[Cover photo: Valley of the Indus River, Below Tarkati, in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir State, India. (Photo by Vittorio Sella, Biella, Italy.)]
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Men cannot be more dangerously deluded than in being taught that the end of earthly life is happiness. Happiness is not of the earth; and to imagine that one will find it, is the surest means of losing the enjoyment of the goods that God has placed within our reach. We have a great and sacred function to perform, which, however, compels its to a stern and perpetual strife. They feed the people with envy and hatred, in other words with suffering, who contrast the pretended felicity of the rich with the popular anguish and wretchedness. ... I have known them well - these so happy rich people! Their insipid pleasures result in a cureless satiety that has given me a conception of the infernal torments. There are doubtless rich people who escape this fate, more or less, but by means not of those which opulence procures.
Peace of mind is the foundation of real happiness; and this peace is the fruit of duty perfectly fulfilled, of moderation in desire, of blessed hopes, of pure affections. Nothing lofty, nothing beautiful, nothing good is done on earth save at the cost of suffering and of self-abnegation; and the sacrifice alone is fruitful. - Hugues de de Lamennais (1782-1854).
Let your cry be for free souls rather even than for free men. Moral liberty is the one vitally important liberty, the one liberty which is indispensable; the other liberty is good and salutary only so far as it favors this. Subordination is in itself a better thing than independence. The one implies order and arrangement; the other implies only self-sufficiency with isolation. The one means harmony, the other a single tone; the one is the whole, the other is but the part.
Liberty! Liberty! In all things let us have justice, and then we shall have enough liberty. - Attributed to Joubert. 
As we pass the seventy-fifth milestone of the modern Theosophical Movement, many thoughts come up for consideration, and many ideas suggest themselves.
We see today an entirely different world from the one which was familiar at the time when H.P.B. laid down the age-old principles of the Ancient Wisdom in terms adequate to the present age.
A great number of her prophetic statements, particularly those relating to the development of modern Science, have become actualities. Yet we witness at the present moment that same Science, proud of its mechanical and at times philosophical achievements, meekly subordinating itself to the authority of military cliques, and falling prey to the selfish schemes of power-politics, those two infernal broods of man's lower mind, begotten of his lust for power and coercion of other men.
Freedom of scientific research and of intellectual intercourse among scientific men the world over is shackled today by forces which are nurtured by fear, desire for exploitation, and the selfish passion for separateness and division - in a world which is gradually realizing its complete and irrevocable Unity, its spiritual, intellectual, and physical solidarity and integration. And the only way by which Science - that veritable goddess in the estimation of millions - can ever regain the freedom so essential to its growth and unfoldment, is through the instrumentality of men and women who have enough courage, boldness, and self-sacrificing love for Truth, to wrench both scientific knowledge and the Means of scientific research from all parochial, nationalistic, and sectarian domination, for the sake, and in the name of, Humanity as a whole. Where are these men and women? Let them come forth and make themselves known before it is too late!
Nevertheless, it would be a grievous mistake to picture modern Science as a beautiful and meek goddess that fell into the hands of scheming leaders bent upon its subjugation. Science, as such, and men of science individually, are themselves greatly to blame for this state of affairs. Most of them have extolled for a generation or two the marvel of mechanical inventions, and the wonder of theories and speculations which were supposed to explain the nature and structure of matter itself; and this they have done in utter disregard of the ethical implications which were and are inherent to their own scientific research and accomplishment.
Science, as research and as occupation, either freighted with discoveries already made, or fraught with potential discoveries of the yet unknown but not unknowable, should be in the very nature of things firmly rooted upon a foundation of Ethics, all of its achievements should be projected, as it were, against the background of those foundation-principles of human conduct which alone can safeguard humanity as a whole from the misuse of scientific knowledge by others, for purposes of human destruction or exploitation or enslavement. Unless Science becomes, and rapidly and universally so becomes, imbued with the realization of the ethical implications connected with its work, it will progressively become a more and more dangerous weapon with which one portion of the human race will be scheming the annihilation of the other, and vice versa. How far from that are we today?
Do we need, therefore, less science than we already have? Not exactly. But we do need less emphasis upon  certain aspects of science, those conducive to further misuse and misapplication; and we do need a great deal more science and research along such lines as are concerned with human behavior, individually and collectively, and the welfare of mankind on the global scale. The Science of the Atom could very well wait, until the Science of Man has been given a chance to bring up the rear!
We are reminded of the wise words of Sir Alfred Ewing, one-time President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (The Literary Digest, Oct. 15, 1932.):
"It is impossible not to ask, whither does this tremendous procession tend? What, after all, is its goal? What is the probable influence on the future of the human race?
"The scientists and engineers have dowered us with previously unpossessed and unimagined capacities and powers.
"Beyond question many of these gifts are benefits to man, making life fuller, wider, healthier, richer in comforts and interests and in such happiness as material things can promote.
"But we are acutely aware that the engineer's gifts have been and may be grievously abused. In some - there is potential tragedy as well as present burden.
"Man was ethically unprepared for so great a bounty. In the slow evolution of morals he is still unfit for the tremendous responsibility it entails. The command of nature has been put into his hands before he knows how to command himself."
Some years of world-agony followed this statement. Sir Alfred Ewing was right. What would he say in 1950?
Nor was he the only one to feel the way he did. Another man of genuine greatness of both mind and heart, Pierre Lecomte du Nouy, delivered himself of a statement which is of equal moment and even greater urgency. He wrote (Human Destiny, p. 139. Longman, Green and Co., N. Y., 1947):
"Man must be made to understand that the mechanical transformations he has introduced in his environment and his adaptation to them will mean either progress or ruin according to whether or not they are accompanied by a correlative improvement in his moral attitude.
"The duty of man, therefore, is to rout out this false symbol of civilization and to replace it by the true one: the development of human dignity. Not by combating mechanical progress which would actually be impossible, and might be disastrous because of the progress which must still be made in the realm of pure science and of medicine - but by instructing mankind and raising its moral standard."
Such pronouncements as these should become the everyday concern of all scientists the world over. If backed with moral courage, determination and the will to action along the highest lines of ethical conduct, such realizations and convictions might well liberate all scientific endeavor of the present generation from its shameful subservience to the selfish interests of the few.
It has often been said by students of Theosophy that Science and the Ancient Wisdom are allies in the Cause of Truth. This is true only if we look upon Science as including the vast domain of human psychology, ethics, behavior and morals. As long as modern Science has its center of gravity in the realm of the "intangible," which, oddly enough, has a tendency to become fully "tangible" in terms of bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like, the Ancient Wisdom can hardly be called its ally. It may be so if only scientific laboratory  speculations are taken into consideration, prior to the time when they become transfigured into weapons of destruction. But the real and only genuine integration of Theosophy and Science can take place exclusively along such lines where the ethical and spiritual background of the age-old teachings blends with the ethical realization of scientific researchers in their endeavor to build the foundations of a good life for mankind as a whole, and to dedicate their entire effort to the betterment of man's nature and the integration of the human race into one Brotherhood.
Do you recommend a daily, though brief, period of meditation or contemplation for the earnest student?
Yes, very definitely so. Particularly for those students whose daily routine occupations are rather engrossing, and who know they will have very little occasion to think of spiritual matters during the hours occupied by their vocational duties.
A period of quiet meditation, both upon arising in the morning and just before retiring at night, is of great spiritual benefit to the student. It is like a moment of closer companionship with the Higher Self, wherein help, inspiration and strength can be found with which to meet the problems of the coming day, or guidance thought before embarking upon the journey of the night, which men call sleep.
Meditation, however, should not be confused with any kind of intellectual or mental effort, intended to solve some difficult problem or to understand some intricate teaching. Meditation is an attitude of the soul, not an effort of the brain-mentality. It is an attitude of inner silence and expectancy during which we allow our consciousness to listen, as it were, to the silent music of the heart, our spiritual heart, the core of our inmost being. While it could be thought of as akin to inner relaxation, it should nevertheless be looked upon as a state of positivity, of dynamic polarity spirit-ward. As such, it precludes any
negative state of mind and is the very opposite of psychic receptivity. During true meditation, the consciousness of the student is polarized towards his Higher Self and is attuned to its inner guidance, to a smaller or greater extent, according to the spiritual status of the student, his will, and his earnestness.
We should make every effort to bring into our daily routine, however un-inspiring it may be at times, at least some of the constructive spiritual thoughts and noble feelings to which we may have attained during our period of meditation. In this manner we can help to raise our routine occupation to a higher level, where it becomes but a means to growth.
As the student becomes more and more proficient in his meditative practice, he becomes also more and more independent of any particular hour of the day, which he had originally selected for meditation. He begins to be aware of a steady undertone of meditation right through the daily work. While a portion of his material mind is engrossed in the performance of duties, a higher aspect of the Mind broods upon spiritual thoughts and ideas, irrespective of what his hands may be doing. In due course of time, meditation becomes a constant quality of his consciousness, and a condition of his inner soul-life.
A thought for your meditation: "Learn to forgive. Learn to love. You are an incarnate god. Be it!" 
The first Cabala in which a mortal man ever dared to explain the greatest mysteries of the universe, and show the keys to "these masked doors in the ramparts of Nature through which no mortal can ever pass without rousing
dread sentries never seen upon this side of her wall," was compiled by a certain Simeon Ben Iochai, who lived at the time of the second Temple's destruction. Only about thirty years after the death of this renowned Cabalist, his MSS. and written explanations, which had till then remained in his possession as a most precious secret, were used by his son Rabbi Eliazar and other learned men. Making a compilation of the whole, they so produced the famous work called Sohar (God's splendour). This book proved an inexhaustible mine for all the subsequent Cabalists, their source of information and knowledge, and all more recent and genuine Cabalas were more or less carefully copied from the former. Before that, all the mysterious doctrines had come down in an unbroken line of merely oral traditions as far back as man could trace himself on earth. They were scrupulously and jealously guarded by the Wise Men of Chaldea, India, Persia and Egypt, and passed from one initiate to another, in the same purity of form as when handed down to the first man by the angels, students of God's great Theosophic Seminary. For the first time since the world's creation, the secret doctrines, passing through Moses who was initiated in Egypt, underwent some slight alterations. In consequence of the personal ambition of this great prophet-medium, he succeeded in passing off his familiar spirit, the wrathful "Jehovah," for the spirit of God himself, and so won undeserved laurels and honors. The same influence prompted him to alter some of the principles of the great oral Cabala in order to make them the more secret. These principles were laid out in symbols by him in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but for some mysterious reasons he withheld them from Deuteronomy. Having initiated his seventy Elders in his own way, the latter could give but what they had received themselves, and so was prepared the first opportunity for heresy, and the erroneous interpretations of the symbols. While the Oriental Cabala remained in its pure primitive shape, the Mosaic or Jewish one was full of drawbacks, and the keys to many of the secrets forbidden by the Mosaic law - purposely misinterpreted. The powers conferred by it on the initiates were formidable still, and of all the most renowned Cabalists, King Solomon and his bigoted parent, David, notwithstanding his penitential psalms, were the most powerful. But still the doctrine remained secret and purely oral, until, as I have said before, the days of the second "Temple's destruction. Philologically speaking, the very word Cabala is formed from two Hebrew words, meaning to receive, as in former times the initiate received it orally and directly from his Master, and the very Book of the Sohar was written out on received information, which was handed down as an unvarying stereotyped tradition by the Orientals, and altered through the ambition of Moses, by the Jews.
If the primitive Rosicrucians learned their first lessons of wisdom from Oriental masters, not so with their direct descendants, the fire-philosophers or Paracelsists; for in many things the Cabala of the latter Illuminati proves to be degenerated into a twin sister of the Jewish. Let us compare. Besides admitting the "Shedim," or intermediate spirits of the Jews - the elementary  ones, which they divide into four classes, those of the air, of the water, the fire, and of minerals - the Christian Cabalist believes like the Jewish, in Asmodeus, the Ever-accursed One, or our good friend the orthodox Satan. Asmodeus, or Asmodi, is the chief of the elementary goblins. "This doctrine alone differs considerably from the Oriental philosophy, which denies that the great Ain-soph (the Endless or Boundless) who made his existence known through the medium of the spiritual substance sent forth from his Infinite Light - the oldest of the ten Intelligences or Emanations - the first Sephira - could ever create an endless macrocosmal evil. It (Oriental philosophy) teaches us that, though the first three spheres out of the seven - taking it for granted that our planet comes in fourth - are inhabited by elementary or future men (this might account for the modern doctrine of Reincarnation, perhaps) and, though until they become such men they are beings with immortal souls in them and but the "grossest purgations of the celestial fire," still they do not belong to Eternal Evil. Every one of them has the chance in store of having its matter reborn on this "fourth sphere," which is our planet, and so have "the gross purgation" purified by the Immortal Breath of the Aged of the Aged, who endows every human being with a portion of his boundless self. Here, on our planet, commences the first spiritual transition, from the infinite to the Finite, of the elementary matter which first proceeded from the pure Intelligence, or God, and also the operation of that pure Principle upon this material purgation. Thus begins the immortal man to prepare for Eternity.
In their primitive shape, the elementary spirits, so often mistaken in modern Spiritualism for the undeveloped or unprogressed spirits of our dead, stand in relation to our planet as we stand in relation to the Summer Land. When we use the term "disembodied spirit," we only repeat what the elementary ones most certainly think or say of us human beings, and if they are as yet devoid of immortal souls, they are, nevertheless, gifted with instinct and craft, and we appear as little material to them as the spirits of the fifth sphere appear to us. With our passage into each subsequent sphere, we throw off something of our primitive grossness. Hence, there is eternal progress - physical and spiritual - for every living being. The transcendental knowledge and philosophy of the greatest Oriental Cabalists never penetrated beyond a certain mark, and the Hermetist, or rather Rosicrucian, if we would be precise, never went farther than to solve the majestic, but more limited problems of the Jewish Cabala; which we can divide thus:
1. The nature of the Supreme Being;
As it is, the real, the complete Cabala of the first ages of humanity is in possession, as I said before, of but a few Oriental philosophers, where they are, who they are, is more than is given me to reveal. Perhaps I do not know it myself, and have only dreamed it. Thousands will say it is all imagination; so be it. Time will show. The only thing I can say is that such a body exists, and that the location of their Brotherhoods will never be revealed to other countries, until the day when Humanity shall awake in a mass from its spiritual lethargy, and open its blind eyes to the dazzling light of Truth. A too premature discovery might blind them, perhaps for ever. Until then, the speculative theory of their existence, will be supported by what people erroneously  believe to be supernal facts. Notwithstanding the selfish, sinful opposition of science to Spiritualism in general, and that of the scientists in particular, who, forgetting that their first duty is to enlighten Humanity, instead of that, allow millions of people to lose themselves and drift about like so many disabled ships, without pilot or compass, among the sandbanks of superstition; notwithstanding the toy-thunderbolts and harmless anathemas hurled around by the ambitious and crafty clergy, who, above all men, ought to believe in spiritual truths; notwithstanding the apathetic indifference of that class of people who prefer believing in nothing, pretending the while to believe in the teachings of their churches, which they select according to their best notions of respectability and fashion; notwithstanding all these things, Spiritualism will rise above all, and its progress can be as little helped as the dawn of the morning or the rising of the sun. Like the former, will the glorious Truth arise among all these black clouds gathered in the East; like the latter, will its brilliant light pour forth upon awakening humanity its dazzling rays. These rays will dissipate these clouds and the unhealthy mists of a thousand religious sects which disgrace the present century. They will warm up and recall into new life the millions of wretched souls who shiver and are half frozen under the icy hand of killing skepticism. Truth will prevail at last, and Spiritualism, the new world's conqueror, reviving, like the fabulous Phoenix out of the ashes of its first parent Occultism, will unite for ever in one Immortal Brotherhood all antagonistic races; for this new St. Michael will crush for ever the dragon's head-of Death!
I have but a few words more to say before I close. To admit the possibility of anyone becoming a practical Cabalist (or a Rosicrucian, we will call him, as the names seem to have become synonymous) who simply has the firm determination to "become" one, and hopes to get the secret knowledge through studying the Jewish Cabala, or every other one that may come into existence, without actually being initiated by another, and so being "made" such by someone who "knows," is as foolish as to hope to thread the famous labyrinth without the clue, or to open the secret locks of the ingenious inventors of the mediaeval ages, without having possession of the keys. If the Christian New Testament, the easiest and youngest of all the Cabalas known to us, has presented such immense difficulties to those who would interpret its mysteries and secret meanings (which were they only once studied with the key of modern Spiritualism would open as simply as the casket in Aesop's fable), what hope can there be for a modern Occultist, learned only in theoretical knowledge, to ever attain his object? Occultism without practice will ever be like the statue of Pygmalion, and no one can animate it without infusing into it a spark of the sacred Divine Fire. The Jewish Cabala, the only authority of the European Occultist, is all based on the secret meanings of the Hebrew scriptures, which, in their turn, indicate the keys to them, by signs hidden and unintelligible to the uninitiated. They afford no hope for the adepts to solve them practically. The Seventh Rule of the Rosicrucian "who became, but was not made" has its secret meaning, like every other phrase left by the Cabalists to posterity, in writing. The words: "The dead letter killeth," which Hiraf quotes, can be applied in this case with still more justice than to the Christian teachings of the first apostles. A Rosicrucian had to struggle ALONE, and toil long years to find some of the preliminary secrets - the A B C of the great Cabala - only on account of his ordeal, during which were to be tried all his mental and physical energies. After that, if found worthy, the word "Try" was repeated to him for the last time before the final ceremony of the ordeal. When the High Priests of the Temple of Osiris, of Serapis, and others, brought the  neophyte before the dreaded Goddess Isis, the word "Try" was pronounced for the last time; and then, if the neophyte could withstand that final mystery, the most dreaded as well as the most trying of all horrors for him who knew not what was in store for him; if he bravely "lifted the veil of Isis," he became an initiate, and had naught to fear more. He had passed the last ordeal, and no longer dreaded to meet face to face the inhabitants from "over the dark river."
The only cause for the horror and dread we feel in the presence of death, lies in its unsolved mystery. A Christian will always fear it, more or less; an initiate of the secret science, or a true Spiritualist, never; for both of the latter have lifted the veil of Isis, and the great problem is solved by both, in theory and in practice.
Many thousand years ago the wise King Solomon declared that "There is nothing new under the Sun," and the words of this very wise man ought to he repeated till the farthest ends of time. There is not a science, nor a modern discovery in any secretion of it, but was known to the Cabalists thousands of years since. This will appear a bold and ridiculous assertion, I know; and one apparently unconfirmed by any authority. But I will answer that where truth stares one in the face, there can be no other authority than one's senses. The only authority I know of, lies scattered throughout the East. Besides, who would ever dare, in the ever-changing, ever-discovering Europe, or adolescent America, to risk proclaiming himself as an authority? The scientist, who was an authority yesterday, becomes by the mere lucky chance of a contemporary discoverer, a worn-out hypothesist. How easily the astronomer of today forgets that all his science is but the picking up of crumbs left by the Chaldean astrologists. What would not modern physicians, practitioners of their blind and lame science of medicine, give for a part of the knowledge of botany and plants - I won't say of the Chaldeans - but even of the more modern Essenians. The simple history of the Eastern people, their habits and customs, ought to be a sure guarantee that what they once knew, they cannot have totally forgotten. While Europe has changed twenty times its appearance, and been turned upside down by religious and political revolutions and social cataclysms, Asia has remained stationary. What was, two thousand years ago, exists now with very little variation. Such practical knowledge as was possessed by the ancients could not die out so soon with such a people. The hope of finding remnants even of such wisdom as Ancient Asia possessed, ought to tempt our conceited modern science to explore her territory.
And thus is it that all we know of what we profess and live upon, comes to us from the scorned, despised Occultism of the East. Religion and sciences, laws and customs - all of these, are closely related to Occultism, and are but its result, its direct products, disguised by the hand of time, and palmed upon us under new pseudonyms. If people ask me for the proof, I will answer that it does not enter my province to teach others what they can learn themselves with very little difficulty, provided they give themselves the trouble to read and think over what they read. Besides, the time is near when all the old superstitions and the errors of centuries must be swept away by the hurricane of Truth. As the prophet Mohammed, when he perceived that the mountain would not come to him, went himself towards the mountain, so Modern Spiritualism made its unexpected appearance from the East, before a skeptical world, to terminate in a very near future the oblivion into which the ancient secret wisdom had fallen.
Spiritualism is but a baby now, an unwelcome stranger, whom public opinion, like an unnatural foster-mother, tries to crush out of existence. But it is  growing, and this same East may one day send some experienced clever nurses to take care of it. The immediate danger of Salem tragedies has passed away. The Rochester knockings, tiny as they were, awoke some vigilant friends, who, in their turn, aroused thousands and millions of jealous defenders for the true Cause. The most difficult part is done; the door stands ajar; it remains for such minds as Hiraf invites to help earnest truth-seekers to the key which will open for them the gates, and aid them to pass the threshold dividing this world from the next, "without rousing the dread sentries never seen upon this side of her wall." It belongs to the exact knowledge of the Occultist to explain and alter much of what seems "repulsive" in Spiritualism, to some of the too delicate Orthodox souls. The latter may object the more to Spiritualistic phenomena, on the ground that Cabalism is mixed up with it. They will begin to prove that Occultism, if it does exist, is the forbidden "Black Art," the sorcery for which people were burnt, not so long ago. In such a case I will humbly reply, that there is nothing in nature but has two sides to it. Occultism is certainly no exception to the rule, and is composed of White and Black magic. But so in Orthodox religion, likewise. When an Occultist is a real Rosicrucian, he is a thousand times purer and nobler, and more divine, than any of the holiest Orthodox priests; but when one of the latter gives himself up to the turbulent demon of his own vile passions, and so rouses all the fiends, they shout with joy at the sight of such a perversity, in what, pray, is this Orthodox priest better than the blackest of all the sorcerers' dealings with the Elementary "Dweller," or with the "Diakka" of A.J. Davis? Verily, we have White and Black Christianity, as well as White and Black magic.
O, you very Orthodox priests and clergymen of various creeds and denominations, you who are so intolerant towards Spiritualism, this purest of the Children of Ancient Magic, can you tell me why, in such a case, you practice
daily yourselves, all the most prominent rites of magic in your churches, and follow the antitypes of the very ceremonies of Occultism? Can you light a taper, or illuminate your altars with circles of wax lights, for instance, and not repeat the rites of magic? What is your altar with the vertical burning candles, but the modern mimicry of the original magic monolith with the Baal fires upon it? Don't you know that by doing so you are following in the steps of the ancient fire-worshipers, the Persian Heathen Guebres? And your Pope's sparkling mitre, what is it but the direct descendant of the Mithraic Sacrifice, symbolical covering invented for the heads of the high priests of this very Occultism in Chaldea? Having passed through numerous transformations it now rests in its last (?) Orthodox shape, upon the venerable head of your successor of St. Peter. Little do the devout worshipers of the Vatican suspect, when they lift up their eyes in mute adoration upon the head of their God on Earth, the Pope, that what they admire, is after all, but the caricatured head-dress, the amazon-like helmet of Pallas Athene, the heathen goddess Minerva! In fact, there is scarcely a rite or ceremony of the Christian Church, that does not descend from Occultism.
But say or think what you will, you cannot help that which was, is, and ever will be, namely, the direct communication between the two worlds. We term this intercourse modern Spiritualism, with the same right and logic as when we say the "New World," in speaking of America.
I will close by startling, perhaps, even Orthodox Spiritualists by re-affirming that all who have ever witnessed our modern materializations of genuine spirit-forms, have, unwittingly, become the initiated neophytes of Ancient Mystery, for each and all of them have solved the problem of Death, have "lifted the veil of Isis." 
It is a valuable exercise for everyone occasionally to take one of the common words in use to find out what we really mean and understand about it, and to search for its essential qualities. In philosophical study "LIGHT" is a particularly interesting word.
The word LIGHT has so many connotations and is so glibly spoken of that it is taken for granted that we know exactly what we mean when using it. But actually this is not the case, for in probing deeply into the matter it soon becomes evident that, although the word conveys a certain definiteness, yet the implications involved are quite another thing.
Light is the background by which we, as humans, perceive by the aid of the eyes - as a connecting link between the MIND and the various senses - the objective physical world. The objective world, however, is not confined to the physical plane of manifestation but pertains in a very great degree to the inner planes - of ideas, rationalization, and to some extent even of Abstract Thought. Therefore, LIGHT, of its own kind, must be the background which throws into relief whatever is under observation.
This implies that nothing is seen in its essential nature or self, but only to the degree to which we may have developed an appropriate apparatus capable of sensing and transmitting impressions which are susceptible of translation to our minds at any given time, and strictly according to the Mind's capacity or development.
When a "flash of illumination" extends our range or understanding, or gives a strong uplift to the emotional self, it is too often assumed that a contact has been made with "God" or the "OVERSOUL." However near the mark this may or may not be, these terms are by no means definite or descriptive enough to be encouraged in their use. True understanding is fact in degree; and we need more knowledge of the processes and the principles of Cosmic Nature before an accurate evaluation or clear description of any event is made.
In connection therewith we cannot exclude some of the axioms of Science which are proved by experience in every department of physical or material life, such as: Cause and Effect in an endless chain of Action and Reaction, Rhythmic Cycles, Appearance and Disappearance - on our plane of effects, whose causes are beyond out knowledge.
Let us consider two main postulates, those of the Essential Divinity in all things, and the fact of a so-called Spiritual World in distinction to the so-called Material or Physical World.
One must accept something as a starting point or basis for anything, so in our endeavor to designate a First Cause it has become a habit to assign it a word or name such as "God" - from which our concept of "divinity" is derived. Other languages and philosophies have other terms which are similar, some even postulating a CAUSELESS CAUSE.
Now from a philosophic point of view and owing to the urge for rationalization by the mind, it is extremely valuable and essential that the individual should delve into these abstract subjects and come to some clear conclusions. Unless he does so he can not integrate what further ideas and knowledge he may obtain. But with a certain conviction of the fact that there are no absolute ultimates he can proceed to make a coherent map or schedule of the known processes, and to fill in details which must necessarily belong to these same processes when extended to include larger or subtler existences.
We can start somewhat like this: The natural processes pertaining to earthly phenomena are fairly well catalogued, but are only tabulated from their points of appearance -  which must necessarily be effects. Animate life can be traced to the amoeba and possibly somewhat beyond, but, WHAT IS LIFE, and what caused the particular manifestation under observation?
LIFE is everywhere-seen or unseen. A- manifestation must have a preceding cause however imperceptible to us. The fact that we are unable to perceive previous processes and stages implies that the other planes from which the manifestations on our plane are only the effects, would have appropriate vehicles for intelligent expression. And as Nature never proceeds by "jumps," the conclusion is unavoidable that there is a complete integration of the innumerable degrees and stages of manifestation, on innumerable PLANES of BEING, of which the Human on this planet Earth is of minor, although essential, importance, because it is a stage in the processes inherent in the GRAND PLAN.
LIGHT and MIND, therefore, have their degrees, of which those possible to the Human phase are decidedly relative; and in studying human life-experiences, the other attributes of the manifested human must be taken into consideration and integrated with the whole.
Without attempting a detailed catalogue of the attributes of prior causes, it is important to recognize that there is a double evolution or flow of impulse. Roughly, it may be called or classed as a reciprocal action of Positive and Negative currents, and an Ebb and Flow in a cyclic rhythm.
It takes energy to digest food, so too it takes energy to grow; and as, obviously, there is a more or less permanent model on and through which all things develop or change their essential temporary characteristics, this model or "blueprint" inheres in or on a plane contiguous to the physical plane, and apparently is a precursor of physical manifestations. This, together with the currents of the forces pertaining to physical expression, and the emotional reactions consequent upon their action through their appropriate outlets or organs, makes up a more or less integrated entity - human or other; but as a developed human entity exhibits qualities and phases of expression which are decidedly superior to any combination of these lower attributes, the integration of these superior influences must be a fact, or there could not occur an intelligent and obviously directed outflow of stimuli, which impinge on and inform individual human entities as well as the general masses.
These words - impinging, stimuli, inform, are very important and need to be integrated, and, so far as is possible, to be seen as being in the very nature of all processes. However mechanistic the natural processes may seem to be to us, a very small amount of effort at understanding the rationale must lead to the perception of an over-all Plan in the Cosmos. Such being the case, this planet Earth, Humanity, and all things upon it can not be outside the general Plan; so they must necessarily be an integral part of it. And as there are qualities in humanity - and everywhere else - which ARE, and are not merely fortuitous occurrences, and can be perceived by the various organs of reception, for reaction, and transmission, the background upon which they are thrown into relief can be accepted as LIGHT, and defined as a superior grade of MATTER which transmits and reflects from contiguous planes all appropriate circulations of the Cosmos.
We have dealt with "Light for the Mind, and to some extent "Understanding for the Intellect," - but what about "Love for the Heart?" Is the "Love" here mentioned an impersonal outpouring or is it a personal emotion? Cosmic Love, so-called, is undoubtedly an outpouring from the Essence of BEING, so we can form our own conclusions and ponder deeply on this Triplicity in Unity. It will lead to further ENLIGHTENMENT. 
One of the most valuable sources of information in any search for historical evidence pertaining to the lost world of Atlantis are the various symbols used by early peoples.
Among these symbols, some of which are simple in design, and others much more complex, we find the swastika, or svastica - the cross made from two bars of equal length, crossing each other at right angles, and with the four ends bent at right angles in the same direction.
The swastika has been the object of study and consideration by almost every author who has written on symbolism. For example, H.P. Blavatsky says of it:
"The Svastica is the most philosophically scientific of all symbols, as also the most comprehensible. It is the summary in a few lines of the whole work of creation, or evolution, as one should rather say, from Cosmotheogony down to Anthropogony, from the indivisible unknown Parabrahm to the humble moneron of materialistic science. ... The Svastica is found heading the religious symbols of every old nation. . . .
"... (It) refers to the continual motion and revolution of the invisible Kosmos of Forces. ... it points to the rotation in the cycles of Time of the world's axes - and their equatorial belts - the two lines forming the Svastica meaning Spirit and Matter, the four hooks suggesting the motion in the revolving cycles. ... It is at one and the same time an Alchemical, Cosmogonical, Anthropological, and Magical sign, with seven keys to its inner meaning. It is not too much to say that the compound symbolism of this universal and most suggestive of signs contains the key to the seven great mysteries of Kosmos." (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, pages 98-99.)
In our quest for remains of Atlantis, however, we are concerned with the more mundane aspects of the swastika, and particularly as to whether its occurrence and distribution will yield any clues on the extent of the Atlantean empire between the dates of approximately 80,000 B.C. and 9564 B.C., when the island of Poseidonis, the mid-Atlantic remnant of the once great continent, was destroyed.
That the distribution of the swastika during this period can be definitely attributed to Atlantis appears to be capable of demonstration. Thomas Wilson, one of the foremost authorities on this emblem, points out that:
"Prehistoric archaeologists have found in Europe many specimens of ornamental sculpture and engraving belonging to the Paleolithic age, but the cross is not known in any form, Swastika or other. In the Neolithic age, which spread itself over nearly the entire world, with many geometric forms of decoration, no form of the cross appears in times of high antiquity as a symbol or as indicating any other than an ornament. In the age of Bronze, however, the Swastika appears, intentionally used, as a symbol as well as an ornament. ... The Swastika spread through the same countries as did the bronze, and there is every reason to believe them to have proceeded contemporaneously ..." (The Swastika, pages 791-792.)
Ignatius Donnelly, a profound student of the Atlantean question, accepted as a fundamental premise that the knowledge of metal-working originated in Atlantis, and that the  "Bronze Age" implements in Europe were derived from that source. Even the most ancient written record, that included in his dialogue "The Critias" by Plato, indicates that this must have been the case:
"In the first place, the island supplied them with such things as are dug out of mines in a solid state, and with those such as are melted. ...
"They likewise covered the superfices of the wall ... with brass ...; but they covered the superfices of that wall which inclosed the interior with tin. ..."
Concerning the distribution of the swastika, H.P. Blavatsky writes: "So ancient is the symbol and so sacred, that there is hardly an excavation made on the sites of old cities without its being found. ..."
"Throw a retrospective glance, and see it used alike by the Initiates and Seers, as by the priests of Troy. ... One finds it with the old Peruvians, the Assyrians, Chaldeans, as well as on the walls of the old-world cyclopean buildings. ..." (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, pages 101 and 586.)
A great number of the bronze ornaments and weapons which have been found in Ireland, Scotland, France, Scandinavia, Germany, and elsewhere show the figure of the swastika. It is seen on ancient coins from India, Palestine, Denmark, and Corinth. It adorns pottery in Cyprus and stone slabs in Mayapan.
The swastika is found ornamenting the "footprints of the Buddha" in India, on shell gorgets from Tennessee mounds, and spindle-whorls from ancient Troy. Edgar Lucien Larkin, one-time director of Lowe Observatory, said that he had seen a solar disc and four swastikas carved above the entrance to a prehistoric cave-temple on Santa Catalina Island, California.
Donnelly wrote, regarding the extent of the Atlantean empire:
"... there once existed in the Atlantic Ocean, opposite the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea, a large island, which was the remnant of the Atlantic continent ... it became, in the course of ages, a populous and mighty nation, from whose overflowings the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River, the Amazon, the Pacific coast of South America, the Mediterranean, the west coast of Europe and Africa, the Baltic, the Black Sea, and the Caspian were populated by civilized nations." (Atlantis, page 1.).
In addition to the extent of the Atlantean empire set forth in his original premise, Donnelly suggested further on that it may have stretched throughout Arabia, encompassed all of India, and reached as far as China across the center of Asia.
In Wilson's work on the swastika he presents a map which shows the distribution of the symbol. This map, and that of Donnelly showing the extent of Atlantean influence, are virtually identical.
That this extensive distribution is a matter of considerable significance may be judged by several of Wilson's comments:
"Instead of the Swastika being a sign easily made, the experience of the writer is the contrary. A simple cross ... may be very easy to make, but a really good specimen of the Swastika is difficult to make. ... This goes to show the intention of the artist to have been more or less deliberate; and that the object was for a special purpose, with a particular idea, either as a symbol, charm, or ornament, and not a meaningless figure to fill a vacant space." (The Swastika, pages 954-955.)
In view of this, it is difficult to  account for the ubiquity of the swastika if it had a spiritual significance only. Religious emblems are not commonly found on pottery, sword hilts, coins, and other similar implements. For a possible explanation, we advance a suggestion made by Philip Binger in a little pamphlet titled More Light on the Swastika. After determining that the origins of the swastika lead to Atlantis, he describes the island thus:
"It was an immense island, a few days journey from the Pillars of Hercules toward the setting Sun, in the midst of which was a smoking mountain. Four rivers, born in its flanks, flowed to the four cardinal points, and these four rivers terminated in canals.
"Now, if we carry out this description on a horizontal plane, we have a cross; the four rivers and the four branches of the canals, or, the Swastika."
While Plato does not mention the four rivers, they are ascribed to Atlantis by several sources. The fact of canal-building on Poseidonis is included in the Platonic narrative, however, one such being described as three hundred feet in width and one hundred feet deep, extending for several hundred miles.
Since the great metropolis of Poseidonis, known as the City of the Golden Gates, was established by Atlantean Initiates, and laid out in a symbolical form with concentric zones of land and water, it seems well within the bounds of possibility that either the vast plain on which the city stood, or the river-canal system of the entire continent, had been so designed as to simulate the form of the swastika, as representing a cosmic symbol.
Thus the bent-armed cross became the visible insignia of the Atlantean empire, carried by its teachers, armies and colonist, over more than half of the world. This is in keeping with both an exoteric and esoteric meaning of the swastika - a symbol of physical suzerainty as well as a representation of spiritual truths.
After the sinking of Poseidonis, the true meaning of the swastika was preserved in the oriental schools. H.P. Blavatsky tells something of this in The Secret Doctrine:
"With the esoteric (and, for the matter of that, exoteric) Buddhist, the Chinaman and the Mongolian, it means 'the 10,000 truths.' These truths, they say, belong to the mysteries of the unseen Universe and primordial Cosmogony and Theogony. ... This is why the Swastika is always placed ... on the breasts of defunct mystics. It is found on the heart of the images and statues of Buddha, in Tibet and Mongolia. ..." (Vol. I, pages 585-586.)
In conclusion, we refer again to The Swastika by Thomas Wilson. In the introduction, he says:
"No conclusion is attempted as to the time or place of origin, or the primitive meaning of the Swastika, because these are considered to be lost in antiquity ... But the Swastika was probably the first (symbol) to be made with a definite intention and a continuous or consecutive meaning, the knowledge of which passed from person to person, from tribe to tribe, from people to people, and from nation to nation, until ... it has finally circled the globe." 
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 -
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