THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XIII
No. 1 (67) - Summer 1956

[Cover photo: Statue of Gautama the Buddha, Japan.]

The passing of the Illumined One, 2500 years ago, according to tradition,
is celebrated this year in many lands.

"Even as a solid rock remains unshaken by the wind,
so the wise man remains unmoved by praise or blame"
- Dhammapada.

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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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A THOUGHT TO REMEMBER...

"The need of ethics and the need of more heart in our work is perennially true. It will always be so. But there is an equal, and an equally perennial need for an emphasis of the intellectual side. The two must unite and become one; and it is foolish to say: No intellect and only ethics; or, No ethics and only intellect. The first makes a man a gentle fool. The second makes of man an ungentle demon. Combined they make a real man.

"I am always intensely irritated at the idea that some of our people have, that Theosophy must rake in people by the tens of thousands, and have them flock in droves. It would be lovely if the droves were composed of sincere people. But I have never looked upon the work of Theosophy as a popular, emotional movement. Its duty is to be in the van, to lead, to show the way, always to be several steps ahead of the multitude, in other words a guide; and such a program, right from the jump means the alienation of the sympathies of millions who cannot understand anything beyond their noses.

"I am well content with the fact that we are growing, albeit slowly; although I am human and therefore ambitious for more rapid growth. But in my calmer moments I know perfectly well that it is better to grow slowly and be firm, as we are doing, than to grow rapidly and then go to pieces because of lack of sufficient spirit within to build a material basis which would endure." - G de Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, p. 440. [3]

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SOME BASIC FACTS OF REINCARNATION
Boris de Zirkoff

The wide-spread interest aroused in many Occidental countries in the experiments of memory "regression" under hypnosis, is symptomatic of the general uncertainty of the people regarding the nature of death and its subsequent states, if any. It is also a sign of the general discontent and mistrust in established religious dogma on this subject. Added to these are the growing lack of trust in the agnostic attitude of science with regard to any non-mechanistic theory, and the instinctual hope that perhaps some aspects of psychology may disclose sober facts about the hereafter, providing, maybe, a newer and surer foundation for faith.

The results of recent experiments by various students of hypnosis have remained most inconclusive, though they are, of course, of great interest from the psychological standpoint. Showing many phases of human consciousness heretofore practically unknown in the Occident, they nevertheless provide no adequate evidence of reincarnation, no factual proof of this view of life, as has been pointed out by careful thinkers not averse to the idea itself.

It is to be hoped that the teaching of reincarnation will become dissociated in time from the dangerous practice of hypnosis, as far as the mind of the general public is concerned, thus breaking a temporary and very curious partnership between the two. The impression has been allowed to grow in the minds of the people that very brief intervals between two successive lives are a common thing, thus giving rise to an emasculated form of the age-old teaching of rebirth, in no way descriptive of the actual facts which this ancient and universal idea implies.

The teachings of the Ancient Wisdom - the age-old Esoteric Philosophy, which is the universal spiritual tradition of mankind - concerning human reincarnation or re-birth, are but an aspect of the wider and all-inclusive teachings concerning re-imbodiment. The latter term is descriptive of the fact that every evolving entity in Nature, great or small, visible or invisible, periodically passes through a state of embodied existence in the lower or material planes of life, followed by periods of dis-embodied existence or rest, in invisible spheres of being. This periodic oscillation between existence in form and in sheer consciousness is but one facet of the manifestation of a universal law of action and re-action, or dynamic growth and recessive quiescence, followed by another cycle of growth, and so forth. It is, as it were, the breathing in and out of Cosmic Life-Consciousness, the positive and negative phases of being, as important the one and the other. It applies to atoms as well as to planets and stars. The principle or idea involved in this has nothing to do with any particular form that the evolving consciousness or entity takes for the time being. In the case of a human being, and of the higher animals, that form is one of flesh (carne, in Latin); hence embodiment in this case can rightly be called re-incarnation, though it would be entirely wrong to apply it to forms which are not made up of our type of flesh. Human [4] reincarnation, therefore, is to be viewed as an aspect of the more general principle or law of re-imbodiment.

According to these teachings, which have come down to our times from immemorial antiquity, man is a composite being, and in his constitution all the elements, forces, substances and energies of the Universe are represented, so that he is a Universe in miniature. Man is essentially a center of creative consciousness, functioning in the present evolutionary cycle in its self-conscious mental aspect. Man is therefore basically Mind, though not yet in its higher aspects, seeing that his mind is heavily tinged with emotions. Man, viewed as Mind - which, for brevity's sake should be taken as synonymous with reason, insight, association of ideas, judgment, discrimination and perception - works by means of, and through, several temporary vehicles of progressively denser and denser qualities, as we go down the scale. He has an emotional center or vehicle, a vital vehicle or field of vital forces, an astral vehicle or body, and a physical encasement, all permeated to a very large extent by the effluvia of his Mind.

But Man, the Mind is not the highest there is in this hierarchy of life. There is above man's mind a center of spiritual intuition or direct perception of truth, above logic and reason, a center wherein resides wisdom, sympathy and impersonal love or compassion. And the root of all that man really is lies higher yet, in the Divine Self which is the spark of the Cosmic Divinity manifesting in the human hierarchical structure. Thus Man functions, as it were, on seven wave-lengths and each of them corresponds to a specific plane or world of being.

What has been called Death - truly a misnomer - is the temporary breaking asunder or dissolution of this compound constitution, and the progressive withdrawal of consciousness from its lower vehicles or sheaths into a condition of rest and recuperation.

Long before the time of actual physical death, the various constituent portions of the complex human constitution begin to re-arrange themselves, and go through various magnetic changes connected with the future event of excarnation. The various principles of man begin progressively to dissociate themselves, severing gradually the relatively strong bonds of magnetic forces which hold them together during the period of incarnated existence. Death, therefore, is an electromagnetic phenomenon and proceeds from within outwards. The gradual disorganization of physiological bodily functions, while a seemingly outward symptom, is nevertheless but the result of the progressively weakening hold of the inner principles upon the outermost garment of the ego.

If this basic point regarding the true nature of so-called death were understood by certain people, the beliefs of that fatal superstition known as Spiritualism would fall to the ground, while its phenomenal aspect would receive due and adequate explanation from the storehouse of the ancient esoteric philosophy.

The process of dying is basically identical with the process of falling asleep; both are processes of withdrawal. In one case, the withdrawal is complete, and the ego does not [5] return to the same set of vehicles, which are worn out and therefore useless; in the other case, the withdrawal is temporary, and the return is into the same vehicles. In both cases there is that portion of the human consciousness which experiences dreams; in the case of ordinary sleep, this is quite familiar to us; in the case of death, the dreams are a mental world created by consciousness itself out of its own fabric, and providing for it a condition of blissful realization known among Theosophists by the Tibetan term Devachan (literally, "the happy land"). In both cases, again, there is of course a far higher condition experienced by that portion of the human consciousness which is both above the condition of ordinary sleep-dreaming, and above the need of the devachanic bliss. The Higher Ego of man has conscious experiences during the normal sleep of the body; and the same portion of man's inner being has its higher experiences after "death," though unfortunately our personal ego has not yet developed the qualities necessary to become cognizant of them.

The process of excarnation takes time. It begins soon after the middle of a man's life-span, and proceeds progressively through the states of actual dying and into stages of separation affecting the various inner principles in the intermediary spheres of the so-called kama-loka, which is located in the lower sub-planes of the surrounding astral world of this globe. Physical death is followed in due course of time by the final loosening of bonds between the lower astral sheath and the re-incarnating ego, which has been called "second death," leaving in the astral world a "shell" or astral corpse, analogical to the leaving of a physical corpse upon this physical world. According to the nature of man, this process of "second death" may take a few weeks or a few years to be completed; in some cases, it might run into a couple of centuries; the more gross was the man in incarnated existence, the stronger were the bonds binding his consciousness to the lower vehicles, and the more vital and active these vehicles were in earthlife - the longer will this process take. Eventually, however, the ego disengages itself from these lower integuments of astral substance and automatically enters into progressively more ecstatic stages of the devachanic consciousness.

Physical sleep provides the period necessary by the body for the assimilation of physical food; the devachanic condition provides the needed period for the assimilation of the experience gathered during the life-time just ended. The length of this condition varies from one human being to another. It depends upon a number of complex factors, and cannot be determined with any degree of exactitude by us who have as yet but a very inadequate knowledge of these various processes. Suffice it to say that the duration of the devachan depends to a very large extent upon what might be termed spiritual buoyancy. A man of grossly materialistic tendencies in earth-life, deeply sunk in selfish desires, would have a very brief devachan, as his attraction there is but weak, and the pull of his consciousness towards the physical sphere is strong. In extreme cases, he may have no devachan at all, but be reborn very soon, after a temporary condition of "daze" in the kama-loka. [6]

Conversely, a man whose life has been dedicated to the service of the spiritual interests of mankind, and whose consciousness dwells most of the time upon themes of service and spiritual work, will actually shorten his devachanic period in order to come back for the continuation of his self-sacrificing work for humanity; he will be helped by higher beings to achieve that end.

Between these two extremes, there is the main bulk of mankind made up of beings whose interests are mixed, whose inclinations drive them into opposite directions, who already have developed a certain degree of love for beauty, art, maybe abstract thought, but yet who are intensely self-centered in most of their pursuits, but not wholly divorced from occasional desires to do good and help others. Their devachanic condition will be long, precisely because the devachan is the efflorescence in thought of all the best and most beautiful desires and inclinations of the human being, especially those which were frustrated upon earth, and could not be realized. They are beautiful yet self-centered; elevating in some ways, yet wholly concerned with a sense of personal enjoyment, to the disregard of all others. Devachan, is therefore, at best a "fool's paradise," which is unavoidable in the case of most people, in their present stage of evolution, yet which is eventually transcended by those who devote themselves to a conscious effort in self-directed evolution and perfectibility.

In the light of the ancient teachings, it becomes obvious to any serious student that a period between lives of but a few years, or even a couple of centuries, is to be looked upon rather in the sense of an exceptional case, due to various causes not known to us. The average length of time between incarnations is rather of the order of several centuries, and probably very often a matter of some 1,500 years more or less. The experiments conducted by present-day hypnotists have been with people of the ordinary type of consciousness, with inclinations towards either things of beauty or worthwhile pursuits in life, and it is precisely these types of people which cannot possibly incarnate again within the extremely brief period of time given by most of them. Hence, as far as the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom are concerned, the explanation of these results of "regression" must be sought along other lines than those of the reincarnation of the actual entity.

The most important fact involved in experiments in hypnotism, a factor not yet given sufficient attention to by the experimenters, is that the subject under hypnosis becomes mediumistic to a very large degree. As such, he is apt to, and probably does, become psychically attuned to several distinct yet correlated forces and substances in the surrounding astral world, from which his mind may draw information of a confused kind. Among these factors are: (1) left-over remnants of human beings which have passed on; "shells," which are their astro-magnetic, and vital-magnetic remains, astral corpses, from which all self-consciousness has fled, and which nevertheless contain a certain amount of automatisms which under some conditions can simulate self-consciousness and independent thought, which have been for so long impressed upon their atoms when they were integral portions [7] of a fully alive human being; (2) confused currents in the astral light, pertaining to various human beings who have lived before, and who may be in some degree of magnetic synchrony with the consciousness of the subject under hypnosis; (3) psychometric reading of other peoples' thoughts, or books that may have been imagined but never written; (4) the record of one's own imaginations upon themes provoked by past reading, or hearing other people talk. Until the phenomena of hypnosis are better understood, it would be dangerous and unwise to make final deductions concerning the seeming results.

It should, however, be distinctly understood that the record of man's past incarnations is fully preserved in the higher levels of consciousness, in what might be termed his soul memory; but it is extremely doubtful whether hypnotic conditions of the ordinary kind can ever reach that deep into the recesses of man's consciousness. Exceptions might again exist, but they would be fairly obvious by the very nature of the recollections involved.

The ancient and universal teaching concerning reincarnation is of a highly ethical character. It explains the future in terms of the present, and the latter in terms of the past. The karmic drive or momentum acquired by thought and action in former lives establishes the pattern of this incarnation, and possibly others yet to come. The new direction given to karmic action in the present life acts as a seed for the harvest of future incarnations. Opportunities of growth and right action ignored or postponed today will not merely recur in a future lifetime; they will recur, but the karmic rebound for leaving them unused on the previous occasion will assert itself also. Thus it is foolish to imagine that we can with impunity leave things undone now, postponing them to another life. Objections raised on this ground against the idea of reincarnation, as has been done by some, shows at once a lack of understanding regarding the operation of karma. A correct appraisal of the situation and a right comprehension of this entire teaching, even in its bare outlines, is conducive to the building up of a nobler life, in which a man knows himself to be the free arbiter of his own destiny, the captain of his ship, and the ultimate master of himself.

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THOUGHT
T. Marriott

One of the most important facts to be realized at this early period of THE NEW AGE, is that the future depends to a large extent on the quality and kind of thoughts now being put into the mental atmosphere. It is obvious enough that, outside of special work, there is little thinking being done of a constructive order, so far as individual human character is concerned; and as for the rest, it cannot be described as Thought, for the reason that there is no one-pointedness connected with it, for the purpose of arriving at a conclusion, or for the understanding of objectives and processes beyond the temporary and the superficial. [8]

Propaganda and salesmanship of one kind or another influence actions, but the purpose is not to induce individual reflection but to psychologize all susceptible parties into response favorable to them. Yet unless we develop strength of character by thought, and the determination to acquire it by all right methods, how can we expect the future to be less unstable than the present, let alone bring about a better and more harmoniously integrated world?

The gods can only act through appropriate means, and those means, so far as humanity is concerned, are the various qualities and capabilities of individuals and groups as humans, and not as automatic or irresponsible human molecules in the greater body of the planet as a whole. There is evidence to indicate that although civilizations in the past have attained very great heights - far beyond ours at present, yet the people as a whole were to a large extent unthinking as individuals. Later, when the aspirational aspects were accentuated, and the monastic life was held to be desirable to attain "illumination" and "freedom from earthly needs," there was practically no philosophic thought outside the Mystery-Schools, in present day terms, the Universities, which differed from the latter in that the Heads or Hierophants were actually Initiates into the workings of the inner processes of Nature and Life.

The NEW AGE has as its main function the development of MIND in its widest application; and the inner operation upon which all outer phenomena are based have to be understood from their status and not from our point of view, which is materialistic and of a limited mentality.

To attain proficiency in anything, it is necessary to make long and continued efforts. It is exactly the same in the development of mentality and the use of the Mind. What is the Mind but the organ through which the Idea becomes the attractive center for the substances and energies necessary for the attainment of the objective. The organ has a User in this as in every other case; and although the organ has to be mastered to be of the greatest use, we need to know more of its USER or the Master who controls it, before we can adequately polarize ourselves to those influences which will stimulate our thoughts and aspirations, and will in the direction of progressive unfoldment of our inner qualities. Those inner influences are actually and powerfully at work right now, on the whole planet with its numerous progeny. We, as humans, are a part of the progeny and an organ which needs to function adequately in its place as controller and adjuster. Let us try to realize this and radiate constructive THOUGHTS relating to our great obligations and our functions in the integrated planetary life.

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"What claim have we to vaunt a superior civilization to Henry II's times? We are sunk in a barbarism all the deeper because it is tolerated by moral lethargy and covered with a veneer of scientific conveniences." - Sir Winston Churchill. [9]

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HYPNOTISM: DANGEROUS OR BENEFICIAL?
H.W. Dempster

In consequence of the current interest in hypnotism, the question arises as to whether it is detrimental or beneficial to the well being of the human race.

Let us re-phrase the question in this manner: "Is Hypnotic practice ever justifiable?"

Its proponents, of course, affirm that it is. We say, it is not. Who is right? Who are the authorities who say it is good? Generally, some medical men, some psychologists and psychoanalysts, a few dentists, and most of all a rather large group of novices or laymen and amateur experimenters. Because they have been able to put their subject in trance and obtain some apparently desirable or entertaining results, without observing any unwholesome effects, they argue that it is useful and good. One experimenter informed me that he had been hypnotizing people for 25 years and had not yet seen any evidence of bad reactions. But the point is: it is a subjective process and quite naturally the harm to the subject would not be visible, except to an expert and highly qualified individual.

Dr. G. de Purucker, a scholar of keen spiritual insight, in his outstanding work, Studies in Occult Philosophy, says:

"Hypnotic practice is almost always bad, even though, somewhat like blood transfusion, there are rare successes occasionally. It is just like playing with some dangerous explosive. It is fundamentally and generally bad, because it weakens the will of the subject, instead of evoking the will from within outwards into action, thus building up a structure of inner life and power." He then states that an Adept could use hypnotism beneficially. "But, I can assure you," he continues, "that no Mahatma or Adept ever would do such a thing, because the fundamental idea is wrong. Therefore, all these things should be avoided. They are unwholesome."

Most people who have seen a subject under hypnotic trance indicate they feel a revulsion at the sight of it and their innermost intuitions affirm that it is degrading. Why should anyone have the license or the right to pry into the deeper recesses of the Human Soul or Mind, no matter how good the motive? Every human Soul contains within himself either the potential or active power of understanding himself and his own ailments and problems. When he follows his highest reasoning and deepest intuitions, the way toward a solution opens up for him. Quoting the same author as above: "Every repetition of hypnosis renders the subject still more flabby, still more negative, still weaker and subjects the subject more and more to leaning on the outside instead of evoking inner powers."

What is the meaning of the word Hypnotism? It is derived from the Greek word hypnos, which means to sleep. Hence, anyone placed into a hypnotic trance is like one who is asleep or partially asleep. Weak-willed, negative types of individuals are the most easily hypnotized. Where the will of the individual is already weak, and there is a state of complacency [10] or indolence, coupled with a desire to have someone lift the burden of ill-health and worry, or merely with idle curiosity to experiment and see what comes out - these factors and similar ones make an ideal subject. If such individuals had not already lulled to sleep to a certain degree their own wills, they would realize and be aware of the wonderful magical powers of their own will.

Listen to the words of Paracelsus: "Determined will is the beginning of all Magical operations ... It is because men do not perfectly imagine and believe the result, that the arts of magic are uncertain, while they might be perfectly certain." But he cautions: "Before a man becomes able to send his will within the Soul of another person, his own will must become Godlike and free. A Hypnotizer paralyzes the will of a patient and acts upon his imagination."

The proponents often claim that the will is not involved, especially when the trance state is brought about by mechanical methods, such as candles, etc., but this is not true. Then follows the leading or suggestive questions of the practitioner, in which the will-forces and other currents pass from the Hypnotizer to the subject, along with the moral characteristics (or immoral, as the case may be) of the performer. Will, mind, psychic forces, emotions and desires are all subtle factors that make up a part of man's seven-fold constitution, and the karmic destiny can be greatly interfered with by innocent and ignorant experimentation with the 'Black Art' of Hypnotism. It is frequently referred to by writers who know its dangers as 'Black Magic', which because it works, causes the unwary to be unaware of its dangers.

What did H.P. Blavatsky say about it? "It is the most dangerous of practices, morally and physically, as it interferes with the nerve-fluid and the nerves controlling the circulation in the capillary blood vessels."

There are those who think Hypnotism is valuable because it can bring to the public mind evidences or proofs of Reincarnation. Suppose the subject who is used for this purpose repeatedly, because of the desire to know more and more about previous lives, awakens one day out of his trance in the consciousness of the former 'personality', and neither the hypnotizer nor the subject are able to do anything about it. What then? Is it too remote a possibility that such a thing could happen? There is a real danger of it, if not in this life, possibly in a future one. And this would be disastrous for the reason that such a person would no longer be normal.

It so happens that there lived during the early part of this century in New York City a young negro girl by the name of Ellen, who ever since she was able to talk, insisted that she was not Ellen but Hattie. When she grew older and this continued, it became apparent that she remembered quite well her previous incarnation, and so frequently talked about it that she was looked upon as being a little crazy in the head.

If Hypnotism or any other practice succeeds in making it possible for individuals to remember their past incarnations, is that going to be beneficial? There are many individuals now who claim they can by means of self-hypnosis throw themselves into a state wherein they can remember who [11] they were, they think, in other lives. Is this good? It, too, is dangerous. There is a strong possibility that they may open certain centers as the hypnotist might do in his subject, and being unable to close them again, there is no telling what may happen to their minds and their lives.

Theosophy has ever warned against the dangers of psychic practices and has often been criticized for it. In fact, some critics have said that we Theosophists are not consistent, for we say in one of our objects that we propose to "investigate the powers innate in man." The wise student listens to the warnings of his teachers and tries to govern himself accordingly. It is true we are interested, vitally so, in the powers innate in man. But there are different kinds of 'powers'. How much more important it is to develop discrimination to know the difference.

When men become interested in investigating the spiritual wisdom that lies buried within them, and the right method of using the will to evoke the best from themselves and others, men will look upon a hypnotist as one who is dealing with a high explosive mine used in warfare, without knowing what he is dealing with, as far as the long range effects are concerned.

Show men that they can have a Wisdom that will teach them how to know themselves and understand their fellows; teach them that they are individually responsible for all their actions and thoughts; that there is help available for the asking, when done in the right way; that we are all part of one vast system, majestic and glorious, and are growing up to become like the Great Suns in the distant aeons of time; that we are free to carve our own destiny within the limits of our inner capacities and the karma we have already made; that we can do something constructive and practical for the human race, by learning how to think and investigate for ourselves and become spiritually strong and courageous.

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"What mistaken ideas are held regarding the personality. If you could only take it to be all that in yourself you do not like, all that you feel to be unworthy, that you wish was not there, all that you know, deep in your heart, obscures and trammels you! That puts another aspect on it, does it not? I have spoken to you of impersonality before, that it is not the cold abstraction many take it for. No wonder, so feeling, they fear it and flee from it. Who would wish to deprive life of all warmth, all color, all energy, all force! Occultism teaches no such thing. It is a hideous fancy. Occultism wishes, on the contrary, to give more, and sets so high a value on these things, that the whole force and power of them must be transformed to a higher, and therefore more enduring plane. They must not be frittered away and lost in illusion and darkness. Let them be living things, not dead ones. We want men to work for us, not mummies!" - Cave, The Theosophical Forum, Vol. VI, June 1900. [12]

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THE THIRD CHAIR
Dara Rittenhouse

Of the many reasons and excuses we find for not being able to relax in our civilization, one strikes me as common to many. It is contained in that edge of resentment we find cropping up for being put out a little here and there, for having our plans toppled, or finding it necessary to "endure" the chatter of an uninvited neighbor. You will think of many examples, to be sure, under the tolerable (or intolerable?) title of "social obligations."

Just such instances make us wonder: "Who owns my time?" "What claim does this or that one have on my time?" It is only when we are alone with the broad expanse, perhaps emptiness, of our thoughts (with plenty of "my time") that we begin to wish for a little more of the "our time."

Looking over this state of affairs we can readily admit things aren't as they were meant to be. Plainly the tension we feel is from being out of fitness with things. We can't really think of a Universe without friends. Yet what kind of friendships do we build when we create them with an uncomfortable sense of obligation, or in fear of being left alone?

Our times together become borrowing, even losing, time rather than giving. Thoreau wrote: "Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other."

Think how much this difficulty has multiplied since his time. Yet even Thoreau had three chairs in his house: "One for solitude, two for friendship, three for society." Even for Thoreau there came a time to leave his Walden. In our present day the real problem is not how to avoid the people with whom we are "flung" together on all sides. It is not how to "divide" our time between them and ourselves - society and solitude. Truly we need to respect our own privacy as much as we would another's. Truly we need those intervals "away" as well as "with." But if we want these intervals to be more than a remedy - a retreat or a refuge - we will need a better perspective on what can be done with people.

The first question to ask is: What do people need? Very easy for a Theosophist to answer, one would think. Yet a Theosophist too, needs the "common touch," for all his tendency to philosophize. Along the way somewhere I once got the idea that to be a Theosophist meant to be self-sufficient. Consequently I was surprised one year to find the people I worked among feeling I didn't care a bit about them. This was very far from my real feelings, once the "ice" was broken. But the event showed me how easy it is to carry the idea of self-sufficiency to the extreme of self-involvement. I began to see that to relax your hold on your "own" activities and worries, to be aware of those of others a little more, subtracted from the time ordinarily spent in fruitless anxiety. It is an anxiety which our social interchange does indeed soften. It is an anxiety which perhaps others share and need relief from, to a greater or lesser degree. [13]

Psychologists speak of the "needs" of the personality. Yet the world constantly is sickened by the sound of complaints, innuendos, and vanities through which these so called needs are expressed. Is this our true social being?

A theosophist has known the sense of true comradeship based on common ideas, principles and aspirations. He does not wish to carry a sick soul about with him, to unload on every doorstep. But if he is to understand the people he will deal with, he must be prepared to find the patience for many another burden, indulgence for seeming trivia which even he is sometimes guilty of. We need to give real love to these unhappy visitors - not just attention. Our social world has a thousand and one attention-getting devices, and yet we are not happy.

People are starving for love and true interest, sometimes without knowing it. It is because we have allowed our sense of importance to grow from superficial roots that we do not see what we are missing, and what is truly the richest gift in life. A kindliness given with the whole heart - a moment of time freely offered. People value these unexpected blessings. When it grows dark at night we draw the curtains and turn on the lights within. We take to our hour of quiet, a book or conversation with those we love and understand. But when the day comes again, we open wide our windows for all the light to enter. We go forth into our cities with the hope that here too we can move a little more openly, let the light shine out as well as in.

Sometimes we may see a person with all the blinds down. He may not even ask us in. He may only want to see the shutters. Yes, we will respect his privacy. But we know. We know that there is more than one person who lives this guarded existence. Constantly on the defensive, never free to really enjoy what they choose to consider their "social obligations."

No, it is not for the Theosophist to wish to be "free" and "away" from it all. Our work is with Humanity. We ought to be so grateful that we have a constant source of light within us. So glad that it shines in the city as in our solitude. How can we refuse in our hearts a corner for the "third chair"?

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PROMOTION FUND

We are now nearing our goal, namely, to build a Reserve Fund of $500 or more, on which we could rely in case of any emergency, or sudden rise in the costs of production. We would much rather try and build such a Fund, than to raise the subscription price of the magazine. All monies contributed by our friends for this Reserve Fund are to be used exclusively for the needs of the magazine, expenses of publication, postage, incidentals. Actual subscription-money is not sufficient for this, and we have so far shunned any kind of advertising which carries to such a large extent journals of larger circulation than ours.

We are most grateful to all those who have responded so generously to our recent notices concerning the Reserve Fund, and we take the liberty of expressing the hope that they will not forget us in the future, as the magazine in reality is as much theirs as it is ours. It is a common cause with a common objective. - Editor, Theosophia. [14]

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LOVE AND COMPASSION
Boris de Zirkoff

Cultivate love in your own nature for friend and foe and all who touch your life. You must not weep for the sins of the world, but amend them. Cut yourself adrift from self-identifying ties by loving all with a boundless love like the love of the Infinite. It will save you from all sin and evil, from longing for what is not your own, from selfishness.

Keep the heart light, strong, and even. See no difference with the heart, know that they exist with the brain, and amend them with your great love and compassion. Whatever the ties of life, be faithful to them, failing in no duty of relationships, and a friend to all. Feeling the ties of friendship as of the highest and purest human love because it is impersonal and savors not of self. One may love husband because of possession, parents because of long association, kinship and duty, children because in some measure they are self reproduced - but the love of friend proves something within oneself that can go forth to others in trust and confidence. It is an expression of faith. Therefore love all with the love of friendship even though the other loves and ties exist.

Do not forget to be impersonal and the cultivation of love towards all will help you to the elimination of self. Alone you must face the tempests of the world. Higher Powers cannot help you in those things. Your nature is strong, but your vanity great or you would not be so badly hurt. Pursue your onward course unmolested by friend or foe modified by their judgments of you if your own higher thoughts find them correct.

For all are our mirrors and show us back as we appear; sometimes this appearance tallies with the real - sometimes it does not. Some few can do more than mirror - they can analyze and they can and should help us, that is we should avail ourselves of their ability to help us. Mark out your course in life in spiritual things - it is enough - the others will fall in line. In this much you are right, you who have set your faces towards the Light, you cannot "plan" the material life, for the spiritual life governs the physical, but this, the spiritual, should be clear and have definite purpose.

"Guard thou the Lower lest it soil the Higher." In working out the physical as the spiritual dictates, danger of becoming involved in physical interests, in results, lurks, and you may become entangled. Here ambition, envy, vanity, strife, all lurk - tigers hiding along your pathway ready to spring upon you, drag you down and devour you. Proceed upon your way then with the Spiritual Light always before you, always the one thing to be attained. All results that are in your line of progress being as the debris of your true building - the spiritual upraising of mankind.

Filled and flooded with the Spiritual Light (that Light of your own Higher Self) no lurking beast can touch you - if your only aim is to show It forth to others. All evil things fall away from you and cannot touch you. Better to be a medium for Light to shine through than a block that cuts it off from others. The former you become if the heart is filled with compassionate love towards all - but if [15] hatred and strife are permitted to dwell in the heart they block the way of Its onward flow. Some day you may become that Light itself.

Brood over and foster your thoughts divine. Shield them from the cold winds of doubt, distrust of Self and Masters: distrust of Higher Powers and their ability to help you when and how they will, but their will is with the Law. Feed them, these thoughts divine, upon the remembrance that the Great Ones linger near but to aid, and wait only for the day when you make it possible.

In every way in your power (this does not mean in neglect of duty to any living thing) fit your vehicle to the Master's work and to your own uplifting. Consider it an instrument that must be made of finest fiber, mellowed with Time's hand throughout the ages - of most perfect workmanship; then with Soul knowledge attune it, and with the bow of Spirit give forth to the world soul-stirring strains that shall yield the common recognition of that which dwells within each heart. Modify its melody to the small and to the great, attune its chords to the needs of all. Teach Harmony that becomes Unity as the seven colors are blended in the one white ray of sunlight. Vibrate to each need of every human soul. Sometimes this will tear you asunder, then the work must be done over again and so ultimately the perfect instrument is made. This is one version of the legend of old which taught that old masters played with instruments, strung with human entrails. So they did - but they were their own - "Bowels of Compassion" indeed until ultimately they evolved the perfect harmony of self which ever tends to uplift the world.

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"... Every great one who has come into the world in order to strike the key-note of morality has spoken the same language, has uttered the same thought. ... Turn to the scriptures of the world and see how one moral nutriment is found in all. ... The Voice is one, whether from Jew or Buddhist, whether from Hindu or Chinaman, the words are well-nigh one, the spirit is identical. What want we, then, of new morality, while the old remains unfulfilled? Why ask for new teaching when the old is so high above our accomplishment of today? It may be that amongst far-off generations, when the growth of Man has been perfected, it may be that in some future cycle of evolution, some morality undreamed off today, some ethic more noble, more sublime, more pure, may come from the lips of some God to man. We are not ready for such teaching, we are not yet prepared for such instruction. Enough for us the ancient law of love, for until we have fulfilled that, no other horizon can open before our eyes. ... Born of the spirit, we go towards the Spirit. Born of the divine love, we live until that love is perfected in us, and when that love is made perfect, what lips of Man may syllable, what brain of Man may conceive, what further heights of beauty, what further depths of joy, what further possibilities of illimitable expansion, lie before those souls whose life is one with the divine. Bound to the feet of divinity, they last as long as it. Boundless as deity itself, no limitations can check the spirit that lives in man." - Annie Besant, at the Parliament of Religions in 1893. [16]

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H.P.B. AND THE LIBRARIES OF THE WORLD

It is probable we would all agree that the Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky should be available in the great Libraries of the world, whether they be Public Libraries or those connected with the best known Institutions of Learning. If placed there, they will be used sooner or later. In this connection it might be of interest to mention the fact that a copy of The Secret Doctrine in the Library of Congress served as a starting point for the entire career of one of the present-day best known Bishops of the Episcopal Church; and a copy of Isis Unveiled in the British Museum was used for long periods of time by H.G. Wells. Repeated orders for copies of The Secret Doctrine have come from one of the highest scientific Institutions in America, and other similar circumstances have occurred elsewhere.

Here is our offer: we will make available a limited number of copies of Volumes V and VI of the Collected Writings (the only ones in print at the present time) at the reduced price of $4.50 each, postpaid, for any of our friends who might like to place them in some of the best known Libraries of the world. They will be dispatched direct from here, in the name of the donor. If the donor indicates the Library of his preference, his wishes will be followed; if he does not specify any, we will place the volume or volumes according to our best judgment. We have in mind such Institutions as:

- National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland
- Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris,
- France Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, Holland
- Bibliotheque Nationale Suisse, Berne, Switzerland
- Bibliotheque Royale de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
- Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Austria
- La Reale Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Florence, Italy
- La Biblioteca Nazionale, Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome, Italy
- Library of the University of Helsingfors, Finland
- Bodleian Library, Oxford, England
- Universitatsbibliothek, Gottingen, Germany
- Kungliga Biblioteket, Stockholm, Sweden
- The Imperial Library of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
- Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, Germany
- Yale University Library, New Haven, Conn.
- Trinity College Library, Dublin, Irish Free State

whose literary holdings are constantly in great demand along any line of study, and where H.P.B.'s writings might be appreciated. Our reduced price for these volumes applies only to this specific purpose, as an incentive to the carrying out of the objective in view. We trust our friends will like this objective. - Editor, Theosophia.