A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XX
No. 2 (96) - Fall 1963

[Cover photo: Qutb-Minar, Delhi, India. (From an old engraving.)]


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: $2.00 a year (four issues); single copy 50 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.



“... A thousand years hence ... perhaps in less, America may be what England now is! The innocence of her character that won the hearts of all nations in her favor may sound like a romance, and her inimitable virtue, as if it had never been. The ruins of that liberty which thousands bled for or suffered to obtain, may just furnish materials for a village tale or extort a sigh from rustic sensibility, while the fashionable of that day, enveloped in dissipation, shall deride the principle and deny the fact.

When we contemplate the fall of empires and the extinction of nations of the ancient world, we see but little to excite our regret other than the mouldering ruins of pompous palaces, magnificent monuments, lofty pyramids, and walls and towers of costly workmanship. But when the empire of America shall fall, the subject for contemplative sorrow will be infinitely greater than crumbling brass or marble can inspire. It will not then be said, here stood a temple of vast antiquity - here rose a Babel of invisible height - or there a palace of sumptuous extravagance; but here, Ah painful thought! The noblest work of human wisdom, the grandest scene of human glory, the fair cause of freedom … rose and fell!” - Thomas Paine, Letter to Miss Kitty Nicholson, London, January 6, 1789.


He may let me do very little, but the little He will let me do, I intend to do it all.” - Pope John XXIII. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Best known today as the author of The Secret Doctrine - fountainhead of the Esoteric Philosophy - Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was already famous for her Isis Unveiled and her demonstrations of occult powers when, after first finding a prima facie case for at least some of these “wonders,” a Committee of the Society for Psychical Research in 1885 pronounced them fraudulent. The Committee, including F. W. H. Myers, E. Gurney, F. Podmore and the Sidgwicks - some of whom had witnessed phenomena they could not explain - authorized Richard Hodgson, LL.D., to write the main part of their official Report, the first notable expose in Parapsychology and long regarded as the most brilliant and conclusive of all such “exposures.” Yet doubt persisted, as when, in 1902, Mr. Podmore speculated whether H. P. B. might have possessed “some power” capable of causing witnesses to “see visions and dream dreams.”

It is therefore with genuine pleasure that we record the appearance in print of Adlai E. Waterman’s challenging book entitled: Obituary: The “Hodgson Report” on Madame Blavatsky: 1885-1960, which has been published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras 20, India, with a Preface by our good friend, N. Sri Ram, President of The Theosophical Society.

The 92 pages of this small book constitute an unanswerable array of facts and arguments, a damaging re-examination of the infamous “Hodgson Report,” and a final verdict which no amount of double·talk on the part of both enemies and captious critics can possibly alter. Though small in size, the book is epoch-making.

Adlai E. Waterman brings a new approach to the problem, drawing mainly on the little known testimony of witnesses hostile to H. P. B., especially that of Monsieur and Madame Coulomb who, the Committee admitted, were untrustworthy persons. With penetrating insight, he shows, for the first time, that the “only two positive accusations” the Committee brought against H. P. B. were founded on the Coulombs’ evidence; and that Dr. Hodgson - despite his denial - based his Report on the Coulombs’ uncorroborated testimony, while at the same time methodically suppressing great portions of their previously published testimony wherever it contradicted his own conclusions, or betrayed the self-contradictory nonsense of the Coulomb story. Dr. Hodgson’s “odd behavior” prompts the author to liken it to that of “a common prosecutor obligated to building a case at all costs.” Equally startling is a meticulously documented comparison of testimony which, for the first time, reveals the veracity of H. P. B. and that of her principal accuser in relation to each other - an accuser hitherto thought to be the greatest Psychical Researcher of the Golden Age of Psychical Research in England .

From time to time we hear it said even by students within the Theosophical organizations, whose tongues work overtime while their brains are on vacation, that H.P.B.’s occult [4] phenomena, true or false, are not today of any moment or importance in Theosophical thought; and that the question of the authenticity of these marvels does not involve the validity of the work she did and left in the shape of her voluminous writings. This line of thought is disposed of by the author in a masterly manner. He points out with unbeatable logic that “while it is correct that H. P. B. discountenanced any attempt to justify philosophy by occult phenomena alone, nevertheless, it was her claim that, to a degree, the information contained in her famous works, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, embodies knowledge due to the independent researches of long generations of Adepts, among whom were her ‘Teachers’ or ‘Brothers,’ Mahatmas whose occult faculties were said to afford a special penetration into the secrets of time and Nature denied to common man. Moreover, her writings, published initially by Theosophists or by the Theosophical Society of her day (founded, according to her claims, under the inspiration of these Teachers), represent Theosophy in ‘its practical bearing’ as ‘purely divine ethics.’ What then becomes of these writings, this ‘knowledge,’ and these ‘divine ethics,’ if once it is conceded that all or some of the phenomena represented as proofs of the occult faculties and existence of these unseen Adepts were simply tricks performed by H. P. B. sometimes helped by confederates?”

It might also be said in this connection that as some portions of the manuscripts of both Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, were allegedly precipitated by one or more of the “Brothers,” such claims may have been merely “tricks” played by H. P. B. on her devotees. Hence the teachings contained in these manuscripts may also have been, from the very outset, fraudulent phantasies evolved by her out of the depths of her rich imagination. How do you like this line of approach? Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus!

And this is why the complete and final vindication of H.P.B.’s occult phenomena is of vital importance today, as it always was!

Adlai E. Waterman deserves the gratitude of all Theosophists for a job well done!

It is our firm hope that the subscribers of Theosophia will avail themselves of the opportunity of securing a copy of this very modestly-priced book ($1.25).* (* Obituary: “The Hodgson Report” on Madame Blavatsky: 1885-1960, may be ordered from the Editorial Offices of Theosophia, 551 So. Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles, Calif. 90005, U.S.A.; from The Theosophical Press, P.O. Box 270, Wheaton, III., U.S.A., from The Theosophical Publishing House, Ltd., 68 Great Russell Street, London, W.C. 1, England. Considerable demand for this book may occasion some delay in delivery.) And we would like to voice a fervent wish that many of them would buy two copies of it, and place one of them in the Public Library of the city they live in, or any other Institution of their choosing. This book should be in every one of the Libraries which have scoured in years past - and have now on their shelves - all the scurrilous books written by enemies of H. P. B. to discredit her and her work. Next time some “smarty” among the newspaper or magazines editors publishes another periodic attack on [5] H. P. B., let us write him a courteous but firm letter, enclosing a copy of Waterman’s booklet; seeds of right action have a way of sprouting at strange and unexpected times!

There is another very important angle to this whole subject. It is the fact that the majority of the large Encyclopaedias of the world have for many years past incorporated in their accounts of H. P. B1avatsky’s life and work Hodgson’s appraisal of her; in some cases the entire account was based on such an appraisal. Of recent years, this has begun to change, but not fast enough. There are still a great many Encyclopaedias·and Reference Works in which H. P. Blavatsky appears in the most unfavorable light. Notable exceptions to this are the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Americana , wherein factual - even though somewhat inadequate - information un H. P. B. has been published.

The field of World Encyclopaedias is a very important one. Other writers consult them all the time for information on various subjects. Any unfavorable account concerning H. P. B. or the Theosophical Movement derived from such sources is apt to be repeated in other books. Hence it is of primary importance to see to it that World Encyclopaedias are supplied with adequate and correct data concerning the life and work of H. P. Blavatsky; in some cases - perhaps in the majority of them - pressure has to be exercised to demand a speedy alteration of scurrilous accounts and misinformation. The Editorial Staff of the main Encyclopaedias of the World should be supplied with a copy of Waterman’s Book whenever possible. This would require some coordination of action, and unless it is done from one central place, unnecessary duplication might result. The Office of Theosophia will be glad to handle this mailer at the request of any of our readers and students.

A concerted effort on the part of Theosophists to correct existing misinformation in printed literature concerning H. P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Movement, and to expunge false statements on these subjects from the best known Reference Works throughout the world, would unquestionably speed the day when the character of H. P. B. and her mission will be fully rehabilitated and appear in their true light.

The funeral ceremony of Richard Hodgson’s Report is now in full swing, and friends need not send any flowers!


Relativity Theory -
In shallow water dragons become the laughing stock of shrimps. - Ancient Chinese Saying. [6]


Montague A. Machell

It is the contention of many an orthodox devotee that God never closes a door without opening a window, a contention more sound than even the most orthodox may realize. Its complete dependability, when freed of the limitations inseparable from the dogma of a personalized deity, inheres in a far broader concept: i.e., the perfect justice of Universal Law, of which this world is a manifestation.

Once propound the idea that a mortal, whose destiny is spiritual growth, comes into incarnation with the Will to Growth, in the deepest heart of him, and it must follow that this earth, his Field of Growth, is primordially endowed with the climate and opportunities for such Growth - or Universal Law is a figment of the imagination.

But before the dependability of Universal Law can become completely convincing, its own limitless universality must find application, to the life of man in a human Time Plan correspondingly limitless. Such a Time Plan makes the generally accepted 75-year, one-life program of man on earth totally irrelevant. Universal Law can only find logical application to a Universal Man - a man who in his deepest nature is Timeless and Immortal, with an Immortal Destiny.

Research into the wisdom of earliest antiquity reveals the fact that the most enlightened teachers of every age have been of this opinion and have preached a limitless Time Plan for the realization of man’s spiritual potentialities. They based this Time Plan on the perfectly logical program of not just one, but a splendid succession of incarnations upon earth, designed to allow uninterrupted progress for the incarnating Self along the pathway to ultimate Spiritual Enlightenment, the destined Maturity of a Spiritual Being.

Likewise, in harmony with the perfect operation of Universal Law, the - Ancient Wisdom makes the slowly maturing Pilgrim responsible for his own actions, each of which is necessarily governed by the undeviating law of Cause and Effect. It implies, rather reasonably, that he who plants roses on earth may count on reaping them; he who plants weeds may depend upon it that his harvest will be - weeds. And, since life’s primary purpose is the undisturbed acquirement of ever deeper wisdom, no special arrangement of any kind is permitted to interfere with the harvest, be it roses or weeds. Man learns by doing - given sufficient time!

The wise men of India applied to the personal harvest of each man’s personal sowing the term “Karma,” maintaining, with a later Teacher, that “As ye sow so shall ye also reap.” But they did not add “unless ...” with an appended “escape clause,” because, after all, as these Wise Ones saw it, Life is not primarily a question of Sin and Salvation; it is a program of Growth in Wisdom; and man grows wise from making mistakes, recognizing them as mistakes, and profiting by the lesson learned.

Their approach to this program shunned the rather prevalent orthodox view of man as innately sinful. Instead, the Wisdom Religion seeks to nourish [7] the Spiritual Self of man with a vision or ever-expanding fulfillment of a sublime destiny - GROWTH in excelsis!

It is hardly necessary to labor the point that the prevalent mood in much of human life today is one of Disappointment. Very rarely does one encounter a person in whom inner fulfillment finds expression in a cheerful serenity. Even great material success seems to exercise a haunting influence on many, whether it spring from unsatisfied hunger for yet larger success, or a gnawing fear that this success may be swept away. Wherever one turns, he encounters again and again the spectre of insecurity. In an age of multiplying conveniences, indulgences and distractions, the justification for feelings of insecurity, inadequacy or disappointment would seem to be wholly lacking.

Could these feelings, by any chance, even in the materially successful man, betray the suspicion of an actual, though unconfessed, inadequacy in the life he is living? Impossible as it might be to convince the dissatisfied millionaire that he is the victim of a very real inadequacy, such would be the diagnosis of anyone versed in the truths of Theosophy. Such a one might further point out that this disappointment is the inevitable Karma of him who works merely for self. Should the patient have the honesty and courage to accept such a diagnosis, the Karma of its acceptance could well be a freedom and serenity of mind never before conceived as attainable. In this instance the fruit of the seed of inner faith takes the form of a sweet and nutritious self-confidence. The seemingly cruel Karma of insecurity and anxiety reveals itself as the warning that made possible this fruitful and serene living - one small example of Karma as a priceless incentive to Growth: Man closes a door on the Hall of Selfish Living; Karma opens a window on the fragrant fields of Spiritual Unfoldment; inadequacy of the personal man yields place to the Confidence of an inborn Will to Growth.

But let us not confuse the insecure millionaire with the serene seeker for Truth. The first is a stronger to his innermost Reality; the second has turned his back on the treacherous mirage of material success and has dared to contemplate the eternal roots of Godhood within himself. “This,” to borrow a popular expression, “is where he came in” - the divinely endowed Pilgrim entering the path of earthly probation, his inborn Godhood his sole capital in hand. Because that “capital” is his own holiest essence, time, events, people, cannot touch it. Karma, carried over from past incarnations, will put to the test again and again the integrity, endurance and purity of his innate divinity, in whose radiance each smallest Karmic residue can become the raw material of new revelations in wisdom and self-realization. The outcome, in every instance, must be governed by the disciple’s relation to life.

Pledged to Reality, fearing nothing, every Karmic test can prove a cherished opportunity to extract the very essence from an experience some former personality had cast aside unused. Having advanced some few small steps along the way of Selfless Living, what in some former life might have amounted to a reluctant “squaring of accounts” reveals itself here as an [8] opportunity to build understandingly hope and confidence in a disheartened fellow-pilgrim. In the light of Reality, one gives one’s life out of sheer gratitude for this glowing Gift of Life. One reaches out to the unborn years, the unborn incarnations, eager to place the seal of Triumphant Karma - Opportunity Realized - upon many an undiscovered emprise of celestial import. KARMA - heaven’s answer to the Soul’s challenge!


G. Cardinal LeGros

Now it is Autumn and the early snow is falling on the hillsides of my youth. But I remember Spring far away and the frogs’ chorus at night.

I stood beneath a huge oak by the crawfish shallows and looked up at the stars. They danced like great fire-flies between the branches. A soft wind was creeping over the Western hills where budding elms were brown-webbed across the sky. The valley where the plum trees grew was like a gulf of foam. April was not far away.

I was very young then and sensitive to everything. It was enough just to be alive. The coming years did not exist because I had not learned to look ahead. I knew an abiding happiness that was mine merely by receiving it. It was not necessary to reach out and possess it. It entered into me like the air I breathed. It became a portion of myself, like the wind’s song, or the frogs’ chorus. I had no fear that it would not always be mine. It seemed a lasting thing, permanent as the stars, an aspect of the eternal harmony from which I, like all else, had come: the stars, the wind, the night-sounds, the enfolding peace that was life itself.

What more was there to know? What more did one need to know? Here was complete and quiet joy that had always been mine, even before I had been born, I thought; and somehow I did not wonder or worry about the time before birth. I knew that the same stars had been shining there, that the same hills had been there, and I knew that somewhere I had been knowing that same happiness. I did not question life, or accuse it, or try to see into the future with hope and fear. Perhaps that is why the past spoke to me, not in words, not in any way that I could describe. I think it shone out in a greater light from the stars, in a gentler caress from the wind, in a lengthening of the shadows cast by the budding elms. But it came to me; I knew; I recognized the lastingness of life, the eternity of it. I felt suddenly stirring within myself another self, within my boy’s body an ancient and greater identity that had always been. It was I and yet it was not confined to me; it reached out around me and became the unseen reality of all that I knew. It was a tremendous moment: earth and sky grew strangely luminous as though a great light from nowhere had suddenly flooded the world. The elms on the hillside seemed to vibrate with living fire, and the shallows blazed gold. I saw all this and yet saw more. I saw other ages, and they too were bathed in that strange [9] glow. I saw myself, or found myself, living in those far-off times. There was no detail, no particular places or persons. It was like a thousand flashes of light in a familiar darkness that covered a vast landscape. It was a sudden nearness to more than the mind could embrace, a swift re-becoming of all that had been before and before eternally. It was like plunging into the sky, sweeping onward into a forever that became oneself, into a vastness of joy and peace beyond all comprehension.

Now it is Autumn, and the early snow is falling on the hillsides of my youth. I am far away and many years have passed, but not that enchanted Spring. It blossoms on wherever I may be. Stars shine down on the old oak boughs and the ivy vines and the shallows. Soft winds are creeping over the Western hills. April is not far away.


H. P. Blavatsky

[This fragment in H. P. B’s handwriting exists in the Adyar Archives. Some of the sentences are incomplete and do not convey any clear meaning. But the general drift of the arguments is clear enough, and some of the points are of considerable importance, Expressions such as “your history,” for instance, seem to indicate that this material may have been dictated to H. P. B. by one of the Masters, and subsequently set aside without being completed or gone over for accuracy. With the exception of a few commas here and there, we have left this MS unedited. - Editor, Theosophia.]

The Medes, Kelts, Slavs, Hindus, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Germans make their appearance in your history as nations and peoples separate in language and history, each with its own far remote past, its distinct traditions and customs between 2 and 4,000 years ago. They are called Aryan and Caucasian races, all said to come from one and same stock, the early Vedic Aryans of the Oxus and what not. And yet that separation of nations, since no more than between 3 and 4,000 years is allowed for the Vedas, though the Brahmans are known to have brought them with them to India [sic.]. Thus your history thanks to philology, ethnology makes of this separation of nations a real Tower of Babel removal (?) plus languages - as separate history, types, colours and customs for each. We say - and we have positive historical proof to that effect - that the so-called barbaric peoples “the physical and political representatives of the nascent Aryan race speaking a now extinct Aryan language” that stood before this division of nations, had a higher civilization as a root race and its sub-races than has yet been found in the geological strata. And thus though it is granted that the farthest date to which documentary record extends is but the first, the earliest glimmer, the nearest visible point of your historic period beyond which stretches back an immense and indefinite series of prehistoric ages, yet no civilization, nothing but barbaric savage men [10] preceded for a 100,000 years the 3 or 4,000 years of comparative [word illegible] and the 2 or 3 hundred years of actual civilization. Nay the very period when nascent human speech was preceded by gesture signs, is found preceding the sanskrit, the most perfect as the most [word illegible] of all human languages, but by a couple of thousand years or so!

The process of induction is challenged by historical writers, lions followed by a [word illegible] of jackals of the daily press. [Here follows a crossed out sentence.]

Thus geologists carry man’s first appearance into the period of post-glacial drift, what is now called the Quaternary period. And while the former period was undeniably between 250 and 300,000 years back yet the Encyclopaedists persist in saying that it indicates an antiquity only of - “at least of tens of thousands of years.” The idea is supremely absurd both from physical and ethnological as from psychological evolutionary standpoint. Taking their own figures to imagine that the host of races during the last 25,000 years should have been no better than animals, savage and uncivilized barbarians at best, and then from men of the Palaeolitic, old stone age, followed by those of the Neolitic or new stone age down to the races of the bronze and early iron ages with which commences historical antiquity in Europe, to make a clear jump to the old Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations, is rather a risked undertaking. Why not rather infer that since between the high civilizations of Greece and Rome and the Modern one - hardly 200 years old - there was a black gap of the dark and middle Ages, the miniature scale of one of the smaller cycles, so there may have been a similar gap between the older Babylonians and Chaldeans and such high civilization as traced by every unbiased Orientalist in Egypt and Babylonia 10 and 15,000 years, and the preceding high civilizations of sub-races now extinct. The 20 centuries of European history are unable either to fix an age for the stone implements found in the Thames or the French Somme. Not only that the drift of glaciers and ground-ice but also other geological changes [have] to be taken into consideration before assigning an age even to the relics of the bronze, and the artistic and polished [word illegible] of the Neolitic age, let alone the drift implements of the older stone age. The modern reckoning of ages was never more vastly out of proportion to historical chronology than in the present case. 60 feet deep in the borings made in the alluvium of the Nile Valley when burnt bricks and pottery were found represent at least 25,000 years, and when they dig in certain localities 20 feet deep. If only traces of various intermediant civilizations of a lower order were hitherto found, it does not stand to reason that there were none of a higher order but only that ancient civilizations being of another order and the antiquity of monuments found being generally discarded and the relics of a more intellectual [word “being” crossed out by H. P. B.] having failed to reach us - as the relics of your modern literature, arts and sciences will fail to reach the 6th race archaeologists: - it is but natural to find, etc. Relics of social and psychological culture can hardly be found in geological strata, in layers of soil. In Italy , Germany and [11] elsewhere remains of a long pre-Roman civilization have been found. The connection between inland seas and the Ocean has greatly changed, in many cases was entirely broken since the time of the Bronze Age. But so long as the ruined cities of Egypt , like that of Ramses will have to wait for and depend upon their identification and chronology in the Mosaic books, no age can be assigned to them. The Brugsch-Beys are numerous and their authority too little questioned and too much depended upon. All that which goes beyond the few pages of universal History now entirely in the hands of Western Christian nations becomes the mythical portion, all that is found recorded in the unauthentic chronicles of a small tribe the origin of which your historians cannot prove, his - authenticated history.


AE - George William Russell

The skies were dim and vast and deep
Above the vales of rest;
They seemed to rock the stars asleep
Beyond the mountain’s crest.

Oh, vale and stars and rocks and trees,
He gives to you his rest,
But holds afar from you the peace
Whose home is in His breast!

The massy night, brilliant with golden lights enfolded us. All things were at rest. After a long day’s ramble among the hills, we sat down again before our fire. I felt, perhaps we all felt, a mystic unquiet rebelling against the slumberous mood of nature rolled round her hills and valleys.

“You must explain to us, Bryan, why it is we can never attain a real quiet, even here where all things seem at peace.”

“We are aliens here, and do not know ourselves. We are always dreaming of some other life. These dreams, if we could only rightly interpret them, would be the doors through which we might pass into a real knowledge of ourselves.”

“I don’t think I would got much wisdom out of my dreams,” said Willie “I had a dream last night; a lot of little goblin fellows dancing a jig on the plains of twilight. Perhaps you could tell us a real dream?”

“I remember one dream of the kind I mean, which I will tell you. It left a deep impression upon me. I will call it a dream of THE NORTHERN LIGHTS.

I awoke from sleep with a cry. I was hurled up from the great deep and rejected of the darkness. But out of the clouds and dreams I built up a symbol [12] of the going forth of the spirit - a symbol, not a memory - for if I could remember, I could return again at will and be free of the unknown land. But in slumber I was free. I sped forth like an arrow. I followed a secret hope, breasting the currents of life flowing all about me. I tracked these streams winding in secretness far away. I said, “I am going to myself. I will bathe in the Fountain of Life”; and so on and on I sped northwards, with dark waters flowing beneath me and stars companioning my flight. Then a radiance illumined the heavens, the icy peaks and caves, and I saw the Northern Lights. Out of the diamond breast of the air I looked forth. Below the dim world shone all with pale and wintry green; the icy crests flickered with a light reflect from the shadowy auras streaming over the horizon. Then these auras broke out in fire, and the plains of ice were illumined. The light flashed through the goblin caves, and lit up their frosty hearts and the fantastic minarets drooping above them. Light above in solemn array went forth and conquered the night. Light below with a myriad flashing spears pursued the gloom. Its dazzling lances shivered in the heart of the ice; they sped along the ghostly hollows; the hues of the orient seemed to laugh through winter; the peaks blossomed with sparry and crystalline flowers, lilac and white and blue; they faded away, pearl, opal and pink in shimmering evanescence; then gleams of ruse and amethyst travelled slowly from spar to spar, lightened and departed; there was silence before my eyes; the world once more was all a pale and wintry green. I thought of them no more, but of the mighty and unseen tides going by me with billowy motion. “Oh, Fountain I seek, thy waters are all about me, but where shall I find a path to Thee?” Something answered my cry, “Look in thy heart!” and, obeying the voice, the seer in me looked forth no more through the eyes of the shadowy form, but sank deep within itself. I knew then the nature of these mystic streams; they were life, joy, love, ardour, light. From these came the breath of life which the heart drew in with every beat, and from thence it was flashed up in illumination through the cloudy hollows of the brain. They poured unceasingly; they were life in everyone; they were joy in everyone; they stirred an incommunicable love which was fulfilled only in yielding to and adoration of the vast. But the Fountain I could not draw nigh unto; I was borne backwards from its unimaginable centre, then an arm seized me, and I was stayed. I could see no one, but I grew quiet, full of deep quiet, out of which memory breathes only shadowiest symbols, images of power and Holy Sages, their grand faces turned to the world, as if in the benediction of universal love, pity, sympathy, and peace, ordained by Buddha; the faces of the Fathers, ancient with eternal youth, looking forth as in the imagination of the mystic Blake, the Morning Stars looked forth and sang together. A sound as of an “ OM ” unceasing welled up and made an aureole of peace around them. I would have joined in the song, but could not attain to them. I knew if I had a deeper love I could have entered with them into unending labours amid peace; but I could only stand and gaze; in my heart a longing that was worship, in my thought a wonder that was praise. “Who are these?” I murmured? The Voice answered, “They are the servants of the Nameless one. [13] They do his bidding among men. They awaken the old heroic fire of sacrifice in forgetful hearts.” Then the forms of elder life appeared in my vision. I saw the old earth, a fairy shadow ere it yet had hardened, peopled with ethereal races unknowing of themselves or their destinies and lulled with inward dreams; above and far away I saw how many glittering hosts, their struggle ended, moved onward to the Sabbath of Eternity. Out of these hosts, one dropped as a star from their heart, and overshadowed the olden earth with its love. Wherever it rested I saw each man awakening from his dreams turned away with the thought of sacrifice in his heart, a fire that might be forgotten, but could never die. This was the continual secret whisper of the Fathers in the inmost being of humanity. “Why do they not listen?” I marvelled. Then I heard another cry from the lower pole, the pit; a voice of old despair and protest, the appeal of passion seeking its own fulfillment. Alternate with the dawn of Light was the breath of the expanding Dark where powers of evil were gathered together. “It is the strife between light and darkness which are the world’s eternal ways,” said the Voice, “but the light shall overcome and the fire in the heart be rekindled; men shall regain their old angelic being, and though the dark powers may war upon them, the angels with their love shall slay them. Be thou ready for the battle, and see thou use only love in the fight.” Then I was hurried backward with swift speed, and awoke. All I knew was but a symbol, but I had the peace of the mystic Fathers in my heart, and the jewelled glory of the Northern Lights all dazzling about my eyes.

“Well, after a dream like that,” said Willie, “the only thing one can do is to try and dream another like it.”


Jasper Niemand

[From The Irish Theosophist, Vol. III, February, 1895.]

COMRADES, - While I am glad to answer the questions which you put to me so far as I may be able to do so, I cannot of course, pretend to say the final word upon any of them. You must judge for yourselves of the relative value - if any - that my replies have for you, while my part is to say what I have been thought and have verified to a greater or lesser extent; the extent varies according to the various matters dealt with. You ask:

“What is the difference between the ‘psychic faculty’ and the ‘psychic power,’ to use a current phrase?”

Ans. - The “psychic faculty” is that which is born with any individual, it inheres in the Skandhas, in such astral atoms as have been brought over from previous lives. It is a rudimentary trait, undeveloped, latent, or semi-latent, and its exercise is not controlled by will.

The “psychic power” is the trained and developed use, through will, of that faculty latent in all mankind. [14]

The “faculty” is native, inborn, and arises from the evolution - in the race - of a more complex nervous system. The “power” consists in expanding, grasping, educating and governing that faculty.

“The difference between a man born a psychic and one who is made is that the former is a rough, unpolished jewel, reflecting light superficially (and usually they do not wish to learn), while the other has a perfect polish all round, reflecting equally on all sides; each man must polish himself. The inborn psychic faculty, being more sensitive, comes in contact with more force in Nature.” (Letter of Master K.H.)

The haphazard awakening of the “faculty,” due to mere sensitiveness of nerve fluid, makes of the born psychic a playground for astral forces. The orderly unfolding of these microcosmic points of contact with universal forces (which gradual development can only be had by one whose mind will have been developed and purified), provides for the safety of the individual.

All mankind is destined to evolve to a point where the psychic life or germ will manifest, more or less, through the physical body. A few among the men and women of each century lay hands upon their inheritance and train themselves into “power.” They are, as I said, those whose will and mind have been previously evolved through purification and concentration. Hence arises the occult saying, “the psychic plane must be entered from above by the white adept:” i.e., from the higher Manasic plane. Entering by will·force from the lower or physical door is the Hatha Yoga of the black magician. Here the term “physical” includes all the gross lower astral plane, all below the “divine astral.”

“Can one discriminate between the person possessed of the psychic faculty and one possessed of the power? If so, how?”

Ans. - That depends upon the identity of the questioner. Some can; same cannot. There are two ways of so discriminating, which two ways may be combined in one person. The first way is by the exercise of common sense. The second way is by knowledge of occult training. (You may also know the rules of training and not have the mastery of them as yet.) In regard to the first way: the born psychic may be of any grade of morality and intellect, just as any other person may be. But usually the powers of endurance, the will and self-control - especially control of self-esteem and self-seeking - are absent in the person of the psychic who is born and not made. He is minus, and not plus. Correctness of psychic vision or what not else is no proof; the psychic may be correct as a photographic plate is correct - because it is sensitized. But such a psychic will not be possessed of knowledge of life and character; there will be no control of events touching the personal life, nor will be correctly interpret what is seen. After all, it is indescribable, but surely you and I can tell a practical carpenter from the amateur by that indefinable but distinct something - the “je ne sais quoi” which radiates from one who knows what he is talking about. A book written by a man who has been in a country has what the critics call “atmosphere” and “local colour,” which are never found in the writings of one who describes what he has not himself seen. Of course I have my own tests. And you must have your own, and mind this: first test your own [15] tests before leaning too blindly upon them. You will come to better them too, if you yourself are upon this path. But the tests of another avail little or nothing as regards this way.

In regard to the second way, the way of knowledge, there the tests are indeed precise, exact, scientific. All who have passed an examination in, say mathematics, not only know the man ignorant of them, but they can also give you their reasons. Let me particularise, by illustration.

You tell me that you heard of some one who claimed to have a “psychic power of looking into people” and seeing what they really are. You do not name the person - and perhaps the person is imaginary - which leaves me free to criticize the phrase. So much the better. For this phrase displays ignorance and pretension, whether conscious or unconscious. Let me tell you why.

No psychic examination, that is, of the mind, or of the moral nature, or the emotions; in short, no examination of anything above the mere physical body is made inside. The clairvoyant who wishes to ascertain the state of health of the whole or a part of the physical organism, looks inside. The term physical organism here includes the nerves and blood and all the fluidic contents of the body belonging to the material plane.

The trained psychic who looks at the character of a person, the thoughts, the moral and evolutionary status must have: (a) control of the third eye, to some extent, at least; or, (b) control of a certain other centre in the head corresponding to the matters of psychic planes up to and inclusive of lower Manas; also (c) knowledge of what to look at and what to look for. The person looked at, so far as the physical body is concerned, is, by an effort of will, brought before the eye quite flat, like a figure in a camera; this figure is not looked at. Regard is had to a certain emanation and to certain things - let us call them motor-changes - in that.

In some cases of partial training, the student - observer does not sense these changes as occurring in an image outside himself. He sees them as pictures of motor-change and so forth inside a centre of one of his brains (in the head). I cannot explain further. The use of the expression “inside,” or “looking at” persons, or inside them, or at their “magnetic aura”, at once shows the ignorance of the speaker.

Moreover - and this is of vital importance - no student who would speak of doing such a thing would continue under training. It is psychic spying, psychic pick-pocketing. It would never be permitted except in certain instances for just reasons, and speaking of its exercise or results would promptly entail cessation of training.

As to appearances of Masters; about which you also ask. Voice, form, all can be simulated. There is one sure way by which it may be known whether such manifestations are from the Master or not, but H.P.B. apart, I never met but one person who had ever heard anything of this scientific way. This person, needless to say, is Mr. Judge. He did not tell me of it. Can I give you any hint on it? Well, just the least hint. If you have opened a reflector within yourself, it reflects back an image of its own plane and only that. It is a deep [16] question of mysticism. As to the Thought-Body of a Master; few persons living in the outer world could stand the energy pouring from that, unless an Adept were with them to temper the force to the atmosphere of the looker-on. Otherwise the pranic energy would have disastrous results indeed.

In my next letter I will reply to your further questions on this and upon the question whether Masters work upon this plane.

“Mr. Judge in Irish Theosophist for January, 1895, p. 55, says that those who have not made a connection with THE LODGE by 1897, will not afterwards be able to make one. Does this refer to audible hearing, to clairvoyant sight and the like?”

Ans. - Not at all. All these things are misleading unless the one who uses them has had at the very least seven years of rigid training. They may exist pari passu with the real “connection,” but would not be relied upon. The real “connection” is not to be described. It is interior, it is Manasic in its operation so far as objectivized to the one who has it. Its root is in “Buddhi, active,” more or less. I have known two cases where the person had a Lodge “connection” and did not know it to be that, but took the “connection” to be a very high order of inspiration, and, in another case, it was not realized at all by the possessor. Of course it was quite patent to trained observers. The “Companion” is always known by certain indubitable signs. The Masters speak through the inner (higher) planes of Being. It is better not to ask whence a thing comes, but examine whether it be good. If it comes from the Higher Self, it comes from the Masters, for the Higher Self is the One Self, the same for all. “It is a state, a breath, not a body or form.” “The Master Soul is One.” Under such inspiration of “The Presence,” only one trained can consciously be and consciously enter at will. But many a man and woman, both within and without the T. S., are helped by the Masters in their work for the world. May we all reach up consciously to this Power, for connection with it, aye, and later, to become it, is our birthright and inheritance as souls.

Comrades and all, you, Companions, I salute in you the embodied Law.


We are in need of the following issues of Theosophia: Nos. 8, 22, 42, 43, 56, 57, 59, 62. These are the “whole numbers” appearing in parentheses on the title-page. If anyone who is not keeping a complete file of the magazine has any of these issues, and would like to help us complete a set, we would appreciate very much receiving any of the above numbers. - Editor, Theosophia.