[Cover photo: Caste of Chillon, Geneva Lake, Switzerland.]
Published every Three Months. Sponsored
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.
“What then is Occultism? Occultism, I say, is the study of the things which are occult, hid - realities in other words: not imaginary things. If we accept this definition of the word - and I assure you that it is the right and proper definition that Occultists themselves employ - it becomes immediately obvious that Occultism must be the most serious and important branch of human knowledge; and as genuine Occultists always say that Occultism is founded on Nature herself, it therefore must be the very cream of natural philosophy - using the words ‘natural philosophy’ in the sense of including all realms and spheres of the Universe and particularly those of the inner, invisible, and causal realms.
“Occultism is the descriptive science of the things that are causal, and therefore of the things which are in most instances invisible - Nature’s fundamental structure, operations, and ‘laws’; and anyone who studies these realities and who has reached some understanding of them from individual experience and insight and who delivers what he knows to his fellow-men, is a true and genuine Occultist. But do not confuse this wide range of experience possible to human beings with merely one or two or three more or less disputed psychic faculties such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, thought-transference, etc. …
“Occultism is the science of die things which are invisible … It is
an operative science but also a descriptive one. There is a way of going
behind the veils of Nature; there is a secret, a sacred, science, and
this science is Occultism. Occultism bears the same relation to Theosophy
that Wisdom bears to its Works among men. … When parts of this secret
and sacred Science
The future of the Theosophical Movement, especially in the last quarter of this century, depends upon the degree to which the most active workers within its ranks remain faithful to the original message of the Founders.
That original message is sufficiently definite in its outline and specific in its pronouncements to serve as a touchstone or a frame of reference against which various temporary deviations cat, la, easily compared, and thrown out if found wanting.
That message consists, to use H.P.B.’s own words, of “the direct teachings of the Secret Doctrine which are now being given out to the world ... for the first time in the history of the subject.” (Collected Writings, IV, 401.) It is “the Great Doctrine - which the Theosophical Society, faithful to the promise of its triple programme, is engaged in bringing to light.” ( ibid., 378.)
Its most specific outline may be found in The Secret Doctrine (Vol. I. pages 272 et seq., original edition, to the end of the Chapter) wherein speaking with the authority of her occult status, gives a masterly outline of those basic propositions of the Esoteric Philosophy which it is incumbent on all Theosophists to promulgate.
These propositions are of a universal nature; hence they are the very antithesis of dogmas. They are not the narrow statement of a belief, and their understanding depends upon a state of mind which is devoid of structural moulds, preconceived ideas, superstitious and blind faith. They challenge creative, independent thought, and can be accepted only upon mature and many-sided consideration. They are the formulation in present-day English of postulates of truth which, in languages now dead and gone, were formulated in distant days by other branches of the same occult School in various ethnic groups of mankind. They form but the latest link in an age-long chain of similar efforts throughout history.
It should be clearly understood that the present-day Theosophical Movement is not just another fraternal organization made up of people who are merely seekers of truth, although they are that, of course. It is not a body of students whose main objective is to cull from here and there and everywhere articles of truth, except, perhaps, as a side project. Their chief aim is to become thoroughly familiar with the basic propositions of the Esoteric Philosophy in their original and specific outline, and to find ways and means to disseminate them - often in much simpler language - through every open channel available.
But in order to do so effectively, it is of paramount importance to be able to distinguish between the original teachings and the many psychic imaginings and visionary divagations which the Theosophical Movement has become victim of during the stormy years of its existence. This calls for spiritual discrimination, careful reasoning, and a refusal to accept anything on unsupported evidence or emotionalism.
If the Theosophical Movement is to  have a future at all, id least as a constructive spiritual force in this world of chaotic unrest, it has to free itself from the dead weight of psychic barnacles which cling to it today. Its published literature should be purged of texts which not only confuse the main issues at stake, but in some cases obscure altogether the spiritual foundations of the Movement and substitute for them unsupported psychic revelations wholly at variance with the original teachings. Either the Movement is to be the source of true spirituality, and the repository of the unadulterated ancient Gnosis, as intended by its original Founders, or it is to become in the years ahead a chaotic maelstrom of various and sundry ideas, theories and vagaries which will command neither the interest nor the respect of the thinking portion of the human race.
The original impulse as initiated by the Teachers who sponsored the outward form of the Movement was intended - as can be easily shown by their own words - to promulgate an ancient doctrine well-nigh forgotten in our present age of materialism. The propositions of that doctrine were broadly outlined both in their own writings and in those of their direct agent, H.P.B. It is our bounden duty to become imbued with the nature, spirit and contents of these essential propositions, and to refuse to accept any theories - however well meant - which obscure them and confuse the issues involved. Unless this is done, and done consistently, the future of the Movement as a spearhead of truth will be in jeopardy.
There are those in our midst who expect another direct agent of the Brotherhood of Adepts to appear in the world in the last quarter of this century. Be that as it may, the work of such an individual would be greatly helped if the teachings of an earlier Messenger were thoroughly understood by the active workers in the organized Movement, and promulgated in their original purity. Any confusion concerning these teachings, and particularly any psychic confusion, would be a sure signal for him or her to withdraw from any identification with it, and to open up other channels for the work at hand. Can we afford to run this risk?
It is high time for all of us to give ill's subject our undivided attention.
It has been decided to devote the greater part of our present issue to the publication of two very important documents from the early days of the Movement, which we trust, will be of interest and lasting value to our many readers.
We recommend that the Editors of various Theosophical magazines in non-English speaking countries would translate these documents into their native tongues and publish them for the benefit of their readers. - Editor, Theosophia. 
[This Open Letter, one of the
most extraordinary and deeply pathetic documents ever pruned by H.P.B.
may be found among the original Manuscripts in the Adyar Archives.
Written to the Indian Members of The Theosophical Society in the last
year of H.P.B.’ life, it is like a karmic vision that both interprets
the past and throws a flood of light upon the future. It embodies a
message from H.P.B.’s long-suffering heart to all Theosophists without
distinction. This Open Letter contains declarations very rarely made,
and pronouncements which only those will understand who are finely
rooted in the Theosophical philosophy and will not mistake them for
“claims,” “dogmas,” or delusions of grandeur. Facts and attitudes spoken
of in this Letter afford a background of meaning against which may be
measured various crises which took place in later years within the framework
of the T.S.
To My Brothers of Aryavarta,
Great kindness has been shown to me by many of my Hindu brethren at various times since I left; especially this year (1890), when, ill almost to death, I have received from several Indian Branches letters of sympathy, and assurances that they had not forgotten her to whom India and the Hindus have been most of her life far dearer then her own Country. 
It is, therefore, my duty to explain why I do not return to India and my attitude with regard to the new leaf turned in the history of the T.S. by my being formally placed at the head of the Theosophical Movement in Europe. For it is not solely on account of bad health that I do not return to India. Those who have saved me from death at Adyar, and twice since then, could easily keep me alive there as They do me here. There is a far more serious reason. A line of conduct has been traced for me here, and I have found among the English and Americans what I have so far vainly sought for in India .
In Europe and America, during the last three years, I have met with hundreds of men and women who have the courage to avow their convictions of the real existence of the Masters, and who are working for Theosophy on Their lines and under Their guidance, given through my humble self.
In India, on the other hand, ever since my departure, the true spirit of devotion to the Masters and the courage to avow it has steadily dwindled away. At Adyar itself, increasing strife and conflict has raged between personalities; uncalled for and utterly undeserved animosity - almost hatred -has been shown towards me by several members of the staff. There seems to have been something strange and uncanny going on at Adyar, during these last years. No sooner does a European, most Theosophically inclined, most devoted to the Cause, and the personal friend of myself or the President, set his foot in Headquarters, than he becomes forthwith a personal enemy to one or other of us, and what is worse, ends by injuring and deserting the Cause.
Let it be understood at once that I accuse no one. Knowing what I do of the activity of the forces of Kali Yuga, at work to impede and ruin the Theosophical movement, I do not regard those who have become, one after the other, my enemies - but that without any fault of my own - as I might regard them, were it otherwise.
One of the chief factors in the reawakening of Aryavarta which has been part of the work of the Theosophical Society, was the ideal of the Masters. But owing to want of judgment, discretion, and discrimination, and the liberties taken with Their names and Personalities, great misconception arose concerning Them. I was under the most solemn oath and pledge never to reveal the whole truth to anyone, excepting to those like Damodar, had been finally selected and called by Them. All that I was then permitted to reveal was, that there existed somewhere such great men; that some of Them were Hindus; that They were learned as none others in all the ancient wisdom of Gupta Vidya, and had acquired all the Siddhis, not as these are represented in tradition and the “blinds” of ancient writings, but as they are in fact and nature; and also that I was a Chela of one of Them. However, in the fancy of some Hindus, the most wild and ridiculous fancies soon grew up concerning Them. They were referred to as “Mahatmas” and still some too enthusiastic friends belittled Them with their strange fancy-pictures; our opponents, describing a Mahatma as a full Jivanmukta, urged that, as such, He was debarred from holding any communications whatever with persons living in the world. 
They also maintained that as this is the Kali Yuga, it was impossible that there could be any Mahatmas at all in our age.
These early misconceptions notwithstanding, the idea of the Masters, and belief in Them, has already brought its good fruit in India. Their chief desire was to preserve the true religious and philosophical spirit of ancient India; to defend the Ancient Wisdom contained in its Darsanas and Upanishads against the systematic assaults of the missionaries; and finally to reawaken the dormant ethical and patriotic spirit in those youths in whom it had almost disappeared owing to college education. Much of this has been achieved by and through the Theosophical Society, in spite of all its mistakes and imperfections.
Had it not been for Theosophy, would India have had her Tukaram Tatya doing now the priceless work he does, and which no one in India ever thought of doing before him? Without the Theosophical Society, would India have ever thought of wrenching from the hands of learned but unspiritual Orientalists the duty of reviving, translating and editing the Sacred Books of the East, of popularising and selling them at a far cheaper rate, and at the same time, in a far more correct form than had ever been done at Oxford? Would our respected and devoted brother Tukaram Tatya himself have ever thought of doing so, had he not joined the Theosophical Society? Would your political Congress itself have ever been a possibility without the Theosophical Society? Most important of all, one at least among you has fully benefited by it; and if the Society had never given to India but that one future Adept (Damodar) who has now the prospect of becoming one day a Mahatma, Kali Yoga notwithstanding, that alone would be proof that it was not founded at New York and transplanted to India in vain. Finally, if any one among the three hundred millions of India can demonstrate, proof in hand, that Theosophy, the T.S., or even my humble self, have been the means of doing the slightest harm, either to the country or any Hindu, that the Founders have been guilty of teaching pernicious doctrines, or offering bad advice - then and then only, can it be imputed to me as a crime that I have brought forward the ideal of the Masters and founded the Theosophical Society.
Aye, my good and never-to-be-forgotten Hindu Brothers, the name alone of the holy Masters, which was at one time invoked with prayers for Their blessings, from one end of India to the other - Their name alone has wrought a mighty change for the better in your land. It is not to Colonel Olcott or to myself that you owe anything, but verily to these names, which, but a few years ago, had become a household word in your mouths.
Thus it was that, so long as I remained at Adyar, things went on smoothly enough, because one or other of the Masters was almost constantly present among us, and their spirit ever protected the Theosophical Society from real harm. But in 1884, Colonel Olcott and myself left for a visit to Europe, and while we were away the Padri-Coulomb “thunderbolt” descended. I returned in November, and was taken most dangerously ill. It was during that time and Colonel Olcott’s absence in Burma, that the seeds of all future strifes, and - let me say at once - disintegration of the Theosophical Society, were planted  by our enemies. What with the Patterson-Coulomb-Hodgson conspiracy, and the faint-heartedness of the chief Theosophists, that the Society did not then and there collapse should be a sufficient proof of how it was protected. Shaken in their belief, the faint-hearted began to ask: “Why, if the Masters are genuine Mahatmas, have They allowed such things to take place, or why have they not used Their powers to destroy this plot or that conspiracy, or even this or that man and woman? Yet it had been explained numberless times that no Adept of the Right Path will interfere with the just workings of Karma. Not even the greatest of Yogis can divert the progress of Karma or arrest the natural results of actions for more than a short period, and even in that case, these results will only reassert themselves later with even tenfold force, for such is the occult laws of Karma and the Nidanas.
Nor again will even the greatest of phenomena aid real spiritual progress. We have each of us to win our Moksha or Nirvana by our own merit, not because a Guru or Deva will help to conceal our shortcomings. There is no merit in having been created an immaculate Deva or in being God; but there is the eternal bliss of Moksha looming forth for the man who becomes as a God and Deity by his own personal exertions. It is the mission of Karma to punish the guilty and not the duty of any Master. But those who act up to Their teaching and live the life of which They are the best exemplars, will never be abandoned by Them and will always find Their beneficent help whenever needed, whether obviously or invisibly. This is of course addressed to those who have not yet quite lost their faith in Masters; those who have never believed, or have ceased to believe in Them, are welcome to their own opinions. No one, except themselves perhaps some day, will be the losers thereby.
As for myself, who can charge me with having acted like an impostor? with having, for instance, taken one single pie from any living soul? with having ever asked for money, or even with having accepted it, notwithstanding that I was repeatedly offered large sums? Those who, in spite of this, have chosen to think otherwise, will have to explain what even my traducers of even the Padri class and Psychical Research Society have been unable to explain to this day, viz., the motive for such fraud. They will have to explain why, instead of taking and making money, I gave away to the Society every penny I earned by writing for the papers; why at the same time I nearly killed myself with overwork and incessant labour year after year, until my health gave way, so that but for my Master’s repeated help, I should have died long ago from the effects of such voluntary hard labour. For the absurd Russian spy theory, if it still finds credit in some idiotic heads, has long ago disappeared, at any rate from the official brains of the Anglo-Indians.
If, I say, at that critical moment, the members of the Society, and especially its leaders at Adyar, Hindu and European, had stood together as one man, firm in their conviction of the reality and power of the Masters, Theosophy would have come out more triumphantly than ever, and none of their fears would have ever been realised, however cunning the legal traps set for me, and  whatever mistakes and errors of judgment I, their humble representative, might have made in the executive conduct of the matter.
But the loyalty and courage of the Adyar Authorities, and of the few Europeans who had trusted in the Masters, were not equal to the trial when it came. In spite of my protests, I was hurried away from Headquarters. Ill as I was, almost dying in truth, as the physicians said, yet I protested, and would have battled for Theosophy in India to my last breath, had I found loyal support. But some feared legal entanglements, some the Government, while my best friends believed in the doctors’ threats that I must die if I remained in India . So I was sent to Europe to regain my strength, with a promise of speedy return to by beloved Aryavarta.
Well, I left, and immediately intrigues and rumours began. Even at Naples already, I learnt that I was reported to be meditating to start in Europe “a rival Society” and burst up Adyar (!!). At this I laughed. Then it was rumoured that I had been abandoned by the Masters, been disloyal to Them, done this or the other. None of it had the slightest truth or foundation in fact. Then I was accused of being, at best, a hallucinated medium, who had mistaken “spooks” for living Masters; while others declared that the real H. P. Blavatsky was dead - had died through the injudicious use of Kundalini - and that the form had been forthwith seized upon by a Dugpa Chela, who was the present H. P. B. Some again held me to be a witch, a sorceress, who for purposes of her own played the part of a philanthropist and lover of India, while in reality bent upon the destruction of all those who had the misfortune to be psychologised by me. In fact, the powers of psychology attributed to me by my enemies, whenever a fact or a “phenomenon” could not he explained away, are so great that they alone would have made of me a most remarkable Adept - independently of any Masters or Mahatmas. In short, up to 1886, when the S. P. R. Report was published and this soap bubble burst over our heads, it was one long series of false charges, every mail bringing something new. I will name no one; nor does it matter who said a thing and who repeated it. One thing is certain; with the exception of Colonel Olcott, everyone seemed to banish the Masters from their thoughts and Their spirit from Adyar. Every imaginable incongruity was connected with these holy names, and I alone was held responsible for every disagreeable event that took place, every mistake made. In a letter received from Damodar in 1886, he notified me that the Masters’ influence was becoming with every day weaker at Adyar; that They were daily represented as less than “second-rate Yogis,” totally denied by some, while even those who believed in, and had remained loyal to Them, feared even to pronounce Their names. Finally, he urged me very strongly to return, saying that of course the Masters would see that my health should not suffer from it. I wrote to that effect to Colonel Olcott, imploring him to let me return, and promising that I would live at Pondicherry , if needed, should my presence not be desirable at Adyar. To this I received the ridiculous answer that no sooner should I return, than I should be sent to the Andaman Islands as a Russian spy, which of course Colonel Olcott subsequently found out to  be absolutely untrue. The readiness with which such a futile pretext for keeping me from Adyar was seized upon, shows in clear colours the ingratitude of those to whom I had given my life and health. Nay more, urged on, as I understood, by the Executive Council, under the entirely absurd pretext that, in case of my death, my heirs might claim a share in the Adyar property, the President sent me a legal paper to sign, by which I formally renounced any right to the Headquarters or even to live there without the Council’s permission. This, although I had spent several thousand rupees of my own private money, and had devoted my share of the profits of The Theosophist to the purchase of the house and its furniture. Nevertheless I signed the renunciation without one word of protest. I saw I was not wanted, and remained in Europe in spite of my ardent desire to return to India. How could I do otherwise than feel that all my labours had been rewarded with ingratitude, when my most urgent wishes to return were met with flimsy excuses and answers inspired by those who were hostile to me?
The result of this is too apparent. You know too well the state of affairs in India for me to dwell longer upon details. In a word, since my departure, not only has the activity of the movement there gradually slackened, but those for whom I had the deepest affections, regarding them as a mother would her own sons, have turned against me. While in the West, no sooner had I accepted the invitation to come to London, than I found people - the S. P. R. Report and wild suspicions and hypotheses rampant in every direction notwithstanding - to believe in the truth of the great Cause I have struggled for, and in my own bona fides.
Acting under the Master’s orders, I began a new movement in the West on the original lines; I founded Lucifer, and the Lodge which bears my name. Recognizing the splendid work done at Adyar by Colonel Olcott and others to carry out the second of the three Objects of the T.S., viz., to promote the study of Oriental literature, I was determined to carry out here the two others. All know with what success this has been attended. Twice Colonel Olcott was asked to come over, and then I learned that I was once more wanted in India - at any rate by some. But the invitation came too late; neither would my doctor permit it, nor can I, if I would be true to my life-pledge and vows, now live at the Headquarters from which the Masters and Their spirit are virtually banished. The presence of Their portraits will not help; They are a dead letter. The truth is that I can never return to India in any other capacity than as Their faithful agent. And as, unless They appear among the Council in propria persona (which They will certainly never do now), no advice of mine on occult lines seems likely to be accepted, as the fact of my relations with the Masters is doubted, even totally denied by some; and I myself having no right to the Headquarters what reason is there, therefore, for me to live at Adyar?
The fact is this. In my position, half-measures are worse than none. People have either to believe entirely in me, or to honestly disbelieve. No one, no Theosophist, is compelled to believe, but it is worse than useless for people to ask me to help them, if they do not believe in me. Here in Europe and  America are many who have never flinched in their devotion to Theosophy; consequently the spread of Theosophy and the T. S., in the West, during the last three years, has been extraordinary. The chief reason for this is that I was enabled and encouraged by the devotion of an ever-increasing number of members to the Cause and to Those who guide it, to establish an Esoteric Section, in which I can teach something of what I have learned to those who have confidence in me, and who prove this confidence by their disinterested work for Theosophy and the T. S. For the future, then, it is my intention to devote my life and energy to the E.S., and to the teaching of those whose confidence I retain. It is useless I should use the little time I have before me to justify myself before those who do not feel sure about the real existence of the Masters, only because, misunderstanding me, it therefore suits them to suspect me.
And let me say at once, to avoid misconception, that my only reason for accepting the exoteric direction of European affairs, was to save those who really have Theosophy at heart and work for it and the Society from being hampered by those who not only do not care for Theosophy, as laid out by the Masters, but are entirety working against both, endeavouring to undermine and counteract the influence of the good work done, both by open denial of the existence of the Masters, by declared and bitter hostility to myself, and also by joining forces with the most desperate enemies of our Society.
Half-measures, I repeat, are no longer possible. Either I have stated the truth as I know it about the Masters and teach what I have been taught by them, or I have invented both Them and the Esoteric Philosophy. There are those among the Esotericists of the inner group who say that if I have done the latter, then I must myself be a “Master.” However it may be, there is no alternative to this dilemma.
The only claim, therefore, which India could ever have upon me would be only strong in proportion to the activity of the Fellows there for Theosophy and their loyalty to the Masters. You should not need my presence among you to convince you of the truth of Theosophy, any more than your American brothers need it. A conviction that wanes when any particular personality is absent is no conviction at all. Know, moreover, that any further proof and teaching I can give only to the Esoteric Section, and this for the following reason: its members are the only ones whom I have the right to expel for open disloyalty to their pledge (not to me, H.P.B., but to their Higher Self and the Mahatmic aspect of the Masters), a privilege I cannot exercise with the F.T.S.’s at large, yet one which is the only means of cutting off a diseased limb from the healthy body of the Tree, and thus save it from infection. I can care only for those who cannot be swayed by every breath of calumny, and every sneer, suspicion, or criticism, whoever it may emanate from.
Thenceforth let it be clearly understood that the rest of my life is devoted only to those who believe in the Masters, and are willing to work for Theosophy as They understand it, and for the T.S. on the lines upon which They originally established it. 
If, then, my Hindu brothers really and earnestly desire to bring about the regeneration of India, if they wish to ever bring back the days when the Masters, in the ages of India’s ancient glory, came freely among them, guiding and teaching the people; then let them cast aside all fear and hesitation, and turn a new leaf in the history of the Theosophical Movement. Let them bravely rally round the President-Founder, whether I am in India or not, as around those few true Theosophists who have remained loyal throughout, and bid defiance to all calumniation and ambitious malcontents - both without and within the Theosophical Society.
[Originally published in The Irish Theosophist, Vol. 111, January 15, 1895 .]
In the November  number the “expiring Cycle” is referred to by Mr. Sinnett, and members are rightly warned not to be so absurd (though that is my word) as to think that after 1897 “some mysterious extinguisher will descend upon us.”
Who is the person who gave out the concrete statement that 1897 was to be the close of a cycle when something would happen? It was H. P. Blavatsky. There is not the slightest doubt about it that she did say so, nor that she fully explained it to several persons. Nor is there any doubt at all that she said, as had been so long said from the year 1875, that 1897 would witness the shutting of a door. What door? Door to what? What was or is to end? Is the T.S. to end and close all the hooks?
Nothing is more plain than that H. P. Blavatsky said, on the direct authority of the Masters, that in the last twenty five years of each century an effort is made by the Lodge and its agents with the West, and that it erases in its direct and public form and influence with the twenty-fifth year. Those who believe her will believe this; those who think they know more about it than she did will invent other ideas suited to their fancies.
She explained, as will all those who are taught (as are many) by the same Masters, that were the public effort to go on any longer than that, a reaction would set in very similar to indigestion. Time must be given for assimilation, or the “dark shadow which follows all innovations” would crush the soul of man. The great public, the mass, must have time and also material. Time is ever. The matter has been furnished by the Masters in the work done by Blavatsky in her books, and what has grown out of those. She has said, the Masters have said, and I again assert it for the benefit of those who have any faith in me, that the Masters have told me that they helped her write The Secret Doctrine so that the future seventy-five and more years should have some material to work on, and that in the coming years that book and its theories would be widely studied.  The material given has then to be worked over, to be assimilated for the welfare of all. No extinguisher will fall therefore on us. The T.S., as a whole, will not have the incessant care of the Masters in every part, but must grow up to maturity on what it has with the help to come from those few who are “chosen.” H. P. Blavatsky has clearly pointed out in the Key, in her conclusion, that the plan is to keep the T.S. alive as an active, free, unsectarian body during all the time of waiting for the next great messenger, who will be herself beyond question. Thereby will be furnished the well-made tool with which to work again in grander scale, and without the fearful opposition she had without and within when she began this time. And in all this time of waiting the Master, “that great Initiate, whose single will upholds the entire movement,” will have his mighty hand spread out wide behind the Society.
Up in 1897 the door is open to anyone who has the courage, the force, and the virtue to TRY, so that he can go in and make a communication with the Lodge which shall not be broken at all when the cycle ends. But at the striking of the hour the door will shut, and not all your pleadings and cryings will open it to you. Those who have made the connection will have their own door open, but the public general door will be closed. That is the true relation of the “extinguisher” as given by H. P. Blavatsky and the Master. It seems very easy to understand.
“Many are called but few are chosen,” because they would not allow it. The unchosen are those who have worked for themselves alone; those who have sought for knowledge for themselves without a care about the rest; those who have had the time, the money, and the ability to give good help to Masters’ cause, ago defined by them to be work for mankind and not for self, but have not used it thus. And sadly, too, some of the unmarked and unchosen are those who walked a long distance to the threshold, but stopped too long to hunt for the failings and the sins they were sure some brother pilgrim had, and then they went back farther and farther, building walls behind them as they went. They were called and almost chosen; the first faint lines of their names were beginning to develop in the book of this century; but as they retreated, thinking indeed, they were inside the door, the lines faded out, and other names flashed into view. Those other names are those belonging to humble persons here and there whom these proud aristocrats of occultism thought unworthy of a moment’s notice.
What seems to me either a printer’s error or a genuine mistake in Mr. Sinnett’s article is on page 26, where he says: “will be knowledge generally diffused through the cultured classes.” The italics are mine. No greater error could seem possible. The cultured classes arc perfectly worthless, as a whole, to the Master-builders of the Lodge. They are good in the place they have, but they represent the “established order” and the acme of selfishness. Substitute masses for cultured classes, and you will come nearer the truth. Not the cultured but the ignorant masses have kept alive the belief in the occult and the psychic now fanned into flame once more. Had we trusted to the cultured the small ember would long ago have been  extinguished. We may drag in the cultured, but it will be but to have a languid and unenthusiastic interest.
We have entered on the dim beginning of a new era already. It is the era of Western Occultism and of special and definite treatment and exposition of theories hitherto generally considered. We have to do as Buddha told his disciples: preach, promulgate, expound, illustrate, and make clear in detail all the great things we have learned. That is our work, and not the bringing out of surprising things about clairvoyance and other astral matters, nor the blinding of the eye of science by discoveries impossible for them but easy for the occultist. The Master’s plan has not altered. He gave it out long ago. It is to make the world at large better, to prepare a right soil for the growing out of the powers of the soul, which are dangerous if they spring up in our present selfish soil. It is not the Black Lodge that tries to keep back psychic development; it is the White Lodge. The Black would fain have all the psychic powers full flower now, because in our wicked, mean, hypocritical, and money-getting people they would soon wreck the race. This idea may seem strange, but for those who will believe my unsupported word I say it is the Master’s saying.
Earthly circumstances and experiences, could we but realize their true value, are designed to convince us that all earthly existence becomes a revelation of the kind of person we are. Every one of these experiences is subject to our own coloring and shaping. What we call it, is always governed by our approach to it, and the light in which we view it. Be it heaven, or be it hell, we name and shape it. Every day of our lives we are living out some aspect of ourselves, and giving that aspect “a local habitation and a name.”
Failing to realize this fact has bred in us the habit of believing that the world we live in is one that has been visited upon us, instead of being a fantasy of our own creation. Because of this habit, we waste no end of time and energy trying to exchange “our world” for another one, instead of investigating the point of view we have voluntarily chosen regarding the circumstances in which we find ourselves (an investigation on which the law of Karma might throw valuable light!). Those circumstances, being in the first place colorless, our endeavor should obviously be carefully to examine the coloring we have given them, that we may find out just how “true to life” it really is. This means turning our search inward instead of outward.
There is much to be said for the soundness of the admonition, “man, know thyself,” since everything we think, say or do affords a glimpse of the country of the self. All our life is a reflection of the thoughts, aspirations, desires inside of us, cast upon the colorless circumstances of earthly existence. Because, by the law of life, we all live from within outward, it is  the inner world of the self concerning which we have to be eternally vigilant. Insofar as that inner world is rooted in the divine Greater Self, external circumstances are purely relative, and susceptible to illumination from within. So eternally true is this that many of life’s most trying experiences can reveal themselves as opportunities for growth. For this to be true, however, we must disdain the notion that we are “victims” of life, by falling back on the ever-victorious Higher Self. Of course, if we build our life on personality - that of ourselves and others - we are asking for all the frustrations, prejudices, and annoyances that such superficial living invites. “To thine own self be true!” From the moment we insist upon thinking and choosing in terms of the Greater Self, we rise above the spikes and spurs of shallow personalities.
Theosophy stresses the fact that, the purpose of all earthly existence being spiritual unfoldment, the circumstances in which the disciple finds himself must not be run away from, but used as means of inner growth. At no time is he encouraged in view that growth as his own private prerogative merely, but as part of the destiny of the human race. Viewing humanity as a mighty Brotherhood of Unfoldment, in which each seeks, by his own growth, to help forward the growth of all, he “lives to benefit mankind,” by slowly enriching earth’s atmosphere of spiritual fulfillment.
Should one ask himself “How can I make my life utterly real,” the answer might be: “Dedicate your living to uninterrupted growth of the inner Reality of all life.” In this relation, “Reality” in any human life must be measured in terms of inner unfoldment: “To thine own self be true!” i.e., accept for your life a program of interior spiritual growth first. Let all else become contributary to that; ally other aspect of “significance” must come secondary in importance. (This, needless to say, may block much social or political advancement!)
The Spiritual Self is your one Reality. The world in which you live is likely at any lime to offer but feeble contributions to that reality. Once you have clearly perceived it, no substitute will suffice. Meanwhile, your ultimate triumph must be a successful imposition of this Reality upon the illusion in the midst of which the SELF must unfold. This is your initial step in creating Heaven on Earth - HERE, NOW. Against it are arrayed all the illusory host of body, mind, emotions and senses - all-powerful liegemeu of the human personality. Above that hostile army Reality must reign supreme.
The only way in which most of us can consistently hold off the enemy is by choosing uncompromisingly the Rationality of Reality over the Chaos of Illusion. Reality is Divinity in control; Illusion is a lesser self yielding up the life to destructive subversion, a subversion manifesting in too many undertakings and organizations in today’s society. May not these prove to be, ultimately, an expression of the Insanity of Selfishness in which the Lesser seeks to dominate the Greater?
In the enlightened disciple rationality assumes a heroic stance, pledging allegiance to the godlike in man rather than to his unenlightened humanness. From this stance he daily builds into his earthly existence a wordless reverence for life, as the stage on which  all eternal spiritual drama is being enacted, a drama which takes first place, exceeding all else in importance since it has to do with the ultimate destiny of every man.
In these terms life takes on a sublime significance, an intelligent awareness of which can illuminate all its events and circumstances, giving them their appropriate places in the Universal Pattern. Life thus reveals itself as the fine art of fitting events of daily living into a harmonious mosaic of Spiritual Realization, in which every experience achieves added meaning. Life’s supreme miracles have their birth in the heart of man, miracles infinitely transcending “Getting to Heaven on a promissory Note”! Disdaining this questionable transaction, the enlightened man will invest with heavenly meaning this erstwhile “hell” of earthly existence.
“Behold, the mellow light that floods the Eastern sky. In signs of praise both heaven and earth unite. And from the four-fold manifested Powers a chant of love ariseth, both from the flaming Fire and flowing Water, and from sweet-smelling Earth and rushing Wind”. - The Voice of the Silence.
THEOSOPHY UNDER FIRE
Covering Basic Theosophical Teachings and Organizational Functioning of the Point Loma Theosophical Society.
Questions asked by Opposing Counsel in a Bona Fide Lawsuit; Answers given under Oath by Iverson I. Harris, then Chairman of the Society’s Cabinet.
This is a most interesting and historically valuable verbatim transcript of a deposition dating from February, 1945, published privately by Mr. Harris (Copyright, 1970), mainly on account of its intrinsic value as a succinct presentation of the Theosophical Philosophy, in answer to various searching, and at times tricky, questions.
Well worth careful perusal. First printing limited to five hundred copies. 90 pages; 10-1/2 x 8. Price: $3.00. Obtainable direct from the Author whose address is: 1877 Gresham Street, San Diego, California, 92109.