A Living Philosophy For Humanity

No. 2 (164) - Fall 1980

[Cover photo: California Redwoods.]


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.




From the slime of the sluggish river,
From the dust of long-dead forms,
From the veins of the leaves a'quiver
In the swirl of beating storms,
From the rocks on the frozen hilltop,
From the down of moth-like wings,
From the breath of a shining dewdrop
Arises the Soul of Things.
For nothing is lost in Nature.
And nothing can go astray.
And the forms that fade around us
Will come again some day.
For the law of life is eternal,
And the birth and death it brings
Prove but the means and the measure
Of the growth of the Soul of Things.
- Frank A. Bruce


We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. - General Omar Bradley. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

The Sun is the vital focus of the Solar System. From it issue all the streams of energy and power which keep its entire kingdom alive and provide the forces necessary for its evolution.

In the present year, we are experiencing a maximum of the 11-12-year-cycle of sun-spot activity and some of the ancient occult teachings connected with the nature of the Sun suggest themselves for careful consideration. Astronomers of today have discovered much that was mere speculation a few years ago, but are still unable to throw aside limited materialistic ideas involved in their studies and enter boldly into the sphere of occult thought.

Sun-spots are channels through which some of the powerful solar forces issue forth from time to time as a phase of the vital circulation of the solar plasma which reaches out to the very confines of the system and eventually returns to the Sun. It cleanses, purifies, vitalizes everything that lives and evolves within that system, gathering impurities which are later worked over within the structure of the solar chain and the many levels of its spiritual hierarchy. The Sun contracts like the human heart every eleven years more or less, according to its own rhythm, and relaxes between its contractions. As a matter of fact, according to the teachings of the Occult Tradition, "the Sun is the heart of the Solar World (System) and its brain is hidden behind the (visible) Sun. From thence, sensation is radiated into every nerve-centre of the great body, and the waves of the life-essence [plasma] flow into every artery and vein ... The planets are its limbs and pulses ..." (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 541, where this passage is quoted by H.P.B. from an occult Commentary.)

The presently current scientific idea of solar plasma, the nature of which is ionic and electronic, is a very close approach to the occult tradition, especially as it touches upon currents and forces of a different vibratory rate than those recognized by the outworn materialism, showing a gradual recognition of subtler forms of matter.

The Theosophical Movement using this term in its widest application - is a universal force rooted in the occult life of the planet. It is incomparably greater than any Theosophical Organization which may arise from time to time and recede again into the gathering shadows of bygone history. Fed by the ever-living fountains of Solar energy and life, pulsing with the rhythm of Universal Being, pregnant with worlds yet unborn, the Movement manifests itself in myriads of temporary forms and carries in its cyclic tides all the promise of a nobler future, all the visions of never-ending attainment, all the richness of spiritual fulfillment, harmony and peace.

The historical manifestations of [4] this overall Movement are of course intimately connected with the idea of periodic reincarnations of some of the earlier workers and teachers who have already taken part in previous aspects of occult work, and come back from time to time to resume their interrupted task and re-assert the teachings in new languages and forms which human evolution brings about, as the ages of history develop in one or another portion of the overall human evolutionary stage.

It seems credible to assume that the present manifestation of the Movement, as initiated by H.P.B. and her co-workers, is intimately connected with both Gnosticism and Neo-Platonism, their teachings, disciplines and spiritual efforts. One wonders sometimes where are certain individuals of those bygone days. What about Basilides, Bardaisan, Valentinus, Simon Magus, Satornilos and Marcion? Have they been with us already, or are they still to come in one or another part of the world, as our work develops and widens its scope into other aspects of human life? Where are Ammonius Saccas, Plotinus, Iamblichus, Porphyry and Proclus? Have we met them casualty and did not recognize them? Will some of them turn up as time rolls by, and the present occult work gathers momentum in a regenerated humanity?

Some of the former workers in the Movement we have most likely met and known as friends and co-workers. The most likely among these are individuals who experienced the terrible days of the Cathars, Albigenses and Waldensians - men and women who have today a vivid recollection of those days and whose knowledge of the teachings is obviously a vivid reminiscence of a former life. The question can still be asked: where is Johannes Scotus Erigena, Meister Eckhart, Arnald de Villanova, Pico della Mirandola, Raymond Lully or John Dee? Have they looked us over yet? The "climate" of the present Movement would of course be much easier on them and help to unfold their latent powers and knowledge.

It would be well for us to dwell occasionally upon this line of thought.

The higher members of the Brotherhood of Light deal primarily with Ideas, a conception which has nothing to do with ordinary thinking. Ideas are from a certain standpoint the stoicheias of ancient Greek mystics, the incorporeal principles of the planetary world, individualized abstractions which are somewhat similar to the Gnostic Aeons. It is with them that the most advanced members of the Hierarchy are intimately connected. The jet-streams of the Atma-Buddhic level of global consciousness carry their spiritual currents to any part of the global structure, inner and outer. These currents have to be reduced in their vibratory rates before they can be perceived or attuned to by even the highest portions of mankind. Lesser members of the Brotherhood can do so, as they serve as transformers of the highest energies into somewhat lower levels. Their activity is rooted in the use of Kriyisakti, the mysterious power of thought which enables it to produce external, perceptible, phenomenal results by its own inherent energy. [5]

The Brotherhood of Adepts have agents everywhere in the world. No country is to be excepted, as their work is universal and includes humanity as a family.* (* An excellent example of this fact is the School of Occult Teachings among the Berbers of Northern Africa. Some of their precepts have been translated by P.G. Bowen from a MS. in the Isinzu language, under the guidance of one of their Teachers named Mehlo Moya, and published by Rider & Co., London, 1935, under a title of The Sayings of the Ancient One. The precepts are practically identical with what we find in Light on the Path.) Some of these agents are themselves high Initiates working with their own disciples, others are only advanced Chelas of various degrees of attainment in knowledge, others yet are aspiring and devoted students whose lives are dedicated to the highest ideals. Some of the agents are in constant personal contact with the Teachers; others only at times; others yet may not be consciously aware of being agents, but are open channels of one kind or another which the Teachers can use at times to channel ideas and ideals of spiritual benefit to the human race.* (* An excellent example of this is the case of De Robigne Mortimer Bennett (1812-82), the famous American Freethinker, pertinent information about whom may be found in Vol. IV, pp. 625-33, of H.P. Blavatsky's Collected Writings. Jual Khool, transmitting in January, 1882, a message from Master K.H. to A.P. Sinnett, says that he "is one of our agents (unknown to himself) to carry out a scheme for the enfranchisement of Western thoughts from superstitious creeds.")

The work of the Brotherhood concerns itself with spiritual and intellectual pursuits, the sowing of seeds in progressive and promising minds. It is never political or sectarian, although this does not mean that seeds of spiritual thought have not been sown upon occasion in the mind of intuitive statesmen and great leaders of men whose voice could be heard above the unthinking crowd or whose pronouncements might last and be repeated by succeeding generations of men. Whatever may be an open channel, may be used at any time by Those whose only purpose and motive is the elevation of mankind from inertia into action and from darkness into light.

We are all aware more or less of the great expectation within the organized Theosophical Movement of today of the appearance of another direct Messenger from the Brotherhood of Adepts, similar to H.P. Blavatsky. This has never been a promise on her part or on the part of her own Teachers. The possibility exists, but the probability of it is rather doubtful. The ideas connected with this trend of thought are sometimes very peculiar to say the least. Is he or she expected to be of Anglo-Saxon or Slavonian lineage? Why should he be that? India, Africa and China constitute today the great majority of mankind in incarnation. Is it not conceivable that an individual of that type might appear and work among totally different ethnic groups from our own, and remain unknown to us? The overwhelming majority of the present Theosophical literature is in English. Another era of occult development may experience a total shift in this situation, [6] and the new installment of teachings may be couched in languages with which we are totally unfamiliar.

Brothers and Friends! Sursum corda - lift up your hearts! Observe the world around you, but do not be dismayed! Life is a manifestation of Law. There is constant guidance behind the outer veil of illusions. The civilization we are an integral part of is not about to be broken up into smithereens; it is not to disappear into a sea of total oblivion and negation. We are witnessing a worldwide revolution of thought, a basic change of conceptions and ideals. Outworn traditions must be swept aside, to make room for new conceptions, new mutual relations among all men, and these new conceptions will in due course of time reflect at least to some small extent very ancient ideals whose time for a new manifestation has now arrived in the cyclic rotation of the ages.

The Theosophical Movement to which we have dedicated our life and work is but an aspect of the Solar Force at work. It has existed for ages past, and will continue to exist in many forms and modifications into the distant future. If any of its manifestations become dogmatic or lose their vital strength, a new generation of students will lead a rebellion against calcified tradition, and give expression to the ancient principles of thought in other than the hackneyed phrases which may have lost their effective power. The only permanent power in the universe is the power of change; let us never forget this!

The Theosophical Movement is a movement of Youth. This 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. Let us therefore dream of a nobler and greater world; let us work on its behalf, never losing sight of the dream itself - the Dream that Never Dies!


Dara Eklund

An airy vehicle, home-manufactured and held aloft by human engineering and foot-pedaling, crossed the English channel last year. It was one of several attempts to achieve the flight of a bird with a minimum of mechanical devices. You could almost use a term Walt Disney coined: Imagineering! Aside from well-known aerodynamic laws, it was the finding of a fabric emulating a bird's wing in its capacity to catch mighty air currents within each feather's pinion that gave the craft its ultimate stability. Literally its pilot became one "who treads the winds above the waves, whose step touches not the water."

The evolving of such an air-borne miracle reflects the balance needed [7] to keep aloft all human enterprises amidst the storm fronts which challenge them. If the Theosophical airship is to keep aloft, the high ideal inspiring our crew must carry us above the personal, emotional and lower mental currents buffeting it. For "Behold the Hosts of Souls. Watch how they hover o'er the stormy sea of human life, and how exhausted, bleeding, broken-winged they drop one after other on the swelling waves."* (* The Voice of the Silence, p. 8.) Only by rising above these may the beacon light of pure consciousness guide its course.

Sri Aurobindo Ghose, in a Guide to the Upanishads* (* page 99.) speaks of Prajna as, "in all things the stress of the hidden spirit ... The tree does not and cannot shape itself, the stress of the hidden Intelligence shapes it." Ever present, this Universal Intelligence is accessible to reshape even the destiny of the Theosophical Movement and its various societies. Its "stress" has to be so enshrined in our hearts that many minor, petty and usually brittle stresses of our lower consciousness are swept away. Being brittle, being crystallized, can all the past be shed just like that?

It may be effaced alone by the spirit of true Unity within this vaster Intelligence of which human nature is but a small though stressful fraction. Our Divine Consciousness is always free, capable of boundless Love, Change and Forgiveness. Over-looking the past is as easy as breathing to It, for It has no past.

But what if another does not respond to love when afforded? Many of us have become crystallized in resentments and memories we will not shake. It is then that we learn why Patience is taught as one of the chief Paramitas. Patience works silently. Like the strength of the albatross, the bird of good omen which can circle a ship's mast for days without tiring, it has the strength to endure. It protects us from getting caught in needless action or despair. It is one of the currents we use in rising to that plane of detachment where even an enemy is seen as a part of ourselves. Patience is the fabric needed for our ship, the Gossamer Albatross of our Soul. The "Wind of the Spirit" can uplift such a vehicle, placing it in the vast jet stream of Life comprising the spiritual impulses of mankind. Those impulses are not the zephyrs that dispel the negative haze of selfishness engulfing our troubled earth. Thus we do not directly attack this opponent, but impartially furnish the intelligent energies of the Universe with deeds of Truth and Harmlessness.

Let the gossamer texture of Patience, Courage and Compassion once become the hallmark of every Theosophist and the Movement will sail away with the hearts of men.


Be virtuous and you will be eccentric. - Mark Twain. [8]


Montague A. Machell

"Never to an evil place goeth one who doeth good. The man whose devotion has been broken off by death goeth to the regions of the righteous ... Being born again he comes in contact with the knowledge which belonged to him in his former body, and from that time he struggles more diligently toward perfection." - Bhagavad Gita (W.Q. Judge's Recension).

A vital lesson every Theosophist has to learn is that Knowledge can never be given. In its most vital essence, it must be earned. But, you and I, and all of us have been awarded the time and opportunity (through Reincarnation) to gradually learn this Knowledge through many lives on earth. It is of the utmost importance to bear in mind that, even in the lowliest of us, some degree of Knowledge of our innate divinity has been earned, and is our own. Theosophy insists that we do not come into life as total strangers. We have been here before, and are in possession of such essences of Knowledge as we have attained in past lives. As expressed by Wordsworth:

"Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come from God."

In the same chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita from which our opening quotation is drawn occur these further words of Krishna: "The man of meditation is superior to the man of learning and also to the man of action; wherefore, O Arjuna, resolve to become a man of meditation." Why this accentuation on "meditation"? Is it not a reminder to the disciple that he comes into life "not in entire forgetfulness" of this Knowledge he has made his own, which Knowledge is his only direct source of enlightenment? The purpose of meditation upon the sacred scriptures is to renew his association with such fragments of Divine Wisdom as he already knows, having acquainted himself with them through many births.

To reassert our opening statement, Knowledge cannot be given him. He himself earns it to the degree that he becomes it. In that "becoming," the spiritual perspective of many incarnations is indispensable. Again and again the disciple must remind himself that he is more than the man he seems to be here today. He enjoys a background enriched by certain earned perceptions and comprehensions it is his business now to renew and develop. Meditation on the SELF is the key to his major quest: SELF-knowledge.

Because this SELF is man's unbroken link with the ABSOLUTE, the ultimate significance of the injunction, "to thine own self be true," Theosophically interpreted is, "to the ABSOLUTE in [9] thee be true" - a necessary challenge since most of us "relate" Truth to a rather specious pattern of living, instead of honestly "relating" our life pattern to TRUTH ABSOLUTE. To do this means acting at all times according to the dictates of the ABSOLUTE or True SELF. This, being a more or less "lost art," we tend to live, think and act in a pattern of unsymmetrical discord, ugliness and confusion, "relative" to erroneous thinking. The enormous technological monstrosities characterizing our cities, with their polluted by-products, are repeated denials of the majestic beauty of untouched mountains, plains, forests and canyons this technology has not yet defaced. Herein, we are encouraged to see the beauties of Nature as revelations of the ABSOLUTE - the ONE LIFE that unveils the ONE SOURCE. Such beauties can be justifiably regarded as evidences of that sublime REALITY of which this universe is a manifestation. It is that manifestation that man is called upon to ally himself with and reverence as his unveiled DEITY in whose presence he walks day by day, life after life. This is the beauty that reminds him "beauty is truth," in that it is PROPORTION ABSOLUTE, unmarred by the "relatives" of immature reason. The goal of man on earth is realized truth in beauty, which his innate divinity alone can unveil.

Basic spiritual Knowledge exceeds at all times the most detailed and voluminous "information" about the SELF, insofar as such Knowledge is effective, it is SELF-experienced - the perception embodied. We "know" that which we are. All else is "information about" what we seek to become. In this sense, effective living is the constant renewal of life - the resumption of the eternal profession (or "art") of earning additional Knowledge, or becoming additionally enlightened. The one possible means of making this incarnation a "renewal" of the Divine Serial, LIFE is, day by day, to reinforce our identity with the SELF. Extraneous experience, extraneous authorities, can inspire, vitalize and nurture our search for spiritual enlightenment; but to attain Knowledge we must link up with the SELF that "knows." This is the SELF that, incarnation by incarnation, incorporates "barbaric" personalities into its empire of Spiritual Awareness.

In its more esoteric sense that "Redemption" borrows the wonted dignity of redeemed waste lands of man's primitive selves. In terms of spiritual savoire faire, we are all somewhat barbarous. Significant living - an uninterrupted Campaign of Redemption - adds new kingdoms to the Spiritual Empire past incarnations have staked out. "Meditation" ponders universal conquests for the empire thus far acquired. Should we not remind ourselves that we are veterans of many glorious campaigns, still in the thick of the fight?

Man's least glorious achievement is to bear himself in battle as an unseasoned recruit who has lost sight of his many magnificent [10] forays of redemption wherein he has given his all that ALL may draw nigh unto Freedom of the Spirit. The seasoned veteran, to whom the battle is all, is borne upward by Krishna's council to Arjuna; "Throwing every deed on me, and with meditation fixed upon the Higher Self, resolve to fight, without expectation, devoid of egotism and free from anguish."

This idea of life as renewal cannot be too forcefully emphasized. The very fact that any one of us has chosen association with the Wisdom-Religion means that its call to action has been harkened to in past incarnations. The call we responded to then had to originate in a prior awareness of an inner spiritual drive. Never "in entire forgetfulness" does the Theosophist enter upon a present incarnation, but "trailing clouds of glory" of innate spiritual aspiration, his present involvement is divinely inevitable.

Let us at no time permit a fore-shortening of vision to suggest that Life began Yesterday, and will flicker out Tomorrow. Today's task, this moment's leaping up of the Spirit, have their roots in forgotten glories of primeval existences. All we have attained and accomplished in past lives lends impetus to today's simplest undertaking. "Whatever is practiced by the most excellent men, that is also practiced by others." Every revelation of seasoned spiritual maturity on our part is a reminder to our fellows of forgotten campaigns wherein they triumphed gloriously. LIFE is a Renewal of "that knowledge which belonged to us in a former body." Meditation renews our link with the victorious SELF that earned that knowledge. A riper, more mature self today can, surely, carry that achievement still further, so far as we reject positively "entire forgetfulness" of what we were and are. In that rejection we build, little by little, a sublime tradition of dominion, wherein defeat is a concept one refuses to entertain.

It is given to each of us to draw upon the deposit of aspiration and effort in past lives. Beneath the ashes of the "dead" personality the Phoenix of the Spirit slumbers. Refusal to forget kindles those embers into the flaming beauty of a fuller realization, the flame whose splendor foretells the Heaven that must unfold here on earth. For the sake of our fellows, sickened with the fumes of defeat, we must dare to rekindle the flame Krishna kindled in the heart of Arjuna with the words: "For them do I out of my compassion, standing within their hearts, destroy that darkness which springs from ignorance by the brilliant lamp of spiritual discernment."

These are the words of Spiritual Renewal with which an Enlightened Conqueror added flashing swords to the armory of Spiritual Knowledge that must guard and extend this Empire of the Spirit wherein every Theosophist aspires to become a veteran. LIFE IS RENEWAL! [11]


Vonda Urban

"The feeling of responsibility is inspired by the presence of the Light of the Higher Ego. As the Ego in its cycle of rebirth becomes more and more individualized, it learns more and more by suffering to recognize its own responsibility, by which it finally gains Self-consciousness, the consciousness of all the Egos of the whole Universe ... The feeling of responsibility is the beginning of Wisdom, a proof that ahankara is beginning to fade out, the beginning of losing the sense of separateness. " (The Secret Doctrine, Adyar edition, 1950, Book 5, pp. 552-53.)

Responsibility is the Spiritual-intellectual impetus underlying our sense of duty and self-abnegation. It is the dynamic action of Heart and Mind blending reason with compassion in selfless service for others - the Will to choose duty above desire, discipline above indulgence; the intelligence to distinguish between right and wrong with rational action based upon thoughtful deliberation and judgement, in contrast to sentimentality or emotional impulsiveness; it is dependable, reliable, trustworthy and accountable; the character out giving and as opposed to ingathering and self-centered. Our Responsibility I-Q is governed by knowledge, impersonality and altruism, the varying levels and degrees of which combine the ability of our "know-how" with our capacity to reach outward and touch the Universal Oneness in Brotherhood. Thus, the extent that we are able or willing to shoulder responsibility may be limited but to the duty and loving sacrifice that serves only our immediate family - or our devotion may embrace the total Human Family and serve Mankind.

In Practical Occultism we are taught: "Accustom yourself to the thought that no one beside Yourself can assist you, and wean away your affections from all things gradually." (p. 71.) ... What a profound depth of instruction and discipline lies within the meaning of these words! Such training reaches ultimately to the Initiation Chamber where our Personal Ego must pass through the dread trials alone - temporarily separated from its Higher Self, unaided by the Teacher - to triumph or fail, completely on its own. Herein is the fundamental guideline pointing out the importance and reason why self-reliance and detachment from the personality are primary requirements for Spiritual unfoldment. These qualities are basic to the feeling of responsibility. Without self-reliance, we lean upon others; without impersonality, our egotistical biases and prejudices feed the Great Heresy of Separateness. The path of Chelaship demands self-reliance, self-discipline and self-sacrifice; and to travel on it, altruism must be made the aim of life. The [12] rules of Occultism will not bend to cushion our weakness and mistakes. We either make or miss the mark in how we live each single day. This point is very clearly made by W.Q. Judge in answer to the question: "What is the 'daily initiation'?" (Echoes of the Orient, Vol. II, pp. 401-2.)

"It is supposed by some that initiation is always and in every case a set and solemn occasion for which the candidate is prepared and notified of in advance. While there are some initiations surrounded by such solemnities as these, the daily one, without success in which no aspirant will ever have the chance to try for those that are higher, comes to the disciple with almost each moment. It is met in our relations with our fellows, and in the effects upon us of all the circumstances of life. And if we fail in these, we never get to the point where greater ones are offered. If we cannot bear momentary defeat, or if a chance word that strikes our self-love finds us unprepared, or if we give way to the desire to harshly judge others, or if we remain in ignorance of some of our most apparent faults, we do not build up that knowledge and strength imperatively demanded from whoever is to be master of nature ...

"Do you think that if a Master accepted you He would put you to some strange test? No, He would not, but simply permitting the small events of your life to have their course, the result would determine your standing. It may be a child's school, but it takes a man to go through it."

And what about the testing of the good deeds that we do in acts both great and small that benefit our fellow man? It is just here that the razor's edge cuts sharp and deep the line of demarcation between a self-giving or self-serving motive hidden beneath the outer showing of the good we do for others: just here that the choice is made between altruism and opportunism, marking the direction toward either the Right or Left-hand Path. Motive is everything. The test is simply whether, in serving mankind, we also seek reward or benefit for oneself. "What's in it for me" is, of course, the selfish, competitive way of the world living in the callous sense of separateness. But this cannot be for him who aspires to Spiritual unfoldment; for him who would become one with the All. Altruism is renunciation of the personal self. The sacrifice we make each day is all that registers upon the mystic ledger.

The first big test of our Responsibility I.Q. comes in how we accept the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" as the Karmic retribution of our own wrong doing, now coming home to roost. Here is the stringent measure of our self-reliance and accountability. It is very easy to expect the good happenings that come to us to be our just deserts of merit; but quite another thing to face the negative side of this and realize that we also filled the hateful cup of gall we drink; aye, to the last bitter dregs. In self-pity, we may even search for the scape goat of unmerited Karma, crying: "some one else did this to me" - until we [13] understand that "rigid justice rules the world. With mighty sweep of never erring action, it brings to mortals lives of weal or woe, the Karmic progeny of all our thoughts and deeds." (The Voice of the Silence, p. 45.)

Nor can a heart filled with compassion also have room to hold the tears shed for "poor me." In this is found the clue that, overcoming self-pity, is the first step toward self-reliance and accountability. Here too is a guide for using judgement and discrimination in acts of charity, for if we can help another to learn to give something of themselves, however little, at the same time they take assistance to relieve their suffering, their door to aspiration has cracked open. It is a fact of human nature that the more we do for another, the more is expected if we allow the habit of taking to grow. It is also true that, until one desires to uplift himself, nothing can be done for him; so, if we are unable morally to strengthen the one we help, then there is danger of doing more harm than good. But pain and suffering are our greatest teachers, bringing a catharsis of the soul; an awakening of consciousness; a time of searching; an opening to new ideas; and more often we find, in helping lift another's burden, that we have met a fellow pilgrim seeking the Path that leads upward. We seized the moment of the opportunity that came our way to rise a little above Ahankara, and hold the sacred trust of Brotherhood inviolate.


Echoes of the Orient.
The Writings of William Quan Judge.
Volume II, compiled by Dara Eklund.
San Diego, Calif.: Point Loma Publications, Inc. 1980; $12.00

Reviewed by Joy Mills

For many, both members of the Theosophical Society and the public at large, the name of William Quan Judge is certainly less well known than it should be. That he was among the group of founders of the Society in 1875; that he was by some years the "junior partner" of those whose names are far more widely known as founders, H.S. Olcott and H.P. Blavatsky; that he was left in charge of the Society's efforts in the United States when Olcott and Blavatsky sailed for India; that he became a center of controversy in the years following H.P.B.'s death, ultimately severing relations with Adyar in 1895: these facts may be generally known. He was also, of course, the Vice-President of the Society, and at the time of the establishment of the Esoteric School served as H.P.B.'s representative in the U.S. If his literary production is at all recognized, it is simply to acknowledge that he was the author of one of the finest introductory texts, The Ocean of Theosophy, a work which has remained in print through the years and continues to serve as a basic overview of the theosophical philosophy.

We are all very much indebted to Dara Eklund, a life-long theosophist and close associate of Boris de Zirkoff in his prodigious efforts in editing the collected writings of H.P.B., for Mrs. Eklund has [14] combined her talents as a careful student and researcher with her dedication to theosophy in order to compile the amazing literary output of W.Q. Judge. His life span was a brief one, and his final years were shadowed by ill health, yet the part he played in keeping alive the flame of theosophy in the new world, when the major impetus through Olcott and Blavatsky had moved eastward to India, deserves our appreciation, for without his efforts, both organizationally and in writing, the Society might well have died out in America.

Now with the appearance of a second volume of Judge's writings, we can only wonder at the wealth of material that has been so long buried in journals no longer available to the general reader. For this second volume comprises particularly Mr. Judge's contributions to The Irish Theosophist, Lucifer, The Theosophist, The Theosophical Forum, Vahan, as well as his own magazine, The Path. In addition; extensive material is included from Judge's contributions to and report on the World's Parliament of Religions held at Chicago in connection with the Columbian Exhibition of 1893. Judge represented the Society on the occasion, along with Annie Besant, Dr. J. D. Buck and a number of other prominent members of the Society; further, he served as chairman of the Advisory Council for that religious congress. As the compiler of this volume points out, it is doubtful that aside from the publication of Isis Unveiled in 1877, any other single event held in the U.S. forwarded the work of the Society as much as did the World Parliament of Religions, when theosophists were not only accepted but acknowledged as key participants and leaders in a movement to appreciate the comparative study of religious traditions.

Dara Eklund has wisely avoided a strictly chronological sequence in the publication of Judge's writings, preferring instead to group the material according to the journals in which it first appeared. And in view of Judge's national origin, Ireland, it seems particularly appropriate that the volume opens with a series of articles first published in The Irish Theosophist, preceded by tributes to Judge himself including the eulogy by the Irish poet, AE (George W. Russell), who called Judge the "hero of the iron age." Especially valuable is the inclusion in this volume of the series, "Hidden Hints in the Secret Doctrine," originally published in Judge's journal, The Path. A major portion of the current volume is devoted to questions on a variety of subjects, ably answered by Judge, revealing him as a superb teacher of the theosophical philosophy. Again and again, he stressed the practicality of the teachings as directly relevant and applicable to one's daily life. Finally, there is a unique collection of articles entitled "Faces of Friends," with pictures and life sketches of the more prominent among the early members of the Theosophical Movement. These sketches, penned by Judge, give us first hand information about such workers as J.D. Buck, Abner Doubleday, the Keightleys, Countess Constance [15] Wachtmeister, and several others to whom we today owe so very much for their service to the Society.

The compiler has performed a labor of love out of gratitude for the influence of Judge's teachings on her own theosophical life. For us, she has performed a rare service in reminding us of the steadfastness of one of the original founders of the Society, a man who though he passed from the scene in 1896, at the age of 45, left a rich heritage of theosophical writings that are as meaningful and helpful to the student today as when they were first published. Happily the book, profusely illustrated, contains an Index, which serves as an invaluable aid in discovering gems of thought and understanding on the numerous topics with which Judge dealt in his writings. Certainly a book that should be on the shelves, and in the reference collection, of every theosophical student!



By G. de Purucker

Handbook for mystics and for all seeking the Way or the Path. Outlines steps - consisting of intellectual instruction and conduct - to be taken by the pilgrim-soul on its age-long journey towards the Heart of the Universe. Presents the essential core of what was taught in the esoteric schools of philosophy in the Orient and the Near-East and, since 1875, in certain parts of the West. The essence of what has been cherished in secret in every age, old as Time, yet new for each beginning aspirant is here passed on pure and untarnished.

Chapter titles: The Path to the Heart of the Universe; Old Age, Disease, Death - and Rebirth; The Power of Thought; The Inner God; The Great Heresy of Separateness; Forgiveness and Love; The Path of Chelaship; The Buddhas of Compassion and the Pratyeka Buddhas; Brief Glossary of Terms. soft-cover, 170 pages, $2.50


The Theosophical Reference Index.
(Following the Blavatsky Tradition) Compiled by Elsie Benjamin.

Check what you know or want to know about: Atlantis, black magicians, euthanasia, fish-sin-soma, fire, facts, drugs and Druids, dragons and Druzes, and Egypt, the Essenes, elementals and elementaries, eclipses, earthquakes; artificial insemination, alcohol, aura, aureoles, avatara, automatic writing, astrology, asteroids. Or, blood, bees, bards, chakras, cataclysms, clairvoyance, comets, color, dreams, initiations, numbers, pineal gland, pyramids, Planetary Spirits.
Theosophical references for these and hundreds more are here, a veritable sky-scanner revealing what may be spoken of as Truth "without distortion." 155 pages, soft-cover, $3.95. [16]

a Series of Classes in Basic Theosophical Teaching by G. de Purucker.
Verbatim reporting of seven class lectures given in 1913-14. This rare collection of theosophic studies foreshadows much that Dr. G. de Purucker later developed in his better known works, yet here are certain esoteric hints not in those later writings.

Definitions and elucidations include, naming only a few, such subjects as: Theosophy, theology, physiology, dogma, Nature, world, cosmos, universe, pleroma, microcosm, macrocosm, monotheism, polytheism, pantheism, atheism, paganism, heathenism, fate and free-will, heavens and hells, necromancy and occultism, metempsychosis, reincarnation.
Much is said about the Kabbalah, the Talmud, the Babylonian Gemara, and Christianity. References and quotations are given from the Hebrew, Greek, and early Christian writers and historians.
Never before published, a rare item for the student and researcher. Soft-cover, 159 pages, $5.95

A Study in the Drama of Evolution by Henry T. Edge

Some questions answered: What is evolution, according to Theosophy, and what is its purpose? Wherein has science in general failed in this respect? Is the Darwinian hypothesis right in saying man has evolved from the animals? What is the distinction between body, soul, and spirit? What are objections to the doctrine of the survival of the fittest? Did animals descend from Man? What is the origin of Man? What can you say about the earlier races of mankind? Will animals ever become men? What are manvantaras and pralayas? How does the Weismann theory confirm Theosophy? How does Theosophy explain the obvious existence of design in the universe? Who am I? Paper, 24 pages, $1.25.

As recorded in 'The Secret Doctrine' by H.P. Blavatsky
by Gertrude W. van Pelt, M.D.

The aim of this work, the author writes, is "to place consecutively the revelations of the Ancient Wisdom regarding man's life on this planet, which H.P. Blavatsky so courageously and with such consummate skill brought to the Western world ... To sift out from the many related facts which enrich this marvelous work (The Secret Doctrine and the Stanzas of Dzyan) an outline of what she has told us regarding our ancient selves, and to arrange the events in chronological order.
References to volume and page will enable those who wish to do so to verify or amplify the subject from The Secret Doctrine. Paper, 52 pages, $2.00.

ORDER FROM POINT LOMA PUBLICATIONS, INC. P.O. Box 6507, San Diego, California 92106.