A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume VIII
No. 1 (43) - May-June 1951

[Cover Photo: In the heart of the Madison Grant Forest and Elk Refuge, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Humbolt County, 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.

Subscription: $1.50 a year (six issues); single copy 25 cents. Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: 136 North Catalina Street, Los Angeles 4, 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.



"The concept of the linkage between all men has to grow within the individual. It cannot be imposed. The sense of brotherhood is not merely a technique of knowing and thinking; it is a matter of feeling, of sharing in and becoming a part of the emotions of others ...

"To promote brotherhood in today's fiercely competitive society involves the immense task of moving in all directions to enter the common experience of people. Unless any so-called 'brotherhood' organization addresses itself unremittingly to this task it is likely to fall short of its professed goals. For in today's world brotherhood cannot be made to live merely by paying abstract tribute to it as an ideal. Brotherhood must grow - can only grow - out of the behavior and social arrangements of our time.

"The first imperative, therefore, is to melt the glacier of hate and prejudice which has been moving down inexorably on the human community during the modern era. This great wall of ice spreads over much of the world ...

"Opposing this glacier is the human reaching for decency - for neighborliness and the idealization of human ideals. All these also are the living realities. If the world is to survive they must be harnessed for action and utilized in a program of practical brotherhood.

"How, it may be asked, is this to be done? From the standpoint of organizations whose aim is to promote brotherhood the job must be approached dynamically. It cannot consist merely of pulpit preaching. It cannot be accomplished with slogans or appeals for 'peace', 'understanding', and 'tolerance'. These are end-products, not prime movers. These come as the result of brotherhood.

"Brotherhood grows out of the shared experiences of men. It grows out of religious feelings. It grows out of common struggles for decency and opportunity. Those are brothers who have worked together in a common cause, who have overcome hardships together, who together have improved their common plight, who have suffered together, who have experienced pleasure together. 'Togetherness' is the key word of brotherhood." - New Outlook, April, 1951, pp. 32-33. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

The challenge of the present day is one of emotions against reason, of uncontrolled feelings against cool judgment, of blind fanaticism against deep-seated conviction. The world of tomorrow depends upon which of the two states of consciousness will win in the world of today.

This is an age-old conflict in which nothing is new but the stage setting. It has been fought under other climes and under even more sinister skies.

Stripped of its outward trappings, it is the same old conflict between the animal consciousness in man, and the awakening consciousness of true manhood; between the man of flesh and the man of spirit; between the beast in him, and the god in his heart. And whoever attempts to parade this conflict in the peacock feathers of some attractive "ism", is either a selfish demagogue or an ignorant fool.

It is easy to befuddle the mentality of people with high-sounding platitudes, and when its elemental urges and selfish propensities are somewhat understood and played upon, to stir the mob to emotional frenzy. It is equally easy to blind people's vision with skillful word-weaving and promises of the good life, of peace and wealth. It is far more difficult, however, to make people think for themselves, to arouse in them the slumbering desire to know, and to teach them to help themselves and to become inwardly strong. The demagogue, whether of the political or the psychic kind, is unable to do this, and his alluring promises of knowledge and power, of prosperity and contentment, are of no avail in that field.

From East to West, and all over the world, the disparity which exists between our pretensions and our practices, both as individuals and as a collective whole, is accentuated today and emphasized in bold relief.

While vociferous orators and editors of yellow journalism are warning the people of impending catastrophes, and are pointing to the terrible dangers from outward enemies, corruption of public morals, and the steady degeneration of ethical integrity go on unabated, from one end of the earth to the other, undermining the very foundations of society and bringing the badly moth-eaten fabric of the State to the very brink of total ruin.

The survival of what we have come to call "civilization" is at stake; but not from the presence in our midst of atomic bombs or nuclear fission in general; rather on account of the sad fact that the ethical fabric of human relations has been allowed to deteriorate beyond the point of safety.

The era of divided nationalities, tribes, or ethnic groups is over. History, with its unchallenged logic, has brought an end to that. The world is moving with the rapidity of a cataclysm towards a unification and a wholeness which recorded history (an insignificant section of total history) has never witnessed before. Life on separate continents, or in segregated nations and groups, has become an utter impossibility in an age when peoples' thoughts, ideas, actions, and hopes, are sent with the velocity of light to all parts of this ever-shrinking world.

To think in terms of a nation, even to cogitate in terms of one continent, is today old-fashioned and puerile. It discloses a limited vision which has not become attuned to the meaning of the moment we live in, and has refused to broaden to the requirement of a karmic necessity that is imperative and beyond human control. It depicts a man who is afraid of the future, and is hiding himself in the old, comfortable mental rut, which, if deepened enough, will assuredly become his final grave.

To become a Citizen of the World - and no national citizenship will suffice today - it is necessary to integrate love for one's own country in the pattern of a greater love - the love of the world as a whole.

To become an intelligent denizen of the World of Tomorrow - for which the chaotic World of Today is but an [4] entrance hall - it is imperative to broaden and expand one's sympathies, until they include the whole of mankind, and to loosen one's mental shackles until they allow the mind to escape into realms of speculation and hope, of vision and aspiration, where no narrow nationalism, or constricting sectarianism, can affect it any longer.

We are in urgent need of men and women who can picture to themselves the whole world as their home, and the entire globe as their field of action. We require individuals whose sense of the fitness of things, and whose intense moral values, make them think, feel and act as integrated humans, whose range of vision and sphere of consciousness includes all men.

That such men and women are with us - and in ever-increasing number - there can be no doubt whatsoever. It is only a question as to how much weight their ideas' may have at the present moment to counter-balance, and in due time to silence, the mad-house of chaotic thinking which has temporarily eclipsed the sane judgment of so many people the world over.

While it is foolish to imagine that mass psychology can ever accept in our age and time the more technical teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, it is conceivable that the twin doctrines of reincarnation and karman may well become vastly more popular and better understood than they have been to date. There are indications of this all over the Occidental world.

Needless to say that if these teachings, in their most rudimentary form, could once become rooted in the minds of progressive thinkers who have the eye and ear of the populace, and are called upon to rule and guide various segments of mankind, a totally different order of society would be the outcome; and such a change of structure, far from being a dream for a distant golden age, could be accomplished within a relatively short time. This for two main reasons: one is that modern science gives us the opportunity and the know-how to reach the masses overnight, and the other, that all human beings have within themselves spiritual potentialities, which, when presented to their thinking by means which appeal to their imagination and stir their higher emotions into action, they often recognize.

From the depths beneath the confused thinking of the race, and from the distant and remote background of human mentality, there arises today a new Continent of Thought, whose dim outlines can even now be discerned on the horizon of the collective mentality of the people. Upon that Continent there will be reared a new type of mankind, whose minds will think in terms of an integrated Humanity, and whose hearts, dedicated to peace and knowledge, will wipe the poisonous weeds of war and strife from the face of the Earth.

Each one of us can be a Builder of that new Temple. Its deep foundations are being laid today. And a call has gone out for masons and carpenters and toolmakers, to speed the global task. Are you among the Builders?


"The heretic has always been the glowing point in society. When he is repressed by force, society stagnates. A virile society follows its true prophets and has better ways of dealing with error than the club, the noose or the stake ... The capacity of just plain folks for dissent is important. It is today an expression of the kind of courage upon which the very life of democracy depends ... Our danger is not from the honest dissenter but from the passions of the mob and those who manipulate it in the struggle for profit and power ... Our democracy is in desperate need of intelligent and constructive dissenters." - Norman Thomas. [5]


And its Relations to Other Modes of Fascination
H.P. Blavatsky
(Originally published in Lucifer, London, Vol. VII, No. 40, December, 1890, pp. 295-301.)

We are asked by "H.C." and other Fellows, to answer the several queries hereafter propounded. We do so, but with a reservation: our replies must be made from the standpoint of Occultism alone, no consideration being given to such hypotheses of modern (another name for 'materialistic') Science, as may clash with esoteric teachings.

Q. What is Hypnotism: how does it differ from Animal Magnetism (or Mesmerism)?

ANS. Hypnotism is the new scientific name for the old ignorant 'superstition' variously called 'fascination' and 'enchantment.' It is an antiquated lie transformed into a modern truth. The fact is there, but the scientific explanation of it is still wanting. By some it is believed that Hypnotism is the result of an irritation artificially produced on the periphery of the nerves; that this irritation reacting upon, passes into the cells of the brain-substance, causing by exhaustion a condition which is but another mode of sleep (hypnosis, or hupnos); by others that it is simply a self-induced stupor, produced chiefly by imagination, &c., &c. It differs from animal magnetism where the hypnotic condition is produced by the Braid method, which is a purely mechanical one, i.e., the fixing of the eyes on some bright spot, a metal or a crystal. It becomes 'animal magnetism' (or mesmerism), when it is achieved by 'mesmeric' passes on the patient, and for these reasons. When the first method is used, no electro-psychic, or even electro-physical currents are at work, but simply the mechanical, molecular vibrations of the metal or crystal gazed at by the subject. It is the eye - the most occult organ of all, on the superficies of our body - which, by serving as a medium between that bit of metal or crystal and the brain, attunes the molecular vibrations of the nervous centres of the latter into unison (i.e., equality in the number of their respective oscillations) with the vibrations of the bright object held. And, it is this unison which produces the hypnotic state. But in the second case, the right name for hypnotism would certainly be 'animal magnetism' or that so much derided term 'mesmerism'. For, in the hypnotization by preliminary passes, it is the human will - whether conscious or otherwise - of the operator himself, that acts upon the nervous system of the patient. And it is again through the vibrations - only atomic, not molecular - produced by that act of energy called WILL in the ether of space (therefore, on quite a different plane) that the super-hypnotic state (i.e., 'suggestion,' etc.) is induced. For those which we call 'will-vibrations' and their aura, are absolutely distinct from the vibrations produced by the simply mechanical molecular motion, the two acting on two separate degrees of the cosmo-terrestrial planes. Here, of course, a clear realization of that which is meant by will in Occult Sciences, is necessary.

Q. In both (hypnotism and animal magnetism) there is an act of will in the operator, a transit of something from him to his patient, an effect upon the patient. What is the 'something' transmitted in both cases?

ANS. That which is transmitted has no name in European languages, and if we simply describe it as will, it loses all its meaning. The old and very much tabooed words, 'enchantment,' 'fascination,' 'glamour' and 'spell,' and especially the verb 'to bewitch,' expressed far more suggestively the real action that took place during the process of such a transmission, than the modern and meaningless terms, 'psychologize' and 'biologize.' Occultism calls the force transmitted, the 'auric fluid,' to distinguish it from the 'auric light'; the 'fluid' being a correlation of atoms on a higher plane, and a descent to this lower one, in the shape of impalpable and invisible plastic Substances, generated and directed by the potential Will; [6] the 'auric light,' or that which Reichenbach calls Od, a light that surrounds every animate and inanimate object in nature, is, on the other hand, but the astral reflection emanating from objects; its particular colour and colours, the combinations and varieties of the latter, denoting the state of the gunas, or qualities and characteristics of each special object and subject - the human being's aura being the strongest of all.

Q. What hat is the rationale of 'Vampirism'?

ANS. If by this word is meant the involuntary transmission of a portion of one's vitality, or life-essence, by a kind of occult osmosis from one person to another - the latter being endowed, or afflicted rather, with such vampirizing faculty, then, the act can become comprehensible only when we study well the nature and essence of the semi-substantial 'auric fluid' spoken of just now. Like every other occult form in Nature, this end- and exosmosic process may be made beneficent or maleficent, either unconsciously or at will. When a healthy operator mesmerizes a patient with a determined desire to relieve and cure him, the exhaustion felt by the former is proportionate to the relief given: a process of endosmose has taken place, the healer having parted with a portion of his vital aura to benefit the sick man. Vampirism, on the other hand, is a blind and mechanical process, generally produced without the knowledge of either the absorber, or the vampirized party. It is conscious or unconscious black magic, as the case may be. For in the case of trained adepts and sorcerers, the process is produced consciously and with the guidance of the Will. In both cases the agent of transmission is a magnetic and attractive faculty, terrestrial and physiological in its results, yet generated and produced on the four-dimensional plane - the realm of atoms.

Q. Under what circumstances is hypnotism 'black magic'?

ANS. Under those just discussed, but to cover the subject fully, even by giving a few instances, demands more space than we can spare for these answers. Sufficient to say that whenever the motive which actuates tile operator is selfish, or detrimental to any living being or beings, all such acts are classed by us as black magic. The healthy vital fluid imparted by the physician who mesmerizes his patient, can and does cure; but too much of it will kill.

[This statement receives its explanation in our answer to Question 6, when showing that the vibratory experiment shatters a tumbler to pieces.]

Q. Is there any difference between hypnosis produced by mechanical means, such as revolving mirrors, and that produced by the direct gaze of the operator (fascination)?

ANS. This difference is, we believe, already pointed out in the answer to Question 1. The gaze of the operator is more potent, hence more dangerous, than the simple mechanical passes of the Hypnotizer, who, in nine cases out of ten, does not know how, and therefore cannot will. The students of Esoteric Science must be aware by the very laws of the occult correspondences that the former action is performed on the first plane of matter (the lowest), while the latter, which necessitates a well-concentrated will, has to be enacted, if the operator is a profane novice, on the fourth, and if he is anything of an occultist on the fifth plane.

Q. Why should a bit of crystal or a bright button, throw one person into the hypnotic state and affect in no way another person? An Answer to this would, we think, solve more than one perplexity.

ANS. Science has offered several varied hypotheses upon the subject, but has not, so far, accepted any one of these as definite. This is because all such speculations revolve in the vicious circle of materio-physical phenomena with their blind forces and mechanical theories. The 'auric fluid' is not recognized by the men of Science, and therefore, they reject it. But have they not believed for years in the efficacy of metallotherapy, the influence of these metals being due to the action [7] of their electric fluids or currents on the nervous system? And this, simply because an analogy was found to exist between the activity of this system and electricity. The theory failed, because it clashed with the most careful observation and experiments. First of all, it was contradicted by a fundamental fact exhibited in the said metallotherapy, whose characteristic peculiarity showed (a) that by no means every metal acted on every nervous disease, one patient being sensitive to some one metal, while all others produced no effect upon him; and (b) that the patients affected by certain metals were few and exceptional. This showed that 'electric fluids' operating on and curing diseases existed only in the imagination of the theorists. Had they had any actual existence, then all metals would affect in a greater or lesser degree, all patients, and every metal, taken separately, would affect every case of nervous disease, the conditions for generating such fluids being, in the given cases, precisely the same. Thus Dr. Charcot having vindicated Dr. Burke, the once discredited discoverer of metallotherapy, Shiff and others discredited all those who believed in electric fluids, and these seem now to be given up in favor of 'molecular motion,' which now reigns supreme in physiology - for the time being, of course. But now arises a question: "Are the real nature, behaviour and conditions of 'motion' known any better than the nature, behaviour and conditions of the 'fluids'?" It is to be doubted. Anyhow Occultism is audacious enough to maintain that electric or magnetic fluids (the two being really identical) are due in their essence and origin to that same molecular motion, now transformed into atomic energy,* (* In Occultism the word atom has a special significance, different from the one given to it by Science. See editorial, Psychic and Noetic Action, in the two last numbers. (H.P.B. means by this her important article which appeared in Lucifer, Vol. VII, October and November, 1890. - Ed.) to which every other phenomenon in nature is also due. Indeed, when the needle of a galvano- or electrometer fails to show any oscillations denoting the presence of electric or magnetic fluids, this does not prove in the least that there are none such to record; but simply that having passed on to another and higher plane of action, the electrometer can no longer be affected by tile energy displayed on a plane with which it is entirely disconnected.

The above had to be explained, in order to show that the nature of the Force transmitted from one man or object to another man or object, whether in hypnotism, electricity, metallotherapy or 'fascination', is the same in essence, varying only in degree, and modified according to the sub-plane of matter it is acting on; of which sub-planes, as every Occultist knows, there are seven on our terrestrial plane as there are on every other.
(To be concluded in the next issue.)



The Editor of Theosophia would welcome receiving from our Subscribers and Friends any Questions they may like to ask regarding the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom and their application to daily life. Any type of Question is welcome, with the exception of subjects bordering on political or sectarian matters, or organizational and personal differences.

Such Questions will be answered in the pages of our magazine, as space permits, and to the best of our knowledge and understanding. It should be distinctly understood that in doing so no claim is made to special authority of any kind.

Answers to Questions received may raise other Questions in the mind of the readers, or require further elucidation. We would be glad to receive from any of our Friends whatever suggestions or comments they may like to make. New Questions may be formulated on the basis of such comments. - Editor. [8]


Nancy Browning

There is hardly anything more insidious than the quality of fear. It is constantly awaiting the chance to entrap, to ensnare and to embed its treacherous tentacles within the consciousness of the individual. To understand fear for what it is, is the first step toward its elimination. Most people do have a fear, or fears, in varying degrees of potency. What is yours? Are you afraid of fire? Perhaps you dread a lingering illness. Maybe you fear death or mass destruction.

Today, as always, most of us live with a feeling of insecurity and misgivings of what the near future may bring. The world reflects a sick mind and thus we, in turn, are sick. Often our outlook is not healthy nor conducive to bringing out the finer aspects within us. We live almost wholly on the material plane and let negative emotions play havoc with us at the expense of those greater yet more elusive qualities we all possess.

The real you knows no fear and is unafraid of the next minute, day, year, or century yet to come. However, your thinking may be confused and blurred, and if so, your limited reasoning can not be sound. You become fertile ground for the growth of fear. If fear is with you, actively nourished and fed through frequent thoughts, it becomes a strong, though negative power.

Since most of us do fear, let us try to understand why we do so, and, in so doing, begin to eradicate it. First of all, you have nothing to fear but yourself. You are what you are today because, through many centuries, you have woven your own individual pattern upon the loom of life. You have chosen that pattern and it is you. You are not a pawn or plaything of the gods to be buffeted about without purpose, plan, or absolute justice. You are the product of yourself from ages past and to all eternity. Perhaps you have died in many distasteful ways - drowned, murdered, killed in war, poisoned, tortured, or starved to death. It is most likely that you have. But do you remember? Have these deaths harmed you? No. You have lived and died a thousand times in a thousand ways. The universe has survived cataclysmic events and so have you, for you are still here living, experiencing, and loving, for you are indestructible!

You are here for a reason, because not the slightest occurrence is without purpose. You have a mission and there is meaning and justice in your existence, small though it be. Do not defeat that purpose. Do not battle windmills, but face life and what it brings calmly and unafraid, because just as the smallest atom is indestructible, so are you. Death is merely a process of transformation, for nothing can ever die.

Fear cannot thrive unless fed. It is very much like a cancerous growth. It starts infinitesimally small and grows on the thoughts you feed it with. As it grows, it reaches out in all directions, gaining ground and smothering those more desirable qualities you are neglecting to cultivate. Though fear lives on your thoughts, it can eventually affect your body.

Don't forget that fear attracts. It is a negative force that needs polarity to become an active force. This simple law of physics applies here also. Opposite poles attract. So, fear too, being negative, has to have a positive pole and you give it just that by feeding your fear through negative thinking. Eventually you attract the very thing you dread!

When you catch yourself thinking in a negative manner, immediately change your trend of thought to a trend diametrically opposed to it. Train yourself to watch your thoughts, to guide them into constructive channels. You will soon find you are controlling your thoughts and emotions, and are less afraid.

Do not give in to this thing which disturbs you. But don't fight it. Instead, starve it, smother it, ignore it. Then it cannot survive, and you are rid of it. A busy, active person has little time to nurture fear, and that is your panacea. Get out of Yourself! Keep busy in [9] constructive ways and above all, help others. The man or woman who devotes time to the betterment of his fellow man is taking a step in the right direction. He becomes so interested in the problems of others that his own literally disappear. Become more impersonal and less pre-occupied with yourself, through service in any form suitable to you. Find someone in worse circumstances - physical, mental, or spiritual - and help them, or help them to help themselves.

And, finally, hitch your consciousness to a star. Ignore the part of you which craves attention at the expense of the Master within. Center your consciousness on high lofty aspects of thought, and you will be attracting that which is yearning for expression within you. It will help you, in turn, to purge yourself of your fear. Start now. Be persistent and unrelenting. You are the only one who can erase the fear. Do it - now! "Help thy brother's boat to cross, and lo! Thine own has reached the shore."


H.P. BLAVATSKY Collected Writings For the Year 1883 AVAILABLE NOW.
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.
This Edition, is a LIMITED one. 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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(Add 15 cents for postage. California add 3% sales tax)
Order from:
" THEOSOPHIA", 136 North Catalina Street, Los Angeles 4, California.
(Make checks or money-orders payable to "Theosophia".) [10]


Ruth Pratt

All men search for the enlightened group of souls who have the design for the United Structure - the pattern harmonious, created by the divine prophet, teacher, and scientist.

For every Spirit brings into being the fire of creation and the urge to fulfill purpose. Man has the potential power to fire the seemingly inanimate into Divine expression, to touch the temporal and bestow on it eternal existence.

But first he must become aware of the plan of eternal harmony which is co-existent with God.

So, all men search with a faith eternally linked with Spirit and inextinguishable.

Yet, this beauty of desire is constantly attacked by negations, impatience, and susceptibility, which often lead men into a spiritual wantonness which can be deeply serious and detrimental to true progress.

Too often men wander from spiritual diversion to spiritual diversion, weakly succumbing to enticement and revealing a lack of judgment and restraint. They accept any diverting doctrine which bears the label of truth, though it does not bear the seal of protective authority.

Those who heed the voice of wisdom, progress slowly and thoughtfully into truth and into their own maturity.

Man ever seeks that organization to which he can most fully contribute, in which he can most fully participate, for in return for the small power which he contributes, he partakes of the tremendous power and spirit of the many. Also, he partakes of the united strength which attends him in following the true Path.

That organization which is composed of the Spirit of many has the greatest chance for survival and growth, because Spiritual Faith is the greatest factor of the Universe.

Yet, to reach maturity and fulfillment an organization must be founded on lasting principles. It must be designed with the clarity and logic of intellect. Its emotional values must inspire the devotion of the many, and its physical structure must be so well planned that growth and expansion will not interfere with the harmonious operation of its various parts.

No organization can be built on Spirit alone, without the experience and fore-sight of intellect. No organization can be sustained without the devotion of its members. No organization can grow without a strong, well-formed physical frame.

When you create anything, whether it be a spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical structure, or one composed of all four, you are creating that which contains life and thus the power of growth. You are creating a potential. Limit is beyond the control of man. Man can never destroy a motion which he has created. But nature is the great overseer, the protector of the Universe, and maintains the regulation of all things. Nature will eventually destroy that which too strongly interferes with the great concord.

That organization which all men seek and whose design rests in the hearts of a few, has never been built; because its pattern consists of a threefold unity, the great universal trinity: faith, wisdom, and law.

The religious institutions of the world are insecure because they are built without the foresight of wisdom and the precision of law. The educational institutions lack the power of spiritual faith and the integrity of natural law. Those groups devoted to the deciphering of the laws of nature are building a potential of failure and even destruction, because they seek without the guidance of Spirit and the caution of wisdom.

God is co-existent with a harmonic universe. Man is a creator - under God. Each soul bears some of the creative power of the Divine, and is given ever-recurring opportunity to grow into awareness of creative harmony. Man [11] may use his creative power alone, or in unity with others. He more often expresses his creativeness individually through the Spiritual arts, because he has not found an organization which is fully harmonious. There is ever an unbalance somewhere which would limit his creation to a temporary existence. No organization can buy, lure, or entreat the Spiritual power of man. That power is always contributed, and before a man adds the support of his own power to any organization, he should determine whether it is founded on faith alone, on knowledge alone, or on understanding of law alone. Only that force which is based on the principles of all three can survive.


Harold W. Dempster

The Bhagavad-Gita clearly points out the importance of discrimination and that with the loss of discrimination, the individual becomes spiritually poor indeed.

It is possible to have quite a keen intellect and an active mind without having a clear, spiritually logical conception of a given situation.

Every human being is subject to erroneous conceptions, at the same time firmly believing that the ideas which he holds are true. Such an attitude of mind is very dangerous, because we are convinced that a seeming fact, as stated or observed, is true when it is not. Such a state of mind is called delusion and the dictionary defines delusion as: "the act of deluding; deceit; imposition; illusion; error; fallacy; and hallucination". And the word deceive is defined as: "to mislead or cause to err; delude; impose upon; disappoint; over-reach; gull; dupe or cheat".

It is by means of our own minds that we are cheated and deceived; therefore deluded, even though the affirmation, declaration or statement may come to us from another human being; or from some situation regarding which we form an erroneous opinion. We should not believe a statement as being completely true merely because a keenly intelligent or active-minded person says it is so. Do not allow yourself to be thrown off balance nor your own judgment and discrimination influenced by the mere fact that a certain person has made the statement. Test them. Watch them. Observe their consistency or inconsistency, and their ethics. And take all the time you feel you need.

Be fair, unprejudiced, open minded and maintain a willingness to consider and weigh all the evidence, and then make your decision. Do not believe all you hear; nor all you see. And beware of the delusions of your own mind. Question the veracity of all that comes to your attention. Think clearly and deeply!

Sincerity isn't enough. Nor is the good motive of another sufficient to save him from the consequences of his actions. Judge no one. Approve or disapprove of the actions or statements of another as you see fit. Stand firmly for your own principles, giving the same right to others without bitterness. Fool not yourself and you will avoid delusion.


"I do not see how it is possible for a man to die worth millions of dollars in a city full of pain, where every day he sees the withered hand of want and the white lips of famine! I do not see how he can do it, any more than he could keep a pile of lumber on the shore where hundreds and thousands were drowning in the sea." - Robert G. Ingersoll. [12]


Henry Steel Olcott
President of The Theosophical Society
[Originally published in the Supplement to The Theosophist, Vol. IV, No. 10, July 1883, p. 14. The contents of this Official Document are of equal, if not greater, importance in the dangerous and trying times we live in today, than they were under the circumstances which prevailed at the time the Document was original published. Students and readers everywhere are urged to give it the attention which it deserves. - Editor.]

The tenacious observance by the Founders of our Society of the principle of absolute neutrality, on its behalf, in all questions which lie outside the limits of its declared "objects," ought to have obviated the necessity to say that there is a natural and perpetual divorce between Theosophy and Politics. Upon an hundred platforms I have announced this fact, and in ever other practicable way, public and private, it has been affirmed and reiterated. Be we came to India, the word Politics had never been pronounced in connection with our names; for the idea was too absurd to be even entertained, much less expressed. But in this country, affairs are in such an exceptional state, that every foreigner, of whatsoever nationality, comes under Police surveillance, more or less; and it was natural that we should be looked after until the real purpose of our Society's movements had been thoroughly well shown by the developments of time. That end was reached in due course; and in the year 1880, the Government of India, after an examination of our papers and other evidence, became convinced of our political neutrality, and issued all the necessary orders to relieve us from further annoying surveillance. Since then, we have gone our ways without troubling ourselves more than any other law-abiding persons, about the existence of policemen or detective bureaus. I would not have reverted to so stale a topic if I had not been forced to do so by recent events. I am informed that in Upper India, some unwise members of the Society have been talking about the political questions of the hour, as though authorized to speak for our organization itself, or at least to give to this or that view of current agitations the imprimatur of its approval or disapproval. At a European capital, the other day, an Asiatic, whom I suspect to be a political agent, was invited to a social gathering of local Theosophists, where, certainly, philosophy and not politics, was the theme of discussion, but where this mysterious unknown's presence was calculated to throw suspicion over the meeting. Again, it was but a fortnight or so ago that one of the most respectable and able of our Hindu fellows strongly importuned me to allow the Theosophical Society's influence - such as it may be - to be thrown in favor of Bills to promote religious instruction for Hindu children, and other "non-political" measures. That our members, and others whom it interests, may make no mistake as to the Society's attitude as regards politics, I take this occasion to say that our Rules, and traditional policy alike, prohibit every officer and fellow of the Society, AS SUCH, to meddle with political questions in the slightest degree, and to compromise the Society by saying that it has, AS SUCH, any opinion upon those or any other questions. The Presidents of Branches, in all countries, will be good enough to read this protest to their members, and in every instance when initiating a candidate to give him to understand - as I invariably do - the fact of our corporate neutrality. So convinced am I that the perpetuity of our Society - at least in countries under despotic or to any degree arbitrary Governments - depends upon our keeping closely to our legitimate province, and leaving Politics "severely alone," I shall use the full power permitted me as President-Founder to suspend or expel every member, or even discipline or discharter any Branch which shall, by offending in this respect, imperil the work now so prosperously going on in various parts of the world.

Official: H.P. BLAVATSKY, Corr. Secy. Theos. Socy.
ADYAR, 27-6-1883. [13]


A Theosophical Discussion
[In the following transcript of a discussion-group for young people, the colloquial style has been preserved without undue editorial changes.]

M.H.: A man has high ideals, yet he is tempted, and he submits to his desires; maybe later he conquers them again. How does it affect your karma in this life? Later on you realize you were wrong and you don't make the mistake again. Does your past cancel out the good? Z.: I would say that it is of no account whatsoever how many times we fall, provided every time we fall and become conscious of it we get up and decide to climb again. Next moment we may fall again. But if the failures are followed immediately by determination to try again, the failure is as nothing. As a matter of fact, the only failure - 100% - is in not trying again. That is all. Think of all the things that everyone in this room has fallen prey to, in this life and in former lives. Think of all the things that we have committed. No one can tell you just exactly all the things that you may have done. You know all the things that we loathe, that we despise, that we know inwardly are wrong. We have done all of these things at one time or another. Otherwise we would have no conviction within ourselves that they are wrong. If we have a strong feeling against dishonesty of any type, it is because we have been through it and have learned that it was against the pattern of the laws of the universe. The things which we are not too sure about are the ones we may have been through, but have not yet learned. The things that we know are wrong are those we have finished with. Now, every time we fall, what happens? We have allowed our desires along that particular line to becloud the cool judgment of our spiritual insight. The cool judgment, the impartial judgment of our spiritual reason. Not mere logic. Intuitive awareness of truth has been beclouded. How can it be beclouded? By the smog arising from the unsatisfied and untransmuted elements of desire, from the kamic portion of our seven-fold constitution, which is an entity we have built from many lives. It is a tremendous help when integrated with our higher consciousness, but a terrible spectacle to behold when allowed to run its course. Our reason is beclouded by our lower nature, animal and not human, and we follow a course of conduct which is against our best judgment. And having done so, we pick ourselves up sooner or later, look at the rack and ruin, and realize that from the point occupied at that moment, this course of conduct looks silly. It is not necessarily evil, but it is silly. It is not of the standard of our own better judgment. And here comes the definition which is good to remember: "Anything that is below our better judgment is evil for us," but it may not necessarily be evil for the other man. If it coincides with his standards, that is as far as he has grown; don't judge him harshly. If he follows his standards, he is not necessarily evil. But if you and I do anything below our standards, it is an evil action for us. To complete the picture: Every time we think a thought or feel a feeling higher than our standard - we strain ourselves; that is good for us. It belongs to the next higher standard which some day we will reach. Remember that this higher standard may be relatively evil to the hierarchy above it, which has reached a standard higher yet. So the sum total of it is this: Let us not regret our failures, but consider them in the light of lessons. Let us not, on account of than reason, repeat the same action because it contains a lesson. If we have learned the lesson, that particular experience holds no more lesson for us. That would be like paying double fare.

Let us consider our failures or falls as stepping stones. Use your fall as an added brick of experience. That way you rise a little higher. Take that experience as a stepping stone, and rise [14] on your former selves. Look upon your self of the moment of failure as a dead self, valuable to you as a lesson. I should say that growth consists of repeated failures which the student is not afraid to pass through, because he is motivated by a determination never to do it again, and to look ahead and not behind. There is a drop of spiritual wisdom from every experience you pass through. But you don't have to wish for them. If they are karmic, they are in your way. Consider the failure in the light of growth. Look upon it as being a link in an endless chain rising constantly from one level to the next. Look ahead with the determination never to fall again. After awhile, by self-directed growth, you will have completely outgrown that state of mind, so that it can never happen to you again.

H.T.: This flexing of desire-muscles is like a man lifting a weight. Sometimes you encounter a situation. Are you propelling the forces yourself, or are they coming to you from someone else? Are you the party responsible for the situation? How can one set up a standard whereby to evaluate one's own reaction, whether one is right or wrong? What would you suggest as a yardstick? Perhaps you were there merely as a spectator. Z.: First of all, I would say that in no circumstances where you may find yourself could you possibly be a mere spectator. The mere fact that I happen to walk on the sidewalk and run into two men fighting each other, somehow brings me into the sphere of their emotional outburst. I may not interfere, but I am not a mere casual spectator. I am there because I am supposed to learn something from what I am witnessing. And if I stand there long enough and look, some change may occur in the fight. They might see me standing there and stop fighting.

I think this is a safe thing to assume, even if you want to call it an assumption. There has been a chain of causation which has brought me to that event. Somehow or other you belong with all these individuals; you are not there as a mere spectator, but as an active participant. Even if you feel neutral, you are not wholly apart from it. The only thing with which we could compare it is what is known as a catalyst in chemistry, an element in the presence of which a certain chemical reaction will take place. Without it the reaction will not take place. A human being can be a catalyst in a lot of situations. Difficult to understand. We appear to be spectators in a set of circumstances. We are not necessarily so. We may be catalysts without knowing it.

H.T.: If you witness the "fighting on the street", and go away from it, you may perhaps think that you have failed, and wonder to what extent were you supposed to participate in it, whether you did your part, and whether that is all that was expected. Z.: Only the future can show that. Intense thought, meditation upon the circumstances involved, bearing them in your mind, balancing them, bringing in all the factors, abiding by your own decision, and letting time show you whether you were right or wrong. The strange wisdom of unfolding circumstances will show you sooner or later whether you were right or wrong. If you were wrong, what a valuable lesson! In other words, let's try and do our full duty as we see it at the moment, and let the law take care of consequences, provided we have done our best in what we consider to be our duty. And maybe at that particular time the duty is to stand aside neutrally and watch. Leave it to the law, provided you feel within yourself keenly that you have done your duty. If you have not, time will show that too.

L.L.: You have spoken several times of intuition and of how it works. Just exactly what is intuition? Z.: I would say that what we call intuition is a name, a term, for the influence of the god within us. That is [15] as much as we register of the guiding influence of our Atman and our Buddhi; the Atman-Buddhi, or the Divine Monad within ourselves, the Christos within, high above the mere reincarnating ego. The Higher Self would be all right as a term. Between that sublime portion of ourselves, from which we hang like a pendant, and our brain, there are various sheaths of consciousness: the human soul; the psychologic apparatus of the lower mind; the lower portions of the intellect, and the desires - all that beclouds and builds barriers and veils between the brain and the Higher Self. Through these heavy fumes and clouds of our nature which is not yet integrated and controlled, we catch that intuition in glimpses here and there. If we develop it, if we listen to it, it will come sooner. It is the voice of the Higher Self. It is continuously trying to guide the human soul, from the beginning to the end of an incarnation, and to instill noble and lofty ideas. In the average human being probably 99 times out of a 100 it never comes through. In more awakened individuals it comes through oftener. It is like a lamp. You don't have to alter anything about the lamp; let it burn as it is. But if you wrap it in heavy materials, sooner or later there will not be a single ray of light in this room. If there is a chink in the material you might catch occasionally some of the light. If the material were but transparent muslin, it would not becloud that light. Intuition is not conscience. The latter always tells you what NOT to do. It never tells you what TO DO. But intuition always tells you what TO DO, and never tells you what NOT to do. Conscience is the voice of the Reincarnating Ego which has been through millions of experiences and is suggesting what not to do, but the intuition, the Higher Self, tells you what to do.

L.L.: I suppose that this would in some way or other cover the subject of animal instinct as well. Would it not? Z.: Yes. There are kingdoms of life very similar to us which have no self-conscious selfish personality of a very undeveloped kind. These are not developed yet into a self-conscious human personality. Therefore they have less obstacles between themselves and their own guiding spiritual self-hood. Therefore the working intuition in the animal and plant is far more efficient than in the human being. Instinct is merely a word used for the lower kingdoms than the human. There is no barrier between that center of consciousness and the temporary embodiment. There is no human personality. How are we going to rise above it? By aligning this personality with the Higher Self so that the extremes meet. At one end of the line are the lower kingdoms with no personality as yet. Then the human stage. And then the Initiates and Demigods, wherein the human selfhood has become so translucent, that the full strength of the Divine Self pours through it.



The idea of a PROMOTION FUND for Theosophia, which was inaugurated with the previous issue of our magazine, has met with approval on the part of many readers, and seems to have been timely. We have received quite a number of approving letters, enclosing checks, and expressing wishes for the success of our plan. We appreciate this response very much indeed, and trust that other friends of ours will let us hear from them in due course of time.

As previously stated, the purpose of this PROMOTION FUND is:

1. To build a small reserve upon which to rely in case of need, particularly at certain "lean" times of the year; and
2. To send a larger number of sample copies to carefully selected lists of promising people, with the hope of thus increasing our circulation. The pages of our magazine are devoted to the broad Principles of the Esoteric Philosophy, and their practical application to daily life. Free from any [16] organizational affiliations or controversies, the magazine will continue to present Ideas, Ideals and Truths from the storehouse of the Ancient Wisdom, which if widely spread and recognized, would become the foundation of a new and more spiritual civilization the world over. Our effort may be small, but it is at least sincere. We require and solicit the support, both financial and moral, of all students whose devotion is to the teachings of Theosophy, and to the impersonal Cause of Humanity. We need their integrated help, their suggestions, and their interest. Our magazine is not endowed by anybody, caters to no particular faction, section or group of people, has no hard and fast policy from which it cannot depart (except in being traditionally non-political and unsectarian), and depends upon the good will and generosity of those to whom our broad objectives have a strong appeal. As time goes on, we find more and more of such people in the world.

We acknowledge herewith, with sincere gratitude, the following donations to the Promotion Fund received up to May 15th, 1951:
M.T.P. $5.00; A.B.D. $2.00; G.B. $3.00; J.S. $2.00; P.V.C. $10.00; E.L.N. $10.00; T.M. $100.00; F.W.V. $5.00; J.R. $5.00; H.P.T. $1.00; M.J. $3.50; E.E. $5.00; A.A.H. $13.50; M.W. $3.50; G.C.C. $2.00; M.F. $0.50; H.W.D. $50.00; E.V.D. $5.00; A.P.W. $2.00; W.Y.E.W. $8.50; M.T. $5.00; E.W.H. $10.00; N.G. $1.50; P.L.V. $5.00; E.H.P. $1.00; P.K. $0.50; L.C. $0.50; J.H. $5.00; W.W.S. $5.00; G.H.H. $2.00; L.A.V. $5.00. - Editor.


(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.