A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXX
No. 2 (136) - Fall 1973

[Cover photo: Countess Constance Georgina Louis Wachtmeister (1838-1910). A devoted friend of H.P.B. and one of the most able workers in the early Theosophical Movement. Her book, Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and "The Secret Doctrine" which was published in 1893, gives an intimate account of H.P.B.'s life and work at Wurzburg, Germany.]


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.



"... Growth is never achieved without change, however painful the change may be. Winds can blow up dust storms that obscure the vision, or they can remove the pollution of stagnant air and refresh the spirit. We must not, we cannot, permit the winds ... to deflect us from our central purpose or to blind us to our greater opportunities. We must not, we cannot, turn our backs to the winds of change, looking longingly to a past that cannot be again. To walk bravely into the face of whatever gale may blow, confident in our cause, strong in our united determination to serve that cause; to face tomorrow, undaunted by the storms of yesterday, untroubled by anxiety over the future, undismayed by obstacles that appear to shadow the present, this must be our way of going ...

"[We should ask ourselves:] What can I do to further the cause of human enlightenment, to alleviate human suffering and ease the heartache of humankind? If we are anxious about the future, if we feel that change may threaten cherished ways or established patterns, if we are convinced there is no road map into tomorrow, then it is because we have failed to perceive the vision splendid contained in the majestic directive on which this Society was established: 'The Chiefs want a "Brotherhood of Humanity," a real Universal Fraternity started; an institution which would make itself known throughout the world and arrest the attention of the highest minds' ..." - Joy Mills, National President, The Theosophical Society in America, in The American Theosophist, August, 1973, pp. 224 and 252. The closing passage is from The Mahatma Letters, p. 24. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

The essential worth of the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom as a philosophy of life is in the fact that it can be applied to daily living.

The greatest need in today's world is for Ethics, the science of right living, the application of a spiritual philosophy to the problems and activities of daily life.

We have become conditioned to crime; we have become callous to injustice; we have become inert to exploitation, and accustomed to blood-shed, persecution and corruption. Most of us are too lazy to do anything about them and often too self-centered in our own imagined "coziness" to become "involved."

The keynote of Theosophical Ethics is self-control - the ability to behave in accordance with the highest dictates of ones conscience. In this, we are all mere learners, but learners in a science of life which potentially contains within itself the solution of all problems.

Living in a world of confusion and uncertainty, facing repeated difficulties, we should develop within ourselves qualities of consciousness which will make of us in due time centers of creative force, channels for good, embodiments of strength and good will to others. What are some of these qualities?

We should cultivate a universal outlook on life, world-wide sympathies, all-embracing understanding which includes all the peoples of the earth.

Let us enlarge our Vision and widen our Horizon! Refuse to become absorbed in the routines of everyday life!

Make every effort you can - and you can make it - to give yourself time to consider, think over, and dwell upon great Universal Ideas: the global fraternity of mankind; the ever-present life; the immensity of the future; the untapped resources of both mind and heart. Visualize yourself as a potential godlike being, trying to unfold and express its inherent strength.

Commune with Space: go out and look at the ocean, at the mountains, at the fields; go out at night and let your eyes and your mind roam over the immensity of the starlit sky which is but the outer symbol of your own immensity within.

Refuse to be contented with the emotional effusions of the crowd and claim your heritage of creative thinking. Conserve your vital resources by declining to take part in prevailing hysterias, and keep away from them. Cultivate an attitude of calmness within yourself, of quietude and serenity. Beneath ordinary emotions lie the depths of the human soul, where the real you abides. At the heart of every human being there is a Center of Silence. Everything worthwhile in human life stems from these unplumbed depths and is born out of their silence. Great sorrow and tragedy are silent. Unsuspected loneliness is silent; deep sadness of the human heart is silent. Flashes of inspiration and genius are silent. Great and abiding love is of very few words also.

Every experience is a window opening on the Divine. It is thus of paramount importance that we accept with equanimity both pleasant things and those that are hard to bear, as [4] carrying a silent message from the Divine within us. An attitude of grateful acceptance is an essential factor of growing wisdom.

Cultivate fearlessness, courage, justice, forgiveness; forgive when it is hard to forgive, when there rises a mean desire to hate and to retaliate. Resentment is easy; forgiveness means strength. It takes a Man to practice it. Take kindness for a Watchword - never-failing kindness and understanding. Try your best to get along with others. It is easier to do it if we look upon them as fragments of the One Universal Self. Often what we see in them is what others see in us. They are at times our own mirrors.

Stand for Principles, not personalities! At times we have to accept a battle when principles are concerned, but it does not happen very often. Most of our struggles are involved with personalities, all of which are reduced to impalpable dust a few years hence. Is it worth it?

If we wish to grow inwardly and become greater and nobler, we will be tested. There is no other way. We bring about our own inner challenge. Life is a series of awakenings, and each awakening is a birth into a larger sphere of life. Each birth has its pangs; therefore growth is often painful. The chrysalis of the lower, personal selfhood must be broken through before the butterfly - the Soul - can emerge into the freedom of the sky.

Today, on the eve of the one-hundred-year cycle in the history of the Theosophical Movement, we are in need, more than ever before, of men and women of a superior type, as active factors within that Movement and women who have the strength to transcend all bygone differences, rise above the smog of confused thinking, free themselves of those biases which are invariably engendered by ignorance and self-righteousness, and identify themselves wholly and irretrievably with the Supreme Ideals which are the origin and source of the Movement and which can neither fail nor be withdrawn at any time.

If the organized Movement is to enter victoriously into its second one-hundred-year cycle, and forge ahead into a nobler age in the history of mankind, it has to shed the emotional and psychological barnacles of past years, clear its decks of much accumulated rubbish, and revitalize its structural framework, so as to become again a fit vehicle for the invigorating spiritual streams that flow down from the mountaintops of being.

Let there be no misunderstanding on this score. The organized Movement has done well, at times very well, considering the social order it had to face and the people it had to work with. But it must do better. Its record is splendid in many, many ways, and it has deserved well from mankind. But that record must become greater and nobler yet, as it faces the unchartered seas and the limitless vistas of another era.

The portals of that era are open wide today. Beyond stretch infinite horizons of growth, of achievement and knowledge. A new Sun is rising over the far-flung fields of human life, and the Wind of the Spirit sweeps over them, bringing the tidings of a new Spring in the life of mankind. [5]



On the basis of available information, which is very fragmentary, H.P.B. had been visiting her relatives at Odessa, Russia, in the Spring of 1873. Her sister says that she left Odessa in April of that year, and H.P.B. herself intimated that she did so as a result of a letter which she had received from her Teacher, advising her to go to Paris.

It is possible that she visited her friend, Madame Popesco, in Bucarest, Rumania, on her way to Paris. Arriving in Paris, she stayed with her cousin, Nikolay Gustavovich von Hahn, son of her paternal uncle Gustav Alexeyevich von Hahn and the Countess Adlerberg, his mother. She resided at rue de l'Universite 11, and, possibly, in the rue du Palais as well.

A lady physician, Dr. L. M. Marquette, wrote to Col. Olcott under date of December 26, 1875, in reply to his inquiry, that she made the acquaintance of H.P.B. in Paris in 1873; she was living in a "apartment" with her cousin and his intimate friend, Monsieur Lequeux. She spent a good deal of her time with H.P.B., and was impressed with her high-minded attitude and deportment. H.P.B. did some painting and some writing, seldom going out of her room. Among her very few acquaintances, were Monsieur and Aladanic Leymarie, who later were cruelly persecuted by the Church for their interest in Spiritualism. Later on, Dr. Marquette renewed her friendship with H.P.B. when she returned to America.

While H.P.B. intended to remain in Paris for some time, events took a different turn for her.

She received peremptory orders from the "Brothers" to go to New York, and sailed the very next day, with little more than enough money to pay her passage. Any request from her Teacher had to be obeyed at once, and she would not have dreamt of doing otherwise than to carry it out.

Colonel Olcott recorded in his Old Diary Leaves an incident which H.P.B. told him about, bearing on this voyage. Being at Le Havre, and about to sail, she encountered on the quay a peasant woman with two small children, weeping and apparently in trouble. It turned out that her husband was in America and had saved and sent her enough money to make the crossing as steerage passengers. An agent she bought the tickets from in Hamburg had swindled her, and the tickets proved worthless. She had no money left and was in great distress. H.P.B. exchanged her first-class ticket for a steerage ticket, and thus was able to provide the woman and her children with steerage tickets as well.

It has not been possible to ascertain on what steamer H.P.B. sailed to New York on that trip. According to Sinnett, she arrived in New York July 7th, 1873. According to other sources, it was July 6th. The records of Lloyd's of London indicate that an auxiliary barque, the "St. Laurent", arrived in New York from Le Havre July 7th, and no further information seems to be available. [6]

Among the interesting records we have on hand and which have a direct bearing on this period in H.P.B.'s life, is a letter of Miss Anna Ballard, a veteran journalist, a life member of the New York Press Club, which she wrote at the request of Col. Olcott, while visiting the Adyar Headquarters, Jan. 17, 1892. It appears that Miss Ballard met H.P.B. in New York in July, 1873, not more than a week after she landed. She was then a reporter on the staff of the New York Sun, and had been detailed to write an article upon a Russian subject. The arrival of the Russian lady was reported to her by a friend, and she called on H.P.B. for an interview. H.P.B. told her that she had no idea of leaving Paris for America until the very evening before she sailed. She also told Miss Ballard that she had been in Tibet.

Finding herself very low on cash, H.P.B. had written to her father for funds to be sent to the Russian Consul in New York, but this could not arrive for some time. The Consul apparently refused a loan, so she had to set to work to earn her daily bread. This was not the first time in her varied and tumultuous life.

What H.P.B. apparently did not know at the time was that her benevolent and always generous father, Col. Peter Alexeyevich von Hahn, died at Stavropol in the Caucasus on July 15/27, 1873, after only three days of illness. From a letter written to her by her half-sister Liza and dated October 18th (old style), 1873, her whereabouts apparently were not definitely known to her family at the time, and so the news about the passing of her father reached her after a three months delay. It is interesting to note in this connection that H.P.B., who on several well-authenticated occasions had correct premonitions, and even actual knowledge, of the death of certain individuals, had apparently no such knowledge with regard to the death of her father. One wonders at times whether she was prevented from having it, for some good and sufficient reason known only to her Superiors!

H.P.B. took quarters in a new tenement house, at 222 Madison Street, New York, which was a small experiment in cooperative living launched by some forty women workers. The owner of the house, a Mr. Rinaldo, introduced her to two young Jewish friends of his, and these gave her work designing illustrated advertising-cards; she also seems to have tried some ornamental leather work, but soon abandoned that and is said to have made artificial flowers and cravats. She always kept a feeling of sincere gratitude for these young Jewish friends.

Some time later, a widow - possibly Madame Magnon - offered to share her home in Henry Street with H.P.B., until her financial difficulties ended. She accepted, and together they inaugurated Sunday meetings at this address.

At long last, she received some money as part of her portion of her father's estate, and moved to the North-East corner of 14th Street and Fourth Avenue, in a furnished top-floor room, where she seems to have had a small fire. She also lived in Union Square and on East 16th Street.

On the authority of Col. Olcott himself, to whom she related many an [7] incident of her life, not generally known to others, she had, during her period of great want after her arrival in New York, a large sum of money in her trunk (the Col. thought it was something like 23,000 French francs) which had been confided to her by her Teacher, to await further orders. The order finally came, and she was told to go to Buffalo. She did. On reaching the city, she was instructed to take a hack and drive to a certain address, and give the money to such and such a person; to give no explanation, but to take a receipt and leave. This she did also. When she arrived, the man was writing a farewell letter to his family, with a loaded pistol on the table, with which he would have shot himself very soon if H.P.B. had not turned up. H.P.B. told the Colonel that this was a most worthy man who had been robbed of this amount of money in some peculiar way that made it necessary, for the sake of events that would subsequently happen as a consequence - events of importance to the world - that he should have the money restored to him at a particular crisis, and H.P.B. had been deputed to carry this out. In later years, she could not give the Colonel any idea as to the man's name or the address she went to.

An extremely puzzling statement from H.P.B.'s pen appears in her letter to Prince A. M. Dondukov-Korsakov, dated from Bombay, August 28th, 1881, and written in French. She says that, after arriving in America in 1873, "I had to go to California, then to Yokohama where, after 19 years of separation, I saw once more my Hindu whom I found settled in a little palace, or country house, about three or four miles from Yokohama. I stayed but a week, for he sent me back to New York, after giving me detailed instructions." It stands to reason that such a trip would have taken in those days a great deal of time; yet from all other data it seems reasonable to infer that H.P.B. resided in the U.S.A. until late Fall of 1878 without leaving the country. The statement remains a puzzle.

Available records have nothing else to say concerning this very early period of H.P.B.'s life in America. No letters of hers have been preserved in any of the known Archives, which would throw some light on the year 1873. One or two casual remarks of hers in later years would seem to indicate that she may have lived for a while near Saugus, Mass., and she mentions the "woods near Boston," whatever that may mean. Her public career had net yet begun, and we know that her whereabouts and activities were deliberately withheld by her from general knowledge prior to 1874-75. Thus we are limited to merely a few glimpses here and there concerning a period about which we would of course like to know a great deal more.* (* References and sources from which the above facts have been compiled are mainly: The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, New York, 1924, pp. 152, 153-54; H.P.B. Speaks, Vol. II, Adyar, 1951, p. 23; A. P. Sinnett, Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky, New York & London, 1886, p. 169, 175; Col. H. S. Olcott, Old Diary Leaves, Series 1, 1895, pp. 20, 22, 440; Elizabeth G. B. Holt, "A Reminiscence of H. P. Blavatsky in 1873", The Theosophist, Vol. 53, December 1931; The Path magazine, New York, Vol. IX, p. 385.) [8]


Montague A. Machell

"Out of nothing comes nothing." Too few of us, it is to be feared, take occasion to remind ourselves of the wealth of divine, undeveloped raw material in man that waits to be used creatively in building an immortal reality. Few of us, probably, are even willing to concede the capacity in any man to create spiritually. Our fatal deification of the facilities of communication has so effectively loosened the floodgates of commercial, political and sectarian propaganda that we find ourselves justified in letting communications shape our choices, ideals and beliefs (if any).

This fatally negative approach to the inner life of man builds consistently a materialistic myopia in which "ME and THINGS" seize the limelight, allowing unseen, but eternal Realities to be ignored. What can be expected of a society whose attention is attracted hour by hour and day by day to Extra Length Cigarettes, Maidenform Bras, Hair Tonics, Deodorants, and Pepsi-cola? Since advertising, public relations, chewing gum and beer have achieved the power to create financial tycoons, their promotion, in dollar values, must necessarily loom large in a social economy with today's accepted values.

Theosophy, a philosophy of immense antiquity, devoted to the re-embodiment of age-old wisdom into the worn-out patterns of modern-day living, seeks to awaken those truths inseparable from a dedication to the Immortal Self of man, that transcend, to a large degree, at least, his purely physical and personal hungers and attractions. It is a creative philosophy in that it inspires confidence in these innate and eternal spiritual potencies that distinguish a discerning human being from a normally hungry animal. Taking into account that spiritual equipment and potential in man upon which it insists, the ancient Wisdom-Religion credits the reasonably developed human entity with a capacity for mote than purely physical and sensual gratification. It offers him a program of consciously creative living in place of a purely sensual, negative existence. For the Theosophist, merely To Be is not enough. It demands of man that he Consciously BECOME a Self greater and finer than the merely eating, drinking and begetting animal that today's program of earthly existence deems adequate.

"Out of nothing, nothing comes." Before the ultimate, sacred values of life on this earth can be accepted, men must dare to fathom the depths of their own natures, that they may discover therein the wealth of priceless raw material for the bodying forth of a rich, spiritual life. In that profoundly enlightening volume, Man the Measure of All Things, the author, Sri Krishna Prem, reminds us: "We ourselves, with all our petty mean nesses, our brutal and insane cruelties, our obscenities, our pursuit of trivial pleasures, and our misguided ambitions, bear within us the seeds of perfection ... Man, the most elusive and most wonderful creature of the universe."

Keeping our thought fixed on "this most elusive and most wonderful [9] creature of the universe," it is for each of us to resolve to discover and nourish the forgotten spiritual resources within us, wherewith to create a human manifestation of conscious spiritual potential. The worth and durability of our creation will be insured in terms of the fact, duly recognized, that each of us is an "individual focus" of one universal Divine Mind. IT alone, finding free play in an enlightened personality, can liberate man's undiscovered potential. To quote Sri Krishna Prem once more: "We are motes of dust dancing within its Light which surrounds us everywhere. More, it pervades us through and through. We are but moments of that Light; it is our very Self."

That Light, having its center in an aspect of ourselves that infinitely transcends this desire-hampered personality, our first step must be to maintain a clear discrimination between the personal self and the infinitely more wondrous Self of Light, through which the universal Divine Mind must work. For (to quote further): "These physical bodies and the material environment in which they move are but the dull surface crust upon the gleaming sea of molten metal; within our very selves is the great Sea of Light."

He who in his daily living refuses merely to copy, permits the "Sea of Light" to illumine his thinking and doing, creating thereby a radiant luminescence from the inmost heart of him that, playing upon the shadows of debased physical living, can light up other lives, waking unsuspected energies for the good of all. To be convinced of one's inexhaustible inner riches, is to be spurred to "creative" living by consciously embodying and utilizing them. In this sense the ultimate meaning of "creating" is "manifesting" that which is already within our reach. We are not called upon to create something out of nothing, but to become aware of our potential and to exercise it. The man of Time and Desire, setting up a bogus program of dependence upon the personality, will never create anything enduring. Only he who reflects in his living the Divine Mind can create the realities of that mind - a creation time is powerless to change.

Multitudes of mortals have been misled by the mesmeric term "success." And yet the outstanding "'success" of thousands of expert entrepreneurs has left this world in a parlous state. To what degree have any of these "successes" achieved anything approaching serenity or peace of mind? How many have banished over-riding fears and futile searches for "security"? Ulcers, heart attacks, brain tumors and premature senility seem to have been the lot of many of them. High peaks of passionate indulgence may have afforded some of these a doubtful "happiness" which sooner or later presented its heavy bill of expenses. And at the last day, what? An almost total alienation from any enduring relation with the inmost self and its relation to the life just lived.

"We persist in identifying ourselves with our physical bodies. 'I am the child of Earth and Starry Heaven' said the Orphic Initiate, 'but my race is of Heaven alone ... My race is of Heaven alone." These are the words we are invited to inscribe on our heart of hearts - to read them daily and ponder them hourly. Turning from them to the fevered futility of life today, [10] must we not see ourselves as Displaced Persons - aliens in a sphere unworthy of us, and totally unrewarding to us - cast out upon a "molten sea of burning metal"? This is the course we have invoked upon ourselves by seeking an answer where no answer lies. "Neither beyond the starry skies nor yet far off on mystic planes of being must that Universal Mind be sought, but in ourselves."

It is for each of us to accept that supreme (for some supremely terrifying) challenge, to search our own souls for the ultimate answer. The watchword for him who refuses to copy, and is resolved to create is: "MAN, KNOW THYSELF!"


Dara Eklund

Extreme mental and emotional climates are uncomfortable to the undisciplined soul. Tracing its pattern of reactions within the common crucible of Self-discovery - HUMANITY - we gain many keys to that accord which lies within the aims of Brotherhood. It is not that we strive for an ocean with no waves, or fail to appreciate the learning attained through friction and struggle. It is only that many struggles are self-produced and unnecessary, the results of misunderstandings which dissolve away as one begins to consider himself the "Vehicle of the Gods," instead of a bundle of whims and energies.

Negative reactions are warning posts to the inner man. A strong repulsion to a total stranger is a warning to hold off judgment. Is the soul rejecting anything foreign to its native environment, whether good or bad? If we are disturbed by discord, it will test our own mood, for one thing. Along with "mood" are attitudes, which often spring to the fore as foot soldiers to defend (regrettably) our own limitations. We must at last place aside these omnivorous presences which hinder our perception of truth.

One of the Masters wrote to "neither trust nor condemn on appearances." The essence of a distrustful reaction, for instance, may be all accurate perception of a condition surrounding another. Distrust this distrust. Attitudes change, and it may be his "low" day. The presence of our own withdrawing may be due to the aggressiveness of the other. A quieter nature may find a stronger one repelling, but it should take heed. This more aggressive one has a storehouse of power which may one day be directed toward worthier ends than overwhelming those around him. Making allowances, we observe him shoving his weight around, now knowing that there is no burden heavier to bear than selfhood, no true pow-er so disarming as Universal Love and forbearance even for those who wrong.

Standing thus aloof we distill feelings into ideas, and so free them; as birds anxious for freedom burst from a cage when the door is opened. The cage is purely illusionary, being mostly spaces left between bars. Those bars permit our vision to see others as they are in contrast to thoughts, aspirations, hopes and fears which issue from a temporarily stunted condition which the "brain" of the race is subject to.

Understandably, our human [11] reactions are sometimes dislikes for very potent negative forces. Nonetheless we, who would forgo our own peace to help men on, must not heed that dislike. Of course it is not comfortable to be an object of suspicion. If we are trusting, it can victimize us into self-blame. To alleviate the situation, might it not be better to find the key to what this suspicious nature is harboring? That is, only if this or that one seeks our help.

It tampers with the duty of another to meddle in problems which a neighbor chooses to hide in his own heart. We can, in any case, extend a large sympathy. We realize that a "man of doubtful mind, enjoyeth not peace in this, or any world." Theosophy should be a vitalizing revolution in our daily lives to the point where winds of change wrought by intense aspiration are constantly in touch with the weather vanes around us. This does not give us the power to reorient every single life we touch, but is it such a harmful question to be asked (as this writer was the other day), "Why are you so damn cheerful all the time?" Indeed a sense of humor must be cultivated in all our occupations, for the sad weight of the world's petty envies and angers should be left behind. Treat them with loving humor and do not startle those who prefer the darkness to lighting a "single candle."

On the other hand, we might never know that beyond the suspicion we find enveloping the doubtful person, is a genuinely warmhearted, but troubled nature, himself hurt many times to the point of placing his thoughts on guard all the time, no matter who tried to place a finger on the release of the cage entrapping his free self within.

An old Majorcan proverb to "take the teeth out of your problems, so that they can't bite you," aptly suits one who would learn that perfect equanimity which is the highest form of yoga. Loyalty to the One Self of all is the first principle in human behavior. It can take the teeth out of any harshness cast our way from the nether lands of human consciousness. We ardently desire harmony, but work in a crucible of conflicting wills, intent on resolving themselves rather than allowing themselves to be RESOLVED. But loyalty will in time engender firmness of character to withstand any tide. After loyalty comes purity. Just as the refreshing tide must continually pass over the rocks, stones and pebbles to reduce them to sandy crystal shorelines where feet may walk without bruises, so our daily passage through humanity can mirror the purity of truth and provide quiet havens. Inspired by the Spiritual Tide of which all men partake, at least in an infinitesimal degree, man will look to his Inner Sky more often as the material tides recede, and see at his feet not the "mire of lies terrestrial," but a clear reflection of the Divine within.



The Esoteric Philosophy teaches that the planet Venus is in its seventh Round, and that Mercury is just entering it. If a planet becomes more ethereal in its later Rounds, why is it still visible to our ordinary sight? Should it not become invisible to us on this plane? [12]

It seems that we have reached a point where we need to clarify the meaning of our terms. In order to do this, I will coin a word, physicality. We are then able to set up two comparative, but not identical scales. One would tell us the degree of development out of materiality toward spirituality, and the other, a change from physicality toward ethereality. Spirituality is not synonymous with ethereality, nor is materiality synonymous with physicality. In this sense, it would be the physicality of a Globe which would make it visible, and as ethereality is approached, the texture of any such globe would become finer or subtler, until when ethereality is reached, the globe would become invisible. Such a degree of physicality or ethereality would not necessarily be an index of its evolution from materiality toward spirituality. Matter in itself is no more visible than spirit. It is the physicality of matter that makes it visible.* (* In The Mathematics of the Cosmic Mind, Section 3, L. Gordon Plummer explains the nature of the Lokas and Talas, as compared with the Tattvas and Bhutas; a careful study of this portion of his work will clarify the matter. - Editor, Theosophia.)

Touching more specifically upon the question: it is Globe D that is referred to. We must remember that it is only the mineral kingdom of any Globe D that we can see. We are taught that the mineral kingdom of the Earth is in its sishta or dormant state. But this is only a part of Globe D of the Earth. The other parts consist of the vegetable, the animal and the human kingdoms, as well as some others which are taught of in Theosophy.

Each kingdom is evolving, and all of them are not necessarily in the same degree of spirituality or of ethereality, nor are they in the same degree of materiality or physicality. Thus, we have the answer to the fact that some of the kingdoms on any globe may be visible and others may not. On our own Globe D, the mineral sishtas, the bodies of the plant, the animal and the human kingdoms, are visible to us. There are others, more ethereal, which are not visible. Some of these, which we call the higher kingdoms of the Dhyanis are more spiritual, while others, which we call the elementals are more material, perhaps, but nonetheless invisible.

This would explain why we see no evidence of life on other planets of our Solar System. Only the outermost vehicle of the Globe is sufficiently physical so that it can be observed. In such cases, all of the other kingdoms, regardless of their materiality or spirituality, are invisible to us because their peculiar karmic destiny has brought them to that point in their evolution. There were times long in the past when the human kingdom was more ethereal than it is now, and the individuals composing that kingdom would not have been visible to our present eyes, and the time may come when this will be true once more. So it appears that the mineral kingdom, among all of the others, retains its physicality in those particular planets that we are concerned with. Of course in our Universal Solar System, there are multitudes of planets which are non-physical. Some may be more spiritual than our Earth, and others may be more material. However, they are not physical, so we do not see them. - L. Gordon Plummer. [13]


Marian B. Lull. F.T.S.

[Originally published in The Path, New York, Vol. VIII, August, 1893.]

I had not the felicity of knowing Madame Blavatsky so intimately and familiarly as I would have liked, nevertheless I beg to add my tribute to the memory of that illustrious woman.

In 1878 or 1879 I called at the rooms occupied by Madame Blavatsky in West Forty-Seventh Street. She was holding an informal reception, many people being present. I was received with that charming cordiality which won every fair-minded and disinterested individual who approached this wonderfully gifted woman. We chatted for a few moments when she greeted me, and then walked slowly to one of the windows, lingering there together for a moment or two, when she left me to give attention to other guests.

I remained alone in this window for perhaps fifteen minutes. I was fully conscious of the assembly, conscious of the hum of conversation, the sound of gentle mirth fell upon my ears, the coming and going of the people were plainly perceptible to my senses, all the incidents of time, place, and circumstances were palpably apparent, real, and in every respect in conformity with the receptions held by any hostess who dispenses hospitality; all the routine of life in the thoroughfares without passed before my eyes in the usual manner, and yet I knew that "I" stood upon the margin of a stream that flowed freely past where I stood; the ripple of the waters was continuous, soothing, and placid; grasses waved in unison with the murmur of the river; the undercurrent of insect life mingled with the sighing of the wind; birds twittered and fluttered in the luxuriant foliage; all the voices of nature blended in a harmonious melody that seemed the very soul of silence breathing through a musical cadence that was attuned to sacred themes. All appeared familiar to "myself", and I enjoyed the sensations produced precisely as any individual enjoys any naturally pleasurable sensation. How long my consciousness of this "Soul Sense" continued I know not, possibly fifteen minutes.

Madame returned, smiling, to my side, and I greeted her with "What is it?" She simply replied, in the most matter of fact manner, "That is sacred music. You are on the banks of the Ganges."

While I am of Anglo-Indian origin, my grandmother having been a Hindu, Madame Blavatsky had not been advised of that fact, and I am fully convinced that I was not hypnotized. I attribute the circumstance to her intuitive knowledge of those with whom she came in contact, although I do not doubt that the Indian blood in my composition made me more en rapport with her than I might otherwise have been.

We had a short, pleasant conversation, and she told me, among other things, that I would return to my own. I have become a member of the Theosophical Society, and have indeed returned to my own, as Madame Blavatsky predicted I would; for no sooner had I read the philosophy of the Theosophical doctrine than I recognized that it was what I had believed all my conscious life. [14]

Whenever I visited New York City I sought Madame Blavatsky and found a new charm in each visit. I could not fail to see and appreciate the extraordinary character which she possessed, and I believe her to have been thoroughly in earnest, thoroughly honest, unwaveringly truthful, single-minded, clean of heart, high-souled, and of spotless purity.


John Coats

[Excerpts from The American Theosophist, August, 1973.]

The idea of planning requires some explanation. The act can be dangerous, for to plan too definitely is tantamount to trying without thought to bind the future which ought at all times to be left free.

The Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote in this context: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley." They miscarry in fact! And yet to have no plans at all is often to wander aimlessly, and this can be of great waste of time. If one can live in the eternal moment, let him do so, for surely he will have found the solution to his own problems, and perchance to the problems of others too.

The Theosophical Society, born in time and therefore, in a certain sense, mortal, is faced with the need to deal with the changing scene. Unless we close our doors, we have to accept this responsibility; and clearly we are likely to be faced with all kinds of practical problems. Let us try to be simple in looking at this. We live in 1972-73, in a world that has changed as much in a decade as in the last forty centuries, and in which the tempo of change is likely to increase. In three years' time we shall be 100 years old. At the end of each century, we have been told, a renewed effort is made by the Elder Brothers of men to introduce or exert all influence whereby the ignorant and unhappy state of most men may perchance be lessened.

We wonder whether the Society, said to have been an important part of the effort of the last century, will be used in this new effort. It seems inescapable to suppose that it must depend upon us, both individually and collectively. If we are doing our expected work well, why should we be overlooked? Although, obviously, the needs of the new may be such that we do not easily fit into that pattern. If, for some reason, we have not been fulfilling what was hoped of us a hundred years ago, then it seems highly unlikely that we shall be included. It is a matter for common sense and not for wishful thinking. Let us not forget that although the Society was founded officially in 1875, the real founders had evidently anticipated this event in the many years of pre-training of H. P. Blavatsky. For twenty-five years or so she was being made ready for her task. If we had the eyes to see, would we not now be aware of the preparations that must already be well under way for 1975? We cannot expect to be told what they are, but we call look and try to understand.

Astrologers in the West assure us [15] that we are moving from the sign Pisces into Aquarius, from water that is contained to air that is free; from a period dominated by often excessive devotion to one, to a stage in which the spirit of man may roam free to discover for himself the mysteries of the universe ...

And we might also ask ourselves whether we feel well prepared to venture into pastures new, pastures which our past conditioning may well make strange. Can I do it? Can you?

We cannot afford to proceed as though our world did not change, as though it were static. We face as grave a crisis at the material level as man has had to deal with in his long history ...

It appears that in nearly all these problems, there is little if any recognition of the One World idea; no acceptance of a philosophy of wholeness which basically is what Theosophy is. That we must continue to strive to make Theosophy available is a sine qua non of our continuing existence.

Our President points to a deepening awareness of ourselves, a higher spiral, so to speak, of what has gone before. In this light might we not reconsider the words "Universal Brotherhood" which are so fundamental in our presentation and objects? Whereas it seems abundantly clear that the wide field of human diversity has still to recognize its interdependence and unity, so that our work along such lines must necessarily continue into any foreseeable future, we might also interpret the words "Universal Brotherhood" as a group of Brothers who are universal; i.e. who know for themselves the Reality of the One Self. The Brotherhood of Elders, then, is really a state of consciousness into which each of us has somehow to merge his own.

Whilst we strive to reach the center, we may not, however, neglect the circumference. The balanced Theosophist is one who moves outward as he also turns within. He gains experience only that he may give and share. To seek to acquire only for ourselves has no virtue at all.

... In any university a student of any branch of science will expect to study for a number of years for his degree. He will not only be expected, but ever anxious, to read books written by a wide range of authors so as to feel he has made a conscientious study of the material available. Shall we do less? The reading of one or two books hardly entitles us to expound the vastness of the theosophical concepts.

Hence, once again, the necessity of setting ourselves free - away from the traditional toward the new; away from dependence on others toward self-reliance and responsibility; away from the imprisonment of time toward the boundlessness of eternal values. There must be the assumption by men, made in the image of God, of their own true destiny, a responsible and continuing cooperation with the laws and forces of Nature amongst which we live.

Tomorrow's world will be very different. Almost certainly the tempo of change will increase. The presentation of Theosophy is bound to change too, if we allow it to do so, to match the mood of the century to come. But the principles of the Wisdom are forever, and these we shall have to come to know for ourselves - each and every one - before our future work can be of greatest help to our fellows. [16]

We have to be those who have found the way to change ourselves - really a very basic process, not to be effected by occasional tinkering - so that the plan for tomorrow actually begins today, with a renewed determination to become that which in fact we are. For the keynote of the future is likely to have more meaning to us and more appeal as we have prepared ourselves within and without to receive its message of unbounded promise.


by Geoffrey A. Barborka.

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