[Cover photo: The Sphinx, Egypt.]
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by an International Group of Theosophists.
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.
A SICKNESS OF THE SOUL
There is abroad a malaise that is too complex to be defined easily. Students and interpreters of this uneasiness, this insecurity, this sickness of the Soul, abound; but most of them spell out their interpretation in terms exclusively religious, psychological, political, scientific, sociological or economic. It is that we have lost our religious sense, one says; another: our understanding of science has outstripped our understanding of ourselves; still others blame the pace of twentieth-century life, the competitive nature of our society, or the loss of faith in traditional ethical values. Some believe that the sense of inner emptiness that assails so many of us leads us to a search for God; others, to the psychological search for the Father (or Mother); still others, to that for a classless society or a discovery, on some new frontier, of that heroic life so pitifully absent in an age replete with comfort and mediocrity.
I believe, flatly and simply, that we are searching for ourselves, our selves - that, through whatever complex of factors, most of us have lost the clear identifying sense of just who and what we are - each of us, just what his real potentialities and limitations are, what that peculiar hallmark of identity that enables him to feel that he not only inhabits but fits his skin, all of a piece, body, mind and spirit, thought, word and action one, so that he has made, each to his degree, his peace with himself and gained sufficient self-knowledge to be ready to turn outward to move among others with good will and genuine interest; to engage, in a·spirit of mutuality and with a sense of discreteness, friendly otherness, the individuals he meets. - From “The Hands of Essau,” by Hiram Hayden, Harper, 1962, quoted in Saturday Review, April 21, 1962. 
From time immemorial and in all the races of men, the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy have existed as a healing power and a source of life-giving strength.
They have invariably come from the same fountain-head, under the guiding hand of Perfected Men, whose sole endeavor is to disseminate truth and diminish error in the world, in accordance with cyclic law.
And almost with the same regularity, the genuine teachings of that ageless Wisdom have been distorted in due course of time, twisted out of all recognition by selfish men, giving rise to fantastic cults and deceptive doctrines.
The present-day Theosophical Movement is no exception. The distortion of its original teachings began many years ago and has gained momentum ever since the first years of our century. The basic principles of truth promulgated with such clarity and power by the Founders and their own Teachers were gradually set aside to the advantage of vastly differing ideas based primarily on psychic illusions, wishful thinking and ill-digested esotericism. Backed by ridiculous claims and counter-claims to occult knowledge and special dispensations, this era in the modern Theosophical Movement produced a rash of literature which beclouds the original teachings and bewilders the inquirer who happens to browse on a library shelf.
Of recent years, however, a reaction has set in, at least in some of the areas of the organized Theosophical Movement. We can discern today a rising and increasing struggle between entrenched dogmatism and psychic delusions on the one hand, and on the other the expressed endeavor to return, if possible, to the earlier and original teachings and precepts of the Founders - a struggle which is gaining momentum and is wholesome.
If the organized Theosophical Movement is to benefit from any possible and hoped-for new impulse towards the end of this century, it will have to set its own house in order and to wake up from its long years of spiritual lethargy.
It will have to undertake a thorough Spring Cleaning.
Even a brief examination of the published Book Catalogs sent out by three of the largest Theosophical Publishing Houses reveals a state of astounding confusion. These book lists carry hundreds of titles of books which have no relation whatever to the fundamental principles of the Theosophical Movement - at least not the one launched by H. P. Blavatsky, Cot H. S. Olcott, Wm. Q. Judge and others - and can only confuse the inquiring mind that is seeking a roadway towards truth.
Spiritualistic, ritualistic, astrological and psychic literature is listed in these publications side by side with genuine Theosophy, and without a word of explanation or elucidation for the benefit of the reader. The Editors of these publications must be either confused themselves beyond redemption or eager merely to make profit from the sale of as many books as they can. We know of no other alternative. 
When it comes to public platforms upon which some of the internationally known speakers of the Movement perform, we have heard them propound for the benefit of the listeners ideas, teachings and theories which are in direct contradiction to the basic tenets of the Esoteric Philosophy and which have been warned against by H. P. Blavatsky and others from the very outset.
A cursory look at some of the published Theosophical Magazines reveals that even a large number of Officials of the organized Movement have no definite idea as to what the basic principles of the Movement are, and are completely at sea when it comes to defining what Theosophy is and what it is not.
Before the organized Theosophical Movement can hope to become the field of operation of any new Agent of the Brotherhood, it will have to undergo an inner transformation which is bound to result in hurt feelings, blasted reputations, unwelcome ridicule, and the cancellation of various vested interests and personal hero-worship which stand in the way of future growth and progress. And of course those who will become active in the process of this inner transformation will be classified as “enemies” of the Movement and emissaries of the “Black Magicians.”
The transformation, nevertheless, will take place, as it has already begun. The genuine Movement has enough spiritual vitality within its essence, and enough virility within its invisible structure, to withstand the concerted assault of entrenched ideologies and the lethal inertia of selfishness. Without struggle, there is no growth, and the flaming splendor of the Sun is enhanced tenfold when projected against a backdrop of stormy clouds!
It is an age-old teaching of the Esoteric Philosophy that everything in Nature works on a threefold plan in accordance with the three main lines of evolutionary growth and unfoldment. Hence, there are also three main types of Messengers sent out by the Lodge of the Adept-Brothers: those who represent the creative energy of Brahma; those who symbolize and embody the sustaining power of Vishnu; and those who for the time being channel the cathartic and restorative potencies of Siva - who from time immemorial has been the special protector of genuine spiritual yogis and ascetics.
Which one of these three Divine Potencies is most required by the Theosophical Movement today?
“Growth comes from the feeling that we can learn more, that we can learn more from others as well as from ourselves. Growth comes from the readiness to receive more light at any time and from whomsoever the divine illumination may flow into our hearts and into our minds. Growth comes from keeping the mind plastic, the heart warm with the love which flows to us always from the Heart of the Universe.” - G. de Purucker, Messages to Conventions, p. 76. 
I have seen the mounting arc of sun as I go home after work each day. My heart has leaped to the meadow-lark’s song springing from dried grasses on nearby Lindbergh Field. I have rejoiced with tulip tips pushing through old protective earth in our garden into the new element of air, and been startled by the rush of white plum flower and deep rose peach flower on our neighbor’s trees, and delighted in the fragrant fall of pitti-sporum blossom carpeting their sidewalk. And my son has cried out, “Look, Daddy, a rainbow!” as faint in the east the magic seven colors quickly faded into gray.
And this - what is it? Swift moving days since the birth of the year at the Winter Solstice? Effortless turn of Sun and patterned approach of Spring in our southwest California ? A study of life and death and ever renewed life?
I am in the mood not to crowd these pages with words, even words that point to the stirring teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy we have been studying - a small group, mostly beginners - seeking to understand basic laws of Being, the Fundamental Propositions of the Secret Doctrine; Evolution and Involution; Reimbodiment, Metempsychosis and Reincarnation; Karma, the Doctrine of Cause and Effect; Seven Principles of Man and Universe; Death and the After-Death States of Consciousness; Initiation, the Four Sacred, Seasons, and the Esoteric Christmas; Psychic and Spiritual Powers; Hierarchies, the Structural Framework of the Universe - great teachings that point out the Path, that engage the minds of both children in self-directed effort on that Path and graduates of our phase of life, Sages and Seers, who have become that Path.
Another mood has caught me, the need of contemplative pause, a caesura in the measured beat of constant doing, a lingering on the simple beauty which surrounds us, a tasting it, a feeling it, a becoming it - at least in sea and sky and field and flower, those lesser orders of evolution which recollect, unmarred by man’s striving, the poetry and mathematics and beauty of our Universe - a recognition of expression everywhere of the source-divinity in every scintillating particle of space.
Other times for the rough, harsh, needed exposition, the invigorating stumbling and groping and hewing through the granite of mind to express in human language thoughts that dance and swirl and gyrate around or bore right through to the basic ideas of the Esoteric Philosophy.
But for this passing moment, the richness, the discipline, the joy, the light, the very essence of life that surrounds us. Let us seize it ... a breath, a pause ... before Spring once again leaps to command. 
“Gently to hear, kindly to judge!” - Shakespeare.
It seems to us that many of the incongruities which have happened in the lapse of time, in the Theosophical Movement, are due to the insufficient knowledge of the original Theosophical teachings or to the fact of having forgotten them.
H. P. Blavatsky defined the Theosophical teachings as consisting, essentially, in a synthesis of principles working in profundity; and that by learning to use them adequately the human being can gain an independent knowledge of the laws of Nature and of the realities which underlie all human experience.
She founded this assertion on the actual existence of men whose lives reveal the effective mastery of the use of those principles; men who, as H. P. B. said, were her own teachers.
But while she presented Theosophy as the teaching given by these men whom she called the “Adepts” or “Masters,” she warned the enquirers about Truth against accepting these teachings “on faith.” The Theosophical Movement needed serious students and not credulous devotees.
The real enquirer will find in Theosophy many teachings to ponder over very deeply, and metaphysical conceptions which give to the Theosophical philosophy its own systematic character.
As H. P. B. says, the Secret Doctrine was the Wisdom-Religion diffused in the ancient and prehistoric world, and its origin is to be found at the dawn of humanity itself. In this age of coarse and illogical materialism, the esoteric philosophy alone can withstand the repeated attacks on all and everything man holds dear and sacred in his inner spiritual life.
The true philosopher, the student of Esoteric Wisdom loses sight entirely of personalities, dogmatic beliefs and particular religions. Moreover, the esoteric philosophy reconciles all religions, strips each of them of its outward garments and shows the root of each to be identical with every other great religion.
It proves the necessity of a Divine Absolute Principle in Nature; and no more denies Deity than it does the sun. The Esoteric Philosophy has never rejected God in Nature, nor Deity as the absolute and abstract Ens. It only refuses to accept any of the Gods of the so-called monotheistic religions, Gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a blasphemous and pitiable caricature of the Ever-Unknowable, as H.P. B. says. The words which she wrote in the year 1888 in the “Introductory” to her fundamental work The Secret Doctrine describe even today, and in certain aspects even more than yesterday, the actual situation of humanity: “The world of to-day in its mad career towards the unknown - which it is too ready to confound with  the unknowable, whenever the problem eludes the grasp of the physicist - is rapidly progressing on the reverse material plane of spirituality. It has now become a vast arena - a true valley of discord and of eternal strife - a necropolis, wherein lie buried the highest and the most holy aspirations of our Spirit·Soul. That soul becomes with every new generation more paralyzed and atrophied.” But there is a fair minority of earnest students who are entitled to learn the few esoteric truths that may be given to them; to know that philosophy discloses new horizons of life, with a strong appeal for all those who believe in the inalienable spiritual potentialities of every human being, and who do not deceive themselves, neither with materialistic skepticism nor with dogmatic and sectarian bigotry.
For the attainment of such an aim the Theosophical Society was founded, and its three declared Objects are a marvellous synthesis of its highest principles.
“The Society, as a body, has no creed, as creeds are but the shells around spiritual knowledge; and Theosophy in its fruition is spiritual knowledge itself - the very essence of philosophical and theistic enquiry ... The very root-idea of the Society is free and fearless investigation ... Once that a student abandons the old and trodden highway of routine, and enters upon the solitary path of independent thought - Godward - he is a Theosophist; an original thinker, a seeker after the eternal truth, with an inspiration of his own to solve the universal problems.”
Thus wrote H. P. B. in the first issue of her magazine, The Theosophist, started in October, 1879!
It seems unnecessary to insist on the obvious importance of these fundamental ideas which constitute the basis of the Theosophical Movement. Students of Theosophy, if once they attain the genuine understanding of the Theosophical principles, will find themselves unable to fall back into sectarian habits of mind.
First of all, the aim of forming a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood is a dynamic impulse which arouses in man the deepest spiritual resources, which no lesser ideal could do. Then the idea of gaining knowledge through experience from the inexhaustible Book of Nature is profoundly opposed to the moral and intellectual passivity which characterizes Western religions, and which is the root-cause of sectarianism. And lastly the joining of metaphysical study with mystical experience introduces the factor of the progressive growth of the mind. The resulting progress in the Theosophical field realizes itself through an ascending series of steps to be taken by the sincere and dispassionate enquirer. This progress is inevitable, if the enquirer does not lose the spirit of the Theosophical ideal, for Theosophy must not only be studied, but, above all, practiced and lived in order to be understood. 
Man’s domination of the airways has made the present generation keenly air-conscious. Safe flying, dependent as it is upon a thorough understanding and control of air currents, air temperatures, cloud formations and the visibility they permit or restrict, have made the term “Ceiling Zero” one of dire significance.
In what might be called (to coin a new term) Psychodynamics, is encountered something comparable to the cloud ceiling of Aerodynamics. Indeed, even if rarely recognized in daily living, it would seem at times as though the concentrated thought and emotional preoccupation of a group or community with some given event or phenomenon, creates a psychic cloud-cover, pressing down upon all concerned and controlling to a notable degree their individual planes of thought. In a broad sense, such phenomena as the Cold War, Nuclear Testing, Racial Discrimination, News Manipulation or Thalidomide have, while most poignantly engaging the public mind, set their respective ceilings an the thinking and imagining of masses of people.
While such ceilings as these, because of their nation-wide familiarity, may be recognized and accepted by many, what of less discussed but equally massive “ceilings” in our mental and emotional skies?
Under, the term “group psychology,” avidly fostered in advertising and propaganda agencies, be it in the domain of cigarette-smoking or coffee-drinking, have we not cleverly created “thought ceilings” of a most personal nature? Can it be denied that any smoker who might want to break the habit must penetrate the all-enveloping “ceiling” of persuasion developed by the advertiser? Is not the same true for him who would break the beer-drinking or coffee-drinking compulsion? And what of the “ceilings” of the status-seeker, the religious dogmatist, the maker of “labels” of all kinds? Are we not all in danger, to one degree or another, of losing our way or “crashing” beneath “Ceiling Zeros” on every plane of thought?
Eastern mystics and spiritual seekers of many persuasions are wont to flee from big cities and seek the clear air of desert or mountain to get away from the discordant and cynical thought atmosphere of a great metropolis. How many of us, I wonder, are sufficiently daring to face and admit the dense cloud-cover of greed, cruelty and passion with which a ruthless competitive society is steadily lowering our Thought Ceiling. Only in those moments of exquisite stillness on plain or hill-top, after the sun goes down and the stars come out, does the sacred serenity of unspoiled Nature reveal to us the harsh clamor and murk of city life, to which we have become reconciled. The poet Wordsworth perpetuated such a moment when he wrote:
“It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
“Listen! the mighty Being is awake!” The poet, serene, inward-looking, listening, humbles himself to draw near and hear “the mighty Being with his eternal motion make a sound like thunder” - not the thunder of a Southern Pacific freight train or a DC 6, but a heavenly undertone unheard by the hurrying crowd. Yet Wordsworth, with the heart’s luminous perception, penetrated the Ceiling Zero of the city of London , and beheld “a beauteous evening, calm and free.”
The importance of piercing this Ceiling Zero of the thought world will only appear when you and I have discovered what exquisite music, what exquisite poetry, what potent serenity and unsuspected meaning may be found above that Ceiling for him who has the skill to penetrate it. But first, by deep introspection, by meditation and the inner stillness that meditation begets, we must become aware that such a ceiling exists. This is only possible to one capable of differentiating between Thought and Meditation (the stillness in which one listens to the Voice of the Silence - “a sound like thunder - everlastingly”). This means stilling the mind and letting life’s music fall on the heart. How can Ceiling Zero be penetrated by the wings of the spirit?
First, it must find the noises and impressions of earth inadequate and unrewarding. Then, this sense of inadequacy must help to still the chatter of the listener’s mind, realizing that in silence alone (mental and physical) is it possible to capture the higher harmonics of Nature’s music. Allowance must be made for the acquired tolerance for noise in daily living, followed by a gradual realization of the deafening effect such tolerance has had on one’s capacity to catch the higher harmonies. The Seeker must come to learn that there is an Art of Silence no less than an Art of Speech. The former can be more fundamental than the latter, since it involves a conscious refining and sensitizing of the entire being. “Listen!” says the poet, “the mighty Being is awake!” Only the poet’s ear, attuned to inner silence, could speak authoritatively in this matter. He encountered no Ceiling Zero.
The penetration of this Ceiling wrought of the dense clouds of passion and prejudice, passing from mind to mind, augmented with each exchange, protected from dispersion or penetration by the tragic unawareness of its existence, is, most assuredly, a challenge to our intellectual and psychic status quo. Deafness, blindness, ignorance will continue to maintain this ceiling so long as man is imagined to be no more than he seems (Jesus’ denial of this imagining, notwithstanding) - so long as material “illusion” passes for spiritual reality. Not until Man Spiritual, the one Reality, seizes this selfish, sensuous, unenlightened Man of Matter, purifying his clouded ideals, elevating his earth-bound objectives, and shaping him in It’s own Divine Measure, will the mass of mankind become sufficiently aware of the ceiling beneath which their winged glory lies “grounded,” to deliberately climb through it to the glory on high ...
“Listen, the mighty Being is awake
We were speaking the other day to a lady who had many questions concerning marriage, and we were moved to quote directly from H.P.B.’s, The Key to Theosophy, where she talks about THEOSOPHY AND MARRIAGE.
“Enq: Now to another question; must a man marry or remain a celibate?
“Theo: It depends on the kind of man you mean. If you refer to one who intends to live in the world, one who, even though a good, earnest Theosophist, and an ardent worker for our cause, still has ties and wishes which bind him to the world, who, in short, does not feel that he has done for ever with what men call life, and that he desires one thing and one thing only - to know the truth, and to be able to help others - then for such a one I say there is no reason why he should not marry, if he likes to take the risks of that lottery where there are so many more blanks than prizes. Surely you cannot believe us so absurd and fanatical as to preach against marriage altogether? On the contrary, save in a few exceptional cases of practical Occultism, marriage is the only remedy against immorality.”
We read the whole quote, so as to place in its proper context the phrase, “- if he likes to take the risks of that lottery where there are so many more blanks than prizes.”
The discussion had been centering round the idea of the “blanks” rather than the “prizes.”
We searched about in our mind for a symbol which might convey the idea of marriage partners - and the thought arose about “ships that pass” - or meet, or travel the same lanes on the high seas - and sometimes remain for a good part of the voyage within hailing distance of each other.
Like ships, voyagers on the high seas of life may put out from different ports; may even be directing their course to diverse goals - but, even on the high seas, as sometimes happens, the travelled lanes of traffic bring ships within sight of each other for many days at a time; in the same way human travellers on the sea of life who may have begun the journey from differing ports of origin, find themselves travelling in the same lanes of mental, moral and physical kinship, finding themselves within sight of each other for many days at a time.
If the ships, for instance, are not too close, so that there arises the danger of accidental collision, this voyaging alongside each other brings comfort and interest to the personnel of both ships - a sort of friendly, not-aloneness feeling.
But the important thing to remember here is that these ships arc separate and individual entities. One may be moving at a faster speed than the other, and may disappear over the horison, but the feeling of togetherness, yet respect for the integrity of  each other, has left for each a knowledge of other travellers on these high seas.
In applying some of this analogy to the marriage relationship, we find that among the “prizes” are those where there is a common interest OUTSIDE of the personal one-where the companionship is regarded as a repository of common faith and hope - where sincerity with an understanding for the integrity of the marriage partner remains inviolate, and a true bond is bound to result.
In such a marriage security takes on a deeper meaning. There is in addition to the common task of providing a growth environment for the children which may result from the union, that genuine feeling of being within “hailing distance” - no matter what the din all about.
In spite of the storm clouds and squalls in our Theosophical arena it still becomes evident that people do come to students of Theosophy to seek answers to some of the most perplexing questions of their personal lives.
We do not wish to limit the meaning of “Theosophical Students.” We refer to those individuals of whatever line of thinking - who have outgrown the shackles of conventional and theological limitations, and so have searched and are searching beyond the stereotyped - in short, those “who have an inspiration of their own.” But we do think that the climate of Theosophical teachings per se, presents the best atmosphere in which these subjects may be pursued on a purely impersonal basis, from the point of view of PRINCIPLE; so that the enquirer is at liberty to make his or her own applications as seems best to him.
There are many more of these people than we are wont to think. Witness this one area - the breakdown in conventional ideas of marriage, which raised this question in the first place.
Along with the breakdown has come both license and liberty - and strange as it may seem, there are those who find no solace in either license or liberty. These are the minds which are searching for the real answers to their real questions: These questions are from the soul - the Higher Self, the enduring Ego who moves from incarnation to incarnation.
When these people are asked to reflect upon the idea that the one-lifetime basis of thinking may be a wrong premise, and that the Real Being may move from body to body in life after life, the kernel of meaning of real marriage as an enduring companionship in an enterprise which is outside and beyond brings a new light to the problem.
It has been said by some who ask us about this particular subject: “We come into your home, and we find peace and understanding, and a willingness to work together. We know you must have differences of opinion, but it does not shatter your relationship. WHAT is this understanding?”
These people are mature enough to know that the oversimplified reply of “Love” is not the answer. At least not love as it is presently known by most human beings.
Perhaps the answer is so simple that it has been overlooked - CONVICTION.
For each of us there is the conviction that actually we are spiritual beings; that we did not begin here on this earth, in this life, nor will we be destroyed when this life expression is completed.
We are convinced that when we met each other it was not the first time that we had met, and by the same token, that it will not be the last.
We may not have the wisdom to know exactly what relationship we bore to each other in preceding incarnations, but that we did work together toward a goal known to ourselves and to each other, we feel certain. And we are grateful for the foundation of understanding which gives more time to be spent in the pursuit of that other, and more important undertaking.
When; does this conviction come from? From the heart; from the eyes; from some inherent knowledge that it is so. Not from any book, nor any teacher, but from that area where arises spontaneously, giving an inner certitude that this has always been - that which bubbles up and is recognized for what it is.
Now marriage, on this earth, as we know it, is seldom perfect. We don’t know of a perfect marriage. But what makes even the physical aspects of it imperfect? Our own shortcomings. Again, something so simple we overlook it.
The same forces in life which bring us together, and which sustain a marriage, also catalyze those very differences which we have put in our own way, and in the way of our working partner - perhaps in lives long past, and certainly forgotten. But Life does not forget. “ E’n wasted smoke remains not traceless.”
There is sure to come a·time when we have to examine whether we have what it takes to admit our own shortcomings in terms of stubborness and pride and prejudice, or whether we can cooperate, and try to come to an understanding of the real problems arising in the marriage relationship. And there are times when such situations would be devastating and pitiful, if they weren’t actually funny.
If we can see that “WE” are not this contentious mass of bristling energy; but that WE have the power to direct and re-direct it; to use it for helping or for hindering; if we can be calm enough to look at this and see it for what it is, we may be able to laugh at ourselves for being such fools. Fools because we lost sight of the fact that WE could not be angry or frustrated, but that the circumstances which brought us to this impasse are those which we ourselves created. And if we created them, we can understand them.
Whether or not our questioner agrees with us - just to have talked over these genuine convictions with him or her quietly and sincerely, appears to give food for thought.
The questioner has seen and felt something not clear to him, and in distress has asked where he has observed the practice of the theory which has been presented to him. It represents an avenue of thinking which may lead somewhere, instead of up against a blank wall.
But for those who are seeking either sympathy for their hurt personal feelings, or support for their real, or imagined injustices, this line of thinking will give little comfort, and likely bear little fruit. Such enquirers still want an excuse for flight from reality, so that they may find other victims upon whom to inflict their petted feelings, or some one to place soft  cushions about their self esteem. This esteem is sure to be injured sooner or later, and the whole mad-go-round start over.
Here and there, however, is one who really does want to consider what might actually be the problem underlying the whole thing; or who has had the experience of having taken his woes with him to a new back yard, with no better results, and who gets no sanction from some areas and too much from others. For him the recital of the principles of KARMA and REINCARNATION (even if he has heard them before) may open up his clouded vision and give him a beginning of the way to solve his troubles.
This idea of the marriage relationship and the principles surrounding it, can of course be applied to other areas of conduct where the actual partnership is not on such a close physical basis. And just because the same PRINCIPLES apply, one has a surer means of comprehending them, because he has an opportunity in the proving ground of the closer marital situation to see just how to work with himself and cooperate with those closest to him.
This could go on into endless and subtle psychological and spiritual areas, so for the time being we will leave it with the ships that travel “within hailing distance” and know the comfort and support that this brings to themselves and to others; and to pass along, again, the hint of the REAL - the ENDURING PILGRIM - behind all these passing phases.
NOTICE TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS
Reluctantly, the Editorial Office
of “Theosophia” finds
it necessary to increase the subscription price of the magazine to $2.00
One of the most shattering paradoxes in our English tongue is found in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer: Whose service is perfect freedom. It is a paradox such as Browning’s Rabbi Ben Ezra: “A paradox which comforts while is mocks ...”
Service and freedom appear so inextricably opposed that it seems impossible to reconcile them, yet it is only in the one that the other can be found. My favourite Biblical text is found in the Apocrypha and consequently is not so well known to professing Christians as it should be. It runs: None ever yet placed his trust in God and was confounded. But this means a trust that is absolute - there must be no reservation, no holding back. God says “If you want a thing pay the price and take it”! In the spiritual world there is no hire purchase, no lay-by, no time payment. Of course there are times when we have to wait until we have accumulated the spiritual currency wherewith to make the payment. I once asked a Negro chaplain, if he believed that God always answered prayer and he replied: “Yes, but sometimes He says ‘NO’ in a very loud voice.”
To Theosophists who do not believe in a personal God - or profess not so to do - the approach is somewhat different. For us there is the very efficient Law of Karma, which might almost be regarded as God in action! Our reliance on the Law must be just as absolute as the trust which is demanded in the text quoted above, if we are not to be confounded.
Perfect freedom can only be achieved when every duty which our Dharma imposes upon us has been faithfully performed. This can only be accomplished through utter devotion to the Divine Will and Purpose, no matter what name we may give it. Towards the end of the last century a Hindu F.T.S. once wrote “He who resigneth all sense of self, and maketh himself an instrument for the Divine Hands to work with, needs have no fear about the trials and difficulties of the hard world. ‘As Thou directest, so I work.’ This is the easiest way of passing outside the sphere of individual Karma, for one who layeth dawn all his capabilities at the feet of the Lords, creates no Karma for himself; and then, as Shri Krishna promises: ‘I take upon Myself his balance of accounts.’ The disciple need take no thought for the fruits of his actions. So taught the great Christian Master: - ‘Take no thought for the morrow.’” (The Doctrine of the Heart, pp 40-41.)
The service which opens for us the way to perfect freedom is the conscious dedication of every action to the will of the Supreme. From this no evil can possibly arise. Life, which may have seemed to' us to be tedious and unprofitable, becomes suffused with a new and purposeful means of escape from the sorrow which endures for a night, into the joy that cometh in the morning. I wonder how many of our readers are familiar with the prayer of Agur son of Jakeh: “Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny Thee.” Herein is a  whole philosophy of life; the quotation is from Proverbs, xxx, 8-9. - It fits in beautifully with what we are considering and there is comfort even in the beautiful Elizabethan English. Moreover vanity and lying are the two worst curses in the world of today.
The service which is perfect freedom allows us to move more or less consciously through all worlds - physical, mental and spiritual. As we progress, more and more of this is transmitted down to and through the physical brain. The keynote of all such experience is selflessness, unselfish action in thought, Word and deed. The way is not always easy, especially in the early stages. We are called upon to give up so much that we have been holding on to; yet the emptiness soon becomes filled with the greater consciousness and we find that the grossness of our physical bodies particularly becomes refined; the pursuit of pleasure is transmuted into something which is impersonal, so that we grow wise in bringing pleasure to others. We learn how truly the poet Tennyson wrote when he penned the line: “Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control: these three alone lead life to sovereign power.” When we consciously substitute the SELF for the self, progress becomes greatly increased, and knowledge, desirable as it is, is transmuted into wisdom, which is better ...
The Theosophical Movement is passing through a difficult cycle at present; the Theosophical Society no longer commands the respect that it could claim at its inception. But the inner life is still there and we can draw upon it if we make the proper approach. Let us then highly resolve that we will dedicate ourselves to service in the truest sense and thus prepare ourselves for that perfect freedom in which a paradox is mysteriously transformed into an infinite reality.
“Crises, small and great, are inevitable in life, a truism that we fail to perceive when we ourselves are affected; but Life, being a divine energy, can never come to a stop but must progress to ever-new tasks and situations - life, not only as a whole but also as the individualized stream that each one of us is. It goes on, despite every temporary obstacle, expanding, branching out, blossoming and fructifying according to its innate potentialities. This being the case, our concern is primarily with our living, in other words, with our own dharma and action at each present moment, action which if it is to be wise, must spring not out of any habitual reactions, that is to say, our favourite prejudices, but out of an understanding of ourselves, of all things around us and our relationships with them.” - N. Sri Ram, The Theosophist, January, 1963. 
JUST OFF THE PRESS!
This volume contains a number
of important articles the intrinsic value of which has in no way diminished
through the years. The student interested in finding out what H. P.
B. has to say on Theosophy and Jesuitism, on the basis of Practical
Occultism, on the inter-relationship of occultism and the Occult Arts,
on the Esoteric Background of the Christian story, on the nature of
the Life-Principle, or the good that Theosophy has done to India, should
read this volume. H. P. B.’s writings of 1888
are in “high gear” as it were, and she deals in a masterly
way with a variety of subjects. The volume contains biographical sketches
of some of the early workers, such as the Keightleys, Dr. Kingsford,
Don Jose Xifre, Charles Johnston and others, and a number of rare portraits.