[Cover photo: Peak of Phung-Di on the Nepal-Tibet Frontier. Compare the size of the explorers' camp marked and on the lowest snow patch. (From The Throne of the Gods, by Arnold Heim and August Gansser. By Kind permission of The Macmillan Co., New York.)]
In what manner is a Theosophist ... different from any other idealist ldealist the hundreds of organizations in the world? ... there is something indefinable that does mark out the true Theosophist from other welfare-workers. What can that mark be?
It is largely in his attitude to the problems round him. Each of us is surrounded by intellectual and emotional fogs, one succeeded by another, presented to him at birth as the heritage of which he should be proud - his race or colour or caste, and his religion ... Perhaps the first fog to dissipate is that of religion; as Theosophists we begin to realize that "There is no religion higher than Truth," and that all religions are "the Way." The hardest fog to dissipate is that of colour, race and caste.
But perhaps the true "mark" of the Theosophist is his interest in universals, especially in all that concerns mankind everywhere. He is a true representative of the famous line of the Roman Terence: "I consider nothing that concerns man alien to me." But in addition to this Humanitarianism, which happily thousands possess who are not Theosophists by name, the Theosophist surveys all problems "from the Centre." It is not only that nothing human is alien to him; his interests go beyond, for nothing anywhere in Nature ... is "alien" to him. Indeed he goes further still, for he realizes that he cannot "see" rightly unless he sees every problem from the Centre.
At first the inquirer into Theosophy, is however apt to be dazed by this vision presented to him from the Centre. He is acutely aware of his own troubles, his want of light, and he seeks a remedy that "touches the spot." He feels uncomfortable and restless when he is assured that his individual problem is the problem that faces all others, and that until he removes himself out of his individual centre and places instead mankind there, he cannot find the true remedy for his troubles. It takes the inquirer long to feel profoundly interested in that larger himself which is not he, but the millions of whom he is a part. - C. Jinarajadasa, The Theosophist, April, 1947, pp. 1-2. 
Periodic inventories are essential to good business.
When did you last take stock of your mental assets, and Surveyed your list of emotional liabilities? In the ancient era of the pre-Hiroshima mankind?
If so, you had better start right now balancing your books, lest you find yourself bankrupt and out of business.
For you see, my friend, You and I stand today on the threshold of an open door. Beyond it is Tomorrow ... and a playful breeze is blowing from Tomorrow, right through the open door ....
Why not step over the threshold ... right now ... with one resolute step ... and find yourself East of Today ... a citizen of the world ... a man without a country ...
Yes, a man without a country. For only those who have become citizens of the whole world know the password of Tomorrow and have therefore the right to enter into the Land of a New Dawn.
But before You and I can enter, we have to become fully aware of a great many things besides the Equation of Einstein, upon which the Outward shape of the Atomic Age is built. We have to take stock of our mental and emotional investments, and willingly to submit to some urgently needed surgery.
The World we live in is One World. Science has made it so for us. Under its impact, the antipodes have become neighbors, and time has been eliminated from the intercourse of men. We are all here together, and we are all here now. So what are we going to do about it?
Familiar concepts, cherished slogans, traditional moulds, will have to be given up. Medieval patterns such as "national sovereignty," "patriotism," "class struggle ... racial superiority ... feudal rights" which infest well-nigh two-thirds of mankind even today, will have to be abandoned and overthrown. In your mind and mine, they belong to the "conditioned reflexes" of a dead era, the era of a divided mankind, the antediluvian epoch in the history of the human race, centuries and centuries ago, in the pre-atomic era ... when repacious armies and arrogant warlords and goose-stepping hordes tramped up and down the world in search of rapine and "victory" of a defeated foe. This was the brazen era of narrow boundaries, and tribal privileges, and caste distinctions, bred by ignorance and delusion, fed by selfishness and greed.
The Book of Life is opened now at a new Chapter. Across the page there runs the heading: "Global Consciousness," and the subtitle: "Towards a living Brotherhood of the Human Race." Can you focus your vision on these? If not, your eyesight is poor. Exercise it. Strengthen it. Get the right perspective, until every letter of these words stands out clear and steady on the page of the Book of Life ... your life and mine, the life of the teeming millions, here, there and everywhere ... the illiterate millions of China and India, the exploited millions of the Colonial Empires, now crumbling into dust, and the lesser throngs of fever-infested jungles, struggling up towards the light of the New Era.
Are you afraid of war? Why worry? There can be no more war, as our distant ancestors of the pre-atomic age knew it. There call be only annihilation - complete, final, irrevocable, overnight. If it comes, you and I probably won't know the difference. Can it come? Hardly. Mankind is being watched; it is being guided; it is being nursed along; it is protected both from its own follies and from dangers which transcend its present understanding. Why be afraid? Cleanse your mind, throw off the ballast of traditions, open the windows wide, let the "Wind of the Spirit" blow its fragrant breezes into your very face ... and step over the threshold into Tomorrow. It is as simple as that.
Beyond the doorway of Tomorrow the pattern of life is changed from our more familiar scenes. Our traditional loyalties to fragments of the whole - race,  nation, social order, leaders, institutions, parties, organizations, castes and creeds must make way for a greater loyalty, loyalty to the Whole, loyalty to Mankind.
Out of the hard facts of Einstein's Equation arise certain incontrovertible conclusions. Matter and energy are one. The visible and the intangible are one. The spiritual and the material concerns of mankind are inseparable. This means that civilization must be based on intangibles. These intangibles are ethical and spiritual, and they are as much more potent than the material forms and shapes, as the electronic energies are more potent than their third cousins of the molecular world.
The mad race for "raw materials," "world markets," "buffer states," "ice-free harbors," "island bases," and control of atomic weapons," is becoming with every hour more and more out-of-date, representing as it does mental and emotional patterns which belong to the scrap-heap of blasted delusions, in a world which is fast becoming a closely-knit family of peoples; people whose daily needs and interests are not very much different from those of your casual neighbors at the drug-store counter. Just fancy these fighting for the undivided control of the sugar-bowl, or demanding the formation of a buffer-state of empty seats between themselves and you! What is preposterously absurd in the small is even more absurd on a grander scale, when you come to think of it. Isn't it?
If the energies liberated from inside the Atom are to be controlled and used wisely, they must be administered by men who are at least as universal as is the Atom itself. These men must represent no nation in particular, and no vested interest as such. They must be citizens of the World - men without a country, truly. Their sympathies must be worldwide, and their allegiances must be centered upon Ideals and Ideas, not personalities or structural forms. They must be Trustees for the Human Race, in whose hands is the safety of Mankind as a whole, and the future well-being and progress of the entire global civilization. Our age has such men and women. They are more numerous than our doubting Thomases would want us to believe. They stand, with you and me, on the threshold of Tomorrow; some of them have already crossed it. Why are they not in overwhelming numbers in the Halls of the People? Is it not perchance because You and I have failed to place them there? A grave thought this! A still graver responsibility!
But you are a Theosophist, I hear. So of course these thoughts must be quite familiar to you. Sectarianism, parochialism, dogmatism, intolerance, the love for outworn traditions, the inertia of spiritual somnolence, the lead-weight of self-complacency, the barbed wires of emotional entanglements - all these are foreign to the Movement ...
I see you shake your head ... have I taken too many things for granted again ? Maybe I have at that ...
Let's take stock ... let's make the inventory. Liabilities on one side - assets on the other. Relics of medieval patterns to the left - to keep company with feudal moulds, blind superstitions, and paleolithic throwbacks. Vaulying aspirations and a living faith in Tomorrow to the right - to blend with the whisperings of the inner god, urging us to conquests of the Spirit. Dead weight of mental fossils to one side of the ledger - soaring dreams, star-lit visions, winged thoughts to the other.
Where do we stand? What is our chance - yours and mine - to step now over the threshold of Tomorrow?
On the crowded airport everything is ready. Last minute details are adjusted. The pilot checks his instruments. The flagship of a World United is about to take off. Destination - Tomorrow.
Where do we stand - You and I? Are we in the waving crowd? Or are we in the ship?
Last Call for Tomorrow! ... 
According to the newest edition of the "Imperial Dictionary," by John Ogilvie, LL.D., "A medium is a person through whom the action of another being is said to be manifested and transmitted by animal magnetism, or a person through whom spiritual manifestations are claimed to be made; especially one who is said to be capable of holding intercourse with the spirits of the deceased."
As Occultists do not believe in any communication with the "spirits of the deceased" in the ordinary acceptation of the term, for the simple reason that they know that the spirits of "the deceased" cannot and do not come down and communicate with us; and as the above expression "by animal magnetism" would probably have been modified, if the editor of the "Imperial Dictionary" had been an Occultist, we therefore are only concerned with the first part of the definition of the word "Medium," which says: "A Medium is a person, through whom the action of another being is said to be manifested and transmitted;" and we should like to be permitted to add: "By the either consciously or unconsciously active will of that other being."
It would be extremely difficult to find on earth a human being, who could not be more or less influenced by the "Animal Magnetism" or by the active Will (which sends out that "Magnetism") of another. If the beloved General rides along the front, the soldiers become all "Mediums." They become filled with enthusiasm, they follow him without fear, and storm the death-dealing battery. One common impulse pervades them all; each one becomes the "Medium" of another, the coward becomes filled with heroism, and only he, who is no medium at all and therefore insensible to epidemic or endemic moral influences, will make an exception, assert his independence and run away.
The "revival preacher" will get up in his pulpit, and although what he says is the most incongruous nonsense, still his actions and the lamenting tone of his voice are sufficiently impressive to produce "a change of heart" amongst, at least, the female part of his congregation, and if he is a powerful man, even sceptics "that came to scoff, remain to pray." People go to the theatre and shed tears or "split their sides" with laughter according to the character of the performance, whether it be a pantomime, a tragedy or a farce. There is no man, except a genuine block-head, whose emotions and consequently whose actions cannot be influenced in some way or other, and thereby the action of another be manifested or transmitted through him. All men and all women and children are therefore Mediums, and a person who is not a Medium is a monster, an abortion of nature; because he stands without the pale of humanity.
The above definition can therefore hardly be considered sufficient to express the meaning of the word "Medium" in the popular acceptation of the term, unless we add a few words, and say: "A medium is a person through whom the action of another being is said to be manifested and transmitted to an abnormal extent by the consciously or unconsciously active will of that other being." This reduces the number of "Mediums" in the world to an extent proportionate to the space around which we draw the line between the normal and abnormal, and it will be just as difficult to determine who is a medium and who is not a medium, as it is to say where sanity ends and where insanity begins. Every man has his little  "weaknesses," and every man has his little "mediumship"; that is to say, some vulnerable point, by which he may be taken unawares. The one may therefore not be considered really insane; neither can the other be called a "medium." Opinions often differ, whether a man is insane or not, and so they may differ as to his mediumship. Now in practical life a man may be very eccentric, but he is not considered insane, until his insanity reaches such a degree, that he does not know any more what he is doing, and is therefore unable to take care of himself or his business.
We may extend the same line of reasoning to mediums, and say that only such persons shall be considered mediums, who allow other beings to influence them in the above described manner to such an extent that they lose their self-control and have no more power or will of their own to regulate their own actions. Now such a relinquishing of self-control may be either active or passive, conscious or unconscious, voluntary or involuntary, and differs according to the nature of the beings, who exercise the said active influence over the medium.
A person may consciously and voluntarily submit his will to another being and become his slave. This other being may be a human being, and the medium will then be his obedient servant and may be used by him for good or bad purposes. This other "being" may be an idea, such as love, greediness, hate, jealousy, avarice, or some other passion, and the effect on the medium will be proportionate to the strength of the idea and the amount of self-control left in the medium. This "other being" may be an elementary or an elemental, and the poor medium become all epileptic, a maniac or a criminal. This "other being" may be the man's own higher principle, either alone or put into rapport with another ray of the collective universal spiritual principle, and the "medium" will then be a great genius, a writer, a poet, an artist, a musician, an inventor, and so on. This "other being" may be one of those exalted beings, called Mahatmas, and the conscious and voluntary medium will then be called their "Chela."
Again, a person may never in his life have heard the word "Medium" and still be a strong Medium, although entirely unconscious of the fact. His actions may be more or less influenced unconsciously by his visible or invisible surroundings. He may become a prey to Elementaries or Elementals, even without knowing the meaning of these words, and he may consequently become a thief, a murderer, a ravisher, a drunkard or a cut-throat, and it has often enough been proved that crimes frequently become epidemic; or again he may by certain invisible influences be made to accomplish acts which are not at all consistent with his character such as previously known. He may be a great liar and for once by some unseen influence be induced to speak the truth; he may be ordinarily very much afraid and yet on some great occasion and on the spur of the moment commit all act of heroism; he may be a street-robber and vagabond and suddenly do all act of generosity, etc.
Furthermore, a medium may know the sources from which the influence comes, or in more explicit terms, "the nature of the being, whose action is transmitted through him," or he may not know it. He may be under the influence of his own seventh principle and imagine to be in communication with a personal Jesus Christ, or a satan; he may be in rapport with the "intellectual" ray of Shakespeare and write Shakespearean poetry, and at the same time imagine that the personal spirit of Shakespeare is writing through him, and the simple fact of his believing this or that, would make his poetry neither better nor worse. He may be influenced by some Adept to write a great scientific work and be entirely ignorant of the source of his inspiration, or perhaps imagine that it was the "spirit" of Faraday or Lord Bacon that is writing through him, while all the while he would be acting as a "Chela," although ignorant of the fact.
From all this it follows that the exercise of mediumship consists in the more or less complete giving up of self-control, and whether this exercise is good or bad, depends entirely on the use that is made of it and the purpose for which it is done. 
This again depends on the degree of knowledge which the mediumistic person possesses, in regard to the nature of the being to whose care he either voluntarily or involuntarily relinquishes for a time the guardianship of his physical or intellectual powers. A person who entrusts indiscriminately those faculties to the influences of every unknown power, is undoubtedly a "crank," and cannot be considered less insane than the one who would entrust his money and valuables to the first stranger or vagabond that would ask him for the same. We meet occasionally such people, although they are comparatively rare, and they are usually known by their idiotic stare and by the fanaticism with which they cling to their ignorance. Such people ought to be pitied instead of blamed, and if it were possible, they should be enlightened in regard to the danger which they incur; but whether a Chela, who consciously and willingly lends for a time his mental faculties to a superior being, whom he knows, and in whose purity of motives, honesty of purpose, intelligence, wisdom and power he has full confidence, can be considered a "Medium" in the vulgar acceptation of the term, is a question which had better be left to the reader - after due consideration of the above - to decide for himself.
No timepiece constructed by human hands ever compared in beauty, precision, and dependability to the Cosmic Clock, whose mainspring is Universal Consciousness, and whose balance wheel is Solar Intelligence. The dial of this clock is the star-strewn canopy of night, and the moving hands are the planets as they journey hither and yon, on their own appointed paths.
If the Esoteric Philosophy did nothing more for us, it is invaluable in that it persuades our minds to reach out, to expand and to grow. The human mind is capable of shaping itself to the ideas that we hold dear, and what is more appealing to the eager intellect than the exercise of penetrating into the vastness of the heavens, with the teachings of Theosophy regarding Life Universal to guide us?
As a prelude to a study of the Cosmic Clock, it will be worth our while to review one or two basic concepts of universal consciousness. In the first place, the universe is alive in the fullest sense of the word. This statement allows ample consideration to be given to aspects of life unfamiliar to us, because we may learn to recognize it under many guises and working in innumerable ways.
Once we are willing to accept the fundamental proposition that life is all-permeant, we can go a step farther, and acknowledge that Divine Nature has her agents who perform their duties under the watchful eye of Karman.
We are taught that there are two main lines of evolution, representing the spiritual and the corporeal activities in nature. The former we call the Architects, and the latter we call the Builders. It is not possible, I suppose, to draw a sharp line of demarcation between the two, as they evidently merge and overlap, but it may be said speaking broadly, that the Architects represent the Hierarchy of Compassion in the Universe, and that the Builders are the hosts of entities busy executing the plans of the Architects. It is thus that the universes came to their birth and maturity, their flowering and decay, for even the galaxies run through their own cosmic life-cycles. It is thus that the lesser cycles of the planets, and the still smaller ones of human civilizations, run their span. And so amazingly linked together are 'the destinies of the stars and of man that we are surrounded by a never-ending drama of great wonder. 
And here is the theme behind the study of the Cosmic Clock: It is part of the plan of the Architects that from time to time members of the Hierarchy Of Compassion should take an active hand in the destiny of the world. And since this has been going on from time immemorial (and not on our Earth alone) we can understand that the impulses that eventually work themselves out as the great religions and philosophies of the world are cosmic in their origin, and work in the world through appropriate agents whom we have learned to call the Great Teachers and Saviors. It should be obvious that these Divine impulses require the right conditions in order to be felt, and that conditions have to be brought about by mankind itself with the help of Nature.
Man does his part when the yearning for more light becomes so strong that it resolves itself into a call that cannot be denied. When suffering has worked its painful magic so that men's hearts are opened, the light within shines forth, and is met by the greater light from above.
Nature does her part when the cosmic hour strikes, and the earth is suffused with the glow of Cosmic Compassion, a powerful energy which is capable of quickening and inspiring the greatest minds on earth, because it is verily the mainspring of life.
Do not the old legends tell us that when a great one achieves the fruits of initiation, all Nature rejoices, and the Earth is flooded with her benediction?
The purpose of this article is to inquire into the implication in the phrase: "when the cosmic hour strikes." The manner in which the Hierarchy of Compassion works at the appropriate time is another study, and one to be dwelled on in the silence of one's thoughts, so there is little that can be said about it in a magazine article. Let us rather consider the motions of the hands of the Cosmic Clock. Think first of the planets as the living "mansions" in "my Father's House." This idea of the planets being alive is strictly in accord with the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, and it will be born out in the explanation of a certain phenomenon that we must now consider.
In the occult science of numbers, we see patterns which take the form of harmonious proportions, which represent certain lines of evolutionary growth to which all the entities of a given type adhere more or less closely. The fact that there is deviation from the ideal pattern is evidence of individual will and destiny. It detracts in no way from the importance of the pattern. Let us take just one instance. In average man, enjoying average good health, and under normal conditions, the heart-beat is 72 each minute. Obviously there will be a fair margin on either side of this number, so that you may find the counts ranging from 60 up to 85, or possibly in some cases, 90; nevertheless, 72 heart-beats a minute may be taken as the norm. Now we are going to endeavor to find an ideal pattern for the motions of the planets, allowing a certain margin of deviation from the pattern, to be explained by the fact that the planets themselves are alive. Thus in certain periods of their development they might adhere quite closely to the pattern, and at other times the deviation might be relatively great.
The manner in which the "ideal pattern" is here arrived at is one which would require a lengthy discussion of occult mathematics. Suffice it to say that certain numbers appear to fit into the pattern better than others. To many students, these numbers will look familiar.
We shall make a table of the planetary time-periods (revolutions around the sun) - for the "sacred" planets of the ancients - in earth-days, and in the second column, place the ideal numbers as they fit into the planetary periods.
The least common multiple of the  occult periods may be found in the usual manner, and it is seen to be 388,800 days, which would indicate that after that number of days from now, the planets would occupy the same position in the sky that they occupy at the present moment, disregarding for the moment the deviations before alluded to. This time-period may be better expressed as 1,080 years. This is particularly interesting to Theosophical students because they will readily see that it is just one half of the Messianic cycle of 2,160 years. This fits in with the pattern suggested by the sunspot cycle, which is astronomically about 11 to 12 years, though from an occult standpoint it may be considered to be 12 years, and fits in neatly with the revolutionary period of Jupiter. The fact is the polarity of the sunspots is reversed in each so-called sunspot cycle, so that it really takes 24 years or twice the sunspot cycle to re-establish the solar polarity. That the least common multiple of the planetary periods follows this same pattern is no mere coincidence, but one more indication of Cosmic law and order.
One final note on the number 2,160. This is significant to students of the Ancient Wisdom as being the duration of the Messianic Cycle, which marks the appearances of the Avataras, a certain type of Great Teacher.
This time-period also marks the passage of the First Point of Aries through one of the constellations of the Zodiac, and is thus 1/12 of the Precessional Cycle of 25,920 years.
Supposing that at a certain time the planets are more or less in a straight line in respect to the sun's position. Then at the close of an "ideal" cycle of 2,160 years, they would once more occupy a similar position in the sky, with the polarity of the Solar System as it is today. This is highly important in view of the teachings that we have had concerning the appearance of the Avataras, and the companion-teachings about Initiation. Verily the Gods wait until the hour has struck, and then descend to teach mankind to awaken to an awareness of its own divinity, an inner Godhood which is in no wise foreign to the Godhood of the stars.
POINT ORIENT BOOK COMPANY
Some sixty-five years ago, namely, in October, 1882, in a letter written by Master K.H. to A.P. Sinnett, in answer to his questions, the following passage can be found:
"We know of no phenomenon in nature entirely unconnected with either magnetism or electricity - since, where there are motion, heat, friction, light, there magnetism and its alter ego (according to our humble opinion) - electricity will always appear, as either cause or effect - or rather both if we will fathom the manifestation to its origin. All the phenomena of earth currents, terrestrial magnetism and atmospheric electricity, are due to the fact that the earth is an electrified conductor, whose potential is ever changing owing to its rotation and its annual orbital motion ... But then Science would be unwilling to admit that all these changes are due to akasic magnetism incessantly generating electric currents which tend to re-tore the disturbed equilibrium ... Earth's magnetic attraction of meteoric dust, and the direct influence of the latter upon the sudden changes of temperature especially in the matter of heat and cold, is not a settled question to the present day. ... I wonder how Science has not hitherto understood that every atmospheric change and disturbance was due to the combined magnetism of the two great masses between which our atmosphere is compressed. I call this meteoric dust a "mass" for it is really one. High above our earth's surface the air is impregnated and space filled with magnetic, or meteoric dust, which does not belong to our solar system ... the Sun has nothing to do whatever with rain and very little with heat ... we all know that the heat that the earth receives by radiation from the sun is at the utmost one third if not less the amount received by her directly from the meteors." (The Mahatma Letters, pp. 160-162).
This deserves our closest attention. At the time these passages were written, and until comparatively recent date, it was the accepted belief that the temperature of the air gradually fell as the distance from the earth increased. At about eight miles up, it was some 70 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, and was supposed to continue to fall with increasing height, towards "the intense cold of outer space."
The theoretical researches of the Russian pioneer, Dr. Vassily Fessenkoff, Dr. Appleton of England, and Dr. Guttenberg of Caltech, showed, however, that there was reasonable ground to believe that many miles above the intensely cold region already explored by balloons and airplanes, there existed a stratum of considerable heat.
Direct observational proofs of this fact are now obtainable by means of V-2 rockets which are being sent regularly every two weeks from the experimental grounds in New Mexico, up into the higher reaches of what is known as the ionosphere. The latter term is used to denote the series of electrified layers which envelops the earth and forms the upper one per cent of the atmosphere. It is a shell of electrically charged particles, some 250 miles thick. Scientists have labeled alphabetically various sections of the earth's atmosphere. The ionosphere starts above the stratosphere with what is known as the C region. This stratum lies some twenty miles above the earth and is some tell miles thick. It is also known as the "ozone layer." Only one sixty-fourth of our atmosphere lies above this C region.
The ionosphere gets its name from the phenomenon of "ionization" which takes place therein. Ultraviolet radiations, corpuscles, and even meteoric particles from outer space bombard the gaseous atoms and molecules of the ionosphere to cause grand-scale "detachments" in them. These "detachments" are separations of an electron or two from the cloud of electrons that whirl around the atomic core, or nucleus. The "divorced" electrons shoot off into space; so do the "unstable atoms" from which these "free electrons" have been separated. These  atoms are called ions. As soon as they recapture other particles, they become "stable" atoms again. This whole process of estrangement and mating is known as Ionization. There are levels in the upper atmosphere at which this electronic flux and re-flux is more pronounced than at other points. They are known by the initials D, E, F, and F2. In the three last named occur most of the auroral displays. These levels of greatest ionization do not remain stable; they fluctuate in height and thickness. They vary above different parts of the world, from season to season, and from day to night. The greatest ionization takes place in the daytime, when the layers are exposed to the direct rays of the sun. At night, recombination is greater; the layers become more stable and rise higher above the earth. Each of the belts (excepting the "ozone" layer) has a specific electric character and density, and hence reflects radio waves of particular wave-lengths. This reflection was postulated in 1902 by Dr. A. E. Kennelly of Harvard and independently suggested later in the same year by Sir Oliver Heaviside of England. The name Kennelly-Heaviside was then given to the ionized region, before the existence of more than one electrified layer was suspected. Upon this fact of reflection is based all shortwave broadcasting.
The recent experiments with V-2 rockets have demonstrated the following interesting facts: several alternating layers of heat and cold have been charted. The first eight-mile layer above the earth is one of steadily falling temperature to 70 below zero Fahrenheit. At 20 miles, a rise begins and continues through a 15-mile layer until it reaches 170 above zero at 30 miles, remaining at that temperature to the 40-mile level and over. After that the cold sets in again, and at 50 miles it's again 70 below. Beyond about 50 miles the temperature rises again and reaches 212 degrees (boiling point) at 75 miles altitude. Rocket instruments have not yet been perfected to record data beyond that height, although rockets themselves have attained a height of some 100 miles or more. Although no definite information is yet on record, theoretical observation seems to indicate the possibility, if not the actual probability, of temperatures in the vicinity of 1,000 degrees Centigrade at still higher levels. In the First Volume of The Secret Doctrine (p. 583), H. P. Blavatsky, writing on the subject of the elements and celestial bodies makes the statement that
"... our globe has its own special laboratory on the far-away outskirts of its atmosphere, crossing which, every atom and molecule change and differentiate from their primordial nature."
This was another one of those "unwarranted" assertions of the great Occultist which smaller minds have ridiculed for many years past. This ridicule is not valid any longer. The layers of the ionosphere have been shown to serve as a sort of insulator, or filter, that controls the solar radiations which are doubtless the very basis of all natural phenomena on earth. More important yet, the ionosphere keeps everything on earth from being burned to a crisp.
The protective features of the ionosphere are the result of the same kind of wave-length-filtering that affects out-going radio waves from our broadcasting apparatuses. Corpuscular radiations from the sun do not penetrate and are absorbed and reflected back by the two topmost layers. The well-known cosmic rays are modified greatly by various layers of the ionosphere. Only some of them reach the earth's surface and penetrate miles into the ground. The extremely short. ultra-violet rays are able to reach down to the "ozone" layer. Beyond that layer, only enough filter through the earth to benefit human, animal and vegetable life.
In the same letter from the Master K.H., from which we have already quoted, there is to be found the following passage (p. 161.):
"Even simple muscular contraction is always accompanied with electric and magnetic phenomena, and there is the strongest connection between the magnetism of the earth, the changes of  weather and man, who is the best barometer living, if he but knew how to decipher it properly; again, the state of the sky can always be ascertained by the variations shown by magnetic instruments ... with us, it is an established fact that it is the earth's magnetism that produces wind, storms, and rain. What science seems to know of it, is but secondary symptoms always induced by that magnetism and she may very soon find out her present errors."
In several recent scientific publications a number of statements have been made to the effect that the entire human metabolism, plant growth, the weather, etc., result from nature's reaction to the sun's rays, as much as the storage of energy in coal and oil; and that, but for the existence of the protective ionized layers, the life-controlling cosmic rays, ultra-violet radiations, electrons, and corpuscular rays would bombard the earth to extinguish all forms of life upon it. And in practically every article in the daily press outlining current rocket-research into the ionosphere, mention is made of possible long-distance weather forecasting based on correct information regarding the higher layers of the ionosphere and its state of magnetism.
If the diligent student takes into consideration the fact that the Teachers, writing in their letters, were compelled to use a makeshift terminology, and could not have possibly used the language of the then non-existent science of electronics, he will have no difficulty in understanding what they meant by such terms as "magnetic continent," "magnetic dust," or "meteoric mass," and the like. Atomic research has developed its own terminology. The same ideas can now be expressed in more adequate terms which in no way affects the spiritual perspicacity of the Teachers themselves. It is the ideas which are all-important and should be grasped, not the temporary and changing forms of expression. It is probable we will all agree that it would have been quite a 'task to explain the nature of a "chain-reaction," or the workings and principle of an X-ray tube, to even a brilliant mind in the era of the French Revolution, though the language of his time must have appeared to him at least fairly satisfactory and complete.
In closing we wish to draw the attention of the student to the little-known and rarely-quoted fact that the intimate connection of the Northern and Southern Lights (aurorae) with sub-atomic particles, and the ultimate structure of matter, have been hinted at by H. P. Blavatsky in an obscure footnote on page 621 of the First Volume of The Secret Doctrine, to which the reader is referred.
Other developments of modern Science, some suspected, and others yet undreamt of, are either hinted at or even broadly outlined in the pages of this amazing work, its companion volumes of Isis Unveiled, and the Letters which the Masters K.H. and M. wrote to their correspondent A. P. Sinnett. They spoke from actual, first-hand knowledge, of the secrets of Nature, and their remarkable accuracy in matters which have already been scientifically demonstrated suggests their further accuracy in such matters which as yet have defied the most diligent scientific research. This is well worth pondering over. 
Theosophy teaches as the only lasting and possible basis of a truly happy life and spiritual evolution: love and compassion. It was the doctrine of all great sages, initiates and great philosophers. They and the Wisdom-Religion, Theosophy, give this basis, because it is that fundamental groundwork on which the whole universe rests; it embodies the cosmic forces of welding into one, of holding together, magnetism on inner and outer planes (love!) and support, mutual help, continual restoration and - O blessed thought! - always new chances and possibilities (compassion!) in all phases of life. "Love is the Cement of the Universe." Consequently in judging out own standing and that of our fellows, we have as the criterion the manifestation of these forces. When we meet a brother-theosophist who in his (her) attitude radiates these, we know that he (she) represents Masters' work, whatever his (or her) opinions or experiences may be - "opinions" generally about the various illusions, the maya, of life. Though his love and compassion may sometimes make the impression of weakness on others, he must of necessity be very strong. As Gottfried de Purucker reiterated: he who loves is strong and he who hates is weak. Consequently again, he who on account of his opinions and experiences, differing from those of his fellows, assumes the better-than-thou attitude, builds around himself walls of partition, is weaving the illusions of separateness. Assuming that attitude, we drift away from the cosmic force, from the magic "Cement"; that makes us only a sectarian, a zealot or a religious fanatic, though the qualities of such a one might, in a purified state, work wonders! Though we may make the impression of strength on others, we would in reality be very weak. Therefore our criterion is always easy!
We ask ourselves and others: what have you done for mankind, in what way have you alleviated sorrow and suffering, what have you done to bring peace and harmony among human beings? The answer to that will make you my brother, not opinions or convictions. That will lead us to the "Buddhic plane," make us very tolerant, and yet make us raise a thunderous voice and be a great champion when wrong is done or a fellow unjustly attacked. It will lead us to fight till the last breath in order to redress where wrong is done. In Holland, in the 16th and 17th centuries, and in 1940-45, we had forces which sang all sorts of tunes to the population: think as we do and you will be happy and gay. It did not work ... the population rather died by thousands than be "happy and gay." Curious that it never occurred to certain human beings that the Cosmos always wins! So we have our criterion - we apply it to ourselves and to those who would teach or lead or guide us.
It stands to reason that the manifestation of the power of love and compassion, mentioned in the beginning of this article, must evoke them also. We may differ about the quality and properties of the sunlight but never about the Truth of the sun and its glorious light (Its light may even be too much for us at times!), nor about the fact that it is the heart of the system and that it is a unifying power. It does so by the forces mentioned above. So our criterion is: do we hold together, as H.P.B. said, "as the fingers of one hand," "doing justice to each and all"? Yes, indeed, even if our fellows are entirely "different"; the "cement" in a curious way draws together human natures of all shapes and colour, and positively refuses to do anything else but magnetically to draw together. "As the fingers of one hand ..." Then there need be neither fear nor anxiety, and when H.P.B. comes, as she intimated she might, to have a look at all the theosophical groups, we shall know what to show her. Is it not so? 
From birth to death the sense of "Self" as the experiencer of life remains the same. Soon the infant awakens to a realization that it is a separate entity wanting something that is distinctly for itself as separate from others.
Although the body, emotions, desires and thought-life of the individual are subjected to constant change, the "I" - consciousness remains unchanged throughout life.
What then is this "I?" Where can it be found, and what is its intrinsic nature?
Can it be the body?
Although it usually identifies itself with the body, saying "I am hot; I am cold; I am in pain," etc., the "Self" cannot be the body which is in fact the most impermanent part of man's constitution. It is built up of atoms that constantly change, passing out and being replaced by others, while the Ego can stand aside and purposely change the component parts of its physical form. By thoughtful study and the exercise of the spiritual Will, the Self can use its own power of choice and select the substances that will build a more useful and healthy body; though it will always be subject to the Law of Cause and Effect (Karma), which rules the Universe and man. However, it can strengthen and refine its vehicle for its purposes in the physical world. On the other hand, if allowed to drift at the mercy of uncontrolled desires, emotions and thoughts, it will grow increasingly gross and insensitive to higher aspirations, and finally destroy itself. In any case man's body can be no more than the temporary vehicle of the conscious Self.
Can the "I" be identical with a man's desires and emotional nature?
These constantly sway the heart and mind, unless the Self can deliberately stand aside, so to say, and change its emotions, desires and thoughts. Hence it cannot be said that the volatile feelings, cravings, and ideas' can be the permanent self-conscious "I."
Nor can this Self be the Mind, for "I" can change my mind at will, I can stand aside at all times and realize that I am the Seer and the Watcher, and can analyze and pass judgment on all my experiences. The Mind is the play-ground - sometimes called the battlefield - of all the forces of Nature in man. These can be controlled by the Self, or allowed to function unrestrainedly.
An ancient Indian allegory likens the Self to two birds perched on different branches of the Tree of Life. The one typifies the Rational Mind with its consciousness directed towards physical Nature and being. The other bird, perched on a higher branch, represents the Higher Self, the Watcher and Seer. It sings a sweet song that can be heard only by the intuitive heart and mind that are in harmony with its divine melody. This Higher Self knows Truth by direct perception. It gathers in the essence of all ideal and pure impressions that it can glean from earth-life. Gradually a man learns to use all his faculties as instruments with which to accomplish his divine purposes. The spiritual Will uses the Mind to control the desires which have been transmitted into aspirations. After many lives of striving thus for the realization of its divine Self, the conscious "I" finds Reality, and at last becomes an intrinsic part of the all-consciousness of the Divine Universal Self that enfolds the spiritual Essence of the experiences of all Selves.
We acknowledge with appreciation the receipt of the following exchange magazines: The Theosophist (Adyar), The American Theosophist (Wheaton, Ill.), The Canadian Theosophist (Toronto), Theosophical News and Notes, (London), Theosophia (Copenhague), Boletin and Dharma (Mexico), The Christian Theosophist (Mon Abri, England), Theosophy (Los Angeles), The Quarter Hour (Los Angeles), Het Theosofisch Forum (Rotterdam), Teosofiskt Forum (Stockholm), Biosophia (Mexico), The New Age Interpreter (Los Angeles), Devenir (Uruguay), Free Mind (Portland, Ore.) 
It is said that it is our ignorance which prevents our understanding Life and Truth. What do we mean by this? What is this ignorance?
The answer has been stated and re-stated by many teachers and in many ages. It is summed up in the words which are said to have been carved over the gateway to one of the great Mystery Schools of ancient times - the oracular Temple of Apollo at Delphi: "Man, know thyself."
The idea is that by analogy a human being is a microcosm, a universe in little, containing in that little a microscopic duplicate of the organization, visible and invisible, of the macrocosm, whether we consider the macrocosm to be our planetary system, our island universe within the Milky Way, or that infinite cosmos which stretches not only beyond the reach of our greatest telescopes but beyond any stretch of our imagination.
There are those who see that infinite cosmos as part of the material body of an entity beyond our comprehension. They point to the analogy between the atoms and molecules of our bodies - which we now know consist of a central unit around which whirl other bodies - and our solar system. We have learned that the sizes of these bodies, atomic or sub-atomic, in proportion to the size of the outer orbits of the component parts, and the proportionate distances between protons, neutrons and electrons, or even the atoms in a molecule, are comparable to the sizes and distances of the sun and planets. These atoms and molecules in proportion to the size of a body cell may be compared to the relation of our solar system to our island universe. A human cell, as compared to the organ of our body, of which the cell is a part, may be considered to bear something of the same relation as our island universe bears to the visible portion of the infinite universe. Beyond is the universe which escapes our observation but which we have every reason to believe extends to what, for us, is infinity, and which may form part of the physical body of an entity we cannot even imagine.
I could carry this picture farther, under the great truth, "As above, so below," but this is far enough to illustrate the analogy of the human body to the universe. I could also draw all analogy between the invisible parts of the universe and the invisible parts of the human body. It is upon this total analogy, I believe, that the statement is formulated that man contains the universe within himself, from which the conclusion is drawn that if man understood himself he would understand everything in the universe. At any rate, that is the mystic proposition as I understand it, and which, I believe, is the answer, perhaps crudely put, to the question regarding the nature of our ignorance.
However, there remains the question, how are we going to accomplish the understanding of ourselves and hence of everything in the infinite universe? Going back to the analogy and accepting the atom, the molecule, the cell, as entities, which they are, containing within themselves reasonable facsimiles of the solar system, itself also an entity, we can imagine them as being aware of other similar entities in their neighborhoods, and co-operating with them; but we cannot imagine them comprehending or understanding the greater entity of the whole body of which they are temporarily a part, any more than we, who are aware of each other, and co-operate, more or less, can comprehend the whole of the great entity in whom we live and have our being.
It is my thought that our capacity for understanding, either ourselves, or Life, or Truth, is limited, in  proportion as is that of our constituent parts, which nevertheless, under the life impulse, co-operate so magnificently and so incomprehensibly over long lifetimes. They and we are limited by the state of evolution to which we have progressed.
Ignorance is the lack of knowledge or understanding, as darkness is the absence of light. In our case, ignorance is the lack of the knowledge we have not yet acquired. To understand more we must progress further. How to do that? Through the experiences we meet as we go, and the benefit we obtain and absorb into our essential character from those experiences.
Among these experiences are meditation, introspection, awareness, which may show us what we really are, and it is usually not a pleasant view, and they may indicate what we might be if we were not too lazy to make the effort. But there are other experiences which bear also on the subject of ignorance, the things we can learn from the experience of others. When we absorb benefit, or maybe damage, from our own experience, we have less ignorance. We can also erase some of that ignorance by benefitting from the experience of others. That is why we hold meetings. That is why we study the teachings. That is why we exchange our thoughts, and share our viewpoints.
We, as human beings, have the inestimable gift of being able to receive from others, present and past, the fruits of their experience. If we could not, we would be on a par with the beasts, who, except for their group-spirit guidance, inherited memory or instinct, and some crude mother instruction, have to start from scratch in every life. As human beings we have an infinitely richer heritage in science, religion and philosophy, and, if we use it, we shall be better able to progress and evolve, to overcome our ignorance and thus be better able to understand ourselves, and therefore Truth and Life.
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Adyar, Madras, India. C. Jinarajadasa,
President. Off. Organ of the Pres.: The Theosophist.
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Covina, Calif., U.S.A. Arthur
L. Conger, Leader. Off. Organ: The Theosophical Forum.
THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS: selected list of centers -
THE BLAVATSKY ASSOCIATION: 26 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W.8, England.