[Cover Photo: Dendera Zodiac. Circular Zodiac of Dendera (Tentyra), Upper Egypt. Originally on the ceiling of an upper room of the Temple, it was removed in 1820, and is now on display at the Louvre, Paris. The outer Circle of Figures, moving counterclockwise like the stars, represents the thirty-six decans, or ten-day weeks of the Egyptian year; the twelve arms of the supporting figures, the twelve months of the year. Consult The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, 368, 374 footnote, and 331-32, for important occult data.]
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by an International Group of Theosophists.
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THE BACK YARD
"There's something about a positive thinker that is infectious. Consider these words of the late Sir William Mulock, Chief Justice of Ontario, on the occasion of his 95th birthday:
'I am still at work, with my hand to the plow, and my face to the future. The shadows of evening lengthen about me, but morning is in my heart. I have lived from the forties of one century to the thirties of the next. I have had varied fields of labor, and full contact with men and things, and have warmed both hands before the fire of life.
'The testimony I bear is this - that the Castle of Enchantment is not yet behind me. It is before me still, and daily I catch glimpses of its battlements and towers. The rich spoils of memory are mine. Mine, too, are the precious things of today - books, flowers, pictures, nature, and sport. The first of May is still an enchanted day to me. The best thing of all is friends. The best of life is always further on. Its real lure is hidden from our eyes, somewhere behind the hills of time.'
So if you creak a bit at dawn and are slowed some at dusk, fear not, for the fun is still ahead." - Dick Sargent. 
The spread of Theosophy in the world and the strength of the Theosophy Movement depend primarily upon unremitting and intelligent work.
Wherever, among students there burns the holy flame of spiritual enthusiasm for the dissemination of the ancient wisdom, there the work flourishes and Theosophy becomes known.
Wherever self-interest is disregarded, and an honest and sustained effort is being made to sow the seeds of Theosophy broadcast, there every motion of hand and mind bears fruit all hundredfold.
Wherever worldly self-seeking interests have been imported into Theosophical affiliations, and the primary objective of the student is either self-advancement or intellectual gratification, or an easy pastime observing someone else doing the work - there the Movement comes sooner or later to a standstill, and pleasant but deadly moulds of mind take the place of a living and workable philosophy of life.
The organized Theosophical Movement has its workers. It has its self-forgetful toilers, whose whole life and thought are dedicated to the Cause of Mankind. They are the pillars of the Movement, the "saints" of the universal Theosophical community. It is mainly through their life-blood that the Movement is sustained; it is their spiritual and psychomental fluid that flows through its arteries. If it were not for their self-sacrificing task in all parts of the world, the modern manifestation of the Movement would have given up its ghost long ago, scattering but a few bleached bones upon the sands of time. But does their sacrifice, nay, often martyrdom, in the face of grievous odds, persecution, ridicule, and sometimes social ostracism, justify the complacent attitude of the many whose ethical callousness is a deadweight on the Movement?
The living power of every truly spiritual Movement throughout the ages has always been gauged by the ability and the perseverance of its adherents to work on its behalf. It is impossible to work for the Cause without at least to some degree living its teachings. Working for it is already living its precepts. It would appear therefore that it is by the same measuring rod of work accomplished or sacrifices made on its behalf, that the Theosophical Movement ran appraise its own worldwide membership at any time.
As has been so clearly pointed out by William Quan Judge (Department of Branch Work. Paper No. 8, New York, Nov., 1890.):
"Many persons, however, think that they can belong to the Society, and while negatively selfish, that is, ready and willing to sit down and hear others expound theosophical doctrine and never work for the body themselves, they may receive benefit in the way of comprehension of the doctrines of man and nature which are promulgated among us. But they forget a law in these matters of great importance, one, indeed, that they may not be willing to admit, and which is much opposed to our modern ideas of the powers and functions of the human mind. It is that such an attitude by reason of its  selfishness builds up a hard wall between their minds and the very truths they wish to know. I speak of an actual dynamic effort which is as plain to the eye of the trained seer as is any object to the healthy eye."
Truth, like the passion for life, craves expansion. It is of the very essence of Truth to universalize itself. It is a leaven which insists upon leavening the whole. It acknowledges no barriers, it respects no boundaries. It is upon this simple fact of being that has been based throughout the ages the missionary urge on the part of all movements, good and bad. And let it be remembered that there has hardly ever been a Movement of any kind that did not originate in some seed of Truth, however small and soon obscured.
A Movement, therefore, which does not exhibit any marked degree of that urge to universalize itself, is dying spiritually, and its decay and disappearance is only a matter of time. The Theosophical Movement, as a Movement, still exhibits many a healthy sign of that inner urge, and this is, of course, its primary claim to growth and expansion in the future.
What is needed today more than anything else in our Movement, is faith in this aggressive universalism of Truth; it is our only escape from smallness, parochialism, querulousness and stagnation.
The spiritual passion for Truth demands for its Apostles men and women who feel its urge, who can interpret its message and lay bare its imperatives. Among free men, always new leaders arise to meet the challenge of great emergencies. These are the men who deny the don'ts and can'ts of conservative years, who go out and dare the impossible.
Our clamant need, as a Movement, is for leaders of thought. Every member - a leader! Workers are wanted, not mere well-wishers. Active centers of spiritual light, not mere names on the rostrum. Men and women who are possessed by the aggressive universalism of Truth and are prepared to "damn the consequences." The choice between self-complacent intellectual gratification and an intelligent, purposeful, dynamic, but kindly and self- sacrificing work for the Cause of Theosophy, is the difference between a sad wreck cast out on the sandbanks of thought in years to come, and a Movement whose every fiber responds with a quickened fire to the keynote of the Incoming Age. It is up to us!
"... the theosophist's duty is like that of the husbandman; to turn his furrows and sow his grains as best he can: the issue is with nature, and she, the slave of Law." - The Mahatma Letters, pp. 339-40. (3rd ed., p. 334.). 
The theme of Universal Brotherhood is one that seems to grow as we consider it; since, being universal, there is nowhere, no circumstance, in which its essence is not evident. As a teaspoonful of earth may be shown to contain forty millions of demonstrably living and intelligent organisms, every one of which suggests from the mere fact of its existence undiscoverable hordes of even smaller ones, so every human action is alive with countless and immeasurable causes and results. A finger's gesture throbs with undying, if forgotten, history; its movement is a consequence, again productive of results, however insignificant to us; and we may safely depend on it that nothing - not one thought or thing or action - can be without an absolutely infinite relation to the universe.
But generalities, however accurate, are too vast for human comprehension. The imagination reels, or else the mind's inert unwillingness to think fogs, as it were, the picture. As precept must be taught by parable, the measureless and omnipresent fact of Brotherhood can only be brought home to us by concrete illustration, and then only provided we remember that, in the words of Job, "these are [but] parts of His ways."
The smallest instances suffice. The rarest are least useful. It is from the point at which we are that we begin to grasp realities, and only as the theme grows real to us can we hope to understand it. Experientia docet is a proverb that was old incalculable centuries before the Romans gave it currency and, being absolutely true, is just as true today as then. In day-by-day experience, and no how else, we learn. Unless in day-by-day experience we practice that which we have learned, we have no part as yet in self-directed evolution, which, as Katherine Tingley has told us, is "the way."
I remember a dying Chinaman, in the swamps of the Umbuluzi River near Lourenco Marquez, - an unlicenced dealer in illegal drink - who crawled from his sick-bed to help me because he had heard I had fever. We had never met until he staggered into my tent, and he died that evening without having accomplished anything - except to change one individual's whole concept of the Chinese race. Since that day it is impossible for me to think of Chinamen without remembering that one man's kindness; I remember it in spite of all the accusations of a hostile press, in spite of all-too-authentic fact, and in the face of frenzied prejudice. It is not in me to believe that the act of that unmoral, unrepentant 'Chink' (for he died quite proud of his disgraceful traffic) was, as Shakespeare hints, interred with his bones. I know the kindness multiplied and has more than once borne fruit.
Another man comes to memory - a coal-black, fuzzy-headed Sudanese, who had been a slave under the Mahdi and whose back was a mass of scars where his owners had flogged him. He understood Brotherhood better than most of us, although he was not a Christian and used to grow offended at the mention of the word. He found  his way down to Uganda, where he was enlisted in the local troops. I remember his grin when he was patted on the back and told to be a credit to the company. He straightened himself, and went on straightening himself until he could hardly get his heels down on the floor; but it was weeks before he realized he was not dreaming. When it dawned on him at last that his white-skinned officer actually did regard him as a fellow human being he wakened to a new sense of responsibility. It happened quite suddenly; he fell lame on a long march, and his officer, dismounting from the only mule, ordered him gruffly and without a trace of sentiment to mount and ride. It was funny to watch the awakening consciousness of something he had never understood before.
Within twelve months of that he was a sergeant. Very shortly after his promotion, during a crisis, he was left with twenty-five men, all as black as himself and with almost equally humble origins, in a dangerous post about six days' march from the nearest possible support. It was at a time of almost general uprising, when premonitory symptoms of the great war were beginning to be felt from end to end of Africa. He was without ammunition, and his orders were to "keep the peace."
There was naturally some anxiety among the handful of white officers, whose task it was to scatter themselves at strategic points over an enormous breadth of country, but it was three weeks before the chance came to visit his outpost, and in view of the fact that it was almost the first time he had been trusted out of sight, not too much was expected of him. Rumors spread in Africa like smoke in the wind, and there was a story that he and all his men had been massacred.
But the flag was flying over the tree-tops when the relieving patrol arrived close on sunset. As the sun went down the flag descended with it to the music of a bugle, and the first the relief saw of the detachment they were standing at the salute with arms presented to the tree that did for flag-pole, "all present and correct." He had done what few white men could have accomplished; not one man of all the twenty-five had any charge against him; without bloodshed, and with no more force than that prodigious one of strict example, he had 'held down' a district notorious for its savagery, and unquestionably saved the lives of hundreds.
It was not thought wise to compliment him in the presence of his men; that might have led to the inference that they had done more than their duty. But he was led aside and complimented by an officer whom he had never seen before, and who expressed surprise that he should have behaved so splendidly. The man's answer told the whole story in ten words: "Am I a dog? Nay, I am one of you!"
It is easy to say that he was no Theosophist, and I am quite sure he had never heard the word; but as a man who proved his claim to be part and parcel of a universal brotherhood he stands out as a landmark in my memory.
Life is crowded with similar instances, and there is no need to wander far for them. We can even read of them in books. It is the thrill that counts - that warning from within that we have touched the sacred, splendid  chord that unifies all being. If the heart is touched, the intellect responds not too long afterwards; and no one who has thrilled to an ideal, however vague, can ever quite relapse into unrecognition of it, nor can fail to pass the regenerating thrill along, in some way, even if he does not know it.
How much unselfishness and willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of others has been poured into the world through the pages of what is called profane history? The very color of my school-days - the whole flavor of my later life - was brightened by the story of the Plataeans at Marathon. There must be thousands who have felt the same thrill, generation after generation. When the hosts of the King, the great King Xerxes, lay between Athens and the sea, the Plataeans repaid a debt. The Athenians had helped them once, and now that the Athenians faced what seemed inevitable ruin the Plataeans marched to their aid with all they had. They left their old men and the women to guard Plataea's walls and came eight hundred strong - a handful - hardly a battalion. But no quarrels of historians, nor all the sins of Athens, nor the mists of time, can drown the echo of the roar that went up on the heights of Marathon when dawn rose on the spears of those eight hundred marching down to die beside their friends. No matter whether Persians or Athenians had the right of it; the Higher Law takes care of that. The Plataeans let some light into the world by proving what they understood of brotherhood. If they had known more and done less, there are nations today that would be poorer for it - poorer, that is, in the elements that count. For in the long run nothing counts but Brotherhood. Its highest unselfish expression from day to day, by each individual in his degree, is the only Path by which we may ascend the ever-rising rounds of evolution. There are more degrees of brotherhood, more phases of it, than there are living organisms in that spoonful of earth under the magnifying-glass.
AGAIN IN PRINT!
A handbook for Mystics and those seeking the Way.
[Originally published in The Path, Vol. VII, March, 1893, and signed Eusebio Urban, a pseudonym of Mr. Judge.]
A visitor from one of the other planets of the solar system who might learn the term Mahatma after arriving here would certainly suppose that the etymology of the word undoubtedly inspired the believers in Mahatmas with the devotion, fearlessness, hope and energy which such an ideal should arouse in those who have the welfare of the human race at heart. Such a supposition would be correct in respect to some, but the heavenly visitor after examining all the members of the Theosophical Society could not fail to meet the disappointment when the fact was clear to him that many of the believers were afraid of their own ideals, hesitated to proclaim them, were slothful in finding arguments to give reasons for their hope, and all because the wicked and scoffing materialistic world might laugh at such a belief.
The whole sweep, meaning, and possibility of evolution are contained in the word Mahatma. Maha is "great," Atma is "soul" and both compounded into one mean those great souls who have triumphed before us not because they are made of different stuff and are of some strange family, but just because they are of the human race. Reincarnation, karma, the sevenfold division, retribution, reward, struggle, failure, success, illumination, power, and a vast embracing love of man, all these lie in that single word. The soul emerges from the unknown, begins to work in and with matter, is reborn again and again, makes karma, develops the six vehicles for itself, meets retribution for sin and punishment for mistake, grows strong by suffering, succeeds in bursting through the gloom, is enlightened by the true illumination, grasps power, retains charity, expands with love for orphaned humanity, and thenceforth helps all others who remain in darkness until all may be raised up to the place with the "Father in Heaven" who is the Higher Self. This would be the argument of the visitor from the distant planet, and he in it would describe a great ideal for all members of a Society such as ours which had its first impulse from some of these very Mahatmas.
Without going into any argument further than to say that evolution demands that such beings should exist or there is a gap in the chain - and this position is even held by a man of science like Prof. Huxley, who in his latest essays puts it in almost as definite language as mine - this article is meant for those who believe in the existence of the Mahatmas, whether that faith has arisen of itself or is the result of argument. It is meant also for all classes of the believers, for they are of several varieties. Some believe without wavering; others believe unwaveringly but are afraid to tell of their belief; a few believe, yet are always thinking that they must be able to say they have set eyes on an Adept before they can infuse their belief into others; and a certain number deliberately hide the belief as a sort of individual  possession which separates them from the profane mortals who have never heard of the Adepts or who having heard scoff at the notion. To all these: I wish to speak. Those unfortunate persons who are ever trying to measure exalted men and sages by the conventional rules of a transition civilization, or who are seemingly afraid of a vast possibility for man and therefore deny, may be well left to themselves and to time, for it is more than likely they will fall into the general belief when it is formed, as it surely will be in the course of no long time. For a belief in Mahatmas - whatever name you give the idea is a common property of the whole race, and all the efforts of all the men of empirical science and dogmatic religion can never kill out the soul's own memory of its past.
We should declare our belief in the Adepts, while at the same time we demand no one's adherence. It is not necessary to give the names of any of the Adepts, for a name is an invention of a family, and but few persons ever think of themselves by name but by the phrase "I am myself." To name these beings, then, is no proof, and to seek for mystery names is to invite condemnation for profanation. The ideal without the name is large and grand enough for all purposes.
Some years ago the Adepts wrote and said to H.P.B. and to several persons that more help could be given to the movement in America because the fact of their existence was not concealed from motives of either fear or doubt. This statement of course carries with it by contradistinction the conclusion that where, from fear of schools of science or of religion, the members had not referred much to the belief in Mahatmas, the power to help was for some reason inhibited. This is the interesting point, and brings up the question "Can the power of the Mahatmas be for any cause inhibited?" The answer is, It can. But why?
All effects on every plane are the result of forces set in motion, and can not be the result of nothing, but must ever flow from causes in which they are wrapped up. If the channel through which water is meant to flow is stopped up, the water will not run there, but if a clear channel is provided the current will pass forward. Occult help from Masters requires a channel just as much as any other help does, and the fact that the currents to be used are occult makes the need for a channel greater. The persons to be acted on must take part in making the channel or line for the force to act, for if we will not have it they cannot give it. Now as we are dealing with the mind and nature of man, we have to throw out the words which will arouse the ideas connected with the forces we desire to have employed. In this case the words are those which bring up the doctrine of the existence of Adepts, Mahatmas, Masters of wisdom. Hence the value of the declaration of our belief. It arouses dormant ideas in others, it opens up a channel in the mind, it serves to make the conducting lines for the forces to use which the Mahatmas wish to give out. Many a young man who could never hope to see great modern professors of science like Huxley and Tyndall and Darwin has been excited to action, moved to self-help, impelled to seek for knowledge, by having heard that such men actually exist and are human beings. Without stopping to ask if the proof of their  living in Europe is complete, men have sought to follow their example. Shall we not take advantage of the same law of the human mind and let the vast power of the Lodge work with our assistance and not against our opposition or doubt or fear? Those who are devoted know how they have had unseen help which showed itself in results. Those who fear may take courage, for they will find that not all their fellow beings are devoid of an underlying belief in the possibilities outlined by the doctrine of the existence of the Adepts.
And if we look over the work of the Society we find wherever the members boldly avow their belief and are not afraid to speak of this high ideal, the interest in Theosophy is awake, the work goes on, the people are benefited. To the contrary, where there are constant doubt, ceaseless asking for material proof, incessant fear of what the world or science or friends will think, there the work is dead, the field is not cultivated, and the town or city receives no benefit from the efforts of those who while formally in a universal brotherhood are not living out the great ideal.
Very wisely and as an occultist, Jesus said his followers must give up all and follow him. We must give up the desire to save ourselves and acquire the opposite one - the wish to save others. Let us remember the story in ancient writ of Arjuna, who, entering heaven and finding that his dog was not admitted and some of his friends in hell, refused to remain and said that while one creature was out of heaven he would not enter it. This is true devotion, and this joined to an intelligent declaration of belief in the great initiation of the human race will lead to results of magnitude, will call out the forces that are behind, will prevail against hell itself and all the minions of hell now striving to retard the progress of the human soul.
"Experimenting on the rate at which water rises in a plant into a leaf, Cleve Backster discovered that plants possess the equivalent of memory and are highly sensitized to people, to the destruction of animal life, and to threats to their own well-being. "Our experiments imply that total memory may go down to single cell level at least. It begins to seem that the memory capability - even in people - may possibly be at the cell level. The brain may be just a switching mechanism, not necessarily the memory storage organ we have thought it to be. This is just speculation, of course, but now we have ways to check it out." (National Wildlife, Washington, D.C., October-November, 1971.)
"Occultism regards every atom as an 'independent entity' and every cell as a 'conscious unit' ... no sooner do such atoms group to form cells, than the latter become endowed with consciousness, each of its own kind, and with free will to act within the limits of the law ... memory has no seat, no special organ of its own in the human brain, but ... has seats in every organ of the body." (H. P. Blavatsky, "Psychic and Noetic Action," Lucifer, Vol. VII, Nov., 1890.) - Quoted in "Mind of the Time" Newsletter, Ottawa, Canada, February, 1972. 
In a recent Theosophical article a curious phrase appeared - "Blavatskian theosophy." The author seems unaware of the fact the doctrines presented by H. P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine were no inventions of liars, but part of the eternal, universal Wisdom given by the gods to early man, and preserved and disseminated through the ages by the Hierarchy of Compassion.
The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, pp. 272-3, states: "But modern science believes not in the 'soul of things,' and hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony. It is useless to say that the system in question is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals. That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of humanity."
The six schools of eastern philosophy and metaphysics (which hold much fascination for dabblers in Theosophy), while containing various remnants of occult truth, are still imperfect from the standpoint of the true Esoteric Philosophy which H. P. Blavatsky, an initiated Messenger of the Masters, unveiled to the world. The universal truths she taught would never be described as "Blavatskian theosophy" by any responsible authority. They belong to the ages.
The six Indian schools have suffered the fate of all past and present efforts made by the Hierarchy of Compassion. Sectarian pride and exclusiveness, intolerance, ambition, and lust for place and power, have drained away their spiritual life-essence, leaving only specters behind.
The tragedy in the lives of many students, and would-be students, of Theosophy is that they forget or ignore those words in The Voice of the Silence, p. 12: "The Self of matter and the SELF of Spirit can never meet. One of the twain must disappear; there is no place for both." They find the war between the Higher and Lower Self, God and Demon, Heaven and Hell, simply too much to wage; and sink back into the passive, comfortable existence of the unenlightened.
In the fourteenth century, Tsong-Kha-pa, the great Initiate and Reformer of Tibetan Lamaism, gave to the Adept Fraternity a commandment ensuring that in the last quarter of every century thereafter a Messenger would be sent into the world to strike anew the keynote of ancient Truth.
With 1975 only a few years away, it is not surprising that efforts are being made by enemies of Theosophy to discredit Blavatsky as an occult authority, and to dismiss the teachings she gave as nothing more than brain-spun fancies and conjectures.
The student of metaphysics must take what appeals to him - fiction or fact, Chaos or Cosmos. For long years past it was "Spiritualism" (the "most insane and fatal of Superstitions" -  The Mahatma Letters, p. 284.) that beckoned to him, promising the wisdom of eternity through the babbling lips of obsessed mediums. Then came the catch-penny psychics selling health and prosperity affirmations; and self-styled "clairvoyants" mistaking glaucoma for seership.
Now it is "psychology." According to Dr. G. de Purucker, the word - actually a misnomer is currently used in Occidental seats of learning to signify a madcap study beclouded with doubts, hypotheses, and guesswork - a variety of mental physiology limited to the working of the brain-mind in the lowest astral-physical apparatus of the human mind. (Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, p. 123.)
In his Studies in Occult Philosophy, p. 404, he points out that from the Theosophical standpoint, so-called modern "psychologists" are not genuine psychologists at all; because true psychology takes in the entire intermediate and invisible constitution of man, while the present-day counterfeit is merely physiological psychology; and its practitioners study from a strictly physical basis, cutting off ninety percent or more of the entire range of human consciousness.
In a work attributed to Master Hilarion, Through the Gates of Gold, pp. 20-1, appears a very pertinent statement: "We see men who are the flower of their age in intellect, who pass beyond their fellows and tower over them, entering at last upon a fatal treadmill of thought, where they yield to the innate indolence of the soul and begin to delude themselves by the solace of repetition."
Nowadays it is the so-called "psychologist" and his black sheep brother the "psychiatrist" who succumb to this "indolence of the soul" and resign themselves to the status of intellectual parrots chattering old pedagogical cliches that even the self-help paperbacks have discarded.
Just as the average medical doctor is obsessed with the phenomena, not of health, but of disease, so the "psychologist" and "psychiatrist" are fascinated by the sordid and repulsive aspects of the human psyche, and the vagrant and flitting thoughts of the lower brain-mind with its petty hopes, wishes, loves, and hates.
What man must do is free himself from the bondage of the instinctual animal nature, fix his eyes on the horizons of Spirit, and rise out of the filth and mire where our "doctors of the mind" concentrate their attention. Instead of encouraging man to aspire toward wisdom, compassion, and self-forgetfulness, these miseducated enthusiasts, like blind moles probing in darkness, unearth only perversions of reality.
Modern "psychology" lulls man to sleep. Ageless Theosophy sets him on fire with a passion for Truth.
Wrangling over the "mystery of man" is unnecessary and unprofitable because we have the whole truth before us as given by the Masters through Blavatsky and her rightful successors. Man in his essence is a spark of divine Fire - a "young god" using a body of flesh at the present stage of his evolutionary journey, which is half-way between the undeveloped life-atom and the fully developed cosmic spirit or god.
From another point of view, he is a sheaf or bundle of energies - a stream of consciousness containing  monadic "islands" corresponding to various manifestations of Spirit-Matter (Purusha-Prakriti), or the One Universal Element-Principle.
He also can be considered as a being composed of three essential upadhis or bases: (1.) the monadic or divine-spiritual; (2) the intellectual-intuitive; and (3) the vital-astral-physical. These three lines of evolution are the three fundamental aspects of man, and come from three different Hierarchies in Nature: the lowest from the Earth (ultimately from the Moon); the intermediate from the Sun; and the highest from the Kosmic Hierarchy itself.
Having free will, man can choose, at any given moment, the particular "island" of consciousness on which he cares to dwell. He is not a child of inexorable "fate" nor a hapless victim of astrological configurations.
Unfortunately, many "psychologists" and "psychiatrists" look upon the universe as a phenomenon of chaos. Dismissing with contempt the "superstitions" of Spirit, they see in the whole of Nature only a concatenation of causes and effects from which there is no escape - a "blind" cosmos operating as a soulless machine, with man a chemical "accident."
According to Dr. de Purucker, and all Adepts and Disciples of the Hierarchy of Compassion, every man, due to his spiritual faculty of choice, of free will in thought and in action, can change his course of destiny at any time whatsoever, regardless of the positions or aspects of the celestial bodies. Indeed, every monad, however evolved or unevolved, has a modicum of free will, which it has brought forth by individual striving. Man's free will is essentially the free will of Infinitude, and becomes progressively freer as he outgrows his humanity.
The secret of free will is that it is not native to the kama-manasic part of man (to which area the speculations of "psychology" are limited), but descends to him directly from the Atman or Higher Self. Therefore, while his will is enchained, imprisoned, and bound by his present karmic destiny in this kama-manasic part, he can, by exercising the Atmic svabhava of this lower part, say yes or no, and thus change his course of thought and action instantaneously. This cannot at present be done with total freedom because his will is still chained; but it can always rise into the higher part of itself, and make that higher part operative here sooner or later. Man does have the power of free will or of independent choice, but very few men ever exercise it.
To find himself, man must reach out of himself - transcend the limitations of an animalhood that belongs to the past. He is now on the ascending Luminous Arc of spirit, soaring godward, with all the Hosts of Heaven calling: "Come up higher!"
It was to show man his true place in the Mighty Scheme, and reveal to him the infinite treasures of mind and spirit which are his, that, through all ages past, the Voice of Theosophy has spoken.
And to hear that universal Voice, to heed its Message of Hope and Promise, and make real forever in our inmost being all that it represents, is your purpose, and mine.
(Theosophia, Spring 1972.) 
"As a man thinketh in his heart so is he."
An honest acknowledgment of inadequacy of concern on the part of most of us, for the kind of thinking we indulge in, might introduce all unsuspected meaning into daily living. Such an acknowledgment should include a discrimination between "creative" thinking and mere mental reactions, with which too many of us make do. The first of these will dare to plumb again and again the queries: "What am I?" and "What am I for?" The very act of putting these questions to ourselves is a positive mental gesture that can lead to a determination to understand these matters and, to a degree, at least, control them. If one's philosophy of life is sufficiently broad and unorthodox, such a determination can open the door on unsuspected breadths and depths that positively demand adequate comprehension and exploitation in a newly discovered sphere of Creative Living, that must deeply influence our outlook on both life and death.
As we all know, the experience of death can involve a severe shock to the mortal personality. How great the shock shall be should, logically, be governed by the gulf to be crossed from the HERE to the HEREAFTER. It would seem reasonable to infer that lessening the gulf will lessen the shock. The man who, deeply immersed in physical sensations, appetites and associations, finds himself in death suddenly cut off front these, while confronted with an unexpected and totally unfamiliar plane of spiritual values, must experience a degree of shock literally paralyzing.
It does not appear to me as an impossibility to so cultivate spiritual concepts during earthly existence (not merely imagined bliss), leaning lightly, the while, upon material values, as to shape and color one's HERE with the values of the HEREAFTER. Such a blending of temporal with eternal values should sensibly reduce the gulf, together with the shock of crossing it. Insofar as one sees earthly existence as spiritually motivated, such a blending might be justifiably regarded as an expression of "Spiritual Gentility." Surely, a Spiritual Aristocracy could be represented by a nucleus, however small; of human beings convinced that the values of the HEREAFTER actually do govern all the significance that one's activities HERE enjoy!
"Dying" has become unfortunately associated with an "end" to life, rather than one of its supremely meaningful experiences, foretelling numerous rebirths. Even GROWTH must have its cycles - its periods of rest and activity. Where the primary spiritual purpose of each of these cycles is intelligently recognized and applied, "death's" purport, similar to life's, will be more GROWTH.
It is for each of us to realize, ultimately, that GROWTH in Spiritual Reality is the one adequate explanation of the term "life' - a realization that steeps "death" in the eternal wonder and beauty of "Life Everlasting " In other words, "death" in its deeper  sense, becomes a "life experience" that should enhance the meaning of earthly existence to the degree that it imparts to our HERE intimations of the majestic potencies of our HEREAFTER - the two experiences being eternally related, never opposed! He who, in dying, consciously goes forth to meet a divine destiny, can, little by little, rise superior to the "shock" of death, because his HERE has become sweetened and blest with the unearthly beauty of his HEREAFTER. Nor does he depart alone. As an expression of the ONE LIFE, his liberation from the body sheds its benediction on all those nearest and dearest to him.
All of these arguments, needless to say, are associated with a complete acceptance of earthly living as a spiritual experience. Such a point of view stems naturally from a strong conviction that
"Never the Spirit was not; the Spirit shall cease to be never:
Complete acceptance of this truth means that real living will always concern primarily the perfect flowering of the Immortal Spirit - the secret link of the HERE to the HEREAFTER. To live spiritually is to live with deathless intent that makes the HEREAFTER the very essence of the HERE, removing every trace of a "gulf" between Life and Death. All life, it may be assured, is concerned with this earthly flowering of the heavenly Spirit, our constant frustrations, confusions and agonies springing from a more or less complete indifference to this secret "flowering" of Life. But the Theosophical doctrine of Reincarnation reminds us of the actual uninterruptedness of Life in terms of GROWTH. In the body, or out of it, the SPIRIT uninterruptedly asserts ITs determination to flower significantly, wherefore, as far as you and I are concerned, Spiritual Flowering is the one eventuality that matters. In relation to it must be viewed and evaluated all life experiences, not to the criteria of personal gratification or disappointment. In the heart of every happening in Time must slumber an Eternal Significance, by which one truly lives.
There is nothing innately splendid or majestic in the physical man; an acute attack of gout, indigestion or liver trouble will demonstrate this fact convincingly; were he merely a physical body one would be hard put to it (as one is, at times, even now), to distinguish him from the animals. But where this physical body is the tabernacle of a regnant spiritual entity, the seed of Splendor is given leave to flower significantly, its flowering encouraged by conscious spiritual thinking - thinking in terms of limitless spiritual splendor dominating Life and Death, the HERE and the HEREAFTER. To the extent of his genuine spiritual identity, man bears an inextinguishable torch of unearthly brilliance, whose majestic splendor illumines the forgotten or undiscovered meaning of "being alive." To this world of temporal and material happenings it is man's destiny to impart the flame of Eternal Significance. There is small hope of that Significance being clear to all humanity, hence the responsibility of each individual to sound the depths of spiritual living that alone can lend a meaningful dignity to life on this earth. One by one, the discovery is made and  passed on - not in any creed or formula, but in a clear perception of one's relation to ALL LIFE.
That relation never changes. The essence of Personal Salvation reveals itself at last as GROWTH OF ALL in spiritual wisdom, whose fullness countless incarnations are hardly capable of realizing. In the Law of Growth mere individual virtue is but a step in the right direction. To the extent that step is taken for the good of all, it achieves its wonted magnificence, lending life its innate nobility - HEREAFTER glorifying HERE. The life of the personality lacks an era and a locale. It comes and goes with each repeated incarnation; only when sacrificed to a larger spiritual destiny - as a potent incident in a Divine Participation - does it take on a potential sublimity, the "I" becoming IT!