A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXVI
No. 1 (119) - Summer 1969

[Cover photo: Dr. Gottfried de Purucker, 1874-1942.
Leader of the Point Loma Theosophical Society from July 11, 1929, to September 27, 1942.]


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.



“The affairs of men are the manifestations of the thoughts of men; and the thoughts of men follow three distinct and separately characteristic types, as history demonstrates. They are: a religious era, always followed by a scientific era, invariably followed by a philosophical era, which ushers in again a religious era … H.P.B. came in a scientific era and her works were largely addressed to breaking the scientific molds of the thoughts of men ... The philosophical era is now upon us. Science is becoming philosophical; and our Theosophical work, our teaching ... has taken upon itself a more definitely philosophical cast than before. This philosophic era in the future will be followed by a religious era; and this will be exceedingly dangerous; for it is in matters of religion that men differ more acrimoniously, more ungenerously in feeling, than they do either in philosophy or in science.

“Fortunately, about the time when the new religious era will be upon us will be the time when the Great Teachers will make a special effort; and it will be at the beginning of the fourth quarter of the present hundred-years’ period. I fancy that when the Envoy comes then, the Leader comes then, most Theosophical Societies will not welcome him; for his teachings and his personality alike would be unwelcome. He will not be what they think he should be; and with crystallized minds and crystallized societies set stone-like, there will be small hope for his getting help from these quarters. Let us be ready. Many of us will be gone, passed on, by that time. But those of us who remain, let us be ready to welcome the new Torchbearer of truth, the new Leader (for that is what a Torchbearer is), who will follow in orderly succession as the ages follow each other, the preceding leaders, the preceding thinkers, the preceding guides of men.” - G. de Purucker. Excerpts from his Address to the European Convention of the T.S., The Hague, Holland, July 15, 1933. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Theosophy or the Esoteric Philosophy is a definite system of thought based upon specific principles which serve as cornerstones for a many-sided and complex body of truths explaining the origin and nature of man and the Universe of which he is an inseparable part.

The foundation-principles of that system are as clear and unequivocal as those upon which mathematical sciences are grounded, and for the simple reason that the Universe itself is a manifestation of mathematical principles which underlie its harmonious correlations.

In the words of one of the greatest Adepts we know of:

“The doctrine we promulgate being the only true one, must, supported by such evidence as we are preparing to give become ultimately triumphant as every other truth. Yet it is absolutely necessary to inculcate it gradually, enforcing its theories, unimpeachable facts for those who know, with direct inferences deduced from and corroborated by the evidence furnished by modern exact science.”* (* From the words of the Maha-Chohan as reported by Master K.H. in 1881. Cf. Letters from the Master of the Wisdom, First Series, Adyar, 1948.)

The basic propositions of this doctrine may be found in the writings of the Chief Founders of the modern Theosophical Society: H. P. Blavatsky, Col. Henry S. Olcott, and William Quan Judge; in the Letters received by A. P. Sinnett and other early workers from the Adept-Brothers who were the real Founders behind the outward veil of events; and in the writings of several of the early workers, such as T. Subba Row, Damodar K. Mavalankar, and a few others who were either initiated chelas or disciples of such.

There can be little doubt that in the later years of the Movement there have existed within its framework other advanced disciples whose profound knowledge of the deeper levels of the Esoteric Philosophy made them reliable exponents of its genuine teachings, both in spoken and written word.

Unfortunately, however, as the years went by, the stage of the Theosophical Movement was invaded by ideas and teachings of a vastly different order. They originated from individuals whose unsupported claims to occult knowledge were mainly based on various degrees of psychic, i.e., astral sensitivity, highly unreliable as it is, giving rise to a large literature in direct opposition to many of the foundation-principles of the original doctrine. Thousands of minds have eagerly accepted these ideas which colored their understanding of Theosophy. When later confronted with the original teachings, their lack of solid foundation resulted in widespread confusion which even today largely distorts their vision.

It is one of the most sacred duties of every Theosophical student and worker, to try to give to those who are seeking the light and are hungry for spiritual knowledge, only those teachings which are based upon the foundation-principles of the occult doctrine, and are harmoniously related to everything else which this doctrine proclaims. He must avoid at all times [4] leading seekers astray by offering them emotionally-attractive or sensational material which arouses man’s innate love for wonders, and confuses them.

For Theosophy - we repeat it - is a definite system of thought, a doctrine containing explicit postulates of truth, spiritual equations, we might say, which establish the interrelation between the various spheres of universal life, and the understanding of which is the key to all spiritual growth. It is not a mere desire for something new, strange or weird; it is not an open-minded attitude on the part of the seeker whose mind is to be so “open” that everything encountered easily falls into it. It is not a set of anyone’s opinions, or a generalized search for truth. It is not this, that, or the other - to be accepted merely because it originates with some individual whose claims to occult knowledge and powers is unsupported by any independent evidence.

In more than one respect, the organized Theosophical Movement has to get its house in order. It is high time for it to set out courageously to sift and analyse its own published literature. This requires absolute sincerity of purpose and an unshakable determination to weed out truth from error, however high-seated the latter may be. It calls for a re-appraisal of many a motive, a shift in one’s centre of gravity, a refusal to compromise with error or to settle for less than truth, no matter how it may hurt at times, or how great may be the outcry from quarters where personal allegiances have become stronger than commitments to truth - “the doctrine we promulgate,” “the only true one,” as the Teacher said.

To expose seekers after truth, earnest and often bewildered souls, to books and pamphlets, published under the auspices of the organized Movement, and containing ideas and teachings which can never be made to fit into the original spiritual blueprint of the Theosophical message, is a sorry farce, an insult to sound judgment, productive of unfavorable karmic consequences, which will ensue even if no evil motive was ever intended. It is easy, however, for anyone of us to harm people and confuse them, while entertaining the best of motives. Sincerity of motive is not synonymous with either wisdom or truth.

The weeding out of the Movement of unreliable literature must be done against the background of a solid understanding of the original teachings, to be used as a touchstone or frame of reference. In the absence of such understanding, error cannot be distinguished from relative truth, and the result is merely a waste of effort. Therefore students everywhere should become more familiar with those basic propositions, doctrines and postulates of the Esoteric Philosophy which have been stated and re-stated by the Founders and their Teachers - as well as by some later occultists - in their basic works. They are a clear cut exposition of a portion of the traditional wisdom in the keeping of the Brotherhood of Adepts. They contain innumerable passages directly dictated by them, and this is not in trance or induced psychic clairvoyance, but as one living man tells another out of the store of his own higher knowledge what he knows will benefit mankind at the present dangerous juncture of its history.

A vital job calls for action! Let’s do it, and do it Now! [5]


Gottfried de Purucker

I hope that the time will come when we Theosophists shall weigh more strongly than we have been doing on the teachings of what happens after death in the Kama-loka and the Devachan. The average man seems to be today not so much immoral as amoral, i.e., seems to have largely lost the sense of moral responsibility. If men could realize what is going to happen to them after death, it would awaken a certain sense of needed behavior or conduct.

Now let us try to restore to mankind the teaching of the Ancient Wisdom: As you live so will you be after you die. It is a simple teaching and it is so logical, it appeals. Men may resent it at first, men may not like it; but there is a thought there which on account of its logic, on account of its justice, will finally throw forth sprouts of thought in the mind.

If you want to understand the kama-loka and the devachan, just study yourself now, and you will know what you are going to get. Just that. You are going to get a continuation of precisely what now you are. If a man indulges in vice, what is going to happen to him? He reaps the consequences of his evil-doing. He learns by it the lessons that come out of the suffering. If a man fills his mind with gross thoughts and evil dreams, he learns by it in the long run through suffering, but the effects and consequences on his mind and character will ensue. He suffers, he is in torture, he pays the penalty, he has poisoned his inner system and he won’t have peace until the poison has worked itself out, until he has become what is called re-formed, i.e., re-shaped. Then he will have peace again, then he will be able to sleep in peace again.

So the answer lies, it seems to me, in just these thoughts. Study yourself in your daily consciousness; and also study what kind of dreams you have. Why are these two conjoined? Because your dreams are from your own mind, and therefore are a part of your own consciousness. A man during his waking hours has evil dreams, evil thoughts; when he sleeps he has nightmares; he learns by them, but he certainly is not going, when he sleeps, to have a heaven of dreams because he has filled his mind with horrid, hateful, mean, degrading thoughts. He has not builded the substances of heaven.

There you have the answer: and the kama-loka is simply a state of consciousness which the man’s consciousness itself is in after death because he has made himself during his lifetime to have that consciousness. It works itself out, and then he rises or sinks into whatever is his destiny: a weak devachan, no devachan at all, according to the individual. In other words, if he has made for himself a character which is X, he will have that character X, whatever it is, after death. He won’t have character Y, or Z, or A, or B. Contrariwise, a man who during life has kept himself in hand, has controlled himself, has lived manly, experiences the same law precisely: the after-death state will be unconscious in the kama-loka, or very nearly so, because he has no kama-loka biases in himself; and probably there will be a blissful devachan. [6]

Suppose a man has no marked character at all, is neither particularly good, nor particularly bad. What kind of an after-death state is he going to have? He will have a colorless kama-loka, nothing particularly bad; and he will have a colorless devachan, nothing particularly beautiful or blissful. It will all be like a sort of vague, intangible dream. It doesn’t amount to much and consequently he won’t amount to much after he dies.

Or take the case of a young man of evil ways who reforms, let us say, at about middle age, and spends the rest of his life in deeds of virtue, of self-improvement. What will be his fate in the worlds to come? As I told you before, the kama-loka and the devachan are simply a continuation of what the man is when he dies. So consequently an evil young man becoming a good old man has practically no kama-loka of an unpleasant kind at all. He will have to pay to the uttermost farthing for any evil he did as a youth - but in his future life. His evil deeds are thought-deposits there. But as he reformed at about middle-age, and had lived a clean decent life as a decent man, his kama-loka will be very slight, because it will be simply a continuation of what he was when he died, and the devachan will be in accordance likewise.

One can be in the kama-loka, as well as in the devachan, before death comes; indeed, it is possible to be in the avichi-condition even while imbodied. And here is a very important deduction we should draw from this fact: if we have kama-loka while imbodied men and women, we shall have it after death; and precisely according to the same law, because we have spiritual yearnings, dreams of a spiritual kind and type or character while imbodied, we shall have the devachan after death. Do you see the point? The kama-loka is a prolongation or a continuation, until it is worked out, of what you have been through in your life. If you set your thought and mind and heart on things which bring you pain, which make you suffer because you are selfish, and stiff-necked in pride and egoism, you will assuredly continue the same bending of your consciousness after death. It cannot be otherwise. It is simply you. Therefore, the devachan and the kama-loka are prolongations or continuations of the same states of consciousness respectively that you have gone through on earth - with this difference: that being out of the body, which is at once a blind and a shield of protection, you are, as it were, thought, naked thought. Do you see what I am trying to say? And if your thought has been during life in things of horror, or if you have allowed your thought to bend in those directions while imbodied, you won’t be washed free of stain merely because you have cast off the body. Your thought, which is yourself, will continue and you will have to pass through the kama-loka and exhaust that phase of thought. It will have to die out as a fire will burn itself out.

Similarly, indeed exactly: if you have had beautiful thoughts, grand thoughts, sublime thoughts, in life, you will assuredly have the same thing, but a thousand-fold stronger because no longer smothered by the body, when you have cast it off; and if you want to know what your destiny will be after death, just study yourself now and take warning. There is a very important [7] and pertinent lesson that we can learn from this fact, just in that. You can make your post-mortem condition what you will it to be now, before it is too late. Nothing in the universe can prevent the bliss of devachan coming to you, or rather your making it for yourself.

Deduction: Take yourself in hand. There you have the teaching of the kama-loka. There you have the teaching of the devachan. It is very simple. All the intricate, abstract questions I think arise largely in failing to understand the elementary principles of the teachings. When you lie down you dream, or you are unconscious. When you die you dream, or you are unconscious. You have, when you lie down at night, evil dreams or good dreams, or you are unconscious. When you die you will have evil dreams or beautiful dreams or you will be unconscious - all depending upon the individual and the life he has led.

So kama-loka and the devachan and indeed the avichi, are not things that are going suddenly to happen to you when you die; but because your consciousness has been that way while imbodied, they, one or the other, will continue after you die. You see now the importance of ethics, and why all the great Sages and Seers throughout time have tried to teach men to spiritualize their thoughts, to refine their thoughts, to live in the heart-life as some people have said , to cast out the things which are wrong and evil. There is the whole thing, simple as ABC. The devachan is not waiting for you. The kama-loka is not waiting for you - I mean as absolute conditions now separate from you. If you had them in life, you will have them after death. The man who has had no thought of hatred or horror or detestation or venom toward another, in other words whose heart and mind have never been nests of evil, will have neither an avichi in life nor after death, nor an unhappy kama-loka in life or after death; he will have an exquisite devachan, and will come back refreshed and vigorous and strong and renewed to begin a new life and with everything in his favor.

After death you continue to be precisely what you are when you die. There is the whole thing. There is the secret of the kama-loka and of the devachan and of all the intermediate states of the Bardo, as the Tibetans call it. All the rest is detail, and that is why I keep emphasizing in my public lectures and in my writings, that death is but a sleep. Death is a perfect sleep and sleep an imperfect death. It is literally so. When you sleep you are partly dead. When you die, you are absolutely asleep. If you grasp these simple ideas you will have the whole teaching on your thumbnail, a thumbnail picture.

Now this is another point. I have heard people say that they don’t want to remain in devachan , it is a waste of time. This is a misunderstanding. You might as well say: I don’t want to have sleep tonight, it is a waste of time. As a matter of fact, you need the rest, recuperation, assimilation of the experiences of the past life. You are strengthened by it, you grow by it. So that while the devachan is not a time for evolution, it is a time for building, for recuperation, [8] for assimilation, for inner digestion, for strengthening, and is just as much needed as a man’s night’s rest is for his body.

There will come a time in human evolution when even the devachan is no longer required, because the man has learned to live in the higher part of his being. Devachan, however beautiful, is an illusion. The time will come in the future when men will no longer have to sleep at night; they won’t require it. They will have different kinds of bodies and thus learn to do without the devachan, and thus reincarnate almost immediately in order to help mankind - which is the thing they love most of all - and all other beings. These men are what we now call Masters, in all their grades. But for us ordinary human beings the devachan is a necessary episode.

The Devachan, however, while a beautiful experience of the consciousness, is an experience of the higher personal consciousness, the higher part of us human egos, the higher part of the personal man, its aroma so to speak. In this fact lies the training bringing about the shortening of the devachan. If you learn to live outside of the personality, and as the Christians say, in the Eternal, while you are imbodied, if it becomes habitual with you, your devachan will be correspondingly shortened because you won’t want it. You won’t need it. The bent of your mind is not in selfish beatific satisfactions of the soul. That is what the devachan is, a fool’s paradise. When compared with Reality, it is an illusion. But just because men and women strain for those things and suffer to attain them, the devachan in Nature’s infinite pity becomes the time when they have it, the resting, relaxing time, the time of recuperation, digestion, assimilation. As we grow, as the ages pass, in future ages, we won’t long so desperately to have these beatific satisfactions of the soul. We shall find our happiness in impersonal attachments to things of beauty, things which belong to the higher spiritual man, and not to the hungry human soul. Do you catch the thought?

That is where the training lies that all chelas are taught, that same truth, that and nothing more. Rise out of the personality so that you learn to use it as a willing, acquiescent instrument, and live in the spiritual part of you, which means impersonally; live universally so that you are not swayed by your own hunger for the things that please and help and rest you; but live in the spiritual, in the universal, and all these other things will be added unto you.

I do feel that we should talk more about the kama-loka and the devachan, and especially the kama-loka, in, our public lectures. Let people know how logical our teachings are, how simple, how natural - that you get precisely what yon have sown in yourself as character, i.e., what is coming to you. It gives man a powerful reason for living decently. It appeals to his reason, it appeals to his instincts of justice. And while Theosophy has removed the fear of death, we must instill also the sense of ethical responsibility lying upon me, upon you, upon every human being. [9]


Lina Psaltis

For countless ages have the Hopi people, indigenous to the continent of America, transmitted from generation to generation the knowledge of the sequential manifestation of the cosmos. Their tradition tells of ancestors taught by divine instructors of the Plan of Creation, and they consider it a sacred obligation and beloved duty to preserve this knowledge of the Plan.

Within the framework of their religion, are the ancient teachings of the existence of previous worlds and worlds yet to come, of reincarnation and karma, and of the seven-fold structure of manifestation. Their religion is pantheistic and has close kinship to the religions of the Far East . A pastoral people, their lives are dedicated to maintaining the harmonious balance of Nature. Their cultural inheritance provides the individual with the knowledge of how to achieve freedom from rebirth on this world through harmony within. Anthropologists have classified the Hopi as being Apollonian, meaning by that, in part, that the individual is not to assert himself, rather is he to be a unit of society which blends into the whole group. While this is partially true, the mind of the Western anthropologist is unable, seemingly, to comprehend the dynamics of the efforts of the individual raising himself to the plane of unity subjectively and then objectively benefiting the whole through a unified collective effort. Most of the white man’s knowledge of the red man has been gained through field studies by anthropologists. The Hopi are one of the few who have put forth their cultural mores and religious practices in book form, hence correcting misconceptions engendered by “scientific” investigators.

Turning to the Hopi version of Creation as contained in the Book of the Hopi, we find elements of the Stanzas of Dzyan. In a comparative study, the differences are perhaps the most interesting, for in this study of the Hopi religion one encounters ancient wisdom in the metamorphosis from oral to written tradition.


“... first ... there was only the Creator, Taiowa. All else was endless space. There was no beginning and no end, no time, no shape, no life. Just an immeasurable void that had its beginning and end, time, shape, and life in the mind of Taiowa the Creator. Then he, the infinite, conceived the finite ... Sotuknang, the first power and instrument as a person.” - Book of the Hopi, p. 3.

And so the curtain rises on the dawn of Creation. The three primary principles of Creation are Taiowa, Sotuknang and Spider Woman. Taiowa, whose face “looks through the Sun,” is the source of All and does not himself bring life into manifestation. For this, he creates Sotuknang, his nephew. Sotuknang thus fulfills the function of the Logos and implements the Plan of Taiowa, who tells him:

“Go now and layout these universes in proper order so they may work harmoniously with one another ...”

The active creative force of Sotuknang brings into being the nine levels [10] of the heterogeneous universes. He is representative of the principle which lays down the archetypal worlds. Spider Woman is the third divine being created. Sotuknang creates her to act as his intermediary and creator of life on the earth.

Their teleology disallows direct creation by the Source of All. Paralleling the esoteric teachings, Sotuknang, in obedience to the Divine Will, acts as the intermediary between the manifest and un-manifest.

The order of creation is as follows:

1. From the endless space is gathered that which is to be manifest as solid substance; this substance is molded into forms which are called the nine universal kingdoms - one for Taiowa, one for himself ( Sotuknang), and seven for the life to come.

2. Next Sotuknang gathers from endless space that which was to be manifest as the waters.

3. Then was gathered that which was to be manifest as the airs, made them into great forces, and arranged them into gentle ordered movements around each universe. - Ibid., p. 3.

The universes are now ready for the next stage of Creation, life and its movement, which completes the four parts of the universal plan. For this, Sotuknang needed a female force, and so was Kokyangwuti, the Spider Woman, created. Sotuknang, after giving Spider Woman her name, tells her what her duties are:

“Here is this earth we have created. It has shape and substance, direction and time, a beginning and an end. But there is no life upon it. We see no joyful movement. We hear no joyful sound. What is life without sound and movement? So you have been given the knowledge, wisdom, and love to bless all the beings you create ...” - Ibid., p. 4.

Spider Woman now assumes the role of Creator. Following the instructions, she takes earth and mixes it with saliva from her mouth, and molds two beings, covering them with a cape of white substance - creative wisdom itself. After singing the Creation Song over them, they come to life and are, in turn, told their duties. Named Palongawhoya and Poqanghoya, the Twins, their respective duties were:

“ Palongawhoya, traveling throughout the earth, sounded out his call ... All the vibratory centers along the earth’s axis from pole to pole resounded his call; and the whole earth trembled; the universe quivered in tune. Thus he made the whole world an instrument of sound, and sound an instrument for carrying messages, resounding praise to the Creator of all ... (he) was instructed to send out his call for good or for warning through the vibratory centers of the earth ... Poqanghoya ... (was) to help keep this world in order when life is put upon it. (He was to go) Go now around all the world and put your hands upon the earth so that it will become fully solidified. - Ibid., pp. 4-5.

Following these initial instructions, Poqanghoya was sent to the north pole of the world axis and Palongawhoya was sent to the south pole. They were told to keep the world properly rotating. [11]

(The function of Palongawhoya as warner of good or of ill becomes the paramount factor in the survival of those who maintain the proper relationship with the creative force at the time of the destruction of the seven worlds. This phase of the Hopi teachings will be discussed in a later article.)

With the formation of the First World completed, Spider Woman then creates vegetation, the animal kingdom, and finally human life. Man was also created out of the saliva of her mouth and earth. He was created in four colors: yellow, red, white, and black. They were beings in the image of Sotuknang. Following the creation of man, woman was made. With this, the first phase of the dawn of Creation was ended. It is called the time of the dark purple light, Qoyangnupty.

When male and female awakened and began to move, it is said that the breath of life entered. This phase finds men with “dampness on their fore-heads and a soft spot on their heads.” This, the second phase of the dawn of Creation, is the time of the yellow light.

The third and final phase is the time of the red light. This phase of creation finds the sun rising, drying the dampness on their foreheads, and hardening the soft spot on their heads. Spider Woman unfolds to them the phases of their creation and the function of Taiowa, the Creator, as symbolized by the sun.

But they are yet without speech and the wisdom and power to reproduce. For this, Spider Woman calls upon Sotuknang. This, he did, with the injunction:

“With all these I have given you this world to live on and to be happy. There is only one thing I ask of you. To respect the Creator at all times. Wisdom, harmony, and respect for the love of the Creator who made you. May it grow and never be forgotten as long as you live.” - Ibid., p. 7.

And so they dispersed, each in his direction. They reverenced the earth as their mother and the Sun, the solar god, as their father. Symbolically, the earth and the sun were the universal parents - spiritual and physical forces.

The First People of the First World kept inviolate the pristine knowledge given them by Spider Woman. They remembered that man, made in the image of Taiowa, was created with vibratory centers through which he could communicate with the universal forces if he remained in harmony. (While it is reported that these centers number seven, only five are listed: the top of the head, the brain, the throat, the heart and the solar plexus. Hopi mysticism describes these centers as being psychically related to the seven universes. One of the most significant of the ceremonials is devoted to the teaching of the vibratory centers and the means of attaining enlightenment. Enlightenment, therefore, is contingent upon knowledge and harmony with the Divine Plan.)

To recapitulate, there are four phases of the Universal Creation, four phases of the creation of the earth plan, and three phases of the creation of man - reflecting the universal “seven.” The number four appears to be the root number of the esoteric cycle of the ceremonials, perhaps the sacred Tetraktys of the Hopi. [12]

Thus is the Foundation laid down for the evolutionary journey of man, his future destiny to be one of deepening responsibility as he acquires experience. When knowledge turned from spiritual to physical goals, Sotuknang destroyed the old world and created a new one. Thus in the history of mankind, three times has he turned from the law of wisdom, peace and love, and three worlds have been successively destroyed by fire, polar changes and water, in that order. The Fourth World , the world of present mankind, awaits its destiny, while three are yet to come - this the Hopi tradition teaches.


Montague A. Machell

Nothing can undermine the concept of Universal Law governing a rational universe, spiritual in origin and destiny, more seriously than the acceptance of a Personal God, to whom are attributed moods and reactions suspiciously “human.” An avenging deity, capable of either wrath or compassion, leaves the universe at the mercy of these purely human attributes. Insofar as they are accepted in relation to deity, it cannot be conceived as ABSOLUTE since the ABSOLUTE - embodying Universality - must transcend all relative attributes, be they wrath or compassion.

In place of a Personal Deity, who can punish or forgive, Theosophy postulates a universe governed by absolute, immutable Law, in which effect follows cause, the one proportionate to the other. It declares that that man alone who originates a cause on any plane of consciousness, must accept and be responsible·for the effect of that cause. This Law, once accepted, no escape from it is possible. To the degree that the cause set in motion is beneficent in deed and motive, the effect will be correspondingly beneficent; if evil in origin, it will be evil in effect. Nothing can come between or alter this sequence, no matter how long its fulfillment may be delayed.

Under these circumstances the terms “reward” and “punishment” are misleading, since in all actions the effect is in harmony with the cause, regardless of the view the actor takes of it. This simply means that the harvest reaped is in keeping with the seed sown. The sower must reap the fruit of his sowing. In man’s relation with his fellows, debts incurred must be paid, sooner or later. Therefore, the prayer “Forgive us our debts” might find a more effective expression in the words “Help us to understand our debts.” A reasonable degree of human integrity insures a man’s readiness to discharge a debt he recognizes as his own.

He who genuinely loves the Law of Life will not willingly violate it. Nevertheless, he may, from time to time, fall short of recognizing his full indebtedness to life for the blessings it offers, most especially while a newcomer to this earth. With advancing years his sense of obligation will naturally mature, so that as he readies life’s later limits, the eighties will have a tendency to re-illumine the early eighteens and twenties. He who has been privileged to experience a more than ordinarily rich and significant youth will be reminded, from time to time, of its moments of intensified delight, of heightened aspiration and [13] mounting resolve, which reminders will cast a precious and, perchance, prophetic radiance on these later years.

Beyond the proper appreciation a Theosophist will pay to that indelible life record inscribed upon the astral plane, the sincere aspirant will recognize and appreciate the immeasurable formative power of his THEN upon this NOW. Those youthful opportunities for aspiration and resolve, spiritual in origin, represent a benefaction accepted, however naively, from life. Later, in this season of fallen bloom and ripened fruit, he is reminded of youthful blessings accepted, for which payment has come due. What this entity of eighty-odd years will do with what is left of his life may be positively determined by his awareness of the debt incurred in those earlier seasons. This ever-present Past is a precious burden, the payment of whose debt must become a joy many times enhanced by the widened perspective of these added years. With many more incarnations to follow, the deepening Autumn of this life he will find as much a season of sowing as of reaping.

Looking back on those golden years, so rich in blessings and opportunities, can the invocation of a grateful heart find more fitting words than “Forgive us our debts”? And can such “forgiveness” fall short of his own offering up of this life to The Source with matured vision, added aspiration, and utterly fearless resolve? However rich or poor in resolve these later years may be, they will be enriched with the fructified seeds of opulent Yesterdays, each of which places its seal of victory on this Today, since Past and Present are but points of view on All Time of which the spiritual man is lord and master. “He who lives in the Eternal transcends Time.” With Eternity as his perspective, what do eighty-odd years amount to? Has Eternal Truth of 1869 lost any of its regal integrity in 1969? Is not the spiritual pilgrim on the Path of Fulfillment, with an aeon-long destiny, superior to the changing aspects of a few short years? Does not a ripening maturity include a dispassionate perspective of All Time?

What too many of us have lost sight of is a vast, endless destiny of fulfillment in which day-to-day happenings, each with its own significance, require to be dedicated to a far grander purpose. Not as a victim of life, but as a wise ruler of his kingdom, he is designed to beget all the wonder, all the beauty, all the triumph which earthly existence is capable of yielding up, when perceived to be an initiation into an unsuspected sphere of spiritual fulfillment. Man’s life will lack the splendor and serenity it should enjoy until such time as he sees himself a conscious creator, making out of the events of each day steps to a deeper understanding of himself and of life. He who has been favored with a rich early life is not called upon to experience a sense of guilt. Rather is he called upon to cultivate that richness, thereby rendering his responsibility fruitful in his own life and the lives of others. We are all inseparable parts of One Life. As we understand and use that Life, we enrich it for all. This is the realization that gathering years enable us to use, that we may grow old not “gracefully” merely, but with purposeful gratitude for all that has been given us.

A sense of indebtedness to life may well serve as a useful antidote to the [14] tendency to expect increased consideration and “coddling” as we grow older. Is it not more dignified for the elderly to become an increasing blessing, rather than an added burden to those they love? An important aid to such graceful ageing is a steadily increasing clarity of view of the immortality of the soul of man. “ He who lives in the Eternal, transcends Time.” His point of view has symmetry and proportion because viewed against a heroic background that forbids brief, personal triumphs alone, demanding those attainments that belong to a deathless, spiritual entity.

Reminding ourselves again and again that the law of Cause and Effect is inescapable, we come to realize that in actual fact there is no forgiveness for anyone, in terms of an effect that belies its cause. The effect is inherent in the cause. The wisdom of gathering years teaches one to sow wisely, that one’s harvest, without the intervention of any higher power, shall include beauty and serenity. The smallest fraction of that Divine Pattern we pull awry, we must put straight, regardless of desire or inclination. With so many of us “tearing up” the premises, is it any wonder that life is so fruitful in heartbreak and disappointment? Better than begging “Forgive us our debts” is it to stop piling up indebtedness by the simple recourse to selfless living.

Let us remind ourselves that THE LIFE PATTERN is one of unearthly perfection. To give oneself wholly to its perfect unfoldment is to discover in the Autumn of life an ineffable beauty - calm, serene, and richly creative. This is an Autumn which can be dedicated gladly to conscious, uninterrupted Weaving - not for self, not for Time, but in profound reverence for the Divine Pattern of which one is a part. Surely this is a worthy prelude to that divine Change we call “death,” a prelude in which “ageing” is little more than a trifling irrelevance.

“ Never the Spirit was not; the Spirit shall cease to be never.” Shall we not, with a fond regard for all those Autumns that have been, glorify this one with a wonted constancy to one of Immortality’s serene and blessed seasons of harmonious Growth?

“These finite bodies, which envelop the souls inhabiting them, are said to belong to Him, the eternal, the indestructible, unprovable Spirit, who is in the body: wherefore, O Arjuna, resolve to fight.” - Bhagavad-Gita.


[Meaningful thoughts from H. P. Blavatsky’s first great work.]

“The visible effects of matter are but the effects of force ... that which is now called matter is nothing but the aggregation of atomic forces, to express which the word matter is used: outside of that, for science matter is but a word void of sense.” [Vol. I, p. 59.]

“The price of scientific progress is too commonly the martyrdom or ostracism of the innovator. The reformer of the laboratory must, so to speak, carry the citadel of custom and prejudice at the point of the bayonet.” [Vol. I, p. 84.] [15]

The mesmerizer wills a thing, and if he is powerful enough, that thing is done. The medium, even if he had an honest purpose to succeed, may get no manifestations at all; the less he exercises his will, the better the phenomena: the more he feels anxious, the less he is likely to get anything; to mesmerize requires a positive nature, to be a medium a perfectly passive one. This is the Alphabet of Spiritualism, and no medium is ignorant of it. [Vol. I, p. 109.]

“The public is a docile and pious child, and readily goes wither the nurse leads it. It chooses its idols and fetishes, and worships them in proportion to the noise they make; and then turns round with a timid look of adulation to see whether the nurse, old Mrs. Public Opinion, is satisfied.” [Vol. I, p. 167.]

“In this age of cold reason and prejudice, even the Church has to look to science for help. Creeds built on sand, and high-towering but rootless dogmas, crumble down under the cold breath of research, and pull down true religion in their fall. In vain is all sophistry of science; it can never stifle the voice of nature.” [Vol. I, p. 222.]

“… magic is still a science. It is firmly and solely based on the mysterious affinities existing between organic and inorganic bodies, the visible productions of the four kingdoms, and the invisible powers of the universe … A thorough familiarity with the occult faculties of everything existing in nature, visible as well as invisible; their mutual relations, attractions, and repulsions; the cause of these, traced to the spiritual principle which pervades and animates all things; the ability to furnish the best conditions for this principle to manifest itself, in other words a profound and exhaustive knowledge of natural law - this was and is the basis of magic.” [Vol. I, p. 244.]

“Nothing can be easier accounted for than the highest possibilities of magic. By the radiant light of the universal magnetic ocean, whose electric waves bind the cosmos together, and in their ceaseless motion penetrate every atom and molecule of the boundless creation, the disciples of mesmerism - howbeit insufficient their various experiments - intuitionally perceive the alpha and omega of the great mystery. Alone, the study of this agent, which is the divine breath, can unlock the secrets of psychology and physiology, of cosmical and spiritual phenomena.” [Vol. I, p. 282.]

“The time will come when the children of men of science, unless they inherit the soul-blindness of their skeptical parents, will be ashamed of the degrading materialism and narrow-mindedness of their fathers.” [Vol. I, p. 409.]

“… scientists, as a rule, are useful only as collectors of physical facts; their generalizations from them are often feebler and far more illogical than those of their lay critics.” [Vol. I, p. 422.]

“… a concourse of people laboring under mental excitement, which reacts upon the physical system, throws off electro-magnetic emanations, which, when sufficiently intense, can throw the whole circumambient atmosphere into perturbation. Force enough may actually be generated to create an electrical vortex, sufficiently powerful to produce many a strange phenomenon.” [Vol. I, p. 498.] [16]



When the present issue of Theosophia reaches our subscribers, the last of the Four Volumes of the Collected Writings which have been out of print for many years will be in print again - namely VOLUME IV, containing H.P.B.’s writings of 1882-1883.
Among these special mention should be made of the following: Reincarnation in Tibet. - Masons and Jesuits. - Is Belief in Omens a Superstition? - What is Matter and What is Force? - Is Suicide a Crime? - Whence the name “Lunatic”? - Zoroastrianism in the Light of Occult Philosophy. - The Septenary Principle in Esotericism. - Chelas and Lay Chelas.
With the publication of Volume IV, we can now offer, to both individual students and Libraries, an unbroken series of Ten Volumes, containing H.P.B.’s epoch·making writings from 1874 through 1889. Further Volumes will eventually be published, and the Manuscript of the next Two Volumes is almost completed.
All of these Volumes are enriched with valuable Chronological Surveys, numerous Biographical Sketches in the Appendix, copious Indexes, and rare Illustrations.

The following is the listing of Volumes presently available:
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Vol. IV 0882·83) 759 pp.
Vol. V (1883) 448 pp.
Vol. VI (1883.85) 535 pp.
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