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THEOSOPHY WORLD ------------------------------------- March, 2005

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

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to theos-world@theosophy.com.

(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
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be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)

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CONTENTS

"What Constitutes Practicing Theosophy," by Eldon Tucker
"Esoteric and Exoteric," by B.P. Wadia
"The Place of Peace," by Annie Besant
"Hierarchies," by L. Gordon Plummer
"Where Are the Sages and Seers," by G. de Purucker
"The Human Right to Be Different," by Morris A. Shop
"On Theosophical Conduct," by G. de Purucker
"Winter Solstice 1955," Part III, by Boris de Zirkoff

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> Though the Masters will be found wherever their duties call them:
> in the crowded marts of men, in the desert places, at sea, on
> land, indeed anywhere, yet it is a fact that for much the same
> reason that astronomers go to higher parts of mountains in order
> to obtain a pure atmosphere and an air freer than usual from the
> heat-waves of the earth's surface, or as religious communities
> from the earliest times and in all countries choose quiet places
> in the mountains for their centers: so, are we told, do these our
> Elder Brothers select for their mystic seats certain parts of the
> Globe which are most untouched by the miasmic influences
> emanating from great cities, as a rule choosing them far from the
> thickly inhabited lands where are the soul-stupefying astral and
> physical influences which work against training in spiritual
> development.
>
> -- G. de Purucker, THE ESOTERIC TRADITION, II, page 1026.

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WHAT CONSTITUTES PRACTICING THEOSOPHY?

By Eldon Tucker

What constitutes practicing Theosophy? This is a whole area of
discussion in itself. I would say that it is two things. (1) It
is something that results in a genuine change in oneself, making
one a different, better person, more expressive of one's inner
light. (2) It is something that also leads one to express more
fully that inner light in the world in both acts of sacrifice and
compassion and acts of creativity. Both are means of making the
world a better place.

Mere discussion is useless if it is idle speculation, if one's
heart and inner nature are not engaged, and one is merely playing
word games. But a class, book, or conversation with a friend can
go way deeper than that and be a high form of discovering great
truths about life.

Likewise, extroverted action, involving external people and
things, can be useless if it is mindless, rote, and unmindful
activity, if one's heart and inner nature are not engaged, and
one is merely acting habitually. But a simple act of sharing
something with a stranger can go way deeper than that and also be
a high form of discovering great truths about life.

It really doesn't matter which direction we go -- inward or
outward -- as long as we are finding our magic in life and
bringing it out to the benefit of ourselves and others. (Note
that beneficial actions are not, I think, measured in terms of
how totally we sacrifice and do something to our own detriment,
but rather in terms of the greatest good to everyone, ourselves
included, without showing favoritism to others or us.)

People at a particular phase of their lives, their greatest
voyage of discovery may be in the world of ideas, and having
books, magazines, study classes, and like-minded people to talk
to is the greatest blessing. For others, it may be the worst
possible waste of time, and they need to put thinking aside,
garden, and simply hike and enjoy nature. Each of us has a
particular need now, and our needs are not always the same. What
seems lifeless and a total waste of time to you or I may seem the
greatest treasure to someone else with different growth needs.

Coming back to the idea of practicing Theosophy, I would say that
some people would consider the theosophical discussions that we
having as useless dialogue, but others would consider it the
entryway into an important area of life that they greatly need.
I consider it important to keep that door open for those whose
inner drive takes them in that direction.

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ESOTERIC AND EXOTERIC

By B.P. Wadia

[From LIVING THE LIFE, pages 33-38.]

Soul builds body. The nature of the one is occult, as that of
the other is phenomenal. Of unchanging reality is life, while
form is but the evanescent Maya that is non-existent in fact.
From 1851 to 1871, Wisdom was energizing in the inner planes of
being propelling towards the outer world. Then HPB emerged from
the Great Lodge for the service of our world, and ever since,
especially after 1877 when her ISIS UNVEILED was published,
certain hitherto, unfamiliar words came into prominence. Among
these were esoteric and esotericism, exoteric and exotericism.

She was the first since the days of the Alexandrian
Neo-Platonists who unhesitatingly and emphatically declared that
a secret body of Teaching and Teachers existed. From the very
start, she claimed a somewhat intimate acquaintance with both.
She labored in the Cause for which those Teachings and Teachers
stood, for 20 years -- from 1871 to 1891.

Among the important missions entrusted to her was the drawing of
the attention of the world to the existence of the Teaching and
the Teachers; only a part of the former, under instructions from
the latter, was put forward in discreet installments. This
process was affected by the growth or the hindrance, especially
among the aspirants to Chelaship, in recognizing the truth of the
esoteric nature of both the knowledge imparted and its Wise
Custodians. It is apparent to the insight of the student of
HPB's teachings that she tried to prepare a body of students wise
enough to value silence and learn the art of assimilation of the
philosophy and through it of its Master-Proficients.

HPB's mission was not only dissemination of knowledge to the
world at large and the service of the century that opened with
1875. She also had to prepare a band of student-servers of the
Sacred and Secret Wisdom, who were capable of transmitting the
same Charge to succeeding generations, and thus purify by life
and labor the mind of the race until her successors in 1975
arrived before the public to complete that which she began.

Men's minds had to be prepared for the reception of the Teaching.
Grades of students is what she aimed at; those knowing less,
learning from the group who knew a little more, until there would
be two or three who in direct contact with the perfected Adepts
remained also in touch with the world through their coworkers and
helpers. A veritable Antahkarana-Bridge was planned to be
erected between the World of Masters and the world of mortals.
For this purpose and towards this aim, she advised that the
esoteric nature of matter and man be truly recognized by her
students and especially by her intimate pupils.

The public that perused her writings was callous to her hints and
suggestions in proportion as her intimate associates and students
were heedless of her direct and unequivocal injunctions.
Indiscretions about the esoteric nature of the Lodge of Masters
and Its Wisdom among other things led to the collapse of the
almost complete Bridge. A very small end of it that extended
from the side of the Masters' World remained and will ever remain
intact. As modern students purify themselves by the energy of
study and ensoul themselves by the power of service, more of the
Bridge will be restored. Devotion and intelligence that create
are the necessary requisites and the few builders look, watch,
and exclaim, "Who is on our side? Who will help us?"

It is essential that students should intelligently recognize that
Esotericism is a fact in Theosophy. Pythagoras termed it the
gnosis of things that are and spoke of it in secrecy to his inner
circle while Confucius refused to explain publicly his "Great
Extreme." The Rishis of India, the Magians of Persia and Babylon,
the Hierophants of Egypt and Arabia, and the Prophets of Israel
taught as Jesus did in these strange words to his elect:

> Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God:
> but unto them that are without, all these things are done in
> parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing
> they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should
> be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Ammonius Saccas obligated his disciples by oath not to divulge
his higher doctrines, except to those who had been "exercised."
Our own HPB, following in the footsteps of her Predecessors,
warned: "Woe be to him who divulges unlawfully the words
whispered into the ear of Manushi by the First Initiator." She
affirmed, through hints, obscure yet broad, the intimate nature
of Esoteric Wisdom to be practiced, while she loudly proclaimed
that Primeval Knowledge and the Heirs to the Ancient of Days
lived and labored for mankind. She gathered in her writings the
radiant jewels of the many mines -- the diamond of India, the
sapphire of Buddhaland, the ruby of Persia, the opal of Chaldea,
the emerald of Egypt, the amethyst of Greece, and the moonstone
of Judea and set them all in the exquisite platinum of our own
era that she secured from her Masters. She made this necklace
for the daughter of time named the 19th-20th century.

HPB pointed out that the secret teachings of the Sanctuaries have
not remained without witness. They have burst upon the world in
hundreds of volumes full of the quaint phraseology of the
Alchemists; they have flown like irrepressible cataracts of
Occult-mystic lore from the pens of poets and bards. Whence did
Ariosto, in his ORLANDO FURIOSO, obtain his conception of that
valley in the moon, where after death we can find the ideas and
images of all that exists on earth? How came Dante to imagine the
many descriptions given in his INFERNO of his visit and communion
with the souls of the seven spheres?

The dark secrets of the Wisdom were allowed to see the light of
day as people learnt to use them with genuine discrimination,
with selfless dispassion. Personal selfishness develops and
urges man on to abuse his knowledge and power. Thus during the
last few centuries, as human selfishness grew, the Light of
Wisdom diminished and those few Elect whose inner natures had
remained unaffected by the march of the world became the sole
guardians of the Esoteric Knowledge, passing it only to those fit
to receive it, and keeping it inaccessible to others.

HPB burst upon the world with her direct message. It was not
poetical imagery, symbolic tales, nor dramatized versions of
Esoteric Truths. She wrote in the language of precision, simple
and clear-cut, as one having authority. She appealed to those
around her to preserve inviolable secrecy about certain
information and teaching and await her cue from time to time to
declare exoteric that hitherto given to the few to learn and
assimilate. Her wise injunctions were disregarded; followed
desecration of the sacred; that which was holy was given unto the
dogs of the press, and the pearls were cast before the swine of
an egotistic, selfish public; press and public trampled them
under 'their feet, turned on HPB, and rent her.

With the return of the Cycle, the responsibility of her true
students and followers assumes a grave proportion.

In this world of Maya, Spirit and Matter are looked upon as two
different things and so are Esoteric Wisdom and Exoteric
Knowledge. Nature is one and so is Theosophy. The secret of
Nature is in particles of dust and in constellations of stars and
both are visible and yet -- invisible. The writings of HPB are
at once exoteric and esoteric. Their occultism is perceived only
by those whose inner natures have unfolded.

One of the qualifications unfolding that inner faculty that
reveals the hidden side of the known phenomenal world is the
power to keep inviolate the secrets entrusted to us by Nature or
otherwise. Often in the enthusiasm to help and serve our
fellows, we scatter on the highway the seeds gathered from our
study of Theosophy and our meditations on the facts of the
philosophy. This is due to egotism, often of a very subtle type.
To train them in the art of keeping secrets, many a wise teacher
has devised ways and means whereby innocuous facts and fictions
were given to students for the practice of keeping them private
and learning how to avoid revealing them directly and indirectly
in answering questions and in conversations.

It is a wise practice to impose on oneself the obligation of
secrecy in reference to certain metaphysical and psychical
teachings or spiritual and mystical practices. In doing so, care
must be taken that the student does not fall prey to the assuming
of a mysterious attitude, which is still another form of egotism.
"What thou hast to do, do it in quietude though a multitude
surroundeth thee; what thy right hand receiveth or what thy left
hand giveth let only thy Hidden Heart know" -- such is the
aphorism of old, and the rules of the spiritual Path are the same
today as of yore.

Corpses exist, but a living body has always a soul. Corpses of
knowledge exist, but the Science of Life has the Master-Soul
behind. The mystery of the living body and the mysteries of the
Science of Life are esoteric; these mysteries show themselves
mystically in the visible body, in the recorded Teachings of the
Master-Souls. The esotericism of the Gita is within the eighteen
discourses, and there is no need to look for a nineteenth
discourse. In the recorded message of HPB, all her Esoteric
Wisdom lies buried. Her students and pupils will discover in her
teachings that which is esoteric; silence and secrecy preserved
will lead to further and nobler knowledge of the Inner Temple.
To gain entrance, every student has to become the Path that is
Life Eternal. He has not only to find the Path but also to make
the Path. Between the student and the Golden Wisdom of the
Masters that he is seeking, there exists a gulf -- the abyss of
separation. He has to find that Antahkarana-Bridge on which
silently, secretly, faithfully, some may be building, building,
building -- who knows?

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THE PLACE OF PEACE

By Annie Besant

[From THE PATH, September 1892, pages 175-80.]

The rush, turmoil, and hurry of modern life are in everybody's
mouth as matter of complaint. "I have no time" is the commonest
of excuses. Reviews serve for books; leading articles for
political treatises; lectures for investigation. More and more
the attention of men and women is fastened on the superficial
things of life; small prizes of business success, petty crowns of
social supremacy, momentary notoriety in the world of politics or
of letters, -- for these things men and women toil, intrigue, and
strive. Their work must show immediate results, else it is
regarded as failure; the winning post must always be in sight, to
be passed by a swift brief effort with the roar of the applauding
crowd hailing the winner.

There are the solid reputation built up by years of strenuous
work, the patient toil for a lifetime in a field wherein the
harvest can only ripen long after the sower has passed out of
sight, and the deliberate choice of a lofty ideal, too high to
attract the average man, too great to be compassed in a lifetime.
All these things are passed by with a shrug of good-natured
contempt or a scowl of suspicion. The spirit of the age is
summed up by the words of the caustic Chinese sage of yore, "He
looks at an egg, and expects to hear it crow." Nature is too slow
for us, and we forget that what we gain in speed we lose in
depth.

But there are some in whose eyes this whirling dance of gnats in
the sunlight is not the be-all and end-all of human life. Some
in whose hearts a whisper sometimes sounds softly, saying that
all the seeming clash and rush is but as the struggle of shadows
thrown upon a screen; that social success, business triumph, and
public admiration are but trivial things at best, bubbles
floating down a tossing streamlet, and unworthy the rivalries,
jealousies, and bitterness their chase engenders. Has life no
secret that does not lie on the surface? Is there no problem not
solved in the stating or treasury not scattered on the highway?

An answer may be found without straying beyond the experience of
every man and woman, and that answer hides within it a suggestion
of the deeper truth that underlies it. Consider a week or a
month of hurried town-life, of small excitements, of striving for
the little triumphs of social life, of the eagerness of petty
hopes, the pain of petty disappointments, of the friction arising
from the jarring of our selfish selves with other selves equally
selfish. After this, go far away from this hum and buzz of life
into silent mountain solitudes where are sounding only the
natural harmonies that seem to blend with rather than to break
the silence. There is the rush of the waterfall swollen by last
night's rain, the rustle of the leaves under the timid feet of
the hare, and the whisper of the stream to the water hen as she
slips out of the reeds. There is the murmur of the eddy where it
laps against the pebbles on the bank, the hum of the insects as
they brush through the tangled grass, and the suck of the fish as
they hang in the pool beneath the shade. There, where the mind
sinks into calm, soothed by the touch of Nature far from man,
what aspect have the follies, the exasperations, of the social
whirl of work and play, seen through that atmosphere surcharged
with peace?

What does it matter if we failed or succeeded in some small
strife? What does it matter that one slights and another praises
us? We regain perspective by our distance from the whirlpool, by
our isolation from its tossing waters, and we see how small a
part these outer things should play in the true life of man.

Distance in time and space gives balanced judgment on the good
and ill of life. We look back, after ten years have slipped
away, at the trials, joys, hopes, and disappointments of the time
that then was, and we marvel why we spent so much of our
life-energy on things of so little worth. Even life's sharpest
pains seem strangely unreal thus contemplated by a personality
that has greatly changed. Our whole life was bound up in the
life of another, and all of worth that it held for us seemed to
dwell in the one beloved. We thought that our life was laid
waste, our heart broken, when that one trust was betrayed. But
as time went on the wound healed and new flowers sprang up along
our pathway, until today, we can look back without a quiver on an
agony that then well-nigh shattered life. Or we broke with a
friend for a bitter word; how foolish seem our anger and our
excitement, looking back over the ten years' gulf. Or we were
madly delighted with a hardly-won success: how trivial it looks,
and how exaggerated our triumph, when we see it now in due
proportion in the picture of our life; then it filled our sky,
now it is but a point.

But our philosophic calm, as we contemplate the victories and
defeats of our past across the interval of space or time, suffers
an ignominious breach when we return to our daily life and find
it not. All the old trivialities, in new dresses, engross us:
old joys and sorrows, with new faces, seize us. "The tumultuous
senses and organs hurry away by force the heart." And so once
more we begin to wear out our lives by petty cares, disputes,
longings, and disappointments.

Must this be always so? Since we must live in the world and play
our part in its drama of life, must we be at the mercy of all
these passing objects? Or, though we must dwell among them in
place and be surrounded with them in time, can we find the Place
of Peace, as though we were far away? We can. This is the truth
that underlies the superficial answer we have already found.

Man is an Immortal Being, clad in a garb of flesh vivified and
moved by desires and passions, which he links to by a thread of
his immortal nature. This thread is the mind, and this mind,
unsubdued and inconstant, wanders out among the things of earth,
is moved by the passions and desires, hopes and fears, longs to
taste all cups of sense-delights, is dazzled and deafened by the
radiance and the tumult of its surroundings. Thus as Arjuna
complained, the "mind is full of agitation, turbulent, strong,
and obstinate."

Above this whirling mind, serene and passionless witness, dwells
the True Self, the Spiritual Ego of man. Below there may be
storm, but above there is calm, and there is the Place of Peace.
That Self is eternal, and what to it are the things of time, save
as they bring experience, the knowledge of good and evil? So
often, dwelling in its house of clay, it has known birth and
death, gains and losses, joys and grief, pleasures and pains,
that it sees them all pass by as a moving phantasmagoria, and no
ripple ruffles its passionless serenity. Does agony affect its
outer case, it is but a notice that harmony has been broken, and
the pain is welcome as pointing to the failure and as bearing
lesson of avoidance of that whence it sprang. For the True Self
has to conquer the material plane, to purify and sublimate it,
and only by suffering can it learn how to perform its work.

Now the secret of reaching that Place of Peace lies in our
learning to identify our consciousness with the True instead of
with the apparent Self. We identify ourselves with our minds,
our brain minds, active in our bodies. We identify ourselves
with our passions and desires, and say WE hope or WE fear. We
identify ourselves with our bodies, the mere machinery wherewith
we affect the material world. And so, when all these parts of
our nature are moved by contacts with external things and feel
the whirl of the material life around them, WE also in
consciousness are affected, and "the uncontrolled heart,
following the dictates of the moving passions, snatcheth away"
our "spiritual knowledge, as the storm the bark upon the raging
ocean." Then excitement, loss of balance, irritability, injured
feelings, resentments, follies, pain -- all that is most
separated from peace, calm, and strength.

The way to begin to tread the Path that leads to the Place of
Peace is to endeavor to identify our consciousness with the True
Self, to see as it sees, to judge as it judges. We cannot do it
-- that is understood -- but we can begin to try. And the means
are: disengagement from the objects of the senses, carelessness
as to results, and meditation, ever renewed, on the True Self.
Let us consider each of these means.

The first of these can be gained only by a constant and wise
self-discipline. We can cultivate indifference to small
discomforts, to pleasures of the table, to physical enjoyments,
bearing with good-humored tolerance outward things as they come,
neither shunning nor courting small pleasures nor pains.
Gradually, without growing morbid or self-conscious, we shall
become frankly indifferent, so that small troubles that upset
people continually in daily life will pass unnoticed. This will
leave us free to help our neighbors whom they do disturb, by
shielding them unobtrusively and so smoothing life's pathway for
feet more tender than our own. In learning this, moderation is
the keynote.

> This divine discipline, Arjuna, is not to be attained by the man
> who eateth more than enough or too little, nor by him who hath a
> habit of sleeping much, nor by him who is given to over watching.
> The meditation that destroyeth pain is produced in him who is
> moderate in eating and in recreation, of moderate exertion in his
> actions, and regulated in sleeping and waking.

The body is not to be shattered. It is to be trained.

The second of these methods is "carelessness as to results." This
does not mean that we are not to notice the results of our
actions in order to learn from them how to guide our steps. We
gain experience by such study of results, and so learn Wisdom.
But it does mean that when an action has been done with our best
judgment and strength and with pure intent, then we should let it
go, metaphorically, and feel no anxiety about its results. The
action done is beyond recall, and we gain nothing by worry and by
anxiety. When its results appear, we note them for instruction,
but we neither rejoice nor mourn over them. Remorse or
jubilation takes away our attention from, and weakens us in, the
performance of our present duty, and there is no time for either.
Suppose the results are evil, the wise man says,

> I made a mistake, and must avoid a similar blunder in future; but
> remorse will only weaken my present usefulness and will not
> lessen the results of my mistaken action. So instead of wasting
> time in remorse, I will set to work to do better.

The value of thus separating oneself from results lies in the
calmness of mind thus obtained and the concentration brought to
bear on each action.

> Whoever in acting dedicates his actions to the Supreme Spirit
> [the One Self] and puts aside all selfish interest in their
> result, is untouched by sin, even as the leaf of the lotus is
> unaffected by the waters. The truly devoted, for the
> purification of the heart, perform actions with their bodies,
> their minds, their understanding, and their senses, putting away
> all self-interest. The man who is devoted and not attached to
> the fruit of his actions obtains tranquility; whilst he who
> through desire has attachment for the fruit of action is bound
> down thereby.

The third method, meditation, is the most efficacious and the
most difficult. It consists of a constant endeavor to realize
one's identity with one's True Self, and to become self-conscious
here as it. "To whatsoever object the inconstant mind goeth out
he should subdue it, bring it back, and place it upon the
Spirit." It is a work of one's lifetime, but it will bring us to
the Place of Peace.

The effort needs to be continually renewed, patiently persisted
in. It may be aided by fixing on definite hours, at which, for a
few moments, we may withdraw ourselves like the turtle into its
shell, and remember that we are not transitory but eternal, and
that passing incidents can affect us not at all. With the
gradual growth of this power of remaining "in the Self" comes not
only Peace but also Wisdom, for absence of personal desires, and
recognition of our immortal nature, leave us free to judge all
things without bias and without prejudice.

> This tranquil state attained, therefrom shall soon result a
> separation from all troubles; and his mind being thus at ease,
> fixed upon one object, it embraceth wisdom from all sides. The
> man whose heart and mind are not at rest is without wisdom.

> [Thus] being possessed of patience, he by degrees finds rest,
> [and] supreme bliss surely cometh to the sage whose mind is thus
> at peace: whose passions and desires are thus subdued; who is
> thus in the True Self and free from sin.

This is the three-fold Path that leads to the Place of Peace, to
dwell wherein ever is to have conquered Time and Death. The
"path winds steeply uphill all the way," but the pinions of the
Dove of Peace fan the wearied brow of the pilgrim, and at last,
at last, he finds calm that naught can ruffle.

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HIERARCHIES

By L. Gordon Plummer

[From THE WAY TO THE MYSTERIES, pages 49-58.]

In G. de Purucker's book, FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC
PHILOSOPHY, Chapters 41 and 42, he presents a very important
series of teachings under the general heading of "The Doctrine of
the Spheres." Briefly, these teachings cover four basic concepts:
(1) Globe Chains and Rounds and Races, (2) The Seven Sacred
Planets, (3) The Universal Solar System, (4) The Circulations of
the Cosmos.

The first two of these have been as well covered as we shall find
necessary for our present purposes, and we shall now take up the
study of the Universal Solar System since it relates directly to
the Doctrine of the Hierarchical structure of Nature.

Our first approach to the Universal Solar System might well be
made in stating simply that for every visible planet in our Solar
System, there are literally thousands of invisible Globes or
Spheres of Life. If we may picture all of these existing upon
many planes of consciousness as they do, occupying nevertheless
the same general area of what we call space, then, could we see
them all at once, the sight would be marvelous beyond words to
describe. The whole might remind us of the pictures of some of
the great globular clusters that may be seen far out beyond the
rim of our Galaxy. Whereas all of the stars in such a cluster
are on the physical plane, and therefore discernible through a
large telescope, in the case of the Universal Solar System, they
are functioning on many planes of consciousness. Could we see
them, we would discover perhaps what would be taken to be many
suns, and far more numerous than these suns would be the many
Planetary Chains with all their Globes. Who is to say that there
may not be moons, comets, or anything at all that we find in our
own small Solar System?

Before becoming any more explicit in our description, we must
emphasize that the word Universal is used in this connection in a
technical sense. It does not imply the Galaxy as a whole, though
the Universal Solar System, as an important strand in the Cosmic
web of life, is indeed a minor part of the Milky Way. Nor is it
far away as the great star clusters are. It surrounds us here
and now, right where we are. In fact, it encloses us.

We are now going to sketch the outline of the teachings, the
details to fit in naturally, as our understanding grows. So,
advancing from what we know toward what we want to know, let us
remind ourselves of these things.

The concept that a system of heavenly objects can exist upon
several planes of consciousness at the same time may be more
readily grasped as we reflect that each one of us comprises a
host of energies existing as Monads on many planes of
consciousness. Can anyone doubt that the mind is non-material in
the physical sense of the word? Obviously, the laws of our
physical environment have only a pictorial meaning when applied
to the mind. Two people may be involved in a heated discussion,
yet the mind itself is neither hot nor cold. Similarly, we might
consider many weighty subjects, but who can weigh the mind? There
are of course many instances of such verbal usage, and they serve
here only to point up their inadequacies. We should always bear
in mind that our attempts to describe invisible worlds except in
the most general terms as being the homes of their own kinds of
beings, would be incomplete at best.

This is the right time to clarify a phrase used in Theosophical
literature for many years. We learn that the Globes of a
Planetary Chain are in coadunation, but not in consubstantiality.
Relating this first to our Monads and principles: all of these
have a common source in the Divine Monad, and each Monad in
descending order, having been emanated from all those above it,
is an inseparable strand in the karmic web of destiny that will
endure as long as the universe itself may last. In a word, they
are in coadunation. Obviously, the various levels of
energy-matter, or Spirit-Matter, if you like, differ from one
another; so, these Monads are said not to be "in
consubstantiality." It is just so with the Globes of a Planetary
Chain. Karmically their destinies are as closely interwoven as
are the Monads in Man, and that is why we say that they are in
coadunation. As has already been made abundantly clear, they
cannot exist on one plane of consciousness alone, so we say that
they are not in consubstantiality.

Let us now proceed to the Solar System, particularly with respect
to the Seven Sacred Planets.

Returning to the Human Being, his radiant core is his Divine
Monad, and as this manifests itself through the ages, it becomes
finally the Divine Monad of something far greater than Man -- the
Divine Monad of a Planetary Chain, for only in such a manner
could it manifest its burgeoning powers of self-expression. Of
course, the growth from humanhood to planethood is one consisting
of many stages, and these are taken through the eons, but
eventually the course is run. All of the Monads and Principles
that once composed a Human Entity have now grown and comprise the
inner and outer makeup of a Planetary Chain. That shining
splendor that was once the Divine Monad of a Man is now the
shining splendor of a Planetary Chain, and we call it now a
Planetary Spirit or Rector -- truly one of the Gods, although not
yet the highest. As the eons roll on, that which is the
Planetary Spirit will one day become the Divine Monad of an
entire Solar System. Then its locus or center of energy will be
within the Sun, and those Monads that now we recognize to be the
Globes will in time become Planetary Chains in their own right.
The family of Sacred Planets is such because their karmic ties
forged so long ago can never be broken.

Just as the Globes of a Planetary Chain take their places
eventually as full-grown members of a Solar System, so the Solar
System as a whole has its own increasingly brighter future. It
will grow to become a Universal Solar System, similar to the one
in which we live and move and have our being. Of what does this
Universal Solar System consist? It consists of seven individual
and complete Solar Systems, all members of one great family, all
of them karmically linked in coadunation, each one with its own
solar body on its own plane, having its own family of Sacred
Planets circling in their well ordered pathways around their
Father Sun.

In order to keep track of the things we learn, we refer to the
Monads in Man by name, as for instance, the Divine, the
Spiritual, the Chain, the Reincarnating, and the
Vital-Astral-Physical Monad. Since we keep track of things in
the Planetary Chain by lettering the Globes from A to G, in the
Solar System, we use the names of the Planets. Thus, we are
entitled to seek a means of keeping track of the Universal Solar
System by giving the several families of Sacred Planets the
numbers from one to seven. Since we have no information on these
matters with regard to the spiritual or material standing of the
several minor solar systems within the Universal Solar System,
anyone might number them as he likes, without knowing where our
own family or Sacred Planets might stand. The sole purpose of
attaching numbers to them is to clarify the picture in our minds,
and since no one wishes to claim knowledge that he does not
possess, I carry the idea no further than present necessity
dictates.

Before leaving this chapter, a final, and indeed the most
important element of the study must be brought forward. Since we
have been talking of Monads and of Divine Monads in particular,
we must remember that at the heart of every Monad, wherever and
whatever it might be, is a Divinity that to that hierarchy is its
own Silent Watcher. We must apply this concept to the study that
we are completing at this moment. Many of the words to be used
are already familiar to us.

At the heart of the Universal Solar System is Divinity. In this
instance, it is best to refer to it as Mahat, or Cosmic Mind.
Among the several transactions possible, we might speak of it as
pure Spirit, or pure Solar Divinity. Words are of little avail,
for it is at once a being in the sense that it is the supreme
Silent Watcher of the Universal Solar System, and yet all
recognizable attributes as a being as such do not apply.
However, we do learn that it has its seven Rays or emanations,
and these are the seven Solar Logoi, each one the Silent Watcher
over its own family of Sacred Planets within its part of the
Universal Solar System. Take only the Solar Logos for our own
Solar System. Its locus is within our Sun, and it has its seven
Rays, each of which is Adi-Buddhi, at once a Being, and not a
Being. We can say this only because its true nature beggars our
understanding. These are the seven Silent Watchers of the Sacred
Planets.

Consider the one only that watches over the Earth Chain. His
seven Rays are the Dhyani-Buddhas that watch over the Rounds of
our Earth Chain. Take only that one which watches over the
Fourth Round. This one has seven Rays that are the Silent
Watchers for the seven Globes during this particular Round. They
are the Dhyani-Bodhisattvas, each of them with its own seven
Rays. Take just the Celestial Bodhisattva that watches over
Globe D during this Fourth Round. Its Rays become the seven
Manushya Buddhas that guide the spiritual destinies of the human
race during the Root Races. Taking then the Manushya Buddha for
our Fifth Root Race, we have the appearance of Gautama. As the
Nirmanakaya still working with us, he emanates Rays from himself
from time to time which appear as Avataras. The work filters
down as it were through the Mahatmas, their Chelas, with their
own Disciples, from which the Ancient Wisdom flows out to the
human race at large.

Finally, think of the Silent Watcher who stands supreme over the
Universal Solar System as holding within his hand a tremendous
cable-tow consisting of uncounted millions of golden strands.
This great cable-tow divides into seven, each of which divides
again into seven, and so on and on, passing through the hands of
the many Silent Watchers in descending order until finally, there
is a golden thread extending from the mighty hand of the Supreme
Silent Watcher down to every living being throughout the entire
Universal Solar System. To think that at the heart of every one
of us is that spark of Divinity that, like Ariadne's thread may
be followed until the pilgrim finally reaches home, the Heart of
the Universe! This thread is indeed the inner Way to the
Mysteries.

------------------------------------------------------------------
WHERE ARE THE SAGES AND SEERS?

By G. de Purucker

[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 11-15.]

The great sages and seers, the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion,
belong to no race, and especially to no creed. They are the
children of the spirit, awakened men, whose familiar thought is
truth itself; and hence their sympathies are universal. They
need no frontiers of race, caste, creed, or color. They are
truth-seekers, truth-teachers. They founded their instrument,
the Theosophical Society, to promulgate the truth, the cosmic
wisdom, the cosmic philosophy that existed before the foundations
of the mighty mountains were laid, aye, even before the Sons of
Morning began to sing, to chant their hymns celestial. For Truth
has no age. It never was born, and never has not been. It is
timeless because universal.

Its appeal is to the hearts and minds of all men. It matters
nothing from what part of the world a beautiful truth may be
drawn. In consequence, whenever any human has so attuned the
seven-stringed lyre of Apollo -- that is his heart or his seven
principles -- to whisper and ring like an Aeolian harp when the
winds of heaven blow upon it, he is one of the sages and seers.
This lasts for the time being and as long as he can hold this
plane of consciousness, whether his fellowmen recognize him or
not. This means you or I, anyone who may have attained thus
much.

And mark you the promise in this statement: that precisely
because we are children of infinitude, not merely sons of the
gods but the very offspring of the celestial spaces, there is
that within us that is attuned with them, which is timeless,
infinite, and therefore eternal.

How true that old statement in the Christian New Testament is
that you so often hear me quote, because so lost sight of by
Christians in these days! I link two such statements together:
"Know ye not that ye are gods and that the spirit of the eternal
liveth within you?"

Where are the sages and seers? They are where they have always
been. The question at first blush may strike a Theosophist as
being foolish, but I suppose it arises in the desire to explain
to people why the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion do not take
the human race in hand, and oblige it, force it, to be decent. A
Theosophist simply looks up in wonder and says, Why, what good
would that do? How may you convince men by compulsion that this,
that, or some other thing is true? Isn't it obvious that men only
believe what their own hearts teach them? No matter what they
hear or are taught, if there is not an answering response in the
human heart, and an instant answer in the human intellect, there
is no acceptance, but a worse than steel wall raised?

Truth is eternal. Truth is always with us, and the devotees of
truth are always with us and always have been and always will be;
and it is we in our folly, ignorance, and blindness that refuse
to accept them. Open your hearts and your minds and the light
will come pouring in. That is the promise of all the sages and
Masters to which the human race has ever given birth. The
Teachers are always ready when the pupil is ready. If we see no
evidence of the Masters in the world today, it is partly because
we are too stupid, partly because we have forgotten the
god-wisdom in the world, and partly because we will not hearken.

Yes, the titan intellects of the human race have laid down the
truth. If men do not accept it, whose fault is it? It is not the
fault of the Teachers. If I prefer strife, wretchedness, crime,
and horror, why shall I say to the deaf heavens, "Where art thou,
O God?" Of all the agonies of stupidity, we see here just more
evidence of man's attempt at self-justification of his own folly
and ignorance. You might as well ask where the laws of nature
are. What has become of them? Why don't they take the human race
in hand? A nice spirit! Even ordinary human parents know better
than that. Ordinarily a father or mother would not attempt to
interfere with the growth of a child by force. Such an approach
has not ever worked and never will. You cannot cause a leopard
to change its spots until that leopard has evolved, and no amount
of starving or chastisement or so-called vengeful punishment will
ever make a leopard anything but a leopard.

Do you want truth? You can have it whenever you want it. The
world is full of it. The great teachings of the ages are full of
it. What prevents our seeing it? Is there any man as blind as
one that will not look? Is there any man so stupidly deaf as he
who refuses to hear? These are some of the truths known to every
child; yet we prefer hypocrisy, cant, and self-justification to
righting the wrongs we ourselves wreak on others, and then raise
a clamor to the immortal gods for help when we ourselves begin to
suffer from our folly. Yes, we choose hypocrisy; and how many of
us sitting in this auditorium can say before the tribunal divine
within our own hearts, "I am not a hypocrite. I am pure." Just
ask yourselves! Pharisees and hypocrites! "Oh, how I thank God
that I am not as other men are!" Now honestly, brothers and
friends, hasn't that ever occurred to your hearts and minds?
Don't you see that that is the first shackle you yourself have
placed on your limbs as a pilgrim: self-justification and
self-righteousness? Don't you see that by so doing you blind your
own eyes?

How true it is that truth is not popular, that truth is not
welcome, that people do not like it. It is because it means
change. It means an evolution of feeling and thinking. It means
a revolution of the moral instincts to become alive and vigorous
again. I tell you again that to become acquainted with, to have
first-hand individual knowledge of, the great Teachers, the first
step is to become as far as we may and can, alike unto them.
There is no other way. The heart must be consecrated to truth at
any cost. Are you strong enough? If you are, you are ready for
Chelaship, as we say, for discipleship; and you will be a
disciple before this life for you is ended, aye, perhaps before
tomorrow's evening sees the setting of our day-star.

The Masters, the great Sages and Seers, are ready for you always.
There is no barrier to them whatsoever except for yourself,
absolutely none; and if you do not attain Chelaship in this life,
in the next, or in the following one, blame none but yourself.
You see the reason why. It is so simple a child may understand.
How can you become a disciple or a Chela before you are ready for
it, before you have become it? How can you see the light before
you have eyes with which to see it? How can you appreciate beauty
or get a touch of beauty anywhere, until beauty already is taking
birth within your soul, so that the beauty within you can sense
beauty without? How can you recognize a great man until some
grandeur at least is born within yourself to enable you to
recognize grandeur? If you are paltry and small and mean, how can
you recognize the opposites of these?

It is like the men who go through the world incognizant -- blind
and deaf to the divine beauty in their own fellow human beings.
One of the easiest ways to find beauty, to find truth, and more
quickly to come into instant magnetic sympathy with your fellow
human beings is by becoming yourself sympathetic and seeing.
Don't you see? If a man has no sympathy in his soul, how can he
sense the sympathy in the souls of others? If he has no beauty in
his heart, how can he see beauty anywhere, or as the English
playwright Shakespeare phrases it:

> The man that hath no music in himself,
> Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
> Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.
>
> -- The Merchant of Venice

Don't you see you will never see the Master-self until you have
become master-like within yourself? This is because you will not
recognize him. It would be impossible. You have not developed
the vision inside, the faculties inside; but those faculties are
there.

These sages and seers exist today; they take pupils, to use the
ordinary phrase. Indeed more, they pass through the world
hunting, searching, and seeking. This is not so much like
Diogenes for an honest man, but rather like Masters of Wisdom as
they are, searching everywhere for good material, sensitive human
souls. They are looking wherever they may see, however dim it
may be, a touch of the Buddhic splendor in a human being's heart.
When they see that, instantly their attention is attracted. They
feel the impact instantly in their own hearts. They approach;
they aid; they inspire; they do everything they can to foster the
trembling flame of vision and of feeling. They foster it and
feed it until the flame finally burns strong and the man is
reborn, no longer born of the flesh, but reborn of the spirit, of
the inspiration from within and from the Teacher without.

Above, beyond, and back of these sages and seers there is their
own great Chief. What a marvelous figure of celestial wisdom and
beauty, utterly dedicated to the spirit and to the world and all
that is in it -- irrespective of race, nation, creed, caste,
color, or sex -- is this being, truly a God. We Theosophists
speak of it in reverence and awe as the Silent Watcher. He is
the chief Master of the Masters. He is one of us; he is our own
brilliant guide, teacher, friend, brother, and the source insofar
as men are concerned of all enlightenment, wisdom, beauty, and
love. So that in the deeper reaches of our blessed Theosophical
teachings we may say with great reverence, yet with all truth,
that back of all our labor however imperfectly we human beings
may be doing, back of it as its origin and inspiration is this
grand Divinity.

What a hope! What a wonder to look forward to for all us men --
Theosophists or non-Theosophists. For indeed if the truth were
told, I think that there are millions and tens of millions and
hundreds of millions of men and women in this world today who are
Theosophists in everything except that they have not as yet
received the teachings of our blessed God-Wisdom. In everything
else -- in readiness, in yearning, in reverence, in universal
love, and in desire to advance upwards and onwards forever --
these fellow human beings are as good of Theosophists as we are.

Oh, that we might collect them all together into one band of
impersonal workers! What a power in the world we would then be!
No longer would problems vex man's intelligence, problems born of
his selfishness. No longer then would the human race be
afflicted with poverty, misery, and with most of the sin that now
exists, and the dreadful, appalling wretchedness. I sometimes
think that the most heart touching, the most heart-rending story
in the world amongst our brother fellow human beings is that
story that is not heard, one carried in the dumb agony of
silence. Oh, how human beings suffer so needlessly! I know of no
loftier title than that which I love to give to our great
Teachers: Friends of mankind and of all that lives!

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE HUMAN RIGHT TO BE DIFFERENT

By Morris A. Shop

[From THE ARYAN PATH, April 1947, pages 165-68.]

July 1946 marked the 170th Commemoration of the signing of the
American Declaration of Independence. In July 1776, the
representatives of the thirteen Colonies brought to fruition a
great dream for humane living, which became the United States of
America. In that notable document, we read:

> We hold these truths to be self-evident:
>
> That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their
> Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are
> Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
>
> That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among
> men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
>
> That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these
> ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.

Without doubt, one of the implications is the human right to be
different. America had its origin in differences. Different
peoples came to these shores from different countries for
different reasons, bringing their different habits and beliefs.
Some came for adventure, some for the right to worship in their
own way; some came for economic reasons. They wanted a fuller, a
more abundant life.

The dream of America was of a United Country of many differing
peoples willing to allow their fellowmen the rights of "Life,
Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." There was always trouble
when any group of American citizens tried to deny even economic
rights or to enslave others. Despite spasmodic racial
animosities or religious discrimination, there has been a
constant effort to eradicate bigotry and hatred from heart and
mind. The human "right to be different" was written also into
the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Differences and varieties abound in Nature itself, with its many
differing elements. Chemicals differ; trees, grasses, flowers,
fruits, and animals differ. Differences in Man cut across the
"color line." Men are not only red-, black-, white-, and
yellow-skinned, but there are human beings of every shade from
deep black through brown, yellow, and red. Languages, despite
efforts to create a single language for all peoples, are
multifarious.

Mankind differs also in faith. The scores of religions differ
because men have differing views about God and the Cosmos; about
life's purpose; about modes of worship; about customs and
ceremonies. There is Judaism with its worship of One God and its
belief in the Hebrew Torah teachings; there is Christianity with
its emphasis on the life and work of "that perfect human being
Jesus who was the Christ or Messiah." Mohammedans worship God
(Allah) and his Prophet Mohammed; Buddhists believe in Buddha;
and Confucians follow the teachings of that noted ethical
teacher, Confucius.

The blackest pages of human history are those that record the
efforts to force others to change their religion. Men have
suffered torture and death to preserve their right to differ in
their religious beliefs. Thus, the fathers of the North American
Republic made sure to stipulate that in America there should be
complete religious freedom. Therein lays the fundamental ideal
of American Democracy.

In addition to varieties in color and religion, there is the
great struggle to preserve differences in Government. Men have
suffered and died to preserve their right to govern themselves.
Some are happiest under a Monarchy; others, under Socialism;
America has become a world-renowned Democracy; the Russian people
love their Communism. We have just witnessed the tragic conflict
forced upon the world because one nation, the Nazis, sought to
deny to human beings the "right to be different." They almost
succeeded in exterminating an entire people for the crime of
having been born in a different faith. They insisted that all
other races were inferior to the so-called "Aryan Race,"
producing pseudo-scientists who denied the teaching of every
recognized anthropologist that there is no "superior" race, no
"pure" race, and that all human blood is the same. Scientists
have shown that there are many peoples, having many racial
characteristics, but that the only genuine race is "the human
race of many peoples."

The basic ideal of all great religions and the fundamental
concept of Democracy has ever been "the Brotherhood of Man,"
implying recognition of the sacredness of the individual and
respect for human life, no matter what a man's birth, color, or
creed. In this very idea of "brotherhood," we have the principle
of the "human right to be different." The Psalmist observed,
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell
together in unity." The Psalmist realized that brothers of the
same heredity and environment differ radically in looks,
interests, tastes, and world outlook and can yet love one
another. All peoples differ, just as brothers do. And many of
these human differences are no fault of individuals. People are
born different and these differences affect their entire lives.
Why do peoples differ?

Geography and heredity make people different, an accident of
birthplace. People born in hot countries, for example, are
usually dark-skinned. This pigmentation is hereditary, like many
other characteristics. Children born of Catholic parents tend to
remain Catholics, as Jewish children tend to remain loyal to
their Jewish heritage. Children born of certain parents who
differ from the rest carry these differences through heredity
down the ages. Is a Chinese child to go through life cursing his
parents because he was born with almond eyes? Is a Negro child to
go through life suffering hatred and discrimination just because
his skin is black? No! People are born with "the human right to
be different." These differences are fascinating in their
infinite variety. We must destroy "dislike of the unlike" and
the notion of some people that all human beings must be of one
type. We must make America and the new One World being ushered
in by the Atomic Age safe for differences, which are a fact of
human life.

People differ also in their philosophy of life. As men and women
grow older, read certain books, and hear certain teachers,
preachers, and speakers have certain experiences; they develop a
philosophy of living. Some become pious believers in certain
texts in great religious books; some become atheists or
agnostics, mystics, or hermits. Their philosophy of life
influences their lives and actions. They change their ideas;
they develop different opinions and resolve to live according to
their convictions. Some travel and change their religions and
influence the heredity of their offspring by inter-marrying with
people of another racial stock. These changes produce further
differences. Whenever this "human right to be different" has
been prevented by force, there has been trouble. The Nazis tried
to get rid of human differences by racism, teaching, "Either you
are an Aryan or you will be destroyed." Religious groups have
tried to do it by saying "Believe in what we believe in or you
are doomed." Governments have tried it, insisting that people
"Have our type of government, or you will be ruined."

The most dangerous dictatorship comes from those who insist, "My
way is the only correct way." If leaders of government are
sincere in their desire to create a peaceful world, they must
guarantee the right of all peoples to "self-determination" and
the perpetuation of their differences and way of life. If church
and synagogue believe in "One World" and a Brotherhood of Man on
Earth, they must recognize that their way is not the only way for
either Life or Salvation. They must recognize "the human right
to be different" with its implications of religious freedom and
individual rights.

The world we live in is a wonderful orchestra of peoples. Not
all are playing or want to play the same instrument. What makes
the orchestra great is the harmonious playing by each musician of
a different instrument. The most beautiful Persian tapestries
and rugs are not made of thread of a single color. A Persian
tapestry or carpet is so valuable and beautiful because of the
brilliant weave of its varying threads of different colors and
lengths. What will make One World interesting and brotherly is
the recognition of the "human right to be different."

------------------------------------------------------------------
ON THEOSOPHICAL CONDUCT

By G. de Purucker

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, March 15, 1933, pages 193-99, based
upon an address at the Headquarters of the English Section of the
Theosophical Society given October 16, 1932.]

Friends, comrades, and brothers, you have just heard the reading
from our beloved HPB, and the thoughts that we have heard from
her were the very thoughts that, curiously enough, were running
in my own mind as I came up to town from Oakley House. My
imagination constructed pictures of what civilization on our
earth would be if all men, not merely Theosophists, were to
follow the lines of thought and the indications to spiritual
progress that our beloved HPB laid down in the extracts that our
Chairman has read to you tonight. To my mind, they contain -- I
will not say the very essence of Theosophy, but at least a part
of it -- the principles of conduct that should guide every
genuine Theosophical Society professing to be faithful to the
tenets of the ancient Wisdom-Religion given to us by the Masters
of Wisdom and Compassion and Peace.

In what HPB here wrote to the American Theosophists, we find all
the signposts, so to say, on the pathway of Theosophical progress
and peace, and the lines of direction masterfully presented.
This enables us to construct a universal fraternity not only
among ourselves, but also among the presently separated fragments
of the Theosophical Movement. The principles of conduct in
thought and action that will lead not only to a reunification of
the separated fragments of the Theosophical Movement as it at
present exists but also to a unification of men's minds and
hearts into a spiritual brotherhood, without dogmas and without
popery, but with genuine and capable Teachers.

I will tell you frankly that I am a Theosophist; I try to be a
pukka Theosophist. I am sorry to say that I have little patience
with those who profess Theosophy and fail to practice it, that
is, with those who say they believe in it and then fail to live
it. We Theosophists have a sacred charge given unto us, it
matters not to what Society we may belong, nor to what
affiliation we may claim adherence. We are by natural law, and
therefore we should be brothers in thought, conduct, act, and
work.

All the teachings of the Masters and of their Messenger HPB lead
directly to that one objective, a practical Universal
Brotherhood. We are but hypocrites, every one of us, if we
refuse to live up to the teaching that we say we believe in, and
that we present so glibly to the public, but that too often,
alas, we fail to practice.

There is the challenge. I am not unbrotherly in speaking as I
do, because if I have a brain that knows the right, I have
likewise a heart of compassion that speaks. I never accuse
others; nor do I ever blame unkindly, because I point out
dangerous tendencies that have arisen in the Theosophical
Movement. Who am I, or who are you, that we should blame
unkindly our Brother Theosophists even for their failings? Let us
remember that they are at least learning. But when it comes to
questions of truth and of Theosophical doctrine, there indeed it
may be that we shall have to part company, because truth is
truth, and right is right, and there is in very fact such a thing
as genuine Theosophy and false or imperfect Theosophy. But even
if we have to part company on points of teaching, we can at least
be brotherly, we can at least work hand in hand along a part of
the road that we are all following. All of us are advancing,
albeit slowly, to that goal of relative perfection to which the
call has come to us to reach.

We all speak of the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky. What are they?
Are they ideas for our intellectual enjoyment? Do we take unto
ourselves as selfish individuals and thereafter try, alas, to
hold as our personal property within the small restrictions and
compass of our own puny brains and hearts, and say: "This is what
the Masters taught; this is what their Messengers have brought to
us;" and that all that a brother thinks that may be different
from what we conceive is dogmatism, popery, or shows that the
brother is taking the downward path? What kind of uncharity is
this? Does it exemplify the spirit of brotherhood and
forgiveness? Is it the Theosophical spirit of mercy and charity?
Is it the spirit of peace? Is it the spirit that is the heart of
our wonderful Theosophical teachings?

The platform of the Theosophical Society is wide enough to
accommodate all kinds, shades, and varieties of human opinion.
There is but one prerequisite to Fellowship: the acceptance of
the fact of Universal Brotherhood. I challenge anyone, if he
wishes to do right as a Theosophist, to restrict this platform to
any compass smaller than that. If Theosophy is anything at all,
it is something that we must live by, not merely say that we
believe in it. If we do no more than the latter, we are but mere
sectarians, no matter what our professions may be. It is living
the life that is the test.

If some brother of some other Theosophical Society is foolish
enough to try to set up a popery or to change or to distort our
sublime Theosophical doctrines, does this impose the duty on me
of ranting against him in a spirit of uncharity or am I obliged
to follow him in his errors? Of course not! I am not obliged to
do either. It is quite likely that I might feel a moral duty
lain upon me to point out his errors, but to do so in a fraternal
spirit of brotherly love and of forgiveness. Don't I know, have
not I worldly wisdom enough to know, that popery in a
Theosophical Movement cannot stand, and in time will fall of
itself? Why should I condemn and damn a brother because his
opinions and feelings in Theosophical matters differ from mine?
But -- and this is a reservation of extreme importance -- if he
comes to me and asks me to accept opinions or a Theosophical
administration that I believe to be erroneous and dangerous
because they don't square with the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky
and the teachings of our Masters, shall I accept them? Is there
an obligation laid upon me to accept them? Of course not! Shall I
be thought to be unbrotherly because I refuse to accept what I
inwardly know to be wrong? Of course not.

Let us then exercise our wonderful faculty of common sense. To
me, the teachings of HPB are the teachings of the Masters. The
teachings are truth embodied in words. I think that I can use no
stronger phrasing than this. Does this mean that all the
innumerable truths of boundless time and space have been given to
us within the narrow compass of the two volumes of THE SECRET
DOCTRINE, or of THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, or of THE VOICE OF THE
SILENCE, or of HPB's other magnificent teachings? What folly!
What insane egoism to imagine, for anyone to imagine, whether he
call himself a Theosophist or otherwise, that his opinions and
interpretations and deductions, and as he thinks his extractions
of truth from the covers of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, for instance,
encompass the entire range of universal reality! I repeat, what
insane egoism!

Some Theosophists read and study HPB's works and because of their
earnest study of many years conclude that they have comprehended
pretty nearly all of her teaching. They soothe their conscience
perhaps in doing so with the mental opiate of the familiar
statement, "Of course there is a great deal more that could be
drawn from THE SECRET DOCTRINE if you take the time to look for
it." This is obviously true, but let this obvious truth work much
more strongly to prevent the declarations of personal superiority
that such long years of earnest study, alas, sometimes produce.

Unquestionably, HPB's magnificent SECRET DOCTRINE contains keys
to deep mysteries of the Universe and of man's own being, which
no Theosophical student, at least none known to the speaker, has
ever yet uncovered. But it is a pity that recognition of this
fact does not make some of our old-time Theosophists more
charitable in their judgments of others who may have found in THE
SECRET DOCTRINE, or discovered therein, verities that these
critics themselves have not yet dug out. Such Theosophical
egoists need chastening; they need the softening, refining, and
purifying influence of the Buddhic principle within us -- a
principle that gives us not only Buddha-like pity and compassion,
but also is the source of a powerful intellect and an
understanding heart.

Mind you, I am intolerant of intolerance; I am a hater of hate; I
am a lover of love. I venture to say that within the teachings
of H.P. Blavatsky as they were given to us -- and I will take
her book THE SECRET DOCTRINE only because that wonderful work
contains the main principles of the most recent delivery to us of
the Wisdom-teaching of the gods -- I venture to say that her
book, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, contains the elements of boundless
kosmic truth. Even so, to anyone who says that nothing further
can reach the hungering hearts of men from the same Masters
unless they understand from their own initiative, from their own
inner faculties and powers, the hints of boundless verities that
THE SECRET DOCTRINE contains -- to anyone who speaks like that, I
say, "Brother, you greatly err. Who are you that you presume to
criticize the actions and the policy -- age-old, archaic, and
existing from immemorial time -- of the Masters of Wisdom and
Compassion and beautiful Peace?" Indeed, they send forth their
Envoys and Messengers whenever they please, and who shall say to
them, "Nay!"

Because HPB stated in a certain well-known passage of one of her
writings that at the end of every century a new effort is made by
a special Messenger, is this undoubted fact exclusive of all
possible intermediate imparting of truth? What an ambitious and
theosophically foolish deduction! Is the delivery of truth so
mechanically arranged that it will pour forth in certain eras, or
parts of eras only, and in such eras, or parts of eras, flow
relatively unrestricted; and in other eras the mechanism lie
silent and inactive? What curious illogic, and how arbitrary and
unnatural is this idea!

I tell you that truth may be had at any time, by any son of man
who will raise himself inwardly to take it, for the taking of
truth is a taking by strength -- strength of intellect, strength
of spiritual faculty, by intuition, by inner spiritual and
intellectual power. Nothing can shut me out from the Universe
that is not only my Home, but in essence is I Myself and You
Yourselves.

It is childish and shows an utter misunderstanding of the
Theosophical doctrines dogmatically to asseverate that Theosophy
has already been given and cannot be given anew now, and that the
message of one era is exclusive of another message from the same
divine source coming before the next special era of outpouring.
It is childish to say that the message given in any one era
contains all that the one era can comprehend; this is a lie. The
way by which to introduce dogmatism, sectarian hatred, and all
the other evil things that follow in the train of these twain
into our beloved Theosophical Movement and its various
Theosophical Societies is to set up barriers, frontiers of any
kind, and to say: Within these certain things happen, or don't,
as the case may be.

Who are the wiseacres who think that he or she knows so much as
willfully to misinterpret HPB's teaching and to violate every
instinct and intuition of the human heart? Who has the right to
dictate what is done in any era? Let us keep our minds fluid, our
hearts unlocked, and our brains expanding. Let us be ever ready
at all times and in all places to be receptive of a greater truth
than that which now we have, or in the future shall have.

I hate sectarianism with all the energies of my soul, and I am
its sworn foe. How do we stop popery intruding its evil
influence into our ranks -- and I now speak only of the
Theosophical Movement -- is to keep our minds open, to know that
we can have truth at any time when we become worthy of it, to
think for ourselves, and to stand, each one of us, on his own
spiritual and intellectual basis of thought and of appeal to the
divinity within, ever-living, deathless, stainless, and always
ready to communicate its divine flame of wisdom and love to
hearts and minds that are opened to receive in the proper spirit.

On the other hand, don't I know that evil things have crept into
the Theosophical Movement? Oh Brothers, I know it very well; but
they have crept in just because Theosophists in so many cases
have been unfaithful to their trust. As a Movement, we have not
universally followed the teachings of our Masters, not even as
they have been given to us through HPB. Too many Theosophists
have become exclusive, have become restrictive, and to a certain
degree have become sectarian in spirit; and emphatically I do not
mean particularly our own beloved Society of Point Loma, whatever
its other faults may be, because in these respects, it is the
least blameworthy. I am speaking of the Theosophical Movement as
a whole, including every variety and brand of Theosophists,
excluding not one, yea, not even us.

It is high time that we Theosophists had the courage to tell the
truth to each other. I am ready to receive any truth. Tell me
something that will improve me, and I will receive it gladly and
bless the giver for the communicating of a new light. The
Theosophist is not only a truth-seeker, but also he is a
truth-speaker, and no man who allows his mind to be befouled with
falsehood and untruths can or will be a giver of truth.

Do you know what the essential meaning of all HPB's teaching is
-- that teaching that tells us of the nature, structure, origin,
destiny, operations, and laws of the spaces of Space, of the
frontierless fields of boundless infinitude? It is that the
Universe and we, as individuals, are one. At any time, in any
place -- and we can make our own conditions -- we can enter into
the Great Peace, into the great Silences, into the great realms
of spiritual Light, and take what we will. Our taking will be
strictly governed -- limited or expanded -- by our own inner
powers of observation, of grasp, comprehension, and reception.
This is the spirit or essence of the teaching of HPB, as indeed
it is of all the great Sages and Seers of the world.

Having said this much, let me turn to the other side of the
matter. Does what I have said mean that the Theosophical
Movement is a headless, anomalous body wandering without guidance
in the Wilderness? Could there be guiding Intelligences back of
it? Further, is there no bridle or rein that we can rightly put
upon the vagaries and fantasies of ambitious protagonists of
theories and policies and put upon mere seekers for place and
power? To be sure there is. It is what I have already told you.
Your own conscience, your own intuition, will tell you if such or
such other wanders from the truth.

This view does not include any uncharitable condemnation of
others. It means only that those who strive to be genuine
Theosophists will refuse to accept and to follow what the vision
of our conscience and of our intellect shows us to be erroneous
or evil. If you uncharitably condemn, you are falling into
error. Condemnation of evil is a duty, but we must condemn the
thing, yet forgive the doer.

In addition to all this, keep ever in mind that there are
Teachers, those who have actually gone behind the veils of the
outward seeming. They have taken wisdom and knowledge at first
hand, as I have just said, from the great Heart of Mother-Nature,
as each one of us should try to do if we are true followers of
our Masters and of HPB. These Guides of mankind are truly
spiritual Leaders and Teachers, and they are beings whom we
should strive to copy, emulate, be students of, and to do as they
do. They exist today; and who dares say, who will tell me to my
face, that there is no one in the world today who can teach me a
spiritual or intellectual truth until 1975? What madness! What a
stifler of hope this is, and what a bar to progress, Theosophical
or otherwise! What lack of understanding of the doctrines of our
Masters!

Pause a moment in thought. Reflect. The gods live and are with
us all the time. Each one of you is an incarnate god, and each
one of you at any minute, night or day, can, if you know how,
reach upward and inward and become at one with the divine Source
of wisdom, love, knowledge, and peace that is forever the essence
of your being. Knowing this, none ever thereafter can say to
you, "Nay!" Verily there are others beyond us, far greater than
we are. They are at work among men all the time, in every part
of the world. No minute, hour, day, month, or year finds them
inactive, for they are perpetually laboring amongst us. If you
have not come into communion with them, then by this statement,
you place yourself where you belong. If you proclaim it
publicly, genuine Theosophists know just where you belong.

It is the rule I am speaking of rather than the instances, and I
have never feared the erratic and misguided claimants of special
'communications' from the Masters. Such men always advertise
themselves by their mere statements as being foolishly ambitious
or ambitiously foolish. The genuine esoteric student who is in
touch with the Great Ones never makes public announcement of this
fact unless ordered to do so for impersonal purposes, and in the
latter case, we judge them by their lives and by the message that
they bring.

It is brotherhood we want, the brotherhood that is courageous
enough to tell a brother a truth and courageously to receive the
telling of a truth, and to take it and to profit by it. This is
the spirit of genuine brotherhood, the real thing. It is not
prating pretty phrases all day long about Theosophical
brotherhood and what the Masters do and don't, and what they have
said and have not said, and what HPB said and didn't say, which
proclaims the lover of brotherhood and his fellowmen, in other
words the genuine Theosophist. The genuine Theosophist is he who
does Theosophy: who is charitable, kindly, courageous in
declaration of truth, impersonal in statement and in act, and
willing to understand a brother's viewpoint. The true
Theosophist cultivates modesty, kindliness, firmness, truth
speaking, and welcomes sorrow and pain with manly fortitude when
it comes, because he knows that it will give him a chastened
heart.

Theosophy is very real. It is the doctrine of the realities in
the Universe. We are hypocrites if we talk about it and do not
live it. As HPB said, "Theosophist is who Theosophy does," not
one who talks about it only.

So what is your check against the unlimited and ungoverned
introduction into our beloved Theosophical Movement of corrupting
or disintegrating influences, of hunters for position and place,
power, and kudos? It is the fact that Teachers exist and can be
reached by those who prove themselves worthy, and that each one
of you can gain all that such a Teacher has or will ever have by
going within and above yourself, looking within and following the
teaching. Then your hearts will be at peace with your fellowman.
You will then have courage to tell him the truth if needs be,
because your own mind will see, and your brain will clear of the
mists and fogs of deceptive thought.

I do not fear the influence of mere 'gurus' in the Theosophical
Society. What does it matter to me if a man comes into the
Society and tries to be a guru, be a teacher, and gain a
following? What should I fear? Are not the Masters with us? Is
not my own heart pure? At least do I not strive to make it and
keep it pure? With pure heart, open mind, eager intellect, and at
least to some degree of unveiled spiritual perception, why need I
fear any advancing shadows of evil? I can face them and disperse
them; and I have found that they feebly resist and finally vanish
like wisps of mist on a hillside before the morning sun.

There is only one thing we Theosophists need really fear, my
Brothers, that which springs up in our own lower nature --
uncharitableness, unkindliness, impurity of thought and mind,
unbrotherliness, and lack of harmony and peace. I tell you with
deep earnestness of feeling, impelled by something within me that
recently has told me to declare the truth to the Theosophical
world, as I see it, and to fear no consequences that may follow
-- I tell you, I say, that 'new' teachings are now in the giving,
and that they can be had by anyone who is interested, who is a
genuine Theosophist, who loves his fellowmen, who is willing to
forgive and to forget, and who is willing to follow the Path.

Human minds are the stiffest, hardest, toughest, most intractable
things I have ever had to deal with; and human hearts, hard as
they can be, are soft by comparison.

The Theosophical Movement has reached such a pass today that many
Theosophists are afraid even of the thought of receiving a new
truth. They quiver and shake in their seats and move with
anxiety and trembling fear at the terrible idea! I tell you again
that the pure in heart see truth, and those whose hearts are pure
fear not. There is for them no counsel of fear.

If you like not the new truth, then exercise your free will and
reject it! You may err; you may make a grave mistake; but
nevertheless, in so rejecting and in following your conscience,
you exercise your prerogatives of free will and choice. Even if
you make a mistake and reject a truth, the exercise of your will,
if sincere and high-minded, has been good for you, and you learn
thereby. You will discover some day that what you then cast
aside was possibly actually one of the stones going to the
building of the Temple. You will learn by your lesson, and you
will profit by it. Then you will become a helper, at least in
some degree, instead of an opponent.

I have tried tonight to talk to you very simply, to state in
simple and direct language as best I could a few thoughts that
occurred to me concerning our beloved HPB's teachings when our
Chairman, Brother Barker, read the extracts from one of her
writings that you have heard.

------------------------------------------------------------------
WINTER SOLSTICE 1955, Part III

By Boris de Zirkoff

[This talk comes from the first part of the tape recording
entitled "Winter Solstice 2/2" made of a private class on
FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY held on January 4, 1956.]

Consider teachings of the Ancient Wisdom about today, two weeks
removed from the Winter Solstice. From ancient times under
different names, this date has been sacred among students of
mysticism and occult lore.

Initiatory rites take place around the time of the Winter
Solstice. The aspirant consciously peregrinates the inner
worlds, becoming a full-fledged adept through the trials
undergone. The neophyte leaves his entranced body in the care of
his teachers. At the time of certain planetary conjunctions, he
consciously penetrates the inner worlds of the solar system. He
passes through inner spheres on his way to the Sun, including the
Moon. He does so in his fullness as a man, the whole of the man
that he really is.

On January 4, two weeks after the 21st, he returns from that
journey. Christian symbolism preserves this date under the name
of Epiphany, although it celebrates it on January 6, since rulers
have changed the calendar many times without understanding the
esoteric keys.

"Epiphany" comes from the Greek Mystery Schools. It derives from
Greek "epi" (upon) and "phino" (to shine forth), meaning the
shining forth or manifestation of a divine being. That was
exactly what happened to the neophyte when he returned from his
journey in the inner worlds and takes possession of his entranced
body to awaken in it as a full-fledged Adept. His Inner God
shines forth because of his successful initiation. His inner
divinity suffuses his human part with spiritual light. He has
undergone trials, triumphed, and come back in full union with his
inner divine self.

His physical body shines, giving rise in ancient days to the
image of the aureole of light surrounding the head. Even the
present-day church represents holy men that way. It symbolizes
the inner spiritual light achieved by the neophyte, brought back
upon his return. His journey is interplanetary, not only in the
physical sense but also in the sense of penetrating inner worlds
that are the most important part of our solar system.

For these initiatory rites to take place, certain astronomical
conjunctions are required. The greater rites take place at a
Winter Solstice when there is a New Moon, which is rare. Still
greater initiations take place when there is also a conjunction
of Venus and Mercury, or between Venus or Mercury and the Sun,
which is quite rare. Obviously, as the Moon is new at the Winter
Solstice, it will be full on January 4. It is not full today, so
it was not new two weeks ago. It does not happen every year.

When these conjunctions do not take place, initiations go on just
the same, but lesser men are initiated, less in spiritual
grandeur. Initiations nevertheless happen at the four sacred
seasons of the year. The more important initiations wait for the
planetary conjunctions, which are like doors opening into the
inner worlds. These doors have a magnetic pull that enable the
neophyte, with far greater knowledge than we have acquired yet,
to leave the earthly globe on which we live, ascend along
magnetic lines through the planets to the threshold of the Sun,
and then return.

Some come back in three days and others in two weeks. The
two-week period ends on January 4. That is why, of the two dates
-- the Winter Solstice and January 4, which is two weeks later --
the latter is more sacred to occult students. Two weeks after
the Winter Solstice, the neophyte has actually become a
full-fledged initiate, appearing among men in the fullness of his
spiritual glory and knowledge.

Early Christians still understood some of this. Later
generations forgot all about it, except as festivals, names, and
dates remained. For a while, they celebrated the physical birth
of Jesus Christ on January 4. Then they divided it into two
festivals. Then they changed the date. Confusion was
confounded, leaving but a distant echo of the esoteric knowledge
that early generations of Christians had received in their
communities from the Mystery Schools of Greece and Palestine, the
Essene community, possibly from Egypt, and even possibly from
India itself. We still have a distant echo of it, but the
churches have unfortunately lost the key to it all.

When you hear H.P. Blavatsky speak of January 4 as an occult
date and the real New Year for Esotericists, she does not mean it
because it we call it January 4. We could call it February,
March, June, or anything else. The point is that it is two weeks
past the Winter Solstice; that is the important key to the
subject.

Say the Moon is opposite the Sun on January 4, which means it is
a Full Moon. The neophyte has achieved inner illumination; by
will, he has self-consciously penetrated the inner worlds,
learning firsthand what he learned as mere words for many lives
prior to that date. He returns, taking possession of his body
and becoming as newly born. This is why people in ancient India
call initiates twice born (Dwija). Even today, we know initiates
by that name.

Mystically, Dwija means a new birth in consciousness; man is
twice born in the sense of having had his consciousness widened.
In the occult sense, it means more, indicating he has been born
of the spirit and identified his human consciousness with his
Divine Self or Inner God. From the occult standpoint, it means
he has entered his physical body a second time, having left it
while going on an inner journey. The first time he was born into
that body was as a little child. The second time was after he
had consciously died. He took a second birth into his body
consciously, with which naturally he never lost contact.

Initiation is conscious death. Only one of high spiritual
unfoldment can go through the stages of death at will. Only such
a one can go through the after-death condition in full
consciousness at will without losing contact with his entranced
body, which is obviously not disintegrating. Only a man of great
knowledge but not yet a Master of Life can undergo trials in the
inner worlds, triumph, and return the way he left, going through
the stages of incarnation consciously with complete knowledge of
what it is all about. That man is a Dwija, a twice born.
Possessing his body again, he is more than man; he is an Adept, a
Seer, and One Who Knows.

These initiations also take place at the other sacred seasons:
the Spring Equinox, the Summer Solstice, and the Autumnal
Equinox. The difference between them is considerable. We do not
know much about them. My understanding is subject to correction.
No one should interpret it as final in any way. I am only a
student among others.

The first true and grand initiation of an advanced neophyte takes
place at the Winter Solstice. He is newly born. He has become a
Master of Life, an Initiate, a Mahatma, and in the occult sense
of the word, a Seer. The mystical Christian would speak of him
as having been Christ-ed. He has become a living Christos, which
would be correct. The Buddhist would speak of him as illumined
by his Buddhic splendor. The ancient Greek would speak of him as
an Apollo. The Egyptian would speak of him as having become one
with Osiris, the Egyptian term for the Inner God of man.

The next greater initiation is at the Spring Equinox. It is not
merely three months later, the time from December to March.
There may be several incarnations in between. The initiation
will happen in a lifetime when the required planetary conditions
are right. The neophyte was a newly born child at the Winter
Solstice. At the Spring Equinox, he enters his adolescence,
mystically speaking. He will take his rightful place in the
Hierarchy of Light. He assumes greater duties.

Perhaps many lives later, the neophyte will partake of the
initiatory rites of the Summer Solstice, when he becomes a
full-fledged adult. Now semi-divine, he will take his rightful
place among the gods, the divinities of the solar system.

Someday in the future, the same individual will undergo the
initiatory rites of the Autumnal or Fall Equinox. As tradition
has it, he will completely leave behind these spheres at that
initiation. We will hear of him no more. He will have
completely graduated from our globe or possibly even planetary
chain.

Many students, ancient and modern, consider the Summer Solstice
as the greatest, because an initiate makes the choice then to
remain or go on. If remaining, he becomes a Bodhisattva, one who
has renounced the greatest bliss to stay with us and serve
humanity. He has become a brick in the Guardian Wall that
protects humanity from all sorts of danger. If he decides to go
on, he becomes greater, but his relation to humanity ceases as he
enters into a greater Hierarchy of Light.

In the natural feeling of people all over the world, greatest are
those who have chosen to stay. The human heart recognizes their
sacrifice. They remain to help us instead of going on to their
reward and greater opportunities of growth and illumination.

Finally, there is the greatest known initiation, the birth of a
Buddha. It happens at the Winter Solstice at extremely rare
intervals. The Buddhas appear but twice within the length of a
Root Race, which means within eight to nine million years. Their
initiatory rites require the conjunction of the Moon, Mercury,
Venus, and Sun. Astronomy cannot yet determine the frequency of
that conjunction because of the incompleteness of its
mathematics. It also requires occult mathematics of which we
know practically nothing. Theoretically speaking, any student of
astronomy recognizes that this conjunction takes place at
extremely infrequent times.

People attain spiritual illumination and appear among men as
sages or seers. People become Masters of Life. Such initiations
are not merely something that used to take place in the distant
past. We make a mistake when we commemorate them as nothing but
interesting sidelights of the distant past. The initiations are
not something historical in the sense of having taken place a few
times and now only to cherish in memory. Initiations take place
today. Initiates are born from time to time destined to become
Masters of Life. Esoteric life flows today. It has flowed and
will flow. There is no interruption in its current. What took
place in the distant past takes place today, and will take place
as long as humanity is on this planet.

Not a year passes when some neophytes, one here and two there, do
not undergo these trials and emerge triumphant. In every year,
new ones replenish the ranks of the Occult Brotherhood. The
ranks need replenishment because the Brotherhood of Adepts loses
members. Some depart for higher spheres that are unknown to us.
Their ranks deplete over time because of the constant forward
motion of all that lives. The guardians of the human race and
the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom have to replenish their
ranks. From where do they draw? They draw from below, by the
gradual accession into their ranks of neophytes who have
qualified to undertake the supreme trials that will make them
full-fledged Masters of Life, illumined beings, at one with their
own inner divinity.

From this, we know we are not deserted. We could not be. There
are always new men and women -- one's sex does not matter --
joining the Brotherhood of Light. These new ones take their
rightful place in the hierarchy. Henceforth, they consecrate
their work to helping humanity.

We deduce something else from this. These teachings are not just
theories. They are esoteric facts of nature. We study them
today in this class; others ponder them in groups in different
parts of the world. Say a student dwells on these facts as we do
today. Our deduction is that the student thereby contacts the
mystical events of which we have spoken.

We utter words, express teachings, mold our thought processes in
this fashion, and think towards these things. Doing so, we
establish a connecting magnetic link between our inner
consciousness and the event that is taking place. We connect to
the phenomena, thoughts, and everything else that takes place
around the chambers of initiation. These chambers are in remote
places of the earth, away from bustling, noisy civilization. Our
link may even include our outer brain-mind.

A further deduction is that if we but decide so in our inner
consciousness, we can take steps toward change, gaining inner
illumination at the time when greater human beings go through
initiation. Obviously, we can grow always. We can progress in
consciousness any time of the year. Even so, there are points in
the yearly cycle when doors sometimes open wide, sometimes open
partway, and sometimes almost entirely close.

Think of the internal functioning of our consciousness in terms
of a yearly cycle. Consider us at one with the nature in which
we live and of which we are but life-atoms. Then realize that we
have Solstices and Equinoxes inside our consciousness, and that
we can attune ourselves to them mentally, emotionally, and
psycho-magnetically as the years go by.

There is springtime in us. There is the depth of winter sleep,
the height of summer, and the fall. We have all the seasons in
the internal functioning of our consciousness. Apply it
practically in the present. Each of us can make a new beginning
inside of ourselves at this time of the year. We can do more
now, between the Solstice and springtime, than at any other time.
We do so if we tune into the spiritual events taking place each
year in some part of the globe. We can touch the trials,
tribulations, and triumph of disciples far advanced ahead of us.

No matter how far they may be from us, we link to them because we
have already understood some of the teachings. We sail in the
wake of their passage, much as would a small rowboat in the wake
of a great steamer that has passed by. At times, glory suffuses
us; it is the inner strength of these higher men. If we can
attune our consciousness in the silence of our being to the
reality of some of these facts of nature, we will sense the
inspiration contained in them. Then we derive from those mystic
forces of knowledge, from that immense storehouse of wisdom, new
courage to forge ahead. We derive new fearlessness to move
forward and conquer, mainly to conquer ourselves. We also
acquire an ever-enlarging vision of the undreamt of possibilities
hidden in every human heart.

We make resolutions at the New Year to live better lives. There
is not an abrupt jump between that and the initiations; there are
stages in between. Never make the mistake of thinking there are
such jumping off places. Everything in nature is gradual.
Everything passes slowly from one stage to the next. Everything
overlaps with everything else.

In one lifetime, an individual may begin to sense the presence of
these theosophic truths. He may have great conflict with other
parts of his nature, but achieve some degree of understanding.
Fortunate due to personal karma, he ends his life as a good
intellectual student. He has tried to live some of the truths
with little headway.

In his next life, due to what he has done with his own internal
material, he receives a more fortunate birth, which he had earned
karmically. His understanding unfolds, both intellectually and
mystically, as he begins the slow, arduous task of self-control.
It may take many lives to achieve that stage.

The day will come for further training, perhaps in some future
life. His inner self may lead him to a community of students or
to one who will act as his teacher. He may join a spiritual
group, one of the scores of movements through the ages activated
from within by the Brotherhood of Light.

This individual has made much progress. He finally realizes that
he has been training himself, and that others only help him to
train himself. Now he may recognize and accept a teacher,
becoming a probationary Chela. Such a disciple is on trial, as
if to say, "Well, here is your opportunity. Let us see what you
are going to do with it."

Another life may come wherein he becomes an accepted Chela of an
advanced occultist who will act as his initiator. He may still
be far from initiation, but a life will come in which all of his
past efforts will bear a rich harvest. Then he will be born a
self-conscious occultist. He will undertake specific training in
occult development, probably under an adept.

HPB intimated that from that time on, he might become a Master of
Life in seven incarnations. Most of us are probably dozens of
incarnations removed from that condition. No one knows how fast
any one of us may grow. We do not know it ourselves, and no
master can ever tell you, because nobody can know what individual
effort may suddenly be unfolded from the Inner God within. The
Inner God of you and me is higher than any Adept is. It is a
divinity, and it is free.

Chances are that after a number of incarnations as a student, and
according to HPB and Judge at least seven incarnations as an
accepted neophyte, our individual will then come to the point
when he is ready to undergo his first initiation at the Winter
Solstice. He will probably fail, lose the opportunity of a
lifetime, pick himself up, and start climbing again.

Advanced souls use almost any channel to help humanity. Some use
music. Behind the theology and terrible things associated with
Christianity was a tremendous upwards spiritual pull. No
sensitive person can travel Europe taking a good look at the
Gothic cathedrals without realizing that pull, shown in the
architecture that built the spires. Perhaps a sensitive along
musical lines and a genuine psychic might hear these spires
musically. Someone else might say the same about painting.

Unless some men and women have a demand along spiritual lines,
the Great Ones will wait. Some think the Great Ones will thrust
themselves upon our attention; but unfortunately, it is not so.
They do not look for disciples. The saying goes, "When the
disciple is ready, the master will appear." Collectively, this
means that when a mystical portion of the human race has
developed a yearning for a greater installment of knowledge, it
makes a call. It knocks at the door of a temple, and there is an
answer. The Great Ones are waiting for that collective knock by
the consciousness of humanity. Then they send out a Messenger.
They always have agents in every country. In response to the
collective call of the better part of humanity, they send someone
especially qualified to answer it.

This better part of us is not necessarily the most civilized or
educated, but rather is those of greater spirituality. Sometimes
all our intellectual knowledge and civilization stands in the way
of spirituality. If the Great Ones merely responded to our
intellectual knowledge, considering the achievements of modern
science, the place would be full of adepts. Unfortunately, the
opposite is true.

Practice tuning into the forces that are strong today, January 4.
We are not proficient in the knowledge of consciousness. We are
unable to employ subtler means, manipulating forces by means of
our consciousness, even though we recognize their existence.
There are, though, methods that we can employ to tune into the
greater realities, but only in a general way.

There is a sense of universality within our mind, emotional
reactions, and workings of consciousness. It is a sense of
all-embracing universality. Our first method is to rise above
our prejudices, superstitions, emotional and mental molds,
predilections of all kinds, and little likes and dislikes. We
rise above the narrow forms that every one of us has, soaring
into the wide spaces of that universal nature. In our
consciousness, we embrace love and sympathy for all that lives,
irrespective of form, name, color, or other human limitations.

A second way to tune into these greater realities is to become as
impersonal as we can, to take all into our hearts. Every living
thing strives for the same light. Picture the advanced neophyte
about to undergo his initiatory rites and go to the sun. There
is no difference between him and the humble sunflower, not yet
human, turning to the sun or the humble lizard, crawling out on
the rock to warm in the sun. The mystic arrows of their lives
point in the same direction, sunward, away from the shadows; they
reach sunward physically, psychically, mentally, and emotionally.
To the extent that we also point our consciousness sunward, we
attune to the greater realities as well.

Lastly is to attempt to become quiet inwardly, stop fretting,
pause, and consider the realms of peace and silence. We reflect
on the reality that is within us, and strive to become serene. I
have known people who have been physically busy every minute of
the day, but were inwardly serene. You could meet them hard at
work peeling potatoes, but after a brief exchange of words, you
went away refreshed. They were serene inwardly, no matter how
busy their hands were.

This approach is not a matter of physical activity or inactivity.
This inner state of consciousness is contemplative because
enraptured. Having fallen in love with the All, it strives to
regain its grasp upon its divine birthright, which is that All.
One's body may do all sorts of things in his daily routine and
vocation, but the dial of his inner consciousness tunes sunward,
and the only way he can tune it is by becoming quiet.

This approach applies even in our ordinary affairs of life,
sometimes distressing, quite apart from a study of the mystical
teachings. If you have to deal with somebody who suddenly flares
up, you have to face him or her. He may direct his anger against
you or it may be about something else and you happen to be nearby
when he explodes. Try an inner attitude of calm. Say nothing.

If you know how, the immense depth of your calm will neutralize
the emotional outbursts of the other. None of us is skillful at
this, but you should try anyway. Let it go and say nothing.
Picture how much trouble we avoid in life by countering emotional
outbursts with an attitude of internal peace! Carry on with your
work, but also maintain an inner attitude that can absorb the
shock of anything and transmute it. Redirect the energy of your
silence like a healing power into the heart of the other. Try
it. It works.

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