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THEOSOPHY WORLD --------------------------------------- May, 1998
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.)
"Joy Mills on the Internet"
"Theosophy and Modern Science" by Alan E. Donant
"The Sacred Seasons and Initiation" by L. Gordon Plummer
"Step out of the Dark" by Eldon Tucker
"Food, Values, and Ecology" by Roar Bjonnes
"Treasures Behind the Gate" by Eldon Tucker
"Druidism: The Theosophy of Ancient Wales" Part II,
by Kenneth Morris
"Emanation and Evolution" by Eldon Tucker
"Ourselves and Others" by Kenneth Morris
> Neither is there a smallest part of what is small, but there is
> always a smaller (for it is impossible that what is should
> cease to be). Likewise there is always something larger than
> what is large.
> Anaxagoras (c. 500 BC - c. 428 BC)
JOY MILLS ON THE INTERNET
The Thomas Pecora Show, based in Chicago, Illinois, USA, will
feature Joy Mills on Monday, May 4, 1998. The radio talk show
reaches up-to-three million listeners locally, but is also
streamed live over the Internet during showtimes, Monday's from 7
to 10 PM Central Time. (In GMT, the show will run midnight to 3 AM
GMT, Tuesday May 5th.)
This talk show will be a rebroadcast of a previous interview.
More information on the show and other talk shows featured can be
The Third Symposium on THE SECRET DOCTRINE will be coming up on
May 21 to 24. It will be held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. See
the following URL for more information:
THEOSOPHY AND MODERN SCIENCE
by Alan E. Donant
May 30 -- 31, 1998
The American Section of The Theosophical Society, Pasadena, is
sponsoring a two day conference on theosophy and modern science.
There is no admission charge and all are welcome to attend. The
following are the subjects to be presented:
* The Quest for Human Origins
Ina Belderis, PhD Geography
Reference Librarian Theosophical
* The Quantum Theory of Reincarnation
Amit Goswami, PhD
Professor of Physics
University of Oregon
Author: The Self-Aware Universe
* Worlds within Worlds
David Pratt, BA Languages
* Merlin's Garden: Cosmic Floralmagna: A visual presentation of
the great flowers of the cosmos.
Wynn Wolfe, Artist
* Humanity's Remote Senses in the Solar System
David Doody, MA Human Development
Senior Member Engineering Staff
* The Secret Doctrine and the Big Bang: Inner Impulses and Physical
Bill Savage, MS Chemical Engineering
* Theosophy and Medicine
Richard Hiltner, MD, Homeopathic Physician
For meeting place, and schedule of events see The American
Section Homepage at:
THE SACRED SEASONS AND INITIATION
By L. Gordon Plummer
[Based upon a tape recording from the 1970's of a private talk on
I was talking with our host about what might be interesting for
this evening, and I suggested talking about the Sacred Seasons.
She pointed out that on Wednesday they were planning to play a
tape by Boris de Zirkoff on the same subject. So we then
wondered if it would be good to have it presented by two speakers
though each one is bound to have his own particular way of
presenting it, as the Teachings may be exactly the same. But, it
is very natural that each speaker is going to have a stamp of his
own characteristic in his own particular way of looking at it.
I hope, if it is agreeable to you, that I may speak about the
Sacred Seasons. Repetition never hurts anyway, because none of
us have learned it on one hearing only. We have heard it many
times. We have read it many times. And because of this
repetition, we have been able to learn it sufficiently to tell it
in our own words. Of course, that is what is desired.
And so, I thought first of all that I would point to the
symbolism of the cross, the cross inscribed within the circle so
that its arms are both diagonals of it. In that form, it is a
particularly interesting symbol because it represents cycles in
nature in a way that nothing else can. For every cycle has four
critical points. The daily cycle has sunrise, noon, sunset, and
midnight. The cycles of the moon have their four phases. The
tides have the low and the high tides, but then there are two
highs and two lows to each day. Alternating current cycles go
through zero voltage, peak positive voltage, zero, peak negative
voltage, and back again to zero. You have the four points there.
The year has four seasons, which are -- as you of course know --
the winter, summer, spring, and autumn. These are known as the
two solstices and the two equinoxes. They are of particular
interest to us in our studies as they tie in with genuine
Esoteric Astrology. They are the times at which Initiations can
more easily take place. And so I think it would be good to talk
a little about the nature of the various Initiations and then see
how they fit into the four seasons.
Initiations are usually numbered as seven, which is very good for
our purposes. They again may be grouped into two under the
general headings the Lesser Mysteries and the Greater Mysteries.
In the Lesser Mysteries, the beginner is taught, he is
disciplined, he is trained, he is encouraged to tread the Pathway
using his own will power, making his own decisions, taking the
consequences of his own choices. He is told that the Teachers do
not place tests in his way. They merely watch him, to see how he
reacts to the natural contingencies of life. His natural
reaction when he is not aware that he is under a test is by far
the greatest indicator of the real man. If a person knows he is
under a test, he is going to act accordingly, and he is not going
to give a true picture of himself. It is just when we least
suspect it that we are being tested the most.
Now the first three degrees would then, of course, represent
varying stages of training. Starting with the most elementary,
we might say that -- certainly for our purposes because we are
studying Theosophy, it is our chief interest, although we should
not think that the Theosophical Movement is the only channel
through which the Teachers work, because it has been told us
many, many times that they work wherever work is possible, and
wherever they can help they do. But the Theosophical Movement
was founded by them, or under their direction, so it does have
their special interest. Therefore, we might say that a close and
concerted study of the Teachings just naturally leads one into
the first degree of Initiation. And the degree to which that can
be accomplished will depend entirely upon the student; the drive
he feels to study and the drive he feels to make these Teachings
a part of his life are the great indicators as to where he
Then comes the desire to know more than what is found on the
printed page, and he may find that through meditation he can
glean -- as it were -- between the lines. He can learn to read
far more than appears upon the printed page, because his own
thoughts have led him to a certain amount of intuitive
understanding that belongs to him, it does not belong to the
book. And the whole objective of the training is to encourage
the pupil to do his own delving, his own thinking -- supported,
of course, by the Teachings that he receives. All of his own
thinking must be built upon the Teachings, but he must move ahead
As he gradually learns -- as I like to use the expression -- to
take knowledge from within himself, he is moving into higher
degrees of learning, and it is doubtful whether anyone could say
for a particular individual in the first degrees of Initiation
when he leaves one and moves into another. I do not think that
anyone could very easily judge that. Certainly not at the
present time, when I myself am not aware of any qualified person
who could do that. It does not really matter. In our stage of
the game the important thing is that we are learning, that we are
striving, that we are trying to make these Teachings an actual
part of our lives: not only to study them theoretically, but to
Then comes the third degree of Initiation, not necessarily marked
by a close dividing line in one's life. Who can say where anyone
stands? I would not attempt to! Nevertheless, there does come a
time for the individual when he is ready for far more tangible
help than he has ever before received. That may or may not come
in the life of an individual, knowingly or unknowingly -- who can
say -- it depends upon the individual. The point is that to
enter into the third degree of Initiation, one has by that time
learned to pledge himself irrevocable to the Work, to the
Theosophical Movement, so that there is no turning back. There
is no question in the minds of the Teachers that he will move
forward. There is no question in their minds that he will be
trusted to assume wider responsibilities.
In these higher levels of learning, he is given much more
specific Teachings about his nature, about the nature of the
Universe about him, how he relates to it, and more specifically
what is the nature. Of the later Initiations into which he will
some day move, as he progresses from the Lesser Mysteries into
the Greater. The Lesser Mysteries involve, as I said, study,
training, work, responsibility and the willingness to assume the
responsibility for the choices we make.
Then, when one is ready for the fourth Initiation, he is ready to
move from the Lesser into the Greater Mysteries. By that time he
knows that he has a Teacher. He knows by personal, individual
instruction; and he knows, furthermore, just what to expect in
Initiation. He never goes into it blindly. He knows all of the
dangers. He knows all of the pitfalls. He knows all of the
rewards of successful Initiation.
Some of the simpler facts of Initiation have been given to us.
In G. de Purucker's books, you will find a great deal of
material that can be immensely useful for anyone to study. We
learn that the four Sacred Seasons of the year are directly
related to the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh Initiations.
They are not so much related to the first three which are of a
more general character.
When one moves into the fourth Initiation, which is related to
the Winter Solstice, he has learned that the four seasons of the
year relate generally to the four periods of human life: infancy,
adolescence, maturity, and then death, or the passing. The
Initiation at the Winter Solstice, which is the fourth, brings
the Initiant to the point where he experiences what he had
previously been taught: he begins actually to learn by
experience. And when he comes back, he then is able to Teach.
Now the various things that we are learning at the present time
are -- as it were -- the letters of an Occult alphabet.
Especially when our learning becomes somewhat more technical:
when we begin to learn something about Esoteric Astrology; when
we begin to learn something about the correspondences between the
various principles in man and the various elements in the
universe; when we learn the correspondences between the various
principles in man and the Planets; and when we learn further
correspondences of a deeply recondite nature. He learns that
these are the alphabet to an Occult language. He has not yet
learned to put the letters together into meaningful words, but he
is learning the letters. Well, with Initiation comes the ability
to put the letters together, make meaningful words, and use them
for Teaching. There is the difference between the Teacher and
the student. We are all students, we are all learning. But with
Initiation comes the power to Teach.
There is much more in Teaching than merely conveying information.
When a Teacher is really Teaching, he is actually helping the
disciple to reshape his life, and it is a tremendous
responsibility. It involves far more than merely repeating
lessons, repeating what we have learned for the benefit of an
audience, or what we have thought about and how these various
Teachings have affected us, so that we can give them with the
stamp of our own characteristics. Real Teaching involves far
more than that!
When it comes to the higher degrees of Initiation, the
relationship between a Teacher and his disciple is a very, very
Occult one, and a very deep one, because in a certain sense the
Teacher becomes a parent who is going to give, or is going to
lead, the disciple to a second birth, a birth into the realm of
Spiritual knowledge. In the Bible you have the mystical saying:
"Except a man be born again, he shall not see the kingdom of
God." That is the biblical language, the Christian phraseology
for a very Occult truth, and the actual experience of entering
into Initiation is the taking on of a second birth. And when one
has successfully passed through such an Initiation, he is known
as a DVIJA, a Sanskrit word meaning "twice-born," born of the
flesh originally and then born of the Spirit. And he is,
actually, a new being.
We have the beautiful symbol of the caterpillar turning into the
butterfly. The first birth was the hatching from the egg, and
you have the caterpillar. It leads its life eating, eating, and
eating. Then it goes through that mysterious rest. It goes to
sleep and pupates, all of its internal organs break down and are
reshaped, reformed. And when it awakes from this sleep, it is
this beautiful butterfly. There is a marvelous symbol! Because
the butterfly is paradoxically the same entity that it was
before, and yet it is a different entity. It is an outgrowth of
what it held latently within itself while it was the caterpillar.
Nothing was added to it that it did not already have, but it
brought out into actuality what it had in potentiality as the
In the same way, we as students have potentially what will later
be brought out in Initiation. And with the varying degrees of
Initiation, that which will be brought out will almost seem like
another person, we will be so different. Yet, paradoxically, we
will be the same. But it will mean that so much which is latent
within us will have been brought out into full flower and full
manifestation, ever fuller as each succeeding Initiations takes
place. So the fourth is related to the Winter Solstice.
And then the fifth is related to the Spring Equinox. In the
Spring Equinox, well, he learns more about the inner planes of
consciousness than was possible before, because each stage of
Initiation is an ever greater learning along the same lines. And
he learns how to become -- as it were -- a denizen of the various
planes of consciousness. Rather than merely going to perceive,
he learns to actually experience what it is like to be in those
planes of consciousness.
Then, as he moves on into the Summer Solstice, still greater
learning is ahead. But now he takes an active role in Teaching
the world, in a new scope, in a new field, as it were. There is
a very Occult saying: "the Guardian Wall." You will find the
expression in THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, and it is spoken of in
various of G. de Purucker's works. This Guardian Wall is
composed of high Initiates, those who are specifically trained
and Initiated into the work of coming to found the great
religions of the world, those who actually work in the human life
as Saviors of the race.
Then, in the Autumnal Equinox, there is what is known as the
Great Passing. Those who might have been there this afternoon
heard the Teachings concerning those who do pass on into the
Nirvana. That is the Initiation known as the Great Passing. Or
again, there are those who can and do turn back. They are very
few in numbers, but they turn back, they renounce the Nirvana,
they return as Bodhisattvas and perform their magnificent work in
the world, work which never ceases, which goes on for centuries
Now there are certain words which were brought from the Greek,
the Assyrian Mysteries, which are very interesting with respect
to these various Initiations. And these words apply particularly
to the fifth, sixth, and seventh Initiations, giving another
slant on their nature. The three words are THEOPHANY,
THEOPNEUSTY, and THEOPATHY. Those were words used in the Mystery
Schools to represent three of the stages of Initiation. Now the
word THEOPHANY literally means the vision of a God, that of one's
own Inner God. Being where we are now, we read in books, we
meditate on the fact that each one of us is an immanent Inner
God, each is an embryo God -- but that God has no actual,
tangible reality to us. We can see evidence that it is there in
the noble impulses toward compassionate deeds, toward heroism,
toward genuine creativity -- all of these provide evidence of the
Spiritual and Divine energies that make up a human being. But as
far as the learner is concerned, these are rather nebulous
energies, they do not have much tangibility to him, and it is not
until he is ready for the fifth Initiation that he can actually
stand face-to-face with his own Inner God. And that is the
Theophany: where he actually has the vision of his own Inner God.
This is represented in the Bhagavad-Gita at the end of the book,
where Arjuna has the actual vision of Krishna. And it is a very
moving chapter in the Bhagavad-Gita, how he is so overpowered by
the vision. It is such a stunning, such an awe-inspiring vision,
and it is told most graphically in the Bhagavad-Gita. So there
is the Theophany, the vision of the God within as an actual
Then, in the sixth Initiation, there is the Theopneusty. The
root PNEUS meaning BREATH. Pneumonia is a disease of the lungs.
Pneumatic tires are tires pumped up with air. It is related to
breathing or air and it literally means the breathing into the
Initiant of the God himself. In other words, not seen merely as
a vision, the energies of that God flow through the man himself
so that for the time being he actually is omniscient. His
consciousness actually is Universal for the time being. And for
those who are with him, his own Guides, his own Teachers, they
see an actual light shining about him, particularly about the
It is in this fact that you have a very dimly remembered point of
Occultism in the religious paintings where a halo is drawn around
the heads of the Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the various Saints.
The halo is just a mere fragment of a memory of an Occult truth.
One who has been Initiated in this way -- in fact, I would
venture to say in the case of the fourth, more increasingly so in
the fifth, and increasingly so in the case of the greater
Initiations -- this nibus, aureole or halo is more and more
vivid. It may even last for several days during the tremendous
influx of energy from the God within, which is also, in a sense,
Solar energy. In the view of Occultism, the Solar orb that we
see is but the outer, visible representative of an actual God, a
being who is a part of the Hierarchy of Compassion. And when we
speak of a son of the Sun, using a mystical phrase straight from
the Mystery Schools, we refer to the one who has successfully
passed through Initiation. And upon rising, the mystical
resurrection, he actually does glow with light.
You have Theophany, the vision of the Inner God; Theopneusty, the
breathing into the Initiant of all of the energies and vitality
of the Inner god. Finally there is the Theopathy. You have our
word PATH, meaning to feel, to sense; also, in a certain way,
meaning to suffer, but not quite as we mean "suffering." Perhaps
more in the sense that Christ said "suffer little children to
come unto me," allow, permit. And the Theopathy means, in the
seventh and the highest Initiation of all, that the one
undergoing the Initiation which very, very few achieve, a high
Mahatma, actually allows his Inner God to become at-one with him.
Now, pointed out this afternoon, the word ATONEMENT, so
misunderstood in our Christian phraseology, is really
AT-ONE-MENT, the actual combining and uniting of the natures of
two entities which were one all the time anyway. This matter of
the difference between ourselves and the Inner God is a matter of
illusion. It is a seeming separateness. It is part of the
illusion of separateness. And as we progress, learn more and
more and pass through the various stages of evolution, that
illusion becomes less and less. When we see the Truth as it is,
we discover that the Inner God and the Initiant are one and the
same thing. That is the Theopathy. So there are three words,
really great keywords as to the nature of these three
Initiations, the three last ones.
I might just say a final word or two. Because living in a
Christian world with certain symbols practiced in the churches,
much of their meaning lost, if we point out their esoteric
character and what they should represent, then they can mean
more. The baptism is one taken from the Mysteries, but in its
present form it means virtually nothing. The baptism of a baby
means nothing to the baby. It is done more for the parents than
for anything else. It is somehow supposed to insure that the
baby is going to arrive in heaven when he dies.
Now in the Mysteries, the baptism was a preparation for
Initiation. It would occur only in manhood -- or womanhood,
whichever was to be Initiated -- when its meaning would be
understood. It would be utterly useless to convey baptism, in
the true sense of the word, to an infant. The baptism consists
of a cleansing process. We have the expression baptism by fire,
as well as baptism by water. Of course no child is burned in any
ceremony; it is an expression meaning that when a candidate is to
be Initiated, he must go through a cleansing process first. In
the Mystery Schools this was known as the catharsis. It might
involve physical cleansing, cleansing of the mind, cleansing of
the emotions. The candidate may go through a period of intense
discomfort or suffering. But knowing that it is a preparation
for the sublime event of Initiation, he undertakes it knowing
exactly what it means. And if he is not thoroughly cleansed
beforehand, he cannot succeed in the Initiation.
Initiation is an awesome thing, awesome in the true sense of the
word AWE, not awful in the sense of something terrible, but an
awe-inspiring experience. And there is such a thing as failure.
There is no guarantee of success unless the candidate is
absolutely cleansed before he goes into it -- there is the real
meaning of the baptism.
The real meaning of the sacrament, where the wine and the bread
are supposed to be turned into the blood and body of Christ, is
again a carry-over from the Mysteries, with its meaning
completely lost. The wine was simply taken as a symbol of the
Spirit. The bread was taken as a symbol of the flesh. The
candidate did undergo a ceremony very similar, pure symbolizing
the fact -- and you can understand it was merely symbolic of the
fact -- that he then understood that not only has he been born of
the flesh, but that he was about to be born of the Spirit. And
unless he is also born of the Spirit, he cannot possibly be an
Initiate. And there is the true meaning of the sacrament. So
you see, there is really a great deal in Christianity, if
The life of Christ, the various events in the life of Christ, are
not really the story of a man supposed to have lived. Really
replete with meaning, they represent events in the life of an
Initiate as he passes through the various stages of Initiation.
But it has been so clouded over by translation and
mistranslation, and with creeds and dogmas piled onto it galore,
that it is now practically unrecognizable.
STEP OUT OF THE DARK
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon an October 5, 1994 posting to email@example.com.]
When the subject changes to evil, sorcerers, the Dark
Brotherhood, and such things, do we feel a dreadful chill? Is
there an uneasy feeling that something dark and fearful is
waiting for us, once we've paid it some attention? This should
NOT be the case!
Should we dwell on evil and those working for it? No. But should
we seek to understand it and it's place in the scheme of things?
Yes, that's useful. The importance of good is realized by its
contrast with the bad. We further appreciate the path of
Holiness when we know where the path of selfishness leads us.
Someone may have horrible dreams, nightmares, and even be afraid
of the dark. I even knew one man, years ago, a member of the
Salt Lake T.S. Study Center, whom was continually in fear of
dark forces; he felt under constant psychic attack. Why does
We need to learn to face evil, and not tremble in fear and flee
from it, nor respond to it with anger, viewing the situation as
good forces fighting bad forces. All sense of fear and the
threatening nature of evil goes when we are rooted in GOOD
spirituality. Should we be afraid? Absolutely not! When we
establish ourselves as firmly rooted in the spiritual, evil has
no hold over us, and runs from us. Being rooted in the
Spiritual, we manifest the Natural Order and our very nature
hastens the predestined dissolution of evil beings, their Fear
and horrid Fate! There is no sense of using the light to battle
the darkness; rather, we BECOME the light and the shadows
disappear (hide from our sight).
The disappearance of evil does not result from the denial of a
dark side to life, repressing it into our unconscious. There is
not an equally-valid evil side of consciousness that thereby
becomes the qualities of our alter-ego, the shadow. Evil
disappears as we become firmly rooted in the incorruptible, in
the immortal, in the impersonal. We attain a wholeness that is
not based upon embracing good and evil equally, and being
indifferent to them. The wholeness means that we are clear to
manifest the spiritual nature, and are firmly rooted in the One
Life. We have attained a clarity of mind where we are unbiased
by the structure and inclinations of our current personality.
This loss of BIAS allows us to respond freshly to any situation
in life. Unbiased and rooted in the highest, we see what is good
and right to do.
This is not a denial of evil in the world, nor of the results of
the actions of evil people. And it is not painting everything in
a stark black-and-white good-and- bad character. There are a
multitude of shades of gray, and often no clear-cut right way to
make a decision. Often, our only distinguishing factor in making
a decision a particular way comes from our motivation.
How do we distinguish the corruptible from the incorruptible? How
do we tell the mortal from the immortal? How do we separate the
personal from the impersonal? We might ask ourselves how we
experience the situation. What is the viewpoint, the
perspective, the perceived action and actor? Is the greatest good
foremost in our consciousness, or is the emphasis on a greater
sense of a separate self, a sense of us versus them, a sense of
us versus the rest of the world? Is there a sense of rightness,
fairness, and general principles at play, or just a sense of
greed and personal acquisition?
When we make decisions based upon the greater good, unbiased by
self-interest, this does not, though, mean that we automatically
choose to "do for others." Sometimes the greatest good is in our
favor. The sense of impersonality comes from a lack of BIAS in
the evaluation, in the clarity of vision, and not from the
resulting decision. The greatest good, for instance, may be to
kill plants for food, even though they might not wish to give up
There are different ways that life appears, depending upon one's
state of consciousness. Life is the same, and remains unchanged,
although the apparent nature of things changes, as for instance,
one shifts consciousness from ordinary waking consciousness to
the Devachanic or Nirvanic experience. The same is true of the
dualism of good versus evil. This duality appears as part of
one's experience until one has become firmly, unshakably rooted
in the GOOD spiritual. This rootedness, this certainty, brings
an experience of life where the evil side of things drops away.
A psychologist might attempt to describe this "rootedness" as
being possessed by an archetype. He might say that there is a
weak and helpless person, with a puny personality, desperately
clinging to something external as a crutch, as a substitute for
his own personal maturity and strength. This idea might be
voiced, but it is often a cry of "sour grapes" by psychologists
unwilling or unable to move beyond the realm of the personality
and embrace the Higher.
We are required to rely on our personal strength. The need for
self-direction and independence is greater as we approach the
Path. But the basis of awareness is from a clear insight into
the overall good, upon the real impact of our actions, a clear
and penetrating ethical or buddhic consciousness.
This rootedness is a natural thing, a solidarity with life, a
conscious identification, relatedness, and awareness of our
identity with the universal One Life. Although open to much
criticism, Christian Fundamentalism is superior to skeptical
science in this respect, because of the conviction in the reality
of the spiritual and one's firm relationship to it. This is
attained for them at the great price of rigidity of mind and lose
of Reason and spiritual insight. That price, though, is not a
natural consequence of identification with the Root. Science, on
the other hand, has flexibility of mind and open inquiry into
things, but pays the price of a loss of fundamental spirituality.
The common believer in western science has lost the non-dualistic
consciousness, and lives in a universe where both good and evil
do battle, where they both exist, and there is no ultimate
standard rising out of life itself. This viewpoint causes a
gnawing doubt, an uncertainty, a skepticism, out of a
self-imposed isolation from the awareness of the higher
principles, Atma-Buddhi. There is a great sense of loneliness,
of being alone in a big, empty, dark universe of Maya. The
experience, though, is but one stage of development. We must
take this self-imposed limitation to our awareness, this
Ring-Pass-Not, and step beyond it into the light of universality.
Life and the universe itself is a cooperative venture. We
co-create it, in interaction with the rest of living things.
Each of us, as Monads, projects a ray into matter and adds our
own splash to the pond. In our experience of life, we may take
our material existence too seriously, and forget our essential
source. We may lose a sense of our rootedness in the One Life
and experience the dualism of good and evil as battling forces.
We don't, though, have to forget; and we can remember the
essential unity and GOOD spirituality that pervades and guides
Evil is like a mayavic, illusory shadow cast by an imperfect
light, without a substantial nature of its own, and destined to
destruction as the light perfects itself and becomes
all-pervading. That happens as we become rooted in the
incorruptible, and the corruptible about us becomes subject to
dissolution. Let's pass through this Ring-Pass-Not and rebecome
rooted in the Highest!
FOOD, VALUES, AND ECOLOGY
by Roar Bjonnes
Food, values, and ecology are all intimately linked
to our spiritual existence. Thus we have to view each as an
intrinsic part of a spiritual and holistic world view.
Throughout history, human beings -- guided by self
interest -- have been neglecting ecology at every step. But
the sky and the air, the hills and the mountains, the
rivers and forests, the wild animals and reptiles, the
birds and fish, and all sorts of aquatic creatures and
plants, are all inseparably related to one another. We must
therefore be cautious from now on; we must restructure our
thoughts, plans and activities in accordance with the
dictates of ecology. There is no alternative.
Many environmental experts and activists would argue
that to live a life according to the directives of ecology,
is the most urgent task for humanity right now. But what
does it mean? How can we develop a genuine environmental
ethics? What will it look like?
For science, viruses represent the smallest
accumulation and diversity of molecules which is recognized
as "life." Maybe in the near future, when more advanced
techniques are employed, we will recognize the sentience of
smaller aggregations of molecules. For now, viruses
personify the boundary between life and non-life. But in
the wheel of creation -- whether in the descending and
devolutionary phase, or in the ascending and
evolutionary stage -- there is Consciousness at every level
of the way. Even stones and crystals are "alive" and have
dormant minds and are expressions of Cosmic Consciousness.
For the spiritual sages of India, it is therefore
impossible to draw a final line between animate and
inanimate beings. In the so-called inanimate world there
is mind, but the mind is dormant, as if asleep, because
there is no nervous system. And according to the so-called
Santiago theory, developed by Francisco Varela and
Humberto Maturana, the process of cognition is intimately
linked to the process of life. hence the brain is not
neccesary for the mind to exist. A worm, or a tree, has no
brain but has a mind.The simplest forms of life are
capable of perception and thus cognition.
Native Americans certainly experienced this mind in
the cosmos. In the international best-seller, THE SECRET
LIFE OF PLANTS, Peter Thompkins and Christopher Bird
reports that, when killing a tree, the tribal would have a
heart-to-heart conservation with the tree. In no uncertain
terms would he let the tree know what was going to happen,
and finally he would ask for forgiveness for having to
commit this unfortunate act of violence.
In the same book, they also documented scientific
experiments on plants with a modified lie detector. The
instrument would register when a plant's leaves were cut or
burnt. Not only that, when a plant "understood" it was
going to be killed, it went into a state of shock or
"numbness." Thus, the scientists explained,
possibly preventing it from undue suffering, which again
may explain the "warnings" given to trees by the Native
Such laboratory tests, may sound outrageous to
materialists, but not to the ancient, animist peoples from
all over the world, nor to Indian yogis or Westerns
mystics. They have for long informed us that we do not live
in a dead and meaningless universe. There is spirit and
creative will everywhere. There is longing for
song in the heart of stones, and there is love for the
Great in the bosom of trees. But unfortunately, nature
cannot always express its grief when it is damaged or
destroyed. To protect it, we must therefore conserve and
properly utilize all natural resources.
Poets and sages throughout the ages have observed a
deep grief in nature. In the poetry anthology NEWS OF THE
UNIVERSE, poet Robert Bly writes about nature having a kind
of melancholic mood, or "slender sadness." Buddhists
associate this intrinsic grief with the incessant wheel of
If nature -- earth, trees, and water -- truly
experience a form of existential pain or grief, at least
when destroyed and polluted, our conservation efforts and
our ecological outlook must first and foremost acknowledge
this innate suffering. And by acknowledging it, nature
becomes part of us. To paraphrase noted psychologist James
Hillman -- one of the innovators in the new field of eco
-psychology -- our mind is enlarged to include nature; the
world becomes us. And if we destroy that world, out of
ignorance or greed, we destroy a part of ourselves.
Since mind or consciousness is expressed even in so-
called inanimate objects as rocks, sand or mud, it
perceives an intrinsic oneness in all of creation. Thus in
Tantric philospher P. R. Sarkar's world view, we grant
existential rights or value to all beings -- whether soil,
plants, animals and humans. He concedes that inprinciple
all physical expressions of Cosmic Consciousness has an
equal right to exist and to express itself.
This sentiment is echoed by Norwegian eco-philosopher
Arne Naess, whose "biospherical egalitarianism" is
advocated by the deep-ecology movement, which he founded.
But as evolution is irreversible -- amoebas eventually
evolve into apes, but apes never transform into amoebas
-- Tantra also acknowledges "higher" and "lower" expressions
of Consciousness. This differentiation is crucial, and it
is on the basis of this that Tantra and
The Tantric ecological world-view is both egalitarian
and hierarchical. Evolution proceeds by expressing more and
more complex beings who are able to express higher levels
of consciousness. On this evolutionary ladder, amoebas are
at the "bottom" and humans are at the "top." Within this
hierarchical system there are various levels of egalitarian
cooperation, but the system as a whole is hierarchical.
This notion is also supported by the new systems
sciences, which proclaim that one cannot have wholeness
without hierarchy. As Ken Wilbur explains: "'Hierarchy' and
'wholeness,' in other words, are two names for the same
thing, and if you destroy one, you completely destroy the
other." Each hierarchy is composed of increasing orders
of wholeness -- organisms include cells which include
molecules, which include atoms.
In an evolutionary context, the new stage of
development has extra value relative to the previous stage.
An oak sprout is more complex and therefore endowed with a
fuller expression of consciousness than an acorn. A monkey
has a more evolved nervous system and mind than an insect,
and a human has a more evolved brain and intellect than an
This crucial definition of subsequent higher stages
of consciousness, of a hierarchy of being, is central to
Tantra. But, and with potential dire consequences, it is
often overlooked by many Greens or deep-ecologists. They
often equate hierarchy with the higher exploiting the lower
by transferring human pathological experiences of hierarchy -
- such as fascism, for example -- to the study of nature.
But the ecological universe of nature could not exist
without hierarchy, and humans, for good or for worse, are,
as the most advanced expression of consciousness in
evolution, stewards of the natural world. Hence
we need to acknowledge both unity and oneness as well as
high and low (or deep and shallow) expressions of
consciousness when developing an ecological world view.
We need to emulate nature in advancing what Riane
Eisler calls "actualization hierarchies," we must learn to
maximize our species' potential, both in relation to
ourselves and to nature. In other words, a self-actualized
humanity can learn to integrate itself in relation to
nature. Learn to realize our oneness with the "other."
Learn to recognize that being on top of the evolutionary
ladder does not give us the right to rob and exploit those
lower than ourselves.
Because of the many pathological expressions of
hierarchy in human society -- such as fascism, Nazism,
communism, or corporate multinationalism -- many so-called
new paradigm thinkers are suggesting a new and supposedly
healthier model termed heterarchy.
In a heterarchy, rule is established by an
egalitarian interplay of all parties. For example, atoms
may have a heterarchical relationship amongst themselves,
but their relationship to a cell is hierarchical. In other
words, the various heterarchies are strands in the ever
-evolving web of hierarchies, and when functioning
optimally, the relationship between them is one of
coordinated cooperation. By negating hierarchy and favoring
heterarchy only, we establish another pathology, because
the existence or validity of heterarchy does not disprove
the existence or importance of positive or actualized
hierarchy. There is an ongoing movement toward greater
complexity and higher consciousness in evolution, while at
the same time there is, on a deeper level, ecological
cooperation and spiritual unity amongst
In other words, there are both heterarchy and
hierarchy. To disprove the hierarchical flow of evolution
by saying that all of us -- whether leaf, tree, monkey, or
human -- are equal, heterarchical partners in the great web
of life, is to impose on nature faulty and limited
concepts. It reduces the wondrous complexity of creation to
a lowest common denominator, and that serves neither nature
nor humans well.
There is unity of consciousness amongst all beings,
because we all come from, and are created by, the same
Spirit. But nature is also infinitely diverse, and we need
to embrace variety in al its forms. One such unique variety
is expressed in terms of consciousness. A seedling is more
complex and therefore more conscious than and acorn, and an
oak is more complex and conscious than a seedling.
Another way of expressing this is that a dog has more
capacity for mental reflection and self-consciousness than
a fir tree. Both are manifestations of Cosmic
Consciousness, both have mind, and both have equal
existential value -- but because of the difference in
expression of depth and quality of consciousness,
the dog is higher on the natural hierarchy of being than
the fir tree. So when we develop our ecological ethics,
both the "low" and the "high" expressions of nature must be
valued and accounted
Nonhuman creatures have the same existential value to
themselves as human beings have to themselves. Perhaps
human beings can understand the value of their existence,
whilean earth worm cannot. Even so, no one has delegated
any authority to human beings to kill those unfortunate
creatures. But to survive, we cannot avoid killing other
To solve this dilemma, articles of food are to be
selected from amongst those beings where development of
consciousness is comparatively low. If vegetables, corn,
bean and rice are available, cows or pigs should not be
Secondly, before killing any animals with "developed
or underdeveloped consciousness," we must consider deeply
if it is possible to live a healthy life without taking
Thus, in addition to existential value, various
beings, based on their depth of consciousness, have a
variable degree of what is often termed "intrinsic value."
The more consciousness a being has, the deeper the
feelings, and the more potential for suffering. Eating
plants is therefore preferable to eating animals. As George
Bernhard Shaw once said: "Animals are my friends ... and I
don't eat my friends."
It is also ecologically more sustainable to extract
nourishment from entities lower down on the food chain.
Vast land areas are used to raise livestock for food. These
areas could be utilized far more productively if planted
with grains, beans, and other legumes for human
consumption. It is estimated that only 10
percent of the protein and calories we feed to our
livestock is recovered in the meat we eat. The other 90
percent goes literally "down the drain."
In addition to existential value, and intrinsic
value, all beings have utility value. Throughout history,
human beings usually preserved those creatures which had an
immediate utility value. We are more inclined to preserve
the lives of cows than of rats, for example. But, because
of all beings' existential value, we cannot claim that only
human beings have the right to live, and not non-humans.
All are the children of Mother Earth; all are the offspring
of the Cosmic Consciousness.
Sometimes it is difficult to know what the
utilitarian value of an animal or a plant is; therefore we
may needlessly destroy the ecological balance by killing
one species without considering the consequences of its
complex relationship or utility value to other species. A
forest's utility value, for example, is more than just x
number of board feet of lumber. It serves as nesting and
feeding ground for birds and animals; its roots and
branches protect the soil from erosion; its leaves or
needles produce oxygen; and its pathways and camp grounds
provide nourishment for the human soul. As a whole, the
forest ecosystem has an abundance of ecological, aesthetic,
and spiritual values which extends far beyond its benefits
in the form of tooth picks or plywood.
All of nature is endowed with existential, intrinsic
value, and utility value. This hierarchical, and ultimately
holistic understanding of evolution and ecology, formulates
the basic foundation for a new, and potentially
groundbreaking ecological ethics.
If we embrace the divinity in all of creation, the
expression of our ecological ethics will become an act of
sublime spirituality. Our conservation efforts and our
sustainable resource use will become sacred offerings to
Mother Earth, and ultimately to Cosmic Consciousness, the
God and Goddess within and beyond nature.
-- Capra, Fritjof, The Web of Life, Anchor Books, 1996
-- Sarkar, P.R., Neo-humanism:The Liberation of Intellect,
Ananda Marga Publications 1982
-- Wilber, Ken, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, Shambala, 1996
-- Parham, Vistara, What's Wrong With Eating Meat, Sisters
Universal Publishing, Northnampton, 1979
-- Eisler, Riane, The Chalice and the Blade, Harper,1987
-- Sessions, George and Duvall, Bill, Deep Ecology,
Peregrine Books, 1985
-- Bly, Robert, News of the Universe, Sierra Club Books,
[Roar Bjonnes is a writer whose articles have appeared in
dozens of newspapers and periodicals in the US and Europe.
The above is an excerpt from a book in progress tentatively
titled THE SPIRIT OF SOCIETY: DESIGNING AN ECO-SPIRITUAL
ECONOMY FOR THE 21st. CENTURY. He can be e-mailed at
TREASURES BEHIND THE GATE
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon a September 20, 1994 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
There are many ways in which Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion, is
adapting to western society. The Teachings are blending into
popular thought and thereby creating various flavors of
Neo-Theosophy. These adaptations of the core philosophy blend in
with established belief systems, enriching them. But the central
philosophy stands, apart from any particular variant.
One adaptation has adopted Christianity, and incorporates many
beliefs from Christian thought. This approach may also include
Jungian psychology, which has a strong Christian bias. This
approach would have us becoming priests, going to church, taking
the sacrament, believing in angels and fairies, and looking for a
return of the Christ.
Another adaptation has adopted Buddhism, and incorporates many
beliefs from Buddhist though. This approach gives considerable
status to anyone having learned Sanskrit or Tibetan. It accepts
Tibetan scriptures as authoritative, rather than being the works
of an exoteric religion. It would have us seeking for extant
works of eastern religions as the basis for the Teachings.
Again, exoteric religions are being embraced as authoritative.
A third adaptation is based upon Animism. It is centered about
the love and celebration of Mother Nature. Goddesses are talked
about. Nature walks become religious observances. The
multitudes of living creatures about us are looked to for
guidance: they are used to help us escape the burden of our
false, but sincere beliefs, that prevent us from otherwise seeing
the Real and True.
These adaptations have the useful effect of changing public thought.
They give a new direction to religious, philosophical, and scientific
thought. As we participate in them, we assist in the effort to uplift
humanity. It is a good form of public work. But there is much more to
be had. Those of us feeling a need for more can find it. The core
concepts of Theosophy, untainted by the public adaptations, provide us
with a starting point. The only limit as to how far we may go with
them is ourselves, a self-defined limit based upon our individual
The heart of the Teachings are rooted in the Mysteries. It does
not consist of ideas or rules of behavior that change with
passing trends. The Teachings that are available to Generation X
(a nickname for the current generation in the United States) are
the same as those available to the generation of Blavatsky's
time, or even to those of Plato's time, or the time when the
pyramids or stonehenge were built. These Teachings are a divine
gift from a higher Kingdom of Nature than humanity, from the
Dhyani-Chohans, and the Mahatmas preserve it to this day. And
the Teachings are build up about certain core concepts, many of
which we have been given, and are free to study and contemplate.
When talking of these things to someone educated in the west,
some self-censorship may be necessary, so that the person does
not reject the whole philosophy out of hand as seeming nonsense.
If even higher Teachings were told, they might seem to be "insane
gibberish," simply because there would be so much that needed to
We are told that the effort of the modern Theosophical Movement
is to attract the attention of the highest minds of western
civilization. It might be asked: what for? If popular thought is
influenced in the right direction, the work is being done. Until
someone has reached the appropriate stage of inner readiness, it
means nothing to simply tell him some of the higher truths. When
he is ready, that person needs no coaxing to seek out the higher
life. Where, then, lies our responsibility?
First, we can assist the work of karma, being agents for the good
karma of those whom are ready for the philosophy. We can assist
by making the philosophy readily available. This does not mean
advertising it, making it well-known to all, presenting it with
an in-your-face assertiveness to others. No. It means having
books, groups, centers, libraries, organizations, classes, and
all the other ways and means of allowing someone to come and
learn and grow. Having these places is almost enough by itself,
for a person when ready will "stumble" upon us when the time is
right. This does not preclude advertising, but just in a form
that does not draw lots of attention to itself.
Second, we can be serious about it ourselves. It is a
Wisdom-Religion. That means there *is* a religion there, but one
based upon Wisdom, not upon mere profession of belief. A
religious practice is required, but one that is self-devised. We
are expected to not just play with the ideas, but start taking
the first steps, without any external coaxing, and undertake the
initial growth through self-initiation. We must begin an inner
ripening, and become a light unto the world. The world is
brightened by the dawn of our own inner light.
Until we approach the Gate, and pass through it, we stand
outside. We go to theosophical meetings and see a crowd of
average people with an above-average number of personal problems.
We see common people thinking they are somehow special. We hear
a strange-sounding philosophy taught and argued about by people
whom poorly understand it and hotly disagree with it at times.
What are we to think? This is all the smoke outside the Gate.
Have a peek inside. There are treasures inside.
DRUIDISM: THE THEOSOPHY OF ANCIENT WALES, PART II
by Kenneth Morris
[from THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, September 1950, pages 535-548.]
The most interesting thing in all Welsh literature is the matter
contained in a book called BARDDAS or Bardism, which won a prize
in the National Eisteddfod of 1858. It is the most interesting
thing, because it expounds a great system of thought. That great
system purported to be the doctrine of the ancient Druids. It is
freely accused by the pundits of having been forged by a man
named Iolo Morganwg in the eighteenth century. To a student of
history and world literature, it is quite certain that it -- that
is, the system of thought, the philosophy -- could not have been
created by any native of a sleeping race, Welshman or other. It
comes out of Wales beyond doubt; it explains and makes
intelligible a thousand references in early Welsh literature.
But no Welshman could have invented it in the sleeping time of
Wales; because that would have implied a highly dynamic use of
creative thought, which does not happen among a sleeping people.
Nor could it have been invented in a twilight time, or say
between the Roman conquest of Britain in 68 A.D. and the battle
of Bosworth; because in such twilight periods you can get
literature with a reminiscence or echo of ancient greatness, but
not great creative thought such as is implied in the thinking out
of a philosophy to explain life and the universe. The conclusion
therefore is irresistible that this system does come down from a
time when the Celtic peoples were awake, alive, dynamic; which
they have not been since the Romans landed in Britain.
Now when you get that law of history firmly fixed in your mind,
that for every people periods of activity and periods of rest
alternate; and put that side by side with what the classical
writers, Greeks and Romans, say about the Druids as possessors of
a lofty philosophy, you will, I think, conclude that (1) the
Celts had a waking period which ended, for the Welsh, with the
Roman conquest; and (2) that a lofty philosophy broached in Wales
in the eighteenth century could only have been an echo of the
philosophy held to and believed in in Wales before the Roman
conquest: or in other words, that the doctrine put forward in the
book BARDDAS echo or reminiscence of Druidism.
An echo or reminiscence necessarily; not the complete thing. A
pagan system that had come down in Christian and troubled Wales
through all those troubled Christian centuries, could not but
have been corrupted in some degree; could not but have lost some
elements of greatness and taken on some elements of imperfection.
Just as old Welsh literature has a thousand references in it that
need this philosophy of BARDDASBarddas to make them intelligible;
so does the philosophy of BARDDAS need Theosophy to explain and
complete it. To explain and show the real meaning of certain
parts that have become dimmed by age; to fill in certain parts
that have been lost through the centuries.
We are introduced first to two principles: Duw and Cythraul,
names very familiar to the Welsh, being the common words for
"God" and the "devil." I shall however leave them both in Welsh,
to come at their meaning more easily. Duw undoubtedly has taken
on something of personality from Christian teaching; but this
personalizing has not gone the whole way; in the case of Cythraul
it has not even begun. Cythraul, the opposite pole of existence
to Duw, is thus defined: it "is destitute of life and intention"
-- a thing of necessity, not of will; without being or life in
respect of existence and personality; vacant in reference to what
is vacant; dead in respect to what is dead; and nothing in
reference to what is nothing.
Duw, uniting Itself with Cythraul with the intention of subduing
it to life, imparted the existence of vitality to animated
beings; and thus did life lay hold upon the dead, whence
intellectual animations first sprang Intellectual existence first
began in the depths of Annwn for there is the lowest and least
grade. The greatest cannot exist in an intellectual existence
before the least; there can be no intellectual existence without
gradation. Thus may be seen that there is to every intellectual
existence a necessary gradation, which begins at the lowest
grade, progressing from thence incessantly along every addition,
intervention, increase, growth in age, and completion.
Animations in Annwn are removed gradually, by means of
dissolution and death to a higher degree, where they receive an
accumulation of life and goodness, and thus they progress from
grade to grade nearer and nearer to the extremity of life and
goodness. That state of extremity of life and goodness is to be
reached when these "intellectual animations" have attained to the
state of humanity.
Now there we see that Duw and Cythraul, in simple modem terms,
are translatable as Spirit and Matter; Duw uniting itself to
Cythraul, speaks of the involution of spirit into matter, whereby
is caused the evolution of matter towards spirit. The Druidic
map of the universe, so to speak, consists of two concentric
circles. The space within the inner circle is called Cylch yr
Abred, the Cycle of Inchoation; it is the world in which we live,
the plane we live on. The space between the inner and outer
circle is called Cylch y Gwynfyd, the Cycle of Bliss; it is the
world above ours, so to say, the state to which we evolve after
learning all the lessons existence as human beings can teach us.
Outside the outer circle are rays shooting out; they represent
the Cylch y Ceugant or the Cycle of Infinity, in which we are
told there is only Duw.
Now below the innermost circle or Abred there is what is called
Annwn, the great deep; a word I believe poetically used for hell;
a word occurring much in Welsh folklore with more or less that
meaning. But in Bardism it is explained as simply the inception
point of existence; where life begins; the worlds below the
human, through which in Druidism as in Theosophy, all life, all
existence, must gradually evolve up to the human stage. There,
says BARDDAS, are the manred or atoms, the stuff out of which the
worlds were built; Duw uniting itself with Cythraul started these
on the pilgrimage of evolution. Each had innate in itself its
own awen, different from that of all others; its own peculiar
nature, which should be evolved, during the course of innumerable
ages, by undergoing every imaginable, every possible, form of
experience, in stage after stage of evolution: elemental,
mineral, vegetable, and animal, up to self-consciousness in the
human stage or state: that which began as the unselfconscious
god-spark becoming the self-conscious human being.
The further you go down in Annwn, says BARDDAS,Barddas, towards
the beginnings, the more does the nature of Cythraul, and the
less does the nature of Duw, preponderate; until when the human
state is reached, the two natures equiponderate, and you have
free will, and a choice between good and evil at every turn of
thought or action. If, says BARDDAS, the nature of Cythraul has
come to preponderate in a man, through gross thought and evil
action, dying, that man descends below the human state to that
point in Annwn or the evolutionary journey which corresponds to
the character he has made for himself. If, through noble thought
and action the nature of Duw has come to preponderate in him,
dying he passes out from the human state, and from the Cycle of
Abred, into the Cycle of Gwynfyd.
Now there you see what main doctrine, known to have been the
cardinal doctrine of Druidism in the days when it was a living
religion, has dropped out of Druidism as presented in this book
BARDDAS. I refer to Reincarnation. The philosophy of BARDDAS is
absolutely sound and logical and inspiring as far as it goes; but
since its chief insistence is that evolution comes by experience,
by the gaining of all possible experience, we can see that
logically human reincarnation is a necessity. There is no
passing out of Annwn into Abred we are told, without gaining
first all the imaginable experience every state of existence in
Annwn can teach us; and no passing out of Abred into Gwynfyd
without gaining first all the possible experience that life in
Abred can give us; and as you can't get all possible human
experience in one human life, we have to see that sometime during
the troubled centuries of Welsh history the folk who were the
custodians of the tradition of Druidism withdrew the teaching of
Reincarnation; ceased to speak of it. They ceased to speak,
also, of the evolution of the soul beyond the human stage; of the
existence of the Gods; although we know that this teaching was a
part of Druidism of old.
Now I shall turn from BARDDAS to another matter. When European
civilization was at its lowest depths of degradation and
brutality, in what are called the Dark Ages, a light shone out
into it from Wales through the Normans who came here conquering.
It was chivalry, centering about the Arthurian legend; at the
core of which was the legend of the Holy Grail. This was
supposed to be a vessel which held the blood of Christ; it was
very miraculous in character; vision of it might be attained by
the absolutely pure in heart. Now England had its national
legend -- of Beowulf; and France had its, of Charlemagne; but
this legend from Wales drove out and covered over both of those,
so that Englishmen forgot Beowulf and talked of Arthur as their
national hero -- although he was supposed to have spent his life
fighting them, and Frenchmen forgot Charlemagne and his Paladins,
and both tried more or less, as did Spaniards, Italians, Germans,
to model their lives on the knightly ideals of Arthur's court:
that purity being the center most one, which might enable them to
have vision of the Holy Grail.
Now, what was that Holy Grail?
There's no time to prove it to you now, but it can be amply
proved. It was originally the symbol of Druidism just as the
cross is the symbol of Christianity. In the old Welsh stories it
is called Pair Ceridwen, and Pair Dadeni: the Caldron of
Ceridwen, the Caldron of Rebirth.
Dadeni, Rebirth, Reincarnation: you can't make it mean anything
else; the ideas, the symbolism that lie behind it are vast.
First of all, it was the symbol of Initiation. There is a cave
in Snowdon, and a rock on Cadair Idris, of which the popular
legend is that one who spends a night in the one, or on the
other, will wake in the morning either dead, or mad, or an
initiated bard, inspired -- with wisdom and illumination beyond
what normal human beings possess. This shows how that great
central idea of all the ancient religions, Druidism included,
impressed itself in Druid days on the race mind. Otherwise it
could not have lived on in folklore through the Christian
The candidate for initiation, whether in Greece, Egypt, India, or
Wales or any other country, prepared himself for it by a long
course of training and discipline, the object of which was to
bring all the lower elements of his being into subjection. Then,
when he was ready, the initiation took place. In some kind of
crypt -- in the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid, for example;
probably in the cave on Snowdon also: he, or his body, was placed
in a vessel or receptacle or sarcophagus, or tied to a wooden
cross; and he himself, the human soul, voyaged out into the inner
spaces of the universe and learned the secrets of these inner
spaces at first hand. Returning, he was illuminated, an
initiate; in Welsh, Bardd, a bard; which word does not originally
mean a poet, but an illuminated seer, a teacher, an initiate.
In Druidism, that receptacle, or vessel, or sarcophagus, was
called a caldron -- the Pair Dadeni, or Caldron of Rebirth, or
the Caldron of Ceridwen, the Goddess of Universal Nature. It
took the place in Druidism that the cross does in Christianity;
it was the symbol of Religion. Religion existed to bring men to
the point of initiation, to the Caldron of Ceridwen as it were;
the initiation, which made of the neophyte a Bard, was regarded
as a rebirth, a second birth -- Dadeni.
Of the seventy-seven poems of Taliesin one stands out as, I
think, the greatest; it is my favorite, because of its more than
Miltonic loftiness of tone. It is called Preiddiau Annwn, the
spoils of Annwn; which, as you will remember, is the deep, the
underworld, even by an extension of meaning, this material
universe. It tells how the Caldron was held in Annwn in Caer
Pedryfan, the four-square Castle, in Ynyns Pybyddor, the
Strong-doored Isle; and how Arthur voyaged in Prydwen, his ship
of Glass, into the Underworld to recover it; and Taliesin with
One could spend an evening, or many evenings, lecturing on Arthur
alone, with all his implications and meanings. No doubt there
was a Welsh prince who died in the year 540, after winning some
striking victories over the Saxons; whose invasion of Britain
certainly was held up for some twenty or thirty years before 540;
that invasion actually made no progress during those years. But
unquestionably that chieftain came to be identified with one of
the old Gods of Druidism; we know of a Gaulish god named Artaios;
the Egyptian god we know as Osiris, was called in Egyptian Ausar;
he may be the same god. Scholars have identified Arthur with Hu
Gadarn, Hu the Mighty, the chief God of Druidism; who figures a
good deal in the Welsh triads; and who was actually worshiped in
Wales as late as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In 1538,
in the reign of Henry VIII, a statue of this god, known as
Darfell Gadarn, which attracted great crowds of worshipers, was,
with its priest, brought up from Wales to London and burnt at
Smithfield: the priest, the last Druid martyr; and in the
fifteenth century Welsh poetry there are many references to Hu
Gadarn, hymns to his praise; also a poem by a Christian
priest-poet, Sion Cent, which says that there were then two
religious influences in the world: one from Jesus Christ, and the
other from Hu Gadarn among the bards of Wales. Thus we see that
even then, in the time of Owan Glyndwr and Joan of Arc and the
Wars of the Roses and the first Tudor kings of England, Druidism
was still alive in Wales.
But to go back to the poem, the Spoils of Annwn. The Arthur it
tells of is the first Arthur; the earliest stage we have in his
metamorphosis from the Leader of the Gods to the chivalrous king
who appears in Malory and Tennyson. He voyages through the deep,
he descends into the underworld, the manifested universe, in
quest of the caldron of initiation. I do not know any poem, in
any language, that conveys to me so much of that sense of hidden
and mysterious grandeur as this one does. What does it mean? It
figures the involution of spirit into matter; the descent of the
gods into the underworld, this world, this life we live, in quest
of -- what? Wisdom, experience, initiation. For the Caldron, the
sacred symbol of Druidism, means not only that receptacle or
sarcophagus that held the body of the neophyte while he himself
explored the inner universe; it means that, and something more.
It means life, the world. It was the Caldron of Reincarnation;
the world into which we incarnate again and again; each life in
its degree an initiation, a gaining of wisdom by experience.
Sublime thought, this of the evolution of the god-spark in each
one of us into at last the fully self-conscious God, through
endless life, successions of experiences of life, of entries into
the Caldron of Reincarnation, until that entry into it which
shall bring us initiation, and from men we shall become bards and
H. P. Blavatsky says, in an article published after her death,
that in the century before Christ, Druidism was the only branch
of the Mysteries of the Old World which had not degenerated; and
that Caesar was inspired to attack and conquer Gaul by the black
forces, the enemies of mankind, in order to stamp out that last
pure light, to break its power. But even though be did so; even
though he forced it underground as it were, so that from the
ruling religion of Britain, Gaul and Ireland, it became a secret
cult, we see that he could not quench its power and influence.
Here in Wales it lived on; and, as Wales inch by inch was
conquered by the Normans, its influence, spiritual and uplifting
still, though strangely metamorphosed, spread out into the
darkness of Christian Europe, a light to lighten the Gentiles
with the noble ideals of chivalry, the vision of the Holy Grail.
This illustrates the workings of the spirit, of the Masters of
Wisdom, the spiritual Leaders and Guides of Mankind. There is
nothing about it you can prove. You can't prove that Iolo
Morganwg, the eighteenth century Glamorgan stonemason, didn't
forge every document in the book BARDDAS; you can't prove
anything spiritual for that matter. No; proof you may not have;
but you may have suggestion; a hint; which, taken, used and
followed up, will lead you on to heights of ennobling thought and
knowledge. You may take these things and ideas that the
materialist and the academic reject as unproved, and let them
work upon your inner nature until they have made a god of you.
I told you the subject was a vast one; and far beyond my
satisfactorily setting forth in an evening's lecture. But what I
hope you may have gotten out of it is this: New evidence of the
universality of the grand Theosophical teachings; evidence, too,
that will show you that in bringing Theosophy to Wales, we are
bringing nothing strange, exotic or foreign; but simply the lost
secret of the ancient greatness of the Celtic peoples.
EMANATION AND EVOLUTION
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon a September 12, 1994 posting to email@example.com.]
Two terms that we read about in Theosophy are "evolution" and
"emanation." They are sometimes used as though they mean the same
thing. At other times they are shown to have different meanings.
What is the difference between them?
The word "emanation" refers to the bringing forth of that which
already exists within. An example is found in our childhood: we
emanate some of our talents, our skills that we have acquired in
previous lifetimes. We bring forth some facets of the
Reimbodying Ego, some of our personal treasury of experience.
Someone with considerable musical experience, may be a prodigy,
and write concerts long before adulthood. Another person may
never have an ear for music. What is the difference? One has
acquired musical skills through many lifetimes of training and
effort. These talents are retained in the Reimbodying Ego,
although they do not show up in the personality unless they are
emanated in this life.
The totality of ourselves, what we have made over countless
previous existences, is carried in our Auric Egg. It is
unmanifest. It consists of karmic seeds, of latent potential for
action. It is ourselves, what we have made ourselves into being,
our entire nature -- both seen and unseen -- as of this moment in
time. At each moment, with increasing experience, we, as
personalities, grow. And the Auric Egg also grows, and the
envelope of the outer bounds of our consciousness expands.
The particular personality of any lifetime can only contain a
portion of the totality of ourselves. Only part of it may be
emanated into manifest existence. When such a part of ourselves
is being emanated, we may feel that we are learning new things,
but we are not. We are remembering things that we already knew,
and carry in a deeper part of ourselves. Emanated talents,
emanated capabilities come forth easily, quickly, and almost
without effort. It is a form of recapitulation, a recovery of
territory previously covered.
There are other things in life that we cannot do. They are
simply too hard. We have no latent talents in a particular
direction, and can seem to evoke nothing from within to readily
learn and grow in the new direction. This is where evolution
begins. When we have nothing more to emanate, and face the slow,
hard work of embracing in our consciousness that which it has
never contained before, we are undertaking new evolution.
With evolution, we are not dealing with the recapitulation of
previously-acquired faculties. We have nothing in our karmic
treasury to draw upon. There are no contents of our Auric Egg of
that nature. Instead, we are exploring new territory. We are
embracing the unknown, and it is not easy work. Emanation comes
easily; we can readily be many different people in different
lifetimes, because only a portion of our totality comes out in
any lifetime. Evolution, though, is slow, because we have no
previous experience to draw upon.
Evolution and emanation can be the same thing, in a sense. When
we are actually evolving, the new consciousness arises
simultaneously in our karmic treasury, the Auric Egg, and in our
outer, manifest personal self. Since it happens at the same
time, we cannot say that it happened first in the Auric Egg, and
then was emanated, nor can we can that it happened first in the
personality, and then was stored in the Auric Egg as the
resultant karmic seed. Rather, emanation and evolution are one
and the same at the moment of new evolution.
With increased evolution, the Auric Egg is growing, expanding in
size, embracing more of the unknown. Projecting itself into the
manifest world, with increased emanation, it gives expression to
more of the totality of itself. The ray of consciousness that
it, the Monad, projects into matter, widens, becomes brighter,
shows more of its light. With increased emanation, then, the
manifest Self grows, expands in size, and embraces more of the
contents of its parent.
Consider a little girl getting ready to draw. She gets out her
crayons, paper, and drawings being worked on (gathers the
Skandhas or attributes of previous manifest existence). Drawings
are selected to continue work on (emanation of previously-
developed talents). And she starts drawing (new evolution which
surpasses previously visited territories).
The Auric Egg is beyond manifest existence. It grows with each
cycle of evolution. Is it not immortal? No. Since it is
ever-changing, and thereby subject to conditioned time, it has a
beginning and an end. What is its lifetime? That of a
Mahamanvantara, the duration of a Life of Brahma.
The Auric Egg, like the other principles, could be considered
dual in nature. There is a part that is material, form-like,
looking-down in nature. There is another part that is energic,
wave-like, looking-up in nature. It is the lower or material
side of the Auric Egg which is subject to periodic dissolution.
But when or how could this happen: the dissolution of something
that does not exist? The answer has to do with the fact that the
Auric Egg participates in the sense of time.
The lower part of the Auric Egg looks down upon manifest
existence. It participated in conditioned time, time that is
measured, cut-up, relative to the changing nature of a world.
That world has its periodic manvantaras (periods of existence)
and pralayas (periods of dissolution or non-existence). The
down- looking Auric Egg participates in this. It changes with
the flow of life in the world that it looks upon, but never
directly participates in.
With complete dissolution of that world, its death or
Mahapralaya, the world completely ceases to exist. The Auric Egg
participates in the waking and sleeping of that world, its
manvantaras and pralayas of lesser nature, but with the death of
the world, there is no longer anything to participate in. The
world is gone, for an indeterminable period of time, and the
lower nature of the Auric Egg also dies.
The upper-looking portion of the Auric Egg still persists, that
aspect of its nature that has always gazed upon the Timeless, and
remained untouched by the temporal events of the manifest world.
This part of the Auric Egg also participates in time, but it
participates in unconditioned time, time not in relation to
conditioned or manifest things. The higher part of the Auric Egg
is immortal because it clings to Timelessness.
Besides the growth of the Auric Egg, evolution, and besides the
pouring forth of the Auric Egg into manifest life, known as
emanation, we have a third aspect of the experience of
consciousness: creation. The consciousness of the moment is the
creative consciousness. It consists of that portion of our
personal selves, the sumtotal of our emanation, that we are aware
of at this very moment.
Consider the mind. Within its contents, we carry with us a
considerable amount of learning and memories. What are we
thinking of at this moment? Certainly not all that we know.
There are certain ideas that take center stage, that get the
spotlight, that are the leaders at this moment in time. That
spotlight which we cast upon those ideas is the creative
consciousness. How conscious we are at this moment depends upon
how bright that spotlight is. And how broad our outlook, how
vast and sweeping our awareness depends upon how wide the beam of
that spotlight, upon how much it illumines. We train, in
meditative practice, to both brighten and broaden that beam of
light, which in a sense is our "inner eye," when taken as a
metaphor (rather than considered as extended-sensory perception
or psychical faculties).
We have, then, three degrees of the unfolding of consciousness.
The awareness of the moment, creation, comes first. Then the
limits of what we have made ourselves into in this lifetime,
emanation, second. And finally the limits of all our previous
existences, our outer bounds of experience, evolution. Were we
in a near-perfect world, the three would be one and the same: the
consciousness of the moment would bring in the totality of the
personality and the personality would contain the totality of
previous evolutionary experience. Life is not perfect, though,
and our world is far from being completely responsive to the life
within. But we continue to grow in the right direction, and in
later Rounds, and in still later days of Brahma, we'll find life
becoming more expressive.
Ourselves and Others
by Kenneth Morris
[Appearing in THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM in October 1950, this was an
address given before a group of Welsh miners in the Rhondda
Valley where Kenneth Morris from 1930 until his death in 1937
labored to establish active theosophical centers among his
In the Chinese language the word JEN is written first with a
stroke which looks like the numeral "1" in our Arabic figures,
and then two horizontal strokes. The first element, the figure
one, stands for Man. The two horizontal lines stand for the
numeral "2". The word means to do unto others as you would they
should do unto you. Man + two. The Individual, you or I, any
man, and the plurality; the Ego -- and the Non-ego; the right
relation between a man and the world, humanity, the universe;
which is, according to the Chinese way of thinking, reciprocal
love, or ourselves and others and that relation that does really,
and ought actually, to exist between us.
Now, what are we? It explains nothing to say that we are human
beings. If you don't think at all, if your life is as that of
the beasts of the field, why, that statement is quite
satisfactory; all that needs saying has been said. But if you
think and examine into things, you will need much more than that.
You think a little more, and perhaps say: I am two things in one,
a body and a soul. Or you may go to your Testament and say with
Paul, a body, soul and spirit. Then comes up the question, What
is the soul? And then, What is the spirit? And what is the
difference between the soul and the spirit? Possibly, if you are
curious, you will go to your minister about that. I don't know
what he will tell you.
Let us look into ourselves, and see what we can find out. Here
first are our bodies: are they ourselves? Are our clothes
ourselves? Of course not! We put on our clothes in the morning,
and take them off at night; we get a new suit, and it lasts us a
year or two, and then gets sold in a jumble sale -- we have done
with it. Our bodies are suits of clothes we put on at birth and
take off and discard at death; they are the means whereby we live
in this world and gain experience of life in this world.
Next consider the consciousness inside the body, the
consciousness, I said; but I am not so sure about that; I should
have said consciousnesses, I think. For all in the same day
three different types of thought may come into your mind or mine,
and may find expression in words on our lips. We may say, I am
hungry, I want a drink, I want a smoke; I desire this, that, or
the other thing. Or we may say, reasoning from the evidence in
front of me, I believe the world to be round; or, I think man is
a good deal more than his body; or, I believe in this or that
philosophy or religion. Or again, the thought may come into your
mind and pass your lips as words, I love my country; I wish to
God I could do something to better the condition of humanity; I
aspire to be much grander and more noble than I am.
Here we see a different self speaking in three ways. This
exemplifies three souls at least. Lowest is the animal soul, the
soul that desires. Above it is the human soul. We can call it
so, as we have called the other the animal soul, because the
lowest soul we have in common with the animals; they too desire
things, but they don't think and reason; they don't believe the
world is round, or that the angles at the base of an isosceles
triangle are equal, or have religions or philosophies. And then,
above the human soul, is what we may call the divine soul: that
in us which aspires, which loves impersonally -- loves without
thought of getting anything in return for us.
Now, which of those is our self -- our self-most self, so to say?
Not the animal because the animal soul may say, I want a drink, I
desire this or that: and something else in us may reply: Yes, but
you are not going to get it, because it would be bad for you! The
thinking soul, the human one, may reason it out from experience
that gratification of the desires of the animal self or soul
leads to bodily sickness and to the dimming of its own, the human
soul's, powers to think; so it may exercise control over the
animal soul, and forbid it what it clamors for. So obviously
that human soul is, so to speak, a selfer self in us than the
As the human soul can train and educate the animal self, can
permit it this and forbid it that, can hold it in check, and even
direct its energies, so that it will come to desire ever finer
and finer things; does it not follow that the divine soul can
also so educate and raise up the human soul? Doesn't it also
follow that the three are associated thus together in each human
individuality, for the purposes of evolution? The animal may
evolve by association with its betters, the human. The human may
evolve by association with its better, the divine.
Did you ever think of the meaning of self-sacrifice? To sacrifice
is what they call a transitive verb. It must have a subject, the
one who does the sacrifice, and an object -- the thing
sacrificed. Thus, we read of Abraham sacrificing the ram.
Subject Abraham; verb sacrifice; object or thing sacrificed, the
ram. And we read of many who sacrificed their lives for great
causes, as Joan of Arc to free France from the English. But the
fact that she sacrificed her life -- gave her body to be burned
-- proves that her body was not herself, her life was not
herself. Her Self was something behind and above body and life
that decided that she could afford to give up body and life,
things not herself, for the cause she believed in, because the
Self-most-self of Joan of Arc is something higher and more inward
still. And it is -- Compassion.
Now what is compassion? The deepest feeling within one, that
although one knows oneself to be suffering hell forever, yet
there is a more real self within that will live forever, that
Joan of Arc, for example, would live on forever in her people,
her freed people. France was more really herself, more
permanently herself, than she was herself. The self that was
sacrificed was all that could be included under the term JOAN OF
ARC, now and forever; the sacrificer was something greater than
Joan of Arc.
To extend this thought. There is still a bigger self in us than
the self of our country. It is the self of humanity. The man
who had really found himself would live in and for humanity. He
would never be able to rest content till all the suffering in the
world was eliminated; he would feel it his -- not duty so much as
ardent pleasure to be making war on human suffering, and what
causes human suffering, which is human selfishness; and what
causes human selfishness, which is human ignorance. That
ignorance which makes us identify ourselves with the lowest
selves in us; which keeps us from feeling and acting as the
higher selves, the real selves in us. Now if we are those higher
selves really; if the highest self is the most divine and inmost
self in us -- there is a saying of Jesus that ought to take on a
new light: "Ye are Gods; be ye perfect," Ye are Gods -- that is,
I am a god, thou art a god, he is a god, she is a god; we are
gods; you are gods; they are gods.
Now we have come back to our starting point again, the Chinese
word JEN. Ourselves and Others -- WHO ARE OURSELVES.
Let us approach it from another angle. Let us forget all we have
been taught, all religious and scientific views, and become as
little children, that we may enter into the kingdom of heaven and
discover something about the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
For if you are going to believe Jesus, the kingdom of heaven is
something we can get into at any moment, because as he said, It
is within us here and now. Religion, however, has made it
something you can get to when you are dead; but Jesus when he
used those words -- and his opinions, like yours and mine and
anybody else's, are worth finding out and looking into -- meant
something within us that is not generally known or considered;
something divine that we could come to know about. Let us call
it the truth, or the secret of life and death, or the reality
behind Religion. So if we are going to enter into it, we have to
approach things with a child's mind: seeing what we do know very
well for ourselves, and never mind what we have read in books or
been taught in Sunday school or chapel or church or wherever
else. What is the one thing you KNOW for certain? Why, that you
exist, that you are a conscious being. What is the one book you
can read, everyone can read, literates and illiterates, Jews,
Turks, infidels, and heretics, and you and I? Why, ourselves!
And starting out from that certain knowledge, what can we infer?
That we are conscious beings, and that we know we come from this
universe. We know we are the children of the universe. And we
have seen that our inmost self is universal; that the most real
man is the most compassionate man; the biggest man is the man
with the biggest and widest sympathies. He is the man in whom
the human soul has trained the animal soul to discipline and
obedience. He is the man whom the divine soul has trained the
human soul to think and feel as it, the divine soul, does. He
therefore is the man in whom the process of evolution has gone
furthest. Now, doesn't it strike you that there we have stumbled
on the purpose of life? -- EVOLUTION.
There those three are associated in each of us. Unless we take
the lowest of them, the animal soul, in hand, and evolve it, make
it evolve, by disciplining our desires and passions, we suffer in
health. Doesn't that suggest that they are there to evolve? And
if so, that such evolution is the purpose of life? The purpose of
nature -- the thing the universe is doing, that it exists for?
It isn't a case of monkeys changing gradually, in generation
after generation, until their children have miraculously been
born men. That theory should not be called evolution at all,
because evolution means the unfolding out of something, of some
potentiality that is already in it; thus, the oak tree evolves
out of the acorn. The Darwinian theory ought to be called, not
evolution, but as it is in French, Transformism. Evolution, so
far as we are concerned, denotes the possibility of the human,
thinking soul in man capturing, taming, and training the animal
soul, and making it human, and of the divine soul capturing and
inspiring the human soul, and making it divine. Anyone who wants
to believe that this process begins, for every triad of animal,
human, and divine souls, at the birth of the body they are to
inhabit, and that it ends with the death of that body, may do so;
but he must have queer ideas as to the economy of the universe.
It would be like a book that begins half way down page 308 and
ends in the middle of a sentence; but for the moment, never mind
that. What I want you to hold in mind is that the purpose of
life, of nature, of the universe, is EVOLUTION.
Now who is wise, who is sensible, who is likely to succeed, the
man who works in accordance with natural law, or the man who
works against it, the man who furthers the purpose of the
universe and life and nature, or the fool who tries to stop the
broad stream of evolution from flowing on its majestic way? I
need hardly ask, need I? Obviously the man who allies himself
with evolution is the sensible man. How can we do it?
Well, first and foremost, by being the human soul in us instead
of the animal soul. That can only be done by making the human
soul gravitate up toward the divine soul. Now what is the divine
soul? The one that thinks and feels not in our limited
personalities, but in humanity. The one that lives for others,
not for self. The motivating force of evolution.
That much can be said to everyone in the world. I want to say
something particularly to the Rhondda people.
My home, up till two years ago, was in one of the most beautiful
spots in one of the loveliest countries in the world, California.
There the sun shines, I suppose at least three hundred and fifty
days in the year; all day long on about three hundred days.
There the cities have wide clean streets; the buildings are fine
and handsome, nearly all of them. In the suburbs, where the
people live, the gardens run down to the pavements, with no
dividing wall or hedge; you walk with the flowers beside you; at
the ends of the streets you see vistas of mountains, pale blue,
dark blue, purple, sometimes capped with snow. The streets are
avenues of beautiful trees. That is a lovely land, and, in
general, mankind works to preserve and enhance its loveliness.
Well -- hiraeth called me back to Wales.
And then I chanced to come to the Rhondda to lecture. And I saw
the Rhondda that once was a valley of pure beauty; how grimly
hideous men have made it. And I spoke to Rhondda people, and I
said to myself, there is where I must live.
I saw the Rhondda, where there is not a street or building that
isn't hideous; where even, so far as it is possible to do it, men
have spoilt the outlines of the eternal hills themselves with
vile coal-tips; where the children seem to have nowhere to play
but in the hideous streets where the automobiles kill them.
Little Doris Pennington was killed at Llwynypia the other day; I
owe it to her memory and her parents' sorrow to press this point
on you. And -- I spoke to Rhondda people.
It wasn't just that they are my own people: of my own race, or if
not that, of my own country. There was more to it than that.
I'll try to tell you how I felt: how I always feel in speaking to
Rhondda people; how they -- how you -- make me feel.
Have you ever tried the experiment with salt and a glass of
water? You put a spoonful of salt in, and it melts, and the water
is still clear. And you put in another, and the water is still
clear. And you go on putting salt in, spoonful by spoonful,
until what I think is called the saturation point is reached;
anyhow, that will convey the meaning. Then suddenly, after the
last spoonful is put in, there is no longer clear water in the
glass, but opaque, unliquid salt.
Or, haven't you felt in singing: that you can start singing, and
go on, and in your singing reach upwards, and get something
greater, and something greater again, and something still
greater; until you feel that somewhere above you or ahead of you
that you might reach is a point where you could transform the
universe; where it wouldn't be just singing anymore, but magic?
Or again, sometimes in the East, in China or Japan, you bear the
temple bells. They are not like our church bells that flurry out
their peals impatiently, and seem extraordinarily excited about
something. Instead, a low, deep, round, clear note booms out,
and drifts along the twilight valleys, and steals into your
consciousness with deep and deep and deeper peace. And when the
vibration is dying, out it booms and sings and rolls again, and
lifts you yet higher; until you feel that sometime will come a
boom, gong-like, that will shatter the visible universe, and
reveal the fairyland that is behind it, and reveal the villagers,
the coolies, everyone, yourself included, as a god, an angel, the
disguise of his vulgar humanity thrown aside.
Well -- that's how the Rhondda miner makes me feel every time.
That if just the right note could be struck; just the right word
said; just the last spoonful of the salt of inspiration put into
the water of his mind -- there would be a transformation.
I see a lot of evidence of the animal soul in him, and above all
in the valley he lives in. It is chaotic, undisciplined,
unimproved; hideous is this once lovely valley; and it is man
that has made it so. But, I see a deal of evidence of the human
soul behind all that waste. I contact the men who think, who
study. I speak to men who listen keenly, who weigh what I say,
who appreciate thought and reason. But -- and here is the point:
I never look into your eyes but I see the divine soul. I meet
young men roaring and shouting through the streets at night,
keeping sleep from the eyes of tired women, of the sick and the
aged: and, Yes, the animal soul is undisciplined, I say to
myself; and that is the work of the chaotic, undisciplined animal
soul; but behind it there is still that which makes me say to
myself: Yes; Jesus was right after all when he said, Ye are Gods;
that each of us, in the inmost reality of his being, is a god, a
divinity, a thing of wisdom, power, beauty, and compassion. And,
a passion comes on me to evoke, to call forth, to bring into
conscious life and action, that wonderful divinity I sense in
How do we do it? You who are out of work, who have all the hours
of the day to fill somehow, could you find no means of furthering
the work of evolution in those hours? To go against nature is to
live in and for yourself; to go with nature is to live for
others. He who makes what is hideous to be beautiful, what is
inharmonious to be harmonious, is working with and for evolution.
He who joins with his fellows in such a work, subordinating
himself and his desires, is doubly working with and for
evolution. Is there no way in which the unemployed could combine
to improve the Rhondda, to make beauty of this ugliness,
brightness of this gloom, playgrounds for the kiddies or parks or
gardens of the vile coal tips? I don't know. But -- is there no
way? And -- it would be bringing happiness into lives that can't
be too happy; because there is no happiness like that to be
gained from working for no reward, for no personal benefit, but
for the good of others. There is no happiness like that because
-- think! -- when the animal soul or self gets what it desires,
it looks upon that as happiness. But there comes a quick
reaction; to tell us that that animal soul or self is not really
ourself but something in our charge; a servant we must train;
gratifying it is not gratifying our Self. To gratify the human
self, to think -- yes, that is not so bad; that is satisfying up
to a point; but it does not bring the real thrill of happiness
which gratifying the divine self does.
And there is one other point I would like to bring before you.
There is a way of finding out about things. If you have been
interested in any of the thoughts I have brought before you:
there is a way of following it up. The kingdom of heaven is
within you, here and now; it may be given to you to know the
mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Or rather, that privilege is
one that you may take for yourself; as it says, the kingdom of
heaven is taken by violence, that is, by a man's own efforts.
What does that mean but that a man may come to know, he may
learn, he may find out for himself, the truth about the universe
and life, the hidden things? I have just been trying to tell you
a little about Theosophy, which word means divine wisdom, wisdom
from the divine self in man. If you want happiness, why, follow
up that teaching, and find out by its aid for yourselves: it will
give you the key, what is the real truth about ourselves and
others. It isn't a new religion; it isn't a religion, one of the
many religions, at all; but simply the key to the truth
underlying all religions.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application