A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XIV
No. 1 (71) Summer - 1957

[Cover photo: Along the Redwood Highway, California.]


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.



If we live in overcrowded hours, why complain of lack of time?
We could as well live in God's ample leisure.
If we live in overheated dwellings, why complain of lack of air?
We could as well pace the high tablelands of noble thought.
If we live in fetid cities and the lairs of men, why complain of lack of angels and beatitudes?
There are the Snows, the Everlasting Heights, the Solitudes where Masters find their home!


You say to me: I cannot wander forth. I am bound and chained by duty and by circumstance. I long for freedom, but it cannot be.

I say: Not so. No duty is a chain, it is a wing; and when a man is free in heart and mind, lord of himself and of his inmost soul, circumstance is his servant, and all bonds turn into scaling ladders for his feet. Even the outer semblance passes away. The only thing that binds is wrong desire; that conquered, man is free.

It has been said, we pay in minutes for Eternity. God gives the coin. So we pay for greatness with our smallness, and, the price paid, we are slaves no more.


You say to me: Then I leave men behind, seek my own will and way, let them perish that I may gain my own advantage?

I say: Not so. You cannot do it. Leave one duty unfulfilled and it will bind you through a crone of years, tripping your feet at every untrue step. But be not bound to your duties, bind them to yourself, master of them through perfect obedience to what they represent. You cannot circumvent the Law; but making your will at one with it, you conquer. It is not men that you must leave, it is yourself. When you have left self behind, you will have left all men, left all that belongs to self. You will dwell apart, as Masters dwell. Then, for the first time, you will be able to minister to men, for the first time to serve them - perhaps even, if your self-surrender be complete, prove fit to save them. - Cave, in Theosophical Quarterly, October, 1924. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Great civilizations are the natural product of great Ideals.

The sum-total of a national or racial culture is appraised by the principles - good or bad, noble or ignoble - which constitute its foundation and to which it adheres.

Whenever principles and Ideals gave way to mere expediency, or the love of ease, comfort and luxury, civilizations decayed and disappeared without leaving hardly any trace behind.

Civilizations are made up of men, human beings, evolving entities, not of machines, gadgets, technologies, mechanisms and instrumentalities, which are merely the spawn of civilization, and not civilization itself.

Today, men of small vision and of narrow minds, attempt to identify civilization with Science. But Science is not civilization, especially when devoid of the great ethical values and ideals which are the roots of all true growth and of all lasting achievement. Science is merely the application of a search for knowledge to the affairs of daily life. And if this search for knowledge is motivated by ignoble motives and by selfish desires, Science becomes a means of destruction, instead of being an instrument of order, growth and progress.

It is a strange fact that periods of great scientific development should coincide with periods of terrific conflict and violent destruction of men by other men. This fact, however, becomes less strange when we consider that the world of science is largely dissociated from any ethical implications resulting from scientific discoveries, so that the misapplication and misuse of scientific achievements by selfish and greedy groups of men is the natural result of this "amoral" situation.

As the matter stands now in our Western lands, Science and the scientific age have proved themselves to be means of destruction, enslavement and exploitation, therefore means which have become conducive to a further decay of Ideals, and the recession of noble principles of conduct the world over.

It should be clearly understood that this is no indictment of Science per se, which should stand for organized and systematized knowledge, the pursuit of knowledge as such, and the widening of the sphere of knowledge. But the truth of it is that most of what goes today by the name of Science is motivated by ideals of narrow opportunism, and is utterly devoid of the great principles of true civilization.

It should also be borne in mind that this is no wholesale indictment of scientists as such, among whom there are many men and women who strive for genuine and often abstract knowledge; but it is nevertheless largely true that even these men and women often fail to see any ethical implication in the result of their own most praiseworthy research, and have very little concern on the whole with the misuse of their discoveries by men of lesser caliber and more materialistic minds. They exercise no control over it.

The world is at present greatly [4] disturbed about the probable effects of radiation upon present and future generations of men. To put it more correctly, part of the world is disturbed about it, while another part, also made up of scientists and other prominent men and women, is disturbed about the fact that their colleagues are disturbed. Hence a widespread conflict exists within science. Misunderstood, twisted out of all recognition, and often deliberately confused, their statements reach the daily press and are lodged within the minds of an already confused populace, unable to think for themselves on any of these serious problems.

But when everything has been said pro and con, and the last word has been uttered about explosions, tests, experiments and laboratories, the crux of the whole matter has not even been approached, and the heart of the problem has not been even hinted at. Hence no lasting good has been achieved.

And the heart of the problem is just this: all tests and explosions and a large percentage of all experiments and research, are conducted with either the expressed or the tacit objective of producing, if and when, the largest possible destruction, and the greatest possible evil effect upon other human beings than n those who are engaged in the experiments or tests: This is indeed an objective worthy only of the devilishly fiendish "civilization" which has been spawned by the Western countries in the last hundred years more or less! And when this horrid situation is sold to the people at large as a "Christian" civilization, hypocrisy, deceit and prevarication, are added to other deep-seated vices in the likeness of which modern men have made their gods. These ideas and objectives, let it be plainly stated, are from hell itself, and no amount of "scientific" verbiage or "psychological" tommyrot, political opportunism or sociological propaganda, will ever succeed in showing to decent people any cultural value in such notions - decent and clear-sighted people whose sense of decency and fair play has now been aroused and is expressing itself more and more loudly in the councils of the people. To their swelling voices we add our own, for whatever it may be worth.

The only power that can ever stop the present race for national and racial suicide is the power of the people as such, the people of any country and of the entire world, irrespective of their temporary ideologies. We mean the combined power of human opinion, the weight of mankind's own inherent sense of justice and decency, the vox populi which at critical times and in the face of impending danger has often been the vox dei. No one else is apparently going to do it for us. Science is divided within its own ranks. The Churches, fearful of the possible loss to their prestige, more preoccupied with material properties than spiritual ideals, and hopelessly divided among themselves inspite of the utter simplicity of the precepts of their common Teacher, have no power to organize public opinion or to direct it into channels of greatest ethical productivity. Political groupings of varied hues are but camps of competitive greed and a machinery for the wielding of power over others; and the world of technology is the sphere where the greatest amount of money can be made, in any country, by [5] constant production of implements of war. Hence, not one of the existing large channels of organized human thinking and action is to be relied upon to put a stop to what is very obviously an inhuman, degrading, utterly unethical, and potently dangerous game - the parlor game of present-day science, the explosion of nuclear bombs or other devices whose only purpose is the eventual destruction of one or another portion of mankind.

In a world which is One, in the midst of humanity which is one family, and in the era where science itself has demonstrated the fundamental unity of all life, from the atom to the star, this trend of ideas and this pattern of action can be the result of only one state of mind - insanity, and the megatons exploded here and there all over the world are merely the outward symptoms of a wide-spread megalomania among the least ethically responsible and the most untrustworthy types of the human race, however high-sounding may be their names and titles.

Indeed, we have had enough of Science!

What we need today the world over are MEN ... men and women in whose hearts burns the fire of Spiritual Pioneering, in whose souls resounds the distant call of Spiritual Frontiers ...

We have enough of machines, of speed, of means of comfort and of ease ... But we have no sense of justice, of trust, of mutual respect, of self-abnegation, of honest-to-goodness co-operation, faith in the inmate decency of man, and the courage of his convictions.

We have conquered distance and time, but we have lost the road to our inner Selves.

We have unlocked the Atom, but we have lost the key to the lock which opens the hidden recesses of the human Soul.

We have started a chain-reaction of uranium atoms, but we have lost the secret to the spiritual chain-reaction of Ideals which generate other and still greater Ideals ...

And because we are so scientific, and because we are so practical, and because we are not "dreamers" any more, don't you see, and because we are at last civilized, we have ceased to be human, and ceased to be ensouled, and lost our divine birthright, and are sliding, it would appear, down the same proclivity upon which every material civilization that had lost its vision tumbled to its doom.

Yet the Vision is not wholly lost. There are men and women in all parts of the world who are bending every energy of their noble souls to stem the tide of rampant materialism, of chaotic psychism, of crass ignorance and ethical decay. In their hands, and in the hands of those far greater than they, largely lies the future welfare of mankind. The human race has never been without protection, and in many things which happen today a guidance is felt from behind the veil, as new ideas and new movements of thought emerge from the mystic depths of the unknown and assert themselves on the plane of human thought and action. Sensitive minds, touched by the flame of inspiration, voice ideas which sustain mankind at a time of dire need, and give it new courage to rise and claim its own.

It is these men of Vision that we [6] need today above all else. Men of world-wide, all-encompassing sympathies. Men of deep convictions and of boundless faith in the innate goodness of the human heart. Men of hope and good-will toward all that lives. Men of lofty Ideals, of unshakable trust in a brighter Future. Men whose souls vibrate in harmony with the starlit sky ... Men to match the Atom!


Dr. Henry T. Edge

[Originally published in The Theosophist, Vol. XIII, March, 1892, less than a year after the passing of H.P. Blavatsky. The author, then a young man, was one of her personal pupils. An able writer and profound student of the Esoteric Philosophy, he spent most of his life as a very active and trusted worker under Katherine Tingley and Dr. G. de Purucker, at the Point Loma Headquarters of the Theosophical Society.]

A very large part of that branch of our Theosophical literature which treats of the daily life of an occult student is written in the form of a sermon; that is to say, it consists of moral precepts and exhortations, enforced by an appeal to the conscience and to The sense of duty. We are told to follow a particular line of conduct - say, for example, to practice altruism, because it is right to do so, because it is our duty. In short, in this class of writings it is the heart that is appealed to. But our daily intercourse with fellow-students impresses us more and more frequently with the fact that, to a considerable proportion of aspirants, appeals couched in such terms as this are not merely ineffectual, but positively distasteful. They complain that a moral exhortation, however lofty its theme, produces in them, by virtue of its very nature as an exhortation, the sensations which may be ascribed to a Sunday-school scholar when admonished by his teacher; that is, a feeling of irksome restraint coupled with the desire to disobey - for the sake of disobeying. These sentiments are not unhealthy, nor are they signs of a want of moral stamina in the character of the individuals in whom they were evoked; temperance reformers will tell you the same tale, and descant upon the uselessness of trying to reform certain drunkards by telling them that inebriety is wrong or that it displeases God. The reason is the same in both cases, viz., that the wrong sentiment has been appealed to, the wrong chord touched, through a misjudgment of the individual's character. Many persons are so constituted that their head rules their heart to a greater extent than among their fellows; they guide their conduct by reason rather than by sentiment, by expediency rather than by duty. They are self-reliant; and, their intellectual acumen being usually above the average, are on that account accustomed from youth up to look with comparative contempt on the opinions of their more ordinarily gifted friends, who are guided by conventional usages. Hence they have a fair share of intellectual conceit, and an appeal to their sense of obligation to their fellow-creatures or to God, immediately piques their pride and self-reliance, causing them to ask themselves: - "Why must I act thus? Who is God that he should set up his opinion [7] against mine? Who are the Adepts that they should enjoin upon me a course of conduct without assigning a reason?"

The right way to deal with such persons is, not to condemn them as void of conscience or sense of duty, but to strike another chord in their nature, to give them their appropriate food. They require to be shown the rationale of a precept, to be convinced of its expediency, of its consistency with the laws of harmony. It is useless to tell them to be unselfish; they must know why; an intellectual reason will be to them far more cogent than a mere appeal to their sense of duty. For example, while the mass of students may be content to be told that they must be unselfish, that the Masters wish it, that it is right; these intellectual students must be shown that selfishness is a disease, that by being selfish they are crippling themselves and injuring their fellow-creatures. Students of ethics must not blame students of science, if the latter seem to derive more real benefit and comfort from the study of correspondences in nature than from meditation on moral maxims; but must remember that we climb the mountain on different sides, and that though the steps are not the same, the same summit is ultimately reached. For this reason, I would exhort those in whom the intellect is stronger than the heart, whenever after reading a Theosophical sermon, they find themselves forced into the position of a "naughty boy," to remember that there are more ways of progressing than one, that intellectual appreciation is as necessary to final achievement as moral conviction, and that if they find themselves in this incarnation unsuited to ascend the mountain of truth upon the side called duty, they can do so upon that called harmony, and the result in the end will be the same, for both duty and harmony are merely partial aspects of the whole truth.

Take as an instance the case of a man whose predominant sentiment is a love of harmony, so much so indeed as to render it unlikely that he could be made to follow the path through any other influence. Such a man must not be fed upon sermons, the sense of duty is weak as yet, and he cannot bear restraint. He must be shown how harmony is a law which operates throughout the universe, how it brings peace and happiness wherever it reigns, and how selfishness violates this law, producing the same effect as the undue prominence of one note in a musical chord. As an instance of this I can supply the author of "Modes of Meditation" with one more mode from my own experience. It is to sit down at the organ and strike those six notes which form the "harmonic chord" and the ratios of whose vibration-numbers are those of the first six numerals (do1, do2, sol2, do3, mi3, sol3). The lowest note is struck first and represents the great underlying consciousness of the universe; then the others are added in succession, and the harmony gains in perfection till the whole galaxy of spiritual power is complete. The meditation on this harmony and the spiritual ideas to which it corresponds and gives the clue, may benefit a student more than a host of sermons.

As a second instance, let us take the case of a man whose strongest sentiment is a love of beauty of form. If he is one of the class of "head-worshipers," it will be useless to appeal to his sense of duty in exhorting him to [8] become an occultist. He must be shown that beauty of form is merely the expression of beauty of thought, and that he is a fool for eating the husks and neglecting the kernel. He will then soon learn the connection between individualism and ugliness of form on the one hand, and between altruism and symmetry of form on the other. These two instances must suffice for the present, but many more could be given.


L. Gordon Plummer

A student of Theosophy has no need to apologize for his beliefs. The fact that he cannot demonstrate some of his teachings by ordinarily accepted methods is no argument against them. Whereas the dynamic spirit of H.P. Blavatsky could openly declare them in the face of ridicule and persecution, we have neither her training nor her caliber, and we would not be wise in attempting to working just as she did. However, we have some valuable keys which should guide us in our own work. To understand better what I mean by this, let us look at an important historical fact.

The names of three men of high standing in the scientific field come to mind. Thomas Edison, William Crookes, and the French astronomer Flammarion, were H.P.B.'s direct students, and were they here today they would undoubtedly attest to the fact that their most important work was inspired by her teachings. The world would undoubtedly have waited far longer for many of the things that now enrich our lives had it not been for the intuitive recognition of these men that by far the greater part of Nature's domains lay waiting for discovery and exploration.

If we may judge by subsequent events, they did not attempt to prove the as yet unverifiable teachings about Globe Chains. But they did take certain underlying principles that they had learned about, and which apply not only to what we might call occult astronomy, but to many other fields, and brought these basic principles right into the world of their own experience; and some of the first steps were then taken that have led us to the present time in which we find ourselves surrounded by this marvelous world of electronics. Later men have carried on their work, and have pushed back the horizons still further, but we should not lose sight of the fact that in many instances the initial push was given by H.P.B., when she brought the startling and unorthodox teachings about the nature of the universe and of man.

Then what of us of the present day? Where do the Theosophical teachings fit in with our work? It seems to me that there is a two-fold responsibility here. It is our duty to acquaint ourselves to the fullest possible extent with the latest ideas and findings of modern science. At the same time it is imperative that we familiarize ourselves with the various aspects of the Esoteric Philosophy. The deeper we can study, the better, though we know very well that the deepest aspects of [9] the teachings will seldom be discussed save among the comparatively few who have made the same studies. But the foundation that we shall have built for ourselves will be invaluable, because it will enable us to accomplish two things.

First, it will enable us to practice the self-restraint necessary for selecting those special teachings that will strike a harmonious note with modern research, recognizing that all things will come about in their own time. The once large gap that stood between Theosophical and scientific thought is steadily closing, and we look forward to the day when that gap can be bridged altogether. However, it is utterly useless for us to do battle with modern science if we haven't the faintest idea about what modern science teaches, and we cannot talk intelligently with people who have studied modern thinking unless we also think in the same terms. It is also of the greatest importance that we know that we are standing upon firm ground when we discuss our Theosophical teachings; hence the need for grasping both the ethical and the technical teachings of the Ancient Wisdom. Therefore it seems that we are wasting valuable time if we sit back and bemoan the fact that our ideas are too unorthodox for general consumption. We have a most valuable contribution to make, and we can take an active, in fact a leading, part in pushing back the horizons of modern thought. Why should this work be left to others? Why should we not take our rightful places in the work that aims at human enlightenment based upon spiritual ideas and ethical living?

One of the most heart-warming advances in modern thought gives us a new approach to the matter of life in the universe. The belief once commonly held that life is an accident of Nature, has largely given way to the far more wholesome belief that life may be fundamental, and that matter is an outgrowth of life, not life the chance outcome of the behavior of matter. It is so generally recognized now that matter and energy are one and the same, that it is but a step farther to the Theosophical viewpoint that the various energies in the universe, some known to us, and others completely unsuspected, are the automatically working aspects of Cosmic Electricity or Fohat. These energies operate in such a manner that their operations can be observed and tabulated, with the result that we have enunciated the numerous "laws of Nature." By their aid we are able to study the behavior of energy and matter which enables us to construct with fair accuracy the story of the evolution of the universe in general, and of man in particular, and so the sciences have come into being. Thus, given certain conditions in which known events take place, the results are bound to follow along the lines revealed to us by these "laws of Nature." But the unpredictable is always popping up, and the day will come when we shall have to recognize that life in the sense of volition and awareness is as fundamental as is gravitation, or light, or any other form of radiant energy. So, rather than take the limited view that this earth happens to provide an environment favorable to the evolution of living things (and we rather grudgingly admit that this could possibly happen elsewhere in the universe if conditions were [10] right), let us cut through the bonds imposed upon us by the requirements of modern research, and say in the Theosophical tradition, that where conditions favor it, life can no more help appearing than an electric shark can help appearing if we bring the wires from a battery together. Consider this illustration:

Electricity may be applied in a number of seemingly unrelated ways, as for instance in driving a motor, in lighting a lamp, in electro-plating, in arc-welding, in electronics, including radio, television, radar, x-ray therapy, and so on. There seems to be wide divergences between these things that electricity may be made to do, but we accept them without question. Actually it should be no less conceivable that Life, as the energy of consciousness, may work in manners so totally divergent that we would be tempted to discount other manifestations of this cosmic energy as having no real existence. Nevertheless, this idea is the crux of the whole teaching of invisible worlds and Globe Chains.

Once we are willing to abandon the self-centered viewpoint that life does not exist unless it manifests in the manner that ours does here on Earth, then at a stroke we have bridged that awful gap that has existed in men's minds between ourselves and the Divine. Imagine living content in a universe that contains nothing - absolutely nothing - between us men of Earth and the ineffable glory of what men call God, with the endless wastes of space filled with utterly useless stars and galaxies, completely devoid of life! It is no wonder that our foremost thinkers, religious, philosophical and scientific, are working together in their own manners, and in their own fields, to push back the horizons. The universe as we used to see it will no longer satisfy us, and every advance in modern thinking that tends toward broadening our understanding will be received with joy by all earnest students of the Ancient Wisdom, especially as the new ideas ring true to the fundamental concepts of universal life, as found at the core of all the great religions and philosophies of the world.

Another line of research that is of interest to the Theosophical student is that of the nature of worlds that we cannot see. For years we have studied our own books which contain teachings about the invisible worlds, and it is best to utter a word of caution. We must not think that when the Astronomers speak of invisible worlds they mean what we mean when we speak of the Globe Chains. We must be very careful not to put theosophical words into their mouths, or to read theosophical meanings into their books, but by the fact that they have discovered literally thousands of stars by means of photography using plates that are sensitive to infra-red light, and that more discoveries along this line will follow with the use of the new radio-telescope, we have some pointers which may some day lead to new ideas about the structure of the universe. These ideas may come closer to the teachings about Globe Chains. It is often argued that there is no practical value to us in these teachings, but it should be pointed out that it is utterly impossible to arrive at a complete picture of the course of Evolution by studying life as it has appeared on this Earth alone. As well try to isolate one city from [11] every other city in the United States. Not until our vision broadens to the extent that it will take account of the mysterious processes of the Rounds and Races, and still farther into the Outer Rounds, will we ever have a comprehensive picture of Evolution. That is why a Theosophical student feels that an important step is being taken in the study of unseen worlds.

A third idea that is of the greatest importance to Theosophical students is one advanced by Fred Hoyle in his book The Nature of the Universe. In substance it is this: he is discussing the origin of the chemical elements. He states, as is well known, that hydrogen is by far the most common element in the universe, and that the sum total of all of the other elements that we find so abundantly on the Earth and in the other planets, is in reality such a small fraction of one percent by comparison with the materials in the universe as a whole, as to be virtually insignificant. Since the creatures on the Earth absolutely depend upon the existence of certain of the chemical elements, foremost among which are carbon and oxygen, this would seem to reduce the possibility of life as we know it, existing elsewhere in the universe, to virtually nil. But here is a point that he makes, which is of the utmost significance. Putting it in the briefest possible terms, he believes that the reason why the planets are composed of so many chemical elements and compounds found only in the merest traces in the Sun itself, is that the planets and the Sun were not originally fashioned out of the same Cosmic nebula. Those nebulous bodies floating about in space, and destined to become Suns in the incalculable future ages, are not the stuff of which the planets are made. These chemical elements which abound on Earth and on the other planets were fashioned as the result of a gigantic explosion of a Super-Nova. In other words, the materials that support life here on Earth were once at the heart of a Sun. This Sun, in dying, gave birth to the possibility of new life in the form of clouds of chemical elements that coalesced to form the many planets, that were destined to revolve around that particular star we now call our Sun. Fred Hoyle is recognized to be one of the leading astronomical thinkers of the present day, and I would like to take his idea and rephrase it in Theosophical terms.

First of all, I would like to point out that this idea would tend to increase the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe, because Super-Novae occur with considerable frequency, as galactic time would be considered; and if this idea of Dr. Hoyle's is correct, we can readily accept the further idea of planets in great numbers scattered throughout the Galaxy, even though we have no instruments that can detect their existence.

To examine this specific problem, as it applies to our own Solar System, here are the teachings, as far as I have been able to understand them. The Solar System is a living entity, which is evolutionally so far in advance of ourselves as men that, by comparison, its field of activity is cosmic, whereas ours is limited and mundane. Life proceeds cyclically, that is to say, birth and death are but aspects of growth and evolution. For it is through a constant recurrence of the cycles of birth and death that growth is accomplished. [12]

In the case of human beings this process is known as reincarnation, which teaching we cannot go into here, but upon which there is abundant literature to be had. In the case of the Sun and his family of planets, this is known as reimbodiment, a much more general teaching.

Here, then, is the process. There is a very interesting and involved exchange of energies going on all the time between the Sun and the Planets, and this same principle holds true on a far grander scale in the original steps of building the Sun and the planets. Think of the Sun as it is now, the reimbodiment of a Sun that once was, just as you are now the reincarnation of a human who once was. Who or what you were in your past incarnation cannot be easily known, nor can the identity nor the whereabouts of the Sun that was the former reimbodiment of the present Sun be easily determined. But, when that former Sun disintegrated at the conclusion of its past life-cycle, the elements that were to form the bodies of its own planets that would some day evolve around its own future reimbodiment as a Sun, were "created," to use the best word available, and these elements bided their time until the call came for them to reassemble and form the planets that we know today. And that call for which they waited came when the Solar Divinity, that had passed through its unimaginable experiences in the Spaces of Space, once more took on a body of light and energy, and drew to itself its children that became the planets that we have today. These planets, viewed as they are by the students of the Ancient Wisdom, are also living entities, and they reappeared by a process of reimbodiment, and the materials for the formation of their somewhat grosser bodies were waiting for them in the form of the clouds of chemical elements, that were formed in the manner described.

And what of the planets of long ago that revolved around the Sun that was? That is the other half of the story, not yet hinted at by modern science. Just as there is a karmic relationship between the Sun of yesterday and the planets of today, as described above, so there is also a karmic relationship between the planets of yesterday and the Sun of today. This can be understood only as we view all things as living entities - not otherwise. A portion of the body of the Sun that existed in the past provided the chemical elements of which the planets are formed today. But it is the higher essence of a planet, not its corporeal shell, that provides the means for the returning Solar Divinity to effect its reimbodiment into a body of light and energy. There is an exchange both ways. That is what holds it together as a Cosmic Entity, evolving, growing, becoming ever more and more God-like.

These are a few Theosophical ideas that come to mind as we study the advancement of modern thought. Whereas the emphasis has been placed upon Science and Astronomy in particular, it should be borne in mind that there is no real separation possible between Science and Religion. The conflict becomes apparent only in those fields where Religion fails to keep pace with modern thinking. When Religion dares to break the fetters of conventional tradition, its possibilities will become endless. It will be the true teacher of mankind. The tendency for us is to regard [13]

Science as the ultimate authority, but the men of science are the last ones to feel that they have worked out a complete system of thought for mankind. How well they know that they are asking more questions than they can answer. The wish that is closest to the heart of all of us, whether scientist or layman, is that the results of present day research may be used to further the well-being of mankind, to the end that we may have lasting peace, based upon the secure foundation of mutual understanding, mutual trust, and above all, unselfish devotion to those ideals and principles that we hold to be higher than man himself.


G. White Hickerson

"Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind's already made up." This, strange as it may seem, is a statement that has actually been made, not once, but many times within the writer's hearing. And it is interesting to note that it is a pretty good definition of the actual state of affairs as existing in the minds of many people as of right now.

It reminds me of the state of mind of the child when he is first led to a merry-go-round by an elder. The child looks with awe and wonder upon the spectacle of wooden horses, child riders, adult attendants, chariots with mothers and babes and all the gaudy pictures which decorate the platform. He is bombarded with the music and the reflecting pictures made by the mirrors. All this is accompanied by much laughter and obvious enjoyment. Then he is placed, or places himself if he is old enough, upon one of the horses, the music begins, and the platform starts to revolve. At first he is frightened, but his elder holds on to him and assures him that all is well, and gradually he gains the self confidence necessary to look up and see the other children and adults on the contraption, and he feels a sense of security. He begins to enjoy the thrill which accompanies this new feeling of confidence. He looks out and sees other people and things in the world outside the whirling platform. He may even recognize his mother or brothers or sisters. And if he overcomes his fear sufficiently he begins to really enjoy himself, so that when the music stops he begs to go around again, and yet again.

Perhaps it is the remembrance of this first thrill that provokes him to take his own child on such a contraption when he himself becomes a father and his youngster has attained an age when it is possible, and this age seems to vary from three weeks on upward.

In much the same way the adult later finds himself on just such a mental merry-go-round. At first he is somewhat awed and confused with the facts of the world outside his whirling platform of thinking, but he has found a thrill not unlike the thrill of his first merry-go-round ride. This is the thrill of having accomplished a certain feeling of overcoming the first flush of fear and excitement, so that now he enjoys the security of his platform and is satisfied with its momentum.

He sees the world as he goes around, [14] and once in a while makes a fleeting speculation as to whether he recognized certain people and landmarks he saw as he went around. Occasionally he may look back, and then forward to see if he can verify what he saw as he comes around again. But he is really enjoying himself and he doesn't want to get off the contraption, even though it is a device of his own mental conception.

It strikes us that there are some Theosophists who take the same viewpoint. We go whirling merrily around on our horses of Karma and Reincarnation and the Three Fundamentals. It's a good platform, and we feel secure, and we can see the world as we go by. We are enjoying the thrill of our ride. We like our "position."

How many of us have the courage not only to look at the objects as we go by, but have the intestinal fortitude to get off and take a good look to see if we can actually understand this world just off our platform?



You seem to have strange ideas of what real help to others means. It is not always the active work you do that counts the most. Don't try to help people by advice who do not want it. If people come to you for counsel give it, not otherwise. You think this seems selfish, do you? You had better look at it awhile and see.

There is no need to sit down and do nothing while you wait for people to come to you; that is another extreme. Be ready to help at any time, in any way, but "do not rashly rush into the spoken word," or the untimely act.

You say I seem to do things easily. If I do, it is because I do not run about trying to find some one person who needs my especial help. I try to help all by keeping in the attitude of helpfulness, and the special people come my way when needed. I help them then if I can, not before.

Don't enter too largely into the individual lives of people. Work on larger lines, and do what you find to do. If there is nothing to do, try helping yourself as if you were the one you wanted to help or advise. This will give you enough to do.

You will find that those who help the most are those who have first learned how to help themselves; who know when, and when not, to offer individual help, and who work on these larger lines. When you see such remember this; and if you shall ever win a place of usefulness give the help you can as it is needed, not more, not less, but wisely.

When you get into a mental difficulty do you try first to help yourself out of it, instead of hunting about for some one who needs help out of a like difficulty? Try to turn your effort on your own for a while and break up some of your own mental faults; you will thus be getting ready to help others in the true way out of the faults you now think you see in them.

It is not pleasant, you think, to take your own medicine, and is a rather disagreeable way of learning to help others. Yes; but if your desire to help is not sincere enough to begin on yourself, it will count for very little in your work with others. [16] There is a common failing with some you had better notice in yourself, about which I have spoken before.

You want to take up another line of activity when you have just begun on a definite work, and have not yet the grip of that. Better keep to one thing till you have a firm grasp of it and are able to go on to another. Continual shifting is bad and expends energy that might be used on what you have in hand. Help yourself even a week on this, and you will see a change that will be of use to you in helping others.

Look at another thing. Judge yourself without going to extremes. Would the special people you are now trying to help care if you stopped trying to teach them? No; there would be others who could do it. Then you feel as though you personally can do nothing worthwhile, and are not really needed. Doubt of your ability is another extreme. No need to be discouraged because you are facing facts and beginning to see the true way of going to work. When you have learned to avoid these extremes you are getting ready to go to work in the real way. You are beginning to realize that the small things must first be done well, and must be done by you, before the larger ones can follow. That you can teach others only what you have learned yourself.

Help others to know what brotherhood means by knowing it yourself.
Help others to be Theosophists by being one yourself.
Help others to overcome anger, jealousy, fear and envy, by helping yourself out of these.
Help others to be Gods by being one yourself. - A.



Effective June 1st, 1957, the address of the Offices of "Theosophia" has been changed to 551 South Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles 5, Calif., U.S.A. Our telephone number remains the same: DUnkirk 4-5521. The above new address applies also to the Theosophical Information Center, the Blavatsky Writings Publication Fund, and the undersigned personally.

We ask especially the Editorial Offices of the various Exchange Magazines to enter the change on their records, as it will expedite the prompt receipt of their Journals, and avoid any possible loss through lack of proper address. - Boris de Zirkoff, Editor, "Theosophia". [16]


An Appeal for Material

The Mahatma Letters Trust was founded by the late Miss Maud Hoffman, executrix of A.P. Sinnett, to control the future of the book, The Mahatma fetters to A.P. Sinnett, edited at her request by A. Trevor Barker and published in 1923, with a second edition in 1926.

While working on a third and definitive Edition with the late Mr. C. Jinarajadasa, the Trustees began to collect all books concerning the Letters and their authorship, and this collection was soon expanded into a small library of early works on Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement. When older Theosophists were asked to contribute material they gave to the Trust not only books and pamphlets, but manuscript material, photographs, souvenirs and the like. The collection thus grew rapidly, and the Trustees are now in a position to appeal not merely generally but for specific material. The most urgent of our needs is for Volumes 8 to 12 of the magazine The Theosophist.

Generous donors to the Library have included the late Miss Hoffman, Miss A. Morton, Miss Debenham, and Colonel J.M. Prentice of Australia. We appeal to all others who may possess material of value to the Trust either to send contributions at once or to leave such gifts in a codicil to their will. In this way the material will not fall into the hands of people who in ignorance may destroy it, and will remain available to all serious students of Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement.

In connection with the third edition the Trustees will publish a collation of the three known attempts to produce a Chronology of the Mahatma Letters to Sinnett and those of H.P. Blavatsky to Sinnett, as contained in the companion volume. The Trustees will therefore welcome suggestions from any other students who have attempted such chronology.

This Notice is being sent to all Theosophical and kindred periodicals, but the Trustees would also like to reach individual students, especially those with long association with the Movement who may not see the published Notice. Further copies of this Notice are available from the Trustees, who would like the names and addresses of persons to whom it might be sent with advantage.

Christmas Humphreys - Elsie Benjamin, Trustees.
58 Marlborough Place, London, N.W. 8, England.