A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXXV
No. 1 (155) - Summer 1978

[Cover photo: California Desert Scene: Cholla Cactus in foreground, and Barrel Cactus in the center; to the left, Mojave Yucca in full bloom.]


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: $3.00 a year (four issues), single copy 75 cents. Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: 634 South Gramercy Place, #301, Los Angeles, California 90005. 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.




Action is the outer sign of the invisible thought and desire, and in its very accomplishment gives birth to a fresh thought and desire. The three form a circle, perpetually retraced.

Action is only the manifestation of that which is within, and where the thought is pure, where the speech is true and right, there the action must inevitably be noble.

When a soul is at a very low stage of evolution there is many an action that is right for it, because it carries it a step onwards, that becomes wrong for it after that step has been taken. Lifting forces are right, down dragging forces are wrong.

There is no excuse for doing an action which you thought of as wrong. Those actions only are inevitable which are done without thinking, where the thought belongs to the past, and the action to the present.

Realize ... that what you have to study is your motive more than your action. Make your actions as wise as you can; use your best thought and your best endeavour to judge what is right before you do it; but know ... that the eyes that scrutinize not the outer face but the heart of man, judge by a better judgment than the judgment of the world.

If, trying to do more than you can do perfectly, you grasp at a number of things that you have not time to finish, then you are going beyond right action.

Be true in action; never pretend to he other than you are, for all pretense is a hindrance to the pure light of truth, which should shine through you as sunlight shines through clear glass. - The Eternal Wisdom: A Theosophical Treasury, T.P.H., Adyar. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

The Theosophical Movement is a movement of Youth. This is a concept that has nothing to do with the age of the body. Youth is a condition of mind, a resiliency of thought, a dynamism of the vital streams, a readiness for spiritual adventure, a search for greater realities, an undying hope and trust in the unshakeable foundations of Truth. Those who can feel and embody these ideas and feelings are young at ninety! ...

We are in need today of new Pioneers in the fields of our Movement. Men and women, young and old, who are inspired by the vastness of spiritual horizons, whose hearts leap forward into the reaches of the unknown, and whose minds, instead of dwelling on the past and asking "why," scan the possibilities of the future and ask "why not"!

The Theosophical Society was founded to stem the tide of materialism, of spiritualistic phenomenalism and of unregulated psychism. It was intended to direct the minds of serious men and women away from psychic cravings and into the fields of spiritual ethics. Today, we have in the world a violent contest between out-of-hand psychism and a noble philosophy-science- religion, based on deep occult research, and the foundation-principles brought by H.P.B. from her own Teachers. We must become aware of this great conflict in the world of thought, and support, with all we have, the spread of the age-old traditions of the Esoteric Philosophy.

Many of our ideas and ideals are today only noble dreams, but we work towards the actual realization of some of them, and when we look back upon H. P. Blavatsky's days, we notice that some of her noble truths have begun to be manifested in mankind, in spite of the many terrible things which are taking place. Mankind, through struggle and violence, is beginning to understand that it is ONE, and that universal Oneness and collaboration is the only way out into a new age. It is also beginning to realize that, perhaps, we are not the only mankind in the universe, and this is a very important idea to dwell upon.

The test of theosophical interest lies in the ability of the student to set aside the entanglements of his personal life to the advantage of an impersonal dedication to a Universal Ideal; to renounce the futility of personal interests in favor of a selfless work for a world-wide objective; and to submerge his own personal self in the sense of universal freedom, which comes upon all those who can rise above the turmoil of worldly affairs, into the limitless spaces of universal concern.

Let us rise to the higher spiritual stratospheres of our being, free of old contentions and disharmonies, united and strong. Let us tread the ancient Path which leads to the spiritual Himalayas of our inmost nature - the ascending Path - which winds up the slopes of Mount Meru, towards the flaming dawn where the Sun of a greater age will rise with healing in its wings ... East of Tomorrow!

[Excerpts from a talk delivered at the Annual Theosophical Convention at Adyar, December 26, 1977.] [4]




Madame Blavatsky on the Views of the Theosophists

[Excerpts from H.P.B.'s first article published in The Spiritualist of London, February 8, 1878, and bearing a title obviously supplied by W. H. Harrison, the Editor of this Journal. In her Scrapbook, Vol. III, p. 197, now in the Adyar Archives, H.P.B. inserted the following remarks in blue pencil, in connection with a tribute to W. H. Harrison: "Very true. The best, most scientific and impartial of all Spiritual papers."
The article was written to counteract certain assertions of a man called J. Croucher, an "inspirational medium," who gave a wrong interpretation of the terms "soul" and "spirit' and their usage by Theosophists, especially Col. Henry S. Olcott. Square brackets in the text which follows are H.P.B.'s own - Editor, Theosophia.]

... As early as February 18th, 1876, your learned correspondent, "M. A. (Oxon.)," took occasion, in an article entitled "Soul and Spirit," to point out the frequent confusion of the terms by other writers. As things are no better now, I will take the opportunity to show how sorely Mr. Croucher, and many other Spiritualists of whom he may be taken as the spokesman, misapprehended Colonel Olcott's meaning, and the views of the New York Theosophists. Colonel Olcott neither affirmed nor dreamt of implying that the immortal spirit leaves the body to produce the medial displays. And yet Mr. Croucher evidently thinks he did, for the word "spirit" to him means the inner astral man or double. Here is what Colonel Olcott did say, double commas and all:

That mediumistic physical phenomena are not produced by pure spirits, but by "souls" embodied or disembodied, and usually with the help of elementals.

Any intelligent reader must perceive that, in placing the word "souls" in quotation marks, the writer indicated that he was using it in a sense not his own. As a Theosophist, he would more properly and philosophically have said for himself "astral spirits," or "astral men," or doubles. Hence, the criticism is wholly without even a foundation of plausibility. I wonder that a man could be found who, on so frail a basis, would have attempted so sweeping a denunciation. As it is, our President only propounded the trine of man, like the ancient and Oriental philosophers and their worthy imitator Paul, who held that the physical corporeity, the flesh and blood, was permeated and so kept alive by the psyche, the soul or astral body. This doctrine, that man is trine - spirit, or Nous, soul and body - was taught by the Apostle of the Gentiles more broadly and clearly than it has been by any of his Christian successors (see I Thess., v. 23.). But having evidently forgotten or neglected to "thoroughly" study the transcendental opinions of the ancient philosophers and the [5] Christian Apostles upon the subject, Mr. Croucher views the soul (psyche) as spirit (Nous) and vice versa.

The Buddhists, who separate the three entities in man (though viewing them as one when on the path to Nirvana), yet divide the soul into several parts, and have names for each of these and their functions. Thus confusion is unknown among them. The old Greeks did likewise, holding that psyche was bios, or physical life, and it was thumos, or passional nature, the animals being accorded but a lower faculty of the soul-instinct. The soul or psyche is itself a combination, consensus or unity of the bios, or physical vitality, the epithumia or concupiscible nature, and the phren, mens, or mind. Perhaps the animus ought to be included. It is constituted of ethereal substance, which pervades the whole universe, and is derived wholly from the soul of the world - Anima Mundi or the Buddhist Svabhavat - which is not spirit; though intangible and impalpable, it is yet, by comparison with spirit or pure abstraction - objective matter. By its complex nature, the soul may descend and ally itself so closely to the corporeal nature as to exclude a higher life from exerting any moral influence upon it. On the other hand, it can so closely attach to the nous or spirit, as to share its potency, in which case its vehicle, physical man, will appear as a God even during his terrestrial life. Unless such union of soul and spirit does occur, either during this life or after physical death, the individual man is not immortal as an entity. The psyche is sooner or later disintegrated. Though the man may have gained "the whole world," he has lost his "soul." Paul, when teaching the anastasis, or continuation of individual spiritual life after death, set forth that there was a physical body which was raised in incorruptible substance. The spiritual body is most assuredly not one of the bodies, or visible or tangible larvae, which form in circle-rooms, and are so improperly termed "materialized spirits." When once the metanoia, the full developing of spiritual life, has lifted the spiritual body out of the psychical (the disembodied, corruptible astral man, what Colonel Olcott calls "soul"), it becomes, in strict ratio with its progress, more and more an abstraction for the corporeal senses. It can influence, inspire, and even communicate with men subjectively; it can make itself felt, and even, in those rare instances, when the clairvoyant is perfectly pure and perfectly lucid, seen by the inner eye (which is the eye of the purified psyche-soul). But how can it ever manifest objectively?

It will be seen, then, that to apply the term "spirit" to the materialized eidola of your "form-manifestations," is grossly improper, and something ought to be done to change the practice, since scholars have begun to discuss the subject. At best, when not what the Greeks termed phantasma, they are but phasma, or apparitions.

In scholars, speculators, and especially in our modern savants, the psychical principle is more or less pervaded by the corporeal, and [6] "the things of the spirit are foolishness and impossible to be known" (I Cor., ii, 14). Plato was then right, in his way, in despising land-measuring, geometry, and arithmetic, for all these overlooked all high ideas. Plutarch taught that at death Proserpine separated the body and the soul entirely, after which the latter became a free and independent demon (daimon). Afterward, the good underwent a second dissolution: Demeter divided the psyche from the nous or pneuma. The former was dissolved after a time into ethereal particles - hence the inevitable dissolution and subsequent annihilation of the man who at death is purely psychical; the latter, the nous, ascended to its higher Divine power and became gradually a pure, Divine spirit. Kapila, in common with all Eastern philosophers, despised the purely psychical nature. It is this agglomeration of the grosser particles of the soul, the mesmeric exhalations of human nature imbued with all its terrestrial desires and propensities, its vices, imperfections, and weakness, forming the astral body - which can become objective under certain circumstances - which the Buddhists call skandhas (the groups), and Colonel Olcott has for convenience termed the "soul." The Buddhists and Brahmanists teach that the man's individuality is not secured until he has passed through and become disembarrassed of the last of these groups, the final vestige of earthly taint. Hence their doctrine of the metempsychosis, so ridiculed and so utterly misunderstood by our greatest Orientalists. Even the physicists teach us that the particles composing physical man are, by evolution, reworked by nature into every variety of inferior physical form. Why, then, are the Buddhists unphilosophical or even unscientific, in affirming that the semi-material skandhas of the astral man (his very ego, up to the point of final purification) are appropriated to the evolution of minor astral forms (which, of course, enter into the purely physical bodies of animals) as fast as he throws them off in his progress toward Nirvana? Therefore, we may correctly say, that so long as the disembodied man is throwing off a single particle of these skandhas, a portion of him is being reincarnated in the bodies of plants and animals. And if he, the disembodied astral man, be so material that "Demeter" cannot find even one spark of the pneuma to carry up to the "divine power," then the individual, so to speak, is dissolved, piece by piece, into the crucible of evolution, or, as the Hindus allegorically illustrate it, he passes thousands of years in the bodies of impure animals. Here we see how completely the ancient Greek and Hindu philosophers, the modern Oriental schools, and the Theosophists, are ranged on one side, in perfect accord; and the bright array of "inspirational mediums" and "spirit guides" stand in perfect discord on the other. Though no two of the latter, unfortunately, agree as to what is and what is not truth, yet they do agree with unamity to antagonize whatever of the teachings of the philosophers we may repeat! [7]

Let it not be inferred, though, from all this, that I, or any other real Theosophist, undervalue true Spiritual phenomena or philosophy, or that we do not believe in the communication between pure mortals and pure spirits, any less than we do in communication between bad men and bad spirits, or even of good men with bad spirits under bad conditions. Occultism is the essence of Spiritualism, while modern or popular Spiritualism I cannot better characterize than as adulterated, unconscious magic. We go so far as to say that all the great and noble characters, all the grand geniuses - the poets, painters, sculptors, musicians - all who have worked at any time for the realization of their highest ideal, irrespective of selfish ends - have been Spiritually inspired; not mediums, as many Spiritualists call them - passive tools in the hands of controlling guides - but incarnate, illuminated souls, working consciously in collaboration with the pure disembodied human and newly-embodied high Planetary Spirits, for the elevation and spiritualization of mankind. We believe that everything in material life is most intimately associated with Spiritual agencies. As regards psychical phenomena and mediumship, we believe that it is only when the passive medium has given place, or rather grown into, the conscious mediator, that he can discern between spirits good and bad. And we do believe, and know also, that while the incarnate man (though the highest adept) cannot vie in potency with the pure disembodied spirits, who, freed of all their skandhas, have become subjective to the physical senses, yet he can perfectly equal, and can far surpass in the way of phenomena, mental or physical, the average "spirit" of modern mediumship. Believing this, you will perceive that we are better Spiritualists, in the true acceptation of the word, than so-called Spiritualists, who, instead of showing the reverence we do to true spirits - gods - debase the name of spirit, by applying it to the impure, or, at best, imperfect beings who produce the majority of the phenomena ...

The two objections urged by Mr. Croucher against the claim of the Theosophists, that a child is but a duality at birth, "and perhaps until the sixth or seventh year," and that some depraved persons are annihilated at some time after death, are (1) that mediums have described to him his three children, "who passed away at the respective ages of two, four, and six years"; and (2) that he has known persons who were "very depraved" on earth come back. He says:

These statements have been afterwards confirmed by glorious beings who come after, and who have proved by their mastery of the laws which are governing the universe, that they are worthy of being believed.

I am really happy to learn that Mr. Croucher is competent to sit in judgment upon these "glorious beings," and give them the palm over Kapila, Manu, Plato, and even Paul. It is worth something, after all, to be an "inspirational medium." We have no such "glorious beings" in the Theosophical Society to learn from; but it is evident that while Mr. [8] Croucher sees and judges things through his emotional nature, the philosophers whom we study took nothing from any glorious being that did not perfectly accord with universal harmony, justice, and equilibrium of the manifest plan of the universe. The Hermetic axiom, "as below, so above," is the only rule of evidence accepted by the Theosophists. Believing in a spiritual and invisible universe, we cannot conceive of it in any other way than as completely dovetailing and corresponding with the material, objective universe; for logic and observation alike teach us that the latter is the outcome and visible manifestation of the former, and that the laws governing both are immutable.

In his letter of December 7th, Colonel Olcott very appropriately illustrates his subject of potential immortality by citing the admitted physical law of the survival of the fittest. The rule applies to the greatest as to the smallest things - to the planet equally with the plant. It applies to man. And the imperfectly developed man-child can no more exist under the conditions prepared for the perfected types of its species, than can an imperfect plant or animal. In infantile life, the higher faculties are not developed, but as everyone knows, are only in the germ, or rudimentary. The babe is an animal, however "angelic" he may, and naturally enough, ought to appear to his parents. Be it ever so beautifully molded, the infant body is the jewel-casket preparing for the jewel. It is bestial, selfish, and, as a babe, nothing more. Little of even the soul, Psyche, can be perceived except as vitality is concerned; hunger, terror, pain, and pleasure appear to be the principal of its conceptions. A kitten is its superior in everything but possibilities. The grey neurine of the brain is equally unformed. After a time, mental qualities begin to appear, but they relate chiefly to external matters. The cultivation of the mind of the child by teachers can only affect this part of the nature - what Paul calls natural or psychical, and James and Jude sensual or psychical. Hence the words of Jude [verse 19], "psychical, having not the spirit," and of Paul:

The psychical man receiveth not the things of the spirit, for to him they are foolishness; the spiritual man discernth [I Cor., ii, 14.].

It is only the man of full age, with his faculties disciplined to discern good and evil, whom we can denominate spiritual, noetic, intuitive. Children developed in such respects would be precocious, abnormal - abortives.

Why, then, should a child who has never lived other than an animal life; who never discerned right from wrong; who never cared whether he lived or died - since he could not understand either of life or death - become immortal? Man's cycle is not complete until he has passed through the earth life. No one stage of probation and experience can be skipped over. He must be a man before he can become a spirit. A dead child is a failure of nature - he must live again, and the same psyche, [9] re-enters the physical plane through another birth. Such cases, together with those of congenital idiots, are, as stated in Isis Unveiled [Vol. I, p. 351.], the only instances of human reincarnation.* (* (Explained later by H.P.B. to mean the reincarnation of the same astral or psychical portion of the human personality. - Editor, Theosophia.)) If every child-duality were to be immortal, why deny a like individual immortality to the duality of the animal? Those who believe in the trinity of man know the babe to be but a duality - body and soul; and the individuality which resides only in the psychical is, as we have seen proved by the philosophers, perishable. The completed trinity only survives. Trinity, I say, for at death the astral form becomes the outward body, and inside a still finer one evolves, which takes the place of the psyche on earth, and the whole is more or less overshadowed by the nous. Space prevented Colonel Olcott from developing the doctrine more fully, or he would have added that not even all of the elementaries (human) are annihilated. There is still a chance for some. By a supreme struggle these may retain their third and higher principle, and so, though slowly and painfully, yet ascend sphere after sphere, casting off at each transition the previous heavier garment, and clothing themselves in more radiant spiritual envelopes, until, rid of every finite particle, the trinity merges into the final Nirvana, and becomes a unity - a God.

A volume would scarce suffice to enumerate all the varieties of elementaries and elementals; the former being so called by some Kabalists (Henry Khunrath, for instance) to indicate their entanglement in the terrestrial elements which hold them captive, and the latter designated by that name to avoid confusion, and equally applying to those which go to form the astral body of the infant, and to the stationary nature-spirits proper. Eliphas Levi, however, indifferently calls them all "Elementary," and "souls." I repeat again, it is but the wholly psychical, disembodied astral man, which ultimately disappears as an individual entity. As to the component parts of his psyche, they are as indestructible as the atoms of any other body composed of matter.

That man must indeed be a true animal who has not, after death, a spark of the divine ruach or nous left in him to allow him a chance of self-salvation. Yet there are such lamentable exceptions; not alone among the depraved, but also among those who, during life, by stifling every idea of an after-existence, have killed in themselves the last desire to achieve immortality. It is the will of man, his all-potent will, that weaves his destiny, and if a man is determined in the notion that death means annihilation, he will find it so. It is among our commonest experiences that the determination of physical life or death depends upon the will. Some people snatch themselves by force of determination from the very [10] jaws of death; while others succumb to insignificant maladies. What man does with his body he can do with his disembodied psyche.

Nothing in this militates against the images of Mr. Croucher's children being seen in the Astral Light by the medium, either as actually left by the children themselves, or as imagined by the father to look when grown. The impression in the latter case would be but a phasma, while in the former it is a phantasma, or the apparition of the indestructible impress of what once really was.

In days of old the "mediators" of humanity were men like Krishna, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, Paul, Apollonius of Tyana, Plotinus, Porphyry, and the like of them. They were adepts, philosophers - men who, by struggling their whole lives in purity, study, and self-sacrifice, through trials, privations, and self-discipline, attained divine illumination and seemingly superhuman powers. They could not only produce all the phenomena seen in our times, but regarded it as a sacred duty to cast out "evil spirits" or demons, from the unfortunate who were obsessed. In other words, to rid the medium of their days of the "elementaries."

But in our time of improved psychology every hysterical sensitive blooms into a seer, and behold! there are mediums by the thousand! Without any previous study, self-denial, or the least limitation of their physical nature, they assume, in the capacity of mouthpieces of unidentified and unidentifiable intelligences, to outrival Socrates in wisdom, Paul in eloquence, and Tertullian himself in fiery and authoritative dogmatism. The Theosophists are the last to assume infallibility for themselves, or recognize it in others; as they judge others, so they are willing to be judged.

In the name, then, of logic and common sense, before bandying epithets, let us submit our differences to the arbitrament of reason. Let us compare all things, and, putting aside emotionalism and prejudice as unworthy of the logician and the experimentalist, hold fast only to that which passes the ordeal of ultimate analysis.

New York, January 14th, 1878.

[In connection with the above article, a sentence from a letter of Master K. H. written to A. P. Sinnett in the Fall of 1882, may be of interest (The Mahatma Letters, etc., p. 289.): "It was H.P.B. who, acting under the orders of Atrya (one whom you do not know) was the first to explain in the Spiritualist the difference there was between psyche and nous, nefesh and ruach - Soul and Spirit. She had to bring the whole arsenal of proofs with her, quotations from Paul and Plato, from Plutarch and James, etc. before the Spiritualists admitted that the theosophists were right ..." - Editor, Theosophia.] [11]


Montague A. Machell

In spiritual matters, TO KNOW is to BE: one lives by what he knows. Man, in essence the spiritual entity that he is, his knowledge of his identity is convincingly manifested only in his being. The source of all life being spiritual, its applied power must be revealed in living. The enlightened Master may stretch forth his hand and consciously exert a supernatural spiritual power capable of performing what appear to be miracles, because he is what he knows. You and I, knowing our essential nature very vaguely, must, day by day, purify in ourselves the channel of power that we may become at first unconscious means of its manifestation. Only after many incarnations may we find ourselves consciously exercising this power in ways that demonstrate its prodigious superiority over any "power" earthly living can release.

But we must know: 1. That we inhabit a universe instinct with spiritual power; 2. As an inseparable part of that universe, lesser sources of that power are innate in us; 3. In order to use it we must discover its source; 4. We must be willing to devote unnumbered incarnations to learning to use that power safely and effectually; 5. That Knowledge, when translated into Being, is the sole key to Power. Since the power here discussed is unearthly and impersonal, we, as earthly personalities, are required to transcend earthly dimensions and resources. To be THAT which we know, we must outgrow the dimensions of the present personality, that we may make way for the infinite dimensions of Spirit.

To Know is to Be. We cannot know Power save in the degree that we are Power. Spirituality, eternal and infinite, must radiate from the Self we have become. ("Man know thy Self!") Every effective acquirement of Knowledge marks a degree of BECOMING. Save in great works of art, dissemination of this Knowledge (or Power) is unconscious.

Surrender yourself again and again to a great work of art, such as the Fourth Symphony of Brahms or The Last Supper of da Vinci; in time you will become aware of the fact that here is an unconscious dissemination of spiritual power. That mysterious ecstasy that inspired the movements and materials of the Fourth Symphony is unquestionably unearthly - beyond the mere personality of Brahms himself, or of any other man. In him a Deific entity knew - and his Knowing became a source of Power. By all too few of us is such Knowing achieved, wherefore, so far as our religion consists of a search for spiritual knowledge, it justifies the constancy of many incarnations. Each and every one of us is on this earth to attain, eventually, that Knowledge that shall become our justifiable Power. LIFE, KNOWLEDGE, POWER - these must, at last, be ONE!

The first step, needless to say, is to convince ourselves that such [12] Knowledge exists on earth and is attainable. It was her realization that it existed, and her desire to make it available to all, that inspired H. P. Blavatsky's most profound writings, assembled in Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. In these volumes are to be found an explanation of the occult powers locked up in every man, together with the pattern of living requisite for their awakening. For these are more than personal powers exercised by a human personality. They are identified as conscious and inevitable expressions of man's innermost Self. Their nature and origin makes clear the indispensable watchword: "Live the life, if you would know the doctrine!" That life, faithfully lived, encourages growth in the entire being, including that of the hidden potencies of the human spirit. In the acquirement of power, these instructions go far beyond "learning the tricks of the trade." They invoke the power to "grow" - to become all that one is, potentially, - they lead to the opening of the flower of Compassion in the heart, that the arcane and August Philosopher within each of us may release the "Magian" which is the indwelling Spirit in control of life.

Occultism is far more than a fascinating hobby one "takes up." It marks a degree of inner dedication that only a few have the constancy to attain; it is truly the "Wisdom-Religion" in active application. One "grows" into it as the result of an awakening of the Inner Self - a self-originated initiation. Woe to him who adventures on to this plane prompted merely by curiosity, for even his few, futile steps can arouse unfamiliar potencies he will find himself unable to cope with. "Power" is his who can consciously command it; without that command, the adventurer may well become its victim.

KNOWLEDGE - to know that one knows - is Power that only a Lord of Life is qualified to wield. In the case of too many, subservience to life is so deeply inbred that they are almost incapable of a clear perception of their power, as spiritual entities. Genuine Self-Knowledge alone can lead a man to know his power. In the genuinely Self-enlightened man, life becomes an unearthly experience. He has cast it aside, as he supposed it to be, and now manifests life in a higher plane in accordance with holier values. He has given himself to the LAW - offered himself to the Lodge. If accepted, he can no longer be the man he was, but becomes an "instrument" required to be effectively available in any situation in which he may find himself - an allegiance that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the carefree career of self-indulgence he has always taken for granted.

It is in this sense one speaks of a man being "reborn:" the limited, timid individual he has supposed himself to be, he allows to wither away, giving place to the SELF he has the potential to be. The first "power" a disciple must crave is to be so true to his own REALITY that there is no room for Illusion. The predominant agony this step [13] invites is that of sheer inner loneliness born of renunciation of the comforting anonymity of "crowd consciousness" for the terrifying Reality of Spiritual identity.

Making that choice is, perhaps, the disciple's first exercise of Power. If it proves effective, then he may know his fitness to be a channel through which that Power may be made available to his fellows. May not this step recall a faint memory that was once referred to as "the divine right of kings," originating in a Golden Age when the throned monarch was a channel of Power because genuinely spiritually "reborn"? The dedicated Theosophist, like the dedicated Christian, is required eventually to see that his "is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory" insofar as by act, word and thought, he vindicates his spiritual identity. In its purest and loftiest meaning "living" is a benign exercise of Power, because Knowledge is Power.

In pondering Occultism, one is apt to be attracted by the new Power first of all. We should remind ourselves again and again of the wisdom of W. Q. Judge's injunction: "Throw away every wish to get the power, and seek only for understanding of thyself," The SELF being an aspect of THE ONE, Self-knowledge is a way of offering oneself to THE ONE - manifesting a readiness to fit oneself to become a channel of IT'S Power. To grow in selflessness is to grow in Power - his approach who would be a Lord of Life. In any case, no Theosophist is justified in submitting to the indignity of being life's slave. The price of spiritual freedom is the exercise of spiritual command. Power over the lesser self takes precedence over all other power. A Theosophist, so far as he is a Theosophist, is the maker of his own destiny. Living fully demands power, wherefore one's first need is to learn to "live." Occultism might be defined as the key to LIFE UNIVERSAL.

The program of him who makes this his goal is one of Transcendence, of one who goes through life with head held high, a conscious conqueror. Asking no favors of life or deity, he exercises his command upon life, prepared to meet every test of his spiritual manhood. The experiences of his personal life lose their immediacy in his cultivation of Compassion for all mankind, to whose redemption he seeks to make his life an offering. In this sense Occultism becomes the mysterious flower of perfectly applied Brotherhood. The Theosophical Society is a Brotherhood, first of all, its key mystery being the Occult workings of Compassion in the heart of man. In the words of William Q. Judge: "Spiritual knowledge includes every action. Inquirers ought to read the Bhagavad-Gita. It will give them food for centuries if they read with spiritual eyes at all. Underneath its shell is the living spirit that will light us all. It is the study of adepts."

"O my Divinity, thou dost blend with the earth and fashion for thyself temples of mighty POWER." [14]


George Cardinal LeGros

It was on an evening, I like to think, when there was nothing at all but the illimitable loneness of the sea, and from the rim of it, into infinity, the rose-flame of the sky.

He was going to a far country, never to return, and his words drifted away with pale leaves and delicate blossoms over the star-clear waters:

Brightest of all the bright
Blossoms along the sea,
Cradled in song and light, -
Bloom in the soul of me!
After the sunset-gleam,
Over the twilight-dew,
Gather me, dream by dream,
Into the dream of you.

There has been a time, he remembered, in his childhood, when the flowers that he saw were more than flowers and the songs that he heard were more than songs. The faces of people glowed with a strange, beautiful light: there was hope in them and a remembrance of something ineffable. But as the years passed, dark veils fell before his eyes. The flowers lost their bright enchantment, becoming flowers, the songs. The light in human faces was gone. Towered in gloom, a different world appeared: sunlessness and starlessness brooded over the cities and the mountains and the sea. Only in memory, and slowly retreating, was the golden world with its luminous flowers and living songs and faces that were not faces at all, but living souls.

The long music of the waters, whispering through the avenues of the waves, heard him and listened; and then, strand upon beautiful strand, climbed slowly upward through the jewel-mist of the stars.

And if it was the wind that made words, speaking to him, he did not know. And if it was the loneness of the sea, or the sky above it that made words, speaking to him, he did not know. But he heard, somewhere in the world, near him or afar he was never able to tell, words spoken not in time, but in the vastness and quietness of eternity. And hearing, them, he thought of waving flowers in the morning, flowers of pale and delicate flame that reached upward to heaven, and he thought of songs that rose like sunlight on swift wings, pouring melody over the world, and of human faces luminous with beauty and joy.

The whole world, with its mountains and seas, and the sky above it and him, became - and he knew that it had always been so - a divine one-ness of peace. Even the words of eternity were of him, spoken by him, through the winds or the sky or the waters he was never to know. But wherever flowers were, or songs, there was he. And wherever human hearts beat there he was also.

It was on an evening, I like to think, when there was nothing at all but the illimitable loneness of the sea, and from the rim of it into infinity, the rose-flame of the sky. [15]


Dara Eklund

Could one moment of a sunset isolate itself as the perfect view? A painter with his canvas may believe so, but generally an admirer of Nature's grandeur will value her total glory even as it recedes before his eyes. The stir of twilight starts as the peace of sunset begins to be pricked by crickets and fireflies. More courageous souls relish thundershowers and all those electromagnetic displays which find Nature reassembling ions, marshaling forces for refreshing our earth so that her subtler changes can transpire. But even fireflies predict that nature has other lights when the eye of the sun draws in her rays.

What we have learned to fear as transitory, as the illusory nature of existence, as the ungrasped - always beyond our reach - becomes no longer so when we regard the universe as a veil of transformation. Actually the magic of transformation is its performance as the stabilizer of life. Life is forever breaking down old patterns to recreate newer and more perfect ones.

In terms of Consciousness this means growth. Some Buddhist schools rely on mandalas to reorganize man's consciousness. Others show that man is capable of directing his inner life to the point within the framework of Universal Law where he becomes his own development. This does not entail a forcing of change, although certain strong souls may do so. It means that Man sees his life as a constant flux of a greater portion of himself, stemming from within. He partakes of a Monadic Essence linking him to the hidden fabric of the Universe: countless chains of Monads. His membership within a family of Monadic Evolvers entitles him to creative faculties which fault him instantly if he upsets by thought, word or deed the Laws of Life.

What are these Laws? We may intuit the one essential Law of Life to be the absolute harmonious growth of the Whole, in any kingdom, lofty or lowly. It does not matter if we cannot guess all its digressions or ramifications in our complex existences. Our emotional entanglements are only on a fringe of the greater flux or surge to progress. We are challenged to lower the barriers, undo the riddles, the Gordian Knot of consciousness.

By certain gifts, certain talents in action, we may do this. What merits are these?

When the "gate of the Sweet Law" is flung open, the soul becomes capable of Soul-Wisdom. Compassion no longer seems a distant quality reserved for rare individuals. It reveals that all our sufferings are rooted in the oppositions of our personality. When we struggle free of the personal attachments we surround ourselves with, that Freedom finds us loving the whole of life more! We are more patient of seeming wrong. Our individuality is merged into a Heart Dharma. The [16] permanent and everlasting spark within takes on the development of strength, certain powers with which to slay the thoughts which would ensnare us. Limits of Selfhood are replaced by readiness for brotherhood, for knowing the right livelihood and all those other "hoods" which must not become mantles at all, but wands with which to transform the dark clouds of racial Karma. Contrary to the Pratyeka Path we seek not to free ourselves from Karma, but to help the world find its Dharma.

Plato insightfully saw that Being could be achieved by THOUGHT, through the Soul's participation in the ideals of the transcendent world. Perfection would never be accomplished in the phenomenal world of constant Becoming. The very flux of the impermanent causes continual recreation and development. It perishes before attaining perfection. Yet within the receptacle of the Boundless Space, chaotic motion is transformed to order. Hence the highest good is Harmony.

This is the perfection of Change.


The Writings of William Quan Judge
Compiled by Dara Eklund.

This initial volume of the Writings of Mr. Judge is a first step to fulfill the desire of many students to have his literary heritage available in bound volumes.
The contents of this volume are largely drawn from his magazine The Path, which flourished from 1886 to 1896. It was conceived, edited and largely written by Mr. Judge himself who invigorated it mainly through his own many-sided contributions.
The wide arc of Mr. Judge's philosophy covers subjects such as: the inner constitution of man; what happens to him when he dies; how does he reincarnate; occult powers and their attainment; dangers of psychic practices; astral intoxication; hypnotism; true nature of spiritualism; cycles; Teachers true and false; the Path which leads to self-realization. He shows that there is a scientific basis for ethics - something to be understood, mastered and lived. He shares with the student what he has himself experienced as highest in his own search along the winding old Path. Included are all of Mr. Judge's "Occult Tales."
The Introductory Section presents a succinct outline of Mr. Judge's life and work, accurately based on available documentation.
650 pages; illustrated; fully indexed; case bound.
PRICE: $10.00.
Order direct from: Point Loma Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 9966, San Diego, California 92109.