A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XVI
No. 4 (82) - Spring 1960

[Cover photo: Dr. Henry Travers Edge, 1867-1946. (See biographical note on page 16.)]


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.



"The Divine Wisdom we call Theosophy, poorly as we understand it, teaches us one thing, and that is that in each embodiment of life and in life as a whole there is infinite beauty, infinite riches, and it is man's task to make himself its channel, an instrument for its syllabled expression. This is possible only as each ceases to live and act for himself, centred in his pleasures, schemes, importance and ambitions, but lives for the whole, for all life, throwing himself open to it and taking it into his heart. That is what Theosophy means, translated into terms of living, and not just a propagandist gospel, a set of intellectual dogmas or propositions to be enunciated and believed in, without letting the water of life break through our encrustations. It is only when life becomes for each one of us, in his measure, an unconscious creation and a continual opening from within, that the whole group of us who constitute the Society will become a channel for ever-new forces and create in the Society a magnetic field, capable of electrifying those who come within its radiation, and of drawing into it people who can be vital channels of Truth.

"The future of the Society depends, to my mind, not on the largeness of its organization nor upon how respectable and well-settled it is, as respectability is usually counted, but upon how much genuineness there is in each one of us, how much earnestness in subordinating ourselves to the work to which we are called for the good of our fellow-beings, in short, upon how much correspondence there is between the benign wisdom that is Theosophy and the ways of our life and action. The Society should not become a mere machine for us to tend, uphold and run mechanically, collecting members as we can and making noise to collect them. The aim of each one of us must be to pour into the movement what he can give to it of himself which will be of value to others, what comes from his heart, his dedication and the pure expression of the truth he perceives." - N. Sri Ram, Convention Address, The Theosophist, January, 1960. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

There is a subject of thought pertaining to the world of today which should be of primary importance to the student of Theosophy. It should be widely discussed in Theosophical gatherings as well as on the printed page of Theosophical journals. For some reason or other, however, it is rarely brought up, and when it is, receives but scant attention, while in some places it is obviously ignored and, if possible, hushed up.

This subject concerns the unpleasant fact that the era of fantastic scientific achievement along material lines, of enormously increased economic well-being in some nations, and of the highest known "standard of living," to use a well known slogan, coincides with the greatest downfall of ethical standards, the most entrenched selfishness, and the most widespread corruption from one end of the globe to another. How is this to be explained?

No easy explanation is, of course, possible, but certain other collateral facts in the existing situation may help to explain this.

First of all, we have permitted purely material concerns to dominate our minds to the exclusion of practically everything else. It is doubtful whether this can be laid at the door of research-scientists who are responsible for astounding discoveries; these men are more often than not individuals of very unworldly nature, seeking no personal power or even recognition, and woefully unaware at times about the misuse that lies in store for their discoveries. But there is profit to be made from scientific discoveries, and power to be gained from their exploitation. As long as this is so, millions of people will abuse the results of scientific know-how and drag scientific achievements down to the level of personal gratification and power-mad lust.

What we have come to call "high standard" of living concerns material gadgets almost exclusively. Their infinite multiplication has resulted in a hypnotic effect upon human minds, especially in the Occident, minds utterly unable to think in terms of abstract thought and unaware of the implications of this. Where do we find men and women including in the "high standard" of living such items as, for instance, honesty, humility, steadfastness, self abnegation, self-control, sympathy for others, compassionate action, integrity, and a few other qualities of soul and mind which are an integral portion of true manhood or womanhood?

Next we come to the fact that the standing of people and nations and their worth are judged by their power, outward magnitude, and ability to impose their own ideas - however bad they may be - upon others, in some violent or at least forceful manner, regardless of obvious consequences. Mutual understanding, forgiveness of wrong, yielding of a few minor points to gain some important moral victory - these things are terra incognita to most people, and seem to be utterly nonexistent as far as the mutual relation of nations is concerned.

Next on the list, but not next in importance, is the general condition of people whose so-called education has taught them that self-assertion is one of the primary objectives of life, and [4] that only those who can show personal strength in achieving their desires, are worthy to be counted. The everyday life is one of mad self-assertion, of selfish lust for power, and of cunning devices to outwit the other fellow and eliminate him if possible.

The only time, it seems, when the richer part of a human being comes to the fore, and when he begins to manifest the finer qualities of his inner nature, is when some disaster strikes calling for widespread help of those who are the victims, whether it be war, earthquake or flood. The deduction from this latter fact is obvious: the more secure a human being is, the more he has of material goods, and the farther away he may be in thought and actual experience from human suffering, the more selfish he becomes; the exceptions to this rule exist, but they are too few to count.

No civilization in the true sense of this word can ever be achieved by means of scientific discoveries alone, or by means of political-economic adjustments, or a game of power-politics, or the insane delusion of complete and fool-proof "security" of all men against the ravages of illness, old-age or accidents. In these may inhere a few good ideas, as adjuncts to the main central theme, but no more than that. And the central theme is the building of an ethical foundation upon which is to be reared the super-structure of a worldwide commonwealth of the people. This cannot be achieved short of a gradual and basic change of human minds and hearts, their re-orientation from the direction of "desire" towards the direction of "service." Only then can the achievements of science become of permanent use to the greatest number of men. As they stand today, they constitute the greatest risk for the continued existence of the people, and a constant source of abuse.

To talk about world disarmament sounds grand, but is completely unrealistic in a world where millions of people are ready for a fight, sometimes with their own neighbors, at the slightest provocation, and own weapons for that purpose, "just in case." To talk about democracy in a world where most people are engaged in inflicting their own egos upon those of others, is to fool people by mere slogans. And to make people believe that their well-being consists in securing for themselves the greatest number of material gadgets, while half of the world lives in abject poverty, crassest ignorance, and despicable dirt, is to build for a future of severe disappointment, when finally the real issues become clarified.

It is our feeling that the above subjects of thought should receive far more attention among students of Theosophy than they have so far, and that their discussion should be illumined by the light of Theosophical teachings, especially those of karma, reincarnation, cycles and the inter-relation of the spiritual and material worlds in the evolution of man.


"... Who does more for a nation - the one who makes a fuss about it or the one who, without thinking of it, raises it to universality by the beauty and greatness of his actions, and gives it fame and immortality?" - Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago, p. 104. [5]


Dr. Henry Travers Edge

I may describe myself as an individual with a mental temperament, born in a quiet country parsonage. The ancient church, dating back to Norman times, where my father officiated, imbued my sensitive mind with an atmosphere of religion in its mellower and less exacting form, such as is inspired by stately Gothic cathedrals and sublime church music; so that Christianity meant for me far more than the harsh dogmatic formalism met in some quarters, and which Theosophists sometimes assail under the impression that they are impugning Christianity. Besides this foundation of aspiration towards the sublime, I had from early years a great interest in science and preferred scientific books to any other.

It was such a man as this who found himself in 1887 studying science at the University of Cambridge. But already before this date my mind had acquired a bent towards the mystical and occult in Nature. I had read, among other books, The Night-Side of Nature, by Catherine Crowe, a book in which that able writer has brought together a collection of testimony to the reality of ghosts, apparitions, and other related phenomena, from all countries and ages. To a mind sufficiently unprejudiced to be able to form a just estimate of the value of evidence, such a record was convincing; and I naturally sought further information from any available source. Bulwer Lytton's occult novels were among the number, and I dabbled in Swedenborgianism, Psychic Research, and other matters.

A trouble at this state was due to the fact that Bulwer Lytton's magicians belong to the dark side of Nature, or are unattractive in other ways; so that a conflict was set up in me between the aspiration for knowledge and power on the one hand, and the voice of conscience and lofty feelings on the other. Here my words will surely find an echo in the heart of many readers who have had inner conflicts of one kind or another. That this conflict was soon destined to be resolved by Theosophy, with its presentation of Masters of Wisdom and Compassion, will appear in what follows.

The year 1887, then, found me studying science at Cambridge University, and the date August 15 is a memorable landmark; for it was on that day that a chance meeting with a friend, who mentioned Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism, sent me to the University Library to study the very few Theosophical books then available, such as The Occult World, Light on the Path, Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky, books by Eliphas Levi and Franz Harman, Theosophy, Religion, and Occult Science, by Olcott. Thus I discovered the existence of White Magicians; the conflict above mentioned was resolved, and I had found an ideal which did not run counter to my feelings of rectitude.

On the other hand, being a member of the Psychical Research Society, which had an important center in Cambridge, and where I met F.W.H. Meyers and Professor Henry Sidgwick, I had read the Society's alleged exposure of Madame Blavatsky; and having no means of knowing its falsity, I [6] was troubled in my mind. It is however to be observed that this circumstance did not in the least discourage me in my determination to pursue Theosophy. Having written to the then Headquarters, and obtained an introduction to a member residing near Cambridge, my doubts about the Psychical Research were speedily removed: and indeed Madame Blavatsky's real character stood revealed in her works - and the same may be said of Meyers, Sidgwick, and Co.

It was at the close of 1887 that, taking advantage of the ending of the autumn term at Cambridge, I found my way to London to visit H.P. Blavatsky for the first time. It will easily be understood how every detail of the circumstances connected with that momentous expedition has impressed itself indelibly on my mind and lingers fondly in my memory throughout the years that have passed; such associations are familiar to us all. Those were the days of the smoky Underground Railway and the horse omnibuses with the 'knife board' on the top, and where you might get a seat beside a purple-faced driver in the style of Mr. Tony Weller. The now ubiquitous tea shop was then totally nonexistent, nor had the cheap popular daily paper and the weekly scrap magazine as yet begun to spread their influence on the public mind. This London has vanished into Limbo, and it is likely that a visit to the actual localities might result in disillusionment, as usually happens when we vainly seek to reconstitute experiences which live only in our memory.

Madame Blavatsky at that time was living in the house of Bertram Keightley and his nephew Archibald Keightley, two young men of nearly the same age, who have earned lasting merit by the generous hospitality which they accorded her. It was a semi-detached residence, standing in small grounds, and situated in a residential neighborhood between the West-End proper and the western suburbs, and just north of the great east-west artery in the part where it is known as Bayswater Road. I arrived just before the time for the evening meal, and, after being received by Bertram Keightley, we went down to the dining-room which was in the rear and connected with H.P. Blavatsky's reception room in front by folding doors. Soon the wonderful personage whom I was so eager to see made her appearance, and I must try to convey a picture of my first impressions.

In person she was rather short, and, as is visible in many of her portraits, she was at this time corpulent, owing to maladies caused by her labors and sufferings; the effect being enhanced by the need for loose and easy apparel. It may be added parenthetically that her physician had found her blood in a state which ordinarily would be inconsistent with continued life: a proof of the mighty will and devotion which kept her at her labors despite such appalling obstacles. My first impression was that of a perfectly natural person, free from all affectations, artificialities, and formal disguises, such as we all habitually wear in deference to social convention and to hide from each other our nakedness. She talked easily, passing from subject to subject, in much the same way as a child might talk, though of course with the knowledge of a much traveled and experienced observer. Her ease of [7] manner evoked a sympathetic response in the listener. For a most eloquent portrayal of her character and bearing, reference may be made to the article by "Saladin" (W. Stewart Ross), editor of The Agnostic Journal, printed in Lucifer, June, 1891. It is much too long to reproduce here, but two sentences may be quoted:

"She was simply an upright and romantically honest giantess. 'Impostor' indeed! She was almost the only mortal I have ever met who was not an impostor."

I cannot give anything like a diary or chronological record, as the details are blurred and form a general picture interspersed with isolated incidents. As I did not live in London, my meetings with H.P.B. were confined to transient visits, when I might either be passing through London or on a short stay with some friend. She used to sit in the front room in the evenings in a large armchair, and receive any visitors who might call. Among members of what might be called the household staff, I recall, besides the two Keightleys, the Countess Wachtmeister, whose name occupies a notable place in the pages of early Theosophical history; Mr. George R.S. Mead, H.P.B.'s secretary; Mr. Claude Falls Wright; Mrs. Cooper-Oakley and her sister Laura Cooper; Miss Kislingbury; Charles Johnston, Sanskrit scholar, who married Vera Zhelihovsky, H.P. Blavatsky's niece; Mr. Richard Harte, an American. Other notable names not included among resident members, are Herbert Burrows, leading Socialist; Dr. Franz Harman, well-known writer on occult subjects; Mrs. Alice Gordon, long resident in India and mentioned in early Theosophical annals; William Kingsland, then a young electrical engineer; Colonel Olcott. Among Hindus may be mentioned U.L. Desai and Rai Baroda K. Laheri. Another personality mentioned in the early annals was Dr. Charles Carter Blake, who had had a prominent career as a member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, in which he figured as a zoologist, following the school of Richard Owen in opposition to Huxley, who advocated evolution by natural selection. Dr. Carter Blake had great erudition, owing to a photographic memory, but was not able to turn it to much account.

While receiving visitors with members of the household, H.P.B. used to smoke, rolling cigarettes of the finest Turkish tobacco, and ready to make one for anybody who might ask. She also generally played "patience," or solitaire as it is called in the United States. This occupation did not interfere in the least with her ability to engage in conversation. Mrs. Campbell-Praed, in her novel, Affinities, which contains a vivid and sympathetic portrait of H.P.B., speaks of her as being able to carry on an animated discussion in English and turn suddenly to interject words into a conversation in French going on behind her. The same writer discusses the remarkable features of H.P.B. - the unusually large light-gray eyes, contradicted by the small alert nose, and this contradicted again by the massive lower part of the face: all this indicative of the remarkable character and attainments. But in estimating the character and conduct of such a being, we must bear in mind the very difficult, the well-nigh impossible task which she had [8] to accomplish - that of living in two very different worlds at once. For, as a messenger of the Lodge of Masters of Wisdom, she must keep in touch therewith; while at the same time she must accommodate herself to the world around her. And what a world was this to her sight, to whom conventional screens were transparencies, who read people for what they were at a glance? This alone is enough to account for eccentricities of demeanor which ordinary critics, ignorant of the real reason, would attribute to reasons within the limits of their own comprehension. What produced more impression on me than any one thing may here be mentioned. Standing on an easel in one corner of the sitting-room was a framed portrait in oils of H.P.B.'s Master, "M." This was no imaginary picture, but a genuine portrait of a real man. It must be understood that, the effect produced being the paramount concern, questions as to how this portrait was made were of quite secondary interest and unable to influence my judgment. Rather than estimate the authenticity of the portrait in terms of available evidence as to its production, I should reverse the reasoning and infer the means of production from the result achieved. So I am only too ready to accept the statement that the artist (Hermann Schmiechen) was caused by H.P.B. to see a visual image of the Master. However this may be, I seemed to have now become aware of the reality of such a being, and my life was thereupon and ever since inspired by the presence of an ideal that was no mental abstraction or reasoned construct, but something actual.

On my second visit to H.P.B. she spoke of a visit which she said I had made before my first visit, and in which I had told her about myself. The things which she reported me as having been said tallied with fact and could not have been got from anyone but myself. On my inquiry as to whether it was in my astral form that I had come, she replied: "No, he was just as he is now." She described my dress and the description was verified by a friend who was with me as being one which I had actually worn. I cannot give the explanation, for the simple reason that I do not know it; so readers may exercise their own wits upon it.

She also said at one time that, when she first saw me, she said to herself: "Here is a young man who has an eventful occult life before him. He has two paths before him: in one of them he will be happy; in the other miserable. I wonder which he will take."

It was at this time that Lucifer began to be published; and the Esoteric Section, for more advanced students, was founded. In this connexion it will be understood that the more important things are precisely those about which the most reserve must be kept. I was brought into intimate relationship with H.P.B. the Teacher. (Does she not endorse one of her books: "H.P.B. to H.P. Blavatsky, with no kind regards"?) I then knew that she could see into the depths of my being, responding to a sincere knock, showing me my faults and advising as to overcoming them. And thus I acquired unshakable evidence that she was what she was. I dedicated my life to the cause for which she had sacrificed so much; and found the anchorage which has never failed to keep me safe through many trials, many successes. [9]

On one occasion she put into my hands the MS. of the forthcoming Voice of the Silence and sent me to another room to read it. As illustrating the difficulties of carrying on work in those times, it may be mentioned that, as the private pupils did not include any printers, it was necessary for private instructions to be written out in copying ink and reproduced, page by page, by the old-fashioned gelatine graph, the pages being afterwards collected and stitched. This says much for the industry and devotion of the volunteer workers on this task.

Such are a few scattered details of my recollections; it may be that others might be given, but they do not all recur to memory at one time; or they are too fragmentary, too much involved in the context to be of any significance when isolated therefrom; or they are such as might be found in H.P.B.'s writings and thus do not come within the sphere of my special subject. It remains to offer a few concluding remarks. Truly, as I often think, this meeting with H.P.B. was a most marvelous adventure. In the heart of the teeming life of that vast metropolis of the materialistic nineteenth century, to encounter face to face, at the dawn of one's manhood, a real --- ! But why use a word as counter for an abstract idea, when, as we all know, the living individual is the complete summation and full embodiment of all that our thoughts and feelings can dimly foreshow. One of the writers whose impressions are recorded in Lucifer for 1891 says that he felt for the first time that he was in the presence of a Reality. He was one who beheld the Truth before and did not need to go through the tedious and often vain process of discovering the truth by first eliminating every possible (and impossible) source of error.

These then are the reasons why I became a Theosophist - and why I have stayed a Theosophist for over half a century.



Considerable confusion exists among students as to the actual meaning of the term "Deva" as used in Theosophical literature. Various totally erroneous ideas have been allowed to grow up around this term, and a great deal of loose thinking has been indulged in regarding it. This, perhaps, was only to be expected, owing to the very generic nature of this term, and the lack of rigid definitions which are impossible in the very essence of the subject involved.

We publish below some of the most pertinent definitions and explanations out of a large number which can be found in the early Theosophical literature, hoping that these passages will contribute towards a clarification of the meaning. The first passage is from the pen of Col. Henry S. Olcott:

"The word 'Deva' may be employed in either a restricted or broader sense: in the former case, it would mean only the bright (div, to shine) being of the subjective side of nature; in the other, it would include both the good and bad. These 'beings' are not all human souls disincarnate; nor all sub-human entities, evolved by nature in their progress of her labor to produce humanity; but they are both. The Asiatics enumerate countless orders, races and sub-races of them. [10]

They are the Thrones, Principalities and Powers of the Bible; the Yakshini; Pretas; Bhutas; Elementals (Asuras, these are said to be very mischievous); the Vana Devatas, or Hamadryads; the Yakshas, or Gnomes, which guard treasures buried and in mines, etc., etc. Human or elemental, good or bad, benevolent or cruel, graceful or monstrous, - whatever they are or by whatever name called, they are as legitimate results of the eternal, ceaselessly active law of evolution as the plant or animal obscured and classified by the modern philosopher. If we were to attempt to arrange them along a graduated scale of being, we should have to place the elemental spirit Asura or Yakshini at the Zero point, and the Dhyan Chohan, the Planetary Spirit or Angel - the ultimate development of the human entity before (as the Hindus would say) the reunion of the monad with the ALL, or Buddhistically speaking, the attainment of Paranirvana by the perfected Arahat - at the extreme highest degree on the scale. The Philosophy of Buddhism then, as it appears most plainly, has no room for supernaturalism either in the visible and objective, or the invisible and subjective side of the Universe. Everywhere, at every stage, whether it be a question of the nature of rock or man, of man or Deva, it affirms the reign of law and the unbroken sequence of cause and effect." * (*Col. H.S. Olcott, The Theosophist, Vol. IV, July, 1883, p. 263. This is a special Appendix added by him to the French edition of his Buddhist Catechism which had been translated by Comm. D.A. Courmes and was about to be published.)

There is also the most important and comprehensive statement by H.P.B. in The Secret Doctrine, which deserves a very careful consideration.

"The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards. As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth and man - the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm - is the living witness to this Universal Law and to the mode of its action ... The Whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who - whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels - are 'messengers' in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws. They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence; and to call them all pure Spirits without any of the earthly alloy 'which time is wont to prey upon' is only to indulge in poetical fancy. For each of these Beings either was, or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or coming cycle (Manvantara). They are perfected, when not incipient, men; and differ morally from the terrestrial human beings on their higher (less material) spheres, only in that they are devoid of the feeling of personality and of the human emotional nature - two purely earthly characteristics ... Individuality is the characteristic of their respective hierarchies, not of their units ... To appeal to their protection is as foolish as to believe that their sympathy may be secured by any kind of propitiation; for they are, as much as man himself is, the slaves and creatures of immutable Karmic and Kosmic Law ..."* (* Vol. I, pp. 274-76.) [11]

"We will speak of but the Devas and the Pitris.

"The former aerial beings are some of them superior, other inferior, to man. The term means literally the Shining Ones, the resplendent; and it covers spiritual beings of various degrees, including entities from various planetary periods, who take active part in the formation of new solar systems and the training of infant humanities, as well as unprogressed Planetary Spirits, who will, at spiritualistic seances, simulate human deities and even characters of the stage on human history.

"As to the Deva Yonis, they are Elementals of a lower kind in comparison with the Kosmic 'Gods,' and are subjected to the will of even the sorcerer. To this class belong the gnomes, sylphs, fairies, djins, etc. They are the Soul of the elements, the capricious forces in Nature, acting under one immutable Law, inherent in these Centres of Force, with undeveloped consciousness and bodies of plastic mould, which can be shaped according to the conscious or unconscious will of the human being who puts himself en rapport with them. It is by attracting some of the beings of this class that our modern spiritualistic mediums invest the fading shells of deceased human beings with a kind of individual force. These beings have never been, but will in myriads of ages hence be evolved into men. They belong to the three lower kingdoms, and pertain to the Mysteries on account of their dangerous nature."* (* H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. VI, pp. 188-89. We recommend the study of the entire essay which is on the general subject of "Elementals.")

From these and other definitions scattered through the many writing o H.P.B. and her own Teachers, it is sufficiently evident that the Devas are very generic term. It means many types of beings, and many degrees of perfectibility. The most important point to bear in mind is that the term "Deva" has more to do with spiritual consciousness than with the type of body it may inhabit for a while. Hence any entity which has a spark of divine life in it in process of unfoldment can be termed a "Deva." This fully applies to human beings as well, as far as their divine nature is concerned.

On whatever plane of being the Devas may manifest at any one time, and whatever degree of consciousness they may have they are at all times an integral part of the same life-stream of evolution to which we men and higher beings belong. Some of them have never yet reached the level of human self consciousness, and others have transcended it ages ago.

It is always difficult to arrive at any kind of definition in regard to terms with such a generic meaning and wide-range usage. But in reality it is perhaps not any more difficult than the ordinary word "man" which is applied by all of us both to the most savage member of humanity and to the highest exponent of spiritual humanity - the Adept or Mahatman. Such words require descriptive adjectives when used in any particular sense, otherwise they become too diffuse for any definite meaning. [12]


Boris de Zirkoff

There is first the intuition of the Soul; that haunting vision of might and joy that has been hovering over us through the ages. We have sought that joy through the natural world; through long lives of thirsty desire, and ever, as our hands seemed to be closing upon the treasure, it has vanished away, leaving our hearts desolate, longing for the immortal. We have sought the Soul through long ages of human life, following it in hope and fear, in desire and hate, in pleasure and sorrow, and again we have thought to surprise the eternal secret, and capture that alluring joy of the immortals. But we are seeking still, and ever within our hearts is that immortal longing, haunting, importunate, which leaves us never, and will not be stilled, but whispers to us in the silence, with a fascinating sweetness that makes dull all the voices of the world.

That restless thirst of joy is the longing for the Soul, for our immortal selves, the heirs of the everlasting; and we shall hear those haunting whispers till they break forth into the song of the Eternal.

In a lull of weariness and fever, when we cease for a while from our desires and dreams, will come clear vision of the Soul, a taste of immortal valor, of imperious power, of triumphant joy. And thenceforth, for ever, we shall know that the Soul is; even when the clouds and darkness are heavy upon us, and our vision is gone, we shall endure to the end, remembering that there is the Soul.

With that memory comes a sense of life, strong, exultant, that desires not the cloying, weakening sweetness of sensuous life; for it thirsts no more, after the first taste of the immortal waters; or thirsts for these alone. Nor will the Soul cast forward any more hopes or fears into the future, either for this world, or the next, or any future life; for with the sense of the immortal treasure close at hand what shall a man need to hope for, or what shall he fear? Therefore the soul of man shall stand upright, thirsting not for the feats of the world, hoping no more, neither fearing any more.

Then shall follow peace. The heart's pains shall be stilled; softly, slowly shall the quiet of immortal might descend upon the soul from the greater Soul, and we shall understand how the gods can work for ever, yet not grow weary. There shall be peace from all imaginings, hopes shall no longer beckon us away from where our treasure is; for with possession comes the payment of hope. Fear shall no longer lash us with the unpitying scourge that drives us to all cruelty and injustice, for where fear is, there is cruelty; where cruelty is, there is fear. We shall desire no more, for the fullness of life leaves nothing to be desired; nor shall we hate any more, for seeing ourselves in all things, how can we hate ourselves? The soul cannot hate its own exultant life. So shall come peace, the quiet of the heart, and glad heart's ease.

And from heart's-ease shall follow peace through all the powers, that have so long been shaken by the fever of the world. And there shall come a recovery from all earthly pain, and the vigor of life restored to health like the [13] young-eyed gods. Every power of man is now ready for the great work; but before he can undertake it, he must cease from the idols of the world, and their false worship. He must no longer follow the hot dusty ways of the men of desire, those who are driven along by fear and thirst for the banquets of the world. Nor will he desire these ways, or endure them, for he knows the quiet pathway of the Eternal, where there is peace.

Ceasing from false idols, he begins to follow his Genius; and genius will set the immortal imprint on all he does. For its way is a divine way, a yoke that is easy, and a burden that is light. And the secret of genius, of the Genius in every man, is easily told. In the heart of every man, after he has caught the vision, and knows that the Soul is; after he has reached peace, heart's-ease, and quietude of all his powers; after he has ceased from idols, and drawn back from the hot pathways of desire; in his clean heart there shall yet dwell one desire, one longing, one imperious and haunting wish; and it shall seem to him that nothing in life could be sweeter than to carry that wish out; he shall have for it all enthusiasm, and the willingness of a freeman's service. And that secret desire of the heart is his life's work, the one thing he can do supremely well; the private revelation whispered to him alone, that not even the gods can overhear; not even the sages can foretell.

And his life's work a man will perform with such ready joy, with such enthusiasm and winning power, that all men shall be fascinated, and won by it; and will offer him all they possess for some share of it. Whether it be some new and excellent way of dealing with the natural world, or with the souls of men, there is this secret for everyone. For a statue is only a stone transformed by the power of the Soul, and the greatest picture is a thin layer of pigments stretched over canvas threads; but the Soul's touch makes these mean things divine. And so is it with all its works. Taking the common words that fall from all men's lips, the common dreams that dwell in all men's hearts, the Genius weaves them into a song that shall last for ages, and outwear the hills, ringing in men's hearts and awakening their longing for the song everlasting. So too the twanging of wires may be transformed by the Soul into a magical enchantment, that shall make men forget all the heart's pains, if only the Genius be in it.

And there is nothing in all this mortal world that may not be likewise transformed; even common things and mean are awaiting their poet, their artist, their musician. For all men are inwardly creative and full of genius; and some day each shall bring his gift to life.

And if there be this divine way for the rocks and ores of the natural world, so that they shall breathe with living beauty, what divinity may not come into our meeting with human souls. They indeed can be enkindled with immortal fire, set ringing with a diviner music, lit with colours that never sunrise nor the flowers nor the hills in their purple garments dreamed of; become resonant with a music that shall dull the long chant of the seraphim.

Here is the great work for every [14] man: to express that secret vision which the gods whisper to him alone; in his dealings with the natural world; in his ways with the souls about him. And for each man, the guide is the secret desire of his clean heart. That is what he came into the world to do; that is what he will do better than all living, past or to come. That is what all men will be ready to reward him for doing, as emperors have vied with each other in heaping reward on painters of things beautiful.

Yet a man who follows his path shall need steadfast endurance, and firm faith; nor shall the way be too smooth or easy for his feet; for he has a bad past behind him, and a world yet unclean round about him.

Faith too must go with him, a glow of fire, a surplus power to which all tasks are easy; for what is most admirable in the world has been done almost without effort, with a divine ease; yet great effort has gone to the preparation for it.

Last comes intentness; the bending of a steady will upon the task; for a statue is dreamt by the soul, yet it is carved by firm hands and steady blows, and only the greatest artists can draw a perfect line. And in like manner only a valiant soul can deal fairly with another, even with a little child.


Covering the years 1886-1887.

This new Volume of the Uniform Edition of H.P.B.'s Writings, published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras, India, is now available. As the earlier Volumes, it contains a vast amount of erudition, teachings, and information on a multitude of occult and related subjects. It may be obtained in the United States from The Theosophical Press, P.O. Box 270, Wheaton, Ill., and in Europe from The Theosophical Publishing House, 68 Great Russell St., London, W.C.I, England.
Price in U.S.A.: $8.00; in Great Britain: 42/-. An early publication of Volume VIII is anticipated. [15]



[Recently the magazine Newsweek, in its issue of February 22, 1960, published a remarkable article on the present-day scientific views concerning life on other worlds in space. The article was accompanied by pronouncements from four well known thinkers, whose words clearly show the rapid broadening of ideas that is taking place in every department of thought. We reproduce them below. - Editor, Theosophia.]

"Buddhism recognizes many forms of being, not just human. Man is only one of these forms, not necessarily the highest. Space exploration may find higher beings on other stars or planets. The Buddhist thinks this is quite likely and the discovery of new forms will not be a problem to him, rather something to be expected. Buddha's compassion brings deliverance not only to humans but to all beings - wherever they may be." - Hla Bu, Burmese Philosopher.

"Each new discovery ... is seized upon as the basis of a new attack on Christianity. But, usually, when the popular hubbub has subsided both sides find themselves pretty much where they were before. So it was with Darwinism. So, I cannot help expecting, it will be with the discovery of life on other planets. Our loyalty is due not to our species but to God. His sons are our real brothers even if they have shells or tusks." - C.S. Lewis, Novelist.

"Now man has the capability of taking his machines and himself off of the surface of the earth and of beginning to explore outer space ... And other organisms may be doing similar things at some millions of other regions in the universe ... We remove life from a limited place to a state widely distributed throughout the universe ... We have a complete inversion of our view of man from a trivial to a major cosmic influence." - Melvin Calvin, Biochemist.

"We do not need the supernatural or the miraculous to account for the origin of life, and we have no justification for assuming that long-enduring biological experiments are confined only to the surface of this planet which circles an ordinary star out toward the edge of a typical galaxy ... We may in the future hear less of a Creator and more of 'anti-matter' and 'mirror worlds.' Finality, however, may always elude us." - Harlow Shapley, Astronomer. [16]



Henry Travers Edge, whose portrait appears on the title-page of the present issue, was one of the finest students in the history of the modern Theosophical Movement. He was born at Cubbington, near Leamington, Warwickshire, England, January 6, 1867. His father, Francis Edge, was a Clergyman of the Church of England; his mother was Cecilia Tarratt Edge. He was educated at Malvern College from 1880 to 1886; then at King's College, Cambridge. In 1889 he entered the Natural Sciences Tripos, in chemistry, physics and geology, taking high honors. He then studied a year in Germany, and taught in various institutions in England until he left for the U.S.A.

Mr. Edge's first acquaintance with Theosophy was on July 15, 1887, when he read A.P. Sinnett's The Occult World in the Library of Cambridge University. Late the same year he visited H.P. Blavatsky at 17 Lansdowne Road, Holland Park, London, and in 1888 received his diploma of fellowship in The Theosophical Society. He soon became a personal pupil of H.P.B. and was entrusted by her with private literary and office duties which he continued to perform until her death on May 8, 1891. At the time of the so-called "split" in the Society, in 1894-95, Mr. Edge sided with William Q. Judge. In 1899 he resigned his post as Demonstrator in Practical Physics at the Royal College of Science, South Kensington, London, and accepted Katherine Tingley's invitation to join the Theosophical Headquarters' Staff at Point Loma, California.

For forty-six years Dr. Edge contributed gratis his time and talents to the educational and literary work conducted at Point Loma. He taught Latin and Greek, mathematics, physics, chemistry and geology; he conducted classes in The Secret Doctrine and other writings; he was a prolific contributor to various Theosophical magazines and journals, starting with H P.B.'s own Lucifer, and continuing in the periodicals published at Point Loma. Writing under his own name, and under various pseudonyms, he produced literally hundreds of valuable articles and essays on a large variety of subjects. His writings reveal the sound, balanced judgment of a Cambridge-trained scientist and scholar, illuminated by his life-long study of the Esoteric Philosophy. Among his lengthier monographs should be mentioned the following: The Universal Mystery-Language and Its Interpretation; Theosophical Light on the Christian Bible; and the Manuals on Theosophy and Christianity, The Astral Light, and Evolution.

Dr. Edge was one of the original incorporators of Theosophical University, on December 18, 1919, and became its President in 1939, which post he held until June 19, 1946. He passed away at Covina, Calif., September 19, 1946.

In his personal life Dr. Edge was a man of very few words, calm and dignified, kindly and exceedingly patient, with a deep understanding of human weaknesses as well as their potential strength; he was essentially a scholar, wholly devoted and dedicated to the lofty objectives of our Movement.