THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXVI
No. 4 (122) - Spring 1970

[Cover photo: Susten Pass, Switzerland. (Photo Arthur Baur, Hilterfingen.)]

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THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy for Humanity

Published every Three Months. Sponsored by an International Group of Theosophists.
Objectives: To uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement, and to disseminate the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy as set forth by H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers.
Editor: Boris de Zirkoff.
Subscriptions: $2.00 a year (four issues); single copy 50 cents. Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: 615 South Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California. Make checks and money orders payable to "Theosophia."

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.

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THOUGHTS TO REMEMBER …

“We will not find a way out of our present troubles, until we have the courage to look honestly at evil where evil exists, until we forswear hypocrisy, until we call injustice and dishonor by their right names, and until a large number of Americans from each sector of opinion - right, left and center - are willing to acknowledge their own special contribution to our troubles.

“... The path to the recovery of our confidence and well-being will call for courage and stamina. Our salvation will never be handed to us. If we are lucky we will be given the chance to earn it ... Many things are wrong. Many things must be done.

“... There is no middle state for the spirit. It rises to high levels of discipline and decency and purpose - or it sags and rots. We must call for the best or live with the worst.” - John Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, as quoted in the Los Angeles Herald-Tribune, February 15, 1970.

“... Let us not forget that man’s dealing with his fellow man now has almost reached a state of uncontrolled anarchy, when the dignity of the individual is subservient to the greed of the many. Material objects, be they a single human body or a planetary system, essentially are transitory but within each perishable frame there resides a vital and immortal principle, and it is this Divine Spark which really matters. It will never be seen in a telescope, nor observed through a microscope, but it is the source of the vital power within each one of us, conferring human dignity and personal value on each single worthy being.” - W. Bro. S. W. Clark, M.B.E., President, The Dormer Masonic Study Circle, London, England. [3]

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PIONEERS OF THE SPIRIT
Boris de Zirkoff

Far and wide throughout the world, there is a rising tide of thought, a search for new ideals, vaster horizons, lasting solutions to nagging problems, and some new and better way of life.

In this world of thought in upheaval, the Theosophical Movement is beginning to be recognized as a spiritual stream wherein intelligent and satisfactory answers may be found to questionings which neither religion nor science can provide.

Opportunities facing us today are increasing by leaps and bounds, and new channels are opening everywhere for the dissemination of the teachings which have come down to us from ancient days.

What the Movement needs more than anything else at the present time, are men and women eager to become deeply involved in the work of the Movement as a primary concern in their lives. Where are these people?

The test of Theosophic interest lies in the ability of the student to set aside the entanglements of his personal life to the advantage of an impersonal dedication to a universal Ideal; to renounce the futility of personal interests in favor of a selfless work for a world-wide objective; and to submerge his own personal self in the sense of universal freedom which comes upon all those who can rise above the fretful turmoil of worldly affairs, and into the limitless spaces of universal concerns.

We are in need today of new Pioneers in the fields of our Movement, men and women, young and old, who are inspired by the vastness of spiritual horizons, whose hearts leap forward into the reaches of the unknown, and whose minds, instead of dwelling on the past and asking “why,” scan the possibilities of the future and ask “why not”!

Where are they?

Are we not worthy of them any longer? Has the organized Movement become an “Establishment”? Have we so cluttered our premises with fossil skeletons of worn-out ideas that no room can be found for people with new and fresher ideas? Are we so bogged down in administrative routines and the minutiae of financial transactions, that we have failed to notice a new light on the Eastern horizon and an eager sound in the voice of a rising generation, seeking a new way of life? Let us ask ourselves these and other questions, lest we take too many things for granted and fail to mount the rising tide of thought.

As long as students of the Theosophical philosophy are content merely to pour over weighty volumes, to while away some hours by reading up on teachings which they like, without any practical effort in the Cause of Theosophy, their affiliation with the Movement is only a pastime. If their contribution, work-wise or money-wise, is but a gesture which, to some small degree, may appease their conscience, their participation in the Movement is but a farce. The Cause of Theosophy to them is a thing of beauty, a wonderful idea, as long as it does not disturb their accustomed pattern of life, diminish their personal comfort, or arouse some unwelcome problem in the conduct of their affairs. [4]

To those, however, whose lives have been freed from the corroding rust of selfish interests, and whose minds have risen above the confinement of their own personal jails, the work of the Movement fills their life to the brim, leaving no room for anything narrow, selfish or exclusive. These are the people whose involvement in Theosophy is total. They are the dynamic centers of creative thought. They give birth to new ideas; originate better methods; sweep aside entrenched vested interests to the advantage of new ventures; and pour their own vital strength into channels both new and old, wherever that life-flow can be of service.

We do have a few such people in the Movement; but why do we not have a hundred times as many when the need is so great?

Like any other organized body of people, the organized Theosophical Movement exhibits after some years of existence a tendency to crystallization. It seems an almost unavoidable symptom of all things upon this globe. This, however, does not necessarily mean that it has outgrown its usefulness. It can be regenerated, re-invigorated, re-vitalized, and the only way this can ever be accomplished is by means of younger people entering its ranks and becoming truly involved in its objectives and goals. For this to become a reality, we need to create an atmosphere of thought which will be attractive to the younger generation. We must welcome new ideas; be open to suggestions; understand the nature of the search which younger people exhibit; and show ourselves ready to accept, at least for sympathetic consideration, if nothing else, new attitudes and methods which younger people are invariably advancing in contrast to those which have become established.

The Theosophical Movement is a movement of youth, a concept which has nothing to do with the age of the physical body. Youth is a condition of mind, a resiliency of thought, a dynamism of the vital stream, a readiness for spiritual adventure, a search for greater realities, an undying hope and trust in the unshakable foundations of Truth. Those who can embody these ideas and attitudes in their lives are young at eighty, and their vital stream can blend harmoniously with that of younger people who are just beginning to fulfill their own mission upon the stage of history.

Today, as we approach the hundredth anniversary of our Movement in 1975, we search for the Pioneers who will carry Theosophy into the twenty-first century and raise its spiritual banner upon the battlements of a New Continent of thought. Let our search not be in vain!

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“... TRUTH, however distasteful to the generally blind majorities, has always had her champions, ready to die for her, and it is not the Occultists who will protest against its adoption by Science under whatever new name.” - H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, I, 297. [5]

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IS SUICIDE A CRIME?
H. P. Blavatsky

[This reply of H. P. B1avatsky to a letter of inquiry received by her as Editor of The Theosophist was published in Vol. IV of that Journal, November, 1882, pp. 31-32.]

“The writer in the London Spiritualist for November, who calls the ‘Fragments of Occult Truth’ speculation-spinning, can hardly, I think, apply that epithet to Fragment No.3, so cautiously is the hypothesis concerning suicide advanced therein.* (* See The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, p. 258, for comments on this. - Editor, Theosophia.) Viewed in its general aspect, the hypothesis seems sound enough, satisfies our instincts of the Moral Law of the Universe, and fits in with our ordinary ideas as well as with those we derived from science. The inference drawn from the two cases cited, viz ., that of the selfish suicide on the one hand, and of the unselfish suicide on the other, is that, although the after-states may vary, the result is invariably bad, the variation consisting only in the degree of punishment. It appears to me that, in arriving at this conclusion, the writer could not have had in his mind’s eye all the possible cases of suicide, which do or may occur. For I maintain that in some cases self-sacrifice is not only justifiable, but also morally desirable, and that the result of such self-sacrifice cannot possibly be bad. I will put one case, perhaps the rarest of all rare cases, but not necessarily on that account a purely hypothetical one, for I KNOW at least one man, in whom I am interested, who is actuated with feelings, not dissimilar to these I shall now describe, and who would be deeply thankful for any additional light that could be thrown on this darkly mysterious subject (1).

“Suppose, then, that an individual, whom I shall call M., takes to thinking long and deep on the vexed questions of the mysteries of earthly existence, its aims, and the highest duties of man. To assist his thoughts, he turns to philosophical works: notably those dealing with the sublime teachings of Buddha. Ultimately he arrives at the conclusion that the FIRST and ONLY aim of existence is to be useful to our fellow men; that failure in this constitutes his own worthlessness as a sentient human being, and that by continuing a life of worthlessness he simply dissipates the energy which he holds in trust, and which, so holding, he has no right to fritter away. He tries to be useful, but - miserably and deplorably fails. What, then, is his remedy? Remember there is here “no sea of troubles” to “take arms against,” no outraged human law to dread, no deserved earthly punishment to escape; in fact, there is no moral cowardice whatever involved in the self-sacrifice. M. simply puts an end to an existence which is useless, and which therefore fails of its own primary purpose. Is his act not justifiable? Or must he also be the victim of that transformation into spook and pisacha, against which Fragment No.3 utters its dread warning? (2)

“Perhaps, M. may secure at the next birth more favourable conditions, [6] and thus be better able to work out the purpose of Being. Well, he can scarcely be worse; for, in addition to his being inspired by a laudable motive to make way for one who might be more serviceable, he has not, in this particular case, been guilty of any moral turpitude (3).

“But I have not done. I go a step further and say that M. is not only useless, but positively mischievous. To his incapacity to do good, he finds that he adds a somewhat restless disposition which is perpetually urging him on to make an effort to do good. M. makes the effort - he would be utterly unworthy the name of man if he did not make it - and discovers that his incapacity most generally leads him into errors which convert the possible good into actual evil; that, on account of his nature, birth, and education, a very large number of men become involved in the effects of his mistaken zeal, and that the world at large suffers more from his existence than otherwise. Now, if, after arriving at such results, M. seeks to carry out their logical conclusions, viz., that being morally bound to diminish the woes to which sentient beings on earth are subject, he should destroy himself, and by that means do the only good he is capable of; is there, I ask, any moral guilt involved in the act of anticipating death in such a case? I, for one, should certainly say not. Nay, more, I maintain, subject of course to correction by superior knowledge, that M. is not only justified in making away with himself, but that he would be a villain if he did not, at once and unhesitatingly, put an end to a life, not only useless, but positively pernicious (4).

“M. may be in error; but supposing he dies cherishing the happy delusion that in death is all the good, in life all the evil he is capable of, are there in his case no extenuating circumstances to plead strongly in his favour, and help to avert a fall into that horrible abyss with which your readers have been frightened? (5) ...” - AN INQUIRER.

(1) “Inquirer” is not an Occultist, hence his assertion that in some cases suicide “is not only justifiable, but also morally desirable.” No more than murder, is it ever justifiable, however desirable it may sometimes appear. The Occultist, who looks at the origin and the ultimate end of things, teaches that the individual, who affirms that any man, under whatsoever circumstances, is called to put an end to his life, is guilty of as great an offence and of as pernicious a piece of sophistry, as the nation that assumes a right to kill in war thousands of innocent people under the pretext of avenging the wrong done to one. All such reasonings are the fruits of Avidya mistaken for philosophy and wisdom. Our friend is certainly wrong in thinking that the writer of “Fragments” arrived at his conclusions only because he failed to keep before his mind’s eye all the possible cases of suicides. The result, in one sense, is certainly invariable; and there is one general law or rule for all suicides. But, it is just because “the after-states” vary ad infinitum, that it is erroneous to infer that this variation consists only in the degree of punishment. If the result will be in every case the necessity of living out the appointed period of sentient existence, we do not see whence “Inquirer” has derived his notion that [7] “the result is invariably bad.” The result is full of dangers; but there is hope for certain suicides, and even in many cases A REWARD, if life was sacrificed to save other lives and that there was no other alternative for it. Let him read paragraph 7, page 313, in the September Theosophist, and reflect. Of course, the question is simply generalized by the writer. To treat exhaustively of all and every case of suicide and their after-states would require a shelf of volumes from the British Museum ’s Library, not our “Fragments.”

(2) No man, we repeat, has a right to put an end to his existence simply because it is useless. As well argue the necessity of inciting to suicide all the incurable invalids and cripples who are a constant source of misery to their families; and preach the moral beauty of that law among some of the savage tribes of the South Sea Islanders, in obedience to which they put to death, with warlike honours, their old men and women. The instance chosen by “Inquirer” is not a happy one. There is a vast difference between the man who parts with his life in sheer disgust at constant failure to do good, out of despair of ever being useful, or even out of dread to do injury to his fellow men by remaining alive; and one who gives it up voluntarily to save the lives either committed to his charge or dear to him. One is a half-insane misanthrope - the other, a hero and a martyr. One takes away his life, the other offers it in sacrifice to philanthropy and to his duty. The captain who remains alone on board of a sinking ship; the man who gives up his place in a boat that will not hold all, in favour of younger and weaker beings; the physician, the sister of charity and nurse who stir not from the bedside of patients dying of an infectious fever; the man of science who wastes his life in brain work and fatigue and knows he is so wasting it and yet is offering it day after day and night after night in order to discover some great law of the universe, the discovery of which may bring in its results some great boon to mankind; the mother who throws herself before the wild beast that attacks her children to screen and give them the time to flee; all these are not suicides. The impulse which prompts them thus to contravene the first great law of animated nature - the first instinctive impulse of which is to preserve life - is grand and noble. And, though all these will have to live in the Kama-Loka their appointed life term, they are yet admired by all, and their memory will live honoured among the living for a still longer period. We all wish that, upon similar occasions, we may have courage so to die. Not so, surely in the case of the man instanced by “Inquirer.” Notwithstanding his assertion that “there is no moral cowardice whatever involved” in such self-sacrifice - we call it “moral cowardice” and refuse it the name of sacrifice.

(3 and 4) There is far more courage to live than to die in most cases. If “M.” feels that he is “positively mischievous,” let him retire to a jungle, a desert island; or, what is still better, to a cave or hut near some big city; and then, while living the life of a hermit, a life which would preclude the very possibility of doing mischief to anyone, work, in one way or the other, for the poor, the starving, the afflicted. If he does that, no one can “become involved in the effects of his mistaken zeal,” whereas, if he has the slightest talent, he [8] can benefit many by simple manual labour carried on in as complete a solitude and silence as can be commanded under the circumstances. Anything is better - even being called a crazy philanthropist - than committing suicide, the most dastardly and cowardly of all actions, unless the felo de se is resorted to in a fit of insanity.

(5) “Inquirer” asks whether his “M.” must also be victim of that transformation into spook and pisacha! Judging by the delineation given of his character by his friend, we should say that, of all suicides, he is the most likely to become a seance-room spook. Guiltless “of any moral turpitude,” he may well be. But, since he is afflicted with a “restless disposition which is perpetually urging him on to make an effort to do good” - here, on earth, there is no reason we know of, why he should lose that unfortunate disposition (unfortunate because of the constant failure) - in the Kama-Loka. A “mistaken zeal” is sure to lead him on toward various mediums. Attracted by the strong magnetic desire of sensitives and spiritualists, “M.” will probably feel “morally bound to diminish the woes of which these sentient beings (mediums and believers) are subject on earth,” and shall once more destroy not only himself, but his “affinities,” the mediums.

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THE MAGIC KEY IS WITHIN OURSELVES
Mollie Griffith

How very often at the present time you hear people say, in thinking of the world as it is today, “What is the use of worrying, we cannot do anything about it. The problems are too vast.”

The great inspiring teaching of Theosophy is the “Oneness of Life” a life in which we and all the other kingdoms of nature share. A life which is affected for better or worse by everyone of us. This idea unfortunately has not been understood except by the few, and so we have thought mostly of our own good or the good of a certain group, rather than that of the whole, and in so doing we have committed what we are told is the one great heresy, the heresy of separateness. Thus humanity has caused the misery and violence in the world, and it is now faced with bringing about its redemption; and we ask ourselves how it can be done.

We can of course support any cause that brings greater understanding between people or relief to the many who are suffering, and we who are students and lovers of the teachings of Theosophy can offer them as a guide to those who have discarded the old ideas and are looking for something to take their place. One thing we cannot do is to look at the world of today without wanting to change it, but the only part of the world that we can really change is ourselves. That is our responsibility and no one can do it for us.

All the great beings in the world who have contributed to its well-being on whatever level have given of themselves, and it has always seemed to me true, that every human being, [9] however insignificant he may feel himself to be, has a gift to give to life which is perhaps peculiarly his own, whether he is aware of it or not.

Now to return to the original question as to what we can do personally to help redeem this world, to whose frightening state we have no doubt contributed. Would not part of the answer be to change ourselves in such a way that what we contributed no longer added to its troubles? We hear a great deal these days about pollution; the pollution of our air, our seas and rivers. Is it not also possible to pollute the thought and emotional atmosphere of the world?

The things which appall us when we think about present conditions are the violence, the greed, the jealousy, the exploitation and general selfishness. Some people think that if we could change the laws of our country or our system of government we would have a happy world, but surely unless we change ourselves we shall never have a happy world.

Now all these things which we find in the world, most of us find to some degree in ourselves, and to alter that situation is our challenge and would be our greatest contribution to the One Life if we could succeed in doing so. How to accomplish this is our individual problem, something we have to find out for ourselves. In Theosophical terminology we could perhaps express it as the purification of the personality, an inner condition in which the pure light of Truth can shine.

Then perhaps, when we ourselves can sense the Oneness of Life, we shall be able to give our gift to the world shorn of its dross and pettiness and make a lasting contribution to the ideal of brotherhood.

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FROM LETTERS TO A FRIEND
W. Emmett Small

The Way of Man and Universe

Let me tell you quite simply and briefly what the idea of reincarnation embraces. There is no death - in the sense of annihilation, in the sense of loss of Self-identification. There are many deaths - at night, at the end of a human lifetime, at the close of a manvantara - but life goes on. It is a cyclic inbreathing and outbreathing, manifestation and absorption, activity and rest, cause and effect. And this is the way man and the universe “work,” the way they “are.” Our own human understanding of all this varies with the individual: some see in larger and clearer perspectives, some with limited and blurred vision. But the thing itself - das Ding an sich, as the German philosopher would put it - is not changed by our view. There is man. There is the universe. There is the super-galaxy. What is it? What made it what it is? How does it function in space and in time? These are all parts of the over-all question. But what stands out clearly is that, as a way of growth, or a method, or a technique for evolving onward, reimbodiment is necessary, a renewal of form for the invading spirit to express itself through. And so we have what is loosely called Spirit and Matter. Loosely, because Matter itself is informed with Spirit, only in less [10] evolved state, and could in fact be called embryo-spirit. For the whole trend and aim of evolution is for that Matter to be lifted to the plane, so to say, of Spirit, to become it. That, too, is man’s destiny: to raise what is lower to something higher; for the lesser to become greater; for the consciousness that we know as human to become consciousness that is divine.

The “Missing Link” in Education

I think you explain “occultism” in your classes quite clearly, and point to its creative possibilities as well as issuing needed warning. Your emphasis on self-forgetful love and service to humanity is indeed the “missing link” in education and learning and politics and everything else these days. Hammer it home; those, then, that respond will be worthwhile.

Man’s Greatest Teacher

The greatest Teacher, we must never forget, is within us. It is our own Higher Self, our own Nirmanakaya. We can tune in, so to say, to hear its command. And we can obey! But, I believe, it is wrong to make a hardship of it. As K.T. used to say: Grow as the flowers grow. That means, of course, impersonally, simply, beautifully, responding to sun and soil and nutrients of the environment. So must our Soul grow, not sweatingly, not through exacerbation or flagellation, but smilingly as the lotus opens its petals to the morning sun. I know, as well as you, that in a sense this is not easy. But it becomes more easy as we seek to co-operate with the universal nature.

A Wise Acquiescence

A sad anniversary for you, I know, when the thoughts and experiences of a twelvemonth ago flood your memory as they are bound to do. My eyes fall on a sentence I copied from an old article by Edge* (* Henry Travers Edge, personal pupil of H. P. Blavatsky.) written, I think, in 1915 or so: “... a wise acquiescence in the universal laws can exalt our own nature and set our feet on the path to knowledge.” He was a wise old bird! Goodness isn’t Enough

How very strange are our quirks of psychology! As human beings we surely must sooner or later realize we are not very high on the evolutionary scale, and therefore have very poor “spiritual vision,” and therefore again have very poor ability to judge. I think the more vision we have the less we feel the least inclination to judge! The attitude of some of our erstwhile friends is so very narrow that the only way you can, so to say, “forgive” them is to realize the mental and spiritual haze in which they must live, making it absolutely impossible for them to see things in perspective or with any clarity at all. They may be good people, but just as sincerity isn’t enough, goodness also isn’t enough. Indeed I’ve come to believe that some “bad” people have more commonsense “good” in them than the good! - if you can make anything of that. What we need is Vision. Great ideas grasped and understood bring man this vision.

Essential Oils

Do you know this from Emily Dickenson? She was a contemporary of Thoreau and Emerson, as you know, but dwelt not at Concord but, I think, in Main :

Essential Oils are wrung -
The Attar from the Rose
Is not expressed by Suns - alone -
It is the gift of screws. [11]

That is Dickenson for you, compressed and deep, as always. Yet isn’t it obvious that the essence of our nature, the essential oils, is not going to be extracted merely by a smiling sun that makes all pleasant, but by the pressures of life, wrung from tough experiences which help one learn and grow - by the “gift of screws”?

We have much to be thankful for, so much more than what the Existentialists, for instance, honest as many of them try to be, offer. The Ancient Wisdom shows us the Essentialism of the Universe and of ourselves. To learn to know that and something of the inner structure of both, which our Theosophical teachings have made so vibrant for us, is to find some real harmony in life - even when the screws begin to turn! Emerson speaks here again: “The world lies no longer a dull miscellany and lumber-room, but has form and order.”

Each human life, each atomic life, is full of significance!

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“TO DISSIPATE THE SHADOW”
Montague A. Machell

“... thou hast to learn to part thy body from thy mind, to dissipate the shadow, and to live in the eternal. For this, thou hast to live and breathe in all, as all thou perceivest breathes in thee; to feel thyself abiding in all things, all things in SELF.” - The Voice of the Silence.

The Theosophic life is the profound, unearthly experience that it is, because it is Spiritual Immortality accepted literally. This means acceptance of a program of living always above and beyond those ideals and objectives the average religious man lives by. Herein, for the Theosophist, life becomes everything; earthly existence is reduced to a means of attaining the Supreme. To actually and consciously live such a life, one must be imbued at all times with the conviction of his power to transcend earthly existence by dedicating every thought and aspiration to an Immortal Self more sublime, more enduring, singularly indestructible, in the midst of temporal, earthly mutability.

This is not necessarily an “impractical” program of living. Indeed, to be effective it must be practical. In view of the fact that most “practical” living of today’s society is a direct denial of such transcendence, how can it be carried on - “practically”? A Theosophist would reply, “by changing one’s motivation for living from ‘getting’ to ‘giving’.” This is a more drastic change than it may first appear, since it involves the acceptance of the fact that we are all one - we actually are “brothers,” on the spiritual plane. Therefore “practical” living on this basis is rooted in an acceptance of humanity as a Spiritual Whole. What each one does and thinks affects all, wherefore, a program of living for all mankind must have its start in thinking in a brotherly key - i.e., thinking spiritually. This is not a goal to which one merely devotes propaganda for the rest of society; it is a goal toward which one [12] infuses his daily doings with a constant love for his fellow man, perceiving, eventually, that “he is I.”

Such an accomplishment can only result from thinking of life as a WHOLE - mankind involved everywhere in cherishing the SPIRITUAL SELF above the mortal self. The SELF is, eternally, beyond death and change. To accept this truth and to live by it, is to inhabit a universe limitless in time and scope; it is to transcend earthly views, objectives and beliefs. It is to accept and take for granted an unearthly potential. If this is a species of magic, it is a heavenly magic, requiring numberless incarnations to attain - but definitely attainable.

“The shadow” that intrudes upon such an ideal, constantly threatening it, is the earthly personality of Time and Matter, that would gladly acquire unearthly magnificence without surrendering its earthly goals. Here you have revealed the shadow of Time, against which the disciple is arrayed in his effort “to live in the eternal.” He must shatter his link with earthly time and the things of time, the most powerful of which is the temporal personality. To find safety in the earthly renunciation one undertakes for the sublime liberation of Life Everlasting, man must teach the self of time the language of Eternity, in which all its prayers must be expressed. The SELF of all can never be a personal self, since the one aspect of man that is universal and eternal is SPIRIT. Hence, the task of “dissipating the shadow” becomes that of living in and for the SPIRIT.

One must face the fact that, even amid the most aspiring and religious natures of this day and age, genuinely spiritual living is a rarity; nor is there any possibility of making such living universal through “conversion” or preaching. It’s only possibility of realization is in “a new order of ages” wherein TRUTH comes first, self, second, in that small nucleus of humanity that has learned “to part the body from the mind, to dissipate the shadow and live in the eternal.” It is for this reason that H. P. Blavatsky and her Masters advocate “a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood” capable of spiritual living - slowly learning “to live and breathe in all, as all thou perceivest breathes in thee.”

This transcendent pattern of living must be realized, here and there, at least, by a few dedicated disciples capable of appreciating its sublime proportions and destiny. To such as these, Universal Law, the Law of Spiritual Unfoldment, will replace all creeds, all personal saviors, all purely personal salvation; that Law will offer the first and single reason for living, forbidding mankind to throw away life on the deserts of personal futility.

In a perfect acceptance of the Law, the disciple will set at naught most of those objectives and rewards to which our “common sense” society dedicates itself. Not the least of the shocks he will experience will be a realization of the unbelievable waste of life the pursuit of unworthy objectives represents. The price humanity pays for such waste stands out in ever clearer relief in the physical, mental, nervous and psychic ills of our society. Are not these the foreshadowings of an ultimately inescapable cosmic “house cleaning” threatening our entire society, for its single-minded devotion to purely [13] physical existence? Universal Law, governed unswervingly by Cause and Effect, plays no favorites.

“To dissipate the shadow” is the first step, in that it takes cognizance of the crying needs of all. “No man is an island.” Regardless of any personal “salvation,” a spiritually conscious individual concentrates his vision upon the destiny of mankind His courageous step forward into a larger life is a gesture of faith and compassion for all humanity. “To live to benefit mankind is the first step.” Mankind cannot live fully, going round and round in its squirrel cage of personal indulgence. The Universal Destiny of the universe of which man is a part, places upon him a universal responsibility. Even if only one of a handful of people, it is his privilege to confront his fellow man with a program of applied spirituality together with the splendor such a program radiates upon earth.

“To dissipate the shadow” is to make oneself a centre of Light. The world is in dire need of more Light. Your life and mine can penetrate the darkness, if we will it to do so. Day by day, every truly unselfish individual is called upon to feed the holy fire on the altar of the heart. It is for him to kindle his taper at the Universal Flame of the SELF, wherewith to pierce the shadows of self-love and self-indulgence. For him TIME is an illusion to be exorcised by the Immortal Self. Let him see himself “abiding in all things, all things in SELF.”

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YOUR HOROSCOPE IS YOUR WHEEL OF LIFE
Ralph Sterling

Your horoscope is your wheel of life. It not only is an expression of you but it is you in relation to your whole self. You - as a member of your family, neighborhood, community and your world of people and places in comparison with other peoples’ horoscopes. We are all connected by heredity and environment.

No one can live entirely by himself. No one is an isle. You assume responsibilities which bring about the trends and indications of your own horoscope. Your individual horoscope is interwoven with, and acts and reacts upon, other peoples’ horoscopes and vice versa.

It tells us of our physical makeup, our character, temperament, talents, and tendencies; of gifts which we may utilize and of our failings of which we must be on guard.

It indicates the times and seasons which will be favorable or adverse to our efforts; it helps us to profit by and trim our sails to the favoring winds of its promises. It warns us to avoid the quicksands ahead by its threats, as indicated in our transits and secondary progressions.

A small part of these indications may be fixed and inevitable, since they are the consequences of our conduct in past lives, of which we now are called upon to reap the harvest. It is apparent from the most superficial study of astrology, or of life itself, that all of us start upon our life-adventures differently equipped. One is blessed with gifts and talents altogether denied another. One may be handicapped, another born to wealth, while the environment or another may be such that [14] he has everything against him from the start. Why? Is there such a divine in justice? The answer is “no.” There is no injustice. The more we learn of astrology and of the universe, the more we know that it is subject to fixed, natural laws! The maker of those natural laws will not break them. Man is the microcosm of the macrocosm. The mirror in little of the universe, of which he is a part. We are part of and within the great zodiac: the zodiac is within each one of us. “As above, so below,” as within, so without.

Our horoscope gives us guidance, understanding, protection, and courage to do something about it for those of us who are willing to study it and use it wisely. Your horoscope is your wheel of life! It contains all those factors which go to makeup you! It is helpful in pointing out the positive and negative qualities that govern conduct and human behavior. Even though we have freedom of will, few of us are aware of using it. We are guided by our inherited habits. An inherited habit is also an acquired habit, in the sense that it is acquired in past lives. We often say we like this or we don’t like that. Here we fail to realize that most of the time we like or dislike those things not of our own free choice, but because our self-created habits compel us to do so. So if compulsion, passion, desire, or the like dictates our habits, then certainly real freedom of will or choice is not with us at all!

If there is no true freedom of choice, there is no power to freely do the right action. Here we see the purpose of our horoscope ... which is to help us free our will from ignorance, from undesirable environmental influences, from bad habits, customs, and entanglements. By studying astrology we are able to delineate our charts and develop all the potentialities of our real true nature within. By pointing out and then eliminating our negative habits and tendencies, through astro-analysis and introspection, we learn to “know thyself.” Through the knowledge of our chart we will see ourselves as we are, and how to improve ourselves will follow naturally. “In order to know what we ought to be, we must first learn what we are.”

If we work with our horoscope, it will serve us. It will help us as a reminding mirror for detecting and improving our psychological and material shortcomings. Through constant watching of our actions and reactions by astro-analysis we will gradually learn our true nature and how to express it perfectly.

Your horoscope will be your search-light in the dark pathways of life.

“Find yourself and be yourself,
To your own self be true,
The stars decreed that no one else
On earth is just like you.
Count your blessings, not your troubles,
Keep calm and full of hope:
The stars will guide you: Fate’s inside you:
Make this your horoscope!” [15]

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THE POWERS OF DARKNESS
Lina Psaltis

“... We are in the Kali Yuga and its fatal influence is a thousand-fold more powerful in the West than it is in the East; hence the easy preys made by the Powers of the Age of Darkness in this cyclic struggle ...” – “Occultism Versus the Occult Arts”, The Collected Writings, H. P. B1avatsky, Vol. IX, p. 260.

Two national magazines, McCall’s and Esquire, have published a series of articles on the occult arts in their March issue, thereby calling the attention of several million readers to the existence of psychic ills present in Western society - notably amongst the younger generation. If any student has doubts about the many references in the writings of H.P.B. to the negative forces, let them read these magazines, and in reading, weep. McCall’s Magazine included a most surprising article on Madame Blavatsky, surprising in that it captured the essence of the teachings - concern for the well-being of one’s fellow man. Instead of the usual innocuousness about prophecy, astrology or the latest contact with the dead, these articles deal with Satan worship, witchcraft, black magic and the attendant degradations of the Spirit.

Is it happenstance that from among myriads of clairvoyants and “occult” leaders with followers numerically greater, the greatest Occultist of our time should make her appearance? She who understood with such profound depth the yearnings of man’s heart. “He [who is attracted to the occult arts] is driven out into wild and desolate spaces of life by an ever-gnawing unrest he cannot quell. His heart is too full of passion and selfish desire to permit him to pass the Golden Gate ; he cannot find rest or peace in ordinary life. Must he then inevitably fall into sorcery and black magic ... ?” (Collected Writings, IX, p. 254.) Surely Theosophists cannot now, in their scorning of the baseness of the black arts, refuse to seek out those who are feeling the stirrings of long-forgotten memories dwelling in the deepest canyons of the mind, and who, in their ignorance of the noumenal, worship the phenomenal.

All too often in lecture halls, for example, are questions regarding psychic powers, astral travel, spiritualism, the dynamics of meditations, etc., parried, ignored or sermonized. How are the young people to be reached if any inquiry pertaining to the astral-psychic forces is met with “it’s a no-no,” or the equally banal “it’s evil”? How can we continue to refuse to discuss a subject which finds H.P.B. still in the thick of it - fighting as effectively today as she fought almost a hundred years ago - and not from the pages of a theosophical publication. One cannot help but wonder has it been taken out of our hands! ...

Prior to the publication of these magazines, one could ignore the rumbling of a sub-culture devoted to the practice of black magic, but the wind of ill-repute blows with increasing insistence. It is facts, not opinions; intelligent discussion, not vague generalities, that are needed. If the rebellion of the college students has not taught the older generation that moralizing is [16] passe, then the older generation had best look to its laurels. And those who feel that their “knowledge” is too sacred to be shared with a beginner had best look ahead, for the beginner is apt to have disappeared over the horizon, perchance he read the nemesis of Theosophists - The Secret Doctrine.

For those who are saying that we cannot give them The Secret Doctrine as it is too abstruse, the reply comes, then give them Isis Unveiled, The Key of Theosophy, The Voice of the Silence, and introduce them to The Collected Writings wherein are contained so many of the keys to understanding man’s psychology. Herein lie specifics, not generalities, laws of Nature, not opinions or clairvoyant perambulations down the rose-strewn path of emotional indulgence.

More can be said. Many are those who bewail the obscurantism of modern Theosophy, and this obscurantism may continue unless the needs of mankind today are met. The weapons are there, it is up to the individual to seek them out.

This cycle of negativism has emerged from its perambulation on the Astral plane, as it has done in the past - from Atlantis to the Roman Empire , and it will arise to be reborn in the future. Each time it is reborn, it can either be fed on the blood of ignorance, hence grow more powerful, or be tempered, balanced and neutralized by the soma of the wisdom-knowledge garnered by the Adepts of White Magic, who, foreseeing the coming cyclic struggle, armed this generation with vital living facts which would point the way to the Divinity that lies obscured in the tomb of matter.

For those who cannot find certainty in the past, present or future:

“Fear not; although we do ‘cling superstitiously to the relics of the Past’ our knowledge will not pass away from the sight of man. It is the ‘gift of the gods’ and the most precious relic of all ...” (The Mahatma Letters, Letter No. 28, pp. 212-13.)

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“No one has the right to destroy or take life, neither his, nor that of any other man, nor of any living creature. It’s not we who give life, and it’s not for us to take it. Thou shalt not kill is the basis of man’s behavior on earth. Life is eternal, enormous, generous as that rainbow, that rain, as this lovely spring. To make an attempt at life is a great crime. To help it in every way is a great happiness. To feel oneself a minute particle of the great life that spreads from this earth to the farthermost star, to rejoice in it, to bless and thank it, that is what constitutes a religious feeling. Religion means a binding. If a man does not feel himself a part of the Universe, and does not hear its pulse, he is not religious. But once he has heard that pulse, he will be hearing it always. Every day his life will replenish itself from this inexhaustible source, eternal and powerful as the sun.” - Svetlana Alliluyeva, Only One Year, 1969, pp. 295-96.