A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXXVI
No. 2 (160) - Fall 1979

[Cover photo: Garden of Shalimar Near Srinagar in Kashmir.]


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.



"Theodore Roszak, in a study published by Faber & Faber in 1976 entitled Unfinished Animal, affirms that the great need of today is to regain spiritual wisdom. 'The healing knowledge we require is a traditional knowledge.' Mankind needs the wisdom of past ages; we do not progress in 'linear time'. Our age is one of 'spiritual deprivation' and we need the great guides of the past. The tradition of spiritual guidance must be re-examined and restored to its correct place and function. If the Western world is to recover its bearings, spiritual direction, the inflow of wisdom, by whatever channels and agents, is a necessity.

New awareness, impulses and discoveries challenge us. Our own teachers, experience and inner resources are all ways and means to meet the challenge. An article in the London Times tells us that 'the spiritual director is one who can see clearly, who can read the signs of the times.' This is what, to many, Madame Blavatsky was: her vitality and guidance were not merely for her own time but essentially for the time that was dawning. The ancient and eternal perceptions are within her theosophy.

The Times article (written by a Christian priest) continues: 'The spiritual director is a man of discernment. The Greek term is diakrisis and it is the central concept of the entire tradition, East and West. It means insight, perception, critical vision.' (Thus, Thomas Merton saw the monk as one who unmasks illusion because he sees clearly.) 'Spiritual guidance is concerned with more than the cultivation of "the good life." It is concerned with clarity of vision.' " - E. J. Burton, The Theosophist, May, 1979, p. 43. [3]


H.P. Blavatsky

[We publish herewith the greater part of this outstanding pronouncement which appeared in the first issue of The Theosophist, October, 1879. We draw special attention to the spirit of universality and the breadth of vision which it exhibits. - Editor, Theosophia.]

Are they what they claim to be - students of natural law, of ancient and modern philosophy, and even of exact science? Are they Deists, Atheists, Socialists, Materialists, or Idealists; or are they but a schism of modern Spiritualism, - mere visionaries? Are they entitled to any consideration, as capable of discussing philosophy and promoting real science; or should they be treated with the compassionate toleration which one gives to "harmless enthusiasts"? The Theosophical Society has been variously charged with a belief in "miracles," and "miracle-working"; with a secret political object - like the Carbonari; with being spies of an autocratic Czar; with preaching socialistic and nihilistic doctrines; and, mirabile dictu, with having a covert understanding with the French Jesuits, to disrupt modern Spiritualism for a pecuniary consideration! With equal violence they have been denounced as dreamers, by the American Positivists; as fetish-worshiper, by some of the New York press; as revivalists of "moldy superstitions," by the Spiritualists; as infidel emissaries of Satan, by the Christian Church; as the very types of "gobe-mouche," by Professor W. B. Carpenter, F.R.S.; and, finally, and most absurdly, some Hindu opponents, with a view to lessening their influence, have flatly charged them with the employment of demons to perform certain phenomena. Out of all this pother of opinions, one fact stands conspicuous - the Society, its members, and their views, are deemed of enough importance to be discussed and denounced: Men slander only those whom they hate - or fear.

But, if the Society has had its enemies and traducers, it has also had its friends and advocates. For every word of censure, there has been a word of praise. Beginning with a party of about a dozen earnest men and women, a month later its members had so increased as to necessitate the hiring of a public hall for its meetings; within two years, it had working branches in European countries. Still later, it found itself in alliance with the Indian Arya Samaj, headed by the learned Pandit Dayanand Saraswati Swami, and the Ceylonese Buddhists, under the erudite H. Sumangala, High Priest of Adam's Peak and President of the Widyodaya College, Colombo.

He who would seriously attempt to fathom the psychological sciences, must come to the sacred land of ancient Aryavarta. None is older than she in esoteric wisdom and civilization, however fallen may be her poor shadow - modern India. Holding this country, as we do, for the fruitful hot-bed whence proceeded all subsequent philosophical systems, to this source of all psychology and philosophy a portion of our Society has come to learn its ancient wisdom and ask for the impartation of its weird secrets. Philology has made too much progress to require at this late day a demonstration of this fact [4] of the primogenitive nationality of Aryavart. The unproved and prejudiced hypothesis of modern Chronology is not worthy of a moment's thought, and it will vanish in time like so many other unproved hypotheses. The line of philosophical heredity, from Kapila through Epicurus to James Mill; from Patanjali through Plotinus to Jacob Boehme, can be traced like the course of a river through a landscape. One of the objects of the Society's organization was to examine the too transcendent views of the Spiritualists in regard to the powers of disembodied spirits; and, having told them what, in our opinion at least, a portion of their phenomena are not, it will become incumbent upon us now to show what they are ...

While, as observed, one of our objects, it yet is but one of many; the most important of which is to revive the work of Ammonius Saccas, and make various nations remember that they are the children "of one mother." As to the transcendental side of the ancient Theosophy, it is also high time that the Theosophical Society should explain. With how much, then, of this nature-searching, God-seeking science of the ancient Aryan and Greek mystics, and of the powers of modern spiritual mediumship, does the Society agree? Our answer is: with it all. But if asked what it believes in, the reply will be: "As a body - Nothing." The Society, as a body, has no creed, as creeds are but the shells around spiritual knowledge; and Theosophy in its fruition is spiritual knowledge itself - the very essence of philosophical and theistic enquiry. Visible representative of Universal Theosophy, it can be no more sectarian than a Geographical Society, which represents universal geographical exploration without caring whether the explorers be of one creed or another. The religion of the Society is an algebraical equation, in which so long as the sign = of equality is not omitted, each member is allowed to substitute quantities of his own, which better accord with climatic and other exigencies of his native land, with the idiosyncrasies of his people, or even with his own. Having no accepted creed, our Society is very ready to give and take, to learn and teach, by practical experimentation, as opposed to mere passive and credulous acceptance of enforced dogma. It is willing to accept every result claimed by any of the foregoing schools or systems, that can be logically and experimentally demonstrated. Conversely, it can take nothing on mere faith, no matter by whom the demand may be made.

But, when we come to consider ourselves individually, it is quite another thing. The Society's members represent the most varied nationalities and races, and were born and educated in the most dissimilar creeds and social conditions. Some of them believe in one thing, others in another. Some incline towards the ancient magic, or secret wisdom that was taught in the sanctuaries, which was the very opposite of supernaturalism or diabolism; others in modern spiritualism, or intercourse with the spirits of the dead; still others in mesmerism or animal magnetism, or only an occult dynamic force in nature. A certain number have scarcely yet acquired any definite belief, but are in a state of attentive expectancy; and there are even those who call themselves materialists, in a certain sense. Of atheists and bigoted sectarians of [5] any religion, there are none in the Society; for the very fact of a man's joining it proves that he is in search of the final truth as to the ultimate essence of things. If there be such a thing as a speculative atheist, which philosophers may deny, he would have to reject both cause and effect, whether in this world of matter, or in that of spirit. There may be members who, like the poet Shelley, have let their imagination soar from cause to prior cause ad infinitum, as each in its turn became logically transformed into a result necessitating a prior cause, until they have thinned the Eternal into a mere mist. But even they are not atheist in the speculative sense, whether they identify the material forces of the universe with the functions with which the theists endow their God, or otherwise; for once that they cannot free themselves from the conception of the abstract ideal of power, cause, necessity, and effect, they can be considered as atheists only in respect to a personal God, and not to the Universal Soul of the Pantheist. On the other hand the bigoted sectarian, fenced in, as he is, with a creed upon every paling of which is written the warning "No Thoroughfare," can neither come out of his enclosure to join the Theosophical Society, nor, if he could, has it room for one whose very religion forbids examination. The very root idea of the Society is free and fearless investigation.

As a body, the Theosophical Society holds that all original thinkers and investigators of the hidden side of nature whether materialists - those who find in matter "the promise and potency of all terrestrial life," or spiritualists - that is, those who discover in spirit the source of all energy and of matter as well, were and are, properly, Theosophists. For to be one, one need not necessarily recognize the existence of any special God or a deity. One need but worship the spirit of living nature, and try to identify oneself with it. To revere that Presence, the invisible Cause, which is yet ever manifesting itself in its incessant results; the intangible, omnipotent, and omnipresent Proteus: indivisible in its Essence, and eluding form, yet appearing under all and every form; who is here and there, and everywhere and nowhere; is ALL, and NOTHING; ubiquitous yet one; the Essence filling, binding, bounding, containing everything, contained in all. It will, we think, be seen now, that whether classed as Theists, Pantheists or Atheists, such men are near kinsmen to the rest. Be what he may, once that a student abandons the old and trodden highway of routine, and enters upon the solitary path of independent thought - Godward - he is a Theosophist; an original thinker, a seeker after the eternal truth with "an inspiration of his own" to solve the universal problems.

With every man that is earnestly searching in his own way after a knowledge of the Divine Principle, of man's relations to it, and nature's manifestations of it, Theosophy is allied. It is likewise the ally of honest science, as distinguished from much that passes for exact, physical science, so long as the latter does not poach on the domains of psychology and metaphysics.

And it is also the ally of every honest religion - to wit, a religion [6] willing to be judged by the same tests as it applies to the others. Those books, which contain the most self-evident truth, are to it inspired (not revealed). But all books it regards, on account of the human element contained in them, as inferior to the Book of Nature; to read which and comprehend it correctly, the innate powers of the soul must be highly developed. Ideal laws can be perceived by the intuitive faculty alone; they are beyond the domain of argument and dialectics, and no one can understand or rightly appreciate them through the explanations of another mind, even though this mind be claiming a direct revelation. And, as this Society, which allows the widest sweep in the realms of pure ideal, is no less firm in the sphere of facts, its deference to modern science and its just representatives is sincere. Despite all their lack of a higher spiritual intuition, the world's debt to the representatives of modern physical science is immense; hence, the Society endorses heartily the noble and indignant protest of that gifted and eloquent preacher, the Rev. O. B. Frothingham, against those who try to undervalue the services of our great naturalists. "Talk of Science as being irreligious, atheistic," he exclaimed in a recent lecture, delivered at New York, "Science is creating a new idea of God. It is due to Science that we have any conception at all of a living God. If we do not become atheists one of these days under the maddening effect of Protestantism, it will be due to Science, because it is disabusing us of hideous illusions that tease and embarrass us, and putting us in the way of knowing how to reason about the things we see ..."

And it is also due to the unremitting labors of such Orientalists as Sir W. Jones, Max Muller, Burnouf, Colebrooke, Haug, St. Hilaire, and so many others, that the Society, as a body, feels equal respect and veneration for Vedic, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, and other old religions of the world; and, a like brotherly feeling toward its Hindu, Sinhalese, Parsi, Jain, Hebrew, and Christian members as individual students of "self," of nature, and of the divine in nature.

Born in the United States of America, the Society was constituted on the model of its Mother Land. The latter, omitting the name of God from its constitution lest it should afford a pretext one day to make a state religion, gives absolute equality to all religions in its laws. All support and each is in turn protected by the State. The Society, modeled upon this constitution, may fairly be termed a "Republic of Conscience."

We have now, we think, made clear why our members, as individuals, are free to stay outside or inside any creed they please, provided they do not pretend that none but themselves shall enjoy the privilege of conscience, and try to force their opinions upon the others. In this respect the Rules of the Society are very strict: it tries to act upon the wisdom of the old Buddhistic axiom, "Honour thine own faith, and do not slander that of others"; echoed back in our present century, in the "Declaration of Principles" of the Brahmo Samaj, which so nobly states that: "no sect shall be vilified, ridiculed, or hated." In Section VI of the Revised Rules of the Theosophical Society, recently adopted in General Council, at Bombay, is this mandate: "It is not [7] lawful for any officer of the Parent Society to express, by word or act, any hostility to, or preference for, any one section (sectarian division, or group within the Society) more than another. All must be regarded and treated as equally the objects of the Society's solicitude and exertions. All have an equal right to have the essential features of their religious belief laid before the tribunal of an impartial world." In their individual capacity, members may, when attacked, occasionally break this Rule, but, nevertheless, as officers they are restrained, and the Rule is strictly enforced during the meetings. For, above all human sects stands Theosophy in its abstract sense; Theosophy which is too wide for any of them to contain but which easily contains them.

In conclusion, we may state that, broader and far more universal in its views than any existing mere scientific Society, it has plus science its belief in every possibility, and determined will to penetrate into those unknown spiritual regions which exact science pretends that its votaries have no business to explore. And, it has one quality more than any religion in that it makes no difference between Gentile, Jew, or Christian. It is in this spirit that the Society has been established upon the footing of a Universal Brotherhood.

Unconcerned about politics; hostile to the insane dreams of Socialism and of Communism, which it abhors - as both are but disguised conspiracies of brutal force and sluggishness against honest labour; the Society cares but little about the outward human management of the material world. The whole of its aspirations are directed towards the occult truths of the visible and invisible worlds. Whether the physical man be under the rule of an empire or a republic, concerns only the man of matter. His body may be enslaved; as to his soul, he has the right to give to his rulers the proud answer of Socrates to his judges. They have no sway over the inner man.

Such, then, is the Theosophical Society, and such its principles, its multifarious aims, and its objects. Need we wonder at the past misconceptions of the general public, and the easy hold the enemy has been able to find to lower it in the public estimation. The true student has ever been a recluse, a man of silence and meditation. With the busy world his habits and tastes are so little in common that, while he is studying, his enemies and slanderers have undisturbed opportunities. But time cures all and lies are but ephemera. Truth alone is eternal.

About a few of the Fellows of the Society who have made great scientific discoveries, and some others to whom the psychologist and the biologist are indebted for the new light thrown upon the darker problems of the inner man, we will speak later on. Our object now was but to prove to the reader that Theosophy is neither "a new-fangled doctrine," a political cabal, nor one of those societies of enthusiasts which are born today but to die tomorrow. That not all of its members can think alike, is proved by the Society having organized into two great Divisions - the Eastern and the Western - and the latter being divided into numerous sections, according to races and religious [8] views. One man's thought, infinitely various as are its manifestations, is not all-embracing. Denied ubiquity, it must necessarily speculate but in one direction; and once transcending the boundaries of exact human knowledge, it has to err and wander, for the ramifications of the one Central and absolute Truth are infinite. Hence, we occasionally find even the greater philosophers losing themselves in the labyrinths of speculations, thereby provoking the criticism of posterity. But as all work for one and the same object, namely, the disenthralment of human thought, the elimination of superstitions, and the discovery of truth, all are equally welcome. The attainment of these objects, all agree, can best be secured by convincing the reason and warming the enthusiasm of the generation of fresh young minds, that are just ripening into maturity, and making ready to take the place of their prejudiced and conservative fathers. And, as each - the great ones as well as small - have trodden the royal road to knowledge, we listen to all, and take both small and great into our fellowship. For no honest searcher comes back empty-handed, and even he who has enjoyed the least share of popular favor can lay at least his mite upon the one altar of Truth.


Montague A. Machell

For some nineteen hundred years these words have been repeated, Sunday after Sunday, in churches all over the world. It may not be out of place to inquire what effect they have had on the personal lives of the millions of devout believers repeating them. They are momentous words - so momentous, it would seem, that most of these millions are too "sin-conscious" to imagine that they could have any immediate, personal application to their own lives. The worshiped tends, apparently, to relate them, together with much other liturgy, to some vaguely remote Hereafter, arranged for and administered by a Merciful Father.

Standing one Sunday morning on my Arizona desert beneath a cloudless sky exultant with bird song, its vast acres lovely with delicate greens and yellows of blossoming greasewood, Camelback Mountain with its Praying Monk pondering all this beauty, the words, "There is ONLY LIFE" were recalled in the devotions of the morning hour. Impellingly beautiful as was this desert panorama, it took on an unearthly significance, viewed as a momentary and immediate manifestation of THE ONE LIFE, that "was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end." Lending exultation to this revelation, came the reminder, "I am one with all that is' - world without end. In that realization, the liturgy picked up in church as a ten-year-old, suddenly achieved immediacy. It was born in on me that within this frustrated and limited personality is entombed THAT, which "was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end" - a realization of the HERE and Now as capable of [9] fashioning "temples of mighty power" in my HEREAFTER.

World Without End.

The Theosophical doctrine of Reincarnation is rooted in the acceptance of a Spiritual Reality in every man, to which repeated demises and rebirths are but incidental intervals in a timeless spiritual unfoldment. Its timelessness is justified by an acceptance of man as a conscious spiritual manifestation of THE ONE LIFE, spiritual and immortal. He, with the essence of his universe, is this Spiritual Reality which it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end."

For an entity embodying such Reality, helpless humility is an unfortunate and unrewarding role. Utter surrender to his own spiritual identity offers man a life of heroic proportions worthy of this warrior who accepts uncompromisingly a heavenly Self-conquest, an acceptance resulting from a vastly enlarged concept of Life in terms of a sublime pilgrimage into Complete Knowing of the SELF, which increases with incarnation after incarnation. Such a prospect can prove overwhelming unless the pilgrim is won over to an awareness of the pitiful inadequacy of present day viewpoint. This is a philosophy for a hero, appropriate to his heroic potential, to which fearless aspiration and unwavering effort alone can bring fulfilment. "The heavens are telling the glory of God," in which man can and must participate. The World of the Spirit is a World Without End, to whose sublime realization man spiritual is the proud claimant.

The Rhythm of Unfoldment.

As this incarnation's twilight draws near, the perceptive pilgrim will positively reject a Dead End to the Highway of Enlightenment. Rather will he welcome the approaching pause in manifestation that allows him to ingest life's experiences, gathering new fortitude and discernment for the pilgrimage ahead. For him Death is a Portal of Peace that Passeth Understanding, and with Peace. GROWTH Beyond that Portal lie new opportunities to shape his life pattern with new skills born of an understanding of what the Greater Pattern demands. Part of that understanding is an appreciation of the long, slow rhythm of Spiritual Unfoldment, which spells the release of this awakening mortal from Time's treadmill. To him is slowly given the skill to extract from the sands of time the gold of Eternity.

His is not a conquest of some remote Hereafter, but rather a glorification of the HERE and NOW, since, whether on earth or in Devachan, there is only life. For the deathless hero that he is, verily, "his cup runneth over," filling his hours of earthly manifestation with memories of a forgotten past and glimpses of a remote future that can lend this Now its own wondrous prophecies, whose scope and inevitability are poignantly portrayed by Welsh poet, Kenneth Morris:

"Even today, maybe, I greeted one
I greeted last in Thebes or Babylon;
Even today was pierced by pity or pride
Shot from my bow of old by Tiberside
In Julius' day; had joy of victories won
Or grief of ill deeds done, ere Priam died." [10]

Manvantara and Pralaya.

In relation to the words "World Without End," one has need to ponder two Theosophical terms, Manvantara and Pralaya, the former having application to the reign of one Manu or Divine Being, a time cycle equal to 308,448,000 Solar years. Pralaya is the interval of repose - the in-breathing between two Manvantaras (or Manifestations). These two, Manvantara and Pralaya, may be likened to the out-breathing and in-breathing(systole and diastole) of the ONE-LIFE - no "death" or end -merely intervals of manifestation and withdrawal of Life in this universe. And, since man and his universe are one, he is required to discover eternal implications in every life on earth, since his Spiritual Reality ever is, wherefore mortality may be viewed as periodic immersion in the things of time that he may at last transcend Time.

Yet so oppressively demanding is man's mortality that again and again he is required to make a conscious effort to think and aspire beyond it. Such thinking is rarely spontaneous, and, at times, truly difficult to achieve; people, things and circumstances with which we are surrounded, all seem to conspire towards the maintenance of a "common-sense earthliness," to which the physical and sensory equipment succumb all too easily. It becomes an enduring necessity to bring back the mind repeatedly, concentrating it upon the responsibilities of a spiritual destiny, which involves thinking and living selflessly. This obligation, having eternal roots in one's inmost being, demands primary consideration, and must motivate one's program of action. "To live to benefit mankind is the first step."


The truly enlightened creator, be it in life or the arts, slowly withdraws his attention to, and desire for, fame, replacing that desire with a careful consideration of the extent to which his creations may embody eternal messages and meanings related to a World Without End. Such transcendence, needless to say, is the fruit of a richer inner (esoteric) life, and is likely to label him one "ahead of his time" Ordinarily speaking, the meanings and motivations of one earth-life are likely to be numerous and short-lived, characteristics peculiarly appropriate to his foreshortened view of life and, likewise, inimical to a consistent contemplation of that ONE LIFE: that "was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be." From the doubtful conclusion of this dilemma are born the stupidities, sins and despairs of today's society, all of which reflect a loss of spiritual motivation in daily living.

One of Theosophy's missions is to awaken in man a conviction of his basic Divinity. In quest of this conviction, it challenges him to seek to grow spiritually, thus making his contribution to the spiritual maturity of the race. THE ONE LIFE is our assurance that basically we are all one - that Brotherhood is a fact in nature, which means that any significant evolution must mean spiritual unfoldment for all in a World Without End. In those three words are embodied the enduringly heroic attribute of being alive on this earth. [11]


Dara Eklund

Throughout known history we have records of nations, tribes and individuals that have become characterized as the Exiled. Even the Great "Silent Watcher," heralding from before the dawn of civilization, has a Self-imposed Manvantaric Exile, so that future mankind may become as He is. Exiles of races and tribes, either voluntary or forced have produced new languages and proliferated old ones. Has the "Wandering Jew" found his real origin, or is he indeed an exile from ancient Hindu roots?* (* Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 438-39. (Also see the Index).) Once 2,000 tribes of American Indians dotted the continent, to be uprooted, swept away or confined to reservations, when not absorbed by the immigrating European stocks. The exile of Tibetan monks after the Communist take-over has given impetus to the spread of Buddhism in the West.

In one sense all men are exiles until their bond with the higher Self is re-established. In the material world of sorrows, in the emotional world of transient joys and stress, man can find no permanent home. Now that the Third Eye is dormant we have become exiled from the spiritual vision we once had. Our heads have exiled our hearts. Yet even in our flights of imagination and mental conjecture we still thirst for that precise vision which only a seer can win. The SEER himself is an exile if no one heeds his cry.

Yet man, we vow, is not alone. The Adepts and teachers of mankind still now and then issue from their sanctuaries to become exiles among fellow suffering mortals, even as Prometheus endured being chained to his rock to be picked by vultures for the sake of earthly brothers. Great philosophers such as Plato have even assumed ugly visages, or startling temperaments, so that the Ideas they promulgate be pedestaled, rather than their personalities.

Fruitful use has been made of exile. We read in The Life of Pythagoras* (* Iamblichus. Tr. from Greek by Thomas Taylor, T.P.H., 1918.) that several times "the long-haired Samian" was carried captive to the very lands where he could best pursue knowledge; first to Egypt where sailors intending to sell him into slavery became convinced by his mildness and intelligence to release him instead; later to Babylon as a captive of Cambysian soldiers. In this way he became exposed to the teaching of the Magi, at last being welcomed home to Samos until his method no longer appealed to his countrymen. When he left there, it was with only one pupil who so desperately wanted truth he was willing to migrate with Pythagoras to more fertile soil. Yet, even where he was welcomed for his advanced ideas and reforms it is written that the crowds became suspicious when they observed that certain disciples were circled off for secret teachings.

In this envy and suspicion we can see why the devotional books warn the disciple to seek that power which "shall make him appear as nothing in [12] the eyes of men."* (* Mabel Collins, Light on the Path, Pt. I, 16.) It is training for the time when one must stand alone. It is also the screen behind which much good can be accomplished, where one may walk unrecognized among his fellows, while benefitting, it may seem, but a handful. The seeding on the inner planes must in some way prepare courageous and selfless ones for the exile-hood of a Bodhisattva, or the sacrifice of a Buddha.

One might rhapsodize forever upon the great mystics such as Lao Tzu, poets and patriots such as Byron, Thomas Paine, or even Solzhenitsyn. who have had a message for citizens often on foreign soil. But closer to home, at least to those students of Theosophy who read their journals, isn't it time Theosophists paid tribute to one of "The Greatest of All Exiles"? Is it enough to say: "It is all in the past; let bygones be bygones," and promptly sweep under the carpet the warnings that greatly suffering being gave us? The psychism rampant today needs his sound teachings on practical occultism more than ever before. The mission of William Quan Judge is not accomplished until we can see those warnings brought to the public eye in every conceivable form. How can we deserve new teachers and teachings unless we faithfully promulgate along the lines set out by our Theosophical founders and their several main supporters into this century? We must not let true and sound teachings be exiled by a proliferation of palatable "occult" pulp literature at large in the bookstalls of today!

If indeed any offender of that just and gentle man, W. Q. Judge, were reborn into our current century he would do all in his power to rectify that error. He would be dismayed that in some quarters there is still much misunderstanding with regard to this man. Let us note, in closing, such a sin of omission, as we might gather from Mr. G. Hijo's tribute to Judge in the Path magazine of May, 1896:

"It seems so strange to me, who has known Mr. Judge for years, to think that any Theosophist could honestly doubt that he was in constant communication with the Masters, or that he himself was not an advanced occultist, for his whole life proved both these things ... In the summer of 1894 we were privileged to have him stay at our home for several weeks, and since then he spent at least an evening a week with us until his illness forced him to leave New York. Of the "Row" itself I cannot speak, but one result of it I know and that is the effect the bitterness and strife had upon the health and vitality of Mr. Judge. Day after day he would come back from the office utterly exhausted in mind and body, and night after night he would lay awake fighting the arrows of suspicion and doubt that would come at him from all over the world. He said they were like shafts of fire piercing him; and in the morning he would come downstairs wan and pale and unrested, and one step nearer the limit of his strength; but still with the same gentle forgiving spirit. Truly they knew not what they did ..."

Thus we have had an intimate glance, through Mr. Hijo, of the [13] sufferings of an Exile. May our boundless pity for mankind, and awareness of our own shortcomings prevent us from recreating the blindness and ignorance as to our true destiny in that vanguard of the current day: the Theosophical Movement. May we never experience an exile from the teachings of those fortunate enough to pass on the message of the Masters.


Vonda Urban

There is an urge to growth that is rooted in the very essence of Nature's unceasing evolvement to ever greater stages of unfoldment; a pull upward carrying all kingdoms of life onward to the full flowering of their species, and thence upward and forward along the spiraling ladder of life. And so it is that mankind moves onward with the momentum of a great human river, flowing swiftly here, slowly there; sometimes swirling through whirlpools of muddied turbulence, and again moving in a calm of limpid serenity, reflecting, as it journeys, all of the tides and moods of hope, joy, pain and despair in the souls struggling to find their way. We move together in the broad main stream of experience, within whose mighty course each one stands alone, riding the Karmic currents on which we may surge forward, or plunging into undertows that drag us down; but through it all proceeding along with the Great Evolutional Tide of Humanity that is just beginning slowly to emerge upward from the turbid bottom, rising along shafts of light that ripple down through the murky gloom, guiding us upward to the surface where we will unfold silken wings of Spirit to soar ever higher along the Luminous Arc ...

The Grand Urge to Growth Spirit-ward begins with a yearning in the human heart and mind to understand the meaning and purpose of life - an inspiration in the soul prompting us to live for others, an aspiration in the personal man to find his Spiritual Self. This longing comes when the Heart-Light touches the mind, for we cannot "penetrate the things of the spirit with the eyes of the flesh." Intellectual knowledge is garnered through the mind, Kama-Manas; Spiritual understanding - which is soul wisdom - awakens in the heart; and unless tile flame of Spiritual love ensouls the mind, it remains blind but to the eyes of flesh that can perceive only the sensory physical world. H. P. Blavatsky explains the higher and lower aspects of mind in the excerpt quoted here from her article, Dialogue Between Two Editors. (Collected Writings, Vol. X. pp. 222-23.)

"... The mind is dual in its potentiality: it is physical and metaphysical. The higher part of the mind is connected with the spiritual soul or Buddhi, the lower with the animal soul, [14] the Kama principle. There are persons who never think with the higher faculties of their mind at all; those who do so are the minority and are thus, in a way, beyond, if not above, the average of human kind. These will think even upon ordinary matters on that higher plane ... This is why it is so very difficult for a materialist - the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied - to raise himself, or for one who is naturally spiritually minded, to descend to the level of the matter-of-fact vulgar thought.

"The habit of thinking in the higher mind can be developed ... but only with great difficulty, a firm determination, and through much self-sacrifice. But it is comparatively easy for those who are born with the gift. Why is it that one person sees poetry in a cabbage or a pig with her little ones, while another will perceive in the loftiest things only their lowest and most material aspect, will laugh at the 'music of the spheres,' and ridicule the most sublime conceptions and philosophies? This difference depends simply on the innate power of the mind to think on the higher or on the lower plane, with the astral (in the sense given the word by de Saint-Martin), or with the physical brain. Great intellectual powers are often no proof of, but are impediments to spiritual and right conceptions ..."

The heart is the center of life; it is the organ of the spiritual man, the focus of spiritual consciousness while the mind is the seat of the intellectual man, the center of self-consciousness. Both of these streams of energy are channeled through the sentient animal man whose body is made up of life atoms that correspond exactly with the quality and type of spiritual and material currents that are being transmitted into the motives, desires and thought governing our actions in daily life. This explains why it is so very difficult to change habit patterns or understand and accept easily that which is new and unfamiliar to our experience. Our actions and reactions follow the entrenched grooves of habit-knowledge built up throughout all of our lifetimes and function almost automatically through the reflexes and responses with which we react to experience. Knowledge has literally to grow into the fabric of our being; can be re-made. Thus the urge to character traits un-made before they grow at this stage of human unfoldment is a process of pain and suffering, which is the only way we can learn to understand until the heart-light awakens and begins to guide us with a moral code of responsibility for our deeds. Motive is in the heart, thought in the head. The quality and type of knowledge that we possess is the result of developing our mental faculties; but the use we make of it for either selfish or selfless purposes is guided by the predominance of spiritual or animal desire in control of our human nature. A brilliant mind without compassion guiding it becomes a cold, heartless fiend of evil, and a selfless heart without the know-how to use it properly can also result in harm from misguided good intentions. So while we must "Learn above all to separate Head-Learning from Soul-Wisdom, the 'Eye' from the 'Heart' doctrine" we must never lose sight of our motives, for "even ignorance is better than [15] Head-Learning with no Soul-wisdom to illuminate and guide it". (Voice of the Silence.)

With heart in mind we blend the light of intellect with the flame of Spiritual love; self-consciousness reaches into the impersonal; understanding unfolds a metaphysical perception that merges the aspirational with the practical, the intuitional with the rational, inspiring whatever mental-spiritual capacities we have to work with into Right Motive, Right Thinking and Right Action.


L. Gordon Plummer

QUESTION: How does one come by occult knowledge?

ANSWER: I believe that it was William Quan Judge who said: "First deserve, then desire." The means by which we may come by occult knowledge are at hand, but the getting of it is very difficult. It is the reward of lifetimes of service. And this service means more than just being good. It means selfless devotion to the labor of helping to lift the heavy burden of suffering that is on the world. And it means more than that: it means also that there is an awareness of the existence of a vast body of teaching, and that glimpses into the Great Mysteries of universal life are indeed possible. The student's eyes must never be distracted from the goal of attaining to this knowledge, but the understanding must be that this knowledge is worthless unless it is gained in order that the disciple may become a willing and dedicated channel for the beneficent forces that guide the spiritual destiny of humanity. Another very potent saying of William Quan Judge was: "it is one thing to have the knowledge that Disciples have - it is quite another thing to be a Disciple." But it might be added that one does not really have knowledge until the teachings are actually a part of himself. This comes after years, if not lifetimes, of training and discipline.

QUESTION: How can we free ourselves from the cycles of reincarnation?

ANSWER: I do not think that it is desirable that we should free ourselves from the cycles of reincarnation. Reincarnation is the means taken by the human race in its present state of evolution, whereby it can develop the faculties and powers that are waiting to be developed. Until this evolutionary work has been accomplished, we cannot be said to be fully humanized. All of us have feelings that we seldom come up to our best. How many of us have said: "If only I had it to do over again, how much better I could do it." Reincarnation is the very means by which we are given new opportunities for growth which comes from experience. Someone referred to the Adepts, intimating that they have no need for further [16] reincarnation. I should explain for the sake of those to whom the idea of the Adepts is new, that in all ages, there have been forerunners of the human race, those few who have exemplified in their lives the ideals and attainments which are the goals for the human race as a whole. These were the great Spiritual Teachers who had the Divine Power so manifest in their lives that they were capable of founding religions that have swayed the minds of millions of people down the centuries. It takes a man of tremendous spiritual caliber to found a religion.

Now, it has happened in certain instances, that some of these Adepts have temporarily set aside the process of reincarnation in favor of working consciously on inner planes for the welfare of the human race. But even such as these are subject to the laws of Nature. There is no escape for anyone, and in fact, the more spiritually developed an Adept may be, the better he understands the laws of Nature, and it is only because he knows how to act in harmony with those laws that he is able to work in that particular manner to which I have alluded. He is relatively free, from our standpoint that is, but he is more willing to work with the laws of Nature rather than to try and escape them.


Katherine Tingley Speaks

In this little volume, just off the Press, Katherine Tingley speaks for herself. We learn of the motives that inspired her. We sense that her message is universal, overlapping barriers so often created by the dogmas in religions or the speculative limits of philosophies. Hers is an appeal to the wisdom of the heart.

Following are the chapter titles:

I. Nature the Mighty Mother.
II. Recollections.
III. Peace and the Fallacy of War.
IV. To the Student: Keynotes on the Path - I
V. To the Student: Keynotes on the Path - 2
VI. Why I am a Theosophist.
VII. Basic Principles of True Education.
VIII. Foreshadowings.
IX. Invocation.
Appendices: Theosophy and Some of the Vital Problems of the Day. Letters from Egypt. Chronology.

Order from Point Loma Publications. Inc., P.O. Box 6507, San Diego, CA 92106.
Softbound, 168 pages, $5.75.