A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume VIII
No. 6 (48) - March-April 1952

[Cover photo: Hintersee in Ramsau, Germany. (Photo by Eugen Dod.)]


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.



"Religion, as it actually exists, is hindering the development of an all-inclusive spiritual culture which mankind desperately needs ... Religions add sanctity to our cultural divisions, until some students, seeing the crying need for an all-embracing culture, say it cannot come until religion has been so far eradicated as to be impotent ... To have religion go on as one of the most divisive and alienating forces on earth, as it now is, so that religious prejudice and racial prejudice are commonly and correctly paired as major curses of mankind, will never do. 'New occasions teach new duties', and our new era urgently calls for a kind of religion which will make for unity, mutual understanding and brotherhood." - Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick in an article on "Tomorrow's Religion", in United Nations World, December, 1951.

"... Mme. Blavatsky always spoke of the Theosophical Movement as being, as it were, a wave of force, set in motion by Masters, the Elder Brothers of humanity, and destined to bring spiritual life to the hearts of men. The Theosophical Movement has many expressions. Of these, the Theosophical Society is one. If I were asked what the Theosophical Society is, I should be inclined to say that, for me, it stands for a state of mind, or rather an attitude of the heart. That attitude is essentially this: To put my own interest as secondary and the interest of my friend as primary; to be more willing to hear than to speak; to endeavor always to see the truth in my neighbor's heart, rather than to seek to impose my own view of truth. Instead of antagonism, the Theosophical Society should bring unity of heart ..." - Charles Johnston, in an address at the Convention of the Theosophical Society in America, April, 1907. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

The true measure of a man's worth in the world of the occult is the depth of his consciousness, wherein resides his soul-force. Compared with this world of inner awareness, all of his mental, intellectual, psychological and emotional qualities are only of a secondary value, though they are an integral portion of the total man.

In the abyssmal depths of his intrinsic soul-life is hidden the character of the man, his own fundamental key-note of being, and the outward psychological and mental framework often serves as a mere dissimulation of this basic nature, either consciously so or not. Therefore, all quick appraisal of a man by means of his outer mental and emotional coverings is inadequate and usually false.

From the standpoint of the outer world of sensuous life, man's worth and value may well be determined on the basis of his outward achievements, his mental outlook, his relations with others, and the "mark" that he has made in the world of man-made forms and structures. But none of these bases are of the slightest worth from the standpoint of the soul, and do not necessarily reflect the qualities of inner consciousness nor the true nature of the character. The evidence of this lies in those many and unfortunate cases when men and women of considerable worldly achievement suddenly are found to be the victims of sordid emotions, or the perpetrators of heinous crimes, completely upsetting the pattern of their worldly life.

When the student of the Ancient Wisdom begins to take his studies in dead earnest, and penetrates somewhat closer to the realm of inner and spiritual realities within himself, his true character begins to come out, under the impelling force of his own challenge. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, this inner character stands in direct and often startling contradiction to his outer life. He may show himself incomparably better than he was before, but he can also prove to be incomparably worse and weaker than his outer life seemed to suggest.

As the student deepens his understanding of life, as he uncovers within himself undreamt potentialities for both good and evil, and as he becomes aware, in a progressive manner, of the hidden forces at play within other human beings, the intellectual and emotional conflict within himself is intensified. Often he appears to others as a bundle of contradictions, and is perhaps severely criticized for indecision, negativity, and lack of stamina, as well as inconsistency and instability. Needless to say, this is done by those who as yet have had no definite encounter with the problem of the inner conflict, and are unaware of the condition arising from it. Their time will come.

It is only the man of the world, the denizen of the sensuous sphere of life, who has at times immense self-assurance, specific and seemingly unshakable knowledge, and a complete reliance on the known and well-tried laws of life. He goes ahead with seeming surety, and gathers added laurels to his crown of achievements - the conquest of illusions which appear to be realities.

The man of the inner life, the denizen of the sphere of the spirit, is far less self-assured. He has found out that back of the world of the senses there spreads a vast ocean of life wherein the best-known mariner is but a beginner, and where the well-tried laws of life do not always apply. Therefore, he grows in humility, in patience, in self-dedication; he asks for light and obtains; he searches for knowledge and receives; he is ready to be taught by those who know, and therefore he becomes able to teach others. [4]


"Let Every Man Prove his own Work"
H.P. Blavatsky

[This profound analysis of a most important psychological problem was originally published in Lucifer, London, Vol. 1, No. 3, November, 1887, pp. 161-69. The changing scene, both in the world at large and within the organized Theosophical Movement, has not altered in the least the validity of H.P.B.'s arguments, as the principles of thought and conduct which are promulgated in this Editorial are of universal application and pertain to some of the most profound traits of character in present-day mankind. We trust that our readers will give this essay the close attention which it deserves. - Editor]

Such is the title of a letter received by the Editors of Lucifer. It is of so serious a nature that it seems well to make it the subject of this month's editorial. Considering the truths uttered in its few lines, its importance and the bearing it has upon the much obscured subject of Theosophy, and its visible agent or vehicle - the Society of that name - the letter is certainly worthy of the most considerate answer.

"Fiat justitia, ruat coelum!"

Justice will be done to both sides in the dispute; namely, Theosophists and the members of the Theosophical Society* (* Not all the members of the Theosophical Society are Theosophists; nor are the members of the so-called Christian Churches all Christians, by any means. True Theosophists, as true Christians, are very, very few; and there are practical Theosophists in the fold of Christianity, as there are practical Christians in the Theosophical Society, outside all ritualistic Christianity. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew, vii. 21.) "Believe not in ME, but in the truths I utter." (Buddha's Aphorisms.)) on the one hand, and the followers of the Divine Word (or Christos), and the so-called Christians, on the other.

We reproduce the letter:

"To the Editors of Lucifer,

"What a grand chance is now open in this country, to the exponents of a noble and advanced religion (if such this Theosophy be** (** "This" Theosophy is not a religion, but rather the RELIGION - if one. So far, we prefer to call it a philosophy; one, moreover, which contains every religion, as it is the essence and the foundation of all. Rule III. of the Theos. Body says: "The Society represents no particular religious creed, is entirely unsectarian, and includes professors of all faiths.")) for proving its strength, righteousness and verity to the Western world, by throwing a penetrating and illuminating ray of its declared light upon the terribly harrowing and perplexing practical problems of our age.

"Surely one of the purest and least self-incrusted duties of man, is to alleviate the sufferings of his fellow man?

"From what I read, and from what I daily come into immediate contact with, I can hardly think it would be possible to over-rate in contemplation, the intense privation and agonizing suffering that is - aye, say it - at this moment being endured by a vast proportion of our brothers and sisters, arising in a large measure from their not absolutely having the means for procuring the bare necessaries of existence?

"Surely a high and Heaven-born religion - a religion professing to receive its advanced knowledge and Light from 'those more learned in the Science of Life,' should be able to tell us something of how to deal with such life, in its primitive condition of helpless submission to the surrounding circumstances of - civilization!

"If one of our main duties is that of exercising disinterested love towards the Brotherhood, surely 'those more learned' ones, whether in the flesh, or out of it, can and will, if appealed to by their votaries, aid them in discovering ways and means for such an end, and in organizing some great fraternal scheme for dealing rightly with questions which are so appalling in their complexity, and which must and do press with such irresistible force upon all those who are earnest in their endeavors to carry out the will of Christ in a Christian Land?

"October 25, 1887."
- L. F. Fr. [5]


This honest-spoken and sincere letter contains two statements; an implied accusation against "Theosophy" (i.e. the Society of that name), and a virtual admission that Christianity - or, again, rather its ritualistic and dogmatic religions - deserve the same and even a sterner rebuke. For if "Theosophy", represented by its professors, merits on external appearance the reproach that so far it has failed to transfer divine wisdom from the region of the metaphysical into that of practical work, "Christianity," that is, merely professing Christians, churchmen and laymen lie under a like accusation, evidently. "Theosophy" has, certainly, failed to discover infallible ways and means of bringing all its votaries to exercise "disinterested love" in their Brotherhood; it has not yet been able to relieve suffering in mankind at large; but neither has Christianity. And not even the writer of the above letter, nor any one else, can show sufficient excuse for the Christians in this respect. Thus the admission that "those who are earnest in their endeavors to carry out the will of Christ in a Christian land" need the help of "'those more learned ones,'" whether [pagan adepts] in the flesh, or [spirits?] out of it," is very suggestive, for it contains the defence and the raison d'etre of the Theosophical Society. Tacit though it is, once that it comes from the pen of a sincere Christian, one who longs to learn some practical means to relieve the sufferings of the starving multitudes - this admission becomes the greatest and most complete justification for the existence of the Theosophical Brotherhood; a full confession of the absolute necessity for such a body independent of, and untrammeled by, any enchaining dogmas, and it points out at the same time the signal failure of Christianity to accomplish the desired results.

Truly said Coleridge that "good works may exist without saving(?) principles, therefore cannot contain in themselves the principles of salvation; but saving principles never did, never can exist without good works." Theosophists admit the definition, and disagree with the Christians only as to the nature of these ''saving principles." The Church (or churches) maintain that the only saving principle is belief in Jesus, or the carnalized Christ of the soul-killing dogma; theosophy, undogmatic and unsectarian, answers, it is not so. The only saving principle dwells in man himself, and has never dwelt outside of his immortal divine self; i.e. it is the true Christos, as it is the true Buddha, the divine inward light which proceeds from the eternal unmanifesting unknown ALL. And this light can only be made known by its works - faith in it having to remain ever blind in all, save in the man himself who feels that light within his soul.

Therefore, the tacit admission of the author of the above letter covers another point of great importance. The writer seems to have felt that which many, among those who strive to help the suffering, have felt and expressed. The creeds of the churches fail to supply the intellectual light, and the true wisdom which are needed to make the practical philanthropy carried out, by the true and earnest followers of Christ, a reality. The "practical" people either go on "doing good" unintelligently, and thus often do harm instead; or, appalled by the awful problem before them, and failing to find in their "churches" any clue, or a hope of solution, they retire from the battle field and let themselves be drifted blindly by the current in which they happen to be born.

Of late it has become the fashion for friends, as well as for foes, to reproach the Theosophical Society with doing no practical work, but losing itself in the clouds of metaphysics. Metaphysicians, we are told, by those who like to repeat stale arguments, have been learning their lesson for the last few thousand years; and it is now high time that they should begin to do some practical work. Agreed; but considering that the Christian churches count nearly nineteen centuries of existence, and that the Theosophical Society and Brotherhood is a body hardly twelve years old; considering again that the Christian churches roll in fabulous wealth, and number their adherents by hundreds of millions, whereas the [6] Theosophical Brotherhood is but a few thousand strong, and that it has no fund, or funds, at its disposal, but that 98 per cent of its members are as poor and as uninfluential as the aristocracy of the Christian church is rich and powerful; taking all this into consideration, there would be much to say if the theosophists would only choose to press the matter upon the public notice. Meanwhile, as the bitterest critics of the "leaders" of the Theosophical Society are by no means only outsiders, but as there are members of that society who always find a pretext to be dissatisfied, we ask: Can works of charity that will be known among men be accomplished without money? Certainly not. And yet, notwithstanding all this, none of its (European) members, except a few devoted officers in charge of societies, will do practical work; but some of them, those especially who have never lifted a finger to relieve suffering, and help their outside, poorer brothers, are those who talk the most loudly, and are the bitterest in their denunciations of the unspirituality and the unfitness of the "leaders of theosophy." By this they remove themselves into the outer ring of critics, like those spectators at the play who laugh at an actor passably representing Hamlet, while they themselves could not walk on to the stage with a letter on a salver. While in India, comparatively poor theosophists have opened gratuitous dispensaries for the sick, hospitals, schools, and everything they could think of, asking no returns from the poor, as the missionaries do, no abandonment of one's forefathers' religion, as a heavy price for favors received, have the English theosophists, as a rule, done a single thing for those suffering multitudes, whose pitiful cry rings throughout the whole Heavens as a protest against the actual state of things in Christendom?

We take this opportunity of saying, in reply to others as much as to our correspondent, that, up till now, the energies of the Society have been chiefly occupied in organizing, extending, and solidifying the Society itself, which work has taxed its time, energies, and resources to such an extent as to leave it far less powerful for practical charity than we would have wished. But, even so, compared with the influence and the funds at the disposal of the Society, its work in practical charity, if less widely known, will certainly bear favorable comparison with that of professing Christians, with their enormous resources in money, workers, and opportunities of all kinds. It must not be forgotten that practical charity is not one of the declared objects of the Society. It goes without saying, and needs no "declaration," that every member of the Society must be practically philanthropic if he be a theosophist at all; and our declared work is, in reality, more important and more efficacious than work in the every-day plane which bears more evident and immediate fruit, for the direct effect of an appreciation of theosophy, is to make those charitable who were not so before. Theosophy creates the charity which afterwards, and of its own accord, makes itself manifest in works.

Theosophy is correctly - though in this particular case, it is rather ironically - termed "a highly and Heaven-born religion." It is argued that since it professes "to receive its advanced knowledge and light from 'those more learned in the Science of Life,' the latter ought and must, "if appealed to by their votaries [the theosophists], aid them in discovering ways and means ... in organizing some great fraternal scheme," etc.

The scheme was planned, and the rules and laws to guide such a practical brotherhood, have been given by those "more learned in the Science of [practical, daily, altruistic] life"; aye, verily "more learned" in it than any other men since the days of Gautama Buddha and the Gnostic Essenes. The "scheme" dates back to the year when the Theosophical Society was founded. Let anyone read its wise and noble laws embodied to this day in the Statutes of the Fraternity, and judge for himself whether, if carried out rigorously and applied to practical life, the "scheme" would not have proved the most beneficent to mankind in general, and especially [7] to our poorer brethren, of "starving multitudes." Theosophy teaches the spirit of "non-separateness," the evanescence and illusion of human creeds and dogma, hence, inculcates universal love and charity for all mankind "without distinction of race, color, caste or creed", is it not therefore the fittest to alleviate the sufferings of mankind? No true theosophist would refuse admission into a hospital, or any charitable establishment, to any man, woman or child, under the pretext that he is not a theosophist, as a Roman Catholic would when dealing with a Protestant, and vice versa. No true theosophist of the original rules would fail to put into practice the parable of the "Good Samaritan," or proffer help only to entice the unwary who, he hopes, will become a pervert from his god and the gods of his forefathers. None would slander his brother, none let a needy man go unhelped, none offer fine talk instead of practical love and charity.

Is it then the fault of Theosophy, any more than it is the fault of the Christ-teachings, if the majority of the members of the Theosophical Society, often changing their philosophical and religious views upon entering our Body, have yet remained practically the same as they were when professing lip Christianity? Our laws and rules are the same as given to us from the beginning; it is the general members of the Society who have allowed them to become virtually obsolete. Those few who are ever ready to sacrifice their time and labour to work for the poor, and who do, unrecognized and unthanked for it, good work wherever they can, are often too poor themselves to put their larger schemes of charity into objective practical form, however willing they may be.

"The fault I find with the Theosophical Society," said one of the most eminent surgeons in London to one of the editors, quite recently, "is that I cannot discover that any of its members really lead the Christ-life." This seemed a very serious accusation from a man who is not only in the front rank of his profession, and valued for his kindly nature, by his patients, and by society, and well-known as a quiet doer of many good deeds. The only possible answer to be made was that the Christ-life is undeniably the ideal of every one worthy in any sense of the name of a Theosophist, and that if it is not lived it is because there are none strong enough to carry it out. Only a few days later the same complaint was put in a more graphic form by a celebrated lady-artist.

"You Theosophists don't do enough good for me," she said pithily. And in her case also there is the right to speak, given by the fact that she leads two lives - one, a butterfly existence in society, and the other a serious one, which makes little noise, but has much purpose. Those who regard life as a great vocation, like the two critics of the Theosophical movement whom we have just quoted, have a right to demand of such a movement more than mere words. They themselves endeavor very quietly to lead the "Christ-life," and they cannot understand a number of people uniting in the effort towards this life without practical results being apparent. Another critic of the same character who has the best possible right to criticize, being a thoroughly practical philanthropist and charitable to the last degree, has said of the Theosophists that their much talking and writing seems to resolve itself into mere intellectual luxury, productive of no direct good to the world.

The point of difference between the Theosophists (when we use this term we mean, not members of the Society, but people who are really using the organization as a method of learning more of the true wisdom-religion which exists as a vital and eternal fact behind all such efforts) and the practical philanthropists, religious or secular, is a very serious one, and the answer, that probably none of them are strong enough yet to lead the "Christ-life," is only a portion of the truth. The situation can be put very plainly, in so many words. The religious philanthropist holds a position of his own, which cannot in any way concern or affect the Theosophist. He does not do good merely for the sake of doing good, [8] but also as a means towards his own salvation. This is the outcome of the selfish and personal side of man's nature, which has so coloured and affected a grand religion that its devotees are little better than the idol-worshipers who ask their deity of clay to bring them luck in business, and the payment of debts. The religious philanthropist who hopes to gain salvation by good works has simply, to quote a well-known yet ever fresh witticism, exchanged worldliness for other-worldliness.

The secular philanthropist is really at heart a socialist, and nothing else; he hopes to make men happy and good by bettering their physical position. No serious student of human nature can believe in this theory for a moment. There is no doubt that it is a very agreeable one, because if it is accepted there is immediate, straightforward work to undertake. "The poor ye have always with you." The causation which produced human nature itself produced poverty, misery, pain, degradation, at the same time that it produced wealth, and comfort, and joy and glory. Life-long philanthropists, who have started on their work with a joyous youthful conviction that it is possible to "do good," have, though never relaxing the habit of charity, confessed to the present writer that, as a matter of fact, misery cannot be relieved. It is a vital element in human nature, and is as necessary to some lives as pleasure is to others.

It is a strange thing to observe how practical philanthropists will eventually, after long and bitter experience, arrive at a conclusion which, to an occultist, is from the first a working hypothesis. This is, that misery is not only endurable, but agreeable to many who endure it. A noble woman, whose life has been given to the rescue of the lowest class of wretched girls, those who seem to be driven to vice by want, said, only a few days since, that with many of these outcasts it is not possible to raise them to any apparently happier lot. And this she distinctly stated (and she can speak with authority, having spent her life literally among them, and studied them thoroughly), is not so much from any love of vice, but from love of that very state which the wealthy classes call misery. They prefer the savage life of a bare-foot, half-clad creature, with no roof at night and no food by day, to any comforts which can be offered them. By comforts, we do not mean the workhouse or the reformatory, but the comforts of a quiet home; and we can give chapter and verse, so to speak, to show that this is the case, not merely with the children of outcasts, who might be supposed to have a savage heredity, but with the children of gentle, cultivated, and Christian people.

Our great towns hide in their slums thousands of beings whose history would form an inexplicable enigma, a perfectly baffling moral picture, could they be written out clearly, so as to be intelligible. But they are only known to the devoted workers among the outcast classes, to whom they become a sad and terrible puzzle, not to be solved, and therefore, better not discussed. Those who have no clue to the science of life are compelled to dismiss such difficulties in this manner, otherwise they would fall, crushed beneath the thought of them. The social question as it is called, the great deep waters of misery, the deadly apathy of those who have power and possessions - these things are hardly to be faced by a generous soul who has not reached to the great idea of evolution, and who has not guessed at the marvelous mystery of human development.

The Theosophist is placed in a different position from any of these persons, because he has heard of the vast scope of life with which all mystic and occult writers and teachers deal, and he has been brought very near to the great mystery. Indeed, none, though they may have enrolled themselves as Fellows of the Society, can be called in any serious sense Theosophists, until they have begun to consciously taste in their own persons, this same mystery; which is, indeed, a law inexorable, by which man lifts himself by degrees from the state of a beast to the glory of a [9] God. The rapidity with which this is done is different with every living soul; and the wretches who lug the primitive task master, misery, choose to go slowly through a tread-mill course which may give them innumerable lives of physical sensation - whether pleasant or painful, well-beloved because tangible to the very lowest senses. The Theosophist who desires to enter upon occultism takes some of Nature's privileges into his own hands by that very wish, and soon discovers that experiences come to him with double-quick rapidity. His business is then to recognize that he is under a - to him - new and swifter law of development, and to snatch at the lessons that come to him.

But, in recognizing this, he also makes another discovery. He sees that it takes a very wise man to do good works without danger of doing incalculable harm. A highly developed adept in life may grasp the nettle, and by his great intuitive powers, know whom to relieve from pain and whom to leave in the mire that is their best teacher. The poor and wretched themselves will tell anyone who is able to win their confidence what disastrous mistakes are made by those who come from a different class and endeavor to help them. Kindness and gentle treatment will sometimes bring out the worst qualities of a man or woman who has led a fairly presentable life when kept down by pain and despair. May the Master of Mercy forgive us for saying such words of any human creatures, all of whom are a part of ourselves, according to the law of human brotherhood which no disowning of it can destroy. But the words are true. None of us know the darkness which lurks in the depths of our own natures until some strange and unfamiliar experience rouses the whole being into action. So with these others who seem more miserable than ourselves.

As soon as he begins to understand what a friend and teacher pain can be, the Theosophist stands appalled before the mysterious problem of human life, and though he may long to do good works, equally dreads to do them wrongly until he has himself acquired greater power and knowledge. The ignorant doing of good works may be vitally injurious, as all but those who are blind in their love of benevolence are compelled to acknowledge. In this sense the answer made as to lack of Christ-like lives among Theosophists, that there are probably none strong enough to live such, is perfectly correct and covers the whole question. For it is not the spirit of self-sacrifice, or of devotion, or of desire to help that is lacking, but the strength to acquire knowledge and power and intuition, so that the deeds done shall really be worthy of the "Buddha-Christ" spirit. Therefore it is that Theosophists cannot pose as a body of philanthropists, though secretly they may adventure on the path of good works. They profess to be a body of learners merely, pledged to help each other and all the rest of humanity, so far as in them lies, to a better understanding of the mystery of life, and to a better knowledge of the peace which lies beyond it.

But as it is an inexorable law, that the ground must be tilled if the harvest is to be reaped, so Theosophists are obliged to work in the world unceasingly, and very often in doing this to make serious mistakes, as do all workers who are not embodied Redeemers. Their efforts may not come under the title of good works, and they may be condemned as a school of idle talkers, yet they are an outcome and fruition of this particular moment of time, when the ideas which they hold are greeted by the crowd with interest; and therefore their work is good, as the lotus-flower is good when it opens in the mid-day sun.

None know more keenly and definitely than they that good works are necessary; only these cannot be rightly accomplished without knowledge. Schemes for Universal Brotherhood, and the redemption of mankind, might be given out plentifully by the great adepts of life, and would be mere dead-letter utterances while individuals remain ignorant, and unable to grasp the great meaning of [10] their teachers. To Theosophists we say, let us carry out the rules given us for our society before we ask for any further schemes or laws. To the public and our critics we say, try to understand the value of good works before you demand them of others, or enter upon them rashly yourselves. Yet it is an absolute fact that without good works the spirit of brotherhood would die in the world; and this can never be. Therefore is the double activity of learning and doing most necessary; we have to do good, and we have to do it rightly, with knowledge.

It is well known that the first rule of the society is to carry out the object of forming the nucleus of a universal brotherhood. The practical working of this rule was explained by those who laid it down, to the following effect:



Harold W. Dempster

There are as many different degrees of awareness as there are human beings, and we could say that the varying degrees of awareness apply to, and take in, all of the Conscious Entities throughout tile entire Universe. We see at once, therefore, that the principle of relativity applies to the subject of awareness as it does to everything else.

Everyone with normal faculties is aware of the same things having to do with pictures of objects or impressions received through the five senses. But, even these recordings differ slightly from one individual to another.

That which we intend to deal with here are mainly those states or conditions which have their seat in the inner part of man's consciousness, to wit his Soul or Spirit qualities. By this, we do not mean to infer that we can or should disregard the five senses through which man receives so many of his impressions while living in a physical body.

It should be understood, however, that it is the astral senses, which are the inner counterpart of the physical ones, that receive the vibrations of the grosser physical world and transmit these to the brain and man's thinking principle. As a result of all this, and the reaction that comes from the emotions, the mind - higher and lower - and the Soul, which is his Reincarnating Ego, man, as he awakens, becomes increasingly aware of both the inner and outer worlds in which "he lives and moves and has his being."

In the evolutionary development of man as a Soul or a Reincarnating Ego, and with the increasing degree of predominance of his Soul over his lower tendencies, he becomes more and more aware of the fact that he is in touch with a Higher part within himself which is often called the Intuitive principle. It knows much that the lower principles of man would not be expected to know, nor the Soul of man be aware of, at its present stage of development.

But, as man awakens from the nightmare that there is nothing but a physical world, he begins the great adventure of exploring and finding many new truths, that he did not dream of before. In a very natural way, he is being born into a new world with a much wider concept, and a brighter light begins to shine across the horizon of his mind. He now finds himself becoming more [11] and more aware of the facts of Nature, which gives birth to a sound philosophy of life.

The basis upon which he builds his philosophy is formed of those solid principles of law or truth that are embodied in the very structure of the Universe, such as: that life is eternal, but manifestations of life are periodic; that justice ever prevails in the long run, however often the circumstances of life may appear otherwise; that all things throughout the Cosmos reimbody periodically and that growth of consciousness results from an endless evolutionary process; that the law of cause and effect is everywhere operative and is most important as a factor in man's moral development; that everything in the Universe is related to everything else, which gives rise to the logical and intuitive concept that Universal Brotherhood is a fact and not a theory; that the heart of Being is Wise and Compassionate as expressed in the phrase that "Mother Nature knows best" and that man eventually learns to work with Nature, as his own degree of wisdom increases and expresses itself for the general good; that the Ultimate first cause is unknown and unknowable, but the infinite search to find that great Mystery is the urge that pushes man forward, and enables him to derive ever greater degrees of understanding.

There are many other factors that each one finds, as he becomes more and more aware of the Truths of Life. And as his degree of awareness increases, he finds himself less willing to judge his fellows, and more desirous of becoming of some service to the world, however small this may appear to be. He finds a new type of sympathy beginning to evidence itself for the ignorance and sufferings of others. He becomes better able to discriminate between the true and the false. He is aware that knowledge is a responsibility and that the more he knows, the more humble he should become He yearns to know more and to realize more, in order that first hand knowledge of truth may become a strengthening influence in assisting others to know for themselves. He knows that there are "proofs" or "evidences" to be found, but that each must find his own, and that man could not evolve and grow without the aid, assistance and influence of the Great Sages and Seers past and present. Man has within himself all that the Universe has within it; but it will take man aeons and aeons of time to bring it forth into active manifestation.

All of this should enable us to realize clearly that man and the Universe itself are in a state of ever becoming, and that at some time in the distant future man shall shine forth as our Solar orb shines today, or even as a Galaxy of Stars. There are no absolutes, no limits in Time and Space. What a picture! What a philosophy!

Is it sound? Is it true? Disprove it, if you can. Take it or leave it, as you wish. It is not a dogma. It is not a creed. No one should accept anything that is not logical, nor intuitively clear. Test it. Doubt it, if you like. Question it. Develop something better, if you can. Contrast it with what you have been taught, and that you did not believe. Compare it with other philosophies of our day, religious or scientific. Observe the world of today. How did it get that way? How will it be changed for the better? How long will it take for man to become aware of his Spiritual heritage ... an awareness of the Ancient Wisdom?

How long did it take you? Be patient with your brothers.

Be aware of ever greater opportunities before you unselfishly to assist in expanding the consciousness of the Race and in making it more aware of the Eternal Verities. [12]


John Roberts

The recognition of pure Theosophy - the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and not the tenets - is of the most vital importance in the [Theosophical] Society, inasmuch as it alone can furnish the beacon-light needed to guide humanity on its true path. - H.P.B. in her First Message to American Theosophists, 1888.

At first glance, it may seem that nothing could be simpler or more plainly stated than is the aim of the Theosophical Movement in the words of H.P. Blavatsky, addressed to a convention of American theosophists in one of the climacteric years of the nineteenth-century effort: the year of The Secret Doctrine, and the year when the Esoteric Section would be announced. How is it, then, that the Movement today has become such a complex disunity? Why is it that almost none of the simple, plain directions of the Teacher are being consistently followed in the various "branches" of the Movement - let alone the fact that the very existence of rival societies is contrary to the First Object!

Even to define "pure Theosophy" is to start an internecine war among so-called theosophists, although to fight about pure Theosophy is manifestly absurd: as well expect Einstein to propose a duel because an amateur mathematician scoffed at the Relativity Theory! What, then, is the war about? Why, about impure "theosophys," and waged by those who desire to plant themselves in the ground that has been cleared in the name of H.P.B. and the Masters.

It is not significant that various and distinct interpretations of Theosophy are expounded in theosophical circles. Nor is it surprising that some interpretations are useful, inspiring, and honest, while others are degrading, deceitful, and morally infectious. The Theosophical Movement continues nevertheless, except when free speech and a healthy divergence of opinion are interfered with as a policy. To curtail the free expression of opinion and conviction among theosophical students is to encourage "spiritual" dictatorship; to preach Unity, while assiduously practicing the technique of "divide-and-rule," is hypocritical; and to celebrate "independent devotion" after all original thinkers and creative workers have been ejected from an organization, is sheer jesuitry. Such policies can only lead to the complete annihilation, as a theosophic center, of the group or clique which chooses to run thus counter to the real Theosophical Movement.

Regardless of individual differences, theosophists are expected to work whole-heartedly for Theosophy, and neither for, nor against, any person or persons whatsoever. It is true that the student usually identifies himself with certain associates, and naturally takes direction from those whose judgment and ability he respects - thus avoiding the pitfalls of heedlessly trying to "go it alone." Yet a fine line has to be drawn: each of us must be our own final authority in all matters of conscience and decision. Making choices is a difficult, worrisome, and sometimes heart-breaking task, and the weakling, the "coward soul," can easily find fancy excuses for shirking the job. But if he does, he misses priceless opportunities to form his own conclusions, act upon his own understanding, stand by his convictions - and take the consequences of his own mistakes. Conscientious self-reliance is not all "sweetness and light"; it will necessarily involve, from time to time, definite disagreement with fellow-workers as to methods. But ideally speaking - and where soul integrity is the paramount consideration - [13] disagreement need not imply disagreeableness.

Is this the picture today? Or is the theosophical world a busy little (very little) arena, in which still smaller areas are given over to picayune skirmishings, and where so much dust is stirred up that the audience can see nothing clearly? When theosophists devote time, energy, and ingenuity to personal squabbles, what do they expect Theosophy to mean to the world "outside"? Is there some magic way by which jealous hearts, ambitious egotists, and warped minds can nevertheless reflect Truth?

H.P.B.'s definition of pure Theosophy is "the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and not the tenets." How is this understood today? Do theosophists honor and encourage every man's attempt to philosophize from the theosophic basis, or do they tend to focus on a few Rational Explainers who supposedly use Theosophy properly? Very cautious are such "protectors" of the tender shoots of Theosophy, very particular about the words used in conveying Theosophy, very much concerned about the education, appearance, habits, and personality of those who are permitted to speak and write Theosophy. Does the Wisdom-Religion, which has existed and survived throughout innumerable cycles of civilization, depend, then, upon the flimsy foundation of names, forms, and appearances?

Not so thought H.P.B., whose outright statement in the First Message is: "The multiplication of local centres should be a foremost consideration in your minds, and each man should strive to be a centre of work in himself." What can this mean, but that H.P.B. brought Theosophy for every man, woman, and child in the country and in the world, and that she hoped to see the great ideas adopted, used, and expressed by all kinds of minds, in all walks of life, from all points of view, and everywhere! What seems to have escaped the notice of "organizational" theosophists is that "multiplication" is the opposite of centralization. No man who reads H.P. Blavatsky's words with a welcoming heart is incapable of spreading Theosophy, in his own way, to those whom he meets in daily life. No man touched by a vision of the Theosophical Movement is unable to forward that Movement, to some degree.

In the light of H.P.B.'s convention messages, therefore, much theosophical work in our time must be termed anti-Theosophy. The question is, what is to be done about it?

Introducing the Esoteric Section in her second message, H.P.B. described it as a group "whose members are pledged, among other things, to work for Theosophy under my direction." It may be that these words have a significance imperfectly fathomed by present theosophical societies. Are we to think that the Esoteric Section began in 1888, that it ended in 1891, or that it exists no longer? Shall we search for it in a place, a person, or in one special "splinter" of the Movement? Or shall we ask, simply, if we have pledged ourselves to work for Theosophy under H.P.B.'s direction? If we have, is she not aware of the fact? Let us recall what a Mahatma wrote to A.P. Sinnett in 1882: "Your strivings, perplexities and forebodings are equally noticed, good and faithful friend. In the imperishable RECORD of the Masters you have written them all." (Mahatma Letters, p. 266.) If this is so, what more do we need in the way of a go-ahead signal? What prevents us from forging our own path of theosophical promulgation?

In the Theosophical Movement, as in evolution itself, the soul's position is neither a gift nor a privilege; it can neither be conferred nor taken away; neither bought, nor sold, nor transferred; it is what it is, as a result of self-induced and self-devised exertions. Let each theosophist be a center; let each center expand and multiply; and as the multiplication proceeds, each nucleus will realize, more and more, the meaning of universal Brotherhood. [14]


Anne Lloyd

In the first place, we might ask, why do we think that a problem is personal, and what is that magic process which brings us to a point where it no longer seems personal? Ask a man if he has solved his problem of yesterday and he will often innocently inquire, "What problem? ... Oh! that!" - and both you and he together will see how foolish, or trifling, it seems in the light of today. In this case we might say that Time erased the cares of yesterday, and we, engrossed in today's happiness, are no longer concerned with past puzzles. Perhaps this is also Great Nature's way of helping us to go ahead with the task of each moment.

Yet there is a Universal problem involved, even in this tendency of flitting with life's moods, which in reality is common to all men, for it deals with that transitory illusive area of mental focus which is our present field of conflicts. In spite of man's need to meet each moment without regrets of the past, he needs time for reflection with the guidance of Universal Conscience, if he is to go ahead without bolting, like a young colt, from one pitfall into another. True, as the colt bounds forward again, the sun is shining on the meadows - as it always was. But man, with that mysterious power called faith, can know that the sun is shining even when the darkness of the pit seems overwhelming. If faith is cultivated in the light of principles, he will begin to know where the pitfalls are - not only in his own "personal" problems, but in those of his family, of his friends, and of nations. He will begin to view human life with a true sympathy, as he appreciates the struggles of men, and he will be ready to laugh with them as they begin to admit that this or another problem isn't just "mine."

What is it that keeps us from the self-reflection and calm deliberation that must accompany the gradual unraveling of our "terrible" mix-ups? What is it, apart from the mix-up itself? Perhaps it is that in our willingness to admit that no problem is as serious as we make it, we go to the other extreme by not realizing the seriousness of a problem's universal implications. And these are revealed in the very unraveling of a problem. Step by step, we observe that all of men's trials stem back from the same basic needs and from the multitude of human desires. In questioning their source in the right spirit, we are performing a valuable alchemy upon our common human nature. Krishna helps us realize that "actions are performed by nature only, and that the self within is not the actor."

It is said, "The Lord receives no man's deeds, be they sinful or full of merit." William Q. Judge wrote to a friend that most of our troubles are due to our way of looking at things, and that we should endeavor to change our attitude of mind. If we could realize the uplifting of hope for all men on the inner planes, that results from our new attitudes toward these age-old problems, we would perhaps more willingly take a broader view of them. We actually perform a duty to all life by the higher synthesis of matter, which occurs when we begin to work on the ground of principle. For although the lower nature rebels, and temporarily added difficulties arise, the teachers say it is a sign of real progress. We find it hard to face the loneliness, the yearning for understanding, or the self-pity that arise, yet by persisting in our attempts at right thought and action, we shall find true unity with our fellow men on inner planes, thus achieving the aims in life which these very problems are helping us to recognize. As long as we consider the seriousness of a problem when related to ourselves only - and go to the other extreme of dismissing it as foolish when it has "passed" and no longer disturbs us - we ignore a great responsibility toward our brothers in evolution.

We might say that the principle of [15] brotherhood is our magic. Mr. Judge writes: "The veils that come over souls fall away when we work for others." We have all had friends who have helped us "out" of a problem by showing us that others have had it also, or by focusing our attention on service to others. Or, perhaps, they took one aspect of the problem and - by knowing how we would ourselves regard it in our better moments - directed our attention to a more Universal line in accord with our more brotherly sympathies. Immediately, a new attitude is adopted. Sometimes, months later, we wake up and see that, after all, the principle involved concerns all men, and we are doing real service by facing the difficulty and solving it.

If we regret a problem which has arisen, we not only do injustice to ourselves, but to all others who might benefit from the lesson learned. The truth is, the regret re-creates the need or desire which caused the difficulty in the first place. Although we may smile at today's sweet pleasures, we are carrying a hidden luggage which, under cyclic law, we must sometime lay down.

In the final analysis, how can our trials be personal, when we realize the law by which they arise? We ourselves make them personal by calling them "mine" instead of "ours." It is up to us to change our way of looking at Karma. This may be considered our real problem. Yet even this burden is lightened when we think that "those who have been through all this before" are ready and waiting to help others find the simple and most natural way to living.



Theosophia would welcome receiving from 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. - Editor.

What is the occult interpretation of the words of Jesus when he said that "in my Father's house there are many mansions ...?

This has reference to planes of being and interpenetrating worlds in the structure of the system to which we belong. In ancient symbology such words as house or mountain or city had reference both to the composite structure of the Universe and to that of the human constitution, both being intimately interconnected. In the case under consideration, mansion is but another keyword intended to convey the idea of many spheres of being and evolution through which the embodying ego passes on its way to greater knowledge and light. The reference in the quoted passage seems to be a very general one, and so no specific sphere can be indicated, but it is safe to assume that the Teacher meant both the interpenetrating planes of the Earth Planetary Chain, and the various planes of the solar System in whose constitution we are but infinitesimal cells.

Some students regard the Universe as a manifestation of strict Cause and Effect, and others introduce into it a third element which they call Compassion or Mercy. How can these two views be reconciled?

The answer lies in the realization of the structure of the Universe. The latter is a manifestation of Consciousness. Everything in the Universe is conscious in various degrees. The whole of the Cosmic structure is actually made up of consciousness-centers or units, in various stages of embodied and disembodied life. Consciousness, as such, is indefinable in human words. One of its facets is impersonal, universal love, which is compassion, and could well be termed mercy, if the latter word is kept free of any personal implications or the emotional connotation of mere pity. The higher an entity is in evolution, [16] the greater is the manifestation of its compassion or universal love towards all that is. Strict causation is of course the very fiber of all universal function, but all such function is again but the manifestation of consciousness-centers or units in evolution; therefore, it is impossible to sever causation from universal love or compassion. A world with nothing in it but cause and effect would be a soulless machine, in which neither forgiveness nor love nor sympathy would have any place. It would be a frightful world to live in. Even man-made law, as represented by enlightened judges and administrators, will temper justice with mercy, or plain understanding. How much more in this the case with universal, cosmic agencies, as Cosmic Law! How would you like to be judged here and now by strict causation alone, and be made to repay here and now for all your transgressions past and present, and in full measure?

Compassion or Mercy is not to be viewed as a "third element", because there are no elements or factors at all which could be viewed as the first and second, in the above question. Causation - which is cause and effect woven one within the other - and universal love or compassion, are but different facets or phases of the same incomprehensible Unity of Universal Being, for which no human word exists, and which passes the understanding of finite minds.



The Promotion Fund is working. We have made a good start. A reserve is gradually being built up, and we feel more secure. We have a long way to go yet, and we trust that our friends will keep this Fund in mind, particularly those who have not yet been heard from. The donations that have come in have made it unnecessary for the present to raise the subscription price to $2.00 per annum, which seemed to be unavoidable a while ago. Our sincere thanks go out to all who have helped us. We welcome not only their donations - however small they may be - but also their suggestions and recommendations concerning the magazine. We acknowledge below the following contributions, received up to April 1st, 1952: R.V. $2.06; N.G. $5.50; H.L.S. $0.25; E.K. $0.50; F.A. $0.50; L.E. $0.50; D.L.S. $3.50; M.C. $1.50; M.J. $2.00; M.E. $0.50; G.B. $0.50 R.R. $1.00; N.S. $0.50; H.G. $0.50; A.P.G. $0.50; R.F.H. $3.50; H.S. $1.50; A.D. $1.00; Z.T. $0.50.


(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.