[Cover photo: Zermatt and the Matterhorn, Switzerland.]
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May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me; and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I never devise evil against any man; if any devise evil against me, may I escape uninjured and without the need of hurting him. May I wish for all men's happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. May I never fail a friend in danger. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. May I accustom myself to be gentle and never be angry because of circumstances. - Republished from Youth and Brotherhood, Vol. III, No. 1.
"Theosophy proclaims as a truly scientific doctrine that the effects of every force released from any particular centre must come back to it in some form or other, the waves emanating from that centre not interfered with by other waves. Every thought, every emotion, every act has a rebound from some surface of resistance and recoils upon the sender. Though these forces may sometimes be arrested in their progress, though they may be combined and cancelled when other forces are met, they are mathematical and certain in their action, both on the object on which they are discharged and the subject, the emanating centre.
"Thus man, as a responsible subject, is continually reaping the effects of his past actions and creating the conditions of his future. From the centre, which is individual, to the circumference of resistance, and from the circumference to the centre, fly forth and back the vibrations of his living. The workings of Karma may be obscure because we know so little of the forces in the universe, but the law in its simple form is perfectly clear." - N. Sri Ram, in A Theosophist Looks at the World, pp. 64-65. 
Many words, especially those connected with psychological and spiritual subjects, have a tendency to acquire a colloquial meaning, to be used indiscriminately, and to lose their original significance. This is fully applicable to Theosophical terms, and among these particularly to the term "Theosophist."
To be a student of Theosophy, a follower of the noble and lofty philosophy of the Ancient Wisdom, is one thing; to be a Theosophist is something vastly different. There is no great problem or difficulty encountered in being a student of the Esoteric Philosophy, a man or woman desirous of becoming more or less familiar with its teachings and its ethical precepts; such a person may even make some small effort in practically applying these precepts to his daily life, at least upon occasion; he may also join one or another of the several Theosophical organizations, and actively engage in its activities. No doubt, all of this constitutes a certain progress towards becoming in due time a Theosophist.
This latter term, however, should in reality be applied only to such people who have succeeded in making the teachings and precepts of Theosophy a living power in their lives, and whose entire behavior and pattern of living is based upon the lofty tenets of this spiritual philosophy. Identically with the true Christian, the true Theosophist lives in the world, but is not of it. It is self-evident, therefore, that the true Theosophist is just as rare a phenomenon in our age as is the true Christian, i.e., the man or woman who daily practices and actually lives the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, the essence of which is Theosophical through and through.
The sooner this fact is realized, the sooner will we get away from a lot of unfortunate misunderstandings, and a mass of unnecessary confusion. In this, as in so many other respects, we of the modern Theosophical Movement have departed from the injunctions of H.P. Blavatsky.
The definitions which she gave of the term "Theosophist" are very clear and unequivocal, and not deprived of a certain dry humor. In her famous essay on "Practical Occultism" (Lucifer, Vol. II, April, 1888), she declared that:
"It is easy to become a Theosophist. Any person of average intellectual capacities, and a leaning toward the metaphysical; of pure, unselfish life, who finds more joy in helping his neighbor than in receiving help himself; one who is ever ready to sacrifice his own pleasures for the sake of other people; and who loves Truth, Goodness and Wisdom for their own sake, not for the benefit they may confer - is a Theosophist."
It is not difficult to realize that the above qualifications are indeed those of a true Theosophist; but it is by no means clear how any of these faculties, tendencies and capacities can possibly be easy, unless H.P.B. used this word with her "tongue in her cheek." In all the many years of our association with the Movement, we have not had the privilege of encountering more than half-a-dozen people who would answer to the above description.
Quoting from some statement or letter of one of the Teachers, H.P.B. brings out another definition of the term "Theosophist," which deserves a most careful study (Lucifer, Vol. I, November, 1887.):
"He who does not practice altruism; he who is not prepared to share his last morsel with a weaker or poorer than himself; he who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation, or creed, whenever and wherever he meets  suffering, and who turns a deaf ear to the cry of human misery; he who hears an innocent person slandered, whether a brother Theosophist or not, and does not undertake his defence as he would undertake his own - is no Theosophist."
The above definition is just as unattainable, it would seem, as is the first one, at least when the average student or seeker is concerned. There is no doubt in our mind that there are a few such people within the ranks of the organized Movement, but they usually prefer to remain unknown. The great majority of those who call themselves "Theosophists" is made up of people whose intellectual understanding of the teachings bears but little relation to their ethical conduct, and whose many words, very eloquent at times and seemingly convincing, are rarely if ever upheld and supported by their actions. Were it different, were the ranks of the Theosophical Movement the world over made up to a very large extent of practical Theosophists, the Movement as a whole would be one of the greatest moral powers in the present sick world, and be recognized as a stronghold of spirituality. However much we would like to imagine this to be the case, facts are against us.
The cornerstone of practical Theosophy is Universal Brotherhood in action. Separateness, exclusiveness, psychological, spiritual and intellectual barriers of all kinds, and the spirit of national and tribal competition and intolerance, are foreign to the spirit of Theosophy. Its platform has been from the very first day one of mutual understanding and sympathy. And no amount of intellectual learning, or proficiency in the presentation of the technical teachings, can ever make up for the lack of brotherhood and goodwill. It is therefore plain enough that no student of Theosophy whose emotional reactions make him indulge in religious and racial antagonisms can be considered, even remotely, as being a Theosophist. Whenever and wherever we meet with students who never miss an opportunity of making some derogatory statement or sarcastic remark about the Roman Catholics and their dogmatic intolerance, the Jews and their alleged unchangeable characteristics, the "psychics" and their crazy notions, or the Communists and their devilish ideas, as well as about fellow-students and their objectionable traits of character, it is a safe assumption that the spirit of true Theosophy - the Wisdom of the Divine - has not yet taken root, and is especially conspicuous by its absence.
Let us also remember that there are true Theosophists, living examples of the highest Ethics, who have never heard the name of Theosophy, and whose lives are spent working for others in places and circumstances largely unknown to most of us. Universal Brotherhood is to them a living reality, a spiritual commodity upon which no one of us can have any monopoly. The world still has its Christ-like men and women, but they do not court martyrdom by letting themselves become widely known.
"To live content with small means - to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy not respectable, and wealthy not rich - to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart - to bear all cheerfully - do all bravely, await occasions - never hurry; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony." - William Ellery Channing. 
[The following excerpts are taken from four different articles originally published in The Path, New York. The first, third and fourth are from essays by William Quan Judge entitled respectively: "Astral Intoxication," "Delusions of Clairvoyance," and "Shall We Teach Clairvoyance?" (Vol. II, Oct., 1887, pp. 206-08; Vol. VII, July, 1892, pp. 106-08; Vol. V, Dec., 1890, pp. 282-84) The second excerpt is from "Conversations on Occultism" (Vol. IX, Nov., 1894, pp. 244-47) wherein a "Student's" queries are answered by a "Sage." It is most probable that the answers are by H.P. Blavatsky, and so our excerpt embodies her own words. - Compiler]
There is such a thing as being intoxicated in the course of an unwise pursuit of what we erroneously imagine is spirituality. In the Christian Bible it is very wisely directed to "prove all" and to hold only to that which is good; this advice is just as important to the student of occultism who thinks that he has separated himself from those "inferior" people engaged either in following a dogma or tipping tables for messages from deceased relatives - or enemies as it is to spiritists who believe in the "summerland" and "returning spirits."
The placid surface of the sea of spirit is the only mirror in which can be caught undisturbed the reflections of spiritual things. When a student starts upon the path and begins to see spots of light flash out now and then, or balls of golden fire roll past him, it does not mean that he is beginning to see the real Self-pure spirit. A moment of deepest peace or wonderful revealings given to the student, is not the awful moment when one is about to see his spiritual guide, much less his own soul. Nor are psychical splashes of blue flame, nor visions of things that afterwards come to pass, nor sights of small sections of the astral light with its wonderful photographs of past or future, nor the sudden ringing of distant fairy-like bells, any proof that you are cultivating spirituality. These things, and still more curious things, will occur when you have passed a little distance on the way, but they are only the mere outposts of a new land which is itself wholly material, and only one remove from the plane of gross physical consciousness.
The liability to be carried off and intoxicated by these phenomena is to be guarded against. We should watch, note and discriminate in all these cases; place them down for future reference, to be related to some law, or for comparison with other circumstances of a like sort. The power that Nature has of deluding us is endless, and if we stop at these matters she will let us go no further. It is not that any person or power in nature has declared that if we do so and so we must stop, but when one is carried off by what Bohme calls "God's wonders," the result is an intoxication that produces confusion of the intellect. Were one, for instance, to regard every picture seen in the astral light as a spiritual experience, he might truly after a while brook no contradiction upon the subject, but that would be merely because he was drunk with this kind of wine. While he proceeded with his indulgence and neglected his true progress, which is always dependent upon his purity of motive and conquest of his known or ascertainable  defects, nature went on accumulating the store of illusory appearances with which he satiated himself.
It is certain that any student who devotes himself to these astral happenings will see them increase. But were our whole life devoted to and rewarded by an enormous succession of phenomena, it is also equally certain that the casting off of the body would be the end of all that sort of experience, without our having added really anything to our stock of true knowledge. The astral plane, which is the same as that of our psychic senses, is as full of strange sights and sounds as an untrodden South American forest, and has to be well understood before the student can stay there long without danger. While we can overcome the dangers of a forest by the use of human inventions, whose entire object is the physical destruction of the noxious things encountered there, we have no such aids when treading the astral labyrinth. We may be physically brave and say that no fear can enter into us, but no untrained or merely curious seeker is able to say just what effect will result to his outer senses from the attack or influence encountered by the psychical senses.
And the person who revolves selfishly around himself as a centre is in greater danger of delusion than any one else, for he has not the assistance that comes from being united in thought with all other sincere seekers. One may stand in a dark house where none of the objects can be distinguished and quite plainly see all that is illuminated outside; in the same way we can see from out of the blackness of our own house - our hearts - the objects now and then illuminated outside by the astral light; but we gain nothing. We must first dispel the inner darkness before trying to see into the darkness without; we must know ourselves before knowing things extraneous to ourselves ...
Seeing in the astral light is not done through Manas, but through the senses, and hence has to do entirely with sense-perception removed to a plane different from this, but more illusionary. The final perceiver or judge of perception is in Manas, in the Self; and therefore the final tribunal is clouded by the astral perception if one is not so far trained or initiated as to know the difference and able to tell the true from the false. Another result is the tendency to dwell on this subtle sense-perception, which at last will cause an atrophy of Manas for the time being. This makes the confusion all the greater, and will delay any possible initiation all the more forever. Further, such seeing is in the line of phenomena, and adds to the confusion of the Self which is only beginning to understand this life; by attempting the astral another element of disorder is added by more phenomena due to another plane, thus mixing both sorts up. The Ego must find its basis and not be swept off hither and thither. The constant reversion of images and ideas in the astral light, and the pranks of the elementals there, unknown to us as such and only seen in effects, still again add to the confusion. To sum it up, the real danger from which all others flow or  follow is in the confusion of the Ego by introducing strange things to it before the time ...
The prime cause for delusion is that the thought of anything makes around the thinker an image of the thing thought about. And all images in this thought-field are alike, since we remember an object by our thought image of it, and not by carrying the object in our heads. Hence the picture in our aura of what we have seen in the hands of another is of the same sort - for untrained seers - as our ideas on the subject of events in which we have not participated. So a clairvoyant may, and in fact does, mistake these thought-pictures one for the other, thus reducing the chances of certainty. If an anxious mother imagines her child in danger and with vivid thought pictures the details of a railway accident, the picture the seer may see will be of something that never happened and is only the product of emotion or imagination.
Mistakes in identity come next. These are more easily made in the astral plane - which is the means for clairvoyance - than even upon the visible one, and will arise from numerous causes. So numerous and complex are these, that to fully explain them would not only be hopeless but tedious. For instance, the person, say at a distance, to whom the clairvoyant eye is directed may look entirely different from reality, whether as to clothing or physiognomy. He may, in the depths of winter, appear clad in spring clothing, and your clairvoyant report that, adding probably that it symbolizes something next spring. But, in fact, the spring clothing was due to his thoughts about a well-worn comfortable suit of this sort throwing a glamor of the clothing before the vision of the seer. Some cases exactly like this I have known and verified. Or the lover, dwelling on the form and features of his beloved, or the criminal upon the one he has wronged, will work a protean change and destroy identification.
Another source of error will be found in the unwitting transfer to the clairvoyant of your own thoughts, much altered either for better or worse. Or even the thoughts of some one else whom you have just met or heard from. For if you consult the seer on some line of thought, having just read the ideas on the same subject of another who thinks very strongly and very clearly, and whose character is overmastering, the clairvoyant will ten to one feel the influence of the other and give you his ideas ...
There are no competent guides in this pursuit to be found here or in Europe who are willing to teach one how to acquire it without danger. The qualifications such a guide should possess render the finding of one difficult if not impossible. They are: the power to look within and see clearly the whole inner nature of the student; a complete knowledge of all the planes upon which clairvoyance acts, including knowledge of the source, the meaning, and the effect of all that is perceived by the clairvoyant; and  last, but not least, the ability to stop at will the exercise of the power. Evidently these requirements call for an adept.
Who are the teachers of clairvoyance, and those who advise that it be practiced? In the main, the first are mediums, and any investigator knows how little they know. Every one of them differs from every other in his powers. The majority have only one sort of clairvoyance; here and there are some who combine, at most, three classes of the faculty. Not a single one is able to mentally see behind the image or idea perceived, and cannot say in a given case whether the image seen is the object itself or the result of a thought from another mind. For in these planes of perception the thoughts of men become as objective as material objects are to our human eyes. It is true that a clairvoyant can tell you that what is being thus perceived is not apprehended by the physical eye, but beyond that he cannot go. Of this I have had hundreds of examples. In ninety-nine out of a hundred instances the seer mistook the thought from another mind for a clairvoyant perception of a living person or physical object.
The seers of whom I speak see always according to their inner tendency, which is governed by subtle laws of heredity which are wholly unknown to scientific men and much more to mediums and seers. One will reach only the symbolic plane; another that which is known to occultists as the positive side of sound; another to the negative or positive aspects of the epidermis and its emanations; and so on through innumerable layer after layer of clairvoyance and octave after octave of vibrations. They all know but the little they have experienced, and for any other person to seek to develop the power is dangerous. The philosophy of it all, the laws that cause the image to appear and disappear, are terra incognita.
The occult septenary scheme in nature with all its modifications produces multiple effects, and no mere clairvoyant is able to see the truth that underlies the simplest instance of clairvoyant perception. If a man moves from one chair to another, immediately hundreds of possibilities arise for the clairvoyant eye, and he alone who is a highly trained and philosophical seer - an adept, in short - can combine them all so as to arrive at true clear-perception. In the simple act described almost all the centres of force in the moving being go into operation, and each one produces its own peculiar effect in the astral light. At once the motion made and thoughts aroused elicit their own sound, color, motion in ether, amount of etheric light, symbolic picture, disturbance of elemental forces, and so on through the great catalogue. Did one but wink his eye, the same effects follow in due order. And the seer can perceive but that which attunes itself to his own development and personal peculiarities, all limited in force and degree.
What, may I ask, do clairvoyants know of the law of prevention or encrustation which is acting always with many people? Nothing, absolutely nothing. How do they explain those cases where, try as they will, they can not see anything whatever regarding certain things? Judging from human nature and the sordidness of many schools of clairvoyance, are we not safe  in affirming that if there were any real or reliable clairvoyance about us now-a-days among those who offer to teach it or take pay for it, long ago fortunes would have been made by them, banks despoiled, lost articles found, and friends more often reunited? Admitting that there have been sporadic instances of success on these lines, does not the exception prove that true clairvoyance is not understood or likely to be?
But what shall theosophists do? Stop all attempts at clairvoyance. And why? Because it leads them slowly but surely - almost beyond recall - into an interior and exterior passive state where the will is gradually overpowered and they are at last in the power of the demons who lurk around the threshold of our consciousness. Above all, follow no advice to "sit for development." Madness lies that way. The feathery touches which come upon the skin while trying these experiments are said by mediums to be the gentle touches of "the spirits." But they are not. They are caused by the ethereal fluids from within us making their way out through the skin and thus producing the illusion of a touch. When enough has gone out, then the victim is getting gradually negative, the future prey for spooks and will-o'-the-wisp images.
"But what," they say, "shall we pursue and study?" Study the philosophy of life, leave the decorations that line the road of spiritual development for future lives, and - practice altruism.
He drew a circle that shut me out,
How many times have we not heard people say that the Theosophical teachings of brotherhood, of unselfishness, of sacrifice and so forth, are indeed very beautiful and splendid in themselves, and that it would be most desirable if they were actually followed, but that it is virtually impossible to live these teachings and to apply them in daily living. The materialistic times in which we live, and the intense competition in all human endeavors which reigns the world over, force men only too often to think of themselves, and of themselves only. Many times we wish we could act differently, but we seem to be driven or actually forced by circumstances to have but little regard towards our fellow-men, and thus to obtain advantage at their expense. But this is simply an excuse to one's self. Every man knows what is right and what is wrong; he knows how he should and how he should not act.
It is a poor excuse to say that just because a man is doing a wrong to me, I have to do likewise to him. Is not selfishness at the root of this unbrotherliness towards one's fellowmen, and the cause of all this grasping at every possible personal advantage? 
The world today would be an entirely different place to live in, if every man tried to feel some concern towards others and follow the injunctions of the Teacher: "It is better to give than to receive ... Whatever you wish men do unto you, that you do unto them also."
If only a small beginning were to be made in one's own family circle, in one's individual home! Much would be gained, if each member tried to do his best, and attempted to control his bad moods, and did not flare up at the slightest provocation. It is the small things in life which give rise to so much disharmony; they tend to disrupt established relations, and to confuse the mind. The bigger problems - both fortunate and unfortunate -seem easier to solve; they rather tend to unite people, and often result in their sharing both sorrows and joys.
The smaller things have a greater practical value than people realize; they should be given greater attention, because it is they which bring about so much irritation and unhappiness. If we, therefore, honestly tried to be tolerant towards others, and made an occasional sacrifice without expecting anything in return, unexpectedly good results would follow.
In consequence, therefore, it is most desirable that the individual, as such, should realize his responsibility and his duty and should endeavor to live in harmony with his higher nature, and to reflect this in his thoughts and actions, thus helping to raise both himself and his fellow-men.
If only one member of a family would try to apply the teachings of Theosophy in this manner, it would soon become apparent that the other members feel the radiation, the good thoughts, the higher impulses, which emanate from such a man; soon they would themselves begin to partake of this wonderful something, and thus little by little contribute to the building of a truly harmonious atmosphere. This is necessary in order that the home may take its rightful place and become what it is supposed to be; hence the individual should first establish the right relation within himself, and think and act by means of his divine nature; and by so doing live in accordance with the spiritual law; then the conditions in the outer world would change most assuredly of themselves.
Another contributing cause to all the divisions, envy and hatred among men is due to the inequalities which exist in the world. One is born in wealth and another in poverty, one is handicapped from birth by a sick body, another enters this world with perfect health, and this only too often arouses mistrust and envy on the part of the less fortunate men. The thought presents itself: "Why should I have such a hard time and why should the other fellow have everything?" How can we account for these seeming injustices? Only Theosophy can give a completely satisfactory answer to this question. Theosophy is remarkable in more than one respect, because it takes into account everything and explains, as no other religion does, the cause and the function of all things. Theosophy teaches that it is we who have placed ourselves in the conditions where we are today, by means of actions performed in former lives, that we have ourselves originated the causes  of our destiny in the present life, that we ourselves are the cause of our suffering and of our happiness, and that absolute justice reigns over all. If we understand rightly this teaching of Theosophy, there arises in us a certain measure of calm and of assurance, when we realize that what we are now reaping, we have at one time sown ourselves.
Moreover, it is not at all to be taken for granted that those rich in worldly goods are as happy as we imagine them to be; wealth brings with it spiritual and material obligations and the individuals are given thereby a test of how to go through life, tasting all the opportunities of wealth and administering rightly that which is given to them. The less lucky in worldly goods are often spared the temptations which most certainly are placed in the path of those who seemingly can get everything that money provides. If every man, therefore, realized that he should do his very best, do his duty, where he has placed himself, according to his own karma, he would do this time what is expected of him, and would receive, maybe in this or in another life, an opportunity to be compensated for that which he could not achieve in this one.
We are all constantly unfolding, and in order to reach the highest goal, we must go through all the experiences this earth provides for us. It is through suffering that we are ennobled and develop sympathy for our fellows. Mere happiness results often in sheer selfishness. If we understood aright the meaning of life, we would be grateful for everything that happens to us in this life, good or bad, and even to our so-called enemies, because it is also through them that we learn and develop our own characters.
I cannot help but think of the unfortunate people confined in various penitentiaries, prisons and reformatories; people who are despised, misunderstood, cast out, as it were, from the comity of men, suffering their punishment behind bars. It is quite possible that in many cases they have been forced by desperate need to commit the very crime for which they are now being punished; and one can understand the bitterness which they must feel toward society, and how they lost faith in everything and rebelled against the whole world.
Conditions existing in the world today are such that they actually foster crime. There is no recognized guidance, sound ethical precept and outstanding example. In many cases people are driven to crime by physical need, and the utter lack of the necessities of life. We are all responsible for these conditions, and therefore we are responsible for much of the crime as well.
What a joy it is to share with these unfortunate people who have gone astray, the wonderful teachings of Theosophy; that even for them there is an opportunity to begin all over again; that they will have another chance in a future life; that even they belong to the whole human family; that they are, just as everybody else, divine beings; and that they themselves possess the faculty of lifting themselves by their own power, thus beginning a new life. It is our duly to help these misguided people, and we can do this only by inspiring them with trust in themselves, thus breaking the  barriers separating them from their own divine selfhood.
Karma, one of the teachings of Theosophy, means that we are placed in such conditions as are best intended to mould our characters. But Karma is only too often misunderstood, and is erected into a dogma and used as an excuse for indifference and sloth. We can change our Karmic pattern if we so wish, and we do not have to submit to existing circumstances as if they were unalterable and merely to be endured. Karma is a teaching based on free will through and through and has nothing to do with fatalism or mere dumb resignation to the inevitable.
Co-operation is a Divine Law. One of the most important laws of the Universe. Without it, everything would be disruption, confusion and chaos. Look at Nature! Everything in Nature cooperates: the seasons in their rhythmic changes, the planets in their motion, the tides of the sea; It is that co-OPERATION that is lacking among the people of today, both individually and collectively. They have not yet learned how to pull together, how to share life's experiences and to sustain one another.
What do you think of, what is the picture that comes into your mind, when you either hear or see these two words?
One: A brutal dictator, with a cruel whip, and at his feet, shrunk in terror, the slaves who are ruled by fear and have ceased to think for themselves; who live only in terror of what will happen to them if they should disobey.
The other picture: A human, with head raised, eyes wise and compassionate, hands outstretched to his brothers.
What makes the difference?
When we move in the valley of Life, our vision is limited; the horizon is lost sight of because we become overwhelmed by the objects between ourselves arid that horizon. When we stand on the hill and look down into the valley of Life, we not only see the horizon that was invisible to us, but we also see and understand the obstructions that stood in our way. We need to take a walk up the hill from time to time, to get a clear perspective; but, we must take care, when we walk down again, that we retain the clear view and not let ourselves become blinded by the obstacles and hindrances on our way, or those that exist in the valley.
Then, when we again move in our valley, our attitude is different, our point of view has fewer limitations, we gain a deeper understanding of all that takes place around us, all that happens to us.
We meet those who dominate us; we feel bound, limited, frustrated. That which has been a shining light in the thought and ideals of mankind, and has been pictured in poems, in fairytales, in legends and myths that have come down to us through many cycles of humanity, is SERVICE.
We wish to render service freely, without being compelled to by others, or by circumstances. Have we learned  the lesson, if we chafe under the necessity of service, because someone demands it of us? It does not mean that we must become abject slaves and enjoy the condition. It means that we have to learn to look at whatever condition we are in, to find the lesson there for us. If we feel frustrated because others desire or have succeeded to bind us, then we are not really FREE beings. To the Free One the binding is an added lesson to learn, perhaps a very difficult one, but a lesson, just the same; to be learned, to be understood, to be conquered and added to the knowledge that will become Wisdom.
A flat piece of glass, or even the finest crystal in the world, shows us only the things that we can see with our naked eye. But when polished in a certain way, arranged in a special way, we are enabled to see in it things that were invisible to us, and specks of light become worlds, worlds that we did not realize existed. Even so do we have to polish, arrange and tune our physical, mental, psychic and spiritual "tools."
Rebellion is excellent, if it makes us realize that we are surrounded by things that should not be, which should be perfected or changed or corrected. But, then, we have to do some serious thinking to know just what is needed to bring about this change; we must be sure that we do not think a change is needed, just because we want it, or because it is uncomfortable for us.
We rebel against discipline and authority because we feel that they restrict us and we think that it is some thing or some one who limits us. Observe the discipline a training athlete has to go through. Is it the trainer who subjects him to it? Why is he an athlete? Did he wish to become one himself? If so, if his trainer reminds him of the tasks to be done, of the pleasures to be cut short during his time of training, is it the trainer who enforces the discipline? Or was the discipline undertaken voluntarily in order that the athletic feat might be performed to perfection?
Authority! If we follow one in whom we have confidence, whom we love or whom we think wise, we make of that one an authority, for if we are in doubt we let that one decide what is the best thing to do. How, in that case do we learn discrimination? When that one betrays us, we are full of bitterness because we have been betrayed; we do not stop long enough in our period of weeping and wailing, to realize that it is we who betrayed ourselves. We did not recognize that one for what he was; we did not have sufficient discrimination to choose between a wise man and a deceiver. When we then have been betrayed, we at last have learned and will perhaps be able to see a little clearer next time.
This lesson cannot be learned without discipline. Yes, self-discipline; but self-discipline is first learned by knowing what discipline from whatever source is!
The authority sought in others will finally bring us to the realization that true authority is within the heart of each one of us.
Then we learn that in all hearts lives the same Authority, and that we are all ONE!
Discipline and Authority are but stepping stones to the Temple of Divine Wisdom. 
Have you ever stood on or near the summit of a pass, or mountain, and looked out over the rugged country below, with its tumbling streams and broken rocks? Or perchance your view afforded a long distance panorama of far away desert with rolling hills and unbroken areas flooded with sunlight? Or have you looked down upon a group of cities twinkling with lights in the evening, the only evidence of human creatures below? And all the while, all about you where you stood was stillness - with just the faint sound of wind in the trees, or the soft caress of its coolness on your cheek and in your hair?
And have you stood on the same spot during a storm and watched the approach of swirling clouds, felt the sudden burst of wind, saw the flashing lightning, heard the roll of thunder - and witnessed the whole terrain before you shrouded in the grey mist of rain, while the trees bent and swayed, the lights danced with an uncertain rhythm ... or the far away desert floor became darker, even ominous, and seemed to draw within itself leaving only a lonely and bleak wasteland?
When absorbed thus the observer loses all sense of time and becomes a spectator, engrossed in the picture before him, feeling at one with the forces of nature, and understanding and experiencing the flow of life through himself as a part of the scene he views. He feels no sense of urgency, no pressure or hurry. This is life, the forces of life, the ways of life - and he is part of it. Such a cessation from hurry comes at some time in the life of each one of us. It may be that the experience comes more often to some than to others, and to some it may come many times unconsciously before it records itself as a living conscious experience.
Why does it seem to come more often to some, such as poets, artists, philosophers, or musicians? Perhaps because in these people there has been developed more of an aptitude for seeking values underneath the changing patterns of the evanescent life visible on the surface of things.
Has the pure scientist cut himself off from this experience? Not the pure scientist who is willing to accept the realm of the intuitive and inspirational as a fountainhead of spiritual energy; and if he will recognize energy as spiritual in essence, material only in effect.
As a blanket of flowers covers the desert floor, and the blooms fade away and die, dropping seeds into the sands, where with the passing of time and conditions they are again brought into growth and flower - just so do the seeds of truth, varying in color and duration of expression, tempered in all ways by the experience gained in each new soil, come to growth and flower in the garden of the minds of men.
And when in the heart and mind there first dawns the desire to know truth, and to put aside all the shams of ephemeral living of whatever kind, most of which are know to man himself, even though he might not be willing to admit them to another - there is realized that energizing force, or surge of vital life currents which give direction, sustenance and strength to his whole being.
Such a one is no longer subject to the urgency of hurry which everywhere surrounds him, and which the very potency of Kali-Yuga brings to bear upon him as well as upon all others. And even while he feels the backwash of currents of his own thinking and actions, and is aware of the rip-tides of opinions and beliefs of others, he still finds that he can set and guide  his own course and that his inside compass will point steadily toward his goal.
He will realize no doubt, that all his ideas and ideals, cannot be fulfilled here and now, because of the many unfulfilled duties out of his past to which he must return - down there in the valley, or out there on the desert, or even among the forests and streams below him (his home, family and social relationships). But even knowing this, he knows also that he can go back, and that hurry and time and pressures can no longer affect the vision and realization of purpose which he has found within himself.
What if the tangled web of his living brings him back into family and social patterns where he has felt trapped and bound? He knows that he can free himself, in time, maybe in several lifetimes; but also he knows that there can be no ultimate freedom either for himself or for all the others, if he shirks, runs away from, or denies the duties which are rightly his, and for which he is responsible. These responsibilities must be fulfilled.
And as they are fulfilled, he knows that he is slowly untying and straightening out the knots that seemed to bind him whether he would or not, and he is at the same time helping those who are with him to gain that inner strength which will be necessary for seeking and working with the Real in life, rather than identifying themselves with the personal and passing forms.
And all the while, in his mind's eye, he can, when he will, return to the quiet place of retreat from hurry. For once the picture is clear it can always be recalled again, even if for a while he seems to forget that this is so.
How shall he get to that place on the mountain where such a view is possible? Physically, he can go there; and it might, or it might not help him, for if he has defective vision he could not see anyway, whether the defect is physical or spiritual, thus affecting either the inner or the outer vision. But he can conjure up the vista in his mind, and the longing in his heart will energize the view - if he really means it. And to the extent of the actual purity of his motive will be the height from which he takes his purview, for as water can rise no higher than its source, so realization can rise no higher than the purity of motive which fathered it. And that is for each one to find out for himself.
He may be very greatly surprised to learn that if his motive was engendered by a hidden wonder of "what's there in it for me" he may find himself far down in a canyon with sheer cliffs above him and swift vortices of water reaching to unsounded depths beneath him. The shock of the experience may sober him.
But he will find that when he can lift his sights enough to be concerned about the welfare of all the rest of the folk around him, he will abide to climb at least high enough to get as wide a view as to erase all the sense of hurry, because he will see that all eternity is behind him and that all eternity lies before him. And the part of eternity which is his to do with as he will is NOW.
All the Constitution guarantees is the pursuit of happiness. You have to catch up with it yourself ...
Too much of the world is run on the theory that you don't need road manners if you are a five-ton truck ... 
H. P. BLAVATSKY Collected Writings
The present Volume is the VIth in the chronological arrangement of H.P. Blavatsky's writings, a Series started some twenty-five years ago. It is, however, the second volume to be published in the Uniform American Edition. It follows chronologically the volume published in 1950, which contained the main bulk of H. P. B.'s writings for the year 1883.
Volume VI contains many important contributions from her pen, such as her Essay on the Tibetan Teachings concerning the dissociation of the human compound constitution in the after-death states, as explained by one of the high initiates of Tibet. It also includes articles, comments and footnotes embodying teachings from the storehouse of the Trans-Himalayan Esoteric Knowledge, on such subjects as: Precipitations - Elementals - Mediumship and Chelaship - Astrology - Dynasties of Moryas and Koothoomi - Adepts and Politics - Psychometry - Buddhism before Buddha, etc., etc.
The Edition is a LIMITED one. An early order is advisable, to ensure
receiving a copy before the edition is exhausted.