[Cover photos: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge.]
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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.
"... The keys to the Biblical miracles of old, and to the phenomena of modern days; the problems of psychology, physiology, and the many 'missing links' which have so perplexed scientists of late, are all in the hands of secret fraternities. This mystery must be unveiled some day. But till then dark skepticism will constantly interpose its threatening, ugly shadow between God's truths and the spiritual vision of mankind ... The answers are there. They may be found on the time worn granite pages of cave temples, on sphinxes, propylons and obelisks. They have stood there for untold ages, and neither the rude assault of time, nor the still ruder assault of Christian hands, has succeeded in obliterating their records. All covered with the problems which were solved - who can tell? Perhaps by the archaic forefathers of their builders - the solution follows each question; and this the Christian could not appropriate, for, except the initiates, no one has understood the mystic writing. The key was in the keeping of those who knew how to commune with the invisible Presence, and who had received, from the lips of mother Nature herself, her grand truths. And so stand these monuments like mute forgotten sentinels on the threshold of that unseen world, whose gates are thrown open but to a few elect.
"Defying the hand of Time, the vain inquiry of profane science, the insults of the revealed religions, they will disclose their riddles to none but the legatees of those by whom they were entrusted with the MYSTERY. The old, stony lips of the once vocal Memnon, and of these hardy sphinxes, keep their secret well. Who will unseal them? Who of our modern materialistic dwarfs and unbelieving Sadducees will dare to lift the VEIL OF ISIS? - H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 573. 
In the crisis of our age is heralded the birth of a new civilization. Out of the ashes rises, Phoenix-like, the shape of things to come. The temporary dissolution of ethical standards, the wide-spread suppression of Truth, and the suicidal gospel of brute force and opportunism, are neither denied nor disregarded. But to the eyes of a deeper observer they are only the scum rising to the surface of the boiling cauldron wherein is enacted the alchemical process of racial transmutation, a spiritual regeneration of the vital streams of Humanity.
That which seems to be the debasement of many a lofty ideal, or the stormy overthrow of once noble traditions, is but the clearing of the ground upon which nobler ideals and more enduring traditions will be erected in the course of cycling years. The psychical and intellectual conflagration which dissipates into impalpable ashes what some had mistaken for unshakable edifices of thought and conduct releases at the same time the pent-up flood of a new spiritual vigor with which to build a brighter future for all men. And while, in the dismal gloom of a temporary spiritual blackout, we see ancient and familiar lights going out one by one, greater and more effulgent Beacons already now pierce the enfolding darkness with their shafts of redeeming light.
The crisis we are in must be faced and overcome. None can seclude himself behind an imaginary wall of intellectual isolation. Humanity is one and indivisible. Every man or woman is an integral part of the Karma of the race, and has contributed his constructive or disruptive part towards the shaping of this or any other crisis. The appalling misery of today is our own handiwork. The World of Tomorrow will not be built for us by some gracious Divinities descending into our midst from a modem Olympus. If it is ever to become an actuality, it will have to be erected, stone by stone, through our own self-devised efforts and under the guidance of our own spiritual manhood. There is no other way!
We are all actors in a great World-Drama - the birth of a New Age.
In this universal upheaval none can stand alone.
Everyone of us, great or small, young or old, has a responsibility to his fellow-men. The World of Tomorrow is being moulded in the thinking of the people of Today. When we help others to raise and ennoble their thoughts, we become co-workers with Nature in building a New World. And let us bear this clearly in our minds: the shape of coming events depends to a very considerable extent upon the number of people whose minds and hearts may have been touched with the soul-healing teachings of Theosophy - the Divine Wisdom of the ages.
In the vision of the Great Ones who were the actual founders of the modern Theosophical Movement, and are still inspiring those portions of it which have kept true to the original message, the events of the present era have been foreseen. Their mouthpiece and messenger, H. P. Blavatsky, had a sure and definite knowledge of what was to come,  and the Theosophical Society, as originally conceived and launched, was intended as a bulwark to stem the rising tide of materialism; as a spiritual and philosophical foundation upon which to find a sure footing against the poisonous gusts of insane psychism; as a catalytic agent to insure the alchemical transmutation of spiritual rebirth, and as the fountainhead of ethical and religio-philosophical teachings simple and practical enough to be understood by the masses and applied to their own salvation, in the midst of a general intellectual and moral confusion and the fall of Ideals.
Facing the world as it is today, let us ask ourselves, students of Theosophy as we claim to be, to what extent do we imbody in our lives the great noble truths imparted to us; to what extent are we cognizant of the trust placed in our hands, and faithful to the injunctions of H. P. Blavatsky as to the duties and objectives laid down for s in their daily work. Are we doing anything outstanding in these outstanding days? Are we engaged in an all-out effort for the Spirit, when so many others are going all-out in all effort to destroy? Have we mobilized our spiritual, intellectual and moral resources to try and counteract at least with our own full capacity the systematic mobilization of the powers of darkness, whose organized minority may well spell the doom of a disorganized majority, drunken on its own fancied power, resting even yet upon the alleged laurels of a tottering security? The question that we might well ask of ourselves is: Were H. P. Blavatsky with us today, what would she do now?
H.P. Blavatsky places herself right down on the main floor, as it were, when she says:
"... true evolution teaches us that by altering the surroundings of the organism we can alter and improve the organism; and in the strictest sense this is true with regard to man. Every Theosophist, therefore, is bound to do his utmost to help on, by all the means in his power, every wise and well-considered social effort which has for its object the amelioration of the condition of the poor. Such efforts should be made with a view to their ultimate social emancipation, or the development of the sense of duty in those who now so often neglect it in nearly every relation of life."
"... no Theosophist has the right to this name, unless he is thoroughly imbued with the correctness of Carlyle's truism: 'The end of man is all action and not a thought, though it were the noblest' - and unless he sets and models his daily life upon this truth."
"... the, main, fundamental object of the Society is to sow germs in the hearts of men, which may in time sprout, and under more propitious circumstances lead to a healthy reform, conducive of more happiness to the masses than they have hitherto enjoyed." - The Key to Theosophy, pp. 235, 230, 257.
A splendid advice to follow. It is empty cogitation, mostly of a theological type, plus theoretical scientific meanderings, devoid of ethical background, which have prepared for centuries the ground for the present conflict of ideas. It is practical, tangible realism about life and Nature, coupled with and inspired with the loftiest objective Idealism, which alone call provide a safe foundation for the structure of the New Age. And objective Idealism is Theosophy of the highest type. 
The modern Theosophical Movement faces today its golden opportunity. Times of plenty dull human minds. Times of stress and sorrow sharpen those minds through pain and awaken a yearning for spiritual realities. Students of Theosophy hold within their grasp keys which can solve people's problems. Theirs is the philosophy of life which, if understood, can illumine all life and restore peace and good-will among men. Will they make that remedy available for all? Will they desist from the technical jargon of the laboratory and tell the seekers the simple truths which their hearts are yearning for? Will they come down from the Olympian heights and walk as mere men in the marketplaces of the earth? It is there that the urgent need is to be found. That need is NOW. Tomorrow it may be too late.
The spread of Theosophy in the world and the strength of the Theosophical Movement depend primarily upon unremitting and intelligent work.
Wherever, among students, there burns the holy flame of spiritual enthusiasm for the dissemination of the ancient wisdom, there the Work flourishes and Theosophy becomes known.
Wherever self-interest is disregarded, and an honest and sustained effort is being made to sow the seeds of Theosophy broadcast, there every motion of hand and mind bears fruit one hundred-fold.
Wherever worldly self-seeking interests have been imported into theosophical affiliations, and the primary objective of the student is either self-advancement or intellectual gratification, or an easy pastime observing someone else doing the work - there the Movement comes sooner or later to a standstill, and pleasant but deadly moulds of mind take the place of a living and workable philosophy of life.
In the secret heart of all human life there is a Divine Urge which ever cries out for a new and fuller realization. It is the Elan Vital of Bergson, the vital leap forward ... the hungering quest of the human heart for life, for life more abundant.
That passion for life is the yearning of every age and civilization. It demands expression, and its demand is imperious; it must be satisfied, come what may. Denied one form of expression, it seeks another. Thwarted along one line, it breaks out in another. History is but the manifestation of one or another form of this passion for life, behind which beats the Divine Urge of all Being ...
And let us remember this: if this passion for life finds no suitable channel in the civilization of the time, or the religious and social order of the time - that civilization and social order will fail; do not doubt that! If worthy leadership is not forthcoming, sufficiently in touch with the broad masses of the people, and with the idealism of the best among them, the insatiable passion for life seeks satisfaction in outbursts of vengeance and brutality.
Only that civilization which can lead the passion for life onward and upward can establish its claim to the future and to all the endless possibilities of that future.
Truth, like the passion for life, craves expansion. It is of the very essence of Truth to universalize itself. It is a leaven which insists upon leavening the whole. It acknowledges no  barriers, it respects no boundaries. It is upon this simple fact of being that has been based throughout the ages the missionary urge on the part of all movements, good and bad. And let it be remembered that there has hardly ever been a Movement of any kind that did not originate in some seed of Truth, however small and soon obscured.
A Movement, therefore, which does not exhibit any marked degree of that urge to universalize itself, will be dying spiritually, and its decay and disappearance will only be a matter of time. The Theosophical Movement, as a Movement, still exhibits many a healthy sign of that inner urge.
What is needed more than anything else in the Theosophical Movement today, is faith in this aggressive universalism of Truth; it is our only escape from smallness, parochialism, querulousness and stagnation.
The spiritual passion for Truth demands for its Apostles men and women who feel its urge, who can interpret its message and lay bare its imperatives. Among free men, new leaders always arise to meet the challenge of great emergencies. These are the men who deny the don'ts and can'ts of conservative years, who go ahead and dare the impossible.
Our clamant need, as a Movement, is for leaders of thought. Every member - a leader! Was this not the injunction Dr. de Purucker to the membership? Workers are wanted, not mere well-wishers. Active centers of spiritual light, not mere names on the rostrum. Men and women who are possessed by the aggressive universalism of Truth and are prepared to 'damn the consequences.' The choice between self-complacent intellectual gratification and an intelligent, aggressive, but kindly, self-sacrificing work for the Cause of Theosophy, is the difference between a sad wreck cast on the sandbanks of thought in years to come, and a Society whose every fiber responds with a quickened fire to the keynote of the Incoming Age.
Theosophy, it must be remembered, is primarily an ethical doctrine, a code of conduct, a way of living. It is not solely an intellectual philosophy. Therefore its teachings contain at their very heart practical precepts and patterns of behavior which, if applied to the solution of our harassing social problems, can resolve them into harmony. And it is precisely with these social problems that the mind of the present-day Youth is greatly concerned.
Theosophy is a philosophy of hope; it recognizes no other obstacle in the way of human progress and growth than our own self-made ignorance and innate inertia to change; these can and must be overcome by the application of the divine potentialities of every man.
Theosophy is also a philosophy of optimism. Its outlook on life, with its emphasis on the free will of man, fashioning his destiny according to the nature of his ideals, is one of deep and abiding optimism - not that fatuous optimism that proclaims that everything is good and all is well with the world, but the kind which sees in the indomitable spirit of man a determination to right all wrongs and injustices, an optimism that senses, as the moving force behind all evolution, whether cosmic, social or individual, an irresistible power moving for good in the vast drama of human life. 
[Printed for the Information of Correspondents.]
is the New York Circular drafted mainly by Colonel H. S. Olcott and which
was ready for distribution on May 3rd, 1878. A packet of these was given
to Dr. H.J. Billing to take to London, and another to Countess Lydia
de Pashkoff to take to Japan. As Col. Olcott points out himself (Old
I, 399-400): "In drafting the New York circular it occurred to me that
the membership of, and supervising entities behind the Society would be naturally
grouped in three divisions, viz., new members not detached from worldly interests;
pupils, like myself, who had withdrawn from the same or were ready to do so;
and the adepts themselves, who, without being actually members, were at least
connected with us and concerned in our work as a potential agency for the doing
of spiritual good to the world. With H.P.B.'s concurrence I defined these three
groups, calling them sections, and sub-dividing each into three degrees. This,
of course, was in the hope and expectation that we should have more practical
guidance in adjusting the several grades of members than we had - or have since
had, I may add."
[This parenthesis was written in by H.P.B., according to Col, Olcott's statement. - Editor.]
I. The Society was founded at the City of New York, in the year 1875.
II. Its officers are a President; two Vice-Presidents; a Corresponding Secretary; a Recording Secretary; a Treasurer; a Librarian; and Councillors.
III. At first it was an open body, but, later, it was reorganized on the principle of secrecy, experience having demonstrated the advisability of such a change.
IV. Its Fellows are known as Active, Corresponding and Honorary. Only those are admitted who are in sympathy with its objects, and sincerely desire to aid in the promotion of the same.
V. Its Fellowship is divided into three Sections, and each Section into three Degrees. All candidates for active fellowship are required to enter as probationers, in the Third Degree of the Third Section, and no fixed time is specified in which the new Fellow can advance from any lower to a higher degree; all depends upon merit. To be admitted into the highest degree, of the first section, the Theosophist must have become freed of every leaning toward any one form of religion in preference to another. He must be free from all exacting obligations to society, politics and family. He must be ready to lay down his life, if  necessary, for the good of Humanity, and of a brother Fellow of whatever race, color or ostensible creed. He must renounce wine, and every other description of intoxicating beverages, and adopt a life of strict chastity. Those who have not yet wholly disenthralled themselves from religious prejudice, and other forms of selfishness, but have made a certain progress towards self-mastery and enlightenment, belong in the Second Section. The Third Section is probationary; its members can leave the Society at will, although the obligation assumed at entrance will continually bind them to absolute secrecy as to what may have been communicated under restrictions.
VI. The objects of the Society are various. It influences its fellows to acquire an intimate knowledge of natural law, especially its occult manifestations. As the highest development, physically and spiritually, on earth, of the Creative Cause, man should aim to solve the mystery of his being. He is the procreator of his species, physically, and having inherited the nature of the unknown but palpable Cause of his own creation, must possess in his inner, psychical self, this creative power in lesser degree. He should, therefore, study to develop his latent powers, and inform himself respecting the laws of magnetism, electricity and all other forms of force, whether of the seen or unseen universes. The Society teaches and expects its fellows to personally exemplify the highest morality and religious aspirations; to oppose the materialism of science and every form of dogmatic theology, especially the Christian, which the Chiefs of the Society regard as particularly pernicious; to make known among Western nations the long-suppressed facts about Oriental religious philosophies, their ethics, chronology, esotericism, symbolism; to counteract, as far as possible, the efforts of missionaries to delude the so-called "Heathen" and "Pagans" as to the real origin and dogmas of Christianity and the practical effects of the latter upon public and private character in so-called civilized countries; to disseminate a knowledge of the sublime teachings of that pure esoteric system of the archaic period, which are mirrored in the oldest Vedas, and in the philosophy of Gautama Buddha, Zoroaster and Confucius; finally, and chiefly, to aid in the institution of a Brotherhood of Humanity, wherein all good and pure men, of every race, shall recognize each other as the equal effects (upon this planet) of one Uncreate, Universal, Infinite, and Everlasting Cause.
VII. Persons of either sex are eligible.
VIII. There are branches of the parent Society in several countries of the East and West.
IX. No fees are exacted, but those who choose may contribute towards the Society's expenses. No applicant is received because of his wealth or influence, nor rejected because of his poverty or obscurity.
Correspondence with the parent body may be addressed to "The Theosophical Society, New York." 
The life of the Theosophical Society - one hundred years now - is not old, even as we reckon time in the fast moving age; but the Theosophical Movement, the sustaining root of what we view around us as Theosophical, is ancient, very old, reaching back and back and back in time. The distinction considering this, is clear enough. All really dedicated Theosophists are a part of the Movement, no matter what Theosophical Society or Group they work in or if through no Society at all, but as individuals. As such, and if reincarnation is a fact in nature, as we believe it is, they must all have worked for the Movement before. Those familiar with the history of the T.S. know that for over three quarters of its life it has been divided into several branches, groups, societies, all doing theosophical work as they feel it should be done, all varying in administration, in emphasis of activities and, in degree, in the teaching, but all part of the great Theosophical Movement.
Much has been said and written about lack of unity among these groups, the failure to practice a genuine universal brotherhood. Not enough has been said of fraternal efforts and successes towards intra theosophical understanding and co-operation which for 45 years - nearly half the Society's life - has been going on, not always marked officially, but nevertheless noted and welcomed among the grassroots membership of all these various groups.
Recognizing these facts of history, and with open minds and hearts, what then, we may ask, should we all strive for as we face the new century of theosophical effort? What, in a word, is best - not only for our Society but for the Movement - and that means for Humanity? In answer to these two, simple questions there may be as many ideas as there are Theosophists. But there may also be half-ideas, no answers at all, a deep silence; and honesty may persuade some to admit they simply have no constructive thought other than to struggle on and do the best they ran.
It is here that we would do well to seize hold of a suggestion made by John B. S. Coats, President of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) in addressing the 99th Annual Convention of the. T.S. at Varanasi, India, on December 26, 1974. He called for what might be termed a 'standing committee', "where the representatives of different groups meet together quite freely and without any feeling of constraint to discuss mutual problems and exchange news and views."
These seem wise words, not to be lost sight of in the swirl of other activities. If accepted and considered in the spirit which so generously marks their presentation, could they not be constructive of fruitful action and indeed be an important Item placed on the Agenda of the Centennial Convention meeting at New York this coming November? Commenting on the idea, Mr. Coats said: "We could all probably benefit in this manner; and if such co-operation should lead one day to a closer working together, this could only be welcomed by all true students of the Wisdom." 
Some background thoughts come to mind as we dwell an the possibilities of such a 'standing committee.'
Clear enough today is die difference between 1975 and a hundred years ago. In 1875, H.P.B. the Teacher, the Representative of the Masters, was the outward, vigorous, vibrant channel for the inflowing of the Spirit from the inner Movement to the Outer Society. It was the birth-moment heavy with destiny for a great spiritual effort. Today the outer Teacher is withdrawn, but who of us believes the Force, the Power, the Spiritual Essence she represented and exemplified is not here, or cannot be here? Wherever there is dedication and true honesty and devotion and willingness to sacrifice the lesser for the greater, there is that Force - and who is to say that, in degree, it does not activate the mainsprings of all Theosophical groups? The single channel - for reasons not known to us but surely wise if we have trust - may be unseen or working in a different way; but the aggregation of other lesser channels is here.
Such asseveration goes beyond dividing lines of groups or societies, to seek a union in the root-essence. The cry today, it should be apparent, is not for unity of mechanics, of administration. It is for unity of values, theosophical values, for discrimination in action, wisdom in judgment, loyalty to principles. It is towards a rededication to follow the path indicated by the Force and Energy of that 1875 birth-moment, to hold our own collective and individual compasses pointing to the true North. Adhering to that all lesser problems will fall away. Where there is unity of spirit, of endeavor, of aspiration towards the Highest - towards nothing less than Truth as we humanly call conceive it - there already is alive a unity far greater, far more unshakable, than that evidenced in forms or signatures, by-laws or constitutions or bonded words. What holds a family together is not written rules and regulations, but love and understanding and a common objective to which all are willing to contribute. Is it not the same in our larger work? Love for the Movement, understanding of its work, and unwavering objective to aid in that by rendering ever impersonal service - are not these the binding, unifying elements that can withstand whatever of shouts and clashes and alarms the years may bring, and never break?
The occasional coming together of all representative heads of Theosophical Societies and Groups for exchange of ideas supported by this background of devotion to the Movement should in the light of today's history have practical appeal. Such gatherings would be without fanfare, and there would be value in keeping numbers few, discussions frank and informal; and the geographical meeting-place could vary depending on circumstances.
"... if the Theosophical Society survives and lives true to its mission, to its original impulse through the next hundred years ...", wrote H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy. The Society has survived; but who will say, though, that much has not been tried, much has not been learned, and much has not been achieved, and that throughout the whole Movement today in all parts of this globe there are not those  strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not
Lives true to its mission, to its original impulse: If fraternal and occasional gatherings are held, as Mr. Coats envisages, they will be found fruitful to the degree that the spirit of these words of H.P.B. are invoked. To that spirit we need to hold unflinchingly true. We must learn to think in centuries not only for the importunate day. We must learn to act not chained down by the politic thing of the moment but guided in thought and energy towards wise action for the present and the future.
INAUGURAL ADDRESS OF COLONEL HENRY STEEL OLCOTT
In future times, when the impartial historian shall write an account of the progress of religious ideas in the present century, the formation of this Theosophical Society, whose first meeting under its formal declaration of principles we are now attending, will not pass unnoticed. This much is certain. The bare announcement of the intended inauguration of such a movement attracted attention, and caused no little discussion in the secular as well as the religious press. It has sounded in the ears of some of the leaders of the contending forces of theology and science, like the distant blast of a trumpet to the struggling armies in a battle. The note is faint as yet, and indicates neither the strength nor purposes of the body approaching. For either side, it may mean a reinforcement that will help turn the tide of victory; it may herald only the gathering of neutrals to watch events; or it may threaten the discomfiture and disarmament of both antagonists.
From what little has been said in its behalf, it is not yet clear to the public how this "new departure" should be regarded. Neither Church nor college knows whether to adopt a policy of denunciation, misrepresentation, contumely, or amity. By some secular journals it is patronizingly encouraged as likely to "enliven a prosaic age with exhibitions of mediaeval tricks of sorcery," while others denounce it as the forerunner of a relapse into "the worst forms of fetishism." The Spiritualists began, a few weeks ago, with voluminous and angry protests against its promoters, as seeking to supplant the prevalent democratic relations with the other world by an aristocratic esotericism, and even now, while they seem to be watching our next move with the greatest interest, their press teems with defamatory criticisms. Neither of the religious sects has definitely committed itself, although our preliminary advances have been noticed in a guarded way in some of their organs. 
Such being the state of the case at the very onset of our movement, before one blow has been struck, am I not warranted in repeating the statement that in the coming time it is inevitable that the birth of this Society of ours must be considered as a factor in the problem which the historian will be required to solve?
The present small number of its members is not to be considered at all in judging of its probable career. Eighteen hundred and seventy odd years ago, the whole Christian Church could be contained within a Galilean fisherman's hut, and yet it now embraces one hundred and twenty millions of people within its communion; and twelve centuries ago, the only believer in Islamism, which now counts two hundred and fifty million devotees, bestrode a camel and dreamed dreams.
No, it is not a question of numbers how great an effect this Society will have upon religious thought - I will go further, and say, upon the science and philosophy - of the age: great events sometimes come from far more modest beginnings. I need not occupy time in quoting examples which will occur to every one of you in corroboration of my point. Nor is it a question of endowment funds and income any more than one of numerous members: the propagandist disciples sent out by Jesus went barefoot, ill-clothed, and without purse or scrip.
What is it then, which makes me say what in deepest seriousness and a full knowledge of its truth I have said? What is it that makes me not only content but proud to stand for the brief moment as the mouthpiece and figurehead of this movement, risking abuse, misrepresentation, and every vile assault? It is the fact that in my soul I feel that behind us, behind our little band, behind our new-born organization, there gathers a MIGHTY POWER that nothing can withstand - the power of TRUTH! Because I feel that we are only the advance-guard, holding the pass until the main body shall come up. Because I feel that we are enlisted in a holy cause, and that truth, now as always, is mighty and will prevail. Because I see around us a multitude of people of many different creeds worshiping, through sheer ignorance, shams and effete superstitious, and who are only waiting to be shown the audacity and dishonesty of their spiritual guides to call them to account, and begin to think for themselves. Because I feel, as a sincere Theosophist, that we shall be able to give to science such evidences of the truth of the ancient philosophy and the comprehensiveness of ancient science, that her drift towards atheism will be arrested, and our chemists will, as Madame Blavatsky expresses it, "set to work to learn a new alphabet of Science on the lap of Mother Nature."
As a believer in Theosophy, theoretical and practical, I personally am confident that this Society will be the means of furnishing such unanswerable proofs of the immortality of the soul, that none but fools will doubt. I believe that the time will come when men will be ashamed of ever having advocated atheism in any of its forms, as, thirty years hence, they will be of ever having owned a slave or countenanced human slavery ... Let the future take care of itself; it is for us to so shape the present as to make it beget what we desire  and what will bring honor upon us. If we are true to each other and true to ourselves, we shall surmount every obstacle, vanquish every foe, and attain what we are all in search of, the peace of mind which comes of absolute knowledge. If we are divided, irresolute, temporizing, jesuitical, we shall fail as a Society to do what is now clearly within our reach; and future years will doubtless see us bewailing the loss of such a golden opportunity as comes to few persons in a succession of centuries.
But if this Society were to dissolve within one year, we should not have lived in vain. Today is our own; tomorrow may be; but yesterday is gone for ever. In the economy of nature, all impulse however slight, once given to matter, is eternal; and all act once performed, its consequences, be they great or small, must be worked out sooner or later. The passing caprice of a woman has changed the destiny of nations; the speaking of a word in the mountains may bring a crushing avalanche upon the hamlet that lies at their feet; the turning of a man's footsteps to the right or left, to avoid a stone, or chase a butterfly, or gratify it matters not what idle whim, may alter his whole life, and, directly or indirectly, result in momentous consequences to a world.
About us we see the people struggling blindly to emancipate their thought from ecclesiastical despotism - without seeing more than a faint glimmer of light in the whole black horizon of their religious ideas. They struggle from all irrepressible desire to be free from shackles which bind their limping reason after their volant intuitions have outgrown them. Upon the one side, the philosophical chemists invite them to an apotheosis of matter; upon the other, the Spiritualists fling open the painted doors of their "angel world." The clergy hold them back and hiss warnings and anathemas in their ears. They waver, uncertain which way to go. Heirs to the spiritual longings of the race, they shrink back from the prospect of annihilation, which, in their own case, when life's burden presses heavily, may not always seem unwelcome, but which was never meant for those near and dear ones who have died in their youth and purity, and left behind a sweet fragrance when the alabaster box was broken and they passed behind the Veil of Isis ...
If the founders of the Society are true to themselves, they will set to work to study the religious question from the standpoint of the ancient peoples, gather together their wisdom, verify their alleged Theosophic discoveries (I say alleged, as president of a non-committal society of investigation; as an individual, I should omit that word, and give full credit where it is due) and contribute to the common fund whatever is of common interest. If there be any who have begun without counting the cost; if there be any who think to pervert this body to sectarian or any other narrow, selfish ends; if there be any cowards, who wish to meet with us in secret and revile us in public! If there be any who begin with the hope or expectation of making everything bend to their pre-conceived notions, regardless of the evidence; if there be any who, in subscribing to the broad and manly principle enunciated in the by-laws, that we will discover all we can about all the laws of nature, do so with a mental reservation  that they will back out if any pet theory, or creed, or interest is endangered; if there be any such, I pray them, in all kindness, to withdraw now, when they can do so without hard words or hard feelings. For, if I understand the spirit of this Society, it consecrates itself to the intrepid and conscientious study of truth, and binds itself, individually and collectively, to suffer nothing to stand in the way. As for me - poor, weak man, honored far beyond my deserts in my election to this place of honor and of danger - I can only say that, come well, come ill, my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength are pledged to this cause, and I shall stand fast while I have a breath of life in me, though all others shall retire and leave me to stand alone. But I shall not be alone, nor will the Theosophical Society be alone ...
If I rightly apprehend our work, it is to aid in freeing the public mind of theological superstition and a tame subservience to the arrogance of science. However much or little we may do, I think it would have been barely possible to hope for anything if the work had been begun in any country which did not afford perfect political and religious liberty. It certainly would have been useless to attempt it except in one where all religions stand alike before the law, and where religious heterodoxy works no abridgment of civil rights.
Our Society is, I may say, without precedent. From the days when the Neoplatonists and the last theurgists of Alexandria were scattered by the murderous hand of Christianity, until now, the revival of a study of Theosophy has not been attempted.
There have been secret political, commercial, and industrial societies, and societies of Freemasons and their off-shoots, but, even in secrecy, they have not attempted to perform the labor which lies before us and which we will do openly.
To the Protestant and Catholic sectaries we have to show the pagan origin of many of their most sacred idols and most cherished dogmas; to the liberal minds in science, the profound scientific attainment of the ancient magi. Society has reached a point where something must be done; it is for us to indicate where that something may be found ...
We are of our age, and yet some strides ahead of it, albeit some journals and pamphleteers more glib than truthful, have already charged us with being reactionists who turn from modern light (!) to mediaeval and ancient darkness! We seek, inquire, reject nothing without cause, accept nothing without proof: we are students, not teachers ...
"... Theosophy teaches mutual-culture before sell-culture to begin with ... 'Self-culture' is for isolated Hatha Yogis, independent of any Society and having to avoid association with human beings; and this is a triply distilled SELFISHNESS. For real moral advancement - there 'where two or three are gathered' in the name of the SPIRIT OF TRUTH - there that Spirit of Theosophy will be in the midst of them ..." - H. P. Blavatsky in "The Original Programme of The Theosophical Society," 1886. 
Uplifted by signs that the great effort made in the last century by the Masters of Wisdom was not wasted, Theosophists can press forward in this one with courage. Evidence lies in the very belief, in fact hunger and seeking for: Masters. Their existence is accepted by a far larger minority than a century ago, when, except for our Founders, even stalwart devotees somewhat timidly tapped their Message, but hesitated to proclaim its source. Still the Mystic East had been brought into focus, and is ever being more sharply defined in our day.
Not only do Christian psychics and healers draw large crowds, but so-called gurus arid rishis from the Orient. There are not only cults and sects by the dozens to rival traditional creeds, but by the thousands! They flaunt their banners, if but for a day; and some have enormous and foreboding wealth behind them. The breakdown of orthodox religions can be witnessed in the Charismatic movement within the ranks of the Church itself. Without a "license" self-formed congregations decree ministries upon their followers, so that it is not uncommon to have each member calling the other reverend so-and so.
It calls for deep probity on our part to recognize how far the idea of a Brotherhood of Teachers has come since several of their names first surfaced in the last quarter of the 19th century. Is the idea becoming so thinned and diluted as to miss something of its original grandeur? It was a powerful concept to be unleashed upon persons not yet able to live brotherly among themselves. This is still the case, since after centuries of religious oppression we can find in the press daily mention of street battles between Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Moslems, or the latter and Hindus. The various nations, bursting at the seams with these struggles, and disillusioned with their inherited political orders, are casting about for outside guidance. The Search for Authority is strong in spite of what we hear about the Generation Gap. Disillusioned youth accept any shred of hope, any change appearing with promise of a brighter lining to the "cloud" of "unknowing."
Far too many are those who will provide "guidance" for these despairing souls, but in the form of mantras for a fee, Kabalistic passwords and phrases, tarot readings or seances. Do these reflect the idea of perfected Men projected by the Brothers? Even worse, veritable charlatans in tantric practices and Satanic orders are spawning false practices in every bookstore and newsstand. Ritualism, so incongruous to an industrial age, has adopted its techniques. Electronic devices are used to "clear" members instead of simple truths; computer techniques employed to cast horoscopes and file away personal statistics to the minutest detail, leaving little time or inspiration for individual effort. Recently a widely distributed news sheet stemming from a movement for "Inner Spiritual Awareness," advertised glasses to aid your "psychic vision." 
It is obvious to all students of the ageless wisdom that it is imperative to get off our "learning seats" and re-emphasize by example that mainspring power - MOTIVE. Motive Can Move our world out of its present chaos, once it is regenerated into altruistic action. When Kundalini is being set free like snakes amidst the charmers of India, we must create a protective layer in the spiritual ozone - so that region cannot be weakened by all sorts of distorted practices bombarding it.
Theosophists dare not wait for new dispensations hungered for by the ever-eager intellect. As courageous students, can't we do something with the concept of WILL to help our brothers know the powers within to resurrect a true and just society? Can we not avoid the encroaching revolution by standing firm as pillars of a unified and stable system of teaching, in the face of all other fermenting doctrines? Can we join thought in a strong-armed reaching above continents, by relinquishing our stubborn inflexible opinions as to our varying leaders, and stand together on those issues which unite us?
WHAT ARE THESE ISSUES?
1. The idea of a Brotherhood. This means we have no private hold on truth: We must be Brotherly, since Truth shines wherever hearts are open to World-fellowship, as opposed to both private and national fears and prejudices. The race mind, tinctured by mass emotions, must be persuaded by our emphasis on Spiritual not material regeneration.
II. Psychic development must be channeled away from efforts to provide curiosity seekers with more dangerous weapons. Our platforms must avoid pandering to the psychic lusts with ESP demonstrations, lectures on tarot cards and other occult by-products. We can find remedies in our own teachings for the psychic and emotional maladies of mankind, instead of allowing books on the chakras and color of auras to appear on our Theosophical book tables. More books such as Dynamics of the Psychic World with plentiful warnings against unguided explorations of these realms should be written. Can the public be expected to gather a true picture of our stand when we display such a supermarket of sometimes directly contradictory materials in our bookstores?* (* (Recently I saw a book entitled The Seven Powers of Money in one of our Theosophical bookstores!))
III. The idea of a spiritual destiny is paramount. We must unite, not for higher wages and more leisure, but to activate man's innate capacity to work out his individual and group Karma. Let's keep up the fine collections of essays by students such as the T.S. publishes on Karma, reincarnation and meditation. Let us encourage new publications having a highly philosophical emphasis, such as Hermes, inaugurated this year by the ULT in Santa Barbara. Independent newsletters such as the Corresponding Fellows Bulletin and The Eclectic magazine, aim to stir cooperation among several Theosophical groups, by simply making them aware of the useful work every one of them is accomplishing.
The year 1975 will then tune in on that new influx of spiritual force  intended for Mankind as a whole and not for one society or sect alone, by some quirk of spiritual aloofness that the exemplars of our teachings have never been guilty of.
With these key issues in mind we can close with excerpts from the discourse delivered at Point Loma on July 27, 1930, by G. de Purucker, entitled Souls that Drift:
"As it is, you are afraid of following spiritual teachers lest you be misled; ... perhaps this your fear is your spiritual safety, because the world is replete with incompetent and often false self-proclaimed teachers ... It is perfectly true that you must have guides to show you the Way. You must have healers for your souls, which is infinitely more important than healers for your body; and yet you don't know where to look for them ... Turn rather to the god within, to your inner Self ... the spiritual Sun of your being and the fountainhead of all that you are ... the psychic faculties and powers are but as it were the reflected inner moonlight, and like all reflected light ... distort, deceive, mislead, as the moonlight so often does ... Do we as Theosophists then say that we should not employ these psychical faculties and powers which undoubtedly exist within us, although undiscovered by most men? We do not ...
"... But to cultivate these psychical things before you have mastered the merest elements of self-knowledge, of selfhood, before you know who you are ... makes you to be as much without guides as is a bit of drifting flotsam on the ocean of life ... Men today are so suspicious, not only of themselves but of their fellows, that they have no standard to go by and therefore they follow anything and everything that seems to promise reality. Is not this a strange paradox? Having no standard to judge by, hunting for truth, avid for truth, they will accept anything if at the moment it seems to appeal to them. Whereas on the other hand if this appeal is not made in a manner which captivates them, they seem to think that they show intellectual power in refusing to receive light, in refusing to accept real leaders and guides ... Yet your intuition and your instinct whisper to you that not all men are unworthy of trust. There are men who are courageous enough to proclaim that searching for light and receiving it when found are signs of greatness of heart and of an expanded intellect. Let me read to you what a great Frenchman, Victor Hugo, once wrote:
'The very law which requires that mankind should have NO OWNERS requires that it should have GUIDES. To be ENLIGHTENED is the reverse of being SUBJECTED. The march forwards requires a directing hand; to rebel against the pilot scarcely advances the ship; one does not see what would be gained by throwing Columbus overboard. The words "This way" never humiliated the man who was seeking the road. At night I accept the authority of the torches'." 
There is a vast difference between studying the Ancient Wisdom and living the teachings. A clear understanding of the difference between intellectual development and spiritual unfoldment is necessary, in determining how to balance the effort made mentally for the acquisition of knowledge, equally with the effort given to self-discipline and selflessness.
Studying the Ancient Wisdom, constantly dwelling on lofty thoughts, is absolutely necessary for our growth; but it is not enough. It will certainly develop our intellectual faculties, refine our quality and give an inspired idea of our awakened consciousness; but it will not unfold our spiritual nature, for that is in our heart; and until we exercise our heart in compassion and selflessness for the good of our fellow man, as vigorously as we exercise our brain with study, we risk the danger of developing a big head and a small heart. The result of such an imbalance can easily lead to spiritual pride, one of the subtlest snares of selfishness.
In The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, in letter 38, Master M. leaves no room for doubt that living for others is a prerequisite for higher knowledge, in this cogent excerpt: "I say again then. It is he alone who has the love of humanity at heart, who, is capable of grasping thoroughly the idea of a regenerating practical Brotherhood who is entitled to the possession of our secrets. He alone, such a man - will never misuse his powers, as there will be no fear that he should turn them to selfish ends. A man who places not the good of mankind above his own good is not worthy of becoming our chela - he is not worthy of becoming higher in knowledge than his neighbour."
If we only hold the Ancient Teachings in our thoughts, but do not yet live them actively in our deeds, we may become enwrapped in a cocoon of blissful isolation, unconcerned with humanity. We must be sure, in seeking the lofty heights of spiritual aspiration, that our studies do not merely lift us out of this world into a semi-devachanic consciousness of beatitude and peace where, within our tiny capsule of personal inspiration, we dream away opportunities to serve others, insensitive to the suffering of fellow-pilgrims who are struggling in the stark, ugly reality of man's inhumanity to man. We must be sure that we become a vital, living example of these sublime teachings in our actions; for it is only here, in the world of cause and effect, and only by cleansing our sullied feet of clay, that the vision in our heart touches spiritual reality. When the sublime inspiration within us reaches into the hearts of others and uplifts them, then we grow nobler.
There is a vast difference between psychic and spiritual ranges of consciousness. A clear understanding of the differences between psychic powers and spiritual powers, and the manifestation of each within the corresponding planes of the Astral Light in which they function, is indispensable if we are to avoid the danger of being hired into careless and impulsive experimentation with our psychic senses,  without proper knowledge or training. Unfortunately, psychism is often upheld as a spiritual oracle, with mediumship regarded as it's high priestess. Psychic powers, however, are the lowest powers of the intermediate nature in the human constitution and originate in the lower quaternary - the psycho-astral-physical part of the seven-fold nature; while mediumship is the result of an imbalanced or dislocated psychological apparatus, a condition in which the psycho-emotional nature is out of control of the higher will, thus producing all opening to unchecked astral currents and entities rushing in on the open frequency.
The field of activity for such mediumism is on the lowest plane of the Astral Light; the region of the Kama-loka (desire-world), and more particularly, that stratum of it immediately surrounding, enclosing and interpenetrating our physical world. It is a semi-material realm extending above the physical into a slightly more etherealized density of matter, and below it into a slightly heavier degree of matter than physical. Kama-loka has seven grades or sub-planes of graduated substantiality, the highest of which blends imperceptibly into the lowest condition of Devachan, while the lowest merges into the highest ranges of Avichi. This is the "clearing house" in which the after-death stages of the temporarily earth-bound human soul are processed on the way to higher states. Kama-loka is also a storehouse for the venomous emissions given off from the earth and everything living on it, which circulate back to earth in the form of evil influences and epidemics of all kinds.
This then, is the real, gruesome picture of the so-called "eternal summerland" where mediums are hapless victims of untold dangers. Even casual knowledge about the after-death stages, as well as the seven principles of man, will certainly curb all desire to traffic with "spirit-guides."
The opposite of a medium is a Mediator, which G. de Purucker describes in his Occult Glossary to be: "A human being of highly evolved constitution, every portion of which is under the instant and direct control of the spiritual dominating will and the loftiest intelligence which the mediator is capable of exercising ... and who serves as an intermediary or mediator between the members of the Great White Lodge, the Mahatmas, and ordinary humanity ... Mediator, therefore, and medium are the polar antitheses of each other. The medium is irregular, negative, often irresponsible ... whereas the mediator is one more or less fully insouled or inspirited with divine, spiritual, and intellectual powers and their corresponding faculties and organs ... Every human being should strive to be a mediator of this kind between his own inner god and his mere brain mind. The more he succeeds the grander he is as a man."
There is a vast difference between occult arts and occultism. A clear understanding of the difference between merely seeking to cultivate occult powers and living the austere discipline of occultism for self-mastery - which means control over our passional-emotional nature - is a matter of life and death; a matter of spiritual, moral, psychic and physical life and death in  choosing either to follow the straight and narrow path upward to spiritual unfoldment, or to plunge downward into sorcery.
To "live the life and know the doctrine" is the slow, steady path upward where our spiritual qualities evolve according to the effort given, and the inner powers and perceptions unfold naturally and in proportion to the stage of spiritual development achieved. Tampering with the forces of nature to gain powers that we are neither entitled to have nor equipped to handle, is cheating. The results from unleashing forces that we cannot control will most surely "blow a fuse" somewhere in our sevenfold constitution!
The Mahatmans and all their emissaries, such as H. P. Blavatsky and those who followed her, have all warned repeatedly that DISCIPLINE PRECEDES THE MYSTERIES. Nowhere in the genuine teachings of occultism is there anything contrary to this. One of the most compelling articles on this subject is H.P.B.'s "Occultism Versus the Occult Arts," recently reprinted in Theosophia (also in Collected Writings, Vol. IX, pp. 254 et seq.). The most pertinent paragraph in this connection is the one which says:
"Let him aspire for no higher than he feels able to accomplish. Let him not take a burden upon himself too heavy for him to carry. Without ever becoming a 'Mahatma' a Buddha or a Great Saint, let him study the philosophy and the "Science of Soul," and he can become one of the modest benefactors of humanity, without any 'superhuman' powers. Siddhis (or the Arhat powers) are only for those who are able to "lead the life," to comply with the terrible sacrifices required for such a training, and to comply with them to the very letter. Let them know at once and remember always, that true Occultism or Theosophy is the 'Great Renunciation of SELF,' unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action. It is ALTRUISM, and it throws him who practices it out of calculation of the ranks of the living altogether. 'Not for himself, but for the world, he lives,' as soon as he has pledged himself to the work. Much is forgiven during the first years of probation. But, no sooner is be 'accepted' than his personality must disappear, and he has to become a mere beneficent force in Nature. There are two poles for him after that, two paths, and no midward place of rest. He has either to ascend laboriously, step by step, often through numerous incarnations and no Devachanic break, the golden ladder leading to Mahatmaship (the Arhat or Bodhisattva condition), or - he will let himself slide down the ladder at the first false step, and roll down into Dugpa-ship ..."
Wherever we may stand on the glorious path leading to spiritual unfoldment, our gaze is turned toward the Mystic East. Each day our inspiration is renewed and our dedication is strengthened as we live up to the very best within us; for as long as out constant effort expresses our fullest capacity of selflessness and self-discipline - we give all that we are. 
In every religion there is either a clear statement or an implication that some of the followers of the teachings interpret what they learn in greater depth than the vast majority, and that these teachings represent, for them, a burning, inescapable, unanswerable direction as to how their lives must be lived. Such followers seem to be preparing themselves for an existence which is at a different, and for want of a better word, higher level than is usual. At the same time, there are people who do not follow any religious teacher, who appear to be aware of an equally inescapable direction in their lives and who lose no opportunity of service to the community, or indeed, within limits, to humanity as a whole.
Why should this be? What is it that constitutes the driving urge towards a better, deeper, finer understanding of life and its expression in terms of service to our fellow human beings?
We have come a long way in the saga of humanity upon this planet and in the long days of our history we have seemed to be separate, individual beings shut up within the "prison of the senses." Slowly we are being shown by that same historical process and by an inner psychological revolution, that this separateness is all illusion, that we are, however vaguely we may feel it, one with each other and that an inexorable drawing together of humanity is in progress.
The present century, technologically brilliant yet suffering an anaemia of the spirit, now requires an ethic to which it may give its unbounded energy and which makes sense in an age when the mind is needle-sharp and when authority is questioned until it proves itself. No longer can dogmatic statement close the mind to question, nor may it claim obedience without full reason. To one who would take a greater share of responsibility, therefore, the preliminary training is more than ever a matter of opening the faculties to the fleeting hint and the unspoken command. In Christian terms, the disciple was near to the Christ but not of the stature of the Apostle. The disciple was one whose ears were opened and who was ready to serve with greater understanding than the mass of those who flocked to hear the Master speak.
For humanity today there are but few words spoken. A small and very personal voice within speaks from the silence of the heart, and the ears - indeed, the whole being - must be open at every moment to catch the instruction. But nothing is possible without training and dedication and the training is a matter of slow and thorough trial, of error and disappointment, of action and reaction. For this reason the lengthy process which at the end leads to discipleship is often called the "Path of Woe." The insistence upon woe, sadness and suffering is unavoidable if the true nature of the Path is to be made clear. To paraphrase St. Paul, we are "to conduct a war upon our members." We do not set out to modify them; instead our purpose is to end the identification of the true Self with the impermanent bodies or vehicles which we use for life in the physical world. 
It is said that when the perfected human being reaches the stage where it is no longer necessary for him to reincarnate on this planet, he hears for a brief moment the cry of anguish which rises from suffering humanity. Often then the Great One elects to stay with man to help him on his way, whatever the cost to himself, and irrespective of the time it will take before mankind as a whole is safely upon the Path.
To anyone who aspires to eventual discipleship, this is a clear directive for training. We have to begin to help each other here and now if the world is to learn from its present era of severe test, and no one who has even the most tentative aspiration towards a life lived at a higher level can disregard such a directive. So an offer of oneself for service must be made with the whole being and without reservation; indeed, the truly devoted servant of humanity will accept his opportunity for service as a great and shining privilege.
At first there may be a certain feeling of pleasure at being a worker and everything that comes one's way will be undertaken with enthusiasm. But sooner or later a struggle with the personality is likely to develop. Some tasks will seem too difficult, others too easy. Some will be unpleasant, others appear to be wasteful of the talents which the aspiring server may feel are his. All these things will be part of the training process; it may even be that the best work will be that for which perhaps no talent exists and which, if there were choice, would be avoided. The first errors and the reactions that will be brought about by natural law may also work upon the enthusiasm and diminish it, and possibly the criticism of any leaders to whom the aspiring worker may be responsible will carry on this vital but less pleasant process. These difficulties must be faced.
The depth of the Chinese proverb 'The longest journey begins with one step' lies in its simplicity of statement. The Path is simple, and great, and deep. It is not really possible for one human being to tell another much about this Path. Some great Teachers have left us signposts and pointers, but these only mean something as we create the Path through our lives in the world. This is the difference that sets the aspiring disciple apart from those who still look to be led. Each of us has to go out into the darkness alone, in courage and in willingness to serve, and only when the light comes from within us will the darkness be dispelled.
The Great Ones by their lives have shown us how the process of achieving discipleship is carried out, but they can do no more for us. We ourselves must listen to the cry of anguish of  the suffering ones and, although our limited talents may not permit of our carrying much of their burden, even the smallest service will ease it to some degree.
Let us, then, in courage and willingness, take the first step.
[We have tried to trace the writer of this article, but so far without success - Editor The Theosophical Journal.]
Compiled from a series of articles the author contracted to write for Russian Periodicals, tales of Indian life come alive with the omnipresent qualities of compassion, curiosity, and humor. H. P. Blavatsky's interests knew no bounds. The reader will learn about such widely divergent subjects as The Parsi Tower of Silence; Drunken Crows; The Thakur's Mysterious Powers; Underground Rivers; Tree Serpents; The Caves of Karli; The Sadhu and his Five-Legged Cow; Caves of Birsa and Bhaja; Heroes of Rajasthan; The Dolgorukov Legend; The Forest Sorceress. From Darwin to Haeckel to a discussion with the Thakur on man's post-mortem state, to the character of elephants, to the giants of antiquity, the spectrum of H.P.B.'s interest and curiosity is stunningly panoramic.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky is rapidly becoming a well-known name in many households. This is primarily due to her magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine. Yet, up to the present time, little has been written about the author that might reveal the deep human side of her nature. In this long awaited book, H.P.B. provides us with this glimpse of herself - a casual and colorful portrayal of her daily experiences throughout the country of India. There are intimate glimpses into the "other side" of her nature: the H.P.B. of compassion and concern; of deep and intense interest in people as individuals; in their daily life style; their philosophy of life. It is a picture of the fascinating country of India in the late 19th century - the big cities - the little towns; - the big people - the little people - many accounts liberally interspersed with native philosophy and metaphysics.
This is no travel guide. At times it is a book of pathos. Sometimes
it is a book of humor. It is a book for everybody who is interested in
This initial volume of the Writings of Mr. Judge is a first step to
fulfill the desire of many students to have his literary heritage available
in bound volumes.