A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXI
No. 4 (102) - Spring 1965

[Cover photo: Winter sun in the Alps.]


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.




By these things am I bound to mortalness:
the variant disguise
of form and face and eyes,
the tingling tie, the leash
of thought and act and speech,
which make for my delight and my distress.

New bodies to appear in, fresh facades
to wear - I am the sum
of such continuum
and will by excellent ways,
or foul, predict my pace
as I approach the whereness which is God’s.

Strange are the shapes and structures I discern
pulsing from sea to star,
so alike I know they are
themselves reborn that I
likewise can never die
until no truths remain that I need learn.

Strange are the men and women whom I meet,
as suddenly a chance
inflection or a glance
revivifies some vow
time-forfeit up to now,
found on some bustling twentieth-century street,

I come and go. To earth thus am I bound,
remembering little and
forgetting much. I stand
before an endless room,
my cradle and my tomb,
and while I watch the wheel drives slowly round.
- Edward Doro. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Among some students of the Ancient Wisdom, there has existed for many years a belief that another direct Messenger from the Brotherhood of Adepts, similar to H. P. B. herself, will be sent to the outer world around 1975, to give another impetus to the Theosophical Movement. This belief is stronger today than ever before. What is the evidence for it?

Writing on the subject of Lamaism and its reformer Tsong-kha-pa, H. P. B. stated that “among the commandments of Tsong-Kha-pa there is one that enjoins the Rahats (Arhats) to make an attempt to enlighten the world, including the ‘white barbarians,’ every century, at a certain specified period of the cycle. Up to the present day none of these attempts has been very successful. Failure has followed failure …” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. III, p. 412.)

In the First Preliminary Memorandum issued by H. P. B. in 1888, when the Esoteric Section was established, speaking of December 31st, 1899, as the “last hour” of a certain closing cycle or term, she pointed out that “no Master of Wisdom from the East will himself appear or send anyone to Europe or America after that period, and the sluggards will have to renounce every chance of advancement in their present incarnation - until the year1975 ...”

Such seem to be the only two passages having a direct bearing upon our subject. In addition to the above, there is, of course, the less positive statement of H. P. B. in The Secret Doctrine (I, xxxviii.) to the effect that “in Century the Twentieth some disciple more informed, and far better fitted, may be sent by the Masters of Wisdom to give final and irrefutable proofs that there exists a Science called Gupta-Vidya ...”

It is only fair to regard the above statements as pointing to some existing possibilities, and not as definite pronouncements concerning certain facts called for by some occult time-table, like the dead-line in an Editorial Office. The appearance of an Initiate in the outer world, for some specific work, is in response to an existing demand, an insistent “call” for help and guidance. If no such “call” exists, no member of the Brotherhood, will waste any effort or time on people who are not ready. Demand and supply is a function of both Cosmic and human law. In this connection, we may usefully ask ourselves the question as to whether today’s outer world, or the Theosophical Movement as such, is ready for more knowledge and deserving of it. Each one of us may have a somewhat different answer to this query.

Besides, several other points have to be considered.

With regard to the first statement quoted above, namely about Tsong-kha-pa’s instruction to his Arhats, it might be useful to try and trace such efforts on the part of the Brotherhood, in centuries prior to the 19th. The great Tibetan Reformer lived from, 1355 to 1417. Any definite and [4] clearly noticeable spiritual efforts in the latter quarter of the centuries intervening between his own time and H. P. B.’s day can hardly be pinpointed, with the possible exception of the general period centering more or less around the beginning of the 19th century. An attempt to trace such efforts or movements is a very worth-while occupation for students.

It should also be pointed out that, on the strength of a Letter written by Master K. H. to Sinnett in the Fall of 1881, the Brotherhood engaged in “nearly a century of fruitless search” before the “chiefs had to avail themselves of the only opportunity to send out a European body upon European soil to serve as a connecting link between that country and our own …” This seems to show that the Brothers do not depend upon any time-table.

In regard to the second statement quoted above, in H. P. B.’s First Preliminary Memorandum, her hint can hardly be construed in too literal a fashion; it is obvious, of course, that “sluggards” of 1899 or earlier could not possibly have had another chance “in their present incarnation” around 1975; they would have to be undoubtedly over one hundred years old! Whether any student born after 1900 would have to wait until 1975 before getting his first real chance at spiritual advancement, is not made clear in that statement, and hence speculation about it may or may not have any value.

We have, however, another rather important problem connected with this subject. Surely the Adept-Brothers are not bound in their effort and work by the fictitious calendar of Western nations, in whose established routine the current year is the 1965th after an entirely hypothetical year Zero. Any specific dates connected with the appearance and mission of the alleged Founder of Christianity are conspicuous by their total absence. So that “the latter quarter of the century” is merely a convenient way of speaking.

It might be pointed out, however, that the Brothers did not mean it that way, but had in mind the fact that every hundred years, more or less, irrespective of calendars, a certain effort is to be made for the benefit of the world. In such a case we would have to assume that a hundred year cycle has some specific importance, some definite meaning as an occult number. This would be rather difficult to prove, as most of the occult numbers and their inter-relations are based either on a twelve-fold or a seven-fold division, and do not seem to favor the decimal system. On that subject, most students find themselves at sea, and for excellent reasons.

Our hopes are high; our deepest wishes for the welfare and further expansion of our Movement are a living reality within our souls; we yearn to see greater progress along spiritual lines and more stability in the knowledge already at hand. But just because of that we should not disregard a number of important points connected with the idea of 1975, and must not take anything for granted or base our deductions and our hopes on premises which are rather shaky and uncertain. Above all else, let us bear in mind that quite apart from any dates or cycles, yesterday, today and tomorrow, whenever the student is ready - the Teacher is ready also! [5]


L. Gordon Plummer

[Excerpts from an unpublished MS entitled Theosophy in a Modem World.]

Imagine yourself standing on the shore of a lake. You have watched the sun rise over the mountain on the far side and the air is so still that there is not a ripple on the surface of the water. The image of the sun is a disc of light so bright that you cannot bear to look at it. A breeze ripples the surface of the lake and at once the disc of light has become thousands of sparkles which spread over the surface of the water and form the “pathway of light” that we so often see.

The human mind is much like the surface of the lake. Only on rare occasions of inner calm can we perceive the image of Truth in its real form. For the most part our minds are more or less ruffled by the activity of the brain, and the image of Truth is broken into myriads of facets. All of these sparkles of Truth combine to make the “pathway of light” that is within each of us. A sustained state of absolute calm is not natural to the mind, nor would it necessarily be desirable, although there are certainly times when it should be sought after. The lives of the Great Ones of the earth are marked by intense activity, and yet by will and training they have been able to still the activity of the mind to the point that they have seen Truth. And they have described it in such terms as we can understand, and thus have been born the great religions, philosophies, and sciences that are the mainstay of human existence.

There are other lessons that we can draw from so simple a phenomenon as the reflection of light. Think of the lake as representing the “waters of Space.” The sun will represent the “Heart of the Universe,” and because of the activity of cosmic life, its image is broken into millions of fragments, each one of which is a living entity, essentially of the same divine substance as the “Heart of the Universe,” and its apparent separation from the source being an illusion. The inmost self of every man, woman and child is of the essence of Divinity. Is the thought not worth pondering that in its aggregate the host of human lives forms a “pathway of light,” and that all the deeds of greatness and the expressions of higher insight are pointers to that Reality that is the fountainhead of human existence?

* * *

We may discover yet another lesson from the reflected sun. Let us think of three important things: The lake, the reflected sunlight and the sun. Here is symbolized the basic structure of every living thing. It is natural to relate it first to ourselves. The basic picture of the composite nature of man was attributed to St. Paul when he spoke of the three elements, Body, Soul and Spirit. The connection should be obvious. The water may be taken to represent Body, the reflected sunlight, Soul, and the sun itself, Spirit. The sun and the water combine to form that extremely elusive thing called the image. If the lake should dry up, there is no vehicle for the image. If the sun were hidden by a cloud, the image would disappear.

It is self-evident that when the body [6] is destroyed, the soul flees; but have we stopped to think that if the “Heart of the Universe” were to cease to exist, the flame within each of us, which we call the soul, would be instantly extinguished?

* * *

What is Man? How can we know him? If I say “my body,” do I not imply that the body is something which has a life of its own, to be sure, but is nevertheless something that I own and use, and cannot therefore be myself? When I say “my mind,” do I not imply that I am separate from that portion of myself that thinks and reasons? When I say “my soul,” do I not speak of it in the same manner? Even when I say “my divine self,” what is it that is speaking? If my body serves me, and my mind serves me as a more subtle instrument, does the soul also serve as a vehicle for the real “me”? And is the Divine Self searching in its own turn for that which even it does not know - the essence of what a human being really is?

Here is a little experiment in self study. In a standing position think first of your feet. You must think downward toward your lower extremities. Then think of your knees. They are not quite to far down. Now think of your chest. It is still “down,” but much closer to where you seem to be. Next, think of your chin, your mouth and your nose. They are all still “down,” but when you think of your eyes, they are on the level, and when you think of your forehead, you must think upward, and finally, when you think of the crown of your head, you must think upwards to the upper limit of your body.

Now, along a similar line, here is a test whereby you may place yourself within the complex bundle of energies which you call yourself. When you think of your body, it seems natural for you to think of it as the “lower” or more gross part of yourself. “Lower” is a relative term, because the body as such will not seem to be so gross as some of the emotions that we all feel from time to time, and which act through the body. We can all recollect moments when we have given way to anger, jealousy, spitefulness. In this moment of self study we can see clearly that at such times we were thinking and acting on a level lower even than that occupied by our bodies. Now, think of the vitality that sustains you. It operates throughout your entire being, so that in some of its aspects it will appear to be “lower” and in others “higher.” But now if you want to think of that portion of yourself, like the case of your eyes, when you were thinking on the level, as it were, then think of your mind. The word man means “thinker.” Your mind provides the center or the focus of your energies. Above your mind (in the sense in which we are using the term) is your spiritual self, and above that is your divine self. Please do not think of yourself, however, as a sort of totem-pole. That would be an entirely erroneous concept, but for want of better words we naturally think of ourselves as consisting of several levels of consciousness.

Now, going back to the first experiment, while it seems natural that we should place our sense of awareness on the level of our eyes, it is entirely possible by the use of a little imagination [7] and will-power to shift our center of awareness to other parts of the body. One can think: “I am within my heart,” or “I am within my head,” or again, “I am at the top of my head.” Exercising your imagination in this way might point to a very important fact of human consciousness.

Whereas the average man centers his consciousness within his mind (and again, there are many levels within the mind itself), it is possible, and it should be a very beneficial exercise, to place oneself on a higher level of consciousness by the use of the will and the imagination. This is one of the secrets of meditation. What at first appears to be an act of imagination eventually becomes a reality. Why are men spiritually awake? Why are others hardly aware of themselves? It is all a matter of the placing of the consciousness. Practice makes perfect.


Montague A. Machell

To achieve a basic understanding of, and consequent reverence for, the Easter Season, a realization of the overwhelming dominance of temporal and material existence is indispensable. “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God.” No mention is here made of Form or Limitation. “In the beginning was the WORD.” We are not told what the WORD was, nor is IT defined.

In effect, before Manifestation, the Universal - the ALL - was unbounded, timeless and immaterial THOUGHT - The Eternal Thought in the Eternal Mind.

When, out of Pralaya, THE ONE entered upon Manifestation, THE ALL took on Form, hence - Limitation. That limited FORM, instinct with potential timelessness and universality, was so to say, one step down from the ABSOLUTE - a differentiation. In that differentiated FORM, born of the ABSOLUTE, was embodied a yearning towards its ABSOLUTE Source. This, I take it, is the root essence of all spiritual aspiration. MAN (the differentiated FORM) cannot and will not forget his timeless, universal origin.

But, by the very fact of incarnation into a world of Time and Form, his aspirations are constantly thwarted, limited and curtailed. In a very real sense he is sealed in the Tomb of Time. Earth life itself, properly understood, represents a constant yearning towards Resurrection - a constant effort to roll away the stone of Time and Materiality that stands between the Man of Earth and the Son of God.

Whenever he ceases his efforts to roll away the stone, “life” (so-called), lodges it yet more firmly against the mouth of the tomb. He is buried deeper and deeper in the shadowy sepulchre of material living. Since this Here and Now tends to be deeply impressed with material form and temporal significance, the spiritually aspiring seeker must maintain a continuous demand for Resurrection - must maintain a conscious, unremitting pressure against the stone that would seal him in the Tomb of Time.

To the extent to which he fails to [8] do this, his way of living becomes less and less “enlightened,” i.e., more and more overshadowed by the illusion or Maya of manifested material form. Constant identification with the Outer Self creates estrangement from Inner Reality - surrender to the impermanence of Matter rather than to the deathlessness of Spirit.

In terms of the Absolute, there is only LIFE, “death” being a misunderstood aspect of LIFE. But that misunderstanding plays into the hands of Maya, heightening and intensifying Illusion.

The man who is unenlightened in this matter tends to believe, and by accepted religious teaching is encouraged to believe, that this is a contest in which he is powerless to prevail. The most depressing aspect of certain patterns of religious thought is their contention that Death prevails and man is powerless against it, a belief that bears the bitter fruits of fear, frustration, futility and cynicism.

Nothing less than a deep-rooted conviction that man, like his universe, is spiritual in origin and governed by spiritual law, can adequately resist captivity by Time. Being spiritual in origin, that Law is eternal, wherefore perfect surrender to it is surrender to Life Eternal, which alone spells Resurrection from the dark sepulchre of Maya.

Even in the face of such a deep-rooted conviction, the encroachment of the all-prevailing miasmas of mortality can be hard to resist. The surest weapon, probably, is an undying Will to Unfoldment. When this has become a constant driving force in the life, consistent gains against the “shadow of the tomb” may be expected.

GROWTH is never static, hence, never routine. Every day that dawns is imbued with unguessed possibilities and opportunities for the attainment of new and wider perspectives. When this ceases to be true, it may be taken for granted that the eyes of the seeker are centered upon the Mortal Self instead of upon the Path that self must travel.

To insure consistent, dedicated progress along that path, we must positively recognize this Here and Now of this particular incarnation as a single Street of Life - a Street that leads somewhere - somewhere infinitely more wonderful and more beautiful than Today Street, yet attainable only by discovering the last, unspeakable loveliness of this Street. One thing makes this discovery possible: the discovery that LIFE (the Pattern of Universal Unfoldment) is wholly beneficent, wholly sublime, for him who surrenders to IT in reverence and in love.

A basic weakness in nearly all earthly living is a tragic under-estimate of LIFE’S sublime potentialities. Lacking this vision of the ultimate majesty of just “being alive,” too many of us have besmirched and disfigured the halls of Life with images of our own unworthy desires and objectives, then despaired of discovering hope, beauty or truth in the rather awful caricature we ourselves have created.

Man is born to be Lord of Life - not a disillusioned victim of Existence. TODAY is a street of undiscovered riches, that, fearlessly and reverently followed, leads to TOMORROWS of undreamed sublimity. But first one must walk TODAY’S highway with eyes uplifted and heart filled with a joyous [9] thankfulness for the privilege of being a conscious “architect of fate,” glorifying these Halls of Time. To be “alive” must mean to be joyously, proudly, gratefully alive, knowing that the Universal Pattern is so fair, so noble, so inevitable, that to be a conscious part of IT sets the heart a singing. The hour, the task, the day itself - all these are raw material placed in the hands of the Artist who has glimpsed the Pattern, and who lives only for its realization, here on earth, where alone any “Heaven” is achievable!

It is largely a matter of Impersonality: of living beyond the personal self in this limitless Field of Growth, which Time cannot curtain nor Selfishness disfigure. It is no mere figure of speech to declare that in the program of conscious spiritual unfoldment every dawn must declare a RESURRECTION!


W. Emmett Small

I see not Death, but many deaths. I see not annihilation, but the breaking up of component things. I see not End, but many ends and many beginnings. But above all I see Life, life which is a continuous expression of consciousness in various realms, worlds, planes, states, life which is ever-existent, life, of which what we call death is a phase.

One has died. What can I say that others may hear and feel attuned to the rhythm of Nature, the sound of her voice, that echoes of truth may be caught and seized and made a part of the understanding of those who loved the one who has left us and gone on into peace and quiet?

… Eternal Life surrounds us. Though today we speak of Death, we face actually the immensity, the dignity, of that for which we have no better word than Nature, impersonal, august, which includes in its all-embracing completeness our human conceptions of both life and death, the here and the there, the now and the future. These processes are acting all the time. At every second around us there are births, there are deaths, there are the exits from and the entrances to life. We are not aware of this ceaseless performance, or we are forgetful of it, in our concentration on our own immediate doings, our minds filled usually full with thoughts.

That are neither glad nor sweet nor brave,
But restless comrades, each the foe of each.*
(* William Watson, Sonnet.)

But when our own are touched by Death we give thought perhaps to the great Laws and their purposes. We feel their impersonal action that no little human will can sway. We are perhaps overpowered by the inevitableness of their action. We look to the stars at night and we find them “glittering magnificently unperturbed.” And that imperturbability angers us, or confuses us, or disturbs us, or, depending an our human psychology, uplifts us. We face a great denouement, the summation of the Drama of Life just closed, and we call on ourselves to state [10] a conclusion, to trace a design, to enunciate a reason. And so often, because these grander issues are foreign to our thought, we are overwhelmed.

But we live not in the midst of confusion but in a system of Order. We are co-operators, willy-nilly, not with a Principle that can be placated by our pleas, but one so ordered that we are each of us interdependent members of an orchestra of the Music of the Spheres, with which sooner or later we must attune our own human instrument. The harmonies exist. Order exists. The Divine Principle exists. And the grandest thought to seize and to hold at such times as these is that in our own seeming lesser human spheres the same essential law and order and harmony form the pattern that shapes our ends.

We recognize, therefore, the grand picture - Nature in its cosmic stretches is a geometrical pattern of lovely beauty and orderliness; and though we may be confused over our human problems we know that Nature’s ways are wise. We may not understand them, or may be just beginning to have a glimpse of the significance of their workings; but we know they are right. That is the first great step. The next is to know that we must fit ourselves consciously into them. We must pass from the viewpoint of being mere operators and workers and become co-operators and co-workers; we must pass from crying defiance at the imperturbability of distant orbs, of frowning fortune, or implacable Death - the awful majesty of Unerring Law - to the steady contemplation of the fact that at the heart of our very selves is the secret essence that is the heart of Immensity. We must seek to stir within ourselves such thoughts as

pierce the night like stars
And with their mild persistence urge men’s search
To vaster issues.

“So to live,” sang the poet, “is heaven, to make undying music in the world.”* (* George Eliot, The Choir Invisible.) And so to live, day by day, and year by year, is to begin to be able to trace, that pattern of continued Life which we have demanded of ourselves that we understand.

If there is one word that Nature speaks in unuttered prayer ,·it is the word OBEY. Not the dictatorship of erring human law, but the inescapable sequential flow of act following act, of superior intelligence impressing itself on tenuous matter and matter responding. It is the law which says that when the rains fall the seed is stirred to life, and when the sun shines the plant flowers, and when the earth-life is over, the human soul rests in blessed peace (and the spiritual monad journeys on). Nature is all this. We are surrounded by, embraced by, enfolded by Nature. Why should we fear one of Nature’s most universal and wisest processes, what we call Death? We study Nature; we learn, and we grow. That is all there is to life. And in the end, as we master the stuff of the universe and our own natures, we master what we call Death. As centers of consciousness, fully conscious, we transcend it.

Thinking of the one who has died we say, Pass on. All is well. He sleeps in peace. He rejoices among the stars … [11]


Lina Psaltis

Contemporary man is currently embroiled in the contention over the precise means or method he is going to use in order fully to express his individualized concept of freedom. Now, this freedom can apply (according to the individual interpreting it) to many aspects of life. To cite one example of this, we can use the student of Theosophy and his emphasis on individual interpretation of Truth. It would be “old hat” and rather foolish for the writer to enter this particular ring of contention.

Rather are we interested at this time in the growing concept that all must be completely (?) free to intuit Truth - or one of Its aspects. No one can quarrel with this, for surely no aspect of truth can be Truth until it has become a conscious and inherent aspect of the individual himself. However, our point of departure is in the concept of interpretation.

We submit that it might be wiser for the individual to test truth if he is to share it with others. For does not the danger of self-delusion arise if checks and balances are not employed? Do we not, in reality, serve our own end to the exclusion of benefiting others, if we do not consult the universal time-tested concepts of the sages and seers of the ages for confirmation of our own intuition? Do we not cheat our fellow-man who is, perhaps, just awakening to the Realities, if we cannot logically support our exclusive concepts with logic, reason and common sense?

Parenthetically, what strange conceit has crept into the understanding of Life, with all its theosophical connotations, if out of the ashes of the “authority” of churchianity is now to arise the “authority” of the individual intuition of each one - ONLY. Where then would be the substructure of the wisdom teachings of the ages? Could this not lead to such diversification or fragmentation as to make true the maxim “to conquer, first divide”? And who is there to doubt that “united we stand ...”

The Guardian Wall of the Ages can serve as an example of primary unity. Can any question the fact that They have eternally and consciously been in unity at the heart of consciousness - both manifest and unmanifest? In line with this - what could result but undirected chaos if each planetary logos were to go its own separate way!

“Individuality, in a sense, is being ever the same: it implies continuity, which is Time” (N. Sri Ram).

Can we not learn from the past - of which we are children, or is it to count as nothing? Surely the ideal of universal brotherhood knows no boundaries of time. If, then, we stand as students before the infinite tower of thought, having nurtured within us the ability to discern echoes of Truth - irrespective of the garment it is wearing - we may acquire tools with which to ply our trade.

We have but to consult the pages of history in the annals of the first 400 or 500 years of Christianity for one aspect of the great tower of thought. Mayhap we will discover that the words written then are as alive and dynamic today as they were at the time. [12]

Some of these words are cited here so that the reader may view them within the timeless realm of eternal truth.

“I appeal to you, my brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: agree among yourselves, and avoid divisions; be firmly joined in unity of mind and thought ... Surely Christ has not been divided among you! ... And yet I do speak words of wisdom to those who are ripe for it, not a wisdom belonging to this passing age, nor to any of its governing powers, which are declining to their end; I speak God’s hidden wisdom, his secret purpose framed from the very beginning to bring us to our full glory” (I Corinthians, i, of St. Paul).

“The Lord was urging his disciples to be peaceful and to be of one mind: ‘I tell you,’ He said, ‘that if two of you agree on earth on something you shall ask, it shall be given you ... for where ever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.’ Thereby He shows that most importance is attached not to the number of supplicants, but to their unanimity” Cyprian, bishop of Carthage , 200? - 258 A.D.).

“… and with earnest and sagacious words, he (Origen) told us that these are the objects that enervate us, when we despise that reason which ought to be the true master within us ... His desire ... was to ... make us·partakers in the blessings that flow from Christ ... He (Origen) thought, however, that we should obtain and make ourselves familiar with all … other writings, neither preferring nor repudiating any ... lest any single saying given by the one class or the other should be heard and valued above others as alone true …” (Gregory Thaumaturgus, bishop of Caesarea, 213 - 270?).

“Everywhere, O Truth, doest Thou direct all who consult Thee, and dost at once answer all, though they consult Thee on divers things. Clearly dost Thou answer, though all do not with clearness hear” (Augustine, bishop of Hyppo, 354 - 430 A.D.).

“Now you know that philosophy rejects many of those convictions which are cherished by the common people. For my own part, I can never persuade myself that the soul is of more recent origin than the body. Never would I admit that the world and the parts that make it up must perish. This resurrection, which is an object of common belief, is nothing for me but a sacred and mysterious allegory, and I am far from sharing the views of the vulgar crowd·thereon. The philosophic mind, albeit the discerner of truth, admits the employment of falsehood, for light is to truth what the eye is to the mind. Just as the eye would be injured by excess of light, and just as darkness is more helpful to those of weak eyesight, even so do I consider that the false may be beneficial to the populace, and the truth injurious to those not strong enough to gaze steadfastly on the radiance of Reality ... I must place first my love of Truth, the most divine thing of all ... never will I consent to conceal my beliefs nor shall my opinions be at war with my tongue” (Synesius, bishop of Ptolemaia, 373 - 414? A.D., friend and follower of Hypatia).[13]

“For we must first lift up our minds in prayer unto the Primal Goodness, and by drawing nearer thereunto, we must thus be initiated into the mystery of those good gifts which are rooted in Its being. To speak of It as omnipresent doth not express Its all-transcendent, all-embracing Infinitude ... and godlike minds, angelically entering (according to their powers) unto such states of union, and being deified and united, through the ceasing of their natural activities, unto the Light which surpasseth ...” (Dionysius the Areopagite.)

To sum up, let us hear the words of Plato as contained in the Timaeus:

“And we, too, who are going to discourse of the nature of the universe, how created or how existing without creation, if we be not altogether out of our wits, must invoke the aids of Gods and Goddesses and pray that our words may be acceptable to them and consistent with themselves. Let this, then, be our invocation of the Gods, to which I add an exhortation of myself, to speak in such manner as will be most intelligible to you ...”

The echo of Truth, the Infinite Tower of Thought, resounds and rebounds; knowing no limitation of time, it remains ever new, yet ever the same. Perhaps courage, strength and sustenance (not to mention continuity) can be found by familiarizing ourselves with the words of the great souls who have preceded our present movement.



Question: How does Theosophy explain the phenomenon of an innocent person “framed” and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit?

Here is one of those questions which should be placed in the category of “personal Karma,” and therefore difficult to answer fully and satisfactorily. For that matter, all questions which deal with Karma are difficult to answer. It is not that the questions are difficult to answer, it is rather the fact that in asking questions about Karma ALL the aspects pertaining to the query are not presented. By this statement the following is meant: in the present question the questioner is viewing only “the tail end” of a karmic situation and is not supplying the “head”; that is to say the causes which led up to the results are not supplied. True, the results seem so unjust, so difficult to understand; we are impressed with the fact that an “innocent person” is being subjected to suffering. Let us really face the problem.

In the first place a true Theosophist must abide by the following proposition, or rather a “rule of life” which states:

“Verily there is not an accident in our lives, not a misshapen day, or a misfortune, that could not be traced back to our own doings in this or in another life. If one breaks the laws of Harmony, or, as a Theosophical writer expresses it, ‘the laws of life,’ one must be prepared to fall into the chaos one has oneself produced” (The Secret Doctrine, I, 644.).

And the sentence which preceded the citation should be given:

“We stand bewildered before the mystery of our own making, and the [14] riddles of life that we will not solve, and then accuse the great Sphinx of devouring us” (S. D., I, 643.).

It should be borne in mind that in presenting the doctrines of the Esoteric Philosophy which have come to be known as Theosophy, only broad outlines of the doctrines were presented and not detailed analyses of the teachings. Thus in connection with “personal Karma” the detailed working out of the Law of Retribution has not been supplied. Thus regarding Karma, we read: “you know nothing of the ins and outs of the work of karma - of the ‘side-blows’ of this terrible Law” (Mahatma Letters, p. 352.). In other words, we do not know how the commission of an act will rebound upon the committer.

So, in the question placed before us, it would seem that in this life an innocent man has been “framed,” and consequently is imprisoned for a crime which he asserts he has not committed. He has apparently been unjustly accused and is suffering for something he asserts he did not commit in this life. But what about some former life? Did he “get away” with murder? Or escape punishment for some crime - because he was not caught? Or died before he could be apprehended? Or did he give false witness? Did he accuse someone unjustly? We do not know. Therefore we stand bewildered and wonder why? Simply because we do not see all the records. We are not able to “tune in” to his account. We are not able to view the records which he tabulated in his “book of life.” For, whether we realize it or not, Karma represents “an Entry Book, in which all the acts of man, good, bad, or indifferent, are carefully recorded to his debit and credit - by himself, so to say, or rather by these very actions of his” (M. L., p. 111.).

So much for the recording. As for the working out of Karma: “remember that it ever works in the most unexpected way” (M. L., p. 354.).

The questioner has touched upon one of the workings of Karma in unexpected ways.

Now we are prone to regard Karma as “punishment.” In this connection we are inclined to say in regard to the question: Here is a case of punitive Karma: the meting out of punishment for a former misdeed. But is this the correct way to view the problem? Is it not better to say: the innocent man who is suffering for a situation in which he has been “framed” is in a position whereby he will learn an unforgettable lesson. He will impress upon himself the necessity for “right doing” in place of wrong doing.

Therefore, while we may sympathize with a person who has been “framed” and innocently suffers, let us impress upon our minds the thought that we should never permit ourselves to be drawn into a situation wherein we accuse someone falsely. Nevertheless, we assert that “the Law of Retribution is the only law that never errs” (M. L., p. 101.). And as for the Occultist:

“An Occultist or a philosopher will not speak of the goodness or cruelty of Providence; but, identifying it with Karma-Nemesis, he will teach that nevertheless it guards the good and watches over them in this, as in future lives; and that it punishes the evil-doer-aye, even to his seventh rebirth” (The Secret Doctrine, I, 643.). - Geoffrey A. Barborka. [15]


G. White Hickerson

It was early in the morning. The New Cycle of the year had just begun. I stood gazing at the sea.

There was an off-shore wind. The tide was in. The morning mist had not yet been dispelled - so that one could not tell where the sky ended and the sea began on the grey-violet of the horizon.

Directly overhead a few wind-blown, white clouds were making their way seaward.

With a full tide, the swells were crashing over the sand, so that the white spray, mingled with the slip tide and the oncoming waves breaking in thunderous booms, with the tips blown back upon themselves, left me engrossed in the sight and sound, closing out all other thoughts or feeling.

The grey-blue, spray-tipped, bubbling water churned the sand into a loamy green - the vitalizing color of nature’s therapy; and rising into a translucent wall of turquoise before it crashed onto the shore, the sea moved in measured trilogy, white-capped and rhythmic as far as the eye could see.

I thought of the tremendous force behind this moving mass of water. The Sea. The New Tide. The Earth turned toward the Sun once more. I became completely still in the presence of this awesome display.

White, white light - the sum of all colors - from which all came, into which all would be dissolved.

The golden sand, immersed in brilliant turquoise-like Wisdom, becoming magnified by the breaking waves of the scintillating flight of lives being borne into incarnation on beams of light.

I lifted my eyes to the horizon - the violet mists not yet broken by the light of day - the mystic hush of the unknown mingled in the deep of sea and sky, astir by the burgeoning suggestion of rosy expectation. Like the blue of truth not yet clear, yet tended by the love of muted scarlet in sacrificial tones.

And then - clear dawn - sweeping away the mystic moment - with clean blue - vision of knowledge born of loyalty and persistence.

I stored it in my mind. I painted it. I called it “The Spring Tide.”


“Forgiveness is the fragrance of a violet on the heel of the one who crushed it.” - Abigail van Buren.

“By placing ourselves in harmony and cooperation with the main high potential line of human progress and welfare we receive the benefit of strong magnetic induction currents. But by placing our life energies at right angles to it we soon find ourselves on a low-feed induction current, thus losing the help and support which should be ours.” - Luther Burbank [16]


Collected Writings

July, 1888, through March, 1889.
Large Octavo; xxxiv, 461 pages; illustrated and with copious Index. Bound in cloth.
Published by THE THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING HOUSE, Adyar, Madras 20, India.

As is the case with previous Volumes of this Series, the present Volume contains a number of important articles the intrinsic value of which has in no way diminished through the years. Students desirous of finding out what H. P. B. has to say on the nature of God, on the Psychology of Ancient Egypt, on the Mission of the Theosophical Society, on Occult Vibrations, on Lodges of Magic, and whether Theosophy is a Religion or not, should read this Volume.
In addition to this, Volume X contains the complete text of the famous Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge of the T.S. in London , replete with invaluable hints and explanations concerning The Secret Doctrine and its study. The present Volume incorporates also H. P. B’s unique article on the nature of Dreams.
To quote the words of N. Sri Ram, President of The Theosophical Society (Adyar): “I feel that every Lodge throughout the world would do well to have a copy ... of all the volumes of the Collected Writings … the money spent on these volumes would be wisely spent …”

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