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THEOSOPHY WORLD ---------------------------------- September, 1996
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
To submit papers or news items, subscribe, or unsubscript, write
(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"The First Blavatsky Message" by H.P. Blavatsky
"Theosophy Lodge Online -- Press Release"
"Theosophical Internet-Relay Chat" by Eldon Tucker
"Best Wishes for Success" by Rodolfo Don
"Back Issues Available"
"Theosophy Blasted" by Numerous Critics
"Theosophy in the 20th Century and Beyond" by Andrew Rooke
"The Power of a Single Number" by Chuck Bermingham
"Theosophical Correspondence Course"
"Comments on Fossil Hominids" by Eldon Tucker
"The Impact of Mind on the Course of Evolution" by Richard Taylor
"There is a TS Yoga" by Martin Euser
"Are Lower Planes Bad?" by Eldon Tucker
"Dharma Books" by Nicholas Weeks
Rationalists are admirable beings, rationalism is a hideous
monster when it claims for itself omnipotence. Attribution of
omnipotence to reason is as bad a piece of idolatry as is worship
of stock and stone believing it to be God. I plead not for the
suppression of reason, but for a due recognition of that in us
which sanctifies reason.
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi
THE FIRST BLAVATSKY MESSAGE
[Letter from H.P. Blavatsky to William Q. Judge, General Secretary
of the American Section of the Theosophical Society. The letter
can be found in Volume 10 of the BLAVATSKY COLLECTED WRITINGS, in
ULT and Pasadena T.S. pamphlets, and on the Web.]
London, April 3, 1888
My Dearest Brother and Co-Founder of the Theosophical Society:
In addressing to you this letter, which I request you to read to
the Convention summoned for April 22nd, I must first present my
hearty congratulations and most cordial good wishes to the
assembled Delegates and good Fellows of our Society, and to
yourself--the heart and soul of that Body in America. We were
several, to call it to life in 1875. Since then you have
remained alone to preserve that life through good and evil
report. It is to you chiefly, if not entirely, that the
Theosophical Society owes its existence in 1888. Let me then
thank you for it, for the first and perhaps the last, time
publicly, and from the bottom of my heart, which beats only for
the cause you represent so well and serve so faithfully. I ask
you also to remember that, on this important occasion, my voice
is but the feeble echo of other more sacred voices, and the
transmitter of the approval of Those whose presence is alive in
more than one true Theosophical heart, and lives, as I know,
preeminently in yours. May the assembled Society feel the warm
greeting as earnestly as it is given, and may every Fellow
present, who realizes that he has deserved it, profit by the
Theosophy has lately taken a new start in America which marks the
commencement of a new Cycle in the affairs of the Society in the
West. And the policy you are now following is admirably adapted
to give scope for the widest expansion of the movement, and to
establish on a firm basis an organization which, while promoting
feelings of fraternal sympathy, social unity, and solidarity,
will leave ample room for individual freedom and exertion in the
common cause--that of helping mankind.
The multiplication of local centers should be a foremost
consideration in your minds, and each man should strive to be a
center of work in himself. When his inner development has
reached a certain point, he will naturally draw those with whom
he is in contact under the same influence; a nucleus will be
formed, round which other people will gather, forming a center
from which information and spiritual influence radiate, and
towards which higher influences are directed.
But let no man set up a popery instead of Theosophy, as this
would be suicidal and has ever ended most fatally. We are all
fellow-students, more or less advanced; but no one belonging to
the Theosophical Society ought to count himself as more than, at
best a pupil-teacher--one who has no right to dogmatize.
Since the Society was founded, a distinct change has come over
the spirit of the age. Those who gave us commission to found the
Society foresaw this, now rapidly growing, wage of transcendental
influence following that other wave of mere phenomenalism. Even
the journals of Spiritualism are gradually eliminating the
phenomena and wonders, to replace them with philosophy. The
Theosophical Society led the van of this movement; but, although
Theosophical ideas have entered into every development or form
which awakening spirituality has assumed, yet Theosophy pure and
simple has still a severe battle to fight for recognition. The
days of old are gone to return no more, and many are the
Theosophists who, taught by bitter experience, have pledged
themselves to make of the Society a "miracle club" no longer.
The faint-hearted have asked in all ages for signs and wonders,
and when these failed to be granted, they refused to believe.
Such are not those who will ever comprehend Theosophy pure and
simple. But there are others among us who realize intuitionally
that the recognition of pure Theosophy--the philosophy of the
rational explanation of things and not the tenets--is of the most
vital importance in the Society, inasmuch as it alone can furnish
the beacon-light needed to guide humanity on its true path.
This should never be forgotten, nor should the following fact be
overlooked. On the day when Theosophy will have accomplished its
most holy and most important mission--namely to unite firmly a
body of men of all nations in brotherly love and bent on a pure
altruistic work, not on a labor with selfish motives--on that day
only will Theosophy become higher than any nominal brotherhood of
man. This will be a wonder and a miracle truly, for the
realization of which Humanity is vainly waiting for the last
eighteen centuries, and which every association has hitherto
failed to accomplish.
Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable.
It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the
Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other
ugly features notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the
existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of
students of Theosophy, such healthy divergencies would be
impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in
which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the
living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever growing
According as people are prepared to receive it, so will new
Theosophical teachings be given. But no more will be given than
the world, on its present level of spirituality, can profit by.
It depends on the spread of Theosophy--the assimilation of what
has been given--how much more will be revealed and how soon.
It most be remembered that the Society was not founded as a
nursery for forcing a supply of Occultists--as a factory for the
manufactory of Adepts. It was intended to stem the current of
materialism, and also that of spiritualistic phenomenalism and
the worship of the Dead. It had to guide the spiritual awakening
that has now begun, and not to pander to psychic cravings which
are but another form of materialism. For by "materialism is
meant not only an anti-philosophical negation of pure spirit,
and, even more, materialism in conduct and action-brutality,
hypocrisy, and, above all, selfishness,--but also the fruits of a
disbelief in all but material things, a disbelief which has
increased enormously during the last century, and which has led
many, after a denial of all existence other than that in matter,
into a blind belief in the materialization of Spirit.
The tendency of modern civilization is a reaction towards
animalism, towards a development of those qualities which conduce
to the success in life of man as an animal in the struggle for
animal existence. Theosophy seeks to develop the human nature in
man in addition to the animal, and at the sacrifice of the
superfluous animality which modern life and materialistic
teachings have developed to a degree which is abnormal for the
human being at this stage of his progress.
Men cannot all be Occultists, but they can all be Theosophists.
Many who have never heard of the Society are Theosophists without
knowing it themselves; for the essence of Theosophy is the
perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in man, the
adjustment of his god-like qualities and aspirations, and their
sway over the terrestrial or animal passions in him. Kindness,
absence of every ill feeling or selfishness, charity, good-will
to all beings, and perfect justice to others as to one's self,
are its chief features. He who teaches Theosophy preaches the
gospel of good-will; and the converse of this is true also,--he
who preaches the gospel of good-will, teaches Theosophy.
This aspect of Theosophy has never failed to receive due and full
recognition in the pages of the "PATH", a journal of which the
American Section has good reason to be proud. It is a teacher
and a power; and the fact that such a periodical should be
produced and supported in the United States speaks in eloquent
praise both of its Editor and its readers.
America is also to be congratulated on the increase in the number
of the Branches or Lodges which is now taking place. It is a
sign that in things spiritual as well as things temporal the
great American Republic is well fitted for independence and
self-organization. The Founders of the Society wish every
Section, as soon as it becomes strong enough to govern itself, to
be as independent as is compatible with its allegiance to the
Society as a whole and to the Great Ideal Brotherhood, the lowest
formal grade of which is represented by the Theosophical Society.
Here in England Theosophy is waking into new life. The slanders
and absurd inventions of the Society for Psychical Research have
almost paralyzed it, though only for a very short time, and the
example of America has stirred the English Theosophists into
renewed activity. "LUCIFER" sounded the reveille, and the first
fruit has been the founding of the "Theosophical Publication
Society." This Society is of great importance. It has undertaken
the very necessary work of breaking down the barrier of prejudice
and ignorance which has formed so great an impediment to the
spread of Theosophy. It will act as a recruiting agency for the
Society by the wide distribution of elementary literature on the
subject, among those who are in any way prepared to give ear to
it. The correspondence already received shows that it is
creating an interest in the subject, and proves that in every
large town in England there exist quite enough isolated
Theosophists to form groups or Lodges under charter from the
Society. But, at present, these students do not even know of
each other's existence, and many of them have never heard of the
Theosophical Society until now. I am thoroughly satisfied of the
great utility of this new Society, composed as it is to a large
extent of members of the Theosophical Society, and being under
the control of prominent Theosophists, such as you, my dear
Brother W.Q.Judge, Mabel Collins, and the Countess Wachtmeister.
I am confident that, when the real nature of Theosophy is
understood, the prejudice against it, now so unfortunately
prevalent, will die out. Theosophists are of necessity the
friends of all movements in the world, whether intellectual or
simply practical, for the amelioration of the condition of
mankind. We are the friends of all those who fight against
drunkenness, against cruelty to animals, against injustice to
women, against corruption in society or in government, although
we do not meddle in politics. We are the friends of those who
exercise practical charity, who seek to lift a little of the
tremendous weight of misery that is crushing down the poor. But
in our quality of Theosophists, we cannot engage in any one of
these great works in particular. As individuals we may do so,
but as Theosophists we have a larger, more important, and much
more difficult work to do. People say that Theosophists should
show what is in them, that "the tree is known by its fruit." Let
them build dwellings for the poor, it is said, let them open
"soup-kitchens" etc., etc., and the world will believe that there
is something in Theosophy. These good people forget that
Theosophists, as such, are poor, and that the Founders themselves
are poorer than any, and that one of them, at any rate, the
humble writer of these lines, has no property of her own, and has
to work hard for her daily bread whenever she finds time from her
Theosophical duties. The function of Theosophists is to open
men's hearts and understandings to charity, justice, and
generosity, attributes which belong specifically to the human
kingdom and are natural to man when he has developed the
qualities of a human being. Theosophy teaches the animal-man to
be a human-man; and when people have learned to think and feel as
truly human beings should feel and think, they will act humanely,
and works of charity, justice, and generosity will be done
spontaneously by all.
Now with regard to the Secret Doctrine, the publication of which
some of you urged so kindly upon me, and in such cordial terms, a
while ago. I am very grateful for the hearty support promised
and for the manner in which it was expressed. The MSS. of the
first three volumes is now ready for the press; and its
publication is only delayed by the difficulty which is
experienced in finding the necessary funds. Though I have not
written it with an eye to money, yet, having left Adyar, I must
live and pay my way in the world so long as I remain in it.
Moreover, the Theosophical Society urgently needs money for many
purposes, and I feel that I should not be justified in dealing
with the Secret Doctrine as I dealt with Isis Unveiled. From my
former work I have received personally in all only a few hundred
dollars, although nine editions have been issued. Under these
circumstances I am endeavouring to find means of securing the
publication of the Secret Doctrine on better terms this time, and
here I am offered next to nothing. So, my dearest Brothers and
Co-workers in the trans-Atlantic lands, you must forgive me the
delay, and not blame me for it but the unfortunate conditions I
am surrounded with.
I should like to revisit America, and shall perhaps do so one
day, should my health permit. I have received pressing
invitations to take up my abode in your great country which I
love so much for its noble freedom. Colonel Olcott, too, urges
upon me very strongly to return to India, where he is fighting
almost single-handed the great and hard fight in the cause of
Truth; but I feel that, for the present, my duty lies in England
and with the Western Theosophists, where for the moment the
hardest fight against prejudice and ignorance has to be fought.
But whether I be in England or in India a large part of my heart
and much of my hope for Theosophy lie with you in the United
States, where the Theosophical Society was founded, and of which
country I myself am proud of being a citizen. But you must
remember that, although there must be local Branches of the
Theosophical Society, there can be no local Theosophists; and
just as you all belong to the Society, so do I belong to you all.
I shall leave my dear Friend and Colleague, Colonel Olcott, to
tell you all about the condition of affairs in India, where
everything looks favorable, as I am informed, for I have no doubt
that he also will have sent his good wishes and congratulations
to your Convention.
Meanwhile, my far-away and dear Brother, accept the warmest and
sincerest wishes for the welfave of your Societies and of
yourself personally, and, while conveying to all your colleagues
the expression of my fraternal regards, assure them that, at the
moment when you will be reading to them the present lines, I
shall-if alive--be in Spirit, Soul, and Thought amidst you all.
Yours ever, in the truth of the GREAT CAUSE we are all working
THEOSOPHY LODGE ONLINE -- PRESS RELEASE
Theosophy Lodge Online, a project of the Universal Theosophy
Fellowship-MD, Inc., is now in its second year of operation.
Efforts are being concentrated on increasing the online
theosophical library which already contains over sixty articles.
The TLO website (http://theosophy.org) has recently been enhanced
to include listings of articles by author as well as in
alphabetical order and biographical notes and photographs have
been included for the predominant authors. The website recieves
about one hundred hits every day and processes about 20
individual email requests every week ranging from general
greetings to in depth reference questions. All efforts are
voluntary and more help is needed to scan or key-in articles by
H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and others. Anyone
interested in participating in this project is encouraged to
contact Josh Carpenter by emailing TheosLodge@aol.com.
by Eldon Tucker
In addition to automated mailing lists like theos-talk or theos-l,
and newsgroups like alt.theosophy, there are other forms of
meeting and communicating with fellow students on the Internet.
One is via IRC, which stands for Internet-relay chat.
How does IRC work? One connects to the Internet, then runs an IRC
client program. (There are several versions available, including
one from Netscape, that can be downloaded after a few selections
from its home webpage.) The user connects to an IRC server on the
Internet, selects a nickname and password, then selects and joins
a chat "room".
One major IRC server is "davis.dal.net". It might have 1500 chat
rooms and many thousand participants in the various rooms at any
one time. A vast majority of the rooms have titles that read like
the graffiti scrawled on a public restroom wall. Amidst these are
a few of value.
One such room is "#Theosophy", started by a Theosophist in
Reykjavik, Iceland. It's first arranged meeting was held a few
days ago (August 4), and there are plans for regular weekly
discussions of Theosophy. (That meeting had four people from
California, one from Washington State, one on the East Coast, and
two in Iceland.)
What is the advantage of such a place? It's a very public meeting
place, where people could wander in and get in touch with other
Theosophists on the Internet at any time (especially during the
The type of discussions and interchange that happens is more
formal than talking, but less formal than email exchanges as on a
mailing list. The feedback is immediate and no one has an
advantage over others as to how much time is spent in writing
replies. (Except, of course, for the fast typists!)
When someone signs onto a room, a list of nicknames of people in
the room appears on the screen, and as messages are typed, they
appear after someone's nickname. After one enters the room, the
user will see all of the discussion after than point. It could
Steven> But I've always thought that Atman was universal?
Mary> It is, but it still is one of our seven principles.
Robert> Sorry guys. Have to go now. See you next week.
Mary> Bye Robert.
Mike> I still prefer Subba Row's approach over HPB's.
Snoopy> I just joined. What are you talking about!!!!
This approach was pioneered by THEOSOPHY.ORG on their BBS, but
participants have to sign onto their computer using "telnet", and
the discussion doesn't have the same level of public visibility as
an IRC discussion room.
What could IRC be used for?
* Answering questions for people interested in Theosophy, by
having rooms for people to enter and ask about it. (Someone
could enter a room and be the only person in it, and monitor
it, and their computer will alert them when someone enters the
room. They'd then bring up their IRC screen and communicate
with the visitor.)
* International theosophical study classes where a class leader
and students participate in a discussion of a topic. This
could be supplemented by detailed replies on an email list.
* Panel discussions by leading Theosophists and scholars where a
limited number of key participants are the only ones allowed to
write comments in the room, but many others could enter the
room and "watch" the conversation.
The reader is recommended to check out this useful feature of the
Internet. Visit the new theosophical discussion room:
Time: 8:30 - 9:30 AM PDT / (3:30 - 4:30 pm GMT)
The scheduled topics for September are:
Sept 01 -- no topic scheduled (American holiday)
Sept 08 -- Theosophy in the Computer Age (EBT)
Now that with computers and the Internet we have
rapid access to knowledge and new forms of
communication, will the Wisdom Tradition prosper?
Sept 15 -- What is Theosophy, Old and New? (THEOS)
Sept 22 -- The First Stanza of Voluspa (^S^)
The First Stanza deals with the Commanding Speech of
The Heavenly Man at the beginning of this "World
Sept 29 -- The Path and Getting Real with Theosophy (EBT)
We hear about the Path, but it is usually written
about as something so far-removed from everyday life
that it seems just for others. Can we do it too?
Oct 06 -- The Second Stanza of Voluspa (^S^)
The Second Stanza deals with the evolution of the Monad,
covering former solar systems, the nine worlds, tne nine
subdivisions of each world, and The Original.
It should be mentioned that DALnet has a slightly different
command set than IRC, but it provides better security against
valdalism done against the chatroom by intruders. Any IRC client
program should still allow connecting with it, including the one
that can be downloaded from Netscape.
When one first signs on, one must pick and register a nickname,
then protect against someone else signing on and claiming the
nickname, which would cause one to be bumped from the server.
(Note that the following commands are run from the command window,
not from the zero-or-more chatroom windows that may be opened on
After connecting with the server, run:
/msg NickServ info XXXX
where XXXX is the nickname one would like. If it is not
registered, one can run:
/msg NickServ register PPPPPPPP
to become nickname XXXX and register it with password PPPPPPPP.
Then one must run:
/msg NickServ set kill on
which will prevent others from signing on with the same nickname.
(This command stays in effect for a month, so the "set kill on"
does not need to be typed everytime one logs onto DALnet.)
And to enter the #Theosophy room:
Should one become disconnected from the server, it will still
think one is connected, and consider the reconnect as another
person trying to use the same nickname. When reconnecting, one
needs to remove this "ghost" nickname, using:
/msg NickServ ghost XXXX PPPPPPPP
to kill the ghost nickname and rebecome oneself.
In future sessions, one needs the following commands:
/msg NickServ identify PPPPPPPP
The reader is warned that the DALnet system is evolving over
time, and that the information presented above could become
out-of-date without notice. For the latest information about
DALnet, read: "http://www.dal.net", and regarding the IRC,
BEST WISHES FOR SUCCESS
by Rodolfo Don
I would like to send all of you my best wishes for complete
success. I know that we all are trying to find new ways to work
for Theosophy. The internet presents us with new opportunities
as well as with new challenges. As THEOSOPHY WORLD functions on
the internet, anybody on the globe can participate of its
discussions, as well as read any papers that are sent online. As
long as they have a computer with a modem, and an internet
account. All this represents an opportunity to reach anybody on
the planet and the responsibility to interact with each other the
Theosophy is Altruism and Theosophy is also Universal
Brotherhood. To work for Universal Brotherhood is to work for
BACK ISSUES AVAILABLE
The back issues of THEOSOPHY WORLD, and of the associated
discussion are available online.
To obtain a list of available files, send a message consisting of
Back issues of the discussion are in files of the format
where "YY" is the year and "MM" is the month, like file
"theos-talk.9606" for June 1996. Back issues of the magazine are
in files of the format:
where "YY" and "MM" are again the year and month. The August
issue just came out a few days ago.
To receive a back issue, send a message to "theos-talk-request"
consisting of "get" followed by the name of the desired file,
to get all three back issues. Any file in the archives may be
obtained this way.
Contents of the first three issues are:
> "Looking to the Future" by John Paul Rolston
> "Theosophy in Tibet: The Teachings of the Jonangpa School"
> by David Reigle
> "The Masters Revealed" by Dara Eklund
> "Ergates: The Energetic Worker" by Rich Taylor
> "Embarking on a New Attempt" by Rodolfo Don
> "The Paracelsian Order" by John H. Drais
> "Theosophy in the Computer Age" by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
> "What Are the Life-Atoms?" by Bee Brown
> "Teaching the Soul Direct" from a conversation between Charles
> Johnson and Madame Blavatsky
> "Rights, Duties, Privileges" by Henry T. Edge
> "Narada: A Study in The Secret Doctrine" by G. de Purucker
> "Technical Terms in Stanza I" by David Reigle
> "Theosophy: A Living Truth" by Rodolfo Don
> "Current Superstitions" by Dara Eklund
> "Psychic and Spiritual Path" by G. de Purucker
> "The Archetypla Virtue" by B. P. Wadia
> "Transition of Kingdoms on Globe D" by Eldon Tucker
> "HPB In the News Again!" (Anonymous)
> "States of Matter" by Eldon Tucker
> "HPB In Tibet" (Anonymous)
> "Models of Karma" by Eldon Tucker
> "Alexandria West: Open to the Public" (Anonymous)
> "Theosophical Encyclopeadia in Preparation" by Philip Harris
> "Blavatsky Net Goes Online" by Scribe
> "Original Edition of 'The Voice of the Silence'" by John H. Drais
> "Appealing to the Higher Nature" by Henry T. Edge
> "Psychic Powers" by Andrew Rooke
> "What if I Met a Master" by Eldon Tucker
> "Once Again Blavatsky Words Are Proven True" by Radda Bai
> "Armageddon" by Mrs. Harry Benjamin
> "PI In Base 12 Notation"
> "Each Member a Center" by William Quan Judge
> "When Our Memory Fails Us" by Eldon Tucker
> "Theosophical Glossary and the Psychic" by Mrs. Harry Benjamin
> "Cycles and the Earth's Core" by Eldon Tucker
> "Monads, Principles, and Sutratmans" by G. de Purucker
by Numerous Critics
[On THEOS-L, an unmoderated discussion list devoted to theosophical
topics, over the past few years, most ideas about Theosophy and
the Theosophical Movement have been held up to question, and
nearly every possible idea has at times been rejected by some
participants. A good defense of the theosophical position is not
always made, and the very idea that there is a theosophical
position, that there are theosophical doctrines, is itself under
[Following are a sampling of ideas which have been brought up as
challenges on that list. (Each paragraph is a separate idea.)
They are being simply mentioned below, without trying to answer
them. It is hoped that if a point or two strikes the fancy of a
reader, that a casual reply to THEOS-TALK or a more formal reply
to the THEOSOPHY WORLD magazine will ensue.]
[Note that the ideas are simply stated, and because of the brevity
of words, a complete picture of them may not be given. And they
are not listed in order of importance, but simply at random, a
sampling of ideas.]
Ideas like the seven principles are gibberish; they simply don't
make sense. There's nothing to show that there's anything to us
apart from the physical body, with the mind being a byproduct of
the brain's activity. Since the books are confusing, they are
"Theosophy" should be reserved for ultimate Truth, and
"theosophy" for the process of seeking it. There is no such
thing as the Mysteries, as Mystery Teachings, a body of knowledge
held by the Mahatmas with HPB as their representative.
The metaphysical side of Theosophy is unprovable, all that can be
proved is its scientific claims. Because its pronouncements on
science, like its claims regarding Atlantis, have been disproved,
the whole thing collapses like a house of cards.
Blavatsky wrote solely from her own knowledge and imagination.
Her writings reflect the limited knowledge of the previous
century. She made up things as time, sometimes intentionally
lying to achieve her ends. Theosophy is simply the product of
the individual opinions of a number of authors that wrote similar
The self-esteem of others is paramount. Everyone's views must be
respected on an equal basis. Since all views are equal, anything
can be taught as Theosophy. Any attempt to speak of theosophical
doctrines is really making a dogmatic religion out of it. The
only authoritative statements come from channelers speaking for
angels and spirit guides.
Psychic powers represent the next great evolutionary step forward
for humanity. Those that can see auras, astral project, speak to
"angels", etc., are operating from inner experience. There is no
inner experience based upon insight and mind.
The primary value to the world of theosophical groups is in the
three objects of the T.S., a framework for cooperative seeking.
Anything should be freely taught from its platforms. There are
no theosophical doctrines to promote.
The Brotherhood of Adepts is a fiction. At most, they are
exceptional seekers, simply more-advanced modern-day psychics.
They have no treasury of knowledge. The theosophical Teachings
are a hoax on the West, and they are laughing at us.
Promoters of the theosophical doctrines, and leaders of
established theosophical groups, are dark, evil, corrupt, and
power-hungry. They are numbered among the enemies of the forces
of progress in the world.
Anyone that does not agree with the liberal anti-doctrine
fraternal movement operates out of dark motives, or is simply
deluded. The highest ethics can be found in the Western
Politically Correct approach to social change.
It is honorable to speak out with anger, nastiness, and vehement
anger in response to the supporters of "the old order" in
theosophical groups. All religions are bad, including Buddhism,
and should be deplored. The theosophical doctrines are just
another religion to also be thrown onto the trash heap.
Science has made wonderful material progress in the West, and has
revealed many mysteries of Nature. Therefore, if one speaks as a
scientist, special authority is given to one's opinions about the
world. One's views must be true, and the metaphysical musings of
Theosophists are nonsense, even if they read and appreciate the
same scientific journals.
It is egotistical and elitist to speak of the Path, of Mysteries,
of special depths to understanding Theosophy, of future steps
along the way. There is no "higher knowledge", but only those who
have experienced higher planes (e.g. astral travel), as contrasted
with those who are third-eye blind.
There is no good or evil, these are simply cultural products that
an advanced individual learns to rise above. And the same is
true of ethics. The highest maxim is the magician's "Do what
thou wilt!" The highest good is not in seeing all choices clearly
and making the ethical choice with conscious deliberation and
forethought; the highest good is in simply acting as one desires,
THEOSOPHY: THE 20TH CENTURY AND BEYOND
by Andrew Rooke
[reprinted with permission from AUSTRALASIAN TS NEWSLETTER,
March, 1996, for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org,
Theosophical founder H. P. Blavatsky predicted in her classic
book THE SECRET DOCTRINE that there would be a "rent in the veil
of nature" between 1888 and 1897 which would fundamentally change
the way we look at the world. Since the discovery of X-rays in
1895 and the electron in 1897, the stage was set for the
development of nuclear energy, and our century has proven HPB's
prediction of vast scientific, social, and economic upheavals
spurring rapid change in all areas of human endeavor unparalleled
in recorded history. Two world wars and the breakdown of the old
social class system they precipitated, the Great Depression of
the 1930's, the economic recession of the 1990's, the development
of computers and the transfer of economic focus from
manufacturing to information based services in our
post-industrial age. Through it all, the common people
continuing to exist from day to day, put food on the table, raise
families and make some sense of it all. Though the world has
changed vastly in external circumstances since the TS was founded
in 1875, the disharmonies of human behavior so evident in the
spectacular changes of the 20th century are still much the same
in our time as at any other. Our mission as theosophists then as
now is to uplift the burden of human suffering in any way that is
appropriate to our calling. More particularly as theosophists
with the background of our wonderful philosophy, to help people
understand and rectify the inner causes of suffering, to provide
an example of enlightened living to the best of our ability in
daily affairs, to teach the reality of universal brotherhood in
nature, and to illustrate the bonds between people and systems of
thought rather than the strife and divisions between them.
The 20th century now rapidly closing has been a transition time.
The spectacular changes that fill the pages of modem history
books indicate a breaking of the molds of thought, a settling of
scores between races, a shifting and integrating of populations
particularly in countries like the USA and Australia preparing
the way for the dawning Aquarian Age consciousness and beyond.
Theosophical teachers refer to this process of transition and it
is clear enough in the features of this tumultuous time in which
we live: wars, social upheaval, the movement towards racial
equality and readjustments between formally dominant groups and
their subjects. Who would have thought a few decades ago that
the sun would set on the British Empire, that the Communist
Empire in Eastern Europe would disintegrate and that Apartheid in
South Africa would melt away so quickly. It has become popular
to emphasize the negative aspects of this transition time such as
rapid changes in standards of morality, lack of discipline
amongst youth, poor political leadership, etc. Why not look at
the positive side of the 20th century experience rather than
always stressing the negative. Amongst these positive trends I
would list -- the breaking down of old restrictive social forms
bringing new opportunities to an ever-widening circle of people,
ideals of racial and social equality are now widely shared, the
emancipation of women in many countries bringing new freedoms to
half the population, universal free basic education in most
countries, and in the West at least, increased emphasis and
opportunity for creativity not restricted by the religious or
social taboos of the past. Theosophists have had an important
role in encouraging these positive aspects of our age and we have
great opportunities to further our work because of the very
different atmosphere in which we live than 120 years ago. People
are now generally much better educated and receptive of new ideas
and willing to sort things out for themselves. The core ideas of
theosophy -- Reincarnation, Karma, and Universal Brotherhood --
are now no longer a novelty to most people -- our challenge is
now to clarify the basic understanding of these ideas and provide
the depth that our philosophy supplies to these widely accepted
We are more fortunate than our predecessors in having vastly
powerful tools with the potential for disseminating theosophy to
many more people than could be dreamt of 120 years ago. The mass
media and especially the World computer network, the Internet,
provide phenomenal opportunities for theosophists to make our
message available more readily to those who will listen.
Particularly exciting projects such as the use of World Wide Web
to advertise the work of the TS, electronic mail to speed
messages around the world, and projects linking theosophical
students from whatever background around the globe like the
international computer-based theosophical study group "Theos-l"
established in 1993 and gatherings such as the 2nd World
Parliament of Religions in the same year. All these developments
hold great potential for good which has hardly yet been realized.
These are merely up-to-the-minute expressions of theosophists'
pioneering role in using modem technology to disseminate
Did you know that eminent English scientist Sir William Crookes,
a Fellow of the Theosophical Society, late last century devised
the basis of the cathode ray tube now used in every TV set and
computer terminal around the world? Here in Australia,
theosophists have had a long interest in information technology
with members of the TS (Adyar) establishing Sydney Radio Station
2GB in 1926 still broadcasting under new owners today. In this
tradition of utilizing modern scientific discoveries to further
our ancient work, I would say that some theosophists at least,
have a duty to remain current with the exciting scientific
developments of our time and relate them to the Ancient Wisdom
In particular the sciences that fire human imagination such as
the space sciences, and sciences affecting our daily well being,
such as health and medicine, have the capacity to reach people
with a theosophic perspective appropriately and clearly stated.
Beyond focusing on the intellectual developments of our age, I
would say that we shouldn't lose sight of the basic issues
affecting people's daily lives and remain aware and sympathetic
with the perennial struggles of the common people.
In my view, our challenge as Theosophists working for enlightened
living in the modem world, is to preserve, treasure, and
communicate the original impetus propelling the founding of the
TS 120 years ago. This original impetus charges us to help
provide people with access to their birthright of knowledge about
who they really are as essentially spiritual beings and their
relation to the greater Oneness of which we form part.
This duty should not only be expressed in intellectual
discussions but with joy and humor as a real living force in our
lives. In this way we can make a long term contribution to
solving the worlds problems by helping to transmute the aspects
of human nature which produce the negatives we have seen all
about us in the 20th century. Let's work together to turn them
to positives in the 21st century!
THE POWER OF A SINGLE NUMBER
by Chuck Bermingham
[The following story was posted by Chuck Bermingham on theos-l on
January 11. Chuck had heard the story from a co-worker of his,
Joe Murphy, whom had originally heard the story during a
slide show on mathematics.]
There was a scientist from another universe who came here to
study. After he had met with our scholars and leaders, he wanted
to take his newfound knowledge back with him. Unfortunately, he
was not allowed to take back anything he didn't bring with him.
He remembered that he had brought with him a rod that could be
marked, in one single spot, with infinite precision.
He asked: "Can you make a huge number out of all the letters in
all your great books (like, say, a long, long string of ASCII
"Yes, of course," said the scientists, and they proceeded to
generate it with their computer.
In front of this number, he put a decimal point.
He said: "This number is a percentage of the length of my
measuring rod," and he marked the rod with a single mark.
When he got home, he had all the information that he wanted.
THEOSOPHICAL CORRESPONDENCE COURSE
[The following is from a brochure on an useful correspondence
course on Theosophy that is offered by the T.S. Pasadena.]
Designed to aid students in their search for truth, these
correspondence courses examine the mysteries of life, the
rationale of rebirth, and the laws of nature which, when
understood, help us unfold our spiritual potential.
Each course is composed of lessons with questions to be answered
and returned for comments. Some questions require answers that
summarize the author's explanation, others seek the student's
ideas. When we reply we send succeeding lessons. There is no time
limit: students go at their own pace.
New students are encouraged to begin with TCC-I and progress
through these guided courses. In this way they will become
acquainted with theosophic terms and concepts. Students with a
background in theosophy may enroll in any of the courses.
Tuition for these courses is free. Charges are for books,
materials, and postage. Book prices listed below include
shipping. (California residents add 7.25 percent sales tax, Los
Angeles County 8.25 percent). Outside USA, payment must be made
in US dollars by checks drawn on any US bank, International Money
Order, or Canadian Postal Money Order.
For those who alread have the book, please deduct book cost from
the total price. Financial assistance is available when there is
Payment is made by check or money order payable to THEOSOPHICAL
Theosophy I -- 16 lessons
A nontechnical overview of theosophical teachings that give reason
and perspective to today's living.
EXPANDING HORIZONS by James A. Long,
USA, Canada, Mexico:
$26.00 = $9.00 paper + $17.00 postage & materials
$31.00 = $14.00 cloth + $17.00 postage & materials
All others (airmail):
$51.50 = $15.50 paper + $36.00 postage & materials
$58.00 = $22.00 cloth + $36.00 postage & materials
Theosophy II -- 14 lessons
Examines H. P. Blavatsky's views on theosophic teachings, their
practical application, and the purposes of The Theosophical
Society. These teachings include: the origin and composite nature
of man and universe, karma, reincarnation, and the dangers of
THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY by H. P. Blavatsky,
USA, Canada, Mexico:
$33.00 = $13.00 paper + $20.00 postage & materials
$39.00 = $19.00 cloth + $20.00 postage & materials
All others (airmail):
$67.50 = $23.50 paper + $44.00 postage & materials
$75.00 = $31.00 cloth + $44.00 postage & materials
Theosophy III -- 17 lessons
Short chapters packed with information concerning the composite
nature of spirit, soul, and body, after-death states, psychic
powers, and cosmic and terrestrial cycles -- supplemented by
extended definitions from the GLOSSARY.
THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY by William Q. Judge, and
OCCULT GLOSSARY by G. de Purucker,
USA, Canada, Mexico:
$37.50 = $9.25 paper + $10.25 paper + $18.00 postage & materials
$42.50 = $9.25 paper + $15.25 cloth + $18.00 postage & materials
All others (airmail):
$68.00 = $14.00 paper + $15.00 paper + $39.00 postage & materials
$74.00 = $14.00 paper + $21.00 cloth + $39.00 postage & materials
Theosophy IV -- 38 lessons
An in-depth study of the esoteric teachings that have influenced
philosophical, religious, and scientific thought through the ages.
THE ESOTERIC TRADITION by G. de Purucker,
USA, Canada, Mexico:
$60.00 = $22.00 paper + $38.00 postage & materials
$70.00 = $32.00 paper + $38.00 postage & materials
All others (airmail):
$139.00 = $49.00 paper + $90.00 postage & materials
$155.00 = $65.00 paper + $90.00 postage & materials
Theosophy V -- 17 lessons
An examination of theosophical views regarding the biological and
spiritual evolution of mankind.
MAN IN EVOLUTION, by G. de Purucker,
USA, Canada, Mexico:
$32.00 = $14.00 paper + $18.00 postage & materials
All others (airmail):
$62.00 = $23.00 paper + $39.00 postage & materials
Theosophy VI -- 8 lessons
Provides a helpful method for studying H. P. Blavatsky's THE
SECRET DOCTRINE and introduces its devotional companion, THE VOICE
OF THE SILENCE -- a book which offers instructions for seekers on
AN INVITATION TO "THE SECRET DOCTRINE" by H. P. Blavatsky, and
THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE by H. P. Blavatsky,
USA, Canada, Mexico:
$26.50 = $8.25 paper + $7.25 paper + $11.00 postage & materials
$30.50 = $8.25 paper + $11.25 cloth + $11.00 postage & materials
All others (airmail):
$41.00 = $11.50 paper + $10.50 paper + $19.00 postage & materials
$46.00 = $11.50 paper + $15.50 cloth + $19.00 postage & materials
Theosophy VII -- 48 lesosns
This course examines the universal principles presented in THE
SECRET DOCTRINE, and deals with each of the "seven keys" that lead
FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY by G. de Purucker,
USA, Canada, Mexico:
$57.50 = $16.00 paper + $41.50 postage & materials
$63.50 = $22.00 cloth + $41.50 postage & materials
All others (airmail):
$142.00 = $32.00 paper + $110.00 postage & materials
$152.00 = $42.00 cloth + $110.00 postage & materials
For further information regarding the textbooks, the reader may
request a catalog from Theosophical University Press. To get in
touch with the correspondence course, contact:
Theosophical Correspondence Course
Post Office Box C
Pasadena, CA USA 91109-7107
818-797-7817 [voice], 818-798-4749 [fax], email@example.com
COMMENTS ON FOSSIL HOMINIDS
by Eldon Tucker
It's useful to keep up on the latest scientific thinking
regarding the history of the human family. We can see where our
theosophical doctrines are in accord or apparent conflict with
science. We need to be aware of the differences, both in order
to explain them to new students, and to understand them
There's a good introduction to paleoanthropology on the web:
"The Talk.Origins Archive,"
(We'll start with some raw information from that article. A few
passages will be quotes, a few words with be paraphrased.)
This discipline is described as
> the field of science which studies the human fossil record ...
> the intersection of the discipline of paleontology (the study of
> ancient life forms) and anthropology (the study of humans).
The term HOMINID is described as referring to members of the
family of humans. The last common ancestor of humans and living
apes used to have been thought to have occurred 15 to 20 million
> Some apes occurring within that time period, such as
> Ramapithecus, used to be considered as ... possible ancestors of
> humans. Later fossil finds indicate that Ramapithecus was more
> closely related to the orang-utan, and new biochemical evidence
> indicates that the last common ancestor of hominids and apes
> occurred between five and ten million years ago, and probably in
> the lower end of that range.
The classes of humanity follow. There are two genus,
AUSTRALOPITHECUS and HOMO, and various species within that genus.
We are warned in the article that the ordering is based upon
appearance in the fossil record, and not meant to represent an
* Australopithecus ramidus (4.4 million years ago)
This is the oldest known species, about four feet tall, and may
have been a forest dweller. Some individuals were about 4'0" tall.
* Australopithecus anamensis (3.9 to 4.2 million years ago)
These "had a mixture of primitive features in the skull, and
advanced features in the body."
* Australopithecus afranesis (3.0 to 3.9 million years ago)
This species was physically very strong. Females were
substantially smaller than males. Heights varied between 3'6"
and 5'0". "The finger and toe bones are curved and proportionally
longer than in humans ... scientists consider this evidence that
afarensis was still partially adapted to climbing in trees..."
* Australopithecus africanus (2 to 3 million years ago)
Body size was slightly greater, but both this species and the
previous one had a relatively lighter build; they were more
* Australopithecus aethiopicus (2.3 to 2.6 million years ago)
This species "has a baffling mixture of primitive and advanced
* Australopithecus robustus (1.5 to 2 million years ago)
"Its diet would have been mostly coarse, tough food that needed a
lot of chewing." They may have used digging tools.
* Australopithecus boisei (1.1 and 2.1 million years ago)
* Homo habilis (1.5 and 2.4 million years ago)
Because of evidence of tools, this species is called "handy man".
The brain shape is more humanlike, and there is evidence that it
was probably capable of rudimentary speech. It stands about 5'0"
tall. Habilis and the Australopithecus genes are found only in
* Homo erectus (300,000 to 1.8 million years ago)
Body proportions vary from tall and slender to a shorter, sturdier
build. "This species may have been more efficient at walking than
modern humans, whose skeletons have had to adapt to allow for the
birth of larger-brained infants." This is the first species is
found throughout Africa and Asia, and probably Europe. Erectus
probably used fire, and have more sophisticated stone tools than
* Homo sapiens, archaic (first appeared about 500,000 years ago)
The brain size is larger than erectus and smaller than modern
* Homo sapiens, neanderthalensis (30,000 to 230,000 years ago)
> The average brain size is slightly larger than that of modern
> humans ... but this is probably correlated with their greater
> bulk. The mid-facial area also protrudes, ... and may be an
> adaptation to cold ... [they] mostly lived in cold climates, and
> their body proportions are similar to those of modern cold-adapted
> peoples: short and solid, with short limbs.
They averaged 5'6".
> A large number of tools and weapons have been found, more
> advanced than those of Homo erectus. Neanderthals were formidable
> hunters, and are the first people known to have buried their dead,
> with the oldest known burial site being about 100,000 years old.
> They are found throughout Europe and the Middle East.
* Homo sapiens sapiens, modern (present to 120,000 years ago)
> About 40,000 years ago, with the appearance of the Cro-Magnon
> culture, tool kits started becoming markedly more sophisticated
> ... Fine artwork appeared over the next 20,000 years.
One other important point to note:
> Brain sizes vary considerably within any species, but this
> variation is not usually related to intelligence. Instead, it
> correlated loosely with body size: large people tend to have
> larger brains.
And now a comment from H.P. Blavatsky (THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II,
> The Secret Doctrine maintains that, notwithstanding the general
> cataclysms and disturbances of our globe, which -- owing to its
> being the period of its greatest physical development, for the
> Fourth Round is the middle-point of the life allotted to it ...
> physical Humanity has existed upon it for the last 18,000,000
> years. This period was preceded by 300,000,000 years of the
> mineral and vegetable development.
And again on pages 156-57:
> ... although the exact figures are withheld ... the figures
> 18,000,000 of years, which embrace the duration of SEXUAL,
> PHYSICAL, man, have to be enormously increased if the whole
> process of spiritual, astral, and physical development is taken
> into account.
> [during the earlier Root-Races the] terrestrial conditions as were
> then operative had no touch with the plane on which the evolution
> of the ethereal astral races proceeded. Only in relatively recent
> geological periods, has the spiral course of cyclic law swept
> mankind into the lowest grade of physical evolution -- the plane
> of gross material causation. In those early ages, ASTRAL evolution
> was along in progress, and the two planes, the astral and the
> physical, ---
> [FOOTNOTE: It must be noted that, though the astral and physical
> planes of matter run parallel with one another even in the
> earliest geological ages, yet they were not in the same phases of
> manifestation in which they are NOW. The Earth did not reach its
> present GRADE OF DENSITY till 18,000,000 years ago. Since then
> BOTH the physical and astral planes have become grosser.]
> --- though developing on parallel lines, had no direct point of
> contact with one another. It is obvious that a shadow-like ETHEREAL
> man is related by virtue of his organization ... only to that
> plane from which the substance of his UPADHI is derived.
There are various discussions of the root races in the
theosophical literature. The exact figures are not given out, and
some of the hints seem to conflict with each other. The
information is given out as something to puzzle over, rather than
a plain statement of scientific fact.
Apart from dwelling on the time periods of the races, for which
incomplete information has been given out, there is a significant
point to consider. That is the fact that until the middle of the
Third Root Race, humanity was astral on this globe, rather than
Where did this earlier humanity live? We might also wonder admist
what other kingdoms did this humanity live? Were there
representatives of the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms in a
similar astral state where there could be interaction between them
and the humanity of that time?
We find in THE INNER GROUP TEACHINGS OF H.P. BLAVATSKY, pages
22-3, something illuminating:
> The body is not a Principle in Esoteric Parlance, because the body
> and the Linga[-Sharira] are both on the same plane.
That is, the astral and the physical are basically of the same
"stuff", and on the same plane.
> The body is an Upadhi rather than a Principle. The earth and its
> astral light are as closely related to each other as the body and
> its Linga[-Sharira], the earth being the Upadhi.
Or we could say that the physical earth is one place where the
astral light is expressed. The earth is concreted astral.
> Our plane in its lowest division is the earth, in its highest the
And this is the key sentence. So we see than an "astral" humanity
still exists on this physical plane, but is on a higher
subdivision than the gross matter that we see with our eyes.
> The terrestrial astral light should of course not be confounded
> with the universal Astral Light.
We are given a warning here, that there is more than one "astral
light", and that which specifically relates to our terrestrial
earth is localized, specific, and not the universal.
Since it was possible for the astral humanity to exist on this
earth during the age of the dinosaurs and earlier, unharmed by
physical creatures and events, the same may be true of the
humanity (and other creatures) of our sister planets.
Looking at Mars or Venus, could we say that there is no humanity
on the physical planets (globe D's of their planetary chains)? We
know that astral humanity became physical on our earth, just
before the middle of our Fourth Round. Might this have happened in
earlier Rounds? Could it also happen in later Rounds, where
humanity is astral, then becomes physical in later races on this
earth? And could the process reverse itself, and at some point
physical humanities disappear from the scene, becomes astral in
subsequent races in a particular Round?
There are many questions to ponder, and much has been left unsaid
in the theosophical literature. It's a worthy study, though, and
challenges us to think about the ramifications of our philosophy,
considering how it relates to modern science and our understanding
of how life on this earth actually works.
We can keep up our studies of the philosophy. We can keep abreast
of the latest discoveries in science. And we can keep continually
keep up our inner work, seeking to open up within and Know
directly. Over time, we'll find ourselves growing, and as time
passes things that once puzzled us will start to make themselves
clear, and we'll have yet greater problems to dwell on.
THE IMPACT OF MIND ON THE COURSE OF EVOLUTION
by Richard Taylor
[Based upon a posting to theos-l earlier in the year.]
I believe there are quantum experiments which show that the
OBSERVATION itself has a "fixing" quality to it. And I have
heard rumors of studies that show that statistically, the
attitudes and predictions the scientist make can actually
RETROACTIVELY effect the outcome of an experiment, in essence
CHANGING THE PAST, or at least what we thought of as "past."
The following list suggests research on the mind and its PHYSICAL
effects quite outside of quantum mechanics:
1) Psycho-somatic illnesses,
2) Bio-feedback studies,
3) Psychokinesis studies,
4) Spontaneous remission of cancer/etc. following intense
meditations or systems like "A COURSE IN MIRACLES",
5) The "hundredth monkey" effect (i.e. a so-called "critical
mass" is achieved in consciousness which snow-balls into
large-scale societal and even physical transformations),
6) Rupert Sheldrake, Michael Polanyi et. al. and the hypothesis
of "morphogenetic fields" where species-wide consciousness
alters the course of that species' evolution,
7) Martial arts and the projection of "chi" by mental effort,
8) Mesmerism and hypnosis,
9) Paranormal phenomena manifested by religious adepts (e.g.
Satya Sai Baba's ash, HPB's Simla tea-cup, etc. etc. etc.)
There's a HUGE list of this kind of stuff, traditional and
10) Placebo effects in medicine
11) Faith healing/spiritual healing, and
12) Psychotherapy and imagery practice
One excellent source, especially for bibliography and documented
cases is Michael Murphy's nearly thousand page tome, THE FUTURE
OF THE BODY.
Coupled with the broad mind-based philosophy put forth by HPB in
her Secret Doctrine, with its special and explicit emphasis on
the Yogacara/Cittamatra ("mind-only") school of Buddhism, I think
there is a fairly substantial case that HPB and her Teachers
believed and taught that mind was the central force in human
evolution, it was for the development of Manas that spirit
incarnated in matter in our series of globes, and that HPB
foreshadowed so much of the mind-body work being done this
Indeed, HPB wrote, that perhaps her S.D. was a work not of the
19th, but of the 20th century, and even here, in our 20th
century, the work would be only "partially vindicated." (in the
preface to the Secret Doctrine, I think, I forget exactly what
I for one think it is hard to say she spoke untruth here, the
results are all around us.
THERE IS A TS YOGA
by Martin Euser
[This article is from a recent posting on "theos-l" in reply to a
message by another writer stating that "there is no TS yoga".]
There are several powerful exercises of a Raja Yoga type which
are being practiced by some people (theosophists and
non-theosophists) I know. (I practice these exercises too).
For brevity I will only mention them here (a fuller description
of some of these can be found in my article: 'The psychological
key to man' which you can be retrieved at Spirit-www):
(see Theosophy section;Theosophy_basics(2))
- the famous Pythagorean exercise of looking back at the events
of the day
- the well-known method of building a picture (concretization of
a spiritual object) in your mind, and let it work on your
psyche. Very powerful method, recommended by many spiritual
Schools. Fuller description: see my article.
- AUM-meditation. Recommended by HPB, G de Purucker and others
(reverberation of the sound in the skull, different pitches
possible with different effects, visualization of a specific
color can be used too in this meditative process). In
Theosophical literature it is said not to perform this exercise
when one is in an angry mood. HPB gave this meditation to her
students (pitch = mi (E);color=yellow [color of buddhi]- this
combination for soothing, calming effect on aura; I sometimes
try it and it sure works!
Several other ('theosophy approved') meditations I know of:
- considering ideas from different angles; trying to contemplate
the different aspects of situations, events, relations, etc.
This is a practical exercise which is applicable to daily life.
It is useful in order to develop a more nuanced way of looking
at things (going beyond black-or-white evaluations)
- Abstract meditations about the Buddha-nature; pondering about
the wholeness of life (Judge gives this exercise, he describes
it more fully)
- simple breathing exercises (this is simply to practice a more
wholesome breathing habit [deeper breathing from belly] - I
read about one variant in Vitvan's writings, but there are
other variants. I would have to look it up though. Generally
(in TS) breathing exercises are considered to be hatha-yoga,
but I don't consider a wholesome breathing as a particular
- A host of simple meditations can be found through the internet.
I have mentioned some in my newage FAQ (see eg. White Eagle's
third circle meditations (also for individuals)
[And yet other techniques:]
- Feeling type of exercises These may not be 'theosophy
approved', but there are simple methods of registering
vibrations of sense-impressions without forming an image in the
mind (an automatic habit of the mind). I found a type of this
exercise in Vitvan's writings together with other valuable
exercises, most of which are connected to forming new patterns
of identification (and unlearning old habits) regarding the
energy-consciousness behind sense impressions. If you are
interested in all this stuff I can give you references as where
to find this information.
- One of the most powerful 'exercises' is living life in a
spiritual way: the Bhagavad Gita recommends action without
desiring the fruits of the action. This advice may not be
meant for 'newcomers' on the Path (people can benefit from this
practice immensely if they're ready for it, but this advice has
deeper significance when one is firmly established on the Path
- this is my interpretation, although I've seen similar
interpretations in spiritual literature).
One added note: if people are asking about techniques for the
explicit purpose of developing psychic powers - well, you know
what the opinion is on that in Theosophical circles (and in some
other spiritual organizations I know of).
One can do that - but there is a danger of an inflated ego,
blocking progress to the more spiritual realms. IOW, there's a
rationale for deemphasizing psychic powers - if they come, fine,
but don't be blinded by them.
ARE LOWER PLANES BAD?
by Eldon Tucker
[This note is written in response to some discussion of THE VOICE
OF THE SILENCE on theos-l, and particularly some comments of Keith
Price, which are paraphrased herein.]
> One might suggest that our earth is Myalba, hell, the lowest
> level in the universe.
I'm not sure that it is the lowest level in the universe. Our
Globe D is the lowest globe of our planetary chain, and represents
as far into matter as *we* can go. But I'd expect that there are
as many lower planes are there are higher planes.
There are hints, for instance, about there being a planetary chain
on lower planes, in relationship with the earth. It is associated
with the "eighth sphere near the moon."
Another hint is that during the Rounds the earth unfolds through
one class of subplanes in sequence
7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
and another class of subplanes going down and coming back
7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
The subplanes below these are mentioned as having to do with the
dark side of life. (This is mentioned, I think, in THE INNER
GROUP TEACHINGS OF HPB.)
> But aren't we on one of the lowest globes and in one of the
> darkest cycles of manifestation?
I think the word "darkest" can be misleading. The spectrum is
spiritual through material, as we descend from higher to lower
planes. A particular plane is not good or evil per se; that is
determined by the free will and choice of the individual beings on
Going to a "lower" plane is attempting to come into existence in
a more concrete, more tangible, more limited yet obvious world.
The same inner light and understanding can be experienced and
expressed on a low, concrete plane as on a high, abstract or
formless plane of experience.
Why then don't we experience the same lofty contents of
consciousness on this plane as we might find on a higher plane?
It takes time to learn how to do it. And this "learning how to
do it" is the process of spiritual evolution that we're
> I like to picture us with feet touching lowest matter and head
> reaching to the sky of heaven, nirvana, the ONE.
You present a good picture here of our situation: feet grounded in
the material world and head reaching into the skies of heaven. But
this world is lowest *to us*, and not in an absolute sense. And
the heaven our heads reach into is *our* highest, and not an
As finite beings, we exist in the world as a bundle of Skandhas,
a bundle of finite attributes. We are more than that bundle, but
it defines the boundaries of our experience of life on this world.
It is like the piece on the playing board of life that represents
us. The outer boundaries of that "piece" are our limits, defining
where our feet are placed and how high our heads rise.
We are hooked up with the universal in every possible direction,
where we pass beyond our individual boundaries. Our atman has its
paramatman, and even our physical could be said to have its
para-physical roots in the mystery of life.
> Thus we reach from the lowest hell through the mind to the
> highest awareness of heaven-like states and beyond to the
> intuition of the ONE.
The lowest worlds, though, are "hell" because they are as yet
inexpressive of our higher faculties. We must go to sleep inwardly
in order to exist in them. It "hurts" to leave a major portion of
ourselves behind. But as we continue to grow and evolve, we
experience more and more of ourselves here, on earth, and one
grand day in the distant future we'll realize that we've left
nothing behind, that we are truly ourselves in this *concrete*
world, a world that no longer seems dark nor evil nor a place of
> Aren't we souls encased in bodies, seeking freedom from the lower
Seeking freedom from the six lower worlds? I'd put it differently:
seeking liberation from the *inexpressiveness* of the lower
worlds. That is, seeking the power to be oneself, even *here on
During the Rounds, we (humanity) have time to spend on each of
the planes. The places we spend the time are the globes. At
this time, we're focused on this plane, the "physical", and this
is our place of self-expression. Vast ages hence, we'll move on.
The purpose of life, I think, is not to get out of here as quickly
as possible, taking as many other prisoners of the physical plane
with us as we can in the process. It is to bring ourselves and
others to liberation, but that liberation is one from our
blindness, from the inertia of matter, from our inability to exist
with self-consciousness. Let's wake up!
by Nicholas Weeks
[reprinted from theos-roots, February 11, 1996]
Of the many books I've read in the past year or two, the
following are some of the best.
THE THREE LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION by Deshung Rinpoche.
This is a full (500 pages) commentary on the "Three Visions" root
text of the Sakya order of Tibetan Buddhism. Deshung Rinpoche
taught in Seattle for many years.
LIFE OF SHABKAR. Shabkar was a wandering Nyingma lama
(1781-1851) who revered all Dharma practitioners, such as Je
Tsongkhapa, a Gelukpa. This is his autobiography that stops at
age 57 or so.
GEMS OF DHARMA by Je Gampopa. Gampopa was the founder of the
Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. This is very welcome new
translation of his "lam-rim". Guenther's "Jewel Ornament"
translation, especially his notes, was never helpful to me.
PATH OF HEROES by Zhechen Gyaltsab. A two volume mind training
text from the Nyingma order. Very beautiful; with Tarthang
Tulku's comments at the beginning of each chapter.
PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT by Geshe Thubten Loden. The best lam rim
(stages of the path) text based on Je Tsongkhapa's GREAT LAM RIM
I have seen. Over 1000 pages.
THE PYTHAGOREAN SOURCEBOOK. This was done in the late `80s and
has several traditional biogs of Pythagoreas, plus many texts
from his school.
SAI BABA GITA by Al Drucker. This is Bhagavan's commentary on
key themes in the Bhagavad Gita. The first edition with a
different title is better, but it is out of print. Drucker took
some liberties with the text, but something is better (in this
case) than nothing.
GOD TALKS TO ARJUNA by Yogananda. This a two volume, lovely,
new, much expanded edition of his never-in-book-form commentary
on the Gita. Very good and "esoteric" too.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application