEAS

By Anonymous

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, July 1975, pages 346-49.]

Even though ideas may sway large masses of men, they have a
tendency to lose their hold and be lost to humanity if the latter
through perversity and indifference ceases to give them life
through a studied usage. Sri Krishna refers to this phenomenon
in Chapter IV of THE BHAGAVAD GITA where he says that in the
course of time, the once-prevalent mighty Art was lost. It is
through disuse, neglect, and short memories that ideas start
losing their power and ultimately cease to govern the actions of
men. It is therefore necessary that ideas based on the true be
constantly planted in the memory of successive generations and be
continually charged with that vitality that conscious human usage
can alone provide. The life-term of any idea is determined by
the enthusiasm or indifference with which it is communicated and
received.

The ideas that Theosophy puts forward are but a reiteration of
those same ideas of the mighty Art that were promulgated by
Krishna then lost in the wilderness of man's increasing
materiality again. The Theosophical effort was to instruct the
public in the doctrine that asserts the existence of an
indissoluble link that prevails between man and man and between
man and the universe. Once that the idea of Universal
Brotherhood gets accepted in principle, the allied ideas of
philanthropy, self-sacrifice, and charity are bound to be readily
recognized as worthy of practice.

The Theosophical Movement was started to promote among men the
idea of this great Oneness, and especially so among scientists
and religionists who were parceling humanity into two camps, each
hugging its own fantasy to its breast. The teachings on karma
and reincarnation; states after death; the seven principles in
man and nature; the birth and evolution of systems of worlds; the
progression of man -- all these teachings were given out and
shown as dovetailing one with the other and as forming part of
one synthesizing whole where no part was in conflict with
another. Theosophy shows all evolution as proceeding under a
just and conscious LAW from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous,
to reabsorb ultimately into the original Unity with all
experience gathered therein.

All these Teachings were revealed in books, instructions,
periodicals, and correspondence with the hope that those who
benefited from them would in their turn pass on that benefit to
others who were in need of it. The wheel of promulgation had
thus been set revolving. It was expected that the realization of
the truth of Universal Brotherhood with its applications in daily
living would make man act in all things and always as his
brother's keeper.

Since those far off days of 1875, the Movement has spread
everywhere. The efforts at promulgation had necessarily to be
directed towards the furthering of the original impulse and the
giving of momentum and strength to the effort at weaning away men
from paths of error. The present effort emphasizes the spreading
broadcast of the ideas of an impersonal, all-pervasive
god-principle, of a just and all-seeing Law, and of a human
evolution that must run its cyclic rounds helped or hindered by
the free will of man.

Societies and Lodges will always remain the ephemera of a day and
their utility is judged by their adherence to the three
fundamental propositions set out in THE SECRET DOCTRINE. (I, 14)
If they have failed in this task, they can always pick themselves
up and continue the work in the light of Truth and the Divine
Paramitas. Whatever the record, the future holds vast potential
for good that can be tapped by the promulgation of the True.
There is no time limit to effort.

It is a fundamental duty of Theosophists to hold forth to the
public that anyone who is searching for the Perennial Philosophy
can have easy access to it at places centrally situated, and that
even if these remain far removed for some, clarification, advice,
and instruction can be readily available through correspondence.
Once established, there must flow from such centers of force such
information and instruction as would dissolve in men's minds the
hard encrustations of superstition and bigotry with their
attendant evils of fanaticism.

The pernicious, soul-destroying ideas that one need not fear the
effects of wrong-doing because absolutions, gifts, and favors can
be purchased by groveling before and fawning upon a god has to be
shown to be the fabrication of the clergy in most religious
systems. Old and decrepit edifices, built on crumbling
foundations of half-truth and deceit, have to be pulled down and
good ideas planted on clean places. In this task, Theosophy has
to fight intolerance, prejudice, ignorance, and selfishness that
hide under the mantle of faith in a personal god and behind the
assumption of an air of piety.

To gather the strength necessary to do all this, the student has
to clean his own Augean stables lest with soiling substances
residing in him he become the center of a turbulent force that
gathers strength at each occasion when he allows disharmony to
prevail between word and act. In trying to introduce reforms and
present a new orientation, care has to be taken that the public
is not roused to useless criticism and that storms are not
unnecessarily raised where complete calmness is essential to make
minds receptive to new ideas.

Whatever be the form that the act of promulgation may take, the
state of the inner man -- harmonious or disturbed -- is bound to
percolate through to his audience. When a sage or saint writes
or speaks, his message carries an inner atmosphere that has the
quality of his wisdom, compassion, and piety. Common words and
familiar ideas get invested with a new import and emphasis that
seem to run with his message and remain potent for good across
large periods of time. On the other hand, when the student
becomes lethargic in the fight against his lower nature and
starts preaching that standard of morality that he does not take
the trouble to maintain himself, he sets up an inner turbulence
that keeps him on the boil. His imbalance percolates through his
speech, denuding it of its power to help, benefit, and protect.

Where promulgation is through the spoken word, the level of
intelligence of the audience has to be taken into account and the
speech adjusted to that level. The effort at dissemination
should not resemble that of a condescending elder talking to
children. Such an attitude is irksome and the hold on the
audience is to that extent weakened. The exposition should not
be over-simple, nor on the other hand should it go over the heads
of the majority. The atmosphere of the meeting should not be
that of a new prophet laying down the law to errant mortals, nor
should it be apologetic because the enunciation of truths may
offend the susceptibilities of some or clash head-on with their
preconceived ideas. The exposition should be in such manner as
to imply that the lecturer is but passing on that which he has
heard and benefited by and that he now desires to make available
for the good of the many.

Any disquisition, however lucid, on one or the other aspects of
the Wisdom is bound to degenerate into mere oratory and fine talk
unless the words carry a sincere desire to help. Such a desire
carries the strength with which Nature endows him who is
impersonal and altruistic. To invoke that benign strength, the
promulgation must be of the True and therefore not tend to
violate any law in Nature. A deviation prompted by personal or
other pressing necessity or a dilution of the teachings to
inflate one's ego or to suit local prejudices and loyalties
carries the taint of falsity and therefore spreads no
beneficence. A good speaker gone astray will at best touch only
the emotional and psychic chords of his audience. In such case,
there can be neither accretion of spirituality nor any
appreciable enlightenment.

There are modes of promulgation other than the spoken or written
word. Health may fix a man immobile to his bed and yet his
promulgation may be effective for good. His noble thoughts
directed by a purified will may roam free and carry his message
of hope and cheer to those who may be in sore need of it. The
power of human thought when directed by an altruistic will can
create a floating storehouse of refined energy that can be tapped
by those who can tune into the higher vibration. The
image-making faculty can be used to visualize a sequence of
scenarios picturing in action the triumph of right over wrong, of
love over strife, and of sacrifice over slavery to the personal.

Such visualizations remain in the unseen atmosphere and if
ensouled with a desire to serve can contribute valuable support
to the movement for human amelioration. The typist at his
machine can effect wonders if, instead of seeing his work as a
drudgery, he approaches his desk all enthusiastic and eager to
join in the grand experiment. Albeit unconsciously, he pours
forth from eye and finger his enthusiastic message of hope and
loving sacrifice, contributing that as his mite towards the
recognition and establishment of Brotherhood. He can be sure
that his message will go everywhere and be of help and comfort,
for the power that he uses is of the awakening soul. Has he not
read, "The soul of man is immortal and its future is the future
of a thing whose growth and splendor has no limit?"

Where will practice, application, and promulgation lead to? What
should be the ultimate aim of the aspirant? The Maha Chohan who
was referred to by Madame Blavatsky as "the PARAGURU -- my
Master's MASTER," wrote in the early days of the Theosophical
Movement,

> The incarnations of the Bodhisattva Padmapani or Avalokiteshvara,
> of Tsongkapa, and that of Amitabha relinquished at their death
> the attainment of Buddhahood, i.e., the SUMMUM BONUM of bliss,
> and of individual personal felicity, that they might be born
> repeatedly for the benefit of mankind. In other words, that they
> might be again and again subjected to misery, imprisonment in
> flesh, and all the sorrows of life provided that they, by such a
> self-sacrifice, repeated through long and weary centuries, might
> become the means of securing salvation and bliss in the hereafter
> for a handful of men chosen among but one of the many planetary
> races of mankind.

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MISTAKEN NOTIONS ON THE "SECRET DOCTRINE"

By H.P. Blavatsky

[From LUCIFER, June 15, 1890, pages 333-35.]

Ever since the publication of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Students of
Theosophy (outside the inner ring of Occult Sciences) have
complained that the teachings contained in the work do not
satisfy them. One, mentioning the lengthy and rabid abuse of it
by an old, though really insignificant, if brutal, enemy, takes
me to task for leaving a door open to such criticism by taking
too little into account modern science and modern thought (!);
another complains that my explanations are not complete; thus, he
says,

> For the last ten years, I have been a close reader of
> theosophical literature. I have read and re-read THE SECRET
> DOCTRINE and collated passages, and nothing is more disheartening
> than to find some of the best explanations on Occult points, just
> as they begin to grow a little lucid, marred by a reference to
> some exoteric philosophy or religion, which breaks up the train
> of reasoning and leaves the explanation unfinished . . . We
> can understand parts, but we cannot get a succinct idea,
> particularly of the teachings as to Parabrahm (the Absolute) the
> 1st and 2nd Logos, Spirit, Matter, Fohat, etc., etc.

This is the direct and natural result of the very mistaken notion
that the work I have called the "Secret Doctrine" had ever been
intended by me to dovetail with modern Science, or to explain
"occult points." I was and still am more concerned with FACTS
than with scientific hypotheses. My chief and only object was to
bring into prominence that the basic and fundamental principles
of every exoteric religion and philosophy, old or new, were from
first to last but the echoes of the primeval "Wisdom Religion." I
sought to show that the TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, like Truth itself, was
ONE; and that, however differing in form and color, the foliage
of the twigs, the trunk and its main branches were still those of
the same old Tree, in the shadow of which had developed and grown
the (now) esoteric religious philosophy of the races that
preceded our present mankind on earth.

This object, I believe I have carried out as far as it could be
carried, in the first two volumes of THE SECRET DOCTRINE. It was
not the occult philosophy of the esoteric teachings that I
undertook to explain to the world at large, for then the
qualification of "Secret" would have become like the SECRET of
"Polichinelle" shouted in the manner of a stage a parte; but
simply to give THAT WHICH COULD BE GIVEN OUT, and to parallel it
with the beliefs and dogmas of the past and present nations, thus
showing the original source of the latter and how disfigured they
had become.

If my work is, at this day of materialistic assumptions and
universal iconoclasm, too premature for the masses of the profane
-- so much the worse for those masses. But it was not too
premature for the earnest students of theosophy -- except those,
perhaps, who had hoped that a treatise on such intricate
correspondences as exist between the religions and philosophies
of the almost forgotten Past, and those of the modern day, could
be as simple as a shilling "shocker" from a railway stall.

Even one system of philosophy at a time, whether that of Kant or
of Herbert Spencer, of Spinoza or of Hartmann, requires more than
a study of several years. Does it not therefore, stand to reason
that a work which compares several dozens of philosophies and
over half-a-dozen of world-religions, a work which has to unveil
the roots with the greatest precautions, as it can only HINT at
the secret blossoms here and there -- cannot be comprehended at a
first reading, nor even after several, unless the reader
elaborates for himself a system for it?

That this can be done and IS done is shown by the "Two Students
of the E. S." They are now synthesizing the "Secret Doctrine,"
and they do it in the most lucid and comprehensive way, in this
magazine. No more than any one else have they understood that
work immediately after reading it. But they went to work in dead
earnest. They indexed it for themselves, classifying the
contents in two portions -- the EXOTERIC and the ESOTERIC; and
having achieved this preliminary labor, they now present the
former portion to the readers at large, while storing the latter
for their own practical instruction and benefit. Why should not
every earnest theosophist do the same?

There are several ways of acquiring knowledge: (a) by accepting
blindly the dicta of the church or modern science; (b) by
rejecting both and starting to find the truth for oneself. The
first method is easy and leads to social respectability and the
praise of men; the other is difficult and requires more than
ordinary devotion to truth, a disregard for direct personal
benefits and an unwavering perseverance. Thus, it was in the
days of old and so it is now, except perhaps, that such devotion
to truth has been more rare in our own day than it was of yore.
Indeed, the modern Eastern student's unwillingness to think for
himself is now as great as Western exactions and criticism of
other people's thoughts.

He demands and expects that his "Path" shall be engineered with
all the selfish craft of modern comfort, macadamized, laid out
with swift railways and telegraphs, and even telescopes, through
which he may, while sitting at his ease, survey the works of
other people; and while criticizing them, look out for the
easiest, in order to play at the Occultist and Amateur Student of
Theosophy.

The real "Path" to esoteric knowledge is very different. Its
entrance is overgrown with the brambles of neglect, the
travesties of truth during long ages block the way, and it is
obscured by the proud contempt of self-sufficiency and with every
verity distorted out of all focus. To push over the threshold
alone, demands an incessant, often unrequited labor of years, and
once on the other side of the entrance, the weary pilgrim has to
toil up on foot, for the narrow way leads to forbidding mountain
heights, unmeasured and unknown, save to those who have reached
the cloud-capped summit before.

Thus must he mount, step by step, having to conquer every inch of
ground before him by his own exertions; moving onward, guided by
strange land marks the nature of which he can ascertain only by
deciphering the weather-beaten, half-defaced inscriptions as he
treads along, for woe to him, if, instead of studying them, he
sits by coolly pronouncing them "indecipherable." The "Doctrine
of the Eye" is Maya; that of the "Heart" alone, can make of hint
an elect.

Is it to be wondered that so few reach the goal, that so many are
called, but so few are chosen? Is not the reason for this
explained in three lines on page 27 of THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE?
These say that while "The first repeat in pride, 'Behold, I
KNOW,' the last, they who in humbleness have garnered, low
confess, 'thus have I heard'" and hence, become the only
"chosen."

------------------------------------------------------------------
THEN -- AND NOW

By Sri J.M. Ganguli

[From THE ARYAN PATH, September 1953, pages 402-06.]

It was a small nest, high in a tree. The branch was slender and
it waved in the breeze, though I did not know that, nor had I
ever thought of it.

When I first opened my eyes inside the nest, I saw only a bright,
slender figure bent over me, her eyes overflowing with
tenderness.

I cried out in my first consciousness of a new and strange
environment, but she took me up and warmed me under her covering
wings. I looked around, this side and that, above and below, but
she was all that I saw. The light streaming in from outside came
to me reflected from her, but that outside light told me nothing
about whence and how I had come there.

I could remember nothing. I strained my eyes; I struggled with
my limbs; I shrieked, perhaps from a sense of being encaged in an
unknown place. She rocked me on her breast and in many ways
diverted me from my nervous and lonely thoughts until in fatigue
I went to sleep.

Such was my coming here.

----

I was getting used to my world. She nursed me, fed me, played
with me, and slept by me. My senses were awakening and my
interest in my surroundings was growing; little things and
trifles enchanted me. I forgot the problem of my past
altogether, becoming merged in the present. If at times I felt
lonely, she turned my thoughts away from the empty nooks and
corners, away from the unspeaking, flat floors and ceilings, out
into an expansive realm where, as she told me stories, I saw
deities and angels, classical heroes and heroines, appearing and
playing their thrilling and sparkling parts. Into such a world,
my vision peered, in it my imagination roamed, and my thoughts
dwelt.

She woke me at break of day with a sublime, deeply stirring hymn
in praise of some Being, of whom I then could understand nothing,
but the tune of that hymn is still in my ears. When the darkness
of the night crept in, she cuddled me to her breast for warmth
and cheer. Out to the horizon, she turned my eyes in the morning
to the glow of the rising sun, and she tuned my ears to the
morning songs of the birds, which were awake to receive the first
rays when men were asleep and unconscious in the dark.

How vividly I recall those swiftly vanished young days when, away
from the heat and roar of the world, I grew up! If I were sick,
she would sit day and night by me and would look so fixedly into
my eyes that no disease could stand it. She would read to me
from THE RAMAYANA, THE MAHABHARATA, and many great books of
different lands and ages. When I felt restless, she took me out
for flights which gradually increased in radius and frequency
till we started journeying through the country and saw cities,
forests, and dens, traveling through winding valleys and across
mountain ranges far and near. The more we wandered the more we
loved to wander.

Thus, I met the outside world. Thus, I learnt to move shyly and
weakly amidst cold things, strange beings, and men and women that
did not understand. I learnt to learn; I got the impetus to
stand and to work. The deep center of all interest was my
mother, round whom my world of love and thought revolved. When I
roved through villages and towns, passed through forests, climbed
mountains or crossed the country, as I often did, I was never
alone. She was with me at all places and at all times.

In all my journeying forth, however, there was an ever-recurring
attraction homeward. Homeward to our little nest, a dwelling as
simple as could be, unpainted, undecorated, and unnoticed by
society, but one where the sun's glories were unobstructed,
through which Nature's breath sang freely. Where two lonely,
frail creatures sojourned in their passage through this world;
where they looked to each other, in joy and sorrow, for
inspiration and strength; where in the peacefulness of the night
they talked and questioned the many why's and how's that stood
rock-like behind their observations, their experiences, and their
comprehension of things and happenings.

Days, months, and years passed. Thus, it went on, and thus I
thought it would ever go on. I cared not to inquire if there was
a boundary to the present, or to judge if the evenness of passing
time was not sloping down to a different future. Who reflects,
who stops to discriminate and to ponder when the ship is sailing
smoothly under the blue sky, days following nights and nights
following days in chronological sequence and our hopes and fears,
joys and depressions, and measurements and calculations keep us
blind to events in the offing? Whom does it strike then to strain
the eye toward the distant horizon to see if there is any speck
of cloud gathering gloom and danger to hurl down upon us!

One night the signal came. The earth shook; a storm blew,
heralding the advent of Kal (Destiny) himself, who stood
determined and inexorable at our little door. No wailing, no
weeping, could halt his call, no argument could change even a dot
in the terrible time-chart that he flung at his victim. My
mother called me. What a voice that was! I shuddered. There
were awful forebodings in the air. I looked up to Heaven; but I
could feel that there was not the earnestness in my call that
there had been at times before. My mind was unsteady, my
concentration was gone; my tongue and body quivered. For one
moment at least, all my vanity and egoistic confidence were gone;
for one moment, my physical senses hid themselves in shame at
their helplessness.

Thus, it all happened. Thus, the hand of the Inevitable struck
and struck hard, as it sometimes does. Then the dark moments
passed back into eternity, wherefrom they had emerged and whereto
they reenter. My mother? Where was she? I closed my eyes in the
chill of utter loneliness; I stretched out my hands to grasp
hers, which had ever supported me. I moved in thought, as had
been my instinctive habit as a child, to get into her warm lap.

Then an awakening came. The imaginary land wherein I had lived
all this while, wherein I had been building nests, raising
pillars of hope, weaving silken threads of love and affection,
crumpled up and vanished as I opened my eyes. Tears rolled down,
clearing the film from my sight, until a new light glowed in
front of me that revealed little by little the chaotic vastness
in which I had been foolishly drawing lines, picturing images,
and molding shapes, ideas, and notions. Mother? Who was my
mother here where none was and none could be? My nest, my
belongings, my treasures? What could they have been and what
could they mean in the streakless void that was all round? My
sweet pleasures, high hopes, and freezing fears? How unreal they
must have been! How queer the thought of them now struck me as
being, in the Oneness enveloping all!

How I realized then that the personal sentiment linking my mother
and me had prevented our "selves" from becoming untied,
unfocused, all-sweeping souls! It is such attachment, such
linking, which colors and blurs our vision, which produces the
different illusions (vikaras), and which frustrates the
inspiration that comes at times to lose and diffuse ourselves
into the Common, the Wide, and the Universal. Such close
concentration on the personal self excites and gives power to the
physical senses and generates longings and intoxication (Moha).

The warm tears continued to roll down, clearing my vision
increasingly and giving glimpses of a stupendous Reality. The
chill of loneliness brought a momentary Realization that blew off
all pain and sorrow, along with all joys and hopes.

Thus, I sat up, looked out, and gazed into the Beyond, into the
Infinite Beyond.

I felt ever so light and free. I could fly on and across without
a homeward pull, without a look back at a nest that had been but
was no more. The thought that I had rested in peace and
confidence in a tiny nest that could never stand a puff of wind
made me laugh. That I could have labored to erect castles and
storehouses on the crest of a volcano that could erupt any moment
was amazing. Out of my senses, I must have been when I was
forming bonds and relationships of love and affection with images
and shadows that did not exist and had never existed.

The moment of utter self-forgetfulness and effacement that came
that night and brought a transient realization of the infinity of
Oneness does not come and stay at my bidding; but it has
unfettered my soul's power to spread out and has largely freed my
feelings and sentiments from their hovering round my imaginary
self. At times when I look back and reflect, it seems that my
mother-illusion, which had sustained me so long and so well since
the opening of my tiny physical eyes, has now vanished to give an
all-shaking realization that may sustain my soul better in its
slow awakening and steady merging into the Absolute. If I was
happy with my mother then, I should be grateful to her now for
shocking me by her exit into a sense of the Real. Then, as now,
her whole thought and interest must have been for my good and
benefit.

I am beginning to feel happy, perhaps happier than ever before.
If there is little now to be drunk with or to be elated by, there
is also little to cut me and to make me smart. I have seen
through the meaninglessness of it all. All those things were
only lights and shadows cast by my own self, hallucinations
keeping me spellbound. Hardly do they excite me any more. As I
sit and muse, the current of life and events passes by, rippling
and waving, splashing occasional spray on me. Wait! Is a current
of life and events passing by me? Is it not my own mind evolving,
creating, turning, and revolving its manufactures in an endless
chain, in a moment of great stupefying self-forgetfulness?

When I see now someone laughing or weeping, I smile a little; for
I see that there is nothing behind joys and sorrows. Those who
are laughing or wailing today must, like me, have built and
stored and counted their treasures and embraced their loved ones
in an eternal chaos, the consciousness of which comes at the
moment of a great crash. I comfort the weeping one no more by
weeping with him, but by asking him to rejoice over his
emancipation from an enthralling attachment to an illusory
Nothing. Similar had been my own case, but I emphasize my
newborn experience.

I too had love and affection that lifted me above the clouds at
times and plunged me into dark depths at others. I too had
objects that I treasured and adored, round which my vision
circled. Without them now, I am calm and peaceful. My narrow,
bound feelings and sentiments and my short sight are spreading
out free and wide, bringing in a new, far-reaching realization
that demolishes differences between thing and thing and cuts
through the varieties and characteristics that generate likes and
dislikes.

"This is mine" or "This has been mine" no longer holds
significance when I glance over the wide perspective where all
things are unpossessed because they are all the same and because
there is none to claim and to take. The incentive to grab and to
possess no longer survives.

Non-understanding and eyes fixed on the ground cause the feeling
of want and the longing to acquire. When the soul spreads out,
free from its bondage, it recoils from the thought of acquiring,
possessing, and burdening itself again. On the field of
universality, there is nothing to choose. When movement is
unchecked, when freedom of action is not timed, there can be no
impulse to stop. When the soul comes to itself, it sees through
everything, it possesses everything, because it forgets the old
"I" that had been building and labeling different pigeonholes in
which to confine the same all-pervading air of the Eternal and
the Universal. That is perhaps salvation, the mukti of the Soul
that does not soar high into a heaven of angels or even of the
great Architect, worshipped in temples and churches, but that
plunges into its own fathomless depths; for nothing but its own
Self, nothing but a Consciousness not perceivable by itself, now
envelops it.

Such vision beyond the earth, beyond the horizon, comes at times
when I look backward and forward. In such tremendous mental
swings, I lose hold of myself, and as an endless vista of the
dissolution of everything stretches out before my far-seeing
eyes, a mighty stillness comes over me that takes away the
incentive to what we are used to call work. What shall I do when
everything is lying done before me? How shall I work when there
is nothing to work with? It is all One and the Same and my gaze
can fix upon nothing.

----

I wake up. My senses pounce upon me. I vainly try to hold onto
my dream of the great emancipation. The dream perhaps was not
long. Flesh and blood goad me again and bring pain, excitement,
and intoxication. I have had a taste of release from this
earthly bondage brought before my tearful eyes by that night's
havoc. I move, jump, run, laugh, and work, perhaps, as before,
but that cannot keep me blind to the light that streams, even
though only occasionally, through the now perforated cover on my
soul.

That is where they part -- "Then" and "Now." Often I feel shaky
and nervous as weakness comes again and physical cravings and
old-time longings return to blow me down. No more can they keep
me in their grip long, for I have heard the call from far beyond
and have seen a flash that has exposed the nothingness of this,
of that, and of all finite things.

------------------------------------------------------------------
MUSINGS

By Violet Chambers

[From LUCIFER, July 15, 1890, pages 376-79.]

Who knows what a day may bring forth? Last night the rush of the
tempest, today the sun with warm kiss swells the sleeping buds.
The morrow may again bring the eternal bow shining in the
Heavens. We sow our life in the spring. Now is the harvest.
Let us haste to gather in; "the time is short," but "in due
season we shall reap if we faint not." "Arise! This is not your
rest," let Psyche stretch forth her wings and rise above
transitory things. Let us sow beside waters where the dew of the
spirit may fall; "be strong and of good courage." Do we not
"desire a better country that is a Heavenly?" the fatherland.

Last night the wind was awake on the hills; a fitful, sighing
wind, that rose and fell, and was hushed to sleep again with a
weird melancholy, born of its own stillness, as a plaintive note
struck on a long closed spinet. The sun went down like a low
fire, burning at the verge of the world. Inside, the shutters
rattled and shook, and down the wide chimney moaned the hollow
voices of wandering spirits entreating to enter, some sobbing,
some singing. "Whew-w-w!" whistled the wind through the empty
keyholes, gradually louder and louder, until it died off in a
soft chromatic cadence through the gloom of the passages. A
handful of rain was flung against the window. The cloud, hurried
by the wind, had no more rain in it.

In the dead of night, in the midst of sleep, a voice whispered
softly in the ear, "Listen!" Again, the spirit of air was playing
on the great Aeolian harp. The low plaint moaned in little gasps
that ran round the room. Light footfalls passed and passed
again. A hand seemed to be moving everything. All the orchestra
again at work, with lips to the keyhole in a quick succession of
airy touches. The sighing calmed the mind, and lulled to sleep
again.

Towards dawn, awake again, the eerie voices hushed to whispers.
A shaft of light through the closed blind threw a spray of ivy in
a delicate grey shadow upon the pale green walls. The sky was
still charged with wind and the silvery light of a planet
lingering towards its setting. A thousand miles of cloudland,
coming up from the horizon and passing overhead without a sound.
The wind works with such powerful ease, laying on her colors
broadly with such a ready brush. Masses of sunlit vapor bearing
down the alchemy of the skies to the very breast of earth.

All things in nature bear a beautiful analogy to the powers
deep-rooted in Humanity. Lie and listen to the whispering wind.
What would one not give to have freedom such as that? Why may we
not? Only perfect purity of life can attain to perfect freedom.
"When the former things are passed away, and all things have
become new." When sin shall be no more, "At evening time it shall
be light." Then "give to the wind thy fears. Hope and be
undismayed."

A time will come when the shadows fall apart, and the sweet west
wind will play through the windows of the heart, which are opened
to the day. "For the night is far spent, and the day is at
hand." Then shall we find the philosopher's stone, the elixir of
life that is within. It shall disclose to us the crystal well of
purity, the only water worth drawing from. Humanity, like a
tired child, will creep back to lie down by the quiet waters of
the crystal stream of life. Then only will humanity turn towards
Divinity. Can good be, yet no giver? The stream may flow on, yet
whence its source? Surely from that deep well of hidden force
flows the diviner stream in man.

"Peace!" let me sleep in thy shadow; be still." The din of
sleepless Babylon moans on. The restless waves thunder without
ceasing on the surf-beaten shore. Humanity's frail bark is ever
dashed upon the shores of time, but deep down in the glassy
depths no motion thrills through the ocean's bosom. To be still,
to have that mental calm that is the ideal symbol of nature,
which will help us to take the tempest with the sunbeam
cheerfully.

How shall we get it? We must look within. It is the vestal fire
burning ever on the altar of the soul. We must learn to walk
through the world, living the internal mental life. To be calm
like nature, without fear. To watch with equanimity the shadow
creep over the sundial of life, this is reality, all the rest is
but illusion. The life of the world is a stormy unrest, mental
life is true happiness, the only thing that is so -- all the rest
is old and grey and weariness.

The great mountains rear their crests into the filmy sky. Lying
in solitary grandeur under the solemn hush of evening, one lonely
peak towers far up until it seems to touch the starry vault. "We
may not travel upwards side by side." The higher the mental
scale, the deeper, the more profound the loneliness. It is like
the solitude of death, which we must face alone. To be brave,
above all things to be true, is isolation, for it fixes an
impassable gulf betwixt the world and the heart, which must from
thenceforth furnish its own guests. To dare to be
single-hearted, to have one aim in living, and that purity of
heart and brotherhood of spirit. To maintain virtue of mind as
well as of body. To live on patiently, knowing that one day our
"eyes shall behold the King in his beauty." To "pray without
ceasing" in the inner sense, having the mind's high aspirations
attuned to the spiritual life, soaring, reaching ever upwards.

As the towering mountain peak is capped with snow so shall we be
crowned with the radiant coronal of life. "Take ye heed, watch
and pray, for ye know not when the time is." When the long bright
day dies slowly over the sea, watch by the light of the first
lone star. Pray by the upward aspirations it draws into itself.
Listen. When amongst the throng of hurrying footsteps in the din
of a great city, the velvet footfall of peace may come! Let the
door of the heart be ever on the latch, in the morning as in the
evening.

The giant oak stretches forth his branches to the tireless voice
of the storm. A tree is such a perfect thing, so complete its
shape, structure, living breathing life, and the birds that
shelter in its branches. If we would be strong and lasting as
the oak, we must be patient and endure. Hold firm alike through
the storm as through the sunshine, through adversity as through
prosperity. Fix our heart roots deep down into the things that
will endure. Which are not of this world, and therefore not
EPHEMERAL.

The lotus lolls upon the heaving bosom of the stream. Emblem of
spiritual and physical nature, containing in its closed cup the
perfect flowers, which when evolved, they one day will become.
Her long, lithe stalk reaches down through the water and embraces
old mother earth. "I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the
valley," symbols of perfect purity. So sings Solomon to his
higher self. Purer yet, and purer let us strive to grow in
heart, until we too can sing "Lo! The winter is past, the rain is
over and gone, the flowers appear upon the earth and the voice of
the dove is heard in our land." Let us not tear the close-shut
petals open, but trust to time to reveal the perfect calyces of
gold. Strive to attain the higher self "until the dawn break and
the shadows flee away." Then only can we sing with Solomon, "My
beloved is mine and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies."

The light of the bright world dies with the setting sun. The
lustrous rays from the young moon's golden shell pour upon the
dark world beneath. "Reflect the sunshine and thou shalt be
bright." The night hath a thousand eyes, and the day has but one.
Learn of the gentle Queen of Night; she sways the tides and the
heart of thee, the mystic sad capricious moon; her radiance is
reflected from the King of day, the fire of life, the life-giving
principle, the generator of vitality. "Truly the light is sweet
and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun."

"He giveth his beloved sleep." Wearied eyelids droop o'er heavy
eyes. Bruised feet, with sandals loosed, may rest at last. The
wandering wind ceases his evensong, and folds close his filmy
wings. All things are hushed. Lo, health, new powers to the
sick and the weary, Rest! "He giveth his beloved sleep!" oft
times or "ever the silver cord be loosed or the golden bowl be
broken." Borne into dreamland "o'er moor and fen, o'er crag and
torrent, till the night is gone; and with the morn those angel
voices smile, which I have loved long since, and lost awhile."

------------------------------------------------------------------
AN ESSAY ON KARMA

By Jay

[From a tape recording entitled "The Study of Inner Worlds," made
of a private class on FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY
held on September 15, 1954. The first paragraph is Boris de
Zirkoff speaking. The essay that follows is by Jay.]

> Some time ago, I wanted one, two, or three of us to write little
> papers, and there was one written by Jay, or rather was not
> written at that time because she was sick, I think. Postponed
> for a while, and I asked her to bring it today. We will break
> this subject in a way, although I suppose any paper written by
> anybody will have many points in common with almost any subject
> we may be discussing.

"That which you sow, that shall you reap." From this phrase, I
shall draw my own conclusions as to the meaning of Karma. This
meaning has a great moral effect on one's future protection.
Knowing one is responsible for action he sets in motion, good or
evil, knowing he will not escape that which he has caused or set
in motion, one should therefore be very careful not to injure his
fellow beings, to love all things, and understand why.

If good deeds are set in motion, the character is bound to
strengthen and improve, knowing that we have sown these little
seeds of goodness and will reap eventually beauty, love,
kindness, and understanding. On the other hand, the evil deeds
will reap unkind thoughts and actions, selfishness, ugliness,
and, consequently, a much distorted mind and body. Who wants the
like of such an evil body?

Karma is not a man-made law. It is a habit of universal and
eternal nature. It is a chain of causation, going back into the
infinity of the past, and stretching into the infinity of the
future. A result follows an act inescapably. The reaction
eventually will be felt by the one who produced it, many times
affecting others as well.

We are the creators of our own karma. We suffer or benefit from
it, according to our own previous actions. We have no control
over the actions of all our past lives. That is true. Sure
enough, we can have control of the present ones if we so wish.
Having control of our actions, knowing the good or evil effects
that will in time be caused, one should dwell exclusively to the
fullest extent of one's power, concentrating on all good and
lofty ideas and thoughts, in order to prepare ourselves for the
future karma and, perhaps, compensate a little for our bad or
evil past deeds.

With these thoughts in mind, knowing we have the power within us
to shape our destiny or karma, we should be able to improve in
every way possible, bringing about peace of mind, tranquility,
love, and understanding in our lives. Knowing that the divine
spark is always within all of us, all things are possible if we
so wish and desire.

------------------------------------------------------------------
A WORD TO PARENTS

By Anonymous

[From TEACHER'S MANUAL AND GUIDE TO THE ETERNAL VERITIES, pages
65-73.]

Parents will notice that the teachers of Theosophy School keep in
touch with them so they may both work in definite and sympathetic
cooperation. In class, teachers are parents for the time.
Likewise, parents do well to regard themselves as teachers during
the whole term of their responsibility for the child.

It is not necessary for teachers to be parents in this
incarnation. One imbued with love for and interest in children
has doubtless known successful parenthood in other lives. Many,
however, have to learn how to be wiser parents in this
incarnation. Parents should avail themselves of suggestions made
for teachers, finding their way simpler and clearer with the help
of Theosophy School. The parents of Pathfinders have their
special duties and responsibilities in that connection.
Theosophical education helps parents and child build a
relationship of ever-expanding mutual interests, ideals, and
devotion to Theosophy through the years of their common life.

In the education of children, and especially in the relation of
parenthood, responsibility assumes its most natural guise. Who
does not willingly assume it for those helpless in their
ignorance and in their tender years? Who would not be an altruist
where there is a babe concerned? Yet, as the tender years give
way to those in which the child must for himself learn the
meaning of responsibility and duty, the parents' patience and
understanding for the Egos at this stage often lessens. Then
friction between stronger and weaker natures comes, when parents
should recognize the need for mutual respect and helpfulness.

At this time, many parents are inclined to let schools supply the
place of parent. Well behaved at school, the child is
unmanageable at home. Parents want their own pleasure and
convenience. They are all too ready to turn the child over to a
servant, friend, or even an acquaintance whose way of life is
little known to them, when comes the prospect of some jaunt
without the child. The Theosophical parent can well understand
the possible damage done at such a period, when the child most
needs parental help, because Theosophy is the doctrine of
responsibility, and parents have no wish to evade theirs.
Parenthood means settling down to the task with unremitting faith
and faithfulness.

Theosophy School does not aspire to be a reform school, although
it has witnessed many miraculous changes in the natures of boys
and girls. It DOES ask cooperation from the parents, for the
sake of both parent and child, as well as because it is not
equipped to deal with the abnormal. Theosophical children are
usually above average, albeit endowed with ordinary tendencies.
Theosophy does not make them saints, but beings who THINK from a
basis of principle.

Parents must realize they deal with timeless souls and that the
timeless doctrines of Theosophy provide the greatest possible
bond of union and understanding between them and their children.
For when were not children misunderstood, especially by exacting
and coercing parents, who break the fine filaments of love by not
recognizing the Ego's status, by breaking of the will?

It would be folly for any parent to think his knowledge of
Theosophy is complete and sure. Parents may find the child their
own greatest teacher in the mysteries of human consciousness.
Before their child was born, wise parents sensed the sacredness
of the event and of the task before them in welcoming of a soul
back to earth life. The parents' real task begins when great
Nature claims responsibility for thought and act from the
embodied Ego at seven years. Then the parents test themselves as
never before. Children taught duty, responsibility, and service
-- the law of Karma -- in younger years are far more easily
reached by reason, by appeal to their real selves, in the
difficult adolescent time, than are those whose thoughts and
feelings have been unguided, undisciplined by philosophy.

Wise parents give recognition to the law of soul and duty when
they provide their children with simple household and garden
tasks for regular performance. Distaste and neglect of those
duties, however, means that the child has not been led to see the
place and part of that duty in the fundamental Whole. He has not
been led to see his place and part in the family life. A mistake
is made by PAYING for such duties performed. To encourage
earning is fitting, but not from those who are continuously
affording the child service. For them, he should be helped to
plan pleasures, sweet surprises, and just little thoughtfulness.
If there are several children in the family, their sharing of
tasks breeds fraternity. They should find it a privilege to help
their elders in the more responsible tasks. No task should be
considered menial or beneath one. It is better for parents to
work out each one's share or allowance however small, than for
the child to be paid for family services. The allowance should
be forfeit if there is neglect of duty that shows
non-cooperation.

Whether boy or girl, each one should be educated to take care of
himself as to what and how he shall eat, as to how he shall be
clothed and mended. Even eating should not be haphazard, but
neither too much, nor too little. Each should be taught to take
care of his clothes, to have them in order, to recognize that
they are provided by someone's service and money, and to be able
to make minor repairs, like sewing on buttons and darning socks.
Each one should be able to make his own bed and to sweep, dust,
and make the bathroom facilities tidy after him.

Too many parents feel it is easier to do things themselves than
to have the child do it. What of it? It is not a case of making
it easier for ME, but of educating the child. Help the child to
find and enjoy the simple pleasures that all can share without
money and without price -- the beauty of the spring morning, the
glory of the sunset, the sweet odors after rain, the sharp tang
of winter cold, the color on the mountains, and the power of the
breaking waves. Help him to observe the artistry of simple
gardens and the noble design of big bridges and parkways. Let
him see pictures and designs in hills, woods, rocks, and streams
so that he may find for himself the beauty of great pictures made
by men. Encourage gratitude for these universal gifts.

Punishments are sometimes necessary. Let them be recognized as
JUST. If something is not done and a punishment has been
promised, CARRY THROUGH with it. Thus, the child meets the
consequences of his own acts, and the parent is consistent.
Nothing puzzles children more than inconsistency. If one is
allowed today what yesterday he was refused, and no reason exists
for either the refusal or the permission, that child will himself
easily drift into being unreliable. After a child has reached
the age of four, and knows something of the law of cause and
effect, he should not be corporeally punished. He has enough of
reason to go upon to make this unnecessary. The parent should be
watchful that his own zeal for truthfulness makes allowance for
imagination. These should be WATCHED and guided lest they may
lead to dire results, but be sure that the untruth is not mere
imagination. If deliberate, too much importance cannot be given
the untruth.

It may be seen from the above that punishment in the Theosophical
sense means CORRECTIVE MEASURES AND ADJUSTMENT. Parents should
watch their own attitude and realize that whatever course they
take, when they themselves are angry or even impatient, will not
bring the right results. They should always consider the effect
on the child. Are they arousing a sense of injustice? Will this
tend to make the child fear or resent and later on make deceit
the easier way? More often than not, the mere sending of the
child to his room to think it over will result in right
adjustment. One does not need to forego signs of disapproval.
Sometimes the severe expression on the face of the parent is the
awakener of the child's conscience, after which talking over
things is simple. Nor is it good psychology to follow such an
occasion with extra attentions and rewards. Karma is an exact
adjuster, and calls no more for pampering than punishment.
Understanding is the true aim, and with it come respect and
appreciation on both sides.

Above all, gain the child's confidence by discussing problems
with him, and helping him to resolve them in the light of the
Theosophy both know, but do not know so well how to apply. This
can be very simply brought about in connection with Theosophy
School. Parents may ask what the lesson was in Theosophy School
each Sunday. They can tell what their own class was studying,
and no doubt will be surprised to find how close their mind is to
that of the child. They go to school together. They have a
common basis of thought and action. The parents' example of
faithful attendance on their classes makes an indelible imprint.
The parents' gratitude for what they learn helps arouse that
noblest of human sentiments in the child. Parents living the
life afford the best possible preventive of skepticism, which is
all too common among young people and even children.

Just as there should be cooperation between child and teacher and
between teachers and parents, parents should also stand by each
other. They should constantly take up their problems with each
other, talk them over, and agree on a course of action. No
parent should allow a child to wheedle him into a course or
permission denied by the other parent. Whatever differences of
opinion there may be between them, let them be resolved in
private, and not in the child's presence.

Parents, perhaps more than the children, need to gain the
ever-present realization that the home life, the family life, IS
the life of Theosophy. The family is the foundation of
civilization, and the Theosophist does a duty by humanity in
making family life a science, striving to set an example that
others may follow. The principles are set forth for each one,
but each one must apply them as his heart and mind and will
dictate. Whatever, then, the results, he may know he has done
his best, and the rest is for the adjustment of Karma.

Some parents wait to bring their children to Theosophy School
until they are problem children. To understand children brought
up without devoted parental guidance, peruse YOUTH IN CONFLICT,
by Miriam Van Waters. While the author deals with her work as
referee in the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, she has gone into the
nature of the child with sympathy and intelligence that brings
her close to the psychology of Theosophy. She lacks knowledge of
reincarnation. Thus, she looks to science to bring the cure for
all errors in child training.

Much has been done by such workers to restore children to their
rightful place in the community, when they have violated their
duty to it, but it will be Theosophy only in the end that can
make that restoration complete. Parents and teachers, both,
should be acquainted with this book. Much can be learned from
it, and one's sympathy and appreciation should be generous for
such a devoted philanthropist as its author clearly is.

The children who grow up in Theosophy School need only reminders
for them to make adjustment themselves, when they reach the
adolescent age. They will have their problems and their tests.
Their development has been natural, not forced, nor constrained.
It is natural that they meet in their own lives the problems of
the race. Now is the time when the very knowledge of the common
ground they hold with their parents is strength to them. They
know they have a foundation they can trust. They may make
mistakes of judgment, no doubt, as all do, but they will not go
far wrong.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE SPIRIT OF AROMATHERAPY

By Sagescrown

The study Aromatherapy and other alternative forms of healing are
recognized and made more famous daily. The use of Essential oils
in Aromatherapy refers to a powerful way to resolve problems,
accomplish goals and to achieve a balanced and centered state of
body, mind, and spirit. In essence, to reach toward the kind of
environment that feels best and is best for you.

As you share the energy of our planets bounty with the flowers
and herbs that she nourishes and grows, you share the divine
power that is embedded in her soil, water, and air. The energies
derived from essential oils are powerful in that each essence
contains genuine secrets to achieve enhanced health, happiness,
success, and prosperity. One of the amazing methods for tuning
into this power is using essential oils in an aromatherapy
setting.

These sacred secrets have been passed on by word of mouth down
through centuries repeatedly. Such energies emitted by essential
oils are a positive force in nature for when using the oils one
can participate actively as the essential oil with its original
essence that reincarnates in ways that usually only the soil, the
water and the flowers or herbs can produce themselves. What an
exciting thought to bring something back to life and to benefit
from its new life as well. In a way you are blessing the life of
the flower, the plants and planet over and over an over again as
you experience and re-experience these essences as you use
Aromatherapy.

To truly focus within the energy field of the flower or plant
when using aromatherapy simply direct your focus to images of the
living plant, flower or herb as it grows from the soil and its
blossoms and as it exudes its fragrances or aromas for that
particular essential oil or oils that your are using. This is
the most ancient of earth magic in which, a human being may
attune through the fragrance to understand the planet to view and
experience its multitude of growing wonders. Today it is so
simple to attune to such natures joys because wherever you turn
you may find essential oils accessible even at the neighborhood
drug store or department store.

Your perceptions are finely tuned through careful examination of
every facet within aromas in nature, from their physical
beginning to their essential ending. Such is the spirit of
Aromatherapy.

------------------------------------------------------------------
STRENGTH AND BALANCE IN OCCULTISM

By G. de Purucker

[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 165-67]

The holy mysteries are never publicized -- never, never, never!
You have to earn them and fit yourselves for them. It is obvious
that if you are not fit to receive them, they never come to you.
It would be a crime to attempt to do otherwise. It is the
easiest thing in the world for a man or a woman to incur loss of
the soul by following any other method of occult training than
that of the Masters, taught as they themselves in their turn are
by the Dhyani-Chohans, the bright and blessed gods. I mean it.

If you want truth, you must come to the Temple for it. You must
come in the proper spirit. You must work upon yourself so that
you will train yourself to be fit to learn, to be receptive.
Otherwise, you just cannot receive it. You will not take it in.
You cannot take it in until you make an opening in which to put
it -- to use very plain, simple language. If your mind is set
against it, like a closed door, it does not open to receive. You
must train yourselves first. If you do train yourselves and live
the life, absolutely no barrier can prevent your going
indefinitely forwards.

It is exactly like a growing child. He cannot take in the
world's wisdom even, even the wisdom of this world, until his
mind has developed to the point where it can receive it and
retain it until it is trained to do it. Simple! It is exactly
the same thing with occultism, with esotericism, with the
mysteries. They are indeed in the Theosophical Movement, both
the Greater and the Less. They can be had by anyone, but such a
one must prepare himself, train himself, must be in deadly
earnest. Then he can receive them.

The chief or fundamental rule of this training or discipline is
the becoming receptive to the inner and higher part of one's own
constitution, whose whisperings of truth and intimations of
cosmic verities find no lodgment in minds willfully or ignorantly
closed against their entrance. There is the whole, or at least
the fundamental, rule of occult teaching and learning concisely,
and the reason for all the safeguards thrown around it.

I have myself known hapless students of Theosophy who have
literally gone crazy, temporarily at least. They have gone crazy
from an unwise and unguided study of some of the more recondite
teachings. It is pathetic. The pathos lies in their yearning to
learn and to become greater than their lower selves are. The
pathos likewise lies in the fact that they tried to scale the
peaks before they had disciplined themselves to traverse the
foothills of morals, of learning and self-control. The Masters,
HPB, and the Theosophical Leaders have had to watch out for and
contend with this peril. It is a very difficult situation.

I have known men and women barely escaping the loss of health in
excessive brain-mind study without the healing, saving power of
selfless devotion: a most beautiful thing in a way; one's heart
warms to them in admiration for their courage, for their
insistence on getting truth; but it has been unwisely done. That
is why we insist upon the all-round, balanced growth, a wise,
shapely growing into knowledge and wisdom, instead of the
distortions and ungainly malformations, mentally and even
psychically, that come from unwise study of occult things.

It is for this reason that in our own Theosophical Society the
inner, the secret, the occult, and the esoteric are so very
carefully guarded and watched over and NEVER publicized. Our
Masters have no desire to have their students incur risks of
soul-loss, or mind-loss, or even of physical deterioration, or
any other human tragedy. Otherwise, having stated these things,
just remember how beautiful and simple the rules of occultism
are.

Nothing in our deeper and more occult studies will ever interfere
with your family duties, never; for those duties are duties; and
it is one of the first obligations of a Theosophist to fulfill
every duty. He is no occultist if he neglects one, no matter
what his temptations are. No matter if he tries to grasp the
sun, if he neglects a duty he is a coward by that much. Being a
coward and a weakling, he is no occultist.

One should never injure another. If you do it you are beginning
to descend, and you may walk into black magic. There is a way
and a chance to rescue yourself and to return to the strait and
beautiful path. For it is a truly glorious path, and it brings a
sense of the realization that man is akin to the gods and that
the gods are present amongst us. Yes, I mean it. The gods even
now walk the earth. Few are the sons of men who have trained
themselves to realize it.

Now, the gods will associate with us, self-consciously to us,
when we shall have learned first to know that they are there;
then to make their approach to us mutually desirable. Let it
suffice, however, for the main thought to carry home that the
gods walk amongst us even now, as they did in far past ages, in
the childhood of man, when he was still innocent and not so
sophisticated that he thought he contained all the knowledge of
the universe in his puny, little brain.

Let us then, make ourselves presentable, and let us make our
lives so attractive and interesting to the divinities, that they
in their turn may be glad and happy to associate with us,
self-consciously. I will go this far and then stop. There is a
place, a geographical place on this earth, where not only is it
common for the highest men that the race has produced to
associate with the gods companionably, freely, friendly; but
where the same relations of teachers and taught exist between
gods and men, that exist today in our schools of learning. I
wonder if you grasp what that means.

At the heart -- like this omphalos, or navel, or center, in the
Temple, this little pillar in the center of this auditorium -- in
the holiest place there, what we call the sanctum sanctorum,
there is an invisible presence, the highest spiritual presence of
this earth. Make of it what you can.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE STUDY OF INNER WORLDS, PART II

By Boris de Zirkoff

[This talk comes from the second part of the tape recording
entitled "The Study of Inner Worlds," made of a private class on
FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY held on September 15,
1954.]

You might ask that since man extends into the infinite, why is
Svabhava necessary? There should be no difficulty. The
individual center of the evolving entity, such as man, manifests
what it has within itself. Strictly speaking, it has infinity
within itself.

In this class on FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, we have
covered a general picture of Svabhava so far. We have spoken and
the book speaks of it in just one general sense. It does not
mention, for instance, that our various principles each have its
own Svabhava, because each has a Monad at its core.

Although each principle in us has a Monad, we have an
overshadowing Monad. That Monad has under its supervision, we
might say, a group of others, each the center of our various
principles. There are subsidiary Monads. Saying that man has
his Svabhava, we are talking about the highest spiritual-divine
center in him, the Monad at his core. There are other Monads
with their individual Svabhavas, subsidiary to the most important
one. Remember, man is a composite being. He is composed of all
the energies and the substances of the universe, hierarchically.

Man has infinity within. That does not mitigate the idea of
Swabhava, which is that infinity within expressing itself in the
world, the infinity without. Where are words to capture this
when our finite minds cannot grasp it? I fail to find adequate
English words to express it.

When you study, these things may make sense. Then try to keep
what you have arrived at. Try not to lose it, because you can
use it for further ideas on the Teachings. Something clicked
now, so be sure to remember. These ideas slip away and we grasp
them again. Something else clicks and we see more. It slips
away again. Life's outer conditions and our emotions bring
clouds, overshadowing these things so we lose them again. We
understand them then we do not understand anymore. Then we
understand better. Then we lose them again. It is an invariable
phenomenon.

We have inherently weak brain structure, a psychic resistance in
our nervous system, and various toxic substances with which both
our physical and astral structures are loaded. They prevent us
from holding before our mental eye a clear picture, grasping
ideas without losing them. That is where we fail. We grasp
ideas temporarily. After losing them, as long as we grasp them
again later, we have gained something. Although our inherent
weaknesses prevent us from coordinating the Teachings into a
mosaic that stays with us, they will eventually. It is a matter
of a lifetime, if not more.

How do we retain the Teachings? With one-pointed undisturbed
attention, we concentrate and develop adequate and powerful
thinking, acquiring a firm grasp over ideas, ethical precepts,
ideals, and convictions. It is momentous for us students to bear
down with a gentle pressure in the direction of self-purification
constantly. That is a vast order.

Not one of us is expert at this. We are all beginners. For
heavens sake, let us work where we are, and in due time we will
become something more. We apply a constant pressure at the
business of self-purification -- physically, psychically,
emotionally, and mentally. We purify ourselves intellectually
and spiritually as well. There are many intellectual and
semi-spiritual ideas that are sheer superstition. In due course,
we have to throw them away too, particularly the lower.

We purify our bodies by decent, simple diet, correct breathing,
and correct sleeping. We tend to the needs of the physical body
and the elimination out of it of everything that is a poison to
it, eliminating that which clogs the system, disrupts the nervous
system, and saturate various glands and the ganglia of the
nervous system with various forces that prevent us from thinking
right. We purify our psychic nature of the various moods and
tempers and wrong types of feelings. That is a big order. We
purify our emotional selfhood of the lower type of feelings and
sensations.

With some people, the attempt to purify one's mental sphere is
paramount. This lower mentality is everything that we are. We
have filled it with wrong ideas, superstitions, biased judgments,
injustices, envies, and pride. There are false ideas about life
and all sorts of twisted mental and emotional relations to
people. We must deal with it before we can be creative thinkers
and disciples of the spiritual life. We must purify and raise
this entire world inside of us before we can actually hold our
mind upon anything we choose and use the forces of our inner
nature dynamically to achieve spiritual ends.

In this process of self-purification, one takes his or her first
steps toward practical occultism. The average student does not
realize one exceedingly important factor in that
self-purification. An individual makes a serious attempt in the
study of occultism. He or she is already devoting some time and
energy -- perhaps not much, but some -- to occult work. The
important factor is that such a person cannot indulge in the same
things that other people do with impunity.

The average person may have peculiar feelings about some race or
nation. Not knowing better, it may seem right because it is part
of his or her life. It is different for a student of Theosophy
that has not purified his or her nature of such. A student of
occultism sends out of his being these negative energies on a
much higher frequency than the average person does.

Suppose a student somewhere knows much of THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
He is an interested student whom can talk glibly about Theosophy
and has done good work for the Movement. Even so, he drinks and
runs around with women. Although we cannot condemn him for human
weakness, he cannot do it in the same sense as does the man of
the world. Everything he does -- good or bad -- superimposes
itself upon a higher wavelength, because that is the wavelength
of a nature interested in the occult. Therefore, both the good
he does and the wrong in which he indulges are more potent.

His kindly word and self-sacrificing deed are more potent than
are the same by the man of the world. The wrong, evil, and
negative thought or action on the part of that man is powerful
because it superimposes a higher energy. This is an exceedingly
important point. It is why a small group of devoted Theosophists
can leaven a whole town and sometimes country. We do not need
millions. Do you remember the story in the Bible? They found
seven righteous men in Sodom. They were enough. The good that
these people can do depends upon the quality of their
consciousness. This idea makes sense. We should be careful of
our thoughts and actions, keeping on alert all the time.

I remember a fine Theosophist in a business office here in Los
Angeles. This young fellow said, "Well, I have joined the
Theosophical Society." That was many years ago. Another
Theosophist turned to him and said, "Well, that is fine. I am
glad that you assumed a great responsibility in life when you had
the thought." That was a good answer. He did not tell him, "Oh,
how nice, that shows you are serious in developing an interest in
Theosophy," because that means absolutely nothing. Hundreds are
increasingly interested in Theosophy but mostly want to warming
the same chair at lodge meetings and have someone else do all the
work. Well, that is no good to anybody. As far as I am
concerned, they might as well join The Salvation Army.

A man joins something for the love of humanity understanding it
is a great responsibility. It matters not if it be an
unorganized group of workers or the actual Theosophical Society.
That man is a worker. That is what HPB meant when she made the
distinction between members of the Theosophical Society and
drones in it.

With people having nothing to do with Theosophy, the best
approach to dealing with racism is scientific. I have a
collection of about two pages of mimeographed quotations from
various scientists throughout the world, each denying validity to
the idea of race. The idea is a strictly unscientific. No
genuine anthropologist ever talks about race. There is no such
thing. It is a political idea. Bring up science to the
non-theosophist and offer some quotes showing that they are being
unscientific. Will this make a difference? Probably not, since
they are emotionally set. Strictly speaking, they are not born
to understand that thought. What are you going to do? You cannot
hurry up their evolution. They have to grow. It is distressing.

I have been asked if the earth is the youngest of the planets in
our solar system. Obviously, I cannot say from personal
knowledge, but rather share from works like THE SECRET DOCTRINE
and THE MAHATMA LETTERS by those who know. Young in evolution
though not the youngest, it does not have much spiritual history
back of it yet. Planets like Venus and Mercury are far ahead in
evolution; they are in their Seventh Rounds. Mars is not far
from the Earth, although temporarily in a latent condition
between Rounds with little happening on it. Jupiter and Saturn
are spiritually ahead of Earth but younger in body. This is as
if I had a son always younger than I in body but whom might be
ahead of me spiritually. The Earth is a younger and
less-spiritual planet.

Not just individuals have auric emanations. The earth has its
own. The two influence each other. The planet influences the
human and other kingdoms of life that it bears; by their own
thoughts and emotions, they influence it back. Nobody put some
kingdoms of life -- vegetables, animals, and men -- on a planet.
From the beginning, the kingdoms evolved out of the planet's
structure. True, there have been influences from other planets
and spheres. Even so, we are part of its structure. Even the
fallen angels are part of the picture.

When men disagree with each other, they unbalance the natural
surrounding of the earth. The mineral, vegetable, animal, and
elemental kingdoms gear to the evolution of the planet
harmoniously because they have not yet unfolded freewill. They
lack strong personal desire. In its Third, Fourth, and Fifth
Root Races, the human kingdom builds a selfish personal
consciousness, running away with things and beginning to
interfere with the harmony of nature. The human kingdom's
influence is powerful, at times creating havoc on the natural
correlations of the planet.

As the human kingdom unfolds into the higher Root Races, it will
harmoniously integrate with the planet, much as the other
kingdoms integrate today. It will unfold into unselfish
spiritual consciousness, transcending our personal, selfish knot
of consciousness. Ours is a temporary stage. For some millions
of years while it lasts, it acts upon weather, magnetic, and
psychic conditions powerfully. It acts upon the well-being of
other kingdoms, such as animals and plants. We see destruction
of vegetation, hunting of wild beasts, and a misuse of metals and
other ores. This human selfishness and greed causes havoc
temporarily but not permanently since the drive for betterment is
stronger than any interference.

Thought influences weather conditions and even earthquakes more
powerfully than we realize. Someday science will prove that the
evil passions of men have a powerful effect upon them too. From
one angle, man is puny and feeble, whereas from another, man is
the most important power among the kingdoms living on the Earth.
This comes from the power of thought, incomparably greater than
atomic energy.

A man expresses an idea, which produces an effect. An idea
expressed by a man of the world carries a different vibratory
rate than the same one expressed by a student of occultism.

Someone comes to a distressed man who has lost faith. He tells
the man that he has a god-like, immortal soul in him. The man
looks at him and says, "You are crazy!" Another comes to the man
and tells him exactly the same thing, that he has a divine self
within him, an immortal soul. Something happens. The man pays
attention, but is puzzled and does not understand. The statement
produced a momentary impression on him.

In similar circumstances, another man has the same loss of faith.
An occultist comes to him and says he has a divine self in him,
producing a complete and total revolution in the man. A veil is
torn, the man realizes that he is his divine self within, and his
whole life has changed.

Some try to help a man but nothing happens. Others try and a
little happens. Another comes along, says something, and it
draws fire. Why is this? Was the man readier? Yes, he was
getting increasingly ready. That is true, but not all there is
to it. The last one expressed the thought at a higher vibratory
rate. He knew how to say it. He may have known a little of the
secret of intonation, the secret of sound.

According to the type of sound and rhythm you use in speech, you
may penetrate into the deeper recesses of human consciousness.
If you know how, you might touch that center from which fire is
drawn. That is the permanent way to help people. The rest is
not worth a tinker's dam. You can give books to people and take
them to meetings. Undeniably, there will be some good achieved.
Even so, the only permanent way to help them is to help them help
themselves. You introduce into them soul force which unites with
their own soul force.

This is akin to the incarnation of the Sons of Mind, higher gods,
into the infant humanity of the Third Root Race. They awakened
our minds so that we became conscious human beings. There is no
difference between what they did and what each of us can do for
others. We can take them up the ladder a few rungs. Do you
understand? You or I can do it to others. Each of us has some
people to whom we can do it if we know how.

Those who are far ahead of us, our own Teachers, are experts at
this. They do not have to be with the people they influence;
they can do it at a distance. In fact, the Masters of Wisdom and
Compassion primarily work to introduce currents of thought into
the subtle auric levels of the earth so that those who are
responsive may catch them. They are not interested in anyone
unresponsive because unready. Those who are responsive catch the
ideas, assimilate them, and declare them their own. There is no
copyright law there! Then they go ahead to do things with the
ideas.

Perhaps at times, too many forces fight our attempts to be
better. Something in us feels sad and lonely. It is an
imperfect, weak, vacillating, and shaky part. It wants something
or someone else to uphold and sustain us. It seeks companionship
because it feels inadequate and imperfect. It feels up against
impinging forces. It lacks vision, not understanding that by
giving up its attachments, it gains the world. There is nothing
to blame. It prefers its little two-by-four cell, wherein it
feels at home. Anything that tries to help it break free appears
to be enemy, because it cannot see beyond the little cell to the
surrounding great fields full of sunshine, flowers, and fresh
air.

Does it seem that there are impinging forces at every turn and
every moment? Does it seem that anything you gain is only by
struggle? Yes, but is it ever possible for you to build strength
without struggle? Can you drive a nail into the wall if the wall
were made of putty? The wall must be solid to resist the nail,
allowing you to drive it in with a hammer, planting it firmly.
Likewise, you need resistance between your shoe and the earth to
walk. You could not walk on butter.

A part of us does not like struggle. It feels uneasy, left out,
and despondent. We can rise above those feelings, transcending
our little self by a powerful movement of the will. For an
instant, which is all for which we can hope, we peek above the
fence. What a sight!

All seekers, searchers, and students are one. They sustain one
another, holding hands the world over. They understand one
another's struggles, weaknesses, and shortcomings. They unite
with inner bonds of spiritual kinship with guidance in their
midst. They journey on a common road, working as they go.

The more you grow the lonely you become. At least, your
personality feels that way. The more you grow the more united
you become with all that is. Your personality does not like that
feeling, because it dislikes loss of personal control. What are
you going to do? You cannot gain the infinite without losing the
finite. You cannot enter the sunlit fields of spiritual life
without giving up the moonlight-illumined valleys. You cannot
discover the star-studded vault of heaven without turning out the
artificial lights made by man. Who in his right mind would
exchange the starlit sky for electric lighting?

At times, we feel that these Teachings -- ideals, precepts, and
truths -- set us apart. We no longer feel the former joy and
pleasure we had in the company of others. We have moved away
from both their pleasures and their sorrow. We are not like them
and cannot feel as they do, yet we feel a more intense unity with
them.

At times, these Teachings set us apart as observers of life. We
experience waves of sadness, loneliness, and apprehension
sweeping over our hearts. Other times, loftier moods sweep over
our souls letting us transcend the loneliness of our
personalities. We briefly feel a sweeping kinship with ALL life
from atoms to the stars.

Beyond our little personal selfhood, which sets us apart, we feel
the thrall of universal life. We feel our utter unity with all
that lives and evolves, as it moves, feels, thinks, and creates.
Our personal consciousness will identify with the greater
spiritual consciousness within. It is inevitable. When we
finally lift the life of our personality into the greater life of
the spiritual manhood within, we forge a permanent link between
our lesser self and our divine self. We then walks among others
as potential gods, servants of others, and impersonal powers for
good.

==================================================================
A SPECIAL ISSUE, Part II

By Eldon B Tucker

The 100th issue of THEOSOPHY WORLD was a special issue on the
topic of what Theosophy is and where it is going in today's
world. Nearly everything in that issue was written in September
by many theosophical friends throughout the world. They
represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds and views.

People were asked if they would write something short, perhaps a
few paragraphs to a page or so. Contributions were to be in the
writer's own words, without quotes by Blavatsky, the Masters,
Judge, Purucker, Tingley, Leadbeater, Besant, Krishnamurti, or
anyone else.

Each contribution is a personal viewpoint, where someone is
writing down their thoughts in their own words. They were told
not to bother with citations since the viewpoints they present
would be their own, and not an official statement that others,
especially new students, have to accept as authoritative.

As editor, I might say that the views expressed do not all match
what I think of Theosophy. Even so, I find it valuable to show
what is going on in the Movement, since our future grows out of
the present, and we theosophical students are that present.

A few additional viewpoints missed the October issue of THEOSOPHY
WORLD, and are included below. Refer back to the October issue
and read the viewpoints from both issues over. See what you
think. Then ponder.

Come up with your own perspective on Theosophy and its future.
What is it really? Where is it actually going? It's really up to
all of us, including you, what happens next.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THEOSOPHY: WHAT IT MEANS TO ME, WHERE WE'RE GOING

By Christine M. Hanson

I do not pretend to be an expert on Theosophy. It has held a
special place in my heart, however, for at least 20 years. For
some time, I corresponded with my grandmother, the beloved (now
passed) theosophist Virginia G. Hanson, about various spiritual
and mystical topics, and she sent me some books, magazines, and
wisdom. I always felt a great sense of peace when reading these.
Theosophy addressed issues that I did not feel received adequate
attention in modern mainstream religions, and that experience --
combined with the shining example of two people who seemed to
have found their niche in life, my grandmother and her longtime
friend, Joy Mills -- led me to become a member. I felt at home
with the idea that not only humans but also other creatures were
all part of one interrelated Whole, something I had always
instinctively felt but that had not been reinforced. I heard
later that my grandmother had said she knew I was a theosophist
and wondered how long it would take me to realize it. In my last
letter to her, which Joy read at her bedside, I told her I had
joined. The reply, "Tell Christine I am thrilled." That was the
last time I heard from her.

At this disturbing time in world history, an approach like
Theosophy has much to give us. Its own history is a story of
pioneering spirits who broke new ground in realizing and
illustrating the ways in which various mythologies around the
globe share a common essence and goal -- that of uniting us with
Spirit. I believe that philosophies such as Theosophy, Unitarian
Universalism, and the human rights movement represent the
earliest dawn of what I think of as "Global Man." This is the
natural result of the evolution of human consciousness in a
shrinking world, as we bump into the Other more and more and the
thinkers among us begin to realize how much he or she, though
different, is like us in so many ways. In former times, it made
sense in terms of sheer survival for tribes to draw a bright line
in the sand and say, "No further." The small world in which we
now find ourselves no longer fully supports such an approach.
Self-defense is sometimes required, of course, but surely, the
Spirit from which we emanate would not want Its creations to kill
and maim each other in Its name -- the logical end result of an
arrogant certitude.

The only philosophies that can save us from mutual annihilation
(or at least constant threat of it) are those that support mutual
respect. We can be proud that Theosophy has always stood tall in
this regard, and we can rededicate ourselves to carrying into an
uncertain future the torch of understanding and humility in the
face of the mysteries of the Divine. The effort will be a long
road that will stretch many centuries into the future. Our work
is just beginning.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE AND INDIVIDUAL TRANSFORMATION

By James Santucci

Theosophy refers to a special knowledge of both the material (the
cosmos) and the non-material (the divine) realms. This special
knowledge reveals not only a connectivity between the two realms
but also a special power to transform the individual. However
one wishes to explain the origins of the Theosophical Society, it
must be concluded that many, if not all of the founders of the
society expected to acquire not merely theoretical Theosophical
knowledge but also a practical result of leading to individuals'
existential transcendence.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THEOSOPHY NOW

By Linda Rollison

The Theosophical Society was founded at a crisis in the evolution
of humanity. Several cycles, some very large, had come to a
conjunction that made it possible for the Masters of Wisdom to
bring together on the plane of manifestation a small handful of
people who had earned the right to try to bring to earth the
force that could raise the vibration of all humanity to the next
higher level, to the level of the consciousness of Brotherhood,
the Unity of all Life.

The evolution of humanity is the evolution of consciousness. "In
the last analysis, Consciousness is everything," said William
Quan Judge. Let's not forget it. We are what we think. The
mind of humanity is a tremendously powerful force, capable of
creating any reality it can imagine.

All of which tends to separate human beings belongs to the dark.
All of which tends to unite us belongs to the Light. That is
quite a useful yardstick to use to measure our own private
behavior. Do we seek by our thoughts, words, and deeds to
separate and divide, or to unify? It's sometimes a pretty
uncomfortable question. However, it offers a promise. This is
the best of all possible worlds because it presents us with the
opportunities to redress past errors and mistakes, to recreate
the past in the present, and to create a more positive harmonious
future.

Why is the consciousness of Unity important? Each individual
human being is a tiny universe, complete with all the elements in
miniature that comprise the Universal Man, the Christos, the
Watcher on the Threshold who sacrificed himself that we may live
and learn to Love. All life comes from the unnamable One and to
that Source it returns, bringing with it the fruits of its eons
of labor, the increased consciousness that enables it to evolve
along the eternal path from ignorance to cosmic consciousness.

We tread this path alone, and yet we are never alone. Our
brothers and sisters of fire, earth, air and water surround us,
indeed compose our very bodies, and the Father Sun shines down on
us daily, renewing our will to carry on, to keep on trying, as
the Mother Earth supplies us with all our needs. We are not
separate, not on any level.

Here we are, at a crossroads in history, living in "interesting
times," poised on the brink of something, we hardly dare imagine
what. We can see that there is much that needs fixing,
adjusting, realigning. The task is immense, beyond our
comprehension really, let alone our capacity to control. And we
are so small. Or are we? Every one of us was born here and now
because we have some particular task to perform. We belong to
this time. We may feel small and helpless, but we have the
infinite power of destiny behind us. We are perfectly suited to
make a difference. It doesn't matter that corrupt powers and
principalities seem to dominate the structure of our world. It
doesn't matter that we are invisible, that nobody knows or cares
what we think or say or do. It doesn't even matter that we are
imperfect and flawed, even tragically so. All that matters is
that we try to keep trying to live according to our own highest
ideals. It doesn't even matter what those ideals are. As long
as we sincerely search our hearts, find the place of peace
therein, devote our lives to trying to live according to what our
heart counsels us to do, we are serving the cause for which we
were born.

If we begin to doubt our ability to make a difference, we have
only to remember that all Life is One. Nothing we do is without
effect. Nothing. Everything affects everything else. We don't
have to figure out what should happen. We just have to keep on
trying to do the right thing. It's all geometry. If one tangled
line is straightened out, others are straighter too. And we may
as well accept and embrace the world we find ourselves in with
joy and gratitude. As a student of the mysteries has recently
been heard to say, "You can't be unhappy when you are grateful."

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WHAT THEOSOPHY IS AND WHERE IT IS GOING

By James Colbert

Theosophy offers FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES that enable us to
approach an understanding of the universe and ourselves. These
principles open an inclusive connection and UNITY WITH LIFE; they
reveal a HARMONY of physical and moral law and affirm meaning;
they give recognition to the CONTINUOUS JOURNEY of each being
through greater levels of awareness. With this philosophy, we
embrace life and LOSE FEAR OF DEATH. Its vision of time and
space are so great we release all feelings of limits. Our
essential task is the TRANSFORMATION of the material to the
spiritual, the lower sense of separateness to a higher sense of
oneness, a SHIFT OF OUR IDENTITY from the personal to an
individuality that rests on that which is truly indivisible. The
tool of this transition is "the law of laws" -- COMPASSION.
These fundamental principles of theosophy have now taken their
place and are demanding attention on the world stage. They are
in the form of ENVIRONMENTALISM as our home is truly threatened.
They point to a common bond and esoteric BASIS FOR ALL RELIGIONS
even as followers of several Western religions begin to engage in
mortal combat. They have and are providing an open portal for
the spiritual ideas of the East in the form of Buddhism and
Hinduism to arouse a latent Western mysticism. They offer and
provide a link of PHYSICS TO METAPHYSICS. They are connected to
the best of Western psychology as exemplified in HUMANISTIC AND
TRANSPERSONAL SCHOOLS. The stimulus for the NEW AGE MOVEMENT can
be directly traced to the philosophy of theosophy. The very
survival and inspiration for our world rests on these principles.

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Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application