December 2003

2003-12 Quote

By Magazine

On the evening of September 7th [1875], Mr. Felt gave his lecture on "The Lost Canon of Proportion of the Egyptians." ... An animated discussion followed. In the course of this, the idea occurred to me that it would be a good thing to form a society to pursue and promote such occult research ... I broached the subject and ... it was unanimously agreed that the society should be formed.

... I had in mind when proposing the formation of our Society ... was to be a body for the collection and diffusion of knowledge; for occult research, and the study and dissemination of ancient philosophical and theosophical ideas. ... The idea of Universal Brotherhood was not there, because the proposal for the Society sprang spontaneously out of the present topic of discussion. ... The Brotherhood plank ... [was thought of] later on, however, when our sphere of influence extended so as to bring us into relations with Asiatics and their religions and social systems, it became a necessity, and, in fact, the cornerstone of our edifice. The Theosophical Society was an evolution, not -- on the visitbe plane, -- a planned creation.

-- Henry S. Olcott, OLD DIARY LEAVES, I, pages 115-20.


Goethe: A Lover of the Ancients

By B.P. Wadia

[From THUS HAVE I HEARD, pages 327-29.]

Says Goethe in his AUTOBIOGRAPHY:

With the most ancient men and schools I was best pleased, because poetry, religion, and philosophy were completely combined into one.

In this, he was like Confucius who said, "I believe in the Ancients and therefore I love them." Goethe had not very great respect for the moderns who undervalued the ancient sages and seers, and were busy making new knowledge. His remarks about them are almost defamatory:

Bodies which rot while they are still alive, and are edified by the detailed contemplation of their own decay; dead men who remain in the world for the ruin of others, and feed their death on the living -- to this have come our makers of literature ... With the moderns, the disease has become endemic and epidemic.

The natural consequence of this dual conviction was that he believed in the reiteration of age-old ideas to overcome modern notions.

The truth must be repeated over and over again, because error is repeatedly preached among us, not only by individuals, but by the masses. In periodicals and encyclopedias, in schools and universities; everywhere, in fact, error prevails, and is quite easy in the feeling that it has a decided majority on its side.

This is a fit occasion to repeat some fine teachings of the German poet-philosopher-scientist whose Bicentenary is being celebrated all over Europe and in the United States. Goethe was born 200 years ago in Germany but soon became a cosmopolitan, a citizen of the world. A mystic with a vision, he related the microcosmic types to macrocosmic archetypes and his doctrine of Archetypes is of practical value.

What are some of the threads he wove that would help our vision to see the whole Garment of God?

If I am asked whether it is in my nature to revere the Sun, I again say -- certainly! He is likewise a manifestation of the highest Being, and indeed the most powerful that we children of earth are allowed to behold. I adore in him the light and the productive powers of God; by which we all live, move, and have our being -- we, and all the plants and animals with us. If I am asked -- whether I am inclined to bow before a thumb-bone of the Apostle Peter or Paul, I say -- "Spare me and stand off with your absurdities."

Goethe, walking through Rome with a friend, said to him, "There is not a relic of primitive Christianity here; and if Jesus Christ was to return to see what his deputy was about, he would run a fair chance of being crucified again."

Deity was a reality to Goethe.

To hear people speak, one would almost believe that they were of opinion that God had withdrawn into silence since those old times, and that man was now placed quite upon his own feet, and had to see how he could get on without God, and his daily invisible breath.

He is now constantly active, in higher natures to attract the lower ones.

He interpreted the Delphic Oracle as exhorting men to self-study and self-discipline.

If we turn to that significant utterance "Know thyself," we must not explain it in an ascetic sense. It is in no wise the self-knowledge of our modern hypochondriacs, humorists, and self-tormentors. It simply means: Pay some attention to yourself; take note of yourself; so that you may know how you came to stand as you do towards those like you, and towards the world. This involves no psychological torture; every capable man knows and feels what it means.

This function of the higher nature is strikingly described in Goethe's conception of patriotism:

The poet, as a man and citizen, will love his native land; but the native land of his POETIC powers and POETIC action is the good, noble, and beautiful, which is confined to no particular province or country, and which he seizes upon and forms wherever he finds it ... If the poet has employed a life in battling with pernicious prejudices, in setting aside narrow views, in enlightening the minds, purifying the tastes, ennobling the feelings and thoughts of his countrymen, what better could he have done? How could he have acted more patriotically?

Modern India is in ferment, political and economic; its great leaders may well ponder over what sounds like Goethe's message to us all:

Revolutions are utterly impossible as long as governments are constantly just and constantly vigilant, so that they may anticipate them by improvements at the right time, and not hold out until they are forced to yield by the pressure from beneath.


The Good Life in a Sick World

By Irwin Edman

[From THE ARYAN PATH, August 1935, 472-75.]

The good life, though it is in danger of becoming a cant phrase is in essence the whole theme of moral philosophy. Thinkers from Plato to the present time, in so far as they have tried to turn their analyses upon distinctively human issues have tried to frame a vision or a version of a life that might truly be called Good, or an approximation to some absolute Good that human life might hope at best only partially to exemplify. The good life has been in every philosophy the considered statement of an ideal. That ideal might be perfected pleasure, realized duty, the harmony of all impulses or the integrity of one's soul.

There are two senses in which the good life cannot be considered in isolation, as philosophers have repeatedly discovered in pushing their inquiries to their fundamental implications. The good life is not a private soliloquy; it is not the exercise of a cloistered virtue, even for an ostensible hermit. It takes place in a society and a cosmos.

A moralist is perforce a social philosopher and a metaphysician. He must make his peace with the ultimate before he can make his peace with himself. He must understand the relations of men to each other before he can counsel them as to their harmonization of themselves. It has therefore come to seem otiose to conceive the good life without reference to the society in which that life must be lived and of which it is indeed the flowering and the expression.

It is impossible to conceive of the good life without making some ultimate commitment as to that world order by which it is conditioned. It is no accident that moral injunctions have differed according as their authors were idealists or materialists, as they made matter or spirit the substance of things, nor that moral conclusions have differed according as their framers were communal or individualistic in their political thinking.

Nonetheless, philosophers have tried to write about morals as if it were possible to think about conduct in insulation from society and from the nature of things. It is here submitted that the good life is impossible in a sick society, and that any serious proposal as to the former involves a profoundly reconstructive attitude toward the latter.

By a sick society, I mean more than the surface political and economic dislocations of the present day. These, serious though they are, are palpable symptoms of something more profoundly diseased. In an industrial society, means have been taken for ends; in a mechanically minded age, the instruments and materials have been taken for realities. The spirit has been stifled and by its material conditions, the fires of life quenched by the ashes of intellectual formulas on the one hand and practical operations on the other. It is not simply the disorders of our economic society but the obsession by economic criteria that is one of the diseases of our society.

It is not simply that we are tangled by mechanism and that things, as Emerson put it, are in the saddle. It is that mechanisms and things have been taken as the ends of life and the realities of nature. It is not simply that we have inadequate formulas, but that we have become addicted to intellectualism as to a drug. Life is best defined in its full flowering; the reality of it is in the flame of consciousness and the fire of spirit. As far as society crosses and kills these, it is a sick society and no good life is possible in it.

The social dislocations of our society have been widely canvassed of late, and with very good reason. They need a brief restatement in connection with the theme of this article. However refined and subtle the sensibilities of the individual become, however sensitive a harp of response be the individual psyche, every honest and realistic thinker from Aristotle down has realized how much individuality is social in its origins, how much even its rarest blossoming is a social expression.

Even soliloquy uses a language and language is not a purely private invention; it is a social tradition. This holds true a fortiori of moral ideas, and attitudes and the expression of an ideal in a society whose basic economic conditions make the practice of that ideal impossible leads to hypocrisy, to disillusion, or to despair.

To enunciate a vision of the good life that is impossible even in approximation for the majority of those living in a particular social and political system is to cultivate Pharisaism. Even to those relatively comfortable and relatively secure, morality becomes at best a sickly, introspective retreat from existence, not a harmonious fulfillment of it. Obviously, the grosser inequities, the cruder bitterness of misery and uncertainty must be removed before the good life is possible for the many, or even for the privileged few.

Those concerned, as are so many of the foremost thinkers of our day, with the more brutal maladjustments of our society, with economic chaos and with the threat of war, have fallen into an equally grievous error. They have been so concerned with the amelioration of social and economic evils, that they have neglected the basic and directive issue of what constitutes social good.

An ordered society is the condition of the good life, but it is not a sufficient condition. One of the reasons Spinoza assigned for order in the commonwealth was that only in an ordered commonwealth might men be free to lead the contemplative life without distraction. If individuality can thrive only in a free and equitable commonwealth, it is still the fact of individuality that is the be all and end all, the justification and value of a commonwealth at all. Many of our political philosophers of the present day are like physicians who might prefer all humanity to be ill that they might have a wider field for the exercise of their profession.

The fact remains that though the good life presupposes an ordered, a free, and a relatively cooperative commonwealth; its distinctive elements are elsewhere to seek. Ants in an anthill live in an ordered polity; their lives are good for ants, not for men. For the distinctive trait of the possibility of mankind lies in the fact that given the chance, man may think and dream. Born among other human creatures, in time he may contemplate eternal things. Bound externally by physical objects, a body among other bodies, a thing among things, he feels himself most alive and most real, and indeed may be said to be so, when he rises to the level of his distinctive essence, spirit clear and lucid, timeless in its reach and transcending body and matter in its context and its aspiration.

One may measure then the adequacy of our social institutions and of our moral systems to the extent to which they liberate that activity of spirit in which men may be most truly said to find themselves. The deepest sickness of our society is that it is almost calculated to make man lose sight of himself and his deepest being. Everything about our age, certainly in the Western world, conspires to make him lose himself in the secondary, the trivial, and the illusory. Pressed by economic disorders, he comes to think almost wholly in economic terms. Constrained by the techniques of science, and taking the formulas of physical control for the forms of ultimate reality, he takes economic interests as final and material concerns as ultimate.

The writer should be the last to dismiss as unimportant economic readjustment or the conditions of physical wellbeing. Economics and physics are or should be the servants of spirit, not its conquerors. We have come to pay too devout and too uncritical obeisance to the language of economics, of physics, and of the analytic intelligence.

The sources of life and the ends of life both lie deeper. The sources of and the ends of life may be said curiously enough to be identical. They both lie in the domain of a reality wider than any formulations of intellect, more profound and complete than any of those practicalities and materialities in which our actions and indeed our imaginations are so much confined. They lie in the deep movement and tendency of Nature toward the Good.

We do not cure the sickness of our society simply by economic and social rearrangements, important and prerequisite as they are. We need a new orientation that reduces itself ultimately to what used to be and might still be called, putting first things first. First things are not the materials that life uses, the instruments that it employs. First things are the ends for which we live life, the realities at its core. One does not have to wait for a political revolution to revolutionize one's sense of proportion. One may within limits, unless the pressure of events becomes too terrifying, manage to some degree to live a good life even in a society far from rational adjustment or equitable distribution.

The revolution in a sense of values and in a sense of ultimates is already beginning in the Western world. The enslavement by mechanisms that should themselves be our slaves is beginning to seem fantastic and in some ways, the chief sources of our major social disasters. The West will never again be able to pin its faith complacent, provincial, and optimistic to the machine, and to material progress.

Too much faith in the machine has succeeded in reducing life itself to mechanism, too much faith in material progress to reduce experience to mere meaningless and blind routine. The faith in intellectual formulas has been seen to be a postmortem analysis of reality rather than a communication of it. The spirit has deeper foundations and higher altitudes than intellect itself can plumb or scale.

The good life, however stated, is a concern with, an attempt to discern ultimates, in the light of which conduct may be directed. Those ultimates are not found in matter defined in mechanical terms, in practice defined in terms of instruments, in society delineated in terms of forms and institutions.

Finalities lie in another direction. They are such essences as are approached by the enterprises of art and of metaphysics. They are such values as the spirit traverses when it looks beyond its chains and its conditions to its sources and its objects. One is tempted to borrow the language of one of the great mystics of the world, Plotinus. Born in Egypt and destined to teach in Rome, he said, "This is the life of gods and of godlike men, a flight of the alone to the alone."

The spirit retiring to its own solitudes looks into itself and to the ultimate and eternal nature of Being. It moves in time but it breathes eternity. As far as in art and in contemplation such ultimate vision is touched, these are moments of the good life in a sick society. As far as those moments of contemplative breadth and esthetic insight are rare in our Western civilization, we can see how really sick our society is.

Perhaps a change in philosophy is the first step toward social health. Perhaps when the spirit has learned to breathe freely in terms of eternal things, it will have learned how to measure the need for social reconstruction and what the ends of all social reconstruction are. It has learned the freeing of the spirit itself and its recognition of its affinity in the nature of things.


Portraits of Theosophists, Part X

By John M. Prentice

[This is a true sketch of a Theosophist written by the President of the Australian Section of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena), from THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, October 1945, pages 511-14.]

She remains in memory standing at the door of the Lodge Hall wherein our Sunday night public lectures were delivered. Holding the collection plate in such a fashion that even the most casual could not entirely ignore it had given her a humorously cynical outlook on Theosophical audiences. For many years -- certainly for twenty -- this was her idea of the service that she could best render to the Lodge, which was for almost the same period the largest in the world. Audiences of a thousand were common. The average throughout the year would be about seven hundred.

After the meeting, she and her husband (the Lodge Treasurer) carefully counted the offering. They checked and rechecked so that no possibility of error could arise. Then, no matter what the sum involved might be, she contributed from her own purse sufficient to bring the amount to an even number of pounds sterling. Sometimes but a shilling or two was involved. On other occasions, it might be seven or eight times that amount. Always the collection was raised to the even number, the round figure, "to save work on the accountancy side" as she said.

Her husband carefully replaced coins that did not belong to our realm with local currency. We had a cosmopolitan audience. He dropped the coins into a bag kept for that purpose. After more than twenty years, he visited the local Bureau de Change and received for these odd coins the respectable sum of 120 Pounds (about $600.00 at the current exchange rate).

Many years before, they had left their native Austria and visited many parts of the world. Both spoke English fluently without accent, yet in their home they always reverted to the clipped but soft Viennese accent. Both refused to admit that it was a dialect. The only time they spoke German was in public when some crisis threatened the Lodge. In committee, she would tell her husband what he should do and he would silence her with admonitions that he spoke as softly as she spoke shrill and to the point. The Lodge solved many a crisis in the laughter that greeted these exchanges that only the two understood. The minor crises upset them. The major crises they left to karma. They were quite impersonal.

She richly furnished her home with objets d'art brought from the Continent. They only entertained select Lodge members, taking no part in the social life of the city to which their wealth and status would have provided entry. The home provided a surrounding of almost museum-like splendor that yet had the intimate touch of a true home. With exquisite napery and silver, she presided over gargantuan feasts, every dish of which she prepared herself. Five courses were the minimum and often there would be more.

Dainty is perhaps the best term to apply to her appearance. Beautiful in youth but now in old age, her lovely face wrinkled into a million tiny lines, forming a lace-like mesh on her transparent skin. Sometimes a beholder, seeing her in a sudden light, got the impression of a breath of wind skimming the surface of still water. At this period, she wore her abundant hair short. Its silky whiteness frothed and clustered into a mass of tiny curls. No art or artifice was involved. It was just a natural, breath-taking loveliness.

She knew little of the technical doctrine. She was content to be the Martha of the theosophical family, anxious and troubled about the affairs of the Lodge. She never opened a book, but heard many lectures, including those from overseas, listening to every speaker with care and attention. She saw through superficialities and shams. Although she never openly criticized, her silences could be very eloquent.

She could gauge to a nicety the value of a lecture title in terms of the probable collection. Indeed a faint cynicism pervaded her appreciation. "Ach," she would say, "LIFE AFTER DEATH will bring all the Spiritualists, and they are never worth more than four pence a head!" Again, "THEOSOPHY AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCHOPENHAUER means only two hundred in the audience but they each will be worth a couple of shillings." She was right. Our audiences fluctuated as we made our appeal to different levels of intellectual thought. She watched the thermometer too. She knew that a sudden drop in temperature easily affected our temperamental audience.

Outside her housekeeping, her greatest joy was in her garden. Great white roses grew to bloom at the beginning of May and all sorts of exotic plants grew in unsuspected nooks and corners. There were fruit and foliage in her back garden and a riot of nasturtiums made a floral carpet. These were self-sown from season to season. Cross-fertilization produced magnificent tints. She had a green thumb. Everything she pushed into the soil gave a harvest of leaf and blossom. It was in this garden that tragedy lurked.

One day in pruning a rose bush, a thorn scratched her ankle. Her physician had warned her that she was diabetic. She had lightly laughed the warning to scorn, refusing to modify even her diet by as much as a hair's breadth. The scratch refused to heal. In a matter of days, gangrene had set in, defying all treatment except surgery. The surgeon in a nearby hospital amputated her foot. She hid her anxiety regarding her future behind a mask of desperate gaiety. She was always bright and cheerful when visitors saw her. The nurses knew how bitterly she wept alone until she accepted the inevitable and readjusted her outlook on life.

The operation was not a success. The gangrene appeared higher up on the limb. The doctors performed a second operation, an amputation at the knee. Once again, that desperate cheerfulness concealed a blackness of horror at the thought that she would never walk again.

Again, the gangrene reappeared and the doctors suggested a third amputation. This time she would have none of it. She had stood as much as she could. She turned her face to the wall literally, refusing further ministration. Desperate with anguish at her condition, her husband masked his anxiety in his desire to see her healed.

Then her English left her. For her last relatively short period, she spoke German only. It was as though her memory refused to face to the present and instead centered itself in the Vienna she had left more than fifty years before. Then she had had no knowledge of English. She died with some words of Goethe on her lips. They sounded like "Die milde Macht ist gross!"

None came forward who could completely fill her place. We sorely miss the welcoming smile at the Lodge door and the collections no longer reached even amounts. We do not forget her. On White Lotus Day, the sight of white roses recalls her memory to some of us. It is as fragrant as the perfume of the blossoms themselves.

This year on May 8, our Lodge borrowed an oil painting of H.P. Blavatsky that she had owned and treasured, giving it pride of place at our depleted gathering. Gone are those great meetings of years ago. In the city where she lived and died, Theosophy went under eclipse. Her name was not mentioned but those who had known her hallow her memory. If she could have known, she would have been delighted about the picture.

This portrait does not do her justice. It fails to bring to life that bright quality of greatness she possessed. The bright Spirit that looked with kindly shrewdness on the world had perhaps rested in this incarnation after soul-stirring activities in the past.

Her Theosophy was real. It was not mere brain-knowledge or carefully memorized passages. It was something inherent in her mental and spiritual makeup. It had its roots deep in her past. It presages a future where this same bright Spirit will have a stellar role. Many will be glad to knit old ties anew with her. They will walk beside her as they tread the ages-old Path. Narrow as the edge of a razor, it is wide enough to provide a highway for them and her.


Celtic Cosmogony

By George William Russell

[From THE CANDLE OF VISION, Chapter XVIII, pages 153-61.]

In the beginning was the boundless Lir, an infinite depth, an invisible divinity, neither dark nor light, in who were all things past and to be. There at the close of a divine day, time being ended, and the Nuts of Knowledge harvested, the gods partake of the Feast of Age and drink from a secret fountain.

Their being there is neither life nor death nor sleep nor dream, but all are wondrously wrought together. They lay in the bosom of Lir, cradled in the same peace, those who hereafter shall meet in love or war in hate. The Great Father and the Mother of the Gods mingle together and Heaven and Earth are lost, being one in the Infinite Lir.

Of Lir but little may be affirmed, and nothing can be revealed. In trance alone the seer might divine beyond his ultimate vision this being. It is a breath with many voices which cannot speak in one tone, but utters itself through multitudes. It is beyond the gods and if they were to reveal it, it could only be through their own departure and a return to the primeval silences.

But in this is the root of existence from which springs the sacred Hazel whose branches are the gods: and as the mystic night trembles into dawn, its leaves and its blossoms and its starry fruit burgeon simultaneously and are shed over the waters of space.

An image of futurity has arisen in the divine imagination: and Sinan, who is also Dana, the Great Mother and Spirit of Nature, grows thirsty to receive its imprint on her bosom, and to bear again her offspring of stars and starry beings. Then the first fountain is opened and seven streams issue like seven fiery whirlwinds and Sinan is carried away and mingled with the torrent, and when the force of the torrent is broken, Sinan also meets death.

What other names Connla's Well and the Sacred Hazel have in Celtic tradition may be discovered later, but here, without reference to names, which only bewilder until their significance is made known, it is better to explain with less of symbol this Celtic Cosmogenesis.

We have first of all Lir, an infinite being, neither spirit nor energy nor substance, but rather the spiritual form of these, in which all the divine powers, raised above themselves, exist in a mystic union or trance.

This is the night of the gods from which Mananan first awakens, the most spiritual divinity known to the ancient Gael, being the Gaelic equivalent of that Spirit which breathed on the face of the waters. He is the root of existence from which springs the Sacred Hazel, the symbol of life ramifying everywhere: and the forms of this life are conceived first by Mananan, the divine imagination.

It throws itself into seven forms or divinities, the branches of the Hazel; and these again break out endlessly into leaves and blossoms and fruit, into myriads of divine beings, the archetypes and ancestral begetters of those spirits who are the Children of Lir.

All these are first in the Divine Darkness and are unrevealed, and Mananan is still the unuttered Word, and is in that state the Chaldean oracle of Proclus saith of the Divine Mind, "It had not yet gone forth, but abode in the Paternal Depth, and in the adytum of god-nourished Silence."

But Mananan, while one in essence with the Paternal Lir, is yet, as the divine imagination, a separate being to whom, thus brooding, Lir seems apart, or covered over with a veil, and this aspect of Lir, a mirage which begins to cover over true being, is Dana, the Hibernian Mother of the Gods, or Sinan in the antique Dinnshenchus, deity first viewed externally, and therefore seeming to partake of the nature of substance, and, as the primal form of matter, the Spirit of Nature.

Mananan alone of all the gods exists in the inner side of this spirit, and therefore it is called his mantle, which, flung over man or god, wraps them from the gaze of embodied beings. His mantle, the Faed Fia, has many equivalents in other mythologies. It is the Ether within which Zeus runs invisibly, and the Akasha through which Brahma sings his eternal utterance of joy.

The mantle of Mananan, the Ether, the Akasha, were all associated with Sound as a creative power, for to the mystic imagination of the past the world was upsung into being; and what other thought inspired the apostle who wrote, "In the beginning was the Word?"

Out of the Divine Darkness Mananan has arisen, a brooding twilight before dawn, in which the cloud images of the gods are thronging. But there is still in Lir an immense deep of being, an emotional life too vast, too spiritual, too remote to speak of, for the words we use today cannot tell its story. It is the love yet unbreathed, and yet not love, but rather a hidden unutterable tenderness, or joy, or the potency of these, which awakens as the image of the divine imagination is reflected in the being of the Mother, and then it rushes forth to embrace it.

The Fountain beneath the Hazel has broken. Creation is astir. The Many are proceeding from the One. An energy or love or eternal desire has gone forth which seeks through myriad forms of illusion for the infinite being it has left. It is Angus the Young, an eternal joy becoming love, a love changing into desire, and leading on to earthly passion and forgetfulness of its own divinity.

The eternal joy becomes love when it has first merged itself in form and images of a divine beauty dance before it and lures it afar. This is the first manifested world, the Tirnanoge or World of Immortal Youth.

The love is changed into desire as it is drawn deeper into nature, and this desire builds up the Mid-world or World of the Waters. And, lastly, as it lays hold of the earthly symbol of its desire it becomes on Earth that passion which is spiritual death.

In another sense Angus may be described as the passing into activity of a power latent in Lir, working through the divine imagination, impressing its ideations on nature in its spiritual state, and thereby causing its myriad transformations.

Energies have their birth in this fountain. From it comes the power that lays the foundations of the world, down through love and every form of desire to chemical affinity, just as Mananan is the root of all conscious life, from the imperial being of the gods down to the consciousness in the ant or amoeba. So is Dana also the basis of every material form from the imperishable body of the immortals to the transitory husk of the gnat. As this divinity emerges from its primordial state of ecstatic tenderness or joy in Lir, its divided rays, incarnate in form, enter upon a threefold life of spiritual love, of desire, and the dark shadow of love.

These three states have for themselves three worlds into which they have transformed the primal nature of Dana. First is a World of Immortal Youth. Then, there comes a Mid-world where everything changes with desire, called from its fluctuations the World of the Waters. Lastly, there comes the Earth-world where matter has assumed that solid form when it appears inanimate or dead. The force of the fountain which whirled Sinan away has been spent and Sinan has met death.

The conception of Angus as an all-pervading divinity who first connects being with non-being seems removed by many aeons of thought from that beautiful golden-haired youth who plays on the tympan surrounded by singing birds. But the golden-haired Angus of the bards has a relation to the earlier Eros, for in the mysteries of the Druids all the gods sent bright witnesses of their boundless being, who sat enthroned in the palaces of the Sidhe, and pointed the way to the Land of Promise to the man who dared become more than man.

But what in reality is Angus and what is Dana, and how can they be made real to us? They will not be gained by much reading of the legendary tales, for they are already with us. A child sits on the grass and the sunlight falls about it. It is lulled by the soft color. It grows dreamy, a dreaminess filled with a vague excitement. It feels a pleasure, a keen magnetic joy at the touch of earth: or it lays its head in a silent tenderness nigh a mother or sister, its mood impelling it to grow nearer to something it loves.

That tenderness in the big dreamy heart of childhood is Angus, and the mother-love it divines is Dana; and the form which these all-pervading divinities take in the heart of the child and the mother, on the one side desire, on the other a profound tenderness or pity, are nearest of all the moods of earth to the first Love and the Mighty Mother, and through them the divine may be vaguely understood.

If the desire remains pure, through innocence, or by reason of wisdom, it becomes in the grown being a constant preoccupation with spiritual things, or in words I have quoted before where it is better said, "The inexpressible yearning of the inner man to go out into the infinite."

Of Dana, the Hibernian Mother of the gods, I have already said she is the first spiritual form of matter, and therefore Beauty. As every being emerges out of her womb clothed with form, she is the Mighty Mother, and as mother of all she is that divine compassion which exists beyond and is the final arbiter of the justice of the gods. Her heart will be in ours when ours forgive.


Asoka, the Practical Pacifist

By Radha Kumud Mookerji

[From THE ARYAN PATH, February 1935, pages 77-81.]

Asoka's empire extended up to Persia, thanks to his grandfather's conquests, but his greatness did not depend upon the mere extent of his dominion -- great as it was -- or upon his services to the cause of universal religion. He ruled over an empire that extended practically from Persia to Southern Mysore.

Much of it was his inheritance from his grandfather, Chandragupta Maurya (c. 323-299 B.C.), who achieved the credit of uniting in one empire the valleys of the Indus and other rivers of the Panjab with those of the Ganges and the Jumna. Then by 304 B.C., he achieved the further distinction of extending the boundaries of his Indian Empire up to those of Persia. This was the result of his conquests by which the eastern provinces of the Syrian Empire, then known as Gedrosia (Baluchistan), Aria (Herat), Arachosia (Kandahar), and the Paropanisadai (the country of Paropanisus, i.e., Hindu Kush) were ceded to him by a treaty by the defeated emperor, Seleukos.

Thus, Chandragupta Maurya solved the frontier problems by his successful prosecution of a bold forward policy that pushed the limits of India far beyond its present "scientific frontier" or "Durand Line." His achievements were not confined to this frontier alone. He pursued conquests far into the interior.

In the words of the only historian of the times, Plutarch, "not long afterwards, Androkottos, who had by that time mounted the throne, presented Seleukos with 500 elephants, and overran and subdued the whole of India with an army of 600,000." One of the most fruitful discoveries in history is that of Sir William Jones (Asiatic Researches, IV, 11) in identifying the Greek name Androkottos with the Indian name, Chandragupta Maurya, mentioned in the Puranas.

The story of Seleukos invading India to emulate the exploits of Alexander we also owe to foreign sources like Justin (xv. 4) and Appian (Syr. 55). His defeat by the Indian King made him purchase peace by ceding to him the eastern territories that had been his by settlements arrived at on the partition of Alexander's empire in 323 and 321 B.C.

The passage from Plutarch shows Chandragupta Maurya's three great conquests. (1) There was the conquest of the Indo-Gangetic Plains (by overthrowing Greek rule in the Panjab, and the Empire of the Nandas in the Gangetic Plains peopled by what the Greek writers call the Gangaridae and the Prasii, i.e., Prachyas or Easterns). (2) Then there were conquests, beyond the North-Western Frontiers, of territories now included in Afghanistan and Baluchistan. (3) Finally came the conquest of the south.

Thus, Asoka was not called upon to conquer an empire. He had it as a gift from his father. As has been stated, his greatness as a ruler did not depend entirely upon the size of his empire. He himself takes this view, and proclaims it in one of his inscriptions written on stone in imperishable characters that may be read to this day.

In that Inscription (Rock Edict x), he is anxious to point out that the true glory or fame of a king depends upon that of his people in achieving moral and spiritual progress. This is what is called Asoka's doctrine of True Glory for a king.

There may be a far-flung empire on which the sun never sets, but its success is to be judged by the conditions of progress it can secure to the peoples composing it. A king cannot be viewed apart from his people. Both are bound to each other as organic parts of one corporate whole, the State. Thus, the individual greatness of a ruler depends upon the collective greatness of his people.

Asoka's moral greatness was not confined to the mere originality and soundness of the views he held or the doctrines that he preached. He was so sincere in his convictions that he at once gave effect to them with all his imperial power and resources.

He was terribly in earnest about all that he preached. With him, example always preceded precept. When he felt that he, as a ruler, must be judged by the condition of his people, he at once devoted himself to a vigorous campaign for achieving their moral uplift. He instituted a regular Ministry of Morals with a special staff (called Dharma-Mahamatras) entrusted with a wide variety of functions, and a sphere of work that embraced the whole of India. In one of his Edicts (Rock Edict v), he states:

These Ministers of Morals have been employed among all sects for the establishment and growth of Dharma (piety or morality) of those inclined to it ... among the soldiers and their chiefs, ascetics and householders, the destitute and the infirm ... They are also employed to give relief in suitable cases from judicial punishments or abuses.

He thus undertook the moral improvement of his people on a continental scale.

Another striking proof of his greatness was his doctrine of True Conquest. We have seen how vast was his empire, yet he was not tainted by any lust for conquests, or "earth-hunger," which impels a conqueror to further conquests. He was not at all filled with the spirit of dig-vijaya that led his grandfather to found the Maurya Empire, a militant spirit that is fully approved for a king in the Hindu Shastras on Polity. These always insist on the ambition and duty of a king to be a king of kings and the sole sovereign of the earth or available space (samrat, eka-rat, or sarva-bhauma).

In his early days, following these prevailing and time-honored ideals of kingship and the example of his ancestors, Asoka indulged in a conquest by which his territories were rounded off in the east, the conquest of Kalinga (Orissa). The conquest was won ruthlessly and "forcibly" against a brave people fighting for freedom, "not hitherto subdued" (avijitam), resulting in colossal carnage and casualties, "150,000 carried off as captives, 100,000 slain, and several hundreds of thousands dead of their wounds."

These bloody sights and cruelties, this extermination of a people's liberty by sheer brute force, for which the king felt himself personally responsible, produced a complete reaction, a revolution, in his mind, which turned at once with revulsion from a creed of Violence to that of an unqualified Non-Violence (ahimsa).

With Asoka, there was no gap between thought and action, theory and practice. He proceeded at once to give effect to this creed of Non-Violence in all spheres of his life and work, personal and public, and to run his kingdom thenceforth as a Kingdom of Righteousness based on a Universal Peace, peace between man and man, and between man and every sentient creature.

In his personal life, he turned vegetarian. He abolished the daily slaughter of thousands of animals for purposes of the royal kitchen (Rock Edict I), all public amusements and sports connected with cruelties to animals (Rock Edict I), and hunting and pleasure trips (vihara-yatras) in which the kings indulged. (Rock Edict VIII) Finally, his activities culminated in the outlawry of war as an unmixed evil.

"The chiefest conquest is the conquest of Right and not of Might," declared Asoka. [Rock Edict XIII] The drum of war (bheri-ghosha) was hushed throughout India. Only dharma-ghosha, the call to moral life, religious proclamations, could be heard. (Rock Edict IV) Immediately, the emperor's healing message of assurance was sent in all directions: "The king desires that his unsubdued borderers, the peoples on his frontiers, should not be afraid of him but should trust him, and would receive from him not sorrow but happiness." [Kalinga Rock Edict II]

Even the primitive aboriginal peoples were assured of their freedom: "Even upon the forest folks in his dominions, His Sacred and Gracious Majesty looks kindly." (Rock Edict XIII) To subjugate them on the plea of civilizing them was no part of Asoka's political system. The only condition for their freedom was that they must "turn from their evil ways" that they be not "chastised." (Rock Edict XIII) The king was only anxious "to set them moving on the path of piety." (Kalinga Rock Edict II)

Thus, Asoka was the first in the world to usher in the reign of law and non-violence, abolishing militarism, conquest by force and bloodshed, which Sanskrit political writers appropriately designate as Asura-Vijaya, the conquest that becomes only a demon. He stood for the opposite kind of conquest, what he calls Dharma-Vijaya, the conquest that is won by love (priti) and results in subjection and paying homage only to Dharma or Morality.

Henceforth, he was busy only with these "moral" conquests, which were extended all over the country, and even beyond to foreign countries. Within his dominions, the political map of his empire was dotted over with patches of independent territory that would have been deemed as so many blots on the escutcheons of other conquerors in history like Akbar or Aurangzeb.

The steamroller of annexation that crushed the independence of so many small States and peoples, and brought a united India under the undisputed sovereignty of his grandfather, Asoka did not permit to roll farther and complete its leveling process by a ruthless fulfillment of the full program of conquests marked out for him by his predecessors on the throne. He proclaimed his imperial decree. "Thus far and no farther."

This only released his energies for his scheme of moral conquest. The resources that were released by prescription of war and by disarmament were now devoted to the processes of peace, to a vigorous prosecution of social service and welfare work among the masses all over the country.

He began by organizing on a continental scale measures of relief of suffering of both man and animal by the establishment of appropriate medical institutions such as provision of medical men, medicines, hospitals, and special botanical gardens for the cultivation of medicinal plants, indigenous or foreign, to supply raw materials for the manufacture of medicines in pharmaceutical works. Says the King in Rock Edict II:

Everywhere have been instituted two kinds of medical treatment, treatment of man and that of cattle (in veterinary hospitals). Medicinal herbs ... have been caused to be imported and planted in all places wherever they did not exist. Roots also and fruits have been similarly imported and planted everywhere.

Next, he went farther in his scheme of relief by providing supply of water and shade along the highways: "On the roads, wells also have been dug and trees planted for the comfort of men and cattle." (Rock Edict II) His full scheme of welfare work is thus detailed:

On the high roads ... banyan trees were planted by me that they might give shade to cattle and men; mango-gardens were planted, and wells dug, at each half-kos; rest houses were built; and many watering-stations were constructed for comfort of men and cattle.

-- Pillar Edict VII

Asoka easily takes his place as the Pioneer of Peace in the world. He stood for principles that the League of Nations has been formed to achieve, such as the outlawry of war as an absolute evil, recognition of the brotherhood of all States and peoples, great or small, in independence and sovereignty, and disarmament.

He was also the first in the world who, without waiting for speculation on his ideals, gave effect to them at once in his own Empire, from which war was excommunicated, and thereby spiritualized Indian politics for the time being.

He also tried to bring his neighboring States in Western Asia and Europe to his way of thinking and spent freely from the revenues of India to that end. This is a record in international service in foreign countries financed by the resources of one's own country.

Unfortunately, his ideals were too far ahead of his age to survive him. The system of politics that he had established in his vast dominion based on non-violence, disarmament, universal peace, and international goodwill, and that he had tried to introduce to several European countries, practically died with him.

Some unkind critics hold him to be liable for the downfall of the Mauryan Empire that his grandfather had built up with so much of military effort and heroism. Asoka's pacifism and nonviolence found its nemesis in the installation of the Shunga Empire and the performance by its founder of the ceremony of horse-sacrifice to celebrate that event.

The ascent of Man has been a bloody process, as in all other evolution. It should not be so. Man must work out his evolution in ways that should not be always those of Nature "red in tooth and claw." The only salvation for humanity lies in its realization of what Asoka had stood for and realized for his country as its ruler.


On Teaching

By J.D. Beresford

[From THE ARYAN FORUM, April 1935, pages 235-39.]

In the East, the Chela has his Guru to whom he can go for advice and direction. In Europe, we have no such reliable guides, and the seeker must find his own way with whatever help he may be able to obtain from his fellow pilgrims. This lack of a teacher is a great handicap, although not for those reasons that will first occur to the uninitiated.

My own experience has been very limited, but it happens now and again that I am asked for a direction, which I have neither the understanding nor the authority to give. Since nearly all those who have asked me to show them the road are under a general misconception as to the functions of the Guru in relation to his Chela, it may be that readers of THE ARYAN PATH will be able to profit by my experience.

A common delusion of the Western European with regard to the search after wisdom is that one can learn it as one can learn a lesson at school. Many people appear to believe that the truth may be stated in language comprehensible to the multitude, as a series of definitions, with set rules for the guidance of conduct and some kind of regime for acquiring holiness.

Seekers of this kind -- and many of them are genuine seekers in whom the desire for truth has a spiritual and not an intellectual origin -- go from religion to religion in their hopeless search for the desired satisfaction. They are to be found in Theosophical organizations and in new cults of various kinds, listening to preachers, reading relevant literature, accepting and trying to practice principles of conduct, always in the hope that revelation will come in some formula of words that they will be able to understand with the mind. After a time, such seekers as these will either transfer their allegiance to another school of thought, or settle down into a mechanical acceptance of some not too arduous creed, in the belief that that is all that is necessary.

In the West, there are no capable teachers for such people as these, nor would they be accepted as Chelas by any Guru in the East. Nevertheless, it seems that they might be helped, or at least saved from much vain effort, if they could rid themselves of the primary delusion that wisdom can be passed on from one individual to another, as are the facts of ordinary education.

Yet, if that were possible, the laws of Karma would have no meaning, for beyond all question they imply that the education of the soul comes only by experience. If we tried to state as briefly as possible, the answer might be that education consists of the liberation of the spirit, a task every man can only accomplished by himself. Wherefore, the principle of Karma contains the lesson that there is no short cut to the acquisition of wisdom, and that we cannot profit by the experience, or even greatly by the teaching, of another.

How personal and individual is the acquisition of that knowledge that alone is valuable for what we commonly call the "formation of character," can be exemplified by the relations of parent and child. Out of his own experience, the father cannot teach the son many things. Until a generation has made the same mistakes and learnt the relevant lesson, perhaps by suffering, certain knowledge remains as a thing taught by rote, with no influence on the liberation of the spirit.

This may seem a tragedy to many parents, but the modern European has little wisdom in the training of children. He does not recognize the difference between development of the character and education for ordinary traffic with the world; nor realize that each child has an individual personality for which certain experiences are necessary if it is to be developed.

A father may have made a happy or an unhappy marriage. Regardless, he cannot pass on the knowledge gained by that experience to his son. What was right for the one may be quite wrong for the other. Even the wisest parent or teacher cannot teach such.

It may appear from this that our lack of teachers in the West is not the handicap I declared it to be. If wisdom cannot be taught by word of mouth, of what use, it will be asked, is the Guru to the Chela? I will attempt to suggest an answer to that question by pointing out, in the first place, that a Chela must be qualified before he is accepted for discipleship.

Unless he has already reached a certain stage of development, the Guru can teach him nothing. Could the most gifted schoolmaster teach an ignorant pupil the processes of advanced mathematics? When Christ said: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," As the following verses show, he knew that Christ was speaking to those who were spiritually deaf. To them, as the history of the world shows all too clearly, the wisdom of the teacher appears as foolishness.

Having acknowledged this, we may go on to consider the methods of the teacher with those who have already made some progress on the road to wisdom. His function is largely that of a guide. The disciple must find his own way, but he may be warned of blind alleys and difficult paths. Sometimes he may be deliberately sent on such hopeless journeys in order that he may get personal experience of their dangers, and he will have to face the impasse until he learns for himself the means to overcome it.

In these things, the task of the teacher is to indicate the difficulty and perhaps to outline the process by which it may be overcome; but he can give no instruction as to how it may be avoided. By his own effort, the disciple must win each of the seven golden keys. "The Teacher can but point the way. The Path is one for all, the means to reach the goal must vary with the Pilgrims." [THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE]

There is, however, another way in which the disciple may obtain help from the teacher, namely, by gathering from him something of the courage and strength that he radiates. In that communion, the disciple will find encouragement and spiritual peace. He will renew his faith in the presence of one who has trodden the path before him, finding in that example a proof that he is on the right way. Yet even that peace and encouragement in communion will not be his until he has already learnt much for himself and is able to recognize the truths of the spirit. To those who have no knowledge save that of the mind, the teacher will appear as other men. By them, he may be condemned as a charlatan, since the physical proofs demanded will be refused. They will ask for a sign and no sign shall be given unto them.

Another instance of the pilgrim's inability to progress until he finds for himself and in himself the desired knowledge, is provided by the reading of such books as THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, or various passages in the Four Gospels.

(The New Testament is unfortunately the least reliable of these, the letter being dependent on the memory of those who were not very far advanced in soul-wisdom. The whole spirit of Christ's teaching derives from and is consonant with that in the other two books referred to.)

He may make a careful study of the teaching of these books, he may find truth after truth confirmed by reference from one to the other, but none of them will become living and urgent until he rediscovers it in his own spirit. Until the disciple makes that discovery, his learning will remain mechanical and fruitless. Just so might the layman learn by heart the symbols of a mathematical equation without any understanding of their significance.

I have dared to speak with a certain authority on this because I am writing out of personal experience. I know how I have read without understanding, accepting the letter but with no realization of its inner meaning, and how having made the discovery of truth within the self, what I have read has suddenly leaped to life with a great power of illumination.

Let me take an instance to make my meaning clearer. What I have so far written in this article represents a patient rediscovery by myself of one aspect of truth, summed up in the realization that there are many things, and those the most important in life, that we cannot learn from another. Yet all I have said here has been said repeatedly in the past.

In THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, you will read, "These temporal bodies are declared to belong to the eternal lord of the body, imperishable and immeasurable." In THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, "In order to become the KNOWER of ALL SELF, thou hast first of SELF to be the knower." In the New Testament, "The Kingdom of God is within you." All such sayings will remain a form of words until the realization of their inner meaning is found for each disciple in his own spirit.

I began by saying that in Europe we have no great teachers in whose advice we can confidently trust, and if we had them they would not be understood except by the very few. Those who are yet only at the beginning of the way may be able to give a little help to the kind of seeker described in my third paragraph. We can begin, for example, with the warning that is the principal subject of this article and go on from that with various suggestions applicable to those who have to live among the distractions of modern civilization, and burdened with personal responsibilities.

In the majority, perhaps in all, of those who are at the very outset of the quest, the desire for separation must be diverted into another channel. This longing for solitude may be taken as an indication of a developing spiritual urgency, but if it is indulged, there will be no progress.

In our present state of Western development, we have to learn that "By devotion each to his own work, every man gains true success." The way of stern asceticism and solitude will lead us nowhither. "Renunciation and union through works both make for the supreme goal; but of these two, union through works is more excellent than renunciation of works." (THE BHAGAVAD GITA, Book V)

This does not imply that there are not many renunciations to be made by those who follow the way of union through works, which is the way of love, of the search for the One in the many. Such renunciations are not made by a determined effort of will but by the longing for the satisfactions of the spirit, a longing that will in time convert those oppositions of the mind and body that work by the continual suggestion to choose that mode of life most conducive to their own gratification.

This, however, is no more than a beginning that represents the first recognition of that call of the Spirit described in Biblical phrase as "the hunger and thirst after righteousness." For a time, maybe, those to whom this recognition has come may feel a sense of inner peace, may perhaps believe that no more is necessary than the cultivation of a feeling of tolerance and goodwill for all mankind.

There must be no pause at this critical point. Unless the everlasting search is actively prosecuted, that sense of peace will presently fade, and the seeker realize that he is slipping back into old habits of thought, which will rise as an encroaching mist to obscure the vision that may fade as a present guide, even though it can never be forgotten.

If, at this critical stage, the seeker is prepared for a perpetual renewal of effort, if he will continually hold in his mind the desire for consecration to the great service of humanity by the sacrifice of personal pride and self-love, he will inevitably find his teacher at last. Even at the outset, he will attract to himself those fellow-pilgrims who are striving to follow the same path, and among them, he may find one, here and there, older than he is in soul-wisdom, from whom he may gather help and encouragement. He will be, in short, steadily fitting himself for Chelaship, and when he is qualified, no matter in what country he is living, he will find his Guru, not by chance nor by deliberate search, but as a necessary fulfillment of his spiritual condition, in accordance with the Law of Karma. Wherefore we may be sure that if a great Teacher is not known to us in Europe, it is because we are not yet qualified to be His disciples.


Apollonius of Tyanna, Part XVI

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.]


At daybreak, Apollonius paid his adorations to the sun and stood, as was his custom, in meditation. While so doing, the youngest of the gymnosophists, Nilus, ran to him and announced that they were coming. Apollonius mildly remarked that they were doing the right thing, since he had come from the sea to visit them. Then he followed to the portico.

Thespesion, the chief of the gymnosophists, commenced with a long discourse based on what he had heard. The gist of it was that they were far superior in wisdom to the Indians because they needed no magic arts, no display, no authoritative tones, but simple virtue and the conquest of desire and envy, with abstention from that which has life. In fact, it was precisely that upside-down view of the Indian life and philosophy that an enemy would make so plausibly credible. Thespesion was very solemn and serious in what he said.

Apollonius in reply declared his philosophy. Not as that extraordinary product of the dark age, the missionary of the sword of the book, but as a merchant with rare and costly merchandise for sale to others who have precious store of wisdom's treasures to exchange for his own wares. He told how the various sects held out this and that before his youthful gaze, but one that stood apart, of such unspeakable beauty as to have subdued Pythagoras himself, called him.

"As soon as she understood I was not addicted to any particular sect, and was as yet ignorant of her, she addressed me in these words:

Oh young man, I am sad, and full of cares; if any man conforms to my rule of life, he must remove from his table all animal food and forget the use of wine. He must not trouble the cup of wisdom that is set in all hearts abstaining from wine. He is to wear no garments made of either hair of wool, his shoes must be made of the bark of trees, and his sleep must be wherever he can get it. If I find him susceptible of love, I have deep pits, into which Nemesis, the minister of wisdom, will plunge him. I am so severe to my own followers that I have bridles made for curbing the tongue.

Attend now, and I will tell you the rewards that await him who has made me his choice.

Without rival, he shall possess temperance and justice. He shall be more a terror to tyrants than their slave shall, and shall be more acceptable to the gods by his humble offerings of little value, than they who shed the blood of bulls. When once he is made pure, I will give him knowledge of hereafter, and so fill his visual ray with light as to make him capable of distinguishing between gods and heroes, and of appreciating duly all shadowy phantasms, whenever they assume the likenesses of mortals.

"Oh learned Egyptian, this is the life I have chosen. It is one that I have done obedience to sound sense and the precepts of Pythagoras. In doing it, I think I have neither deceived myself nor have been deceived by others."

Such was his description of the Pythagorean rule. He said that the teachings of Plato had been so corrupted in Athens by the admission of other doctrines, that the Athenians were not those who had the knowledge of the soul. He turned his mind to the Egyptians when a youth, but his preceptor pointed the way to the Indians as being the parents of Egyptian wisdom, precisely as the Ethiopians themselves had been Indians in times past.

For some reason, the Ethiopians were ashamed of being formerly Indians, and they made the most strenuous efforts to conceal their origin.

"You yourselves were the instructors of Pythagoras in his philosophy, which you recommended, and approved as Indians. Now, ashamed of what caused the earth's displeasure, which forced you to migrate to this country, you had rather pass for any other people than Ethiopians come from India. You have worshipped the gods more after the ritual of the Egyptians than your own," declared Apollonius.

Apollonius spoke so well and reasoned so clearly that the learned Thespesion blushed under his dark and swarthy complexion. Damis was delighted, and so was Nilus, the youngest of the gymnosophists, who leaped with joy and running to Apollonius took his hand and asked him to tell all that had passed in India.

Apollonius said he could refuse nothing to those who love science and were of a docile disposition, but to Thespesion and others who despised everything Indian, he was not willing to communicate any wisdom. Thespesion brought out a convincing argument that surely Apollonius would not come as a sea merchant and expect to sell his goods without allowing them to be seen and examined.

"Certainly not," was the answer. "If as the vessel touched the beach one came down to it and abused the cargo, the ship, and the country it came from, and even expected the merchant in the ship to agree with him, I would neither anchor nor tie the ship to the land, but put to sea again."

Nilus said, "This time, I take the cable and ask you to share your cargo with me. I will do more; I go on board as a passenger who knows and acknowledges the excellence of what you have brought home."

Then Thespesion agreed with Apollonius, and the secret came out. "Do you wonder that we felt as you do now when we heard of your attack on us, before you had seen us?" Apollonius was astonished, but when he was told of the schemes of Euphrates and Thrasybulus he understood, though he said the Indians would never have been so deceived, for they were too wise and knew futurity. He warned them of the danger of their credulity; it would surely make them subject to false accusation in their turn, for such is human nature.

Thespesion little liked the long rebuke Apollonius gave him and tried to pass the matter off lightly, saying they were things of little moment and he would like to make Apollonius and Euphrates friends again.

"That may be so," said Apollonius, "but who is going to restore you to my favor? A man whose character is attacked by lies has some reason to be indignant."

Thespesion made up for his blunder as best he could.

Nilus brought a meal for Apollonius with an air of the utmost respect. "The Sage sends this hospitality to you and to me," he said, "I have invited myself to dine at your table, so you cannot say I come uninvited."

Apollonius saw the application of the remark. "Sit down and eat," he said. "I accept this tender of your person and character with great pleasure, as I am told your attachment to the wisdom of the Indians and Pythagoras is great."

"I have a huge appetite," said Nilus.

"For God's sake, eat as much as you please," said Apollonius. "You will give me matter of conversation, and I will be answerable for the rest."

Nilus was thus pledged to Apollonius as his disciple. The formality in the way of the necessity of the consent of the gymnosophists, which Apollonius pointed out, was of small moment, because Nilus had gone to them on the report that they were a colony of the Indian School of Iarchas. The father of Nilus had been captain of the one Egyptian ship permitted to visit the coast of India to trade. He had met Indians who told him of the school of Indian philosophy and had brought the report of the Ethiopians being from India and of the Indian school. The gymnosophists gladly enrolled him among themselves, though inveighing against the Indians, so that he had the full intention of going to sea in search of the Hill of the Sages, if he had not met Apollonius. Therefore, his life had always been dedicated to the Indians, as he had joined the gymnosophists under a misapprehension.

Apollonius asked for a reward for his acceptance of the new disciple. Nilus promised anything he had to give.

"I ask, in the first place, that whatever choice you make shall be made for yourself alone and next that you shall not trouble the gymnosophists by giving them counsel that will not serve them." That was all the condition Apollonius made. They lay on the grass and went to sleep for the night.

The following day a great debate on art and the representation by the Ethiopians of the gods as animals took place. Apollonius was for the Greek art as being the outcome of Imagination rather than the Egyptian Imitation, which was degrading as representing the gods. Thespesion declared they were occult symbols and therefore justified. "There was an old Athenian," he said, to clinch his argument, "a man by the name of Socrates, who was as great a fool as us. He thought a dog, or a goose, or even a plane tree was gods, and swore by them."

"He was not a fool," said Apollonius. "He was a divine and truly wise man. He swore by these things, not as being gods, but lest he should swear by the Gods."

Other debates followed on the customs of the Greeks and on justice, the immortality of the soul and nature. It is interesting to students of old philosophies to note that the Ethiopians treated quite as a matter of course Apollonius's account of his former incarnation as captain of a big ship. The doctrine was evidently not new in Ethiopia, any more than in India or Greece or Judaea or Gaul.

When Apollonius announced his intention to depart for the sources of the Nile, the gymnosophists declared that he had an excellent guide in Timasion who knew the country well and needed no purification in visiting such a place, wherein resides a divinity. Nilus they called aside and in private endeavored to dissuade him from going with Apollonius.

He returned to the eleven. These followers of Apollonius saw him laughing to himself, but such was their respect for silence they would not ask him what had happened, if he did not choose to say.

Apollonius with his twelve disciples sought the country where the Nile has its sources, with the river on their left and the mountains before them.

The cataracts made such a din that Damis actually suggested turning back, but Apollonius pressed forward to the end of his journey. In an Ethiopian village, he rid the people of a vampire; this was regarded as a great feat of practical knowledge. The incident is described in the quaint language of the time, making it look like a fairytale.

Returning from Ethiopia to Alexandria, Apollonius found Euphrates ever bitterer against him. As he had told Thespesion, he bore no malice towards Euphrates, but the latter could never forgive his tacit rebuke of his love of money. Apollonius left Menippus and Nilus to deal with Euphrates, while he himself showed much attention to the latter disciple, whom they had found amongst the gymnosophists.


After Titus, the son of Vespasian had taken Jerusalem, and "filled all places with the dead," the nations round about offered him crowns of which he did not think he deserved. He said he did not perform mighty deeds, but rather lent his arm to god in the just exercise of his vengeance.

This answer was approved by Apollonius as being a proof of the wisdom of Titus and of his knowledge in divine and human things, as of his great moderation in declining to be crowned for having shed blood. He then wrote Titus a letter, to be taken by Damis:

From Apollonius To Titus, Emperor of the Romans Health

To you who refuse to be crowned because of your success in war, I give the crown of moderation, seeing you are so well acquainted with the reasons entitling you to that honor.


Titus was well pleased with this letter.

"In my own name and that of my father, I hold myself your debtor, and will be mindful of you," he declared. "I have taken Jerusalem, but you have taken me."

When Titus was invested with the imperial dignity, he set out for Rome to take his place as colleague with his father Vespasian. First thinking of what consequence it might be to him to have even a short conference with Apollonius, he requested him to come to Argos for that purpose. Titus embraced him and said the Emperor, his father, had written to him of all he wished to know.

"At present, I have a letter wherein he says he considers you as his benefactor, and one to whom we are indebted for what we are. Only thirty years of age, I have arrived at the same honors as my father did at sixty. I am called on to govern, perhaps before I have learnt to obey, and I fear to engage to do what I am not equal to perform."

Apollonius, stroking Titus's neck, which was like that of an athlete, said, "Who could subject a bull with so fine a neck to the yoke?"

Titus replied, "He who reared me from a calf," referring to his father.

Apollonius was pleased with the ready answer and said, "When a kingdom is directed by the vigor of youth and wisdom of age, what lyre or flute can produce such sweet and harmonious music. The virtues of old age and youth will be united, and the consequence will be that the former will acquire vigor and the latter decorum and order by the union."

"Oh Tyanean, what advice have you to give concerning the best mode of governing an empire," asked Titus.

"None to you," answered Apollonius. "You are self-instructed. By the manner in which you show obedience to your father, we can entertain no doubt about your becoming like him. I will give you my friend Demetrius to attend you whenever you wish and to advise you on what is good to be done. His wisdom consists in liberty of speech, in speaking truth, and an intrepidity arising from a cynical (in Greek, dog-like) spirit."

Titus was troubled at the idea of a cynic as an adviser, but Apollonius told him that all he meant was that Demetrius should be his dog to bark for him against others and against himself if he offended in anything. He would always do this with wisdom, and never without reason.

"Give me this dog-companion, then," said Titus. "He shall have full permission to bite me whenever he finds me acting as I ought not."

"I have a letter of introduction, ready to send to him at Rome where he is now philosophizing," said Apollonius.

"I am glad of it," replied Titus, the new co-emperor. "I wish someone would write to you in my favor and recommend you to accompany me on my journey."

"You may depend upon seeing me, whenever it shall be to the advantage of both," said Apollonius.

When they were alone Titus declared that he wished to ask one of two very intimate personal questions. Receiving permission, he asked whom he should guard against in regard to his life, as he already was under some apprehension, though he would not wish to show fear where none existed.

"Herein you will be but prudent and circumspect," said Apollonius, "and of all men I think it is your duty to be on your guard." Then looking up, he swore by the sun he would have spoken about this even if no question had been asked. For the gods commanded him to declare to Titus that during his father's life, he should guard against his greatest enemies and after Vespasian's death against his most intimate friends.

"What kind of death shall I die," asked Titus.

"The same as Ulysses" said Apollonius, "for he is said to have received his death from the sea."

Damis interpreted this to mean that Titus should beware of the sting of the fish trygon, with which it was affirmed Ulysses was wounded.

It is historical that Titus died from eating a 'sea-hare,' a fish from which they say the most deadly poison of sea or land exudes. Nero was in the habit of mixing this liquid in the food of his greatest enemies. Domitian gave it to his brother Titus, not because he thought there would be any difficulty with him as a colleague on the throne, but because he thought he would prefer not to have so mild and benevolent a partner in joint rule with him over the Roman Empire.

As they parted in public, they embraced, and Apollonius said aloud:

"Vanquish your enemies in arms and surpass your father in virtues."

Here is the letter:

From Apollonius the Philosopher To the Dog Demetrius Health

I give you to the Emperor Titus that you may instruct him in all royal virtues. Justify what I have said of you. Be everything to him, but everything without anger.


Thus Apollonius, the greatest philosopher of the West in "the first century," gave the Roman Empire two of its best Emperors, as they themselves acknowledged.

The people of Tarsus of old bore no kindness to Apollonius, because of his outspoken reproaches against their soft and effeminate manners. However, at this time they loved him as if he had been their founder and greatest support.

Once when Titus was sacrificing in public, the whole people thronged round him with a petition on matters of the greatest importance. He said he would forward it to his father Vespasian and would intercede in their interests.

Then Apollonius came forward and asked what Titus would do if he could prove that some of those present were enemies who had stirred up revolt in Jerusalem and assisted the Jews against him. "If I could prove all this, what do you think they would deserve?"

"Instant death," said Titus, without a moment's hesitation.

"Then are you not ashamed to show more promptness in punishing delinquents than in rewarding those who never offended, and assuming to yourself authority to punish whilst you defer that of recompensing until you have seen your father?"

Titus was not displeased with this direct reasoning.

"I grant their petition, as I know my father will not be angry with me for having submitted to truth and to you," he said.

Tarsus was not very far from Tyana, the birthplace of Apollonius, and this incident was doubtless long remembered of the fearless philosopher, "the Tyanean."

After his return from Ethiopia, Apollonius traveled much, but usually made short journeys and visited no new countries. He passed some time in Lower Egypt, visiting the Phoenicians, Cilicians, Ionians, and Acheans, himself always the same, unchanged. He taught wherever he found men ready to receive his teachings.

At this time, the towns on the left of the Hellespont were subject to earthquakes. Taking advantage of the alarm, certain Egyptians went up and down collecting money for sacrifices to Neptune and Tellus, the gods of sea and land. They put the cost at the enormous sum of ten talents, but in their fear, towns and individuals paid all they could, for these moneychangers said they could do nothing until all the money was in the hands of their bankers.

Apollonius drove them out. Then inquiring into the cause of the anger of Neptune and Tellus, he offered the proper expiatory sacrifices at almost no expense, and the earth had rest. Seditions and dissensions at Antioch were likewise interrupted by an earthquake and Apollonius, being present, declared:

"A god hath manifested himself among you for the restoration of peace." He drew the lesson that these dissensions would make their city like the cities of Asia, and ruin them. He seemed to imply that a city, like a man, improves or ruins its body by its conduct.


To the Gods

By James Sterling

To the Gods who guide my being,
Watching over my shoulder in silence
As I work and struggle,
Do you share my doubts and dreams?
Knowing that true justice
Is well at hand, it is you who know
That true destiny can never be denied.

Only the brave can face the music
And have the audacity to continue
When the mountain has crumbled,
Filling the crystalline lake
With muddy debris.

To the spirits, without you,
I am dead as any man who claims to live;
Yes, I live,
Even the deaf, dumb, and blind
Must eat to survive.

But I crave to live sublime
And to stand aside those who lived before me.
My turn is next and my life awaits me
As does the nervous bride,
Ready for moments unfamiliar,
Unfamiliar as you, guiding spirits.

To the Gods who hold my faith,
Grant me the possible:
Let my dreams come true.

The Path of the Soul in Sufism

By Margaret Smith

[From THE ARYAN PATH, June 1935, pages 364-69.]

Before the rise and development of Sufism, orthodox Islam had taught that within man was a Divine spark, for God had at the beginning breathed into him of His own Spirit, and there was therefore a real affinity between God and the soul of man. Based on this conception, Sufism developed the doctrine of a close relation between God and the human soul. The soul included the higher part, the spirit or heart, the "rational soul," containing the inmost essence of man (sirr).

This, as al-Sarraj (ob. A.D. 988) says, is the "secret shrine of God Himself, wherein He knows man and man can know Him." (Kitab al-Luma, p. 231) This higher soul, before its existence in a body in this world, had dwelt in the Presence of God and had been one with Him. It has, therefore, the power to perceive spiritual realities. al-Ghazali says of it:

Man possesses two eyes, the outward and the inward, the former concerned with the world of sense, the latter with the invisible world, and this he possesses because he is a partaker of the Divine Nature, and so there is within man a power of apprehension, which seeks the highest, even God Himself.

The power to apprehend depends on the purity of the soul. Here in this world it is joined to a lower part, the carnal self (nafs) ruled by passion, which is the seat of evil, and exercises a downward drag on the higher soul. The purity of the spirit becomes defiled, "that fair countenance has been disfigured by the darkness of sin," it is veiled from the apprehension of Reality by egoism, sensualism, error of all kinds. The process of removing the veils, of eliminating the evil, and effecting the purification that will enable the soul to become conscious of its own Divinity, is what the Sufis call the Path, the way of inward ascent, which will lead at last to the reunion of the soul with God.

The Sufis themselves constantly speak of this as a Way (tariqa), a journey from the false self into the real self, which is one with the Creative Truth, that is, the One Reality. The "traveler," says Mahmud Shabistari, in the ROSE GARDEN of Mystery, is the one who is acquainted with his own origin, who is aware of the Divinity within him, and who seeks to become "pure from self as flame from smoke," so that he may die to self and live a new life in God. God alone can guide men on the Way, and therefore man must attend to the promptings of Divine grace and light within his own soul, but the need for cooperation with the act of Divine grace is always upheld by the Sufis in their teaching on the following of the mystic Path. Spiritual meditation, by which the mystic can apprehend the guidance and help of God, is to be combined with vigorous asceticism, by which the soul can be purged of self-will, self-consciousness, and all those human passions and creaturely conditions that are a means of separation from God.

The journey is marked out by a number of "stations" (maqamat) that constitute the ascetic and ethical discipline of the seeker, and indicate the degree of progress attained by the mystic in the Path of God, and he must perfect himself in each, fulfilling its obligations and acquiring the virtues proper to it, before passing on to the next station.

This stage of the Path corresponds to what is known to Western mystics as the "Purgative Life," and belongs to the sphere of practical religion. These stations are succeeded, or accompanied, by a similar series of psychological "states" (ahwal) that belong to the inner life, denoting spiritual experiences, graces received, which are the gift of God alone, and do not depend upon the mystic's own striving; and these correspond to the "Illuminative Life" of Western mysticism.

The first step on the way is repentance (tawba) that is really acceptance of the Path, a turning towards God and away from all else, when the traveler puts behind him all worldly attractions, shakes off all human and material ties that fetter him, and realizes what is the Goal of the quest, towards that he has set his face. Dhu al-Nun (ob. A.D. 859), and others of the Sufis, distinguish between repentance due to fear of Divine punishment, and repentance due to shame on account of the Divine Compassion.

The repentance of fear is caused by the revelation of God's Majesty, the repentance of shame by the Vision of God's Beauty.

Dhu al-Nun also declared that repentance was of three kinds. (1) There was the common kind, repentance from sin, (2) that of the elect, repentance from neglect, and (3) that of saints, repentance (or turning away) from all save God. This meant forgetfulness (even of sin), for remembrance of sin (self) is a veil between the soul and God.

Normally at this stage on the Path, the novice takes a spiritual director. Under that director's guidance, he undergoes a long process of training. Some Sufis such as the woman Rabi'a of Basra (ob. A.D. 801) attained their aim without such guidance. They found the right ascetical and psychological discipline themselves, trod the Path to its appointed end, and found what they sought.

The first station after Repentance was Abstinence (tara') and this, Hasan al-Basri, one of the earliest Sufis, declared to be the root-principle of religion, since he held that its opposite, "desire," (lama') was the chief source of the corruption of the soul.

Closely akin to this "station" was that of Renunciation (zuhd) the abandonment of all that distracted the soul from God, leaving the hand free from wealth and the heart from desire.

Of renunciation, also, the Sufis taught that there were three kinds. There was (1) the renunciation of what was unlawful, which was common, (2) the renunciation of what was lawful, a more special type, and (3) the renunciation of all save God. This last was that of the Gnostics, the renunciation not only of the temporary pleasures of this world but also of the hope of reward in the next. "The sign of true Sufi," said al-Qushayri, "is that he is indifferent to this world and the world to come." (Risala, pp. 74, 75)

Renunciation involved Poverty (faqr). Of those who are poor for the sake of God al-Sarraj writes that they are the richest of all the creatures, for they dispense with the gift for the sake of the Giver. Poverty, to the Sufi, meant not merely lack of material possessions, but indifference to both wealth and poverty. It meant self-stripping in the widest sense, and the merging of the personal will in the Will of God, until the mystic attained to complete self-loss. To a friend who asked her what a man should do in order to come near to God, Rabi'a replied, "He should possess nothing in this world or the next save Him alone."

Patience and Gratitude were also stations on the way, representing the passive and active sides of the same virtue, acquiescence in all that was destined to come to the mystic on the Path, whether benefits or misfortunes, and acceptance of such, not only without complaint, but with thankfulness.

The first stage is to leave off complaining, which is the stage of the penitent. The second is to be satisfied with what the Divine Will decrees. This is the stage of the ascetics. The third is to accept with joyful gratitude whatever befalls. This is the stage of the true saints, the "friends" of God. "Gratitude," said Qushayri, "is the vision of the Giver, not the gift."

Trust in God and dependence upon Him (tawakkul) followed upon the stations that had gone before; it meant being contented with God and His provision, and so finding rest from the troubles of this world, engendered by anxiety on account of means and subsistence.

Dhu al-Nun taught that such trust meant that worldly motives or anxieties should no longer influence the seeker. He should bring the self into obedience to God and take from it the power of controlling its own destiny. The Sufis should be as "little children in the bosom of God." Al-Ghazali makes such implicit trust a test of faith in the Unity of God, since He is the Sole Cause and the Only Agent and all His acts are the result of perfect goodness and wisdom. What need has the servant to be concerned with his own interests, for all that is destined for him must be for the best?

The final "station," in the view of most of the Sufis, was Satisfaction (rida), and of this al-Muhasibi (ob. A.D. 857), one of the greatest of all the early Sufi teachers, has much to say. It is two-sided, for human satisfaction is linked up with the divine satisfaction and depends upon it. Muhasibi says:

Human satisfaction is tranquility of heart about Destiny and equanimity of soul in regarding events, whether the Majesty of God or His Beauty be manifested therein. It is all one to the true servant, whether he be consumed in the fire of the Majesty of God or illuminated by the light of His Mercy and His Beauty, since both alike witness to God, and whatever comes from Him is good. When the servant sees God's choice and chooses it for himself, he is delivered from all anxieties, for satisfaction means deliverance. There are those who are satisfied with the gifts of God and the happiness these bring, and those who are satisfied with affliction and trials, and there are also those who are satisfied simply with being chosen, and this is love, for those who are satisfied with being chosen by the Beloved are His lovers, whose hearts dwell ever in His Presence, who are detached from the creatures and the fetters of the "stations," and their souls have escaped from all existences and have attached themselves to God.

-- Kashf al-Mahjub pp. 219ff

Satisfaction is the last of the "stations," it begins with effort on the part of the self, but in the end it means escape from striving, for it has become a mystic "state."

The mystic "states," as we have seen, may follow the stations or may be experienced at the same time, for they belong, not to the outward life of asceticism, but to the inner life of the soul. In attaining to the stations, the soul has been purged of the grosser sins of the self and the senses, but the "states" represent a still more subtle process of purification, affecting thought and feeling, and are experiences sent by God to encourage the soul in its ascent. Among them the Sufi writers include Meditation, Nearness to God, Fear and Hope, Love and Longing, Fellowship, Tranquility, Contemplation, and Certainty. Of these, Meditation (muraqaba) means a process of self-concentration, when the mystic keeps a close watch upon the thoughts, lest evil suggestions should hinder him from thinking of God. The meditation of the Gnostics, the power for which comes from God, enables them always to concern themselves with God and to fix their minds upon Him.

On the "states" of Fear and Hope, the Sufis have much to say. One of them observes that the man who fears rightly fears his carnal self more than his enemy. Fear, says another, is like a lamp to the heart, making it see what is good and what is evil, and godly fear leads a man to shun what is feared, because it is evil. He who truly fears anything flees from it, but he who truly fears God, flees unto Him. Fear, to the Sufi, was no mere dread of material consequences, but of separation from God, and Dhu al-Nun says on this subject that the fear of Hell-fire is to the fear of separation from God, like a drop that has fallen into the bottomless sea. In proportion to the mystic's nearness to God is his fear of being cut off from Him. Hope, too, is concerned not with rewards, material or spiritual, for the Sufi's hope, says al-Sarraj, is in God alone, and he hopes for nothing from God except God Himself.

Hope, Fear, and Love are bound up together. "The lover," said Dhu al-Nun, "does not pour out the cup of love until fear has made his heart ready." Love is the greatest of the mystic "states" and the most essential to the progress of the soul if it is to attain its goal; and this, like all the states, is a gift from God, who has enabled His servants to love Him. It is linked up with the states of longing (shawq) and intimate fellowship (uns). Love, says Muhasibi, is a strong yearning, the heart's remembrance of the One yearned for, and its expectation of the state of union.

The love of the mystic is that pure love in which is no defilement, which thrusts out from the heart all baser affections until all is in God and to God. Love of this type leads to ecstasy and to the consciousness of the nearness of God, and of the soul's communion with Him. "Drink the wine of His love for thee," says Dhu al-Nun, using the mystic symbolism of the poets, "that He may intoxicate thee with thy love for Him." That close fellowship with God that results from love, he describes as "the joy of the lover in the Beloved," a radiant light to the soul, and by that light the lover is enabled to look upon the Beloved and to know the rapture of contemplation (mushahada), when the seeker is face to face with the Sought. The heart of the worshipper is the real sanctuary, said Muhammad b. al-Fadl:

For the true sanctuary is the place where contemplation is, and only that one to whom the whole world is the trysting-place where he draws near to God, and a place of retreat where he holds communion with Him, knows what it is to be the friend of God.

From that, one who contemplates God in his heart all else is hidden and the self passes away into nothingness in that Divine Presence and there remains naught in the heart save God alone. "So God, revealing Himself in His Majesty, causes the carnal souls of His lovers to pass away, and, then by the revelation of His Beauty, gives immortality to their hearts." To the mystic, then, filled with love, and rapt in expectation of what God will reveal to him, is granted the Vision of the Divine Beauty. "It begins with flashes of light," says al-Qushayri, in a vain attempt to describe that mystic experience, "then it appears as rays of light and then as the light shining forth in its full splendor." In truth the unveiling of the Divine Glory is among the unspeakable things that it is not fitting, nor indeed possible, to describe, as al-Ghazali reminds us. None should attempt to share that experience with any to whom God has not chosen to unveil Himself.

The seeker has attained through sight to certainty, and now has passed beyond the "stations" and the "states" and has entered the higher sphere of the mystic Gnosis, that direct knowledge of God that comes only by the illumination and the revelation of God Himself. This is the final stage of the Path, for the traveler is now in sight of the Goal. The real meaning of Gnosis, says al-Hujwiri, is to know that all belongs to God. When ignorance has ended, the veils vanish and this life, by means of Gnosis, becomes one with the life to come. Gnosis comes from the Light of lights, and the soul of the Gnostic now knows itself to be one with that Primal Essential Light and knows that it shall be joined with it once more, as the spark returns to the flame and is absorbed in it again.

The traveler reaches the end of the journey. The soul passes away from itself, from all sense-impressions, from all creaturely knowledge, attaining to the annihilation of the personal self (fana) that Suhrawardi states is the end of traveling to God. Jami said:

The end of worshipping God is that the worshipper should pass away in worship from worship, and be absorbed in Him Whom he worships, and this is the state in which perishability perishes.

-- fana al-fana

Mortality ends, but in dying to itself, the soul is reborn to a new life in God, and immortality has begun. Immortality (baqa), says Suhrawardi again, is the beginning of traveling IN God, for the soul has now entered upon the Unitative life in and with God. Hujwiri wrote:

This is the perfection attained by the saints who have left behind them the toil of conflict and are free from the fetters of the "stations" and the vicissitudes of the "states" and whose search has ended in discovery. They have come to know all the secrets of the heart, and of set purpose have become annihilated to all desire, and having thus passed away from mortality, have attained to perfect immortality.

The Gnostic who has attained is fitly described by some Sufi writers as the "waqif" (the one who stands still), for he desists from seeking and passes away into the Sought; he has no longer thoughts of "otherness," for him all apparent and transient values have been changed into their real and eternal values. "Now," Ibn al-'Arabi says,

"Thou" art "He" and thou seest all thine actions to be His actions and all His attributes to be thine attributes, and thine essence to be His Essence.

The line of distinction is obliterated. From one point of view the One Reality is the Creative Truth, from another, He is that which is created, but the Essence is the same. The Path of the Soul has brought it to the end of the journey, through knowledge of itself, to knowledge of God, the Ultimate Reality, and so to the realization that knower and Known are one, and that God is not only One, but One in All and All in All.


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