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THEOSOPHY WORLD ---------------------------------- December, 2005
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
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(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"The First Step," by B.P. Wadia
"HPB's Temper," by Henry S. Olcott
"Two Ways of Viewing Reality," by G. de Purucker
"General Suggestions for Theosophical Teachers," by Anonymous
"Birth and Death of a Universe," by Helen Todd
"Super-Sensuous Planes and Mind," by James H. Connelly
"Interference by Adepts," by Alexander Fullerton
"History and Tenets of the Waldenses," by M.A. Moyal
"Teachings of the Winter Solstice," by G. de Purucker
> To sum up: the misuse of knowledge by the pupil always reacts
> upon the initiator; nor do I believe you know yet, that in
> sharing his secrets with another the Adept, by an immutable
> Law, is delaying his own progress to the Eternal Rest. ...
> a PRICE must be paid for everything and every truth by SOMBODY,
> and in this case -- WE pay it. Fear not; I am willing to pay my
> share, and I told so those who put me the question.
> -- Mahatma K.H., Letter No. 50, THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO
> A.P. SINNETT
THE FIRST STEP
By B.P. Wadia
[From LIVING THE LIFE, pages 75-78.]
In the ocean of worldly life man strives for happiness. His
knowledge and experience of the past years of the present
incarnation are consubstantial with the longings of his desires
and ambitions, the urges of his senses and organs. Faith and
religious feeling spring from and are subservient to the forces
of his environment. Many men live in this state of waking life
and their dream state is but an extension of their mundane strife
and striving. Then death comes and the incarnation is over. Of
such THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE says:
> Behold the Hosts of Souls. Watch how they hover o'er the stormy
> sea of human life, and how, exhausted, bleeding, broken-winged,
> they drop one after other on the swelling waves. Tossed by the
> fierce winds, chased by the gale, they drift into the eddies and
> disappear within the first great vortex.
The real nature of life on earth is not sought after by millions;
they are either lulled into the belief that the mysteries of god
and gods are not to be questioned or they accept blindly the
dictum of the modern agnostics -- "Not known so far."
In every age Gnostics have existed and in their dictionary the
terms "unknown" and "unknowable" have no place.
The Gnosis is Theosophy; the Esoteric Philosophy is recondite,
profound, vast, but man's mind and heart are fully capable of
understanding its elementary principles. Those human souls who,
hovering "o'er the stormy sea of human life," feel, as they grow
"exhausted," that there must be a meaning to life, a purpose in
the universe, a way out of this Cimmerian darkness, begin a
search. Soon or late they come upon the teaching epitomized in
ISIS UNVEILED that
> 1, everything existing, exists from natural causes; 2, that
> virtue brings its own reward and vice and sin their own
> punishment; and 3, that the state of man in this world is
> -- ISIS UNVEILED, II, page 124
All life is probationary. The glimpsing of this truth is the
beginning of wisdom. Study of and reflection on these three
fundamental principles of human evolution test the enquirer's
zeal, the seeker's persistency. If these three principles appeal
to reason and the heart's instinct, what next? The notions of
creeds, of customs, of scientific agnosticism and of
materialistic psychology have to be abandoned. The seeker has to
admit that he himself and no one else is responsible for the
conditions of life, physical, mental, moral, in and through which
he must struggle to emerge on the surface, where the sunlight is
met. In this effort he will soon come upon the important truth
given in THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE:
> This earth, Disciple, is the Hall of Sorrow, wherein are set
> along the Path of dire probations, traps to ensnare thy EGO by
> the delusion called "Great Heresy."
Be it noted that the acceptance of the fact that all life, and
therefore one's own, is probationary, and the resolve to learn
more, bring one to that stage where one recognizes that he is a
pupil, a learner, and that the Master is within himself. Says
> The "great Master" is the term used by Lanoos or Chelas to
> indicate one's "HIGHER SELF." It is the equivalent of
> Avalokiteshvara, and the same as Adi-Budha with the Buddhist
> Occultists, ATMAN the "Self" (the Higher Self) with the
> Brahmans, and CHRISTOS with the ancient Gnostics.
The overcoming of the defects born of personal and environmental
knowledge, and the development which brings perception of the
traps which ensnare the Ego by a disregard of the true philosophy
of Universal Brotherhood -- these cause the God in us to become
our guide and friend. The Master within is patient to wait and
watch for the awakening of the personal man; and compassionate to
warn, to encourage and to guide him once that the personal man
accepts the Master as the Inner Ruler. Study of and meditation
on the nature of the Self bring the pupil and learner to the
stage described thus in THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE:
> The light from the ONE MASTER, the one unfading golden light of
> Spirit, shoots its effulgent beams on the Disciple from the very
> first. Its rays thread through the thick, dark clouds of matter.
> Now here, now there, these rays illumine it, like sun-sparks
> light the earth through the thick foliage of the jungle growth.
> But, O Disciple, unless the flesh is passive, head cool, the Soul
> as firm and pure as flaming diamond, the radiance will not reach
> the chamber, its sunlight will not warm the heart, nor will the
> mystic sounds of the Akasic heights reach the ear, however eager,
> at the initial stage.
The personal man is enveloped by "the thick, dark clouds of
matter"; through that envelope the Light penetrates because of
loyalty to the truth perceived and faith in the Master within.
However dim the rays which penetrate the jungle growth of
animalism and the separative tendency of cold intellectualism,
the pupil is appealed to undertake further exercises for his
inner development. Flesh "passive," "head cool," Soul "firm and
pure" the achieving of these calls for arduous effort and takes
the practitioner a long time. The flesh represents the urges of
the senses and the organs; they are active in the personal man;
they are in command; they rule. They are positive; they have to
become passive or receptive. When they are active they heat the
head, and confuse the thinking principle and enslave it. Only a
cool head, a calmed mind, a tranquil heart, can control the flesh
and make it listen to truth, to reason, to righteousness. To
develop a cool head we need "the gentle breezes of Soul-wisdom to
brush away the dust of our illusions," i.e., appropriate study to
learn how to make the head cool. The Soul within is firm and
pure and the strength and steadfastness of that Soul must be
appealed to. This necessary appeal, made with faith and
conviction, brings the response to our lower mind and makes it
cool and concentrated.
It is indispensable that the learning aspirant and practitioner
apply the basic idea of Occultism, that true growth is an
unfoldment from within without. We have to grow as the flower
grows, from inwards outwardly.
This prolonged exercise constitutes the first step in its
completeness. It may take many years; it may take a lifetime.
In attempting to learn the full lesson implicit in the taking of
the first step, we are also learning that time has to be
conquered. Not past, present and future, but only that aspect of
the present which is the Eternal Now, need be our concern.
By Henry S. Olcott
[From OLD DIARY LEAVES, III, pages 9-10.]
I have elsewhere mentioned HPB's inheritance of the fiery temper
of the Dolgoroukis, and the terrible struggle it was to even
measurably subdue her irritability. I will now tell a story
which I had from her own lips, and the incidents of which had a
most lasting effect upon her through life.
In childhood, her temper was practically unrestrained, her noble
father petting and idolizing her after the loss of his wife.
When, in her eleventh year, the time came for her to leave his
regimen and pass under the management of her maternal grandmother
(the wife of General Fadeyef, born Princess Dolgorouki), she was
warned that such unrestrained liberty would no longer be allowed
her, and she was more or less awed by the dignified character of
On one occasion, in a fit of temper at her nurse, a faithful old
serf who had been brought up in the family, she struck her a blow
in the face. This coming to her grandmother's knowledge, the
child was summoned, questioned, and confessed her fault.
The grandmother at once had the castle bell rung to call in all
the servants of the household of whom there were scores. When
they were assembled in the great hall, she told her that she had
acted as no lady should, in unjustly striking a helpless serf who
would not dare defend herself; and she ordered her to beg her
pardon and kiss her hand in token of sincerity.
The child at first, crimson with shame, was disposed to rebel,
but the old lady told her that if she did not instantly obey she
would send her from her house in disgrace. She added that no
real noble lady would refuse to make amends for a wrong to a
servant, especially one who by a lifetime of faithful service had
earned the confidence and love of her superiors. Naturally
generous and kind-hearted towards the people of the lower
classes, the impetuous child burst into tears, kneeled before the
old nurse, kissed her hand, and asked to be forgiven.
Needless to say, she was thenceforth fairly worshipped by the
retainers of the family. She told me that that lesson was worth
everything to her, and it had taught her the principle of doing
justice to those whose social rank made them incapable of
compelling aggressors to do rightly towards them.
TWO WAYS OF VIEWING REALITY
By G. de Purucker
[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 199-201.]
The Real, the Reality, Sat, or more accurately Asat, Tat, is that
which IS during cosmic Mahapralaya; and all the manifested
universes are dreamed forth when Brahman falls asleep during what
we call Manvantara.
Note that just here there is a divergence not of knowledge, but
of expression, even among the occultists themselves. The more
common way in ancient times was to speak -- and I will now use
the Hindu terms -- of Brahman awaking, becoming both Brahma and
the manifested universe with all in it. In other words, Brahman
awakes when Manvantara begins, and falls asleep when Pralaya
This is quite correct if you want to look at it from this
standpoint. I might add, was a familiar notion to Greek and
Latin philosophic thought, as in the statement attributed to the
Stoic philosopher Cleanthes that has been rendered into Latin,
although he was a Greek, in the following words, "Whatsoever thou
mayest hear, whatsoever thou mayest see, is Jupiter." This is a
thought very familiar in ancient Hindustan where Brahma is said
to evolve forth the universe from itself, in other words, that
Brahma is the universe and yet transcendent to it: the universe
and all of it, and yet transcendent! This reminds one of Krishna
in the Bhagavad-Gita: "I establish all this universe from a
portion of myself, and yet remain transcendent."
But the other manner of viewing this matter and equally correct
-- and I will frankly say that sometimes as I ponder the matter,
perhaps more spiritual, perhaps more correct than the former, but
more difficult of understanding by us men -- is to think that
Brahman awakes when Mahapralaya begins; for then Reality, so to
speak, recommences its flow of lives.
The phenomenal universes have been swept out of their existences
until the next Manvantara and disappear like autumn leaves when
the autumn ends and winter begins. Driven along, as it were, by
the winds of Pralaya, all manifested life is swept out of
existence AS MANIFESTED LIFE. Everything that is real is
withdrawn inwards and upwards to its parent Reality, and then
divinity is in its own. This is Paranirvana. It is then awake
and dreams no more until the next Manvantara.
Those in ancient times who grasped this other manner of viewing,
of making Reality come into its own when manifested or phenomenal
things pass away into Pralaya, have stated the matter after
various tropes or figures of speech, the favorite one, however,
being this: all the manifested worlds are but the dreams of
Brahman. Brahman sleeps and dreams karmic dreams, dreams brought
about by karma. These dreams are the worlds of manifestation and
all that is in them. When the dreams end and the universes
vanish, then Brahman awakes. It is coming into itself once more.
I think both views are correct. Yet I have often wondered in my
own mind whether the second way of viewing it be not somewhat
loftier, closer to the ineffable truth than is the more popular
way because more easily understood. We have analogies in our own
lives. When we awaken in the morning, we go about our daily
duties, we do them, and they are karmic. But it is when we fall
asleep at night and the things of physical matter and the lower
mental plane vanish away, that we come closer to the divinity
within us. We rise upwards, closer to the god within us, towards
the abstract and away from the concrete.
I think the second view, though perhaps no more true than the
first way of viewing -- I think perhaps the second way of viewing
the matter, makes what they call Mahamaya, cosmic Maya, somewhat
more understandable by us men.
At the end of Brahma's life, even the Days and Nights of Brahma
pass away into the utterly Real, into the Reality at the heart of
the Real. When all is swept out and away or indrawn and
withdrawn upwards: I wonder if in this last thought we do not
have as it were, a striking confirmation of the statement that
perhaps the second way of viewing Brahma awake and Brahma asleep
is not the more real. For at the end of Brahma's life, when
Brahma rebecomes Brahman, not only do all manifested things pass
out of existence as so much dissolving mist, but even Cosmic
Mahat is indrawn or vanishes. Maha-Buddhi disappears and naught
remains but Brahman.
For an infinity, as it would seem to us men, hundreds of
trillions of years, Brahma is awake, itself, no longer dreaming
dreams of karmic universes, but as we are forced to express it,
sunken in Reality in the inexpressible deeps of Brahman's own
essence. All has vanished except Brahman; the dreams are ended.
Then when the new life, when Brahma rather, embodies itself
again, then the galaxy reawakens, but Brahman begins again to
dream, dreaming the worlds, dreaming the universes into
existence, dreaming the karmic dreams of destiny. Then the One
becomes the Many. The armies, the hosts, the multitudes, begin
to issue forth from the consciousness of the ineffable. Abstract
space is once more filled with suns, solar systems, and whirling
We see therefore that Brahman and Brahma, the offspring of
Brahman, may have reference not merely to a planetary chain, but
to a solar system or to a galaxy, and on a still more magnificent
scale to a super-galaxy including many galaxies in the womb of
endless space. In other words, Brahman and its offspring Brahma,
may apply to any one or to all of these different ranges on an
increasing scale of grandeur. Brahman dreams karmic dreams of
destiny and the universes flash into being; they appear like
seeds of life or the spawn of Mother Space, and this we call
Manvantara or Maha-Manvantara. Conversely, when Brahman's
dreaming ends, the worlds are swept out of existence and Brahman
awakens as Brahman's Self.
Let us also remember as a final thought, that when we speak of
frontierless infinitude, or of the beginningless and endless or
boundless, we call this Tat, from the Sanskrit word meaning THAT;
and that innumerable Brahmans greater and smaller, in countless
numbers, are comprised within the boundless Tat.
GENERAL SUGGESTIONS FOR THEOSOPHICAL TEACHERS
[From TEACHER'S MANUAL AND GUIDE TO "THE ETERNAL VERITIES," pages
It may already be surmised that the Socratic, or Platonic method
of the West, and the method of all the great Aryan sages, is the
true modulus of instruction in Theosophy School. The stories of
Socrates provided in our text admirably illustrate it. It is
distinctly NOT the method of catechism. That the original
"VERITIES" offered questions and answers was the result of the
discovery that few teachers know how to ask questions to draw out
and give emphasis on fundamental ideas. Many need to be provided
some points of departure, and even have indicated to them the
line and scope of the answer. The revised edition of THE ETERNAL
VERITIES provides questions without answers in the hope that
these may be worked out between teacher and children. The
teacher should try to stimulate the children's thinking -- not do
it for them.
The stories and illustrations given are made as direct as
possible, since it has been found that teachers are inclined to
wander away from the point and becloud the value of their
illustration. The best of those illustrations offered by several
teachers have found their way into the book, and should help to
set a standard for other stories to be added in the work of
classes. It is best to use sparingly stories in which plants and
animals talk like humans. Aesop's Fables are classics, but there
is a plethora of mediocre stories to avoid. It is well for each
teacher to have a file of usable material that has been gradually
assembled by herself. Thus, she keeps her interest alert and the
class alive. Every Theosophy School naturally has a Teachers'
Library for help with illustration, in books and articles, and
photographs, and other objects of interest, as well as with
worthwhile educational books.
Illustration is an art, and very necessary in teaching both
children and adults, since thus the practical application of the
philosophy is DEMONSTRATED. Illustration is also a preventive of
going "over the heads" of the class. Teachers should find ample
illustrations in looking back to their own childhood. Where a
real lesson was learned, the event stands out in clearest light,
and the psychology of "the child that was" may not be adjudged
"out of style." Care should be taken, however, to use such
illustrations in the THIRD PERSON.
The impersonal idea so sedulously presented by all the work of
the United Lodge of Theosophists is just as necessary and
valuable here as elsewhere -- in fact, it may be even more
necessary for the children. By using the impersonal "WE" also,
instead of "you," of "OUR" instead of "your," one avoids the
habit of "talking down" to a class. Children respond remarkably
to the impersonal idea. Once, when requested by many that names
of children reading from the platform be announced, this course
was followed for a season. But the children asked that it should
not be done next season. They said, "Seems as if you're doing it
for yourself, instead of for Theosophy."
Too much illustration should be avoided. The mind should rest on
the IDEA to be illustrated, rather than on following events in
rapid succession. It is also important to avoid too MATERIAL an
illustration. One teacher, happy to have interested small
children into animated talk and questions by the ideas of the
Third Truth at one session, thought to illustrate, on the
following Sunday, growth through the kingdoms, realistically.
She brought a pail of dirt for the purpose. But, with the dirt
at hand, all wanted to make mud pies!
"Black side" illustrations such as afforded by the daily
newspaper, are very poor psychology, for the reason especially,
perhaps, that they are not in the child's experience. Why, for
instance, describe what happens in a criminal court to children
of nine years? Illustrations in their own terms of life stay by
them. The pernicious habit of frequent "Movie" attendance
inflicts great damage on the child through precocious or
premature knowledge. If children bring up their OWN "dark"
problems, that is another story. But for the teacher, it is
better to show the TRUE and normal as a basis of comparison,
rather than the bizarre and the false. Stanwood Cobb cites Dr.
Arnold Hall, formerly president of the University of Oregon, as
presenting to his class so clear a procedure of how graft works
in state and city government that two of his students tried it
out in fraternity stewardship to the tune of several hundred
Dwelling on the dark side may repel a child. For instance, in
one class, a child asked, "Aren't any people happy?" The teacher
replied, "Perhaps one out of a hundred." Then another child
remarked, "Well, if there is only one out of a hundred, the happy
ones would amount to a good many, when you consider how many
people there are!" And it is to be remembered that unhappiness
isn't necessarily chronic, even with those whose lot seems very
hard to those more fortunate. There is always the swinging of
the pendulum between happiness and misery.
Those who know TRUE gold easily detect the counterfeit. Nature
analogies and illustrations are both interesting and informative.
Nor should a teacher make light of children's falsehoods and
"scrapes," but consider gravely the principles involved -- their
moral significance. The child IS father of the man.
It is particularly urged that children's gossip and tale bearing
be discouraged. They should be led away from telling what
father, mother, and sister say and do, as also from commenting on
other children in Theosophy School. If a reading calls for
comment, it is not the child who made it, but the reading itself
and its ideas that should be considered. Teachers themselves do
well not to discuss the children of their class with other
teachers. Bright sayings or misconstrued ideas go naturally into
reports and may be dealt with impersonally at Teachers' Meetings.
FUNCTION OF SONGS
All the songs used in the School were written as embodiments of
the Teaching, and most of them were set to music by Mr. Crosbie.
The first song gives the purpose of Theosophy School, "We have
come in search of Truth." "These two, Light and Darkness, are the
world's eternal ways" belongs to the Second Truth, along with
Masefield's poem on Reincarnation, and a beautiful "Chant" on the
same theme. The Third Truth song takes the theme of Evolution,
"in forms from stone to man, as up a ladder beings climb." The
"Never was I not" song takes the theme of immortality. Whoever
knows these songs has the philosophy in a nutshell and the memory
of them may well remain throughout the life-term. Special songs
for Christmas and Easter enlighten these festivals.
Not only children, but also adults have found inspiration in the
songs. Some members of Theosophy School have had the very words
on their lips, at death. It follows, then, that all these songs
-- sung with a sense of their meaning -- and with enthusiasm,
must carry out into the world to receptive minds an impress of
the great ideas that they express. Well may it be regarded as a
means of "bringing Theosophy home to every man and woman in the
country." Therefore, teachers should give careful attention to
discussion of the songs, in order to make clear their meaning,
and function. Here also is to be noted the rightful and useful
function of memory.
The revised "VERITIES" is made for direct reading by the
children, and is intended to encourage intelligent and enjoyable
reading in the whole field of good literature. In class, reading
should be done aloud. Silent reading cannot be trusted. Some
children know how to read at six, others not until nine, and
others still cannot read accurately, even after leaving college.
This is a distinct cultural barrier, and one that should not be
allowed to exist in Theosophy School. Teachers, then, should be
watchful to correct their own errors of pronunciation, as well as
those of the children, and KNOW by frequent consultation of the
dictionary what is correct. Children, also, may be helped in
using the dictionary.
One should be able to make words LIVING by showing their
derivation, as is demonstrated in the Lessons, and one should be
careful to see that the child knows the MEANING of the words of
the text. The teacher should not be afraid of the "long" words
nor of the unusual words, which are used advisedly in our text.
Children are more often than not intrigued by them. To foster an
interest in words is to educate good readers -- those to whom the
door of all good literature opens in invitation. There is no
greater moral safeguard than the taste for and interest in good
books. Often pre-class work may be concerned with an interesting
well-written book, and with applying Theosophy to the problems it
presents. In the list of Nature-books are several that are
simple reading for very young children, and should be called to
their attention. Their interest may be easily aroused by giving
some illustration or incident from a particular book.
The Memory Verses are axiomatic statements of the whole
philosophy and should be accurately memorized as well as
understood. The importance of younger children keeping the
memory verses in proper form and ORDER should be always held in
mind, and books or cards supplied for the purpose inspected by
the teacher at certain intervals. The verses and songs should be
thoroughly memorized before receiving the slips. The Dennison
labels are satisfactory for use in this work. This latter
suggestion, of course, applies to classes of children too young
to read who may not intelligently use all the memory verses given
in "THE VERITIES." Children treasure these books. One little boy
named his, his "business book."
The work of the teacher is to present PRINCIPLES clearly,
forcefully, and thoroughly; but "brilliant" teaching is not
expected. The more the teacher keeps herself in the background
with the idea of bringing out the children, the better the
teaching will be. Draw out of the children their own
APPLICATIONS as much as possible. Don't let a lesson go by
without every child in the class having an opportunity to express
himself. Let each one take his time to think; don't pass over
the slow one; don't help him too much; don't let the others press
their own answers instead of his -- not until they are asked.
Children should be led to see that the facile answering of
questions is not necessarily a sign of knowledge.
On one occasion, a teacher who observed that one boy could never
be induced to answer a question, asked him why. He replied, "I'm
afraid of making mistakes." "But," she asked, "can't we learn
even by mistakes?" The boy said, "Yes, but fellows who get bad
marks in school for mistakes are afraid to be wrong again." So,
to make of learning a joyous adventure is one of the aims of
Don't answer questions for the children until they have offered
something themselves. Then they are ready for amplification.
Don't ask "trick" questions. Irrelevant questions may be saved
for next Sunday's pre-class. In retelling a story, let each
child have a share, relay fashion.
Try to keep the devotional side of the teaching always fresh in
the children's minds. Impress the importance of using the first
Chant every morning on arising, every evening on retiring. With
that idea on retiring, they come back to waking consciousness
with the idea of service strengthened for the day. Keep
reverting to the idea of the Path. Don't FORCE a point into a
lesson. Thus, it will fail to carry. Theosophy is natural;
teachers should be natural.
Don't be afraid of repetition and repetition, also of reviewing.
Only, the children must be helped to get the ideas for
THEMSELVES. They will rightly become rebellious to secondhand
ideas and solutions to their problems. Fresh study on the part
of the teacher in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky, W.Q. Judge,
and Robert Crosbie is what gives the teacher a better grasp of
the subject, and so the children take fresh hold. Repetition
need never be "stale."
It is seldom wise to turn a class completely over to the children
for teaching. Right participation does not demand it, nor are
children equal to it. But a desired end is served, when a
newcomer or visitor enters the class, by eliciting their help in
going over the preceding lessons for that one's benefit. They
have a taste of what it means to learn that they may help others.
Such an event is always stimulating to a class, and, more often
than not, is encouraging to the teachers, while at the same time,
they learn where the weak spots are in the children's
Whenever possible, keep in touch with the parents of the
children, finding out, after suitable time, if any difference is
noted in their general attitude and behavior in "daily life."
Encourage parents to present to you any problems they may have in
regard to the children, so that applications may be made
generally in the lessons, from which the child may get a cue.
There should be no trouble from disorderly conduct in Theosophy
School, where the very basis is mental discipline. Yet, some
children may, because of authoritarian training elsewhere,
mistake the FREEDOM of the School for something else, so that
they need to be EDUCATED for freedom. If there is difficulty,
the teacher should ask herself where the trouble lies. Is she
interesting the children as she should? Is she finding them where
they live? Is she prejudging a particular child? Is she seeking
the cooperation of the class, without "preaching" or "nagging?"
Care should be exercised in proper seating of the class, so that
two inclined to mischief are not put together.
Some difficult cases in the past have been successfully handled
by the teacher's sending a child to sit far away by himself,
until he is ready to come back and be a real member of the class.
The "Student Government" idea can be adapted to the needs of
individual classes. If the children make their own rules, they
are more apt to keep them, and expect it of the others.
Some teachers find that a little routine duty -- like calling the
roll of the class, or being made responsible for keeping a list
of mispronounced words in the lesson -- will induce an interest
in some inclined-to-be-refractory child. Sometimes a younger
child may be put in a much older class, where the child is awed
into good behavior; sometimes an older child is put with those
much younger, which results in mutual helpfulness. But such
changes are not to be regarded as either promotion or demotion.
Theosophy School is not based on "promotions," rewards, and
punishments. A certain discipline is necessary, such as makes
for proper attention, and includes respect for the teacher.
ATTENTIVENESS is a part of the application of what is learned.
Teachers alternate in providing the report, but the one reporting
is a part of the class and does not exhibit a notebook, being
always ready to enter into discussion. Each lesson of each class
is reported. Teachers are advised to prepare them as early as
possible, while the class activities are fresh in the mind.
Promptness is a necessary discipline to the School, which serves
to keep it well ordered and efficient.
BIRTH AND DEATH OF A UNIVERSE
By Helen Todd
[From pages 83-96 of REINCARNATION: A LOST CHORD IN MODERN
THOUGHT, by Leoline L. Wright.]
H.P. Blavatsky's SECRET DOCTRINE is a priceless sourcebook of
ancient wisdom. It tells the story of how worlds come into
being, how they are nourished and kept alive, and what finally
causes their death and dissolution -- and their rebirth. It
contains a complete cosmogony and a complete cosmic philosophy,
which includes, one need hardly add, the history of man's
evolution through repetitive cycles of birth, growth, maturity,
decline, and death -- and rebirth.
THE SECRET DOCTRINE is based on portions of certain archaic
writings, the Stanzas of Dzyan, written in the sacred language
called Senzar, unknown to western philologists. These Stanzas,
H.P. Blavatsky tells us, are like an algebraic formula and must
be interpreted by one who has the key in order to be
comprehended. This she was able to do because of her training
with occult Teachers; and in her voluminous Commentaries, she has
gathered pages from the cosmogonies of all peoples, the
philosophies of every age, and the researches of modern science
as it was in her day.
In Theosophy, we use the word UNIVERSE in a somewhat more
technical way than is usually done. We say that every living
organism is a universe, however great it may be, however small.
This is not meant merely as a poetical phrase but as a
philosophical expression of a fact. An atom, a beast, a man, a
planet, a solar system, a galaxy -- all these are universes. A
universe is a unit through which one life flows, whose parts act
in purposive and coherent functioning, obeying in their general
action one central will and intelligence, yet in the details of
their individual activity following the urge of whatever modicum
of free will they have evolved from within themselves.
Further, it is the nature of every universe to be born, to come
to maturity, grow old and finally 'die.' But death means only
that the governing center of intelligence, a spiritual being
always, withdraws into 'silence and mystery,' while the lower
elements disintegrate. Every universe, likewise, is reborn.
Periodically within that spiritual center, there arises the will
to live an active existence in the worlds of substance. Then the
universe, any universe, reproduces itself; and this repetitive
reembodiment is the means by which evolution is carried on.
It is obvious that the greater and grander universes must have
evolved more of their inherent powers. What is only adumbrated
in the atom becomes a consummation in a solar system. Would it
seem strange if we were to say that a solar system in some
incalculable age in the past was indeed a mere atom? Yet that is
the implication of the teaching, and it seems strange to us only
because we are unaccustomed, once having accepted certain key
ideas, to think these through to their logical conclusion.
Now science agrees that there are such things as living
organisms, but it has not yet accepted the solar system as such,
still less a larger universe. A scientist by the name of
Lafleur, writing in a scientific journal some time ago,
elaborated an interesting theory of the origin of life. He
believed that, just as the seeds of plants are carried from place
to place on our globe by the winds and by birds, sometimes
falling upon barren soil, but sometimes upon fertile soil where
they fructify and take root and grow: in a similar way, he
believed, there are in the universe 'seeds of life,' that are
carried, let us say, along the currents of the cosmic ethers; and
that occasionally these 'seeds of life' alight upon planets such
as our own that provide suitable conditions for their growth.
This he believed to be the origin of life.
There is an intuition behind this thought. But we can push the
idea much further and say, Yes, indeed there are 'seeds of life.'
They are the UNIVERSES THEMSELVES. They are sown through the
Fields of Space and are forever fructifying and taking root in
the invisible and incomprehensible 'Mother-Deep,' blossoming out
into full-blown systems of worlds -- the Flowers of Eternity. As
they come into being they emanate from themselves their own hosts
of lives that in turn help to inform the systems with their own
vitality and build from the cosmic dust of their former 'selves'
the substantial bodies therefore -- the suns and their satellites
that are visible to our eyes.
While some systems are taking root and growing, others, having
already passed their period of full maturity, are waning,
reaching old age and passing out of visible life. And so the
timeless process of birth-and-death continues in ever-recurring
cycles. It is this intense activity that the astronomer watches
and records so assiduously, but with all his knowledge he does
not know what it is he is beholding -- the activity of gods.
Our sun is a god, and the bright orb that we see in the heavens
is but his outer garment. To the Theosophist, the words, a
'living organism,' imply a divine hierarch, who builds his own
world and 'creates' the host of lesser (potential) gods of his
hierarchy. This appears to be an unscientific statement, but it
is not really a very revolutionary idea when one studies the
history of human thought and notes that the idea of a cosmos
filled full with unensouled mechanisms is a comparatively recent
idea -- a temporary aberration, one might call it, from a truth
that is fundamental to human understanding.
Some astronomers have dared to take the at-present unpopular
view, as for example Dr. Knut Lundmark of Upsala University,
> Maybe the stars are ensouled Super-Beings whose soul-life we lack
> the possibility of understanding. The only thing we can do with
> our gross senses and imperfect instruments is to try to follow
> the physical processes in the mighty laboratory, the universe.
And Dr. F. R. Moulton more than once in his book CONSIDER THE
HEAVENS breaks loose from his scientific tether and lets his
spirit soar: where he speaks, for instance, of sub-electrons that
may be molecules in infinitesimal beings who live millions of
generations during one of our seconds; and on the other hand
super-galaxies that may be molecules in the body of conscious,
intelligent beings of super-cosmic magnitude.
We declare, then, repeating the wisdom teaching of all ages, that
the sun is a cosmic divinity. How then does this cosmic divinity
build for itself the world that we know of as the sun with its
attendant planets? Whence the materials of which the system is
built? In order to answer this question a word about nebulae is
first necessary, for they may be said to be the stuff from that
universes are made. We are all aware that astronomers study both
dark and bright nebulae. The dark ones, says occult science,
are, generally speaking, the dust of cosmic graveyards,
disassociated matter left over when all higher essences have been
withdrawn. Many of the bright ones, on the other hand, those
known as irresolvable nebulae, are infant universes, systems that
have made their first appearance on this plane.
Since the old idea of the conservation of matter is being
abandoned in the light of the new atomic physics, it has become
easier for the average mind to grasp the theosophical concept of
the emergence of matter from an invisible plane onto this
physical one. In fact, the very discoveries of the scientists
are significant pointers leading in our direction. Sir James
Jeans draws a natural conclusion from present-day scientific
knowledge when he says in his book, ASTRONOMY AND COSMOGONY:
> The type of conjecture that presents itself, somewhat
> insistently, is that the centers of the nebulae are of the nature
> of 'singular points' at which matter is poured into our universe
> from some other, and entirely extraneous, spatial dimension, so
> that, to a denizen of our universe, they appear as points at
> which matter is being continually created.
This eminent English scientist must have caught an intuition on
the wing, for he has stated here, in scientific language, a
profound occult teaching. His 'singular points' we might say
closely approximate to the zero-points, neutral points or
dissolving points of occult science. When a universe dies, and
the spiritual entity has withdrawn, carrying with it all the
higher essences of the system, the essential substance of the
lower elements is drawn up, so to speak, into such a dissolving
point. This is but another way of saying that the character of
matter changes and it disappears from this plane.
A simple analogy is that of a cube of sugar dissolved in water.
As a cube of sugar, visible to the eye, sensible to the touch,
the sugar has disappeared, yet it still exists, but in another
state, a state invisible to us. So, as a matter of fact, though
we speak of zero-points we must not imagine them as points in
space, or mathematical points -- remembering however that matter
in any state has location -- but merely a change in the state of
matter, what we would call matter disappearing onto another
Let us imagine our sun about to be born again into this visible
world. It has felt, long ages before, the divine thirst for
active existence, and has been cycling down through inner and
invisible planes, until it is ready to break through into this
one. Here, in one of these neutral points, it contacts the
sleeping substance that had belonged to it in a former
embodiment; it revivifies this, reawakens it, breathes into it
light and motion -- and once more we have a nebula in the
heavens, shining, not by light reflected from nearby stars but by
its own light. For light is life, all-permeant and
all-pervasive, manifesting in its highest aspects as pure
consciousness and, in the deeps of matter, as particles of
electricity -- crystallized light, as matter has been called.
And the nebula begins to whirl, not because of gravitational
attraction from some outside body, but as an expression of its
The nebula thus emerging into visibility is not composed of
matter as we know it, though the astronomer with the help of his
spectroscope supposes he finds in the nebula gases he meets with
on earth, such as hydrogen and oxygen. There are
correspondences, to be sure, but the wispy ethereal substance of
the nebula has not yet concreted and solidified even to the
degree of our most rarefied gases on earth. It is, in fact,
cosmic protoplasm, and only as the ages roll past and it 'cycles
down' still further into matter, does it take on the habiliments
of gross matter such as we know it.
The nebula that is to become our sun thus whirls through the
impulse of its own inner vitality, gathering to itself cosmic
matter as it rotates. At one stage of its development it sends
out spiral arms that, after long ages of whirling, form rings of
concentric circles. These rings condense in time into the nuclei
of the planets, while the central core of the nebula becomes the
sun, which in time becomes physical to some extent, though it is
only its 'outer robe' that contains the chemical elements as
known on earth. The nature of its center is as yet entirely
unknown to science.
The procedure described above may sound merely like a
modification of the Laplace Nebular Theory; and in some respects
there is a resemblance. Yet the important point to note is that
the mechanical laws upon which the Laplace theory, as such, is
built are totally inadequate to account for the irregularities in
the behavior and structure of the planets. Science itself has
recognized this and that is why the Laplace theory has been
We must remember that above and beyond any mechanical laws are
the will and intelligence of the sun and the planets themselves.
They follow one general pattern of action, to be sure; but
ultimately they are individual entities, with a will of their
own, with a life and a past of their own, and with a destiny
built up from the 'karma' generated during these past ages. You
cannot force the actions of celestial bodies into rigid
mechanical laws. They simply cannot be regimented, even in
Now the life of the sun itself is of such an enormous age that it
would be profitless here to discuss the length of it. The
planets on the other hand, so runs the teaching, live and die
many times during the life of the sun, and in general their
method of rebirth is the same as that of their central luminary.
Details perforce must differ, and it is the bewildering details
that often confuse and obscure the symmetry and consistent beauty
of the general picture.
Let us imagine then, a planet, our earth for instance, ready to
be reborn. It 'died,' let us say, eons ago; and now once again
it is feeling within it the stirring of desire for active
objective life. We shall not attempt here to describe the way in
which it builds for itself substantial globes on each of the
planes through which it cycles in its journey towards physical
life. That would take us too deep into metaphysical concepts
connected with what some are pleased to call other dimensions,
but which Theosophy usually refers to as other planes of matter
and consciousness, which have already been referred to.
Our planet-to-be has now reached the frontiers of this physical
world. It is magnetically attracted to the sleeping matter
waiting to be called into life in one of the neutral points
previously mentioned. These lower elements of its former self
now begin to stir in their sleep; they feel the force of the
incoming life-impulse, and they know that their day of activity
is about to begin. In time, a tiny nebula appears in the
heavens. It whirls from within, and it glows from within; and
from then on, a life of intense action is entered upon.
Unprotected at first by the hard rocky shell it later acquires,
the delicate wispy thing is at the mercy of hungry suns that will
swallow it up if it comes too near their terrific magnetic field.
For ages, it follows an irresponsible course in the heavens. In
cometary form, with streaming tail, it is pulled hither and yon,
entirely unconscious of its former home in our solar system.
Like a child, it does not yet recognize its own individuality and
its responsibility, but as time goes on it reaches 'years of
discretion' -- if indeed it is fortunate enough to escape being
swallowed up by some celestial being greater and stronger than
itself. Supposing that it escapes such a fate, it eventually
settles down in an orderly elliptical orbit around the sun to
which it formerly owed allegiance, and takes its appointed place
in the solar family.
It is at this point that its life as a real planet begins. Its
development as such not only takes place PARI PASSU with the
incoming of the hosts of lives that formerly knew it as their
home, but it is these very hosts of lives, what we call on our
earth the various kingdoms of nature, which are the builders of
the planet. The mineral kingdom, for instance, builds, upon the
ethereal foundation-pattern, the rocky earth as we know it, the
grossest encasement of the earth's planetary spirit.
Comparatively unawakened as this kingdom is, it follows the will
of this planetary spirit, is chained to a large degree into
The plant kingdom, which clothes this rocky globe with the
verdure of forests, shows a greater development in
self-expression. Here we see the beginnings of the processes of
palingenesis that characterize what is usually called organic
life. This in its physical aspects is carried to perfection in
the beast kingdom, which thus in its turn contributes to
earth-life the consummation of one line of evolution -- the
purely vehicular. But it is the human kingdom that raises the
status of the earth beyond that of a mere satellite. With the
gift of mind, man becomes master of the earth. He is the child
of the sun as well as of the earth. He is the sun's
representative on this earth. He is the testimony of the earth's
spiritual link with the solar deity.
It is easy to recognize the sun, in its physical aspect, as the
great heart of the solar system. Through the sun's expansion and
contraction in the great sunspot cycle, cyclones of vital energy
are pumped through all its arteries and veins. H.P. Blavatsky
says that if we could make the human heart luminous and could
project its action upon a screen we would see before us a
miniature working model of the solar heart. There is a constant
circulation of the solar life-fluid in unending cycles through
all the planetary bodies and back to the sun again. Thus is the
physical life of the system maintained.
Is it not then reasonable to recognize the sun also as the source
of our spiritual vitality? Our souls must be nourished as well as
our bodies. As man grows to a more complete self-consciousness
he partakes of this spiritual solar energy CONSCIOUSLY. Then the
most grandiose part of his evolution begins. He becomes the
finest flower that this earth can produce, and in time passes
beyond the need of earth-existence. Yet so finely adjusted are
the compassionate workings of the spiritual laws that at a new
embodiment of this planet he is able to be the transmitter of
this same spark of solar consciousness to the nascent humanity of
that future time -- the beast kingdom of today.
Thus is the intricate web of evolutionary development woven
through the ages. Each age produces upon this earth its own
flower of evolution; so that during the many embodiments of our
planet, by the time the sun-god has completed his life-cycle, the
grand project delineated in the morning of time has been carried
out to completion. The hosts of lives emanated at the birth of
the solar system, have become reunited with their solar parent,
bringing with them to enrich the cosmic deity the full measure of
their experience as free-willed individuals. Then it may be said
that the sun has not lived in vain!
When this final spiritualization of earth-beings (as well as
those of other planets) takes place, then the Solar System as a
system of material spheres has fulfilled its destiny for this
time-cycle, and the great Solar Pralaya takes place. The last
moment before its disappearance into 'silence and mystery' is
described by Dr. de Purucker in FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC
> When the Solar Pralaya arrives in its grand fullness of Time,
> there comes a moment, a final instant that is the utter
> completion or consummation of all things in that system; and in
> the twinkling of an eye, literally, and instantly, all the
> planets and the sun itself are 'blown out,' as it were. The last
> one of all manifested beings has at that instant gone to higher
> planes; and there being nothing whatsoever left to hold physical
> matter together anywhere within the Solar System, that System
> immediately falls to pieces and vanishes away . . . like an
> instantaneous shadow passing over a wall.
> But is this the end? Is this annihilation? There are no final
> endings. Some day, in some future age, the Life that informed
> our Solar System will be drawn back into the fields of space
> where it had lived before. And perhaps at that time, on some
> other planetary system, astronomer-seers, noting a delicate wisp
> of starry substance newly appearing in the heavens, will say,
> "Look, a sun-god is wakening again into life!"
SUPER-SENSUOUS PLANES AND MIND
By James H. Connelly
[From THE PATH, October 1894, pages 220-24.]
Theosophy affirms the existence of super-sensuous planes in the
Macrocosm, each of which bears its part in the composition of the
Microcosm (man), and occultism -- or, in other words, advanced
science -- demonstrates beyond question the intimate relations
between them and the material one that is the field of our
Evidence of their existence is also found in a proper
understanding of the operations of the mind. These may be
broadly classed as imagination, perception, reception, retention,
recollection, ratiocination, and impulsion. That this
classification is crudely general may be admitted, but it is
sufficiently definite for present purposes, which do not include
a brain, in which it is not unreasonable to suppose they inhere
as unconsciously cherished remainders from the exceptionally
strong range of impressions naturally resultant from preceding
existences, subject to the needs and desires of the corporeal
Those who affirm the capacity of gross matter to generate thought
assume to find support for their hypotheses in the waste, by
mental energy, of the gray tissue of the corporeal brain, but
they might as well ascribe to flowing blood the cutting of the
vein from which it issues. The waste is an effect, not a cause.
All energy is destructive, or, to speak more accurately, is
reconstructive, and "the power that builds, unbuilds, and builds
again" is ceaselessly at work.
Molecular disintegration is hastened by all activity in every
sort of tissue, and, if a proper balance is maintained, the work
of molecular rearrangement is proportionately hastened by
nutrition. Some scientists now affirm that cholesterin -- a
fatty salt found in the bile, lungs, and brain, and for which
until very recently nobody saw any particular use -- is the
especial nutriment of the grey matter of the brain. Will the
corporealists affirm that it is the cholesterin that does the
thinking; that an heroic impulse or poetic thought is flattened
crystals, insoluble in water but solvable in alcohol and ether,
having well defined angles of crystallization and obtainable in
quantity from gallstones?
The gentlemen who study mind from the standpoint of matter know a
little about the physical brain, but not all, by any means, even
of that. Is there one of them who knows the use of the pineal
gland -- which Descartes affirmed to be "the seat of the soul" --
or can account for the gray sand found in it, not present in
idiots or infants, scant in old age, and most abundant in
middle-age brains of notable mental vigor ?
The primitive forces already spoken of manifest themselves in the
earliest moments of an infant's existence and do not cease while
life lasts. They all tend towards experience of and repletion
with external stimuli that correspond to their nature. All
experiences of sensation thus perceived are recorded in the
plastic substance of the molecular brain as vestiges that may be
stirred from latency to manifestation either by repetition of the
stimuli primarily causing them, by contrasting stimuli, or by a
strenuous effort of the mind, consciously or unconsciously
applied, as vibrations through the astral medium.
Evidently, the depth of such latent impressions must be
proportioned to the strength and frequency of the experiences of
like stimuli of which the vestiges are resultants. Hence, it is
but natural that the larger number of vestiges accumulated from
the lower, or animal, senses exhaustive analysis of the
infinitely complex functions of the mind, a work in which even so
close and careful a reasoner as Raue found himself hampered by
the limitations of a volume of almost six hundred pages.
Ultra-materialists -- whom it would be better perhaps to call
corporealists -- affirm that all thought is a produce of
molecular modes of motion, mere expression of activity in
brain-tissue cells, and point to the discernible effects of
mental action upon the gray matter of the brain as evidence in
support of their hypothesis. This is as correct as it would be
to say that the copper of the etcher's plate originates the
picture that, in lines and dots, is bitten into its surface by
the acid skillfully applied by the artist in conformity to the
requirements of the ideal in his mind.
The fact of the matter is that the gross matter of which the
brain is composed, whether gray or white, great or small in
quantity, and much or little convoluted, is of itself as little
capable of originating thought, or even sensing an impression, as
a stone would be, or the brain itself if the life-principle were
separated from it. But within that brain, present in every
molecule and even atom of it -- yet as far beyond the
corporealist's discovery as the conditions of life on Sirius --
is the astral brain, which is also matter, but of such
slenderness in its atomic constitution that it may not be, in any
way, apprehended by our gross senses.
The functions of that astral brain are perception of sensations
and their translation to the mind, and the application of the
forces resultant from such mental cognition to the direction,
through the gross brain, of subservient physical impulse. What,
then, is the gross brain? It is simply a cellular aggregation of
molecular matter having such specialized differentiation as
enables it to store up as impressions the vibrations conveyed to
it by the astral brain, hold them as latent vestiges of
sensation, and translate them, when required, to the lower rate
of vibrations appreciable by the denser molecular matter of the
body, so becoming the immediate motor force for action.
The capacity for development with which it came into being was a
matter of Karmic award, being prescribed by its environment, the
hereditary influences upon it, and various other circumstances
that it is not necessary now to particularize. All have their
effect in determining its quality -- as the sun, air, soil, and
moisture govern the growing plant -- but nothing endowing it, in
any degree, with the power of starting vibrations, or -- in other
words -- originating thought. Even the primitive forces, the
capacity for mere sensory perceptions, do not belong to the gross
brain but rather to the astral -- which are most productive of
experiences in corporeal life -- should eventually predominate in
strength over those of the higher or intellectual range.
This affords an explanation of the power of Kama -- or animal
desire -- in controlling our lives, so that a pessimistic good
man has been moved to declare, "Man is born to evil as the sparks
fly upward." It also, if we reflect upon the extensions of this
influence, enables us to comprehend the seeming mystery of the
formation, during life, of the Kama-rupa, the wholly animal soul
that becomes perceptible after death as an objective entity. And
it makes apparent why and how men's characters are so often
stamped upon their bodily features and forms. All the
sensualities and vices that stain men's souls stamp themselves
first in deep impressions upon the plastic brain, and thence find
expression in the outward form to every part of which that brain
extends its influence.
It is erroneous to suppose that the brain is all lodged in the
cavity of the skull. It is in the spine and the nerve ganglions,
and practically throughout all the extensions of the nervous
system. Virchow characterized the newborn child as "an almost
purely spinal being," and Pfluger's experiments upon frogs
demonstrated that consciousness of sensations, capacity to locate
them, and power to direct corporeal action were all retained by
the unfortunate batrachians upon which he experimented, after
their skulls had been emptied of brain matter.
The transference of consciousness of a still higher range from
the brain to the solar plexus, under certain abnormal nervous
conditions, may also be cited as an additional evidence of the
diffusion of the specialized matter responsive to astral
vibrations. So throughout the entire man runs his gross brain,
and coextensive with it his astral brain, energizing it,
directing its formative work of giving outward demonstration, in
all his physical being, of what he has made of his soul.
Perception of sensations and their retention as vestiges for
stimulation of force at the command of recollection -- which is a
mandatory vibration in the mind -- may then be said to be powers
located in the astral brain and its tool, the gross organ. But
beyond these is the higher range of faculties, ratiocination,
reception of purely mental impressions (either from purely
subjective concepts or by reflection from the mentality of
another), and finally the power of impulsion of mental force upon
others. To be made potential, all these must necessarily find
translation through the lower rate of the astral medium to the
still further diminished rate of the gross brain, if eventual
manifestation on the material plane is sought, but not otherwise.
That sensory perception is an attribute of the astral brain and
not of the corporeal is sufficiently evidenced by its highest
manifestation in the experience of the many who possess the power
of "seeing on the astral plane" either normally or under the
abnormal stimulus of some phase of hypnotic control. The
entities seen by so-called "spiritualistic mediums," and that
they mistake for spirits of the dead, are on the astral plane.
Charcot, Binet Freres, James, and many other investigators have
shown the ability of a hypnotic subject to become a witness of
things that were not within the range of physical perception and,
being outside the knowledge of any person whose mentality could
have reached the subject, could only have been sensed through
perception of astral vibrations. And the state of artificial
somnambulism or self-induced trance is simply an excitation of
the astral percipiency to an abnormal degree.
These phenomena must not be confused with others, very closely
related yet altogether different, in which the compelling force
of one mentality exerted upon another is very clearly
demonstrated. The mind of every human being, in proportion to
its development, possesses individual capacity in ability to
reason, to draw deductions from vestiges of perceptions at its
command, or impressions of a higher range, and thus to elect for
itself between good and evil. This constitutes its moral
responsibility and determines its evolutionary progress, whether
downward under the domination of its Kamic control or upward to
It is likewise susceptible, in greater or lesser degree, to the
vibrations projected upon its plane by other minds, affecting and
in some cases even paralyzing that power of ratiocination. This
is the case when it is subjected to the will of another mentality
exercising upon it hypnotic control, when it is rendered mentally
-- and it would justly seem -- morally irresponsible. It may, on
the other hand, if sufficiently forceful to impel such vibrations
on the mental plane, in the same way take from others their
mentality temporarily and even, to some extent, permanently.
Herein we find the awful danger attendant upon the practice of
hypnotism, for both the "hypnotist" and the "sensitive."
INTERFERENCE BY ADEPTS
By Alexander Fullerton
[From THE PATH, December 1892, pages 283-86.]
When things are palpably going wrong in any department of life,
and it is known that men deeply interested therein have both the
power and the skill to effete correction, they are naturally
expected to apply them. To abstain seems a denial of either the
interest or the ability. And so when the bitter sorrows of a
vast humanity, or calamitous mismanagement in national affairs,
or the ills of a locality pain a philanthropic heart, and when it
ejaculates a wish that it was mighty enough to arrest the whole
evil and dry away the tears from every face, instinctively it
wonders why Those who are do not.
What is the use of prerogative if it lies motionless when most
needed; of what real value are superior knowledge and power if
they do not avert catastrophe and abate suffering? And, indeed,
what are we to think of the claim that They are tender and
sympathetic and beneficent, if on the face of things They appear
wholly indifferent and inactive? Masters would seem a superfluity
in Nature if, while able to cure evil and establish good, They
let each work itself out untouched.
We shall never solve this anomaly unless through the principle of
analogy. Do we instantaneously rectify every evil where we have
the power? Every parent and employer can answer this question,
every teacher and guardian. All intelligent education is based
on the doctrine that truth is real to a mind only as it is
realized, and that the realization comes through experience.
Guidance, suggestion, warning may be proffered, but, if defied,
no amount of coercive restraint can vindicate their wisdom to the
recipient: he must learn it only through the results of defiance.
A muscular father could always hold back a son from games or
projects involving risk, but only at the sacrifice of his own
time and the boy's experience. A teacher could always interpose
when a pupil was at bay over a problem in mathematics or
translation, but what would become of the patience, the
resolution, the persistence, the mental dexterity that are the
fruit only of self-effort? And what, too, of the healthy glow
from conquest that is sweeter far than a relief conferred?
It is by undergoing all the processes that lead from inexperience
to maturity that a mind becomes developed in its own powers, and
that it sees the reason for things and the reality underlying
form. This never arrives through the dictum of another, or his
enforcement of counsel however wise. The governments known as
"paternal" are fatal to self-reliance, and foster a childishness
of spirit and judgment that results in national decay. It is as
men and nations work out their own problems that they reach wise
and enduring issues.
Nor is this the only reason why Adepts are not interposing
powers. Ordinary men, being less enlightened, must necessarily
have other convictions, and the less the enlightenment the more
positive the adherence to them. Any different course would
therefore have to be secured through sheer coercion, and the
violent subjection of another's will is a thing repugnant to the
universal Law, to Justice, Right, and the initial principles of
Occult training. An Adept's nature would preclude the wish for
any pressure beyond currents of intelligence and good feeling,
and, if it could so far reverse itself, it would be held in check
Then there is the deep conviction of the sacredness of Karma. To
wrest forces from their natural course would do much more than
introduce confusion and disorder into the moral world: it would
be to create new forces to react on their authors. Thus, the
two-fold result would follow, that the normal order would be
disarranged and its ordained good is lost, and the created forces
would rebound into the sphere that, because of its occultly
acquired harmony with Law, has surpassed the range of Karmic
influence. Illegal interference by Adepts would therefore not
only make things worse for men, it would put an end to Adeptship.
But how, then, it may be asked, can Adepts act at all? Why is not
suggestion, influence, thought-impression as much an interference
as restraint? Simply because it is in accordance with Law and not
in contravention of Law. Here again analogy illustrates. We
point out to a less experienced person a better way than his own;
we suggest to our fellowmen more sagacious plans and easier
methods. The bringing of more light is ever a gracious and
worthy act. It proffers, it does not insist; it aids, it does
not coerce. The choice, and therefore the responsibility, still
rest on the one approached. There is no subversion of will, no
restraint of freedom. No counter forces are aroused, and no
Karmic reaction excited. The gentle influences of a kind
cooperation steal peacefully over the mind addressed, and what
would be resentment at dictation is gratitude for assistance.
There is health in help; there would be palsy in prescription.
Therefore, it would seem, the policy of Adepts finds its
vindication in our own. When we wish to change the course of a
neighbor or a nation, we know that it can effectively be done
only as the conviction prompting to that course is changed, and
so we expound the contrary considerations and suggest such facts
as may operate on reason.
Absence of dogmatic method is the first requisite to tact. The
plastic material of the human mind is molded by manipulation, not
by blows. Thus the Adepts work. On the flowing currents, They
let loose a thought that shall be borne along to a harbor where
it will be welcomed; They put a motive within the attractive
range of a vigorous soul; They gently feed an aspiration that is
weakening or a force that has declined. Ever alert for that
beneficence of which They are the embodiment, They see with
eagerness every glance towards higher possibilities, every motion
to a loftier plane.
Then They aid it. They know how They were aided as They
struggled on to Their present sphere, and They pay the debt by
passing on that given strength. It may not be possible to
obliterate human misery, for nothing can do that save
obliteration of the human ignorance and folly that produce
misery, but it is possible to prompt a wish for its obliteration,
and then to help each philanthropist attempting it.
However silent the Masters may seem, and however remote and
listless, no man who deeply feels the call to altruistic effort
need doubt that it comes from that hidden Brotherhood, and no man
who responds to it need imagine that They who have reached him
with Their voice will not reach him with Their help.
HISTORY AND TENETS OF THE WALDENSES
By M.A. Moyal
[From THE ARYAN PATH, October 1952, pages 450-54.]
In the early Middle Ages, it was the expectation of many that the
thousandeth anniversary of Jesus' birth would witness the end of
the world. All over Christendom, to work their passage to
Paradise, thousands of people donated their earthly belongings to
the Holy See. Such an accumulation of wealth, and the previous
territorial acquisition of "St. Peter's Patrimony," over which
the Popes ruled as temporal rulers, confirmed them in their
authoritarian and centralizing tendencies. This authoritarianism
accounts for the Great Schism of 1054, which divided Christendom
into the Roman Catholic or Western and the Greek Orthodox or
As the great wealth and power of the Roman Catholic clergy did
not go without a certain element of corruption, many free minds
in Western Europe began to question the need for a privileged
caste of priests. Such were soon to advocate the liberty of
every believer to interpret Holy Writ according to his own
conscience so as to return to the humility of the first
Christians. Among these champions of freedom of mind, in the
face of temporal rulers and priests alike, were Peter de Bruys,
who did his most important work at Toulouse; Henry de Cluny, from
Le Mans; Arnold, from Brescia, and Pierre Waldo from Lyons. The
first three began their preaching in the first half of the
twelfth century. Pierre Waldo, who began his work in 1173, was
the founder of the Waldensian sect, which eventually absorbed the
followings of the three previous reformers and took on most of
their teachings. Most of the medieval anti-Catholic sects are
extinct, but the Waldensian sect is still in existence. It
preceded the establishment of the Protestant Churches by three
and a half centuries.
Pierre Waldo was an intensely religious merchant from Lyons. As
he was too untutored to understand Latin, he got the New
Testament translated into the local vernacular. Striving to live
in the spirit of Jesus, he shared all his great wealth among the
poor and began teaching in public the need for voluntary poverty.
He soon wondered whether man-made laws had any value before God
and reached the conclusion that no man had the right to take
life, which is God-given. He seems to have forbidden swearing
oaths under any circumstances and rejected as valueless prayers
and alms on behalf of the souls of the dead.
Pierre Waldo soon gathered a large following and sent lay
preachers, both men and women, of humble birth and untutored like
himself, to spread his teachings far and wide, holding that there
was no need for a preacher to be consecrated a priest by a
Bishop, so long as he was moved to preach by a deep faith.
The Archbishop of Lyons wanted to restrain him from interpreting
the Gospels and preaching. Pierre Waldo made light of the
interdiction, on the strength of two texts, "Go ye therefore and
teach all nations" and "We ought to obey God rather than men."
The Waldenses were expelled from Lyons and excommunicated in 1184
at the Council of Verona. Pierre Waldo took the position that he
was not to obey a man (the Pope) who was forbidding what Jesus
had commanded to be done. He complained that he and his
followers were treated by the clergy in exactly the same way as
the Apostles had been treated by the Scribes and the Pharisees
when the former were expelled from the synagogues for spreading
Pierre Waldo held that it was not that his sect was seceding from
Catholicism, but Catholicism from his sect. He termed his
followers "the only Primitive Christians, heirs to the original
Church" and meant to preserve them from the "successive
alterations introduced by Rome in the Evangelical cult."
Nevertheless, the organization of the Waldensian Church, which
superseded the simple system of Waldo's lifetime, with its
annually elected MINISTRI, retained many Roman Catholic features
as the Anglican Church did.
(Quite a few of these features were to be jettisoned under the
influence of Calvin, who was to have, four centuries later,
considerable influence on the doctrines of the then much
persecuted and decimated Waldenses.)
Thus, later Waldensian priests made vows of obedience, chastity,
and poverty. The community had Bishops, priests or Barbes and
Deacons, in charge of the material administration of the Church's
affairs. Many of the Barbes were trained at the religious centre
The community was thus divided into laymen or "Believers" and
priests or Barbes (as all Waldensian priests were subsequently
called). Hence the popular nickname attached to the followers of
the sect, Barbets (water-spaniels). As the only distinctive sign
of their office, priests wore sandals perforated in the shape of
Every community had a Hospice offering hospitality to itinerant
missionaries, where the "Believers" assembled to hear them
preach. The service consisted of readings of selected chapters
from the New Testament, followed by a sermon, after which the
kneeling congregation prayed. After the service, the Barbes
would hear the voluntary confessions of "Believers," but were not
entitled to absolve them, as the sect held that only God could do
so. Sinners were made to fast and to pray. Children were
baptized by sprinkling.
The tenets held by the Waldenses include the following:
No good works wrought by man can make amends for his sins, or
acquire merit. (This is tantamount to Calvin's dogma of
Predestination, though the Waldenses thought of it only as God's
foreknowledge.) There is no purgatory.
No priest, no man, can turn the Host into the body of Jesus.
(This is a denial of Transubstantiation.)
The sacrifice of the Mass is an abomination.
God's grace does not depend on sacraments; these are only
Jesus is the only intercessor; one ought to imitate the Saints,
but not invoke them. Their cult is tantamount to idolatry and
their images ought to be removed from churches.
Baptism is only a symbol of regeneration; actual regeneration
takes place only if and when there is a living faith.
The ordination of the priest is not founded upon Holy Writ.
Confession of sins is only to God; anybody, even a layman, can
hear a confession.
Matrimony is dissolved ipso facto by adultery.
Every Christian is a Prophet and a King and can make sure through
the Holy Scriptures whether he is really taught the Word of God,
and he ought to make all the efforts that he can to propagate it.
As Prophets and Kings, all Christians are entitled to take part
in the government of the Church.
The following are some of the early Waldensian texts:
LA BARCA, a poem of 56 stanzas representing man's life as a boat
sailing towards the heavenly haven, and the seafarers will reach
the goal only if they take Jesus as the pilot and His merits as
their only treasure;
LE NOVEL SERMON sets out to expose the error of the ways of a
mundane world and the need for serving God;
LE NOVEL COMFORT, in 75 stanzas, seeks to hearten the Believer in
his rejection of a mundane life and encourages him to work at his
salvation through the Gospels;
LA NOBLE LEYCZON is a poem on the three laws -- of Nature, Moses,
and the Gospels;
Another poem paraphrases the Parable of the Sower, etc.
Besides their great historic and religious interest, the
Waldensian books are claimed to have been composed about the end
of the twelfth century and so to possess a unique philosophical
interest, for they were written in the Southern Romance language
spoken at that time in the region about Lyons. Nearly all the
important texts of the Middle Ages were written in Latin, and, to
find an equivalent of the Waldensiar texts, the scholar has to go
back to the ninth century "Oath of Strasbourg," a mutual security
pact made between Charles the Bald of France and Louis the German
against then brother and rival, Lothair of Lotharingia. In order
that the soldiers of both rulers might understand what it was all
about, this pact was couched in the spoken language of both
Waldensian literature, including, besides these books, many
sermons of preachers and the voluminous correspondence exchanged
between the sect and Luther and Calvin, all written in this
vernacular, contains some of the earliest Romance texts. In
order to study these, scholars are drawn to the so-called
Waldensian Valleys, high and bleak valleys in the heart of the
lofty Alps, to which the persecuted sect took about the
fourteenth century. The Waldenses today, perhaps 50,000 strong,
form a compact community, still passionately devoted to their
forefathers' tenets and speaking both a Romance PATOIS and French
as well as Italian, though they are Italians by nationality.
This highland community is about all that is left of the many
followers the Waldenses boasted in the Middle Ages. Some of the
first disciples of Pierre Waldo were itinerant hawkers and
weavers and this fact goes to explain how his teachings soon
spread like wildfire over Europe, from Bulgaria to Spain. As
early as 1197, King Pierre II of Aragon ordered all his
Waldensian subjects beheaded.
These champions of the freedom of conscience in the face of
Rome's absolutism were butchered like wild beasts and burnt at
the stake in gigantic autos-da-fe ("acts of faith" -- what
irony!). Their pitiless persecution at the hands of the
Inquisition constitutes one of the darkest blots on the record of
the Roman Catholic Church.
When, in 1209, Pope Innocent III instituted a crusade against
both Waldenses and Albigenses, mainly concentrated in the south
of France, hundreds of thousands of Northern adventurers, caring
far less about the salvation of their souls (which was promised
by the Pope) than for the prospect of plundering one of the
richest and most civilized regions in Europe, rushed to attack
Count Raymond of Toulouse, protector of both these sects. The
Crusaders put to the sword whole populations of cities taken by
storm. The Crusade lasted for 20 years and cost hundreds of
thousands of lives.
(There is a tendency to lump both Waldenses and Albigenses
together because they were allied against Rome and suffered from
the same persecutions, but the Waldenses did not profess the
Manichaean tenets of the Albigenses.)
The Waldenses' joining hands with the various proponents of the
Reformation touched off a second wave of persecutions. The
troops of King Francis I of France slaughtered, in 1545, the
whole populations of Merindol and Cabries, two Waldensian towns
in Provence. The accession to the throne of the once Protestant
King Henry IV of France brought a respite to the French
Waldenses. Like all Protestants in France, under the terms of
the Edict of Nantes, they were granted freedom of worship and
certain guarantees against the renewal of persecutions.
But their co-religionists in the Duchy of Savoy were to fare far
worse. In 1655, the troops of the Duke of Savoy tried to butcher
the Waldenses wholesale. They put three Waldensian valleys to
the sword; some fortunately were forewarned and escaped. The
Protestant states in Europe intervened and secured for the
survivors leave to emigrate to Switzerland, Holland, Wurttemberg,
and Brandenburg. The Waldenses had to undertake not to seek to
return to the Alpine valleys.
But the exile proved too hard on the highlanders who passionately
cherished their bleak mountains. They were so homesick that in
1689 they resolved to fight their way back, if need be. Under
the leadership of Pastor Arnaud and a French officer, Turel, 800
mountaineers from all over Europe gathered on the borders of
Switzerland and Savoy. In one of the most daring and moving
feats in history, cutting across the Alps in daily stretches of
40 kilometers, through mountain passes eight to ten thousand feet
high, they got back to their valleys. Both King Louis XIV of
France, who had revoked the Edict of Nantes and Duke Victor
Amadeus of Savoy sent their best troops against them. Incredibly
enough, that handful of mountaineers, with scant military
training, time and again cut to pieces the forces sent against
them under the best generals.
Those Waldenses gave to mankind a great and noble lesson, for
they proved that there is something stronger than brute strength:
the indomitable spirit of free men fighting against hopeless odds
for their homes and the spiritual values they held dearer even
than life. Their courage eventually earned for them the right to
be left at peace in their high valleys, to follow their own ways
of life, and to worship as they saw fit.
TEACHINGS OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE
By G. de Purucker
[From IN THE TEMPLE, pages 23-31.]
The Mystic Birth
Companions, tonight I would like to say a few things to you that
may explain a little at least of what takes place in certain
parts of the world at the Winter Solstice. You know that there
are four turning points of the year, so to speak: respectively
the Solstices of Winter and Summer and the two Equinoxes of the
Spring and of the Autumn.
The cycle of the year among the ancient peoples was always
considered a symbol of the life of man, or, indeed, of the life
of the Universe. Birth at the Winter Solstice, Adolescence at
the Spring Equinox, Adulthood, full-blown strength and power, at
the Summer Solstice, and then at the Autumnal Equinox the time of
the Great Passing. Birth at the beginning of the year;
Adolescence -- trials and their conquest -- at the Spring
Equinox; then the Summer Solstice representing the period of
initiation when the Great Renunciation is made; and the cycle
closing with the time of the Autumnal Equinox, the period of the
Great Passing. This cycle of the year likewise symbolizes the
training in Chelaship.
At the time of the Winter Solstice -- that which even now is
taking place -- two are the main Degrees that neophytes or
Initiants must pass through, to wit, the Fourth Degree and the
Seventh or last: the Fourth for less great men although they are
great men none the less; and the last or Seventh Initiation,
coming but at rare intervals as the ages cycle by, being the
birth of the Buddhas, of the "Christs" as they are called in your
During the initiation of the less great men, men of less
grandiose spiritual and intellectual capacity than is the human
material out of which the Buddhas are born, during this Fourth
Initiation, the postulant is taught to free himself from all the
trammels of mind and from the lower four principles of his
constitution; and being thus set free, he passes along the
magnetic Channels or Circulations of the Universe, even to the
portals of the Sun, but there and then he stops and returns.
Three days usually are the time required for this, and then the
man arises a full Initiate indeed, but with a realization that
ahead of him are still loftier peaks to scale on that lonely
Path, that still Path, that small Path, leading to divinity.
As regards the Seventh Initiation, this occurs in a cycle lasting
some 2160 human years, i.e., the zodiacal time that it takes for
a zodiacal Sign to pass through a constellation backwards into
the next constellation: in other words, what is called among
mystics in the Occident the Messianic Cycle. When indeed the
planets Mercury and Venus, and the Sun and the Moon and the
Earth, are situated in syzygy, then the freed Monad of the lofty
neophyte can pass along the magnetic pathway through these bodies
and continue direct to the heart of the Sun.
For fourteen days, the man left on earth is as in a trance, or
walks about in a daze, in a quasi-stupor; for the inner part of
him, the real part of him, is peregrinating through the spheres.
Two weeks later, during the light half of the lunar cycle -- of
the month -- i.e., when the moon stands full, his peregrinating
Monad returns rapidly as flashing thought along the same pathway
by which he ascended to Father-Sun, retaking to himself the
habiliments that he dropped on each planet as he passed through
it: the habiliments of Mercury, the habiliments of Venus, the
habiliments of the Moon -- of the lunar body: of the lunar orb --
and from the Moon the Monad returns to the entranced body left
Then for a while, shorter or longer according to circumstances,
his whole being is irradiated with the solar spiritual splendor,
and he is a Buddha just "born." All his body is in flaming glory
as it were; and from his head, and from back of his head in
especial, as an aureole, there spring forth rays, rays of glory
like a crown. It is because of this that crowns in the Occident
and diadems in the Hither East were formerly worn by those who
had passed through this Degree, for verily they are Sons of the
Sun, crowned with the solar splendor.
In these initiations, the man dies. Initiation is death, death
of the lower part of the man; and in fact, the body dies but is
nevertheless held alive not by the spirit-soul that has flown
from it, as a butterfly frees itself from its chrysalis, but kept
alive by those who are watching and waiting and guarding. It is
due to this holding of the bodily triad alive that the
peregrinating spirit-soul is enabled finally to return as a bird
to its nest, where it recognizes its former bodily home, and is
"reborn," but in this case reborn into the same body.
During the period of time when the peregrinating Monad is absent,
whether it be for three days or for fourteen, the excarnate Monad
has followed the pathways of death literally, but has done so
quickly and within the fortnight. In actual fact, the process is
virtually identical with that followed in the case of excarnation
and reincarnation, for it returns to the entranced body along the
pathways of rebirth, of reembodiment, and is, as it were, reborn
into the old body instead of into a new one; and thus was it said
of such a man in India that he is a Dwija, as the Brahmans of
Aryavarta put it -- a "twice-born" Initiate.
This phrase also has one meaning more: One who is reborn from the
ashes of the old life, which life is now burnt out and dead. But
it has also the deeper significance of which I have spoken.
These Seventh-Degree Initiations that occur once during the
so-called Messianic Cycle just spoken of, and that produce the
spiritual fruit of a minor Buddha, called a Bodhisattva, must not
be confused with one of the greatest of initiations known to the
human race, i.e., those belonging solely to the racial Buddhas.
There are in any Root-Race but two racial Buddhas. But the
Bodhisattvas of differing degrees of evolutionary grandeur are
very numerous. The cyclical Bodhisattvas as above hinted come
one each in every Messianic Cycle of 2160 years and are usually
of an Avataric character.
There are cases, my Brothers, where neophytes fail, but, as you
heard last night, those who fail have another chance in other
lives; but the penalty for failure in this life is either death
or madness, and the penalty is very just. Solemn indeed are the
warnings given to those who would fly like the birds into the
ethers of the inner worlds and follow the tracks of those who
have preceded them along the Circulations of the Universe.
I would try to make one more thing clear. When you look up at
the violet dome of night, or, during the daytime raise your eyes
and look at the splendor of Father-Sun shining in the blue vault
of midday, how empty the spacial expanse seems to you to be --
how seeming vacuous, how seeming void! Your western, your
Occidental, astronomers will tell you that the earth is a sphere
poised in the void, in the ether, free except for the
gravitational attraction of the Sun, and that the Earth is
following its pathway, its orbit, around the Sun not otherwise
than gravitationally attached thereto: in short, that Space is
emptiness. Ay, indeed, SPACE, mystically speaking, is Sunyata,
emptiness in the sense of our own esoteric significance, but by
no means "emptiness" as your Occidental astronomers understand
it; for verily the space that you look at, which your physical
eyes think they see -- or donít see -- is substance so dense, so
concrete, that no human conception can give any clear idea
thereof to the brain-mind otherwise than by mathematics.
One of your Occidental physicist-astronomers, J.J. Thompson,
some years ago calculated that the ether of space was two
thousand million times denser than lead. This revoices an old
doctrine; but remember this, Brothers, that the proper manner of
expressing this fact all depends upon the way in which we look at
it. We have eyes evolved to sense, to pierce, the matter of our
sphere, and we see what seems to us to be vacuity, emptiness; but
actually that seeming vacuity or emptiness is absolutely full,
is, in fact, a plenum, a pleroma, full of worlds and spheres and
planes, full of hierarchies, of evolving entities on these worlds
and spheres and planes.
Please try clearly to grasp this idea. Our entire Surya-system,
our entire Solar System in other words, called the Egg of Brahma,
may be looked at from one very true standpoint as an enormous
ovoid aggregate body poised in space; and were some astronomer on
some distant in the stellar deeps to see our Egg of Brahma, and
were he to see it from the proper superior plane or world, our
entire Solar System would appear to him as an ovoid body of light
-- as an egg-shaped irresolvable nebula. This would include all
the EMPTINESS that we see, or think we see, the emptiness so
called, and therefore would include all our solar world of the
Egg of Brahma, from the very heart of Father-Sun to beyond the
confines of what your astronomers call the farthermost planets.
Hearken well to this: The Egg of Brahma is composed of concentric
spheres centered in the Sun, and each one of these spheres is a
cosmic world. Its heart -- the heart of each one of them -- is
the Sun. The world or sphere of our Earth is one such, and
surrounds the Sun as a sphere of dense substance; and the nucleus
in this sphere or Egg, for such it is, is what you men call our
Earth. Yes, and of Uranus too; but remember that Uranus belongs
not to our own system of Sacred Worlds, although it belongs to
our Egg of Brahma.
In this connection, note well that although any such concentric
sphere such as our Earth, or that of Jupiter, or that of Mercury,
is, de facto, such an Egg or Sphere of Brahma, yet the nucleus of
each such sphere, or what men call a planet, if seen in motion
from another plane, would appear to be a wave or ripple advancing
steadily in and around a solid or semi-solid zone or belt; this
zone or belt actually being what we call on our plane the locus
of the orbit of such planetary body as of Earth, or of Jupiter,
or of Mercury.
The meaning of this again is that a planetary orbit such as that
of Earth and seen from another plane, is an actual belt or zone
surrounding the Sun, being the pathway so to speak, of the
nucleus that in this zone can be considered in movement as a
ripple or wave moving steadily around this belt, zone, or ring.
From what has just been said, it becomes immediately obvious that
what we call a planet can be properly viewed from three different
planes of vision, as three different things: first as a globe
such as we men on this plane see it; from another plane as a wave
or ripple, circularly advancing in and following the course of an
annular zone or belt surrounding the Sun; and third, as a
concentric sphere, or rather spheroid, or egg, with its center at
the heart of the Sun.
These concentric worlds or spheres are in constant circular
movement of revolution around the heart of the Sun, the spheres
within each other, somewhat like the skins of an onion, and yet
each one is formed of different matters, in a sense, i.e., of
matters in a different state from the matters of the other
spheres, and hence they pass through each other as easily as if
the others did not exist. Hence it is that our eye can see some
of the stellar bodies lying beyond the orbits of Mars and of
Jupiter and of Saturn.
All we see of the stellar host outside of our Egg of Brahma
happens to be those particular stars or suns that because of
their having attained the same degree of material evolution
whereon we ourselves now stand and where our physical sun is,
therefore are visible to our organs of sight. Were we living on
another plane, our vision could not penetrate the respective
matters, otherwise the orbits or spheres, of Mars, Jupiter, or
These three planets alone hide billions and billions and billions
of suns that we during our present Manvantara cannot ever see.
Some day in the far distant future, as evolution works on the
matter of our world-sphere, we shall see some of the Raja-Suns
now hid by these three planets -- by the spheres of these three
planets, for the planets and their respective spheres are really
the same. It is precisely because the Egg of Brahma is
substantial throughout, and that interplanetary space is
therefore substantial throughout, that light belonging to this
fourth cosmic plane can pass from stars to us.
In speaking of these concentric spheres, please remember also
that a proper conception of the structure and characteristics of
the Egg of Brahma must include a realization of the grandiose
fact that there are many more planetary concentric spheres than
those of the eight, or nine, or ten planets known to Occidental
There are scores of planets in the Solar System that are utterly
invisible by means of any Occidental astronomical instrument or
apparatus, and furthermore, and still more important, there are
numbers of these concentric spheres that belong to entirely other
planes of the cosmos, and each one of these invisible concentric
spheres, which are in some cases superior, and in some cases
inferior, to our plane, is as fully inhabited with its
multifarious hosts of beings as our own plane is. Each plane has
its own hierarchies of inhabitants, its own inhabited worlds with
their dwellers, with their countries, with their mountains, and
seas, and lakes, and dwellings, and what not, even as our Earth
These concentric world-spheres considered as a whole were the
Crystalline Spheres of the ancients, which your Occidental
astronomers have so grossly misunderstood, and therefore have so
What indeed did these words mean: Crystalline Spheres? The
meaning was, spheres of which the center was the Sun and that
were transparent to our eyesight. Just as glass is very dense
and yet is transparent to our eyesight, so are the ethers of our
fourth cosmic plane very dense and yet transparent to our
To the inhabitants of Earth viewing the phenomena of the Solar
System from the Earth, the entire system of concentric spheres,
due to the Earthís rotation, seems to revolve around the Earth,
and hence arises the geocentric way of looking at the apparent
movements of the planets and the Sun and the Moon and the stars.
All things in Universal Nature are repetitive in structure and in
action. The small mirrors the Great, and the Great reproduces
itself in the small, for verily the twain are one.
Furthermore, because of the magnetic structure and action of the
twelve globes of our Planetary Chain, our Earth has magnetic
bipolar action of twelve different kinds; one such polar pair is
known to your scientists, the others unknown. Our Egg of Brahma,
our Solar System, as a whole, likewise has twelve magnetic
bipolar courses or what in short are called magnetic poles, and
each one of these twelve poles has its locus in one of the twelve
constellations of the Zodiac -- or rather the twelve
constellations of the Zodiac are the loci of the twelve poles of
the zodiacal period. The Wheel of Life with its twelve spokes
runs on forever.
Thus it is that a man, a human being, can be a Son of the Sun.
Thus it is that a human being can ascend along the magnetic
pathways from Earth to Moon, from Moon to Venus, from Venus to
Mercury, from Mercury to the heart of Father-Sun -- and return.
On the journey outward, certain sheaths or integuments of the
peregrinating Monad are dropped at each planetary station. Dust
to dust on Earth. The lunar body cast off and abandoned in the
valleys of the Moon. In Venus, habiliments of Venusian character
are cast aside also; and so is it likewise in Mercury. Then the
solar portion of us is ingathered into its own heart.
The peregrinating Monad on its return journey leaves the Sun
after reassuming its own solar sheath. It enters the sphere of
Mercury, gathers up there the garments that it previously had
cast aside, assumes these, and then passes to Venus, reclothes
itself with what it had there previously laid down, then enters
the unholy sphere of the Moon, and in its dark valleys picks up
its former lunar body, and thence is borne to Earth on the lunar
rays when the Moon is full. Dust to dust, Moon to Moon, Venus to
Venus, Mercury to Mercury, Sun to Sun!
As you have often been told, Initiation is the becoming, by
self-conscious experience, temporarily at one with other worlds
and planes, and the various degrees of Initiation mark the
various stages of advancement or of ability to do this. As the
Initiations progress in grandeur, so does the spirit-soul of the
Initiant penetrate deeper and deeper into the invisible worlds
and spheres. One must become fully cognizant of all the secrets
of the solar egg before one can become a divinity in that solar
egg, taking a part, self-conscious and deliberate, in the cosmic
Brothers, prepare yourselves continually, for every day is a new
chance, is a new doorway, a new opportunity. Lose not the days
of your lives, for the time will come, fatally come, when it will
be your turn to undertake this most sublime of Adventures.
Glorious beyond words to express will be the reward if you
Therefore practice, practice continuously your will. Open your
heart more and more. Remember the divinity at your inmost, the
inmost divinity of you, the heart of you, and the core of you.
Love others, for these others are yourself. Forgive them, for in
so doing you forgive yourself. Help them, for in so doing you
strengthen yourself. Hate them, and in so doing you prepare your
own feet to travel to the Pit, for in so doing you hate yourself.
Turn your backs on the Pit, and turn your faces to the Sun!
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application