THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXVIII
No. 1 (127) - Summer 1971

[Cover Photo: Spiral Galaxy in Pisces, NGC 628 (200-inch telescope, Palomar Observatory.)]

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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: $1.50 a year (four issues); single copy 40 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

THE VOICE

Reach out, It said. You are Immensity,
Infinitude, the All, the endless surge
Of waves upon a dark and shoreless sea
Wherein all breath and being move and merge.
Dare you be less than That which ever Is,
Or disavow the Vastness which is you
To starve the spirit-soul with earthly bliss
As brief and evanescent as the dew?
Reach out, It said. Surrender to the Whole
The self in you enamored of this dream
That men call life, and yours will be the goal
Of Sacrifice Eternal and Supreme.
But only by the giving, night and day,
Of all you are. There is no other way.
- George Cardinal LeGros. [3]

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TWO SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
Boris de Zirkoff

Within the ranks of the organized Theosophical Movement, there have existed for a number of years past two schools of thought vastly different from each other.

One of them is primarily based upon the writings of H.P. Blavatsky, the chief founder of the Theosophical Society, and the pronouncements of her own superiors in the occult hierarchy. To these may be added a considerable number of essays and articles written by some of the direct pupils of the Teachers, and frequently under their own direction.

The other school is based upon claimed psychic investigations and clairvoyant revelations of several individuals whose claims have remained unsupported and unchecked by any collateral authority, and have been accepted on their own say-so, without any subsidiary corroboration. The teachings of these two schools of thought diverge from, and very often contradict, each other on various important points. In the very nature of things, they cannot be harmonized.

Personal attachments of students to one or another "authority," genuine or claimed, is of course no guarantee, and therefore cannot decide either the nature or the implications of one or the other approach to the subject of occultism. Something more is required than emotional reactions or the tendency to overlook essentials and disregard fundamental differences.

It is quite probable that in a Movement like ours, no matter what historical era it may manifest itself, there will arise from time to time individuals whose psychic tendencies will be the basis for various claims of special knowledge, and groups of followers will always be found to give them the emotional support which they desire - a support devoid of any intellectual basis or independent analysis of the claims made. This seems to be the fate of all occult and pseudo-occult movements whose history has come down to us, however imperfectly.

It is a curious commentary upon human confusion in general, and the psycho-mental uncertainty of some students of Theosophy, that Publishing Houses within the organized Theosophical Movement sell indiscriminately various works belonging to the two diametrically opposite schools of thought mentioned above, and often advertise them on the same page of their publications. Considering this fact, the accusation made by some hostile critics that the organized Movement is not vitally interested in spreading truth (as it understands it), but in merely selling books on the general subject of occultism, is not without foundation, and should be sympathetically considered and analyzed.

There is, however, a very important fact which must not be overlooked by students. It is concerned with science and scientific discoveries and developments of recent years. [4]

It so happens that scores of the most up-to-date scientific pronouncements concerning the nature and structure of the universe support and uphold many of the statements contained in the writings of H. P. Blavatsky and her own Teachers, while the same pronouncements go contrary to, and disavow the claims of psychic investigators and the results of their research. This fact is of primary importance and should be given most careful consideration by students of Theosophy.

Recent developments in the field of astronomy, chemistry, physics, anthropology, biology and, above all, in the newly developed area of parapsychology, present a long list of discoveries, as well as theories, which were foreshadowed in The Secret Doctrine and other contemporary writings from high occult sources. The scientific achievements and conclusions have thrown further doubt, however, on a number of psychic speculations the nature of which had been suspect for some years past.

There is a serious warning contained in this fact of observation.

It would be regrettable if the reader were to j ump to the totally unwarranted conclusion that no reliance whatever should be given to the pronouncements of psychics and clairvoyant, on the ground that they are, allegedly, always wrong. This is not true.

Psychic vision can be objective and reliable, but only in the case of those extremely rare individuals who have received severe and sustained occult training, maybe for more than one lifetime, under the guidance of a competent Teacher, himself a genuine Initiate. Many are those who have psychic vision, or psychic sensitivity of one type or another; many are those who are to some extent clairvoyant or clairaudient. But the overwhelming majority of them do not know what they see or hear and, jumping to conclusions, ascribe what they perceive to totally wrong causes, and interpret them in accordance with one or another theory or pet illusion which gives a special bent to their mind and their emotions. Hence the unreliability of otherwise kindly and friendly folk claiming to be the custodians of higher knowledge.

The only way in which truth can be sifted from a lot of psychic rubbish, as far as students of Theosophy are concerned, is by a calm analysis of the teachings of the two schools referred to above. Compare their pronouncements on the basic occult subjects. Consider their implications. Do not jump to conclusions on the basis of an inadequate research. Find out whether the propositions under consideration are logical, reasonable and universal; whether they fit together into a harmonious whole; whether they follow one from the other and support one another. If they do not, reserve your judgement and remain alert. A more prolonged study may be required before you can arrive at a conclusion that will satisfy you in every way.

On the eve of the centenary of the modern Theosophical Movement, we are called upon to purify the Theosophical atmosphere of unfortunate delusions and to abide as closely as possible by the original teachings as a sacred trust in our care. [5]

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SCIENCE AND MENTAL DYNAMICS
Lina Psaltis

"The West has its own work and its duty, its own life and development. Those it should perform, aspire to and follow ..." - W. Q. Judge

The 20th century has been witness to an evolutionary cycle in which science and religion would seem to be reaching toward an integrated relationship traditionally considered to be inharmonious and unrelated - that of the varied aspects of man's consciousness. The product of the Judeo-Christian culture may not be aware as yet of the religious implications inherent in the awakened interest of the scientist in the powers of the mind, but from all indications current research would appear to be heading in the direction of a form of Gnosticism. For many generations has that which is popularly classed as the "occult" been swept into a trash bin labeled "Cult of the Irrational," but the ground swell of interest, both on the part of the scientist and the layman, in altered states of consciousness has grown phenomenally in the last decade and gives no indication of abating.

To obtain an understanding of the directional force of this cyclic wave, we must go back to the date 1848 and the rise of public interest in spiritualism associated with the manifestations surrounding the Fox sisters. In the last quarter of that century, Sigmund Freud, after studying with Jean Charcot, collaborated with Josef Breuer in the publication of a book (Studien uber Hysterie, 1895) which was based upon the method of hypnosis in treating hysteria (a position Freud later abandoned); it was the starting point of psychoanalysis, and Freud is commonly thought of as greatly influencing the fields of anthropology, education, art and literature. The science of man and his works, anthropology, also came to the fore in that very significant period of the late 19th century. The discipline of psychiatry led directly into the investigation of the powers of the mind of man. The field of anthropology, leading ideally into an interest in human behavior unbiased and uninfluenced by preconceived ideas (R. Benedict, Patterns of Culture.), revealed that the institution of the supernatural is near-universal and depends for its manifestation upon the social order and behavioral patterns of any given culture. The early Thirties witnessed the beginnings of scientific investigation of what had been completely subjective areas of man's life-experience - parapsychology. And so it was that Western culture entered another phase of its existence.

The primary purpose of this article is an exploration of the findings of the scientific community in the area of the paranormal (or parapsychology) and a comparative study with theosophical teachings. The writer has selected the works of William Q. Judge as being representative of, and faithful to, the Teachings of Those who "have remained with the West since many centuries for the purpose of helping it on its mission and destiny." (Letters That Have Helped Me, Vol. II, p. 13.) [6]

J. D. Rhine, the most widely-known investigator of psychic phenomena, has, through controlled laboratory experiments, demonstrated the existence of functions of the psychological capacities unexplainable by the five senses as they are commonly understood. These functions are classified the "psi function." The psi function in turn is divided into two main categories: extrasensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis (PK). ESP is defined as: beyond, or outside the scope of, ordinary sense perception; and PK as: mental operation on a material body or a physical energy system. "The psi function is in all instances the result of an interaction between an organism and its environment ... the subject interacts with objective environment in a way for which there is no physical explanation and no acceptable physical hypothesis." (Rhine and Pratt, Parapsychology.) ESP would then relate to the impact of the environmental forces upon a species and PK would include the manipulating or control of the forces of nature and, theoretically, the environment. J. Grey Walter in The Living Brain contends that these "peculiar forms of behavior ... cannot fit ... into the physical laws of the universe as we define them today ..."

We can readily see that the laws governing the unseen, unheard, unfelt levels of man's experience intrigue, puzzle and drive on the intuitive scientist. Judge remarks that it is necessary to know and admit "The existence and operation of occult laws and forces in nature which may be used to produce phenomenal results on this plane; that these laws and forces may be put into operation by the subconscious man and by the elementals either consciously or unconsciously, and that many of these occult operations are automatic in the same way as is the freezing of water by intense cold or the melting of ice under heat." (Ocean of Theosophy, p. 152.) Incorporating that with the fact that the real organs of the so-called five senses are located in the astral body, that this latter has a complete system of nerves and arteries which convey the astral fluid (analogous to the physical form), and that here are "located the subconscious perception and the latent memory" (ibid., p. 42.), we have a partial answer for the scientist. We would stress the significance of the terms latent, unconscious and subconscious in the above.

The Hindu yogi and the Zen meditator have aroused the clinical interest. It has been found that during the state of meditation, the yogi is able to control consciously the electrical activity of his brain. The use of the electroencephalograph (EEG) has enabled the researcher to register the various states of consciousness ranging from meditation to clairvoyance. The Kirlian photography in Russia has made it possible to show concretely the flow of various psychic energies. (See Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain.)

Dr. Andrija Puharich in Beyond Telepathy went beyond the experimental stages of proving the existence of paranormal functions in man and set forth a theory as to how they function. He called that which functions without regard to physical laws the "nuclear self" or "mobile center of consciousness" which is "capable of localizing anywhere ... and having a field of operation beyond that normally [7] connected with the physical ... (Further-more) it has all the characteristics ascribed to mind." (Beyond Telepathy.) The term for the energy field involved in the action of the nuclear self is the psi-plasma field (plasma, as in the original Greek, meaning form), and he postulates that this psi-plasma field establishes an identity of content of object and percipient of the sensation; that without such an hypothesis there could never exist public agreement on things viewed in common; and finally that psi-plasma fields are coupled to physical fields by a gravitational force ... (ibid.)

Use of the EEG revealed that the subjects who functioned successfully in the experiments had two primary brain wave patterns. An increased frequency of rhythms in the subject, the state called adrenergia, was of short duration; for example, shock, fright and tension caused the psi-plasma field to be attracted more tightly to the physical field. A decreased frequency of rhythms, called cholinergia, resulted in an expansion of the psi-plasma field. (The Kirlian photography made it possible for anyone to observe this high-frequency field.) Two Subjects were involved in the experiments, one served as the sender, his was the adrenergic state; the other served as the receiver, his was the cholinergic state. The flow of energy from the sender to the receiver functioned because of the hypothetical common mental field, or psi-plasma field. Those subjects successful in the cholinergic state were those with a marked degree of psychic ability, clairvoyants, mediums etc. His studies showed that there were also other physiological factors involved.

The implications of his work are of a broad spectrum and serve to illustrate Judge's statement that the field of psychic forces, phenomena and dynamics is indeed vast. Perhaps regrettably, Puharich is no longer involved in this area of research.

What do we find in Theosophy?

The astral plane is but one step removed from the physical plane and is the force field for the functioning of the astral consciousness. Judge employed the term astral body whereas today we might say energy body. He states that all instances of clairvoyance and clairaudience are to be explained by the astral body and the astral light which work at a distance as great as the extension of the astral light or matter around and about the earth; that the astral body will explain nearly all the strange psychical things in daily life; and, finally, that "in the ordinary man ... the astral body cannot go more than a few feet from the physical one. It is a part of that physical, it sustains it and is incorporated in it just as the fibres of the mango are all through that fruit. But there are those who, by reason of practices pursued in former lives on the earth, have a power born with them of unconsciously sending out the astral body ... Those who have trained themselves by a long course of excessively hard discipline which reaches to the moral and mental nature and quite beyond the power of the average man of the day, can use the astral form at will ... In their case they act with knowledge and consciously [and they] avoid the risks attendant on such use of potencies [because of their] high character." (Ocean, pp. 41-42, 44.) [8]

The major stumbling block in the path of the laboratory technicians is that all subjects under investigation in the laboratory do not function in the psi field - insofar as they can observe with the available equipment - hence the psi function cannot be established as universally developed and so remains a potential or uncommon sense. However, if current mind research continues along the lines now laid down, a means might conceivably be found to stimulate into activity now dormant and unconscious abilities.

In commenting upon the psi-plasma field, Puharich states: "It is implicit to our concept that since the psi-plasma field is a governing factor in the nature of energy and matter fields, and since the psi-plasma field is the a priori field, there must be a basic element of determinism behind the operation of our personal psi-plasma field. If the majority of individuals will, think, and exert effects (directed by a purpose and shaped toward an end) on their psi-plasma field, it would appear that they can determine the overall probability of the outcome of any event." (Op. cit.) Dr. Rhine, in turn, opines that no area of human relations would be unaffected by the recognition of the reality of a subjective life with principles of its own. He regards psi as a means of interaction between a person and his universe. (Op. cit.)

As an occultist, Judge's views reflect the long range scope of man's evolutionary growth:

"The human brain is an exhaustless generator of force. A complete knowledge of the inner chemical and dynamic laws of nature, together with a trained mind, give the possessor the power to operate the laws. This will be man's possession in the future ... A knowledge of the law when added to faith gives power over matter, mind and time ..." (Ocean, p. 138.)

Then a cautionary note is struck:

"Before we force our inner nature up beyond the dead level of the world ... we should on the lower plane, accumulate all that we can of merit by unselfish acts, by kind thoughts, by detaching our minds from the allurements of the world .... This will make us free from the great force and power of the unconscious and material basis of our nature." (Letters, Vol. II, p. 7.)

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ISIS UNVEILED
H. P. Blavatsky
- New Edition as part of the Collected Writings of H. P. Blavatsky.
- VOLUME I is now available for immediate delivery.
- Pre-publication price is $18.00 for the set of Two Volumes. (After Volume II is off the Press in early 1972, the price for the complete set will be $20.00.)
- Order from: The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Ill., 60187. [9]

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PUNISHMENT OR - PURIFICATION
Dr. John W. Campbell

He sat hunched forward on the edge of his chair in the small living room. "What have I done?" be asked bitterly. "What terrible deeds have I committed to deserve all this? I've had Multiple Sclerosis, a stroke and half-a-dozen heart attacks. Now tell me, can you explain why I'm still sitting here doomed to this useless existence?"

I addressed him as kindly as I could. "Do you agree, Edward, that we reap what we sow?"

"That's just it," he lamented. "I can't imagine my doing anything bad enough to justify what has happened to me!"

I had met Edward at a health resort in Arkansas, and during the following year had exchanged several letters with him. At first, his communications were optimistic, and full of eager queries about health improvement and the restoration of his broken body. I responded with advice on diet and special exercises to reestablish the normal function of his spastic muscles. Then he suffered the most severe of his several heart attacks.

Weeks passed without a word from him. Then a note in an unfamiliar handwriting arrived, telling of his going to Florida to escape the severe winter weather. Sometime later be was air-lifted home and was again able to write to me.

Now his letters showed much of the same positive mental attitude they had previously, but between the lines I detected a spirit of utter despair. It seemed to me that something within him was awakening and crying out for an answer.

His unexpressed questions were, I thought: "Why am I here? Why do I exist in this pitiable condition? Is there some inscrutable Divine Plan which accounts for the inexplicable things that happen?"

Soon, I determined to visit him. In his tiny room then I said, "My brother, I come not as an authority, nor even as a good student, but simply as one who believes that he has seen the Path which leads to the PATH OF TRUTH. There was a time when I asked the same questions which I suspect are in your mind. Once, adversity forced me to leave the treadmill of my thoughts and see my complex existence as one startling picture. I had to find the reason for life, for my being here, and for my suffering.

"I knew that either my mind was sound enough to discover the mysterious 'Key' to the riddle of life, or that I would go on seeing my existence as nothing more than a cruel, senseless nightmare that were better ended. And the fact that I am here with you now is proof that I did find what I consider to be that magical key.

"A major part of the philosophy which I embrace today consists of the twin doctrines of Reincarnation and Karma. The latter, which means 'action' or 'effect following cause,' is the great, universal 'habit' of Nature which demands that all discords and inharmonies which we create be resolved, so that Universal equilibrium may be restored.

"And the first law - Reincarnation - means that we return again and again to this Earth in order to balance the [10] discords we have been responsible for in previous lives, and to move ahead toward greater self-knowledge and greater desire to be of help to our fellows.

"Suffering comes when these Karmic adjustments take place, and, being limited to a brain whose memory embraces only the experience pattern of our present imbodiment, we are unable to 'look back' to those lives when we created the causes whose effects now find us out - like chickens coming home to roost.

"But there is an Inner Self in you, an Inner Man who KNOWS the justice of everything that happens to you, and it is possible for you to aspire to a companionship with this Greater Self, and share his wisdom and peace. In other words, you can, if you try, reach up to the plane of being whereon he dwells, and see the otherwise inscrutable workings of Karma as he sees them.

"Then you will know the mighty truth - that which man calls 'suffering' is actually a 'purification' of this lower, personal man so that he can join forces with the Invisible Warrior Within.

"It is, of course, only natural that apart from flagellants and masochists, no one likes to suffer. And still, in one form or another, suffering is the order of the day, of the year, and of life itself.

"Therefore, 'grin and bear it' is the motto of the average man of the world. When he can't avoid suffering, he tries, either heroically or cowardly, to put up with it. That is, until the time comes - as it must - when his suffering becomes too intense to bear. Then he cries out to his God or his Devil for knowledge by which to put an end to it.

In his published letters, Thomas Mann wrote: 'Suffering is the swiftest beast that bears us to perfection.' To realize that suffering is the only means by which one's nature can be cleansed and made into a fit instrument for the God within to use, means to accept it without protest. After all, what part of us suffers except the lower, personal, animal man - the seat of all our troubles? He is the Real Enemy, the Opposition, the Betrayer, the More-Than-Beast and less-than-Human Adversary who all too often dominates our destinies. And when pain and sorrow come, he is the Target because he is the Cause. Should we sit down and weep with him?

"To stand apart, allied within our Inner Divinity, and see this unworthy part of us cleansed in the fires of pain and sorrow, is to know the Greater Life, the life of the Warrior Within."

This, and much more, did I communicate to my friend: and I was happy with a happiness I never had known before as I saw a new light shining in his eyes. I saw a soul awakening before me - a man whose suffering had been a voice crying in the wilderness of life, and now one whose cry bad been answered. The strangeness, the mystery, the wonder of it all, was that I, myself, had not supplied the answer. I had merely spoken words that quickened the Divine Self within him to speak to his own heart and mind. I saw before me now, not a broken and vanquished man, dreading all his tomorrows, but a potential god, triumphant and undying, at home in the Universe, and at one with the Eternal. [11]

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OUT OF ETERNITY INTO TIME
Montague A. Machell

"Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home." - Wordsworth

Possibly the most revolutionary feature in Theosophy is its insistence upon the immortality of the incarnating Self.

It is revolutionary because it flies in the face of, and constantly threatens the world's love affair with "mortality" - this one life in Time, to which death puts an end forever. TIME, regarded as the indisputable ambience of all common sense, is the dimension in which all so-called "successful" living is carried on, the ultimate reward of which is MONEY - for me!

This is the common sense that glorifies the gratification of eternally separate individual mortals, for whom self-gratification, in most instances, defines the ultimate triumph - achieved by the ultimate domination and, if need be, destruction, of one individual by another. This is a triumph that depresses "civilization" to the level of a chaotic blood bath - the triumph of TIME'S Holy War.

Besides supporting a blood bath of Chaos, this mortal common sense denies any universal destiny to what is speciously referred to as the Universe. Neither the objectives nor time periods of such mortality leave room for any truly enduring achievements by individuals, nations or races. Life Everlasting, as referred to by Jesus, is securely hidden and forgotten within the covers of a seriously disfigured Gospel, for the most part misunderstood. Useful for Sunday sermons, it is fairly consistently ignored six days of the week. Any resemblance it may seem to offer to a daily guide and watchword, is largely imaginary. The great majority of mankind prides itself on its common sense adaptiveness to "things as they are" - from the viewpoint of a tragically inadequate mortal calendar. HEAVEN, insofar as it is taken at all seriously, is an area of experience postponed to an infinite manana. In the HERE of today, "Time is money," the accumulation of which is the sacred obligation of earthly existence - the prize of a cutthroat competition.

To question for one moment the reality of Time, the things and goals of Time, the Time-fettered human personality with its worship of dollar values, is to inaugurate a revolution to end all revolutions. To suggest the existence in man of a Self transcending Time, and capable of transcending mental, physical and sensory limitations of earthly living, is to be labeled intellectually irresponsible - a threat to all common sense.

But against this TIME of mankind's juvenile Mortality Worship, the Spirit of Man is slowly achieving its revenge. You see it on every hand, in an all-pervading, terror-stricken insecurity, an ever-increasing neuroticism, an expanding crime wave, and in a despairing realization of the inadequacy of mere wealth to assuage the hunger of the heart. In the intuitive awareness of its own immortality, the soul of man must eventually reject an earthly program crowded into the impossible [12] madequacies of a one-life TIME capsule.

The poor, benighted pilgrim, that is being driven to insanity by an inadequate program of its own choosing, is the Mortal Personality of earthly man that dies - not once, but over and over again - in actuality a glorious, Timeless spirit, imprisoned in TIME'S catacombs!

Theosophy has the temerity to give the divine destiny of this incarnating Spirit proud precedence over the ever mortal, ever vulnerable personal vehicle of TIME. It proclaims, with complete conviction, the immortality of the Spiritual Essence of a universe spiritual in origin and destiny, of which Man is a Timeless manifestation in his deepest Self. LIFE, in its ultimate significance, Theosophy defines as Eternity imparting spiritual significance to TIME, that imperfect, unfulfilled milieu of Spiritual Man on earth. "Trailing clouds of glory," he penetrates TIME to transcend and redeem it. LIFE, in its undreamed magnitude, is Eternity's flame illuminating these moments of earthly living.

This concept makes sense, of course, only to the degree that this dual-natured mortal accepts triumphantly his own immortal Spiritual Self, in whom God incarnates on earth, which, of course, lends earth's daily chores a divine import! LIVING is so infinitely much more than we ever dreamed it could be! But our choice is eternally between TIME'S scourging defeat and ETERNITY'S triumph, our measure of success being the degree to which, in our daily consciousness, we make our spiritual immortality the schoolmaster of TIME. It is for us to cease worrying our way towards a remotely possible Eternity, and make each Today a triumph over TIME. ETERNITY is NOW!

Such an approach to life calls for a complete reversal of one's mental attitude, in which Divinity is made victor over Mortality - the Angel deliberately scourging the Demon. Theosophically viewed, mortal man must exchange the role of victim for that of the conqueror, for whom self-conquest is a healthy, normal pattern of earthly living. As an immortal spirit, he will intelligently observe the personality of time, in place of permitting himself a worm-like wonder that scarcely dares lift its eyes to heavenly splendor. Herein the Victory stance replaces the cringing approach of the "miserable sinner."

Needless to say, investing daily living with a long-lost splendor is a huge undertaking. It means lifting the life bodily out of the plane of trivialities and petty personal designs to that of divine consequence and vast conquests: it spells living in celestial splendor that is a much-needed rehabilitation of the largely purposeless, fearful servitude to TIME that forms the "career" of too many tycoons of our day. Such living seeks to inspire a multitudinous Spiritual Aristocracy that shall enrich and ennoble those millions that TIME has robbed of their dignity. For the Spirit, cast and class distinctions are a kind of insanity. You and I and everybody, having our origin in THE ONE, are brothers spiritually; but to realize that Brotherhood, our living must become spiritual - a life-long, unearthly purpose ennobling every embodied Spirit on this earth. Born of the splendor of the Spirit, our life's pilgrimage must be upward and onward, to the Heavenly Beauty from which we sprang: so says Theosophy! [13]

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IS THERE A TEACHER?
Dara Eklund

Tempo-ed more strongly toward the last quarter of our century is both a search for a teacher and a parallel denial of each proclaimed prophet. There are those among us who deny there are teachers at all. They claim man needs no teacher. He must "go it alone." Our experience is of no use to another because each must learn from his own experience, do his "own thing" and find himself out. Yet observe one common quality in these self-proclaimed iconoclasts. They are often not serene or centered in anything but drifting. If not drifting, they are dashing after one group or another, proposing to pool the "energies" or "group consciousness."

When the teaching of hierarchies is understood, it will resolve much of the search for "the teacher." "Group Consciousness" need not be "pooled" but may be experienced wherever one is. Under the stars, alone by the sea, the same shaft of One Thought will envelope all. The question of successorship will vanish because the scheme of life unfolds a chain of a myriad helpers. Partnership of Life will displace hunger for power. The Buddha's compassion streamed from a consciousness that all, life-atom to man, holds potential godhood. It is a thirst for growth which leads the flower to accept the sun's rays. It is man's need for truth embodied in the teacher which leads him to accept the teaching.

Our teachings have been a part of the mysteries predating the first Atlantean mystery schools, when individuals of high nature were inspirited with the hidden truths of nature. The Esoteric Tradition of G. de Purucker describes them as foci for the hierarchy of compassion whether existing through individuals or centers of learning. Man has never lacked teachings or teachers. We must eliminate in ourselves the pernicious selfishness that we are sufficient as we now stand. A mere look at our civilization shows the work yet to be done. Even the "outer-air" needs cleaning.

"We are all Arjunas" wrote W. Q. Judge. We work on this plane with lighter heart, knowing that the Masters of Compassion are presiding from within on higher planes. We open up channels for them by our performance of the simplest duties. Duties redeem the selfless spirit in which the ageless patience of a Master rests.

Many students have been asked by inquirers into Theosophical teaching of what use is the sevenfold nature of man. It has long puzzled me how to answer them, but a constructive answer might be: "Try it out. Take this approach to your nature and see if it makes the complexities of man more clear." If not, perhaps the person is not ready for this teaching. The same applies to The Secret Doctrine. Is it practical teaching? Here is what Katherine Tingley wrote in Theosophy: The Path of the Mystic (pp. 43-44.):

"If the student will accept the primary truths of Theosophy, and will seek to live according to them, every page and every line of The Secret Doctrine will have its message for him. But mere book study will avail little; [14] something more than that is required and demanded of the student of Theosophy; the full understanding of the teachings of all Theosophical works, and preeminently of The Secret Doctrine, is only possible as the life conforms to those teachings. The true doctrine is secret, hidden; not by the teacher, but in the very nature of the teaching itself, and to gain it, the student must enter by the only door which gives entrance [i.e., the living of the life] ..."

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"I DIE DAILY"
George Cardinal LeGros

Taking priority over everything else (except service to humanity) in the lives of Theosophical aspirants, is the war between Godhood and Demonhood.

If it isn't lust and anger, it's personal pride and ambition, or, worse, spiritual pride and ambition. No one escapes. It is our heritage as half-evolved human beings.

And since we progress only through self-induced and self-devised efforts, we should move Heaven and Earth to discover the best possible means of winning in the struggle.

After we have tried everything else, and failed, there are always those three words by the Christian Adept Paul in I Corinthians xv, 31: "I die daily."

Our life-loving personality - the shrine of Demonhood - is terrified at the thought of death; and to "die daily" is the last thing it cares to hear. But it is the very thing that humbles, weakens, and otherwise impoverishes the persistent man-animal bent on enslaving us.

To "die daily" is to let one facet after another of our selfish nature wither and perish until the lower human mind, purged of its corruption, is centered in the higher Individuality.

It also means to see the uselessness, the emptiness, the vainglory, of personal strivings for place and power, gratification of ambitions and vanities, and preoccupations with the so-called "rights" and "privileges" of human existence.

For that matter, we are, every one of us, "dying daily." Each breath we draw is one breath less, and every heartbeat marks another moment of time forever gone. Why, then, do we so desperately cling to this passing dream?

We cling because we prefer to ignore its brevity and evanescence, and because we still love those alluring images of past delights flitting in through the windows of the mind.

But when we let enough of our personal self die, we glimpse the glory of horizons beyond life - the splendor of those "Gates of Gold" which open to freedom and peace.

Often, when I am tormented by old longings and dreams, I conjure the vision of death. It isn't pleasant, but it brings me face to face with the inevitable, and exorcizes those phantoms of the past.

I once wrote a sonnet - too strong for any editor to publish - which began: "O hungry men, who love the [15] taste of life." It dealt with man's abandonment to the fleshpots, and his blindness to spiritual realities.

The poem was born out of terror - terror that overwhelms the mind when one thinks of the millions of human souls whirling in a dance macabre, deluded by superstition and ignorance, drugged with animal lusts, and doomed to eventual dissolution, unless ...

Unless the sanity-restoring Wisdom of the Gods once more finds a place in the minds of men, and redirects the attention of humanity to that Divinity which is the source and goal of all that lives.

To "die daily" means freedom from self-delusion, and knowledge and power with which to light a few candles in the world's long and terrible night.

*

"If George Washington, a man with only six years of formal education, could lead this young country to freedom, anyone with twelve years of schooling should know that he must build on it - not destroy freedom.

Students should be told: Dissent if you must, but dissent honorably. And dissent to rebuild, not destroy. Dissent from within, because dissent from without becomes attack. And when dissent becomes a crime, hope becomes despair. Speak out for what you believe in, at least as loudly as you speak against the system ...

I believe that ninety-nine percent of America's youth are a credit to their country. And should not be blamed for the one percent that's making a lot of noise and waving a white flag at life.

I believe that equal opportunity is based on equal obligation. And, speaking of opportunity, American opportunity has no age limits ... and has been known to knock more than once.

Now, for the very young people who see a tough life ahead, it might be well to remember that when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Booker T. Washington was a nine-year-old slave. Yet, by the time he was 28, he became president of Tuskegee Institute - which he built with his own hands from the ground up.

At eight months, Neil Armstrong took his first small baby step towards mankind, and fell flat on his face.

When Charles Lindbergh was eight years old, he was flying a kite, and wondering how it would feel to be that high.

And how many are pushing fifty, and complaining that the country is going to Hell? Crispus Attucks - American and black - was 47 years old when he died on State Street in Boston ... fighting for the freedom we share. As the saying goes, there's a black that was beautiful.

And how many over sixty-five are just settling down to rest after a busy life? Well, a fella by the name of Eisenhower - who had already lived one lifetime as a soldier - was re-elected to the presidency when he was 67 years young.

By now I've made my point ... - or I never will.

I guess there's one other thing I believe in. Every man and woman and child I've ever known, met, seen or heard, wants one thing more than anything else in the world: tomorrow! That's the only thing any of us has going for us.

And I believe this: If, tomorrow, all of us - every single one of us - gets out of bed and says: "This is my country, and I'm gonna do good for it!", we'll make the greatest step forward since a pilgrim's foot found Plymouth Rock ..." - John Wayne in Orange County Illustrated. [16]

*

JUST OFF THE PRESS!
MME. BLAVATSKY DEFENDED
Refutation of Falsehoods, Slanders, and Misrepresentations.
Iverson L. Harris

A valiant defense of H.P.B. by a pioneer Point Loma Theosophist against attacks fomented by an alliance of crass ignorance with abject superstition. A familiar pageant is reviewed: cheap journalism, the snarling of editorial curs, biased reporting, twisted information, truth made subservient to vested interests ... where chivalry for a dead woman who cannot defend herself is replaced with arrogance ... all are present, and the "mercenaries and parasites of the Press, who prostitute its more than royal power, and dishonor a noble profession " to use H.P.B.'s own incisive words, are shown in their own yellow light.

We reach the second part of the book with a sigh of relief ... Here are words of genuine appreciation for H.P.B.'s labors and sacrifices, from men and women who knew her well. With minds free from radio static and television inanities, they saw truth and nobility of character where these could be found, because their inner ear was attuned to a higher melody and perceived the strains of a marching song which told of man's ultimate perfectibility and innate spiritual power.

The book ends with stirring excerpts from H.P.B.'s own epoch-making writings. Here is the clarion call of the ageless Gnosis, giving life a new dimension of thought, an ever-enlarging horizon of universality and endless growth.

When you get the book, don't put it on the shelf to gather dust. Read it!
Price: $3.00
Available from Point Loma Publications, Inc.,
Pacific Beach Post Office Box 9966,
San Diego, Calif. 92109.