[Cover photo: Tibet: Kangchhendzonga (28,146 feet) and Simvu from Singhik. (From Peaks and Lamas, by Marco Pallis; Alfred A. Knopf, New York.)]
Officers for 1945:
Other Lodges in the Los Angeles Area
Freighted with potential history, another year of our Christian era is being ushered in today.
We miss a few familiar faces. No Christmas for them this time. True, they are the least in need of it. They vanished from our sight, if not from our hearts, in the steaming jungles of New Guinea, the burning sands of the African deserts, the heaving vastnesses of the abysmal ocean, or the fog-drenched beaches of Normandy, and the blood-soaked rubble that once was Europe; their youthful bodies sacrificed to El Sabbaoth, the "Lord of hosts," in the vain attempt to save the prevailing order from its fast-impending doom. Our heart goes out to those who miss their presence, whose souls are chilled with disappointment and stunned with sorrow which no posthumous citations or beribboned documents can ever relieve. Muddy foxholes, tossing life-rafts and blazing tank turrets pilled with their loved ones must have haunted their Christmas hours. We offer them no milk-and-sugar consolation; but we bid them to pause and think!
Surfeited with commercialized Christmas, smothered with an avalanche of presents, exhausted while making this "the greatest Christmas in history," the crowds have gone back to more familiar occupations - "making" money, "playing" politics, running after the ever-illusive "security" from the cradle to the grave.
The old familiar game is on again: the race for profits, the lurid greed of entrenched selfishness, the arrogant audacity of mutual exploitation. political chicanery and back-stage manipulation; public distortion of most issues, international "incidents," followed in time by mass hypnosis through clever slogans resulting in mass hysteria; a proud display of vindictive power; an armed conflict; the slaughter of millions enslaved by war-lords drunk on their own alleged glory; funds raised to kill and maim others; the smashing of valued institutions laboriously erected for human progress; humiliation of a beaten foe; confused efforts at general reconstruction and the rehabilitation of a ruined generation of youth; fast-ebbing glory of medals and ribbons and promotions - satiety for a brief period of time, only to be followed by the recurrence of the chronic virulent fever, with some new name and a more gaudy label ...
This is the Twentieth Century, the high-season of our Christian era. Will there ever be a Twenty-First?
Saddened and perplexed, our thoughts go rambling through bygone centuries, brim-full of aggressions, revolutions, religious persecution and blood-shed, back to the distant times when the Prince of Peace - symbol of our Christmas season - walked this earth and taught ... There comes an echo of the Master's teachings, spiraling through the, corridors of time ...
"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy ... Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God ... Blessed are Ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you ... Thou shalt not kill ... For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword ...
... But Hypatia's flesh is torn from her bones by the monks of Cyril ... Charlemagne beheads five thousand at the bidding of Pope Stephen Ill; then is crowned "the most pious Augustus" ... thirty thousand Albigenses  massacred under Innocent III ... three thousand Vaudois suffocated in a cavern by the papal legate ... a hundred thousand burnt and tortured in the autos-de-fe of Torquemada's Inquisition ... fifty-thousand put to the sword in the Netherlands by Charles V ... a million of the Huguenots killed or sent to the galleys ... fanatical Calvinists vying in cruelty with their predecessors ... the Reformed Church burning thousands for "witchcraft" ... political conflicts lightly interwoven with religious bigotry laying waste to Europe ... "But wait, wait ... this is past history," we hear somebody say, "we have left all of this far behind." Have we? The answer lies in Spain, the Spain of yesterday and of today. ...
The chronicles belie the lofty message of the master. It justifies no social order based upon the insane idea that human problems can ever be solved by armed conflict, or the coercion of weaker wills to stronger ones temporarily victorious. By what diabolical twist of human minds can so-called "religion" have ever been brought into this picture, and used as a mallet to achieve secular power and material advantage? No civilization of this kind can claim for itself the name of "Christian," if it is to mean the lofty precepts of the Sermon on the Mount. No invading armies and navies, no munition factories and no bombers, can ever be or become, no matter what the perversion of our Minds, symbols of a Christian order. They are the imbodiment of the powers of darkness and the revilers and slayers of the spiritual message of Jesus of Nazareth.
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
"But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also ...
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy.
"But I say unto you. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. . .
"Judge not, that ye be not judged.
"For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
Instead, we have built an order which for centuries on end has engaged in systematic and planned revenge for offenses true and imaginary. War Criminals of every nation have been judged and condemned by men whose alleged snow-white virtue consisted mainly in the fact that their side had been better equipped with all sorts of murderous weapons and had won. How many of them have asked themselves whether they may not have been in some way responsible for the production of the crop of international criminals which have appeared from time to time on the scene of history? True guilt and responsibility might be found in strange and unexpected places were we able to raise for a moment the Veil of Nature and behold the intricate web of Karman at work!
"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them ...
"But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth ...
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking ..."
The only logically consistent deduction from this would be: dismount the gorgeous cathedrals erected only too often on money extorted from ignorant and superstitious people under threat of hell-fire and damnation; turn them into hostelries; abolish the ecclesiastical hierarchies; sell the property of the Churches to feed the hungry, and clothe the naked wretchedness of homeless multitudes in every land; and put an end, once for all, to the sanctimonious hypocrisy with which the message of the Master has been trampled under foot.
The imperative need of the moment is to re-awaken the dormant Conscience of tire human race.
Who can do it? We ask, WHO CAN DO IT?
Organized religion, with its record of bloodshed and obscurantism, is powerless to bring it about. In spite of many sincere and well-meaning souls within their ranks all over the world, most Churches cannot erase the annals of their own history, and stand discredited in the eyes of liberal, humanitarian, and free-thinking people. As a regenerative force or a spiritual rallying-point, they are largely impotent, because the spirit of the original message has been entombed under piles of masonry and theological incrustations. The Church knows it too.
When recently some 100 clergymen were asked the explosive query: "What is wrong with the Christian Church today?", some frank disclosures were made by progressive minds.
Said The Rev. Frank S. Persons II, Bastrop, La.; Church people "are worshipers of archaic patterns of thought. We have erected temples of the mind and enthroned on their altars certain handed-down ideas which we are as afraid to displace as any African tribesman his equally homemade and static wooden gods." Said Rev. Eugene Smothers, Big Lick. Tenn.: "The greatest weakness of the church is its institutional self-centeredness ... seeking to save its own life instead of losing its life in the service of men. It is gradually becoming impotent." Said The Rev. William E. Roach, Radford, Va.: "Ignorance is one of the greatest sins of the church ... Many of our ministers are 100 years behind the times ... They are preaching a personalized sort of righteousness which is ... not Christianity."
And while Harold Ehrensperger, Editor, Motive, Nashville, Tenn., thinks that church leaders "are oftentimes good because they haven't the courage to be bad," and that "they are masters of minor talents and the champions of inconsequential virtues," Nick Comfort, Dean of Oklahoma School of Religion, states that many religious leaders "are waiting for Jesus to come and put an end to the whole damned mess. When that happens they expect to be on the job to sing the doxology ..."
If additional proofs were needed of the irreconcilable conflict between the teachings of the Master Jesus and the actions of organized Christianity, the recent world-tragedy has provided them by the thousands. True to their long-established alliance, both war-lords and clergy have invoked the blessings of the Almighty upon both sides of the contending forces, armed to their teeth with the best weapons that Science could produce. With a few  notable exceptions, Churches have sung the praises of victorious armies, often upon the very sites of the most savage devastation in history. In several notorious cases, they have condoned military aggression and violence.
The teachings of Jesus proscribe every type of killing; they exhort us to seek the betterment of all men. In true Christianity war is wholly unjustifiable and unconditionally condemned. This the Churches have either forgotten or have hidden under a network of casuistry. A "Christian" nation engaging in war gives life mockery to its symbols, its scriptures, its precepts, and to the lives of its truly saintly men and women who are a challenge to all parochial bigotry. Let us remind ourselves of the wise words of William Quan Judge (The Path, July, 1893):
"Very carefully refrain from confusing Christianity with the religion of Jesus. The latter is not the former, inasmuch as Christianity is split up into over three hundred different sects, wherein Jesus had but one doctrine.
"Pay the highest respect to the sermons of Jesus, from the remembrance of the fact that in his discourses he but gave forth once again the old doctrine taught to him by the ancient Theosophists of whom he was a disciple.
"Do not make the blunder of mistaking the glitter of our civilization for true progress. Weigh fine houses, good clothes, mechanical devices, and universal suffrage against the poverty, misery, vice, crime, and ignorance which go with the former before you conclude what is the best civilization."
Modern Science does not fare much better than organized religion. Scientific research, exploited by political and military pressure-groups for purposes of power through human destruction, has become a slave in its own realm, dethroned from its kingly seat by vested interests, vying for supremacy. Despite the sincerity of many scientists, and their selfless dedication to the pursuit of knowledge. Science has been polluted at its fountain-head, because hundreds of scientific minds have allowed themselves to become pawns in the hands of unscrupulous ring-leaders whose objectives are to misuse the magnificent advances of Science for ruthless warfare and power-politics. This is being gradually realized by scientists awakening from the recent nightmare. Tough-minded, realistic Dr. J. Robert Olrlenheimer, of the atomic bomb research, recently said: "By our works we are committed ... to a world united before this common peril ... What happened during the war ... was not science, and its whole spirit was one of frantic and rather ruthless exploitation of the known; it was not that of the sober, modest attempt to penetrate the unknown."
Modern Science could have been the High Priestess of Knowledge, the Hierophant of Truth, if its researches had been coupled with and upheld by, the highest ethical standards of universal human welfare and good-will. As it is, Science has become far more of a danger to the human race than a blessing, and thoughtful men everywhere are wondering today whether more of science might not bring about the cataclysmic extinction of civilization itself. Debased, In spite of the better judgment of many a scientist, forced to serve nationalistic cliques and ideological structures, modern Science has lost the power to sway the conscience of the people, and must of necessity cleanse its own Augean Stables before it can hope to become a constructive power in the collective life of the world.
If we turn to Philosophy, the picture is no less dismal. It has often been asked: "Has the Occident a Philosophy?" Personally, we do not know of any. Here and there, through the history of Occidental civilization, profound minds have appeared and have delivered their spiritually regenerative  message. But the overall materialism of most Occidental philosophical works was not conducive to the founding of any enduring school of thought to be successfully compared with those of Greece, Hindusthan or China. As to the puerile babblings of present-day psychology - with the notable exception of Jung - and the conflicting oracles of itinerant rabble-rousers and garrulous, psychic addicts, few will mistake these for the spiritual message of a New Era.
"But of course we have the modern Theosophical Movement," some people will say. Yes, we have. No informed individual, observant of the many changes that have occurred in Occidental thinking, will fail to credit much of it to the wide-spread influence of genuine theosophical literature, and mainly to the works and activities of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The impression produced by her encyclopedic writings has become a lasting one, even when least acknowledged. The numerous editions of her works which have sold out are a testimony to the fact that thousands of people have contacted and been in one manner or another influenced by them. Witness the theoretical speculations of our most advanced scientists.
However, our own individual love for, and dedication to, the noble objectives of the Theosophical Movement, cannot prevent us from realizing, with considerable sorrow, that organized Theosophy in all its many ramifications, does not constitute, through the mouthpiece of its votaries or the living example of their lives, that dynamic challenge to the broad masses of the people which could rouse them from their ethical lethargy. The main reason for this is the obvious fact that most of the expounders of modern Theosophy are far from being free of the mental inhibitions and psychological molds which their own great teacher, H.P. Blavatsky, labored so hard to break down.
Only a man of deliberately wrong intentions and of closed mind will read into those words a wholesale condemnation of present-day Theosophical students and Theosophical communities. The beautiful self-sacrificing lives of many of them are not ignored; the devoted efforts of some of them are not disregarded; no aspersions are cast upon their aspirations, their understanding, or their work. But cold facts must he faced realistically, in this our "Atomic" age when worlds of opportunity lie hidden in every moment of time, and the vastly accelerated speed of evolutionary changes places added responsibility upon all of us. And it is precisely against the background of these great and irrevocable changes that certain deductions might he established.
The modern organized Theosophical Movement, whatever its label or organizational doctrines, must pause on the threshold of the New Era and regenerate itself from the unlimited potential of its spiritual source. It is imperative to develop within our rather thin ranks a deeper heart-feeling for the sufferings of the human race. Cold intellectualism, worldly indifference and unawareness must give way to an intense sympathy with the souls of men. The isolated pedestal of self-attainment at the expense of avoiding ties with a polluted and troubled world of men must he shattered. The original purpose of the Movement must be revived. There must arise a burning desire on the part of the many to disseminate far and wide the ancient teachings, with an enthusiasm born of profound conviction and unhampered by the inhibitions of personalities. Unless we become reborn in our own efforts to live Theosophy, the cyclical work of the great Teachers will proceed into the new requirements of the changing era under some other one of its Protean manifestations. As pointed out by our late Teacher, G. de Purucker:
"The destiny of the world does not lie in the hands of men who are self-satisfied with their self-sufficiencies, who are so proud of their haughty isolation that they stand apart and will not even obey the dictates of the conscience within them nor the sublime precepts of Brotherhood and fraternal peace ... Every Theosophical Movement in the past has had to face the passing over into a New Era. Some have failed because they were satisfied with what they had; satisfied that the revelation given was complete and perfect unto the next Messiah who should come at some indefinite time in the future, and neglected the duly of the moment, which was keeping the mind fluid, the heart warm with brotherly love, and therefore the avoidance of crystallization: churchism. Churches are always the danger of a movement like ours, churches which are brought about by self-satisfaction, with a feeling that 'We have the truth' - suspicious of our fellow-men, afraid to receive truth from a brother, because, forsooth, our own opinion is so great that our interpretation and translation of what we already have is so profound and so perfect that even a brother may not know a little more than we!
"This last is the spirit of a sect, the spirit of the church, and we must not allow it in the Theosophical Society; for if we do, then we become but another sect, another Theosophical failure; and we shall deserve the fate that Nature has in store for all failures ... Growth comes from the feeling that we can learn more ... Growth comes from the readiness to receive more light of any time ... Growth comes from keeping the mind plastic, the heart warm with the love which flows to us always from the Heart of the Universe." (Messages to Conventions, pp. 75-76.)
Whatever may be the relative value in this age of religio-philosophical organizations, nothing short of a collective ethical regeneration on a large if not a global scale can ever restore the frayed and thread-bare dignity of Man. We must go back to the essentials of decency, the imperious mandates of the Soul, and place a curb upon the inordinate and selfish lusts of our brains, athirst for power, conquest. and the imagined security of material possessions. The intangible avalanche known as progress is sweeping all our false gods away, exposing our shams, tearing the veil of our hypocrisies, uncovering our spiritual nakedness, and the shallowness of our lives. Nothing short of a willing return to the principles of noble living can solve our perplexing international entanglements and individual confusions.
These principles have been known for ages. They are neither new nor far-fetched. Their universality bespeaks the global nature of the Ancient Wisdom. Open the Upanishads of ancient India, her Gita, her Vedas; scan the pages of the Dhamapada and the Sutras of the Buddhist world; ponder over the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount; survey Confucian ethics; look into the Book of the Dead or the Inscriptions of King Asoka, or the Triads of the Druids, or the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius; make friends with Plato and Plotinus, with Thomas a Kempis and Meister Eckhart, with John Tauler and St. Bernard de Clairvaux; discover Pascal and Tagore, Emerson arid Thoreau, Tolstoy and Khalil Gibran; and you will realize that, whether high initiate or devoted disciple, whether aspiring mystic or but seeker after Truth, their identical message stands as an indictment of all our modern iniquities, our arrogant conceit, our pride, our entrenched egotism. They speak the language of the undying dignity of Man, and proclaim the Gospel of triumphant living. 
Cases of suicide and sudden death as a result of accident are so prevalent today that the unthinking may look upon them as commonplaces. It is wise, therefore, for the theosophist to keep clearly in his mind the teachings about the results of such deviations from the normal and orderly processes of Nature.
Man, the human being or Earth-child, and his cycle of evolution consisting of an incarnation on Earth and a period spent in other spheres, may he likened to a revolving pendulum one sees in some clocks. The revolving pendulum may represent the human life wave, or humanity, and a given spot on the disk an Earth-child or reincarnating ego, following the rhythmic repetition of activity and rest - activity on Earth and rest in the other spheres or worlds invisible. Birth and death then may be the points on the left and right sides of the clock from which the given slot on the revolting disk passes at certain intervals.
If the viewpoint of one watching the circling pendulum be to one side of the clock, the given spot on the disk will be out of sight longer than it is in the line of vision, another true similarity or analogy to the time element in a cycle of evolution.
With this simile clearly pictured, it will be understood why any event that interrupts or breaks the smooth rhythmic movement of the cycle is a deviation from the normal, an abrupt and sudden termination for the time at least of the process of evolution.
It has been said that evolution is for the purposes of the soul. This may be amplified by stating particularly for the purpose of the human soul, the Earth-child. For it every incarnation on Earth is a vital opportunity for advancement, growth. Therefore every event that challenges the soul in any such lifetime is a crucial testing point, one in which the whole character of the man is weighed and measured. Success proves the soul to be strong and true, failure means inherent weakness. It also means that the test will inevitably have to be taken again; and if failure in this life to meet the issue led to suicide, the very character of the individual may be so affected as to make the similar situation in a future life harder than before to surmount.
In the case of the suicide, the individual deliberately cuts short his span of life on Earth. In order to escape what he dislikes or has not the courage to face he puts his willful ignorance against the coordinated and cooperating forces of the Universe - the rhythmic circling pendulum - and snaps the link with his physical body, the vehicle of his progress on Earth. Has he escaped anything? He has destroyed only his physical body: all the pent-up mental and psychological forces centered in him remain intensified because denied material expression through the physical brain and senses. He is the victim and at the mercy of these forces now. Is it likely that the state he so precipitately enters will be less distasteful than the one he sought blindly to escape? No: it is far worse.
In the case of death from natural causes, the Earth-child falls into a condition of complete unconsciousness after the consciousness reviews the panorama of the life cycle just ended. This unconsciousness lasts for an indefinite time, after which the excarnate entity slips into a more or less conscious state of realization in the desire world or Kama-loka. This period is followed by the second death when the lower psycho-vital body is left just as the physical body was discarded. Then the higher  spiritualized mind consciousness or reincarnating ego passes to the dream state of the Land of the Gods or Devachan.
In sudden death as a result of an apparent accident - apparent because in reality there are no accidents - the complete unconsciousness following physical death is prolonged until the time the natural termination of the victim's life span arrives. When the excarnate entity passes into the desire world and follows the same processes outlined in the case of natural death.
The case of the suicide is very different. Nature's orderly and truly compassionate processes have been frustrated and confounded and the consequences are dire. The impression left by the panorama of the life just closed on the excarnate entity so rudely bereft of its physical body, is dominated by the violent closing act, and after the initial period of complete unconsciousness the entity rouses to an unrelieved and endless nightmare in which its consciousness whirls in reiterated repetition through the states of mind and the events of its suicidal act.
Since the motives leading to suicide differ in that the reasons, the causes, are more or less selfish, so specifically some suicides' after-death states are worse than others. And this dreadful condition of things must continue until the time the suicide would have died naturally. Then the excarnate entity will follow the stages through the desire world and second death to the dream state of Devachan.
In all the cases discussed the degree of consciousness in the desire world and the quality of the dream state in the Land of the Gods differ with the particular character of the individual as he lived his Earth cycle. The man of markedly material ambitions and undisciplined cravings will have a very uncomfortable time in Kama-loka. His will be a state similar to a series of horrible nightmares.
On the other hand, the high-minded, aspiring individual will slip through the stages preceding Devachan with little or no discomfort and his dreams will be as commensurately more rewarding as the materialist's will be meager and impotent while in Devachan.
Finally, to return to the simile of the pendulum: its rhythmic sweep continues and with the dawn of another cycle of Earth life, the reincarnating ego or Earth-child will take its place once more on the revolving disk and passing the point of birth on Earth will leave a new opportunity to learn, to grow greater, to strengthen the weaknesses, and to turn the failures of the past into future successes.
These are some of the teachings the Theosophist has received from those who know whereof they teach.
"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 colored so can the 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." - H.P. Blavatsky, Lucifer, (London), Vol. I, January, 1888. 
It is said that everyone lives in the individual consciousness where he is by reason of Karman and evolution, and that consequently no two people think alike; this places them where they find themselves at any given moment in time. This line of thought has the appeal of logic, but do we carry it to its logical conclusions? We go out and seek to convert others to our way of thinking. Our attempt is motivated by lofty ideals, as we see them; but our ideas and ideals do not necessarily fit others. Since each one can think, believe, and know only in his own mind, the Quest and the Answer to its call, are always individual problems. If we are in a group of individuals thinking along the same lines, similarly attuned as we say, we may feel encouraged and benefit one from another, but allowance must be made for the fact that tomorrow our thoughts may have changed, and even our objective appears in a different light.
Spirit and matter are perceived as duality in the world of manifestation, though the new Goddess Science has proclaimed the ethereality of apparent solidity, resolving matter into seeming nothingness. And do we not profess the Oneness of All beyond the realm of assumed duality; the indivisibility of the seeming manifold? For just as light rays are part of light indivisible in essence, so is Life indivisible in essence and without duality. Duality enters with manifestation. By knowing the illusion of the perceived, duality is overcome.
It is proclaimed that we are rays of the Eternal flame. Can we separate the ray from its source? Either we are that God-Flame or we are nothing. Let us realize this Oneness and be aware that nothing can be, outside the Light that is everlasting. We willingly admit the limitations of our physical senses. But do we truly realize that by our habitual reliance upon these senses we are presented only with distorted views, upon which we proceed to build even more erroneous conceptions as to what constitutes the world around us? We affirm that the Christos dwells within each human heart, that understanding must come from within, beyond the physical senses which must be transcended. Yet we continue building upon human perceptions of what seems to be. We say that we must learn to recognize the God speaking through the eyes of our brother men. But do we know how? Do we realize that we must silence the sense perceptions in order to do so? Do we recognize that what we see is not the man, but - an impression upon the physical instrument of sight wrongly interpreted? We say these things, recognizing Truth as from afar. We accept them; but do we really know?
Thinking, believing, knowing are gradations in the working of mind through man. That mind influences matter no one can deny. The possibility of an immediate reaction of matter to mind science no longer can ignore. Simple examples of physiological reactions to thought processes anyone can recall, such as the rushing of blood to the surface, as in blushing, or the reverse in case of stifling fear, the effect of anger upon digestive processes, the physiological effects of worry and anxiety. Dr. Alexis Carrel who became a devout Catholic after witnessing the miraculous cures at Lourdes, and who by the same token might have become a Christian Scientist or Metaphysical Student, in his book Man the Unknown reproaches medical science for its indifference towards spiritual values and mental processes, which  had become so obvious to him, forces not imposed from without, as in the case of suggestion, hypnotism or even in the form of affirmative auto-suggestion, as taught by Coue and others, but as an awareness by the individual; a state of consciousness which illumines from within without.
To illustrate the gradations of the workings of consciousness referred to as thinking, believing and knowing, let us take the simple example of the sugar pill. When the patient thinks the assumed remedy is going to help him, it may well do so. If he strongly believes the same, the expected result is most likely to occur. But to what we know there exists no alternative. There is therefore a marked difference involved; a thought can be implanted, a belief may be aroused to an extent - but only the individual himself can know. Psychologists probing into the workings of the brain mind will forever fail to solve the mystery. The answer lies not in man but in the universality of mind.
It is in the mind that all things exist and have their being. Being is a state of consciousness, not a place or a form, but the timeless, spaceless, formless One. Of these things we can know. It remains with the individual to reach that state of knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt. Such knowledge has been called wisdom. Thus to know, is to be.
Are the things we in our philosophies profess and proclaim realities to us? If so, our lives must show forth the love of this wider understanding, the radiance of a greater perception. Our lives will be changed accordingly.
Men will stand in happy silence within the radiance of a living example of the law. Then words become unnecessary, for it is not what we say, but what we are that speaks unto others.
How can we share with others what we do not possess ourselves? We may repeat the words, the sounds of a song, but the soul does not live if it finds no reflection in us. There is no beauty for the individual who does not recognize it. There is no love if man does not know love. And how do we know? Not by feeling, not by touch, or sight or hearing, nor by means of any of the senses we have recognized as being limited.
We say we must test values by their universality; we cannot measure the greater with the smaller, for we cannot multiply to infinitude. We must deal with what is universally shared by all. We know that we share in consciousness, unlimited by man-made time and measured space. Thus we must turn to mind, not in the sense of human intellect, but Mind as a universal principle. This is sound philosophy under any name and without label. The answer to the Quest lies within man himself; the way for him is his way. Words cannot convey nor reveal the innermost of our Being that is. And the only voice man can hear in his heart is the soundless voice of the silence.
The Egyptians did not call the physical body a principle but compared it to a many-mouthed vase through which Life flows forth as through a channel. Perhaps we might recall a mirror. The vision is not in the mirror, but the mirror reflects the vision; it may be seen distorted, it may be seen true, but the image is untouched by our perception.
Let us seek fundamentals apart from the speculative thought about the particular; we cannot break the molds of mind by making new ones. When we find fundamentals we may begin to build a structure of our own, to house the individual who within himself contains the All.
What can there he outside of man that he does not already contain, when he truly knows himself as a Ray of that Light Everlasting. When this thought becomes knowledge, there is no shadow nor turning. The projected becomes the projector, Man the Creator of his own world. 
Analysis of human character is a very complicated matter and leads to speculations of a recondite nature. To understand character in its fullness it is necessary to study a long line of causes far beyond our personal knowledge, and which can only be sensed with any degree of certitude by taking into account the basic teachings of Theosophy with regard to the Divine nature of our origin and the intermediate embodiments through vast periods of tune.
With our present knowledge and senses it is impossible to understand or realize more than the outline of cosmic processes, but it is possible to follow some of them in a logical manner and to speculate further in order to fill in gaps in the teachings and approach to a complete whole.
There is a basic difference in people which does not seem due entirely to such possible experiences as they must have undergone during aeons of time, which suggests that there are hierarchies of entities, now human, which have had different origins. The possibility occurs that in the unfoldment of egoity in the far distant past hosts of monads in several waves of evolution have been attached to and been of the nature of the various planets of our solar system. This possibility, if a fact, would account for certain basic differences in the character of people, and is confirmed to an extent by astrological readings of the nativity, especially if the fact be borne in mind that the entity unfolds its nature by magnetic attractions and on varied lines according to its nature.
The dual influences of all the planets are clearly evident in most people, and in the main there is always one dominant influence which modifies all the others. It is a point
of speculative interest that each entity may belong to, and be a direct child of, a planet through a long series of lives, and that there may be a sequence through the planets of each Solar life, from the parent Sun until its final return as a fully conscious omniscient Solar Divinity.
The Divine spark inhering in every entity would be colored by the qualities of the particular planet to which it belonged, while at the same time it would have the qualities of other planets in a sub-active condition. By analogy one can see that juxtaposition of entities with the opposite tendencies of the dual aspects, as also of those out of sequential harmony, would cause disturbance by their vibrational rates being dissimilar.
The above considerations can be postulated to have occurred in varying degrees over the vast age of humanity on this planet; with the individual or collective group-karman carried over from the Moon, it would make possible the many differences in individual evolution.
So far as we are concerned in the present life, a knowledge of our special characteristic planetary groupings might be of great benefit if used wisely, for though most of our circumstances are yet beyond our direct control, to a small extent we can exert the volition we possess and apply it understandingly.
Personal frictions and disharmonies have a rational explanation, even though due to personal karman; lines of effort might be indicated which would obviate loss of energy in attempting the impossible; the sequences of action necessary to resolve discords into harmony should follow, and thereafter progress would occur spontaneously along the lines of least resistance. 
Welcome the New Cycle, everyone! Cycles are man-made, as well as God-made. The man-made variety are quite potent, providing a large number of people respect and obey them. The New Year just opening, belongs to the man-made variety, as the natural annual cycle begins on the twenty-second of December, the Winter Solstice.
As the Sun begins its annual pilgrimage toward the North on the twenty-second of December, an actual New Cycle is established by natural law. The sun now journeys northward instead of southward in the heavens. The ancient peoples of all climes considered the movements of the stars and planets, their conjunctions and changes as merely indicating changes of time on the great Cosmic Clock, furnished by the Universes. According to them, the Spiritual Intelligences who guide and try to control the Universes use this Cosmic Clock, just as you and I would use an alarm clock. Movements of stars and planets indicated the intervals when some Spiritual Intelligences went off duty and others came on duty. The influences radiated throughout the Universes, or any subsection of one of them, differed according to the particular Spiritual Intelligence on duty at the time. Looked at in this way Astrology takes on a different meaning, and astronomical Movements became important.
The Pagan Festival denoting this Winter Solstice change is now combined with the Christmas Festival, and the New Year has been placed shortly after that. On this account the Resolutions and Vows formerly made on the twenty-first and twenty-second of December are now customarily made on the man-made anniversary of the first of January. The Wise Ones will utilize the days between the twenty-first of December and the first of January for repeating their vows and resolutions. Then they will partake of all the benefits of both the natural and artificial anniversaries.
We are accustomed to laugh at the idea of there being any potency in making New Year's Resolutions. However, in Union there is always Strength. The mere fact that countless thousands of people are thinking along the same line on January the first, makes the solution of your problems just that much easier. The great power of thought is just beginning to be understood. Many are realizing that MAN actually has a creative power within him, when he has the power of thinking. The mere fact that Man can create with his mind, is conclusive proof of his Divine Heritage from the Gods, wherein lies the Creative Ability. The creation of a telephone differs in degree only from the creation of a Universe.
All the various Cycles affect animal and vegetable life only as far as instinctive routines can slowly be altered by environment conditions. However, with Man it is different, as his God-given power of thought allows him to work in unison with his kind and thereby increase the potency of his own individual thoughts. Custom comes into it a great deal. Just think how marry people go out on New Year's Eve and get drunk, while they do not do so on any other date. That is what custom can do for us on the wrong side. It is just as easy to establish good customs, and a very excellent time to do so is between the twenty-second of December and the first of January. It could be a very happy World for ever, if all the people just wanted to make it so. It only needs concerted action to bring it about.
MORAL: The Wise Man picks his time for Creative Effort.
And that's Cyclic Theosophy.
- The Wayfarer. [Hubert S. Turner] 
(Translation of a Letter circulated by our courageous and staunch brother, Jan H. Venema, among the members of his Section, during the hard years of oppression. Significantly enough, it was signed by the pseudonym, P. L. Grim. "Theosophia" considers itself fortunate to be able to reprint this inspiring message from an inspired man.)
Be always and everywhere a representative of the Theosophical Society and of the noble philosophy of life that it presents to the world.
A Theosophist is a representative! Membership in a movement which H.P.B. called the most serious of our times and of which the Great Ones who stood behind her, expected even the redemption of the World (see Mahatma Letters), makes us realise what a privilege and also what a duty this representation implies. Whatever our position in the world may be, everyone of us is in his or her sphere the bearer of the lodge-force, and as such the possibilities of each one are unlimited. And in accordance with our attendance at lodge, or club-studies, our participation in and helping at these studies, will our power to act as a representative extend by character-development and nobility of soul. All the characteristics of the latter two - courtesy, sympathy with one's fellowmen, gentleness, the intuitive understanding of the difficulties of others, - form the signs of recognition of every representative of the T.S. and its sublime knowledge of life. Urged forward by an irrepressible idealism, a conviction based on experience, an indomitable power of will to attain, the representative of the T.S. nevertheless has always so many contacts with everyday life that he is never blind to the suffering of his fellowmen, his other "selves." In proportion to our penetration by our will and spiritual aspiration into the esoteric background of our movement and of that which is now called Theosophia, our ability to be a worthy representative becomes greater. It is therefore, above all, our attitude in life which makes us representatives, because it makes people ask: "What has he in the background of his being that makes him be like that, think like that, fight like that and persist like that?" It is the stimulation of these questions that really marks the true representative. Involuntarily it is felt that this representation is backed by and proceeds from a consciousness that we belong to an old, a very old order, - the eternal order, which millions of years ago supported this universe around us, which is still doing this and will do so billions of years hence; the cosmic order, one that can never disappoint.
Who shall ever down or repress the representative of a cosmic order, a being who feels the vibrations of the divine hierarchies, of their spheres and their music in his soul? Who shall check his power, when he has a consciousness - ever extended by experience - that he represents on this outward plane the Hierarchies of Light? Who shall deprive him of his ability to reflect the ONENESS of this universe and yet also its diversities in manifestation. It is just for this reason that he is a human being and can perform things human, with this reflection of the sublime in his acts and in his atmosphere.
This attitude of a representative makes life worth while. Our capacity to act as such must inevitably become greater in proportion as we identify ourselves with that which we represent: the ancient wisdom-religion, a knowledge of life that is a synthesis of science, philosophy, art and religion. It is for this reason that the representative is ready and willing, at any hour and in any place, really to express that which he represents, either in the silence or in words. His watchword is that of Gottfried de Purucker - Ego Sum Servus Servorum Dei.
Therefore he never hesitates to open his house for theosophical studies and meetings, especially in this rising tide! For great is the need of spiritual impulses in every sphere of life. Therefore, he also tries as a true representative to form everywhere foci of the lodge-force, knowing that every one of such foci may, like a kindling fire, become a light that will shine in his village, his town, his country, nay, in the whole world. "Politics" - yes, he also goes in for "politics": the only true, never disappointing, never hatred-bearing policy of the cosmos around us, based on radiating, giving, evolving. Thus his "politics" will be called the diplomacy of the heart, which always wins.
Let us therefore, Theosophists of Holland, never forget that we are representatives, representatives of those who have gone before us on the Path, who are ever asking us - "what have you done with our precious pledge?": representatives of H.P.B., W.Q.J., K.T. and G. de P. of that for which they sacrificed themselves, for which they worked and at which they aimed.
On us - representatives of the T.S. and its philosophy - they will be able to rely. Therefore a light will shine from our  country, a light from the houses, from the Parliament buildings, from squares and streets, and it will draw the attention of the world and may help larger but not necessarily greater countries to do their work.
Let us be representatives - young and old of Holland - for we know the password, we see the sublime goal and the divine scheme, we bear the call - Stand firm, carry on the Masters' work! We pledge ourselves to make of Theosophy a living force in our lives.
Who shall resist the representative of the Hierarchy of Light!
SAN DIEGO THEOSOPHICAL ACTIVITIES
San Diego Public Relations Committee: T. Marriott, Chairman and Treasurer, 3926 Normal Ave., San Diego (Jackson 8997); Mrs. Mora Forbes, Secretary (Welfare Dept., Civic Center); Harold W. Dempster, Regional Vice-President, T.S. (So. Title 8 Trust Co., 940 Third Ave.), 3131 McCall St., San Diego 6 (Bayview 6839; or Franklin 3131 daytime); Mrs. Mary Fay (Vice-Pres., School Board); George L. Coffee, President, Lodge No. 65, T.S. (First National Bank). For information on all Theosophical activities in San Diego and vicinity, consult the addresses and telephones given above.
Studies in Occult Philosophy
Theosophical University Press, Covina, California, 1945, 745 pages, Cloth $5.00.
With the publication of this important volume, the literary output of our late Teacher is brought to a close. Posthumously collected front his talks to the students and his world-wide correspondence, this work deals with a variety of profound technical occult subjects and contains information that cannot be found elsewhere. Invaluable teachings can be found here on submerged continents, vanished civilizations, after-death states, the occult mysteries of the inner constitution of man and the Universe, key-numbers of the Solar System, hypnotism, the origin of good and evil, and numerous other lines of thought presented in the masterly manner of traditional occultism. We earnestly hope that this work will find its place on the theosophical shelf of all our students, side by side with the other volumes from the pen of G. de Purucker. The Theosophical University Press is to be highly commended for its magnificent printing and binding job on this volume. The choice of a telling title and an attractive appearance can hardly be overestimated when the success of a book is in view. - Editors, "Theosophia".