Theosophy World — Home Page

tw199903.txt March 1999 Issue [HOME] [ONLINE ARCHIVES] [DOWNLOAD]

THEOSOPHY WORLD ------------------------------------- March, 1999

An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World

To submit papers or news items, subscribe, or unsubscribe, write

(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)


"The Path is Life Itself," Part II, by Eldon Tucker
"Humanity in Evolution," by Richard Hiltner
"Atom, Man, Star," by L. Gordon Plummer
"Atma-Buddhi, the Manas, and the Higher Self," by Dallas TenBroeck
"Blavatsky Net Update," by Reed Carson
"The Secret Doctrine: Awakening a New Mode of Thought,"
    by Joy Mills


> That which giveth sustenance to the universe and to ourselves,
> From which, from which all doth proceed,
> Unto which all must return. That thou art.
> In the golden vase of thine earthly body,
> May the true light of the spiritual sun shine forth,
> That thou mays't know the truth and do thy whole duty.
> On thy journey back to the Sacred Seat.
> -- Theosophy School Song (The Gayatri)


by Eldon Tucker

[From THE THEOSOPHIST, Adyar, India, September 1975, 363-72.]

Within each of us -- and not only human beings but in every
manifest entity, every consciousness -- there exist higher self
beyond higher self reaching inward and upward without end.
Looking within, we simply reach the point where our vision can
penetrate no farther. There exist self upon higher self beyond
the perceptive range of even the highest Dhyani-Chohans. And
while realizing that this presence of our actual being or inner
nature has a profound impact upon our outlook on life, we must
never lose sight of where we stand in life at the present moment.
We are subject to all the laws of nature, to the karmic bonds we
have forged, to the cycles of nature as they exist. The value of
realizing what is within ourselves lies in its power to throw the
living of our lives into a new perspective. It is not a
substitute for living one's present life, rather it acts as an
aid to living that life. The understanding of the inner
realities acts as an unconscious presence which lights up one's
daily life.

The actual experiencing of the higher monads or egos comes in the
appropriate cycle and time in one's evolution; for us this is
something that in this globe and round cannot happen for extended
periods of time. It is the human ego, Globe D, that is currently
undergoing evolution. The human lifewave is focused on it and
other spiritual realities and realms of experience -- thought
equally real and valid and existing within each of us -- are for
the moment dormant, unconscious, in obscuration or pralaya.
These other states can still affect us, but only as an
unconscious PRESENCE, as a REMEMBERING that lights us up but
which cannot interfere with the living of the present life, the
experiences in and evolution of the Globe-D fourth-Round human

> There is no reason why we human beings should not begin to use
> our heritage. All powers and qualities and attributes are in us,
> even now, but they are latent for the most part, because we have
> not yet learned to bring them forth. In reality, it is we
> ourselves in our ordinary lower mind and feelings who are
> 'sleeping,' whereas our higher nature is not dormant at all, but
> intensely active.

The whole process of our current evolution is the developing of
the strength and courage and power of the human ego, of the self
we presently know as ourself. And only as this self is developed
can one shift upwards within one and center one's conscious
center-of-gravity in a higher self, in the reembodying ego or
monad. The lessons of life must be taken in hand and
individually mastered by each person. No one can help another or
go through any trial for him by proxy. Each person must face and
master life's lessons, which is in effect to consciously take the
spiritual rather than the material, restrictive, limiting choice
open to him at each crossroad of life. And at every moment comes
some crossroad, large or small, and one constantly chooses,
though most people do not do so self-consciously.

> Every human being contains within himself vast potentialities,
> and it is the duty of the adepts to surround the would-be chela
> with circumstances which shall enable him to take the "right-hand
> path," -- if he has the ability in him. We are no more at liberty
> to withhold the chance from a postulant than we are to guide and
> direct him into the proper course.

As Koot Hoomi said, every would-be chela is surrounded with the
circumstances necessary to him to tread the path. This is but a
specific example of the general rule: We attract to ourselves
opportunities to experience those things that we have thought
about and desired. Any thought, any desire, any action calls out
for its like. And so any longing we may have calls forth from
the storehouse of nature opportunities and circumstances which
allow us to expand upon it, to go into it, to live it and make it
increasingly a part of our life. In chelaship, because one has
become vastly more impersonal, this calling power upon the
universe is much stronger. Millions of opportunities and
possibilities are opened up, and one is engulfed in both
temptations of earthly life and the wondrous possibilities of the
spiritual. It is just because of the growth of a state of
impersonality that this occurs. As we lose our personal
self-centered consciousness the world expands, vast opportunities
open up, the responsibility for alert self-conscious decisions
at every point in life increases greatly. For many it is
comfortable to be somewhat personal and selfish; much less
self-awareness, decisiveness, intuition are required in going
through life.

But there are two pathways in evolution, the ease way and the way
of rapid evolution.

> A chela under probation is allowed to think and do whatever he
> likes. He is warned and told beforehand: you will be tempted and
> deceived by appearances; two paths will be open before you, both
> leading to the goal you are trying to attain; one easy, and that
> will lead you more rapidly to the fulfillment of orders you may
> receive; the other -- more arduous, more long; a path full of
> stones and thorns that will make you stumble more than once on
> your way; and, at the end of which you may, perhaps, find failure
> after all and be unable to carry out the orders given for some
> particular small work -- but, whereas the later will cause the
> hardships you have undergone on it to be all carried to the side
> of your credit in the long run, the former, the easy path, can
> offer you but a momentary gratification, an easy fulfillment of
> the task.

The easy pathway involves living life as it comes, without any
stress, pain, hard work, or self-initiated evolution. It is as
natural and easy as the growth and opening of a flower. There is
no tension or pressure exerted because all is flowing with the
natural drift of life. This is not what is called the Path in
theosophical literature, thought it is spoken highly of by some
metaphysical and occult schools. The Path proper involves the
second, the hard way. The chela is no longer drifting with the
stream, but is putting forth inner disciplines that thought they
seem to bring suffering from the personal standpoint are actually
felt as a joyous process from the higher view.

As a serious student of the Esoteric Philosophy, one often finds
it hard to both hold fast to the ideal and at the same time to
keep in touch with the reality of his present situation in life.
To hold too closely to one's present situation would lead to
losing the inspiration and upliftment of the wider perspective on
life found in the vast theosophical teachings, which are in
reality experiences and not word-concepts. The other extreme,
too, is equally devastating. To become engulfed in the ideal to
the extent of ignoring what and where a man really is, will pull
him off into a world of self-delusion. A find balance must be
kept between the two perceptions, of outer reality and inner
possibilities. Truly, The Path can be as distinct, narrow, and
clear-cut as a razor's edge!

One problem encountered by the newcomer to the teachings of life
is called pledge-fever. The first few glimpses of the
impersonal, spiritual life can so fill one with inspiration and
enthusiasm that one rushes into the circle of occultism
unprepared. To take on too much too quickly can be hazardous, if
not deadly. All but one or two, for instance, of the many
individuals provisionally accepted in the 1880's as lay-chelas by
Koot Hoomi and Morya in the west completely failed within a short

> As pointed out by H.P.B., as soon as anyone pledges himself to
> give his life in service to others, "certain occult effects
> ensue. Of these the first is the THROWING OUTWARD of everything
> latent in the nature of the man: his faults, habits, qualities,
> or subdued desires, whether good, bad, or indifferent. ... You
> all know your earthly pedigree, but who of you has ever traced
> all the links of heredity, astral, psychic, and spiritual, which
> go to make you what you are."

Speaking of pledge-fever, Dr. de Purucker explains:

> The blank, hopeless chill and 'dead' feeling that sometimes is
> experienced is simply a reaction, a part of the pledge-fever
> cycle; precisely as a fever in the body leaves the patient for
> the time feeble, exhausted and cold. ... Whenever there is any
> feeling of ungoverned vaulting enthusiasm, or again of blank
> despair, the student should simply wait and do his utmost to
> regain the calm consciousness that he is a spiritual being in his
> inmost.

In spiritual matters, there must be progress with caution, with a
calm, conservative reflection upon all experiences and
possibilities. There are many karmic Pandora's Boxes within one
that one could choose to open. But both good and bad
possibilities exist in each Box. And if one has trouble
self-consciously controlling everyday life, remaining master of
all the demons and spirits and ghosts of consciousness locked up
in some inner Pandora's Box could prove quite an ordeal. Failure
on the Path simply means taking on more possibilities of
consciousness than one can self-consciously remain master of, and
results in insanity and sometimes even physical death.

> The mass of human sin and frailty is distributed throughout the
> life of man who is content to remain an average mortal. It is
> gathered in and centered, so to say, within one period of the
> life of a chela -- the period of probation. That which is
> generally accumulating to find its legitimate issue only in the
> next rebirth of an ordinary man, is quickened and fanned into
> existence in the chela -- especially in the presumptuous and
> selfish candidate who rushes in without having calculated his
> forces.

> I even now (to put your thoughts in the right channel) remind you
> of the three cases of INSANITY within seven months among "lay
> chelas," not to mention one's turning a thief? ... Few men know
> their inherent capacities -- only the ordeal of crude chelaship
> develops them.

The treading of the Path, the process of spiritual evolution,
involves continued growth in conscious relation to all of life.
But this growth is in self-conscious self-control. A man never
over-extends himself or tries to take in more than he has
mastered. This is why those in training in a genuine school of
the Mysteries, a school linked with the Brotherhood of Adepts,
are forbidden to develop psychic powers until they are advanced
Initiates. In fact, chelas are ordered to give up any psychic
powers they may have naturally had from birth.

> No chela is ever permitted to cultivate any psychical powers at
> any time, until the great foundation has been laid in the
> evocation of the spiritual and intellectual energies and
> facilities: vision, will-power, utter self-control, and a heart
> filled with love for all. Such is the law. Therefore not only
> is it forbidden for the beginner to win and use powers now
> latent, and to awaken faculties now yet in function within him,
> but those who may through past karma happen to be born with such
> awakening inner faculties have to abandon their use when starting
> their training.

Cutting back the psychic powers is necessary because of the
unequal evolution of the reembodying Ego. For at this point in
human evolution the physical, sensory side of life is far more
developed than is the intellectual-intuitive-spiritual side.
Having reached the middle of the fourth Round of Day 18, 001 of
the 36, 000 Days in the life of Brahma, to put it in Hindu
terminology, we are at the apex of material evolution. The
material side of life is thoroughly evolved at the expense of the
spiritual. The Pravritti or emanation of the material has
reached its crest and is only beginning to recede, to be
withdrawn, its Nirvritti. And the Pravritti or emanation of the
spiritual is only feebly beginning to be felt, if at all.
Psychic powers, as is true of all sensory and physical powers,
are basically astral, belonging to our lowest principles or
components or ingredients of consciousness, the Linga-Sarira,
Prana, and perhaps the dregs of Kama. We have overdeveloped our
power to manifest ourselves in the lower realms of consciousness,
in our lower principles, in the Astral Light. Still to be
developed is our ability to manifest consciousness in the higher
realms, in Anima Mundi and Akasa.

It is essential that one's attention be drawn away from the
physical, sensory, earthy, solid, material side of life. Psychic
powers are put aside in the chela in training because psychic
powers represent a strong link to manifest sensory consciousness,
Prana-Linga-Sarira.Attention must be drawn away from the sensory.
It is the inner realms of spirit and intuition and higher
intellect, Atman-Buddhi-Manas, that need increased attention and
awareness. For sensory perception of whatever kind and on
whatever plane represents the use of the lowest two of the seven
principles of consciousness. And it is the higher principles
that need awakening; though, paradoxically, they already are
awake, and it is only the developing of the ability to become
aware of one's consciousness in them while self-consciously
existing in the human ego that is needed. And this process of
becoming aware of them is simply one of expanding an inner
AWARENESS while at all times remaining self-consciously focused
on and in self-conscious control of the human ego. It is the
expansion of inner awareness that is sometimes called the process
of becoming self-less, of becoming impersonal. And as we go
through life, we finally discover that the self as we know it is
no longer the human ego or personality, it is the reembodying
Ego. The transition is simply the opening up of a new
point-of-view within, and it comes about as naturally and freely
as does the golden orb of the sun arise each morning.

In becoming impersonal, selfless, unselfish, one finds oneself
practicing certain rules of self-conduct, whether one had
consciously formulated and applied them or but been living them

> On such rule is never to strike back, never to retaliate; better
> to suffer injustice in silence. Another is never to justify
> oneself, to have patience, and leave the karma to the higher law
> to adjust. And still another, and perhaps the greatest rule of
> this discipline, is to learn to forgive and to love.

But to never stand up and fight for one's selfish, personal
interests is not the same thing as refusing to stand by allowing
evil to take place before one's eyes.

> It may be a clear duty actively to stand up for a principle that
> is at stake, or to spring to the side of one unjustly attacked.
> There is a kindness in being rigidly firm, in refusing to
> participate in evil doing. The sentimental crime of allowing
> evil to take place before our eyes, and thus participating in it
> for fear of hurting someone's feelings, is a moral weakness which
> leads to spiritual degradation. However, when we ourselves are
> attacked, preferable it is to suffer in silence. Only rarely do
> we need to justify our own acts.

A continual danger to the student of Theosophy, mental self-
pride can not only bring to a complete halt his spiritual
progress, but can also actually bring about a retrogression. For
such pride has a power in thickening the walls of personal
selfhood far stronger than the power of mere sentimentality or
ignorant thoughtlessness. Such pride indicates a poverty of
inner life. Instead of being lit up with the fire of spiritual
intuition, such a mind has become sluggish, slow, dull and filled
with an array of molds of thought that have lost much of their
inner contents. The word-formulative part of the mind could
still be quite active, but the mental contents would be empty,
lifeless, dried up. This need not, though, occur. And should it
happen, the solution is simple enough. One merely need bring in
fresh mental contents, full of the intuitive life, and gradually
phase out the worn out and shabby mental furniture. As long as
the turnover in mental contents continues, the mind will not
stagnate. And in keeping the mind alive, fresh, vigorous, one is
told not to make it the center of gravity. The mind or
Kama-Manas is designed as an instrument to reflect and carry out
the light and life within one's being, his higher principles. It
does not perform its function properly when it is used as the
instigator of perception and action. Its use is as a vehicle of
the higher triad within, but until it is operating in its proper
function one will not REMEMBER the unspeakably vast and stunning
grace, beauty, wisdom, and light that is alive in one's higher
principles awaiting but a change to manifest itself.

In summary, there are dangers both in becoming too smug in one's
daily life and losing sight of the spiritual possibilities that
life holds, and dangers in an extreme, irrational enthusiasm that
often results in pledge-fever. The process of self-genesis, of
getting one's feet on the hold path, is one of self-conscious
SELF-EVOLUTION. And this is something that is best handled by
paying attention to one's actual place in life, and in making the
impersonal, unselfish choice at every crossroad in life, which
occurs in reality every moment. We should remember that a study
of the theosophical teachings is not so much a learning of terms
and concepts as it is of learning through experience of the
mysteries that life holds.

We should give up pet fantasies of personal gain, both in
material and spiritual things. Life should be loved; we must not
compare ourselves with others and feel either shame or pride.
And most important of all, we must warm our hands at the fire of
the Archetype of Wholeness, of Self-Genesis, but not thrust them
directly into the flames and burn them. Life is ennobled and
raised into the sun when warmed in the presence of the spiritual
and divine; it is only electrocuted, burned out, torn apart when
directly wired into the Archetype. Evolution is HERE, in one's
human ego, and in working on this evolution one must remain HERE,


from THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, September, 1929, 8-12]

Appointment of Dr. Gottfried de Purucker to succeed the late
Madame Katherine Tingley as Leader and Official Head of the
Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society was announced
yesterday at the International Headquarters of the Society on
Point Loma. Appointment of her successor had been made by
Katherine Tingley before she died. Dr. de Purucker also assumes
duties as Outer Head of the Esoteric Section established by
Helena P. Blavatsky.

The new Leader of Theosophy is fifty-five years old, a native of
the United States and a bachelor. He has been identified with
Theosophy for many years and came to Point Loma to live in 1903.
His acquaintance with the late Madame Tingley began in 1896 in
Switzerland, where he was instrumental in selecting the present
international headquarters of the Society he now heads.

Resident members of the International Headquarters were informed
on July 26th of Dr. de Purucker's elevation to Leadership. The
announcement was made by Joseph H. Fussell, general secretary.

Secretary Fussell stated that immediately upon receipt of the
news of the passing of Katherine Tingley a meeting of her cabinet
officers was held at the Point Loma Headquarters, at which
meeting recognition of the appointment of Dr. de Purucker as the
new Theosophical Leader was given, and with the full trust and
confidence not alone of the cabinet officers and members of the
executive committee, but also of the entire headquarters staff,
he at once assumed general direction of the Society throughout
the world.

Mr. Fussell added that the general administration of the
Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society and all the work
connected with the International Headquarters at Point Loma will
be conducted with expanding energy, branching out into wider
fields of activity made possible by the new resources that will
be available to the Society in the near future. Plans for the
progress and development of the Theosophical work, including
additional activities at the International Headquarters, as
outlined by the late Leader, Katherine Tingley, also will be put
in operation very shortly, inaugurating the new Theosophical
cycle just opening with unusual promise, Mr. Fussell said.

News of the elevation of Dr. de Purucker was given to reporters
at a gathering of the Theosophical cabinet that preceded the
private meeting of last night. The reporters were conducted in a
body to the cabinet meeting, where Mr. Fussell handed to each
reporter a plain envelop, saying that it contained the name of
the new Leader, and his photograph and biography.

The newsmen were requested not to open the envelops until they
had left the grounds and a Theosophical automobile carried them
back to the gate.

It was stated that while Theosophists the world over had agreed
to accept the Leader that Katherine Tingley named, his identity
was known only to the cabinet and executive committee until
yesterday afternoon. Cablegrams went out last night from
Theosophical Headquarters giving the name of the new Leader.

The rest of this article is part of the statement prepared for
the newspapers by Mr. Fussell:

> Gottfried de Purucker, MA, D. LITT., the new Leader of the
> Theosophical Movement throughout the world, successor to
> Katherine Tingley, who herself succeeded Helena P. Blavatsky and
> William Quan Judge, is an American by birth, a German-American by
> parentage, and a cosmopolitan by education and sympathies. He
> was born at Suffern, Rockland County, New York, January 15, 1874.
> He has occupied the chair of Hebrew and Sanskrit at Theosophical
> University since its foundation by Katherine Tingley in 1919. He
> is now its President.
> Dr. de Purucker is well known to Theosophists throughout the
> world. He has traveled extensively all over Europe and in South
> America, as well as in this country. In 1903-4 he accompanied
> Katherine Tingley on a Theosophical tour around the world. Their
> itinerary included Egypt and Japan, touching also many other
> oriental countries. In Egypt he and his late Teacher visited
> many of the temples of the upper and lower Nile.
> Gottfried de Purucker's father came of a very old German family
> of social and official distinction. His mother belonged to an
> old and distinguished New England family allied with the noted
> Winthrops and descended from William Brewster of Mayflower fame.
> Both parents are dead. The father was ordained a clergyman of
> the Episcopal church in the United States and also served as
> clergyman for a time in England, and as American and English
> Chaplain on the continent. He was a man of liberal
> ecclesiastical sympathies and of broad human understanding, a
> profoundly learned scholar, widely read in Greek, Latin, and
> Hebrew, and throughout his whole life a devoted Christian.
> Dr. de Purucker's mother was thus described by Katherine
> Tingley: "My ideal of a woman -- physically, mentally, and
> spiritually well rounded out ... The dearest and most beloved
> woman friend I ever had."
> Gottfried de Purucker was one of a family of seven, of whom three
> sisters survive with him. The youngest of these, Miss Peggy, is
> a violinist of some European renown, a professor at the Academie
> de Musique in Geneva, Switzerland, and was one of Katherine
> Tingley's party in the automobile at the time of the accident
> near Osnabruck, Germany, on May 31, from which accident the late
> Theosophical Leader herself never fully recovered. Miss de
> Purucker is now completely recovered and expects to come to Point
> Loma early next month with the rest of the members of Mme.
> Tingley's party.
> Dr. de Purucker himself has never married and has devoted all
> his time and energies since young manhood to his Theosophical
> labors and private studies. The new Theosophical Leader was
> educated mainly in Geneva, Switzerland, where his father at one
> time was a pastor of the American church. Before coming to Point
> Loma in 1903, Gottfried de Purucker was associated for a time
> with Norman Angell on the editorial staff of the Paris Daily
> Messenger, one of the oldest and most famous continental papers
> published in English, which attained its great reputation under
> the name of its founder, Galignani, and was at first called
> Galignani's Messenger.
> Ever since he came to Point Loma, Dr. de Purucker has been
> Katherine Tingley's chief assistant in editing the official
> monthly organ of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical
> Society, THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH. In more recent years he has
> delivered a public lecture-course at Theosophical University on
> "Theosophy, Religion, Science, and Philosophy."
> During Katherine Tingley's numerous and extended tours abroad
> within recent years, Dr. de Purucker has occupied a leading
> position in the executive committee appointed by her to
> administer the affairs of the Universal Brotherhood and
> Theosophical Society and its allied activities during her
> absence. He joined the Theosophical Society during the nineties
> of last century under Katherine Tingley's predecessor, William
> Quan Judge. It was Mr. Judge himself who spoke to Katherine
> Tingley about Gottfried de Purucker and of the importance of her
> meeting him, expressing to her also his complete trust and
> confidence in him.
> The following is of interest because it gives in the new
> Theosophical Leader's own words, a brief statement about his
> early training. It is quoted from an address on the subject,
> "How I Became a Theosophist," delivered recently in the Temple of
> Peace on Point Loma:
> > I was destined for the church by my father, who was a clergyman
> > of the Anglican communion, and pastor of the American church in
> > Geneva. My father taught me Greek; he taught me Hebrew; he had
> > teachers for me in other languages. Living in a French-speaking
> > country, of course I spoke French; my mother being an Ameican, of
> > course I spoke English; my father being a German, of course I
> > spoke German. I was also taught Italian and Spanish. I was
> > likewise taught Anglo-Saxon ... When I was about fourteen years
> > old, I remember translating, as a Christmas gift for my father,
> > the entire Greek New Testament, and he said it was very well done
> > ... When I was seventeen I translated from the Hebrew the book
> > of Genesis, as a birthday gift to my father.
> Dr. de Purucker is a born mystic. When there first fell into
> his hands the translation of one of the noble Upanishads -- the
> Theosophy of ancient Hindustan -- this trait of his character,
> this inner urge for more light, impelled him -- to undertake the
> study of the original Sanskrit. As time passed, he perfected
> himself under tutors in this perhaps noblest of Aryan languages.
> Continuing the report of his address on "How I Became a
> Theosophist":
> > The speaker then recounted how his studies had led him to choose
> > a different career from that to which his parents had destined
> > him; how a small book on Theosophy fell into his hands, and how
> > he was startled. "I saw high thinking! I felt that there was
> > more in this book than what an agnostic had seen. My years of
> > study and reading of the literatures of the world -- ancient
> > literatures especially -- had taught me to recognize ancient
> > truth when I saw it. I was fascinated with something that I had
> > always known in my heart. It was this that there has always
> > existed, and that there exists today, a band, a company, a
> > society, an association, of noble Sages, great Seers, "Wise Men
> > of the East," as this book called them.
> >
> > The lecturer then related how he came to San Diego thirty-five
> > years ago, when it was a small town of fifteen or sixteen
> > thousand inhabitants; how he had casually attended a Theosophical
> > lecture here, and subsequently joined the Theosophical Society
> > under the Leadership of William Quan Judge, Katherine Tingley's
> > predecessor; had visited the Theosophical library following "the
> > memorable night" of attendance at his first Theosophical lecture;
> > and how, "from that day to this I have studied Theosophy daily,
> > meditated upon it in the silence of the night time; and the more
> > I think and the more I reflect, the more I see in it. I have
> > given to you a brief outline of what took one human being out of
> > unhappiness into a happiness which passeth the understanding of
> > any man or woman who has not experienced it as I have and as my
> > fellows of the Theosophical Movement have.
> Gottfried de Purucker's name will always be linked with the
> establishment by Katherine Tingley of the International
> Theosophical Headquarters on Point Loma. The story of his
> connection with this great event in the history of the
> Theosophical Movement and of his first meeting with Katherine
> Tingley reads like an old symbolic myth of the webs of destiny
> which control human events. Here it is in his own words
> > It was during the summer of 1896 that I first met Katherine
> > Tingley in Geneva, Switzerland, where I was at the time living
> > with my family. On the preceding day Katherine Tingley had
> > arrived in Geneva in the course of her Theosophical tour around
> > the world. She had despatched one member of her staff to insert
> > in the newspapers a notice of a public Theosophical meeting to be
> > held on the following day.
> >
> > It so happened that the young man in charge of the advertising
> > bureau was an old personal friend of mine, himself an Irish-Scot
> > belonging to a family of high distinction. My friend immediately
> > told Mme. Tingley's envoy that he knew me to be a member of her
> > Society. It so happened that this envoy also was a Theosophical
> > acquaintance of mine. He immediately called for a cab and drove
> > around to my home. In a few moments after that we were speeding
> > to meet Madame Tingley at the hotel.
> >
> > I never will forget the effect that the great Theosophical
> > Teacher produced on me -- an impression of strength, reserve
> > power, compassion, and of a mind that looked through one. I was
> > instantly and strongly drawn to her. Our conversation lasted for
> > an hour or more, during the course of which she invited me to
> > accompany her party on their tour. To my lasting regret, I felt
> > obliged to refuse. I now wish that I had accepted her
> > invitation. It would have meant my immediate union with the
> > Theosophical forces.
> >
> > It was also during the course of this conversation that Mme.
> > Tingley asked me if I had ever been in America. I said, "Yes,
> > certainly." "In what part of America?" "In California." "In what
> > part of California?" "In San Diego."
> >
> > Imagine my surprise when two of her party, who were present,
> > jumped from their chairs and exclaimed: "My God!" Katherine
> > Tingley then asked me if I knew the surroundings of San Diego. I
> > said, "Certainly." She said, "Is there a promontory or headland
> > near San Diego?" I said, "Yes, there is -- a very beautiful one
> > called Point Loma."
> >
> > She said, "Is there any land that can be purchased there?" I
> > said, "Certainly, the southernmost tip is owned by the United
> > States government, the rest, I believe, is held under private
> > ownership." Thereupon I drew a pencil sketch of the outline of
> > Point Loma and of San Diego bay and Coronado, and soon after
> > left. I met her at her hotel the morning after, before she
> > departed.
> >
> > Some years later I came to the United States and within a few
> > weeks was on my way to Point Loma to join the Theosophical
> > Headquarters staff. There, some time afterwards, Mme. Tingley
> > showed me, with eyes suffused with gladness, the very pencil
> > sketch that I had made, and she told me that had it not been for
> > that she might have lost the land which she had seen in her
> > childhood dreams as the site to be for her headquarters -- or, as
> > she then called it, her "White City in the Gold Land of the
> > West."
> >
> > The most interesting part of this story about my assistance to
> > Katherine Tingley in the purchase of this land on Point Loma in
> > 1896, was that she had been informed by her own agent, at that
> > very moment in San Diego trying to find the land she had
> > described to him, that no such land was procurable anywhere and
> > she had just cablegraphed that most certainly there was and that
> > he should continue the search. How such a cablegram could have
> > been sent from San Diego I have never been able to understand,
> > but there it was and she had it in her hand when I entered the
> > room and as soon as I gave my information -- having been in San
> > Diego only two or three years before this interview -- Madame
> > Tingley the same evening, I understood, dispatched a long
> > cablegram to her San Diego representative, giving the name of the
> > promontory and a brief description of the land that could be
> > procured. This is how the property, on which the International
> > Theosophical Headquarters at Point Loma is now builded, was
> > acquired.
> -- THE SAN DIEGO UNION, July 27, 1929


By Richard Hiltner, MD, DHt.

There are few subjects that stimulate the fires of controversy as
that of evolution. The best set of three lectures [1994 to 1996]
which I have heard on the topic of evolution and creation was
done by Will Thakara at the Library of the Theosophical Society
in Altadena, California. Although this article is dealing
primarily with the theme of human evolution, one cannot avoid
speaking also of the concept of creation both human and

Perhaps, it is best to sum up some of the essential propositions
of the three Will Thakara talks before concentrating on the idea
of Human evolution. If my understanding is correct, Will stated
that both creation and evolution are appropriate in the proper

Namely, if creation is defined as more evolved, intelligent
beings [or if one prefers the singular term] the COLLECTIVE
Demiurgos or Third Logos or "God" designing the manifested
consciousness-life-substances from earlier seeds of these beings,
then we are on the right track -- As opposed to creating
"some-thing" from "no-thing."

As far as evolution is concerned, Will explained very clearly and
thoroughly a number of problems with the Darwinian theory. One
of the most difficult gaps is between various organic substances
[combinations between hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen] and
the formation of a simple cell.
The formation of DNA [ Deoxyribonucleic Acid], which is necessary
for the replication of cells, has not been able to form
spontaneously through laboratory experiments and is unlikely
according to Dr. Robert Shapiro, Professor of Chemistry at New
York University and author Origins, a Skeptic's Guide to the
Creation of Life on Earth [1986], to have been assimilated from
the "rich pre-biotic soup" of early ages.

Michael Denton, MD, a researcher in biology and author Evolution:
A Theory in Crisis , stated that the chance of a hundred
functional proteins occurring spontaneously in one place to form
a viable cell is about 10 -- 2000 or essentially impossible.
This does not even take in consideration the need of nucleic
acids, lipids, polysaccharides, etc.

Some highlights include the fact that over the last one hundred
years there has still not been demonstrated finely graded
"missing links" or fossils between major "Stocks" or Phyla of
animals, such as reptiles and birds; whales and land mammals,
etc. The theory of "Punctuated Equilibrium" offered by Stephen
J. Gould and Eldridge basically proposes that the lack of
documented evidence to fill the fissures between various Classes
and/or Orders is due to the supposition that these "missing
links" were flourishing in some other parts of the earth which
has not been discovered; then they joined the well-known animals.
But, of course, this is just another theory of missing links
which have not been found.

Will Thakara read an extremely important quote from the late Dr.
Pierre Paul Grassier, a zoologist and former President of the
French Academy of Science, as stated in his 1973 book: Evolution
of Living Organisms. Dr. Grassier related that to vary and
evolve are two different things. Evolution and mutagensis are
two independent phenomena. Mutation falls short of the
evolutionary variations that give rise to Phyla, Classes and
Orders, etc.

Will also mentioned similar thoughts by Dr. Paul Davies, an
astrophysicist and author of the book: Cosmic Blueprint, who says
that the impression of design in the universe is overwhelming;
scientist are inching closer to the concept that the universe is
pulsating with meaning and intention.

The concept of "Non-Locality," as expressed by Dr. Goswani, a
Professor of Physics at the University of Oregon, relays a very
similar idea in the Quantum theory which proposes a higher than
physical, intelligence affecting the atomic level.

There is much more that can be said about the excellent series of
lectures by Will Thakara and I strongly suggest that anyone who
has not listen to them obtain the tapes or transcripts from the
Altadena Theosophical Library. However, I would like to move on
to a more specific aspect of evolution -- Human.

This article will concentrate on explicit anatomical structures
which suggest that humans are more primitive than some other
mammals or primates.

Let's pause for a moment to bring in some definitions. In
WEBSTER'S NEW COLLEGE DICTIONARY, "mammalia" are defined as:

> A class of Vertebrate animals of more than 4,000 living species,
> including humans, distinguished by self-regulating body
> temperature, hair, and in females, mammae.

And in WEBSTER'S NEW COLLEGE DICTIONARY, "primates" are defined

> An Order of eutherian mammals including man, apes, monkeys,
> lemurs and living and extinct related froms that are all thought
> to be derived from generalized arboreal ancestors descended in
> turn from shrew-like precursors during the Paleocene and that are
> in general characterized by increasing perfection of binocular
> vision, specialization of the appendages for grasping and
> enlargement and differentiation of the brain.

This information on human evolution was almost entirely derived
from the book MAN IN EVOLUTION by Dr. Gottfried de Purucker
[GdeP]. (2nd Edition, published by Theosophical University
Press, Altadena, California, 1977.)

Dr. Purucker was the former Head of the International
Theosophical Headquarters at Point Loma, Ca. from 1929 to 1942.
One of the main premises of this book is that human evolution
primarily emphasizes the development of the mind reflected
physically in the Central Nervous System, i.e.. the brain and
spinal cord. There is also reference to other anatomical
structures which appear to be rather primitive, a term derived
from "primus," a Latin term meaning "first." In other words,
these anatomical configurations demonstrate evidence that the
human is earlier in development in some key areas of anatomy than
are the so-called earlier mammals and primates. Dr. de Purucker
specifically delineates 12 areas of interest; almost all of these
were taken from the book THE PROBLEM OF MAN'S ANCESTRY by
Frederic Wood-Jones, Professor of Anatomy at the University of
London, in 1918.

G de Purucker has also emphasized that the close examination of
embryology and evolution could be quite enlightening on earlier

(The embroyonic period is considered the first eight weeks after
conception; especially through the third to eight weeks. The
beginnings of all major external and internal structures are
established during this period.)

There is the famous aphorism touted by a major proponent of
"Darwinian Evolution," Ernst Haeckel [1866], which stated that
"Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny." Ontogeny is the biological
development or course of development of an INDIVIDUAL organism.
Whereas Phylogeny is the evolution of a race or genetically
related GROUP of organisms. Or that by studying the development
of the embryo or earliest beginnings of an individual animal or
human, one is able to determine the earlier or primitive forms of
the Phyla or general group.

Defining Phyla [Phylum-singular]:

> A major taxonomic unit comprising organisms sharing a fundamental
> pattern of organization and presumably acommon descent.

Carolus Linnaenus developed a system of classification and
nomenclature in 1758 in his book SYSTEMA NATURA that is still in
use today. Taking as an example, consider the rhesus monkey,
Macaca mulatta. The basic sequence of seven levels, going from the
general to the specific, are:

    Kingdom ... Animal
    Phylum  ... Chordata
    Class   ... Mammalia
    Order   ... Primates
    Family  ... Cercopithecidae
    Genus   ... Macaca
    Species ... Mulatta

Following this line of thought, it is logical to induct that the
earlier a structure occurs in the embryological formation, than
the older or more primitive it is in the evolutionary scheme.
For instance, Dr. Wood-Jones remarks that the premaxilla [a bone
in the face above the upper lip] is not present in a human. It
is present in all mammals and primates; as a matter of fact, it
is present even in extinct fossil fishes dating some 200 to 300
million years ago.

New York, W.H.Freeman and Company, 1988, page 95. Dr. Carroll
is a Professor of Biology at McGill University and describes a
fossil fish, PALAEONISCOID.)

When examining the human embryo in the book, COLOR ATLAS OF
CLINICAL EMBRYOLOGY, by Moore, et al, there is no mention by the
authors of a premaxilla. --

(See Moore, Keith; Persuad, T V N; Shiota, Kohei: COLOR ATLAS OF
CLINICAL EMBRYOLOGY, Philadelphia, London, Toronto, Montreal,
Sydney, Tokyo. W.B. Saunders Company. 1994.)

-- However, Daris R. Swindler, Professor Emeritus of
Anthropology at the University of Washington, declares that the
premaxilla "does exist initially in the human embryo, but that it
disappears early in embryological development..."

(Swindler, Daris R: INTRODUCTION TO THE PRIMATES. Seattle &
London, University of Washington Press, 1998, p. 85.)

Even if Dr. Swindler is correct, it still demonstrates that the
premaxilla occurred very early in human evolution. The
significance of this rather simple anatomical characteristic is
emphasized by Dr. Swindler thusly:

> If humans lacked the premaxillary element, it meant that they
> differed radically from other primates and this feature could be
> used to separate Homo sapiens from all other species.

Another point stressed by Dr. Wood-Jones is that of the human
foot which he considered to be uniquely human. If one takes a
close look at the human foot, one notices that the large toe is
usually the longest toe; in some the second toe is somewhat
longer. But it is quite rare, if occurring at all, that the
third toe is longest. This third toe being longest is exactly
the picture of all other primates. As a matter of fact the feet
of all other primates look much more like hands. Observe the
human hand; the third finger is the longest. Also, another
important characteristic of the primate feet, including
especially the anthropoid (having more of a human appearance)
primates, is that the first digit, the large toe, is more like a
thumb. Notice that it is able to move at right angles [90
degree] to the adjacent second toe. No human large toe could
possibly do this. With these observations noted, it is quite
logical draw the conclusion expressed by Johann Blumenbach in
1791 that man only should be called "Bimanus" (two-handed); while
lemurs , monkeys and apes should be termed "Quadrumana"
(four-handed). Nonetheless, since that time the common
anatomical thought was to say that humans are the only bipedal
(two feet) primate and all the other primates are quadrupedal
(four footed).

To stress the uniqueness of the human foot, one should return to
the embryonic period to see that by the eight week the foot is
fully observable to be the typical structure. The extremely
early appearance of this feature again emphasizes the very
primitive development. At no time does the human foot have the
appearance of a hand.

Another significant anatomical feature of the leg and foot which
only occurs in humans is the muscle PERONEUS TERTIUS. (See THE
PROBLEM OF MAN'S ANCESTRY, 38.) This muscle originates from the
distal one-fourth of the fibula bone [leg] and inserts at the
base of the fifth metatarsal, the lateral or outside aspect of
the foot. This is a consequential muscle for being able to stand
upright. Dr. Woods-Jones expressed that:

> ... this human muscle has the same astonishing history as the
> human foot in its early development ...

Another example cited by Dr. Woods-Jones demonstrating the
primitiveness of humans is the structure of the great artery
Aorta and its arch which exits the heart. The specific branch
arteries originating from the human Aortic arch are seen in the
most primitive mammal: the Duck-billed Platypus (Ornithorhynchus
-- from the lowest Order of Mammals: Monotremata). No Primate
has this characteristic Arch. This is confirmed by Dr. Alvin
Davison in his book, Mammalian Anatomy, illustrating five
different types of mammalian aortic arches.

(See Davison, Alvin, MAMMALIAN ANATOMY. York, PA. Maple Press
Company. 7th Edition, 1947. p. 180.)

Dr. de Purucker highlights that human evolution is primarily
dealing with the mind. This is reflected by the relative size of
the human brain. Primates as a group have the largest brains of
all the mammals. Stephan, in 1972, states that "only man has
encephalization, which exceeds that of all animals. He is the
only Primate with an outstanding brain size." (See Stephan, H.
R. Tuttle, Aldine-Atherton. 1972. pp. 155-74.)

Indeed, Radinsky, in 1975, supported this claim when he pointed
out that the human brain is some 3 to 3.5 times larger than might
be expected in a higher primate with a human body weight. (See
Radinsky, L. 1975. Primate brain evolution. AMERICAN SCIENCE

One can observe in a 4 to 6 week embryo that almost 25 to 30%
consists of the Central Nervous System (the brain and spinal
cord) illustrating the early development. (See COLOR ATLAS OF
CLINICAL EMBRYOLOGY, 213.) Swindler expresses that the average
size of a human brain is 1,430 cc; whereas the average size of a
gorilla (which has the largest brain capacity of the apes) is 535
cc or about a third of a human's magnitude. (See INTRODUCTION TO

The human hand and forearm display evidence of their
primitiveness by illustrating their similarity to extinct
reptiles. For example, skeletons of Saurosternon and Palaeagama
from the Permian and lower Triassic periods, about 180 million
years ago [MYA], reveal many common features with the human
forearm and hand.

Purucker points out that "Transformists" say that the human stock
ran through

    quadrupedal mammals --> monkeys --> apes

(Note that the apes can be divided into two groups: the gibbons,
or lesser apes and the great apes, the chimpanzees, gorillas, and
orangutans. In contrast to most prosimiams ("before apes,"
lemurs, tarsiers, lorises) and all but two species of monkeys,
the apes lack tails. See INTRODUCTION TO PRIMATES by Swindler.)

If so there should be evidence of the upper extremity being used
as feet. No anatomist would say that the upper extremity was
ever used as a supporting forelimb. Wood-Jones expressed:

> It is enough to study the hand and forearm of man to note the
> astonishingly primitive arrangement of bones, muscles, and
> joints, to compare them with those of a primitive type of
> reptile, and to contrast them with those of a quadrupedal mammal,
> to be certain that at no period has man or his ancestors
> supported the body weight upon the fore-limb, resting upon the
> surface of the earth.

Also the position of the human thumb and its fine prehensile or
opposibility [the ability to pass the thumb acrosss the palm
while rotating it around its longitudinal axis] or grasping
quality is considerably better than, say, a gorilla or anthropoid
ape. For instance, It is quite difficult for a gorilla to pick
up a pin.

Dr. Wood-Jones states that the human appendix is very similar to
various marsupials.

> MARSUPIALIA: an Order of mammals ranking just above the lowest
> order or Monotremata [Duck-billed Platypus], containing
> kangaroos, opossums, and other related animals that with few
> exceptions have no placenta, have a pouch on the abdomen of the
> female, containing the teats and serving to carry the young.

Darius Swindler illustrates in his book, AN ATLAS OF PRIMATE
GROSS ANATOMY, [subtitled: a comparative anatomy of the Baboon,
Chimpanzee and Man], that the appendix is present only in the
lemur, the four anthropoid apes and man. The chimpanzee's
appendix is much longer than it is in man and presents several
coils. (See Swindler, Daris R. AN ATLAS OF PRIMATE GROSS
ANATOMY. Seattle & London. University of Washington Press.
1973. p. 220.) This is another bit of evidence revealing the
extremely early development of humans.

Dr. Wood-Jones continues with another case of the primitive
quality of humans is the muscle PECTORALIS MINOR. This muscle
originates on the anterior aspect of the third, fourth and fifth
ribs and inserts on the coracoid process of the scapula. In the
anthropoid apes, it attaches in part to the process, and in part
to a ligament which passes downwards to the humerus [upper arm].
In the monkeys it is still further down the ligament of the
humerus. In many quadrupedal mammals it is attached altogether
to the humerus. Dr. Wood-Jones, therefore, says that the
coracoid process is the primitive attachment of this muscle, and
man and some other exceedingly primitive animals retain this type
of insertion.

Another instance of the earliness of human beginnings is the
human tongue. It is not unlike that of the chimpanzee, but no
monkey can show nearly so primitive a mammalian tongue as that
typical of man.

The human kidney differs from that typical of the Old World
monkeys and the anthropoid apes in its internal structure, but it
is matched by the kidneys of some of the "lower" New World

Dr. Wood-Jones relates that one of the main ways in which a
human differs from all the anthropoid apes and from the monkeys
of the Old and New World is the lack of several features one may
term as pithecoid or simian specializations. For instance, the
"Simian sulcus" or Lunate sulcus or groove in the brain
associated with the visual cortex of the occipital lobe, which is
distinctive of Old World monkeys and apes, is absent in humans.
Although Dr. Swindler feels this sulcus has been displaced
posteriorly by the parietal lobe and is not always observable on
the lateral surface. (See INTRODUCTION TO PRIMATES, 125.)

Dr. Wood-Jones continues:

> Many simian types of muscle, artery, etc. are absent in man, and
> we need not discuss such features as the loss of the thumb, the
> development of cheek pouches and laryngeal sacs, the presence of
> ischial callosities, and those many other features which are so
> highly characteristic of certain groups of monkeys.

Again, in respect to the retention of remarkable primitive
features, he continues:

> The human skull shows a great number of features in which a
> condition of basal mammalian primitiveness is retained, and which
> offer a marked contrast to the same parts in all monkeys and
> apes. In the base of the human skull, and upon the sides of the
> brain case, the bones articulate in an order which is that
> characteristic of the primitive mammal. In these regions the
> human skull shows a condition exactly like that of the lemurs.
> But all the monkeys and anthropoid apes [with one exception] have
> lost this primitive arrangement and follow an utterly different
> plan. No monkey or anthropoid ape approaches near to man in the
> primitive simplicity of the nasal bones. The structure of the
> back wall of the orbit, the"metopic"suture, the form of the jugal
> bone, the condition of the internal pterygoid plate, the teeth,
> etc. all tell the same story -- that the human skull is built
> upon remarkably primitive mammalian lines, which have been
> departed from in some degree by all monkeys and apes. The human
> skeleton, especially in its variations, shows exactly the same
> condition. As for muscles, man is wonderfully distinguished by
> retention of primitive features lost in the rest of the primates.

Dr. Swindler confirms that the skeleton of mammals have evolved
a number of specializations. However, the contemporary primates
remain a rather conservative in their specializations of the

Another set of perceptions that feel worthy of note consist of
the sequence of embryos and there relationship to the evolution
of humans through the lower animal echelons. It appears to me
that embryo from 19 to 24 days has a strong resemblance to
primitive extinct vertebrate fish dating 300+ MYA.

Starting at 26 days, the embryo displays an obvious tail and
branchial arches [gills]. The upper and lower limb buds start to
mature. The tail gradually diminishes and finally disappears by
56 days [the end of the embryonic period]. There is certainly a
close similarity between the embryo at this tail stage with the
ancient amphibians. It is of interest that by the end of the
56th day the tail is gone; this is very early in evolution.

Also of interest is the fact that the external genitalia start to
develop at 7 weeks, but do not fully form until 12 weeks [one
month after the embryonic period]. What relationship could one
relatively draw to the early separation of the sexes to this
fact? Especially in reference to times of races?

Another a territory of research which closely approximates the
periods given by H. P. Blavatsky [whose time periods differ
from conventional thought; usually shorter] is the fossil
remnants of the monkeys and apes. According to Dr. Swindler the
earliest anthropoid primates [monkeys] were found in the late
Oligocene epoch [35 to 24 MYA]. Most of the monkeys were found
in later period -- Miocene [24 to 25 MYA]. Blavatsky revealed
that the monkeys originated approximately 18+ MYA. Considering
some of the variables in time periods, this could be in the ball
park with Dr. Swindler's estimations.

Dr. Swindler continues [please note, he estimates the Pliocene
Epoch to be 5 -- 1.8 MYA; the Pleistocene about 1.8 to 1 MYA]:

> The evolution of the living lesser apes and great apes remains a
> mystery...A late Miocene form, Laccopithecus robustus, from
> Lufeng, China, is now acknowledged as a true gibbon [Pan Yuerong
> 1988]. The divergence of gibbons from the hominoid line has been
> variously estimated between 17 to 20 MYA or to 12 MYA by DNA and
> immunological studies. The Lufeng site has been dated at 8 to 7
> MYA, which suggests that the gibbons separated from the hominoid
> line somewhat later than suggested by the DNA studies...
> The Asian orangutan is considered by most primatologists as being
> the descendant of the late Miocene genus sivapithecus of Pakistan
> [Kelley and Pilbeam 1986 and Kelly 1994]. There are also fossil
> orangutan teeth from the karst caves of south China and Java
> dating to the Pleistocene [Hooijer 1948 and Ho et al. 1995].
> Fossils of the African great apes are unknown. The living
> chimpanzees and gorillas are not related to any of the known
> lineages of Miocene apes, but it should only be a matter of time
> before an ancestor is found in a late African Miocene or Pliocene
> site. The molecular evidence suggests between 6 to 10 MYA for
> the separation of the African great apes from the hominoid
> stem...

Mention should be made to DNA studies done especially on
primates. Dr. Swindler points out that:

> Such studies have provided information on the degree of genetic
> relationships among primates and have demonstrated that the DNA
> of chimpanzees, gorillas and humans differs only about 2%. This
> means that when strands of DNA from any two of these animals are
> combined about 98% of the bases match. Humans differ from
> orangutans by about 4% and from baboons by about 8%.

In conclusion, there is much evidence to show similarities
between humans and especially the anthropoid apes. The question
that has been placed is, which came first? A number of
significant points have been raised demonstrating the primitive
characteristics of humans which have been lost by monkeys and
apes. There certainly are features which a human does not
possess that we may term pithecoid or simian specializations.
And finally humans have developed some distinctly human
specializations, some of which are dependent upon his upright
posture, but some distinctly independent of this factor.

If there is a consequential amount of evidence to make one have
to consider that humans existed before the primates, is there any
fossil remains of humans that could back up this theory? To my
knowledge, the earliest human fossils are dated around 2.5 MYA to
perhaps 3 to 4 MYA. This, in my opinion, is the biggest sticking
point that needs to be explored.


By L. Gordon Plummer

lecture given November 14, 1954 in San Diego, California.]

The purpose of this talk is to present if possible a Theosophical
picture of the universe around us that will at once satisfy the
mind of the student of the Ancient Wisdom and likewise have an
appeal to the thoughtful person who is accustomed to present-day
ideas but to whom the Theosophical viewpoint may be unfamiliar.

In this study I will try to show that although words are the
carriers of ideas, a tendency toward carelessness in their use
hampers us by the application of the very tools we need. Our
thinking is largely influenced by inaccuracies in the use of
words and their meanings. Ideas once rooted in the mind are not
easily changed or expelled; nevertheless, if we are to arrive at
any conclusions as to the nature of Man and the Universe as
revealed in the Ancient Wisdom, it will be necessary for us to
analyze the impressions that have been built up in our minds by
what we see and hear; and if these impressions are found wanting
we must strive for a clearer understanding.

Our purpose is to find out if possible what Nature actually is,
rather than to build a hypothesis to our own liking and try to
make facts fit into our own theories. After all, the universe is
the only way that it could be. If it could have been built
otherwise, it would have been something different from what it is
now, and the whole framework and structure of its laws would have
presented a different picture. So it is in the spirit of
explorers and searchers after Truth that we will first of all
analyze the impressions we receive from the title of this talk,
"Atom, Man, Star."

The first such impression is that of a tremendous emptiness or
gap between Atom and Man, and between Man and Star. The second
impression might be that the atom and the star must be studied as
something quite different from the mathematical framework in
which man exists; whereas the behavior of the atom and the star
may be predicted by means of reasonably well-understood laws of
Nature. Man is essentially an unpredictable being whose thoughts
and actions do not fit into a rigid pattern. No one has ever
attempted to study an atom from a psychological standpoint, but
how else can you study man? A further impression grows in our
minds as we reflect that the general laws of Nature as postulated
by Newton apply reasonably well to objects within the field of
man's experience, to objects having reasonable size, and
traveling at reasonable velocities. But once we step beyond the
boundaries of man's experience a different framework of Nature's
becomes necessary. For example, the general theory of Relativity
is necessary to explain natural phenomena on the cosmic scale,
whereas the Quantum Theory is required to describe the behavior
of the infinitesimal world of the atom.

One might imagine, therefore, that there is a definite separation
between the nature of the Atom, the nature of Man, and the nature
of the universe as a whole. As soon as we reflect that the
stars, no less than humans and other living beings, are made of
atoms of all kinds, we discover that the whole system is a closed
curve, or, pointing to an ancient symbol, it is the serpent
biting its tail. Einstein has said that he is endeavoring to
formulate a set of laws that will correlate the theory of
Relativity with the Quantum Theory. If this can be done, it
might be something like discovering the nature of a coin, on
which we have the pattern of the head and the tail, but wherein
we have as yet no information about the metal of which the coin
is made!

It is time to extend our study along further lines, and ask
ourselves: Why is it that Man, the subject of psychological
study, lives in a mathematical universe? Are the two as widely
separated as at first we thought they were? We will find that the
two are very closely knit once we observe that certain basic
phenomena of Nature impinge upon us all the time, and something
deep and mysterious within our consciousness is able to interpret
the impressions we receive, and we are thus able to live

The most basic of these natural phenomena is light, and the
velocity of light is used as the keystone of the arch on which
the theory of Relativity and the space-time continuum is built.
And think how important light is to all living things! Consider
the magic of photosynthesis in plant growth. Consider the magic
of seeing. And when we consider the astonishing extent of the
radiation spectrum, of which light forms but one octave, it is
all the more remarkable that all living things on the earth
respond, so far as we can tell, to the one visible light octave
in the total spectrum. If some of Nature's creatures can see
just a trifle further into the infrared or into the ultraviolet
than we can, this increased range of vision is so infinitesimally
small as compared with the full spectrum as to be of no
importance at all. This should point to an extremely close and
important connection between Man and the Universe. And if we
care to extend the meaning of the word 'Man' so that it will
include, for the purposes of our study, ALL LIVING THINGS, as I
believe we have a right to do, we are forced to the conclusion
that life itself is one of the basic phenomena of the universe.
In fact, it would seem to be in line with logical thinking to
assume that wherever conditions permit, life can no more help
manifesting then can an electric spark help appearing when we
bring two charged wires together.

Returning to our question: Why is it that Man, the subject of
psychological study, lives in a mathematical universe? Now that
the two are seen to be so closely knit together, the answer
becomes more obvious. Might it not be that this mathematical
universe that we see is but one aspect of the total universe?
Considered in this light, our answer transcends the realm of the
purely scientific and enters the province that belongs to
Religion, which has every right to be as unerring a guide as
Science. Comparing a study of Nature to a study of Man, Science
may be said to concern itself with the body of the universe, and
Religion with its soul. Just as in the case of man wherein so
little is understood about the nature of his 'soul', so it is
with the Universe. So little is known about the nature of its
soul that the best we can do is to call it God, about which there
may be as many ideas as there are people who think. Religion
itself can give us no clear picture of what God is like, and it
is a fortunate thing that for the most part we can look back upon
the old idea of a vengeful, punishing God as an evil dream of the

If we prefer to approach a religious study of the Universe with
sanity and with reverence, we will discover that behind the
visible manifestations of all life there is infinite beauty, and
that the presence of Divine Intelligence is to be felt at every
turn. In this highly complex study the Quantum Theory and
Relativity become nothing more nor less than a description of the
behavior of the ever-living garment of Divinity, and are
therefore useful tools as far as they go, but they can never
unravel the ultimate mystery. The only reason that we as humans
can feel the presence of that mystery is that it is in us as well
as in all of that is included in the vastness of space.

As to those great gaps that seem to exist between Atom and Man,
and between Man and Star, they are apparent only because we are
overpowered by the impression of size. It has been calculated
that in respect to physical dimensions Man stands just about
halfway between the size of the average atom and the size of the
average star. But what does physical size actually mean as
related to the problem in hand? Does it have any real importance?
If we remember the symbol of the serpent biting its tail,
representing the closed curve that is the Universe, who is to say
just where Man is located on the curve? Why should he be located
on one particular point in preference to all others? As a matter
of fact the size of the average man has little bearing on the
case, if, as we intend, we will broaden the meaning of the word
to include with him all sentient life that we know.

One of the great doctrines from the East is that of the Sunyata,
which could be briefly stated as the voidness of the seeming
full, the fullness of the seeming void -- mere word-spinning to
the mind unaccustomed to inner reflections, but full of meaning
once we begin to open our eyes. Science has done much to assure
us that so-called empty space is the playground of innumerable
energies of widely different frequencies. The word EMPTY loses
its significance, and in the final analysis could mean only
nonexistence, which is of course completely impossible in a
manifested universe.

I would like to try now to show how it is that our use of words
has hindered us and fixed certain inaccurate ideas so firmly in
our minds that we are reluctant to give them up. Let us first
consider sound. The audible range for the human ear is from
about sixteen vibrations per second to about 20,000. Beyond
this, we speak of supersonic vibrations. When we say they are
inaudible, we do not mean that the vibrations do not exist; we
merely mean that we cannot hear them. Nonetheless we are making
use of them.

The case is similar to that of light. There is but one octave of
vibrations we call visible light, and it is up in the trillions
of vibrations per second, Beyond either end of the visible light
spectrum we speak of the infrared and the ultraviolet. When we
speak of these frequencies as invisible we do not imply that they
do not exist. We merely state that we cannot see them. There
are frequencies both above and below the visible range that are
very useful to us, and we utilize them by means of devices of our
own making. The 'waves' that carry our radio and television
programs are of vastly slower frequency than those of visible
light, and the X-rays and the cosmic rays are much faster.

Now there is another spectrum that is of the greatest importance,
and it is closely related to the spectrum of which light is a
portion. This is the heat or temperature spectrum. Heat is the
energy of the motion of atoms and molecules, and the scales on
which we measure temperature are purely artificial, and have far
less basic connection with the phenomena of nature then have the
spectra of light and sound, which are actual measurements of
wavelengths and of frequencies. Were we to establish a true
scale of temperatures, zero temperature would have to mark that
state of matter in which there is no molecular motion at all.
Since such a state of matter cannot actually exist, this becomes
a vanishing point, so to speak, and temperatures have been
reached within a very small fraction of a degree of absolute

However that may be, we must hold to the scale with which we are
the most familiar, to wit, the Fahrenheit scale, and point out
another serious inaccuracy which has done much to blur our
vision. It is conceded that the conditions under which life as
we know it can flourish are close controlled by temperature. The
Earth seems to be the only planet in the Solar System wherein
life is possible because the temperatures prevailing on its
surface lie approximately within the habitable portion of the
temperature spectrum. Man himself lives within a very small
margin of safety. His normal bodily temperature is 98.6 degrees,
and temperatures of only a very few degrees above or below this
norm can prove fatal to him. But he can adept himself to
conditions that vary considerably on either side of his normal
bodily temperature. So we say that a world is habitable within a
certain temperature range. Other factors which make for
habitability, such as the composition of the atmospheres of other
planets, are of course important, but it would seem that these
factors hold second place because to a very large extent they are
caused by prevailing temperatures.

The point of all this is that while in the use of the word
INAUDIBLE we mean merely that WE cannot hear, there being no
implication made that the frequencies do not exist, and whereas
in the use of the word INVISIBLE we mean merely that WE cannot
see, but do not imply that the frequencies do not exist,
nonetheless, when we say UNINHABITABLE in respect to temperatures
outside of the narrow band conducive to conditions that favor
life, we mean exactly that life is impossible. There has been no
effort as yet to consider seriously that living beings could
exist in ways that may be vastly different from anything that we
can observe, or that they could function and would be completely
at home in their own particular media. Yet there is absolutely
nothing in Nature that would disprove it, any more than there was
anything in Nature that disproved the existence of radio waves
before they were discovered and used by man. We have a tendency,
however, sometimes to think that a thing has been disproved until
WISDOM in respect to invisible worlds, planes of consciousness,
life waves, and so on and on. It is the age-old clamor for proof
and more proof.

So a simple statement of the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy
would be as follows. Life is everywhere, and manifests however
and wherever it can. Man is neither very high nor very low in
the great scale of intelligent life. He represents but one rung
in the evolutionary ladder that stretches endlessly above and
below him. And all these manifestations of life operate
throughout visible and invisible space, impelled by a great
cosmic urge toward growth, progress and ultimate perfection.
Perfection itself is only relative, and once a being has become
perfect within its own sphere of life, it is ready to move
onwards into new fields of experience. At the heart of every
living entity, no matter where or what it may be, is a spark of
Divinity, and the degree of evolution attained at any one time is
but a measure of the degree of awakening that has been achieved.
Thus there are limitless possibilities for us humans, and there
is unbounded joy in growth. So the final thought would be: There
is infinitude without; there is infinitude within. The inmost
Self of man is a cosmic being whose secret home is the Heart of
the Universe.


by Dallas TenBroeck

In THE SECRET DOCTRINE, HPB presents us with the teaching of the
three intertwined lines of human evolution. These are:

1. The Spiritual or Monadic (the Dual-Monad: Atma-Buddhi),

2. The matter or evolution of monads that make up forms, and
   that are developing intelligence at that level, and,

3. The Monad as an independent creative Mind (the Triple Monad:

These distinctions may seemingly be the most baffling as the
Monad is said to be the Ray from the One SPIRIT allied to its
recorded experiences that are wise and which for it constitute
what we call "Buddhi," or the spiritual Soul, the "Wise" Soul.

Mind is to be considered as a factor that is independently free
and self-conscious. It is said to stand mid-way between "Spirit"
(or Consciousness, in all its many degrees) on one hand, and
"matter" (or all the many limitations of forms) on the other. It
is necessary to inquire into the reason for this independence.
Is the Mind-principle the essential link between "Spirit," and

The position of the free Mind, or self-consciousness, as an
intermediate between the pair of opposites (Spirit and Matter, or
the two foci of the "Egg of Brahma"), enables it to perceive
their interaction from a detached point of view. The Mind is the
"Viewer of Karma." It learns as it develops its perceptive range
to distinguish all causes. Because of this, it experiences, as
well as views, the progress of their effects as the resulting
inter-working of emotion in the field of the "personality" with
which it has temporarily clothed itself. It alone, is able to
understand (because of its capacity to be impersonal and
detached) the "cause and effect reaction" of karma. Karma can be
Universal (as in the manifesting of galaxies and the world on
which the Mind is now living); or individual, as in a nation, as
a member of a family, or in its own 'body,' as "personality." In
all cases it can will itself to be detached, and it can make
itself Observer and Perceiver, as it both watches and
participates in the progress of "personal" Karma working in and
on it.

And the mystery is, that it is no less than the Monad, that has
just emanated from the 'monadic-essence' into an objectivity
limited, by, say, an "atom." In terms of time this concept
baffles us, but viewed as an eternal being, time has no relevance
for it, or for the spiritual Self. All physical life is
experience and learning. The mission of the "experienced Monad"
is to encourage other Monads to raise themselves (as Monads of
lesser experience) up to its level. This explains the reason why
in Theosophy it is stated that there are two Egos in each human.
The Superior is the experienced Monad that fulfils its function
as a tutor, and the other is named "lower" because of its need
for experience.

Theosophy views the progress of human evolution as the growth of
intelligence, first through the "lower kingdoms," and then, its
gradual specialization into the grades of self-consciousness of
Mind. But the becoming of a "mind-Monad," does not bring
evolution to a close, as the progress of the Mind-being involves
experience in and through working with every aspect of Nature.
Wherever it may be (under its Karma), it is an active agent which
has for task the acquirement of Wisdom. And simultaneously, the
voluntary and careful diffusion of that wisdom by means of
self-chosen acts that harmonize and are necessary for the general
benefit of all other Monads in the region of its setting.

Theosophy posits the immortality of every unit of life, of every
Monad, regardless of the stage of evolution it is involved in.
In other words the progress of the Monad is an ever increasing
awareness of the needs of Nature and the providing of those needs
by itself offering assistance. Whenever this is denied to
others, distorted by selfish and personal interests, the
resulting deformation of Nature produces in the Monads so
affected, the record of that event. This transforms them into
"skandhas" or "little-lives" that are magnetically attached to
the offending or negligent Monad. In this way the seeds of
individual Karma are formed. All these will have to be set back
into harmony before any Monad is able to reach personal

Wisdom, theosophically considered, is the acquirement by the
independent and free-willed Mind of discrimination. This is a
Buddhic faculty. Wisdom is said to be the attentive, and
voluntarily correct application of knowledge. This is true,
deliberate and discriminative "sharing." It is, broadly speaking,
brotherhood in action.

To do this well implies that a knowledge of all departments of
Nature has to be obtained. A compliance with the needs and
dictates of Karma-the universal Law that ever adjusts motives to
results is to be made one of the primary objectives in the life
of the individual.

This may put the evolving Mind-principle into conflict with that
principle of desire and passion (Kama), which was developed in
its progression through the lower kingdoms of nature. "The stone
becomes the plant, then an animal, then a Man, and finally a
creative God. Never has change brought any lessening of
responsibility." This is a paraphrase of an ancient Hermetic

The highest manifestation of intelligence in the progression of
the Monad through the "lower" kingdoms (non-self-conscious) of
Nature is the instinct of the higher animals. This is the
highest aspect of intelligence that the "form" side of Nature can
develop without the assistance of a host of embodied Minds. How
is this possible?

In the human being it is said that the Mind stands between
passion (Kama) and compassion (Buddhi). The Mind is a special
faculty that is first endowed or induced in those "forms" that
are 'ready.' After that each finds itself like a little child,
endowed with this marvelous creative capacity. It has to learn
its powers and how to control them. It is this faculty of
thinking, observing, learning, correlating, choosing and acting
that is being developed during the human stage of its progress.
It may be defined as an ethical sensitivity to its total
environment. It has to become a sensitive and harmless agent of
Nature in the universal process of assistance to the whole of

This may sound very strange, but if we consider that we are
immortals, dealing at all times with other immortals, in what
other form can we impress on ourselves the fact that we need to
give those "others" the same consideration that we would desire
to receive from them?

For most of us, the concept of individual immortality is strange.
It is not a common concept that is taught. Further, the idea
that we are responsible for all our actions, thoughts and
feelings is frightening. If we consider all that we may have
done in the way of errors in the past, we may desire to find a
hiding place where we are secure from the effects we sense will
be coming our way. Is it not curiously significant that we are
able to review our lives and realize that we have neglected
acting in the most responsible and ideal way that we might have?
We suddenly realize that the inner voice of the Conscience (the
Higher Self), which has been speaking to us, and which we usually
neglect, has a reasonable and perhaps a very real validity.

Theosophy teaches that the Voice of Conscience is actually the
voice of the Higher Self. The Wise Monad, acting as our friend
and tutor speaks to us because it has access to the whole
panorama of our past lives as immortals. When it sees we are
about to choose to repeat a mistake, it warns, asking in effect,
if we wish the trials and pains of a similar set of results to
afflict us again.

This leads us to ask what is this Higher Self. If it is so lofty
and experienced, why does it permit the embodied mind, "me," the
inexperienced and wayward Monad, here and now, to commit errors
and reap painful suffering as a result ? We have to learn to take
the position of responsibility that all mind-beings have to
assume. We need to graduate from irresponsible childhood and
become careful and helpful adults. We are all in this position
at this bend of the cycle.

The Higher Self is the Divine Tutor. It may warn, but cannot
coerce the personality (the embodied mind). The evolutionary
experience of the human stage of evolution is designed to show,
through trial and example, the fact that Egoic Soul-independence,
brings with it the responsibility of learning about the
cooperative nature of our World and universe; and then, to live
in it, with all other Monads, of whatever degree, in harmony and

In the doctrines opened to us from THE SECRET DOCTRINE, we find
that ancient names of power were assigned to this inner Higher
Self. It has been called: the Divine Soul - the Atma. One of
the titles assigned to the Atma is "Kumara," or the Virgin Youth
- a title appropriate to an eternal and immortal Spirit that has
acquired full self-consciousness and has become worthy (by self
acquired and self devised purification and control of the "lower
self") of direct commingling with the Universal Spirit.

It serves us as a symbol, as well as an ineradicable example, of
our "goal." Once that the Ego-mind has taken itself in hand as an
immortal and self-willed being, it seeks to learn the mysteries
of Karma and Life. Finding that brotherhood and cooperation are
the rule of all nature, it then seeks to make personal
application of these and in so doing it begins to balance its old
karmic debts.

Another title given to the Higher Self is that of the Agnishwatta
(the "Fiery," the purified Pitri, (or "Father"). This is a
well-developed mind that, having reached the ultimate perfection
afforded in a world such as ours in the past, has sacrificed its
opportunity for Nirvanic bliss to help other Monads that are
still involved in their "personality" (Kama-Manas), get through
the trials and proving ground of our many incarnations on Earth.
This is done, not only for us as personalities, but also for the
evolutionary assistance that is due to the "skandhas", the
"little-lives," who deserve an opportunity to be improved, and
brought back through our voluntary efforts, into harmony with the
rest of the Universe. Again, we are the intermediaries in this
process, we serve as their bridge to a higher condition. They
will eventually reach the "human-stage" of independent Mind and
undergo the processes we now undergo. Such is the enormous and
all-encompassing scope of Evolution.

If, through bad choices in the past, we have distorted them,
then, under Karma we have to straighten, both our own "lower
natures" and them, out again. It is only fair to them. The
Dhyanis (the Knowers), Agnishwatta Pitris, Kumaras, all
participate voluntarily, as an act of self-sacrifice in this
universal educative work. And we, as newly "lit-up" Manases,
make mistakes and have to dig ourselves out of the "holes" we
have created for ourselves, and in so doing we have to reverse
our earlier abasing of them.

In several places, HPB states that the vast time that elapses
between Manvantaras, or Kalpas, does not in any way affect the
individual unity of any of the Monads which are in this
cooperative evolution. They sleep through the rest period and
certain subjective adjustments are made while in that state
perhaps comparable to those that are made between lives in
Devachan. Analogies could be similar to the state of "Sushupti"
or 'deep-sleep.' The individuality of each Ego is never

Thus in conclusion we may live in hope, hope that we too will
learn the keys to success and use them, for ourselves and for the
rest of the Universe.


by Reed Carson

In the first week of February we launched the online study group
called bn-study. It has been quite an event.

As people began to speak up, it was a thrilling experience for
one person after another to introduce themselves, each in their
own way, and express their interest in this discussion. We found
satisfaction in finding others in the world with our interests.

However chaos developed. The original plan of covering seven
quotes a day led to many threads starting at once, and it became
clear that a sustained focused study in Theosophical principles
would be necessary in order for us to discuss effectively.

So after one week we adopted a "topic/course" oriented approach.
The first week of the course the topic was the Absolute, the
second week was the first logos. In the week just starting we
will be discussing the second and third logos. In subsequent
weeks we will be discussing the septenary principles according to

We started with 220 participants in the discussion group. During
the initial chaos and introductions we lost one seventh of the
participants (under very heavy emails). Since then we have lost
some, gained others, and the number of participants has now been
climbing slowly back up to 210. On net, I consider this
indicates a high level of interest.

To help make this moderated discussion list possible, Dallas
TenBroeck and David Grossman, two long time students of
Theosophy, have voluteered to help with the moderating behind the
scenes. Our considerable thanks to them for daily helping to
make this wonderful list possible.

The value of the contributed emails has been amazing. So if you
would like to engage in a very serious discussion on Theosophy
(and perhaps learn a lot) please feel free to join us. To do so,
click on "membership" on the upper left corner of BN homepage.
After entering your userid and password, choose some form of
participation in bn-study.

I am receiving in the mail some serious scholarship that will be
very gratifying to get online at BN during March. We think it
will hold much value for the Theosophical movement.

For more information on Blavatsky Net, go to:


by Joy Mills

DOCTRINE," copyright 1989, Theosofische Vereniging in
Nederland / Amsterdam. Reprinted with permission. The booklet
was transcribed from a class given at the August 1988 Summer
School of the Dutch Section of the Theosophical Society.]

We are -- all of us -- seeking to understand ourselves and the
world in which we live. One of the fundamental principles of the
theosophical world view would omit the "and" in that sentence.
So when I say we are all seeking to understand ourselves and the
world, the "and" is not present -- we are the world. Now this
immediately introduces us to a point of view, to a manner of
looking at the world which is very different from the customary
way in which most people approach the subject. And I would like
to introduce the subject of our study by suggesting that the
entire purpose of H.P. Blavatsky's remarkable work was to awaken
a new mode of thought.

In concluding the first part of her major work THE SECRET
DOCTRINE, H.P.B. wrote: "It is barely possible that the minds of
the present generation are quite right for the reception of
occult truth." Certainly the mind of the nineteenth century was
NOT QUITE RIGHT, to use H.P.B.'s words, for the reception of the
tremendous truths which she was presenting. Now we are this year
commemorating the one hundredth anniversary since those volumes
first appeared. And it is probably still possible to make such a
general statement. Are our minds, and is the mind of this
century capable of receiving or understanding the truths

There can really be no question as to the influence of the ideas
which H.P.B. presented. Not only have outstanding thinkers, and
particularly men of science as well as leaders in other fields,
examined the postulates presented in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, but
certainly countless thousands have received inspiration as well
as deeper comprehension of life's mysteries from a reading of
these volumes.

To describe what is in THE SECRET DOCTRINE is of course
relatively easy. But to develop the kind of mind which is
required for the comprehension of these principles is not perhaps
so easy. We may say very simply that these volumes supply the
metaphysics of the theosophical world view. Now there are of
course many ways in which we could approach a kind of overview of
the work.

We must recognize first of all that the principles enunciated in
these volumes were given not in some final form of revelation,
but as testable verities. In this of course, the study differs
remarkably from the study of ordinary textbooks. When we read an
ordinary textbook we may become absorbed, or interested at least,
in the principles being presented. If, for example, you read a
contemporary physics book, a textbook on physics, you may accept
many of the initial premises without going through the elaborate
process of testing them. To put it in a phrase that we often
use: it is not necessary for every generation to reinvent the
wheel. We are satisfied that the wheel has been invented. In my
office I have a computer and although I thought at first that I
might be too old to learn how to use it, and perhaps could safely
finish the incarnation by having mastered an electric typewriter,
I soon found out that I could really use the computer to my great
advantage. And now I am very attached to the word-processing
possibilities of a computer. But I haven't the vaguest notion
how it really operates. And I assume that there are those who
really know what is going on behind that flashing screen.

But our study of THE SECRET DOCTRINE is an altogether different
kind of study. The testability, the verifiability of the
principles therein presented does not lie in external situations.
The testability, the proof of it, must lie in the internal
transformation that may be brought about. Now of course, if one
were given sufficient time, if one had the energy and the
interest and everything else that is demanded, one could collect
the supporting evidence from all the world religions,
philosophies, sciences, arts, cults, and mythologies, and from
that great mass of evidence might be able to deduce that there
are certain fundamental principles operative in ourselves and the

THE SECRET DOCTRINE points to new mode of thinking, which is not
simply a collection of facts. In fact, H.P.B. states very
clearly that the comprehension of the occult doctrine is based on
the seven sciences. We have to deal with modes of thought of
seven entirely different planes of ideality. She then names only
three of these planes and says that every text relates to and has
to be rendered from the following standpoints: the first she
names the REALISTIC plane of thought; the second she calls the
IDEALISTIC; and the third the purely divine, or SPIRITUAL. And
then she says that the other planes too far transcend the average
consciousness, especially of the materialistic mind, to admit of
their being even symbolized in terms of ordinary phraseology.
She in fact gives us in the second volume of the original edition
the means by which the interpretation and understanding may be
gained and indicates that no one who is not initiated or awakened
to a new mode of thought will really come to the wisdom.

I should like to propose for your consideration that these three
modes of thought relate to the faculties which are indeed latent
within us, and that because these faculties are not fully
awakened, the doctrine is necessarily "secret." That is to say
that until we awaken a mode of thought beyond the normal ways of
our thinking, we will not come to the doctrine. For those who
may be familiar with the customary theosophical terminology as to
the principles of man, of the human constitution, I would suggest
that the three modes to which she refer are MANAS in its purity,
BUDDHI in its essential nature, and ATMAN as that Universal
Principle in which we are rooted. So the realistic plane of
thought is indeed pure MANAS - that is to say MANAS as the
reflection of universal Consciousness. The idealistic plane is
that illumination that is BUDDHI, which is all too often simply
translated with "intuition." I don't know how your word compares,
but the word "intuition" in English has been overused. And as I
often say to English-speaking audiences: with intuition, the
emphasis seems to be on the wishing aspect. It becomes a kind of
desire, but what is suggested by the word "idealistic," as H.P.B.
uses it, has to do with an interior illumination which is brought
about by a transformation of consciousness. And the third mode
to which she referred, the purely divine or spiritual, must then
refer to that original Unity. That is to say, to ATMAN in its
original condition of non-differentiation - that universal Source
in which each one of us is a point, if you like. And so, these
modes of thought which are to be awakened within us - and which I
would suggest are indicated by the third object of the
Theosophical Society, indicated as that which is to be
investigated, looked into, attempted to be understood - are
indeed the powers latent within us. And they are therefore to be
made active.

Now it is because of this way of thinking that the method
employed in the writing of THE SECRET DOCTRINE gives us a certain
direction. If I may put it this way, we have to read this work
in the spirit of the book itself. To understand a rational,
orderly, manifested universe, is not the final object of THE
SECRET DOCTRINE. Now obviously, anyone who has studied THE
SECRET DOCTRINE will recognize that we are given a pattern and I
will be referring to this pattern later on. It is a pattern that
presents us with the rationality, the orderliness of the
manifested universe. So that is what is present in THE SECRET

In fact, everything is given to us to create our own universe, if
you like. And if you know the pattern, you should be able to
create a manifested universe to your liking! But of course the
condition of the world today would indicate that we have not yet
learned how to create a world to our liking. Or perhaps it was
that we created it to our liking, only to discover that it was
not what we wanted. That we did indeed want to have motorcars
and computers, we wanted to have comfort, and we did not much
care if we destroyed forest for it or that we poisoned our
atmosphere. So we have now to decide if we want to create
another kind of world, but that decision can only be made when
there is a different kind of mind operating within us.
Consequently, the ultimate intent, if I may put it this way, is
that we have to appreciate the causal, intelligible, real source
of that apparent, or visible universe; that we would discover
that indeed there is a new mode of thinking that must take place.

Two immediate problems are inherent in our customary western mode
of thinking and these of course must be faced, in order to
understand how we must study THE SECRET DOCTRINE. Already some
change is taking place; however because attention in western
thought is given to objective phenomena, we have become incapable
of analyzing subjective movements. As a consequence we have
learned to define categories to such an extent that we assign
"thingness" to process, and we like to identify "things." We want
to see everything outside us and everything takes on objectivity.
Psychologically we project on the world our own feelings and
thoughts. We project on other people our own attachments, our
own desires, our own weaknesses. We live a life of projection
and we fail to recognize that we have engaged in this process,
and that we must now transform our own consciousness in order to
bring about what we feel is better, or more peaceful, or more

To overcome these problems that have been inherent in western
thought, THE SECRET DOCTRINE employs a method of exposition that
is characteristic of all the occult or esoteric texts. And thus
we must note that although H.P.B. and her teachers used a
language that was available to them a century ago, the method of
exposition still pointed to a transformation of consciousness.
The method is known in the East as the SUTRA-method: the use of
an aphoristic text with commentaries, to bring about a
transformation of consciousness. The message that is embedded in
that method of exposition is a strange one for most westerners.
It has led to some of the very real difficulties that have been
faced by students, particularly students that would use what we
often think of as the rational mind.

Very briefly the message is a clear one: "Live the life, if you
would come to the wisdom." Now this is very strange for most
westerners because to understand the rational processes of
bringing a universe into being does not depend on living a
certain kind of life! And yet if one reads very closely, one sees
that this is precisely what H.P.B. tells us.

It was even more explicitly stated by her teachers in their
correspondence with two of the early members of the Theosophical
Society. In the published collection of the letters known as THE
MAHATMA LETTERS TO A. P. SINNETT, there is a very clear
statement. One of the English gentlemen, Mr. A. O. Hume, felt
that, as a very-well-educated Englishman, he could put in order
the teachings of the occult doctrine and in fact he evidently
wrote to one of the adept-teachers: "Why don't you just tell us
what the occult doctrine is and I will put it in terms that are
reasonable and rational and meaningful for the western mind?" And
the adept-teacher replies that "it would seem from your western
point of view that all we need to do is to write a manual of
occultism." "But," he said, "it is not that way in our schools
[that is, in the esoteric tradition] that until and unless the
student is prepared to receive or understand the truth, it is
simply not present." There is no one withholding it. He simply
cannot understand it!

And then the very important statement is given: "The illumination
must come from within." That method then, of exposition that is
designed to awaken that mode of thinking that permits the
illumination to come, that method of exposition is given in THE
SECRET DOCTRINE. Now this is why I say the message really
embedded in this work is simply, "Live the life, if you would
come to the wisdom."

Now wisdom is obviously different from knowledge. Wisdom is of a
total, of complete knowingness, in which one's whole life now is
the exhibition of one's knowing. It is very easy to simply read
THE SECRET DOCTRINE -- it may not be so easy, but is really very
easy -- as a collection of different facts -- at times, of
course, very bewildering facts! And at times it is using language
that may seem to be very strange to us. It is very easy to
approach it from the point of view of the literal mind, let us
say. When we come to the second volume dealing with man's origin
and development, we take quite literally these developmental
stages of evolution, whether or not they fit in with contemporary
science. But if THE SECRET DOCTRINE is to have a really deep
significance for us, we are called on to go beyond the literal
interpretation. All oil 'these stages for example are still
present within us: we are "Atlanteans," we are "Lemurians," we
are our own past.

I would suggest that we lay aside all preconceived ideas about
the teachings in THE SECRET DOCTRINE and that we attempt at least
to some degree to awaken another way of looking at this work.
What we are ultimately enjoined to do is to test these principles
in our own lives. Hints and clues are given to us throughout
these two volumes; clues that will awaken the intuition of the
student, clues that will stimulate deeper thought and new
insight. It is really not possible to teach sensitivity to
truth, to teach sensitivity to order or to beauty, but the very
exposure to universal principles can awaken this sensitivity. It
is those principles that are presented to us, and thus we are
left to work out both the concepts that derive from the
principles and their applications in our lives.

It was perhaps the first great philosopher of the western world,
the one that gave us the very word PHILOSOPHY, Pythagoras, who
had a school at Krotona in Italy, after which the school in Ojai,
California -- our theosophical center in California -- is called.
Pythagoras referred to two different kinds of ideas. He referred
to ideas that have within them a certain dynamic quality that
moves us. These were "first truths," universal truths. They are
self-evident, when they are understood. They have their own
dynamic energy, which changes us. And then he referred to
"concepts," or "mental constructs," that may derive from those.
We can call them "the technologies of the lower mind." They are
simply theories of interest, so we have to look behind those to
the universal truth. And this is why he called this mode
"philosophy," which was distinguished from the earlier theorizing
which was "science." It was concerned with what was the
fundamental substance of the universe.

One can look at the word PHILOSOPHY. SOPHOS, of course, is
WISDOM. It is the feminine principle of knowing which embraces,
and has always been seen as that feminine aspect that nurtures
and gives birth to all understanding. It is also compassion. In
the Buddhist tradition, it is both wisdom and compassion. This
is also true of the Greek SOPHOS. And PHILOS defined a
relationship with that SOPHOS. We translate that often with
"love," but in Greek there are at least three words for love, and
PHILOS defined a relationship in which there was equality. We
have it in our English word PHILIA. It is also the root of
brotherhood. So there is a relationship in which one is equal to
that wisdom, in which one becomes that wisdom; the wisdom is
one's brother, so to speak. It is that which is awakened in our
own being as our equal, and it is this mode of thought therefore
that we have to come into. If we could approach THE SECRET
DOCTRINE as we would a well-loved brother, we would come to a new
insight, because we share the same parentage. We derive from the
same Source.

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application