[Cover photo: The Sphinx and the Pyramids, Egypt.]
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by an International Group of Theosophists.
None of the organized Theosophical Societies, as such, are responsible for any ideas expressed in this magazine, unless contained in an official document. The Editor is responsible for unsigned articles only.
"... No people on earth can be held - as a people - to be an enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice ... No nation's security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation, but only in effective co-operation with fellow-nations . ... Any nation's right to a form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable ... Any nation's attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible ... A nation's hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments, but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations ... Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies - in the final sense - a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
"The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: A modern brick school
in more than 30 cities.
When the historian of the future appraises the era we live in today, it is more than likely that he will set down its main characteristics to have been a widespread downfall of ethics, emotional instability, and a loss of reliable ethical standards, resulting in mental and emotional confusion.
We live through a period of great transition, when ideas prevalent but a few years ago have lost their power over us, and new ideas, while known and unfolding, have not yet acquired sufficient momentum to provide a new and sure foundation for life.
Outmoded theologies have no restraining hold any longer, as they have been shown to be based on mere superstitions.
Mechanistic science, engaged in the development of bigger and better means for human destruction, can hardly provide any spiritual motive or objective for right living.
Philosophy is as yet too closely wedded to a mechanistic conception of life and struggles to free itself from outworn traditional moulds of both a mediaeval theological kind, and a materialistic type.
Political expediency, dedicated to love of power, exploitation and destructive competition, is equally unable to enforce any ethical precepts of conduct upon the people.
Yet, noble, spiritually-motivated and lofty ethics nevertheless exist in the world of today. They exist both in the ageless though neglected message of the Seers and Sages, the Prophets and Messengers of Light, and in the lives and sayings of lesser men and women whose presence can at times be felt and recognized in almost any phase of life - the progressive movements within organized religion, within the halls of science, the fields of philosophy, and even, upon rare occasions, in the turmoil of political strife.
These nobler characters are few; when openly active, they are usually hounded by their opponents and driven from pillar to post in a vain attempt to silence them; when expressing their nobler ideas, these are misrepresented and they are made to appear quite different from what they really are - precursors of a greater age, heralders of a New Era in human thought. They work mainly as a leaven active within the mind of the race. The ideas which they promulgate are an integral part of that ancient universal tradition of mankind which has been known throughout history by many names, and which should be regarded as synonymous with the Theosophical Movement, not so much, in its organizational aspect, but rather in its spiritual counterpart and fountain-head.
It is from this fountain-head of universal spiritual tradition that must come the new conception of Ethics which the world is in need of. Ethics as distinct from mere morals which are human temporary concepts of mere behaviorism. Ethics as rooted in the very structure of the Universe, and as providing those foundation stones of right conduct which can support the structure of an enduring civilization dedicated to universal peace and mutual good-will among all men.
It is only these ancient concepts of  truth that can ever re-vitalize true religion, spiritualize science, organize our shreds of philosophical thought, and transform in due course of time mere politics into enlightened statesmanship, a part of the spiritual government of the world.
In order that this be possible, the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom would have to be spread broadcast. Men and women on a very large scale would have to become aware of the basic ideas underlying the philosophy of this Wisdom: Karma or Causation, Reincarnation, the indwelling Divinity of every man, the inseparable Unity of all that lives, the road to self-knowledge through self-mastery, the substantial nature of thought and its power-aspect, ethical responsibility for one's thoughts, emotions and actions, the cyclic pattern of all evolution, the existence of perfected men as advanced products of that evolution, the common source of all religious and philosophical knowledge the world over, and a few other thoughts and concepts of a unifying and integrating kind.
If we were to teach these ideas to the rising generation on a wide scale, the change in our social order would be tremendous within a short time. If our young people would leave their institutions of learning or their immediate family circles, to become integral parts of the life of the world, imbued with these ideas, the change in our orientation would be startling.
It is therefore essential and imperative that we contact the younger generation with the ageless wisdom of mankind, in whatever language or phraseology we may be able to do so. Then and only then will we have a chance to alter our foolish and ignorant behavior as nations and peoples, and strike a new chord in our mutual relations the world over.
Consider our peculiar way of life! Ask yourself a few questions, however embarrassing they may be and often unwelcome!
In a world of Science, a world which swears by Science and almost worships it, confused and bewildered men attempt to lead the most unscientific life anyone could possibly imagine - a life of continuous and un-interrupted warfare!
In a world which that same Science has conclusively shown to be constructed throughout of the same constituent parts, the same atomic and electronic particles and forces, ethically blind men attempt to commit racial suicide by means of scientifically developed gadgets, gadgets and weapons whose very function and operation is based upon the latest discoveries of atomic and electronic forces.
In a world which Science again has proved to be a world of utter unity and wholeness, and which it has covered with a network of intercommunication, men attempt to erect and perpetuate mutual barriers dividing from each other parts and portions which cannot live without each other.
What would an inhabitant from some other planet think of this state of affairs? Would he look upon us as sane?
The brighter side of the picture consists mainly of the fact that the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, the concepts and precepts of the Theosophical Movement, are spreading, and that more and more People in all walks of  life are becoming progressively more and more aware of the existence of certain laws which must be recognized and followed.
Their number may yet be small, but their influence is beginning to be felt, as it is cumulative in its effect. Voices are being raised here and there which proclaim the imperative need of higher ethics, of a sense of spiritual responsibility, and of world-wide solidarity among men of all races and creeds.
It is only by means of a return to sound ethics and to a vital sense of ethical responsibility that we can ever hope to build a civilization worthy of spiritual man, worthy of his divine birthright as a thinker, worthy of the undreamt of possibilities which Nature contains everywhere.
SUICIDE A CRIME?
The writer in the London Spiritualist for November, who calls the "Fragments of Occult Truth" speculation spinning, can hardly, I think, apply that epithet to Fragment No. 3, so cautiously is the hypothesis concerning suicide advanced therein. Viewed in its general aspect, the hypothesis seems sound enough, satisfies our instincts of the Moral Law of the Universe, and fits in with our ordinary ideas as well as with those we have derived from science. The inference drawn from the two cases cited, viz., that of the selfish suicide on the one hand, and of the unselfish suicide on the other, is that, although the after-states may vary, the result is invariably bad, the variation consisting only in the degree of punishment. It appears to me that, in arriving at this conclusion, the writer could not have had in his mind's eye all the possible cases of suicide, which do or may occur. For I maintain that in some cases self-sacrifice is not only justifiable, but also morally desirable, and that the result of such self-sacrifice cannot possibly be bad. I will put one case, perhaps the rarest of all rare cases, but not necessarily on that account a purely hypothetical one, for I know at least one man, in whom I am interested, who is actuated with feelings, not dissimilar to these I shall now describe, and who would be deeply thankful for any additional light that could be thrown on this darkly mysterious subject (See Editor's Note 1.).
Suppose, then, that an individual, whom I shall call M., takes to thinking long and deep on the vexed questions of the mysteries of earthly existence, its aims, and the highest duties of man. To assist his thoughts, he turns to philosophical works: notably those dealing with the sublime teachings of Buddha. Ultimately he arrives at the conclusion that the FIRST and ONLY aim of existence is to be useful to our fellow men; that failure in this constitutes  his own worthlessness as a sentient human being, and that by continuing a life of worthlessness he simply dissipates the energy which he holds in trust, and which, so holding, he has no right to fritter away. He tries to be useful, but - miserably and deplorably fails. What then is his remedy? Remember there is here "no sea of troubles" to "take arm against," no outraged human law to dread, no deserved earthly punishment to escape; in fact, there is no moral cowardice whatever involved in the self-sacrifice. M. simply puts an end to an existence which is useless, and which therefore fails of its own primary purpose. Is his act justifiable? Or must he also be the victim of that transformation into spook and pisacha, against which Fragment No. 3 utters its dread warning? (2)
Perhaps, M. may secure at the next birth more favorable conditions, and thus be better able to work out the purpose of Being. Well, he can scarcely be worse; for, in addition to his being inspired by a laudable motive to make way for one who might be more serviceable, he has not, in this particular case, been guilty of any moral turpitude (3).
But I have not done. I go a step further and say that M. is not only useless, but positively mischievous. To his incapacity to do good, he finds he adds a somewhat restless disposition which is perpetually urging him on to make an effort to do good. M. makes the effort - he would be unutterly unworthy the name of man if he did not make it - and discovers that his incapacity most generally leads him into errors which convert the possible good into actual evil; that, on account of his nature, birth, and education, a very large number of men become involved in the effects of his mistaken zeal, and that the world at large suffers more from his existence than otherwise. Now, if after arriving at such results, M. seeks to carry out their logical conclusion, viz., that being morally bound to diminish the woes to which sentient beings on earth are subject, he should destroy himself, and by that means do the only good he is capable of; is there, I ask, any moral guilt involved in the act of anticipating death in such a case? I, for one, should certainly say not. Nay, more, I maintain, subject of course to correction by superior knowledge, that M. is not only justified in making away with himself, but that he would be a villain if he did not, at once and unhesitatingly, put an end to a life, not only useless, but positively pernicious. (4)
M. may be in error; but supposing he dies cherishing the happy delusion that in death is all the good, in life all the evil he is capable of, are there in his case no extenuating circumstances to plead strongly in his favour, and help to avert a fall into that horrible abyss with which your readers have been frightened? (5)
M.'s, I repeat, is no hypothetical case. History teems with instances of worthless and pernicious lives, carried on to the bitter end to the ruin of nations. Look at the authors of the French Revolution, burning with as ardent a love for their fellowmen as ever fired the human breast; look at them crimson with innocent blood, bringing unutterable disasters on their country in Liberty's sacred name! apparently how strong! in reality how  pitifully weak! What a woeful result of incapacity has been theirs? Could they but have seen with M.'s eyes, would they not have been his prototypes? Blessed, indeed, had it been for France, if they had anticipated M.
Again, look at George III of England, a well-meaning, yet an incapable Sovereign, who, after reigning for a number of years, left his country distracted and impoverished by foreign wars, torn by internal dissensions, and separated from a kindred race across the Atlantic, with the liberties of his subjects trampled under foot, and virtue prostituted in the Cabinet, in Parliament and on the Hustings. His correspondence with Lord North and others abundantly proves that to his self-sufficiency, well-meaning though it be, must be traced the calamities of Great Britain and Ireland, calamities from the effects of which the United Kingdom has not yet fully recovered. Happy had it been for England if this ruler had, like M., seen the uselessness of his life, and nipped it, as M. might do, in the bud of its pernicious career! - AN INQUIRER.
(1) "Inquirer" is not an Occultist, hence his assertion that in some cases suicide "is not only justifiable, but also morally desirable." No more than murder, is it ever justifiable, however desirable it may sometimes appear. The Occultist, who looks at the origin and the ultimate end of things, teaches that the individual - who affirms that any man, under whatsoever circumstances, is called to put an end to his life - is guilty of as great an offense and of as pernicious a piece of sophistry, as the nation that assumes a right to kill in war thousands of innocent people under the pretext of avenging the wrong done to one. All such reasonings are the fruits of Avidya mistaken for philosophy and wisdom. Our friend is certainly wrong in thinking that the writer of Fragments arrived at his conclusions only because he failed to keep before his mind's eye all the possible cases of suicide. The result, in one sense, is certainly invariable; and there is but one general law or rule for all suicides. But, it is just because "the "after-states" vary ad-infinitum, that it is erroneous to infer that this variation consists only in the degree of punishment. If the result will be in every case the necessity of living out the appointed period of sentient existence, we do not see whence "Inquirer" has derived his notion that "the result is invariably bad." The result is full of dangers; but there is hope for certain suicides, and even in many cases A REWARD if life was sacrificed to save other lives and that there was no other alternative for it. Let him read para. 7, page 313, in the September Theosophist, and reflect. Of course, the question is simply generalized by the writer. To treat exhaustively of all and every case of suicide and their after-states would require a shelf of volumes from the British Museum's Library, not our Fragments.
(2) No man, we repeat, has a right to put an end to his existence simply because it is useless. As well argue the necessity of inciting to suicide all the incurable invalids and cripples who are a constant source of misery to their  families; and preach the moral beauty of that law among some of the savage tribes of the South Sea Islanders, in obedience to which they put to death with warlike honors, their old men and women. The instance chosen by "Inquirer" is not a happy one. There is a vast difference between the man who parts with his life in sheer disgust at constant failure to do good, out of despair of ever being useful, or even out of dread to do injury to his fellowman by remaining alive; and one who gives it up voluntarily to save the lives either committed to his charge or dear to him. One is a half insane misanthrope - the other, a hero and a martyr. One takes away his life, the other offers it in sacrifice to philanthropy and to his duty. The captain who remains alone on board of a sinking ship; the man who gives up his place in a boat that will not hold all, in favour of younger and weaker beings; the physician, the sister of charity, and nurse who stir not from the bed-side of patients dying of an infectious fever; the man of science who wastes his life in brainwork and fatigue and knows he is so wasting it and yet is offering it day after day and night after night in order to discover some great law of the universe, the discovery of which may bring in its results some great boon to mankind; the mother that throws herself before the wild beast, that attacks her, children, to screen and give them the time to fly; all these are not suicides. The impulse which prompts them thus to contravene the first great law of animated nature - the first instinctive impulse of which is to preserve life - is grand and noble. And, though all these will have to live in the Kama Loka their appointed life term, they are yet admired by all, and their memory will live honoured among the living for a still longer period. We all wish that, upon similar occasions, we may have courage so to die. Not so, surely in the case of the man instanced by "Inquirer." Notwithstanding his assertion that "there is no moral cowardice whatever involved" in such self-sacrifice - we call it decidedly "moral cowardice" and refuse it the name of sacrifice.
(3 and 4) There is far more courage to live than to die in most cases. If "M." feels that he is "positively mischievous," let him retire to a jungle, a desert island; or what is still better, to a cave or hut near some big city; and then, while living the life of a hermit, a life which would preclude the very possibility of doing mischief to any one, work, in one way or the other, for the poor, the starving, the afflicted. If he does that, no one can "become involved in the effects of his mistaken zeal," whereas, if he has the slightest talent, he can benefit many by simple manual labour carried on in as complete a solitude as can be commanded under the circumstances. Anything is better - even being called a crazy philanthropist - than committing suicide, the most dastardly and cowardly of all actions, unless the felo de se is resorted to, in a fit of insanity.
(5) "Inquirer" asks whether his "M." must also be victim of that transformation into spook and pisacha! Judging by the delineation given of his character, by his friend, we should say that, of all suicides, he is the most likely to become a seance-room spook. Guiltless "of any moral turpitude," he may well be. But since he is afflicted with a "restless disposition which  is perpetually urging him on to make an effort to do good" - here, on earth, there is no reason we know of, why he should lose that unfortunate disposition (unfortunate because of the constant failure) - in the Kama Loka. A "mistaken zeal" is sure to lead him on toward various mediums. Attracted by the strong magnetic desire of sensitives and spiritualists, "M." will probably feel "morally bound to diminish the woes to which sentient beings [mediums and believers] on earth are subject," and shall once more destroy, not only himself, but his "affinities," the mediums.
The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards. As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man - the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm - is the living witness to this Universal Law and to the mode of its action. - H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, I, 274.
One of the basic teachings of Theosophy, the Esoteric Philosophy, is that the Universe with everything in it is tenfold in structure, ranging from the Divine realms of being, through the various intermediate spheres, down to the physical sphere familiar to us through our imperfect senses of perception. Of this tenfold pattern, the three uppermost or inmost realms are entirely beyond our present comprehension. The remaining seven spheres of being constitute what is known in the Ancient Wisdom as the manifested Universe of which we can gain at least a partial understanding. This teaching can be traced from the remotest antiquity through the Scriptures and the tradition of the great religio-philosophical schools of thought. It has taken various forms and has been expressed in changing phraseology, but its main postulates have remained the same throughout the ages, as it deals with basic facts regarding the nature and constitution of the Universe.
As every human being, whatever his degree of evolutionary growth, is an integral part of Nature, and is rooted in the spiritual substance of the Cosmos, his inner constitution must of necessity reflect the general pattern upon which the Universe itself is built. For man is like a spiritual atom of the vast Cosmic Organism in which he lives: life of its life, consciousness of its consciousness, substance of its substance, and derives all he has, all he is, from the respective Elements of the Universe in manifestation. From this it follows that Man himself is tenfold or sevenfold in his structure, and must be a faithful replica of the Cosmic prototype. The teachings regarding the sevenfold constitution of Man are, therefore, the application to Man of the more universal teachings regarding the sevenfold structure of the Cosmos in which he unfolds. Both aspects of this teaching must be studied together, if we are to grasp the general outline of the universal scheme of things. 
It is of incalculable value constantly to bear in mind the all-important fact that Man is a composite being, having within himself every kind of substance and every degree of consciousness that the Universe contains, though obviously much of it is as yet unexpressed in Man; yet, gradually, through the ages, coming to be unfolded or expressed, as his evolutionary growth proceeds from incarnation to incarnation. This paramount fact of the composite nature of Man should be the cornerstone of spiritual psychology, without which no true understanding can be attained concerning Man, his past, present, and future destinies, and the manner in which he is to become a spiritually awakened being.
According to the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, as first given out in an integrated outline in the present age by H.P. Blavatsky, in the last quarter of the 19th century, the constitution of Man can be outlined in the following two co-related tables, the Sanskrit being those adopted at present in theosophical terminology:
ATMAN - Divine-Spiritual or Universal Self
ATMAN - Cosmic Consciousness
It might be said that Man, as a child of the Universe, and as its replica in miniature, functions on, and responds to, seven distinct yet co-related wave-lengths, represented by the above enumerated seats of consciousness, through all of which flows the One Cosmic Life-Consciousness, binding and permeating everything.
The physical or material body (Sthula-sarira, "coarse" or "gross" form or "vehicle") functions as the common "carrier" of the inner constitution of the human being during any one life-time on Earth. As is well known, it is composed of innumerable cells, each endowed with its own life and cellular consciousness. Every cell is made up of smaller life-elements. From the standpoint of Science, these are molecular structures with their atomic and electronic constituents. From the standpoint of Theosophy, these smaller life-elements are the so-called life-atoms, which are, as it were, the souls of the physical atoms, the building-bricks of all matter. The physical body, therefore is a vast aggregate of living beings of varied grades, and is constructed on the principle of ascending hierarchies, just as the Cosmic Universe itself.
The Astral Body (Linga-sarira, "model-form") is composed of a finer grade of substance than physical matter and is the astral model or framework around which the physical body is builded, atom for atom, and from which, in a sense, the physical body flows forth or develops as growth proceeds. It is like a pattern into which the ever-changing material atoms come for a time, then pass out of. The Astral Body functions as a link between the physical body and the mind; it plays the part of a transformer that can "step down" the higher vibrations or energies to their lower equivalents. Its very nature is plasticity and extreme sensitivity, and it responds instantly to thoughts and emotions. It transmits these to the physical body upon which they can produce visible effects. The Astral Body is formed before birth, and its nature and characteristics are strictly determined by causes set up in motion by the Ego in past incarnations. The physical body slavishly duplicates the structure and tendencies of the astral pattern. The term "astral body" is often very loosely used by quasi-occult writers and lecturers in Occidental countries; it is made to apply to many distinct divisions of the semi-physical inner bodies, which results in considerable confusion.
Vitality (Prana, conveying the meaning of "breath of life") is the electromagnetic "field," to use a scientific term, manifesting in the human entity as "life" or "vital currents." It is Cosmic Life in one of its manifestations, specialized, so to speak, during the physical life-span of man, and acting through the formative parts of his constitution. Every physical and every astral life-atom has its own prana or "life," and yet all of them are as it were bathed in vital currents which issue from the Inner Man and return after physical death to the great reservoir of Nature.
The Animal Self-seat (Kama, "desire") is the center or organ of the vital psycho-electric impulses, desires, passions, aspirations, considered in their energic aspects; it is therefore the elemental or driving force in the human constitution. The desire-element is universal and active on all planes. 
Therefore there is a divine and spiritual kama as well as a merely grossly emotional kama, with all the intermediate stages or steps. The spiritual field of kama is where reside our aspirations and yearnings upward. In its lower aspects it forms in man the Kama-rupa, or "body of desire," which is gradually built throughout a lifetime by means of our emotional and passional thoughts and impulses. Man shares kama with the beast kingdom, but in him the passional instincts are intensified by the power of imagination - the image-producing faculty. The lower energies of kama constitute the lower nature of man; uncontrolled by the Higher, it is instinctual, self-centered, and remains attached to the sensuous life; controlled by the Inner Self, it becomes a powerful force which can be directed towards constructive spiritual purposes. In its highest human aspect, kama manifests itself as unselfish devotion to spiritual ideals; in its lowest, when centered on the personal self, it degrades man below the beast. That which in the beast is simple and natural because of the absence of the awakened self-conscious Mind, is debasement in Man.
The Mind (Manas, the "thinker") is the center or organ of the Ego-consciousness in Man, his self-consciousness, and is the seat of the realization of "I am I." Intrinsically colorless as regards good or evil, it has the power of choice, exercised by the use of the Will. Its chief characteristic is Duality. Everyone of us is aware of an intermediate self-conscious personality which is being continuously pulled in opposite directions, and constantly oscillates between higher and lower forces or centers of attraction within ourselves. This everyday conflict is one of the outstanding facts in life. The problem of the Higher and Lower Manas is a very interesting one in Theosophy; it is probably the most vital one from the ethical standpoint. Manas is the link between the animal in man and the Inner God. When illumined by the light of the Spiritual Individuality above it, Manas is what might be termed the Higher Human Ego, the Spiritual Intellect, the seat or field of the Re-embodying Self. When under the controlling influence of the animal impulses in man, it is the lower personal self, the field of the lower brain-mentality. Manas is the battleground within each one of us, upon which our future is decided. It is the center of foresight, deliberate reasoning choice, judgment, association of ideas, and is the creative center of consciousness in Man - a part of the Cosmic Mind.
The highest two centers in Man might for the present be considered
together. Atman is pure Cosmic Consciousness per se,
the Divine-Spiritual or Universal Self in Man, the Universal Essence
in which resides the knowledge or sentient consciousness of pure Selfhood (not
to be confused with the Ego). It is the seat of the "I am" consciousness
- sheer being. Buddhi is the field of the Spiritual Individuality;
it is that center in Man which manifests itself as Intuition, Spiritual
Vision and Discrimination, Wisdom, direct perception of Realities;
it is the inseparable veil or garment of the Atman. Atman-Buddhi is
the Inner God of every Man. The nature of these two seats of consciousness
cannot easily be understood by  our finite mind; their
influence is as a glorious radiance of spiritual illumination gradually
penetrating the purified Manas. This state, when attained, transcends
all the limitations of the everyday self, and makes of man a god
incarnate in human form.
There are two very good reasons why we naturally consider the possibility of being judged as something not to be desired. The average person who might undertake the task, we feel, is not sufficiently well informed or unbiased - or else why would he be wanting to judge us? The second and less palatable alternative is that someone who was really capable should undertake the task.
Our every action is based on what we have garnered from past experience. That "experience" can consist of our early environment, education, and family life. Whatever these factors might have been, we assimilated from them only that which we now call "ours." It is not the use of past experience in interpreting new events that is in any way limiting, but rather the use that we make of a specific person or circumstance that figured in that experience which we now identify with some person or circumstance involved in the present situation.
How adept are we in judging character? Some of us think that we possess that keen insight which allows us to read the life and motives of a stranger after only a few minutes conversation. Undoubtedly this would be a very valuable asset, for it would enable us to place everyone we met in either the "friend," "enemy," or "suspense" file. Files are an efficient asset to any office, but only when used properly. The letter which we glance at cursorily, and file under what we decided was the main subject, may be lost to us for a long time. It is much better to hold back our volume, and file each paper only after it has been read thoroughly and we are certain that the subject is understood? This will require a great deal of cross-referencing, very few papers will be discarded as absolutely worthless and - our suspense file will always be full of unfinished business.
The overflowing suspense file might not be as terrible as it sounds, however, if we consider that when we use our prejudices to classify and dispose of a man or an idea, we also stand in danger of disposing of a friend that at some time did not agree with us and of discarding that man or idea into the "dead" file.
If we base our future decisions exclusively on past experience we unnecessarily restrict the future by the past. Eventually we will accumulate such a heterogeneous mass of contradictory experiences that we will be entirely closed off from all - and thus find that we are mighty poor company for ourselves. 
A PLATFORM WORTHY OF THEOSOPHISTS
[For almost a year now, an unaffiliated group of Theosophists have held public Sunday afternoon lectures in one of the halls of the Unitarian Church in San Diego, California. Excellent talks have been given by a variety of speakers and the attendance has steadily increased. Unconcerned about any organizational differences, the promoters of this unsectarian and broad-minded activity have limited their own administrative set-up to a bare minimum, and have stressed points of mutual agreement among all students of Theosophy. The overall title of this series of lectures is "Theosophy and Contemporary Thought," and the Platform, of this effort has been stated with lucidity and courage, and in the genuine spirit of our age-old tradition, in the following declaration from the pen of W. Emmett Small, which we reproduce here for the benefit of all students, hoping that it will strike a responsive note in many hearts. It may be that some of them will be moved to emulate this effort in their own cities where the Light of Theosophy should be kindled anew. If anyone wishes to do so, let them communicate with our co-workers in San Diego (3022 Ibsen St., San Diego 6, Calif., U.S.A.) who will, we are sure, let them have all necessary information. - Editor, Theosophia.]
A few words are fitting in explanation of the purposes of these meetings and our overall program.
There are here in San Diego a number of individuals who have been for years interested in basic concepts of life: concepts which deal primarily with man, the intricate pattern of his nature, his far distant origin, the destiny towards which he gropes; concepts which deal likewise with the universe, the cosmos, with the birth of its uncounted suns, the constitution of its multimyriad galaxies; and above all, interested in the definite relationship between this microcosmic world of little Man and the macrocosmic Universe of infinite time and space.
Knowledge of these ideas has been always in existence, but new impetus and clarified vision have been given to them through the titanic genius of one of the world's great figures, H.P. Blavatsky, in her exposition of the Secret Doctrine, known also today as the Ancient Wisdom, God-Wisdom, Theosophy. These individuals, above referred to, have been for the most part for many years members of the Theosophical Society, but because of present internal dissensions in the organizational framework of that Society, they now find their best channel of activity freed from those loyalties and restrictions. They are interested in presenting and forwarding the ideals and basic elements of this ancient wisdom, the source of enlightenment of the world's Sages and Saviors. To draw illumination from a study and application of the teachings emanating from this Source, and to share this vision and understanding, and the warmth and courage and hope gained from friendly association, is the object of these gatherings. It is not an effort to win people away from associations to which they already belong and  where they feel at home with fellow-students. But it is an effort to create a center, an atmosphere shall we call it, where individuals from many and even widely diversified groups, who yet have the basic love of humanity as their motivating interest, may come, feel heartened, and periodically take back to their organizations what they here may have felt and learned.
Such work as this is fundamentally, of course, non-sectarian and undenominational. It has no leader, but is composed of individuals who are earnest in their desire to further the objects of understanding and sympathy among men, to work toward basic universal brotherhood, to seek to understand the science and religion and philosophy inherent in the very fabric of being, to recognize law and order in the universe, to become more and more cognizant of these universal operations of nature, and therefore likewise to know more of man's own inner being; in other words, to bring, through the expression of such a vital philosophy, more of light and joy to others, as well as a growing assurance and clarity to oneself of the basic purposes of life, which purposes, we may add, grow or deepen in accordance with our own expanding understanding and strength. "Light for the mind, love for the heart, understanding for the intellect: all three must be satisfied in every man before he has real peace."
We believe that the Esoteric Philosophy, the Wisdom of the Divine, can help each of you to greater light, greater love, and greater understanding. To this end, therefore, this platform is open to all original thinkers dedicated to high ideals. Letters explaining our purposes have been sent to Associates of the United Lodge of Theosophists in this city, to the Annie Besant Lodge of the Adyar Theosophical Society, and to the Philosophical Association of San Diego. We hope they will join us in this work and that you may personally hear from them. Invitations have also been addressed to local members of the Pasadena Theosophical Society. And we hereby offer the hand of fellowship to members of the Masonic Fraternity, to members and groups belonging to various Churches, to scientific, religious and philosophical associations. They are sincerely welcome. Common interest in the great issues of life, in the purposes and destiny of the human race, constitute the firm ground on which we meet.
But it should be made clear that this platform is not one consisting of a mere collection of lowest common denominators of the beliefs of varying religious and scientific groups, in a desire merely to please or placate; but it rests on a recognition of a living Root-Philosophy, based on the Workings of Nature, which is the Mother-Source and Fountain, the fons et origo, of all Ideative Thought, and from which the various great religions have emerged and flowered.
Pointing to this Source, we must be free from dogmatic assertion. For dogma kills, but inquiry into the sources of Truth gives life. The tyrant, the charlatan, as well as the fool, thrive where dogma, with its contempt for reasoned thought, commands. But philosopher, statesman, and child alike may breathe and dare to think and dream and aspire where flows unhindered the sunlight of unobstructed Truth. And the wise man knows that  his own understanding is subject to the revelation a greater light may give, and so is but a reverent lifting of a corner of the far-flung veil of Truth.
What is here said is said with genuine interest in the work of all individuals and groups, their welfare, their problems, and their successes. From nothing less than Truth can they all derive the unfailing inspiration they seek. Accept nothing, however, merely because an individual says it. Weigh, consider. Then reject what repels; seize and make your own what you find to be good and true. It is a golden rule. Thus alone may you gain that Freedom of the Spirit that comes first from complete honesty with yourself, and is nurtured and sustained by a growing Vision of Truth.
On the basis of the platform thus briefly outlined we welcome you as fellow-travelers on the age-old path, the "still small path," that leads to the Heart of Universal Being.
Why is the world in its present state of confusion, is primarily a relative question, the answer to which is bound up in the knowledge of Universal Truths as far as we know them. These truths must have their foundation in a belief in the existence of a Being with powers beyond the complete understanding of man as we know him, and having dominion over all things.
There is much even of material evidence to convince the instinctive nature and rational mind, that that is true. And with this recognition comes simultaneously an awareness that man is in some mysterious way a part of that great truth.
The seeming confusion in our present-day world is due therefore to the mystery of man's inception and of his ultimate goal.
Avataras, Prophets, Holy Scriptures and Wise Men have handed down the clues by which those who seek enlightenment in these truths may find it. Slowly but surely - according to natural laws - these clues have so expanded into the consciousness of mankind, that man stands today on the threshold of a great spiritual awakening into a new world of greater truths, in big evolution upward into the unknown, which constantly beckons him onward.
It has also been pointed out by the Prophets that there are powerful invisible forces - in the sense that we do not fully understand them - which seek to retard if not to prevent this awakening.
Thus we see in our lives the existence of two opposing sets of forces, one of which would discourage us, combating by confusion that which would enlighten or free us.
Let us then attempt to recognize this enemy of our freedom which lies mainly within us, and spiritually subdue, if not crush it, so that we may conserve our strength for the cracking of the material shell of dark ignorance which encloses us. For we are now stirring into a new life-phase of evolution for which man was intended, and for which, lest we perish, we must build new strength, unconfused, with which to break through the eggshell into the light of a new world just Beyond.