A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume VII
No. 3 (39) - September-October 1950

[Cover photo: H.P. Blavatsky, T. Subba Row and M. Krishnamachari (The latter also known as Dharbagiri Nath and Bawajee.). Courtesy of the Philosophical Research Society, Inc., Los Angeles, California.]


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, Arthur I. Joquel, Nancy Browning.
Committee of Sponsors: T. Marriot, G. Cardinal Legros, Jan H. Venema, Col. J. M. Prentice, Dudley W. Barr, Dr. Sven Eck.
Business Manager: Norine G. Chadil.

Subscription: $1.50 a year (six issues); single copy 25 cents. Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: Room 201, 636 South Serrano Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California. Make checks 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 Editors are responsible for unsigned articles only.



... these incomputable hosts of electrons are in reality, small entities, small lives, minute, infinitesimal. Nay more, you may say if you like that there are minute or infinitesimal lives inhabiting the atoms. Why not? Why should not the electrons, the atomic planets circling with vertiginous rapidity around their atomic sun, bear sensitive and conscious and thinking and intelligent and self-conscious creatures, even as our own planet, one of the cosmic electrons of our own solar system, bears us in similar fashion around our own central luminary . . .

From such thoughts we may perhaps realize that to these minute, these infinitesimal, entities which may inhabit the atomic spaces of our bodies, the skyey spaces in their cosmos may be as large, as grand, and as great as our cosmic spaces are to us; and furthermore, that beyond our entire physical universe, which is all that is comprised within the bounds of our Milky Way, and which I call a cosmic molecule, and of which our solar systems, manifold and innumerable almost as they are, are the atoms; our entire physical cosmos, I say, may be but a molecule of some entity still more incomprehensively vast and beyond the reaches of our most ambitious imagination. Who dare say nay? Who dare say that our solar system is not in the mental purview of some entity still more vastly grand, itself but an atom! All is relative ...

Our solar system therefore being a cosmic atom, then the molecule to which it belongs, following analogical reasoning, is all other suns and systems that are encompassed within the encircling zone of the Milky Way; while the other vast universes out in the spaces beyond ours, in their turn are molecules, and thus form the incomparably larger aggregate corpus of some Entity still more incomprehensibly vast!

Consciousness is incommensurable. It cannot be measured by any physical methods of mensuration. We can know consciousness only by consciousness, for it approaches the ultimate mystery of the universe. Hence, size, volume, bulk of physical matters or matter, do not control either its nature or its field of action. It is where it is and it can manifest everywhere. - G. de Purucker, Man in Evolution, pp. 82-84. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

The greatest loss of our present century is the loss of basic and abiding ethical standards, upon which life must of necessity be founded, in order to be constructive, integrated and whole.

The generation of which we are an integral part is a generation which has become confused, bewildered and unbalanced, primarily because it has lost its grip upon those moral and spiritual ideals which, however imperfectly, formed the background of former generations and infused into their lives and their collective behavior a strength which can never be replaced by any amount of intellectualism, material attainment, or political power.

In many respects, this state of affairs is reflected in the work and function of the Theosophical Movement, in the various forms it has assumed in our present era, seventy-five years after its modern re-awakening.

Students of Theosophy individually, and Theosophical Organizations collectively, have become altogether too much engrossed in the intellectual presentation of the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, to the disregard of the far more important aspect, namely, the spiritual, devotional, and ethical. The evidence of this is contained in the current Theosophical magazines and books, with a few rare exceptions. Further evidence is furnished by the many internal dissensions and squabbles which have divided the Theosophical Movement, and which keep it divided, into small or greater fragments, in utter violation of the basic principle of Universal Brotherhood, and in flagrant disregard of all the precepts and instructions of its Founders.

It is of paramount importance never to lose sight of the fact that Theosophy is primarily a Way of Life, a spiritual method of living, and a discipline of conduct and self-directed evolutionary growth. The intellectual teachings of Theosophy, if dissociated from the grand Ethics of this system of thought, are not only useless, but definitely harmful, and can be construed to mean almost anything that the lower mind desires them to mean, to achieve one or another of its personal ambitions. We have seen this taking place more than once in the history of the Theosophical Movement, and we can witness it at the present moment in more places than one.

It is a wonderful thing to realize that there exists in the world of today a large and powerful Theosophical literature, full of magnificent doctrines, and charged with spiritual strength and vitality. It would be folly to deny this self-evident fact. But this fact is not upheld, supported and strengthened by the presence in this same world of a united Theosophical Movement whose combined force would represent a great, and well-nigh invincible spiritual power directed towards the ethical regeneration of modern man. Because of this lack of unity, and this pitiful fragmentation of effort, the intellectual presentation of the teachings has become in various parts of the Movement but a way to escape from the realities of daily life.

Theosophists only too often are defined these days as individuals who believe in this, that, and the other; who study Reincarnation, Karma, Cycles, Rounds, Root-Races, Psychic Powers, Hierarchies, Elementals, After-Death States, and the like. The overwhelming majority of these students have no direct, first-hand knowledge of these matters whatsoever, and speak and write about them exclusively on the basis of what they have read in other people's books. We are very far indeed from a state of affairs when Theosophists could be defined as a group of men and women scattered in various portions of the earth, who practice self-restraint, kindness, mutual understanding, abiding sympathy for all men, [4] impersonal love for all that lives, strict responsibility, devotion to truth, unswerving loyalty to the noblest interests of others, magnanimity, fearlessness, courage, helpfulness and self-forgetfulness. What a wonderful thing it would be if we could be sure of the fact that Theosophists were people who never upheld any questionable political movements, who never lent any support to organizations or pressure groups intended to psychologize the people into this, that, or another course of conduct, and who under no circumstances held jobs in industrial or other enterprises founded upon one or another form of mutual exploitation or extortion.

If the ideals, precepts and ethical values enumerated above were the foundation-principles of Theosophists' lives, their means of livelihood would in most cases conform to these ideals. Unfortunately they do not. This creates an added tension, a "split" between the teachings they believe in, and the actions, feelings, attitudes and reactions which they manifest in daily life.

The net result is very simple and quite obvious. Seventy-five years after the founding of the modern Theosophical Society, the latter does not occupy a commanding place in the modern world of thought, does not inspire world-wide respect - as, for instance, the Society of Friends does - and does not provide that spiritual incentive and ethical inspiration to millions of people which the very nature of the ancient precepts and teachings would imply. It is impossible to evade this conclusion by pointing to the obvious fact that some of the teachings of Theosophy have become familiar to certain groups of mankind, and that certain postulates of the Ancient Wisdom are now proclaimed by modern Science. All that may be true, but it is also true that certain less materialistic teachings which Science has accepted now, have already degenerated into a series of new murderous weapons for the destruction of mankind. Obviously, there is something lacking in this equation.

What is lacking, and is imperatively needed, is an ethical re-awakening from within the spiritual center of man, whatever may be his beliefs; and such re-awakening can never come about by the mere study of voluminous books, were they written by the Initiates themselves. It can come about only through an inner change of consciousness, a movement of the spiritual will, a reorientation of the entire thinking and feeling apparatus, under the influence of the Inner Selfhood - the God within Man. Short of this motivating power, no intellectual dissertations, no mental twists and twirlings, and no escape mechanisms, will ever achieve the contemplated effect.

How difficult this achievement is, and how unwelcome it is to the lower personal man of each one of us, is not hard to prove. Any theosophical study class is an illustration of it. It is the simplest thing in the world to gather a few people for an intellectual study of the teachings of Theosophy. They never have enough of them, if they are inclined towards this general type of thinking. They will read books and attend lectures; they will study, do a certain amount of research, and engage in correspondence courses. But ask them to undertake a thorough search of their own consciousness and mind, to experiment with their own lives, to cut out foolish and useless habits, to cleanse their emotions, to control their passions, to purify their minds, to introduce some small orderliness into their habits of eating, sleeping, and working, to eliminate from their lives utterly wasteful occupations clogging their mental vision, and obstructing the horizon of their lives, - and they will either run away from you, or lose interest, or, in the worst cases, misinterpret your suggestions and harbor an unfriendly feeling towards you.

Such is human nature in this twentieth century of enlightenment. Beneath the outer veneer, there hides the same old Adam of flesh and bones, wedded [5] to carnal pursuits, hypnotized by the shadows of the sensuous world. Only long ages of evolution will produce any radical change in the majority of mankind. For the few, such change can conceivably take place in a very short time, by means of that inner spiritual awakening which has nothing to do with time or space, as we understand them, and can never be described in any finite terms. It is the voice of the Inner God, the inrush of its potent fluids into the sphere of the lower man when the latter has been conditioned by suffering, aspiration and devotion. Others have attained to it in all ages and in all climes. And if others have, why not you and I?


"If you desire to strengthen the spiritual nature within you, you have just now excellent opportunity. You say that practically you have all that men desire. You may thank your Karma for that. What you require is to get away from

yourself. You must learn to find more interest in the joys and sufferings of other people than your own. Find out some activity in life that takes you into schemes of welfare for others: sacrifice something of your own ease and comfort. There are dozens of ways of human service, and it is for you to select one or more of them and work hard at them. That is the shortest road to the Masters. Do all good work in Their name and when by service you have earned the right to come to Them, They will arrange for your coming." - From a letter of C. Jinarajadasa, published in The Indian Theosophist, May, 1950.

"I call that mind free which resists the bondage of habit, which does not mechanically repeat itself and copy the past, which does not live on its old virtues, which does not enslave itself to precise rules, but which forgets what is behind, listens for new and higher monitions of conscience, and rejoices to pour itself forth in fresh and higher exertions." - William Ellery Channing.

"When it is relevant, truth has to be uttered, however unpleasant it may be. Irrelevance is always untruth and should never be uttered ... Confession of one's guilt purifies and uplifts. Its suppression is degrading and should always be avoided. - Gandhi, in Harijan, December 21, 1947. [6]


Col. Henry Steel Olcott

[On November 17, 1875, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, who had recently been elected President of the newly-formed Theosophical Society, delivered his Inaugural Address at Mott Memorial Hall, in the City of New York. The following excerpts from this address are of special interest in this, the seventy-fifth year of the modern organized Theosophical Movement. - Editor.]

In future times, when the impartial historian shall write an account of the progress of religious ideas in the present century, the formation of this Theosophical Society, whose first meeting under its formal declaration of principles we are now attending, will not pass unnoticed. This is certain. The bare announcement of the intended inauguration of such a movement attracted attention, and caused no little discussion in the secular as well as the religious press. It has sounded in the ears of some of the leaders of the contending forces of theology and science, like the distant blast of a trumpet to the struggling armies in a battle. The note is faint as yet, and indicates neither the strength nor purposes of the body approaching. For either side, it may mean a reinforcement that will help turn the tide of victory; it may herald only the gathering of neutrals to watch events; or it may threaten the discomfiture and disarmament of both antagonists.

From what little has been said in its behalf, it is not yet clear to the public how this "new departure" should be regarded. Neither Church nor college knows whether to adopt a policy of denunciation, misrepresentation, contumely, or amity. By some secular journals it is patronizingly encouraged as likely to "enliven a prosaic age with exhibitions of medieval tricks of sorcery," while others denounce it as the forerunner of a relapse into "the worst forms of fetishism". The Spiritualists began, a few years ago, with voluminous and angry protests against its promoters, as seeking to supplant the prevalent democratic relations with the other world by an aristocratic esotericism, and even now, while they seem to be watching our next move with the greatest interest, their press teems with defamatory criticisms. Neither of the religious sects has definitely committed itself, although our preliminary advances have been noticed in a guarded way in some of their organs.

Such being the state of the case at the very onset of our movement, before one blow has been struck, am I not warranted in repeating the statement that in the coming time it is inevitable that the birth of this Society of ours must be considered as a factor in the problem which the historian will be required to solve?

The present small number of its members is not to be considered at all in judging of its probable career. Eighteen hundred and seventy odd years ago, the whole Christian Church could be contained within a Galilean fisherman's hut, and yet it now embraces one hundred and twenty millions of people within its communion; and twelve centuries ago, the only believer in Islamism, which now counts two hundred and fifty million devotees, bestrode a camel and dreamed dreams.

No, it is not a question of numbers how great an effect this Society will have upon religious thought - I will go further, and say, upon the science and philosophy - of the age: great events sometimes come from far more modest beginnings. I need not occupy time in quoting examples which will occur to [7] every one of you in corroboration of my point. Nor is it a question of endowment funds and income any more than one of numerous members: the propagandist disciples sent out by Jesus went barefoot, ill-clothed, and without purse or scrip.

What is it then, which makes me say what in deepest seriousness and a full knowledge of its truth I have said? What is it that makes me not only content but proud to stand for the brief moment as the mouthpiece and figure-head of this movement, risking abuse, misrepresentation, and every vile assault? It is the fact that in my soul I feel that behind us, behind our little band, behind our feeble, new-born organization, there gathers a MIGHTY POWER that nothing can withstand - the power of TRUTH! Because I feel that we are only the advance-guard, holding the pass until the main body shall come up. Because I feel that we are enlisted in a holy cause, and that truth, now as always, is mighty and will prevail. Because I see around itís a multitude of people of many different creeds worshiping, through sheer ignorance, shams and effete superstitions, and who are only waiting to be shown the audacity and dishonesty of their spiritual guides to call them to account, and begin to think for themselves. Because I feel, as a sincere Theosophist, that we shall be able to give to science such evidences of the truth of the ancient philosophy and the comprehensiveness of ancient science, that her drift towards atheism will be arrested, and our chemists will, as Madame Blavatsky expresses it, "set to work to learn a new alphabet of Science on the lap of Mother Nature".

As a believer in Theosophy, theoretical and practical, I personally am confident that this Society will be the means of furnishing such unanswerable proofs of the immortality of the soul, that none but fools will doubt. I believe that the time will come when men will be as ashamed of ever having advocated atheism in any of its forms, as, thirty years hence, they will be of ever having owned a slave or countenanced human slavery.

Look back the few, the very few, years to the time when William Lloyd Garrison was led through Boston streets with a rope around his neck. Compare that with the present state of the Slavery Question, and then tell me what may not a few earnest, determined, unselfish people do. Why, in 1859, I myself went, at the risk of my life, to report for the New York Tribune the hanging of John Brown; and in 1857, while I was visiting Senator Hammond, of South Carolina, solely in my character of a student of scientific agriculture, and having nothing whatever to do with politics, an Augusta paper advised my commission to jail because I wrote for the Tribune, although only upon agriculture. Having passed through such experiences, and seen so complete a reversal of conditions within the space of less than a score of years, I feel that neither I nor this Society incurs any great danger by displaying a little moral courage in so good a cause. Let the future take care of itself; it is for us to so shape the present as to make it beget what we desire and what will bring honor upon us. If we are true to each other and true to ourselves, we shall surmount every obstacle, vanquish every foe, and attain what we are all in search of, the peace of mind which comes of absolute knowledge. If we are divided, irresolute, temporizing, jesuitical, we shall fail as a Society to do what is now clearly within our reach; and future years will doubtless see us bewailing the loss of such a golden opportunity as comes to few persons in a succession of centuries.

But if this Society were to dissolve within one year, we should not have lived in vain. Today is our own; to-morrow may be; but yesterday is gone for ever. In the economy of nature, an impulse, however slight, once given to matter, is eternal; and an act once performed, its consequences, be they great or small, must be worked out sooner or later. The passing caprice of a woman has changed [8] the destiny of nations; the speaking of a word in the mountains may bring a crushing avalanche upon the hamlet that lies at their feet; the turning of a man's footsteps to the right or left, to avoid a stone, or chase a butterfly, or gratify it matters not what idle whim, may alter his whole life, and, directly or indirectly, result in momentous consequences to a world.

About us we see the people struggling blindly to emancipate their thought from ecclesiastical despotism - without seeing more than a faint glimmer of light in the whole black horizon of their religious ideas. They struggle from an irrepressible desire to be free from shackles which bind their limping reason after their volant intuitions have outgrown them. Upon the one side, the philosophical chemists invite them to an apotheosis of matter; upon the other, the Spiritualists fling open the painted doors of their "angel world". The clergy hold them back and hiss warnings and anathemas in their ears. They waver, uncertain which way to go. Heirs to the spiritual longings of the race, they shrink back from the prospect of annihilation, which, in their own case, when life's burden presses heavily, may not always seem unwelcome, but which was never meant for those near and dear ones who have died in their youth and purity, and left behind a sweet fragrance when the alabaster box was broken and they passed the Veil of Isis ...

The Protestant sects begin with the fatal assumption that an infallible and inspired Bible will bear the test of reason, and so forecast their own doom; for the analytical power of reason is bounded only by the limits of ascertained truth, and fresh discoveries are daily trade among the remains of antiquity, which attack the very foundations upon which the whole scheme of Christianity is based. The most audacious explorers in science are recruits from Protestantism; that would-be mistress of our conscience is stabbed by her own children. The Catholic Church having erected a theocracy upon the ruins of ancient faiths, and stolen not only their allegories but their very exoteric symbolism and revamped them for her own use, is gathering her forces for the struggle that she knows too well is close at hand, and that will be mortal. Enraged at the progress of the age, which has extinguished her penal fires, destroyed her torture-chambers, blunted her axe, and made it impossible for her to re-bathe her hands in human blood, she is working silently, cunningly, and with intense eagerness to regain her lost supremacy. What this undercurrent is we may see in the disgraceful Orange Riot of 1872; the recent conviction of poor Leymarie, in Paris; and the affair of Guibord, in Montreal, whose body has just been buried in a ton of Portland cement and under the escort of thirteen hundred armed police, infantry, and artillery, to protect it from the rage of the Catholics, because Guibord belonged to a society which admitted liberal books into its library! We may also see the secret machinations of the Church in the perversions to its communion; the establishment of schools, colleges, convents, monasteries; the schemes to romanize a portion of our common schools; the building of costly cathedrals; and the erection of parishes into bishoprics, and bishoprics into archiepiscopal sees.

Upon what does this Church or any other ecclesiastical hierarchy stand, but upon the congenital longing of man for an immortal existence; the obscurity of our view of the other world by reason of intervening matter; and the urgency of material wants, which oblige us to accept the intervention of a select class of spiritual guides and expounders, or go without spiritual nourishment other than such as we can pick up beside the dusty road along which we trudge from youth to old age?

If the founders of the Society are true to themselves, they will set to work to study the religious question from the standpoint of the ancient peoples, gather together their wisdom, verify their alleged Theosophic discoveries. I say alleged, [9] as president of an non-committal society of investigation; as an individual, I should omit that word, and give full credit where it is due) and contribute to the common fund whatever is of common interest. If there be any who have begun without counting the cost; if there be any who think to pervert this body to sectarian or any other narrow, selfish ends; if there be any cowards, who wish to meet with us in secret and revile us in public; if there be any who begin with the hope of expectation of making everything bend to their preconceived notions, regardless of the evidence; if there be any who, in subscribing to the broad and manly principle enunciated in the by-laws, that we will discover all we can about all the laws of nature, do so with a mental reservation that they will back out if any pet theory, or creed, or interest is endangered; if there be any such, I pray them, in all kindness, to withdraw now, when they can do so without hard words or hard feelings. For, if I understand the spirit of this Society, it consecrates itself to the intrepid and conscientious study of truth, and binds itself, individually as collectively, to suffer nothing to stand in the way. As for me - poor, weak man, honored far beyond my deserts in my election to this place of honor and of danger - I can only say that, come well, come ill, my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength are pledged to this cause, and I shall stand fast while I have a breath of life in me, though all others shall retire and leave me to stand alone. But I shall not be alone, nor will the Theosophical Society be alone. Even now branch societies are projected in this country. Our organization has been noticed in England, and I am told that an article upon the subject is about to appear in one of the greatest of the quarterlies. Whether it shall be couched in friendly or hostile spirit matters little; our protest and challenge will be announced, and we may safely leave the rest to the natural order of events.

If I rightly apprehend our work, it is to aid in freeing the public mind of theological superstition and a tame subservience to the arrogance of science. However much or little we may do, I think it would have been hardly possible to hope for anything if the work had been begun in any country which did not afford perfect political and religious liberty. It certainly would have been useless to attempt it except in one where all religions stands alike before the law, and where religious heterodoxy works no abridgment of civil rights.

Our Society is, I may say, without precedent. From the days when the Neoplatonists and the last theurgists of Alexandria were scattered by the murderous hand of Christianity, until now, the revival of a study of Theosophy has not been attempted.

There have been secret political, commercial, and industrial societies, and societies of Freemasons and their offshoots, but, even in secrecy, they have not attempted to perform the labor which lies before us and which we will do openly.

To the Protestant and Catholic sectaries we have to show the pagan origin of many of their most sacred idols and most cherished dogmas; to the liberal minds in science, the profound scientific attainments of the ancient magi. Society has reached a point where something must be done; it is for us to indicate where that something may be found . . .

We are of our age, and yet some strides ahead of it, albeit some journals and pamphleteers more glib than truthful, have already charged us with being reactionists who turn from modern light (!) to medieval and ancient darkness! We seek, inquire, reject nothing without cause, accept nothing without proof; we are students, not teachers ... [10]


Boris de Zirkoff

The historical document, facsimile of which appears on the opposite page, has been reproduced from The Path, New York, Vol. IX, No. 1, April, 1894, where it appeared as a frontispiece to the volume. At the time, it was taken from the Minute Book of The Theosophical Society, the text being in the handwriting of John Storer Cobb who prepared the minutes from his own pencil notes taken during the meeting.

This meeting was held at the rooms of H.P. Blavatsky, 46 Irving Place, New York. On the preceding evening, September 7th, the formation of a society to pursue and promote occult research was proposed by Col. Olcott, after Mr. Felt had given a lecture on "The Lost Canon of Proportion of the Egyptians". The proposal was favorably received. Upon motion of Wm. Q Judge, Col. Olcott was elected Chairman, and upon the latter's motion, Mr. Judge was elected Secretary. The hour being late, the meeting was adjourned to the following evening.

When this document was reproduced in The Path, an explanatory note appeared editorially, making a slight correction in the minutes as they stand. The meeting opened when Wm. Q. Judge rose and, assuming the place of Chairman, proposed Col. Olcott as permanent Chairman, which motion was carried.

At the next meeting, held September 18, it was resolved that the name of the Society be "The Theosophical Society". There were two more preliminary meetings, namely on October 16 and 30. On the last-named date, final election of officers took place, and the meeting was adjourned to Wednesday, November 17, when the President, Col. Henry S. Olcott, would deliver his Inaugural Address. This took place at the Mott Memorial Hall, 64 Madison Avenue, New York, the meeting having been called to order at 8:15 P.M. Excerpts from this Address appear elsewhere in the present issue.

It would appear, therefore, from the Minutes of the first gathering reproduced herewith, that the Society had sixteen formers, to use Col. Olcott's expression. These were people of interesting and quite varied characteristics. Regarding some of them but little is known. Some brief information concerning their background might be of interest to the readers.

CHARLES SOTHERAN was a relative of the London booksellers of the same name. He was with Sabin and Sons, booksellers, New York, and connected in a literary way with their journal The American Bibliopolist. He had a very peculiar temperament. Three months after the Society was formed, trouble arose, as Sotheran made inflammatory speeches at a political street meeting and wrote bitterly in the newspapers against H.P.B. and the Society. His resignation was accepted, and, for the sake of protection, the Society was made into a secret body, with signs and passwords. Later on, Sotheran apologized and was taken back into membership. He gave useful help to H.P.B. during the writing of Isis Unveiled. He published a small short-lived journal called The Echo, in which H.P.B. wrote a couple of articles. After the Founder's departure for India, his name was not again mentioned.

DR. CHARLES E. SIMMONS was a New York physician.

HERBERT D. MONACHESI was a newspaper reporter. He was Italian by birth and of very psychic temperament. He was responsible for a remarkably lucid article regarding the original program of the Society, published in The Sunday Mercury, N.Y., 1875. H.P.B. commented upon it as follows in her Scrapbook I: "Our original programme is here clearly defined by Herbert Monachesi, F.T.S., one of the Founders. The Christians and Scientists must be made to respect their Indian betters. The wisdom of India, her philosophy and achievements must be [11]

[Letter facsimile here.]

[12] made known in Europe and America, and the English be made to respect the natives of India and Tibet more than they do. H.P.B." Monachesi wrote about an intended Buddhist Mission to America, to make known Eastern spiritual knowledge.

CHARLES CARLETON MASSEY was an English barrister and litterateur and was keenly interested in Spiritualism. He was one of the ablest metaphysicians in Great Britain, and a lucid and scholarly writer on psychic subjects. He visited the U.S.A. in 1875, and went to Chittenden to verify for himself Col. Olcott's accounts of the Eddy phenomena. After several years of friendship, differences arose between him and the Founders. He resigned when the Society for Psychic Research attacked H.P.B. and gave allegedly damaging evidence against her. He died in 1905.

W.L. ALDEN was an editorial writer on the New York Times, and of considerable repute for caustic and humorous criticism upon current topics. Later on, he held Consular appointments under the American Government. He did not stay with the Society for any length of time, criticized it at a later date, and dropped out.

GEORGE H. FELT was a New York engineer, brilliant, and possessing genius. His lecture on "The Lost Canon of Proportion of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans" was published by Bouton in book-form, and elicited considerable comment from Wm. E. Gladstone. He soon drifted out of the Society.

D.E. DE LARA was a learned old gentleman of Portuguese-Hebrew extraction. H.P.B. and H.S.O. had great affection for him. He seems to have remained a member till he died.

DR. W. BRITTEN was a Spiritualist and husband of Mrs. Emma Britten. He left the Society early.

MRS. EMMA HARDINGE BRITTEN has been before the public for forty years as a Spiritualistic medium, inspirational lecturer, and authoress. Some of the early meetings of the Society were held in her house. She published in her book, Nineteenth Century Miracles, 1884, almost the only extant account of the meeting of September 7th, 1875. Her name is associated with a work called Art Magic which was written by her lifelong friend, the Chevalier Louis Constant, for whom she was acting as translator and secretary. It dealt with subjects closely resembling those explained in Isis Unveiled. Col. Olcott gives a great deal of interesting information on this subject in his Old Diary Leaves, First Series, pp. 185-201, to which the student is referred. Mrs. Britten left the Society fairly soon. At a later date, she joined Prof. Coues and others in spreading the calumny that Isis Unveiled was written by Baron de Palm.

HENRY J. NEWTON was a wealthy retired manufacturer, and foremost Spiritualist in New York City, being President of the Society of Spiritualists. He was also President of the Photographic Section of the American Institute. He invented the dry-plate method in photography. For a, while he served as the Treasurer of the Theosophical Society, but withdrew when he found that H.P.B. was not going to show him either Adepts or elementals. He retained the Record List of the Society, which he refused to give up, and was inclined to think of himself as having formed the Theosophical Society. He died in 1895.

JOHN STORER COBB was an English barrister and Doctor of Laws; also ex-editor of the New-Era magazine, the organ of the Reformed Jews. He was a leader in the Cremation Movement. He was sent to England by the Theosophical Society to assist in the formation of the British T.S., in 1878. He lost interest and disappeared.

J. HYSLOP. No definite information regarding him has been discovered.

H.M. STEVENS. No definite information available.

To these should be added the following three individuals whose names appear on the list of the officers of the [13] Theosophical Society elected at the meeting of October 30, 1875.

DR. SETH PANCOAST, of Philadelphia, who was a Kabalist and student of alchemy; he had been a professor at a medical college and had written on medical subjects. The Kabala was the chief study of his life, and he had collected an extensive library of occult books. He later wrote a notable work on the therapeutic and occult properties of the blue and red rays of the spectrum. H.P.B. always spoke with great respect of his erudition. Under the pseudonyms of "Lex" and "Lex et Lux", he wrote for the Spiritualistic papers on Kabalistic and other matters. He had been elected Vice-President of the Society. He remained a member till he passed away in 1889.

JUDGE R.B. WESTBROOK, who for a time was a Professor of Philology in a British University. He was made one of the Councillors of the Society, and became a Vice-President of it in 1877. H.P.B. had a high regard for him, but it is not clear what became of him at a later date.

REV. J.H. WIGGIN, who was Editor of The Liberal Christian, in which he reported the first meeting of September 7, 1875. However, he resigned before the end of the year.

The facts condensed in the above outline have been taken mainly from the valuable work of Josephine Ransom, A Short History of The Theosophical Society (Theos. Publ. House, Adyar, 1938).


Henry T. Edge
[Originally published in The Path, New York, Vol IX, May, 1894.]

In cooperative work, as in every other problem before students of occultism, there are two extremes to be avoided and one right course to be maintained; two evils opposed to one good; a pair of opposites reconciled by a unity; and in cooperative work, as in other problems, many make the mistake of avoiding the more obviously wrong extreme merely to fall into the other extreme which is less obviously wrong. A body of workers should neither repel one another nor lean on one another. The former maxim is so obvious that no one fails to recognize its truth and to strive to act in accordance with it; but there are many who, in doing so, rush to the opposite pole of weak reliance on others. Workers should cling to the cause, not to each other; for if they cling to each other, the failure of an individual will be disastrous for the whole; while, if each one clings to the cause, each one must be torn away separately ere the whole fabric can be destroyed. The pillars of a temple do not lean up against one another, neither do they counteract each other; each stands firmly on its own base and is independent of the support of the others, yet all unite in the common object of supporting the dome. We must be as the pillars of a temple, helping one another, yet independent and each on his own base. The destruction of one or two does not seriously impair the building, for the others still stand firm.

In unity is strength, and though we must be united in a common object, yet we must not lose the advantage arising from our individual unity. A body of workers all mutually dependent constitutes a single united centre of force; but if, while maintaining their unity of purpose, they retained their independence of individual action, they would be more powerful, for they would constitute a number of separate centres synthesized by one great centre - a number of unities forming one cardinal unity. When many members of a body are self-reliant, their [14] self-reliance synthesizes itself into a great power and stability, and the total force is much greater than it would be if they all leaned up against one another. It is a law of nature that a number of logoi or individualities should constitute collectively a single superior logos or individuality. Our Egos, though each acts independently, all emanate from a single central logos, of which they are only parts, but whose quality of egoism each reflects. Our bodily organs, though each has a separate function, all unite to form the whole man. They do not thwart each other, nor absorb one another's functions, nor combine to do the work of one. We should be like the rays of the sun, which shoot in all directions and yet are but fulfilling the separate details of a single organized plan. It is upon this very diversity of course that depends the successful carrying out of that plan; for were all the rays to shoot in the same direction the sun as a luminary would be a failure. This illustration also serves to show us how two people pursuing opposite courses can yet subserve a common end; for to every ray there is another that shoots in the precisely opposite direction.

Why should we try to persuade our friends over to our own views, or grieve because they differ from us in details? Would we have all workers do the same work, all climbers ascend the same path, all occultists follow the same ray of truth? Light has many hues and the sun has many planets; and though there is a maxim to the effect that those not yet qualified to be suns may remain for the present humble planets, no reason is given why we should all be the same planet. A general, in conducting a campaign, assigns to each division of his army a particular portion of the work he wishes carried out; a master-printer assigns to each operative his due share of the work in hand, one setting the type, another reading the proofs, and so on. Each subdivision does its own work without interfering with the work of others, and through this simultaneous carrying out of many dissimilar details the whole plan, for which all alike cooperate, is successfully accomplished.

Though most of us recognize this principle in matters of external work, there are many who fail to carry its application into more interior departments of our work; it applies equally well to methods of thought and ways of looking at the questions that affect our moral life. One student may, through the exigencies of his own nature, be impressed most strongly by the value of fiery energy, while another may pin his faith to the principle of "power through repose": if these two should try to convert one another, they would be merely wasting time and labor, and the work of both would be hindered. Each should do what is best for himself, and leave the other to follow what is best for him. We are all necessarily impressed with different aspects of the great problem, and must therefore all work on different tasks, but, while recognizing our own method as the best so far as we ourselves are concerned, we must frankly acknowledge the equal importance (to the general body) of our brother's plan.

Many are the paradoxes that present themselves to the student of occultism, and among them this is not the least important - to work in perfect harmony with our colleagues, and at the same time to work as if upon our own individual effort depended the whole enterprise. To realize this we must be united yet independent. [15]



Are wars inevitable in our state of evolution?

Nothing is inevitable, in any state of evolution. Wars, like a number of other psychological delusions affecting mankind, can be out-grown by means of self-restraint, reason, and common sense (which, unfortunately, is very un-common!) Wars are merely the cumulative result of mental and emotional attitudes which we have allowed to take possession of our deeper and sound judgment. As long as we delude ourselves into believing that national or international issues and problems can be solved and decided by means of violence, we will have wars. There is a growing number of people in the world today who do not believe so, and the chances of their convictions gaining currency are good. To imagine that any habit is insurmountable, and that certain conditions are inevitable, is a form of defeatism. Wars can be, and will be, stopped when the collective thinking of universally-minded men and women restrains once and for all, and re-educates, the sub-human thought-standards of unreasonable and violent minds. Ever heard of Ira Wolfert's book, An Act of Love? Here is what he thinks of war:

"Oh, war was the same as peace. Everybody knew it. Why had it taken Harry so long to discover? The proof of its sameness was that people submitted without revolt when their governments declared war and fought in a war without feeling they had gone insane. Would it be possible for them to do so, if war were not simply the same as peace, only more violently so?

"Would people submit to fighting in a war if, in order to win it or live through it, they were given new attitudes and values along with their uniforms? Suppose to win a war, a nation of people had to, for instance, join not an army but Christianity. They had to step out of their competitive way of life and adopt the Good Book as the manual of arms. The battle was to "Love thy neighbor," and he would win the war who loved the most.

"The war would not be fought. How could anyone nowadays fight such a war? It was too radical. There would be a world-wide revolt against such a war. You could command a man to blow up a city of people in order to win a competition or remain alive in a competition and he would do it. He wouldn't like it, but he'd do it. But you could not command him to love a city of people to win a competition or remain alive in it. He would not be able to. He wouldn't be able to believe he could win that way. His whole life would be against believing it. His whole life had taught him that the way to win was, to outdo the next man, profit from his loss. There was no gain except in another's loss. How could he overthrow his life because a bugle had blown? The bugle of war only stirred him up to carry on his life more actively."


"And if we believe in our individual capacity for indefinite improvement, why should we doubt the capacity of the race for continued progress, as long as it dwells upon the earth? ... I beseech you to treasure up in your hearts these my parting words: 'Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity'." - Horace Mann. [16]


H. P. BLAVATSKY Collected Writings.
For the Year 1883.
Published by the PHILOSOPHICAL RESEARCH SOCIETY, INC. Los Angeles, California.

Initial volume of a uniform American Edition of H.P. Blavatsky's entire literary work, to consist of a considerable number of volumes. Highly important and profound teachings from the store-house of the Trans-Himalayan Esoteric Knowledge, some of them written down by H.P. Blavatsky from the direct dictation of her own Teacher, and other Adepts of the Occult Brotherhood.
A fitting contribution to the Cause of the Theosophical Movement, in commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Theosophical Society on American soil in 1875.
This Edition is a LIMITED one. A large part of it has already been sold by means of advance orders. An early order is advisable, to insure securing a copy before the edition is exhausted.
448 pages. Illustrations. Bibliography. Copious Index.
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