A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXIX
No. 2 (132) - Fall 1972

[Cover photo: Sir William Crookes. Renowned English chemist and physicist who paved the way for the discovery of the electron. President of the Royal Society. Fearless investigator of mediumistic phenomena. Received silent help from one of the Adept-Brothers. Loyal friend of H.P. Blavatsky and Col. H.S. Olcott, both of whom visited his laboratory. Elected in 1884 as Councillor of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society.]


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.



"... one thing only is needful ... that simple lucid truth ... that the law of human life is the law of love which gives the highest happiness to every individual as well as to all mankind ... cherished by all humanity from the most remote antiquity, coupled with the final rejection of the outlived law of violence. If man only lives in accord with the law of love, which includes non-resistance, which has already been revealed to him - and is natural to his heart, and, hence, does not participate in any form of violence, not only will hundreds not enslave millions, but even millions will be unable to enslave one individual." - Count Leo Tolstoy, in a letter to a Hindu.

"... Our civilization is within reach of one of the greatest steps in evolution: knowledge of the possible existence, nature and activities of independent civilizations in space ... At this instant, through this very document, are perhaps passing radio waves bearing the conversations of distant creatures - conversations we could record if we but pointed a radio telescope in the right direction ..." - From the Report of the National Academy of Sciences, June 1, 1972. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Today, all around us, in a world of unrest, upheaval and human agony of mind and heart, we see the passing of an era. In the endless Book of Life a page is rapidly turning over, and the folds of the curtain of oblivion wrap themselves around the receding past.

The era whose death agony we are witnessing takes away with it its familiar stage-setting, and the actors depart with the din and clank of empty brass. We see them all recede into the shadows, one by one, not without a last good kick ...

How well we know them! Parochial conceptions of life, arrogant nationalisms, shallow materialism, oppression of the weak minorities, human exploitation, power to rule and enslave through fear, religious fanaticism, political chicanery, racial animosities - an unholy brood, conceived in abysmal ignorance, fed with fear and selfishness, sustained by greed, and driven into its own den of iniquity by the rising Power of the Spirit.

Anything to be discouraged about? Let's brace ourselves and think!

We stand before the Portals of a better Age. The Dawn of a greater era is flooding with its light of promise the hills on the distant horizon of our hopes. At such times, there is sweeping over the Earth the Wind of the Spirit, "re-arranging, re-shaping, re-making."

Men find it hard to read the true meaning of life, but the hardest of all to read is the handwriting on the wall, which becomes legible to some only when the walls begin to totter and collapse ... Yet the walls of the last decade or so have been thick with scribbled warnings. How many have seen and understood them?

To pass through the Portals of the New Age, we must discard the paraphernalia of the dying era; and the passport of entry is a new conception of Ethics, a greater sense of the deeper values of life, a more universal consciousness, a global solidarity of our common human sympathies and bonds.

And any man or woman who rises above his degrading attachments to material concerns, his love of mere possessions for their own sake, his love of power, his passion of selfish gratification at the expense of others, becomes to that extent a Builder of the New Age, and passes imperceptibly through the mystic portals into the Light.

The violence of the day is only an effect. Men refuse to recognize the Wind of the Spirit and set their own puny wills against the tide of life.

We are living in an age of tremendous opportunities. Nothing today can withstand the dynamic spiritual push working from behind the scenes of outward events. When the stage of history will have quieted down, and some of the conflicts will have been resolved, we shall see a new type of humanity building with better material a grander civilization.

Let us become worthy of being counted among the Builders! [4]


William Quan Judge

[Originally published in The Path, New York, Vol. X, September, 1895.]

From ignorance of the truth about man's real nature and faculties and their action and condition after bodily death, a number of evils flow. The effect of such want of knowledge is much wider than the concerns of one or several persons. Government and the administration of human justice under man-made laws will improve in proportion as there exists a greater amount of information on this all-important subject. When a wide and deep knowledge and belief in respect to the occult side of nature and of man shall have become the property of the people then may we expect a great change in the matter of capital punishment.

The killing of a human being by the authority of the state is morally wrong and also an injury to all the people; no criminal should be executed no matter what the offence. If the administration of the law is so faulty as to permit the release of the hardened criminal before the term of his sentence has expired, that has nothing to do with the question of killing him.

Under Christianity this killing is contrary to the law supposed to have emanated from the Supreme Lawgiver. The commandment is: "Thou shalt not kill!" No exception is made for states or governments; it does not even except the animal kingdom. Under this law therefore it is not right to kill a dog, to say nothing of human beings. But the commandment has always been and still is ignored. The Theology of man is always able to argue away any regulation whatever; and the Christian nations once rioted in executions. At one time for stealing a loaf of bread or a few nails a man might be hanged. This, however, has been so altered that death at the hands of the law is imposed for murder only, - omitting some unimportant exceptions.

We can safely divide the criminals who have been or will be killed under our laws into two classes: i.e., those persons who are hardened, vicious, murderous in nature; and those who are not so, but who, in a moment of passion, fear, or anger, have slain another. The last may be again divided into those who are sorry for what they did, and those who are not. But even though those of the second class are not by intention enemies of Society, as are the others, they too before their execution may have their anger, resentment, desire for revenge and other feelings besides remorse, all aroused against Society which persecutes them and against those who directly take part in their trial and execution. The nature, passions, state of mind and bitterness of the criminal have, hence, to be taken into account in considering the question. For the condition which he is in when cut off from mundane life has much to do with the whole subject.

All the modes of execution are violent, whether by the knife, the sword, the bullet, by poison, rope, or electricity. And for the Theosophist the term violent as applied to death must mean more than it does to those who do not hold theosophical views. For the latter, a violent death is distinguished from an [5] easy natural one solely by the violence used against the victim. But for us such a death is the violent separation of the man from his body, and is a serious matter, of interest to the whole state. It creates in fact a paradox, for such persons are not dead; they remain with us as unseen criminals, able to do harm to the living and to cause damage to the whole of Society.

What happens? All the onlooker sees is that the sudden cutting off is accomplished; but what of the reality? A natural death is like the falling of a leaf near the winter time. The time is fully ripe, all the powers of the leaf having separated; those acting no longer, its stem has but a slight hold on the branch and the slightest wind takes it away. So with us; we begin to separate our different inner powers and parts one from the other because their full term has ended, and when the final tremor comes the various inner component parts of the man fall away from each other and let the soul go free. But the poor criminal has not come to the natural end of his life. His astral body is not ready to separate from his physical body, nor is the vital, nervous energy ready to leave. The entire inner man is closely knit together, and he is the reality. I have said these parts are not ready to separate - they are in fact not able to separate because they are bound together by law and a force over which only great Nature has control.

When then the mere physical body is so treated that a sudden, premature separation from the real man is effected, he is merely dazed for a time, after which he wakes up in the atmosphere of the earth, fully a sentient living being save for the body. He sees the people, he sees and feels again the pursuit of him by the law. His passions are alive. He has become a raging fire, a mass of hate; the victim of his fellows and of his own crime. Few of us are able, even under favorable circumstances, to admit ourselves as wholly wrong and to say that punishment inflicted on us by man is right and just, and the criminal has only hate and desire for revenge.

If now we remember that his state of mind was made worse by his trial and execution, we can see that he has become a menace to the living. Even if he be not so bad and full of revenge as said, he is himself the repository of his own deeds; he carries with him into the astral realm surrounding us the pictures of his crimes, and these are ever living creatures, as it were. In any case he is dangerous. Floating as he does in the very realm in which our mind and senses operate, he is forever coming in contact with the mind and senses of the living. More people than we suspect are nervous and sensitive. If these sensitives are touched by this invisible criminal they have injected into them at once the pictures of his crime and punishment, the vibrations from his hate, malice and revenge. Like creates like, and thus these vibrations create their like. Many a person has been impelled by some unknown force to commit crime; and that force came from such an inhabitant of our sphere.

And even with those not called "sensitive" these floating criminals have an effect, arousing evil thoughts where any basis for such exist in those individuals. We cannot argue away the immense force of hate, revenge, fear, [6] vanity, all combined. Take the case of Guiteau, who shot President Garfield. He went through many days of trial. His hate, anger and vanity were aroused to the highest pitch every day and until the last, and he died full of curses for every one who had anything to do with his troubles. Can we be so foolish as to say that all the force he thus generated was at once dissipated? Of course it was not. In time it will be transformed into other forces, but during the long time before that takes place the living Guiteau will float through our mind and senses carrying with him and dragging over us the awful pictures drawn and frightful passions engendered.

The Theosophist who believes in the multiple nature of man and in the complexity of his inner nature, and knows that is governed by law and not by mere chance or by the fancy of those who prate of the need for protecting society when they do not know the right way to do it, relying only on the punitive and retaliatory Mosaic law - will oppose capital punishment. He sees it is unjust to the living, a danger to the state, and that it allows no chance whatever for any reformation of the criminal.


George Cardinal LeGros

"Never will I seek nor receive private individual salvation. Never will I enter into final peace alone; but forever and everywhere will I live and strive for the redemption of every creature throughout the world." - Kwan Yin Pledge.

Among the many things in human nature that make the angels weep is the universal desire to find an "easy way" out of effort and responsibility, and into comfort and contentment.

Theosophists and pseudo-Theosophists are no exceptions. In fact, we may be the most guilty of all. Years ago, in the pages of a Theosophical magazine, I debated points of doctrine with a learned Ph.D. who claimed to have read Blavatsky. His chief argument was that the disciplines given in The Voice of the Silence and Light on the Path were obsolete - that in our enlightened age it was no longer necessary to be hard on ourselves. He was a dedicated apologist for the "easy way." Finally, when he attempted to justify self-indulgence as a blessing by a "loving God" for "His children," I gave up.

It still goes on. The world is teeming with fast gun Salvationists of every size and color from Krishnamurti to Billy Graham assuring us that the Way to Heaven is an easy matter of canceling Karma, abolishing Rebirth, accepting God's Grace, and spiraling right up among the angels. Liberation is ours for the asking. Nirvana now!

As long as Blavatsky lived, the little people around her, with feigned humility, watched their steps; but after her departure they revamped the teachings to make them more attractive to an "easy way" world. Their success was phenomenal. Fanciful "commentaries" on The Secret Doctrine, mutilated editions of The Key to Theosophy [7] and The Voice of the Silence, plus tons of rehashed Spiritualism and spooked-up science fiction, pour from some of the presses like water over Niagara Falls.

Speaking of books, did you ever wonder why so many are written on the Bhagavad-Gita, and none on The Voice of the Silence, Light on the Path, and Golden Precepts? The answer should be obvious. The Gita, sublime though it is, stresses private, individual salvation (the goal of the "easy way" dreamers) while the other three emphasize the "hard way" of self-forgetfulness and self-sacrifice. Concentrating on the Gita alone is like quoting out of context, it means ignoring the cardinal doctrine of the Hierarchy of Compassion - the giving of the self.

Says the Bhagavad-Gita in a famous passage: 'There dwelleth in the heart of every creature, O Arjuna, the Master - Isvara - ... Take sanctuary with him alone, O son of Bharata, with all thy soul; by his grace thou shalt obtain supreme happiness, the eternal place." But Light on the Path (p. 79.) tells the aspirant that "If he desires to become a Neophyte, he at once becomes a servant." The Voice of the Silence (p. 31.) states: "To live to benefit mankind is the first step." And on page 71: "Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?"

Here we have two Paths clearly outlined: the "easy way" of doing your duty, minding your own business, and becoming so pure and holy that you tumble right into heaven; and the "hard way" of all-out service and sacrifice for others, with total indifference to personal comfort and "peace." That is, unless you believe that the rules and disciplines of the Masters change with the weather, and finally become obsolete.

The "hard" fact is that, unless studied in conjunction with the other books, a work such as the Gita can easily induce a Pratyeka state of mind in which the aspirant drowses away into a beatific dream, and forgets about the rest of the world. He becomes like the yogi who meditates till his hair grows twenty feet long and his pride twenty feet long.

In the Spring issue of Theosophia, the editor mentions "The choice between self-complacent intellectual gratification and an intelligent, purposeful, dynamic, but kindly and self-sacrificing work for the Cause of Theosophy. ..." That is putting it in a nut-shell. It is easy to sit comfortably in an armchair turning out books and articles of innocuous whimsy with Theosophical titles, most of which, as someone said the other day, is not "writing" at all, but merely "typing."

With all the exciting allurements of our swinging age, how can Theosophical literature hope to win an audience unless it is alive, ensouled, provocative, and spiced with humor and anecdote? The heavy material was written long ago by the Adepts and chelas - enough to last the world a thousand years. We can't add to that. In fact, in The Mahatma Letters, p. 357, the Master K. H. states that "... none but those who have passed at least their third initiation are able to write upon these subjects comprehensively." And if there are any third-initiation chelas in the present Theosophical Societies, it's news to me. [8] There weren't any the last time I looked.

Self-complacency is the dry rot of the soul, and the easiest thing on earth to fall into: while going out into the world, widening the sphere of one's affinities, and spending time, money, and life itself for the Cause we talk so much about, calls for courage, daring, self-sacrifice, and contempt for personal comfort. It means following the "hard way" that challenges manhood and spirithood, and usually demands a painful price.

It all comes down to the question of whether one is to give to himself, or to humanity. Light on the Path (p. 93.) tells us that "Until a man has become, in heart and spirit, a disciple, he has no existence for those who are Teachers of disciples. And he becomes this by one method only - the surrender of his personal humanity." Note that it is by "one method only" - not by a number of methods, among which we might find the longed-for "easy way."

And what does this surrender of personal humanity amount to? It has to mean a lot more than to give up cigarettes and pork chops, and stop telling lies. Our "personal humanity" is the whole of us - not merely a few glaring vices that common sense tells us we have to do something about anyway.

For that matter, many evil persons master their predominant shortcomings in order to become more efficient and proficient in deviltry. Years ago, Dr. Henry T. Edge, who had been a personal pupil of Blavatsky, wrote about the individual who, finding some particular form of sensuality oppressive, conquers it in the interests of his own selfish personality. In doing so, he does not ally himself with the higher part of his nature, the Immortal Trinity, but simply strengthens his will and becomes a greater menace than before.

I have met a few men who claimed proficiency in black magic; and I remember asking one of them what he would do when the psychic powers he boasted of got out of hand. With a knowing smile, be answered: "We prune our powers." What he didn't know was that eventually the Elemental Forces involved would absorb all that he was, and then it would be too late for any "pruning." He was another traveler of the "easy way."

We come back to the quotation from Light on the Path. The only safe and sure way to steer our boat through the deep waters of the Occult is by the total surrender of all that we are. It can't be a half-way or half-hearted surrender, nor the elimination of a few nagging faults or weaknesses. There is no compromise between the God and the Demon.

Theosophists who have not yet been confronted by the power of the Demon have no idea whatsoever of its strength and cunning. In his Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita Judge points out that "... if we completely apprehended the enormous power of our passions and various tendencies, most of us would throw up the fight in advance; for nothing could persuade us that any power within could withstand against such overwhelming odds."

But there is a Power - the greatest in the universe - our Higher Self, the Divine-Spiritual source of our being. The Masters have allied themselves with it, and so can we because we now [9] stand where they once stood. And everyone who has glimpsed the glory of the Path those mighty souls tread, and determines to move toward it, has beside him, night and day, the faithful Presence of that Higher Self.

But "He will not know thee unless thou knowest Him." The initial effort (how many times have you heard it?) must be made by us; we must make His acquaintance. The Higher Self has no awareness of the lower, animal-passional man absorbed in his pursuit of selfish gratifications (including spiritual gratifications). The lower man must be dethroned, crucified on the Cross of Renunciation and sacrifice, that the awakened and aspiring part of him may join hands with the God, the Warrior, the Christos within-above.

As well as I can understand it, the secret of success lies in the total giving back of the self to the ALL. It isn't easy to capture the thought in words because in making the effort - which is hardly an "effort" but a wonderful "letting go" - one transcends the squirrel cage of the brain-mind, and tastes a freedom that expands outward into a limitless "everywhere." One finds himself as part of something more than himself - something ineffable, nameless, infinite, and eternal. Individuality is on its way to Universality.

It is difficult to write on a theme such as this because the phrases one must use have been cliches for a hundred years. But the teaching about the surrender of one's personal humanity is so fundamental and all-important that unless it is taken to heart and acted upon the rest of the Theosophical philosophy can be studied till Doomsday, and, at best, lead only to that Sattvic complacency and quiescence which are next-door neighbors to Pratyeka escapism.


Lina Psaltis

"It is rather strange that those who profess to thirst alter knowledge
should yet neglect the food placed before them."
- H. P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. V, p. 358.

"It is divine philosophy alone, the spiritual and psychic blending of man with nature, which, by revealing the fundamental truths that lie hidden under the objects of sense and perception, can promote a spirit of unity and harmony in spite of the great diversities of conflicting creeds ... Superstition had to be exposed and avoided; and occult forces, beneficent and maleficent - ever surrounding us and manifesting their presence in various ways - demonstrated to the best of our ability ... To oppose materialism and theological dogmatism in every possible way, by demonstrating the existence of occult forces unknown to science, in nature, and the presence of psychic and spiritual powers in man ..." * [* Collected Writings, Vol. VII, pp. 173, 146, 145-6.] [10]

These quotations from the writing of Blavatsky and the adept-teachers have, perhaps, more significance today in respect to the Third object of the Theosophical Society (To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man) than ever before. Heretofore, the emphasis among students has been upon the negative aspect: to warn against the acquisition of psychic powers. Yet, if one were to make a survey of the writings of H.P.B. available in the Collected Writings and Isis Unveiled, one would find a veritable gold mine of information regarding the psychic realm and its functioning - the occult laws of nature, as familiar to the adepts as the rising and the setting of the sun to the populace. K.H., in The Mahatma Letters (p. 35) remarks that it is a good beginning to make the inherent capabilities of the inner, living man better comprehended. Obviously, they did not fear to approach this area of study; yet no theosophical group devoted to a recognition of the validity of the knowledge imparted by Blavatsky has been involved in a program of research based upon the syllogisms of their teachings.

If her students have neglected this area of research from the beginning (and K.H. wrote "H. S. Olcott has been trying to convert each of the Indian Branches into ... a school of research, but the capacity for sustained independent study for knowledge's sake is lacking, and must be developed."* it is not too late for students all over the world to begin research into these areas [* Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, p. 336, 3rd rev. ed. ] ), it is not too late for students all over the world to begin research into these areas and make their findings available to all ... "It is our mission [the adepts'] to plunge and bring the pearls of Truth to the surface; theirs [the scientists'] - to clean and set them into scientific jewels."* [* Mahatma Letters, p. 51.]

In the opening quotation, the phrase "psychic and spiritual powers" should be clarified. In an outstanding philosophical dissertation, "Psychic and Noetic Action,"* [* Lucifer, Oct./Nov., 1890.] H.P.B. defines psychic action as that which pertains to the personality and noetic (from nous) as that of the Individuality. If study into, and elaboration of the laws of, psychic phenomena are regarded in this light, then it can be seen that neglect of this area of man's totality can lead but to pain, for in the personality - the chalice of but one life - lie those causes which either lead on the Inner Man to greater understanding and knowledge of himself, or, by neglect, lead to disruption through ignorance and its aftermath - pain. "Man's tendency is to cultivate each part separately, neglecting the others in the meantime - every crushing pain is caused by the expansion of some neglected part, which expansion is rendered more difficult by the effects of the cultivation bestowed elsewhere ..."* [* Collected Writings, Vol. VI, p. 333.]

The personality being subject to the karmic pattern of its racial and national group as well as its family pattern, is, in fact, a projection of cultural patterns of the society into which one is born. As a unit within this society, one is subjected from the moment of birth to the environmental forces surrounding him - not because of blind chance, but because causes generated in past incarnations have [11] drawn him into this particular cultural vortex. Referring again to the above-mentioned dissertation, the Inner Man is then the dimension less point wherein these two forces, the psychic and the noetic, meet; and it is the Inner Man, the dimension less point, who reacts. Now, if the study of psychic law will help the Inner Man in his ceaseless struggle and up reaching to understand the forces within and without, then surely the oft-repeated axiom "Know Thyself" has been heeded.

If the official theosophical organizations have not promoted the Third Object, scientists have. The field of parapsychology is expanding at a rate almost frightening to behold. The psychic wave has crashed on the shore of Western society; as a result, cultural patterns are rapidly changing. One of the most clearly defined signposts of this is the inclusion of a section on parapsychology by the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest organization of scientific societies in the world. Another signpost is that the publication of the book Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain* [* Ostrander and Schroeder, 1970.] has resulted in a rash of new parapsychology laboratories in the United States. Corollary to this is the work being done at the University of California, Los Angeles, by Dr. Thelma Moss and the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute researchers in the Russian Kirlian photography. Dr. Moss and her colleagues have developed a type of Kirlian photography and have consulted with Dr. V I. Inyushin of the University of Kazakhstan, U.S.S.R. Dr. Wm. A. Tiller, Chairman of the department of material science at Stanford University (Calif.) at a meeting of parapsychologists, in referring to the Kirlian photography, stated that "we seem to be dealing with energy fields completely different from those known to us via conventional science." Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, widely quoted, has been very outspoken regarding his interest in research in the field of parapsychology. The work being done by Dr. Shafica Karagulia, a neuropsychiatrist, is one instance of a scientist who has utilized theosophical teachings in her research. Dr. Charles T. Tart, University of Calif., Davis, postulates the possibility of applying the scientific method to the study of altered states of consciousness. He states: "... in all the time that Western science has existed, no real attempt has been made to understand [altered states of consciousness] in scientific terms."* [* "Scientific Foundations for the Study of Altered States of Consciousness," The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Nov. 2, 1971.]

... "the men of science have but to reap but what we have sown."* [* Mahatma Letters, p. 51.]

The divine philosophy has been the product of a methodology fully as scientific as any "law of nature" defined as such by the greatest academicians. Decades of inattentiveness on the part of theosophical students to the adept-teachings which incorporate the use of inductive reasoning can and must be rectified if the deductive basis is to become the solid foundation upon which future generations can build. "For countless generations hath the adept builded a fane of imperishable rocks, a giant's Tower of INFINITE THOUGHT, wherein the Titan dwelt, [12] and will yet, if need be, dwell alone, emerging from it but at the end of every cycle, to invite the elect of mankind to co-operate with him and help in his turn enlighten superstitious man ..."* [* Mahatma Letters, p. 51.]

Superstition in the enlightened age of the twentieth century? Have we amongst our ranks clairvoyants whose every word regarding the psychic realm is taken as unsupported truth? Or do we cast aside our superstition and recognize the psychic senses to be but the extension of our physical senses? Do we strive to understand the dynamics of consciousness and thus arrive at an understanding of our own consciousness? Do we endeavor to help our fellow man, who comes to us asking for understanding of his inner, subjective experiences, with knowledge gleaned from experience and the evidence of the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of those teachers we profess to follow?


Montague A. Machell

More is demanded of a dedicated Theosophist than a negative acceptance of an aggregation of beliefs. As a Life Philosophy, Theosophy expects of him an acceptance of himself as a spiritual, immortal entity - acceptance involving a positive enlargement of his outlook on life and on himself.

Immortality - the deathlessness of his Spiritual Reality - must place its stamp on every waking thought and deed, insuring that these at all times transcend purely temporal and personal motivations. Thus, to accept the doctrine of reincarnation, as indispensable to an adequate concept of "life ever-lasting," is vastly to enlarge the motivations and perspectives of the one-life personality - to think and to act as all immortal entity. Never, for one moment, can the student afford to view reincarnation as simply a doctrine or belief he subscribes to. Its nature demands of him an unquestioning acceptance of himself as a deathless being, so far as "death" suggests an end or a finality to life.

This is a demand to which no man can respond casually, lightly, or in keeping with his responses to other demands, inasmuch as it involves a clear and honest recognition of his spiritual immortality at all times. It is not too much to say that this involves his perception of himself as one "reborn," again and again, therein presenting him with a new life pattern, wherein day-to-day happenings might merge into age-long cycles of conscious unfoldment. To seriously accept reincarnation and the laws of Karma inseparable from it, is to forge a new relationship with time and destiny, evaluating these in relation to the nature and essence of the Self.

The heart of Theosophy is Conscious Creativeness that utilizes days and their events as the indispensable [13] materials of uninterrupted life-structure. Such utilization must become an expression of creative living in which thinking and doing convert what for far too many of us otherwise is mere puppetry, into clearly motivated creativity. For the Theosophist, "living" never justifies merely "reacting." "Out of the heart come all the issues of life" - providing one consciously "lives" from the heart - a form of existence glorified and rendered significant by conscious spiritual motivation. This means putting the human personality in its own subjective and inglorious place, that the Self may impart eternal dignity and meaning to the life. And "life," in this context, spells spiritual unfoldment, an ever splendid and unearthly experience. In this sense Theosophy is the Eternal Glorifier, lending to the "common-place" the unwaning beauty of the Spirit.

This particular manifestation of spiritual magic results from living as a conscious spiritual entity - an attainment which would seem to be beyond the power of organized religion to invoke. Because of its profundity and comprehensiveness, reincarnation as the key to life everlasting is indispensable to significant Theosophical living, requiring the student to shape his living on these deathless lines, not merely to "accept" the doctrine as "one more belief"!

It is for him to remind himself that "life goes on eternally," every day bearing the stamp of the Eternal, with death but a periodic "in-breathing" of the systolic and diastolic heart-beat of life. A rational understanding of this heart-beat is dependent upon a Theosophic release from the "one-life and one-death" psychology of orthodoxy, making possible an appreciation of the life panorama of the immortal spirit by means of an understanding of reincarnation that sets the believer free from the "life" and "death" pattern relating to the human personality.

"Creative Living," Theosophically understood, emphasizes that life ever-lasting that lends daily existence its adequate meaning and dignity and reveals reincarnation as a doctrine whose constant and fearless contemplation unveils "life as it is," wherein "death" offers seasons of repose and gestation to the tired pilgrim. Man lives for Life, not for Death, which must be recognized as a fruitful experience, a necessary initiation for him who would be "reborn"! To all but the Inner Self life and death represent the positive and negative of existence. But, since the Inner Self affords Life its only enduring significance, eternity (of the Inner Self) is what primarily matters, which means that the mortal self of time has a responsibility to consider and respect eternal values. This responsibility is underscored by the fact that man returns to life on earth many times, which means that the destiny of that Self that survives both life and death is entitled to serious consideration - a consideration that can fundamentally affect one's attitude to earthly existence. It is in this sense that reincarnation "matters" constantly and seriously, as an aspect of daily living. Once a man realizes that be is not of "today" merely, but of "all time," he is likely to discover new and larger implications to life on earth, as well as a higher regard for the Invisible Self.

Encouragement of this higher regard is one of the objectives of Theosophical [14] teachings, enlarging, as it must, man's view of his nature and destiny. And, inasmuch as reincarnation enriches the Karmic pattern of any human life, the two teachings become mutually enlightening. "Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness" do we come into birth. Karma sees to it that we come "trailing clouds of glory" (or shame) according to past earth-lives. We are what we have made ourselves; we are making ourselves today what we are to become tomorrow - man is the maker of his own destiny. We are the eternal subjects of cause and effect. In a world of law and order there are no privileged characters. Inviolable Law has no use for Compassion - an indispensable human attribute.


Dara Eklund

We arrive at an inner poise as if it were a moment when all influences are naturally stabilized, when events seem to be self-regulated, not cascaded upon us in torrential streams. Inner poise means alignment or linear discipline. While a war is waging between various aspects of our natures, alignment cannot be achieved. If anxiety to solve a problem acts upon divergent and conflicting thoughts, that is not alignment. Alignment will come when we allow these cross currents to draw through some focal point. Call it inner space, a vortex, or a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum and something must come to fill it.

Alignment has in the psychic or mental worlds the feature of calmness. "Calmness allows the spirit to be heard," wrote William Q. Judge. True guidance flows in a direct line of unfoldment from the Higher Self. The will must be exerted to keep that line open, to command the restless energies of mind and feeling to keep at bay. It must clear the path as a wind sweeps down through a forest from the mountain top. Great ideas such as the concept of Reincarnation could clear the forest for man to become clear of many things. He can release his attachment, and concerns for passing objects, events and even persons, when he perceives the clock of Karma revolving through his life. Its hands permit the cyclical vistas and changes, and a chance to establish harmony within the whirl of existence.

What man has not pleaded with his Higher Self, "Why can't you be with me all the time?" Aspiration for our better wisdom brings us a certain enlightenment, but unless a constant modification or inner discipline balances our response to Karmic influx, we are drowned in the event itself, be it a mood or an outer circumstance. If we ourselves become brittle and crystalized we can't expect the process of change to be lighthearted and quick. It may take an earthquake figuratively to make a line open to the Self within.

"He who does not practice reflection, has no calm," teaches the Bhagavad-Gita. Here lies the main argument for [15] meditation which may be found today. There are schools, outlines, compendiums, textbooks, even correspondence courses on "Meditation." There are promises of what it can bring to all walks of life. Yet we are still admonished in our teachings to learn first to Concentrate. Without concentration there is no disciplined alignment to the inner man. Because our age is not rich in the art of concentration, much of what is known today as meditation is a jellyfish type of passivity, effusing a lovely aura of every range of emotion, from the lowest passions to the higher forms of love and devotion. Depending upon the person meditating, the hunger for these practices is at its best a form of devotion. But a man who is truly devoted finds knowledge springing up spontaneously in the course of time, according to the Bhagavad-Gita, or the "Book of Devotion." Daily aspiration to begin each day and make it better. Nightly reflection to probe wherein we succeeded or fell short of our aim. These will draw to us the resources of our guideline within.

A friend was recently offered a first lesson in Meditation for "free." The next doses would be "three dollars each ... since we assure you our teacher is not out for money." The friend says she does not feel that the words to be repeated are natural for her. They interfere with her own thoughts. Such a person is already in a current of her Inner Godhood. Why should she pay three dollars to anyone for a course or schedule to her thought patterns?

If our "linear discipline" is correct, our daily life is the fruit of our musings, reflections, meditations. These are all varying vibratory rates of the dweller on this planet, the depth of whose experiences we barely plumb as earthlings turning on the wheel of life.

"Forces of thought constantly circulate around us, constantly transform us, while we, in turn, constantly create currents of thought. The individual as a creator of thought is an active thought in the universal ocean of currents of thought," wrote Edmund Szekely (The Living Buddha, p. 19.). This eminent scholar shows that the "Wheel of Life" of Tibetan Buddhism provides the solution to suffering, because the path out of Samsara (or that which consists of things which appear and disappear) is the central point of the wheel around which all things revolve. It is characteristic of all the "wheels" discovered in India and Tibet that the symbols of suffering appear on the circumference or the spokes of the wheel. The noble eightfold path along the spokes of the wheel leads a man away from the blind forces of tanha (thirst) which hold him to the outer rim of phenomena and suffering.

By our contentment with a simple life, by relinquishing our ambitions, we become capable of the most lofty Duty: meeting all that is our own through our daily associations with family, friends and teachers. We light the lamp of service and keep alive thereby the flame of truth, towards that day when Devotion to Truth alone will be the common discipline of Mankind. [16]


The Life Story of Henry S. Olcott
By Howard Murphet

Soldier, War-fraud investigator. Healer. Buddhist convert. Composer of the Buddhist catechism. Founder of three colleges in Ceylon and a great library in India ...
The Lincoln Administration set Colonel Olcott to probing the Army-supply scandals of the Civil War. Then New York newspapers retained him to investigate spiritualism. Nearly a century later, in 1967, Ceylon erected a statue of him - the bearded American from Orange, New Jersey. The Ceylonese issued a stamp in his honor, too.
Colonel Olcott had guided and inspired the revival of Buddhism in Ceylon. His Buddhist catechism today is used around the world. He devised the international Buddhist flag. He founded three colleges in Ceylon.
Here at last is the biography of this pioneer specialist in scientific farming - before the Civil War - who became with H.P. Blavatsky and W.Q. Judge, founder of the worldwide Theosophical Society (New York, 1875) and who established the Society's famous oriental institute in India, the Adyar Library.
Hammer on the Mountain recounts adventures of a compelling American leader in Asia - well remembered in India and Ceylon, largely forgotten in the United States. Col. Olcott was a great organizer; he possessed exceptional healing powers; his entire life was dedicated to the upliftment of the human race.
This unique biography is also the story of The Theosophical Society's stormy early days. The author, Howard Murphet, an Australian by birth, is a born writer and an excellent story-teller. His account is written with great sincerity and embodies suspense from chapter to chapter.

P.O. Box 270, Wheaton, Illinois 60187.
Cloth. Thirty Photographs - Price $7.95.