A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XIII
No. 4 (70) - Spring 1957

[Cover photo: Picturesque Scene on the Coast of Brazil.]


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.



"When a man is in difficulties, the thing he must do is to act, to move. Attack is the secret of victory, whether it is a commercial matter, or propagating a philosophy, or answering questions, or whatever else it may be. In anything a man does he has chances of success if he moves, goes out, acts.

"The great principle of success in anything is to go after your objective, to take the kingdom of heaven with strength, and then the gods are with you. It is really a wonderful psychological secret; and it is better to move and to act, even if you make mistakes, than it is to sit still. You will discover your mistakes as you go along, if you have ordinary prudence, and can modify and change from step to step. Keep pushing forward, instead of remaining always quiet and allowing things to rest - which last all too often degenerates into dormancy."

"What does the Theosophical Society do in a practical way for mankind? ... It changes men's minds and hearts upwards and unifies them. When this is done all is done."

"Any society ... which becomes merely a bibliolatrous sect, worshiping books, however grand they may be because of the teachings contained in them, is almost certainly destined to fall into the next error of judgment, which is the worshiping of dead Leaders; and this is one of the pitfalls, one of the commonest sandbanks, of organizational thought which our own beloved Theosophical Society must at all costs avoid ...

"'Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable'; we do not want it in the Theosophical Society, but we do want to continue in the pathway of utter fidelity to the teachings and traditions received by us; for this is our unbreakable bond of union, and 'in Union lies Strength.'" - G. de Purucker, in Messages to Conventions, pp. 248, 152, 178-79, resp. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

A great many students of Theosophy, especially members of various Theosophical Organizations, are eagerly expecting the appearance in the world of a direct Messenger from the Brotherhood of Adepts sometime around 1975.

Their belief is based upon various pronouncements by the Founders of the modern Theosophical Movement. Such pronouncements are usually quoted out of their actual context, robbing them of one or another aspect of their true meaning. A certain statement regarding a fact in nature, or the possibility of a condition, coupled to a strong sentimental wish that it would occur, add up in the long run to a fairly strongly established dogmatic belief, that can easily become a set article of faith, particularly in matters religious.

In connection with the subject of the periodic appearance of spiritual Teachers among men, it should be borne in mind that they take place in response to a call on the part of the more awakened portion of mankind, seeking a greater light. This obvious fact in the operations of Nature is usually disregarded by students, creating the impression that the Adepts have a habit of sending out some Envoy or another at periodic times, irrespective of existing conditions in the world, and merely because the latter part of a century has dawned. This is a mechanical view of things which finds no support in the natural functions of Nature.

If the Adepts must gear the appearance of their Envoys to the passage of our centuries, they are therefore powerfully influenced in their actions by the calendar accepted in the present-day civilization. That calendar is based upon utterly unsound foundations, its year 1 being merely a fiction of imagination unsupported by any actual historical data, and its centuries being purely arbitrary ways of dividing time. One would therefore imagine that the Adepts, in their functions and plans, depend upon the whims and superstitions of the Western world, and this is obviously an utter impossibility. Hence it would be better to think in terms of spiritual needs than in terms of time-periods based upon mere convenience and habit of thought.

And here we might ask ourselves the question: does the present condition of mankind and the circumstances prevailing the world over warrant us to conclude that the search for truth and the great spiritual "thirst" among men are increasing with every passing year, and the call for a greater light becomes more and more insistent? It would be unwise to give too specific an answer, because many invisible conditions of consciousness exist which do not necessarily reflect themselves as yet in the outward circumstances of the present world. But it is probable that most intelligent people would agree that we are passing through a period in which the greatest appeal to men all over the world - but more especially in the Occident - consists mainly in the distractions of life, the [4] emotional and sentimental releases, the possession of material objects, the rush after dissipation, sensuous satisfaction and the exercise of power over those weaker than themselves. This applies individually, nationally and on the vast international scale, with but minor exceptions. If the call for the spiritual life exists at all, it is certainly confined to individual persons here and there, small groups of mystics, retiring students of the ancient occult lore, or dedicated people who work tirelessly inside and outside of various organizations, trying to lessen the overwhelming weight of human suffering and misery.

This might change; it might even change with an unexpected suddenness; but this is a matter of speculation, and we have to face facts as we see them today. And these facts of human behavior do not show at the present time any encouraging signs of a great spiritual search, of a vital and dynamic urge to find truth and to escape illusions, to renounce the old habits of selfish greed and to try a new way of life based upon genuine brotherhood among all nations. Without these new trends in human thinking, why should the Brotherhood of Adepts send amongst us an Envoy whose work may well be impeded and shackled by the intense intellectual and emotional pride of the present era?

It is probable that the reader will think that we disregard the great achievements of modern Science which is constantly seeking for greater and greater truths. We do not disregard Science, but we would like to remind students that the ethical objectives of modern scientific research are especially conspicuous by their total absence. The heaviest weight of discoveries is directed towards implementation of future wars, and the perpetuation of presently existing power-combines over other people, and this irrespective of whatever continent or country we may take for an example. How much of modern Science is dedicated to the cause of the Good Life? How many scientists are men and women whose sole pursuit is to benefit mankind and raise its moral standards? Let anyone answer these questions in his or her own mind!

As to the Theosophical Organizations as such, it would be a good thing if students in their midst would try to understand more deeply than they seem to do the various factors involved in the periodic appearance of spiritual Teachers. It is of no use whatever to sit and wait for this happy day. As a matter of fact, it is positively injurious, both to those who indulge in this trend of thought and to those they may influence. The only way to bring about the desired event is to work to the limit of one's power and knowledge to change men's minds and hearts, and to sow broadcast seeds of spirituality which may grow later into sturdy trees. Mere waiting for the appearance of another Messenger, and expecting him to produce some startling change, might result in the curious fact that if and when he does come, those who had been so eagerly waiting for him will utterly fail to recognize him for what he is, and will continue to wait for the ultimate "appearance" of their self-created illusion, reading books, going to meetings, finding fault with those who work, and wondering why the occult time-tables seem to have been so sorely upset. [5]


William Quan Judge

[Originally published in The Irish Theosophist, Vol. I, July, 1893.]

These three, meditation, concentration, will, have engaged the attention of Theosophists perhaps more than any other three subjects. A canvass of opinions would probably show that the majority of our reading and thinking members would rather hear these subjects discussed and read definite directions about them than any others in the entire field. They say they must meditate, they declare a wish for concentration, they would like a powerful will, and they sigh for strict directions, readable by the most foolish theosophists. It is a western cry for a curriculum, a course, a staked path, a line and rule by inches and links. Yet the path has long been outlined and described, so that any one could read the directions whose mind had not been half-ruined by modern false education, and memory rotted by the superficial methods of a superficial literature and a wholly vain modern life.

Let us divide Meditation into two sorts. First is the meditation practiced at a set time, or an occasional one, whether by design or from physiological idiosyncrasy. Second is the meditation of an entire lifetime, that single thread of intention, intentness, and desire running through the years stretching between the cradle and the grave. For the first in Patanjali's Aphorisms will be found all needful rules and particularity. If these are studied and not forgotten, then practice must give results. How many of those who reiterate the call for instruction on this head have read that book, only to turn it down and never again consider it? Far too many.

The mysterious subtle thread of a life meditation is that which is practiced every hour by philosopher, mystic, saint, criminal, artist, artisan, and merchant. It is pursued in respect to that on which the heart is set; it rarely

languishes; at times the meditating one greedily running after money, fame, and power looks up briefly and sighs for a better life during a brief interval, but the passing flash of a dollar or a sovereign recalls him to his modern senses, and the old meditation begins again. Since all theosophists are here in the social whirl I refer to, they can every one take these words to themselves as they please. Very certainly, if their life meditation is fixed low down near the ground, the results flowing to them from it will be strong, very lasting, and related to the low level on which they work. Their semi-occasional meditations will give precisely semi-occasional results in the long string of recurring births.

"But, then," says another, "what of concentration? We must have it. We wish it; we lack it." Is it a piece of goods that you can buy it, do you think, or something that will come to you just for the wishing? Hardly. In the way

we divided meditation into two great sorts, so we can divide concentration. One is the use of an already acquired power on a fixed occasion, the other [6] the deep and constant practice of a power that has been made a possession. Concentration is not memory, since the latter is known to act without our concentrating on anything, and we know that centuries ago the old thinkers very justly called memory a phantasy. But by reason of a peculiarity of the human mind the associative part of memory is waked up the very instant concentration is attempted. It is this that makes students weary and at last drives them away from the pursuit of concentration. A man sits down to concentrate on the highest idea he can formulate, and like a flash troops of recollections of all sorts of affairs, old thoughts and impressions come before his mind, driving away the great object he first selected, and concentration is at an end.

This trouble is only to be corrected by practice, by assiduity, by continuance. No strange and complicated directions are needed. All we have to do is to try and keep on trying.

The subject of the Will has not been treated of much in theosophical works, old or new. Patanjali does not go into it at all. It seems to be inferred by him through aphorisms. Will is universal, and belongs to not only man and animals, but also to every other natural kingdom. The good and bad man alike have will, the child and the aged, the wise and the lunatic. It is therefore a power devoid in itself of moral quality. That quality must be added by man.

So the truth must be that will acts according to desire, or, as the older thinkers used to put it, "behind will stands desire." This is why the child, the savage, the lunatic, and the wicked man so often exhibit a stronger will than others. The wicked man has intensified his desires, and with that his will. The lunatic has but few desires, and draws all his will force into these, the savage is free from convention, from the various ideas, laws, rules, and suppositions to which the civilized person is subject, and has nothing to distract his will. So to make our will strong we must have fewer desires. Let those be high, pure, and altruistic; they will give us strong will.

No mere practice will develop will per se, for it exists for ever, fully developed in itself. But practice will develop in us the power to call on that will which is ours. Will and Desire lie at the doors of Meditation and Concentration. If we desire truth with the same intensity that we had formerly wished for success, money, or gratification, we will speedily acquire meditation and possess concentration. If we do all our acts, small and great, every moment, for the sake of the whole human race, as representing the Supreme Self, then every cell and fiber of the body and inner man will be turned in one direction, resulting in perfect concentration. This is expressed in the New Testament in the statement that if the eye is single the whole body will be full of light, and in the Bhagavad-Gita it is still more clearly and comprehensively given through the different chapters. In one it is beautifully put as the lighting up in us of the Supreme One, who then becomes visible. Let us meditate on that which is in us as the Highest Self, concentrate upon it, and will to work for it as dwelling in every human heart. [7]


H.W. Dempster

1. That the Truths of Life and the Universe, including factual knowledge, exist within, and are preserved by, the Mystery Schools that have been in existence for many millions of years.

2. Sometimes referred to as "The Secret Doctrine," this Wisdom is known to, and portions of it are given out to the human race by, those higher evolved Beings known as Mahatmas or Great Souls, who, with their Chelas and coworkers, make up the main body of these Esoteric Schools.

3. Periodically, some of these Great Ones, or their Messengers and emissaries, such as H.P. Blavatsky, appear in the world for the purpose of giving to mankind a re-statement of the age-old Wisdom, to help guide the Race spiritually, lest it lose its way.

4. There are three fundamental propositions upon which the whole Kosmic System is built, namely:

(a) The Boundless, which is the undefinable and forever unknowable "First Principle," outside of time and space - the AIN SOPH of the Hebrew Kabalah.

(b) Within the Boundless and proceeding from it, are the outgoing manifestations of the various Universes and Galaxies, the Gods and all other entities, including man, followed by the cyclic returning into the Boundless, to endure in a state of passive resting until it is time to re-issue forth and re-manifest again. This process is going on continually throughout eternal time and limitless space; hence, while some Universes are actively functioning in a world like the one in which we are now living, others are obscurely resting in the bosom of the Boundless until it is time for them to re-appear as a new World System.

(c) The third proposition is: "The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Universal Root," according to H.P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine. This Unknown Root is the Boundless, therefore every "Soul" in the higher understanding of that term, meaning the super-god-self within us, is identified with the Universal Over-soul, which as stated, is an aspect of the Boundless.

5. There is no beginning and no ending to it all; only periodic beginnings and periodic endings within the Boundless, which is beginningless and endless; consequently, there are no absolutes, except in a relative sense.

6. Evolution is an ever-existing Universal process that permits all entities within any manifesting world-system to grow greater from within themselves, so that their consciousness, as the evolving agent, is forever building for itself more fitting or suitable vehicles or bodies through which to express its inner development. [8]

7. Body after body is required to make possible the continuity of consciousness, because every physical body is limited in scope of duration and function; hence everything must re-imbody itself from Atom to Kosmos. This was known and taught in the days of early Christianity as Metempsychosis, meaning "insouling after insouling," or "changing soul after soul"; also under the term Metensomatosis, meaning, "changing body after body." The idea is known today as Reincarnation, which means to "reinflesh" or to take on another body of flesh. The general term applying to all entities in the entire Kosmos would be Re-imbodiment - a Universal process.

8. That a long line of True Spiritual Teachers has existed, is a fact which is revealed by a deeper understanding of the most outstanding characters of human history; this idea has been referred to by the Greeks as the Hermetic Chain or the Golden Chain of Hermes; especially such well known figures as Jesus the Avatara, Krishna, Gautama the Buddha, Pythagoras, Lao-Tse, Plato, Apollonius of Tyana and many, many more.

9. As man evolves and grows in spiritual understanding and character, he reaches a point in his development when he is entitled to know many of the inner secrets of nature by first hand experience. He is then said to be ready for Initiation into the Mysteries. Upon his successful passing of the trials and testings, he becomes inwardly illumined and a Knower on his own. He is thereafter known as an Initiate, in the true sense, a Sage, a Master of Wisdom and makes his contribution to the regeneration of the human race.

10. Because a portion of the Divine Essence is to be found at the heart of each entity in the entire Kosmos, all parts of the Kosmos are related to each other, therefore Brothers, from the smallest to the greatest.

11. Everything in the Universe operates by and according to the law of cause and effect, known as Karma, meaning "action," on all planes of being, so that whatever is the destiny of an individual, a nation, a Root-race, or a group, is in strict accordance with precise Justice in the long run of evolution.

12. Each Atom and Individual Soul, as well as the Gods, Stars or island Universes, stand on that rung of the ladder of life where they belong, which is where they have placed themselves, and the lesser grows up into and becomes the greater in time.

13. The Universe came into being from a seed of a former Universe, just as everything else starts from a seed.

14. Just as there are some individuals who are being born and others who are dying at one and the same time, somewhere upon the Earth, so are there stars, Solar Systems and Galaxies which are dying and being born somewhere in space, far beyond the reaches of our most modern telescopes or sound detecting devices. Analogy is the Master Key that will enable us to understand much that otherwise would remain obscure.

15. Good and Evil are "relative" terms, there being no absolute good and no absolute evil. To the student of the Occult Philosophy, there is no need [9] to invent a character such as the Devil to explain the existence of evil. The two aspects are ever present due to the duality of manifesting entities, and will forever exist in some form or another, since without this duality there would be no contrasting factor, and no manifestation or evolution would be possible.

16. Everything in the Universe is alive - the planets, such as our Earth, Mars, Venus, Mercury and others; the Sun and all the other Suns in our Island Universe, as well as all the other Galactic Systems - all are inspirited with consciousness, which is the life of the beings or entities that function through physical bodies as vehicles of expression for that consciousness.

17. The other planets, Suns and Galaxies are inhabited by beings and entities functioning through vehicles that are appropriate for the conditions existing there.

18. Every point of the Kosmos is a center of consciousness, or a Monad as the Greeks termed it, and it is these evolving Monads that produce suitable vehicles to function through, regardless of whether we mean life on this planet, or on any other body in space.

19. Ethics is the root-heart of all right action and in its deeper sense means the harmony of the Universe. When this harmony is disturbed by wrong action, the equilibrium must be restored. Retribution is as sure as life itself.

20. The Universe is held together by the strongest force known to man - the cohesive power of love, emanating from the heart of being.

21. From out of the One come the Many, and the Many return to the One, resulting in the evolutionary growth of all.

22. Each and every being and entity is endowed with its own essential characteristic and as a result acts always in accordance with its own nature. It is ever becoming more than what it is at present, in the endless cycles of time.

23. The Kosmical Universe is a single Unity, a Oneness, regardless of the apparent separateness and varied differences of its almost infinite parts.

24. All men are brothers no matter how they may differ in race, caste, creed or color, and Unity will ultimately prevail as evolution proceeds to the zenith of this manifesting cycle.


"The sense of peace arises from harmony with the essential nature of things, an inwardly undistorted and beautiful relationship to everybody and everything ... Peace is not deadness, nor rigidity, but the extinction of ways of restlessness, an inner coherence and harmony, an experience of totality, of the merging of consciousness in life ... Peace is not a matter for bargaining. It has to be established in oneself by realizing its rightness, and then expressed in all modes of thought and action, in dealing with one's fellows and with the lesser kingdoms of Nature as well." - N. Sri Ram, Thoughts for Aspirants. [10]


L. Gordon Plummer

Let us attempt to present if possible a Theosophical picture of the universe around us that will at once satisfy the mind of the student of the Ancient Wisdom and likewise have an appeal to the thoughtful person who is accustomed to present-day ideas but to whom the Theosophical viewpoint may be unfamiliar.

In this study I shall try to show that although words are the carriers of ideas, a tendency toward carelessness in their use hampers us by the application of the very tools we need. Our thinking is largely influenced by inaccuracies in the use of words and their meanings. Ideas once rooted in the mind are not easily changed or expelled; nevertheless, if we are to arrive at any conclusions as to the nature of Man and the Universe as revealed in the Ancient Wisdom, it will be necessary for us to analyze the impressions that have been built up in our minds by what we see and hear; and if these impressions are found wanting we must strive for a clearer understanding.

Our purpose is to find out if possible what Nature actually is, rather than to build an hypothesis to our own liking and try to make facts fit into our own theories. After all, the universe is the only way that it could be. If it could have been built otherwise, it would have been something different from what it is now, and the whole framework arid structure of its laws would have presented a different picture. So it is in the spirit of explorers arid searchers after Truth that we shall first of all analyze the impressions we receive from the title we have chosen: "Atom, Man, Star."

The first such impression is that of a tremendous emptiness or gap between Atom and Man, and between Man and Star. The second impression might be that the atom and the star must be studied as something quite different from the mathematical framework in which man exists; whereas the behavior of the atom and the star may be predicted by means of reasonably well understood "laws" of Nature. Man is essentially an unpredictable being whose thoughts and actions do not fit into a rigid pattern. No one has ever attempted to study an atom from a psychological standpoint, but how else can you study man? A further impression grows in our minds as we reflect that the general laws of Nature as postulated by Newton apply reasonably well to objects within the field of man's experience, that is to say, with objects having reasonable size, arid traveling at reasonable velocities. But once we step beyond the boundaries of man's experience, a different framework of Nature's laws becomes necessary. For example, the general theory of Relativity is necessary to explain natural phenomena on the cosmic scale, whereas the Quantum Theory is required to describe the behavior of the infinitesimal world of the atom.

One might imagine, therefore, that there is a definite separation between the nature of the Atom, the nature of Man, arid the nature of the universe [11] as a whole; but as soon as we reflect that the stars, no less than humans and other living beings, are made of atoms of all kinds, we discover that the whole system is a "closed curve," or, pointing to an ancient symbol, it is the serpent biting its tail. Einstein said that he was endeavoring to formulate a set of laws that will correlate the theory of Relativity with the Quantum Theory. If this can be done it might be something like discovering the nature of a coin, on which we have the pattern of the head and the tail, but wherein we have as yet no information about the metal of which the coin is made!

It is time to extend our study along further lines, and ask ourselves: why is it that Man, the subject of psychological study, lives in a mathematical universe? Are the two as widely separated as at first we thought they were. We shall find that the two are very closely knit once we observe that certain basic phenomena of Nature impinge upon us all the time, and something deep and mysterious within our consciousness is able to interpret the impressions we receive, and we are thus able to live intelligently (I use the word advisedly).

The most basic of these natural phenomena is light, and the velocity of light is used as the keystone of the arch on which the theory of Relativity and the Space-Time continuum is built. Think how important light is to all living things! Consider the magic of photosynthesis in plant growth. Consider the magic of seeing. And when we consider the astonishing extent of the radiation spectrum of which light forms but one octave, it is all the more remarkable that all living things on the earth respond, so far as we can tell, to the one visible light octave in the total spectrum. If some of Nature's creatures can see just a trifle further into the infrared or into the ultra-violet than we can, this increased range of vision is so infinitesimally small as compared with the full spectrum as to be of no importance at all. This should point to an extremely close and important connection between Man and the Universe. And if we care to extend the meaning of the word "Man" so that it will include, for the purposes of our study, all living things, as I believe we have a right to do, we are forced to the conclusion that life itself is one of the basic phenomena of the universe. In fact, it would seem to be in line with logical thinking to assume that wherever conditions permit, life can no more help manifesting than can an electric spark help appearing when we bring two charged wires together.

Returning to our question: Why is it that Man, the subject of psychological study, lives in a mathematical universe? Now that the two are seen to be so closely knit together, the answer becomes more obvious. Might it not be that this mathematical universe that we see is but one aspect of the total universe? Considered in this light, our answer transcends the realm of the purely scientific and enters the province that belongs to Religion, which has every right to be as unerring a guide as Science. Comparing a study of Nature to a study of Man, Science may be said to concern itself with the body of the universe, and Religion with its soul; but just as in the case of man wherein so [12] little is understood about the nature of his "soul," so it is with the Universe. So little is known about the nature of its soul that the best some of us can do is to call it "God," about which there may be as many ideas as there are people who think. Religion itself can give us no clear picture of what God is like, and it is a fortunate thing that for the most part we can look back upon the old idea of a vengeful, punishing God as an evil dream of the past.

If we prefer to approach a religious study of the Universe with sanity and with reverence, we shall discover that behind the visible manifestations of all life there is infinite beauty, and that the presence of Divine Intelligence is to be felt at every turn. In this highly complex study the Quantum Theory and Relativity become nothing more nor less than a description of the behavior of the ever-living garment of Divinity, and are therefore useful tools as far as they go, but they can never unravel the ultimate mystery. The only reason that we as humans can feel the presence of that mystery is that it is in ourselves as well as in all that is included in the vastness of space.

As to those great gaps that seem to exist between Atom and Man, and between Man and Star, they are apparent only because we are overpowered by the impression of size. It has been calculated that in respect to physical dimensions Man stands just about half-way between the size of the average atom and the size of the average star. But what does physical size actually mean as related to the problem in hand? Does it have any real importance? If we remember the symbol of the serpent biting its tail, representing the "closed curve" that is the Universe, who is to say just where Man is located on the curve? Why should he be located on one particular point in preference to all others? As a matter of fact the size of the average man has little bearing on the case, if, as we intend, we shall broaden the meaning of the word to include with him all sentient life that we know.

One of the great doctrines from the East is that of the Sunyata, which could be briefly stated as the voidness of the seeming full, the fullness of the seeming void - mere word-spinning to the mind unaccustomed to inner reflections, but full of meaning once we begin to open our eyes. Science has done much to assure us that so-called empty space is the playground of innumerable energies of widely different frequencies. The word "empty" loses its significance, and in the final analysis could mean only non-existence, which is of course completely impossible in a manifested universe.

I would like to try now to show how it is that our use of words has hindered us and fixed certain inaccurate ideas so firmly in our minds that we are reluctant to give them up. Let us first consider sound. The audible range for the human ear is from about sixteen vibrations per second to about 20,000. Beyond this, we speak of supersonic vibrations. When we say inaudible, we do not mean that the vibrations do not exist; we merely mean that we cannot hear them. Nonetheless we are making use of them.

The case is similar to that of light. There is but one octave of vibrations [13] we call visible light, and it is up in the trillions of vibrations per second. Beyond either end of the visible light spectrum we speak of the infra-red and the ultra-violet. When we speak of these frequencies as being invisible we do not imply that they do not exist. We merely state that we cannot see them. There are frequencies both above and below the visible range that are very useful to us, and we utilize them by means of devices of our own making. The "waves" that carry our radio and television programs are of vastly slower frequency than those of visible light, and the X-rays and the cosmic rays are much faster.

Now there is another spectrum that is of the greatest importance, and it is closely related to the spectrum of which light is a portion. This is the heat or temperature spectrum. Heat is the energy of the motion of atoms and molecules, and the scale on which we measure temperature are purely artificial, and have far less basic connection with the phenomena of nature than have the spectra of light and sound, which are actual measurements of wave-lengths and of frequencies. Were we to establish a true scale of temperatures, zero temperature would have to mark that state of matter in which there is no molecular motion at all. Since such a state of matter cannot actually exist, this becomes a vanishing point, so to speak, and temperatures have been reached within a very small fraction of a degree of absolute cold.

However that may be, we must hold to the scale with which we are the most familiar, to wit, the Fahrenheit scale, and point out another serious inaccuracy which has done much to blur our vision. It is conceded that the conditions under which life as we know it can flourish are closely controlled by temperature. The Earth seems to be the only planet in the Solar System wherein life is possible because the temperatures prevailing on its surface lie approximately within the habitable portion of the temperature "spectrum." Man himself lives within a very small margin of safety. His normal bodily temperature is 98.6 degrees and temperatures of only a very few degrees above or below this norm can prove fatal to him. But he can adapt himself to conditions that vary considerably on either side of his normal bodily temperature. So we say that a world is habitable within a certain temperature range. Other factors which make for habitability, such as the composition of the atmospheres of other planets, are of course important, but it would seem that these factors hold second place because to a very large extent they are caused by prevailing temperatures.

The point of all this is that while in the use of the word "inaudible" we mean merely that we cannot hear, there being no implication made that the frequencies do not exist, and whereas in the use of the word "invisible" we mean merely that we cannot see, but do not imply that the frequencies do not exist, nonetheless, when we say "uninhabitable" in respect to temperatures outside of the narrow band conducive to conditions that favor life, we mean exactly that life is impossible. There has been no effort as yet to consider seriously that living beings could exist in ways that [14] may be vastly different from anything that we can observe, or that they could function and would be completely at home in their own particular media. Yet there is absolutely nothing in Nature that would disprove it, any more than there was anything in Nature that disproved the existence of radio waves before they were discovered and used by man. We have a tendency, however, sometimes to think that a thing has been disproved until it has been proved. And that is what has made it so difficult for the western world to accept the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom in respect to invisible worlds, planes of consciousness, life waves, and so on. It is the age-old clamor for proof and more proof.

So a simple statement of the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy would be as follows: Life is everywhere, and manifests however and wherever it can. Man is neither very high nor very low in the great scale of intelligent life. He represents but one rung in the evolutionary ladder that stretches endlessly above and below him. And all these manifestations of life operate throughout visible and invisible space, impelled by a great cosmic urge toward growth, progress and ultimate perfection. Perfection itself is only relative, and once a being has become perfect within its own sphere of life, it is ready to move onwards into new fields of experience. At the heart of every living entity, no matter where or what it may be, is a spark of Divinity, and the degree of evolution attained at any one time is but a measure of the degree of awakening that has been achieved. Thus there are limitless possibilities for us humans, and there is unbounded joy in growth. So the final thought would be: There is infinitude without; there is infinitude within. The inmost Self of man is a cosmic being whose secret home is the Heart of the Universe.


Dara Rittenhouse

A loss - a sudden change in life - a turning point: all seem to threaten us with the symptoms of loneliness.

What is loneliness but a void - a vacuum!

Yet, we have learned, "Nature abhors a vacuum." We know how every feeling, carefully provided for in the many false securities of our lives, crowds around to fill this emptiness life has given us; every active force of our busy being, showing us a need for something. But what?

The winter time has always seemed a lonely time for me; a cycle when most energy goes to fighting off depression: "The gray woods of the mind." A faith that the spring time of life is latent under every depth of snow, is stirring even when nothing but cold bare earth is found, but seems hard to appreciate. Recently quite a contrast showed me the self-pity involved in such reflections.

A young friend was in my town - radiant in the delights of expectant motherhood. Everything seemed to be completing itself for her, and you [15] couldn't but share in the universal feeling which means new life in any form. As we talked of the years which had separated us she said something which struck me: "It's like 'the experience of loneliness. I thought I knew what it meant to experience loneliness, but each time it seems to hold a little more." I am certain she referred to this cheerfully - not morbidly, as one who covets suffering or self-inflicted misery. She was using it as an analogy to an experience - the experience of motherhood; each time a new meaning, for every person the "first" time.

Here was a person who accepted periods of loneliness as part of truly living. She made you think: right now, what could I do to live and out-live this period successfully, creatively?

Another question comes to mind, especially when regret or envy for those who seem content, are unhealthy visitors to our ring of "forced" solitude. It is: what have I really missed? Under the Law of Karma a man must undergo all experience. We couldn't feel the loss of something without once having had it in our possession. But perhaps we held on too tightly ... Perhaps we ruin the very beauties which come our way to be appreciated, by not allowing them to pass on. A friend once reminded me that in Zen Buddhism the highest religious art is non-possessiveness. Why should we ruin the beautiful flower of life through over-handling? Notice how delicately Kwan-Yin holds the lotus.

We believe we have lost something precious, at the very moment when we should most keenly sense the presence of the inner man, and realize how unerringly he seeks freedom from the self-delusions we fix upon every passing pleasure. How grateful we should be that desire is a principle not a necessity. Even desire can be transformed from transient weighty pursuits, to wings for our soul - to soar into aspirations of higher purpose and nobler forms.

There is no more beautiful expression of the lesson of loneliness than the one in W.Q. Judge's Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita:

"... All that can be gotten out of wealth, or beauty, or art, or pleasure, are merely pools of water found along our path as it wanders through the desert of life. If we are not seeking them their appearance gives us intense pleasure, and we are thus able to use them for our good and that of others just so long as the Law leaves them to us; but when that superior power removes them, we must say: 'It is just what I in fact desired.' Any other course is blindness. All the passing shows of life, whether fraught with disaster or full of fame and glory, are teachers; which seldom the gods repeat. And the only way to learn from them is through the heart's resignation; for when we become in heart completely poor, we at once are the treasurers and disbursers of enormous riches."


"We must each travel alone, and without aids, as the traveler has to climb alone when he nears the summit of the mountain. No beast of burden can help him there; neither can the gross senses or anything that touches the gross senses help him here. But for a little distance words may go with us ..." - Through the Gates of Gold. [16]



... Contains a wealth of teachings from the storehouse of the ancient Esoteric Philosophy!
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This booklet contains a number of essays on Hypnotism, Mesmerism and Healing by Col. Henry Steel Olcott, H.P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge and Dr. G. de Purucker ... passages from The Mahatma Letters, bearing upon the same subjects ... the greater part of a speech by Dr. Annie Besant on the subject of Karma, before the Parliament of Religions in Chicago ... and a comprehensive exposition of the occult teachings concerning death, the afterdeath states and the process of re-incarnation, collated and written by the Editor of THEOSOPHIA magazine.


"Every country had its Saviors. He who dissipates the darkness of ignorance by the help of the torch of science, thus discovering to us the truth, deserves that title as a mark of our gratitude quite as much as he who saves us from death by healing our bodies. Such an one awakens in our benumbed souls the faculty of distinguishing the true from the false, by kindling a divine flame hitherto absent, and he has the right to our grateful worship, for he has become our creator. What matters the name or the symbol that personifies the abstract idea, if that idea is always the same and is true! Whether the concrete symbol bears one title or another, whether the saviour in whom we believe has for an earthly name Krishna, Buddha, Jesus or Aesculapius - also called 'the Saviour god' - we have but to remember one thing: symbols of divine truths were not invented for the amusement of the ignorant; they are the alpha and omega of philosophic thought." - H.P. Blavatsky, in "The Beacon of the Unknown," La Revue Theosophique, May-August, 1889.