THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XII
No. 2 (64) - Fall 1955

[Cover photo: Open-Air Greek Theatre, Point Loma, California.]

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THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy for Humanity

Published every Three Months. Sponsored by an International Group of Theosophists.
Objectives: To uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement, and to disseminate the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy as set forth by H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers.
Editor: Boris de Zirkoff.
Subscriptions: $1.50 a year (four issues); single copy 40 cents. Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: 615 South Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California. Make checks and money orders payable to "Theosophia."

None of the organized Theosophical Societies, as such, are responsible for any ideas expressed in this magazine, unless contained in an official document. The Editor is responsible for unsigned articles only.

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THOUGHTS TO REMEMBER ...
SELF-KNOWLEDGE

Who are those who have learned to profit by each new opportunity? Not the doubters; while they are busy regarding their doubts the gods have passed by. Not the suspicious; while they have been harboring their suspicions the ship has set sail, and is well under way. Who then? 'The loyal and true-hearted. They are ever ready; ever on the alert. For them the gods are not a procession of phantoms, but living realities. Each new day sees them at their post, ready for their allotted work. Their joy is always on the wing; for them the granite and clay are luminous creations, resplendent with color, rich with enchantment. Held in the grasp of a vast purpose, they falter not nor fail. Unclouded by doubt and suspicion they realize that they are souls for whom immortal destinies await, and all their actions have the force which such a conviction gives, increasing their power for good a thousandfold. Loyalty; Trust; Unity; let these then be our key-notes. With these we can urge forward for the new career with strong courage and clear vision.

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Never tell people what you intend to do, but do it. When you speak of your intentions the power to do it is decreased.

Never debase your idea of yourself to others; it is a form of vanity and lessens your power just that much, weakens your ability to help those you wish to help. Keep up to what people think of you or you'll drop flat. Never think, "I cannot do it." You can do it if you will; you can be what you desire to be. If you think you cannot learn to do any certain small or difficult thing you will never do it. This does not mean that it is necessary to get "big head," that is an extreme which lessens your power. But stop regarding your personal self, neither debase nor regard yourself in the matter at all, and do not go to extremes either way. A week of this plan if followed will show you the power gained by following what I say ... - The Irish Theosophist, June, 1896. [3]

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A SEARCH FOR UNIVERSALITY
Boris de Zirkoff

The essential key-note of the Theosophical Movement throughout all ages has been its Universality. By the very nature of its message, its objectives, and its ideals, it can never be confined to any single group of human beings, to any single ethnic grouping of humanity, or any single department of human thought and endeavor. Everything that is genuinely Theosophical, is unconditionally universal in meaning and application, in theory and practice. Conversely, anything that is in the least dogmatic, intolerant, sectarian and constricted, can never be genuinely Theosophical, no matter what may be the painted lapel, or the honeyed words, under which it is offered and presented.

As pointed out by Master K.H. (Mahatma Letters, p. 367.): "Beware then of an uncharitable spirit, for it will rise up like a hungry wolf in your path, and devour the better qualities of your nature which have been springing into life. Broaden instead of narrowing your sympathies; try to identify yourself with your fellows rather than to contract your circle of affinity."

The greatest enemy of the Theosophical Movement is sectarianism, dogmatism, self-righteousness, which are but different facets of one and the same tendency in our character, namely, separateness. Wherever and whenever these manifest in theosophical work, degeneration sets in, and the open vision of the stars is beclouded by the fume of the brain-mind. Personal allegiances supersede devotion to Humanity as a whole. Personal adorations are set up sooner or later - sometimes embodied in a person, and sometimes in a book. The circle of affinities narrows down, and another church is born, with high-priests, mental and moral genuflections, and the makings of a new creed. Every manifestation of the Universal Theosophical Movement had to fight this tendency. The modern manifestation of that Movement is no exception in this respect.

It should also be borne in mind that outward Organizations, good and needful as they may be, can never house or embody more than a fraction of a Movement which is by essence and nature Universal and ageless. Institutions come and go. They rise and pass away. Personalities, even the greatest, are at best but fleeting shadows on a wall. But a Movement, and especially a spiritual one, is an integral part of what might be termed Cosmic Circulatory Systems, intimately linked with the evolutionary growth of Mankind as a whole.

Therefore, whatever may be our personal allegiance to this, that, or another fragment of the original Theosophical Society, which do such splendid work in their respective spheres of influence, our primary spiritual allegiance should be to the Theosophical Movement as a whole, ageless and universal - a surging, vibrant, soul-stirring power flowing from the very heart of this Globe itself, and derivative ultimately from the Sun. It suffuses humanity and interpenetrates it, even though Humanity at large is often unconscious of it altogether. To quote [4] from Master M. (Mah. Let., p. 271.):

"The sun of Theosophy must shine for all, not for a part. There is more of this movement than you have yet had an inkling of, and the work of the T.S. is linked in with similar work that is secretly going on in all parts of the world."

Every genuine and impersonal work in the Cause of the Theosophical Movement - which is the Cause of the "Great Orphan," Humanity - is an integral part of a universal pattern, and has either the direct or the indirect backing of the Teachers and Custodians of the Sacred Knowledge, whose attention and guidance can be compelled only by impersonal service, self-forcefulness, devotion to the noblest and highest, as one understands these, whatever one's limitations of outlook may be, and that love for principles and ideals which is the overtone of the life of every true server.

Disciples of the Great Ones are at work everywhere. Some of them are relatively great; some others not so great; still others are but beginners in the task of discipleship, even though they may stand far ahead of where you and I are to be found. Neither you quasi-occult institutions born of the original Theosophical Society, nor the progressive bodies within the corporate unit of Christendom, nor the halls of Science, nor the fields of social service, are devoid of them. For the Theosophical Movement is absolutely Universal and unbounded, and its ramifications permeate the human race. Teachers, Pupil-Teachers, and disciples, whatever their degree of knowledge, are not the prized and exclusive possession of any Organization or Institution, as such, not even a declared Theosophical one; they are at work the world over and remain, more often than not, unrecognized.

One of the commonest errors which finds its lodgement in the mind of some students, as well as groups of students, is that somehow or other they are "independent" of others, or can become so if they take the necessary steps. What these steps are remains undefined, however. It should be distinctly understood that "independence" is merely another political slogan, whether of this or any other century. As a fact of nature, it does not exist. Nothing in the Universe can possibly be or become "independent," no matter what may be the action or trend of thoughts of a living unit in the vast web of Cosmic Life. As everything is co-related, co-existent, and inter-connected, everything therefore must be inter-dependent, because intimately woven together by common karmic ties. Whenever a would-be student of the majestic Theosophical philosophy speaks of independence; he simply shows that his mind has not grasped the fundamental teachings of the ancient wisdom, and is caught for the time being in the illusory and misleading maze of arbitrary worldly conceptions, based primarily on the selfish interests of the personality.

One of the surest pathways to a growing realization of Universality is to become progressively more and more aware of the continuity of life, and the rhythmic rise and fall of all our endeavors, objectives, aspirations and actions. Each one of us has had a varied and checkered past; each one of us has seen many a civilization born, and has witnessed the decline of [5] other many climes, and striven after knowledge in distant eras of history, only to be reborn again and to renew our search for those realities of being which stand as mystic symbols upon the ever-receding horizons of our life. Who would deny this past? No serious thinker could possibly imagine that the hunger for truth has awakened in us but a few years ago. Our association with this spiritual Movement is proof positive of the fact that we have worked in it before, and have assumed in former ages spiritual and ethical obligations which today, once again, have come to the foreground of our lives and challenge our minds and hearts with an inner compulsion which cannot be denied.

Who can tell with absolute certainty where these earlier experiences took place? The chances are they ran their course in most of the civilizations history knows of, and in many other periods of time of which that same history has no knowledge at all. We speak of the ancients; who are those ancients? Are they not ourselves in some previous role upon the ever-changing karmic stage-setting of life? We are the ancients, although, no doubt, some of the greatest among them may not be with us at this particular moment, awaiting perchance other circumstances, other karmic settings, to be reborn in. As students, aspirants, seekers after truth, we have taken part in this Movement under its many bygone forms and manifestations. Some have seen the vanished glory of the Egyptian mystery-schools in temples whose ruins are but the mute witnesses of the living past ... some have taken part in the initiatory cycles of ancient Greece, the rites and teachings of Eleusis, or Samothrace or Dodona ... some may have followed the Buddha in his wanderings and learned from him the precepts of the Good Law ... others again may have sat at the feet of ancient Hindu Teachers, bringing with them today the vague recollection of these experiences ... some, no doubt, sought and found truth among the sombre oak-groves of the Druids, or helped to keep the pagan fires burning in the forest-sanctuaries of early Germanic tribes. Some have come back today with a distant recollection of a great splendor, from the days when esoteric knowledge stood high and was deeply respected; others have come with the memory of horrors, from days when the ancient knowledge was persecuted and its votaries put to the sword, like the days of Julius Caesar whose legions wrote the last chapter of the mystery-schools of Western Europe, destroying the ancient temples of Alesia and Bibracte in Gaul. And how many other connections some of us may not have had, in times so distant in the past, that neither name nor description remains of their peoples and their deeds!

And if all of this is true - and how could it be false, in the light of the age-old teachings - then it is imperative that our attitude towards all students of the ancient wisdom be one of sympathetic understanding and good will. Even though we may not agree with their view of the teachings, or their present interpretation of them, even though we may consider them to be confused, as compared with our own understanding (which, to be sure, is but a degree of ignorance, or a degree of knowledge, at best!), we have no ethical right to condemn them, or to [6] assume with regard to them a position of intellectual superiority. They have been seekers with us in former ages, and it is quite possible that we may have contributed in the past to what appears to us at present to be their relative confusion or ignorance. The attitude of superiority on our part should be replaced by one of genuine understanding of their difficulties, and a sincere effort to throw some additional light upon what to them is obscure or bewildering or hard to grasp. In this way we act as centres of light, as outgoing impersonal forces striving for the greatest good of the many, as broadcasting antennae emitting those vibratory rates which in due course of time will impinge upon sensitive hearts and minds and evoke a sympathetic response.

As students of the Esoteric Philosophy, seekers after truth, pilgrims of the changing cycles, we have no creed to proclaim, and no dogmas to uphold. It should be our objective, however, to develop the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple, and to recognize inclusive structural principles at work in the vast scheme of Universal life. It is Ideas that count, not their temporary modifications. It is Principles of Thought which should be awakened in Thinking human beings, so that they learn how to think for themselves, and start their upward climb toward the stars!

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WORLDS TO CONQUER
Henriette de Hoog

Man ever looks around him for new worlds to conquer. New lands to discover; to penetrate deeper into lands already discovered; new and higher mountains to climb; building faster vehicles to reach farther and higher - until now Man begins to dream of conquering worlds in outer space!

Our little Earth-globe does not offer sufficient adventures to prove our might and strength, courage and daring. We invent more complicated pieces of machinery to save time, that we do not know what to do with in the first place!

We make more discoveries every day - and every new day brings further discoveries that make obsolete those of the previous day. We set ourselves goals, which, when reached, point to greater and more glorious goals. Veil upon veil will lift to reveal mountain upon mountain behind. A legend is told in the East: When the Gods built the Universe, They wished to hide Immortality from Man. Where was the safest place to keep it safe from Man's discovery? Said one: "Let us place it on the highest mountain." Oh no! In time Man would conquer all the mountains, even the highest. "Then let us sink it to the bottom of the deepest ocean." Not that, for Alan will surely conquer the waters and learn to dive to the bottom of the deepest sea. "Ah! But there is one place, safest of all, where he will never even look for it!" They placed it within Man himself!

Man builds Temples and Cathedrals, forgetting that they stand as Symbols of all the Mysteries that reside [7] within his Heart. At one of the Temples Man's questions were ever met with the reply - Man Know Thyself! Man shrugs his shoulders; thinks he is being mocked and turns away to look without, for the next journey to take, the next obstacle outside of himself to conquer.

The Spirit of Man is Great and Strong and Valiant, that is why the outer man, who faintly hears the whispers of Himself, needs to be assured that all outer wars are fought for the sake of Justice and Protection of those who are oppressed and he wishes to defend the Rights of his Brothers. We look for trouble, as well as for the answer to the great Mysteries outside ourselves - always and ever outside ourselves.

Oh Little Man! Look within, and see how Great you are! Within lie the Worlds to conquer! Who are we? Where are we going? Why are we here?

Birth! not a first appearing, but a journey, once more undertaken, after many, many journeys: to learn, to know, to understand, through the struggles, trials and tests of life, that we may break this coarse and hardened shell to let the Light shine forth.

Life - Death - cycle upon cycle - but doors through which to pass, until the very repetition forces us to ask ourselves WHY?

We see thousands like ourselves, rushing by, bent upon conquests of one kind or another, but seldom standing still to look within our own heart.

Our brains are powerhouses of thought, ever busy with the never-ending task of weaving the web around us, of the glamour and glory of "what next to conquer."

The head alone sheds but a false light upon the Path we travel. It is the Heart-Light that must be joined with it, to bring the realization of our greatest conquest. The victory of Self over self. The conquest over demons of desire, hate and fear.

Icarus wished to fly to the Sun on wings fastened with wax! We too find ourselves on the rocks of disillusionment, fear, anxiety, hate and selfishness and blame others for the things they do to us!

Within ourselves is the Light we try to find outside; within ourselves the Key that will unlock the doors to the Temple, where we shall find - WHAT? - Where we shall find the true meaning of the words ever spoken by Those, who come from age to age among Mankind to point the WAY.

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"Theosophy is a Wisdom which goes beyond the mind. Such Wisdom is possible to man, because, in his inner nature, in the basic consciousness which is molded into a particular mind, there is a power to change himself, to free his mind from its conditioning, even from the very possibility of being conditioned, by the factors which operate on it. Then the mind becomes, or rather re-becomes, a pure mind possessing the extraordinary sensitivity, the perfect plasticity, of its fundamental nature. It is then Intelligence itself, not a mind limited by various ideas and prejudices instilled into it by the manner of its upbringing. Such an Intelligence can know the inward truth underlying the exterior forms and the experiences of these forms. - N. Sri Ram, The Theosophist, August, 1955. [8]

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WORDS OF SPIRITUAL WORTH

(During the year set aside to honor the thirty-fifth year of devoted public service on the part of our good friend, Manly P. Hall, three Loyalty Dinners have been held in Los Angeles. Their purpose was to inform his friends of the expanding program of the Philosophical Research Society, and to enlist their aid in a concerted effort to support the ideals and practical aims of this Organization. At one of these Dinners, Manly P. Hall gave a brief talk, the inspiring message of which we would like to share with all our readers and friends the world over. As having heard it ourselves, we can vouch for the profound sincerity of his words, and their high quality of spiritual dedication to a very noble task. We give below the main portion of Mr. Hall's remarks. - Editor]

On this festive occasion, I feel very much as a doting parent might feel as he watches his children growing up around him. Perhaps, in a measure at least, I have taken on a parental psychology in my effort to help my fellow men to find better ways of living and thinking. As I stand here this evening, I have the impression that my family of students is unfolding its own splendid maturity, and one of these days I may be out of work. This presents a rather serious, if happy, personal problem. Most of you have been parents, so you realize that there must come a time when the boys and girls in your lives no longer need to be constantly counseled, helped, and protected. In fact, it becomes increasingly important for them to learn the lessons of personal responsibility. You have undoubtedly noticed that young people may even come to experience a need to take over the administration of their parents' lives and affairs. No matter how we look at it, we must face the wonderful opportunity of releasing those who are near and dear to us, and accepting them into that democracy which comes with mature years ...

To go back a little. I began my public activities in Los Angeles in the Fall of 1919. I do not see so many faces that I remember from those early years, but there are a few. They were fine and devoted people in those days, and their spirit is with us because they helped to make possible what we have done. In 1921, I was ordained to the ministry in a liberal church, founded in Los Angeles by a broad-minded evangelist named Benjamin Fay Mills. The church he created was called The Church of the People. I was the third leader of that group. When I was ordained, the congregation presented me with this cross, highly symbolical and beautifully made of gold, enamel, and diamonds. It is a synthetic symbol of all the religions and philosophies of mankind. From those days on, I have tried to carry that cross with honor, and to contribute to the restoration of what seemed to me desperately needed religious and philosophic understanding. The work of those great spirits that have gone before us, those noble teachers who have suffered and died for mankind, must survive to inspire the present generation. Never before in the history of the world have we needed the wise, and the wisdom they brought, as we need these things today. It is my only regret and sorrow that I have not been able to do a better job; but I have done the best I could with such abilities and means as have been available. I have tried to keep faith with those great foundations of truth which are the noblest heritage of this world. [9]

Here in the hustle and confusion of the 20th century, there should be deep foundations in eternal principles. All over this world, there are human beings with good minds and upright spirits, and if we start with a proper measure of consecration and a high unity of purpose, this small dedicated band of human beings can change the course of history. We are not working with theories or hopes, but with those unchanging realities which must ultimately change all things into the likeness of themselves. We cannot afford to forget these truths, for in each adversity that comes upon us, we must turn to them for strength and guidance. Our present adversity increases; our daily needs grow great. We want to serve; we want to live useful and significant lives. In these convictions, we are dedicated to all that is true and noble and right, as it is given to us to know the challenge of growth.

I have always bitterly, almost fanatically, opposed the commercialization of religion; for that matter, the commercialization of any branch of learning that has to do with the great principles of life. But when this program was presented to me, some things were said which struck home with tremendous force. I believe that I have learned something which you also should know, and which it is my duty to share with you. This program is built upon a concept of the need of the human being to give, for his own well-being. That was a powerful thought, and invited me to look inside of myself. Immediately I realized that everything I have done for the last thirty-five years was to considerable degree moved by a necessity in my own consciousness; in other words, my need to give. Thinking back, I guess I was born with that need, for throughout my life nothing has brought me as much consolation of spirit as what I have gained as a human being through a sincere desire to give. So, for better or for worse, whatever I had, I have given. If my life were to be lived over again, I firmly believe that I would do exactly the same as I have done, but probably a little more wisely.

The greatest strength, the greatest courage, and the greatest internal security, come to each of us through service to our fellow men. Here is our peace, here is our hope, here is the thing which takes a humdrum existence and transforms it into a splendid and useful program. Nothing has ever come to me more strongly than the realization of what I have learned to know, understand, and appreciate through the simple actions of giving and sharing. Now comes the more subtle part of this reflection. Perhaps there was one thing that I had not given. It is the same thing that parents do not always give to their children. Some old prejudice in my own subconscious seems to have interfered. This one thing where I had failed to set a full example was that I had not given my friends and students full opportunity to express their own right and impulse to give of themselves and what they had. I had tried to do it all and, in my resolve to give, I had always been reticent about receiving.

We must remember that experience is necessary to the fullness of wisdom. The experience of giving has meant more to me than anything in the world. [10]

This being true, it is very good and proper that I should give this experience to you, and incite you to share in it. I am better able to take this attitude because I am asking nothing for myself. The work at hand is a service in the cause of the old gods, the eternally wise ones, their teachers and prophets, and this cause must not and shall not fail. For this larger responsibility, we can forget ourselves and our silly prides, and realize that if we are truly dedicated, our first thought is the work that must be done. It has been a little hard for me to adjust to this new but necessary attitude. I believe sincerely, however, that we must bring together in a common bond of fellowship those of good spirit, and unite them in the common service of principles if we are going to help to make this world a proper place for our children and their children. We must unite and serve together. We must rise to the same level of sincerity and sacrifice that was reached by Socrates, Plato, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, and those other real teachers in whose cause we serve. They-gave all and asked nothing. To the degree that we as individuals do the same, we follow in their footsteps.

I believe sincerely, my friends, that we must take up our burden and follow in the way that must lead ultimately to the human victory. That which is for the good of man and the glory of God is really no sacrifice at all. It is the greatest privilege that can be given to a human being. So, quietly, I thought through this plan that was offered to me, and I accepted it. In my heart I am glad, because now, you no longer listen, you no longer study, you no longer merely attend lectures; now you carry the load with me, and in this union there is great strength. The mystical experience of working together for something beyond ourselves, something we can only know within our own spirits, makes us one people with one dream. Those who are dedicated to the service of one truth and one beauty are no longer leaders and followers, but servants together of that Sovereign Power and Eternal Good that alone in this world is utterly worthy of being served. So at this time, I am going to suggest that we unite for a moment in prayer. May this prayer transform and transfigure a concept of material things to a realization of divine things. May our lives and our worldly goods become spiritual instruments serving the conviction of our hearts and minds. May we use wisely and well all those advantages and securities which have been given to us out of this world, that we might grow toward that other, greater and more glorious, sphere of being.

"Eternal Truth; Supreme God; Ancient of Ancients; Eternal Father; the children Thou hast fashioned in Thy wisdom and Thy love, await the works that Thou wouldst have them do. And Thou shalt call upon them, and through all eternity they shall not fail. Give us the strength, Eternal Power, to know Thy presence in ourselves, through the consecration of our lives, our sacred honor, and our worldly good, to the service of truth, the service of Thy Glory unto Everlastingness. Consecrate us, O Great Spirit, to this Reality. Amen." [11]

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MYSTERY SCHOOLS
H.W. Dempster

The Esoteric Schools in the Greek and Roman civilizations went under the name of "the Mysteries." The word 'mystery' in our time has taken on a different meaning, than was understood in those cultures. One dictionary defines it as "something unknown, unexplained or incomprehensible in its nature." It comes from the Greek word 'Mysterion', meaning something kept or preserved for the mystics, or the "worthy and well qualified," to use a familiar phrase. It is in this latter sense that it is understood by students of the Ancient Wisdom.

While they were generally known to exist in all great civilizations, and exist today, admittance into them was open only to those who were "duly and truly prepared" and who gave the right "knock." This same rule applies today. It would also be true to say, as far as the majority of the human race is concerned, that in spite of the literature readily available referring to them, their existence is practically unknown. Even if it were explained to a large number of well educated individuals, it is doubtful if they would understand the significance of the subject, or believe that it was so.

Nature has a way of guarding her secrets from the unprepared. If this were not true, man would have destroyed all that has been developed through long aeons of evolution. The desire to know is not necessarily the right to know. There are supreme ethical considerations involved, plus high moral integrity and unselfishness. A long period of training and self-discipline to prove our worth is required of us. Then, when we are ready, and not when we think we may be ready, a door will open and direction be given. It follows the age-old adage, "when the disciple is ready, the Master appears."

In India, all religious and philosophical teaching was divided into two parts: one for the multitude, and the other for the Dwijas, the "twice born" or those initiated into the Mysteries. These Initiates in turn established their own "inner circle" of students and disciples, who were taught some of the esoteric truths of Nature.

This same system was true of early Christianity as evidenced by the statement attributed to Jesus the Avatara in the Christian New Testament:

"Unto you it is given to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God; but to others in parables, that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand."

Another phrase also attributed to him: "Suffer the little children to come unto me," did not mean children at all, but referred to those newly born in, or who had begun to tread, the pathway of the secret teachings as taught by a Master or an Initiate of the Great Brotherhood, which is another term for the Mysteries or the Esoteric Schools of Wisdom.

Christianity of the early centuries had knowledge of an esoteric type or character, but does not possess it today, at least not as a recognized Order or Department of the Church. It should be pointed out in all fairness, however, that early Christianity, in a way, was the Theosophy of that [12] time-period, coupled with the Mystery Schools and mystic Philosophers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Synesius, to name only a few.

When the Church after a few centuries began to tend toward crystallization and creedalism, there were those, like the three named above, who tried to stem this tide. Clement, who lived in the second century taught that "man was an entity composite of body and soul, and a Universe in miniature." The Esoteric Philosophy had taught this Doctrine for ages under the phrase, "Man is a Microcosm of the Macrocosm," and therefore contains in potentia everything that the Great Universe contains. Origen taught Reincarnation and several other occult ideas. He lived in the second and third centuries. Synesius, who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries, remained active in Church circles, for some reason or another preferring to stay with the ship, but continued to be a Neo-Platonist until his death. He was the warm friend of the noble woman-philosopher Hypatia, who was his early Teacher in Philosophy.

Hypatia was the daughter of Theon, a well known astronomer and mathematician, who was the head of the Neo-Platonic school of Alexandria in the fifth century. She became a teacher in the school of Plotinus in the same city and expounded the principles of his system to many students from all parts of the East. Her house became the meeting place of the outstanding figures of the day. A fanatical mob, believing that Hypatia encouraged the Prefect Orestes in his opposition to the patriarch Cyril, murdered her in March 415. (Please note that the great Alexandrian Library, which undoubtedly contained an abundance of Oriental literature of great importance was destroyed by a mob of fanatical Christians in 391. These must have been exciting times.) It was a period of decadence and degeneration preceding the dark ages, and the Mystery Schools that were openly known to exist in that time-period were finally closed in the sixth century.

Over vast periods of time these Schools have been periodically open and closed; but there is one main school that has existed continuously for approximately 12 million years, which would be from about the beginning of the Fourth Root-race. We are now in the Fifth Root-race. It is the School of the Great Brotherhood of Mahatmas from which The Theosophical Movement in our time originated. Do we realize what this means? Here is a body of Spiritual Knowers who have access to esoteric records and the records of nature that deal with the facts of the Universe. They have hall opportunity to check and re-check the accuracy of the doctrines taught. And while they themselves admit that they are not infallible, it is comforting to know that there is a reliable and dependable source of knowledge, which stems directly from them and is revealed to us through their trusted and qualified emissaries.

Suppose that by some act of magic all Theosophical material in the standard books of the last 100 years were wiped out of existence as though they had never been written. Include in this act the occult literature of India, Egypt, Greece and Rome, and what would there be left in the world of any enduring value? Would the Christian Bible fill the gap? Would [13] Modern Science be as advanced as it is today had it not been influenced by such works as H.P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine and G. de Purucker's Esoteric Tradition and Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy?

The world today is bewildered with much false information and teaching. There are too many who ignore the reality of the Esoteric Schools as a vitally important background in our era. The teachings that have been given out by the Great White Brotherhood in lite past 100 years will undoubtedly be in existence for many centuries to come. What we need to do is to study these writings and follow up the references that are contained in them. There is a need of writing articles to keep these ideas before the public in a new form. What are we doing with the opportunities that are at hand to spread the truth in order that we might improve the conditions of the Race? Let each one of us look within ourselves and appraise our lives accordingly!

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AM I FORGIVEN?
Dara Rittenhouse

The idea of Karma initiates into our lives a sense of conscious responsibility. While we do not always see in every action its ultimate conclusion, while we fail to use every moment or event as a new inroad to truth, the idea has taken hold enough to change, in a great way, our acceptance of all that comes our way. It is the beginning of a larger faith in Law - affirmation of a time when the intricacies of life and action will be understood.

I have often wondered why we look to some outside person (perhaps deeply respected), Teacher or even abstract Law, with the question: "Am I forgiven?" Granted we have denied an anthropomorphic God who rewards and punishes, or "vicarious atonement" through priest or self-constituted authority. But why this feeling of a need to he forgiven? Are our fellow-men so callous, so imperviously critical of our weaknesses and shortcomings? Are we ourselves so sensitive yet in outside condemnation that we cannot rely on Law, as the great Adjuster? Or, perhaps, the unforseen effects, once recognized, seem too overwhelming to undergo.

Nevertheless we find they must be undergone, no matter how favorable or unfavorable our action appears to those around us. We have to say: "l set this cause in motion - I alone can accept that responsibility for sure. I alone can forgive my action."

As we dwell on this aspect of responsibility a new idea takes shape: I can only forgive myself when the highest discrimination of the act, once available, but ignored or neglected, is re-established; when I become "constitutionally incapable" of repeating the error of thought or feeling which brought about that action. And we may notice that it always seems to be in respect to an act, that we seek forgiveness. Our field of work is ACTION. But it must not deceive us from the inner planes of being where action originates. It is there that the change must first come about. [14]

William Q. Judge refers to a "larger sphere of being," where "we are confronted by what we are and not by what we have done." * (* Notes on the on the Bhagavad-Gita, p. 70.) This would lead one to believe that often our very concern for the appearance of an act - whether or not we are "forgiven" - has to do with a mistaken idea of ourselves. Through concern with the shell, not the spirit of an act, it is the very excuse we employ to withhold true inner transformation. It crowds out the live discrimination which does not consider whether an action is "acceptable," but whether it contains a real contribution to the collective progress of mankind, regardless of appearance. If "final judgment" depended on any one act, we could use such an excuse to give up our hold on future action. But we are not so limited. The final tone of each life is struck by the sum total of our being, which we ourselves but little perceive.

It sounds abstract that a man may become so just in his every action as always to consider others involved. Yet such consciousness provides a very distinct harmony in our lives. It is nothing we can force into our way of living. As long as we hold on to the idea of "My Karma" - "My action" - "My forgiveness," we will feel but little of that larger undertaking. "The Universe grows I" becomes a fountain of youth in our lives, only as Universal Feeling enters our actions. Even if we begin with the abstract notion alone, our actions can bring about the real condition and foundation for the ideal. The true sense of this duty eventually becomes a living necessity. The philosophy of motive the spirit in which we work - depends on how wide is our grasp of this duty, far overshadowing our "hold" on, our expectation of reward or success. Nothing outside ourselves sets the limits.

It was said of A.O. Hume (in the Mahatma Letters) that his pride was so strong that he himself did not realize his inherent good qualities, which were his true claim to help from the teachers. So it is with us. Our mistaken idea of ourselves and of what we may become, cuts off this larger life.

Suppose our whole thought revolved about our past mistakes (as in many lives it does) and fear of the possible consequences. Consider the times in our lives when we truly see how harmful a certain step may have been to those concerned. When we feel the error cannot be retrieved no matter how sincerely we repent. How can we possibly forgive ourselves? The conclusion is simply an absolute resolve to shoulder the consequences, of which our grief is a great and natural part, a necessary teacher. We do not know what these consequences will be. We should drop the idea of forgiveness at once - take the scales in hand and begin the balancing.

Under cyclic law the test will return again. How can we possibly be ready for it - even recognize it under subtler guise if our thinking is centered in regrets for self.

The desire, will and power to change the future is our Forgiveness. The steps we take now, our salvation. We become masters of our own destiny. And when the time returns again, it does not carry us off to sea, but gently claims its own from the hard won lesson of long ago. [15]

*

I WOULD LIKE TO ASK ...

Students of Theosophy appear to disagree with each other as to whether there is any growth going on in the Reincarnating Ego while it is in the pre-Devachanic and Devachanic state. What is your understanding of this point?

It is one of those questions to which both an affirmative and negative answer could he given, according to the meaning attached to the word "growth." All growth or evolution is dual in manifestation: there is in everything a dynamic impulse forward, followed by a period of rest, assimilation and relative latency. The question is practically identical with one that might be asked with regard to ordinary sleep: is there growth in sleep? Yes and No. It depends upon what is meant. Dynamic evolutionary momentum, growth by means of self-conscious experience, belongs to the hours of waking consciousness, and not to the hours of ordinary, normal sleep. By analogy, dynamic grow belongs to the years of embodied existence here on earth, and not to the period when the consciousness of the human soul is in the condition of spiritual and intellectual assimilation and rest. We return from sleep essentially the same as when we retired the night before; we are rested, re-vitalized, strengthened in various respects; but we have not changed to any appreciable extent in our character, and the problems we faced the day before are with us again. The same is The case with regard to the after-death slates. They provide complete psychological rest to the evolving entity, assimilation of experience gained in the embodied state, re-vitalizing of the human consciousness from the fountainhead of the spiritual Selfhood. Yet it would be wrong to say that the human soul has been growing dynamically during these states and conditions, learning through experience, gathering new knowledge, solving its problems, and then returning into incarnation as an individual considerably more advanced in every respect than it was at the moment of former death. Death is Sleep, and this can never be repeated too often.

However, there is an important point in this connection which should not he lost sight of. Often, in ordinary sleep, we have dreams, both pleasant and nightmarish, which may affect to a very marked extent the activities, thoughts and feelings of the following day; in the light of these dreams, many of our daily avocations and duties either acquire an added meaning or are colored, one way or another, by our memory of the powerful dreams we had the night before. Under the impact of these dreams, our consciousness has been altered, and its relation to the conditions of the following day has been considerably changed. Change is growth; change is evolution; therefore, it could be said that our sleep did produce an effect similar to evolutionary growth. The same applies to the far more powerful and important types of "dreaming" woven by the human soul during its period of Devachanic sleep. They too, can and unquestionably do, affect the consciousness of the human entity, and that effect must be carried forward into the state of embodied existence, when the Devachanic condition is ended. This change of consciousness is connected with the idea of growth, because of the [16] alteration of existing conditions; yet it cannot be considered to be identical with dynamic growth by means of self-motivated experience.

Hence, it is possible to look upon growth as being both dynamic and vegetative, both self-propelled and passive. Without the passive or vegetative state of growth, the entity could not continue in its evolutionary unfoldment; it needs assimilation, recuperation, re-vitalizing of its pranic energies; it needs perspective, withdrawal, and that change of magnetic polarity, without which no further dynamic growth or evolution could possibly take place in the sphere of embodied existence. Embodiment and withdrawal from it, life and death in ordinary terms, are essentially conditions of spiritually-magnetic change; they are symptomatic of an alteration of magnetic polarity in the consciousness of the evolving entity. We oscillate periodically between the world of causes and the world of effects, between the conditions or states of forward, dynamic action, and recoil, and these alterations are similar to the outbreathings and inbreathings of our physical lungs, and of the universe itself from the metaphysical viewpoint.

As to the pre-Devachanic states of the human entity, which are mainly states in the Kama-loka, prior to the so-called second death, it seems logical to suppose that they have a closer relationship to conditions of "growth", than the states following them; first because the human consciousness is still to a very large extent connected with the lower spheres of earth where it had its former abode; and second because, in the case of rather materially-minded human beings, of strong emotional tendencies, and inferior spirituality, the disturbed consciousness in the Kama-loka condition, experiencing the psychological after-effects of various misdeeds upon earth, may well "learn" a lesson or two, at least to some extent, as a result of this psycho-mental turmoil. If it learns anything at all, it can be said to have "grown." In the case of high-minded human beings, however, the consciousness in its Kama-loka state is largely in a condition of daze, prior to its gradual entry into the states of the Devachan, as it ascends through the intermediary global spheres towards that latter condition.

*

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