[Cover photo: Scene from the Philippine Islands.]
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“Now, the duties which can be taken up by the soul are exactly those which it feels most inadequate to perform when acting as an embodied being. What shall be done to quiet the heart-cry of the world: how answer the dumb appeal for help we so often divine below eyes that laugh? It is sadder than sorrow to think that pity with no hands to heal, that love without a voice to speak, should helplessly heap their pain upon pain while earth shall endure. But there is a truth about sorrow which I think may make it seem not so hopeless. There are fewer barriers than we think: there is, in fact, an inner alliance between the soul who would fain give and the soul who is in need. Nature has well provided that not one golden ray of all our thoughts is sped ineffective through the dark: not one drop of the magical elixirs love distils is wasted.”
“A man is not human in the true sense of the word unless he fits into humanity. A disorganized society is like a heap of bricks. Bricks may be made, but there is no reason for their existence unless they are to form part of a building ... The worst thing that can happen to a social community is to have no social order at all, where every man is for himself, and the devil may take the hindmost. Generally in such a community he takes the front rank as well as the stragglers. The phrase, ‘Every man for himself,’ is one of the maxims in the gospel according to Beelzebub. The devil’s game with men is to divide and conquer them. Isolate your man from obligations to a social order and in most cases his soul drops into the pit like a rotten apple from the Tree of Life.” - George William Russell, known as AE. 
The spiritual life of this globe has its ebb and flow, as everything else in Nature. Cycles of spiritual barrenness and of spiritual fructification follow each other. Great Teachers come in regular serial succession, at stated periods of time, according to an esoteric and natural law. They strike the key-note of the Spirit, and help to tide mankind from one period of relative knowledge, through the barren wastes of a dark age, into the next period of spiritual and intellectual awakening.
A particular cycle in the history of our humanity is ending during the present epoch and another is beginning. Among some of the mystical students in the West, it has been known as the Messianic Cycle of approximately 2160 years, corresponding to the time it takes the Sun to pass through one Sign of the Zodiac in its precessional movement. The closing of one such cycle and the beginning of another is usually marked by the appearance of a Great Teacher among men. Such a Teacher was H. P. Blavatsky. All her wonderful qualities and achievements, and even the fruits of her life-long creative work, are thrown into the shade when compared with this one spiritual fact, namely, that through the vehicle known among us as H. P. Blavatsky, there manifested at times a Spiritual Being of transcendent splendor who quickened into growth the spiritual seeds latent in mankind at this turning-point in its cyclic progression.
This involves a great mystery which is not easily explained. H. P. Blavatsky was of course a woman, as we all know, in body. Invigorating and inflaming it was the divine inner Sun or Spirit, highly awakened. Between these two - the divine fire and the receptive and mystically trained brain of the woman - there was, as indeed in everyone of us, a psychological apparatus known as the “human soul.” Now, as H. P. Blavatsky was an Initiate, she knew, because she had been taught, how to remove temporarily this intermediate part of herself, and how to allow the entrance into the vacancy thus created of a human soul vastly superior in evolution to her own. And it is this Spiritual Intelligence manifesting at times through her that is known among some students as “H.P.B.,” but not H. P. Blavatsky, however imperfect this designation may be.
Hence, everything that the individual known, generally speaking, as H. P. Blavatsky accomplished in this world can be divided into at least three categories: first, the deeds of H. P. Blavatsky, the woman-disciple, the mystic; second, the deeds performed when the divine flame of her own inner Spirit worked through her brain; and third, the deeds performed under the direct inspiration and guidance of the lofty Spiritual Intelligence which, at times, stepped into her and worked through her in the manner explained above.
The fact or condition of being able to manifest through one’s own inner constitution the knowledge and power of a greater being is known in Tibetan esotericism by the term Hpho-wa (pronounced Fo-wa), meaning “transference of consciousness.” It is the very opposite pole to mediumship, and no person of psycho-mediumistic tendencies has the slightest chance of acquiring this capacity, unless and until all mediumistic inclinations have been controlled. Therefore those who have considered H. P. Blavatsky as a powerful “medium” simply show their utter ignorance of the true esoteric facts involved in her life and work. We do not blame them; one cannot blame people for being ignorant; one can only regret it.
But it is precisely this ignorance of certain esoteric facts and of their implications on the part of a great many students and members of the modern Theosophical Movement, which has given rise to a lot of mischief and confusion in various parts of this Movement over a period of many years. It is precisely because facts concerning the real nature of H. P. Blavatsky were unrecognized and overlooked, that thousands of students have succumbed to the psychic glamour of various visionaries and clairvoyants - mediums in disguise - whose unsupported claims have been widely publicized, and with no intellectual and spiritual evidence to support them. Comparison of their teachings and statements with those of H. P. Blavatsky and her own Teachers was not easy, because these writings were shunted into the background, disregarded, deliberately set aside, and a large number of students were totally ignorant of what these writings contained. It is the case even today in many parts of the organized Movement. It is high time for a change!
To genuine students H. P. Blavatsky is not a God. She is neither worshipped by them nor adored, nor made into a divine being - all of which she herself would decry and laugh at. But genuine students recognize certain esoteric facts for what they are, and therefore regard her life and work in the light of these facts - facts which are self-explanatory, reasonable, intellectually sound, and are backed by the sum total of the occult history of humanity.
It should be stated without equivocation that a thorough understanding of the real teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy, a grasp of its main tenets and precepts, is sufficient and adequate protection against the mediumistic aberrations of would-be psychics, whose motives we do not question, but whose ignorance of natural facts is obvious to any serious student. And the main reason why so many people in the organized Movement have become confused with regard to the teachings of Theosophy, is because they have given attention to all sorts of psychic commentaries and visions, instead of to the actual teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy as presented by H. P. Blavatsky in her writings, and by her own Teachers in their Letters and occasional articles of the early days.
This is not saying that no one outside of them can possibly have in our Movement, or outside of it, either a true vision or a personal contact with the same Teachers, or again an inner knowledge the source of which is their own Inner Self. Any such idea would be a gross misunderstanding of our meaning, and a palpable untruth. There is no question that some students since H. P. Blavatsky’s days have established their own inner channel with the Lodge of the Teachers and have received their direct inspiration and guidance. But in what way does  this contradict the facts of the prevailing confusion which exists in the minds of so many others in regard to the true teachings, owing to psychic illusions and false claims? Both are facts, and they should be faced.
However, personal contact with the Teachers, or a degree of inner illumination that a student may achieve in this life, are very far from that particular degree of initiatory training and discipline which permits the advanced occultist to become a channel for a lofty spiritual Intelligence, cyclically manifesting in the occult history of Humanity. And it is precisely that kind of a channel which H. P. Blavatsky was during her active career in the world of men.
Her writings and those of the Adept-Brothers whose direct agent she was, are the foundation-stone upon which the modern Theosophical Movement rests. They embody in present-day language the essence of the Trans-Himalayan Esoteric Knowledge, which has been from time immemorial the fountain-head of all genuine Occultism on this earth.
During this mid-period of the XXth century, we find the age-old teachings of Theosophy, which is the universal spiritual tradition of mankind, confirmed and supported by every major scientific discovery. As we observe the developments in the world of human thought, we sense that the final vindication of the mission and work of H. P. Blavatsky is close at hand. The continued publication of her writings contributes vitally to this ultimate objective. These writings speak louder than any human commentary, and the ultimate proof of the teachings they contain rests with the disciple himself - when his heart is attuned to the cosmic harmony they unveil before the mind’s eye. Like all mystic writings throughout the ages, they conceal more than they reveal, and the intuitive student discovers in them just what he is able to grasp - neither less nor more.
We commend these writings to the weary pilgrim, and to the seeker of enduring spiritual realities. They open wide portals undreamt of before, revealing vistas of cosmic splendor. They bring new hope and courage to the faint-hearted but sincere student. They are a comfort and a staff, as well as a guide and teacher, to those who are already travelling along the age-old Path. As to those few who are in the vanguard of mankind, valiantly scaling the solitary passes leading to the Gates of Gold, these writings give the clue to the secret knowledge enabling one to lift the heavy bar that must be raised before the Gates admit the pilgrim into the land of Eternal Dawn.
“What can a man believe? I believe he can affirm that there is a heart to the universe, that there is a personal constellating reality. And we can affirm that we as persons, not by gift, but by nature do go on; that we needn’t live now at such a frantic pace as though it will soon be over. Yet now is where we are in this whole continuum of eternal life and it’s here that we are called to serve and to love and to enjoy and to celebrate the whole world and all we know if it. This a man can believe.” - Bishop James A. Pike in “Heretic, I’m Not.” Los Angeles FM & Fine Arts , January, 1967. 
[Lucifer, Vol. VI, No. 34, June, 1890, pp. 333-35.]
[Criticisms of the text of H.P.B.’s magnum opus, such as are discussed in the present article from the author’s unequivocal pen, are being made even today, mainly by students whose merely brain-mind approach to the whole subject of occultism prevents them from taking the spiritual viewpoint. Hence this clear and forceful article is as timely today as when it originally appeared. It deserves close attention on the part of students. - Editor, Theosophia.]
Ever since the publication of The Secret Doctrine Students of Theosophy (outside the inner ring of Occult Sciences) have complained that the teachings contained in the work do not satisfy them. One, mentioning the lengthy and rabid abuse of it by an old, though really insignificant, if brutal, enemy, takes me to task for leaving a door open to such criticism by taking too little into account modern science and modern thought (!); another complains that my explanations are not complete; thus, he says: -
“For the last ten years, I have been a close reader of theosophical literature. I have read and re-read The Secret Doctrine and collated passages, and nothing is more disheartening than to find some of the best explanations on Occult points, just as they begin to grow a little lucid, marred by a reference to some exoteric philosophy or religion, which breaks up the train of reasoning and leaves the explanation unfinished ... We can understand parts, but we cannot get a succinct idea, particularly of the teachings as to Parabrahm (the Absolute), and 1st and 2nd Logos, Spirit, Matter, Fohat, etc., etc.”
This is the direct and natural result of the very mistaken notion that the work I have called The Secret Doctrine had ever been intended by me to dovetail with modern Science, or to explain “occult points.” I was and still am more concerned with facts than with scientific hypotheses. My chief and only object was to bring into prominence that the basic and fundamental principles of every exoteric religion and philosophy, old or new, were from first to last but the echoes of the primeval “Wisdom Religion.” I sought to show that the TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, like Truth itself, was One; and that, however differing in form and color, the foliage of the twigs, the trunk and its main branches were still those of the same old Tree, in the shadow of which had developed and grown the (now) esoteric religious philosophy of the races that preceded our present mankind on earth.
This object, I believe I have carried out as far as it could be carried, in the first two volumes of The Secret Doctrine. It was not the occult philosophy of the esoteric teachings that I undertook to explain to the world at large, for then the qualification of “Secret” would have become like the secret of “ Polichinelle” shouted in the manner of a stage a parte; but simply to give that which could be given out, and to parallel it with the beliefs and dogmas of the past and present nations, thus showing the original source of the  latter and how disfigured they had become. If my work is, at this day of materialistic assumptions and universal iconoclasm, too premature for the masses of the profane - so much the worse for those masses. But it was not too premature for the earnest students of theosophy - except those, perhaps, who had hoped that a treatise on such intricate correspondences as exist between the religions and philosophies of the almost forgotten Past, and those of the modern day, could be as simple as a shilling “shocker” from a railway stall. Even one system of philosophy at a time, whether that of Kant or of Herbert Spencer, of Spinoza or of Hartmann, requires more than a study of several years. Does it not therefore stand to reason that a work which compares several dozens of philosophies and over half-a-dozen of world-religions, a work which has to unveil the roots with the greatest precautions, as it can only hint at the secret blossom here and there - cannot be comprehended at a first reading, nor even after several, unless the reader elaborates for himself a system for it? That this can be done and is done is shown by the “Two Students of the E.S.” They are now synthesizing the “Secret Doctrine,” and they do it in the most lucid and comprehensive way, in this magazine. No more than anyone else have they understood that work immediately after reading it. But they went to work in dead earnest. They indexed it for themselves, classifying the contents in two portions - the exoteric and the esoteric; and having achieved this preliminary labor, they now present the former portion to the readers at large, while storing the latter for their own practical instruction and benefit. Why should not every earnest theosophist do the same?
There are several ways of acquiring knowledge: (a) by accepting blindly the dicta of the church or modern science; (b) by rejecting both and starting to find the truth for oneself. The first method is easy and leads to social respectability and the praise of men; the other is difficult and requires more than ordinary devotion to truth, a disregard for direct personal benefits and an unwavering perseverance. Thus it was in the days of old and so it is now, except perhaps, that such devotion to truth has been more rare in our own day than it was of yore. Indeed, the modern Eastern student’s unwillingness to think for himself is now as great as Western exactions and criticism of other people’s thoughts.
He demands and expects that his “Path” shall be engineered with all the selfish craft of modern comfort, macadamized, laid out with swift rail-ways and telegraphs, and even telescopes, through which he may while sitting at his ease, survey the works of other people; and while criticising them, look out for the easiest, in order to play at the Occultist and Amateur Student of Theosophy. The real “Path” to esoteric knowledge is very different. Its entrance is overgrown with the brambles of neglect, the travesties of truth during long ages block the way, and it is obscured by the proud contempt of self-sufficiency and with every verity distorted out of all focus. To push over the threshold alone, demands an incessant, often unrequited labor of years, and once on the other side of the entrance, the weary pilgrim has to toil up on foot, for the narrow way leads to forbidding mountain  heights, unmeasured and unknown, save to those who have reached the cloud-capped summit before. Thus must he mount, step by step, having to conquer every inch of ground before him by his own exertions; moving onward, guided by strange landmarks the nature of which he can ascertain only by deciphering the weather-beaten, half-defaced inscriptions as he treads along, for woe to him, if, instead of studying them, he sits by coolly pronouncing them “indecipherable.” The “Doctrine of the Eye” is maya; that of the “Heart” alone, can make of him an elect.
Is it to be wondered that so few reach the goal, that so many are called, but so few are chosen? Is not the reason for this explained in three lines on page 27 of The Voice of the Silence? These say that while “The first repeat in pride: ‘Behold, I know,’ the last, they who in humbleness have garnered, low confess, ‘thus have I heard’;” and hence, become the only “chosen.”
[In The Irish Theosophist, Vol. III, August 15, 1895, Jasper Niemand gave the following valuable hints to students of occultism. They deserve close attention and are important guideposts in avoiding various types of psychic delusions. - Editor, Theosophia.]
There are many and serious mistakes made on the subject of so-called appearances of Masters. The voice, the form, the “Lodge perfume” of the Masters, all can be parodied or simulated. All exist as pictures in the nerve-aura of individuals, for the brain, the wonder-worker, has fashioned them out of nervous matter only one degree less gross than the matter of the physical brain, but many degrees more subtle and dynamic. The play of energy, liberated by Thought, upon these pictures, sets them in motion, and their vibrations, communicated along the lines (or media) of nervous ether, causes the brain to receive their reflection. Anything which (a) inhibits physiological action; or (b) which heightens nervous action; or (c) which causes increased tension in the etheric field, such as, for example, (1) the creation of vortices or currents therein, whether by magnetic passes, music, sound or concentrated thought, and also (2) the control, by a magnetizer, of the mere physiological senses of any person or persons, would cause such voices, sounds, odors, forms or what not else, to be visible or to be made visible in the place where they exist, to wit, the aura or magnetic sphere of man, or in the nervous ether of the earth. The more evolved e1ementals - as well as consciously dark powers among men - and intelligences could also clothe these pictures, so existing, with grosser matter, thus causing these to become visible and for their own purposes. There is thus both (a) evocation and (b) automatic action tending to objectivization of these pictures. 
Consider these lines of The Voice of the Silence.
“Allow no image of the senses to get between its light and thine
The one sense is the sense of feeling. With eyes closed, ears stopped, we know the presence of one friend from another, all untouched by them. We have sensed the aura. The true Master may be truly known by the aura, read esoterically. The Companions know Him “by His lights.”
There is but one safe mode by which the disciple of at least seven years training (and it is usually far more) may know the Master. This means is by the seventh (esoteric) principle; it is the highest akasic differentiation. To sense it, or rather to have the apperception of it, you must have developed to some extent, at least, a rudiment of the same thing in yourself. The path leading to the Master is “that sense alone which lies concealed within the hollow of thy brain” (Voice of the Silence); to put it differently, the Master’s aura can only be “felt” in that hollow spot which is the “home of Mother Isis.” This purely spiritual quality must be, to some extent, developed in the seer before he can “feel” its like. There must be, in his own sphere, a conscious centre of similar akasic substance to receive and register (i.e., feel, or get the impression stamped upon it) this highest akasic vibration. This hidden centre, the Isis home, is made “white” by will; to this refer all the sentences in the Voice about cleansing the “mind body” and also paralyzing the lunar body; the lower vibrations of the nervous ether are checked and the akasa in the hidden spot of the skull held “white” or negative, plastic, by will-power. It is a matter involving a distinct knowledge of noetic action in a high grade of substance, and how to prevent the atoms, or monads, from throwing up those pictures which they hold, as already impressed upon them by the action of energy. This is the difference between the medium and the disciple. The one makes his nervous ether and brain stuff passive. The disciple rolls back all currents from the secret hollow and “whitens” (i.e., intensifies its tension) by a supreme effort of will-power. But this will-power must be intelligently directed and it must be fire-born.
Most of the forms of Masters seen are these mind-forms made temporarily visible by increased vibration, as that caused by a train, or by the etheric tension in an audience, or in many other ways. The Master might use these pictures as a vehicle to impress an idea to those seeing them; so, also, may the dark powers in Nature or among men. By “dark powers among men” I mean and include those persons who merely work for some end to which they are partial. Hence Masters by preference, in cases where there is no Adept-guru helping on the physical plane, prefer to speak “through the inner planes of being,” which are the soul and mind. But mere sentiment and religious gush are not within the Master Mind. 
As I understand the matter, the thought-body (mayavi-rupa) of a Master (which is himself) does not visit any but a highly trained disciple, unless an Adept be at hand to modify the great vibrations coming from this energic “body” for the unprepared (by long training) disciple. As in the case of H. P. B. when Colonel Olcott first saw the Master. Otherwise the energic volume and force would injure the physical and nervous body of the perceiver. The training extends over many years and even many lives. It differs in different races. Embryo students of less than seven years’ training in any one or several lives, and without the aforesaid “spiritual quality,” are unable to tell whether an appearance of a Master, or any of His manifestations, down to letters written by His order, are genuine or not genuine. Seven years are required for each new body, even by an Adept. Those who have evolved certain centres, and can cause them to “breathe” (i.e., intensify and vibrate) at will, at a spiritual rate far beyond any known to ordinary men - only such persons can “feel” the Master. And these persons will never be found to use terms of the senses to describe “The Presence,” even “feel” being a blind or substitute for “tremble” or “vibrate.” Nor will they endeavor to prove the spiritual Presence by terms of sense to the material mind. The Companions say fearlessly:
The spiritual is its own proof. Only to Consciousness can Consciousness be known.
A large proportion of men and women know what absolute, interior conviction is. To such, the first rudiment of the real Consciousness is known. It would be wise to trace it to its source in ourselves; a clue lies there.
Consider also that paragraph in The Secret Doctrine, where the seer is depicted as watching the first differentiation of a milky “spiritual substance.” The human process is an image or model of the world process.
“Just to thy wish the door of heaven is found open before thee, through this glorious unsought fight which only fortune’s favored soldiers may obtain.” - Bhagavad-Gita.
To understand, to a degree, some of the strange conflicts and contradictions on this earth, it is important to hold ever in the forefront of the mind the Theosophical doctrine of Duality in life - a Higher and Lower nature - a Spiritual Entity imprisoned in a material garb, manifesting in a material world. Between the two poles stands the Thinker, now spiritually polarized, anon, polarized along the angle of Matter. In most of us the mortal personality has more commerce with Matter than with Spirit, and hence, tends  to limit itself to material ends perceptible and manageable in Time.
But in its insistence upon the spiritual reality of the Higher Nature, plus its immortality, Theosophy stresses the fact that these limits of Time are an illusion of the temporal personality, which, until completely illumined by the Higher Self, is incapable of thinking or planning on the timeless scale of that Self.
The man in whom the Immortal Self has made itself a decisive factor in the life pattern, cannot help but be a rebel against life as the material personality would live it. Intuitively conscious of a timeless and limitless perspective natural to the Self, such a man experiences a Divine Discontent that must grow with expanding awareness of his true nature and destiny. His is the agony of a limitless potential hemmed in and frustrated by the limitations of the personal life.
Among a habitually submissive multitude there appears now and then the rebel genius, within whom burns a vision so intense that it defies this man-made darkness. A Homer, a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Blavatsky or a Gandhi, driven on by their inner vision, blaze new trails in art, in religion, in life. The deathless Self in such as these defies the limits of Time and all its conventions; it lords it over events and circumstances, making light of the treasured idols of the day, of the goals and rewards of mere material striving, creating its own “Happenings.” For the Soul there is but one ABSOLUTE by which and for which it lives. That Absolute is the one Reality, to which life is a pathway. To the eyes of the Spirit, we are all HERE, bound for an OTHERWHERE.
The true artist, playwright, poet, prophet, knows that the vision from within, so far as he can encompass it, is authentic, because it is a ray from Eternal Reality. Having caught that ray, none of these can accept confinement in a lesser perspective. The crowds who worship the latest vogue or creed may scoff at such vision; “Modernists” may charge that the wisdom of the past is “outdated”; but the spiritual thinker knows that the Ultimate Reality is unchangeable, authentic, beyond age.
When Theosophy names its philosophy the ancient Wisdom-Religion, it has reference to that Absolute Truth that ever was and ever will be. He who masters the esoteric secret of identifying his earthly nature wholly with that Truth, is on the path to unchanging Reality. He is on the way to offering up his inconstant personality of Time on the altar of the Absolute. “As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,” the Real Self reeks not of Yesterday, Today or Tomorrow, finding this NOW resplendent with the unfolding glory of THE ONE.
On this plane of vision, the “Happening” is an uninterrupted dawn of Awareness of ever-expanding potential for inner growth. Such an awareness alone can serenely face the meaningless inconstancies of material living. Out of the Soul alone can be woven the pattern of inevitable Unfoldment - a divine, uninterrupted “Happening.” But, for this to take place, Memnon must “rise and sit on his throne”; on the throne of the Eternal the disciple must “command his servant, the Sun.” So sublime is the ordained destiny of the wakening Spirit, that against its  majestic progress all events, circumstances and earthly “destinies” are but straws in the wind that indicate progress away from, or toward, the heart of timeless Illumination.
So, in this rebellion of a spiritual minority, what of that small nucleus of souls who admittedly accept and champion the quest of Spiritual values first? What of the stirrings of consciousness in those in whom the message of “Truth, Light and Liberation for discouraged Humanity,” first broadcast in our time by H. P. Blavatsky, has wakened vaster vision and more daring hopes? What position in life does the ancient Wisdom-Religion allot to them? Is it in any sense different from that of the great ones in their dissatisfaction with the spiritual status quo? By no means! Indeed, may it not be said that Theosophy attracted them in the first place by proclaiming this heroic vision as man’s ordained birthright? Is not the Theosophic life a pursuit of that vision through complete surrender to spiritual objectives before all else?
On casual reading, this may seem but a restatement of the teachings of orthodox religion, hence, in no sense novel or remarkable. But let him who so reads it take note that in the Theosophical pattern of thought, MAN is the chooser, the decider, the creator, independent of any outside creator, redeemer or judge. In declaring man to be basically an Immortal Spiritual Entity, Theosophy makes him lord of time and circumstances. It teaches him to place complete dependence upon the deathless, invincible Spiritual Self within, to cultivate a divine dissatisfaction with earthly circumstances, as they are, to the end that his own Spiritual Genius may discover the power to change them, beginning with the circumstances of his own life!
The more deeply these statements are analysed, the more impressed the analyst must become with their daring. His impression being justified, it follows that the patterns of living and thinking capable of translating these statements into actual fact must be limitless in time and in scope. It is no fanatical statement to say that Theosophy is a Life Formula for a Spiritual Genius. To make it bear fruit, it must exercise the obsession experienced by a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo or a Gandhi.
The one ray of light shed on the picture is Theosophy’s proven faith that there is, sleeping in every man, the spiritual potency to effect this change. Given an intelligent application of the Theosophical doctrines of Reincarnation, Karma, man’s Spiritual Potentialities, plus a working knowledge of Universal Brotherhood, and the release of the Spiritual Titan, Man, is foreseeable!
Possibly the neophyte’s sternest test is in the field of Relative and Absolute values. You and I, as normal human beings, are, of necessity, geared to the relative values of the world we live in. But on the Spiritual plane Absolute values obtain. This means that you and I, working in life’s basement, have to gain access to the Upper Floor, the Spiritual Plane, in Theosophical terminology, Buddhi-Manas. Here all our values change, and in order to function effectively in this new department, we have to begin thinking in Absolute values, a change such as that suggested in Shakespeare, when, from the care-free joviality of the Mermaid Tavern  he turns to contemplate man as a potential god:
“What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!” (Hamlet, Act II, sc. ii, 317.)
Theosophy, fearlessly proclaiming man’s immortality, gives his mortal mind leave to think beyond the events and circumstances of earthly time, impressing him with the truth that the Deathless Self in him has occupied many bodies in vast intervals of time past, and will occupy others in time to come.
This vital, heart-stirring reminder of far-flung aeons of unfolding destiny cannot but unveil new light on his Todays and Tomorrows. An Eternal Destiny bespeaks, for the Self that does not die, Absolute Values. He who is capable of embracing and applying a philosophy of such celestial dimensions, waits not for Time to unfold new destinies. Rather, it focuses the radiance of the Immortal Self upon the transient, delusive seasons of Time, illumining them with the flame of unwavering Spiritual endurance.
Is it logical or likely that any entity imbued with Eternal Life should bow the knee to events of the moment - make himself subject to them? Is it not more logical to see him in his moments of deepest meditation courageously drawing nigh to the Absolute? Will he not use his new-found freedom to penetrate Time’s flickering twilight and to invoke the Supreme Experience - a momentary glimpse of Truth Absolute, since to him is vouchsafed a touch of Spiritual Genius that dares all to attain all? Knowing that the Reality that permits this personal puppet a passing prominence is invincible before the whips and scorns of Time, the enlightened disciple confronts earth-life with the inevitability of its triumph. His goal in life? To mould events and circumstances to the limitless dimensions of the Absolute, thereby welding these passing hours into an unbroken splendor of Spiritual Fulfillment.
Such an one no more “waits for things to happen.” He perceives the slowly released glory of that Hidden Self to be the Supreme Happening - utterly fulfilling, of Absolute endurance. Man, the maker of his own destiny, moulds the vessels of Time upon his potter’s wheel. Into the vessels of his fashioning pours the Wine of Life.
As then the Tulip for her morning sup
So when that Angel of the darker Drink
It is being said every year by those prescribers of palliative thought that we are reaching some sort of a pinnacle in the spread of education and the diffusion of intelligence.
The word education comes from the Latin verb educare which means to lead out, to draw out or bring forth from the real soul of man the accumulation of the essence of his real capabilities and talents inherent within. In ancient times it was called the stamp or imprint of the soul. It is obvious then that the word education does not mean the putting in, from without, of all sorts of information and facts, for when this is done it becomes a matter of informing by the teacher, and of learning by memory on the part of the student.
It is the matter of the real meaning of this word education, as well as what should constitute the main objectives of all our modern educational systems, that is sadly lacking.
Let us examine briefly what is the practical result of the action of many of our educationalists and parents of today. Every child has driven into him from the cradle on, the spirit of rivalry and competition, until it is impossible to eradicate from his mind that his personal desires, his lower desires, and often his most animal desires are the end-all and be-all of life. It is here that we get the great source of after-misery, crime, and heartless selfishness.
We find ourselves presently embroiled in another war, the fourth such bloody conflict in the memory of all persons over 57 years of age, and the suffering and sorrow of which does not end at the moment of a cease-fire; we are waging a never-ending battle between medical science and the increase of debilitating health in this country; we are floundering in a sea of doubt and impotence as regards the sanctions of conduct, and are in many other ways in dire need of light and help as to the essential problem of how to live life.
Education is recognized as the crucial point of application for reforming influences, but we cannot build a strong society on an education concerned only with achieving the means of making oneself comfortable, and pushing one’s way amid strife and competition, and our present conditions prove this.
What should the real and practical objectives of our modern education be? They need to be all that will cultivate and develop the mind in the right direction; to teach all men to carry with fortitude their burden of life; to strengthen their will; to inculcate in them the love of one’s neighbor, and the feeling of mutual interdependence and brotherhood, and thus to train and form the character for practical life.
As pointed out by H. P. Blavatsky, “children should above all be taught self-reliance, love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves.” All subjects that depend solely on the mechanical work of the memory should be reduced to an absolute minimum. Each child should be dealt with as a unit, to educate it so as to produce the most harmonious  and equal unfoldment of its powers, in order that its special and individual aptitudes should find their full and natural development.
We should aim at developing free men and women; free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and most important, unselfish.
Education must include conduct, and in fact make it the first requisite. Subordination of selfish and personal desires is essential to the happiness of individuals and societies alike. This is a maxim of the Ancient Wisdom. Indulgence and asceticism are two wrong extremes, and though we have instincts and attractions which are necessary and conducive to welfare, they should be kept in their due place and proportion.
We must do what is possible to reestablish harmony out of discord, and we must do so every moment, and “the Moment is Now.” As we change men’s hearts, we change their thoughts. This is an object of life sufficient to last us for the rest of our days. And in this single object our individual and social duties meet, because the best way to promote harmony in our environment is to achieve it in ourselves, and we achieve it in ourselves only on condition of impersonally working for its achievement in society.
Such is the only true and solid basis of education.
(Talk given at Area Level Contest, for the Inglewood, Calif., Toastmistress Club.)
A HUMANIST CREDO
“We are not endeavoring to chain the future, but to free the present. We are not forging fetters for our children, but we are breaking those our fathers made for us.
“We are the advocates of inquiry, of investigation and thought. This of itself is an admission that we are not perfectly satisfied with our conclusions. Philosophy has not the egotism of faith. While superstitions build walls and create obstructions, science opens all the highways of thought. We do not pretend to have circumnavigated everything, or to have solved all difficulties, but we do believe that it is better to love men than to fear gods; that it is grander and nobler to think and investigate for yourself than to repeat a creed.
“We are satisfied that there can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven. We do not expect to accomplish everything in our day; but we want to do what good we can, and to render all the service possible in the holy cause of human progress.
“We know that doing away with gods and supernatural persons and powers is not an end. It is a mean, to an end, and that real end is the happiness of mankind.” - Robert Ingersoll. 
H. P. BLAVATSKY, TIBET and TULKU
A work of great depth, keen intuition
and intellectual scholarship, outlining the occult status of H.P.B. and
the psycho-spiritual methods of her work, especially in regard to her
Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras 20, India.
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