THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XVIII
No. 2 (88) - Fall 1961

[Cover photo: Sphinx and Great Pyramid of Cheops, Gizeh, Egypt.]

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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 ...

“... the man who succeeded in neither loving nor loathing ‘any person, place, thing, or condition,’ would have killed in himself the very forces by whose help alone he could hope to succeed on any path, save of black magic. The loathing for sin and evil, softened by profound compassion for the sinner, is a feeling essential to progress; and the love which impels to absolute self-forgetfulness, and constant desire for the happiness and elevation of all about us, individually and collectively, is the highest impelling force we have-the essence of which is the Highest, Itself.

“Impersonality is not the cold abstraction so many take it for, - and acting on, numb the very faculties most needed for their inner and outer growth and work. No more fatal mistake could be made. They have sadly misread their Light on the Path and Voice of the Silence. Utterly forgetful of self and all personal advancement, careless of results, we must be filled with an intense desire that good should be accomplished. From love of the home circle the advancing occultist broadens into love of the whole world; from a loathing of sin and evil in his own heart, he learns truly to loath it without, and to give his life to relieving others from its thralldom.

“All loving, unselfish thought expended, returns as inspiration, - inspiration to higher and better work, to a larger devotion, so that our ‘strong desire will strike like Vulcan upon other hearts in the world.’ Oh! if we could only understand the need there is today for this forceful outgoing and outgiving in the world.” - Cave, Fragments. [3]

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WORLD-WIDE FELLOWSHIP
Boris de Zirkoff

The most imperative need of the organized Theosophical Movement the world over is a vital, dynamic feeling or Universality.

The era of divisions and fragmentations is over. The era of unified effort and genuine collaboration is about to begin.

Those individuals and groups in the overall Movement who insist on living in the past, enclosed in self-made walls of segregation, unable or unwilling to regard the Movement as a living entity of world-wide proportions, and to recognize the intrinsic worth of all sincere seekers and students, will find themselves before long upon that “sand-bank of thought” where, in the declared opinion of H. P. B. herself, they will “remain a stranded carcass to moulder and die.”

Those other individuals and groups who can transcend their own personal allegiances to leaders, surmount their partisan limitations, and step into the vast fields of universal thought, with Truth alone as their sheet anchor, and the stars as their unfailing guides, will become the pioneers of the New Age, and will carry the principles of the Movement across the stormy sea of the present-day world, and plant their spiritual banner upon the new Continent of Thought emerging upon the horizon of human hopes.

To transcend our narrow conceptions about the Movement - wherever such prevail - is to transcend primarily our personal dislikes of certain people, dead or alive. If we can understand some of the mainsprings of their actions, grant them the liberty of making mistakes, sometimes incredibly stupid (just like some of our own!), and envisage the Movement in its totality as made of men and women, erring men and women, with neither gods, demi-gods, nor heroes in their midst, many of our personal dislikes will be uprooted and, in the light of our own errors, those of others - real or imaginary - will acquire a new perspective, fringed with a feeling of brotherhood, however slight.

It is not sufficient in the present era to foster “Back to Blavatsky” movements; or to bask in the warm and sweet realization of being a devotee of both Blavatsky and Judge; or to notice a slight stirring in one's consciousness to give a modicum of recognition to the efforts of Col. Olcott; or maybe to go so far as to ejaculate - when not too many people are around - some friendly words with regard to Dr. de Purucker and his work. No doubt, these are all good signs that something unusual may be happening in the Theosophical jungle, but against the principles and ideal of the Movement as such, these occasional “deviations” are not much different from scratching someone else’s back in the hope they may sometime condescend to scratch ours.

Time is short. And the need is imperative. It is high time that we would grow up and leave the toys of our childhood days behind.

We call for genuine and world-wide Universality in our Movement! The recognition by both Officials and members in any group whatsoever of the simple fact that there is genuine worth [4] and value in the work, writings, words and actions of all seekers and students, irrespective of their seeming or actual errors of judgment or even relative confusion of ideas. If we fail to recognize this simple fact, the only alternative left to us is to believe that this one here, or that one there, has never been confused about anything, has never made an error, and is therefore the paragon of all virtues. Build a Church for him or her, appoint a priest to utter his praises, and let all freedom of conscience sink into the morass of personal worship! The “sandbank” has been found, and all we have to do is to wait until we have become, through the tender mercies of Father Time a carcass upon it to moulder and die. Some there are even today in this Movement who are dead without knowing it. Not knowing it, they keep on walking around. Maybe they save this way the expenditures of their own funeral ...

But the mighty river of Life flows by unobstructed, carrying with it the experienced mariner towards the Ocean of Truth.

Organizations are at times needful as mechanical devices for the channelling of certain ideas by means of an organized effort. But they can become top-heavy and degenerate into crystallized forms which actually prevent Truth from being expressed. If enlightened men and women in their midst see this danger, and take action to modify the structure, the flow of Life remains unimpeded, at least relatively speaking. If the danger is not recognized, the form eventually kills the spirit, and the beautifully erected structure, well co- ordinated and flawless in its operation, keeps on grinding for years its own special brand of verbiage, pouring relentlessly out of its own vacuity into the general emptiness surrounding it.

No part of the present-day Theosophical Movement can disregard any longer any other part thereof. Setting aside our personal dislikes, transcending with one bold stroke of will our entrenched prejudices, we must - if we intend to survive - give careful study and just recognition to the writings and work produced by all organized efforts within the Theosophical Movement, and, choosing that which rings true, and setting aside that which we cannot understand or consider to be false, reorganize our life and our thinking along the lines of world-wide fellowship, feeling ourselves as part of a universal Movement in which students and seekers of all types and natures find their legitimate home.

Some among our students are looking forward to the days - maybe not too distant in time - when another direct Messenger will be sent by the Lodge of the Masters into the outer world to give another impetus to the Movement. Some have speculated as to which particular Theosophical group he might favor with his presence. A pious thought indeed! It might be more fruitful to speculate along a somewhat different line, and to ask oneself the question as to which one of the existing groups exhibits the greatest “climate” of genuine brotherhood which, no doubt, would be a basic condition required for the work of such an exalted individual. The answer is left to our readers, if they feel inclined to speculate on this subject.

As seekers of Truth, as focal points [5] of a very ancient Wisdom, the rudiments of which we try to understand and to embody in our lives, let us therefore take the whole world into our bosom, and, rising above our self-made limitations and peculiarities, build bridges of understanding among all Theosophists irrespective of their organizational affiliations or background of studies. II they are seekers, we can feel with them, as we are seekers also.

If they are confused, we can easily understand them, as we are confused ourselves half of the time. If they appear to us, upon rare occasions, to be so grand and noble as to be worthy of special recognition, let us not forget for one moment that they merely reflect, as a mirror would, the indwelling greatness which we intuitively know exists potentially within ourselves.

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OCCULT ARTS
William Quan Judge

[In the present issue we begin the publication of a very important essay by Mr. Judge which is but little known to the majority of students. It was originally published in his magazine The Path, Vol. VIII, beginning with the October, 1893, issue, and continued in the November and December issues of the same year. The subject-matter of this essay, apart from its intrinsic occult value, is of great importance in connection with Mr. Judge’s life and status in the Theosophical Movement. - Editor, Theosophia.]

I

The word “precipitation” means to throw upon or within. This term is used in chemistry to describe the fact of a substance, held or suspended in fluid, being made to disengage itself from the intimate union with the fluid and to fall upon the bottom of the receptacle in which it is held; in the use of applied electricity it may be used to describe the throwing upon a metal or other plate, of particles of another metal held in suspension in the fluid of the electric bath. These two things are done every day in nearly all the cities of the world, and are so common as to be ordinary. In photography the same effect is described by the word “develop,” which is the appearing on the surface of the sensitized gelatine plate of the image caught by the camera. In chemical precipitation the atoms fall together and become visible as a separate substance in the fluid; in photography the image made by an alteration of the atoms composing the whole surface appears in the mass of the sensitized plate.

In both cases we have the coming forth into visibility of that which before was invisible. In the case of precipitation of a substance in the form of a powder at the bottom of the receptacle containing the fluid, there is distinctly, (a) before the operation an invisibility of a mass of powder, (b) upon applying the simple means for precipitation the sudden coming into sight of that which was before unseen.

And precisely as the powder may be precipitated in the fluid, so also [6] from the air there can be drawn and precipitated the various metals and substances suspended therein. This has been so often done by chemists and others that no proofs are needed.

The ancients and all the occultists of past and present have always asserted that all metals, substances, pigments, and materials exist in the air held in suspension, and this has been admitted by modern science. Gold, silver, iron and other metals may be volatilized by heat so as to float unseen in the air, and this is also brought about every day in various mines and factories of the world. It may therefore be regarded as established beyond controversy that as a physical fact precipitation of substances, whether as merely carbon or metal, is possible and is done every day. We can then take another step with the subject.

Is it possible to precipitate by will-power and use of occult laws upon a surface of wood, paper, metal, stone, or glass a mass of substance in lines or letters or other combinations so as to produce an intelligible picture or a legible message? For modern science this is not possible yet; for the Adept it is possible, has been done, and will be still performed. It has also been done unintelligently and as mere passive agents or channels, among mediums in the ranks of European and American spiritualists. But in this latter case it has the value, and no more than that, of the operations of nature upon and with natural objects, to be imitated by conscious and intelligently-acting man when he has learned haw, by what means, and when. The medium is only a passive controlled agent or channel who is ignorant of the laws and forces employed, as well as not knowing what is the intelligence at work, nor whether the intelligence is outside or a part of the medium.

The Adept, on the other hand, knows haw such a precipitation can be done, what materials may be used, where these materials are obtainable, haw they can be drawn out of the air, and what general and special laws must be taken into account. That this operation can be performed I know of my own knowledge; I have seen it done, watching the process as it proceeded, and have seen the effect produced without a failure. One of these instances I will give later on.

Precipitation of wards or messages from Adepts has been much spoken of in the Theosophical Society’s work, and the generality of persons have came to same wrong conclusions as to what they must be like, as well as how they are done and what materials may be and are used. Most suppose as follows:

1. That the precipitated messages are an rice paper;

2. That they are invariably in one or two colors of some sort of chalk or carbon;

3. That in every case they are incorporated into the fibre of the paper so as to be ineradicable;

4. That in each case when finished they come from Tibet or some other distant place invisibly through the air;

5. That all of them are done by the hand of the Adept and are in his hand-writing as commonly used by him or them.

While it is true in fact that each of the above particulars may have been [7] present in some of the cases and that everyone of the above is possible, it is not correct that the above are right as settled facts and conclusions. For the way, means, methods, conditions, and results of precipitation are as varied and numerous as any other operation of nature. The following is laid down by some of the masters of this art as proper to be kept in mind.

(a), A precipitated picture or message may be on any sort of paper.

(b), It may be in black or any other pigment.

(c), It may be in carbon, chalk, ink, paint, or other fluid or substance.

(d), It may be on any sort of surface or any kind of material.

(e), It may be incorporated in the fibre of the paper and may be thus ineffaceable, or lie upon the surface and be easily eradicated.

(f), It may come through the air as a finished message on paper or otherwise, or it may be precipitated at once at the place of reception on any kind of substance and in any sort of place.

(g), It is not necessarily in the handwriting of the Adept, and may be in the hand comprehended by the recipient and a language foreign to the Adept, or it may be in the actual hand of the Adept, or lastly in a cipher known to a few and not decipherable by anyone without its key.

(h), As matter of fact the majority of the messages precipitated or sent by the Adepts in the history of the Theosophical Society have been in certain forms of English writing not the usual writing of those Adepts, but adopted for use in the Theosophical movement because of a fore-knowledge that the principal language of that movement would for some time be the English.

Some messages have been written and precipitated in Hindi or Urdu, some in Hindustani, and some in a cipher perfectly unintelligible to all but a few persons. These assertions I make upon personal knowledge founded on observation, on confirmation through an inspection of messages, and on logical deduction made from facts and philosophical propositions. In the first place, the Adepts referred to - and not including silent ones of European birth·- are Asiatics whose languages are two different Indian ones; hence their usual handwriting is not English and not Roman in the letters. Secondly, it is a fact long suspected and to many well known both in and out of the Theosophical Society that the Fraternity of Adepts has a cipher which they employ for many of their communications: that, being universal, is not their handwriting. Thirdly, in order to send anyone a precipitated message in English it is not necessary for the Adept to know that language; if you know it, that is enough; for, putting the thought in your brain, he sees it there as your language in your brain, and using that model causes the message to appear. But if he is acquainted with the language you use, it is all the easier for the Adept to give you the message exactly as he forms it in his brain at first. The same law applies to all cases of precipitation by an alleged spirit through a medium who does not know at all how it is done; in such a case it is all done by natural and chiefly irresponsible agents who can only imitate what is in the brains concerned in the matter. [8]

These points being considered, the questions remain, how is it all done, what is the process, what are the standards of judgment, of criticism, and of proof to the outer sense, is imposition possible, and, if so, how may it be prevented?

As to the last, the element of faith or confidence can never be omitted until one has gotten to a stage where within oneself the true standard and power of judging are developed. Just as forgery may be done on this physical plane, so also may it be done on the other and unseen planes and its results shown on this. Ill-disposed souls may work spiritual wickedness, and ignorant living persons may furnish idle, insincere, and lying models for not only ill-disposed souls that are out of the body, but also for mere sprites that are forces in nature of considerable power but devoid of conscience and mind. Mind is not needed in them, for they use the mind of man, and merely with this aid work the hidden laws of matter. But this furnishes some protection illustrated in the history of spiritualism, where so many messages are received that on their face are nonsense and evidently but the work of elementals who simply copy what the medium or the sitter is vainly holding in mind. In those cases some good things have come, but they are never beyond the best thought of the persons who, living, thus attempt to speak with the dead.

Any form of writing once written on earth is imprinted in the astral light and remains there as model. And if it has been used much, it is all the more deeply imprinted. Hence the fact that H. P. Blavatsky, who once was the means for messages coming from the living Adepts, is dead and gone is not a reason why the same writing should not be used again. It was used so much in letters to Mr. Sinnett from which Esoteric Buddhism was written and in many other letters from the same source that its model or matrix is deeply out in the astral light. For it would naturally use the old model. There is no special sanctity in the particular model used by them, and any good clairvoyant can find that matrix in the astral light. Hence from this, if true, two things follow: (a), that new communications need not be in a new style of writing, and (b), there is a danger that persons who seek either clairvoyants or mezmerized lucides may be imposed on and made to think they have messages from the Adepts, when in fact they have only imitations. The safeguard therein is that, if these new messages are not in concordance with old ones known to be from their first appointed channel, they are not genuine in their source, however phenomenally made. Of course for the person who has the power inside to see for himself, the safeguard is different and more certain. This position accords with occult philosophy, it has been stated by the Adepts themselves, it is supported by the facts of psychic investigation inside the ranks of Spiritualism, of Theosophy, of human life.

It is well known that mediums have precipitated messages on slates, on paper, and on even the human skin, which in form and manner exactly copied the hand of one dead and gone, and also of the living. The model for the writing was in the aura of the enquirer, as most mediums are not trained enough to be able independently to seek out and copy astral models not connected with [9] some one present. I exclude all cases where the physical or astral hand of the medium wrote the message, for the first is fraud and the second a psychological trick. In the last case, the medium gazing into the astral light sees the copy or model there and merely makes a facsimile of what is thus seen, but which is invisible to the sitter. There is no exemption from law in favor of the Adepts, and the images they make or cause to be made in astral ether remain as the property of the race; indeed in their case, as they have a sharp and vivid power of engraving, so to say, in the astral light, all the images made there by them are deeper and more lasting than those cut by the ordinary and weak thoughts and acts of our undeveloped humanity.

The best rule for those who happen to think they are in communication with Adepts through written messages is to avoid those that contradict what the Adepts have said before; that give the lie to their system of philosophy; that, as has happened, pretend that H. P. B. was mistaken in her life for what she said and is now sorry. All such, whether done with intention or without it, are merely bombinans in vacuo, sound that has no significance, a confusion between words and knowledge delusive and vain altogether. And as we know that the Adepts have written that they have no concern with the progress of selfish science, it must be true that messages which go on merely to the end of establishing some scientific proposition or that are not for the furtherance especially of Brotherhood cannot be from them, but are the product of other minds, a mere extension through occult natural law of theories of weak men. This leads to the proposition that:

Precipitation of a message is not per se evidence that it is from one of our White Adepts of the Great Lodge.

II

The outer senses cannot give a safe final judgment upon a precipitated message, they can only settle such physical questions as how it came, through whom, the credibility of the person, and whether any deception on the objective plane has been practiced. The inner senses, including the great combining faculty or power of intuition, are the final judges. The outer have to do solely with the phenomenal part, the inner deal with the causes and the real actors and powers.

As precipitations have been phenomenally made through “controlled” mediums who are themselves ignorant of the laws and forces at work, these are but strange phenomena proving the existence of a power in Nature either related to human mind or wholly unrelated to it. These are not the exercise of occult Arts, but simply the operation of natural law, however recondite and obscure. They are like the burning of a flame, the falling of water, or the rush of the lightning, whereas when the Adept causes a flame to appear where there is no wick, or a sound to come where there is no vibrating visible surface, occult art is using the same laws and forces which with the medium are automatically and unconsciously operated by subtle parts of the medium’s nature [10] and “nature spirits,” as well as what we know as kama-lokic human entities, in combination. And here the outer senses deal solely with the outer phenomena, being unable to touch in the least on the unseen workings behind. So they can only decide whether a physical fraud has been practiced; they can note the day, the hour, the surrounding circumstances, but no more.

But if one hitherto supposed to be in communication with the White Adepts comes to us and says “Here is a message from one of Those,” then if we have not independent power in ourselves of deciding the question on inner knowledge, the next step is either to believe the report or disbelieve it. In the case of H. P. B., in whose presence and through whom messages were said to come from the White Adepts, it was all the time, at the final analysis, a matter of faith in those who confessedly had and have no independent personal power to know by the use of their own inner senses. But there intuition, one of the inner powers, decided for the genuineness of the report and the authentication of the messages. She herself put it tersely in this way: “If you think no Mahatma wrote the theories I have given of man and nature and if you do not believe my report, then you have to conclude that I did it all.” The latter conclusion would lead to the position that her acts, phenomena, and writings put her in the position usually accorded by us to a Mahatma. As to the letters or messages of a personal nature, each one had and has to decide for himself whether or not to follow the advice given.

Another class of cases is where a message is found in a closed letter, on the margin or elsewhere on the sheet. The outer senses decide whether the writer of the letter inserted the supposed message or had some one else do it, and that must be decided on what is known of the character of the person. If you decide that the correspondent did not write it nor have anyone else do so, but that it was injected phenomenally, then the inner senses must be used. If they are untrained, certainly the matter becomes one of faith entirely, unless intuition is strong enough to decide correctly that a wise as well as powerful person caused the writing to appear there. Many such messages have been received in the history of the T.S. Some came in one way, some in another; one might be in a letter from a member of the Society, another in a letter from an outsider wholly ignorant of these matters. In every case, unless the recipient had independent powers developed within, no judgment on mere outer phenomena would be safe.

It is very difficult to find cases such as the above, because first, they are extremely rare, and second, the persons involved do not wish to relate them, since the matter transmitted had a purely personal bearing. A fancy may exist that in America or England or London such messages, generally considered bogus by enemies and outsiders, are being constantly sent and received, and that persons in various quarters are influenced to this or that course of action by them, but this is pure fancy, without basis in fact so far as the knowledge and experience of the writer extend. While precipitations phenomenally by the use of occult power and in a way unknown to science are possible and have [11] occurred, that is not the means employed by the White Adepts in communicating with those thus favored. They have disciples with whom communication is already established and carried on, most generally through the inner ear and eye, but sometimes through the prosaic mail. In these cases no one else is involved and no one else has the right to put questions. The disciple reserves his communications for the guidance of his own action, unless he or she is directed to tell another. To spread broadcast a mass of written communications among those who are willing to accept them without knowing how to judge would be the sheerest folly, only productive of superstition and blind credulity. This is not the aim of the Adepts nor the method they pursue. And this digression will be excused, it being necessary because the subject of precipitation as a fact has been brought up very prominently. I may further digress to say that no amount of precipitations, however clear of doubt and fraud as to time, place, and outward method, would have the slightest effect on my mind or action unless my own intuition and inner senses confirmed them and showed them to be from a source which should call for my attention and concurrence. (To be concluded)

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IDEAS TO LIVE BY

[Excerpts from a Circular Letter of Miss Clara Codd, the Veteran-Theosophist, life-long lecturer and writer.]

… The true aim is the attaining of the spiritual consciousness, of the bringing down into life down here of the Spirit within one and his illumination, loveliness and power: in fact creating and slowly building that bridge from the ordinary mind to the higher which the Sanskrit scriptures call the Antahkarana. H. P. B. says this is done by thought purified of egotism. It generally takes long years of steady practice and aspiration. It cannot be forced or produced at will. It comes. And it comes when the hour is ripe, when “God wills.” … We must grow to it and all real growth is slow and steady. But it is the mast important thing that a man can do, a greater achievement, says H. P. B., than to know the future or command the elements. She also says that the first step in occultism is to realize that we are ceaselessly self-deceived. Nothing is as it seems. The world reported to us by our senses is the phenomenal world, and the word phenomenon means the appearance only. It is in what Plato calls the noumenal world that the true thing is discerned. This reminds us of The Voice of the Silence: “Mistrust thy senses; they are false.” ... The first word is to “doubt,” doubt what you see and what you think and conclude most of all. I have long seen that to jump to conclusions, to hold hard and fast opinions, however comforting, is to shut the door to any further understanding. We must have the “Open mind” the Master speaks of, be willing to learn, to investigate, to wait, at all times. The teachings tell the pupil that there is no such thing as dead [12] or static matter anywhere in the Universe. Everything is moving, changing, living, all the time. It is a never ceasing tide. Flowing towards “some far off Divine event, to which the whole creation moves.” Everything is a rhythmic wave-length. Perhaps that is what Pythagoras meant when he said that number ruled the universe. And we must grow sensitive enough to be aware of that thrilling life and not only of the grass material form which a Master calls “phantasmal.”

The next step, says H. P. B., is to realize that the truth can be found by effort. But that truth is within ourselves, “it takes no rise from outer things, whate’er you may believe,” says Browning. “There is an inmost centre in ourselves where truth abides in fullness; and to know rather consists in finding out a way whence the imprisoned splendour may escape than by effecting entrance for a light supposed to be without.” Two things must be done; the gradual sensitizing and development of the vehicles of consciousness, and the awakening and bringing into play of the spiritual nature within. For we all have that divine flame of Reality within us and no one can bring us near to it and its realization but ourselves.

The whole world is very gradually turning in this direction and therein lies its future salvation. Along with this dawning spirituality lies also the awakening of the psychic faculties. The Master tells us that this must be taken hold of and guided into spirituality. But we cannot do that very successfully until we have attained some measure of awareness ourselves ... The world is looking dimly far the way home, the real way home, and many will try to find it and sometimes get lost in an unreal way. This is the foundation of the new religious outlook that is coming into the world. As Dean Inge once wrote, it will be founded upon science and mysticism (both attempts to get at the Real). I feel that a religion of the natural, the Universal, the real, is coming.

How do we draw ever nearer to the Real in ourselves? By steady aspiration and seeking. But the law is that we must, each one of us, take the first steps ourselves and Heaven will always answer. In the words of St. James, “Draw nigh unto God, and He will draw nigh unto you.” Never let a day go by that we have not, even for a short time, lifted our hearts to the Heart of the Universe, thought about that true life, wandered about it, pondered upon it, pondered upon great descriptions of it though it cannot really be described in words. Fixing our mind upon that which is invisible and soundless, yet trying to “see” the invisible, to “listen” to the soundless, not with our senses but with the deep intuitive response of the soul, clothing it, as the mind will, in images, but realizing that the image is not the reality. Same people call it prayer, or meditation. It is the lifting up of the heart, the reverent seeking of the mind, and there will come a day when the mind will drop below the surface, and instead of thinking about, we shall know, by direct cognition. To know is the union of the knower and the known. It is the source of all real wisdom, illumination and joy. St. Augustine tells us that one day he passed beyond his thought and in the flash of a [13] trembling glance came face to face with That Which Is. He could say no more than that ... I have often quoted to you those words of the Master K. H. to Mr. Judge: “Let faith (which is unlearned knowledge) carry you through your life as a bird flies in the air - undoubtingly.” Life is the great Teacher. To be able to read the Book of Life is wisdom. And in that great life there is no “sin,” only lack of growth. There are no dogmas and beliefs, only the inexpressible truth at the deep root of us all. The natural, beautiful river of faith, hope and love, that is the truly original thing in every man. We must believe in that loveliness, seek for it, know it is there awaiting our finding through all the ages.

Let everyone of us, no matter how old he is, or inexperienced, set out on that road. We can only begin from where we are and as we are. Leave the rest ... to the Eternal Life, which H. P. B. says is longing to pour itself down into the purified personality. That is the real way to happiness and peace. The star may seem very far away and dim, but, says Light on the Path, steadily as we watch it and worship it, its light will grow stronger until one day, when the hour is ripe, it will suddenly become the Infinite Light ...

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HUMANITY: WHAT IS IT?
T. Mariott

Human egotism is a strange thing. It rightly assumes that the ego is the center of its universe, but it scarcely ever pauses to reflect on the immensity of the cosmos of which humanity is but an infinitesimal congeries of atoms.

It is difficult to go back in thought to possible origins, but it seems that the process which has brought about the present egotistic attitude may be a natural one, or at least a logical one, if we assume that a double line evolution is taking place, and that in far past ages the point at which these lines met and produced human mentality brought about a consciousness of egotism.

Since that time the trend proceeded in the direction of a grosser physical vehicle, both of the Earth itself and of its inhabitants, by which the pressure of the physical overcame or covered the ethereal, causing thus a more limited consciousness.

Under such circumstances the logical inference is that humanity descended in consciousness until it reached its lowest point, and therefore the present day evolutionary theories are inadequate because they start with the assumption that egotistic consciousness is a gradual development from the Amoeba.

Theoretically it is easy to proceed to build up forms after once granting animal life, but so far research has not been able to trace all the steps, and there are many missing links and lacunae. Somehow it seems more logical to assume that the various forms and species are the result of deliberate action by higher intelligences according to laws of which we at present know practically nothing. [14]

In many cases the characteristics of some of the lower creatures of this Earth exemplify the traits of human nature itself and might be the vehicles of them when cast off by humans at death.

If these points could be substantiated, it would afford a completely different standpoint from which to view humanity itself. It would put intelligence and design in the place they should occupy in the scheme of things. Not only so, but it would broaden our grasp on the logical idea that there must he intelligences of a higher order than the present human which influence us in many ways.

As there must he two ends to a stick; and, as action and reaction are equal and opposite, it follows that, while there is a trend in evolution, there must be intelligences more egotistic and self-centered than others who act in opposition to humanity and the evolutionary trend. Such dual forces are apparent everywhere and must be taken into account.

The logical inference with regard to all life is that the form in which it functions is characteristic of its nature and function, but that it is aided by higher beings, to develop and unfold its latent possibilities. We see this taking place in the domestication of animals, and in the changes we bring about in the vegetable kingdom according to our wishes and requirements. Can we not grant that humanity is also subject to such aid?

When one considers the various types of men now on earth; also the many horrors which they produce by their passions and ignorance; the terrible degradation and evil states in which so many have lived throughout all history, and live even to this day, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that, as a race, we may he important in the universal scheme of life, but are not an object lesson of which to be proud, and that we ourselves are chiefly to blame.

If, however, self-consciousness implies or brings responsibility, then the case alters considerably.

We may take the Theosophical doctrine of Karman, i.e., effects are the result of previous causes, as sufficiently proved, though it is not always possible to trace ultimate causes because there are usually many factors involved. However, we can assume that the entities who came to this Earth at the point in evolution previously referred to must have brought their characteristics with them, and therefore, as time went on, unless the egos advanced beyond the human condition, they would reincarnate again and again until such was accomplished.

The play of egotistic desire during all this time would afford plenty of opportunity for the development of all the strains and types and characters we now find. Yet there has been a considerable effort made by superior beings to lead humanity along the right path, for a careful analysis of all religions and traditions indicates most clearly that there is a common fount from which they all came. The similarity and even identity of teaching shows this, as also the exhortations used to induce right modes of life and conduct.

Relief in the teacher and his teachings is a necessary step, and we have ample evidence that many have [15] responded at all times; but beliefs are not sufficient, they must be followed by right action. It is at this point that the difficulty arises, because any effort at change from an existing condition or state of whatever character induces opposition and reaction. All acquired habits have their accumulated force or energy which has to be overcome; and even when acting or working with the trend of the evolutionary wave, taking advantage of its weight and momentum, there is still the inertia of the old to be overcome.

Those who actively endeavor to conform find it very hard, but those who are careless or indifferent feel the strain of the pull and rebel at the disturbance of their modes of life. Nature or the powers that control evolution have, to us, some strange ways of enforcing progress. They seem to take advantage of our human faults and weaknesses to bring about revolutions and wars, which in their turn cause such upheavals and changes that whole people are forced into new ways and ideas.

Apart from the disturbing effects the results show up the interdependence of the various nations, because the modes of life make an interchange of products necessary to continued progress. The intimate contacts make also for better understanding of the character and requirements innate in each.

If we calculate the approximate length of time that MAN has been on the Earth - even from the degraded specimens about whose skulls our archeologists are so much concerned, estimates which vary from several thousand to a few million years, we see that the changes in human structure and character arc very slight indeed. Based on any such estimates, any likely perfection of the race must be almost infinitely remote, and the processes, except for the individual, seem to be rather onesided at any given time, so that the advance appears spiral in character rather than in a straight line.

Taking the egotistic nature of Man into consideration, together with the aeons of time necessary for any change of state in BEING, it calls for a complete readjustment of our ideas and beliefs with regard to our life and duty here and now. “Facts are stubborn things,” and therefore, if Reincarnation, Karman, Cyclic Progress, and the Ultimate Perfectibility of Man are facts, then the sooner we start to act and live according to the necessary corollaries, the sooner the individual and the race will be free from human limitations.

What are the necessary steps? We can all think of our limitations and weaknesses, and we all have certain ideas about what we should like to be. It is no use waiting for more favorable conditions, because there is no guarantee that any such will occur; so we must face those in which we find ourselves, and not only endeavor to improve them, but also begin, to strengthen our own natures so that outside influences will affect us as little as possible.

The Boy Scouts “Daily Good Deed” is an excellent start, but beyond this there should be deliberate effort made to hold oneself in a positive state of mind, ready at all times to do what seems to be right at the moment, polarized, so to say, to a higher atmosphere [16] or state of being. Strength of character comes from conflict and self-control - which latter does not always mean inhibiting one’s reactions, but quite as frequently calls for an exhibition of right conduct in the face of opposition or self-interest.

These things we take for granted, but we do not give them sufficient attention and strength so that they become part of our normal lives. Yet they are the essence of the life we desire and the foundation on which integrity, good-will, knowledge, power, and attainment must always rest.

Reaction to efforts must always occur, and we should not be disheartened at finding ourselves in the midst of troubles - within and without - which, apparently, were none of our seeking. Sometimes they are so great that there seem to be no way out; but where the heart is right and the objects are sincere and unselfish one can know positively, intuitively so, that all is for the best in the end if one holds to right principles.

We have a very long way to go before we experience all that this Earth has to offer. We gradually learn from experience, but the pity of it is that we reflect so little on what occurs, that we have to go through the same experiences over and over again, before they become part of ourselves.

It is unnatural that dog should eat dog, yet we act as cannibals all the time, even if we do not actually eat each other’s flesh. How can humanity in the mass advance in being so long as this is the general attitude? Advance it must in the course of time, even if whole sections have to be wiped out. The division between the sheep and the goats will become more marked in future ages, but in the meantime we are responsible for our individual cosmos and its influence on the systems, within the radius of the circulation of the currents of Life on this Earth.

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THE DIVINE PLAN
WRITTEN IN THE FORM OF A COMMENTARY ON H. P. BLAVATSKY’S “SECRET DOCTRINE”
By GEOFFREY A. BARBORKA

A major addition to standard Theosophical textbooks, and a signal contribution to the Theosophical literature in general, by a man of wide and thorough scholarship, as well as of mature judgment, raised in the atmosphere of Theosophy, and experienced in the presentation of its teachings. This work outlines an entirely new approach to the study of H. P. Blavatsky’s magnum opus. It should be available in every Lodge and Study-Class throughout the length and breadth of the Theosophical Movement, and be translated into such foreign languages as are most current in the Theosophical world of today.

Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras 20, India.
PRICE $7.00.
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