[Cover photo: The lake of Barm and the
summits of the Worner and the Tiefkar, Germany.
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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.
“There are, scattered throughout the world, a handful of thoughtful and solitary students, who pass their lives in obscurity, far from the rumors of the world, studying the great problems of the physical and spiritual universes. They have their secret records in which are preserved the fruits of the scholastic labors of the long line of recluses whose successors they are. The knowledge of their early ancestors, the sages of India, Babylonia, Nineveh, and the imperial Thebes; the legends and traditions commented upon by the masters of Solon, Pythagoras, and Plato, in the marble halls of Heliopolis and Sais; traditions which, in their days, already seemed to hardly glimmer from behind the foggy curtain of the past - all this, and much more, is recorded on indestructible parchment, and passed with jealous care from one adept to another. These men believe the story of the Atlantis to be no fable, but maintain that at different epochs of the past huge islands, and even continents, existed where now there is but a wild waste of waters. In those submerged temples and libraries the archaeologist would find, could he but explore them, the materials for filling all the gaps that now exist in what we imagine is history ...” - H. P. B1avatsky, Isis Unveiled (1877), Vol. I, pp. 557-58.
“To see and appreciate the difference - the immense gulf that separates terrestrial matter from the finer grades of super-sensuous matter - every astronomer, every chemist and phyisicist ought to be a psychometer, to say the least; he ought to be able to sense for himself that difference in which he now refuses to believe.” - H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (1888), Vol. I, p. 211 footnote.
The essential nature of the Theosophical Movement is its Universality.
The teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy have come down to us from immemorial antiquity and belong to the ages.
It is therefore of primary importance that we, as students of these teachings and active workers of the Movement, should dwell upon universal ideas, and project them against vast and ever-enlarging horizons, embracing mankind the world over in its forward march towards a greater life.
We must therefore train ourselves to direct our vision into the future and learn to think in centuries.
The objectives of this Movement, the purposes for which it has been established, its ideals and its goals, are not a matter of a few fleeting years, nor can they be realized in terms of our short human lives, because they are intended to span millenniums, to give rise to subsidiary spiritual movements, and to preside in time over the inception and growth of new civilizations based upon the recognition of the Unity of Life and its Cosmic origin.
Whatever can be achieved today, tomorrow or in a few years from now, is but one or another phase of a preparatory period during which seeds are being scattered, broadcast by earnest workers, and the soil prepared for future harvests by generations yet unborn. For it is in the present - which is the past manifest - that is concealed the future, to be revealed in due time, after the revolution of many ages.
In the light of these larger objectives and more distant goals, the confused state prevailing at the present moment within the organized Theosophical Movement should not be allowed to affect the student adversely, or to be the cause for discouragement. Other manifestations of our Movement in past historical eras have suffered likewise, yet their fundamental message was delivered, their main purposes realized, their keynote sounded.
Differences of views, variety of interpretation of the basic teachings, and a certain amount of uncertainty in regard to their implications, while being, no doubt, the result of our ignorance and our limitations, are of a passing nature and are of no permanent concern. And this for the simple reason that whatever is false in them - and there is a great deal of that - will not endure the passage of time, will not stand against the touchstone of truth, and will eventually disappear into the limbo of the past, while the essential message, the basic propositions of the ageless Movement, will survive any change of times and secure a deeper and more firm hold upon human consciousness, as it expands towards a greater discrimination and a clearer insight.
We toil for a distant future yet unborn, and therefore must think in centuries.
The real growth of this Movement, its worldwide expansion, and the flowering of its innate strength, belongs to future days. We will continue to be part of it in future lives, and will  resume our present task which is but a day’s work in the overall picture of limitless horizons where is our real home. The present day is but an ephemera, a fleeting appearance upon the mystic screen, and will take its rightful place in the endless sequence of events.
Whatever success we may be proud of today is but the prelude to far greater achievements in coming years and centuries, when time will have unrolled new vistas, new horizons and new and grander thoughts. It is to the unveiling of these greater horizons that we work. Our aim is high and our goal distant. The seeds which are sown today, the foundations which are laid at present, will tell their story in the future, more or less distant. Our task prepares the ground, fertilizes the soil of human consciousness, and prepares the blueprint for a nobler civilization to come. When its outlines will have revealed themselves upon a distant horizon, great changes will have taken place upon the human scene. The organized savagery called war will have been stopped; the exploitation of the weak by those who are financially strong will have been eliminated. Race superiority and pride will have been transmuted into brotherhood. The power of money will have been transcended and replaced by a worldwide co-operative endeavor, in which the combined skill of the people will be directed towards new objectives which at present are but dimly perceived. The constructive efforts of all nations will be towards peace, good will and mutual assistance, making unproductive armies and the manufacture of armaments a nightmare of the sordid past. Polities will have been recognized for the pest that it is, and gradually eliminated, replaced by a World Parliament selected from the ablest men and women of all countries, which means those with the finest spiritual and intellectual stamina, selected to be the Trustees of the people, and responsible to them and to their own conscience for what they do. In those days separate religious schools will have been outgrown. The centuries-old farce of Churchianity, with all its inherent and colateral evils, will have been wiped away, replaced, together with other organized religious bodies, by a universal philosophy of the spirit, based upon those ancient and enduring truths which we today are patiently sowing in the fertile soil of human minds, to be some day matured.
Distant though this dream may be, it is worth dreaming! ... It is therefore our bounden duty to bend our efforts towards its realization, even towards its partial emergence out of the mists of the far-off horizon, so that coming generations of students and workers in our spiritual field will be encouraged and heartened, as they bend their own efforts in the same direction, and step, we hope and trust, upon our own shoulders, to reach higher and farther towards the noble goal.
Let us never lose sight of the fact that the Theosophical Movement is a universal movement, that it is akin to the Sun in its essential nature, and that its teachings are destined sooner or later to become the living philosophy of the human race as a whole.
As another year opens upon the stage of human life, let us face the mystic East and watch the Sun come up with healing in its wings! 
Cycles-Exoteric and Esoteric
You ask about cycles and their over-lapping. A difficult subject, and students have, naturally, varying view-points when it comes to exactness. In fact I am not sure whether, in our uninitiated state, we can arrive at anything like exactness; yet in the writings of H.P.B. and G. de P. we find some hints and very definite statements which we would do well to ponder. I have three references for you.
H.P.B. writes in “The Esoteric Character of the Gospels” [Collected Writings, Vol. VIII, p. 174 fn.]:
“There are several remarkable cycles that come to a close at the end of this century. First, the 5,000 years of the Kaliyuga cycle; again the Messianic cycle of the Samaritan (also Kabalistic) Jews of the man connected with Pisces ( Ichthys or ‘Fishman’ Dag). It is a cycle, historic and not very long, but very occult, lasting about 2,155 solars years, but having a true significance only when computed by lunar months. It occurred 2410 and 255 B.C. or when the equinox entered into the sign of the Ram, and again into that of Pisces. When it enters, in a few years, the sign of Aquarius, psychologists will have some extra work to do, and the psychic idiosyncrasies of humanity will enter on a great change.”
This extract is contained in a footnote of the first article of a series of three which originally appeared in the issues of H.P.B.’s Lucifer for November and December, 1887, and January 1888. Today, eighty or so years later, we can see quite obviously the great psychic change everywhere, a signpost that we are definitely within the orbit of the new Aquarian cycle.
G. de P. in “Esoteric Hints on Cycles,” which was first published in The Theosophical Forum, September, 1942, and later in his posthumous work Studies in Occult Philosophy, writes:
“So intricate is what I have to say that I hesitate, and yet will do my best. Intricate because of the manifold ramifications into which Nature herself runs or is divided; although her heart is simple, and the rules upon which these very ancient calculations are based are likewise simple …
“Here is the key which I will now give you … The secret numbers of these Hindu Yugas, which have puzzled the brains especially of so many mathematical Theosophists, lie in a combination of the year of Saturn and the year of Jupiter expressed in Earth-years. There is your key …
“The year of Jupiter expressed in Earth-years is approximately 12, i.e., 12 of our years make one year of the planet Jupiter. The Saturn-year expressed in Earth-years, or our years, is approximately 30. There are your two key-numbers: 12 and 30. Multiply these by each other, you have 360. 30 x 12 = 360.”
The third reference consists of notes by C. J. Ryan (of the former Theosophical University at Point Loma) made at Point Loma after a meeting in the Temple on May 11, 1941, the great Syzygy Day, when the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Uranus,  Saturn and Jupiter were in a line with the Sun. G. de P. told us then that that particular “moment” marked the end of one and the beginning of another cycle. He had the usher throw open the doors of the Temple , which as you will recall opened on the West (it was still early evening), and there we could see some of the planets blazing with dazzling light. After a moment’s silence he had the doors closed. As far as I know, he never talked further in explanation of this “moment” in time.
These are G. de P.’s words taken down as accurately as possible by Professor Ryan:
“Today is gravid with destiny. Some may have misunderstood what I have said about this day. Many have had the intellectual curiosity to wonder what it would be like to live at one end of an Age and see the beginning of a new one. Well, we are now at a point where the old cycle dies - tonight; about midnight or so, a new Age is born. As they say in England and France , ‘The King is dead, long live the King!’ But the preparation for the New Cycle took place in 1898, February, at the closing of the first 5000 years of Kali-Yuga. But this is not the one I am speaking of now. This one (now opening) will affect the whole world, but particularly the Occidental portion. Coming events cast their shadows before, and I pray to the Gods that in the century to come the man of the West will govern himself with peace, with justice, and with honor. If not, his time is run. If he does, if he will collaborate with the cycle that is opening tonight ...”
(C.J.R. did not get what immediately followed but, if I recall aright, G. de P. added that it was a time when Eastern peoples would rise, and woe unto the West if they, the West, cannot get along with them - or words to that effect. Professor Ryan’s notes conclude:)
“How one’s heart is wrung by man’s folly! So beautiful and blessed are the Pathways of Right; so painful are the ways of wrong ... Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit All!”
When was the atom bomb dropped on the two Japanese cities? August of 1945? Anyway, the Atomic Age, the Nuclear Age, had dawned, and it was soon apparent. The whole tenor of life has changed since then.
I called up Gordon Plummer* (* Author of the work entitled The Mathematics of the Cosmic Mind, the original edition of which has been exhausted, but which is soon to be republished in a revised and enlarged edition by The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Ill.) to see if he would like to add a word to the above for you. His comments are these: “Just as the planets have their orbs astrologically speaking, so it is probable that the cycles themselves have their orbs,” which fact may well cause an overlapping, to which your correspondent refers. And from this we might deduce that a given cycle has not really begun until it is entirely away from the influence of the previous cycle. The esoteric student must never lose sight of certain keys, because they unlock·mysteries to the functioning of the heart of nature, which is the source of the very beings whom we associate with the Messianic cycles. It seems almost impudent for us to quibble over the beginnings and endings of cycles, as though our opinions could influence the work of the Hierarchy of Compassion.” 
The Way of the Awakening Man
Nature is a marvelous, complicated, in its details humanly incomprehensible, process. But we - human beings, or, if you prefer, Globe Chains - are watched over, guided, helped along our various pathways simply because there is no other way. It is the Way of continuously expanding Life. There is nothing of sentimentality in it. It is just. It is just the way. That is one reason why I think orthodox Christians don’t “cotton” to our esoteric teachings. They like to fool themselves with the thought that they can escape their evil actions; they cradle themselves with the thought that by “praying” to Someone that entity will take over the consequences of their mistakes. They prefer cosy dreams to the austerity, the simple beauty rather, of Things-as-they-are. I guess it depends, to a great extent, on what part of your own constitution you live in (at the moment). It isn’t always easy to latch on to the higher, and take what comes with knowledge that it brings spiritual enlightenment. The lesser part of you would like comfort, would like even ritual and symbol, the outer vestments of the hidden truth. But that is not the way of the awakening man.
“Where Broods Radiance Vast …”
“Truth is within ourselves.” The words are familiar Browning. But not all know the lines that follow, in his Paracelsus:
... Watch narrowly
“To whatever object the inconstant mind goeth out, a man should subdue it, bring it back, and place it upon the Spirit.” - Bhagavad-Gita.
These words from the Bhagavad-Gita, to him who accepts them, are a reminder that life does have an ultimate objective, to which to anchor his being. It is the only completely dependable objective, and the one to which a barely discoverable minority is prepared to remain constant. Everyone else, it seems, associating living with “the inconstant mind,” bewails the fact again and again that life, is devoid of any really worthwhile purpose, a complaint made at the suggestion of an undependable and inconstant instrument called “mind.” The Gita suggests a clear discrimination between “mind” and Spirit, the one of Time, the other of Eternity.
To him who accepts a Spirit as the root of living, “Constancy” reveals itself as a small word with terrifyingly vast implications - those of the Eternity of the Spirit. These are implications which take man’s Spiritual Immortality for granted, under which circumstances Constancy becomes an attribute only realizable on the plane of man’s deathless Spirituality, accepted  as the only plane of Reality attainable. In other words, “real” living is that whose Constancy is spelled out in terms of uninterrupted spiritual dedication.
“The inconstant mind” of man, even if it should accept its relationship with Immortality, is hardly in a position to implement it, being itself of “Time,” as, opposed to the Eternity of the Spirit. It becomes evident, therefore, that the attainment of Constancy in spiritual dedication demands an intimate relationship between man and his Greater Self. It is the attainment of such a relationship to which the entire philosophy of Theosophy dedicates its instructions - instructions directed toward “living” viewed as an eternally spiritual experience. Little by little, the student discovers himself to be more than the sum of all his living moments, because his Reality was before Time; it anticipated these moments, and lends them the only Reality they possess - that of Eternity, which the Spirit manifests. In this sense Time is inadequate to encompass Spiritual Constancy. The things of Time come and go; the Realities of Eternity never were not, and never shall cease to be. This is their heavenly perspective.
Such a perspective is beyond the attainment of the mortal mind, wherefore the ancient Wisdom-Religion advocates Meditation, by means of which the disciple, transcending Time, lifts his consciousness to a plane of spiritual awareness above Past, Present and Future. In its Spiritual Now, this moment, like the drop falling back into the ocean, becomes one with All Time. “Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.”
It is with an almost unbelievable presumption that mortal man invokes the Infinite, intending It to hobnob with his finite insignificance, an effrontery that has been going on for generations. Infinity, being ALL, what gives man the idea that he is an adjunct (significant or insignificant) to spiritual Totality - an adjunct of sufficient consequence to induce the Infinite to adapt Itself to his finite inconsequence? Either Deity is ALL, or it is non-existent; if ALL, then It obviously includes you and me. If so, is it not required of us to “Abide with IT”? Postulating a Spiritual Infinite (call it God, Brahma, The One, The Supreme - what you will), then man’s sole significance inheres in his identity (in some aspect of himself) with God. The business of recognizing and accepting this identity is what we term “LIFE.” Those finite furbelows with which man so deeply concerns himself might be referred to as the debris of his earthly Hobby Shop. Even if these earthly hobbies enjoyed any degree of constancy, they would still remain the ephemeralities of Time, only remotely related to the program of the Infinite.
Sweet, rich and symmetrical is the life-pattern of him in whom infinite aspiration is a holy sacrament on earth, the Self a heavenly Grail Cup containing the Wine of Wisdom, to which the uplifted heart adds the Bread of compassion, the two constituting the Body and Blood of Truth, offered to groping humanity, life after life, as a benediction on their pilgrimage of discovery. From the Infinite alone is vouchsafed Infinite Constancy, that is an expression of an ever- expanding·love for the immeasurable beauty of Divine Awareness. Only he who bears heaven in his heart, day by day and  hour by hour, can know heaven’s inexhaustible loveliness that alone robes Life in unearthly holiness. Constancy is his who “Abides with IT.” Before Life can have any enduring significance, we must establish our eternal identity with DEITY. IT is ALL - always!
Such identity spells a fundamental rehabilitation of the personality of Time. The goal of that rehabilitation is to restore to life its innate holiness. To make one’s life a manifestation of the Will of THE ONE is to lift “living” from a “relative” to an “absolute” initiation; it is to fearlessly enroll oneself with those Creators who, out of the fires of an inextinguishable spirituality kindle a flame of devotion on this ash-heap of earthly disillusionment. It is to disperse the fumes of greed, hate and despair with the fires of an eternal dedication to the Infinite, breaking down the artificial moulds of Time by being immortal in outlook and purpose. Closing one’s eyes at night “with a feeling of generous love for all that breathes,” one awakens to limitless dawns with a burning hunger to awaken love, joy, aspiration and resolve, in every human heart. Such a confrontation with life is never merely momentary. Out of the Infinite Self pours an everlasting need to transfigure Time with Eternity.
Unfortunately, earthly living has begotten in many of us an unholy talent for evading totality. (“Lord, make me perfect - but not yet!”) We squander our hopes and aspirations on objectives ultimately attainable in Time; but ETERNITY - sends chills down our spine, a phenomenon reminding us how far we have erred and strayed from our lordly destination - Deity. Only the constancy of the undying Spirit can persuade us, ever so gradually, to establish once more a healthy and destined devotion to the Absolute - we, that limitless Reality that lost Its way in the roaring deserts of mortal meaninglessness.
We have to retrace our steps toward those sunlit heigths wherefrom we may rediscover the regal magnitude of Life for the awakened wayfarer. The program of the Infinite in the life of man is Infinite Attainment in a universe of Infinite potential. Shall we not, perseveringly, again and again, welcome benign confrontations of the Little Man of Time with the Knight of the Grail? Spiritual Reality, once awakened, will make Constancy inescapable to the Seeing Eye of the Spirit.
CONSTANCY - the Immortal Alchemist, ever at work on his Eternal Transmutation - Immortality transmuting Mortality.
Civilization is the complex of devices, mechanisms, techniques and instrumentalities by means of which we live. Culture is the realm of spiritual ends, expressed in art, literature, morals and religion, for which, at our best, we live. Civilization is made up of things which we use to get something else. Culture is made up of values which we desire for their own sakes. Civilization is what we use. Culture is what we are.” - The late Rev. Harry E. Fosdick, the renowned Pastor of the Riverside Church in New York. 
“Ignorant of guilt,
In the words of Gautama the Buddha, “… from ignorance spring all the evils …” Is there a Theosophist reading this who is willing to admit that he may be ignorant, because bound to the fetters of an attachment to an idea that will not bear the searching light of dispassionate reappraisal? If so, continue to read, if not, then quickly lay it down for at no cost should the peace and tranquility of a deeply seated complacency be disturbed.
Science is praised as being the universal medium, knowing not the strictures of faith, of belief based on emotional possession, or the inadequacies of translation into ethnic understanding or linguistic subtleties. A scientific fact is a fact in French, English or Swahili.
Our first premise, one that probably will not meet with opposition from any student of Theosophy, is that the body of teachings contained in Theosophical literature is supposed to be a scientific approach to Truth - defining science as: “1. Knowledge obtained by study and practice. 2. Any department of systematized knowledge.” (Webster’s Dictionary.)
The second premise is that The Secret Doctrine is a text book of the accumulated knowledge of generations of adepts in the occult science. In short, “… an implicit faith in the wisdom … of the universal traditions gathered and preserved by the Initiates, who have perfected them into an almost faultless system ... we venture to state the doctrine clearly.” (The Secret Doctrine II, 133; Vol. III, p. 202, 6 vols. ed.)
Letters extant written by these Adepts to A. P. Sinnett reveal their stern attitude toward any who venture to become argumentative or doubtful of their knowledge. They say, in essence, that they will withdraw if such is the attitude, for they will not waste time in argumentation over that which “generations” of their school have successively verified and found to be true. Note that this science is not the result of the occult investigations of one man - rather is it the accumulated knowledge of many. They do not put all their eggs in one basket, so to speak, they affirm and confirm in the best scientific tradition the findings of previous generations.
The Theosophical Movement is the custodian of truths given to the world, and as such is the bearer of the sacred trust of keeping the waters pure for succeeding generations and free from contamination. To us has fallen the responsibility of proving whether or not we are indeed “Keepers of the Flame.” Each one who considers himself a student of the Teachings of the Great White Brotherhood might well ask himself if he has displayed the same loyalty, the same dedication to the impersonal facts as put forth in the  source book of all Theosophists, The Secret Doctrine.
The flight of man to the moon was not the result of one man’s knowledge, but rather of the efforts of generations of scientists down through the ages. Fact was erected upon fact until a “bridge” to the moon was constructed.
Can the same be said after almost one hundred years of the availability of the Wisdom Teachings?
How often do Theosophical writers and speakers point their finger and say “naughty-naughty” to those bad men who perverted the sublime truths expounded by Jesus. But we might well ask whether it was a perversion or rather a suppression of certain truths that produced the greatest havoc. By systematically suppressing certain truths, false truth rose to replace and fill the emptiness left. Research into the history of the primitive church will reveal the evolution of Christian theology; but will it reveal what transpired to bring about the withdrawal of the Gnosticism of the ancient schools? One obvious deduction is that there were fewer in number who were willing to devote themselves to the study of Truth - for it is far easier to go along with the majority than to stand alone and take an unpopular position.
The third premise is that ignorance lies coiled like a snake ready to strike the unwary Pilgrim. Again a definition of terms: ignorant: “1. Destitute of knowledge; uninstructed or uninformed. 2. Uninformed (in); unaware (of).” (Webster’s Dictionary.) Now let us proceed to the root word “ignore”: “to refuse to take notice of; to disregard willfully.”
Bearing in mind the above definitions, let us each ask ourselves some questions: 1. How well-informed am I regarding the teachings of the Brotherhood on such paramount questions as the moon, the evolution of races, the question of life on other planets, etc.? (The special explorations of science and the claims of the UFO fans being two subjects uppermost in the mind of the public.) Ask yourself what the Adept-Brothers and H.P.B. had to say about these and related subjects. 2. Is my understanding of the Teachings in harmony with the facts as set forth by the Original Founders? (Keeping in mind that these were set forth as facts not opinions.) 3. Am I willing to be impartial, unprejudiced and above all fair?
And speaking of fairness, is it fair to exclude the person of one of the Founders of the Theosophical Society from all mention, to throw him into the junk heap without investigating the facts? William Q. Judge has been ignored (remember the definition!) by many Theosophists for two·thirds of a century. Well might we say with H.P.B.: “Ingratitude is a crime in Occultism, and I shall illustrate the point by citing the case of W. Q. Judge. He is one of the three founders of the Theosophical Society, the only three who have remained as true as rock to the Cause ... that which Colonel Olcott has accomplished in India and Asia , W. Q. Judge has done in America ... For, if the spirit of true Theosophy does not permit of aggressiveness being used, yet it does demand in some cases active defence, and it does impose on everyone of us the duty of taking an active interest in the welfare of a brother, especially of a persecuted brother, as Mr. Judge is  now ...” (E. S. Instruction No. III, 1890. See William Quan Judge, The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton , Ill. , 1969) Persecuted often even today!
It is no easy task, that of re-assessing one’s motives, thoughts, emotional attachments and loyalties; but the reward of the faith kept, the efforts of generations of Adepts kept pure and unsullied by that which deviates and does not elucidate, is a reward past all telling, for it makes of the brave a “Keeper of the Flame.”
We see today the flagrancy of demands for peace by those who are not peaceful, for power by the weak and for authority by those least reconciled to their own self-made circumstances. “Creative” thinkers give way to argumentative thought, often preferring a different approach of doing things than gently to re-align the old ways into some new and less confused organization. Rebellion is rampant and nobody asks what may I do to ameliorate the true suffering of the race. Its mental and moral agonies lie untouched.
Dr. de Purucker, in a lecture delivered at Point Loma, on September 28, 1930, stressed the mandatory nature of Duty in face of the over-concern placed by people on their rights. He was dispelling a few of the real “Ghosts” humanity is prone to:
“One of the ghosts of the past is the idea of ‘rights: I stand for my rights!’ A constant and unfailing repetition of this otherwise proper phrase has become nauseating. Where do you hear men of today speak of ‘My duties, my obligation’? You hear it only in the cases of a few illuminated and kindly-hearted men who have freed themselves from that ghost of the past - the ghost of ‘my rights!’ and who have come to realize a far greater and nobler ideal of being true to one’s obligations, to one’s duties.
“The entire civilization of the Occident is builded on the basis of the idea of ‘my rights!’ and we have almost lost any thought that so one-sided an ideal can be naught else than the fertile mother of selfishness and ultimate social disintegration, because every man thinks of his rights, and looks upon his duties as something to escape from if possible. All this means a lack of social coherence, and unless checked will in time bring about the downfall of the one-sided but proud fabric of Occidental civilization.”* (* Questions We All Ask, Second Series, No. 12. p. 183 (in a pamphlet dated November 24, 1930.))
Too much aggravation of a sore does no good. Nature requires an alleviating element, such as air. The only ingredients which can save the present age from its long-standing “hang-ups” are spiritual qualities, welded in Spiritual Consciousness. The qualities of forbearance, harmlessness, forgiveness must replace resentment, harassment and bitterness, if we do not merely wish to replace one “establishment” with another.
Justice may be balanced with mercy. Writing to Congressmen, patient but  often futile appeals to officials, public avowals of conscience - all may find a place. But none of these can hold the power of a refusal to join injurious gossip about one’s neighbor, the right expression of our earnest convictions, the teaching to our children reverence towards Life and responsibilities both great and small.
A true sense of Duty flows from a man established in his awareness of the One Life. “Man is the architect of his own soul, the builder of his own bodies ...” wrote the Theosophist quoted above in discussing the power of free will. By way of elaboration he adds on p. 256 of The Esoteric Tradition:
“Obviously, the exercise of free will and its employment to carry these operations into effect, imply instant and immediate responsibility in the human agent, and this all along the line between causal thought and effectual act. The life-atoms in which we live and work on all planes of our being - not merely the life-atoms of this physical body, but the life-centers, the life-atoms, of the intermediate and more ethereal vehicles which ‘step down’ the tremendous energies of our spiritual nature - all these life-atoms are beings on their upward way for which we are more or less responsible, in so far as our thoughts and acts more or less mold their future. By our thoughts and acts we bind ourselves to those life-centers by bonds of ineluctable destiny, bonds which are unbreakable, and which become part of the fiber of our being and affect us powerfully until we have straightened out the tangles and smoothed out the knots.”
We should begin as the ancients urged us, in our own small centers, our homes, our work - our one-to-one relationships - and these will in time enshrine the world. The One is in the many, as we have often heard. A continual font of love glorifies the Realized and hence Established Man. His touch benefits each task, and the love flowing from his unhindered Heart beautifies the lives of others.
An interesting device known as the Foucault Pendulum may be found in scientific museums in any major city. The visitor stands before a pit some thirty or forty feet across, within which is swinging a pendulum. The ball may be of copper, weighing some 200 lbs., and it hangs upon a steel cable perhaps sixty feet in length. The upper end of the cable is supported in a universal gimball, and the pendulum is kept swinging by means of magnets which are automatically turned on as the pendulum reaches the end of each swing, giving just the needed impetus so that the pendulum will not come to rest.
Looking into the pit, we see that small wooden pegs have been placed so that they will be knocked over one at a time by the pendulum. As these pegs are arranged along an arc, it becomes obvious that the pendulum appears to change the direction of its swing through the hours of the day.
Out of a hundred visitors who see the Foucault Pendulum, ninety-nine might say, “What is that supposed to  prove?” The hundredth visitor will read the plaque which is placed on view for the edification of the public.
Out of a hundred people who do read the plaque ninety-nine may shake their heads in complete puzzlement, and go their way. One may will understand the principle on which the pendulum works. He will understand that not until a French scientist, Jean Bernard Leon Foucault (1819-68) invented the pendulum that bears his name, did we have actual proof that the Earth rotates upon its axis. This had long been suspected, and much evidence pointed to the fact, but the die-hards could always explain the motions of the heavenly bodies by means of arguments which did not require the rotation of the Earth as a fact in nature. The Foucault pendulum gave undeniable proof.
Now, here is the point that I wish to make. Neither Foucault himself, nor anybody since his day to the present, however well he might understand the laws governing the behavior of the pendulum, can feel with his own senses the rotation of the Earth. Therefore, while he may certainly accept the rotation of the Earth as a scientific fact, and agree that it has been adequately proven, he can never experience the sense of rotation himself, nor will he ever sense it so long as he remains upon the Earth.
Suppose now, that he is an astronaut, and that his space ship carries him far out into space so that he can look down upon the Earth, freed from its immediate gravitational pull. He may then observe the rotation of his planet because he is no longer a part of it. He could then return and say to his fellow Earthlings, “I have seen the rotation of the Earth. Now I know it to be true.”
Anyone who essays to present the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, through whatever medium of communication he may choose, is in a similar dilemma. He is dealing with teachings about certain principles of Nature, regarding which he can furnish no proof. Typical principles are: the Rounds and Root-Races, the Hierarchy of Compassion, the Universal Solar System, the Circulations of the Cosmos, and so on. Like the visitor to the museum who is intellectually convinced of the rotation of the Earth, he is intellectually convinced of the verity of the teachings of Theosophy. Furthermore, the teachings are an endless source of inspiration to him. But he can no more “feel” the processes of the Rounds and Root-Races or the Circulations of the Cosmos than he can feel the rotation of the Earth.
Can he then hope for no more than the possibility of bringing an intellectual understanding of the teachings to his fellow men? Is there no proof at all of these natural principles which might correspond to that provided by the Foucault Pendulum? Fortunately there is, but we do not readily discern it because we do not know how to recognize it when we see it.
The proof of the Earth’s rotation does not lie in the fact that the copper ball weighs 200 lb., nor in the fact that the cable is made of steel, but it lies in the behavior of the pendulum. Similarly, it is in the behavior of Nature, and not in the materials of our environment that we must look for proof. As it happens, my own interests have led me to an intensive study of the relationships existing between  certain very interesting geometrical forms known as the regular polyhedra. It is not the materials of which these figures may be constructed, but the amazing manner in which they relate to one another, and also to certain crystals on the one hand, and to astronomy on the other, with certain very remarkable pointers as to the relation that man holds to his universe, that constitute the behavior which helps us bring conviction to our minds of the reality of the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom.* (* This subject is dealt with extensively in my work, The Mathematics of the Cosmic Mind which was privately published some three years ago in a limited edition now exhausted. It is soon to be republished in a revised and enlarged edition by The Theosophical Publ. House, Wheaton , Ill.)
However deeply anyone may study these things, he is still in the position of not feeling for himself the mighty processes of living nature, but like our astronauts who can get away from the pull of the Earth, and thus observe its rotation from above, we can get away from the pull of our limited personal selves, and if we succeed in getting above ourselves, metaphorically speaking, we can also see ourselves in a kind of motion which is attuned to the great Cosmic rhythms and harmonies. This is what the Adepts have succeeded in doing, and why they say that they and their trained disciples have proven these things for themselves and for the world, if humanity would only receive the knowledge they have to offer.
Is it therefore within our capability to find the pendulum within our own consciousness that swings in time with the Cosmic tempo? We will never know until we try.
“Action and reaction are equal and opposite.” The Western materialist and the Eastern metaphysician agree. The former sees it as a simple fact in physics; the latter calls it Karma - a fundamental Law embracing the whole Universe. All of Nature is, therefore, indissolubly linked, so that a disturbance in one part creates a corresponding disturbance in all other parts.
Applied to man, Karma is seen as the arbiter of strict Justice, meting out to him the exact consequences of the causes - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual - that he initiates.
Looking at the matter in the strictest scientific sense, it is not Karma that rewards and punishes him, but he himself because the Law demands the restoration of harmony or balance wherever it has been disturbed. Man thus becomes his own Savior or Destroyer depending upon whether he lives in accordance with the harmonious operations of Nature, or defies them.
Man has two natures - the animal and the divine. The battlefield of these contending forces is in the Mind. Intellectually, he chooses between them, and determines his future destiny.
It is only by recognizing the divine nature as his Real Self, and knowing that he must, at the cost of  any personal sacrifice, join forces with it, that his ultimate salvation as a human soul is assured.
Mankind - especially in the hedonistic West - is rushing headlong toward the abyss of spiritual destruction. Everything involving the animal nature is extolled and even worshipped, as the end and all of existence.
And still, before us looms the Great Wisdom of the Ages, the Right Knowledge of what we are, as inseparable parts of the universe, and of that True Path which from Time’s beginning every Savior of man has trodden.
It is up to the awakening individual, who desires an understanding of his position in the scheme of things, to study this eternal Science of Life, and begin to reshape his existence in keeping with the harmony of the Whole.
But great though be one’s duty to himself, far greater is the duty he owes to blind, suffering humanity. Let us take to heart the mighty words of Buddha: “Go forth, your hearts over-flowing with pity and compassion, and, in a world torn by suffering, where-ever abides the darkness of ignorance, light there a torch.”
LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME
So much has been written regarding
the Path of the Disciple, that some may feel they are at the saturation
point. There may be those who have a “ho-hum” reaction
to additional words. Yet, perhaps it is this very attitude that is
one of the shoals along the Way.