A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXXII
No. 3 (145) - Winter 1975-1976

[Cover photo: Spiral Nebula in Canes Venatici (G 12, N.G.C. 4736).
Mount Wilson Observatory, Feb. 20, 1912, 60-inch Reflector.]

"... The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically
'the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing ...
like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux'."
H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I., pp. 16-17.


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.



"As a result of the impetus given in the last century, when Theosophy entered the public arena of human endeavour, we today are heirs of an immortal tradition, legatees and stewards of a wisdom-religion, universal ideas whose comprehension is always in terms of a life committed to their realization. The task laid out by those through whom the impulse came a century ago is unfinished: '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.' Perhaps the impetus needed today, perhaps the only impetus that can come, is the self-devised and self-directed impulse that must come from within the heart of each true aspirant, each genuine seeker and explorer on the domain of Truth, to get on with the work as best he may, true to the legacy of the past, true to the dharma of the future, working today to transform the present." - Joy Mills, The Theosophist, October-November, 1975, p. 105. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

The Theosophical Society has now entered into the Second Century of its existence. Against the background of the first hundred years of its activity, and considering the present-day opportunities, it is reasonable to assume that the next hundred years will bring about some remarkable achievements of lasting value for mankind, as a result of its world-wide growth.

Now that secure foundations for the Theosophical Movement have been laid and that the philosophy of the Ancient Wisdom has become a recognized factor in many thought-currents of today's world, it is of paramount importance for us all to steer a safe and sound course in the midst of innumerable reefs and sand-bars which the Movement has to be aware of.

The Movement is called upon to remain true to the original message of its Founders and of those far greater individuals who stood behind them and inspired their work. In order to remain true to that message, the latter has to be studied and understood by every student who intends to become a vital force in the Movement. Avoiding dogmatism, intolerance and sectarianism, we have to become well grounded in the principles and precepts of the Esoteric Philosophy, and to realize its universality throughout the ages.

In order to achieve this deeper understanding of the original teachings, it is of extreme importance for the organized Movement to avoid any and all psychic deviations, with their false promises and emotional confusions. The present century is overloaded with these, and the chances of confusing various sidelines of uncontrolled psychism with the original teachings of the Ancient Wisdom are very great. Therefore caution has to be exercised and discrimination, lest the loud pronouncements of psychic visionaries be mistaken for the ageless wisdom of genuine occult schools.

A sense of living brotherhood, of unity, mutuality, fraternity and sincere friendliness should at all times be the "climate" prevailing between the various factions and branches of the overall Theosophical Movement, as was so prominently displayed during the recently held World Centennial Congress of the Theosophical Society at New York, where all students, irrespective of their affiliations, or of none, mingled together as fellow-students and workers, embodying on practical lines the paramount Object of the Movement, namely the building of a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood. This attitude, if continued and preserved, will in time soften even those stony hearts who in some parts of the world still remain aloof in the prison house of their stubborn exclusiveness.

We must also strive with all the power at our command to continue to produce adequate translations of the original texts into languages in which there is hardly any Theosophical literature available, languages which nevertheless are spoken by untold millions of people. We must expand this effort and bring into our family of students other aspiring souls to whom Theosophy is not easily accessible because of a natural language barrier.

The need is great along many lines of work. Let us go and meet it! [4]



On this very special occasion in the history of The Theosophical Society, I should like to offer to all who are attending the Centenary World Congress a very warm and sincere welcome. It will be an occasion when members and friends from widely separated parts of the world can meet and enjoy the stimulus and enthusiasm that such meetings bring. It will be equally an occasion for deep searching within ourselves, an assessment of our own individual commitment to the Great Cause which it is our mission to serve. We are still far from perfect; we may not have fulfilled all the original aims or achieved that success in the field of Universal Brotherhood that we all hope will one day be brought about, but we have, over these past hundred years, accomplished a great deal. Thousands have dedicated themselves to the ideal of Brotherhood with a full measure of loyalty to those Elder Brothers through whose inspiration the Society was founded. To those original pioneers - among whom H.P. Blavatsky, H. S. Olcott, and W. Q. Judge are the best known for their tremendous efforts in expanding both the form of the Society and the teaching it was intended to convey to the world - we owe a debt that can never be fully repaid, for it is virtually unpayable, except perhaps through our own like consecration to the needs of the work as it continues into the next century of the Society's existence. It will be upon the high priority that we individually give to Theosophy and the diligence with which we give our strength to make available to men and women everywhere all that Theosophy has to offer, that the future success of the Movement depends. I trust that this Congress will go far to heal some of the misunderstandings that have existed for far too long between the many Theosophists who, each in his or her own way, are conscientiously serving the great ideal. We should, as men and women of sound common sense and good will, help that "poor orphan Humanity" which is so vastly more important than ourselves. With a sense of purpose that is unswerving, an increasing wisdom to guide all our plans, and a renewed dedication to carry such plans into fruitful action, let us go forward into the century ahead worthy of the great mission delivered into the hands of H.P.B. and her helpers so many years ago and now given into ours - yours and mine - for the service of the world.

- John B.S. Coats
The Theosophical Society [5]


Eldon B. Tucker III

Enlightenment. A strange word. Difficult to describe, yet any student of the Occult has some idea of it, or at least thinks he does. Some call it Christ Consciousness; others may call it Oneness with the Buddha Nature. By whatever name, it is an experience in life beyond the descriptive power of mere words, even be they Sanskrit. To really understand Enlightenment is to realize it, a simultaneous experience. And though it is profoundly simple to achieve this state of consciousness, many earnest seekers find it an impossible task.

Paradoxically, it is both the most simple thing in life to reach, yet remains utterly beyond the grasp of many who sincerely seek it. For it is not a content or state of consciousness subject to the dominion of the Reincarnating or Human Ego. From the standpoint of the Human Ego, it is an irrational, transcendental experience of the deepest and most impersonal area of his unconscious. But while it is an unconscious experience in terms of the Human Ego, it is not so to the individual. To the individual, it is an experience of almost stunning freedom and facility; his consciousness is radiant, luminous, and overflowing with a tremendous creative power.

This experience cannot be called self-conscious from our point of view, from the point of view of the human personality. It is, though, highly self-conscious, but the self one is conscious of is the Higher Self or Manasaputra. When one's consciousness is focused in the Manasaputra, it is the Human Ego that sinks into the unconscious. And the Manasaputric Selfhood is in the unconscious when one is centered in the personality.

In the individual several complexes or centers of consciousness exist, called Monads in theosophical literature. The Self, Atman, embraces them all, though but one can emerge to self-consciousness at any one time. The others sink into unconsciousness when the individual's focus of attention leaves them, but still exert a compensatory influence upon the one that has surfaced. For all the Monads in the human constitution are intimately interrelated; and they all reflect in some degree the individual's unique Selfhood, his Swabhava.

This is why those whose sole interest centers in their Nirvana are really miserable and cannot truly enjoy the real depths of that Nirvana. They have the illusion of having escaped the suffering involved in the evolution of the Human Ego or Monad, an evolution that the human kingdom is stressing at this time and place. But to repress the required - and as yet unfinished - evolution of the Human or Reincarnating Ego by forcing one's full attention upon Buddhi or the Spiritual (Nirvana from the standpoint of the personality) can only cause problems and delay one's long-run evolution. One should by all means seek to awaken the spiritual side of his nature! But not to the extent of becoming engulfed in it and losing sight of the plight of humanity.

The ideal is the Path of the Bodhisattva, the attainment of the Buddhic [6] or Nirvanic Consciousness and its renunciation to serve humanity. The Path of the Pratyeka-Buddha, on the other hand, is an escape into Nirvana from the pressure and tension of human evolution, a prolonged self-enforced focusing of the consciousness in any ego or Monad in one's constitution, except the one emphasized by the collective evolution of humanity at this time. Thus, it is possible to have a Nirvana of horror and darkness as readily as one of luminous, brilliant freedom; one can as easily identify with, and center himself in, an ego lower than the one in the focus of evolution of the human kingdom, as in a higher ego.

The individual, though, is not separate from humanity; each person is an integral part of the human family and cannot be separated from it for long without causing harm to both himself and humanity. Humanity suffers from the loss of his contributions. And he suffers from a lack of contact with humanity; his consciousness becomes dull and sleepy as the impact of the collective consciousness of humanity, the Archetype molding the human experience, is no longer felt. Prolonged separation from participation in the collective can eventually lead to an alienation with the human life wave and the necessity to begin human evolution anew in the next Planetary Manvantara (Planetary Chain).

The Path of the Pratyeka-Buddha can be compared to the Left-Hand Path in the fact that both represent an escape from the contemporary human evolutionary experiences, a withdrawal from the university of life. But while the Pratyeka-Buddha has withdrawn or escaped to a more rich or complete individual experience unrelated to the current curricula, the Buddha of the Shadow (Mamo Chohan) has gone to a black, shadowy experience that is painfully real in a restricted, material sense - again a totally individual, lonely experience unrelated to humanity. In either case, the repressed Human Ego brings about a compensatory reaction, in acting from the individual's, unconsciousness, making the experience in the higher or lower ego grow painfully banal and empty in meaning and creativity.

It is another thing, though, for the Buddha of Compassion. He is conscious in his Manasaputra from time to time, but only to renew himself and bring back more and more of the higher life into his Human Ego. And most of the time he is conscious in the human frame of reference, seeking to aid the spiritual needs of suffering humanity. In his case he has total inner harmony, he is not at odds with himself. His various centers of consciousness complement one another, instead of acting to compensate one another. He has established a continuity of consciousness within; all his centers of consciousness act with one accord; his conscious and unconscious are at peace.

From our standpoint, these seem to be experiences beyond our ken; they seem to await us, but off at the far horizon of time, almost unreal as yet. Yet there come glimpses of a higher consciousness, and ominous shadows of equally-possible experience of the dark side of nature. The human consciousness that we experience, though, is the very same as that had by a Brother of the Shadow, a Mahatman, a materialist, a church-going conformist. The [7] human consciousness is the same, but for the conventional person it is alone, in the dark. In the Mahatman, though, it is lit up and enflamed with the light of the Manasaputric presence, from our standpoint an unconscious influence. And in the Brother of the Shadow is the unconscious presence of a horror so unspeakable that some theosophical writers purposely choose not to deal with the subject at all. But as the pressure of evolution is upwards, towards loftier realms of the spirit, the darker side of things need not threaten any of us, unless for some unhappy reason we have embarked upon a course of study and living leading downwards.

For the present, at least, being without distinct experiences of the Higher Self (only having had occasional glimpses), the surest key to obtain some understanding of the higher consciousness, of a state of Enlightenment, is the key of analogy. And the insights gained in using analogy can be tremendous, as long as one stays conscious that one is using analogy. It is all too easy to forget one is using analogy to simulate an understanding or experience, and imagine that one has achieved the real thing. The resulting delusions of wisdom and spiritual grandeur can be harmful to both oneself and those around one. As long as one can use analogy as a tool, and not be used by it, astonishing insights can be gained.

The state of Enlightenment has at times been described as an explosion of awareness, as the old limitations in consciousness drop away and a new horizon in life looms before one. It has also been described at times as a slow and gradual growth that eventually approaches some summit of consciousness. Both are true, but each describes a different aspect of the evolutionary drama. The first, the explosion of consciousness, refers to a sudden shift of the focus of consciousness to the Manasaputric Complex or Center. For this to occur, takes a certain lofty degree of evolution of the Human Ego - but does not require its perfect evolution.

This ability to shift the focus of consciousness from the Human Ego to the Manasaputra is not a self-conscious facility of the Human or Reincarnating Ego. As the relation between the Human Ego and the Manasaputra develops, though, the Human Ego eventually reaches the point where it can trigger the (to him) unconscious process of the transference. And this ability is, in effect, the ability to enter Nirvana at will. And so the choice of returning as a Bodhisattva or remaining in Nirvana becomes a very real one. But even after this point, there is considerable room for the evolution of the Human Ego. A tremendous evolutionary challenge is found in using the human self to bring to humanity an echo of the brilliance of the Buddhic Realm, to act as a living bridge across the vast gulf between the truly spiritual and mundane human life.

Each sincere student of the Esoteric Philosophy, and to a certain extent even the most humble of persons, catches a glimpse of the unseen spiritual wonders. And so each person, in however sad and unhappy a position in life, acts as a bridge between the mundane and the spiritual. There is something of priceless value had by each individual, and every hesitation to give freely of oneself saddens the otherwise joyous face of life. [8]


Montague A. Machell

Every mortal born an earth lives, thinks and unfolds 'twixt TIME and ETERNITY. In the case of most of us, that SELF that is of Eternity - frequently referred to as The Immortal Soul - is so deeply submerged in the doings and desires of the mortal personality that It enjoys only spasmodic, in too many cases extremely rare, consideration.

Nevertheless, the presence in man of two selves (or two aspects of one SELF) - one of Time and one of Eternity - is a fact to be reckoned with, ultimately accepted and deferred to. To defer to it effectively, one must have at least an elementary understanding of the realistic meaning of Immortality and the Immortal Self.

Theosophy declares, first of all, that "living," to be truly rewarding, must constitute a spiritual experience, in that Spirit - the Immortal Self - as the illuminant of the personal man, is constantly seeking to impart to it its own unearthly radiance and transforming power - "the resurrection and the life," in Theosophical parlance. If, as the philosophy claims, such transformation is the basic and eternal destiny of mortal man, it means that in every hour of day and night he is confronted with the responsibility of living in Time for Timeless accomplishment. In a word, he must keep in mind his Immortal Destiny as related to temporal mortality. This is a responsibility that makes no sense without the doctrine of Reincarnation - repeated births and demises of the mortal man that are powerless to effect the nature of the Immortal Self.

Actually, this doctrine is perennially indispensable to meaningful Theosophic living since it alone underscores the limitless potential of the Spirit (in limitless time) to enable the personality to realize its ultimate destiny of exchanging mortal "illusion" for Spiritual Reality.

This term "illusion" is a "loaded" expression, implying, as it does, that all personal living in Time has but a transient significance, as compared to man's Spiritual Reality, that ever was and ever will be. The question that this conviction calls up is: "What am I to do about this 'immortality'? What is its program?" The answer is one that demands an immediate change in the life motive from Selfishness to Selflessness. Jesus keynoted this program with the words "Love ye one another." This "love," however, must transcend a mere emotion or sentiment, to become a conviction that "I am a part of all that lives," and therein bear a degree of responsibility to that "all," which suggests the universality of Immortality. Theosophy sums up the situation with the words: "To live to benefit mankind is the first step," which, quite naturally, prompts the question: "How am I supposed to 'benefit' mankind'?"

Since all the experiences of daily living point to the fact that temporal possessions, preferments and acclaim are short-lived, and, in that sense "illusory"; since the ultimate goal of life [9] is actually spiritual enlightenment, must not the greatest benefit to mankind consist in aiding its achievement of this goal, by means of a life that demonstrates its practicality? Jesus pointed to this type of "benefit" when he said: "I am the way, the truth and the life." He who would confer a lasting benefit upon mankind is required to make himself "the way, the truth and the life" - the primary responsibility of him who accepts his Immortality.

The endeavor to expand ones personal viewpoint is probably most readily encouraged by putting the personality aside and pondering the fate of mankind as a Whole, of which one is all inseparable part. This might be likened to the toddler's first awkward attempt to stand and walk - of attaining sense of balance independent of personal aids. The compromises and indulgences of personal living might be likened to the crutches of an infant soul for whom Universality is a dizzying experience.

Only a clear realization that Spiritual Unfoldment is a law of life can adequately support one's sense of Universality. The whole program of the whole of Humanity is the concern of all of us. The animal world grows and develops instinctively; only man is distinguished by the power of choice as to his acceptance or rejection of inner growth. To be sure, this irresponsible, mortal shuffling along through life seems to offer a comforting defection, but it is merely putting off to a distant tomorrow that which should be attended to today; the war for Spiritual conquest is still at our door, with the enormous rewards and revelations that war embodies. Not the least of these is the broadening of horizon that follows an exchange of personal trivialities for Universal magnificences. Is it not time that we dared to face the splendor of Spiritual Manhood in exchange for this amiable mortal immaturity? It may well prove our first step in the direction of "the Resurrection and the life"!

Reflecting the fascination of this mortal personality is the all-pervading passion for personal salvation. The Theosophist asks: "Of what point is my getting to heaven if it ignores these hell-bent miseries of my fellow-man?" Compassion, that reflects awareness of this life's universal agony, can only be born of a Universal outlook on life. "I am a part of all that lives" - words that remind me that "no man is an island." Each one of us lives in and for every other one. Spiritual Evolution is a Universal Tide which, sooner or later, must carry us all to the realization of a Divine destiny, a destiny everlastingly transcending the Gross National Product or the state of the Stock Market! It is demanded of each of us that he perceives LIFE to be a DIVINE EPIC of eternally immediate significance. There are no such things as LIFE and RELIGION. Life is the religion of spiritual unfoldment, and, sooner or later, sales and service must surrender priority!

In the restoration of Spiritual proportion to daily living, Reincarnation is indispensable since it alone can encourage a viewpoint that envisions undreamed aeons drenched with unearthly possibilities. In the light of its teachings the Biblical assurance: "Greater things than these shall ye do" becomes not merely plausible, but inevitable. But first man must realize how shamefully he has belittled this sublime panorama of Life Spiritual, with its eternal implications. TODAY, an instant in that [10] Eternity, reveals itself as ever imbued with unutterable significance. All life, all time, all destiny, are wrapped up in this uninterrupted procession of fleeting hours and days. To appreciate them fully a silent serenity of Spiritual Awareness must remind us that before "doing" can achieve lasting significance BEING must achieve an unearthly purity and beauty. What we are eternally foretells what we do, wherefore self-directed evolution must find a central location in the life program.

Man's fearless acceptance of Eternity as the solution to Time is the one acceptance that can restore to living its spiritually heroic significance. That which distinguishes it from instinctual animal existence is a conscious choice of the Eternal in place of the temporal and personal, the most fateful choice of which man is capable, changing, as it can, his entire outlook and pattern of living.

With this change, NOW ceases to mean merely this and the next sixty or seventy years. Now takes its contours and coloring from many past fragments (termed "lives"), while lending form and color to many incarnations yet to come. Those time divisions - diurnal or annual, that had but fragmentary consideration, come to reflect the majesty and profundity of All Time. Those familiar words, "Worlds without end," suddenly suggest an open portal to accomplishment of more than personal, family, state or national consequence. "Man, the Lord of Life" is a title not unfitting to your true Reincarnationist, and surely appropriate too an entity that is a ray from the infinite source of life.

But to justify that title a man must be ready to exercise his spiritual potential. No longer can be get by as a "Miserable sinner," a role that can reveal itself as a somewhat ignominious alibi for inadequate living, rooted in negative submission in place of positive spiritual assertion, an assertion dependent upon genuine Self-Knowledge. Nor is it sufficient to open ones eyes to his own splendor as a self-conscious Spiritual Entity. He must, therewith, convince himself that, despite all evidences to the contrary, his fellow man, in every instance, shares that same divine discovery. Well may he ask himself where his fellow will discover a living embodiment of the divine ideal!

It is more than possible that one's dimensions of living may play a vital role in a "rewarding" incarnation. Always bearing in mind that life is for the soul's experience, a serious inadequacy of one's dimension of living can operate disadvantageously. In this sense may not the limitations of purely personal and temporal living hamper the Immortal Dweller we call the Soul? A ray from the deathless Universal Source, its incarnation on earth must be at best a form of incarceration. When that incarnation insists upon a constant personal domination by the temporal self, must it not result in a fatal frustration utterly inimical to a rich spiritual unfoldment? This being the case, are not most of us life-long prisoners of personal desire? If, as the poet declares: "All are architects of fate, working in these walls of time," today's society is sponsoring an unconscionable amount of "jerry-building"! No wonder the fulfilment of man's destiny calls for incarnations by the hundred!

Meanwhile, an intelligent and [11] reverent study of the Ancient Wisdom-Religion reminds the Theosophist of his responsibility to "break the molds of mind" that would deny the priceless opportunities for spiritual unfoldment that life offers him. The flower of Divinity, like the lotus, must glorify earthly living day by day with its unearthly beauty. 'Twixt TIME and ETERNITY, the Theosophist seeks to consecrate TIME with ETERNAL UNFOLDMENT.


Dara Eklund

Speaking of the high civilization of the ancient Egyptians, William Quan Judge wrote: "In those days they never tried to know something of everything, but each tried to excel in that which appeared best suited to his nature."

We have learned from the life of any great being, even a Buddha, that the enshrined God within must, in entering the form of a baby, wait for the physical stature to measure up to the capacity of that God. As expressed in a recent text by Brad Steiger: "a spiritual giant had been born into a tiny body."* (* Words from the Source, p. 24 (a book subject to the vagaries of a "clairvoyant").) Unfortunately, most of us feel with respect to our perfect vision of what we ought to be, more like a bull in a China shop than a "Spiritual Giant." Yet the possibility of excellence must exist, or we would not be continually picking up the pieces. The China shop, has become too cluttered. We have not contented ourselves with a selected frame of endeavor. The world tells us to be enterprising and express our needs without practicing any selectivity or essentials amidst our so-called necessities. The essentials are very few when we really look at them.

It is necessary, for instance, to be thrifty and not wasteful. Yet, whether shopping around for bargains or visiting lectures and courses for spiritual development, we waste energy and time. Coming home exhausted, our spiritual resources have not even been tapped. We have preferred the "style" but not the Stillness. Frequently we have not heard that which our own heart was waiting to fashion into its daily existence out of the raw materials of life's problems.

It is necessary, we say, to fill our lives with beauty. There are lovely fountains and gardens as we pass through parks; but harsh noise of traffic, crowds and amplified portable radios greet our ears and we are lucky if we hear the birds. At home we might have found a quiet unkept comer of our garden to cherish a moment's respite from the "world." That sounds more reasonable than standing in long lines at art galleries which exhaust the feet before the eye can appraise their holdings. Or it might be reasonable to study the beauty in the eyes of the crowd itself, if one is that rare individual who can glean it behind the dark glasses. [12]

The beauty of economy is one test of excellence. We cannot help admiring the few who take their vacations only when every last commitment has been met. Nature is working towards their release from tension because they have not been doping their lives with disenchanting stop-gap measures, and because they took joy in all their duties.

There are others who will stubbornly aver against all contrary evidence that to serve our fellows we must pour our energies into charities, which appear to be selfless since they take us beyond the demands of "me" and "mine." They may not even notice the neglect of duties most close to home; while they pack "Care" packages to send abroad, the children's lunch is unpacked for school. We have forgotten as a nation that from the Heart of Life issues a Divine Benevolence, easily spread throughout the Universe, once charity takes root at Home.

The home of any action is the Motive, and that alone plants the seed of Karmic retribution. We can deliberately plant highly motivated acts as a test of excellence. The following illustrates how an ancient sage perfected this art:

"I am a mere mechanic and do not know any special art. But I have one thing to say. When I am about to work on a bell stand, I try not to waste my ch'i. I fast in order to preserve serenity of mind. After three days I cease to cherish any desire for prize, emolument, or official glory. After five days the ideas of praise or no praise and the question of workmanship depart therefrom. After seven days I attain to a state of absolute serenity, forgetting that I have a body and four limbs. At that moment I forget that I am working for the court. My sole concern is about my work, and nothing of external interest disturbs me. I now enter the woods and select the most suitable tree whose natural frame harmonizes with my inner nature. I know then that I can work out my bell stand. I then apply my hands to the work. When all these conditions are not fulfilled I do not work. For I perceive that it is heaven (in Nature) that unites with heaven (in Man). It is probably due to this fact that my finished product is suspected to be supernatural."* (* R.G.H. Siu, Ch'i, A Neo-Taoist Approach to Life (1974), p. 291.)

Superlative actions may one day be performed by all men, once excellent motives are practiced by those who cherish them.


"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

"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." - K.H., The Mahatma Letters, pp. 17 and 24. [13]


Vonda Urban

Courage has many facets; it is spectacular in heroic deeds of gallant bravery whose dramatic stories mist the eyes and choke the voice with wonderment; it is awe-inspiring in a bold, unflinching stand for truth that does not bend beneath the weight of any pressure; it is reverent in noble acts of self-renunciation and sacrifice for others; it is visionary in the forward march for human enlightenment that works to stem the tides of ignorance and oppression; it is admirable in strength of worthy purpose where one strong man, alone against the crowd, is a majority; it is poignantly beautiful and equally magnificent in the unnoticed, quiet endurance of a human heart suffering pain or tragedy without complaint; for courage is mind, heart and spirit facing and dealing with any situation that is dangerous, difficult or painful instead of withdrawing from it.

Few of us know much about the deeper strata of our consciousness lying silently beneath the visible pattern of our normal habits and character; but we sense the presence of a vast, ineffable power within us that is both positive and negative, constructive and harmful; and it waits there quiescently, ever ready to unleash its glory or its fury whenever some sudden, unexpected challenge triggers its hidden force, testing us in that unguarded moment and revealing the true face of our inner self. How do we meet the unforseen encounter in such a test? Do we rise above our ordinary course of actions, surging upward to undreamt reaches of our greater self? Or do we falter in our human weakness, cowering, perhaps, in fear or ignominy, beneath it? Such questions can be answered only at the moment of the opportunity for none of us can know how we will meet the unanticipated challenge until that moment comes, when, in a lightning flash, our actions will unmask the pretense that we wear before the world; and whether we would act, if caught for instance in the crisis of some great disaster, to help others to reach safety or trample over them to save ourselves, remains a mystery of our hidden nature until then.

Courage is an automatic reflex of our character, expressing positive, dynamic and expansive qualities of strength which tap the wellspring of our higher essence; and whether manifesting on a spiritual, moral or physical level, actively or passively, its action always stems from selfless motivation that stands unshakably for a principle or truth, or protects another, without any concern about personal consequences. It follows, then, that our capacity to be courageous grows steadily as we are able to withstand the pressures in our every day affairs that both lure us and coerce us into compromising our integrity. Every choice that we make in the right direction when meeting these daily tests strengthens our character by just that much, training and conditioning our muscle of courage to flex boldly and valiantly at all times and in all circumstances.

Fear, the negative of courage, shrivels our soul; it is rooted in our lower nature, a reflex of ignorance and selfishness that cripples spiritual growth. [14]

Each one of us should examine very carefully what we are afraid of, for therein lie weaknesses in our character. It is only when we are able to drag the "boogeymen" of our fears out from the stagnant backwaters of our subconscious, understand what they are and deal with them, that they will dry up into a poof of nothing and fall away, for the things that we are afraid of are but mirrors reflecting the distortions of our inner face. The greatest antidotes for fear are impersonal love, honesty, justice and knowledge; we are never afraid of what we love, what we deal with honestly and justly, nor of that which we, understand. The more universal and spiritually enlightened the scope of our awareness, the less can fear paralyze us.

To have the courage to face ourselves is the first step toward self-mastery. This becomes easier to do when our self-appraisal works hand in hand with self-responsibility, accepting that we have built ourselves to be what we are, good and bad; that we are always in our right place Karmically, like it or not; and that the direction of our life - either upward or downward - is entirely up to us. This is the only attitude that can lift us out of the "poor me" syndrome and take that chip off our shoulder. It is highly unlikely that we will complain much about shortcomings and restrictions of our own making or rant and rave about what we have done to ourself! And since nothing can happen to us that is not in our Karmic pattern - nor can we avoid meeting what is there, waiting for us - who else is there to praise or blame? What is there to fear?

Courage is more than strength; it is intelligence, compassion, will and self-control, and it manifests as a greater or weaker force in our own actions by the quality of our knowledge, the degree of our convictions, the power of our determination and the selflessness behind our motives. Occasionally, our lives are inspired and uplifted in witnessing some outstanding act of courage in our midst; a friend who may have risked his life to save another or who performed a noble deed with painful sacrifice; or perhaps his was an inconspicuous action that passed by unnoticed and unheralded in an act of leadership where courage and high purpose seized the opportunity for greatness in the fateful moment of choice, and by so doing uplifted all humanity. Whenever it appears, whatever the expression that it wears, the face of courage is always beautiful, always strong and always good. It smiles beneficently upon us, drawing us upward, encouraging us to stand straight and tall.



Absence from the home-base and a great deal of urgent work have made it impossible for us to send out this year any individual greetings for the Christmas Season to many of our friends. We wish to express our sincere appreciation for their own wishes, and to voice our hope that the year of 1976 will be spiritually constructive for all of us, and will give us even greater opportunities to serve mankind. - Editor, Theosophia. [15]


Dr. Henry Smith

[Reprinted from The American Theosophist, January, 1961.]

Theosophy implies Divine Wisdom. There can be no authority on this vast wisdom so far as any human being is concerned. It is a Theo Sophia. It would be well if we could approach the presentation of our theosophical concepts, even as we must approach its study, recognizing that it is a never ending path to an ever widening horizon. Thus, in teaching the Theosophy which we are able to perceive, we should guide our listeners only towards greater and greater concepts, leaving all conclusions as to them and the realities behind them for their perusal and the inner experiences which they may gain.

Learning is not the pursuit of an idea purely with the objective mind. It is equally an experience within consciousness itself of the various approaches to an idea. There is an internal unity at the center of consciousness which draws out of the multiplicity of events about us the realities that shape our concepts and ideals. The objective mind may supply appraisals, but they may also supply only partial or even misinformation. It is the internal unity that shapes the realities that become our ideas, concepts and wisdom.

Teaching, therefore, is twofold in its nature - objective and subjective. The subjective aspect of teaching leads the inquiring mind to experience the realities of ideas and concepts, without placing any limitations or boundaries to them. It is an inner process. It leads away from limitations and allows a greater democracy of the mind. Such freedom is essential for an unfettered mind. The presentation of Theosophy should become an experience in reality and not a pronouncement of doctrines, disciplines, or dogmas. It is probably a common experience among us as students of the Wisdom that we have a twofold experience when we listen to a speaker or read an article. The one is that following a series of ideas or concepts with an objective analytical approach. The other is that of sensing and feeling with an inspirational or intuitive sense something in the realm of ideation, which is more real, understandable, and appreciable than the message that a speaker has to convey which even his words or analytical presentation will not hide. We create as we listen or read. This creative listening of a student is by far the more important process in consciousness. A lecture should only apply building blocks and the inspiration to create.

Who can be an authority in presenting Theosophy? Of what does authority consist? It is not the speaker. Truly, greater knowledge and wisdom about a subject makes for a greater authority. Ultimately, however, authority becomes an individual matter. What makes any source of a teaching an authority? It is the individual, or a group of individuals who presume to place an interpretation on a teaching. But that can only be a limited authority and a limitation of the teaching. If authority exists it must be within the concepts of the teachings and your [16] individual experience and relation to them. Even then it is only authority for you. Theosophy, by its very nature, invites only the kind of authority within an individual where an internal unity shapes all objective and subjective ideas and experiences of life into a harmonious whole. From this rises the design within the range of which our concepts arise.

There can be only one authority - that which emerges from within. All other authorities that we may use become tentative and relative. It is from within our own psychic depths that new spiritual forms arise. Books and sages can only unlock the door to the revelation of a mystery which already exists within the center of the mind's mysteries, to allow it to emerge. The inner experience alone becomes authority. It becomes the inner light, the only real security in approaching the problems. From it emerges insight and inspiration. Emerson, in essence, states: "Watch for the glimmer of light that flashes across the mind from within. Its luster is greater than that of the firmament, or of bards and sages."

That which a speaker is able to convey to his listeners is that which he has some knowledge of, and experience of, and that which he unwittingly arouses in a creative listener. Any parrot can prattle and repeat, but he cannot teach. A listener takes out of the words also that which the speaker is. Teaching occurs on levels far higher than sound. That which we transmit to another and which our words cannot veil is where we truly believe and are, and have experienced. It then becomes a key to the mystery in the lives of others. There is true authority.


A Commentary on Archaic Records in "The Secret Doctrine"
by Geoffrey A. Barborka.

A lifetime Theosophist and brilliant writer on Theosophical teachings, the author has produced another important work for the serious student. Taking as the basis for his exposition the Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan as presented by H. P. Blavatsky, the writer traces the origin and evolution of man in a masterful synthesis, throwing light upon the age-old questions: Did man exist in some form before be became human? How did we reach the human stage? How did the spark of intelligence which made us self-conscious come into existence? Whence did it come?
A special feature of this work is its final chapter on Chronology, giving a succinct and quite unique bird's-eye view of the actual lengths of Root-Races and Sub-Races, and the duration of various Rounds - an explanation based upon very little known statements by H.P.B.
233 pages; 11 diagrams; copious index.
PRICE: 10.00.
Order direct from: The Theosophical Publishing House, P.O. Box 270 Wheaton, Ill. 60187.