A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XIV
No. 2 (72) - Fall 1957

[Cover photo: Countess Constance Wachtmeister.]


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.



"Here is a point: there is always in the mind a place which is not strained; which is restful. Other thoughts cover it up, blinding us to its existence; so it's not easy to reach. Yet with a slight effort and - more important than the effort - with a full conviction that it is there, one can always find it. Entering that place of restfulness for a time, with one's eyes shut, one call emerge from it refreshed. Steadiness is its peculiarity. And one should get somewhere alone as much as possible, so as to re-establish one's own 'atmosphere.' Otherwise one gets 'scattered.' Do you see what I mean?" - From a letter written by Katherine Tingley in 1898.

"The spirit of selflessness is most important. There are people who take refuge in forming an organization, because in it there is a wheel they can turn mechanically; the organization becomes an end in itself. But this is not the spirit in which the Theosophical Order of Service was founded. Our work must not be a frame for glorifying our personalities; only in utter self-forgetfulness will it bear the best fruit. We must learn to lose ourselves in what we do, and in so doing we will find that the simplest acts fill us with happiness. If we wish to play a part to enhance our own importance, whatever that part, we will remain dissatisfied. It is not the size of the work which matters, but the spirit in which it is done. The smallest work may reveal beauty and give out a beautiful fragrance. Thus, without being conscious of it, each of us will make his own unique contribution, bringing about changes in society, in the Slate, and in the world." - N. Sri Ram, The Theosophist, July, 1957. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

There exists among people, whose emotional reactions are stronger than their reasoning faculties, a notion that students of Theosophy look upon The Secret Doctrine of H.P. Blavatsky more or less as the dogmatic Christian looks upon his Bible. We are occasionally told that we are unwilling to consider anything that cannot be found in the pages of This work, or to accept a truth or an interpretation which has not been dealt with by H.P. Blavatsky in her magnum opus.

This attitude is based on a misunderstanding. It shows shallowness of thought and lack of information; but it also indicates that on certain occasions students of Theosophy themselves give expression to ideas and attitudes which are not conducive to a fair-minded judgment on the part of others, and unconsciously assume a position of dogmatism which is not warranted by the nature of Theosophical teachings or the spirit of the Movement. To a very large extent we ourselves are to be blamed for the wrong notion which exists abroad on this subject.

Let us consider some of the facts involved.

Written evidence exists in the Archives of the Movement - evidence that has been published more than once - to the effect that The Secret Doctrine, as a work, is the triple product of the Adepts known as K.H. and M., and H.P. Blavatsky, as the direct disciple of the latter. There are at least two letters from the Adept-Brothers making this definite statement; there are also other pronouncements from the same source to the effect that much of what H.P. Blavatsky had written herself in this work had been gone over and checked by the Teachers.

The work we are considering does not claim infallibility, and even a cursory glance through its pages will show any careful student that it contains some statements which are merely H.P. Blavatsky's own understanding of this, that or another aspect of the ancient teachings. There is no doubt that the work contains here and there a few minor errors, as is the case with any human production. But it is equally evident that throughout its pages the reader will find unequivocal and direct pronouncements to the effect that "the Secret Doctrine teaches so-and-so," or that "the Esoteric Philosophy postulates so-and-so," or that "the secret teachings declare so-and-so" - and these pronouncements, written almost invariably in a style vastly different from the personal phraseology of H.P. Blavatsky, and sometimes in several distinct styles, give expression to extremely lofty ideas and state in no uncertain terms what are the specific teachings of the Ancient Wisdom on this, that or another point. They outline, throughout both volumes of this work, the foundation-principles of the Secret Doctrine, as a body of teachings, and are invariably written with authority and knowledge.

Such passages were either dictated to H.P. Blavatsky by the Adept Brothers, by means of what might be termed (for lack of a better word) [4] conscious clairaudience, the capacity on the part of H.P. Blavatsky to hear the voice of her Teachers in full personal consciousness and at will, or they were precipitated by the Adepts in their own handwritings, either direct or through the agency of their higher chelas; they were then used by H.P. Blavatsky in her work. The high occult status of H.P. Blavatsky can be partially understood by the curious fact that sometimes she did not approve of the way things had been expressed in these dictated or precipitated passages; and either discarded them or altered their wording, which she had a perfect right to do. This fact shows plainly that she was no mere underling or learner, nor was she reprimanded for taking liberties with such seemingly "August" material! Let this he borne in mind!

The crux of the subject is in the recognition or the non-recognition of the existence of evolved men of very high spiritual and intellectual attainment, known as Initiates, Adepts, Masters, or by other term. To students of Theosophy, these perfected men are a fact in Nature, and our feeling and belief in this matter is supported by the testimony of the greatest minds throughout the ages. Special attention is called in this respect to the word perfected. We did not say perfect! There is no absolute, final perfection anywhere; but there is constant, universal, un-ending perfectibility, or motion towards greater and greater levels and stages of development or evolutionary attainment. The Adepts Themselves - virtually perfect in this particular stage of life or school of experience - are but learners in a higher school and a loftier level of potential knowledge. Therefore they are growing, evolving, learning, like everything else - throughout the Universe. But, as far as our own plane of consciousness is concerned, and perhaps even more than that, their knowledge is complete, all-embracing, and final - but only as concerns the reach of their present consciousness, and the degree of their present understanding. As far as we, ordinary men, are concerned, this seems to be quite sufficient!

Let us therefore ask ourselves this question: Is it not reasonable to suppose that Teachings given directly by some of these men would be more authoritative, in the very nature of Things, than the personal understanding, largely fallible, of even the greatest human intellect on earth, which, however, has not yet reached to the degree of spiritual illumination attained by an Initiate? Would it not be a reasonable attitude, to take the pronouncements of perfected men as a basis or a touchstone with which to compare the pronouncements coming from other sources; to weigh them against the statements issued from men whose knowledge is based upon foundations less secure, and not coupled with the supreme ethical standards of an Initiate? We think that this is eminently reasonable.

When students of Theosophy speak of the authoritativeness of The Secret Doctrine, or of any particular passage in it, what they usually mean is one or another of these basic pronouncements concerning some specific fact or series of facts in the structure of Nature, or the operation of universal laws, - not some expression of opinion on the part of H.P. Blavatsky, or [5] some argumentative discussion between her and some scientific or religious "authority" she was quoting or having a friendly combat with. The Secret Doctrine is not a Bible in the usual sense of this term; it is not a work in which every line is supposed to have been inspired by some super-human agency or force; it is not infallible, even as far as the Adepts' own pronouncements are concerned, and this should never be lost sight of.

It should also be borne in mind that The Secret Doctrine undoubtedly contains many a passage written by H.P. Blavatsky from her own inner inspiration, dictated, we might say, by the illumined Spirit-Soul of herself, as an initiated disciple, which would mean from a level of consciousness vastly superior to the ordinary everyday consciousness of Madame Blavatsky as such. This fact accounts for some of the passages written in still another style, which recurs in outer articles and essays written by her.

It follows from what has been said that The Secret Doctrine contains in part a formulation of the basic ideas and teachings concerning the actual facts of nature, irrespective and independent of human beliefs or opinions; it follows also that other people's views and teachings can be safely compared with these foundation-postulates, and either rejected as being contrary to them, or provisionally accepted, or at least taken under advisement, because they appear in conformity with, or largely similar to, the pronouncements on the same subject found in the written statements of the Adept-Brothers. This altitude cuts at the very root of the unreasonable position of those who either reject everything, because it is not specifically stated in the pages of The Secret Doctrine, or accept on faith, and without due analysis, teachings advanced with grandiloquent claims, pompous language, or ex cathedra pronouncements which even a modicum of ordinary reason would easily find serious fault with.

The paramount evidence of the solid validity of every major pronouncement contained in The Secret Doctrine is in the fact that several branches of Western Science have rebuilt their entire structure upon foundation-principles and ideas largely similar, and often identical, to those expressed in the above-mentioned work, as witnessed by the present-day teachings of physics, chemistry, astronomy, archaeology, anthropology, psychology, etc., etc. We have every reason to believe that modern Science will continue to replace many other old-fashioned ideas with new ones to he found in the Ancient Wisdom, and that the time is fast approaching when the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy will be fully vindicated by the advances of scientific research and other disciplines of human thought.


"To become real creators we have to learn to become detached, not without feeling, not cold, but detached enough to act but no longer to react in the specific sense, so that we shall not be influenced by the outer to such an extent that we lose our balance. The more balanced we become the more we shall be able to hear with the right ear, to see with the right eye, that is, to see and hear with our soul." - Axel von Fielitz-Coniar, The Theosophist, July, 1957. [6]


William Quan Judge

[Originally published in The Path, New York, Vol. 1, February, 1887, under the pen name of Hadjii Erinn.]

To the Western mind the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation contain difficulties which while they seem imaginary to the Eastern student, are nevertheless for the Western man as real as any of the other numerous obstructions in the path of salvation. All difficulties are more or less imaginary, for the Whole world and all its entanglements are said to be an illusion resulting from the notion of a separate I. But while we exist here in matter, and so long as there is a manifested universe, these illusions are real to that man who has not risen above them to the knowledge that they are but the masks behind which the reality is hidden.

For nearly twenty centuries the Western nations have been building up the notion of a separate I - of meum and tuum - and it is hard for them to accept any system which goes against those notions.

As they progress in what is called material civilization with all its dazzling allurements and aids to luxury, their delusion is further increased because they appraise the value of their doctrine by the results which seem to flow from it, until at last they push so far what they call the reign of law, that it becomes a reign of terror. All duty to their fellows is excluded from it in practice, although the beautiful doctrines of Jesus are preached to the people daily by preachers who are paid to preach but not to enforce, and who cannot insist upon the practice which should logically follow the theory because the consequences would be a loss of position and livelihood.

So when out of such a nation rises a mind that asks for help to find again the path that was lost, he is unconsciously much affected by the education not only of himself but also of his nation through all these centuries. He has inherited tendencies that are hard to be overcome. He battles with phantasms, real for him but mere dreams for the student who has been brought up under other influences.

When, therefore, he is told to rise above the body, to conquer it, to subdue his passions, his vanity, anger and ambition, he asks, "what if borne down by this environment, which I was involuntarily born into, I shall fail." Then when told that he must fight or die in the struggle, he may reply that the doctrine of Karma is cold and cruel because it holds him responsible for the consequences which appear to be the result of that unsought environment. It then becomes with him a question whether to fight and die, or to swim on with the current careless as to its conclusion but happy if perhaps it shall carry him into smooth water whose shores are elysian.

Or perhaps he is a student of occultism whose ambition has been fired by the prospect of adeptship, of attaining powers over nature, or what not.

Beginning the struggle he presently finds himself beset with difficulties [7] which, not long after, he is convinced are solely the result of his environment. In his heart he says that Karma has unkindly put him where he must constantly work for a living for himself and a family: or he has a life-long partner whose attitude is such that he is sure were he away from her he could progress: until at last he calls upon heaven to interpose and change the surroundings so opposed to his perfecting himself.

This man has indeed erred worse than the first. He has wrongly supposed that his environment was a thing to be hated and spurned away. Without distinctly so saying to himself, he has nursed within the recesses of his being the idea that he like Buddha could in this one life triumph over all the implacable forces and powers that bar the way to Nirvana. We should remember that the Buddha does not come every day but is the efflorescence of ages, who when the time is ripe surely appears in one place and in one body, not to work for his own advancement but for the salvation of the world.

What then of environment and what of its power over us?

Is environment Karma or is it Reincarnation? THE LAW is Karma, reincarnation is only an incident. It is one of the means which The Law uses to bring us at last to the true light. The wheel of rebirths is turned over and over again by us in obedience to this law, so that we may at last come to place our entire reliance upon Karma. Nor is our environment Karma itself, for Karma is the subtle power which works in that environment.

There is nothing but the SELF - using the word as Max Muller does to designate the Supreme Soul - and its environment. The Aryans for the latter use the word Kosams or sheaths. So that there is only this Self and the various sheaths by which it is clothed, beginning with the most intangible and coming down to the body, while outside of that and common to all is what is commonly known as environment, whereas the word should be held to include all that is not The Self.

How unphilosophical therefore it is to quarrel with our surroundings, and to desire to escape them? We only escape one kind to immediately fall into another. And even did we come into the society of the wisest devotees we would still carry the environment of the Self in our own bodies, which will always be our enemy so long as we do not know what it is in all its smallest details. Coming down then to the particular person, it is plain that part of the environment which consists in the circumstances of life and personal surroundings is only an incident, and that the real environment to be understood and cared about is that in which Karma itself inheres in us.

Thus we see that it is a mistake to say - as we often hear it said - "If he only had a fair chance; if his surroundings were more favorable he would do better," since he really could not be in any other circumstances at that time, for if he were it would not be he but some one else. It must be necessary for him to pass through those identical trials and disadvantages to perfect the Self; and it is only because we see but an infinitesimal part of the long series that any apparent confusion or difficulty arises. So our strife will be, not to escape from anything, but to realize that these Kosams, or sheaths, are an [8] integral portion of ourselves, which we must fully understand before we can change the abhorred surroundings. This is done by acknowledging the unity of spirit, by knowing that everything, good and bad alike, is the Supreme. We then come into harmony with the Supreme Soul, with the whole universe, and no environment is detrimental.

The very first step is to rise from considering the mere outside delusive environment, knowing it to be the result of past lives, the fruition of Karma done, and say with Uddalaka in speaking to his son:

"All this Universe has the Deity for its life. That Deity is the Truth. He is the Universe Soul. He Thou art, O Svetaketu!"* (* Chandogya Upanishad, vi.)


H.W. Dempster

The enlightenment of the human race by the Buddha, the Mahatmans, or any other Initiate-Teacher is recognized by occult students as part of the natural scheme of things. Some may find more of that illumination in one school than in another. Each should pursue that system of teaching which is most satisfying to him. While some are able to study Comparative Religions and remain unattached to any, others are able only to consider the teachings or dogmas of one Religion as paramount and supreme over all others. Whatever one's chosen pathway, the honest convictions of each are entitled to be respected.

As mother of all religious philosophies, Theosophy looks upon Buddhism as the loftiest of her offspring. Sometimes this is misunderstood as a vain claim by the followers of other religions, who feel that there is none greater than their own. But a careful, impartial examination of the facts by the student will reveal that there is always a common source for the existence of any religion, to wit: An Initiate of a mystery school, and that in essence, "There is no Religion higher than Truth."

It is the finding of the real Truth then, as opposed to the many things that by custom and blind belief become accepted and perpetuated as Truth, that must be considered. Decisions must be made as to what is true and what is false. This causes the natural question to be raised as to "What is Truth, who has it and what is its source?"

To answer these briefly: Truth is that which is universally true, known firsthand by the Enlightened Ones, such as the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, the Avataras, the Mahatmans, the Initiates, and their duly authorized disciples or representatives and Teachers, whose duty it is to pass it on to those who are ready and qualified to understand it from within themselves. Its source is nature itself and its disseminators, the Mystery Schools.

The main differences arise between those who have the real esoteric truths and those who have the exoteric doctrines or dogmas alone.

What is the real esoteric doctrine and is there anyone or any group who has at least a portion of the genuine truths and who knows or has known a genuine esoteric Teacher of these [9] doctrines? If there is a lack of basic training in general occult philosophy, or the absence of a natural inner knowing gained in a previous life or lives, no satisfactory answer can be given to this question. Evidence or statements may be offered, but it would be useless to expect that conviction could be produced in the mind that is closed, prejudiced, philosophically untrained, or unawakened spiritually. Therefore, the ideas expressed here are for the consideration of the open-minded one, who declares his interest is in knowing the Truth, regardless of present concepts.

In this new era of the dawning Aquarius cycle, is it not fitting that we re-examine our present understanding and consider new teachings, if we feel that the source is worthy of our attention?

Many Theosophists hold a very high respect for the Buddhistic doctrines, because there are so many points in common. There is a feeling of brotherly kinship between them since each claims Gautama the Buddha as a Teacher. Both H.P. Blavatsky and Col. Henry S. Olcott, co-founders of The Theosophical Society in New York, in 1875, took the five vows of Buddhism. But H.P. Blavatsky makes it clear that Theosophy is not Buddhism, nor any one of the outer great Religions. Yet, paradoxically, it is the mother of all the great Religions, but not any one of them in particular. Being a Science-Religion-Philosophy, with a Mystery School as its source that is ageless, it has the right to hold this position. It is interesting to note that there are Buddhistic Theosophists, Christian Theosophists, Zoroastrian Theosophists and those of other religious convictions, who recognize tile Ancient Wisdom as The Secret Doctrine of the Ages, the fountain-head of Esoteric Truth and the interpreter of Religious Scriptures and Allegories.

The central idea not to be lost sight of is that Truth itself does not degenerate, but concepts of it in the minds of men do so, which makes it necessary for it to he re-stated periodically, in every age, by successive Teachers connected with the Esoteric School of Wisdom, headed by the Brotherhood of Adepts.

H.P. Blavatsky was the Messenger of that Brotherhood, in this era, and the references to Buddhism in her many writings are quite illuminating. A later Representative of this school, who lived in our time, was Dr. G. de Purucker. His works, Studies in Occult Philosophy, The Esoteric Tradition, Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, The Occult Glossary and others, throw a vast amount of light upon the Buddhistic doctrines and give much interesting and hitherto unpublished information about Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Nirmanakayas. There are no dogmatic claims or statements made; but there are new "teachings," which the student, Buddhist, Theosophist or otherwise, should always feel free to accept or reject as he sees fit. These two writers and their Teachers are the source of the material herein contained.

According to Dr. de Purucker, the Lord Buddha, existing today as a Nirmanakaya, is the Chief of the Great White Brotherhood in the land of Sambhala; this brings us closer to him as students of the doctrines which he and other members of the same school have taught. It makes the whole [10] system more real and alive instead of a dead letter creedalistic scheme, such as some schools have degenerated into, after departing from the original teachings as given to their predecessors in the beginning.

He further states that the Lord Buddha is watching over the present Fifth Root-Race humanity, because he is the first Buddha of that Race of which we are a part. The second Buddha, and the only other one of this Root-Race, will not appear until nearly the end of the cycle of this Fifth Root-Race, which will not be for millions of years yet.

But, even the Lord Buddha, in all his Wisdom and greatness, was not perfect, and he himself recognized that his first mission was not without defects. In order to do what he could to correct these errors, he became the intermediate or psychological part of the Avatara Sankaracharya, father of the Adwaita-Vendanta School, who lived about 50 years after the Lord Buddha withdrew from the physical vehicle.

Several hundred years later, the Buddha, in his Nimanakayic consciousness, loaned the psychological portion of his being do the Syrian Sage, who became known as Jesus the Avatara, inspirer of the Christian Faith.

The original basic teachings of early Christianity were essentially the same as are those of Buddhism and Theosophy, though different points are emphasized. However, within a hundred years after the death of the Christian Avatara, the teachings began to degenerate rapidly, as it was the beginning of a cycle of darkness. With the closing of the Mystery-Schools in the Sixth Century A.D., we observe the beginning of the baneful effects of the loss of a true esoteric center within the framework of that otherwise great Religion. Buddhism, because of its esoteric understanding, has remained the most true to its original teachings, and is therefore considered by Theosophists to be the most spiritual of any of the great religious movements in the world today.

May deeper fellowship and understanding grow between all who tread the Path, as we follow the Buddha's injunction of "working out our own salvation with diligence." [11]


Harriet Bliss

A Theosophist of these years surely will have something of a golden harvest, even though he may realize that he has not fully "attuned his heart and mind to the great mind and heart of mankind". If he can say to himself, I have tried and failed many times, still at these times a lesson of some kind has been learned.

So in the closing years of the journey of one life in a physical body, he knows that Karma has opened his eyes and heart to the sacred knowledge which must have been his in a former life. Then let him evaluate anew his experiences and continue to assimilate and put into practice all that he has learned, for he will find that every experience can be put to use, for the benefit of others.

In the zeal caused by our first contact with the truths of the Soul, is it not a common event, that we do not take enough time to examine or even try to trace the history of the channel through which the Light has come to us? For the light of the spiritual truths comes to humanity through one or another person, and we often are blinded to realities and facts concerning the philosophy of Theosophy, that may be of great significance in later years.

Perhaps we have not accredited the many earnest Theosophical students and workers, men and women, many of them with pure hearts, of eager intellects and a devotion to Truth, worthy of the highest compassion.

These are the ideas that, at the culmination of Three Score Years and Ten, may be readable in our Karmic ledger, and while they give cause for sorrow, because our ignorance inflicted suffering on others, the expanded consciousness of right-seeing is one lesson that may be put into immediate practice, with not a trace of condemnation of our brother Theosophists.

It is said that the Great Teachers work with individuals at all times, and so we must ask ourselves this question: Is it possible that we had actually thought there could be but one pure channel through which the master's teachings may reach mankind? Who is the final judge in this but the man himself, as to who and what that channel may be? Have They not said: "where thought can pass, They can come"!

In contacting others we can attune our heart and mind with theirs, be interested in their ideas, draw them out to further expression, thus being a sympathetic listener, and mayhap starting a seed idea of the Eternal Verities: the result being that they go on their way entirely unaware of the appearance of a form of three score years and ten, but only conscious of a beneficence before unknown.

One can have a deep sympathy for one's fellowmen who are not yet awakened to their great heritage, at the same time holding gratitude to all those soldiers in the field of Theosophical work who have kept and do keep now the teachings of H.P.B. in their pristine purity; and an undying appreciation for the perseverance and dauntless courage of the many who have held out to itís a Helping hand in time of need, and given a word of encouragement in our darkest hour.

So, the one time participant in objective Lodge work, for instance, need have no feeling of being excluded from Theosophical work; he is still consciously doing his share of helping on the Divine evolution of ideas, by inwardly dwelling on these ideas and putting them into practice. He has the assurance within himself that he has found his place in the Universe, and that he is of the company of those who love collective humanity, for whose benefit he still works and serves. It is truly difficult to imagine that a Theosophist, using an outer form of three score years and ten, will lose his realization of the sweet companionship of those in whose association he found the Light of his Soul, and who helped him to understand the glorious principles of that philosophy of Life which has sustained and nourished his soul through the greater part of this one life journey. What a harvest can be his while dwelling on the marvelous life of the Great Ones and Their eternal love for their younger brothers, even though some of these are Three Score years ... and then ... [12]


G. White Hickerson

It is said that a Mahatma, or great soul, is acting in the capacity of an Adept only at the time he is concentrating his attention on a given subject or object - with a definite end in view; while at other times he is an ordinary human being like the rest of us - with perhaps his instruments a little more under his constant conscious control. He knows he is not infallible at all times, and that he is therefore subject to making errors in judgement from which he will reap karma.

Many of us come across one or more individuals in our lives whom we find to be very astute in one or more fields of thinking. Let us say that such a man has excellent judgment in regard to affairs of business, and that as a man among men his opinions are valued. And this same man may have undoubted intuitions which have proven justifiably accurate when applied to the field of action in terms of life's situations.

Supposing we do know such men. We find the judgment of such a one has been excellent in several situations, and his intuitions have proven to be accurate, so far as we can see. We have asked his opinion, and after thinking the matter over we have acted upon his advice and found it good. Then we come up against another difficult situation and again consult our good friend. Again his advice works out well, even though we didn't exactly see how it was going to work. Still, we trusted him, and his advice was good.

So, this is good, we think. But now we have a situation facing us which we feel we really don't know much about; so again we consult our friend, and trusting his judgment, act upon his advice. Only this time it doesn't work out. What happened?

Then, perhaps, we blame our friend for having misguided us. Is this really so? Haven't we misguided ourselves by permitting ourselves to act upon his advice, presuming that, since it had been right before, it would he this time also?

Now, supposing, as is often the case, that any number of people have also discovered this same man. He has been for all these people a boon - a sort of final board of appeal. Many have trusted and found aid and instruction in his advice. And yet, from time to time, some have felt they were misguided and blamed the good man.

The fact of the matter often is that such a man, having been trusted, and having found his own intuitions accurate in most cases, has also come to trust himself - almost to the point of feeling that he really is infallible, and that his judgment in all things is superior to that of most others. It may well be so - but he has sowed within [15] himself a seed, which if not carefully attended may grow into the flower of a delusion of grandeur. His attitude of mind has been aided and abetted by all those who looked up to him and trusted him implicitly, without stopping to think that such a man could not possibly be infallible in his judgment at all times, and that each one of us is a soul in evolution, responsible as well as intelligent.

We certainly can, and apparently should more often than we do, seek the advice of another. We need another point of view because too often our own is clouded, or we are too close to a situation. Therefore to seek advice doesn't seem to be where we make our mistake. We make it when we permit the advice of another to overwhelm our own best judgment. Or we make it when we come to belittle our own power to perceive for ourselves.

This can become a serious matter in terms of moral karma. We have not only built up a situation for ourselves which must be solved, whether in this or in a future incarnation, but we have involved another being in it; we contributed to his moral delinquency by helping him to get the idea that he is in all things infallible, and that others may express their opinions only by sufferance.

The very idea of sufferance is intolerable to an intelligent being. He who insults our intelligence is not worthy to be our instructor, however much faith or trust we may have in him. And he who tolerates or permits our views merely by sufferance insults our intelligence.

Since all men are to a degree our teachers - as we stand in the same relation to all others - we should look a little more closely at those ideas of infallibility, sufferance and toleration, and use for a measuring stick the idea of inter-dependence.



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 4-5511. 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]



Countess Constance Georgina Louise Wachtmeister, nee de Bourbel de Monpincon.

Born March 28, 1838, at Florence, Italy. Her parents were the Marquis de Bourbel, formerly in the French diplomatic service, and Constance Bulkley. The de Bourbel family is one of the most ancient in France; originating from the southeast of the country, they settled in Normany around 936 A.D.; several members of that family were distinguished in French history, especially Raoul de Bourbel in the reign of Louis XIV.

Constance de Bourbel lost her parents at an early age; was sent to England to her aunt, Mrs. Bulkley, of Linden Hill, Berkshire; educated and lived there until her marriage, 1863, with her cousin, Count Karl Wachtmeister (b. April 21, 1823 - d. Oct. 14, 1871), then Swedish and Norwegian Minister at the Court of St. James. Resided in London for three years, when her husband was called to Copenhagen as Minister of the Danish Court. In 1868, took residence in Stockholm, where the Count was nominated Minister of Foreign Affairs. Constance W. was then created "state lady of the land" by the King, and was the last one to receive this distinction, as the title then became extinct. After death of husband, she remained in Sweden for several years, spending winters in warmer climates on account of health. She had one son, Count Axel Raoul (1865-1938), well known as a composer. His early Theosophical associations are mentioned in his Memories (London: John M. Watkins, 1936, 55 pp.).

In 1879, Countess W. began investigating Spiritualism, but after two years found it unsatisfactory. She joined the Theosophical Society in 1881, and remained an indefatigable worker therein until her death in 1910. She met H.P.B. in April, 1884, being on a visit to London, and soon became one of her closest friends, who stood by her in time of great distress, both physical and social. She was for a while Secretary and Treasurer of the Blavatsky Lodge in London; for a long time, she carried on the work of the Theos. Publ. Society, and contributed to its sound financial basis.

Countess W. wrote a fascinating eye-witness account of her life with H.P.B. at Wurzburg, Germany, published under the title: Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and "The Secret Doctrine" (London: Theos. Publ. Soc., New York: The Path, and Madras: Theos. Soc., 1893, 162 pp.). The Appendices to this book contain accounts regarding the writing of The Secret Doctrine, by Bertram Keightley; Dr. Archibald Keightley; Wm. Q. Judge; Vera P. de Zhelihovsky, H.P.B.'s sister; Vera Johnston; Dr. Franz Hartmann; and Dr. Wm. Hubbe-Sclhleiden; also extracts from The Path, New York, April, 1893, p. 2, embodying the Teachers' statement regarding the triple authorship of The Secret Doctrine, and other interesting material bearing upon these early clays of the Movement and H.P.B.'s life.