THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXXI
No. 4 (142) - Spring 1975

[Cover photo: William Quan Judge (April 13, 1851-March 21, 1896). "He is one of the three founders of the Theosophical Society, the only three who have remained as true as rock to the Cause ..." - H.P. Blavatsky, in E.S. Instruction No. III.]

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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 wave of life in 1975 may not show itself so much as one person with a fresh idea, but as a heaving of humanity like a massive roller of the ocean. The messenger may be like the crest of the wave, a product of it, not the cause. This was Carlyle's idea, that the times produced the man. This accumulated surge in each of us, individually, will determine the size and power of the wave and the greatness of the crest. Waiting for a prophet to lead us will produce only a ripple. The Western world is full of yogis. It is the old idea of God without. Let Joe do it but never me. I just want the glory, not the slugging. It is the awakening of the Divine Spark within each single one of us that will produce the roller that will wash high up on the shore of man's selfishness and sweep away the pollution and distortions of H.P.B.'s teachings that have piled up in the past century ... Let's ... try to follow the example of H.P.B. and try to learn the lessons in her books that she tried to teach us. Let's develop the tools that she used: vision, knowledge, courage, determination, love for mankind and unselfishness ... There is no easy way out. No great teacher can give us a good harvest. It is useless to wait for a Messiah in '75 to show us the way. Each of us, each unselfish atom, make up the Messiah. Each has to become the Path. If we are not a part of him, we shall never recognize him or his message; the message has always been the same throughout the ages: Truth, Morality, Selflessness ..." - F.B.B., in The Canadian Theosophist, Jan.-Feb., 1975. [3]

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WILLIAM QUAN JUDGE: HIS OCCULT STATUS
Boris de Zirkoff

The Year Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Five, the hundredth anniversary of The Theosophical Society, is a most auspicious time in which to correct some erroneous records and to take a new stand on subjects which have been for years surrounded with a lot of fuzzy thinking.

Among such subjects none is more serious than the grave injustice committed against William Quan Judge in the last years of his dedicated life an injustice which originated in the highest responsible officials of the Society at the time, and which has never yet been understood, recognized and cleared up, by those who have been at the helm of the Society ever since.

As long as this injustice remains unacknowledged, and is not erased by straight forward action on the part of the highest authorities within the structure of the Society, it will linger as a pall over Theosophical activities, and will surface from time to time in some unexpected places and circumstances, to plague the Organization and throw a shadow on its path.

Injustice can never be obliterated by the mere passage of time. The outward circumstances surrounding it may recede into the past and be considered by people suffering from historical myopia as of no moment any longer, because of being, according to them, merely "ancient history." But injustice, as such, remains as a living force, a potentially coiled spring which does not lose its karmic momentum merely by the passage of clock-time, and which may be released at any moment to claim redress.

When, in 1894, a number of charges were leveled by Annie Besant against Mr. Judge, then Vice-President of the Theosophical Society, she stated that:

"... the vital charge (was) that Mr. Judge had issued letters and messages in the script recognizable as that adopted by a Master with whom H.P.B. was closely connected, and that these letters and messages were neither written nor precipitated directly by the Master in whose writing they appear ...

"Further, I wish it to be distinctly understood that I do not charge and have not charged Mr. Judge with forgery in the ordinary sense of the term, but with giving a misleading material form to messages received psychically from the Master in various ways, without acquainting the recipient with this fact."* (* From a Statement by Annie Besant read at the Third Session of the European Convention of the T.S., July 12, 1894. Cf. Lucifer, London, Vol. XIV, August, 1894, pp. 459-60.)

This accusation is "full of holes," as the saying goes. It shows a complete ignorance of one of the crucial points concerning occult precipitations. That crucial point is the fact that an occult message coming from one of the Adepts, and impressed upon the inner psycho-spiritual organs of his agent, will be conveyed by him or her upon a piece of paper in the handwriting adopted by that Adept for such use. [4]

In this connection, two very important statements, among others, made by the Teachers, should be borne in mind. In August, 1882, Master K.H. wrote to A.P. Sinnett:

"In noticing M's [Master Morya's] opinion of yourself expressed in some of his letters - (you must not feel altogether so sure that because they are in his handwriting, they are written by him, though of course every word is sanctioned by him to serve certain ends) - you say he has 'a peculiar mode of expressing himself to say the least'." * (* The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 2nd ed., p. 232; 3rd ed., p. 229.)

On another occasion, approximately at the same time, the same Teacher, writing to A. P. Sinnett, explained:

"Very often our very letters - unless something very important and secret - are written in our handwritings by our chelas." * (* Op. cit., 2nd ed., p. 296; 3rd ed., p. 291.)

In Volume IX of The Path (April, 1894, p. 18), certain words of H.P.B. are quoted on the subject of precipitations. She says:

"If you think Master is going to be always precipitating things, you mistake. Yes, He can do it. But most of the precipitations are by chelas who would seem to you almost Masters. I see His orders, and the thoughts and words He wishes used, and I precipitate them in that form; so does - and one or two more."

In reply to a question concerning Masters' handwritings, she stated in the same place:

"Anything you write is your handwriting, but it is not your personal handwriting, generally used and first learned if you assume or adopt some form. Now you know that Masters' handwritings, peculiar and personal to Themselves, are foreign both as to sound and form - Indian sorts, in fact. So They adopted a form in English, and in that form I precipitate Their messages at Their direction ... The message has to be seen in the astral light in facsimile, and through that astral matrix I precipitate the whole of it ..."* (* Cf. H. P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. X, p. 269.)

It is obvious from this passage that H.P.B., acting under the instruction of one or another of the Masters, produced precipitated letters or notes in their own adopted handwriting. No student seems to have ever questioned her bona fide in doing so. It is of some importance to bear in mind that the above-quoted explanations published in The Path, were available in print at about the same time that serious accusations were hurled against Mr. Judge.

Answering Annie Besant's charges preferred against him, Mr. Judge stated:

"... during all the years since 1875 I have been taught much about occultism by the Masters and their friends, and have been shown how to produce some phenomena, among others the precipitation of writing for the [5] Masters at certain times. This is always in the form to which the prosecutors most foolishly object. These teachings began - notwithstanding ignorance of it on the part of Col. Olcott, who takes pains to say he knows nothing of it, and that I am probably a medium - in 1875 with H.P.B. In that year, the first precipitation done through me was effected in New York ..."* (* Reply by William Quan Judge to Charges of Misuse of Mahatmas' Names and Handwritings. Read at Boston T.S. Convention, April 29, 1895. See page 15 of the pamphlet edition of this Statement.)

The "form to which the prosecutors most foolishly object" means the handwritings as adopted by the Teachers for purposes of precipitated communications.

It would appear therefore that the Masters themselves, as well as H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, state, all of them, that precipitations are done in such a manner as to exhibit the adopted handwritings of those who are desirous of communicating a message through one or another of their direct agents.

In the light of the passages quoted above, what becomes of the accusation that Judge, while transmitting admittedly genuine messages from his Superiors, yet gave them "a misleading material form," meaning the handwriting used by Judge on those occasions?

It is a great pity to find present-day responsible officials of The Theosophical Society (Adyar) largely (if not totally) ignorant of the facts outlined above, while they, of all the people in the Movement, should be thoroughly familiar with them, and use them as a basis for right action, if and when such action may be required.

It might be objected that The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett were not published until December, 1923, and that, therefore, the passages quoted above were unknown at the time. But it must not be overlooked that a number of letters written to Sinnett by the Teachers had been copied by several of the officials of the T.S. and placed in the hands of a few, carefully selected people. Several partial explanations of this subject were also available in some of the writings of H.P.B., but they had not been consulted. Quite apart from that, the complete text of all the Letters was in the possession of A. P. Sinnett himself and could have been referred to by responsible officials. However, Sinnett does not seem to have taken part in the controversy at the time. Having experienced a complete change of attitude towards H.P.B., even before her passing, he was busy then trying to establish a "direct" contact with the Masters by means of a series of psychic mediums in London.

The individual known under the name of William Quan Judge was a Hindu initiated disciple, a Yogi as a matter of fact, who had taken over the body of an Irish boy by means of occult avesa or tulku, i.e., transference of consciousness, when the boy died of typhoid fever. It is obvious from a number of very important statements by H.P.B. that this initiated disciple had a very close karmic tie with her, and was intended to serve as one of the channels between the Teachers and the outer Movement they were launching at the time. [6]

In a forthright letter dated from London, October 23, 1889,* (* The original of this letter is in the Archives of the former Point Loma Theosophical Society.) H.P.B. spoke of Mr. Judge as being "part of herself since several aeons." The closing part of this letter states:

"The Esoteric Section and its life in the U.S.A. depends on W.Q.J. remaining its agent & what he is now. The day W.Q.J. resigns, H.P.B. will be virtually dead for the Americans.

"W.Q.J. is the Antaskarana between the two Manas(es) the American thought & the Indian - or rather the trans-Himalayan Esoteric Knowledge.

"Dixi H.P.B. .'.
PS.
"W.Q.J. had better show and impress this on the mind of all those whom it may concern. (H.P.B.)"

At about the same time, when powerful enemies were attempting to undermine Judge's work in America, and ruin the genuine spirit of esotericism upon which it was based, H.P.B. wrote the following:

"Ingratitude is a crime in Occultism, and I shall illustrate the point by citing the case of W. Q. Judge. He is one of the three founders of the Theosophical Society, the only three who have remained as true as rock to the Cause. While others have all turned deserters or enemies, he has ever remained faithful to his original pledge. If one wants to know how the Masters would feel towards him, let him read what one of them writes about the fidelity of Colonel Olcott and their appreciation of it, in a letter published in the Occult World. Though strong pressure was used to displace him and his associates (Judge along with them) in favor of another - a newcomer - and all manner of boons were promised for the T.S., Mahatma 'K.H.' flatly refused, saying that ingratitude had never been one of their vices. Now that which Colonel Olcott has accomplished in India and Asia, W. Q. Judge has done in America. He is the Resuscitator of Theosophy in the United States, and is working to the best of his means and ability, and at a great sacrifice, for the spread of the movement; and he is now being infamously attacked and schemed against for this by one who has never done a thing for the T.S., but is now trying to crush it out of existence ... Brother Judge refuses to defend himself, even more than I have refused to defend myself after the Coulomb conspiracy. No man who knows himself innocent ever will. But is that a reason why we should let him go undefended? It is our bounden duty to support him, in every way, with our sympathy and influence, energetically, not in a half-hearted, timid way. Let our protest be on merely defensive lines, and not of an aggressive character. For, if the spirit of true Theosophy does not permit of aggressiveness being used, yet it does demand in some cases active defense, and it does impose on everyone of us [7] the duty of taking an active interest in the welfare of a brother, especially of a persecuted brother, as Mr. Judge is now ..." * (* E. S. Instruction No. III, 1890; Preliminary Explanation.)

In a letter the original of which has not been preserved, H.P.B. added the following remarks concerning the above-quoted passage: "Let them read Master's letter in the Preliminary ... All that which I said about W.Q.J. was from His words in His letter to me ..."* (* Letters That have Helped Me, Vol. II, pp. 110-11 (1905 ed.); p. 117 (1918 ed.).)

H.P.B. also pointed out that the individual we have known as William Quan Judge was at times overshadowed by one of the Nirmanakaya behind the outer Movement;* (* H.P.B.'s letter to Mr. Judge, dated from Ostende, October 3, 1886; published in The Theosophical Forum, Point Loma, Calif., Vol, III, August 15, 1932, p. 253.) and one of the Teachers said that "when the 'Presence' is upon him [W.Q.J.], he knows well that which others only suspect and 'divine' ..."* (* Letters That Have Helped Me, Vol. II, p. 100 (1905 ed.); p. 116 (1918 ed.).)

Inherent karmic weaknesses of the "borrowed" body (karmic conditions over which even the Masters can have no control), and the terrible strain occasioned by the cruel persecution experienced by Mr. Judge from a number of his deluded co-workers, resulted in a premature collapse of that body, the hereditary tendencies of which could of course not be set aside, and made it useless for any further work. Such cases are not altogether exceptional, and occur from time to time in the history of genuine occult movements.

As we view this whole tragic business, we do not feel that conscience can be saved by an occasionally friendly word about Mr. Judge or by pointing to the fact that The Theosophical Publishing House lists his books. (For that matter, the T.P.H. is selling with equal zest books the contents of which often flagrantly contradict important points of Theosophical teaching. True, the T.P.H. is a business organization, and its business is to sell books; but, from the standpoint of Theosophical ethics and the dissemination of truth, higher matters are surely of paramount importance.)

One of the most vital actions to restore harmony among various Theosophical groups throughout the world, would be for the highest officials of The Society (Adyar) to make a frank declaration acknowledging that a grave injustice was done Mr. Judge; that his name should be cleared of all suspicions; and that all Theosophists should regard him as one of the three chief Founders of The Theosophical Society - a man whose high occult status as an agent of the Brotherhood cannot be questioned against the back-ground of historical facts and available documentary evidence.

The logical place, and the finest opportunity for such a declaration would be the World Congress of The Theosophical Society to be held in New York in November, 1975. It would have the authority of the highest officials in the Organization, and would have the added momentum of a climacteric occasion which will be remembered for years to come throughout the Movement. [8]

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OCCULTISM VERSUS THE OCCULT ARTS
H. P. Blavatsky
(Concluded from previous issue)

All this is either unknown or left out of sight altogether. Indeed, one who is able to follow the silent evolution of the preliminary aspirations of the candidates, often finds strange ideas quietly taking possession of their minds. There are those whose reasoning powers have been so distorted by foreign influences that they imagine that animal passions can be so sublimated and elevated that their fury, force, and fire can, so to speak, be turned inwards; that they can be stored and shut up in one's breast, until their energy is, not expanded, but turned toward higher and more holy purposes: namely, until their collective and unexpended strength enables their possessor to enter the true Sanctuary of the Soul and stand therein in the presence of the Master - the HIGHER SELF! For this purpose they will not struggle with their passions nor slay them. They will simply, by a strong effort of will put down the fierce flames and keep them at bay within their natures, allowing the fire to smoulder under a thin layer of ashes. They submit joyfully to the torture of the Spartan boy who allowed the fox to devour his entrails rather than part with it. Oh, poor blind visionaries!

As well hope that a band of drunken chimney-sweeps, hot and greasy from their work, may be shut up in a Sanctuary hung with pure white linen, and that instead of soiling and turning it by their presence into a heap of dirty shreds, they will become masters in and of the sacred recess, and finally emerge from it as immaculate as that recess. Why not imagine that a dozen of skunks imprisoned in the pure atmosphere of a Dgon-pa (a monastery) can issue out of it impregnated with all the perfumes of the incenses used? ... Strange aberration of the human mind. Can it be so? Let us argue.

The "Master" in the Sanctuary of our souls is "the Higher Self"--the divine spirit whose consciousness is based upon and derived solely (at any rate during the mortal life of the man in whom it is captive) from the Mind, which we have agreed to call the Human Soul (the "Spiritual Soul" being the vehicle of the Spirit). In its turn the former (the personal or human soul) is a compound in its highest form, of spiritual aspirations, volition, and divine love; and in its lower aspect, of animal desires and terrestrial passions imparted to it by its associations with its vehicle, the seat of all these. It thus stands as a link and a medium between the animal nature of man which its higher reason seeks to subdue, and his divine spiritual nature to which it gravitates, whenever it has the upper hand in its struggle with the inner animal. The latter is the instinctual "animal Soul" and is the hotbed of those passions, which, as just shown, are lulled instead of being killed, and locked up in their breasts by some imprudent enthusiasts. Do they still hope to turn thereby the muddy stream of the animal sewer into the crystalline waters of life? And where, on what neutral ground can they be imprisoned so as not to affect man? The fierce passions of love and lust are still alive and they are allowed to still remain in the place of their birth - that same animal soul; for both the higher and the lower [9] portions of the "Human Soul" or Mind reject such inmates, though they cannot avoid being tainted with them as neighbours. The "Higher Self" or Spirit is as unable to assimilate such feelings as water to get mixed with oil or unclean liquid tallow. It is thus the mind alone, the sole link and medium between the man of earth and the Higher Self - that is the only sufferer, and which is in the incessant danger of being dragged down by those passions that may be re-awakened at any moment, and perish in the abyss of matter. And how can it ever attune itself to the divine harmony of the highest Principle, when that harmony is destroyed by the mere presence, within the Sanctuary in preparation, of such animal passions? How can harmony prevail and conquer, when the soul is stained and distracted with the turmoil of passions and the terrestrial desires of the bodily senses, or even of the "Astral man"?

For this "Astral" - the shadowy "double" (in the animal as in man) is not the companion of the divine Ego but of the earthly body. It is the link between the personal SELF, the lower consciousness of Manas and the Body, and is the vehicle of transitory, not of immortal life. Like the shadow projected by man, it follows his movements and impulses slavishly and mechanically, and leans therefore to matter without ever ascending to Spirit. It is only when the power of the passions is dead altogether, and when they have been crushed and annihilated in the retort of an unflinching will; when not only all the lusts and longings of the flesh are dead, but also the recognition of the personal Self is killed out and the "astral" has been reduced in consequence to a cipher, that the Union with the "Higher Self" can take place. Then when the "Astral" reflects only the conquered man, the still living but no more the longing, selfish personality, then the brilliant Augoeides, the divine SELF, can vibrate in conscious harmony with both the poles of the human Entity - the man of matter purified, and the ever pure Spiritual Soul - and stand in the presence of the MASTER SELF, the Christos of the mystic Gnostic, blended, merged into, and one with IT forever.* (* Those who would feel inclined to see three Egos in one man will show themselves unable to perceive the metaphysical meaning. Man is a trinity composed of Body, Soul and Spirit; but man is nevertheless one, and is surely not his body. It is the latter which is the property, the transitory clothing of the man. The three "Egos" are MAN in his three aspects on the astral, intellectual or psychic, and the Spiritual planes, or states.)

How then can it be thought possible for a man to enter the "straight gate" of occultism when his daily and hourly thoughts are bound up with worldly things, desires of possession and power, with lust, ambition and duties, which, however honorable, are still of the earth earthy? Even the love for wife and family - the purest as the most unselfish of human affections - is a barrier to real occultism. For whether we take as an example the holy love of a mother for her child, or that of a husband for his wife, even in these feelings, when analyzed to the very bottom, and thoroughly sifted, there is still selfishness in the first, and an egoisme a deux in the second instance. What mother would not sacrifice without a moment's hesitation hundreds of thousands of lives for that of the child of her heart? and what lover or true husband would not break the happiness of every other man and woman around him to satisfy the desire [10] of one whom he loves? This is but natural, we shall be told. Quite so; in the light of the code of human affections; less so, in that of divine universal love. For, while the heart is full of thoughts for a little group of selves, near and dear to us, how shall the rest of mankind fare in our souls? What percentage of love and care will there remain to bestow on the "great orphan"? And how shall the "still small voice" make itself heard in a soul entirely occupied with its own privileged tenants? What room is there left for the needs of Humanity en bloc to impress themselves upon, or even receive a speedy response? And yet he who would profit by the wisdom of the universal mind, has to reach it through the whole of Humanity without distinction of race, complexion, religion or social status. It is altruism, not ego-ism even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead the unit to merge its little Self in the Universal Selves. It is to these needs and to this work that the true disciple of true Occultism has to devote himself, if he would obtain theosophy, divine Wisdom and Knowledge.

The aspirant has to choose absolutely between the life of the world and the life of Occultism. It is useless and vain to endeavour to unite the two, for no one can serve two masters and satisfy both. No one can serve his body and the higher Soul, and do his family duty and his universal duty, without depriving either one or the other of its rights; for he will either lend his ear to the "still small voice" and fail to hear the cries of his little ones, or, he will listen but to the wants of the latter and remain deaf to the voice of Humanity. It would be a ceaseless, a maddening struggle for almost any married man, who would pursue true practical Occultism, instead of its theoretical philosophy. For he would find himself ever hesitating between the voice of the impersonal divine love of Humanity, and that of the personal, terrestrial love. And this could only lead him to fail in one or the other, or perhaps in both his duties. Worse than this. For, whoever indulges after having pledged himself to OCCULTISM in the gratification of a terrestrial love or lust, must feel an almost immediate result; that of being irresistibly dragged from the impersonal divine state down to the lower plane of matter. Sensual, or even mental self-gratification, involves the immediate loss of the powers of spiritual discernment; the voice of the MASTER can no longer be distinguished from that of one's passions or even that of a Dugpa; the right from wrong; sound morality from mere casuistry. The Dead Sea fruit assumes the most glorious mystic appearance, only to turn to ashes on the lips, and to gall in the heart resulting in: -

Depth ever deepening, darkness darkening still;
Folly for wisdom, guilt for innocence;
Anguish for rapture, and for hope despair.

And once being mistaken and having acted on their mistakes, most men shrink from realizing their error, and thus descend deeper and deeper into the mire. And, although it is the intention that decides primarily whether white or black magic is exercised, yet the results even of involuntary, unconscious sorcery cannot fail to be productive of bad Karma. Enough has been said to show that sorcery is any kind of evil influence exercised upon other persons, who suffer, or make other persons suffer, in consequence. Karma is a heavy stone splashed [11] in the quiet waters of Life; and it must produce ever widening circles of ripples, carried wider and wider, almost ad infinitum. Such causes produced have to call forth effects, and these are evidenced in the just laws of Retribution.

Much of this may be avoided if people will only abstain from rushing into practices neither the nature nor importance of which they understand. No one is expected to carry a burden beyond his strength and powers. There are "natural-born magicians"; Mystics and Occultists by birth, and by right of direct inheritance from a series of incarnations and aeons of suffering and failures. These are passion-proof, so to say. No fires of earthly origin can fan into a flame any of their senses or desires; no human voice can find response in their souls, except the great cry of Humanity. These only may be certain of success. But they can be met only far and wide, and they pass through the narrow gates of Occultism because they carry no personal luggage of human transitory sentiments along with them. They have got rid of the feeling of the lower personality, paralyzed thereby the "astral" animal, and the golden, but narrow gate is thrown open before them. Not so with those who have to carry yet for several incarnations the burden of sins committed in previous lives, and even in their present existence. For such, unless they proceed with great caution, the golden gate of Wisdom may get transformed into the wide gate and the broad way "that leadeth unto destruction," and therefore "many be they that enter in thereby." This is the Gate of the Occult arts, practiced for selfish motives and in the absence of the restraining and beneficent influence of ATMA-VIDYA. We are in the Kali Yuga and its fatal influence is a thousand-fold more powerful in the West than it is in the East; hence the easy preys made by the Powers of the Age of Darkness in this cyclic struggle, and the many delusions under which the world is now labouring. One of these is the relative facility with which men fancy they can get at the "Gate" and cross the threshold of Occultism without any great sacrifice. It is the dream of most Theosophists, one inspired by desire for Power and personal selfishness, and it is not such feelings that can ever lead them to the coveted goal. For, as well said by one believed to have sacrificed himself for Humanity - "narrow is the gate and straightened the way that leadeth unto life" eternal, and therefore "few be they that find it." So straight indeed, that at the bare mention of some of the preliminary difficulties the affrighted Western candidates turn back and retreat with a shudder ...

Let them stop here and attempt no more in their great weakness. For if, while turning their backs on the narrow gate, they are dragged by their desire for the Occult one step in the direction of the broad and more inviting Gates of that golden mystery which glitters in the light of illusion, woe to them! It can lead only to Dugpa-ship, and they will be sure to find themselves very soon landed on that Via Fatale of the Inferno, over whose portal Dante read the words: -

"Per me si va nella citta dolente
Per me si va nell'eterno dolore
Per me si va tra la perduta gente ..."
[Divina Commedia, Canto III, 1, Inferno] [12]

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IN THE BUDDHA FIELDS
Dara Eklund

Few clues have been given on the art of meditating in our teachings. Nevertheless, with the pressure of an age bent on forcing its consciousness through the gates of the inner spheres, Theosophists are proving that many clues were actually imbedded in our teachings, perhaps waiting for the right century to germinate. Articles and books, such as the Quest publication, Approaches to Meditation, (edited by Joy Mills), illustrate the birth of new understanding - an outcome of patient assimilation of the boundless wisdom. They have grasped the hidden keys to be turned in centuries to come.

One such clue is the advice upon "meditation with a seed." By means of it, according to Patanjali, Isvara, the spirit of man, gradually becomes untouched by works or fruits of works, and raises by degrees the lower self to higher elevations. We can change the mind into "the likeness of what is pondered upon." This means that we also select a more "subtle object in view" as time goes on, since disenchantment with sensuous objects has led us to wish to rise above them.

The Buddhist interprets this process as a purifying of the mind, as it emerges over the horizon of the Buddha Fields. Abstracting itself from any physical geography, it begins to perceive in terms of "mental events" (attachments, lusts, jealousies, delusions) which are called "unskillful" dharmas. Other "mental events" are perceived as "skillful" dharmas which arise with kindness, service, acts of renunciation and devotion. We note that these last qualities are all reinforced by acts of self-surrender issuing spontaneously from our inner nature, as we allow them play in the Buddha Fields. This idea captivates the imagination. The challenge it presents to the blind and sensuous phases of our existence is clear. The latter, being apparent throughout the day, need constant uprooting. But the Buddhist way of calling them "events" gives us a hold on them, a grasp for their uprooting. The Dharma, if understood as doing all which lies before us with a clear mind and joyous heart, has prepared the soil for the seeding of new merits.

There is a tradition of Sainthood in the East which has as its ideal the returning again and again into worldly life for the salvation of the whole of humanity, even by one who has "gone beyond." Not because of Karma, but for the sake of "Dharma," he returns, according to the vow of this tradition. It is the Bodhisattvic ideal of the Buddhist. Giving examples of such "surrendering," Chogyam Trungpa in his work, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, reminds us of the basic formula in Buddhism:

"I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the Sangha."

The last phrase can be regarded as a "community of people on the spiritual path," not to be leaned upon, Trungpa reminds us (p. 27), but as "companions ... those who walk with me." [13]

Realizing that we never progress alone, but by raising the whole of life with us, we take refuge from pride. We can never fall into the delusion of messiahship, if we take refuge in the joy of sharing the accomplishments of our companions. How many errors of envy could be averted by such relinquishment of selfhood, by surrendering to a larger whole, as a fragment of seaweed surrenders to the tide.

In The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye, the XIVth Dalai Lama writes: "The four unlimiteds are friendliness, compassion, joy-with-others, and equananmity ... They are called 'limitless' because the mental object of them is all beings." As he continues to describe these unlimiteds (p. 91), their cultivation is clearly only a means. They are virtues experienced in the practice of wisdom. He writes, for instance: "Equanimity is necessary in those situations where one cannot bring about any change and in which, therefore, one should remain aloof." In The Voice of the Silence, however, Compassion is given as a stronger force. It is the Law of Laws, and indeed its Field is Unlimited.

There was in ancient China a stainless Goddess of the Matsu cult named "The Imperial Consort of Heaven."* (* The Chinese Way in Religion, by Laurence Thompson (Dickinson, Encino, 1973.).) By following the clues to our interior Buddhic Fields and considering the above precepts in our lives, may we also become consorts and compeers of Heaven, that the hungry fields of earth be reshaped in its image.

*

THE WIDOW'S MITE
Vonda Urban

How fascinating it is to observe human nature! And human nature is, of course, the aggregate antics of all of us. In some instances, our baffling or startling behavior veers away from seemingly normal courses of conduct unexpectedly to spurt out into unusual or bizarre patterns, and we are astonished and stunned by the apparently abnormal reactions. But for the most part, our habit grooves are so predictable that it is relatively easy to, anticipate how we will react in given situations. In fact, our reactions are carefully monitored and constantly used by shrewd manipulators and merchandisers, whose slick, Madison Avenue sales pitch influences all areas of life, with specialized appeals expertly tailored to reach all levels of response, for the purpose of stimulating our insatiable desires that just have to have this, that or whatever happens to be "in" at the moment.

But never in the history of the modern world has there been a marketing skill so successful, or a package so persuasive, as the commercial institution of the Christmas Festival; and nothing can equal the sophistry of the ecclesiastical hucksters, whose genius in the exploitation of human credulity [14] employs highly perfected techniques that prey upon fear, pride and reward to extract obedience to their dictates. Perhaps the most remarkable example of this is the widow's mite, that dutiful pittance of pennies from all over the world, flowing in a cascade of inestimable wealth, constantly feeding their voracious coffers.

This points out rather vividly that quirk in our human nature which wears a "for show or for blow" psychology; a dual standard, holding one conduct before the world - either for its approval, or because the law and order of society demands it - while reserving a different scale of values when free from the pressure of being watched; and where in some instances, integrity is relaxed proportionately to what can safely be gotten away with. The Mahatma Letters speak of this dual standard in the example of the European gentleman of H. P. Blavatsky's era, whose perfect manners often belied the real feelings and hidden motives lurking behind a mask of politeness and respectability.

And yet, if we have courage enough to look at ourselves squarely and impersonally, we might see that whenever we shirk responsibility by seeking to avoid our duty, or when we want something for nothing, these are blind spots in our character, and are the very traits that warp motive and judgement, distorting our sense of values that becomes gullible to exploitation. Nor is the study of the Ancient Wisdom in itself a magic panacea, suddenly lifting us out of this mire of Maya into instant goodness and selfless devotion to the Great Cause of humanity; far from it! These noble teachings point out the path, but spiritual growth is entirely in our own hands, for we follow that path only by living it; and it does no good whatsoever to enunciate with exquisite expression, "Inaction in a deed of mercy becomes an action in a deadly sin," while our actions easily dismiss our responsibility and duty to help another with the flimsy excuse, "it's wrong to get involved in their Karma" ...

Responsibility is not concerned with self or with Karma. When we have become responsible, there is no need to pressure our conduct into doing our duty or any good deeds through impressive gimmicks that advertise what we have either done or failed to do. Responsibility is only concerned with duty; and the measure of it that we are capable of shouldering is directly in keeping with an equal degree of compassion, selflessness and impersonality.

Oddly enough, while it would seem that students of Theosophy should be quick to see a responsibility to pitch in with the work load and material support of the Theosophical Movement, it is more than a little disappointing to observe that, in fact, the very opposite is true; that - apart from many deeply dedicated and self-sacrificing students who give their all - by far, the majority of us who line up so eagerly to take these Teachings have little, if any, concern to give our helping hand in assistance. Of course, we will never be asked to do so; such participation must come of our own volition and this will happen only when we grow selfless enough, which means responsible enough, to see that it is our duty - nay, our privilege - to feed the flame of light with our own breath. [15]

Today, the Theosophical Movement lives on in centers of light scattered throughout the world; centers which are staffed with a mere handful of devoted workers in little groups that hold together virtually with scotch tape. These tired but tireless few are indeed overworked and undernourished; yet, without adequate funds, they go on and on without interruption, cranking out the genuine teachings of the Ancient Wisdom for others to have and use. It was hardly different in H. P. Blavatsky's day, as the following quote from The Key to Theosophy illustrates so well. "No working member should set too great value on his personal progress or proficiency in Theosophic studies; but must be prepared rather to do as much altruistic work as lies in his power. He should not leave the whole of the heavy burden and responsibility of the Theosophical movement on the shoulders of the few devoted workers. Each member ought to feel it his duty to take what share he can in the common work, and help it by every means in his power" (p. 252.).

There is always a greater obligation of responsibility upon those who are stronger and better equipped to serve; but this in no way excuses anyone; for within the context of our own capacity to give, it is what we do for the Theosophical Movement that tells what we really think of Theosophy. No one who truly loves these teachings can fail to see his duty. This is a telling test of responsibility - no kindergarten tactics of fancy scoreboards or tattling financial chairs here - only selfless service; unasked, unmeasured, freely given - the test that separates the men from the boys!

*

"The Theosophical movement was begun as a work of the Brotherhood of which H.P.B. is a member, and in which the great Initiate, who was by her called Master, is one of the Chiefs ... It was started among Western people by Western people, the two chief agents being H.P.B., a Russian, and H. S. Olcott, an American. The place where it was started was also Western - the City of New York ... The fact is significant that the Theosophical movement was thus, as said, begun in the Western world, in the country where the preparations for the new root race are going on, and where the new root is to appear. This was ... according to the law of cycles, which is part of evolution ... This movement has, among others, an object which should be borne in mind. It is the union of the West with the East, the revival in the East of those great nesses which once were hers, the development in the West of that Occultism which is appropriate for it, so that it may, in its turn, hold out a helping hand to those of older blood who may have become fixed in one idea, or degraded in spirituality ... The West has its own work and its duty, its own life and development. Those it should perform, aspire to and follow, and not try to run to other fields where the duties of other men are to be performed." - W. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, Vol. II, Letter III. [16]

*

KNOWLEDGE AS A LIVING SEED

It is a vital truth that real knowledge, if unused, injures the mind that keeps it locked-up and barren. Knowledge is not a dead thing like the fruit of the loom and the easel. Knowledge is a seed, a living germ; it should be sown, it should be active, should fructify. He who stores up spiritual truths as mere intellectual acquisitions soon has a mental and moral plethora, and ends by turning from his normal food. The mind has its indigestions as well as the stomach, and of more deadly order, for all things have more power as we proceed inwards. In the natural procedure of life, we learn one thing at a time, and it is learned by living it. A truth may first be intellectually perceived (so far as our consciousness of its entrance goes), but if it is not then lived out, it remains as a point of stagnation in the mind and more or less impedes the circulation of Thought. It is thus that our mental limitations accrue by degrees. To live a truth, we naturally begin by conforming our daily actions to it. Its overflow is first felt by those nearest to us; they are blessed or banned by our use or misuse of it. Equally, if we withhold it, they are deprived of a benefit to which they have a moral right. Although they may be unconscious of the loss, we have injured them in direct proportion to the value of the truth withheld. - August Waldersee, F.T.S., in The Path, Vol. III, October, 1888, p. 223.

*

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