A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXX
No. 1 (135) - Summer 1973

[Cover photo: N. Sri Ram - Late International President of The Theosophical Society. We wish to pay sincere tribute to a friend and co-worker whose physical withdrawal is a loss to all of us. In the revolving cycles of Life Universal, we shall meet again along the winding Path of the ageless Quest. Upon his mystic journey, let it be said of him: gaudet in astris - he rejoices among the stars!]


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.



"That nature in man which remains unaffected by external conditions exists universally, for it belongs to Life itself. It is Life universal, the one Energy that ever seeks channels for the most varied manifestations, which has created all the beauty that exists. That Energy, when not constrained as it is when we develop ways of thought that limit its freedom or by a physical vesture that has its limitations, acts in all directions out of an innate Law or Instinct of harmony and thus its action, which is also a creation, invariably results in beauty. That is so at present only to a limited extent in physical Nature because of the constraints and limitations that exist in it. But in that nature which belongs to the heart of man, in which there need be no such limitations, it can act with endless variations, manifesting an infinite variety of charm ... what constitutes the essence of a personality is the blend of harmonies or graces and influences, which is its spiritual core. The richness of this blend which exists in such extraordinary variety is the production of the One Energy which pours itself through endlessly varying patterns." - N. Sri Ram, The Theosophist, October, 1972, p. 6. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Today, in the womb of human thinking, a New Age is being prepared for birth. Every birth has its pangs; every regeneration, its throes. In the worldwide struggle of Ideas which we witness and partake of, there is one paramount fact which stands out - there is no retreat. History moves ahead, and the only permanent thing in the Universe is change. The Divine is always on the march!

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 drags 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 nationalism; shallow materialism; oppression of minorities; power to rule and enslave through fear; racial animosities - this festering childhood disease of the soul; religious dogmatism; political chicanery. 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 Powers of the Spirit.

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. Some see it, and some do not!

At such times - climacteric times they are - there is sweeping over the Earth the Wind of the Spirit, re-arranging, re-shaping, re-making. Its powerful surge is at times disconcerting. It may easily tear down what some have considered to be permanent and desirable. It is in no way concerned with ordinary human endeavors, and is no respecter of personal goals unrelated to the welfare as the whole. Universal in its essence, worldwide in its action, the Wind of the Spirit comes down from the Mountains of the Spirit bringing with it a breath of new life and nobler aims.

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

To pass through the portals of a New Age we must discard the paraphernalia of the dying era, its heavy and useless impedimenta, the ballast which prevents man from rising higher and soaring where he used to crawl. And the passport of entry is a new conception of Ethics, a greater sense of the deeper values of life, nobler humanities of heart and mind, a more universal consciousness, a global solidarity of our common human sympathies and bonds.

And any man or woman who rises in consciousness above his degrading attachments to things, his love of mere possessions for their own sake, his love of power, his passion for selfish [4] 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 New Age we speak of is no Utopia. It is not an unrealizable dream, unrelated to the practical facts of life. It is merely an age of a more vivid realization of the Universal Brotherhood of all men; and everything that tends in this direction is motivated and driven by the Wind of the Spirit.

Watch it everywhere! It moves among the enlightened publicists and writers, in the midst of clear-sighted scientists, at the basis of new social orders, in the pages of remarkable and unexpected books, in the pronouncements of leaders of thought in many departments of life. Learn to recognize its footprints! Decipher its coded language! Understand its symbology!

Violence, as we witness it today, is only an effect. It is mainly due to the fact that men in their ignorance refuse to recognize the impending change and oppose it, setting their own puny wills against the Tide of Life. They misinterpret the message, twist its meaning, drag it to the level of material advantages, from which follows strife and war. These are not causes; they are merely effects.

We are living in an age of tremendous opportunities for all of us. Today nothing can withstand the dynamic spiritual push which is working from behind the scenes on human outward events. We must understand the causes at work, and realize that they are spiritual in nature.

Life is a spiritual adventure. It is a recognition of the all-embracing Divine life-consciousness throughout Nature, the ultimate source, goal and essence of all that is.

It is the urge underlying all growth, all manifestation, all unfoldment.

And such is the drive of the human soul towards the Divine, that it breaks every barrier, in time surmounts every obstacle, scales every mountain-top in its march towards it. If one generation turns its face from it, the generation to come lives with a deep nostalgia of the soul for the Divine, dreams of it, yearns after it. And this yearning mounts in time like the waters dammed by the dikes. It rises sooner or later, it severs its bonds, and rushes towards the Divine, like the torrent rushes into the river, and the river, irresistible and majestic, flows into the distant sea, its Home ...


"There is but one way that a man shall live, and it is this: to face the circumstances of his life, whatever they may mean of sorrow, pain, or renunciation, and in the midst of them courageously and cheerfully to fulfill his duty and carve out his destiny. Upon the footsteps of such a man the angels wait, and all the divine powers of the universe acknowledge his commands. When a man has been able to master his own heart, and at the behest of duty has put aside that which is dearest, that man has conquered the world." - Cave, Fragments, Vol. II. [5]


H. P. Blavatsky

[Excerpt from a long essay originally written in French for La Revue Theosophique (Paris), Vol. II, October through December, 1889. The complete text, both in French and English, will be published in the forthcoming Volume XI of H.P.B.'s Collected Writings.]

... Modern materialists would have us believe that Alchemy, or the transmutation of base metals into gold and silver, has from the earliest ages been but charlatanism pure and simple. According to them, it is not a science but a superstition, and therefore all those who believe, or pretend to believe in it, are either dupes or impostors. Our encyclopedias are full of abusive epithets leveled at Alchemists and Occultists.

Now, Gentlemen-Academicians, this may be all very well, but let us then have some proof of the absolute impossibility of transmutation. Tell us how it is that a metallic base is formed even in alkalis. We know certain learned physicists, to be sure, who think the idea of reducing the elements to their first state, and even to their one and primordial essence (see for instance Mr. Crookes and his meta-elements), not as stupid as it appears at first sight. Gentlemen, these elements, when once you have allowed yourself the hypothesis that they all existed in the beginning in the igneous mass, from which you say the earth's crust has been formed, may be reduced again and brought through a series of transmutations to be once more that which they originally were. The question is to find a solvent sufficiently strong to effect in a few days or even years that which nature has taken ages to perform. Chemistry and, above all, Mr. Crookes has sufficiently proved that there exists so notably a relationship between metals, as to indicate not only a common source but an identical genesis.

Then, gentlemen, you who laugh so loudly at alchemy and the alchemists and reject that Science, how is it that one of your first chemists, Monsieur Berthelot, author of La Synthise chimique, deeply read in alchemical lore, is unable to deny to alchemists a most profound knowledge of matter?

And again, how is it that Monsieur M.E. Chevreul, that venerable savant, whose knowledge, no less than his advanced age, in the full possession of all his faculties,* (* [Michel-Eugene Chevreul, famous French chemist, born at Angers, Aug. 31, 1786. He died at Paris, April 9, 1889, being then 103 years old.]) has moved to wonder our present generation, which, with its overweening self-sufficiency, is so difficult to penetrate or rouse; how is it, we say, that he who made so many useful discoveries for modern industry, should have possessed so many works on alchemy?

Is it not possible that the key to his longevity may be found in one of these very works, which, according to you, are but a heap of superstitions as foolish as they are ridiculous?

The fact that this great scholar, the dean of modern chemistry, took the trouble to bequeath after his death, to the Library of the Museum, the [6] numerous works he possessed on this "false science," is most revealing. Nor have we yet heard that the luminaries of Science attached to this sanctuary have thrown these books on alchemy into the wastepaper basket, as useless rubbish allegedly full of fantastic reveries engendered by diseased and unbalanced brains.

Besides, our scientific men forget two things: in the first place, never having found the key to the jargon of these hermetic books, they have no right to decide whether this jargon preaches truth or falsehood; and secondly, that Wisdom was certainly not born for the first time with them, nor must it necessarily die out with our modern sages.

Each Science, we repeat, has its three aspects; everybody will grant that there must be two, the objective: and the subjective. Under the first heading we may put the alchemical transmutations with or without the powder of projection; under the second, all intellectual speculations. Under the third is hidden a meaning of the highest spirituality. Now since the symbols of the first two, are identical in design and possess, moreover, as I have tried to prove in The Secret Doctrine, seven interpretations varying in meaning with their application to one or another of the domains of nature, the physical, the psychic, or the purely spiritual, it will be easily understood that only high initiates are able to interpret the jargon of hermetic philosophers. And then again, since there exist more false than true alchemical writings in Europe, Hermes himself would lose his way. Who does not know, for instance, that a certain series of formulae may find their concrete application of positive value in technical alchemy, while the same symbol, on being employed to render an idea belonging to the psychological domain, will possess an entirely different meaning? Our late brother Kenneth MacKenzie expresses this well when he says, speaking of Hermetic Sciences:

"... To the practical Alchemist, whose object was the production of wealth by the special rules of his art, the evolution of a semi-mystical philosophy was a secondary consideration, and to be pursued without any reference to an ultimate system of theosophy; while the sage, who had ascended to the higher plane of metaphysical contemplation, would reject the mere material part of these studies as unworthy of his further consideration."* [* Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, p. 310.]

Thus it becomes evident that symbols, taken as guides to the transmutation of metals, have very little to do with the methods which we now call chemical. Here is a question, by the way: Who of our great scientists would dare to treat as impostors such men as Paracelsus, Van Helmont, Roger Bacon, Boerhaave and many other illustrious Alchemists? [7]


Montague A. Machell

The fact that I believe in Theosophy is not a sufficient reason that you should do likewise. Any form of philosophy must originate in an individual point of view. "Many men, many minds."

But insofar as Theosophy has radically broadened and enriched my point of view on life, surely it is of some importance that it may do the same thing for others. The question, then, is what proofs can I adduce as to the effects of Theosophy upon my point of view? In reply to that question I call attention to the added sense of responsibility the doctrine of Karma introduces into my thinking. I call attention, too, to the vastly added scope that Reincarnation contributes to daily living, plus the grandeur that the Theosophical teaching of man's fundamental divinity contributes to my sense of individual identity. Beyond this, Theosophical teachings emphasize a spiritual motivation to all living. All of these elements impress me as important ingredients in my philosophical point of view, more than justifying my dedication to this very ancient philosophy - creed less and undogmatic.

To the extent that these aspects of the philosophy basically enlarge and enrich my approach to life, I cannot but regard Theosophy as important enough to justify serious study and application to daily living.

Since I have never been able to convince myself that the suffering and death of some other savior can actually contribute to my own spiritual or philosophical wisdom, I am the more ready to turn to a Theosophical law of Cause and Effect as basic in my life, offering ample justification for the choice of Good in place of Evil. Add to that the consideration that, sprung from a single spiritual Source, Theosophy holds that all men must be brothers, I cannot but see in Theosophy a philosophy applicable to, and uniting all men and women in a Universal Brotherhood.

Any philosophy that links all mankind in a single dedication to spiritual living as brothers, cannot but be of vital importance to all societies of all ages. The Spiritual Pattern accepted by all mankind means much more than making them "of one mind." It means making them "of one heart," spiritually, guaranteeing their transcendence of that dogmatic, that sectional thinking, which experience shows men "of one mind" to be capable of.

The supreme importance of Theosophy, to my mind, lies in its challenge to the Spirit to illuminate the Mind, unveiling summits beyond mere intellectual acceptance of "religious belief," daring the disciple to contemplate the Infinite instead of merely worshiping a personal aspect thereof.

The Theosophical doctrine of Reincarnation, concerning which so many orthodox believers are deeply skeptical, simply returns the "Empire of Eternity" to the Immortal Spirit of man, refusing to regard it as exclusively earthly. To deny infinity to that Spiritual reality in man we claim to revere [8] and worship, is an expression of temporal, earthly stupidity that makes all spiritual adoration pure hypocrisy. Either we accept Spirit in the heart of every man, as Timeless and Eternal, or we deny its role in earthly living; we can't have it both ways, as is proven by the mawkish, impractical and sentimental "hereafter" the orthodox believer has settled for. Surely, Supreme Spirit is entitled to embody Supreme Intelligence, which demands that Here and Hereafter enjoy at least a modicum of rationality. Must we insist upon sound sense being inescapably irreligious? The importance of Theosophy inheres in the fact that it dares to allow Spiritual Fulfilment to "make sense," both in living and dying!

Such daring is vitally important since it challenges the dedicated Theosophist to make Spiritual Sense of the philosophy he accepts - to allow Reincarnation to glorify his Todays; to allow Karma to impart illumination and significance to his Tomorrows. In view of the perilously "blind" living in which uncounted millions indulge today, such illumination is urgently called for. More than this, Theosophy, holding that inspiration in daily living is more effective than condemnation, insistently affirms the innate divinity of man, demanding that he be worthy of that Spiritual Reality he embodies.

Seeing in man an Infinite Spirit entangled in the brambles of Time - Theosophy sounds its clarion call to the invincible Spirit to resume its native domination, and fulfill in life its regal responsibilities - a philosophy of spiritual but rational inspiration. As a philosophy rooted in rationality, Theosophy constitutes an eternally important justification for spiritual living as a program of individual unfoldment rather than mere personal redemption - healthy inner growth rather than cowering self-justification; its ultimate importance is in its insistence that LIVING HERE, NOW, is more important than fixing one's attention and longing upon a rather meaningless HEREAFTER. It challenges the disciple to create his Heaven on earth, by letting his own divinity shine forth upon those about him.


"There is no limit to the varieties of nature. Nature may now be working in a certain direction to produce a race of Dhyan-Chohans, but there may be other ways of bringing about the same end. The Logoi are now creating the Cosmos. They have adopted a particular plan, but that plan may be improved upon in future periods. They have even now all sorts of systems - systems with single suns, systems with binary suns, and so on. Parabrahman has existed eternally. It always manifests itself as Seven Rays, but its potentialities have never been exhausted. The main principles of Occultism are as eternal as the Cosmos. Space is infinite, solar systems are infinite. We have in our solar system one sun with a particular constitution, but nature is trying all sorts of experiments in different places. Time is endless. For any particular moment of time, space is endless. But combine infinity of space with infinity of time! There is always more to explore in the universe!" - T. Subba Row, Esoteric Writings, Adyar, 1931, pp. 575-76. [9]


L. Gordon Plummer

"Avalokitesvara (Sanskrit). A compound word: avalokita - "perceived," "seen"; Isvara - lord; hence "the Lord who is perceived or cognized," i.e., the spiritual entity, whether in the Kosmos or in the human being, whose influence is perceived and felt; the Higher Self ..." - G. de Purucker, Occult Glossary.

The teaching about Avalokitesvara is at once one of the most beautiful and the most practical of the doctrines to be found in the Ancient Wisdom. At first glance it might appear to be something very remote from us and difficult for us to understand; but quite the reverse, we have only to grasp its implications and we discover that it is an intimate part of every human being.

As one of the more technical teachings, it requires a technical explanation to begin with. Briefly stated, it is the Third Logos.

If we were to follow all the ramifications of the doctrine we would be led into some of the most recondite of the teachings about the nature of the Universe and of Man, so the intent here is to give the most salient facts which might then serve as a springboard from which any student may pursue the study to his heart's content.

We shall make a paradigm, giving the names of the three Logoi as set forth in the Mahayana School of Buddhism, with which Theosophy is in perfect agreement. These terms refer in the first column to the Kosmos, and in the second to Man himself.

Mahayana Buddhism The Human Constitution

Amitabha Buddha, Atman, the Buddha of The Divine Monad, Boundless Light, our link with the Boundless Alaya. The spirit-Buddhi, Spiritual source of all. The consciousness, the Divine in Nature, vehicle of Atman. Avalokitesvara, the Manas. The Mind Divine Presence, as the vehicle seen and felt everywhere of Buddhi.* (* In the Brahmanical scheme, we have the three Logoi enumerated as Parabrahm, the Boundless; Pradhana, or Mula-Prakriti, the root or source of Nature; and Mahat, Cosmic Mind in the sense that it is the "mother" of the Manasaputras. Thus, our Higher Mind or Higher Self it derived from Mahat.)

We see at once in the above foundation of the teaching that Man is one with the universe, not only in respect to his physical body, which obviously is fashioned of the materials of the Earth, but in all of the reaches of his constitution. The "Higher Triad" alone is shown in the paradigm. The "Lower Quaternary" - Prana, Kama, Linga-sarira or Astral Body and [10] Sthula-Sarira or Physical Body - serving as the complex vehicle of the Higher Triad comprising a further study.

To pursue our study of the Divine nature of Man, and of Avalokitesvara in particular, we must now refer to the Hierarchy of Compassion, as this teaching will complete a picture of marvelous beauty and significance.

We are taught that at the summit of the Hierarchy of Compassion - so far as we humans are concerned - is the Wondrous Being, or Silent Watcher written about in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett and by H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine. This is the Great Sacrifice who, out of compassion, has renounced the Nirvanic bliss that he has earned, so that he might remain behind and help struggling humanity along its difficult evolutionary path.

In order to learn the relationship between this Silent Watcher and ourselves, we must consider the teachings of the Globe Chains. We learn that among the many planets, seen and unseen, there are seven of primary importance known as the Sacred Planets. We will not be specific as to their names, as to do so would bring in certain points of teaching which would extend this article beyond the length desirable. Sufficient to say at this time that each of the planets is in reality a composite of seven Globes, only one of which is visible. For convenience the Globes have been lettered from A to G, and in each case, the visible Globe is lettered D. Thus, we see Globes D of Earth, Venus, Mars, and so on. All of the other globes are invisible, and not to be detected by any known instruments of science.

Each one of the planets is therefore conceived to be a chain of globes, or, as we say, a Globe Chain, and the various life waves which we call the kingdoms of nature, as these life waves manifest on Earth, pass through all seven of the Globes in their own chain - making in each case seven circuits, or Rounds, as we call them. At the present time, we on the Earth Chain are pursuing our fourth Round, and are on Globe D. Our stay on Globe D is divided into seven great epochs, or Root-Races. We are now experiencing the fifth such epoch or Root-Race.

We are taught that a Buddha appears at some time during each of the Root-Races, in order to carry on the work of the Hierarchy of Compassion. Gautama was the Buddha for this fifth Root-Race.

So much for preliminaries. We are ready now to set before the reader the various stages in the Hierarchy of Compassion.

1. Highest in our Solar System is Mahat. It is the Hierarch of the Hierarchy, working in and through the Divinity which manifests in its outward form as our Sun. From it spring:

2. Seven Solar Logoi. These are the Silent Watchers which hold spiritual sway over the seven planetary Chains known as the Sacred Planets. Each of these is an Adi-Buddha. Thus, there is such all Adi-Buddha for this Earth Chain. Its seven rays are:

3. The Dhyani-Buddhas. These watch over the Rounds of the Chains. Thus there is a Dhyani-Buddha watching over this fourth Round of our Earth Chain. Its Rays are:

4. The Dhyani-Bodhisattvas. These watch over the Globes of the chain during the various Rounds. Thus, there is a Celestial or Dhyani-Bodhisattva watching over this Globe D during this fourth Round. From this Dhyani-Bodhisattva spring seven rays:

5. The Manushya or Human Buddhas. There is one such for each of the Root-Races, and as said above, the one who holds spiritual sway over our fifth Root-Race is Gautama, the Buddha.

While Gautama is said to have lived for 100 years on Earth, there is a deeply esoteric fact about the human Bodhisattva who remained on Earth after the passing of the Buddha. While the Buddha himself entered the Nirvana, because of his great compassion for the world, he left a portion of himself behind in what might be termed the more human aspect of himself, who lived to carry on the sublime work. This was the Bodhisattva who, because he no longer required a physical body through which to work, became a Nirmanakaya.

Such Bodhisattvas are deeply revered amongst all scholars of the Oriental Religions. Because, out of compassion, they follow the footsteps of the Great Sacrifice and remain behind to serve the Human Race. It is they, we are taught, who provide the means whereby there are the periodic appearances of the Avataras, such as Krishna, Samkaracharya, and for the Occident, Jesus the Christ.

There is a second and very important manner in which the Great Sacrifice or Silent Watcher aids mankind. It is ultimately through him that Initiation is possible. Those who enter the grand portals of Initiation in order to become the servants of those who themselves are but servants of Compassion, do so because of the spiritual and Divine energies flowing forth ceaselessly from the Silent Watcher himself.

So far as we ourselves are concerned, our own Higher Triad, consisting of Atman, Buddhi and Manas form the Hierarchy of Compassion within each and every one of us. Humanity is going through an exceedingly dangerous and difficult time, and much human suffering could have been avoided if these teachings, old as the ages and forming the heart of the great religions of the world, had been understood and applied to daily life.

How wonderful it is to realize that through the Higher Mind of Man we can all perceive the source from which we came, Avalokitesvara. And because it is in every human mind and heart, we are therefore capable of cognizing it everywhere. All the beauty of Nature proclaims it. All the genuine greatness in human life is Avalokitesvara itself. It is all about us. Why then, should we not recognize it for what it is, see it, and learn to love it as the enduring beauty that will outlast all of the woes and problems that the human race is heir to. We have indeed to reap the karmic results of our mistakes, whether made individually or as races of men, but we can bear the burden of our own making if we can but fix our gaze upon the light that is all about us, the light which is the very source of our being. [12]


W. Emmett Small

What about Meditation?

You ask about meditation and meditation techniques. I think meditation touches a part of man's nature that should not be pushed too violently. It is a matter for the individual. For some it might even be dangerous, though you may not think so because you are a balanced individual. But I have known cases where extreme desire for spiritual attainment, through various methods, reacts unfavorably on the individual. Very often it is better - certainly in such cases - to "let go", not try, just forget yourself as much as possible, think of others, absorb yourself in work for others, good deeds, etc. As the jargon of the day goes, each one must find and do his own "thing."

In Theosophy we have no set techniques. All theosophical teachers, as far as I know, encourage "meditation." We are told that in the advanced degrees set times, places and methods are given for this. There is nothing to stop one from setting these for oneself. But the first step, as H.P.B. said, is "a clean mind, a pure heart, an unveiled spiritual perception." Other things then come. One form of meditation - and it is the only one in which I have been the least bit successful - is the one I referred to in my article about AE, and that is the meditation that goes on, in a sense, all the, time; it is the Song of Life. It starts when as a child you are given a few simple but basic and true ideas about life, and you are encouraged to have a "few moments of silence" It grows as you ponder the meaning, the purpose of life and the destiny of man. And you finally come to see that there are Great Ideas behind the phenomenal universe. You can seize these Ideas, reach, so to say, into the Ideative Plane, and make them your own. They are the Perennial Theosophia of the ages. Not man-made, but based on the workings of Nature, which means the performance and activity of the beings forming that Universal Nature. The Three Fundamental Postulates of The Secret Doctrine are three of these Basic Ideas. They are the essence of every great world religion and philosophy. If you grasp them you have an idea of the nature of things, the universe and man. They are, very simply: THAT, which cannot be circumscribed by words, or even by thought, for IT includes all kosmic galaxies, which are but miniature specks within its all-encompassing boundless sphere. From THAT all Universes and beings come and to IT return in cyclic out-flow and in-flow. And all beings and things have at their very heart THAT itself, the very essence of the Highest Divine.

These are three great ideas for meditation. And I don't mean in a nervous mental battling way; but in calm contemplation, a going out along the river of thought they provide, into the inner reaches of the IDEA; being warmed and stirred and, if you wish, "delighted" by it, and then returning to your everyday consciousness.

This can be done, as said, at specific times. Or these great ideas can be [13] at the back of your mind and consciousness all the time, as the background of your life. They will not interfere with your duties, as you know, but only make you more perceptive and understanding and compassionate.

It is possible to go out in the early morning and greet the newborn day, with an Invocation to the Sun, not the visible sun but the Invisible Sun of which we only see the outer clothing. Not praying to it, but in recognition of the Divinity within, and that the same Divinity is within you. The old Christians did this, though the modern churchman would not like to be reminded of it or would interpret it wrongly.

Virisque Sol, illabere,
Micans nitore perpeti
Jubarque Sancti Spiritus
Infunde nostris sensibus!

Thus they would raise their voices:
O Thou, REAL Sun, infill us,
Shining with perpetual light!
Splendor of the holy (Cosmic) Spirit Pervade our minds!

This hymn to the Christ-Sun was used as late as the 7th century A.D. We have the very same idea, almost the same words, as you know, in the ancient famous verse in the Rig-Veda, called the Savitri or the Gayatri. Let me give you the original words:

Tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo nah prachodayat.

In translation this runs:

That superexcellent splendor of the
DIVINE Sun we meditate upon:
May it arouse our Minds!

The essential esoteric meaning is conveyed by the following transliteration by G. de P.:

"O thou golden sun of most excellent splendor,
Illumine our hearts and fill our minds, so that we,
Recognizing our oneness with the Divinity which is the heart of the Universe,
May see the Pathway before our feet, and tread it to those distant goals of perfection,
Stimulated by thine own radiant light."

Or, I can get the same meditative power of thought moving within me by recitation of K.T.'s Invocation:

"O my Divinity! Thou dost blend with the Earth and fashion for thyself temples of mighty power,
"O my Divinity! Thou livest in the heart-life of all things, and dost radiate a golden light that shineth forever and doth illumine even the darkest corners of the Earth.
"O my Divinity! Blend thou with me that from the corruptible I may become incorruptible, that from imperfection I may become perfection, that from darkness I may go forth in Light!"

Thus invoking the Divine as one steps out into the fresh new morning, a keynote is struck which sets harmonious notes vibrating within the consciousness and which can reverberate throughout the whole day. And at night the keynote can again be sounded.

It is the same idea of that great Ineffable Truth, which we can ever approach, though we shall never know it in fullness; that Truth and Light that pervades the entire Universe and every aspect and portion of it; that Truth and light which is the "innerness" of all, and the very heart of all things. [14]


Dara Eklund

"The final war" is within ourselves. It binds up all the severed energies and stringing them into the bow of Life with forceful attentiveness, hits the mark.

Sacrificing the personal to "SELF" impersonal means cutting the Chimera's many heads, even though their cropping up makes life so variable and exciting, both for the sensuous man and the warrior-soul; for surely the neophyte finds great adventure in bringing control to his turbulent nature. It is the broth of existence in which the divine Knower dips his spoon. Yet giving direction to Life must be to the attentive soul like building a great dam is to the engineer.

Nudging us always to leave the things of "not-self," droughts of encouragement appear from our teachings. Reiterated by countless Hindu mystics, the idea of absorbing oneself into Being through the desertion of non-self predominates the ancient scriptures. However, victory of Being over non-being is not always the motive inspiring the ascetic. A certain strain of asceticism, engendered by the desire to escape worldly bondage, has often led students wrongly to feel they must become Karmaless in order to achieve the final victory. Even if we were to achieve freedom from our "personal" Karma, there is still the national, racial, planetary and galactic Karma to be considered. What is more, we are not isolated in a true impersonal vision. The Great Resignation to sacrifice self to Non-Self is fostered by a love equivalent to that of a Buddha. It is in this teaching of love that Buddhism surpasses, and is the font of any subsequent doctrine of Enlightenment. A man's "personal" Karma becomes in this light as a small knot in a venerable tree, or an ebb-tide effaced by the mighty ocean once a man dares to step in over his knees.

"Sensuous things are dear for the sake of the self, and not for their own sake; and therefore the Self itself is dearest of all," teaches the Crest Jewel of Wisdom (p. 22 of Charles Johnston's version). That is why this Self may sometimes have been called the Great Devourer. Even the man submitting himself to a sensual life will eventually consume himself. Says The Voice of the Silence (p. 56)

"... Knowest thou of Self the powers, O thou perceiver of external shadows?

"If thou dost not - then art thou lost ..."

"... The smallest wave of longing or regret for Maya's gifts illusive, along Antaskarana - the path that lie's between thy Spirit and thy self ... a thought as fleeting as the lightning flash will thee thy three prizes forfeit - the prize thou hast won."

The prizes forfeited may be considered as weapons in the final war: the ability to keep one's gaze upon the "pure white walls of Soul," the patience (Kshanti) to wade through "terrestrial spoils" of a world of empty [15] forms, giving light and comfort by instilling helpful thoughts into our daily activities. This provokes Charity, (Dana) even in a world of selfish pulls and struggles, and creates "Sila, the key of Harmony in word and act." These are real powers.

In an explanation of The Idyll of the White Lotus by T. Subba Row, we find that the Dark Goddess, Kali, cannot exercise her sway completely unless the human soul is completely absorbed by the six emotions and five sensations that Subba Row enumerates according to the Hindu teachings. He writes, "They support and strengthen each other as every man's experience clearly demonstrates. Isolated, they are weak and can easily be subdued, but when associated together their combined power is strong enough to keep the soul under control." The same thought is expressed in the Bhagavad-Gita (VI, Slokas 5-7) when Krishna cautions Arjuna that "He should raise the self by the Self; ... for Self is the friend of self, and, in a like manner, self is its own enemy."

Is this the great renunciation? Is this the final war? If so all Humanity should rejoice. This delight in the Self within has been resident all our days, all our many lives in this world and others. Yet only we ourselves can engage in the final war. Light on the Path states:

"There are persons so near the door of knowledge that life itself prepares them for it, and no individual hand has to invoke the hideous guardian of the entrance. These must naturally be keen and powerful organizations, capable of the most vivid pleasure; then pain comes and fills its great duty. The most intense forms of suffering fall on such a nature, till at last it arouses from its stupor of consciousness, and by the force of its internal vitality steps over the threshold into a place of peace." (p. 44.)

But for the soul who does grapple, this is the final war, the final bliss. "For now," says the Voice (p. 55.), "the last great fight, the final war between the Higher and the Lower Self, hath taken place. Behold, the very battlefield is now engulfed in the great war, and is no more."



The first necessity for obtaining self-knowledge is to become profoundly conscious of ignorance; to feel with every fibre of the heart that one is ceaselessly self-deceived.

The second requisite is the still deeper conviction that such knowledge - such intuitive and certain knowledge - can be obtained by effort.

The third and most important is an indomitable determination to obtain and face that knowledge.

Self-knowledge of this kind is unattainable by what men usually call "self-analysis." It is not reached by reasoning or any brain process; for it is the awakening to consciousness of the Divine nature of man.

To obtain this knowledge is a greater achievement than to command the elements or to know the future. - Unsigned in Lucifer, London, Vol. I, October, 1887. [16]



The well-known Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett is a book unique in all literature, consisting as it does of letters from two Adept-Brothers to the English editor of one of India's prominent newspapers, The Pioneer. They were written between 1880 and 1886, in response to Sinnett's request to be instructed in the basic esoteric teachings preserved by the Initiates. This exchange of letters took place through the intermediary of H. P. Blavatsky. The letters contain a great many unexplained references to persons, places, events and circumstances which have puzzled readers and students, and an explanation and commentary on these has been long overdue.

The present Readers Guide was prepared by two very knowledgeable and devoted students in the hope that it will help clarify some of the puzzling references and facilitate the study of the Letters. It is not intended as a commentary on the subject-matter contained in the Letters. The material is limited primarily to narration of events, brief explanations of historical incidents, definitions, biographical information concerning a large number of individuals connected with the early stages of our Movement, and descriptive material about the Letters and many of the facts referred to in them. It also includes an entirely new, and it is believed, more accurate chronology of the Letters than has heretofore been available, as well as a great many cross references, both within the book itself and to other books or published material directly related to the subject-matter.

The Readers Guide is arranged in four major categories: 1. Chronology; 2. Study Notes; 3 . Alphabetical Notes; and 4. Appendixes.

All readers and students of The Mahatma Letters should have this important book in their personal library, as it explains and clarifies innumerable statements in the Letters the full import of which cannot be understood from the text of the Letters alone.

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