A Living Philosophy For Humanity

No. 3 (149) - Winter 1976-1977

[Cover photo: Schwellbrunn, Appenzell, Switzerland.]


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.



Among a number of documents released by the U.S. government in connection with its Bicentennial is a letter of a century ago from an American Indian Chief to the President of the U.S.A. (Quoted in The Hindu of Madras). It is timely in its content. Asked to sell their land, he wrote:

"Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people ... We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on ... His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert ... The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man ... There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to hear the leaves of Spring or the rustle of insect wings." - Reported by Radha S. Burnier, The Theosophist, August, 1976. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

[Reprinted by request from an earlier issue.]

The modern Theosophical Movement has passed through many a crisis, and will undoubtedly pass through many more.

It has survived organized onslaughts from without, and perfidious treachery from within.

With every changing cycle and with every crisis, its teachings have spread in ever-widening circles throughout humanity.

The Theosophical Movement, considered in its outwardly manifested form, is a living, organic entity. T he strengthening of its sinews and the growth of its outward stature are subject to the natural processes of periodic purification, and the elimination of accumulated dross. Such periods are invariably of a regenerative kind, and result in ultimate good for the Cause which it represents.

This Movement presents a cross-section of the world; therefore also a cross-section of the world's troubles and problems, the presence of which within the Movement testifies to the universality of its intrinsic nature, and to the bonds of human fellowship which bind it to the great family of the human race.

Therefore, no crisis within the organized aspect of the Movement should ever be met with down-heartedness, discouragement or perplexity. The clash of human wills is a definite sign of vitality and growth; and wherever such clash occurs, there can be no stagnation. The latter alone is a sure sign of decay, senescence and death.

At times of change and readjustment, it is of imperative importance to remind ourselves of certain basic factors regarding the nature of the Theosophical Movement and its character.

The foremost characteristic of the Movement as a whole is its absolute Universality. This fundamental key-note precludes any parochialism or sectarian spirit from ever being considered as genuinely Theosophical.

Organized Theosophical bodies or Societies are but temporary forms, outward vehicles, for the manifestation of a portion of the Movement in any particular cycle or era. As such, they have their beginning and their ultimate ending, only to be followed by other vehicles and forms embodying a greater degree of knowledge, and better suited to the changing conditions of life.

As pointed out by William Q. Judge (The Path, Aug., 1895), organized Theosophical bodies "are made by men for their better co-operation, but, being mere outer shells they must change from time to time as human defects come out, as the times change, and as the great underlying spiritual movement compels such alterations."

Sectarianism, and intellectual as well as moral limitations, are bound to creep into any Theosophical body, owing to the imperfections of [3] human character. But the healthy spirit of Universality, underlying the Movement as a whole, sooner or later drives them out, cleansing the atmosphere with the invigorating "Wind of the Spirit."

The best and surest protection against the rise of sectarianism and intolerance within the organized Theosophical bodies is to remember at all times that our allegiance, as students of Theosophy, is to Principles, not to personalities, however exalted or venerated. We work for a Cause which is utterly Universal. Remembering the Master's sound advice to Col. Olcott to work for Humanity through the Theosophical Society, we will remain free of all those inevitable misconceptions which come from a confusion of motives, when a student imagines that he or she is working for a society, or for a Leader, or for the Masters themselves. No genuine student ever does. The sole and unique objective which can never disappoint is the impersonal and utterly universal Cause in which all personalities, including the exalted ones of the Masters themselves, sink into relative insignificance, and are viewed only as channels for a Work transcending them all.

We should keep in our minds a clear distinction between Theosophy as a teaching of Truth and the adherents to that teaching. The one is infallible and universal. The others are but imperfect exponents of a small portion of that Truth which they express in a necessarily limited and inadequate way. Their weaknesses and shortcomings do not reflect in the least upon the majesty of Theosophy as a philosophy of life, Confusion along these lines has resulted only too often in uncalled for disappointment and heartache.

If the modern Theosophical society, with its various organizational sub-divisions, is viewed as a mere exoteric body for the promotion of an intellectual philosophy, or even a code of ethical laws, its main character and objective will be lost sight of. The entire modern Theosophical effort, launched by the Masters through the instrumentality of the original Founders, was an attempt to re-open in the Occident a Mystery-School for the training of students in occultism. The opening of the era of "Western Occultism" was pointed out by Judge in one of his writings. And unless the Movement in its modern form be considered as such, its outward destinies and vicissitudes will make but little sense to the casual observer.

Therefore, genuine Theosophical groups, derived from the original or parent society, as well as the parent Society itself in the time of H.P. Blavatsky, can and should be considered as disciples on probation, perennially tested as to their spiritual and moral worth, through the trials of life, its wide-spread changes and deep-seated reactions, and the complex array of ever-shifting Karmic circumstances.

This all-important fact may be verified by a glance at the history of the modern Theosophical Society. It is indicated in the formation since 1888 of an Esoteric School within the exoteric Society, and is plainly [5] shown in the very pattern or blueprint on which the original Society was organized at the specific suggestion of the Masters themselves. According to this pattern, an exoteric official - Col. Henry S. Olcott - was to be in charge of all outward organizational activities and problems, while an esoteric teacher - H.P. Blavatsky - was to be responsible for all matters pertaining to the occult aspect of the Movement, its teachings and spiritual discipline.

In a Letter addressed to Col. H.S. Olcott, and precipitated by occult means on board the S.S. Shannon, during Olcott's voyage from India to Europe in August, 1888, Master K.H. states:

"... To help you in your present perplexity: H.P.B. has next to no concern with administrative details, and should be kept clear of them, so far as her strong nature can be controlled. But this you must tell to all: - with occult matters she has everything to do. We have not abandoned her. She is not given over to chelas. She is our direct agent ... you will have two things to consider - the external and administrative, and the internal and psychical. Keep the former under your control and that of your most prudent associates, jointly; leave the latter to her. You are left to devise the practical details with your usual ingenuity. Only be careful, I say, to discriminate when some emergent interference of hers in practical affairs is referred to you on appeal, between that which is merely exoteric in origin and effects, and that which beginning on the practical tends to beget consequences on the spiritual plane. As to the former you are the best judge, as to the latter, she." (Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, I, 52-55.)

The underlying reason for the above is easy to detect. The Teachers desired to organize the modern Theosophical Society on a pattern similar to the one used traditionally in their own School, seeing that the Society was to be an extension of said School in the outer world.

The same pattern was followed by one of the very few genuine occult schools - Tibetan Lamaism, wherein the Dali-Lama at Lhasa was the exoteric authority over state matters and the official business of the country, and the Tashi-Lama at Shigatse, called the "Great Jew of Wisdom," was the spiritual authority.

Similarly, the Eleusinian occult school had its basileus or Hierophant belonging to the inner mysteries, and its archons presiding over organizational forms. It is rather obvious from the study of Jewish Scriptures in the light of the Ancient Wisdom that the "Prophets" played the same role in the mystery-schools of the Jewish race, and were what might be called the Interpreters of the Inner Vision.

These and similar instances which might be picked from other sources are, it should be remembered, but a natural replica of the structure of the Universe itself, wherein the Hierarchy of Builders is at all times informed by the Hierarchy of what [6] might be termed the Architects, the latter, as their very name implies, being the transmitters and channels of the Original Ideation underlying the entire manifestation.

The facts mentioned above regarding the original pattern of the Movement should have become by now familiar to every student. Unfortunately they have not. This has given rise to much needless confusion. It is only the inherent weaknesses of all organized Theosophical bodies, and the lack of adequate individuals, which has prevented this pattern from being carried out in later periods of the Society's history, wherein outward authority and inner occult guidance had to be combined in the same individual. It should be distinctly noted that this was a make-shift arrangement. It is to be hoped that the future history of the modern Theosophical Movement will see the return to the original pattern or blueprint according to which the Teachers desired the Work to be carried out.

It would only be natural to suppose that all schools of esoteric discipline and instruction, in whatever land or race, have had periods of inner strength and periods of temporary weakness, when stresses and tensions, brought about by the inherent flaws in human character, weakened for the time being the tensile strength of that mystic connection with the prime-source of all occult knowledge which H.P. Blavatsky so graphically termed the "Link." Apart from any outward manifestation in the actual presence of a living Teacher, such a "link" is a mystic reality within the disciple himself. While greatly helped and sustained by the Teacher, it does not solely depend upon him. It is primarily the student's own inner awareness of spiritual realities; his own ability to rise above the illusions of material existence and synchronize his human consciousness with the vibratory rate of a Higher Consciousness; his capacity to make himself a relatively open channel for the transmission of a Force flowing from the Occult Hierarchy in which his spiritual consciousness is rooted.

The outward Teacher does not establish the disciple's own inner "link," though he stands as its noblest symbol, and facilitates the conditions under which such individual "links" may be established with grater ease. I should also be remembered that genuine esoteric Teachers do not come on their own, looking for possible disciples, but invariably appear in answer to the individual and collective "call" on the part of would-be disciples, whose condition of growth and state of consciousness make the appearance of a Teacher imperative.

The primary condition necessary for the establishment and the perpetuation of the inner "link" within the disciple's own consciousness, is a life devoted to the spiritual interests of others, wherein one's own personal advancement, even advancement in spiritual knowledge or attainment, becomes secondary as compared with the existing need for spiritual help in the world at large, and the [7] disciple's endeavor to meet as much of this need as his capacities and abilities permit him to do at any one time. Given this condition of self-forgetfulness in the service of others, the forging of the mystic "link" with the Brotherhood of Adepts becomes immeasurably easier than it would be under any other circumstances. With the absence, total or partial, of this paramount condition, all intellectual learning, all individual and collective discipline, all outward reliance upon Teachers, books, mantrams, and tradition, while doubtless productive of some small good, nevertheless result ultimately but in erecting a superstructure of "spiritual" selfishness, which precludes any "link" from being established, or sustained if already previously formed.

All genuine occult work is based upon the corner-stones of fearless research, unfettered investigations, freedom of spiritual choice, selflessness of purpose, and the will to press onward, over rough terrain and smooth, in storm and sunshine, through adversity and success, towards the Gates of Gold.

When this is realized, the reported last words of H.P. Blavatsky yield an ever-deepening meaning:

"Keep the link unbroken! Do not let my last incarnation be a failure."


(Written by a Master of Wisdom)

[Originally published in Lucifer, Vol. I, January, 1888, pp. 344-46. No information is available about the circumstances of the origin of this communication - Editor, Theosophia.]

"It is divine philosophy alone, the spiritual and psychic blending of man with nature, which, by revealing the fundamental truths that lie hidden under the objects of sense and perception, can promote a spirit of unity and harmony in spite of the great diversities of conflicting creeds. Theosophy, therefore, expects and demands from the Fellows of the Society a great mutual toleration and charity for each other’s shortcomings, ungrudging mutual help in search for truths in every department of nature, moral and physical. And this ethical standard must be unflinchingly applied to daily life.

"Theosophy should not represent merely a collection of moral verities, a bundle of metaphysical ethics, epitomized in theoretical dissertations. Theosophy must be made practical; and it has, therefore, to be disencumbered of useless digressions, in the sense of desultory orations and fine talk. Let every Theosophist only do his duty, that which he can and ought to do, and very soon the sum of human misery within and around the areas of every Branch of you Society, will be found visibly [8] diminished. Forget SELF in working for others - and the task will become an easy and light one for you ...

"Do not set your pride in the appreciation and acknowledgment of that work by others. Why should any member of the Theosophical Society, striving to become a Theosophist, put any value upon his neighbors’ good or bad opinion of himself and his work, so long as he himself knows it to be useful and beneficent to other people? Human praise and enthusiasm are short-lived at best; the laugh of the scoffer and the condemnation of the indifferent looker-on are sure to follow, and generally to out-weigh the admiring praise of the friendly. Do not despise the opinion of the world, nor provoke it uselessly to unjust criticism. Remain rather as indifferent to the abuse as to the praise of those who can never know you as you really are, and who ought, therefore, to find you unmoved by either, and ever placing the approval or condemnation of your own Inner Self higher than that of the multitudes.

"Those of you who would know yourselves in the spirit of truth, learn to live alone even amidst the great crowds which may sometimes surround you. Seek communion and intercourse only with the God within your own soul; heed only the praise or blame of that deity which can never be separated from your true self, as it is verily that God itself; called the HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS. Put without delay your good intentions into practice, never leaving a single one to remain only an intention - expecting, meanwhile, neither reward nor even acknowledgment for the good you may have done. Reward and acknowledgment are in yourself and inseparable from you, as it is you Inner Self alone which can appreciate them at their true degree and value. For each one of you contains within the precincts of his inner tabernacle the Supreme Court - prosecutor, defense, jury and judge - whose sentence is the only one without appeal; since none can know you better than you do yourself when once you have learned to judge that Self by the never wavering light of the inner divinity - your higher consciousness. Let therefore, the masses, which can never know your true selves, condemn your outer selves according to their own false lights ...

"The majority of the public Areopagus is generally composed of self-appointed judges, who have never made a permanent deity of any idol save their own personalities - their lower selves; for those who try in their walk in life, to follow their inner light will never be found judging, far less condemning, those weaker than themselves. What does it matter then, whether the former condemn or praise, whether they humble you or exalt you on a pinnacle? They will never comprehend you one way or the other. They may make an idol of you, so long as they imagine you a faithful mirror of themselves on the pedestal or altar which they have reared for you, and while you amuse or benefit them. You cannot expect to be anything for them but a temporary fetish, succeeding another fetish [9] just overthrown, and followed in your turn by another idol. Let, therefore, those who have created that idol destroy it whenever they life, casting it down with as little cause as they had for setting it up. Your western Society can no more live without its Khalif of an hour than it can worship one for any longer period; and whenever it breaks an idol and then besmears it with mud, it is not the model, but the disfigured image created by its own foul fancy and which it has endowed with its own vices, that Society dethrones and breaks.

"Theosophy can only find objective expression in an all-bracing code of life, thoroughly impregnated with the spirit of mutual tolerance, charity, and brotherly love. Its Society as a body, has a task before it which, unless performed with the utmost discretion, will cause the world of the indifferent and the selfish to rise up in arms against it. Theosophy has to fight intolerance, prejudice, ignorance, and selfishness, hidden under the mantle of hypocrisy. It has to throw all the light it can from the torch of Truth, with which its servants are entrusted. It must do this without fear or hesitation, dreading neither reproof nor condemnation. Theosophy, through its mouthpiece, the Society, has to tell the TRUTH to the very face of LIE; to beard the tiger in its den, without thought or fear of evil consequences, and to set at defiance calumny and threats. As an Association, it has not only the right, but the duty to uncloak vice and do its best to redress wrongs, whether through the voice of its chosen lecturers or the printed word of its journals and publications - making its accusations, however, as impersonal as possible. But its Fellows, or Members, have individually no such right. Its followers have, first of all, to set the example of a firmly outlined and as firmly applied morality before they obtain the right to point out, even in a spirit of kindness, the absence of a like ethic unity and singleness of purpose in other associations or individual. No Theosophist should blame a brother, whether within or outside of the association; neither may he throw a slur upon another’s actions or denounce him, lest he himself lose the right to be considered a Theosophist. For, as such, he has to turn away his gaze from the imperfections of his neighbor, and center rather his attention upon his own shortcomings, in order to correct them and become wiser. Let him not show the disparity between claim and action in another, but, whether in the case of a brother, a neighbor, or simply a fellow man, let him rather ever help one weaker than himself on the arduous walk of life.

"The problem of true Theosophy and its great mission are, first, the working out of clear unequivocal conceptions of ethic ideas and duties, such as shall best and most fully satisfy the right and altruistic feelings in men; and second, the modeling of these conceptions for their adaptation into such forms of daily life, as shall offer a field where they may be applied with most equitableness. [10]

"Such is the common work placed before all who are willing to act on these principles. It is a laborious task, and will require strenuous and persevering exertion; but it must lead you insensibly to progress, and leave you no room for any selfish aspirations outside the limits traced ... Do not grudge personally in unbrotherly comparison between the task accomplished by yourself and the work left undone by your neighbors or brothers. In the fields of Theosophy none is held to weed out a larger plot of ground than his strength and capacity will permit him. Do not be too severe on the merits or demerits of one who seeks admission among your ranks, as the truth about the actual state of the inner man can only be known to Karma, and can be dealt with justly by that all-seeing LAW alone. Even the simple presence among you of a well-intentioned and sympathizing individual may help you magnetically ... You are the free volunteer workers on the fields of Truth, and as such must leave no obstruction on the paths leading to that field.


The degree of success or failure are the landmarks the masters have to follow, as they will constitute the barriers placed with your own hands between yourselves and those whom you have asked to be your teachers. The nearer your approach to the goal contemplated - the shorter the distance between the student and the Masters.


Vonda Urban

Just stop for a minute and think of it! A word once spoken can never be recalled from echoing eternity; an unleashed emotion troubles the waters of infinitude with turbulent waves that reach no shore; a deed of action or inaction is recorded forever in the imperishable records of time immemorial; an opportunity lost passes by never to smile again though other chances may abound. But this is more than something merely to think about! It is something to do about; for everything that we think, feel and consequently say or do is determined and executed in our mind; and only if we are able to control the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde lurking there can we direct the course of our actions with intelligence, reason and purpose.

Thought, will and feeling are inherent qualities of consciousness which flow from the monadic core of our Divinity, streaming from it as a "Pillar of Light" throughout our sevenfold constitution. This is the Sutratman, the Thread-Self linking the Divine, the Spiritual and the Intellectual centers into an unbroken chain of consciousness which is [11] Universal in our Divine Self, Spiritual in our Higher Self, and has reached to Individualized Self-consciousness in our intermediate, human self. But we are not yet fully self-conscious in the present stage of human unfoldment. Our imperfectly evolved intermediate nature is divided against itself, meeting, as it does, between heaven and earth, in the animal man; and we are only vaguely beginning to sense the oneness of all life; only dimly aware that our dual nature is an inseparable part of the Universal All in which our mind soars upward on the wings of spirit, or remains the slave of earth, chained to the appetites of our senses; we are only barely responsive to the responsibility of duty, justice, compassion, self-abnegation, and therefore are not yet able to see that Brotherhood is a fact in nature based upon the interaction and interdependence of everything with all that is.

The human ego, centered in the brain-mind, perceives through the lower Self-consciousness of the personality in which the self reflects upon self through the "I am I" egoism that is self-seeking and selfish. We see ourselves to be different from every other self, out of which arises a feeling of separateness that is called the "Great Heresy." This is but an illusion of our mind when purblind vision through the senses cannot see the oneness in all that lives, and so we cut ourselves off from our fellows. Yet the brain-mind is the only link with our Higher Self, and through it we must raise our personal consciousness to ever higher reaches of our Sutratman, eventually merging our human selfhood with its higher counterpart, Spiritual consciousness. It is in living in the material world that we rise out of it, which can only be done by lifting our mind above its attachment to the senses. When personality begins to vanish into individuality, when "I am I" begins to cognize "I am," when egotism surrenders to altruism, when self-seeking gives way to self-forgetfulness, then our humanhood is beginning to reach outward to the Universe; then our mind is becoming pervious to the Spiritual Light.

Consciousness continues eternally in an unbroken sequence throughout the active and recessive periods of life and death. It is continually changing - growing or diminishing as our thoughts, will and feelings set the course. Thus we become whatever our mind dwells on, the thoughts growing into habits, the habits becoming our character and our character shaping the pattern of our Karmic necessity and conditioning the after death states of consciousness. When we finally and fully realize that the only enduring results from all our strivings throughout life are garnered solely from the spiritual efforts made, it must make a difference in how we live!

The following passage selected from H. P. Blavatsky's E.S. Instruction No. III discusses the alternatives:

"The 'harvest of life' consists of the finest spiritual ideations, of the [12] memory of the noblest and most unselfish deeds of the personality, and the constant presence during its bliss after death of all those it loved with divine, spiritual devotion. Remember the teaching: the human soul, lower Manas, is the only and direct mediator between the personality and the divine Ego. That which goes to make up on this earth the personality (miscalled by us individuality) is the sum of all its mental, physical and spiritual characteristic traits, which, being impressed on tile human soul, produces the man. Now, of all these characteristics it is the purified ideations alone which can be impressed on the higher, immortal Ego. This is done by the 'human soul' merging again, in its essence, into its parent source, commingling with its divine Ego during life, and reuniting itself entirely with it after the death of the physical man. Therefore unless Kama-Manas transmits to Buddhi-Manas such personal ideations, and such consciousness of its 'I' as can be assimilated by the divine EGO, nothing of that 'I' or personality can survive in the Eternal. Only that which is worthy of the immortal God within us, and identical in its nature with the divine quintessence, can survive; for in this case it is its own, the divine Ego's, 'shadows' or emanations which ascend to it and are indrawn by it into itself again, to become once more part of its own Essence. No noble thought, no grand aspiration, desire, or divine immortal love, can come into the brain of the man of clay and settle there, except as a direct emanation from the higher to, and through, the lower Ego; all the rest, intellectual as it may seem, proceeds from the shadow, the lower mind, in its association and commingling with Kama, and passes away and disappears forever. But the mental and spiritual ideations of the personal 'I' return to it, as parts of the Ego's essence, and can never fade out ... There is no distinct or separate immortality for the men of earth outside of the Ego which informed them ...

"Nor can anything endure of that which lives and breathes and has its being in the seething waves of the world, or plane of differentiation. Thus, Buddhi and Manas being both primordial rays of the One Flame - the former the vehicle (upadhi or vahana), of the one eternal Essence, the latter the vehicle of Mahat or Divine ideation (Maha-Buddhi in the Puranas), the Universal Intelligent Soul - neither of them, as such, can become extinct or be annihilated, either in essence or consciousness. But the physical personality with its Linga-sarira, and the animal soul with its Kama, can and do become so. They are born in the realm of illusion, and must vanish like a fleecy cloud from the blue and eternal sky ...

"... We (i.e., our personalities) become immortal by the mere fact of our thinking moral nature being grafted on our divine triune monad (Atma-Buddhi-Manas), the three in one and one in three (aspects). For the Monad manifested on earth by the incarnating Ego is that which is called the Tree of Life [13] Eternal, that can only be approached by eating the fruit of Knowledge, the Knowledge of Good and Evil, or of the GNOSIS, Divine Wisdom."

Just think of it! Every day of our life our Higher Self and our animal self confront each other on the battleground of our mind and one of them wins the balance of choices made. We stand at the threshold of the Hierarchy of Compassion, the critical step from which we reach upward to the flowering of our humanhood - or fall downward, lost in the alluring illusion of Terra; and in those struggling moments of the balance up or down, we can hear the sacred Voice of the Silence warning us: "Thou shalt not let thy senses make a playground of thy mind"!


Dara Eklund

A Taoist poet, Su-K'ung Tu, expressed a way one might flee from this world without going anywhere; he thought:

"When emotions crowd upon me,
I will leave them to the harmonies of heaven."

The word heaven has been synonimous with "harmony" for a score of ages. The Greeks upheld an ardor for the Music of the Spheres realizing those retreats of our finer nature to which cultivated Silence invites Divine Messengers, "Remain silent in the presence of the divine ones," taught Plato: "till they remove the clouds from thy eyes and enable thee to see by the light which issues from themselves, not what appears as good to thee, but what is intrinsically good."

During the "Golden Age," those Greeks protected their "god-taught" when young. The Pythian oracles informed the father of Pythagoras of a wise son he was to bear - a soul enshrined by divine inspiration. His father did not hide the child from this heritage, but provided him with the best teachers, nurturing him within the world, but sending him away from political tyranny when it threatened to interfere with his studies.

Today our nations, which educate primarily for material well-being, would judge this to be cowardly. Our students are taught to be involved politically. They do not fathom the remote recesses of the soul which enabled the ancient Chinese to state that there could be no harmony in the State without the individual first achieving it. Whatever Pythagoras was able to garner from his studies abroad he eventually used to benefit the State through reform. However, he did not return to teach in Samos until about 56 years of age. He had spent 22 of those years in Egypt and even went to Babylon to study with the Magi. At first, his symbolic teaching methods did not appeal to the Samians, and he obtained only one pupil. Yet, he was not discouraged by this fact, [14] as some of us are today when we find that few people are willing to take the time for Theosophical study and place it above all else in their lives. He must have known the tide would change, or a new influx of heavenly descent would supplant the scepticism of the past. Philosophy became so popular that Pythagoras drew students from all over Greece, until the citizenry became so demanding of his services that he was again involved in political issues and administration. To free himself for the perfection of his School, he headed for Italy - to Crotona - and upon arrival acquired about 600 followers.* (* Iamblichus' Life of Pythagoras, translated by Thomas Taylor. Original ed., 1818. Repr., 1926, 1965.) What would we not give today for so many lovers of wisdom who were willing to throw their material goods together towards the pursuit of Truth!

High aspiration, it has been said, is the best nutrition for the "emotional body." Did not Aristotle, so prodigious and exact in learning, yet see that "Wonder is the beginning of philosophy"? Essentially the philosopher knows he must abstract himself from the sway of the emotional world most people would prefer to swim and to drown in.

To cultivate this aspiration in modern society means less worldly involvement: less television and commercialized living! The "Harmonies of Heaven," are not to be found on these hard pavements our feet must walk. It has to be embodied into our daily lives by diligent attention. At work, we must refrain from argument or indulgence in petty complaints or gossip, which occupy most of our well-meaning associates and drain so much time and energy. We must acquire the safety of silence and speak forth only in defense of the helpless or wronged.

Seng Ts'an, the 3rd patriarch of China, wrote of another way to retreat from the disharmonies of outer life:

"If the One Mind does not stir
Then all things will be harmless.
Things that are harmless cease to be,
Mind that stirs not, does not exist."

These are meditative skills which help build the Buddhic Consciousness and one day produce the Harmonies of Heaven here on Earth.



We sincerely thank all our friends and subscribers for the many kind messages received from them during the Christmas season, and warmly reciprocate them. May the opening year of 1977 bring its all renewed opportunities to spread the ancient teachings and to serve our fellow-men! - Editor, Theosophia. [15]


W. Emmett Small

Yes, it's the adjective theosophical (or theosophic), and we want to say a few words about it. The word already is in some dictionaries, evidence that it has already begun to be accepted into the language of the day as useful and needed because reflecting the "feeling" of the time.

Fundamentally its introduction reflects a significant change in today's values. It points to a shift away, at least in some areas, from stark materialism to a realization of finer and more subtle forces at work in the universe. In this general sense, and looking back over the past century and choosing a few poetic voices as example, we may rightly speak of Emerson's theosophic ideas based on the Over-Soul; of Traherne's theosophic view of nature reflecting a spiritual background as a mirror of infinite beauty; of Shelley's pantheistic theosophic portrayal of the divine in everything; of Browning's theosophic concept of truth imprisoned within each of us, needing only to be released, let out. All these are right uses of the word.

And in this sense it would not be difficult also to quite correctly trace theosophic influence in certain areas of the philosophy of Paul Tillich, in the Catholic scientist de Nouy, and in the Jesuit anthropologist-priest de Chardin, to name only a few. The word theosophic will be found more and more to be a useful word-tool designating certain distinct attitudes of today. There will be seen to be a natural cross-over of the old orthodox rigid divisions between religion, philosophy, and science. Forerunners of this were the views expressed by Eddington and Jeans and Schrodinger and Stromberg in the 1920's, as basically religious as scientific or philosophical - in other words thoroughly theosophical.

There will be growing evidence of this as the present cycle matures, and ready minds and hearts will recognize that theosophic thinkers encircle the globe and give expression in their own individual ways to thoughts seen as fundamentally universal. And this brings us this philosophical reflection. These thinkers, these awake ones - and they must now number in the tens of thousands - are tapping that great Ideative Plane, that storehouse of ideas living in the mental atmosphere, which H. P. Blavatsky declares is much more than plausible conjecture but esoteric fact ("The Religion of the Future", in The Theosophist, IV, May 1883, pp. 205-06; also Blavatsky: Collected Writings, IV, pp. 451-53.). Her words have vital interest for us all. She says:

"Occultism teaches us that ideas based upon fundamental truths move in the eternity in a circle, revolving around and filling the space within the circuit of the limits allotted to our globe and the planetary or solar system; that, not unlike Plato's eternal, immutable essences, they pervade the sensible world, permeating the [16] world of thought; and, that contrary to chemical affinities, they are attracted to, and assimilated by, homogeneous universals in certain brains - exclusively the product of human mind, its thoughts and intuition; that in their perpetual flow they have their periods of intensity and activity, as their durations of morbid inactivity. During the former, and whenever a strong impulse is imparted on some given point of the globe to one of such fundamental truths, and a communion between kindred eternal essences is strongly established between a philosopher's interior world of reflection and the exterior plane of ideas, then, cognate brains are affected on several other points, and identical ideas will be generated and expression given to them often in almost identical terms."

Fundamental truths. There in two words you have the whole basis of theosophical philosophy. Is it speaking too rashly to suggest that what amelioration in world-thought has come about in the last hundred years is because "cognate brains" have been able to reach to and to seize from that Ideative Plane, those theosophic universals, those "identical ideas"? What we owe to H. P. Blavatsky we shall never fully know, nor to those who were her Teachers, for whom she acted as Messenger.

But as Theosophists we can ask ourselves some questions and perhaps reflect on responsibilities we either shoulder or shrug off. Are Theosophists, in their effort to placate or please a still largely unbelieving world, watering down or even misinterpreting their own doctrines? Is there fear of stating just what Theosophy is? Is there need to study deeper to come to really know the teachings? Is, for instance, the real meaning of Brotherhood recognized, not merely as a kindly and to-be-desired feeling, but as a bona fide fact inherent in the very structure of the universe? Do we realize that ethics has a scientific basis and that Theosophy demonstrates this? Do we know, and put into practice what we know, of the composite nature of man and all things? The constitution of our Earth-globe and the invisible globes forming the Earth chain? And what of the after-death states of consciousness, about which there is much fuzzy thinking?

Our duty seems plain enough and two-fold: (1) to study and to know Theosophy, to study the doctrines as presented by H.P.B. and her own Teachers and by those who have faithfully followed and promulgated those same teachings. And to let the rest go. And (2) to raise high the flag of Theosophy, speaking out clearly and boldly, and to point to Theosophy as the Source of all great religions, philosophies and sciences, supporting our statements with evidence that is sensible, logical, and factually appealing. The religion of the future - if you wish to call it religion - is Theosophy. We have a duty to keep it untarnished. In that way we encourage what is truly theosophical "revolving around and filling the space within the circuit of the limits allotted to our globe ..."