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THEOSOPHY WORLD ---------------------------------- November, 1997
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
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(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 Path of Self-Reliance" compiled by Nicholas Weeks
"Cycles and Unconditioned Consciousness" by Eldon Tucker
"New Zealand News" by Bee Brown
"Studies in 'The Voice of the Silence', Part III, The Mind of the
Renouncer, by B. P. Wadia
"New Age Defended" by Paul Johnson
"Spirit and Universal Brotherhood" by Dallas TenBroeck
"Great Theosophists: The Rosicrucians"
"No Dreamworld" by Eldon Tucker
"The Dreamworld" by Gerald Schueler
"Sowing Fresh Spiritual Seeds" by Einar Adalsteinsson
"Masters, Adepts, Teachers, and Disciples" by Dallas TenBroeck
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new
landscapes but in having new eyes.
-- Marcel Proust
THE PATH OF SELF-RELIANCE
Compiled by Nicholas Weeks
[An abridged rendition of some parts (II, 4-9; V, 43) of an
ancient work, the ~Yoga Vasishta~, dealing with spiritual
self-reliance. Based on ~Vasistha's Yoga~ pp. 25-29, 256-58;
translated by Swami Venkatesananda; the ~Sree Yoga Vasishtha~
translated by Vidvan Bulusu Venkateswarulu, Vol. 1 pp. 106-22,
Vol. 5 pp. 143-46; and ~Yoga Vasistha~ translated by Swami
Jyotirmayananda, Vol. 1 pp. 114-34, Vol. 3 pp. 107-08.]
All you can do is to prepare the intellect: the impulse toward
"soul-culture" must be furnished by the individual. Thrice
fortunate they who can break through the vicious circle of modern
influence and come up above the vapours!... We have one word for
all aspirants: TRY. [KH in ~Mahatma Letters,~ #35.]
II 4 O Rama, listen to what I [Vasishtha] am about to say, which
instruction is sure to remove the darkness of ignorance.
In this world, whatever is gained is gained only by self-effort;
where failure is encountered it is seen that there has been
slackness in the effort. By effort one can attain knowledge
which leads to salvation. This is obvious; but what is called
God, destiny or fate is fictitious and is not seen. The dull and
the ignorant created God, who is none other than self-effort of a
past incarnation affecting one.
Self-effort, Rama, is that mental, verbal and physical action
which is in accordance with the instructions of a holy person
well versed in the scriptures. This will reveal the moon of
spiritual bliss beyond the dark clouds of mental impurities.
Such effort, continuous and constant, gives good results, all the
rest is sheer madness.
It is only by such effort that Indra became king of heaven, that
Brahmaa became the creator, and Vishnu and Shiva earned their
II 5 Self-effort is of two categories: that of past births and
that of this present birth. Past efforts can be counteracted by
current labors. There is constant conflict, like battling rams,
between these two in this incarnation. That which is more
powerful triumphs. Men of self-effort, by firm and long
practice, can undo the past effort.
Self-effort which is not in accord with the scriptures is
motivated by delusion. To go against scriptural injunctions will
lead to disasters. Mental desire alone, without the needed
action, is pure lunacy. It will not only be useless, but it will
lead to further delusions.
There is no power greater than right action in the present.
Hence, one should take recourse to self-effort, gritting one's
teeth, and one should overcome evil by good and destiny by
present effort. Even obstructions presented by the devas are due
to bad actions in past lives.
The lazy man is worse than a donkey. One should never yield to
laziness but strive to attain liberation, seeing that life is
ebbing away every moment. Everyday one must think of the
impermanent body and struggle to conquer the animal nature. He
must take recourse to association with good and virtuous people.
One should not revel in the filth known as sense-pleasures, even
as a worm revels in pus. By good deeds, good will return to you;
by bad deeds, bad will return. Nowhere is there any God, fortune
or fate. One who ignores his present ability for self-effort for
fear of his past bad actions, might as well fear his own two
arms, thinking them dangling vipers.
One who thinks that fate or God is directing him, is brainless
and the goddess of fortune abandons him. Hence, by self-effort,
discrimination, good association and study of the scriptures,
acquire wisdom. Then realise that self-effort will end -- in the
direct realisation of the truth. But ignoring, or going against
the traditional injunctions, will not work. One should not try
to create a gemstone from a ordinary pebble. Those who do not
believe in the long practiced and experienced truths of the wise,
but depend upon God, luck or destiny, are fools called the
"living dead." If lazy dullness, this dreadful source of evil,
were not found on this earth, who would ever be illiterate or
poor? It is because lazy ones rely, life after life, on God or
fortune that this earth is full of people who live like animals,
miserable and poverty-stricken.
[Vasishtha continues the following morning:]
II 6 The only God or fortune is previous action. As is the
effort so is the fruit, O Rama: this is the meaning of
self-effort, and it is also known as fate. What is called fate
or divine will is nothing other than the action or self-effort of
the past. The present is infinitely more potent than the past.
Just as a man can govern a boy, vigorous present actions can
control past karma. The evils of yesterday can be remedied by
the good actions of today. There is no need to rely on destiny,
luck or God. They indeed are fools who are complacent about the
bitter fruits of their past actions (which they regard as divine
will) and do not engage themselves in self-effort now. A weak
and dull-witted man can only see the hand of providence when he
is confronted by a powerful adversary and succumbs to him.
If you see that the present self-effort is sometimes thwarted by
fortune (or divine will), you should understand that the present
self-effort is weak. Even the apparent experience of defeat
sings the glory of one's own past self-effort.
Sometimes it happens that, without effort, someone receives a
great gain. This is certainly not an accident nor some kind of
divine act, but the fruit of self-effort in a past birth.
The wise man should of course know what is capable of attainment
by self-effort and what is not. For what we cannot conquer, such
as death, there must be no weeping.
One who does not dispel bad karma by strong effort is the same as
a beast. He will always be coming and going to heaven or hell.
He is ever dependent; never independent. He has no salvation.
It is ignorance to attribute all this to an outside agency and to
think that God sends one to heaven or hell or that an outside
agency makes one do this or that -- such an ignorant person
should be shunned.
One should free oneself from likes and dislikes and engage
oneself in righteous self-effort and reach the supreme truth,
knowing that self-effort alone is another name for divine will.
That alone is self-effort which springs from right understanding
which manifests in one's heart which has been exposed to the
teachings of the scriptures and the conduct of Holy ones. The
wise shun the ignorant method of dualism and enjoy the delight of
equanimity. They realize that oneness is the goal of life.
The past effort which took one to heaven and follows one to this
birth is called God. We do not blame God or luck, which are
delusions. We blame only those dolts who give up self-effort and
rely on God or providence. They are sure to destroy themselves.
II 7 O Rama, one should, with a body free from illness and mind
free from distress, pursue self-knowledge so that he is not born
again here. One who tries with his best self-effort to destroy
the ideas of God and providence, fulfills his aspirations both
here and hereafter. Those who rely on fortune or God and ignore
effort are self-destroyers. Self-effort is rooted in an inner
vibration that awakens an urge for realization in one's
consciousness, then a decision in the mind, and then physical
action. The process of self-exertion embraces every part of the
individual -- spirit, intellect, mind, senses and body.
Self-effort consists of these three -- knowledge of the
scriptures, learning from one's Guru and your own holy striving.
Providence or God's dispensation does not enter here. Hence, he
who desires salvation should divert impure mind to pure endeavor
by persistent effort -- this is the very essence of all
scriptures. The Holy ones emphasise persistently treading the
path that leads to the eternal good. And the wise seeker knows
that the fruit of my endeavours will be commensurate with the
intensity of my self-effort and neither fate nor any God can
ordain it otherwise. Indeed, such self-effort alone is
responsible for whatever man gets. Only to console blockheads at
the time of sorrows or difficulties is the word God used. No one
has seen such a God, but everyone has experienced how an action
(good or evil) leads to a result (good or evil). Hence, from
one's childhood, one should endeavour to promote one's true good
by a penetrating study of the scriptures; keeping company with
the Holy ones and by right self-effort.
II 8 Fortune or God is merely a convention which has come to be
regarded as truth by being repeatedly declared to be true. If
this God or fate is truly the ordainer of everything in this
world, of what meaning is any action? The simpleminded who
believe in God might well jump into a fire, trusting in God's
grace to keep them safe. God will make us bathe, give to the
poor and do our spiritual practices. What is the use of the
exhortations of the scriptures if God will do everything? In this
world, excepting a corpse, everything is active and such activity
yields its appropriate result. In this world no one sees God,
but we do see mind and intelligence. There are not two things,
intelligence and God. Only intelligence is. If between two
people of the same intelligence one fails and the other succeeds,
God is not the cause, but laziness and effort are. If one thinks
God is the director and doer of all things, let this whole world
sleep, God will do everything. This may be a consoling outlook,
but in truth, there is no God. It was foolish ones who created
God. The followers of God will perish. The sages became so by
individual effort. Please tell me why the heroic men of valor,
the wise and the learned should wait for God? If astrologers
predict that a certain man will become wise and he does so
without ever studying - - then I will accept that God is great.
Rama, this sage Vishvamitra became a Brahma-Rishi by self-effort;
all of us Rishis have attained self-knowledge by self-effort
alone. Hence, renounce the chimera of God's providence and apply
yourself to self-effort.
II 9 Rama asked:
Lord, you are indeed the knower of truth; is God (daivam) real or
unreal? You say there is no God, but also say that past Karma is
God. Does God really exist? Please clarify.
Rama, self-effort alone is real; it does everything. The
fruition of self-effort by which one experiences the good and
evil results of past action is called fate or God by people.
People also regard that as fortune or God which characterises the
good and evil nature of such results. When you see that "this
plant grows out of this seed", it is unwisely regarded as an act
of God. God is a mere figment of the imagination. For I feel
that God is only a word for one's effort and the effect of one's
effort, in this life or a past one.
Rama, listen carefully and you will understand that God is only a
myth. In the mind of man are numerous latent desires or
tendencies (vasanas), and these tendencies give rise, in this
life or another, to various actions -- physical, verbal and
mental. Surely, one's actions are in strict accordance with
these tendencies, it cannot be otherwise. Actions or karma are
nothing but those latent desires manifested. Action is not
different from the most potent latent tendencies, and these
tendencies are not different from the mind and the man is not
different from the mind! God is nothing but karma; karma is
nothing but the mind. Therefore, there is nothing other than
self-effort (purushartha); God is a fantasy. All results are
achieved by self-effort and not by providence or God.
Rama asked again:
Holy sir, if the latent tendencies brought forward from the
previous birth impel me to act in the present, where is the
freedom of action?
Rama, your tendencies brought forward from past incarnations are
of two kinds -- pure and impure. The pure ones lead you towards
liberation, and the impure ones invite trouble. You are indeed
consciousness itself, not inert physical matter. You are not
impelled to action by anything other than yourself. You are in
fact the real Supreme Being. Hence you are free to strengthen
the pure latent tendencies in preference to the impure ones. The
impure ones have to be abandoned gradually and the mind turned
away from them little by little, lest there should be violent
reaction. By encouraging the good tendencies to act repeatedly,
you strengthen them. The impure ones will weaken by disuse. You
will soon become absorbed in the expression of the good
tendencies, in good actions. When thus you have overcome the
force of the evil tendencies, you will then experience the
supreme truth with the wisdom that rises from the good
Therefore, follow this blessed path of goodness followed since
olden times by the wise. Always increase you good tendencies
(vasanas); understand and become the reality, Brahman.
V 43 The foremost means for self-knowledge is self-enquiry; grace
and such other factors are secondary means. Nothing whatsoever
is gained with the help of God or guru or wealth or other means,
but only by self-effort aimed at complete mastery of the mind.
Hence, adore the atman with the atman, serve the atman with the
atman, behold the atman with the atman, and be firmly established
with the atman in the atman. Just as you perform worship of the
Lord, why do you not worship your own self?
No one in the universe, not even the devas or the trinity of
Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiva, can save a man from the torments of a
CYCLES AND UNCONDITIONED CONSCIOUSNESS
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon an April 8, 1994 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
In a study of the Esoteric Philosophy, as we consider any of our
vast doctrines, we may find ourselves limited in how far we can
go. We may find that we are held back by some of the ideas that
we learned as we grow up, or that we are exposed to in our
day-to-day life. We need to free ourselves of much mental
baggage that we carry with us, baggage that puts us at a
disadvantage to someone growing up in another culture.
One idea that shows up in many forms is that the Infinite is the
biggest finite thing, and that if one kept getting bigger and
bigger, one would eventually come to it, the biggest, the
highest, the most powerful thing in all of existence.
A variation on the idea is that there is an ultimate perfection,
but it is something that one can reach, if he kept evolving and
evolving, that it is an attainable goal.
A third twist on this idea is that the infinite is unknowable and
beyond our experience, since it is so high, so far off, so
transcendent, so perfect.
A paradox may be posed to us: What happens when an immovable
object is met by an irresistible force? This is only a so-called
paradox. It assumes that there is such a thing as an immovable
object and such a thing as an irresistible force. An immovable
object cannot exist, there will always be a force strong enough
to overcome its inertia. And the same for an irresistible force.
The paradox attempts to endow something that is manifest, finite
in nature, with an infinite attribute or power. This is not
possible. Nothing *can exist* with infinite attributes.
The infinite aspects of consciousness are very real, and we have
them as a part of our experience. But they are just as we have
said: in-finite, not-finite, beyond the conditioned existence of
finite, manifested existence.
Another word that might be used for *infinite* would be
*unmanifest,* because that is what it is. Those attributes of
life, those aspects of consciousness that deal with unconditioned
existence, with the state of *non-being,* as opposed to the our
finite state of *being,* are as important to our experience of
life as the parts of ourselves that we are more immediately
Until we acquire a philosophical basis for considering the
unconditioned states of consciousness in our thought, they will
appear to us as mystical experiences, because we have not
acquired the ability to articulate them. But they are not
mystical, and are as real and as substantial a part of life as
any other experience of live, be it eating food, talking to a
friend, or reading a book.
Our experience of life in the manifest world, in conditioned
existence, is in and through the seven principles of
consciousness, from Atman through the physical body. Our
experience of life as is transcends the manifest world, in
unconditioned existence, is in and through the three higher
principles, numbers eight, nine, and ten, the higher triad that
overshadows our existence.
Consider the law of cycles. If you take a cycle and give it
infinite duration, you would be making the same mistake as the
people whom would say that the Infinite is the biggest thing in
all existence. The mistake would be to give an infinite
attribute to something that exists in the manifest or conditioned
No cycle can *exist* that is of infinite duration, that will
repeat itself forever and forever, without ever ceasing. A cycle
is not a mechanical process, a mechanism that exists in the
universe that persists independent of what happens. A cycle is
the effect of a living being in a universe, the result of some
life, and its effects are felt only as long as that being
continues to exist. And that being, of however grand a stature,
will cease to exist, if not sooner, then at the pralaya or
dissolution of the universe in which it finds its home.
Every universe, however grand, has its beginning and its end, its
birth, lifetime, and death. And there is no such thing as The
Universe, when speaking of the totality of all, everywhere, both
in and out of existence at this moment. The name for that
totality is the Boundless All, and can be considered as a Grand
Fullness (*Idam* or This) or a Grand Void (*Tat* or That).
There is an infinite, a perfect, a unconditioned side to the
experience of life. And it is there for everything that exists.
Every being comes into manifestation out of that perfection.
This perfection, though, although it includes everything, all
possibilities, all capabilities, all aspects of life, is still
not *perfect* perfection. For us, it represents our personal
experience of the nirvanic consciousness, of utter completion
because of not being limited to having to make choices and take
on a particular nature.
But even in our unconditioned selves, we are not truly perfect.
There is much more for us to learn. As our consciousness
embraces the all, it is still dim, weak, and uncertain, and there
is a definite extent to our effective *reach* even when in
There is a duality in us: the unconditioned, unmanifest, perfect,
universal experience of non-being, on the one hand, and the
conditioned, manifest, imperfect, limited experience of being, on
the other. Being arises out of non-being, as a ray or projection
of consciousness. We are both parts, and they are inseparable,
and we have not lost our root consciousness, our basic experience
of void as we take on outer life as a living human being.
This duality exists in the various aspects of our world as well.
With time, there is absolute time, unconditioned time, the
perfect side to duration, and relative time, conditioned time,
the imperfect experience of time in a particular world.
Our experience of cycles is of this second type of type, the
broken time *(Khandakala),* the sense of time that only exists
when there are objects in activity with which to measure it by.
Consider the cycle of a day. This may appear to be a fairly
stable cycle. It is the cycle of a being, the earth, doing one
spin on its axis. For the beings on the earth, it demarks a
cycle of activity, with many active at daytime and sleeping at
The length of a day may change over many billions of years, and
as it does, the beings living on earth will adjust their lives to
accord with it.
We would not say that a day is a cycle that controls our
activities. Rather, the day is a cycle of the world in which we
live, and we synchronize our own activities, our own cycles of
living to harmonize with it. When it changes, we change or we
experience discord and find it harder to live.
But a day is not a cycle that externally controls us; it is
something in a world in which we exist that we come into
cooperation and accord with. We have a relationship between us
and the cycle of a greater being. It is not a situation of us
being externally controlled or predestined or locked into the
cycles of life on earth like two interlocking gears in a machine!
A day as we know it will have its end. At some point in the
distance future, our sun will have burned out and our earth will
have gone away. They will have entered pralaya, dissolution, and
will cease to exist. No longer existing, our particular
experience of "day" will be gone as well.
Other cycles will exist, and appear to be eternal, but only exist
for the duration of their world or universe. They too will have
their time when they come to an end. Like the beating of a
heart, a cycle may continue, faithfully, for the entire duration
of the life of its originator, then cease when that originator
Cycles, though, do not have to be synchronous, to continue at
regular intervals for the entire duration of their existence.
They can also be asynchronous, to happen at apparently random
intervals. But regardless of their timing, they follow a
There is a beginning, where the seeds of previous cycles sprout
forth into a period of growth, activity, completeness, then
withdrawal, dissolution, and death, as the cycle ends. When a
cycle repeats, it is done slightly better than before, because of
the previous experience brought to bear on it.
And cycles can happen with different intents or purposes. The
same activity is done, but under a different influence. We could
be writing an article on economics for a school purpose. (The
cycle is the experience of writing the article.) Then we repeat
the cycle of writing an article, but this time on Theosophy, and
although the steps that we go through and the writing skills that
we apply may be the same, the experience that we have is entirely
The same could be said, on a bigger scale, of the different
evolutionary periods, under the rulership of different hosts of
beings, collectively known as the Dhyani-Bodhisattvas and Dhyani-
Buddhas. There may be different intents or purposes behind our
periods of existence, and these influences greatly qualify our
experience of life as members of the human lifewave.
The important thing to do when considering cycles is to give up
the mechanistic view, to give up picturing cycles as interlocked
gears in some cosmic machine, to give up the thought that cycles
are universal, absolute realities that apply everywhere,
throughout all universes both big and small, and apply forever,
throughout all time and times.
Cycles as we know them are an aspect of conditioned existence.
We should not look to them for a sense of the permanent, for a
sense of order and rule to life, for a sense of peace and
perfection. The permanent, the ruling order, the absolute peace
and perfection can be found elsewhere, in the void, in the
unmanifest, in our highest nature, the highest triad, above and
beyond our conditioned selves and their experience of manifested
We have as an integral part of our consciousness the
unconditioned, the experience of abstract space and abstract
time. This is not far off, imaginary, a other-worldly vision,
nor is it in any way vague, tenuous, or make-believe. This part
of us is as much a part of our being as our mind or any other
part of our natures, and is very real and substantial in its own
How do we understand this part of ourselves? By experiencing it.
Not by trying to understand it, by trying to picture it in some
other part of ourselves. We understand it by direct experience
and not by indirection or analogy.
Consider the feeling of being in love. Words can qualify the
experience--much like the sense of smell can enhance the taste of
food that is eaten--but the feeling of love is a different
faculty of consciousness than the mind, than the words and ideas
that we describe things with. We do not experience love just by
using the words in the mind. We must evoke the feeling nature.
The same is true with the higher experiences of life. We
understand the experience of the void by evoking the part of our
nature that has that consciousness. Thinking about it can
enhance the experience, and bring a clarity of consciousness to
it. But the experience is not to be had simply by playing with
words in the mind. This is something where we must "do it to
Our highest nature must be experienced to be made real, and that
experience is by the bringing of self-consciousness to what we
already have as part of our conscious natures: our Highest Triad,
the Auric Egg, Swabhava, and Paramatman.
We experience both unconditioned time and conditioned time, both
pure time and the cycles of manifest existence. We experience
both finite, conditioned space and eternal, abstract space. We
experience both sides of every quality to life. And we are not
fully functional until we bring a balanced awareness of both
sides of the Great Divide, of the Abyss, to our everyday
In our spiritual training, we can learn to become more aware of
our inner nature. And with a solid philosophical and
metaphysical basis for our experiences, one that we acquire with
a study and deep contemplation of the Teachings, we can come to
bring many treasures into our lives. We can enhance our living
of life by the deeper, richer, more whole and complete
perspective that this brings to our lives. There can be a lot
more to even simple things, like drinking a glass of water or
making a phone call, than we may realize!
NEW ZEALAND NEWS
by Bee Brown
The New Zealand Section [of the Theosophical Society (Adyar)] has
at last established its presence on the Internet, just behind the
Australian Section, which has a very natty site.
We are fairly small and so it has taken a while to gain the
expertise to even attempt such a move. The site is still under
construction and it is hoped to keep adding articles of a NZ
content. It was felt that links to all the other great Theosophy
sites was enough and that there was no need to duplicate what was
already available. NZ puts out a quarterly magazine and this is
supplying a lot of material especially if we go back many years
of its existence. There is and has been very good NZ written
articles as well as local contributions, that we hope to have
The activities of our 15 branches will also feature as the
information comes to hand.
We have re-activated the NZ e-mail discussion list, now
maintained by the TS headquarters office and the original
instigator, John Vostermans.
We ask that anyone interested in joining in drop a line to
email@example.com and their name will be added as soon as
We are about 20 strong at the moment and so far we are getting a
diversity of topics to think on and perhaps reply to. As all
this is mostly organised by one person along with her other
duties, some delays may occur in expanding the web site to the
vision of what it can one day be.
STUDIES IN "THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE"
PART III -- THE MIND OF THE RENOUNCER
by B.P. Wadia
[From the 1989 ULT pamphlet containing a reprint from THE
THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, X, September 1940, pages 173-74.]
The guiding principle in the Probationer's life is Discrimination
between the Real and the Unreal. But these terms take on a
special meaning for him; not the ordinary discrimination, between
soul and sense, between mind and matter, between Beness and
Being, but discrimination between Selflessness and Selfishness as
ultimate cosmic principles. If he is bent on Liberation his
discrimination follows one channel; if on Renunciation, it cuts a
different canal. In the former case the neophyte's aspiration is
for freedom from the world of erring humanity and entrance into
the state of spiritual bliss. On the Path of Renunciation his
whole concern is with Humanity -- not with his own realization of
Bliss ineffable, but with bringing the bliss of enlightenment to
the minds of men. The knowledge necessary for spiritual Self-
Realization is limited; but that necessary for the service of
other souls is vast and complex. Esoteric Philosophy, advocating
for its votaries the treading of the Path of Renunciation,
requires that they obtain the latter knowledge.
The first necessary step shown in the second fragment of our
textbook, "The Two Paths," is that of the Buddhi-yoga of the
second chapter of the BHAGAVAD-GITA, with one important
difference. It not only recommends seeking asylum in mental
devotion and doing one's duty without caring for the fruits of
action, but also adds - - "Gain Siddhis for thy future birth."
> Follow the wheel of life; follow the wheel of duty to race and
> kin, to friend and foe, and close thy mind to pleasures as to
> pain. Exhaust the law of Karmic retribution. Gain Siddhis for
> thy future birth.
> -- VOICE OF THE SILENCE, ULT 39; TUP 36
To practise the most difficult art of doing good to others
requires exceptional knowledge. It is not sufficient to gain
"deliverance of mind from thraldom by the cessation of sins and
Not cessation of sins, but something more; not suppression of
vice but its elimination. The man who seeks and gains Mukti not
only abandons humanity but leaves behind a particular set of his
skandhas, which perforce must attract him back to incarnated
existence, be it in another manvantara. Among the weaknesses and
the conditions to be overcome by the future Adept are not only
"desires for possession and power" but also "duties which,
however honourable, are still of the earth earthy." Here is a
subtle difference in the evaluation of Duty from that which is
ordinarily made, a difference which the future Renouncer has to
note. The development of right renunciation at the early stages
and for the Probationer consists in the PERFORMANCE of duties;
in not shirking them,  but discharging them. In discharging
them, however, he has to learn the lesson contained in the
performance and develop the power which goes with that
performance. Liberation comes by the payment of our debts to all
duties. But unless effort along a special line is made the
powers which follow that performance will not unfold in his
consciousness, and the treading of the Path of Renunciation will
There are two kinds of Siddhis -- the one lower and psychic, the
other higher and spiritual. When the Probationer is told, "Gain
Siddhis for thy future birth," it is the powers of the second
type that are meant -- powers belonging to Buddhi-Manas. In the
performance of duty one should have not only detachment from the
lower personal self and from the results of actions, but also
attachment to the higher egoic self, so that the field of Dharma-
yagna, sacrificial service, widens. He who desires liberation
discharges his duties in such a fashion as to create no new
causes -- exhaustion of Karma is his method. But he who aspires
to tread the Path of Renunciation performs actions in such a
manner as to create new opportunities to serve an increasing
number of human minds. Each sacrificial action of his, naturally
unfolding from his congenital duties, Karma-Dharma, is like a
pebble thrown in a lake -- the circles of Karma made by it grow
and grow. But, the aspirant is thrown back into his old sphere
if, through lack of knowledge and because of limited perception,
in serving he does not unfold the spiritual Siddhis. Each
sacrificial deed deepens the spiritual insight, provided that
both in motive and in method it is according to the teachings of
the Esoteric Philosophy. Occultism teaches how to turn the
forces of evil to good and unless the Probationer on the Path of
Renunciation learns this and thus gains Siddhis his success will
be very distant. Therefore this is said:
> To live and reap experience, the mind needs breadth and depth and
> points to draw it towards the Diamond Soul. Seek not those
> points in Maya's realm; but soar beyond illusions, search the
> eternal and the changeless SAT, mistrusting fancy's false
> suggestions. For mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it
> reflects. It needs the gentle breezes of Soul-Wisdom to brush
> away the dust of our illusions. Seek, O Beginner, to blend thy
> Mind and Soul. [28; 25-26]
The ordinary man has for his horizon his street; his insight is
surface-deep and the points of his magnetic compass draw him to
his appetites. He lives in his sense-created state, which looks
to him like a real world but which is not any of the seven Worlds
of Rest Eternal. His mind made subservient to his senses, and
his senses to his appetites, he goes from death to death. The
man who has begun to live, who recognizes that life being
probationary, afflictions are opportunities, looks beyond his
street. Modern education does give him some breadth of vision,
but not the depth, and therefore the gap between his knowledge
and his practice, between his mental and his moral life, between
his sacred beliefs and his secular deeds. Theosophy educates the
human mind to gain depth,  to see below the surface, to
penetrate into the very kernel of form. When the horizon of the
student is broadened, when the insight of the practitioner has
deepened, and therefore he has begun to live, he must secure the
magnetic compass of the higher life. In navigation, by means of
the magnetic compass the directive force of Earth, the great
magnet, upon a freely-suspended needle is used and it is
indispensable. Equally indispensable, nay more so, is the
corresponding instrument to navigate the ocean of Samsara. The
depth of insight develops Viveka-discrimination, and for the
learning soul, that aspect of it which enables him to select
ideas and aphorisms which, under Karma and for his particular
stage, are necessary. The points of his magnetic compass show
him the way to Sat -- Truth. It is for the human mind to
maintain the breadth and the depth gained by not allowing desires
and fancies to exert their power of suggestion and to draw him
away to Maya's realm. This has to be achieved by the mind
blending itself with the Soul.
Daily, nay hourly, from the sphere of memory the dust rises and
settles on the mind, taking away its capacity to reflect the
Divine Ideas of Akasha. Therefore daily and hourly the mirror of
the mind has to be dusted and study of the Esoteric Philosophy
does it. Sustained effort to reflect Divine Ideas polishes the
mind, transforming the mirror and giving it the superior capacity
to reproduce, more and more accurately, the Living Images of
Devas and Dhyanis, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. These reproductions
are the real points that draw the Chela-Soul to the Vajrasattva,
the "Lord of all Mysteries."
It is during the process of brushing away the dust of illusions,
of blending mind and soul, of soaring into the sphere of Sat,
that the choice to tread the Path of Renunciation is confirmed,
because we see the hidden meanings and the occult implications of
that choice. The Great Choice comes at the end, when the
knowledge concerning the two Ways is obtained:
> Thou hast the knowledge now concerning the two Ways. Thy time
> will come for choice, O thou of eager Soul, when thou hast
> reached the end and passed the seven Portals. Thy mind is clear.
> No more art though entangled in delusive thoughts, for thou hast
> learned all. Unveiled stands Truth and looks thee sternly in the
> face. She says:
> "Sweet are the fruits of Rest and Liberation for the sake of
> *Self*; but sweeter still the fruits of long and bitter duty.
> Aye, Renunciation for the sake of others, of suffering fellow
> He, who becomes Pratyeka-Buddha makes his obeisance but to his
> *Self.* The Bodhisattva who has won the battle, who holds the
> prize within his palm, yet says in his divine compassion:
> "For others' sake this great reward I yield." -- accomplishes the
> greater Renunciation.
> A SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD is he.
> Behold! the goal of bliss and the long Path of Woe are at the
> furthest end. Thou canst choose either, O aspirant to Sorrow,
> throughout the coming cycles!
> OM VAJRAPANI HUM.
> -- U.L.T., 46-47; TUP, 43-44
The student will do well to make use of THE THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY
and to reflect upon the terms (1) Pratyeka-Buddha; (2) Vajrapani;
(3) Vajrasattva; and (4) Vajradhara.
NEW AGE DEFENDED
by Paul Johnson
[based upon a September 24, 1997 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
In SUNY Press's hefty AMERICA'S ALTERNATIVE RELIGIONS there is a
good definition of the New Age movement. Found in Phillip
Lucas's article on the A.R.E., this passage defines four
distinguishing characteristics of the New Age movement:
> Belief in an imminent planetary spiritual transformation that
> will occur at the level of human consciousness ... An ethic of
> self-empowerment and self-healing as a prerequisite to the
> healing of society ... A desire to reconcile religion and
> science in a higher synthesis that enhances the human condition
> both materially and spiritually ... Strong eclecticism in its
> embrace of healing therapies, healing practices, and millennial
Elsewhere Lucas accurately identifies the A.R.E as one of the
major promoters of the New Age movement, since it was "a natural
outgrowth of activities and emphases that had long been staples
of the association." He finds "the New Age's eclectic,
pastiche-like approach to spiritual traditions and methods"
particularly harmonious with the A.R.E. approach.
The reasons for Theosophy's distancing itself from the New Age
movement are complex. I don't agree with the conclusion that
"the ego is all" and "all views are equally subjective" are
necessarily part of the New Age mix. If they were, the same
stuff goes back to New Thought -- although the ego is never
spoken of favorably in either movement as best I know. And I
certainly disagree with the claim that "any group that has
reached any level of advancement in their esoteric studies" would
distance itself from the New Age -- except in a very special
sense of "advancement."
I don't know that any of the Theosophical groups *have* reached
any level of advancement *as groups* -- they're all highly
individualistic affairs in which one is more or less on one's
own. The Esoteric School is an exception to this in the Adyar
Society, but not an encouraging one. There, belief that "we are
advanced in esoteric studies" creates a spiritual elitism that
looks down not just on non-Theosophists but on all FTS who are
outside the group.
It is *that* kind of advancement in esoteric studies that has
kept the Theosophists standing on the sidelines. Advancement in
thinking that "we have the secret truth and others don't."
In 20 years of observing both movements, I have found the A.R.E.
to be much more willing to identify with the New Age, but also
much more open generally.
I think the two go hand in hand, and that Theosophical distancing
from the New Age movement is mostly a simple case of "mine's
better than yours." Better because older, or closer to some
imagined source of authority, or more abstract, probably.
I recall an Internet-discussion reference to "plebeian New Agers"
as a group that Theosophists had every right to look down on. I
think that conveys an all-too-prevalent attitude. While
Theosophists are busy looking down on seekers, other more
welcoming groups are drawing them in.
SPIRIT AND UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD
by Dallas TenBroeck
One should consider that the whole Universe is bathed in what,
for lack of better words, we designate "SPIRIT." Spirit is
indefinable, being subtle, subjective, life-giving, and is
ubiquitous -- present everywhere. Hence to be thought of as
closest to us in our own hearts. But not limited to our hearts
only, since it is universal and is therefore SHARED with all
other humans and in fact all other beings alike, each drawing on
IT for what is needed for their EX-istence, at the particular
stage and condition of their present living.
If as I suggest, nothing is excluded, and "evil" or "wrong-doing"
is very simply a deliberate choice made by an ISOLATED mind-self
to act AGAINST THE GENERAL LAW -- WHICH IS THE LAW OF UNIVDERSAL
BROTHERHOOD. [Here is where desire and passion can be shown to
establish rings of isolation around the embodied Self, the Ego,
and thereby generate the karms of selfishness and despotism.]
Those rings of isolation, once perceived, can be gradually
destroyed by the active mind of the disciple, who desires to
widen to the INFINITE and practice altruism, charity, and
assistance to all.
It is the LAW OF UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD which draws any "body"
composed of atoms, molecules, cells, and other structures into
existence, and which is inclusive of those vaster areas we call
worlds, planets, solar systems, gallaxies, etc ... until the
mind reels in trying to visualize the vast intricacy of the
WHOLE. [What we name SKANDHAS are simply living elemental forms
which are impressed by us with the quality of our desire or
They leave us for a cycle away in nature, but the personal
impulse set upon them draws them eventually back to us,and when
they come entering the circle of our personalities the quality of
the original impuse will help or delay our lives. Thus, we create
and cahnge our own Karma. No one else does that. We are
responsible for our RESPONSE to situations and placing "blame" on
other who seem to act as Karmic agents is incorrect,
philosophically and actually.
If we fail in grasping this, let us say that our capacity to even
think of such vast abstractions (metaphysics) demonstrates by its
presence that it is an actuality, and that our own POWER TO
PERCEIVE is a vital part of THAT. If we did not share in the
Whole, and every other aspect of Nature, we could not think of
it, nor try to describe it to others.
From Unity and brotherhood spring those LAWS of harmony which
permit the existence andcooperation of all the many disparate
beings each at its own level of intelligence, and all constantly
Reincarnation is the process whereby individualized thought and
memory are able to learn further and progress individually
through the cycles of manifestation, which, starting with the
"bare-subjectivity" of PURE SPIRIT, pass through every degree of
manifested matter-spirit, and finally emerge as independently
capable units, each knowing not only its own integrity, but
recognizing that of all the rest and voluntarily integrating its
life with them.
This is sacred living, or "sacrifice." It is not a surrender of
the individuality or a lessening of responsibility or work, but
an intensification of the power to assist because one learns to
perceive the lines of karma that frame any one oiving
Monad/Dhyan, including our own selves.
In the KEY TO THEOSOPHY, P.231 HPB speaks of 4 "Golden Links"
that bind all into the One Universal Brotherhood.
If we use these ideas we will find the definitions of difference
begin to dissipate.
If, again using the KEY we study so as to thoroughly assimilate
the meaning of the 7 "Principles" we will be able to see these
powers of ourselves as well as in Nature operating. The 7 great
cycles, and the innumerable sub-cycles begin in consideration to
assume the nature ofstages in an universaleducative pattern and a
Vast School is the ultimate picture of all Evolutionary
Processes. [ Rounds, Races, sub-races, "globes", etc ... ]
HPB's diagram on p. 200 Vol. 1 of the SD will be found
illuminating in this regard.
An ancient Hindu text states:
> The ONE CONSCIOUSNESS pierces up and down the 7 planes of being
> and serves to uphold the MEMORY of experience on any or all of
> those planes.
If we keep this in mind then we will grasp the fact that we as
mind-beings hold that memory always with us, and from top to
bottom in terms of experience we can go INWARDLY to the source
of any situation or experience, the cause of karma.
GREAT THEOSOPHISTS: THE ROSICRUCIANS
[reprinted with permission from THEOSOPHY MAGAZINE, XXVI, 26.]
An old Persian proverb says, "The darker the sky, the brighter
the stars will shine." Perhaps the very darkness of the European
firmament during the Middle Ages caused that mysterious
Fraternity known as the Brothers of the Rosy Cross to shine, by
contrast, with such startling brilliance. The fame of the
Rosicrucians, which persists up to the present day, was not due
to any desire on their part to dazzle the world with the splendor
of their knowledge. They built no colleges, reared no temples,
never claimed position as leaders of men. IMPERSONALITY was
their watchword, and their motto had descended to them one of
their Gnostic predecessors: "Learn to know all, but keep THYSELF
unknown." This does not mean that the Brothers of the Rosy Cross
kept themselves aloof from the world. On the contrary, they
mingled freely with all classes of men, submitted to all the
ordinary obligations of life, obeyed the laws of their respective
countries and were considered as excellent citizens, their only
secrecy being in regard to their own extraordinary knowledge and
Who were the Rosicrucians? Did they spring, like Minerva,
full-fledged from the brain of Jove, without any visible line of
descent? Such is not the history of any truly occult
organization, and the Rosicrucians were no exception to the rule.
The actual origin of the Order, said H.P. Blavatsky, may be
ascertained by any earnest, sincere student of Occultism who goes
to Asia Minor and contacts some of the Brotherhood, if he is able
to decipher a Rosicrucian manuscript which is carefully preserved
in the very Lodge founded by the first Kabalist calling himself a
Rosicrucian, but which now goes under another name.
The existence of the Fraternity first came into public notice in
the year 1614, when a small Latin pamphlet known as the FAMA
PRATERNITATIS was published in Germany, describing the foundation
and aims of the Order. The first English translation of this
pamphlet was made by Thomas Vaughan (Eugenius Philalethes) in
1652. It contained then story of Christian Rosencreuz, a poor
but noble Knight who was born in Germany in 1358. As the result
of a vow taken in his early youth, the young man started out on a
pilgrimage to the Holy Land. While living in Asia Minor he
learned Arabic, studied with several Arabian alchemists and
translated an important occult document into Latin. On his way
home he stopped in Spain, where he tried to interest some of the
more intellectual Moors in his occult doctrines. Failing in
this, he returned to his native Germany where he assumed the
mystical name of Christian Rosencreuz, or Christian Rosy-Cross.
He soon attracted a group of disciples and together they built a
Lodge which they called the "House of the Holy Spirit." At the
end of five years Rosencreuz selected three of his most promising
pupils and bound them by an oath not to reveal the secrets he was
to impart. Later four other men joined the group, these eight
men forming the original nucleus of the European Brotherhood of
the Rosy Cross. The number eight had a peculiar mystical
significance with the Rosicrucians, as is seen in their symbol of
the Pelican tearing open its breast to feed its seven little
ones. This purely Eastern symbol represents the idea of a
universal matrix, figured by the primordial waters of the deep,
from which issues the Logos, containing in itself the other seven
procreative rays or powers.
In preparation for their future work, these eight men formulated
a secret cipher language and compiled a dictionary in which all
forms of wisdom were classified. When the time arrived for them
to separate and begin the promulgation of their teachings, they
bound themselves to observe six rules:
1. To make no public profession of superior knowledge, and to
heal the sick free of charge.
2. To wear no special garment, but to dress according to the
custom of the country in which they lived.
3. To return to the House of the Holy Spirit on a certain day
each year, for the purpose of mutual help and instruction.
4. To seek for a worthy person to succeed each member.
5. To adopt the letters R.C. as their sign and mark.
6. To keep the existence of the Fraternity a secret for a period
of one hundred years.
When the first of these eight men died, it was decided not to
reveal the burial place of any member of the Order.
Consequently, when Christian Rosencreuz died at the age of 106,
no one knew where he was interred. But in 1584 a secret door was
discovered in the House of the Holy Spirit, above which was a
brazen plate stating that 120 years after Rosencreuz' death his
tomb would be revealed and his doctrines made public. When the
door was opened it disclosed a burial vault with seven sides,
each five feet broad and eight feet high. In the center of the
vault stood an altar, brilliantly illuminated by an "ever-burning
lamp." Beneath the altar lay the perfectly preserved body of
Christian Rosencreuz, one hand clasping a parchment scroll
bearing the letter "T."
In this Testament the Fraternity offered its secrets to the
world, with the provision that they should not become the
property of any Christian sect. It expressed the loyalty of its
members to the existing forms of government and invited all men
of sincere aspiration to get in touch with members of the
Fraternity. At the same time it urged those of selfish motives
to leave Occultism alone, warning that misery and sorrow would
overtake all who delved into Nature's secrets without a
preliminary purification of the mind and heart.
Although the existence of the Fraternity was not made public
until 1614, the influence of the Brothers was felt long before
that time. In his THEATRUM CHEMICUM BRITANNICUM, Elias Ashmole
states that Queen Elizabeth was cured of smallpox by a member of
the Order, and that the Earl of Norfolk was healed of leprosy by
a Rosicrucian physician who may have been Robert Fludd himself,
as Fludd's father was Treasurer of War to Queen Elizabeth.
Between 1603 and 1625 several important books appeared in which
the Fraternity was mentioned, the most important being the
APOLOGIA OF Robert Fludd, which was published in 1616 and is
still preserved in the British Museum. In 1623 there were said
to be only thirty-six Rosicrucians in Europe, scattered about in
six different countries. By the end of the seventeenth century
many prominent men (among them the German philosopher Leibniz)
were identified with the Rosicrucians, and in the eighteenth
century Cagliostro and the Count de St. Germain travelled
throughout Europe trying to unite the Masons and the Rosicrucians
on the common basis of Eastern Occultism. With the "death" of
Cagliastro the last REAL Rosicrucian disappeared from Europe.
One of the aims of the Rosicurcians was to combine the various
branches of Occultism into a synthetic whole. Many of the
Brothers were alchemists, seeking for the invisible "spirit" in
inorganic as well as organic matter. To these alchemical
Rosicrucians is attributed the rediscovery of the secret of the
"ever-burning lamps," known to many ancient nations but which had
been lost for 1500 years. Three of these lamps, which had been
burning in Roman sepulchres for fifteen centuries, were found in
Italy shortly after the death of Christian Rosencreuz, and in
1660 the famous antiquarian Dr. Plot repeated the story of an
English farmer who had discovered a subterranean chamber
underneath his fields, where a "Rosicrucian" was studying beneath
the light of one of these lamps. Fifty years later the London
SPECTATOR of May 15, 1712, related that "Rosicrucius, say his
disciples, made use of this method to show the world that he had
reinvented the ever-burning lamps of the ancients, although he
was resolved that no one should reap the benefit of his
The Rosicrucians denied the ordinary chemical theory that the
nourishment of kindled fire must of necessity be converted into
vapor, declaring that the "spiritual essence" of liquid gold
(gold being the metal which wastes least when heated or melted)
can be made to absorb its oily humidity, thus continuously
feeding its own flame. "The Hermetic gold," said Robert Fludd,
"is the outflow of the sunbeam, or of light suffused invisibly
into the body of the world. Light is sublimated gold, and gold
is thus the deposit of light, which of itself generates."
Many Rosicrucians -- such as Paracelsus, Cagliostro and the Count
de St. Germain -- claimed to possess the secret of prolonging
Life, a possibility which no Theosophist will deny. If nature is
able continually to renew her wasted energies by absorption from
the source of energy, why should not man do the same? If the
surface waters of certain mineral springs can restore physical
vigor, is it illogical to say that if we could get the first
runnings from the alembic of nature in the bowels of the earth,
we might, perhaps, find that the "fountain of youth" is no fable
The Rosicrucians were also known as the "Fire-Philosophers," and
among all the mystics and Kabalists of the Middle Ages they alone
gave out the true interpretation of the word FIRE. As the
esoteric teachings say, "Fire is the most perfect and
unadulterated reflection, in Heaven as on Earth, of the ONE
FLAME. It is Life and Death, the origin and the end of every
material thing. It is divine 'SUBSTANCE'." The Rosicrucians
postulated one eternal, boundless and limitless Cause, which they
defined as DARKNESS, the root and basis of light. Robert Fludd
described it as "Divinity latent or at rest," declaring that
"Darkness adopted illumination in order to make Itself visible,"
and that only after the active period of manifestation began did
Light AND Darkness appear.
> After the active movement from the center began, the radiation or
> interchange of Light mid Darkness produced Spirit and Matter.
> And in the relative counterbalancing the diversity of things
> arose. From these rudiments of being the archetypal scheme
> arranged itself., which, though One in essence, was triple in
> manifestation. (Robert Fludd.)
Fire is a triple principle. Esoterically, it is also a
septenary, containing a visible flame (Body), an invisible,
astral fire (Soul) and Spirit. Its four aspects are heat (life),
light (mind), electricity (Kamic, or molecular powers) and the
synthetic Essence, BEYOND SPIRIT, or the radical cause of its
existence and manifestation.
Every material form, said Robert Fludd, contains an "eager fire"
or "jewel of light," the development of which brings about its
> Thus all minerals, in this spark of light, have the rudimentary
> possibility of plants and growing organisms; thus all plants have
> rudimentary sensitives which might (in the ages) enable them to
> perfect and transmute into locomotive new creatures; thus all
> plants pass off into more distinguished highways of independent,
> completer advance, allowing their original spark of light to
> expand and thrill with more vivid force.
The third fundamental proposition of THE SECRET DOCTRINE also
describes all Souls as "sparks" of the Universal Over-Soul. But
whereas the "spark of life" in the lower kingdoms evolves
unconsciously to itself through natural impulse, the "three-fold
Flame" of the human Monad may hasten its evolution through its
own self-induced and self-devised efforts. As the Rosicurcians
> Although the individual human monad, with spiritual
> self-consciousness and self-knowledge, may arrive at that state
> of perfection in the slow course of its evolution, extending
> perhaps over millions of years, nevertheless there is no
> necessity to wait until nature may, perhaps slowly and unaided,
> accomplish her object, but she may be assisted by the individual
> will and effort of those who know how to proceed.
The method by which this may be accomplished was outlined in the
famous Rosicrucian maxim: To know, to will, to dare and to keep
To know is the first step, and this knowledge includes an
understanding of the laws governing the visible and invisible
universe, and involves the study of the complete constitution of
nature and of man. Knowledge brings power, and power -- if it is
to be of any practical value -- must be applied. The application
of knowledge requires a conscious and deliberate use of WILL,
which, to be efficacious, must always work in perfect harmony
with the Universal Will. The great Will of Nature works for the
good of all, and the individual who would blend his own will with
the Universal Will must dare to practice good alone. But power,
once it has been acquired, may be used for either good or evil
purposes. Therefore the Rosicurcians taught that power should be
given only to those who have been sufficiently tested to prove
that it would not be misapplied. Their fourth requirement,
therefore, was to REMAIN SILENT about their own powers and
knowledge with those with whom it was not expedient to speak.
Every candidate admitted into the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross
accepted these four Rules as his standard of life, and
immediately entered into a period of probationary discipline. He
was told that if he fulfilled the required conditions he would
find all necessary information in the "Book of Initiation." He
was also promised that, when he was ready, he would find a
"guide" who would instruct him in the higher degrees of
The INSTRUCTIONS of the Rosicrucians date from the year 1675.
They begin with a warning to the candidate never to use his
knowledge for selfish purposes. They inform him that the
Brothers of the Rosy Cross have already shown the "Way" to many
peoples in many languages, and deplore the fact that their
efforts have often been misunderstood and their teachings
perverted. Then, in the form of an allegory, the candidate is
given a description of the "Way" and is told how it may be found.
In the center of the world is a mountain, which is near and yet
invisible, and in which lie the greatest treasures known to man.
It is surrounded by "many fierce animals and plundering birds"
which make it difficult of access and may tempt the candidate to
turn back. "But have no fear," the INSTRUCTIONS counsel,
"neither look ye back nor desire to return, for your guide who
hath led ye thither will not suffer any harm to come to ye." In
these first stages the candidate is cautioned to follow the
guidance of the SELF WITHIN, and is warned of the battle with the
lower self which must fought before victory can be attained. The
lower principles are described as beasts of prey and elemental
forces which will attack the soul at the FOOT of the mountain
when all is still and dark. But when the night of temptation has
been passed, "toward morning it will become right still and
lovely, and soon ye will see the MORNING STAR arise and the red
dawn break, and ye will perceive the great treasure."
At this stage the candidate finds himself ready for the help of a
Teacher who --
> ... will be your guide, if ye desire it of him, and he will
> truly tell ye where our assembly is to be found, and will teach
> ye concerning our Order, and will accompany ye until time shall
> fully reveal all things.
For one hundred years after these INSTRUCTIONS were written,
little is heard of Rosicrucian activities in Europe. Professor
Lauteo, in his HISTORY OF THE ROSICRUCIANS, says that they
departed for India at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
But in the last quarter of that century some of their teachings
were revived by Cagliotro and St. Germain who, nevertheless,
remained silent concerning the esoteric side of their doctrines.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century Hargrave Jennings
published his illuminating book THE ROSICRUCIANS, THEIR RITES AND
MYSTERIES, but he, too, respected their secrecy and remained
silent concerning those things of which he had no right to speak.
With the establishment of the Theosophical Society and the
appearance of the comprehensive writings of H.P. Blavatsky, all
further necessity for a Rosicrucian Fraternity ceased to exist.
HPB preserved her own silence concerning the Rosicrucians, and
> No one could ever lay hands on the Rosicrucians, and
> notwithstanding the alleged discoveries of "secret chambers,"
> vellums called "T," and of fossil knights with ever-burning
> lamps, this ancient association and its true aims are to this day
> a mystery ... the true Society remains today as it has ever
> been, unknown to all, especially to its cruelest enemy -- the
> -- ISIS UNVEILED, II, 380
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon a May 16, 1994 posting to email@example.com.]
There are many unspoken assumptions behind discussions on
Theosophy. They may be considered beyond question. But are
they? In reading the talk about astral experiences, I am reminded
of born-again Christians. When I hear people talking of their
renewed personal relationships with Jesus, I see them making many
assumptions regarding Jesus and Christianity and the makeup of
the world. I risk their outrage when I raise my doubts about
some of their key ideas. Do I comment or remain silent?
My training in Theosophy leads me to oppose materialism,
selfishness, and false belief, no matter however sincerely held.
I feel responsible for sharing the Teachings with whomever is
responsive to their effects. I also feel responsible for helping
others in their spiritual growth, to the extent allowed by
circumstances in my life.
The purpose of the Teachings is to draw people away from a
preoccupation with the material world, and from the illusory
psychical nature as well, and to develop and awaken their
Some theosophical books read too easily. They leave one nothing
to ponder. The books may even sound like a psychical travelogue.
These books make the reader feel that there is nothing more to
the philosophy, that the next step is to develop paranormal
powers and visit other planes.
Other books touch on the actual Mysteries. They stir a deeper
part of us. These books awaken our inner Teacher.
When we find books that seem empty or meaningless, that seem to
contain philosophical hair-splitting, we're either not reading
the right authors or not ready yet to see what is there.
The next step in our spiritual evolution is to awaken our higher
mind, a spiritual-intellectual faculty. The higher mind is
completely above and independent of our material and psychical
natures. It is a faculty of consciousness, not an extension of
any of our senses, like hearing or sight, on this or other
There is the astral light, which surrounds our earth. It is the
storehouse of nature. The astral light is not an objective
world; it is a world of illusions. There are other objective
worlds, the globes of our planetary chain, but we do not visit
them in dreams. A visit to the other globes is in deep sleep,
totally unrelated to the dream state.
An astral experience is inherently unstable because it is
self-created. We populate the environment about us, giving
shapes, colors, characterizations based upon the content of our
own mind. We do not interact with others, except perhaps
telepathically; there is no interaction in person.
The continuous stream of events that we see in a dream follows
the stream of thought in our own minds. There is a continuous
mental dialog, a narrative voice. This voice brings with it the
dramatization of the content of our consciousness. This is what
we see in the astral light.
A respected Jungian psychologist in San Diego, Robert Johnson,
once said that the stream of consciousness that we experience in
dreams is continuous, and is always happening, even when we are
awake. I'm inclined to agree with him.
When we experience a lucid dream, or when things seem less
chaotic in a dream, we are really controlling our minds, and the
dramatization of our conscious content in the astral light, for
the moment, is less confused.
The content of a dream is based upon our own beliefs and
training. It depends upon what thought currents that we have put
ourselves in touch with. A Christian could train himself to
experience a heaven world with Jesus and angels. A Tibetan
Buddhist could train himself to experience the Bardo. And a
Spiritualist could, with practice, come to see his Summerland
(aka astral plane).
Collective beliefs form mirages in the astral light, illusory
"places" that believers could experience. Each such place would
have its own apparent laws and types of experience. We are
correct to consider this more alike many people watching the same
movie on TV than many people traveling to the same distant land.
Depending upon which thought current someone is in touch with,
one will find the appropriate "place" to visit. But these are
not places, but collective hallucinations.
In dream experiences, we have people interacting with collective
thoughtforms. No one is coming into existence on another
objective plane. The experiences are self-created. A good
example involves a former theosophical writer. He wrote
extensively of his out of the body experiences. A friend of this
writer died, someone that the writer claimed to work with on the
inner planes regularly. The writer could not tell, out of his
body, that his friend had died, and subsequently wrote him a
letter, thinking him still alive. This is because, I think, he
never really met his friend while in the dream state, but
interacted with his own dream image of the friend.
My assumption might be countered. Someone may say that there is
certain knowledge shared between people that they could not have
possibly known while awake, that had to happen when they met
while asleep. But I'd reply that those fragments of knowledge
exchanged were instances of thought transference, and not due to
meeting others in person in a dreamworld.
If what I am writing about sounds a bit strange, or if you feel a
quick, impassioned need to tell me how wrong I am, you might stop
a moment, and remember that there are more than one worldview
that comes under the banner of Theosophy, and that not everyone
takes your basic assumptions for granted. I do not think I'm
alone, when I write, but perhaps the first to break a silence and
say something different.
There is a karmic responsibility to others for whatever that we
teach them, whether it is high philosophy or occult science. It
is important to go with caution when we are uncertain about what
we are doing. But we must also act when it is time, and do what
we feel is right. Part of theosophical work--as I've learned
it--is to speak out against the teaching of the occult arts, to
speak out against psychical development. The acceptance and
approval of seeking powers are not universal in theosophical
circles. Each person should decide for himself, but should make
an informed decision.
by Gerald Schueler
[based upon an May 18, 1994 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
According to magic and occult science there is in fact, a
When we go to sleep, we (ie, our consciousness) leave our
physical body and enter either an astral or mental body, suitable
for the appropriate plane. Dreams with emotion take place on the
astral plane. Dreams without emotion take *place* on the mental
plane (admittedly this is oversimplified).
So, do we or do we not meet and converse with others? It depends.
For most of us, our Body of Light is covered over with a rather
heavy film -- a protective shield, you might say. HPB clearly
discusses this in regards to Devachan, but this is also true
during our dreams.
For most of us, most of the time, we project our desires onto
this shield and thus "see" only our own projections. Its rather
like being in a safe caccoon. But as we spiritually progress,
this film becomes thinner, and in fact can be made to dissapate.
Then we "see" outwardly into the astral plane.
This idea is found in HPB's writings and is also found in the
Egyptian Book of the Dead (this is the real purpose of the
Opening the Mouth ceremony) and many other magical teachings in
the West and in the East (the bardo body of the Bardo Thodol is
nothing more than the western magical Body of Light).
The comment that dreams do not occur on the Globes of our
planetary chain is, in my opinion, wrong (this demonstrates the
diverse views existing among the theosophical community).
Globes C and E are located on the astral plane, which is where we
are when we dream with emotions (albeit locked away in a bubble
of our own making). Remove the bubble, disperse the clouds that
surround our consciousness when we sleep, and we would have real
I refer the the cyclic journey from Globe D to Globe E over to Globe
C and then back to Globe D as the Dream Cycle, and I believe
that we go through this every time we go to sleep. Experiences
on Globes D and E (i.e., the dream state) are much more subjective
and relate more to our personal karma than experiences on Globe D
(i.e., the waking state).
SOWING FRESH SPIRITUAL SEEDS
by Einar Adalsteinsson
[Based upon a July 8, 1997 posting email@example.com.]
I got THE CELESTINE PROPHESY in its first months and I liked it
so much that I started a five-week introductory course into its
ways of Self Culture or Spiritual Path at the TS in Iceland.
There were in all three courses, before I got back to my old
track [of Mind Culture Courses], but I still include one evening
(two hours) going into the main points.
Of course there is nothing new under the sun, concerning the
perennial wisdom, but we need ever new approaches to it, not
because of the wisdom, but because of our nature of mental
stagnation in the forms -- any forms.
It is therefore of paramount importance that we can speak the
'truth' in a fresh way at all times. So if you find the book to
be of help, then use it as a platform into further study -- you
will find it repeated and corroborated in myriads of ways in the
scriptures, but it is the "gut feeling" that matters. To feel it
working within, and spreading from there to the outer life, is
what make it worthwhile. And the book is good for that.
Regarding the discussion of spiritual powers, it is my view that
one should approach discussing them cautiously, even at times
saying nothing at all in public.
It is the 'show-off' that most often turns it into a circus, not
because of the powers, but because of peoples' attitudes in
general. You should always be aware that when showing of such
extra sensory powers, most people have no way of corroborating
what is said or done. It will unfortunately split people into
believers and sceptics, and maybe a few neutral (sane?) minds,
and the 'freak' will end up with a lot of adoring, albeit blind
followers. (What a nice and comfortable feeling for any well
Then any faculty obtained naturally in the course of spiritual
endeavor is a gift to be cherished and cultivated for any
beneficial cause, relieving suffering, promoting understanding
But the real skills of spirituality, worth seeking all the time,
by every means, are there laid out for us by the masters and
sages of all times -- becoming more understanding, more loving,
-- yes and more tolerant, (in a 'correct' way).
Note the golden rule of relationship: "You should never use or
manipulate any person -- and more important -- you should never
yield to the use or manipulation of any person whatsoever."
This is the first rule of Control Theory, the remedy of all
so-called co-dependency, which is one of the most common diseases
of modern (and ancient) relationships. This is a very difficult
and complicated rule to apply, but it is the key to a personal
freedom beyond imagination!
I would like to add some few words on service, help, charity and
First of all: Giving is only 'real' giving if there is not a
touch of craving for anything in return.
Secondly: Giving is also impossible if there is a craving from
the receiver of the gift.
Please don't take these statements lightly. Ponder over them and
see if they are really right or wrong.
In the light of these above statements we should look at the
other "good deeds."
Help is only help if it is both given and received
unconditionally. Help tends to become manipulation, according to
the helpers limited view on the situation.
Charity is more often than not important for the "charitable"
person and not at all for the receiver.
Service, in the real sense, is also a very subtle form of giving
unconditionally from ones heart.
These are basics, but if we are aware of their importance in our
relations to others and try to apply them wholeheartedly, we will
eventually understand how wise they really are.
Horse-trading gifts and any other 'goods' in relationship are
perfectly all right, if we stick to the above rules, set fair
limits in our relationships, and practice the art of
unconditional giving, whenever we have anything of worth to give.
It may be noted, in case you didn't know, that giving is the key
ingredient in spiritual joy and happiness!
As usual I may sound like I know all this -- but I don't! Please
take this for what it is, a feeble seeking for some light in the
dark. Please don't dare to believe a word of what I just said on
I have to leave you now, going this morning (the time is past
four a.m.) out in the country, to spend a week alone in the
family hut in the north of Iceland, trees all around, mountains
to climb, company of the birds, the music of a lonely brook, the
immense silence of the light arctic night -- just imagine --
heaven on earth, heaven within!
MASTERS, ADEPTS, TEACHERS, AND DISCIPLES
by Dallas TenBroeck
The subject of the Masters' existence and abilities has come up,
and there appears to be some confusion about this matter, so
perhaps it would be a good exercise to look up, each for
themselves, what is said in Theosophy about them, the Mahatmas,
Adepts, Chelas, etc.
So that instead of speculation and opinion we could all base
ourselves on something we have read, considered or studied in
common: namely what HPB has said concerning Them.
I was struck by one appellation: "Holy Mortals." The implication
being they are mortals who have passed through all the tests and
examinations of the great educational system, which we might call
"the World-school." They were once like us, aspirants, students,
and hopefuls or acquiring wisdom. If they stand forth to us as
the highest level of learning we can think of, we also come to
realize that we have to make the effort to become as they now
We might surmise that they resemble those who become Professors
and teachers in our Universities they have "graduated" from the
higher levels of learning earlier than we have, -- perhaps in a
previous manvantara. (I guess speaking of an earlier Manvantara
this would resemble an earlier graduation class.)
Unless we grant continuity of consciousness, immortality and
memory that extend for an enormous amount of time, the whole idea
will appear impossible. But, as an instance we find that
philosophical scientists speak of the atom as indestructible, as
a "perpetual motion machine," the source of its momentum and
individuality being unknown to us. According to present day
theories of astrophysics those atoms, now used in our bodies and
in our World, as also in all others, came into being at some
climactic beginning when the Universe exploded into being from an
infinitesimal point. Theosophy states ( SD Vol. I) that the
period of manvantara-evolution we are in started universally,
each "point" reawakening to "life" in the condition and position
where it went to "rest-sleep": ages ago.
Even the Big Bang theory is made to suggest that the many kinds
of atoms we know of chemically and physically are the result of
the release of stupendous energy at some center and almost
instantaneously the effects of that release are noted and felt at
immense, immeasurable distances.
Recent research in astrophysics has determined the existence of
"webs" of galaxies, stars, and other celestial objects suspended
in a grand symmetry by reason, it is posited, of the fundamental
vibration, the "sound" ["first principle of AKASA," says HPB in
the SD] that one might call the "manifested Cause," which again
in the SD Vol. 1, HPB says is derived from the "Causeless
Cause." Thus Science once again approaches the methods of
expression that were first used in Theosophy.
So to shortcut the whole intervening argument it might be
appropriate to suggest that the unit of consciousness that we
call the life-atom (MONAD) may be, or is, the base recording
agent of all new experience over milliards of years. Would it be
unreasonable to suggest that interior to each of us is such a
"life-atom," a MONAD which is the Perceiver, the Spectator and
that which views our living and decision making? We might even
think of it as the "Real Me." It should now be clear that there
are two "We's" in each of us. There is the ever-detached, calm
and compassionate "We," and the turbulent, ebullient, ever-active
and aver seeking pleasure, enjoyment, adventure, excitement "We."
The first is reflective and carries the entire record of all that
we have done in our earlier personalities. It speaks to our
present Personality as the Voice of Conscience when it warns of
When we say we "reflect," or we "meditate," we are giving a
certain time for these two "We's" to speak to each other, and for
the best decision to be made for our future. [There is an
important section in the SECRET DOCTRINE, toward the end of the
1st volume (p. 610-633) titled: GODS, MONADS and ATOMS. It is
not easy to grasp when read independently of all that HPB has
spoken of in the earlier part of that 1st volume, but it does
convey the idea that these are designations for the same ENTITY
at different stages of its life-work and responsibility.]
After the SD was published, HPB held sessions with a number of
her students and published in LUCIFER (1890-91) the "Transactions
of the Blavatsky Lodge." Several theosophical publishers have
issued these in book form. In the version I use, published by
Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, between pages 66 and 76, she
discusses the existence of the HIGHER SELF (Atma-Buddhi) in every
human. She hints that this gives us our sense of identity and
also a sense of immortality -- that all the work we do in this
life is not entirely lost at the death of our body, but continues
Personally, I can be easily persuaded that my life has some
definite purpose, and that would be other than a mere snuffing
out at that ending at the death of the body and all the work that
I have put into learning and living. You may call this "wishful
thinking," or anything you please, but it has a fine inspiring
ring of logic. I find the same idea running in the pages of ISIS
UNVEILED (1877) and repeated in a number of HPB's articles,
available to us all at:
Perhaps one of the most valuable articles (also most difficult to
understand) is PSYCHIC AND NOETIC ACTION.
So if we look at our Universe, World, Life as having a continuous
relationship, we find that the concept of the One Source of Life
is followed by the idea of Law [such as all Science depends on in
every department of study and research] -- and why should
humankind be the sole group excluded from the reign of universal
law? Why should we have earned that distinction? Well? What are
we anyway? We soon find that we are both dependent, and
independent. A paradox? As minds we are free to choose and to
bear the Karma of that kind of choosing. As personalities living
in this World, we are entirely dependent on living by the
self-sacrifice and cooperation of other beings, who may even
sacrifice their life to keep our bodies alive. So we owe them a
responsibility and are in their debt.
If we all depend on each other, not only as humans in a vast
family ["The Family of Man!"]; but also, we depend for
nourishment, air, water, heat, etc ... on our environment. We
see that without the cooperation of life forms around us, our
personal ecology (physical body) could not survive or work
without interaction with those, and with other ecologies around
We could not even live physically. For those of us who look at
our own physical bodies, we can notice that they are made up of
many structures and that somehow the whole is coherent, and, in
spite of many differences in functions, and composition; the
whole is held together as a unit in which a single key
Intelligence [the Human MONAD -- see SD I 174-5fn] lives and
works. I would conclude, and would you agree? That is a "master
intelligence?" We choose, we decide, and we order the body to do
what we choose, often, quite regardless of whether the body likes
it or not.
One might, perhaps, be allowed to call this the instinctual
intelligence, which, starting from the simple lattice work of
crystals and minerals, passes on to the more complex bodies of
the plants, and from plants, animal bodies are sustained; finally
we have the highly refined and capable body of a human being.
But this assembly is not supervised by us. Something else does
this for us, and after the baby body is developed and the
educational and growing processes are over, we, the adults are
given our freedom to work, to live, to choose our particular way
of living. All this happens quietly around us and How many of us
actually know all that we could know about our physical body
functions? One would have to spend 10 years studying medicine, if
one wanted to barely scratch at the knowledge that is available
on this simple, subject: ourselves!
We all have and use this highly intelligent, reactive, and
sensitive body which has a vast (in comparison to most animals,
and especially to the apes who resemble us so grotesquely) and
intelligent brain; so that many millions of action/reaction
stimuli can be coordinated at a time. It is something to think
of. No wonder that Theosophy states that Man is a miniature
Universe. I am not suggesting that we drop everything and become
physiologists, but, rather suggest that we remember that we are
tenants in a living home (our bodies) and we know comparatively
very little about its health, nourishment, maintenance, etc ...
But there is in addition to this the compassionate and
sacrificial side. If one cuts one's hand by mistake, we can see
that the blood not only tries to wash out any strange impurities,
but from within itself the "white cells" start to fight invading
germs, and then the small "platelets" join together to form a
kind of gel, to cause the flow of blood to come to a stop. In
this process as individuals, many of them lose their lives. They
sacrifice themselves for the good of the larger body to which
they belong, and for which they live.
Many other examples from the actions of various organs can be
cited: respiration, blood flow, the transmission of food and the
elimination of wastes -- all done intelligently and automatically
without our even being CONSCIOUSLY focused on all that is going
on within our bodies. Isn't it wonderful? As a Mind/Soul we do
our thing, and the body goes about doing its thing -- as under an
automatic pilot. In the SECRET DOCTRINE it will be found stated
in several places that the earlier "Rounds" were periods of time
spent in evolution in perfecting these complex relationships that
make the existence of a physical body possible.
Theosophy has never suggested that the development of the
physical body implied that intelligence or consciousness such as
that of the MIND/SOUL, developed BECAUSE OF THE COMPLEXITY OF THE
FORM. It does consider that at all times the development of the
forms was supervised by Great Minds, Intelligences, [Masters,
Mahatmas, Adepts] which had been men in earlier manvantaras. In
effect the description given to us of the earlier "Rounds" is one
of the laboratory processes in which the necessary "forms " are
developed for us, the MIND BEINGS to use and inhabit.
Once that the form is "ready," that INTELLIGENCE is brought to
unite with it, buy a process called "The Lighting up of Manas."
It is a process similar to that which occurs in every family as
children are gradually led to become independently intelligent
thinkers. We repeat briefly in every lifetime the same general
process, so that by the time we have reached our majority we are
independent and responsible only to ourselves as THINKERS. In
the process of the "Lighting up of Manas," the group of Great
Teachers and their Assistant all incarnated in the world, and by
their presence and direct teaching at that time they opened the
brains of the now perfected forms to the old mind-beings whose
time it was to incarnate and to resume there (or rather here) the
program of self-education undertaken in those past manvantaras.
A new School-year began about 18 million years ago and we are the
pupils involved in the process.
All I am getting to, is that there are many levels of
intelligence that are constantly coordinated in each of us, and
from one Mind to another or to several others, and that the whole
Universe, and our world is geared to this marvelous interaction
and ecology. It is said that the Universe is infinitely
sensitive to the needs of each of its parts. The great law of
Karma could not operate with accuracy and timeliness without this
Is there any wonder then, that it is claimed that there have been
human beings who have lived much earlier than we, and who have
learned these things, and are now trying to pass on to us that
which they have themselves learned from their Teachers before
them? It is said that there is an endless chain of
teacher-pupil-teacher, stretching back into the past, and we are
in the middle of the chain, as we are obliged to pass on what we
have learned to our pupils, the life-atoms which go to make up of
bodily form and its components on the invisible planes, such as
the astral, for one.
We do not question the fact that our teachers, and the professors
at a University have more knowledge in their specialities than we
do, So why should we be surprised or even resent the idea that
the Masters of Wisdom exist. HPB claimed to be one of their
Messengers, and made no claims for any special learning herself.
One often hears the statement made: Well if they knew what harm
was coming, why did they not do something about it? Theosophy
answers that in all cases warnings have been given. they are
clear, but they are not always "liked." And because of the
personal reluctance of some to adopt and change themselves (their
Personal natures) those warnings have been dropped and calamities
have occurred. We all know of the rise and fall of
civilizations, and the rise to power of certain individuals and
their sudden fall. The caus is to be found in this neglect of
But, if you read ISIS UNVEILED, and then THE SECRET DOCTRINE, you
will start to ask yourself : "How did any person come to deserve
to be the transmitter of so much valuable information?" The next
question arises some time later, when we have put the fundamental
ideal of Theosophy into our own minds to consider them. [
Universal Source or Cause of Life, Universal and impersonal LAW,
Reincarnation, and WISDOM, a goad for which all strive. With
wisdom and knowledge arise moral responsibility, and this aspect
of consideration is one which few desire to contemplate or study,
and even less, to apply -- so until that is done on a consistent
basis the failures and successes will continue.]
We cannot deny that there is the mind, our Self. And of this we
can begin to investigate it by inquiring about our abilities and
powers, and perhaps make a list for reference of assets and
deficiencies in intellect, character, aspiration, and the whole
vast field of psychology and mental and moral health which is
OURSELVES. "Man know Thyself," said Hermes of ancient Egypt, and
this is the one and solitary key to all the Mysteries, ancient or
And this is "us." We don't know ourselves very well. Theosophy
tries to deal with this by showing us that primarily we are
spiritual beings, living in an intelligent form ; and, we have as
immediate responsibility, the care of the well-being of the
physical body, the emotional nature, the mind, and finally of the
spiritual component, the reservoir of wisdom we all possess
In the World School of experience that I am thinking of, the
continuing Intelligence is that superior aspect of the Mind which
is able to conceive of the SPIRIT as being a possibility. Then
there is the lower aspect of the mind that is occupied with the
management of the Personality (feelings, emotions, mind) and the
It also fulfils another function, as it concerns itself with how
we feel about things, our likes and our dislikes, and how these
impact the mind and the power of thinking. [Feeling is different
from thinking. When we say we "feel" we seem to mean we believe
that something is preferable or better than something else, but
WE DO NOT KNOW. When we say we THINK, we imply that we have
given serious consideration to some subject and, having looked at
alternatives, we have definite and reasonable conclusions. We
KNOW, we are SURE, we can PROVE it.]
If these ideas are approximately true then we are just at the
beginning stages of becoming truly human. We find that there are
records in history, and also people living around us, that are
both wiser, or more foolish, than we are. If we throw back our
memories to the time we spent in school, each of us can remember
that he or she rose in understanding (or, learned) according to
the work that we/they put into that process. Nothing came to us
by some miracle. We got wise and knowledgeable because of the
effort we made to study. We have noticed that some persons have
a greater facility or capacity to understand in some area of
study than other so. None of us are exactly the same as others
are. Could this be the result of efforts we put into our
self-education in earlier lives? Is capacity, character, an
ability to access some kinds of knowledge easier (or more
difficult) than others, an index of our previous work? Is this a
possible proof of reincarnation?
Wouldn't it be so in the World School? Then what about the
Teachers? We all knew that our School had a number of
administrators, and also some teachers seemed wiser and better
able to teach than others, Then, those of us who went to College
found out that in the University the whole structure of education
was continued -- as far as pupils were concerned there were
classes that led to higher and higher degrees of learning, and
the ability to graduate depended always on the work of the pupil
within the curriculum, the system of the educational (or
One important fact we all noted: our class-room teachers were
accessible, but those even in the same department of study who
had higher responsibilities, were more difficult to meet. It was
not until we raised ourselves to a level where we could talk
intelligently to them that they began to pay attention to us.
All educational schemes have grades of teachers both those who
work with the less advanced, and those who tutor the graduates.
But the principle is the same, there are always those who can
help us, at any level, when we need them.
HPB was such a teacher, and all of us owe to her what we have
learned of Theosophy and its methods. She left to us the same
help that she received from her Teachers, and we have the record
of what she wrote. Every subsequent writer on theosophy has had
to use her writings as basis. Theosophy is not something that
evolves. it is simple a description of things in nature as they
are [see S D I 272-3 for instance].
She spoke of the World University and of its Professors, to whom
the name "Masters" was given. These noble and learned persons
were known through all times, and she claimed some of them as her
own "Teachers." She went so far as to say that many of the things
she wrote, were beyond her own personal knowledge, and she
exposed their wisdom to us, under their direct instructions,
(just as an under-graduate who is also an associate professor or
a "lecturer," would teach that which his own Professor found to
be useful for the undergraduates entrusted to him/her.) This is
how most of what we can study of Theosophy has come to us,
through her, from Them. This process is the one that operates in
all Universities -- there is a common knowledge and all use it
freely Knowledge cannot be patented, or secreted away, but its
publication can be delayed for a time.
There are many approaches to this question of who we are, but can
we not consider that within each one of us there must, of
necessity, in terms of common sense, reside our own special
IDENTITY? What is this and where does it come from? We need to
think about our potentials. And, why are we not "wise," if it is
wisdom that we desire? Perhaps like all students, we have to earn
more fully about our powers and our environment before we are
made free to use the powers of knowledge that reside there, ready
for us, when we make the grade. From one point of view we can
paraphrase the old saying: Nature contains all knowledge and all
wisdom. It is innate to her. Man is a vital part of nature.
The Key to magic is responsibility. When we become morally
responsible, we will be able to access our own inner nature and
the secrets held for us there.
Early in the SECRET DOCTRINE (1888), and, of course, earlier
still in several of her articles, HPB has stated that the MONAD
(Atma-Buddhi) is, like the concept of the Life-atom, a deathless
entity. The Universe, our World is full of these each at its own
particular stage of evolution and development. So we have an
actual Universal Brotherhood all around us and we are responsible
for our own small sphere. When we shall have mastered that, then
we can pass on to higher and more responsible things and earn the
powers that come with those responsibilities.
In the meantime we have Theosophy to study. When the pupil is
ready. it is said, that the Teacher will be found ready, waiting
for him. So our first work is to make ourselves ready. That is
why we need to know the fundamentals of Theosophy, then we have
to prove their accuracy to ourselves, and then only will be fit
to search for the Teacher, and then, HPB will appear. We are all
of us in this century HPB's pupils, awakened by her to our
potentials and from there we have to begin our personal effort to
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application