[Cover photo: M 81, N.G.C. 3031, Ursa Major, Spiral Nebula, exposure 4 hours 15 minutes. February 5, 1910, 60 inch Reflector. (Courtesy Mount Wilson Observatory.)]
Devoted to the Dissemination of the Ancient Wisdom.
Lodge No. 60, Theosophical Society
Officers for 1944:
Public Lectures second and fourth Sundays of every month,
Other Lodges in the Los Angeles Area
Los Angeles Public Relations Committee, Arthur W. Beach, Chairman, 1043 North Sierra Bonita Avenue, Hollywood 46. 
Man and the Universe are One. The lost key in the thought-world of many a century past has been the Oneness of all Life. From the realm of the infinitesimal, to the realm of the Cosmic, from the electron to the super-galaxy, the Universe is one organic Whole woven of Consciousness and Life, upon the loom of Time.
As above, so below. The small is but the replica of the great. The great is but the pattern followed by smaller units. The one reflects the other, mirrors itself in it. Nowhere in Nature are there any breaks, gaps, jumping-off places. Everything is intimately connected with everything else, depends upon everything else, and partakes of all else. Every manifestation of life affects all other creatures and things, causes them to react, to change, to become. Universal Life is a constant flowing, a never-ending change, a succession of tides which issue forth from the Divine, and reenter therein.
Today we hear the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom echoing in the Halls of Science. We hail those indefatiguable researchers whose intuition and reason have opened before their gaze new-ancient vistas of Truth. Liberating themselves front the thralldom of a soul-stupefying materialism, they are becoming allies of genuine occult students tile world over. We need them in our own work.
It is only a few weeks since (see Life, August 14., 1944) Dr. H. S. Burr and his coworkers at Yale, after twelve years of measuring the electric currents generated in plants and animals, wrote, in voicing their conclusions: "All living things exist surrounded by an electric aura of their own making. This aura, or electro-dynamics field, plays a considerable part in determining the size and shape and behavior of every plant and animal. It is influenced, moreover, by all the little understood phenomena of the universe, like cosmic rays and sunspots. This means that life on earth is connected electrically to the whole mysterious dynamic pattern of the universe." (Italics ours.)
This conclusion sounds like many a passage in H.P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, or any other work of genuine Occultism. The quotation uses the occult term "aura," it establishes a scientific foundation for the recognition of the actual existence of all astral pattern-body and of its direct relation to the structure and growth of living things; it postulates the existence of little-known relations between cosmic phenomena and more familiar ones surrounding us on all sides: it boldly states that the pattern of the universe is a dynamic one, which, to a student of Occultism, cannot mean anything else but that it is "motivated from within"; it shows an electromagnetic circuit between all seemingly unrelated units in the Universe and links them indissolubly together. The thought of the Oneness of all Life emerges from these conclusions triumphant. Ancient Occultism is being vindicated once more.
It is probable that few students would expect to find corroborations of Occultism in a magazine devoted to Mechanics. Yet this is precisely tile case in a recent article by Donald G. Cooley (Mechanix Illustrated, June, 1944) on whether "Cycles Predict the Future." Its main trend of thought is the relation between sun-spot-cycles and business trends, a subject in itself which would have hardly found a place in similar journals of some few years ago. The conclusions are in the affirmative. The author says: "It is only human to resent implications  that we are not absolute masters of our fates. The notion that cycles, beyond our control, to some degree control us, offends many. It is natural that we should ask why? and how? From a realistic point of view, human beings are mechanisms for the conversion of cosmic energy. Your energy ultimately derives not from the food you eat but from solar energies which make that food supply possible. If solar radiation runs in cycles as it markedly does we should expect human beings, like massed receiving sets, to show cyclical responses.
The author quotes, in closing, these significant words of Edgar Lawrence Smith, well-known student of business cycles "Man is apparently not so greatly dissociated as he had supposed from all that enables him to live. He is a member not alone of the human race, but of that greater association which includes every form of living thing, each member of which, magnificent or microscopic, responds, it appears, in its own way to the rising and setting of the sun, to the passing of the seasons, and to those less obvious changes in the quantity and content of solar radiant activity which we are just beginning to learn how to observe and to measure.
We feel in this the rise of a new conception of Science, the birth of a spirit of reverence before all Life. We raise our eyes towards the starlit sky and behold its silent wonders. Are These myriads of stars not cosmic electrons moving in rhythmic sequence around gravitational centers? Are these whirling nebulae but cosmic atoms in the structure of Cosmic cells? The life of the wild daisy is the same as the life which pulsates in the heart of the Sun. The dynamic motion which actuates the tiny electron is the same as the motion which sends nebulae spinning through the spatial depths of infinitude. Worlds within worlds, hierarchies within hierarchies, everything lives in something greater than itself, unfolds within the encompassing consciousness of a great unit, reaches out in endless becoming, towards the ever-receding Unknown.
SAN DIEGO THEOSOPHICAL ACTIVITIES
It may seem to those who have closely followed the progress of the Theosophical Society that enough has already been written, and that the ground has been so thoroughly covered that further exposition is unnecessary. We have had practical occultism, and theoretical occultism, and, under the name of theosophy, commentaries without number. Indeed, the ground has been very thoroughly gone over, so that one familiar with the publications already issued need have no difficulty in finding his way. Under the head of theosophy is comprised a philosophy of the origin, the nature, and the destiny of all things. All things cannot he defined in a sentence, or adequately discussed in a magazine article. The discussion of one principle brings out many others bearing more or less directly on the one under consideration, and so complexity leads often to confusion and bewilderment, and especially is this the case with beginners, while older students are not always exempt. Now it is exceedingly desirable to get rid of confusion and bewilderment, for these are very discouraging arid spoil the efficiency of the life and work of the student. The removal of confusion does not depend on profound and extensive reading, or on great learning in occult or theosophic subjects, but on a certain condition of the soul. Some have gone over the greater part of the literature of occultism, and talk learnedly about innumerable philosophies, only to become hopelessly involved as in the meshes of a net, having no "master's word," no power to command, no light with which to see. They have brought no cosmos out of chaos. The music of their souls has no rhythm or harmony, is built upon no theme, but is a confusion of sounds, a chorus of in-coordinate occult tom-toms. And why? Because their knowledge (?) is superficial, merely of the intellect; it has never entered into or been drawn from their lives. It is the very surface of things, the foam on the crest of the billows broken off from the great throbbing sea beneath. There have been theosophists who have caught hold of the essence, driven to the very centre almost at a bound; intense, earnest natures, hungering and thirsting for something they could not find, till at last it was found. "Ah yes. I see!" they have exclaimed, "in order to get it, I must reform my life. Well I will, now!" And such transformations have occurred! With a seal upon their lips and a monitor in their hearts, they have steadily worked their way into a new world. They lost at once the relish for "sin" and the lusts of life; and how? Because they loved something else more than these. And yet they were patient with the very things they had come almost to loathe, working through them instead of running away from them. Yet knowing that their progress depended on their attaining true freedom, they could even forego progress and the greater good for the sake of duty and obligations ignorantly and thoughtlessly assumed. The great renunciation is made up of little self-denials. At the very moment the soul lets go of self, it finds the All. The truths of theosophy are solely for those who want them, and for none others; and, be he rich or poor, ignorant or learned, desire determines all and motive colors all. He who is drunk with the wine of the world has no palate for the ambrosia of the gods, which to him is like milk for babes. Very well; he is joined to his idols, let him alone. A friend, a straightforward, honest man, once said to the writer, "I would give anything for the assurance you seem to possess of the future, and that  all is well." It was replied, "You do not want it." "Yes, I do, indeed I do." "Well, I will convince you that you do not want it in the sense meant to be conveyed." Now the friend was engaged to a beautiful girl, so this proposition was presented to him: "Suppose an angel were to appear at this moment and say to you, 'Choose one gift, and no more, and it shall instantly be yours,' would you choose the wisdom you say you desire, or would you choose to have a certain young lady put into your arms as your wife?" "Why, of course." he replied, "I'd take the woman. I did not mean it in that way." Not only the dearest thing we have, but the dearest thing we covet, or that creation holds, must be the Truth. Now no one will be able to reach the point of so desiring the truth till he has learned the worthlessness of all else. It is worse than folly to drag him away from his idols; he will cherish them still in secret, and offer them incense in the inner sanctuary of his soul. It is said of the occult hierarchy that no one who knocks in the right way can ever be denied. Who, indeed, can deny the master admission to his own house; and who can enter the house of the strong man and spoil his goods unless the strong man be first bound hand and foot; and, again, who can bind him but his lawful vassals who dwell in his house; and who can restrain these but the master of the house?
On the surface of things there would seem to be a contradiction in the theosophic teaching. Self-denial, renunciation, and brotherhood on the one side; and instruction for personal progress in practical occultism on the other. If there seems to he a discrepancy here, it is only on the surface, and it disappears the moment one begins to work in earnest. There are, indeed, mysteries to he unfolded in the progress of the individual, but they are in no sense revelations from without. They are unfoldings from within, just as the seed unfolds into the more perfect plant, just as the bud unfolds into the more perfect flower.
Very many members of the theosophical society are anxious only about their own progress; they hang like barnacles on the theosophic ship. "How will the T.S. benefit me? What shall I gain? What have I gained by joining the T. S.?" You have gained an opportunity to pull an oar or unfurl a sail; and if you have worked with a will, you may be surprised one of these days to learn how much you have actually acquired of the art of navigation. What would be thought of the merchant who, as often as he sold a shilling's worth of goods, closed his store, leaving his customers outside, while he took account of stock? By the time he had ascertained that half of his shilling was pure profit, he would also realize that his customers had departed, his opportunities had vanished, and his rent and expenses had devoured his shillings and led him into bankruptcy. Oh ye of little Faith! Must ye have cent per cent in search of truth, or else hide your Lord's money in a napkin and bury it in the earth?
Either we desire the truth, or we do not, and there is no deception about it. No man can deceive his own soul. If we desire the world, there is no reason why we should not seek in that direction, for in such seeking lies our only cure. Theosophy offers absolutely nothing to him who still would buy and sell and get gain. Has any one ever seen Madame Blavatsky or Colonel Olcott sitting in a corner gazing at the tips of their noses, or studying a spot on the wall? Has any one heard them express anxiety about their personal progress? Has any one known them to do anything but work, work, WORK, sick or well, night and day, spending their last dollar for the cause, and begging, if not with rice-bowl from door to door, yet with pen and heart and tongue and  brain for poor benighted, deluded humanity. How many thousands of miles has Colonel Olcott traveled over India? Here is Theosophy as practiced by the founders of the T.S. Witness the picture of a poor sick woman, swollen with dropsy, sitting sixteen hours a day coining her life into brave and noble plans for the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden; working with pen for her daily bread, and taking as her reward contempt, misrepresentation, slander, and scorn! Here is practical theosophy; and where is progress for these two servants of servants? They ought to be able to ride to the moon on a broomstick by this time, if they rate their services as we who have nibbled at the edges and held out hands for "backsheesh"; and what would we not give to be able to produce a really occult phenomenon and disappear in a cloud of glory! He who works for self is but digging in the muck though he may imagine that he is in search of the light. He who forgets self and works for all is journeying toward the light, though he may seem to make no progress. The light will glow within him, and not only illumine his own soul, but shed a radiance on all his surroundings.
Did it ever occur to you that all mankind, that every individual member of this vast body, is potentially, if not actually, what we call a Theosophist that they could not be otherwise, even though they call their churches by other names? From the general interrogation to the particular individual, it is you and I; it is the family next door and up and down the street, in all the cities and countries of our globe. Perhaps this may need a bit of explanation.
By the word Theosophist in its operative or realistic sense, we mean a certain basis of fundamental understanding of physical and spiritual relationship which is shared by all, though colored and inflected by the various emotional, environmental, social and cultural attainments of each individual. Stripped of these inflections, there is a basic unity, a common denominator, a fundamental norm identical in each of us.
The principal thesis of the works of H.P. Blavatsky, the Founder of the Theosophical Society, is that all religions, no matter of what name, have their common origin in a body of Wisdom generated with the advent of Man and preserved by those entrusted with its care. Throughout the history of man, this body of Truth has appeared again and again through the mouthpiece of great Teachers, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, to name but a few, each time inflected by the period and capabilities of those who recorded the teachings of these Masters. We are not to be misled at this moment by doctrines, creeds and dogmas which have been incidentally developed by institutions, churches or societies which have grown and proclaimed themselves the authoritarian administrator of these teachings. The fact remains clear, the truth existed before the teachers and the subsequent institutions and it will likewise survive them all.
What then are these truths which make all men Theosophists? First of all, Theosophy teaches "the fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Oversoul." It is necessary to envision that spark of Consciousness resident within each of us as Divine and as identical with that Consciousness in each member of the human race, though it may vary in degree. The proper conception of this Truth, this Great Reality, provides the key to the door of every worthy  temple dedicated to the worship of the Divine and provides likewise the passport among all men as free participants in the Divine Nature. Thus it matters little what you call your church you are brothers equally in birthright, and as such, potentially Theosophists.
There is much more to he said on this subject but space permits only this: These remarks are intended as introductory to the one to whom the word "'Theosophy" is new and to welcome correspondence or personal attendance at any of the group meetings listed in this publication. Likewise, the editors are eager to offer any assistance at their disposal to those who may be interested in Theosophy.
The foregoing is offered for the further reason that it provides a basis of conversation with those not informed but interested in Theosophy.
Let us remind ourselves of H.P. Blavatsky’s words:
"Whoever feels his heart beat in union with the great Heart of humanity; whoever feels his interests are one with those of every being poorer and less fortunate than himself: every man or woman who is ready to hold out a helping band to the suffering . . . is a Theosophist by birth and by right. He can always he sure of finding sympathetic souls among us ...
"Though absolutely free to pursue whatever intellectual occupations please him the best, each member of our Society must, however, furnish some reason for belonging thereto,
which amounts to saying that each member must bear his part, small thought it be, of mental or other labor for the benefit of all. If one does not work for others one has no right to be called a Theosophist. All must strive for human freedom of thought, for the elimination of selfish and sectarian superstitions, and for the discovery of all the truths that are within the comprehension of the human mind." ("The New Cycle," La Revue Theosophique, Paris, 1889.)
... "the coming of Christ," means the presence of CHRISTOS in a regenerated world, and not at all the actual corning in body of "Christ" Jesus; this Christ is to be sought neither in the wilderness nor "in the inner chambers," nor in the sanctuary of any temple or church built by man; for Christ the true esoteric SAVIOR is no man, but the DIVINE PRINCIPLE in every human being. He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the "sepulcher" of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him. The "Son of Man" is no child of tile bondwoman flesh, but verily of the freewoman Spirit, the child of man's own deeds, and the fruit of his own spiritual labor. H.P. Blavatsky, Lucifer (London), Vol. I, November, 1887, pp. 17374.
The Christmas tree, dotted with lights and bright with tinsel that reflects these lights and multiplies them manifold, is an old pre-christian symbol used by the people of Northern Europe at the time of the Winter Solstice; and here is the inner significance of it:
Have you never heard of the World-Tree with its roots in the realms of spirit and whose branches are the great suns and systems of suns? This World-Tree began in the beginning of this Cosmic Age to bring forth all the stellar hosts. Now the Winter Solstice is the beginning of the cosmic New Year, and so these northern peoples, knowing some of the ancient truths, celebrated this cosmic event with the Christmas tree. It symbolized the World-Tree, and the lights are the suns that bestrew the deeps of Space, hinting to us the message from the divinities who constantly give us the light of love, the light of mind, the light of hope eternal ...
The giving of gifts on the Christmas tree was emblematic of the self-dedication of the gods so that the worlds might come into being. "Here is my gift. It is born from myself." G. de Purucker, Wind of the Spirit, p. 241. 
Announcer: "Theosophy Speaks!" ... "Light for the Mind - Love for the Heart - Understanding for the Intellect."
Last Sunday, in presenting the first of four discussions on REINCARNATION, "Theosophy Speaks" brought out that all men need more than 70odd years to learn all that Life has to offer and that we are given other opportunities in repeated births. We said that life means action, and since action eventually brings fatigue, Death is merely a surcease from action, or a necessary rest period between lives. Also, that we are born again on Earth because when we die we leave many unfinished duties and obligations, unlearned lessons, unfulfilled relationships, and unsatisfied longings. And since these are energies, they magnetically PULL us back to be worked out to eventual conclusions. We also said that everything that happens to us is a test in the school of life, and that some people learn faster, some have more will power, some concentrate more and try harder than others. So they pass on to the higher grades of self-mastery, while the slow or lazy ones the indifferent ones do their lessons over and over until they too have learned them. In other words, when we are born again or REINCARNATE we pick up just where we left off before, and this accounts for the seeming inequalities in the lives of all of us. Today we present other aspects of REINCARNATION in a transcribed discussion. Our scene: Three friends are just settling themselves in big, comfortable lounge chairs in a cozy den. As they light their pipes, one of them says ...
HAL: I've been a wreck all week thinking of the poor drunkard who was left to die right in the middle of our conversation last week!
BILL: Yes it was in connection with why we have good and bad habits, wasn't it?
TOM: Yes. I believe I said something to the effect that the character, talents, aptitudes and traits we have now were accumulated during past lives. There is no outer way of explaining them. Nothing just happens, you know.
HAL: But what were you going to say about the drunkard?
TOM: What is true of the drunk, and is also true of the faults, weaknesses or bad habits all of us have. They don't begin with birth and they don't end with death. Habits are the results of the way we have lived our lives, past and present. It takes TIME to develop habits and it takes TIME to control, or eradicate them. This is the sequence: An act a habit a character a destiny.
HAL: That's very important, Tom. An act a habit a character a destiny. We are a heedless lot aren't we?
TOM: We are.
BILL: But why are you making a connection between habits and REINCARNATION?
TOM: Let's put it this way. Everyone knows what a miracle the eye is. Yet, we all take it for granted. But have you ever stopped to think that it has taken aeons of time for the eye to develop into its present state? And that it still has untold possibilities? Well, the eye is one small part of man's complex makeup. Doubtless, our ears, our brains and any or all our organs, still have possibilities for improvement. Now, why should such PHYSICAL things grow or improve through the aeons of time, and a man's soul be denied the same privilege the same opportunity? Why should a man be allowed to improve during just one short life on this earth? Why shouldn't a man be given as much time to evolve as an EYE or an EAR?
BILL: But the human race has improved every generation is superior to the last!
TOM: I'm talking about individual  evolution, not just the evolution of mass humanity. You see, EVOLUTION means a BRINGING OUT of what is latent within. Theosophy states, as have philosophers and teachers throughout the ages, that evolution is a MORAL, a SPIRITUAL PROCESS, rather than a physical one only. Bill, let me ask you, what use is a healthy, beautiful body if it is used for evil purposes? Physical perfection isn't necessary for soul growth! Think how often it is lacking in moral and intellectual geniuses. And think how many invalids and ugly ducklings have given treasures of inspiration to the world! No, I wouldn't say that physical evolution was paramount.
HAL: Tom, you certainly are convincing me that 70odd years is too short a time for a man completely to express all the capabilities he feels are within him.
TOM: Let's take you for an example ...
HAL: (horrified): Take me? You couldn't pick a worse one!
TOM: Wouldn't you feel cheated, resentful, if you were suddenly removed from this life from this scene of your obligations and duties to others, your mistakes and failures, your loves and hates, your desires and capacities while you were in the process of working them out, or developing them? Tell me, what is the natural reaction to death in most people?
HAL: As far as I know it's this: Why must I die, when I'm only just learning to live?
TOM: That's exactly why most people hate, or fear, death. It catches them right when they're in the middle of working out something important important to them. What was accomplished in this process of life and death? Why do we have to live only to die?
HAL: It does sound illogical, doesn't it?
TOM: Not only illogical, but cruel, and terribly wasteful. And Nature doesn't waste. Now about our drunkard. Should a sick soul like that be damned forever because well, because perhaps he was born into an unhappy or sordid environment and tried to escape it through alcohol?
BILL: Now you've come hack to MY point! It's ENVIRONMENT and heredity that are most important!
TOM: They are important, Bill, but there are many people who live in unhappy, sordid environments and DON'T take to drink. The weakness or urge toward that escape was already present in the man's makeup or CHARACTER, from previous lives. Now again he is confronted with his test and he again takes refuge in alcohol. My point is this: Because the drunkard failed again in his test, why should he be denied still another chance to pass it? I think that Nature is merciful, compassionate and gives men the chance and the opportunity
THROUGH REINCARNATION to fight their battles to a WINNING finish.
BILL: But most people don't want to be born again even if it means a winning finish.
TOM: That's because they're afraid of their weaknesses and faults. They know in their hearts that these things make trouble and unhappiness for them. But ignorance and fear will not make them exceptions to Universal Laws, or Nature's Laws. And because I believe in Reincarnation, I'm sure that some day they will have the courage to take the sand from their eyes and look at themselves honestly, and say: / am the captain of my soul, the master of my fate.
HAL: But HOW does believing in Reincarnation help us live our everyDay lives?
TOM: By giving you a PURPOSE. For instance, Hal, if you are here today and gone tomorrow never to  be seen again never to contact your loved ones again your logical viewpoint is: "What's the use of it all? Why lead a useful life? Why try so hard against such odds and handicaps to be an example to others? Why should a criminal reform? Why help the unfortunates when it is easier and more comfortable NOT to?"
BILL: Because whatever nobility there is in our lives is passed on to the next generation.
HAL: Why should we give a hoot about those who follow us if THEY TOO end up in nothingness, as you think we do?
TOM: Don't you see, Bill, that there is a moral and ethical consideration at stake? Bill, if instead of thinking that when you die that's the end of you And, Hal, if instead of thinking you go off to another place call it another planet, or heaven, or whatever you wish if instead of escaping forever from all that has been your way of life on earth If you believed instead that you, your thoughts, actions, words, your character and your way of life had their effect in the building of civilizations, and that you ALWAYS take your proper place in those civilizations through the ages, wouldn't it put a new, grander VALUE on everything you do? Wouldn't you have a better understanding of the purpose of life and your place in the evolving Universe? And if you understood, wouldn't you react to your experiences and problems more constructively?
BILL: Well, it would make a person feel morally responsible yes.
HAL: Tom, I want to make myself over!
TOM: Why not? You have the power to better your reactions to all your experiences just as you have the power to study your lessons in school in order to pass into the next highest grade. And think what it would mean in your relations with other people! Your family, your relatives, your neighbors, your business associates, and your friends. You'd look at them in a new light. They'd cease to be just people around you. You'd realize they are all contributing to the evolution of Mankind. That they are contributing in some measure to your evolution to your growth. Some are helping to teach you patience and forbearance, some love, some kindness and consideration, some sympathy, some how to control your temper and emotions and to others you owe duty and obligation.
HAL: That reminds me of an old Oriental saying. I think it was: "We don't MAKE friends we RECOGNIZE them."
BILL: There's one thing bothering me. If we've lived before, why don't we remember our past lives?
TOM: Didn't I explain before that the brain is part of our physical body and that it disintegrates after death?
HAL: Yes, you did.
TOM: Well, memory is, of course, connected with the brain. Now, when you reincarnate you have a new brain along with a new body. A new brain could have no memory of the past.
HAL: But I've heard of some people who claim they do remember.
TOM: Well, Hal, the effects of our past lives do inhere in our CHARACTER. Your character is the best memory you have of your past because it has been molded by your lessons, tests, experiences, thoughts, and so forth. Remember this, your weaknesses are the failures . . . your strengths are the victories of past lives. In other words, right this moment, we are what we've made ourselves.
HAL: I don't like the picture.
BILL: Neither do I.
TOM: I don't either. BUT once you've used a measuring stick and discovered yourself lacking, you can DO something about it, can't you? You can decide right now, as you  said, Hal, to change yourself for the better. Awakening comes first then realization then initiative. And then?
HAL: Success, I hope.
TOM: There's an important point I haven't covered. Theosophy says that in order to become a well-rounded, fully-evolved man, each person will experience everything that life on this planet has to offer. And, furthermore, that these experiences will come to us as members of all races.
HAL: Do you mean that I may not belong to the white race in another incarnation?
TOM: You may or may not. I mean that you've been, or will be some time, a member of every race and of every stratum of society within each race. For the experience.
HAL: What an idea!
TOM: Now you can understand how silly, useless, wasteful and worthless such things as hates and intolerances are. We spend precious energy hating one another and yet we are all actually related. After all, every human being on the face of the globe, whether an intellectual giant or an aborigine, is an integral part of the human race moving along the evolutionary stream. We are all included in the BROTHERHOOD OF MAN. Man cannot free himself from the Universe, because he is part of it. But man is the creator of his own destiny in the Universe. And he creates this destiny by the way he lives each hour of each day of each life he lives.
HAL: Tom, I understand that we create our own problems, troubles, faults and virtues. But what I'd like to know is, why do these differ among men? Why aren't my troubles like Yours, and yours like mine?
TOM: That's what a Theosophist calls KARMAN or KARMA Cause and Effect. But, say, I'm going to a lecture on that subject next week. Why don't you two join me? You'll really get a lot of questions answered. How about it?
HAL: That's a swell idea.
BILL: We'll be there.
At first glance this seems a trite question because everyone "knows" what love is; but if the question is put seriously the answer comes: "It is ," and then a sudden silence. When the querent demands a logical answer, so many phases or kinds of so-called love come within the consciousness that it soon becomes evident that love is one of the abstract or unknown quantities except in its lower aspects.
The subject is well worth pondering upon. If there are seven planes of consciousness and seven different sub-planes of each, it must follow that our acquaintance with love will belong chiefly to that of the lowest because all manifestations of our present consciousness belong to that plane. We are fairly well acquainted with most of love's lower aspects and often speak of the higher or superior ones as if they were all ordinary occurrence, but, except as temporary exhibitions of their influence, the higher ones do not relate directly to human activity until some progress has been made by the individual on the ascending arc of evolution.
If we substitute the words and the idea of "Good Will to All' in place of "love" we can get a better conception of what it involves. Good will is a positive quality, but can be impersonal, as in such instances as when a fly or a mosquito has to be destroyed; there can be the recognition that everything acts according to its nature and therefore our  reactions can be made impersonal. Good will, therefore, can be a constant positive radiation of a state of being, and as the consciousness functions on higher and higher planes, or sub-planes, that radiation will become more penetrating and extensive. It is in this latter aspect that the Scriptures refer to "love;" and such injunctions as "Love one another," "be compassionate," etc., must surely refer to those higher phases which are far beyond the human emotions.
It is a fascinating experiment to try to imagine love, in the above sense, in action upon the scale of solar or galactic systems, for we can trace its influence through all manifestations down to the infinitesimal.
What, to us, appear as the results or effects of magnetic attractions and currents often or generally causing a stimulation which produces glamour are the logical and actual reactions by our own related centers in our complex makeup. To call these reactions when pleasurably stimulated "love" is to have a very limited perception of the functions of cosmic forces, which are radiations of harmonious interpenetrating and inter-blending essences or fluids of many kinds and from many sources.
With the above points in mind, it is possible to account for and understand the numerous phases which occur in or which are exhibited in particular individuals. We thus recognize the complications in human lives as the Karmic workings of the energies accumulated through actions in former existences, and thus the whole range of human relationships and conduct takes on a profound significance and comes within the realm Of PRACTICAL IDEALISM.
In some letters recently received from inquirers, I find the following from a correspondent:
"The basic weakness is that orthodox Theosophy has no place for redemption, which I regard as 'absorption of Karma.' The Christian doctrine of Divine Forgiveness is conspicuously absent."
The fact that anyone should have got the impression that Forgiveness and Redemption are no part of Theosophy is a sorry reflection upon our manner of presenting the teachings. It is in the nature of a rebuke for those Theosophists who have, thus far, disdained to acquaint themselves with the language of Christendom.
Without attempting here to deal adequately with so important a subject, I nevertheless offer the following thoughts. REDEMPTION is the Christian name for what the Ancient Wisdom calls the ascending arc of any great cycle. Some Theosophical writers have used the word redemption in this regard (see the "Perfect Way"). All things return to the source from which they came, "bringing their sheaves with them," which includes man, of course.
Individually, man, the evolving human soul, is redeemed by his own Higher Self, his inner Christos, who, "for us men and our salvation came down from heaven." This is the Descent of the Manasaputras, in one aspect.
Collectively men are Temples of living Gods (as Jesus said). The source of these living Gods is the Divine, God Transcendent. We may know this God Transcendent by means of the God Immanent, thus is it said, "No man cometh to the Father save by me," the Lord, the Inner Christos, who is Savior REDEEMER and Mediator of and for the growing human soul, ITS CHILD. This child (you, me and all of us) will  reach a time when it may exclaim, "I and my Father are one." Then it will have risen from among the as yet spiritually dead and will ascend to its source, to its Father in Heaven; having traveled both the descending and ascending arc of the cycle, or having experienced both THE FALL AND THE REDEMPTION.
Now for FORGIVENESS: 'the watchword given to us by G. de P. runs as follows: "Love is the cement of the Universe. Learn to FORGIVE, learn to love. Each one of you is an incarnate God. Be it." Herein we are enjoined to forgive; in other words, we are reminded that we have the power to forgive and should exercise it. We are reminded that there is that in us whose nature it is to forgive when not inhibited by another and lower part whose nature it is to seek vengeance, to retaliate.
Question: If it be granted that there is that in man whose nature it is to forgive, how came he to possess this unless it be inherent in nature (for obviously the part cannot possess anything that is not in the whole); from which we may deduce that the power and will to forgive is drawn from the great "ALL" surrounding us; or in the simple language of Christendom "God forgives," in the sense that it is unnatural and un-godlike to seek vengeance, to retaliate, to exercise power as a punitive measure.
Let it be granted, then, "God forgives us our sins" (in the sense already suggested). Nevertheless, "God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The problem is to reconcile these two statements. It is not an issue between Theosophy and Christianity at all, though Theosophy may be able to help clarify the issue. I am only quoting something that I read in a church magazine when I affirm that Christianity does not teach that man call avoid the EFFECTS of his own acts or thoughts. The Church, quite properly, reminds the sufferer, for his comfort and encouragement, that it is not in the nature of the Godhead to retaliate, to seek vengeance or to punish WE PUNISH OURSELVES.
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
The Headquarters of our Society is located at 1061 State Highway (Garvey Avenue), near West Covina, Calif. It is also the center of Theosophical University and of our large Printing Plant and Publishing House.
The public is cordially invited to the Forum Lectures held in the Temple on the Headquarters grounds every Sunday at 3:00 P.M. Bus service is via Pacific Electric Motor Transit Lines; inquire for schedule.
Theosophical University conducts extension courses in Los Angeles. Throughout the winter months, Miss Judith Tyberg of the Headquarters staff will conduct a course in Sanskrit terms and grammar. It is to be held on the first Friday of every month, at 2:00 P.M. and again at 7:00 P.M. On the second Friday of the month, at 2:00 P.M., Miss Florence Collisson will conduct a course in Comparative Religion. Call up FE5914 or EX5520 for information regarding the place of meetings and other particulars. 
Two thousand Allied bombers drop hundreds of tons of flaming death on German cities. The four great powers meet at Dumbarton Oaks to agree on means for maintaining peace in the world. Eight thousand Japanese exterminated on Pelieliu Island. Thousands of tons of food supplies and clothing distributed to the war indigent in Italy, France and Greece.
Those, and similar contrasting newspaper headlines, run through the mind, as wending a somewhat weary way from the great city, the peace and quiet of the wayside is gratefully received. What does it all mean? This destroying with one hand and constructing and helping with the other.
The answer to all problems can be found by a communing with Nature, as long as we do not qualify it by placing that word HUMAN before it. Nature requires a rather close observation at times. So it is that we can note that all growth, whether vegetable or animal, all evolution or change of form, seems to be controlled by two great laws. One is Voluntary Action and the other is Compulsion.
It does not seem to matter much which law is allowed to hold its sway, the results seem to be the same. However, we note that the law of Compulsion is generally accompanied by sufferings, while that of Voluntary Action always seems to be joyous affair.
Another thing to be noted is that whenever Voluntary Action is spurned, the very effects of such spurning is what produces the manifestations of Compulsion. An entity partakes of too much food, repudiating self-control, voluntarily exercised. Such nausea is produced that COMPULSION causes abstinence, until balance is once more restored. Therefore, the Law of Compulsion is not enforced by exterior forces, but merely produced by the throwing aside of the Divine Law of Voluntary Action.
In Nature, if it be studied with the Seeing Eye, it will be found that the Mineral Kingdom is ruled by the Law of Compulsion alone. In the Vegetable Kingdom, Voluntary Action makes its appearance, but faintly. Many botanical species have appeared and disappeared on account of it, but the Vegetable Kingdom, as a whole, has wonderfully progressed, since the days of the primitive fungi and gigantic tree ferns.
In the Animal Kingdom, Voluntary Action becomes more perceptible, as locomotion, the ability to change position has entered the life picture. Pity the poor plant, overshadowed by the growing tree: it cannot move over into the sunshine, but has to make the best of it. Partly by Voluntary Action, partly by Compulsion, many a plant has grown into a tree that has overshadowed the tree that almost snuffed it out of existence. Sometimes, it is itself snuffed out of existence. In the Human Kingdom, having locomotion, as well as self-conscious mind, the Law of Voluntary action becomes supreme, the Law of Compulsion only lurks in the shadows of man's creation, ready with its whiplash to drive him onward and upward, if he will not move on his own initiative.
Now read again the first paragraph, and see if you can reconcile the conflicting actions, in the light of the Law of Compulsion, acting through the manmade destruction, compelling man to do what he should have done voluntarily.
MORAL: Man advances, willy-nilly. With joy in his heart, voluntarily, or under the whip-lash of the Law of Compulsion.
And that's just simple Theosophy.
The Wayfarer. [Hubert S. Turner] 
The original Theosophical Society was founded in New York City in 1875, by Helena P. Blavatsky, Col. Henry S. Olcott, Wm. Q. Judge and others. At present there are several independent theosophical organizations differing in methods of work but all having as their main objective the dissemination of the Ancient Wisdom and the promotion of Universal Brotherhood.
All genuine Theosophical work is invariably devoid of creeds and dogmas; its nature is philosophical, religious, scientific and humanitarian; it is traditionally unsectarian and strictly nonpolitical. It forms an integral part of a universal intellectual and ethical movement which has been active, whether publicly recognized or not, in all races and ages.
The objects of the Theosophical Society are: (a) To diffuse among men a knowledge of the laws inherent in the Universe; (b) To promulgate the knowledge of the essential unity of all that is, and to demonstrate that this unity is fundamental in Nature; (c) To form an active brotherhood among men; (d) To study ancient and modern religion, science, and philosophy; (e) To Investigate the powers innate in man.
The sole condition of Fellowship in the Theosophical Society is a sincere acceptance of the principle of Universal Brotherhood. Fellows of the Society are required to show the same thoughtful consideration for the beliefs of others that they desire others to show towards their own.
The Theosophical Society, with General Offices formerly located at Point Loma, now has its International Headquarters near Covina, Calif. From 1929 to 1942 its Leader was Dr. G. de Purucker; since his passing, the society is under the jurisdiction of the Cabinet, whose present Chairman is Iverson L. Harris, from early youth a devoted student and a very active worker in the Organization.
The Society is composed of National Sections, autonomous under its Constitution: the Sections, in turn, are composed of autonomous Lodges, under the direction of their National President. The chief Officers of the American Canadian Section are: Col. Arthur L. Conger, President, 802 Jackson Avenue, Washington 12, D.C.; J. Emory Clapp, Executive Vice-President, 30 Huntington Avenue, Boston 16, Mass.: the Regional Official for the Western Coast is Harold W. Dempster, 940 Third Avenue, San Diego, Calif.
The official Organ of the Society is The Theosophical Forum ($2.00 a year). The American Section magazine is Lucifer ($1.00). In this Section there is a minimum membership fee of $6.00 a year. This is not the nature of compulsory dues, but is rather a moral obligation voluntarily assumed. This amount includes yearly subscriptions to both magazines mentioned above.
Further information regarding the Society will be gladly furnished upon request. Address: Grace Finlayson, Secretary, 500 South Gramercy Place, Los Angeles 5, Calif.
Standard Theosophical Literature
These and other books and pamphlets may be obtained from Lodge No. 60, 500 South Gramercy Place, Los Angeles 5, California.