A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXXI
No. 3 (141) - Winter 1974-1975

[Cover photo: H.P. Blavatsky. On January 8, 1889, Enric Resta, well-know photographer at 4, Coburg Place, Bayswater, London, took six photographs of H.P.B. in closely similar poses. The original glass plates are in the Archives of the Blavatsky Lodge of The Theosophical Society in England. The photograph reproduced herewith is from one of these plates.]


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.




Will is the exclusive possession of man on this our plane of consciousness. It divides him from the brute in whom instinctive desire only is active.

Desire, in its widest application, is the one creative force in the Universe. In this sense it is indistinguishable from Will; but we men never know desire under this form while we remain only men. Therefore Will and Desire are here considered as opposed.

Thus Will is the offspring of die Divine, the God in man; Desire the power of the animal life.

Most men live in and by desire, mistaking it for will. But he who would achieve must separate will from desire, and make his will the ruler; for desire is unstable and ever changing, while will is steady and constant.

Both will and desire are absolute creators, forming the man himself and his surroundings. But will creates intelligently - desire blindly and unconsciously. The man, therefore, makes himself in the image of his desire, unless he creates himself in the likeness of the Divine, through his will, the child of the light.

His task is twofold: to awaken the will, to strengthen it by use and conquest, to make it absolute ruler within his body; and, parallel with this, to purify desire.

Knowledge and will are the tools for the accomplishment of this purification. - Unsigned, in Lucifer, London, Vol. I, October, 1887, p. 96. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

In January, 1975, the Theosophical Society enters upon its second century of existence. Encouraged by the many achievements of the last one hundred years, inspired by the widespread dissemination of the Ancient Wisdom, freighted, to be sure, with some unavoidable problems and the realization of grave mistakes committed in past years - the organized Theosophical Movement is ready to embark upon new spiritual adventures in an era of worldwide upheavals and unrest.

Disturbed as we may be by the many negative sides of the outer scene throughout the world, we must not overlook the tremendous effect which the Theosophical Society has had upon the thinking of intelligent people, in broadening their conceptions of life and introducing ideas which - incredible and almost meaningless in past centuries - are now becoming a matter of every day concern.

Other humanities possible on distant solar systems; magnetic currents and streams of solar particles filling what used to be looked upon as empty space; a world of psycho-spiritual energies and intangible substances existing pari passu with the world cognizable by our ordinary senses; an ever-receding antiquity of man upon this earth; unified mankind held by bonds of identical origin and destiny - as at least a realizable ideal; undeniable oneness of all that is, from the galaxy to the electron, from the standpoint of physical and energic interrelations. With these and similar ideas abroad, we may look forward to an even greater vindication of the ancient teachings which H. P. Blavatsky and the early pioneers working with her lived and suffered to proclaim.

The author of The Secret Doctrine exerted a powerful, inspiring and indeed wholly benevolent influence upon such people as: Alan O. Hume, the "Father" of the Indian National Congress; Mohandas Gandhi, Indian leader; Sir William Crookes, renowned chemist; Thomas Alva Edison, the inventive genius; Alfred Russel Wallace, the naturalist; Edwin Booth, the great actor; Sir Edwin Arnold and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the intuitive poets; Oscar Wilde, the renowned playwright; Madame Olga de Novikov, friend and adviser of Gladstone; Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee, well-known painters, and others.

The spiritual-intellectual Movement inaugurated in 1875 produced a number of remarkable personalities: Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, Dr. Annie Besant, William Quan Judge, Alfred Percy Sinnett, Charles Johnston, George William Russell (AE), George R. S. Mead, Katherine A. Tingley, Gottfried de Purucker, Talbot Mundy, Anagarika Dharmapala, Gen. Abner Doubleday, to mention but a few.

The immediate future of the organized Movement is bright with promise. If we keep the original teachings pure and clear, avoid the worship of personalities and secure the intelligent support of the younger generation the world over, our second century will eclipse the successes of the first.

Let us resolve to forge ahead undaunted! [4]


H.P. Blavatsky

[Originally published in Lucifer, Vol. II, May, 1888, pp. 173-181]

I oft have heard, but ne'er believed till now,
There are, who can by potent spells
Bend to their crooked purpose Nature's laws.

IN this month's "Correspondence" several letters testify to the strong impression produced on some minds by our last month's article "Practical Occultism." Such letters go far to prove and strengthen two logical conclusions.

(a) There are more well-educated and thoughtful men who believe in the existence of Occultism and Magic (the two differing vastly) than the modern materialist dreams of; and -

(b) That most of the believers (comprising many theosophists) have no definite idea of the nature of Occultism and confuse it with the Occult sciences in general, the "Black art" included.

Their representations of the powers it confers upon man, and of the means to be used to acquire them are as varied as they are fanciful. Some imagine that a master in the art, to show the way, is all that is needed to become a Zanoni. Others, that one has but to cross the Canal of Suez and go to India to bloom forth as a Roger Bacon or even a Count St. Germain. Many take for their ideal Margrave with his ever-renewing youth, and care little for the soul as the price paid for it. Not a few, mistaking "Witch-of-Endorism" pure and simple, for Occultism - "through the yawning Earth from Stygian gloom, call up the meagre ghost to walks of light," and want, on the strength of this feat, to be regarded as full blown Adepts. "Ceremonial Magic" according to the rules mockingly laid down by Eliphas Levi, is another imagined alter-ego of the philosophy of the Arhats of old. In short, the prisms through which Occultism appears, to those innocent of the philosophy, are as multi coloured and varied as human fancy can make them.

Will these candidates to Wisdom and Power feel very indignant if told the plain truth? It is not only useful, but it has now become necessary to disabuse most of them and before it is too late. This truth may be said in a few words: There are not in the West half-a dozen among the fervent hundreds who call themselves "Occultists," who have even an approximately correct idea of the nature of the Science they seek to master. With a few exceptions, they are all on the highway to Sorcery. Let them restore some order in the chaos that reigns in their minds, before they protest against this statement. Let them first learn the true relation in which the Occult Sciences stand to Occultism, and the difference between the two, and then feel wrathful if they still think themselves right. Meanwhile, let them learn that Occultism differs from Magic and other secret Sciences as the glorious sun does from a rush-light, as the immutable and immortal Spirit of Man reflection of the absolute, causeless and unknowable ALL - differs from the mortal clay - the human body. [5]

In our highly civilized West, where modern languages have been formed, and words coined, in the wake of ideas and thoughts - as happened with every tongue - the more the latter became materialized in the cold atmosphere of Western selfishness and its incessant chase after the goods of this world, the less was there any need felt for the production of new terms to express that which was tacitly regarded as absolute and exploded "superstition." Such words could answer only to ideas which a cultured man was scarcely supposed to harbour in his mind. "Magic," a synonym for jugglery; "Sorcery," an equivalent for crass ignorance; and "Occultism," the sorry relic of crack-brained, medieval Fire-philosophers, of the Jacob Boehme and the St. Martins, are expressions believed more than amply sufficient to cover the whole field of "thimble-rigging." They are terms of contempt, and used generally only in reference to the dross and residues of the dark ages and its preceding aeons of paganism. There fore have we no terms in the English tongue to define and shade the difference between such abnormal powers, or the sciences that lead to the acquisition of them, with the nicety possible in the Eastern languages - pre-eminently the Sanskrit. What do the words "miracle" and "enchantment" (words identical in meaning after all, as both express the idea of producing wonderful things by breaking the laws of nature (!!) as explained by the accepted authorities) convey to the minds of those who hear, or who pronounce them? A Christian - breaking "of the laws of nature," notwithstanding - while believing firmly in the miracles, because said to have been produced by God through Moses, will either scout the enchantments performed by Pharaoh's magicians, or attribute them to the devil. It is the latter whom our pious enemies connect with Occultism, while their impious foes, the infidels, laugh at Moses, Magicians, and Occultists, and would blush to give one serious thought to such "superstitions." This, because there is no term in existence to show the difference; no words to express the lights and shadows and draw the line of demarcation between the sublime and the true, the absurd and the ridiculous. The latter are the theological interpretations which teach the "breaking of the laws of Nature" by man, God, or devil; the former - the scientific "miracles" and enchantments of Moses and the Magicians in accordance with natural laws, both having been learned in all the Wisdom of the Sanctuaries, which were the "Royal Societies" of those days - and in true OCCULTISM. This last word is certainly misleading, translated as it stands from the compound word Gupta-Vidya, "Secret Knowledge." But the knowledge of what? Some of the Sanskrit terms may help us.

There are four (out of the many other) names of the various kinds of Esoteric Knowledge or Sciences given, even in the esoteric Puranas. There is (1) Yajna-Vidya, * (* "The Yajna," say the Brahmans, "exists from eternity, for it proceeded forth from the Supreme One whom it lay dormant from 'no beginning.' It is the key to TRAIVIDYA, the thrice sacred science contained in the Rig verses, which teaches the Yagus or sacrificial mysteries. 'The Yajna' exists as an invisible thing at all times; it is like the latent power of electricity in an electrifying machine, requiring only the operation of a suitable apparatus in order to be elicited. It is supposed to extend from the Ahavaniya or sacrificial fire to the heavens, forming a bridge or ladder by means of which the sacrificer can communicate with the world of gods and spirits, and even ascend when alive to their abodes." - Martin Hauge's Aitreya Brahmana. "This Yajna is again one of the forms of the Akasa; and the mystic word calling it into existence and pronounced mentally by the initiated Priest is the Lost Word receiving impulse through WILL-POWER." Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. xliv.) knowledge of the occult powers awakened in Nature by the [6] performance of certain religious ceremonies and rites. (2) Maha-vidya, the "great knowledge," the magic of the Kabalists and of the Tantrika worship, often Sorcery of the worst description. (3) Guhya-Vidya, knowledge of the mystic powers residing in Sound (Ether), hence in the Mantras (chanted prayers or incantations) and depending on the rhythm and melody used; in other words a magical performance based on Knowledge of the Forces of Nature and their correlation; and (4) ATMA-VIDYA, a term which is translated simply "knowledge of the Soul," true Wisdom by the Orientalists, but which means far more.

This last is the only kind of Occultism that any theosophist who admires Light on the Path, and who would be wise and unselfish, ought to strive after. All the rest is some branch of the "Occult Sciences," i.e., arts based on the knowledge of the ultimate essence of all things in the Kingdoms of Nature - such as minerals, plants and animals - hence of things pertaining to the realm of material nature, however invisible that essence may be, and howsoever much it has hitherto eluded the grasp of Science. Alchemy, Astrology, Occult Physiology, Chiromancy, exist in Nature and the exact Sciences - perhaps so called, because they are found in this age of paradoxical philosophies the reverse - have already discovered not a few of the secrets of the above arts. But clairvoyance, symbolized in India as the "Eye of Siva," called in Japan, "Infinite Vision," is not Hypnotism, the illegitimate son of Mesmerism, and is not to be acquired by such arts. All the others may be mastered and results obtained, whether good, bad or indifferent; but Atma-Vidya sets small value on them. It includes them all and may even use them occasionally, but it does so after purifying them of their dross, for beneficent purposes, and taking care to deprive them of every element of selfish motive. Let us explain: Any man or woman can set himself or herself to study one or all of the above specified "Occult Arts" without any great previous preparation, and even without adopting any too restraining mode of life. One could even dispense with any lofty standard of morality. In the last case, of course, ten to one the student would blossom into a very decent kind of sorcerer, and tumble down headlong into black magic. But what can this matter? The Voodoos and the Dugpas eat, drink and are merry over hecatombs of victims of their infernal arts. And so do the amiable gentlemen vivisectionists and the diploma-ed "Hypnotizers" of the Faculties of Medicine; tube only difference between the two classes being that the Voodoos and Dugpas are conscious, and the Charcot-Richet crew unconscious, Sorcerers. Thus, since both have to reap the fruits of their labours and achievements in the black art, the Western practitioners should not have the punishment and reputation without the profits and enjoyments they may get therefrom. For we [7] say it again, hypnotism and vivisection as practiced in such schools, are schools, are Sorcery pure and simple, minus a knowledge that the Voodoos and Dugpas enjoy, and which no Charcot-Richet can procure for himself in fifty years of hard study and experimental observation. Let then those who will dabble in magic, whether they understand its nature or not, but who find the rules imposed upon students too hard, and who, therefore lay Atma-Vidya or Occultism aside - go without it. Let them become magicians by all means, even though they do become Voodoos and Dugpas for the next ten incarnations.

But the interest of our readers will probably centre on those who are invincibly attracted towards the "Occult," yet who neither realise the true nature of what they aspire towards, nor have they become passion-proof, far less truly unselfish.

How about these unfortunates, we shall be asked, who are thus rent in twain by conflicting forces? For it has been said too often to need repetition, and the fact itself is patent to any observer, that when once the desire for Occultism has really awakened in a man's heart, there remains for him no hope of peace, no place of rest and comfort in all the world. He is driven out into the wild and desolate spaces of life by an ever-gnawing unrest he cannot quell. His heart is too full of passion and selfish desire to permit him to pass the Golden Gate; he cannot find rest or peace in ordinary life. Must he then inevitably fall into sorcery and black magic, and through many incarnations heap up for himself a terrible Karma? Is there no other road for him?

Indeed there is, we answer. Let him aspire to no higher than he feels able to accomplish. Let him not take a burden upon himself too heavy for him to carry. Without ever becoming a "Mahatma," a Buddha or a Great Saint, let him study the philosophy and the "Science of Soul," and he can become one of the modest benefactors of humanity, without any superhuman powers. Siddhis (or the Arhat powers) are only for those who are able to "lead the life," to comply with the terrible sacrifices required for such a training, and to comply with them to the very letter. Let them know at once and remember always, that true Occultism or Theosophy is the "Great Renunciation of SELF," unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action. It is ALTRUISM, and it throws him who practices it out of calculation of the ranks of the living altogether. "Not for himself, but for the world, he lives," as soon as he has pledged himself to the work. Much is forgiven during the first years of probation. But, no sooner is he "accepted" than his personality must disappear, and he has to become a mere beneficent force in Nature. There are two poles for him after that, two paths, and no midward place of rest. He has either to ascend laboriously, step by step, often through numerous incarnations and no Devachanic break, the golden ladder leading to Mahatmaship (the Arhat or Bodhisattva condition), or - he will let himself slide down the ladder at the first false step, and roll down into Dugpaship ... - [To be concluded] [8]


W. Emmett Small

The Lesser Mysteries

It is true that there are cyclic "moments in history" when the Mystery Schools are closed, times when they are open; but this is no arbitrary ruling of spiritual authority but because conditions, arising from within, demand it. Thus, for example, in the sixth century of our era by order of Justinian the last of the Mystery Schools was closed at Athens. Spiritual selfishness and degeneracy had been increasing and, reading the signs, it was "very likely due to the petition of the few remaining survivors of the Neo-Platonic stream of thought" that the Schools were formally closed. (See The Esoteric Tradition, I, 349; II, 620.) It was, we may say, in a true sense the will of Nature herself. The night of an incoming dark cycle had begun to fall upon the world.

Let us remember, however, that coupled with the Greater Mysteries were the Lesser, preliminary to them, wherein by suggestion of dramatic presentation, teaching about the Universe and Man was inculcated into the aspiring mind and heart of the beginner. So, too, in a more general sense, despite lowering clouds or even spiritual night - if we will but see - the lesser mysteries lie all around us. They are Nature herself. Nature, ever initiatory, ever lavish with signs and symbols, spreads these before us in dramatic form in splendid declaration that all outer form springs from something Inner. The Outer we see in lordly unrestraint; stars, suns, galaxies; ants, spiders, bees; beasts of the field; towering redwoods and tiniest frond or flower; and - man himself. But all are symbols representative of inner truth hid in the Invisible.

We cannot withdraw from Nature. Therefore we, too, are an inevitable part of its constant initiatory process of growth. Bewail not then the Greater Mysteries denied us. We have here ever before us the Lesser: first for challenge, then for capture of understanding. Nature is the greatest mystagogue. Long ago H.P.B. gave us the esoteric clue: Work with Nature, she said, and, in due time and according to the strict laws of Karma, Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.

"At Home"

How sad it is for people to go through years of suffering and loneliness - and thousands, millions do. We come into this world a stranger to our self and wander around as in a labyrinth. It is only when we begin to find our Self that we begin to adjust to the complex universe around us. It takes a long time to feel "at home." That is why, I think, our tender years are, especially for the sensitive, so difficult, often even so "miserable." We need the "Ariadne's thread" to guide us through this labyrinth into the "light." That thread is of twofold entwining, I think, composed of the "teachings" of Theosophy which are based on the actual laws of the universe, and of love and understanding and compassion from others near you. In tender years an understanding mother, a loving friend, can change the whole quality of life from [9] uncertainty and even fearfulness to growing assurance and joy. But when youngsters - and in a certain sense we are all relative youngsters through most of our lives - receive cruel treatment (and there are all kinds and types of it), then life can indeed be a veritable hell. Of course, as you say, there is Karma, and for the real ego, the never-dying soul, what is "appropriate" will come. If only we can learn to "welcome" it, as W. Q. Judge said, as what we, the eternal being, really need and even desire, then we learn more readily, adjust more wisely to, the labyrinth-universe around us. But with the basic teachings of Theosophy and with understanding love - which now we ask not for ourselves but seek only to give to others - we may look with growing mastery on the world around us. We begin to feel "at Home."

The Mystic

You bemoan the fact that today's rush and roar holds no place for the mystic. But the mystic is one who goes to the heart of the hurricane's eye and is calm, yet is not blind to the storm around him. In Theosophical history William Q. Judge was an example of this. He radiated an atmosphere of calm strength in the midst of global upheaval in the Society's ranks and personal persecution of himself. He was never vindictive, never retaliated. His was ever the appeal to the larger view, the broadening perspective. He called to the magnanimity in each of us usually fettered from active expression. He knew how to help, how to encourage the veriest beginner on the mystic Path. From the example of his life we can all learn. Perhaps the Irish in him helped - plus other factors and qualities which you may get to know of. Were he here today I think he would tell you not to lament today's difficulties, but to seize them as royal opportunities for which the mystic within you is ready.

And speaking of mystics - and, of course, they are of varying types - let me tell you of one who was not so long ago in our midst, Ella Young, Irish and a friend of AE, but spending her last years in our own California, first as Phelan Lecturer on Celtic Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, then retired to her quiet home in Oceano. I have in her handwriting what I consider her best poem, which she copied for me and sent me some twenty-four years ago. In only nine lines it gives lovely expression to a deep and mystic paradox. It is titled:


The Rose that blooms in Paradise
Burns with an ecstasy too white
For mortal eyes.
But sometimes down the jasper walls
A petal falls
Toward earth and night;
To lose it is to lose delight
Beyond compare:
To have it is to have despair.

In her letter she said: "My poem was published in 1920 in a book of verse of mine The Rose of Heaven where it forms part of the pattern of the book. It was republished in Maryihan, my book of poems, in 1938. Maryihan is in many libraries on the West Coast. The Rose of Heaven is extremely rare. A copy is in the Huntington Library, and one in The Stanford Albert Gender [10] Room, also one in the Ella Young Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C."

In another letter, her last to me (December 16, 1950), Ella Young wrote: "I have copied a poem by Rossetti, and am sending you a sonnet of my own on the same subject." And she closes: "This brings to you and your wife many good wishes, wishes for work and wisdom and happiness. Yours, Ella Young." The sonnet reads:


Was your home Babylon, or Troas, or Tyre,
Delicate face with subtly smiling lips?
What bane you looked on: Greek marauding ships;
Troy Town desolate tarnished with fire;
Or are you sorrowful for dome and spire
Of Ys the Beautiful, no sea-wave strips
So deeply drowned it is? Your image slips
From dream to dream of colour and desire.
In some life we were comrades, some far place
Some wind remembers where our ashes are
That centuries have wasted. And through grace
Of such remembrance, you, proud shadow, rise
Splendidly pale, like the white Morning Star
Companionless in wide dawn-plundered skies.

I do not ask forgiveness for sending you these lines. Youth, I know, is the time for poetry, but advancing age is also a good time to recall it - real Poetry.


Vonda Urban

Humanity is one vast mosaic of people problems. The conflicts between nations and races only magnify in world events the same human-relation struggles that confront us all on a one-to-one basis in our individual lives. Looking at it from the viewpoint that our human Life-Wave as a whole is just a hairline beyond the rock-bottom, half-way point in evolution, we are by this analysis only a little better than half-human. Add to this that we are just past the midpoint in the development of the Kamic (desire) principle in our septenary constitution, and we can readily see why the focus of our consciousness is anchored so strongly in animal propensities, the emotional-material part of us.

But there is also the Divinity within the core of the core of our being, shining through and guiding us, albeit feebly. We are lifted upward toward our higher self at those times when our consciousness is functioning in noble thoughts and deeds, expressing the reasoning, compassionate, spiritual part of us.

It is no wonder then, at this stage of our evolutionary progress, that we are human yo-yos, pulled upward and downward between the better and the least in us. We will continue this schizophrenic seesaw between [11] emotionalism and reason until we begin to understand ourselves and deliberately choose to identify with our higher nature by controlling our actions, learning to understand our fellow man and serving selflessly whoever crosses our path - including those we may judge unworthy.

The recognition of this duality in our consciousness helps us to see that human strife is the battleground of our animal nature; the emotional arena where we react to one another on the level of our lower self, in terms of prejudice, passion and selfishness, instead of understanding one another on a higher level of reasoning together in terms of kindness, co-operation and good will.

If we search for answers and solutions to our polarity problems, we must look within ourselves, for no one can dispute the fact that most of our troubles in human relationships arise from the feeling that we are either misunderstood or abused. Our people problems may be great or small; they may predominate in our private life or plague our business, professional or social worlds; but if we really probe beneath the surface of our dissensions and struggles with others - whether as a nation, a race or an individual - we will discover that, most likely, it is our own misunderstanding of the opponent, and consequently our negative attitude towards him, that lies at the root of our problem. The question is, can we accept this?

Whoever we are, whatever we do, our individual pathways merge with others, for long or short, in harmony or discord, as we meet in the vast sphere of human experience, touching again the old relationships of friends and foes and loved ones. Our judgment and reason are often blinded by the emotional responses that we feel towards these old ties. A new round of Karmic necessity has merely re-cycled their preconditioned polarities, which resume where they left off; so when an old association of animosity returns, it is flexed for a new encounter that will go on reacting with the same old selfishness and inharmony, until finally the anguish of suffering teaches a better way; unless we deliberately lift ourselves above the level of our emotions, by cultivating tolerance and understanding in dealing with others.

For understanding is the common ground of our humanity. It is our meeting place with one another where we exchange the uniqueness of our individual creativity in harmony and mutual helpfulness, recognizing the underlying sameness that we share in common. It is the language of the soul that speaks in warm compassion; the tenderness and sympathy we feel for human loneliness and suffering. It is the smile of recognition in our gaze to strangers; but most of all, it is the human touch that, understanding all, forgives.

To grow in understanding, we must exercise it and nourish it; exercise it with analysis and impartial judgement; nourish it with justice and impersonal love. As we grow in our capacity to understand others, so do we grow in self-understanding. This same correlation holds true between our self-esteem and the consideration that we show for our fellow man. If we love people, we are generally at peace within ourselves; but if we are misanthropes, disliking others - this only points out that we really dislike our self, and a gut-level analysis of our inner nature would [12] probably show an emphasis on SELF-ishness, which is, of course, the root of all our problems and misery.

Understanding the meaning of brotherhood leads us to the path of selflessness where our concern is to serve others and help them upward. Here, no one is an enemy or a stranger, which means that we have stepped above hatred and prejudice, those negative qualities that thrive on separateness and ignorance. This does not mean, however, that we must fraternize in a personal sense where we do not feel a kinship; but it does mean - and emphatically so - that we treat everyone with the same even-handed justice and kindness, the same measure of it, whether for someone we may not know or personally care about, or for our dearest friend. This is the impersonal love that encompasses the total human family and all that lives, excluding no one from its warm embrace that reaches a universal dimension. The very basis of impersonal love is understanding, that looks upon our human variations as tendrils of a single plant, which even now is slowly beginning to unfold the splendor of its future blossoming, as we strive upward to our higher self. William Q. Judge said it all with simple eloquence: "Cast no one out of your heart."


Dara Eklund

To work in the city is to expose oneself to the pain-filled destinies and karmic sorrows of countless men. If one is the product of a happy home, where want was seldom known, he is instantly moved with unsettling sympathies. Pity alone cannot uplift the nefarious conditions. True food must be sought to remedy or at least to alleviate the misery. That pain is found to be the outgrowth of a gnawing emptiness, not of the body at all, though its misfortunes mirror the neglect within.

The emptiness we must fill stems from the evident need for purpose and philosophy, a dedication to some ideal which will make life itself a joy, rather than the baneful endurance it is for most persons past thirty and for some even younger.

What philosophy can we give our fellow-men? Not high sounding doctrines or even a system of ethics at first. The first compassionate gesture, the first "outreach program" (if we adopt the common vernacular) is to express from the Heart a vital fact of Nature: WE ARE NOT ALONE.

Let men look at the workings of nature: how rain affects the stone and sunshine the weeds and flowers. Let men see how the gutter clears away the sludge man has created and how humanity can laugh away the polluted thoughts and desires when kindness is again installed at the street corners.

At one such corner recently a passer-by said to a parking-lot attendant, "Have a nice day, if there is such a thing." What a message to render in so many directions! Why not "nice" rather than otherwise? Who makes the "day" anyway? Remember those stirring words H.P.B. wrote in 1888:

"Thoreau pointed out that there are artists in life, persons who can [13] change the colour of a day and make it beautiful to those with whom they come in contact. We claim that there are adepts, masters in life who make it divine, as in all other arts. Is it not the greatest art of all, this which affects the very atmosphere in which we live? That it is the most important is seen at once, when we remember that every person who draws the breath of life affects the mental and moral atmosphere of the world, and helps to colour the day for those about him. Those who do not help to elevate the thoughts and lives of others must of necessity either paralyze them by indifference, or actively drag them down. (Lucifer, Vol. 1, No. 5, Jan., 1888, pp. 337-8; Collected Writings, Vol. IX, p. 3.)

Before this art of coloring the day can be extended to others, we must first recognize that each man makes his own pattern. That is one "walk-out" we cannot stage, one "cop-out" we may not commit. The effects flowing from past action keep on flowing until they are met with a new inner condition. The omniscient perceiver in each one must stir us to strike out on our own, regardless of our burdens. The idea that we can burst through the crusty molds of thinking is a sign that we are already beginning to change the pattern of our mental diet. The sweet refreshment of hope and responsibilities gladly undertaken may not immediately turn us to feast from famine, yet life begins to throb with meaning.

A lady who had undergone shock treatment in a mental institution told me that the idea of reincarnation which she had only recently encountered was her only hope. The treatments had wiped out her memories, her capacity to learn or retain anything new. But since she could have lasting hope of a new try she knew she could now make it, even if she were forced to live on welfare the rest of her life.

To a certain extent we are all on "Welfare." All share a dependency on each other. But those who understand the evolutionary destiny of men may at once start living in Welfare, instead of upon it. Let men at last place the welfare of fellow beings as the highest destiny each can possess. That is to become a silent watcher among the city lights and be inflamed by the same spirit of that "Great Sacrifice," which culminates in the "Silent Watcher" of our planetary system. Even in "No Man's Land" can Man find a destiny.




Early in January, 1875, Col. Henry S. Olcott joined H.P.B. in Philadelphia, where he formed a Committee for the continued investigation of genuine mediumship. Some of the results of this research were embodied by H.P.B. in her article on "The Philadelphia Fiasco" which was published in the Boston Banner of Light on January 30th (Cf. Collected Writings, Vol. I.) and aroused considerable controversy.

During her stay in Philadelphia, H.P.B. met with some sort of accident and injured her leg; she suffered for a fairly long time from the effects of this injury.

At this time, writing to her friend, Professor Hiram Corson (letter [14] post-marked February 16th), H.P.B. made the following important statement:

"I am here, in this country sent by my Lodge, on behalf of Truth in modern Spiritualism, and it is my most sacred duty to unveil what is, and expose what is not. Perhaps, did I arrive here 100 years too soon ..."

In the beginning of March, 1875, Col. Olcott's book - entitled People from the Other World was published at Hartford, Conn., by the American Publishing Company. Illustrated by Alfred Kappes and T. W. Williams, it related his experiences with the mediums of the day, especially with the Eddy Brothers. It contains the account of his meeting H.P.B. in the Farmhouse at Chittenden, Vermont. The book is based on Col. Olcott's articles written for the New York Daily Graphic, and there is evidence that H.P.B. translated these articles into Russian at the time of their first appearance; their whereabouts, however, are unknown.

To this period belongs also the very strange set of circumstances surrounding H.P.B.'s marriage to Michael C. Betanelly who had an Import and Export business in Philadelphia. The date of this event was April 3rd, 1875, and it took place in the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, at Chestnut and van Pelt Streets, the Pastor being Rev. Wm. H. Furness. From the account of this marriage given by Col. Olcott in his Old Diary Leaves (Vol. I, pp. 55-57.), it would appear that H.P.B. was then under some sort of Karmic effects which she could not easily escape; her personal life was in some way or other temporarily linked with that of Betanelly; after a very short association, H.P.B. left him and he sued for divorce on the ground of desertion. The summonses were served upon her in New York, William Quan Judge acting as her counsel, and the divorce was granted on May 25th, 1878, a rather late date considering the circumstances involved.

Reviewing the events of that time, it becomes fairly clear that the personal lives of occultists cannot be judged by ordinary standards; neither the first nor the second marriage of H.P.B. can be explained by comparison with other people's lives. It is easy to speculate on this and similar subjects, but the truth of it is that we do not know the Karmic drives, the personal tests, and the other subtle forces at work, while observing, as we certainly can, the mere outward circumstances.

Such was the beginning of the year 1875, which was destined to become at a later date of momentous importance.


What of the darkness? What of the light? They are one to those who see. How plain these matters are in higher moments, how drearily obscure at other times. This will show you the value of higher moments, perhaps, and what those always living in them enjoy.

Be what you love. Strive after what you find beautiful and high, and let the rest go. Harmony, sacrifice, devotion, take these for keynotes, express them everywhere and in the highest possible way. The beauty of a life like that, the power of it, who can measure or set bounds to? - Attributed to William Quan Judge. [15]


Montague A. Machell

The "Self-Knowledge" which Theosophy advocates can become an agent of titanic potency in what is known as "helping humanity." The most immediate approach to such power is in a clear, deeply-rooted realization of the oneness of all humanity, which alone can prevent "help" becoming "interference" in the lives of our fellows. The successful spread of a spiritual point of view must resemble an epidemic infection rather then a numerically impressive conversion. He who deeply enough is "infected" with spiritual sanity must become a "carrier" from whom that divine infection becomes inescapable. I have no right, and am, actually, powerless, to rearrange another's life. The most I can achieve is to become a "carrier" of a divine infection among a multitude of fellow human beings possessed of a spiritual origin and potentially identical with my own. I, myself, am the one individual with whose life I am at liberty to tamper, and through which I have power to contact and renew in myself the ONE LIFE.

It follows, then, that the essence of the Theosophic life consists in being, every moment of the day and night, a Keeper of the Light. There are absolutely no limits to the lengths I may go, in feeding the Flame and polishing the lens of the Lamp of Truth. My life is my own - all of it - to cherish, nurture, purify and illumine it to a point at which it has power to kindle a flame in other lives. In that endeavor an important safety precaution is "hands off" the lives of others, an attitude encouraged by complete surrender to the ONE LIFE - my sole source of illumination and inspiration. The approaches and demands I make on the ONE LIFE can be infinite, measured solely by my comprehension of its "boundless abundant supply." The possible attainments of a devotee completely dedicated to it are of unearthly proportions - to the degree that they escape the web of personal calculation. The dedicated "helper of humanity" takes his orders from the INFINITE: merit or reward concern him not at all. One does not maintain a Statement of Accounts with the INFINITE!

Service to humanity in this sense, is measured in terms of self-directed evolution; humanity's advancement is measured in terms of the gradual evolution of its only devotee over whom I have any right to exercise control - this SELF. But no single incarnation or series of incarnations will ever exhaust the possibilities of expanding SELF-KNOWLEDGE in me. Wherefore, as regards helping humanity through ever-increasing personal conquest, "the sky's the limit"!

The eternal glory of the Lamp of Truth call never be caught or contained in a creed or formula. Being an expanding glory, it is not the same two days in succession. The "Truth" I accept today is but the faint outline of the greater Truth I must prepare to accept tomorrow. Day by day, I am either growing or decaying. My death-words are "I have it!" So long as there is life in me my slogan for growth must be, "I am seeking it!" In such a quest the light of the moment has but [16] one purpose - to reveal more light ahead. Nor can I ever make it "my own." All growth must spell increasing surrender to the Light ahead. A good fighting slogan might be found in Kenneth Morris's immortal lines:

"I have lighted a beacon without;
I have lighted a fire for the Sun.
I have remembered my servant the Sun.
I have arisen and sat on my throne!
I AM MEMNON, that calleth upon the dawn."

"That calleth upon the dawn" words with which the poet reminds us that Keeping the Light is a positively heroic gesture. Growth demands more than submission; it spells positive championing of LIGHT, of "remembering my servant the Sun." Rewarding living is not a sort of celestial pantomime a "take-off" on what might have been - but an ever more credible revelation of that Shining Reality that man is.

The world has need of more of this proud Morrisonian exultation to counteract so much earthly groveling:

"No more am I moved or shaken,
I the eternally strong; I whose will is the world,
I whose thoughts are the stars;
I whose servant, the Sun."

The Theosophic life, daringly lived - a conquest of the Infinite Self of man - is the embodiment of these celestial affirmations. We must have frequent re-course to them.

"The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers."

A Keeper of the Light can not allow Truth's flame to flicker. Radiance is his reason for being, his justification for spreading his divine infection of Spiritual Awareness. Music, art, poetry - all of these are his celestial kindling for the Flame. Fanned into glowing glory, they impart an escaping splendor to human life, a splendor that bemused humanity has need of. If he would serve humanity, he must tend the fire zealously, helping Universal Truth to achieve Universal Healing in a "civilized" society given over too often to the barbarities of Ignorance.

COMPASSION for a society in travail impels every sincere lover of mankind to use the lever of an Awakened Self wherewith to stir a celestial flame of the Spirit into life. To become aware of the ONE LIFE, is to find oneself compelled to embody it until Spirit Triumphant shall become the torch of an awakened humanity, with daring to kindle Heavenly Flames on this smoke-shrouded earth.


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