A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume VI
No. 2 (32) - July-August 1949

[Cover photo: Great Nebula in Andromeda (M31 NGC224), South region, resolving nebulosity into star images. Exposure 2hrs., August 24, 1925, 100-inch Hooker Reflector, Mount Wilson. The only galaxy outside of our own clearly clearly visible to the naked eye. Some 800,000 light-years away (Courtesy Mount Wilson Observatory.).]


A Living Philosophy for Humanity.
Published every Two Months. Sponsored by an International Group of Theosophists.
Objectives: To disseminate the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom. To uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement, as set forth by H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers. To challenge bigotry and superstition in every form. To foster mutual understanding and co-operation among all students of Theosophy, irrespective of their affiliation.
Editor: Boris de Zirkoff.
Contributing Editors: Irene R. Ponsonby, J. Emory Clapp, Mary K. Neff (in memoriam), Arthur I. Joquel, Robert F. Kerr, Katherine Heck, Polly Warfield, Nancy Browning.
Committee of Sponsors: T. Marriot, G. Cardinal Legros, Jan H. Venema, Col. J. M. Prentice, Dudley W. Barr, Dr. Sven Eck, William L. Biersach.
Business Manager: Norine G. Chadil.

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None of the organized Theosophical Societies, as such, are responsible for any ideas expressed in this magazine, unless contained in an official document. The Editors are responsible for unsigned articles only.



Evil is the twin of progress, and progress is the law of the universe. The normal condition on one stage of evolution is evil on the next higher stage, on which a higher form has become the normal condition. Consider the pilgrimage of the Monad: the Monad is in the stage of inmetallization, and in a volcanic eruption stones are flung into the air, they dash themselves against each other and break each other into fragments, burning lava pours out of the crater; so long as nothing but minerals have been evolved all these forces work for progress, for further evolution. Pass to the next stage: the Monad is inherbalised, plants kill each other out, yet this struggle for existence works for progress and cannot injure moral feelings not yet evolved. The Monad is inzoonised; the plant may poison the animal, the animals slay each other, and with this stage of consciousness may be said to begin what men call evil, pain caused by disharmony, though even here there is no evil from the moral standpoint, the normal condition being that of struggle. But when the Monad is inhumanised all is changed. With the evolution of the higher form of life comes the possibility of rising to a higher plane of being; man can rise above the material plane, and ought so to rise, because if he stands still he obstructs the evolution of the universe. As man he is able to rise to self-surrender, and the power gives the duty. Sacrifice is a condition of progress, enforced on mineral, vegetable, and animal, left to be accepted or refused by man. Lower forces of life fulfill the laws of their being by necessity: man by choice, his conscious self-surrender into harmony with the universe being his prerogative as Manasic entity. To live on a lower plane when one can rise to a higher is sin; the life-conditions of the lower irrupting into the higher are evil; the combat which is right for the brute is wrong for the man, because man thereby brings the brute passions of the lower plane into activity on the higher, in which they are disharmonious, destroying that which is further evolved than themselves. A dog kills a dog, and the stronger dog remains to breed; a man kills a man, and the brute survives while the human in him is slain. If there were no progress there could be no evil, since evil is only the life-force of the past persisting into the present: therefore wherever you see evil lose not heart, for if the higher were not evolving the distinction between higher and lower could not be. - Lucifer, London, Vol. VIII, May, 1891, p. 333. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

One of the chief obstacles which stands in the way of the recognition of occult teachings by a great number of intelligent people, particularly those active in the field of modern science, is the unwieldy and perplexing terminology in which they are clothed.

At the present time, and increasingly so with every day that passes, the scientists in the various departments of modern scientific thought are giving expression to facts of nature regarding which the teachings of genuine Occultism have had a great deal to say for ages past. Yet the co-relation of these scientific pronouncements with the principles of the ancient wisdom remains a very difficult task, because of the inadequate terms used by most students of that wisdom to express ideas and truths vaguely sensed by the world of science on an ever-widening scale.

In this connection, it is of considerable importance to notice that a large number of scientific men are today dealing with what they term "fields": electric, magnetic and electromagnetic. These are supposed to surround various constituent units of matter, as well as more complex structures, such as cells and rudimentary organs of living entities. So vital has this conception become in the last few years, that in some respects at least the "field" is often considered to be more important than the unit to which it is somehow or other related or from which it emanates.

By far the most advanced deductions from this general idea of "fields" have been drawn by Dr. Gustaf Stromberg in his works The Soul of the Universe (2nd ed., McKay & Co., Phila., 1948, $3.50) and The Searchers (ditto, 1948, $3.00), wherein he has elaborated this subject and applied it to the conception of the persistence of the soul after the change called physical death. In his last-mined work, he mentions the following facts of recent research:

"... It has been known for many years that the activities in muscles and nerves are associated not only with chemical changes but also with electrical phenomena in and around the muscles and the nerves. Starting from these facts Burr and Northrop of Yale University, proposed in 1935 the 'electro-dynamic theory of life.' This theory induced Burr, Lane and Nims to construct a very sensitive microvoltmeter particularly suited for the study of the fine structure of the electric fields around living animals and plants. Working with this instrument, a group of research men of the Section of Neuro-Anatomy of the Yale Medical School has found that all living matter is imbedded in electrical fields, which have a complex, fine-grained and well-defined structure extending beyond the animals add the plants studied. During embryonic development the electric activity is most intense and extends well beyond the organism, and apparently furnishes a predetermined pattern which defines the future growth and transformations of the developing embryo. At death the 'living field' disappears. The inorganic fields inherent in all matter can then freely act according to their nature, the result being a general disintegration of the complex fluid matter and the formation of simpler compounds. Burr, the leader of the research group, states that 'it is hard to escape the conclusion that the electrical pattern is primary and in some measure at least determines the morphological pattern'." (pp. 228-229.)

"... In other words, the observed field is apparently not produced by the atoms and molecules in the organisms; instead it determines by its own innate properties the structure and the future development of the organism through its action on the proper kind of building material.

"It can therefore well be described as a living, autonomous, and organizing field of force. There can be little doubt that such fields are dynamic rather than static, and that fundamentally they are built of vibratory elements somewhat similar to those we assume to exist in atoms. ... I am convinced that those living fields which are responsible for the structure of our brains are intimately connected with our own consciousness." (pp. 130-131.)

Even a tyro in the study of the ancient wisdom is in a position to recognize in this general conception of the [4] "field" an idea closely akin to the "astral body" of the student of occultism, or the "aura" of which he often speaks. The trouble is, however, that the word "astral" is derivative from the Latin astrum, meaning a star, a constellation, a luminous celestial body; and this immediately suggests to the man of science that the one who uses it necessarily believes in the influence of stars and planets upon human life - and that is, of course, one of the worst indictments against him, at least from the standpoint of established science.

The facts are, however, considerably different from what they may appear to be at first sight. If the word "astral" is to be derived from astrum, it is so primarily from the standpoint that the "astral" world or substance is "starry" in the sense of being "self-luminous." But this word can also be derived from the Anglo-Saxon stieran, which means to stir, to steer, to move, to impel, to give impulse to, to motivate from within. And the latter is the very function of all astral substances and forces, which form, as it were, the inner life, the hidden motivating powers, of the outer world of effects.

When it comes to analyzing the meaning of the term "self-luminous", we must remember that the scientist of today regards his "field" as being made up of electro-magnetic energies which are vibratory in nature, and form an integral part of the vibrational spectrum which includes all the wavelengths known to present-day research. In a very broad and all-inclusive sense of the term, the entire range of the electro-magnetic spectrum can be called "light", provided we do not restrict this word merely to the narrow range of vibrations which our feeble and inadequate optical apparatus perceives as visible light. It is not too far-fetched to conceive of beings and creatures in nature to whom many other portions of the electro-magnetic spectrum are actually visible as "light", and are therefore self-luminous. There should be no difficult), at this point for the meeting of science and occultists

The possibilities which this trend of thought opens up to the serious student are enormous. It should be remembered that "fields" of force interpenetrate each other, and that larger ones include, surround, and encompass smaller ones. If a cell has a field of its own, and a human organ likewise, it is logical to assume that the units of the solar system upon which we live and function have fields of their own, and that perhaps the most important thing about the unit we term the solar system is its field or fields, instead of the globular bodies we see, or think we see, revolving around a central "solar proton."

If the inter-relation between cosmic fields and human fields, or between planetary fields and cellular fields, can be established beyond any possible doubt, science will have made a marked advance towards the recognition of the actual existence of an electro-magnetic co-relation between various units, cosmic and microcosmic, within the system we live in. By establishing certain scientific principles whereby to explain the inter-relation of the various fields of force, and their influence upon each other, modern science will have made the first step towards the vindication of the ancient science of Astrology, an occult science which is vastly different from that brand of psycho-astral divination which has invaded modern newsstands as well as the lecture platform, and is driving many sincere seekers to distraction with its fantastic pronouncements of dire misfortune which usually never occurs anyway.

The objection on the part of modern scientists to the science of astrology is primarily based upon a very natural repulsion which they feel towards a trend of ideas often fanatical in expression and stupid in their contents. They very naturally jump to the conclusion that the famous astrologers of past ages, among whom are to be numbered most of the outstanding men of science of those days, believed in that conglomerate of humbug and commercial fortune-telling which has been [5] disgracing the name of Astrology in the last few years. In this they are mistaken.

Men like Ptolemy, Aristarchus, Empedocles, Paracelsus, Cardanus, Napier, Kepler and even Newton, were not the type of minds to be interested in the form of divination which astrology has acquired of late. Their profound interest in mystical and occult matters was a sufficient guarantee of the fact that they viewed the cosmic structure as an integral whole animated throughout by inter-connected hierarchies of living beings, whose mutual influences - shall we say fields - brought them into constant rapport with each other and with the all.

So when modern science speaks today of "Meteorobiology", as does Dr. William F. Peterson, professor of pathology at the University of Illinois, it can hardly be considered as a step towards the recognition of the validity of modern fortune-telling, but rather as a step in the direction of a new scientific domain, which will establish, as time goes on, the mathematical relation which exists between the fields of biological units on the one hand, and the fields of planetary units on the other. Dr. Peterson has found another factor that affects the traits of a newborn child, in addition to the genes and chromosomes that were formerly regarded as the sole determinants of a child's inherent characteristics. This new factor is the cytoplasm or the matter upon which the newly fertilized ovum feeds. It has been found that the cytoplasm in the mother's body is conditioned by the weather, and thus the weather conditions at the time of the year, month, and even day when the mother conceives, have a marked effect on the physical, mental and personality traits of the future child.

A definite relation between weather conditions on the one hand, and the motions of the planetary bodies on the other, remains yet to be established. This is not as far-fetched as might appear at first sight. When a good deal more is known about the fields surrounding the planets, and their influence upon the field of our own globe, a vital link will have been found which will doubtless determine the laws which govern what might be termed "electro-magnetic tides" in the surrounding atmosphere of the Earth. These tides must bear a direct relation to weather conditions.

We have heard a great deal about the gravitational pull exercised by the moon upon the waters of our oceans, producing the tides. But we still have to learn about the pull which it exercises upon the general magnetic field of the earth, and through it upon the fields surrounding all living matter.

Dr. Burr of Yale University may have established that the planets do affect what he terms the "electrical force" in both plant and animal life on earth! With instruments sensitive enough to measure the amount of electricity in growing plants, he has found that this amount showed a large increase during the full of the moon, and that the electric charges of seeds increased at the time of sprouting.

All of these discoveries point in the same direction, namely towards the gradual recognition of the actual existence of a web or network of subtler forces and even substances which interpenetrate the universal structure, both great and small, and provide the substratum of inter-communication between all units and constituent portions of the Cosmic Whole. And this in itself is a tremendous step toward the recognition of the Oneness of all Life and the unbreakable Unity and Solidarity of everything in Nature.


"... while it is the universal Cause in its unmanifested unity and infinity, the Astral Light becomes, with regard to Mankind, simply the effects of the causes produced by men in their sinful lives." - H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, II, 512. [6]


H.P. Blavatsky
[Reprinted from The Theosophist, Vol. V, No. 11 (59), August, 1884, pp. 266-267.]

In the various writings on occult subjects, it has been stated that unselfishness is a sine qua non for success in occultism. Or a more correct form of putting it, would be that the development of an unselfish feeling is in itself the primary training which brings with it "knowledge which is power" as a necessary accessory. It is not, therefore, "knowledge", as ordinarily understood, that the occultist works for, but it comes to him as a matter of course, in consequence of his having removed the veil which screens true knowledge from his view. The basis of knowledge exists everywhere, since the phenomenal world furnishes or rather abounds with facts, the causes of which have to be discovered. We can see only the effects in the phenomenal world, for each cause in the world is itself the effect of some other cause, and so on; and therefore, true knowledge consists in getting at the root of all phenomena, and thus arriving at a correct understanding of the primal cause, the "rootless root", which is not an effect in its turn. To perceive anything correctly, one can use only those senses or instruments which correspond to the nature of that object. Hence to comprehend the noumenal, a noumenal sense is a pre-requisite; while the transient phenomena can be perceived by senses corresponding to the nature of those phenomena. Occult Philosophy teaches us that the seventh principle is the only eternal Reality, while the rest, belonging as they do to the "world of forces" which are non-permanent, are illusive in the sense that they are transient. To these is limited the phenomenal world which can be taken cognisance of by the senses corresponding to the nature of those six principles. It will thus be clear that it is only the seventh sense, which pertains to the noumenal world, that can comprehend the Abstract Reality underlying all phenomena. As this seventh principle is all-pervading, it exists potentially in all of us; and he, who would arrive at true knowledge, has to develop that sense in him, or rather he must remove those veils which obscure its manifestation. All sense of personality is limited only to these lower six principles, for the former relates only to the "world of forces". Consequently, true "knowledge" can be obtained only by tearing away all the curtains of Maya raised by a sense of personality before the impersonal Atma. It is only in that personality that is centered selfishness, or rather the latter creates the former and vice versa, since they mutually act and react upon each other. For, selfishness is that feeling which seeks after the aggrandizement of one's own egotistic personality to the exclusion of others. If, therefore, selfishness limits one to narrow personalities, absolute knowledge is impossible so long as selfishness is not got rid of. So long, however, as we are in the world of phenomena, we cannot be entirely rid of a sense of personality, however exalted that feeling may be in the sense that no feeling of personal aggrandizement or ambition remains. We are, by our constitution and state of evolution, placed in the "world of Relativity", but as we find that impersonality and non-duality is the ultimate end of cosmic evolution, we have to endeavour to work along with Nature, and not place ourselves in opposition to its inherent impulse which must ultimately assert itself. To oppose it, must necessitate suffering, since a weaker force, in its egotism, tries to array itself against the universal law. All that the occultist does, is to hasten this process, by allowing his Will to act in unison with the Cosmic Will or the Demiurgic Mind, which can be done by successfully checking the vain attempt of personality to assert itself in opposition to the former. And since the MAHATMA is but an advanced occultist, who has so far controlled his lower "self" as to hold it more or less in complete subjection to the Cosmic impulse, it is in the nature of things [6] impossible for him to act in any other but an unselfish manner. No sooner does he allow the "personal Self" to assert itself, than he ceases to be a MAHATMA. Those, therefore, who being still entangled in the web of the delusive sense of personality charge the MAHATMAS with "selfishness" in withholding "knowledge" - do not consider what they are talking about. The Law of Cosmic evolution is ever operating to achieve its purpose of ultimate unity and to carry the phenomenal into the noumenal plane, and the MAHATMAS, being en rapport with it, are assisting that purpose. They therefore know best what knowledge is best for mankind at a particular stage of its evolution, and none else is competent to judge of that matter, since they alone have got to the basic knowledge which can determine the right course and exercise proper discrimination. And for us who are yet struggling in the mire of the illusive senses to dictate what knowledge MAHATMAS shall impart to us and how they shall act, is like a street-boy presuming to teach science to Prof. Huxley or politics to Mr. Gladstone. For, it will be evident that, as soon as the least feeling of selfishness tries to assert itself, the vision of the spiritual sense, which is the only perception of the MAHATMA, becomes clouded and he loses the "power" which abstract "knowledge" alone can confer. Hence, the vigilant watch of the "will" we have constantly to exercise to prevent our lower nature from coming up to the surface, which it does in our present undeveloped state; and thus extreme activity and not passivity is the essential condition with which the student has to commence. First his activity is directed to check the opposing influence of the "lower self"; and, when that is conquered, his untrammeled Will centered in his higher (real) "self", continues to work most efficaciously and actively in unison with the cosmic ideation in the "Divine Mind."



He knew my utter pain and weariness, and heard my cry for the end. "Come to my studio," He said.

And there He took up a palette on which were many pigments.

"There are many colours here - light and dark, attractive and repellent. You know they say there are only three primary colours in light. So too with my pigments; they represent only three - the Past, the Present and the Future."

Then on a canvas He painted a portrait. Little by little I saw it was a portrait of me; but as it grew I was amazed because it was so different and so wonderful.

When He finished I said: "But is that I?"

He said: "Do you not know that a true artist bodies forth only what already exists in a far away realm? I have only painted the portrait of you as you shall be." And He looked gravely into my eyes.

"And now", He said, "go and paint pictures for others. You shall have some joy, because the little children will see what you see, but also much pain because their elders will not. Paint at least for the children." - C.J. [The Theosophist, Vol. LIV, No. 3, December, 1932, p. 289.] [8]


Herbert Coryn

[Excerpt from an article entitled "An Hour in Borderland Occultism," published in Theosophical Siftings, Vol. V11, 1894-95. Dr. Herbert Coryn was a personal pupil of H.P. Blavatsky at the time when she resided in London. He was deeply versed in the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy, and his writings disclose a first-hand knowledge of genuine esoteric training and the path of discipleship. We commend to the reader his sane and balanced views on this subject contained in the present excerpt. - Editor.]

Occultism in its highest sense does not deal with anything that is objective. It deals with the states of feeling in the Universe. It is an approach to, and a final union with the Universal Mind. And by Universal Mind I mean Universal Will, Impulse and Desire. Upon these things if we would be wise we have to trust the dicta of the Masters of Yoga, and from them we learn that there is throughout Nature, in all life, a desire or a will or an aspiration to be, to become, coupled with or anteceded by a clear knowledge of what it wills to be or to become. And we, when we desire, share that divine desire; when not, then we shut ourselves off from it. So Occultism is that junction with the Universal that is aspiration for good, and in time it leads up to that place on which is written the fore-picture of what will be, and that is Universal Wisdom, for there is nothing else to know. Such is Samadhi. But the lower nature clings heavily about us, and we are impatient. We still want this lower life and cannot aspire for long. Who then is the Occultist, and how shall we know him? In the beginning he vows to himself that there shall be no more meannesses and weaknesses in his nature, and that there shall be always in his aims the welfare of all other creatures. So he is kind, and neither by speech nor act wounds anyone. So he gives of his money where that will do good; of his counsel, of his knowledge, where that will help, and where knowledge is longed for; of his peace, his comfort, and his wisdom, when he meets those who are sore with the wounds of fortune, of fate, and of the world; to these he tells of the truths of immortality, the way to win it, and of the sweet and mighty purpose of Nature for man, though her hand be iron-gloved. He is strong and unmoved in his utter peace and kindly radiation upon all; in him there is no change of mood, no irritability from hour to hour and from day to day. To be with him strengthens and calms, and encourages. Every moment is an aspiration with him; behind the strong current of his thoughts and deeds is a steadfast still sound, coming from his heart, a sound that is his will, his conscience, his hope, his peace, his unfailing guide, and though his thoughts come and go, the sound is always. He is self-controlled, cares little for possessions and nothing for the comfort of his body, and his carelessness for possessions and comforts saves him from anxiety and disappointment. In his mind is always his ideal of what he would become, and every instant he adjusts himself to that. He keeps his consciousness always at its clearest and highest point. His thoughts are universal, of the welfare of men, of the evolving and completing purpose of Nature. Daily he meditates, and then withdrawing all attention from external things he seeks union with the soul of Nature, yearning greatly for it, thinking of himself as spread in space, as present in all men and animals and things, as embodied and non-embodied love and charity, as one with the Higher Man whose voice he constantly feels in his heart, as the Universal Divinity. Nightly he reviews the day and marks where he failed to realize his ideal, where trifling thoughts and hindering thoughts and wishes wasted the precious time of life. In his study he examines man and Nature [9] and their relations plane for plane, so that his spiritual advance may be hand in hand with the growth of his intellect, and that he may be in every way rounded and perfect. Along all these lines he works, and then his powers begin to expand. He begins to touch the thoughts of men and feel what has not reached their lips, feeling the coming and contents of letters they are writing him, the feelings they have for him, and the evil and good in their natures. He gets prognostications of coming events, shaping thereby the lines of his work, and that voice in the heart which to us is only conscience, becomes for him intuition and an intelligible teacher of the secrets of past and future. As his sympathy for men widens he reads more and more plainly their characters, and that occasional intuition of their thoughts and feelings which we all have, did we but study and recognize it, becomes for him a growing light into the inner selves of others whereby he learns the wisdom of humanity for himself, and for them the power of saying to them and doing for them that which shall most aid their growth, as he moves amongst them like a benediction. He sees the psychic colour of his age and country and city; the slowly gathering astral storms that come down to us at last as wars, murder-epidemics, and disasters to life on land and sea. He learns to stand alone, thinking his own thoughts, disentangling from his mind those other countless thoughts and feelings that are not his own, coming upon him as upon all of us from the waves of other men, dead and living; waves which we in our ignorance take as our own. He studies the lives that have other home than land and sea, lives that after countless years will live as men, and that even now take colour, evil and good, from thought of man. So he lives on, wearing down many bodies, his mind standing on ever higher and higher places of thought, having its continuance above the gulfs (for other men) of birth and death, gulfs which for him are now bridged by the unbroken thread of memory and fore-view. For he stands in the wings of the stage and watches unmoved in his thought the changing scenes of life, the uplifting and down letting of the curtain. Lastly, the Lodge of Masters and Teachers of all times and peoples open for him its mighty doors; he reaches the place and companionship of all the great ones who have gone before and now stand watching and helping with strong hands the woes and struggles of our poor humanity.

By such a career, none of us need be appalled; none need stand back saying, "This is not for me", "This is too great a Path". Nothing but has its beginning, and that beginning is when any of us suppress an angry word, or root out a sensual habit, or nourish one growing aspiration for the light. Let none of us have too much humility. The goal may be far off, but to him who fights even a little, the uttermost victory is certain. Life gives place to life, and the hardly-established habit of today is the innate instinct of tomorrow. Much, very much, of our future depends on what we do now. It is a cyclic turning-point in human history, the latter end of this nineteenth century, a meeting-place of diverse Karmic forces. If we lend our aid now to Nature, struggling between spirituality and materiality, at the bottom of her arc, we shall reap good fruit, the good fruit of birth, when again the fires of Occultists are burning brightly, when once again humanity has moved into an auspicious cycle, having earned Nature's gratitude. If not, if we stand back, if we let those in the front of the fight stand alone against the spirits of matter, many births may chance to go by before we happen again upon a cycle where the beginnings of real growth are to be made as now they can be. To begin work now is to make our personal cycle of future births attuned to the spiritual cycle in nature; ignorance is no crime, but to fail now, knowing the right, is no light thing; it sows a seed pregnant with future evil; it is to miss the [10] protection of the wings of auspicious time, to face the perilous chances for growth of evil in us of a long chain of casual births throughout the centuries, births wherein growth and progress if they come at all, do so against far greater odds than now. Some among Theosophists say where is work to do? Work comes to the man who can do it, and they who truly have no work are fit for none. They must do a work upon themselves before Karma entrusts them with some for others. To study, to think, to destroy the personal evils of uncharity, luxurious tendency, idleness, to aspire always for more of the waves of spiritual impulse that come sometimes like a warm-scented wind upon us all, these all can do in making ready to be to others the teachers of whatever good is in us. Then we shall find our work at hand. And if no pupil comes, still we have worked with Nature. We have slain some evil, done something to fill the waves of thought about our heads with good. We need not wait to be taught anything. We can spurn utterly the false humility that would have us to be groveling worms, for they who became Christ and Plato and Buddha were once as we. The problems that we have to solve in life are the same for no two, each has his path, his fate, his difficulties, but all the paths converge, and the diversely perfected souls of the far future will form each one facet of the cosmic jewel. In the light of our ideals, in the light of our several pictures of that golden future, we can all move hopefully and confidently through the Karmic tasks of daily life.


Arthus Louis Joquel, II

*So many names have been suggested for possible new trans-Neptunian planets - among them Hades, Melodia, La Croix, Isis, Chaos, Sarkur, Dido, and at least nine others - that to avoid confusion we intend to use the name Eblis for the planet of which we are now writing. This name is taken from the fabulous underworld described by William Beckford in his novel Vathek.

The astronomical science of the ancients is generally supposed to have included knowledge of only seven bodies in the solar system - the Sun, Moon, and five planets. The addition to this number of three more planets within the past two hundred years is popularly considered to be one of the triumphs of modern astronomy.

However, a closer investigation into the problem seems to indicate that contemporary scientists are only rediscovering information known to the sages of the ancient world - and sometimes stumbling onto that by accident. Elizabeth Aldrich says:

"It has often been said ... that the ancients did not know Uranus and Neptune. But I am of those who think they did, but perhaps under other names, for there are tables ... which seem to point to the fact that Uranus and Neptune, and yet another great outer planet, were known at least to the very skilled in past times. The Chaldeans, and the Indians certainly had what may be called an ephemeris of the bodies ..." (The Planet Neptune, Page 49.)

This statement is rendered less improbable than it might seem by the fact that in the treasure-house at Ninevah of Babylon has been found an optical lens, made of crystal, which certainly must have formed part of a magnifying instrument. If this knowledge had been preserved from that time until the beginning of the Christian era, it was probably lost in the burning of the great libraries at Alexandria. [11]

Continuing further, we find that the announced discoveries of the outer planets during the past two centuries have come about almost more by accident than by design. In the case of Uranus, Sir William Herschel announced that he had discovered a new comet on March 13, 1781, and not until several months later was it realized that the supposed comet was really a previously unknown planet, moving in an orbit beyond that of Saturn.

A search of astronomical records then revealed that Uranus had been observed as early as 1690. Several noted astronomers had carelessly recorded it as a fixed star, even though they had observed it for several successive nights, during which it had naturally changed its position.

When the orbit of Uranus was calculated, it was found to deviate noticeably from the positions which it should have occupied, and the suggestion was made then there was another planet, beyond Uranus, which was perturbing it in its path.

Approximately five years of calculation by the most prominent astronomers in Europe were to precede the first observation of the new body. Adams in England, and Leverrier in France, were both occupied with the problem. As a result of Leverrier's industry, the German astronomer Galle observed Neptune "less than a degree from (its) predicted position."

But an American astronomer named Pierce later announced his conclusion that "the planet Neptune is not the planet to which geometrical analysis had directed the telescope, and that its discovery by Galle must be regarded as a happy accident." According to Pierce, Neptune was neither at the distance nor the longitudinal position compatible with Leverrier's calculations. Even Leverrier himself, on finding that Neptune was one-sixth closer to the Sun than he had calculated, expressed doubt that it was the planet which he had predicted.

The same problem was shortly perceived concerning Neptune, which had followed the discovery of Uranus - it was not following its calculated orbit, but was apparently being perturbed by an unknown body still further from the Sun than itself. The problem so intrigued the American astronomer Percival Lowell that he spent a great deal of time on the matter of determining where this "Planet X" might be found.

Lowell died in 1916 without seeing the mysterious planet located. It was not until 1930 that a young man named Clyde Tombaugh, examining photographic plates taken on January 23 and 29 of that year at Lowell Observatory, found a body moving far beyond Neptune, which was announced to the world on March 13, 1930, as the planet Pluto.

This discovery is now only nineteen years old, and due to the extreme slowness with which it travels, Pluto has covered since only a minute fraction of its orbit about the Sun. However, the intensive study to which it has been subjected has divulged enough facts so that we are justified in asking two questions. First, is this the planet which Lowell predicted? Second, is there still another trans-Neptunian planet as yet undiscovered ?

On the first point, we may quote the last paragraph from Lowell's paper on "The Origin of the Planets", published in April, 1913:

"... I venture to forecast that when the nearest trans-Neptunian planet is detected it will be found to have a major axis of approximately 47.5 astronomical units, and ... a mass comparable with that of Neptune, though probably less ..."

Pluto is now determined to have a mean distance from the Sun of only 39.5 astronomical units (distance from the earth to the Sun being one unit) - an error of one-sixth; and its mass, instead of being comparable with that of Neptune, which is 17 times greater than the earth, is probably a little less than that of the earth.

The present attitude of astronomers toward Pluto is represented in this [12] paragraph by Drs. Alter and Cleminshaw of the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles:

"... It appears to be too small to have produced any appreciable part of the deviations of Uranus or Neptune from which its position was predicted. If this is true, the appearance of Pluto so near its predicted position must be regarded as a most remarkable coincidence." (Pictorial Astronomy, Page 128)

The orbit of Pluto is so eccentric that at its nearest approach to the Sun it is actually inside the orbit of Neptune, although its inclination to the plane of the ecliptic is so pronounced that there is no possibility of a collision between the two bodies. We believe that some light may be thrown on the place of Pluto in the solar system by this quotation from The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett:

"(Question) 14: Could any other planets besides those known to modern astronomy ... be discovered by physical instruments if properly directed?

"(Answer) 14: They must be. Not all of the Intra-Mercurial planets; nor those in the orbit of Neptune are yet discovered, though they are strongly suspected. We know that such exist and where they exist ..." (Pages 146 and 169.)

Pluto, thus lying "in the orbit of Neptune", may be the first of several small planets to be found in this vicinity, being intruders from outer space, as pointed out by L. Gordon Plummer and Charles J. Ryan in their Star Habits and Orbits.

The evidence, therefore, seems to point away from Pluto being the planet which was postulated by Percival Lowell. So we are justified in asking the second question - Is there another major trans-Neptunian planet awaiting discovery?

Professor T.J.J. See of the United States Naval Observatory, in his paper on "The Evolution of the Starry Heavens", read in 1911, stated:

"... it is evident that our planetary system extends much beyond Neptune, and several of the unseen planets revolving in this remote region of space may yet be discovered ..." (Section XI)

Camille Flammarion, noted French astronomer, came very close to Lowell's predicted distance of 47.5 astronomical units for a new planet. In his Popular Astronomy, edition of 1907, he wrote:

"From the fact that Neptune is the farthest planet we know, we have by no means the right to conclude that there are not others beyond it ... All the periodical comets have their aphelia near the orbit of a planet. Now, the third comet of 1862 and the swarm of shooting stars of August 10 follows an orbit of which the aphelion is at the (astronomical) distance 48. There should exist there a large planet ..." (Page 471.)

The agreement in astronomical distance predicted by these two authorities is almost identical. Professor VV.H. Pickering also calculated the possible elements of a trans-Neptunian planet and suggested a distance of 51.9 astronomical units, which is not too far from the others.

Sepharial, the metaphysical astrologer, also was in accord with Lowell, Flammarion, and Miss Aldrich on the matter of its being a large and massive planet. He wrote:

"... we may ... look ahead in anticipation of the discovery of an octave of Mars. This, when discovered, will prove to he an extra-Neptunian planet of great dimensions but small density ..." (The Science of Foreknowledge, Page 45.)

Plummer and Ryan, in their Star Habits and Orbits, state that: "Some astronomers have suggested that (Pluto) may be the first in a further series of planets in our System that have not been discovered. There is no valid reason why there should be no more planets beyond the reach of our telescopes, quite the contrary." (Page 40.)

Since the name of Pluto has already been applied to the first of the trans-Neptunian planets, we suggest that when the major planet postulated by these authorities is located, it be given the name Eblis. And in the face of the testimony we have presented, it seems likely that the years to come will produce the discoveries of several minor bodies and at least one major planet, circling the Sun out beyond Neptune, on the very edge of the solar system which we are at present inhabiting. [13]



It has been said that the Astral Light is the carrier of the Cosmic Jiva or life-energy, the store-house or repository of the energies of the Cosmos on their way downwards to manifest in the material spheres, and the receptacle of whatever passes out of the physical sphere on its way upwards. It has also been spoken of as the "picture-gallery," or nature's memory, wherein is indelibly recorded all that has ever taken place. These concepts seem to indicate a certain immobility. Does the Astral Light possess an energy of its own, a mobility, a speed, an inner motion of its own?

Certainly. The Astral Light is not a static conception, and should not be looked upon, by analogy, as some sort of immovable film or plate upon which are merely recorded events that have taken place. While true to some extent, this view presents only a portion of the teaching connected with the Astral Light. One should ask oneself, in the first place, what the Astral Light really is. As a term, it is somewhat misleading, and is by no means the best one to use. But we have no other, and we have to do the best we can with the terms which have come into use through the years. It is hoped that we may be able to devise better terms, more scientific ones, as time goes on.

Let us limit ourselves to the consideration of the Astral Light pertaining to our own planet Terra. It corresponds to the astral body or the astral aura of the man. The earth is a living entity, and its own auric emanation, as well as its astral model-body or pattern, surrounds and interpenetrates its merely physical shape. Just as the astral body of man is a complex aggregate of forces and energies, the astral envelope of the planet is itself a very complex world or sphere of innumerable energies and substances, wherein live myriads of creatures specifically related to it and at home therein. Being a world or sphere, it has various grades, graduations, or levels of materiality, just as in the case of the auric emanations of the physical body of man. It has of course its various currents, tides, varying psycho-magnetic conditions, and channels through which course innumerable energies, and by means of which various ethereal substances are transferred from one locality to another, much as the rivers of earth, and the currents of the atmosphere transfer various types of matter from one place to another.

The Astral World is the inevitable doorway or vestibule through which everything must pass before it reaches the physical planet, or before it can leave it on its way out. It is also a transformer wherein many of the forces coming from the outside, as well as from the "within" of the planetary structure, are adapted and adjusted to the conditions prevalent on the physical globe. In this sense, the astral world or aura is a protection to us; peculiarly enough, it is also an obstacle, according to how we look at it.

The auric envelope of any one planet is of course an integral part of the corresponding greater auric envelope of the Solar System as a whole. The Astral Light or Sphere of the entire system to which we belong might be termed the Akasa, at least in its highest aspects.

It should be distinctly borne in mind that the Astral Light, whether of a planet or of an entire system of worlds, is a sphere of life, a realm of evolution, inhabited by innumerable forms of life, kingdoms and sub-kingdoms of entities, as indigenous to it as are our own more familiar kingdoms to the various habitats of the physical sphere. And it is only a relatively slight difference of vibratory rate which prevents them or [14] us from constantly interfering with each other, or "invading" each other's premises.

It is our understanding that the "picture-gallery" aspect of the astral light resides more in the higher reaches or levels of the astral structure. In other words in the more spiritual portions of those spheres, although this characteristic is doubtless also present, at least to some extent, in lower sub-planes of the Astral Light, as is evidenced by psychometric experiments.

While it is not possible at our present stage of knowledge regarding this entire field to be too positive about any aspect of it, short of having firsthand experience along these lines, it is nevertheless probable that the Astral Light contains in some of its realms something else besides mere "pictures" of past events. It also contains forces, moulds, which are the result of the evolutionary and life-habits of the various hierarchies functioning in embodied existence. All of them, whether high or low, fashion such astral moulds, as a result of their thoughts, feelings, and deeds. It is these forms or moulds which are used by lower kingdoms of life as patterns of future evolutionary growth, and provide the blue-prints, as it were, for the gradual evolution of higher forms of embodied life.

This in itself is a very vast subject of thought, and should make us feel a deep sense of ethical responsibility for whatever we do, think and feel in our existence. We are being copied, and perchance "improved" upon, all the time by other kingdoms of beings, whether we know it or not.

Does the Theosophical Philosophy recognize heredity and the influence of environment?

Certainly, if we thoroughly understand what we mean when we use these words. The approach to this subject on the part of the student of the ancient wisdom presupposes of course the doctrine of causation or Karma and its twin doctrine of Reincarnation.

We are born in our present family because we have been connected with it in the past; we belong therein because of psycho-magnetic ties established in past lives. The family affords the expression for our individual heredity. Parents are the hosts for the incoming entity, the re-incarnating Ego. They provide part of the environment and are not the originators of any of the main characteristics of the child, whether psychological, intellectual or any other.

It should be borne in mind that the child's body is built primarily from within, by the influx of the vital, magnetic, and psycho-mental fluids from the re-incarnating Ego. Even food from the outside is the carrier of life-atoms belonging largely to the Ego's own past.

A gestating child is a veritable whirlpool or vortex of incoming life-atoms, each one impressed by the Ego in former lives, each one carrying certain characteristics. Our new body is built of the same life-atoms which went to form and build our former body. The elements are the same, although somewhat altered. The configuration is different and depends upon our Karmic pattern.

Various characteristics in the family correspond to similar characteristics in the Ego seeking incarnation. Magnetic attraction brings it into a family which can best provide circumstances, surroundings and conditions appropriate to the Ego's development. In this connection one should remember that opposites attract each other also.

Special attention should be given to the fact that many characteristics present in the family, but not easily observable or even entirely absent from the Ego coming into incarnation, may have been encouraged or even caused in the Egos of the parents by the Ego of their child, in associations during former lives. In this sense, these traits of the parents are a part of the incoming Ego's own karmic pattern, and must be worked out by him in his present, most recent association with those who are his parents in this particular [15] life. This point is very easily overlooked by students.

As to environment, there exists considerable confusion owing to insufficient thought. Environment could not possibly have the slightest effect upon the Ego, unless there was something in that Ego to be affected or influenced. That something is of course the evolving center of consciousness, the Monadic Self, the Soul, or Re-incarnating Entity. Unless it reacts to the influence of the environment and feels it, the latter could not have any effect whatsoever. This alone is sufficient to understand the enormous importance of the spiritual center or entity or being, distinct from the environment, yet subject to the influence or impinging forces emanating from it. It also explains why seemingly identical environments produce sometime totally different results upon incoming Egos.

The subject of environment has been overworked by modern science and psychology. Environment is just as much a part of the psycho-magnetic "field" of the incarnating Ego as are the traits of his character. Where one ends and the other begins, is not easy to ascertain. From one particular standpoint it would be perfectly correct to say that the muscular and bony structure of the newly-born child is part of his environment also; and that his emotional and psycho-mental auras are a part of it too; because all of these, equally with the surrounding milieu and objects of his so-called "physical" circumstances in life, are illusory, impermanent, temporary, deceptive and sensuous in nature, in comparison to the enduring center of consciousness which surrounds itself with these various sheaths and vehicles for purposes of growth.

Most of the great men and women of history are a direct contradiction of that school of thought which in our times has tried to convince the people that the environment is all-important to the soul. It is only weak souls which are wholly subject to environment; strong ones mould their own, or rise above it. "Though born in humble circumstances, and often in slums, men of genius create their own opportunities and soar to universal recognition. Louis Pasteur, son of a poor tanner; Sir Isaac Newton, son of a farmer; Leon Gambetta, son of a shop-keeper; Victor Hugo, son of a soldier; Abraham Lincoln, son of an illiterate; William Shakespeare, son of a wool-stapler, and scores of others, are witnesses to the fact that the inherent spiritual-intellectual faculties of the incarnating Ego are the true carriers of his individual heredity - which is himself.



The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman. The power which the strong have over the weak, the magistrate over the citizen, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly - the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a true light. The gentleman does not needlessly or unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He can not only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others. [16]


We gratefully acknowledge the receipt of the current issues of the following magazines and journals: The Theosophist (Adyar, India), O Teosofista (Sao Paulo, Brazil), The Canadian Theosophist (Toronto, Canada), Theosophical News and Notes (London, England), The Indian Theosophist (Benares, India), Theosophy in Ireland (Dublin, Ireland), Boletin Mexicana and Dharma (Mexico), The Theosophical Movement (Bombay, India), Theosophy (Los Angeles, Calif.), Het Theosofisch Forum (Rotterdam, Holland), Teosofiskt Forum (Stockholm, Sweden), The Golden Lotus (Philadelphia, Pa.), The New Age Interpreter (Los Angeles, Calif.), Free Mind (Portland, Ore.), The Quarter Hour (Los Angeles, Calif.), Eirenicon (Hyde, England), The Rosicrucian Magazine (Oceanside, Calif.), Luziom Dobrei Woli (South Bend, Ind.), Theosophy in New Zealand (Auckland, N. Z.), Nordisk Teosofi (Copenhagen, Denmark), Bombay Theosophical Bulletin (Bombay, India), De Theosoof (Leiden, Holland), New Outlook (Los Angeles, Calif.) Theosophia (Aarhus, Denmark), Teosofisk Tidskrift (Stockholm, Sweden), Norsk Teosofisk Tidsskrift (Oslo, Norway), Adyar (Graz, Austria), Theosofia (Amsterdam, Holland), Devenir (Montevideo, Uruguay), The Christian Theosophist (Mon Abri, England), Das Theosophische Forum (Stuttgart, Germany), The Path (Sydney, Australia), Lucifer (Covina, Calif.), Metaphysische Rundschau (Vienna, Austria).


(Partial Directory)

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Adyar, Madras, India. C. Jinarajadasa, President. Off. Organ of the Pres.: The Theosophist.
United States Section: James S. Perkins, Gen. Sec'y, "Olcott," Wheaton, Ill. Off. Organ: The American Theosophist. Canadian Section: Lt.-Col. E. L. Thomson, Gen. Sec'y, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ontario. Off. Organ: The Canadian Theosophist (Dudley W. Barr, Acting Editor).
Canadian Federation: Elsie F. Griffiths, Gen. Sec'y, 671 Richard St., Vancouver, B.C. Off. Organ: The Federation Quarterly
Literature: The Theosophical Publishing House. Adyar, Madras, India, and 68 Great Russell St., London W.C. 1, England. - The Theosophical Press, '"Olcott," Wheaton, Ill. - Editions Adyar, 4 Square Rapp, Paris vii, France. - The Theosophical Book Association for the Blind, Inc. (Flavia B. Snyder, Pres), "Krotona," Ojai, Calif.

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Covina, Calif., U.S.A. Arthur L. Conger, Leader. Off. Organ: The Theosophical Forum.
American-Canadian Section: John P. van Mater, Pres., Theosophical Headquarters, Covina, Calif. Off. Organ Lucifer
Literature: Theosophical University Press, Covina, Calif. - Theosophical Book Co., 119 Stoughton Rd., Guildford, Surrey, England. - U.M., C.A.J. van Dishoek c.v., Nwe. 's-Graveland-scheweg 36, Bussum, Holland. - Box 2135 G.P.O., Sydney, Australia. - Teosofiska Bokforiaget, Tegnersgatan 29, Stockholm, Sweden.

THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS: selected list of centers -
Los Angeles 7, Calif., 245 West 33rd St. Literature: Theosophy Company, publishers of the magazine Theosophy.
Bombay, India, 51 Mahatma Gandhi Rd. Literature: Theosophy Company, Ltd., Publishers of the magazine The Theosophical Movement. - International Book House, Ltd., Bombay 1. - "Aryasangha," Malabar Hill, Bombay 6, Editors of the magazine The Aryan Path.
Bombay 19, India, Ananda Nivas, Bhau Daji Road, Matunga.
London, England, 17 Great Cumberland Place.
Paris v, France, 14 Rue de l'Abbe de l'Epee.
Sydney, Australia, Federation House, 166 Philip St.