THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume V
No. 1 (25) - May-June 1948

[Cover photo: Mountain Stream
(Courtesy Pacific Pathways, Los Angeles, California.)]

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THEOSOPHIA
A LIVING PHILOSOPHY FOR HUMANITY
Published every Two Months. Sponsored by an International Group of Theosophists
Objectives:
To disseminate the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom.
To uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement, as set forth by H. P. Blavatsky and her Teachers.
To challenge bigotry and superstition in every form.
To foster mutual understanding and co-operation among all students of Theosophy, irrespective of their affiliation.
EDITOR: Boris de Zirkoff.
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Irene Ponsonby, Dr. Sven Eek, J. Emory Clapp, William L. Biersach, Arthur L. Joquel.
ADVISORY BOARD: Col. J.M. Prentice, Jan H. Venema, Hendrik Oosterink, James L. Harris, Richard H. Cutting, T. Marriott.
BUSINESS MANAGER: Norine G. Chadil.
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Audree Benner.
Subscription: $1.50 a year (six issues); single copy 25 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."
None of the organized Theosophical Societies, as such, are responsible for any ideas expressed in this magazine, unless contained in an official document. The Editors are responsible for unsigned articles only.

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A THOUGHT TO REMEMBER ...
The Abuse of Sacred Names and Terms.

Enq. Then, what I have heard, namely, that many of your Theosophical writers claim to have been inspired by these Masters, or to have seen and conversed with them, is not true?

Theo. It may or it may not be true. How can I tell? The burden of proof rests with them. Some of them, a few - very few, indeed - have distinctly either lied or were hallucinated when boasting of such inspiration; others were truly inspired by great Adepts. The tree is known by its fruits; and as all Theosophists have to be judged by their deeds and not by what they write or say, so all Theosophical books must be accepted on their merits, and not according to any claim to authority which they may put forward.

Enq. But would Mdme. Blavatsky apply this to her own works - the Secret Doctrine, for instance?

Theo. Certainly; she says expressly in the Preface that she gives out the doctrines that she has learnt from the Masters, but claims no inspiration whatever for what she has lately written. As for our best Theosophists, they would also in this case far rather that the names of the Masters had never been mixed up with our books in any way. With few exceptions, most of such works are not only imperfect, but positively erroneous and misleading. Great are the desecrations to which the names of two of the Masters have been subjected. There is hardly a medium who has not claimed to have seen them. Every bogus swindling Society, for commercial purposes, now claims to be guided and directed by "Masters," often supposed to be far higher than ours! Many and heavy are the sins of those who advanced these claims, prompted either by desire for lucre, or irresponsible mediumship. Many persons have been plundered of their money by such societies, which offer to sell the secrets of power, knowledge, and spiritual truth for worthless gold. Worst of all, the sacred names of Occultism and the holy keepers thereof have been dragged in this filthy mire, polluted by being associated with sordid motives and immoral practices, while thousands of men have been held back from the path of truth and light through the discredit and evil support which such shams, swindles, and frauds have brought upon the whole subject. - H.P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy, pp. 300-301. [3]

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ON THE THRESHOLD OF TOMORROW
Boris de Zirkoff

The restlessness and confusion of men's minds in the present-day world is the direct result of a shattered and crumbling view of life.

The complacency of an outmoded religion, the false security of a selfish social order based upon political slogans empty of spiritual content, and the banality of quasi-ethical concepts rooted primarily in convenience and the alleged superiority of might over right, these and other familiar landmarks of a dying era are collapsing before our very eyes, and in every part of the habitable world.

Many do not see it. Others, while cognizant of the fact, prefer to talk about something else, rather than face the natural results from equally natural causes, and to rebuild now their own lives upon foundations and precepts which alone can provide spiritual security in a world of endless change.

The minds of men the world over are gripped today in a fearful conflict waged on the battlefield of their thoughts. It is this inner conflict which is the cause of the crumbling of once proud human institutions, and the collapse of a social structure that was supposed by so many to have been the highest manifestation of "civilization" and "progress."

The mental and emotional climate of the race has experienced some revolutionary changes. By means of the rapid developments of modern science - foreseen and predicted by a number of mystics and occultists in recent centuries - the entrenched materialism of a former school of thought has been rooted out from its strongholds. The battering ram of widening and all-embracing research has toppled the fortifications of our moulds of mind, and has let in floods of light upon problems and domains of thought which the all-powerful materialism of former centuries preferred to deny the very existence of.

Generation after generation have been taught both in the Halls of Science and in the privacy of their family circles - with exceptions far and wide between - that the basis of nature is material, that matter is the primary factor of all that is, that life is but a chance accident in nature, and that reality consists of those tangible and wholly measurable factors which can be demonstrated by the functions of the physical senses alone.

But suddenly a gateway opened upon new and undreamt of vistas. We began to feel a strong breeze blowing from an unsuspected portal rapidly flung open. Before we had the time to turn round and adjust our mental astigmatism, we found ourselves in the midst of a scientific cyclone which swept out of sight and beyond the horizon all our most cherished ideas and concepts of yore.

We found ourselves holding an "open house," not exactly of our own choosing, to be sure, at which strange guests invaded the one-time quiet premises. Hobnobbing with atomic bombs, radio waves, electronic wave-packets, transmission frequencies, rocket propelled planes, guided missiles, psychosomatic diagnoses, extra-sensory perceptions, and the like, may have been exciting at first; but when the novelty of it all wore off, it became only too apparent that our ways of thinking, our modes of feeling, and our patterns of behavior, somehow or other were unable to adjust themselves to the long-range global objectives demanded by the introduction of these guests into the familiar circle of our everyday contacts.

Trained, as we were, to regard matter as of primary importance, and our five senses as paramount in the diagnosis of nature's mysteries, we found ourselves utterly unfit to navigate upon uncharted seas, where spiritual and quasi-occult agencies pervaded the [4] elements, and global solutions were demanded of us, of us who had been taught to think in terms of narrow political boundaries, entrenched party-politics, and the two-by-four psychology of overworked patriotism and self-sufficiency. And so our minds have in a very short time reached all advanced stage of organized chaos.

To erect a new civilization upon the heaped-up rubble of an old one is impossible. The building site has to be cleared in the first place. To apply outworn methods characteristic of man's ignorance and selfishness to the building of something presumably "new," is simply a symptom of our inveterate habit of clinging to time-honored mental and emotional moulds, even if their spiritual vacuity has been demonstrated beyond any possible doubt by the irreducible logic of history.

To build a greater and nobler structure wherein the vaulting aspirations of an awakening mankind may find a suitable dwelling place, there is need of something else than "unilateral alliances," "raw materials," "island bases," "universal military training," or the hackneyed conferences and conventions wherein grandiloquent speechifying is often followed by dramatic exits of delegations, attempting to play upon the sordid stage of power-politics, the role of some heroic figure from the Ring of Nibelungen.

Corrupt ideologies and false doctrines can never be overcome by violence, whether physical or moral. They can be overcome only by doctrines and ideas which raise the intellectual, ethical and spiritual pitch of mankind, and inspire the minds and the hearts of men with universal objectives, urging them to deeds of kindness and magnanimity.

The nations of today, and their leaders, and men of power and influence must realize sooner or later the imperative need of spiritual values as a foundation for action, reform, and reconstruction. With the departure of the materialistic conception of nature into the limbo of exploded myths, there is no other alternative but a spiritual re-valuation of our objectives and methods, of our "ends and means," as Huxley would say.

In the age of atomic power, there are at least three false conceptions which must be given up and abandoned at the very outset. They are: armed conflict between nations, narrow and exclusive nationalism, and racial discrimination. Men and women of the dawning era will be forced by the natural development of ideas to realize that military expeditions, armed aggression, and imagined superiority of one group over another, are phantasms of diseased imagination to be resolved and transmuted into the higher ideas of inter-racial understanding, world community, international arbitration, free exchange of the fruits of human endeavor, and the will to live together in peace and integrity. It is either that or the end of "civilization" as we understand this term. It is either that - and now - or the extinction of the noblest hopes in the hearts of the millions, for the expansion and awakening of a grander consciousness among men.

The leaders of mankind cannot remain any longer on the mere level of military tactics, economic covenants, and secret pacts; they must of necessity become students of at least the rudiments of true philosophy, and begin to practice its ideals. Either that, or they will be replaced in the natural development of the historic process, by men and women whose hearts are actuated by greater ideals and nobler objectives.

We must find a formula whereby the integration of mankind into one family can be accomplished with the least possible friction, and in the quickest possible time. We must eradicate from men's minds the false doctrine that war can ever settle any problem, or that coercion, physical or mental, can ever "convert" people into another mode of thought. These are tragic falsehoods preying upon human minds, [5] like obsessing vampires, distorting our actions and our motives. No war his ever solved any problem, as history stands witness to. No military dictatorship has ever suppressed any ideas or convictions, however false or true they may have been, as the history of ideas will show to any student.

The crisis of today is a crisis of human thinking, not solely a conflict of mutually-excluding political and economic interests. If we are to go up and forward, we must abandon our mental and emotional aggressiveness, intolerance, superiority and exclusiveness. We must replace them with universality, good-will, global consciousness, mutual understanding, and the will to peace. Justice, integrity, kindness, forgiveness, love of our fellow-men, charity and human dignity, must be made paramount in our mutual relations, as men and as nations. They must be shown to be symptoms of inner strength. Upon them can be reared a true civilization, the civilization of the atomic age. The alternatives are simple: One World - or None!

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VIEWS OF THE THEOSOPHISTS
H.P. Blavatsky
(Excerpts from an article which originally appeared in The Spiritualist, London, February 8, 1878. It establishes in a lucid and authoritative manner the difference between the teachings of occultism and the views of modern Spiritualism. - Editor)

Permit a humble Theosophist to appear for the first time in your columns, to say a few words in defense of our beliefs. I see in your issue of December 21st ultimo, one of your correspondents, Mr. J. Croucher, makes the following very bold assertions:

"Had the Theosophists thoroughly comprehended the nature of the soul and spirit, and its relation to the body, they would have known that if the soul once leaves, it leaves for ever."

This is so ambiguous that, unless he uses the term "soul" to designate only the vital principle, I can only suppose that he falls into the common error of calling the astral body, spirit, and the immortal essence, "soul." We Theosophists, as Col. Olcott has told you, do vice versa.

Besides the unwarranted imputation on us of ignorance, Mr. Croucher has an idea (peculiar to himself) that the problem which has heretofore taxed the powers of the metaphysicians in all ages has been solved in our own. It is hardly to be supposed that Theosophists or any others "thoroughly" comprehend the nature of the soul and spirit, and their relation to the body. Such an achievement is for Omniscience, and we Theosophists treading the path worn by the footsteps of the old Sages in the moving sands of exoteric philosophy, can only hope to approximate to the absolute truth. It is really more than doubtful whether Mr. Croucher can do better, even though an "inspirational medium,’’ and experienced "through constant sittings with one of the best trance mediums" in your country. I may well leave to time and Spiritual Philosophy to entirely vindicate us in the far hereafter. When any OEdipus of this or the next century shall have solved this eternal enigma of the Sphinx-man, every modern dogma, not excepting some pets of the Spiritualists, will be swept away, as the Theban monster, according to the legend, leaped from his promontory into the sea, and was seen no more ...

Here is what Col. Olcott did say, double commas and all:

"That mediumistic physical phenomena are not produced by pure spirits, but by 'souls' embodied or disembodied, and usually with the help of Elementals."

Any intelligent reader must perceive that, in placing the word "souls" in quotation marks, the writer indicated that he was using it in a sense not his own. As a Theosophist, he would more properly and philosophically have said for himself "astral spirits" or "astral men," or doubles. Hence, the criticism is wholly [6] without even a foundation of plausibility. I wonder that a man could be found who, on so frail a basis, would have attempted so sweeping a denunciation. As it is, our President only propounded the trine of man, like the ancient and Oriental Philosophers and their worthy imitator Paul, who held that the physical corporeity, the flesh and blood, was permeated and so kept alive by the Psyche, the soul or astral body. This doctrine, that man is trine-spirit or Nous, soul and body-was taught by the Apostle of the Gentiles more broadly and clearly than it has been by any of his Christian successors (see 1 Thess., v. 23). But having evidently forgotten or neglected to "thoroughly" study the transcendental opinions of the ancient Philosophers and the Christian Apostle upon the subject, Mr. Croucher views the soul (Psyche) as spirit (Nous) and vice versa.

The Buddhists, who separate the three entities in man (though viewing them as one when on the path to Nirvana), yet divide the soul into several parts, and have names for each of these and their functions. Thus confusion is unknown among them. The old Greeks did likewise, holding that Psyche was bios, or physical life, and it was thumos, or passional nature, the animals being accorded but the lower faculty of the soul instinct. The soul or Psyche is itself a combination, consensus or unity of the bios, or physical vitality, the epithumia or concupiscible nature, and the phrên, mens or mind. Perhaps the animus ought to be included. It is constituted of ethereal substance, which pervades the whole universe, and is derived wholly from the soul of the world - Anima Mundi or the Buddhist Svabhavat - which is not spirit; though intangible and impalpable, it is yet, by comparison with spirit or pure abstraction, objective matter. By its complex nature, the soul may descend and ally itself so closely to the corporeal nature as to exclude a higher life from exerting any moral influence upon it. On the other hand, it can so closely attach itself to the Nous or spirit, as to share its potency, in which case its vehicle, physical man, will appear as a God even during his terrestrial life. Unless such union of soul and spirit does occur, either during this life or after physical death, the individual man is not immortal as an entity. The Psyche is sooner or later disintegrated. Though the man may have gained "the whole world," he has lost his "soul." Paul, when teaching the anastasis, or continuation of individual spiritual life after death, set forth that there was a physical body which was raised in incorruptible substance.

The spiritual body is most assuredly not one of the bodies, or visible or tangible larvae, which form in circle-rooms, and are so improperly termed "materialized spirits." When once the metanoia, the full developing of spiritual life, has lifted the spiritual body out of the psychical (the disembodied, corruptible, astral man, what Col. Olcott calls "soul"), it becomes, in strict ratio with its progress, more and more an abstraction for the corporeal senses. It can influence, inspire, and even communicate with men subjectively; it can make itself felt, and even, in those rare instances when the clairvoyant is perfectly pure and perfectly lucid, be seen by the inner eye (which is the eye of the purified Psyche-soul). But how can it ever manifest objectively?

It will be seen, then, that to apply the term "spirit" to the materialized eidola of your "form-manifestations" is grossly improper, and something ought to be done to change the practice, since scholars have begun to discuss the subject. At best, when not what the Greeks termed phantasma, they are but phasma or apparitions.

In scholars, speculators, and especially in our modern savants, the psychical principle is more or less pervaded by the corporeal, and "the things of the spirit are foolishness and impossible to be known" (1 Cor., ii. 14). Plato was then right, in his way, in despising land-measuring, geometry and arithmetic, for all these overlooked all high ideas. Plutarch taught that at death Proserpine separated the body and the soul entirely, after which the latter became a free and independent [7] demon (daimon). Afterward the good underwent a second dissolution: Demeter divided the Psyche from the Nous or Pneuma. The former was dissolved after a time into ethereal particles-hence the inevitable dissolution and subsequent annihilation of the man who at death is purely psychical; the latter, the Nous, ascended to its higher divine power and became gradually a pure, divine spirit. Kapila, in common with all Eastern Philosophers, despised the purely psychical nature. It is this agglomeration of the grosser particles of the soul, the mesmeric exhalations of human nature imbued with all its terrestrial desires and propensities, its vices, imperfections and weakness, forming the astral body, which can become objective under certain circumstances, which the Buddhists call the Skandhas (the groups), and Col. Olcott has for convenience termed the "soul." The Buddhists and Brâhmans teach that the man’s individuality is not secured until he has passed through and become disembarrassed of the last of these groups, the final vestige of earthly taint. Hence their doctrine of metempsychosis, so ridiculed and so utterly misunderstood by our greatest Orientalists.

Even the physicists teach us that the particles composing physical man are, by evolution, reworked by nature into every variety of inferior physical form. Why, then, are the Buddhists unphilosophical or even unscientific, in affirming that the semi-material Skandhas of the astral man (his very ego, up to the point of final purification) are appropriated to the evolution of minor astral forms (which, of course, enter into the purely physical bodies of animals) as fast as he throws them off in his progress toward Nirvana? Therefore, we may correctly say, that so long as the disembodied man is throwing off a single particle of these Skandhas, a portion of him is being reincarnated in the bodies of plants and animals. And if he, the disembodied astral man, be so material that "Demeter" cannot find even one spark of the Pneuma to carry up to the "divine power," then the individual, so to speak, is dissolved, piece by piece, into the crucible of evolution, or, as the Hindus allegorically illustrate it, he passes thousands of years in the bodies of impure animals. Here we see how completely the ancient Greek and Hindu Philosophers, the modern Oriental schools, and the Theosophists, are ranged on one side, in perfect accord, and the bright array of "inspirational mediums" and "spirit guides" stand in perfect discord on the other. Though no two of the latter, unfortunately, agree as to what is and what is not truth, yet they do agree with unanimity to antagonize whatever of the teachings of the Philosophers we may repeat!

Let it not be inferred, though, from this, that I, or any other real Theosophist, undervalue true spiritual phenomena or philosophy, or that we do not believe in the communication between mortals and pure Spirits, any less than we do in communication between bad men and bad Spirits, or even of good men with bad Spirits under bad conditions. Occultism is the essence of Spiritualism, while modern or popular Spiritualism I cannot better characterize than as adulterated unconscious Magic. We go so far as to say that all the great and noble characters, all the grand geniuses, the poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, all who have worked at any time for the realization of their highest ideal, irrespective of selfish ends-have been spiritually inspired; not mediums, as many Spiritualists call them-passive tools in the hands of controlling guides-but incarnate, illuminated souls, working consciously in collaboration with the pure disembodied human and new-embodied high Planetary Spirits, for the elevation and spiritualization of mankind. We believe that everything in material life is most intimately associated with spiritual agencies. As regards physical phenomena and mediumship, we believe that it is only when the passive medium has given place, or rather grown into, the conscious mediator, that he discerns between Spirits good and bad. And we do believe, and know also, that while the incarnate man (though the highest Adept) cannot vie in potency with the pure disembodied [8] Spirits, who, freed of all their Skandhas, have become subjective to the physical senses, yet he can perfectly equal, and can far surpass in the way of phenomena, mental or physical, the average "Spirit" of modern mediumship. Believing this, you will perceive that we are better Spiritualists, in the true acceptation of the word, than so-called Spiritualists, who, instead of showing the reverence we do to true Spirits-Gods-debase the name of Spirit by applying it to the impure, or at best, imperfect beings who produce the majority of the phenomena.

... while Mr. Croucher sees and judges things through his emotional nature, the Philosophers whom we study took nothing from any "glorious being" that did not perfectly accord with the universal harmony, justice, and equilibrium of the manifested plan of the Universe. The Hermetic axiom, "as below, so above," is the only rule of evidence accepted by the Theosophists. Believing in a spiritual and invisible Universe, we cannot conceive of it in any other way than as completely dovetailing and corresponding with the material, objective Universe; for logic and observation alike teach us that the latter is the outcome and visible manifestation of the former, and that the laws governing both are immutable.

... the imperfectly developed man-child can no more exist under the conditions prepared for the perfected types of its species, than can an imperfect plant or animal. In infantile life the higher faculties are not developed, but, as everyone knows, are only in the germ, or rudimentary. The babe is an animal, however "angelic" he may, and naturally enough ought to, appear to his parents. Be it ever so beautifully modeled, the infant body is but the jewel-casket preparing for the jewel. It is bestial, selfish, and, as a babe, nothing more. Little of even the soul, Psyche, can be perceived except so far as vitality is concerned; hunger, terror, pain and pleasure appear to be the principal of its conceptions. A kitten is its superior in everything but possibilities. The grey neurine of the brain is equally unformed. After a time mental qualities begin to appear, but they relate chiefly to external matters. The cultivation of the mind of the child by teachers can only affect this part of the nature-what Paul calls natural or physical, and James and Jude sensual or psychical. Hence the words of Jude, "psychical, having not the spirit," and of Paul:

"The psychical man receiveth not the things of the spirit, for to him they are foolishness; the spiritual man discerneth."

It is only the man of full age, with his faculties disciplined to discern good and evil, whom we can denominate spiritual, noetic, intuitive. Children developed in such respects would be precocious, abnormal abortions.

Why, then, should a child who has never lived other than an animal life; who never discerned right from wrong; who never cared whether he lived or died-since he could not understand either of life or death-become individually immortal? Man’s cycle is not complete until he has passed through the earth-life. No one stage of probation and experience can be skipped over. He must be a man before he can become a Spirit. A dead child is a failure of nature-he must live again; and the same Psyche reenter the physical plane through another birth. Such cases, together with those of congenital idiots, are, as stated in Isis Unveiled, the only instances of human reincarnation. If every child-duality were to be immortal, why deny a like individual immortality to the duality of the animal? Those who believe in the trinity of man know the babe to be but a duality-body and soul-and the individuality which resides only in the psychical is, as we have seen proved by the Philosophers, perishable. The completed trinity only survives. Trinity, I say, for at death the astral form becomes the outward body, and inside a still finer one evolves, which takes the place of the Psyche on earth, and the whole is more or less overshadowed by the Nous. Space prevented Col. Olcott from developing the doctrine more fully, or he would have added that not even all of the Elementaries (human) are annihilated. [9]

There is still a chance for some. By a supreme struggle these may retain their third and higher principle, and so, though slowly and painfully, yet ascend sphere after sphere, casting off at each transition the previous heavier garment, and clothing themselves in more radiant spiritual envelopes, until, rid of every finite particle, the trinity merges into the final Nirvana, and becomes a unity - a God.

A volume would scarce suffice to enumerate all the varieties of Elementaries and Elementals; the former being so called by some Kabalists (Henry Kunrath, for instance) to indicate their entanglement in the terrestrial elements which hold them captive, and the latter designated by that name to avoid confusion, and equally applying to those which go to form the astral body of the infant and to the stationary Nature Spirits proper. Éliphas Lévi, however, indifferently calls them all "Elementary" and "souls." I repeat again, it is but the wholly psychical disembodied astral man which ultimately disappears as an individual entity. As to the component parts of his Psyche, they are as indestructible as the atoms of any other body composed of matter.

The man must indeed be a true animal who has not, after death, a spark of the divine Ruach or Nous left in him to allow him a chance of self-salvation. Yet there are such lamentable exceptions, not alone among the depraved, but also among those who, during life, by stifling every idea of an after existence, have killed in themselves the last desire to achieve immortality. It is the will of man, his all-potent will, that weaves his destiny, and if a man is determined in the notion that death means annihilation, he will find it so. It is among our commonest experiences that the determination of physical life or death depends upon the will. Some people snatch themselves by force of determination from the very jaws of death, while others succumb to insignificant maladies. What man does with his body he can do with his disembodied Psyche.

Nothing in this militates against the images of Mr. Croucher’s children being seen in the Astral Light by the medium, either as actually left by the children themselves, or as imagined by the father to look when grown. The impression in the latter case would be but a phasma, while in the former it is a phantasma, or the apparition of the indestructible impress of what once really was.

In days of old the "mediators" of humanity were men like Chrishna, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, Paul, Apollonius of Tyana, Plotinus, Porphyry, and the like of them. They were Adepts, Philosophers-men who, by struggling their whole lives in purity, study, and self-sacrifice, through trials, privations and self-discipline, attained divine illumination and seemingly superhuman powers. They could not only produce all the phenomena seen in our times, but regarded it as a sacred duty to cast out "evil spirits," or demons, from the unfortunates who were obsessed-in other words, to rid the medium of their days of the "Elementaries."

But in our time of improved psychology every hysterical sensitive looms into a seer, and behold! there are mediums by the thousand! Without any previous study, self-denial, or the least limitation of their physical nature, they assume, in the capacity of mouthpieces of unidentified and unidentifiable intelligences, to outrival Socrates in wisdom, Paul in eloquence, and Tertullian himself in fiery and authoritative dogmatism. The Theosophists are the last to assume infallibility for themselves, or recognize it in others; as they judge others, so they are willing to be judged.

In the name, then, of logic and common sense, before bandying epithets, let us submit our difference to the arbitrament of reason. Let us compare all things, and, putting aside emotionalism and prejudice as unworthy of the logician and the experimentalist, hold fast only to that which passes the ordeal of ultimate analysis. - New York, Jan. 14th, 1878. [10]

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"AT A GREAT PRICE ..."
L. Furze Morrish

The Christian Apostle St. Paul made a number of significant statements, indicating clearly that he was one of those who "seek the Way to Reality" in every age. His saying, "At a great price obtained I this freedom," and his confirmatory statement, "To the Jews I am become as a Jew, to those without the law as without the law ... I am become all things to all men," are clear proofs of his knowledge of the "Road." Similar principles underlie practically the whole of the Hindu Bhagavad Gita, and the teaching of Gautama the Buddha at a later date. The Gita's main theme is impersonal performance of duty without allowing oneself to become identified with sects, parties, creeds or individuals. The Buddha said exactly the same thing in other words.

"Freedom" - a much abused word - is the goal of the species called Man. "Realization" is another word to describe the same thing, because there can be no realisations at all at any level, until the individual has become relatively free from that which has to be realised. A mechanic cannot produce the simplest gadget if he is identified with the instrument. The scientist cannot observe anything accurately unless he is detached from that which he is trying to observe. In the spiritual life, so called, the same rule operates. There must be detachment from the non-self, the sphere of operations, or whatever it may be. This, of course, strikes a blow at the "loyalist," but all loyalties are limitations, even though they may be useful steps to added realization. "Freedom" and "Loyalty" are the two parallel modes which make up Reality, as heads and tails of a coin. By Freedom we realise more of the Universal Self; by Loyalty we devote ourselves to that which has been realised. The great thing is to know when to stop, and this rule applies to everything else as well.

Aldous Huxley, member of one of Britain's greatest scientific and philosophical families, has made a striking statement in his book "Ends and Means," which he calls "An Enquiry into the Nature of Ideals and into the Methods employed for their Realization." His departure from the materialism and blindness of his namesakes has been equally striking. In this book, Chapter 1, he states that all the "bewildering multiplicity of ideals" makes up part of the "fruit of particular social circumstances." He says that "all the ideals of human behavior formulated by those who have been most successful in freeing themselves from the prejudices of their time and place are singularly alike." This, of course, is almost pure Krishnamurti, or Buddha, or Christ, or Krishna, or any of the great philosophers with an idealistic background. Let us note the significant fact. I t is the "freeing of oneself" which matters. Huxley goes on to mention various recent ideal types of humanity. He refers to the "honnete homme," or man of honor, of the seventeenth century; the "philosophe" of the eighteenth; the "respectable man" of the nineteenth. He then points out that the ideal man of the free philosophers, the mystics and founders of religions is the "non-attached man." This means, he says, "non-attached to his bodily sensations and lusts. Non-attached to his craving for power and possessions. Non-attached to the objects of these various desires. Non-attached to his anger and hatred. Non-attached to his exclusive loves."

This is where we come to the Theosophical Man, or those who claim to be students of the "Ancient Wisdom." Here, if anywhere today, one might expect to find non-attached men, for are not such students seeking the Way to Reality? However, one is bound to admit that it is here that we find some of the most extravagant attachments - [11] almost fanatical loyalties. We find groups attached to this or that "Movement" and "Up With (or Down With) Blavatsky, or Leadbeater or Judge, etc., Movement." We find greater or lesser groups trying to persuade themselves, and others, that one or the other of these various "leaders" has spoken the last word on Truth, and attacking with extreme violence those who belong to other groups. We find Covina versus Adyar versus Canada versus this or that, each group claiming to be the "tolerant" one, but with the right to reprove all the others for "straying." The vehemence and lack of simple charity with which some of these attacks are made suggests that those who make them have failed to grasp the first and most elementary step in spirituality, namely freedom from minor attachments, called "Discrimination," and that there is a lot of egotism making itself felt.

Freedom brings true power. When one has been attacked and found that he has no feelings on the subject; when he has been disappointed in his attachments and "got over it" without much fuss; when he has "seen through" the false claims of various adored persons and not felt any inclination to "resign" with much show of moral indignation; when he has lost various loved objects and persons but not become identified with his feelings about them - then he has begun to feel what Freedom really means, and can say with St. Paul, "At a great price obtained I this freedom." He will then feel a surge of inner power which the attached individual can never feel except when stimulated by something or somebody outside himself. He no longer fears. He is no longer afraid what other people are saying about him; he no longer fears death and therefore is not bothered about it; he no longer fears that some "Movement" will be upset and his universe disappear.

This sense of growing freedom develops usually in stages. Some few may possibly achieve it in on one bound, according to Krishnamurti's claim, but they must at some time in the past, as Egos, have built up the necessary power to do so. Each stage is followed automatically by a test of some sort to see if one's new sense of freedom is genuine, or just a passing piece of egoism and enthusiasm. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore each stage brings its own test either from one's own "lower nature," or from the "Dark Powers," whichever phrase one may prefer. There are "Dark Powers" apart from the individual. These may comprise other individuals of various kinds, either persons who are naturally malevolent, or just backward and prejudiced, but no Power, however dark, can affect a person except through that person's own personal nature. External "darkness" can only affect us through the darkness in ourselves. If "our whole body is full of light," then nothing but light can affect us. This enlightened state is "Freedom."

To those who have glimpsed real spiritual freedom it seems amazing that anyone could ever get emotionally worked up over a matter of whether somebody uses ritual or not. The elaborate "politeness" with which some persons, who do not like religious ritual, explain to Liberal Catholics that "ritual is not necessary" suggests to a psychologist that the non-ritualist his developed an unconscious defense-complex of some sort. All these arguments have their equal and opposite arguments. "The Catholic Church has exploited humanity for centuries and perpetrated abominable atrocities which can be vouched for historically. The Catholic Church ritual must therefore be evil and should not be given any encouragement." The opposite side then replies. "Puritanism was the founder of our present competitive commercial system, which has so exploited human beings that it has divided the world into two rival camps, which may end in the extinction of civilization. Therefore "Puritanical Non-ritual' must be evil and should not be encouraged." The arguments [12] are both fantastic, and simply emerge from the unrealized subconscious mind. It is this miss of unrealized material in the unconscious which has to be pulled out and recognized before anything like Freedom call be enjoyed. This painful process is obviously what St. Paul meant when be referred to the "great price." Realization implies just this. Removal of these bug-bears of existence on the relatively lower levels brings a sense of relief and joy. This is the "bliss" referred to by all mystics.

The above is the way of "Raja Yoga" and of Yoga in general, but there is also a way of devotion and loyalty by which the individual becomes aware of ever-widening loyalties. He works through devotional loyalty and not discrimination, as such, although his increasing depth of understanding is a kind of unconscious discrimination. This kind of devotional mystic grows by the very intensity of his devotion. He widens more or less unconsciously as he expands in volume, so to speak. The narrower loyalties of the past are simply forgotten. Often the devotee is not able to visualize himself as bound by past limitations, and may even deny that he ever was bound by them. The pious and devoted religious mystic of today will frequently gloss over the past horrors committed by his Church or other group. He is just unaware of them and usually attributes reminders about them to the spiteful invention of "enemies." This "burning up" process by which the past becomes lost or destroyed, is probably part of what is meant in Christianity by "forgiveness of sins." It is said that, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white "is snow." This saying often arouses indignation in the breast of the intellectual student, who refers to the Law of Karma and asks how can these things be wiped out just as if they had never occurred? Evidently they can be wiped out, and it is probable that the very burning intensity of the mystical path of devotion acts as a self-consuming flame. Compensation is apparently made in this way, whereas the other kind of spiritual seeker - the one who follows the way of detachment and is trying to escape from the less to the more knowingly, by a process of dissociating himself - has to face up to his past and work through it consciously. The two modes are parallel. Both achieve the same end by opposite methods. Non-attachment ends eventually in realizing "nothing but the One." Attached loyalty ends eventually in "absorption" in the same "One." The former works inward, the latter outward, but some kind of non-attachment applies to both, because the devotional mystic sooner or later recognizes the impersonality of That which arouses his devotion. Both become "Freedom." The former path leads to "Freedom FROM"; the latter ends in the "Freedom OF." When a man is given the freedom "of" a city, it means that, in theory at any rate, he can roam at large all over the place without let or hindrance. He has no boundaries to his movement. In the opposite sense Freedom FROM restrictions comes to the same thing. The end is therefore FREEDOM in both cases.

The moral of this is that those who are devoted to some group-loyalty should realize its limitations and avoid attacking other group-loyalties, which spring from the same impulse, while those who prefer the road of non-attachment should make allowances for the attachments of those who are still bound by such things. The end, so far as the theosophical movement is concerned, might be some measure of "peace." [13]

*

IN COMPANY WITH THE SEARCHERS*
A REVIEW
Katherine Heck
(*The Searchers, by Dr. Gustaf Stromberg, David McKay Co., Philadelphia, Pa., 1948, $3.00. Can be obtained from the Editorial Offices of Theosophia, or the Port Orient Book Co., Box 277, Pt. Loma Station, San Diego 6, California.)

If there is any truth in the old occult maxim that the burden is never heavier than the traveler can bear, or that the wind is tempered to the shorn lamb, perhaps it is safe to say that every century gets the books it deserves. If this be so, there are two recently published books which are going to raise the twentieth century's batting average quite considerably. If this century ultimately proves worthy of Lecomte du Nouy's Human Destiny and Gustaf Stromberg's The Searchers, the present muddling on the threshold of the about-to-be-known will be well worth the shattered nerves of today's thinkers .

For the librarians, The Searchers is going to pose quite a problem in classification. Dr. Stromberg is a scientist of note, much of the book meticulously reflects this. But it also reveals a scientist turned philosopher, and it gives intimations of a philosopher who has come to understand true religion. A comparison with Plato's Dialogues suggests itself very strongly. In both instances there is a hero, and that hero is Man, the Thinker, the Searcher. There are so many places in Dr. Stromberg's book where the reader is swept by the heady wind of truth, where he can almost touch Reality, where he seems to be raised up and out and beyond his everyday littleness, that there is a constant echo of Plato in his mind. This is not to say that it is equal to Plato. It is somewhat uneven, actually, but many of its faults are those of Plato too. Stromberg can slay his straw-stuffed materialist as deftly as ever Plato reduced his model skeptic to smoldering silence. But this is a book for twentieth century thinking. Its solid scientific approach, its ready use of the present day scientific, philosophic and religious vocabularies, and its utter sincerity, will give it a weight and a power in the world of thought which may well be more than either its author or its publisher expect.

The reader should not be misled by the earlier chapters of the book. Both Plato and Stromberg have run up a sort of fictional clothes-line to hang their thoughts, arguments, and conversations on. It is obvious that Dr. Stromberg is unused to the fictional media and during the period when he is laboriously stringing his "clothes-line " he may lose some of his best readers. But his chapter on "Expanding Waves and Small Particles," in which he defines, defends and succeeds in clearly explaining the theory of "emergent energy," is a definite contribution to scientific and philosophic thought.

In discussing points and fields of energy, Dr. Berman, the physician-psychologist-philosopher who is obviously fronting for Dr. Stromberg, says:

"'An element of energy may disappear from an atom and later appear at another place with a retention of its characteristics, but in transit this energy is entirely in a potential form, a form that mathematically can be described as a field with certain structural properties. If we assume that there are moving particles guided by a field we must, as Dr. Wilson said, think of the energy as being partly in the form of a field and partly in another and more concentrated form. When the energy element actually does something, the effect is entirely in the concentrated form. Theoretical physicists object to a mixing of the two forms, and I therefore can see no reason why they should object to the assumption that the energy element in transit is entirely in the extended field form. It should be noted that the concentrated form can only exist for exceedingly short moments, represented by the time it takes a particle to act on our sense organs or instruments.'" (p. 74.)

Further on, after reasserting his recurring theme that all our ways of [14] describing properties of anything are due to using constructs of our own minds, and that actually the physical scientists of today in all fields of research are engaged in meticulously measuring shadows (a philosophic concept which underlies the entire book), Dr. Berman continues:

"'... I prefer to think of an electron and its field as two different aspects of the same entity ... These two aspects never occur together, so that we can observe a field or its associated corpuscle, but never both at the same time. When the electron appears, its field of force disappears instantaneously, an idea in harmony with the instantaneous disappearance of a light impulse when a photon is absorbed."' (p. 77.)

With this doctrine of energy emerging into manifestation from a world which is non-physical, or, as Sir James Jeans claims, a world beyond space and time, Dr. Stromberg is able to advance a logical and scientific explanation for the soul. Discussing man's "memory field," he says:

"'When a man dies, his brain field contracts and his brain disintegrates quickly, since its structure is no longer sustained by its organizing field. This field contains all the memories of the man, his soul, if you want to call it so. Where does it go to? Like the other fields of which we have spoken it goes to a world beyond space and time. It goes to the same world from where it originally came, the world where life itself has its origin. Since it has no longer any field structure, we should not call it a field at all, and the only name we can give it is a soul.'" (pp. 197-98.)

Again and again it is stressed in this book, both objectively and subjectively, that we must have a new method of thinking, so as to cope with this new ante-chamber to Reality, in which we are at present groping.

In the matter of ethics in this new world, Dr. Stromberg, who has apparently by personal experience found and re-stated many of the ancient teachings of the Hindu philosopher-psychologists, also finds, as have all searcher's after Truth, that selfishness is suicide; that love, impersonal but sincere and with growing understanding of our fellow-men, will be the only guarantee that civilized man will see this century out. To quote again:

"I am sure we are entering a new era in the history of the human race. I agree with Dr. Davis that in this new era mankind is doomed to destruction if we cannot raise the ethical level of all the peoples on the earth. It is a formidable and to some people an apparently hopeless task, but it is the most important one mankind has ever faced. Even our little group can exert its influence, not only in its fight against ignorance but also in the struggle between good and evil. In my opinion a thinking man has greater potential powers than the greatest armies of the world. But his thinking and learning may debase him, if they are not coupled with love for his fellow men. If our actions are governed by selfish motives alone, the only laws of humanity will be those of the jungle, where you must kill or be killed. But I am sure that a higher power than that of man governs the world.' " (pp. 108-09.)

There is in this last paragraph a statement which, I feel, points to the way in which the majority of us can serve humanity at this point. "Even our little group can exert its influence ..." This in a sense is one of the most constructive suggestions in the whole book. More groups, harmoniously thinking, more individuals, expanding their consciousness towards the World of Tomorrow, are desperately needed to dispel the horrendous shadows of this "unreal" material world of ours.

The "Epilogue" of Dr. Stromberg's book deserves special study. The reader will find in it age-old spiritual concepts couched in scientific language. We note with pleasure the author's reference to "all the memories of our last and our previous lives," suggesting as it does a background of former existences. As all great men, the author has the courage of his convictions.

The Searchers, we predict, will have more than one edition. Few other scientific works are as rich in worthwhile material. The book is a bridge between the world of science and the world of religion, in its truest meaning. Dr. Stromberg has produced a work of lasting value, and has advanced the cause of human enlightenment by a number of momentous steps towards a spiritual outlook on nature. [15]

*

A CAMPAIGN OF FEAR - AND A CRUSADE OF LOVE
Polly Carr

A pale, gentle Jesuit priest in Italy today is waging, tirelessly and passionately, a "Crusade of Love."

Father Riccardo Lombardi tells the people: "Our past was terrible, because we failed to love. Our present is fearful because love is buried. Let us, then, again find love."

Concurrently, there is going forward today a campaign of fear which is one implicit in scientific facts. Facts about the atom-bomb. They are available to anyone who wishes to learn them. They are not pleasant.

They are symbolic of our anxious times, these two crusades - and of the fearful crisis which is upon us. Will men and nations at last go forward toward becoming more fully human - toward learning to live together? Or will they yet again fall upon each other and rend each other, and the fabric and structure of human society.

Dr. Stafford Warren, Dean of UCLA's new Medical school, and medical advisor both to the wartime Manhattan Project and the post-war Bikini atom bomb tests, call tell you all about it. He is waging a one-man "Campaign of Fear" - to impress upon people's minds just what an atomic war means.

Not only the vanquished, but also the victor, would be destroyed in all atomic war: that is the burden of Dr. Warren's message. If not outright, then inexorably, later. If not by direct retaliation, with atom-bombs from the foe, then slowly, through succeeding decades, by contamination from radioactivity released into the higher atmosphere by the victor's own bombs.

Only one atom bomb, the smallest that can be made, sends into the sub-stratosphere, when it is detonated, radioactive particles equivalent to the Gamma radiation given off by thousands of tons of radium. And such is the lasting power of this poison, that even after one century this is still equivalent to nearly half a ton of radium radiation.

When enough atom bombs are exploded to destroy a nation, a fearful amount of this poisonous radioactivity would be released. And it would descend, at a time over which we have no control - in amounts over which we have no control - at places we cannot choose. It would fall in rain; soaking into the earth, poisoning it and the foodstuffs which grow upon it.

Nothing call be done to counteract this radioactivity. Our own future generations, as well as the enemy's, will die through contamination of water and earth and foodstuffs.

That is the "Campaign of Fear" - a campaign to make the whole world see the "no-one can win" aspect of atom-bomb warfare, to make it crystal clear at last that we are at each other's mercy.

And this is where Father Lombardi comes in.

Maybe Father Lombardi has an answer. An answer so simple that our intellectuals, our political leaders, our scientists, haven't thought of it.

Simple, yes. But not easy. Father Lombardi's answer is "Love."

Now forty, Father Lombardi was born to a middle-class family in Naples. As a student at the University of Padua, he began preaching. Today he preaches and he prays - and that is his life.

He prepares for each speech with hours and hours of prayer. Sometimes, as he kneels in prayer, he faints. But when he finds himself upon the rostrum a great power comes to him - the words pour forth with such beauty and passion that listeners weep. Not a few Communists who have come to jeer - to "puncture the bubble of Father Lombardi" - remain to listen in silence, to weep - and to join the Crusade.

Obviously, Father Lombardi is not tile usual kind of priest. He is more [16] the St. Francis of Assisi kind. But he is also a product of his own time. As for his own idea of what he is, Father Lombardi says: "It is not I who do these things. It is Jesus."

"I feel Jesus' presence," says Father Lombardi simply.

Standing before a crowd in Milan, the tired, unimpressive, nervous-looking little man said: "A stone begins rolling this moment, here in Milan. It will go through the Italian cities, villages and regions. Then to the outside world and to the end of time. For five centuries, men have tried to make the world fit for heroes. The result is that angry individualism and angry collectivism stand growling at each other. A generation of dwarfs is looking to the atom bomb that may destroy all humanity'"

But Father Lombardi continues, "There are immense treasures of holiness dispersed here and there. Perfection is no longer in the mountains with hermits, in the convent with nuns. It is in the streets, in the banks, in the shops, the trains and trolleys." And he points out how last week the Roman trolley-car drivers gave a whole of one day's pay to the poor - although that meant a day of starvation.

Yes, Father Lombardi is a remarkable priest. And he declares: "A new age approaches. You were born to see the age when wealth will be voluntarily and freely bent to the common god without the need of violence, but through love."

The rich find small comfort in Father Lombardi. Prince Ludovici Chigi-Albani, an exalted Catholic layman, Grand-master of the Knights of Malta, once offered to finance his speaking tours. The little priest told the Prince: "Do not think that Priests will ever again die, as they did in the French Revolution, merely in defense of the rich man's privilege. The wealthy, I'm sorry, have much to suffer. Its hard to part with one's goods. But if the wealthy overcome the temptation of their wealth, they will find a bright fire leaping up in their breasts, and they will know happiness."

"Selfishness, vainglory, economic injustice, must be destroyed through love, not violence. Let us love again. Let us love our neighbors as ourselves."

Here then is our problem: we are faced with a choice between the inevitable destruction emphasized by the Campaign of Fear, and perhaps the only solution, that preached by Father Lombardi in his Crusade of Love.

*

THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
(Partial Directory)

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Adyar, Madras, India. C. Jinarajadasa, President. Off. Organ of the Pres.: The Theosophist.
United States Section: James S. Perkins, Gen. Sec'y, "Olcott," Wheaton, Ill. Off. Organ: The American Theosophist. Canadian Section: Lt.-Col. E. L. Thomson, Gen. Sec'y, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ontario. Off. Organ: The Canadian Theosophist (Albert E.S. Smythe, Editor).
Literature: The Theosophical Publishing House. Adyar, Madras, India, and 68 Great Russell St., London W.C. 1, England. - The Theosophical Press, '"Olcott," Wheaton, Ill. - Editions Adyar, 4 Square Rapp, Paris vii, France.

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Covina, Calif., U.S.A. Arthur L. Conger, Leader. Off. Organ: The Theosophical Forum.
American-Canadian Section: Maj. Oliver J. Schoonmaker, Pres., 802 Jackson Ave., Washington 12, D.C.
Literature: Theosophical University Press, Covina, Calif. - Theosophical Book Co., 119 Stoughton Rd., Guildford, Surrey, England. - U.M., C.A.J. van Dishoek c.v., Nwe. 's-Graveland-scheweg 36, Bussum, Holland. - Box 1292 G.P.O., Sydney, Australia. - Teosofiska Bokforiaget, Tegnersgatan 29, Stockholm, Sweden.

THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS: selected list of centers -
Los Angeles 7, Calif., 245 West 33rd St. Literature: Theosophy Company, publishers of the magazine Theosophy.
Bombay, India, 51 Mahatma Gandhi Rd. Literature: Theosophy Company, Ltd., Publishers of the magazine The Theosophical Movement. - International Book House, Ltd., Bombay 1. - "Aryasangha," Malabar Hill, Bombay 6, Editors of the magazine The Aryan Path.
London, England, 17 Great Cumberland Place.
Paris v, France, 14 Rue de l'Abbe de l'Epee.
Sydney, Australia, Federation House, 166 Philip St.

THE BLAVATSKY ASSOCIATION: 26 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W.8, England.