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THEOSOPHY WORLD ----------------------------------- January, 2010
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.)
"With Good Friends," by Eldon Tucker
"Practical Theosophy from the Viewpoint of a Student,"
by Sidney Hamilton
"The Path of Goodness," by Erica L. Georgiades
"The Exiled Ones," by Dara Eklund
"Book Review," by K. Paul Johnson
"To Work at all Times for Eternal Peace," by W. Emmett Small
"The War at the Heart of Kali Yuga," by Pedro Oliveira
"The Moon: Queen of the Night," by Andrew Rooke
"The Eyeless Dragons," by Quintus Reynolds
"Mist," by Mikhail Naimy
"True Gold Fears No Fire," by L. Gordon Plummer
> Yet in and throughout all the ages these Mystery-Schools,
> whether secret or partially secret, or more or less commonly
> known, were the sources or foci out of which went into the
> multitudes of men the impulses and guiding light which build up
> the civilizations of the different epochs. Out of these Schools
> went into the world everything that was of permanent value.
> Out from the arcana of these Mystery-Schools, in the different
> ages and in the different parts of the globe, went the
> teachings, went to men embodying and illustrating those
> teachings, that made the great brilliance of the ancient
> civilizations; and so it was from the remotest epochs of the
> self-conscious human race, down ever to fairly recent times in
> human history.
> G. de Purucker, THE ESOTERIC TRADITION, II, 1049-50.
WITH GOOD FRIENDS
By Eldon Tucker
Those seemingly chance encounters in life may not be as
accidental as you may think. There is a plan and purpose to your
life that may not always be apparent, but a deeper part of you is
looking out for you. Your higher self sees the bigger picture,
and will nudge you in the right direction at times, when it's
truly important for you to encounter opportunities to grow and
Even so, those opportunities are rare, special, and should be
taken advantage of. It is paramount that you're alert for them
and respond when the right moment has arisen. How can you know
that now's the time to act, to do or say something that changes
your life forever? There's a foreshadowing, a general awareness
that this is a special day, that unique things are happening.
You may have a sudden impulse to change your daily routine, to do
something out of the ordinary. Perhaps you ignore it, and it
happens again, stronger this time, and it keeps insisting until
you give in. And then, later, you find you were in the right
place and time for a key change in your life.
There are many lost opportunities. How much better your life
would be if you'd only recognize more and respond when the moment
is right? One such rare event is when you have a chance to know
again loved ones from the distant past, from distant times and
places in other, previous lifetimes.
When such an opportunity happens, you should reach out, be
yourself, and see what happens. Perhaps there will be no
response of remembered kinship, no recognition of a connection
waiting to be reawakened. But there are rare times when
something clicks and there is a renewed connection with a kindred
Special friendships that last a lifetime are treasures to be
sought out and cultivated. Good friends endure through all the
changes that life brings your way, and continue despite long
periods of absence. In having friends who understand you, care
about what happens in your life, who are sympathetic and
accepting, you are enriched.
Which such friends, you do not have to put up appearances. They
genuinely love you as a person and want you to have a happy and
fulfilled life. They're fun to talk to, a joy to share with, and
leave you at ease, free to share what you truly feel.
With them, you have deep connections that tie your destinies
together. There are strong bonds of love and companionship that
many have taken many lifetimes to forge.
You recognized yourself, a big part of your life, in the other.
The friend may be of either sex, of any age, from any background
in life. The bond is not based on external appearances. He or
she is a dearly loved one, someone you truly know.
There are many such people in the world, most of whom you may
never know. You could be around one for years, never speak,
never know a connection, then serendipitous circumstances bring
you together and the bond is renewed. Why is this? How you get
to know someone is a dynamic process. Friendship and love are
like a dance, a growing together, a connecting on different
levels. How it happens affects how it becomes this time, how you
relate in this lifetime.
Who do you turn to when troubled? Who can share your joys in life
with, feeling appreciated and loved? Who, when you share with,
makes you happier in your joys and comforted in your pain, just
by having shared with the friend?
You may own a house, have a job and career, have a spouse or
loved one, and have fascinating hobbies. But these all may come
and go in life. Things change. But true friends are always
there, for life, a source of love and comfort regardless of what
life throws your way.
With good friends, there are no strings attached. There is
nothing in your career, employment, marriage, blood ties, or
other commitments that hold you and the friend together. The
only bond is one forged by a kinship of soul and mutual caring.
It's like two birds that choose to fly together in the sky,
rather than a pair of hamsters kept together because locked in a
small cage. It is mutual caring, not external circumstances,
that is the draw.
The ultimate evolution of humanity is not to a disconnected
impersonal caring for others, like a person who smiles at
everyone and everything without any reaction to the differing
states of others. Rather, it is found in deep ties of love with
many, many people.
There's a difference between impersonality and unselfishness.
Impersonal love may be described as not caring who the recipient
is, being indifferent, without any bond or tie, transient,
readily able to walk away and never see the other again, not
caring for the person, only interested in that one moment when he
or she is before you. But that isn't quite right.
Being unselfish is wanting the best for you and the other,
neither being greedy for yourself nor giving too much
unnecessarily. You give just what is right, allowing neither
greed for what you keep for yourself nor greed on the other's
behalf to control the giving. All you both have is shared with a
sense of fairness.
When you learn non-attachment to pleasure and pain, that doesn't
mean that you adopt a cold indifference to the needs of yourself
or others. You may love an experience, and want to repeat it to
get the same pleasure. It can become addictive. But each
experience, taken anew, with no expectations nor demands upon the
outcome -- that's true non-attachment. Give each experience in
life a chance to be fresh and new, not constrained to follow the
previous ways that it has gone before.
The same is true with friends, true friends. Seeing them is
always a joy, when done without any expectations. It is a chance
to share yourself without having to put up any pretenses.
As with ordinary friends, there may be a give and take, an
ongoing exchange of inspirations, ideas, feelings, and most
importantly of our time. The love and caring shown us evokes
more from our hearts, and our connection deepens. With true
friends, though, we cannot help wanting to share, regardless of
the response. The other's happiness and welfare is too deeply
connected to our own. We know it and touch it too intimately to
need any external reward for showing new kindness.
Humanity is bettered when we've all forged many strong bonds of
love, caring, and closeness to others. This is not achieved when
we've all come to some impersonal caring for others that forges
no bonds and leaves people so loosely connected that we could all
go off on our own ways and not miss a single person.
It is because of the deep connections that we forge with others
that we have depth to our lovingness and the ability to brighten
the lives of others. Each such bond ties us to our external
humanity, to true compassion for others lives, and inwardly to
our higher self, as deeper parts of us become engaged in our
lives and in connections to the outer world.
PRACTICAL THEOSOPHY FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF A STUDENT
By Sidney Hamilton
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, April 1927, pages 376-78.]
The subject, Practical Theosophy, implies a doubt in some minds
that Theosophy is practical. It must be my effort, therefore, to
make it clear that Theosophy is essentially practical. The word
'practical' has been applied for so long a time to the merely
material expressions of man's life, that to use it in some very
different connection might arouse disagreement at first. An
instance or two of my meaning, however, will prove the contrary.
The guidance and control of an ocean liner, for instance, is a
practical man's job; but he can do this only through his
knowledge of purely theoretic lines; lines, however, which are
fundamental to the laws of navigation. If we stop to think we
shall see that all of our 'practical jobs' are based, just as in
this instance, upon unseen laws and forces. The food we eat is
material, but it is the unseen life in the food that we make use
of in our bodies. The unseen ether holds sounds which would be
forever unheard by us if it were not for the practical use of the
radio and wireless receiving-instruments. The sounds are caught
again from this unseen container.
The heat- and light-rays from the sun are immaterial things to
us, yet they support all existing life on earth. The sun has
always been where it is, shedding its light and heat into space.
Electric and other forces have been always coming to us from it,
but man has as yet put only very little of these unseen forces to
practical use. One knows that in far antiquity, man was using
these energies more than we can dream of doing nowadays, as many
discoveries tend to prove.
As all the real practical issues of material existence are based
on the application of powerful and invisible forces, so the much
greater issues of the moral life of man and his soul-life are
based on influences much more subtle and effective than those
behind the gross material world. The essential divinity, the
Soul in man, is the unseen power behind his life. The knowledge
of this power, and of how to bring it into practical expression,
Theosophy gives to man. It has always been his, but like the sun
or the ocean of ether, it is waiting for man to open it up, to
discover what is there.
The study of Theosophy will show any one that he is more than
just his body. It is because of living and feeling entirely in
his body and lower passions, that man commits the crimes we are
so familiar with today, crimes that make us wonder whither
humanity is drifting. We see every day the results of the animal
nature of man running wild. Nothing, social position nor wealth,
can stem the tide of crime till something more than man's animal
impulses rules his life. Families are broken up, individual
lives are wrecked. What, then, could be more practical than the
application of a knowledge that will ultimately stem this tide of
disintegration? The knowledge that will do this is Theosophy.
Theosophy gives an adequate and satisfying answer to any question
or problem that weighs upon the mind or heart. If any one doubts
this, let him study and find out for himself. This effort will
be not only of great benefit to himself, but for the State as
well, for then he will never sanction such a law as that
legalizing capital punishment, a law which shows complete
ignorance of how to deal with the problem.
It would be a mistake to think, however, that the Theosophist has
no problems to solve in himself. He has as many as anyone else,
but he knows where to turn in order to try to solve them. His
lower nature is ready for a fight too, when attacked; but herein
there is an incentive to put up a brave fight against himself,
and win. Once one has decided to direct his life from impulses
other than those of his lower nature and its body, his steps are
directed on a worthwhile path, a path which once he has glimpsed
it, he never fully turns away from again. He may wander for a
while on side-tracks, but will be glad when the 'main-road' is
Then, too, his sincere efforts will be a help to those around him
who perhaps fall into side-tracks more often than he does. We
help each other in ways we little dream of, in our own efforts at
self-conquest, and it is these unseen links that bind humanity in
one Brotherhood. It is on this unseen plane that our efforts
become of value and support to others.
To be able to arouse even one individual to the realization of
the common spiritual origin of man, to make him see that
Brotherhood is an actual fact in the soul-life of everyone, so
that he will realize that he is a link in an actual brotherhood
of humanity, would be of greater practical value in healing the
nations' wounds, than any number of peace-treaties.
When our higher nature is neglected, we hardly realize its
presence. It has to be nourished, not neglected, just as the
body must be nourished in order to keep its health, if it is to
be of any practical value to us. The sun is as necessary to the
life of the earth, as is the soul to the life of man, for that
soul-force sustains him through all pain and sorrow and
suffering, with the hope it gives of another chance even though
he has to wait a lifetime. It gives him fortitude to endure. It
inspires him to acts of heroism that the body would shrink from.
In fact, the essential divinity of man shares its origin with the
power which lies behind the light of the sun.
Every one of the facts mentioned are based on a knowledge which
Theosophy gives. It explains our everyday existence and
therefore is most useful to us. If it is so valuable to us in
our everyday life, can one still doubt that it is practical?
Theosophy is, in fact, not only the most serious movement of the
age, but also the most practical movement.
THE PATH OF GOODNESS
By Erica L. Georgiades
[A lecture at the International Convention of the Theosophical
Society, Adyar, Chenresi, India December 29, 2008.]
A few days ago I arrived from Greece, where there was much
tension. We lived through many days of savage vandalism in
Athens, where hundreds of shops, cars, and properties were burned
and destroyed. India, which is mourning the victims of the
terrorist attack in Mumbai, is filled with tension from trying to
find ways to prevent future terrorist attacks. These situations
show the chaos that grows all over the world, and remind me of
the prophecy in the VISHNU PURANA about the Kalki Avatar that
among other things says:
> There will be rulers reigning over the Earth who will think of
> themselves as modern and superior; they shall rule through
> leaders of nations, and these leaders shall be men of vulgar,
> corrupt disposition, having a violent temper, and ever addicted
> to falsehood and evil. They will inflict death on women,
> children, and animals . . . The people of various countries,
> influenced by propaganda of their leaders, will follow the
> example of their leaders, and the Barbarians of materialism. In
> all nations, wealth and spirituality will decrease day by day
> until the entire world will be corrupt, crooked, and depraved.
We are witnessing day by day the prophecy of the VISHNU PURANA
becoming true. We know we are only in the beginning of Kali Yuga
and things will get worse. The winter humanity is entering
promises to be a dark and cold one. But we Theosophists have a
mission, which we must try to carry on from generation to
generation, and this is to try to keep the SPIRITUAL TRUTHS
alive. To stand against materialism, to stand against barbarism,
to stand against violence is part of our work. But how can we do
The promotion of our three Objects is a step in this direction,
but not the major one. The major one is to make Theosophy a
living force in our everyday life. There is nothing that can
cause more impact in the world than becoming a living example of
the force of Theosophy. We Theosophists should work towards
this. This implies an inner commitment, which is to begin
treading a certain path: THE PATH OF GOODNESS. Here we may ask:
what is the nature of goodness and how can we express it in our
everyday life? How can we become a living and inspiring example
of the force of Theosophy?
In order to reply to this question, we must first look at the
definition of the Hellenic word THEOSOPHY. It has two compounds:
"Theos" (God-Divine) and "Sophia" (Wisdom). In ancient Greece,
"Sophia" was one of Plato's four cardinal Virtues. According to
Plato, Wisdom was an inner condition which is an expression of
the energy of the soul.
When we talk about Theosophy, we refer to the energy of the soul.
Consequently, we refer to something that can be known only from
within. Theosophy is truth, and there are no words in any
language to express the great truth of Theosophy, which is Divine
Wisdom. You may learn by heart all the system presented in the
works of H.P. Blavatsky and in the works of others; you may
write, debate, teach, and affirm this knowledge is Theosophy, but
you will be still trapped by intellect, and consequently unable
to know what Theosophy is. In order to become a living example
of Theosophy, we must look not only at books and to those things
that are outside us, but also to that which is closest to us, our
Our search for truth is the search for our real nature, our
divine nature. It is the longing for a conscious union with the
divine. The divine that we long for is in fact so close to us,
that we cannot see it. We keep searching for it in everyone
else, except there where we have to look. Plato once said there
is nothing closer to us than our soul, and if we do not know that
which is so close, what is the meaning of knowing things that are
far? The one, who truly focuses on knowing his own self and truly
comprehends it, is the one who will have the ability to tread the
Path of Goodness. He, and only he, is a real THEOSOPHOS (a wise
A question still remains open: what is the nature of goodness? We
may say good actions are the result of actions without
attachment, actions without attachment to ideas, to things, to
the GREAT HERESY which is the attachment to our illusory and
transitory personality. The major lesson taught in Hellenic
Mythology is that THE TEMPLE OF VIRTUE IS WITHIN US. The virtues
we express depend on the virtues we have cultivated within us,
for we know the mind is to be found where we have sent it.
Pythagoras taught this to his disciples when he advised them to
reflect upon the virtues they wanted to acquire. Because when
reflecting upon the virtues that one aspires to acquire, such
virtues will gradually become a reality in the life of the
aspirant. What better definition of virtue than the one Lao Tzu
gave us: "I am good to people who are good. I am also good to
people who are not good, because virtue is goodness." Virtue is
goodness. And the nature of goodness is selfless action, action
The path of goodness is not a lethargic path, but a path of
action. To act with goodness we need to act without attachment;
only the fruit of such actions can bring great goodness to
humanity. In THE BAGHAVAD GITA (III.25), we read the following
> As the ignorant act from attachment to action, so should the wise
> act without attachment desiring the welfare of the world.
There is nothing that justifies suffering except our own
ignorance. Attachment is born out of ignorance. By performing
actions without attachment we reach the Divine as Lord Krishna
said in THE BAGHAVAD GITA (III.19):
> Therefore without attachment, always perform action which should
> be done; for by performing action without attachment, man reaches
> the Supreme.
We must also remember that even if opportunities for great deeds
should never come our way, opportunities for good deeds can be
renewed day by day. The thing for us to long for is goodness,
not glory. There is a saying that goes: Yesterday is history,
tomorrow is mystery, and today is a gift. Let us realize that
today's 'gift' is a DIVINE GIFT. Let us keep in mind that we are
united here today, in the Theosophical Society, for we all have a
common interest, the good of mankind, to maintain the spiritual
truths alive, to stand against materialism, violence, barbarism,
and fanaticism. And what is the better way to do it? What is the
noblest way to do it? It is by transforming our everyday life
into an example of goodness. In this process, we discover the
real nature of Theosophy. Voltaire once said: "Every man is
guilty of all the good he did not do." Let us not be guilty of
the good we did not do.
THE EXILED ONES
By Dara Eklund
[From THEOSOPHIA, Fall 1979, pages 11-13.]
Throughout known history we have records of nations, tribes and
individuals that have become characterized as the Exiled. Even
the Great "Silent Watcher," heralding from before the dawn of
civilization, has a Self-imposed Manvantaric Exile, so that
future mankind may become as He is. Exiles of races and tribes,
either voluntary or forced have produced new languages and
proliferated old ones. Has the "Wandering Jew" found his real
origin, or is he indeed an exile from ancient Hindu roots? (ISIS
UNVEILED, II, 438-39) Once 2,000 tribes of American Indians
dotted the continent, to be uprooted, swept away or confined to
reservations, when not absorbed by the immigrating European
stocks. The exile of Tibetan monks after the Communist take-over
has given impetus to the spread of Buddhism in the West.
In one sense all men are exiles until their bond with the higher
Self is reestablished. In the material world of sorrows, in the
emotional world of transient joys and stress, man can find no
permanent home. Now that the Third Eye is dormant we have become
exiled from the spiritual vision we once had. Our heads have
exiled our hearts. Yet even in our flights of imagination and
mental conjecture we still thirst for that precise vision which
only a seer can win. The SEER himself is an exile if no one
heeds his cry.
Yet man, we vow, is not alone. The Adepts and teachers of
mankind still now and then issue from their sanctuaries to become
exiles among fellow suffering mortals, even as Prometheus endured
being chained to his rock to be picked by vultures for the sake
of earthly brothers. Great philosophers such as Plato have even
assumed ugly visages, or startling temperaments, so that the
Ideas they promulgate be pedestaled, rather than their
Fruitful use has been made of exile. We read in THE LIFE OF
PYTHAGORAS (IAMBLICHUS, translated from the Greek by Thomas
Taylor) that several times "the long-haired Samian" was carried
captive to the very lands where he could best pursue knowledge;
first to Egypt where sailors intending to sell him into slavery
became convinced by his mildness and intelligence to release him
instead; later to Babylon as a captive of Cambysian soldiers. In
this way he became exposed to the teaching of the Magi, at last
being welcomed home to Samos until his method no longer appealed
to his countrymen. When he left there, it was with only one
pupil who so desperately wanted truth he was willing to migrate
with Pythagoras to more fertile soil. Yet, even where he was
welcomed for his advanced ideas and reforms it is written that
the crowds became suspicious when they observed that certain
disciples were circled off for secret teachings.
In this envy and suspicion we can see why the devotional books
warn the disciple to seek that power which "shall make him appear
as nothing in the eyes of men." (Mabel Collins, LIGHT ON THE
PATH, I, 16) It is training for the time when one must stand
alone. It is also the screen behind which much good can be
accomplished, where one may walk unrecognized among his fellows,
while benefiting, it may seem, but a handful. The seeding on
the inner planes must in some way prepare courageous and selfless
ones for the exile-hood of a Bodhisattva, or the sacrifice of a
One might rhapsodize forever upon the great mystics such as Lao
Tzu, poets and patriots such as Byron, Thomas Paine, or even
Solzhenitsyn who have had a message for citizens often on foreign
soil. But closer to home, at least to those students of
Theosophy who read their journals, isn't it time Theosophists
paid tribute to one of "The Greatest of All Exiles"? Is it enough
to say: "It is all in the past; let bygones be bygones," and
promptly sweep under the carpet the warnings that greatly
suffering being gave us? The psychism rampant today needs his
sound teachings on practical occultism more than ever before.
The mission of William Quan Judge is not accomplished until we
can see those warnings brought to the public eye in every
conceivable form. How can we deserve new teachers and teachings
unless we faithfully promulgate along the lines set out by our
Theosophical founders and their several main supporters into this
century? We must not let true and sound teachings be exiled by a
proliferation of palatable "occult" pulp literature at large in
the bookstalls of today!
If indeed any offender of that just and gentle man, W. Q.
Judge, were reborn into our current century he would do all in
his power to rectify that error. He would be dismayed that in
some quarters there is still much misunderstanding with regard to
this man. Let us note, in closing, such a sin of omission, as we
might gather from Mr. G. Hijo's tribute to Judge in the PATH
magazine of May, 1896:
> It seems so strange to me, who has known Mr. Judge for years, to
> think that any Theosophist could honestly doubt that he was in
> constant communication with the Masters, or that he himself was
> not an advanced occultist, for his whole life proved both these
> things . . . In the summer of 1894 we were privileged to have
> him stay at our home for several weeks, and since then he spent
> at least an evening a week with us until his illness forced him
> to leave New York. Of the "Row" itself I cannot speak, but one
> result of it I know and that is the effect the bitterness and
> strife had upon the health and vitality of Mr. Judge. Day after
> day he would come back from the office utterly exhausted in mind
> and body, and night after night he would lay awake fighting the
> arrows of suspicion and doubt that would come at him from all
> over the world. He said they were like shafts of fire piercing
> him; and in the morning he would come downstairs wan and pale and
> unrested, and one step nearer the limit of his strength; but
> still with the same gentle forgiving spirit. Truly they knew not
> what they did.
Thus we have had an intimate glance, through Mr. Hijo, of the
sufferings of an Exile. May our boundless pity for mankind, and
awareness of our own shortcomings prevent us from recreating the
blindness and ignorance as to our true destiny in that vanguard
of the current day: the Theosophical Movement. May we never
experience an exile from the teachings of those fortunate enough
to pass on the message of the Masters.
By K. Paul Johnson
[A book review for Amazon.com.]
Mitch Horowitz rescues many colorful characters from obscurity in
this entertaining tour through the byways of American religious
history. My favorite sections of the book were those describing
individuals whose teachings flourished in the early twentieth
century but are almost forgotten today. Psychiana was a
successful mail-order religion that did not long survive the
death of its founder Frank Robinson. Baird Spaulding concocted
tall tales about encounters with Oriental spiritual Masters in
books that were widely read in the 1930s and 40s. The Moorish
Science Temple is a fascinating amalgamation of occult doctrines
with Black Nationalism, whose founder Noble Drew Ali has been
little studied by historians. Manly P. Hall authored an occult
classics, THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES, in his twenties and
led an organization that epitomized southern California
eclecticism through most of the twentieth century. Benjamin
Williams popularized astrology and Tarot under his pen name C.C.
Zain, but like Hall was famous mainly in the Los Angeles area.
All these individuals are given their place in the American
religious landscape as pioneers of a movement Horowitz calls
occultism or "the occult" which he concludes "resulted in a vast
reworking of arcane practices and beliefs from the Old World and
the creation of a new spiritual culture." The obscure characters
are placed into historical context with exploration of occult
ideas in better known movements like Mormonism and New Thought,
which contributed to a new spiritual culture. Familiar but
little-understood topics like Hoodoo and the history of the Ouija
board are illuminated in new ways by Horowitz's groundbreaking
While amusing and entertaining, OCCULT AMERICA is grounded in
years of scholarship and depicts its subjects with a mixture of
respect and detachment that might be called "sympathetic
objectivity." The final chapter about Edgar Cayce is the most
thoughtful, balanced account of the "sleeping prophet" seen in
years, appreciative without being credulous. On Theosophy,
Horowitz is well-informed and wise, recognizing its contribution
to religious pluralism along with its penchant for fantastic
claims and scandal. Andrew Jackson Davis was far more the
founder of Spiritualism than the Fox sisters, and Horowitz gives
him the attention he deserves as an American original. Having
written on those subjects I can endorse the author's scholarship
as thorough and his commentary as insightful; in areas less
familiar to me the book gives every indication of consistent
reliability. I have been reading books on what might be called
"occult history" for thirty years, and cannot recall one that is
more enjoyable to read, or more informative about a diverse cast
of characters, than OCCULT AMERICA.
TO WORK AT ALL TIMES FOR ETERNAL PEACE
By W. Emmett Small
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, April 1927, pages 379-82, from a
paper read before the William Quan Judge Theosophical Club,
January 21, 1927.]
> "What then is the royal talisman, the panacea finally? It is
> Duty, Selflessness." We pledge ourselves to unite in the superb
> effort of our Theosophical pioneers and to work at all times for
> eternal peace.
> -- The motto of the William Quan Judge Theosophical Club
What is beyond turmoil, beyond war, beyond chaos? There is no
end, you say, no beginning. Yet in the great spiral of
existence, what is first and what is last? You cannot conceive of
nothing. Beyond the mud is the lotus-bloom. Beyond the bloom is
the seed. What is beyond the seed? It is that which is at the
very Heart of your own nature, within yet greater than yourself.
Is it not Space? And is not Space, Peace? And is not Peace a
"flame-white secret" that lies at the Shrine of the Innermost in
And so despite war, at the Heart of the World is Peace. War is
unbalance; Peace is equilibrium. War is insanity; Peace is
sanity. The world we live in is composed of millions and
millions of individuals. Look into the lives of each one of
them! Look into your own selves! Is it a wonder that war is rife?
Whatever we see about us is but the manifestation of the eternal
struggle waged within our own natures between desire, impulse,
sensation, and self-control.
Realizing this, there is only one way in which to look upon war.
Ask any man, and if he is a MAN, he will say, War is damnable.
That is the inevitable answer. And what is the cure for war? Let
him think. Let him free himself of the ghost-thoughts of
conventionality. Let him stand naked before the tribunal of his
Soul. And let there be Silence. And listening to the Oracle
within him, he will interpret: When I have taken the first step
towards controlling myself, the possibility of war is lessened;
when I shall have conquered myself, war shall cease.
And this too is the inevitable answer. It is the truth, for the
Oracle cannot lie. This is the real cause of all war: the
failure of the Higher Nature in man to hold in leash at all times
the Lower Nature. And every man knows this; but it is only when
the soul-light is shining in that they awake to an awareness of
it and allow their minds to admit it. Faced with such a serious
question, in honor to themselves, they MUST hearken to that so
rarely-summoned Judge -- the Divinity within, and they MUST
realize that war is but on a larger plane the picture of the
struggles within themselves.
And before long the realization must come upon them -- and when
it comes, it is as a mighty breath of everlasting Spring -- that
all the conquests of Alexander, of Cyrus or Shalmaneser,
Tamerlane, Pizarro, Cortez, of Caesar or Ptolemy, are nothing
compared to the conquest of self. Some there are would say, Are
not these great names in the world's history; do not their
exploits surely justify war? Never. That is a pitiably limited
We cannot delve into history in these few lines. Enough that the
world as an entity lives its life, must meet the results of its
past actions under the Law of Cause and Effect, just as must man
as an individual; and also must choose its instruments for
working out its Karma from the great mass of Humanity.
One with enough wisdom could explain the cause of all these wars.
Nature is always at work and the Great Law is always in force.
But that some noble men have been connected with war, in no way
lessens its dastardliness. The greater men -- and there have
been many of them -- have never resorted to arms; and I would not
mention one for fear of leaving out a hundred of equal
importance. But -- one hears of the attainment of Buddhahood as
the height of spiritual aspiration, not of the attainment of
And so the first duty of man is to himself. He can find within
himself hordes of barbarians for the hero within him to
discipline; New-World countries unending, for the Pizarro and
Cortez within him to subjugate; Persias a-plenty to conquer and
sons of Scythia to aim his arrows at, for the Alexander within
him; but ever he must beware the dagger-thrust that felled the
Caesar, beware the glitter that glazed the conscience of the
Conquistador, beware the snake of ambition that poisoned the
youthful Macedonian. Man has enough within himself! In him too,
let him remember, is the same spark that fired the Buddha to
And so I cannot for a moment believe that any man needs or
conscientiously asks for proof to show that war is rotten, once
he turns his eyes within and becomes alive to his own harboring
of God and Devil; for men know the Devil, which is war, must be
conquered: there is not a particle of good in him.
There may be and no doubt are many who are fooled into imagining
that war is great. But that is just it: they are fooled into it;
they are dupes of their own immoderate craving for sensation;
they are temporarily insane. And the war-propaganda which fills
the air around them excites them
> . . . Like drums in Carnarvon streets
> That they use when they want to cheat folk into thinking
> That death is a handsome trade.
And the war-wine rushes to their heads and they are blind to
Truth, and in the bloody reign of abomination and lawlessness and
strife, they hail all that which in their sane moments would send
shudder after shudder sickening the imprisoned Soul within.
And they wake up -- sometimes -- when the horror of war is
brought to their door with the loss of brother, husband, or son,
or father, or some pitiful maiming of them that makes life a hell
and death a craving and a temptation. That brings it home; and
they wake up, and they will never again speak about "the glory of
And yet war is unnecessary, and permanent peace is eventual. But
who is going to make this possible? Not Locarno-pacts or
League-of-Nation treaties as they now exist; for they lack what
is most essential: the unification of every individual in
devotion to the principles of universal brotherhood. Those at
the helm of affairs now have not got the necessary perspective.
It is this nation or that nation, with always some personal gain
to be had behind the wave of this suave hand or the seemingly
friendly smile of that eye. The Soul of a Nation, the Soul of
the World, the Soul of Man -- does not count. The foundations on
which they build are infirm, and an earthquake shakes the world
and knocks them over before they can even fool themselves with
the dignity of their structures. Better for them, if build they
must, to put up light bamboo shacks like the wise children of
Nippon in their country, and have them knocked over. They are
not pretentious and do not hurt when they land on your head.
No, it is not to such as these that the world must eventually
turn. But it is bodies such as this Club that shall claim their
respect and their admiration and to whose hands they will
designate their willingness to leave the sad tangle of world
affairs. Because this Club, as founded by our Teacher Katherine
Tingley, is built on a basis true as steel, because built on the
unity of each member's devotion to the highest principles of
Each one is individually campaigning the inwardnesses of his own
nature, and by this very fact uniting himself closer with his
fellows as a body; throwing off the littleness of personality and
working in harmony for a great cause, the cause of universal
brotherhood and universal peace; because believing and knowing
that that is the only true basis for progress. Differences of
opinion are naturally bound to occur, and they need not interfere
with the unity. Rather does it strengthen each one individually
and the Body as a whole, so long as every thought, every deed,
and every wish or desire is laid as an offering on the Altar; for
there all our hands meet.
And so in all seriousness I say that in time to come it is from
these ranks and others like these that those must be chosen that
shall institute the treaties that will prove effective; from
these ranks those must be chosen that shall forever work for the
abolishment of war. For it is in this body, and in bodies such
as this -- which under the guidance of our Leader will multiply
-- the sooner and more rapidly the more loyal and strong we prove
ourselves -- in bodies such as this that lies the salvation of
the world. And that is a big statement, and true, and something
to think on.
But this Theosophical Movement is the most serious movement of
the age, and we must remember that we through our karma, through
our own efforts, are privileged as a Club and individually to be
connected with its great life. Eventually its chain of work will
encircle the globe. Every link is important. Having put our
trust in the Teacher, it is ours to obey. We have our keynotes,
the panacea for the abolishment of all war, within and without:
our motto -- Duty, Selflessness; and we have our pledge, "to work
at all times for eternal peace." Working for that ideal is the
most glorious happiness any man can have.
THE WAR AT THE HEART OF KALI YUGA
By Pedro Oliveira
We are at war. No, it is not the "war on terror" nor the other
fratricidal wars happening in Africa and in the Middle-East. It
is not also the drug wars which have engulfed Rio de Janeiro and
Colombia, nor the silent wars in many cities and countries of the
world, in which women and children are abused, sexually
exploited, and treated as second-class citizens. There is a much
more pervasive war than all these, and it started, according to
the Indian tradition, on 18 February 3102 BCE, and it will last
for 432,000 years. It is the war at the heart of Kali Yuga.
Kali Yuga is said to be "the last and worst of the four Yugas or
ages, the present age, age of vice." The Sanskrit word "kali"
also means strife, discord, quarrel, contention. (A
SANSKRIT-ENGLISH DICTIONARY by M. Monier-Williams) In THE SECRET
DOCTRINE, while explaining the esotericism of the Rig-Veda, HPB
> Diti, we repeat, is the sixth principle of METAPHYSICAL nature,
> the BUDDHI of Akasa. Diti, the mother of the Maruts, is one of
> her terrestrial forms, made to represent, at one and the same
> time, the divine Soul in the ascetic, and the divine aspirations
> of mystic Humanity toward deliverance from the webs of Maya, and
> final bliss in consequence. Indra, now degraded, because of the
> Kali Yuga, when such aspirations are no more general but have
> become abnormal through a general spread of AHAMKARA (the feeling
> of Egotism, SELF, or I-AM-NESS) and ignorance -- was, in the
> beginning, one of the greatest gods of the Hindu Pantheon, as the
> Rig-Veda shows.
> -- SECRET DOCTRINE, II, 614
In Kali Yuga, the sense of self-centeredness and selfishness
becomes widespread, which contributes to the strife, discord,
quarrel and contention that predominate during this cycle, for
all of these originate and are nourished by a strong sense of
individual separateness -- egotism -- which prevents spiritual
discernment to unfold in human consciousness. Behind every war,
every atrocity, every conflict, and every persecution stands a
mind darkened by self-interest, by greed, and by the desire to
dominate, to enslave, to exploit for its own benefit. The
battlefield of the Kali Yuga is in the human mind, and that makes
it all-pervasive, devastating, and tremendous. This may help to
explain why the Kali Yuga is also called the age of darkness.
The influences operating in this cycle cause millions of human
beings to be constantly imprisoned in a state of unawareness of
their true nature and of their relationship with the vast
creation around them.
But, surprising as it may seem, every crisis, although it
involves danger, also brings with it opportunities for growth.
> All causes now bring about their effects much more rapidly than
> in any other or better age. A sincere lover of the race can
> accomplish more in three incarnations under KALI YUGA'S reign
> than he could in a much greater number in any other age. Thus by
> bearing all the manifold troubles of this Age and steadily
> triumphing, the object of his efforts will be more quickly
> realized, for, while the obstacles seem great, the powers to be
> invoked can be reached more quickly.
> -- BLAVATSKY COLLECTED WRITINGS, IX, 102
Because of the information revolution brought about by worldwide
electronic communications, facts which in the past were kept from
public knowledge can now be almost instantaneously scrutinized.
The degree of public accountability of people in public offices,
for example, has also increased, although sometimes vested
interests continue to try to protect those involved in
mal-practices from being exposed to the public eye. CEOs of some
powerful corporations and their associates sometimes behave as if
they would never be found out, while diverting obscene amounts of
money to secret bank accounts in illegal business practices and
transactions. But it only takes one investigative journalist or
reporter to make it known to the whole world.
Tyrannical political regimes can now also be exposed and brought
down almost overnight. In October 1989, during the process of
erosion of the former Soviet Union in the short space of one
week, several decades-old Eastern European dictatorships
collapsed in an almost unimaginable way. Did it happen only
because the Soviet regime was eroding from within, or because
people in their hundreds of thousands took to the streets to
uphold their right to freedom and to democratic values?
But, alas, violence has also reached undreamt of proportions in
this age. It is also beyond description in its senselessness,
brutality and gratuitous nature. Is this because the energies
operating during Kali Yuga activate much more promptly every
content existing in the human mind, making violence a response to
situations and persons which is not mediated by reason and
intellect, but by the irrational desire to lash back and destroy,
what Sigmund Freud called 'death instinct' (THANATOS)?
How can the Theosophical Society help to bring clarity, sanity,
and light to the world in this Dark Age? The following
reflections by HPB seem quite relevant to the prevailing
situation in the third millennium, although she wrote them in the
> We must prepare and study truth under every aspect, endeavouring
> to ignore nothing, if we do not wish to fall into the abyss of
> the unknown when the hour shall strike. It is useless to leave
> it to chance and await the intellectual and psychic crisis which
> is preparing, with indifference, if not with crass disbelief,
> saying that at the worst the rising tide will carry us naturally
> towards the shore; for it is very likely that the tidal wave will
> cast up nothing but a corpse. The strife will be terrible in any
> case between brutal materialism and blind fanaticism on the one
> hand, and philosophy and mysticism on the other -- mysticism,
> that veil of more or less translucency which hides the eternal
> -- BLAVATSKY COLLECTED WRITINGS, XI, "The New Cycle"
But you -- Occultists, Kabbalists and Theosophists -- well know
that a Word, old as the world, though new to you, has been
sounded at the beginning of this cycle, and the potentiality of
which, unperceived by others, lies hidden in the sum of the
digits of the years 1 8 8 9; you well know that a note has just
been struck which has never been heard by mankind of this era,
and that a New Idea is revealed, ripened by the forces of
evolution. This Idea differs from everything that has been
produced in the nineteenth century. It is identical, however,
with the thought that has been the dominant tone and the keynote
of every century, especially the last -- absolute freedom of
thought for humanity.
For of all the past centuries, our nineteenth has been the most
criminal. It is criminal in its frightful selfishness in its
skepticism which grimaces at the very idea of anything beyond the
material and in its idiotic indifference to all that does not
pertain to the personal self. It is more criminal than any of
the previous centuries of ignorant barbarism and intellectual
darkness. Our century must be saved from itself before its last
hour strikes. For all those who see the sterility and folly of
an existence blinded by materialism and ferociously indifferent
to the fate of their neighbor, this is the moment to act. Now
is the time for them to devote all their energies, all their
courage and all their efforts to a great intellectual reform.
This reform can only be accomplished by Theosophy, and, let us
add, by Occultism or the wisdom of the Orient. The paths that
lead to it are many, but the wisdom is one.
The criticism has been made many times that "theosophists do not
do anything!" Action, some say, is what is needed, not talks,
lectures, seminars, etc. This criticism is very often
superficial for it fails to perceive the real nature of the work
of the Theosophical Society. In the above quotation, HPB speaks
about the need for a "great intellectual reform." Is not this an
implicit recognition that the battleground in this age is the
human mind itself, and that if it does not change, we will not
see any real and lasting change in the world?
She goes on to say that "this reform can only be accomplished by
Theosophy." No amount of ideology, of belief, or of "coaching"
can achieve this. Only wisdom can, and wisdom is completely
different from knowledge and its derivatives, like ideology and
belief. While the latter normally involve the acceptance of
second-hand ideas, wisdom implies an awakened perception of
things as they are. It leads to a clear, undistorted
relationship with life as a whole.
The study and assimilation, by oneself, of the fundamental
principles of Theosophy, the Timeless Tradition, can pave the way
for a deep and irreversible change in the way the human mind
works, for as we delve deeper and deeper into the theosophical
teaching our very perception is transformed, the strong grip of
self-centeredness and self-importance is loosened and we begin to
see life as a vast field of learning and of relationships based
on cooperation and harmony. The T.S. does not only encourage
individual study, but group study as well, wherein we have the
opportunity to learn from others and share our own understanding
in an atmosphere of freedom of thought and mutual appreciation.
Such study can have a DIRECT effect on the thought-atmosphere of
the world and can help to create invisible avenues of
understanding, peace and spiritual aspiration that will touch
many people in their own way and in their own time.
Theosophy has a fundamental role to play in the war at the heart
of Kali Yuga, which is fiercely raging within the human mind
today. It can point out to those who are interested that
knowledge without compassion can be a lethal weapon, for it
hardens the heart and destroys understanding. And that in a
universe ruled by an Eternal Law, self-responsibility is a moral
and ethical imperative, which applies to the physical, emotional
and mental dimensions of human life. Compassion and
self-responsibility are indeed a mighty 'army' in the war at the
heart of Kali Yuga.
THE MOON: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
By Andrew Rooke
the December 2009 issue of THEOSOPHY DOWNUNDER.]
This year we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of man's first
known landing on the moon. What does Theosophy say about the
Moon and its special relationship with our Earth?
What if the moon did not exist? Astrophysicist Neil F, Comins of
the University of Maine attempted to answer this question
recently by examining the close relationship between the earth
and the moon and found that the very conditions for life on our
beautiful planet are only possible because of the existence of
If the Earth had no moon, our day would be only eight hours long
due to the increased speed of its rotation. The rapid rotation
of our planet without the moon to slow it down would continually
subject us to hurricane-force winds, and because there would be
no appreciable tides mixing the building blocks of life in our
oceans, life itself might not exist yet, and when life did arrive
it would have a very different biology than what we are familiar
with today. (See WHAT IF THE MOON DID NOT EXIST! VOYAGES TO
EARTHS THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.)
If we are so dependent on the moon for our physical environment,
how much more so must this dynamic relationship be on the inner
levels of being?
Theosophy confirms that indeed this is the case, with one
theosophical writer stating:
> The relationship of the moon and the earth is so close, so
> far-reaching, that it affects every atom of the entire body of
> the earth: more, of every globe of the earth planetary chain as
> well as of the lunar chain.
> -- G de Purucker THE FOUNTAIN-SOURCE OF OCCULTISM, 345
Scientific writers often refer to the earth and moon as
'companion planets' as the moon is one quarter the size of the
Earth. Most other planets' moons, with the exception of Pluto's
moon Charon, are only tiny in comparison to their planet.
Whereas the contemporary scientific view of the moon's formation
is that it was formed as the result of the earth being hit by a
Mars-sized object (called 'Theia' by some scientists) early in
its history, spewing out molten rock as a result of the collision
into space which quickly congealed into what we now know as the
Theosophy prefers to call the earth/moon system 'parent and
child' as it teaches that it is rather the earth that is an
outgrowth on many planes of being of the energies once manifest
on the moon when it was a vibrant, living world -- the former
incarnation of our planet. Now the moon is a dead world, a
planetary corpse, ghostly 'kamarupa', or sinister 'Dweller on the
Threshold' circling around its child, our earth, once every
month. It gradually transfers its energies and life waves
including humanity to our home planet.
According to theosophy, the physical remains of our once parent
planet have long since disintegrated into cosmic dust. What we
see as the moon in our sky at night is the astral remains of our
parent planet, which we can see as a material body because we now
exist on the 'child' earth, one cosmic sub-plane higher than we
did when we lived on the moon chain of globes.
We witness the moon's immense influence on the physical earth
with the regular high tides in our oceans twice each day, the
precession of the equinoxes, and the transfer of rotational
energy from the earth to the moon meaning that the earth slows
down 1.5 milliseconds each century and the moon speeds its
rotation and moves 3.8 centimeters further away from the earth
A series of spacecraft and manned landings have added
immeasurably to our understanding of our moon since the Soviet
Luna 3 spacecraft gave us our first view of the 'dark side' of
the moon in 1959, We refer to the 'dark' side of the Moon only
because it was completely unknown until recently. Actually both
sides of the moon receive equal amounts of sunlight and darkness,
except for the depths of a few craters at the poles which are in
The first manned landing to the moon was 40 years ago on July 20,
1969 when US astronaut, Neil Armstrong, guided his tiny 'Eagle'
lander to the desolate surface of the Sea of Tranquility on the
nearside of the moon. The last manned landing was in December
1972. During these manned landings, astronauts collected samples
of moon rocks and dust so that the moon is the only
extra-terrestrial body from which samples have been successfully
collected and returned to the earth. Earthlings now have no less
than 382 kilograms of rock and dust samples from the moon dated
to 3 to 4.6 billion years old giving invaluable insights into the
early history of the earth and the solar system.
In the summer of 1994, the moon was extensively mapped by the US
Clementine spacecraft that successfully orbited the moon for 71
days. Clementine made a topographical map of the entire moon for
the first time, giving us a more complete such map than we have
for the earth! Intriguingly, Clementine included an improvised
radar experiment which uncovered evidence that perhaps as much as
10 billion tons of water ice exists in the permanently shadowed
areas near the lunar South Pole.
NASA spacecraft Lunar Prospector went into polar orbit of the
moon in 1998 confirming the detection of water ice near the south
pole of the moon and additional deposits deep in the craters of
the North Pole.
Since then a variety of spacecraft have found evidence that there
may be as much as 32 ounces per one ton of top layer of the
Moon's surface, though we do not know this for certain. These
potential reservoirs of water may be useful to future manned
expeditions for drinking water, production of fuel and insulation
of living quarters from harmful radiation from the sun.
Though water ice may exist on the moon in isolated pockets at the
poles, modern science confirms the moon is a desolate environment
from a human perspective -- truly a dead world. The moon has no
atmosphere and no global magnetic field, and unlike the earth,
the moon's interior is no longer active.
The pictures from the Apollo landers show a mostly cold,
desert-like gray landscape of heavily cratered highlands and
relatively smooth and younger 'maria' or plains. These are the
dark (basaltic maria) and bright areas (highlands) that you can
see making up the face of the 'Man in the Moon' when you look up
at the moon from your backyard.
The maria or plains areas, which comprise about 16 percent of the
moon's surface, are, from a scientific point of view, actually
the remains of huge impact craters where meteors have struck the
moon with terrific force. Later these craters were flooded with
molten rock created by the force of the explosive impacts.
For some reason that is unknown, there are more maria, and the
moon's crust is much thinner on the side of the moon facing the
earth, but the largest crater in the entire solar system at 2,600
km diameter and 12 km deep, the South Pole Aitken Basin, is on
the dark side. Most of the surface of the moon is covered with
'regolith', a mixture of fine dust and rocky debris resulting
from the continuous meteor and meteorite impacts over billions of
years as the moon has no atmosphere to absorb the shock of such
'shooting stars' as we call them on the earth.
Theosophy has a different view of the function of these craters
which typify our picture of the surface of the moon. We are
taught that the moon is the corpse, 'kamarupa', or even the
earth's dread 'Dweller on the Threshold', once a living planet,
the parent of our earth. Being a dead body, similar on a massive
scale to any dead animal body we can think of on earth, the moon
has been undergoing decay and disintegration for billions of
Some of the appearances on the surface, particularly the craters,
may be due to the gradual disintegration of the body of the moon
with internal decay welling up to the surface through craters
like pustules on a decaying animal body, but escaping earthward
in the case of the moon.
We are further taught that the moon will disintegrate into the
'blue ether' by the time of the earth's seventh planetary round.
(We are currently just over half way through the fourth.) This
will be billions of years into the future. Interestingly enough,
modern science has found the crust of the moon facing the earth
is much thinner than on the dark side, and that the moon's center
of gravity is displaced 2 km towards the earth indicating the
tremendous gravitational and 'psycho-magnetic' attraction of the
child-earth feeding on the remains of its parent world.
Theosophical teacher G de Purucker in 1934 speculated that the
surface of the moon would prevent easy travel because it is
disintegrating into dust. (FOUNTAIN SOURCE, 342) In fact, one of
the greatest hazards to past and future manned expeditions to the
moon is the ubiquitous finely ground, glassy, sharp-edged moon
dust which makes it difficult for astronauts to move around on
the surface, penetrates into clothing and habitats, and even has
given some astronauts a moon version of hay fever, though
apparently according to Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 astronaut, it has
a nice taste and a smell not unlike gunpowder!!
What is the nature of this influence that streams forth from the
moon to the earth every nanosecond? In religious traditions
around the world, the moon is called the Lord and Giver of Life,
and paradoxically, also the producer of death. In many cultures
it is pictured as a nurturing feminine deity governing both birth
and growth -- the Queen of the Night in Celtic culture. Selene,
Artemis, Diana, Juna, Hecate, or Isis in the Mediterranean.
Some cultures, such as the Hindu and Scandinavian, view the lunar
influence as masculine, however, all lunar deities have two
aspects -- supernal and infernal, spiritual and maternal, good
and evil. The influences flowing from the moon have ever been
known and utilized by magicians and sorcerers, from the familiar
Disney portrayal of the 'sorcerer's apprentice' with stars and
moons on his pointed hat, to the witchdoctors or 'nganga' of
central Africa whose very name means 'the moon!'
Of this dual life-giving and death dealing influence of the moon
on the earth and its inhabitants, G de Purucker says:
> As the giver of both physical and astral life, the moon is also
> the transmitter of the lower material and psychical vitality.
> But it is full of the energies of death as well. It is a
> decaying body. Every atom that leaves the moon rushes
> earthwards, impregnated with lunar influences. The effect of the
> moon in these respects is deleterious and even death-dealing . . .
> The lunar vitality not only stimulates the grosser forms of
> our physical existence, but can likewise by that very action
> cause decay and disease in other parts of the human constitution.
> -- FOUNTAIN SOURCE OF OCCULTISM, 341
The moon is injurious to earthlings because it is the astral
dregs of our former home planet which was then at a lower stage
of spiritual evolution than we now enjoy. The lunar chain of
globes "was not a good chain of life; it was a vicious chain, and
we humans were amongst those who made it so." (FOUNTAIN SOURCE,
343) Hence the moon is the 'Dweller on the Threshold' of the
earth, infilled with the, to us now, evil magnetism which both
holds the moon together, but is continually attracted to the
earth "by reason of its affinity it continues to haunt our globe
and its inhabitants." (FOUNTAIN SOURCE, 342)
The moon is therefore the giver or transmitter of life and mind
of a lower form to the earth and its inhabitants, whereas the sun
is the giver or transmitter of life in general to the solar
system and of the higher aspects of mind. In this dual character
of the Lord of Life and Death, the moon is closely associated
with the initiatory cycle, regular occasions when suitable
candidates ware subjected to tests on the inner planes of being
to awaken their potentials of mind and spirit. Such initiations
ware only conducted when the moon is waxing or growing in
strength. It is considered a generally necessary principle only
to begin a new major undertaking, journey, marriage, etc. when
the moon is waxing as Nature is then expanding, or growing with
you, though, of course, there are occasions when this cannot be
done and one should act regardless of the phase of the moon.
This lunar influence or 'soma drink' as it was referred to in
India, has a dual influence, one of darkness and decay, and the
other of light and life. Of the heady 'soma drink' of the
genuine initiation ceremonies, HP Blavatsky has to say:
> A 'soma drinker' attains the power of placing himself in direct
> RAPPORT with the bright side of the moon, thus deriving
> inspiration from THE CONCENTRATED INTELLECTUAL ENERGY OF THE
> BLESSED ANCESTORS. This 'concentration', and the moon being a
> store-house of the Energy, is the secret, the meaning of which
> must not be revealed, beyond the mere fact of mentioning the
> continuous pouring out upon the earth from the bright side of the
> orb of a certain influence. This which seems to be one stream
> (to the ignorant) is a dual nature -- one giving life and wisdom,
> the other being lethal. He WHO CAN SEPARATE THE FORMER FROM THE
> LATTER, AS KALAHAMSA SEPARATED THE MILK FROM THE WATER, WHICH WAS
> MIXED WITH IT, THUS SHOWING GREAT WISDOM -- WILL HAVE HIS REWARD.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, Thoughts on Elementals, LUCIFER, May 1890,
There are times in the solar universe, generally outside of the
context of the initiatory cycle, when humanity is subjected to
greater concentrations of the moon's energies. Eclipses of the
moon and the sun are such times when we are subject to the
combined effect of the sun and moon, or earth and moon pulling
together upon the earth or moon. This gravitational and
'psycho-magnetic' pull produces great surges of vital energy
between the respective bodies at those times. One theosophical
writer said of eclipses:
> Eclipses can be quite unhealthy for the human race, because at
> such times there is often an added stimulus to man's emotional
> and passional nature.
> -- L. Gordon Plummer and Charles J. Ryan, STAR HABITS AND
> ORBITS: ASTRONOMY FOR THEOSOPHICAL STUDENTS, 89
Ancient cultures knew of this connection and used to consider
eclipses as a bad omen, a sign of catastrophes to come. For
example in Japan, they used to cover wells and potteries thinking
that the weather would be poisoned. Indians used to shut down
their houses in fear of harmful moonlight. Scandinavians thought
that diseases would float in the air during the solar eclipse.
Babylonians assumed that catastrophes and diseases would come
under a solar or lunar eclipse, so they made sure to lie down
with their faces to the ground to avoid foul influences if caught
out of doors.
Each nation faced this phenomenon in its own way. Eskimos used
to sacrifice animals to satisfy their gods. Mexican Aztec
Indians sacrificed human beings to convince the moon to return
and the sun to appear. In Korea, Japan and China, where they
thought that dragons eat the moon during eclipses, people used to
gather to make loud noises to scare the dragons and stop them
from eating their meal! All these bizarre customs are faint
remembrances of actual facts of nature to which theosophical
The beautiful but desolate landscapes transmitted to earth by
spacecraft sweeping over the surface of the moon bring to mind
the teachings of the ancient wisdom regarding the seven or twelve
sacred planets. Theosophical writers affirm that the solar
system is alive with many more planets, moons, and suns than are
visible currently to science.
The seven planets with which the destiny of our earth is most
closely connected are called the seven sacred planets. (FOUNTAIN
SOURCE, "The Twelve Sacred Planets, 317-325)
One of these 'planets' was said to be the moon symbolically
representing an invisible planet standing close to the physical
moon we can see. This invisible sacred planet is sometimes
called in theosophical literature, the 'Eighth Sphere', or
'Planet of Death'.
Orbiting close to the moon, this planet is too dense materially
for us to see, it is currently in retrograde motion compared to
most of the other bodies in the solar system, and it is in its
seventh or final round of planetary life. Its function in the
universal economy of the solar system is to serve as a receptacle
of negative influences or, in the case of humanity, irretrievably
evil individuals from earth who are there given the environment
for a new beginning in their spiritual evolutionary journey.
Theosophical writers indicate that this world operates for the
solar system something like a sewerage or drainage system does
for our great cities, removing poisonous influences from the
proximity of the general population. (FOUNTAIN SOURCE, "The
Planet of Death," 346-49)
The sacred planets, including this, to us, terrible place, are
'sacred' to us because they, as conscious entities, cooperate in
the building and subsequent evolutionary history of the earth.
Curiously enough, theosophical teachers tell us that, although
the dread plant of death is more grossly material than the earth,
as a conscious entity it oversees the building of Globe 'G', or
the most spiritually advanced of the seven 'rupa' globes of the
earth chain of globes, we at present being on Globe D, our
beautiful earth. (FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, 548.)
In the far distant future when Globe G is our home, the moon and
its influences will have disintegrated into atomic stellar dust,
and this secret planet will then become the satellite of the
earth in place of the moon, but that planet will not be a true
moon, but a mere satellite. (FOUNTAIN SOURCE OF OCCULTISM, 526)
Theosophy confirms that each planet in our solar system has but
only one true moon in the inner sense, and those planets with
many moons, such as Jupiter with 63 known moons and Saturn with
34, have gravitationally captured the others from the greater
environment of the solar system.
Walk out into the backyard tonight and stare up in wonder at the
great and timeless works of universal nature circling above you.
Bathing in the starlight, ponder upon the inner significance of
the great orbs shining in the tapestry of the living universe
which is the night sky. We can then appreciate what HP Blavatsky
says of the brightest of these orbs -- the Moon, Queen of the
> The cold chaste moon . . . stands in closer relations to the
> Earth than any other sidereal orb. The Sun is the giver of life
> to the whole planetary system; the moon is the giver of life to
> our globe; and the early races understood and knew it, even in
> their infancy. She is the Queen and she is the King, and was
> King Soma before she became transformed into Phoebe and the
> chaste Diana.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, 386
THE EYELESS DRAGONS
By Quintus Reynolds
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, June 1915, pages 393-98.]
Chang Seng-yu was to be the artist; that was why the crowds were
so immense. The courts of the Temple of Peace and Joy had been
full since dawn; although the sun would undoubtedly be well in
heaven before the great Chang would mount the scaffolding and
begin to work.
All Nankin had been agog since the word had gone forth that the
Emperor desired a dragon painted on either of the two vast
wall-surfaces of the Temple; and when it was reported further
that Chang Seng-yu was to be the artist, then, indeed, the
rejoicing was great. For the grand strokes of his brush were
known; and his colors were delicate like the mists of evening on
the Yangtze, or clear and lovely like the colors of flowers.
Whenever he painted in public, the crowds would gather to watch;
and from time to time to applaud the master-strokes, the flashes
of daring imagination, the moments when the sparks of creation
most visibly flew. And they KNEW, did those crowds of the
Chinese Renaissance -- some fourteen centuries ago.
They loved Chang Seng-yu for another reason, too, besides his
genius and mastery of the brush. He was at least half a Sennin
(adept). Many held that he had drunk the Elixir; that he could
rein the flying Dragon, and visit the extremities of the earth,
and bestride the hoary crane, to soar above the nine degrees of
heaven. Such things were done, in those days. There was a
certain power about Chang Seng-yu that suggested infinite
possibilities. One could never tell what might happen, with any
picture he might be painting.
A hush in the temple court; the artist has arrived, and with him
a little band of disciples, bearing the brushes and pots of
color. He is a quiet, gentle old man, who bows profoundly to the
people as he comes in; and greets them with courteous
formalities, not unaffectionately, while passing to the door of
the Temple. With courteous formalities those spoken to respond,
proud of the signal honor done them; for this is a popular hero,
be it understood.
The tailor and the cobbler have arranged in advance a holiday,
and have come now with their families to spend the day in the
Temple of Peace and Joy, watching the Master paint; the butcher's
apprentice, sent on an errand, cannot resist the temptation; the
porter, calculating possibilities to a nicety, deems that he may
go in, watch so much wall-space covered with sudden life, and
then, by hurrying, still arrive in time with his load. For with
all these people, painting is poetry made visible, the mysteries
of Tao indicated, Magic, the topmost wonder and delight of life.
And this being by Chang Seng-yu, will be no ordinary painting.
"Ah, in that honorable brush-sweep, one saw the effect of the
Elixir!" cried the butcher's apprentice, radiant.
Day by day the crowds gathered in the court, and followed Chang
Seng-yu, when he arrived, into the Vast Temple. Day by day the
intent silence was broken ever and anon into murmurs, and the
murmurs into rippling exclamation. A sweep of the brush, and lo,
the jaws of a dragon; and from that the wonderful form grew,
perfect at each touch, scale by scale through all the windings of
the vast body to the very end of the tail. All in shining yellow
that might have been distilled out of the sunset, it gleamed
across the great wall: a thing of exquisite curves, noble lines;
flowing, grand, and harmonious; wherein all parts seemed cognate
to, and expressive of, the highest perceptions and aspirations of
To behold it was like hearing the sudden crash of a glorious and
awe-inspiring music: the soul of every upright man would at once
both bow down and be exalted. The crowd, watching, expected at
any moment to see motion quiver through its length; to see it
writhe, shake out mighty pinions, break forth from the wall and
through the roof, and cleave a way into the blue ether. A little
fear mingled with their intense delight: the Master, surely, was
dealing in magic.
"Sir," said Lu Chao. "For what reason have you omitted to paint
in the honorable eye?"
"Could this sacred Dragon see," answered Chang Seng-yu, "nothing
would content his lordship but to seek his home in the playground
of the lightning."
"How is it possible?" said Lu Chao. "The Dragon is beautiful,
but it is only a semblance wrought in pigment. How could such a
semblance soar into the heavens? The Master is pleased to indulge
in humor at the expense of this miserable one."
"Not so, Lu Chao," said the Master. "You have little
understanding, as yet, of the mysteries of art."
But Lu Chao doubted, and it was a sorrow to him that Chang
Seng-yu should leave his creation incomplete.
The Yellow Dragon was finished, its glorious form covering the
upper part of the south wall. The people could hardly forbear to
worship; they saw in it Divine Power, the essence of
Light-Bringing, the perfect symbol of inspiration, of holy and
quickening thought from heaven.
"If the Master had not left his creation eyeless," they said,
"his lordship would never be content to dwell on earth. Heaven
is the right abiding-place for such a one."
Lu Chao went on doubting.
He did not refer to the matter again; but when it came to his
turn to hand the brush, newly dipped in the color pot, to Chang
Seng-yu, the latter as he looked down would shake his head, and a
shadow would pass over his face.
"Although of a good disposition, Lu Chao will never be a
painter," he thought, sighing.
The scaffolding was removed to the opposite wall, and there,
facing the other, a Purple Dragon began to grow. Occasionally
the Son of Heaven himself, the Emperor Wu-ti, would visit the
temple to inspect the growing work. Then the artist would
descend to make obeisance; but Wu-ti, holy man, would have none
from the creator of those dragons.
"Make your obeisance with me, to these two lordly Messengers of
Heaven," said he. "But for what reason has the honorable Master
left the eyes to be painted last?"
"Sire," said Chang Seng-yu. "The divine eyes of their lordships
will not be painted. There is danger that they would be ill
contented with the earth, if they could see to soar into their
native empyrean. No man could paint into their eyes such
compassion, that they would desire to remain here."
"It is well," said the emperor. "Their soaring aspiration is
evident. Let them remain to be the guardians of the Peace and
Joy of my People."
Lu Chao heard, but even the Son of Heaven's belief failed to
convince him. "It may be as the Master says," he thought. "But
such matters are beyond my understanding. How could a semblance
wrought of pigment feel aspiration or a desire for the ethereal
spaces? It appears to me that the venerable Chang is indulging in
humor, when he speaks of painting compassion into their eyes."
The work was drawing to a close, and more and more Lu Chao
doubted. It is true that he made progress in painting; and the
skill shown in his work was applauded by many. For the day of
the Consecration of the Dragons had been appointed in advance;
and there was time to spare; and on certain days now the Temple
would be closed, and the Master and his disciples would work in
the studio. Then Chang Seng-yu, going from one to another, and
commenting on the work of each, would shake his head a little
sadly over Lu Chao's pictures. "You have skill and
perseverance," he would say, "but faith is lacking."
Lu Chao pondered on this, but not with desire to acquire the
faith. "Many say that I am making progress," thought he, "and it
appears so to me also. The Master, truly, is harsh in his
judgments. If I could show him that he is mistaken . . ." He
considered the matter, and thought out his plans.
The Day of Consecration came; the great work was completed.
Priests and augurs, sennins and doctors, gathered from all Liang,
and from the kingdoms beyond the Yangtze and the Western
Mountains. All day long there were sacrifices in the Temple of
Peace and Joy, and processions passed through, doing joyful
obeisance to the Dragons. At last night came, and the great hall
and courts were silent.
The time had come for Lu Chao; now he would prove that the Master
had been mistaken: that painted semblances could not shake
themselves free from the walls whereon they were painted, and
that he himself was making progress unhindered by lack of faith.
"It may be that there is Magic," said he, "although I have never
seen it. But reason forbids me to believe this."
He took a lantern, a small brush, and such paint as would be
needed, and went down through the dark streets towards the
Temple. There would be no trouble about obtaining entrance, he
knew: should anyone question him, Chang Seng-yu had forgotten
something, and had sent him for it. But it was unlikely that he
would meet anyone, and he hoped to pass in unseen. "No one will
know that I did it," thought he. "It will be understood that the
spirits painted in the eyes, displeased that the Master left the
He met no one; succeeded in climbing the gate; found a ladder in
the court; placed it against the south wall by the head of the
Yellow Dragon; climbed, and prepared to begin. It had been a
dark night, but calm, as he came through the city; now, with the
first touch of his brush, a peal of thunder, a lightning flash.
In his sudden perturbation, the brush dropped, and he must go
down after it.
Were the genii offended? He hesitated, and had some thought of
going home. "But no," said he. "This is fear. This is arrant
superstition." He mounted the ladder again. The lantern, hung
from a rung close to the dragon's head, just threw light on that:
a little disk of warm brightness fading into the gloom. It was
enough for Lu Chao's purpose, a few brush-strokes; that would be
The first and he was aware of fear. The second and the wall
seemed to him to be taken with unsteadiness. The third and the
sweat broke from his forehead and back, and his hand was
trembling violently. He gathered his mind, reasoning with
himself; steadied his hand, and put in the last stroke. The
Yellow Dragon's eye was painted.
Lu Chao clung to the ladder. By the small light of the lantern
he saw the wonderful head turn until it was looking out into the
Temple, full face instead of profile. It was the left eye that
he had painted; now the two were there, glancing out hither and
yonder, proudly, uneasily; flashing fiery rays through the empty
darkness. The ladder was shaking, swaying.
Suddenly the two amazing eyes were turned full on him, on Lu
Chao. A shadow of disgust flitted over them; then they were
filled with immeasurable sadness, sorrow deeper than might be
borne. The neck drew back; by a supernatural light from the
Dragon's eyes, Lu Chao saw it, drawn back and clear out of the
wall. A crash and he saw the immense pinions shaken forth. A
horrible swaying of the world; a rending noise, a tearing and a
crashing; a blinding flame . . .
All Nankin was awake and out in the streets. What the people saw
was a Golden Wonder soaring up into the sky: a comet-like glory
ascending, till it was lost in the darkness of Heaven.
In the morning, the emperor visited the ruins of the Temple of
Peace and Joy, and with him went Chang Seng-yu the Master. The
north wall alone was standing. The roof had gone up in a single
blaze where the fiery wings cleaved it. Of the south wall, only
the lower part remained; the rest had fallen. Under the debris
they found the ladder, charred and broken, and the crushed body
of Lu Chao.
"Ah," said Chang Seng-yu sadly. "He would never have made an
By Mikhail Naimy
[From THE ARYAN PATH, October 1961, pages 440-44.]
Rare, indeed, are the persons who are really fond of mist. The
greatest bulk of people detests it and speaks evil things of it.
If they tolerate it at all, it is as reluctantly as they tolerate
such natural phenomena as cyclones and earthquakes; or such pests
as flies and mosquitoes and those noxious busybodies who are ever
trying to reform the world before reforming themselves.
As to those who navigate the air and the high seas, and those who
drive trains and carriages on land, mist to them is anathema, a
dreadful enemy whom they are called upon to fight with all the
weapons at their disposal and all the tricks of which their
ingenuity is capable. Unable to blot it out from the face of the
earth, they have been, from times immemorial, seeking ways and
means "to contain" it and to reduce its mischief to a minimum.
So far they have won some secondary bouts in their fight with it.
But the decisive battle is yet to be fought. Who knows? Perhaps
they shall come out victorious in the end.
I think I can -- or imagine I can -- understand the reasons for
people's impatience with mist. Although but a phenomenon of
Nature, it does not seem to us worthy of Nature's fine taste and
surpassing artistry, let alone her motherly love. Who can deny
that Nature is a magician and the acme of good taste and
affection when, out of the vapors in air, she molds a cloud and
sets it assail in the boundless blue, changing all the while its
shapes, its colors, and its course? It is as if that cloud were a
rare painting which Nature delighted in exhibiting to all of her
children who had eyes to see; or as if it were a reservoir of a
life-giving elixir which she set on high as a promise of relief
to all the parched lands and souls beneath. "Do not despair,"
she seems to say to them, "for in my seas is water enough for all
the thirsty of the earth."
But when that same Nature takes out of the same air similar
vapors and makes of them a queer, milky paste; then commands the
wind to take that paste and smudge with it the beauteous
countenance of the earth -- streams, lakes, seas, woods, plains,
canyons, mountains and all; when Nature does that, she readily
invites our doubt of her taste, her art, and her affection. No
longer is she to us the super-artist, but rather the
super-smudger. Nor is she that tender mother worthy of
adoration; rather is she a surly stepmother whose breath and
presence chill the blood in us. Particularly is she tasteless,
tactless, and ill-humored when she chooses to deploy her mist
during the day, thus turning it into a night whose face is
deathly ashen, whose breath is foul and sticky, whose pulse is
slow and uneven, and whose eyes are tired and heavily bandaged.
Most curious, indeed, is that night that mist imposes on us
sometimes in broad daylight. Dressed in a damp, fluffy gown of
pearly hues, it sprawls about with no apparent effort, and with
surprising speed, spreading darkness wherever it may chance to
pass. Like an accomplished magician, it effaces with one stroke
of its wand all things visible on earth and in the sky until the
earth is no longer the earth and the sky no longer the sky. All
seems to have passed through an invisible forge and to have
evaporated into mist. All forms and colors of creation have been
swallowed up by the fluid, indefinite form, and color of the
Yet much as we malign and detest mist, we must admit that it is
not without its peculiar charms and distinctive inspiration. I,
for one, will avow that rarely have I seen a sight more
impressive and gripping than that of clean-swept skies, dreaming
mountains, smiling meadows, and a sea cloaked in light and
breathing peacefully and contentedly in the sun, its breath
slowly and imperceptibly coagulating into something resembling
clouds which suddenly dash towards the land like a well-drilled,
well-disciplined army when ordered to go into attack. Quickly
the serried ranks of that army rush forward and spread out
fan-like, reducing all obstacles in their way. Nor woods, nor
rivers, nor gorges and lofty peaks are able to check its
victorious march. In a few minutes mist emerges as the sole and
unquestioned master of the field. Of all visible things, it is
the only thing visible. Of all realities, it is the sole
reality. Everything has vanished excepting it.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about mist, that craftiest of
warriors, is that it goes into battle entirely weaponless, yet
wins against all weapons; and being the softest of all fighters,
it proves the hardest in the fight; and being stone-blind, it
carries the day by simply submitting blindly to the great Will
that leads it on.
Once, while on the top of a mountain covered with spruce, fir,
and pine, I was overtaken by mist. Like one in a trance, I
watched its vanguards rushing at me from all directions. When
striking a tree, they would momentarily halt and scatter, only to
gather themselves in an instant later and to swallow up that
tree, branches, trunk and all, then to move forward in their
irresistible march. Presently all the trees, one clump after
another, were hid from my sight, and I found me standing all
alone as if the sole survivor of my race. Were it not for a few
feet of the earth I was still able to discern in front of me and
for the air I was still breathing, I should have thought me
detached from everything in earth and sky.
It is at once a strange and an awesome sensation, that of feeling
oneself cut off entirely from the world of visible things with
nothing to remind one of it save certain images previously
captured and preserved in some dark recesses of one's brain. The
skies with the myriad celestial bodies gracing them are nothing
but a memory. So is the earth with all the fascinating things
dotting its glorious surface. All is drowned in a whitish,
formless, shoreless sea. You alone have not been sucked up by
that awful sea. You alone have not changed in the midst of that
breath-taking change. The rest of creation, whose presence
stirred up in you so many wonderful, though often conflicting,
thoughts and emotions, has vanished into nothing as if it never
were anything but a dream, a phantom, a sweet hallucination. Is
it possible that you, the puny biped standing still erect in the
face of that mist which has swallowed everything, are mightier
than mist? Are you perchance the only reality out of which grows
every other reality in the world?
Quite unconsciously on your part, your imagination drifts so
readily with the mist until you begin to feel yourself as one
with it. You, too, are made up of innumerable fine particles
sprayed over all things and into all things. You, too, are a
boundless expanse with neither bars nor boundaries; neither a
beginning nor an end. In that expanse there is no birth or
death; no effort and no struggle; no joy or sorrow; no fear of
punishment and no hope of reward. You are a shoreless ocean
unlashed by storm and stress, and free of driftwood and foam.
Yet no matter how far you may be carried by your imagination, you
KNOW in your deepest depths that mist is mist, and must sooner or
later lift and be dissipated. You know that Nature, the greatest
magician and the mother of all magicians, has provided an amulet
for every kind of her tricks of magic. By a sleight of hand, she
spreads the immense sheet of mist over the earth; and by a
similar sleight of hand, she gathers up that sheet a while later,
crumples it, tears it into shreds, and scatters it to the four
winds of heaven.
And lo! The mist has vanished as if it had never been. The earth
is still the earth, and the blue vault overhead is still blue and
still overhead. The creatures filling the earth and sky are
still the same in their habitat, and the ties that bound you to
them are still unbroken. You are you -- that very strange,
incomprehensible wanderer ever adrift on the face of the earth
without realizing in the least the great similarity between
himself and the earth, and between its mist and his mist.
Mist in the earth is the dampness disengaged by the heat of the
sun from seas and marshy places, and spread by the wind over all
visible things rendering them invisible. In Man it is a similar
dampness disengaged by the heat of Life from the marshy corners
of the soul and made to shroud all the high lights of the soul.
Thus sorrow is mist effused by the swamps of fear, uncertainty,
unbelief, and made to enfold the soul so completely as to blind
it to all the serenity, the certainty, and the faith with which
Mist also is that exuberant joy which is drunk with the wine of
lowly animal passions, which wine is usually extracted from
putrid carcasses in the human heart.
Likewise is anger a mist raised by ignorance from the bogs of the
misguided ego which insists on being obeyed by all, yet itself
remaining most disobedient.
Mist is doubt. Mist is despondence. Mist is the grin of the
victor and the growl of the vanquished. Mist is this
intellectual, moral, political, economical, and spiritual anarchy
which saturates today the atmosphere of the whole earth.
What people need at present more than at any time in the past is
a mighty, ringing voice to remind them that mist is mist. What
they actually have is this noisy chorus of panic-stricken owls
and ravens who are constantly stirring up in their souls the
stinking swamps of distrust, hatred, vindictiveness, and greed in
an attempt to bludgeon them into believing that the mist effused
by these swamps is not only real, but the sole reality; and that
all else is but a delusion.
The ears of the present-day world are dreadfully a-buzz with the
clamour of war-lords, politicians, lawmakers, men of business and
finance, and REFORMERS of all sorts. What these ears long for is
the voice that shall sing for them the valour of Man in his war
against the best in him, not against his brother-man; and his
greatness as a world wherein all worlds converge, and not as a
"great patriot," or a prominent citizen of this or that parcel of
this globe so insignificant among the myriad globes swinging in
the space; and the majesty of Man as the true image and likeness
of the Power from whom he issued forth, rather than man the
butcher, the trickster, and the moneymaker.
The eyes of the world of today, weary of that world's mist and
blinded thereby, are devoutly praying for the hand that shall
brush away the mist and enable them to see the unutterable beauty
and grandeur of Man -- that beauty and that grandeur which, if
hid from the myopic, have never been and shall never be just
Perhaps the day in which we shall hear that voice and behold that
hand is not far in the distance.
TRUE GOLD FEARS NO FIRE
By L. Gordon Plummer
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, April 1927, pages 382-83, from a
paper read before the William Quan Judge Theosophical Club,
February 18, 1927.]
I was feeling rather blue -- out of sorts with the world in
general. The trouble was that everybody went about selfishly
enjoying himself, and I was left alone to get over my worries as
best I could. I felt so badly about it that I went to a friend
of mine and told him my tale of woe. I had known him for many
years, and he seemed to take a particular interest in me, but on
this occasion he merely said: "Open the windows that are shutting
out the sunlight; a little fresh air will quickly blow the clouds
This seemed rather abstruse; but my friend was well deserving of
my confidence in him. He had helped me out of many a difficulty,
had helped me to see myself as I was, so to speak. And so, in
this instance, I knew that if I went about my affairs, and forgot
my worries, the meaning of his words would dawn upon me in time.
Now, this friend of whom I speak was a jeweler. He had set up
his establishment a few doors from mine, and some days later he
invited me over to see him at work. His workshop was a neat
little room with a workbench in the center, a machine of his own
device on the right, and a small furnace at the far end. The
place was well lighted by a large window on each side of the
When he had shown me around, he carefully locked the door
(against possible intruders, I supposed), and drew the blinds
over the windows. There was an air of expectancy about his
proceedings, and I watched him anxiously as he fed great chunks
of coal into his hungry furnace. He placed some bars of gold in
the crucible, and while they were melting, he busied himself with
putting his machine in working order and arranging his tools.
As soon as the gold was melted, he threw into the pot a quantity
of cleaner, a greasy substance containing certain chemicals,
which set the molten gold in violent agitation, causing it to
throw off great quantities of thick black smoke. The room was
soon filled, so that I could no longer see the furnace or the
gold. The heat became intense, and when I could stand it no
longer, I begged him to open the windows and let in some fresh
air. Within a few minutes the room was cleared. The sunlight,
streaming in, fell on the gold, and it shone as I have never seen
gold shine before.
I saw that he had called me in to teach me a lesson that I needed
to learn. I felt great humility and, on expressing my thanks for
his kindness, was preparing to leave, when he asked me to stay.
He had something interesting to show me.
He raised the heat of the furnace until it glowed red, and
applied more cleaner to the gold. Again the smoke rose, but it
was dispelled by the fresh breeze blowing in, before it had time
to form a cloud and obscure the gold from my sight. When the
smoke ceased to rise, and the dross had been skimmed off, my
friend made the third and final test. He raised the heat of the
furnace until I thought it too would melt, and put in a double
dose of cleaner. It had no effect, but rose to the surface to be
skimmed off again. My friend merely said: "True gold fears no
fire. Look within!"
I gazed into the shining lake of gold. It was a most beautiful
sight. Colors played about the surface and shone with dazzling
light. As I watched, my friend took from a shelf a small ivory
box which, when opened, was seen to contain a large diamond. I
have never seen a gem to compare with it for size, purity, and
brilliance. It sparkled and flashed with light of its own.
My friend placed it in my hand, bidding me throw it into the
gold. When the ripples had subsided, the diamond floated in the
center of the lake of gold. I watched it, and suddenly it broke
in two. Each part then divided, and again and again till there
were a myriad of twinkling points.
No longer saw I the surface of the gold, but seemed to look down,
down, and all around me were these twinkling sparks. And they
were all moving. Here and there they whizzed past. Now a comet
trailed silver across the sky. Far, far away, great suns glowed,
and gave life to solar systems. And as they moved on, wonderful
music filled the space around me. And the notes came from the
stars themselves as they sped on their appointed courses. It was
so wonderful that my head grew giddy. I clutched at flying
particles till my senses left me, and I fell on the floor of the
When I was able to regain my feet, my friend bade me look again
into the molten gold. I did so, holding his hand, feeling a
sense of security in his grasp. This time, the diamond again
floated on the surface of the gold, but around it was a strange
design. It was like a seven-pointed star. And all about it were
strange symbols and figures.
After a few moments my friend drew the diamond from the golden
lake and set it in an ivory slab about six inches on a side. He
then poured the gold into a container which formed a part of the
machine to the right of the doorway of his workshop. He set this
machine in motion and soon had seven fine strands of pure gold.
Then with the strands, he wove around the diamond on the ivory
slab the same seven-pointed figure I had seen in the crucible.
His deft fingers moved rapidly, and it was like a work of magic
when he had finished. He placed the whole in my hands, saying:
"Take it: a gift from a friend."
When I had recovered from my amazement, I asked him to explain
the meaning of the symbols.
He said: "There is little I could tell you, and that would but
confirm what you already know. All knowledge comes from within.
The universe was brought into being for the evolution of man, and
there is nothing to be hidden from him. But we cannot know the
universe until we know ourselves. And this knowledge can come
only when the nature of man, like the gold in the pot, has become
so pure that no trials or adverse circumstances can ruffle it or
cause bad thoughts to arise. Then man can see within himself, as
you saw in the gold, the workings of the universe, and hear the
music which underlies all nature."
He then told me about the Kings of old, great men who understood
the ways of Mother Nature and who came to rule and instruct
humanity. But now they are obliged to guard these secrets to
save men from using them to their own destruction. But they are
not lost. Every now and then Messengers from the Gods come to
earth to remind men that there is much to know.
"The day will come" he told me, "for humanity when the glory of
civilization -- true civilization -- will exceed that of any in
the past; but this can come only through the efforts of man to
purify the hidden gold and learn to know the Higher Self."
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application