August 2001

2001-08 Quote

By Magazine

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

-- Albert Einstein


Passing on Theosophy

By Eldon B. Tucker

There has been discussion on the theosophical mailing lists about how we might keep the original message of Theosophy alive for the present and future generations.

We must first ask ourselves, "What is that basic message?" Is it an accurate representation of the dead letter of the printed page? Is a photographic facsimile of the original editions of our earliest literature the message itself?

I would say "no" to that. The message is an understanding of the materials. This goes beyond what is in the physical book. If people only needed the books, the Theosophical Movement could entirely consist of publishing houses and static web sites.

There is more to it than that. Someone needs to understand what the words mean. Someone needs to be able to explain the ideas in terms of current thought. Someone needs to tutor, encourage, and inspire new students.

Each theosophical group has current members whom offer to new students their understanding of what Theosophy means. The keynote and slant of the philosophy varies with the groups. It is possible to characterize the general viewpoint of each theosophical society or organization, although each particular lodge and student has his or her own unique viewpoint.

We keep Theosophy alive by learning more, building what we have learned into our lives, and sharing with others. That sharing can be in any creative endeavor, although within the context of a theosophical group, it may come out in terms of offering thoughtful and responsive comments in study classes, and in helping sparking a deeper interest in new students.

The basic theosophical texts may change over time. Future generations may edit them as the English language changes. Years from now, theosophical workers may supplement or replace texts with later works. Their intent would be to assist new students. Through the generations, the Message goes forward unimpeded.

Some assume we will never fully understand the meaning of what Blavatsky wrote, that Blavatsky wrote things that are forever beyond us. That argument would continue with the claim that we should leave everything untouched, even misspellings of Sanskrit terms, because there could be some profoundly esoteric meaning hidden in the apparent mistake. I would disagree and say this represented the worship of the dead letter of Theosophy.

Let us not turn our backs on the deeper side of Theosophy. We do not find it in the hope of reaching even more subtle and profound metaphysics from our studies. It is something different, something in addition to thought.

We find the heart of Theosophy in a fire of spirit that lights up what we think, feel, and do. It is a sense of inspiration, of enthusiasm, of creativity that leads us to do things to brighten and enliven the world without regard to personal benefit of any kind. We feel a sense of having giving birth to something of value in its own right, with all our awareness on "this new thing coming forth into the world" rather than on "how wonderful a person I must be in being able to do such great things."

The Theosophical Movement started with a bright spark of such a flame. Sharing that innocent wonder and desire to share, people have carried it forward. It is independent of the dead letter of the literature. The printed books are a technique, a particular means to bring new students to a higher awareness, and are not the end goal of theosophical effort.

Although it is subtle, it is sometimes possible for us to tell if this message of the spirit appears in our writings and the writings of fellow students. If someone has produced a clever writing, and the ideas are good, there may be the intellectual challenge of a good puzzle-solving session. This type of writing may be good metaphysics, but still may be devoid of the spirit.

The higher writing may not be as clever in metaphysics, but grips us, shakes us, makes us pause and wonder. It tugs at our heartstrings, our thinking, and our sense of purpose in life. The higher writing has the world-stopping impact of a glimpse of a wonderful mountain panorama, of children happily at play, of the death of a loved one, or of an opening door to wondrous mysteries as we encounter some treasure of a book or make a new friend.

We do pass on the theosophical message when offering a clever twist to the standard metaphysics, showing that we have solved a tad more of the philosophical jigsaw puzzle presented us in the literature. We pass it on when learning to write with something more, with spiritual light. Such writing is not pretentious. It does not seem phony, empty, or repellant. Only when we pretend to write that way would we reveal in our words a lack of genuineness that people would sense, causing them to turn away.

How do we do it? It has to do with working on our inner lives. It has to do with caring about what we want to share. This subtle skill may take many, many lifetimes to prefect. We do not just sit down and become an effective spiritual teacher at first try. The way to do it is simple, though. We just pick things of noble purpose and value to the world, things that we love, and we do them. We share in whatever way we can, making mistakes at times, but never looking back to regret the past. We just nurture within a greater creativity and sharing, and live it out in our lives.

When we sit down to share Theosophy, keep this in mind. A good quote may be fine by itself, but cannot replace a genuine sharing from deep within.


Our Real Friends

By B.P. Wadia

[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 16-18.]

Their very hearts and minds are in me; enlightening one another and constantly speaking of me, they are full of enjoyment and satisfaction. To them thus always devoted to me, who worship me with love, I give that mental devotion by which they come to me. For them do I out of my compassion, standing within their hearts, destroy the darkness that springs from ignorance by the brilliant lamp of spiritual discernment.


During this month, the Hindu religionists and mystics of discerning heart of every faith will celebrate Krishna's Nativity. He is called SHABDA BRAHMAN, which the ancient Greeks designated as the Logos, the Christians as the Word made Flesh.

Does the Divine Incarnation recognized by followers of every faith, whether as Krishna, Christos, or by any other name, and whether His Natal Day is observed in August, in December, or at any other time, give us an intimation of the Great Reality -- the effect of the cause which is concealed, but which can be sensed and realized?

How should we think of the Ever-Living Divine Presence, the Incomprehensible Omniscience, the Mysterious Impersonality, ever invisible, intangible, indescribable, and yet omnific? Instinct and reason alike compel us to regard Deity as the Unavoidable. Intuition, or Pure and Compassionate Reason, illumines the whole field of our ideation by revealing the magical activity of the Deity, which expresses the purposeful fitness of all things. It is the Necessity. Without it, right living becomes impossible.

In the Fourth Chapter of THE BHAGAVAD GITA, Krishna offers in a simple way a profound truth. He says to Arjuna that he has communicated to him the Ancient, Secret Wisdom, because "thou art my devotee and my friend."

Enveloped by fear of decay and destruction, men and women seek a sense of security. Most of them miss out the one sure source of security, the immortal nature of the human soul. Our civilization and modern learning teach a false twisted psychology of the soul. We have at the core of our being an innate "something" which prompts us to a belief in the soul. Our upbringing makes short work of that belief. The results are disastrous.

Devotion and friendship of the highest order manifest in three ways. (1) There is devotion and friendship between our mortal mind and its immortal counterpart, the Shining One. (2) There is devotion and friendship between our personal mind-soul as a learner and the Gracious Guru, the embodiment of pure love and true knowledge. (3) There is devotion and friendship among all learners of the True, among fellow disciples who are pilgrims to the Sacred City of Light.

Krishna loves his alter ego Arjuna as his friend because he finds Arjuna's heart full of devotion. Those who are Kshatriya souls, fortune's favored soldiers, have their Divinity close to them. Fighting the carnal nature that is the constant enemy of man on earth, they find the Constant Friend nearby. Krishna, the Christos, is nearer than hands and feet.

Krishna also represents the Gracious Guru, the Teacher, prepared to deliver us "from all transgressions." The qualifications are most difficult of attainment. Arjuna gains them at the very end, in the Eighteenth Chapter of THE BHAGAVAD GITA. Those who merely say "Krishna, Krishna" are not the disciples. The disciples are those who place their hearts upon Him as He has declared Himself to be. Most "devotees" have their fanciful image of the Guru. What is it that is taught to the pupil? The pupil is taught a secret that must never be revealed.

A Guru has numerous disciples: true learners, intelligent devotees, intimate friends. Such are few and they form a Fellowship, a Companionship. Of such fellow disciples, it is said that their attention is concentrated on the Guru. With every breath, they inhale the vital magnetism. With every exhalation, they speak the wisdom of the Guru and feel full of Beatitude and Bliss.

The intimation of the Most High brings us along three ways the sure sense of security from fears of disease, decay, and death. This knowledge is what men need. How many know that it is available? Let us seek within the heart the light of the purified mind. In our attempt, we are aided and encouraged by fellow soldiers. Fighting their own battles, they are achieving their own successes. The Great Chain called the Guruparampara reveals our true Gurus: the Lovers and Benefactors of the human race.

Thus have I heard.


The Theosophy of Jesus, Part II

By John Gayner Banks

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1939, pages 36-51. It comes from a talk given at the Katherine Tingley Lodge of The Theosophical Society, San Diego, California in April 1938.]

"To you, little ones, my children," said Jesus, in substance, "I tell you plainly the Mysteries of The Kingdom of the Heavens."

Can we gain access to these Christian Mysteries today? Yes, if we will pay the price. We catch the echoes of these Mysteries in the Sermon on The Mount. Millions read the words. How many achieve that blessedness (really illumination) there referred to in those words? Those who read the words intellectually may absorb their ethical and esoteric meaning, but if they are not living the life, they miss the true illumination that Jesus wanted his hearers to seek and find. The word "blessed" is sometimes translated "happy," but I think you will agree that the word "blessed" transcends the idea conveyed by the word "happy."

Test this thought by reading slowly and thoughtfully the "beatitudes" as given in Matt. 5:1-12. That "Blessedness" referred to frequently in the Sermon on The Mount is something that comes by doing. It is what some call good karma (as distinct from bad karma). It does not usually come from reading and study. It does come by following the Master, by becoming a true Chela.

Is this experience the monopoly of profound spiritual initiates? It would not seem so. Turn to Luke 10, and you will read a fascinating story of how Jesus sent out no less than seventy of His disciples to demonstrate the truth of the things they had learned. Do not allow yourself to be too intrigued by the numerology here indicated. Doubtless, that number seventy has a mystical meaning, but for the moment follow the immediate trend of this story.

They were a mixed crowd, made up of artisans and fishermen and tax-gatherers and other plebeians. Yet they had accepted the path of Initiation. They were under orders. Their orders were to go out, two by two, into every town and place where Jesus intended to visit later. He told them -- and the words signify far more than appears on the surface -- that "the harvest truly is rich, but the laborers are few." He told them to take no purse or wallet, no sandal. They were even to dispense with the usual formalities and salutations. They were commissioned with unusual powers. Wherever they were received, Jesus said they were to eat what was provided for them. They were to heal the sick and they were to proclaim that the Reign of God was at hand. Perhaps it has already begun for those who could see spiritually. There were other instructions given.

What was the result? Could such a fantastic mission possibly succeed? The results of the Mission will surprise the reader, especially those who read the story for the first time. Luke tells us that the seventy came back with joy. "Lord," they said, "the very demons obey us in your name!" Jesus did not rebuke their enthusiasm. He said gently, "Do not rejoice because the demons obey you; rejoice because your names are enrolled in heaven." (Luke 10:17-20, [Moffatt])


This spectacle of the returning seventy also brings out a touch of Cosmic Consciousness which the reader can behold in Jesus Himself, for as He welcomes these disciples back from their first mission, He:

thrilled with joy at that hour in the Holy Spirit, saying, "I praise Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for concealing this from the wise and learned and revealing it to the simple-minded; yes, Father, I praise Thee that such was thy chosen purpose"!

Then, turning to the disciples, he said privately:

Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, but they have not seen it; and to hear what you hear, but they have not heard it.

Among those early Christian Fathers of the Church who held and taught the Esoteric Tradition, three deserve to be mentioned: Clement of Alexandria (Second century); Origen, likewise of the Alexandrian School (Second and Third century); and Synesius, a Neoplatonist Bishop, who lived in the Fourth and Fifth centuries. Synesius was the warm friend and student of Hypatia, whose unfortunate, tragic end is described by Charles Kingsley in his novel HYPATIA.

Dr. de Purucker tells us that the Alexandrian scholar and Church Father Origen taught many things so curiously like (in certain respects) to the Theosophical doctrines, that were one to change names and manner of phrasing, one could probably find in these particular teachings a good deal of the Esoteric Philosophy.


Nobody who has really studied the Life and Teachings of Jesus the Christ can question his place among the Masters of all ages of authentic human history. We recognize His Masterhood or Adeptship by virtue of the life he lived as well as by virtue of the revelation or Teaching which he gave.

His teachings have come down to us only in fragmentary form. Those Teachings have been obscured in places by bad translation and even perhaps occasionally by the carelessness of those who orally transmitted them before they were committed to writing. Even so, to the sincere with ears to hear and heart to understand, there is in the recorded utterances of Jesus a key to unlock the Mysteries of the Ages. They might find therein the mystical and occult Wisdom, which is the goal of the Theosophist.


There is a western term used for the great Masters of Wisdom that appeals to me. It is "Illuminate," the plural being "Illuminati." The best definition is given in Dr. R.M. Bucke's book, COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS. An illuminate is one who has at any time and under any circumstances achieved Cosmic Consciousness. He gives in his book thirty-six examples of Cosmic Consciousness, including Jesus the Christ in a conspicuous place. According to this authority, Christ's possession of this highest form of illumination is best illustrated in the frequent references to the Kingdom of God or The Kingdom of Heaven. To appreciate what this means, we must learn to use these terms more conservatively. We must catch the idea that seems always to have been in the mind of Jesus when he referred to the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven.

About the age of thirty (according to the New Testament narrative), a marked change took place in Jesus. Whereas up to a certain age he was very much as others, he all at once ascended to a spiritual level quite over the heads of ordinary men. Those who knew him at home, as a boy and a young man, could not understand him. "Is not this the carpenter's son," they asked. As reported elsewhere, "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? ... and they were offended at him." (Matt. 8:55 and Mark 6:3) This marked spiritual ascent occurring suddenly at this age is in itself almost diagnostic of the cosmic consciousness. Reading between the lines, we get a clue in the story of the Baptism of Jesus:

Straightway, coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens rent asunder, and the Spirit as a Dove descending upon him; and a Voice came out of the heavens saying, "Thou art my Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased." Straightway, the Spirit drives him forth into the wilderness.

-- Mark 1:10-12

The fact that Jesus went to John to be baptized shows that his mind was directed to religion and makes it probable that he had (before illumination) the earnest temperament out of which (when at all) the Cosmic Consciousness springs. Dr. Bucke further reminds us that the expression "He saw the heavens rent asunder," describes well enough the oncoming of the Cosmic Consciousness, which is instantaneous, sudden, and much as if a veil were with one sharp jerk torn from the eyes of the mind, letting the sight pierce through.

Describing the same oncoming of Cosmic Consciousness, St. John of the Cross (John Yepes) says:

It is the soul that is moved and awakened. It is as if God withdrew some of the many veils and coverings that are before it, so that it might see what He is.

He has been enquiring whether, in this seemingly miraculous occurrence, it is God or the human soul that acts -- and this is his conclusion.

So too, the sense of the words "Thou art my Beloved Son," agrees perfectly with the message conveyed in all the cases. Walt Whitman says, "I know that the Spirit of God is the Brother of my own." Dante's words: "O Love, that governest the heavens, Who with thy Light didst lift me," is a strictly parallel expression. The apparently objective Voice is also a common phenomenon. It was heard by St. Paul and by other spiritual Seers and Initiates.

The Temptation in the Wilderness, which followed the Baptism of Jesus, also brings out some of the criteria of His Mastership, but there is no time to mention them here. Jesus quickly decided that the higher powers of the Initiate must be used for the benefit of the race and never exploited for the gratification of the lower self.

Why is this element of self-discipline always observed in the evolution of a Master of the race? It is because the moral elevation, which is a part of Cosmic Consciousness, will not permit any other decision. Were it not so, were the intellectual illumination not accompanied by moral exaltation, these men would undoubtedly be (as Dr. Bucke remarks) in effect so many demons who would end by destroying the world!

The essence of this Temptation is the appeal of the old self-conscious self to the new power to assist it in accomplishing its old desires. The devil, therefore, is the self-conscious or lower self. The Devil (Mara) appeared to Gautama as well as to Jesus and urged him not to launch out on a new path, but to keep to the old religious practices, to live quietly and comfortably. "What dost thou want with exertion," he said to him. Mara did not seek to allure Gautama with offers of wealth and power, for these he had already possessed, and even the self- conscious Gautama knew their futility. As already intimated, every man who enters cosmic consciousness necessarily passes through the same temptation.

As all the rest, Francis Bacon was tempted this way and, as doubtless many others have fallen, he in a sense fell. He felt in himself such enormous capacity that he imagined he could absorb the wealth of both the cosmic sense and self- consciousness -- both heaven and earth. Later he bitterly repented his greed. He acknowledges the gift (from God) of the Divine faculty -- "the gracious talent" -- which he says he "neither hoarded up unused, nor did he employ it to the best advantage, as he should have done, but misspent it in things for which (he) was least fit."


One of the advertised objects of the Theosophical Society is "to investigate the powers innate in man." I submit that a careful study of the life and works of Jesus the Christ will furnish grounds for the belief that we are all living on a plane of thought and achievement much lower than that which our true nature implies.

After some years spent in studying and teaching the life of Jesus the Christ, I am convinced that he has set before us, in his life and teachings, the possibility of a superlative life far transcending that ordinarily reached by any one of us. Allowing for all possible exaggerations and misquotations from original and authentic sources, it seems clear to me that Jesus the Christ demonstrated -- in Himself and (to some degree) through his inner circle of disciples -- a power and lordship over the enemies of the race -- Sin, Disease, and Death -- transcending that of any other member of the race.

As we think here of His Mastership, let us not belittle our own potential mastership. His mastership was largely manifested to evoke that mastership which lies latent in each one of us. He told his followers very clearly:

The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these shall ye do because I go to the Father.

-- John 14:12


The Origin of Fiction, Part I

By Kenneth Morris

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, February 1951, pages 92-103.]

How many hundreds of thousands of novels do people publish every year? When published, what good purpose do the novels serve? They are mostly a drug for the mind. Perhaps, they might be a means of keeping people from the dreadful necessity of thinking, of facing themselves, of discovering or trying to discover the meaning of life. Yet, the art of fiction had its origin in things altogether holy. Were there no inner truth about the universe, novel writing would have had a different beginning. Let us see what the beginnings of fiction really were.

We are here today in Wales. Go back some two or three thousand years. You will say, "Was Wales or northern Europe civilized then?" The answer is, "Yes, though their civilization was unlike ours. It was still more unlike the condition of the peoples we call savages today." We need not go into what their civilization was like. All that concerns us was their religion.

There were no churches and chapels in those days. It was the time "cyn cred," before the creed, before the coming of Christianity. We now call their religion Druidism. We do not know what they would have called it. They divided it into two parts, an Outer and an Inner. The Outer they might have called "Religion." The Inner, they would call by some term as the "Secret Wisdom."

The Outer was what everybody believed in. It consisted of tales about the Gods, and festivals in which they commemorated the doings of the Gods. There would have been Gods of almost everything: the mighty Mother, Nature; the Sun God; the Moon-Goddess; Gods of air, fire, and water; Gods of the trees, of war, of trade, of eloquence, color, poetry, Gods of wisdom, and so forth. Several times in the year, there would be festivals in honor of these Gods. Everyone understood these Gods to be interested in the humanity they protected.

By holding these festivals in their honor, humanity drew near to them and shared in their life. If you sinned, you offended against the Laws of the Universe, of which these Gods were the agents and guardians. The consequence would be that the Gods of Agriculture would not cooperate with you to make your harvests good, or the God of War would not be on your side in battle, or the Rain-God would not send rain.

There was more to religion than that. There were people who knew the real secrets of life and the universe. These people were the Druids. They were the priests of those times. They had gone through long and severe training in order to acquire the Secret Wisdom. They knew that there was a path to the heart of the Universe, which men might travel. When the desire or aspiration came to anyone to travel that path and learn the Inner Wisdom, he knew what steps to take.

The multitude would go through life content with the exoteric or outer religion. They did their duty more or less by the Gods and by their fellow man. Then as now, nine out of ten found the outer life enough to content them and did not trouble themselves about the Secrets of Wisdom. A certain number, then as now, were not content just to be born, married, beget children, and die. They wanted to KNOW. What did these aspiring souls do?

They went to the Druids, and said, "I want to know. Teach me!"

The Druids answered, "Why do you want to know?"

Perhaps the answer to that was, "That I may be great and powerful, and rule over my fellow man."

To that, the Druid said, "Go away. You are not ready for the Secret Wisdom."

Perhaps the aspirant said honestly, "I want to know in order that I may do good in the world, greater good than I can do without the knowledge of the Secret Wisdom. I want to know that I may serve my fellow men."

To that the Druid would answer, "Well, I will take you as my disciple. How much you can learn, or whether you can learn at all, depends entirely on yourself. It depends on your sincerity, your devotion, your intelligence, and your readiness to give up self, to forget yourself, and to live in that Greater Self which is love for humanity."

Then began a course of long discipline designed to kill the sense of self in the aspirant. If any man injured him, he had to forgive the injury at once and wholeheartedly. He had to return good for evil and love for hatred. When self was dead in him, then he began to learn the secrets.

He pledged himself to keep what he learned secret, for knowledge is power. He would not reveal this Greater Knowledge to those who had not undergone the discipline that frees a man from the shackles of self. To do so would put power into the hands of those who might use it for self-advantage, to the detriment of others.

The disciple passed through various Initiations, each of which revealed to him secrets of wisdom, making him a greater man. The penalty he would have to pay for revealing any of the knowledge he had won, would be the loss of that knowledge. The Druids did not impose this penalty. The penalty came from a law innate in things, a law innate in the fabric of the universe.

While the Druids were the custodians of the Secret Wisdom, they were also the ones who presided over the religious life of the people. They arranged and ordered those popular festivals in honor of the Gods. They had charge of the exoteric religion as well as of the Inner Wisdom.

The Druids made sure that people never forgot there was a Secret Wisdom. They kept alive the knowledge that there was a path to the heart of the Universe, which those might travel upon who would. When they initiated a candidate, they taught him to keep inviolable secrecy, yet to keep in public awareness that there were secrets that some might learn.

To do this, they used stories of the Gods that were half the material of the exoteric religion. What is the basis of a story? What are the elements we must have? First is a hero about whom we wrote the story. Then there is a beginning. The hero has a task before him, with adventures to undergo. Then there is the ending, where he attains something. That is the basic form. The hero is the candidate for Initiation, the man who sets out to become a God. He has adventures, which means that he undergoes the discipline and trials that lead to and constitute his Initiation. Then he attains his goal, which stands for wisdom, Godhood. He becomes an Initiate, an Adept.

This is the subject of ancient fiction. It is the subject that the ancients considered the most important in the world. They told innumerable tales, but they always meant this subject. The hero is never a character study, because he is not a man. He is one of the principles in the constitution of every man. The other characters in the story are not other human beings, other individuals that he meets in daily life. They are other principles found in the constitution of every man. He has not to fight and overcome forces that are outside of his own being. The goal he wins -- bride, kingdom, or what not -- is not external. In every case, it is the divinity within him.

What is true of ancient Wales is equally true of most parts of Europe, Asia, North Africa, and even the Americas. There were those among the Initiates of the Druidic Schools whose business it was to tell stories. In this part of the world, people called them the Bards. This word has come now, except in Wales, to mean poets. That is only a secondary meaning. Bard really means teacher, in the sense of Teacher of Wisdom. Because they told their stories mostly in verse, the name of Bard came to mean poet.

The Bards filled a need of society as it then existed. There were long winter evenings in which the tribesmen gathered in the houses of the kings and chieftains with which the country was plentifully sprinkled. The women would sew, weave, and spin. The men would work on their nets and weapons. There would be music, harping, and song. The Bard presently arrived at the door. They received him with high honor.

In the course of the evening, he would tell a story, either altogether in verse, or with poems occurring here and there in it. He would take care that in the telling hints be dropped as to its meaning. This was so that if there were anyone in the hall who was inwardly ready to take the first steps towards Initiation, the Bard would remind him of the possibility of taking such steps. He would have a care too that something should remain in the minds of all. What was that? It was a feeling that ordinary outer life is not the only thing, is not the great and important thing.

I will not go at length into the grand old stories that have come down to us from those ancient Bards. We can read them in Lady Charlotte Guest's translation, the MABINOGION. I take an example from the great Welsh Initiation story called HANES TALIESIN, the HISTORY OF TALIESIN. Taliesin may have lived in the sixth century. Seventy-seven poems attributed to him come down to us. Many are bristling with the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom. He is the great type of Bard Initiate in Welsh literature.

The story is that Ceridwen, the Mighty Mother, the Goddess of Nature, had a son who was the ugliest man in the world. To make up for his ugliness, she determined to make him also the wisest. She brewed a decoction in her cauldron on the hills of Cardiganshire, seeking to result in three drops of wisdom. She set a dwarf named Little Gwion to stir this while she gathered herbs for it on the Hills.

As Little Gwion stirred, the brew boiled over, three drops falling on his finger and scalding him. He put the finger in his mouth to ease the pain. He instantly became aware of all things, and first of all that he must flee from Ceridwen. The drops of wisdom being out of the cauldron, the strength of the poison that remained broke the vessel, and the poison flowed away down to the sea.

We know that as the Cauldron of Reincarnation, Pair Dadeni. The decoction brewing in it is the experience we get in our incarnations here in the world, of which the result is the Three Drops of Wisdom, the Initiation that makes men Gods, masters of their destiny. Ceridwen, Mother Nature, brews the cauldron. That is, men incarnate in this world, the realm of Mother Nature. The moment men have tasted the drops of wisdom, the first knowledge that comes to them is that they have to beware of Nature, of lower human nature, which they have to conquer before becoming immortal.

Gwion Bach fled from Ceridwen. He fled from and evaded the lower nature. He became a hare, and she pursued him as a greyhound. He became a trout in the stream, and she pursued him as an otter. He became a bird in the air, and she pursued him as a hawk. When she stooped over him to kill, he became a grain of wheat falling onto a heap of grain in a farmyard. She became an old black hen with a tuft of white feathers on her head, and gobbled him up. In due course, he was born as her child. He was a child so beautiful and so radiant of brow that she had not the heart to destroy him. People called him Taliesin, radiant forehead. He became the greatest of the Bards of Wales.

The story is far too deep, far too full of profound symbolism, to attempt to explain it in detail. It tells the one great story which the ancient stories set out to tell. They called Initiation the second birth, as Jesus told his disciples that they must be born again. In the first birth in any life, we are born human. In this second birth, we are born divine, Gods, no longer merely men. Gwion Bach is not Jack Jenkins or Tommy Smith with their traits, characteristics, and tricks of personality. The story does not describe his character. He is simply the daily self of each one of us, the human self. He is a dwarf because that daily human self is small, petty, and circumscribed.

Having gone through the trials and agonies of Initiation, he is born again as Taliesin, the God-self of each of us, the inspired Bard, the liberator of humanity. The story goes on to tell how Elphin, the unluckiest man in the world, found the child Taliesin. It tells how Elphin was captive in chains in the power of a wicked king, and how Taliesin came into that king's hall, and with his song set Elphin free.


The Road of Ingardi

By Victor Endersby

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

Ingardi the King, by restless energy and endless craft, extended his lands and increased his renown all the days of his life. The smoke of burning houses rose in his wake. This, Ingardi regretted, but felt the end good. The survivors would live under the rule of Ingardi the Just, to their betterment. Jealous was Ingardi of his justice, suffering none to claim so loyal a service to the people.

Ingardi made contact with the Wisdom, and for a space, until drawn away by new cares of state, became a learner. Later, the Wisdom fell upon evil times. Ingardi, remembering with gratitude the wider horizon once glimpsed, stood against the priests at the risk of his throne, thus securing the lives of the Companions and the continuance of the work.

In the years of waning forces, Ingardi, sadly weighing all things in a new balance, made a vow. Following the expiration of breath, the vow was renewed in the Buddhi and thus carried to new lives.

First causes produced first effects. Woeful was the next birth of Ingardi. He lived in the hut of a cowherd. Abused by people he had former oppressed, they had now become his parents. He was soul-defiled by the evil speech of ancient subjects whose morals had been neglected in the pursuit of power. The swinging blade of the olden time returned as flying hooves, hooked horns, teeth of horses, the scythe blade, the ploughshare, and the knives and clubs of feuding neighbors. Clumsy was Ingardi born. By maturity, he was twisted and scarred from head to foot, remembering a thousand deaths, but no surcease of pain.

Through that lowly place came on occasion royal hunting parties. Many fair faces and fine silks aroused in Ingardi the desires of old, besetting him with nightmares of loss and longing. For Ingardi, the cowherd was still stiff with pride and fierce with passion.

In a single life, Ingardi was purged, having vast capacity for woe, dying thankful to be done with living. In his next life, he sought self-elevation, entered the schools, and in time regained among men much of the ancient homage. The way being cleared, the power of the vow manifested. Ingardi once more met with the Wisdom.

Confused was the meeting, for the preceptor was Fidac, the ill learned, of speech unlettered and manner lacking courtesy. Listening to the word and not the speaker, heeding the thought and not the word thereof, Ingardi recognized truth. Yet he remained dubious such a vehicle should represent that noble knowledge. He knew not that the history of the Wisdom in THAT place was of persecution and poverty, from which the polished flee, while the rude stand fast.

Skimming the flavor of Fidac from the surface of the cup, Ingardi drank knowledge, albeit with a mingling of bitterness. He offered service, and was accepted by Fidac without thanks or ceremony and with an admonition to diligence. Choking this down, Ingardi served for many years on a rough road. Fidac, absorbed in the work, ruthless to himself, ruthless to others, quick to blame, seldom praising, was a comfortless companion on the Way. Often rasped by the rough tongue of Fidac, often seeing men of substance turn away from inept speech with tolerant smiles, never to return, Ingardi endured unto one day of heavy labor and hard circumstance. Then Fidac spoke sharply to him, pointing out that by untimely speech he had wrought confusion in the minds of certain learners.

Ingardi said naught, seeing at once that it was true. Unable to endure the face of Fidac for a time, he passed away silently into the solitudes. There, for it was the seventeenth day of the eleventh month, every bruise put on him by Fidac over the years throbbed afresh. Thus, he endured the unendurable, for he saw that his part was the path of Fidac forevermore, and it seemed that Fidac would never change. For many days and nights, the pride within him howled its hurt and desolation to the silent pines and indifferent stars.

All things were ending. A clear, frozen voidness of feeling arrived through much suffering. In this, the Soul of Ingardi stood aside from the flesh, viewing Ingardi and Fidac alike without favor. It was then seen that Fidac and Ingardi were the two pillars to a strong gate of enlightenment. The common touch of Fidac drew the humble and lowly. The knowledge of Ingardi hinted to the erudite the heights that lay beyond. Ingardi was a call to the lowly to seek a higher path of understanding. Fidac, a warning to the well favored that loyalty and strength are in low places as in high. Both pillars needed straightening. Many waited without portal, unto the day that the pillars should be capped with the beam of mutual understanding.

Then Ingardi also saw that the lash of Fidac, laid upon the ancient royal pride, had saved him the delay of yet other lives. Thus, the heart of Ingardi entered into peace. So died Ingardi the King. So was born Ingardi the Companion.


The Theosophy of George Russell (AE)

By H.F. Norman

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, February 1936, pages 92-99.]

How can Theosophy be other than one and single? Can it mean one thing for Boehme and another for Paracelsus?

It may be contended that human capacity being limited relatively to ideas, there must be as many Theosophies as Theosophists. It may be retorted that divine wisdom must be fundamentally one. I shall contest neither thesis. I would neither entangle my pen in those intellectual thickets through which the heterodox may seek an escape from heresy-hunters nor ply it to tighten the knots of some straitlaced orthodoxy. I aim merely at some partial revelation based on an intimate knowledge extending beyond four decades of the life and ideas of a friend, one to whom the debt of his generation is greater than it knows and who constantly declared himself the debtor of early inspirations that he knew and named as Theosophy.

Two streams of influence flowed from George Russell that watered the mental and spiritual soil of his time and environment. He was in love with brotherhood. He was perhaps equally enamored of liberty. Generally commingling, though the currents of each could be severally traced, they formed his river of life.

Russell was nourished upon the scriptures of the world and their great interpreters of ancient times: Plato, Plotinus, Patanjali, Lao-Tze, the Evangelists, Paul, and of later date Blake, and amongst his own contemporaries Blavatsky, Judge, and 'Jasper Niemand.' He passed on to his associates the inspirations he had imbibed. He wrought a rich tapestry of being which transferred it pictorially from his own vision to the mind-stuff of his contemporaries.

The transfer was by virtue of his gay and unpretending spirit, dear to his intimates and sensed by all who knew him. This went beyond the substance of his incommensurable conversation, the rhythm, form, or content of his writing, and the ennobling texture of his own life. It is fitting, therefore, to inquire into these achieved consummations of ideal and reality, the inspirations that enriched him, the response they evoked within him, and their influence on others.

The psychical elements, which make one a poet or a seer, are his own secret, if indeed even he knows them. There may be some scarcely decipherable prescription for it. The mixture may contain so much sensibility, so much courage, so much integrity, so much love, and add life in sufficient quantity. The quantities are never clearly written.

In George Russell -- to change the metaphor -- when we find the commingling of two loves in a common flame, the love of brotherhood and the love of freedom, we cannot say that either was the aboriginal fire, kindled first, or if one was the actual flame and the other the warmth it shed. The greater love, though we must think of both as one, the love of universal brotherhood, he would without hesitation have traced to an archaic source.

His earliest thinking concerned the ARCHAEUS or World Soul, on which he brooded continually. It was "one thing in all things" though multiple in manifestation. It is made concrete in meditation as stones, animals, men, and gods. He fastened his mind and fashioned his will towards the evolution of spirituality within him and without him.

This spirit of the universe did not relate itself to humanity alone. Descending into the soil, it spoke in the green beings that flower upon it no less than in the beast springing out of it, the bird in the treetop, and the light in the sky. Here was spiritual Nature, "the Mighty Mother," inspiring love for the lovely things she made.

The ETHOS of this brotherhood was thus no less an AISTHETIKON, visionary, beautiful. In this constantly returning mood, AE felt moved towards and for blossoming things in their lowly setting of earth. Others may feel for squirrel or deer. He showed more concern for the voices of the plants than with the songs of birds. To his sensitive inner ear, primrose or anemone raised its meek plaint when he plucked it. The texture of soil or stone became fuel for his imagination as he handled it. He infected his companions with those experiences until we asked ourselves: is there indeed a true clairaudience in these heard protestations of the blossoming weeds, or is all this but willful fantasy?

To companions training their will like him upon the YOGA APHORISMS of Patanjali, such flower-voices became the attainment of that delicate intuition they sought as the crown of a discipline of concentration. "He hears the music of the opening buds and knoweth what is passing in the mind of the ant."

For him, as devotee of Nature, the saying goes: "As below, so above!" Kinship with the One Life, which he drank at Oriental fountains, extended beyond the confederacies of Earth and the waking world, through the mid-world of dream in which he was so much at home, into the realm of deep sleep to the demigods and other denizens of vision, beings of romance to others, of a deeper reality to him.

"Isn't he a bit of a humbug," said one intelligent and friendly critic. "He and his fairies?" No! There was no make-believe on his plane of vision, no puckishness in his world of fairy. If in these phases of the life of the psyche there was withdrawal from the light of common day, the munificent universality of comradeship re-earthed him swiftly in the presence of those who studied with him the Theosophical literature reminding him that "the universe exists for purposes of soul."

Yet, not only those whose characters were storm-proof experienced the pleasures of his companionship. I know not how many were led -- though I could name several -- to seeking truth or to right living because his moral generosity rescued them from a life of mere excitement and sensation, men whose sensitive but infirm wills he drew to Theosophical study and exercise.

As he drew his cosmogony from THE SECRET DOCTRINE and his psychology from kindred sources, he drew his individual ethics mainly from Judge, from LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME, still more from the redaction of THE BHAGAVAD GITA, and most of all from a vivid, pervasive, albeit externally slender, personal contact. The loss by death of that spiritual chieftainship did not lessen AE's reliance on the faiths in which it was rooted. I believe he would wish to have that asserted.

Of those faiths, the most comprehensive was also the most poignant. "Cast no one out of your heart." This the reader should understand was no mere sentimental emotion. Brotherhood was accepted in a spirit of realism as "a fact in Nature." It followed that many who stumbled by the wayside found in George Russell a potent helper.

At Russell's funeral, one mourner was questioned by a bystander at a most lavish gift of flowers being carried to his coffin. The mourner had experienced some untoward act long ago that brought suffering in its train. Facing scorn or aversion from others, he found compassionate aid from Russell. The mourner answered with unemotional cogency, "I would have died for him."

Russell's beneficences were not isolated to occasional cases of distress. They were habitual. They were imparted in that spirit in which Madame Blavatsky had written.

Whoever feels his interests are one with those poorer or less fortunate than himself ... who is ready to hold out a helping hand to the suffering is a Theosophist by birth and right.

Public causes, which were external activities in the limelight for others who espoused them, were for George Russell lit up by an illumination from within. These shined as through the stained glass windows of a richly colored soul. He held claims for labor to be fundamentally just. These claims ceased for him to belong to polemical politics. They became a challenge from karma causing him to trample on a natural shyness, mount the rostrum, and rain down upon a mass meeting the fire of a burning eloquence.

A like impartation of moral beauty overflowed from the private heart into the commonwealth when he placed his great gifts at the service of the cooperative movement. Horace Plunkett had felt that that movement of which he was the mind and will needed a soul. The poet W.B. Yeats, a friend of both, brought them together and Russell became the inspirer of Irish cooperation, whose reverberations flowed out into Europe, Asia, the United States, and Africa.

Brotherhood in its widest scope was the sun in Russell's horizon. Freedom lit the campfires on his advancing path as he battled for justice, illuminating the dark places in human life. This light was perhaps less fixed than the other. Some felt its fervent energy imparted less light than warmth. He saw that light as one in kind with noble inspirations. Emerson's ideal of compensatory justice was the righteousness of Hebrew seers and the equality of Greek thinkers.

In his concept of freedom, he gave to others without reservation the rights he felt he must claim for himself and for his view of life. I was to learn this early in our contacts. Upon some diversity of outlook on a minor point of belief he had written to me, quoting Blake, "Your heaven doors are my hell gates." I was aghast, remembering the caustic amenities with which John Wesley had retorted upon Whitfield, "Your God is my devil." I had misapprehended.

AE, painter as well as mystic, knew well that black and white are not the sole pigments upon the palette of the universe. He was asserting the freedom of souls to their own truth. He had imbibed a modern statement of an old teaching, one to which he made frequent reference in the words of Jasper Niemand, in "The Vow of Poverty." She said, "Come, go, do, abstain; an equal right is mine."

I learned later that another aphorism of Blake's was always in his mind. "One law for the lion and the ox is oppression." Therefore, a tolerance of the beliefs of others was not a gift to be patronizingly bestowed. It was their right.

Obligations of belief may only be imposed upon the self by the Self. Some may misapply this liberty of thought and action. They may mistake for weakness of will a refusal to constrain others towards one's own ethos or to requite evil with evil. Well, karma will see to that. One must never question the motive of another but only one's own. This, as I apprehend him, was basic in George Russell. Those familiar with Judge's writings will hear in it an echo of his voice. Those who knew Russell will know it as woof in the texture of his being.

I would not overstate claims made on his behalf that he would never have put forward for himself. The beacon-fires of freedom may be more fitful in their windblown flame than the more tranquil light cast by the sun of brotherhood. In lighting fires of freedom, he was prompted by the same sense of human dignity that inspired his early work for the Theosophical Society in whose interests they were first lit.

That he did not continue in the Society, leaving it at about the time he became absorbed in public work, is no doubt the reason for a rumor I have heard. I challenge the rumor that he left Theosophy. It would be impertinent to apologize for facts that were exclusively his concern. It would be disingenuous, though, in discussing his relation to the Theosophical Movement to ignore them if, as I believe, a few brief sentences may help to dissipate mistaken inferences.

He was devoted to the Theosophical Society of Madame Blavatsky's founding and Judge's fosterage. He also had associations of respect and affection for their Successor. His attachment to the Society was strongly identified with a type of organization into which all could enter who deeply cared for brotherhood, whether they might call themselves freethinkers or mystics. He held the Theosophical Society to be unique with universal brotherhood as its single dogma, an open membership, a spiritual objective, and a free platform.

I think that when Mrs. Tingley felt impelled to change its name and alter some articles in the Constitution he was of opinion (as was I) that membership must in practice become restricted to those who accepted the principle of hierarchies. A more fully organized, more carefully selective and restrictive governing body was placed at the center of the society.

It seems to some that this caused responsibility to be transferred from the regular members to a deeply indoctrinated group, lessening the moral burdens borne by those furthest from the center. To others it seemed that acquiescence in these principles carried greater and not less responsibility for activities or ideals emanating from the center, and whose inner causes were not known. I think George Russell came to feel thus.

The Constitution has since been modified. The questions and interpretations mooted here are not now matter for discussion. I mention them because I realize that he himself had a feeling for the hierarchical principle, which gave me ground for surprise at his withdrawal from the new Constitution (shortly after my own).

I see in his bifurcation of outlook at this point the basis of the fallacious supposition that he had shifted his spiritual center of gravity. It is to that misconception that I demur. In reconstituting the old Hermetic Society, out of which the first Dublin Lodge of the Theosophical Society had evolved, he reaffirmed his mystical outlook whilst offering a broad platform to all truth-seekers.

The correspondence with Mrs. Tingley on points of difference was, I am sure, marked by goodwill on his side. I know it was marked with affection on hers. Though it marked a phase in George Russell's activities, it did not mark a break with archaic beliefs.

We have seen what those beliefs meant to him. They meant faith in the oneness of life, its spiritual laws, brotherhood, reincarnation, and karma. They also mean the corresponding ideals inseparable from them, including compassion, justice, and the evolution of the human soul. Their vitality and continuousness were tested repeatedly.

In Dublin on White Lotus Day, 1933, he expressed to a gathering to commemorate the life and work of Madame Blavatsky, the extent of the debt to these incurred by the Irish Literary Movement of the nineties.

In a letter I had from him in 1933 or 1934, he wrote that he would like his Hermetic Group to join the Dublin Theosophical Club. About the same time he expounded to me his idea in testing out karma by living in London for a while without informing people of his plans, and how there flowed to him naturally those who belonged to him, mystics, poets, artists. This justified his experiment.

He spoke to a friend in London once. The friend had launched with him on one of those broad swift rivers of interchanging talk that he loved, whose hurrying flow not even the traffic of Regent St. could retard. He turned sharply to emphasize a point. "Surely, surely," Russell said, "You don't imagine that you and I have met for the first time in THIS life?"

So much for doctrines! We have seen that these were not for AE so vital as the spirit in which they are applied. That old secret to which he made perennial reference, that "what a man thinks, that he is," lived within him less as conceptual thought than as thinking actualized through the imagination and realized in deed and spiritual achievement. Objectified as reality, ideals that remain precepts to others became things, children of the soul, for him.

There are ideologies of propaganda that shed a vague nimbus of half-thinking around the twilight moods of the sectarian and the partisan. They remain in the region of opinion even when they have crystallized into formal dogma. These did not attract him. He was not one to exercise intellectual muscles. He did not train his mind as athletes train lungs and limbs. He did not seek to seize by a strenuous effort of will the complicated apprehensions of truth. Such training he reserved for the soul, exalting wisdom above reason.

Because of this distinction, those of a different school did not always realize that his mental attitude was one of scrupulous integrity. This was always to life, not always to those facts that the imagination has failed to inspire and illuminate. Though he gave mental hospitality to many aspects of the intellectual life, his own philosophy was of the inspiration and required an aesthetic setting, as found in the classic scriptures of the world or created in verse or prose. Great teaching always made for itself great utterance, though it might be greatly simple.

"Lordly" was the adjective oftenest on his lips when he spoke of THE UPANISHADS or quoted from the SHEPHERD OF HERMAS or the FOURTH GOSPEL, over a partial translation of which he and his dear friend James Pryse worked together long ago. I believe that the aesthetic test may have influenced him in his relation to modern Theosophical literature and was perhaps an additional reason why his contacts with mystical writings of a later date than Judge's were not close.

To compensate for this, there was within him a growing comprehension of the needs and, yes, of the importance of the "souls of common men." Here no hyperaesthesia insulated him from the call of humanity. He felt that the mystic is above all things practical and so must deploy his spiritual energies upon the field of human effort.

There is no great and no small To the Soul that knoweth all. And where He cometh all things are And He cometh everywhere.

Russell was so preoccupied with public events as editor and pamphleteer in his later years that except for the weekly gatherings of his Hermetic Group, the meditations of earlier decades filled a smaller part in the landscape of his life. It was still with those who cared to ascend with him the peaks of spiritual aspiration or revive the memories of spiritual experience that he found his most satisfying companionships.

The last of the old Dublin Lodge Group to die was Dan Dunlop. Russell felt acutely this severance. As these companionships lessened, he renewed again the companionships of the soul, which he had made for himself through his intimacy with the spiritual classics. He came close again to some of the simple but subtle utterances of Blake, of Lao-tse's TAO TEH KING, the grave beauty of the Gospels, or the visions of the Apocalypse. What moved him most of all, I think, was the dialogs of Krishna with Arjuna. All these he found had wavelengths synchronous with winged soaring words born in his own mind.

He applied his meditations and reveries to contemporary life, translating them into picture and poetry. He addressed the hopes and faiths of all men. He expressed high deeds and the tempering of the soul to the fires of daily living. As to remote symbols of a future golden age, he left that for the period of Devachanic dreams.

More than any of his generation whom I have intimately known, he matched vision to life. He was fundamentally poet and painter no less than seer. His was, as perhaps it must happen with every man, a Theosophy not of textbook, maxim, or precept, not even primarily a body of cosmic doctrine, though all these were influences. His was but a vision through the spiritualized imagination of what life intends, reaches out to, and means us to become.


Initiation, Part II

By Osvald Siren

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, January 1939, pages 14-21. This is a condensed report of an address presented at the recent European Convention.]

Initiation during life just as well as after death is a gradual liberation or development by which the divine part of a man is freed from his various vestures. This higher aspect of man's soul is often spoken of as a Dionysian or a Dionysos, the god who was torn into pieces and devoured by the Titans, the evil passions of man, and then again pieced together by Apollo and Athena, the divinities of light and wisdom.

Olympiodoros says also:

We are bound in matter as Titans, but we rise from the dark mire as Bacchuses (or Dionysoses). Hence, we become more prophetic at death. Bacchus is the supervisory guardian of death, because he is likewise of everything pertaining to the Sacred Mysteries.

Says Socrates in PHAEDON:

Virtues when separated from wisdom are not even a shadow play of themselves, but are in reality signs of a slavish disposition and have in them nothing healthy and true. That which is in reality true virtue is purification from everything of this kind. Temperance and justice and fortitude and wisdom itself are each a kind of purification.

It would seem that those who instituted the Mysteries for us, were no triflers. They shadowed forth in veiled sayings the truth -- that whosoever cometh to the house of Hades uninitiated and unpurified shall lie in the mire, whereas he who cometh thither purified and perfected by initiation in the Mysteries shall dwell with the gods.

Say they who speak concerning the Mysteries, "Many are the wand-bearers, few are the Bacchanals." These few in my opinion, are none other than they who have been true philosophers, and that I may be counted among their number I have left nothing undone that was within my power throughout all my life but in every way most zealously striven.

You probably all remember the various passages regarding the Mysteries, which are found in the writings by G. de P., which makes it superfluous to quote them here. He tells us how, through initiation, man was made to recognize his essential oneness with the Anima Mundi. Man gradually was made to realize his position as a life-atom in the universal organism, in which he, just like the atoms of our body, flows out and in by means of a regular series of earth-lives during his sojourn in this planetary round on the earth-globe.

You may not be as familiar with the ancient Indian teachings in which the same fundamental truths are brought out, and many wonderful things said about the passage of the human monad along the magnetic highways of the universe during its postmortem journey. I refer to the Upanishads, and will quote here a few passages from the CHHANDOGYA-UPANISHAD:

A wise man sees in Self, those that are alive, those that are dead; and gets what this world cannot give. An ignorant man treads on the ground, but does not know the gold that lies underneath. We pass into the Self during sleep, but do not know Him.

Self stays in the heart; "heart," a word that seems to say, "Here it is." Who knows this, daily enjoys the Kingdom of Heaven.

A wise man, leaving his body, joins that flame; is one with his own nature. That nature is Self, fearless immortal Spirit.

And then:

As a long highway passes between two villages, one at either end, so the sun's rays pass between this world and the world beyond. They flow from the sun, enter into the arteries, flow back from the arteries, and enter into the sun.

When a man is asleep, enjoying his sleep, he creates no dream; his soul sleeps in the arteries. No evil can touch him, for he is filled with light.

When he is dying, those around him ask if he knows them; as long as the soul does not leave the body, he knows them. When the soul leaves the body ascending with the sun's rays, he meditates on Om and, with the speed of thought, goes to the sun. Sun is the Gate of Heaven, where the wise can pass.

Here is my authority: There are a hundred and one arteries leading to the heart; one of them pierces the crown of the head. He who goes upwards through it, attains immortality. He who does not is born again.

And there is very much more of it, for instance in Book VIII of the same Upanishad:

In this body, in this town of Spirit, there is a little house shaped like a lotus, and in that house, there is a little space. One should know what is there.

What is there? Why is it so important?

There is as much in that little space within the heart, as there is in the whole world outside. Heaven and earth, fire, wind, sun, moon, lightning, stars -- whatever is and whatever is not, everything is there.

I leave these profound and beautiful words with you without further comments because I think that such would only serve to blur their spiritual beauty. Those who will penetrate further into the ancient Aryan conception of the human soul in relation to the universe and its peregrinations through life and death will do well to study more attentively some of the Upanishads.

You have all heard that according to the tradition reported by several Greek philosophers there were seven stages of initiation. They marked a gradual growth of the inner faculties in man, or the bringing forward into action and full consciousness the inner god. G. de P. has pointed out that when the seventh or highest degree was successfully taken it produced the sublime Revelation, or vision of the inner god who is a ray of the divine.

In the seventh initiation, even the body of the initiated was clothed with the sun. He reached the consummation of all that is evolutionally possible to attain on this earth during the present Round, and those few among men who have been successful in this last degree have become mediators between ordinary human beings and the Hierarchy of Light, and some of them have been respected or worshiped as saviors, redeemers, or great spiritual leaders.

Such, in a very general way, were some of the traditions relating to the ancient Mysteries. They are full of hints and hidden meaning, but rather vague about the actual ceremonies or knowledge imparted through these institutions.

Instead of dwelling on them more in detail, or quoting some further remarks from the philosophers, I would like to point out that one might also speak of "Initiation" from a more ordinary or personal point of view.

It may be said that many individuals, who are striving to manifest in their lives the spiritual inspiration of their inner natures, pass through continuous initiations. These may not be of a ceremonial kind, but they are nevertheless highly significant, because they make the aspirant pass through real experiences that affect his whole being. Through these experiences, he acquires a deeper knowledge than is possible to attain by ordinary intellectual study and speculation, something that becomes a part of his inner self and makes him grasp and actually become the things for which he is striving.

We heard the previous speaker telling us about the seven PARAMITAS, the steps on the path of the aspirant who is striving for initiation, each step being marked by a special kind of virtue leading to added knowledge. The first step is, as you heard, DANA, charity and love immortal. To this, G. de P. has added the following words of explanation:

Impersonal love is self-forgetfulness. Personal love is self-remembrance. Do what you can to benefit mankind and you will be spiritually and intellectually natural and strong, you will be respected, and above all, you will respect yourself.

The Buddhists of the Meditative School used to speak of a sudden enlightenment, which is an initiation. They said that it comes spontaneously when the mind opens to the silent music that accompanies every movement of life -- a reverberation of the universal mind. It may be called poetry, but to the students who followed this path it was actual life and reality. It was indeed another attempt to picture to the mind experiences that cannot be fully expressed in words, though deeply realized in the silence.

Finally, let me remind you of the following words of Lao-tzu:

It is the way of Heaven not to strive and yet it knows how to overcome. Not to speak, and yet it knows how to obtain a response. It calls not, and things come of themselves. It is slow to move, but excellent in its designs.

He who understands and practices this has certainly passed through one of the initiations that mark the way of the disciple, but we who do not know and who do not understand have to prepare for the first step by life and study.


The Ascending Cycle

By George William Russell

[From THE IRISH THEOSOPHIST, November 1893.]

The teaching of THE SECRET DOCTRINE divides the time during which human evolution proceeds upon this globe into seven periods. During the first three-and-a-half, the ethereal humanity who appeared in the First Race gradually become material in form, and the psychic spirituality of the inner man is transformed into intellectuality. During the remaining three-and-a-half periods, there is a gradual dematerialization of form. The inner man by slow degrees rises from mere brain intellection to a more perfected spiritual consciousness.

We are told that there are correspondences between the early and later periods of evolution. The old conditions are repeated, but upon higher planes. We achieve anew the old spirituality with added wisdom and intellectual power. Looked at in this way, we shall find that the Seventh Race corresponds to the First. The Sixth corresponds to the Second. The Fifth Race (which is ours) corresponds with the Third.

"We are now approaching a time," says THE SECRET DOCTRINE, "when the pendulum of evolution will direct its swing decidedly upward, bringing humanity back on a parallel line with the primitive Third Root Race in spirituality." That is, there will exist on the earth, about the close of the Fifth Race, conditions in some way corresponding with those prevailing when the Third Race men began their evolution. Though this period may be yet distant hundreds of thousands of years, still it is of interest to forecast that future as far as may be. The future is concealed in the present, and is the outcome of forces working today. We may find out from this inquiry the true nature of movements like the Theosophical Society.

One of the most interesting passages in THE SECRET DOCTRINE is that which describes the early Third Race. "It was not a Race, this progeny. It was at first a wondrous Being, called the 'Initiator', and after him a group of semi-divine and semi-human beings."

Without at all attempting to explain the real nature of this mysterious Being or Race, we may assume that one of the things hinted at is the consciousness of united being possessed by these ancient Adepts. Walking abroad over the earth as instructors of a less progressed humanity, their wisdom and power had a common root. They taught truth from a heart-perception of life, ever fresh and eternal, everywhere pervading nature and welling up in them. This heart-perception is the consciousness of unity of inner beings.

The pendulum of evolution, in its upward swing, will bring humanity backwards on a parallel line with the primitive Third Root Race. This should bring back something corresponding to the primeval hierarchy of divine sages. We should see at the end of the Kali Yuga a new brotherhood formed from those who have risen out of material life and aims, who have conquered self, who have been purified by suffering, who have acquired strength and wisdom, and who have wakened up to the old magical perception of their unity in true Being.

At the end of the Kali, our present age, Vishnu, or the 'Everlasting King', will appear as Kalki, and establish righteousness upon earth. The minds of those who live at that time shall be awakened and become pellucid as crystal.


We pass beyond the turning point of evolution, where the delusion of separateness is complete. We then move on to that future awaiting us in infinite distances, when the Great Breath shall cease its outward motion and we shall merge into the One.

On this uphill journey in groups and clusters, men will first draw closer together, entering in spirit their own parent rays, before being united in the source of all light and life. Such a brotherhood of men and women we may expect will arise, conscious in unity, thinking from one mind and acting from one soul.

Long before, signs herald all such great achievements of the race. Those who study the lives of men may know these signs. There is a gestation in the darkness of the womb before the living being appears. Ideals first exist in thought, and from thought, they are realized outwards into objective existence.

The Theosophical Society was started to form the nucleus of a universal brotherhood of humanity, and its trend is towards this ideal. May we not justifiably suppose that we are witnessing today in this movement the birth of a new race corresponding to the divine Initiators of the Third, a race that shall in its inner life be truly a "Wondrous Being?"

I think we will perform our truest service to the Society by regarding it in this way as an actual entity whose baby years and mystical childhood we should foster. Many know it is possible by certain methods to participate in the soul-life of a coworker, and if it is possible to do this even momentarily with one comrade, it is possible so to participate in the vaster life of great movements.

There will come a time to all who have devoted themselves to this ideal, as H.P. Blavatsky and some others have done. There will come a time when they will enter into the inner life of this great Being, and share the hopes, the aspirations, the heroism, and the failures which must be brought about when so many men and women are working together. To achieve this, we should continually keep in mind this sense of unity.

Striving also to rise in meditation until we sense in the vastness the beating of these innumerable hearts glowing with heroic purpose, we should try to humanize our mysticism. "We can only reach the Universal Mind through the minds of humanity." We can penetrate into their minds by continual concentration, endeavoring to realize their thoughts and feelings, until we carry always about with us in imagination, as Walt Whitman, "those delicious burdens -- men and women."


Fraternization and Networking: Yesterday and Today, Part I

By W. Emmett Small

[From THE ECLECTIC THEOSOPHIST, January 1985, pages 1-5.]

As we look back on the days of 1984 and scan the theosophical horizons around the world, two points clearly stand out as memorable. First is the emphasis on what today we speak of as networking. It is what of old we called fraternization, or just plain Brotherhood IN ACTU. Second is the sweeping momentum towards a refocusing on the original teachings of Theosophy. This is accentuated by increased study of HPB's THE SECRET DOCTRINE. This is a surging power. It is as though in a certain sense HPB were here herself, or rather that dynamic Force which worked through her. It is felt, appreciated, and flowing through the various energetic centers of Theosophy around the world. These are not intended as mere words but as fact, and I believe recognized by more than just a few.

Highlighted in the networking area was the Conference convened at Krotona, Ojai, California, on January 28-29, 1984, called by the Southern California Federation of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) and ably chaired by its President Jerry J. Ekins. Speakers were from the Adyar Theosophical Society, the United Lodge of Theosophists, the Canadian Theosophical Society, the Pasadena Theosophical Society, and Point Loma Publications. Six months later, July 21-22, in San Diego, California, the first International Symposium on HPB's work THE SECRET DOCTRINE was held. Another outstanding success, with 17 papers and representatives from four countries (see our report in the September 1984 ECLECTIC THEOSOPHIST). These were but two events highlighting theosophical activity in 1984. Other Conferences, Conventions, etc., were held in different countries: Arnhem, Holland; Tekels Park, England; Adelaide Hills, South Australia; and in Canada and the United States. Sound articles on basic Theosophy were published, study courses conducted, lectures given. The vibrant feel of dedicated work was encouraging because it seemed balanced, wise, and steady in effort and direction.

In these opening days of a new year, it seems opportune to talk a little about the networking idea and opportune to review, especially for those younger in years than some participants in the historic past, some aspects that should not be forgotten. Perhaps from this backward look we may all learn something applicable to a wise going forward today.

There is no need to linger on a description of the state of inter-theosophical relations in 1929 between the official Societies calling themselves theosophical. The Berlin Walls were up. There was not only little communication but there was in some instances an aggravating visible hostility that had been alive for several decades. Into this maelstrom of confusing elements Dr. G. de Purucker strode, and in February of 1930 issued his declaration and policy of Fraternization among all Theosophists of whatever Society. Break down the barriers separating them; speak to each other; invite each other to attend meetings and to share the public platform. The response was immediate and enthusiastic from many, but not from all. There were critics. There was misunderstanding. There were 'cloudy areas' as to how any eventual united theosophical organization could function. The seed had been sown. Never again in theosophical ranks worldwide would it be quite the same. Through successive years after 1930, many harmonious inter-theosophical meetings were held, especially in the United States with cooperation from members in the Canadian Theosophical Society. With the death of G. de P. (and after 3 years of Cabinet regime in the Theosophical Society of Point Loma-Covina) the initial strong effort waned, though among individuals it never died. (Researchers in theosophical history could well find a rich field to bore into on this one aspect of history. They would necessarily refer to the theosophical journals of the day, particularly THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM issued from Point Loma, THE AMERICAN THEOSOPHIST, from Olcott, Wheaton, Illinois, THE THEOSOPHIST, from Adyar, India; as well as to available archival records and correspondence.) The paragraphs to follow cannot give a complete picture of the whole scenario, but may recapture for the student a few 'moments' from the past.

In 1930 there were said, by an official count, to be 22 Theosophical organizations. Many of their official publications in that year carried feature articles about Dr. de Purucker's plan for Theosophical unification and cooperation, as well as announcing the celebration of a Pan-Theosophical Congress at Point Loma on August 12, 1931 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of H.P. Blavatsky's birth.

Point Loma National Sections and Lodges, naturally, responded with alacrity. More dramatic was the broad worldwide response from the Adyar Society and lodges, from officials of the Theosophical Society in France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Finland, Latvia, Yugoslavia, Hawaii, Canada, Cuba, Costa Rica, Ceylon, etc. The General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in Holland wrote:

Everyone is grateful to Dr. de Purucker for the proposals to cooperate ... We were pleased to be able to greet in our camp the President of the Theosophical Society (Point Loma), Dutch Section, Mr. A. Goud of Utrecht, together with some members. I had sent an invitation. I was convinced that personal contact and promoting mutual confidence and understanding are the best means to reach the cooperation hoped for and desired by all. May this be the precursor of many united meetings.

On October 19 of that year, Point Loma received a cablegram from Stockholm, Sweden:

Representative Theosophists of both Societies assembled in the spirit of goodwill and harmony sending you heartfelt and reverential greetings.

-- Stockholm Lodges of Adyar and Point Loma

From the then Independent Theosophical Society of Australia, Sydney, Australia, there came official communication under September 10, 1930, from its General Secretary, John S. Greig, addressed to the Secretary General of the Theosophical Society (Point Loma):

Our cordial greetings and sincere good wishes for a successful culmination of the work that Dr. de Purucker is at present engaged in, viz. a union of the scattered sections of the Theosophical Movement throughout the world. The Theosophy of this Society is purely that of H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers and we are willing at all times to cooperate cordially in advancing that message. We view with great interest your plan to hold a Theosophical Congress next year. We will try to send representatives to that meeting should such eventuate. Dr. de Purucker's conception of printing a centenary edition of all that our Great Founder has ever written appeals greatly to the members of my Executive ... Our Sydney Lodge last week invited your local representative, Mr. T.W. Willams, to address the members. A very happy meeting resulted and we hope it will be the forerunner of many ...

From Canada came spontaneous expressions of goodwill from Mr. A.E.S. Smythe, General Secretary. In the October issue of THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST, William C. Clark, then an ardent "Back to Blavatsky" Movement member, wrote in witty and in part satirical tone:

Of these efforts to knit up the ravel'd sleeve of the Theosophical jacket by far the liveliest, most efficient, and light-hearted is that incubated at Point Loma, California. The Point Loma Scheme is furthered by Dr. Gottfried de Purucker, whom was chosen by the late Katherine Tingley to be her successor. Dr. de Purucker joined Mrs. Tingley's Society when he was quite a young man and remained very closely associated with that remarkable lady until her death over a year ago. He is now in sole charge of the Point Loma Society, not only by Mrs. Tingley's express wish, but also it would seem, with the unanimous consent of all the other officials connected with that body.

Dr. de Purucker actually joined under Judge in 1894. Speaking of "the Point Loma scheme for worldwide Theosophical unity," he writes:

The conception is grandiose and daring, conceived quite in the grand manner. The friction, the hostility, the endless misunderstandings which exist and, alas, always have existed amongst the various Theosophical bodies are to cease, and with them go the enormous wastage of energy, the needless and wasteful duplication of effort, the barren disputation, and above all the numerous and bitter rivalries over matters of jurisdiction and authority. All Theosophists the world over will cooperate in fraternal union and brotherly love, and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd. Thus by a masterstroke of creative ability Dr. de Purucker has settled a hitherto insoluble problem. It is a stroke of genius that makes us wonder why none had thought of it before.


Is There a Spiritual Science?, Part II

By Boris de Zirkoff

[From a tape recording entitled "Are the Teachings Scientific? Is There A Spiritual Science?" made of a private class held on April 13, 1955.]

There is kindness and unkindness. An act may appear unkind when it is not. No matter what they do, people think they are right. They have thought it out and can justify it. Even a criminal will justify his acts. The most horrible criminal has a justification, which you can learn if you really talk to them. They may not like policemen. Perhaps their mother was unkind to them. Whatever the reason, they justify their actions. It may seem unkind to the victim, but the other is not trying to be unkind. They do something they must. The observer interprets it as unkind, rather than something the person would ordinarily do. It is a matter of understanding their motives. The interpretation also depends upon society. An act might be nice in one society and wrong in another.

We have seen terrible things on national and international scale as well as on an individual scale. Some ascribe evil motives to those whom have done the evil. This is rare. Few do wrong because they like to. Few deliberately harm others. Mostly, evil comes from virtues having turned into vices. The idea of salvation drove the Roman Catholic Inquisition. Its supporters twisted a virtue into a vice. They did it in a peculiar, psycho-mental way in the name of Jesus, the Holy Virgin Mary, and the saints. They did not do it with the idea, "Let us hurt as many people as possible." They tangled up the Inquisition with a twisted, inside out idea of salvation. A virtue had become a vice.

Twisting the virtue of love for children, many parents do the most impossible things, thinking they are right. They would be monsters if they had deliberately hurt their children. They act out of love, a love so inside out that has become a vice. They do things that set back their children, which enslave them, which shackle them with superstition, and sometimes turn them against the parents. Even so, these are not the results of evil motives.

We think of Adolph Hitler as a monster. Future historians will think otherwise. If we lived in Napoleon's time, we might consider him terrible. Hitler and Napoleon tried to do impossible things. Lesser individuals surrounded them. They did not entirely intend the evil that followed. We have little versions of these monsters in every town, sometimes even in our own family.

Think this out carefully. Most evil is from mistaken virtue, and not from evil intentions. It involves things that people are convinced are right. Their minds and emotional selves crystallize around a self-made pattern. Come hell or high water, they say, "That is the thing that is right!" They will make it happen, irrespective of anything else.

Look at the theosophical organizations. Convinced that they are doing the right thing, that they are doing what is best for the Movement, so-called theosophists have done vile and inhuman actions. Even so, there is no monster in the Theosophical Movement to come and say, "I will do what is most hurtful to all! I will do the vilest, ugliest, and nastiest thing imaginable!" I do not know such a person.

Theosophical organizations have done the most extraordinary things to each other. Groups have done things with the desire that purity, honesty, and the safety of the Movement would prevail against others trying to do wrong. Both sides were right. They could not get away from their self-made patterns. The self-made emotional and mental patterns prevailed over brotherly love.

If this is possible in the Theosophical Movement, it is ten times more likely in religious, scientific, or psychological organizations with little philosophy to fall back upon. Everything said and done, we see that more harm comes from intense, crystallized virtue than comes from vice. Martyrdom is an example. Particularly one you administer to another. It is easier to make a martyr of another than to become one yourself.

The antidote to ill will and fighting is to make a joke out of it. I have heard others be rude repeatedly. Ordinarily, the situation would be ready to come to blows in a fistfight. I would laugh aloud. My laughter would wipe it out. It would make the conflict into something else. Others would see the humor and be startled out of their argument. On a large scale, it is difficult to say if it would work. Some, like newspaper cartoonists, attempt it.

Religionists think they have the only way, and that they must force you to be "saved." At the same time, they teach the Maker gives you free will and you make your own choices. "God forces nothing on you," they say, "but I am going to help God do the forcing." This is most peculiar.

It reminds me of a joke. A boy was swearing. His minister heard him and told him to stop.

The little fellow says, "Why should I? I heard you swear!"

The minister was startled. "You heard me swear," he exclaimed!

The minister made a bargain with the boy to buy him an apple pie if the boy ever heard him swear again and told him about it. The following Sunday, the boy is in the first pew in the church.

The minister starts talking. After a while, he says, "You know, brothers and sisters, by God we live and by God we die."

The little boy said, "Yes, and by God, give me my apple pie!"

Earlier, you mentioned positive thinking and disease. Is there a relation between them like Christian Science says?

Theosophy shows the philosophical implications of Christian Science to be wrong. They have a good psychological attitude. Positive thinking has a direct influence on the body. That is fact. They borrow this idea from ancient Yoga. The Christian Scientist tells you to think positively and to look upon the bright side of things. This is conducive to the healing of the body.

Positive thinking can prevent disease. There is nothing specifically Christian about this. If you like, it is scientific. As a fact in nature, it could be Oriental or Occidental. Certain thought and feeling has its effect upon the body. That is not an endorsement of Christian Science methods. It is a good point they make.

Consider the occult argument. Your mental attitude is a superior energy. The higher mind controls your emotions. As it thinks, so you feel. The lower mind is the bridge between the higher mind and the emotions. The emotions color it. The lower mind is the emotional part of the mind.

Christian Scientists call it the mortal mind. Together, the mind and emotions gear the astral body. The various levels of the astral body vibrate in harmony with your emotions. The astral body manifests the conditions called for by the emotions, as your mental attitude backs them. If you have wrong or unethical thinking with selfish emotions, your astral pattern will take that form. Eventually, the astral body will bring about the same condition in the physical. The physical body will manifest a disease. This could be anything from unbalance in the brain and the nervous system to ulcers, tuberculosis, or cancer. It could be anything. There is a vast range of possibilities.

Say that by some magic we could pick up the magnetic thread that connects to the tubercular lungs of a person. We follow it into his inner principles. We finally come to its origin. We would find a particular mental condition that originated in past lives. This condition has a direct line of communication with the diseased body. When you change the condition, you introduce healing from within. The disease is not going to heal overnight, because it took time to happen. Change the mental attitude. Change the little vice here or the big vice there. Change the conditions that provoked this physical condition through the various links in between. Then you have introduced the healing power. Eventually, the power will harmonize and heal, provided you have not ruined the physical body beyond healing.

This is a principle of psychiatry too. Psychiatrists need to go deeper within before they can heal. It is not enough to go into the psychic self. To be an outstanding psychiatrist, you would have to be a profound student of the Ancient Wisdom.

True psychology is coming. We will have a greater science than today. It is only beginning. They will discover spiritual Yoga or the Esoteric Philosophy. Then we will get more like Carl Jung, a head and a shoulder above the others of today. We will not necessarily have more psychiatrists. We will have exponents of a psychological science far ahead of ordinary medicine.

A doctor of the future will help people with their internal conflicts. If a doctor of today could see, he would too. If the doctor really knows what he is doing, he ceases to tinker with effects and works with causes.

Give a man something for his ulcers. That is fine. If the emotional and mental patterns that produced the ulcers are unchanged, there will be another disease. It may not be an ulcer. It could be one of many diseases. The mental and emotional pattern shall manifestation on the physical plane again, back of some other condition.

This great science is in the future. We discern the ABC's of it in the few people way ahead of ordinary doctors. The great science of healing from within is beginning. In the future, they will also use genuine spiritual clairvoyance. This is not psychic. Some will know that science from past lives. They will help people, since they have armed themselves with definite, specific spiritual training. They had to earn this knowledge.

To sum up, it boils down to the supremacy of the inner self over everything external. The external is important, but the internal is the realm of causes. From the inner man springs the motives, desires, and urges -- most accumulated in other lives. Their impetus molds outer circumstances, together with the environment provided by others with which we have had karmic relations.

We may get hurt. Something wonderful may happen to us. In either case, good or bad, do not forget that it is self-made. We have brought it about. It may appear to come through another, but that is an illusion. Somehow, that person was part of our karmic pattern in another life, if not this one. Some invisible links bind us together. They dish out what we gave rise to in the past. If not, there would be no law in nature. There would be no regularity. There would be no cause and effect.

Others can never do anything to us, good or bad. They return to us what we have given them in the past. Along these inner lines, we are interconnected. Everybody is an extension of us. Theosophists try to get that idea ingrained in their minds. It cuts at the root of complaints, enmities, and dislikes.

If the future, you will feel that anything happening is an exteriorization of your past karmic pattern. It happens because you must deal with it here and now. You must be through with these particular circumstances. They are yours. Someone almost serves them to you on a platter. They are your own. If there were no karma here, it could not happen. It would happen to someone else. You then would merely observe it. This insight cuts at the root of human enmity. You say, "Thank you, I am glad to have this at my doorstep again. It is mine. I have to untangle it. It is a stumbling block in my path that I am determined to make into a stepping stone."

Do not take the stepping stone and throw it away! It is not an obstacle. Let it remain. Rise on it, like the ancient story of the shedding of the serpent's skin. It sheds its old skin, and issues forth in a new skin, which came out of the old. You meet circumstances that are your old skin. By manipulating them, you issue out of them as a renewed man in a new and better skin.

This insight cuts at the root of misunderstanding. When we blame others, we continue in ignorance and build up resentment. Stop thanking others for the good things. They are no more responsible for the good than for the bad. It is customary to say, "Thank you." Philosophically, you thank and blame yourself. The rest is an exteriorization of your karma, brought about through others with which you have karmic relations.

Say "Thank you" for the bad. There is more growth in the unpleasant. Whatever you do -- pleasant or unpleasant -- will eventually return. We can meet things with equanimity of mind, neither elated over good nor discouraged over bad. Things are neither good nor bad. It is not good to receive money or favors and bad to be insulted. Get away from those terms! To Theosophists, these terms are useless. They are experiences, links in a karmic pattern. Some are unquestionably pleasant. Some are unquestionably unpleasant. All are opportunities for growth. As we transcend the pleasant and the unpleasant, where they no longer affect us, we genuinely grow. We reach a stage of equanimity. Only duty matters to us, and our determination to work towards the enlightenment of all that lives.


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