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THEOSOPHY WORLD -------------------------------------- April, 2006

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

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CONTENTS

"The Bonfire in the Brian," by B.P. Wadia
"The Great Temptation," by G. de Purucker
"Christian Stagnation by an Ex-Christian," by C.M. Turnbull
"Speech," by R. Machell
"Reincarnation as a Historical Belief," by Leoline L. Wright
"The Guardian Angel," by G. de Purucker
"Theosophical Keynotes," by Katherine Tingley
"Three Ways to Answer the Big Questions," by Clare Goldsberry

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

> Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind
> don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.
>
> Dr. Seuss

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE BONFIRE IN THE BRAIN

By B.P. Wadia

[From LIVING THE LIFE, pages 93-98.]

> Those enjoyments that arise through the contact of the senses
> with external objects are wombs of pain, since they have a
> beginning and an end; O son of Kunti, the wise man delighteth not
> in these
>
> -- Bhagavad-Gita, V. 22

> Said the Lama to Kim, "When I was a young man, a very long time
> ago, I was plagued with these vapors, and some others, and I went
> to an abbot -- a very holy man and a seeker after truth, though
> then I knew it not. Sit up and listen, child of my soul! My tale
> was told. Said he to me, "Chela, know this. There are many lies
> in the world, and not a few liars, but there are no liars like
> our bodies, except it be the sensations of our bodies."
> Considering this, I was comforted.
>
> -- Rudyard Kipling

It was once said by a teacher to a pupil, "Extinguish the bonfire
in your brain or you will develop into a human fire-blight." Wise
words these. What is a bonfire and what is a fire blight?

A bonfire ordinarily is a large fire in the open air lighted at
festivities; time was when it was lighted for the burning of
bones. So the teacher must have meant the extinguishment of the
fire of sense-pleasures and of the dead bones of old and
crumbling thoughts and feelings. And if this is not done one
acts as a fire blight, a bacillus destroying twigs and leaves,
blossoms and fruits -- embodiments of beauty and of nourishment.

Sensations light bonfires in the brain now and again; sensations
form the second group of the five skandhas (vedana) that
constitute the lower man, but that affect the higher man or the
Soul. Sensations are very closely related to the senses and the
organs. HPB says that the senses are "the ten organs of man" and
that "in Occultism they are closely allied with various forces of
nature, and with our INNER organisms called cells in physiology."
(The Theosophical Glossary)

Sensations are agreeable or disagreable, pleasurable or painful.
They are caused by the contact of the senses with outer objects;
these stir the senses and affect the personal consciousness.
They are also caused by the desire-mind (kama-manas) -- the
emotional urges that stir the senses. Sometimes we have no
sensation; we are indifferent, and indifference is reckoned as
the fifth class of sensations.

Now, in living their lives, ordinary men and women are affected
by the numerous pairs of opposites rooted in impressions,
sensations, and emotions. As the senses and organs are living,
they have a life of their own. This life engrosses ordinary men
and women ignorant of the truths about the Soul or of the very
existence of the Soul. They identify themselves with the life of
the senses and strengthen the false "I" that comes into being in
the antenatal life and that continues to grow after the birth of
the body.

The inner life is of the Soul; the outer life is of the senses.
The former is the real man -- the individual; the latter is the
mask of the former -- the personality. The Inner Ego is the
Immortal Thinker, one with the Supreme Spirit -- he calls himself
"I am I." The outer man is mortal, identifies himself with the
bodily self, and says, "I am Mr. So-and-So" or "I am Mrs.
So-and-So." The beginning, the middle, and the end of the Higher
Life consists, first in overcoming the notion of "I am
So-and-So," secondly in the recognition of and identification
with the real "I," the Thinker, who controls sense-life, and
thirdly in reflecting upon the profound nature and powers of that
Thinker and Soul. "Knowest thou of Self the powers, O thou
perceiver of external shadows?"

We chase the external shadows of wealth and fame, of power over
others, demanding love from others; the shadows of ambition, of
comfort for the body, and of home-life; we eagerly and zestfully
pursue the desire for sensation; we endeavor to fulfill emotional
urges; we long for praise from others. All such involvement in
worldly tendencies wins for us the title "perceiver of external
shadows." It keeps us oblivious of the very existence of the
Soul; and perchance if under good Karma a man or a woman hears
about the Great Self and the Grand Hereafter, he does not cleave
to the Self or reflect upon the Hereafter.

Let us quote the whole passage from THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE that
advises the student-aspirant to master the mental changes in his
Self and

> [Slay] the army of the thought sensations that, subtle and
> insidious, creep unasked within the Soul's bright shrine.
>
> If thou would'st not be slain by them, then must thou harmless
> make thy own creations, the children of thy thoughts, unseen,
> impalpable, that swarm round humankind, the progeny and heirs to
> man and his terrestrial spoils. Thou hast to study the voidness
> of the seeming full, the fullness of the seeming void. O
> fearless Aspirant, look deep within the well of thine own heart,
> and answer. Knowest thou of Self the powers, O thou perceiver of
> external shadows?
>
> If thou dost not -- then art thou lost.

Originating from the ocean of Jiva, Living Wisdom, these precepts
vitalize, like Prana, those "Few" to whom THE BOOK OF THE GOLDEN
PRECEPTS is dedicated. They possess the durability, constancy,
utility, and shining power of the royal metal -- gold. They form
most suitable frames for the priceless wisdom, the diamonds of
truth, the rubies of love, and the sapphires of beauty -- the
jewels for the Higher Life.

Let us study the precepts enshrined in the passage quoted above.

We have a shrine in the Astral Body, the shrine of our
sensations, built on the pattern of the Akashic Temple of the
Inner King, the Lord and Master, whose ambassador we are.
Instead of taking our residence in the embassy provided by our
royal master, we forget "the kindred points of Heaven and Home"
and hire a house where the sensations of pleasure and the dead
and dying skeletons of old beliefs and customs tempt us, and we
fall prey to them. Thus, thoughts alien to the Soul creep in
insidiously, and a whole army of lower sensations is created.

The great Shankara has taught:

> Things of sense are more penetrating in the hurt they cause than
> the venom of the black serpent. The poison slays only him into
> whom it enters, but things of sense destroy through mere
> beholding.

Our thoughts are often cruel and hateful, retaliatory and
violent, and though invisible to the naked eyes, they swarm round
our fellow men, including those we love and respect. When we are
cruel to someone we dislike, not only is he affected by our wrong
emotion, but also all who come within the sphere of our
influence, and among them are our friends and kin and innocent
children, our own and our neighbors'. Our hate poisons us
primarily and not only those we dislike, and more -- vitiates the
very air we and they inhale. Retaliation and vengeance, like a
boomerang, return to their originator. Violence may strike fear
in another who is weak or ignorant and even innocent, but that
vice causes psychic apoplexy in him who resorts to violence.

What is the remedy? Says, once again, the great Shankara:

> When the sick man rightly uses medicine, he is restored to
> health, but not through the right actions of another.

What medicine shall we use? Our golden precept says to learn what
is implicit in a profound metaphysical truth -- the interrelation
between the vacuum and the plenum. What seems empty is full:
standing on firm earth and gazing heavenwards at the sidereal
orbs, man fancies that he is able to see the shining bodies
because there is no obstruction between earth and heaven; he
overlooks the fact that the ocean of air is there and rays of
light are there; that the seeming void is full. On the other
hand, a solid rock has nothing about it to suggest voidness.
Even so, the rock as a solid body is Maya, says the ancient Sage,
and the modern physicist recognizes that illusionary character of
the rock in his own way: the rock is composed of atoms,
electrons, protons, etc.; that rock is a seething body of
motions, and the rock insofar as rock has a vacuous aspect.

The MAJJHIMA NIKAYA has this to say on the subject of the plenum
and the vacuum:

> "By abiding in what (concept) are you now abiding in its
> fullness, Sariputta?"
>
> "By abiding in (the concept of) emptiness am I now abiding in its
> fullness, Lord."
>
> "This is the abiding of 'great men,' Sariputta, that is to say
> (the concept of) emptiness."

In one way or another, by continuous study and meditation, the
student-aspirant should acquire that habit of mind that discerns
"the voidness of the seeming full, the fullness of the seeming
void." But neither study nor meditation will suffice. It is
application leading to experience and realization that must be
valued and used. Therefore, we have to "look deep within the
well of [our] own heart," and by self-examination, through purity
and the exercise of virtue, we come to examine the Self, Its
powers, Its character, and Its nature. If it is true that we
proceed from the Teachings to the Teachers, it is equally true
that in abandoning as worthless the "external shadows" we come to
know "of Self the powers."

The Self IS; it cannot be said of It that It was, is, or will be.
All else come into existence, live, and die to become different.

It is in the Well of the Heart that the Waters of Wisdom are to
be found; drinking them, we become wise.

It is in the Well of the Heart that the Waters of Immortality are
to be found; drinking them, we become immortal.

It is in the Well of the Heart that the Waters of Unity are to be
found; drinking them, we shall become brothers to all men,
brothers to all women, brothers to all children.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE GREAT TEMPTATION

By G. de Purucker

[From "Teachings of the Spring Equinox," IN THE TEMPLE, pages
53-62.]

Let us now turn to the matter of the Spring Equinoctial
Initiatory Cycle. Concerning this, there is a doctrine that is
both wonderful and strange, and like all the other teaching in
our Holy Order, it is based on the operations of Mother Nature
herself. It should be remembered that this phrase "Mother
Nature," when used with its esoteric significance, includes not
only the physical shell of the universe surrounding us, of which
we know the existence through our imperfect senses of report, but
also more particularly includes the vast and indeed frontierless
realms of the spaces of Space.

This strange and wonderful doctrine sets forth that the great
Initiatory Adventure upon which the lofty Initiant enters at the
time of the Spring Equinox, is a copy, a duplication, a
repetitive event, in our own small human sphere, of what actually
occurs at cosmic time-intervals among the gods. The initiations
that take place even today with more or less uninterrupted
regularity at the time of the Spring Equinox include not only the
passing through trials and an ultimate resurrection from the
personal man of the god within, and an ascension into the
spiritual realms, at least for a time, of the Initiant’s
percipient consciousness, but also includes also what it has been
customary to call in the Occidental literature dealing with this
theme the descent of the neophyte-Initiant, however grand his
spiritual stature may be, into the Underworld, into those very
real but to us utterly invisible realms of space that have their
being in cosmic reaches still more material than our gross sphere
of physical mayavic-substance.

It would be wrong to consider this Underworld as belonging
exclusively to what has been called in Theosophical literature
the Eighth Sphere, otherwise the planet of Death, although indeed
the Eighth Sphere must be visited by the percipient consciousness
peregrinating at the time.

We have thus, then, a picture of the Initiation of the Spring
Equinox as a phase of the general Initiatory Cycle, this phase
consisting of severe and searching trials of spiritual and
intellectual and psychical as well as astral tests on the one
hand, and on the other hand as likewise comprising a descent into
spheres never traversed in the ordinary course of their
development by the peregrinating Monads of average human beings,
once that these Monads have begun to manifest in the human stage.

This strange and mysterious doctrine as thus briefly outlined,
sets forth that on this our earth, on this holy and solemn
occasion, there occurs a repetition or a duplication of what at
certain intervals takes place among the divinities. Just as at
certain times in the progress of cosmic destiny a certain
divinity leaves it own luminous realms in order to "descend," or
more accurately to transfer a portion of its own divine essence,
into the world of men for the purpose of aiding and helping
erring mankind, so exactly does the neophyte-Initiant descend or
transfer his percipient consciousness into the Underworld in
order to learn and also to help the denizens of those gloomy
spheres. What the gods from their lofty heights do in this
connection to help us these great men in spheres below our own do
likewise.

One may well ask oneself, as one ponders deeply over this strange
and profound teaching, and begins to sense its extraordinary and
puzzling paradoxes, why it is that a divinity at any time should
"descend," or project a portion of its essence, into our sphere,
that it had long eons ago left behind in its evolutionary
progress. The explanation lies in other teachings concerning the
nature of our cosmic Solar System, as viewed from the spiritual
standpoint. We learn that even the gods themselves are under the
sway of almighty Destiny. Even they in their own lofty spheres,
they make and unmake karma, and begin and end after bringing to
their completion works of far-reaching influence on the cosmic
Spaces. A certain portion of these divine activities must of
necessity reach to and influence most deeply the spheres of men.

When the student of esotericism understands the profound
philosophical import of the teaching concerning the real meaning
of the triad of Hindu deities called Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva,
he will come to understand why these amazing events just spoken
of, take place. As Brahma is the Evolver and the Producer, and
as Vishnu is the Sustainer and Upholder, so is Shiva, who as you
all know is the particular patron of esotericists, is the
Regenerator because of being the Resolver.

To look upon this triad of divinities in the Solar System in the
manner in which the Hindu exoteric literary works set them forth,
is entirely to lose the real meaning and the reach of the
esoteric teaching concerning them. The three are three
individuals indeed, and yet they are one, very much as evolution
and involution are twain, and yet are essentially one, because
nothing can evolve what is within itself before that within has
been involved into it. Thus, indeed, there can be no Brahma or
Evolver or Producer unless the Regenerator or Resolver in a past
cosmic period had already involved the seeds of the Universe
later to be evolved or produced. Nor could there be any
Manvantara or sustained course of cosmic life and evolution
unless due to the incessant and continuous influence of the
Sustainer, Upholder, and Preserver.

Now, then, pray listen carefully to the following. These three
spiritual-divine energies in the Solar System, which are
distinctly three and yet one in essence, verily are the higher
triad of the Septenary belonging to the ten principles of our
solar cosmos, and therefore exist and work in their sublimity in
what is to us utter silence and darkness, because of being the
higher three of the Solar System’s septenary of worlds of
life-energy-consciousness.

From time to time, governed strictly by the karma of the Solar
System, there arises an impulse in the bosom of Maha-Vishnu to
manifest a portion of itself, this portion being a divinity; and
this impulse or super-spiritual urge cannot ever be denied or set
aside. This impulse furthermore has a technical name in our
esoteric teaching. It is called Bija, meaning "Seed," or, more
accurately perhaps, "Avatara-Bija" -- the cosmic seed of the
Avataras.

The Avataras appear on earth at intervals when the spiritual
energies are running low amongst us, and the forces of matter are
surging in turbulent waves ever higher. It is as if there were a
spiritual psycho-magnetic strain in the structure of the Solar
System, resulting in a spiritual-electric discharge of a
spiritual energy, something like lightning on earth, this
discharge being popularly called the "descent" of the Avatara,
thus preserving the stability and the equilibrium of things.
Just so, then, in our world, is it in the cases of these great
men, these sublime neophyte-Initiants, who during the course of
their Initiation "descend" into the Underworld for the sake of
bringing a spiritual Light to the beings enchained in the
darkness of those gloomy spheres -- spheres that to us seem
realms of gloom only because we are higher than they.

So closely is all Nature knitted together, so intimately and
intricately are the strands of the Web of Life woven, that all
Nature must be considered as one vast organism. When there is a
lack of some element-energy in any part of the cosmic body, there
is an impulse or urge from other parts possessing this lacking
element-energy in abundance, towards the place where such lack
exists. There is a consequent passage, peregrination, or
transference of the lacking element-energy to its destination in
order that stability and equilibrium of the cosmic structure may
be reestablished or maintained.

The initiation-periods, as you already know, Companions, do not
take place by hap or by hazard, nor are they governed by the mere
wish or will of human beings, however grand, however sublime, but
take place strictly according to the working of the spiritual
cosmic magnetisms of the Universe. In consequence, the grand
neophyte-Initiants enter upon their trials and make their
journeys into the Underworld because for the time being they are
become utterly obedient Servants of the Law of the Universe, and
therefore can hardly do otherwise.

From what has been said, therefore, it becomes immediately
obvious how grandly does Nature’s heart beat throughout with
compassionate pulse, for what men in their feebleness of speech
describe by such phrases as "the reestablishing of disturbed
equilibrium," or "the maintenance of cosmic stability," is but a
poor way of expressing the fact of the automatic operation of the
Cosmic Life in restoring the cosmic harmonies, in the
readjustment of the cosmic energies, all under the governance and
control of the ineffably grand Heart of Life-Consciousness that
beats unceasingly and without pause or surcease to the very end
of the Solar Manvantara.

Hence, it is that the Spring Equinox in particular and the
Avataras are associated in both human thought and in cosmic
actuality. Bear in mind, Companions, that three are the general
cases or general instances in which there occur descents or
Avataric manifestations of spiritual energies into human
existence as extraordinarily powerful motors. One is that of the
Avataras produced by the influence of the Bija in Maha-Vishnu;
the second is the case of the Buddhas; and the third is that
occurring at rare intervals among human beings who are neither
Avataras nor Buddhas. Mark well that the Avatara is the descent
of the influence, or of a portion if the word be preferred, of a
divinity through a loaned intermediate Bodhisattvic psychological
apparatus in order to manifest in human life in a pure human
body. The Buddhas incarnate their own spiritual-divine
influences, in each case emanating from the Buddha’s own inner
god, and do this through the entire term of their work in the
world of men; and they manifest these spiritual powers in
purposes and works of indescribably lofty benevolence and
far-reaching beneficence.

The cases of the rare humans who, being neither Avataras nor
Buddhas, from time to time embody or become the dwelling-places
of spiritual-divine rays, are those unusual men or women who,
because of a line of karma that is singularly free from crippling
and embarrassing shackles of personality, are able to transmit a
ray from the higher triads of themselves. This ray penetrates
into and sets on fire with its holy flame the brain-mind and
emotional apparatus of such men and women. The cases of these
unusual human beings can be demonstrated by men and women whose
entire existence shows a spiritual and intellectual power far
exceeding that of average men, and yet they are only human
beings. They may, for instance, be great and noble-minded
artists, great and noble-minded philosophers, or humanitarians or
statesmen; but they are men and men only. They are neither
Avataras on the one hand, nor Buddhas on the other hand, and
their existence is so well known in the various world-religions,
that in these religions they have been called by various names,
such as "saints," as in the Christian religion, or "holy men," or
by other similar titles.

Although these three classes, just described, manifesting
spiritual-divine rays, so different as among themselves, are the
three instances in which the divine-spiritual manifests in the
human sphere, it must be particularly noticed that the
originating impulse or urge in all these three classes takes its
rise in the mysterious Bija existing and working from dawn to
twilight of a cosmic Manvantara in the bosom of Maha-Vishnu.

As a last thought in this connection, mark well that there are
Avataras also of Maha-Shiva, just as well as there are Avataras
of Vishnu, the Sustainer of the solar Universe; and it is these
Avataras of Maha-Shiva, the solar Regenerator, which produce
perhaps the most widespread and world-shaking effects in the
sphere of men.

The duty of some of the Avataras, their characteristic or
swabhava, is to preserve and sustain all that is spiritual,
noble, good, lofty, and holy; whereas the work of other Avataras
is to regenerate, to make over anew, to bring forth from the womb
of Destiny what is waiting to come to birth. Hence, it is that
the work of Shiva-influence has often and always stupidly been
called destruction. The profound philosophy of the process has
not been grasped by either Occidental or Oriental scholars. It
is obvious that there are times, brought about by the whirling
Wheel of Life, when evil in the course of destiny must be
overthrown, when structures and works that have outlasted their
times must be destroyed from the foundations up in order that a
newer building and a grander and loftier structure, both
spiritually and materially speaking, shall be raised.

Difficult indeed is the theme of thought upon which I have
embarked tonight, and I feel urged to utter a word of warning
that the Companions here assembled shall not leap to points of
conclusion on the supposition that they have grasped the full
import of the meaning of the strange and wonderful doctrine that
I have so briefly outlined. Remember that the entire solar
Universe is one vast organism, quivering and palpitating with
life throughout all its reaches, and that what men call spirit or
what men call matter are but two phases or two aspects or two
events of the onrushing or on-sweeping of the cosmic
life-consciousness-substance working out its incomprehensibly
sublime destiny.

Thus, it is that our entire Solar System can be viewed from two
aspects. One is as a cosmic body of spheres built of the fabric
of the cosmic consciousness. From the other aspect, it can be
looked upon as an amazingly and most intricately intertwined web
of spheres existing on many planes, but all under the dominance,
and existing within the limits, of our cosmic Divinity. Hence,
every atom quivers with life, and is an embodied
consciousness-center that we call a Monad. The only difference
between atom and god, between the hosts of darkness and the hosts
of light, is one of evolutionary unfoldment.

Finally, let us try tonight to understand somewhat of the meaning
of the experiences, so full of mystery and danger, that certain
ones, more evolved than we are but yet belonging to our own Holy
Order, are now undergoing.

------------------------------------------------------------------
CHRISTIAN STAGNATION BY AN EX-CHRISTIAN

By C.M. Turnbull

[From THE ARYAN PATH, September 1949, pages 411-14.]

I write this, not because my personal belief or unbelief is in
itself of any value, but because it may help to show others that
some of us in the West are becoming increasingly conscious of the
terrible wrongness of our way of life.

Only we who were born and live our lives here can fully realize
the tragedy that faces the West today. It is not a question of
war or peace, of life and death; the very existence of the soul
is at stake. We have so long played the game of robbing Peter to
pay Paul that our life has become one hideous lie. We distort
Christ's teaching to suit our political and social habits --
there is no truth in us. We can neither openly deny Christ, nor
admit the wrongness of our ways -- yet our way of life and that
of Christ are completely incompatible. We refuse to acknowledge
the value of the teachings of other great spiritual leaders -- we
wallow, with incredible self-satisfaction, in the grime of our
own darkness.

The following words were written hastily, without thought for
composition or style, and I give them as they came. They are the
musings of an inevitably confused, but groping mind, the mind of
one born in darkness but beginning to see and believe.

I believe in neither God Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth, nor
in the "onlyness" of his son, Jesus Christ, as the creed of my
Church would have me believe. Christ never taught me to say
this, and I most certainly do not believe in the almighty Church
that insists on my reciting these words every Sunday.

Religion, spiritual life, what you will, is virtually
non-existent in the West today. It has been displaced by a
morass of dogma pumped out by a dictatorial Church. Now it is
the fashion for the State to control our every action. I cannot
build a shelter for my chickens out of my own bricks, with my own
hands, and on my own land, without applying to my own Government
for a license. As the State controls my actions, so does the
Church try to control my thoughts.

Some branches and sects of the Christian faith exercise more
control than others do. I was brought up amongst people who
considered themselves enlightened, broad-minded, fair, and just,
yet from the earliest time that I can remember -- even as not
much more than a babe in arms -- I have had this insidious
propaganda of a dogmatic Church forcibly, yet cunningly, injected
into my blood.

As soon as I could walk, I walked, or rather was walked to
Church, every Sunday. I enjoyed the walk, but how I hated
sitting on a hard bench listening to words I could not
understand. But it came as a matter of course -- every Sunday I
went to Church -- it was an accepted fact -- as much a part of my
life as eating and drinking. That it meant nothing to me was of
no importance.

By the time that I was old enough to understand things better, I
was well drilled and disciplined, and I accepted what I heard in
Church without query. I ate, I drank; breathed and slept; I went
to Church -- and now I believed -- just like that. Why not? No
arguments were put forward against what I heard -- none that came
to my ears anyway. What the priest said was true -- I presumed
that he had some form of communication with this God Almighty.
Of the fact that there were other beliefs and theories -- even
inside my own Church -- I was kept happily ignorant, so how
should I believe otherwise than in the infallibility of this
finely dressed priest, whose robes I had so long admired, and who
forgave me my sins so royally?

As I said, during the early stages, my head was filled with
meaningless mumbo-jumbo, but now that I was old enough to begin
to think, I was taken aside regularly, and some form and shape
was given to those meaningless words so firmly fixed in my mind.
Then, with a number of other boys of the same age -- about
thirteen or fourteen -- to Westminster Abbey, and there a
benevolent old Bishop laid his hands on my head and told me that
now I was a member of the holy Church, and could communicate with
the Divine and be saved.

It was at about this time that I really began to think. "Except
that thou . . . (do this and do that), thou shalt be eternally
damned." How could this be true? Hell would have to be many times
larger than Heaven. Then there were the mission hymns that we
sang on occasion, so that the "heathen lands afar" might see the
light and be saved. Were all these non-Christian people to be
damned too?

Such is our ignorance, even today, of other religions and beliefs
that many churchgoers truly believe that there is no "salvation,"
no "way" whatsoever, except through the Christian Church. You
just cannot be a good man or woman unless you are a Christian.
Alas, we have neglected Christ and followed our finely dressed
spiritual leaders. We have so long accepted their word as being
God's word that we are now blind to the truth.

In refusing to say the creed of the Church, I apparently cease to
be a Christian; in saying that Christ is no more divine (and no
less) than other great spiritual leaders, I am proclaimed a
heathen. It is an honor.

Freed from dogma, I can follow the truth and really believe. I
believe in good wherever it is to be found, be it in the
teachings of Christ, in the Gita, the Koran, or the Dhammapada.
Fundamentally, I believe it to be the same truth that underlies
all these.

The West is fettered by its beliefs, i.e., the teachings of
Christ, which are incompatible with its politics, so it excuses
them, and the Church aids and abets by presenting an
interpretation of these beliefs that does not clash too violently
with the particular political and social set-up in existence.

Thus, the Church condones and excuses mass murder, executions,
State control, and a whole host of other unsavory aspects of our
life that the State insists upon as necessary for the order of
things, but which Christ condemned. Leo Tolstoy has ably pointed
this out, and in India, that truly great soul, Gandhiji, did
likewise by casting off dogma and convention, following the truth
that was within him.

In the West, we are told that we are weak and sinful, that we
need constant guidance from without; thus is cast around our
necks the noose by which we are dragged through life -- the truth
choked out of us. Why not consider the good and the strength in
us? In even the weakest amongst us, there is goodness to be
developed. True that many do need guidance, but guidance should
take the form of pushing, not pulling; the ignorant should be
pushed from behind so that they can see where they are going,
they should be pushed until they discover the truth for
themselves, instead of having a carefully arranged version of the
truth forced down their throats. I have seen, in the wake of
this last war, many apparently degraded and despicable half-human
creatures who, given encouragement, have shown a finer spirit of
truth and of love than many a dignified churchgoer. It bites
right into the heart to see these miserable beings exhibit more
love, compassion, and gentleness than of which the mass of prim
and proper churchmen ever dream.

With the death of Gandhiji, many of us in the West were jolted to
our senses. We suddenly realized that here was a person (and
millions with him) who had refused to lie to himself any longer,
but had followed instead the truth, without wavering. If more of
us followed and obeyed our consciences rather than a set of
complicated laws and regulations, there would be more peace and
goodwill in the world. There is no need to be "antisocial" to do
this. There is no need for anything but a belief in the inner
goodness that underlies all humanity, and in the same inner voice
that will guide us all alike, given the chance. Gandhiji and his
followers gave the soul of mankind this chance, and clearly
showed what great things can be achieved by constant adherence to
the truth rather than to the law. If we all followed the Truth,
the rift between our religion and our social system would
disappear. If we all followed our conscience, there would be
remarkable conformity of action, and a good deal less lawlessness
than there is at present, because the law and the injunctions of
our conscience would be the same thing.

No one is perfect, we all have our faults and should recognize
them, but the sooner we stop telling ourselves what wretched,
frail sinners we are, and trusting our physical and spiritual
fate to the hands of dictators no less wretched and frail, the
better. A country like India is lucky in having more enlightened
leaders than we in the West have ever had. There is a greater
harmony between the precepts of the conscience (national and
individual) and those of the law; more importantly still, there
is opportunity for reconciling once and for all that which is
preached and that which is practiced. If India can do this, it
will be the greatest gift a nation has ever given the world.

Those of us in the West -- and we are growing in number -- who
believe that India can do this, are watching with a certain
anxiety the pangs of a nation in the process of
industrialization. The outcome in the West was the spiritual
stagnation of the people. We allowed ourselves to become
physically stereotyped, and finally surrendered our minds to the
monster of mass production that we might conform, the one with
the other and all with the State, both physically and mentally.
Now we are utterly barren.

There is something dreadfully wrong with the Western way of life.
It leads inevitably to the destruction of body and of mind.
Instead of professing faith in a way leading to chaos, we should
be able to act in accord with the light within. We should rather
say, with due humility, "I believe in myself." When we see the
truth in others, we should try to discover it for ourselves,
instead of slavishly imitating it. Perhaps the spirit of India,
ancient and modern, will show us how.

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SPEECH

By R. Machell

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, October 1915, pages 253-56.]

Speech is so natural to man that there is a certain difficulty in
realizing the fact that it is a power acquired by virtue of
self-mastery. It is a power that is capable of indefinite
perfection and extension, one that is yet hardly more than
foreshadowed in the evolution of the great mass of humanity, and
one that marks the stage at which that evolution has arrived.

Speech is not merely the utterance of words, but rather the
communication of thought, for a man whose language is only
intelligible to him can hardly be said to have attained to
speech. Yet how very limited is the range of such expression at
the command of the average man. Even within the bounds of his
own nation and in communication with others of his own class, the
ordinary man has difficulty in making himself understood with any
degree of certainty and precision.

Education and culture extend the range of this power, not only
increasing the command of language by the enlargement of the
vocabulary, but also developing skill and discretion in the
adaptation of language to thought and to the intelligence of
those addressed. The function of education is to aid man's
evolution, and culture is but the perfection of his powers of
expression.

It is often asserted that power entails responsibility, though
perhaps more generally is it believed that power relieves the
holder from all obligations that he may find it convenient to
repudiate. But no sophistry can separate power from
responsibility, for results follow causes as the furrow follows
the plow.

The power of speech is obvious, and responsibility for its use or
abuse cannot be avoided. There is a delusion of freedom from
responsibility in the exercise of power. It is due to ignorance
of the nature of man, of the continuity of life (by
reincarnation), of the inevitable sequence of cause and effect
(the law of Karma), and of the intimate relation of man to man
and to the rest of creation, (due to the spiritual nature of the
universe). Man is responsible for the way in which he uses the
powers he inherits from his ancestors as well as for the way he
employs such accomplishments as his own efforts may have added to
his hereditary equipment, but to whom is he responsible? And who
shall judge and ordain the penalties or rewards due?

To the last we answer, Nature is the judge and natural law the
administrator of justice; but by Nature is meant the Spirit of
the Universe, and by natural law the inherent nature of things
animate and inanimate, human and divine: for we regard the
essential Universe as divine and its nature as spiritual. Man,
as part of this universe, is of its nature and bound by its laws,
of which he is an expression. All men being thus of one origin
are responsible to each other and to the universal Spirit, which
is the Supreme Self: nor can a man separate himself from others,
nor can he renounce his responsibility to them in any other way
than as an act of self-deception.

The world we live in is but a small part of the universe we
inhabit. Our present sphere of action is but one field of
experience for our race, among many that will open to us as we
pass around the great "wheel of life" through countless births
and deaths, rising or falling in the passage of the ages, ever
evolving higher powers and attaining to a clearer knowledge of
our own divinity.

So to the first question we must answer man is responsible to the
Self of all, for his own self is no way different from the
universal, save in his ignorance of himself.

This ignorance is a mighty influence, the very atmosphere we
breathe. It is the veil of Isis, a magic power of illusion
making self-deception almost a destiny for earth life. It is not
altogether a destiny, for the soul of man floats in the middle
region between earthly life and spiritual reality, and so may act
as guide and teacher to the brain and nerves of the man-animal we
know as ordinary humanity. This is the guardian angel that
inspires him in his noblest deeds and in his hours of aspiration,
and this is the self he recognizes as his Master, whose decrees
for him are of a higher and more austere authority than that of
custom or of creed. The self-reliance taught by the great
Masters of spiritual philosophy is the antithesis of the
independence and self-worship of the mere materialist, who takes
the Great Delusion for the Truth, and shuts the doorways of his
mind against the entrance of the light his own soul seeks to shed
upon his path.

The self-respect that makes the true Theosophist is based on his
assurance that his inmost Self is no way separate from the source
of Law that rules the universe. To him, the Law is but the
revelation of his own unspoken Will, the spiritual energy of his
Soul to which his mind and body give the best obedience that
their state of evolution may make possible.

To the man who lives in the hypnotic state of ignorance that
wraps humanity in a mist of dreams and fantasies, self-reverence
means willing obedience to the delusion of the senses. To him,
desire is the divine impulse, whatever is its character, whether
for pleasure or power, for wealth, authority, or fame, or indeed
for skill and mastery in science or in art. His self is
personal, not universal; and so his interests are not identical
with those of other men. He is at war even in peace, for such is
the delusion of life at this stage of human evolution on this
globe.

Yet though we know the power of this great deluder, we do not
hesitate to repudiate its claim to our allegiance, because we
know how gloriously powerful is the Soul of man when recognized
as guide and teacher in the art of life.

Nor do we hesitate to say that man is responsible for the right
use of all his powers, because we know that every man born into
this world, though blind and ignorant, is yet in fact a soul
incarnate. We know that truth has power to wake an echo in the
hearts of men, whose minds may yet repudiate the doctrine of
their own divinity. We know that men, who most strenuously deny
the fact of brotherhood, will constantly by their acts give the
lie straight to their own theories of the divine right of
self-aggrandizement. And men, who use their power of speech
without regard to what their words may bring about by influencing
the thoughts and lives of other men, may yet be made to feel the
deep significance of all the warnings voiced by philosophy as to
the terrible power of speech and the responsibility of those who
use it.

Much of the evil caused by careless speech is due to ignorance of
the right use of words, as well as to indifference to the results
of the misunderstanding natural to people variously educated or
uneducated in the right use of language. For speech is an art,
it is not natural in the popular sense. It must be acquired by
constant study. The difficulty of communicating even a simple
fact correctly in speech is startlingly revealed in every court
of law, where honest witnesses will relate events in such a way
as to convince an honest listener of the unfitness of such
persons to testify by speech, owing to their ignorance of the
art.

This art of speech goes so much further than the ordinary man
imagines that it may seem far-fetched to him to hear it spoken of
as a dangerous power, even when used with good intent. Yet such
it is, for speech may stir the depths of human nature that lie
below as well as above the range of reason. The soul of the
beast that is in man may be stimulated and may be roused by song
or speech inspired by passion. What follows may appear to have
no right relation to the song or to the spoken word. Speech woke
the elemental passion, and the speaker has his share in all that
is to follow on his speech.

So too the soul that is man's better self may be set free in
those that dream not of the existence of such a guardian. This
influence may light them on to thoughts their ordinary life alone
would never have enabled them to formulate, and this light may
clarify their reason so that they will recognize a duty to
humanity that their philosophy hitherto repudiated.

Speech is a mighty power that has yet hardly come into its right
of recognition as a sacred art, to be most carefully cultivated
and most wisely guarded. True, the wise ones of the world have
taught the power of silence, and their disciples all have learned
how to refrain from speech. True also that the speech of such
men has a power far beyond the conception of the generality.
Even the ignorant are entrusted by heredity with more power than
that of which they dream. They incur unknown responsibility in
the misuse of that art, which in their ignorance they honestly
believe to be a personal right, which they may use at their own
pleasure or caprice without restraint, and with no responsibility
for all the evil their unguarded words evoke, and all the
suffering that follows. To them the warning may seem but
impertinence, an interference with their natural rights, yet it
is more like a notice on a signboard warning the unwary of a
danger they may easily avoid, the danger of speech. And this
danger is real.

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REINCARNATION AS A HISTORICAL BELIEF

By Leoline L. Wright

[From REINCARNATION: A LOST CHORD IN MODERN THOUGHT, pages
67-72.]

It is a fact surprising to nearly everyone in Western countries
that reincarnation was taught practically universally over the
earth at the time when Christ was born. But this is only because
we have not been educated to associate this doctrine historically
with the Jews or with the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is a
still more surprising fact that it was accepted by some of the
Church Fathers and prevailed so widely in early Christendom that,
as late as the middle of the sixth century after Christ it was
necessary to convene a special Church Council in order finally to
suppress it. After that it faded from the intellectual and
religious life of Europe and, though held sporadically down the
centuries by a sect here and there or by a few great thinkers and
mystics, it was not really restored to Western thought till it as
reintroduced in the teachings of Theosophy. Now, after having
been spread abroad for a century by the Theosophical Society, it
is rapidly regaining its position as a world-belief.

Reincarnation has always been a characteristic part of the
leading religions of the East, as every student of them knows.
We cannot even think of the Brahmanical or Buddhist teachings
without instantly remembering the tenet as taught therein. In
Buddhism, owing among other things to its lack of bigotry, the
teaching of human reembodiment has remained closer than in any
other religion to the pure form of the belief. In exoteric
Brahmanism it has been greatly disfigured, as seen in one of its
excrescences already noted, the erroneous doctrine of the
transmigration of the human Ego into the bodies of animals.

Many of the greatest men of antiquity taught reincarnation in
various forms, among them being such great names as Orpheus,
Pythagoras, Empedocles, Plato, Apollonius of Tyana, with Ennius
and Seneca among the Romans. We find the doctrine in ancient
Persia, also among the Druids and early Nordic peoples, while it
was a cornerstone of the grand mystical religion of old Egypt.
In China, it was a part of Taoism and its hold was deepened by
the spread of Buddhism there.

In the Old Testament, we find very few convincing statements even
as to man's survival after death, at least not in our popular
conception of immortality, thereby showing how inadequate are
those scriptures, as represented by Christian tradition, to give
us a truly comprehensive picture of Jewish thought at the time.
For reincarnation was expounded in the Kabala, the esoteric
philosophy of the Jews -- their secret, mystic teaching; so did
Philo, one of the greatest philosophers belonging to the Jewish
race, and a renowned Neo-Platonist, teach it. So, also, did the
celebrated Jewish historian Josephus. For Josephus was a
Pharisee, and he himself recorded that this body believed in and
taught reincarnation.

Here and there throughout the Bible, the idea of reincarnation is
seen to be in the background of the writer's or speaker's
thought, as when the disciples asked Jesus, "Who did sin, this
man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" (JOHN, ix, 2) But
how could the man have sinned, excepting in a former life, to
have been BORN blind? The disciples evidently took the truth of
reincarnation for granted, nor did Jesus rebuke them for this in
his reply. In MATT., xi, 14, Jesus said of John the Baptist:
"And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to
come," a statement that he seems to repeat in MARK, ix, 13.

These things were of course unsuspected by those earnest men of
the Middle Ages (almost totally ignorant of historical
developments as they were) who interpreted the Old Testament
according to their own unavoidable limitations. But Theosophy
calls attention to this aspect of Jewish history so long
overlooked.

A true picture of the intellectual world in the early days of
Christianity is illuminating indeed! Such a picture can be
constructed from materials supplied by many great writers.
Though knowing nothing of Theosophy (like Legge for example who
wrote FORERUNNERS AND RIVALS OF CHRISTIANITY), they yet present
the most telling evidence that many doctrines, always considered
in our education as so characteristic of Christianity, are direct
or distorted reflections of the Mystery Teachings of the Archaic
Wisdom.

The two principal sources from which early Christianity derived
-- only to disfigure -- its mystical doctrines -- such as the
Virgin Birth, the Passion of Christ, the Eucharist, Apostolic
Succession, and others -- were the Gnostic philosophy and the
Mithraic Mystery Religion. These two systems were genuine
developments of the primeval Esoteric Wisdom, and they flourished
in the early centuries of our era. Mithraism, indeed, very
nearly became the accepted religion of the Roman Empire.

> The Mithraic Religion in the third century of the Christian Era
> had reached such a stage of development that it all but became
> the dominant state-religion of the then wide-flung Roman Empire.
> In fact, it had so much that was similar, both in doctrine and in
> certain forms, to early Christianity, that this fact was
> commented upon by all intelligent writers of the time, both
> Christian and 'Pagan.' As it happened, Christianity, by reason of
> a number of interesting causes, finally prevailed over Mithraism
> as the dominant religious system of Europe.
>
> -- G. de Purucker, THE ESOTERIC TRADITION, page 863

With its dogmas of the vicarious atonement, salvation by faith,
and the practices that grew out of these beliefs, Christianity
relieved the great mass of men from strenuous moral effort and
lent itself to the designs of temporal and political
aggrandizement.

Reincarnation was a leading tenet of Gnosticism and formed an
integral part of the Mystery Teachings of Mithraism. From these
influential and popular sources it was taken over by many early
Christians. Several of the greatest of the early Church Fathers,
as already stated, taught it in some form -- notably Bishop
Synesius and, even later, Origen and Clement (later Saint Clement
of the Christian Church) -- all of Alexandria, and the two latter
believed to have been initiated into the Mystery Schools of their
day. It looks as if these wise men were striving to keep alive
in the new church a link with the living Wisdom Religion. The
Manicheans, a mystical sect of Hither Asia in those early days,
professed reincarnation and, adopting what might be regarded as
the protective coloring of Christianity, had their share in
popularizing an aspect of the doctrine. This sect bore an
offshoot as late as the twelfth and thirteenth centuries: the
Albigenses of Languedoc, who revived the teaching. But it had
then been anathema for about seven hundred years, and they were,
although with difficulty, savagely exterminated.

A long list could be cited of scholars, poets, and mystics of
every country and century in Europe, who have believed in and
taught reincarnation. If the reader is interested, an account of
them with citations in evidence of their belief will be found in
two volumes, REINCARNATION, AN EAST-WEST ANTHOLOGY, and
REINCARNATION IN WORLD THOUGHT, both compiled and edited by
Joseph Head and S.L. Cranston, which can be obtained from the
theosophical and public libraries. The whole subject of
reincarnation as a historical belief is worth looking into if
only for the surprising and interesting facts, so long suppressed
or forgotten, concerning the origin of what we call Christianity.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE GUARDIAN ANGEL

By G. de Purucker

[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 78-80.]

I ask your very reverent attention to a profound and beautiful
fact of nature. To me this thought is one of the most beautiful
of our Theosophical doctrines. It is of the "angels" guarding
us, what Christians call "Guardian Angels."

This wonderful doctrine, which is such a comfort and help to men
in time of stress and trouble, is no longer understood by the
Christians of this day, because they have lost the original
meaning of it. They seem to think that it is an angel outside of
oneself deputed by Almighty God to be a kind of protecting parent
over the child. Some Christians seem to think that when the
child attains adulthood the Guardian Angel departs. This
doctrine of protective and guiding spiritual influences in the
world is a very old doctrine of the Wisdom-Religion. It was
taught in Persia, India, Egypt, amongst the Druids, and as far as
I know, everywhere.

It is simply this: that there is in and over man a spirit or
power guiding him, instilling hope and comfort and peace and
righteousness into his mind and heart; and that he who is ready
to receive this and does receive it will guide himself by the
inner mandates, and do so openly. He will be more or less
conscious of the companionship of the Guardian Angel, be
conscious of this companionship as a helper, with him day and
night, never failing, always guiding, teaching him to save
himself. But the mind and heart must be ready to receive;
otherwise, the brain does not catch the guidance and the
inspiration.

What is this Guardian Angel? You may call it a Dhyani-Chohan.
Our own particular technical name for it is the Sanskrit word:
Chitkara: thought-worker. You remember it was stated of the
great Greek philosopher, Socrates, that he was guided by his
inner daemon, his constant companion, which in his case strangely
enough never told him what to do, but always warned him what not
to do. Frequently when he was undecided as to what course to
pursue, he would go apart and close his eyes and remain quiet,
trying to free his mind from all the debris, claptrap, noise, and
burly-burly of tramping thoughts, in other words cleansing and
emptying the brain so that the Guardian Angel inside could
penetrate into the brain-stuff. Such in his case was the
Guardian Angel.

Now what is this Guardian Angel? Is it outside of man? It is a
part of man's spirit. It is pertinent to his pneumatology, not
the human part, but rather a part of his spiritual being. You
can call it the Higher Self, but I prefer to call it the
Spiritual Self, because the phrase "Higher Self" in Theosophy has
a meaning containing certain restricted ideas. Thus, man's
inmost entity, the Guardian Angel, this spiritual self, is as a
god compared with the man of flesh, the man of this brain.
Compared with his knowledge, it has omniscience; compared with
his vision, it has vision of the past, present, and future, which
three really are but one eternal NOW in the ever present.

This Guardian Angel will always strive and is incessantly
striving to guide its willful errant child, the man of flesh.
There is the whole thing in a nutshell, and if you can make your
mind pervious to this inner monitor, and follow its mandates,
your life will be safe, happy, and prosperous.

Of course, you have to go through whatever your karma has for
you, that is, whatever you have wrought in the past; it will have
to work itself out. If you put your finger in the fire, it will
be burned. If you catch your foot in the machine, it will be
crushed. But the inner warrior, the Guardian Angel, once you
come into its fellowship, in time will prevent your putting your
finger into the fire, or placing your foot where it could be
crushed.

As for myself, my own life has been saved six times by this, and
I know whereof I speak. And I only blame myself for not having
begun sooner as a younger man to try to cultivate and to try to
bring about an even closer consciousness or self-realization of
this wonderful guide, this divine spark, this spiritual self in
me: the very stuff of divinity. Compared to me, my Guardian is
an angel, a god.

The only difference between the ordinary man on the one hand and
the Christ-man and the Buddha-man on the other is this: that we
ordinary men have not succeeded in becoming absolutely at one
with the Guardian Angel within, and the Buddhas and the Christs
have. The Buddha or Christ is one who has made himself, his
whole being, his heart, so pervious to the entrance of the
Guardian Angel within him that that Guardian Angel within him has
actually embodied himself, so that the lower man is scarcely any
longer there. The Guardian Angel then speaks with the lips of
flesh; it is the Bodhisattva, the inner Christ.

These are some of the forgotten values in human life, and I know
no values greater than these two things. First: you are one with
the universe, one with divinity, inseparable from it. Then it
does not much matter what happens to you. Whatever comes is a
part of the universal destiny. You become filled with courage,
hope, and peace. And the other forgotten value is what I have
just called the Chitkara. Let that Guardian Angel live in you
and speak through you as soon as may be.

I speak what I know, not only with regard to saving from trouble
and from peril, but from dangers of all kinds. It will instill
peace, comfort, and happiness and wisdom and love, for all these
are its nature. These things are especially needed in the world
today by poor mankind, most of humanity feeling today that all
the trouble in the world has happened by chance, that there is no
way out except by a lucky fluke of fate. That is all tommyrot.
This world is a world of law and order, and if we break these
rules of law and order, we suffer.

Oh, that man would realize these simple verities of Universal
Nature! They are so helpful. They give meaning to life and
inject a marvelous purpose into it. They give incentive to do
our jobs and to do them like men. They make us love our
fellowmen. That is ennobling for us, an ennobling feeling in
anyone, for it is obvious that the man who loves none but himself
is constricting his consciousness into a little knot, and there
is no expansion or grandeur in him. Whereas, the man who loves
his fellowmen and thereby begins to love all things, both great
and small -- his consciousness goes out, begins to embrace,
comprehend, and to take in all. It becomes finally universal
feeling, universal sympathy, universal understanding. This is
grand, and this is godlike.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THEOSOPHICAL KEYNOTES

By Katherine Tingley

[Extracts from an address given at the Tremont Theater in Boston,
Massachusetts from THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, March 1920, pages
209-215.]

When one considers the life of Helena P. Blavatsky, the
Foundress of the present Theosophical Movement and when one reads
her splendid and wonderful books and has watched the general
progress of her work, one must necessarily decide that she was an
extraordinary woman in many ways. She must have had an urge of
some kind -- we interpret it as a spiritual urge -- to come to
the Western world to bring the message of brotherhood and place
before the thinkers of the age those grand and superb principles
that are the basic life, the foundation, of our Theosophical
Society.

She chose America for the reason that she considered it free.
She had read and heard that it was a land of liberty, that it had
freedom of speech, that it was not under the control of the
church, and that all religions were permitted. With the urge and
love that she had for humanity, it was quite natural that she
should come to America, yet I feel sure that in many ways she was
much disappointed, though in other ways she was not.

It was in the seventies that she founded the Theosophical
Society, the original Society that is now known as the Universal
Brotherhood and Theosophical Society. All her efforts were of a
quality that makes it impossible for anyone to question her
motive. In the first place, she detached from her work all idea
of the dollar-and-cent influence. She received no salary. She
declared that those who are earnestly and determinedly desirous
of working for the advancement of humanity should make an effort
to help without any selfish interest. This spirit has been
carried out in the original Theosophical Society from the
beginning.

When Mme. Blavatsky brought these teachings to America, she
showed plainly that she was not bringing a new religion to the
world, that in no sense had she originated Theosophy, and that
the philosophy she presented was the philosophy of the ages, the
Wisdom-Religion, taught long before Jesus was born. Her
experience and her association with some of the greatest minds of
the age had added greatly to her knowledge and her practical
views of life. Her knowledge of the divine nature of man, her
recognition of his latent qualities, made her seem to all who
knew her not only as a woman possessing great erudition, but as
one who had attained in some other life that rare discrimination
and intuition that were necessary for her as a spiritual teacher.

The principal ideas that she presented, the principal teachings
of Theosophy, are first the essential Divinity of Man, then his
Duality; that there are two forces working in his nature, one for
selfish and worldly interests, pleasures and passions, and the
other for the upward way, for the advancement of his spiritual
life, working ever to attain that state of perfection that
Theosophy declares is man's destiny. Following this Duality, we
come to the idea of Karma. Karma is the law of justice, and
Madame Blavatsky's wonderful books contain so many expositions of
this universal law that I wonder that the whole world is not
already affected by Theosophy. Closely allied with the teaching
of Karma is the doctrine of Reincarnation.

According to the ancient teachings and according to Madame
Blavatsky's writings and the general belief of the members of the
Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, man cannot live
out his fullest life, he cannot attain to the full stature of
perfect manhood, in one lifetime of seventy or a hundred years.
Many lifetimes are needed; the great universal scheme of life
furnishes for man opportunities after opportunities to find his
way as a soul, as a divine being, through many schools of
experience, and these experiences under the power of
self-directed evolution will ultimately bring man to his own.

One of the special points I always try to bring out in this
connection is that if we study the general aspects of the world
today, and particularly the religious aspects, we find many
earnest and devoted people depending to a large degree upon the
brain-mind judgment to interpret the laws of life, as found in
the Bible and other sacred books. Now according to Theosophy,
the brain-mind has its place. It is the seat of the intellect.
It is like an instrument in the hands either of a master-musician
or of one who is not a master-musician. As long as the lower
forces play through the chambers of the mind, the real light, the
real knowledge, the true interpretation, that quality of
intuition that belongs to every man and is a part of his inner
life, cannot be accentuated.

To a large degree, I feel that we are depending too much on the
outward life. We are living too much in the external. Our
vision and our progress are limited by our lack of knowledge of
the Higher Law. If we could once realize, as a Theosophist does
after long study and much devotion, that the real life, the
ever-growing eternal life, is within, the mind would become
receptive to the higher knowledge and to that state of
consciousness that is ever illuminated by the inner light.

Christ has taught this. St. Paul taught it. You will find it
in all the sacred writings. The greatest thinkers and those who
have given us the best examples of spiritual life have
accentuated this fact. The truth, the knowledge, and the
revelation to man of the divine laws must come from within.

I feel that if all down the ages from the beginning of
Christianity there could have been this intuitive profound grasp
of the true meaning of religion, if the early Fathers could have
had it, there would have been different results. This is no
reflection upon any who are sincere in their beliefs. I have no
desire to criticize them. I am a reader of the sacred writings,
I have a mind that dares to search for the truth, and I am
satisfied that I should really be doing you a great injustice if
I did not express my feelings.

In seeking to open your eyes, I am paying tribute to you as
divine souls. My message, my effort, and the work of the members
of the Theosophical Society is to lift the veil and to show
humanity that there are potent forces within man and above him
that can be utilized for the reconstruction of the human race --
not merely the reconstruction of our country, but of the whole
human family.

There must come an awakening some time and, surely, no one could
criticize me severely for bringing up this matter, for all must
see the great need of a change. There must come a spiritual
awakening. There must be new ideas, dynamic ideas, introduced
into the human mind to bring about resuscitation, so to speak, of
the spiritual part of man, which shall be a basis for that
quality of reconstruction that shall touch the home, all systems
of education, and religion, and shall ultimately become the most
potent factor in readjusting all mankind.

If we had no crimes, if we had no prisons and lunatic asylums, if
we were all following the rosy path, if we were never sick and
had no difficulties to contend with, I should be much out of
place, and you would have the right to say that my ideas are
far-fetched. But you all know as well as I do that crime is
increasing throughout the land, that unbrotherliness is the
insanity of the age, that we have just emerged from a war of
horrors, the cruelty of which has exceeded all that has ever been
recorded in history, and so many people are asking, "Why did it
happen? How could it happen? Where was God?"

Theosophists would say, and not in a presumptuous way, that the
sowing of the seed began ages ago. Down through generations and
generations of people, there has been something missing, the
missing link so to speak, the lost Word. Man, ignorant of his
Divinity, not being conscious of that power in him, not having
full trust in the divine Law, not being able to interpret these
simple doctrines of life, wandered away from the path.

Look at humanity today as it is physically. With a few
exceptions, do we not see there is deterioration in the physical
nature of man? It simply shows that we have not the basic ideas
to depend on, to think with, to feel with, and to live by.

Now the Raja-Yoga System, which is based on these reconstructive
ideas, has brought out in quite an interesting way the
possibilities of human nature that are latent in all. The term
"Raja-Yoga" is Sanskrit, which I chose as covering, better than
any I have found, my ideas in reference to education. It means
"Kingly Union," the balance and harmony of the physical, mental,
and spiritual. Theosophy teaches that we cannot go through life
one-sidedly and half awake. We have to reach a point of balance,
and it should come to us in youth. I am certain that if the
whole world could have had the training that is given in the
Raja-Yoga College and School, we should have better conditions
everywhere and life would be more joyful, hopeful, and
optimistic. The world is crying for something new, for something
that will adjust human affairs and prevent a repetition of what
we have gone through in the last five years in this terrible
warfare.

It was quite impossible for me to stay at our International
Center of Theosophical work at Point Loma, for Theosophy has a
message to the whole world. Though we are doing large propaganda
work, in all lines of Theosophic thought, still the masses have
not been reached yet. If we are going to serve humanity, we must
throw aside creeds and dogmas and live in the fullest sense on a
basis of right action, sustained by convictions warmed and
inspired by that intuitive knowledge that comes to one who
chooses to find the true path.

I am always slow in public meetings to say much about the
development of the inner nature of man, because the world has
been cursed for a number of years with all sorts of absurdities
-- false, grotesque, and fanatical teachings of every kind in the
name of religion and in the name of Theosophy. It seems almost
unjust to our Theosophical work to attempt in one evening to call
the attention of the public to the inner qualities of man. You
will find self-styled Theosophists in this city and in other
cities of America who will pretend to tell you all about your
former incarnations, or about your future. They will teach you
symbology, astrology, palmistry, and all sorts of weird things
out of place for any sane man. They will try to impress you with
their "mysticism." There are some nice people, I fancy, who are
caught by the psychological influence of these claims.

For the twenty-five years that I have been connected with the
Theosophical Society, it has been necessary to use much time,
energy, and money to remove from the original Theosophical
Society and from the name Theosophy itself the stigma that comes
from the misuse of the word Theosophy by people who blend it with
fanatical teachings.

If Theosophy is anything, it is practical, and no true
Theosophist believes in preaching without doing. The whole aim
of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society is to make
Theosophy a living power in the lives of men, to learn to
discriminate between the lower and higher natures of man --
between right and wrong -- to exert all possible efforts to keep
the ideals of Theosophy ever before us and to practice them, and
to bring into the life of each the power of self-control.

In working for humanity, I have visited many of the prisons in
this country and in Europe. I have studied criminology from all
sides of the question. I have realized that crime will increase
and so will insanity and that in the course of time we shall have
new, unnamable diseases and many more vices for the reason that
we have not the key to the situation. Human life cannot be
reconstructed, nor national or international life, until we have
carried the sublime teachings of Theosophy into the home, until
we have reached a point where we can and should challenge men and
women to take up home-life, marriage, and parenthood more
seriously. We must challenge them, and bring about such an
awakening in the minds of those who control the home, that their
responsibilities shall become so sacred that they cannot err.

If we are to reconstruct human life, we must begin to build
character. We must do it in childhood. We must touch the
plastic, flexible minds of the children with that indescribable
something that is so exquisitely beautiful that no language can
name it, something that will awaken the soul in their childhood
and bring them slowly and surely to that state of consciousness
that will help them to meet the trials of life.

To reconstruct the nation, we must begin in the home, but
according to my idea, we cannot do this unless there is an
understanding of the self. There must be self-adjustment,
self-improvement; there must be self-endeavor, self-directed
evolution. Then the souls of the parents and the souls of the
children will blossom like the flowers in the springtime, and
many wonderful things will come to add to the stability and the
happiness of the home.

This is not a fantastic dream of mine; it is a proven fact. The
Raja-Yoga System has been active for nearly twenty years; it has
passed the experimental stage, and these results have been
demonstrated. It is all so easy and so beautiful, if one can
only understand the laws governing human life.

Now of course it is not to be believed that anyone who is seeking
for truth can reach a point of satisfaction in a day or an hour,
or that any teacher can impart the truth sufficiently to carry
one through life even for a day or a week, or that books will do
it. The best literature we have on Theosophy will fail you
absolutely, unless right down in your hearts is that yearning,
longing, and quality of determination that will make you push on
daringly and courageously.

If you study our Theosophical books, you will find that we are
ever working to correct the errors of injustice. Believing
absolutely that brotherhood is a fact in nature, all men are
divine, and even the weakest and lowest have in them a spark of
Divinity, there comes into our lives a deep sense of pity and
compassion for all who suffer. We are obliged to free our
consciences by trying to lift the burdens from the people, to
remove the obstacles, and to bring understanding and
enlightenment for all.

It is not an easy task -- I assure you -- because there are so
many in the world satisfied with one life-experience, satisfied
with creeds and dogmas. They look out and question the meaning
of all the contrasts, idiosyncrasies, and failures in human life;
they desire to help, they will give money, they will suffer, they
will sacrifice, but they cannot give up their creeds and dogmas.
There is where the trouble is. I am certain that if the great
Initiate Jesus were here, he would say some things to the people
that would be dynamic, some things that would stir the blood in
one's being; he would give some reminders, possibly some
reproofs. Remember, good friends, that Jesus had no church;
remember also his Sermon on the Mount, which is Theosophy in
every detail; and remember how he scorned the hypocrites. The
hypocrites of our age present an outer aspect of learning and
sanctity and a show of service to humanity; they go about
misleading and blinding the people.

With this idea of reconstruction, though we may work hard and
earnestly, though our Government may be successful in
establishing a certain semblance of peace, yet for years -- and I
say it determinedly -- we shall be under the shadow of such
menacing forces that it will take all our intellectual and
physical strength to bear the burden; and possibly after a few
years, we may have other aspects of suffering even worse than
during the war. Under these conditions, when humanity begins to
deteriorate, when the world's pleasures become so destructive
that they tear men and women from their moorings and send them
adrift -- when it comes to this and we look at the whole picture
with a larger perspective, then we shall begin to turn and ask
more questions about life's meaning. From my standpoint, I
cannot see how permanent reconstruction can be begun in any other
way than by man setting out to find himself, find his moorings,
find his way, his divinity, his soul, and begin the conquest of
life individually.

There have been some interesting statements made by some of the
most brilliant men of the times as to the means that we shall use
for reconstruction. There can be no national and international
reconstruction on a permanent basis of justice to all until the
light breaks in on the minds of those in power, until the inner
light comes home to them and refreshes their minds and lifts them
to such a point of optimism and courage that they will find again
in their hands the key that has been lost for ages -- the key for
the salvation of man, the redemption of human life.

There is no other way. The uncertainty of the present hour, the
uncertainty in all things, is not comfortable, and I question how
I should live if I were not a Theosophist. Now you must not be
alarmed by my earnest talk, or think that I am making any effort
to convert you, for that is not so. We do believe in placing the
truths before the people, that they may search for that light
that is within, that they may bring about a conversion in their
own natures by understanding that they themselves hold the key,
and that by using it -- that is, by placing all that is below the
divine in its place, and by strengthening the spiritual nature to
such a degree that the power of self-control will go on and on
from day to day -- their lives, as I said before, will unfold as
the flowers do.

It is coming; it is in the air. Mme Blavatsky's work has not
been in vain. When Mme Blavatsky first came to this country,
where one met her full heartedly, dozens not only turned away
from her but also persecuted her. Her life was a long life of
suffering and persecution. Every system of thought that opposed
her ideas, opposed her, and put obstacles in her way; but she
lived, she carried on her work triumphantly. This great
Theosophical Movement has extended all over the world, and it is
the most serious movement of the age.

If there ever was a time when humanity should question the
meaning of life, it is now; and if there ever was a time when
there was an answer, it is now. For Theosophy, ancient and old
as it is, is now bringing the message to the masses, to the rich
and to the poor, to the ignorant and to the educated, that they
may all partake of that knowledge that shall bring them eternal
life.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THREE WAYS TO ANSWER THE BIG QUESTIONS

Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design: A Three-Pronged
Approach to Answering the Big Questions of the Universe for
Theosophists

By Clare Goldsberry

In the ongoing battle between religionists and scientists,
Christian fundamentalists and Biblical literalists pit themselves
against what they perceive as scientific atheists and agnostics.
The debate rages over what we should teach our children about the
Universe and particularly about the Earth on which they live. To
those on the various sides of the now three-pronged debate,
belief and faith still appear to trump scientific proof.

In adding the third leg to the either/or debate of evolution vs.
creationism, Intelligent Design is seen by its detractors as an
approach to teaching religion without overtly calling it
"creationism." Whatever it is, Intelligent Design has added a
complexity to the debate that some see as an "all or nothing"
war, now with three mutually exclusive schools of thought. Yet,
what if there is a "middle way," an inclusionary view of these
three prongs?

Unlike our Christian brethren, Theosophists have nothing to fear
from these three schools of thought. In THE SECRET DOCTRINE, HPB
explains the three and their relationship to each other. She
removes the misunderstandings surrounding Darwinian evolution,
the misperception that the term "creation" causes, and looks at
the intelligent designers of the Universe. She wrote this long
before these three prongs became a lightening rod for Christian
Fundamentalists.

EVOLUTION

Evolution is a theory. Yes, scientifically speaking, it is a
theory that has many provable points, but they exist alongside
many gaps that scientists cannot quite fill in. Nicholas
DiGiacomo of Telluride, Colorado, in a guest commentary written
for the Denver Post in August of 2005, notes:

> Theories weave facts, observations, ideas, and hypotheses into
> coherent explanations by a pains-taking process of analysis and
> synthesis. They are fluid -- always subject to revision as more
> is learned about the world. In everyday life, however, people
> expect facts to be true and final.
>
> To avoid confusion on this important point, scientists and
> educators should stop calling evolution a fact, and take the time
> to explain just what it means for something to be a theory.

Mr. DiGiacomo knows whereof he speaks, being a scientist who
worked for a number of well-known companies including the
European Center for Particle Physics. He continues,

> Scientists and educators should avoid saying that we've proven
> the theory of evolution, and patiently explain how remarkably
> well evolution has held up to everything that's been thrown at
> it.

Remember that evolution is a theory. James Q. Wilson, in a Wall
Street Journal editorial entitled FAITH IN THEORY writes, "The
theory of evolution has not been proved as fully as the theory of
gravity. There are many gaps in what we know about prehistoric
creatures." (12/24/2005)

As such, evolution does not have to exclude the involvement of a
God or some type of Intelligent Designer or architect. In fact,
scientists are more willing to include such in their hypothesis
of evolution than religionists are to include the possibility of
evolution in their creation theory. Mr. Wilson writes,
"[Evolution] . . . literally the only scientific defensible
theory of the origin of species, does not . . . rule out the
idea that God exists."

Sharon Begley, a science writer for the Wall Street Journal, in
her column "Despite Appearances, Science Doesn't Deny the
Existence of God," notes "it's easy to get the idea that science
starts with an atheistic, or at least agnostic, presumption."
(01/27/2006) Begley points to a report by the National Academy of
Sciences that says science "is limited to explaining the natural
world through natural causes" and another statement by the
National Science Teachers Association that science "cannot use
supernatural causation in its explanations." Yet, it is not a
foregone conclusion that a scientist cannot include some sort of
deity in the hypothesis.

In Letters to the Editor responding to an article on Intelligent
Design that appeared in Chemical & Engineering News (02/07/2006,
page 3), Tina M. Masciangioli of Arlington, VA, writes
"Evolution provides a framework for understanding how organisms
appear and change through modifications in genetic composition
during successive generations subjected to natural selection.
Absence of a creator is not requisite for this development to
occur." (08/29/2005, page 4)

Brian Amos of New York City also responds in the same Letters
section, "I noticed that not one of these letters [to the editor]
decrying evolution observed that a belief in God is not
incompatible with believing in evolution, any more than a belief
in gravity is. The ultimate source of gravity may be a divine
finger pressing down on us, but the theory of gravity still holds
fine."

Still another reader writes, "As to evolution, for the sake of
discussion, why could it not be the tool of the intelligent
designer?" (William S. Durrell, Palm Harbor, Florida)

Why not indeed! I think HPB would concur completely! THE SECRET
DOCTRINE makes it clear that evolution plays a key role in the
development of the Universe, the Earth, Mankind and all the flora
and fauna upon the Earth. Blavatsky points out that since there
is not anything that can be created EX NIHLO (from nothing); the
use of the word "creation" is incorrect. Rather, she says, "we
believe in evolution out of preexisting materials."

Some preexisting materials may be beyond the scope of what can be
seen -- in the range of quantum possibility, the "strings" of
string theory -- and therefore are so transparent and minute as
to be beyond the five temporal senses. For Blavatsky, Cosmic
Evolution is the very act of bringing "into existence all the
various states of being in the manifested solar system [in]
obedience to the Ideation of the Universal Mind."

Likewise, man is not created from nothing. "Hence the esoteric
teaching is absolutely opposed to the Darwinian evolution, AS
APPLIED TO MAN AND PARTIALLY so with regard to other species,"
Blavatsky says. Theosophy is opposed to the idea that all things
came from a single-cell, and Blavatsky sees many problems with
pure Darwinism as the answer to how everything on the earth came
to be.

She speaks of the Seven Creations, which she says are in
actuality seven periods of Evolution. There are six periods of
"active evolution" followed by one "passive period" or day of
rest, the Sabbath Day of the Old Testament. She questions the
mind of the "Scientific brain of a materialist," and asks, "What
is Evolution?" She then challenges the scientists of her day to
define evolution, and says they would not be able to define it
better than Webster in his dictionary would: "the act of
unfolding; the process of growth, development; as the evolution
of a flower from a bud, or an animal from the egg." (II, 652-653)

Mr. Wilson's editorial in the Wall Street Journal notes that,

> Isaac Newton was a deeply religious man. No doubt, he thought
> that the Newtonian laws he discovered existed because of God's
> handiwork. Charles Darwin, though he started his adult life as a
> deep believer and a student intending to enter the ministry,
> abandoned any belief that God has created animal species and
> replaced that view with his extraordinary, and largely correct,
> theory of evolution.

Blavatsky would disagree. She sees the benefits of evolution and
indeed acknowledges the evolutionary progress of Man through the
various ages and stages from the transparent beings of eons ago
to the dense creatures we are today as we continue to move toward
"evolutionary perfection." Even so, she disagrees with the
Darwinians. She notes, "Neither Occultism nor Theosophy has ever
supported the wild theory of the present Darwinists -- least of
all the descent of man from ape." (I, 186) She is quite adamant
about that fact, and repeats again that Man was NEVER an ape "in
this or any other Round." (I, 187)

She does state that "Every Round repeats on a higher scale the
evolutionary work of the preceding Round," thus acknowledging
that evolution plays a critical role in the continuing
development of Man as well as other sentient beings. How did our
physical body get to the state of perfection it is found in now?
"Through millions of years of evolution, of course, yet never
through, or from, animals, as taught by materialism." (I, 211)
While our bodies continued through the state of evolution and
reached the form that we recognize as Man, the mind's evolution
is another matter: Evolution of the "mind is a slower and more
difficult evolution than the physical frame." (I, 188)

CREATION

One of the primary problems with creationism is that it does not
require proof -- only belief that the Bible (specifically the Old
Testament account of creation) is the literal and inerrant word
of God. For many believers, that is enough. No scientific proof
is needed. After all, belief has nothing to do with proof or
truth. If one believes, that becomes one's truth. No questions
asked.

Dr. Walt Brown PhD, geologist by profession, comments on natural
selection in his book IN THE BEGINNING: COMPELLING EVIDENCE FOR
CREATION AND THE FLOOD. He notes that "Natural selection cannot
produce new genes; it only selects among preexisting
characteristics. As the word 'selection' implies, variations are
reduced, not increased."

While Brown takes the Christian perspective, his comments support
those of H.P. Blavatsky in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, something that I
am sure would surprise Brown. His aim is to confirm positively
that the earth was created in a few days through cataclysmic
events and that evolution, a contributing factor on a micro-scale
over the past few thousand years, is not responsible for the
macro-scale mutations of man from a single-celled amoeba that
climbed out of the ocean.

Commenting on mutations, Brown notes that

> Mutations are the only known means by which new genetic material
> becomes available for evolution. Rarely, if ever, is a mutation
> beneficial to an organism in its natural environment. Almost all
> observable mutations are harmful; some are meaningless; many are
> lethal. No known mutation has ever produced a form of life
> having greater complexity and viability than its ancestors.
>
> -- page 6

He makes another interesting note: "There is no direct evidence
that any major group of animals or plants arose from any other
major group. Species are observed only going out of existence
(extinctions), never coming into existence." (Pg. 7) As a
geologist, he points to "out-of-place fossils" that "conflict
with the evolutionary time scale" and other gaps that show how
evolution alone cannot account for the variety of species.

Brown also notes that "genetic distances" exist between varying
life forms, proving that all species did not appear from a
single-celled life form. "Techniques now exist for measuring the
degree of similarity between forms of life. These 'genetic
distances' are calculated by taking a specific protein and
examining the sequence of its components . . . The fewer
changes needed to convert a protein of one organism into the
corresponding protein of another organism, supposedly the closer
their relationship. . . These studies seriously contradict the
theory of evolution."

Blavatsky notes in THE SECRET DOCTRINE that a German scientist in
1812 published a work "in which he shows, with great integrity,
that Darwin was wholly mistaken in tracing man back to the ape."
(I, 185)

Who are these Creators by whose very existence imply creationism?
Blavatsky says these creative gods "are the active manifestations
of the One Supreme Energy." They are the Elohim of the Old
Testament and in other ancient traditions are known as Archons or
as the Demiurge (literally half-maker in the Greek) in
Gnosticism. They are "framers, shapers, and ultimately the
creators of all the manifested universe." (I, 22) They are
"intelligible; they inform and guide [the manifested universe];
they are the intelligent Beings who adjust and control
evolution," and "embody themselves in the Laws of Nature." This
"Cosmic Evolution" she says, "which, in obedience to the Ideation
of the Universal Mind, brings into existence all the various
states of being in the manifested solar system." (I, 110)

We understand that these Creators use preexisting matter. With
Mind and Word, they use evolution to bringing "into existence"
all the species. They adapt some species to the continual
changes in our environment, including climate changes, pole
reversals, and other natural phenomenon. Meanwhile, they allow
some species to die off, becoming extinct like the Mammoths,
which scientists have studied extensively over the past 200
years, curious about their sudden extinction.

According to Brown, most of the fleshy remains of mammoths have
been found in the permafrost in northern Siberia inside the
Arctic Circle. By the number of tons of tusks that have been
uncovered in this region, Brown says that scientists estimate
there were some five million of them living in this small region.
Other bones found indicate a great variety of animals lived in
the Northern reaches of Asia and Europe, he notes, including
tiger, antelope, camel, horse, donkey, musk ox, badger, ibex,
woolly rhinoceros, fox, giant bison, lynx, leopard, wolverine,
Arctic hare, lion, elk, giant wolf, ground squirrel, cave hyena,
bear and many types of birds. (IN THE BEGINNING, 162)

With so many animals remains preserved so well in these northern
climes, Brown suggests that at one time the region was well
suited to sustaining all of them. The climate was more
temperate. Vegetation was lush and plentiful. There was plenty
of fresh, accessible water, salt, and with the examination of the
contents of the stomachs of mammoths that appear to have been
instantaneously frozen, there were plenty of "temperate species
of grasses." Dr. Brown notes the abundance of scientific proof
that some cataclysmic event suddenly froze and rapidly buried
these animals.

> Twenty-four pounds of undigested vegetation were removed from the
> Berezovka [a 50-year-old male mammoth uncovered in 1900 near
> Siberia's Berezovka River by Dr. Otto F. Herz] and analyzed by
> Russian scientist V.N. Sukachev. He identified more than 40
> different species of plants: herbs, grasses, mosses, shrubs, and
> tree leaves. Many no longer grow that far north; others grow
> both in Siberia and as far south as Mexico.
>
> -- IN THE BEGINNING, 165

Blavatsky talks about the various Ages and the disputes that went
on in her day concerning the time of these Ages and their
lengths. "But the main point for us lies not in the agreement or
disagreement of the Naturalists as to the duration of geological
periods, but rather in their perfect accord on one point, for a
wonder, and this a very important one." She writes:

> They all agree that during the "Miocene Age" -- whether one or
> ten million years ago -- Greenland and even Spitzbergen, the
> remnants of our Second or Hyperborean Continent, "had ALMOST A
> TROPICAL CLIMATE." Now the pre-Homeric Greeks had preserved a
> vivid tradition of this 'Land of the Eternal Sun,' whither their
> Apollo journeyed yearly. "During the Miocene Age, Greenland (in
> N. Lat. 70 degrees) developed an abundance of trees, such as
> the Yew, the Redwood, the Sequoia, allied to the Californian
> species, Beeches, Planes, Willows, Oaks, Poplars and Walnuts, as
> well as Magnolia and Zamia," says Science; in short Greenland had
> Southern plants unknown to Northern regions.
>
> -- THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II, 11

In speaking of these changes during the various Ages, Blavatsky
says,

> The form and physical structure of the fauna changing at the same
> time, as they had to be adapted to the ever-changing conditions
> of life on this globe during the geological periods of its
> formative cycle. (I, 183)

While these beings are known esoterically as "creator gods,"
Blavatsky does not believe the word "creation" aptly describes
the formation of our Universe, the world on which we live or the
beings that inhabit the Earth. "Creation is an incorrect word to
use," she notes in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, "as no religion, not even
the sect of the Visishtadvaitins in India -- one which
anthropomorphizes even Parabrahman -- believes in creation of out
nihil [nothing], as Christians and Jews do, but in evolution out
of preexisting materials." (I, 233)

Yet, even the Old Testament notes that Man was "formed from the
dust of the ground," (Genesis 2:7) which is the second story of
creation. It differs in this way from the first story of
creation in which "God created man in his own image, in the image
of God created he him, male and female, created he them."
(Genesis 1:27)

If evolution is a tool of creation, creation is a mere organizing
component the Elohim used to "form" mankind -- and indeed all
sentient and non-sentient beings, flora and fauna -- from
materials that were existent in the Universe. If Christians of
today were to know of HPB and what she said about evolution as
seen through the eyes of the "materialists" of her day, they
might think she was on their side of the debate.

> In our modern day the mere assertion that there exists a power
> which can create human forms -- ready-made SHEATHS for the
> "CONSCIOUS monads" . . . to incarnate within is, of course,
> ridiculous! That which is regarded as quite natural, on the other
> hand, is the production of a Frankenstein's monster PLUS moral
> consciousness, religious aspirations, genius, and a feeling of
> one's own immortal nature within one's self -- by physio-chemical
> forces, guided by blind Almighty Evolution.
>
> As to the origin of that man, not EX NIHLO, cemented by a little
> red clay, but from a living divine Entity consolidation the
> astral body with surrounding materials -- this conception is too
> absurd even to be mentioned in the opinion of the materialists.
> Nevertheless, Occultists and Theosophists are ready to have their
> claims and theories -- however unscientific and superstitious at
> first glance -- compared as to their intrinsic, AS APPLIED TO
> MAN, AND PARTIALLY so with regard to other species.

Blavatsky speaks of the "latent potentialities" that exist in
every "seed" or "egg" that account for the "gradual development,
the unfolding of the thousand and one forms or phases of
evolution, through which they must pass before the flower or the
animal are fully developed. Hence, the future plan, if not a
Design, MUST BE THERE." (II, 653)

INTELLIGENT DESIGN

Intelligent design implies an intelligent designer or architect.
The Ancients had no problem with this idea. In fact, the term
did not actually imply "God," but merely implied an architect
capable of taking what was already in existence -- matter -- and
designing something with purpose and meaning out of it. This was
done much alike today's architects utilize wood, steel, bricks,
cement, and glass in the design of a beautiful building to house
a business or a family.

Looking at esoteric literature from ancient times, intelligent
design is obviously not a "Christian" philosophy. Far from it!
Christians would usurp the intelligent design theory as a
backdoor proof of an anthropomorphic God. While God may well be
the "architect," it is evident from reading Blavatsky and Gnostic
writings that the architect is not the one responsible for the
building.

After the architects have developed the design, the builders
build it using the materials specified by the architect. As
Blavatsky explains, a different group of Creators or Architects
is responsible for the work of each Round. They also appointed
supervisors under special guidance of special Builders and
Watchers, the various Dhyani-Chohans. (I, 233) The Architect in
Blavatsky's writings resembles the Intelligent Designer of
today's conversations. Remember that the Architects are not the
Builders. They are separate. Architects design and the Builders
build.

"There is design in the action of the seemingly blindest forces,"
Blavatsky writes. "The whole process of evolution with its
endless adaptations is a proof of this." This idea of tying
design in with evolution is one that scientists are beginning to
recognize. Does an intelligent designer preclude evolution or is
evolution the method the intelligent designer uses to allow
species adaptability and survivability?

Blavatsky notes that,

> The underlying [cause of] physiological variation in species --
> one to which all other laws are subordinate and secondary -- is a
> subconscious intelligence pervading matter, ultimately traceable
> to a reflection of the Divine and Dhyani-Chohanic [architectural]
> wisdom.
>
> -- THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, 649

Blavatsky asks her readers to examine a paper on evolution:

> Dr. A. Bourges -- read by its author, a member of the Paris
> Anthropological Society, at a recent official meeting of the
> latter -- called EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY: THE EVOLUTION OF
> SPIRIT, ETC. (1884), in which he reconciles entirely the two
> teachings -- namely, those of the physical and spiritual
> evolutions. He explains the origins of the variety of organic
> forms, made to fit their environments with such evident
> intelligent design, by the existence and the mutual help and
> interaction of two principles in (manifest) nature, the inner
> Conscious Principe adapting itself to physical nature and the
> innate potentialities in the latter.
>
> -- THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II, 654

Intelligent design MUST be the third leg of the stool upon which
it all stands, and there can be no room for what Blavatsky calls
"BLIND FORCES" and "NO DESIGN" of anything in our known Universe.

> When no SANE man of Science would hesitate to say that, even from
> the little he knows and has hitherto discovered of the forces at
> work in Kosmos, he sees very plainly that every part, every speck
> and atom are in harmony with their fellow-atoms, and these with
> the whole, each having its distinct mission throughout the
> life-cycle.
>
> -- THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II, 654

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Can the quantum physicists find "intelligence?" If they succeed,
will they have found Mind? Perhaps the Mind of a Creator
(Architect) who informs all the intelligence of the Universe and
allows the methodology of evolution to maintain order, balance,
and adaptation of the macro-creation, is the force behind
evolution as well.

We begin exploring the Web of the Universe, the Akashic Field in
which the vibratory energy of the universe resides. Doing so, we
discover that all three "theories" operate in harmony. All three
are involved in our lives as we evolve. We -- humans, souls, and
gods -- are moving toward the Divine Mind of the one from whom we
emanated.

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