A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume IX
No. 1 (49) - May-June 1952

[Cover photo: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. (Photograph taken approximately between 1875-78.)]


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.

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



"Do you know what it is to resist without resistance?

"That means, among other things, that too great an expenditure of strength, of 'fortitude,' is not wise. If one fights, one is drawn into the swirl of events and thoughts, instead of leaning back on the great ocean of the Self which is never moved. Now you see that. So, lean back and look on at the ebb and flow of life that washes to our feet and away again many things that are not easy to lose or pleasant to welcome. Yet they all belong to Life, to the Self. The wise man has no personal possessions ...

"The plan of quiet passive resistance, or rather, laying under the wind, is good and ought to work in all attacks. Retreat within your own heart and there keep firmly still. Resist without resisting. It is possible and should be attained." - W.Q. Judge

"The fact that we are born in this kind of a place and time shows that that is our karma and it is our duty to make the most of it for if we win to any extent in such difficult circumstances then we have acquired more actual strength than if it had been our fortune to be born in a nation or time which to our short sight seems a better fortune. But it is a mistake for a man to ever suppose that any sort of fortune than the one that is now his is a better one; that which is now ours is the best because it is the only one that by any possibility could be ours, and if we long for any other we commit a grave error and give ourselves trouble in the future, for we set up certain tendencies that MUST at some time be overcome. By working out our duty with a single heart we unconsciously acquire a large degree of concentration ... - Wm. Quan Judge, in a letter dated September 26, 1888. See Practical Occultism., pp. 121-22. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

Crises in human history are a challenge to the Ideals of man. They are a test of our faith in the inherent decency of our fellow-beings. They are a clarion-call to those indwelling spiritual resources of our character which remain most of the time latent beneath the surface of daily routine.

Today we live in a time of worldwide crisis - a crisis of Ideas and Ideals, a renewed conflict between two very old tendencies of the human mind: the one striving forward along the path of progress, enlightenment and adventure into the future, and the other stubbornly clinging to the entrenchments of a moribund past, crystallized, reactionary and stultifying.

Whenever and wherever you see discontent, upheaval and conflict, you may be sure that behind the mere outward form, often ugly and un-inviting, there is stirring a hidden potency of the Soul, trying to manifest by means of some new embodied form, to be fashioned and molded through trials and tribulations, through the pangs of a new birth.

Whenever and wherever you find lethargy, apathy, stagnation, and the distressing symptoms of quietude, somnolence and contentment, you may be sure that you are witnessing the forces of reaction, sloth, spiritual and intellectual darkness and obscurantism at work, nay, temporarily victorious.

The time inevitably must come, however, when the Soul of man, whether individually or collectively as a nation, begins to wake up and to realize its lost freedom, its obscured ideals, its emotional and intellectual frustrations. It stirs uneasily in its slumber, and gradually awakens. Then conflict ensues, and the battle for the possession of the future is entered upon, sometimes slowly and sometimes with a suddenness characteristic of the unpredictable movements of spiritual consciousness. The final outcome is invariably the utter discomfiture of the forces of reaction, the dark powers of matter, the enemies of all progress, enlightenment and truth.

Therefore, it is the part of wisdom that we should welcome the symptoms of inner conflict, and that we should learn to discern them at an early stage and encourage their manifestation. But we should learn also to distinguish between the selfish assertion of our personal desires, arrayed most of the time in conflict against the mandates of the Inner Self, and the imperious demands of the Soul, overriding the lower desires and assuming in due course of time the commanding position of its inherent leadership, in the life of both man and nations.

It is equally necessary for us, as students of the ancient Wisdom-Religion, to understand the symptoms of crisis within the body corporate of the organized Theosophical Movement, and to diagnose its ugly as well as its encouraging and promising characteristics. For the crisis of Ideals and Ideas has been raging there for many years, and is more intense today than ever before. Wherever you find discrimination, ceremonialism, personality-worship, a subservient attitude to the directives of those in power, adoration of books and leaders, and a fear complex towards new ideas, you may be sure that you are witnessing the symptoms of internal decay; and whenever you find men and women ready to embrace new ideas, to try new methods, to rely upon the initiative of their own Souls, to stand upon their own feet, and to recognize no other authority than the voice of their own conscience, free from adulation, free from mental servitude to books or persons alike, imbued with the magnificent precepts of Truth, grateful to their forerunners yet [4] bowing their heads to none - men and women of stable character, unswerving devotion to Truth, unshakable loyalty to Ideals, warm of heart, clear-minded, lucid of vision and sterling of character - you may be sure you are in the company of those who will carry the Movement into the next century and beyond, past the period of crisis, onward and upward to the dis-(?) upon a regenerated Human Race.

For man is in constant search for a greater life, and his freedoms and achievements have to be perennially re-won and re-gained, until, in ages yet to come, they will have become an integral and inseparable part of his character, the insignia majestatis of his past struggles and victories.


H.P. Blavatsky
[Originally published in Lucifer, London, Vol. XIX, No. 109, September, 1896, pp. 9-14, subsequent to H.P.B.'s passing.]

Great is the self-satisfaction of modern science, and unexampled its achievements. Pre-christian and mediaeval philosophers may have left a few landmarks over unexplored mines: but the discovery of all the gold and priceless jewels is due to the patient labors of the modern scholar. And thus they declare that the genuine, real knowledge of the nature of the Kosmos and of man is all of recent growth. The luxuriant modern plant has sprung from the dead weeds of ancient superstitions.

Such, however, is not the view of the students of Theosophy. And they say that it is not sufficient to speak contemptuously of "the untenable conceptions of an uncultivated past," as Mr. Tyndall and others have done, to hide the intellectual quarries out of which the reputations of so many modern philosophers and scientists have been hewn. How many of our distinguished scientists have derived honour and credit by merely dressing up the ideas of those old philosophers, whom they are ever ready to disparage, is left to an impartial posterity to say. But conceit and self -opinionatedness have fastened like two hideous cancers on the brains of the average man of learning; and this is especially the case with the Orientalists - Sanskritists, Egyptologists and Assyriologists. The former are guided (or perhaps only pretend to be guided) by post-Mahabharatian commentators; the latter by arbitrarily interpreted papyri, collated with what this or the other Greek writer said, or passed over in silence, and by the cuneiform inscriptions on half-destroyed clay tablets copied by the Assyrians from "Accado-" Babylonian records. Too many of them are apt to forget, at every convenient opportunity, that the numerous changes in language, the allegorical phraseology and evident secretiveness of old mystic writers, who were generally under the obligation never to divulge the solemn secrets of the sanctuary, might have sadly misled both translators and commentators. Most of our Orientalists will rather allow their conceit to run away with their logic and reasoning powers than admit their ignorance, and they will proudly claim like Professor Sayce* (* See the Hibbert Lectures for 1897, pages 14-17, on the origin and growth of the religion of the ancient Babylonians, where Prof. A.H. Sayce says that though "many of the sacred texts were so written as to be intelligible only to the initiated [italics mine] .... provided with keys and glosses," nevertheless, as many of the latter, he adds, "are in our hands," they (the Orientalists) have "a clue to the interpretation of these documents which even the initiated priests did not possess." (p. 17.) This "clue" is the modern craze, so dear to Mr. Gladstone, and so stale in its monotony to most, which consists in perceiving in every symbol of the religions of old a solar myth, dragged down, whenever opportunity requires, to a sexual or phallic emblem. Hence the statement that while "Gisdhubar was but a champion and conqueror of old times," for the Orientalists, who "can penetrate beneath the myths" he is but a solar hero, who was himself but the transformed descendant of a humbler God of Fire (loc. cit., p. 17.).) that they have unriddled the true meaning of the religious symbols of old, and can interpret esoteric texts far more correctly than could the initiated hierophants of Chaldea and Egypt. This amounts to saying that the ancient hierogrammatists and priests, who [5] written by themselves. But this is on a par with that other illusion of some Sanskritists, who, though they have never even been in India, claim to know Sanskrit accent and pronunciation, as also the meaning of the Vaidic allegories, far better than the most learned among the great Brahmanical pundits and Sanskrit scholars of India.

After this who can wonder that the jargon and blinds of our medieval alchemists and Kabalists are also read literally by the modern student; that the Greek and even the ideas of AEschylus are corrected and improved upon by the Cambridge and Oxford Greek Scholars, and that the veiled parables of Plato are attributed to his "ignorance." Yet, if the students of the dead languages know anything, they ought to know that the method of extreme necessitarianism was practiced in ancient as well as in modern philosophy; that from the first ages of man, the fundamental truths of all that we are permitted to know on earth were in the safe keeping of the Adepts of the sanctuary; that the difference in creeds and religious practice was only external; and that those guardians of the primitive divine revelation, who had solved every problem that is within the grasp of human intellect, were bound together by a universal freemasonry of science and philosophy, which formed one unbroken chain around the globe. It is for philology and the Orientalists to endeavour to find the end of the thread. But if they will persist in seeking it in one direction only, and that the wrong one, truth and fact will never be discovered. It thus remains the duty of psychology and Theosophy to help the world to arrive at them. Study the Eastern religions by the light of Eastern - not Western- philosophy, and if you happen to relax correctly one single loop of the old religious systems, the chain of mystery may be disentangled. But to achieve this, one must not agree with those who teach that it is unphilosophical to enquire into first causes, and that all that we can do is to consider their physical effects. The field of scientific investigation is bounded by physical nature on every side; hence, once the limits of matter are reached, enquiry must stop and work be recommenced. As the Theosophist has no desire to play at being a squirrel upon its revolving wheel, he must refuse to follow the lead of the materialists. He, at any rate, knows that the revolutions of the physical world are, according to the ancient doctrine, attended by like revolutions in the world of intellect, for the spiritual evolution in the universe proceeds in cycles, like the physical one. Do we not see in history a regular alternation of ebb and flow in the tide of human progress? Do we not see in history, and even find this within our own experience, that the great kingdoms of the world, after reaching the culmination of their greatness, descend again, in accordance with the same law by which they ascended? till, having reached the lowest point, humanity reasserts itself and mounts up once more, the height of its attainment being, by this law of ascending progression by cycles, somewhat higher than the point from which it had before descended. Kingdoms and empires are under the same cyclic laws as planets, races, and everything else in Kosmos.

The division of the history of mankind into what the Hindus call the Satya, Treta, Dvipara and Kali Yugas, and what the Greeks referred to as "the Golden, Silver, Copper, and Iron Ages" is not a fiction. We see the same [6] thing in the literature of peoples. An age of great inspiration and unconscious productiveness is invariably followed by an age of criticism and consciousness. The one affords material for the analyzing and critical intellect of the other. The moment is more opportune than ever for the review of old philosophies. Archaeologists, philologists, astronomers, chemists and physicists are getting nearer and nearer to the point where they will be forced to consider them. Physical science has already reached its limits of exploration; dogmatic theology sees the springs of its inspiration dry. The day is approaching when the world will receive the proofs that only ancient religions were in harmony with nature, and ancient science embraced all that can be known. Once more the prophecy already made in Isis Unveiled twenty-two years ago is reiterated. "Secrets long kept may be revealed; books long forgotten and arts long time lost may be brought out to light again; papyri and parchments of inestimable importance will turn up in the hands of men who pretend to have unrolled them from mummies, or stumbled upon them in buried crypts; tablets and pillars, whose sculptured revelations will stagger theologians and confound scientists, may yet be excavated and interpreted. Who knows the possibilities of the future? An era of disenchantment and rebuilding will soon begin - nay, has already begun. The cycle has almost run its course; a new one is about to begin, and the future pages of history may contain full evidence, and convey full proof of the above."

Since the day that this was written much of it has come to pass, the discovery of the Assyrian clay tiles and their records alone having forced the interpreters of the cuneiform inscriptions - both Christians and Freethinkers - to alter the very age of the world.* (* Sargon, the first "Semitic" monarch of Babylonia, the prototype and original of Moses, is now placed 3,750 years B.C. (p. 21.), and the Third Dynasty of Egypt "some 6,000 years ago," hence some years before the world was created, agreeably to Biblical choronology. (Vide Hibbert Lectures on Babylonia, by A. H. Sayce, 1887, pp. 21 and 33.))

The chronology of the Hindu Puranas, reproduced in The Secret Doctrine, is now derided, but the time may come when it will be universally accepted. This may be regarded as simply an assumption, but it will be so only for the present. It is in truth but a question of time. The whole issue of the quarrel between the defenders of ancient wisdom and its detractors - lay and clerical - rests (a) on the incorrect comprehension of the old philosophers, for the lack of the keys the Assyriologists boast of having discovered; and (b) on the materialistic and anthropomorphic tendencies of the age. This in no wise prevents the Darwinists and materialistic philosophers from digging into the intellectual mines of the ancients and helping themselves to the wealth of ideas they find in them; nor the divines from discovering Christian dogmas in Plato's philosophy and calling them "presentiments," as in Dr. Lundy's Monumental Christianity, and other like modern works.

Of such "presentiments" the whole literature - or what remains of this sacerdotal literature - of India, Egypt, Chaldea, Persia, Greece and even of Guatamala (Pupul Vuh), is full. Based on the same foundation-stone - the ancient Mysteries - the primitive religions, all without one exception, reflect the most important of the once universal beliefs, such, for instance, as an impersonal and universal divine Principle, absolute in its nature, and unknowable to the "brain" intellect, or the conditioned and limited cognition of man. To imagine any witness to it in the manifested universe, other than as Universal Mind, the Soul of the universe - is impossible. That which alone stands as an undying and ceaseless evidence and proof of the existence of that One Principle, is the presence of an undeniable design in kosmic mechanism, the birth, growth, death and transformation of everything in the universe, from the [7] silent and unreachable stars down to the humble lichen, from man to the invisible lives now called microbes. Hence the universal acceptation of "Thought Divine," the Anima Mundi of all antiquity. This idea of Mahat (the great) Akasha or Brahma's aura of transformation with the Hindus, of Alaya, "the divine Soul of thought and compassion" of the trans-Himalayan mystics; of Plato's "perpetually reasoning Divinity," is the oldest of all the doctrines now known to, and believed in, by man. Therefore they cannot be said to have originated with Plato, nor with Pythagoras, nor with any of the philosophers within the historical period. Say the Chaldean Oracles: "The works of nature co-exist with the intellectual [noero], spiritual Light of the Father. For it is the Soul [psyche] which adorned the great heaven, and which adorns it after the Father."

"The incorporeal world then was already completed, having its seat in the Divine Reason," says Philo, who is erroneously accused of deriving his philosophy from Plato.

In the Theogony of Mochus, we find AEther first, and then the air; the two principles from which the Ulom, the intelligible [noetos] God (the visible universe of matter) is born.

In the orphic hymns, the Eros-Phanes evolves from the Spiritual Egg, which the aethereal winds impregnate, wind being "the Spirit of God," who is said to move in aether, "brooding over the Chaos" - the Divine "Idea." In the Hindu Kathopanishad, Purusha, the Divine Spirit, stands before the original Matter; from their union springs the great Soul of the World, "Maha-Atma, Brahm, the Spirit of Life"; these latter appellations are identical with Universal Soul, Anima Mundi, and the Astral Light of the Theurgists and Kabalists.

Pythagoras brought his doctrines from the eastern sanctuaries, and Plato compiled them into a form more intelligible than the mysterious numerals of the Sage - whose doctrines he had fully embraced - to the uninitiated mind. Thus, the Kosmos is "the Son" with Plato, having for his father and mother the Divine Thought and Matter. The "Primal Being" (Beings, with the Theosophists, as they are the collective aggregation of the divine Rays), is an emanation of the Demiurgic or Universal Mind which contains from eternity the idea of the "to be created world" within itself, which idea the unmanifested Logos produces of Itself. The first Idea "born in darkness before the creation of the world" remains in the unmanifested Mind; the second is this Idea going out as a reflection from the Mind (now the manifested Logos), becoming clothed with matter, and assuming an objective existence.


"... While the selfless life as taught in Theosophy is considered by us to be the most beautiful because universal and all-inclusive, yet can we properly be living such a selfless life if we ignore those duties lying nearest at hand? In other words, if a man so yearns to help the world that he goes out into it and neglects duties that he already has assumed, is he doing the thing which is manly? Is he living the selfless life; or is he following a secret, selfish yearning for personal advancement? Is he even logical? Selflessness means never to neglect a duty, because if you do that, upon examination you will discover that you are following a desire, a selfish thought. It is in doing every duty fully and to the end, thereby gaining peace and wisdom, that you live the life which is the most unselfish." - G. de Purucker. [8]


Herbert Coryn
[From The Theosophic Isis, London, Vol. I, No. 3, March 15, 1896, pp 53-56.]

The Theosophical Society exacts from its members no profession of belief in Masters, and some, we have heard, are without that belief. Others, believing theoretically in Masters as the culmination of the present possibilities of evolution, regard the evidence for the existence of a certain two of such as defective, and disbelieve or suspend judgment accordingly. We have no quarrel with that attitude. The Society also demands no loyalty to the memory of H.P.B., nor any profession of belief in her integrity or wisdom. Wisdom she never claimed ("My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me"), integrity she did. Loyalty when offered to her, she tried to hand on to the Masters she regarded as having commissioned her.

Let us suppose that commission genuine. What ensued thereon?

She, with two others whom in chief she had inspired, founded the Theosophical Society, thereafter till her death providing it with the air it breathed. Let her writings, our memory of the inspiration of her presence and of her potent personality witness that. Whoever fought took from her some of the energy of his arm; and whoever, having once had faith in her, thereafter lost it, lost also, we maintain, the subtlest yet strongest essence of whatever energy in theosophic work he may have had. By loss of faith on the part of any who had accepted her as guide in Occultism, we mean the acquirement of the opinion that at any point in her theosophic career she had been guilty of fraud or deception. We hold that in Occultism the quality of unwavering loyalty and devotion to the Teacher is also the quality that in another of its aspects potentizes the work of the pupil among men for good. This faith is and begets power. So if we accept Masters, and believe in that great commission of more than twenty years ago, and have worked in the power of those two beliefs, that acceptance, that belief, and the power of our work go together. With the disappearance of either from the conjunction the others disappear also.

What would be the most effective method of belittling in the eyes of the public the conception of Masters, of the Lodge, of the roots of the Society? How could we most effectively, whilst talking of Masters, uproot at one moment what we had implanted at another? There are two methods, both in full activity; with the first we deal now; the second we shall expose in a future issue.

Century by century the Lodge in its full wisdom, a wisdom founded on knowledge of all the past ages of evolving humanity, on knowledge of human needs in East and West, on knowledge of the past incarnations, the manifested character and the seeds of unmanifest possibility of its selected agents, makes careful choice of one of these. It sends him forth to proclaim Theosophy, to rouse the world, to be the personal and spiritual teacher of all who can enter that most sacred of relationships. That one most effective method of which we spoke above seems to us to lie in representing that that agent, so picked out, so trusted, bearing so dire a weight of responsibility, might yet be capable of fraud.

Either known or unknown to the Senders must have been those germs of fraud. If we suppose them unknown, then it is time we constructed a better conception of Masters. Indeed shortsighted must they have been, and the future as closed to them as to us. They have watched the career of their messenger through many lives, through every combination of trials and [6] circumstances; they bring to bear upon his character the last possibility of spiritual insight, and the fruit of ages of experience of humanity, yet after all remain more ignorant of what he may do than would have been the street-corner phrenologist or the half-crown astrologer. There is little need to waste more time on that view; let us turn to the other hypothesis, that they were aware that their chosen emissary might in their name betake himself to fraud, an hypothesis betraying a completer ignorance of Occultism than the former. The messenger is to be the accredited representative of the Lodge; in that light he is to attract to himself public attention; upon him is to rest much of the karma of the movement he heralds; he is to be the intellectual guide of many; he is to be the intimate spiritual Teacher of some. But those who have any, even the slightest, relation of pupilship to an occult Teacher, share in some graduated degree in that Teacher's advance or retrogression; and in the degree of their pupilship the Teacher assumes for them a special karma, so close becomes that tie. And it runs backward and upward through a long chain from the lowest pupil through all the intermediaries to the Heart of the Lodge. Yet, knowing all this, the Lodge is supposed to send forth as Teacher and Missionary one in whom will come to fruit the germs of fraud. The heavily evil karma of such a selection would tell back from the Teacher to the Senders, and again from them to the pupil, acting and reacting disastrously upon Senders, Teacher, pupils and humanity.

Let us make an end of doubts, knowing well that for centuries past, as for centuries to come, to be charged with fraud is the right and credentials of the Lodge emissary; to be charged by the public, lay and scientific, which is nothing, but to be charged also by those who, taking what they could, either doubted whilst they did so, or in their weakness failed thereafter in loyalty.

Energy in work is to be obtained and maintained by unswerving loyalty, and loyalty confers upon such work a certain occult quality of power not otherwise accessible. This is independent of intellect, of knowledge, of culture, but it underlies all that is said or done on the field. Loyalty alone makes the heart a focus of the force of the Lodge, makes of the man the "power-bearer," the "colour-bearer," is the one path of personal advance. In this or another life, intellect, knowledge, and culture are easily acquired, but it is the co-existence of loyalty that makes them valuable spiritually to humanity, that ensures their permanence, that begins to fashion the man in the image of the Master.



The Offices of the magazine "Theosophia" and of the Theosophical Information Center are being transferred to another address. After the 1st of June, 1952, they will be located at - Room 22, Oxford Building, 615 South Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California. Our Telephone remains the same: DUnkirk 4-5521.
Please change our address on your own records, thereby assuring prompt delivery of your correspondence with us. - The Editor. [10]


Harold W. Dempster

"Patience sweet that nought can ruffle," is an old familiar quotation appearing in H.P.B.'s Voice of the Silence, that has the power to silence our bombastic outbursts, provided we are able to apply it at the psychological instant when it is needed.

One Philosopher is reported as having said that "Patience is the greatest of the virtues, because it includes all the others" ... which idea contains lots of food for thought.

Having the duality of patience certainly implies an understanding heart. And, if one has such a heart, it is easy to concede that he must be possessed of a relatively high degree of all the cardinal virtues permeating his being. Perhaps that is what the Philosopher had in mind.

If you know anyone who manifests a consistent and sustained degree of patience, observe whether or not you see in such an individual the quality we refer to as "an understanding heart."

It is also difficult to conceive of an "understanding" type of person, without noticing that he is in possession of, and knows how to use, a degree of wisdom that is not to be found in the ordinary individual.

All of this raises the question as to whether we should develop wisdom or an understanding heart first, in order to have the virtue of patience, or vice versa. In order not to become confused on this point, we should see at once that each one already has a certain amount of patience to begin with; also a degree of wisdom; and understanding, relatively developed. It is the increase in the amount and quality of these factors that we should be interested in developing. Therefore, the question becomes: How can we become more patient than we now are?

In the first place, we should have a strong desire to have and to be more understanding, not only intellectually, but in the heart. Desire, guided by our present amount of inner wisdom, will activate the will to accomplish the desired objective.

In the second place, application is an absolute essential and should operate simultaneously with the desire, the will and the inner understanding. It is assumed that the individual interested in developing patience knows something about the science of reasoning, known as logic, and emotional stability.

In fact, isn't it emotional instability and the failure to use one's logical reasoning powers, that permits impatience to express itself? Why do we fly off the handle? Why do we assume and imagine things that are not so, and become disturbed thereby? Why should we expect the impossible? Why don't we consider the source of that which breeds impatience within us?

Anyone can be patient when everything is going smoothly, although sometimes it continues too smoothly and we become impatient for something to happen. It takes real "know how" to be patient when the pressures are heavy, when the going is rough. But, an inward peace resulting from the extra effort required to maintain self-control is always worth that effort.

Is it wise to be too patient? Obviously not. But, there are many times when, had we just been a little bit more patient, or patient a little bit longer, we would have been amazed at the resultant peace and harmony established thereby. Any of the virtues practiced in the extreme would be unwise. There must always be proportion and balance, according to our best understanding.

Do you want to try an interesting experiment? The next time you think you may have good reason to become impatient with an individual, test out your ability to show more patience. Sometimes another individual may try [11] to take advantage of your degree of patience, as one takes advantage of the good nature of another. But if this type of situation is happening to you, it is an indication, as with all other experience, that you had something to do with its cause; therefore, be patient and kindly in your reaction.

Are you impatient with the ignorant ones? Perhaps there is an ignorance in yourself that you have not detected as yet. How ignorant we must be in comparison with Those advanced ones! Have we the right to be brutal to those whom we consider ignorant? Obviously not. When we are at the point of criticizing the other fellow, strongly and with little understanding, isn't it a good time to turn on the search light of critical analysis upon ourselves? Does that mean that no one should have the right to be critical? Certainly not. Criticism is of great value, especially if it is constructive.

Our degree of patience or impatience is, of course, relative. It should also be stated that a certain degree of impatience, just as the right kind of criticism, can be of great value. Impatience, expressed in the right form, might be of inestimable value in getting someone to mend their evil habits. Impatience could take the form of firmness or discipline of the appropriate kind. It is often good to become impatient with ourselves, and serves as a stimulus to making us do something about it. Wisdom and an understanding heart will show us when it is good to be impatient, and when to be patient.

Patience does not mean condoning what is evil or wrong. Patience means to be considerate, wise and just. Patience is a quality of generosity, whereby one gives an understanding greatly needed by the other. Patience is a teacher. It will teach you much wisdom; and wisdom will add to your present patience.

Patience is like the healing balm of time. Allow time to run and many situations clear themselves up. This takes patience. But, why get all 'hot and bothered' about something today, if by a moment's reflection or thought we would know that in a day, week month or year, the emotional or mental smoke screen will have cleared away, and we will be glad we displayed patience rather than wrath.

Patience is a quality that emanates from within the heart and provides a broader and deeper understanding of the problems of human experience.



A sincere "Thank you" to all our subscribers and friends for helping us build the Promotion Fund. Many have responded. Some have not, but might do so in time. The donations that have come in have made it possible for us to get a "breathing spell," and to face the rising costs of production somewhat more cheerfully. Maybe one of these days it will be our good fortune to find a linotype operator, and perhaps a printer also, who would be willing to set up and print our non-profit publication free of charge, as a contribution to the Cause of Universal Brotherhood. We acknowledge with many thanks the following contributions received from April lst to June 1st, 1952: H.C. $1.50; L.B. $1.50; H.T. $0.50; C.J. $0.50; M.S. $2.50; J.S.A. $1.00; E.H. $11.50; A.W. $1.50; C.N.E. $2.00; G.S. $3.50; F.G. $3.00; I.V.S. $1.00; Anon. $10.00; M.J. $10.00; G.L.C. $3.50; F.K. $0.50. [12]


Karen Shannon

H.P.B. had a lion heart, and on the work traced out for her she had the lion's grasp; let us, her friends, companions and disciples, sustain ourselves in carrying out the designs laid down on the trestle-board, by the memory of her devotion and the consciousness that behind her task there stood, and still remain, those Elder Brothers who, above the clatter and the din of our battle, ever see the end and direct the forces distributed in array for the salvation of "that great orphan - Humanity." - William Q. Judge, June, 1891

Combatants in the Theosophical Movement are not, and never were, few in number. In "the clatter and the din of our battle," are countless soldiers fighting in one or another cause, many privates, many lieutenants - but almost as many "generals"! While a battle area cannot help being somewhat confused, even with the best of armies, the theosophical arena is exceptional in this regard. Confusion is multiplied upon confusion, for the simple reason that only a few theosophists are engaged with the common enemy, the rest being engrossed either in treasonable skirmishes among themselves, in a private "war of nerves" against soldiers of another company, in tamasic stupor, or in virulent "fifth column" work against their own army.

Such is not, of course, the "army of H.P.B.," although many have thought it so, and many proclaim it so to be. It is not the army of H.P.B., unless H.P.B. herself has changed "sides." H.P.B. fought ignorance, intolerance, dogmatism, superstition; she attacked prejudice, preconception, and pride-of-ideas; she spent her life to her last breath in fearless struggle with the causes of human sorrow and suffering. Hers was glorious combat, Lucifer's rebellion, the Promethean revolt, the battle of the Buddhas of Compassion.

How many know where H.P.B.'s war is being fought, today? How many have courage for her battle? For her army, there are no flashy recruiting stations, no dramatic "processing," no shiny uniforms. One may not even know all his comrades-at-arms. Morale, in H.P.B.'s army, is a matter for each soldier to take care of himself. There is neither coddling nor soft berths, neither favoritism nor special privilege. Punishment and reward alike are administered by the man's own conscience: what punishment is worse for a coward than his own fear, and what reward can match the inner confidence that one has done his honest best?

During the short span of fifteen years that H.P. Blavatsky was visibly on the scene of combat, there were many who sought to secure her lion's heart and Lucifer-courage for their own battles. Spiritualists flocked to her when she defended the facts of psychism and the laws of astral phenomena, thinking that H.P.B. was championing them. Agnostics cheered when she opened fire on religious dogmas and sectarianism, scientists approved her exposure of Christian superstitions - and clergymen smiled in their beards at her ringing proclamation of spiritual realities and metaphysical planes of being.

What was the consternation in all these ranks when it became apparent that where H.P.B.'s guns raked the field, each group's favorite errors had been hit! Every pious reputation trembled on its foundations, and a score of "emperors" with dubious clothing ran hastily for cover. The cry of "Traitor!" resounded from all quarters, only to be met with a merry chuckle from the enigmatic personality who jauntily signed herself "an Unpopular Philosopher."

It is a favorite - and natural - [13] detreads on their pet illusions, to attempt a "face-saving" by circulating rumors to the effect that "H.P.B. really doesn't mean" to hurt such-and-such an idea, that she only seems to be demolishing it, while actually it is precisely what she herself solemnly believes. Some protagonists, whose personal philosophies or religions crumble into worthless gravel when theosophic principles are set vibrating in their vicinity, try to turn the sonic rays of Truth away from their flimsy structures by "tolerantly" explaining that H.P.B. never saw any evil in either man or events. In the hands of these special pleaders, it is a sign of H.P.B.'s "compassionate sympathy" that she "understands" the basic truth of their theories - which strategy immediately places all who disagree with them in the position of calling H.P.B. a cruel and heartless dogmatist! By these and other slight-of-doctrine, H.P.B. is made to prove her own hypocrisy, as well as to perjure herself dozens of times over.

Now, the recorded teachings of Theosophy would he of little use to the great orphan, Humanity, unless they were capable of universal application. This means that all men, no matter what their condition or problem, can find enlightenment somewhere in the theosophical literature. But it also means that in the same place and at the same time, all bigots, hypocrites, private gospelers, new apostles and super-salesmen can find grist for their mills. The Secret Doctrine and The Key to Theosophy will prove anything and everything, so far as words and phrases go.

Against use in inglorious combat, H.P.B.'s writings are defenseless. Nothing prevents H.P.B. from being held up as an example by an infinite series of mutually contradictory sectarians who masquerade under the name of "theosophists." Nothing saves the very Masters of Wisdom whom she served

From being harnessed in effigy to all manner of perversions in the Movement they originally sponsored.

Yet the eye of the great Law is upon us all. Friends, companions, and disciples of H.P.B., as well as her betrayers, her enemies, and ungrateful pupils - all work and labor with mighty forces, for good or evil. If with the power and knowledge she brought, evil is done, accomplished, or wished-for, the Karmic debt must be paid - whether in this lifetime, or in and for lives to come. If good is fashioned, cultivated, and extended, exact compensation also follows - whether here and now or later, in another cycle; whether recognized by the recipients, or manifesting in the form of hidden protection and providential intuitions.

The salvation of Humanity is too tremendous an undertaking to be encompassed by the mind of a student-theosophist. The power to "ever see the end," in the midst of the difficulties at hand, is not easily acquired - but it is worth some effort to try to keep in mind the distant goal, without becoming discouraged at its slow approach. Similarly, we are not yet individually capable of directing "the forces distributed in array" - not all of them, by any means, are even visible to us - but we can take care of directing our own forces, and this, in fact, is all that we are asked to do.

It may be that H.P.B. is "on our side," but that would be for her to decide, and we cannot claim her allegiance. We can, however, arrange to be on H.P.B.'s side: that depends only on ourselves. In the struggles for prestige and selfish power, every victory is a soul defeat. In the battle for Theosophy, no apparent defeat is significant, if the fearless warrior keeps faith with his Higher Self - and thus with the Glorious Combatant, H.P.B., behind whose task there stood and still remain, the Elder Brothers of mankind. [14]


Beth McGuire

How do we? Actually it's very simple. It is so simple, in fact, that we are sometimes confused by its very lack of complications. Have we ever, while writing a letter, stopped to look at a quite short and commonplace word, which suddenly assumes the aspect of a completely unfamiliar combination of letters? We look at the word "mother," for instance, analyze it and sound it slowly over and over, and all at once we begin to wonder if we have spelled it right.

The same thing happens when we try to analyze how we know anything. We have probably gone along for years without worrying about it, and then someone or something instills the seed of doubt in our minds: "Do we actually know that, or do we just think that we know?" And within a couple of minutes, our mind, desperately seeking for something that it knows that it knows, passes over and is forced to reject every idea it has ever held. We are back, finally, with Descartes, when he wrote, "I think, therefore I am." Having assured ourselves of this bleak and rather barren fact, we find that, unlike Descartes, we can grow no towering tree of logic and philosophy on such desert soil. Since we are not trained in mental gymnastics at this abstract level, our mind quite refuses to budge an inch from this axiom. How are we ever going to prove that we know what we know?

Some have found it helpful exactly to reverse Descartes' statement, to read, "I am, therefore I think." Now there may be seen faint glimmers of thought as the mind is restored to activity, and begins to grope its way back through the dark and intricately winding passages into the domain of That Which Knows, "for it is knowledge." What have we accomplished by reversing the axiom of our philosopher-friend? We have, we will see, restored the mind to its position as an instrument of the Soul. It is the soul that knows. The mind but reasons and relates. Descartes made of it what it cannot be - the source of our egoity, of our individuality. Incidentally, we do not think much of what Descartes was able to accomplish in following through his maxim. To think of mind as the highest principle of the human being is to place him forever beyond the reach of inner certainty. He is the prey of whatever his Frankensteinian logic can think up, since he allows himself no higher "court of appeal."

But once we have established the "I" as the primal unit, the essence of the human being, mind is "thrown back into its proper sphere." There may even be many things that we know, of which our mind is quite ignorant - or, at least, quite unable to advance proof or disproof. There are, on this hypothesis, levels of consciousness above and inaccessible to the mind as we know it. Now we can draw a deep breath, relishing the pure air of freedom. The mind can no longer tyrannize over us with its constant demand for proof, with its unending litany of "whereas" and "therefore" and "on the other hand."

Not, of course, that we stop listening to the mind. But our attitude, from being one of abject servility, becomes rather that of a mother patiently listening to a small and persistent child. Something of what he says may have value, but the mother is always aware that his horizon is so limited, his experience so sketchy, that there will of necessity be many things he will not understand until he grows older.

The soul of man must take much the same position as this. It looks down at the mind - a poor hobbled horse, limited in vision to the area lighted so dimly by his rider's campfire. Not only can the horse see little of the surrounding countryside, but it has no conception at all of that other level of experience which his master is [15] by the firelight.

Our minds are good and worthy instruments for their purposes, but we should not ask of them the ultimate in human consciousness. How do we know that we know what we know? That is no question to pose a subordinate! We must go to the higher echelons for the answer to that. And at the top, we will find it, if we search long enough, for it is our very Self. On ultimate questions, if we are not sure that we know what we know, then we do not know it. But if that inner certainty exists, undefeatable by specious reasoning, then that is our knowledge.

How are we to prove this, some may wonder. Don't try, we reply, for it is impossible. How can another unless he knows that same essence in himself? If he does, he asks not for proofs, for he knows that the only one who can prove anything to him is himself.

What are we to say to one who asks us if we know what Theosophy teaches is true? Certain of its teachings are knowable by the mind, and the rest by that larger intuition which antedates it. What harm in saying, Yes, we do know that it is true, if it accords with our inherent convictions? As for proof, the burden of that rests on each one for himself, as the small child that is our earth-bound mind, struggles diligently to understand and follow the course pursued by its "mother" - our spiritual intuitions.



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.

Many students have different ideas about what intuition really is. Would you please explain what it is and what it is not.

Intuition is what might be termed the "voice" of the spiritual consciousness within man, or, to put it in other words, the influence emanating from the highest portion of man's constitution - his own inner god. Obviously, intuition, as we know it in the present state of our evolution, is no more than occasional flashes of that spiritual influence; it sometimes manifests itself as mere "hunches", and at other times as a more or less continuous, or periodically recurring under-current of ideas, suggesting to us a certain course of action or conduct. It is usually concerned with deeper and more permanent issues in life, and is often of a rather peremptory nature, not easily set aside or disregarded, although it does become, only too often, beclouded with the influences emanating from our lower mind and our emotional or psychic consciousness. Intuition takes usually the form of a suggestion "what to do," in contra-distinction to conscience which usually warns us "what not to do."

Conscience is the "voice" of the Reincarnating Ego in us, the seat of all past experiences and of the accumulated knowledge derived as a result of many lives. While in some respects akin to spiritual knowledge, conscience nevertheless should not be confused with intuition, as the two are derivative from different planes of consciousness and different portions of the human spiritual-intellectual constitution.

Intuition is the faculty of direct and instant cognition of Truth, unrelated to the exercise of reason or judgment, and superior to both. It is really spiritual vision, even though a rudimentary [16] one in the case of ordinary men and women. It is one of the noblest spiritual powers latent in us, and amounts to an infallible spiritual knowledge, incontrovertible and sure, when developed and fully awakened in men of very high evolutionary unfoldment.

Conscience and intuition may be co-related with each other, but they should never be confused with each other. Conscience can be developed; this is a thought which is not familiar to the Occidental mind. Conscience is not perfect, though greatly more unfolded and certain than are the impulses of the senses or the psychic consciousness of the personality. Conscience can be relied upon to an immensely greater degree than the cogitations of the human brain-mind, because conscience is founded upon far wider experience accumulated in the spiritual recesses of the Inner Ego. But conscience is not the direct "voice" of the Inner God, and therefore the latter, which is intuition, is incomparably greater and safer. But it belongs to a higher type of humanity, except for occasional flashes of it which we all have.

In terms of Theosophical phraseology, it could be stated that conscience originates in the Higher manas, while intuition stems from the Buddhi, or the Atman-Buddhi.

Intuition of course cannot be "developed" in the usual sense of this word. It cannot "grow". But we can and should so purify our inner and outer psychological, psychic and intellectual veils, that this "voice" of our Inner Self may be able to "come through" better than it does at present, and become freer and freer of the "static" created by our intermediate nature. The result of this is, of course, what appears to be a greater "development" of the intuition.

Conscience, on the other hand, can be developed, in the sense that life's experiences add to the accumulated storehouse of past experiences; and in this manner conscience has a way of "maturing" as we go through life; it becomes more keen, more alert, and more sensitive.

It should also be noted, to round out this entire subject, that what we call instinct is intuition as it manifests in the psychological consciousness (and even the physical-astral) of kingdoms below the human, and occasionally in the lower consciousness of even us, human beings. It is the guidance of the indwelling divinity, as it manifests itself in kingdoms which have not yet attained to the level of reason and judgment. Instinct, therefore, is infallible, just as intuition is, but it concerns itself with another sphere of activities and functions.


(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.