THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume III
No. 4 (16) - November-December 1946

[Cover photo: Incoming Tide On The Shores Of Point Loma, California.]

*

THEOSOPHIA
A LIVING PHILOSOPHY FOR HUMANITY
Published every Two Months. Sponsored by an International Group of Theosophists (Theosophical Society, Int'l Hdqrts., Covina, California).
Objectives: To disseminate the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom. To uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement. To challenge bigotry and superstition in every form.
EDITOR: Boris de Zirkoff.
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Irene Ponsonby, Dr. Sven Eek, J. Emory Clapp, Maj. Hubert S. Turner.
ADVISORY BOARD: Hon. Frank G. Finlayson, Jan H. Venema, Hendrik Oosterink, Richard H. Cutting, T. Marriott.
BUSINESS MANAGER: Norine G. Chadil.
Subscription: $1.00 a year (six issues): singe copy 20 cents. Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: Room 240 Western Bldg., 553 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California. Make checks payable to "Theosophia." The Theosophical Society as such, is not responsible for any ideas expressed in this magazine, unless contained in an official document. The Editors are responsible for unsigned articles only.

*

A THOUGHT TO REMEMBER ...

To be intelligent we must maintain an open mind. We must think accurately and reason logically, and to do this we must keep our minds free from prejudice and passion. If we are to be intelligent, we must lay aside every bias. It is much easier to be taken in by emotionally satisfying propaganda, than to face the stark and blunt truth.

To be intelligent we must gird ourselves with doubt. The first rate mind is skeptical towards its dearest convictions. When we suggest doubt as an essential to intelligence, we realize that we are setting ourselves against tile prevailing notion of the masses, to whom doubt is something villainous and destructive.

Lazy people wish for certainly, not in order that they may think better, but in order that they may be relieved of the necessity of thinking.

Timorous people cling tenaciously to old beliefs in the face of evidence which seems to others to disprove them, because they are unwilling to face the responsibility of change. What is more unfortunate still, autocratic religious leaders, dreading the consequences of the misuse of freedom in others, try to impose their own beliefs on society at large, and condemn any departure from conventional standards as immoral.

The doubters, the rebels, have been the greatest benefactors of the world. It is their names that have gone down in history, and not that of the conservatives. The voice of the majority may be that of forced triumph, content with the plaudits of the hour, reckoning little of the morrow. The dissenter speaks to the future, and his voice is pitched to a key that will carry through the years.

Many people are fearful that doubt will shatter their cherished faith and traditions. But why should we fear? If there is truth in them, they will survive the most intense questioning and will be cherished all the more strongly and ardently. Doubt is simply a protection against credulity and fatuous ignorance, and an insurance against being mentally swindled. - Theos. L. Clarke, in Free Mind, July-August, 1945. [3]

*

HISTORY DOES NOT WAIT!
Boris de Zirkoff

"... despite the agony and the sadness that we humans in our blindness feel, there is the wind of the spirit sweeping over the earth, rearranging, remaking, reshaping ..." - G. de Purucker.

The foremost object of the modern Theosophical Movement, as embodied in the original Theosophical Society of 1875, has ever been the formation of a nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity.

All other objects of the Society are subsidiary and therefore of lesser importance, however noble and valuable they may be.

The Founders of the Society considered its primary object of such paramount importance that the name of the organization remained for a long time "The Theosophical Society, or Universal Brotherhood."

To appraise, therefore, the degree of success of the Society in the modern world, it is not sufficient to consider, as is only too often done, the relatively wide spread of certain ancient teachings in different parts of the globe; or to point to a radically changed outlook in modern Science, as being due to a very great extent to the presence of Theosophical concepts in the very "atmosphere" of human thought.

The question is: Has the Theosophical Society created a well-integrated living nucleus of a genuine Universal Brotherhood of humanity, which stands today as a glaring example of what can he done for the future welfare of the human race?

With all the recognition of the fact that many honest attempts in this direction have been made, and that these have been temporarily successful on a very small scale and in a very imperfect way, it is, however, impossible to say that the Society, in any of its ramifications, has succeeded in the realization of its first and foremost object.

To be sure, there exist in the Theosophical Societies of today some men and women inwardly dedicated to the supreme Ideal of Human Brotherhood, nay, the Brotherhood or Oneness of All Life. Their dedication is exemplified in action and in words, often in action alone. They are little centers of light, wherein the first object of the Theosophical Movement is a living reality.

These men and women are very few. Their names are little known, or not known at all. Their titles and outward achievements are not blazoned forth on the pages of theosophical annals. They are not congregated in centers, communities or settlements. Unbeknown to their own mortal minds, they are the pillars of the genuine Theosophical Movement, and redeem, at least to some extent, the unpalatable record of the Societies' public destinies, as exemplified in the seventy-odd years of theosophical history.

Were these men and women an organized unit, without losing their high qualities of inner achievement, one could perchance talk of a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood, in this, that, or another part of the world. As it is, they are scattered far and wide, and to speak of a nucleus in connection with them would be to use this word in a very loose and general meaning, hardly applicable to the case.

As far as organized Theosophical effort is concerned, history will have to record its dismal failure to form a nucleus of genuine Brotherhood on universal lines.

The Theosophical Societies of today are more interested in intellectual subtleties and points of doctrine than in the practical application to daily and mutual life of tile noble ethical ideas, which alone can bring us to the actual realization of a living [4] Brotherhood on whatever scale it may be.

The great majority of men and women connected with any Theosophical organized effort show themselves often to be doctrinarians first and Theosophists after. This is the royal road to the formation of a Church.

Brotherhood, whether Universal and Cosmic, or of the every-day-garden-variety, applied in the common pin-pricks of life, may be an idea difficult to define in exact and punctilious words. Yet most people, if they pause to think at all, will know inwardly what it means, and will recognize it outwardly, when they see it in action.

When a Theosophical Lodge frowns at admitting Negroes to its gatherings; when members of the Society advocate, privately or publicly, reactionary ideas of human exploitation and discrimination; when they use some distortion of ancient teachings to support the political ideas of racialism; when official organs of one or another Society uphold the political ideas of a portion of mankind, engaged in a war of extermination, as against the political ideas of the other portion; when the humanitarian and progressive ideas of one or another member are branded by his co-workers as being but political slogans and propaganda; and when hundreds of otherwise good men and women spend their lives mainly in the pursuit of intellectual knowledge for themselves, without the slightest regard to the problems of the Human Race in general, - Brotherhood becomes worse than the sounding brass and the tinkling cymbals of the Scriptures, nay, it becomes a comfortable and convenient screen behind which to hide the whited sepulcher of moral desolation and iniquity.

We challenge anyone within the organized bodies of the modern Theosophical Movement to tell us where we are wrong in stating this, and just exactly how!

A brief and even superficial survey of many a movement in this world would show anyone who is not blind that brotherhood exists as a living reality in many of them; as a matter of fact it exists in some of them with a far greater power and vitality than it manifests today in the organized Theosophical Societies. It is a solemn thought which is worth pondering over. Today the sands of many a cycle are running out. We are all weighed in the balance. It is a time of appraisal. Judgments are daily meted out, and sentences are pronounced.

The one great Thought which is flashing today from one part of the world to another, in these opening days of the Atomic Age, is that we live in a world which is One World and that we are all, everyone of us, fellow-passengers on a ship sailing the ethers of infinite Space.

The fellow-pilgrims upon the same endless pilgrimage-road which winds through the cyclic corridors of Time, up the slopes of spiritual awakening and growth, towards heights undreamt of and future glories beyond human imagination to conceive.

In this One World inhabited by a family of humans whose nature, destinies, and characteristics are inextricably interwoven and forever knitted together in indissoluble union, a divided Theosophical Movement made up of individual fragments is an anachronism which, if not eliminated from within the Movement itself, will be by-passed by the ineluctable logic of history and swept into some obscure corner of the human arena, onto "some sandbank of thought or another, and there remain a stranded carcass to molder and die," as eloquently pointed out ply H.P. Blavatsky (The Key to Theosophy, p. 305).

It is a habit indulged in by many members of the Theosophical Society to point out the innumerable divisions within the Christian Church, forgetting all the time that their [5] own Movement is equally divided, and for reasons often much less plausible and fundamental than those which gave rise to the fragments of the original Christian Movement. It is again the case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Unless a reunification of organized Theosophy becomes an actuality in the modern era, its ramifications and subdivisions will only increase. As union, solidarity, oneness, and cooperation, are to be the keynotes of the coming era of thought, the divided Theosophical Movement will be unable to serve as a fit channel for the transmission of new ideas coming from the Center of Light, behind the veil of outward phenomena and forms. Its own antagonistic and unbrotherly fragmentations will be the chief cause of this.

The only way out of this unfortunate predicament is to return as fast as we may to the original platform of the modern Theosophical effort, as initiated in 1875 by H.P. Blavatsky, William Quan Judge, Henry Steel Olcott, and their co-workers, under the specific instructions of their own Teachers.

This original platform was primarily concerned with the formation of a nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity powerful enough in the living force of its spirituality to be the channel for true inspiration, and the example for countless men and women seeking the light.

No intellectual studies, no beautifully-worded lectures, no psychic investigations, no charitable activities or social work, no meditations or exercises intended to develop one's astral senses of perception, and no personal achievements along lines of purely selfish attainment, can be of any help in creating a living center of spirituality, or in forming a matrix through which higher forces will find it possible and advisable to manifest and work.

Universal Brotherhood, if it means anything at all, means an intense and living realization of the Oneness of all life, of the indissoluble unity of all evolving creatures, of the unbreakable bonds which bind and unite all things. That realization, to be of any moment in the affairs of the world, must be more than an intellectual theory. It must become a way of life, a code of conduct, a method of living. Its power must become felt in the "atmosphere" of the man or woman who lives it, or the community which is based upon, and practices its implications.

To live a life of Brotherhood does not mean to give up Principles when these are involved in order to "keep the peace;" it does not mean to pamper to personalities when these assert themselves, as they will from time to time. It means a life based upon Principles, and based so firmly that personalities recede into an insignificant background and are transmuted in the light of the unifying bond.

Living Brotherhood means strength of character, not weakness. It means conviction, positivity, justice tempered with mercy, perspective and vision beyond the narrow confines of personal horizons. It means kindness, compassion, sympathy for the souls of men, the ability to understand and to forgive, the strength to stand alone and the ability to work collectively in joyful competition. It means courage in adversity, fearlessness in danger, gentleness in word and action, firmness in conviction, magnanimity to all and at all times, self-abnegation, forgetfulness of wrong to oneself, dauntless defense of those unjustly attacked, abiding and sincere friendship, searching penetration of the mysteries of life with the intuitive powers of an illumined mind.

Living Brotherhood means all these things and a few others similar to them, just because it means looking for the best spiritual interests of all living things, the living for others instead of for oneself; and without these qualities and attributes there can be no living for others, for [6] without them one's life and effort are directed to the gratification of one's own personal selfhood, and the forwarding of the limited and narrow interests of "rue" alone.

If the modern Theosophical Movement is to have a future, a future full of promise and harmoniously related to the collective future of the race, in a world of united action for the welfare of all men, it will have to regain its unity, its internal cohesion, its position of spiritual leadership, which it has to a very marked extent lost. It has lost these because of internal dissensions, personal pulls, lack of vision, absence of inspired leadership, especially after the departure from this scene of action of those earlier grand souls which gave it its original impulse, and inspired at a later date fragments of the original Movement.

It is not enough to point out that the Movement, in all its fragmentations and subdivisions, possesses some very wonderful people who are active in this, that or another way. Every movement in the world possesses such people; without them no movement could possibly endure. But they are not strong enough to carry the Movement as a whole, and are not able to redeem to any great extent the narrowness and selfish proclivities of others who are seeking personal power or position or fame, or are just hanging on, like barnacles, to the organizational framework of the Societies, getting a free ride while the ship of state sails on.

There are always those who will hasten to remind us that all of this is the Theosophical Society's karman. Unquestionably this is true. According to the vernacular of this land of ours: "So what?" Is this a reason for students of Theosophy to lie down and wait until this phase of karman passes over? Assuredly not. It is a reason for action, for changes, for concerted endeavor to mitigate the effects of past and present mistaken notions, and of equally mistaken actions. It is an added reason to try and correct that which nothing in all the world will ever correct except the collective effort of the best students and workers the world over. It is time to eliminate from our midst those influences which drag us down. It is time to cleanse the Augean Stables of our own making, and to let to the light to the dark nooks and corners of the Movement where encrusted selfishness, contemptible narrowness, entrenched parochialism, and inexcusable sloth and indifference have lodged themselves. It is high time to eradicate from our midst, in whatever Theosophical Society it may be, that condition of apathy and inertia which the late Dr. Henry T. Edge - one of the most penetrating thinkers in this Movement - called "feather-bed-Theosophy." It is either that or stagnation. It is either that or a new sectarian church-denomination made up of ill digested doctrines worked over into some sort of "theosophical" creed, as the years go by. It is either that change, that effort, that inner transformation and rejuvenation, - or treason to the memory, the work, the sacrifice, the trust of H.P. Blavatsky and those whom she represented here.

The teeming millions of this world are engaged in a collective effort to transform their life into at least a semblance of universal harmony. They are in search of those basic foundations of thought which, ethical and enduring, would provide a firm basis for a new type of life, a civilization of solidarity and goodwill. The call for Universal Brotherhood has gone out once again. It is heard from every pulpit and from every lecture platform. It is spread through the printed page and the voice of speakers. It is feebly articulated by the uneducated but well-meaning masses in various lands of the earth. It is the clarion-call of a New Era, and its echoes are reverberating through every valley and from every mountain-range. It finds [7] exponents and messengers in every land and every clime, and the surging crowds of the people, whose instincts are rarely wrong, feel the urge of a new life, hear the keynote of the coming era, and, groping for words and expressions, rise in response to it. They need leaders of thought, channels through which to give imbodiment to their deepest yearnings, men and women who would become the symbols of a greater and grander life for mankind as a whole.

If the Theosophical Movement were a united body, it might be able to voice in no uncertain terms this collective yearning of the human race. It could placate the enemies of human freedom by the collective example of its living Brotherhood. As it is, the Movement can at best add its own voice to the collective voice of mankind, until its own ranks are cleansed of human selfishness, and its efforts are raised to the plane of universal solidarity.

There was a time, not so long ago, when the modern Theosophical Movement presented an imperious challenge to the world. Today a world in turmoil, awakening to its inherent potentialities, dimly sensing the presence of compelling Ideals, challenges the Theosophical Movement to regain its spiritual leadership among men.

It is either that, or failure before the tribunal of History. It is either that, or years of frustration. Either a transformation from within, or a disintegration from without. It is either now or never, for History does not wait!

*

THE MORAL LAW OF COMPENSATION
By An Ex-Asiatic
(This important article on what might he termed the dynamics of karman is from the pen of William Quan Judge, and was originally printed in The Theosophist (Bombay), Vol. iii, No. 1, October, 1881, pp. 15-16.)

"For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field; and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee." (Job, v, 23.)

As a western Theosophist, I would like to present to my Indian brethren a few thoughts upon what I conceive to be the operation of the Law of Compensation in part, or, to put it more clearly, upon the operation of one branch of this law. It seems undeniable that this law is the most powerful, and the one having the most numerous and complicated ramifications of all the laws with which we have to deal. This it is that makes so difficult for a human spirit, the upward progress after which we all are striving, and it is often forced upon me that it is this law which perpetuates the world, with its delusions, its sadness, its illusions, and that if we could but understand it so as to avoid its operation, the nirvana for the whole human family would be an accomplished fact.

In a former number a respected brother from Ceylon, speaking with authority, showed us how to answer the question so often asked: "Why do we see a good man eating the bread of poverty, and the wicked dwelling in riches, and why so often is a good man cast down from prosperity to despair, and a wicked man after a period of sorrow and hardship made to experience for the balance of his life nothing but success and prosperity?" He replied that our acts in any one period of existence were like the arrow shot from the bow, acting upon us in the next life and producing our rewards and punishments. So that to accept his explanation - as we must - it is, of course, necessary to believe in reincarnation. As far as he went, he was very satisfactory, but he did not go into the subject as thoroughly as his great knowledge would permit. It is to be hoped that he will favor us with further essays upon the same subject. [8]

I have not yet seen anywhere stated the rationale of the operation of this law - how and why it acts in any particular case.

To say that the reviling of a righteous man will condemn one to a life of a beggar in the next existence is definite enough in statement, but it is put forward without a reason, and unless we accept these teachings blindly we cannot believe such consequences would follow. To appeal to our minds, there should be a reason given, which shall be at once plain and reasonable. There must be some law for this particular case; otherwise, the statement cannot be true. There must occur, from the force of the revilement, the infraction of some natural regulation, the production of some discord in the spiritual world which has for a consequence the punishment by beggary in the succeeding existence of the reviler. The only other reason possible of statement is, that it is so ordered. But such a reason is not a reason at all because no Theosophist will believe that any punishment, save that which man himself inflicts, is ordered. As this world is a world produced by law, moved by law, and governed by the natural operation of laws which need no one to operate them, but which invariably and unerringly operate themselves, it must follow that any punishment suffered in this way is not suffered through any order, but is suffered because the natural law operates itself. And further, we are compelled to accept this view, because to believe that it was ordered, would infer the existence of some particular person, mind, will, or intelligence to order it, which for one instant no one will believe, who knows that this world was produced, and is governed, by the operation of number, weight and measure, with harmony over and above all.

So then we should know in what manner the law operates, which condemns the reviler of a righteous man to beggary in his next existence. That knowledge once gained, we may be able to find for ourselves the manner and power of placating, as it were, this terrible monster of compensation by performing some particular acts which shall in some way be a restoration of the harmony which we have broken, if perchance we have unconsciously or inadvertently committed the sin.

Let us now imagine a boy born of wealthy parents, but not given proper intelligence. He is, in fact, called an idiot. But instead of being a mild idiot, he possesses great malice which manifests itself in his tormenting insects and animals at every opportunity. He lives to be, say, nineteen and has spent his years in the malicious, although idiotic, torment of unintelligent, defenseless animal life. He has thus hindered many a spirit in its upward march and has beyond doubt inflicted pain and caused a moral discord. This fact of his idiocy is not a restoration of the discord. Every animal that he tortured had its own particular elemental spirit, and so had every flower that he broke in pieces. What did they know of his idiocy, and what did they feel after the torture but revenge? And had they a knowledge of his idiocy, being unreasoning beings, they could not see in it any excuse for his acts. He dies at nineteen, and after the lapse of years is reborn in another nation - perchance another age - into a body possessing more than average intelligence. He is no longer an idiot, but a sensible active man who now has a chance to regenerate the spirit given to every man, without the chains of idiocy about it. What is to be the result of the evil deeds of his previous existence? Are they to go unpunished? I think not. But how are they to be punished; and if the compensation comes, in what manner does the law operate upon him? To me there seems to be but one way, that is through the discord produced in the spirits of those unthinking beings which he had tortured during those nineteen years. [9]

But how? In this way. In the agony of their torture these beings turned their eyes upon their torturer, and dying, his spiritual picture through the excess of their pain, together with that pain and the desire for revenge, were photographed, so to speak, upon their spirits - for in no other way could they have a memory of him - and when he became a disembodied spirit they clung to him until he was reincarnated when they were still with him like barnacles on a ship. They can now only see through his eyes, and their revenge consists in precipitating themselves down his glance on any matter he may engage in, thus attaching themselves to it for the purpose of dragging it down to disaster.

This leads to the query of what is meant by these elementals precipitating themselves down his glance. The ancients taught that the astral light - Akasa - is projected from the eyes, the thumbs and the palms of the hands. Now as the elementals exist in the astral light, they will be able to see only through those avenues of human organism which are used by the astral light in traveling from the person. The eyes are the most convenient. So when this person directs his glance on any thing or person, the astral light goes out in that glance and through it those elementals see that which he looks upon. And so also, if he should magnetize a person, the elementals will project themselves from his hands and eyes upon the subject magnetized and do it injury.

Well then, our reincarnated idiot engages in a business which requires his constant surveillance. The elementals go with him and throwing themselves upon everything he directs, cause him continued disaster.

But one by one they are caught up again out of the orbit of necessity into the orbit of probation in this world, and at last all are gone, whereupon he finds success in all he does and has his chance again to reap eternal life. He finds the realization of the words of Job quoted at the head of this article: he is in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field are at peace with him." These words were penned ages ago by those ancient Egyptians who knew all things. Having walked in the secret paths of wisdom which no fowl knoweth and the vulture's eye hath not seen, they discovered those hidden laws, one within the other like the wheels of Ezekiel, which govern the universe. There is no other reasonable explanation of the passage quoted than the theory faintly outlined in the foregoing poor illustration. And I only offer it as a possible solution or answer to the question as to what is the rationale of the operation of the Moral Law of Compensation in that particular case, of which I go so far as to say that I think I know a living illustration. But it will not furnish an answer for the case of the punishment for reviling a righteous man.

I would earnestly ask the learned friends of the Editor of the Theosophist to give the explanation, and also hint to us how in this existence we may act so as to mitigate the horrors of our punishment and come as near as may be to a league with the stones and the beasts of the field.

*

"Few Theosophists realize that there is in the world a power antagonistic to the best spiritual interests of men, the power which H.P.B. fought during her entire life, and which every genuine Theosophist must fight if he is worthy to bear this noble name. It is the power working for obscurantism; it is the power of the enemies of the human race who yearn to see disunion and disarray in our camp, and who work with subtil machinery, with subtil enginery of thought, to this end, and unceasingly, even when the poor deluded ones of our own camp sleep in fancied security." - G. de Purucker, Messages to Conventions, p.65. [10]

*

CAN THEOSOPHY HELP US?
Pat Warfield

This little essay is in the nature of an open letter. I intend it for persons to whom the study of Theosophy is as new as it is to me - and also for people who have never until this moment heard of Theosophy. The less contact with Theosophy my reader may have had, the better, because what I have to say is of no concern to students of years standing.

My business is news. I believe that I got into that business because I like to find out what makes things tick. During the last three years I've worked on a couple of newspapers and in the news bureaus of two of this country's major radio networks. I've also held several other jobs during the past five years: clerked for an insurance company, acted as receptionist for the chairman of the board of one of the largest financial houses in America, been exposed to three years of college, passed coal and fired and oiled on steamships, punched cows on a big commercial ranch ... I am not one of our California cultists or crackpots; I am not ugly, diseased, neurotic, or shy. I am just an average American youth - 25 years old - who likes cigarettes, movies, fast cars, and "fun." I like other things, too, but I am pointing out these because I don't want you to imagine me as the academic nuisance I once considered all Theosophical students to be.

I came to California over a year ago in order to check a recurring mastoid infection. You can count on it that were it not for my health, I would still he back in God's country that some people call New York. I am a newscaster on a local Hollywood station. It is a strictly huckster's business where people frequently cut one another's throats in every conceivable fashion to get where they want to go. A lot in radio business depends on the "front" you put up. And I don't kid myself that I am any more scrupulous or considerate of others than the next guy. Pushing yourself is the accepted norm in Hollywood. And radio business - with its component fields of advertising and publicity - is one of the dirtiest, rottenest, and most deceitful frame-ups ever perpetrated on the unsuspecting American public.

The news business in this country is, like every other pursuit, governed by the profit motive. That's not the motive with which you enter the business, but it's the motive you acquire after you've been in it for a time, and observe what a hopelessly corrupt racket it is. You may not know it, but your local newspaper and radio station get 60 to 100 per cent of their "news" from a few big syndicates, and from the Associated Press, the United Press, or the International News Service. Despite the big hue and cry about "freedom of the press" and preserving the "dignity and integrity of the American people" with freedom of speech, the news you read and hear is colored, obscured, revised, modified, and its guts removed, in order to comply with those conventions and accepted patterns formulated and, by now, habitually sustained, by reactionaries and "vested interests."

Again, let's not kid ourselves. We - you and I - "the little guys" are just as responsible for the lying misrepresentation and deceit in the news, as the wealthy executives of the syndicates and press associations, who color the news to protect their own interests. We are just as guilty because we read it, believe it, and live by it, and make no effort to find out where and why the delivery system is wrong.

It is in the news racket, then, that I work: in an office equipped with three teletype machines over which comes hour after hour, day and night, unremittingly, the long, incredibly [11] sorrowful and monumentally stupid story of the world as seen through the dyspeptic vision of narrow commercial interests. After a time all these hundreds and thousands of news dispatches begin to fit into separate categories. One realizes soon that between their lines are the unifying elementals of intolerance, avarice, and greed. And with the realization that the news is biased and censored, and that all news stories are merely variations on three or four principal themes - the news business loses its glamour, its fascination, its unique appeal; you understand that you are largely engaged not in informing the people that they may learn and be wise, but in gorging the maw of ugly, finite little minds with scraps of twisted and perverted emotions so that these minds may enjoy a kick - a sensuous thrill; and that you are just another one in the huge army of prostitutes within the entertainment business conniving to appease a human lust. And you realize that something is wrong.

It is not entirely the press associations that are at fault. They merely capitalize on those words and phrases which sell more newspapers, and on those stereotypes and conventions in thinking which have proved to be most acceptable in the past. Stories are modified to conform with the standards of demand and intelligence which we, through our purchases of papers and periodicals, have established. We are to blame. We are dishonest, selfish, deceitful; and the percentage of our personalities that responds to these objectionable characteristics manifests itself in a like percentage of similar characteristics in the makeup of our leaders and representatives everywhere. And although I am not discounting the many pleasanter aspects of the American news business, or the whole world scene, I must conclude that its ethics are predominantly disgusting.

By this time you may be wondering what all this has to do with Theosophy. Just this:

I want to establish two things in your mind. First, that the writer is a normally sane and sentient American youth. Second, that he is in a position to observe the exciting and powerful pageant of both the good and the evil in the world of human events. That world for me is a pretty good place because of my circumstances. But I know equally well that most of the people in this world have not what they need, and that in the overall picture there is a preponderance of blood, fear, shame, and grief and that this condition reacts directly on all of us.

I feel very strongly that this condition need not persist. We suffer it to persist because we have not become sufficiently aware of our potentialities. In part, we are lazy; but in part we are blind: the laziness, I do not as yet know how to overcome; the blindness, I am attempting to find a way out of.

When I came to California, I looked upon Seventh Day Adventists, Father Divines, Jehovah's Witnesses, Rosicrucians, Astrologers, Theosophists, I Am's, Psychic Researchers, Spiritualists, Voodoo-ers, and the average church-goer as part and parcel of the same decrepit and unstable mental attitude. All were associated in my mind with those ads for the Seven Keys to the Kingdom that you find in the back of cheap, sex and weird-story pulp magazines. I was on the lookout for, and wanted to become associated with, a small serious-minded group of men and women who were realistic, sane, intelligent, and interested in investigating certain human phenomena in a scientific manner. An editor in the network news-bureau where I was working suggested that I accompany him to a Theosophical lodge meeting. I did. I felt respect for the intelligent and cautions attitude of the majority of the people encountered there. I was particularly struck by the unassuming erudition and reasonableness of [12] the Theosophical lecturer at that meeting. I got to know him better, and after a few months, I had something of a showdown with him.

I put my cards on the table. I said that the Theosophical code of ethics was to my way of thinking remarkably fine. But the teachings of Theosophy were mainly based on information allegedly derived from adepts who had acquired it by "occult" means from a source not accessible to the average student.

"Yes," said my man, "that's right."

"Then why," I asked, "should I fall for this incredible supernatural hokum you seem to believe in, any more than the hokum propagated by any number of fraudulent organizations in Southern California?" And I went on to assert that I was, to say the least, extremely leery of any organization which claimed to possess knowledge and utilize forces beyond the realm of ordinary human experience.

I told this Theosophical lecturer that if there were adepts accomplished in meditation, precipitation, and levitation, and if there was a body of knowledge held by some entities superior to that of the average man, I should like some physical demonstration - some indisputable assurance that what I was being told of the powers of these "Adepts" was "on the level."

Do not misunderstand me, I see far more practical applications of the occult teachings, if true, than as a mere bag of parlor tricks. But I am still just an impressionable "joe" who, upon witnessing control over the force of gravity, for instance, would say: "Well, if this advanced Theosophist can indisputably pull a stunt like levitation, maybe his philosophy and his ethics are something more than mere intellectual theories."

This lecturer told me that I had every right to be skeptical of certain phases of the Theosophical teachings; that it was healthy that I be so. He also said that it was up to me to convince myself of their authenticity. He advised me to continue plowing through Theosophical works, such as G. de Purucker's Esoteric Tradition, in order to acquaint myself with Theosophical precepts, and that when the proper time came more advanced knowledge would be mine. He said - and this is the part that swung me - that the new student of Theosophy is like the freshman in a college chemistry class: at first it is necessary for him to accept much at the word of the instructor, but with growing progress he can experiment and prove for himself what as a freshman he had temporarily to accept on faith. That sounded very reasonable to me, and that is what I intend to do.

Now here's my point. My experience and probably yours, has taught us that all is not as it should be in this world of men - that we live miserably as compared with the way we could live, that our civilization is suffering from a complete lack of basic values of any kind. We need not be California cultists to admit that fact, because all around us are the signs - particularly in the fields of medicine and psychology and modern science - that man's investigations are touching closer and closer on an intangible, impalpable unknown. Yet orthodox science even today is so bull-headed in some of its departments that it still refuses to admit its centuries-long materialistic delusions.

By some other outlet, then, through some other means, we who are serious must conduct our investigations. Perhaps Theosophy really knows, as it says it does, the why and wherefore of our lives. I figure it's worth looking into. To be sure, we will encounter weird characters in the Theosophical organization! But there are also, in my immediate experience, a few very sharp individuals who are not easily fooled and who are Theosophists. We who are surveying [13] Theosophy with a cautious and skeptical eye can ignore those whom we consider to be the "inevitable screwballs." We can ignore the occasional simperings about "sweetness and light" that we sometimes read in Theosophical publications. We can rewrite in our own minds and in our more welcome phraseology the passages in Theosophical literature that seem "cultish." Then we can get "at the bones" of this Theosophy-business with as much intelligence and circumspection as we are capable of.

If we who are new to this study realize in the future that it is just another "racket," let's expose it. But if we find that Theosophical tenets are true by every test we can devise, then let's get more "sensible, busy, down-to-earth" people interested in it. But let's not evade the issue. Let's decide it one way or the other. And let's do it now.

*

REFLECTIONS ON "THE KNOWN"
Cecil Hind

We humans are much like an audience, sitting in a theatre, or an auditorium. Before us is a closed curtain. The lights are on. We fidget, and rustle around. We are waiting!

Occasionally one of us may feel that he is being beckoned. We are not sure of it. But this humdrum period of sitting, waiting and waiting, is hard on the nerves. So, if we have only an impression that we are being beckoned, we hurry headlong to the side door, - those side doors that flank every stage, - and we disappear within.

We never come hack! And for a simple reason.

We want to leave behind us the impression that the "Master has called," for it is so very well known that "when the pupil is ready, the Master will come." That is so very well known, because it has been taught for so long. So millions upon millions of us wait, facing those closed curtains, wondering when the Master will peek through, - will see us, - will recognize our great stale of readiness, - and will send an usher - or maybe himself! - to beckon.

*

I'm sorry friends, but there is no one on the stage.

Soft breezes may blow, and rustle the draperies; and give the illusion of Great Presences behind the shielding Veil. But it is only Illusion. The Great Presences have out-guessed us, - or most of us!

Now could you think, - how could you, - that the Macrocosm would wait on the Microcosm? That the Master would wait on You?

The Master is so much more profound, and wiser, and so much closer, than that! He is in You! He lives in You every moment. He is in every breath you take. Every Hope you have, every Ambition, every Urge, - He knows them almost before you do.

And that is really why so few who call themselves pupils, ever find the Master; for the moment you realize, through your kindliness, your honor and your integrity, - through your steadfast adherence to the Golden Rule, - that the Master has come, - why - and it's not such a great mystery at all, - you discover that YOU are a Master, too. [14]

*

RESURRECTION!
Jan H. Venema

If a human being during life on earth could consciously behold the panorama which the Higher Self sees with its spiritual eye before birth and death, what inexpressible revelations it might have! How many moments of great rejoicing might pass in review, but, oh, how many unutterable sorrows! The Hollander who, in May, 1945, lived intensely in those first moments of the glimmer of Freedom on the horizon - and which of its did not? - felt that mingling of vibrations which then and later reverberated in his soul as one grand symphony. A symphony with keynotes of the eternal cosmic harmonies, and with allegros and adagios as only the ear of the soul can hear. At such unforgettable moments, beholding the panorama as a whole, listening to the finished fragment of the always, unfinished, symphony, man deeply realizes how incomplete are the annals of history: of the individual, of the country, of the race, of humanity! He becomes very silent and ponders ...

Indeed, the annals of the history of the individual, the land, the race, and humanity, however excellently written down by great minds and writers, are only a reflection of the real acting of the pilgrims of eternity. And it is the same with the annals of the history of our own theosophical movement, as those who have read The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett; and H.P. Blavatsky's Letters, well know. And in these times of apparent obscurations and resurrections, the return of the light of Freedom, it is not different. Those who know exactly how our theosophical work was carried on during the dark years, and indeed was even extended in a way that otherwise might be conceived as impossible, might tell you strange stories. However, these are forever recorded in the different aspects of tile Akasic light.

By the work which we are now doing together in this movement, and by that which we shall do, after many of us pass through "the portals of sorrow and purification," we shall all - you and I - imprint further fragments of the ever-changing panorama on that Akasic light, the fragments of an eternal and grand symphony, which ever repeats itself, and will be heard in all periods; the music of a real (spiritual) freedom, of love and compassion, of the true brotherhood of humanity. Each of us will do so in his or her way, for we have different capacities and faculties, but each of us will play his or her melody in such a way that a UNITY - impressive and inspiring - will result, as this universe shows with all its changing manifestations and wealth of color. This beautiful symphonic unity has prevailed after the day of liberation; it was the cause of so many new friends entering our movement in this country, especially young and enthusiastic workers; it was the cause of the support that we could give to other workers, perhaps even across our frontiers; it will be the cause of our preservation in the future, and of our growth, and it will ensure the help of those who have always been the protectors of spiritual movements and who know the true Guardians of the temple. In these times the example of our lives, and the spoken word to interpret our philosophy of life, will be more than ever necessary, by the side of the written word. For when the life is lived this spoken word obtains the magic power which awakens the Higher Self in our fellowmen, which by the help of knowledge and experience lights the Buddhic light in other friends. For this reason we should bear in mind that study-group leaders and speakers with the qualities once described by [15] Gottfried de Purucker, will be very much required in the near future.

Our National Convention on the 19th of July, 1946, has shown us something of that great unity and made us listen to the great symphony. There was a great promise for the future. A future of true freedom, the liberation of the souls of men. More than ever before, the words of Gottfried de Purucker come full of meaning to all of its workers in the service of humanity, his words speaking of

THE GIVING OF SELF

There is no freedom so great, no happiness so large, so wide-reaching, as the giving of self in service. It is the hero who gives himself. If he did not give himself utterly, there would be no heroism in it. It is the giving which is heroic.

And so it is with love. Where there is questioning about it - not uncertainty because uncertainty is always very natural in these things; one wishes to be sure - but where there is a question about the values involved, where there is a selfish searching of "what I want," there is no heroism, no love, no self-giving. There is not the ghost of a chance there for the god-like, heroic quality of self-renunciation.

When the year begins, when it opens, the one mantram I always make to sound in my own heart and mind is this: A new year is opening. Can I give myself a little more than last year? I pity from my soul the man or woman who has not learned the exquisite joy of giving of the self. There is not anything on earth that equals it in beauty, in grandeur, in sublimity, and in the peace and richness it brings to both heart and mind.

May these words of a Bard of the Gods resound in our hearts in the same way as when he tittered them on this outward plane. May we work in such a way that they resound still more powerfully in the hearts of those who come after us! Stand firm! Carry on!

*

WANTED: COMMON SENSE!
L. B.

One wonders how a visitor from Jupiter would evaluate the human race and its several groupings in connection with the Cosmic Order of life and the Universality of its Processes. Whatever sympathy and understanding such a visitor might have he could hardly fail to be astonished at the stupidity of man, individually and collectively, when he saw their thoughts, ways of life, and crude or false ideas of their status unit destiny.

No doubt he would see that great masses of human entities were but slowly emerging from an automatic, instinctual, or non-self-conscious directional status, and that they had been misled to a great extent by those of superior intelligence. But with regard to the more advanced entities, in self-conscious intelligence, he might easily be amazed at their lack of appreciation of the habits and facts of Nature, and of the instructions given to them by their great Guides and Teachers.

He might observe and soliloquize thus:

"How in the name of the immortal gods can they be so unbrotherly and self-seeking when every thing and process of life indicate that Action and Reaction are equal and opposite, and that every effect is the result of an efficient cause, followed again by inevitable effects? Do these human entities actually want to suffer and be in constant distress?

"Why do they so madly rush around their planet, from one place to another? One can see nothing specific accomplished, that indicates growth or content, and it is even worse where there are large numbers congregated together. The dark and murky clouds of thought-forms often congeal and insulate large areas from the beneficent rays from without, which rays, acting on latent loci would in their normal course stimulate growth and progress.

"It is all so strange and puzzling, because the human entities are supposed to have REASON and INTELLIGENCE. Perhaps it is so only with a few of the more advanced ones after all, and perhaps the Earth is only just emerging from the non-human stage, but with a load of dark past Karman to work out, and which has been stimulated by a too rapid development of MENTALITY without the balance of COMMON SENSE.

"Would that they all could realize that the inescapable fact was, and is, that everything is dependent and interdependent. Then they would work and live for each outer in joyous harmony." [16]

*

IN MEMORIAM

We wish to record the closing of a very remarkable and useful life - that of Dr. Henry Travers Edge, who passed away on September 19th, 1946.

Dr. Edge had been in the Theosophical Movement since 1888 and started as a pupil of H.P. Blavatsky at her London Headquarters. He was the son of an Episcopal clergyman; he was educated first at Malvern College and later at King's College, Cambridge. His training was scientific, but he added to it through wide reading and research a vast store of learning in other fields of knowledge. His grasp of Theosophical teaching was profound, yet he was able to explain them in simple and lucid language. This made his writings unusually appealing to readers all over the world. He wrote in Theosophical magazines from H.P.B.'s time on, publishing his articles at first in the invaluable magazine, Lucifer, which she edited in London. Ever since 1900, Dr. Edge was a resident of the International Headquarters at Point Loma, Calif. where he contributed freely of his time, energy, and knowledge, to the Cause of Theosophy, first under Katherine Tingley, and later under her successor, G. de Purucker. With the characteristic mark of a gentleman and a true Theosophist, he combined his literary and scientific work with those daily needs of any community which some have miscalled "menial tasks"; he laid the latter, as well as the former, on the same altar of impersonal service to Mankind.

Of all the residents at Point Loma, Dr. Edge certainly shared with our indefatigable worker, Dr. Chas. J. Ryan, the honor of being better known all over the Theosophical World than almost any one else from among the workers at Headquarters. Hundreds of people were used to seeing his articles in practically every issue of the magazines; many of these have been translated in foreign languages and reprinted elsewhere.

To a great many students in our Movement, Dr. Henry T. Edge will remain as an example of selfless dedication to the Cause of human Freedom, of uncompromising integrity, of devotion to principles, at whatever personal cost it may have been, and of abiding trust in the Spiritual Powers which stand in the background of the Movement, and watch over its destinies. We shall look forward to meeting him again in at common task.

*

Theosophical Activities
(Partial List)

LOS ANGELES -
- Lodge No. 60. Sven Eek, President. Public lecture first Sunday of every month, 3:00 P.M., at 330 No. Western Ave. For information regarding classes, etc., call FE-5914.
- Lodge No. 58. Mrs. Bessie M. Dickley, President. Meeting held on Fridays, 8:00 P.M., 831 No. Mariposa Ave. Call for information OL-3063.
- Young People's Lodge No. 36. Richard H. Cutting, President. For information call NO-16429 or FI-5521.
- Theosophical Information Office. Boris de Zirkoff in charge. Room 240, Western Bldg., 553 So. Western Ave., L.A. 5, FI-5221. Books for sale; lending library. Editorial offices of "Theosophia"

SAN DIEGO -
- Public Lectures every Sunday, 3:00 P.M. Theosophical Center, Fourth Ave. and Olive St., Jackson 1740. Local and out-of-town speakers. For information call T. Marriott, Franklin 7663.
- Lodge No. 1. Foster L. Griffiths, President. Meetings every Friday, 8:00 P.M., at above address.
- Lodge No. 65. Men's Lodge. George L. Caffee, President. Meets every second Wednesday, 8:00 P.M. at above address. For information call Wm. N. Stevens, Sec'y, Woodcrest 3453.