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THEOSOPHY WORLD --------------------------------------- June, 2007
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
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(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"The Fullness and the Void," by Christmas Humphreys
"The Tower of Infinite Thought," by G. de Purucker
"Dicken's Novels and the Discovery of Soul," by K.J. Fielding
"The Purpose of Life," by S.W. Stanley
"The Self is the Friend of Self and Also Its Enemy,"
by W.Q. Judge
"New Interpretations on the Failings of Others,"
by Katherine Tingley
"Universality and the Esoteric Tradition," by G. de Purucker
"1926 -- 1927," by W. Emmett Small
"The Path of Knowledge," by E.A. Neresheimer
"Forgiveness and Love," by G. d. Purucker
> The very inaccessibility of the Masters is an advantage to all
> those who wish to acquire knowledge, because in the effort to
> come near them, to get any communion with them, one insensibly
> prepares in himself the conditions of spiritual growth, and it
> is when we are thrown upon our own resources that we are
> enabled to bring out the powers latent in our characters.
> -- H.S. Olcott, OLD DIARY LEAVES, page 320
THE FULLNESS AND THE VOID
By Christmas Humphreys
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, July 1932, pages 76-77.]
From every child of earth a pleading cry,
The ceaseless burden of our conscious need,
Uprises to the graven Gods to feed
The hunger of our insufficiency.
And they, responsive to our proven will,
Furnish a Heaven sumptuously endued
With all imaginable plenitude
Wherein the soul may joyfully fulfill
Life's unattained dreams.
For here Delight
Dwells perfected, and Beauty's self unveiled,
And all the distant dim Ideals that failed
In their fulfillment; Wrong is merged in Right,
And Purity, new purged of every stain
Irradiates the heart, and here the Truth
Bereft of error, smiles on Love and Youth
In perfect bliss united once again.
There is a nobler Heaven. There are those
More gloriously horizoned, who enview
Their own Reality, a land anew,
Unvisioned to the eye, where joys and woes
Alike are sepulchered. Here Life is Death,
And Death, Life's other hand, and here the night,
Conceived of darkness, falls upon the sight
As day. Here dwell no far extremes, no breath
Of cool comparison, where every sound
Indrawn to silence, knows no echoing
And every virtue stands with folded wing
And evil for its heart. Here truth is drowned
In falsehood and the false is true, and there
The face of love is curtained with disdain,
The while the pendulum of pleasure-pain
Falls drowsily to rest, and every pair
Is blended in the arms of unity.
Yet this is not the end, the final goal.
What of the Self, the quintessential Whole,
The Emptiness that is alone Reality?
Here only in the silence dwells the Word,
The potency of Life, for here alone
The Namelessness, the womb of all things known,
Rests on the wings of the Immortal Bird.
Here nothing is, nor is not, nor the face
Of change; nor time is here, nor timelessness.
Here only is a Circle centerless,
A rhythmic breathing in the heart of Space.
Here dwells the virgin Be-ness unalloyed
Which only those can see whose eyes are blind;
Here only dwells the Essence of Pure Mind,
The all-pervading Perfume of the Void.
THE TOWER OF INFINITE THOUGHT
By G. de Purucker
[From STUDIES IN OCCULT PHILOSOPHY, pages 302-5.]
> For countless generations hath the adept built a fane of
> imperishable rocks, a giant's Tower of INFINITE THOUGHT, wherein
> the Titan dwelt, and will yet, if need be, dwell alone, emerging
> from it but at the end of every cycle, to invite the elect of
> mankind to cooperate with him and help in his turn enlighten
> superstitious man. And we will go on in that periodical work of
> ours; we will not allow ourselves to be baffled in our
> philanthropic attempts until that day when the foundations of a
> new continent of thought are so firmly built that no amount of
> opposition and ignorant malice guided by the Brethren of the
> Shadow will be found to prevail.
> -- THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT, Letter IX, page 51
These are the words of a Master of Wisdom, and I want you to
hearken to them and try to get the inner meaning of them, for
they are really godlike. A great intellect composed them.
What is this Tower of Infinite Thought? It is the general Cosmic
Intelligence, here particularized as the hierarchies of the
Dhyani-Chohans, the Cosmic Spirits, the Lords of Meditation and
Cosmic Wisdom. We call them the hierarchies of the Sons of
Light, representing the consciousness-side of the universe. They
are innumerable, extending from even below man up through
countless hierarchies, stretching indeed to Infinity.
This is the Tower of Infinite Thought, in which the cosmic Titans
dwell and think and live and plan. These cosmic Titans are the
aggregate of the cosmic logoi, the cosmic spirits, an army of the
suns of light and life. And from this inexhaustible fount of all
perfect wisdom and perfect love, from time to time there issue
forth great souls who take embodiment among men, and guide and
lead and help and aid and inspire, and raise not only us
superstitious and fallible men, but all beings less than they,
for Nature is one organic unity.
What is above in the highest is shadowed in the lowest, for there
is but one cosmic law, because there is but one cosmic
intelligence and one cosmic life; and therefore that law, that
life, that intelligence, prevails throughout. So that, as you
see, what is here below, is but a shadow or a copy from a pattern
of what is above; and the whole secret of life, and the whole
secret of living, is to become at one in consciousness and in
feeling, in spirit and in soul, with that pattern of Infinite
No grander words I should think have ever issued from human lips.
No more sublime conceptions have ever been penned, than those
contained in the extracts from the Master's communication that
have been read to you. They are a new gospel of thought and of
love, a new dispensation of human effort; and a man must be blind
who fails to sense and to feel the immense import, the grand
content, enwrapped in these human words.
When the times are not propitious, or the times are not right,
then the adepts -- never indeed abandon mankind to its hopeless
fate; there remain on earth at least the Brotherhood of the
Mahatmas or Masters of Wisdom and Compassion. They inspire and
instill intimations of wonder and of grandeur in sensitive and
receptive human souls. But if the times are not right for a
larger spreading of the Wisdom of the Gods, then for the time
being they retire upwards and inwards into this Tower of Infinite
Thought, and await there until the time is ripening once more so
that they may once again work publicly, or semi-publicly, among
We too, even now in our smallness and weakness, inhabit this
Tower of Infinite Thought. And precisely as the Masters do when
the times are not propitious or not ripe for a new installment of
the God-Wisdom of Infinitude, we too, although our hand is always
outstretched ready to impart what little we ourselves have taken
by strength of the Kingdom of Heaven, when the times are not
ripe, precisely like our own Teachers, we retire into the higher
consciousness, and to outward appearance may seem to have retired
into silence and quiet. But that only so to the outer seems.
The Masters of Wisdom, the Adepts, simply retire when the times
are not ripe for them to do their greatest work among men. They
do what they can, and what human karma or destiny will allow them
to do; but to a certain extent, they ascend, vanish from the
outer seeming, to become only the more active and the grander in
works of beneficence on the inner planes. And when the times
become ripe, when men through suffering and sorrow, pain and
racking care, once more find their hearts yearning for a greater
light, and for the comfort that is never gained by egoisms, but
given only by the spirit -- when men then make the inner call,
soundless yet ringing unto the very spheres of light, then Those,
hitherto silent but watching and waiting in the Tower of Infinite
Thought, from their azure thrones, so to speak, bend a listening
ear; and if the call is strong enough, if it be pure enough,
impersonal enough, they leave the portals of the inner invisible
realms to enter these portals of our universe, and appear amongst
us and guide and teach and comfort and solace and bring peace.
How great is the inspiration to be derived from this teaching of
the God-Wisdom that we today call Theosophy: that the universe is
not chaotic nor insane, but is an organism guided and controlled
from within outwards, not only by infinite and omniscient cosmic
intelligence -- intelligences rather -- but also by cosmic love.
For love is the cement of the universe and accounts for the
orderliness of the universe, and its harmony and unity that
everyone who has the Seeing Eye may discern in all around him.
Scientists speak of this orderliness as the laws of nature, as
manifested in the cosmic bodies and their inhabitants, as
manifested in their times and places and regularities.
How wonderful likewise is the feeling that the man who trains
himself for it may enter into touch, into communication, with
these grander ones in evolution above him, above him only now,
because some day he shall evolve to become like unto them, divine
as they are; and they themselves shall have passed upwards and
onwards to divinities still more remote to us. There is a path
that is steep, which is thorny, but it leads to the very heart of
Anyone, any child of nature, may climb this path. Anyone who
ventures to try to find it may take the first steps upon it; and
these first steps may be followed by others. What a blessing to
know this! What an inspiration for the future that our destiny
lies in our hands! Naught shall stay, naught can prevent, and
neither outer god nor inner can stem the inspiration welling up
from the deepest recesses of the human spirit, because that human
spirit is but a spark of the cosmic divine.
How beautiful, how inspiring, how simply pregnant with as yet
undisclosed significance, is this phrase: the Tower of Infinite
Thought! It is a god-like phrase, and only a semi-god-man or a
god-man could have so worded his sublime conceiving. What magic
vistas of inner realms of fairy, true fairy, do these wonderful
words suggest to reverent minds? This Tower of Infinite Thought
is likewise the Tower of Infinite Love, for it is infilled with
love, and its inhabitants are the exponents of love.
From time to time, its portals open and Teachers from these inner
realms come amongst us. Such was the Lord Gautama, the Buddha;
such was the Avatar Jesus; such was Krishna; such were a
multitude of others whose names are known even in the Occident to
every educated man. No wonder a grateful humanity has called
them Sons of God, or children of the gods -- a phrase that I
prefer; for such indeed they are, just as we humans likewise are
offsprings of the gods, our forebears and forerunners on the
evolutionary path, leading upwards and inwards forever to
These Teachers of men have themselves been worshiped as gods by
men who forgot the injunctions to take the message and worship
it, but not to worship the bringer. Therein is found grandeur;
for it is, after all, the thought of a man whom is powerful, not
the mouth through which the thought pours forth. It is the love
in a man's heart that makes him sublime, not the mouth that
declares it. I think that one of the proofs that these Great
Ones who have lived amongst us and who will come again and again
and again -- I think one of the proofs of their divinity is
precisely the fact that they accepted naught for themselves, but
called attention to their teachings only.
How beautiful to the hearts of men are they that come bringing
tidings of great joy. Their faces are suffused with the dawn of
a newer, a grander, and a more beautiful age. For they are its
prophets and its heralds, harbingers of a new time to come, when
instead of enlarging quarrel and war, men shall learn that the
ways of peace are the ways of strength and of power and of wisdom
and of plenty and of riches.
DICKENS'S NOVELS AND THE DISCOVERY OF THE SOUL
By K.J. Fielding
[From THE ARYAN PATH, May 1962, pages 210-14.]
In his own day, Dickens was more than once denounced as the sort
of man to whom religion is "a system of mild and sentimental
prettiness." Much more recently there have been critics who have
repeated that he used religion as a form of emotional
self-indulgence, and that he "had absolutely no conception of
sanctity." It has been said that his own faith was both cut off
from tradition and lacking in consistency. Yet this would never
have been recognized by Dickens himself; it is strongly
contradicted by the experience of many who read him; and though
it may be that there is sometimes a certain technical
superficiality in his art as a novelist in expressing his faith,
it is evident that he came to have a deeper concern with the
spiritual view of life than many of his more critical readers
It is a concern that deepened with experience; yet just because
he was not communicative about his inner life, this is something
that has seldom been recognized. Biographers are rather
naturally attracted by the outward incidents of his private life,
his public appearances, and his separation from his wife and love
for another woman. His own concern with these things, as Dickens
recognized, was bound up with the nature of his life as a writer
of fiction who perpetually seeks "realities in unrealities," and
whose mind finds a "dangerous comfort in the perpetual escape
from the disappointment of heart around it." But he was never a
superficial writer, and as he passed his fortieth year, the very
practice of his art as a novelist led him to become more and more
concerned with the nature of personality and the purpose of life.
It began to show in BLEAK HOUSE, which in one way can be read
(like all his novels) as a satire on his times, and in another
way as the writer's vision of a world that is purposeless,
disordered, and ugly. Only in connection with its central
character who tells the story, the young girl Esther Summerson,
are we given glimpses of a beneficent world in which prayer may
bring strength from a Providence that has not entirely deserted
Man. For others, clarification comes only at the point of their
leaving life: Richard Carstone sees his mistakes and understands
that his life has been "a troubled dream."
It is only at the death of Jo the crossing-sweeper that light
breaks at last (says Dickens) "upon that dark benighted way."
Yet, even in BLEAK HOUSE, we are left with the impression of a
fictional world, the apparent realities of which seem very
different to different men; and its author-creator does not
finally commit himself as agreeing that the true view of this
world is necessarily the one taken by those of his characters who
have most faith.
BLEAK HOUSE was followed by HARD TIMES. This was, again, closely
concerned with contemporary happenings. Yet the essence of the
novel is not simply the contrast depicted between the soulless
and soul-destroying industrial world of Coketown and any society
in which men are bound together by respect and affection. Though
this was what Dickens wrote of best, the message of his novel is
also partly conveyed in the words of the wronged and
self-sacrificing Stephen Blackpool, who dies gazing at a star
that he thinks of as the same as the one that guided the wise men
to the birthplace of Christ, and who dies praying that all men in
the world may come together at last and understand each other
Even so, it might not be unreasonable to suggest that in such
accounts as the death of Jo in BLEAK HOUSE or of Stephen
Blackpool in HARD TIMES, Dickens was simply giving his public
what it wanted, not what he genuinely believed. Against this
must be set the fact that this strain in his novels continued to
deepen, and that we happen to know from notes and jottings he
made in preparation for his next book that he was thinking of it
more and more. For it was just at this time that he began
keeping a notebook in which one can trace his preoccupation with
the themes that he was to take up in his next novel, LITTLE
A few entries in the notebook seem to reflect what he had come to
think of as his own predicament: he thinks of himself as,
> [The man] always, as it were, playing hide-and-seek with the
> world and never finding what Fortune seems to have hidden when he
> was born;
And he writes of
> The man who is incapable of his own happiness. Or who is always
> in pursuit of happiness. Result, where is happiness to be found
> then. Surely not everywhere? . . . Is THIS my experience?
He was anxious to escape from self-preoccupation or attachment,
and writes with contempt of
> the man whose vista is always stopped up by the image of Himself
> . . . Looks down a long walk and can't see round himself . . .
> Would be such a good thing for him, if he could knock himself
He dreams of a novel he might write called "Time" or "The Great
Wheel," or "Fallen Leaves"; and he seems to contrast himself with
the figure of the Ferryman on "a peaceful river," who never
leaves his post but grows old by the unchanging river, while "the
same tune is played by the rippling water against the prow." Such
thoughts as these were closely linked with his next work.
Everyone who reads LITTLE DORRIT recognizes that the central
theme of the novel is imprisonment. The central character is a
young woman born in a prison to which her ruined father had been
consigned for debt. She knows no other life, but remains
unspoilt by this. He, on the other hand, adopts a new way of
life in prison, and becomes morally as well as financially
bankrupt. Even when wealth comes to the old man and he is
released from prison, he is never spiritually free. We are
shown, moreover, that he comes out into a world in which
politics, society, finance, and even religion are all part of the
prison that men make for themselves. Two of the chief characters
are Miss Wade, a "self-tormentor," who is bound within a tight
circle of hatred for herself and everyone else, and Mrs.
Clennam, who has shut herself up in one room -- for more than
twenty years -- and has confined herself to a faith dominated by
a belief in punishment.
So far, one might read all this only as if it were another of
Dickens's novels in which he questions the values of contemporary
society and shows his scorn for all who turn themselves away from
"the light of day" and "a thousand natural and healing
influences." Yet it is not simply left to the reader to
allegorize the story, or to try to read into it, bearing
Dickens's notebook jottings in mind. Explicitly as can be,
Dickens says at one point (Part II, Ch. 30) that as the rising
sun slants its "long bright rays" across the awakening city, they
were "bars of the prison of this lower world." There is another
world, in other words, but in this one we are shut out from it
even by the brightness of the sun. Dickens's "shades of the
prison house" were thus conceived by him as of the same kind as
in Wordsworth's "Intimations of Immortality."
Read in this way, the toil of the world as shown in the working
of the government Circumlocution Office, the suffering we see in
Bleeding Heart Yard, and the strange passing and repassing of the
numerous characters who are "restless travelers on the pilgrimage
of life" that are duly contracted with the foreshadowed scene at
the ferry, all have a new and deeper significance. It is by the
ferry that Clennam has a vision of the meeting of the two worlds,
"fraught with solemn mystery of life and death," and sees that as
"between the real landscape and its shadow in the water, there
was no division." It is only as old Dorrit dies that we see the
two worlds meet again.
> [As] quietly, quietly, the ruled and cross-ruled countenance . .
> . became fair and blank. Quietly, quietly, the reflected marks
> of the prison bars and of the zigzag iron on the wall-top, faded
For years the old man has selfishly sacrificed his daughter,
Little Dorrit, and scorned his broken but patient brother. That
night, the brother also dies, after blessing his niece; and the
two brothers are then "before their Father; far beyond the
twilight judgments of this world; high above its mists and
These were not entirely new themes and insights for Dickens, but
they had come more to take the central place in his novels. As
he grew older, he had come to have a greater sense of eternity on
looking back in time. So now, Dickens turned to another idea
prefigured in his notebook -- a novel that might have been called
TIME (as he proposed) instead of A TALE OF TWO CITIES (as it
became), and that has as a central character the person he
forenamed in his notes as "Memory Carton."
A TALE OF TWO CITIES is the story of two men, Sidney Carton and
Charles Darnay, who are associated only by chance but who happen
to be astonishingly alike. Beneath the surface they appear to
differ chiefly in that each shows the other what (under different
circumstances, either for good or for evil) he might have become.
They both love Lucy Manette. Once again, images of prison-life
dominate the novel. Lucy's father has been shut in the Bastille
for half his life; and her husband is saved from imprisonment and
execution only by the intervention and self-sacrifice of Sidney
Carton, who takes his place at the guillotine.
It is not a mere melodrama, as it has become on the stage and
screen; for running through the whole of the latter part of the
book are references and phrases recalling the reader to thoughts
of the resurrection and to understanding that the sacrifice that
had been shown to be made by Little Dorrit in serving her father
might become a demand for the sacrifice of life itself. At
death, Carton too has a vision of the man and woman for whose
peace he has died, as they may be when they come to die
themselves, and he knows that each will not be "more honored and
held sacred in the other's soul, than I was in the souls of
It is a work with a richer and more intricate meaning than can
easily be shown or seen; and so too is the novel that follows,
GREAT EXPECTATIONS. This is the story of a boy who befriends an
escaped convict, and who is aghast to discover (many years later)
that it is the convict who has been his lifelong, secret
benefactor. As in the other novels, a truer understanding of
himself, and of Magwitch the convict, comes only when the latter
dies in the prison hospital, clasping the young man's hand. It
is his final release.
Similar themes inform his two last novels, OUR MUTUAL FRIEND and
the unfinished MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. They seem to have been
forced into Dickens's consciousness by dissatisfaction with all
the circumstances of his life at the very height of his success:
it was then that he wrote to a friend that "Nothing can put THEM
right until we are all dead, buried, and risen." Such efforts as
he made were, in fact, unsuccessful. But, in publicly pleading
the cause of his art, in 1858, he spoke in words that can justly
he applied to his own work as a novelist:
> Knowledge [he said], as all followers of it must know, has a very
> limited power indeed when it informs the head alone; but when it
> informs the head and heart too, it has power over life and death,
> the body and the soul, and dominates the universe.
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
By S.W. Stanley
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, February 1927, pages 169-72.]
A white bird fluttered from the outer darkness into a brightly
lighted room. It hovered a few moments in the dazzling light,
then with quivering silver wings, it turned and vanished into the
Hardly less brief a spell on earth is ours than is this momentary
hovering; as brief in the relation of the known to the unknown,
and as dazzling in the change from darkness to the light of
birth, and from the light again to the darkness of death; a few
short years of noise and effort, and then the great and
Such an inexplicable prolog to an endless vista of subsequent
bodiless inactivity would seem wanton and without meaning if this
were indeed the only life of a man on earth. Thrown amid the
marvels of nature on this wonderful planet, given merely seventy
to eighty years in which to know it all! Well, reptiles live
The whence and whither of the surviving part of a man seems to be
ordinarily of less real consideration to him than are the needs
of his mere body in life. This, of course, is 'natural,' as the
physical faculties serve to rivet the attention to the
In her material aspect alone, the fraction known by us about
Nature is admittedly greatly less than the unknown; the
difference being even greater on leaving behind the mortal, and
approaching the immortal aspects of consciousness, soul, and
"Has life any purpose at all," asks the ignorant but truth-hungry
"Can it be demonstrated," counters science.
"If not, then we had better not speculate," and orthodox religion
raises a forbidding hand.
Never obvious, it needed seeking; a mystery -- yes. Yet there
are those always ready to enlighten the seeker. Such a precious
and beautiful thing may not be exposed to ill usage and abuse at
the hands of the profane.
For many people, Jesus Christ was a very real man and bore a very
real message; Gautama-Buddha is real indeed to the millions in
the East who make his ethics the mainspring of their lives.
There are, of course, other men and women with characters of
outstanding compassion and power -- characters that gleam like
first-magnitude stars in the firmament of the world's history.
In the eyes of Theosophists, these rare and noble souls were one
and all bearers to humanity of the Wisdom that would make men
free. They gave their all, they gave their lives, and they
sacrificed their bodies on the altar of their heroic endeavor.
They were reviled; they often suffered every conceivable
indignity and persecution yet did not draw back. Their selfless
love for humanity carried them through all that men could do to
them, and the Message was given. History repeats itself down to
our own day.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the bearer of the Secret Knowledge of
the archaic ages to the western world, under the name of
Theosophy, shared the fate of her predecessors. Her mantle fell
on W.Q. Judge, who bore it nobly until moral persecution brought
his early death. Thence in a direct line has the duty of keeping
alive the precious flame of truth descended to Katherine Tingley,
the guardian and teacher of the present day.
Thus the heroic struggle goes on, and on, throughout the ages.
When the light burns dim and moral and spiritual darkness
threaten the world, a Teacher arises to hold the light high.
After many ages, it sinks again, and then again arises one who
bears it courageously in sight of all. Such were today our three
Leaders, H.P. Blavatsky, W.Q. Judge, and now Katherine Tingley,
and their message, even as was Jesus Christ's, is human
brotherhood, universal love, and the Ancient Wisdom.
This is a message which involves the whole life, as a moment's
consideration must show. It is worthless if but the mere
stringing together of words; there is little more virtue in a
beautiful tenet than in a bag of wind, unless it is LIVED; mere
ideals without action cut no paths through the jungle of life.
But regarded as laws of conduct, the Theosophical teachings are
There are those who deny any purpose in existence, who hold the
Universe and the wonders of Nature to be of unknowable origin and
the sport, merely, of chance, and that no beneficent and just law
governs human life. In the hearts of such, the verities of
Theosophy will hardly find responsive echo, and to them life must
prove a meaningless affliction, or a selfish indulgence.
Theosophy throws an all-penetrating light into this spiritual
obscurity. Putting the nightmare-dream of chance aside, it
declares and proves the whole orchestration of being to be under
the direction of unalterable spiritual laws.
This speck of cosmic dust that we call Earth is but a mere point
in the framework of Being. Astronomically, in this sense, we are
almost negligible; similarly, our very solar system is
negligible. Is it conceivable that Space ends with the limit of
vision of our telescopes?
It is known that inviolable processes called laws govern the
movements of the planets around the sun and of the solar family
around its greater sun; and imagination allied with logic
conceives a yet mightier spatial center with the greater sun as
Where is the evidence of chance here? And is the evidence less,
for example, in the rhythmic birth, growth, and propagation of a
simple plant? The alternation of night and day; of the seasons;
the rise and fall of nations, and much more: -- can sanity
attribute it all to accident? Where then is the bar to the
acceptance of an equally profound and powerful purpose in human
Viewed in the larger sense, is there anything more outstandingly
improbable in the rhythmic return again and again of a human soul
to earth-life, after alternating periods of sleep known to us as
death, than in the ordered swinging of the earth in its orbit
round the sun, and the inevitable alternation of night and day?
Is, for instance, the concept of individual human responsibility
for individual actions, and the subsequent balance of effect with
cause, incompatible with the perfect balance preserved in Nature,
if one thinks of oneself as part of nature's great plan, as one
logically must think? These are two of the cornerstone teachings
of Theosophy. The first is Reincarnation; the second is Karma.
A third concept, and foremost, is that of the essential divinity
of man who is the hub on Earth of this majestic cycle of cosmic
Could the planets wheel so unerringly about the Sun haphazard and
without a reason? Man, the thinker, is inescapably involved in
that reason, for he is an intrinsic part of it. Back must he
come to this sorrowing earth, in a new garb of flesh and with a
new stock of life, again and again, until he has purged it of its
foulness and made it clean and sweet. Until the poison of hatred
and fear and greed is burnt out of his heart by the kindled fire
of his own essential godhood, and he comes to regard all his
fellowmen as truly his brothers, spiritual co-rays of the
The pilgrimage into incarnation must go on until man has repaid
to the uttermost farthing the debts in thought and word and act
incurred in previous lives, restoring the balance disturbed by
himself. This would seem to be the greater justice, the only
In the depths of the spiritual consciousness of man is stored the
wisdom that he needs, the fruit of former lives, his birthright.
If you seek the purpose of life, look well and truly into the
secret places of the heart. Tune the life to a spiritually
constructive note and live as becomes an essentially Divine
Being, a potential Master of Nature and arbiter of his own
THE SELF IS THE FRIEND OF SELF AND ALSO ITS ENEMY
By W.Q. Judge
[A paper read before the Aryan Theosophical Society, June 6,
1890, later published in ECHOES OF THE ORIENT, III, pages 80-86.]
This sentence in THE BHAGAVAD GITA [VI, 5] has been often passed
over as being either meaningless or mysterious; on one hand
worthless to consider, and on the other hand impossible. Some
students have, however, made good use of the teaching contained
in it. It is a verse that bears directly upon Theosophy as
applied to our daily life, and therefore may well be scrutinized
It indicates two selves, one the enemy and also the friend of the
other. Evidently, without the suggestions found in Theosophy,
two selves in one person cannot seem otherwise than meaningless,
except in those cases, admitted by Science, where there is an
aberration of the intellect, where one lobe of the brain refuses
to work with the other, or where there is some cerebral
derangement. But after a little study of the constitution of man
-- material and spiritual -- as we find it outlined in the
Wisdom-Religion, we easily see that the higher and the lower self
The next injunction, to "raise the self by the self," clearly
points to this; for, as a thing cannot raise itself without a
fulcrum, the self that will raise us must be the higher one, and
that which is to be raised is the lower.
In order to accomplish this task, we must gain an acquaintance
with the self that is to be raised. The greater and more
accurate that acquaintance is the quicker the work will proceed
of elevating the being who attempts it.
Let us for a moment look at the obstacles in the way, the reasons
why, with so many, their understanding of themselves is so
Everyone knows that he can see the defects in the actions and
character of other men better than his own. Some, of course,
there are who do not allow that they have defects.
St. James says that a man looketh in a glass and straightway
forgetteth what manner of man he is. While I have often doubted
this, yet it is true in respect to that looking-glass that is
often by others held up to us to see ourselves in. We see for a
moment our appearance, and then forget it.
There are some things, however, as to which it is often
impossible for us to know ourselves. Such of our tones as are
harsh or disagreeable we often cannot hear as others do. There
is hardly anything so difficult as to really hear our own voice
in its entirety of tone and accent. We are so accustomed to it
that we cannot tell whether it be pleasing or repellent, musical
or discordant. We have to rely upon the statements of those who
I doubt seriously if anyone can ever fully hear, in the way those
to whom we speak do, the tones of his voice, because it is
conveyed to us not only through the medium of the outer ear that
receives the vibrations made without us, but we receive it in
addition through the vibrations made within all through the
skull, and hence it must ever be a different voice for ourselves.
So it would not be profitable to pay too much attention to the
sound of our voice if we do so to the exclusion of that inner
attitude that nearly always determines the tone in which we
speak; for if our feelings be kind and charitable, it is more
than likely that the vocal expression of them will correspond.
The cultivation of the voice, so far as it is possible, can
safely be left to those teachers who aim to soften and polish it.
By taking a few examples from among the many about us and
assuming that they represent possible defects and peculiarities
of our own, we may arrive at something useful in our Theosophical
Here is one who will constantly tell you that several others are
always very fond of talking of themselves and their affairs, and
appear to take no interest in the conversation unless it has them
for center. And after thus depicting the failing of the others,
this person -- man or woman -- immediately proceeds to show that
that is his own particular fault, for from that moment the burden
of the conversation is "I" or "my" affairs.
Our next subject is one who talks a great deal about altruism and
brotherhood, but would not give a dollar to any good cause. Not
perhaps from intentional niggardliness, but from sheer habit of
not giving and not helping.
Here is another who exemplifies the prominent defect of the
century, inattention. He listens to you, but only hears a part,
and then, when repeating what he says he heard you say, he gives
a version entirely at variance with yours. Or, listening to an
argument or discussion, he only attends to that part that being
familiar to him strikes him favorably.
Next we have the bigot who, while exalting freedom of thought and
the unity of all men, displays most frightful bigotry.
Then there is another who illustrates a variety of the first to
which I referred; -- the man who wishes apparently only to impose
his own views upon you, and is careless about knowing what your
opinions may be.
Here is the partisan who favors such a school or set. Nothing
can be said against them, no defect may be pointed out.
Partisanship clouds it all.
Now all of these are only samples; but in some degree every one
of us has them all, perhaps slightly, but still there. They are
all the result of the predominance of the lower self, for they
all show a disposition to put the personal "I" to the front.
They are the present triumph of the lower self over the efforts
of the higher. They may be abated in some degree by attention to
their outer expression, but no real progress will be gained
unless work upon the hidden plane is begun.
Such a defect as that one of not listening long to another man's
views, but hurrying to tell him what you think yourself, is one
that affects the acquiring of new ideas. If you constantly tell
others what you think, you are gaining nothing. For your
experience and views are your own, well known to you. The
repeated expression of them only serves to imprint them more
strongly on your mind. You do not receive any of the new lights
that other minds might cast upon your philosophy if you gave them
There are other factors in our constitution that are powerful for
the production of faults. Every man has two lines of descent.
One is that which comes through his parents and has to do with
his mental and physical make-up. This line may run back into the
most strange and peculiar places, and be found winding in and out
among manners and minds not suspected by us. Suppose your
physical line of descent comes through Danes or Norwegians and
mine through the French. There will be to some extent a want of
sympathy and appreciation on the mental plane between us. Of
course this effect will not be apparent if the period of time is
long since our blood ran in those bodies, but still there will be
left some trace of it. There will be a tendency always for the
physical, including the brain, to show the characteristics that
result from the preponderance of inherited faculties and
dispositions. These characteristics belong wholly to the
physical plane, and are carried down from the centuries past by
inheritance, affecting the particular body you may inhabit in any
one incarnation. It is your Karma to have that sort of physical
environment about your inner self.
Now the obstacles to the perception of truth and to the
acquirement of knowledge of self that are in consequence of the
physical inheritance are difficult to perceive, involving much
study and self-examination for bringing them to light. But they
are there, and the serious Theosophist will search for them.
These differences in the physical body, which we will call for
the time differences in inheritance, are of the highest
importance. They resemble the differences between telescopes or
microscopes made by different opticians, and tend to cause us to
see truth clearly or blurred, or surrounded by many-colored
mists. What we most desire to have is a mental telescope that is
not only powerful, but also devoid of the colors that achromatic
quality only will dispel.
The second line of descent is that one that belongs purely to the
inner man; that is, the psychical line. It is obscure, and,
indeed, can only be discovered and defined by an adept or a
trained seer whose clairvoyance permits him to see that
intangible yet powerful thread that has so much to do with our
character. It is just as important as the physical descent, in
fact more so, because it has to do with the ever-living man,
whereas the physical tenement is selected by or follows upon the
actions that the inner man compelled the former body to perform.
So it may be altered at any time with ease if we live in
obedience to the higher law.
Passing from the broad line of descent in a nation, we find each
individual governed also by the family peculiarities and faults,
and they are not as easy to define as those that are national,
since few men are in possession of any facts sufficient to
ascertain the general family tendencies.
Coming down now to us, it is almost axiomatic that each one's
mind acts in a way PECULIAR TO ITSELF. There is a tendency that
daily grows stronger after our earlier years for the mind to get
into a rut, its own rut or mode of looking at things and ideas.
This is of great importance. For the man who has freed his mind
so that it is capable of easily entering into the methods of
other minds is more likely to see truth quicker than he who is
fixed in his own ways.
We must then at once constitute ourselves our own critics and
adversaries, for it is not often that anyone else is either
willing or capable to take that part for us.
Our first step and the most difficult -- for some, indeed,
impossible -- is to shock ourselves in such a manner that we may
quickly be able to get out of, or rather understand, our own
mental methods. I do not mean that we must abandon all our
previous training and education, but that we shall so analyze all
our mental operations as to know with certainty, to easily
perceive, the actual difference in method between ourselves and
any other person. This is a thing seldom undertaken or
accomplished by men nowadays. Each one is enamored of his mental
habits, and disinclined to admit that any other one can be
better. When we have become acquainted with this mental path of
ours, we are then in position to see whether in any particular
case our view is false.
This is the psychological and metaphysical equivalent of that
scientific process that classifies and compares so as to arrive
at distinguishing differences in things in order that physical
laws may be discovered. For while we remain in ignorance of the
method and path of our mind's action, there is no way in which we
can compare with other minds. We can compare views and opinions,
but not the actual mechanics of the thought. We can hear
doctrines, but are unable to say whether we accept or reject from
right reasoning or because our peculiar slant on the mental plane
compels us to ratiocinate wholly in accordance with a mental
obliquity acquired by many years of hurried life.
The value of thus understanding our own mental bias so that we
can give it up at will and enter into the bias of another's mind
is seen when we consider that each of us is able to perceive but
one of the many sides that truth presents. If we remain in the
rut that is natural, we pass through an entire life viewing
nature and the field of thought through but one sort of
instrument. But by the other practice we may obtain as many
different views of truth as the number of the minds we meet.
When another human being brings his thoughts before us, we may
not only examine them in our way, but also take his method, and
adopting his bias for the time as our own, we see just that much
It is very easy to illustrate this from ordinary life. The
novelist sees in the drawing-rooms of society and the hovels of
the poor only the material that may serve as the basis for a new
book, while the social schemer drives thought of hovels away and
sees in society only the means of gratifying pride and ambition,
yet the artist can only think of the play of color and
arrangement of figures, the harmony that delights his artistic
The plain man of affairs is not attracted by the complex events
of every day that have no relation to his business, whereas the
student of Occultism knows that very obscure events point to
other things yet in the future. In every stratum of society and
every art or profession, we constantly have it brought home to us
that each man looks at any subject from but one or two
standpoints, and when a well-balanced mind is found looking at
events and men and thoughts freely from all sides, everyone sees
at once a superiority in the person, albeit they may not be able
to explain it.
But it is in Theosophical study especially that it is wise for us
to constitute ourselves our own critics and to adopt as far as
possible the practice of leaving our own mental road and taking
up some other. The truth is simple and not so difficult to
arrive at if we will follow the advice of the Hindu Upanishad and
cut away error. Error grows largely out of notions and
preconceptions educated into us by our teachers and our lives.
The influence of these preconceptions is seen every day among
those Theosophists who are seeking for more books to read upon
Theosophy. Their minds are so full of old notions that are not
violently expelled, that truth cannot be easily perceived. But
if they read fewer new books and spent more time in re-reading
those first attempted, meanwhile studiously endeavoring to enter
into all of the author's thought, much more progress would be
Take for instance THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY. It is full of all the
main doctrines of the Wisdom-Religion, and of hints towards
others. Many persons have read the book and then sought another.
They say that they have mastered it. Yet if you put to them some
questions or listen to their own, it is apparent that only that
part of the work that in some way coincides with their own
previous training and line of thought has been grasped.
Now this is just the part they need not have dwelt upon, because,
being like to themselves, it may at any time be understood. But
if one will ever stand as one's own critic, then those parts that
seem obscure will be attacked, and being viewed from all sides,
may be soon turned into a possession. And just because such has
not been the practice, it has come to be the fact that some
extremely valuable presentations of doctrine and philosophy
remain buried in earlier Theosophical books and magazines, while
those who once read them have gone feverishly on to other works
and forgotten that which might have enlightened them.
The Theosophist who delights to call himself practical and
logical, an abhorrer of mysticism, should try to see what the
mystical Theosophist means, and the mystic one should read
carefully the words of the practical member to the end that he
may counterbalance himself. A wholly practical or entirely
mystical mind is not well balanced. And as long as the logical
and practical man in our ranks scouts mysticism and never reads
it, so long will he remain deformed and unbalanced in the eyes of
those who see both sides, because he is wrapped up in ideas and
methods that are only right in their own domain. The attitude of
mind proposed is not to be observed only toward our literature
and the philosophy studied; it is to be that of every hour and
applicable to our dealings with our fellow-men. It will lead us
to discern the common failing of refusing to consider the
thoughts expressed by another because his or her personality is
disagreeable to us.
Often in our ranks we can find those who never pay any attention
to certain other members who they have decided cannot reason
properly or talk clearly. Now aside from all considerations of
charity and politeness, there is an occult law much lost sight
of, and that is that everyone is led insensibly by Karmic law to
address others on these topics and to afford an opportunity to
the person addressed of taking a leap, so to say, out of his own
favorite way and considering life as seen through the eyes of
another. This is often brought about, if we permit it, through
the endeavor to control the irritation or dullness caused by the
way in which the other person presents the thought in his mind.
But if we refuse to use the opportunity, either by absolutely
running away or by covering our minds with a hard coat of
indifference, the new and bright idea just trembling into the
field of our consciousness is thrown back and lost in the dark
recesses of the mental plane.
Taking another view, we may under Karmic law be the one and only
person just then fitted to elucidate our brother's idea, and we
remain still the debtor to him if we do not accept the
opportunity. On either hand the result is demerit.
Let us, then, conquer self in the field indicated, and thus turn
the inward insidious enemy and deceiver into the friend and
NEW INTERPRETATIONS ON THE FAILINGS OF OTHERS
By Katherine Tingley
[From THE GODS AWAIT, pages 80-90.]
A prophet is without honor in his own country; and William Q.
Judge suffered persecution, and his life was shortened by it; but
I wonder whether, if he had come from the Far East in the white
robes of a swami, two-thirds of the American people would not
have been on their knees to him.
It was he who first gave me glimpses of the power of thought and
made me realize what it will do to build or ruin the destiny of a
human being; and in doing so, he showed me how to find in
Theosophy solution of all the problems that had vexed me: how it
points the way to the right treatment of the downtrodden and
outcast of humanity, and to the real remedies for poverty, vice,
On all these subjects, the first word of Theosophy is this: He
who would enter upon the path that leads to truth must put new
interpretations on the failings and mistakes of his fellowmen.
He must come to understand the Law of Eternal Justice, Karma,
that "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," and to
know the necessity it implies for an unconquerable compassion,
because those who fail and fall short do so always through
ignorance. Crime is always the result of ignorance, and there
can be no cure for it until this is recognized.
What, for example, does the criminal know about the God within
him, or his responsibility as a human being, or the large scope
of life? What does he know of the power of the Immortal Self? It
is because these unfortunates are wholly ignorant of the
difference between the brain-mind and the divine life -- between
the Angel and the demon within themselves -- that they have moved
on blindly down and out of the better life.
Their criminality, if the truth were known, has grown up upon the
idea that dread of punishment is the proper, natural, and only
effective deterrent of crime and the one reasonable motive for
avoiding wrongdoing; and what is this but the natural corollary
of the old mistaken teachings? Consequently, once a man has
fallen into error -- once he has made his primal mistake and
taken the first step downward, braved the thing and broken
through the glamour, so to speak -- though it were but by the
stealing of a loaf to appease his hunger, he becomes, in all
probability, a formidable menace to society. And is it not
ignorance that makes him so? Ignorance: that false, pernicious
fear of forces or powers -- a deity -- outside of himself, that
lack of the sovereign knowledge of the God Within?
How then dare we condemn any man? How do we know what we
ourselves might have done if placed as they had been, in other
lives long since forgotten? Even the best of us may have made
mistakes as grave as those of any convict in the prisons. How do
we know? The road to crime is the road of ignorance; he, who
would have assurance that his own feet shall never tread it, let
him cultivate a large toleration for all and a grand compassion
for the erring.
Let him beware of harsh judgment, lest the taint of it should
follow him through many lives! The Soul is judged by the Divine
Law, not by man. The moment we condemn our neighbor, that moment
we doom ourselves. For we are all part and parcel one of
another: Brotherhood is indeed a fact in nature -- a truth which
would be obvious, but that we go through life masked in these
personalities or false selves of ours, and are unaware of the
Real Selves within which are divine.
What is needed is that we should do away with the idea of
punishment altogether, and in its place put correction,
redemption. I would have the word "crime" erased from the
dictionaries and from human speech. Crime is a disease; and
calls not for punishment, but for cure. We must deal firmly and
mercifully with those afflicted. They need hospital treatment --
brotherly, educative, karmic, -- wisely administered and not
prisons and cells and scaffolds.
We ought not to dare to be content or indifferent when we hear of
a man imprisoned. One so suffering through his ignorance and
errors should become our charge: not in such a way as to
pauperize him or increase his weaknesses, but to put him in the
road to overcome them. One who has strayed into the wrong path,
even so grievously as to have taken human life -- should become
our charge, that we may reform him and make him a useful citizen.
He is an invalid and should be treated as such.
He has been infected with the psychological influences of the
age; he is a victim of its ignorance, bowed down under the
pressure of its conditions, and burdened and hopeless with the
weight of his own mistakes; and yet he is susceptible to curative
treatment. He might be made of value to the race. Somewhere in
the nature even of the most wretched, spiritual life is still
pulsating; a ray from the great Eternal still shines. A man lost
to society, as the saying goes, degraded utterly in his own and
the world's estimation, can still be lifted up and put on his
feet. The Higher Nature can still be aroused in him.
Study the development of the minds and characters of the
so-called criminals, and in the course of time, you will discover
that it is the agony of the battle going on in their lives --
with the consciousness of the Higher Self pleading strongly and
working to redeem them from the temptations of the lower -- which
has unstrung them and made them abnormal.
Inquire into the inner history of the boy with the morphine
habit, and you will find, often and often, that he took to the
drug to quiet his conscience. That is at the root of the trouble
with these drink and drug addicts in all cases except those
caused by heredity. Conscience, that light out of Eternity which
is a part of every human life, is so strong and powerful in them,
and so works upon their lives, making them miserable, that they
must do something to escape from it. They would kill themselves,
but very fortunately for themselves have not the courage; and so
they take to the dreadful panacea and the habit grows.
There is no man who commits a crime but he is, in respect to that
action, abnormal, insane. Every boy and girl, and every man or
woman behind the bars is irresponsible. They do not understand
the laws of life; they are at the mercy of their own ignorance.
How can we doubt that the moment a man feels murder in his heart
he has stepped beyond the borders of sanity? When the lower
nature is fired with resentment, hatred, or fear to the degree
that it is ready to kill, the real man has lost all control of
the mind. The impulses of the demon-self when it is fired to a
certain point become uncontrollable: the mind is distorted and
disarranged: the man is insane.
When a man is charged with a crime, and brought into court to be
tried and to receive sentence: how much do we know -- how much do
judge and jury know: of the environment he has grown up in; of
his prenatal conditions, heredity, and physical disabilities; of
his education or lack of education? How much do those who condemn
him know about his life, inner and outer?
A diseased body may easily cause mental and moral disease. A
man's heredity may be such that, though his purposes normally are
high and his intentions of the cleanest, he may drift and go
wrong through lack of self-understanding. The mark was put on
him before he was born; the very vehicle that produced him may
have carried the family taint.
Yet constantly we brand such men criminals, and impose on them
punishments instead of correctives. It is always punishment:
severe punishment; isolation, and to be locked in a cell for
months or years according to the nature of his misdoing and the
decision of a judge who knows no more about the man he is
sentencing, really, than he does about the atoms in the deepest
parts of the sea; -- who does not so much as know himself, nor
has ever discovered or analyzed his own possibilities, divine or
demoniacal; and therefore cannot fall back upon those sublime
resources in his own being which would enable him to do real
justice to his fellowmen.
Then too, let the best of us examine himself and say truly
whether so great a gulf divides him from the prisoner behind the
bars. A man may be essentially mean and selfish in his
character, and yet go through life a model of respectability,
because he has been too inert and forceless or too cowardly to
break the laws: it is not the worst men that we hang or imprison
by any means. With many criminals, the very force that went into
their crimes would make them fine servants of humanity if their
crime-insanity were cured.
A man may be today a hero and a saint; and tomorrow, under the
impulse of his lower nature, he may be brought quite down by some
remarkable temptation. The wavering mind is in the light today,
and tomorrow in the shadows: it may drop below the level of the
soul-life, at any time, and do disastrous things.
Here is the divine overshadowing, the illumination, the high
endeavor and the purpose: and yet upon a sudden urge, in a moment
-- for a bagatelle, a nothing -- the Greater Self may be shut
away and banished, that the mortal and the animal self may have
sway and power.
I remember an orator, with the wisdom of the Gods, you would say,
in his speech; yet nestling in hidden places in his nature were
lurking demons that he had suppressed but had not conquered; and
he had not theretofore been subjected to any really great
temptation; and in his egoism and foolish pride, he had hugged to
his heart the idea that he was on the right lines of evolution;
but all the time, these insidious hidden foes in the passionate
and selfish side of his nature were eating like canker-worms into
the fiber of his being; and when the great temptation came -- as
come it must in all such cases -- the intellect was overpowered
and the heart lost sight of; and the passion of the man, which
had been but a half-desire a few weeks before, became the
dominant power in his life, and the spiritual will was set aside;
and what was left of him was a brute -- a moral wreck and a
complete inversion of the man the world had known.
He who yesterday was the admired of the world; who perhaps was
trying to do right: tomorrow may be behind the bars and awaiting
in the dreadful silence of the condemned cell the steps of the
dreary procession that will lead him forth to be hanged: and for
no more strange or improbable reason than that there was
unbalance in his character; unbalance in his education: overdoing
on one line, neglect on another.
There is, in truth, but one kind of crime which is committed by
sound and disposing minds, and it is that form of murder which is
called capital punishment.
UNIVERSALITY AND THE ESOTERIC TRADITION
By G. de Purucker
[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 46-48.]
HPB wrote grandly of the Secret Doctrine of the ages, and she
pointed out that this Secret Doctrine has come down to us from
time immemorial in the guardianship of our great Teachers in all
their various grades. She showed that this Wisdom of the Gods
was originally handed to the first human protoplasts by beings
from other spheres, by spiritual beings from other planes, to use
our jargon, which we have popularized. But it seemed to me that
with all the grandeur of her teaching and the high plane of
thought to which she led us, there still remained something to be
given that should guard the student against the intrusion into
his mind of false ideas, false teachings, and doctrines leading
him away from the Central Fire. In other words, men lacked,
Theosophists lacked, a standard, a touchstone, against which they
could lay a teaching presented to them and find out whether the
teaching were pure gold or only tinsel, brass.
What is this really infallible touchstone, this instrument that
you can use if you recognize it? It is universality. Any
teaching presented to you that cannot stand that test, which can
be shown to be only a purported communication from other spheres,
and which has no basis in the great philosophies and religions
and sciences of the past given to mankind by Masters of Wisdom --
any such teaching is fraudulent and has no right, no place, in
court, in the court of our conscience. The gods taught men in
the beginning, man in his childhood, and led him on, and bred him
up, enlightened his mind, so that it could receive and understand
and pass on IN SECRET AND OPEN TRADITION the archaic God-Wisdom,
our god-teachings, the Secret Doctrine.
In getting this idea, this conception that truth, reality, has
been communicated to mankind, that it is now on earth ready for
us when we prove ourselves ready for it and worthy of it, we
understand that it is traditional, that it has been given forth
in larger or smaller measure and in varying manners from age to
age by the greatest men, the titan intellects, of the human race;
and therefore that this tradition, this Qabbalah, this
Brahma-Vidya, can be found in all the great religions and
philosophies of the ages.
In accepting this view, you lose sight of the mere author of
whatever book may be in your hands. You forget the personality,
the individuality of the Teacher, and you look to what he brings.
IF HE IS GENUINE, you find not the vague frontiers upon which
structures of falsity may be erected by scheming minds, but
rather you understand that here is a glorious and mighty
Tradition coming down to us from the Universe, from the heart of
Divinity, and that its appearances as communicated to men are in
the great religions and philosophies of the ages.
It is this Tradition, this Secret Doctrine, which gave to HPB the
title of her masterpiece; and it was for this same reason that I
chose these actual words, "The Esoteric Tradition," as the title
of my latest book. It is esoteric because few have as yet
understood it. It is traditional because it has been handed down
from immemorial time. Thus, THE ESOTERIC TRADITION is an
attempt, feeble it may be, but very honest and sincere, to do
what our Teachers are trying to do with us: to instill into our
hearts and minds a reverence for and a worship of the truth
before us; to awaken in our hearts the divine Fire of love for
all that is, which becomes constricted and restricted and usually
degraded when it is fastened solely on an individual accepted as
The suggestion in the title of this book is that a Teacher should
receive reverence, but only in so far as his teaching is truth.
In losing sight of the man, you see the Message. Was there not
need -- is there not need, of just this touchstone, particularly
in the Theosophical Movement today? Is it not absolutely
accordant with all that dear HPB taught us: to look within, to
look up, to forget yet to revere the hand that gives; to take the
Message? Inspect it. Take from it what you find good; reject the
balance if you wish. You may make a mistake in so doing, but you
are exercising your prerogative of choice, of discrimination, of
intuition. And by so exercising it, you give it strength; and as
time passes, it will grow very powerful, and you will then take
back the corner-stone that you rejected. In so doing, you will
receive the Teacher with the teaching in your hearts and in the
One lesson I have learned: that it is the teaching and its magic
working upon me that counts; for when the teaching enters my
heart, my reverence for the communicator grows. Is not your
reverence for our Masters infinitely greater when you realize
that they awaken in us the noblest and best? It is just this
noblest and best in us that, when awakened, enables us to see
them. And that is what they want: not to have us see them, but
to have us awake, our hearts beating in steady rhythm with the
heartbeat of the universal heart, and our minds fired with the
truth that they communicate to us and that we value precisely in
proportion as it is impersonal.
I think the Theosophical Movement will suffer from no more
fakers, no more false teachers, now or in the future, provided we
can remember that the touchstone of anything that may be offered
to us for a teaching is universality, and the appeal to the
conscience, the appeal to the voice within.
1926 -- 1927
By W. Emmett Small
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, February 1927, pages 172-75.]
I was toiling along the road as I had been toiling along it many
a day when I beheld a tall figure with his back to the great
dropping Sun; and I marveled that one should thus wantonly turn
his eyes from such glory, nor desire his soul to seek repose
among the heaven-flocks that roamed in the sunset-pastures of the
West. And I hailed him, having in mind the oddness of this:
"Who are you?"
"I am 1926. I am wise; tarry here with me, for I have lived long
and know much and can tell you all the secrets you wish to know."
I looked on his face and thought it old and wisdom-tired. And so
I held further parley and sought to know why he did not move on
but stood statue-struck in the middle of the road.
"Look!" I urged, "There are great sunny stretches yonder where
the grassy prairie-lands laugh in the sunshine beneath the
brooding purple mountains; and already the pageantry of Evening
is ascending from beyond the sea-rim, and soon Night will come
riding in. Come on with me; for I'll be hitting the onward
"Ah, child!" he murmured, "you dream; and what you say is words I
have heard on the lips of other child-men caught in the webs of
Dream. There is nothing beyond me. I stand with my back to a
great wall and all beyond is a depthless abyss. Stand here and
face with me the things that have been, for I am the end of all!
I am wise, tarry here with me!"
The while he spoke, I looked on him, but his eyes seemed always
to be fixed on things beyond me as though I was of equal
importance with the turnstile I had passed a mile behind. His
gaze was always on the past. And I, coming out of the past, had
had enough of it and wished to move on; for I could see the great
fields ahead running out and stretching their arms to the
Yet I thought that his face was good and old and wise. Surely I
would be wrong not to heed his words . . . And he had said that
there was nothing beyond him . . . And so my perplexity was such
that I sought to see things as he did, and I turned round and put
my shoulder to his and saw the whole of 1926.
In this great backward sweep, I beheld terrible, pitiful,
degrading things; things that could only have been born in the
shadow of the Lost Self. And as they flashed by, it was as
though all the Winds of Heaven had been exiled and were keening
for their wandering souls.
Of what I watched, I remember this: I saw a boy steal; and he was
not the soul of one, but the shadow of a million. And I saw him
shut in a dark big house, and I saw Revenge press through the
bars and sup with him; and presently they stalked out together:
and then I beheld Murder, and it was not the murder of one, but
the murder of a million. And I saw Death clutch a million lives
and beheld the weariness of despair on the worn-out bodies of
them all. And I saw War slip in to the home of a family and sear
its heart-ties with the fire of Ambition and Jealousy; and it was
not the hearth of one home but the hearth of a million that fell
in the flames that leaped up.
I heard the words of the Old Year again: "I am wise: tarry here
with me!" I shuddered that such sights should have fed the wisdom
Then I beheld things that were splendidly and royally performed,
things that could only have been done under the aegis of the
Higher Self, and they were as the breath of whole fields of
lavender and the lutings of a great company of lutists. And of
these, I remember an Artist at his canvas; and here too, it was
not the soul of one that spoke through his brush-strokes, but the
soul of Many. But sorrow came over me when I saw his picture
finished and placed in a great gallery. For one of fame and
importance in the world went by and stared and did not
understand; and it was not the Soul of one that could not
understand but the Ignorance of Many. And so I beheld the
Musician and the Educator, the Poet -- but I dared not probe too
far, for I had a fear of their passing by unrecognized as well.
I stood there a while shoulder to shoulder with 1926; but I could
not feel that the Past was all: that it held the key to Peace.
For as I stood there, I had entered into the hearts of a million
people as they had pressed on towards the last day of the year;
and I found that those that looked only backward -- no matter
whether it was with pride or pleasure or sorrow or joy or disgust
or anger or gratified ambition or even aspiration to a degree
realized -- I found that those that looked only backward were
glutted with their own self-importance, though some called it
atonement, this which was really a gloating over the Good-Evil of
Enough of the Past! I was sick of it! A great nausea swept over
me, and I could have kicked over the Old Fellow into the abyss of
nothingness he prated of as the All there was behind him. Out of
my way! Let me but taste of the Future and drink in great
draughts of its gold and sunshine. The Future -- and I visioned
the promise of nectared moments that would glide unnoticeably
into the Cup of Eternity and my lips clinging to its rim, sipping
Swinging out -- Oh, the Beauty and Glory I shall draw into my
heart! -- I stumbled, and the pale clay road reeled up to meet me
as I fell, knocking over the tall backward-looking figure of
1926. Together we spun through Space, and the dizziness of a
billion stars flooded us. I knew not whether it was a moment or
an eon before cluster by cluster, one by one blinked themselves
out, and I swam up to Day again. The air was all music-strewn,
and I caught the lilt of light laughter. One leaning from out
the Unseen whispered:
> There is no Past but what is as a dream of the Night, picturing
> battles and struggles, victories and defeats, and there is naught
> of Good in it but what you fashion pure-flamed at the Forge of
> the Present.
> There is no Future but what is as a dream of the Day, visioning
> the Peace of utter perfectibility, and there is naught of Truth
> in it but what you weave with the shuttle of the Soul at the Loom
> of the Present.
> But in the arms of Today lies the glow of endless Pasts, the
> gleam of eternal Futures. Awake to the EVER-PRESENT!
The whisper rippled into light laughter again that lilted upward
yet lingered half a pulse-beat ere it paled into the pearl
pavilions of Dawn.
Was I still balance-drunk and visioning clay roads like swords
lightning-winged darting about me? Was it truly an awakening?
I marveled I know not how long, till I awoke to an awareness of
my Companion. He was standing there as before, but facing
forward now in the same direction I had been traveling.
"Who was that," I queried. "What was that laughter? Whose was
"I do not know," he answered.
Marveling still more, I looked up and cried out. Was this the
face that had stayed me but a few moments before, weighed down by
its victories and weighed down by its defeats, full-blown with
its self-importance and deeming much a failure that was in
reality a success and giving a false value to what he in his poor
perspective deemed advancement: a blurred-eyed and tired old man
with no vision but a backward stare? Was this the same, he who
had boasted, "I am wise?" I looked again, and indeed it was a
face of youth and radiance. Perhaps, perhaps . . .
"Who are you," I demanded, neither sorry nor glad, but longing
for even just a little stick to hold on to.
The tall figure laughed. "I do not know. I am just born. I
know nothing. But look how the dew has dropped into the heart of
this little wayside flower and is sparkling and trembling there.
What happiness they share!"
So with the birds singing and both of us but half-guessing the
trick that had been turned; but glorying in the Simplicity of
each Moment -- unknowing yet reborn -- we started down the road
THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE
By E.A. Neresheimer
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, November 1925, pages 429-34.]
> The whole Universe of Action is comprehended in Spiritual
> Knowledge . . . As blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, so the
> fire of knowledge turns all action into ashes.
> -- THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, chapter IV, verses 33, 37
What a wonderful being is Man! Himself a pure spiritual essence,
the Eternal and Changeless Law causes him to enter the stream of
conditioned existence -- for the sake of experience to sink into
ignorance in the realms of Matter, -- thus abandoning his
It has taken conscious effort on his part, along countless
different lines, through untold ages, to establish an adequate
physical vehicle; wherein he at last finds himself in possession
of a moderately useful instrument for his further progress. The
evolving soul has gathered the while a fair amount of information
with respect to the material world, and its own physical
tabernacle, which houses in an interminable sequence of birth and
rebirth, life after life, his unfolding consciousness.
But of the soul itself man has, with the exception of what
knowledge reaches him through the ancient religious philosophies
of the world, but little concrete understanding, though there are
great multitudes of people who are hungry for enlightenment such
as might help them to regulate their actions, and give them an
understanding of the strong urge within themselves that comes
from their innately religious nature.
The physical body alone may, to a degree, be called a veritable
epitome of the past history of man. We have but to hear his
voice, which emits sounds, and formulated speech that comes out
from the silent depths of his past conscious existence;
suggesting for those who can 'see,' a connected succession of
events and of the various stages of progress that are simply the
sequel of vast amounts of experience gained in former lives.
The evolving soul or 'self' of man cannot as yet absorb knowledge
very quickly, for the conscious impulse, by means of which this
might take place, is not strong enough. Possessed of individual
will, in a sea of Nature's fascinating attractions, man sometimes
does, but still more often does not, extract knowledge from his
experiences and other opportunities; as may be seen by observing
two or more people subject to the same circumstances. Certainly
these do not all equally profit by their opportunities, for it
requires the exercise of reason, concentration, and
discrimination combined to determine the relation of things to
each other, and not many are by any means prepared to put these
We are not faced by a single proposition or event in life that is
not at the same time related to many others; the most important
to be considered being those connected with the conscious
personal self, which is after all the greatest factor concerned.
It is when the conjunction of a proposition and our consciousness
takes place, blending these into one, that we draw conclusions as
to real values; but we all too often negatively allow a subject
or an occurrence to pass us by without fixing our attention upon
it, and so no subsequent assimilation can take place, and we miss
the opportunity of acquiring knowledge that these offer us.
A mere accumulation of memorized information or facts does not
constitute knowledge until we have digested these and made them
part and parcel of our being, in the same way that food must be
assimilated into the blood and tissues of the body before we can
say that we have gotten the benefit and nourishment from them
that we should. It is a qualitative assimilation of the essence
of observed facts and acquired information, rather than a
quantitative accumulation of the same that is needed, and this
can be done only when we concentrate the mind and seek to
penetrate deeply into the soul of things. The attitude of mind
must be alert, receptive, and flexible, ever ready to change with
respect to a new aspect of a subject under consideration; for
with every forward step, our judgment continually changes. A
conclusion that we have accepted as true, must finally be
verifiable also by other thoughtful minds capable and willing to
consider it seriously and without prejudice.
Real knowledge is certainly not obtainable from the study and
contemplation of either material objects or personal experience
alone. For this richest of all treasures, everyone must seek
within himself, and he will find that finally it "is alike" in
every man, and can be acquired only through the divine
discriminative faculty, by means of which synthetic deductions
are made, and the unvarnished truth, which needs no argument, is
directly perceived without any external assistance. Toward this
final reality, all things converge, there to become one and the
same thing to all. Hence no one can claim especial knowledge of
anything of which others must forever remain ignorant. Universal
applicability alone is an unfailing proof of the truth of any
postulate, and that which is not thus verifiable can neither
stand the test of logic, nor be in accord with fact at every
point. The perception of the truth is the highest good
obtainable to man; such truth as can under no circumstances be
It is being generally more and more recognized that all men are
religious by nature, even those who go to great lengths in order
to deny that this is a fact as far as they themselves are
concerned. It is undeniable also that a strong ethical trend
pervades the whole human race, and not a single mortal draws
breath who does not feel the 'moral spark' that illumines his
We find, broadly speaking, four different types of human beings,
each of which in their search to realize their inner yearning for
the realities of life, is influenced by one of these four
characteristic trends of mind. First there are those whose aim
it is to find happiness in and through work and in the
performance of duty, while others have leanings towards
metaphysical speculation and contemplation; some again are
especially inclined to analyze and to reason; while a fourth
class of people incline to pure devotion, unquestioning faith,
These divisions are all strongly sustained by enthusiasm, and as
ideals, each represents a different stage of natural mental and
moral unfoldment. Each of these paths, when pursued to its
utmost limit, naturally merges and expands into the next one,
until for the Illuminated Sage, the four paths appear but as
aspects of the One Path, encompassing the perfect moral
characteristics of them all: Right Action, Right Contemplation,
Right Knowledge, and Pure Devotion.
In order to realize that to which man aspires, he must have faith
that the truth he seeks exists, and then in addition to
enthusiasm he must have the courage to some extent to delve into
the Unknown, which no one can explore for him, which he can
realize only by his own efforts. Those who have already passed
the 'Gates of Gold' have left us many a hint to illumine our
darkness, and sufficient suggestions to kindle our faith, so that
with the aid of our latent possibilities, it may eventually burst
forth into a blaze of radiant illuminating light.
In the garden of our ideals, a plant grows that, when well tended
by means of practical ethics, bears rich fruit. Consciously or
unconsciously we are urged on to new effort in order that we may
realize something of that beauty that is, as yet, but barely
formulated in our consciousness. Faith is the precursor of
progress and success even in the smallest thing that we may
initiate, and when we cultivate our garden rightly, the seeds we
sow will come to harvest, and we shall in time reap the truth.
Ideals differ widely among men, but all have one aim alone, i.e.,
the realization of the object our soul aims for. Everything that
is initiated has first to be conceived in faith, and much of its
ultimate success depends upon the strength and constancy of trust
by means of which all vague aspirations in time become more or
less concrete realities. What at one time may appear a far-off
vision thus becomes an actuality; even some of the most
perplexing circumstances that baffle all ordinary attempts at
solution. They also finally yield to persistent faith and
automatically become changed by its magic spell.
The words "thy faith shall make thee whole" is a real truism and
not mere sentimental vagary. To one who is wise, it signifies
deep religious feeling founded on the highest concept of the
ultimate harmony of the universal order of things, and it is
worthy of the most scrutinizing discrimination, aided by
intuitional and reasoned circumspection. All peoples have at one
time based their faith upon the God depicted by one or another of
the great world-religions, instituted for the benefit of those
who have not yet found the Divinity within themselves. Faith is
implanted in the heart of every man; it is a form of innate trust
in the Divine Law that results in an urge to seek knowledge of
the same and a persistent endurance in the endeavor to achieve
Quite often emotionalism and sentimentality are mistaken for
faith, and when not balanced by discrimination, these are apt to
lead to unbalance. Remembering that every thought and act is
subjected to a mass of contradictory impressions, we find that,
if the mind is not restrained from going off on flights of fancy,
and is allowed to dwell on side issues, the full exercise of our
faculties is impeded and our energy and judgment are dissipated.
But if the mind is checked up by the reasoning faculty and by
discrimination, on every occasion, then the dreamy notions that
result from unreasoning faith will be dispelled; in which case
not only will there be no fear of entanglements, resulting from
flight of fancy, but also a positive confidence will be
established and a deposit of valuable knowledge will remain in
the mind forever.
KNOWLEDGE, REAL AND UNREAL
The object of knowledge is, in the first place, to remove
ignorance, which throws a veil over verifiable facts and
conditions, and their relations to Nature and to man himself.
Outside of Nature there are no actual facts and conditions, and
even these only exist for us inasmuch as we have cognizance of
them. We cannot say that we, at the present time, know very much
more than the outer shell of her hidden principles, and when it
comes to a consideration of our own relation to these, then the
mystery deepens still more. We here find ourselves confronted
with infinite complexities of cause and effect produced by our
attitude towards them, such as attention, receptivity, and our
own conduct. The knowledge of the relation of facts to the self
determines their intrinsic value; that is to say, their fitness
depends upon their conformity to the standard of ethics and
ideals of our HIGHEST SELF, whereby the degree of their
permanency and reality may be determined.
Relatively permanent knowledge is realized by enlightened
comprehension and stored away automatically in the consciousness
as an accessible asset to be drawn upon whenever needed. All
that man really POSSESSES, that is to say, all that which no
power whatsoever can take away from him, is knowledge that he has
assimilated and made a very part of his soul. It must, however,
be remembered that all possible standards continually change,
until at last the unmanifested Source of All Consciousness and
Life itself is reached, when Truth is no longer perceived -- but
However, all knowledge is true to the perceiver so long as he
remains in, and is limited by, a state of consciousness wherein
he cannot go beyond a certain standard of recognition. It can be
called real to the extent that all knowledge that is once
assimilated is self-perpetuating; that is to say, the soul, when
it once accepts a new and higher standard, adjusts all previous
knowledge to that standard, and so on forever. Hence the things
that at one time seemed true are no longer considered so at a
later time; the measure of truth perceived increases and is
merged into an expanded state of consciousness in the self of
'Unreal knowledge' is the unassimilated information that comes
and goes in a continuously moving stream of changing emotions,
deductions, notions, scholarship, and experiences. It becomes a
valuable asset only if translated into character, when we have
made it a part of ourselves for the present life, or for many
lives to come, according to the degree of its harmony with the
laws of life, and then also with our own higher nature. Every
accession of real knowledge, be it ever so little, contributes in
a degree to the building up of ever finer vehicles. We are not
precisely conscious where it inheres, or exactly when and how it
prompts us to further conquest, but it acts as a
Nothing is more conducive to success of any kind than real love
for knowledge, an open mind, strenuous effort supported by an
unwavering perseverance that resolutely rejects the fatal
influences of indolence, arrogance, pride, vanity, and
selfishness. To this end we must have enthusiasm and faith in
our quest. These are the weapons with which we can conquer the
archenemy ignorance that bars the realization of our ideals.
Treading the path of knowledge does not lead to a SUDDEN solution
of ultimate problems, but rather to an early possibility for
reaching a position where we can help ourselves by rational
inquiry and the pursuance of that which recommends itself to us
as the best means for gradual development and progression -- not
after death but right here and now in this workaday world of
Knowledge, in the ordinarily accepted sense, is the accumulation
of information acquired by means of experience, inquiry, and the
study of external facts; but REAL KNOWLEDGE, assimilated
knowledge, is a self-reproductive and rejuvenating power that
relates all information to the self, the consciously evolving
entity, which is the representative of the Ego or Inner Man on
this earth-plane. Such knowledge eventually must become manifest
in the 'evolving ' personal self, for Real Knowledge and Right
Ethics are inseparable; that is to say, moral conduct that
conforms with our highest standard of noble living. Of this
standard, only our own conscience can be the arbiter. That
standard has no written code of laws; it is based on the
Universal Law, uncreate and eternal, which is the Law of the
Inner God of every man; to be known by each through
identification with his own Divine Ego, in the 'Kingdom of Heaven
FORGIVENESS AND LOVE
By G. de Purucker
[From GOLDEN PRECEPTS, pages 109-122.]
Love shows the Way and lights the Path; Love is the flowing forth
of the permeate light, the Buddhic Splendor -- the Christ-light
-- at the heart of the Universe: that love that, working in gods
and men, teaches us to know beauty when we see it, especially
inner beauty, to recognize greatness and splendor in others, from
knowing the greatness and splendor in our own inmost being.
Love is the cement of the Universe; it holds all things in place
and in eternal keeping; its very nature is celestial Peace; its
very characteristic is cosmic Harmony, permeating all things,
boundless, deathless, infinite, and eternal. It is everywhere,
and is the very heart of the heart of all that is.
Love is the most beauteous, the holiest thing known to human
beings. It gives to man hope; it holds his heart in aspiration;
it stimulates the noblest qualities of the human being, such as
the sacrifice of self for others; it brings about
self-forgetfulness; it brings also peace and joy that know no
bounds. It is the noblest thing in the Universe.
"Love ye one another" -- a beautiful saying this; for it is an
appeal to the very core of your nature, to the divine within you,
to the inner god, whose essence is a celestial splendor. The
essential light of you is almighty Love.
Love is protective; love is puissant; it is all-penetrating; and
the more impersonal it is, the higher it is and the more
powerful. It knows no barriers either of space or of time, for
it is Nature's fundamental activity, Nature's fundamental law,
and its the universal bond of union among all things. It will
not only eat away the obstinacy of the stoniest of human hearts,
and dissolve the substance of the most adamantine of human minds,
but it will slowly infuse its life-giving warmth everywhere.
Nothing can bar its passage, for it is the very life-essence of
the Universe. For all beings and things are one, ultimately, all
rooted in the one life, and through all flows the steady,
uninterrupted current of almighty Love.
Love is the great attractive power that links thing to thing,
human heart to human heart; and the higher one goes in evolution,
the closer does love enwrap its tendrils through all the fiber of
one's being; or, to change the figure of speech, the more does
the human heart expand with love, until finally it embraces in
its folds all the Universe, so that one comes to love all things
both great and small, without distinction of place or time. Oh,
the blessedness of this feeling, of this realization! Love,
impersonal love, is divine.
Personal love is but a reflection of it; and personal love is
fallible, because the ray is so feeble: the veils of personality
begin to thicken before the inner eye, because personal desire
collects and thickens into one's aura -- the surrounding psychic
atmosphere -- and condenses it, and this it is that causes the
thickening of the psychic veils, obscuring the inner vision and
understanding. The essence of true love is self-forgetfulness,
and to this rule there are no exceptions.
If a man's heart and mind are filled solely with a personal love,
then he loves this but he does not love that; he loves something
over there, but he does not love some other thing here, or VICE
VERSA -- in other words his love is limited in direct ratio with
its personal character. That is the kind of love that is not
wholly true, that is limited. Yet the love of one human being
for another is a faint reflection of impersonal love -- very
faint it is, but it is at least the beginning of
self-forgetfulness. But once the soul is illuminated with
impersonal love's holy splendor, then one truly lives.
Impersonal love is lovely, beautiful, and has no trace of the
things we all dislike. It is always kindly to everything and to
everybody -- to beings and things both great and small. It is
intuitive and it asks no reward; it gives all and therefore gives
itself. It illuminates the heart; it broadens the mind, it fills
the soul with a sense of oneness with all that is; so that you
could no more injure a fellow-creature than you could do a wrong
deliberately and willfully to the thing or to the individual that
personally you love best on earth.
Responsibility, trust, confidence, love -- these indeed bring
happiness, strength, and joy. Cultivate them indeed! But you
will not understand these grand qualities nor truly feel them if
your heart is filled with purely personal limited feelings and
thoughts. Your heart will not have a place for them; it will not
contain them if it is filled with merely personal things. For
personal love has no sense of responsibility. It cannot trust;
it cannot truly confide; it cannot utterly give, because the I is
there in strength all the time and its one thought is: for me,
for me, FOR ME. Anything that has as its motivating cause the
desire for personal benefit is not true love.
Love is a mighty power. Perfect love casteth out all fear. He
whose heart is filled with love and pity never knows what fear
is; there is no room for it in his heart. You will never fear
anything in proportion as your heart is filled with love and
understanding. Love all that lives and you then ally yourself
with invincible cosmic powers and you become strong and
spiritually and intellectually clairvoyant.
You can overcome fear by visualizing to yourself actions and
thoughts of high and noble courage. Think of yourself as doing
courageous actions. Study and admire courageous actions in
others. Study and admire courageous thought in others. Grow to
love courage, so that you follow it. Then you become it and fear
will vanish away like the mists of the night before the rising
sun. There lies the secret of overcoming fear: it is to use the
These are practical rules of ethics, practical rules of human
conduct; and oh, the pity that mankind has lost sight of them!
Men will be ruled by fear just as long as they love themselves;
for then they will be afraid of everything that is going to
happen -- afraid to venture, afraid to act, to do, to think, for
fear lest they lose. And they will then lose. "That which I
feared has come upon me!" It is always so.
It is the great men who do not fear, who venture, who act, who
do: they are the doers, and they are the thinkers of the world.
They love the things that they do; therefore they have no fear.
The strong man is he who loves, not he who hates. The weak man
hates because he is limited and small. He can neither see nor
feel the other's pain and sorrow, nor even sense so easy a thing
as the other's viewpoint. But the man who loves recognizes his
kinship with all things. His whole nature shines with the beauty
within him, expands with the inner fire that flames itself forth
in beautiful and symmetrical thoughts, and therefore in beautiful
and kindly acts. His very features will soften and become
kindly; he will not be feared; he will not be hated.
Impersonal love is magical; it works marvels; it will break even
stony human hearts. Nothing, not even hate, can withstand its
passage. Follow the ancient law: Hate not. Conquer hatred by
love. Requite never hate with hate, for thus you but add fuel to
an unholy flame. Requite hatred with compassion and justice.
Give justice when you receive injustice. Thus you ally yourself
with Nature's own spiritual procedures and you become a child of
the cosmic life, which thereafter will beat in your own heart
with its undying pulses.
Be yourself, and expand your sympathies; touch with the tendrils
of your consciousness the hearts of other human beings. Oh, what
delight to feel, as it were, the inner electrical quiver that
your own soul experiences when you have touched the heart of a
fellow human being!
Another step that leads to the pathway of Divine Love is
Forgiveness. Forgiveness is the movement of the heart that will
lead you to make the first step on the Upward Way; it is in truth
one of the steps to Divine Love. True forgiveness requires
strength of character, real manhood, real discrimination, and
intellectual power; it is the refusing to bear resentment, to
nourish a grudge, to cultivate hatred; and forgiveness means also
to cleanse your own heart of these vile and degrading impulses.
Here is the illustration: you have been wronged; which of these
twain will you do: nourish resentment, cultivate hatred, abide
the time when you may pay back in the same coin, thereby
increasing the trouble and heart-agony of the world by double? Or
will you say: No, I will forgive! I myself have laid the way open
for this, for I myself in the past have brought this pain upon
me. Unhappy man who harms me! I will forgive him.
The evil-doer knows not what he is doing. He is weak. He is
blind. Whereas he with a forgiving heart sees and is strong; for
love forgives all things, and the reason that it does so is
because it sympathizes, it understands. Understanding brings
Learn to forgive; and forgive when forgiving is needed. Not the
mere lip-forgiving, when there is no temptation upon you to hate;
but forgive when forgiveness means calling forth the strength in
you. Love when there is a mean and selfish impulse upon you to
hate, because loving then shows spiritual exercise that means
strength and grandeur within you.
This is very strengthening for you in your inner constitution.
The effort and the result pacify disputes, allay distress,
stimulate trust and kindly feeling; and to him who sincerely and
successfully forgives there come a peace and a consciousness of
strength that nothing else ever can bring.
Forgive and love your fellows, and let that love that fills your
heart with its holy light and illumines your mind with its divine
splendor, let it go out to all that lives, without bounding it,
without laying frontiers for it; and your reward will be very
great. Love is not only evocative of love in other hearts, but
also is very elevating to yourself. It brings out not solely the
beautiful things in the souls of those whom you love, but it
develops your own faculties and powers.
Forgive and love; and you thereby place your feet on the pathway
that will lead you direct to the spiritual Sun that rises
eternally with healing in its wings. Forgive and love; and
before you know it, you will feel the sweet influence of the
Buddhic Splendor -- the Christ-spirit -- stealing all through
your being. You will then become a beneficent power on earth,
not merely beloved of your fellow-men, but a blessing to all
beings. You will then be making a beginning in the proper use of
the sublime faculties and powers native to the god within you;
you will understand all things, because Love is truly clairvoyant
and is a mighty power.
Learn to forgive, for it is sublime; learn to love, for it is
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application