[Cover photo: Giant Sequoias, some of them several thousand years old, in Sequoia National Park, California. (Compare the size of the woman standing below.)]
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"Liberation may be imagined both as an end and as a process. An understanding of the process in which we are involved will open up a vision of the end. "The process is continuous and is the path described in Indian philosophy as the path of return, the path on which than is no longer a thirst for more and more experience of the sort the world provides, but having come to a point of saturation with it, seeks to know the value and meaning of it all, and in understanding it, to discover himself.
"He then comes to the stage of finding out what is being limited and what limits it.
"That which is to be liberated is ourselves in reality, as we are deep down, and not as we normally feel ourselves to be. We have to be liberated from that nature we have put on, which is our limitations. The pure stream of our consciousness has become divided and narrowed, and also colored by attachments, repulsions, greed, fear, conventionalities and habits.
"Liberation is essentially from the prison-house of cold and poisonous selfishness, of which every evil that we see is but a monstrous outgrowth. Our everyday experience can teach us that from our normal self-centeredness, love as a self-sacrificing emotion or force is the sole and supreme liberator ...
"The principal means of liberation in relation to all our fellow-beings can only be love expressed in service, action in which the self is forgotten, through which a higher Self is manifested, resulting in the creation of beauty and happiness ...
"The ideal of love, stepped down to the level of practical everyday life, must mean the service of each to all within his or her sphere, consideration of the rights of others, self-control, and particularly cessation from cruelty and excessive lust. There can be a measure of spiritual freedom for each if conditions of life are organized on this basis ...
"There are moments, which come all too rarely to us, when we feel the bliss of a temporary self-forgetfulness, be it through devotion, human love, or work, and at such moments we strike a certain spark, which will one day grow into a brilliant, majestic flame. When that state is attained, we will be liberated men." - N. Sri Ram, in The Human Interest, pp 54-57. 
While world statesmen and politicians are dividing humanity into respective "spheres of influence", and the scientists of the world are inventing more and more powerful weapons for still greater slaughter, a solution of the one basic problem remains practically ignored.
It is the problem of the appalling lack of ethical integrity - a condition which affects every aspect of our modern life and penetrates into every stratum and level of our civilization.
The Babel of present-day confusion, when analyzed as impartially and objectively as we can, to a very large extent appears to be the result of a total loss of those spiritual and ethical foundations which alone can inspire mutual respect among men.
Current periodicals and newspapers often deplore the obvious fact that organized religion has ceased to be the binding force, as well as the impelling power, to right living; that it is unable to stem the tide of moral disintegration which is sweeping the world of today. And a number of prominent writers and scholars are convinced that no such power exists within the stronghold of modern science either. The bewildering assortment of quasi-occult and metaphysical organizations and cults that thrive in various parts of the world, while presenting to the public some teachings which might be of benefit to them, weave phantastic patterns of "marvelous powers" to be acquired, and leave the noble spiritual ethics of the ages buried under a heap of psychic rubbish. No great regenerative power can be expected to arise from these quarters.
The student of the Ancient Wisdom facing the present confusion of ideas and ideals, witnessing the chaotic conditions of men's minds, relies primarily upon the innate spiritual forces hidden within the human heart. These may be, and unquestionably are, latent in the majority of cases, but they are there. They constitute the only source of regeneration, and are the only lever powerful enough to produce a permanent change in the condition of men individually and of mankind collectively. The spiritual leaven of the human heart will have to assert itself with the commanding voice of unquestionable spiritual authority and become a dynamic power in the halls of the people, before any vital change can take place in the world of today. No cut and dried book-learning will ever accomplish this change.
The ethical lethargy in this century has affected every facet of life and every school of thought, including the Theosophical Movement in its organized forms. The latter fact is perhaps of greater moment to students of Theosophy than anything else. In the ranks of the present-day Theosophical Organizations we see the same downfall of ethical conduct, the same intellectual confusion, the same questionable methods of procedure, and the same conflicting emotions which characterize the world at large. In spite of high-sounding words on the part of those in power, In spite of ponderous tomes replete with intellectual as well as ethical teachings sufficient to feed generations to come, the Theosophical Movement, as an organized body, while doing much good work in various parts of the world, has none of the qualities and earmarks of a living power bringing regeneration to human hearts and new vital impulses to human minds. It has settled itself long ago into comfortable grooves of thought, lofty in ideals, universal in character, thought-provoking in content, yet just as deadly in their crystallizing influence as any other mental or emotional rut. It is a far cry from the vital, dynamic, soul-stirring power it used to be before the spirit of its birth, and the original "daimon" of its inspiration, fled from the much abused form with feet of clay.
The ethical regeneration of mankind, in this our twentieth century of scientific miracles and moral decay, will have  to come from within the inner forum of the human heart, and be the result of a cry from the depths of the human soul, a cry for enduring realities and a yearning for harmony and good will among men. The student of the Ancient Wisdom is looking forward to the day when a movement shall have arisen on broad, international lines, and on a scale transcending political barriers or national boundaries, which will stress above all else the paramount need of ethical values, of ethical integrity, of justice for all, of reverence toward life, of love for man as an evolving individual of supreme spiritual worth, of brotherhood in action, of peaceful intercourse among all the peoples of the earth.
Such a movement will have within it the elements of a truly religious approach to life, because it will be reverent towards all the manifestations of life. It will be truly scientific, because it will be based on the only true scientific foundation, namely, the indissoluble Oneness of all life. It will be highly philosophical, because it will be animated with that love of wisdom that manifests itself in unity versus separation, in harmony versus discord, in collaboration versus selfish competition.
The Theosophical Movement, in its philosophical, ethical, and scientific foundations, has the innate power to spearhead such a movement of ethical regeneration. It has the latent potency to lead it. It possesses the virility of concepts and the depth of knowledge to be the cornerstone of such a revival of ethical and spiritual forces in the world of today. Whether it has the capacity of leadership and the spiritual freedom of action to initiate it, or even to uphold and promote it, remains a question which some have already answered in the negative. It depends primarily upon the depth of the mental and emotional ruts of its adherents, upon the degree to which they will be willing to sacrifice their preconceived ideas, their petty jealousies and narrow superstitions. It depends upon the character of the individuals who will come in the next generation or so within the influence of the ageless teachings. It depends also upon the extent to which the adherents of the Movement will be inspired by the original ideals of the Founders, their fundamental program of action, and their broad policies for the future. Behind these there originally stood Great Men whose ageless wisdom laid down the general pattern of the modern Theosophical Movement. If the organized societies of the present day can vitalize their actions from the same source of early inspiration, they will become an integral part of that ethical regeneration which can be seen today upon the distant horizons of this century. If they cannot do so, and the weight of worldly interests remains upon their hearts and minds, other movements, born from the Empyrean fountainhead of the collective human heart, conceived in agony and sorrow, and nourished by the unquenchable enthusiasm of irresistible growth, will take the lead upon the shifting scenes of world evolution, and carry mankind to the threshold of another Portal, wherein can be discerned by the light of a clearer vision, the outlines of that greater Continent of Thought, upon which shines even today, the Sun of a New Age, an Age whose consciousness is global, and whose key-note is Brotherhood for all.
"When you hear - as doubtless hear you must at some time or other - that someone has uttered evil-natured words about you, for your own peace of mind to avoid the terrific waste of energy one can use up in worrying about such things, instantly react with, 'They say. What do they say? Let them say.' And mean it. Send a kindly thought in the direction of your detractor - and dismiss the whole thing from your mind." - Ancient Wisdom, St. Louis, Aug., 195. 
Christine Rosetti's well-known lines:
"Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
are like an epitome of the life of those who are truly treading the path which leads to higher things. Whatever differences are to be found in the various presentations of the Esoteric Doctrine, as in every age it donned a fresh garment, different both in hue and texture to that which preceded; yet in every one of them we find the fullest agreement upon one point - the road to spiritual development. One only inflexible rule has been ever binding upon the neophyte, as it is binding now - the complete subjugation of the lower nature by the higher. From the Vedas and Upanishads to the recently published Light on the Path, search as we may through the bibles of every race and cult, we find but one only way, - hard, painful, troublesome, by which man can gain the true spiritual insight. And how can it be otherwise since all religions and all philosophies are but the variants of the first teachings of the One Wisdom, imparted to men at the beginning of the cycle by the Planetary Spirit?
The true Adept, the developed man, must, we are always told, become - he cannot be made. The process is therefore one of growth through evolution, and this must necessarily involve a certain amount of pain.
The main cause of pain lies in our perpetually seeking the permanent in the impermanent, and not only seeking, but acting as if we had already found the unchangeable, in a world of which the one certain quality we can predicate is constant change, and always, just as we fancy we have taken a firm hold upon the permanent, it changes within our very grasp, and pain results.
Again, the idea of growth involves also the idea of disruption, the inner being must continually burst through its confining shell or encasement, and such a disruption must also be accompanied by pain, not physical but mental and intellectual.
And this is how it is, in the course of our lives, the trouble that comes upon us is always just the one we feel to be the hardest that could possibly happen - it is always the one thing we feel we cannot possibly bear. If we look at it from a wider point of view, we shall see that we are trying to burst through our shell at its one vulnerable point; that our growth, to be real growth, and not the collective result of a series of excrescences, must progress evenly throughout, just as the body of a child grows, not first the head and then a hand, followed perhaps by a leg; but in all directions at once, regularly and imperceptibly. Man's tendency is to cultivate each part separately, neglecting the others in the meantime - every crushing pain is caused by the expansion of some neglected part, which expansion is rendered more difficult by the effects of the cultivation bestowed elsewhere.
Evil is often the result of over-anxiety, and men are always trying to do too much, they are not content to leave well alone, to do always just what the occasion demands and no more, they exaggerate every action and so produce karma to be worked out in a future birth.
One of the subtlest forms of this evil is the hope and desire of reward. Many there are who, albeit often unconsciously, are yet spoiling all their efforts by entertaining this idea of reward, and allowing it to become an active factor  in their lives and so leaving the door open to anxiety, doubt, fear, despondency - failure.
The goal of the aspirant for spiritual wisdom, is entrance upon a higher plane of existence; he is to become a new man, more perfect in every way than he is at present, and if he succeeds, his capabilities and faculties will receive a corresponding increase of range and power, just as in the visible world we find that each stage in the evolutionary scale is marked by increase of capacity. This is how it is that the Adept becomes endowed with marvelous powers that have been so often described, but the main point to be remembered is, that these powers are the natural accompaniments of existence on a higher plane of evolution, just as the ordinary human faculties are the natural accompaniments of existence on the ordinary human plane.
Many persons seem to think that adeptship is not so much the result of radical development as of additional construction; they seem to imagine that an Adept is a man, who, by going through a certain plainly defined course of training, consisting of minute attention to a set of arbitrary rules, acquires first one power and then another and when he has attained a certain number of these powers is forthwith dubbed an adept. Acting on this mistaken idea they fancy that the first thing to be done towards attaining adeptship is to acquire "powers" - clairvoyance and the power of leaving the physical body and traveling to a distance, are among those which fascinate the most.
To those who wish to acquire such powers for their own private advantage, we have nothing to say, they fall under the condemnation of all who act for purely selfish ends. But there are others, who, mistaking effect for cause, honestly think that the acquirement of abnormal powers is the only road to spiritual advancement. These look upon our Society as merely the readiest means to enable them to gain knowledge in this direction, considering it as a sort of occult academy, an institution established to afford facilities for the instruction of would-be miracle-workers. In spite of repeated protests and warnings, there are some minds in whom this notion seems ineradicably fixed, and they are loud in their expressions of disappointment when they find that what had been previously told them is perfectly true; that the Society was founded to teach no new and easy paths to the acquisition of "powers"; and that its only mission is to re-kindle the torch of truth, so long extinguished for all but the very few, and to keep that truth alive by the formation of a fraternal union of mankind, the only soil in which the good seed can grow. The Theosophical Society does indeed desire to promote the spiritual growth of every individual who comes within its influence, but its methods are those of the ancient Rishis, its tenets those of the oldest Esotericism; it is no dispenser of patent nostrums composed of violent remedies which no honest healer would dare to use.
In this connection we would warn all our members, and others who are seeking spiritual knowledge, to beware of persons offering to teach them easy methods of acquiring psychic gifts, such gifts (lankika) are indeed comparatively easy of acquirement by artificial means, but fade out as soon as the nerve-stimulus exhausts itself. The real seership and adeptship which is accompanied by true psychic development (lokothra), once reached, is never lost.
It appears that various societies have sprung into existence since the foundation of the Theosophical Society, profiting by the interest the latter has awakened in matters of psychic research, and endeavouring to gain members by promising them easy acquirement of psychic powers. In India we have long been familiar with the existence of hosts of sham ascetics of all descriptions, and we fear that there is fresh danger in this direction, here, as well as in Europe and America. We only hope that none of our members, dazzled by brilliant promises, will allow  themselves to be taken in by self-deluded dreamers, or, it may be, wilful deceivers.
To show that some real necessity exists for our protests and warnings, we may mention that we have recently seen, enclosed in a letter from Benares, copies of an advertisement just put forth by a so-called "Mahatma." He calls for "eight men and women who know English and any of the Indian vernaculars well"; and concludes by saying that "those who want to know particulars of the work and the amount of pay" should apply to his address, with enclosed postage stamps!
Upon the table before us, lies a reprint of The Divine Pymander, published in England, last year, and which contains a notice to "Theosophists who may have been disappointed in their expectations of Sublime Wisdom being freely dispensed by HINDOO MAHATMAS"; cordially inviting them to send in their names to the Editor who will see them "after a short probation," admitted into an Occult Brotherhood who "teach freely and WITHOUT RESERVE all they find worthy to receive." Strangely enough, we find in the very volume in question Hermes Trismegistus saying:
- 8. "For this only, O Son, is the way to Truth, which our progenitors traveled in; and by which making their journey, they at length attained to the good. It is a venerable way and plain, but hard and difficult for the soul to go in, that is in the body."
- 88. "Wherefore we must look warily to such kind of people, that being in ignorance they may be less evil for fear of that which is hidden and secret."
It is perfectly true that some Theosophists have been (through nobody's fault but their own) greatly disappointed because we have offered them no short cut to Yoga Vidya, and there are others who wish for practical work. And, significantly enough, those who have done least for the Society are loudest in fault-finding. Now, why do not these persons and all our members who are able to do so, take up the serious study of mesmerism? Mesmerism has been called the Key to the Occult Sciences, and it has this advantage that it offers peculiar opportunities for doing good to mankind. If in each of our branches we were able to establish a homeopathic dispensary with the addition of mesmeric healing, such as has already been done with great success in Bombay, we might contribute towards putting the science of medicine in this country on a sounder basis, and be the means of incalculable benefit to the people at large. There are others of our branches, besides the one at Bombay, that have done good work in this direction, but there is room for infinitely more to be done than has yet been attempted. And the same is the case in the various other departments of the Society's work. It would be a good thing if the members of each branch would put their heads together and seriously consult as to what tangible steps they can take to further the declared objects of the Society. In too many cases the members of the Theosophical Society content themselves with a somewhat superficial study of its books, without making any real contribution to its active work. If the Society is to be a power for good in this and other lands, it can only bring about this result by the active co-operation of every one of its members, and we would earnestly appeal to each of them to consider carefully what possibilities of work are within his power, and then to earnestly set about carrying them into effect. Right thought is a good thing, but thought alone does not count for much unless it is translated into action. There is not a single member in the Society who is not able to do something to aid the cause of truth and universal brotherhood; it only depends on his own will, to make that something an accomplished fact.
Above all we would reiterate the fact, that the Society is no nursery for incipient adepts, teachers cannot be provided to go round and give instruction to  various branches on the different subjects which come within the Society's work of investigation; the branches must study for themselves; books are to be had, and the knowledge there put forth must be practically applied by the various members: thus will be developed self-reliance, and reasoning powers. We urge this strongly; for appeals have reached us that any lecturer sent to branches must be practically versed in experimental psychology and clairvoyance (i.e., looking into magic mirrors and reading the future, etc., etc.). Now we consider that such experiments should originate amongst members themselves to be of any value in the development of the individual or to enable him to make progress in his "uphill" path, and therefore earnestly recommend our members to try for themselves.
[On August 22, 1900, a Mr. B.W. Mantri wrote a letter to Dr. Annie Besant,
dated from Bombay, India. He expressed confusion about the tenets of
the Theosophists, and asked her what form of Yoga she would recommend.
Dr. Besant was then in London. When she opened the letter, she found
on the unused portions of the folded sheet the very important message
in the familiar blue pencil handwriting of Master K.H. which we publish
below. Facsimile of this message was published in The Theosophist,
May 1937. Careful comparison of the handwriting establishes the genuineness
of the communication, quite apart from the importance of the subject-matter,
the authoritative language and the character of the style, all of which
are further evidences of genuineness. It should be borne in mind that
this message was received nine years after the death of H.P. Blavatsky
A psychic and a pranayamist who has got confused by the vagaries of the members. The T.S. and its members are slowly manufacturing a creed. Says a Thibetan proverb "credulity breeds credulity and ends in hypocrisy." How few are they who can know anything about us. Are we to be propitiated and made idols of ... The intense desire of some to see Upasika reincarnate at once has raised a misleading Mayavic ideation. Upasika has useful work to do on higher planes and cannot come again so soon. The T.S. must safely be ushered into the new century ... No one has a right to claim authority over a pupil or his conscience. Ask him not what he believes ... The crest ware of intellectual advancement must be taken hold of and guided into Spirituality. It cannot be forced into beliefs and emotional worship. The essence of the higher thoughts of the members in their collectivity must guide all action in the T.S. ... We never try to subject to ourselves the will of another. At favorable times we let loose elevating influences which strike various persons in various ways. It is the collective aspect of many such thoughts that can give the correct note of action. We show no favours. The best corrective of error is an honest and open-minded examination of all facts subjective and objective ... The cant about "Masters" must be silently but firmly put down. Let the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit alone of which each one is a part. Namelessly and silently we work and the continual references to ourselves and the repetition of our names raises up a confused aura that hinders our work ... The T.S. was meant to be the cornerstone of the future religions of humanity. To accomplish this object Those who lead must leave aside their weak predilections for the forms and ceremonies of any particular creed and show themselves to he true Theosophists both to inner thought and outward observance. The greatest of your trials is yet to come. We are watching over you but you must put forth all your strength. - K. H. 
"We live and move and have our being" within the body, Soul and Consciousness of the Great Universe. This is true of everything that lives in Time and Space. And everything that lives constitutes the One Universe of which we are all a part ... greater or lesser, depending which part of ourselves is uppermost or predominant in its functioning.
At this stage of our Evolution, in this particular cycle, a great deal of our interest and activity has been centered in the physical or material world. Our world has been a narrow and limited one. Less than 500 years ago the general occidental concept of the earth was that it was a flat plane and that it was dangerous to venture near the edge for fear of falling off into space and oblivion.
We have come a long way in the last 75 years away from those circumscribed viewpoints and now speculate glibly about trips to the Moon and other members of our planetary system, by means of some physical conveyance!
However wild and extreme this idea may seem, it has the redeeming feature of widening the horizons of our thinking. The discoveries, or rediscoveries, of our modern scientists, have caused them to realize, or at least to seriously consider, that the basic structure of the Universe is not Matter, but Consciousness. Science also now teaches that what affects the small, reacts upon the large, and vice versa. It has also given birth to the fundamental point that everything is Relative.
What has all this to do with having a Universal outlook? In the first place, it shows that the pendulum of human thought is swinging over into a more spiritual concept of life, the old and the new forming sharp contrasts with each other. It is precisely this changeover that causes much of the confusion and conflict in our modern era. Modern Scientific, Philosophical and Religious thought is in a state of flux, which is good. Fixity is giving way to fluidity. Nationalism is being challenged by Internationalism. The trend is toward non-partisanship and world-citizenship based upon a new statesmanship yet to be born. There is strong evidence that the idealism of man's heart is again beginning to assert itself, although it is admitted that we still have a long way to go.
The value of being a Universalist is practical, for the reason that a fuller and richer life is not only possible but actually comes into being. If one's life is based on the reality that all men are brothers, one's circle of friendships ever widens. If one believes in, and lives by, the principle that each man is entitled to his own Religious, Philosophical and even Political and Economic beliefs and convictions, he is bound to grow in his sympathetic understanding of his fellows and their problems.
Since we are all in different stages of evolution, have had different backgrounds of education and experience, and each have distinctly different characteristics and Karma, it is only logical that some of us at times are going to manifest partial and bigoted concepts, while others are going to show both a depth and breadth that is truly refreshing and inspiring.
To touch the inner realms of our intuitive consciousness, to be fair and broad, to base our views upon sound logic, which means the "art or science of reasoning," to be sympathetic, understanding and considerate of others, to know about the structure, operations and habits of Nature, to study the Ancient Wisdom with the heart as well as the mind, to know something accurate about the history and destiny of Man, to discriminate between wise and unwise actions, to know the true from the false teachings, to have a heart that feels and assists the yearning  for truth in others, to help others to learn how to solve their own problems, to give the right help at the right time in the right way, to look for and appreciate beauty, wherever it may be found (often in unexpected places and individuals), and to feel the heart-beat of humanity as a whole, as well as of the great and wonderful Universe in which all things "live and move and have their being" - these are some of the thoughts, practices and feelings that will help us to develop and express an ever increasing degree of Universalism.
Philosophy showing the real values of Life, would help us in finding a way of complementing specific treatments for suffering related to our psychological nature. It is a well established fact that suffering of this kind is produced by breaking the right relation that must exist between us and the external world or, in other words, by our wrong approach to the world of "phenomena", on the one hand, and the balanced relation between our mind and body, or our soul and body, on the other.
Words, like women's clothes, are subject to fashion, and today we have the expression "psycho-somatic" very much in vogue. The meaning of it, to the best of my knowledge, is the relation which exists between mind and body or soul and body.
In many cases, when the origin of different ailments is not clear, the physician is inclined to call it psychosomatic. The word has become very handy, indeed.
According to my way of seeing things and in the last analysis, all diseases are psychosomatic, because in all of them the relation to which I referred above is not correct, there is no perfect balance between mind and body.
We have to agree, nevertheless, that we have gained very much by that way of thinking of the modern physician and we can consider it a step forward. Science at last is advancing beyond the materialistic view, in accepting the influence of the mind over the physical body. The day is not far away when it will be realized that diseases, in general, belong more to the soul than to the body.
It is, for instance, a common place now, that ulcers are produced by worrying and preoccupation.
The point that I want to make clear now is that, if by learning real values one can correct suffering already established, it would be logical to admit that it would be easier to avoid these conditions before they produce suffering, by finding a way to the correct relation to the outside world, and between soul and body.
It is not our intention to discuss ways of curing different diseases. Nevertheless, it is good to remember that in ancient times in Egypt, the Priest-King treated patients by making them observe geometrical figures and symbols. The perfect harmony of these figures restored their reason, appeased their anxieties.
Karl Jung made unbalanced people analyze symbolic "Mandalas". The mandala is a kind of sacred painting or diagram usually symmetrical rather than pictorial, a kind of universe-map depicting the symbolic form of the world, the heavens, the paradisiacal abode of the symbolic parts of the human body. He would make them analyze the mandalas or design their own. In the first instance patients would find a help in the observation of these paintings; and in the second instance, in designing them, they would show to the skilled eye of the practitioner, the weak spots of the designs, thus indicating where the trouble was.
Paracelsus knew that the mind, through the brain, would segregate  certain substances, or stimulate the segregation of these substances in the entire body, producing disease.
In Mexico City a friend of mine had a son completely paralyzed and the three physicians that were consulted agreed in declaring him to be a case of "Dementia Praecox", due, according to their opinion, to a virus which had infiltrated through the brain. The prognosis was absolutely disheartening; they thought the boy could never recover. The father, a dentist by profession, would not accept this diagnosis and started studying the case by himself.
He began tracing the life of the boy from childhood, philosophically, trying to discover when was the moment in his son's life in which that right relation with the outside world was broken. He discovered the fact that his son's first approach to a girl was a failure. In his courtship with this girl, he was not able to gain her affection, which evidently was a serious setback and developed in him an inferiority complex. He then tried, in every way to better himself, in order to see if he could impress the girl, and thus went to an extreme. He indulged in breathing exercises, the yoga type which are very dangerous when not done properly. In this he failed again, making his condition only worse. At this point, being disgusted with life, he decided to escape it; life to him was no longer important; it meant nothing for him.
The father in the serious task of finding the way of helping his son, went through the job of analyzing all his personal papers and then he discovered two dreams which concealed the key of the whole problem.
One dream was, that a herd of sheep came upon him crushing his head. That, in a condensed form, shows the warning of the "Super I", as the father worded it, to the "I", of the consequences of a life of confusion and conflict. The other dream dealt with two radios, one old and one new, and two dogs, one dark and one white. That seems to be symbolic of a conflict in life.
Knowing that life had lost all interest for the boy, my friend decided to surround the home with everything that is noble and beautiful, to attract the attention of his son; music, especially, was to be the main attraction. Their home became a center of Art.
I remember hearing there a wonderful cellist, a very good pianist and a talented singer. These concerts took place several times a week in the presence of the boy.
Believe it or not, but after some time the boy began to show some interest in what was going on, and slowly began coming back to life. After a few months, much to the surprise of the physicians, he recuperated almost entirely. He moved again, he walked again, he was back to life.
What I am trying to show you with this example, is that through philosophy or right thinking the father was able to restore, at least partially, the health of his son.
Now, we know that the soul is the center of our emotions and that emotions out of control produce a state of imbalance that is the beginning of all our troubles. Probably that out-of-control condition of the emotions creates an accumulation of tension. Too much of that kind of energy, which is meant to keep us going, could harm us.
In the exercise of any Art, when our creative forces are at work, that tension finds its way out. In expressing ourselves through Art, we burn up that unnecessary accumulation of "steam". In that way the energies of our nature find their normal level. How good a singer feels after singing; what a delightful sensation a pianist must have after a good performance!
But the most important part is that, when that balance is reached, when right thinking starts taking place, as a corollary, a person acquires poise, serenity, tranquillity. That person is then able to observe Nature, understand Nature, become attuned to Nature. He is one with Nature.
The transcendental outline of the silent mountains; the symphony of colors  in the sky at twilight and sunset; the sweetness and rhythm of the song of birds; the fury and the calmness of the tides in the ocean, - all that acquires meaning. It invites us to deep thinking, helps us to find poise and harmony within ourselves.
Here is another illustration. At the time a friend of mine was in Europe during the last war, as a soldier, he was in a monastery that had been transformed into a kind of recreation center for the boys. There was in it a very charming nun. He was struck by her sweetness, her kindness and her beauty. In fact, every one was attracted by her simplicity. Judging from her appearance, one would have imagined her to be in her late twenties, but to the amazement of everybody, she happened to be the oldest of the nuns, and was over sixty. How could she have kept her youth that way?
She herself solved the mystery. For many, many years, from her earliest youth, she had observed an almond tree which grew in front of her window, outside of her little room. Constantly she watched this tree with understanding and serenity. She was able to feel the flux of Life going through the almond tree, the renewal of the waves of Life flowing freely within it. She identified herself with the tree. In her also, the waves of Life flowed freely, keeping her perennially young and beautiful.
If a man can keep himself serene and in perfect poise, sooner or later he will be attracted towards the real things of Life, and will attune himself to the Eternal. He will be attuned to the consciousness of the Cosmos, and when a human being has reached that condition, he has attuned himself to the consciousness of the Deity.
"The golden rule is not only an important ethical monument, but is also a valuable guide to efficient living. We are stronger and more composed when we know that we are keeping the rules of our way of life. When we break faith, we lose faith. Something within us warns our minds that we are separating ourselves from our proper sharing in the benefits of the universal plate. Thus, even conscience can cause sickness, and a bad conscience is no asset to anyone. Each of us has a deep internal realization of what is right. We know when our actions are not consistent with our claims, still it is easier to drift along compromising our convictions and catering to our weaknesses. If sickness brings these points to our attention and clarifies our thinking, it performs a wonderful service ...
There is a natural tendency for sickness to become a burden upon the mind as well as an affliction to the flesh. If the mental burden is lifted, a large part of the evil is corrected. Remember also that Nature will fight on your side
if you will keep her laws. A serene mind and a peaceful heart also have their psychosomatic equivalents. Constructive energies flowing from the psychical focus have a powerful effect in neutralizing bodily infirmities. Supplied with pure energy unpolluted by negative thinking, the body will have available an abundant source of material to be used for restoration processes.
Let your sickness be a challenge calling upon you to make a real and lasting effort to put your life in order. The merit of your undertaking and the devotion with which you maintain your effort have their rewards. Even as we are punished for our delinquencies, so we are rewarded for our virtuous undertakings. Nothing is lost in the great accounting, and our kindly and loving resolutions to grow and become fine, friendly people strengthens not only the soul, but also the body. It can keep us healthy or make us healthy, which ever be the need of the hour." - Manly Palmer Hall, Horizon, Autumn 1951, pp. 16-17. 
Theosophia would welcome receiving from subscribers and friends
any Questions they may like to ask regarding the teachings of the Ancient
Wisdom and their application to daily life. Any type of Question is welcome,
with the exception of subjects bordering on political or sectarian matters,
or organizational and personal differences.
Is there any difference between the Brotherhood taught by the Churches, Service Clubs and other philanthropic institutions, and generally accepted by Western people, and the Brotherhood taught by H.P.B. and her Teachers and which was made the one essential plank in the teaching and practice of the Theosophical Movement?
A very great difference indeed. The Brotherhood of the Clubs and the philanthropic institutions is primarily a mutual fellowship feeling, fraternal ties of good will and assistance. The Brotherhood of the Churches while originally derived from the spiritual teachings of a Seer and Sage, and therefore being originally universal, has become through the centuries restricted to one or another denomination, or one or another ethnic group of humanity, and rarely transcends the diversity of beliefs and dogmas. There is no question that many church people have a grander and more universal conception of Brotherhood than that, but their individual beliefs and realizations are not practiced by the churches they belong to, as a whole. It would be hard to imagine that any of the existing organized religions, whether Western or Eastern, have the true Brotherhood of Man at heart, when praying to their respective deities for successful slaughter of a political and economic enemy, and a bloody "victory" over other hordes of people who are as much an integral part of mankind as themselves. It is not even the Brotherhood taught in the exoteric and often mistranslated texts of the Sacred Scriptures belonging to said religions. This is not denying the obvious fact that there are in every organized religion men and women, rare characters at best, who have worked in the past, or are working at present, in some cause or endeavor truly humanitarian, and whose sympathies go far beyond their respective sects and embrace the whole of mankind. But these men and women are universally-minded not because of their church or sect beliefs, but rather in spite of them.
The Brotherhood taught by H.P.B. and her Teachers is of course exactly the same as the one taught by all the great Sages, Seers, Saviors, Adepts and Initiates of the human race throughout past ages, namely, a Universal Brotherhood, without the slightest restrictions or barriers of sex, creed, race, vocation, beliefs, or the like. Nor is it only a Brotherhood of Mankind. It is to be understood rather as a term signifying the Spiritual Oneness, the essential unity, of all living and evolving entities, which means of all that is, visible and invisible, seemingly latent or dynamically alive. The Oneness is to be understood as pertaining to origin, evolutionary history, and ultimate destiny, if we can postulate, even remotely, anything ultimate in this Universe of infinite and endless possibilities. The Universal Brotherhood of the Theosophical Movement, whether of the present age or of any other time, is a spiritual reality or truth, a fact of Nature, which cannot be established, formed, created or organized. It can only be recognized as already existing, seen more or less clearly with our inner perception, and made to become the basis for our lives. A mode of life which either denies Universal Brotherhood in the Theosophical sense of the term, or ignores it, is as un-scientific as a life which were to ignore the existence of the Sun, or of the azure sky, or of the vast expanses of the atmosphere, or, maybe, of the necessity of breathing. 
The Brotherhood of the churches and the sects, as preached today, cannot play any redeeming part in the building of a new civilization, because it is hopelessly involved in the political and economic delusions of the people and is only too often made subservient to them. It does not strike the key-note of utter and complete universality, which is the magic solvent of most of our personal and selfish troubles and conflicts.
The Brotherhood of all genuine occult movements and schools has ever been a philosophical concept of the highest order, wherein are involved recondite teachings concerning the unitary structure of a hierarchical universe, and the unity of man, as an evolving unit, with all other manifestations of universal Life. The Universal Brotherhood - speaking now with regard to mankind alone - recognized by the student of the Ancient Wisdom, is evidenced not only by the positive side of human events and the ties of mutual assistance and helpfulness, but perhaps even more strongly so by our terrible conflicts and mutual entanglements in wars and destruction. The latter prove on a very large scale the utter unity of all men, the manner in which we are all affected by each other's actions and thought, and the way in which all parts of the globe are indissolubly bound together either by bonds of love or by bonds of hate. The latter, we must remember, is but love distorted, and must be redeemed as an energy, and made to run in a higher channel. Thus the unbrotherliness of man proves philosophically the underlying fact of the utter Oneness of Mankind. What ethical conclusions could well be derived from this simple fact!
The questioner is perfectly right when saying that Brotherhood as taught by H.P.B. and her Teachers was made the one essential plank in the teaching of the Theosophical Movement. Unfortunately, we cannot say that it has become equally essential a plank in the practice of the Movement. The organized Theosophical Societies have taught one thing and practiced another, much as the churches have. This does not deny or ignore the existence in the various Theosophical Organizations of men and women of a saintly life, whose entire careers have been those of living brotherhood and self-abnegation in a mighty Cause. But the frequent manifestations of unbrotherliness and hatred within the ranks of the Theosophical Organizations, their mutual squabbles and competition, their internal conflicts of personalities, and their lack of universality in action, have prevented them, and prevents them today, from becoming the greatest spiritual movement and the one universal power for the spiritual integration of the human race. A Movement divided within its own ranks cannot be the universally recognized exponent and proponent of Universal Brotherhood, and no number of ponderous volumes, containing deep and ageless teachings of occultism, will ever achieve it, short of changed minds and hearts within the rank and file of the organized Movement.
There can hardly be any doubt of the fact that there exist here and there a few small theosophical communities or lodges which work harmoniously as a nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood. More power to them. They do it, just as some Christians do, in spite of the over-all organized Movement, and certainly not because of any noble example set them by the Organizations to which they belong.
There are many Fellows of the various Theosophical Societies. There are only very, very few Theosophists. There are millions of church members. There are only very, very few Christians. And this we must never forget!
In the words of Master K.H. (Mahatma Letters, p. 17): "The term 'Universal Brotherhood' is no idle phrase. Humanity in the mass has a paramount claim upon us ... It is the only secure foundation for universal morality. If it be a dream, it is at least a noble one for mankind: and it is the aspiration of the true adept." 
It is sometimes difficult to co-ordinate the vocational occupation of a student of the ancient wisdom with his principles and ideals. What bearing do they have upon each other?
Considering this subject first from a very general viewpoint, it might be said that any honest work, faithfully performed, is as good as any other from the standpoint of acquiring what may be necessary for the student to house himself and to feed his body, while engaged in the study of the ancient wisdom and the application of its tenets to life. No work or labor should, therefore be looked down upon, provided it is honest. This, however, is only a general statement.
When this subject is considered at closer range, several points require further elucidation. One of these concerns itself with the meaning ascribed to the word "student". We will assume that no mere intellectual study of the esoteric philosophy is meant thereby, and will bear in mind that the term is used in the sense of a man or woman who is earnestly trying to enter upon the path of self-directed evolution, bending his energies towards spiritual self-improvement, inner and outer purification, practical work for the good of others, and a constant eye to that grander spiritual life and realization which is more a matter of inner growth than of outward circumstances. Few are those who have achieved considerable success along this line, but many are those who are trying sincerely to progress along this path at least within the limits of their own relatively weak powers. It becomes almost self-evident, when the above is carefully kept in mind, that the outer work performed by such a student must, at least to some degree, correspond with his ideals and objectives in life. Otherwise, the actions of his personality will constantly militate against his better judgment, and become out of gear with the objectives of his heart. From this conflict, there will arise a growing feeling of frustration, and possibly various manifestations of disease. In other words, his outward occupation will have to be in harmony with the general trend of his ideas, thought and feelings.
At this point, the subject is directly related to the precepts of Gautama the Buddha, concerning the Noble Eightfold Path. The fifth virtue on this Path is right livelihood. By this is meant that the student or disciple is expected to make a sincere and continued effort not to engage in enterprises or occupations which are against his principles of conduct. He must at all times try to perform outwardly that type of action which corresponds to his ideals in life, and to abstain from performing work the result of which is intended to hurt other men, directly or indirectly, to divide them from each other, or to harm the cause of universal goodwill and brotherhood. If he does not believe in slaying, the student must not engage in work which has the slaying of men as its ultimate purpose. If he does not believe in playing one portion of mankind against another, he must abstain from enterprises which tend to do so. If he does not believe in selfish competition, he should abstain from those vocations in which such competition is the basis of action. Contrariwise, if he believes in collaboration, mutual helpfulness, service of the community, peace and goodwill among men, he should seek employment in such fields as promote the establishment of mutual bonds among people, and foster, directly or indirectly the building of a society founded upon co-operation and service. To have two standards, one for business and another for himself, one for his neighbor and another for his home, is a state of affairs which no student can ever tolerate for any length of time. This means, therefore, that a constant effort should be made on the part of the true student to choose a type of work which is in harmony with the principles which he is trying to unfold within his soul. Only thus can soul-wisdom be born. 
Our newly organized Promotion Fund has received further donations for which the Editorial Staff of Theosophia expresses sincere thanks to one and all. As previously stated, the purpose of the Fund is:
1. To build a small reserve upon which to rely in case of need.
Anyone wishing to send a donation to this Fund should bear in mind that every dollar counts, and that we welcome any amount, however small it may be. It is the spirit that is of greater importance than the actual money, and often a small donation backed by a powerful thought of encouragement may become a magnetic center which will attract larger amounts from elsewhere.
We acknowledge herewith, with sincere gratitude, the following donations received up to October 1, 1951: L.C $0.50; C.C.B. $5.00; B.H. $3.50; R.P.H. $3.50; H.T. $1.50; L.A.V. $5.00; J.S. $0.50; H.C. $1.50; S.F. $3.50; A.P.W. $2.00; R.F.K $0.50; B.N. $3.50.
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 -