A Living Philosophy For Humanity

No. 3 (129) - Winter 1971-1972

[Cover Photo: Count de Saint-Germain. From a copper-engraving by N. Thomas, Paris, 1783, made from an oil painting attributed to Count Pietro dei Rotari (1707-1762), in the collection of the Marquise d'Urfe. The engraving is now in the Cabinet des Estampes of the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.]


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: $1.50 a year (four issues); single copy 40 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.



"Currently, we are passing through a period when the advocates of the 'now' philosophy are having their say. Traditions of the past, as well as spiritual goals of the future, are arrogantly cast inside in order to glorify man's immediate personification. In history, such existentialistic tides are nothing new. They come from time to time to challenge the smugness of material achievement, religious dogma and scientific recklessness, and rightly so, for the attitudes and methods of society tend to become static and fixed, thereby becoming reactionary to necessary progress ...

"Needless to say, when the commotion ceases and the dust settles, the traditions of the past and visions of a spiritual future will reappear, somewhat revised, as necessary ingredients for a balanced and rational present. Such optimism is not wholly of my mind but rather deduced from the ancient wisdom upon which all great religions, sciences, and philosophies find their origin. This tradition reveals that change is merely the introduction of new vitality into the arena of life in the birth-form, with subsequent and unavoidable labor pains and apprehensions: Secondly, it shows the presence of an eternal Essence which remains unblemished, unharmed, and undaunted by the rumble of the life process. The ancients called it 'the unmoved' or 'First Cause' or 'the one without a second,' or simply Spirit or God ..." - Dr. Robert W. Bonnell.


"In order to offset the terribly cold effect of perceiving the littleness of human affairs, one must inculcate in oneself a great compassion which will include oneself also. If this is not done, contempt comes on, and the result is dry, cold, hard, repellent and obstructive to all good work." - William Quan Judge. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

In the crisis of our age is heralded the birth of a new civilization. Out of the ashes rises, Phoenix-like the shape of things to come. The temporary dissolution of ethical standards, the wide-spread suppression of Truth, and the suicidal gospel of brute force and opportunism, are here neither denied nor disregarded. But to the eyes of a deeper observer they are only the scum rising to the surface of the boiling cauldron wherein is enacted the alchemical process of racial transmutation, a spiritual regeneration of the vital streams of humanity.

That which seems to be the debasement of many a lofty idea, or the stormy overthrow of once noble traditions, is but the clearing of the ground upon which nobler ideals and more enduring traditions will be erected in the course of cycling years. The physical and intellectual conflagration which dissipates into impalpable ashes what some had mistaken for unshakable edifices of Thought and Conduct releases at the same time the pent-up flood of a new spiritual vigor with which to build a brighter future for all men. And while, in the dismal gloom of a temporary spiritual black-out, we see ancient and familiar lights going out one by one, greater and more effulgent Beacons already pierce the enfolding darkness with their shafts of redeeming light.

The crisis we are in must be faced and overcome. None can seclude himself behind an imaginary wall of intellectual isolation. Humanity is one and indivisible. Every man or woman is an integral part of the Karman of the race, and has contributed his constructive or disruptive part towards the shaping of this or any other crisis. The appalling misery of today is our own handiwork. The World of Tomorrow will not be built for us by some Gracious Divinities descending into our midst from a modern Olympus. If it is ever to become an actuality, it will have to be erected, stone by stone, through our own self-devised efforts and under the guidance of our own spiritual manhood. There is no other way!

There is a road which leads into the dawning light of a New Era. There is a message which fully answers the yearning of men for peace. There is a knowledge which can solve our baffling problems and a code of conduct which can provide an unshakable foundation for a better and nobler World to be. That road, that message and the knowledge is Theosophy, the ageless universal spiritual tradition which no cataclysm has ever been able to obliterate.

The lofty metaphysics of the Ancient Wisdom are only for the few, though they may be many. The simple teachings of that timeless wisdom are, however, for the broad masses of the people, and they can be understood by all, rich and poor, educated and illiterate.

Cause and Effect, the potential Divinity of man, Reincarnation, Ethical Responsibility, the Unity of all Life, the Solidarity of all the peoples of [4] the Earth, their indissoluble Brotherhood or Oneness, the true nature of Death, the great precepts of conduct which the Sages of all times have outlined for us - these and other simple teachings, presented in understandable language and with the conviction of the heart, striking a responsive fire in the hearts of others, could usher in a new Order of the Ages and accomplish that inner change of minds and hearts which neither centuries of organized religion, nor generations of scientific research, periodically prostituting its findings to the wholesale destruction of the human race, have been able to bring about.

The Theosophical Movement is essentially universal in its scope, and unlimited in its field of endeavor and research. It is akin to, and stands in the background of, every effort throughout the ages for the amelioration of mankind and its spiritual awakening. Man-made organizations which from time to time have been created to promote the ideals of the Movement are at best but temporary manifestations. They are here today and gone tomorrow, having accomplished, we may hope, their appointed task. Some of them are highly successful; others are a dismal failure; still others are a mixture of both, in accordance with those engaged in them, and the overall condition of the historical stage-setting on which they manifest. However successful and noble-hearted they may be, they cannot ever be confused with the universal Movement, the global drive, as it were, which from age to age produces such temporary manifestations, and embodies itself in them to some small extent.

It is the duty of the student of Ancient Wisdom never to lose sight of the universal character of the Movement he belongs to. Our deepest roots are fed by those spiritual currents which are an integral part of the Earth itself. Our dedications have very little to do with any particular historical era or any of its passing civilizations. They are dedications which transcend man-made forms and stem from the essential nature of Truth itself. Unperturbed by the illusory nature of mere forms, unshaken by the destruction of psychological moulds which may have outgrown their usefulness in the vaster scheme of things, we focus our attention on ever-widening horizons where the glorious future of the human race is marshaled in visions of supernal grandeur, illumined by the Dawn of the Mystic East.


"The conflict between different approaches to the liberty of man and mind or between different views of human dignity and the right of the individual is continuous. The dividing line goes within ourselves, within our own peoples and also within other nations. It does not coincide with any political or geographical boundaries. The ultimate fight is one between the human and the sub-human. We are on dangerous ground if we believe that any individual, any nation or any ideology has a monopoly on rightness, liberty and human dignity." - Dag Hammarskjold. [5]


Dr. Laurence J. Bendit

Probably the most constantly used noun or pronoun (this single letter can be used as either) is "I," meaning "myself." Our lives are governed by what "I" want, do not want, like, dislike, think, feel, know, and so, on. But rarely do we, even if we are introspective, pause to think what this "I-ness," this identity signifies: "Idemens ... being the same," or perhaps, "remaining the same," a permanence, something which endures. But does the "I" remain the same? Some schools, such as that of Gurdjieff, suggest that it does not, that in man are many "I's," such as that which thinks, that which feels, that which seeks gratification, etc. To the psychologist, on the other hand, the "ego," to use his term, is a central part of the personality, though in disease it can become split or fragmented. In occultism we are often told about a higher and a lower self, with moralistic overtones.

But if we study both modern Blavatskian theosophy and the older theosophies, particularly of the east, we can obtain a view of selfhood which is different from that of the west. For western knowledge about the ego derives largely from subjective experience, while in the eastern esoteric doctrines we are told of the mechanics by which what we call "I" comes into manifestation.

In this last sentence I have deliberately chosen my words: "comes into manifestation"; not "is created." This is because, it seems, Selfhood (and here I use a capital) belongs to the realm of the transcendental and the timeless; it is intrinsic to man's inner Being, and when it becomes manifest, it does so as the outward expression of what has always been there, and in a certain sense, will always be there.

Putting it more simply, and in terms of modern theosophical literature, we have the idea that the line of demarcation is when an animal reaches a certain stage of evolution, has developed a mind and the ability to think up to a certain point, and becomes "individualized." He enters the human kingdom. This doctrine seems acceptable, but only if we take it that at this critical moment something happens which foreshadows a future as yet not by a long way fulfilled. The fertilization of an egg is not the emergence of a fully formed chick, yet that fertilization tells us that, if the conditions are right, an embryo will be formed and eventually a young bird will be born. So it seems that we must look upon the Gestalt which has been called individualization as a new potential, and not yet an achievement.

Yet something has happened, without which nothing further ran take place. But to understand this we need to go further into the principles perhaps most clearly stated in Vedantic philosophy. Here we are told that an "inner instrument" - antahkarana - in the depths of man comes into play. This "instrument" has four parts: the thinking mind (manas); the evaluating mind (buddhi), which might be called true intuition; chitta, the mind concerned with outer objects, or kama-manas, desire-mind, the organ of [6] consciousness; and ahamkara, or the ego-maker (not, however, the Self-maker), "ego" in this case being used in much the same sense as it is in psychology.

In this essay it is this latter which concerns us most, though it is clear that the other three are also involved in the total process by which self identity develops.

Taking this thought farther, it is evident that antahkarana, in whatever form we may envisage it, as a thread equivalent to the sutratma, a channel, etc., is the link between the deeper man - call this Spirit, essence, the Causal Body, the Augoeides, etc. - and the personal man. The first two "parts" or functions, Buddhi and Manas (i.e., pure Mind) lie as it were "above" the personal, while the ego-making aspect, that aspect of mind which is involved with outer objects and with desire, belongs to the personality, and hence overlaps very largely the realm of the animal kingdom, with its own form of mentality.

We can thus conceive of the moment of "individualization" as one where a seed is planted in the more material, "denser" or "lower" worlds, very much as a seed is placed in the ground in order that it may grow. Its first job is to push roots downward into the soil; its second, and later function, is to grow up into the air and sunlight. But it can only do this successfully when its roots are strong and well nourished. Hence, on the "path of outgoing," the first stage of selfhood demands that a man should become materially successful, well established, strong, individual. This is perhaps why in primitive communities (and much of the primitive still persists even in so-called civilized society), the rich, the powerful, the self-assertive person becomes the ruler, the king, the more-or-less-robber noble-man: in short, the hero of his community. His personal ego, extended to cover his family, his clan, his nation, his race, is at the center of his life.

This seems a highly "unspiritual" picture of human selfhood. Yet at a certain stage, it represents the increasing expression of man's higher Self, of which more in a moment. It is right for child-man - as for man-child when young - to be assertive, selfish, and all the things we hope will be transcended as experience grows. It is only later that, gradually, man begins to listen to the still small voice of his deeper being and, however blindly, he fumbles to try and discover a different set of values. These are the ones which the wise of all ages have held before us and which, to use an omnibus term, we call Religion, out of which, in more or less debased forms, the religions arise. In terms of what we have said, antahkarana begins to function increasingly from "above" "down," from the spiritual towards the material.

It is now that talk about a "Higher Self" attracts us. It is a phrase to which I, as a psychiatrist, object because it suggests and emphasizes a basic pattern which, where mankind stands today, is already much in evidence: that is, it brings out the duality of mind which is basic to man at this intermediate stage of our race. Instinctive urges derived from our animal ancestry pull in one direction, and spiritual or teleological forces pull in the opposite one. In other words, it emphasizes what in exaggerated form becomes straight schizophrenia, split-mindedness. (Indeed, we may say that the blueprint of man-in-evolution is [7] schizoid.) This conflict should not be added to and, indeed, the soundest depth psychologists, as well as the ancient sages, each in their own way decry anything which does so.

For we need to see Self as one. We have no higher and lower selves, we have only selfhood, self-identity. But this selfhood needs also to be seen as operating at many levels, running from the deepest, passional physical desires up to levels which, normally, we rarely experience as imperfect human beings.

For imperfect we are. This is very obvious to the discriminating student, however optimistic he may be, especially about himself; and, moreover, the tenets of occultism point out to us in various terms the fact that, as a human race collectively, we are only a little way beyond the half-way stage between animal and god - to be more exact, we seem to be about two thirds of the way between the beginning of the First Race and the end of the seventh.

This means in practice that our self-identity, what we call "I, myself" is also in a half-way state between its original implantation in the animal mind and the end state of anything we can know as "Selfhood." But, having developed a form, however limited, of detachment and freedom from the patterns of animal instinctive behavior, we can learn to look at ourselves as selves in a manner which is of great practical value and use both in daily life and in our more abstract inner studies.

The first thing which becomes apparent is how, at different times, "I" am concerned with physical matters, with my body. Then "I" becomes concerned with desire and passion. "I" also sets to and thinks about abstract matters not immediately related to instinctive or practical affairs. And sometimes we experience what seems like a total change in our sense of ourselves as separate, discrete beings, and find ourselves in a state where we are still ourselves, but where, in a paradoxical sense, the sphere which encloses separate selfhood has been removed. Only a center remains, which is no longer only individual to ourselves as personalities, but also belongs to every other individual, man or particle in the whole universe as far as we can reach. So different is this experience from the daily one, that we may feel justified in thinking that this new Self is a "higher" one from the "I" we use every day. So we "invoke our Higher Self" to "drive away all evil from our hearts"; a very much mistaken practice. For "evil" driven away from ourselves is set loose in the world and not in any way resolved.

If, on the other hand, we listen to the deeper and, to my mind, truer esoteric and psychological teachings, we shall see that, as human beings we cannot and must not try to cut ourselves off from our earthy roots, and from the instinctive, passional nature which has been the early nutriment of what we have now become. We need, however, to learn to integrate the material derived from these levels into a greater wholeness, which will include the whole of ourselves: the whole of the Monad which is "I myself," and which, while its nucleus is in the realm of Being and transcendence, includes also the daily mind - kama-manas - and the physical body, or at least its counterpart in the realm of energy - what we call the "etheric" or the "astral" (H.P.B.) or the linga-sarira of the Vedantist. [8] The basis of all methods of achieving this unity lies in self-awareness; the goal of all true yoga. For through self-knowledge and self-awareness not only do we get to know ourselves, but we automatically become aware of the world or worlds in which we live.

For long we have been afraid of the effects of turning in on ourselves, fearing that this might lead to self-centeredness; but as we travel, we come to see that we are already deeply self-centered, without knowing it. Our lives and actions rest upon what "I" want, at all levels of our personalities, whether physical or psychic. To see this, however, changes matters: the little, selfish ego, becomes demoted by the forces which flow through consciousness, but which do not flow through unconsciousness. Conscious awareness is the crucible in which alchemical change takes place, so that, by knowing myself I change myself and refine my personality.

No doubt practices, meditations and observances may help to accelerate the process. But only too often they stand in its way, become drugs and habits, fixed patterns thought and feelings. That is why, whether in Delphi, in Tantric Buddhism, in Hatha-Yoga, and in every valid school of thought, emphasis is placed on the ancient and universal maxim, "Know thyself"; for, eventually, we shall find that what begins as a little, automatic, limited sense of "me" becomes that which includes the whole vast cosmos of what we call God, the Supreme "I" of our universe.


Montague A. Machell

Spending some time in my garden this morning, I pondered the beauty of an opening rose. It was an exquisite, perfect bloom of the color and form peculiar to its particular family - Rose Consciousness fulfilled.

The importance of what it had to tell me lay in the fact of its individual spontaneity in terms of rose consciousness, about which it was powerless to reason or argue. Its entire strength and consciousness went into being a perfect rose. This, in its turn, reminded me that in this particular achievement it accomplished a perfect revelation of what I term "a rose" - any rose, which, in its turn, becomes a manifestation of Universal Consciousness expressed in terms of "rosehood." Herein it revealed the strength, the symmetry, the perfect beauty of proportion inherent in Universal Consciousness - an inspiring commentary on that Consciousness.

Contemplating on my own mortal and conscious unfoldment as a human it occurred to me that I seemed to be making a rather inadequate showing of "Manhood," as compared with this revelation of Rosehood. And yet, in my own case, as well as in it's, symmetry, proportion, strength, are inherent in that Universal Consciousness of which I am purported to be a [9] manifestation. The difference between the two of us, of course, is that I - a more advanced manifestation of consciousness - am condemned to the "choices" of a dual consciousness, and, most of the time, am suspended between multiple choices, whereas this rose, without opportunity of choice, instinctively embodies the single destiny of Rose Consciousness.

The plea of this lovely flower seemed to be making was: "Can't you ally Choice with (spiritual) Instinct, and choose to be what "Manhood" ordained you to be? Out of the rich soil of Universal Consciousness are you not capable of abstracting Manhood's divine nutrients? Can you not allow the original instinct of Manhood to reveal the enduring sturdiness of spirit that gives me this enduring rectitude of form and proportion?"

At this point I began to contemplate the bloom in a more enlightened frame of mind, perceiving this opening rose as an outspoken affirmation of Rosehood, originating in its instinctive identification with Universal Consciousness. "What," I asked myself, "has Rosehood in general to expect from my superiorly evolved Manhood? Spiritual proportion, surely!"


Mollie Griffith

The end of a day and the end of a life have something in common, just as sleep and death have. In both cases, we are tired, and probably looking forward to a rest. However, many people, before they go to sleep, run through the events of the day assessing the debits and credits.

Some teachers advise us to concentrate on the "now" and while this may be good advice, I feel that few of us in our later years can resist the urge to sum up the lessons we have learned in our present life. We may also speculate on what future circumstances we may find ourselves in, and even more important, what future influences we hope to be born under, and not only astrological influences.

We are told that the Higher Self makes these decisions, but perhaps we may be forgiven, while still immersed in earth life, for making suggestions hoping they are in harmony with the higher reaches of our being.

These, are a few personal opinions along this line. Naturally, anyone who values our teachings will want to find them again in any future life, but do we want to have them "handed to us on a platter" as the saying goes, or do we want to rediscover them as we meet the challenges of earth life once more?

Theosophy, as we know, is not some thing we can fully grasp by study alone. It is indeed a way of life. To try to understand it, is really an adventure into a mysterious promised land, a land of Inner Being, which is never static - and this is part of its beauty. Therefore, when we reincarnate, what we surely want is to advance further [10] into that land, and in order to do this we must have our means of travel under control. These are our principles, at least our lower ones, and the ideal to be sought is nowhere more beautifully expressed than in H.P.B.'s famous passage on the "Golden Stairs."

Youth has a certain freshness and charm of its own, and sometimes periods of idealism. During that period when most of us feel so confident that we can solve the ills of the world, it would be of great help to have the essence of our former experiences flow back into our consciousness as a guide.

We always ask questions and those we ask are important, because they show where life is leading us. The answers are important too, whether they come from other people, or from within ourselves. This is especially true when we are young, and I think it is more important to receive answers to our questions at that time, rather than be burdened too soon with knowledge we have not yet sought. Hopefully our questions will lead to that knowledge at the right time. We must eventually find our own way, although we are forever grateful to those who point out the direction we should take.

There is another idea which seems essential to understand in early life, and that is the importance of that life. It is our "school" life, the one time when we are free to make decisions, to pay our debts and to invest in the future.

People have different ideas as to how to spend their lives, from the nun or monk who retire from the world, to the "eat and be merry" type. There are also those great people who give to life all they can, and those who take from life what they think will give them personal happiness.

For the student of Theosophy, however, who has accepted the idea that the object of life is growth, a special line of approach seems necessary. We realize that in order to change the world, we must change ourselves first. If we do not want violence without, we must not have violence within, since the outer world is the reflection of the inner world. We need to clear the dock for action if we want to be of use in the upward march of evolution.

There are many Theosophical ideas we want to retain, but I think the greatest of these is the concept of the "Oneness of Life." We begin to realize that all units of life, both in the inner and outer worlds, are part of this life. If we are true to the first object of our Society, we can no longer do anything to add to the feeling of separateness which divides one man from another, or one nation from another. There are no chosen people.

Many years ago we used to spend our holidays on a beautiful lakeside island. It was very sparsely populated and the hunters had not yet come. The animals were very tame and watching them was one of our great pleasures. A few days before we left, we threw our remaining food out to them, and it was fascinating to watch the ingenious way the squirrels stored it up for future use. I think that we, like the squirrels, should be storing up within ourselves food of a higher type, food we might call wisdom. This too, is surely the object of the Devachanic experience. Then, when we return to earth life, we may rediscover those spiritual riches we now call the teachings of Theosophy. [11]


George Cardinal LeGros

Although men of science are contemptuous of the "exploded medieval superstitions" which, in their opinion, represent the entire field of esoteric science and philosophy, they move merrily on toward the day when those "superstitions" will topple their proud towers of half-truth and make-believe.

As Light on the Path (p. 57) says: "The Mysteries no longer rule the world of thought and beauty; human life is the governing power, not that which lies beyond it. But the scientific workers are progressing, towards the far line which divides things interpretable from things uninterpretable."

But it would be fatuous Pollyannaism to predict that upon their ultimate acceptance of occultism, they will blossom into great-hearted altruists dedicated to the welfare of humanity. G. de Purucker said that were the deeper esoteric wisdom made public, ninety-nine out of every hundred men would become black magicians on the spot. So it won't be a happy day for the world when our brain-minded scientists and their idolaters stumble through the Door of the Mysteries. It will be the beginning of the end of civilization.

When we consider the brilliant achievements of so-called "exact" science together with the curses accompanying those achievements, it is well to recall the words of the Adept K.H. (The Mahatma Letters, pp. 156-7.) to the effect that when our present Fifth Root-Race "... will have reached at its zenith of physical intellectuality, and developed the highest civilization (remember the difference we make between material and spiritual civilizations); unable to go any higher in its own cycle - its progress towards absolute evil will be arrested as its predecessors the Lemurians and Atlanteans, the men of the third and fourth races were arrested in their progress toward the same) by one of such cataclysmic changes; its great civilization destroyed ..."

But Doomsday will pass; and Root-Races Six and Seven will follow our fifth, both holding brighter promise than can presently be realized. And the coming Fifth Round will separate the workers from the drones, the doers from the Dreamers.

Taking the short view, the future is dark; but taking the long view is to see, in the Magic Mirror of Destiny, that wondrous time when, after millenniums of suffering and failure, the elect of mankind will walk the Path as gods.

In the meantime, Theosophy offers its Message of Hope to a world where creeds and dogmas crumble by the hour; and millions of disenchanted souls and technology are destroying us in their progress toward that "absolute evil" of which the Master speaks.

But Hope endures, and humanity will survive because the anguish and heartbreaks we bring upon ourselves are the redeemers of the soul. And the multitudes now burdened with passion [12] and hatred will yet discover the Divinity in their hearts, and follow it.

And we who already know of that Divinity are like the chela in Light On the Path who comes "within the grip of an iron law. If he demands to become a Neophyte, he at once becomes a servant" whose first act of service is giving what is proper of his knowledge to "those who are not yet fit to stand where he stands."

Self-salvation is one thing; but working for the salvation of others is everything.


H. P. Blavatsky

[Originally published in Lucifer, London, Vol. II, May, 1888; see Collected Writings, Vol. IX, pp. 285-86.]

In a very interesting article in last month's number entitled "Practical Occultism" it is stated that from the moment a "Master" begins to teach a "chela" he takes on himself all the sins of that chela in connection with the occult until the moment when initiation makes the chela a master and responsible in his turn.

For the Western mind, steeped as it has been for generations in "Individualism," it is very difficult to recognize the justice and consequently the truth of this statement, and it is very much to be desired that some further explanation should be given for a fact which some few may feet intuitively but for which they are quite unable to give any logical reason. - S.E.

EDITOR'S REPLY: The best logical reason for it is the fact that even in common daily life, parents, nurses, tutors and instructors are generally held responsible for the habits and future ethics of the child. The little unfortunate wretch who is trained by his parents to pick pockets in the streets is not responsible for the sin, but the effects of it fall heavily on those who have impressed on his mind that it was the right thing to do. Let us hope that the Western Mind, although being "steeped in Individualism," has not become so dulled thereby as not to perceive that there would be neither logic nor justice were it otherwise. And if the moulders of the plastic mind of the yet unreasoning child must be held responsible, in this world of effects for his sins of omission and commission during his childhood and for effects produced by their early training in after-life, how much more the. "Spiritual Guru"? The latter taking the student by the hand leads him into, and introduces him to a world entirely unknown to the pupil. For this world is that of the invisible but ever-present CAUSALITY, the subtle, yet never-breaking thread that is the action, agent and power of Karma, and Karma itself in the field of divine [13] mind. Once acquainted with this no adept can any longer plead ignorance in the event of even an action, good and meritorious in its motive, producing evil as its result; since acquaintance with this mysterious realm give the means to the Occultist of foreseeing the two paths opening before every premeditated as unpremeditated action, and thus puts him in a position to know with certainty what will be the results in one or the other case. So long then, as the pupil acts upon this principle, but is too ignorant to be sure of his vision and powers of discrimination, is it not natural that it is the guide who should be responsible for the sins of him whom he has led into those dangerous regions?

* * *

[Excerpt from H. P. Blavatsky's Letter to the Second American Convention of the Theosophical Society, held at Chicago, Ill., April 22-23, 1888. See Collected Writings, Vol. IX, pp. 241 et seq.]

Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other ugly Features notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergences would be impossible and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever growing Knowledge ...

It must be remembered that the Society was not founded as a nursery for forcing a supply of Occultists - as a factory for the manufacture of Adepts. It was intended to stem the current of materialism, and also that of spiritualistic phenomenalism and the worship of the Dead. It had to guide the spiritual awakening that has now begun, and not to pander to psychic cravings which are but another form of materialism ...

The tendency of modern civilization is a reaction towards animalism, towards a development of those qualities which conduce to the success in life of man as an animal in the struggle for animal existence. Theosophy seeks to develop the human nature in man in addition to the animal, and at the sacrifice of the superfluous animality which modern life and materialistic teaching have developed to a degree which is abnormal for the human being at this stage of his progress.

Men cannot all be Occultists, but they can all be Theosophists. Many who have never heard of the Society are Theosophists without knowing it themselves; for the essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in man, the adjustment of his godlike qualities and aspirations, and their sway over the terrestrial or animal passions in him. Kindness, absence of every ill feeling or selfishness, charity, good-will to all beings, and perfect justice to others as to one's self, are its chief features. He who teaches Theosophy preaches the gospel of good-will; and the converse of this is true also - he who preaches the gospel of good-will, teaches Theosophy. [14]


Dara Eklund

Any action, the thought which ignites it and the motive which fires the thought, are bound up with the Actor. True virtue lies in transforming the inner nature and that nature is the causative factor. If a man wishes to establish true character it is the inner nature which he must rejuvenate first. The virtues of harmlessness and contentment, for instance, are engendered spontaneously by the man of few desires. The Gita states:

"The Lord of the world creates neither the faculty of acting, nor actions, nor the connection between action and its fruits; but nature prevaileth in these. The Lord receives no man's deeds, be they sinful or full of merit." (Chap. V.)

The body certainly feels the results of our actions. The feelings too, in terms of pleasure, boredom, or pain. Yet above these reactions to acute and limited conditions, the Mind, as that which envisions wide realms of thought, can free us. If we don't bind down the thoughts by giving way to regret, anxiety, ambition or envy, they may become our airy messengers, lit up from within. How do we go about it, since regret, anxiety, ambition or envy seem to be mentally charged by our thoughts of the past? Perhaps we could think of these tendencies as energies set in motion once, maybe many times by the chooser within. They seem to rise up as patterns of behavior terrible to transform, because formerly inspired by us, given our power. But that was Strong Will, blinded by desire, not Free will. In an interesting discussion of this on p. 40 of The Occult Way, P.G. Bowen quotes, "Strong Will Achieves conquest through conflict, but Free Will remains at peace in a stronghold that cannot be assailed."

We must then change the current. The will call become free in proportion that it works with a Divine Harmony which proceeds regardless of human foibles, and is recognized Karmically by all impersonal poise in meeting all the events of daily life. We might change regret for courage, saying, "This is my own come back to me. The law is expressing itself in my personal Karma, let the debt be paid." Anxiety might be conquered by asserting: "the causes have been set in motion, the law will handle the result. I may not be wise enough to foresee those results, but I call be the observer and learn how 'nature prevaileth in these'." Ambition is more subtle. Only a childlike heart call be wrapped in sweet inspiration and aspire harmlessly by guarding the mind from the intrusion of all the world holds dear. The aspiration to truth shall make us fearless enough to withstand any circumstances, full-knowing that Truth may at times need us to step aside and "let the best man win." And envy, the most dire of all, blights the lower mind and throws up to shadow even the sincere aspirant - how do we still its voice? By the realization that all life, that each man, serves a purpose. The so-called "little" wills of men reflect lack of vigilance, a sad groan of nature needing intelligent direction. They seem to combat for attention, and we, tossed [15] in the sea of life, are influenced by these currents. This is the time to board a raft, to skim over these grim qualities, with a mind made content through charitable and generous actions, seeding the tide with truthful words to gentle the anxieties of another towards us. How can another combat with us if there is no combative spirit in us?

True virtue lies in returning to our root-nature, ever free from pride, attachment and longing. Intuition is awakened at the root of Life and bonds of sympathy align us with all men. Linked with Universal Mind we cannot but act by our highest principles, for that is the only Nature through which they can be expressed.

Some philosophers define virtue as wisdom or balance in action. This wisdom wells up in a heart eager to serve humanity. In time the love which inspires such a desire is schooled not to rush in where another's duty lies. He may at times need to sacrifice the desire to help, even stand aside and watch suffering take its course. Never must he hasten the orderly process of growth. If his duties are already plainly laid out, his virtuous way is to attend to those lying nearest him.

Why restate these old truths? Because man needs them still.

An ancient Chinese scripture rendered by Manly P. Hall in The Quiet Way teaches the following:

"Those who live the Quiet Way should benefit all peoples, and the word all implies both the many and the one. To serve all peoples is a glorious career, but to serve one person may have the appearance of drudgery. Heaven in its wisdom has provided to each the privilege of service. To some is given the opportunity to serve many, and to others the opportunity to serve a few. Yet the quality of service is the same. Those who serve a few wisely and lovingly earn for themselves a larger opportunity and a greater responsibility. This does not mean, however, that we advance from one to many; rather that we enlarge the one into many. If we obey heaven, we shall never be impelled to serve so many that it is necessary for us to neglect the few. Public service does not relieve us from private duty. Heaven is not so concerned with all its creatures that it neglects the least of them. In the Quiet Way we extend our consciousness so that it becomes more and more inclusive. No matter how many it includes, it never excludes."

True Virtue is the Quiet Way.


"For more than a quarter of a century, I have been engaged in work in which hopefulness is an imperative qualification.

"One must believe that man can be saved - or salvaged - from his inevitable follies, that all problems of human relations are soluble ... that conflict situations, however deep-seated, bitter and prolonged, can be resolved; that a world at peace is, in fact, attainable.

"Otherwise one's work, all diplomacy, the United Nations itself, become a fateful travesty and all mankind would be doomed." - Ralph J. Bunche (1904-71). [16]


H. P. Blavatsky
- New Edition as part of the Collected Writings of H. P. Blavatsky.
- VOLUME I is now available for immediate delivery.
- Pre-publication price is $18.00 for the set of Two Volumes. (After Volume II is off the Press in early 1972, the price for the complete set will be $20.00.)
- Order from: The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Ill., 60187.


G. de Purucker
- A Selection of Talks on Theosophy as related primarily to Human Life and Human Problems.
- After being for many years out of print, this book is now available in a new edition. It had become a favorite with many people, and new students of the Theosophical Philosophy will, no doubt, welcome the simple yet inspiring words of the author contained in this work.
- Among the many subjects, the following ones stand out: After Death: You are Yourself - The Direct Road to Wisdom - The World's Trouble and its Cure - The Yoga of Theosophy - What is Truth - The Ensouling of Man - Strength and Balance in Occultism.
"There is the wind of the spirit sweeping over the earth, rearranging, remaking, reshaping ..."
Price: $3.25.
Available from Point Loma Publications, Inc., Pacific Beach Post Office Box 9966, San Diego, Calif. 92109.