A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XI
No. 4 (62) - Spring 1955

[Cover photo: William Quan Judge, April 13, 1851 - March 21, 1896.]


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.



"There is beauty in life, in the universe, for us to discover. The expression of it in language which states the Truth is bound to be beautiful. The beauty is the beauty of the truth which is in Nature and is merely conveyed to the people to whom one speaks about it. There is so much beauty, depth, intelligence and order in the universe; for it is not a universe of mere dust and vapor, nor even brute energy, electrons and nuclei.

"When we say 'Theosophy,' it implies the discovery of all this. It is a pursuit, not something to be read through in a book, although we may start with reading. Theosophy is akin to beauty, to be discovered, explored, plumbed, experienced, lived and expressed at every moment in relation to everybody, a tremendous undertaking, not just the activity of a casual moment. It is a discovery of all that is in Nature, in the heart of existence, and the attempt to express a little of it in our own way, in our behavior, our actions, any little word we may utter, our judgments, and the thoughts we think about everybody and everything.

"The best recommendation of Theosophy is the recommendation of our lives." - N. Sri Ram, The American Theosophist, March, 1955.

"If Theosophy in the years and centuries to come is to be the beacon-light for those who are seeking a real solution to life's pressing problems, if the Theosophical Society is to continue to be that portal of Initiation to all its members which I venture to believe was the intention of the original Founders, and if the coming Root-Race is to find at its disposal enough able and dedicated workers and servers - then among us there will have to be found a steadily increasing number of willing and daring souls who wholeheartedly aspire to self-discovered Theosophy. Thus only Theosophy may be released, again and again, from its own outer form and become that rich-sounding and eternally self-renewing Message which humanity on its march towards greater self-realization needs." - Erling Havrevold, The Theosophist, September, 1954. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Every now and then the public is treated - through the pages of a carefully controlled press - to a gala performance: the explosion of another nuclear device, sometimes in one country, and sometimes in another. Pictures, supposed to be awe-inspiring, horrific descriptions by eye-witnesses, and the usual grandiose deductions and the rattling of "atomic" sabres, follow each other in quick succession, to the amazement of all those who have never yet engaged in any individual thinking, or those others who have, out of sheer lassitude, resigned their right to think for themselves and adjusted their thought-processes to the established pattern.

As we do not belong to either the first or the last category, we intend to do a little individual thinking on this printed page.

The physical dangers of these periodic detonations of atomic weapons are obvious to anyone who cares to consider the facts involved. However, they must be facts, not theories; actual circumstances, not quieting pronouncements by, "authorities" whose motives and objectives are extremely doubtful at the present time. The unthinking public is daily confused - maybe with an ulterior motive at that - by governmental and militaristic declarations minimizing the effect of these explosions, when contrasted with pronouncements of sober scientists, who have quite recently declared that these experiments with nuclear fission are producing widespread radiation problems that cannot be disregarded much longer. Between the two equally "official" views, what are we to understand?

But there is more than that. At this point, occultism enters the arena. It is utterly impossible to produce any violent explosion, nuclear or otherwise, without setting in motion corresponding vibrations in various levels of the Astral Light, which in their turn re-act upon the various sub-planes of the physical world. Thus repercussions or "echoes" are created, the nature of which is terra incognita to modern science.

It is also utterly impossible to generate powerful sonic waves on this plane, without arousing into action undertones and overtones, mathematically corresponding to them, but belonging to other planes of substance and energy; standing, in other words, in sympathetic vibratory relation to them. This is indeed "super-sonic" sound, but in a sense not yet suspected by established science.

The dangers do not stop there. There is still something else to consider. The experiments in nuclear fission or in thermo-nuclear reactions are motivated by fear, enmity, aggressiveness or pride, according to what country they may be conducted in. They are not laboratory experiments intended to benefit the human race in the long run, by the peaceful application of nature's forces to the needs of daily life the world over. Our thoughts and emotions, good or bad, constructive or violently destructive, stand in direct [4] occult relation to sound, color, geometrical forms and even the interplay of what science still calls merely physical forces (are there such?). The detonations we speak about impress upon the waves of the Astral Light various wholly evil thought-forms which will be used in due course of time by different tribes of elementals to produce, irrespective of our wishes in the matter, destructive and disintegrating effects of which we will be the first victims.

As a matter of fact the so-called "explosion" of nuclear weapons, which is no explosion at all in the accepted chemical meaning of this word, but rather a sudden release of pent-up energies within the atomic structure of matter, is tantamount to the liberation of various elemental entities "congealed" or held imprisoned in the inner constitution of substance. This untimely liberation is coupled with the sad fact that these entities are then and there impressed with war-like and hateful thought-forms which give them direction and potential energy to work with. Being un-self-conscious entities, they automatically follow the trend of forces impressed upon them by higher beings than themselves.

These things are done by men and women who claim leadership of thought, and a position of respect in the structure of our world order. These things are done in the twentieth century of our vaunted Christian era, and, mirablile dictu, they are frequently described as means to preserving peace! How far can human folly go!

The spirit of self-complacency shown by most people, the callous disregard for human suffering, actual as well as potential, the self-righteous attitude towards other fragments of the all-inclusive human race, and the placid toleration of evil thought-patterns and violent emotional currents, are all indicative of the depth to which our ethical standards have fallen. There is no one great power, animated by Truth and purity of purpose, arraigned today in our world against these predatory forces and habits of thought. Neither Science, as a whole, nor Religion, as a whole, nor even the liberal quasi-spiritual movements whose leaders are more anxious to please the ruling powers than to utter truth and stick by it.

When the ledger of this century is balanced, as it will be some day, history will record our era as a period when Science allowed itself to be dragged down to the level of militaristic expediency, when the Christianity of the Churches proved itself to be but an empty shell and a dead failure, and when the many Religions, staunch supporters of existing nationalistic ideologies, both in the West and in the East, became but a sham and a mere pretense, without the slightest spiritual power to condemn evil doing and to unite the people in a common brotherhood of thought.

This month is Easter, the Resurrection of the Prince of Peace! Peace, yes, but not at any price ... his meekness was strong enough to chase the money-changers out of the Temple and to remind us that those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword, and that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap ... [5]


William Quan Judge
[This article was originally published in The Irish Theosophist, Vol. III, January, 1895. We commend it to the attentive study of our readers, as it contains several important statements expressed in the usual forthright and terse manner in which Mr. Judge wrote. Editor]

In the November number the "expiring Cycle" is referred to by Mr. Sinnett, and members are rightly warned not to be so absurd (though that is my word) as to think that after 1897 "some mysterious extinguisher will descend upon us."

Who is the person who gave out the concrete statement that 1897 was to be the close of a cycle when something would happen? It was H.P. Blavatsky. There is not the slightest doubt about it that she did say so, nor that she fully explained it to several persons. Nor is there any doubt at all that she said, as had been so long said from the year 1875, that 1897 would witness the shutting of a door. What door? Door to what? What was or is the end? Is the T.S. to end and close all the books?

Nothing is more plain than that H.P. Blavatsky said, on the direct authority of the Masters, that in the last twenty-five years of each century an effort is made by the Lodge and its agents with the West, and that it ceases in its direct and public form and influence with the twenty-fifth year. Those who believe her will believe this; those who think they know more about it than she did will invent other ideas suited to their fancies.

She explained, as will all those who are taught (as are many) by the same Masters, that were the public effort to go on any longer than that, a reaction would set in very similar to indigestion. Time must be given for assimilation, or the "dark shadow which follows all innovations" would crush the soul of man. The great public, the mass, must have time and also material. Time is ever. The matter has been furnished by the Masters in the work done by H.P. Blavatsky in her books, and what has grown out of those. She has said, the Masters have said, and I again assert it for the benefit of those who have any faith in me, that the Masters ''have told me that they helped her write the Secret Doctrine so that the future seventy-five and more years should have some material to work on, and that in the coming years that book and its theories would be widely studied. The material given has then to be worked over, to be assimilated for the welfare of all. No extinguisher will fall therefore on us. The T.S., as a whole, will not have the incessant care of the Masters in every part, but must grow up to maturity on what it has with the help to come from those few who are "chosen." H.P. Blavatsky has clearly pointed out in the Key, in her conclusion, that the plan is to keep the T.S. alive as an active, free, unsectarian body during all the time of waiting for the next great messenger, who will be herself beyond question. [6]

Thereby will be furnished the well-made tool will, which to work again in grander scale, and without the fearful opposition she had without and within when she began this time. And in all this time of waiting the Master, "that great Initiate, whose single will upholds the entire movement," will have his mighty hand spread out wide behind the Society.

Up to 1897 the door is open to anyone who has the courage, the force, and the virtue to TRY, so that he can go in and make a communication with the Lodge which shall not be broken at all when the cycle ends. But at the striking of the hour the door will shut, and not all your pleadings and cryings will open it to you. Those who have made the connection will have their own door open, but the public general door will be closed. That is the true relation of the "extinguisher" as given by H.P. Blavatsky and the Master. It seems very easy to understand.

"Many are called but few are chosen," because they would not allow it. The unchosen are those who have worked for themselves alone; those who have sought for knowledge for themselves without a care about the rest; those who have had the time, the money, and the ability to give good help to Masters' cause, long ago defined by them to be work for mankind and not for self, but have not used it thus. And sadly, too, some of the unmarked and unchosen are those who walked a long distance to the threshold, but stopped too long to hunt for the failings and the sins they were sure some brother pilgrim had, and then they went back farther and farther, building walls behind them as they went. They were called and almost chosen; the first faint lines of their names were beginning to develop in the book of this century; but as they retreated, thinking indeed, they were inside the door, the lines faded out, and other names flashed into view. Those other names are those belonging to humble persons here and there whom these proud aristocrats of occultism thought unworthy of a moment's notice.

What seems to me either a printer's error or a genuine mistake in Mr. Sinnett's article is on page 26, where he says: "will be knowledge generally diffused throughout the cultured classes."* (* [The complete sentence of A.P. Sinnett's article is as follows: "In the course of the coming century, we have reason to believe, the knowledge at present held by a comparatively small number of persons - that the paths of the higher spiritual initiation are still open to those qualified to tread them - will be knowledge generally diffused throughout the cultured classes" - Editor, Theosophia]) The italics are mine. No greater error could seem possible. The cultured classes are perfectly worthless, as a whole, to the Master-builders of the Lodge. They are good in the place they have, but they represent the "established order" and the acme of selfishness. Substitute masses for cultured classes, and you will come nearer the truth. Not the cultured but the ignorant masses have kept alive the belief in the occult and the psychic now fanned into flame once more. Had we trusted to the cultured the small ember would long ago have been extinguished. We may drag in the cultured, but it will be but to have a languid and unenthusiastic interest. [7]

We have entered on the dim beginning of a new era already. It is the era of Western Occultism and of special and definite treatment and exposition of theories hitherto generally considered. We have to do as Buddha told his disciples: preach, promulgate, expound, illustrate, and make clear in detail all the great things we have learned. That is our work, and not the bringing out of surprising things about clairvoyance and other astral matters, nor the blinding of the eye of science by discoveries impossible for them but easy for the occultist. The Master's plan has not altered. He gave it out long ago. It is to make the world at large better, to prepare a right soil for the growing out of the powers of the soul, which are dangerous if they spring up in our present selfish soil. It is not the Black Lodge that tries to keep back psychic development; it is the White Lodge. The Black would fain have all the psychic powers full flower now, because in our wicked, mean, hypocritical, and money-getting people they would soon wreck the race. This idea may seem strange, but for those who will believe my unsupported word I say it is the Master's saying.


[This is another article from the pen of William Quan Judge, written under a pseudonym, and originally published in The Path, New York, August, 1889.]

The field of Theosophic work is varied and extensive. How many members of the Society have given the subject of practical work in any department of theosophy their close attention? How many are sitting with their hands folded, reading theosophic publications, and wondering what is going to turn up next in the affairs of the Society, - how many are doing just this thing? What percentage of the members of the Society are making Universal Brotherhood a factor in their lives? There may be some who, because of surroundings and force of circumstances, are uncertain at which end of the road to alight from the train of interested passiveness. They keep moving along, and, while admiring the scenery from the car window, do not realize that a fine view may be had from the platform and a still more extensive from the hilltop over yonder.

Theosophists, or rather some members of the Theosophical Society, frequently bewail their lack of advancement in theosophic knowledge and say: "There is little I can do for myself; I make no progress; where is the help I expected? I do not receive that enlightenment in respect of spiritual things I so much desire and look for." The desire for enlightenment and progress is admirable in itself. But have you ever looked at the back of the picture, my fellow member of the Theosophical Society? So? You see nothing? Has it ever occurred to you that it is possible to paint a picture on both sides of the canvas? As fair a picture can be made on the rough back as is outlined on the other side. Do you see the application? [8]

Instead of following in the old rut of passive, inactive membership in the Society, turn from the beaten path into the highway of usefulness. Do something; no matter how small and insignificant the effort may at first appear to you, the results will be far-reaching and of benefit to others. Help yourself by helping others, and remember that there are always ways to an end. Make up your mind to follow a certain line of theosophy work, for concentrated endeavor in one direction will sooner bring results than a miscellaneous, wandering, and spasmodic effort. The great majority of the members of the Theosophical Society are, perhaps, poor in purse. That, however, is not an insurmountable obstacle. Those who have not an abundance of money need not consider themselves on that account debarred from laboring for the cause. Much good can be accomplished with the coin of the realm, but its possession does not insure contentment or knowledge. You, members of the Theosophical Society, you with your well-filled purses, can do no better than by giving financial aid and encouragement to the Society while not neglecting the fundamental and higher laws of Universal Brotherhood. Have you done so? Have you helped your poorer brother and pointed him the way, or have you talked theosophy while leaving the practical work to be outlined and performed by others?

You, members of the Theosophical Society, who are gifted with a ready tongue and quick, you who are strong in argument and apt at controversy, have you preached theosophy at every point and at every opportunity? Or, rather, have you quietly listened to the views of others without advancing idea or argument? Have you defended the Founders of the Society when their motives have been impugned and their characters unjustly attacked in your presence? Have you done these things?

You, members of the Theosophical Society, who have a large acquaintance among the rich or poor, have you done what you could to bring these two widely diverging classes together through an understanding of the truths of Universal Brotherhood, Karma, and Reincarnation? Have you talked to the business man, the clerk, the laborer, everyone, in fact, in behalf of theosophy? Have you done these things?

You, members of the Theosophical Society, who are connected with the press or have access to the columns of the newspapers in your several localities, you, perhaps, can do as much as any, if not more, to arouse an interest in the great work to which you should be devoted. What have you done, what are you doing, in this respect? Have you replied to attacks upon theosophy and the Founders of the Theosophical Society that are now so frequent and virulent in the columns of the people's educators? Have you endeavored to set right false notions of theosophy appearing in the public prints? Have you done these things?

In all, you members of the Theosophical Society, what have you done and what are you doing to make theosophy a factor in your lives? The cycle is near its close. What is to be done must be done quickly. Do not delay, but keep ahead of time; and your reward will be in proportion to your work. [9]

Do what you can, always remembering to "Let the motive be in the deed and not in the event. Be not one whose motive for action is the hope of reward. Let not thy life be spent in inaction. Depend upon application, perform thy duty, abandon all thought of the consequence, and make the event equal, whether it terminate in good or evil."* (* Bhagavad-Gita.)


A.S. Malcolm

In theosophical correspondence write as a soul, a heart, and not a "person," which will probably elicit a similar reply. Little good can be done where there is affectation or hypocrisy, secretiveness or impure motive, on either side.

Let your correspondents understand that their confidences will be respected. That you never wish to utter dogmatically or to give advice, not having all the circumstances before you. Suggestions are allowable, advice in detail is seldom right.

However advanced you may be, do not afflict babes with difficult words and technical terms. Be frank in warning, ever appeal to the better nature, approve more than blame, encouraging the tender shoot, not crushing it with a snub. Ever act on the admonition, "Break not the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax." Tact and tenderness are in request; realize to yourself your correspondent's hopes, fears, environment, daily life.

Don't kick down the ladder by which you climbed, don't try to haul others up by a rope, let them too mount each step carefully, slowly; you are not to act as their arms or legs, remember; yours to encourage and try to "adjust." Some you aid may be really far beyond you, but 'tis said a mouse helped a lion.

If practicable let some hours elapse between writing a "theosophical" letter, unless you are one able to dismiss utterly the first one from your thoughts; otherwise one is apt to mix up, and to give meat where milk is needed (or vice versa). In short, make each your special study. Some folk are untrue even to themselves - they will mislead you. Some will idolize and then insult you -the most gushing fail soonest - you must be prepared to meet all this in a calm, brotherly, firm spirit.

Find out what subject interests most, and pursue it. Questions may be asked or received, extracts sent and so on. The great point is to lead your correspondents to self-reliance and a sense of self-responsibility; in short, to follow their own path, not yours.


"... before we despair of a question as unanswerable we must know that it has been rightly asked. And there are problems which can become clearly defined to us only by the aid of premature and imperfect solutions ..." - F.W.H. Myers, Essays Classical, 103-04.

"He who tells a lie is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one." - Pope. [10]


Charles Johnston

We shall learn many good things that we have long forgotten, as we find our way back to real life; among them one that we have much need of - the art of being rightly alone.

There is too much noise and hurry in our life; things done too quickly and with too great pains; for the most part, petty things, that might very well not be done at all. It is a game of personalities, not of our real selves. It has been well said that we think too much of each other; not that we praise and respect each other too highly - though we err in that way too - but that we are too much subject to the faces and fancies of our friends, too sensible of their praise or blame. Good people may imagine an ideal society, in which perfect complacency would reign, by virtue of each one thinking supremely well of himself, and seeing his contentment mirrored in mild, kind faces round him. Such a paradise would be more hopeless than sin.

But without going to such a length, it is easy to be too fretfully anxious as to other people's good opinions; too apprehensive as to their liking this or another thing we may do; too heated and uneasy, like the youth whose delusion is that his necktie is awry.

For all this fret and restlessness there is no cure like solitude. To go away into the night, where mountains and stars initiate us into some of their dignity and reticence, and, more than all, their self-forgetfulness. Even then, for a while we carry with us our bundle of apprehensions, and the fancied faces of our critics, with their blame and praise that have taken away all our simplicity; so completely have we lost the art of loneliness.

But, after a while, our little storm subsides, and quietness begins to come upon us, ready to take us into the confidence of the gods, if we only consent to remain restful-minded long enough. We learn a curious and yet stately lesson, which much of our life only served to hide; the lesson that our chief concern is not with personalities at all, whether our own admirable persons, or the good folk of daily life; that our chief concern is with the old impersonal spirit who only draws near us when we leave ourselves behind. In that great lonely One there is much that awes us for a while, yet much that is infinitely consoling, and, at the last, full of rejoicing and joy. This is the quiet power that, without haste or heat, yet quite easily, wove innumerable worlds; wove old Time and Space to put them in, breathing into the least of them the spirit of life; the power with heart of mirth that looks out to us beautiful, through the grass and flowers, the coloured clouds, and the blue that enwraps all things. And into our souls, when the little, noisy crowd of personal things has withdrawn a while, that same power comes, awful and full of great quietness, taking us up into itself, and making us older than time, greater than boundless worlds. Here at last is a life we could live to eternity, and feel no weariness.

This inspiration of real life is for itself alone, without ulterior ends; it by no means reveals itself to us that, [11] when we return among our personalities, we should be able to say fine things about it, to draw others into the right way . The Eternal does not come to our hearts to make us sanctimonious preachers, but rather to win us away altogether from the fret and heat of unreality to the quiet benediction of real life. After that initiation into silence, we shall find another meaning in ourselves and in our friends. Our friends will not be critics whose praise or blame are our clouds and sunshine; we shall learn to meet them with a better wisdom, for we shall see that same August spirit looking at us out of their eyes; we shall know that nothing in them, nothing in us, is real but that. All life will become to us the presence of that One, the all in all things.

That is the true loneliness, where nothing but the spirit is, and the spirit is all things; the spirit that we must know and enter into first in the inmost place of our own souls. It is the true and lasting cure for sorrow, to forget ourselves into the August companion, who has ordained all things wisely through endless years. It is as the cool breath of night after a long day of fever, the fever that we have called our life. And yet not night, but a new dawn rather, the first dawn of the real day.

Pain and sorrow are woven into the texture of our personal life in order that, growing weary of it the sooner, we may get ready for that truer life that is impersonal, where the incessant battles of I and thee are hushed into peace. This is the spirit that will redeem humanity, the spirit that comes to fill our hearts when our fancied selves have been put aside and forgotten; redeemed humanity will be this - all men, beholding the same spirit in each other's eyes, and beholding it with joy and gladness. Then, after redeemed humanity, will come restored divinity, spirit as itself alone.

The path is not that I or you or anyone should gain new powers and larger sight; but each of us putting aside the I and you, that the free spirit should live its own life and perform its perfect work, the spirit that we truly are, behind the masks of I and you. There is no entering on the path until the masks of I and you are put away.

Our small selves cannot bear the burden of the universe; if they sincerely try, they will quickly come to long for utter forgetfulness, surcease and darkness. But their way of liberation is close to them, a liberation into the boundless One, whose heart is gladness, whose ways are peace, whose light and mirthful works are unnumbered worlds, brimful of alert and exultant life.


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I have been thinking of the early days of the Theosophical Movement, and of the many letters which the Teachers wrote at one time to A.P. Sinnett and Allan O. Hume. Have they written letters to other people also, and if so, have they been preserved?

The answer to this query is in the affirmative. Several of the Teachers have written letters to a number of people besides A.P. Sinnett and A.O. Hume, and most of them have been preserved in the Archives of The Theosophical Society. People to whom such communications came are of course not many, but their number is considerably larger than is generally realized. The longest letters were written to A.P. Sinnett, but a number of shorter ones were received by a variety of persons. Among these may be mentioned the following ones: S. Ramaswamier, a Brahmana of high caste, District Registrar of Assurances at Tinnevelly, India, a staunch supporter of the Movement in its early days (see Theosophia for Spring 1954.); Prof. John Smith, the distinguished Australian educator; Prince Harisinghjee Rupsinghjee, of Bhavnagar, a devoted supporter of H.P.B. and Col. Henry S. Olcott; G. Soobiah Chetty; Norendro Nath Sen, Hindu patriot and reformer, editor of the Indian Mirror of Calcutta, at one time the leading paper in India, promoting the idea of Indian independence; Edmund W. Fern; Sorabji J. Padshah; W.H. Terry, a prominent Spiritualist of Australia; Damodar K. Mavalankar, who later went to Tibet; Mohini Mohun Chatterjee; William Quan Judge; Nadyezh da Andreyevna de Fadeyev, H.P.B.'s aunt; Consul Gustav Gebhard and Marie Gebhard, the soul of the early Theosophical work in Germany; Dr. Wm. Hubbe-Schleiden; Pandit Pran Nath; William Tournay Brown; Dr. Franz Hartmann; R. Keshava Pillai; T. Subba Row, the great scholar and writer of the early period in the Movement; Prince Emil Witgenstein, Russian Lieutenant-General, personal friend of H.P.B. and her family; A.W. Wagnalls; Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford; Francesca Arundale; M. Krishnamachari (known also as "Babajee"); Dr. Annie Besant; C.W. Leadbeater; Colonel Strange, of Kashmir; Mrs. Laura Langford Holloway; and finally Col. Henry S. Olcott and H. P. B. herself, the latter receiving but a very few communications of the written kind, because of their constant personal contact with their Teachers.

To the above list may be added a few names, such as Gilbert, in Australia, and Queensbury, in New York, regarding whom nothing seems to be known; and also several unnamed Chelas who received letters which have been preserved. The Teachers also wrote a few communications addressed to groups of people, such as the Inner Group in London, and the T.S. Convention of 1883. It is quite probable that the above listing does not exhaust the subject, and other people, known or unknown at present, may have had occasional notes addressed to them by the Adepts.

Apart from the collection known as The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett (Rider & Co., London), a considerable number of letters have been [13] transcribed from the Adyar Archives and published by C. Jinarajadasa, in two small volumes of great historical worth. They are entitled Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Series One and Two, and are available for sale at the present time. Various historical notes make these collections of letters especially valuable to the serious student.

The period in which these various communications were received covers the years 1875-1900, the main bulk of them being received in the eighties of last century. The originals of the letters received by A.P. Sinnett and A.O. Hume are in the British Museum, and can be seen by individuals presenting adequate references.

Is it a fact that, H.P.B. was once shipwrecked on one of her many journeys?

H.P.B. was shipwrecked twice. The first time, according to her own statement, on the S.S. Gwalior, "near the Cape," when she was "saved with some twenty others." This can be found in her letter to her great friend, Prince Alexander Mihaylovich Dondukov-Korsakov, dated December 5, 1881 (See H.P.B. Speaks, Vol. II, pp. 20-21; publ. by the Theos. Publ. House, Adyar, 1951.). She was on her way to Europe, returning from India. This may have been in 1868, although the date is very uncertain. Lloyd's of London searched their extensive records on shipping, but were unable to check this information. So we do not have any confirmation of the above-mentioned event.

The second time, H.P.B. was shipwrecked on the S.S. Eunomia, one of the vessels of the Greek Steam Navigation Company, prying between the coast of Greece and the Ionian Islands. The ship had been set on fire by the bursting of her boiler, while on the passage between the Piraeus and the island of Spezzia. This, according to Lloyd's of London records, took place July 6, 1871, or at least the advices to this effect were received from Constantinople on that day, with the further statement that "official particulars were wanting but there was reason to fear that many passengers have perished."

It would seem that H.P.B. had then recently returned from India, and possibly from Tibet, and was on her way to Cairo, Egypt. In her letters to A.P. Sinnett (pp. 153, 215), she makes a passing mention of this event, with only an approximate date for it, and a misspelling of the ship's name. There is evidence that the Greek Government afforded the survivors passage to their destination, and H.P.B. arrived at Cairo in straits until she could receive a remittance from Russia. She went to the Hotel d'Orient, where, it would appear, she made her first contact with Miss Emma Cutting (later Madame Alexis Coulomb), who at the time helped her in very trying circumstances.

I have heard it stated that the Crucifixion-story is not of Christian origin. Is there evidence for this?

The evidence for this statement is world-wide. The Crucifixion-story, together with a large number of other stories told about Jesus the Christ, is wholly symbolical and portrays in allegorical language certain mystical facts concerning the Initiatory trials of the neophyte, striving to reach [14] spiritual illumination and adeptship. Long before the Christian religious communities adopted this story as part of their religious cycle of events, crucifixion was a symbolical story attached to a large number of Seers, Saviours and Avataras the world over. To attach to it any historical meaning, is to overlook entirely its mystical phraseology drawn from the universal mystery-language, and to degrade its spiritual significance to the level of the prevalent materialism.

To go into this subject at any length would require many pages, but a few salient facts might be mentioned.

Among the Gods and Saviours of ancient times, the crucifixion-story was related about Krishna and Wittoba, one of the incarnations of Vishnu; about Mithra and Attis; about Odin and Bacab, and a number of others. In Edward Moor's Hindo Pantheon, (London, 1810.). Plate 98, can be seen a figure crucified in space, crowned with thorns and with holes in the hands and feet. C.F. Dupuis in his work Origine de tous les cultes (Paris, 1794-95.) gives ample evidence of the crucifixion of Mithra, the Persian Sungod, whose worship almost prevailed over rising Christianity in tile Roman Empire. Bacab, among the Mayans of Yucatan, born of a virgin, was scourged and crowned with thorns, tied upon a cross with extended arms and left to die (See Bishop Diego de Landa, Relacion de la cross de Yucatan, chap, xxvi and xxvii). Of special interest to the student of esoteric symbology, however, is the passage which occurs in the Havamal (138 ff.) "The Song of the High One," which is a portion of the Elder Edda, the Icelandic collection of mythological and heroic songs. The "High One" is Odin, and he sings of himself:

I know that I hung
On a wind-rocked tree
Nine nights long,
Wounded by a spear,
Consecrated to Odin,
Myself to Myself;
On the mighty tree
Of which no man knows
From what root it springs.

The spear-thrust, the oncoming darkness, the earthquake, the thieves or similar criminals crucified at the same time, the breaking of bones, and a multitude of other details connected with the crucifixion-story, have all their equivalents in a number of mythological tales which have existed for untold thousands of years in various parts of the world. To this may be added the entire cycle of Nativity-stories, and a large number of parables and so-called miracles performed by various god-like men.

Without going into any details at this moment, suffice it to say that the crucifixion-story symbolizes chiefly three facts of in esoteric nature:

1) The crucifixion of the spiritual consciousness of man upon the cross of matter, until released by means of self-devised efforts, self-control, and inner growth and illumination.

2) The crucifixion of the Universal Logos, or Spiritual Selfhood of the Solar System, upon the cross of the material counterpart of that system, the outer physical and astral worlds.

3) The initiation-rites during which the neophyte, leaving his body lying on a cruciform couch, enters self-consciously into the inner worlds, passes his ordeals and tests, and returns to the same body "clothed with [15] the sun," as is the saying among those who know, an illumined seer and initiate.

Death by physical crucifixion is an idea utterly inconceivable in connection with an Avatara or an Initiate, whose karmic record has been cleared up long before from all delayed or accumulated reactions, even to the physical body, and there is conclusive evidence, on the authority of advanced occultists, that no Messenger from higher spheres ever suffered physical violent death at the hands of the ignorant rabble.



When one endeavors to find a formula by which to obtain a workable way of correctly viewing the processes and the phenomena of Life, one finds that so many things have to be taken into consideration that the mind becomes tired long before an all-inclusive method is realized.

The main difficulty, perhaps, shows up in our efforts to deal with several categories belonging to varying and various strata or planes, which have not been clearly and distinctly thought out in their sequences and relationships. This causes a confusion and a sense of futility, because no satisfactory and logical conclusions can be arrived at. To a great extent this is unnecessary - always admitting that the human mind is incapable of reaching beyond a certain stage; and although REALITY may be a final postulate, there are many degrees between the phenomena we see or sense and what must be Reality to us, and the greater REALITIES beyond.

Take ONENESS so often inculcated as Reality: How can this be reconciled with the extreme diversities we find everywhere? As an abstract postulation it can be admitted that there is relationship throughout in a totality which requires a Unit or Unitary Life. But coming down to earth and common sense, it is not easy to see and rationalize a oneness between a human as an atom, and the tremendous unit of Life we see in a star or the vast range and amount of energy which is radiated by Sirius or some constellation. Yet it can be done.

The basic facts which underlie and need to be understood are summed up in the words Principles and Vibrations, and both Principles and Vibrations are by no means confined to any terminology we use for practical purposes.

In the cycling ages, and periodically, there are stupendous forces emitted in the depths of SPACE, through which the planets and other bodies pass, which alter the existing conditions and bring about new phases in evolution. We are in such a period now; and what we see and are experiencing are the beginnings of a new advance, and the rising out of the previous and older manifestations.

There are evidences in recently published statements that our deepest and best thinkers are realizing this, and what is more significant is that some of them actually sense the complete ONENESS of COSMIC LIFE and BEING. This is a very great departure from the mere acceptance of words or even of the logical fact as an idea, and it [16] cannot be stated in any inclusive manner, but none the less, it is being realized.

The effect will be a better sense of proportion and a recognition of limited values and the relationships between them. This will induce a perception of TRUTHS and will do away with much of the impractical idealism with which we have been afflicted for so long. It will give each individual somewhat of a certainty that he is a valuable atomic and necessary part of the WHOLE, no matter what his views are or what apparent mistakes and stupidities he may be involved in. Not only is this part of this Universal Process, but it is all a manifestation of the ETERNAL Is and Am, and cannot be separated from IT.

If we were what is termed clairvoyant and clairaudient it would only be an extended and added function of the sense perceptions; and what we often forget, is that it would be only a slightly different degree of the same, and would have its own spheres of contact and limitations.

Yet the fact that we are entering a more refined sphere of Earth-Life - including the inner strata as well as the outer - indicates that our ordinary senses will undergo a change in quality, by which a closer integration and perception, or awareness, will become more evident as time goes on, so that we shall have conclusive proof that there is no real separation between the parts and the WHOLE.

Take, for instance, the apparent conflicts which are now so evident. Do they not prove how everything is linked up with all else? The food problems, the contacts, the security of individuals and groups, and many other things which we all recognize. And these physical and mental evidences are all manifestations of interior and super-sensuous energies which are precipitated as effects, often in conflicts between pairs of opposites, and of the dead weight and influences of an older condition upon the new urge of Life.

We are all, as individuals, involved and subject to these forces and the new conditions they bring about; and the hope of the world for a better future for humanity - including ourselves - is that each one of us can help the process and the progress by a consistent attempt to understand our philosophy and to live that kind of life, in a positive manner, which will tend towards stability of BEING, in the midst of whatever circumstances and conditions may eventuate.

This present year may actually be the turning point of the age; and whatever crises the conflict of wills may bring about, there is a definite hope and expectation that a sufficient number of humans - with the help of superior entities and our REAL SELVES - will exert and use their energies as progressing Humans, and will not succumb to the illusory glamours of the past, which must come to the surface in order to be dispersed by the Rising Sunshine of Buddhic Radiance.