Theosophy World — Home Page

tw200105.txt May 2001 Issue [HOME] [ONLINE ARCHIVES] [DOWNLOAD]

THEOSOPHY WORLD --------------------------------------- May, 2001

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.)


"Originality and Quotation," by B.P. Wadia
"The Sacred Texts of the Gupta Vidya: Where Are They?"
    by Judith Tyberg
"The Ideative Plane," by W. Emmett Small
"From the Other Shore," by Leoline L. Wright
"The Unconquered Sun," by Helen Savage
"The Vengeance of Ti Sang," by Victor Endersby
"Theosophical Philosophy and Mythology," Part II, by John Rau
"The Head and the Tail of the Dragon," by Henry T. Edge
"A Priestess of the Woods," by George William Russell
"The Dissemination of Esoteric Knowledge," Part II,
    by Boris de Zirkoff


> The Boundless, or the Without Bounds, the infinitude of the
> encompassing SPACE, is obviously beyond reach of any human
> conception or even intellectual similitude, because it is both
> formless and without confining frontiers, and yet is the Cosmic
> Womb of all the Universes which appear from it like the sparks
> of Eternity. Therefore has it frequently been quite properly
> called by mystics of various ages and of all countries, the
> -- G. de Purucker, SPACE AND THE DOCTRINE OF MAYA, page 10.


By B.P. Wadia

[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 145-49.]

> Our knowledge is the amassed thought and experience of
> innumerable minds: our language, our science, our religion, our
> opinions, our fancies, we inherited. Our country, customs, laws,
> our ambitions, and our notions of fit and fair -- all these we
> never made; we found them ready-made; we but quote them.
> -- Emerson

> People are always talking about originality; but what do they
> mean? As soon as we are born, the world begins to work upon us;
> and this goes on to the end. After all, what can we call our
> own, except energy, strength, and will? If I could give an
> account of all that I owe to great predecessors and
> contemporaries, there would be but a small balance in my favor.
> -- Goethe

"Originality" is prized and honored by our civilization. Are we
not overlooking what many thinkers, some of them profound, have
asserted -- that nothing is said, written, or imagined, that has
not been anticipated by men in the past? Man has been called an
imitative creature. He walks in the paths trodden by others.
Even those who are famous as original thinkers or writers have,
often unconsciously to themselves, "stolen" ideas from others.
Literature is full of "coincidences" which some call plagiarism
-- the pilfering of another person's "brain property." Is there
any writer who is not a plagiarist in some sense? Is there a book
but is the shadow of another volume? Is there ANYTHING that is
not the reflection of something that exists somewhere in some
form in the infinitudes of space?

Emerson's essay on "Quotation and Originality" offers very
important truths; they will lead sincere and earnest minds to a
"new" line of thought. Emerson writes:

> By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. We
> quote not only books and proverbs, but also arts, sciences,
> religion, customs, and laws; nay, we quote temples and houses,
> tables and chairs, by imitation. The Patent Office Commissioner
> knows that all machines in use have been invented and re-invented
> over and over; that the mariner's compass, the boat, the
> pendulum, glass, movable types, the kaleidoscope, the railway,
> the power-loom, etc., have been many times found and lost, from
> Egypt, China, and Pompeii down...
> The highest statement of new philosophy complacently caps itself
> with some prophetic maxim from the oldest learning...
> If we confine ourselves to literature, 'tis easy to see that the
> debt is immense to past thought. None escapes it. The originals
> are not original. There is imitation, model, and suggestion, to
> the very archangels, if we knew their history. The first book
> tyrannizes over the second. Read Tasso, and you think of Virgil;
> read Virgil, and you think of Homer; and Milton forces you to
> reflect how narrow are the limits of human invention. The
> "Paradise Lost" had never existed but for these precursors; and
> if we find in India or Arabia a book out of our horizon of
> thought and tradition, we are soon taught by new researches in
> its native country to discover its fore-goers, and its latent,
> but real connection with our own Bibles."

How do our thoughts arid images emerge in our own consciousness?
How do they come from others? How is it that our ideas and
inventions which we value as "original" can be traced to older
roots -- that in reality they are but reflections of what men
before us have thought, maybe aeons ago?

One aspect of the invisible counterpart of the visible universe
is a picture gallery, a library wherein are to be found our ideas
and images, our fantasies and fancies. It has its higher phase
or aspect, Nature's Noble Archives, the Aether-Akasha of the
ancients. The archetypal Ideas shine in Akasha, and radiate
their reflections from within and above in a denser medium called
the Astral Light by the European mystics such as the
Rosicrucians, the Fire-Philosophers, etc. Paracelsus, Boehme,
St. Martin, and others were familiar with the truth of its
existence and its influence on humankind.

Professor H.H. Price of Oxford University has written of the
concept of a third realm intermediate between mind and matter as

> Long been familiar in the philosophy and cosmology of the Far
> East; and something not unlike it is found in Neo-Platonism ...
> Perhaps if we reject it out of hand ... we are merely being
> parochial.

His "ether of images," "like matter in being extended, and yet
like mind in that it retains in itself the RESIDUA of past
experiences" is obviously none other than the Astral Light.

Our memory in the present is related to this sphere in more than
one way. From it come the "bolts from the blue," the sudden
flashes of premonition and hunches. The Akasha is the Divine
Astral, and its lower and gross counterpart absorbs and retains
our thoughts and images. Says H.P. Blavatsky:

> Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything, either
> by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not already exist on
> the subjective plane. More than this; that no such form or shape
> can possibly enter man's consciousness, or evolve in his
> imagination, which does not exist in prototype, at least as an
> approximation.

Men of today need to recognize their "vast mental indebtedness,"
not only to the knowledge and experience of the ancients, but
also to Living Nature. Goethe had the humility and the insight
to admit his indebtedness to many:

> What would remain to me if this art of appropriation were
> derogatory to genius? Every one of my writings has been furnished
> to me by a thousand different persons, a thousand things: wise
> and foolish have brought me, without suspecting it, the offering
> of their thoughts, faculties, and experience. My work is an
> aggregation of beings taken from the whole of nature; it bears
> the name of Goethe.

Applying rightly a thought one finds in a book need not imply the
mental inferiority of the borrower. "Only an inventor knows how
to borrow." True talent, a Sage has said, "will become original
in the very act of engaging itself with the ideas of others."
Shakespeare is a classic example. The plots, the characters, and
the major part of the incidents of his plays he borrowed from
others, yet he is considered "more original than his originals."
He transformed the dross of previous NOVELLA into the gold that
shines in his dramas and carries the hallmark of his originality.
"The bees pillage the flowers here and there, but they make honey
of them which is all their own," says Montaigne. THE DHAMMAPADDA
exhorts us to be like them:

> The bee gathers honey without injuring the scent or the color of
> the flower. So should a silent one (Muni) live his life.
> -- Verse 49

Let us then take all knowledge to be our sphere, for truth is the
monopoly of no individual. What does matter? Great Ideas, noble
Truths, and true Sentiments. These are immortal. Their source,
their authorship, is of passing interest. The long line of Sages
and Seers, rightly described as Lords of Meditation, have been
the mediators between the Divine Archetypal Ideas and the human
creators who use Their Wisdom-Light.


By Judith Tyberg

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1938, pages 28-32.]

When we consider the vast treasure of age-old truths that may be
found in the ancient Oriental literature that has come down to
us, we realize that there must have been an esoteric fount of
Truth open to the ancient peoples. If the Upanishads, "the
mirror of eternal Wisdom," (THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II, page 484)
are exoteric works, there must have been some teaching of a
deeper and esoteric nature given to the ancients.

The question is raised, were there still-more-mystic writings
known to the ancients? Some students of ancient scriptures insist
that there must have been "fragments of a primeval revelation,
granted to the ancestors of the whole race of mankind . . . 
preserved in the temples of Greece and Italy." Eastern Initiates
and Pandits have also proclaimed at times that the West does not
know their most sacred writings.

What has H.P. Blavatsky to say on this subject? As usual, we
find something helpful in her SECRET DOCTRINE, this time in her
Introductory (page xxx):

> While a prominent Singhalese priest assured the writer [HPB] that
> it was well known that the most important Buddhist tracts
> belonging to the sacred canon were stored away in COUNTRIES AND
> Dayanand Sarasvati, the greatest Sanskritist of his day in India,
> assured some members of the Theosophical Society of the same fact
> with regard to ancient Brahmanical works.

When told that Professor Max Muller had declared to the audiences
of his "Lectures" that the theory . . . "that THERE WAS A
PRIMEVAL PRETERNATURAL REVELATION granted to the fathers of the
human race, finds but few supporters at present," the holy and
learned man laughed. His answer was suggestive. "If Mr. Moksh
Mooler," as he pronounced the name, "were a Brahmin, and came
with me, I might take him to a gupta cave (a secret crypt) near
Okhee Math, in the Himalayas, where he would soon find out that
what crossed the Kalapani (the black waters of the ocean) from
India to Europe were only the BITS OF REJECTED COPIES OF SOME
revelation." It still exists. Were it ever lost to the world, it
would later reappear, though the Mlechchhas will have to wait."

Of all the writings of old India that have come down to us, the
Upanishads contain the most mystical and Theosophical teachings. 
H.P. Blavatsky says that in the Upanishads and the Vedanta we
have to look for the best corroboration of the occult teachings. 
She also tells us that the mystical doctrine of the Upanishads is
"the only Veda of all thoughtful Hindus in the present day."

Yet, even these writings of the Upanishad have reached us in a
spoiled condition. Why are they demolished? Who has done it? The
following passage by H.P. Blavatsky (THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I,
269-72) gives answer.

After stating that what is given in THE SECRET DOCTRINE can be
found in full nowhere else, she says:

> It is not taught in any of the six Indian schools of philosophy,
> for it pertains to their synthesis, the seventh, which is the
> Occult doctrine. It is not traced on any crumbling papyrus of
> Egypt, nor is it any longer graven on Assyrian tile or granite
> wall.
> The Books of the Vedanta (the last word of human knowledge) give
> out but the metaphysical aspect of this world Cosmogony. Their
> priceless thesaurus, The Upanishads - "Upani-shad" being a
> compound word meaning "the conquest of ignorance by the
> revelation of SECRET, SPIRITUAL knowledge" -- require now the
> additional possession of a Master key to enable the student to
> get at their full meaning. The reason for this I venture to
> state here as I learned it from a Master.
> The name, "Upanishads," is usually translated "esoteric
> doctrine." These treatises form part of the Sruti or "revealed
> knowledge," Revelation, in short, and are generally attached to
> the Brahmana portion of the Vedas, as their third division. 
> There are over 150 Upanishads enumerated by, and known to,
> Orientalists, who credit the oldest with being written PROBABLY
> about 600 years BC. There does not exist a fifth of the number
> of genuine texts.
> The Upanishads are to the Vedas what the Kabala is to the Jewish
> Bible. They treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning
> of the Vedic texts. They speak of the origin of the Universe,
> the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as of the
> metaphysical connection of mind and matter. In a few words: They
> THEY HAVE NOW CEASED TO REVEAL IT since the day of Buddha. If it
> were otherwise, the Upanishads could not be called ESOTERIC,
> since they are now openly attached to the Sacred Brahmanical
> books, which have, in our present age, become accessible even to
> the Mlechchhas (outcastes) and the European Orientalists.
> One thing in them -- and this in all the Upanishads -- invariably
> and constantly points to their ancient origin. (a) It proves
> that they were written, in some of their portions, BEFORE the
> caste system became the tyrannical institution that it still is. 
> (b) Half of their contents have been eliminated, while some of
> them were rewritten and abridged.
> "The great Teachers of the higher Knowledge and the Brahmans are
> continually represented as going to Kshatriya (military caste)
> kings to become their pupils." As Cowell pertinently remarks, the
> Upanishads "breathe an entirely different spirit" (from other
> Brahmanical writings), "a freedom of thought unknown in any
> earlier work except in the Rig Veda hymns themselves."
> The second fact is explained by a tradition recorded in one of
> the manuscript on Buddha's life. It says that the Upanishads
> were originally attached to their Brahmanas after the beginning
> of a reform, which led to the exclusiveness of the present caste
> system among the Brahmins, a few centuries after the invasion of
> India by the "twice-born." They were complete in those days, and
> were used for the instruction of the chelas who were preparing
> for their initiation.
> This lasted so long as the Vedas and the Brahmanas remained in
> the sole and exclusive keeping of the temple-Brahmins. It lasted
> while no one else had the right to study or even read them
> outside of the SACRED caste. Then came Gautama, the Prince of
> Kapilavastu.
> After LEARNING the whole of the Brahmanical wisdom in the Rahasya
> or the Upanishads, he found that the teachings differed little,
> if at all, from those of the "Teachers of Life" inhabiting the
> snowy ranges of the Himalayas. The Disciple of the Brahmins,
> feeling indignant because the sacred wisdom was thus withheld
> from all but the Brahmins, determined to save the world by
> popularizing it.
> Then the Brahmins, seeing that their sacred knowledge and Occult
> wisdom was falling into the hands of the "Mlechchhas," abridged
> the texts of the Upanishads, originally containing thrice the
> matter of the Vedas and the Brahmanas together, without altering,
> however, one word of the texts. They simply detached from the
> manuscript the most important portions containing the last word
> of the Mystery of Being. The key to the Brahmanical secret code
> remained henceforth with the initiates alone, and the Brahmins
> were thus in a position to publicly deny the correctness of
> Buddha's teaching by appealing to their Upanishads, silenced
> forever on the chief questions. Such is the esoteric tradition
> beyond the Himalayas.
> Sri Sankaracharya, the greatest Initiate living in the historical
> ages, wrote many a Bhashya on the Upanishads. There are reasons
> to suppose that his original treatises have not yet fallen into
> the hands of the philistines, for they are too jealously
> preserved in his monasteries. There are still weightier reasons
> to believe that the priceless Commentaries on the esoteric
> doctrine of the Brahmins, by their greatest expounder, will
> remain for ages yet a dead letter to most of the Hindus, except
> the Smartava Brahmins. Sankaracharya founded this sect, which is
> still powerful in Southern India. It is now the only sect
> producing students comprehending the dead letter of the Bhashyas. 
> The reason is that they alone occasionally have real Initiates at
> their head in their monasteries, as in the "Sringagiri," in the
> Western Ghauts of Mysore.
> There is no sect in that desperately exclusive caste of the
> Brahmins, more exclusive than is the Smartava. The reticence of
> its followers to say what they may know of the Occult sciences
> and the esoteric doctrine, is only equaled by their pride and
> learning.
Yet, in these tattered remnants of the Upanishads there is great
inspiration, and an inner experience for those who make their
lofty teachings a part of their lives. The truths they contain
have inspired many a great mind. Anquetil Duperron, the first
European who read the Upanishads and translated them into Latin,
said in his introduction:
> Here is the key of India's sanctuary, somewhat rough with rust. 
> Enter, if thou darest, if thou canst, with pure and clean heart,
> drawing near to the highest being, and merging in it. Let the
> outer senses rest. Awaken the inner. Let thy body be as dead,
> and sunk in the ocean of wisdom and unwisdom. Know it -- after
> Indian custom -- as a divine law, that thou seest nothing but the
> Eternal; that nothing is, but the Eternal.

The wisdom of the Upanishads is truly the sacred relic of
antiquity, and these truths are as old as the divinity of man,
older even than our world. It is part of the virtue of these old
mystery-teachings that they are quite inexhaustible. Every
advance in enlightenment gives us a new insight into their
meaning. The sooner we make these truths actual in our lives,
the sooner will the secret sanctuaries containing even profounder
writings be opened once again. We must open these locked doors
ourselves, but first we must earn our way to their divine

> The Self I cannot know, but I can BE that Self.
> -- Kena Upanishad


By W. Emmett Small

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, May 1938, pages 293-96.]

> Occultism teaches us that ideas based upon fundamental truths
> move in the eternity in a circle. They revolve around and fill
> the space within the circuit of the limits allotted to our globe
> and the planetary or solar system. Not unlike Plato's eternal,
> immutable essences, they pervade the sensible world, permeating
> the world of thought. Contrary to chemical affinities, they are
> attracted to, and assimilated by, homogeneous universals in
> certain brains -- exclusively the product of human mind, of its
> thought and intuition. In their perpetual flow, they have their
> periods of intensity and activity, as their durations of morbid
> inactivity. During the former, and whenever a strong impulse is
> imparted on some given point of the globe to one of such
> fundamental truths, and a communion between kindred eternal
> essences is strongly established between a philosopher's interior
> world of reflection and the exterior plane of ideas, then,
> cognate brains are affected on several other points, and
> identical ideas will be generated and expression given to them
> often in almost identical terms.
> -- H.P. Blavatsky, "The Religion of the Future," COLLECTED
>    WRITINGS OF H.P. BLAVATSKY, IV, page 451.

Theosophy is not only a scientific formulation of little known
laws of Nature. It is a pathway of life. Not only is it a
PHILOSOPHY about things as they are, but, if understood and
applied, it becomes for each student a religious necessity to
EXPERIENCE things as they are. It is this practical
demonstration of the inseparable linking of thought with action
that is the great contribution of Theosophy to the present age.
It is this subtle yet strong unity of invisible with visible that
creates ideas and carries them into virile action, depending upon
the will of the individual actor.

Theosophy is a LIVING power in the world so long as there are a
few true Theosophists working along real theosophical lines. It
is not quantity that creates, but quality. One great man may be
the spiritual proponent of a new religion that will change
millions of lives. The directing fluid, intellectually and
spiritually, lies in the ideative plane. It is from this plane
that such great souls work.

The teachings of the first Theosophical Leader and Messenger
still inspire the hearts and minds of devoted followers. She
kept that channel open and clear. She WAS that channel. Through
the Theosophical Movement, someone can contact that ideative
plane wherefrom H.P. Blavatsky labored as one of the great
Leaders and Changers of human thought.

Our work as Theosophists lies in the inseparable twofold activity
of (a) studying the teachings of Blavatsky and Theosophy, and
passing them on to others as we have received them, and (b)
living the Theosophical teachings, practising them in our lives,
exemplifying them in our conduct, in our aspiration, in our inner
and outer thought. In this way, we link our spiritual forces
with the stream of the ideative or creative side of the Universe.
We become to a degree creators and architects instead of merely

When one considers the tremendous change in the thought-life of
the world since HPB's days, there is no question but that
Theosophy has played a major and profound part in what even the
lay mind will admit is a general conversion from a materialistic
outlook on life to an intellectual attitude, in many quarters
even questioningly, gropingly spiritual. This is because HPB's
mission did not fail. She succeeded in planting the seeds of the
ancient Wisdom Religion into fertile minds. She succeeded in
stirring the embers of the heart-fires of men so that they
accepted her teachings.

Of her followers, many remained faithful to her direct message,
faithful to the heart of the organization that she founded,
faithful to the Leaders who followed her in serial succession.

Others, starting groups of their own, had the germ of Theosophy
as their inspiration. These seeds, fecundating and finally
flowering as bands or societies of sincere searchers of truth,
have in the last sixty years literally dotted the face of the
globe with offshoot groups. These in turn have had branches
which promulgate teachings that help stir the world of thought
and aided the general retreat on materialism.

There is still another class of followers. They existed even in
HPB's time, and in growing numbers in the last decade.
Individuals of intelligence and spiritual aspiration, seemingly
with no knowledge of Theosophy, they have plucked from the air,
as it were, basic Theosophic ideas and expressed them in their
own language. This has been possible because of certain karmic
conditions that our present cycle has brought, coupled with the
concentrated work of students of the ancient Wisdom Religion,
thinking Theosophy, speaking it, and living it. Remember in
moments of discouragement that those silent workers whose
devotion may seem to go unrecognized, whose efforts even to
themselves may so often seem to be unavailing, have and wield a
power to affect "cognate brains," as HPB says, so that "identical
ideas will be generated and expression given them."

The power to aid humanity of these various searchers for truth,
as individuals, or as societies, lies in their ability to
approach the "world of thought," to tap the reservoirs of ideas
within our planetary or solar system, and to remain illumined in
their intuitions from such contact. This subtle, tenuous, but
strong plane of thought is the most powerful medium affecting the
inhabitants of the earth. To work on it is not reserved for the
Messengers or the Masters. It can be done by any of us with the
requisite will power and courageous effort. The degree of
success marks the difference between a negative Theosophist and
an active one.

HPB worked on this higher plane. She came at an important
cyclical time, because she was a Messenger from the Lodge of the
Masters of Wisdom. She let loose upon the earth, through herself
as the channel, this great stream of ideative power. She let
loose these "ideas based on fundamental truths," this "strong
impulse" on a "given part of the globe." As a result, countless
lives have been affected, the current of their thought radically
changed, being directed, as one reviewer wrote, to the sun.
Therefore, she lives today in the success of a work that is
growing like the famed rooting of the branches of the banyan

HPB lives in the Theosophical Society, in all the different
Theosophical Societies IN DEGREE. As far as they represent
Theosophy, they represent her. It is another question whether
they do so worthily. As far as they do represent her, the real
spirit of HPB inflames the world. Furthermore, there is a living
stream of inspiration from the Masters into this world. HPB was
the channel for this in the early days of the Society. With her
death, the outflowing energies from the Lodge did not cease.
Theosophists of the Point Loma Theosophical Society, and many
others, declare that that same stream of spiritual force pours
into the world, and that the channel is still open wherever
hearts and minds remain faithful to truth and duty.

The question leaps then to life: Are you as a particular
Theosophical Society a fit instrument for the Masters to work
through? Are you as a Society teaching, studying, and living the
Theosophy of the Masters of Wisdom as brought to the West by
their Messenger? Are you as an individual member doing all in
your power to fan this flame into a steady fire?

"Sursum corda," they say. Lift up your hearts to that plane of
ideative and creative thought where you could contact the causal
realm of this universe. Aspire to reach what HPB had reached,
and to be a channel as she was a channel. Live nobly and
impersonally and you will be doing well your work in the world.
You will be affecting for good the world's consciousness. You
will be determinedly cooperating in the main work of the
Theosophical Movement. In these perilous times, that work exists
to changing men's hearts and minds, to instill in men thoughts of
the Ancient Wisdom. Little by little, this will soften the
horrors around us, alleviate distress, and help diminish the evil
that is the heavy karma of our present age.


By Leoline L. Wright

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, February 1939, pages 110-13.]

It was now five years since the holy man had been sealed into his
remote mountain cave. He dwelt in darkness and solitude never
again to hear the voice or to see the face of a human being --
immured there in the eternal silence of the mountains until death
should release his spirit.

Close beside the spot where he sat yogi fashion on the hard rock,
a small opening had been left near the floor of his cave. Once
in so often, a monk came from the monastery of which he had been
abbot. The monk thrust a quantity of barley grains through this
opening. Providing him with a few grains daily was enough to
keep life just pulsing in his emaciated frame.

Wrapt in his vow of silence, dedicated to the attainment of
liberation while still in the body, month upon month and season
upon season of meditation passed over him like invisible shadows.
He had spent years of preparation, tempering body and mind to the
awful strain of his self-chosen destiny. Slowly before his
entranced inner vision, there opened the sublime reaches of the
inner worlds. The bliss of freedom began to gleam now like a
shining threshold within reach of his serenely laboring spirit.

And then! What was it? His inner sense began to sink like a
plummet. Something, somewhere far below, had fastened itself
upon his consciousness with a dead weight of mortality. A wave
of dull disappointment surged over him and the plummet dropped
lower still. Had he not been certain that the mortal in his
nature was long since forever extinguished? Had he then
overlooked some sin of the flesh that had suddenly sprung out of
the dim past and fastened itself upon his soul to chain him back
to physical consciousness? Alas! Whatever the cause, his
unwilling human self had awakened again to insistent demand and
he found himself once more attentive to his body.

He unsealed his physical vision and saw at a glance what had
recalled him from the spheres. On his lap lay a child. The
child was shivering and whimpering. It tugged with half frozen
hands at the shreds of his rotten old garment. At first, he
could hardly credit the sight of his eyes. A child! Here in this
horrible waste? Impossible! No!

He felt the slight body which clung to him and which now as it
nestled against him drew a little comforting warmth even from his
withered members. As he gazed down into its uplifted face, his
ancient eyes met full and sweet the engaging trustful smile of a
three-year-old man-child. His arm, in spite of the stiffness due
to long immobility, crept gradually around it and finally held it

"So, manling," he murmured, his lips mouthing with difficulty the
unaccustomed words. "Thou is it who hast brought me back from
the threshold of liberation?" Desperate anxiety now invaded his

"What shall I do with this youngling?" he demanded of the dark
and the emptiness surrounding him. "Plainly it has wandered from
its parents -- some caravan of pilgrims, perhaps themselves lost
in the wilderness of these mountains. They will miss it. Will
they surely come in search of it? It must have left some trace of
its flight. I must wait and meanwhile cherish it as best I may.
It is a misfortune, a terrible misfortune for me. I have broken,
how easily and unthinkingly, my vow of silence. All this will
unavoidably cripple me. There was so much ground now to be made

Here the child interrupted him once more. It had caught a fold
of his garment and was industriously sucking it. "The poor
little one is hungry!" He reached down into his small sack of
grain and fed it lavishly with the clean barley. As it munched
in contentment, he looked more closely at it with his dim eyes.
Of Hindu parentage, is this child. That was evident from its
rich coloring and lustrous eyes and the already eagle fineness of
the nose with its delicate nostrils, as well as the cut of its
warm garments. In far past days of his youth in the monastery he
had often seen parties of these plainsmen, pilgrims from beyond
the ranges. So now, he recognized the characteristics.

Yes, the child was a Hindu, possibly from its facial lines a
Rajput. Then he noticed that on one thumb was a heavy gold ring
that upon examination bore what appeared to be a crest of some
sort, cryptic to him. The gleaming insignia lay under his eyes
like a message. He shuddered a little. Alas! Alas! All he could
do was wait in impotent patience.

Three days he waited. Nothing happened. The child, completely
tired out, slept and wakened, whimpered, and was fed. All this
time he held it close to keep it warm and comforted. Slowly the
sweet pulsations of its confiding nearness crept into his
withered heart and numbed the sharp ecstasy of his vision of

It was then that it came to him, deep in the watches of the
night, that through the child he had lost the opportunity to
freedom. That freedom to which he had devoted long terrible
years of discipline and renunciation! He had broken his vow of
silence. He also now knew that he had lost his hold upon
complete non-attachment. More than that, he had even lost the
freedom to return to his monastery. To return there now would
mean the disgrace of failure. He might even be a candidate for
the last ignominy. Then, what might happen to this forsaken
little one? He could not face the thought of its uncertain

Months later, when spring was blossoming in the rich valleys of
the lower ranges there appeared upon the outskirts of an old
Hindu city an ancient man who bore in arms a beautiful man-child.
He carried a begging bowl and wore the yellow robe of a
mendicant. In spite of his great years, the holy man was still
erect and clear of eye. Indeed, so benign and penetrating a
power seemed to go out from his presence that all who beheld him
felt impelled to do him reverence. This was more so because he
seemed unobtrusively to avoid it. Only in one case would he
accept the offer of service and that was from a simple housewife
who spoke a kind word to the pretty boy and tried to coax it to
share the midday meal of her own children.

"It is well, my daughter," he assured her tranquilly, "and I
thank you. I will accept for the hour your kind offer of
hospitality to this motherless little one. And you, youngling,"
he said, setting his charge down amongst the children squatting
beside a large bowl of rice and sweetmeats, "abide here in
obedience to this good woman while I pay my respects to the
priests at the temple." On the word, he strode out of sight down
the narrow winding street.

A few moments later, he was deep in talk with the head priest of
the principal temple of the old city. From the folds of his
yellow robe he had taken the child's gold ring. "Knowest thou
these insignia?" he asked the priest.

The Hindu's black eyes widened in amazement. "Why, it is the
royal signet of our kings!" he ejaculated. "But whence, Oh
wandering lama, hast thou acquired it?" The keen suspicion of his
glance died before the noble candor of his visitor's regard.

"It was found on the child's thumb, the lost child I found . .

"By Vishnu!" and the priest got excitedly to his feet. "The
little lost princeling. It is the son of our Prince here who .
. ."

"Went astray last year upon pilgrimage," the lama finished for
him. "Send thou for the child's father."

So was restored to the arms of its mother a son who was to become
a wise, powerful, and upright ruler. Men said that he owed much
of his great virtue and insight to the teachings of a holy man
who lived in a poor but near the outskirts of the city and taught
the good law to all who would hear him.

"Reverence not me," said this holy man once to a beloved
disciple. "For I was not so long since an ignorant seeker after
selfish liberation. A messenger was sent to me. A little child
put into mine its confiding hand and led me away from the ignoble
quest of the Pratyeka pathway. Down from the cold and barren
heights it guided my steps to the valleys where men still suffer
in ignorance and pain.

Yet were such men more merciful than I had been, for they
succored, clothed, fed us, and sent us comforted upon our way.
And so, my son, never again will I seek or accept selfish
individual salvation. Never will I enter final peace alone.
Thanks be to the Celestial Buddha that mine eyes were opened in
time and that I was permitted, chastened and joyous, to return
back from the other shore.


By Helen Savage

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1939, pages 4-10.]

It is the 31st of December, and here in California, 4 o'clock in
the afternoon. We have been listening to a short-wave radio
program of merry-making from the BBC in London. Suddenly the
laughter and singing become fainter as Big Ben strikes the hour
-- twelve deep-toned bells, and with the last stroke the voice of
the announcer says: "We wish you the old, old wish: A Happy and
Prosperous New Year!" As we shut off the radio, we realize that
already the New Year has dawned for half the world. Already the
peoples of half the world have put away thoughts of the old year,
whatever it was, whatever it might have been, and are looking to
the unseen days ahead with hearts full of hope.

It is actually a wave of hope that moves steadily around the
earth and encircles the globe, as that magic moment when the old
year is dead and the new is born touches each longitude on the
spinning earth. There is cumulative power in this surging wave.
There must be. The least enlightened must for the first early
hours of the New Year feel, as a deep-rooted intuition, that
somehow, somewhere, there is a means of finding spiritual
security. They must feel that beauty, joy, and love belong to
the human race. Perhaps the first intimations of a new wisdom
about life await them in the unspoiled days ahead.

We need not consider here the fact that as the days of the New
Year unfold and prove to be but the children of those that have
gone before, too often this hope, this intuition of the
fundamental rightness in the Universe, dies. We shall note only
that it has lived, however briefly, and because of the quality of
this hope we know that it is based upon a reality. It is a flash
of light from a REAL world that seems to surround us but eludes
us, and it fills us with conviction for a moment.

Is there a means by which we can step over the threshold and move
familiarly in this realm where our inspired dreams become
actualities? How can it be done?

An ancient symbol, which has never grown old, holds within its
manifold significances the answer to our question. It is the
symbol of the Sun. This symbol contains within itself the
secrets of man's unawakened powers. First, the Sun is a symbol
of immortality. Even science conceives of its life as a virtual
eternity, for we are told that in 150 billion years it will not
lose even one per cent of its stupendous mass.

The Ancient Wisdom adds that the earth will know many deaths, but
with each new embodiment, it will witness again the shining of
the great luminary. During the long ages of the earth's
obscuration, this luminary has known no night and no lessening of
its vital power. It is continuously replenished from the secret
stores of its own inner being.

Further, in the Sun we see a symbol of generous giving of
oneself. It is pouring forth its vital substance at the rate of
133 trillion tons a day, according to science. This is not
merely in prodigal wastefulness through the vastness of the
heavenly spaces, but in order to sustain and nourish all the
planetary satellites of its kingdom, and for the maintenance of
all beings that live therein. The life of the planets is part of
the life of the Sun. It is one life pulsating through the entire

Then there is kingliness with its attendant attributes of
benevolence and wisdom. Who, contemplating the orderly workings
of cosmic law in the solar kingdom can deny that this mighty
sovereign rules by divine right?

Beauty, also, is symbolized in the Sun. The pale radiance of the
early dawn, the prismatic colors in the rainbow, the green, gold,
and scarlet of trees and flowers, the flash and fire of jewels,
the blue haze of far distant hills -- all these are solar in
origin. It is beauty stepped down to us, since we are incapable
of beholding face to face the glorious veil of the Sun God

Here we have slipped unwittingly into the phraseology of the
ancient pagan world. In spite of what the scholars may say, the
ancients were not mere children adoring a bright disc in the sky.
There is nothing infantile in the ancient Vedic prayer:

> Unveil, O Thou that givest sustenance to the Universe,
> From Whom all things proceed, to Whom all must return,
> That face of the True Sun, now hidden by a vase of golden light,
> That we may know the Truth, and do our whole duty
> On our journey to Thy Sacred Seat.

The Egyptian Osiris, the Persian Ormazd, Surya and Mithras,
Adonis and Apollo, the Scandinavian Baldur, Lugh of the Long Hand
among the Celts, Tonac-Atlcoatl (Serpent-Sun) god of the ancient
Aztecs -- under whatever name it may have appeared, it was a
Divine Being whom the ancient peoples addressed. They recognized
that the solar universe was governed over by a divine hierarch,
the SPIRITUAL Sun, whose real being is veiled in a garment of
light. He was to them the vortex of the divine-spiritual fire of
the universe. Spiritually as well as physically, he nourishes
all within his kingdom. Whatever might befall mankind, they knew
that in their inner being they were secure as long as they
allowed his beneficent rays to light them within.

For those who were students of the Mysteries, there was even a
deeper significance to the Sun-symbol. They were taught that as
the source of the solar universe was a divinity to which all the
lesser planetary gods made obeisance, so the little universe of
man had its own central sun, a ray of the solar deity. To this
central sun, the purely human in man, an unawakened god indeed,
should be a faithful servitor.

Why a servitor? It is because we owe our very life to it. The
Mysteries taught that the Evolver or Sun God within has built up
the human self of ours through many ages. Gradually, from
unconscious elemental substance, through intermediate degrees of
semi-conscious life to the time when the form was ready to
contain the light of mind, the delicate process had taken place.
Like the golden drop of honey that the bee must gather from a
thousand flower-chalices, so the precious soul-fabric had been
built from the essence of countless embodiments.

With mind came power, and the ability to learn to serve with
self-conscious understanding the sacrificing parent within. It
is by means of our soul that our divinity may shine in the
grosser worlds of substance. If the soul succeeds in becoming
the perfect channel, pellucid to the shining of the solar light,
it has the ineffable reward of itself being born in the spiritual
world. Then the human being actually becomes a dweller among the
gods even while he performs his appointed duties among men on
earth. This rare phenomenon was announced mystically with the
words: "The Sun has arisen! A Sun God is born!"

It was also a fact of common knowledge among the ancients that
the phenomena of the visible world are a symbol of and in fact
delineate what is taking place behind the veil of outer things.
Therefore to the enlightened among them, the cycle of the year,
with changing seasons, was a mystery-pageant enacted upon a
cosmic stage, each episode of which depicted in symbolic form a
spiritual verity.

Thus when the time of the Winter Solstice came round, and the sun
began again his journey to the northern hemisphere, they saw more
in it than merely a time for rejoicing because the world would be
filled with warmth again, and the fields would again be green and
fruitful. They read the symbol aright. Their hymns were to the
True Sun, to the Sol Invictus, to the Unconquered Sun, whose
steadfast shining throughout the aeons is a guarantee of the
spiritual security in the Universe. It was a sign to them that
because of the focus of certain solar forces it was a fruitful
time for communion with the Sun God within.

Even candidates in the Lesser Mysteries knew that at this season
"the trained and fully prepared neophyte might enter at least
temporarily into the Heart of the Universe, into the Light of the
World, and bring back with him an unimpaired memory of what the
greatest of Adventures had taught him." He returned surrounded
with a nimbus or aureole. He was "clothed with the Sun." (See

It is this fact that is the basis of all the traditions of the
ancient peoples in which there was a correspondence between
initiates, great kings and heroes, and the Sun. The Babylonian
heroes, Nimrod and Gilgamesh both became Sun Gods after
undergoing a series of trials. Hercules, Theseus, and Perseus of
Greece were all born of a virgin and were sons of the Sun. God
hero of the Mexicans Quetzalcoatl was a Sun God. His name means
'Feathered Serpent,' a symbol with them, as among the Phoenicians
and others, of certain solar attributes. Krishna is represented
in THE MAHABHARATA as born of Aditi, the bright Dawn-Goddess, who
gives birth to the Sun. Mithras, a Sun God, was called 'Giver of
Glory' because he was supposed to bestow upon his successful
suppliants in initiation the aureole or nimbus, as shown in many
Mithraic monuments. In the Egyptian mysteries when the candidate
for initiation awakens from his trance, it is said that the
Hierophant-Initiators appeared "and the sacramental words were
pronounced, ostensibly, to the Sun-Osiris, addressed in reality
to the Spirit Sun within, enlightening the newly-born man." (See

The Christian Savior also must come under this enumeration of Sun
Gods if we are to consider authentic the records of early
Christianity. H.P. Blavatsky says (LUCIFER, Dec., 1887), after
quoting from Ralston Skinner certain interpretations of the
Christos-myth as typifying the Sun:

> For, as the same author shows further, John, Jesus and even
> Apollonius of Tyana were but epitomizers of the history of the
> Sun "under differences of aspect or conditions." The explanation,
> he says, "is simple enough, when it is considered that the name
> JESUS, Hebrew *** and Apollonius, or Apollo, are alike names of
> the SUN IN THE HEAVENS, and, necessarily, the history of the one,
> as to his travels through THE SIGNS, with the personifications of
> his sufferings, triumphs and miracles, could be but the HISTORY
> OF THE OTHER, where there is a widespread, common method of
> describing those travels by personification.

The early Christians themselves obviously accepted this
interpretation of their Christ-Sun as passing through the Twelve
Zodiacal Signs -- a symbol of the trials undergone by the
initiate in the Mysteries -- because there exist even today
relics of this belief.

> The representation of Jesus as the "Christ-Sun" and of his twelve
> disciples as representing the twelve Signs of the Zodiac, may be
> seen even today graven on the building-stones of not a few
> churches in central and southern European countries.

As the above brief illustrations show, in the minds of the
ancients what happened in and to the Universe was inextricably
interwoven with what happened to man -- and rightly so. For
apart from the Universe, man was indeed a lost creature.
Consider the present-day erroneous method of looking at our
relationship to the universe. This outlook is responsible for
the sense of aimlessness in so many quarters, responsible for the
sense of drifting in an alien world. Yet, we feel hope at times
like the New Year. We feel that the confusion and apparently
irreconcilable conflicting elements in the peoples of the world
are all but a bad dream. Such intuitions show that a ray from
the Sun God of their own being illumines sometimes even the least
of men.

Were there no systematized philosophy of life to guide men in
their search for the Real, had there never appeared among men a
single Teacher to proclaim the age-old secret, we should still
have with us as a daily and yearly testimony the glorious Sun in
the heavens, symbol of the Unconquered Sun within ourselves. To
meditate upon the significance of this symbol, as H.P. Blavatsky
urges us to do, is to have at least an introduction to the study
of the Real Self and our relation to it. First, like our
day-star, it is immortal; for though the earthly man is
dissipated at death, there is no death for the Inner Sun, and
with the disappearance of its earth-child it takes up its duties
in other spheres, only to return again at the appointed hour to
bring to birth again in another earth life, its yet undeveloped

Further, like the Sun in the heavens, it is the generous giver of
itself. Its life is our life. We can grow by its power alone.
As for benevolence and wisdom, it is from this source that
springs our ability to know, to act wisely, to sense the deepest
aspects of the cosmic workings, to reach out in sympathy towards
another fellow being, to use discrimination, restraint, and

Finally, in the creation of all that is beautiful, we are
stepping down its beauty. We are allowing the beauty of the
solar light to shine on earth. This is even truer when we have
made of ourselves a work of beauty. Beauty of character is the
supreme tribute to the god-sun within. To the degree that this
is attained, we are living in the sunlit world of the spirit and
have shown that our hope of the New Year was not a mere dream.


By Victor Endersby

[CHRONICLES ON THE PATH, Part VII. This 18-part series appeared
in THEOSOPHICAL NOTES from September 1951 through November 1954.]

Ti Sang came to the village of Chen Yueng to establish himself in
trade. His art was that of making bricks, wherefore he found a
clay bank of unusual color and fineness. In Chen Yueng, he found
Lin Gong also.

This Lin Gong, a massive man with beetling brows, whose looks of
menace were a stock-in-trade against rivals, held in his hand all
the brick-making of Chen Yueng until the coming of Ti Sang, which
he did not like. However, Ti Sang, being young and adept at his
trade, could be neither frightened nor undersold. For a
considerable space, he lived and prospered with his young wife.
He attended frequently at the Assembly of the Wisdom, whose
preceptors wore the Yellow Robes. Ti Sang looked beyond the
immediate situation in life. He looked to the ultimate taking of
the Path, which he planned in earnest after family duties were
discharged and the waning of material forces set in.

At last, however, Lin Gong fell in with a Redcap from Bhutan, who
showed him how a poison might be put into brick clay that would
bring sorrow to the vendor thereof. Thus it happened that after
a time, numerous houses made with the bricks of Ti Sang effused a
leprous nitre that wandered over the walls in random patterns
like fungus, destroying all beauty; and when scraped away, ever
returned. Thereupon the possessor of these places fell upon Ti
Sang and reft from him all that he owned. His wife was without
proper food and medicine. Shortly thereafter, she and her
newborn child -- her first -- died.

In his madness, Ti Sang forgot Karma and the gentle teaching of
the Yellow Robes, whose faces then became dim and far away to
him, and their words soundless. He swore a blood oath and
purchased in the marketplace a sword long and sharp. Calling
soon at the place of business of Lin Gong, he learned that this
man, hearing of the oath and the sword, and moreover tortured by
conscience, because he had not intended such measure of disaster,
had fled and left for him a bag of gold in appeasement. Ti Sang
hurled the sack into the street, where the pieces went tinkling
along the gutter, while the passers-by fell upon them. Hastily
preparing, avoiding the places where the face of any Yellow Robe
might be seen, he took up the trail.

This led across the Western wastes into the foothills of the
Mother of the World's Mountains; a trail Ti Sang had expected to
take some day, but not thus. After many hardships and much
hunger, as the snows came on, Lin Gong found himself in a
branching of valleys growing ever more stringent and steep, with
Ti Sang on his jaded horse but a few miles behind. Lin Gong's
heart grew cold with terror to match the increasing freezing of
his hide; for the winter wind had set in from the highest peaks,
gelid and terrible. The heart of Ti Sang blazed hot with lust of
the nearby prey, even as he beat his arms upon the breast of his
padded coat to preserve his own life.

Then, coming about a turn in the narrow path that clung to the
side of a bottomless abyss, he beheld a strange sight. Lin Gong
and his horse had fallen together over the brink, but the rope
that had guided the horse and was bound about the wrist of Lin
Gong had caught in a crevice. Thereby Lin Gong was suspended
over the depth. He spun and swung in the wind, his eyes closed,
the tortured arm swollen and blackened with frost and strain.
For a time Ti Sang stood and sated his vengeance with his eyes,
noting the marks of long suffering and hardship, the emaciated
face and ribs, the black patches of flesh some time frozen and
now peeling from the face of his enemy.

With his sword half drawn to sever the rope, he became still in
his tracks, his blood cooling and slow horror entering his soul.
This was his deed; no more than Lin Gong had sought the death of
the wife of Ti Sang, had Ti Sang envisioned this tortured debris
of a human as the result of his own vengeance. The visage of the
chief Preceptor arose before his eyes, no longer kindly and
loving, but stern and granite-like. All that he had heard of
Karma poured back devastatingly into his soul; sobbing and
frantic, he hauled on the rope with blistered hands until Lin
Gong lay on the icy ledge. Cradling Lin Gong in his lap, he
covered him with his own garments and chafed the frozen limbs.

After a time, Lin Gong, aroused by the hot tears falling on his
face, looked with dawning terror into the face of his Nemesis.
Looked, and looked again; seeing the horror and pity in Ti Sang's
eyes, smiled weakly, and fell asleep like a sick child taking
comfort from its mother's arms; he, who in life despised
gentleness. The icy wind, howling down the pass, whirled a drift
of snow over their forms. Soon both were beyond pain.

The Preceptor in Chen Yueng smiled as he gazed in his cloister
upon what would seem to most as a blank wall. The Path is
multifold, though uphill to the very end. Some accomplish it by
easy gradients, in well-chosen seasons. Some choose awful
precipices, and self-purging by limitless agony. They Who Know
view the struggle with calm, being content wherever the road is
seen to be relentlessly upward. At the end lie the pure lands
under an eternal sun. Ti Sang and Lin Gong had a destiny


By John Rau

[In February 2000, John Rau was invited by the Humanities
Department of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan to
outline theosophical philosophy and tie it in with world
mythology. John was speaking on behalf of the Great Lakes Branch
of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena). See


for more information on their lodge.]


Most of the time, when we encounter the term "evolution," we
think of science and what we have been taught in our western
culture through inference, on television or in school. Science
has delivered to us many facts. Who can deny some of their
truths? We evolve. The world evolves. We change. There is,
however, no one way to view evolution. Not yet. Many
scientists, some more than others, are today altering their
thoughts concerning this subject and modifying their theories
within the so-called Darwinian model.

I have come to prefer a view of the evolutionary process as an
unfoldment from within, or above (I call it vertical) combined
with the contemporary scientific view (I think of it as linear).
My viewpoint is always open for alteration and change. The
vertical and linear work together through time, at least this is
the way I see it. Other theosophists may view the subject quite

It seems to me that no one can deny that humans and other beings
are evolving through time. If we focus our minds, and pay
attention to our lives, we can see ourselves evolve. Here in
America we are all, as a unit, becoming Americans. Our bodies
are not the collective Europeans, Native Americans, Africans, or
Asians that our ancestor's bodies were in the past. We, as a
unit, are in a process of becoming, thus the bodies are evolving.


It is said in Theosophy that evolution is a process of unfoldment
into the outer material life of a stored up "essence" within.
This "essence" is a flexible ever-changing blueprint of a
"beness" which we already are. Thus, a certain species of a frog
becomes a frog, not a snake. An oak tree becomes an oak tree,
not a grape vine. A human becomes a human, not a wild beast.

In this philosophy, we become as individuals that which we have
already packed up and stored for us: our personal essence, in a
somewhat metaphysical traveling suitcase (our individual seed).
This seed, this essence, was prepared by us through our actions
and evolutions in past worlds and built out of our past lives,
efforts, previous deeds, urges, desires, and experiences. We can
use a Sanskrit word to name this "essence." The word is Swabhava.


Now we come to the concept of Hierarchies. There is a hierarchy
here at Ferris State University. You have a President, Vice
Presidents, and other tags and labels working down, or up. There
are hierarchies in organized religions, businesses, and
governments. This is a natural unfoldment, an order, and a
natural way for beings to proceed. It is nature's way.

In theosophical philosophy, there are hierarchical unfoldments
during the manifestations of worlds and beings. There are worlds
within worlds, beings within beings. There are gods (and I do
mean gods plural, not one God) of greater and lesser degree.
There are gods in advance of man and there are god-like beings
that are less than man. If you pause here and think this
statement over, a resulting thought of gods above and below man
is that, logically, man then must also be at least god-like in
his "beness," if not actually a god himself. We say that man is
indeed an incarnate god spark. This spark also exists in that
essence that is working through the animal and vegetable
Kingdoms. Everything is god-like in essence. Everything is
evolving as sparks of divinity through various Kingdoms within


Karma is an operation of cause and effect. The translation of
the Sanskrit word Karma is "action." Our actions continuously
affect our Swabhava and when we leave a current life, or daily
situation, we take our karmically altered Swabhavic blueprint
with us. This Swabhava we will use to cast a future life.


Technically the word "reembodiment" applies to the rebirth of
beings such as the Earth or the Sun, for example, as these beings
are not composed of flesh. The word reincarnation means to take
on a new body of flesh. When our bodies burn out because our
life energy has become too strong, or a cycle has run its course,
we discard our current bodies and eventually rebuild new ones.
These bodies are either of flesh (as in the case with humans), or
of another substance applicable to the evolving entity when the
time arrives to experience rebirth.

Theosophical philosophy gives our Earth the status of a living
being. The Earth has a life and a soul of its own. We human
beings -- along with the other Kingdoms of nature, the other
god-sparks working through various bodies or souls in evolution
-- are a composite part of the hierarchical scheme of our earth.
Likewise, the earth is a composite part of our solar system
(which is also a living being of a type), which is part of yet
another greater being, and so on into infinity. Nature is


With these keywords held in our thoughts, we can now look at our
chart. Please remember that this chart is composed of symbols
that we use for presentation. These symbols do not represent
cut-in-stone facts or dogmas. We are attempting here to discuss
and think out a system of esoteric and non-corporeal philosophy.
We are doing so with the exoteric corporeal brain stuff stored
inside our skulls. Truth transcends mind and therefore truth is
impossible to express perfectly in symbol or word. Symbols and
words are steps toward truth and necessary guides, but the
symbols and words used are not the truth itself. Again, truth
transcends mind.

This diagram is what modern Theosophists call a "planetary
chain." This symbol of a linked chain, or linked worlds, is also
found elsewhere outside of modern theosophical books and charts.
It is found in the Hebrew mysticism called Kabala. Also, in book
eight of Homer's ILIAD, which you have likely encountered in your
classes here, we read these words of Jove (Zeus or Jupiter):

> Hang me a golden chain from heaven, and lay hold of it all you,
> gods and goddesses together -- tug as you will, you will not drag
> Jove the supreme counselor from heaven to earth; but were I to
> pull at it myself I should draw you up with the earth and sea
> into the bargain, then I would bind the chain about some pinnacle
> of Olympus and leave you all dangling in the mid firmament.
> -- Samuel Butler, translator, THE ILIAD OF HOMER AND THE ODYSSEY,
>    from Great Books of the Western World, Encyclopedia
>    Britannica.

He also speaks thus:

> I will hurl him down into dark Tartartus [under the earth] ...
> where the gates are iron and the floor bronze, as far beneath
> Hades as heaven is high above the earth ...

Here in words from Homer, we find a symbol of hierarchical steps
similar to the lecture hall we are here gathered in today. I am
down here in the pit and some of you are up there on top of this
classroom world.

Another classical mythological reference to our linked worlds is
found in Hesiod's THEOGONY:

> A bronze anvil falling from the sky would travel nine days and
> nights to reach the earth on the tenth day and a bronze anvil
> falling from the earth would need nine days and nights to reach
> Tartartus on the tenth day.
> -- Apostolos N. Athanassakis, translator, HESIOD: THEOGONY,
>    WORKS AND DAYS, SHIELD, John Hopkins University Press, pages
>    720-25.

Tartartus is the lowest world, or hell with many steps, or days
in between.

Here is a book from ancient Egypt. (Actually, these are from THE
DIVINE PYMANDER OF HERMES, translated by Dr. Everard in 1650 and
reprinted by Wizards Bookshelf.) Here is Hermes or Mercury, the
wing footed messenger god of wisdom again. Here we read, "Having
all Power, he considered the Operations or Workmanship's of the
Seven." (Seven creators. Here on our modern theosophical chart
we see seven globes). A few fragments later, we read the phrase
"Seven Governors." (The globes are alive. They are ensouled,
hierarchical, and governed).

In classical Hindu mythology, there is talk of seven -- sevens
and more sevens. Sometimes these seven worlds are seen in a
different way and are transformed into three, a trinity of
worlds. This is true in the east and west: Trinity here, Trinity
there. There are also esoteric-thinking Christians with their
sevens and threes, some scholarly in their work, some mystical,
some both. If you look into it, you will see this truth.

Another myth we should look into, from the northern land of
ORAL TRADITION, Oxford University Press, by Elias Lonnrot,
translated from the Finnish by Keith Bosley.) There is a copy on
the table here. I, however, will read to you my preferred
translation found in Blavatsky's THE SECRET DOCTRINE.

> In primeval times, a maiden
> Beauteous Daughter of the Ether
> Passed for ages her existence
> In the great Expanse of Heaven,
> Seven hundred years she wandered,
> Seven hundred years she labored,
> Ere her first born was delivered.
> Ere a beauteous duck descending,
> Hastens toward the water-mother ...

In our Biblical Genesis and other creation myths, we have
"waters" employed as a descriptive term. In other world-creation
stories, we find worlds represented as "eggs" -- seeds -

> Lightly on the knee she settles,
> Finds a nesting place befitting,
> Where to lay her eggs in safety,
> Lays her eggs within at pleasure,
> Six the golden eggs she lays them,
> Then a Seventh, an egg of iron ...

Here, this afternoon in a short time together we read of ancient
myths of descending Grecian steps to gates of iron, Egyptian
worlds of seven, and a Finish seventh world (egg of iron), and of
our modern theosophical globes. Here on our chart we see at the
bottom of our chain a globe we call Globe D (our Earth). We can
postulate for ourselves philosophically and scientifically a
correlation to "the iron" world in our search for truth.

A Theosophist can choose to study religions, myths, and sciences
in an effort to unfold an "idea of truth." They represent maps of
truth, if you like. This momentary truth is, as said before,
open to new thoughts and ideas, applying these ideas as we choose
to our individual mental models while discarding those that we
find unworkable as independent thinkers. A slogan adopted from
Hindustan by Theosophists is that "there is no religion higher
than truth." One takes from the teachings only that which one is
prepared to swallow.

On our chart, we see a philosophical system of globes identified
with the letters A through G. We think of these globes as living
beings. Their life spans could be thought of in terms of
millions and billions of our human years as we record time. The
globes, these worlds, are born like us. They live their life.
They pass away. In time, they are reborn. The process repeats
itself again and again.

The life that becomes a world globe evolves into grander and
greater spheres and planes through this process, as do we
eventually. We humans as individual god sparks have been
involved in this cycle of life with our Earth through many
manifested embodiments. The Earth, the mother of our bodies, has
been in a similar relationship with our solar system in which the
sun is both brain and heart. The solar system also experiences
birth, life, and passing out into higher realms. Eventually it
will return with companion life-waves including planets and
humanities. This again is hierarchical.

Let us go back to our planetary chain. From an exoteric point of
view -- that is, on the surface -- before the apparent birth of
our globe chain there appears to be empty space, a seeming
nothingness. Remember that our physical eyes can perceive only a
relative set of vibrations within a given spectrum. Science will
verify that.

In space, on a so-called higher vibration or plane, there is a
"flutter," a movement. A birth is in progress similar to a seed
in a mother's womb. Vast time passes. Eventually Globe A
descends and becomes manifest. This is on a plane still higher
than ours, and therefore still invisible to our lower plane eyes,
yet we say it is there.

Imagine now three elemental Kingdoms or life-waves, also
invisible and in some way related, I am sure, to current
scientific teachings and theories concerning atomic and
sub-atomic worlds.

In European myths, the elementals are given various names that
you may recall as Gnomes, Fairies, Salamanders, and Sylphs. In
other cultures, they are given other names. Globe A became
manifest due to the activities of these three elemental Kingdoms,
which, when they finished their work on A, moved down a plane (or
vibration) and started their karmic work of building Globe B.

As these Elementals move downward into greater materiality, they
are followed by other Kingdoms we can call Mineral, Vegetable,
Beast, and eventually Human. Each Kingdom follows the other in
the building up of these worlds in the ranks of various waves of
life due to their hierarchical status through evolution at the
point of passing out of the material life of the previous Earth
Globe Chain. All the Kingdoms are parts of the whole. All are
god sparks, or as the old saying goes, "chips off the old block."
Everything is alive and evolving. This process continues and the
chain of worlds is built. Each visible planet we know of in our
exoteric solar system has a chain of its own just as we see on
our chart.

It is said that there are seven earths on four planes with three
planes above the seven. We see only the globe we are on now, D.
It is said that over vast periods, we travel (or evolve) through
these seven worlds and embodiments seven times. We are just over
half way through our total current planetary experience and
therefore in our so-called Fourth Round. A Round is a completion
of travel and experience once through the seven worlds - Globes A
through G.

The Hindus have an elaborate time scale system as to the age of
our Earth and Solar System. As to the correctness of their
system, little today can be said one way or the other. We should
say that we Theosophists use the system so that we may speak of
these subjects and have a mathematical basis we can all share.
Many of us believe the scale to be "close" to the truth.

We do not have time to enter into their extended calculations
today, but to give you an idea of their system, we can say that
we are in what is known as Kali Yuga, which translates as "hard
age" or "dark age." This Kali Yuga is a repetitive age, as all
the cycles are, and is relatively short. We have been in this
evolutionary cycle for 5000 or so years and we have still nearly
430,000 years left before us. It is also said that in these
"hard" ages, we, all of us, evolve in a quickened fashion. It is
expected that we will all experience many incarnations in Kali
Yuga before we enter yet another "age" in our collective destiny.

Here on Globe D, on our Earth, after the Elementals, follows a
Mineral Kingdom, followed by the plants or the Vegetable Kingdom,
followed also by a Beast Kingdom, or those beings that most of us
call animals. After our animal brothers, come us Humans in a
Kingdom of our own. We are more advanced than the beasts because
our Swabhava has "unfolded" into a state of humanity after
passing through a beast nature in previous existences in other


By Henry T. Edge

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, February 1938, pages 92-93.]

In one of the numbers of W.Q. Judge's magazine, THE PATH, there is a
translation of a tale by the German physician, poet, and mystic
Justinus Kerner. This story is illuminating as to the nature of man
and the way of overcoming difficulties a student of life may meet. The
spirit of a coarse, violent, drinking, and swearing man obsesses a
young woman, causing her great affliction. A good and benevolent
female spirit, an angel, also visits her, giving comfort.

The young woman applies for help to a man who, under the guise of a
humble worker, is known as the possessor of practical wisdom. He tells
the girl that BOTH of the spirits are obsessing her, that she must get
rid of the angel as well as the coarse one. He shows her how to assert
her individuality. She must place her hand two inches below the pit of
the stomach and say "I." The result is that both influences are
banished. Observe what happens next. The two obsessing entities enter
into a league to share the girl between them, which renews her
troubles, though the end is victory.

Such an obsession is rare, though it represents what occurs to students
of practical occultism in less dramatic fashion. These two obsessing
entities stand for the two poles of our emotional nature. This
emotionalism has to be gradually disentangled from our make-up. Use
caution in interpreting the allegory. A hasty view might say resist
both good and evil and remain indifferent. That is far from the case.
We should eliminate the emotional element out of our endeavors. It is
hostile to our success.

We know what it is to oscillate between extremes of exaltation and
reaction. Lurking in our exaltation is an element of the reaction we
dread. Symbology calls these poles the head and the tail of the
dragon, or the horns of the moon. Religious revivals are succeeded by
relapses into profligacy. The state to be aimed at is calm and peace.
Religions have been debased by the neurotic element: intense and
exaggerated devotion, passion, and intolerance of the opinions of
others. When such conditions of over-enthusiasm exist, the other pole
is not far.

An attitude of cold indifference, of Laodicean "blowing neither hot nor
cold," is not to be sought. This would be equivalent to that
"abandonment of action," reprobated in THE BHAGAVAD GITA. The true
attitude is well indicated therein: being constant in devotion to Me,
the same in heat and cold, standing apart from the qualities of nature,
without however suspending their operation.

Our story explains the errors of genius, which achieves its summits at
the expense of falls into abysses. Half-baked psychologists, eager for
hasty generalizations, have said that genius is a morbid condition, but
genius is the immortal fire that Prometheus brought. We only have to
learn to use it. This two-headed Serpent is spoken of in THE SECRET
DOCTRINE. For those who suppress human spontaneity and originality,
this Serpent is called the Devil. Though in itself a duality, it is
also the nether pole of a duality. The mysteries of nature are


By George William Russell [1867-1935]


Here is a legend whispered to me. I cannot tell its land or
time. It may have been in the old Atlantean days. There were
vast woods and a young priestess ruled them. She presided at the
festivals and sacrificed at the altar for the people. She
interceding with the spirits of fire, water, air, and earth that
the harvest might not be burned up, nor drenched with the floods,
nor torn by storms and that the blight might not fall upon it,
which things the elemental spirits sometimes brought about. This
woodland sovereignty was her heritage from her father, who was a
mighty magician before her.

Around her young days floated the fairy presences. She knew them
as other children know the flowers, having neither fear nor
wonder for them. She saw deeper things also. As a little child,
wrapped up in her bearskin, she watched with awe her father
engaged in mystic rites. She watched when around him the airy
legions gathered from the populous elements. The spirits he
ruled and the spirits he bowed down before fleeting nebulous
things, white as foam, came forth from the great deep and fled
away at the waving of his hand. Yet rarer, she watched the great
sons of fire, bright and transparent as glass, who though near
seemed yet far away and were still and swift as the figures that
glance in a crystal.

The child grew up full of mystery. Her thoughts were not the
thoughts of the people about her, nor were their affections her
affections. It seemed as if the elf-things or beings carved by
the thought of the magician, pushed aside by his strong will and
falling away from him, entering into the child became part of
her, linking her to the elemental beings who live in the
star-soul that glows within the earth.

Her father told her such things as she asked, but he died while
she was yet young and she knew not his aim, what man is, or what
is his destiny; but she knew the ways of every order of spirit
that goes about clad in a form, how some were to be dreaded and
some to be loved. Because of this knowledge, she succeeded as
priestess to the shrine, and held the sway of beauty and youth,
of wisdom and mystery, over the people dwelling in the woods.

It was the evening of the autumn festival. The open grassy space
before the altar was crowded with figures: hunters with their
feathered heads, shepherds, those who toil in the fields, the old
and hoary were gathered around.

The young priestess stood up before them. She was pale from
vigil, and the sunlight coming through the misty evening air fell
upon her swaying arms and her dress with its curious embroidery
of peacock's feathers. The dark hollows of her eyes were alight
and as she spoke, inspiration came to her. Her voice rose and
fell, commanding, warning, whispering, beseeching. Its strange
rich music flooded the woods, piercing through and through with
awe the hearts of those who listened. She spoke of the mysteries
of that unseen nature: how man is watched and ringed round with
hosts who war upon him, who wither up his joys by their breath.
She spoke of the gnomes who rise up in the woodland paths with
damp arms grasping from their earthy bed.

"Dreadful," she said, "are the elementals that live in the hidden
waters. They rule the dreaming heart. Their curse is
forgetfulness. They lull man to fatal rest, with drowsy fingers
feeling to put out his fire of life. Most of all, dread the
powers that move in air. Their nature is desire unquenchable.
Their destiny is never to be fulfilled, never to be at peace.
They roam hither and thither like the winds they guide. They
usurp dominion over the passionate and tender soul. They love
not in our way. Where they dwell the heart is madness and the
feet are filled with a hurrying fever, and night has no sleep and
day holds no joy in its sunlit cup. Listen not to their whisper.
They wither and burn up the body with their fire. The beauty
they offer is smitten through and through with unappeasable

She paused for a moment. Her terrible breath had hardly ceased
to thrill them, when another voice was heard singing. Its note
was gay and triumphant. It broke the spell of fear upon the

> I never heed by waste or wood
> The cry of fay or fairy thing
> Who tell of their own solitude;
> Above them, all my soul is king.
> The royal robe as king I wear
> Trails all along the fields of light;
> Its silent blue and silver bear
> For gems, the starry dust of night.
> The breath of joy unceasingly
> Waves to and fro its folds star-lit,
> And far beyond earth's misery
> I live and breathe the joy of it.

The priestess advanced from the altar. Her eyes sought for the
singer. When she came to the center of the opening she paused
and waited silently. Almost immediately, a young man carrying a
small lyre stepped out of the crowd and stood before her. He did
not seem older than the priestess. He stood unconcerned though
her dark eyes blazed at the intrusion. He met her gaze
fearlessly. His eyes looked into hers. In this way, all proud
spirits do battle. Her eyes were black with almost a purple
tinge, eyes that had looked into the dark ways of nature. His
were bronze, and a golden tinge, a mystic opulence of vitality,
seemed to dance in their depths. They dazzled the young
priestess with the secrecy of joy. Her eyes fell for a moment.

He turned round and cried out, "Your priestess speaks but half
truths, her eyes have seen but her heart does not know. Life is
not terrible but is full of joy. Listen to me. I passed by
while she spake, and I saw that a fear lay upon every man, and
you shivered thinking of your homeward path, fearful as rabbits
of the unseen things, and forgetful how you have laughed at death
facing the monsters who crush down the forests. Do you not know
that you are greater than all spirits before whom you bow in
dread? Your life springs from a deeper source. Answer me,
priestess, where go the fire-spirits when winter seizes the

"Into the Fire-King they go. They dream in his heart," she half
chanted, the passion of her speech not yet fallen away from her.

"And where go the fires of men when they depart?" She was silent.
Then he continued half in scorn, "Your priestess is the priestess
of ghouls and fays rather than a priestess of men. Her wisdom is
not for you. The spirits that haunt the elements are hostile
because they see you full of fear. Do not dread them and their
hatred will vanish. The great heart of the earth is full of
laughter. Do not put yourselves apart from its joy, for its soul
is your soul and its joy is your true being."

He turned and passed through the crowd. The priestess made a
motion as if she would have stayed him. Then she drew herself up
proudly and refrained. They heard his voice again singing as he
passed into the darkening woods,

> The spirits to the fire-king throng
> Each in the winter of his day:
> And all who listen to their song
> Follow them after in that way.
> They seek the heart-hold of the king,
> They build within his halls of fire,
> Their dreams flash like the peacock's wing,
> They glow with sun-hues of desire.
> I follow in no fairy ways;
> I heed no voice of fay or elf;
> I in the winter of my days
> Rest in the high ancestral self.

The rites interrupted by the stranger did not continue much
longer. The priestess concluded her words of warning. She did
not try to remove the impression created by the poet's song. She
only said, "His wisdom may be more true. It is more beautiful
than the knowledge we inherit."

The days passed on. Autumn died into winter. Spring came again
and summer. The seasons, which brought change to the earth,
brought change to the young priestess. She sought no longer to
hold sway over the elemental tribes. Her empire over them
departed. The song of the poet rang forever in her ears. Its
proud assertion of kingship and joy in the radiance of a deeper
life haunted her like truth. Such a life seemed unattainable by
her and a deep sadness rested in her heart.

The wood-people often saw her sitting in the evening where the
sunlight fell along the pool, waving slowly its azure and
amethyst, sparkling and flashing in crystal and gold, melting as
if a phantom Bird of Paradise were fading away. Her dark head
was bowed in melancholy and all that great beauty flamed and died
away unheeded. After a time, she rose up and moved about. She
spoke more frequently to the people who had not dared to question
her. She grew into a more human softness. They feared her less
and loved her more. She ceased not from her passionate vigils.
Her step faltered and her cheek paled.

Her eager spirit took flight when the diamond glow of winter
broke out over the world. The poet came again in the summer.
They told him of the change they could not understand, but he
fathomed the depths of this wild nature, and half in gladness,
half in sorrow, he carved an epitaph over her tomb near the

> Where is the priestess of this shrine,
> And by what place does she adore?
> The woodland haunt below the pine
> Now hears her whisper nevermore.
> Ah, wrapped in her own beauty now
> She dreams a dream that shall not cease;
> Priestess, to her own soul to bow
> Is hers in everlasting peace.


By Boris de Zirkoff

[From a tape recording entitled "The Dissemination of Esoteric
Knowledge" made of a private class held on March 2, 1955.]

> You said the balance holding back disaster is precarious in our
> day, but you also mentioned a change in the thinking of people
> the world over. I think that the balance is less precarious now
> than it was 75 years ago. It is a blessing that our scientific
> achievements did not happen then. We were not ready for them.
> Since then, the thinking of people has advanced. We treat
> sickness in a different manner. We have sympathy for the
> alcoholic and the insane. We try to do constructive work in the
> courts, as when we bring in a court psychiatrist. In most
> instances where people would immediately be hung, they are
> treated more humanely. We even have institutions that take care
> of animals. We are being fair in placing orphans. Who would
> have wanted an adopted child 75 years ago? Not many. The family
> and the home are coming into its own, where before it was almost
> a facade. If we have achieved this much so quickly, it won't be
> long before our thinking takes a definite swing, and we won't be
> sitting on this powder keg any more.

I agree, but we will not escape a number of localized conflicts
like Korea. These localized conflicts may indirectly involve
many nations, but will not break out into universal brawls. We
will escape future universal brawls.

These eruptions are curiously like the life of a periodic
drinker. An old habit asserts itself suddenly, and there is no
telling how far it will go this time. Periodically, we give way
to a well-established habit. The habit is really a thought form.
Collectively, millions of thought forms might get us frenzied
about something, turning out to butcher each other in various
modern ways. Today we are beginning to control our giving in to
these urges. The urges are as strong as ever, perhaps worse, but
when they assert themselves, we do not break out in violence.

There are powerful forces acting as brakes upon this violence.
It is more difficult to start a universal conflict than it was.
That is an achievement. Every week, more is gained for the
forces working for peace.

When looking at newspapers, you will see nothing but individuals
working for war, but that is not so. It is a distorted view. If
anybody had the money to publish a newspaper on nothing but good
things, it would be big. Remarkable things are happening in
terms of peace, culture, and mutual understanding. As that side
is emphasized more, it becomes more difficult for the other side,
the habitual side, to show its colors. Do not be afraid of the
opposition. It spurs the better side to action.

> You mention that instead of local government the trend is to go
> global. It is impossible to get away from some localized things.
> We have a local community, a local police force, and a local
> governing community. We have a national government, state
> governments, county governments, city governments, and community
> governments. Each does their part. Even if you have a world
> government, you still need local government.

The one does not exclude the other. The local is to be merged
into something greater. Look at our United States. We have many
governing bodies from the city to the federal government. They
merge into each other. There is friction, because we are human.
There is a degree of integration, so the individual on any street
recognizes the paramount authority of the federal government,
right through the entire hierarchical structure.

With just a few more steps, national governments will realize the
necessity of merging into a universal government, where all
nations are represented and work together.

> Would you suggest the erasing of boundaries between countries?
> Are you thinking of us becoming one global country, and doing
> away with the nations?

I am inclined to say no. Each ethnic group has its own
traditional background, and represents a keynote in the overall
human family. As such, that keynote cannot be erased. It must
become a harmonious part of a symphony.

To erase any unit would be a loss, because each contributes a
color, a tone, and a vibratory rate. The peculiar
characteristics of each unit must be amplified to the nth degree.
We have a symphony where the constituent parts make up a chord.
They are still units, fully emphasized, never erased, and never
slurred over, and yet they merge into a greater whole, the
symphony itself.

Some people have not thought this out. They wrongly imagine that
there is a leveling process, making everybody alike, with no
differences between one another. That is impossible. It is no
more possible than to play a beautiful piece of music on a piano
where the keys are be equal or unrelated to one another in any
mathematical way.

> Just consider a single family. You cannot use the same
> discipline on one child that you use on another. You cannot
> treat everyone the same, because all are different. The wise
> parent recognizes these differences.

I am a foreigner. I came here many years ago. I am not American
born. Something struck me forcibly, after I had been here a
while. There is an utter dissimilarity between a Californian,
and a man from the South, or a man from New York. When the
Europeans came, they were people who would have previously
belonged to different nations. As I met them and began to know
them, I found that each considered themselves Americans, and I
saw them as Americans too. Something that is "American" is
behind their differences.

Project the same thought onto the world scale. The Frenchman
will remain a Frenchman. The Englishman will remain an
Englishman. The same will hold with the Chinaman. There are
binding forces that will assert themselves strongly, so that they
recognize one another as brothers. There is their common
humanhood, their common origin, and their common spiritual goal,
all of which is the background of a universal cultural trend.
The skin is not going to alter. Traditions will not alter.
Future objectives, though, will alter, because they will be less
nationalistic and more universally minded.

This can never happen from politics. We need an integration of
culture, the realization of human spiritual unity, and the
knowledge of the facts of spiritual evolution added to facts of
physical evolution. A change in human minds and hearts is
needed, a change of philosophy. This will be followed by new
economical and political systems, which will simply adapt
themselves to the new way of thinking.

It will not happen overnight. It is happening quicker than some
realize. I can imagine my grandfather and mother, and people of
that generation, coming to life. They would not recognize the
strange world we live in. They would be unable to adjust their
thought processes. Everything would shock them. It would
neither be seen as good or bad, just incompatible. Their minds
worked in a different groove. The vibratory rate was different.
Many were wonderful people, but the mold in which their minds
were cast was different.

> I was wondering about the reincarnating cycle. It seems to me
> that the cycle is much less than 300 to 1500 years. In order to
> get knowledge required for our stage, you need to come back
> sooner, because of the great changes that are taking place in the
> world and the essential learning that must be derived from these
> changes.

In the theosophical literature, we often hear that there is 1500
years between incarnations. This is an approximation. It is an

Now, what is this average based upon? Our information is
insufficient to tell. If you take THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P.
SINNETT, you will find that the two Adepts that wrote these
letters -- M & K.H. -- mention an occult law. That law states
that one remains in the inner worlds between lives about 100
times the length of his incarnation. Therefore, if the average
between lives were 1500 years, the average human life would be 15
years. That sounds peculiar, but remember that one of the Adepts
is speaking, not a city statistician, a government expert, or
some occidental scholar. Their vantage ground so much higher
than ours so that they really know what is going on the world
over. From that standpoint, the average human life is 15 years.
We are dealing here with an average. In Herodotus, the average
was 3000. That was the ancient teachings of the Egyptians.

Averages must be treated like any mathematical mean. If we took
the mean value of the intelligence of people in Los Angeles, it
would not be very high. Against that value, we would have to
make many adjustments, both lower and immensely higher, because
we have some of the finest scientists in the world, and we have
our sloths. Averages are tricky. They must not enamor us.

In my understanding of the teachings, there are people who remain
between incarnations thousand of years. There are people who
remain between incarnations only a few hundred years. The stay
in inner worlds depends upon many factors. These include their
spirituality or and decreasing attraction to matter, their
understanding, their desire to work for the good of man, and
their karmic past.

Millions in any country will stay between incarnations much
longer than 1500 years. Others have enough incentive for
spiritual work to come out of Devachan sooner. These are
high-minded, and may work in the Theosophical Movement and allied
efforts. They work for the good of the human race. They are
trying to control and improve themselves, deliberately changing
their lives. I would not be surprised if it were 200 to 300
years for these people, whom perhaps include a great many of our
own friends. Perhaps they were last in some European country, or
this country, and now have resumed with great vigor and zest the
work they have dedicated their lives to.

Do not become enamored by averages. We do not know how far the
deviations may be in both directions. Also, do not apply
averages to those whom in their very nature are exceptional
people. Some people may we way below average. Others may be far
above. To apply the average against either would be wrong.

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