Those of us who profess to have a sincere desire to add our mite to the betterment of man should ask ourselves: are we interested solely in the light which these great ideas can shed on our own limited environment, or are we moved to live and work so that the sun of truth may shine in the souls of all men everywhere?
-- James A. Long, EXPANDING HORIZONS, 234
By Sarah Belle Dougherty
Theosophical University Press has gone online with the electronic version of the current working manuscript of the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary.
On January 15, 1999, Theosophical University Press began publishing online, as a work in progress, the current manuscript of the "Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary" written under G. de Purucker. It will go online serially, at:
-- beginning with the letters A and B, until the entire manuscript is available to the public. Editorial and scholarly review of the Glossary will proceed, and changes will continue to be made as specific areas are updated and corrected in light of modern scholarship. Grace F. Knoche's Introduction states the book's background:
In 1930, within a year after succeeding Katherine Tingley to the leadership of the Theosophical Society with international headquarters at Point Loma, California, Gottfried de Purucker proposed to his Literary Committee that work begin on an enlarged glossary which must pass the test of scholarship and also meet the exacting test of fidelity to the universal wisdom-teaching as restated by H. P. Blavatsky. The proposal was received enthusiastically. Professor Charles J. Ryan was appointed to spearhead the project, assisted by Drs. Lydia Ross, Grace Knoche (Sr.) and, briefly, Gertrude W. van Pelt, all long-time students of THE SECRET DOCTRINE. In the beginning, as material was collected, Dr. de Purucker dictated emendations and/or additions to his private secretary, Elsie Savage, and, as convenient, to Helen Savage, Irene Ponsonby, and Margherita Siren. Progress, though steady, was slow, and to respond in part to the immediate demand for a handbook of frequently used theosophical and oriental terms, Dr. de Purucker, with the aid of Geoffrey Barborka, issued his OCCULT GLOSSARY in 1933.
By the spring of 1934 it was clear that someone was required to coordinate the growing file of manuscripts received from the contributors who by then also included Drs. Henry Travers Edge and Joseph H. Fussell, joined later, for the Sanskrit terms, by Judith Tyberg. So, on March 23, G. de Purucker appointed Geoffrey Barborka chairman of the Glossary Committee, a post he filled with unremitting diligence ...
Inevitably when several people contribute to a work of this kind, there is bound to be unevenness of quality due to differences of educational background and temperament. The editor's role, as G. de Purucker conceived it, was not to bring the whole into a unity of style, but rather to examine every term and make corrections and additions as required. This he did until May 1941; thereafter, for another year, he continued to clarify moot questions, and also saw to it that Masoretic points were added to the Hebrew characters on all Qabbalistic terms.
This project has always been close to my heart, for I was privileged to take Dr. de Purucker's dictation on all Glossary material from 1935 to 1942. In the 1980s an editorial team composed of A. Studley Hart, Sarah Belle Dougherty, Elsa-Brita Titchenell, and myself began a careful review of the Glossary. While it was possible to make editorial changes to modernize the text, improve the style, and remove obviously dated material, much work remains to be done: the extraordinary advances that have revolutionized our thinking in every branch of learning since Dr. de Purucker's death in September 1942 -- in the proliferating scientific disciplines, in psychology and parapsychology, in Tibetan and Egyptian language studies and Gnosticism, for example -- make it imperative that the content of the manuscript be updated. Furthermore, several important theosophical books -- including several books by G. de Purucker and H. P. Blavatsky's Collected Writings in 14 volumes -- have been published since the glossary was originally written, containing terms that need to be reviewed for inclusion.
Much of the material, however, is of value even in its present form, particularly that dealing with theosophical and philosophical concepts. This working online edition will, however, contain some differences from a final edition. For example, due to the current limitations of the ASCII character font -- particularly when dealing with a thorough transliteration of Sanskrit and Hebrew words -- as well as for ease of searching, it will not include diacritical marks.
We hope that those using the Glossary will send in to the Editorial Committee (at firstname.lastname@example.org) errors of fact or typography that they find, along with any comments and suggestions.
By Eldon B. Tucker
[From THE THEOSOPHIST, Adyar, India, August 1975, 315-24.]
In a study of theosophical literature, one encounters the concept or Teaching of the Path. Various descriptions of how to tread the Path of Holiness exist. Descriptions range from such codes of conduct as the ten Paramitas to simpler requirements such as the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and the Golden Rule of Christianity. Entire books on undertaking the Path can be found in theosophical literature, such as LIGHT ON THE PATH and THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE. As in a study of any aspect of the theosophical teachings, one must take care not to take things in a dead-letter, literal sense. For the teachings of the esoteric philosophy, Gupta Vidya, are mostly clothed in such a manner as would be understood by the general public, which indicates that any particular presentation cannot give the complete picture. For instance, in speaking of the conflict between the Kurus and the Pandavas in THE BHAGAVAD GITA, Dr. de Purucker explains:
The question is easily answered: to little children we give storybooks; to those who cannot understand the meaning of peace and quiet and the enormous strength that lies in these, we talk of battle and of fighting, because there is always a victor and a vanquished. Thus in the literatures of the world secrets of mystic truths were written in the epic vein in order to meet the mental characteristics of those ages. But behind all this there were the esoteric schools which taught truth and compassion more directly ...
-- G. de Purucker, FOUNTAIN SOURCE OF OCCULTISM, 5
It is important to keep in mind that the actual understanding and wisdom contained in the theosophical teahings is far beyond the grasp of the general student. We students of Theosophy who find it yet right to live a life in the world must settle for those crumbs of the Wisdom that may happen to fall our way. Each glimpse of the Wisdom of life comes as a bight, luminous, starry flash as one's heart melts in love, his mind glows with light, and his world appears a different, vaster place. Unless willing to give up everything, though, we must settle for but occasional glimpses and shadows of the real teachings of life. As the Mahatma Koot Hoomi said:
Is any of you so eager for knowledge and the beneficent powers it confers as to be ready to leave your world and come into ours? Then let him come; but he must not think to return until the seal of the mysteries has locked his lips even against the chances of his own weakness or indiscretion. Let him come by all means, as the pupil to the master, and without conditions; or let him wait, as so many others have, and be satisfied with such crumbs of knowledge as may fall in his way.
-- THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT, 3rd ed., 9
This is not to say that to still live a life in the world is wrong. It is foolish to deny that one is oneself. Dreaming of what one might do millions of years hence is of no help to one's place in life today. W.Q. Judge explains:
My own experience in Occultism and in trying to live the Higher Life has conclusively shown me that we are placed by karma wherever we may be and that we cannot gain by trying to "alter mere surroundings," we thus only run away from the very test given us for the object in view.
-- William Q. Judge, PRACTICAL OCCULTISM, 61
There are Laws in life, summarized in the doctrine of karma, which exist and work despite any last-minute repentance, squirming, closing of one's eyes, and denials, that one may choose to resort to.
Especially have you to bear in mind that the slightest CAUSE produced, however unconsciously, and with whatever motive, cannot be unmade, or its effects crossed in their progress -- by millions of gods, demons, and men combined.
-- MAHATMA LETTERS, 204
It is false pity as well as an esoteric crime for any so-called teacher to mislead aspiring students by promising them anything that is not the truth of the ages: THERE IS NO SHORT PATH, NO EASY WAY; for inner growth, inner unfolding, inner evolution is a matter of time and, above all, of self-effort. There are moments when the truth may seem to be cold and unacceptable, but this is the fault of the neophyte and not the fault of the teacher, and only proves that the student is not yet sufficiently awakened to recognize the true from the false, the right way from the left.
-- FOUNTAIN SOURCE, 24
One is as subject to the Laws of Nature as is anyone else. Every action irrevocably brings its effect. Being a student of Theosophy makes one no more immune to the effects of selfishness and personal desire than is a crass materialist or a gushy, sentimental psychic. Every action cannot help but have its result. The circumstances one finds oneself in today, right now, this very instant, are precisely those which one has put oneself in. All eternity, numberless manvantaras and kalpas and cycles of one's existence, all the joy and sorrow and learning and forgetting, the totality of one's being, have led to THIS MOMENT! And in order to truly realize what is happening at the very moment, one must see both his outside and inside circumstances. He must not only know what is going on outside himself; he must also clearly see his real place in life without any delusions or wishful thinking.
To truly progress spiritually, to being to set one's feet on the holy path, one must take one's life in hand and begin to self- consciously direct his mastery of it. One need not go out to seek trials and tribulations to aid one's spiritual unfoldment. The very events that come to one in life are those very things most needed to be mastered.
... the one who cannot control himself in the affairs of daily life and does not know who or what he is, cannot control the events and experiences that inevitably arise around anyone who succeeds, even in small degree, in approaching that 'straightest of all gates.'
-- FOUNTAIN SOURCE, 16
The whole secret of self-mastery, of setting one's feet on the Path, is put forth by Dr. de Purucker:
No one will progress a single step to the more expanded selfhood which already is his own higher nature, until he learns that 'living for self' means descending into still more compacted and restricted spheres, and that 'living for all that is' means an expansion of his own soul into becoming the larger life.
-- FOUNTAIN SOURCE, 19
And from a practical standpoint, as a theosophist:
Mere brain-mind acquaintance with theosophic textbooks does not prove the genuine theosophist. The genuine theosophist is he who has love for mankind in his heart, combined with a deep knowledge of the theosophical teachings, and who carries these teachings into actual practice in his daily affairs.
-- G. de Purucker, MESSAGES TO CONVENTIONS, 196
I think the proper way to correct the evils in the world is by beginning on ourselves, and to leave the other fellow alone. Be an example unto the world, be a light unto the world, think what you believe, live what you preach, AND LEAVE THE OTHER FELLOW TO WORK OUT HIS DESTINY.
-- MESSAGES TO CONVENTIONS, 202
That is, working as a theosophist, which is working to set one's feet on the Path, is much more than reading and discussing theosophical textbooks. One must develop a genuine love for mankind. And at the same time one needs the wisdom or discrimination to know how to apply this love. One must be hard and uncompromising on oneself and yet remain tolerant and forgiving to others. Other people mst be allowed to make their own decisions. It is best that one only offers help when asked for. Unwanted help can be more of a curse than a blessing to its recipient. It is only when one is capable of seeing a problem clearly enough that he can recognize his need for help and ask for it that the help would be beneficial.
In living a life of compassion, one offers to those whom life brings before one such aid and help and relief as they really need and seek even if they have not consciously formulated the need for the type of help offered.One offers the help that is really needed; and even should the call for help not have been conscious, the person will intuitively sense it is right for him and gladly accept it.
Notice that neither the Buddha nor Jesus the Avatara, nor Krishna, went around establishing soup-kitchens and charitable organizations and hospitals and things like these, great and beautiful though these often are. They were feeding and raising the hungry souls of men; they were clothing their spiritual nakedness with the sheaths of consciousness, the garments of truth, knowing that when they did these things, a multitude thus ensouled would attend to the material wants of our fellow human beings.
-- MESSAGES TO CONVENTIONS, 208
The principle involved in knowing when it is right to offer aid to a fellow human being is simple. If he displays a need that one can fulfill, one should gently, quietly offer to share one's inner and outer resources. But all one should do is make the offer. If and until it should be accepted, one should go no farther. It is never one's duty to force anything on another mature human being.To do so would be to interfere in his karma and forge karmic bonds with him that would hold one back from spiritual progress. And one also binds oneself to another when offering and giving aid with a personal, from-me-to-him consciousness.This latter type of karma is what would be called good karma, though equally restrictive to one's progress, because personal.
It is only when action is done without thought of self, purely impersonally, that one is freeing oneself from the wheel of birth and rebirth.But no student of Theosophy is purely impersonal. There is always some element of personal pleasure and enjoyment in doing good to others. The whole process of putting one's feet on the path of holiness is one of gradual growth towards the ideal, the archetype. It does no good to pretend to be acting without thought of self, impersonally, when one is not. The actual process of self-genesis, of self-becoming, of evolution, is one of clearly seeing the present, lit up from the background with the light of that ideal, but not clouded over with the Maya of self-delusion and wishful thinking.
IT IS NO USE TO FAST SO LONG AS YOU FEEL THE NECESSITY OF EATING. The whole groundwork of spiritual progress then comes to this: CHECK YOUR DESIRES AND LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR MIND.
-- Sven Eek, ed., DAMODAR AND THE PIONEERS OF THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, 303
It is all a matter of seeing how life is unfolding and making plans to experience it based on what one sees is actually happening, both inside and outside of oneself. At every point in life one comes to a crossroads, be it large or small, and one is constantly deciding the future pathway in life. To set one's feet on the path, one simply pays attention to these crossroads in life that continually arise and constantly makes the right, the impersonal, the unselfish choice. And after a while -- it may take a few years, it could be countless lifetimes, it all depends upon the person -- one discovers that the place in which he naturally finds himself in life is being a neophyte being trained by one of the Masters. In any case, where he finds himself is that place in life where he belongs, however much he may not wish truly to face it.There is nothing wrong in finding oneself in a life in the world, a worldly life. The only thing that would be wrong would be to pretend to be what one is not and thus miss making the conscious, correct choice at each of the many crossroads in life.
One thing easy to lose sight of is the actual extent of one's knowledge of the theosophical teachings.
I will tell you plainly that our theosophical doctrines in their esoteric aspect can lead to two things: one is supreme light, and the other is insanity or black magic.
-- THE DIALOGUES OF G. DE PURUCKER, I, 254
As we can see from the above clear-cut statement by Dr. de Purucker, we have not really grasped much of the actual teachings. A general student of Theosophy is neither insane nor bathed in supreme light.Knowing but the terms and concepts that the teachings are clothed in does not mean that one has any inkling of the teachings proper. A man is ever encouraged to break his molds of thought, to free his thinking or manasic perception of the specific forms, concepts, molds that have been used to embody his understanding. He is encouraged to see beyond what is happening in his mind to what actually is happening in life. And this of course is reflected A POSTERIORI in the mind, in manas; but one does not truly see life if the reflection happens first, A PRIORI, in the mind. The mind gives expression to one's direct perception of life; it is not its function to define what is out there, only to assimilate and digest what one has already seen directly, via intuition or buddhi. This is why Koot Hoomi says of false and sincere beliefs:
Those who have believed and followed us have had their reward. Mr. Sinnett and Hume are exceptions. Their beliefs are no barrier to us for they have NONE. They may have had influences around them, bad magnetic emanations the result of drink, Society and promiscuous physical associations (resulting even from shaking hands with impure men) but all this is physical and material impediments which with a little effort we could counteract and even clear a way without much detriment to ourselves. Not so with the magnetism and invisible results proceeding from erroneous and sincere beliefs.Faith in the Gods and God, and other superstitions attract millions of foreign influences, living entities and powerful agents around them, with which we would have to use more than ordinary exercise of power to drive them away.
-- THE MAHATMA LETTERS, 455
The decision to set one's feet on the path, and the actual process of doing so, is all up to the individual. He must become sufficiently conscious of his situation to be able to calmly take his self in hand and begin his self-genesis. He must recognize his place in life and understand the situation accurately enough to be able to properly help himself and ask others more advanced for the help he actually needs. But he must of course deserve the help. A man is never helped out of a troublesome situation that is his own fault, that he knowingly got himself into. The help generally given the aspirant is aid in helping himself.
The fact is, that to the last and supreme initiation every chela -- (and even some adepts) -- is left to his own device and counsel.We have to fight our own battles, and the familiar adage -- "the adept BECOMES, he is not MADE" is true to the letter. Since every one of us is the CREATOR and producer of the CAUSES that lead to such or some other RESULTS, we have to reap but what we have sown.
-- THE MAHATMA LETTERS, 305
One great aid to spiritual growth is a study of the theosophical teachings. An intellectual understanding of some of the vaster doctrine -- which really represent the developed ability to intuit spiritual things -- is a necessary prerequisite to the actual experiences found in Initiation. As Damodar, an accepted chela, said:
Before a person can have the privilege of being admitted as a chela even, he has to pass through a succession of lives, and prepare himself THEORETICALLY for the task. ... The man has to study theoretically first, and develop within himself this germ of adeptship, before he can ever hope to approach the Secret Sanctuary in any capacity.
-- DAMODAR AND THE PIONEERS OF THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, 305-6
The student must first grasp the subject intellectually before he can hope to realize his aspirations. When this is accomplished, then comes the next stage of meditation which is "the inexpressible yearning of the inner man to 'go out towards the infinite'."
-- DAMODAR AND THE PIONEERS OF THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, 399
And so we see that an intellectual study of Theosophy has great value. In fact, the first three Initiations consist primarily of study of the teachings, of an unfolding understanding of the Esoteric Philosophy. It is not until the fourth, the beginning of the Great Initiations of the Solstices and Equinoxes, that one actually goes into other realms and experiences as realities the doctrines of the Ancient Wisdom, Gupta Vidya. There is reward in study of the theosophical teachings, however advanced one may be.
... I had to study for fifteen years before I came to the doctrines of cycles and had to learn simpler things at first. [Mahatma Koot Hoomi]
-- THE MAHATMA LETTERS, 141
Spiritual evolution is actually the process of REMEMBERING. For the state one finds himself in at any moment is bud a sad reflection of the actual reality one has always been in, it is just a matter of point of view. From the standpoint of the persona or human Monad this lifetime is one of new experiences, new EVOLUTION. But from the standpoint of the reembodying Ego or Monad the present life is primarily one of remembering, of the EMANATION of already- evolved faculties of consciousness. And from the standpoint of the Manasaputra or Spiritual Monad the present life is but a passing flash of the CREATIVE consciousness, of the here-and-now awareness. And the higher and higher one looks within, from self to higher self to still higher self, the less the present life is seen as something new, the more the present experiences are understood as a remembering of things learned and experienced and evolved in countless ages past.
We speak of the higher principles as "sleeping" in a man, a form of speech which is perhaps correct as a manner of expression, but really it is the lower ones which are asleep spiritually and need awakening ... Our higher principles are actually entities living on their own planes, individual beings, fully conscious and thinking entities. ... Our higher parts are not inchoate, unco-ordinated, undeveloped, sleeping things. There are a unity of entities, a spiritual Kosmos in miniature.
-- G. de Purucker, FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, 314
By Dallas TenBroeck
In regard to the closing of a gate in 1897-98, there was considerable speculation at one time. We are now 100 years later, asking if another such cycle may be coming to a close.
One of the best way to answer such questions is to look for the original references and then decide what, philosophically, we can get out of them in the way of useful and present-time application.
The sun never sets, a period of rest never begins without the hope, or the certainty, that the economy of Great Nature will always bring on a renewal, a reawakening. Why should this hope or certainty exist? Consider that Nature (the Universe, our World and Solar system) contains all, and has provided us with life up to this moment -- a life in which we rejoice (or suffer) depending on our nature and character.
We are also endowed with curiosity, and with a desire to find out how and why things are as they are. What are our powers? What is our particular equipment? How can we use it? These are all common questions we ask ourselves, and one another.
In the matter of cycles we find that in a year we go through several, and some have more vitality than others on the surface. But even winter may see the secret growth and nurturing of those seeds that will form the harvest of next Autumn. So there is open as well as secret work progressing all the time. We have to investigate and discover its methods.
These changes are universal, and when day changes to night and activity to rest, or Summer becomes Winter we seek to discover the reasons for change. It is so also in the occult cycles of activity and rest. But whether one or the other is presently active, work proceeds. And when this happens the work will still go one.
Even during that which is night to some, there is activity elsewhere. It is a ceaseless urge to grow, to experience, to learn. The move to progress which is innate in each one of us, as in all the rest of nature-even to the tiniest atom continues. It is the beating of the great secret Heart, symbolized in antiquity by the Central Spiritual SUN -- it is an intimation of this Sun of Life, reflected in our hearts that we note as the innate, persistent sense of individual immortality -- one that leaves its insistent mark everywhere.
In her article THE ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS ["Lucifer," Nov, Dec 1887, Feb 1888] HPB gives (in a footnote) at the outset an important date relating to occult cycles and the ending of the ...
Age of Pisces -- and the starting of that of Aquarius -- a cycle of 2,155 years -- not long, but very occult as the influence of sun and zodiac changes in a subtle but definite way (details not all given).
HPB predicts that psychologists will thereafter have extra work to do as the psychic idiosyncrasies of humanity will enter on a great change. She refers to this in her FOURTH MESSAGE TO THE AMERICAN SECTION IN CONVENTION IN 1891:
The period which we have now reached in the cycle that will close between 1897/98 is, and will continue to be one of great conflict and continued strain. If the T.S. can hold through it, good; if not, while Theosophy will remain unscathed, the Society will perish-perchance most ingloriously-and the World will suffer ... the critical nature of the stage on which we have entered is as well known to the forces that fight against us as to those that fight on our side. No opportunity will be lost of sowing dissension, of taking advantage of mistaken and false moves, of instilling doubt, of augmenting difficulties, of breathing suspicion, so that by any and every means the unity of the Society may be broken and the ranks of our Fellows thinned and thrown into disarray.
Reviewing the history of the last 100 years we can decide whether this prophecy has been fulfilled or not. How many FTS have honored HPB by the close study and learning of that Theosophy which she and the Masters of Wisdom jointly presented? Are the ranks of the T.S. one pointed, united, wise and active? Or, is there much work left to be done? Each one has to think of these things and answer to themselves. Exactly what is/was the work to be done for ones' self and for others?
Returning to the matter of intersecting cycles:
Simultaneously there is the ending of the first 5,000 years of Kali Yuga cycle ( Total time: 432,000 years for that grand cycle).
In THE SECRET DOCTRINE (Vol. I, p. 612) she indicates that the year 1897 will witness a large rent being made in the Veil of Nature whereby "materialistic science will receive a deathblow."
This date has passed and we have witnessed in the last 100 year a series of great discoveries, in physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics and biochemistry that have revolutionized our concept of the atom and the molecule and the interaction of forces and energies on the most subtlest, as well as the grandest electro-magnetic scales and ranges of measurement.
The rediscovery of the "astral body" and the "astral plane" whereby all material forms are made to cohere, and especially those biochemical mixtures in which intelligent consciousness and life of a higher character is seen (plants, animals, humans).
Science has in fact already entered the realm of energy that leads to an understanding of the power of the astral and the Pranic energies that make forms possible and given them the life they enjoy as entities with a definite purpose in the great scheme of things.
The psychological origins and potential achievements of human consciousness -- and its unknown ranges -- have been sensed and vaguely sketched. It remains for a serious and concentrated investigation to clear away the concept that all this vast interacting group of diverse molds or model-forms that underlie the many physical forms and keep them "living" is moved by one central cooperative INTELLIGENCE and many INDEPENDENT BUT VOLUNTARILY COOPERATING INTELLIGENCES.
Man's consciousness represents one of the most advanced powers focused in such a form at this time, and from this condition the doors open to an understanding of the Universe, its purpose (see SD I 268) and he can understand what his own duty and responsibility is as he passes through the successive degrees of initiation that are possible to him -- by his own determination and will.
Writing on this concept Mr. Judge in THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY (p. 4) says: this
... is an age of transition, when every system of thought, science, religion, government, and society is changing, preparing for an alteration into that state which will permit the race to advance to the point suitable for these elder brothers to introduce their actual presence to our sight.
Another article speaks of the "precursors of HPB," of the vow taken by Tsong-Kha-Pa in Tibet to send a mission to the West each hundred years.
And we can trace from that date in the 14th Century, the imprint of the work of various "Messengers" whose task it was to revive in the West the memory of the esoteric Wisdom.
In the 15th Century We had the revival in Florence of the study of Plato spearheaded by Paschalis, Pico della Mirandola and Marsilio Ficino.
The next century (16th) saw the work of Giordano Bruno, Paracelsus, Van Helmont, Reuchlin and Trithemius.
And then came that of Boehme (17th Century), Eugenius Philalethes, and with them the Rosicrucians, Hermetic Philosophers and Fire Philosophers.
In the 18th Century we have St. Germain, St. Martin, Cagliostro and Mesmer. Also the Cambridge Platonists worked then and so did Thomas Taylor who translated the Greek philosophers into English.
And of the future, HPB tells us:
it is the esoteric teachings, and the initiates of the Future, whose mission it is, and will be, to redeem and ennoble once more the primitive conceptions so sadly profaned by its crude and gross application to exoteric dogmas and personations by theological and ecclesiastical religionists. The silent worship of abstract or 'noumenal' Nature, the only divine manifestation, is the one ennobling religion of Humanity.
-- THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, 381fn
By Katinka Hesselink
[November 2, 1997]
Mother Teresa helped write a book called A SIMPLE PATH. It is a remarkable book full of a simple dedication. There is no doubt in my mind that she describes the road of Bhakti Yoga, the way of Love in service of humanity.
I have long had the strong suspicion that the capacity to be vulnerable is the same as to have real inner power. It is the power to mourn one's way through pain and loneliness instead of running away from them by reading books, listening to lectures, doing your work, having a hobby or simply watching television. That capacity is essential.
Mother Teresa seems to say the same thing in a very different way. (This is a translation back into the English from the Dutch.)
People are unreasonable, unlogical and selfish, -- Love them anyway.
If you do good, there will be people who accuse you of selfish motives, -- Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will make unreal friends and real enemies, -- Be successful anyway.
Your good deeds will be forgotten tomorrow, -- Do good deeds anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable, -- Be honest and frank anyway.
What has cost you years to build, can be destroyed very quickly, -- Build anyway.
People who need help, can attack you when you help them, -- Help them anyway.
When you do your utmost for mankind, you will often get small thanks for your pains, -- Do your utmost anyway.
-- Mother Teresa, A SIMPLE PATH, 1995
Find in vulnerability the capacity to give. The one who can live by that token, without building up defenses, has real inner strength.
In daily life we do have defenses. That is the most visible part of our personality in most cases. If the wall around our weakness is strong enough, it seems as though there is strength, but meanwhile we often don't even know what is behind the wall. We often fear the biggest disasters if the wall should fall.
Still, the student of life, the lay chela, will have to break through those defenses if he or she really wants to live and work in service to mankind. Actually that wall around the inner man, will be broken. It will begin to crack because of the strong will of the chela and by the necessity to be tested for inner purity that follows from that. The lay chela should be prepared to see the following happen when the student is accepted as chela:
The first is the throwing outward of everything latent in the nature of the man; his faults, habits, qualities or subdued desires, whether good, bad or indifferent.
-- H. P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Part III
So all good tendencies as well as tempting daydreams, the talents but also the egoistic urges will come out in the open. The natural advice in such cases is of course to investigate and keep the good.
Before all this can happen, there has to be the sensitivity that makes it possible to investigate everything that lives inside us. The sensitivity that Krishnamurti talks about includes vulnerability in my opinion. I think vulnerability goes hand in hand with the selfless Love we talk about so often. If the love is there, vulnerability is there, if there is vulnerability love cannot be far.
The deeper and all-pervading the love is, the easier that vulnerability will automatically come out of itself. From that vulnerability grows an inner strength that is protection: exactly when the I is no longer there to protect itself. That strength is also the energy that can be used to look inside and thereby comes into being even more sensitivity for everything that is hidden there. It is like a snake biting its tail: looking inside takes energy. The one who has the courage to look, discovers vulnerability. From that comes sensitivity which carries within itself Love for the Whole. For instance because the knowing of ones own vulnerability means that the vulnerability is also recognized and accepted in someone else.
The acceptance of vulnerability also means that less time needs to me spent searching security's in different fields of life. Love and sensitivity are the ground in which the strength can grow, so that there is the energy to look even deeper, at even more vulnerability. In this way the freedom of even deeper Love can grow. This circle goes on and on, just as long as we have the courage to look inside. I think in the end that vulnerability, strength and love merge together.
Our personality is like a shield, made to protect us from that vulnerability. The person that can face that vulnerability in the depth where selfless Love grows, will see in the process that the personality becomes less powerful. In its place comes the emptiness in which there is the freedom to be full of love for the All. Because at that point there is the capacity to be sensitive to the people around us, whether we liked them in the past or not. So then there is a feeling of oneness with all of mankind. In that feeling of oneness there is strength, because when we feel Love, action becomes possible and problems can be dealt with.
Mother Teresa showed that strength in a unique way, I feel. Her approach did not need the support of endless, complicated theories about the nature of the universe. She lived her Love for the poorest in a way that made her an example to many people around the world. Her nuns live in the same poverty as the people they reach out to, counting on the help of God if something goes wrong.
This goes to the point where they don't take everything that they are being offered. Their oath of poverty must remain intact. They eat what the poor people eat: they live in the same vulnerable position as they do and that is where they get their strength. I hope that the going of Mother Teresa does not mean that the spirit of self-sacrifice and vulnerability will be lost. Our search for security has the downside that an essential vulnerability is lost.
By Ray Tomes
Everybody's experience that does a vipassana course is very different, as is each course that a person does.
I have just returned today from another course (making three courses plus one serving). The following is a brief update with regard to the latest course which you may also use should you wish.
This course was still very hard work, but was much smoother than the others as I was able to be more mindful of the times that I began to lose control. The highs were a little less high but the lows were much higher. The result was more time spent on reducing my backlog of bak karma or sankara. Sankara are the formations stored on the body which represent blind reactions to things and range from simple things like scratching an itch without thinking to going into a rage when someone abuses us. There wasn't time to count, but I am sure that I eliminated well over 1000 different sankara on this course and some of them arise many times before one gets equanimous and breaks the reaction pattern sufficiently to eliminate them.
After seven days I had cleared most of my body of sankara but a fair amount of tangle remained in my brain (a fair indication of the fact that I have spent 30 years doing computer software development and trying to work out the formula for the universe). The clearing of the garbage around my spinal column had left a very narrow thread (say 1 mm) and there were a number of pain points in this. I broke through to a new finer level of perceptions which I took to be the next plane in theosophical language. The spinal column then cleared to even finer and the pain points eventually dissolved to become really tiny sharp points and I realised that they were in the positions of the chakras. I then looked for the crown chakra which I had never been able to find before and there was a tiny point there. Upon observation it grew a fine filament downwards while the spinal column grew upwards to nearly meet in the centre of my head before they both turned and headed for and installed my third eye chakra. There were little disks and whirling things and the whole thing seemed like something out of Heath Robinson or Monty Python.
I asked the teacher if the points in my back were the chakra and he replied that Goenkaji (the main teacher in India) didn't hold much interest in chakra and that I should just keep treating them as sensations to observe as in the end the whole body is a chakra!
Subsequently at night I had a major resolution in my mind regarding the apparent conflicts between my scientific research of 15 years and my Vipassana experience after expressing (silently internally three times) my wish for such a thing. When I then meditated most of the remaining very tight sankara that had resisted change all dissolved very rapidly and after this my crown chakra opened up to about 25 mm diameter and it was like a column of light or water just gushed through for a long time after which I felt an extremely fine pair of lips kiss me on the top of the head.
The adventure ahead seems certain to involve more spiritual pursuits and further integration of mind/science with spirit/spitituality.
I did the first Vipassana course in May this year, then served (cooking and such) on one in July and did another one August/September. Before doing these I had long ago (at age 11-13) rejected religions because they didn't substantiate what they taught but seemed to ask for blind faith. However it is clear that I threw the baby out with the bath water. The real goodies were being hidden!
I have totally changed my patterns of how I spend my time and what I read since learning Vipassana.
The following is part of what I typed into my computer shortly after the first course in reply to someone on internet doing a book project about the experience of doing Vipassana. The additional courses have provided just as many new experiences.
The first day of sitting cross-legged was agony. I am 50 years old and have an old back injury which became extremely painful and my knees and ankles also hurt. I had made a commitment to stay for 10 days and I have always believed in keeping to my commitments. However I could not imagine that I could bear 10 times as much pain and it seemed that there was no hope for completing the course. I approached the assistant teacher with my problem and he suggested sitting with my back to the wall. This was immediately before Goenkaji's first video discourse, and I was enthralled by what he had to say. He described my experience and his style was so refreshing to me that my spirits lifted. Never before had I encountered such wisdom that was consistent with my own experience. I looked forward to future discourses.
As the days went by the pain didn't get any better, but then about the 3rd day I was thinking "my leg is in pain" and suddenly the meaning of the words and the experience coincided -- my legs were in pain but I was not, I was an observer of my legs in pain. I recognized that this was a technique that I had used at the dentist to avoid panic and pain and from then on I was mostly able to observe the pain without becoming involved in the cyclical chain of avoidance. I enjoyed Goenkaji's 2nd and 3rd discourses also and was struck by the description of the mind as being "full of chattering monkeys and wild horses with the odd rampaging elephant". I know that this is a true description for all people, but I have been considered by my friends to have had an additional dose and to use thinking to excess. It was a real battle to get control of my mind but I was hooked on the idea and very determined.
The events of the next few days are now almost a blur. They were so amazing that I cannot relate some of them and what follows is the less spectacular things that happened to me, although they are far beyond my expectations for what I might achieve on the course. These days were a roller-coaster ride. I experienced both highs and lows that exceed anything else that I can compare the experiences to. I visited heaven and hell several times each. It seems that this experience is connected with aspects of my behavior such as impulsiveness, impatience and not following instructions carefully but rather thinking that I know best. It is also no doubt connected with my determination and dedication to the task at hand.
When we had become adjusted to detecting the subtle body sensations I was immediately able to observe old and present injuries and some improvement was noticed. For decades I have suffered from blocked nose and sinuses. I took my awareness up the inside of my nostrils and discovered two pairs of sharp points of pain and observed these for a while. Suddenly two jets of sensation shot very rapidly out through my cheekbones and shortly afterwards another two. I realized that these were my sinus passages and that they had become unblocked. Shortly afterwards the sinuses themselves emptied and my head was much clearer. Later a similar experience happened with my ears when I observed inside them and found the long wriggly passages would suddenly clear and again some further sinuses emptied. These "operations" were repeated perhaps a dozen times each over the remainder of the course and the next 10 days.
I soon became aware of sensations in my lower abdomen which relate to some discomfort in my bowels. Observing these sensations relieves the discomfort. As a result of other things the discomfort returns but gradually the repeated easing becomes more established. It seems like this will take time but for the first time in 15 years it seems like the remedy to my bowel problems is within my reach as all visits to doctors have done nothing to ease, let alone reverse, the situation.
At times I became very clear of gross sensations and was able to scan my entire body from head to feet and back several times per second. At such times the individual sensations from every part of my body were quite clear and very precisely located so that it seemed like my awareness was very many times greater in a very much smaller time. At other times gross sensations dominated parts of my body and scanning was impossible. I fell into the trap of craving and aversion for these conditions and gave myself a roller-coaster ride being at incredible highs with the most magic energy coursing through me and then within a day being in the depths of despair.
My friends had thought it funny that I, an incessant talker, was going to be silent for 10 days. In fact that was not a difficulty. On the 10th day of the course we were allowed to talk. When I discussed the course with other students I was surprised to discover that the subtle body sensations were present all the time without any effort on my part. In rapid succession I was confronted by the effects of certain habits that I had developed and which I had varying degrees of awareness of before. When I interrupted someone I had one sensation, when I had critical thoughts about what someone was saying I had another, and when I talked too much without being sensitive to others a third body sensation occurred. These were rapidly established as reliable indicators and before long I was able to stop myself whenever I began to do these things.
What I have gained from practicing Vipassana:
As a result of observing the nasal and ear passages my sinuses have become much clearer and I can smell many things which I have not smelt in decades. A walk up the road a couple of days after the course was a delight.
I am now very much more aware of previous bad habits in relation to talking and listening and can mostly catch these quite quickly. Some situations are still quite difficult in this regard but I remind myself that all things can change.
My driving has slowed down by about 20 km/h which pleases my wife. I am much more patient with other drivers and much more often look for the possibility to be generous with people who want to change lanes or get out of side streets. I get body sensations if I become impatient or inconsiderate in my driving.
I have steadily attacked piles of papers lying around the house and completed or begun jobs which I have long procrastinated over. Some of these seemed like huge mountains and required a lot of courage and persistence, but I began to do these things today instead of tomorrow. Every day I do something towards tidying up old messes and mostly catch myself when I am about to create a new one. I have become much more considerate of my wife in the things that I do around the house.
In my new found zeal I have at times made mistakes, sometimes quite big ones. This has lead to some suffering, but eventually I realize that I am craving or avoiding something and I am able to move on from the mistake. My impulsiveness and impatience are still there to some extent but it feels like they are diminishing with each painful lesson.
Talking with friends and relatives has been much more about real issues rather than avoidance of these. I have tried to temper my enthusiasm and allow my new calmer disposition to be present, listening more and not judging, often knowing things about people before they tell me and knowing when to hold back also. In some cases when others are speaking very critically about third parties then I feel distressed and find it difficult to remain audacious. This will require further concentration or the prevention of such situations.
There are many things that I have worked out by the intellect in my life as I generally have not had faith in the teachings of others. Vipassana has allowed me to directly experience so many things that it has truly created an entirely new reality, or should I say that it has dispelled many illusions. This has not always been comfortable and I know that further discomfort lies ahead but I now feel firmly established in continuing to keep on taking one more step down that road. There have been periods of doubt and confusion, particularly involving the fact that my wife is practicing a different technique. It seems that I am finding an acceptance of this now but I also know that there may be some more lumps in the system.
Learning Vipassana has been the greatest gift I have ever received and my life has been changed so much that it can never be the same again. I know that I will give assistance to others who also want to take this ride but otherwise the future seems so much less certain than it did before. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
By Reed Carson
We are very pleased to have set up a "help desk" for questions concerning Theosophy. A number of individuals with long experience in the field have volunteered to be available to help with questions. We think this is a fine service and are pleased that it indicates in yet another way that Blavatsky net has grown beyond the activities of just one person.
We have spent much time during January working on bn-study, the soon to be activated online discussion list concerning the Secret Doctrine by Madame Blavatsky. After some searching we have decided to plunk down the necessary funds and use Lyris, an advanced piece of software that manages discussion lists. It has numerous features that make the back-office operation of the list much easier, it will make the list experience be smoother and of a higher quality (though in ways you may just come to take for granted), it offers four degrees of participation for each of you, and it has a very strong option for rummaging through the archives that will accumlate.
Here are the four degrees of participation from which you will be able to to choose:
-- You receive all the email of the discussion list as soon as it is ready (and has been moderated.)
-- in the early morning hours, all of the preceeding day's discussion is combined into one email and sent to those who select this option.
-- in the early morning hours, all the subject headings of the preceeding day's emails are combined into one email and sent to those who select this option.
-- you receive no emails from the discussion but, along with the other participants, have the right to explore the archives of the entire preceeding discussion using the very fine features of Lyris.
By February 2 or 3, these options will appear available on your membership record at BN and the discussion list will begin. We still have a little programming left to do to relate Lyris and the BN database -- and then it is launch time. At that time all those who are subscribed in any of the first three categories will receive notice.
It will be a moderated list. The participants will recieve one email of seven quotes of the day from the home page in advance as a focus for discussion and study. You will receive more info if you are involved.
We have also spent considerable time in January improving the bookstore and placing much more text across from some of the books. We find some of the books so valuable that we wanted to mention them here.
Personally I think THE SECRET DOCTRINE does not support the Big Bang theory. One book -- that is in the mail (THE CULT OF THE BIG BANG) -- very strongly destroys the Big Bang theory and you can read his effective summary until it comes (in a few days) -- in the cosmology aisle. A master of Theosophy has said that matter is in "continuous" creation (as opposed to the big bang). Another book, BEYOND THE BIG BANG, goes beyond the big bang in a way that has valuable overlap with Theosophy and matches the view of the master, at least in this one point, and continues on very constructively.
Blavatsky said Darwin was right that evolution occurs but not at all as Darwin said. She is being vindicated dramatically decade by decade. The evidence that she was right is now very strong. See Darwin aisle for details.
And there's more. See for yourself: http://www.blavatsky.net.
By Sy Ginsburg
[based upon a May 16, 1995 posting to email@example.com.]
The Theosophical Society does not have to be a bunch of old fogies sitting around only remasticating old expressions of the perennial philosophy. Our branch, in fact, has lots of active working people who are not retirees. We have more than 50 members under the age of 50.
Theosophy itself, as brought by HPB, and the historical religious traditions are, of course, basic. But if we just sit around rechewing the ancient wisdom, we will not attract many bright young people who recognize that much about the universe has only become generally known in the last 100 years.
We tend to forget the second and third declared objects of the Theosophical Society which encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science and the investigation of unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in humanity.
At our Branch there are more than 20 courses being offered and, although, four of these are specifically Theosophical, other things of more contemporary interest are being explored. These include, for example, courses on the teachings of Edgar Cayce, Gurdjieff and the Urantia book to name a few.
One of the most interesting courses, in my view, is a study group entitled "Esoteric Science." The purpose is to try to understand what science has discovered about the universe and how this is related to Theosophical teachings.
The group includes several engineers along with others who just want to try to understand what science is beginning to acknowledge. The text being used is Itzhak Bentov, "Stalking the Wild Pendulum" and will be followed by a second Bentov text, "A Cosmic Book." A third text that will likely be explored is the recent book by Norman Friedman, "Bridging Science and Spirit" , in which the author, a physicist himself, relates the teaching of David Bohm's physics to the Perennial Philosophy and to the Seth material.
I appreciate that many on the Internet Theosophical discussion lists are working independently, but you also have in your independent studies likely been exploring some of these new expressions. I know that these inquiries are going on at our Branch and also in some other Branches, sometimes quietly, sometimes not so quietly.
We are only "old fogies" if we make it so. We need not, and I think, should not.
By Carmen Small
[A letter sent January 4, 1999 from Point Loma Publications to friends throughout the world.]
With the old year closing and a new year opening it's a good time to greet you with thanks for work accomplished and hopes for careful plans ahead.
Point Loma Publications has had a very busy year and has reached some of you with book orders, but in this letter we will outline some of our accomplishments of the last year and plans for the future.
INTRODUCTION TO SANSKRIT, Part II, by Dr. Thomas Egenes was published last year, the sequel to his best-selling part I. (part II, 428 pages, $30.00).
We also have published THE ASTROLOGY OF THE LIVING UNIVERSE which is Helena Blavatsky's insights on the seven sacred planets and their influence on Earth and humanity (72 pages, $12.00) compiled and edited by Henk J. Spierenburg.
In the upcoming year we will publish Dr. Spierenburg's OLD TESTAMENT COMMENTARIES OF H. P. BLAVATSKY with THE PHILONIC SECRET DOCTRINE from the collected writings of the neo-Platonic philosopher, Philo of Alexandria. (Spierenburg's THE YOGA OF H. P. BLAVATSKY is in process but will not be ready in 1999)
We will also be publishing WISDOM PRACTICE -- GATEWAY TO ENLIGHTENMENT by G. de Purucker compiled and edited by Kenneth Small which will contain de Purucker's teachings on Buddhism.
In addition we will be offering a series of tapes of both historic, inspirational and of instructive interest including talks by Boris de Zirkoff, Elsie Benjamin, Emmett Small, Judith Tyberg, W. Y. Evans-Wentz, Gordon Plummer and Christmas Humphreys.
Our outreach to the general community through our bookstore, "Wisdom Traditions" has been very successful this past year. We moved to a larger location and have been hosting a variety of classes, seminars and lectures.
Both "Wisdom Traditions Bookstore" and Point Loma Publications are on the Internet, so please enjoy our web page or send us an e-mail. You can find our catalogue on our web page and in the upcoming year we will have a virtual bookstore on our web page as well:
We are very grateful for the wonderful assistance of Michael Bartlett in bringing our web page into existence and to Paul Bodor for the generous donation of computer equipment to further the web page and other projects and our new web page host, Lama Thubten and friends at Samaya.com.
Our thanks also to the many persons who support and assist us with their help and donations throughout the year.
As we begin this last year of the century, we send you out warm thoughts and best wishes. We hope that it will be a good year for the wisdom tradition of theosophy and that we may find the ideas that are the foundations of peace and compassion become more and more accepted in the world.
For those of you who are surrounded by winter's cold, keep buoyant spring in your hearts, as the old saying has it: "If Winter Comes can spring be far behind?"
Our best thoughts and love,
By Dara Eklund
[A picture, as described below, appears in the HTML version of THEOSOPHY WORLD. The picture is located at:]
This pastel diagram was drawn by Hetty Manske and Verna Ott (pen-name: Vahnty) to represent the concept of the "Eternal Man" in manifestation as a seven-fold being. It was subsequently reprinted in Eileen Walker's "Expression" magazine, which consisted of contributions from members of her creative writing class. This class was held in the Manske's home in the early 1950's.
Hetty and Verna taught children the principles of Theosophy through art classes in Verna Ott's Whittier studio, and eventually drafted their own syllabus for the course. Hetty passed away around 15 years ago, but was always very interested in art symbolism. In her notebook she speaks about the quality of "Dark" as the absence of "Light," thus shown here on the underside of the globe representing our physical body, directly below the Sun image in the upper left. Even it partakes of light as it rests in the realm of Prakriti (material life). Thus the opposites represent a duality of spirit and matter, shown in the diagram running through all the spheres, or principles of Man. The Sun represents the Spiritual father of the Solar system and might be considered Paramatman. Note that the globe symbol in the upper right rests above the opposites and symbolizes Atmic Principle, with its rays in all directions, but hovering beyond the other principles, which are shown in descending order from right to left. The Buddhic principle is shown with a six-pointed star within the sixth globe; Manas with five points; etc. These appear as artistic renditions of the geometrical figures, but also expressing laws of color mixing and differentiation. At the time of its conception the Esoteric Section Instructions with their full-color plates were not in print. For a more exact comparison of Man's principles see the description for Plate I (facing page 580) on p. 529 of BLAVATSKY: COLLECTED WRITINGS, Vol. XII.
There it states that the Atman is no principle, "But stands separate from the Man ... " The seventh principle is therefore called in the E.S. the AURIC EGG. It was colored Blue, as shown in the Vahnty diagram. Yet in exoteric parlance it may still be considered as Atma.
In our art classes the children were taught that although there were generally seven perceived rays when clear light is focused through a prism, there is also the subtle presence of indigo, which Hetty taught the class how to mix from other colors of the rainbow. Thus, even the young could experience, how the one produces the many.
By Iverson L. Harris
Mme. Tingley, on a Theosophical Mission in Rome with Dr. de Purucker, summoned Iverson from Point Loma, California, to join her for secretarial work. Iverson had started serving her as amanuensis when he was fourteen years of age.
Katherine Tingley was "Leader and Official Head" of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society from February 18, 1898 until her death on July 11, 1929 at Visingso, Sweden. Gottfried de Purucker then assumed office as her Successor, and served as such until his death on September 27, 1942 at Covina, California. Before his death he had appointed Iverson Chairman of the Cabinet of The Theosophical Society (Point Loma), which post Iverson held until 1946.
Following is an address by Iverson L. Harris to The Blavatsky Lodge, given at the headquarters of The Theosophical Society in England (Adyar), May 10, 1973, London, England.
This address was in some respects a distillation of Iverson's forty years of study and volunteer service at the Point Loma Theosophical Headquarters, and of his memories of his close, almost daily association with both Katherine Tingley and G. de Purucker. It was received with expressions of warm appreciation by officers of the Blavatsky Lodge and others who attended.
The summary, which follows, was privately printed for distribution to friends by Katherine and Iverson Harris in August, 1973.
Iverson began by quoting passages from THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A. P. SINNETT, which he had cited more than forty years ago, in October, 1932 at the European Convention of the Point Loma Theosophical Society, at 70 Queen's Gate, London, presided over by the late A. Trevor Barker, then President of the English Section. For example, from pages 313-14, where, after recognizing the criticisms or HPB made by his correspondent, a Master says:
We, on the other hand, under the garb of eccentricity and folly -- we find a profounder wisdom in her INNER Self than you will ever find yourselves able to perceive.
And again, on. Page 203:
After nearly a century of fruitless search, our chiefs had to avail themselves of the only opportunity to send out a European BODY upon European soil to serve as a connecting link between that country and our own.
In telling of what he had learned at Point Loma from childhood, Iverson reminded his English audience, of the contributions made to the success of the International Headquarters by distinguished Britishers, who were personal pupils of HPB in London: Dr. Herbert A. W. Coryn, M.R.C.S., a member of HPB's Inner Group; Reginald Machell, artist, a member of the Royal Academy; Fred J. Dick, M. Inst. C.E., whose writings on the Mayan Calendar are still in demand; 'Henry Travers Edge, who had met HPB shortly after graduating from Cambridge and bad dedicated his whole life thereafter to volunteer Theosophical service in England and after 1900 at Point Loma and Covina until his death in 1946. He named other Britishers who, though not personal pupils of HPB, bad helped to promote the cultural life at Point Loma, such as Prof. W. A. Dunn, head of the Isis Conservatory of Music; Prof. Charles J. Ryan, an indefatigable contributor to our Point Loma publications on scientific and art themes in the light of Theosophy; Reginald Machell's son, Montague, still contributing valuable articles to current Theosophical periodicals; Charles Savage, musician, and his four sisters, Mrs. Frances Dadd, Mrs. Madeleine Clark, Mrs. Harry (Elsie) Benjamin, and Mrs. Lester (Helen) Todd, as well as their mother, Mrs. Florence Savage -- all from Liverpool. Prof. Dunn's sons, Hubert and Rex from Croydon, both competent musicians, teachers and directors. Last, but by no means least, Kenneth Morris, Welsh Poet and Professor of History and Literature at Point Loma. The speaker said that next to Katherine Tingley and Gottfried de Purucker, he was more indebted to Morris than to anyone else at the Headquarters, especially for introducing him to, and arousing love and enthusiasm for, the Wisdom Religion of Old China, examples of which he cited at considerable length.
Iverson recalled the invocation, "0, My Divinity" as regularly chanted by Reginald Machell at Point Loma's Sunday night gatherings:
0 my Divinity! thou dost blend with the earth and fashion for thyself Temples of mighty power.
0 my Divinity; thou livest in the heart-life of all things and dost radiate a Golden Light that shineth forever and doth illumine even the darkest corners of the earth.
0 my Divinity! blend thou with me that from the corruptible I may become Incorruptible; that from imperfection I may become Perfection; that from darkness I may go forth in Light.
Iverson told of Katherine Tingley's having the children recite daily the motto: "Do well the smallest duty, and when the day is done, there will be no regrets, no time wasted. Then joy will come." For those who might question this as being Theosophy, the speaker quoted the following from Page 372 of THE MAHATMA LETTERS:
Does it seem to you a small thing that the past year has been spent in your "family duties?" Nay, but what better cause for reward, what better discipline, than the daily and hourly performance of duty? Believe me my pupil, the man or woman who is placed by Karma in the midst of small plain duties and sacrifices and loving-kindnesses, will through these faithfully fulfilled rise to the larger measure of Duty.
Iverson cited two definitions of Theosophy as given respectively by K.T. and G. de P., showing differences of emphasis rather than of basic principles:
Think of Theosophy not so much as a body of philosophic or other teachings, but as the highest law of conduct, which is the enacted expression of divine love or compassion.
-- THEOSOPHY, THE PATH OF THE MYSTIC, 3
Theosophy is a formulation in human language of the operations, structure, origin, present state, and destiny of the Universe.
-- G. de P.
In support of this definition of Theosophy, Iverson cited the following passages from THE MAHATMA LETTERS:
The culture of Society more often inclines to lawn-tennis philosophy than to that of the banned "adepts," whose wider game has worlds for balls and etheric space for its shaven lawn.
It is not PHYSICAL phenomena that will ever bring conviction to the hearts of the unbelievers in the "Brotherhood" but rather phenomena of INTELLECTUALITY, PHILOSOPHY and LOGIC, if I may so express it.
The speaker said that he and his fellow students at Point Loma were often reminded of the following passages from HPB's THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE:
So shalt thou be in full accord with all that lives; bear love to men as though they were thy brother-pupils, disciples of one Teacher the sons of one sweet mother.
Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun.
Let not the fierce Sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer's eye.
But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off until the pain that caused it is removed.
Learn that no effort, not the smallest -- whether in right or wrong direction -- can vanish from the world of causes. E'en wasted smoke remains not traceless. "A harsh word uttered in past lives is not destroyed but ever comes again." The pepper plant will not give birth to roses, nor the sweet jessamine's silver star to thorn or thistle turn.
Iverson also repeated the following translation of the 'Golden Verses' given by Pythagoras to the disciples of his Mystery School at Krotona in Magna Graecia in the wonderful Sixth Century B.C.:
Do innocence; take heed before thou act, Nor e'er let soft sleep upon thine eyelids steal, Until the day's acts thou hast three times scann'd: What have I done? What done amiss? What left unwrought? Go over the whole account, nor aught omit. If evil, chide thee; if good, rejoice. This do, this meditate, this ever love, And it will lead thee into Wisdom's path.
Iverson also quoted another of G. de P.'s arresting pronouncements:
Light for the mind, love for the heart, understanding for the intellect: all three must be satisfied in every man before he has real peace.
The speaker called attention to William Q. Judge's words used as the motto of the W.Q.J. Club for young men, who repeated it regularly at each of their Point Loma gatherings:
What then is the royal talisman -- the panacea, finally? It is duty, selflessness.
He also cited the opening words of Judge's THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY:
Theosophy is that ocean of knowledge which spreads from shore to shore of the evolution of sentient beings; unfathomable in its deepest parts, it gives the greatest minds their fullest scope; yet, shallow enough at its shores, it will not overwhelm the understanding of a child.
At Point Loma Iverson said he had learned by heart and recited from memory the English Poet Laureat John Masefield's verses, "A Creed," which the speaker considered possibly the best simple exposition in our language of the twin-doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation. He also quoted the beautiful lines from "The Song Celestial"-- Sir Edwin Arnold's metrical translation of THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, which he said were often read at memorial services for those who had passed on at Point Loma:
Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never; Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams; Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for ever; Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems! ... Nay, but as when one layeth his worn-out robes away, And taking new ones, sayeth, "These will I wear today!" So putteth by the spirit lightly its garb of flesh, And passeth to inherit a residence afresh.
Kenneth Morris's beautiful verses "Valedictory" and "Meditation -- Night" were recited by the speaker and are quoted below for those who might not otherwise be able to find them:
Dear Heart, the Silence that you loved has taken you, And thrown the limits of your life away; You are made whole: there is naught else to say.
Because you were strong, no circumstance has shaken you; Because you were true, and hallowed every day,
Dear Heart, the Silence that you loved has taken you, And thrown the limits of your life away.
And now the Princes of the Spheres awaken you, And for your sake the Worlds of Light grow gay; And we, whose blessing speeds you, mourn not, Nay,
We know the Silence that you loved has taken you, And thrown the limits of your life away! You are made whole; there is naught else to say!
On the wings of the Lonely Bird, taking flight where the stars are flying, I go up to the Palace of Sleep, where the dead and the living are one; For adrift through the vague dim spaces comes music swooning and dying To call me away to the sapphire halls of the sun. I go up to the luminous Garden of Sleep; through the light of the Lonely To the realm where men are not, but the kingly Spirit of man, Who hath woven his robe of dream there, and abideth embodied only In the beauty and light that were ere the worlds began. Questing the Peace of the Seers, to the loved we mourned, departed; To the souls of the hate-marred here, -- there clear as the stars of the morn; To the God in me throned in the heaven-worlds, I go forth mystery-hearted, On the wings of the Lonely Bird, the Soul, upborne.
The speaker cited the following passage from the Preface (Page viii) to THE SECRET DOCTRINE:
But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion, neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialized.
Commenting on the above passage, Iverson said: This statement could readily be challenged by orthodox scholars, as it has been. Few of us are well-enough informed to be able to establish its validity; but HPB wrote two large volumes in support of her thesis; and these cannot be refuted by anyone. As for us students of Theosophy, we must accept many such statements on faith -- not blind faith, but faith based on the conviction that there are those who are much more knowledgeable and wiser than we are.
To illustrate: Few of us know enough of higher mathematics and astronomy to challenge the correctness of Einstein's Theory of Relativity; but there are learned scientists who ARE qualified to test its validity. So, who are we to dispute the testimony of great Sages like Krishna, the Buddha and Sankaracharya in India; of Laotse and Confucius in China; of Pythagoras and Socrates and Plato and Apollonius of Tyana in the Greek world; of Ammonius Saccas, Hypatia, Porphyry and Plotinus in Alexandria; of Jakob Boehme and Paracelsus in the Middle Ages?
Let us remember HPB's modest words in the Introductory to THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Page xlvi:
... to the public in general and the readers of the 'SECRET DOCTRINE' I may repeat what I have stated all along, and which I now clothe in the words of Montaigne: Gentlemen: "I HAVE HERE MADE ONLY A NOSEGAY OF CULLED FLOWERS, AND HAVE BROUGHT NOTHING OF MY OWN BUT THE STRING THAT TIES THEM."
At one period in their studies at Point Loma, the students recited daily the following from HPB's THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, quoted by her from the Chinese Sage Shin-Sien:
The mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects. It needs the gentle breezes of Soul-Wisdom to brush away the dust of our illusions.
The speaker said he felt the following warning from THE MAHATMA LETTERS was always timely -- perhaps more so now than ever before, as we approach the Centenary of the founding of the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875 by H. P. Blavatsky, Col. H. S. Olcott, William Q. Judge, and others:
Beware then of an uncharitable spirit, for it will rise up like a hungry wolf in your path and devour the better qualities of your nature which have been springing into life. Broaden instead of narrowing your sympathies; try to identify yourself with your fellows, rather than to contract your circle of affinity.
To emphasize the lesson contained in the foregoing, Iverson quoted the quatrain from Edwin Markham:
He drew a circle that shut me out, Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout; But love and I had the wit to win, For we drew a circle that took him in.
He said that the theosophical teaching learned at Point Loma which had had the greatest influence on his own life from his teens which he felt was of primary importance in bringing about better relationships among men and nations here and now on this earth -- even more than the metaphysical doctrines and the lofty concepts of cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, was the following message transmitted by HPB from her Masters to her disciples:
Behold the truth before you: a clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one's codisciple, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher, a willing obedience, to the behests of TRUTH, once we have placed our confidence in and believe that Teacher to be in possession of it; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the Secret Science (GUPTA VIDYA) depicts -- these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the temple of Divine Wisdom.
The speaker quoted the following from Page 24 of THE MAHATMA LETTERS:
The CHIEFS want a "Brotherhood of Humanity," a real Universal Fraternity started; an institution which would make itself known throughout the world and arrest the attention of the highest minds.
Iverson then called attention to the pronouncements of some of the "highest minds" to indicate that the Theosophical Headquarters founded by Katherine Tingley at Point Loma and guided by her for some thirty years, was actually such an institution. He quoted Dr. Henri La Fontaine, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1913, in a public address at the Isis Theater in San Diego, as follows:
You have here in your neighborhood, at the International Theosophical Headquarters, Point Loma, California, an example absolutely unique in the world and unique in history. You have here at Lomaland the headquarters of a worldwide organization, whose members are doing a wonderful work for the Peace Cause. At this splendid institution you can see men and women of twenty-seven nationalities living and working together without differences or disputes. It is a very active reality, something you can touch and see, where you can come and go, where you are welcomed as nowhere else, and whose people come to you every week to speak about Brotherhood. Couldn't you apply the principles they apply, to your own community? If you could do that; if you could apply those principles to your own lives, to your business relations, to your educational bodies, to your schools, you would give to the world the most splendid of examples. Perhaps it might be possible to make the State of California the first real State of Brotherhood -- the forerunner of the Brotherhood of the World. Even though we have an international court, the world will always be in a state of unrest until the Golden Rule is applied. That is my message to you. That is my message to the United States -- to be the forerunner of the Brotherhood of Man.
Iverson quoted briefly from an address given by Baron Kanda of the Japanese Commercial Commissioners after a reception tendered them in the Rotunda of the Raja-Yoga Academy at Point Loma:
We have traveled over your entire country and visited over forty cities, but in not one have we seen anything like this; and where in the world is there such a spot? ... I of course wish that you had placed it on the other side of the Pacific instead of on this side ... We, who are from Japan, have Buddhism and Confucianism and Christianity; but we need something deeper and more unifying, and I hope in the future to see your institutions in Japan; for the Japanese believe in Universal Brotherhood.
The most brilliant editorial writer ever on the staff of THE SAN DIEGO UNION AND EVENING TRIBUNE, E. H. Clough, who wrote under the pen-name of Yorick, was quoted as follows after attending a program given by the students at Point Loma:
I am told that the inspiration of all this is from the woman who has organized and maintained that wonderful institution over there on Point Loma, compact of art, beauty, erudition, and the humanity that classifies mankind not in the categories of the merely material, but upon the broad basis of a spiritual force and law of which the material is only one incomplete manifestation.
Writing in THE DETROIT FREE PRESS John Hubert Greusel was quoted as speaking of Katherine Tingley's "sovereign ease in large affairs" and that she seemed to combine in herself "the constructive imagination of Catherine of Russia with the idealism of a modernized Joan of Arc."
Professor Leonard Van Noppen of Columbia University, after visiting Point Loma said to its assembled staff and students:
I have visited fifty universities and colleges, and at not one of them have I been as impressed as I have been by even the little that I have seen here.
I do not have to be told what is going on here. I feel it in the unison of voices, in the faces, the gestures and the tones. I see it in the harmony that prevails everywhere, which permeates the atmosphere, which vibrates in all of you, and these vibrations make me think that you are keeping step with the heartbeats of God. I have not had that feeling anywhere else.
Writing in THE DENVER POST Joseph M. Grady said:
Lomaland is redolent of the aroma of Athens, and it has all the charm and beauty of the golden age of Greece. As soon as one enters the gates of the estate one feels intuitively that he is in the precincts of a home where all those things which brighten life are taught and practiced -- in the words of the wise old Plato, "the good, the beautiful, and the true."
Iverson told of the original Greek symposium, "The Aroma of Athens," put together by Fritz S. Darrow, Ph.D. (Harvard) and presented by Katherine Tingley and her students from time to time in the Greek Theater at Point Loma, the first in America, the arena built in 1901, the Doric stoa added in 1911. He recalled that Reginald Machell played the part of Phidias, Dr. Herbert Coryn the role of Socrates, and Iverson Harris Sr., the speaker's father, that of Pericles. He quoted the following lines from the Prologue by Kenneth Morris:
High on a hill beside the western seas, That hath more wealth than Hvbla for the bees. That hath more blueness than the Aegean skies, Athens shall again arise, most fair, most wise, To shine upon the world.
And Socrates' Prayer, rendered by Dr. Coryn in his throaty Cornish:
Great Zeus and all ye other gods who haunt this place, teach us to esteem Wisdom the only riches; give us beauty in our inmost souls, and may the outward and the inward man be at one.
The speaker closed his address before the Blavatsky Lodge in London by reciting the ancient Sanskrit invocation, the Gayatri:
Tat Savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi: Dhiyo yo nah prchodayat,
with Dr. de Purucker's English paraphrase thereof:
0 thou golden sun of most excellent splendor, Illumine our hearts and fill our minds, so that we, Recognizing our oneness with the Divinity, which is the heart of the Universe, May see the Pathway before our feet, and tread it to the distant goals of perfection, Stimulated by thine own radiant light.
By Charles Johnston & George William Russell
[from THE THEOSOPHIST, December 1887, pages 171 -- 76.]
The Theosophical doctrine, while endorsing many of the views of the Darwinian system of evolution, has so supplemented that doctrine with another -- that of man's spiritual descent or downward evolution from the planetary spirits -- as to alter entirely the view to be taken of man's character, constitution, and dignity in the universe. Of man's various powers, perceptions, and potencies, some belong to the arc ascending from the Monera, some to the arc descending from the divine and spiritual ancestors.
That the Aryan tongue, the language of the intuitional Fifth Race, belongs to the latter category and is man's inheritance from the planetary spirits, we hope to be able to show.
Philological research has demonstrated that the Indo-European or Aryan languages are reducible to a few hundred primitive roots, from which all subsequent stages and variations of language are by various modes of combination derived. In these days of enlightenment, when man is brought into unpleasant proximity with several very disagreeable poor relations, it is interesting to all mankind, and especially to the Aryan nations, to trace exactly the source from which our ancestor -- the Aryan, not the ape -- derived his few hundred primitive roots, for in their source and character we have a measure of his mind, a finger-post pointing either heavenwards to man's divine progenitors, or ape-wards to the prognathous and hairy chimpanzee.
On the one hand we shall expect to discover a spiritual relation between sounds and the various powers, forms, and colors and the universe, the value of which was intuitionally perceived by the earliest Aryans; on the other, we shall look to find the echoes of the grunts and squeals of our poor relation perched on a tree branch mumbling his acorns.
Roots, say the theorists, were at first either a matter of convention, or were formed by imitating the sounds of nature, and by exclamations and interjections. The chief objection to the first theory (which indeed was never very seriously defended) is that contrary to hypothesis the Aryan roots, as a whole, do not express the wants and notions of such a primitive people as we were led to postulate. We find for example comparatively few words, such as BOW, ARROW, and TENT, while there are a great many expressing abstract or reflective ideas like TO SHINE, TO FLY, TO KNOW, TO BURN. The second also is all very well AS A THEORY, but at the first rude contact with fact it collapses. We find very few words which could possibly be formed according to its principles, and this for the simple reason that there are no distinctive sounds in nature accompanying the majority of the ideas expressed in these Aryan roots.
The theory which we put forward, on the other hand, is that sounds have by nature a spiritual or innate relation with various colors, forms or qualities, and that the Aryan roots were formed with a clear intuitional perception of this fact. It is probable that the process of their formation was instinctive and unconscious, rather than intentional and deliberate.
To make the theory more clear, we may say that it appears to us that the entities on each plane have a spiritual relation to the entities on the other planes. A particular sound, for instance, corresponds to one color, to one taste, to one odor, and to one simple figure or form. In order to connect the Aryan roots, or, to speak more correctly, the sounds of the Aryan roots with their values on the other planes -- thus showing their origin to be spiritual and intuitional -- it will be necessary to analyze the chief sounds used in this branch of human speech, and to assign to them their spiritual values; and having discovered these values to apply them to the Aryan roots or to the words of any early language akin to the Aryan. It will be seen that besides the values to be assigned to them intuitionally, a parallel series of values will be discovered arising from physiological reasons, such as the position of the organs of speech while pronouncing them; but it must in all cases be borne in mind that the intuitive is the primary meaning, though reasons for it cannot, from its very nature, be stated argumentatively; in most cases, therefore, physiological reason alone will be given. For the convenience of those unacquainted with Sanskrit phonetics, we will adhere as far as possible to the English alphabet.
To begin with B and M (pronounced ba and am), if we analyze their character and difference from other sounds and from each other, we find that with the exception P (pa) a slight variant of B, they are the only sounds which require the complete closure of the mouth for their formation. Whether it is preceded or followed by a vowel, B cannot be correctly pronounced without first closing the lips and then opening them. It is evident therefore that as Ba is the only sound which is made by the bursting forth of the breath from closed lips. It is more suited than any other to express "the beginning of life," or "life." M differs from B in this, in that it is made not by the breath coming from the just opened lips, but by closing them and stopping the breath completely for a time, then the breath finds an outlet by its upper channel, the nose. Taking these facts into consideration, we perceive that it should mean something extreme, like "end," "height," or "death," or more fully, the stoppage of the life energy and its transfer to a different channel. (We may here remark that this value agrees with the characteristics of Siva, in the mystic syllable Om, or Aum, representing Brahman the Creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Siva the destroyer and regenerator). It is a similar sound to M, but differs from it in this, that the stoppage of the breath, before its transfer to the upper outlet, is incomplete. It means "continuance" or change without any real end. P is a variation of the sound for life, its significance is less though similar, it means "formation of a part," "division," or "smallness.", The principal characteristic of V is its indefiniteness. It means "vagueness." F, its companion sound, means "airiness" or "lightness," it would refer to floating or flying objects. The harshest of the primary sounds is J (Ja), its meaning therefore to accord with this peculiarity must be "matter," "heaviness," or "earth" (as one of the five objective elements. The hard sharp sound of K (Ka), at once defines its meaning -- "hardness," "sharpness," or "brilliancy." The analogous sound of G (Ga) means "smoothness," or " reflection." The Brahminical doctrine of emanations teaches, as is well known, that absolute spirit, or Parabrahm (the great underlying reality of the universe), by its expansive activity created the First and Eternal emanation of the Logos, or Spirit; from this was produced the second emanation of ether, the astral light of the Kabbalists, corresponding to akasa; from the ether was produced the element of light or fire; from fire was produced air; from air was produced water; from water -was produced earth; from earth was produced the vegetable kingdom; from the vegetable kingdom were produced animals, from animals man.
Here we find that earth is, as it were, the turning point to which downward evolution reaches, and from which upward evolution begins. It is a remarkable and significant fact, but none the less a fact, that, if we take the liquid semivowel or ethereal series of sounds, and classify them in the order they come in the throat and mouth, their intuitional or spiritual values in this order will correspond accurately to the order of the elements in this Kabbalistic doctrine of emanations.
The first of these ethereal sounds A (pronounced like the "a" in Atma), is the first sound of the human voice formed farthest within the throat, and the breath necessary to form all other sounds must pass from the A, the value of A therefore is "God," the "first cause" or the "self." The next sound of this series is R (ar, as in for), from its peculiar fullness and undefinable sound, its meaning is "wind," "breath," "movement," or "spirit;" it is the spirit which, in the words of Genesis, "Brooded upon the face of the waters," and is the first emanation of the A or God; after R comes the sound of H (hay) the sound for "heat," the five elements in one aspect. Next comes L (el) the spiritual value of which is "light." The other aspect of the fire emanation, Y (yea) the sound succeeding L, means "compression" or "the drawing together of things;" the next sound of this peculiar class is W (way), the sound for "water"; marking the two limits of the circular space enclosed by the pronunciation of this sound are the two sounds of Ja and Ka, representing the quality of material solidity of the next emanation, the earth, which thus issues from the center of the water element.
Let the waters be gathered together And let the dry land appear.
-- says the cosmogony in Genesis. The ethereal or semivowel carry us down the earth element, which is, as we have seen, the turning point of evolution. These ethereal sounds -represent the objective and supersensual planes, whose peculiar types of being have been called the fire, air, and water elementals. When we reach the earth and the objective kingdoms, we come again to hard sounds. Proceeding outwards from the earth we get the sound of Ith which means "growth," or "expansion": with this sound came the emanation or evolution of vegetable life -- to use the words of Genesis.
The earth brought forth herbs.
After Ith comes the sound of F and B, representing the kingdom of birds, fishes, and animals and the crowning evolution of man.
Close on the heels of life, follows death, represented by the sound of M.
Let us compare this with the Upanishad.
From that self (Brahman) sprang ether (or spirit), From ether sprang air (expansion and heat); From air sprang fire (light or color.) ; From fire, water; from water, earth; From earth, herbs; from herbs, food; from food, man."
Here we have exactly the order we have arrived at by taking the spiritual values of the sounds as they occur in the human throat and mouth:
A, god R, spirit H, heat L, light W, water K, hardness J, earth Ith, growth B, life M, death
A few more sounds may be added:
S (formed by a rapid series of sibilations), number D, descent or falling T, ascent
We will now try how far we may be enabled with the key obtained to comprehend the intellectual and spiritual life of our ancestors. Nothing remains in writing which tells of their wisdom; but no historian could have taken the measure of it so exactly as it is recorded in the bare roots which have come down to us. The traditions about these men might be untrustworthy and enlarged upon by the imagination of those who related them; but their words contain a history which cannot be otherwise than true, because they were intuitive.
It will be found that the examples given are of words of the very simplest class, referring to actions, thoughts, and things, the most likely to be first expressed in this newly developed faculty of intuitive speech. We think that almost all the roots which do not seem to be intuitive were formed by a conventional agreement to regard one of these early words as applicable to several different things, for example, K, hardness or sharpness, was used in forming the intuitive word "Ak," "to pierce into," "Ak," "to see," was evidently a result of this primary meaning.
It is easy to see what God meant to the old Assyrians, El, the light; Bel, their sun god, seems to mean "he who lives in light," life and light are joined to express this idea. Aer, God of the atmosphere, was another Assyrian god, he was also called Vul, which is equivalent to Jupiter Tonans. Vul probably means "light of the sky," here being used to represent the indefinite air. Ahiah, "I am that I am," the name which was uttered from the burning bush, is intuitive, being formed by a double pronunciation of the word for the self or God. Pal, the Assyrian word for "time" or "year," would mean division of light; Pu, month, should mean a division. Mul, star, means "high light," M being used here to express something extreme. To the Aryan race death had the meaning, the "end of movement" or of the "breath." Mar, containing the sounds for end and movement. Ur, sky, would mean "wide air," as "Oo" means "width" and R, air. The root An, endless, is intuitive, also Pu, threshed or purified, P being used here to express division. Ku, to sharpen, is a word of the same class as Ak, to pierce. In Kar, to make, there are combined the sounds for hardness and movement; in Taks, to hew, the sounds for, to raise, hardness, and number, the S, referring to what is hewn away or divided. In Mak, to pound, to macerate, there is the suggestion of ending with something hard. The united sounds of hardness and falling are in Kad, to fall; and of division and hardness in Pak, to come, and Pik, to cut. The letters which form Skap, to chop, mean to cut and divide things. Other words of the same class are Sak and Skar. In Sa, to sow, the prevailing idea seems to have been number. Swid, to sweat, has the sounds for number, water, and rolling down. Possibly the idea of Swa, to toss, was taken from seeing things tossed about upon the waves as Fath, to spread out, may have been from observation of the aerial growth of tree branches. Swal, to boil up, is clearly intuitive, as well as Wam, to spit out. Other intuitive words are Yu, to bind, and Yas, to gird. Wa meant to bind, either because it was observed that water acted as a girdle to all things or through some confusion of meaning between it and Y. It may be observed here that sometimes there is an interchange of meanings between a sound and the one preceding or following it; sometimes L has the meaning of R, or H of L, or Y of W, or G of K.
S and W are joined into one word in Siw, to bind, the idea expressed being the binding together of things. It has been used with the intuitive value attached to it in Flu, to fly, swim, or float. The Sanskrit Rasu, origin intuitively considered, would mean the movement of things, and the Assyrian, Ris, beginning, seems to have the same idea embodied in it. The root Al, to burn, is intuitive, but the light seems to have suggested the word rather than the heat. Knowledge is the reflection in the mind of what is passing in the world, Gnu, to know, is a combination of the sounds for reflection and combination. Than, thinness, would seem to be the result of long continued growth. Gol, a very common word for late, means "reflection of light," and the glistening appearance of ice probably suggested a word, to freeze, Gal; a word of the same class is Gea, to glow. Tar, to pass over, has sounds of which the intuitive value seems to be "ascent through air." Thu, to swell, to be strong, and Fath, to fly, are examples of the use of Ith.
As it would only be tedious to go on giving examples, after the theory and the method of applying it for the purpose of elucidating the meaning and origin of the roots has been made sufficiently clear, we will add a few more only; they are Su, to generate, to produce; Cuk, to shine, Mu, to shut up, to enclose; Mi, to go; Bu, to be, to grow; Bars to carry; Kant, to cut; An, to breathe; Spark, to scatter; Da, to distribute; and Greek, Ge, the earth. A little thought will show at once what idea was intended to be embodied in these words.
Reflecting on the extreme sensibility to sound which this intuitive race possessed, a sensibility which enabled them to find words exactly suited to express the spreading of tree branches and the boiling of water, we cannot help wondering, were they similarly affected by sounds external to themselves, and whether the call of birds or the hoarser cries of animals conveyed any meaning to their ear. The words which they employed to express color, though, naturally enough, lesser evidence remains of this, show that, for every hue they could find a note of corresponding value on the plane of sound, R and M answering respectively to red and violet, and each letter between to some shade of color ranging from one to the other of the two mentioned. A study of the forms used in the primeval alphabets, and as symbols, would show that they recognized something more in nature than mere matter, that the tracing of flower and leaf, and the starry arch of heaven, and all beautiful things, were full to them of deep spiritual significance, which the more intellectual scientists of our time cannot see, though they weigh and analyze and examine ever so much. If this essay could persuade even one of them to develop the most god-like faculty man possesses -- intuition -- its purpose would be fulfilled.