[Cover photo: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky - (Aug. 11, 1831 - May 8, 1891).]
"Born in the United States of America, the Theosophical society was constituted on the model of its Mother Land ... The Society, modeled upon this Constitution, may fairly be termed a 'Republic of Conscience'." - H.P.B. in "The Theosophist," October, 1879.
Sven Eek ..................... President
Other Lodges and Groups in the Los Angeles Area
Los Angeles Public Relations Committee, Arthur W. Beach, Chairman, 1043 North Sierra Bonita Avenue, Hollywood 46. 
The modern Theosophical Movement has passed through many a crisis, and will undoubtedly pass through many more.
It has survived organized onslaught from without, and perfidious treachery from within.
With every changing cycle and with every crisis, its teachings have spread in ever-widening circles throughout humanity.
The Theosophical Movement, considered in its outwardly manifested form, is a living, organic entity. The strengthening of its sinews and the growth of its outward stature are subject to the natural processes of periodic purification, and the elimination of accumulated dross. Such periods are invariably of a regenerative kind, and result in ultimate good for the Cause which it represents.
This Movement presents a cross-section of the world; therefore also a cross-section of the world's troubles and problems, the presence of which within the Movement testifies to the universality of its intrinsic nature, and to the bonds of human fellowship which bind it to the great family of the human race.
Therefore, no crisis within the organized aspect of the Movement should ever be met with down-heartedness, discouragement or perplexity. The clash of human wills is a definite sign of vitality and growth; and wherever such clash occurs, there can be no stagnation. The latter alone is a sure sign of decay, senescence and death.
At times of change and readjustment, it is of imperative importance to remind ourselves of certain basic factors regarding the nature of the Theosophical Movement and its character.
The foremost characteristic of the Movement as a whole is its absolute Universality. This fundamental keynote precludes any parochialism or sectarian spirit from ever being considered as genuinely Theosophical.
Organized Theosophical bodies or Societies are but temporary forms, outward vehicles, for the manifestation of a portion of the Movement in any particular cycle or era. As such, they have their beginning and their ultimate ending, only to be followed by other vehicles and forms embodying a greater degree of knowledge, and better suited to the changing conditions of life.
As pointed out by William Q. Judge (The Path, Aug., 1895) organized Theosophical bodies "are made by men for their better co-operation, but, being mere outer shells, they must change from time to time as human defects come out, as the times change, and as the great underlying spiritual movement compels such alterations."
Sectarianism and intellectual as well as moral limitations are bound to creep into any Theosophical body owing to the imperfections of human character. But the healthy spirit of Universality, underlying the Movement as a whole, sooner or later drives them out, cleansing the atmosphere with the invigorating "Wind of the Spirit."
The best and surest protection against the rise of sectarianism and intolerance within the organized Theosophical bodies is to remember at all times that our allegiance, as students of Theosophy, is to Principles, not to personalities, however exalted or venerated. We work for a Cause which is utterly Universal. Remembering the Master's sound advice to Col. Olcott to work for  Humanity through the Theosophical Society, we will remain free of all those inevitable misconception which come from a confusion of motives, when a student imagines that he or she is working for a Society, or for a Leader, or for the Masters themselves. No genuine student ever does. The sole and unique objective which can never disappoint is the impersonal and utterly universal Cause in which all personalities, including the exalted ones of the Masters themselves, sink into relative insignificance, and are viewed only as channels for a Work transcending them all.
We should keep in our minds a clear distinction between Theosophy as a teaching of Truth and the adherents to that teaching. The one is infallible and universal. The others are but imperfect exponents of a small portion of that Truth which they express in a necessarily limited and inadequate way. Their weaknesses and shortcomings do not reflect in the least upon the majesty of Theosophy as a philosophy of life. Confusion along these lines has resulted only too often in uncalled for disappointment and heartache.
If the modern Theosophical Society, with its various organizational sub-divisions, is viewed as a mere exoteric body for the promotion of an intellectual philosophy, or even a code of ethical laws, its main character and objective will be lost sight of. The entire modern Theosophical effort, launched by the masters through the instrumentality of the original Founders, was an attempt to reopen in the Occident a Mystery-School for the training of students in occultism. The opening of the era of "Western Occultism" was pointed out by Judge in one of his writings. And unless the Movement in its modern form be considered as such, its outward destinies and vicissitudes will make but little sense to the casual observer.
Therefore, genuine Theosophical groups, derived from the original or parent Society, as well as the parent Society itself in the time of H.P. Blavatsky, can and should be considered as disciples on probation, perennially tested as to their spiritual and moral worth, through the trials of life, its wide-spread changes and deep seated reactions, and the complex array of ever-shifting Karmic circumstances.
This all-important fact may be verified by a glance at the history of the modern Theosophical Society. It is indicated in the formation since 1888 of an Esoteric School within the exoteric Society, and is plainly shown in the very pattern or blueprint on which the original Society was organized at the specific suggestion of the Masters themselves. According to this pattern, an exoteric official - Col. Henry S. Olcott - was to be in charge of all outward organizational activities and problems, while an esoteric teacher - H.P. Blavatsky - was to he responsible for all matters pertaining to the occult aspect of the movement, its teachings and spiritual discipline.
In a Letter addressed to Col. H.S. Olcott, and precipitated by occult means on board the S.S. Shannon, during Olcott's voyage from India to Europe in August, 1888, Master K.H. states:
"... To help you in your present perplexity: H.P.B. has next to no concern with administrative details, and should be kept clear of them, so far as her strong nature can be controlled. But this you must fell to all: - with occult matters she has everything to do. We have not abandoned her. She is not given over to chelas. She is our direct agent ... you will have two things to consider - the external and administrative, and the internal and psychical. Keep the former under your control and that of your most prudent associates, jointly; leave the latter to her. You are left to devise the practical details with  your usual ingenuity. Only be careful, I say, to discriminate when some emergent interference of hers in practical affairs is referred to you on appeal, between that which is merely exoteric in origin and effects, and that which beginning on the practical tends to beget consequences on the spiritual plane. As to the former you are the best judge, as to the latter, she." (Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, p. 52-5.)
The underlying reason for the above is easy to detect. The Teachers desired to organize the modern Theosophical Society on a pattern similar to the one used traditionally in their own School, seeing that the Society was to be all extension of said School in the outer world.
This same latent is followed even today by one of the very few genuine occult schools still extant in the world, namely, Tibetan Lamaism, wherein the Dalai-Lama at Lassa is the exoteric authority over state matters and the official business of the country, and the Tashi-Lama at Shigatse, called the "Great Jewel of Wisdom," is the spiritual authority. It is through the serial succession of Tashi-Lamas in particular that is transmitted in this special school of occultism a "ray" from the spiritual Maha-Guru, - the Silent Watcher of this Globe.
Some students whose information along these lines did not match their sincerity of purpose have wrongly imagined that there existed at times an internal struggle between the two Lamas of the Tibetan Lamaistic Hierarchy. Outward appearances seem to sustain the belief that the Dalai-Lama drove the Tashi-Lama out of the country. The words of our late Teacher, G. de Purucker, are significant in this respect; he says, in answer to a question (Studies in Occult Philosophy, p. 429)
"It is a mystery. I can tell you this: if the truth were known, there was no 'driving out' at all. Tibet has been doing its best in desperation to keep its frontiers inviolate against the hammering tactics of Western European powers trying to penetrate into the country; and they have resorted to the age-old Asiatic ways of diplomacy - letting things appear which are not so, if you understand me."
Similarly, the Eleusinian occult school had its basileus or Hierophant belonging to the inner mysteries, and its archons presiding over organizational forms. It is rather obvious from the study of Jewish Scriptures in the light of the Ancient Wisdom that the "Prophets" played the same role in the Mystery-schools of the Jewish race, and were what might be called the Interpreters of the Inner Vision. These and similar instances which might be picked from other sources are, it should be remembered, but a natural replica of the structure of the universe itself, wherein the hierarchy of Builders is at all times inspirited, guided, and informed by the hierarchy of what might be termed the Architects, the latter, as their very name implies, being the transmitters and channels of the Original Ideas, or the Ideation underlying the entire manifestation.
The facts mentioned above regarding the original pattern of the Movement should have become by now familiar to every student. Unfortunately they have not. This has given rise to much needless confusion. It is only the inherent weaknesses of all organized Theosophical bodies, and the lack of adequate individuals, which has prevented this pattern from being carried out in later periods of the Society's history, wherein outward authority and inner occult guidance had to be combined in the same individual. It should he distinctly noted that this was a make-shift arrangement. It is to be hoped that the future history of the modern Theosophical Movement will see the  return to the original pattern or blueprint according to which the Teachers desired the Work to be carried out.
It would only be natural to suppose that all schools of esoteric discipline and instruction, in whatever land or race, have had periods of inner strength and periods of temporary weakness, when stresses and tensions, brought about by the inherent laws in human character, weakened for the time being the tensile strength of that mystic connection with the prime-source of all occult knowledge which H.P. Blavatsky so graphically termed the "Link." Apart from any outward manifestation in the actual presence of a living Teacher, such "link" is a mystic reality within the disciple himself. While greatly helped and sustained by the Teacher, it does not solely depend upon him. It is primarily the student's own inner awareness of spiritual realities: his own ability to rise above the illusions of material existence and synchronize his human consciousness with the vibratory rate of a Higher Consciousness; his capacity to make of himself a relatively open charnel for the transmission of a Force flowing from the Occult Hierarchy in which his spiritual consciousness is rooted.
The outward Teacher does not establish the disciple's own inner "link," though he stands as its noblest symbol, and facilitates the conditions under which such individual "links" may be established with greater ease. It should also be remembered that genuine esoteric Teachers do not come on their own, looking for possible disciples, but invariably appear in answer to the individual and collective "call" on the part of would-be disciples, whose condition of growth and state of consciousness make the appearance of a Teacher imperative.
The primary condition necessary for the establishment and the perpetuation of the inner "link" within the disciple's own consciousness, is a life devoted to the spiritual interests of others, wherein one's own personal advancement, ever advancement in spiritual knowledge or attainment, becomes secondary as compared with the existing need for spiritual help in the world at large, and the disciple's endeavor to meet as much of this need as his capacities and abilities permit him to do at any one time. Given this condition of self-forgetfulness in the service of others, the forging of the mystic "link" with the Brotherhood of Adepts becomes immeasurably easier than it would be under any other circumstances. With the absence, total or partial, of this paramount condition, all intellectual learning, all individual and collective discipline, all outward reliance upon Teachers, books, mantrams, and tradition, while doubtless productive of some small good, nevertheless result ultimately but in erecting a superstructure of "spiritual" selfishness, which precludes any "link" front being established, or sustained if already previously formed.
All genuine occult work is based upon the cornerstones of fearless research, unfettered investigation, freedom of spiritual choice, selflessness of purpose, and the will to press onward, over rough terrain and smooth, in storm and sunshine, through adversity and success, towards the Gates of Gold.
When this is realized, the reported last words of H.P. Blavatsky yield an ever-deepening meaning:
"Keep the link unbroken! Do not let my last incarnation be a failure." 
"Religion is the best armor that man can have, but it is the worst cloak." - Bunyan.
It is no exaggeration to say that there never was - during the present century, at any rate - a movement, social or religious, so terribly, nay, so absurdly misunderstood, or more blundered about than THEOSOPHY - whether regarded theoretically as a code of ethics, or practically, in its objective expression, i.e., the Society known by that name.
Year after year, and day after day had our officers and members to interrupt people speaking of the theosophical movement by putting in more or less emphatic protests against theosophy being referred to as a "religion," and the Theosophical Society as a kind of church or religious body. Still worse, it is as often spoken of as a "new sect"! Is it a stubborn prejudice, or error, or both? The latter, most likely. The most narrow-minded and even notoriously unfair people are still in need of a plausible pretext, of a peg on which to hang their little uncharitable remarks and innocently tittered slanders. And what peg is more solid for that purpose, more convenient than an "ism" or a "sect." The great majority would be very sorry to be disabused and finally forced to accept the fact that theosophy is neither. The name suits them, and they pretend to he unaware of its falseness. But there are others, also, many more or less friendly people, who labor sincerely under the same delusion. To these, we say: Surely the world has been hitherto sufficiently cursed with the intellectual extinguishers known as dogmatic creeds, without having inflicted upon it a new form of faith! Too many already wear their faith, truly, as Shakespeare puts it, "but as the fashion of his hat," ever changing "with the next block." Moreover, the very raison d'etre of the Theosophical Society was from its beginning, to titter a loud protest and lead an open warfare against dogma or any belief based upon blind faith ... Theosophy, we say, is not a Religion.
Yet there are, as every one knows, certain beliefs, philosophical, religious and scientific, which have become so closely associated in recent years with the word "Theosophy" that they have come to be taken by the general public for theosophy itself. Moreover, we shall be told these beliefs have been put forward, explained and defended by those very Founders who have declared that Theosophy is not a Religion. What is, then, the explanation of this apparent contradiction? How call a certain body of beliefs and teachings, an elaborate doctrine, in fact, be labeled "Theosophy" and be tacitly accepted as Theosophical by nine-tenths of the members of the T.S., if Theosophy is not a Religion? - we are asked ...
It is perhaps necessary, first of all, to say, that the assertion that "Theosophy is not a Religion," by no means excludes the fact that "Theosophy is religion" itself - A Religion, in the true and only correct sense, is a bond uniting men together - not a particular set of dogmas and beliefs. Now, Religion, per se, in its widest meaning is that which binds not only all MEN, but also all BEINGS and all things in the entire Universe into one grand whole. This is our theosophical definition of religion ...
Thus Theosophy is not a Religion, we say, but RELIGION itself, the one bond of unity, which is so universal and all-embracing that no man, as no speck -  from gods and mortals down to animals, the blade of grass and atom - can be outside of its light. Therefore, any organization or body of that name must necessarily be a UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD.
Were it otherwise, Theosophy would be but a word added to hundreds other such words as high sounding as they are pretentious and empty. Viewed as a philosophy, Theosophy in its practical work is the alembic of the Mediaeval alchemist. It transmutes the apparently base metal of every ritualistic and dogmatic creed (Christianity included) into the gold of fact and truth, and thus truly produces a universal panacea for the ills of mankind. This is why, when applying for admission into the Theosophical Society, no one is asked what religion he belongs to, nor what his deistic views may be. These views are his own personal property and have nought to do with the Society. Because Theosophy can be practiced by Christian or Heathen, Jew or Gentile, by Agnostic or Materialist, or even an Atheist, provided that none of these is a bigoted fanatic, who refuses to recognize as his brother any man or woman outside his own special creed or belief. Count Leo N. Tolstoy does not believe in the Bible, the Church, or the divinity of Christ; and yet no Christian surpasses him in the practical bearing out of the principles alleged to have been preached on the Mount. And these principles are those of Theosophy; not because they were uttered by the Christian Christ, but because they are universal ethics, and were preached by Buddha and Confucius, Krishna, and all the great Sages, thousands of years before the Sermon on the Mount was written. Hence, once that we live up to such theosophy, it becomes a universal panacea indeed, for it heals the wounds inflicted by the gross asperities of the Church "isms" on the sensitive soul of every naturally religious man. How many of these, forcibly thrust out by the reactive impulse of disappointment from the narrow area of blind belief into the ranks of arid disbelief, have been brought back to hopeful aspiration by simply joining our Brotherhood - yea, imperfect as it is ...
Its doctrines, if seriously studied, call forth, by stimulating one's reasoning powers and awakening the inner in the animal man, every hitherto dormant power for good in us, and also the perception of the true and the real, as opposed to the false and the unreal. Tearing off with no uncertain hand the thick veil of dead-letter with which every old religious scriptures were cloaked, scientific Theosophy, learned in the cunning symbolism of the ages, reveals to the scoffer at old wisdom the origin of the world's faiths and sciences. It opens new vistas beyond the old horizons of crystallized, motionless and despotic faiths; and turning blind belief into a reasoned knowledge founded on mathematical laws - the only exact science - it demonstrates to him under profounder and more philosophical aspects the existence of that which, repelled by the grossness of its dead-letter form, he had long since abandoned as a nursery tale. It gives a clear and well-defined object, an ideal to live for, to every sincere man or woman belonging to whatever station in Society and of whatever culture and degree of intellect. Practical Theosophy is not one Science, but embraces every science in life, moral and physical. It may, in short, be justly regarded as the universal "coach," a tutor of worldwide knowledge and experience, and of an erudition which not only assists and guides his pupils toward a successful examination for every scientific or moral service in earthly life, but fits them for the lives to come, if those pupils will only study the universe and its mysteries within themselves, instead of studying them through the spectacles of orthodox science and religions  And let no reader misunderstand these statements. It is Theosophy per se, not any individual member of the Society or even Theosophist, on whose behalf such a universal omniscience is claimed. The two - Theosophy and the Theosophical Society - as a vessel and the olla podrida it contains, must not be confounded. One is, as an ideal, divine Wisdom, perfection itself; the other a poor, imperfect thing, trying to run under, if not within, its shadow on Earth. No man is perfect; why, then, should any member of the T.S. be expected to be a paragon of every human virtue? And why should the whole organization be criticized and blamed for the faults, whether real or imaginary, of some of its "Fellows," or even its Leaders? Never was the Society, as a concrete body, free from blame or sin - errare humanum est - nor were any of its members. Hence, it is rather those members - most of whom will not be led by theosophy, that ought to be blamed. Theosophy is the soul of its Society; the latter the gross and imperfect body of the former. Hence, those modern Solomons who will sit in the Judgment Seat and talk of that they know nothing about, are invited before they slander theosophy or any theosophists to first get acquainted with both, instead of ignorantly calling one a "farrago of insane beliefs" and the other a "sect of impostors and lunatics." ...
We have said that we believed in the absolute unity of nature. Unity implies the possibility for a unit on one plane, to come into contact with another unit on or from another plane. We believe in it.
The just published "Secret Doctrine" will show what were the ideas of all antiquity with regard to the primeval instructors of primitive man and his three earlier races. The genesis of that WISDOM-RELIGION, in which all theosophists believe, dates from that period. So-called "Occultism," or rather Esoteric Science, has to be traced in its origin to those Beings who, led by Karma, have incarnated in our humanity, and thus struck the keynote of that secret Science which countless generations of subsequent adepts have expanded since then in every age, while they checked its doctrines by personal observation and experience. The bulk of this knowledge - which no man is able to possess in its fullness - constitutes that which we now call Theosophy or "divine knowledge." Beings from other and higher worlds may have it entire; we can have it only approximately.
Thus, unity of everything in the universe implies and justifies our belief in the existence of a knowledge at once scientific, philosophical and religious, showing the necessity and actuality of the connection of man and all things in the universe with each other; which knowledge, therefore, becomes essentially RELIGION, and must be called in its integrity and universality by the distinctive name of WISDOM-RELIGION.
It is from this WISDOM-RELIGION that all the various individual "Religions" (erroneously so called) have sprung, forming in their turn offshoots and branches, and also all the minor creeds, based upon and always originated through some personal experience in psychology. Every such religion, or religious offshoot, be it considered orthodox or heretical, wise or foolish, started originally as a clear and unadulterated stream from the Mother-source. The fact that each became in time polluted with purely human speculations and even inventions, due to interested motives, does not prevent any from having been pure in its early beginnings. There are those creeds - we shall not call them religions - which have now been overlaid with the human element out of all recognition; others just showing signs of early decay; not one that escaped the hand of time. But each and all are of divine, because natural  and true, origin; aye - Mazdeism, Brahmanism, Buddhism as much as Christianity ...
... All are true at the bottom, and all are false on their surface. The Revealer, the artist who impressed a portion of Truth on the brain of the Seer, was in every instance a true artist, who gave out genuine truths; but the instrument proved also, in every instance, to be only a man. Invite Rubenstein and ask him to play a sonata of Beethoven on a piano left to self-tuning, one-half of the keys of which are in chronic paralysis, while the wires hang loose; then see whether, the genius of the artist notwithstanding, you will be able to recognize the sonata. The moral of the fabula is that a man - let him be the greatest of mediums or natural Seers - is but a man; and man left to his own devices and speculations must be out of tune with absolute truth, while even picking up some of its crumbs. For Man is but a fallen angel, a god within, but having an animal brain in his head, more subject to cold and wine fumes while in company with other men on Earth, than to the faultless reception of divine revelations ...
Theosophy, as repeatedly declared in print and viva voce by its members and officers, proceeds on diametrically opposite lines to those which are trodden by the Church; and Theosophy rejects the methods of Science, since her inductive methods can only lead to crass materialism. Yet, de facto, Theosophy claims to be both "RELIGION" and "SCIENCE," for theosophy is the essence of both. It is for the sake and love of the two divine abstractions - i.e., theosophical religion and science, that its Society has become the volunteer scavenger of both orthodox religion and modern science; as also the relentless Nemesis of those who have degraded the two noble truths to their own ends and purposes, and then divorced each violently from the other, though the two are and must be one ...
The modern Materialist insists on an impassable chasm between the two, pointing out that the "Conflict between Religion and Science" has ended in the triumph of the latter and the defeat of the first. The modern Theosophist refuses to see, on the contrary, any such chasm at all. If it is claimed by both Church and Science that each of them pursues the truth and nothing but the truth, then either one of them is mistaken, and accepts falsehood for truth, or both. Any other impediment to their reconciliation must be set down as purely fictitious. Truth is one, even if sought for or pursued at two different ends. Therefore, Theosophy claims to reconcile the two foes. It premises by saying that the true spiritual and primitive Christian religion is, as much as the other great and still older philosophies that preceded it - the light of Truth - "the life and the light of men."
But so is the true light of Science. Therefore, darkened as the former is now by dogmas examined through glasses smoked with the superstitions artificially produced by the Churches, this light can hardly penetrate and meet its sister ray in a science, equally as cobwebbed by paradoxes and the materialistic sophistries of the age. The teachings of the two are incompatible, and cannot agree so long as both Religious philosophy and the Science of physical and external (in philosophy, false) nature, insist upon the infallibility of their respective "will-o'-the-wisps." The two lights, having their beams of equal length in the matter of false deductions, can but extinguish each other and produce still worse darkness. Yet, they can be reconciled on the condition that both shall clean their houses, one from the human dross of the ages, the other from the hideous excrescence of modern materialism and  atheism. And as both decline, the most meritorious and best thing to do is precisely what Theosophy alone can and will do: i.e., point out to the innocents caught by the glue of the two waylayers - verily two dragons of old, one devouring the intellects, the other the souls of men - that their supposed chasm is but an optical delusion; that, far from being one, it is but an immense garbage mound respectively erected by the two foes, as a fortification against mutual attacks.
Thus, if theosophy does no more than point out and seriously draw the attention of the world to the fact that the supposed disagreement between religion and science is conditioned, on the one hand by the intelligent materialists rightly kicking against absurd human dogmas, and on the other by blind fanatics and interested churchmen who, instead of defending the souls of mankind, fight simply tooth and nail for their personal bread and butter and authority - why, even then, theosophy will prove itself the savior of mankind.
And now we have shown, it is hoped, what real Theosophy is, and what are its adherents. One is divine Science and a code of Ethics so sublime that no theosophist is capable of doing it justice; the others weak but sincere men. Why, then, should Theosophy ever be judged by the personal shortcomings of any leader or member of our 150 branches? One may work for it to the best of his ability, yet never raise himself to the height of his call and aspiration. This is his or her misfortune, never the fault of Theosophy, or even of the body at large. Its Founders claim no other merit than that of having set the first theosophical wheel rolling. If judged at all they must be judged by the work they have done, not by what friends may think or enemies say of them. There is no room for personalities in a work like ours; and all must be ready, as the Founders are, if needs be, for the car of Jagganath to crush them individually for the good of all ...
Freedom of Self-Expression in the T. S.
"Above everything else, fellows of the Theosophical Society must guard their right to freedom of conscience, freedom of thought and freedom of speech; and while the brain-mind always loves things which are `clear and definite,' as the saying goes, and while we certainly should strive for clarity and definiteness, yet we can achieve these without losing our inestimable right and privilege of searching for truth for ourselves in the blessed teachings we have, and finding them from our own efforts in study and self-discipline ... Hence let us prize the freedom we have today which gives us individual diversity of opinion in the T.S. and guarantees our freedom of conscience and freedom of speech, and furthermore, and not less important, makes us realize that the opinions of a brother may be well worth listening to, even if they may differ from our own." - G. de Purucker, Messages to Conventions, pp. 164-65.
"No thing in this world can prevail against the T.S. and its work as long as we stand united, determined to continue to stand united no matter what may be at times our own personal feelings or convictions regarding others. United we stand; divided we shall fall. There is no doubt of that whatsoever. Remember it." - G. de Purucker, Messages to Conventions, p. 146.
What do you feel prevents us from direct perception of Truth or Reality?
The form of this question seems to imply that there is some veil or impediment to vision which shuts off our view of a different world from that which we are accustomed to see. It brings to mind the verse of the scriptures which says, "and the veil of the Temple was rent in twain."
But I think that both the question and the quotation are allegories or metaphors, as much of our speech is, often unconsciously, and that the picture in both cases is made to represent material things in order to convey to the mind immaterial things for which our language has no words. But the material picture has its limitations because of its material character, and implies that with the removal of the material obstruction to vision the eyes would immediately behold the hidden secret or sacred treasure, be it Truth-Reality or the Ark of the Covenant. It implies sudden and complete enlightenment, such as Gautama the Buddha is traditionally alleged to have received under the Bo tree. This again I believe to be an allegory, made dramatic by its exaggeration. According to it we are to believe that the Buddha had not achieved enlightenment by breaking all family ties, renouncing the life of a wealthy prince, receiving instruction from the Brahmins and from advanced hermits, and spending seven years of solitude in the most extreme asceticism. Yet this is contradicted by the Buddhist tradition that during his hermitage he was recognized as a teacher, and revered by the neighborhood people.
Now all the processes of Nature are gradual, which word means, step by step. We reason from this that the processes of the unseen are also gradual, since the rule is, as above, so below. All is under the same natural laws, among these the law of Karma, which means that as is the action, so is the result. On this basis every effort to learn truth or reality would produce an effect in that direction, perhaps not immediately, perhaps latent or delayed, but progress nevertheless.
If you will think over your own experiences, I believe you will have to acknowledge that in proportion to your own sincere efforts, by reading, in seeking competent instruction, by consideration of the information so received, and by meditation, you have willed to your degree of understanding of Truth. There have been impediments to your progress, and perhaps these are what this question was intended to bring out. Some of these may be individual limitations of natural capacity, the demands of necessity for making a living, and of those who are dependent on or associated with us, the distractions of local, national or world affairs, of entertainment or social life, apathy or indifference to higher thought, which to most is relatively unattractive. These are drags or brakes upon progress toward understanding, not stonewall obstacles, which prevent or stop it.
The putting entirely aside of any or all of these drags is nearly impossible. The Buddhist monk attempts it as the Buddha did, by casting off all ties of family and property, living on the charity of the householder class, devoting himself entirely to the contemplation of the Path to Nirvana. This is practically impossible to us people of the world, nor should we regret it, for in remaining in the  world, if we follow the Right-Hand Path of thoughtfulness for others, we are not only evolving by our own experiences but helping innumerable entities on their upward way.
There are recorded instances where men have been rewarded for long efforts, with sudden growth of understanding, by brief periods when it seemed to them that they had received in a vision of almost blinding brilliance, a view of truth and reality. Some have Had several such visions, and perhaps one of these was what the Buddha received under the bo tree, but I do not recall that any Seer claimed for himself (the followers of the Buddha claimed it for him), to have compassed all truth or to have held the vision permanently.
Perhaps what happened was that each had temporarily achieved union with the spark of Self or Divinity within him, and through it made contact with the Divine Self. In every case it was the result of great natural aptitude or evolvement, right living, and long persistent effort in study and meditation.
We are not prevented from perceiving Truth or Reality, we are only delayed by the drag of external affairs and the indifference or apathy of our lower nature.
"It is finished! ..."
That's rather cryptic. Three words, spoken by a Jew. A Jew to whom the Cup of Personal Oblivion had just been passed.
No one knows how many lives, because of him, have been "saved."
No one knows how many lives, because of him, have been lost. No one, of course, knows precisely what "saved" means. Everyone knows what it means when a life is lost. We see the recorded history of lost lives every day in the newspapers. They are so commonplace, it is doubtful if more than a handful of us pay more than passing attention. A lost life is very insignificant, if it doesn't DISTURB us.
That's human nature, reduced to elementals - to fundamentals!
It is common practice with philosophers to condemn humanity. Humans grub. Humans strive; and claw; and fight; and cheat; criticize; excoriate; decry; scoff at; satirize; lampoon. Want more? Well, if there's anything unpleasant, humans do it to one another.
We have been like children left unattended in a nursery, or a classroom. Teacher said: "Learn your lessons."
Those who learn their lessons are equipped to graduate. They do graduate. Those who play, and torment, while teacher's array, graduate under great difficulties. Or they don't graduate at all.
Remember those old childhood explanations? "Teacher popped in, and then we were caught!"
Teacher has popped in on all of us. WE ARE CAUGHT!
Yes we are caught, in what glibly will be referred to by survivors as: "The Atomic Age."
God has come very close to us. God is closest to most of us when we detect that Death is even closer. We would do anything, then, to drive death away, and give ourselves to God.
Now don't think that this is a dull, orthodox, unenlightened effort to lead your thoughts to Deity on a throne. But the fact is, that when  Death approaches, we are all inclined to supplicate. And true supplication is known to very few of us. That's because it is so akin to true humility. And true humility is so foreign to all of us.
Well, the threat of death comes near to us, and we turn frantically to a savior - we want ourselves, our loved ones, to live on. We pray. We try to supplicate. Or we brazen it out - denying our fears, our dreads. Undoubtedly many of us wish we could turn Time back and repeat our lives in parts.
Yes. we would like another chance. We would like to be better. We would like to have that opportunity over again. The time when we cheated. When we slurred. When we slammed the door shut - on whom? On the very person we want now to pray to - God, if you like.
For every man, every creature, bears a spark of Godhood. If not, then why are we so conceited about ourselves? Why think that we are so important?
Why bother to claw someone down, to make a sharp deal, to chisel a few extra dollars here and there, to demean someone's character, to covet and to steal - in fact, to break all the Commandments? We are quite sure we are beholder of God and that he will listen to us. But we do not admit very readily that he is in our fellow men.
This is nothing that can be thrust aside, or ignored. It cannot be hidden behind the hocus pocus of some creed, or the dubious mumbo-jumbo of cult or sect. No, one must live with his fellow man. If one believes in karma. One must make good karma to enjoy good karma. How many of us earnestly strive to do it? How many of us, instead, put a price on our goodness. Like children. "I won't be good to you unless you are good to me."
Yet, every minute of every day we are getting just what we deserve.
Now, the writing is written, against the very sky. Written in smoke, and fumes, and flame and crashing thunder. "Except that the days he shortened, there shall he no flesh saved ..."
Strange, to be writing all this for Theosophists. And if it be seed, it will not all fall on the most fertile of soil. For one thing that the Theosophist must be wary of is this: That the blade can be made too fine, too thin and slender. Too narrow. Far, far better the broader viewpoint.
Remember, that while you may make all the "rounds," that is a matter of your own choosing. The direct way is always open to you. You can soar to the limitless peak, if you but choose to soar - beautiful the path through the tints of the prism may be, but beyond is always the bright light, that is the Source.
But the writing that is in the sky? Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The writing that spells "it is finished!" It is the old that is finished, and we stand before a strange, new destiny. But little flesh was saved in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But little flesh will be saved where you are.
On the other hand, what will it much matter? If you want to live, you must have started to live long before this. You can live, if you have started to live.
But, my friends, one never starts to live until one thinks more about one's fellow man, than of oneself.
And if the days for you are to be foreshortened, the path lies through the human blessings you have bestowed on the humans about you.
God, you see, works only through human kindness. 
Walking through a forest the other day, age-worn trees were found rotting on the ground. That was DESTRUCTION.
A close inspection slowed that the rotting wood was furnishing the very material needed for new forms of life, that even now were beginning to manifest. That was CONSTRUCTION.
This led, by retrospection, to many other factors in life wherein destruction took place in order to allow construction of new and better forms. This even applies to nations, organizations and groups.
From this it was only a short step to the realization that anything of a destructive nature must inherently have also a constructive side. Strychnine, a destructive poison, is also a constructive medicine when properly used. All explosives used in destructive warfare can be used for Constructive work also, such as the building of dams. Fire, which annually destroys vast numbers of buildings, also produces the steel which will go into the new structures that replace the burnt-out ones.
When pondering on the appalling and impending calamity facing the world, due to the destructive qualities of atomic warfare, the thought came that it, too, must have a constructive side. Investigation showed that verily this was so. For instance, electricity call be produced at a cost equivalent of coal at $1.20 per ton, the cheapest now known being $5.00 per ton. Extremely high temperatures and pressures are now available so that even REAL diamonds may be produced, a boon for the hardened tool industry, as well as milady's fair neck. There are many plastics not now used because, while better, they require too great a temperature economically to produce. In the field of medicine, radioactivity has been given to a number of the known mineral elements and these have been found to course through the human system, when given to a patient, and lodge in the identical organs and parts of the body that the ancient astrologers said had an "affinity" for these same elements, as well as certain planets and positions. This brings miniature "suits" directly into the affected tissues, thereby allowing the latter to absorb the beneficial "sunlight" produced by the nucleus of the lowly atom. Already substantial improvement in the condition of heretofore incurable patients have been noted.
Then again, in the field of agriculture and horticulture, radioactive minerals with affinities for certain plants, are placed around the roots of growing things, bringing sunshine substitute to the roots, greater than heretofore, thereby allowing the tree, bush or plant to absorb these radioactive particles, enhancing food and beauty values. At the same time all noxious life that parasitically preys on the vegetation is prevented, because the nightside of life cannot stand radiance of any kind. These constitute just it few of the things that make up the CONSTRUCTIVE side of the use of atomic energy.
This line of thought brought to mind the Theosophic saying about not being able to open either the door of darkness or the door of light, without at the same time opening the other door, too.
In this fact alone lies the hope of a suffering humanity. The more the Forces of Evil unleash their horrors on the world, the more the Forces of Good are also granted passports to the vineyards of the people. The reverse, of course, is also true.
MORAL: Good and Evil are relative terms, representing the two ends of the stick of life. The stick itself assists us in wending our way down the evolutionary road.
And that's Philosophical Theosophy.
- The Wayfarer. [Hubert S. Turner] 
San Diego Theosophical Activities
International Headquarters, Theosophical Society.
TRANSACTIONS of the BLAVATSKY LODGE
This is a new edition, just of the Press, of the famous commentary in H.P. Blavatsky's own words on the Stanzas of Dzyan, which form the framework of The Secret Doctrine.
The Blavatsky Lodge was founded in 1887 by A.P. Sinnett, for the more advanced and intensive study of Theosophy. From January to June, 1889, immediately following the publication of The Secret Doctrine, H.P. Blavatsky attended meetings of the Lodge, answering many questions from highly intelligent people. The "Transactions" were compiled from stenographic notes taken at the time. The first volume appeared in 1890; the second in 1891. This work contains also H.P. Blavatsky's invaluable chapter on the subject of Dreams. - Editors, "Theosophia."