A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXIX
No. 3 (133) - Winter 1972-1973

[Cover photo: Alfred Russel Wallace, 1823-1913. Distinguished British naturalist and scientific writer, remarkable for his unprejudiced and open mind. Friend of both H.P.B. and Col. Olcott. After reading Isis Unveiled, he wrote to H.P.B. in part: "... Your Book will open up to many spiritualists a whole world of new ideas, and cannot fail to be of the greatest value in the enquiry which is now being so earnestly carried on."]


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.



George Cardinal LeGros

All day, behind the heavy, polished bars,
The tiger walks alone, remembering
His jungle trails, and nights aflame with stars;
And yet must look upon this human thing
That stands and watches by the iron cage -
A thing of pride, triumphant and supreme,
That mocks the silence of his secret rage,
And tramples on the ashes of his dream.
O captive monarch of a million Springs, -
Tameless and fierce and beautiful - be true
To your Monadic Fire! Live on, apart,
Forgotten in a world of lesser kings,
And Man, with godhood burning in his heart,
Becomes a beast more terrible than you. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

It is the duty of every serious student of the Esoteric Philosophy to endeavor to give wide dissemination of its teachings whenever opportunity arises to do so. Side-stepping it, owing to possible criticism or dislike on the part of others, is a sign of moral weakness.

A careful observation of much of the written material which appears in a large number of current Theosophical periodicals and journals - with notable exceptions here and there - reveals the fact that certain basic teachings of our philosophy are either not mentioned at all or are disguised in a false attire intended to make them more palatable to the reader.

Among the teachings which should be given a far greater emphasis than is the case, or such that are sometimes totally distorted for one or another reason, the following are of special importance:

1. The nature of death and of the after-death states should be brought out more effectively and more frequently. Death as a perfect sleep; death as the dissociation of the composite human constitution; death as a recessive process in the evolutionary growth of the individual; death as an electromagnetic phenomenon of a cyclic nature - these points should at all times be paramount in our effort to promote a constructive view of the process of dying among people who have for centuries past lost all understanding of what both Life and Death actually are.

It is obvious, however, that a number of journals issued within the Theosophical Movement present ideas concerning death which are only a few steps removed from ordinary Spiritualism, the "most insane and fatal of superstitions," to quote from one of the Teachers. This is most unfortunate. The teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy have absolutely nothing in common with Spiritualism under any of its many forms; as a matter of fact, they are its opposite pole in every respect. To imagine that an ordinary individual, even of a spiritual bent of mind, is going to float about in the astral world and become an "invisible helper," is to indulge in a sheer superstition, for which there is no basis whatever in the original Theosophical teachings as brought forward by the Founders of this Movement or their own Superiors. Death is sleep; total and blessed sleep, as far as the personal consciousness of the individual is concerned, and all connections between him and the world of embodied existence (which be has recently quitted) are severed completely. Any ideas to the contrary are both cruel and thoughtless, apart from being diametrically opposite to Theosophy.

2. A more reasonable and acceptable view should be expressed with regard to those more highly evolved beings along the pathway of evolution whom we call The Masters, the Adepts or the Teachers, and who themselves refer to each other merely by the term Brothers, which cuts at the root of my superiority or pride. They [4] are not individuals or ideas which should be mentioned only in whispers, and anything specific about them avoided at all costs. They are Men, more advanced types of manhood, more evolved individuals who have conquered themselves and risen above the puny level on which most of us dwell. They have traveled a difficult road for many incarnations, and over terrain which at times must have appeared to them also as impassable; but they "made it," and therefore they are a proof to us that the road is not impassable, and that we too can reach them if we persevere. While greatly perfected, they are by no means without faults; thy still have some of our human failings, and it is precisely this simple fact that brings them closer to us - to us who are the object of their collective concern and love.

We need to speak about them in dignified and reasonable terms; we should bring them, as Ideals and actual Friends, to the attention of those who have forgotten their existence and who feel "lost" in a world where their strongest feeling is usually loneliness and spiritual frustration. In doing so, in disseminating the idea of their existence and their work, we actually help the Brothers to direct their helpful energies through higher mental channels thus created. Thereby we become their coworkers, at least to some extent.

3. It is high time that students of the ancient wisdom refrain from confusing Universal Brotherhood, as an idea and a way of life, with political theories about the equality of all men. "All men are created equal" may be a convenient slogan in a world where philosophy has no place, but it can hardly be the rallying cry of students of the ancient occult lore. Considering the simple fact that we do not believe in "creation", but in evolution; bearing in mind that we recognize no "Creator", but only an universal Divine Life in manifestation; and observing the fact that not even two leaves of the same tree are identical or "equal," it is obvious that Universal Brotherhood means something far greater and all-inclusive.

We should emphasize the idea that everything in nature is in a way unique, not equal to anything else, different from all else, though originating in the same Divine Life which is undefinable and incomprehensible to our finite human mind.

And if the objection is brought up that by "equality" is meant merely equal opportunity, it might be said that opportunities arise from within man himself, as the result of his inner growth and awakening, and not as a handout from anyone else. Man creates his own opportunities or postpones their manifestations because of his own stupidity and sloth.

It is of paramount importance to understand these ideas and concepts whenever the Theosophical teachings concerning Root-Races and Rounds are concerned. These teachings portray on the scale of Humanity as a whole the immense variety and progressive scales of unfoldment which exist between individual human beings or groups of them, from one end of the world to the other.

Let us discuss these ideas and dwell on them, as we face the Portals of another Year, and enter into a new Yearly Cycle! [5]


Dr. G. de Purucker

[Reprinted from The Theosophical Path, Point Loma, Calif., April 1928.]

QUESTION: I would like to ask where and what is the place of God in the Theosophical scheme of things. Also, is not the behavior of man and the entities beneath him totally ruled by what Theosophists call Karman? My motive in asking is the obtaining of authentic information.

ANSWER: This question has often been asked. In order properly to answer it, let us choose the Socratic method, and ask the questioner a question. How can this querent expect to obtain a clear answer to his question until the question itself has more definiteness to it, and a more perfect outline?

In the first place, what is meant by 'God'? Is it the God of the Christians which is meant, or the God of the Hebrews? Is it the God of the Brahmans? Is it the God of the native American Indian? Is it the God of the Eskimo? Is it the God of the Druid, or is it the Zeus of the Greek, or the Jupiter of the Roman, and so forth? You ask a question, and tacitly suppose that 'God' conveys an idea sufficiently clear and definite to all men, whereas history shows us that there never was a question on which men differ so greatly as upon the answers they might give as regards the nature of the Divine.

We may briefly say first, that for such national or theoretical gods as those above alluded to, be they one or be they many, and which are the offsprings of man's religious imagination, the Theosophical philosophy has absolutely no place. Theosophy deals with realities, and not with men's mere beliefs or imaginings about infinites or supposed infinites.

The very heart of the Theosophical Religion-Philosophy-Science, is the Divine, as we call it, because we must call it by some name in order to let others know what we are talking about. Concerning the thing itself, the Theosophical philosophy is likewise extremely precise, definite, and runs straight to the point. Our conception of the Divine is an absolutely limitless Life - for we must give it some name that our human brains can understand. This Universal Life is the source and origin of everything, of all beings, and of all worlds; the best qualification of it that perhaps could be given to it would be comprised in the one word 'Space.' Space comprises everything, because it is everything. There is nothing outside of it, therefore it is the ALL.

Space, as Theosophists use the word, does not mean mere extension of matter. It means everything that ever was, that is, or that ever will be, visible and invisible, small and great, on all planes, because all these are comprised in the abstract meaning which we give to the word Space. It is not mere limitless extension; nor is the Divine a stock or a stone; but all these are in the Divine, so to say, and partakers of the Universal Life, which it is. Can you think of anything which is outside of Space? Of course not. [6]

But our God is not a personal God, obviously not. It never was not and it never will cease to be. It neither thinks, nor feels, nor acts, because all these actions are predicates of finite entities such as men. The Zeus of the ancient Greeks, or the Jehovah of the ancient Hebrews, who thundered and lightened, are in either case a conception of the Divine which, in our majestical Theosophical philosophy, seems not merely grotesque to us, but downright blasphemous.

May we not say, therefore, that the Divine, Universal Life, Space, is neither conscious nor unconscious, neither active nor inactive? A long string of such hypothetical contraries might be enumerated, all of them expressing human emotional or mental actions; but what good would it do? Assuredly these cannot be ascribed to the Divine, to That which is at once limitless and endlessly enduring. All such contraries are but descriptions of human imaginings, taking their root and rise in our own limited human consciousness.

We are conscious, and in our egoism, we imagine that the stock or the stone is unconscious. Theosophy teaches us better. All entities and things are offsprings of the Universal Life, and each, in its way and manner, and to the fullest extent of its capacity, contains all that we do as enlightened human beings - in other words, each contains all in germ.

These differences among entities arise out of the various stages of evolution which they have respectively attained. Some things are more advanced than others, and manifest thereby the more fully the inner potencies, faculties, powers, call them what you like, which are at the heart or core of every human being, and of every other entity or being or thing.

Hence, answering the question more directly, in view of the foregoing necessary explanation, it may be said with perfect truth, and said emphatically, that the Theosophical philosophy has no 'God,' as that word is commonly understood by people who do not think, and who therefore imagine that ideas which have become popularized by time, and which throw one's intuitions of the Divine into a chaos of contradictions, must contain some essence of reality, some essential truth.

Not so very long ago, men thought that the sun moved around the earth, and that the stars in the splendid, dark-blue vault of midnight were sparkling light-points placed there by a personal God in order to proclaim his own greatness to his erring and sinning children on earth. We know better now. No, such a God, or a God of any such kind, has no place in our Doctrine of Truth.

Nevertheless, no one can equal the Theosophist in the unspeakably profound reverence which fills his heart as he endeavors to raise his spirit in awe in contemplation of the Divine. It is our Source whence we came and whither we are journeying on our re-turn pilgrimage to it; we issued forth from the 'Bosom of the Divine' - if we may use easily understood terms - as unselfconscious God-sparks, and shall return to it as fully self-conscious gods, thereafter to take a god-like part in the great Cosmic Labor. We are even now co-operating instruments, or rather co-operating agencies, in the fulfilment of the great Cosmic Work, to the extent of our capacity. [7]

Turning now to the second part of the question: with regard to "the behavior of men and things - is it not wholly ruled by Karman?" To this we answer most emphatically, Yes, with a minor exception to be noted in an instant; but when Karman is understood, it will then be immediately seen that it is not Fate, as the form of the question might suggest. The Theosophist rejects Fate as emphatically as he does Cosmical Anarchy.

Karman is what we ourselves have brought about; Karman is a Sanskrit word meaning Action and Consequence. Karman is what we do, and the consequences that flow back upon us from that doing. We learn the lessons of life through Karman which we ourselves sowed in action. No God outside sets Karman upon us. Karman is an intrinsic factor of Universal Nature. It can be called a Law, if you like to use popular human phraseology; and to that we have no objection, provided Karman be understood to be simply the teaching of act and consequence. If you put your finger in the flame it will be burned. God did not put your finger there; you did it. You put yourself under the operation of the forces and workings of Nature itself, and suffer the consequences.

When you say that "men and things are ruled by Karman," I object only to the world 'ruled.' A king rules, or a government rules; but Karman is neither a king nor a government. It is no person; it is an impersonal operation of the universe, inseparable from its working because it is that working itself. Theosophists would rather say that men arouse the operation of the natural laws, in other words of Karman, by their acts, and suffer the consequences.

No, there is no place in the Theosophical philosophy for a personal entity, which is at the same time infinite and eternal, nor for the theory that such an entity has created men and things, and rules them as does a king. If the Theosophical philosophy did not reject these fables, how could it explain, as it indeed does explain very beautifully, the manifest evils and imperfections and sufferings and miseries and horrors which exist in the world? As the action of this purely theoretical and supposititious Deity? If so, then such a Deity is a very dreadful God, and no man with a heart in his breast could accept it for a moment, once he has understood the situation.

If such a God be all-good, and the creator of all, then how account for these evils? How account for sin and suffering and weaknesses and evil desires, and for such things as natural catastrophes - earthquakes and cyclones and tidal waves - killing their tens of thousands on occasion, with no more apparent compunction than follows the sweeping away of the flotsam and jetsam of the seashore?

Does God, supposed by some to be all-good, all-powerful, therefore Create imperfection and evil, and send the latter upon the poor helpless creatures whom lie created? Such a God Theosophy cannot accept, for the majestic and inflexible logic of the Theosophical philosophy, as well as the sense of justice abiding in the human heart, to say nothing of the instinctive reverence which the Theosophist learns to know for the Divine, all combine to render such a conception of the Divine impossible. [8]

It might be said in passing, in explanation, that these imperfections and so forth, which have just been spoken of, are not 'God's work,' whether they be great or small, but are of the very nature of the Cosmos itself, which is a vast body of evolving entities and things in a practically infinite scale of differentiated evolution. This accounts for the imperfections and for the contrarieties and so forth.

But when the Theosophist turns in contemplation to the Invisible, to the vast realms of the Unseen, and realizes that there is not an atom anywhere, not a point in space anywhere, which is outside of the sweep and action of the Universal Life: when be realizes that the Universe is in filled, and fulfilled, with unselfconscious, and partly self-conscious, and, lastly, god-like, fully self-conscious entities, extending in endless hierarchies, high and low, in all directions so to say, then his heart is filled with that unspeakable reverence for the Divine of which mention has been made.

Yes, as Katherine Tingley so often has said, the Theosophist no more rejects the Divine, or the Divine throughout the Cosmos, than he rejects the sunlight; but the Theosophist does not accept any infinite, eternal, personal God, which things are to him a flagrant contradiction, not merely in terms but in facts. All this is unreasonable.

A personal, creative, infinite God of any kind therefore, the Theosophist does not accept nor teach, because, outside of other reasons, such a God would be responsible for the imperfections and evil in the world. If not, then he would not be omnipotent or all-powerful. Together with the ancients, the Theosophist holds that only a perfect work could emanate from Infinite Perfection; yet none more than the Theosophist withal senses a greater spiritual elevation of soul when his whole inner being is raised in reverential aspiration in the ineffable intuition of the Divine which our philosophy teaches us of.


L. Gordon Plummer

[Reprinted from The Canadian Theosophist, July-August, 1972.]

The time is ripe to bring to the attention of all who are interested in the relationship between Teacher and Disciple, as well as in Initiation, the essence of the teachings that have been given us in great abundance. Primary sources are the lengthy section of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett under the general heading "Probation and Chelaship"; some important writings of H.P. Blavatsky, particularly "Chelas and Lay Chelas" which originally appeared in The Theosophist IV, Supplement 1883, as well as various writings by G. de Purucker on chelaship. To these I have added some thoughts of my own.

The reason for presenting these thoughts in the form of an article is that on all sides we hear of "Gurus," [9] and occult and semi-occult schools in which various degrees of initiation are conferred upon some of the members thereof, so that a great deal of confusion has resulted. This is unfortunate for the earnest student who really wants to know, and I feel that some sober words of warning are in order.

Perhaps the most important point to stress at the beginning is that if anyone has really found his spiritual Teacher, and is therefore definitely on the chela-path which leads to Initiation, this is a private matter which concerns his Teacher and himself alone, and is not a topic for discussion with others unless under orders to do so for some specific purpose.

Because we have heard of so many who have had "initiations" conferred upon them, we question the degree to which these "Arhats" or "Saints" have studied the writings referred to. No doubt there are many who sincerely believe that they have been initiated and that the Masters are working through them, and this might well give them a sense of achievement. But there is little in common between this feeling of elation and the deep impersonal joy of genuine chelaship. It is my own belief that if any student's karma is so fortunate that he experiences chelaship in the fullest meaning of the word, his sense of awe and reverence would virtually compel him to remain silent about it. In the first place, it would be completely unimportant to him whether or not anyone else knows about it, because he knows that the only way that it could show itself is in the quality of his work. The life he leads will speak for itself, and if the quality of discipleship called the Buddhic Splendor is not to be found there, he never really had it.

Now, there is absolutely no glamour to chelaship. The very first step leads one into the unglamourous life of self-improvement along spiritual, moral and ethical lines. As clearly pointed out by H. P. Blavatsky, immediately the path is entered all the latent potentialities for god and for evil will spring into activity. Unless the chela is strong enough to weather the storm he would have done much better to have waited until he had built up his moral and spiritual strength before plunging in beyond his depth.

While the following words may seem to be harsh, I nevertheless believe them to be true. The only interest that the Masters can have in any individual is to the extent that he may become useful to their work. I believe that it is important to bring out forcefully at this time that there is absolutely no sentimentality in the genuine relationship between Teacher and Pupil. This is because it is not based upon ordinary human notions of friendship. It transcends the personal approach, and is therefore based upon the strong foundation of companionship in a great Cause. The quality of friendship that grows out of such a relationship is filled with the joy of recognition. This recognition is twofold. The pupil recognizes the Teacher as one who emulates the truths that the chela is endeavoring to learn and practice. The teacher stands for the highest and noblest in human life, and for wisdom far beyond the reach of the average man. The Teacher recognizes in the chela the makings of another Teacher, one who will win onward, and who will some day teach in his own turn. He sees in the pupil a [10] god-to-be, and he fosters this spiritual light. He knows that the longing for chelaship did not spring from anything that the student may have merely heard or read at some time; it sprang from his own Higher Self.

So now we may see why it is impossible to have Chelaship conferred as a favor upon anyone. There is no place or person to whom application may be made. Initiation is never granted to anyone for the sake of position or prestige.

Are these things unattainable then? Not at all. They are ever-present and are attainable by anyone who has the key. And the key is not hidden; it has been given to us time and again. And here is the message that has been given to us from the Teachers themselves. The only way that anyone can make application for chelaship is to his own Higher Self. Let him first of all become convinced that there is a Teacher within his own heart and mind. Let him place himself before that inner Teacher in the attitude of a learner. Let him dedicate his life to that inner Teacher, because only to the degree that he learns to take knowledge from within will he ever develop the necessary ability to understand any teachings that he may receive from any genuine Teacher that he will eventually find.

This is why the waiting seems to be so long. Nothing would be gained from an association with a Teacher whom the pupil could not understand. That is why he has to prove himself first, and only then success may come. However, long before he is aware of success he may have come to the notice of the Teacher who will eventually make himself known to him. He will be watched and guided in many unsuspected ways. But let no one think that he is being spied upon. Let him never be afraid to make his own decisions, for fear that he will displease his Teacher. The student must follow his own dharma. It is the manner in which he meets life's situations that tells his Teacher where he stands, as well as indicating his chances for further progress.

One of the chela's pitfalls is the feeling of unworthiness. This is deadly so far as his progress is concerned. He is not perfect, and no one expects him to be, least of all, his Teacher. Certainly he will make mistakes, but then he is expected to learn from them. To fall and pick oneself up again and go on is understandable. The only blame that will be attached to him comes when he allows himself to give way to discouragement and ceases to work for humanity. That would be unpardonable. He must learn to accept himself as he is and to live with himself, knowing that every step of the way adds something to his growth. After all, chelaship is only a matter of growth, and this will proceed in its own time.

Much has been written by H.P.B. and others about the seriousness of chelaship, and of the many trials that the would-be chela must pass through before he is even "accepted." Why then, does one become a chela? Is it not enough for him to lead the normal life, doing good wherever he can, improving himself daily in all ways possible? Why is it necessary for anyone to bother himself about these high-flown ideas when they seem so remote from daily experience? The answer lies in the yearning for more light that is growing within. This becomes in [11] time an impelling force which virtually pushes the aspirant into the chela-path almost in spite of himself. And once upon it, he could not leave it, even if he would. It is himself.

And that which makes all labors and trials worthwhile is the ever-growing awareness of the work of the Teachers, and a longing to participate in that work. Every step forward is accompanied by intense joy which is unlike anything he has previously experienced, and it has no equal. It is the joy that flows into his life from his own inner Divinity, and it is exhaustless. Certainly he will suffer, perhaps more keenly at times than he ever has before, but nothing can quench that inner flame once it has been kindled.

As to Initiation, it is also true that this is never conferred upon anyone, least of all, upon an earnest chela. This is because Initiation is not undertaken for the sake of the chela alone. It is undertaken chiefly for the sake of Humanity. The favorable karma of the chela has brought him to the point where he needs an increase in growth of his faculties in order that he may carry out the wider responsibilities that lie ahead. For this reason alone he passes through Initiation, the fruits of which are to be recognized as in increased spiritual awareness, a greater abundance of light than he can share with others. Thus, instead of Initiation being sought for the greater glory of the aspirant, it is really a kind of self-resignation to the work of the enlightenment of mankind, so that he may join those who have progressed farther than he, and participate in their wider scope of activity.

So what are the qualities that lead to Chelaship? A good mind is a fine thing to have, certainly, when it is recognized to be part of the equipment that he will use. But intellect in itself is not the key to chelaship. It is spirituality, the ever-growing faculty of spiritual discernment, called the Buddhic Splendor, as G. de Purucker used to phrase it, which is what the Teachers look for. When it shows itself it cannot be hidden, and the student need not be concerned as to whether his work is known or not. It is known, because the Buddhic light attracts the notice of the Teachers. It is a law of spiritual nature as unfailing as the "law" of gravitation.

And what is the energy that we call the Buddhic Splendor? It is Compassion. Until we have it, and experience it, as the energy of the Buddhic light within us, it is little more than a word. Until then, we do not really know what Compassion is.

So the watchword for all who aspire consists of the words of no less than H.P.B. herself in The Voice of the Silence:

"To live to benefit Mankind is the first step."


"The powers of Chelas vary with their progress; and everyone should know that if a Chela has any 'powers,' he is not permitted to use them save in rare and exceptional cases, and never may he boast of their possession ... the goal set before the Chela is not the acquisition of psychological powers; his chief task is to divest himself of that overmastering sense of personality which is the thick veil that hides from sight our immortal part - the real man ..." - H.P.B., Collected Writings, VI, 286. [12]


Montague A. Machell

Only on the Spiritual Plane are Past and Future to be ignored. Only the Spiritual Self of man is permitted to discount yesterday and tomorrow, being of All Time. Such transcendence is possible alone to the Spiritual Self, hence to conscious spiritual living. TIMELESSNESS is the environment of the SELF alone, whose earthly season is NOW, unalloyed by any consideration of yesterday or tomorrow.

Such temporal indifference is attainable by him alone who has accepted Life as a spiritual experience dedicated primarily to conscious spiritual unfoldment, achievable alone in ALL TIME, wherein the sublimity and profundity of Now absorb into themselves beginning and end.

In a "World without end" there is no reality to be recalled or anticipated. "THIS MOMENT" is ALL insofar as it retains its eternal identity through the disciple's complete surrender to THE PATTERN. Momentary reminiscence or anticipation on the part of the disciple is a confession of interruption in his complete surrender.

All such interruptions constitute a betrayal of his dedication, together with the mental confusions such interruptions induce. To be utterly dedicated to THE PATTERN is to be one with it - to have one's being therein. This is LIVING in its only complete terms; all else is surrender to existence. Each incarnation reveals the disciple battling the billows of Existence for the preservation of LIFE! Expressed in other words, he is affirming a luminous Reality (LIFE), in the midst of abiding dense illusion (Existence), a battle in which the disciple experiences the handicap of being, as yet, largely identified with said illusion!

"Must I Remember?" This query says, actually; "Must I spend my time looking back on my origins instead of reaffirming them in daily living NOW?" The answer to it must be negative since fullest "living" is uninterrupted unfoldment of my spiritual REALITY - a super-earthly undertaking that by its very nature transcends mere EXISTENCE inasmuch as its goals are those from which mere existence is but a point of departure.

Might it not be said that AWARENESS of what I am, in essence, must take the place of contemplation of what I was? Insofar as AWARENESS is fully in control, what I am will embody more and more perfectly the redeemed entity I might have been, now clearly understood. This point of view suggests that the terms "good" and "evil" might be usefully replaced with maturity and immaturity.

In every one of us is to be found developed and undeveloped territory -capable of development. The "evil" we talk about probably begins as undeveloped raw material capable of beneficent or maleficent development. In its undeveloped state it tends toward maleficence. In its state of intelligent development it works for Good. Undeveloped, it tends to remain Evil. Inasmuch as this undeveloped potential is ever with us, we are hardly called upon to contemplate it profoundly. Our business has to do with its intelligent, beneficent development. [13]

The wherewithal for such development is on hand; we do not have to discover or supply it - merely to avail ourselves of it intelligently, i.e., constructively. Where inner growth is concerned, "luminous loafing" is fraught with perils! "Let us, then, be up and doing", identifying "Good" with Growth, "Evil" with Decay. You and I are here to grow, not to "rot"! Where there is Life, something deep, deep down is always happening; man's responsibility is at all times more than just to "BE" ; it is to "BECOME" - consciously so. And strangely enough because "BECOMING" partakes of a cosmic destiny, it is always "super-personal" in that the "becoming" is at all times outgrowing personality. Sincere adsorption in it cannot but become a rather glorious surrender to a flowering WHOLENESS, "leaving one's outgrown shell, by life's unresting sea"!

Since man's growth implies development of what he is or was, too intense contemplation of the undeveloped personality can amount to an unrewarding waste of time. "Creative living" spells turning one's raw material into that splendid Reality, for the creating of which that raw material has been accumulated, and (it is to be hoped) wisely chosen. And since that accumulation has been going on for numberless incarnations, it seems somewhat profligate to ignore or waste it now. Consistent integration and utilization of this unseen raw material of conscious living can add up to a richly rewarding life, in which enough is at stake to render contemplation of a Hereafter (favorable or otherwise) well-nigh dispensable.

Having a healthy regard for human lethargy, one can remind himself that he can make sensational progress towards genuine SINNER-hood by just systematically "putting off" doing anything about inner unfoldment, since GROWTH (up or down) never ceases!

A certain profound appositeness is easily overlooked in Longfellow's line: "All are architects of Fate," which reminds us of our constructive role in what we call "Fate." The Theosophist's reverence for the word derives from his constant regard for the law of Cause and Effect, in the light of which he views Fate as the inescapable and inevitable fruit of seeds sown, be that sowing physical or mental. A prevailing selfishness in mankind he views as vitiating the fairest pattern of action, guaranteeing, again and again, a certain ill-health in the fruit originating in the seed sown. Similarly, in the "architect of Fate" a basic selfishness can be counted upon to mar the structure, insofar as the blueprint of selfishness is followed. BROTHERHOOD alone can insure beauty!

That which we are now, always perceived as a self largely to be out-grown, is a necessary consideration inseparable from any sane development. Today and tomorrow are replete with undeveloped potential for good, upon which we are required, moment by moment, to apply the nourishing essence of a strong spiritual purpose. The purity and constancy of that purpose alone can impart power to our growth, i.e., power to outgrow existent, undeveloped potential. And may we never, for one moment, question the constancy and magnificence of that potential, sprung, as it is, from the DIVINE SELF. Never static, never hesitant, the SELF forever reaches out to that which will kindle and expand such [14] light as IT possesses from moment to moment. It is for the Theosophist to seize upon and cherish the injunction, "Hitch your wagon to a Star" - the Star of man's innate DIVINITY!

These ideals I accept, these thoughts to which I give form, are all expressions of inadequacy crying out to be made adequate. Now is never synonymous with ENOUGH. At all times it is a cry, audible or inaudible, for greater fulfillment. GROWTH is a never-ending pulling up stakes, a never-ending moving on from what I am to what I must become, which, in its turn, is a moving out from the blindness of NOW to the Vision of THEN! "Without Vision a people perish." Now is forever the inadequacy that THEN must replace with a vision of adequacy. Without vision there is no GROWTH!

"Must I Remember?" Only in the sense that I must know, and self-knowledge must inevitably embody memories of all I have (and have not) been. My today is never celestially cleansed of impurities of yesterday; such impurities are of the stuff of my being; how shall I not remember them? But the self-directed thinking of self-directed evolution is ever forward projecting, and the shining today I sketch on time's canvas can be glorified with the heavenly radiance of divinely dreamed yesterdays born in the heart of me.

The Timeless Self that "I" am must include the crude container of my every jewel of aspiration. Be my remembrance an uninterrupted pondering on the splendor some forgotten THEN is squandering on my Now! I will remember with the fearlessness with which self-knowledge illumines this earthly, awkward sinning personality. Responsibility for all that has been puts backbone into this fearless remembrance, thereby fortifying responsibility for choices yet to be made. They must be made. May a clear, unbegrudging Remembrance lend them hard-won discrimination!


Dara Eklund

We do not believe in immortality
because we have proved it, but we
forever try to prove it because
we believe it.
- Jame Martineau.

Amidst even the penumbra of materialism one finds the seeds of spirituality. It is only because Christianity has converted the word "soul" to a depository for all hope of continuity after death that we, as Theosophists, must avoid placing emphasis upon man's eternal "soul."

The thirst for life on material planes is still with us - in our safety devices, in our pills (vitamin, medical, pep or otherwise), and in our restless rush for entertainment and diversion. Yet hidden in these fortifications is a sensing that what we cling to and call our "self" is already dying from the moment we are born.

Living proof of what we really are [15] can best be forged by qualities of fearless daring, fiery devotion to truth, eternal energies wielded in the victory over passional impulses plaguing the world at large. These impulses foment a spontaneous combustion threatening to upset our serene conviction that all is ephemeral, and that we are riding on a bark which surveys a moving shoreline.

True strength comes from an endless discharging of Karmic debt cheerfully and valiantly. "Don't be afraid of the load of Karman that you have accumulated and that you are passing through, because if you are afraid, you are afraid of yourself," wrote Dr. G. de Purucker. Further, it is taught that the only part of us which is really deathless is the stream of consciousness; each life is but a pearl on a string. When we face death, will we be prepared to say to ourselves: "I submit this form to the elements. This network of feelings I relinquish too. These thoughts are not really my own, though I be the thinker of them?"

In elucidating the nature of memory, atomic, human, spiritual or divine, G. de P. answers one student's search for identity in the following way:

We lose our sense of "I-am-I-ness" at every instant as we are continually changing by growing. It is not the "I-am-I" which enables sages and seers to remember past lives. "It is the stream of consciousness, the 'I-am,' the thread-consciousness, the Sutratman, the thread-self, which remembers ... because it is the stream of consciousness which includes these evanescent phases called the 'I am I' when alive, and, when dead, 'I was ... But everything that happens is a part of the stream of consciousness and therefore in a certain sense is deathless, indelible on the records of eternity" (Dialogues, I, 260). Elsewhere in his writings G. de P. is adamant in insisting that Immortality must be won! We must become the stream consciously.

Just as the drop in a stream does not pause to remember its source in the cloud during its rhythmic haste down the mountain with thousands of other droplets, yet in that very motion continues the same endless process which drew it from the cloud as a raindrop, and even so reflects that cloud as it carries its essence below - so we must strive to reflect our true destinies even while flowing with the Karmic currents we have engendered.

Referring again to G. de P.'s Dialogues, page 260, there ensues a passage on immortality of utter beauty. It tells what the devachanic experiences in the after death states when "human karman" is left behind. Because Karman means action or movement of consciousness, its seeds work not only on the human level, but inhere in man himself, whether in manifestation or not. These pages expand man's mind beyond limited conclusions. To the student's chagrin, he must discard his notions of immortality as a static condition: "Immortality means an immovable condition of identity enduring throughout eternity, and that is an impossibility, because we are changing and growing all the time' (Ibid., p. 261.).

Imparted is the idea that we must realize our immortality instantaneously, through a stream of life which endlessly purifies itself through our Karmic destinies.

The paradox that Buddha posed to Ananda is revealed in this discussion. [16] As aggregates, as composite entities we are ephemeral. As essences, as perceivers of the stream of life we are endless. In this way we pass on to the free fields of being which flow out of our True Sun and gather our destinies into the realms where we may one day shine as True Suns to all that lives.


The Mystery-Tale of Jesus the Avatara
By G. de Purucker

Clothed with the Sun is a compelling and persuasive study presenting the esoteric conception of the story of the Christian Avatara. The Gospel story, says the author, is merely idealized fiction written by Christian mystics in imitation of esoteric mysteries of the Pagans. He explains what is meant by initiation in the ancient crypts when the aspirant, passing successfully preliminary trials, was brought face to face with his own inner god, and became "Clothed with the Sun."
Paper 45 pages $1.00.


By G. de Purucker

The contents of this booklet are best described by its Chapter Titles:
Who are the Mahatmas?
How the Mahatmas Obtain their Wisdom?
Teachings of the Mahatmas.
The Secret Doctrine of the Ages.
What is Occultism?
The Mystery-Schools and Initiation.
The Sacred Seasons.

Paper 73 pages $1.50.
Order from Point Loma Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 9966, Pacific Beach, San Diego, Calif. 92109.