[Cover photo: Morain on the Baltoro Glacier, Himalayas. (Photo by Vittorio Sella, Biella, Italy.)]
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"The instinct is to toss aside the daily paper in total discouragement. There seems to be no peace, anywhere, only dissension, misery, violence, and misunderstanding. Everywhere the story is the same: man's inability to live with man in harmony.
The war was supposed to have ended nearly three years ago. But these years of so-called peace have been festering with dreadful infections, and the world is running a high fever in prelude to danger.
Turn from the headlines and the temper is not much better. There is murder on the radio, murder on the screen, murder on the printed page, and murder on the next block. Although we in America are not stalked by hunger and cold, food and shelter and clothing have not brought peace to the spirits of the richest people in the world.
So where can we find the peace we crave and are denied? In our own homes, perhaps. On our own acres, if we have any. But most of all, in our hearts. There is the only inviolable refuge.
But how find it there? How build up an oasis of calm that can withstand the frightful outer pressures of evil?
The answer is to thrust away the nagging small immediacies and dig into the changeless matter of creation. If you can do this, you come upon a pattern which is itself assurance that the basis of life is not chaos but order, not dissonance but harmony. The majestic march of planets and of seasons, the slow, magnetic ebb and pulse of tides, the cadences of genius, the cold, long preparation of earth for its renewal each spring - these are all evidences of this order, all denials of chaos. But you need not look that far. Peace is in the warm word of a neighbor; in the innumerable daily acts of human decency that form a barrier to chaos. Chaos is man-made, and by that token can be man-dispelled.
We can not look for peace. We must make it in ourselves." - Unsigned in Vogue magazine, 1947. 
Easter is not merely a celebration. Easter is a Spiritual Idea. It is a noble idea which has come down to us from the remotest antiquity.
The word Easter is derived from Ostara or Eastre, the name given the goddess of Spring by the Germanic races. She was the symbol of the resurrection of all Nature. As is the case with almost every other festival or celebration of the Christian world, Easter itself is but a Christian adaptation of a very ancient and universally known festival.
It should be remembered that practically every one of the great festivals in the philosophical and religious systems of mankind, from immemorial antiquity, has behind it, as its background and origin, an esoteric fact arising in and out of what the ancient Greeks, for instance, termed the mysteria. These ancient festivities commemorated mystical events in the spiritual life of man. In their turn, these mystical events in the spiritual life of man faithfully reflect events which are taking place in the spiritual life of the world as a whole.
It was universally taught in all ancient civilizations that there were four main seasons of the year at which initiatory rites took place at certain periodically recurring times. These seasons were the Solstices of Winter and Summer, and the Equinoxes of Spring and Autumn.
The initiatory cycle contained the circling year as a symbol of the entire spiritual, intellectual, and psychical life-cycle of a human being.
The Winter Solstice stood for the "birth" of the new man, of the Initiate, out of the mere personal man, the latter being the "living dead" of Pythagoras and other ancient thinkers and seers. This was also the season of the re-birth of the Unconquered Sun, such as the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, in Rome, which gave rise to the Christian Christmas celebrations.
As the illumined man lived and worked, if he had the will and the strength and the courage to proceed along this path of inner unfoldment, then in due course of time, perhaps after many years, and perhaps after many lives, there came the "Easter" of his life-cycle, another great Initiatory experience, when the Christos-Spirit within him arose and took his own stand as a fully-developed Master or Adept. This was the Spring Equinox Initiation. It was the mystic "Youth." The third stage was known as the "Majority" or "Adulthood," and took place at the initiatory rites of the Summer Solstice.
The fourth stage, occurring at the Autumnal Equinox, was known mystically as the "great Passing," the withdrawal into the Great Peace, when the Seer and Adept, if he chose so to do, left the world of men and was seen no more. Probably the greatest test of all was to renounce the supreme bliss of this "passing" into higher spheres of evolution, and to remain as a Teacher among men, to help them, guide them, protect them, for what might well be endless ages of growth and evolution.
In the Christian world of today, practically no trace remains of any celebrations connected with the last two mystical seasons of the year.
The initiatory rites of every land were always very closely connected with the days of the New and of the Full Moon, for very profound astrological and occult reasons pertaining to the inner workings of the cosmic spiritual mechanism we term the Solar System. It is therefore perfectly correct to celebrate Easter at the Full Moon following the spring equinox, especially if the latter coincides with the New Moon, which, of course, is  not always the case. But the idea of celebrating Easter on a Sunday is purely a Christian innovation, the result of long years of very bitter controversy over the esoteric facts of nature totally misunderstood by generations of people who had already largely lost the inner knowledge of spiritual events. That custom was finally fixed at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., and has been perpetuated since.
What about the Easter-Eggs? Why is this symbol connected with Easter? Due to ignorance, most people think this is another Christian symbol. The Norsemen of old exchanged colored eggs at this season, called the eggs of Ostara. Eggs were hung in the Egyptian Temples in spring time. According to Plutarch, in egg was carried in procession during the celebrations of the Bacchic Mysteries in Greece. The god Apollo was often represented standing next to a conical pile of eggs. The Mohammedans suspend eggs in their mosques at spring time.
In ancient India it was the Mundane Egg in which Brahma gestated, the Hiranya-garbha, the Golden Egg. In Brahmanic esotericism, the Universe itself is called Brahmanda, or the Egg of Brahma. Among the Egyptians, it was the Egg of the World which proceeded out of the mouth of Kneph. In Babylon, the World Egg hatched Ishtar, the goddess of Nature. Many other instances could he cited.
Remember the Latin saying: Omne vivum ex ovo, every living thing springs from an egg. Out of the apparently senseless egg comes a living being, be it great or small. Out of life potential, comes forth life dynamic. Out of the unmanifested, life manifested. Therefore, the egg was the symbol of the resurrection of life. Not only physical life, but spiritual life as well. The germ of potential life, quickened into life dynamic.
Every human being is mystically and symbolically an egg. Yes, an Easter Egg. In sending an egg to a friend at Easter time, we act symbolically. It is as if we said to him: "Ah, friend, with this gift of the symbolic egg, symbol of the new life to be, I hope that you too will soon break the confining shell of the lower selfhood, the personal man, and, having cracked the envelope of your restricted, earthly being, you may step forth as the Master within yourself!" It also means in a deeper sense: Seek Initiation! Break the shell of the lower man, find birth into the world of the spirit. This is the birth of the Christos within you. His resurrection from the tomb of material encasement.
Everyone of us is crucified, as it were, upon the cross of material existence. The Inner Christos, the Inner Buddha, the mystic Apollo, or the spiritual Osiris, is crucified in us, waiting for a resurrection. That resurrection is the liberation from the stranglehold of the lower, personal selfhood, the resigning of the selfish, personal man, and the exchanging of it for the Greater Man, the real Spiritual Manhood, the Master within us, within you and within me and within all else.
Easter, therefore, is a Spiritual Idea. Easter is a state of mind. More than that, it is a Vision of the Heart. Let us evoke that Vision before the eyes of our soul! Let us turn our gaze away from the shadows of personal life! Let us look ahead into the gleaming Light of the dawning future. Therein lies endless hope, indomitable courage, undreamt of possibilities of growth.
This does not mean to neglect the present, with its many problems and its duties. As a matter of fact, no future can exist except the one that is infolded in the present, and that will unfold from within it in due course of time. The possibilities of everything that lies ahead are contained in that fleeting moment which we call the present. We have to find within the problems and duties of that  present the solution which they, paradoxically enough, hide within themselves. That solution is not without; it lies within. In a very real sense, the problems themselves are but solutions distorted, just as diseases and ills are the result of disturbed harmony.
We are surrounded by psychological and intellectual illusions which can be dispelled only by means of spiritual knowledge, and these illusions often produce the appearance of unsolvable problems. To judge by external, illusory appearances, there can hardly be any springtime in store, when contemplating the seemingly dead inertness of winter's sleep. And yet we know that spring is coming, because we have learned through experience how the laws of Nature operate in this particular respect. Similarly, and only too often, the latent forces of life in human circumstances and conditions throw an illusory picture of seeming hopelessness and despair, blotting out the vision of things to be. We must learn to pierce this illusion by the power of spiritual knowledge and indomitable courage. Man is a composite entity, and hides within his complex constitution many undreamt of levels of consciousness and planes of awareness. We can never dwell too often on this thought.
There is in every human being a hidden and profound cave. There is an entrance to that cave. Against the entrance there rests a heavy stone. A god is buried in that cave, waiting for release and freedom. And the heavy stone is our personal selfhood, with its weaknesses, its cloying desires, its enshrouding veils of selfishness. If we but roll that heavy stone aside, and enter the cave, lo! there comes to meet us a god-like Being, who is truly one with ourselves, our own Inner Self.
May the Portals of our Inner "Temple swing wide open! May we find the starry Being in the depths of our own inmost consciousness, and step forth into the world as spiritual warriors, clad in the Vestures of the Sun! Happy Easter to all!
ADVANCE ORDERS FOR H.P. BLAVATSKY'S COLLECTED
[This remarkable article from the pen of H.P. Blavatsky may he considered as the "opening gun" of her occult literary career. The clippings from the Spiritual Scientist, Boston, Vol II, Nos. 19 and 20, July 15 and 22, 1875, pp. 217-18, 224, and 236-37, respectively, where this article appeared, were pasted by H.P.B. in her Scrapbook 1, where she added the following pen-and-ink notation: "My first occult shot. H.P.B." It is as timely today as it was seventy-five years ago, and deserves the most careful study. - Editor.]
Among the numerous sciences pursued by the well-disciplined army of earnest students of the present century, none has had less honors or more scoffing than the oldest of them - the science of sciences, the venerable mother-parent of all our modern pigmies. Anxious, in their petty vanity, to throw the veil of oblivion over their undoubted origin, the self-styled positive scientists, ever on the alert, present to the courageous scholar who tries to deviate from the beaten highway traced out for him by his dogmatic predecessors, a formidable range of serious obstacles.
As a rule, Occultism is a dangerous, double-edged weapon for one to handle, who is unprepared to devote his whole life to it. The theory of it, unaided by serious practice, will ever remain in the eyes of those prejudiced against such an unpopular cause an idle, crazy speculation, fit only to charm the ears of ignorant old women. When we cast a look behind us, and see how, for the last thirty years, modern Spiritualism has been dealt with, notwithstanding the occurrence of daily, hourly proofs which speak to all our senses, stare us in the eyes, and utter their voices from "beyond the great gulf," how can we hope that Occultism, or Magic, which stands in relation to Spiritualism as the Infinite to the Finite, as the cause to the effect, or as unity to multifariousness, how call we hope, I say, that it will easily gain ground where Spiritualism is scoffed at? One who rejects a priori, or even doubts, the immortality of man's soul can never believe in its Creator, and blind to what is heterogeneous in his eyes, will remain still more blind to the proceeding of the latter from Homogeneity. In relation to the Cabala, or the compound mystic text-book of all the great secrets of Nature, we do not know of anyone in the present century who could have commanded a sufficient dose of that moral courage which fires the heart of the true adept with the sacred flame of propagandism - to force him into defying public opinion, by displaying familiarity with that sublime work. Ridicule is the deadliest weapon of the age, and while we read in the records of history of thousands of martyrs who joyfully braved flames and faggots in support of their mystic doctrines in the past centuries, we would scarcely be likely to find one individual in the present times, who would be brave enough even to defy ridicule by seriously undertaking to prove the great truths embraced in the traditions of the Past.
As an instance of the above, I will mention the article on Rosicrucianism, signed "Hiraf." This ably-written essay, notwithstanding some fundamental errors, which, though they are such would be hardly noticed except by those who had devoted their lives to the study of Occultism in its various branches of practical teaching, indicates with certainty to the practical reader that, for theoretical knowledge, at least, the author need fear few rivals, still less superiors. His modesty, which I cannot too much appreciate in his case, though he is safe enough behind the mask of his fancy pseudonym - need not  give him any apprehensions. There are few critics in this country of Positivism who would willingly risk themselves in an encounter with such a powerful disputant, on his own ground. The weapons he seems to hold in reserve, in the arsenal of his wonderful memory, his learning, and his readiness to give any further information that enquirers may wish for, will undoubtedly scare off every theorist, unless he is perfectly sure of himself, which few are. But book-learning - and here I refer only to the subject of Occultism - vast as it may be, will always prove insufficient even to the analytical mind, the most accustomed to extract the quintessence of truth, disseminated throughout thousands of contradictory statements, unless supported by personal experience and practice. Hence Hiraf can only expect an encounter with some one who may hope to find a chance to refute some of his bold assertions on the plea of having just such a slight practical experience. Still, it must not be understood that these present lines are intended to criticize our too modest essayist. Far from poor, ignorant me be such a presumptuous thought. My desire is simply to help him in his scientific but, as I said before, rather hypothetical researches, by telling a little of the little I picked up in my long travels throughout the length and breadth of the East - that cradle of Occultism - in the hope of correcting certain erroneous notions he seems to be labouring under, and which are calculated to confuse uninitiated sincere enquirers, who might desire to drink at his own source of knowledge.
In the first place, Hiraf doubts whether there are in existence, in England or elsewhere, what we term regular colleges for the neophytes of this Secret Science. I will say from personal knowledge that such places there are in the East - in India, Asia Minor, and other countries. As in the primitive clays of Socrates and other sages of antiquity, so now, those who are willing to learn the Great Truth will ever find the chance if they only "try" to meet some one to lead them to the door of one "who knows when and how." If Hiraf is right about the seventh rule of the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross which says that "the Rose-crux becomes and is not made," he may err as to the exceptions which have ever existed among other Brotherhoods devoted to the pursuit of the same secret knowledge. Then again, when he asserts, as he does, that Rosicrucianism is almost forgotten, we may answer him that we do not wonder at it, and add, by way of parenthesis, that, strictly speaking, the Rosicrucians do not even exist, the last of that Fraternity having departed in the person of Cagliostro.* (*Knowing but little about Occultism in Europe I may be mistaken; if so, any one who knows to the contrary will oblige me by correcting my error.)
Hiraf ought to add to the word Rosicrucianism "that particular sect," at least, for it was but a sect after all, one of many branches of the same tree. By forgetting to specify that particular denomination, and by including under the name of Rosicrucians all those who, devoting their lives to Occultism, congregated together in Brotherhoods, Hiraf commits an error by which he may unwittingly lead people to believe that the Rosicrucians having disappeared, there are no more Cabalists practicing Occultism on the face of the earth. He also becomes thereby guilty of an anachronism,* (* The same mistake pervades the whole of that able book, The Rosicrucians, by Hargrave Jennings.) attributing to the Rosicrucians the building of the Pyramids and other majestic monuments, which indelibly exhibit in their architecture the symbols of the grand religions of the Past. For it is not so. If the main object in view was and still is alike with all the great family of the ancient and modern Cabalists, the dogmas and formulae of certain sects differ greatly. Springing one after the other from  the great Oriental mother-root, they scattered broadcast all over the world, and each of them desiring to outrival the other by plunging deeper and deeper into the secrets jealously guarded by Nature, some of them became guilty of the greatest heresies against the primitive Oriental Cabala.
While the first followers of the secret sciences, taught to the Chaldeans by nations whose very name was never breathed in history, remained stationary in their studies, having arrived at the maximum, the Omega of the knowledge permitted to man, many of the subsequent sects separated from them, and, in their uncontrollable thirst for more knowledge, trespassed the boundaries of truth and fell into fictions. In consequence of Pythagoras - so says Iamblichus - having by sheer force of energy and daring penetrated into the mysteries of the Temple of Thebes and obtained therein his initiation, and afterwards studied the sacred sciences in Egypt for twenty-two years, many foreigners were subsequently admitted to share the knowledge of the wise men of the East, who, as a consequence, had many of their secrets divulged. Later still, unable to preserve them in their purity, these mysteries were so mixed up with fictions and fables of the Grecian mythology that truth was wholly distorted.
As the primitive Christian religion divided, in course of time, into numerous sects, so the science of Occultism gave birth to a variety of doctrines and various brotherhoods. So the Egyptian Ophites became the Christian Gnostics, shooting forth the Basilideans of the second century, and the original Rosicrucians created subsequently the Paracelsists, or Fire Philosophers, the European Alchemists, and other physical branches of their sect. (See Hargrave Jennings' The Rosicrucians.) To call indifferently every Cabalist a Rosicrucian, is to commit the same error as if we were to call every Christian a Baptist on the ground that the latter are also Christians.
The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross was not founded until the middle of the thirteenth century, and notwithstanding the assertions of the learned Mosheim, it derives its name, neither from the Latin word Ros (dew), nor from a cross, the symbol of Lux. The origin of the Brotherhood can be ascertained by any earnest, genuine student of Occultism, who happens to travel in Asia Minor, if he chooses to fall in with some of the Brotherhood, and if he is willing to devote himself to the head-tiring work of deciphering a Rosicrucian manuscript - the hardest thing in the world, for it is carefully preserved in the archives of the very Lodge which was founded by the first Cabalist of that name; but which now goes by another name. The founder of it, a German Reuter, of the name of Rosencranz, was a man who, after acquiring a very suspicious reputation through the practice of the Black Art, in his native place, reformed in consequence of a vision. Giving up his evil practices, he made a solemn vow, and went on foot to Palestine, in order to make his amende honorable at the Holy Sepulcher. Once there, the Christian God, the meek, but well-informed Nazarene - trained as he was in the high school of the Essenes, those virtuous descendants of the botanical as well as astrological and magical Chaldeans - appeared to Rosencranz, a Christian would say, in a vision, but I would suggest, in the shape of a materialized spirit. The purport of this visitation, as well as the subject of their conversation, remained for ever a mystery to many of the Brethren; but immediately after that, the ex-sorcerer and Reuter disappeared, and was heard of no more till the mysterious sect of Rosicrucians was added to the family of Cabalists, and their powers aroused popular attention, even among the Eastern populations, indolent, and accustomed as they are to live among wonders. The Rosicrucians strove to combine together the most various branches of Occultism, and they soon became renowned for the extreme purity of their lives and their  extraordinary powers, as well as for their thorough knowledge of the secret of the secrets.
As alchemists and conjurers they became proverbial. Later (I need not inform Hiraf precisely when, as we drink at two different sources of knowledge), they gave birth to the more modern Theosophists, at whose head was Paracelsus, and to the Alchemists, one of the most celebrated of whom was Thomas Vaughan (seventeenth century) who wrote the most practical things on Occultism, under the name of Eugenius Philalethes. I know and can prove that Vaughan was, most positively, "made before he became."
The Rosicrucian Cabala is but an epitome of the Jewish and the Oriental ones, combined, the latter being the most secret of all. The Oriental Cabala, the practical, full, and only existing copy, is carefully preserved at the headquarters of this Brotherhood in the East, and, I may safely vouch, will never come out of its possession. Its very existence has been doubted by many of the European Rosicrucians. One who wants "to become" has to hunt for his knowledge through thousands of scattered volumes, and pick up facts and lessons, bit by bit. Unless he takes the nearest way and consents "to be made," he will never become a practical Cabalist, and with all his learning will remain at the threshold of the "mysterious gate." The Cabala may be used and its truths imparted on a smaller scale now than it was in antiquity, and the existence of the mysterious Lodge, on account of its secrecy, doubted: but it does exist and has lost none of the primitive secret powers of the ancient Chaldaeans.* (*For those who are able to understand intuitionally what I am about to say, my words will be but the echo of their own thoughts. I draw the attention of such only, to a long series of inexplicable events which have taken place in our present century; to the mysterious influence directing political cataclysms; the doing and undoing of crowned heads: the tumbling down of thrones; the thorough metamorphosis of nearly the whole of the European map, beginning with the French Revolution of '93, predicted in every detail by the Count St. Germain, in an autograph MS., now in the possession of the descendants of the Russian nobleman to whom he gave it, and coming down to the Franco-Prussian War of the latter days. This mysterious influence called "chance" by the skeptic and Providence by Christians, may have a right to some other name. Of all these degenerated children of Chaldean Occultism, including the numerous societies of Freemasons, only one of them in the present century is worth mentioning in relation to Occultism, namely the " Carbonari." Let some one study all he can of that secret society, let him think, combine, deduce. If Raymond Lully, a Rosicrucian, a Cabalist, could so easily supply king Edward I of England with six million sterling to carry on war with the Turks in that distant epoch, why could not some secret lodge in our day furnish, as well, nearly the same amount of millions to France, to pay their national debt - this same France, which was so wonderfully, quickly defeated, and as wonderfully set on her legs again. Idle talk! - people will say. Very well, but even an hypothesis may be worth the trouble to consider sometimes.) The lodges, few in number, are divided into sections and known but to the Adepts; no one would be likely to find them out, unless the sages themselves found the neophyte worthy of initiation. Unlike the European Rosicrucians - who, in order "to become and not to be made," have constantly put into practice the word of St. John, who says, "Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force," and who have struggled alone, violently robbing Nature of her secrets, the Oriental Rosicrucians (for such we will call them, being denied the right to pronounce their true name), in the serene beatitude of their divine knowledge, are ever ready to help the earnest student struggling "to become" with practical knowledge, which dissipates, like a heavenly breeze, the blackest clouds of sceptical doubt.
Hiraf is right again when he says that "knowing that their mysteries, if divulged, in the present chaotic state of society, would produce mere confusion and death," they shut up that knowledge within themselves. Heirs  to the early heavenly wisdom of their first forefathers, they keep the keys which unlock the most guarded of Nature's secrets, and impart them only gradually and with the greatest caution. But still they do impart sometimes.
Once in such a cercle vicieux, Hiraf sins likewise in a certain comparison he makes between Christ, Buddha, and Khoung-foo-tsee, or Confucius. A comparison can hardly be made between the two former wise and spiritual Illuminati, and the Chinese philosopher. The higher aspirations and views of the two Christs can have nothing to do with the cold, practical philosophy of the latter; brilliant anomaly as he was among a naturally dull and materialistic people, peaceful and devoted to agriculture from the earliest ages of their history. Confucius can never bear the slightest comparison with the two great Reformers. Whereas the principles and doctrines of Christ and Buddha were calculated to embrace the whole of humanity, Confucius confined his attention solely to his own country; trying to apply his profound wisdom and philosophy to the wants of his countrymen, and little troubling his head about the rest of mankind. Intensely Chinese in patriotism and views, his philosophical doctrines are as much devoid of the purely poetic element which characterizes the teachings of Christ and Buddha, the two divine types, as the religious tendencies of his people lack in that spiritual exaltation which we find, for instance, in India. Khoung-foo-tsee has not even the depth of feeling and the slight spiritual striving of his contemporary, Lao-tse. Says the learned Ennemoser: "The spirits of Christ and Buddha have left indelible, eternal traces all over the face of the world. The doctrines of Confucius can be mentioned only as the most brilliant proceedings of cold human reasoning." Harvey, in his Universal History, has depicted the Chinese nation perfectly, in a few words: "Their heavy, childish, cold, sensual nature explains the peculiarities of their history." Hence any comparison between the first two reformers and Confucius, in an essay on Rosicrucianism, in which Hiraf treats of the Science of Sciences and invites the thirsty for knowledge to drink at her inexhaustible source, seems inadmissible.
Further, when our learned author asserts so dogmatically that the Rosicrucian learns, though he never uses, the secret of immortality in earthly life, he asserts only what he himself, in his practical inexperience, thinks impossible. The words "never" and "impossible" ought to be erased from the dictionary of humanity, until the time at least when the great Cabala shall all be solved, and so rejected or accepted. The Count St. Germain is, until this very time, a living mystery, and the Rosicrucian Thomas Vaughan another one. The countless authorities we have in literature, as well as in oral tradition (which sometimes is the more trustworthy) about this wonderful Count's having been met and recognized in different centuries, is no myth. Anyone who admits one of the practical truths of the Occult Sciences taught by the Cabala tacitly admits them all. It must be Hamlet's "to be or not to be," and if the Cabal is true, then St. Germain need be no myth.
But I am digressing from my object, which is, firstly, to show the slight
differences between the two Cabalas - that of the Rosicrucians and the
Oriental one; and, secondly, to say that the hope expressed by Hiraf
to see the subject better appreciated at some future day than it has
been till now, may perhaps become more than a hope. Time will show many
things; till then, let us heartily thank Hiraf for this first well-aimed
shot at those stubborn scientific runaways, who, once before the Truth,
avoid looking her in the face, and dare not even throw a glance behind
them, lest they should he forced to see that which would greatly lessen
their self-sufficiency. As a practical follower of Eastern Spiritualism,
I can confidently wait for the time when, with the  timely
help of those "who know," American Spiritualism, which even
in its present shape has proved such a sore in the side of the materialists,
will become a science and a thing of mathematical certitude, instead
of being regarded as the crazy delusion of epileptic monomaniacs.
Out of a group of, say, five hundred people who attend a lecture on occult philosophy there may be, perhaps, ten who have a full comprehension of the principles discussed. The rest may be divided into those newcomers who are honestly seeking a broader conception of purpose and an answer to the vagaries of human nature; those who haven't the remotest idea what the discussion is about, but just love a mystery; and those who, having a smattering of teachings associated with occult philosophy, feel certain they are ready to unfold their chakras! Of course, they are not sure just what happens after their chakras unfold, but in the meantime it certainly breaks the monotony! None of these "simple" principles for them - such as gentleness of manner, thoughtfulness toward their neighbors, patience with their children, or joy from any service they may render. These things are much too easy for them. They prefer to "skip" these childish lessons and get on with opening their chakras and listening for inaudible voices. Of course, they have never tried being gentle and understanding of others but they are sure they could be if they wanted to - so why bother!
They who would jump to the high goals of vision and wisdom are merely building a potential of disappointment and delay. Whether an idea is developed into a physical or a spiritual creation, it is not built from the top to the bottom nor from the end to the beginning. The "childish" firstborn principles are the foundation and must be learned until they are no longer a duty or even a means to reach a higher goal, but are natural and sweet and accomplished with joy. Among these basic principles are: a gentle and relaxed manner; a constant readiness to help your fellowman, when help is requested; the ability to find peace and contentment within yourself without any physical aid; the desire to discover the greater harmony; and a joy in obeying law.
Those who are so anxious to leap to a high development do not foresee the responsibility they are inviting.
What happens in any business when an individual proves his outstanding ability or efficiency? He suddenly finds himself a leader, a supervisor, or a teacher or trainer of others and sometimes regrets his ambition. The law of superiority dominating and being responsible for the inferior is most assuredly true in the spiritual world. Superior understanding is not only knowing how to combine beauty and truth with our own lives, but also knowing when to present them to those who are not yet mature spiritual beings, and when to protect these "young ones" from the more advanced knowledge.
It is like being responsible for children. We present them gradually with those things which they are equipped to understand and use. Putting profound knowledge within the reach of those who have not the understanding to properly handle it, is like putting bottles of drugs within the reach of children. Properly understood and taken in prescribed doses, they are of great benefit. To the  immature they can be deadly! Mature minds are capable of exploring the complex without losing track of the simple, the fundamental. But the majority will become lost in the maze and lose track of entrance or beginning and never find the end. It is a vast and complicated enlargement of the common and popular game of guessing the identity of an individual from knowledge of his traits, habits, accomplishments, environment, tastes, etc.
In the instance of the little human game it is desirable to conceal the answer as much as possible, to prolong the guessing. But in the larger instance it is a game of disaster, for in the fascination of "seeking," the "guesser" wanders farther and farther into the maze until he suddenly realizes, with panic, that he cannot remember the beginning and cannot find the end, and that he has not discovered the Identity.
The universe is not a guessing game. The Spirit of Deity walks beside man and waits for simple recognition of its presence.
The wise leader should teach the students that truth is concealed within beauty - to seek that which is beautiful. When they seek the beautiful they are seeking truth; when they love the beautiful they are loving truth; and when they obey the beautiful they are obeying truth,
True beauty will never offend, for it is constructed according to the law and is harmonious. Seek beauty as you would seek a lovely flower. You are not looking for its roots, nor for the secret of its growth but rather for the fragrance, the color, the symmetry of its blossom. You know that it is governed by a law of birth and growth.
Yet, it is not the laws of the flower which concern you. You desire inspiration from beholding that which has attained its own maturity by obedience to its own laws. This lovely communion with something beautiful strengthens your faith in your own laws.
Those who are spiritual leaders are yet responsible to a higher leader. There is no true leader who does not humbly seek direction from a superior power. So woe to the man who without worthy aim or sufficient training seeks to direct others. For no superior power would entrust important directions to a subordinate incapable of fulfilling them. He who leads without the support and larger vision of a superior will surely fall.
Those who would be good leaders must learn to be good subordinates. They must learn to obey orders promptly, to be calm and relaxed and thus ready for sudden command, and to suggest, not criticize.
We must remember, the multitude looks to tile leaders not only for vision, but for strength, and fortitude is indeed needed by the leaders to withstand the doubt, the suspicion, the questioning of individuals who are tired of spiritual discontent and yet dubious of content.
Vision can develop fast but stamina and strength to support it develop slowly.
So, guard your vision until you have a strong foundation. It is foolish to build a majestic structure that will collapse from a weak support.
Let patience and caution be your guiding friends. Seek the high purpose with prudence and remember that attainment is ever accompanied by responsibility! 
There is to be found in the pages of the first Theosophical journal, The Theosophist (Vol. V, October, 1883, pp. 26-27), an interesting comment from the pen of H.P. Blavatsky which she appends to an "Appeal" issued from Bangalore, May 12. 1883, by a number of prominent Hindus, on behalf of the miserable Outcastes or Pariahs of India, and their ultimate redemption. She writes:
"A noble movement, one of a most redeeming and high character, is set on foot by several native gentlemen of Southern India, namely, a Society for the regeneration of the Pariah classes. Hitherto, these hapless outcastes, or rather, creatures of no-caste, rejected by all their fellow-men, thought that their only way to social and political rather than religious salvation, was by lending a willing ear to the liberal promises made to them by the Missionaries; and thus - they fell an easy prey to these universal way-layers. Had the Padris while baptizing (which does not always mean converting) them, done anything in the way of moral regeneration for this unfortunate class, we would be the first to applaud their efforts. As it is, every European having the misfortune to deal with native converts (of any caste, not only the Pariahs) whether as servants or anything else, will bear out our testimony when saying that Missionary proselytism has done a thousand times more harm to those natives who have succumbed to it than any kind of idolatry or fetishism. Useless to go over a too well beaten ground and repeat that which has been said and better said even by a few honest Christian missionaries themselves. Therefore we applaud most sincerely to the noble undertaking. Once that the Pariahs, among whom there are as many intelligent young men as among any other class, are made to enjoy the benefits of an education that will enable them to think for themselves, the abuses of proselytism must cease. ..."
One of such "intelligent young men," born but a few years after the above comments were written, is Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, originally himself one of the 45 million Untouchables, now Law Minister of India.
As a boy and young man, Ambedkar experienced all the bitterness and degradation of his social status. As a great exception to the rule, he was allowed to attend grade-school in the Bombay Presidency. Despite unbelievable handicaps and insults, he won a competitive scholarship and entered Elphinstone High School in Bombay. The intellectual capacities and moral stamina of the boy attracted to him the attention of the Gaekwar of Baroda, who made it possible for Ambedkar to finish college in Bombay and to sail for further studies in the United States. This was a far cry from sweeping dung on the streets, or cleaning latrines in his native country, living in ghettos of unimaginable filth.
Ambedkar absorbed the ideals of the American Commonwealth, and became grounded in history, anthropology, sociology, psychology and economics. With double the credits required, he received in 1917 the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Columbia University. After further studies in London and Germany, Ambedkar returned to Baroda, where the Gaekwar decided to groom him for the position of Finance Minister. This plan was frustrated by caste discrimination. Narrowly escaping a mob of Parsis who attempted to kill him, he led a miserable life for over a year, poverty-stricken and unemployed. His determination resulted, however, in a position as professor of political economy at Sydenham College, England. He returned to India as barrister and Doctor of Science, practiced law against terrible handicaps, started a weekly vernacular paper, The People, and worked  indefatiguably for the redemption of the lowly Outcastes. He founded the People's Education Society and organized the Siddharth College on American lines. He worked his way up to the Viceroy's Executive Council. In 1942, he was appointed Labor Member in the Governor General's Executive Council, and started a campaign for scholarships to send Untouchables to foreign countries for study. "Nothing can stop him," observed a foreigner residing in India, "he has the power of incorruptibility."
The biggest job assigned to Amhedkar was the drafting of India's new Constitution. He became Chairman of the six-men drafting Committee, and had to defend each article before the Constituent Assembly. The climax of his career for the welfare of mankind, and the fulfillment of his life's dream, came on November 29, 1943, when he introduced Article 11 of the Constitution. We can almost hear Ambedkar, the "intelligent man" par excellence from among the "untouchable" one-eighth of India's population, pronounce his final verdict upon centuries of superstition, selfishness, abuse and cruelty: "Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden ... and shall be punishable in accordance with law." A unanimous standing vote of the Assembly approved the Article unconditionally.
While much remains to be done in the coming years, the foundation of a new era for India has been laid. Ingrained habits of thought are not destroyed overnight, but a new pattern of thinking is emerging. When the people are ready, leaders appear arising them. True leaders are not afraid. Adversity is their one congenial element. "After all," says Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, "kites rise against, not with, the wind!"
That task can he defined rather simply. It is: To do in the moral field what other sciences try to do in their territories. It is: To make moral laws as clear to men as are the laws of, say, physiology, physics and chemistry. Few seem aware that Theosophy is a Science; The Science; the only Science which can make science truly scientific.
No science can apply its knowledge without involving moral science. Application of 'scientific' knowledge either obeys moral laws, or violates them. There are no half measures. What promotes human unity and welfare is moral. All else is im-moral. There is no other standard of morality.
The objectives of the Theosophical Movement are moral objectives. Also, they are universally desired. But they can be attained only by obedience to moral law. That will eventually produce the desired results as a matter of course. To make this clear by demonstrating the nature and workings of moral laws, is the task of the Theosophist.
But first he must understand these laws, and understand them so well that he can set them forth in simple speech. One does not fully understand any subject until he can tell about it in the simplest forms of his mother tongue. Until then, his knowledge must be vague even to himself and, perhaps for that very reason fortunately, must remain within himself no matter how hard he tries to utter it.
There, perhaps, is one reason why scientists, as well as Theosophists, so  often use words intelligible only to fellow-scientists. It is fine for a classroom, but of little use in snaking Truth plain to the common man who needs it. For that, simple speech is essential. It comes only through understanding. The deeper the latter, the simpler will be the speech. The hallmark of profundity is simplicity.
Where and how shall such understanding be found? First of all in the heart of the student. There lies the key. There are the principles of morality, 'the light which lighteth every man that cometh into this world.' In that light, one's own experiences amply prove the operations of the moral law and show the moral causes of those effects which are one's experiences. Not without reason is the theosophical student directed inward. To learn anything, one must start where one stands. The basis of your future knowledge is what you have now: your own experience and that heart-light which is an eternal part of you.
If a man ignores these, all the profound yet simple truths of Theosophy, all its source-books and text-books, will he to him no more than `a tale told by an idiot' and all his talk of 'brotherhood' merely 'sound and fury, signifying nothing' ...
His first task is: to know himself. Through that knowledge, he will come to understand the moral laws which govern him and his affairs. But remember! His understanding is incomplete until he can explain the nature and operation of these laws in simple speech, clear to the simplest people! Then, for the sake of those people, he must put his knowledge into action.
Theosophy's larger task is an extension of the individual student's last step, writ large: To apply its knowledge towards stemming today's destructive trends. Lacking moral government, 'science,' in the hands of self-styled 'experts,' is rushing mankind to catastrophe. Theosophy alone holds the knowledge by which catastrophe can be averted - if it can be - If Theosophists have not already slept too long!
To wake now, and act! To demonstrate and to insist on the application of moral laws; to make those crystal-clear to the dullest minds - even to politicians! To insist that affairs be governed by moral law. That, today, is the task of Theosophy!
"... The solar system is a living being, of which the sun is both the brain and the heart. The different planets are the organs of this organic entity. Our earth is one. They all work together to produce the solar system as an organism, or a group of organs. All things contribute to all things. Nothing happens on this earth, from the waving of a frond of fern in the wind to the most awful earthquake the world has ever known, except by such co-operating cosmic agency. All are produced mainly by the earth, but with the co-operation of the sun and moon, the planets and comets, for this organic entity moves in synchronous measures of destiny. All things contribute to all things. The birth of every baby is produced by the solar system, by the earth, especially by the mother; yet all things contribute to produce that baby. The stars do have their effect upon us, most undoubtedly so; and the sun and planets and comets, because the solar system is an organic living being, and therefore everything within it anywhere is affected by everything within it everywhere. Surely this is true; and it is a wonderful picture." - G. de Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, p. 295. 
We gratefully acknowledge the receipt of the current issues of tire following magazines and journals: The Theosophist (Adyar, India), O Teosofista (Sao Paulo, Brazil), The Canadian Theosophist (Toronto, Canada), Theosophical News and Notes (London, England), The Indian Theosophist (Benares, India), Theosophy in Ireland (Dublin, Ireland), Boletin Mexicana and Marina (Mexico), The Theosophical Movement (Bombay, India), Theosophy (Los Angeles, Calif.), Het Theosofisch Forum (Rotterdam, Holland), Teosofiskt Forum (Stockholm, Sweden), The Golden Lotus (Philadelphia, Pa.), The New Age Interpreter (Los Angeles, Calif.), Free Mind (Portland, Ore.), The Quarter Hour (Los Angeles, Calif.), Eirenicon (Hyde, England), The Rosicrucian Magazine (Oceanside, Calif.), Luziom Dobrej Woli, (South Bend, Ind.), Theosophy in New Zealand (Auckland, N. Z.), Nordisk Teosofi (Copenhagen, Denmark), Bombay Theosophical Bulletin (Bombay, India), De Theosoof (Leiden, Holland), New Outlook (Los Angeles, Calif.), Theosophia (Aarhus, Denmark), Teosofsk Tidskrift (Stockholm, Sweden), Norsk Teosofsk Tidsskrift (Oslo, Norway), Adyar (Graz, Austria), Theosofa (Amsterdam, Holland), Devenir (Montevideo, Uruguay), The Christian Theosophist (Mon Abri, England), Das Theosophische Forum (Stuttgart, Germany), The Path (Sydney, Australia), Lucifer (Covina, Calif.), Metaphysische Rundschau (Vienna, Austria), The American Theosophist (Wheaton, Ill.), La Vie Thiosophique (Paris, France), The Federation Quarterly (Vancouver, B.C., Canada), Nordisk Teosofi (Scandinavian Sections, Theos. Soc., Adyar, collectively), Alba Spirituale (Savona, Italy), Le Vie dello Spirito (Rome, Italy), Schriftenreihe der Blavatsky Loge (Dusseldorf, Germany).
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 -