A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXVII
No. 4 (126) - Spring 1971

[Cover photo: On the coast of the Pacific ocean.]


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.



“There can be only one Truth. Religion itself, apart from creeds and churches, is a recognition and observance of the basic laws of the universe. These basic laws are also inherent in man himself, so that the real eternal and universal Religion is based on the facts of human nature and must remain the same as long as man is man. The most essential truth is that man is a divine spirit incarnate in an animal body; that his salvation consists in subduing his lower nature by means of his higher; and that the true law of conduct for man is that which is expressed in the Golden Rule. This truth lies at the base of all religions, and Christianity, so far from having originated it, or even improved it, has merely inherited it.” - Henry T. Edge.

“No man is an island, nor is mankind a continent of itself. We are involved in all life, all geography, all energy. The charts of the seas and of stars are as meaningful to us as the map of our own country, or the chart of our nerves and bones and veins, for sea and star are involved in our destiny, and we in theirs ... To reunite ourselves with the living stream of universal consciousness and creativeness is the function of meditation - an art which is natural to us but still must be learned. Like music, it comes from our own nature ...” - Bradford Smith, Meditation: The Inward Art. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

It is imperative for us at all times to make a clear distinction between the Theosophical Society as an organized body, and the Theosophical Movement as a world-wide trend towards universality of outlook and a more spiritual, therefore unified, view of life.

Our own three declared objects are applicable to the Movement as a whole, in addition to being the basis of our organized effort. These objects serve as a foundation for any individual or group of people striving to achieve one or the other goal described by them.

It is obvious that the Ideal of Brotherhood, whether universal or tending towards universality, lies at the heart of all those whose effort in life is towards unification of the human race into one family, and the establishment of close ties between all the people of the earth. Even if such efforts may be for the present devoid of a truly spiritual basis, they are nevertheless pointing to an ideal well worth emulating, and strengthen our own Theosophical work in one or another way.

If we stop to consider the work of the most progressive trends within the structural set up of some of the Christian Churches and similar groups in other religions of the globe, we will find that their interrelations are within the framework of our second object, as it involves the study of other religions, and philosophical systems.

It seems superfluous to mention the developments of modern science which, with practically every major discovery, confirms basic propositions of the Esoteric Philosophy, and often discloses some of the more hidden factors of true magic - a term which, so far, has not been granted any rights of citizenship among scientists!

In regard to the all-important, but woefully neglected third object of the T.S. - the investigation of the latent powers of man - we find today scores of individuals and groups of them the world over developing serious and sustained research along such lines. Some of their results and conclusions support rather dramatically the basic propositions of the psycho-spiritual science outlined by H.P.B. in her various writings, and confirm her many hints on deeper facts which she refrained from explaining more fully. There is far more being done today along the lines of a scientific approach to psychic forces than has ever been attempted, we are sorry to say, by the organized theosophical groups.

When all these factors are carefully considered and kept in focus, as it were, it becomes evident that the Theosophical Movement is today a world· wide force, whatever may be its name or outward form, and the purposes and goals of our three declared objects are being striven for in one or another manner by untold thousands of men and women in every land and among all the people of this rapidly “shrinking” globe, the common home of a large family of evolving egos in a still vaster family of the Solar System to which we belong. [4]


H. P. Blavatsky

[The following text is taken verbatim from the pages of the new edition of Isis Unveiled now in the Press. In these succinct paragraphs, H.P.B. presents in a masterly manner the basic postulates of the Esoteric Philosophy and the true nature of Magic as a Science.]

[Vol. II, pp. 587-90.]

IT would argue small discernment on our part were we to suppose that we had been followed thus far through this work by any but meta-physicians, or mystics of some sort. Were it otherwise, we should certainly advise such to spare themselves the trouble of reading this chapter; for, although nothing is said that is not strictly true, they would not fail to regard the least wonderful of the narratives as absolutely false, however substantiated.

To comprehend the principles of natural law involved in the several phenomena hereinafter described, the reader must keep in mind the fundamental propositions of the Oriental philosophy which we have successively elucidated. Let us recapitulate very briefly:

1st. There is no miracle. Everything that happens is the result of law - eternal, immutable, ever active. Apparent miracle is but the operation of forces antagonistic to what Dr. W. B. Carpenter, F.R.S. - a man of great learning but little knowledge - calls “the well-ascertained laws of nature.” Like many of his class, Dr. Carpenter ignores the fact that there may be laws once “known,” now unknown to science.

2nd. Nature is triune: there is a visible, objective nature; an invisible, indwelling, energizing nature, the exact model of the other, and its vital principle; and, above these two, spirit, source of all forces, alone eternal and indestructible. The lower two constantly change; the higher third does not.

3rd. Man is also triune: he has his objective, physical body; his vitalizing astral body (or soul), the real man; and these two are brooded over and illuminated by the third - the sovereign, the immortal spirit. When the real man succeeds in merging himself with the latter, he becomes an immortal entity.

4th. Magic, as a science, is the knowledge of these principles, and of the way by which the omniscience and omnipotence of the spirit and its control over nature’s forces may be acquired by the individual while still in the body. Magic, as an art, is the application of this knowledge in practice.

5th. Arcane knowledge misapplied, is sorcery; beneficently used, true magic or WISDOM.

6th. Mediumship is the opposite of adeptship; the medium is the passive instrument of foreign influences, the adept actively controls himself and all inferior potencies.

7th. All things that ever were, that are, or that will be, having their record upon the astral light, or tablet of the unseen universe, the initiated adept, by using the vision of his own spirit, can know all that has been known or can be known. [5]

8th. Races of men differ in spiritual gifts as in color, stature, or any other external quality; among some peoples seership naturally prevails, among others mediumship. Some are addicted to sorcery, and transmit its secret rules of practice from generation to generation, with a range of physical phenomena, more or less wide, as the result.

9th. One phase of magical skill is the voluntary and conscious withdrawal of the inner man (astral form) from the outer man (physical body). In the cases of some mediums withdrawal occurs, but it is unconscious and involuntary. With the latter the body is more or less cataleptic at such times; but with the adept the absence of the astral form would not be noticed, for the physical senses are alert, and the individual appears only as though in a fit of abstraction - “a brown study,” as some call it.

To the movements of the wandering astral form neither time nor space offer obstacles. The thaumaturgist, thoroughly skilled in occult science, can cause himself (that is, his physical body) to seem to disappear, or to apparently take on any shape that he may choose. He may make his astral form visible, or he may give it protean appearances. In both cases these results will be achieved by a mesmeric hallucination of the senses of all witnesses, simultaneously brought on. This hallucination is so perfect that the subject of it would stake his life that he saw a reality, when it is but a picture in his own mind, impressed upon his consciousness by the irresistible will of the mesmerizer.

But, while the astral form can go anywhere, penetrate any obstacle, and be seen at any distance from the physical body, the latter is dependent upon ordinary methods of transportation. It may be levitated under prescribed magnetic conditions, but not pass from one locality to another except in the usual way. Hence we discredit all stories of the aerial flight of mediums in body, for such would be miracle, and miracle we repudiate. Inert matter may be, in certain cases and under certain conditions, disintegrated, passed through walls, and recombined, but living animal organisms cannot.

Swedenborgians believe and arcane science teaches that the abandonment of the living body by the soul frequently occurs, and that we encounter every day, in every condition of life, such living corpses. Various causes, among them overpowering fright, grief, despair, a violent attack of sickness, or excessive sensuality may bring this about. The vacant carcass may be entered and inhabited by the astral form of an adept sorcerer, or an elementary (an earth-bound disembodied human soul), or, very rarely, an elemental. Of course, an adept of white magic has the same power, but unless some very exceptional and great object is to be accomplished, he will never consent to pollute himself by occupying the body of an impure person. In insanity, the patient’s astral being is either semi-paralyzed, bewildered, and subject to the influence of every passing spirit of any sort, or it has departed forever, and the body is taken possession of by some vampirish entity near its own disintegration, and clinging desperately to earth, whose sensual pleasures it may enjoy for a brief season longer by this expedient. [6]

10th. The cornerstone of MAGIC is an intimate practical knowledge of magnetism and electricity, their qualities, correlations, and potencies. Especially necessary is a familiarity with their effects in and upon the animal kingdom and man. There are occult properties in many other minerals, equally strange with that in the lodestone, which all practitioners of magic must know, and of which so-called exact science is wholly ignorant. Plants also have like mystical properties in a most wonderful degree, and the secrets of the herbs of dreams and enchantments are only lost to European science and, useless to say, are un-known to it, except in a few marked instances, such as opium and hashish. Yet, the psychical effects of even these few upon the human system are regarded as evidences of a temporary mental disorder. The women of Thessaly and Epirus , the female hierophants of the rites of Sabazius, did not carry their secrets away with the downfall of their sanctuaries. They are still preserved, and those who are aware of the nature of Soma, know the properties of other plants as well.

To sum up all in a few words, MAGIC is spiritual WISDOM; nature, the material ally, pupil and servant of the magician. One common vital principle pervades all things, and this is controllable by the perfected human will. The adept can stimulate the movements of the natural forces in plants and animals in a preternatural degree. Such experiments are not obstructions of nature, but quickenings; the conditions of more intense vital action are given.

The adept can control the sensations and alter the conditions of the physical and astral bodies of other persons not adepts; he can also govern and employ, as he chooses, the spirits of the elements. He cannot control the immortal spirit of any human being, living or dead, for all such spirits are alike sparks of the Divine Essence, and not subject to any foreign domination.

* * *

[Vol. II, pp. 634-36.]

By those who have followed us thus far, it will naturally be asked, to what practical issue this book tends; much has been said about magic and its potentiality, much of the immense antiquity of its practice. Do we wish to affirm that the occult sciences ought to be studied and practiced throughout the world? Would we replace modern spiritualism with the ancient magic? Neither; the substitution could not be made, nor the study universally prosecuted, without incurring the risk of enormous public dangers. At this moment, a well-known spiritualist and lecturer on mesmerism is imprisoned on the charge of raping a subject whom he had hypnotized. A sorcerer is a public enemy, and mesmerism may most readily be turned into the worst of sorceries.

We would have neither scientists, theologians nor spiritualists turn practical magicians, but all to realize that there were true science, profound religion, and genuine phenomena before this modern era. We would that all who have a voice in the education of the masses should first know·and then teach that the safest guides to human happiness and [7] enlightenment are those writings which have descended to us from the remotest antiquity; and that nobler spiritual aspirations and a higher average morality prevail in the countries where the people take their precepts as the rule of their lives. We would have all to realize that magical, i. e., spiritual powers exist in every man, and those few to practice them who feel called to teach, and are ready to pay the price of discipline and self-conquest which their development exacts.

Many men have arisen who had glimpses of the truth, and fancied they had it all. Such have failed to achieve the good they might have done and sought to do, because vanity has made them thrust their personality into such undue prominence as to interpose it between their believers and the whole truth that lay behind. The world needs no sectarian church, whether of Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Swedenborg, Calvin, or any other. There being but ONE Truth, man requires but one church - the Temple of God within us, walled in by matter but penetrable by anyone who can find the way; the pure in heart see God.

The trinity of nature is the lock of magic, the trinity of man the key that fits it . Within the solemn precincts of the sanctuary, the SUPREME had and has no name. It is unthinkable and unpronounceable; and yet every man finds in himself his god. “Who art thou, O fair being?” inquires the disembodied soul, in the Khordah-Avesta, at the gates of Paradise . “I am, O soul, thy good and pure thoughts, thy works and thy good law ... thy angel ... and thy god.” * (* [ Khordah-Avesta, yasht xxii, § 10 et seq.]) The man, or the soul, is reunited with ITSELF, for this “Son of God” is one with him; it is his own mediator, the god of his human soul and his “Justifier.” “God not revealing himself immediately to man, the spirit is his interpreter,” says Plato in the Symposium.* (* [202E-203A.])

Besides, there are many good reasons why the study of magic, except in its broad philosophy, is nearly impracticable in Europe and America . Magic being what it is, the most difficult of all sciences to learn experimentally - its acquisition is practically beyond the reach of the majority of white-skinned people; and that, whether their effort is made at home or in the East. Probably not more than one man in a million of European blood is fitted - either physically, morally or psychologically - to become a practical magician, and not one in ten million would be found endowed with all these three qualifications as required for the work. Civilized nations lack the phenomenal powers of endurance, both mental and physical, of the Easterners; the favoring temperamental idiosyncrasies of the Orientals are utterly wanting in them. In the Hindu, the Arabian, the Thibetan, an intuitive perception of the possibilities of occult natural forces in subjection to human will, comes by inheritance; and in them, the physical senses as well as the spiritual are far more finely developed than in the Western races. Notwithstanding the notable difference of thickness between the skulls of a European and a Southern Hindu, this difference, being a purely climatic result due to the intensity of the sun’s rays, involves no psychological principles. Furthermore, there [8] would be tremendous difficulties in the way of training, if we can so express it. Contaminated by centuries of dogmatic superstition, by an ineradicable - though quite unwarranted - sense of superiority over those whom the English term so contemptuously “niggers,” the white European would hardly submit himself to the practical tuition of either Copt, Brahman or Lama. To become a neophyte, one must be ready to devote himself heart and soul to the study of mystic sciences. Magic - most imperative of mistresses - brooks no rival. Unlike other sciences, a theoretical knowledge of formulae without mental capacities or soul powers is utterly useless in magic. The spirit must hold in complete subjection the combativeness of what is loosely termed educated reason, until facts have vanquished cold human sophistry.

* * *

[Vol. II, pp. 639-40]

Our work is done - would that it were better done! But, despite our inexperience in the art of bookmaking, and the serious difficulty of writing in a foreign tongue, we hope we have succeeded in saying some things that will remain in the minds of the thoughtful. The enemies of truth have been all counted, and all passed in review. Modern science, powerless to satisfy the aspirations of the race, makes the future a void, and bereaves man of hope. In one sense, it is like the Baital Pachisi, the Hindu vampire of popular fancy, which lives in dead bodies, and feeds but on the rottenness of matter. The theology of Christendom has been rubbed threadbare by the most serious minds of the day. It is found to be, on the whole, subversive of, rather than promotive of, spirituality and good morals. Instead of expounding the rules of divine law and justice, it teaches but itself. In place of an ever-living Deity, it preaches the Evil One, and makes him indistinguishable from God Himself! “Lead us not into temptation” is the aspiration of Christians. Who, then, is the tempter? Satan? No; the prayer is not addressed to him. It is that tutelary genius who hardened the heart of Pharaoh, put an evil spirit into Saul, sent lying messengers to the prophets, and tempted David to sin; it is - the Bible-God of Israel !

Our examination of the multitudinous religious faiths that mankind, early and late, have professed, most assuredly indicates that they have all been derived from one primitive source. It would seem as if they were all but different modes of expressing the yearning of the imprisoned human soul for intercourse with supernal spheres. As the white ray of light is decomposed by the prism into the various colors of the solar spectrum, so the beam of divine truth, in passing the three-sided prism of man’s nature, has been broken up into vari-colored fragments called RELIGIONS. And, as the rays of the spectrum, by imperceptible shadings, merge into each other, so the great theologies that have appeared at different degrees of divergence from the original source, have been connected by minor schisms, schools, and offshoots from the one side or the other. Combined, their aggregate represents one eternal truth; separate, they are but shades of human error and the signs of imperfection. The worship of the Vedic pitris is fast becoming the [9] worship of the spiritual portion of mankind. It but needs the right perception of things objective to finally discover that the only world of reality is the subjective.

What has been contemptuously termed Paganism, was ancient wisdom replete with Deity; and Judaism and its offspring, Christianity and Islamism, derived whatever of inspiration they contained from this ethnic parent. Pre-Vedic Brahmanism and Buddhism are the double source from which all religions sprang; Nirvana is the ocean to which all tend.

For the purposes of a philosophical analysis, we need not take account of the enormities which have blackened the record of many of the world’s religions. True faith is the embodiment of divine charity; those who minister at its altars, are but human. As we turn the blood-stained pages of ecclesiastical history, we find that, whoever may have been the hero, and whatever costumes the actors may have worn, the plot of the tragedy has ever been the same. But the Eternal Night was in and behind all, and we pass from what we see to that which is invisible to the eye of sense. Our fervent wish has been to show true souls how they may lift aside the curtain, and, in the brightness of that Night made Day, look with undazzled gaze upon the UNVEILED TRUTH.


Montague A. Machell

To seriously contemplate one’s body as a tomb is a rather grisly prospect. Its relevancy as a point of view can only be justified by an absolute conviction that this entire universe is Spirit entombed in Matter, wherein significant living must involve a constant and invincible resurrection of this entombed Spirit in man, a point of view possible alone to him who believes in the spiritual origin of this universe and all in it - the Theosophic viewpoint. Complete acceptance of it, of course, entails a profoundly deepened understanding of the term “life” together with a vastly ennobled concept of the nature and destiny of man himself. It is this deepened and ennobled approach to human destiny that renders Theosophy unique as a philosophy of life.

Its doctrine of Reincarnation, fore-telling repeated births and death on earth, makes it possible to view physical demise as a possible rewarding incident in human destiny. Much more baleful, to the Theosophist, is the possible demise of the Spiritual Man within, through ever deeper entombment in physical bodies. The entire Theosophical philosophy becomes a challenge to man to refuse such entombment, with a ringing declaration: “I am the resurrection and the life!” For him the burning question is not “Did Christ rise from the tomb?” Rather it is “Have you and I the spiritual fortitude to do likewise?” To frame that question rewardingly, one must recognize the potential of the Spirit to transcend magnificently one life on earth, and to be of an unearthly constancy that can [10] smile on these “incidents,” knowing its own immortality.

This knowledge alone, as a flaming illuminant in the life, can make this declaration not merely possible, but inevitable. Every spiritually conscious individual “gives up his life that he may LIVE.” His task is to triumph over that “living death” that rampant selfishness and self-indulgence can make possible. Man’s slow, gradual spiritual unfoldment prepares him to arise from “the tomb of existence” and achieve Resurrection in Life. The “miracle” ascribed to Jesus remains a vindication of the Spirit’s triumph over the flesh - a triumph it is given to you and to me to progress towards day by day here on earth. As we declare this heavenly intent, we reaffirm man’s earthly potential to be measured in terms of complete Spiritual Awareness. Taking our humanity upon him, Jesus proclaimed that potential to be innate in man.

He who applies these words personally, must have the sublime daring to live his life in a new and larger dimension - a dimension beyond Time and Matter. His must be the daring that allows him to be “about his Father’s business” - living in heavenly consciousness not for self but for all mankind, in the Compassion of deep Understanding. His goal will not be to reform mankind, but first to understand and love it. His catalytic agent will be Compassion. To the extent that it expands his understanding, he will be led to confess that the great majority of mankind live their lives on a wholly material plane whereon spiritual considerations are, for the most part, incidental. On this plane the physical body, its desires and appetites, are undeniably real. Spiritual values, on the other hand, tend to be viewed merely figuratively.

From this point of view, aided by the dogmas of orthodoxy, death of the physical man is allowed to become a terrifying final reality, in relation to which “resurrection” is viewed as a rare and questionable miracle. It is only natural, then, that to the orthodox believer the term Resurrection is, at best, figurative. He knows that he must die sooner or later. Rejecting Reincarnation, death, for him, occurs once, and forever. Accepting the body as the one “reality,” when this decays, no other “reality” survives or is capable of being restored.

Not until humanity as a whole transfers its sense of Reality from Matter to Spirit, perceiving the latter to be superior (in terms of Reality) to the former, will it be amenable to a confident and intelligent acceptance of the repeated Resurrection of Reality in terms of the Spiritual Man. Not only must it accept such a Reality; by its pattern of thinking and living that Reality must receive complete affirmation. He who uttered the words, “I am the resurrection and the life,” having given mankind a living revelation of Reality in the flesh, accepted the incident of death, however cruel and undeserved, as an experience powerless to touch the Heavenly Reality he himself revealed.

None of us can afford to entertain the delusion that after glorifying flesh as the “one reality” for seventy or eighty years, we can, upon acceptance of extreme unction, become masters of that Reality we have so consistently [11] denied. Seeking “resurrection” in the hour of physical demise means missing the boat; it must occur in the flesh before death. Actually, it must be but the repetition of a daily experience wherein one has consistently rejected the tomb of Matter for the Heaven of Spirit.

In the declaration, “I am the resurrection and the life,” should one not afford special consideration to the last three words - “and the life,” since it is the pattern of “living” - not the commonplace of dying - that holds the key to resurrection? The words, “I will arise and go to my Father,” Theosophy interprets to mean, “I will transcend Flesh, and cleave to Spirit - the “Father” - our root and origin, which is ever with us, fashioning “temples of mighty power.” It is for us to enter the Temple of the Father, and go no more out.

However remote and unreachable such resurrection may appear to us, its achievement is, and must remain, the enduring purpose of any “real” living, rooted in the Spiritual Self. In our striving we are required to resist an encroaching lethargy of spiritual ardor. The body and senses wage relentless war on a triumphant flaming up of the Spirit. Constant and meditative contemplation of the beauty of the world about us must nurture a heroic buoyancy in the conquering warrior. Be ours a zestful, laughing Self-confidence of a Lord of Life, firmly rooted in the One Reality, taking birth, death, Devachan and Karma in its stride! Knowing that repeated resurrection of the Life Beautiful can, and must, at last overcome the inconstant, unenlightened Maya of Materialism. Life’s sublimest guerdon is the ability to declare, fearlessly and honestly, “I am the Resurrection and the Life!”


George Cardinal LeGros

It took me years to appreciate a few simple Theosophical ideas. Dr. G. de Purucker said: “It is only by giving, giving the self to the All, that life in its truth and beauty may be found.” And Light on the Path states: “Not till the whole personality of the man is dissolved and melted” - “Not until the whole nature has yielded and become subject unto its Higher Self” - can one hope to be moving in the right direction.

For a long time my trouble was tolerating, deep within myself, the foolish notion that one may compromise - perhaps only a little, but still compromise-with the life-loving, sensation-seeking animal nature. It was difficult to do otherwise because the thing was always there, watching and waiting for the next opportunity to take a bite out of the substance of my being.

When someone asked William Q. Judge what to do about black magicians, he said there was only one to worry about - the demon lurking in our nature, the old animal-man who likes it where he is, and won’t go away. He’s been around for a long time - aeons, in fact - and, like the wild wood-cats I feed on the back porch, knows a good thing when he has it.

I suppose we suffer the humiliation of his tyranny until the outrage no [12] longer can be endured. Then the man-part of us, the part cognizant of a higher and more beautiful Self, says: “I have had it. This infernal business must end. The animal’s days are over, or at least numbered.”

Brave words. And the animal self is quick as a cat, and just as psychic because he anticipates the bad news, and gets busy marshalling his forces of preservation. He instinctively knows that the best defense is an attack; and bloody war results, with no Geneva Conference Rules respected.

The man may have all the hosts of heaven with him, and the god within making its voice heard, but the animal has an eternity of experience to draw upon, plus the enthusiastic support of every fiend in hell. Worse yet, he is fighting on his own territory.

A lot of literature has been written on the problem that everyone faces when he decides to strip the animal of its power. I have read most of it, and it didn’t seem to work. Maybe I was obtuse, or half-hearted, or lazy. Anyway, not until I started thinking about the surrender of self did I see light ahead.

This surrender idea, which I am working on now, is the total, complete, unqualified “giving up” of everything that one knows himself to be, including the animal because there is some good in him too. It seems that if all that one is can be cast like incense upon an altar, and that altar the universe, no room is left for separateness or the proud consciousness of individuality.

Neither is there room for spiritual pride because the “giving up” blots out all personal considerations whatsoever. One surrenders the all-of-himself as a sacrifice to the Whole. He becomes, in thought, a nameless center of energy to be used in any way the universe sees fit. The cosmic will becomes the only will he knows. Selfhood vanishes.

He asks for nothing - not even an end to sorrow and pain, should such be part of his new existence. He is ready to be “dissolved and melted” - transformed into anything the universe decrees. Whatever happens ceases to matter because no longer is he interested in himself. He belongs to the Whole.

The strange thing is that when this thought of total surrender is formulated and held in the mind, it seems that all Immensity opens before one. It is indescribable; but there is, as it were, the sense of a far-away welcome, an acceptance, an approval, as though Vastness Itself were calling the spirit home.

The brain-mind is unable to fathom the mystery, but something transcending the brain-mind knows that the Way has been found - a Way that opens beyond-within; and that to follow it one must give his all-ness in sacrifice to the All.

I ask myself: What else is there to do? Who wants to go on forever oscillating between servitude to the animal below and aspiration to the god above?

To me - a post-graduate in folly and failure - the giving of the self is the way out - out of bondage to an animal power that mocks our dignity as potential gods. I believe that in the giving back of all that we are to the Glory from which we came, the Gordian Knot of selfhood is cut forever, and we are free. [13]


Dara Eklund

Arising out of the turmoil of the world the serpent of self strikes continually at the would-be God. He struggles into the clear skies of Universal Freedom often to be drawn again into the distressing currents of worldly deception. Why? Because their battle - those very mocking demons of ungoverned passions or rather undeveloped lives - is his battle. “He should raise the self by the Self; let him not suffer the Self to be lowered; for the Self is the friend of self, and, in like manner, self is its own enemy,” teaches the Gita on “Devotion by means of self-restraint.” Devotion to Union with the Self is the whole drama of the ancient scripture.

That “Self,” by analogy, doesn’t refer to a single entity alone, although its consciousness remains in a vertical perspective while retaining the illusions of separateness. That Self represents a rafter of lives, bent to a certain trend by their inner dweller, continually congregating or passing through hosts of lives comprising this Universe, just as colliding galaxies pass in the celestial spheres.

When the inner dweller elevates himself above that segment, he sees all the beings of the race within himself. The reaction in his particular influence may be shadowed by a racial dread of change. It may appear to him as a fear of his own Daring. Nevertheless, his freedom can be their freedom too. Yet it must be won from a conscious recognition of each individuality towards the One God or Oversoul. Since he hasn’t achieved this conscious recognition alone, false pride is out of the question. As his higher nature is quickening, he must not be upset by the rift in his larger developing Nature. He may risk being swept up in that tide of change and be forced to join the backwash, if mental and moral confusion cloud his vision. He must master the very currents his aspirations aroused. He must cultivate a calm forging ahead.

As we progress, therefore, we must not feel discouraged by the presence of selfishness in ourselves or others, but quietly put down the egotism which prevents the great Imperial Drama of Self from unfolding within. That only can truly master or govern the Universe ... as that is the broader Vision. It is the Law of Harmony itself, stifled by our longings only. Let us long instead to live that Harmony by the acceptance of each daily event, as “that which I myself desired.” This is what Buddhists mean by the subject and object becoming One. In this larger path there is no room for selfishness, as there no longer is an “I” and “Thou.”

The ecology of the Spirit is to broadcast our seeds widely. The spiritual life is too intense for one small plot! We are fortunate indeed if we do not seek the comfort of one small home. We must let our homes become centers from which radiate seasons of quiet thought, and we will issue from them to our active lives refreshed in purpose and strong for the strife awaiting beyond our thresholds. [14]


Lina Psaltis

Born in the United States, the Theosophical Society was constituted on the model of its mother country ... We are face to face with all the glorious possibilities of the future. This is again the hour of the great cyclic return of the tide of mystical thought in Europe . On every side we are surrounded by the ocean of the universal science, - the science of Life Eternal - bearing on its waves the forgotten and submerged treasures of generations now passed away, treasures still unknown to the modern civilized races ... Prepare yourselves ... The spirit of truth is passing over the face of the waters, and in dividing them, is compelling them to disgorge their spiritual treasures ... a note has just been struck which has never yet been heard by mankind of the present era … a new thought is revealed, ripened by the forces of evolution … absolute freedom of thought for humanity ... - H. P. Blavatsky, “The New Cycle,” La Revue Theosophiques, March 21, 1889 (originally written in French).

After giving birth to her “child,” the Theosophical Society, in the land destined to be the home of a new spiritual understanding, H.P.B. sailed to the East to pay homage to the land of the Ancient Wisdom. India, mother of religions, the land of forgotten treasures. As any wise mother would do, she placed the care of her “child” in America in the hands of one whom she knew she could trust, one who would love as tenderly and guard as carefully as she this newborn babe. And W. Q. Judge never failed her.

A new direction, a new impetus was to be given to a spiritually deprived culture. It was not to be a carbon copy of the East, for Cosmic Law dictates an eternal progression, and if the West were to mimic the East the obvious deficiencies of the East would also have been copied. No, the New Age was not one which would suck the thumb of dependency. It was to drink at the same fountain from which the East had drunk and become eventually an adult, standing tall and proud, free to communicate, to live, its own vision of Truth. It was not for the West to deny her older sister, a sister who had lost the blush of youth, but to show her the greatest respect by seeking knowledge from the same Source as she did. The religion of the West had become a painted harridan, destined soon to die, but as a culture, it was yet an adolescent. So it was, that upon this soil were sown the seeds of a long-forgotten Truth: the Truth that man had within him unlimited resources of strength and hope and love.

The Adept-Brothers, who were the spiritual powerhouse behind the scenes, were more in evidence during those years spent by H.P.B. in the United States than at any other time. Two Adepts passed through New York and Boston , from there to California, thence to Japan and “back.” The departure of H.P.B. and Col. Olcott for India in 1878, signalled a period of comparative quietude for the Americans, one could almost call it a period of waiting. In 1886, the American Section was organized with William Quan Judge as General Secretary, and the [15] movement in America experienced a tremendous growth.

W.Q.J., by virtue of his occult status, supplied the link between the Teachers of the East, H.P.B. and the New World . He single-handedly awakened the Soul of this Child, a child given birth to by H.P.B. with birth pangs calculated to shake the established religion to its very foundation. His allegiance to the Adepts was unswerving, and he guided the American Section in its understanding of them. He cautioned his students not to hesitate to speak of the Masters, as only then could the power of the Brotherhood flow freely through the vehicle of theosophists. He warned that the Masters did not “need” the worship of man, in fact completely rejected such an idea as childish; rather were their younger brothers to know and understand that each had within himself that which could grow into the perfection of the ideal which they represented. (Christo-genesis, it was labelled by another worker, Teilhard de Chardin.) Every book sold today, every heart awakened to the supernal Truth, every member of a theosophical organization in America owes a debt of gratitude to this man who single-handedly fought back the antagonistic forces and made it possible for the “baby” to grow.

As we, the inheritors of this Truth, stand at the threshold of a possible new thrust by the Brotherhood, let us take stock of ourselves, our movement and humanity. Have we kept untainted the knowledge given forth by their representative? Can we speak of a Science which demonstrates the laws of nature in such a clear and undefiled way as to allow man to guide his destiny from within - aided by his awareness of the laws governing subjective and objective phenomena? Have we studied diligently the causes behind the errors of commission and omission made by the early Christians at the opening of the Piscean age? Honesty of purpose demands that we examine our progress in the light of history, Western history, and determine whether or not there is a similarity between those times and these. And certainly it can be said that the elements of similarity are there if we only have the courage to look - or is there a “childish fear of looking to the bottom of things.”

The era of Western Occultism is with us. New bodies are being born with souls anxious to drink at the fountain of ancient knowledge, and they do not seem inclined to accept the vehicle of this knowledge as an infallible source, whether it be present day Christianity or Theosophy.

W.Q.J. repeats the words of H.P.B. from the concluding chapter of The Key to Theosophy (see “The Closing Cycle,” Theosophia, Fall 1970.) to the effect that the next messenger will not have the opposition she had because of the literature left by her. But what of a literature which contains teachings in a diametrically opposite direction and yet is called “theosophy”?

If there be such a thing as Truth, and there are those who with Pontius Pilate ask “What is truth?”, then inconsistency, error, cannot be possible when it relates to the nature of the universe and its child, man. Let us keep the “note struck” pure, free of the overtones of self-interest, cherished memories, and ill-defined goals. [16]



New Edition as part of the Collected Writings.
This new and definitive edition of H.P.B.’s first major work, originally published in 1877, incorporates all the corrections and alterations which she herself pointed out as being required.
Most of the quoted passages and references to other works have been cheeked for accuracy and corrected when necessary.
A comprehensive INTRODUCTORY explains the manner in which this work was written, and outlines the general background of the Movement in those early years.
Editorial Notes have been appended at the end of each Volume, intended to clarify various terms and references and provide additional information on subjects treated of by H.P.B.
An entirely new Index and Bibliography have been prepared which will facilitate the study of this unique work. A considerable number of illustrations enhance both Volumes.

VOLUME I is now available for immediate delivery.
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(After Volume II is off the Press in early 1972, the price for the complete set will be $20.00.)
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