A Living Philosophy For Humanity

No. 2 (148) - Fall 1976

[Cover photo: The Arizona Painted Desert, Seen From the Navahopi Road (Photo by Willard S. Wood).]


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.



"Anyone who travels around the world ... must inevitably meet the challenge of keeping a sense of direction. In which direction is one moving? ... On planet earth, logic and a study of the globe will quickly resolve our dilemma. But does not all this play on the four points of the compass point up a basic need - the need to realize that east, west, north and south are to a large extent dependent on the place where one stands and that such divisions of our world are, ultimately, as superficial and arbitrary as the categorizing of peoples into stereotypes of ethnic, religious, social, and similar groupings? A true sense of direction may have less to do with whether a certain area of the globe lies in the west or in the east than with whether one is moving along an axis that brings one into alignment with the one direction that matters: the direction of the liberation of the human spirit and the unification of the human race.

"It is just such a sense of direction that is most urgently needed in the world today. In fact, without that kind of sense, it matters little whether one travels east or west, north or south, as wherever one travels one is only aware of the differences which divide humanity and the power struggles which threaten to annihilate us all. A true sense of direction, in other words, is dependent on an awareness of movement in a totally other dimension. Essentially it is a movement which is no-movement, for the dimension in which we must learn to orient our-selves is the dimension less realm of love, compassion, understanding, out of which true brotherhood arises." - Joy Mills, The Theosophist, May, 1976. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Universal Life, in all its multi myriad forms and aspects, is in constant flux. Unalterable in its underlying essence, it is in perpetual outward change. As soon as any one of its temporary manifestations becomes rigid, decay sets in, which is but another aspect of Life, breaking up the outworn form, in order to build a new and more adequate one.

Wherever there is flexibility, optimism, dynamic interest, vision, the search for the Unknown, the urge to grow and to become, the enthusiasm which scales new heights and attempts the seemingly impossible - there is youth and hope and the broad highway to all future yet unborn.

Wherever there is rigidity, pessimism, indifference, fear of the Unknown, frustration and mental fatigue, doubt, anxiety and lack of vision, attachment to established routines and well-worn grooves of thought, crystallization of methods, and cherished traditions obscuring the distant horizons of the future - there is old age, decay, senility, and the loss of the vital fires which are essential to all becoming and all growth.

It is so with the Theosophical Movement as well. Its essential Life must constantly rebuild its temporary forms, brush aside useless traditions, revitalize its manifold channels, keep flexible its vehicles and molds, seek out new ways of manifestation, untried methods of growth, unplumbed depths of experience, and reach out constantly towards greater and broader horizons where are marshaled in letters of fire the noblest hopes and dreams of the human race. Unless these conditions are fulfilled, at least in part, the Theosophical Movement in its present form will have to yield to other currents, other movements of consciousness, emanating from the same ageless source of all Life on this planet, the fountain of its perennial youth, whence issue the life-giving streams of the Spirit nourishing the spiritual organism of Humanity.

In the work we are engaged in the world over, we need the help of those who are young - young in body as well as in heart and mind. Without them, the Movement becomes moribund, set, sectarian and crystallized. With them, it keeps its resiliency, its flexibility, its required momentum of thought and emotion. Let us never forget that when the present-day Theosophical Society was launched by the original Founders, H. P. Blavatsky was 44, Col. Henry Steel Olcott was 43, and William Quan judge was a mere 24 years of age!

The outward structural form of the organized Theosophical Movement is in need of rejuvenation. While enduring in the spiritual validity of its message, its declared objectives and its methods of work have no vital contact with the spirit of the present age. A fearless leap forward, both in thought and action, is demanded of us, but the enlightened leadership for that change is sorely lacking.

In the midst of a sombre scene and the shadows of outworn traditions, we seek new and greater lights on the distant horizons of our undying hopes. [4]


H.P. Blavatsky

[Timely thoughts excerpted from The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, pp. 132-34, and which do not seem to have received the attention they deserve from students. - Editor, Theosophia.]

"... The Spirits referred to ... as those who 'ascend and descend' are the ‘Hosts' of what we loosely call 'celestial Beings.' But they are, in fact, nothing of the kind. They are Entities of the higher worlds in the hierarchy of Being, so immeasurable high that, to us, they must appear as Gods, and collectively - God. But so we, mortal men, must appear to the ant, which reasons on the scale of its special capacities. The ant may also, for all we know, see the avenging finger of a personal God in the hand of the urchin who, in one moment, under the impulse of mischief, destroys its anthill, the labour of many weeks-long years in the chronology of insects. The ant, feeling it acutely, and attributing the undeserved calamity to a combination of Providence and sin, may also, like man, see in it the result of the sin of its first parent. Who knows and who can affirm or deny? The refusal to admit in the whole Solar system of any other reasonable and intellectual beings on the human plane, than ourselves, is the greatest conceit of our age. All that science has a right to affirm, is that there are no invisible Intelligences living under the same conditions as we do. It cannot deny point-blank the possibility of there being worlds within worlds, under totally different conditions to those that constitute the nature of our world; nor can it deny that there may be a certain limited communication* (* The greatest philosopher of European birth, Immanuel Kant, assures us that such a communication is in no way improbable. 'I confess I am much disposed to assert the existence of Immaterial natures in the world, and to place my own soul in the class of these beings. It will hereafter, I know not where, or when, yet be proved that the human soul stands even in this life in indissoluble connection with all immaterial natures in the spirit-world, that it reciprocally acts upon these and receives impressions from them.' (Traume eines Geistersehers, by Immanuel Kant, 1766.)) between some of those worlds and our own. To the highest, we are taught, belong the seven orders of the purely divine Spirits; to the six lower ones belong hierarchies that can occasionally be seen and heard by men, and who do communicate with their progeny of the Earth; which progeny is indissolubly linked with them, each principle in man having its direct source in the nature of those great Beings, who furnish us with the respective invisible elements in us. Physical Science is welcome to speculate upon the physiological mechanism of living beings, and to continue her fruitless efforts in trying to resolve our feelings, our sensations, mental and spiritual, into functions of their inorganic vehicles. Nevertheless, all that will ever be accomplished in this direction has already been done, and Science will go no farther. She is before a dead wall, on the face of which she traces, as she imagines, great physiological and psychic discoveries, but every one of which will be shown later on to be no better than the cobwebs spun by her scientific fancies and illusions. The tissues of our objective framework alone are subservient to the analysis and researches of physiological science. The six higher principles in them will evade forever the hand that is guided by an animus that purposely ignores and rejects the Occult Sciences." [5]


Joan Sutcliffe

(Reprinted from The Canadian Theosophist, May-June, 1975.)

There comes a moment in the life of a man when he feels the mysterious call to the shores of the Secret Path, and an incredible yearning to venture beyond familiar horizons in search of an unknown destination. This is the voice of the innermost heart beckoning homeward the emigrant ego on the alien shore, back to the spiritual source, the One Life from which it sprang.

Boundless is that source; and, in truth there has been no separation from it ever; the seeming distance between points is merely one of consciousness. The way back is an inward journey into self discovery, where veil after veil of illusion must be lifted, as time and again the new self that is recognized becomes only like the "false dawn," mentioned in the Rhubaiyat of Omar Khayyam as that transient streak of light on the horizon before the true dawn. This inner pilgrimage is the esoteric source of the Grail Mysteries and the Golden Fleece legends of earlier cultures, and it is known as the Path of Discipleship.

It might be likened to a great ocean voyage. Many are those who follow the call to the sea's edge, whose eyes delight in the rhythmic pattern of waves breaking on the beach, whose ears are excited by the wild cry of seagulls, and whose feet enjoy the cool of sparkling water. Few, however, are those who chart a course and sail beyond the safety of the sheltered bays and inlets, for the sombre memory of angry tides battering the rocks holds in check even the boldest of adventurers. The call must come from the True Self, its strength must be greater than the delights and fears of the outer man, and its compelling message the one-pointed pursuit of he who would brave the unpredictable waters, and make the journey's end.

The sea that lies between the exile soul and its mystic quest is the sea of self, the delusion of the personality, and the crossing means seeking to understand and gain control over those lower principles of one's nature that have their consciousness on the physical, astral and lower mental planes. Exploring the unrevealed mysteries of the inner realms of being, the disciple awakens strange, unknown forces and hidden desires and weaknesses that surge up like waves lifting him to the peaks of their crests to carry him high for a while, and then mercilessly hurl him down into the dark abyss of despair, only to lift him high and hurl him down again and again.

In the symbology of the olden alchemists, water was used to represent the astral consciousness. How like the sea is the emotional nature of man, heaving and tossing, and recklessly changeable: sweet moments of tranquility interspersed with ferocity. This same dualistic aspect that is to the sea is also to man - noble and altruistic, but also wilful and selfish; intelligent and creative, but often dull and limited; eternal aspirant after truth, but clouded in his vision. Many are the opposing poles which sway their magnetizing pull on the unguided wanderer.

In these days of progressing technical achievement man has evolved [6] advanced means of transport, and we have grand ocean liners which cross the seas with minimum hazard. There had to be the pioneer adventurers, though, courageous souls who would seek out the track across uncharted waters, facing the unknown in small boats and risking the extreme perils. Such a person is the disciple on the Path, one ahead of his times, striving to develop his vehicles of consciousness to those that will equip the man of the future Rounds. Many have floundered, but there are those who have made it.

Recently, I was reading the account of two men who rowed across the vast Atlantic. The first task they undertook was to find themselves a suitable boat, a seaworthy vessel that would stand up to the ordeal ahead, a strong one that would take the severe knocks. They chose a dory: a hardy little boat, used for centuries by the fishermen in the stormy waters of the North Atlantic. In these days of variety and synthetic materials, the dory is not so popular as some other boats, for it is heavier and not so easy to handle, and to row is more exerting than just to sail with the wind or let a motor supply the power. However, the dory builder does still exist if you know where to find him. He is a master craftsman, following a tradition passed down through generations by apprenticeship, and he builds his boat by hand with love and care, cutting individually each piece of wood, and hammering and nailing it together with the skill he has gained through years of dedication to his beloved art. Each dory is a unique creation. It is not part of a mass production, churned out in bulk like many other boats.

To carry on with the metaphor, I should like to compare H. P. B. and the Mahatmas to the dory builder, and the teachings of Theosophy as the strong and seaworthy boat they have given us to cross the sea of the lower self. It has all the capacity necessary to carry us through. Whether the journey is completed depends on the skill of the rower, the intensity of his resolution, his strength of purpose, his will to accomplish and his courage to endure. The voyage has been made though: there are disciples who have made the opposite shore, who have realized spiritual unfoldment. These are the Buddhas, the Enlightened Ones.

Not everyone needs a dory though, and for those who just wish to ride up the rivers and inlets for pleasure, a fibre glass canoe will serve just as well. For those who are not yet ready for the seriousness of the great voyage, there are the religions, myths and traditions, which will act as a preparation for the future day. When the time becomes right, however, the effort must be made, for one cannot be forever content to be like a piece of driftwood, carried by many currents and washed on to many banks, for there is always the danger of being caught on the ebbing tide. Carried hither and thither at the whim of the wind, the little piece of floating driftwood is destined to be hurled on to the rocks when the seas become rough, and shattered into irreplaceable fragments. For the wild open sea, one must have that special boat that can bounce off the surging waves and stand up to the storms,

From occult literature one learns that the first of the qualifications necessary for entering the Path is Discrimination, the wisdom to choose between that which is unreal and [7] temporary, and that which is real and lasting. This same quality our boatmen had to exercise in preparing for their great voyage. Provisions had to be selected by merit of their usefulness, their strength and durability. Only food which would preserve its nutrient value could be carried along: there was no room for that which was merely ornamental or doomed to perish. It was a virtue that had to be brought to bear all along the way, for each day the sea brought fresh and unforeseen problems to contend with, and always the solution had to be made in consideration of its reality to the undertaking as a whole. Correspondingly, it is a quality, indeed, that must be brought to operate upon every step of the Path, in fact throughout every day of one's life, for the personality is a subtle foe.

Legends have projected the idea of sea monsters lurking in the deep waters of mid ocean, dark denizens who would seek to drag under the unresourceful voyager; and so there are strange tendencies hiding in the dark corners of the unexplored self, virtues and vices of which tile unmindful man was not even aware before. It is a well known fact that the study of occultism brings out into the open all those hidden trends. This is the process of being tried and tested, for no stone must remain unturned; every experience must be passed through, and every temptation must be placed to the front, for all weaknesses must be discovered and put aside. All hardships will be placed in front of him like the rising swell of dark waves building into towering mountains. Like the storms and gales that rage at sea, and whip up black waves into a whirlpool of fury are the problems that beset the walker on the Path: like the unfavorable winds that seek to blow the little boat backwards are the pressures he must meet and the hindrances that would stay his progress. It may be sickness, or family disapproval, or the loss of a dear friend, but discrimination must recognize the situation in correct perspective, and all must be accepted with courage.

As the disciple follows his inward Path, in search of his deeper self, carrying out his work of discipline and purification, his vision will become clearer and his consciousness will expand, and his intellect grow keener, and he will become open to more psychic and mental influences. It is necessary that he be constantly attentive, and register his discriminatory powers to the utmost, unless he should be misled into confusing psychic visions for spiritual illumination or intellectual fantasies for true wisdom. Like the boatman basking in the peacefulness of a calm day, tracing with delight the smooth wake behind him in moonlit waters, he might become deluded into false contentment only to drift off course and become temporarily lost.

Intuition is the navigational skill by which the soul is guided homeward. It is intuition which opens his awareness to his buddhic principle, always hovering just above him as the guiding star. It is through study and concentration that intuition can be developed, through bringing to bear every point of a problem and making decisions. In moments of inner communion with nature when the outer man is stilled; or in listening to music, disciplining the ear to penetrate the mystery of sound - in such instances of self forgetfulness, intuition takes birth. When for a radiant second in time, the great [8] illusion of separateness is put aside and the fact that one believes oneself apart from his fellows and his surroundings is forgotten, then the being is blazing with splendour: the Higher Self becomes the oarsman and the bitterest of winds cannot blow the boat backwards, nor the densest of fogs bewilder the steersman.

It was the day after day application of rules of conduct that brought our dorymen safely across the wild and vast ocean, and it is through following this code in our day to day lives we still come through safely too. Just as it was the continuous day after day rowing of the boat that made the voyage possible; the determined pushing in of the oars, scooping up drops of water by means of which the boat could advance, it is the scooping up of each day's experiences that broadens the growth of the soul. The attitude we bring to the undertaking of each daily task, however mundane or unimportant it may seem, has its correspondence on all our higher levels of being. When, as we all do from time to time, we start something which perhaps seems to be a little beyond what we believe our capabilities to be, and we encounter difficulties, this is part of our spiritual training. We are enacting on the physical plane the struggles that we shall one day have to go through on the spiritual Path. This is great preparation. The qualities we bring to bear on this level now, the effort we put into the work, the acceptance of setbacks, the will to overcome and win through, will all set us in good stead for the greatest of tasks, the conquest of self.

The sheer misery, though, of rowing one's heart out day after day is interspersed with bright moments of surprising beauty: the startling blue of the mid-ocean water; the breath-taking wonder of each new dawn rising above the far off horizon; the graceful flight of wild birds on their migratory journey. Even more beautiful and more inspiring are those glimpses of truth the disciple has from time to time, and perfect and lasting is his memory of them. The magnitude and seriousness of his mission is then fully appreciated, and he experiences a humbleness, and in this humbleness is his true greatness. It is all occult rule that the only power the disciple shall seek is that which will make him appear small in the eyes of other men.

It is only when the mystery of humbleness is fully realized that the disciple is capable of pure unselfish love, which can lead him through the desperate well of loneliness which must engulf each aspirant, like all encircling sea fog. Losing sight of his guiding star, he will believe himself utterly deserted and alone, but the illusion will pass when the brilliant radiance of Universal Love call break free from its bondage to the personal, when the separate life is surrendered to the One Life.

It is a journey of hardship right to the end, but the landfill will be reached, and with what inexpressible joy and wonder must the pilgrim gaze at last at those golden cliffs of his native land. With what delight must he draw his boat on to those beloved sands warmed by the morning sun.

Who would turn back now to the dark seas? There are those who do, those who hear the cry of their brothers lost at sea, those who forsake the well-earned rest, and turn back to pain and [9] suffering in order to help them. They are the Masters of Compassion, and theirs is the noblest Path of all: at the threshold of light, To renounce the reward and turn back to the darkness, this is the supreme sacrifice, and such a choice will be open to every disciple at the journey's end.


L. Gordon Plummer

(A dialog between Harrystotle, a scientist, and Theosophocles, a writer and general exponent of Theosophy.)

Harry: Well, Good Morning, Theo, you're looking hale and hearty.

Theo: Likewise. Our discussion yesterday must have given both of us much food for thought.

Harry: Yes indeed, and I feel that in certain respects we are coming closer together in our ways of thinking. However, there are still some knotty problems to be tackled.

Theo: Yes? And what are these?

Harry: Well, it's this reincarnation business. Much of what you said has made a good deal of sense, but I must confess that there are some aspects of it that sound far-fetched, to say the least.

Theo: Can you explain?

Harry: Well, it's your explanation of genius that has me bothered. You tell me that genius is a carry over from previous lives. You say that it has taken many lives for an individual (reincarnating ego, I believe you called it) to develop the abilities and skills to make a Beethoven, a Leonardo da Vinci, etc.

Theo: That is the correct idea in general terms.

Harry: Then you said that as a rule an individual spends about fifteen hundred years in a state of dreamlike consciousness you called Devachan. Well, I find a serious fault in your philosophy.

Theo: And what is that?

Harry: Well, take Beethoven, for example. He towers head and shoulders above all musical prodigies. And yet, so far as archeology, paleontology, and similar sciences go, we find nothing remotely like a piano having existed fifteen hundred years before his time. What did Beethoven have to practice on during preceding incarnations?

Theo: Since, as you have stated correctly, there were no pianos fifteen hundred years ago, it follows that if Beethoven was around at that time in his previous incarnation, he could not have practiced the piano. However, I would like to point out that no one to my knowledge has made the figure fifteen hundred an inflexible figure denoting the time interval between incarnations. A general rule was postulated in this way because at the time that this was done, it had been calculated, all things considered, that fifteen years was the average length of a human life. With modern progress in medical science and in the practice of hygiene and preventive medicine, the figure given for the average lifespan is considerably greater, let us say, thirty-five years. A better way of expressing the whole idea would be to say that the period of Devachan between earth lives is roughly one hundred times the length of the life just lived. [10]

Harry: Then you would say that the average life period is now thirty-five hundred years, whereas only a few years ago it was fifteen-hundred years? Isn't that juggling with figures?

Theo: It would be if the facts were as you have stated. To try to set a definite figure for the time period between two days of activity is eight hours of sleep. Most people do say that, you know. But would you not agree that the length of time spent in sleep varies with the individual? The figure of eight hours is a convenient and easy manner of speaking, and that is all.

Harry: Then you are saying that the time spent in Devachan will vary with the individual?

Theo: Exactly. And none of us is wise enough to say what has been or will be the case for any particular individual for the reason that we do not have sufficient knowledge of the person in question. This leaves the matter open, however. Some outstanding geniuses might have had such a strong urge to continue their chosen fields of activity that they were drawn back to Earth more quickly than the average. We have no right to say that this cannot be so.

Harry: I still find your premise rather flimsy. Doesn't the current scientific understanding of the role that the genes have to play in the formation of character sound much more logical?

Theo: It does have much to recommend it. However, I would like to ask you one or two questions.

Harry: That's fair enough.

Theo: Would you say then, that before pianos or violins or any other tools that might have been used for the practice of the arts, the genetic pattern of the human race was relatively simple, and that with the advent of these more sophisticated instruments, a change in the genetic structure came about, in order to provide the musicians the capabilities of using them?

Harry: That appears to be possible.

Theo: Would you say that the genetic changes came about because the tools of the trade had been invented, or that the instruments were invented just because of these genetic changes?

Harry: It could have been a combination of both processes.

Theo: Can you identify a gene that has an inbuilt knowledge of music?

Harry: Of course not. That would be bordering on the ridiculous.

Theo: How then do you know that genius is the result of a certain genetic structure?

Harry: Modern research leads us to think in that direction. However, we admit that there are still unresolved questions about genetic structure and heredity.

Theo: Does it not appear that some of these gaps in our knowledge might be closed if we take the viewpoint that the genes are the agents rather than the causes of genius?

Harry: If that were the case, where would the causes lie?

Theo: We will never find them until we accept the existence of the reincarnating ego. The great difference between evolution as taught by science and evolution as taught by Theosophy is that science concerns itself with bodies alone, whereas Theosophy considers the ego as the prime factor. All of the latent qualities are the fabric of the reincarnating ego. All reincarnating egos have the potentiality of true genius. Relatively few have brought these potentialities into realities. [11]

Harry: Will you explain further?

Theo: Well, genius does not confine itself exclusively to the piano, the paint brush or the pen. Genius is like a strong light that will shine brightly and will illumine whatever environment it finds itself in. The genius of a musician might manifest in the way it does in this incarnation because of the availability of musical instruments. It might have made itself evident in totally different manners in previous incarnations, according to the availability of the means of self-expression to be found in the environment in which it finds itself during any one or another of its long series of incarnations.

Harry: But there is nothing in scientific investigation that indicates the probability or even the possibility of man having existed on Earth long enough for a series of incarnations such as you teach.

Theo: To all appearances, that is true. We do indeed have some unexplained facts. There are structures in several parts of the world that obviously predate the supposed beginnings of advanced civilization. These few remain serve as no more than pointers to the fact that races of humans now long vanished had once flourished in various parts of the world having left only a few archeological remains. In this we might find a solution to our problem. If you find the answer to genius in the genetic pattern of certain molecules within the human cell, why could not the genetic patterns undergo cyclic changes which would accompany the rise and fall of many civilizations?

Harry: Perhaps they could. I wonder if we were to combine our thinking, would we find some explanation that would satisfy not only the scientific mind, but the philosophical mind as well?

Theo: Why not? And we should include the religious mind. If we can arrive at a universal concept, we would come much closer to the truth, it seems to me.

Harry: Most ingenious! Good night, Theosophocles.

Theo: Good night Harrystotle. Be sure and get in your eight hours.


Montague A. Machell

Know Your Equipment

In the face of the shameful misuse to which so many condemn the five senses of earthly equipment, to discuss man's "unearthly" equipment may appear premature. That it is premature is still further argued by the unawareness of many people that they even possess any other than earthly equipment. It is this unawareness, together with the fascination of bodily and sensory existence, that place spiritual living in such a remote second place, a situation demanding constant and profound meditation along spiritual lines for its correction.

For a society so hectically involved in superficial pursuits of an exaggerated materialistic present moment, the invitation seriously to contemplate a less earthly pattern of thinking is bound to meet with a cool reception. This is regrettable, since the Wisdom of uncounted millennia reminds us that man's only enduring reality is a Spiritual Reality, wherefore, spending [12] innumerable lifetimes merely toying with his physical equipment is a tragic waste of time. Being of Time, that equipment lives and dies. The Guardian and Lord of that equipment, the Spiritual Self, is as enduring as its source - THE ONE, wherefore the appropriate utilization of body, mind and senses is as servitors of the Spirit. Man lives to "grow" in spiritual stature. His era of genuine "life" is ETERNITY. From the moment that he first took on physical form, he has been adequately equipped to realize a limitless divine potential.

First of all, however, there must be awakened in him an awareness of his True Self and its needs, in a sphere wherein a mad pursuit of purely earthly gratification prevails. This awareness, since it is beyond the reach of the temporal, reasoning mind, is difficult to come by. That mind must be taken in hand, shown its somewhat limited role in the pursuit of enlightenment, and taught to fulfill that role. Only he who chooses the Self for guide, identifying his personality therewith, can win the right of guidance by the councils of the Self, ie., of Intuition. A Self that foresees a limitless spiritual destiny for all mankind, first, replaces futile temporal aims with those related to an eternal destiny of an immortal entity.

Such an entity, cherishing aspiration, meditation, constancy and selflessness as the dependable equipment of spiritual growth, will find his feet set in the path of fulfillment. He will have vitalized earthly action with the spiritual vitamins of Self-search in a timeless quest. In his case the obvious equipment for the attainment of obvious (earthly-approved) objectives will never be confused with that deeply concealed, difficult-to-come-by equipment of esoteric living dedicated to the welfare of all mankind. Your need and mine today is not of more effective equipment; it is of a more universal field of application. He who achieves Self-knowledge ceases to be a self cornered by that self; he becomes "the drop within the ocean," privileged to be infinitely transported by the great Tide of Spirit.

Once aware of, and amenable to, that Tide, he will discover intervals and localities in earthly living qualified to lure him out of an everyday self, toward magnitudes of Self-illumined vision. Great art, great verse, great music, not to mention the illuminating moods of Nature, are all keys to a needed release from purely earthly concerns.

"Behind Will stands Desire"; behind Spiritual Will stands Aspiration, an utterly indispensable element in man's approach to THE ONE. Each of us, to fulfill his divine Karma, must become a channel through which heavenly aspiration may be awakened in every life. Words are but inept messengers, but complete surrender of one's personal aspiration to the Will of THE ONE can become a powerful expression of racial and cosmic progress toward an ultimate REALITY. Each of us is, involuntarily, involved in nurturing worldwide expression of this REALITY which must first of all be genuinely alive in us. The salvation of the race is a matter of more BEING, not more "saying." The Compassion of genuine Brotherhood must have its awakening in the individual lives of those who really care! We are our brothers' keepers!

To the extent that a recognition of [13] this responsibility becomes inescapably clear, this multi-colored personality will become of one mind - the entire ego coalesced into a self-forgetful Will of THE ONE, in which resolve the rather inadequate tools of the personality will join forces to become a single Instrument of Spiritual Karma, through which Universal Law can bring about its own unearthly miracles of personal transfiguration. First we are required to know our Equipment, then we must use it, effectively; which use will become more and more effective as the joy and purpose of living for all exerts more and more potent challenges.

The most effective acceptance of these challenges is a joyous love of Unfoldment, the raison d'etre for existence, which alone takes place on the Spiritual Plane. He in whom this miracle is consciously invited, becoming spiritually unified in that transfiguration, is on the way to being a dependable ally of racial unfoldment, such unfoldment being recognized as an individual responsibility.

This is an infinite arena of fulfillment! He who is daring enough to confront it can, with equal daring, declare: "I am a Lord of Life!" a slogan that transcends Time, Place and Personality, since, to exercise such lordship a man must live beyond all of these. Is he not, herein, transcending earthly existence, therein transcending the limits of earthly imagining? In a spiritual universe Spirit is supreme; he who surrenders to it utterly is, in that surrender, a Lord of Life. Universality, Immortality - the attributes of Spirit - are esoteric attainments whose realization is the fruit of esoteric living, the keys to which are silence, meditation, selflessness. Existence, dowered with a universal purpose, is the first step in the direction of "loving" in its universal sense, a sense that shapes the values of Time into a pattern of Eternity. For the dedicated student Eternity is NOW!


In the light of this last statement "Today" is never just "Today." It is both fruit and seed: the fruit of hundreds of incarnations, in aeons of past time, in races departed, eras forgotten, continents submerged. It is the seed of aeons unborn, of unbegotten races, of continents yet to emerge. Through that immeasurable past, as in this unimaginable future, this incarnating Ego confronts, colors and shapes passing time and its circumstances. Either this is true, or this morsel of meaningless flotsam floats fruitlessly on the tides of time - an insignificant fragment in an eternally significant "sea of causes."

To accept such a view is to reject personal responsibility. Regardless of the fact that we remember nothing of past lives, yet it is to be assumed that all we are as a spiritual reality is the sum of our essential maturation over innumerable incarnations. In that case, are we justified in confronting Today as a Freshman entering life's classroom for the first time? Are we justified in ignoring - denying, even - all those spiritual essences that have required aeons of time for their maturation? Are we to dedicate Today to indulgences that declare these many incarnations to be hundreds of years wasted? Does not our innate Self-knowledge require of us an occasional estimate of our spiritual potential built up over [14] long-forgotten Yesterdays and demanding at least some manifestation Today? Every Today is in debt to uncounted Yesterdays! Our reverence for Tomorrow is measured by our faithful observance of that debt.

On every Today bills come due for past endowments. We pay those bills by beneficently utilizing those endowments. They are not our's merely; they are resources to be expended for all. All blessings, all happiness are credited to our account so long as we keep that account open to all mankind - funds to be used universally. Today and Everyday, we live for all.

It is the prayer of the dedicated disciple that he may never lose sight of this fact. Be it Monday, Tuesday, Saturday or Sunday, "Today" is eternally fruitful, eternally significant. So long as he can claim to be "alive," that significance is his responsibility. So long as he properly understands the "immortality" with which Reincarnation endows him, an immeasurable Past and an immeasurable Future constitute the dimensions of his "Today." For him the "sin against the Holy Ghost" is to belittle those dimensions, to fail in reverence for the sublimity of the Karma of Immortality whose Todays are life-long sowings and reapings; kingly dominion is as naught compared to this Eternal Dominion of the Spirit!

"Give us this day our daily bread," prays the orthodox Christian. To what extent, one wonders, does that prayer remind him that the great Day of each life is filled to overflowing with the consecrated bread of spiritual experience. Placing that life-long Day beside man's spiritual Manvantara, each single incarnation becomes a Today in the total Period of Manifestation. Since each of these todays Is followed by a period of repose inaugurated with death, a Theosophical Understanding of Death becomes indispensable.

A Theosophical Understanding of Death

To him who accepts Reincarnation, an enduring significance adheres to all that the incarnating ego experiences before birth and after death. With an adequate understanding of the entire Life-Legend, the place that both Birth and Death occupy in his thinking is important. So far as he sees death to be an open door to fuller life, with a plurality of births yet to come, he will attach a reasonable and healthily impelling significance to the change.

His first obligation in this regard is to eliminate any sense of "ending" in the crossing of this threshold. In terms of his acceptance of his own immortality as a spiritual entity, he will exert every effort possible to the acquiring of a grasp of the intrinsic value of the experience in the Total Legend. That value is, of course, "another chance," to which a perfect evaluation will lend a definite enrichment; such enrichment will find expression in a cheerful readiness of approach to this period of repose, which has occurred so many times in the past. Having lived his life along Theosophical lines, the dedicated disciple meets death with the assurance of a continuance of such living under less frustrating conditions. Insofar as Devachan is little more than a season of more or less uneventful repose, the disciple is justified in entering upon it with at least a fleeting contemplation of the reinforced vitality [15] and discrimination this siesta period can provide for more vigorous growth in a forthcoming manifestation.

Being the perfect and comprehensive season of "loafing" that it is, Devachan renders him temporarily incapable of any sensational "accomplishment"; but, given a reasonably rich psychic harvest from past lives, he can undoubtedly "rest up" to good purpose. With "wholeness" in terms of self and season as a pedal tone, his repose will of necessity be invigorating and of measurable richness. Let him, in any case, close his eyes on earth's pandemonium with a positive intent to keep on growing, come what may. That intent will invoke sweeter music, deeper harmonies and a more lovely theme in the next movement.

Above all, he must forbid thoughts of bereavement, of absence or "end" in the minds of those with whom he parts for the moment. THERE IS ONLY LIFE! His justified anticipation is more LIFE under improved conditions as the result of lessons learned and experience acquired. In regard to the vacation ahead, should he desire to "pay as you go," let him sound this note of uninterrupted unfoldment now - up to his last breath! This is the least be can do in view of the bliss the LAW vouchsafes so ordinary and unsensational an ego!

Since death opens the only door immediately accessible to the heart and soul of Reality in earthly living, it is important in life to let the imagination penetrate beyond the threshold, that is to say, to admit something of the Everlasting Splendor of the Beyond into this Here and Now. Rather than viewing this as "getting ready to die," let us see it as enriching earthly living with the clear conviction that THERE IS ONLY LIFE, within, or out of the body - reaching out confidently to the limitless perspectives of the afterlife. Besides introducing some vital traces of the Eternal into this rabbit hutch of life, the disciple may also be developing a moiety of Devachanic momentum into the heavy traffic of earthly progress.

Might it not be possible that a quiet, fearless contemplation of this blissfully serene rest period, this "evening" of TODAY, could lay a small benediction on our next waking to earthly turmoil? From it, should we not come "trailing clouds of glory" and Reality, as we approach these "mansions of Maya"? Constancy is the challenge one offers to all those earthly limitations which the Higher Self actually transcends if allowed to manifest freely. As spiritual entities, we are not victims, but free agents of life. It is for each of us to demand death's unfettered freedom in life, by determinedly living beyond Time here and now. Death is just one of our illuminating opportunities!


What then is the panacea finally, the royal talisman? It is DUTY, Selflessness. Duty persistently followed is the highest yoga, and is better than mantrams or any posture, or any other thing. If you can do no more than duty it will bring you to the goal. - William Quan Judge. [16]


By Judith Tyberg

Sanskrit, says the author of this book, is truly the mystery-language of the Aryan race. It is one of the instruments that high initiates used to impart Truth to men in the early days of our Fifth Race during the 'Age of Truth'."
More than 500 words from this ancient mystery-language are here gathered from some of the great Theosophical classics and lucidly explained in short yet adequate Lessons. These words are not fossilized relics from a forgotten age. They imbody a philosophy of man and nature as alive today as it was millions of years ago, as useful and stimulating to psychologist and educator as to the student of ancient races and cultures.
Five hundred Sanskrit Keys to the Wisdom-Religion are in your hands. Who can tell what doors they may open for you!
184 pp. softbound, $4.00.


By G. de Purucker

Here is a book of exalted insights into the Wisdom as old as man and yet forever new.
Give ten minutes a day to their reading, and you will find those ideas which can lift you above clouds of confusion and prejudice to heights where a clearer perspective is gained of the promise of the dawning Aquarian Age. For these are thoughts which, in Dr. de Purucker's significant phrase, represent a Wind of the Spirit which, if encouraged to blow, can sweep away the heavy mists of ignorance and biased thinking.
In this volume are one hundred subjects relating to today's urgent problems. To choose a few:
The World's Trouble and its Cure; The Weighing of the Heart; Three Stages of Visioning Truth; Psychism in Religion; The Golden Chain of Platonic Succession; The Theosophy of China; The Exoteric and Esoteric H.P.B.; After Death - You are Yourself; To Those Who Mourn - and 90 more!
364 pp. softbound $3.25.