A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XV
No. 1 (75) - Summer 1958

[Cover photo: Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (Aug. 2, 1832 - Feb. 17, 1907) President-Founder of the Theosophical Society, 1875-1907.]


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.



"What mistaken ideas are held regarding the personality. If you could only take it to be all that in yourself you do not like, all that you feel to be unworthy, that you wish was not there, all that you know, deep in your heart, obscures and trammels you! That puts another aspect on it, does it not? I have spoken to you of impersonality before, that it is not the cold abstraction many take it for. No wonder, so feeling, they fear it and flee from it. Who would wish to deprive life of all warmth, all color, all energy, all force! Occultism teaches no such thing. It is a hideous fancy. Occultism wishes, on the contrary, to give more, and sets so high a value on these things, that the whole force and power of them must be transformed to a higher, and therefore more enduring plane. They must not be frittered away and lost in illusion and darkness. Let them be living things, not dead ones. We want mere to work for us, not mummies!

"We want the full strength and vigor of the nature - the blaze of ardor - not a feeble flicker. And we want all this carefully garnered, tended and controlled. Dangerous weapons these, in unskilled hands, for they cut both ways. Therefore the hand must be skilled, and discipline and training alone will do that. But be vigorous, be strong, not passive! I get so tired of these humble, washed-out disciples, who have not strength enough to stand on their own feet, and who simply shut their eyes ecstatically, and sit there! What will they ever accomplish? Nothing, until they are waked up and shaken out of that condition." - Cave. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Civilizations and social structures, like human beings themselves, are born, endure for a while, and pass away, but Humanity remains. Institutions and organizations, reared by human hands, have their own birth in time and their mission to perform, but they too ultimately pass away, yet their Ideals remain. Movements of thought produced in the womb of ever-changing Time have their inception in the minds of men, give rise to deeds of valor - and sometimes to deed of horror and shame - and ultimately disappear, followed by other Movements which embody greater and nobler Ideals. And yet, throughout the infinite changes of thought and action, a stream of continuity can be traced throughout all movements, and all civilizations, and all social orders, a current of common life-force upon which humanity as a whole moves from cycle to cycle towards a distant goal.

It is the same with our own Theosophical Movement, to whose noble Ideals and spiritual objectives our lives are dedicated, and in whose general stream we find the field of our most cherished activity and work.

The age-old Flame of Esoteric Knowledge, which burned from time immemorial on the mystic altars of every great civilization upon this globe, has been rekindled in this our age by heroic souls to whom is due our profound reverence for their sacrifice and self-forgetful service.

Untouched by the many weaknesses of men and women within the organizational framework of the Movement, unchecked by their errors and mistakes, almost unaffected by their occasional defections and even treasons, the Flame of Mystic Truth has been for all these years a witness to the source of knowledge that can be tapped by everyone willing to comply with the conditions necessary for its attainment. Though that Flame has flickered at times, under the onslaught of human passions unchained in our era of turbulent strife, it has never gone out, and is brighter today than it has been for many years past.

With every Truth we discover, and with every new vision we attain, our responsibility grows greater, and our dedication to the Sacred Cause is tested in the light of the challenge which we ourselves have accepted from within the Temple of our Inner Self. Upon some of us, the world over, those of us who may be younger in physical years, rests today a new challenge to prepare ourselves for the new spiritual impulse which we hope and trust will be evoked by our combined devotion and work, from Those who stand ready to help when the call is insistent and strong, like the clear sound of a distant bell along the inner ethers. And the primary condition with which to meet this impending spiritual impulse is unity of purpose, oneness of ideals, and that great togetherness of effort and devotion which stands behind our outward distinctions, and the fleeting changes of the outer karmic stage. Divided, we cannot conquer. United and strong, our failure is unthinkable, and our ultimate victory assured. [4]

The Theosophical Movement is a Movement of Youth, but not necessarily in its physical sense. Youth is not merely a condition of our bodies, nor a time of life. It is rather a state of mind, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of thought and a freshness of the deep springs of life. People grow old by deserting their Ideals. They stay young by nourishing within their souls the love of wonder, the kinship with the stars and with star-like thoughts. It is the challenge of discovery and of never-ending spiritual adventure that keeps men young forever, even though they be ninety years of age. We are as young as our hope, as young as our vision, and it is this Youth of the Spirit that we need today more than ever before in the ranks of our Movement, as we face the unfolding miracle of the World of Tomorrow. In the magic realm of human thought, there is nothing more irresistible than the contagion of a triumphant Spirit!

Today, in the very thick of the turmoil, behind the spectacular headlines, there is dawning a grand realization which only wilfully blind men will not see. It is the stirring awareness all over the world that nations collectively, and men and women individually, cannot live unto themselves alone, but must of necessity live as members of one human family. The key-note of the new social structure is Global Consciousness, the gradual recognition that the only way out of the prevailing confusion is to think, feel and act one for all and all for one. This is but the unfoldment of the fundamental principle of the Theosophical Society - the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinctions of any kind. It is obvious therefore that the Theosophical Movement stands today, more than ever before, in the forefront of creative thought, spearheading the inner drive of the collective heart of mankind.

As such, this Movement is essentially one of Spiritual Pioneers. Irrespective of the limitations of its individual forms, it is pre-eminently the home of the spiritual youth of the race, those men and women of every clime and in every walk of life, whose spiritual stratospheres are lit with the mystic light of inner knowledge, whose lives are dedicated to the Cause of human liberation, and whose aspirations are linked with the silences beyond the stars ...

Beneath the outward form of this Movement, in the background of its many outer changes, behind the veil of its ordinary human affairs, there is the beating heart whence flow the vivifying streams of inspiration, the currents of a never-ending life, and the slowly expanding waves of progressive knowledge concerning the mysteries of Universal Life. It is to this heart that is linked the heart of the would-be disciple, and the strength of the link depends upon the disciple alone.

United and strong in this realization, let us mount the rising flood of spiritual thought! Sons of the Sun are we, Pilgrims of infinite Spaces. Our sacred duty is to make safe for centuries to come the solid ground won by the pioneers of the Movement, as we press forward, through many a test and trial, towards the Gates of Gold. [5]


A Tale of the XXIV Century.
H.P. Blavatsky

[This article exists in the Adyar Archives in the shape of an incomplete MSS. in the handwriting of H.P. Blavatsky. It was originally published in The Theosophist, Vol. L, May, 1929, pp. 161-67. It is especially interesting in the light of our present-day fast developing scientific discoveries and inventions. - Editor.]


Our truthful story opens in the good days of old, just five centuries ago - in fact in 1879. It was a century the history of which, as well as that of its successors, down to our own time, is too well preserved to us in its minutest details of names and events in chronological order that we should ever fear to commit any such blunders as those which make us often blush for the comparative ignorance of that age - great as was the nineteenth century. Thanks to the indestructible records of the daily Press, the time for mere hypothesis and guesswork has vanished for ever. For as the educated readers will all remember, it was toward the latter part of that century that, after a few foolish attempts to print the daily papers on pieces of cloth which, subsequently washed, were transformed into and used as pocket handkerchiefs by the economical bourgeoisie - as if ancient Manchester was not there to supply these mean shopkeepers! - that the discovery was made. Immortalizing the genius who found that process out, it was added to the long list of many others. It was - says one of our permanent records quoting such a paper which escaped destructive washing - found out by a preacher in love with his sermons and who was almost driven to despair at the drought that while his audience went to sleep over them, the rats might destroy it in their turn a century or so ...* (* This extraordinary discovery due to a young British astrologer, born in the noisy days of the conflict between matter and spirit, has ever remained the wonder of the grateful ages.) [This note is on the back of the sheet which ends abruptly with "so."] [Page 1 of the MSS. is missing.]

... recorded, each one on a separate foil of the phonograph and Antitypion, they are now so perfected as to enable you, from the comfortable depth of your own armchair and seated at the apparatus table, at your summer residence at Sothis Town, to choose your individual and then give the signal through your private telephone. Of course, your Excellency will have to specify beforehand the precise spot of the space around you where you desire the long bygone scenes in the life of the chosen individual or individuals to be enacted. As you are but slightly acquainted yet with the improved conditions required for the perfect reproductions of the deceased personages reflected by means of the Antitypion, the faithful retransmission of their voices and speeches through [6] the phonographic foil, and their acts, deeds and even most intimate thoughts by the newly constructed necroideograph, you must permit me to suggest that the most propitious spot would be in as distant a neighborhood of your private biosideograph, as your own personal ideas might easily get mixed up with those of the deceased actors, or vice versa, and thus produce a confusion, strictly to be avoided in this age of universal restitution and ... [Part of MSS. missing.] ... and is returned to me again. You will then immediately begin to receive the full stream of the pictures and sounds collected by me from the depths of space. It will be necessary that a member of the Committee should take his place at each registering table, so as to receive and fix upon the sensitized reflectors the pictures and sounds pertaining to individual histories, as they separate themselves from the common stream in passing through the ethmoid diaphragm. As each individual history is closed with the scene of death, and such glimpses of posthumous fame as it may be desired to take in, the observer should detach the record from the repeating cylinder and lay it away with care, properly mounted and labeled, until wanted for exhibition to the General Council upon the stage of the Pontopticon for their final action.

The Australian or South Polar apparatus differs but slightly from the Borealian or North Pole which you have. Briefly, it may thus be described. Upon a table of polished rock-crystal and supported upon columns of migme* (* A new or rather rediscovered metal, mentioned by Proclus and other archaic philosophers, and possessing very striking occult properties, among them that of causing between the earth and any given star a powerful sympathetic current.) stand a large etheric reflector, an echograph or pantophonograph, and an ideograph - of which the first reproduces for us the pictures of the past, the second its sounds, and the third the unspoken ideas, whether of living or dead personages. The whole forms, as you know, the apparatus to which our Himalayan colleague has given the name of antitypion. Connected with the reflector is a revolving zographistic cylinder, upon whose prepared surface the inflowing pictures, as caught in their slow cyclic descent from the rays of starlight, become indelibly impressed in their natural colours, and upon being passed in front of a pencil of "focalised akasa" or astral light, can be thrown forward into any part of the room, so as to appear to the spectator as a scene from real life transpiring before his view. The echograph, with like efficacy, will reproduce the voices of the personages who are marshalled before us in our retrospective panorama; care only being taken that the foci of light and sound shall be convergent. Though the flight of sound through space is less rapid than that of light, and gradually becoming feebler is arrested and fixed at no great distance from the earth, yet as they travel in the same path, it is, as you are aware, a scientific fact that when we recall pictures from the ether, the returning current meeting the outgoing wave of crystalised sound takes it up [7] by magnetic attraction, and returns to us simultaneously the images of the past and the vibrations of its sounds. The office of two of the three instruments above referred to is, to separate the one from the other. A delicate sense of touch and acute hearing are required in the observer for the proper adjustment of the pantophonograph. In our case until a number of preliminary tests had been made, the phonetic detonator gave back only a confused murmur of sound, instead of the desired clear articulation of speech. Members of the Committee, who may have given little attention to astrognosical science, may properly be informed that, unless it is accurately known under what constellation the subject of an inquiry was born, so that it, or at least the stars that lay in its cyclic path and were thus brought into the influence of his current, may be caught in the focus of the etheric reflector, much time must be spent in searching for him in that quarter of the heavens where the general reflections of his epoch are traveling. While this principle of catoptrics was, of course, always known to occultists, physical science was ignorant of it until the comparative late epoch of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. At that time a conception of the truth appears to have dawned upon the minds of several observers almost simultaneously. For example, a professor of geognosy - termed geology, doubtless because they discoursed more about the earth than knew anything about it - a certain Hitchock, ventured an opinion that possibly the scenes transpiring upon the earth may be imprinted "upon the world round us," and added that it was not impossible "that there are tests by which nature can bring out and fix these portraits as on a great canvas spread over the material universe. Perhaps, too, they may never fade from that canvas, but become specimens in the great gallery of eternity." This feeble, tentative prognosis should not cause a smile, for when we consider the darkness of psychological perceptions in that period, this must be regarded as almost an instance of psychic prevision. Again, among the phantasmic images floating into the penumbral circle within which the zograph projects its pictorial records, appeared that of a little pot-bellied sage with short legs, a chub-faced head, and wearing hair only upon its rosy cheeks. Sliding with pensive countenance into a huge armchair before his desk, he wrote the following words: "No ... no ... a shadow never falls upon a wall without leaving thereupon a permanent trace, a trace which might be made visible by resorting to proper processes ... A spectre is concealed on a silver or glassy surface until, by our necromancy, we make it come forth into the visible world ... Yes ... there exist everywhere the vestiges of all our acts, silhouettes of whatever we have done!"

This was a paragraph from a work entitled, The Conflict between Religion and Science. Curious to know how far these prophetic glimpses were shared by the contemporaries of the writing figure, I drew into the vortex enough of the emanations of the period to furnish a general view. I was fortunate enough to catch the image of a work entitled Principles of Science by one Jevons, who quoting approvingly the opinions of another sage, named Babbage, says: "Each particle of the existing matter must be a register of all that has happened"; as both seemed, even in those ancient clays of materialism, to [8] previsionally apprehend that even unspoken thought once conceived, displacing the particles of the brain and setting them in motion, scatters its ideas throughout the universe, to impress them indelibly upon the eternal and boundless expanse of ether. That such views, though unpopular among men of nascent science, were the reverse among a very powerful, numerous and growing sect calling themselves "Spiritualists," I infer from the reflection of a praise-worthy treatise entitled, The Unseen Universe, which the authors - two British sages felt compelled in their modesty to publish anonymously, doubtless to protect themselves from the overwhelming admirations and caresses of an enthusiastic crowd of "medias." (This latter term must not he taken to signify either mediocre persons nor any intervening substance, but to indicate a certain class of individuals - mostly professional - of that century who kindly took upon themselves the trouble of furnishing their organisms for the indiscriminate use of those who had none; to wit, the larvae, those undomiciled etheric loungers who infest the electro-magnetic currents nearer to the earth's surface, and whom we use as inferior messengers.)

These above-named sages, after having first constructed a hypothetical "bridge" upon strictly architectural principles between the seen and the unseen universes, immediately demolished it as their intuition unfolded, by confessing that "when energy is carried from matter into ether, it is carried from the visible into the invisible universe, and vice versa," in short, admitting that which is now practically taught by our demonstrators of psycho-astrognosy to the young children in the lowest classes of our elementary schools. We noticed further that The Unseen Universe of the two British philosophers was immediately followed by another work, The Unseen World, written by a sage of the Western Hemisphere, the Atlantean Continent (ancient America). He being an enthusiastic Evolutionist and feeling impelled to prove to an ignorant and unappreciative public the axiomatic anthropological truth that man evoluted from the race of the Aryan Hanuman, made haste to practically demonstrate at least his own descent by aping the then popular title, and making it a cover under which to give circulation to his own views. [Here ends the MSS.]


Harold W. Dempster

First, let it be said that the writer does not consider himself to be an "authority." In fact, he would welcome any ideas and suggestions from students anywhere, who may have something of value to contribute to the sparse amount of material available on the subject.

What is meant by the term itself? In Spanish it has been rendered "El Libro del Consejo," or "The Book of the Council" (or Elders). A book by this title has been published by the National University at Mexico City (1950), authored by J.M. Gonzales de Mendoza and Miguel Angel Asturias from the notes and version of Georges Raynaud. In a more accurate sense, it could mean "The Book of the Counsellors" or "The Traditional Teachings [9] of the Great Ones," "The Wisdom of the Ancient Mysteries." Hence, it is obviously one of the fragments of the Theosophy of the time, the date of origin of which is unknown. While Theosophy in our time dates from 1875, the Tradition known as the Popol Vuh comes to us at the end of the 17th Century through Father Francisco Ximenez, who found in the manuscript so many remarkable similarities to, or parallelisms with, the Hebrew Bible, that he preserved a copy of it in order to persuade the Quiches of Guatemala that they ought to be Christians.

In 1859 Dr. C. Scherzer found the Manuscript at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and published it in Vienna in 1857. In 1861 Abbe Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg published his French version. An English translation by Kenneth S. Guthrie, Ph.D., A.M., M.D., appears in The Word Magazine beginning in October, 1905 (Vol. 11, No. 1), and to him we are indebted for some very valuable commentary. An incomplete translation, with illuminating comments concerning the mystical meaning of various expression, was also published in Lucifer (Vol. XV, Sept. 1899.-Feb., 1895.) under the pseudonym of "Aretas."

According to a Mexican writer, Carlos Merida, in his book, Estampas del Popol Vuh (Mexico City, 1943) "it is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary and valuable works among primitive books of America. It is really a Bible, because of its accounts about the gods, its theory of the creation of the Universe, and its Mythological history of the Maya Quiche lineage." This work further states that it was first written in the 16th Century in the Quiche language with Latin letters and until that time had been preserved by "oral tradition." This, of course, would be of special interest to any student of Occult matters as being indicative of an Esoteric origin from the Inner Schools of the Mysteries of the early American Indian, which undoubtedly existed and exist today. Have we any right to suppose that it was only India, Egypt, Greece and the Orient that had such schools? Moreover, it shows no trace of Western thought or Christian influence. The ideas expressed in the manuscript are certainly very much older than the age given by modern archeologists to the ancient ruins of Southern Mexico, Yucatan and Guatemala, as being about 900 to 1100 A.D., and certainly older than Christianity by thousands of years.

Since Theosophy places the American Indians in the category of the Fourth Root-Race, whereas we of the present root-stock are of the Fifth, this would show the American Indians to be an offshoot of the Atlantean culture, which had its hey-day some 8 to 9 million years ago. Following many cataclysms and migrations into new continents, its remnants survive to this day, an important branch of which are the Indians found in all of the Americas, North, Central and South. Theosophical literature clearly shows that they came from both parts of Atlantis, Atlantic and Pacific, at widely different time-periods. This is evidenced by the wide variety of distinct characteristics of the various Indian tribes, yet all of them have their common origin in the Fourth Root-Race Atlanteans.

This point is important because the [10] Esoteric Schools of the East and West had their origin in the Atlantean culture, surviving until the present day in varying degrees of purity. Since the spiritual teachings of mankind, even from the Third Root-Race, contain in general the same fundamental teachings on a progressive or evolutionary basis, tribal and local deviations have, of course, crept in. Witness the custom among the American Indians of ceremonial human sacrifice. Yet for all we know this practice may have been on an entirely different moral level than we are prepared to understand. It may have been one way of teaching fearlessness with regard to death and the after-death states by first hand experience. It is known that the victim was prepared for the ordeal by special training. Though it is a degenerate practice, it undoubtedly stems from the age-old idea expressed by Jesus, "Give up thy life, if Thou wouldst live," referring to the giving up of the personal life in order to be of impersonal service to the Race. It is obvious that degeneracy did enter the scene, even in Atlantean times, with black magic and attendant sorcery. But there were undoubtedly Esoteric Schools where the true, genuine teachings were kept relatively pure, and others that were a mixture of true and false ideas.

No sensible, accurate interpretation of the Popol Vuh can be arrived at without a clear recognition that its traditional basic teachings came from earlier Mystery Schools, and are accurate or inaccurate according to the degree of their fidelity to the pure and original teachings of genuinely Initiated Teachers. It is also necessary to have an insight brought about by an understanding of the Theosophical teachings, in order to see the parallels. The proper names of this work are difficult to pronounce and the key in which it is written is often an enigma, but the basic underlying truths are there.

According to some authorities, the Popol Vuh reminds one of certain portions of the Jewish Kabalah and is representative of the Divine Traditions of all the Toltec tribes. Others indicate that it is known in some form or other to all the American Indians wherever located, as was their Great Initiate - Quetzalcoatl (Gucumatz - The Plumed Serpent, a term, meaning Great Initiate or Teacher).

In Dr. Guthrie's translation and commentary, he calls it the "Book of the Holy Assembly." Here it must be clear that Assembly (or Senate as others have called it) does not have the same meaning as our congressional or political bodies of today. In those days of Ancient Americans, only the Wisest men, endowed with spiritual merit, the quality of good judgment and clear seeing, were permitted to be members of this governing body. Hence, any laws, decrees or teachings handed down by them would differ widely in context and value from that which emerges from modern political congresses the world over, or from any political leaders. The "assemblymen" of the Quiches, or any other main Indian group of the higher categories, were either genuinely Initiated Spiritual Teachers of some degree, or advanced disciples on their way to becoming such, for the reason that the teachings mentioned in the Popol Vuh reveal an esoteric spiritual form of knowledge that would [11] be known only to, or taught by, this category of the human race.

Dr. Guthrie's very readable and enlightening commentary (in The Word), concerning the recondite and difficult text of the manuscript itself, says that, "the Popol Vuh is the only Bible which has taught the gradual creation of man, correctly accounted for the monkey races as a degeneration or offshoot, mentioned a deluge in which Lemuria might have been submerged after volcanic eruptions (Third Root-Races), described a higher man, the Atlantean type (Fourth Root-Race or Coenolithic age) also destroyed, and described the dawn of historic civilization appearing together with the Fifth Root-Race, or Aryan Races of the present day."

He also gives credit to H.P. Blavatsky for several apt references made by her in The Secret Doctrine, especially her suggestion that the Zibac (of the Popol Vuh) was the same as the Mexican Artufas Sebac; in the account of mystical cave worship of the Artufas held underground, the Third Root-Race man was said to have been created out of Sebac, meaning egg, which he actually was. De Bourbourg indicates that Zibac, in Quiche, means the pith of one kind of reeds as used by the natives to make mats, suggesting that the root signification is the same as the egg, or inner seed.

Another idea expressed by H.P. Blavatsky and easily discernible in the MSS. is the septenary principle pertaining to man and the Universe, also the ten and the twelve. The story of the trials and tests of the candidate for initiation into the Mysteries is clear beyond the shadow of a doubt, showing that he must be highly intelligent, clairvoyant, extremely courageous and pure in heart, in order successfully to pass through "the horrors," and prove himself unafraid and worthy to possess Nature's secrets for the benefit of the whole human race.

According to Manly P. Hall, in his Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy: "No other book sets forth so completely as the Popol Vuh the initiatory rituals of a great School of mystical philosophy. This volume alone is sufficient to establish incontestably the philosophical excellence of the red race."

Speaking of this ancient work in her Isis Unveiled (Vol. I, p. 548.), H.P. Blavatsky says: "We have read the Popol-Vuh in its original translation, and the review of the same by Max Muller, and out of the former find shining a light of such brightness, that it is no wonder that the matter-of-fact, skeptical scientists should be blinded by it."

In conclusion: when will man take off the veil of misconceptions that have clouded his vision down the centuries, and directly perceive or be taught the Wisdom that is to be found in the Popol Vuh among other great Scriptures, as made clear by the Theosophical teachings? Is it asking too much of modern archeological science to investigate the Popol Vuh Manuscript, as Dr. Guthrie and others have explained it, and to unveil the life and culture of these ancient peoples, by going deeper than merely excavating the earthly fragments of their ruins, deeper towards the inner meaning of their symbols and glyphs? [12]


Iverson L. Harris

In various fields of Theosophy thought and endeavor, a hope - nay, a yearning and a prayer - have been voiced, that all who have drunk at the Pierian spring of the Ancient Wisdom might present to the world a solid front. A careful study of Theosophical history and close observation of the current scene lead to the conviction that solidarity can be born, be nurtured, and grow to maturity, without requiring students to join any particular Theosophical organization or to change or surrender the present affiliations (if any), in which they find themselves at home.

The basic prerequisites are simple and acceptable to all. They are: for all students to bear in mind two fundamental concepts which are common to every organized group and have been so since shortly after the foundation of the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875. These basic concepts, alas, have sometimes been more honored in the breach than in the observance. But it need not be so any longer. The two all-important concepts are so familiar to every student of Theosophy that it may seem trite to repeat them.

The first is the principle of Universal Brotherhood; the second, equally important, is the motto of the Theosophical Society: "There is no religion higher than truth." It is essential that Universal Brotherhood be accepted, not merely in abstracto as a sound, philosophical principle that compels recognition of our spiritual oneness with all humanity; it demands also day-to-day exercise of brotherly consideration and kindness towards all other Theosophists. Recognizing the motto of the Theosophical Society, not merely as an attractive slogan, but as a basic, essential part of our daily meditation and efforts, we will then seek truth as dispassionately and searchingly as does a serious scientist in the field of epistemology.

Everyone of us can examine his own heart and mind in utter candor and ask himself: Do I always practice brotherhood? Do I always place truth ahead of my own prejudices and predilections? With every earnest student daily asking himself these and similar questions which should be easy and natural to all who have accepted the principle of Universal Brotherhood and who conscientiously embrace the motto of the Theosophical Society, an inner solidarity of all such Theosophists will be already born. Like Athena, it will spring full-grown from the brow of Zeus.

Neither of these two basic prerequisites of solidarity is enough by itself. One cannot just be brotherly and kindly and at the same time proclaim to the world as Theosophy pipe-dreams that repel the scientific or the honestly critical mind. Neither can one condemn, repudiate or 'expel' fellow-students who, rather than accept a priori the claims made for or by anyone that he is endowed with clairvoyant powers or is the recipient of Mahatmic guidance, stand firmly on the age-old rule: "By their fruits shall ye know them."

It would be a simple matter for one familiar with Theosophical history to [13] point specifically to individuals or groups that have egregiously failed to practice brotherhood or to examine critically claims to occult knowledge and authority. Such a specific naming of names might make this a more readable article! But it is far better for individual members of each group - especially those charged with determining policy - themselves to look into the record and see wherein individuals in their respective groups or the group as a whole, have failed to practice brotherhood or to seek truth at all costs to themselves, and, having faced facts with candor and detachment, to determine that similar departures from basic Theosophical principles shall not be encouraged or permitted in the future.

In The Mahatma Letters, Page 367, the Master K.H. gives a clear-cut injunction emphasizing the first prerequisites to solidarity:

"Beware then, of an uncharitable spirit, for it will rise up like a hungry wolf in your path, and devour the better qualities of your nature which have been springing into life. Broaden instead of narrowing your sympathies; try to identify yourself with your fellows, rather than to contract your circle of affinity. However caused ... a crisis is here, and it is a time for the utmost practicable expansion of your moral power. It is not the moment for reproaches or vindictive recriminations, but for united struggle."

On Page 246, the second requisite for solidarity is stressed by the same Master:

"It is not physical phenomena that will ever bring conviction to the hearts of the unbelievers in the 'Brotherhood' but rather phenomena of intellectuality, philosophy and logic, if I may so express it."

On page 24 he combines both requisites for solidarity in a positive statement as to the main purpose of the Theosophical Society:

"The Chiefs want a 'Brotherhood of Humanity,' a real Universal Fraternity started; an institution which would make itself known throughout the world and arrest the attention of the highest minds."

Is there any sincere Theosophical student or any group of Theosophical students that can challenge the validity of the foregoing propositions to bring to birth real inner solidarity among all Theosophists?


"In the panic pursuit of sensation, and protection against fate, each man's demon urges him, with terror-stricken whispers, to struggle against all other men. Of ten parts of human power, nine are consumed in this struggle, where each undoes the other's work, all pulling different ways, and neutralizing each other's strength. Yet the one part which remains is enough to do all the work of the world. Judge then what lavish excess of power we shall have, when we no longer thwart but strengthen each other's wills. The demons in us fight against each other like demons. But the genius in each can no more hinder the genius in another than sunbeams can clash, in the blue sea of the ether." - Charles Johnston, The Song of Life, p. 33. [14]


Henry T. Edge

Do Not Confuse Theosophy With The Theosophical Society

Many excellent individuals are crippled or paralyzed in their usefulness to the Theosophical movement through a failure on their part to discriminate between the divine science of Theosophy and the organization which has been founded for its promulgation. They seem to regard the Society as a substitute for Theosophy, and even as a kind of degeneration-product thereof; and from this false notion they infer that the prosaic and formal details of organization, which of necessity accompany any movement carried on in this present civilization, disparage the sublime and dignified Philosophy from which they take their name. They are right as to their contempt for the pettiness and narrowness of circumstance, but they do not lay the blame for it in the right place. It is not Theosophy, nor the leaders of the Society, that are to blame for these unwelcome reactions, but the civilization in the midst of which we live, which cannot be reached except by such methods. The waters of life which, at their lofty source, gush forth in unfettered freedom, need, for their diffusion over a bleak and barren waste which they would naturally shun, a somewhat complicated and artificial system of conduit-pipes. Hence the apparently incongruous association of an exalted Philosophy with an organization of sections, lodges, diplomas, fees, bye-laws and the rest. The Philosophy must either be spread by these methods or not at all; and in the latter case it would be of little use to the West. Let those who view with repugnance the business details, at all events make up their minds to regard them as a necessary evil, and refrain from confounding them with the inner spirit that prompts their outward manifestation. Let them, so to say, possess an "office-coat," which they can don and doff at will as occasion requires, and which shall have the magical property of transporting its wearer from the work-a-day world to the forest of meditation, and back, whenever he desires it.

Give As Thou Hast Received

Does it ever occur to those who would sweep away or curtail all propaganda and outward activity, that they are unconsciously making rather selfish proposals - proposals which it would be charitable to attribute to want of thought, that ruthless personator of want of heart? It is surely pertinent, though it may seem harsh, to ask them whether they think that, with their own enlightenment, the whole purpose of the Theosophical movement is now accomplished? They have now, thanks to the kindly efforts of others, attained a point from which they feel competent to travel on alone; but the divine waters that have borne them so much comfort may have reached them through the channel of a penny tract or a stuttering lecturer. Does it not then behove them to stammer forth the message in their turn, and even to distribute the unpretentious leaflet, if the exigencies of a mechanical civilization render such methods of diffusion the only ones available? Gratitude and generosity would demand such a course, [15] even if self-interest did not warn them against running the risk of causing themselves to be rejected from the main stream of Theosophic progress, like useless atoms from a living organism. When an individual, having been shown the true Path by someone else, cares only to avail himself thereof, without first burning to grant others the same boon, he proves himself unworthy to receive in his studies the assistance of those who have gone before. He will have to journey alone, and there will be no one to prevent him from falling into all the odd pitfalls, against which a teacher would have warned him, for

The Condition Of Occult Progress Is Self-Sacrifice

The axiom is true generally and also with regard to the Theosophical movement specially. In the first place all progress in Occultism depends upon the substitution of the new law of unselfishness for the old law of self-interest, just as the abandonment of his house is incumbent upon a man who would travel abroad. To try to be an Occultist and to be selfish at the same time is like pulling two ways at once, and the two forces, acting together, could only produce a resultant in the direction of the left-hand Path of Black Magic and destruction. In the second place, those who have sufficient common-sense to prefer rowing with the stream to rowing against it or independently of it, can only work in harmony with the Theosophical movement by observing the conditions on which it was founded. It was founded by Adepts in Occultism for the purpose of enlightening our materialistic civilization by showing people where the true Path lies, so that it is easy to see what one must do in order to obtain the recognition and help of those Masters of Wisdom. One must carry out their orders, as does an apprentice who desires to learn the trade of his master; and verily the carrying out of arduous and uncongenial tasks should be no hardship to an aspirant after self-mastery! Oh, what a glorious opportunity the Theosophical Society affords for those who burn to realize the precepts of the Bhagavad-Gita about abandoning self-interest in active work. Lucky are they to find a field so ready to their labor, full of difficulties and discomforts and things that go against the grain. Very likely their Egos incarnated in this civilization on purpose to give them this chance of self-abnegation - and yet some would rather have propaganda done away with, so that they could be left in peace to practice self-abnegation apart from the interference of other people!

Universal Brotherhood Should Be Reciprocal

Otherwise it is apt to bear a suspicious resemblance to mere charity. Is it possible that some members of the Theosophical Society join in order that they may be the recipients of that universal brotherhood which, they understand, is diffused or doled out from the central sun of the Society to the humbler planets of that system? If so, we cannot wonder that such persons feel inclined to resign when they find that central suns have a habit of expecting tribute from the satellites they nourish. The movement would soon die of consumption if the vitality that flows through it from its heart - the Masters - were to ebb fruitlessly away, serving only to fatten the idle members and turn them into [16] vampires that should take without giving back. But fortunately there are many members who join the society to work for it, and who, sending back in generous tide the vitality that has been lavished on them, keep up the ceaseless alternate flow of strength between masters and pupils, sun and planets, heart and members. And it would be well indeed for the movement if more of the members recognized that they should join to help and not merely to be helped; and well for them, too, inasmuch as the condition of receiving is that one should give. Active work for the Society and individual progress are converging paths, in spite of a fairly widespread opinion that they diverge; and were this more fully realized there would not be so many aspirants going into business on their own account and trying to live on their own little capital of power and knowledge.

Work Will Come To Those Who Really Desire It

All members of the Society should work for it or leave it; but they need not take the trouble to imagine that they cannot work. The very desire to work is work, inasmuch as it is a force that must have its due effect on the psychic plane, and will sooner or later produce physical results, through another person if not through the originator. But, more than this: desire to work inevitably brings after it the opportunity “as the wheel follows the foot of the ox.” Often Karma interposes delays and obstacles, but these cannot last long. Many people who at first seemed hopelessly involved in the entanglements of worldly duty, have, through the force of persistent desire, thus been drawn into the ranks of the active workers. The power of thought should not be neglected; it is very real, and its effects may, by dint of careful observation, be noted, and faith gained whereby the power will be increased tenfold. Any earnest member of the Theosophical Society, whatever his circumstances, has power, by strong devoted thought in the silence of his chamber, in the bustle of his toil, to help on the movement very considerably. Workers at the various Headquarters often flag for want of inspiration and energy, when a refreshing thought-current from an earnest sympathizer would renew their strength.


"There is no freedom so great, no happiness so large, so wide-reaching, as the giving of self in service. It is the hero who gives himself. If he did not give himself utterly, there would be no heroism in it. It is the giving which is heroic.

"And so it is with love. Where there is questioning about it - not uncertainty because uncertainty is always very natural in these things; one wishes to be sure - but where there is a question about the values involved, where there is a selfish searching of 'what I want,' there is no heroism, no love, no self-giving. There is not the ghost of a shadow of a chance there for the godlike, heroic quality of self-renunciation ....I pity from my soul the man or woman who has not learned the exquisite joy of giving of the self. There is not anything on earth that equals it in beauty, in grandeur, in sublimity, and in the peace and richness it brings to both heart and mind." - G. de Purucker, Wind of the Spirit, p. 54.