[Cover photo: Lake of Lucerne, near Brunnen, Switzerland. (Photo by Fred Wirz, Lucerne.)]
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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.
“In the present days of an Armageddon type, it is particularly needed that all philosophical, spiritual and cultural Societies should keep in close touch with each other. Now, when the whole world is shaking, as a result of the hatred of man to man, all those who consider themselves as belonging to the side of true Culture should be truly united. No opinions or personal considerations can possibly justify any destructive tendencies at separation. In all world-wide upheavals the first thing to suffer is Culture, and yet its very leaders and guides are only too often divided among themselves, owing to preconceived ideas and prejudiced views. - Nikolay Konstantinovich Roerich.
Give Life a chance.
Ever since the landing of the astronauts on the Moon, certain questions have come up repeatedly concerning the nature of our so-called satellite. One of them is in reference to the alleged fact that the Moon is a “dead” body. Do the ancient teachings regard the Moon as being “dead”?
This is not a question that can be answered by a simple “yes” or “no.” It all depends upon what is meant by the term “dead” in the mind of the querent. It is probable that this word means in most peoples’ minds the opposite of “living” - and this is a totally erroneous usage of both terms. The opposite of “death” is “birth”; the opposite of “dead” is “born.” Life, as a term, and as an idea, has no opposite. Life is universal and infinite; it is limitless and enduring; it is beginningless and endless. It manifests itself in innumerable forms, and may be thought of as alternating between two main phases of itself: the one which is dynamically active, constructive and productive of evolutionary growth; and the other which is recessive, quiescent, resting, indrawing and preparatory for another cycle of dynamic, outgoing strength. The former phase is usually visible and tangible, while the latter is more often than not invisible and intangible to our physical senses.
The dynamic phase of evolution on the Moon has ceased ages ago, and most of its vital energies, after a long period of inter-planetary quiescence and rest, have reappeared again in dynamic form in the evolution of our Earth, which is the present embodiment of the same Planetary Entity which once upon a time manifested itself as the Moon. The satellite that we see is but a corpse, a cosmic corpse, similar to the discarded remains of a human being who has finished one of his earthly embodiments and gone to his rest. But we must bear in mind that the human corpse manifests a highly intense chemical activity, by means of which it is finally disintegrated into less complex chemical combinations or elements which return to the general reservoirs of Nature whence they came in the first place. It would be illogical and unrealistic to imagine the human corpse as being “dead” in the sense of having no life in it. While a certain phase of life has been withdrawn at physical death, another phase of life is busier than ever, namely destroying the discarded vehicle, and helping it to return to Nature’s vast laboratory. As a matter of fact, it is the intensified activity and tension of the life-forces in the corpse which produce its temporary rigidity known as rigor mortis.
Similarly, the cosmic corpse of that former planet which we call the Moon - or at least a certain portion of that corpse - is teeming with a certain phase of vitality, the destructive aspect of the life-forces, and the products of this process, which is both chemical and especially psycho-magnetic, are absorbed by the Earth. Therein reside both constructive and destructive  results and the effects of this state of affairs are partly beneficent but extremely dangerous under certain conditions.
All physical appearances to the contrary, and apart from all scientific theories - which usually change more rapidly than the phases of the Moon - our so-called satellite is not “dead” and will continue to exist as a disintegrating body for a long time to come, until it is finally absorbed wholly and completely by the complex structure of the Earth, on the many different planes of this planet.
A further cause for misunderstanding on the above-mentioned subject is the error which seems to exist in some students’ minds that the Moon is what has been spoken of by H.P.B. and other Teachers as the “Planet of Death” or the “Eighth Sphere.” These terms do not refer to our Moon. They are used for an entirely different planetary body which is much more material than the Earth, and which cannot be perceived by our ordinary senses. It belongs to a Hierarchy lower than our own, and teachings concerning this cosmical body have never been given out publicly, except for certain hints of a general nature. It bears a close relation to the Earth, however, as well as to the Moon, but is wholly distinct from either. When the Seven Sacred Planets of the ancients have been spoken of, this very material body, not being one of them, has been called the “Eighth Sphere,” and this is the reason for this particular term. Many of the present-day theories and calculations of ordinary astrology in regard to the Moon, its nature and function, and its effect on the human entity, have been to a certain extent vitiated and confused, because strictly speaking the “Moon” has been used in ancient astrology as a substitute for the above-mentioned mystery-planet, just as the Sun has been used as a substitute for an intra-Mercurial planet which cannot be perceived by our physical senses either.
Needless difficulty and confusion seems to be encountered by some when the statement is made that the Moon which we see is not the physical globe of the Planet which was once upon a time our former home. The physical globe of the Moon-Planet has disintegrated ages ago; it has left an astral remnant of itself, its kamic portion or aspect, which is falling apart as the ages roll by. For the Moon-Planet that was, but is no more, this aspect of its structure was not physical, but astral. Our own embodiment as a Planet is one sub-plane higher ( one forty-ninth degree higher in the over-all Hierarchy); to our senses the astral aspects of the Moon-Planet that was are physical, or at least approximately so; hence it was perfectly logical to suppose (before actually doing so!) that it would be possible for us to “walk” on the Moon. It is a physical object as far as we are concerned. Whether it is of the same consistency throughout is another problem, and one that might have some surprises for our scientists.
Preliminary investigation of the lunar rocks brought back by the astronauts has shown them to be almost incredibly old. Their age has been estimated to be over four billion years. This to the scientists is a staggering surprise, most likely not the last one to be experienced. Their estimates of the age of the Solar System have no solid foundation of fact, but their estimates of the age of the Earth happen to be at present rather close to the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy in these respects. It is thought by science that the Earth is about four billion years old, maybe even somewhat older. As far as Occultism is concerned, the total length of the Earth’s span of life, namely, its seven Planetary Rounds, including the seven globes of the Planetary Chain, is 4,320,000,000 years. For once, students of Occultism and scientists are on common ground. But to find that the Moon is in that bracket of age is rather disconcerting to the man of science. What becomes now of the pet theories according to which the Moon we see was thrown off by the Earth in some distant past? And why should a celestial body, either as old as the Earth or possibly even older, perform gyrations around it and act as its “satellite”?
To the student of Occultism, the above-mentioned estimate comes as no surprise at all. The Moon must of necessity be older than the Earth, simply because it is a fragment from the overall structure of the Planet-Moon which once was our former home, and was therefore in that general locality of space before the Earth was formed. We are speaking now exclusively of the lowest or physical globe of the Lunar Planetary Chain that was and is no more, and of the quasi-astral (but to us physical) remnant of that globe.
Apart from the many elaborate chemical and physical tests to which the most expensive rocks ever to reach our laboratories will be subjected to (it took something like 24 billion dollars to fetch them!), we venture to suggest another line of analysis. It would be a somewhat novel line of research, which, nevertheless, might prove to be quite rewarding. We suggest that some of these rocks be carefully analysed by a genuine psychometer of established repute. Such are relatively rare, but they do exist and can be secured for the experiment. We recommend very earnestly to anyone who may read these lines to attempt to get in touch with a reputable and open-minded scientist whose word may count for something, and to lay before him the nature and rationale of this type of experiment, and the vast possibilities which it may disclose.
The psychometric faculty exists in all human beings potentially, but is developed to a smaller or larger degree in a few. While being one of the many psychic powers latent in the individual, it is one that is quite safe and which presents none of the dangers and risks which are inherent in other lines of psychic research. H.P.B. has spoken of it repeatedly and definitely suggested to students to develop it and utilize it for good and beneficent purposes. The manifestation of this faculty proves that every occurrence in nature, no matter how minute or unimportant, leaves its indelible impress upon physical nature, in addition to being recorded in the Astral Light. The psychometer, by applying a fragment of a substance to his forehead, brings his inner self into relation with the psycho-spiritual magnetism of the object he is  handling. Examining the object, he is brought into contact with the current in the Astral Light connected with this object, and which retains pictures of the events associated with its history. It is of course self-evident that the result of this line of research will depend upon the degree of sensitivity of the psycho meter, the harmonious conditions of the surrounding in which he works, as well as the absence of soul-crushing negation or ignorant disbelief on the part of those sponsoring the experiments. Thoughts are things, and present-day science has gone beyond the era in which this was denied or ignored, otherwise no experiments would be conducted at present in several countries along lines of telepathic communications or attempts to move simple pieces of machinery by concentrated and amplified brain-waves. Psychometry is but once removed from such experiments.
While the science of psychometry is extremely ancient, its modern rediscovery is due to the work of Dr. Joseph Rodes Buchanan (1814-99), American physician and writer. He was an infant prodigy who was versed in Geometry and Astronomy at the age of six and began the study of law at twelve. During his extensive medical career he wrote a number of works, among which was one entitled Manual of Psychometry, which he published himself in Boston in 1885. According to H.P.B.’s own statement, she and Dr. Buchanan were friends for some thirty years, and it is evident from the writings of both of them that there existed between them, and between Dr. Buchanan and Col. Olcott, a strong tie of friendship and esteem. Mrs. Buchanan was also a gifted psychometer.
One of the most interesting works about psychometric investigations is the volume entitled The Soul of Things, or, Psychometric Researches and Discoveries, by William Denton (1823·83) and his wife (a remarkable psychometer) Elizabeth M. Foote Denton. The 1st edition of this work came out in 1863, while later editions were published in 1866, 1873 and 1881-84. In this work, where innumerable instances of verified psychometry are brought together, the writers express their belief that this human faculty will be used in later years both along geological and astronomical lines, and that even “trained psychometers will be able to travel [in their consciousness] from planet to planet, and read their present condition minutely, and their past history.”
(What curious disclosures may come our way by psychometrizing Moon rocks! ... Shall we be told that at one time the Moon civilization that was sent its troublesome warmongers, militant rightists, demagogues and other incurables, to colonize the planet Earth then in process of formation? ...)
Seriously, however, we would expect some most interesting descriptions on the part of a genuine psychometer of conditions prevailing on our so-called satellite in ages past, if and when the rocks and powdered black material gathered on it are subjected to his inner vision. The experiment would be well worth trying, and the possibility of so doing should be brought to the attention of competent men in our scientific circles of whatever country they may be. 
A word of warning may be timely also. The Moon that we see, and on the surface of which we have now walked, is a disintegrating cosmic body. It is animated mainly by the destructive and disintegrating aspect of elemental life-forces, and its magnetism is of a nature which is dangerous and deleterious to man. The effects of this magnetism are both physical and psychological, and both are yet almost totally unknown to modern science, though suspected by some scientists. Successful physical contacts with the surface of the Moon are no guarantee that such a contact is harmless, and no “decontamination” or “quarantine” - along established physical methods - would have the slightest bearing upon the psycho-magnetic effects produced. The Moon, as a fragment of a former planetary body, is situated within the astral sphere - technically, the linga-sarira - of our Earth-globe, which extends considerably beyond the Moon that we see. It would be easy mistakenly to imagine that because the gravitational pull of the Earth becomes relatively diminished at a certain point of the journey Moonward, and the gravitational pull of the Moon begins strongly to assert itself, therefore the astronauts find themselves outside of the Earth’s sphere. They do not. Physical gravitational energies (regarding the nature of which no definite knowledge exists as yet among scientists) are not a measure of psycho-magnetic energies, nor are they co-extensive with the latter. The Moon-satellite floats within the astral sphere of the Earth-globe, and has been named by some Occultists the “Dweller on the Threshold” of the Earth. This term and the idea back of it hides many mysteries of Occultism which are not easily explained. The fact that the Moon reflects (a very inadequate term!) a certain amount of sunlight to earth redeems to some extent its negative qualities and is intimately connected with its quasi-beneficent physiological effects and influences upon vegetative processes on the surface of the Earth; but this fact does not detract from the Moon’s essentially negative magnetic qualities which should receive a much closer study by our present-day scientists than seems to have been the case so far.
As the subject of the Moon, and of other planetary bodies of our Solar System will be prominent in the news for some time to come, we intend to discuss other aspects of this general theme in future issues.
“Now of the deaths we die, the one makes man two out of three, and the other, one out of two. The former is in the region and jurisdiction of Ceres, whence the name given to the Mysteries, telein, resembling that given to death, teleutan ... As for the other death it is in the moon or region of Proserpine ... The soul, although it be separated both from the understanding and the body, retains still its figure for a time. And of these souls the moon is the element, because souls resolve into her, as the bodies of the deceased do into earth.” - Plutarch, On the Face in the Orb of the Moon, §§ 28, 30. 
[As appears from the few introductory
words signed by Master K.H., the document published below presents
the views of the Chohan or Chief whom, we understand, to be a very
high Initiate and the Superior to both Master K.H. and Master M. The
original of this Letter from Master K.H. addressed to A. P. Sinnett,
and embodying these views, is not known to exist; only two or three
manuscript copies of it have been located, and a few brief excerpts
from it have appeared in print, quoted both by H.P.B. and by W. Q.
Judge. From the actual wording this Letter appears to have been written
in 1881. The Chohan or Chief has also been spoken of as the Maha-Chohan
and, in the words of H.P.B. herself, “the Paraguru
- my Master’s Master.”
An abridged version of the view of the Chohan on the T.S. from his own words as given last night. My own letter, the answer to yours, will shortly follow. - K.H.
The doctrine we promulgate being the only true one, must, supported by such evidence as we are preparing to give become ultimately triumphant as every other truth. Yet it is absolutely necessary to inculcate it gradually, enforcing its theories, unimpeachable facts for those who know, with direct inferences deduced from and corroborated by the evidence furnished by modern exact science. That is the reason why Colonel H. S. O., who works but to revive Buddhism, may be regarded as one who labours in the true path of theosophy, far more than any other man who chooses as his goal the gratification of his own ardent aspirations for occult knowledge. Buddhism, stripped of its superstitions, is eternal truth, and he who strives for the latter is striving for Theos-Sophia, Divine Wisdom, which is a synonym of truth.
For our doctrines to practically react on the so-called moral code, or the ideas of truthfulness, purity, self-denial, charity, etc., we have to popularise a knowledge of theosophy. It is not the individual and determined purpose of attaining oneself Nirvana (the culmination of all knowledge and absolute wisdom) which is after all only an exalted and glorious selfishness - but the self-sacrificing pursuit of the best means to lead on the right path our neighbour, to cause as many of our fellow·creatures as we possibly can to benefit by it, which constitutes the true theosophist.
The intellectual portions of mankind·seem to be fast drifting into two classes, the one unconsciously preparing for itself long periods of temporary annihilation or states of non-consciousness, owing to the deliberate surrender  of their intellect, its imprisonment in the narrow grooves of bigotry and superstition, a process which cannot fail to lead to the utter deformation of the intellectual principle; the other unrestrainedly indulging its animal propensities with the deliberate intention of submitting to annihilation pure and simple in case of failure, to millenniums of degradation after physical dissolution. Those “intellectual classes,” reacting upon the ignorant masses which they attract and which look up to them as noble and fit examples to follow, degrade and morally ruin those they ought to protect and guide. Between degrading superstition and still more degrading brutal materialism, the white dove of truth has hardly room where to rest her weary unwelcome foot.
It is time that theosophy should enter the arena; the sons of theosophists are more likely to become in their turn theosophists than anything else. No messenger of truth, no prophet has ever achieved during his lifetime a complete triumph, not even Buddha. The Theosophical Society was chosen as the cornerstone, the foundation of the future religions of humanity. To achieve the proposed object, a greater, wiser, and especially a more benevolent inter-mingling of the high and the low, of the Alpha and the Omega of society, was determined upon. The white race must be the first to stretch out the hand of fellowship to the dark nations, to call the poor despised “nigger” brother. This prospect may not smile to all, but he is no Theosophist who objects to this principle.
In view of the ever-increasing triumph and at the same time misuse of free-thought and liberty (the universal reign of Satan, Eliphas Levi would have called it), how is the combative natural instinct of man to be restrained from inflicting hitherto unheard-of cruelty and enormities, tyranny, injustice, etc., if not through the soothing influence of a brotherhood, and of the practical application of Buddha’s esoteric doctrines?
For as everyone knows, total emancipation from authority of the one all-pervading power or law called God by the priests - Buddha, Divine Wisdom and enlightenment of Theosophy, by the philosophers of all ages - means also the emancipation from that of human law. Once unfettered and delivered from their dead-weight of dogmatic interpretations, personal names, anthropomorphic conceptions and salaried priests, the fundamental doctrines of all religions will be proved identical in their esoteric meaning. Osiris, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, will be shown as different names for one and the same royal highway to final bliss Nirvana.
Mystical Christianity, that is to say that Christianity which teaches self-redemption through our own seventh principle - this liberated Para-Atma (Augoeides) called by some Christ, by others Buddha, and equivalent to regeneration or rebirth in spirit - will be found just the same truth as the Nirvana of Buddhism. All of us have to get rid of our own Ego, the illusory apparent self, to recognize our true self in a transcendental divine life. But if we would not be selfish, we must strive to make other people see that truth, to recognize the reality of that transcendental self, the Buddha, the Christ or  God of every preacher. This is why even exoteric Buddhism is the surest path to lead men towards the one esoteric truth.
As we find the world now, whether Christian, Mussalman or Pagan, justice is disregarded and honour and mercy both flung to the winds. In a word, how, seeing that the main objects of the T.S. are misinterpreted by those who are most willing to serve us personally, are we to deal with the rest of mankind, with the curse known as the “struggle for life,” which is the real and most prolific parent of most woes and sorrows and all crimes? Why has that struggle become the almost universal scheme of the universe? We answer, because no religion, with the exception of Buddhism, has hitherto taught a practical contempt for this earthly life, while each of them, always with that one solitary exception, has through its hells and damnations inculcated the greatest dread of death. Therefore do we find that struggle for life raging most fiercely in Christian countries, most prevalent in Europe and America . It weakens in the Pagan lands, and is nearly unknown among Buddhist populations. (In China during famine and where the masses are most ignorant of their own or any religion, it was remarked that those mothers who devoured their children belonged to localities where there were the most Christian missionaries to be found; where there were none, and the Bonzes alone had the field, the population died with the utmost indifference). Teach the people to see that life on this earth even the happiest is but a burden and an illusion, that it is but our own karma, the cause producing the effect, that is our own judge, our saviour in future lives, and the great struggle for life will soon lose its intensity. There are no penitentiaries in Buddhist lands, and crime is nearly unknown among the Buddhist Thibetans. (The above is not addressed to you, i.e., A.P.S., and has naught to do with the work of the Simla Eclectic Society. It is meant only as an answer to the erroneous impression in Mr. Hume’s mind of the “ Ceylon work” as no theosophy).
The world in general, and Christendom especially, left for two thousand years to the regime of a personal God, as well as its political and social systems based on that idea, has now proved a failure. If the Theosophists say: “We have nothing to do with all this; the lower classes and the inferior races (those of India for instance, in the conception of the British) cannot concern us and must manage as they can”, what becomes of our fine professions of benevolence, philanthropy, reform, etc? Are these professions a mockery? And if a mockery, can ours be the true path? Shall we devote ourselves to teaching a few Europeans, fed on the fat of the land, many of them loaded with the gifts of blind fortune, the rationale of bell-ringing, cup-growing, of the spiritual telephone and astral body formations, and leave the teeming millions of the ignorant, of the poor and despised, the lowly and the oppressed, to take care of themselves and of their hereafter as best they know how? Never. Rather perish the T.S. with both its hapless founders than that we should permit it to become no better than an academy of magic, a hall of occultism. That we the devoted followers of that spirit incarnate of absolute self-sacrifice, of philanthropy, divine kindness, as of all the highest virtues  attainable on this earth of sorrow, the man of men, Gautama Buddha, should ever allow the T.S. to represent the embodiment of selfishness, the refuge of the few with no thought in them for the many, is a strange idea, my brothers.
Among the few glimpses obtained by Europeans of Thibet and its mystical hierarchy of “perfect Lamas,” there is one which was correctly understood and described. “The incarnations of the Bodhisattva, Padma Pani, or Avalokitesvara and of Tsong-kha-pa and that of Amitabha, relinquished at their death the attainment of Buddhahood - i.e., the summum bonum of bliss and of individual personal felicity - that they might be born again and again for the benefit of mankind” (R.D.)* (* Dr. T. W. Rhys Davids (1843-1922), Pioneer Pali scholar who learned this language from the Ven. Sumangala Thera. Founded in 1881 the Pali Text Society in London, and gave the rest of his life to it.) In other words, that they might be again and again subjected to misery, imprisonment in flesh, and all the sorrows of life, provided that by such a self-sacrifice, repeated throughout long and dreary centuries, they might become the means of securing salvation and bliss in the hereafter for a handful of men chosen among but one of the many races of mankind. And it is we, the humble disciples of these perfect Lamas, who are expected to allow the T.S. to drop its noble title, that of Brotherhood of Humanity, to become a simple school of psychology. No, no, good brothers, you have been labouring under the mistake too long already. Let us understand each other. He who does not feel competent enough to grasp the noble idea sufficiently to work for it, need not undertake a task too heavy for him. But there is hardly a Theosophist in the whole Society unable to effectually help it by correcting the erroneous impressions of the outsiders, if not by actually propagating himself this idea. Oh, for the noble and unselfish man to help us effectually in India in that divine task. All our knowledge, past and present, would not be sufficient to repay him.
Having explained our views and aspirations, I have but a few words more to add. To be true, religion and philosophy must offer the solution of every problem. That the world is in such a bad condition morally is a conclusive evidence that none of its religions and philosophies, those of the civilised races less than any other, have ever possessed the truth. The right and logical explanations on the subject of the problems of the great dual principles - right and wrong, good an devil, liberty and despotism, pain and pleasure, egotism and altruism-are as impossible to them now as they were 1881 years ago. They are as far from the solution as they ever were; but to these there must be somewhere a consistent solution, and if our doctrines prove their competence to offer it, then the world will be quick to confess that must be the true philosophy, the true religion, the true light, which gives truth and nothing but the truth. 
Theosophy justifies a genuinely heroic approach to life. Approached by way of the ancient Wisdom-Religion, it disdains any evaluation incidental, personal or parochial. With its doctrine of Reincarnation, allowing for countless births in countless physical vehicles; with its doctrine of Devachan, offering enormous time periods for repose and ingestion of experience between earth-lives; with its insistence upon Universal Consciousness, manifesting on many planes of existence; and, most of all, with its affirmation of man’s appropriate spirituality, as a denizen of a Spiritual Universe - it reveals a truly heroic framework for earthly existence, at once timeless and limitless in potential.
The aspirant’s first obligation is to remind himself daily and hourly of the veritably sublime proportions of this mise en scene, and to compel himself to think and live in a pattern of comparable proportions. Because these proportions are dictated by his basic immortality, as a spiritual entity, the Theosophist cannot, under any circumstances, escape his heroic role. In the sphere of Matter, Spirit is the ordained Victor; to contemplate a destiny less than this is to be guilty of seriously mistaken identity. For this guardian of the Tabernacle of the Spirit, that earthly existence may know limitless lustre and potential, it must be viewed from the high peaks of Divinity.
However, taking into consideration the limitations of time and matter, with which each earthly incarnation hems man in, it is to be anticipated that no more than a small minority will make of themselves recognizable realizations of this heroic pattern. Yet, the least of these, implanting thought and aspiration in this doctrine of Divinity, must refuse to view the life around him as the meaningless season of frustration it appears to be. If he be so in earnest as to place Truth first, and self last, he will inevitably invite those experiences and circumstances that have power to lift the spirit up, and clarify his vision of Universal Brotherhood. In the words of the Welsh poet, Kenneth Morris:
And what hinders our hearts from their beating
It may help the disciple keep the Commonplace at bay, to contemplate the incalculable antiquity of this habit of “living” - all those cycles of time in which an unembodied SELF knew naught of sin or matter; of those equally unnumbered ages in which this physical vehicle waxed in density while the authority of Spiritual Dominance waned; the many “Yugas” through which the Spirit descended, again and  again, into earthly gloom, whilst eternally the Lords of Fulfillment, watched, like bright stars in the heavens of Eternal Reality, this drama of delusion unfold here on earth. So brief, so relatively insignificant are these moments of earth-blindness compared with the Spirit’s aeons of heavenly repose and re-invigoration, that one wonders how these earth-spells came by such a heady dominance. Wherefore, the dedicated disciple must heed ever more devoutly the ultimate meanings of these dark nights of the soul. Daring to affirm, repeatedly, his celestial origin, he must demand of these dimmed memories of lost transcendence that they flame into splendor mid earth’s darkness, rendering the doctrine of Spiritual Dominion unanswerable, here and now.
Not one of us but is of the Knights of the Grail, did he but insist upon his age-old knight errantry. Why, else, did he espouse Theosophy, but that it alone invited a conscious renewal of old vows and the fellowship of ordained Knighthood? Today (an unfortunate indiscretion!), is so desperately in need of a justification of a sublime Yesterday and a triumphant Tomorrow, that it ill becomes us, through our own puerility, to regard this moment in time as actually lacking any heredity worth mentioning! However drab and down-at-heel in appearance, shall we not instill into it some grace of bearing, some dignity of demeanor? Small chance is there of borrowing these from the hoi polloi of 1969!
This deeply buried spiritual gentility must be reborn of a flaming awareness, on the part of a few, at least, of the magnificence of that drama they are chosen to carry forward here today. “Progress” - of sorts - is one of the universal slogans of our time. The will is here; only the direction is uncertain. Cannot a spiritual verve and direction be breathed into this slogan by a few fearless souls with a clear knowledge of what has been and what is to be, once the sleeping Knight of the Spirit is wakened and called to arms?
No casual, condescending regard of his universe is permitted to the Theosophist. As the Spirit’s Garden of Eden, it must achieve a vivid beauty in his consciousness. Who shall venture to insist that that biblical “Garden” is not a grossly materialized memory of man’s own Spiritual Dawn, when he knew not sin - when BEAUTY was the heart-beat of Truth, of Spiritual Awareness? Be that as it may, by cyclic law, man’s path today winds upward, out of Kali-Yuga, Eden-ward, toward those forgotten Elysia he once roamed. The ancient Wisdom-Religion is here before us, reminding us of what has been and what must be again. Taking sternly in hand that “great slayer of the Real,” shall we not guide this erring mind into the pathway of heavenly remembrance, that shall aid in restoring a faded Chivalry of the Spirit, a forgotten Knighthood of the Soul? This Wisdom reaffirms eternally that Reality that knows not death; it is doing its utmost to hammer into our corroded consciousness an awareness of our identity with that Reality that shall impart a heroic majesty to this time-worn, creed-cursed habit of earthly living. The Glory is about us; but until we open the portals of the mind to something nobler than mere earthly rationalizing, awareness of it must remain hard to come by. Daring is  demanded to keep Truth in view, however dense the fog of Illusion.
What each of us is in search of is an ancient, undying Reality, not some delightful fairyland of the imagination. It is this ugly unreality of doubt and self-gratification that must be erased, that the tablets of the mind may be made clean for a more heavenly inscription. That cleansing is the purpose of self-disciplined living, self-disciplined thinking, with an unfettered yearning towards Truth, set free. Earth, time, circumstances - all these must become powerless to rob man of his freedom to THINK. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Which shall we choose? To reflect the shabby, thread-bare illusions of countless generations, or to think creatively in terms of a limitless spiritual potential, that is the only REALITY we possess?
Do we not owe it, not merely to ourselves, but also to our universe, to justly evaluate its sublime proportions and destiny? That drama the Ancient Wisdom had made rewardingly familiar to us, is, to millions of our fellow men, a terrifyingly unfamiliar catastrophe. It is one thing to confront earth’s many shocks, disillusionments and heartaches with a Karmic elucidation ready to hand, from which to find the key to the drama. It is something infinitely more heart-rending to undergo those tragedies blindly, without guide or guardian. It is for the sake of those millions overwhelmed by an incomprehensible, unendurable anguish - Karma as a blind, relentless enigma - that we must give our lives - understandingly, compassionately. Countless overwhelming dramas we are entirely unaware of are breaking the hearts and will of millions of our fellows. It is for their sake that we repeat the admonition: “To live to benefit mankind is the first step.” The smallest offering we can make is a living revelation of this Heroic Drama we call LIFE, heroically, compassionately, rewardingly enacted: The ANCIENT WISDOM become the MODERN REDEEMER!
It may be a small house with few windows and doors. It may be too open, too ready and anxious for a passing footstep or would-be intruder. It may be dull and suspicious or contriving. The house of a thousand secrets is the human heart. That house, which thought by thought and deed by deed we daily build, can expand as large as the great Universe itself, or contract until its dweller lives fearfully and painfully isolated from its surroundings.
Arouse now the image of the True Heart. Envision it as a temple, sturdy-pillared to shelter all. Open it is, to gentle passing breezes and brisker gusts as well. Lest too strong a gale snatch the altar fire, or dim its fire for others yet to come, its inner Guardian is ever aware, neither trusting, nor condemning upon appearances. The  steps of our temple must be mounted first, before its worth be taken. Yet its very height must pronounce the access of a ready hand to aid the way-worn traveller; its light remain a steady beam to dishearten none approaching.
To listen, yet not to lean. To comprehend, but not conclude. To enrich the understanding, but delay council until asked. The remain worthy of the trust of secrets shared but not passed on. What Delphic oracles all might be with lofty aims as these! Loftier than all could be the kingly silence inviting each to rekindle his flame before passing on to higher hills.
How did a Dickens glean the human heart? Or a Shakespeare? Can one imagine that without his early strife, his dismay at his father’s shameless flamboyancy (while yet in debtors prison), Dickens could have risen to such tender patience for the weak, the wayward, the inconsistent? How many of the thousand secrets must a Shakespeare know? And where but from many lives on earth, from dusty tramp to noble knight, can one gain that peerless vision which severs mercy from disdain? The cord of self-hood must be snapped before the pure diamond within maintain its steady lustre.
Long remains that lustre, once civilization has risen to such luminosity, the dust of counties ruins moving with the world. A German poet, Rudolf Binding, once stated:
“The sensation of light is the most penetrating, most lasting sensation one can experience in Greece . Without this light neither Greece , nor her art, nor her Gods, nor her people would have been possible. Only in such an atmosphere could they have existed. It is not so much light as an infinite transparency. Not many can say what its colour is, nor can it be described in words. It is the very art which these stones breathe. It does not blind, it does not beautify. It is all purity, all precision. It hates secrecy, and in its brightness Greece lies fair and smiling before us.” (Quoted in The Acropolis, p. 8, by a German archeologist, Gerhart Hodenwaldt.)
Should he have shared our philosophy, would the poet not say it is because of her Gods, her art and her people, that this light pervaded her isles even to this day? In these notes on The Acropolis is also found a tribute to the Parthenon as a “symphony of light” to which the archeologist adds:
“Like all Greek temples, the Parthenon is built entirely of freestone blocks. No mortar is used, and no rubble to fill gaps. No stone has an unexpected and unusual shape accidentally received in course of construction ... The whole building is a symphony, in which each note, exactly calculated beforehand, adds to the harmony of the whole.”
Would that the order of the human heart could deserve a form so rare. Amidst all the rubble of our daily entangled emotions and misconceptions, where can we begin to build? A heartening foundation stone might be these simple words of the master thinker Plato:
THE UNIVERSE IS HARMONIZED BY A PROPORTION WHICH GIVES IT THE SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP. 
JUST OFF THE PRESS!
Special mention should be made
of the following essays: Reincarnation in Tibet. - Masons and Jesuits.
- Is Belief in Omens a Superstition? - What is Matter and What is Force?
- Is Suicide a Crime? - Whence the name “Lunatic”? - Zoroastrianism
in the Light of Occult Philosophy. - The Septenary Principle in Esotericism.
- Chelas and Lay Chelas.
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