A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XI
No. 3 (61) - Winter 1954-55

[Cover photo: Peak K2 or Chorgori, 28,248 feet, Karakorum Range, Himalayas. (Photo by Vittorio Sella, Biella, Italy.)]


A Living Philosophy for Humanity

Published every Three Months. Sponsored by an International Group of Theosophists.
Objectives: To uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement, and to disseminate the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy as set forth by H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers.
Editor: Boris de Zirkoff.
Subscriptions: $1.50 a year (four issues); single copy 40 cents. Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: 615 South Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California. Make checks and money orders payable to "Theosophia."

None of the organized Theosophical Societies, as such, are responsible for any ideas expressed in this magazine, unless contained in an official document. The Editor is responsible for unsigned articles only.


An Ancient Hellenic Prayer

"It is our work to change men's hearts by changing their thoughts; give them ideas and ideals for them to follow and live up to. And to work with malice towards none, with a yearning to do justice to all, even to those with whom we most disagree. The Theosophist will be successful just in so far as he can implant in the hearts of others who may see him and hear him the thoughts and ideas and ideals which he himself has sought and found and is blessed with. Little by little the thoughts of men will change, until a time will come when these Theosophic ideas will sweep like wildfire through the hearts and minds of men everywhere, permeating both mind and conscience, thus furnishing a strong, a mighty, guide to all. The world will then be changed because men will begin to think new thoughts, see new ideas, realize their truth and immense import and value, and instinctively will follow them; and they will understand then that self-interest is the worst policy possible to follow, because the man who works for his fellow works likewise for the best for himself and wins friends everywhere. The man whose honor is unstained and whose heart beats with love for his fellows: he is the man who will be looked to for counsel, for all will instinctively feel the inner guidance that such a man follows, and will themselves seek the light that directs him.

"If ideas can overthrow and work havoc, it is by this fact evident that ideas of another type can build and unite and save." - G. de Purucker, Messages to Conventions, 188-89.

"There is nothing whatever that can be accomplished without the power of Faith, and there is no faith possible without spiritual knowledge. We cart only accomplish that of which we are confident that we can accomplish it, and we can only be truly confident if we know by experience that we have the power to do it." - Dr. Franz Hartmann, Magic: White and Black, 63. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

It is said by those who know that resolutions adopted around the New Year's time have a special power and strongly affect our life throughout the succeeding twelvemonth.

If this be true, many are the resolutions which we, as students of occult teachings, should make at this time, and re-iterate them from year to year. We should, moreover, cast a critical glance at our lives and endeavor to appraise them in the light of experience and against the background of the philosophy which we profess. How many of us are sincere enough to do it impartially, and how many are willing to abide by the often negative results arrived at, resolving to improve our attitude to life and people, and to rise above our weaknesses, recognized as such and condemned?

Numerous are the characteristics which we must try to eliminate from our un-regenerate natures, and the effort for doing so will undoubtedly test our sincerity, our determination, our spiritual insight and our trust.

What about racial antagonism and discrimination? Have we reached the lofty vantage point from which all men are seen to be brothers under the skin and where their temporary distinctions of color, ethnic background and tribal customs appear as no more than stage settings for the evolution of the soul? Maybe we can afford to do some constructive thinking along this line next time we feel the urge to talk glibly about Universal Brotherhood.

What about social and economic discrimination? Are we men and women who have risen completely above the tendency to discriminate between the wealthy and the poor, and, unaffected by the sight of money or the power which it conveys in the world, to appraise people and their actions in the light of ethical precepts of conduct, and to treat both the rich and the poor as equal beings trudging the same evolutionary path?

How do our pet weaknesses appear in the light of the Ideals which we talk about and lecture on? Would we be willing and ready at any time to deliver a completely candid and frank talk to a group of students concerning our own life, our personal life, the life that is only rarely seen by anyone else except ourselves, and even then only in distorted colors? Could we, for instance, give an account of the ethical ideals of theosophic life, and illustrate it by instances of weaknesses, malpractices, and shortcomings drawn from the record of our own life, as objectively as we would dissect the life of another every time we feel the urge to castigate him and praise ourselves? And unless we can do so, our life, in spite of all its seeming nobility and decorum, is far below the standard of a truly theosophic life, which has nothing to hide and little to regret.

And what of the multitude of little infractions of the Good Law which we indulge in daily? Are they absolutely needed and cannot be dispensed with? We look back upon some brief period of time and discover so many curious incidents: we told a "white lie" to cover up some foolish action on [4] our part; we supported an injustice that a friend of ours perpetrated towards another because we did not care to raise an argument with him, or possibly lose his friendship; we deliberately fell in with the selfish and cruel ideas of another, while talking about world politics or the like, because we did not want to start an argument, or to appear odd in our own views; we upheld and strengthened the vices of others by taking part, almost against our better judgment, in some shady deal, or by indulging in drink with them, just to be "friendly." A few days ago, we rushed to buy things at the new chain store which had just opened up, availing ourselves of its lower prices, knowing full well that the fact of its opening cruelly put out of business the smaller store across the street. We registered no ripple of conscience when we discovered that the grocery store we had patronized for years had now on its news-stand a complete assortment of murder stories and magazines on "sexology" which a generation or so ago would have landed their authors and publishers in jail. Instances could be multiplied. We have done all of this and lots more; we are doing it every day. The question is: how long are we going to continue? Upon the answer to this query depends the fact as to whether we shall come, within a reasonable future, to lead the theosophic life.

The Theosophic life has nothing unnatural about it. It is simply a life which is based upon the application of theosophical deals to daily living; a life which finds a field for such application in every action and thought and feeling of the day; a life which is immeasurably easier to live than the life of dissimulation, cowardice, insincerity, social lying, discrimination, prejudice, and other mental and moral contortions, which distinguish the worldly individual from the one who lives in the world but is not of it. No one of us has made much progress along this path of inner and outer purification, and no one of us, therefore, can point to himself as an example of the great virtues. But some of us have tried to find a new basis for our living, and have come up with some astonishing deductions after our experimentation.

We have, therefore, many resolutions that could be adopted around this New Year's time, many an experiment in consciousness that could be made. The power to make them lies within our hearts, and the decision to make them is in our higher minds. Let us hope we will exercise both our hearts and minds and seriously attempt to lead a higher life.


"And let no one imagine that it is a mere fancy, the attaching of importance to the birth of the year. The earth passes through its definite phases and man with it; and as a day can be coloured so can a year. The astral life of the earth is young and strong between Christmas and Easter. Those who form their wishes now will have added strength to fulfill them consistently." - H.P. Blavatsky, Lucifer, Vol. I, January, 1888, p. 338. [5]


H.P. Blavatsky
[This article originally appeared in The Theosophist, Vol. III, No. 4, January, 1882, pp. 104-105. It was written in answer to a letter sent in by a Hindu member of the T. S., who asked for an explanation of two dreams in which, a Hindu gentleman, while away from home, saw his wife suffering from cholera, his visions being later fully confirmed. - Editor]

"Dreams are interludes which fancy makes," Dryden tells us; perhaps to show that even a poet will make occasionally his muse subservient to sciolistic prejudice.

The instance as above given is one of a series of what may be regarded as exceptional cases in dreamlife, the generality of dreams, being indeed, but "interludes which fancy makes." And, it is the policy of materialistic, matter-of-fact science to superbly ignore such exceptions, on the ground, perchance, that the exception confirms the rule, - we rather think, to avoid the embarrassing task of explaining such exceptions. Indeed, if one single instance stubbornly refuses classification with "strange coincidences" - so much in favor with sceptics - then, prophetic, or verified dreams would demand an entire remodeling of physiology. As in regard to phrenology, the recognition and acceptance by science of prophetic dreams - (hence the recognition of the claims of Theosophy and Spiritualism) - would, it is contended, "carry with it a new educational, social, political, and theological science." Result: Science will never recognise either dreams, spiritualism, or occultism.

Human nature is an abyss, which physiology and human science in general, has sounded less than some who have never heard the word physiology pronounced. Never are the high censors of the Royal Society more perplexed than when brought face to face with that insolvable mystery - man's inner nature. The key to it is - man's dual being. It is that key that they refuse to use, well aware that if once the door of the adytum be flung open they will be forced to drop one by one their cherished theories and final conclusions - more than once proved to have been no better than hobbies, false as everything built upon, and starting from false or incomplete premises. If we must remain satisfied with the half explanations of physiology as regards meaningless dreams, how account, in such case for the numerous facts of verified dreams? To say that man is a dual being; that in man - to use the words of Paul - "There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" - and that, therefore, he must, of necessity, have a double set of senses - is tantamount in the opinion of the educated sceptic, to uttering an unpardonable, most unscientific fallacy. Yet it has to be uttered - science notwithstanding.

Man is undeniably endowed with a double set: with natural or physical senses, - these to be safely left to physiology to deal with; and, with subnatural or spiritual senses belonging entirely to the province of psychological science. The Latin word "sub," let it be well understood, is used here in a [6] sense diametrically opposite to that given to it - in chemistry, for instance. In our case, it is not a preposition, but a prefix as in "sub-tonic" or "sub-bass" in music. Indeed, as the aggregate sound of nature is shown to be a single definite tone, a key-note vibrating from and through eternity; having an undeniable existence per se yet possessing an appreciable pitch but for "the acutely fine ear" * (* This tone is held by the specialists to be the middle F of the piano.) - so the definite harmony or disharmony of man's external nature is seen by the observant to depend wholly on the character of the key-note struck for the outer by inner man. It is the spiritual EGO or SELF that serves as the fundamental base, determining the tone of the whole life of man - that most capricious, uncertain and variable of all instruments, and which more than any other needs constant tuning; it is its voice alone, which like the sub-bass of an organ underlies the melody of his whole life whether its tones are sweet or harsh, harmonious or wild, legato or pizzicato.

Therefore, we say, man, in addition to the physical, has also a spiritual brain. If the former is wholly dependent for the degree of its receptivity on its own physical structure and development, it is, on the other hand, entirely subordinate to the latter, inasmuch as it is the spiritual Ego alone and accordingly as it leans more towards its two highest principles,** (** The sixth principle, or spiritual soul, and the seventh - its purely spiritual principle, the "Spirit" or Parabrahm, the emanation from the unconscious ABSOLUTE.) or towards its physical shell that can impress more or less vividly the outer brain with the perception of things purely spiritual or immaterial. Hence it depends on the acuteness of the mental feelings of the inner Ego, on the degree of spirituality of its faculties, to transfer the impression of the scenes its semi-spiritual brain perceives, the words it hears and what it feels, to the sleeping physical brain of the outer man. The stronger the spirituality of the faculties of the latter, the easier it will be for the Ego to awake the sleeping hemispheres, arouse into activity the sensory ganglia and the cerebellum, and to impress the former - always in full inactivity and rest during the deep sleep of man - with the vivid picture of the subject so transferred. In a sensual, unspiritual man, in one, whose mode of life and animal proclivities and passions have entirely disconnected his animal, astral Ego from its higher "Spiritual Soul"; as also in him whose hard, physical labour has so worn out the material body as to render him temporarily insensible to the voice and touch of his Astral Soul, - during sleep the brains of both these men remain in a complete state of anaemia or full inactivity. Such persons rarely, if ever, will have any dreams at all, least of all "visions that come to pass." In the former, as the waking time approaches, and his sleep becomes lighter, the mental changes beginning to take place, they will constitute dreams in which intelligence will play no part; his half-awakened brain suggesting but pictures which are only the hazy grotesque reproductions of his wild habits in life; while in the latter - unless strongly preoccupied with some exceptional thought - his ever present instinct [7] of active habits will not permit him to remain in that state of semi-sleep during which consciousness beginning to return we see dreams of various kinds, but will arouse him, at once, and without any interlude to full wakefulness. On the other hand, the more spiritual a man, the more active his fancy, and the greater probability of his receiving in vision the correct impressions conveyed to him by his all-seeing, his ever-wakeful Ego. The spiritual senses of the latter, unimpeded as they are by the interference of the physical senses, are in direct intimacy with his highest spiritual principle; and the latter though per se quasi-unconscious part of the utterly unconscious, because utterly immaterial Absolute* (*To this teaching every kind of exception will be taken by the Theists and various objections raised by the Spiritualists. It is evident that we cannot be expected to give within the narrow limits of a short article a full explanation of this highly abstruse and esoteric doctrine. To say that the ABSOLUTE CONSCIOUSNESS is Unconscious of its consciousness, hence to the limited intellect of man must be ABSOLUTE UNCONSCIOUSNESS, seems like speaking of a square triangle. We hope to develop the proposition more fully in one of the forthcoming numbers of "Fragments of Occult Truth" of which we may publish a series. We will then prove, perhaps, to the satisfaction of the non-prejudiced that the Absolute, or the Unconditioned, and (especially) the unrelated is a mere fanciful abstraction, a fiction, unless we view it from the standpoint and in the light of the more educated pantheists. To do so, we will have to regard the "Absolute" merely as the aggregate of all intelligences, the totality of all existences, incapable of manifesting itself but through the interrelationship of its parts, as It is absolutely incognizable and non-existent outside its phenomena, and depends entirely on its ever-correlating Forces, dependent in their turn on the ONE Great Law.) - yet having in itself inherent capabilities of Omniscience, Omnipresence and Omnipotence which as soon as the pure essence comes in contact with pure sublimated and (to us) imponderable matter - imparts these attributes in a degree to the as pure Astral Ego. Hence highly spiritual persons will see visions and dreams during sleep and even in their hours of wakefulness: these are the sensitives, the natural-born seers, now loosely termed "spiritual mediums," there being no distinction made between a subjective seer, a neurypnological subject, and even an adept - one who has made himself independent of his psysiological idiosyncrasies and has entirely subjected the outer to the inner man. Those less spiritually endowed will see such dreams but at rare intervals, the accuracy of the latter depending on the intensity of their feeling in regard to the perceived object.

Had Babu Jugut Chunder's case been more seriously gone into, we would have learned that for one or several reasons, either he or his wife was intensely attached to the other; or that the question of her life or death was of the greatest importance to either one or both of them. "One soul sends a message to another soul" - is all old saying. Hence, premonitions, dreams, and visions. At all events, and in this dream at least, there were no "disembodied" spirits at work, the warning being solely due to either one or the other, or both of the two living and incarnated Egos. [8]

Thus, in this question of verified dreams, as in so many others, Science stands before an unsolved problem, the insolvable nature of which has been created by her own materialistic stubbornness, and her time-cherished routine policy. For, either man is a dual being with an inner Ego* (* Whether with one solitary Ego, or Soul, as the Spiritualists affirm, or with several - i.e., composed of seven principles, as Eastern esotericism teaches, is not the question at issue for the present. Let us first prove by bringing our joint experiences to bear, that there is in man something beyond Buchner's Force and Matter.) in him, this Ego "the real" man, distinct from, and independent of the outer man proportionally to the prevalency or weakness of the material body; an Ego the scope of whose senses stretches far beyond the limit granted to the physical senses of man; an Ego which survives the decay of its external covering - at least for a time, even when an evil course of life has made him fail to achieve a perfect union with its spiritual higher Self, i.e., to blend its individuality with it (the personality gradually fading out in each case); or - the testimony of millions of men embracing several thousands of years; the evidence furnished in our own century by hundreds of the most educated men - often by the greatest lights of science - all this evidence, we say, goes to naught. With the exception of a handful of scientific authorities, surrounded by an eager crowd of sceptics and sciolists, who having never seen anything, claim, therefore, the right of denying everything, - the world stands condemned as a gigantic Lunatic Asylum! It has, however, a special department in it. It is reserved for those, who, having proved the soundness of their mind, must, of necessity, be regarded as IMPOSTORS and LIARS ...

Has then the phenomenon of dreams been so thoroughly studied by materialistic science, that she has nothing more to learn, since she speaks in such authoritative tones upon the subject? Not in the least. The phenomena of sensation and volition, of intellect and instinct, are, of course, all manifested through the channels of the nervous centres the most important of which is the brain. Of the peculiar substance through which these actions take place - a substance the two forms of which are the vesicular and the fibrous, the latter is held to be simply the propagator of the impressions sent to or from the vesicular matter. Yet while this physiological office is distinguished, or divided by Science into three kinds - the motor, sensitive and connecting the mysterious agency of intellect remains as mysterious and as perplexing to the great physiologists as it was in the days of Hippocrates. The scientific suggestion that there may be a fourth series associated with the operations of thought has not helped towards solving the problem; it has failed to shed even the slightest ray of light on the unfathomable mystery. Nor will they ever fathom it unless our men of Science accept the hypothesis of DUAL MAN. [9]


[This article originally appeared in The Theosophist, Vol. IV, No. 1, January, 1883, p. 95. Its writer, Tsong-Ka Un-Ghien, a high Chela of the Masters, is very probably the same person as Ten-dub Unghien, spoken of by H.P.B. as being a lama next to Master M., and the chief and guide of his chelas on their travels. - Editor]

I am ordered by our Masters to draw the attention of our influential Brother, A. Sankariah, of Cochin, to the following. In a letter to the Editor, in the last Theosophist, upon the Adi Brahmo Samaj, he observes: - "I am in ignorance of Brahma and want to get at the knowing, and sympathize with Chela Brother 'H.X.'* (* [These initials stand for Allan Octavian Hume, at the time a high official of the Indian Government. - Editor, Theosophia.]), who finds the Knowers rather cautious and reticent."

Those "Knowers" (who are none other than our Masters) bid me to say to Mr. Sankariah in the kindliest spirit, that he should have made HX's title that of "Lay Chela" - quite a different relationship to them, than that of Chela; and - even that connection has been twice already voluntarily broken by him, for the reasons above specified. As, in the Theosophical Society, there are Active fellows and Corresponding fellows, the latter, defined in the Rules to be "persons of learning and distinction who are willing to furnish information of interest to the Society," while the former are actively occupied with its work, so there is a distinction between the chelas learning under our Masters. There are Regular Chelas - those who have "taken the vows," who are withdrawn from the world and are personally in the company of the Mahatmas; and "Lay" and even "semi-lay" Chelas, who are wholly or partially in the world, perhaps men of family, who have a sympathy for the adepts and their science, but who are unable or not yet willing to take up the recluse life. The "Knowers" are always cautious as to what they say, and when, and to whom. Their habitual reticence gradually lessens only towards the active, or regular Chelas, as they develop their higher selves and become fit to be instructed. No one could reasonably expect that they should be unreserved with those who are tied by no vow or promise, and are free not only to break connection at any moment with their teachers, but even to traduce and charge them with iniquity before the world. With such, their relationship becomes more and more confidential only as time proves the correspondent's sincerity and loyal good faith; it may grow into close confidence or into estrangement, according to deserts. A foreigner unsympathetic with our methods and impatient of the rules which have bound our order from time immemorial, may well be pardoned for wishing to ignore these facts. But it does seem strange that a Hindu born, the President of a Hindu Sabha, and moreover a man so learned in our ancient lore - all of which our Brother Sankariah is - should so mistake the laws of adeptship as to publicly side with the imaginary grievances of a "Lay" Chela, a [10] non-Hindu. Great, beyond dispute, as his services to the Theosophical Society have been, yet "H.X." has always assumed and from the first, rather the attitude of a debater than that of a Chela; has rather laid down the law than appeared anxious to learn or willing to wait until he should have gained the full confidence of the "Knowers."

(By order.)
Tsong-Ka Un-Ghien


Boris de Zirkoff

The ancient Wisdom teaches that the one unknown Essence, the very Root of all that is, is like a breath; it is in harmonious and periodical successions, either active or passive. In the active state it emanates from itself universes, which, when the passive state of itself is resumed, disappear, vanish, and are reabsorbed into that divine or super-divine Essence. It is like a cosmic, universal breath: the outbreathing of this one Reality produces the worlds of phenomena, and the inhalation or inbreathing reabsorbs them again. This process, according to the teaching of the ancient Wisdom, has been going on at all times. In its periodical successions it is like the tides of the sea, with their ebb and flow, their flux and reflux. It has neither beginning nor end.

This cosmic breath reflects itself everywhere in the cosmos, whether attention is directed to the solar system or to the evolution of one planet within it, or to the growth and development of human races, which are born, mature, and decay; or whether man himself is considered as an entity - not the physical man, but the entirely of man's constitution, from the spiritual through the various intermediate planes down to the material. It is the same process of descent or involution, a dipping into the worlds of matter, and of evolution, reabsorption into its original state.

Let us confine our attention for a while to the solar system. It has, as everything else has, its own periods of activity, its cycles of phenomena, of outpourings, and its cycles of reabsorption and quiescence. I do not purpose to advance any proofs of it; but I would like to draw a picture, which will be strong enough and appealing enough to be a proof in itself of the reality of these teachings.

Consider yourself, the object that is probably nearer to you than anything else, you yourself. You have a heart. It beats. You know it. No one will ever deny it; it is too close, too familiar, to be questioned. So does the solar system. It has a heart, the sun. We all know at least something about one particular cycle within the solar system - the one which refers to the sun-spots, a cycle which has a periodicity of approximately eleven years, a little over. [11]

Here is the picture: the sun is he heart of this system, of that greater man as distinct from the pygmy man; and it has a heart that beats. At every beginning of this sun-spot cycle, there is something akin to contraction in the sun, and an outpouring of vital currents, exactly similar to what takes place in man. The contraction of the heart is a cycle so familiar to everyone that we do not think of it. When the life-force comes out from the center of all life in the solar system it permeates the entire system and reaches to the outermost limits of it, and expands its force; it is then gradually and progressively reabsorbed, until it re-enters the sun, when another contraction sends it out again.

The same cycle takes place in your own heart. Analogy is the fundamental law in the Universe: "As above, so below"; and the structures and functions known and unknown, visible and invisible, on scales of a nature that is so minute that our senses of perception cannot even conceive of them - these structures and operations are exactly the same as those which take place on a cosmic scale, when we consider solar systems, universes, planets, or what not. It is the same law: "As above, so below"; and this lies at the very root of the fact that certain laws are universal, and that the same scheme of evolution, the same general plan, barring details, permeates the entire cosmos from top to bottom - if it has any top and any bottom; and it also lies at the very root of the idea that every point in space has the Boundless at its core. It is identical in essence with the Boundless.

Undoubtedly some may think: "Well, this might be so; but where are the proofs? Could you advance some proofs to the effect that cosmic cycles, for instance, cycles of the solar system, are actually reflected in man or in any other being of lesser magnitude, or on a lower scale, far lower than the solar system we speak of? Where are the proofs?"

It is not my idea to throw proofs at you; but with a few selected numbers, we might be able to fix our ideas and make them stand out against the background of generalities. Picture the solar system. It has cycles. What kind of cycles? The teaching of the ancient Wisdom-Religion, and the teaching of some of the esoteric religions of the East, faintly echoing at present the esoteric doctrines of past ages, is that the evolution of root-races on the earth, and on any planet for that matter, is governed by cycles, or rather is subject to cycles of four different kinds, four distinct cycles. The ancient Sanskrit names of these might be quoted; but what I want to convey is the idea of the four cycles which the ancient Wisdom speaks of: one of 1,728,000 years, another of 1,296,000 years, a third of 864,000 years, and the fourth of 432,000 years.

When these cycles are spoken of, it does not matter whether millions or thousands are meant; the idea to grasp is that there is a sequence of four numbers - they might be, for all we know, not one million, but one thousand, seven hundred and twenty-eight, or 17.28, etc. It is the digits in these numbers that I would like to draw attention to. The length of a cycle is dependent upon the scale of its arc, whether you speak of the solar system or of a root-race or of a man or of an atom, or of an electron. [12]

Here is the interesting factor: Everyone knows something at least of the precession of the equinoxes. It could be summarized in a few words without any technical terms, perhaps as follows: if at any given time you measure with mathematical accuracy, by astronomical methods, in other words, the position of the sun among the constellations, and have determined that at this particular moment the sun is projected against a given star, against the background where there is a star, which we will call Alpha, and if you measure the position of that sun at precisely the same moment next year, you will find that it is projected a little to one side of that star. You begin to reckon from there. The little divergence is just fifty seconds of the arc - almost nothing. But it is cumulative. The sun moves among the constellations from one year to the other and takes 25,920 years to complete a full circle, when the sun at the same moment of time is projected against the same star, Alpha.

It happens that there is one thing which we all have in common, and that is that we all breathe; and we breathe with an average of eighteen breathings per minute. Simple arithmetic shows that in twenty-four hours we breathe 25,920 times. In other words the daily cycle of breathing is, on its own scale, similar to the precessional cycle of the Sun. In the action of the heart we find another cycle. The heart beats, on an average, seventy-two times a minute; and it takes exactly seventy-two years for the sun to pass one degree along the zodiac, in its precessional cycle. The analogy is perfect.

To consider this point further: in one hour the sun within our heart, which is the sun of our physical body - I don't mean anything else just now but the physical body - has accomplished 4,320 beats - exactly the same digits as one of the sacred cycles of the Ancient Wisdom; but instead of its being 432,000 years, it is 4,320 beats.

What will happen in six hours? It will beat 25,920 times, which is another precessional cycle. In five hours it beats 21,600 times: the 216 when interpreted in years, makes 2,160 years, or the time which the sun takes to pass through one complete sign of the zodiac. In other words, we have in ourselves the complete and perfect replica of the cycles which take place on a cosmic scale; and we prove ourselves to be a zodiac, or a solar system, or a sun.

It would take us too far afield to go into details; but we could step down on a lower scale and consider, instead of ourselves - i.e., our entire frame with its vascular system - just one heart-beat, which takes eight-tenths of a second. Simple calculation with the help of any elementary anatomical or physiological book will show that the contraction of the auricle of the heart, when reckoned in seconds on a scale of one hour, makes 4,320 seconds - the same cycle of 432; and the contraction of the ventricle of the heart makes 2160, which is the same cycle as 21,600. It is also reflected on various descending planes.

Innumerable examples surround us, stare us in the face, to show that there is a great cosmic rhythm - a rhythm pervading the entire universe. This is the law of periodicity, or universal [13] breath, or cycles - going out and pouring in, out and in, endlessly.

Everything that is lives in something greater than itself; and everything that is comprises within itself incomputable hosts of sentient beings on lower scales of evolution. The electron - perhaps the smallest thing conceivable at present by our minds, lives and has its own consciousness in the atom; and the atom lives and has its being and its consciousness within the molecule; and the molecule lives, and moves, and has its being and consciousness within the body, the form, and within the consciousness of a cell - whether a human cell or a beast - cell or a plant-cell; and the cell with its own consciousness lives within our bodies; and so do our bodies live and exist within the consciousness and within the body of a greater being the earth, of which we are an integral part; and the earth in the solar system, and the solar system lives and has its being in the home-universe, which science calls an island-universe, because there are millions of other similar universes that are known even to science; and for all we know, this boundless expanse of sky, with its millions of galaxies, might be, after all, but an aggregate of cells within a being of such stupendous grandeur and sublimity that it utterly transcends the boundaries of our imagination, and cannot be conceived by the limited powers of our human mind.

Man is a composite being. The centers of consciousness which have builded him, which are himself, pertain to all the planes and realms and spheres of nature and correspond to the elements and forces and powers and centers of consciousness from which they are derived on a cosmic scale; and the cycles which prevail there prevail in man also, and can be known by the law of analogy and the unity of all that is. Man is an integral part of the Boundless; he is life of its life, consciousness of its consciousness. But to the myriads of sentient beings which, on lower scales of evolution, live and move and have their being within him - man is like unto the Boundless.

Progeny of the stars, as we all are in our highest being, nurslings of the sacred planets, as the esoteric philosophy teaches, imbodied in tenements of clay on this earth, it is our destiny to become, in the far distant future, like unto the gods in whom we live at present as tiny life-atoms. It is our destiny to become universal by rising from the personal into the impersonal, from the human into the divine, and beyond.


"Cease dwelling on your sorrows and troubles, and go out into the bright light of Truth, out into the great hopes! Build castles for yourselves! Build vistas! Let them be merely from the brain-mind if you can do no better, but build them high towards the Spirit, and plan them today, that tomorrow shall bring you more light, more knowledge, more courage, and more determination to win out, not just for this one life, but for your soul's sake and for humanity's sake ...

"The real thing is to construct, and to construct today, not preach construction today and tomorrow do nothing. No! That is not the way to do. The way to do is to live every day in such manner that the next day may be a better one, that there may be more courage tomorrow than today." - Katherine Tingley, The Travail of the Soul, pp. 216, 218. [14]


James O'Connell

In her various Theosophical writings, especially in the Key to Theosophy, and the Messages to the Members of the American Section of the Theosophical Society, H.P. Blavatsky endeavored to impress on the minds of Theosophical students, the importance of Ethics. In this she was but following in the steps of her predecessors, all of whom taught, by precept and example, the Gospel of the Brotherly Love which is the basis of Theosophical Ethics. Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus, the Teachers which the Christian world holds in high esteem, stressed the necessity of exemplifying in practice brotherly love. "Love your neighbor as yourselves" counseled Jesus. And when asked by one of his disciples whom he should regard as his neighbor, Jesus replied: "All mankind of every description, even those who envy us or differ from us in religion." Love your enemies, he admonished them, "do good to those that hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you." These golden precepts were echoed by Paul in his Epistle, and in his sublime discourse on charity the zealous Apostle said in effect: "Without brotherly love I am nothing, though I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor and deliver my body to be burned."

In the Second Message of H.P.B. to the American students of Theosophy, appears the following, which she translated from letters written by the Masters of Wisdom:

"There is no happiness for one who is ever thinking of Self and forgetting all other Selves. The Universe groans under the weight of such action (Karma), and none other than self-sacrificial Karma relieves it ... Oh, men of the West, who would play at being the Saviours of mankind before they even spare the life of a mosquito whose sting threatens them, would you be partakers of Divine Wisdom or true Theosophists? Then do as the Gods when incarnated do. Feel yourselves the vehicles of the whole Humanity, mankind as part of yourselves, and act accordingly."

The above quoted words loudly proclaim the importance of Ethics - actions based on brotherly love. Such actions are the key-note of Theosophy. All Theosophical teachings are recorded in the Ethical key, and must be read in that key to be rightly understood. The Secret Doctrine is dedicated "to all true Theosophists in every country and of every race, for they called it forth and for them it was recorded." And the true Theosophists are those who keep the fire of brotherly love burning brightly in their hearts, and who endeavor to radiate its light and warmth on the world around them, so that all may catch a spark from it to kindle a similar fire in their own hearts. No one ever yet became, or ever will become, a true Theosophist, who did not love his fellow men, irrespective of race, creed, or other conditions, for such love is the fulfilling of the Law.

It is said that Theosophy is for those who want it. This statement has to be [15] taken with reservations. But be that as it may, the sincere Theosophical student does not need to be concerned about who wants Theosophy, or who does not want it. His concern is to exemplify in practice its First Fundamental Principle Universal Brotherhood, and make his deeds worthy of being recorded in the Book of Life, as those of one who loved his fellow men.


"A Theosophist ought to be able to look upon everything that takes place not as the vast mass of human beings look upon it but from a broader and somewhat impersonal point of view. This really means a deeply inward point of view. What is the characteristic of a Theosophist? There are many but perhaps one that should stand out is that he does not follow the crowd, a party or a sect, blindly. He should lead himself. It is easy to collect a following. Just tell people what they like to hear and they will push you forward. Not to be led by others, but to be led by oneself, is extremely difficult. In this sense, each man can be a leader without a following. He is a leader who indicates by example and word a new way of life.

"Leadership is not only for the great and important people so-called, but for every one. There is the spark of creativeness and originality in every one. It is only as that is manifested that we become forces for progress." - N. Sri Ram, The Theosophist, November, 1954.

"It is interesting to realize that all the various psychological techniques available have one objective, which is to make the person under treatment normal. That is the main aim and purpose, and if a return to normality can be achieved, it is assumed that the treatment has been successful. But what exactly do we mean by "normal"? There is no such thing as a normal individual, because we all vary in certain respects from each other, and we can only say that by "normal" is meant average. Surely to be like average humanity is not a very remarkable goal! The really great people the world has produced were never normal. They were supernormal or in some cases abnormal. If all humanity was reduced to normality, we would have nothing but mediocrity. Therefore when we think of psychological treatment for the mentally ill, it is well to realize that the objectives are strictly limited, and that many people who are regarded as in need of psychological treatment have been the greatest benefactors and bringers of light to humanity. We are not opposed to psychological treatment as such; but we should realize its strictly limited scope, when viewing life from an angle such as the theosophical." - Bulletin, Corresponding Fellows' Lodge, April-May, 1954. [16]


H. P. BLAVATSKY Collected Writings
VOLUME VI - Covering the years, 1883 - 1884 - 1885 - Available November, 1954.
Published by the BLAVATSKY WRITINGS PUBLICATION FUND, Los Angeles, California.

The present Volume is the VIth in the chronological arrangement of H.P. Blavatsky's writings, a Series started some twenty-five years ago. It is, however, the second volume to be published in the Uniform American Edition. It follows chronologically the volume published in 1950, which contained the main bulk of H. P. B.'s writings for the year 1883.

Volume VI contains many important contributions from her pen, such as her Essay on the Tibetan Teachings concerning the dissociation of the human compound constitution in the after-death states, as explained by one of the high initiates of Tibet. It also includes articles, comments and footnotes embodying teachings from the storehouse of the Trans-Himalayan Esoteric Knowledge, on such subjects as: Precipitations - Elementals - Mediumship and Chelaship - Astrology - Dynasties of Moryas and Koothoomi - Adepts and Politics - Psychometry - Buddhism before Buddha, etc., etc.

The Edition is a LIMITED one. An early order is advisable, to ensure receiving a copy before the edition is exhausted.
At least 448 pages. Illustrations, Facsimiles, Bibliography. Copious Index.
PRICE: $5.00.
(Add 20 cents postage. Californians add 3% sales tax) Order from: "THEOSOPHIA," 615 South Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California, U.S.A.
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