Infinitude is with qualities, without attributes, without definable terms ... Any such attempt to define is a limitation. Defining means drawing a boundary. That is impossible with Infinity. The word itself means Boundless. ... The Boundless is no Creator, is not a Demiurge, is not a motive Cause, does not move, whether in parts or in wholes, to produce creations. ... We can simply say that it is the infinite Life for ever, from eternity unto eternity, in unceasing movement; and this Motion is itself.
-- G. de Purucker, STUDIES IN OCCULT PHILOSOPHY, page 691
By B.P. Wadia
[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 263-65.]
O thou sweet nature of the unborn light, purify my mind and enlighten my understanding so that I may be conscious of thee!
-- Meister Eckhart
Is it possible in the midst of trouble and turmoil to practice self-control and reach a point of inner calm? This question occurs to so many in these days of unbalance when feelings and thoughts war with each other.
By analogy, it is possible for one to develop an attitude of calmness and carry on with his prayer and puja when national upheaval causes distress to leaders and legislators in the sphere of politics. Even in the midst of family feuds, an individual member can withdraw from the atmosphere of hot words and get away to a spot where he does not hear the noise and the din. While outer events and struggles do affect us, it is not impossible to find a place of peace where we can keep the company of our high aspirations.
The searcher after inner peace is in reality seeking that knowledge which will teach him not to be disturbed by his fancy and fantasy, by those internal images which his memory of the past and his anticipations for the future raise. Informative knowledge and trained logical reasoning fail to quiet our feelings and emotions.
The mind has its own machinations when it has to deal with our personal feelings. Our mind itself is so shot through and through with our likes and dislikes and our own prides and prejudices that in most cases, and most of the time, it is powerless to attain to quietude. Even saintly men and women have complained of how their meditations and prayers, at times, avail them not. They do not bring any recompense, any response from the Eternal.
It is only when the feeling-self and the thinking-self are both subdued, and someone from within the carapace of selfhood is able to say "a plague on both your houses" that the place of peace which is beyond is glimpsed.
Most successful men, even so-called self-made men, suffer from final frustration. Gathered in the gardens of mental endeavor, flowers wither and die. The men and the women who hoped to inhale their fragrance forever experience desolation. These successful self-made men are goaded by the power of ambition inherent in passions. Ambitions rise in a crescendo and ere all yearnings for wealth, fame, and power can be realized, old age and decay leave us staring helplessly on the approach of death. This produces frustration, disappointment, and despair.
After separating himself from national turmoil and family feuds, one can find satisfaction in the pursuit of knowledge, in the enjoyment of art, in the creative activities of his own inner being. Similarly, Man, the thinker, with his power to use his mind and his will, can separate himself from the thralldom of his passions, ambitions, and ultimate frustrations.
The Real Man must teach his mind that all is impermanent in himself except the power of the true soul or self, the vigilant watcher, the silent creator. The mind can salvage the debris of vanquished passions and put them to use by transmuting cruelty into kindness, selfishness into selflessness, and avarice into altruism. It can only do so when it recognizes the Divinity within and beyond itself and listens to the Song of Life. It must recognize in the Atman or Spirit, the highest ruler in the realm of perceptions and in the disciplined will the highest executive energy.
Those (and how many are there!) who aspire to inner psychological stability, to a quieted mind and heart, to an inner place where ambitions do not play havoc, but where the Light of Peace is to be found, have to learn the lesson contained in these words of a great sage.
As the lost jewel may be recovered from the depths of the tank's mud, so can the most abandoned snatch himself from the mire of sin, if only the precious Gem of Gems, the sparkling germ of the Atman, is developed. Each of us must do that for himself, each can if he but will and persevere. Good resolutions are mind-painted pictures of good deeds: fancies, daydreams, and whisperings of the Buddhi to the Manas. If we encourage them, they will not fade away like the dissolving mirage in the Shamo desert, but grow stronger and stronger until one's whole life becomes the expression and outward proof of the divine motive within.
By Richard Taylor
[This is based on the secord part of a talk given August 10, 2002 at the Long Beach Theosophical Conference. The talk was transcribed, edited, then sent to Richard Taylor for further corrections and review.]
The Mahayana is still exoteric. It is more elevated than the slow, gradual, purifying teachings. With it, you have whole Buddha Universes (enlightened universes) in your head. There are worlds connected to worlds and Buddhas of other worlds in communication. We have all this cosmological and metaphysical stuff going on. Even so, they just want you to sit and contemplate your navel. They only talk about metaphysics. I am being unfair, but you will see where I am going in a second.
It is not the highest school of Buddhism. At one time, the exoteric, public Mahayana was being formulated and offered by Asanga. Blavatsky mentions him frequently in her writings, especially in THE SECRET DOCTRINE. (The name Asanga, or Aryasanga, is a root of Sanga, meaning the Noble.)
At the same time, he gave out an esoteric tradition, today called the Vajrayana. "Vajra" means "diamond." If you think of a diamond, it is multi-faceted, catches the light, and is damned near indestructible. If you turn yourself into a Vajrasattva, a diamond-being, you are imperishable. You are immortal. You are perfect.
What is a Vajrasattva? How do we get there? Why should we care? A Vajrasattva is the product is of the Vajrayana. That is a Sanskrit word. There is a synonym for Vajrayana. Do you know what it is? It is "Tantra."
Tantra! Uh-oh! He is going to talk about sex now! No, I am not. This is the great sadness in the West. This is what happens to every esoteric tradition once it becomes public. And Tantras have been published. Tibet is the last vestige of where the Vajrayana was practiced regularly by CELIBATE monks and nuns. Tibet was invaded brutally in the 1950's. Tibetans had to scatter to survive to keep their culture.
I have asked some Lamas, "Why on earth would you publish these esoteric Tantras? You know the western world will devour, distort, and turn them into perverted sex magic!"
They would reply, "It is either we publish them, or they die with us. We do not have the monasteries anymore. We cannot train young monks and nuns to follow in our footsteps."
The Dalai Lama was one of the last traditionally trained (and celibate) Tibetan Lamas. He may be the last of his succession. In the early 1990's, he went on record as saying, "I may be the fourteenth and last Dalai Lama." The culture that produced him no longer exists. Maybe we will absorb Tibetan Buddhism in the West. Maybe we will not. Blavatsky did not have much luck in that direction, but I will get to that in a second.
The Vajrayana is now public, but it did not used to be. The technical word Tantra is hard to define or even describe. Think of a loom with threads. In this tapestry, the Sutras are threads going vertically and the Tantra is the horizontal weave. Tantra completes the picture. The two interweave.
Following the spoken words of the Buddha, you will approach enlightenment gradually. Vajrayana says that if you are truly a being of compassion, you will not wait 16,000 lifetimes to help your fellowman. The sooner you can be enlightened, the sooner you are a Buddha in the world, and therefore the sooner you can do good deeds.
What is this speedy and admittedly DANGEROUS path? What is the Tantra? We can ask Blavatsky. She knows all about it. In fact, you may have first heard of it from her as being evil. Like everything, there is a light and a dark side to it. In THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, she mentions its dark side. She called those on the left-hand path (practicing the Hindu Tantra as we now known it) the Tantrikas.
What does she say is a Tantrika? They are those who are non-celibate (meaning married) and sexually active yogis. Free from the bounds of a moral life, they believe they can do whatever they damn well please, calling it magic and enlightenment.
"We are free from any kind of restrictions," they say. "We can sleep with whoever we want, have crazy wisdom, and be enlightened. Everyone will think that we are magical beings."
I do not know. Maybe that works for some people. I have not tried that path, so I would not know. Blavatsky is strongly opposed to it.
There is more than one kind of Tantra. What does Blavatsky say about the light side? Some of you may have Volume III of THE SECRET DOCTRINE. It may not have been intended for publication. I do not know if it is really part of the book. That is beside the point. It is a fact that Blavatsky wrote the essays in that volume that Annie Besant and friends published. The volume consists of a largely-unedited bunch of essays. Even so, Blavatsky wrote them. On page 405, she says:
The Book of Dzyan -- from the Sanskrit word "Dhyan" (mystic meditation) -- is the first volume of the Commentaries upon the seven secret folios of Kiu-te, and a Glossary of public works of the same name. Thirty-five volumes of Kiu-te for exoteric purposes and the use of the layman [not the celibate monks], may be found in the possession of the Tibetan Gelugpa [Yellow Hat] Lamas, in the library of any [Gelugpa] monastery; and also the fourteen books of Commentaries and Annotations on the same by initiated Teachers.
Strictly speaking, those 35 books [of Kiu-te] ought to be termed "The Popularized Version" of the Secret Doctrine [that is a unique thing to say, the popular "Secret Doctrine!"], full of myths, blinds, and errors; the fourteen volumes of Commentaries, on the other hand -- with their translations, annotations, and ample glossary of Occult terms, worked out from one small archaic folio [darn, I wish we had this!] THE BOOK OF THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE WORLD -- contain a digest of all the Occult Sciences.
I cannot give you THE BOOK OF THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE WORLD. I wish I could. I can give you the books of Kiu-te. I may be able to give you the esoteric commentaries on the books of Kiu-te, the occult science that Blavatsky talks about.
I do not believe that Blavatsky was fully literate in Tibetan. I do not mean to insult her. She studied her teachings at the feet of Masters orally. She wrote down exactly what she heard, which was "Kiu-te." I am sorry to inform you that Tibetan is miserable to spell. It is really miserable.
The word is spelled "rGyud-sDe." There are no capital letters in Tibetan, but I put some in them to help you find the phonetics. How do you pronounce the Tibetan? You say, "Kiu-te." Great, now we know the Tibetan. What is it? What is Kiu-te? Some background is needed to explain.
There are two primary divisions in Tibetan Buddhism. One is based on the Mahayana, consisting of Sutras of the Buddha that we believe he actually spoke. It is sensible to accept these Sutras. The Tibetans accept them. They are called "Do-te."
Do you see where I am going with this? "Do-te" is Tibetan for "Sutras." "rGyud-sDe" is Tibetan for "Tantras." Blavatsky is excited about the Tantras. There are two major divisions in the Tibetan Buddhist canon: (1) Mahayana Sutras (Do-te) and (2) Vajrayana Tantras (rGyud-sDe). Blavatsky wrote exactly what she heard.
She did not write this, but in the "Tibetan Teachings" of THE COLLECTED WORKS OF BLAVATSKY, VI, 98, we read:
In the first place [our Tibetan correspondent, who I assume is a Mahatma, right?], the sacred canon of the Tibetans, the Bkah-hgyur [Kanjur, the Sutras, the spoken word] and the Bstan-hgyur [Tanjur], comprises 1707 distinct works -- 1083 public and 624 secret volumes -- the former being composed of 350 and the latter 77 volumes.
Could they [scholars and missionaries] even by chance have seen them, I can assure the Theosophists that the contents of these volumes could never be understood by anyone who had not been given the key to their peculiar character, and to their hidden meaning. [It is THE SECRET DOCTRINE.]
Every description of localities is figurative in our system; every name and word is purposely veiled; and a student, before he is given any further instruction, has to study the mode of deciphering, and then of comprehending and learning the equivalent secret system or synonym for nearly every word of our religious language [our Tibetan Buddhist religious language]. The Egyptian enchorial or hieratic system is child's play to the deciphering of our sacred puzzles. Even in those volumes to which the masses have access, every sentence has a dual meaning, one intended for the unlearned, and the other for those who have received the key to the records.
I propose that "unlearned" does not mean ignorant, stupid, or uneducated. It means uninitiated, not initiated into Tantra, which I will soon address.
In the same volume, pages 100-1:
But the records from which our scholastic author, the [obnoxious!] monk Della Penna quotes -- or I should rather say, misquotes -- contain no fiction, but simply information for future generations, who may, by that time, have obtained the key to the right reading of them [which we have today]. The "Lha" [or Buddhist deity or Brother] of whom Della Penna speaks but to deride the fable, they who "have attained the position of saints in this world" [Bodhisattvas], were simply the initiated Arhats, the adepts of many and various grades, generally known under the name of Bhante [father in Sanskrit] or Brothers. In the book known as the Avatamsaka Sutra [a Mahayana Buddhist scripture], in the section on "the Supreme Atman" --
Wait! Do we have BUDDHISTS teaching ATMAN? This is the MAJOR Mahayana text, the Avatamsaka Sutra!
-- Self -- as manifested in the character of the Arhats and Pratyeka [or self-enlightened] Buddhas," it is stated that "Because from the beginning, all sentient creatures have confused the truth, and embraced the false; therefore has there come into existence a hidden knowledge called Alaya Vijnana." "Who is in the possession of the true hidden knowledge?" "The great teachers of the Snowy Mountain," is the response in THE BOOK OF LAW.
Who are "the great teachers of the Snowy Mountain?" This is another technical Buddhist term. "Himalayas" is not a technical term. It is "The Place of Snows." Everyone knows that when the Muslims invaded India, the Buddhists fled to Tibet. There they remained until China kicked their butts.
So far, we know that Blavatsky is talking about a popularized version of the Secret Doctrine known as the Buddhist Tantras, Kiu-te. They quote some Mahayana scriptures, Avatamsaka, and talk about an Atman, which we thought Buddhism did not teach. Apparently it does in the Tantras in the Mahayana. Are you with me so far?
Before going on to Tsong-Kha-Pa, whom Blavatsky is very happy about for many reasons, I want to consider the structure of Tantra and what it means to be Tantra. I would like to disabuse you of any misunderstanding that it might be about sex, dark magic, or strange alchemical things that we should not meddle in.
What is Tantra about? It is the same Buddhist teachings as Mahayana, with added technology. Consider the Sanskrit character "OM." Blavatsky talks about OM quite a bit. It is the sound of the universe, of enlightenment, of our true nature. In Buddhism, chanting OM and mantras that begin with it get you to your Buddhist nature (Buddhakaya), your enlightened state, and your absolute essence. It is that Atman, spark, true reality, or the true Being who you are.
OM is the esoteric symbol of your true nature. When you call on it, you call on the essence of the universe and the essence of yourself, which are the same. The Buddhist chant "OM MANI PADME HUM," an elongated, seven-syllable version. They chant to the jewel or essence (mani) in the lotus of your essential being (padme). It is drawn out with the reverberation of "hum."
You are calling it to attention. "OM, wake up! Jewel in the Lotus, wake up, and come out. Become active. Become aware."
This is not a gradual path. You do not have to develop your essence. It is right there! You do not MAKE the OM, you PRONOUNCE the OM! It exists. It is eternal. It is preexistent. You are all Buddhas! You ARE the OM. You are not with me yet? You are not all enlightened? Damn!
The Mahayana path of wisdom and compassion is noble, but still graudal. The Vajrayana is a "sudden path," meaning it teaches that you are already enlightened. It does not do away with wisdom and compassion. You need both.
I will tell you why. If you will bear with me, I want to do a little Tantric ritual. It is not too magical. I promise it is nothing to do with sex. Oh! I know I have disappointed some of you!
The union of masculine and feminine energies in our root nature produces our essential being, our Buddhakaya. In THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, Blavatsky talks about the three aspects of the Buddhakaya: (1) the Nirmanakaya, which is not the physical, but an astral realization of enlightenment, on the astral plane, which impinges on ours; (2) the Sambhogakaya, the enlightened mental body of the Buddha, the absolute enlightened state; and (3) the Dharmakaya, the absolute metaphysical reality of what it is to be enlightened, without any connection related to the human world. These three are almost the Atmic, Manasic, and Astral layers of Blavatsky's world. That is Mahayana Buddhism. Tantra is simply a speeded-up version of Mahayana.
Let us do a little ritual. First, focus on Karuna. This is from a Bodhisattva vow. You have all seen a version of the vow called the Kwan-Yin Pledge. Here I chant the original:
May all sentient beings be endowed with happiness.
May they all be released from suffering.
May they all realize their inherent non-suffering nature.
May they all arrive at the unconditioned, impartial state which is free from aversion and attachment.
The enlightenment part would follow next.
These four levels of Karuna (Immeasurables) require ascending levels of effort. First: (1) "May all sentient beings be happy." More difficult: (2) "May they be free from suffering." Still more difficult: "May they realize their innate, non-suffering nature." And most difficult: "May they all arrive at the unconditioned, impartial state which is free from aversion and attachment."
What is so magical about this Tantra? It is magic because you chant it over and over again until it sinks to the root of your being. You BECOME the Four Immeasurables, you EMBODY Karuna as quickly as you can. Why dilly-dally? What are you waiting for? You can be compassionate tomorrow!
How do we get to Prajna, leading to Bodhichitta? The chant continues:
Just as the Lords of the Three Times (past, present, and future) and their sons and daughters (the Buddha families) generated the heart of supreme enlightenment, so may I, for the liberation of all beings throughout space, generate the unexcelled mind of supreme enlightenment.
You first took refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha (the Buddha's teaching community). You now call up the wisdom nature in you. As you drill compassion into yourself, over, over, and over again, you call up that wisdom nature. It is called the mind of enlightenment (the Aspirational Bodhichitta).
The result is already there. You chant about as well.
I and the infinite multitude of sentient beings are the absolute, the Buddha, from the beginning. Realizing that this is our essential identity, let us generate the mind of supreme enlightenment.
You call it up and realize it is already there. The two meet. The Atman reaches down to the embodied being. The embodied being reaches up to the Atman. This union is Tantra. This is the union of male and female that the West sees as so damn sexual! What is WRONG with us westerners? This is metaphysical. This is spiritual. It is not about our physical bodies at all. Male and female imagery are purely metaphorical, used to understand the different energies of our nature.
As you may know, Tsong-Kha-Pa was the founder of a reformed sect of Buddhism in Tibet. Blavatsky calls him a fully realized Buddha, the second Buddha, the only Buddha since Gautama Buddha. At the end of the 14th century, he appeared in Tibet and saw a degraded Tantric Buddhist system. It is been a couple of thousand years since the Buddha had taught. Buddhism had been in Tibet for a thousand years. There had been accretions. The root teachings I have shared with you do not include all the visualizations, the beautiful colors the syllables. The root is compassion, wisdom, and the mind of enlightenment. That is the root. It had degraded. Accoutrements had built up. All these rituals were not really essential.
Tsong-Kha-Pa was the guy who originated the Dalai Lamas. His successor is the First Dalai Lama. It is too complicated for me to get into now. Blavatsky shares the historical fact that he founded the Yellow Hat School, which produces the Dalai Lamas that we have today. She tells you that he reformed exoteric Buddhism. She may tell you he reformed Esoteric Buddhism. What she does not tell you is that of the many volumes he wrote, most were Tantric. He is reforming the Tantric system to get back to fundamentals. The reform is to purify the channels -- lunar, solar, and central -- to allow the energy of wisdom and compassion to meet.
What does this founder of the Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) school of exoteric and esoteric Tibetan Buddhism have to say in his personal journal? How did he become enlightened? Yes, he is enlightened. This is from Alex Wayman, an article in the INDO-IRANIAN JOURNAL. Tsong-Kha-Pa writes:
Now, for guidance to Complete Buddhahood, there are both the profound Diamond Vehicle [Vajrayana or Kiu-te (rGyud-sDe)] and Paramita [the Perfections, the Sutrayama, or Do-Te (mDo-sDe)]. It is well known that the Mantra [or Tantra] path far surpasses the Paramita [Sutra] path, like the sun [surpasses] the moon. Some respect this [Tantra path] as a true [Buddha-] word [a Buddha teaching, a Kanjur], but do not try to find out what the Diamond Vehicle is. [I do not suppose any of you are in that camp, but if you revere the Tantra, and you think it is a true Buddha teaching, maybe we should check it out], while posing as wise men. If in such manner they are wise men, who then are the more stupid ones? It is most surprising that one should cast aside this sort of highest path so difficult to encounter. [To be initiated in Esoteric Buddhism is not easy. Before China invaded Tibet, only Blavatsky, I think, really had access to these teachers outside the Tibetan monastic system.] Therefore, I entered and exercised myself with many endeavors in that Deep which is the highest vehicle of the Jina [the Conqueror, Buddha] and even rarer than a Buddha and which is the treasure of the two occult successes. [We will get into the "two occult successes" in a second.]
The glorious Anuttara [Supreme] Tantras [There are four categories of Tantras -- the Anuttara, the supreme, unsurpassed Tantras] are the ultimate of all the well-expressed Teaching of the Muni [the Sage, or the Buddha]; and among them the most profound of the SHRI-GUHYASAMAJA-TANTRA [I translate this to mean "the Great Tantra of Secret Wisdom." It reminds me of Blavatsky's secret book, "The Secret Wisdom of the World" -- huh!]. That is stated by the illustrious speaker Nagarjuna ... Taking recourse to it, I exercised with great endeavor of the five great Explanatory Tantras [I will give them to you in a second] and on good [commentarial] compositions.
This is just like Blavatsky, the initiated commentaries on the popularized Secret Doctrine. I wonder where Tsong-Kha-Pa got his commentary.
Having exercised, I obtained all the essentials constituting generalities of the two stages [of Generation and Completion, the seal; Tantric visualization and attainment], and in particular, the essential of the State of Completion.
By George William Russell
[From THE CANDLE OF VISION, Chapter V, pages 27-37.]
I have always been curious about the psychology of my own vision, as I have been desirous of imparting it. I wish in this book to relate the efforts of an artist and poet to discover what truth lay in his own imaginations. I have brooded longer over the nature of imagination than I have lingered over the canvas where I tried to rebuild my vision.
Spiritual moods are difficult to express. We cannot argue over them. The workings of imagination may well be spoken of, and need precise and minute investigation. From my reading of the psychologists who treat of this, I surmise they were without this faculty, speaking of it as blind men who would fain draw although without vision.
PROMETHEUS UNBOUND overcomes us when we read it. As one reads, who flings off the enchantment to ponder the state the soul of Shelley was in when writing that ecstasy of swift creation? Who has questioned the artist to whom the forms of his thought are vivid as the forms of nature? Artist and poet have rarely been curious about the processes of their own minds.
It is reasonable to assume that the highest ecstasy and vision are conditioned by law and attainable by all. We might argue this as more important than even the message of the seers. I attribute to that unwavering meditation and fiery concentration of will a growing luminousness in my brain. It is as if I had unsealed in the body a fountain of interior light.
Normally we close our eyes on a cloudy gloom through which vague forms struggle sometimes into definiteness. The luminous quality gradually became normal in me. At times in meditation, there broke in on me an almost intolerable luster of light, pure-and-shining faces, dazzling processions of most ancient figures, ancient places and peoples, and landscapes lovely as the lost Eden. At first, these appeared as little related to myself as images from a street without one sees reflected in a glass. At times, meditation prolonged itself into spheres that were radiant with actuality.
Once, drawn by some inner impulse to meditate at an unusual hour, I found quick oblivion of the body. The blood and heat of the brain ebbed from me as an island fades in the mists behind a swift vessel fleeting into light. The ways were open within. I rose through myself and suddenly felt as if I had awakened from dream.
Where was I? In what city did I find myself? Here were hills crowned with glittering temples. As far as I could see, the ways thronged with most beautiful people. They were swaying as if shaken by some ecstasy running through all. It was as if the Dark Hidden Father was breathing rapturous life within His children. Did I wear to them an aspect like their own? Was I visible to them as a newcomer in their land of lovely light?
I could not know. Those near me flowed towards me with outstretched hands. I saw eyes with a beautiful flame of love in them looking into mine. I could not stay longer. Something below drew me down. I was again an exile from light.
There came through meditation a more powerful orientation of my being. It was as if to a hidden sun. My thoughts turned more and more to the spiritual life of Earth. All the needles of being were pointing to it.
Instinctively, I felt that all I saw in vision was part of the life of Earth, a court where there are many starry palaces. There the Planetary Spirit was King. The Mighty Mother, the Spirit manifesting through the substance of Earth, was the being I groped after as God.
The love I had for nature as garment of that deity grew deeper. That which was my own came to me as it comes to all men. That which claimed me drew me to it.
I had my days and nights of freedom. How often did I start in the sunshine of a Sabbath morning, setting my face to the hills, and feeling somewhat uncertain? How often did I feel as a lover who draws near the beauty he adores, sometimes yielding everything to him and sometimes silent and only enduring his presence?
I did not know what would happen to me. I was always expectant. I walked up to the mountains as if to the throne of God. Gradually, there fell from me the passions and fears of the weekday. As I reached the hillside and lay on the grassy slope with closed eyes, I was bare of all but desire for the Eternal.
I was once more the child close to the Mother. She rewarded me by lifting the veil that hides her true face a little. To those high souls who know their kinship, she lifts the veil, she reveals her face, and her face is like that of a bride. Petty as was my everyday life with the fears and timidities which abnormal sensitiveness begets, in those moments of vision, I understood instinctively the high mood they must keep who would walk with the highest. Who with that divine face glimmering before him could do aught but adore!
There is an instinct that stills the lips that would speak of mysteries whose day for revelation has not drawn near. Of what little I know of these, I shall not speak. Even so, it is always lawful to speak of that higher wisdom that relates our spiritual being to the multitudinous unity that is God, Nature, and Man.
What justification is there for speech from me, rather than from others whose knowledge is more profound? Painting a scene that he views for the first time, the skilled artist may suggest beauty and enchantment. The habitual dweller may know the valley he loves so intimately that he could walk blindfold from end to end. Unskilled in art, he may share less of it. The matching of words to thoughts is an art I have practiced more. What I say may convey more truth.
I do not wish to write a book of wonders. I would rather bring thought back to that Being whom the ancient seers worshipped as Deity. I believe that most of what people say of God they really say of that Spirit whose body is Earth.
Plato believed that the earth is not what geographers suppose. Like frogs, we live at the bottom of a marsh. We know nothing of that Many-Colored Earth superior to this we know, yet related to it as soul to body. In some fashion, I must indicate the nature of the visions that led me to believe as Plato did.
On that Many-Colored Earth, he tells us, live a divine folk. There are temples wherein the gods do truly dwell. As far as words may, I wish to convey how some apparitions of that ancient beauty came to me in wood, on hillside, or by the shores of the western sea.
Sometimes lying on the hillside with the eyes of the body shut as in sleep, I could see valleys and hills. They were lustrous as a jewel. All with them were self-shining, the colors brighter and purer, yet making a softer harmony together than the colors of the world I know. The winds sparkled as they blew hither and thither. Far distances were clear through that glowing air. What was far off was as precise as what was near. The will to see hurried me to what I desired.
There, too, in that land I saw fountains as of luminous mist jetting from some hidden heart of power. Shining folk passed into those fountains, inhaled, and drew life from the magical air. They were, I believe, those who in the ancient world gave birth to legends of nymph and dryad.
Their perfection was like the perfection of a flower. The individualized will chooses between good and evil and mars the mold of natural beauty. This beauty seemed never to have been so broken in them. Even though more beautiful than we, they seemed less than human. I surmised I had more thoughts in a moment than they through many of their days.
Sometimes I wondered if they had individualized life at all. They moved as if in some orchestration of their being. If one looked up, all looked up. If one moved to breathe the magical airs from the fountains, many bent in rhythm. I wondered if their thoughts were all from another. Did their thoughts come from one who lived within them, from the guardian or Oversoul of their tribe?
My first visions of supernature were like these. They were not spiritual nor of high import. They were not as high as those transcendental moments of awe when almost without vision the Divine Darkness seemed to breathe within the spirit.
I was curious about these forms. They often lured me away from the highest meditation. I was dazzled like a child who escapes from a dark alley in one of our cities of great sorrow where its life has been spent, and who comes for the first time upon some rich garden beyond the city where the air is weighted with scent of lilac or rose, and the eyes are made gay with color.
Such a beauty begins to glow on us as we journey towards Deity. Earth grows brighter as we journey from the gloomy pole to lands of the sun. The Golden World is all about us, I would cry out to our humanity that is sinking deeper into the Iron Age. Beauty is open to all. Beauty shuts out to none that will turn to it and seek for it.
As the will grew more intense and the longing for the ancestral self more passionate, there came glimpses of more rapturous life in the being of Earth.
Once I lay on the sand dunes by the western sea. The air seemed filled with melody. The motion of the wind made a continuous musical vibration. Now and then, the silvery sound of bells broke on my ear. I saw nothing for a time.
Then there was an intensity of light before my eyes. It was like the flashing of sunlight through a crystal. It widened like the opening of a gate. I saw the light was streaming from the heart of a glowing figure. Light pervaded its body as if sunfire rather than blood ran through its limbs. Light streams flowed from it. It moved over me along the winds, carrying a harp. A circling of golden hair swept across the strings. Birds flew about it. Over the brows was a fiery plumage as of wings of outspread flame.
On the face of that glowing figure was an ecstasy of beauty and immortal youth. There were others, a lordly folk. They passed by on the wind as if they knew me not nor the earth I lived on.
When I came back to myself, my own world seemed grey and devoid of light, although the summer sun was hot upon the sands.
I will tell one other vision because it bears on things the ancients taught us, and on what I write later. I will not say where I saw this.
There was a hall vaster than any cathedral. It had pillars that seemed built out of living and trembling opal or from some starry substances that shone with every color, the colors of eve and dawn. A golden air glowed in this place. High between the pillars were thrones that faded, glow by glow, to the end of the vast hall.
On the thrones sat the Divine Kings. They were fire-crested. I saw the crest of the dragon on one, and there was another plumed with brilliant fires that jetted forth like feathers of flame. They sat shining and star-like, mute as statues, more colossal than Egyptian images of their gods. At the end of the hall was a higher throne on which sat one greater than the rest. A light like the sun glowed behind him.
A dark figure lay below on the floor of the hall as if in trance. Two of the Divine Kings made motions with their hands about it, motioning over its head and body. Where their hands waved, I saw sparkles of fire break out like the flashing of jewels.
There rose out of that dark body a figure as tall, glorious, and shining as those seated on the thrones. As he woke to the hall, he became aware of his divine kin. He lifted up his hands in greeting. He had returned from his pilgrimage through darkness. Now an initiate, he was a master in the heavenly guild.
While he gazed on them, the tall golden figures leaped up from their thrones. They had hands uplifted in greeting too. They passed from me and faded swiftly in the great glory behind the throne.
By Mary Martin
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, March 1947, pages 177-80.]
Theosophy teaches that all entities, from atoms to universes, are evolving beings; that what we call Monads are in themselves, in their very essence, partakers of eternity, of infinity. The heart, that Innermost Within of these beings, is utter divinity, expressed by Hindus and by Theosophists in the Sanskrit words, TAT TWAM ASI!
We have so many revelations of understanding in this regard. The poet who tells the little flower that if it will tell him what it is he will tell it what God and man is. They laugh quietly and joyously together. Each knows that the other has intimate knowledge of their true relationship.
Another so generously shares with us her mystical beauty in lines that the thought of the Psalmist evoked,
"I will lay me down in peace to sleep, for Thou Lord makest me to dwell in safety." I relax in the beautiful darkness, God's curtain of love drawn o'er the world that all may rest. Like the birds fold their wings after their evening vespers have been sung, I fold my aura of protection round about me and rest in the arms of infinite love ... "Thou Lord makest me to dwell in safety." I keep repeating these words until the assurance of that safety, under all conditions, glows with glory in my soul, and by my faith, I draw from worlds unseen, the bright protective angels, waiting for the call to earth. They bring with them the same sweet peace that must have flown o'er Eden when in the cool of the day, God walked beneath the trees. "Thou makest me to dwell in safety."
-- Evelyn Whitell, HEALING SILENCES
I have recently reread parts of THE GARDEN OF VISION by L. Adams Beck, a book that gives the lesson of the Boundless All. You may be interested in remembering parts of it with me. Of particular interest is where the little Japanese girl Sayoko and the English girl Yasoma are granted the privilege of hearing Professor Kitesato talk about a "Very strange No play, which turns on the true things which lie behind the world we see" and then the Professor connected it with Western Science.
How beautiful it was in the wood as they went winding through the pale russet of heaped pine needles under the pines bathing in the afternoon sunshine! How much at home were all its Presences! They went into the hall. Outside, the sunshine was golden on trees and grass, but only a few of the golden arrows shot into the brown shadows and filled the emptiness with dancing notes. Very high was the roof of the hall, lost in glooms of wood so dark that it carried thought beyond the unseen bounds of man's handiwork.
That was only outward grandeur. All the rest was of the barest simplicity. There was a matted floor and nothing else but a sort of reading stand upon which might be laid a book of scriptures or commentaries or the text of the reader's discourse.
All was so quiet that the fluttering of a bird outside did violence to the silence. Voices drew near. The men trooped in. Kitesato put his manuscript on the reading stand. Without any prologue but a bow to all present, he plunged into his subject. His English was perfect but for accent and an overly fine scholastic attention to words.
Being among the greatest art in Japan, the No play may be approached from many different points of view. Today I take it from that which you study here, the opening of the spiritual eye (Zen Buddhism) and its relation to Western Science; and that being my aim, I choose two well-known passages as indication of the road I tread. The first is as follows:
Before a man studies Zen, mountains are mountains to him and waters are waters. After he gets instruction in the truth of Zen by observing a good master, mountains are not mountains to him and waters are not waters. After this, when he really attains to the Place of Peace, mountains are once more mountains and waters are waters.
Most true, for, in the first instance he accepts them as what they seem -- unquestioned realities -- the matter of which the world is built in one of its most grandiose shapes. In the second instance, after a little instruction, he takes them as mere illusion, a deception of the senses. In the third, after he has received satori, that is to say Enlightenment, he sees the mountains and waters as they are in truth and in their relation to Universal Power. It followed that he has realized the whole universe in its inmost mind essence. He is a Master.
Now the whole secret of the No Plays -- that which makes them lucent to us and almost incomprehensible to the average foreigner -- is yugen. This is a word of our own which has more than one meaning and which may be said to have been given to us by Zen Buddhism, since that form of Buddhism has most truly and deeply adjusted man to his place in the universe. It is for this reason that Zen has been hailed as the highest reach of human thought and the most practical of practicalities and is as such recommended in the No plays themselves.
What then is this great word yugen given us by Zen? What does it mean? It means that which lies below the surface or that which the obvious hides. Yugen gives the mysterious charm to great Chinese and Japanese landscape painting and to their portraits, whether of human beings, animals, or flowers. To them all are one. All reveal the Universal, sphinx-like beneath the obvious, yet answering the riddle freely to those who have opened the third eye of vision.
We have used a symbol for this yugen -- a white bird with a flower in its beak. A winged thing, as you perceive, with the simplest yet most exquisite form of earthly beauty as its device. Could a man understand the whole truth of that flower, he would have mastered the secret of the All, for yugen is the call of the Universal to the Universal in man.
Consider the charm of anything that charms those educated as you are, whether in literature, music, or any other art. It is yugen, the hidden meaning of you, blending with what you love. You love it because it is yourself moving you to emotion and sharing emotion with you. Together, you make and share a common sacrament. For it also is your true Self, the One Self, of all nature and all it symbolizes. IN THE UNIVERSE IS NO ROOM FOR TWO.
The hidden meaning of yourself, blending with what you love ... Together, you make and share a common sacrament."
We spoke above of so many revelations of understanding in this regard -- many will come to mind bearing the tender message of the "Christ Within."
My thought returns to a ward in a hospital with rows and rows of white beds. On this particular morning, I find many new faces on "my" (a receiving) ward. The Major says, Mary, take good care of these boys. Give them anything they want! Then I perceive the ethereal quality about them and know them to be boys who were prisoners of the Japanese. One boy, an English lad who was taken at Shanghai and was a slave laborer in Burma, was frail of body but had in his eyes that Light that comes only when one has made direct contact with the All.
One Saturday when I was very late in reaching the ward to which he had been transferred, I went in to talk with him and the others without giving any reason for my tardiness, and this boy said, "Oh yes, another Gray Lady told me you were attending Ozaki's funeral services." (Ozaki, a Hawaiian-Japanese, was a member of the 100th, the Purple Heart Battalion).
I had been so close to Ozaki that it had not occurred to me that anyone would question the propriety of my attending the service held in his honor. This came to me when this English lad smiled and said, "I knew a good Jap once."
I was taken back for a moment and said, "You did?"
He said, "Yes, it was a little old woman, and I and many others would have starved to death had it not been for the morsels of food she sneaked in to us."
This was the only statement I ever heard him make about the Japs.
Don't you believe this is another proof of that Compassionate Love that Dr. de Purucker refers to as the cement of the Universe?
The second passage given by Kitesato is as follows:
One knocked at the Beloved's door and it was asked from within, "Who is there?"
He who knocked replied, "It is I."
He received the answer, "There is no room for two." Finally, the Voice asked, "Who is there?"
It was answered by the rapturous cry, "It is THOU," and the door was opened.
Against that reply, the door is never shut.
From our beloved VOICE OF THE SILENCE, we receive this same Truth, TAT TWAM ASI!
And now thy Self is lost in SELF, thyself unto THYSELF, merged in THAT SELF from which thou first didst radiate.
Where is thy individuality, Lanoo, where the Lanoo himself? It is the spark lost in the fire, the drop within the ocean, the ever-present Ray become the all and the eternal radiance.
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
-- 1 John 4:13
By Liesel F. Deutsch
[based upon a May 6, 1995 posting to email@example.com]
I agree with the idea that Theosophy is not based on well-intentioned social work. Such social work is one of the banes of my existence.
I also agree with the idea that achieving spiritual riches and sharing them is the highest good.
The two ideas may seem to contradict each other, but, to me they don't. I think this is because I've added a Buddhist ingredient to the mix of sharing whatever I've ben able to learn with someone else, who might also be able to use it. That ingredient is expressed as "Skill in means". I've been trying to steadily improve my skill in means for sharing whatever beautiful and useful I've found. I may not be so very skillful yet, but I'm improving, and I think all Theosophists should aim for improving their "skill in means".
Theosophy teaches self-responsibility, but I've also learned that you yourself are responsible for your own Karma, and that other people need to be responsible for theirs, and that you very seldom take on another person's karma upon yourself. It doesn't work, for one thing -- something that I found out when I very willingly took on some of my grandson, Benjamin's karma, an effort that didn't succeed.
All I got across was my point of view, but since I didn't get either little Ben nor his parents to fall in with my idea, nothing further happened. It concerned a health problem, and nothing constructive is being done about it, so I'm still worried about it, but I cannot take on Ben's karma. He and his parents have made their choice, and it's completely out of my hands. and I think that's where it should be.
Other people have to make their own choices. Buddhas just point the way. After you've made your choices, you need to live with the results, but the results aren't necessarily untoward, they might be very pleasant, and enjoyable. If, however, they don't come out to your liking, then it's again time to make another choice to get them more in line with what you tried to achieve in the first place. So I'm still hoping the best for Ben, even though there's nothing further I can do about it.
I think "hairbrained", or "not-theosophical" ideas aren't only found in untrained minds. Someone with a PhD can talk and think stupid sometimes too.
People don't always agree with your own point of view, and Theosophy is set up so that people can be Theosophists and still have different points of view.
Wouldn't it be boring, if we all looked at everything exactly alike? I think that's not even the case with the Dhyani Chohans, where an idea travels across the group at such great speed that they can immediately all act in unison.
To me, there's also the matter of that what is appropriate for one person in a situation might not be appropriate for another. For example, consider four pieces of candy. If you're thin as a rail, you don't have to think twice about enjoying four pieces of candy, one right after the other. If, on the other hand, you're fighting the battle of the midriff bulge, you better be careful about how many pieces of candy you consume. And if you happen to be diabetic, the candy is even worse for you.
I happen to be a Karma Yoga person, and I happen to believe that wherever you notice a lack that you can profitable remedy, you should do so. If the Theosophical Society doesn't believe in taking part in organized religion nor in politics, that doesn't present an obstacle for me personally to take part, if I see that I'll be able to help with profit in some way. Of course, I can't go around, and again be a do-gooder, and try to fix everything. I have to pick and choose among all the things I could be helping to fix the ones which appeal to me most, and the ones I have the most knowledge and expertise to help fix.
Finally, consider laws. I agree with the idea that laws are for those not advanced enough to follow their own inner law. The inner law takes a long time to develop. I think it is made up of intuition and conscience. I don't believe that people are born evil, and need to be raised from being miserable sinners. I believe that everyone is born with a conscience, and if they listen to that, and if they also learn the workings of karma, which is also Law, no other law is needed. I think Theosophy is based on the innate goodness of people, and the spiritual training is to bring it out.
By S.M. Hafiz Syed
[From THE ARYAN PATH, April 1954, pages 170-72.]
We are so oblivious of our real self that we never trouble to analyze the content and the constitution of our own being. Unless we have confidence in the reality of our true being and feel there is something in us abiding forever that is the source of knowledge and happiness, we will not start on the adventure in the search for Truth.
Most consider themselves weaklings, incapable of achieving what they want. Some think that they are miserable sinners with no hope to improve themselves and to become good citizens. They have no faith in themselves because they have not clearly understood their real nature. They think they are merely the body or the mind, which are ultimately perishable. For such, death has great terror. They think that when their physical body disappears they will come to an end.
All the religions of the world have assured their followers they will survive after the death of the body and told them that they will be held accountable for their deeds performed in this world. They will reap what they have sown. They will go to either hell or heaven according to their good or evil deeds. Or they will return to earth to enjoy the results of their good actions and suffer for their evil ways.
Mysticism, occultism, or yogic sadhana also draw our attention to the fact of our survival after bodily death. They say that one may consciously realize the continuity of one's existence here and now in embodied life.
There were and still are various schools of sadhana or spiritual discipline. They hold out the definite hope of our realizing the true Self and thus end our fear of death. In Eastern countries, especially in India, several schools of spiritual discipline still exist. In these schools, the devout aspirants pursue spiritual development according to the instructions of their gurus. Some teachers subject their disciples to the severest discipline and austerity.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, a young man of fifteen or sixteen set his heart on spiritual adventure. He renounced his home, a worldly career, and all earthly desires, devoting himself completely to the search for Truth. By dint of his perseverance, intense sadhana, and one-pointed, single-minded devotion, he realized his goal.
As a result of direct experience and in answer to earnest enquiry from eager and searching people, he noted a few definite, concise, and helpful suggestions for treading the path that he had successfully trodden. His instructions are simple yet profound. The analytical and scientific method pointed out by him appeals to the modern mind.
He does not call upon us to pin our faith to this, that, or other dogma nor has he given any mantra. He does not expect his devotees to follow his path uncritically. Knowing the condition of the modern mind and its lack of faith in spiritual things, he advised that the dictates of reason be followed and well-known methods of investigation and self-enquiry be pursued.
This sage of Arunachala teaches the elimination of vestures one after the other, bringing one to a point of finding one's real locus standi. Deny everything else, but one cannot deny one's own being. Its continuity can be perceived by casting a glance from present age back to infancy. Doing this draws one to a conclusion. Although mind and body undergo various changes, one's self or identity has not changed. One is what one has been from beginning of conscious existence to where one stands today.
Before beginning the quest for Truth, we are told to first analyze the constitution of our own being. We then find there is something in us that has undergone definite changes. Recognize it as something unreal or impermanent. The total of our sense of egoity has an element of reality. That is the light of consciousness manifesting as "I am." We recognize this as real. Unlike its vestures, it is constant and unchanging. We should gradually dissociate ourselves from the vestures and dwell in thought in that pure "I am." This practice is a step towards finding the real Self. The sage tells us that we can surely find the Self by holding to this.
Briefly stated, mind and body change so they are unreal. As the "I" exists continuously, I am the real as the pure "I am." I may reject my vestures. They are not my real self. They are objects I perceive. I cannot possibly dissociate myself from my own being because it is that which perceives. Hence the "I am" is the truth of me. All else is not "I."
By this analytical process, we gain an intellectual grasp of the truth of the Self. That is a mere mental abstraction. We need to experience the conscious presence of the Self.
Sri Raman Maharshi advised us not to lean too much upon sacred scriptures or external guides, but rather to depend upon Self. When we get a glimpse of It, we shall discover that Its nature is Sat, Chit, and Ananda. These are the admitted characteristics of the Supreme Self. It is unrelated, formless, nameless, timeless, spaceless, absolute, one without a second, and an unchanging source of wisdom and bliss.
In the beginning, our knowledge of Self is indirect. As we proceed on Its quest on the authority and evidence of persons who have realized It by their own self-effort, we begin to have direct experience of what we really are in essence. Before we can have the direct experience that will deepen our faith, we have to learn to probe and dive deep into our inner self.
If we start on our spiritual adventure with faith and confidence, we shall overcome the difficulty of the wandering mind and shifting ego-sense, which is like our shadow. The lower ego cannot be subdued by one who takes it to be the real.
One who has truly learnt to have deep faith in the dignity, permanence, and glory of the true Self could never stoop to anything mean or dishonorable. The outer will reflect the inner. One who is conscious of his divine nature could never be entirely daunted by any difficulty, nor could he be utterly discouraged by any failure.
Seeing the same Self dwelling in the hearts of all, he treats his fellowmen and all living creatures with sympathy and humane consideration. He overcomes his selfishness. He joyfully and ungrudgingly renders unselfish service to those who need it. He would not hesitate to share his belongings with those less fortunate than himself. He overcomes greed, passion, anger, and attachment because these qualities are not part of his real Self.
If one were experiencing sorrow, suffering, grief, and disappointment with deep faith, he would remind himself instantly that these misfortunes do not really touch him. He is above them. Self's real nature is Ananda or bliss. Death has lost all terror for him. No change in the outer world disturbs him. Much awaits one who has full and abiding faith in his own Self.
By G. Je Lindemans
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, March 1947, pages 171-76.]
In the years about 1898, which HPB indicated as marking the end of the first cycle of 5000 years of Kali Yuga, there lived at Rotterdam a little band of men. They were humble of birth and humble of means, but with hearts burning with love for truth and devotion to the spiritual needs of humanity. The fire of HPB's message set their hearts aflame. William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley, in whom they recognized their Teachers and spiritual Leaders, kindled and rekindled those hearts repeatedly.
Responding to Katherine Tingley's call to Theosophists all over the world for establishing Lotus Groups, this little band of enthusiasts in our town founded one that my older sister became a member.
Going back in memory to early days of childhood, I see myself expectant of the fulfillment of dreams that were wonderfully abstract, immaterial, and full of promise, when at the Sunday morning after my eighth birthday, September 1901, I went with my sister to the Lotus Circle.
From the street in which my parents lived with its gray and monotonous houses, we walked through streets of the same gray monotonous hue to a street bare of any poetry. There in one of the houses we went into a room with rows of wooden chairs and the ringing of children's voices. Upon a table, there were three big portraits adorned with flowers, two of women's faces and one of a face of a strangely attractive man with a pointed beard.
After a moment, the children became silent. A girl made music on what I learned later on to be a piano. Then someone made us sing. Mr. F.P.C. de Hen was not one of the foremost in the Theosophical Movement. Those who have known him will never forget his erudition, gaiety, and intellectual and spiritual integrity. He had us sing beautiful songs that I knew already from my sister.
Thereupon, Mr. de Hen began to talk. Wonder of wonders, the room and the chair upon which I was sitting disappeared. A world of magic surrounded me. It was beautiful, real, and ideally adapted to the child's imaginative nature, imprinting its truthfulness upon my soul in unfading richness of color. Every Sunday morning the wonder repeated.
The gods and demigods, the heroes of antiquity, became a living reality. Some of their kin lived and acted in the world of today, I learned. I understood why we embellish their photographs with flowers and why I felt at peace when I looked at their faces while Mr. de Hen told his fairy tales. These were true stories, just as were his tales about the Lotus Mother and Raja Yoga and tales about Princess Helena and the Wise Ones she knew and who sent her into the world to teach all men and women the grand lessons of Brotherhood.
Going back in memory to those early days of my childhood, I think of my parents struggling to provide their children with the very necessities of life. It was a hard struggle. One wonders if it was possible for them to do more, but more they did and in several ways. They broke away from church and thus from narrow dogmatism, creating an atmosphere of freedom of mind and of direct and practical idealism.
"Think for yourself, realizing your own sufferings to be no other than those of your fellowmen; the only radical method of ameliorating your difficulties being organized effort to remove the general causes of suffering in the world."
These were the ideas which directed their lives and which they infused in my mind and that of my sisters and brothers. Realizing the imperfections of the elementary schools, they found the means to give their children an education by severe and prolonged sacrifices on their part. Whatever its limitations, it gave us an outlook into the broader fields of cultural life. They had the wisdom to let us attend the Lotus Circle and later on the Boys and Girls Brotherhood Clubs, though they did not know of Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement.
At the age of fourteen in 1907, I myself became a member of the Boys Brotherhood Club at Rotterdam. At that time, Mr. J.C. Meyer superintended it. This close friend of Mr. F.P.C. de Hen was a man with a heart of pure gold. He and Mr. de Hen were in many ways each other's counterparts. De Hen was a poet and a student. (He accomplished the translation into Dutch of the first series of Theosophical Manuals and of THE SECRET DOCTRINE in cooperation with Mr. J.C. Onnes and Mr. Arie Goud.) As such, he was the intellectual leader of the Rotterdam Lodge at that time. Meyer was a practical and pragmatic philosopher.
The technical scientific and occult teachings of Theosophy, the Gupta Vidya, did not interest him very much, I believe, but he was thoroughly familiar with those with a direct bearing upon daily life such as the teachings of Brotherhood, Karma and Reincarnation, the Inner Divinity of Man, and the dual character of Man the Thinker.
Of the Theosophical Leaders, William Q. Judge, the Friend of all Humanity, was his favorite. In H.P. Blavatsky, he admired the great Messenger of the Masters and the breaker of the molds of mind. In Katherine Tingley, he saw the fiery humanitarian that made Theosophy the leading factor in home life and education.
His admiration for Richard Wagner, whose symbolical musical dramas were to him the alpha and omega of music, should be mentioned particularly, but I do not know whether the inspiration he found in them came from the music or the symbolism in the texts.
Mr. Meyer always was a friend to us boys. He was a wise comrade who prevented our falling into extremes. He never tired of answering our questions from an inexhaustible store of similitudes drawn from life itself or from literature. None of us doubted his utter sincerity, even the young boys, keen enough to detect any flaw in a seemingly bright crystal.
We trusted him more than we did ourselves. He had the subtle tact to give us a feeling of managing the club business and activities ourselves, though there could not be a shadow of possibility that we would have acted in a way that he could not approve wholeheartedly.
At the Boys Brotherhood Club, I learned more fully the meaning of being in touch with a worldwide movement. We learned to see the world as a family of nations, a unity in diversity, each nation destined to contribute its own part to a common ideal.
We had a few meetings with the sister club at Groningen and learned how our comrades there had their own Mr. Meyer, only they called him Mr. Onnes and with them Mr. Redeker took the place of our Mr. de Hen. We knew of the existence of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, but were still too young to understand how it was organized. We had some inkling of the links of companionship existing between the grownups and of the important role played by Mr. Arie Goud.
Gradually I became conscious that the souls of the Mentors of my youth were moved by a grand and noble ideal and I knew its name, Theosophy. I wanted to know more than its name. I wanted to know the thing itself.
My older Brother, Fred A. Lindemans, became a member of the Rotterdam Lodge a short time after I entered the Boys Brotherhood Club. He was in possession of several Theosophical books and a subscriber of LOTUSKNOPPEN. (A few years later, it transformed into HET THEOSOPHISCH PAD, the official organ of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society in Holland and the subject of daily care and anxiety of Arie Goud.) I had a fountainhead of the desired knowledge near at hand and I drew from it lavishly. It turned out to be such delightful reading that I have remained a student of Theosophical books and magazines ever since.
It seems only natural that a few years later I applied for membership. In due time, I became a member of the Rotterdam Lodge and thus officially a Theosophist, which I remained through two world wars and the time between.
Is this why I became a Theosophist? Yes, it is undoubtedly. It has not been difficult to me to find Theosophy. I did not have to free myself of any chains of dogmatism or hard materialism. I cannot state it otherwise, yet I doubt and hesitate.
In truth, is this why I became a Theosophist? If so, might there have been a possibility of my not becoming a Theosophist? If being a member of the Theosophical Society in good standing is enough to make one Theosophist then my way has been straight and easy.
Life tells a different tale. It teaches a different lesson. To be a Theosophist means to accept the truth in the lessons taught by life itself. Consequently, one has, as it were, to renew one's application for membership in the Theosophical Society everyday. As soon as life crystallizes, it is no longer life but rather death. Truth crystallized remains no longer truth but becomes its own counterpart.
My knowledge of Theosophy not only had to be confronted with the will-o-the-wisp of the everyday philosophy of the papers, but also with the thoughts of those who demonstrated their purity of motive and profoundness of mental power by their self-sacrificing efforts and courageous statements. I had to find my place in the conflict of opinion, and above all my place in a world torn asunder by a continual sequence of wars and social strife.
My position was similar to the Christian whose creed has to stand the test of deep corroding doubt. Theosophy did not come to me as it came to many of my companions, coming like a lamp that lighted the darkness in which one was groping. Theosophy largely formed my picture of the world. It was imperfectly formed, being only the Theosophy that I understood as a young man. It was a picture formed by my yet not full-grown mind.
I felt the first heavy blow at the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914. It began a series of blows, growing heavier as the war went on. First, the devastation and cruelties in Belgium, then the stagnation in the trenches, thereupon cannonades of weeks and weeks, the thunder of which we heard in the nights, the blockade and the submarine war, and the atrocities of the poison gases. Oh, the horror of all that!
What could life mean when such abominations were possible? I had to see it through, and I did. Study began to take on another aspect. Life presented its eternal problems to me. My convictions, if I had any in reality, were shaken to their foundations. Before when I studied Theosophy, it had been at best a kind of eager absorbing of interesting stuff, fairly well in the same way as I studied books about the life of plants or read literature.
I became familiar with beautiful thoughts and things to which my heart went out. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." What could be the use of such a thing of beauty, if it could not expel the ugliness that reigned in the world in which I had to live?
In the same mood, I was compelled to ask what it matters whether the message of Theosophy is true when the world prefers to stand by and support those who propagate the opposite? I discovered a kind of selfishness parading in the cloak of love for beauty, philosophy, and scientific research. I also discovered another state of mind, little better, like that of the ostrich, which blinds itself to disturbing dangers and refuses to see unpleasant truths. How much of my interest in Theosophy is tainted by the same selfishness, by the same unwillingness to see things as they are, I asked.
Before I had time to formulate an answer, a new question arose. What proof is there of an accord between truth as approached by human mind and the facts of being? Are they but sophisms of the brain-mind? Perhaps, but the brain-mind used sharp shafts. Are the truths proclaimed by intuition to be called lullabies? If there was a decisive answer to the dilemma, Theosophy had to provide it. If it could not, it was not worthy of its name.
Theosophy provided the answer. It was not by its philosophy but rather in the person of Katherine Tingley. Facts remained the same as before, but ceased to create confusion. Doubt became impossible in her presence. I met her when she, on her first crusade after the First World War, visited Holland. I realized I had met a real Teacher, a real Leader. She did not convince by power of arguments. She dominated but not by mental force, though she was imperial in her spiritual greatness.
She did not force one into obedience or submission. On the contrary, she awakened in man his spiritual and intellectual independence. She made him stand upon his own feet. By following her, I followed the dictates of my own awakened spiritual insight. To trust her was to trust my own inner guide. I knew the converse to be equally true. When I followed my deepest convictions, I followed her.
From that time onward, Theosophy became not merely a truly fascinating scientific and religious philosophy but the knowledge of life itself. Though not giving the solution to the problems arising in my mind, the study of books remained an indispensable help. It enabled me to discover the answer myself.
This is why I became a Theosophist. Though life has confirmed the visions and intuitions of my youth, I had to go through the furnace of doubt before they could evolve to the convictions of a man.
By Phillip A. Malpas
[The following comes from a series that appeared in THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, under Katherine Tingley as Editor and published at the Point Loma Theosophical Community. It later appeared in book form under the title TRUE MESSIAH: THE STORY AND WISDOM OF APOLLONIUS OF TYANA 3 B.C. -- 96 A.D., published by Point Loma Publications.]
THE EARLY YEARS
THE SILENCE OF APOLLONIUS
Euxenus, his former tutor, once asked Apollonius why he did not make a book of his thoughts, since he possessed such a fund of philosophical knowledge and at the same time had such a popular style of expressing himself. Apollonius replied that he had not exercised silence, and from that time forward he practiced it, as Pythagoras advised, and maintained the practice for five years. He laid a restraint upon his tongue, but read much with his eyes, and comprehended much by his understanding, committing all to memory, by the exercise of which, at the age of one hundred, "he far excelled Simonides."
The manner he used in expressing himself during his silence, had something interesting and graceful in it, for his hands and his eyes and the movements of his head made significant answers to what was said. He never appeared morose or out of spirits, and always preserved an even, placid temper. Afterwards he declared that this silence was often irksome to him, as he had many things to say which he did not say, and had to hear many disagreeable things of which he was obliged to take no notice.
In this way, he passed over with a dignified silence many injurious things uttered against him.
The years of silence were passed partly in Pamphylia and partly in Cilicia. He passed through many towns which were in an uproar with unseemly shows and vulgar spectacles, but never uttered a word of reproof with his lips. Yet by a look and the waving of his hand, he caused the tumult to cease, and all those about him in the crowd were silent "as though engaged in the most mysterious ceremonies of religion." However, he took little credit for this, as he was aware that men making such tumult about mere horses and pantomimes soon become sober again, blushing and condemning themselves, whenever a man of gravity appears.
It was a different matter when, at Aspendus in Pamphylia, he was able to save the governor from being burnt alive by the populace, who meant to kill him even if he had taken refuge at the feet of the statues of the Emperor Tiberius, which being regarded as sacred ground, meant death for the violation of its sanctuary. By a gesture of his hand, Apollonius asked the governor what was the matter. The latter replied that he had not wronged the people, but was a victim with them, and if not allowed to speak, must perish with the people.
Apollonius turned to the crowd and by a sign indicated that the governor must be heard. The populace were so overawed by the bearing of the philosopher that there was immediate silence and they replaced the fire they had taken from the altars in order to burn the governor.
The governor was emboldened by this to declare the exact state of the matter. The famine by which they were perishing was caused by rich men hoarding corn. He named the men who had so produced the scarcity and declared that the corn was held in secret storage in various parts of the country for sale at any price they chose to ask of famine-stricken foreigners.
The people of Aspendus (the third city in Pamphylia) immediately prepared to spread over the country and take the corn by force, but Apollonius signed to them not to do so, but to summon the guilty monopolists and make them consent to give the corn.
As soon as these arrived Apollonius was almost tempted, so sore was the distress of the people, to break his rule of silence, but he refrained. Instead, he wrote on a tablet what he wished to say, and gave it to the governor to read.
I offer greetings to the corn monopolists in Aspendus.
The earth is the common mother of all, for she is just. You are unjust, for you have made her only the mother of yourselves: and if you will not cease from acting thus, I will not suffer you to remain upon her.
Intimidated by these words, the speculators filled the market with grain, and the city recovered from its distress.
After the fulfillment of his period of silence, Apollonius went to Antioch, and entered the temple of Apollo Daphneus. Here he observed that there was no real worship performed in the temple, and that it was in the possession of barbarous people devoid of all worthy knowledge. Therefore when he spoke, he retired to places more remote from the crowd, and made his abode in such temples as he found open. He declared that he sought, not the company of illiterates, but that of men.
At sunrise he performed apart from all, certain ceremonies, which he communicated only to those who had observed a silence of four years. Whenever he entered a city that happened to be of Greek origin, and was in possession of an established code of religious worship, he called the priests together, and discoursed to them concerning the nature of their Gods; and if he found that they had departed from their customary ritual, he always set them right. But when he came to a city whose religious rites and customs were barbarous, and different from others, he inquired by whom they were established, and for what they were intended, and afterwards in what manner they were observed, at the same time suggesting whatever occurred to him as better and more becoming.
Next, he visited his followers, commanding them to ask what they pleased, saying that they who cultivated philosophy in the manner he enjoined, should in the morning converse with the gods, at midday concerning the gods, and in the evening of human affairs. When he had answered all the questions put forward by his friends, and talked as much as he thought sufficient, he addressed the multitude, with whom he discoursed in the evening, but never before noon.
When he had finished speaking, he had himself anointed and rubbed, afterwards plunging into a cold bath, declaring that hot baths were the old age of men. To the people of Antioch who, for their crimes, were forbidden the use of the hot baths, he said that the Emperor had given them long life for their wickedness. At one time, certain of the Ephesians were about to stone the master of the baths for not making them hot enough.
Apollonius said, "You blame the master of the baths for your not bathing to your satisfaction, but I blame you for bathing at all!"
The manner of Apollonius's speech was not elevated, nor inflated with the language of poetry, nor yet too refined, nor too Attic; he considered speech that exceeded the ordinary level of the Attic to be dissonant and unpleasant. He employed no fastidious nicety in the division of his discourses, nor did he use fine-spun sentences; nor was he ever known to adopt an ironical manner, nor any kind of apostrophizing with his listeners.
Now the tripod is the emblem of truthful speech; it is dedicated to Apollo, the god of true oracles, and to Bacchus. It is the seat on which the inspired sibyls sat when delivering oracles when possessed by the god of that oracle.
Philostratus says of Apollonius, "He spoke as it were from a tripod." (1) "I know and it seems to me," (2) "To what purpose is this," and (3) "You must know." His sentences were short and adamantine. His words were authoritative and adapted to the sense. The bare utterance of them conveyed a tone as though they were sanctioned by the scepter of royalty.
He was once asked by a subtle debater why he did not declare what side of a question he proposed to take in an argument. He replied, "When I was a young man, I used to do that; but now it is no longer necessary, for it is my duty to teach the result of my investigations, and not to investigate any longer."
When asked by the same logician how a wise man should speak, he replied, "As a legislator. For it is the part of a legislator to command the multitude to do what he himself is convinced ought to be done."
(By such sentences, Apollonius indicated that he had attained the degree of a master of philosophy, and had ceased to be a mere student.)
"In this way, he conducted himself at Antioch and converted many who were strangers to all knowledge."
By James Sterling
When illumination Possesses the mind The yearning burns; A lukewarm state grows hot, And a flickering torch enlightens The darkness within a struggling mind. If only Paradise had prevailed, This futile earth would know The feelings of bliss, A mountainous journey Worth the rugged struggle to the peak. Instead the struggle -- To overcome persistent obstacles Like cutting off each lingering painful limb Only to swim onward toward the rocky shore, To bleed on razor-sharp crevices. Is the wedding Between heaven and earth just a fickle dream Or is the mind filled with awe Of what was and could be again? Illumination ends, Leaving men blind once more, Grasping about for a way in the dark As the longevity of the torch flickers, And dies. Leaving sad, groping minds to find their way, And sadness permeates the soul.
By Boris de Zirkoff
[This talk comes from the first part of a tape recording on "Chapter XI of FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY," made of a private class held on April 28, 1954.]
We come back to what we covered last time on page 116, the ethical deduction from the Teachings. In the words of Dr de Purucker, "Teach men properly and nobly to think and you teach them properly and nobly to live and properly and nobly to die."
Many people do not think carefully. They imagine there is no need to study abstruse and technical Teachings. They feel simpler things might do as well because there is a shortage of time or not enough energy for a difficult study.
This is where this practical thought applies. We study high metaphysics, the technical Teachings, because that study of seemingly abstruse Teachings raises the vibratory rate of our minds. Under the guidance of the individuality, the lower mind or mind of the personality raises its vibratory rate according to the type of thought it entertains.
The vibratory rate of an individual engaged in low, material pursuits is of one kind. With the study, he brings his mind to dwells upon ideas unrelated to everyday, trite routines of life. Coming to dwell on abstract concepts, he raises the vibratory rate of his mental energies and actually of the mental matter of his mind. If he wants to grow, a student of the Ancient Wisdom has to dwell on abstract concepts. That is part of his training. He has to dwell on ideals, ideas, and concepts pertaining to metaphysical realities.
Many make the mistake of limiting their interest in these subjects to lofty ideas. They never apply them in daily life. Having dwelt on the ideas, we learn to apply some of the abstract ideas that we study to the difficulties of our lives. Doing so, we build the necessary link between abstruse metaphysics and our practical needs.
In other words, teach men to think nobly. Teach them to dwell in thought upon lofty conceptions of a universal or all-embracing and spiritual type. Doing so, you will have taught them the method, the dynamics, and actual manner in which their minds should operate to become a practical, trained, and disciplined instrument.
The lower mind is but an instrument. Like a weapon, we duly sharpen it to produce good work. We do this by raising its vibratory rate to coincide with the thoughts proclaimed by great seers and sages. These thoughts of the realities of the universe attune our minds to a higher world increasingly. This world is not far away, but rather one that interpenetrates our own. We become more at home in the nobility of universal concepts and in the business of applying these concepts to the everyday life.
Cicero wrote that men and women accomplish their duties of everyday life better if they dwell on noble themes of philosophy constantly. The more they dwell on great philosophical concepts, the nobler becomes their performance of the daily duties of this relatively lower plane.
This takes us back to the ethical deduction. Teach a man properly and nobly to think, and you teach him properly and nobly to live as well as properly and nobly to die when the time comes for that transition.
Again, we come to the subject of the descent of the Monad into the lower worlds, spheres, or planes. As the monadic self-progresses downward into the world of materiality involving itself into matter, it builds, creates, forms, or produces the lower worlds. The idea may sound abstract, yet it is fundamental. You should understand it thoroughly. It has enormous potential for practical application.
In every respect, we are what we make ourselves. The monadic self of a universe, solar system, or any hierarchy involutes itself into the lower types of matter. It builds its surroundings by radiation from within. As it descends, the planes that it builds come out of its inner consciousness. The same applies to the human being.
This idea applies to the evolution of the principles on any scale. It is not specific to a solar system or a smaller hierarchy, perhaps the earth or another planet. The principle is applicable to all scales. The Atmic self or Atman is the godlike self of our particular hierarchy. By descending as a ray into a lower sphere, it surrounds itself with its own emanations. That is the key thought. It surrounds itself with its own emanations, forming its aura or auric egg.
This first degree of emanation is Buddhi, the principle just lower than Atman. When that manifestation of the essential Monad descends onto the following plane, its auric emanations form the Manas on that next lower stage of manifestation. This continues down the scale to the lowest or physical plane.
The Monad unfolds from within by emanation. Dealing with it on the scale of a universe or solar system, we find it rather abstract. We can bring that ancient teaching of the Esoteric Philosophy down to earth. There are tremendous practical applications when we do so. Consider one human being now. One application comes when we realize that our astral and physical bodies are the deposits of our mind and emotional selfhood, themselves the manifestations of the inner, Reembodying Ego.
There are forces operative in our mind and psychological apparatus. Their deposit results in the shape of our bones, the constituent portions of our flesh, the type of our blood, and the type and structure of the gray matter of our brain. In the particular body we built for this incarnation, every cell is nothing but this sediment. Then you see the tremendous practical application. We live in structures for which we are completely responsible. They are beautiful or ugly, healthy or sick, and distorted or harmonious. We fashion these positive and negative conditions. There is no one else to blame.
Knowing the symbolism of what we show outwardly, someone could tell our character infallibly. One would look at the shape of various portions of our bodies, at their color, and at their behaviorism. If one had great knowledge, one might project his vision into the inner structure of our astral bodies. In other words, every detail of what we show to others is a symbol of a characteristic within. We read it poorly in others because our knowledge is insufficient.
We can conceal or disguise our character, fooling people because of their ignorance. We cannot fool a man of great spiritual knowledge because outwardly we a perfect photographic reproduction of what we inwardly are. Call that process incarnation or embodiment. The process involves the inner self or the reembodying entity. It does not go further up within to the divine self. In it, the Reembodying Ego unfolds, projects, and emanates out of itself certain energies. To use perhaps a somewhat peculiar word, we might say it has actually oozed out of itself energies that work as a blueprint upon which the elementals of various kingdoms build the outward form.
At one stage, a rudiment of the astral structure comes into manifestation. At a later stage, it begins to manifest itself on the physical plane through the maternal organism. It has hardly any physical body yet, but eventually it comes out as a little child. Although not fully grown, it has fully formed its pattern. When a man has grown into the fullness of a particular incarnation, he is the complete manifestation of what he is inwardly. He reveals what he is from ages past up to that particular moment in time.
He cannot be anybody else. According to the doctrine of Swabhava or self-becoming, the only thing that he can be outwardly is the self-manifestation of what he is inwardly. It is incompletely him, because in each life the outward vehicles manifest only certain facets of his character.
Our principles never manifest the characteristics of another man. We are ourselves at all times. We are never somebody else. Up to this moment, we are the final product of the energies that we have set in motion. The various spiritual, intellectual, higher and lower mental, kamic, passion, and physical energies produce a sediment. In chemical terms, we would call it a crystallization of our life currents.
Some people blame God for making them a certain way. It is silly how they prattle about not choosing to be here or how they had not asked their mother to give them a distorted body. They protest against Providence foolishly for having given them something in their lives they do not like. That is the result of sheer ignorance! At any moment, we manifest partially what we are within us.
HPB suggests students of the Esoteric Philosophy get a book on embryology and study the stages of gestation we go through when coming into incarnation. It is interesting as a marvelous story of physical becoming. It is also interesting to students of the Esoteric Philosophy. One sees his spiritual evolution patterned in the gamut of phases the embryo runs through. One also sees the pattern of the Root Races, of the Rounds, and of all the other things that we have studied. The small reflects the great. What takes place in the structure of evolution of the great universal system also takes place in the gradual growth of a human every time he is born.
Within us is the thinker, the central thought producing faculty or center. It is the real man, the Manas, the reembodying entity. This nature is not composed of particular thoughts. As thought itself, it actually thinks itself into birth. Perhaps this sounds a bit odd. Short of with an adept, this is not done in an entirely conscious way. In a semi-conscious way, it thinks itself into the lower fields of being. It descends into them, emanating from within certain forces, currents, or energies that become the surrounding sheaths or veils of consciousness and substance.
By the time a man is a born physically, he has manifested himself in every cell of his physical structure. In each is a portion of his mind, his psychological apparatus, and even his spiritual selfhood. This is true to the last cell of the last little finger. Everything has within itself a ray, sediment, or tentacle of his mind. The final product is his thought in manifestation. This is never the expression of the thought of anyone else, only of his particular swabhavic nature. It is you in your case and me in my case. It is never that of another person's.
This basic thought has many practical applications. In the religions of the world, modern psychology, and other schools of thought, people have not totally forgotten it. Thousands proclaim that man becomes what he thinks. There are esoteric explanations of what goes on behind the general principle. How does a man become what he thinks? What are the dynamics of the process that we have just outlined? They are complex and difficult. Intellectually, we can define the process as far as we have gone, but short of initiation, we will not know the details.
Thought and feeling closely correlate to each other. Therefore, we can say that as we think and feel in a certain way we can become anything that we can imagine. This is practical. If we think and feel on lower lines, we become criminals. If we think and feel in a shallow way, we become shallow. If we think and feel deeply and nobly, we become noble human beings. If we continue thinking and feeling in an ever-progressive gradation of nobility, loftiness, greatness, self-abnegation, and selflessness, we will come to embody those ideas. The great ones have raised their vibratory rate so that even their physical body acts differently from ours. It has become disciplined and trained, a powerful tool at their disposal.
Dr. de Purucker points out that the principles of the human constitution correspond to the Root Races and Rounds. The sevenfold constitution of man does not come into being at once with the beginning of the evolution of the globe or of the planet on which he evolves. The various Rounds will bring into fuller manifestation our corresponding principles and successive Root Races of every Round will bring into manifestation our corresponding principles.
This subject is vast. We are in the Fourth Round, on the lowest Globe, Globe D, in the Fifth Root Race. Throughout the Fourth Round, we will strongly develop the fourth principle of the human constitution, Kama. The dynamic center of gravity of evolution in this Round will be kamic. It will not predominate on all the Globes at once, but will be the general keynote of the Round.
As we are on the fourth Globe in the Fourth Round, the effect is intensified. There are two fourths. The Round is the fourth one and the Globe is the fourth. We are in the Fifth Root Race, which introduces considerable mental energy. Our mind is only a Fourth Round mind. It is in the Fifth Root Race on this Globe. It predominates somewhat over the fourth element.
We are in a kamic-manasic phase of evolution. In the Fifth Round, the center of gravity will be in the mind and not on Kama. In the Sixth Round, it will be in Buddhi and not Manas. In the Seventh Round, it will be in Atma and not Buddhi. Only at the end of the Seventh Root Race of the highest Globe of the Seventh Round is the entire sevenfold constitution of man developed throughout to complete perfection. Every principle in our constitution will have run through its sevenfold gamut, in Rounds, Globes, and Root Races. The fundamental idea is that Rounds, Root Races, and Globes correspond to the various principles of the human constitution.
It is such a long time to get around seven times and finally achieve something on a planetary chain. It seems a shame that anyone might fail to make the grade and have to start over.
Some of us are like adopted daughters and sons on this planetary chain, like fallen angels, while others are indigenous to the earth chain. They do not yearn for something greater, having never known more.
You meet people not interested in Theosophy. They are not interested in religion as such. They do not think. They are perfectly happy to go along in their own little circle, while others delve their whole lives long in the hopes of achieving something. Could you explain how some are like visitors while others actually belong here?
There are many noble causes. Some people yearn for spiritual reality or are deeply identify with a noble work. They do not feel at home here. They have not fully attached themselves to the pursuits of everyday, personal concerns. They yearn for something greater than what exists. They feel nostalgic for a nobler sphere of life, while dedicating themselves to the service of those who know and feel less. Chances are, these individuals are not altogether native here.
They are as at home here as adoptive children are in their adoptive family. They are supposed to be here karmically. It is a hard school of experience for them, earned in some karmic way difficult to define. They are temporary guests with a mission to perform. Each must redeem himself or herself in a special way.
The bulk of humanity anchors here solidly. They are bone of its bone, life of its life, flesh of its flesh. They are intimately interrelated to the fabric that makes up our planet. They are an integral part of this particular hierarchy.
The various planets of the solar system are schools of experience. Each is a specific and independent hierarchy. The planets are both independent and interdependent. Evolving entities make up each hierarchy. They are an integral part of it. Yet if my understanding is correct, each planet has some evolving entities that may belong to a higher sphere, being on the planet for purposes of purification and atonement as well as to help those knowing less.
Our humanity as well as the humanity of other planets have in their midst individuals from higher planets. These higher ones perform their evolutionary journey here for karmic reasons. By their example, they help us reach a higher level. They are not ordinary teachers, but their life and work has a teaching influence upon those they encounter. The beauty of it is that it follows the universal principle.
Our physical body and astral structure compose themselves of life-atoms native to our personal hierarchy. We build up ourselves using material issued from our inner selves. Even so, our lower vehicles are temporary home to many life-atoms belonging to other individuals and hierarchies. Due to karma, these migrate through us temporarily. Sometimes they drag us down. Sometimes they inspire us to something higher. It depends upon where they come from.
The analogy of these two is complete. It is the same pattern at work on different scales.
Are the visitors here to the end of the Manvantara? It depends on their karmic setup. They may be here temporarily, though that might be a long time and possibly a long time yet to stay. They do not identify with the temple of evolution sufficiently to remain with us to the last of this Manvantara. They will stay for a certain work and then regain their higher sphere much earlier than the natural end of the Manvantara of this planet.
Can they ever catch up with the ones with whom they belong? I do not think that I can answer that. There are various methods of compensation in nature. There are retardation processes and acceleration processes. In the karmic justice of all that is, I think that they do catch up.