THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXVII
No. 3 (125) - Winter 1970-1971

[Cover photo: Sunset glories over the Pacific.]

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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 …

WINTER SOLSTICE

Not death is winter, but a knowing birth
When man, to gods adventuring to Earth,

Cries out, and, quickened by the lordly light
Of avataric splendor, magic white,

Sees in himself like radiance vast and deep
Of unawakened Sun, and worlds asleep.

Lean low, bright stars, this sacred Solstice time!
Up hearts! In LOVE one truth, one race, one clime!

Not death is winter, but a knowing birth
When gods for man adventure down to Earth.
- W. Emmett Small. [3]

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TOWARDS THE CITY OF THE SUN ...
Boris de Zirkoff

The essential purpose or the Theosophical Movement is to be a granary of ideas intended to impregnate the fertile soil of a new cycle of thought. Its votaries are pioneers or the spirit, whose life is dedicated to the liberation of the human race from the shackles of the senses and the dominion of material interests.

It is a work of ages. It requires men and women of vision, to whom personal concerns of praise, well-being, recognition and reward are of very little value if any, and whose minds are astir with the echo of a distant symphony vibrant with the Wind of the Spirit.

When the heavy clouds of human passion rise again from the depths of our unregenerate nature, and engulf the world in strife, greed and selfishness, the time is auspicious to re-assert our noblest ideals, to take firm resolutions to work for the upliftment of the race, and to impress once again upon our plastic minds thoughts of perpetual growth, endless improvement, unending change along the spiral course of evolution; it is precisely when ideals are trampled, and heroic deeds are denied or laughed at, that it is of paramount need for true men and women to proclaim the enduring strength of these ideals and the lasting value of noble action, backed by strong and lofty thoughts.

The call is for men and women of magnanimous heart, of all-encompassing sympathy, of greatness of soul, whose quiet serenity of the spirit creates peace among discord, light in the midst of darkness, wholeness in separateness and good will amidst contention.

We stand again at the threshold of another portal, the portal of the venerable god Janus, with his two faces, one turned towards the past, and the other towards the future, to which he holds the key. The first hour of the day, the calends of each month, and the first month alter the Winter Solstice are sacred to him. Many doors did he open in the past, now lost in the night of time; many other doors will he open into the undreamt possibilities of the future. As we stand facing that future - at least on its twelve-month scale - we dare to dream!

The world may be in the throes of a vast confusion, in the travail of a painful birth, but our dream is still above the horizon, undimmed and strong. It is a living thing, pulsating, heating with its own heartbeat, flooding with its radiance the high levels of human consciousness, brooding over the imperfections of men and the temporary triumph of the powers of darkness ... Our dream can never die! Out of it were born all the noble reforms throughout untold centuries of human growth; all the selfless deeds of valor which have helped the race to mount the thorny road of spiritual unfoldment as well as material progress; all the visions of the future which, from time to time, became the present, and gradually receded into the past, while greater visions rose upon the distant horizons of our hopes, beckoning us to come up higher ... Out of that ageless dream of human [4] perfectibility and global consciousness came the mighty thoughts which have shaped the new forms of civilization, and gave impetus to men and women to attempt the seemingly impossible, and to scale new heights of achievement. Out of it will come other thoughts, yet mightier and nobler, which will sustain the coming generations in their struggle for a world of enduring peace and good will among men ...

In the background of the Theosophical Movement, in any of its varied manifestations throughout the ages, there is a Solar Force at work. It is universal in nature and ceaseless in its action. From it have sprung all the noblest spiritual movements in the history of mankind. It has animated, inspired and invigorated all genuine mystics and seers whose words of wisdom and encouragement have resounded throughout the ages in the midst of gloom and despair. It is as much at work today as ever before, and it has its devotees and agents in every part of our world. They are the witnesses, sometimes silent and sometimes vocal, to the existence of that Solar Force, as well as the temporary channels which convey its healing streams wherever the greatest need may be at any time. And anyone of us, attuned to higher thoughts, may be responsive to this force and sensitive enough to embody a fragment of it in our own being. Essentially, of course, it is in no way different from the Solar splendor dwelling within the Higher Selfhood of every man, hidden though it be by the heavy clouds of our lesser nature.

The road to spiritual growth lies through the jungle of our personal selfhood, and the barbed wire entanglements of our passions; through the bleak and often dreary lands of despair and doubt, and on to the sunlit slopes of intuitive knowledge, towards the pure snow-covered peaks of our Spiritual Stratosphere, where the unfading glory of our own Divine Self shines in the silent heights of our Inmost being.

And so we greet each other once again as we enter another cycle as pilgrims striving along the age-old Path leading to the mystic City of the Sun ...

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“History teems with examples of the foundation of sects, churches, and parties by persons who, like ourselves, have launched new ideas. Let those who would be apostles, and write infallible revelations do so, we have no new church but only an old truth to commend to the world. Ours is no such ambition. On the contrary, we set our faces like flint against any such misuse of our Society. If we can only set a good example and stimulate to a better way of living, it is enough. Man’s best guide, religious, moral, and philosophical, is his own inner, divine sense. Instead of clinging to the skirts of any leader in passive inertia he should lean upon that better self - his own prophet, apostle, priest, king, and savior. No matter what his religion, he will find within his own nature the holiest of temples, the divinest of revelations.” - H.P. Blavatsky, The Theosophist, Vol. II, March, 1881, p. 118. [5]

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“FOR MIND IS LIKE A MIRROR …”
L. Gordon Plummer

[Digest of a talk presented to a group of students who were spending a week at the Palomar School Camp area on Mount Palomar, California.]

As our Camp is situated near the 200-inch Hale Telescope, it seems appropriate that I use a small mirror which I am holding in my hand to represent one aspect of the working of our minds.

Suppose first of all that I lay the mirror on the ground face down, thus. Very little light, if any, reaches the surface of the mirror, and there is no depth of reflection.

Now I take up the mirror, and look at myself in it. There is an image, and the depth of reflection is only a few inches. The image of my face fills the entire surface of the mirror. This may represent the state of mind of a person who is concerned with himself alone. He has no interests outside of those things that contribute to his own well-being and comfort. Such a mind is shallow indeed.

Now I turn the mirror so that it reflects all of you. At once the depth of the reflection increases, and it widens to take in all of you, as I move the mirror about. Think of the growth that is possible to any of us when we broaden our perspective, so as to take in the whole of the human family in our interest. We discover that every human being has much in common with ourselves, however apparent some differences may be. As our interest in others grows, so does our perspective on human life. There is so much more to it than we had suspected.

Now I turn the mirror so that it reflects the surrounding forest and the hills beyond. Think for a moment how, within the few square inches of glass I hold in my hand, all that is about us may be reflected, and the depth of the image equals the distance from the mirror to any object that it reflects. Does this not suggest that when we see Nature about us as an extension of the area that we now occupy, we can get a feeling that we belong to it in its entirety? Human life then becomes but one aspect of life universal. We all fit into a larger picture. It can give us a feeling of inner stability to know that our fretful lives so filled with problems, being a part of a world that is turned topsy-turvy with one crisis after another, is really a part of a vastly larger life. And just as Nature seems to be violent in all of its departments, and yet we can see through that violence to the heart of Nature, and find beauty there, so we can look through and beyond the apparent violence and turbulence of human life, and discover that behind it all, there is great nobility to be found. The world is filled with high-minded people who are living constructive lives. As we seek to do likewise, we become a part of a great fraternity that is the real backbone and the framework of human existence.

And now I go out into the night, and turn the mirror upwards so that it can catch the light of the innumerable stars and galaxies beyond. The few square inches of glass that I hold in my hand are now capable of [6] reflecting infinitude itself. Does this not suggest to us that when we turn our mind upwards and inwards to the Heart of the Universe, there is no limit to its possibilities?

And now I would like to tell an imaginary story which might bring home a lesson to us. Imagine, if you will that there is a town in a valley that is surrounded by mountains, and that it is night. The hours pass, and a few of the inhabitants of the town have climbed to one of the mountaintops. They can see the sunrise long before the first rays have reached down into the town for below.

They carry mirrors in their hands, and with these, they catch rays of the rising sun and direct them down into the village. (At this point, we might reflect an image of the sun onto a patch of shaded ground.) Those in the village who are awoke can see these reflected rays of the morning sun, and while they cannot see the sun as yet, it is a clear promise to them that the sun is rising, and that it is only a matter of time before it will appear to them over the mountaintops.

This picture is intended to allow us to think that in all the great world religions we find rays of the spiritual sunlight reflected toward humanity still struggling in spiritual darkness. Those who are awake can recognize these messages for what they are: a promise that the time will come when there will be a new dawn of understanding and spiritual wisdom for the human race. The sublime messages that have been given to all the races of mankind in all ages are a clear promise of the dawn-to-be.

Let us then open our eyes, and face the dawn.

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CONSTANT VIGILANCE
Montague A. Machell

“Behind Will stands Desire.”

Two Wills are operative in the life of man: the Will for Self, and the Will for All. The actions these two Wills inspire in daily living can be fittingly defined under the terms selfishness and brotherhood. The evil of selfishness inheres in its exclusiveness; the beneficence of brotherhood is in its recognition of man’s obligation to all mankind, since the basic nature of all is rooted in spiritual universality. Since “Behind Will stands Desire,” selfishness can vitalize the Will for Self with an intensity so dangerous that, in its worldwide expression, outside of a small minority, every man lives frantically for himself, i.e., against his fellowman, with results visible in crime and war on every hand.

He who is deeply imbued with the conviction that the fulfillment of his Desire comes first can become a menace to all about him. Moreover, since his every selfish desire is galvanized by an implacable Will, the truly unselfish devotee is hemmed in on every hand by a demonic multitude. Thus the dedicated champion of brotherhood is confronted with more than indifference; he invites the active enmity of the slaves of Self-Will. The one [7] advantage the unselfish individual enjoys is the fact that behind his aims and aspirations stands the Law of Universal Unfoldment, for all. He is working on the side of Divinity. “Oh, my Divinity, thou dost blend with the earth, and fashion for thyself temples of mighty power!”

Those “temples of mighty power” of Universal Law are his single haven of refuge, since Self-Will falls prostrate before the Will of THE ONE. Inasmuch as in a battle between the Will for Self in one man and the Will for All in another, intensity of Will can be a determining factor, the selfless champion has absolute need of the counterbalancing advantage of Universal Law. The mere acceptance of such a law must hinge on a primary acceptance of man and his universe as spiritual in origin and destiny, otherwise his appeal for help becomes illogical. Spiritual unfoldment being the law of life, he who would successfully confront the Will for Self in another must accept magnification of his own personal Will through the Will of THE ONE. Such magnification can only be a response to utterly selfless dedication on the part of the devotee.

Since every human action is the fruit of a human thought, successful accomplishment in life’s battles must depend, at last, upon man’s daily thought forms. In the case of the genuinely selfless devotee the exclusive rumination, “I alone am living a selfless life” can open the door to Will for Self. Constant concentration upon universality must feed one’s desire for a sweeter, holier world in whose beneficent unfoldment “my” growth or “my” virtue constitute but a minor aspect of law fulfilled. That aspect achieves importance as a contribution to an ever expanding love for all which shall render easier the growth of all, that esoteric mystery in which one becomes more and more nearly what he essentially is.

Exotericism in religion has sanctioned endless creeds and catechisms, plus endless ritual, because of the ease with which these fit into spoken and written words. Should we not remind ourselves that THAT to which these fluent formulae are addressed is THE UNUTTERABLE? Approach to it may be aided by volumes of inscribed symbols, but the REALITY can only find expression in SELFLESS LIVING, DEMANDING ETERNAL VIGILANCE regarding the multitude opposing it. What Theosophy refers to as Black Magic is doing a profitable business on many planes of thought and action, including the brain-washing of our more insistent advertising. He who would remain secure against technologies of ever-increasing subtlety is required to maintain a sound spiritual mind in a sound spiritual body, at all times accessible to increased vitality from Universal Spiritual sources.

An ever-increasing anxiety with regard to the conditions of life in which one finds himself can become a fatal distraction. This world we live in is but one world; that to which we can gain entrance in our heart’s depths is a world to be cultivated and to be reckoned with. No sooner has a man accepted “life” as an esoteric experience than it dawns upon him that “creating an inner world within this outer one” is his primary obligation. Spirituality cannot be bought and sold, like Palm Olive Soap! One single spiritual life, however, can strike a spark in other lives that can kindle [8] a world flame of regeneration. Buddha struck such a spark, and the flame has not been extinguished yet.

By the same token, on the other hand, those dedicated to Will for Self are constantly engaged in mapping their own particular campaign for self, which Divine Law alone is qualified to resist. Acceptance of ultimate spiritual truth spells dedication to Divine Law, which, in its turn, demands of him who accepts it the wordless but unanswerable eloquence of a Truth-full LIFE. “ Our’s not to reason why. Our’s but to DO ... not DIE!” The Selfless life is the fuller life or Universality that shall hold a ray for every race and every civilization. The ONE was, before any of these. Identity with THE ONE means selfless, timeless, living, wherein on every day pours the sunlight of the Eternal. Though Buddha merely lived, walked and spoke among men, his own spiritual radiance wrote its message in human hearts for immeasurable time. Shall that one who borrowed light from him allow his own flame to die, or shall he dare to kindle a World of Splendor within this world of shadows?

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THE ETERNAL SPLENDOR
George Cardinal LeGros

“Learn now that there is no cure for desire, no cure for the love of reward, no cure for the misery of longing, save in the fixing of the sight and hearing upon that which is invisible and soundless. Begin even now to practice it and so a thousand serpents will be kept from your path. Live in the eternal. - Light on the Path.

I believe that in this citation the Adept-author has given a valuable key to self-conquest. We learn from other writings by Adepts and chelas that our struggle with the lower nature is hopeless if waged on the enemy’s home ground. But by “living in the eternal,” we get above him and enjoy a great advantage.

To rise into this transcendental realm is a formidable undertaking, as anyone who attempts it soon discovers. And it is impossible if one tries to make the “ascension” with all his worldly luggage. It simply cannot be done. Pride, envy, hatred, personal love, etc., have no place in the eternal.

And here is the point. There is an enormous difference between “fighting” pride, hatred, and the rest of the luggage, and simply discarding it. The reader may point out, and with good reason, that this “discarding” of qualities that one has carried around, and added to, for ages, is in itself a prodigious feat; and he will be right.

But this abandonment of everything which, in respect to the eternal, is mere rubbish, can at least be visualized in the mind. “Assume a virtue if you have it not.” One must “see himself” as free from the deadly weight - live in advance of himself, as it were, and then take the plunge into that Void of Mystery where “ Alaya’s Self” - “a shoreless, Universal Essence” - forever IS.

It seems to me that with every “plunge” we take, the iron chains that [9] bind us to our earthly baggage are loosened, perhaps only a little, but enough to show that eventual and final freedom is possible. One returns from each experience with a sense of inner exultation, and with knowledge that true life and being lie beyond, in the sweet, clean air of the formless worlds.

To the possible objection that this is only another form of mystical “escapism,” one might quote all day from Light on the Path, which insists that this objective life is an unreal phantasmagoria - an “insubstantial pageant” destined to fade when the bells of pralaya ring.

Anyway, I am enthusiastic about making these excursions (call them imaginary if you will) into the world beyond. I also admit that they are a lot easier to make here in the Ozark wastelands where I am self-exiled than in the cities of my earth-bound years.

Here with the oak forests, pathless hills, and endless meadows, one can watch the passing seasons and observe the impermanence and constant change taking place in Nature. The summertime was so real and beautiful that I could not imagine that it ever would end; but it did, and now the fields are bare and desolate, and in the black spectral trees no birds sing.

The great winter of death is approaching, and the snows will come, and my once golden world of blossom and leaf will be ice-locked and silent under iron-grey skies. Spring will return, but only as a visitor; and all our years will pass, on phantom feet, into the vastness of Duration.

All around us - even within us - is that inconceivable Immensity of the Eternal - the Reality which is both our Self and our Home. The mighty cycles turn, and we follow together the endless highway of self-becoming. Such is the way of impersonal Nature.

As one studies these tremendous teachings of Theosophy, he realizes that we can have no quarrel with the universe, no objection to the scheme of things, no complaint for being alive in time and space. And he knows that, sooner or later, everyone will - because he must - look beyond the ranges of this earthly life, and merge his being, if only for passing moments, with the Eternal Splendor.

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“We should not give blind acceptance to any truth. We should not say: ‘That has been revealed, therefore it is so - I shall in that sense think no more about it.’ The road of progress does not lie that way.

“When a truth is presented to us, we must test and we must use it - apply it here, apply it there - sympathetically, not suspiciously; expecting to find it true, but realizing fully that it cannot be a truth for us until we have thoroughly experimented with it, and can prove it on the blackboard of our lives. Up to then, it can only be an interesting theory, to which we give the reverent attention due its source and arresting power - part of the mass of undigested ‘head doctrine’ of which we are possessed, but in no sense ‘heart doctrine’ before we have performed all the necessary experiments in the laboratories of mind and feeling.

“We are wise if we keep a list of these axioms and work over them one by one, patiently and thoroughly, until we have made them our own. When we have done that, we can pass them on to others.

“No man has a faith if he has not tested it.”
- From Fragments, by Cave. [10]

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W. Q. JUDGE ON THEOSOPHICAL WORK

[The following letter, so far unpublished, was written by Mr. Judge to Mr. C. H. Collings who had joined the T.S. in 1891, soon after H.P.B.’s death. He lived and worked for a time at 19 Avenue Road, London, where the Keightleys and Countess Wachtmeister were his intimate friends. Mr. Collings was a staunch supporter of Mr. Judge during the years of trouble and in the twenties of the present century founded the Judge Lodge in London which flourished up to the start of the last World War. We publish the letter by permission of Mrs. C. H. Smith, Mr. Collings’ daughter who, as a young woman, had the wonderful opportunity of proofreading the “Mahatma Letters” and the “Blavatsky Letters to A. P. Sinnett” when these two volumes were prepared for the Press by A. Trevor Barker in 1923 and 1924. - Editor, Theosophia.]

December 3, 1895.
Dear Mr. Collings,

Although so far away yet through Dr. and Mrs. Keightley I hear something of all that you and your co-workers are doing. It interests me very much; it must be of great effect and value both now and in later days. As I understand it your work is with those who are called in England “common people.” In this country we are all common people, and such work strictly is hardly possible here. It is therefore very interesting, because from the better (so called) classes no great improvement will come. If you can sensibly alter those “common people” you will have done a great work for the world. The cultured classes do not give us any hope for Theosophy; they are too selfish and too superficial.

I feel sure you do not hold that erroneous opinion that Theosophy can only be properly understood by the highly educated. Any man can understand it and make it a part of his life. In fact I think that its essential truths are easier for the humble than for the polished. For a lot of education and a smattering of different notions in the heads of the better educated makes it difficult for them to come to any conclusions in such matters.

I trust you will go on unfalteringly. Do not be depressed by anything. It is no use. Besides it may be avoided if you will avoid selling down, to be achieved, any certain results to persons, numbers, times or otherwise. We must be satisfied with what the times and Karma give us after we have done our duty and our best.

Let us simplify our teachings, avoiding long and strange words. “Merit” and “Demerit” expresses part of Karma and are words well known to Catholics. And so on in all directions we should try to avoid all pedantry and the making of a new language.

Well, I can’t say why I have written so much, as I haven’t time and don’t do it to others. But so it is, and off it goes to you with my best love.
(signed) WILLIAM Q. JUDGE. [11]

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THE MARVELS OF SINCERITY
Dara Eklund

Sincerity is a shield at many crossroads. It engages trust and confidence in schemes which seem incredible. It has even been used as an excuse “to rush where angels fear to tread.” The sincere person is often guileless. He takes chances because he trusts in the innocence of his motive and extends it to others also. He may feel himself invulnerable. “I have burned through many dangers with the sword of truth, may not my motive now protect me?” Or, on the other hand, “I marvel how well I got out of that one!”

Childlike qualities are admirable in a child and our ability to trust in the basic goodness of mankind may keep us young throughout our lives. It would be like hardening of the arteries if we couldn’t keep faith in high purpose and ever-new possibilities for growth and change. Yet when we reach a point where experience has proven the voice of our intuition, it is time to quicken to that voice and avert an experience before it occurs. Why be “carried away” when we can forge out own experiences? Isn’t intuition itself an experience? It is our own higher Buddhic intelligence moving us away from events and connections which might divert us from the main path we have chosen. It is an experience of a Higher Law, higher than our own particular impulses. We may harbor inclinations to convert another’s wayward tendencies into some high pursuit. We may admire his highest capabilities and wish to jar them from a slate of complacency. We have forgotten that a true educator is never impatient, and meets within himself those conditions he deplores without.

A patient dweller on this “impatient” planet is content to yearn for the duties of his own calling, not those of another. He would not press drifters and wayfarers into his current, being too busy steadying his own raft. Undue concern might draw antagonism and counter-currents which lead him off into insincere and distracting connections.

Of course, one grand marvel of sincerity is that a sincere man may avoid the strife for originality. He may realize that ideas are as old as the hills. He will be the steady sort who is content to work tirelessly for humanity over many centuries. He could not deceive himself into thinking that any credit is to be accrued from these efforts other than a larger love, the more he feels the pains of others as his own. He could find original approaches to this problem, but it isn’t likely he would be swayed by our most common fault of feeling unique in our creative accomplishments. Every creative fire is forging new ways into the hearts of men, drawing upward new sparks and a luminosity that no earthly painter can portray.

The wise man is usually sincere, but the sincere man is not always wise. A man’s sincerity to help can become so intense that he tends to give up a hold on his own immediate duties. This is why by courageous balance a student should cultivate “non-interference.” When accosted fearlessly by Diogenes, Alexander the Great was said to have offered him anything he wished. “I [12] ask only that you stand out of my sunlight,” was his reply. We must know when to refrain from giving help, as well as when to give it. As parents, we find children responding more to gentle reminders at brief intervals than to constant commands. We ought to take them less to task over every detail. As neighbors, and friends we learn to let go of plans and wait for developments. As students, we absorb what the teacher has already given by practical application, rather than begging for more out of sheer ambition for progress. And as teachers, we learn to listen to the needs of others and provide culture for what is intrinsically good in them. Though not very glamorous, these precepts, are also the marvels of sincerity.

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1888
H. P. Blavatsky

[This Editorial by H.P.B. appeared in Lucifer, Vol. I, January, 1888; although concerned particularly with that year; it contains a number of most valuable thoughts which we may put to use at any time.]

People usually wish that their friends shall have a happy new year, and sometimes “prosperous” is added to “happy.” It is not likely that much happiness or prosperity can come to those who are living for the truth under such a dark number as 1888; but still the year is heralded by the glorious star Venus-Lucifer, shining so resplendently that it has been mistaken for that still rarer visitor, the star of Bethlehem. This too, is at hand; and surely something of the Christos spirit must be born upon earth under such conditions. Even if happiness and prosperity are absent, it is possible to find something greater than either in this coming year. Venus-Lucifer is the sponsor of our magazine, and as we chose to come to light under its auspices, so do we desire to touch on its nobility. This is possible for us all personally, and instead of wishing our readers a happy or prosperous New Year, we feel more in the vein to pray them to make it one worthy of its brilliant herald. This can be effected by those who are courageous and resolute. Thoreau pointed out that there are artists in life, persons who can change the colour of a day and make it beautiful to those with whom they come in contact. We claim that there are adepts, masters in life who make it divine, as in all other arts. Is it not the greatest art of all, this which affects the very atmosphere in which we live? That it is the most important is seen at once, when we remember that every person who draws the breath of life affects the mental and moral atmosphere of the world, and helps to colour the day for those about him. Those who do not help to elevate the thoughts and lives of others must of necessity either paralyse them by indifference, or actively drag them down. When this point is reached, then the art of life is converted into the science of death; we see the black magician at work. And no one can be quite inactive. Although many bad books and pictures are produced, still not everyone who is incapable of writing or painting will insist [13] on doing so badly. Imagine the result if they were to! Yet so it is in life. Everyone lives, and thinks, and speaks. If all our readers who have any sympathy with LUCIFER endeavored to learn the art of making life not only beautiful but divine, and vowed no longer to be hampered by disbelief in the possibility of this miracle, but to commence the Herculean task at once, then 1888, however unlucky a year, would have been fitly ushered in by the gleaming star. Neither happiness nor prosperity are always the best of bedfellows for such undeveloped mortals as most of us are; they seldom bring with them peace, which is the only permanent joy. The idea of peace is usually connected with the close of life and a religious state of mind. That kind of peace will however generally be found to contain the element of expectation. The pleasures of this world have been surrendered, and the soul waits contentedly in expectation of the pleasures of the next. The peace of the philosophic mind is very different from this and can be attained to early in life when pleasure has scarcely been tasted, as well as when it has been fully drunk of. The American Transcendentalists discovered that life could be made a sublime thing without any assistance from circumstances or outside sources of pleasure and prosperity. Of course this had been discovered many times before, and Emerson only took up again the cry raised by Epictetus. But every man has to discover this fact freshly for himself, and when once he has realized it he knows that he would be a wretch if he did not endeavour to make the possibility a reality in his own life. The Stoic became sublime because he recognized his own absolute responsibility and did not try to evade it; the Transcendentalist was even more, because he had faith in the unknown and untried possibilities which lay within himself. The occultist fully recognizes the responsibility and claims his title by having both tried and acquired knowledge of his own possibilities. The Theosophist who is at all in earnest, sees his responsibility and endeavors to find knowledge, living, in the meantime, up to the highest standard of which he is aware. To all such LUCIFER gives greeting! Man’s life is in his own hands, his fate is ordered by himself. Why then should not 1888 be a year of greater spiritual development than any we have lived through? It depends on ourselves to make it so. This is an actual fact, not a religious sentiment. In a garden of sunflowers every flower turns towards the light. Why not so with us?

And let no one imagine that it is a mere fancy, the attaching of importance to the birth of the year. The earth passes through its definite phases and man with it; and as a day can be coloured so can a year. The astral life of the earth is young and strong between Christmas and Easter. Those who form their wishes now will have added strength to fulfill them consistently. [14]

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ON THOUGHT AND THOUGHTS
[Excerpts from the Writings of Dr. Gottfried de Purucker.]

“... Remember that every thought is an elemental. Even a human being gives utterance to energy-centers: utters them, that is emits them, emanates them; and these energy-centers are thoughts. Being elementals they have a future before them, but they do not begin with him. I do not mean by this on the one hand that he is merely a channel through which these thoughts pass. He is more than that. He is their father, their parent. But may I ask you if the father of a child creates his child? He is somewhat more than a channel and yet he is not a creator.

“Thoughts come to us, enter our minds from the thought-reservoir of the planet, and yet they would not come to us if we were not capable of receiving them. The thoughts we have depend upon our own individual grade in evolutionary development. Coarse people have coarse thoughts; spiritual people attract spiritual energy-centers, or thought-elementals. Furthermore, there are certain thoughts which originate in the very life-essence of a human being, and these are his own very children, born of his being. They originate in the thought-organ, commonly called the mind, which is one of the apparatuses of the Monadic Essence, somewhat like an organ in the body, a part of the body, and yet not the whole body. So the organ of thought is not the whole mind, but a part of the inner constitution, devoted, or consecrated, or built rather, for uttering, giving birth, to thoughts; just as other parts of the constitution give birth to the other energy-centers ... It is quite wrong, for instance, to speak of thoughts as being attracted down from high spiritual beings, and imprisoned here. Human beings do not do that. Human beings are merely one of the channels, one of the Circulations of the Cosmos, of the Universe, through which the energies of the Universe pass and manifest themselves. We human beings are not so frightfully important in the Universe as all that questioner’s idea implies. Strictly speaking, the human being is no more important than the merest atom, for in the absolute sense of the words there is neither great nor small in the divine economy. The atom has as much right to be, and to live, and to grow, as a human being has.

“Thoughts are things because they are elementals. Entities are beginningless, really. Try to grasp the idea. They come into one Hierarchy on the lowest plane, and grow and evolve in that Hierarchy until they attain the highest plane thereof, and then pass on into a higher Hierarchy, entering into the lowest plane of that superior Hierarchy; and thoughts act like everything else does. We human beings may be considered to be thoughts of some entity still more sublime than we are, in which entity we live and move and have our being. And by human beings, I do not mean our bodies. I mean the thinking self-consciousness part of us, living temporarily in these physical bodies - the energy part of us.

“No, the remark that I made was an attempt to destroy the impression that human beings by their brain-minds create or originate thoughts out of [15] nothing at all; that thoughts begin and never had an existence before. That idea is all wrong. Think of the example of the father and the child: the latter bone of the bone, blood of the blood, flesh of the flesh of the former; and just passing through the father as a channel, and yet not wholly as a channel. The germ of life would not go through the father, unless there were a strong physiological bond, indeed a spiritual bond, as well as a physical bond. We are all interlinked together. We are all interblended. We are all intercommunicating.

“So it is with thoughts which pass through the mind, except that wonderful class of thoughts that originate in our own Monadic Essence, and are, in a still more intimate sense, born of us, our very children; and these will be with us for eternity. We are throwing them forth constantly, evolving them forth, as well receiving vagrant thoughts that come to us from the thought-reservoirs of the planets in which are the children of other thinking entities. These other thoughts that come to us are the very children of other human beings, just as our own very children - the particular class that I spoke of - in their turn become vagrant children, through the minds, through the thought-organs, of other human beings.” [Dialogues, I, 383-86.]

“… Nothing has a beginning except in a relative sense. What we call beginnings and endings are the passings of energies through a certain plane, as it were. If the consciousness is functioning on that plane and sees the passing of the energy, be it a thought or an elemental, we recognize it and say it began and it ends. All we see is the beginning, or rather the appearance, and the ending or the disappearance.

“A thought comes into perceptive consciousness from the recesses and deeps of our own being, has its time - an instant or an hour or a week perhaps - and vanishes for the time being out of our consciousness. But what becomes of it? It returns to the reservoir of our aura, also to the reservoir of consciousness, re-enters the stream, the general stream of consciousness, to reappear at some future time. That is where they come from.

“We think thoughts and we imagine that we never thought them before. Actually we are merely thinking once again what we have thought before. The thoughts are elemental entities, growing things. Each thought at its reappearance is a little more clearly defined, a little more symmetrical, and thus we recognize its growth. But they spring from the consciousness in which we happen to be, as we say we ‘forget’ them. It merely means that they have lapsed back into the fountain again.

“So a human being comes to Earth, is born a child, lives his life, makes his gestures, has his aspirations, his hopes and his hates, and so forth, and finally disappears and we say he is ‘dead.’ Do you suppose, that man began when he was born and ends when he dies? That is contrary to all our teaching. As a Monadic Essence he never had a beginning and never will have an end; and the elemental in its evolutionary stage called a thought, follows the same rule. … We human beings originated as the thoughts of ‘human beings’ in preceding Manvantaras. We were elementals once and now are human beings.” [Dialogues, I, 211-13.][16]

*

H. P. BLAVATSKY
Collected Writings

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