Theosophy World — June 1998


June, 1998 Issue

Contents

[Other Issues]


Nirvana: A state of utter bliss and of perfect illuminated consciousness which is co-vibrational and co-extensive with the Universe; a state of absorption in pure Kosmic Being attained by the highest Initiates; a personal-individual at-one-ness with the Highest Self. The word nirvana is a compound of the preposition nir — out, and vana — blown; but that which is 'blown out' refers only to the lower principles of man.

Sanskrit Keys to the Wisdom Religion by Judith Tyberg, p. 36.


Theosophy World Online

by Theosophy World

Most issues of Theosophy World are now online. A online preview of them can be seen at:

Page (http://www.theosophy.net/tw-html/issues.html)

The final version will be linked to the theosophy.com main page, index.html, in the near future. Take a look and if you have any questions or comments, write to

Email (review@theosophy.com)

or post them on

Email (theos-talk@theosophy.com)
Contents


Blavatsky Conference Outline

by Anonymous

Following is an outline of papers to be presented at the upcoming conference on "The Work and Influence of H. P. Blavatsky." Following the July 3 to 5 conference, on Sunday, an Open House will be held at Edmonton T.S. [ETS] headquarters. Transportation will be arranged for those requiring same. Pot-luck supper will be supplied by the members of ETS.

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The Necessity of Fraternization

by Herman C. Vermeulen

[This letter, dated July 7, 1986, appeared in the December 1986 issue of the Theosophical Network Newsletter. Its editor, Rick Nurrie-Stearns, says that Vermeulen was "... recently chosen as the Leader of the Theosophical Society (Point-Loma/Covina) ... Since what he writes deals with the possibilities and principles of the overall networking effort, these selected extracts should be of general theosophical interest."]

... The necessity of fraternization and cooperation is of course not a matter of discussion. The need in the world are too great to doubt about that. Therefore we are very glad of your initiative, and you can count on our support.

Firstly — perhaps superfluously — I want to give you my opinion on the motives of any fraternization-effort. Theosophy learns that the first and only motive can be: to serve mankind by promulgating Theosophy in a better, more effective way than we do now. If on the other hand the groups, then (and we have seen it time and time again) all sorts of concessions are made, especially as to Theosophical principles. And although in such cases Theosophical groups come to a certain cooperation, the message they bring is crippled, so in fact that effort is a failure.

... We both know of the obstacles that hindered co-operation during the past 100 years. To understand each other, let's analyze these obstacles. Roughly divided, there are two kinds, which we may call spiritual obstacles and emotional obstacles.

As to the spiritual ones: The question whether groups diverge from the fundamental Theosophical principles as defined by the Masters and H.P. B. any co-operation is possible or impossible. And this is particularly true for the initiator(s) of such a co-operation. From my last letter you know the attitude of our Society towards this point and the emphasis we lay on it. An attitude which, I think is logical and acceptable for every Theosophist. So, frankly speaking, I expect that this never has to be an unsurmountable obstacle for co-operation. It must be possible for all groups to come to real understanding, based on these fundamental principles. After which a practical co- operation will follow as a natural consequence. In that case, problems from the past can be talked about and recognized, and lessons can be drawn from them, which will contribute to an even better cooperation.

Now the second kind of obstacles: the emotional ones. Your concern in your letter mainly deals with the greatest emotional obstacle in the Theosophical Movement, described in your sentence: "Each group has its own separate succession of leaders, and each one of these groups or members believe their leader to be in the true succession of leaders". As to the first part of this sentence: Yes, each group has indeed its own separate succession of leaders. That is an inevitable, undeniable historical fact — whether or not that leaders call themselves so. Denying this fact is denying the hierarchical structure of the universe. Read what G. de P. writes about leadership in his 15th General Letter. G. de P.'s words speak for themselves. If you make a serious effort to inventory all groups and to build up a clear picture of their interrelation, then the historical background of each group is a normal, unemotional, useful information, and it is a normal thing to mention it in your Network.

What then is the emotional trouble? It is found in the second part of your sentence: "... and each one of these groups or members believe their own leader to be in the true succession of leaders". Not the mentioning their own leader as leader is wrong, but to claim that leader to be the one, exclusive, only, true leader, is wrong. That gross, untheosophical form of separateness is a menace, an attack on the right existence of other groups. These other groups usually return this attack in the same personal way, and so the vicious circle of personal animosity and irritation and mutual suspicion is created, which has determined the atmosphere within the Theosophical Movement during the past 1OO years, and still determines it.

The question now is, Rick how you intend to overcome this emotional obstacle. Several fraternization-efforts taught me this: the only truly subtle approach is a cautious but open and honest approach. When you start your effort, omitting the valuable information of the historical backgrounds of the groups out of consideration for any personal irritation, you give people the impression that there is some worth in their feelings of animosity. You can never get around this obstacle by not mentioning things. For then it is still there and will come out the first moment you start with the practical realization of your plans. You will only postpone your failure to a later moment.

The only way to overcome this obstacle is a l00% Impersonal attitude: by not allowing these personal irritations to enter your Network at all. By making clear to all beforehand, that No Theosophical group or individual has the right to impose his personal (approving or disapproving) ideas on leadership upon the other groups, and that any group's judgement of other groups can only be based on the way these groups respect the leader. Then you build up an atmosphere where every group can feel itself secure against any open or hidden aggression of others, and can feel your Network as a safe place to share in.

My sincere opinion is that nobody has to recognize any particular leader if he does not want to. There must be perfect freedom as to this. And further: that no leader, president, etc., of any group has the right to derive any authority from his position, or from the historical background of his position. Let's never forget that the Great Lodge always has served Humanity through more than one channel; and it is up to them to choose the best channels for their work. So it is the work we do, the extend to which we are a useful instrument for the Lodge, which shows who are the true leaders. I think I am clear enough.

It is easy to become a Theosophist. Any person of average intellectual capacities, and a leaning toward the meta-physical; of pure, unselfish life, who finds more joy in helping his neighbor than in receiving help himself; one who is ever ready to sacrifice his own pleasures for the sake of other people; and; who loves Truth, Goodness and Wisdom for their own sake, not for the benefit they may confer is a Theosophist.

But it is quite another matter to put oneself upon the path which leads to the knowledge of what is good to do, as to the right discrimination of good from evil; a path which also leads a man to that power through which he can do the good he desires, often without even apparently lifting his finger.

Contents


On the Importance of Religious Thought

by Eldon Tucker

[based upon a September 27, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

There are complaints at times against preaching and sermonizing, against writings that sound like we are putting ourselves above others. Is this really what is happening? Is this our intent? (I say "we" and "our" because I'm not putting myself into an exclusive class in this regard.)

In western writings, we are used to being provided information, but there is a hard-and-fast dividing line between science and philosophy, on one hand, and religion on the other. It is considered poor science to allow anything religious to creep into scientific writings. It is considered biased philosophy, under some form of thought control, if the religious enters into play. All this is because our primary source of religion is from organized western religions. The truly-religious has been misrepresented to us, and we want nothing to do with it.

This bias is even to be found in our theosophical studies. We may want to hear of reincarnation and karma, and look at it from the scientific standpoint of its mechanism, the actual timings, the workings of karma in the events of personal life, etc. From the philosophical standpoint, we may seek to understand how it works in a more direct and generalized manner. But when an religious element enters the discussion, we recall Baptist sermons and our feathers are ruffled! How dare someone tell us what is right, or what to do!

We learn in Theosophy, though, that the religious side is an important part of life, and cannot be divorced from the rest. And the religious side has no more to do with what we find in western churches than the deeper philosophy has to do with popular thought. It goes far deeper. It is an inseparable part of our learning. We even have, as an alternate name for Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion.

What is involved in adding the religious side to our studies? First, ethics, a sense of right-and-wrong, a deeply-felt appreciation for the affect of our lives on others, becomes inseparable from how we think about and view things. No one should find it objectionable when we incorporating this in our writings. Each of us, writing from his understanding, may say "this is good, this is right, this is what we should do," just as much as "this is true, this is the way things work, this is the best description." We can make statements of right and wrong just as much as we can of philosophical truth. When I positively state an idea, no one is forced to accept it. The same is true of a positively stated value or ethic — again, no one is forced to accept it just because it has been stated.

The reaction against words like "should" is really against organized western religion, and not Religion itself, nor the religious consciousness. But we need to be careful lest our reaction blind us to what is good and valid. Writing of Theosophy without ethical content is incomplete, if not wrong (my ethical judgment). We need more flexible religious thought, not the banishment of all sense of religion. Let's go for wholeness in our understanding of the Philosophy, rather than continue to react to things in western society that we don't like!

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Blavatsky Net Update

by Reed Carson

[For more information, go to:

Page (http://www.blavatsky.net)

on the web.]

1. Before reporting on progress, there is a special "benefit" of membership attached. More than a decade ago I was given the papers of a dedicated student of Theosophy, named George Wenner, who had died some years before that. The papers included detailed agendas for study classes that were given from 1941-1952 at ULT in New York City. So, attached is the first half of a syllabus on the Secret Doctrine given in 1945 and prepared by Mr. Wenner. (The second half will come later.) We hope this will be valuable either as an individual study program or to facilitate and encourage anyone who may be thinking of starting a study class. (In practice those classes in 1945 consisted of two students who gave "assignments" of not more than 10 minutes each on the two sections, followed by two more knowledgeable students conducting the discussion that followed. But the material lends itself to other forms of study class procedure.) (AOL customers having problems with the attachment can let us know.)

2. During May there has been a concerted attempt to "open up" the site for visitor/member input. A section called "thoughts" was added to the home page. It is intended to hold articles from members that deserve to be posted but that do not fit anywhere else on the site. If you have such an article please let us know.

3. Continuing that theme of "opening up", a section on homepage was started entitled "letters to BN". We hope it gets used. Critical information is not automatically barred.

4. A section called "Weathervane" has been added to the homepage. It is intended to hold items of current news that do not represent "proof" of Theosophy but in some way reflect developments of thought in our times that is relevant to students of Theosophy. Just after starting, It has four items. One concerns the shroud of Turin with new developments of potentially great significance. Another item concerns a coming encyclical to be issued by the pope on the "problem" of the new age and, according to early indicators, to condemn Blavatsky. Blavatsky's contribution to the new age may finally receive "official" recognition.

No telling what else this section may contain in the future. For something like this to be most effective, the input of a variety of individuals is most helpful.

5. The book store has been more neatly arranged into "aisles". In the future we expect to have a variety of aisles dealing with different subjects of interest to the wide-reading serious student of Theosophy. These will cover aspects of science and religion. The first aisle added, perhaps unexpectedly, concerns "Sai Baba". Theosophists may be surprised about the similarity of the message of Sai Baba and Theosophy. What we are hoping for even more, is that devotees of Sai Baba will discover that Blavatsky said many of the same things a century earlier with great depth of detail, and that those devotees will include the study of her teaching along with their appreciation of Sai Baba.

6. Einstein made recent news again when the cosmos suddenly appeared to be expanding forever. An article in the "Pebbles" section (light-weight proofs) relates this specifically to Theosophy.

7. Another article of HPB's was translated into Spanish and placed online and we have in hand two more articles of HPB's translated into Russian but not yet placed on line.

8. For AOL people: The "visit item" click on home page does not work for AOL because of a limitation of their version of netscape and Java. So there is now an alternative "LOG" click that will operate for everyone.

9. Since membership was officially offered on May 3, members have been signing up at more than one per day. No one has yet resigned.

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Questions on the Sacred Seasons

by L. Gordon Plummer

[Based upon a tape recording from the 1970's of a private talk on Theosophy.]

What is the role of, or is there a role of, the Manasaputras in relationship to Initiations?

Yes. The Manasaputras that awakened the light of mind some eighteen million years ago are of course still working. They did not perform an event and then retire however long that event may have been. It may be a thousand years, but that would still be a wink-of-the-eye in relation to the long span that man has been on earth. But the work of the Manasaputras has been going on ever since.

Now a Manasaputra does not need to be Initiated. The Manama has been through human experience in ages gone by. The purpose of Initiation is to bring out the individual's own Manasaputra from within himself. You might say, if you like, he then has two Manasaputras. You would not be altogether wrong. But one of the results of Initiation is that the work of the Manasaputra which came in during the middle of the third Root Race, is taken over by the man's own Manasaputra that is waiting to come to fruition, or to flower, at any rate. And as we used the illustration this afternoon that Initiation is like the opening of the flower. That flower has to come from within the plant itself. It cannot be added on from outside. What is brought forth in the candidate for Initiation is his own Manasaputra.

That would automatically put one of his principles, at least, in the realm of the Dhyani-Chohanic kingdoms.

Yes. As a matter of fact, it brings him closer to the point where he could graduate from the Human Kingdom into the Manasaputric, and that is why there is no example of a human being higher than that of a Buddha. Eventually there will be, but at the present time the highest possible degree of growth for any human is in achieving Buddhahood. When he has achieved that, he passes into Nirvana, because in the history of the Planetary Chain there is no facility, you might say, for further growth. Eventually there will be. And so, in that certain sense, you might say he is ready for Dhyani-Chohanhood. But, he cannot take his place among the Dhyani-Chohans so he goes into Nirvana, eventually to return from it.

The Mahatmas speak of the Mahatmic aspect, of functioning in their Mahatmic aspect. I have, myself, formed some idea of this, but I am wondering if you would comment on it.

Yes, surely. The Mahatmas themselves say they are not Mahatmas all the time. They are Mahatmas when they are working in their own specific work. But there are times when they are human beings. The disciples are not always disciples. There are times when they are working, just as ordinary human beings are working. But what makes them disciples is that when occasion calls for it, they can and do call upon those higher faculties that are being brought out and can only be used by genuine disciples. In the same way, Mahatmas can and do use the Mahatmic powers or energies when called upon — which for them is probably the greater part of the time. But even they need rest. And even they will become human beings, certainly highly evolved, nevertheless humans, from time to time.

Would you consider the Mahatmic aspect in relationship to the higher Manas?

Oh, far more than that. The higher Manas, certainly, illuminated by Buddhi which again is illumined by Atma. The higher Manas is the complete instrument of Buddhi in the case of the Mahatma. He has brought the lower Manas, or the Kama-Manas under complete control. It is not so much, as I see it, getting rid of undesirable things in your nature as it is getting rid of undesirable qualities of certain things in your nature. Everything that we have should serve a purpose. And when we bring ourselves under complete control, which really means self-command, then there is nothing evil left in us. The evil has simply been left aside, because the evil consists in qualities in certain parts in our nature, in motives, in thoughts, in distortions of the Truth. These are the things to be eradicated, but not any part of ourselves. And what is called Kama or desire, and generally equated with evil, is transmuted into a higher aspect of Kama, but Kama nonetheless. It is turned into aspiration.

Would you say that the Mahatma has completely, unfolded, in its entirely, all of the sub-planes of the Manasic principle?

I would say relatively completely, from our standpoint very completely, but not from his standpoint because he yearns to become a Buddha. There is ever increasing growth, even the Buddha knows there is growth for him. There is not such a thing as a cessation of growth. I would venture to say that wherever an individual is, no matter how far along the Path, to him he might seem like a beginner.

Yes, but thinking now in terms of Races or rather of Rounds, is it possible for the Mahatma to go beyond the fourth sub-plane of the fifth principle?

Yes. In the matter of Rounds, there is a rather technical expression. We, the general run of humanity, exhibit those qualities which are typically Fourth Round, those of the lower Manas. Now the Fifth Root Race of the Fourth Round should and does, to a degree, exhibit the powers of the higher Manas. The Mahatma, who has developed fully the powers of the higher Manas, has gone far beyond the Fifth Root Race of the Fourth Round. He has actually advanced to the point that humanity will be in the Fifth Round, well beyond any of the Races and Subraces of this Fourth Round. He will be what is technically known as a Fifth-Rounder. He will have achieved — within himself what the whole human race will have achieved-those who successfully run the course — in the Fifth Round.

Now the Buddhas, the few as they are, are the only examples of men who have achieved what humanity will have achieved in the Sixth Round, so they are called Sixth-Rounders. That is why the Mahatmas aspire to be Buddhas. As far as I have ever learned, there are no Seventh-Rounders simply because Seventh Round consciousness is not yet capable of development. But it will be before even the Seventh Round, and the forerunners of the human race will then be the first Seventh-Rounders, just as we have Fifth-Rounders and also a few Sixth-Rounders at the present.

Does that answer your question?

According to what I understand from G. de P., it is not possible for the Fifth-Rounders to go beyond this point in the Fifth Round. That they run the race ahead into the Fifth Round, yes, but not beyond, let's say, Globe d and Fifth Root Race and whatever Subrace, that they are stopped there.

I should, of course, study this particular passage a little more closely too; although my understanding is, and I think you will find it so stated in, say, Fundamentals — that the Buddha was actually a Sixth-Rounder.

Yes, I know he was. I am not talking about the Buddha. I was speaking of the Fifth-Rounders.

But I mean that would indicate a Fifth-Rounder could progress to be a Sixth-Rounder.

Except that they said that this involved a Mystery of which no one will speak.

Well, that may well be, and there are many such Mysteries, but as a simple statement of fact it would appear that it is possible to achieve the condition of the Sixth-Rounder. But, there are many Mysteries of which no Initiate, no Mahatma will speak. Unless, of course, among others who know, but never to beginners such as us.

Yes, these Teachings are filled with Mysteries that we are not taught simply because we do not have the capacity to understand them. And if they were told to us, they would be so abstruse that they would have no meaning for us. It would be like trying to teach nuclear physics to a third-grader. You could tell him about it, but he would not understand it. And it is not so much that these things want to be hidden from us, and it is not that you want to hide nuclear physics from a third-grader. You can tell the third-grader he is growing, he is going to pass through the various grades in school, and before so very many years have passed he will have developed the ability to understand nuclear physics, and then he will study it.

In the same way, we are assured that we will progress to the point where we can understand these things. Now I think there is the real reason for the secrecy of the Mysteries and the Mystery Schools. It is not so much to hide it from us, but to preserve it for us against the time when we are ready for it.

May I ask, Gordon, what now is the difference between the Initiations involved with the eclipses and the Initiations of the four Great Seasons?

Oh, boy.

Or should I shut up?

Well, the thing is, I hate to be in the position to say that is too esoteric.

I can understand, so if that is the case, I will drop the question.

And yet, we are taught that every question deserves an answer. And so I will merely say this: that many processes of nature are intimately connected with human life and human nature, the various energies which play in and about a human being. And when we say man and nature are One, we believe in it. It is not mere poetic fancy.

Contents


Summary of the 'Secret Doctrine' Symposium

by Arden Strycker

The Third Symposium (actually fourth) on the Secret Doctrine was held at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (May 21 through May 24, 1998) and was considered a success in many ways. About 60 individuals attended the conference, 17 papers were presented, and several other events were also arranged. Individuals from different groups were present including European section of T.S., Theosophical Society in America (Adyar), The Theosophical Society (Pasadena), United Lodge of Theosophists, and unaffiliated students of Theosophy. Additional events scheduled included a public lecture, a panel discussion, a string quartet concert, a HPB play, and the creation of a sand Mandala by 4 Tibetan Buddhist monks.

Authors represented include: Richard Brooks, Daniel Caldwell, Bing Escudero, Chon-ton Phan, Hector Feliciano, Rudi Jansma, Anton Lysy, Doss McDavid, Russell Nelson, Anne Redlich, David Reigle, and Judy Saltzman. A proceedings containing the papers presented at the conference plus additional papers submitted for the conference will be forthcoming. Topics discussed by the authors varied, but related the Secret Doctrine to: Confucianism, Neo-Platonism, Science, Symbols and Numerology, Jesus Christ, noted Philosophers, S.D. overview, and others not easily categorized.

Although conducted independently of the conference, Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery constructed a mandala sand painting during the conference at the Oklahoma City Arts Center Fairgrounds. After constructing the mandala, the monks performed a ceremony to offer healing to those of Oklahoma City and from there the world. Midwest Federation President and Symposium Coordinator, Nancy Blott, introduced the monks to start the ceremony, and many symposium participants were also present. Oklahoma City was the unfortunate recipient of the recent bombing and destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah building.

From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform to form the image of a mandala. In general all mandalas have outer, inner and secret meanings. On the outer level they represent the world in its divine form; on the inner level they represent a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into enlightened mind; and on the secret level they depict the primordially perfect balance of the subtle energies of the body and the clear light dimension of the mind. The creation of a sand painting is said to effect a purification and healing on these three levels.

Contents


The Ultimate is not Bipolar

by Eldon Tucker

[based upon an October 13, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

In considering the idea of a Dark Brotherhood, we can further understand it when contrasted with the White Brotherhood, with the Hierarchy of Compassion. By drawing comparisons, we can see what it can and cannot be.

A basic theosophical concept is the doctrine of emanation. The highest and most divine does not directly govern the material world. There are a number of intermediate stages or grades. We have the planes, one above the other, each influenced by the next higher one, and influencing the one below it. We also have classes of beings, each higher than the next, each both receiving support from higher classes and offering support to lower classes of beings.

With the Hierarchy of Compassion, we have ordinary good people, then pre-Chelas, Chelas, Mahatmas, Bodhisattvas, Human Buddhas, then still higher, the Dhyani-Chohans, known collectively as Celestial Bodhisattvas, Celestial Buddhas, and still higher. For a particular world or universe, there is a highest class of beings, but that class is in relationship with the lowest of yet a higher world. There exists no ultimate Highest, the progression upwards is endless.

This entire upward chain is ultimately rooted in the Boundless All, in the Grand Mystery, in That or Tat. It is the basis for all that is. A universe comes into being by the unfolding, by the emanation of various classes of beings out of a higher world; the universe goes from the unmanifest to the manifest, arising out of this Golden Chain, this line of Compassion or connectedness of Life, this Guruparampara.

How again does a universe arise? It flows forth from a Laya-Center allowing passage downwards from higher universes. It comes forth from on high. A universe never arises from the reverse process, from what would be the equivalent of a toilet overflowing, from the welling up of darkness from below, flowing out from lower worlds.

It is a false symmetry to assume that since there is light and life and compassion and intelligence emanated from above, showing forth into our world and raising it, that there would be darkness and death and hatred and stupidity emanated from below, overflowing into our world from below and degrading it. There is not a bipolar Boundless All, with mirror opposite to the Golden Chain, with endless series of darker and yet darker hierarchies, rooted in Ultimate Evil.

(Mulaprakriti, for instance, is not the dark opposite of Parabrahman, not the ultimate darkness of matter as contrasted with the ultimate light of spirit. Mulaprakriti is the first veil of Parabrahman, it is Pradhana or Brahman. There are a number of different terms for the first emanation from the Highest of a world, but they refer to an unfolding of the Highest, not a counter unfolding from a Lowest.)

There is evil, there are somewhat organized groups of evil beings, and not just human, but of the same grade as Dhyani-Chohans as well, called the Mamo- Chohans. It's hard to say how high this evil might go. I have yet to hear of a "Logos of Darkness" or yet higher a "Dark Star" as the polar opposite to our Parent Star, the home of our Divine Monad.

We have two classes of good and evil men, and of good and evil Chohans. The first class are "free agents", individuals of an exceptional nature, more advanced than common folk, with an exceptional talent and inclination for good or evil. The second class are "team players", individuals participating in some form of organization or Hierarchy.

The first class are self-centered in the sense of being preoccupied with individual experiences, and disinterested in the world. They are eventually drawn to a solitary nirvana or avichi (as a Pratyeka Buddha or the dark equivalent of one).

The second class are interested in others, in nature and participation in life. They cooperate with the natural forces of life, either with forces of creation and life, or forces of destruction and death. Because of this cooperation, they end up in close cooperation with each other as well, and naturally tend to organize. This tendency to organize is not because there is some arbitrarily imposed requirement to join some organization. It is rather because of the law of karma, and of affinities, wherein we draw to ourselves others of like nature, responsive to our life energies. In a sense, in life, we exteriorize the contents of our consciousness, populating our surroundings with appropriate beings; in another sense, we draw to ourselves others that share in the same experiences of life that we do.

There is an intent, a purpose to life. It is to fulfill Tanha, the thirst for material existence. And that desire arises out of a need to further awaken Self- Consciousness, to become more real, more consciously inclusive, more aware of the dual mystery of Oneness yet a multitude of Others.

We come into being, acquire material forms through material evolution, and eventually reach an appropriate state of concreteness where we satisfy that urge to "get real." That enhanced sense of reality is raised, through further evolution, until it is reabsorbed in our divine nature, in our Monad, and becomes a permanent part of us.

The whole purpose and basis for anything existing is to further this process. There is not a mirror- opposite source, of ultimate evil, of anti-Monads, bringing about material existence out of a need to become more self-conscious agents of evil, to "raise" a sense of corruption back into their natures. This is a false symmetry, that of a bipolar cosmology, with two sources: ultimate good and ultimate evil. It is wrong. There is one source, the good.

The evil that we see about us cooperates in the process of good. It performs the work of destruction of old forms so that new ones can be built. It does the work of teaching, at times, in fulfilling the role of "enemies." We learn much more from opponents that sincerely wish us ill, and approach us with genuine malice, because our higher natures are more directly challenged to live out the good.

How long does evil exist? How long can corrupt individuals and organizations, broken off from the light and love and compassion of life, persist? Depending upon how advanced an individual or group, to the end of some appropriate cycle of existence, be it a lifetime, a Subrace, or some greater time period, some Manvantara. The corrupt center of consciousness in one can only exist until the dissolution of the world in which it resides, after which it experiences an avichi, a hell- like existence, on some lower world, before returning to its place in the normal evolutionary scheme at the next cycle of its world.

Contents


Recommended Web Sites

by Theosophy World

On theos-talk over the past few months there have been different web sites recommended by the participants. Following are paraphrases of what various participants said in recommending we visit the various sites.

— Thoa Tran

This is an excellent website, which shows how science approaches the Theosophical view of brain/mind. I'll have to take the psychology tests when I have more time. Let's see how I do on the mental stability test.

Page (http://www.business.u-net.com/~trans4mind/transform.htm#Intro)

— M K Ramadoss

The following site has some good Spanish material on Theosophy as well as material in English.

Page (http://www.whidbey.com/TheosophicalLiterature/)

— Rodolfo Don

There is a valuable web site originated in Germany, but mirrored in the USA by a Catholic organization. It covers extensively every major religion and uses material already on the Internet created by all the religious groups.

Page (http://www.christusrex.org/www1/religion/religion.html)

— K. Zaitzev

The following site contains a collection of theosophical books, mostly in Russian. The page also provides information about the Theosophical Society in Russia [Adyar].

Page (http://www.chat.ru/~ziatz)

And there are more cool files at the URI BBS:

Page (http://www.chat.ru/~ulm)

— Bjorn Roxendald

There are lots of references to the interface of science and spirituality at:

Page (http://www.celenet.org/bridging.htm)

And at the well-respected newspaper The Christian Science Monitor, the folks recently redesigned their electronic edition, adding a spiffy page-by-page index. They've done a remarkable job of simulating the browseable aspect of real-lief newsprint papers. The only thing missing is the ink rubbing off on your hands.

Page (http://www.csmonitor.com/)

I would like to recommend this very theosophical site of the Center for Integral Science Resources.

Page (http://www.integralscience.org/)

— Sophia TenBroeck

Another valuable site to look up is the Alchemy one:

Page (http://www.levity.com/alchemy/index.html)

— W. Dallas TenBroeck

For a directory of theosophical lodges and Internet access, see:

Page (http://www.blavatsky.net)
Page (http://www.theosophycompany.org)
Page (http://www.whidbey.com/TheosophicalLiterature)

— Pam Giese

And for a directory of theosophical lodges and Internet access, also see:

Page (http://www.theosophical.org)

I like the Gnostic Society site because it grabs the attention and holds it. It immediately gives you something to do (i.e. to read this week's meditation and collect) and then provides one of the most extensive library and link sites in the cyber community.

Page (http://www.gnosis.org)

— Govert Schuller

I have a discussion of some teachings about Krishnamurti, teachings that I do not agree with, which can be read at:

Page (http://pages.prodigy.net/schuller/onk.htm)

— Daniel Caldwell

There's a new book titled The Book of Dzyan by Tim Maroney reviewed on the following page.

Page (http://www.maroney.org/About%20Dzyan.html)

And I've put together a web page giving challenges to Paul Johnson and others to present examples of what they consider to be H.P.B.'s untruths. I'll add new facts, information, and insights from participants in the discussion as they become available.

Page (http://www.azstarnet.com/~blafoun/untruths.htm)
Contents


Universal Evolution

by Dallas TenBroeck

The doctrine of Universal Evolution offered by the Sages of the "Wisdom Religion" is based on the proposition that the Spirit (Purusha) proceeds from the "First Cause" [ an emanation of the "Causeless Cause' — the "Eternal Background of All" ]. And, the Universe "awakes" from its vast and periodical "sleep (Pralaya). At that time : the necessary form to provide the awakening spirit is provided by Nature, following the pattern of past manifestations. Matter is evolved at the same time as Spirit awakens. These two as "primaries" of every aspect of life, are inseparable.

Therefore, the Sages state that evolution proceeds, beginning in the world of the spiritual from the highest; and simultaneously, in the material world from the lowest form. Therefore the mineral, vegetable and animal forms each imprison a spark of the Divine, a portion of the indivisible "Purusha."

These "sparks" struggle to "return to the Father" or, to secure self-consciousness and at last come into the highest forms on Earth, that of Mankind, where alone self-consciousness is possible to them. This embraces millions of ages and therefore each of such "Sparks" has ample time in which to accomplish its further mission — the obtaining of complete self-consciousness while in the form of a "man."

By this it is not meant that the coming into a human form confers self-consciousness. That great work may be accomplished in the same "Manvantara" (evolutionary age) during which the "spark" first reaches the human stage and form, or it may not, and several such periods may be required, as it is immortal.

All depends on the individual's will and efforts. Each particular Spirit/spark thus goes through the Manvantara for its own enrichment and for that of the Whole. It is the saga of the development of the will, of the freedom to choose, and learning how to handle that power. Each of us is engaged in that now.

Adepts, Mahatmas and Rishis are gradually evolved during each Manvantara, and become after its expiration "planetary spirits" who guide the evolution of future planets. The planetary Spirits of our earth are those who in previous Evolutions made, successfully, the effort needed, and became in the course of that long period the "Mahatmas" the Great Souls.

Each Manvantara is for the same end and purpose. This systematic process is seen to be based on the "identity of Spiritual Being." and, under the name of "Universal Brotherhood," it continues the basic idea and work as proposed in the doctrines that Theosophy offers: for the establishing of Brotherhood among all humans; and, for them to realize their parentage and inseparable relation with all other beings in Nature. The same essence is in each.

The Adepts state that "Purusha" — the Universal Spirit — is at the basis of all manifested objects. Without It, nothing could exist or cohere. It interpenetrates everything, everywhere. It is the "Reality" of which, or upon which, those things that we call "real" are mere images. As Purusha, the Spirit, reaches to and embraces all beings, they and we, are all connected together (by the constant interchange of molecular and atomic substance, as well as, the emanations of our thinking and of our feelings). On the plane of that Spirit, there is a perfect consciousness of every act, thought, object, feeling and circumstance of this plane of living, or of any other.

Below the spirit and above the intellect is a plane of consciousness in which experiences are noted. This is commonly referred to as "man's spiritual nature." It is frequently said that it can be cultivated, as also his body or his mind. This intermediary plane performs another function: it is the real register of all sensations and experiences. It is intimately connected, therefore, to individual and mass Karma.

"Spiritual culture" is a misnomer. It is our human nature than can be enhanced, raised in its aspirations. The real object to be kept in view is to so open or make porous our lower nature that the "spiritual nature" (the divine Spark) that we really are, may shine through it, and become our constant guide and ruler. It is only "cultivated" in the sense of having a vehicle prepared by us for its use, and, into which it may 'descend.'

It is held by the Sages that the real Man is the Higher Self. It is a being, a Spark of the Divine, before alluded to. It overshadows us, as material beings and forms, and we have the possibility, the potential, of uniting ourselves to the Spark that dwells inside, or rather, "above" us. The choice and the effort to do this represents the next step in our living.

But we may ask: What is the nature of this divine spark ? They answer: It is always peaceful, harmless, unconcerned, blissful, and full of absolute knowledge. It constantly bathes in the Divine Absoluteness, and being that state itself, it sustains not only our living, but is conjoined to, and a vital part of the vast network of all living beings.

The object of the student seeker for Wisdom and Knowledge is to let the light of that spirit shine through the lower coverings in which he finds himself now living. "Spiritual cultivation" is only attainable as the grosser interests, passions, and demands of the flesh are subordinated to the interests, aspirations and needs of the higher nature. And, this is a matter of both system and of established experience and law covering untold aeons of time.

The Spirit can only become the ruler when the firm intellectual acknowledgment or admission is made that It alone Is>. And this has to be made with the full realization that it is not the person alone who makes that decision in isolation, but that it is made with a knowledge of, and a deep concern for the whole. It is profoundly ecological.

All selfishness has to be eliminated from the lower nature before it can reach to its divine estate. It is said by the Sages, who have gone through this process by the strength of their will, that so long as the smallest personal or selfish desire — even for spiritual attainment for our own personal sake — remains, so long is the desired goal put off. Hence the phrase: "demands of the flesh" includes demands those that are not of the "flesh," — but desires of the personal nature, including those of the "individual soul." This process of "spiritual cultivation" is one which has been developed over many Manvantaras of living and of effort in the immeasurable past.

When systematically trained according to the age-old system and law, the human can attain to clear insight into the immaterial, spiritual world. The interior and finer faculties of the soul are developed so that truth on any subject can be immediately apprehended, as readily as our physical hands grasp the tools of the sense, or our mental faculties handle reason and argument. It has been said that the successful student in this "spiritual self-cultivation" is "able to look directly upon ideas."

In the course of such spiritual cultivation and training a student acquires perception of, and power over, various forces in Nature. Some of these are not commonly known. And employing these powers, they can perform what appear as "miracles," though, in reality, it is but the use of natural laws which are not widely known — because of the danger inherent in their selfish use. What these powers are may be found in Patanjali's "Yoga Aphorisms."

The testimony of the Masters of Wisdom, through Theosophy, as to the super-sensuous truths and secret laws of Nature, verified by evidence of their possession and use of such powers, challenges candid examination from every interested mind.

The process of evolution up to a "reunion with the Divine" is and includes successive elevation from rank to rank of power and usefulness. The most exalted beings still in the flesh are known as Sages, Rishis, Brothers, Masters of Wisdom. Their great function is the preservation at all times, and when cyclic laws permit, the extension of spiritual knowledge and influence. They employ a designation for themselves which epitomizes the attitude of the true seeker for wisdom. They call themselves the "servants of humanity."

Students who are interested in more details concerning this aspect of "spiritual cultivation" will find that Mr. Wm. Q. Judge details the steps in his Epitome of Theosophy, pp 25-27.

Contents


Regarding the Need for Meaning

by Pam Giese

Even when it's expected, losing a loved one is hard. My grandmother died about 2 1/2 years ago. She had an incurable liver problem and had prepared every one for her death. Even then there was that "surreal" feeling.

If my family has one area were we're rational, it's in our approach to death. Family members talk about it freely and openly. Topics such as reincarnation, organ donation, funerals, heaven/hell, cremation, embalming, or if we could get away with just dumping a body in the pond were favorite dinner table discussions. There was this attitude that if you really believe what you say you believe (e.g. in heaven or reincarnation) then there is nothing to fear.

The converse was that if you don't really believe what you say you believe, you're a hypocrite and you'd better re-examine you're heart. Fear was seen as a symptom of disbelief, a weakness and all weakness was bad. Such is the cut'n'dry world of German Lutheran pragmatism.

One of the most disturbing events of my life was attending a completely atheistic funeral. When Ninlil was 10 and attending a tiny Montessori school, one of her classmates died of a brain tumor. The family was zealous atheists. At the funeral there was no mention of any god, no references to an afterlife or beyond, no hint to an underlying philosophy or meaning to the girl's existence.

The packed funeral home was filled with pictures classmates had drawn for the girl and the funeral service consisted of music, testimonials (screened for non-religious content), and letters that classmates had written to her during her illness. No prayers at the grave side nothing. Around the crowd you could see people silently praying and crossing themselves.

The children from that and other atheistic families were angry and obviously confused. The children from homes with some religion/philosophy seemed much less traumatized. Parents could offer explanations and place the little girl's life and untimely death into some worldview. It was one of the strongest lessons on The Need for Meaning that I've ever received.

Contents


Facts About H.P.B.'s Occult Ring

by Mrs. Harry Benjamin

[Taken from a privately-circulated letter under the letterhead "Theosophical Correspondence Course," dated March 2, 1979.]

1. Olcott handed the ring to Mr. Judge — this was reported in one of the early theosophical magazines, according to E. W. Tillema, a theosophical historian.

2. My exact duplicate proves that the original H.P.B. Ring had a locket. My ring was given to me by a Swedish member, Mrs. Elin Klingstrand, who had received it from her friend Count Wachtmeister. It had been left to him by his Mother, Countess Wachtmeister, who told him that she had asked H.P.B. if she could have a ring exactly like H.P.B.'s own occult ring. H.P.B. gave one to her, exact except smaller because H.P.B.'s hands were rather plump.

3. Whether H.P.B. had a jeweler copy her ring, or whether she 'precipitated' it, is anybody's guess. Christmas Humphreys believes it was precipitated. 4. Mrs. Klingstrand gave the ring to me because when she was wondering one morning to whom she should leave it, the mail brought her copy of the Corresponding Fellows Lodge Bulletin, with "Following the Blavatsky Tradition," so she thought I was the one to have it. Not wanting to wait till her death, nor to send it by post, she decided to come over to England to give it to me. She had said nothing to me about the ring, but I told Harry that as I had received so many courtesies in Sweden from T.S. members, I thought it would be nice if we invited Mrs. Klingstrand down for a day or two, which gave her the opportunity she wanted.

5. My ring of course has a locket, but so well fitted that unless one is looking for it, it can easily be missed. When Boris de Zirkoff some years ago was in Wheaton while Sri Ram, then International President, was there, and wearing his ring, Boris asked him if it had a locket, and Sri Ram assured him it did not. He took it off his hand and showed Boris. It is this ring which Annie Besant had after H.P.B.'s death, claiming it to be the occult ring; but Judge had told her it was not, but was a substitute, that he had the occult ring. Annie Besant's ring has been passed down from President to President, and is presumably the one that John Coats now has.

6. To make doubly certain about the absence of the locket, and realizing that even Boris could have missed it, I doubly checked. When Dudley Barr, then President of the Canadian Section was in London, on his way to the International T.S. Congress, he rang me up hoping I could come up and see him. I did so, showed him my ring, told him the whole story, and asked him, as he would definitely know what to look for, to ask Sri Ram to show him his ring. Sri Ram did so, and Dudley Barr assured me it had no locket.

7. Of course there are several replicas of the original ring, but that particular one is not a replica of the original Occult ring.

8. Judge left his original occult ring to Katherine Tingley, who passed it onto G. de P. I know it was the original one because I had charge of it together with other contents of G. de P.'s safes, and at his direction, handed it to the Chairman of the Cabinet, Iverson Harris, after G. de P.'s death. That was the same ring Judge had given to K.T. Just before K.T. left for Europe on her last trip, she slipped that ring onto my finger, and said "Now you can always know you have had H.P.B.'s ring on your finger."

9. About the stone in it: It has at times been called an agate, but H.P.B. said it was a bloodstone. Mrs. Christmas Humphreys, herself a jeweler with her own registered 'hall mark', told me the misunderstanding evidently came because some people think a bloodstone is red. It is not, except that when held to the light, it shows a red glow. To double check, I took mine down to the leading jeweler in Worthing, and asked what stone it was: The lady instantly said 'Bloodstone'. "Not an agate?" I asked. "No," she replied, "I know, my own birthstone is a bloodstone." It is significant that the Encyclopedia Britannica states that the bloodstone stands for Martyrdom! 10. The original ring was handed to Colonel Conger when he became head of the Point Loma Society, and after his death, James Long took it. Presumably Grace Knoche now has it.

[signed] Mrs. Harry Benjamin

[At this point the remaining pages are from a different typewriter, not bearing the "Theosophical Correspondence Course" letterhead, and unsigned.]

H. P. Blavatsky's Rings

May 18, 1889 — Light, London, Vol. IX, No. 437, p. 241.

H.P.B. states that The Chicago Tribune (date: May 5, 1888) in publishing "last year" a forged letter purporting to come from "K.H.," included a facsimile "of a seal on a ring I have worn for over fifteen years." That would mean that she used the same seal since 1874, but does not necessarily mean that it was the same ring.

I have a photostat of The Tribune's article and facsimile.

C. Jinarajadasa, writing in The Theosophist, Vol. LII, August 1931, p. 662 under a facsimile of H.P.B.'s ring, i.e., an oval stone with two interlaced triangles on top and the Sanskrit word Sat below them:

The story of H.P.B.'s ring, as narrated to me by the late Miss Francesca Arundale, is as follows. When H.P.B. in 1884 was living at 77 Elgin Crescent, London, W., with Miss Arundale and her mother, she wanted a signet ring, and Miss Arundale offered to have it made for her. H.P.B. consented, and gave the design — the double triangle, and below it the Sanskrit word sat, Truth. Miss Arundale then asked H.P.B. if she minded if she (Miss Arundale) had a similar ring for herself. H.P.B. had no objection. Two very dark green, almost black, agate stones were cut with the design, both exactly alike. H.P.B.'s seal was set on a heavy gold ring, the stone mounted on an oval frame with a hinge, so as to be the lid for a very shallow locket. Miss Arundale's was set in a lighter ring. Miss Arundale wore her ring always, and at her death it passed to her nephew, Bishop George S. Arundale, who lately presented it to the Esoteric Section Archives.

H.P.B.'s ring was worn by her from 1884 to the day of her death. Some considerable time before her passing, she had intimated to her esoteric Inner Circle that she desired the ring to be given after her death to Annie Besant. At the actual tire of her death, May 8, 1891, Annie Besant ran in the United States. On her return, the ring was given to her, according to H.P.B.'s wishes. Dr. Besant has worn it since then, on the index finger of her right hand.

The reproduction is from Miss Arundale's ring, not from Dr. Besant's which never leaves her finger. But both stones are alike and indistinguishable as to size, shape and color. Strictly speaking, satsatya, derived from sat. Sat is what H.P.B. herself called "Beness"; it is a participial form of the verb-root as, to be.

A letter from C. Jinarajadasa, dated Adyar, September 19, 1951, addressed to Boris de Zirkoff, in answer to one from him, confirms the story of Miss F. Arundale. It states that the ring 'worn by H.P.B. and given to Annie Besant after H.P.B.'s passing, was left to the future Presidents of the Society in Annie Besant's will. It alters somewhat what is stated on preceding card, namely, that the duplicate ring worn by Miss F. Arundale is not in the Esoteric Section Archives, but is "the private property of Mrs. Rukmini Arundale." Suggests that ring appearing on earlier photos of H.P.B., "must have been lost".

Original letter is in the Adyar Folder, Letter-File.

Lucifer, Vol., XVI, No. 94, June 15, 1895, "On the Watch Tower." pp. 269-70:

Annie Besant, quoting from a letter which she received from W. Q. Judge, dated Jan. 24, 1895:

"As a friend I would advise you to be careful in statements as to H.P.B.'s ring; you do not possess it." When I read this, I prepared for the circulation of a new myth, and I have just received a letter from America in which I am told that Mr. Judge, at a meeting of his School, in January last, "made the remarkable statement that by some peculiar means he came into possession of the ring which belonged to H.P.B., and that the one you have in a substitute." The facts as to the ring are very simple. H.P.B. often told me that I was to wear it after her death, in place of the duplicate she had given me in 1889. There were but the two large rings, the one she wore and the duplicate she had made for me, and these two are distinguishable by some very slight differences, only perceptible on close examination. I was absent when H.P.B. left her body, but she told Mrs. Cooper-Oakley that the ring was for me, and after her death it was drawn from her finger and looked up till I reached home, when it was given me, and I put off the duplicate and put on hers. It has never since left me, and I wore it continuously till the summer of 1893, tied on my finger by some threads of silk, because it was too large for me; in the summer of 1893 I bought a gold ring to fit inside it, and so obviate the necessity of tying it on. The duplicate ring she gave me I gave to Mr. Judge, after he arrived in London in 1891, and this is the one he is showing as H.P.B.'s ring. Such are the simple facts which are apparently being developed into "The myth of the Ring."

This is a contradictory statement and misleading but could be about some other ring, although the confusion is obvious.

See Josephine Ransom, A Short History of the Theosophical Society, page 90.

One evening [H.P.B.] asked the Colonel to lend her the large signet intaglio he was wearing as a scarf-ring. She took it between her hands and when she opened them there were two rings, but the second was of a different pattern, though equally large. The seal tablet was of green bloodstone, whereas the Colonel's was of red carnelian. This bloodstone was broken on the voyage to India, so a new one was engraved and set in Bombay. H.P.B. wore this ring till she passed away. It was then handed onto Dr. Annie Besant, and is now worn by Dr. G. S. Arundale.

What a mess!

In a letter, dated September 11, 1951, from Mrs. Helen Harris to Boris de Zirkoff, there is the following description of the ring worn by Katherine Tingley and Dr. Gottfried de Purucker.

In reply to your queries with regard to the ring which, at the time I lived at Headquarters with K.T. was regarded as the seal of office.: —

Question: I would like to know whether you think it was a dark agate stone.

Answer: Yes vary dark, but I cannot say whether agate or some other dark stone.

Question: Whether it was set in an oval frame with a hinge or hinges?

Answer: An oval setting with a hinge. Cannot say whether one or more. Seems that there was one only, but not sure.

Question: Whether the frame had a very shallow locket in it?

Answer: Yes, I watched K.T. open it only once, with some difficulty. Empty.

Question: Whether the ring itself was of rather heavy gold?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is your understanding that it came to K.T. from Judge?

Answer: Yes. According to K.T. H.P.B. wore that ring as the seal of her office and gave the ring to W. Q. Judge who in turn passed the ring onto K.T. who wore the ring "by right of succession to him."

Question: Suppose you were a man of law. You knew that so-and-so is an original ring, document, vase, letter, brooch, what not. Absolutely original, made or produced by so-and-so, at a given time. This item then is duplicated before your eyes by magic. Let us say, a ring is drawn off the original ring. Would you say the "duplicate" made by magic was also an original?

Answer: The 'original' is an astral thought-form from which both rings were formed, or created, on this plane: one by known physical means, the other by Kriyashakti. The former antedates the latter in time but both are genuine. I would not be concerned with which ring was brought into existence on this plane first, but only which of the two equally genuine "originals" in their own right, was worn by H.P.B. Ascertain that if possible and the mystic value of one or the other ring is established.

P.S. Only one of the photographs I have of W.Q.J. shows him rearing the ring K.T. had. Elliott and Pry, photographers, 55 Baker Street, London, W. in E. T. Edge's handwriting: Nov. '93. Magnifying glass shows interlaced triangles and the devanagari letters.

"The Rings of H.P.B.," by James Morgan Pryse, The Canadian Theosophist, Vol. VIII, August 15, 1927, pp. 112-13.

Three rings, two of them talismanic and one merely a finger ornament, have been the subject of controversy among Theosophical gossips who love to pose importantly as the possessors of "inside information" about events in the T.S., although they could not possibly know anything about them at first hand. Thus one ex-Tingleyite (whose followers unblushingly advertise him as "a pupil of Mme. Blavatsky and W. Q. Judge" — although he never met H.P.B. and was only superficially acquainted with Mr. Judge) put in circulation a story that Mr. Judge, when in London, appropriated H.P.B.'s ring, which upon his death passed into the possession of his "successor." This baseless fabrication fits in with the wicked legend, coming from the same source, that Mr. Judge purloined the manuscripts of two unpublished volumes

of The Secret Doctrine. Mr. Judge was too honest to take things that did not belong to him, and he never had H.P.B.'s ring.

The first "magic" ring was worn by H.P.B., who called it "the Master's ring." One evening, during conversation, H.P.B., speaking of this ring, which she showed me, said that their had lately been a "lump" on her eyelid. "But," said she, "I rubbed it with the Master's ring and it went away." She illustrated her statement by rubbing with the Master's ring the eyelid from which the sebaceous nodule had been erased. This ring is now in the possession of my stanch and dear old friend, Mrs. Annie Besant.

The second "magic" ring was worn by Mr. Judge. It was said to contain (so Mr. Mead informs me) "a sample of M.'s tobacco." This ring is now in the possession of my old friend and colleague, Mr. G.R.S. Mead.

The third ring was worn by Mrs. Besant. It is a jeweler's copy of H.P.B.'s ring; the "Old Lady" had it made for "A.B." — who was, as H.P.B. once told re quite proudly, "her personal pupil." This ring, sad to say, ultimately fell into the hands of a person whom a non-theosophical magazine has dubbed, with brutal frankness, "the Boob Baiter of San Diego."

Mr. Mead wrote me that after the death of H.P.B. "there was a swap of amulets and magic-box rings: A.B. got H.P.B.'s, Judge got A.B.'s, and I got Judge's." Long afterwards, after the falling out between Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge, and the later estrangement between Mr. Mead and Mrs. Besant, Mr. Mead in view of the many absurd and baseless rumors and reports that were then, as now, current amongst gullible partisans — facetiously spread abroad the legend that Mrs. Besant's and Mr. Judge's rings had been "occultly changed, so that Mr. Judge had the real article, viz., potent finger-circlet of magical power," and Mrs. Besant "had her own small-beer apotropation back again!" This satiric and implausible fabrication was taken seriously by credulous partisans opposed to Mrs. Besant, who were only too glad to believe that she had been deprived of "the Master's ring."

After wearing Mr. Judge's ring for a month or so, Mr. Mead, who, told me that he "hates rings," laid it by. So I made bold to ask him to let me have it; but he seems to have a suspicion (from what has happened to its wearers) that its magical virtue is the reverse of apotropaic, precipitating rather than averting bad luck, for he answered: "As to the ring — perhaps I may send it to you. Though, there again, I don't want to do you an injury!" Yet both he and I loved William Q. Judge like a brother, and remember him with affection, even though we suffered cruelly through his disastrous dabbling in psychism and mediumship.

[And a statement by Boris de Zirkoff:]

I attended the National Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society in America, held at Wheaton, Illinois, starting July 12, 1959. Sri Ram was there. On one occasion, he stopped to talk to me while passing bye. I said to him: "You have your Ring of Office, have you not?" He said: "Yes," and put his hand forward so that I could see it. He then said: "Would you like to look at it?" He took it off his finger and handed it to me. I looked at it very closely, turned it over several times in various directions, and than asked him: "It has no hinge of any kind, has it?" And he said: "No, no hinge." Then I said: "It has no locket inside, it does not open up, does it?" And he said: "No, there is no locket in it; it does not open up; it is just a plain ring." And so it was. The stone was dark agatha, the ring itself was of rather heavy gold, not too heavy, and the inscription on the stone was as we know it to be: "Sat" and interlaced triangles. I then gave it back to him and thanked him very much for letting me see it.

Alice Boyd writing a letter to Mrs. Besant, published in The Theosophist, Vol. XLIV, May, 1923, p. 222, says in speaking of the last days in Claude Falls Wright's life that he had a plain gold ring which was on H.P.B.'s fingers and which she wanted him to have after her passing. He took it from her finger soon after her death, and had worn it ever since.

[A photocopy of some photos appears on the following page.]

The appended photograph (made by Harold Reavis, Los Angeles, California) shows another ring of H.P.B.'s. It is one which she gave to her devoted disciple and worker, Senor Don Jose Xifre, who introduced Theosophy into Spain and toiled so strenuously on its behalf, sparing neither money nor energy nor time.

The stone of this ring is a Javanese moonstone, very light in color, grayish-bluish, very transparent to the light, and with practically no "clouding" except nearer to the edges. It bears, like all the other rings, an engraving of interlaced triangles and the Sanskrit word sat.

The original setting was of gold, but was removed later on, for some strange reason, by the family of the son of Xifre, to whom this ring was given by his father. (The name of the son is Jose Giaccardi, who took his mother's maiden name to avoid persecution by the Roman Church, when he went to Italy to the Naval Academy. His mother was Italian by birth, The Roman Catholics hated Xifre bitterly.)

The present silver setting for the ring was made for Joaquin Navarro, Los Angeles, California, who ordered it when he received the Stone as a gift from Jose Giaccardi. This is about as much as seems to be known about this stone, and the circumstances when H.P.B. gave it to Xifre are not definitely known, except for the fact that Xifre met H.P.B. in London, and then went back to Spain, and it is probable that H.P.B. gave him the stone while he was in England. Xifre died in 1920.

Ernst Pieper, of Dusseldorf, Germany (Lindemannstr. 27), writing me March 5th, 1951, says the following (translated from the German, Original in letter-file):

As an enclosure, I am sending you also a stamp from the seal with which H.P.B. sealed her letters at Elberfeld. I have received the stone, Indian jasper, as a present from Frau Gebhard, and Mr. Jinarajadasa wrote me saying that what I have is but a copy, as the original is at Adyar. But I cannot think that H.P.B. would order a copy made, and I imagine that she made one herself. The two Sanskrit letters mean 'Sat', and it is interesting to notice that on the right side a small line is missing [below the letter 't']; maybe H.P.B. forgot it while performing the magic feat?

Frau Gebhard is Frau Marie Gebhard-L'Estrange, widow of Authur Gebhrad. H.P.B. was at Elberfeld between May 10th and July 8th, 1886.

On March 2, 1852, Mrs. M. J. Gebhard-L'Estrange wrote me saying that this stone is "an oval green stone," that it is not set, but could be inserted into a stamp.

Contents


Powers of Meditation

by Harold Merry

Throughout mankind's long history there have been repeated instances of violence and brutality which have caused harm and suffering to innumerable individuals.

Even though in recent times, we are increasingly enjoying the fruits of our scientific progress, the violence and brutality continues without abatement and the attainment of social harmony seems to be more elusive than ever.

Over two thousand years ago the Yogis of ancient India practiced meditation and found a way to achieve inner harmony. An increase in the practice of meditation alone, although highly beneficial to the individual concerned. will not answer our needs for social harmony. Only when we reach a higher stage of meditation at which we can evoke our Creative Thinking powers can we start to tackle and eventually overcome our present moral predicament.

Buddha said "Be lamps to Yourselves." This is what I did when I attempted to seek a solution to our moral predicament. For the past five years I have been carrying out research which consisted of two parts. The first part was primarily aimed to determine why mankind has continuously failed to effectively control moral conduct and to achieve social harmony. Once I found a satisfactory answer to this question I hoped to tackle the second question which was to find a feasible solution to the first problem. The research project I had undertaken proved to be very involved and time consuming. Fortunately, I had the time to carry out this research as I had retired and was able to draw on knowledge of a number of subjects which I had studied, and in some cases, practiced in the past. I had been trained and experienced in Systems Analysis, Scientific Problem Solving and Decision Making, Operations Research, Organization and Method Study and Management Science. This was backed by a lifetime interest and study of Philosophy, Philosophical Analysis and Comparative Religions. Furthermore, I have over forty years study, training and experience in Meditation, Mind Training and Creative Thinking and this enabled me to develop invaluable new approaches. and solutions to the problems I sought to unravel.

In my initial research I carried out a study of Ethics and also of the moral systems proposed by various philosophers. In general, I found that many moral systems were aimed to pursue values based on "wants" which are many and varied and often conflicting. Moreover the "wants" do not satisfy our pressing needs which are, in my opinion, "Human Welfare", "Social Harmony" and "Justice."

As the religions played, and continue to play an important role in promoting and monitoring our moral conduct, I decided to carry out a special study of their beliefs and claims. Investigations revealed that religious Myths and Mythology were in most instances the major source of their Doctrine and Dogma. To avoid continuous disputes over the validity of Doctrines and Dogma many religions settled on one chosen version and refused to consider further changes. However, with the discovery of new knowledge the chosen beliefs became increasingly outdated, inappropriate and ineffective.

Some religions claimed that compliance with their moral laws would provide rewards in an afterlife and that those who did not comply with the laws would be punished and would suffer. Gradually these inducements and threats also lost their full influence in curbing immoral practices, including the violence and brutalities. What now seems to be needed to persuade people to adhere to an appropriate moral code is a well entrenched self moral monitoring system.

This type of self moral monitoring system can now be devised thanks to new knowledge acquired as a result of scientific research into the function of the human brain.

Recent scientific research into the function of the human brain has revealed that the brain consists of two similar hemispheres which are linked together by nerve fibers. Each half of the brain has its own separate train of thoughts and its own memory. The left brain tends to think in words, whilst the right brain thinks directly in sensory images. Both halves of the brain are capable of controlling particular actions of the body.

The left brain is the source of our conscious thought and can carry out logical thinking and express its thoughts into words. The right brain is the source of our intuitive thought and is capable of creative thinking and of solving problems which cannot be solved by the rational thinking left brain. When the dominant left rational brain is fully active the right brain is suppressed and unappreciated, but when the left brain is fully or partially inactivated the right intuitive brain's function increases. In an effort to find a satisfactory means for moral control the author applied Meditative Creative Thinking and discovered that four intuitive faculties of the right brain can be used to monitor and control human conduct, and the control and monitoring function can be greatly enhanced by their combined efforts. These innate faculties are creative thinking, altruism, moral conscience and fairness.

Individuals can be trained to use these faculties for guidance in moral decision making whilst using simulated problems. It is so intended that after adequate practice of this nature the trainee will become accustomed to these procedures and will continue to adopt them in real life. The actual training procedures are known to the author who has successfully adopted them in the past to teach students Creative Thinking.

Over two thousand years ago the Yogis of ancient India were able to reach an advanced stage in meditation and learnt to suppress the dominating influence of their conscious minds.

This enabled them to release the hidden powers of their brains and to carry out amazing feats of physical and mental endurance. The meditation procedures were later adopted by most of the foremost Eastern religions and to a lesser degree by the Western religions who recognized and appreciated their merits in controlling and calming the mind. etc. The procedures adopted by the Yogis then required lengthy disciplined training which few can undertake.

Today we are able to simplify and speed up all the essential training procedures including those aimed to reduce the dominating influence of the left brain. This will enable the right brain to contribute and help us to solve and overcome our pressing social and moral problems. When large numbers of people can be trained to effectively use the combined faculties of both their left and right brains we can expect to see a noticeable rise in human conduct and human harmony which in turn will also have a beneficial influence on mental and physical health.

References:

Roger Sperry, American Neurobiologist, carried out a series of surgical operations in the 1950's which enabled him to prove that discrete pathways in the human brain carried specific types of information. For this and his other discoveries Sperry was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine.

In 1969 Robert Ornstein, Professor of Psychology, derived new theories from the research of Roger Sperry. Ornstein emphasized that the two sides of the human brain have different forms of consciousness. The left side operates rationally and the right side intuitively. Today there exists adequate scientific evidence to attest to such duality as existing physically in the brain.

Ornstein claims that we have erroneously assumed that legitimate knowledge comes only via rational and logical thought and that there must be a recognition of the two modes of consciousness, and attempts should be made to integrate these two modes of thought and to cultivate the intuitive mode.

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Lost Souls and Spiritual Evil

by G. de Purucker

[Taken from Fundamentals of the Esoteric Phisosophy, First Edition.]

... if ... our thoughts are running downwards, and we wear away the ... "golden thread" which binds us to our Higher Nature, ... at last the final rupture ... comes, and the soul becomes the "lost soul" ... (167- 68)

There are two classes of this kind of soul ... first ... those ... who through native weaknesses of soul and from lack of spiritual attraction upwards, go to pieces after a certain interval of time ...

The monad of such a soul, meanwhile, there being nothing, no "aroma" of aspiration or yearning upwards .. in due course of time "reincarnates" again; and the "lost soul" episode is like a blank page in its "book of Lives."

Now the second class, and the worse by far, are those in which the soul is vitally strong. They are those who are spiritually evil, ... beings of spiritual wickedness and iniquity. One may wonder how it can come to pass that a being which has ruptured the Golden Thread can still have spiritual qualities or parts. That is one of the dark and solemn mysteries ... (169)

Now, through many, many lives of spiritual evil- doing, these beings who have eventuated as "lost souls" have built up through the intensity of their will a bank account, so to speak, of certain forces of nature, impulses of evil, of pure matter, running hot and strong. And while I say "hot" I do not mean in the ordinary emotional sense, as when one speaks of the "heat of passion". All such passion is dead. Nay. But running hot like the fires of hell: revenge, hatred, and antagonism to anything that is highly good or nobly beautiful, and all such things. These impulses hare exist, and they have a spiritual source, for they are degraded spiritual energies, spirit fallen and crystallized into matter, so to speak. ... These beings can (and do), under certain conditions, go far lower: they enter the Lower Path, and go still farther down: and if the evil be strong enough in certain rare cases, their terrible destiny is what our Teachers have called an avichi-nirvana ... aeons of unspeakable misery, self- imposed, until final dissolution ensues, — and Nature knows them no more. (169)

... Avichi is a generalized term for places of evil realizations, but not of "punishment" in the Christian sense; where the will for evil, and the unsatisfied evil longings for pure selfishness, find their chance for expansion — and final extinction of the entity itself. (169)

... There is no such nightmare as "eternal suffering". Those human beings who have forfeited their divine birthright, go to pieces, they lose their personal entity; (184)

... Even spiritual evil exists; and there are high agents of "spiritual wickedness", of which the Christian Apostle Paul has spoken, forming the opposite agencies to the high agents of good. The latter ones, agents of spiritual wickedness, are called by us the "Brothers of the Shadow", and the others are called by us the "Brothers of the Light". The Brothers of the Shadow work in and with matter, for material and selfish purposes. The Brothers of the Light work in and with Nature for spirit, for impersonal purposes. They contrast one with another.

These two bodies represent two fundamental Paths in Nature, the one the Right-Hand Path, the other the Left, and are so called in the Ancient Occultism. The Sanskrit name for one, the "Left-Hand Path", is Pratyeka-Yana. Yana means "Path" or "Road", and also "Vehicle"; and we can translate Pratyeka in this connection by the paraphrase "every one for himself". Our first Teacher, H.P. Blavatsky, as you will well remember, has spoken of the Pratyeka-Buddhas, high and in one sense holy beings indeed, but craving spiritual wisdom, spiritual enlightenment, for themselves alone, selfishly, in indifference to the sorrow and pain of the world, yet so pure withal that they are actually Buddhas of a kind.

The other body follow the Path which in Sanskrit is called Amrita-Yana, the Immortal Vehicle or Path of Immortality.

The one, the former, is the path of the personality; the other, the latter, is the path of the individuality; the one is the path of matter; the other is the path of spirit; the one leads downward, the other Path loses itself in the ineffable glories of conscious immortality in "eternity." (156)

We spoke ... of there being two classes of "lost souls". That is quite correct. But we must also point out that there are likewise two sub-divisions, in the second of these two classes, and these two sub-divisions of the second class are those who fully merit the old Christian term "workers of spiritual iniquity". The first sub-division comprise those who are commonly called conscious sorcerers; and the second comprise the same type of beings but include those who have reached such a point of inner power, yea, of evil spiritual strength, that they are able even to defeat Nature"s call to dissolution for the entire term of the Manvantara. They merit truly the old mystic saying, "workers of spiritual evil." (185-86)

The first sub-division comprises those who are annihilated when this globe goes into its "obscuration"; but to the second subdivision belong they who are almost human incarnations of what the Tibetans called the Lhamayin; or sometimes they may even be overshadowed by the Mamo-Chohans, which preside at the Pralayas. The last, however, are not exactly "devils" or evil entities, but rather beings whose destiny it is for the time in view to carry on the work of destruction, of desolation. As regards the higher spiritual sorcerers and workers of evil, the second sub-division, their final destiny is truly terrible, for there awaits them at the close of the Manvantara the Avichi-Nirvana, the absolute contrast and nether pole of the Nirvana of spirit; and then a Manvantara of unparalleled misery. They are the polar opposites of the Dhyan-Chohans. Final and utter annihilation is their end. Nature is bi-polar; and as is the action, so is the reaction. (186)

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Two Types of Evil

by Eldon Tucker

[based upon an October 13, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

There are two kinds of evil in life, each with its own related problems. One kind is self-conscious evil, the other is unconscious evil. Both can become a part of our lives, bringing harm to us and darkening life for others as well.

With the self-conscious evil, we are aware of what we do. We have some consciousness of what is right and wrong, and still choose the wrong. There is a sense of choice, an act of will, and the resulting karmic consequences that arise from adulthood and moral responsibility.

With the unconscious evil, we are changed in ways that catch us unaware. Things happen in our lives that we are not paying attention to. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are redirected. We come under confusion. We are led, a little bit at a time, in a direction that is wrong for us, and we don't see it happening.

Consider what happens when someone overeats for a couple of years and puts on weight. There was not a conscious choice to get fat; there's a shock and "I didn't mean to do this!" when he finally realizes what has happened. While the weight is being put on, a Maya, a veil is put over his perception that prevents him from seeing what he is doing.

A second example is when little things become magnified out of proportion. Someone says something thoughtless. The other person reacts in anger. The back- and-forth exchange escalates until there is a deeply- felt hatred. There was never an intention at the start to create such a hatred. It came about almost taking the two people by surprise.

Another example is the Theosophical Network [TN]. It started out with good intentions, with about half-a- dozen people heading up the TN Committee and working for it. Over a few years there continued to be fragmentation and loss of interest until it was down to a single individual, subsequently losing interest and folding it into his new magazine. It could have grown and continued to do useful work, but instead the forces of dissolution overtook it and it came to an early demise. (I was one of the initial people working on it, and saw this happen. Sometime I'll have to tell some stories about it. These stories could be considered "historic documents" since they would be first-hand accounts.)

It has been argued that the fragmentation of the original Theosophical Society was for the good, rather than the result of calculated opposition to it. The fragments were able to specialize and appeal to different segments of the "seekers market", drawing people from different walks of life into contact with the Outer Mysteries. I'd suspect that there was a mix of good and bad in what happened.

A final example of unconscious evil is where one comes under thought control of some cult. One's thinking is subtly changed, one is given conditioning to behave a certain way, and exterior forces have been used to mold one's personality according to the cult leader's preferred pattern for life. This is the opposite of what the Mahatmas ask of their Chelas, whom are left to their own device and council up to the last and supreme Initiation. During this conditioning, one does not see it happening; there are other people, exterior forces, acting upon one changing one in ways that are not the result of self-directed will. We practice this upon others when we manipulate them. We do it when forcing our will on others, despite their wishes. The practice is called interfering in others' karma, and it is generally considered wrong. To the extent that another person can tell right from wrong, and is an adult, the power of choice should remain theirs, and they should not be coerced into actions that are not self-chosen.

In a sense, this second type of evil is evil done unto us. We open ourselves up to it and are harmed. With greater clarity of consciousness we can avoid this kind of evil.

With increased clarity, we take greater control of our lives, and have a more responsible role in the world. More of our actions are self-initiated, and we can become a greater force for good — or for evil — in the world. Aware of what we are doing, we make choices with moral responsibility, and the good or evil that we do becomes an attribute of ours, it becomes part of our Skandhas, and qualified who and what we are.

As choices are made from the perspective of the personality, we acquire personal karma, and add to ourselves additional good or bad qualities. When the inner faculties awaken, and the higher nature comes into play, our choices and the resulting consequences become more far-reaching. We get into the realm of good or evil spirituality.

At our present stage, though, we deal primarily with personal choices for the good, and with the influences of others upon us. Those influences, unconscious evil, are not obvious like horrifying dreams, like a feeling of dread in the dark, nor the shock and horror felt upon seeing first-hand the violence and bloodshed in the world. No. The influences are subtle, overtaking us unaware.

We may be able to stop and look and realize what has happened to us, or what we have done while unaware. "Did I really say that?" might be thought. Or we might deny that what we did really was all that bad, and not want to think of it. Denial happens. We look the other way. We allow things to happen about us while trying to fool ourselves so we don't have to take moral responsibility for what is going on. Unconsciousness is chosen, rather than clarity of mind and moral responsibility. And in this state, we can be influenced for the evil, we invite it into our lives and are harmed.

This is not to say that all unconscious influences are evil. There are both good and evil influences in the world. But when we approach the Path, we stir a deeper part of our natures, and we start to stand out. Both greater influences for good and for evil are directed our way. And we are at greater risk of being harmed or unwittingly doing harm to others. With the inner awakening that we have started, we have a responsibility to take greater conscious control of our lives, and be much more moral than before. We need an increased sense of good and evil, and an increased vigilance against the subtle influences that would bias, distort, and redirect our minds and hearts. The penetrating insight of Buddhi is needed, and without it we could easily be lost.

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