A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXV
No. 4 (118) - Spring 1969

[Cover photo: William Quan Judge, 1851-1896.]


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.



“What then is the universe for, and for what final purpose is man the immortal thinker here in evolution? It is all for the experience and emancipation of the soul, for the purpose of raising the entire mass of manifested matter up to the stature, nature and dignity of conscious goodhood. The great aim is to reach self-consciousness: not through a race or a tribe or some favored nation, but by and through the perfecting after transformation, of the whole mass of matter as well as what we now call soul. Nothing is, or is to be left out. The aim for present man is his initiation into complete knowledge, and for the other kingdoms below him that they may be raised up gradually from stage to stage to be in time initiated also. This is evolution carried to its highest power; it is a magnificent prospect; it makes of man a god, and gives to every part of nature the possibility of being one day the same; there is strength and nobility in it, for by this no man is dwarfed and belittled, for no one is so originally sinful that he cannot rise above all sin.” - Attributed to William Quan Judge in The Theosophical Forum, Flushing , N.Y. , Vol. VII, No.2, June, 1901. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

The Spring issue of our Journal reaches many of our subscribers, especially those in foreign lands, around the time of the year when, according to a well-established tradition, Theosophists pay their deeply-felt tribute to H.P.B. on White Lotus Day, May the 8th.

In the spirit of impersonal dedication to the highborn Ideals of our Movement, we dwell in thought upon the selfless service, the immense sacrifice and the unshakable sense of duty of those star-lit souls who, like H.P.B. herself, have appeared from time to time from behind the mystic veil which hides the world of Realities, and walked among us for a while, sounding the clarion call of the spiritual life, redirecting our vision towards far-flung horizons where the noblest hopes of Mankind stand out in bold relief and spur us to transform them into a tangible reality.

As a direct Messenger from the Brotherhood of Adepts, sent out with a specific mandate at a crucial time in the history of the Western world, H.P.B. delivered her message in ringing tones and left with us a literary heritage which will stand for centuries to come as a source of inspiration and an unfailing assurance that Truth can be had, that Knowledge can be attained and that Man has within himself the potentialities of endless spiritual growth.

There is a hidden Wisdom in the world, a Wisdom which is not apparent to the eyes of men. There is a Path which leads to the attainment of that Wisdom, and it starts at the very roots of our own hearts. And there is a secret method of living, a course of life, which provides the necessary conditions for treading that Path, and enables man to reach that hidden Wisdom and make it its own. This she taught.

She left us with an outline of a definite doctrine, of a system of thought the foundation-principles of which trace the blueprint of the Universal structure, explain the correlations between all things, and give the key to hidden treasure-chambers whence flow the perennial streams of spiritual Youth.

The Theosophical Movement is a universal force rooted in the occult life of the planet. It is incomparably greater than any Theosophical Organization which may arise from time to time and recede again into the gathering shadows of bygone history. Fed by the ever-living fountains of Solar energy and life, pulsing with the rhythm of Universal Being, pregnant with worlds yet unborn, the Movement manifests itself in myriads of temporary forms and carries in its cyclic tides all the promise of a nobler future, all the visions of never-ending attainment, all the richness of spiritual fulfillment, harmony and peace.

Today, as we survey twenty-five years of continuous publication of this Journal, and embark upon another year, it is to these Ideals worthy of true Manhood that we rededicate our lives and pledge the fiber of our being. [4]


Joy Mills

Those whose lives have been touched in whatever manner by the theosophical philosophy have become heirs of a great tradition of an immortal wisdom. Knowledge of that tradition can be gained by study, by contemplation, even by discussion of the principles of the wisdom with others. But wisdom itself derives from a total knowing in which understanding is constantly expressed in all the modes of living. The legacy of wisdom to which we are heirs today is of such a nature that unless we are transformed by its vital quality, it can remain a sterile possession, locked in books and inaccessible to experience. A fundamental premise, presented in The Secret Doctrine, suggests the existence of an accumulated wisdom of the ages, today verifiable by experience and, capable of being tested by scientific premises. This knowledge, attested to by generations of seers and sages, can be said to constitute a pentagram of law, which finds its ultimate summation in man.

In the hands of its Guardians, who are the Adepts of the Wisdom, this knowledge is much more than a mere collection of doctrines; it is an evolving, living whole, as alive as the universe which is its visible expression. To assemble facts is not to encounter wisdom; to lay on a table all the component parts of a clock is not to experience the action of a watch nor is it to understand time. The legacy of wisdom to which we today are heirs is a total wisdom, each principle of which is but an aspect of the whole, and the whole is the expression of the all-embracing Consciousness that is the universe. As transmitted to us by that remarkable messenger, H. P. Blavatsky, the wisdom unfolds in a natural sequence of understanding, forming, as has just been suggested, a pentagram of law.

Primary among the principles is the fundamental premise that there is a Universal Reality, in which all is grounded, whose essence is Absolute Unconditioned Consciousness. The real is wholly non-material, as science today is discovering and demonstrating; Reality is, no matter what happens in the universal force field of infinite potentiality. We are embeded in that one Reality, and all transient “realities” obey the laws of the universal, impartable Reality. Its primal quality is awareness, consciousness (Chit), and so the universe is through and through conscious and alive; in and of itself, that Reality is timeless being (Sat), and its essential nature is harmonic in quality (Ananda), permitting by its very nature the beauty and bliss of order to arise in natural sequence.

So the second premise arises from the first: the universe and all phenomenal forms are the periodical manifestation of the primal Reality. Matter is an excrescence, an ejection of Reality, a device of Reality, operative from within outwards. Matter is then the precipitation of energy, never divorced from its source but appearing externally as the transient demonstration of the One Reality; the universe of being projects the universe of process. That projection is periodic, in accord with the inherent rhythm of [5] consciousness. Everywhere occurs the pulse-beat of Reality, sometimes quickened to self-awareness as in man, sometimes slowed down to nearly immeasurable cycles as in the geologic ages. (Not very long ago, a scientist reported: “The pulse-beat of planet Earth has not yet been counted. But a pulse is there ... A rhythmic throbbing in the magnetic shell enclosing the planet arises from the solar wind ... Within the magnetic sheath, Earth’s atmosphere expands and contracts ...”) The throbbing pulse-beat of Reality unfolds upon itself to reveal its own privations, to define itself in boundaries, for there is within the primal Reality the dynamism of its own nature. The word Fohat has been assigned to that dynamism which is yet undiscovered by science, except in its effects.

The universal field is non-operational existence. The activation within the universal field of Reality of that which is known to the occultist as Fohat results in operational universes, which are transient and temporal, and constitute shadows across the Real. So the third premise: the universe is called Maya because all is temporary therein, although it is real enough to the conscious beings who move within it. That which was infolded in simultaneity within the universal Real is now unfolded sequentially, in the processes of time and evolution; hence, it is termed Maya, for it is subject to measurement. Man, as a self-conscious being, learns to utilize time, to work through it and with it, to achieve the processes of evolution. Man is, in consequence, the measure of all things, as well as the measurer of all processes, manipulating both time and process.

The fourth point of the pentagram is the basic premise that everything in the universe, throughout all the kingdoms of nature, is conscious, endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. Since the fundamental Reality, non- partable and non-material, is through and through conscious, even though the phenomenal constitutes a shadow upon that Reality, it is still rooted in primordial consciousness and must therefore participate in consciousness. All is embedded in the Real, revealing itself in the sequences of time, and consequently, in accordance with the fifth premise, the universe is worked and guided from within outwards. Design, pattern, form, are emergent.

So we may visualize the five essential points of a timeless wisdom, a pentagram of law to which all nature conforms and which finds its ultimate expression in man; who is the localization of all that is present everywhere in the universe. Traditionally, the symbol of man has been the five-pointed star; each point may represent a universal law which man, by his very nature, embodies. His task, then, is to become the law he represents.

Man, however wide his reach, however tall he grows, must still stand upon the earth; his feet must be planted somewhere, for there must always be some base upon which he stands, and his vision proceeds from where he is. So standing here, with vision what it is - limited and defined by our present state - we may still grow upwards, until consciousness expands to the five-fold points of wisdom, and we realize what has been true from the beginning, that we are deathlessly rooted in the Self-Existent. [6]

The attainment of that realization is a scientific process, to which may be given the name “the Path.” For doctrine, however noble, is not enough. Principles, however lofty, do not suffice. As the Pseudo-Dionysius put it: “Man must not only learn the truth; he must suffer it.” There is a Way to be found and trodden, though there are a thousand approaches to the entrance of that Way. The Way itself is one and the pupil is self-chosen. The legacy of Wisdom which is ours reveals the nature of the Way; one finds the ultimate reality by living it out. By our own efforts we develop the tremendous potential of consciousness, by meditation and “right mindfulness,” we “recollect,” as Plato described it, that which we truly are. Learning to forget the claims and desires of the transient self in a purpose of living which is now rediscovered, we learn to apply, with deep compassion, all that we are and have to the service of mankind. For man is self-committed to further, in a self-conscious manner, the entire process of which he is a part.

But this commitment demands a radical departure from the normal evolutionary pattern; it calls for a new mode of growth - no longer growth in the linear sense of sequence, but a self-transformation that takes place from within. The most useful analogy is the process of metamorphosis. A caterpillar does not become a butterfly through any process of linear growth, becoming merely a larger and larger caterpillar; the process is achieved only when the caterpillar winds itself in its own cocoon, isolates itself from the outer environment on which it has fed and depends solely upon its own resources for an amazing transformation. There inside the cocoon occurs a nearly miraculous process: all the larval organs disappear, reduced to an amorphous, formless, viscous emulsion, having no discernible structure. By some miracle of reorganization, which biology cannot explain, directed by a mysterious dynamism which science has not yet named, energized by a force unknown to physics, this formless and apparently dead emulsion transforms itself into the butterfly. That which was once the caterpillar is now a thing of wings and beauty, adapted to a wholly different environment, the air, and fitted for a totally different mode of life.

So man, self-consciously and by self-devised effort, may achieve a transformation comparable in scope, equally magnificent at another level of realization, emerging from his caterpillar existence as a thing of earth, experiencing linear growth through successive incarnations to the freer life of spiritual regeneration.

Here, then, is our legacy of wisdom: we are heirs of the ages, holding in trust a sacred pledge. But it is more than knowledge that has been given to us, and more than knowledge that we must pursue if the legacy which has been bequeathed to us is to be transmitted in its magnificence to those who come after us. We must encounter truth in so intimate a manner that it takes hold of us and possesses us; we must transmute the universal principles in the fiery furnace of life’s experience into the gold of wisdom, becoming the self-transformed and the self-transforming. The eternal principles of the wisdom are not without us, external to us, acting upon us; they [7] are the essence of our very nature: we are the pentagram of law. To know this is to see life whole, to perceive the uncompounded vision of Reality, and so to live and act that the legacy of wisdom to which we today are heir can never be lost to mankind.


Lina Psaltis

“Events which were never written outside the human memory, but which were religiously transmitted from one generation to another, and from race to race, may have been preserved by constant transmission ‘within the book volume of the brain,’ and through countless aeons, with more truth and accuracy than inside any written document or record ...” - The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 424.

Beaching back into the dawn of the birth of the universes, the religious teachings of the Hopi People tell the story of the travail of man and his evolutionary journey from the beginning of time unto the end of the seventh world. Their history in the “New World” encompasses at least 20,000 years and is the history of a people devoted to the ideals of universal brotherhood, the harmony of the forces of the universe and man’s growth through Self-awareness.

Located in the starkly arid regions of Arizona , their villages cling to the high mesas as though they were an extension of Mother Earth herself. One of the villages, Old Oraibi, is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the United States, and treering dating allows an estimated period of 10,000 years. The habitation by the Hopi Nations in an area of such desolation rests upon their awareness of the relationship of man and the cosmic forces. The environment demands constant struggle in order to survive, and as a result, no time is available to the individual in which he can, so to speak, “get in trouble.” For it is on the premise that previous worlds and civilizations were destroyed because of their failure to remain in tune with the universal forces of harmony, that they base their evolutionary direction.

Traditionally their oral religious teaching tells of three previous worlds destroyed, Atlantis and Lemuria being the last. When beginning life on the continent of America,* (* Their mythology relates the story of their ancestors, survivors of the Flood, landing on the west coast of America (called atvila, lit.: west side slope) after a long voyage across the ocean - not via the Bering Straits.) Sotuknang,* (* Sotuknang is a symbolic name for the Creative Forces.) the God of the Universe, told the ancestors of the Hopi (the survivors of Lemuria):

“The name of this Fourth World is Tuwaqachi, World Complete. You will find out why. It is not all beautiful and easy like the previous ones. It has height and depth, heat and cold, beauty and barrenness; it has everything for you to choose from. What you choose will determine if this time you can carry out the plan of Creation on it or whether it must in time be destroyed too. Now you [8] will separate and go different ways to claim all the earth for the Creator. Each group of you will follow your own star until it stops. There you will settle. Now I must go. But you will have help from the proper deities, from your good spirits. Just keep your doors open (a reference to the Hopi teaching of the center of spiritual consciousness being located in the top of the head) and always remember what I have told you ...” - Book of the Hopi, p. 21.

And so it was that they selected a land on which to live that promised constant struggle and complete dependence on the individual’s awareness of the universal forces of nature and on the principle of living in unity with the Great Spirit.

The religion of the Hopi has been sustained through oral tradition from time immemorial, and an appraisal of it reveals its beginnings in the ancient wisdom-religion. In recent years, certain members of the various clans determined that the time had come to put into writing the teachings of their people. Traditionally, the religious teachings were never put into writing as it was thought that the written word led but to dissension and disputation. Thus it is that the importance of memory is stressed in the religious training, and ceremonies must be enacted with absolute precision in word and action. It is only now, when the world faces possible universal cataclysmic events, that they make the effort to share the ageless wisdom of their people-wisdom which has been garnered through knowledge of the causal forces leading to the destruction of past worlds. It was, therefore, under the auspices of these tribal spokesmen that the Book of the Hopi was published. It is their Bible, and includes their myths, legends, history and the meanings of their ceremonies. The book concludes with an appeal for universal understanding and unification. In their words:

“It is an effort on the part of a small nation that could well be emulated by greater nations in the shrinking time before this one small planet extends its pattern of unity or disunity to still more planets in outer space - a prelude to another Emergence, to another state of evolutionary development along our common and continuing Road of Life.” - Ibid., p. 337.

They speak with authority for they know that man is frail and subject to the delusion of separateness. Their tender regard for men of all races and all creeds could serve as a beacon light for the American people. For in the face of a history of brutal persecution and gross misunderstanding by the white man, they offer·the hand of shared knowledge - a hand of nonviolence, for the name “Hopi” means peace, and their belief prohibits violence in any form.

It is in the interest of mutual understanding that this article is presented. They need no affirmation or confirmation that theirs is of the ancient Truth - they know it. They do not fear ridicule of their ceremonies, for they know they work, and more importantly, why they work. True mystics, they are born to a life of hardship and deliberate dependence on [9] their “open channel” to spiritual forces. The religion shows the path they must take. This path, again, is the path of the true mystery schools in whatever land: the development of the inner man, the harmony of body, mind and spirit, this being one who is called of “One-Heart.” “Outer trappings of civilization have led but to destruction,” say their wise men. “Remember Atlantis. We keep the door open and thus remain in harmony with the Great Spirit, and is this not for all? Harmony with the Great Spirit, the universal law as it applies to all fields of endeavor and all areas of awakened consciousness is our ultimate destiny.”

Exemplification of this is found in the teaching given to the children:

“Then came his first initiation into a religious society, and he began to learn that, although he had human parents, his real parents were the universal entities who had created him through them - his Mother Earth, from whose flesh all are born, and his Father Sun, the solar god who gives life to all the universe. He began to learn, in brief, that he too had two aspects. He was a member of an earthly family and tribal clan, and he was a citizen of the great universe, to which he owed a growing allegiance as his understanding developed.” - Ibid., p. 9.

Who can say but that the path of spiritual unfoldment as taught and lived by the Hopi people is not one of the last heritages from a time when the gods walked with mankind and taught them. Their culture is perhaps dying, at least within the framework of the past and those of Two Hearts (those who have not remained in harmony); but their religion seems to be resurrecting from the ashes, the flame kept bright by those of One Heart. The destiny - perhaps to help the evolutionary impulse.

The greatness of mankind as an entity can only be measured by the greatness of the individuals comprising the whole. The world is asking if it is too late. The One Heart Hopi says that the answer lies within, in the trinity of love, peace and harmony. It is the individual consciousness that must be reached, for the consciousness of the masses is a Frankenstein monster. The future of each individual and of mankind will be determined by seeds sown now. The law of Karma which links families, groups, nations and the world governs our past, present and future. As long as we are in this world (as the Hopi child is taught):

“(we owe) a growing allegiance as (our) understanding develops. Let, then, our understanding grow ... Let us sing in harmony.”


“... The only revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionists are philosophers and saints.” - Will and Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History, p. 72. [10]


L. Gordon Plummer

The physical body is composed essentially of energy, of energies rather, in the forms that are called in ultra-modern physical science, electrons and protons. These are in constant movement; they are incessantly active, and are what theosophists call the imbodiments or manifestations of life-atoms. These life-atoms are inbuilt into man’s body during the physical life which he leads on Earth, although they are not derivative from outside, but spring forth from within himself - at least a great majority of them are such. This is equivalent to saying that they compose both his physical as well as his intermediate nature, which latter is obviously higher than the physical. - G. de Purucker, Occult Glossary, pp. 85-86.

Among the most interesting and at the same time most difficult technically among our teachings is that concerning the life-atoms, and the part that they play in building man’s nature in all of its reaches of consciousness- substance. The subject is made difficult because we tend to draw a distinction between the physical atoms and life-atoms, and this leads to confusion.

We must apply a most useful principle here. We must compare what we want to know with what we do know. Therefore we shall start with the atom of science. Since this has come to be regarded as essentially a bundle of energy, the term “physical” is becoming less precise than it used to be. The best that can be said nowadays is that the word may be applied to the appearances produced by the actions and interactions of energies, producing objects that have mass, density, volume and so forth.

Confining ourselves now to the physical and chemical properties of matter, we find that any approach must be made according to the nature of the study undertaken at anyone moment. Are we considering elements or compounds; metals or non-metals; acids, bases or salts; organic or inorganic substances; positive or negative ions; stable or unstable elements? And so the list grows. How then are we going to classify the chemical atoms? The matter is equally intricate once we begin to see that the life-atoms may be classified in so many differing manners according to the nature of the study undertaken by any student at any particular time.

Let us then start by saying that all atoms, whether known to science or not, are life-atoms. That physical atoms are the imbodiments of life-atoms is a truism, but that is not saying that all life-atoms manifest as physical or chemical atoms, for by far the greater number do not. It is somewhat like·the case of only certain frequencies in the radiation spectrum that manifest themselves as visible light. By far the greater number do not.

I would like to suggest an illustration taken from Plane Geometry that may give some direction to our study. There is an endless variety in the shapes of triangles, but they may be grouped together as: group A, the acute triangles, in which all of the angles are less than 90°; group B, the right triangles in which one of the [11] angles is a right angle, containing 90°; and group C, the obtuse triangles in which one of the angles is greater than 90°.

Now the right triangles form a special case, because all of them exhibit certain properties which are not to be found in the triangles of either groups A or C. All right triangles may be inscribed within a semi-circle. The square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the two sides. A perpendicular drawn upon the hypotenuse from the right angle divides the triangle into two smaller similar triangles, with the result that there are interesting proportions to be noted between the various line segments. All of these properties are unique to the right triangles, making of them what we may call collectively a “special case,” but all of them triangles nonetheless.

I would like to suggest that for one purpose of study the life-atoms may be classified into three groupings, A, B and C. Groups A and C are unknown to science, but group B, having certain qualities that make it collectively a “special case,” are known to science and are studied with the tools of modern research. These we call the physical atoms.

One of the interesting qualities or properties that they exhibit, long recognized by the Esoteric Philosophy, is that they are able to become the vehicles for other kinds of life-atoms. Upon this fact rests the very possibility of life flourishing on this planet, or any other, for that matter.

We may think of the universe as a mathematical background upon which is thrown the living drama of life, somewhat as the moving images are projected upon a screen in a theater. In the case of the theater, we have lights and shadows and colors masquerading as living people acting out a drama. It is all an illusion, of course. In the case of life thrown upon the screen of the mathematical universe, all is illusion too, but of a vastly different kind. Life is real enough; only its manifestations are illusory. However, that is another story.

When, a moment ago, we divided the life-atoms into three groups, it was for a specific purpose. It is, however, possible to classify them in many other manners, and the study can become recondite in the extreme. One classification is important to bring out here, because it is the very foundation upon which is built the edifice of the Esoteric Philosophy.

We referred briefly to the radiation spectrum. Each portion of this spectrum is recognizable by the frequencies peculiar to it, and although only a small portion is detectable by our sense of vision, it yields to the tools of science throughout its entire gamut. Therefore it lies within the range of the so-called physical universe. Nevertheless, by its very nature, it exhibits a pattern. Although seemingly very extensive in terms of its range through the known frequencies, it is nevertheless but one form of energy. Science knows of many others. To list a few: atomic energy; chemical energy; the energy of motion, or mechanics; electrical and magnetic energy; gravitation, and so on. Each of these operates within its own field, and activity within one field of force can be independent of activity within another, [12] although there is indeed exchange of energy from one field to another.

Even all of this is within the physical universe, but once more it exhibits a pattern. If we attempt to approach this on the cosmic scale, we run into trouble because we shall have to step outside the scientific fields of research. Everything that is recognized by science has yielded meter readings. So far as cosmic intelligence is concerned, the scientist will tell you that it is a matter of pure speculation. In only a few exceptional instances have scientists of recognized world standing, such as Albert Einstein, expressed himself as feeling a sense of “religiosity” that gives meaning to the physical universe. There have been a few others who have expressed themselves in similar terms, but science itself takes no stand upon the question of Cosmic Intelligence. We must therefore limit our inquiry to man, because it is self-evident that he has thoughts and feelings that transcend the physical.

Every person is really many selves in one. His physical body is the playground of his senses. His senses, however, are not physical; they operate through the appropriate organs of the body. In essence, they are astral. The mind is not physical, but it does have a close affinity to the human organ we call the brain. Not in a million years will science solve the riddle of life if it adheres to its present pattern of research, in which the premise is made that life (which includes mental activity) is the result of chemical and electrical action among the molecules within the brain. This viewpoint is like looking through the wrong end of the telescope, but it is so firmly entrenched in our minds that it is doubtful that it will be uprooted within our time.

Theosophy sees man, then, as compounded of many levels of consciousness. These are briefly, his physical, astral, vital, emotional, mental, spiritual, and finally, divine. Each of these selves is an entity in its own right evolving not only as individual entities, but in concert with all of the others.

Now, the manner in which the mind produces thoughts is highly suggestive of a most important principle which applies throughout the entire man. When a man is thinking, he is producing thoughts from his own mind-energy-substance. These thoughts provide one example of life-atoms, and by a peculiarity brought about due to our present stage of evolution, the mind is more frank, if we may use the expression, than are the other selves in man. We see a drama played out before us which is really being enacted throughout the entire human constitution, although with this one exception the process is hidden from our ken. Fortunately, the mind gives us a concrete example of a process which is going on in everyone of the selves within a human being. Each one is a fountainhead from which is being produced a continuous flow of life-atoms. These life-atoms are of the very essence of their parent. This fact is the foundation or cornerstone of the rather intricate study of Svabhava, a Sanskrit term meaning “self-becoming.” It is that which makes you what you are, different although in many respects similar to every other person alive.

Now, these life-atoms, produced as they are from the various selves within man, form therefore the various [13] sheaths of consciousness which we have learned to call his “principles.” Thus, we have what are familiar to all theosophical students, the teaching about the seven principles of man.

Incarnation is a process of ensouling the stream of consciousness which is the core of the core of the human being, his Monadic Essence, into the many sheaths of consciousness, thus building for itself the seven-principled being that is born upon the Earth. Death is the reverse process, and consists of casting off, one by one, the sheaths of consciousness, starting usually with the physical body. The life-atoms that had attached themselves to physical atoms, and which had borrowed them for the duration of the life on Earth then go their way, finding places to which they are attracted by their own nature, and there they work out their own destinies while they await the time when they will be gathered again into the various sheaths of consciousness needed by the entity on its return. This in brief is the process of rebirth, or reincarnation which is one of the foundation stones of the Ancient Wisdom.

To sum it all up, although the picture is admittedly fragmentary, the chemical atoms are in their aggregate one class of life-atoms, which can and do enshrine life-atoms of many kinds, serving thus as the constituents of the living bodies of entities that are incarnated on this Earth, be they plants, beasts or humans. At the death of the individual, these physical atoms are dropped, and they are used elsewhere by nature. The other classes of life-atoms which belong to the subtler parts of the just excarnated entity then go to their appropriate environments, where they are shed by the out-going entity. When the death is complete, the entity is then freed of its non-spiritual sheaths of consciousness, and, stripped of all that would hold it back, it is then freed to enter into the highest spiritual-divine realms of the Cosmos. There it enjoys ineffable bliss until the thirst for life calls it back again, and it begins the slow process of gathering its own life-atoms, weaving them once more into its various sheaths of consciousness until it has taken on enough ballast, let us say, that it can descend to the physical (mathematical) universe, in which it is once more imbodied. Not only does it grow and develop through a long series of lifetimes on Earth, but the very life-atoms which it produced are benefited also, for they are all living, growing entities in their own right.


“Do you believe in Reincarnation?” - “Instead of believing - as something one clings to and buttresses against doubt and critical riposte - why not take into view the universal integrity and immense dynamism, the deeply ordered beauty, and the never-dying Upwardness of life? Is there any need to set up a belief? This takes away an inquirer’s concern about self, and widens the picture, to include the rise and fall of nations, and such things. Reincarnation is an implementation of an all-embracing law and not a principle in itself. To recognize this is to limn as it were something of the great and noble picture of life, and find Reincarnation there as a heart-throb in the vast and beautiful circlings of the Universe.” - From a letter. [14]


Montague A. Machell

“Call there be bliss when all that lives must suffer?
Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?”
- The Voice of the Silence.

The mission of Theosophy is to convince mankind that earthly living has one single motivation: the consistent revelation of the Spiritual Self of man in a universe spiritual in origin and destiny. Each single individual that accepts this point of view, and lives by it, has begun to create Heaven on Earth. He has approached the divine miracle by pouring into life spiritual thought and aspiration; for in the last analysis, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” and Thought, galvanized by Will, contributes to that invisible, intangible, unutterable Reality that is life. In a universe spiritual in origin and destiny, the life of that universe, through whatever channel it finds expression, must be a revelation of spiritual unfoldment, which is its only Reality.

When THE ONE first manifested through the many, each of those many entities, manifesting IT, required a vehicle. The Oneness of Spirit, to express diversity, was compelled to resort to differentiation, which we call Matter, the destiny of which was to slowly solve the problems of material existence, accumulating, little by little, the wisdom which should restore to it the Splendor from which it emanated in its original manifestation. He who knows this to be the case, lives ever on the threshold of the Divinity as his Source. His affirmation of this threshold in terms of spiritual thought and action strengthens and enriches it, thereby lessening the gap between Heaven and Earth.

So immeasurably remote is godlike living of the heavenly man from life as we see it by mortals all around us, that it is hardly an exaggeration to regard earth-life as completely irrelevant to the program originally designed for it. One might go further and say that only in the rarest cases can a man be said to be “alive,” in terms of his fundamental spiritual reality - hence the hell on earth so much of humanity endures.

It is, therefore, a pure waste of time and energy for a spiritually oriented man to attempt for one moment to reconcile the Theosophical life program with that accepted and championed by millions who have yet to discover the spiritual significance of life for themselves and their universe. The Theosophist finds himself compelled, if he is to fit into his human environment today, to pay lip service to many of these irrelevancies, be they broadcast in newspapers, on television or in the marketplace, seeing them always as irrelevancies which remain powerless to undermine or obstruct his program of consciously spiritual living.

This is a program he is not conforming to for his own spiritual advantage alone. Mankind, in its totality, are his brothers; he and they share a single Spiritual Threshold. The [15] sincere carrying out of this program is his contribution to the ultimate fulfillment of human destiny.

But is it ever possible to help humanity so long as one accepts superficial views of life and a totally inadequate conception of man’s spiritual potentiality? To seek cures that are not fundamental; to attempt to correct superficial effects while ignoring fundamental causes, is simply to multiply earthly perplexities. Only a deep penetration into the heart of life that reaches into its profoundest secrets can bring to life a touch of eternal Reality as a spiritual experience. Man’s faith in that Reality can alone inspire and justify his search for the Divine Threshold. Did he but know it, Fulfillment is so sublimely accessible!

Because man’s most immediate contact with God must be through his own godhood, self-knowledge, in its deepest meaning, becomes an indispensable aspect of his devotional program. He must come to discover and know the God within himself. Let him once make this discovery and cleave to it devotedly; he will never be at a loss for spiritual resources so long·as he makes his life a conscious reflection of a spiritual universe. Again and again he will gather strength from the realization that his heart and the heart of his universe are one. This awareness can illumine a lifetime. The beauty of a sublime symphony, an inspired painting, great verse, beauty in all its varied natural forms-in all of these he will see Divinity manifest, the Reality of it eternal. As a conscious part of all this beauty, he reminds himself that life on earth can be a heavenly communion - mortality communing with immortality.

To one long accustomed to the idea that he lives but once, after which life is taken from him, the Theosophical teaching of Reincarnation can vastly enlarge his spiritual perspective. An immortal Self, having access to many bodies in many earth-lives, begins to perceive a Grand Design in earthly mortality, each life a scene in a sublime drama, which self-knowledge makes meaningful and ultimately rewarding. In a universe divine in origin, do not you and I live on the Threshold of Divinity from day to day? Can we not see all men, our brothers, as fellow-pilgrims seeking the summits of Self-Realization, the Threshold of Fulfillment? He who achieves this view of life is utilising Heavenly Awareness to create a halcyon climate of living here on earth. “Thoughts are things,” and the Theosophist is ever aware of his capacity as a Thinker to lend added beauty and enrichment to the Akasa, whereon the legend of his life is eternally inscribed.

Is it not a solemn thought that each of us in his living is inscribing an eternally indelible record on the Screen of Time of his accomplishments, constructively or destructively, in the upward progress of the race? Shall not every letter of that inscription borrow eternal splendor from the Compassion that dictates our individual spiritual integrity? “ Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?” To what purpose such salvation to him who lives by the law of BROTHERHOOD? Out of ONE LIFE came One Humanity. The ultimate goal of Life being ONENESS, must not Spiritual Awareness begin with Compassion for all mankind? Must not your “Heaven” and mine be that sphere of enlightenment wherein [16] individual consciousness has perfectly merged with Consciousness of All, dedicated to the Wholeness of THE ONE?

From the seed of Differentiation sprang the weed of Selfishness. Till that weed is uprooted, the bloody conflicts born of the Master Delusion will damn the civilizations of the earth, delaying the only Progress that is sound and enduring. More refined and knowledgeable Greed invites a Threshold of Death, not Life. Compassion, the heavenly flower of Spiritual Responsibility, alone can foster universal growth. I and my brother are one; our destiny is one. “To live to benefit mankind is the first step.”

“Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer?” On the Heavenly Threshold are those daring souls who say “No!” and who guard and reinforce that Heavenly Threshold by making their divinity an embodied force for Growth. To the Theosophist is delegated the task of rendering visible, by consciously illumined living, the as yet undiscovered Threshold of Divinity, upon which every man dwells. Of each, shall it not be confidently declared:

“Joy unto ye, O Men of Myalba,
A Pilgrim hath returned back ‘from the other shore’.”



This is the first book ever to be published about William Quan Judge, Co-Founder of The Theosophical Society. Here is the story of his life in brief: his discipleship and dark years of trial, his later tribulations, his growth in spiritual stature and his vast accomplishments. The image emerging from this account is one of intense devotion, utter dedication, heroic struggle and unfailing brotherhood.
If it be true, as has been said, that we would have no Theosophy without H. P. Blavatsky, and no Theosophical Society without Col. H. S. Olcott, it is equally true that we would have no Theosophical Society in America without William Quan Judge, who was its Founder, its inspiration and guiding light.
As we approach the hundredth anniversary of our Movement in 1975, it is imperative to bring into focus the life and work of W. Q. Judge, who was one of the three chief Founders of The Theosophical Society, and its Pioneer on the Continent of America.

PRICE: $3.00.
Order from: “Theosophia,” 551 S. Oxford Ave., LA., Calif. 90005.