A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXX
No. 4 (138) - Spring 1974

[Cover photo: Dr. Archibald Keightley (1859-1930). Well-known London physician; staunch friend of H.P. Blavatsky, who entrusted to him and to his uncle, Bertram Keightley, the MS. of The Secret Doctrine, to arrange the material under her guidance. Their generous financial backing ensured the publication of this work. Consult Vol. IX of H.P.B.'s Collected Writings for comprehensive biographical sketches of the Keightleys.]


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.



The expression "the certainty of change" is often heard, and to meet its challenge calls upon the resources of the entire personality in order to cope with its differential influences.

It is not often our privilege to understand the cause or reason for change for it mostly exists in the vagueness of the past. Be that as it may, the true test of our personal fortitude lies in our ability to absorb change and adjust to its mandates. This is no easy matter for the settled mind unless confidence and faith in the innate justice of life can be accepted. By these virtues, we can respond to change with grace instead of malice, with calm instead of tempest, and with understanding instead of perplexity.

If we are to honor the purpose of life, which is perpetual expansion of our consciousness, we cannot be stymied, for long at least, by changes in our circumstances or environment. Life seems to go on, despite our personal altercations, and the sooner we regain our composure in the light of change the more readily our acceptance of it.

What tomorrow will bring is not within the realm of the finite mind to know; but, regardless of what it brings, faith and confidence in the fidelity of our being and its destiny is what best sustains us.

We have but the wisdom of today, to meet the uncertainty of tomorrow as we are but the sum total of what we have been and that, at best, is as yet incomplete. - Dr. Robert W. Bonnell. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

A number of students of Theosophy residing in various parts of the world have been talking and writing of recent date concerning the Third Object of The Theosophical Society, which proposes "to investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man." They contend that special emphasis should be placed upon this Object and efforts should be made to implement it by practical research into its many possibilities, in view of what has come to be known among some people as "occult explosion," a term unfortunately meaning, more often than not, merely one or another phase of "psychic hysteria."

It is easy to allow oneself to become a victim of one or another type of psychic glamour. Attraction to the unknown and the mysterious is innate in every human being, and is often used by nefarious forces to distract the student front his chief objective in life. As far as Theosophists are concerned, their chief and primary objective is clearly outlined in the First Object of tile Society, namely "to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color."

As the past history of the Theosophical Society shows, and as the present situation often exemplifies, the emergence of such a nucleus on a solid and impregnable foundation is still largely all ideal to be striven for, instead of being a tangible reality.

On the eve of the Centenary of the Society, which occurs in the Fall of 1975, it is the First and foremost object of the organized Movement which deserves the greatest possible attention, and which calls for special emphasis, unrelenting effort towards its realization, deep meditation upon its many phases and the widest possible publicity as being the sine qua non condition for any spiritual growth.

In the words of one of the Teachers: "... you have ever discussed but to put down the idea of a universal Brotherhood, questioned its usefulness, and advised to remodel the T.S. on the principle of a college for the special study of occultism. This, my respected and esteemed friend and Brother -will never do!" (The Mahatma Letters, p. 8.) And again: "The term 'Universal Brotherhood' is no idle phrase. Humanity in the mass has a paramount claim upon us ... It is the only secure foundation for universal morality. If it be a dream, it is at least a noble one for mankind: and it is the aspiration of the true adept." (ditto, p. 17.) And yet again: "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." (p. 24.)

It is important for us individually, and as integral units of the over all Theosophical Movement, to strengthen our lives and our efforts on the basis of a genuine, unbreakable and unshakeable realization of Universal Brotherhood, which essentially is a way of life, a method of living which is vital enough to transcend all temporary differences of opinion, worldly objectives, emotional ties and intellectual barriers. [4]


Katie E. Smith*

* Mrs. Katie E. Smith, residing now in England, is the daughter of C. H. Collings, one of the staunch Theosophists of the early days, who joined the Theosophical Society in 1891, and missed meeting H.P.B. by only a few months. He was a member of the original E.S. and when various unfortunate frictions and troubles started, he was on the side of William Q. Judge. Mr. Collings lived and worked at 19 Avenue Road, London, for some time, and Dr. Archibald Keightley and Countess Constance Wachtmeister were his intimate friends. After the nineties, he withdrew from the T.S., but in the late twenties of this century he became founder-president of the Judge Lodge, which flourished right up to the start of World War II, and engaged in a great deal of constructive work among the less privileged people of London. - Editor, Theosophia.

I am one of the old Theosophists, now in my seventies, and it occurs to me that these few jottings might be of interest to some of your younger readers. Both my parents were Theosophists and in a certain sense I was born "free." Let me explain. I was brought in free from any religious creeds or dogmatic beliefs. As a youngster I was not even taught Theosophy. This does not mean that I was a happy little materialist, playing games, climbing trees and learning, rather reluctantly, to read and write. At the same time I remember, from my earliest days, that I took reincarnation for granted: "Well, here we are again" was my feeling. As soon as I had learnt to read, all the books in the house were mine for the asking, and I devoured everything from Treasure Island and Kipling to the many volumes of Lucifer which were stored in my bedroom. Giants and witches were considered quite normal and ghost stories were disliked but accepted. "Other worlds" seemed to me a perfectly natural idea; one simply came and went through a crack in space - there was no difficulty about that! When I was old enough to ask questions, I was told only as much as it was considered would be understood, but by the time I was growing up, my father announced: "If you want to know, you must work for it, and find out for yourself. Why not read The Secret Doctrine!" I did, and from then on the S.D. has become my Universal Yardstick.

This is not an attempt to record the boring autobiography of an elderly theosophical student; I have simply recounted a few recollections of one who had the very good fortune to start life in a Theosophical atmosphere. It was only in later life, after mixing with many inquirers and fellow students, that I realised, more and more fully, the all-importance of real freedom from all creeds and dogmas. Why? Because they are the Root Cause of that Great Heresy which is Separateness - God versus me. We learn in the S.D. (Vol. I, p. 120, orig. ed.) : "The radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in Nature - from Star to mineral Atom, from the highest Dhyan-Chohan to the smallest infusoria, in the fullest acceptation of the term, and whether applied to the spiritual, intellectual, or physical worlds - this is the one fundamental law in Occult Science." That expresses it exactly. The Theosophical student may be leading the usual life - eating, working, going on the spree - but an established feeling of Oneness forms a continuous background to his outer daily life. This feeling grows only gradually, and only when the [5] earnestly-studied theories have been properly assimilated and realised as veritable facts. But enough of myself and my theories. I will end with one more brief recollection, of more interest than the foregoing. In my twenties I was one of the fortunate folk who had the privilege of actually handling the original Mahatma Letters. It happened this way. Much of the work had already been done, the Letters had been assembled and typed copies prepared for the printers. Then came the proofreading, another long and tiring job. At this point I met Trevor Barker. He gave me a penetrating look and asked: "Are you accurate?" I considered for a minute and said: "Yes, I think so. In any case, I'll go slowly and be careful." This appeared to satisfy him and we got down to work. I should mention here that I had never done any proofreading, but my Pocket Encyclopedia included one page on the subject, so I cut out that page and studied it. We worked at his rooms in Sussex Place, each in an armchair in front of a blazing fire. One read aloud from the manuscript Letters, while the other checked the galley or page proofs. We took it in turns to read and check, as being less tiring that way. I am no psychic, but the feel of the Letters was unmistakable. They purred like a fine electric current, one kind of purr for M., and another for K.H., and this in spite of the fact that many of the Letters were transmitted in various ways via chelas, as we are told in the Letters themselves. The actual handling of the Letters combined with the effort required to read Master M.'s dreadfully difficult script (for all he says to the contrary in one of his letters!), these together combined to bring home the profound truth of the teachings. It made one feel in touch with the very Source itself. It was an experience that one never forgets.


Montague A. Machell

Nothing less than a profoundly spiritual education can equip a man to adequately approach contemplation of the meaning of life on earth. The first objective of such an education is to lead the disciple away from a conception of himself as a differentiated personality leading an existence independent of Life Universal. The only form of education capable of counteracting this conception is one that accepts the universe as a manifestation of a Spiritual Source, and man identical with and inseparable from that Source. Such an education is alone equipped to dispense with personal illusions, making way for the acceptance of Universal Wisdom. Since such Wisdom shapes and colors a man's relation to life, it must obviously be regarded as Supreme Wisdom. A man who clearly and unquestioningly recognizes himself as the Microcosm of the Macrocosm has taken a step towards solving the Mystery of Life.

First of all, he has placed himself in a position to perceive his immutable relation to life - never a haphazard relation governed by chance, "fate", or favoritism. To the extent that, in the light of Universal Wisdom, he understands life in those terms, to that extent he will be true to it, realizing that by [6] Universal Law effects match causes, and that he alone is the originator of causes in his individual existence. His "destiny" is not a special destiny, but one that is shaped by his own reconciliation with Universal Law; such reconciliation spells release from all personal limitations and allurements. His primary identity with life is his Universal identity, made visible by a fearless surrender to Universal Law, a surrender which, in its turn, demands an impersonal approach to all the situations of life.

If the achievement of such a point of view is difficult, actively maintaining it is still more difficult since it means changing one's life-long reactions and estimates, i.e., entering an infinitely broadened approach to one-self and to life. More than this, it means changing one's attitude of a victim of life to that of a Lord of Life - the maker of one's own destiny. Once a man takes this view of himself, he ceases, to a large extent, being acted upon by life, insisting on being an agent of universal Law, thereby shaping life in relation to his own spiritual (not personal) will. He does not let the chariot of his life take him whither the will of another charioteer chooses; taking the reins, he drives the horses, at all times subject to his will. This change of view is of incalculable importance in that it replaces anguished impotence with joyous command; it means letting the Universal Life of which one is part, pour its redeeming riches into all one's days, so long as one remains true to Life's Infinite Purpose. This is more than a technique of accomplishment; it is a secret Of SPIRITUAL GROWTH.

Sooner or later, each of us must come to realize that doubt and fear are two downhill highways to hell. KNOWLEDGE of the SELF is the open portal to redemption and the peace and joy thereof. We have experienced, and are destined to experience, many existences on this earth. Shall we accept countless lives of agonizing doubt, or shall we joyously reap celestial harvests of wise and bountiful sowing? You and I are Husbandmen of Life, ostensibly equipped to bring in a sumptuous harvest. Spiritually intelligent husbandry imparts a heavenly and inspiring significance to earthly living, illumined by one's identity with Life Universal. This is too sublime an undertaking to be based on doubt's uncertain foundations. Rewarding living must be an enlightened affirmation, not a confused questioning. But for that affirmation to be dependable, a man must be clearly aware of his own nature and destiny - not merely aware of it, but responsible for it.

The thousand and one issues, objectives and demands of any single incarnation, all have their roots in what we conceive to be "life." If our conception has the scope, the dignity, the promise, that Theosophy can impart to it, the sum total of inner achievement must gloriously exceed that which serves to satisfy all too many Orthodox believers. Given an adequate understanding of man's spiritual potential, his aspirations will share the generous proportions of that potential. Infinity of time and opportunity invites an infinity of unfoldment; the dimmed, foreshortened vista of one life on earth gives way to the limitless splendor of Life Everlasting of the conscious spiritual entity; Life reveals itself as an undying flower sprung from immortal [7] seed, its unfoldment lending to each day's existence its own sublimity.

For this to happen, however, one's concept of life and the universe must be enlarged many times. The enlightened disciple must approach these as patterns timeless and immeasurable. Today, tomorrow, next week, this family of mine, this job of mine - all must be perceived to be passing, illusory aspects relating to an infinite horizon. "To be alive," from this standpoint, is consciously to transcend one's environment and circumstances; it is to impart to them unlimited significance - to be, in truth, a "magician" of life, in place of its victim. Fully conscious spiritual living means acceptance of this earthly setting as a point of departure into a realm of splendor life should know, but to which it is at present a stranger. "Living", as you and I know it, must transfigure existence. No longer are we permitted to be onlookers or victims; we are required to become instruments of transfiguration. To be this, we must possess and be possessed by the Heavenly Reality that Life is!

Daily living must more and more become remote from the gratification of animal hungers, a consummation that a genuinely lofty and timeless viewpoint can render possible. It will not be realized until "personal" living is recognized as a clinging to a self that is a stranger to the Heaven of the Spiritual Self. Impersonal living is a step in this direction. In this world of rampant, passionate desire, to be "alive" must mean to have triumphed over the personal animal to the point at which a conscious spiritual elan quickens the pulse of life. It might almost be defined as a revolt against the "living death" that so often passes for "life", a revolt that must be sustained throughout earthly existence in an uninterrupted program of Eternal Values reminding one of the fact that life is more than the sum of daily events. Beneath those events a binding pattern persists that imparts lasting significance to them. Of every act and thought one must ask himself: "Is this appropriate to my Pattern of Life?"

The personality tends to become profoundly involved in singled events, which, being of Time, call for merely temporal consideration; but the deeper meaning of Life is beyond Time; it is of Eternity and must be lived in Eternity's dimensions, which means resisting the effort of the personality to impart undue significance to purely personal objectives. The personality, thinking in a temporal medium, is constantly seeking to distract the Thinker with temporal trivia. Response to these invitations is what The Voice of the Silence refers to when it says: "Beware of change! For Change is the great foe. This change will fight thee off, and throw thee back, out of the Path thou treadest, deep into viscous swamps of doubt." The Path is eternally one. From its unchanging constancy personal distractions seek to lure the disciple from a steady, unchanging course of self-conquest. The SELF alone reverences the unchanging Pattern of the One Path. Only such unwavering reverence can bring to the life at least a fleeting sense of that Universal Harmony of genuine spiritual unfoldment inseparable from the ultimate meaning of Life in terms of Spiritual Command. He whose outlook would be worthy of life must be great of soul! [8]




In our initial article on this subject (Theosophia, Fall, 1973), most of the available information was compiled concerning H.P.B.'s whereabouts and activities in the year 1873.

With the opening of the year 1871, such information becomes even more scarce. No letters dating from that period are extant, and hardly a mention is made in the writings of any other individual who had known H.P.B. in those early days. The winter and spring months of 1874 seem to be a perfect blank as far as any available data are concerned. And so we are forced reluctantly to skip several months and find ourselves in early summer of 1874.

When H.P.B. lived for a time in Brooklyn, N. Y. with the French people who came to the United States when she did, she was induced to invest in two parcels of land at the East end of Long Island. One of these tracts was in the North part of Huntington, and the other in the neighborhood of the village of Northport, near Huntington, both in the Suffolk County, not far from Riverhead.

From the existing Court Records, it appears that this land had been purchased by a certain Clementine Gerebko, the deed of conveyance being dated June 2nd, 1873, prior to H.P.B.'s arrival in the U.S., July 7, 1873.

On June 15/27, 1873, H.P.B.'s father, Col. Peter Alexeyevich von Hahn, died at Stavropol' in the Caucasus, and sometime in the Fall of the same year H.P.B. received a sum of money as part of her inheritance. It is apparently that sum of money that H.P.B. was induced to invest in the above-mentioned land. On June 22nd, 1874, she entered into copartnership with Clementine Gerebko for the purpose of working the land and farm at Northport. The co-partnership was to commence on July 1, 1874, and continue for the period of three years. Clause 3 of the Articles states that Clementine Gerebko put the use of the farm into the co-partnership as offset against the sum of one thousand dollars paid by H.P.B., and Clause 4 states that "all proceeds for crops, poultry, produce, and other products raised on the said farm shall be divided equally, and all expenses" equally shared. The title of the land was reserved to Clementine Gerebko.* (* Cf. H. S. Olcott, Old Diary Leaves, Vol. 1, pp. 30-31.)

H.P.B. went to live on the farm, but very soon found herself in litigation with Clementine Gerebko as to the validity of the agreement of the defendant to execute a mortgage to the plaintiff, and returned to New York.

The law firm of Bergen, Jacobs and Ivins* (* William Mills Ivins (1851-1915) became a distinguished American lawyer later in life, though at that time only beginning his practice of law. During 1885-88, he was judge advocate general of New York state. A formidable courtroom opponent, he won a number of important law cases, and prepared a Charter for New York City, known as the Ivins Charter, which became a model for other city charters. In addition to law, he was deeply interested in botany, biology and general philosophy.) of Brooklyn, N.Y. represented H.P.B. Her case was tried by a jury on Monday, April 26, 1875, before Judge Calvin E. Pratt, in the Supreme Court of Suffolk County, at Riverhead. She won the suit and recovered the sum of $1146 and costs of the action. The [9] Judgment, dated June 1, 1875, was filed on June 15 in the Office of the Clerk of Suffolk County, N.Y.

From the recollections of William M. Ivins, Attorney at Law, who became a very good friend of H.P.B.'s, we learn some of the circumstances of this curious trial. He wrote:

"Long Island in those days was a long ways from Brooklyn, for traveling facilities were limited. The calendar of this particular term was very slow, and all the parties were kept there waiting their turn to be heard. As many of the documents and witnesses were French, and there was no interpreter to the court, William S. Fales, a student in the law firm of General Benjamin Tracy, was made special interpreter, and he reported H.P.B.'s testimony which was given in French. For two weeks the Judge, the lawyers, clerks, clients and interpreter were guests in a dull country hotel ...* (* Recorded by Mrs. Laura Holloway-Langford in a handwritten manuscript now unfortunately destroyed.)

Ivins, in addition to being a brilliant lawyer, was a bookworm with a phenomenal memory. More as a joke than in earnest, he deluged his client with Occultism, Gnosticism, Cabalism and white and black magic. Fales, taking his key from Ivins, gave long dissertations on mystical arithmetic, astrology, alchemy, mediaeval symbolism, Neo-Platonism, Rosicrucianism and quaternions. It is a great pity that none of this was apparently recorded.

Another sidelight on this interesting episode may be derived from a passage in a work of Charles R. Flint entitled Memories of an Active Life. He writes:

"The circumstances of the trial were interesting, for Madame, who was her own principal witness, testified quite contrary to the way in which her attorneys assumed she would testify. Ivins had associated with him in the trial Fales, who was then a law student. As cautious lawyers, they had gone over the testimony with Madame before the trial, and had advised her as to what points she should emphasize; but, to their great discomfiture, on the witness stand she took the bit in her teeth and galloped along lines of evidence quite opposed to their instructions, giving as a reason, when they complained of her testimony, that her 'familiar,' whom she called Tom [John] King, stood at her side (invisible to everyone but her), and prompted her in her testimony. After the court had taken the matter under advisement, Madame left the city, but wrote several letters to Ivins asking him as to the progress of the suit, and finally astonished him by a letter giving an outline of an opinion which she said the court would render in the course of a few days, in connection with a decision in her favor. In accordance with her prediction, the court handed down a decision sustaining her claim upon grounds similar to those which she had outlined ..."* (* Charles R. Flint, Memories of an Active Life. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1923. xviii, 349 pp. This excerpt is from Chapter IX entitled "A Society for Testing Human Credulity," pp. 115-32.) [10]


Eldon Bryant Tucker III

In the life of any man can be seen the working of the threefold process of the manifestation of consciousness: evolution, emanation and creation. In terms of the Reincarnating Ego: evolution is the experience, character and wisdom acquired over many lifetimes; emanation is the bringing forth into manifestation in the seven principles of facets of evolved faculties of the Reincarnating Ego; and the creative consciousness is the dynamic consciousness of the moment, that portion of man's seven principles he happens to be aware of at any passing moment.

To understand this threefold process requires a discussion of die Monadic nature of man. When reference is made in theosophical literature to the Monad, it is usually to the Spiritual Monad. There are actually many centers of consciousness within a man, and each is individual and unique.* (* See Chapter XV of The Mathematics of the Cosmic Mind by L. Gordon Plummer, for further discussion of the Monads.) Each Monad reflects within the man great cycles and sub-cycles of life without. No Monad is eternal, each exists only for one cycle of life on its level. The only thing that is eternal in the individual is the Stream of Consciousness, the continual flow of consciousness that focuses from time to time in various Monads within the individual.

It is important to remember that each Monad is but a temporary Ray or projection into manifestation on a lower plane of the Monad above it. Each Monad has its lifetime, after which that Ray of a higher Monad is withdrawn and dissolves. In terms of the Reincarnating Monad or Ego, the personality on earth is but one Ray, and lasts but 'one day' in the lifetime of the Reincarnating Monad. Each Monad's life is but 'one day' in the life of the Monad above it; and this reflects within the man what in the Cosmos is seen as the division of Space into planes, sub-planes and sub-sub-planes.

Evolution represents the continuous growth of a Monad in its lifetime. It comes through difficulties, suffering and limitations imposed by Nature. It involves the establishment of new rhythms, habits, or currents of life. Evolution is brought about by the inner drive and hunger for higher things, a hunger prompted by the Monad above. Evolution of a Monad is the bringing forth from within of utterly new faculties, and it also represents the emanation of the Monad above it. Considering the personality as a Monad or Monadic Ray of the Reincarnating Ego, its evolution or growth in its lifetime is the same thing as the emanation or bringing forth of that which is already evolved in the Reincarnating Ego.

Emanation is the cyclic manifestation of a Monad, the bringing out of evolved faculties in any 'day' in that Monad's life. The rapid scientific progress of mankind in the last century is one example of emanation; these things are not new, they are just coming forth again in this particular sub-race and culture. Emanation is the bringing forth of existing faculties of a Monad. Most of the time it is not complete, only certain portions of the [11] evolved being emanated. The Reincarnating Monad of most people will only bring forth certain facets of itself in the personality; it can presently display only a portion of itself in any personality.

It is important not to confuse emanation with evolution. Some people like to think that the apparent growth of mankind in recent years is evolution, and that we will proceed at that rate indefinitely. It is tempting to think that the rapid unfoldment of faculties acquired in other lives is really the evolution of those faculties; and that one can proceed at the same rate to evolve them further and further. It is tempting because it is so flattering to one, when he contrasts it with the progress of most people and peoples; but it will not happen. When a faculty is fully emanated, it no longer comes forth easily. One has come to the dark edge of the unknown, and one has not had the experience nor knowledge to know how to proceed. Slow, hard evolution then begins on that faculty, and this occurs only to the extent that one challenges life and boldly strikes out in new things.

Having come to full emanation, the faculties of most people seem to come to a dead stop in unfoldment. This is as most choose to drift with the general tide of evolution; they do not know of, nor wish to, hasten their evolution, to tread the Path. This is why so many people seem fixed in their ways. They have emanated some of their faculties to the extent these faculties have been evolved and settle down into a fixed pattern of life. There may be some faculties not emanated in that life; these produce the feeling of something missing, an interest and inner knowledge that one could go into something - perhaps art, music, mathematics or writing - that presently but remains in the background of their consciousness.

The degree of emanation of the Reincarnating Ego, the personality, varies with racial and individual Karman. In some surroundings - races, cultures, families and bodies - a personality can flower forth as a spiritual giant. In others it may be stunted in its growth, like a bush trying to grow up in a flowerpot: there simply is not enough room to be himself.

This is the principle of the Kali-Yuga: it can sometimes be easier to evolve in an area if much is unemanated in some other areas. In the Kali-Yuga or age of spiritual darkness, there is much limitation and resistance to the bringing forth of things spiritual. There is much more resistance and opposition to emanating one's spiritual nature in this age so that one can have an opportunity to exercise and develop his spiritual muscles. The inertia of matter is much more in this age, making much more effort required to set spiritual things in motion; but this increased inertia also gives much more power to the spiritual, once set in motion.

The creative consciousness is the consciousness of the moment, the dynamic here-and-now consciousness of the Monad one happens to be focused in. It represents the manifestation of the seven principles, including wisdom, feeling, memory and one's body. With the mind, for instance, Manas is the emanated consciousness, and what is going through one's mind at any moment is the creative consciousness.

As the emanated consciousness is [12] only a part of the total that has been evolved in a Monad, the creative consciousness is only a part of that emanated. The more advanced the individual is - the more a particular Monad is unfolded - the more of the evolved is emanated, and the more of the emanated, one is creatively conscious of at any moment. The goal of any Monad is to become fully evolved within its cycle, its manvantara, to reach its evolutionary archetype. The goal is to become fully evolved and to fully emanate it. And the goal is to be fully, creatively, conscious of this emanation.

At this point the Monad has reached perfection; and the Monad or Monadic Ray is withdrawn; there is a period of rest and withdrawal, and a new Ray issues forth from the higher Monad. And this general pattern is true of all Monads or centers of consciousness within our constitution from the Divine down through the personality and even physical body. The whole process of life is the bringing forth of light, truth and love from within. There is no fixed and eternal self in man! T here is change; there is growth; there is horizon after horizon of adventure in life; but the many selves we pass through are transitory, illusory, impermanent. The only eternal aspect to man is the Pillar of Light, the flow of his consciousness, his awareness that cyclically focuses in and manifests through different Monads or established centers of selfhood. Nothing in life is eternal but change.


Dara Eklund

A more enlightened view of the change called death stems from the idea that transfiguration must really begin in LIFE, as an alternative to "death," and not subsequent to it.

Do we in fact know when a form is even physically "dead"? In Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 480, H.P.B. wrote:

"Science regards man as an aggregation of atoms temporarily united by a mysterious force called the life-principle. To the materialist, the only difference between a living and a dead body is, that in the one case, that force is active, in the other latent. When it is extinct or entirely latent the molecules obey a superior attraction, which draws them asunder and scatters them through space.

"This dispersion must be death, if it is possible to conceive such a thing as death, where the very molecules of the dead body manifest an intense vital energy ... So long as any of them cling together, the centripetal vital force may overmatch the dispersive centrifugal action. Says Eliphas Levi: 'Change attests movement, and movement only reveals life. The corpse would not decompose if it were dead; and the molecules which compose it are living and struggle to separate. And would you think that the spirit frees itself first of all to exist no more? That thought and love can die when the grossest forms of matter do not die? If the change should be called death, we die and are born again every day, for every day our forms undergo change'." [13]

These passages provide an insight into the movement of consciousness amidst the forms it creates and recreates. The self within draws together the lives it is to transfigure as the karmic duty of a particular lifetime. It has a certain span to work with them in what appears a coherent form, before they are dispersed to the far reaches of the universe. Donald Hatch Andrews has beautifully explored this procedure in The Symphony of Life, when he shows that the atoms of the figure of Julius Caesar have reached the far corners of the globe and may even now be impressed by (or be impressing?) each one of us. Although Dr. Andrews may have materialized what is metaphysically portrayed in an article by H.P.B. on the "Transmigration of Life-Atoms" (Collected Writings, Vol. V, pp. 109-17.), he gives us pause to consider the uniqueness of that which holds each being together. For instance he asks the reader (p. 264 ff.) :

"What was Beethoven? A certain energy? A collection of atoms stored in a lock of his hair saved by some lost love? ... Or the soul-shaking grandeur of the Ninth Symphony that is engulfing the room and surging in your brain? Why is it that among all the thousands of composers of music since Beethoven's time, not one could write a tenth Beethoven symphony?"

Life is working on a grand scale to transcend the very forms it creates to work through. All that we do, to surmount the encased, the limited, the clinging or unworthy aspects of our lower, subhuman nature, uplifts the struggling lives to a higher vibration in their urge to become part of the ever-dwelling Eternal Man.

The man who is sitting around, waiting to die, feeling the uselessness of his life, is tempting death already. It is a process which begins early for some. A downcast youth, refusing to look at the bright side, remains transfixed by big resentment and negative thought patterns. Whatever becomes solidified in his mental or moral aspect cannot help but impress his physical body with degeneracy, waste and congestion. To revitalize his use of the world, a man must permit the rivers of life to flow freely through his thought arteries. When does a man begin to channel the rivers of Life into his makeup? Simply when be listens to the voice within - the ever-welling up restoration of the struggling individuality. Immersed in emotional currents, like Alice in Wonderland, we frantically splash around in the floods of our own tears, imagining magic cookies with which to redeem our proper size.

Self-redemption is really the continual renewal latent within. Permanent self-renewal is possible only when the Self envisioned is the Self of All. We may indeed be the sluice gates of a largely impersonal but loving circulation, vaguely sensed by the personal consciousness. An observer of nature, a "Life" scientist, understands that there is death in life. Rachel Carson wrote of a Monarch butterfly migration in a letter to a friend who knew she was dying of cancer:

"... it occurred to me this afternoon, remembering that it had been a happy spectacle, that we had felt no sadness when we spoke of the fact that there would be no return. And rightly - for any living thing that has come to the end of its cycle we accept the end as natural. For the Monarch butterfly, that cycle is measured in a [14] known span of months. For ourselves, the measure is something else, the span of which we cannot know. But the thought is the same: when that intangible cycle has run its course it is a natural and not unhappy thing that a life has come to its end.

"That is what those brightly fluttering bits of life taught me this morning ..."* (* Letter to Dorothy Freeman, dated Sept. 10, 1963, quoted on p. 345 of the July-August, 1972 issue of the Defenders of Wildlife News, Washington, D.C.)

Our own transfiguration allows us to see the personality in its true light - a bubble upon the stream of life. Whether it be life or death, whether the bubble breaks to reform in far more glorious colors downstream, let's be on to our true destiny, merging our currents into the One Transcendent Being whose breath we are!


Dr. Laurence J. Bendit

It may seem odd to suggest that to listen to others can be a creative action. Yet when we consider what can happen when once we have learned to listen (a difficult achievement), we shall see that to receive the ideas of other people can result in the evocation of something from ourselves: bring about the creation of something which is new, original, and in that sense on a par with any work of art. For true listening penetrates into ourselves to a level beyond the personal mind. If it is effective, it touches that in us which is latently omniscient in that it belongs, not to us as persons, but to ourselves as Essential Beings. (We may, if we wish, label this part as the higher mind, the Ego - with a capital - the Spirit, which is our real Self.) Listening depends on what can only be called by that tired word, "communication." Communication results when a field of energy - in this case, psychic or "astro-mental" - is formed between two or more people. In addition, usually, but not always, or completely, there is the use of physical words or objects. Speech is the commonest method of establishing or using the psychic field, but non-verbal objects such as works of art perform the same function. We have also to realize that in such a field much goes on below the surface of consciousness of most if not all of us: a collective "atmosphere" is built up; and, besides, our own individual unconsciousness is at work within that atmosphere, and usually involves the emotional reaction to what we are taking part in.

Group dynamics have been extensively studied by academic and scientific psychologists, and their conclusions bear out that if a group entity or field is established, there is a plus quantity added to the sum of the individuals present. This may be of a highly spiritual order. Or it may be an ugly, black force such as we felt in the great Nazi rallies of the "Thirties." But it can also be a well-meaning, if [15] emotional and hysterical thing such as famous evangelists are expert in their way, just as Goebbels was in his, in working up.

We, all of us, still, at our present human stage, are only partly conscious of ourselves, and a more or less great part of us functions behind the scenes in that region known, for obvious reasons, as the unconscious mind. Much of this is irrational: emotion and perhaps intuition (including in the latter unconscious "psychism" or ESP), while our thinking function, the 'lower' or discursive mind, functions through the limited field of our brain-consciousness and so into the physical world. So when we go to a group or lecture part of us is consciously aware of what is taking place, while a large part of us is active without knowing it. Thus lack of self-awareness presents us with a major handicap in our attempts to listen creatively. If we can see that of the two functions of this "lower" mind, intellect (not to be confused with the higher function of intelligence) is the one which sorts out, focuses, analyses, while feeling or emotion welds together, we have a key which can prove valuable to our work. For if we use - and are not used by - intellect, it is the first step toward discrimination and objectivity in listening. But we need to beware, not of feeling itself, but of unconscious feeling whether towards or against the group atmosphere if we are not to find ourselves caught, willy-nilly in that atmosphere.

Now we come to another important aspect of listening, that is, of communication between any number of people more than one. A group entity can come into being between two people as well as between thousands. If we think of a group as a place where psychic currents flow between the participants, an analogy with electrical phenomena shows us a clear picture of what takes place. This is, that where there is a higher voltage, or potential, the flow is from the more highly charged to the lower.

This means that in a true group there is a constant change of direction and strength of current, as one or another temporarily dominates the work. Each one in turn sets the flow going from himself to the others, then relapses into being receptive to those others. His role is then that of the listener, and in any valid group work, this change of role is what can make the listening as creative as speaking. It is by no means the one who says most who contributes most to the group: indeed, it is often the reverse, because the one who "holds the floor" (if he is allowed to) is often motivated from his unconscious levels and talks so that be cannot listen to others who might challenge his doubtfully stable ideas.

Here we have to make a distinction between what I will continue to call a group, meaning a psychic entity of a more or less temporary nature, and a lecture audience. For in the latter the pattern is different. In a group, all the participants are (still using the electrical analogy) equally potent. But when a lecturer faces an audience, he assumes the dominant role, while the audience is at a lower "voltage" and are receptors. The flow of energy is from speaker to listener, and it is here that factors come into play which it is well to study even superficially.

To begin with, the quality of the audience is important. It may consist [16] of people who go simply to fill in time they do not know how to use. There are others who go from force of habit, scuttling from one meeting to another because it is the done thing, to acquire 41 "'merit," to be "in the swim:" they are in no sense students. Others go because they think the lecturer is a great person who can teach them things they do not know. In any case, to get up and lecture almost invariably implies a certain degree of self-importance. A musical conductor once said to me that the very fact of his assuming the position on the podium cannot but say, "Listen to me: I have something to tell you. So be quiet and hear me." The lecturer is in the same situation - and, up to a point, needs to be.

Much will now depend on the personality of the speaker. One evidently believes that he is wiser and more knowledgeable than most. He is self-important at least to that extent. Some speakers, too, believe themselves to be spiritually exalted people, and the person who thinks a lot of himself is apt to influence others more or less unconsciously to accept him at his own valuation. Add to this technique, "gimmickry," and you have a setting in which the audience are invited to lose their mental integrity and to become carried by a herd atmosphere in which they do strange things.

In lectures the showmanship is usually minimal, though some lecturers learn their lectures, including their "spontaneous" hesitations, gestures, etc., as if they were theatrical parts: which, to the unaware, is sometimes highly effective. The result is that when the lecture is over, people are heard saying, "How wonderful," "How profound," without realizing that they had heard the same lecture delivered in the same way forty years before. If one adds to this a certain psychic temperament on the part of the speaker, a certain mediumistic power, in addition to the showmanship we have a further glamorizing effect. The audience, except those who are sufficiently aware to remain objective, are literally hypnotized by the speaker so that they lose themselves in a state of slight dissociation and their minds become fogged and unfocused: which can be a very comfortable feeling, similar to bathing in pleasantly warm water.

I have labored this point because, for listening to be creative, one has to learn to listen to any speaker, no matter how genuinely saintly, no matter how enlightened, with detachment of mind. Nobody can 'teach' you to become a theosophist in the real sense. You can only become one as you become educated from inside yourself. True, a speaker can convey to you not only what we call facts, but also something of what those facts mean to him in terms of experience and insight. But the true teacher educates you: he does not merely instruct. That is, he draws out from your mind what is there, he does not build in supposedly factual knowledge. He evokes as far as he can, what is latent in your mind - and we must remember that the "higher" mind is the universal mind, quite different front the limited "lower" mind which is our daily habitat. And when this higher aspect is operative, thinking becomes original, creative, and we become effective people, however humble our place in the community.